Chapter 2 - Levi
I’m never helping them again. Levi swore to himself, finally leaving the cozy home behind him.
The next time Levi’s Beta and his pregnant wife needed help moving furniture, they can hire someone else.
Levi listened to the crunch of the frozen snow under his heavy boots and continued down the path, not needing to open his eyes to know where home was.
He rolled his tense shoulders, remembering his Beta’s commands. Every time they had placed down a piece of furniture, Ronan’s wife would demand they move it to another corner of the house.
Levi had spend an unnecessary six hours there rearranging just three rooms in the house before she was finally satisfied with the arrangement.
Regardless of the complaining Levi put out tonight, he felt himself succumbing to the familiar ache of longing in his chest.
His Beta, Ronan, had found his mate six months ago and has been spending every waking hour when he’s not with Levi curled around her.
Levi remembered the countless hopeful searches he carried out himself, unable to find his partner.
Levi had finally accepted that he just didn’t have anyone out there for him.
The realization sat like lead in his stomach and made him feel worthless, but he had given up hope in searching.
Levi’s phone sounded suddenly, cutting off his train of thought from the impossible couple behind him resting peacefully in their newly arranged home.
He checked the ID and frowned. ’What was Laurence doing calling me at eleven at night’?
He quickly answered and scowled at the commotion in the background. “Levi,” Laurence’s voice cut through the background noise.
“What is going on?” He asked, hearing the rev of his brother’s engine in the background along with his frantic breathing.
“I’m heading your way. I’ll explain when I get there, but I need a doctor.”
“What did you do?” Levi growled. “If you bring trouble to me again, I will have your head.”
“No, there’s this girl—”
“Laurence, so help me I will skin you alive and plaster your head on a stick in my front yard if you bring another friggin panther into my territory to have your way with her,” Levi all but growled into the phone.
Last time Laurence arrived unannounced on Levi’s territory, he had a lover in tow and spent all night with her. The next morning, Levi had a parade of panthers slicing through his territory.
They didn’t make it far and Levi had no problem teaching them a long thorough lesson about touching his property, but it didn’t help his already savage reputation.
“Darnit, listen to me! There’s this girl who was getting beat, so I grabbed her. Your pack land is closer than mine and she needs help pretty bad.”
Levi clenched his jaw so hard he felt his teeth grind together. His wolf scoffed in his mind. Like I’m going to believe that story.
“Take her to your land. Once again, it’s only an hour from here. I’m sure your toy could last that long.”
Levi, Laurence, and Landon all owned the territory their father had left them. The brothers didn’t want to hold dominion over one another, so instead they split the land once Landon turned twenty-seven. It was only two years ago and they were all doing well, but with Laurence being the youngest at nineteen, he often found himself in trouble none of them wanted to deal with.
“Levi, I’m serious.” His brother speared his words, as if fighting for control over his wolf as he drove his car. “She won’t make it back to my pack, I need your doctor to fix her up. Then she can come back with me to my land.”
Idiot. “Fine, be here in ten.” Levi ground out through clenched teeth and slammed his finger into the phone to end the call.
Out of the three brothers, Laurence was by far the most troublesome.
Levi often wondered what his mate would think of him when he found her.
So help me if this brings another war, I’m killing my brother.
Levi quickly notified his border control about the incoming intrusion of his brother and mind-linked the doctor. He didn’t answer the mind-link, but groggily picked up his phone instead. When Levi asked him to be at the clinic in ten minutes, he quickly agreed, regardless of the late hour.
Levi stood outside the clinic doors as the doctor arrived ten minutes later.
He didn’t care to change his plaid pajama bottoms, but had thrown on a t-shirt. Dr. Marcus Ackerman had been the pack doctor for years, his experience becoming apparent with the wrinkles crinkling at the corners of his eyes and the smile lines embedded in his leather skin.
“Laurence again, really?” The aged doctor questioned as he grumbled up the steps, careful of the small snow piles resting at the bottom of the stairs. “If this isn’t legitimate, I’m going to punch him.”
Levi held in a snort. “Get in line.”
Shortly after, he heard the familiar sound of Laurence’s truck sliding down the small street. His tires squeaked as he slammed on his breaks, bringing his speeding car to a full stop.
Levi’s heart started pounding erratically in his chest, his breath starting to shorten, his wolf suddenly stirring restlessly in his mind.
