Cassidy didn’t want to come home.
She was staying with him, with Zeverus. Just the thought of them two together made my blood boil. A good way to make my Wolf come out was thinking about Cassidy with Zeverus.
Zeverus had wanted Cassidy since the moment he laid eyes on her.
I had been running all night, trying to find a way to get her back home. The last time we spoke, she had been disappointed in me. I could see it in her eyes, and in the way she looked down at me. I hated that. I hated seeing her mad at me.
It was all because of that Rogue.
I was going to become Alpha of Blue Bloods very soon. I had the third biggest pack in the country. My father had given me liberties with the pack ever since I shifted into my Wolf. I had made important decisions for the pack.
I had never questioned my judgment— never, until Cassidy came along.
In my mind, romantic relationships were worth very little. They were a nuisance. I stayed away from girls and they stayed away from me. Jared always told me it was because girls at school were scared of me, and She-Wolves were no different. I didn’t mind, because it kept unwanted company away.
Once, when I was fifteen, I unintentionally snapped at a human girl who approached me. I had little patience to deal with her, and I wasn’t interested in dating or in girls wasting my time by trying and failing to get my attention.
When the girl approached me, I simply wanted to get her away, and I told her that. Amazingly, to others, my tone and my words were frightening.
That day, Jared thought I was going to go Wolf and attack the human girl. I had simply snapped at her. I later learned that when I raised my voice even a little, people and Wolves alike thought I was going to attack them. That in turn made humans at school fear me, and I had no problem with that.
I liked control, and I always kept good control of everything and everyone— everyone except for Cassidy.
No one had really affected me before her.
I kept routines, I led the pack, and I did my job. Then she came along and changed everything.
She made me care. She made me weak at times, and I was annoyed by that. But then she would laugh about something and I would forget why I was annoyed in the first place.
And now Cassidy was making me doubt my decision with Liam.
I was going to kill him. I was close to doing it.
I beat him. After I was done beating him, the Rogue just laughed. It made my Wolf angry, and I started beating Liam up all over again.
I could have easily snapped his neck. The Rogue wasn’t putting up a fight. I wanted to kill him really badly. I had wanted to kill him ever since he attacked my pack years ago.
But Cassidy didn’t want him dead, and that stopped me.
My Wolf was asking for retribution for what the Rogue had done to our pack, but he also wanted to keep Cassidy happy.
It was tearing me apart.
I felt like I was letting my pack down by not killing Liam. There was no Alpha in the world who would have let Liam live after what he did. It was pack law.
But there I was, beating myself up for not killing him, and hating that Cassidy wanted him alive.
The first night that Cassidy stayed in New Elite territory, with Zeverus, I drank myself into stupor. It took a lot, considering I wasn’t just a regular Wolf, but an Alpha as well.
Jared was there was with me, even though I kept telling him to leave. The bastard just wouldn’t go.
“Cassidy wouldn’t want to see you like this,” Jared told me.
Despite that, he was holding a beer himself. I was drinking hard liquor. Anything that would make me feel numb faster was what I needed.
“Cassidy is with Zeverus, probably laughing at me!” I growled.
The thought of that made my Wolf furious, but I shut him up before he tried to shift. She wanted time, and I promised to give her time.
“If you tell her that Liam is alive, she’ll get over it.”
“Before what?” I asked, and drunkenly laughed. I was probably annoying Jared too, but he didn’t seem to mind putting up with my shit “Before she asks me to let Liam go?”
“She wouldn’t do that,” Jared said, but even in my drunken state I could hear the uncertainty in his voice.
“She would and you know it. She’s too damn nice,” I told him, and broke out laughing for some reason. “She’s nice, isn’t she? That’s a good thing,” I said, proudly.
“Cassidy will be a good Luna,” Jared agreed.
“I know she will. She’s my mate, of course she will. But she’s too stubborn. She doesn’t understand pack law.”
Jared said something else after that, but I had barely finished talking when I felt myself fading away.
I called Zeverus the next morning. Cassidy still didn’t want to talk to me. Zeverus sounded strange. I was curious, but I didn’t ask him about it. The last thing I needed was for him to think that we were okay.
