Deacon's missing. Deacon's missing. Deacon's missing. The terrifying words repeat over and over in my head. I have never been out the door that fast in my life. I had my keys and purse in hand so damn fast I was probably a blur. I didn't take the elevator. I ran straight for the stairs and took them two at a time. I ran through the lobby like a mad woman, and got many strange looks from other apartment renters. I probably look crazy, but right now I couldn't give a fuck what they all thought of me.
I got into my Mustang, slammed the door, put my seat belt on and jammed the keys into the ignition in less than thirty seconds. I slam it into drive then speed off, way over the speed limit. I must look nuts. I can picture the headlines now, Attention, girl leaps into Mustang then takes off at breakneck speed. Scares passersby everywhere.
Just my luck. Red. Fucking. Light. Damn it all to hell.
I let out a string of the ugliest profanities, then press my foot to the gas when the light turns green. In fact, I did scare a passerby. A little old lady was about to cross when the orange hand is up, letting people know not to cross. I zoomed through that crosswalk at lightening speed, causing the little old lady to nearly fall over. Oops. But in my defense, she wasn't supposed to cross. At least I didn't hit her. Not that I'd particularly care at the moment if I had.
I got there in half the time it usually takes to get there and parked in a handicap spot as it's the closest to the door. Yes, I know, it's illegal. But, he owns the bar so it's not like they will tell on me. Guess I'm facing them all today.
I burst through the door, causing it to slam into the wall. I immediately spot Amber, Jacey, Cage, Beau and Nora all standing there. Their heads whip toward me when they hear the door slam. "Where is he!?" I shout, not even caring that there are other people here. I storm up to them and stand right in front of them. "Where is he!?" I repeat, and no one answers. So, help me... "Hey, Violet." Jacey says softly, but my face is so full of rage she flinches. "If this is some sort of sick prank, so help me God, I will shoot you all." I threaten in a deadly tone, but I'm fucking serious. They all flinch.
"It's not a prank Violet. We would never do that to you. He's missing." Cage breaks the news softly, and puts his hand on my arm gently. Amber looks very concerned for me, and like she regrets telling me. I, on the other hand, don't know whether I want a hug or to kill somebody. "What do you mean, he's missing?" I grit out through tightly clenched teeth. I see Cage visibly gulp. "He left a few days ago, after, ugh, everything, and I haven't heard from him in almost two days. I talked to him the first day he left, but I haven't heard from him since. We've all tried to contact him, but he won't answer and we're starting to get worried." Cage informs me, and if I wasn't two seconds from hitting something, I'd break down crying.
I immediately grab my phone and hit his speed dial. It goes to voicemail. I call again. Voicemail. "Don't bother, he left his phone." Jacey tells me and I screech. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN HE LEFT HIS PHONE!?" I roar and they flinch, again. "He did. Let's ugh, continue this conversation in the lounge room." Beau suggests, and we all follow him through the doors and down the hall into the lounge room. The room I almost had sex with Deacon in. Oh, God. A lump forms in my throat at the thought of him, and me loving him, and him being missing.
Once inside the room, we all sit on the couches and I aim a hard, deathly glare at them. "What do you mean he left his phone?" I repeat, in a tone that suggests avoiding the question wouldn't be smart. Cage and Beau gulp, while Jacey and Nora look sad. "He left his phone," Cage starts, nervously. "Because he didn't leave in human form. He's in wolf form right now." My eyes bug out. "WHAT!?" I shout and they flinch, again. "He left on his own, the day after you were attacked. He couldn't handle you being scared of him, so he ran. But, he ran in wolf form, so he doesn't have his phone, car, wallet, etcetera. He's cut off from the human world." I open my mouth to speak, when Beau cuts in. "Violet, he's cut off from humans, not us." I cock my head to the side in confusion.
