“Ana?” She called out to her friend in a wary voice. “What did you do?”
“A thing. I did a thing.” Anastasia replied sheepishly before turning around to face the swarm of wolves that were heading their way, her meat running front and centre.
“What kind of thing?” She asked even though she already suspected she knew the answer, especially when the group of wolves got closer and she recognised a few of them to be from the Lupus Griseo pack; a few of them were even the ones to help rescue them from the child trafficking scheme a few months ago.
“I may or may not have told Marcellus what was happening.” Anastasia chuckled, though the sound was strained, especially when Orpheus’ wolves began closing in on them, hording Thea, Anastasia and Malik in the middle.
“I thought I told you not to say anything until I had left.” Thea frowned and pursed her lips but before her friend could answer, she sighed.
While she wasn’t a fan of Anastasia going behind her back and doing exactly what she had asked her not to do, she understood why she had felt the need to tell her mate about what happening. In fact, she was actually surprised that she had managed to last this long – if only twenty-four hours – as they were mates and mates usually couldn’t keep secrets from each other.
“Marcellus refused to let me go without telling him what was going on but it’s a good thing I did.” She noted aloud while gesturing to the fact that they were covered from all angles by Orpheus and his wolves.
Speaking of Orpheus, he had kept quiet these past few moments as Thea and Anastasia had been conversing back and forth, and when she looked up to see what he was doing, Thea was not the least bit surprised to find his usually dark onyx eyes were a cloudy, smoky grey, suggesting that either he was mind linking or his wolf had risen to the surface.
When she more felt than heard that deep growl that resonated from deep within his chest, she understood that it was the latter.
“Let me go.” Thea demanded as she pushed on his arms that were still braced on the hood of her car on either side of her hips.
As his eyes cloudy eyes travelled down to meet hers, he growled again but this time, his lips curled up into a feral smirk.
“And why would I do that?”
Thea frowned deeply but kept her mouth shut, simply glaring up at him.
“What? You thought that just because the cavalry has arrived, I’d let you go?” He chuckled and before she could respond, he spun her around in his arms so instead of leaning back against the car, she was now forced to lean back against his bare chest.
As his dipped his head to whisper her ear, he licked the outer shell of her ear, daringly adding his sharp teeth to the mix. “Well, Thea, you thought wrong.”
As the wolves from the Lupum Griseo pack finally came to a stop and shifted back into their human form, she tried to pry herself out of his arms but instead, he just tightened his arm around her waist to keep her in place.
Before Marcellus could say anything, Malik protested aloud.
“Mummy?” Malik questioned as he watched his mother and the strange man from earlier, picking up on the fact that she appeared to be feeling uncomfortable.
“There’s nothing to worry about, baby.” She cooed to him softly. “Just stay with Stassie, okay?”
“No, mummy.” Malik protested and reached out for her, causing Anastasia to hold onto him tightly so he wouldn’t fall out of her arms. “Mummy!”
As much as she wanted to keep Malik as far from Orpheus as she possibly could, she wasn’t sure if that was possible right now. When Malik started to get visibly upset and clearly wanted for her to hold him, she sighed before slowly nodding her head.
When Thea moved to take a step forward, she was reminded of the fact that she was restrained and couldn’t actually move from her spot. She reached down and placed her hands on his arm to move it but when he didn’t even budge, she sighed and cocked her head to the side to stare up at him; not the least bit surprised that he was carefully watching the exchange.
“Can you ease up a little so I can take him?” Thea frowned deeply as she sent him a pointed look but when he smirked down at her, she felt her blood begin to boil.
Never had she felt such rage, annoyance and frustration before in her life.
“And why would I do that?” He murmured quietly, his voice low and gravelly as he watched her carefully but as another protest sounded, the both of them turned aloud to find Anastasia really struggling to keep Malik in her arms; him desperate to leave them so he could get to his mother.
“Okay, fine.” He murmured quietly and just as he promised, he loosened his arm around her but when she took a step forward toward Malik, he followed behind and made sure to keep his hands on either side of her hips, clearly not trusting her to not make a run for it. As if she would be able to make it very far with all of these wolves surrounding her.
The moment she reached her arms out to pull Malik into them, her little boy jumped into them and buried his face into the crook of her neck, sniffling quietly as he began to calm down.
With Orpheus’ hands settled on her hips and now with Malik in her arms, he wound an arm around her waist and pulled her back against his chest; effectively locking the both of them in place.
