The Mournful Howl

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Chapter 25

Jayne felt Gabriel trying to lunge past her at his father, but she held him back.

"I'm not a whore," Jayne spat angrily, "I'm Gabriel's mate!"

"You mated a human?" his father roared, his eyes flashing dark gold. "Have you sunk so low? Where is your pride? You alpha born!!"

"I'm not human," Jayne replied, feeling her old insecurities beginning to awaken under the raging alpha's gaze.

"Well, you're not one of us!!" he growled, sniffing the air. "All I smell is the stench of human from you."

"I am a were, just like Gabriel," Jayne said, her voice loosing some of its edge. "I just never received my wolf when I turned sixteen."

"You mated a wolfless freak?!" the alpha bellowed, his anger seeming to increase if that was possible. "Thank Goddess your mother isn't alive to see the shame you've brought to our line!"

Feeling Gabriel stiffen behind her, Jayne turned to see a stricken look on his face.

"Gabriel," she whispered, cupping his cheeks.

Looking down into his chosen mates eyes, Gabriel felt a wave of peace crash over him as he pressed his face into her touch.

"Gabriel," his father barked, breaking into their shared sorrow, "leave the whore. We have family matters to discuss."

"Don't call her that!!" Gabriel growled to his father as he wrapped his arms protectively around Jayne before she could open her mouth to reply. "Jayne is my chosen mate and deserves the respect of that position."

He knew his mate well enough to know that she was at the end of her tolerance and was about to say or do something that would set his father off completely.

"Fine," his father seethed, "send her inside. We need to discuss matters that do not concern her."

Gabriel looked down at Jayne, his eyes begging for her to do as he asked.

"Go back inside and finish dinner," he said. "This shouldn't take too long and we can get back to what we were doing before we were interrupted."

Hating the fact that she was begin cut out and being asked to leave the man she loved with his monster of a father, Jayne nodded and quickly reached up to plant a kiss on his lips.

"I love you," she whispered, knowing Gabriel's father could hear her.

"Really Gabriel, and wolfless mate?" Richard spat, barely keeping his anger in until he was sure the little freak couldn't hear him.

"What do you want father?" Gabriel demanded. "It's been twenty years. Why are you here?"

"Your mother and brother are dead," his father stated matter-of-factly. "I came to bring you back to the pack to take your place as alpha."

"What? What happened?" Gabriel gasped, trying to wrap his mind around the news that not only was his mother dead, but his brother as well, and his father wanted him to come back and be the pack alpha.

"With your brother dead I have no heir to take over the pack after I'm gone," Richard explained, acting as if his son was six years old, not thirty-six. "You are my last chance to leave a legacy, even if it is a defective one.

"Of course, you'll have to reject your chosen mate," his father added. "I have made arrangements with my beta for you to mate his daughter. Her mate was killed by the same rogues that took your mother and brother so she is available."

"No," Gabriel replied, shaking in rage at the suggestion that he abandon the only good thing he had in his life. "I will not reject my mate."

"You will do what you're told," his father yelled, stepping angrily towards his son.

"Bring the freak with you and keep her as a mistress," he suggested. "I don't care, but you will mate Evangelina and produce proper heirs for your pack."

With an earth shaking roar, Gabriel grabbed his father around the throat and rammed his body against a nearby tree.

"You don't get to tell me what to do!!" Gabriel yelled, slamming his father against the tree trunk again. "You lost that right when you threw me out of the pack because I was mute."

With a vicious growl of his own, Richard planted his feet against the trunk behind him and pushed off, knocking his son to the ground.

Shifting into their wolves, both met collided in battle neither backing down from making the other submit.

Hearing the growls of anger and howls of pain, Jayne strapped on her knife and grabbed her rifle before running out the door following the sounds of the heated battle.

Reaching the fighting pair, Jayne watched as Gabriel's wolf was thrown against a tree, his back snapping painfully upon impact.

"Gabriel," she screamed, dropping her gun and running to his side forgetting about the other angry wolf stalking towards his prone son.

Lifting the unconscious animals head into her lap, Jayne desperately repeated his name trying to wake him up.

"Gabriel, please wake up," she begged, running her hands through his fur.

Suddenly, she felt hands grab a handful of her hair and drag her away from her mate.

"You stupid bitch," Richard seethed, spittle from his mouth spraying onto her hair and shoulder, as he spoke close to her ear.

"Let me go," she demanded, kicking and clawing at the alpha, stopping when she felt his clawed hand wrap around her neck.

"Silence," he ordered, his sharp nails slicing through the skin of her throat in warning.

Gulping in fear, Jayne did as she was told, ceasing all of her struggles.

Hearing a menacing growl, the alpha wolf spun placing Jayne between himself and his staggering son.

"Reject her and return with me or I kill her here and now," Richard demanded, drawing more blood from Jayne's neck to make sure his some understood he had no choice.

Gabriel quickly shifted back to his human form, his eyes begging his father not to hurt his mate.

Realizing that he was about to give into his fathers demands, Jayne slowly drew her knife intent on ending this her way.

Before she could make her move, Richard release her hair and grabbed the hand holding the knife.

In a single move, he snapped her wrist with a sickening pop making her release the blade.

Hearing Jayne's cry of pain, Gabriel tried to rush his father, but the older man saw it coming and tightened his grip on Jayne's neck.

Picking up the knife, Richard settled the tip over Jayne's heart.

"Now," he breathed, looking at his son, daring him to make a move, "reject her or watch her die."

"I Gabriel, alpha born of the Blood Claw Pack, reject you Jayne, wolfless of the High Mountain Pack, as my chosen mate," he told her, tears brimming his eyes.

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