A Warriors Heart

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April Fool

Where the fuck is she?

I pace the floor of Elijah's office. I need to go find her but Leo is landing at the airstrip in thirty minutes. We're meeting him there, he'll hand off the baby to Sorsha then we're leaving.

I try to link her again but she's still blocking me.

"You left her here, Cole. She's your mate, you chose this over her, you didn't even talk to her. Can you imagine how you would feel if she almost died then a few days later, was going on another mission?" Elijah is frustrated, I can see that he's mad at me along with his fear for his daughter.

"I can't sit this out! It's Bea!"

"Lucienne is your mate! She should come before all else. You're choosing everyone else!"

I resume my pacing. At the time all I could see was the mission, and saving Bea. Fuck, having a mate is hard. I don't know how to stop and consult someone else before acting.

Her words play over again in my head. I don't only care that she's my mate in bed...

How have I managed to fuck this up again, already?

"Go find her, Cole. You don't know how much it means to me that you're willing to drop everything and go but... she's your future. She'll be the mother of your children. You have to remember how important she is to you. You're supposed to be a team, she should be number one in everything, she should be included in everything you do, her opinion should be the only one that matters."

I don't know what to do. I haven't backed out of a mission in twenty years. This mission hits particularly hard because Bea was kidnaped two years ago and one of the girls involved got away. She slipped through the cracks and we never found her. Leo thinks she's involved with Bea's abduction now.

Even though she's blocking our mindlink I can still feel her through the bond. I know she's crying. I can feel her worry and how anxious she is.

Elijah stands and I follow him to the large, waiting, SUV. Sorsha is ready there, quickly adjusting a carseat in one of the seats.

I have to go with him, I have to make sure Bea is found, quickly and safely.

"Luci," I try again but she still has the block up.

As the car takes off Sorsha turns to me. Her eyes are rimmed with red and her voice shakes, "you need to take care of your family, Cole. Lucienne is your family. Don't leave with things broken between you. Selfishly, I want you with Elijah but he's right, you're hurt. You need to think of life beyond being a warrior, don't ruin your relationship with her."

Something up ahead catches my eye. Someone walking on the side of the road.
"What the hell?"

How did she get this far away?

"Stop the car!"

The driver pulls the car over and I notice her shoulders slump but she doesn't turn around.

"Lucienne!" I run up behind her but she still won't turn.

"Just go, Cole," her voice is quiet under the rain.

When I grab her arm she flinches away.

"Please get in the car! Let me explain."

She finally turns to look at me but I wish she hadn't. Her blue eyes are lifeless and sad.
"There's nothing to explain. You're a warrior, you're going to go on missions and do your thing and I'll be here when you get back. You don't need to talk to me about your decisions. Go, don't get hurt..." her voice cracks and my heart cracks with it.

"Please, please get in the car. I don't want it to be like that. We're supposed to be a team, I need you to be a part of this. I'm sorry I made you feel like you aren't."

"You say that but you keep walking away."

I grab her arm again and pull her toward the car. I'm completely caught off guard when she spins around, pressing her back to me then swiftly bends over, flipping me over her shoulder onto the ground.

I stare up at her from the dirt. If I wasn't so surprised I'd be proud.

"I want to walk back," her voice is calm but icy, "when you make it back safely with their daughter we can talk, if you want."

She turns on her heels and starts walking toward the packlands.

I pull myself up from the ground and climb back into my seat.

"Did you teach her that?" I look at Elijah.

"Yup. Good for her."

"Let's go get her, then get home," I run my hand through my wet hair.

"Luc?" I try the link again, desperate. It's open but she doesn't respond.

"Thank you for opening the mindlink. I get that you don't want to talk so...just listen. I watched Bea grow up, I feel like she's my daughter too. I have to get her back. She was taken a few years ago and one of the girls involved, April Carlson got away. I tried for months but I kept loosing the trail. We think she has something to do with this. This is my fault. If I had tied up the loose ends, maybe... I know it seems like I'm spending a lot of time apologizing for the same shit. I promise, when I get back I'll fix it, I will find a way to prove to you that I can change. This is the last time I will ever make you feel like I don't love you. I won't ever walk away again."

I didn't expect her to respond but when she doesn't my heart aches.

As we arrive at the airstrip, Leo is already waiting with Mags. He's bouncing happily in his fathers arms, completely unaware of everything that's going on.

Sorsha takes him and we board the small plane. I hear Elijah and Leo talking but I focus on Luc. The distance makes the mindlink fuzzy.

"I'll be back soon. I'll fix this... I promise. I'll show you."

The rest of the flight is spent planning. Someone on Leo's security team found camera footage of the car that was used to grab Bea. They are tracking it and we hope it will lead to a clue about their location.

Leo is a mess. He is shaky and vulnerable. I can't help but to put myself in his shoes now. I've never had someone to lose before. I can't imagine knowing someone has your mate, that they could be injured...

When we finally land in California I step away to call my contact...but first.

"Hello?" I breathe a sigh of relief that she even answered the phone. Her voice is tired and there is a hint of a nasal sound, her nose is stuffy, she's been crying.

"Luc, where are you, baby?"

"The alphas quarters... I'm staying with Sorsha."

I don't know what to say to make the aching feeling in my chest go away.

"We just landed in California, we're going to find out where they're holding her. I'll call you whenever I have a minute to let you know what's happening."

"Please, be safe," her voice is so soft I almost miss it.

"I will."

When we hang up I feel worse than before. The sparkle is gone from her voice and it's my fault.

How do I make her understand?

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