I woke up with a banging headache. I felt like I was in a daze. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t keep my eyes opened. They would drift off for a while, and open up for just a few moments.
Every time I opened my eyes, Liam was looking down at me.
“Hey Cass,” he would whisper, and his hand usually ran through my hair or caress my cheek.
After those times, I just kept my eyes close. Whenever I moaned, Liam would ask me if something was wrong. I couldn’t manage to give him an answer. My body felt numb, and I couldn’t move my hands or speak.
I opened my eyes slowly. The sky was darkening outside. It must’ve been late in the afternoon.
When I tried to sit up, my head got dizzy. I moaned out in complaint. When I tried to raise my hand to rub my eyes, I realized I was handcuffed to the post of the bed.
The light coming from the window made the room seem normal, despite me being tied to the bed. I looked around the room, trying to get a sense of where I was. There was nothing familiar about it. I had never been there before. I could smell Liam’s scent all over the place, but that was it.
“Hello!” I called out, hoping anyone would hear me.
I heard movement outside the door. I smelt his scent before I saw him. It was Liam.
“You’re awake.” He casually made his way to me.
“You realize I can easily escape, right?” I asked him, lazily. I wasn’t sure why, but my voice was coming out slurry. It sounded like if I was drunk.
He chuckled, and looked at me like I was a child.
“You can’t. I’ve seen your gifts. Fire won’t burn through those handcuffs, and you’re not strong enough to rip them apart.”
“I can snap them with my mind,” I threatened.
“Try it,” he told me.
I could barely move around the bed. My body felt weak, and I was exhausted. When I tried focusing on the cuffs, they only shook around my wrist but they didn’t crack.
“What did you do to me?” I asked.
I was freaking out. Nothing had ever cancelled out my gifts. The only thing that had numbed them out had been Layton’s bite, when he had claimed me. For some reason, his bite had prevented my gifts from appearing.
“I had to keep you calm. You were out of it, but your gifts were acting up. You were making everything in the room shake,” Liam explained.
“You drugged me?” I asked, incredulously.
Liam shook his head, and took a seat on the bed right next to me. I tried to cower back, but Liam placed his hand on my knee, keeping me from scurrying away.
“Stop moving around. I’m not going to hurt you. I had to sedate you. Your body is still too weak. Your gifts will probably come back soon.”
“Where am I?”
“We’re near your mate, if that’s what you’re wondering,” Liam said, frowning. “I was waiting for you to wake up.”
“I’m not going anywhere with you,” I told him, narrowing my eyes.
“You’ll come,” Liam said, calmly.
“I want to go with Layton,” I told him, sitting up properly.
I rested my back on the headboard of the bed, but Liam didn’t drop his hand from my knee. When I tried to break the handcuffs again, I actually felt them giving in. My gifts were coming back, and so were my senses.
The pounding in my head was starting to smooth out. I was sure I could get out of the handcuffs, but I needed to catch Liam off guard. I could hear other guys outside the room, so I knew we weren’t alone.
“I want to have a fresh start,” Liam said.
He was staring out the window, looking distracted. His features had softened, and I could see the sadness in his eyes.
“You know you could have that here,” I told him, trying once again to convince him to change his mind.
“I already told you I have someone out there waiting for me.”
“Then why do you want me?”
“Charlotte is like my sister. You’ll like her,” Liam told me.
“Charlotte?” I asked.
“She’s just like me. She hasn’t shifted yet.”
“Oh,” I mumbled, because I hadn’t heard from any Charlotte. I briefly wondered if she had also belonged to Zev’s pack.
“Charlotte keeps me sane. She only sees the good,” Liam continued.
“You don’t need me, Liam. You have Charlotte,” I told him.
“I want to have a fresh start with you. We would be so good together,” he said, looking at me with a soft expression. “You, Charlotte, and me — we’d be invincible.”
He had been serious. Liam was in love with me. I hadn’t seen that coming, even when he had confessed it at Layton’s house. It made me think about the party that had been going on.
“How long have I been out?” I asked, nervously.
“A few days,” Liam steadily replied, gauging my reaction. “Your presentation to the pack was two days ago. It was the day the pack lost a Luna they didn’t even get to enjoy.”
I let out a shaky breath, and tried to process his words. I couldn’t help but feel worried about Layton, what he must’ve been thinking.
“Where’s Layton at?” I asked him, knowing he must’ve been going crazy looking for me.