"Huh?" I ask, not understanding what the hell he means. "What I mean, is that you can't contact him, but we can." That was not less vague. "It's called mind-link. It's a way to talk through our minds." I don't remember reading anything about mind-link. "And since you are his mate, you'll be able to do that with him when he marks you, and with the rest of the pack as well." Beau tells me, and I nod in understanding. "Then why the hell haven't you mind-linked him!?" I yell and the look worried. "We have. All of us. He blocked us out." Jacey says worriedly and I scream. "Try harder!" I demand. Amber rubs my back soothingly, but I hardly notice.
"We have. He blocked all of us. We've been trying nonstop but he won't let us in. He's off the grid, and we are hoping he's still in pack territory." Cage says, and my eyes widen to saucers. "How big is your territory?" I ask. "Um," Beau rubs the back of his neck sheepishly. "It's huge. Like, this whole town and the next town over, along with the woods." My eyes got even wider if possible. "How the hell are we going to find him!? That's a shit load of ground to cover!" I worry, and they all look like there is something else that they don't want to tell me. "Um, that's the thing. We have had wolves out searching for him everywhere and he scent is old. We don't think Deacon's still in pack territory." Cage drops the bomb and I stop breathing for a second. "What does that mean?" I whisper.
"It means, it's going to be damn hard to find him. We just have to hope he will come back soon, or at least mind-link us to let us know he's ok." Cage informs me and the first tear slips out. "Fuck." I mutter. "But we'll try Violet. As hard as we can, no matter how long it takes." Jacey assures me, and they all nod in agreement. "Fuuuuuck!" I scream. Tears start blurring my vision. "B-but what if you ca-can't find him? The last thing I said to him was horrible! I need to find him! I don't care if he's a werewolf, I just want him! I need him! Dammit!" I all but shout, and they all look understanding, but surprised. "You mean, you aren't scared of us anymore?" Jacey asks hopefully and I nod. "I don't even care anymore. I need to find him. I need him." I love him. I leave that part out, I need to tell him that first.
"But," Nora starts, I look at her. "Just because he blocked us out, doesn't mean that you can't try." She suggests and I look at her like she's crazy. "But, Beau just said I can't do it until I'm marked or whatever." I say, unsure. She nods. "That's true. But, your the Alpha's mate, so you could at least try." She suggests. "How would I even do that?" I ask, willing to try just about anything. "Just, call to him in your head. Focus on him, and think about him getting your message. Just think about him while calling his name in your head." Nora tells me. "It won't work, she's not marked." Jacey says. "I know the odds are low, but she can try." Nora tells her and Jacey sighs. "Try it." Jacey orders softly and I nod. "Um. Ok."
Deacon? Hello? I call out in my head, while concentrating on his face really hard. This is crazy. I try harder. Deacon! Answer me please! It's Violet! Please, if you can hear me, even a little, answer me! I'm sorry! Please, come back to me! I need you!
By the time I'm done, tears are continuously streaming down my face, even more so when I don't get a response. I wasn't expecting one, but still. I shake my head sadly, and they all look solemn. "Nothing?" Nora asks, "Nothing." I confirm.
"I didn't think there would be, but it didn't hurt to try. Just in case." Nora says and I nod. "So, now what?" There has to be something we can do. "Now, we look for him. I was going to give him one more day, to see if he came back, but since you know now, I'm guessing that's not an option." Cage announces and I nod my head. "Damn right it's not an option, we're looking for him. Now." I order, standing up and looking at them expectantly. They all stand. We all walk to the back door that leads to the picnic tables and the woods. "Which way did he go?" I ask, my gaze searching through the trees, hoping to see him walking back. Even if he was in wolf form, I just want to see him.
"He just ran straight into the woods. Who knows which way he went after. I can't track his scent now, it's been too long." Cage tells me and I scowl. "You can try." I say, a little meaner than I meant to. "Violet-" He starts, but I cut him off. "Get your furry little asses out there, put your sniffers to the ground, and find him!" I demand, and Amber slaps her hand over her mouth to contain her laughter, while they look between a mixture of offense, shock and pride. Why pride, I don't know. Then Cage laughs. "Way to take charge like the Luna you are! A little rudely, but you acted like the leader you are supposed to be nonetheless." I raise an eyebrow, shocked he's not pissed. "Why aren't you pissed?" I ask. "We're definitely a little offended, but we know you're hurting. And we're proud because you acted like a Luna. You took charge." Jacey says with a proud smile.