Zeverus and I had started to get along. He wanted my mate, but he seemed to know that Cassidy was mine. I wasn’t going to give her up, and at least he respected that.
I reminded him that I was going to get her soon. He didn’t say anything to that.
Right after our call, I went to visit the Rogue. Jared and Tyler had been with him earlier. I never allowed Jared to be alone with Liam. Jared hated Liam. After all, Liam had killed his father. I couldn’t exactly blame him for the hatred he still carried against the Rogue.
I wished that Cassidy would have seen the day that Liam attacked, and how he had brutally murdered Wolves from both New Elite and Blue Bloods. He claimed it was self-defense, but now, I knew that wasn’t true.
When I arrived at his cell, I found him lying down on the ground. Someone had given him a change of clothes, and there was an untouched tray of food over his cot.
“You’re here to give me another dose?” Liam asked, laughing.
His humor always got the best of me. How Cassidy could stand to be in his presence for longer than a few minutes was beyond me.
“I’m still deciding what to do with you,” I replied, genuinely.
For some twisted reason, every time someone hurt Liam, it always made me feel awkward, like if I was betraying Cassidy’s trust.
I shouldn’t have been feeling that way because the Rogue deserved it. But the part of me that wanted to tell Cassidy everything, knew that she would hate me if she found out how many beatings Liam had already received.
“She hates you, doesn’t she?”
He was being serious. There wasn’t a smirk or a grin on his face, which was his style. He hid behind his sarcasm and humor, but not this time.
“She doesn’t want you dead.”
“Then why did you tell her that you killed me?”
If I wasn’t so confused with my own thoughts, I would’ve snapped at him for questioning me. But I had had enough of him. I wanted to decide already.
My relationship with Cassidy had never been perfect. We fought and argued all the time, but she always came around. She was like that— too caring, too loving, and too forgiving. I had made plenty of mistakes, and she had always forgiven me. But I was scared she wouldn’t forgive me this time.
“I wanted Cassidy to get over her brief, unfortunate moments with you.”
“How’s that working out?” Liam asked, and the humor had returned to his voice.
I didn’t waste my time replying.
I had plans for the afternoon with Jared and his twin sister, Christy. Despite how irritating Christy was at times, I knew I was up for a good time if she was in town. Jared was always in a better mood than usual when Christy was around.
In short terms, Christy was one of the few girls I could actually stand. The main reason for that was because she was one of the guys.
The day Liam attacked our pack, and killed their father, Christy decided to go Rogue.She waited a few years before leaving, but she had still been very young.
No one in the pack had been happy with her decision, especially not Jared. He tried chasing after her, but Christy didn’t stand for it. When Jared finally found her, Christy sent him back home.
Losing the Beta of our pack had been difficult. A few weeks after Jared’s dad was killed by Liam, my father decided Jared was ready to become Beta. He was young, but he was forced to learn fast.
It was mainly why I respected him the most. He was the only one who knew how to handle what had happened to our pack, even though he had lost his own father and Christy because of it.
Christy arrived in town a few hours ago. Jared had caught her up on what was going on in the pack. Christy wanted to meet my mate, since according to her I was ‘a soulless prick who would never get a mate’.
“You’re looking good,” Christy said as soon as she spotted me entering the diner.
She was sitting across from Jared, in one of the booths towards the back.
“You are still alive,” I said, and smiled when I noticed the frown on her face.
“Jeez, Layton. Sound anymore disappointed to see me alive, why don’t you,” she said, but a smirk was already tugging on her lips.
“It’s good to see you, Christy,” I told her, and slid in on her side of the bench.
Christy threw her arm around my shoulders, and fuzzed up my hair. I rolled my eyes at her, and shoved her away. If it wasn’t because I hadn’t seen her in a while, I would’ve made a bigger deal about it.
“Did you guys order already?” I asked.
Jared was still looking at the menu, but Christy was already distracted with her cellphone.
“We ordered for you. I have somewhere to be in a couple of hours, so I don’t have much time to spare,” she said.
“You’re not staying?” Jared asked, looking disappointed.