“It’s funny how history repeats itself,” Liam said, letting out a dark chuckle.
“What do you mean?” I asked, not really wanting to hear his answer.
“Layton is out, hunting Zeverus down. He thinks Zev stole his precious mate,” Liam replied.
I stared at Liam, not knowing what to say. I folded my knees and rested my head on them.
“It only makes sense that Layton would think that. You had an argument with Zeverus the day before. It makes Zev look guiltier if you ask me,” Liam said, while walking toward me.
“You need to let me go,” I told Liam, wanting him to release me out of his own free will.
“I can’t do that. You make a perfect mate,” he said, reaching out to run his hand over my cheek.
A shiver ran through my body, and I tried not to cringe away. It wouldn’t make him happy, and I wanted to reason with him.
“Liam!” A guy yelled, as he barged in the room.
“What is it?” Liam replied calmly, not removing his gaze from me.
“They know you have her. Ray said they’re coming here.” The words came out fast, and the guy sounded worried.
Liam cursed out loud, and he jumped up from the bed. His dark eyes landed on the guy who gave him the news. He seemed ready to attack.
“Are you sure?”
“Zev’s girl told Layton you took Cassidy. They didn’t know where we were, but Ray said someone saw us come here,” the guy hurriedly replied.
“We need to go. Pack the stuff we need. I’ll take care of Cassidy,” Liam ordered.
“We shouldn’t take her. She’s going to bring us problems,” another guy said, as he walked into the room.
He seemed tougher than the other one, and his voice was firm. He was scowling in my direction.
“She’s mine. I want her and I’m taking her with me,” Liam told the pair. His jaw clenched and his fists looked ready to attack anyone who contradicted him.
“Fine,” the second guy said, and then stepped out of the room. “But she’s only going to bring us problems,” he added.
Liam growled loudly after him, but he probably knew there was no time to fight with his own group. When he turned to me, his expression had hardened.
“I’m going to let you go. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t try anything,” Liam threatened.
I could feel his Wolf so close to the surface. I assumed it was his Alpha bloodline that made him so strong. I nodded in agreement, even though I had another thing in mind.
Slowly, Liam unlocked the handcuffs with a small key he had in his pocket.
When I was released, I started rubbing my wrist. He had only been holding one of my hands, but it had been enough to keep me in place, at least while the sedative was still working in my system.
My wrist had a red rim all around, from where I had been slipping and tugging on it. It hurt, but it felt better after Liam released me.
Liam gently took my hand, and slowly traced his fingers over the mark that the cuffs had left behind.
“Does it hurt?” He asked in a soft voice.
I nodded at him, thinking it was better if he saw me looking vulnerable. I really wanted him to change his mind. I cared about Liam a lot.
“It’ll heal quickly, don’t worry,” Liam said, before kissing my cheek.
Liam looked at me and smiled. I was still sitting down in the bed. When Liam got up, he helped me up with him. Even though I still didn’t trust my legs enough, I knew it was my only chance to escape.
After I got up from the bed, and Liam’s hand was placed on the small of my back, I shoved him away. Once I got a balance on my feet, I made a dash for the door.
Liam chased after me quickly. He wrapped his arms around my waist just before I made it out. It had taken nothing out of him to catch me.
“Not so fast, baby,” he huskily whispered into my ear.
He crashed me against his chest, and I groaned out in complaint. He was restraining me with a strong grip, and his clawed fingers were sinking into my skin.
I shoved my elbow into his stomach with as much force as I could muster. I knew I wasn’t strong enough on my own, so I shoved him as hard as I could with my mind.
Liam let me go, and I wasted no time in continuing out the door. I had just gotten the door opened when the first guy from before blocked my path.
“Jason, stop her!” Liam yelled at the guy.
Jason quickly grabbed my arm and tried to keep me in place. I put one of my hands in between us and shoved him away roughly using my mind. It was enough to land him across the hallway, outside of the room.
“What the hell is going on here?” I heard the second guy say from down the hall. Liam was already coming after me and I didn’t know where to run. He was in the room and the other guy was coming from down the hall.
I didn’t have time to make a decision because Liam had already caught me and was trying to hold me down. I couldn’t hurt him. Even though Liam was trying to take me away, I couldn’t hurt him. I considered him my friend.
Despite my thoughts, I couldn’t control as fire ignited my hands and started burning Liam’s chest. I wasn’t doing anything. The fire kindled through my system, and created a warm sensation throughout my body.