I give a small smile, then I get back on task. "Lets go. How many ugh, wolves, are in the pack?" I ask, unsure of how to word it. They smile. "Over a thousand." Cage answers and my jaw drops. "Over a thousand!?" I say, shocked. He nods. "Ok, well, good. Now, I want you to round of a few search parties, eight people per group." Cage nods, then his eyes fog over. What is he doing? I look at Amber. She shrugs. "Mind-link." Jacey answers my unvoiced question and me and Amber look at each other, then face palm. "I knew that." I mutter sarcastically.
He eyes clear, and he grins. "Done." He announces, and I raise my eyebrows. "They agreed that easily?" I ask, surprised. His grin widens. "I'm the Beta-" I cut him off. "I knew it!" I exclaim, happy I was right. They all look at me like I'm crazy. I smile sheepishly. "I was trying to figure out the ranks, and I guess I was right." I admit. "Anyway, like I was saying before your revelation," He chuckles, "I'm the Beta, they have to listen to me whether they like it or not." He tells me. My mouth makes an 'o' shape and I nod. "Ok. So, lets go. If you think I'm just going to sit here on my ass and let them search without me, then you're crazy." I tell them before any of them have a chance to argue.
They shake their heads. "Of, course we're going to search for him. All of us." Cage says and I smile triumphantly. "We're going to be trekking through the woods, so I'm going to go get some things we'll need." Beau says, then heads back into the bar. Good thing I wore my combat boots, jeans, a t-shirt and a jacket. Twenty minutes later he comes back out with three backpacks packed to the top. "Alright, I've got everything we'll need. We're most likely going to be searching the whole day, so I've got all the necessities. Food, water, first aid, etcetera." Beau explains, and then hands one backpack to Cage and one to Jacey.
"Alright, let's go." Nora says and we all nod, then start walking toward the woods. "Um, you guys don't have any ATV's or something?" Amber asks and they all smirk. "No need when you can turn into a wolf." Cage says, smirking. "Which, by the way, is much faster travel." He adds, giving me a look. "Would you two freak out if we shifted? You two could ride on our backs." Cage asks. I look at Amber, and she shakes her head. "I'm ok with it. It means I won't have to walk so I'm all for it." Amber says grinning. I take a deep breath, then sigh. "I guess." They all smile. "Ok. We're gonna go behind the trees, strip, then shift." Cage informs me. Then they all walk behind trees. Seconds later I hear bones cracking and shifting, then four huge wolves walk out and toward us. They're holding the back packs in their mouths.
I take a deep breath to not freak out. I look at Amber, and she looks like she is looking at the most amazing thing ever. I guess she is. They really are amazing. Majestic too. The largest one, which I'm guessing is Cage, walks over to me then lies down and tips his nose toward his back. I'm guessing he's telling me to get on his back. I grab onto his fur and pull myself on. He stands slowly once I'm straddling him like a horse. I look and see Amber sitting on -Beau, I think- and she looks in awe.
I am too truthfully.
I grip onto his fur, holding it tightly in my fists so I don't fall off and I see Amber doing the same. He looks back at me, as if asking permission if I'm ready for him to move. I nod, and they start walking into the woods. I scan my eyes from left to right, searching for any sign of Deacon. Even though I know it's pointless. I know he isn't even remotely close to his bar. If he was, they would've found him by now. "See any sign of him?" I ask, not to any particular person, or wolf. "Nothing." Amber says and the wolves shake their large heads.
After a while of walking at a snails pace and no sign of Deacon, I get irritated. "Ughhhh," I groan, annoyed. "You have been crawling like a snail for twenty minutes! Go a little faster! I've ridden horses before and I drive a mustang, I think I can handle it if you moved a little faster!" I mutter, annoyed.