He looked at the doctor to his side, not too sure why he was suddenly feeling anxious. The doctor was oblivious to his problems and instead stared intently at the car in front of them.
The second Laurence jumped out of his car, Levi’s nose was assaulted with an alluring scent of cherries.
Hischest clenched at the smell and he inhaled deeply, trying to get his fill of the addicting scent.
Laurence started talking, his words going a mile a minute, but Levi ignored his yapping and stepped closer to the vehicle. An overwhelming urge to find the source of the smell enveloped him and it was all he could think about.
“...So I just put her in my car and drove here because I didn’t know what else to do.” Laurence finished, going around to the rear driver’s door and pulling the metal door open.
The cherry smell burst out of the door and before he could even realize what was happening, Levi had Laurence pinned against the side of his blue truck.
He snarled in his face, baring his sharpened teeth in his brother’s direction. The smell was all Levi could think about while his arm pinned Laurence’s shoulders to the vehicle behind him.
“Calm down, brother, I promise it’s the truth this time. She needs help.”
Laurence’s words seemed to calm him down and he stepped back, quickly pulling his arm away from his brother’s chest.
Laurence straightened his shirt before turning back to the door he just opened. For the first time, Levi caught a glimpse of the beauty resting inside.
Her hair was the color of wheat, a beautiful combination of blonde and brunette. The thick strands were almost straight and framing beautiful tanned skin.
The combination of her tanned skin and the light hair almost looked fake, but Levi doubted it was nothing short of natural.
She had a perfect button nose poised in the center of her beautiful face and plumb, pink lips that tempted Levi to press his own against. The cherry scent was all hers; cherry mixed with something purely natural and feminine.
She was mine.
Laurence made a move to grab her and Levi lost it again. In a second, Laurence was laying flat on the ground, rubbing his chest.
Laurence groaned as Levi stood in the doorway of the vehicle, guarding his mate from Laurence’s view. “Levi! For heaven’s sake, what is wrong with you?!”
“Oh, my,” Levi heard the doctor mutter from behind him.
Levi quickly swiveled to face him, careful to protect the unconscious beauty sprawled out in the backseat of the truck.
Dr. Ackerman approached slowly, his palms exposed at his hips. “Levi, I need to check her. She’s bleeding pretty bad.”
For the first time, Levi smelled the metallic scent of blood on his mate. He mentally scolded himself for loosing control—something her never did.
He quickly turned around, pulling her small body to his chest and lifting her bridal style. He frowned at the light weight in his arms. He felt her bones protruding from under her thin layer of clothes that barely covered her body. She had a crop top, low enough to show the top of her bra, and an incredibly short skirt, showing her long, bony legs.
Levi felt another wave of possessiveness slide through him as he carried her effortlessly up the stairs of the clinic and through the door. He laid her gently on the table, but refused to step back.
Dr. Ackerman was close on his heels and rounded to the other side of the bed, looming over his mate’s body.
Sure enough, she had some cuts just above her eyebrow and a large gash on her forearm.
Levi felt his jaw clench in pure anger as he noticed all the bruises and scars littering his mate’s exposed skin. There was a purple bruise or fainted pink scar on every square inch of her delicate skin.
Levi heard his brother scamper into the clinic behind them, rubbing the back of his head and muttering.
Levi spun rapidly, glaring at his brother as he slowly sauntered through the threshold. Laurence noticed his brother’s look and shook his head, looking pissed. “Now what?”
Levi growled low, not liking the tone he took with him while his mate lay here bleeding and hurting. “Mine,” Levi growled out, continuing to stare Laurence down.
Laurence’s eyes widened and he looked at his mate in shock, his mouth hanging open.
Levi growled threateningly, seeing his younger brother as a threat. It didn’t matter that they were blood related at that moment. His mate was hurt, Laurence had brought her in like that, and his difficult brother was looking at her much more than Levi wanted him to.
“Laurence, you might want to wait outside,” Dr. Ackerman advised, watching the interaction carefully, as if waiting to jump in at any moment.
Laurence tilted his head to the side and backed up, showing he meant no harm. Levi accepted the gesture and felt a small piece of control return to him.
Laurence took the Doctor’s advice and left the room, heading back to the front.
“Alpha, I know she’s your mate, but I need to touch her, okay?”
Levi didn’t make any movement as he stared down at her.
Regardless of the swelling on her chin and the small cuts above her eyebrow, she was the most gorgeous woman he had ever laid eyes on.
I was going to kill whoever did this to her.