“Cassidy,” he growled out, because I was burning him.
Jason was still knocked out in the hall, but the second guy had just entered the room.
Liam was trying not to hurt me. It was obvious because he didn’t make a move to get me away from him. Instead, he was trying to get me to stop burning him. He could’ve hurt me, but he didn’t. It proved to me that he cared. He must’ve cared.
His shirt was already charred and burned. His chest was burning as my hands made contact with his skin. But the fire didn’t dissipate. The flames were in my hands, burning anything they came into contact with.
“Stop,” Liam pleaded.
He was groaning, but he didn’t let me go.
Liam ended up kneeling in the ground, and the fire in my body kept burning him. He was in pain. But his hands didn’t release me. Physically, he could overpower me.
If I wanted, I could’ve shoved him away with my mind. But I didn’t. I stayed next to him, watching as the flames burned him.
“What the fuck are you doing?” Someone said from behind him.
When I turned, I realized it was the guy who had wanted Liam to leave me behind. Somehow, everything seemed different, much clearer.
I looked down when I felt Liam’s claws cutting into my waist. Part of him was shifting into his Wolf, but he was trying to fight it.
While I was looking down at Liam kneeling in front of me, with his hands on my waist, I felt a strong pain in my back. I immediately stepped away from Liam and turned to look at the guy standing behind him.
I couldn’t see what he had done to me, but I smelled the metallic scent of blood. It only took seconds for the blood to drip down from my back.
Part of the guys hand was shifted into his Wolf. He had clawed my back. My blood was on his hand when he shifted his paw back into his human form.
“You bitch!” The guy said, as he looked at Liam, who was still in the ground looking weak. His chest looked irritated, red and dark from the burns I’d inflicted on him. Blood was slowly seeping out.
I stared at the guy who had slashed my back. Without even having to move, I shoved him and made him crash against the wall.
“Cassidy, you need to stop this,” Liam said, his voice sounding hoarse.
When I tried to shove him away, I realized my mind felt weak. I pushed my hands forward, but nothing happened. Since my telekinesis wasn’t working, I just took a few steps back.
I didn’t want Liam near me, not after what happened. I was too busy having a staring match with Liam, I didn’t notice when a brown Wolf jumped on me.
By the time I reacted, the Wolf had already bitten down roughly into my shoulder. The Wolf pierced my skin with his sharp teeth. I cried out in pain, feeling as something in his teeth clashed inside my body.
“No! Don’t hurt her!” Liam yelled at the Wolf that was on top of me.
I tried to push him away, but I couldn’t. He had me pinned down in the ground, and his body was too heavy. The Wolf covered me entirely. When I tried to move my arm, the pain expanded throughout my body and made me yell out.
The Wolf was trailing his snout over my shoulder, until he reached my neck. He grazed the area around it, preparing to bite down. He was too big for me to overpower, but I didn’t stop squirming around, hoping to get out from under him.
I couldn’t use my gift to move him. Every time I tried, it didn’t work.
I moved my head to the side and saw when Liam shifted into his Wolf. As soon as he had changed, he crashed his head into the side of the Wolf that was over me.
They both landed in a heap, next to the door.
Without a second to waste, they were going at each other. I looked down at my arm. It wasn’t healing. Every time I tried to make it heal, it didn’t work. Instead, it made me feel weaker.
I was opening and closing my hands, wanting any sign that I could move something with my mind.
The same thing had happened day that Layton claimed me. His claim didn’t heal after he marked me. Because of it, I had been bleeding out for hours on end.
Jason, the guy who I’d knocked into the wall, started waking up. When he saw the two Wolves fighting, he quickly got up from the ground. He came to my side and was looking at me murderously.
“This is your fault,” he growled, grabbing my arm roughly.
I cried out in pain, while he yanked my arm that was hurt. My protests got Liam’s attention. I couldn’t guess what was running through his mind, because he was in his Wolf form, but he growled at Jason.
Since Liam was distracted with me, the Wolf under him to the opportunity to bite Liam. Just moments later, Liam moved out of his reach and bit down into the Wolf’s stomach.
The Wolf under him let out an agonizing howl, as Liam held a chunk of his skin in his mouth. Liam spit out the chunk of skin he had between his teeth, leaving the Wolf lying in the ground, unconscious. Right after that, Liam made his way towards us. He was growling fiercely at Jason.