“Let my mate and Thea go!” Marcellus demanded in a loud, strong voice as he took menacing steps toward them, not the least bit fazed with the few wolves that were surrounding them.
“I’m afraid that I can’t do that.” Orpheus chuckled in a nonchalant tone, even going as far as to shrug as his lips curled up into a teasing smirk.
“And why not?” The Alpha of the Lupum Griseo pack growled as he continued marching toward them with every intent of saving his mate and pulling her back into his arms where he would be able to keep her safe.
Even though Anastasia had rushed to spill the entire truth to him not even an hour ago, she had also begged him not to say anything until she called him later that day after safely arriving at the Lupus Rapax pack. While he had pretended to agree with her, he had purposely waited a few moments before rounding up his warriors to sneakily follow the pair of them, not trusting Orpheus and his wolves to not try anything, especially if his suspicions proved to be true.
“Your mate was trying to escape with Thea.” Orpheus mumbled lowly as he sent a pointed look toward the Luna, a clear sense of distaste evident on his face. “That’s completely unacceptable and something which I simply can’t forgive.”
Marcellus growled in response and despite the barricade of wolves standing in front of them all, he wasn’t the least bit fazed and instead, pushed them all out of the way and pulled his mate into his arms, only visibly calming down then.
When his wolves circled around them and began growling, a few of them even daring to move further in and try to separate the mates, Orpheus shook his head and chuckled lowly.
“Let them go.” He instructed with a simple flick of his wrist, only chucking as the warriors from the Lupum Griseo pack also moved in further, their need to protect their Alpha and Luna spurring them on.
Marcellus growled deeply but moved away with his mate, her safety being his top priority.
“Marcellus, we can’t leave Thea and Malik!” Anastasia protested in his arms but his eyes glazed over as he mind-linked with her.
Thea wasn’t sure what they were discussing but after a few moments, Anastasia groaned lowly before allowing Marcellus to guide her back into the car. It was obvious that she wasn’t happy about it, especially when she crossed her arms over her chest and sent her mate a dark look, one which said that they would definitely be talking about this later.
If the situation wasn’t so serious or dire, Thea probably would have laughed but instead, she remained in her spot and watched the exchange carefully.
As much as Thea wanted Marcellus and Anastasia to help her again, especially since she was physically powerless against Alpha rapist behind her, she understood that this was not their problem and if they didn’t want to have to involve themselves in her mess yet again, she couldn’t bring herself to blame them for it.
“I need you to hand over Thea and Malik now.” Marcellus instructed simply as his wolves swarmed him by both sides, all of them eager, ready and geared up to jump into action at his simplest instruction.
“That’s not happening so why don’t you run along back to your little pack?” Orpheus sneered at the wolf, clearly intending to rile up Marcellus in hopes of starting a fight; one which he was confident that he would win.
Marcellus growled at the obvious insult and he took a step closer toward them, evidently struggling to keep his wolf at bay. However, before he could either say or do anything, his mate was quick to insert herself back into the situation in hopes of stopping it from spiralling out of control.
When the car door opened, none of them seemed to notice as they continued growling and baring their teeth at each other, but it was only when a loud, shrill whistle sounded aloud that everyone stopped what they were doing and instead, snapped their heads toward Anastasia.
“You can either continue fighting like this, or we can head back to the pack house and talk about this like adults.” She scowled deeply from her position behind the car door, her eyes shifting over to lock with Thea’s, the worry and concern evident in them, especially when they focused on the way that Malik was beginning to start fussing and get upset again.
“Why don’t you tell your mate that, Luna?” Orpheus sneered as he sent a pointed look to Marcellus, chuckling in response as the other Alpha bared his teeth menacingly though Orpheus was the least bit bothered.
“Don’t you fucking talk to her like that!” Marcellus growled loudly and marched over to the three of them, reaching out to grab Thea and pull her away from the offending Alpha who was determined to keep her prisoner.
“Don’t you dare touch Thea!” Orpheus growled and was quick to move both her and Malik behind him where Marcellus wouldn’t be able to reach either of them. “Get the fuck away from her.”
“Make me.” Marcellus sneered as he stepped forward and slammed his hands into Orpheus’ chest, effectively knocking him back a step.
