The last wolf snarled back at us from about one yard out, before rushing off with the others disappearing into the thickness of the tress. I'm breathing heavy, fatigued and partially overwhelmed. When was the last time I had sleep? Maybe a day ago? Dammit. We're all running short on fuel.
"Should we go after them?"
"No. Head back" I respond through the mind link surveying the area one last time before leading the small group home.
Once we've gone over the perimeter, I shift talking with a few of the other wolves, before giving instructions to the new shift that has come in. Everyone is exhausted. We had to keep out rogues last night, which as much as it isn't odd, is odd tonight. They attacked but none was serious about going through the perimeter, which meant they were probably testing our strength. Rogues were bad news all over and with the trouble we're already facing well, trouble doesn't exactly set up like rain does it?
I settle on having a well deserved bath and a definite nap, I'm less likely to be on edge after that and I'll be able to handle anything the pack throws at me without question. And I know they'll be plenty of questions.
"Where do you think you're going?"
I glance at Gale going down the hall.
"Checking on the humans"
"Like that? You're naked!"
Oh right. I'd forgotten about that.
I reached their door just as I pulled the shirt over my head, turning the knob. There's only one occupant I realise, though at this point I'm not surprised. Moi lifts her head blinking as I step further into the room.
"Hey Rider" She answers. "Is something wrong?"
I shake my head. "Just checking up. How are you feeling?"
She laughs, running a hand through her blue hair.
"Besides the jitters from the scare last night. Just fine"
"Oh right. Sorry about that" I chuckle.
"Did someone get hurt? It sounded awful. Are you okay? Your hands"
Boy isn't she damn observant.
I glance at the now healing bruises and cuts along my arm. There are more from our fight last night into early this morning, but their only temporary. Though she might not know that.
"But you're bleeding" She contends. "Does it hurt?"
"Really, I'm fine" But her face has contorted with a frown, deeply concerned for my wellbeing . "If it makes you feel better, I'll clean it once I leave"
"Okay" She answers reluctantly resting back against her pillow.
"Not sure. When I woke up she was already gone. I'm just hoping she's not being a bother"
My jaw clenched as I thought about what she could be up to or where she could have gone. If she attempted to leave we would have picked up her scent. Maybe. Then again, the rain has been pouring for most of the night.
"Do you think she'd leave the compound?"
Moi shakes her head. "She's crazy but not that crazy. She wouldn't leave without me"
So then where was she? She wasn't still in the hospital, that much I've already figured out.
"Quinn have you seen the human?"
" Halie? " He responds through the mind link. "Yeah, she's next to me. We're having breakfast"
A heavy breath leaves that I hadn't realized I held. Thank the moon. For once she isn't out creating havoc. Though I'm now wondering why Quinn has her for breakfast. Did he ask her out? Did she go willingly? I'm growling, part of me irritated. Halie was my mate, I didn't want her having breakfast with another wolf.
"Gale tried to reach you but you were still out, so she called for me. The girl went to see Allison and Gale was pissed"
Dammit. Ofcourse she'd try to see Allison. She was the one person who felt she could trust. But with how critical things had gotten last night, Gale was probably keeping her away for the best. No doubt she'll come off bitchy doing it.
"Has she said anything about that night?"
" No" Quinn responds. "She's just a nervous mess right now"
He's gone for awhile and I'm howling on the inside. I'm itching to go find her. I want to see her. The beautiful stubborn woman that's my mate. Knowing she's nervous, completely a mess, I'm even more thrilled to see her. A side of her that isn't sarcastic and reckless.
I don't know when my feet takes me down the path to the kitchen, I don't even know when I'm standing on the steps or enter the large dining room. The only time I've realized what I've done, is when that powdery scent greets my nose. There's coffee and camomile mixed in the air along with allspice, waffles and bacon. But all that had hit the back burner of my senses. My eyes slid close taking her in. She's nervous, I can feel it, though I'm dying to know why.
When my eyes open I see Quinn. He's laughing, touching her lightly on the hand and she smiles back entertaining him. Wood cracks beneath my grasp as I watch them. I'm huffing, breathing too hard from watching their interaction. And yes I'm howling jealous! My teeth are bare now, piercing my lips and blood flows freely down my mouth.
"I think she's lying" His voice says in my head, though he's yet to spot me at the door.
"What?" I ask attempting to rein in my emotions.
I move, stepping back and walking out the room. I'm breathing hard, heavy, almost wheezing. I want to go back, I want to threaten Quinn, to tell him to stay away from her. But I can't. He's prodding her, asking questions that are necessary under the guise of being friendly. I have to let him work.
I have to remain calm. Their only having breakfast. She's not interested in him.