Cage lets out what I think was a wolf's version of a chuckle, then picks up his pace and starts to move at a steady trot. I see Amber nearly fall off at first, causing me to bite back a laugh. After another hour, I'm getting really sad. "Why haven't we found any sign of him?" I nearly whimper out. Cage, Jacey, Nora and Beau whine at hearing the sadness in my voice. "I don't know, Vi. He obviously want's to be off the radar and it's working." Amber says to me, and I hold back my tears. "But we'll find him. I promise." Amber assures me.
I try to mind-link Deacon again. I know it's useless until he marks me. If, he marks me. Who knows what will happen in the future. What if we don't end up together? Then what? No, don't think about that. But I try to contact him nonetheless.
Deacon? Hello? Please, if you can hear me, please, answer me! I need you to answer me! Please! Deacon please just answer me!
Just like I thought, nothing. No response.
I try not to cry at that fact. Especially since I knew that would happen. But I had to try. "Cage, I'm hungry and thirsty. Can we take a five minute break?" I ask, and then hear my stomach growling like a dying whale. If I wasn't so upset, I'd blush. He nods his wolf head, then looks to the others and they nod. He plops his butt on the ground, and I nearly fall off, gripping on tighter. Cage lies down and motions for me to get off. I do. I throw my leg over and slide down. Amber gets off too, then the wolves walk behind trees I'm assuming to shift. I hear their bones cracking and shifting, then they all walk out -thankfully, fully dressed- and come over to us.
Beau opens his backpack and pulls out some granola bars, cookies, water bottles and Gatorade. I gratefully take a Gatorade and a chocolate chip granola bar. We all take a seat on the dirt covered ground and eat and drink. "Can you guys smell him at all?" I ask and they all nod. My eyes widen. "You can!?" I say, sitting up straighter. "We could smell him, but it was very faint since it's old. We can't track a three day old scent. We can't even smell him anymore. He might be purposefully covering his scent." Nora says then takes a bite of a granola bar, crushing whatever hope I had. "Then how the hell are we going to find him!?" I nearly shout, and Amber puts a comforting hand on my arm. "We will. Even if he is covering his scent, I know my brother. I know how he thinks. We'll find him." Jacey assures me, but I can't help the lump that forms in my throat.
After a couple more minutes, I stand up and wipe the dirt off my butt. "Ok, lets go." I order and they all stand. I watch as they go behind various trees to shift, then as they appear in wolf form again. Hoping back on Cage's back, we head off deeper into the woods again. "Anything?" I doubt it, but I still ask. They shake their heads. "God, Amber, this is all my fucking fault! When did you find out he was gone anyway?" She looks at me. "I found out today." She says, and I know she's telling the truth. I nod, satisfied with her answer. "So, if he is covering his scent, how are we going to find him?" I wonder out loud. "With our eyes." Amber says, "Plus, if he is within seeing distance, then they will most likely smell him. If not, we can look for tracks and any place he could be hiding. Just look for a giant wolf. Wait, what color is he?" Amber says determined. "He's all black, and even bigger than these guys. He's absolutely beautiful, and scary." I inform her and she nods.
"Jacey, he's your brother, how come you can't even smell him a little?" I ask her, getting even more upset the longer we're out here and finding nothing. She just looks at me. "Oh, right. You're in wolf form and can't answer my question." I face palm. Idiot. "Beau. Did you pack any binoculars?" He nods his head and I grin. "Which back pack?" He tips his head back with the bag's strap in his mouth and hands it to Amber. She digs through it until she pulls out a pair of small black binoculars and tosses them to me. I catch them, and I look through them, scanning through the trees and brush.
So far, I've spotted three deer, one fox, and countless rabbits and squirrels. But no large black wolf. "Deacon!" I shout, startling everyone. I felt Cage jump slightly under me. "Sorry." I apologize. "Deacon!" I yell again, but still get no response. "Amber, help me!" I demand. "Deacon!" Amber yells, but there's no response. I cup my mouth with my hands and shout at the top of my lungs, "DEACON!" They all flatten their ears to their heads and whine. "Sorry, guys." I smile sheepishly. "Howl or something. Do some wolfie thing to contact him." I say and they just look at me. Then Jacey pulls her head back and howls. It's a loud, piercing sound in the quiet woods. Then she lets out a bark like sound, but we hear nothing in reply. "DEACON!" I roar out, as loud as I possibly can, but I still feel like I'm not loud enough.