While Thea wasn’t surprised about the fact that one Alpha had managed to sway another Alpha, she was surprised that Marcellus had managed to knock Orpheus back a step. Not because the former was weaker but rather because the latter had proved to her time and time again that he held all the power.
Or perhaps that was simply because she was weak.
Orpheus growled deeply at the offending action and before Thea could blink, a full-on war had started out. Warriors from opposing packs were growling and attacking one another; half of them of them having shifted into their wolves while the other half remained in their human forms.
In the centre of it all, stood two Alpha wolves, viciously growling at each other while knocking heads and attempting to bite into each other, trying to get the other wolf to submit.
“Stop!” Thea screamed out as loud as she could but her efforts were to no avail.
When Malik whimpered in her arms, she knew that his safety was top priority while breaking up this fight was something very low down, especially because it was something that she doubted she was capable of doing.
As her eyes locked with Anastasia who was calling out to her, the sound of her cries drowned out by the sound of the war, Thea knew she had to get to her before she somehow found herself directly in the middle of the spotlight.
Bracing her hand against the back of Malik’s head, she pressed his face into the crook of her neck as she weaved her way through the large crowd of fighting wolves, attempting to keep as low a profile as possible but unfortunately, she was never that lucky.
As a wolf slammed into her from behind after having been thrown by his opponent, Thea screamed out loud as she felt herself fall to the floor. With the weight of her assailant heavy against her back, she had no doubt that he would end up crushing the both of them.
Malik cried out and clutched his arms tightly around her neck as they fell and Thea squeezed her eyes shut as she braced herself for the impact of the hard ground breaking her fall while being crushed with the large wolf on top of her, but that feeling never came.
A surprised gasp escaped her as she felt a familiar pair of muscular arms wound around her waist and lift the both of them into his arms before slamming his foot into the stomach of the offending wolf that had dared to harm either of them, even if it wasn’t directly his fault.
Rearing his head back, Orpheus growled loudly at the loss.
“Now will you listen when I say that we need to talk all about this!” Anastasia screamed for the second time as she rushed over to her mate. “There’s so many things we need to discuss and fighting is just going to make everything all that much worse.”
Hungry for the blood of the one that had taken his mate and pup from him, Orpheus merely growled menacingly in response but turned his head to glare at the other Alpha.
Taking advantage of the momentary distraction, the wolf was quick to shift back into his human form and scurry away before the blood-thirsty Alpha tried to kill him.
“I’m willing to talk if you are,” Marcellus growled lowly with one arm wound around his mate, a conflicted look in his eyes which suggested that talking was the last thing that he wanted to do right now.
Instead of responding, Orpheus growled out loud and his eyes turned cloudy, instructing his wolves to back off.
Thea and the rest of the Lupum Griseo pack watched as they all submitted to their Alpha and upon receiving the simple nod of their Alpha’s head, they all ran into the forest.
“The packhouse?” Orpheus questioned in a dark, low voice which Marcellus only responded to with a simple nod of his head.
“I’m going to drive and Thea is going to sit up front with me.” Anastasia stated simply as she grabbed Marcellus’ hand and began tugging him toward the car, not leaving any room for discussion or protests.
Orpheus growled lowly, clearly not a fan of being told what to do but kept his mouth shut as he walked over to the car and finally let Thea and Malik go before slipping into the backseat next to Marcellus.
“You’re not going to put him in his seat?” He questioned quietly as Thea closed the door behind her.
Not trusting her voice, she simply shook her head and kept Malik as close to her as possible.
The short journey back to the Lupus Griseo pack was sort yet uncomfortably silent and as soon as Anastasia put it into park, Thea was the first one out of the car.
After the men had gotten dressed in some clothes that Anastasia grabbed for the both of them, they all piled into the office but before any one of them could say anything, a knock sounded on the door.
“You said you wanted me to take Malik?” Dalton asked Marcellus as he stepped into the room.
Thea nodded and leaned down to press a kiss to her son’s forehead before putting him down on the ground, chuckling quietly as he visibly perked up at the sight of one of his favourite people. The fact that Malik loved playing with Dalton’s son, Devon, just sweetened the deal.
She watched with a soft look in her eyes as Malik held Dalton’s hand and skipped out of the office, cheering as the Beta wolf promised him as much as chocolate ice cream as he could possibly eat.
She sighed with a small smile on her face but as the door closed behind them and she had no choice but to turn back to face the three pairs of eyes trained on her, it was quick to slip off without any indication of when it would next return.
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