“You can at least stay the night,” I said, shaking my head at her.
I didn’t necessarily approve of her lifestyle, but I didn’t like the state Christy left Jared in every time she took off.
“I’ll be back after I make this trip,” she said.
She seemed awfully happy with whatever it was that she needed to do.
“What are you working on these days?”
“Me and my guys got a new gig. Turns out, some girl ran away from her home and we have to drag her back. The Alpha is giving us twenty grand each for taking her back.”
“You need money?” Jared asked.
Christy looked between Jared and me with a grin on her face.
“I don’t need money right now, Jay, but thanks for asking,” she told him, reaching out for his hand and squeezing it.
“You’re doing a job for an Alpha?” I asked her.
When she turned to face me, the grin on her face grew wider. “I couldn’t believe it when I heard it either. But yes, Layton, one of the Alphas called us up.”
“Why?” I asked, feeling suspicious of it all.
“He’s desperate. I don’t have too many details. He’s going to give us that as soon as we get there.”
“Are you sure it’s not a trap?” Jared asked. He was worried about her, and I had to admit that I was worrying too. It was very unusual to hear of an Alpha hiring help from a Rogue.
“It’s not, but either way, I’m going with the guys. We’re not going into his pack. I’m meeting him in a public place. I’ll be safe, I promise.”
But Jared wasn’t relieved by her words. It wasn’t the first time Christy had gotten into a mess, and Jared and I had to bail her out of it.
She had a habit of getting herself in trouble, thinking that she was invincible. She wasn’t, but she hadn’t learned that for herself just yet.
After we placed our orders, Jared went outside to take a call from Micah. I was hoping Micah would tell Jared something about Cassidy. Ever since our packs started talking again, Jared and Micah had mended their friendship, which had been just as strong as Zeverus’ and mine.
I had been thinking about that when I noticed Christy waving her hand in front of my face.
The waitress had arrived and was placing the plates over the table. I assumed Christy had ordered our drinks as well, because a soda was being placed in front of me.
“You are very distracted today. That’s unlike you,” she told me.
“What did Jared tell you?”
“He told me what was going on. I’m sorry about your mate. I’m sorry about Liam too.” Christy said the last part quietly.
She and Liam, they had a strange relationship. After Liam killed her dad, Christy had gone after him. She found him, not that Liam was hiding from her.
The Rogue had practically waited for her to come to him.
They fought, and Liam beat her. It had been an easy fight for him. Christy’s Wolf was a Beta, but Liam’s Wolf was practically an Alpha. It didn’t help at all that he was a male Wolf.
Christy thought he was going to kill her. We all did. But he let her live. Christy had a strange hate towards Liam, but it was obvious it didn’t run as deep as she would’ve liked it to. Most of all, she respected him.
“I don’t know what to do with Liam. Cassidy wants him alive, and I want him dead.”
“You shouldn’t kill him,” Christy told me.
I moved to the other side of the booth, so that I was facing Christy.
“I want to. He deserves it, and pack law demands it.”
“Pack law isn’t always right,” Christy said, smiling at me.
“You wouldn’t know that, Rogue,” I told her, chuckling playfully.
“You haven’t really changed, have you? You’re still a stubborn Alpha,” she said, shaking her head at me. Christy sighed, and took a drink from her glass.
“Cassidy would probably agree with you if she was here,” I said, distractedly, my thoughts going back to my mate. I missed her, and so did my Wolf.
“I’m not trying to scare you with this, but the Rogues love Liam. Some of them hate him, but I think that’s because they’re scared of him. But most of them love him to the point where they praise him. I don’t think it’s a good move to kill him. It would be like killing the Alpha of the Rogues.”
“I’m not scared of Rogues,” I told her, frowning at her insinuation.
“I know that you’re not, but maybe you should be. If not, at least think about what might happen if you start getting Rogue attacks. They are rare in your pack, but that might change if you kill Liam. Blue Bloods are a peaceful pack. You should keep it that way.”
“Cassidy doesn’t want him dead either.”