"What did she say?" I ask distracting myself from my murderous thoughts.
"Are you okay man? "
"Quinn! What did she say?" I snap my voice straining.
I walk further away, five yards out to put breathing space between me and her. Her alluring scent and my senses. The same senses that want to mark her as mine. I'm dying to shift, to shift and wrap my body around her. To rub against her and listen as she talks. I want to see what her eyes are like when she's nervous. I want to soothe her. Make her comfortable and forget her worries. I can't give in to my instincts. I can't be an animal right now.
"I think she knows about the wolves. Maybe even us being wolves too"
Then everything shatters. Just like that I'm snapped from my phase. My mate might actually be a hunter.
"Did she say that specifically?"
" No" Quinn responds. "She's avoiding the topic. But I'm sure mutt thing says all. She would know a dog when she sees one and all they heard last night was just a howl"
"Which meant she's already seen one" I finish. "Take Veron and go check outside the perimeter. Find out if anyone's sneaking around and be careful"
"Leave her be. I'll take care of it".
I'm in total confusion by the time I reach my cabin. I'm swinging between Halie being a hunter and her just being a normal human. I want her to be a normal human. A human that's just at the wrong place at the wrong time.
For the first time in years I resent my role of being Beta. I can't hurt my mate! How the f*** am I to do that? And if she is, if we find out she's truly a hunter, come to infiltrate us, I'll have to do much worst than hurt her. I'll have to kill her. My instincts are tuned to protect her, protect her from harm. How am I supposed to protect her from the danger that's now become me?
My head throbs with pain I've never felt before. I'm going crazy in my own mind. My canines are drawn and my nails have elongated into claws. Even my body is rejecting the idea of having to hurt my mate. I've half shifted, my arms are now covered in fur, my eyes have changed and all I'm wearing is now pants. I've torn the shirt in pieces.
Thoughts flood my mind of taking her and leaving. It's the only way to protect her. But I know Jax, he'll come after us. He'll come after me, both for revenge and treason. If I leave, our pack would be vulnerable. Rogues would attack, pups and women will die. I can't live a life on the run or with a guilty conscience.
I'm torn. There's no right way to do this. I can't hurt Halie, I won't sit still and let anyone hurt her either but I can't leave the pack. And the f**** I realize, I can't save them either.
Half hour later, I've managed to change to fully human again. I'm less confused than I was before only more anxious. I'm starving and tired; too fatigued to think of anything else. My eyes scan my kitchen lazily before I sniff, picking up a scent. It's faint but also familiar and I follow it to my room, finding the door partially open, When it's always closed. Someone lies beneath my sheets. Allison is the closest I've got to a sibbling, she and Jax. Neither of which would ever dare enter my bed.
My ex beams, sprawled against my bed, completely naked.
I'm staring, confused and wondering why I wasn't aware she's back.
"Oh come on, say something" She says smiling reaching after me.
"When did you get back?"
"Well I didn't mean that" My brows raise waiting on an actual answer and she sighs. "This morning. Allison checked me in" She says noting the still confused expression on my face.
Allison was out? I guess the pains weren't that bad then. Did we get a transfer notice for Sam though? I don't member it. But how did I miss her?
"I thought you weren't coming back"
"I've thought about it" Her eyes moved downwards my body before she kicked her lips. "But I've missed a few things"
"I see" I reply taking a step back as she reached to cup my face. "There's paper work to sign for your transfer back"
"Okay, but I thought we could hang out first, watch a movie. Distract each other" Sam responds smirking running her hand against her body. "I've missed you"
I bent, grabbing the discarded cover, throwing it against her body, covering her up.
I can't deal with this complication right now. I don't know why Sam's back but it doesn't even matter. I've lost complete interest in this relationship. She wasn't even supposed to be back. That's what she said when she left. Not to mention sex was the furthest thing on my mind, she wasn't appealing anymore.
Sam cocks her head to the side fisting the sheet.
"You've never had a problem seeing me naked before"
"Trust me I've got memories to last a lifetime" I say moving towards my drawers and grabbing some clothes before stuffing them inmy duffle bag. I don't cast her a second glance walking out the room.
I swear everyday I wake up things get harder. My mate, Sam, rogues, hunters. It's like I've spun the freaking wheel of misfortune!
"Where are you going Rider?" Sam asks walking into the living area covered in my sheet, her fuzzy hair tumbling into her shoulder. "You're leaving me?! "
"I'm going to get some sleep" I respond opening the door. " I'll be back later. I want you gone by then"
She scoffed stomping her feet and folding her hands.
"Oh and since you're here, make yourself useful. Go meet with patrol "
She screams, huffing but I barely take notice. She's the least of my worries right now.