I could hear her screams all the way from the manor.
I recognized them somehow. Even though I had never even heard her speak, I knew. I knew it was her.
Right on cue, Riley came bolting out of the house.
“Ril--” I started to say, but he raced passed me without so much as a glance in acknowledgment.
I watched him discard his clothes as he ran, preparing to shift into his coyote. Everest and Ethan were right behind him, shifting into their wolf forms. Freya was next, choosing to run in her human form because well, it was just as fast.
It was dark out, just after midnight, so the moon was bright. The forest though was too thick and almost pitch black in there.
I would have been worried for them running in there blind, had they not been shifters. As it were, I knew they could see and hear just fine enough for them to be safe.
“What’s going on?” It was the siren brother that hang out a lot with Everest. “Meili,” he supplied, when he caught my blank stare.
Of course. “I knew that,” I lied. “The Siren.” I sighed. “She’s hurt or being hurt. I have no idea. But everyone’s gone into the forest to investigate. I better follow soon.”
He looked at me with raised brows. “Your two mates just rushed in there, possibly into mortal danger, and you’re still here. Having a casual conversation with me? Want me to get you a stool or something?”
I rolled my eyes “They’re smarter and stronger and faster than I am. I’d only get in the way.” I shrugged. “I’m going now though so...”
He sighed. “I’ll come along.”
Riley was livid. The Sirens had their Omega tied up and practically hanging by her hands on a tree. Blood pooled around her feet and a combination of thick and thin red stripes littered her back.
“What is this?” I barked. Anything that could cause my mate this much grief wound my wolf up so much I could barely contain it. I wanted to rip their throats out.
Each and every last one of them.
It was so surreal. Part of me was wary of giving her pups. I worried for how protective of them she’d be. Another part knew they’d be in safe hands with her as a mother. She was way more vigilant than I was. She’d be a great help.
“Alpha!” The Sirens fell to the ground and bowed. I had gotten them to stop doing that in the past few days, but the anger pouring out of me had to have frightened them.
“What. Is. This!”
Riley shifted and untied the poor girl. He carried her away from the clearing towards the direction of the manor. I wondered if he even noticed that he reacted to her as an Alpha way more than even me and Dustin did. The only un-alpha thing about Riley was his reluctance and total disinterest in leadership.
He had all the other qualities. Hot-headedness, smarts, loyalty, management skills, community building skills. Half of those I recognized from watching him run Feral.
I walked forward just as Ethan came up behind me. I grabbed Loki by the arm and hauled him to his feet. “Explain this!”
“She’s an Omega, Alpha. It’s the only way to control her wandering ways.”
“What does that mean?”
“Omegas are known to abandon their packs. And she’s a born-omega. If we didn’t... if we don’t she’ll leave.”
I breathed in deeply. Holding back the urge to backhand someone far older than me. They were my pack. I had to teach them “Omegas leave their packs because of all the torture and the hate. Omegas leave because they find their mates and mates are the most important things to Omegas. They don't think or feel like the rest of us.”
It was true and truly special. All shifters put mates above all else. So it was always mate, then pack, or family, or whatever else their animals were inclined to put below that.
But omegas had a long list of one. Mate. Nothing more and nothing less. Them remaining in the pack was dependent on their mate. But of course, omegas were rare and them finding their true mates even rarer.
That kind of power.
An omega could strengthen their mate ten fold. The fates were picky about whom they gave their precious omegas to.
I had been chosen though. I was this Omega’s alpha. I would protect her till her true-mate claimed her. And if they did not come... I’d protect her till she died a happy death.
If I failed, well....Riley was more than willing. And capable.
“No more torture. Okay? Treat her right. if I even catch a whisper of her pain, you’ll all answer to me. Got it?”
“Yes, Alpha,” they answered.
I did not believe them.
I turned to Ethan and Dustin.
“Riley?” I asked.
“Went back to house with my brother and Meili.”
“Ethan?” I asked when he didn’t stop frowning at the Sirens bowing on the ground.
“I don’t think they’ll ever see her as anything to treasure or trust or love.”
I nodded in agreement.
Dustin suddenly spoke up. “We’ll keep her then.”
Dustin shrugged. “Riley really cares about her. I don’t want him losing his mind over how she is or whatever. And..I agree with Ethan, they’ll never treat her right. We’ll watch over her till she gets better. Then I’m sure Nanny Marie will have a place for her.”
I grinned like a loon. Dustin too had mad alpha skills.