“There you go. Think of other options, but you don’t have to kill him. If you hate him, killing him won’t make you feel any better, especially if your mate is going to be mad at you for doing it. Besides, you’re better than that.”
“I am?” I asked, cocking an eyebrow. “It sounds like you’re sucking up to me,” I teased.
“I mean it, Layton. You are better than that. You’re the only Alpha I would ever follow,” Christy said, genuinely.
I almost, almost thought she was giving me a compliment. That was, until she reached over the table, pinched my cheeks roughly, and called me pup.
I slapped her hand away, and glared at her.
“Christy, you’re only a few months older than me. Get off your high horse, Rogue.”
“Almost a year,” Christy retorted, in a sing song voice.
Jared came back before I got a chance to say anything else to Christy. She was giving me a smug look, which made me slap her once again.
When Jared saw what I did, he punched me in the arm. “That’s for hitting my sister.”
He grinned when Christy broke out laughing.
“You’re such a noob,” she said. I wasn’t sure if she was telling Jared or me.
Christy left two hours later. She was late, but she didn’t seem to care. Jared asked me for permission to follow her, since the deals Christy got into usually led to trouble.
I was even more suspicious because she didn’t want to give away the name of the pack that she was going to do the job for.
I left back home after that.
Christy had given me enough to think about.
The only reason Liam wasn’t dead already was because Cassidy didn’t want that. I had tried to get into her mind, but she was blocking me out.
I tried calling her on the way home, but she didn’t take my call. I briefly wondered what she and Zeverus were doing, but I didn’t allow my mind to settle too much on that thought.
I spent the next day away from home. There was a small ridge miles away from our pack. I’d taken off early in the morning, with plans of staying away for the entire day.
Jared, Tyler, and my dad tried getting into my mind the whole time. I blocked them out, but I could feel them trying to get through.
I needed to think because I didn’t know what to do. Cassidy didn’t like our laws. She had told me she would never fit in.
The pack had been the way it was for so long. I didn’t know if there was an alternative. I wanted Cassidy to be happy, but I wanted her to accept our rules. I didn’t want to force anything on her. I wanted Cassidy to genuinely want to be part of the pack, and accept things as they were.
But she didn’t want that.
I kept going back and forth with the Liam situation. I had decided I wasn’t going to kill him. Cassidy didn’t want him dead.
But I didn’t want him there. I was sure Cassidy would be able to persuade me to let Liam go. She could practically persuade me into anything, and I wasn’t sure how much I liked that. She made me lose control.
I thought about everything, and everyone. I thought about every possible outcome that came to my mind. I hated Liam, but Cassidy had forgiven him.
In the end, I decided to send him away, and out of reach from her.
She thought he was dead, and that wasn’t going to change. As long as I knew that he was still alive, I would know that I didn’t let her down.
She didn’t want him dead, and I was letting him live. Even if she didn’t know, at least I would. I had to keep repeating that to myself, because it was the only thing giving me hope that Cassidy would forgive me.
That night, I dreamt of her. I had been dreaming of her almost every night since the moment I met her.
But that night, it was different. I dreamt of her and Zeverus, together… No matter how much I tried, I couldn’t get myself to wake up. I had never had a dream like that one, especially not one so vivid.
When I finally woke up, I was breathing heavily. A coat of sweat was covering my body. The palms of my hands were bleeding, because I had been digging my claws into them. I couldn’t understand why, but my body was aching uncomfortably.
A few minutes later, I started shifting into my Wolf. I had no control over it. My Wolf simply took over.
Unlike every other time that I shifted, this time it was painful. I felt every snap in my bones, every change, and every rupture. I couldn’t contain the howls of complaint that were leaving my body.
It was excruciatingly painful.
My parents ran into the room soon after that, and found me shifted into my Wolf. I could see the confusion in their faces, before the pity took over.
I didn’t wait around for them to try to talk to me.
I ran as fast as I could. The growls emanating from my body were loud— they shook me. My Wolf was trying to take over. My human side wanted to hide away and hand over control.
I was fighting a losing battle with myself.
I felt angry.
I was in pain, because shifting had hurt me for the first time in a very long time.
But mostly, I was scared of losing her…