After yelling out his name for another ten minutes, my throat is starting to get soar. Amber stopped as well, and took a long gulp of her water. "Do you think he doesn't hear us, or he's purposefully ignoring us?" I question and Amber shrugs. "I don't know. You'd think if he could hear us, he would've responded. Or at least whined from us hurting his ear drums like these guys did." Amber chuckles slightly at the end of her sentence.
I look at the sky. It's still daylight out, but not for much longer. Checking my watch, I see it's already six p.m., so the sun is going to start setting soon.
Thirty more minutes go by, and nothing. I'm starting to lose hope that we'll ever find him. Oh, God. What if we don't? Then what? I'll never get to apologize, or tell him I love him. I have to find him. I have to.
Cage lets out a bark, then lies down. I take the hint and slide off, and he goes behind a tree. He walks out in nothing but shorts, and he has a really nice upper half. "It's getting late, we should head back." He tells us, and they all nod in agreement. "No, can't we look for a little longer?" I plead, and Cage gives me a sympathetic look and shakes his head. "We've been out here for hours Violet, and it's getting dark. We need to head back. A lot of pack members like to run at night, and I'm pretty sure that would not be good for them to see you two just yet. We can look again tomorrow, I promise." He then walks back behind the tree, coming back out as a wolf. I hop up onto his back again, and they all turn around to head back.
It takes about two hours or so to get back, only because they were practically crawling. It's dark now, and I look at my watch and see it's nearly nine. "Can I sleep here tonight? So, we can leave early in the morning?" I ask and they nod. Amber agrees to stay too, and they lead us to the lounge room that I'm all too familiar with. "Both of them are pull-out couches, so you two can sleep here tonight." Cage tells us, then pulls out one couch while Beau does the other. "Thanks." We say in unison. I lie on the pull-out that Deacon and I almost did it on, and Amber takes the other one.
After they all left, I silently cried myself to sleep.
"Rise and shine!" A male voice says in my ear, disrupting my sleep. I as dreaming that we found Deacon, and right when I ran to him, the voice woke me up and now I'll never know what happens. So, of course I wake up with tears in my eyes. I wipe them away quickly, hoping whoever is there won't see. "Violet, get up. You have to get up so we can head out." The voice continues on, and I open my eyes, squinting cause of the harsh lighting. I rub the sleep out of my ocean blue eyes and see Cage there, along with Jacey, Beau, Nora and Amber. "What?" I mumble, my voice heavy with sleep.
"Get up. It's time to go search for Deacon, unless you don't want to..." Cage lets the sentence hang, already knowing the answer. I throw the blanket off and leap off the bed. Instantly I'm cold, and goosebumps form on my skin. "Cold, cold, cold!" I mutter, rubbing my arms. They all look at me in amusement while I shiver. Amber tosses me my jacket and I put it on immediately. Amber and I are both still wearing the same clothes we were yesterday, but I don't care. All I care about is getting out there and finding him. I look at the clock. Eleven. Good, it's a way earlier start than yesterday when we didn't head out till almost five.
"Alright, I'm up. Let's go." I say, and they start walking. "Don't you want to eat first?" Nora asks and I shake my head. "Nope. All I want is to find him. I can eat some granola bars." I tell her and we all walk out the back door.
Once their all in wolf form, I hop up onto Cage's back like I did yesterday and we trot right into the woods. Good. At least their moving faster today. I notice we head a different direction then yesterday, and scan these new surroundings carefully. It's all trees and bushes. No sign of him, not that I can see anyway. "Do you guys smell anything?" They all shake their heads. "Fuck. Have any of you tried mind-linking him again?" They nod. "No response?" They shake their heads. I slump my shoulders, then take a nibble of my granola bar.
