Walking downstairs, she pulled her phone from her pocket.
‘Mark, I am worried about him… Yeah, you need to come over… thank you,’ putting the phone back into her pocket as a knock came. Opening the door to find Will Sullivan on her doorstep.
‘Will, come in,’
‘I won’t muddy boots and I have James in the truck,’ Will smiled as he surveyed little Elizer all grown up. ‘I thought your grass could do with another cut,’
‘Yes, thank you,’
‘Pleasure, so shall I get young James to cut the grass today and then you can decide what you want doing next.’
‘That would be marvellous, Will thank you,’ Elizer beamed as Mark arrived.
‘Alpha,’ Will dipped his head to Mark as he ambled back to his truck.
Elizer passed Mark a coffee, In her arms, little Juliana. Sitting, she waited.
‘I think he was dreaming, but when I went into him, he was running a fever. Mumbling about being killed and the Lancers?’ Elizer shrugged. In the end I put him in my bed and that helped. This morning he made breakfast and talked a bit. Then he just went back to bed. Do you think it is depression? Do you think he is safe?’ Elizer bit her lip.
‘The Lancers are a separate pack that shelter and protect his Destined,’
‘Will they come for him? Are they the ones hunting him?’
‘No Elizer,’ Mark answered as he made his way to the stairs to go talk to the boy. ‘We need to know why he ran?’ Mark answered as he gazed back at Elizer. ‘You ready for this?’
‘Yes, I want to help him.’
‘Alpha,’ Benjamin mumbled.
‘Benjamin,’ Mark smiled as he sat in the chair by the window. ‘I need to know what happened to the packs,’ Elizer sat, taking Benjamin’s hand, feeling the warm tingle.
‘It had been a few months and dad and uncle Callum had moved most of the packs to Canada. We were getting ready to move the royal pack in the next week. I was going to the city with Dad. we had to behave like normal so attention wouldn’t be drawn to the operation, but we were too late.’
The sunlight danced around the little clearing as the wind played with the leaves, making them tumble about in its teasing grip. Falling on the boy as he lay on his stomach, his head on her belly as he kissed her exposed skin, her eyes closed as a smile played around her mouth. Her hand in his hair twirling the golden strands around her fingers. The remains of the picnic scattered around them.
The sound of engines ripped the tranquillity apart, heralding the disaster that was about to take place. Climbing to his feet, he held out his hand to her, a frown creasing his brow. Without saying a word, they stepped cautiously to the edge of the wood to see dozens of black vehicles drive into the centre of the hamlet. Spewing out the soldiers as the people stopped what they were doing to watch the spectacle. His father in meeting after meeting. While they waited in fear as diplomacy failed repeatedly. Now time had run out.
Ben knew they were here to catalogue them and take them to facilities. He had read the reports. He knew what would happen if they found Mary and her baby. He would never see them again and they would use him as a pawn in a game no one would win. Closing his eyes, he ran the conversation with his father through his head again.
‘Ben, I am making arrangements for you and Mary. Your uncle Callum he has left already. Once I get word, you and Mary will leave. Do you understand?’
‘I am sorry, it is the only way.’
‘I know, dad, but I don’t have to like it though, do I?’
‘I wanted you to be happy after your mother…. I wanted a different life for you,’
‘I know dad,’
Ben peered around the edge of the building behind him. The girl stood clutching her belly pressed against his back.
‘What’s going on? Who are these people Ben,’ her hand now resting on his arm as she whispered?
‘I don’t know. Go inside, stay hidden, pack. I think we have to leave,’ Ben whispered in her ear as he ushered her into the house by a side door.
‘Are they humans?’
‘Yes, they can’t find you.’ he turned to her, and she could see the fear in his eyes. They broke the treaty. She knew that, but she loved him, sacrificed everything to be with him. Would they really send all these soldiers for her?
‘Where are you going?’ panic clear in Mary’s voice.
‘I just need to talk to my dad and then I will be straight back. I need to know our position.’ he searched her face, taking in the fear that shone from her eyes, her bottom lip quivering. ‘Go get the bags and anything else we might need.’
‘What about the pack? We can’t abandon them,’ her voice barely above a whisper.
‘The pack is safer if we aren’t here. We have to keep the baby safe. That’s our priority now understand,’ with a nod she turns away heading to the kitchen. Ben takes one last glance at Mary’s retreating back before running to his dad’s office.
‘Dad, what’s going on?’ Ben glanced out the window at all the men rounding up the pack.
‘Ben, you can’t be here. Get Mary and go.’ running a hand through his greying hair, Charles surveyed his son and not for the first time wondered what he had done.
‘But why?’ Ben’s face contorted in confusion.
‘When was the last time you saw a baby, a purebred?’ Stephen watched as his son understood.
‘I don’t know,’ he stuttered as fear replaced his confusion.
‘You and your sister were the last in this pack and now Mary, by some miracle, carries your pup. The government wants us gone, not breeding,’ Charles slumped into his chair. The Synod knows about the pup. It breaks the law, you have broken the law. You are only to breed with your Destined a human not a wolf,’
‘No, I won’t listen to this mystical rubbish about my destined mate, who will appear on my twenty-fifth birthday,’ Ben growled in anger.
‘That maybe, but it is the cement that binds us together. To rule you need your human Destined you know that. This pup if it survives is pure wolf the Synod will hunt it down,’
‘Why did you let them in?’ anger growled in Ben’s voice?
‘I had to let them in, they want to catalogue us,’ Stephen turned away from the accusation in his son’s eyes’.
‘They are frightened that we will mate with the general population, dilute them and create monsters. The treaty was a rouse just a way of finding us. I am so sorry they have betrayed us, all of us.’
‘No, they can’t do that. It’s genocide.’ Ben’s face contorting into an expression of frustration. Charles smiled at Ben. He was so like his mother it hurt Charles sometimes just looking at Ben.
‘Yes, except technically we don’t exist only in their fairy tales. They can wipe out our race and no one will know. Our isolation and way of life are causing our extinction.’
‘They will take them, won’t they?’
‘What do I do?’ Ben hung his head before mumbling. ‘I won’t let them take my family,’ he glanced at his dad, his lip between his teeth.
‘You have to go hide, don’t worry about me, they can’t kill me even in their world I am known,’ Charles glanced around and then stepped closer to Ben. ‘Use the passage under the house, go to England, there is a pack they will protect you the madness hasn’t reached there. Uncle Callum is there already. I will send a message to him.’
‘Thanks dad but what about you?’ Ben searched his father’s eyes.
‘I am still CEO of one of the biggest corporations. They will have to tread carefully.’ Charles pulled his son into a hug. ‘Now go, you have little time.’ Charles pushed Ben toward the door of his office. ‘Use the chaos to slip away,’ here take this. Ben looked at the bag his dad had pushed into his hands.
‘Thanks dad, love you,’ Ben let a faint smile touch his lips as he hurried along the hall to where Mary was waiting. He had to look upbeat so she wouldn’t worry. She couldn’t know what was really happening or she wouldn’t go with him. He knew that.
‘Where are we going?’