“Calm down man, I wasn’t going to hurt her,” Jason said, raising his hands and looking at Liam cautiously.
Liam slowly approached us, and he was getting in between Jason and me. Jason made no attempt to fight him, and he was willingly moving away.
“Liam,” I said, weakly running my hand through the fur on the side of his body.
“Don’t hurt him,” I pleaded.
Liam turned back to me, and he nuzzled his snout against my neck. When it touched the area where the other guy had bit me, I moaned out in pain.
Liam growled, and his eyes flashed between hazel and black.
“I’m fine,” I told him.
He turned back to Jason and growled at him. It seemed like Liam was about to about to attack him.
“He didn’t do anything to me,” I said, trying to calm him down. He was growling at Jason ferociously.
In that moment more than ever, I saw Liam’s Rogue side. He kept his deadly glare on Jason. I could tell Jason was scared, but he wasn’t moving. He probably didn’t want to do anything to trigger Liam.
Liam nodded his head toward the door, and Jason slowly made his way out. Once Jason was out of the room, Liam followed after him.
I was starting to feel dizzy and weak, so I lowered myself to the ground. I couldn’t keep standing, and my legs were about to give out from under me.
Liam walked back into the room a minute later wearing a pair of jeans.
“Are you okay?” He asked, making his way to my side.
“He bit my shoulder,” I told him.
My voice came out in a mere whisper. I was starting to sweat, and my body felt like it was burning up. Liam sat next to me and took my arm in his hand. His hold was gentle as he examined the bite.
“It’s really deep,” he said, frowning down at the injury.
“I can feel it. It hurts, Liam,” I moaned, pressing myself closer to him.
He felt fresh, and it was soothing my skin. Liam cupped my cheek and made me look up at him. He looked really worried. His forehead was creased in a frown.
He inspected the bite as best as he could. Whenever he touched it too much, or pressed his fingers against it, the entire area around the bite stung.
“Why isn’t it healing?” He asked, looking up at me while caressing the side of my face. His hand was wet. When I looked down at it, I realized it was stained with my blood.
For some reason, his bare chest got my attention. He had healed from the burns I had unintentionally inflicted.
“I don’t know. When Layton claimed me, it didn’t heal fast either,” I told him.
“Do you think it’s because we’re Werewolves?” Liam asked.
“I don’t know,” I said, my voice showing how weak I felt.
Liam sat down in the floor, with me in his arms. The wound was in my shoulder, but it felt a lot worse than when Layton had claimed me. The blood all over the place, and staining Liam’s chest didn’t help. The Wolf had tried to kill me.
“You’re gonna be okay. I’m going to get you out of here, and it’ll all be fine,” Liam said.
I nodded my head, simply wanting the pain to go away.
“Cass, I didn’t want this to happen. That idiot bit you. I never ordered anyone to hurt you,” he whispered to me.
“I know,” I replied, weakly running my hand over his cheek.
I felt like I was about to throw up, but I tried to keep some composure.
“I love you,” Liam whispered, nuzzling his nose against my neck where I wasn’t hurt. “I’m so sorry, baby,” he said, wrapping me tightly in his arms.
“Liam,” I said, and I felt like was about to cry. He was hurting too, but for other reasons.
“You’re warm. Too warm,” Liam said, running his hand over my forehead and the side of my neck.
“I feel sick,” I told him, my voice surely sounding whiny.
“I’ll get you someone to take care of you. You’ll be okay,” he promised.
Liam was getting up from the floor, with me in his arms. My arms were tightly wrapped around his neck. His movements were making me feel drowsy, so I was trying to stay as still as I possibly could.
When Liam took a step, I heard a loud growl coming a few feet away from us. It took a lot to pick up my head to check who was there. When I did, I noticed Zev standing by the door.
“What did you do to her?” Zev yelled, approaching us quickly.
He ripped me off from Liam’s arms, which made the pounding in my head pick up a notch. The rough movements caused pain to shoot throughout my body. I moaned out in pain, and the sound didn’t go unnoticed by Liam.
“Be careful, she’s hurt!” Liam growled.
He tried to take me away from Zev’s arms, but when he did, more guys swarmed into the room. I was surprised to see Nate, Nick, Jared, Micah, Tyler, and the rest of the guys mixed together from both packs.
Tyler quickly made his way toward us and shoved Liam out of the way. It took Micah, Jared, Nick, and Tyler to restrain Liam, who kept growling at them to let him go.