Why won't he answer them? I get why he doesn't want to be near me, but the least he could do is answer them and let them know he's ok. Oh, God. What if he's not? What if he's hurt? No. No, he can't be hurt, he can't be. I would never forgive myself if he's hurt. He left because of me, and I pray he's ok. I don't know what I'd do if he wasn't. Cry. I'd definitely cry. A lot. Now I'm terrified he hurts somewhere. But if he was, wouldn't he answer them and let them know he's hurt? So they could find him and help? Unless he's too weak to respond. My gut clenches. I've got to stop thinking like that. He's fine. He has to be.
Rustling to my left gains my attention, and my head flies the direction of the sound. Cage, Jacey, Beau and Nora stop in their tracks and look as well. And Amber looks at me in worry. I look through the bushes and what I see makes me gasp. It's a wolf. A werewolf. But it's not Deacon. Who it is, I don't know. I just hope he or she is friendly. These four seem relaxed, so I'm guessing they know who it is. The wolf looks at Amber and I, and I see surprise flash through its green eyes. Familiar green eyes. Wait a minute...
It goes behind a tree and then I hear the -now familiar- sound of bones cracking an shifting. And out walks Roy, Deacon's bartender, in a pair of shorts. "Violet? Amber? You know? When?" He asks, question after question as his face is a mixture of shock, surprise and confusion. Nora and Jacey shift, and walk out in sun dresses. "Yes they know. It's a long story. Violet found out and she told Amber. Long story short, Violet is Deacons mate and our Luna." Jacey explains and Roy smiles broadly. "Finally! Wait, then why is the Alpha missing?" He asks, confused once again. I bite my lip to keep from crying, unable to answer his question. "Let's just say, her finding out wasn't how he planned it going. She got scared, he's hurt cause his mate is scared of him, so he ran." Jacey explains further and we all nod. "Will you help us look for him, please?" I beg and Roy nods quickly. "I was already looking, myself. But, yeah, I'll join you guys." He says, then heads back behind the tree and shifts again.
Out walks the light brown wolf, who is smaller than these four, but not tiny in the least. We get into a trot again. If Deacon wasn't missing, and my heart wasn't breaking with each passing second, I would admire how beautiful this day is. The sky is a perfect clear blue, without a cloud in sight. The grass is bright green, the trees are full and there are birds singing. It's not too hot or cold, with a slight breeze. I wish Deacon were here.
We search for hours. Everywhere. There wasn't a stone left unturned, but we couldn't find any sign of him. They could barely even catch a scent of him, and it was days old, so that didn't help at all. I'm really starting to lose hope.
Around seven, we head back again. We don't get back to the bar until nearly eleven p.m. and I'm not even tired. I'm just sad.
After they all shift back and get dressed we head down the hall. But instead of going into the lounge room, we follow them further down the hallway. Cage opens a door and lets us in. I see it's an office, and I'm guessing it's Deacons. "What are we doing in here?" I ask, curious. Cage takes a seat at the desk chair, and Jacey sits on his lap. Amber and I take our seats in the chairs across from the desk, and Beau and Nora on the small loveseat. "We're in here, to make a better plan. We're having no luck in finding him, so I have an idea." Cage starts, and I raise my eyebrow in question. "We can't catch his scent. I'm Beta, and even I can't track him. But, there is one thing better at tracking than a Beta." Cage grins and I raise both eyebrows, suspicious. Amber's eyebrow is raised as well.
"What?" I ask, waiting in suspense. "An Alpha." Beau finishes for him, grinning as well. I furrow my brows, not figuring out what they're getting at. "What are you saying?" Amber quires, looking just as confused as I am, especially seeing as all four of them have this knowing look on their faces. "Only an Alpha can find an Alpha who's covering his tracks." Cage continues, but I'm still blanking. "Oh for the love of, get to the point!" I demand, miffed. He chuckles. "My point is, I'm calling in help." I give him a look that says, continue. "I'm calling a close friend of Deacon, Beau and I." He says, grinning. "Who?" I ask, waiting to know who is hopefully going to help us find Deacon.