Chloe was making Adalyn really angry. What didn't Chloe understand? If Oliver died it wouldn't matter if Adalyn touched him or not. They were a fully mated couple. If he died Adalyn would die shortly after anyway. Right now Adalyn just needed to be near him and she was preventing her. Cooper lifted both Oliver and her alpha into his arms and was moving back towards her parents’ home. Chloe tossed her over her shoulder and followed after him. She ran five times faster than her so Adalyn relaxed and just let her carry her off.
Without even asking her, Cooper carried them upstairs and placed her alpha in her parents’ bed then they placed Oliver in hers. The moment Chloe set her on her feet Adalyn moved forward with the intention of climbing in beside him. Just as Adalyn sat on the bed, Chloe gently turned her face towards her and said to her in a firm but soft voice
"Adalyn, you need to listen to me. This is magic not poison. I can save Oliver and your alpha but you need to trust me and not touch him until I break the spell. Please just give me a few moments."
Adalyn stopped struggling completely and accepted Chloe's words as truth. She Oliver’s sister, if she believed she could save them then Adalyn needed to have a little faith. Adalyn nodded towards her and stepped back so she could get a better look at Oliver. He looked so sick. Blood was still pouring from his eyes, ears, nose and mouth. Shit, even his sweat was bloody and Adalyn was so very scared. She has lived next to the putrid of water her whole life. Everyone and everything that comes in contact with that water dies. No exceptions even wild animals die after just having the water splashed on them. Cooper walked in and surveyed the scene before saying
"Chloe, can I do anything to help?"
She stopped looking at Oliver for a moment and turned towards Cooper. Adalyn realised that she had been very stiff during her evaluation of Oliver. But one look at Cooper and everything about her seemed to become softer. Chloe’s stiff posture relaxed and a small smile lit up her face. Then she reached out and placed her hand against his face and said in a soft gentle voice
"Oh honey thanks so much for asking but I have this covered. Please have a look around town and see if you can figure out where the pack went."
Her words sparked Adalyn’s memories and suddenly she again felt a panic for her parents and the rest of her pack and Adalyn quickly blurted
"Holy fucking shit! They are trapped in the caves! My alpha said they are dying... We have to save them. My mum, da everyone."
Adalyn looked at Chloe who somehow knew her unasked question and answered
"Go with Cooper, I will break the spell and I promise Oliver and your alpha are going to be fine"
Cooper moved forward and placed a small kiss on Chloe's cheek before saying
"That's my girl. Hold down the fort, I am sure Adalyn and I will be back soon. There may be others."
Chloe’s smile grew wider and she said
"Bring any injured here. I will be prepared. I love you, be safe."
Adalyn took that moment to start moving towards the front door. She glanced over towards the general direction of the caves and pointed at said to Cooper.
"You run way faster than me. If we run at my speed it will take us more than a half hour to reach the caves. Carry me over your shoulder. I can guide you when we get closer."
Cooper smiled and said,
“You’re a part Oni child. I can see it in your soul. You should run as fast as me. Have you never ran with your Oni legs?”
Lily shook her head and he again smiled before saying,
“Try child. You will be amazed at how strong and fast you are.”
Adalyn started to run and was amazed that in less than five minutes they arrived at the base of the mountains. She’d felt like she ran as fast as the wind. It was amazing. Adalyn stepped up to the cave entrance and realized the entrance was blocked by fallen rocks. Not knowing what else to do but feeling her pack was just out of her reach, she started to pull them out by hand.
Cooper laughed and said.
“Please child, Oni can walk through rocks. Don’t be so silly. There is no need to stand here.”
Then he moved forward and walked straight through the mountainside. Once on the other side however he grasped that Adalyn hadn’t followed. Still, he took a good look around and realised almost everyone inside was dying. The air was dirty and too thin to sustain them much longer. So much for that he thought. He could get in and out but the rest of them were trapped. Perhaps the kid was right after all.
