I checked the time as I zipped up my things in a large duffel bag and sighed. There were times when I felt secure and other times when I would feel my mind cloud over. I had locked everyone out of my head for almost two months now. It was the only way I knew I could keep everyone safe. Before I met Lucien, I’d gotten used to not hearing anyone. I lived apart from my pack, lived in the city as a normal vet.
And then everything happened. Sometimes I wished I had some kind of regret for what I did to that bloodhound. But rather than mourning my first victim, my first kill – I mourned the joy I took in the feed. Katherine’s words “cannibalistic bloodsuckers” echoed in my mind.
I heard a knock at the door.
“Yes?” I asked.
“It’s me,” Luna Elair said.
I turned and smiled as a greeting. She looked at my duffel bag and sighed.
“I would’ve loved to keep you for longer. It’s been a while since I had a good student,” she said, “Anyways, I came to give you a farewell present.” Luna Elair pulled out a box that she’d tucked under her arm.
I took it from her and gazed at the fine wooden box. It was a little heavy and had an engraved insignia of a wolf on it.
“Think of it as a sign of your friendship with Macabre,” she said and I smiled as I took a seat on my bed and opened the box up. Inside it was a silver handgun with a wooden engraved handle.
“I know you’ve used one before,” she said and I nodded.
“Back when it was my only line of defense,” I said and Luna Elair smiled.
“I use guns regularly. When I’m on the field, it helps to have more weapons then just your claws. Plus, I can keep command from a distance and strategize for my pack before going in when they need me. You’re a Luna too and now, you’ve got your finger caught in a huge pie. You’ll need all you can get,” she said, “It’s a lot, but you’ll make it through. And besides, other than Umbra, most of the north has your back.”
I looked at her. Luna Elair with her long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. She was the image of a powerful Luna that jumped out of a fairytale. I smiled and she took my hand in hers.
“As werewolves, it’s only right for us to protect our own. Macabre will be here for whatever comes, be it a fight against packs or a fight against those hounds.”
“Thank you,” I said. There was a knock on the door after which Alpha Maddox Cross came in.
“The cars are ready. We’ve got plenty of our members on the lookout for your safety, but things should go smoothly,” he said and I nodded. I closed the box and placed it into my duffel bag where it fit snugly in between my clothes.
“Let’s get you home,” Luna Elair said as she got up and slipped her arm around her mate’s waist.
I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t anxious the entire flight. Celia seemed nervous too and even she’d decided that we both needed a bit of a relaxant. She made a tiny concoction of medicine for us and we took it simultaneously, which allowed us to sleep through our brief flight from Oregon to Vancouver. It hadn’t hit me that I was returning to Umbra until I got out of the airport.
The sights and smells enveloped me like never before. I could immediately sense the difference, how my wolf relaxed when my feet touched the ground, and how my instincts knew immediately that my mate was around.
The cars from Umbra pulled up and tingles sprinkled down my spine as his scent drew closer. I broke into a run towards the car and when the door opened and he stepped out, I wrapped my arms around him and felt his warmth.
“Lucien…” I breathed into his chest. His arms wrapped around me and I breathed in his smell, a mix of a new sandalwood perfume and the scent of soil and pine from the forest.
I lifted my face off of his chest and wrapped my arms around his neck. I stared into his eyes that glowed in shifting deep shades of amber and emerald. I pressed a soft kiss on his lips and he growled against me. I laughed and he seized the opportunity to deepen our kiss and I ran my hands through his hair as he pressed me close. We parted when we were out of breath, but I refused to release him.
“I missed you,” I said and Lucien pressed his mouth to my neck, releasing a low growl against my mark that filled me with a growing heat that spread from my mark down to my stomach.
“You’re never leaving me again,” he said.
“Okay, could we get a move on?” A voice said from the car, I glanced to my left and saw Katherine grinning from the driver’s seat as she lowered her sunglasses.
“I missed you too,” I said, winking at her. Katherine laughed.
“We all missed you, Luna,” Desmond said as he leaned forward from the passenger’s seat.
“We should get a move on, Ignus is being rather impatient back home,” Katherine said and I nodded as Lucien pulled me into the car. I watched Celia and Bo get into another car behind me and sighed as I rested my back against my seat.
“Did I miss anything?” I asked. Katherine adjusted the rearview mirror and we looked at each other through them.
“The North is in a bit of an uproar. Ignus and the other hounds have been making rounds, they’ve somehow gathered a few of their own. We have them stay at a cabin near the packhouse. You can meet them tomorrow if you’d like,” she said.
“Is the pack safe?” I asked.
“Safe? Yes. Wary? Yes.”
“We’ve gotten more of our pack to move into closer spots to the packhouse to fortify it. We didn’t want a repeat of the attack to succeed, so with Ignus’ help, we’ve managed to increase patrols and security both on our main territory and in town. The Macabre Pack is in constant contact with us too,” Desmond said.
“And how’s the clinic?”
“Doing well. I’ve been forbidden to go there unless absolutely necessary. There were quite a few people I needed to treat from the previous attack,” Desmond added.
“Did we lose anyone?” I asked and Lucien took my hand in his and began drawing circles in my palm.
There was a long silence that passed over them. And I knew that they were linking each other.
“We’re sorry, Auden,” Katherine said.
“We found your father, Alpha Dante,” Desmond began. I felt relief course through me.
“Th-that’s great. How is he–”
Lucien immediately wrapped his arms around me.
“He didn’t make it, Auden.”