“Cassidy, princess, are you okay?” Zev asked me, running his hand on the side of my face. He removed strands of hair that were sticking to my cheek. I had been sweating, and my skin felt clammy and sticky. When he removed his hand, I noticed that it was coated in my blood.
I was about to answer, when Layton walked into the room. I wanted to get up and go to him. I wanted him near me. I needed him.
Once he saw me, his eyes widened in shock. Layton stood in place, but he was shaking really hard. He only kept staring at me, and how terrible I probably looked. His claws extracted, and for a moment, it seemed like he was about to shift into his Wolf.
“Layton!” Zev yelled, snapping him out of his daze.
As soon as Zev called him, Layton came to my side. He took me away from Zev’s arms, and pressed me to his chest. I whimpered from the movement. When Layton noticed it was hurting me, he slightly loosened his hold.
Everyone stayed quiet, even Liam.
“Are you alright?” Layton asked, pulling my hair back to get a better look of the bite over my shoulder.
“I’m awake,” I said, trying my hardest to smile. Some of the guys chuckled, but I could tell they were doing it for my amusement.
“Why aren’t you healing?” Zev asked, grazing his fingers over the bite.
I moaned out in pain when he did, and Layton growled at him and slapped his hand away.
“Be careful, Zeverus,” Layton growled.
When he turned to look down at me, his features softened. “You didn’t heal when I bit you either.”
I had to close my eyes when a stinging pain ran through my body. It made me shiver, even though I felt like I was burning up.
“Let’s go!” Zev snapped. “We need to get Cass to a doctor. She’s about to pass out.”
His voice sounded desperate, and Layton hurriedly got up from the ground, picking me up with him. He was giving me a guilty look, which I couldn’t understand. What happened hadn’t been his fault.
“I’m taking her to my pack doctor,” Layton said, and he was already carrying me out the door.
Layton tightened his hold around me and crushed me to his chest when Zev stretched out his arms to take me away.
“My pack’s closer,” Zev told Layton, staring into his eyes.
Layton seemed broken in whether to take me with Zev, or taking me back to Blue Bloods Territory. I assumed we were significantly away from both packs.
“We’re going to your pack, but I’m taking her,” Layton told Zev.
Zev seemed hesitant for a moment, but finally relented. He led the way, and Layton followed a step behind him.
They hadn’t realized my back was wounded as well. Layton’s expression, when he got a look at my back, scared me. Both he and Zev growled. When Zev tried to touch me, Layton moved me out of the way.
“It doesn’t hurt anymore,” I said, hoping it would help to calm them down.
Layton cursed loudly, and Zev closed his eyes and shook his head. Both of them were breathing in sharply, and I could tell it was taking a lot for them not to shift. I was probably the only thing keeping them from going Wolf.
“What do we do with Liam?” Micah asked just before we left out the door.
Layton and Zev had been too busy taking care of me. It seemed like they had forgotten Liam was still there, being restrained.
“Kill him,” both Layton and Zev growled simultaneously.
“No,” I tried to yell, but my croaky voice came out in a whisper.
Despite how low my voice sounded, everyone in the room heard me.
“Cassidy,” Layton said, sounding like he was about to argue with me. His voice came out in growls, but it seemed like he was trying to keep calm.
“Don’t hurt Liam,” I pleaded in a soft voice, looking at Layton, before my eyes shifted to Zev.
“Cassidy, Liam tried to-” Layton was in the middle of saying, before Zev interrupted him.
“We’ll work that out later. Take Liam underground for now,” Zev ordered.
Layton growled at him, and Zev just shook his head and nodded at me.
“Fine,” Layton said, placing a kiss on my forehead and walking with me out of the room.
Before leaving, Layton shot Liam a look that could’ve killed him.
“Let’s go, Layton,” Zev said, giving him a small push.
Just before I left the room, my eyes roamed over to Liam. He was giving me a sad smile, and the look in his eyes broke my heart.
On the way out of the place, I saw Jason sprawled in the floor, his body motionless. He was dead. Layton noticed I stared down at Jason, and he spoke up.
“I killed him before I found you,” Layton said.
I didn’t know what to say, so I remained quiet. Jason’s body was bloody and battered, and a chunk from his neck was missing.
Liam’s face came to mind. I didn’t want them to hurt him. He didn’t deserve it. He had defended me, and it wasn’t his intention to really hurt me.
The last thing I remember before passing out was Layton and Zev discussing Liam’s fate.