Oliver rematerialized outside of the cave and he too began to throw stones aside. Adalyn again was shocked out how strong and fast they both were. Suddenly she seemed twice as strong as she used to be. Just a few days ago it would have been hard for her to toss a single boulder. Now Adalyn was more than a little impressive and could lift ten times the number of boulders at once. They dug at the entrance for more than an hour in silence before Cooper stopped suddenly and looked over at her and said,
"At this rate it could be two days before we manage to break through. Is there no other way in?"
Adalyn kept digging and yelled at him in frustration,
"No! The only other way out is through the river and it is a death sentence. If they could have gotten out of my alpha wouldn't have come through the river."
Cooper took in her words the said,
"How long do you think they have been trapped inside?"
Adalyn felt her body shake before she said,
"Too long. It’s been days since I went in search of Oliver. They will be desperate to get out now. Oh god Cooper they are likely all going to die in there."
Adalyn dug back into the rocks and screamed out her frustration. She kept digging and throwing stones aside. Cooper was still standing next to her and wasn’t moving at all. Adalyn yelled some obscenities at him and asked him to help her. Then he scrunched his face and he said,
"We need a better way. Adalyn stay here and conserve your energy. I have an idea."
Then he ran back towards the centre of the camp. Adalyn fell to the ground and let all her frustrations out. She cried for Oliver who suffered terribly from their poisonous river. She wept for her alpha and the others who sacrificed their lives to get help for their pack. She cried for her mum and dad, and her pack members that were probably inside the cave to dying from bad air and lack of food and water. Then she cried for herself because she had not been fast enough and strong enough to help them.
Adalyn wasn’t special after all. She felt stupid that she’d started to believe that she was really the saviour. Nothing about her was special or important. She was a failure and her pack, her mum, her da and even Oliver would die because of it. Adalyn was still sitting on the ground having a pity party when Cooper came back with some kind of brown bag in his hands. He looked at her and shouted,
"Pull yourself together kid. This is not the time for a nervous breakdown. We need to save the pack. Now take a big step back and cover your ears. This is going to be a very loud bang."
Then he tossed the bag towards the entrance and ran towards her. Adalyn heard an explosion and felt debris and rocks fly past her. Cooper pulled her into his arms and was covering her body with his. After a few minutes Cooper pulled away from her. Adalyn saw he had scrapes and cuts covering most of his body. While she had only few small cuts while for the most part Cooper's body took the brunt of the damage. Adalyn moved towards him with the intention of looking at his bruises but was immediately distracted when she heard voices emerging from the cave entrance. Adalyn looked out and saw her mum helping several people out. Adalyn screamed out jubilantly then she ran towards her mum screaming her name
"Mum, oh thank god mum you're okay."
Her mum released the people she was helping out they scrambled forward to get further away from the cave entrance. Then her mum pulled her firmly into her arms and squeezed her tightly and said.
"Oh baby thank god you came back. Are you okay?"
In her mum’s typical fashion she didn't wait for her to answer. She simply ran her hands over her face then looked at her entire body. It was clear she was trying to decide for herself that Adalyn was healthy and undamaged. Once she was satisfied Adalyn was okay she let out a huge sigh of relief then said
"Oh god, I was so worried. It was our own people that turned on us. Adalyn they killed your da. I know he wasn't my promised mate but I loved him with my entire heart."
She started to sob and tears ran down her cheeks. Through her sobs Adalyn heard her say
"I am so glad you are okay baby. I wouldn't survive if I lost you and your da."
For the first time in her life Adalyn was glad her adoptive mum and da weren't promised mates. That meant her mum wasn't going to die just because her da did. Adalyn pulled her mum back into her arms and felt her own tears leaking from her eyes. Cooper took that exact moment to shout over to her.
"Adalyn, no one else is coming out. I sent the injured to Chloe. I counted less than twenty in total. I am going in to look for other survivors."
Adalyn’s mum looked at Cooper's retreating back and wiped at her eyes and said
"Is it him? Is he your promised mate?"