When she's ready

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XIV

‘Leo!’

‘Leo! Wake up!’

‘Captain help us! Our house is on fire! We’re trapped!’

Multiple voices are shouting in his head. Leo sits up and rubs his face. Then he looks at his alarm. It’s only three at night, what’s going on?

‘Leo, wake up, get your ass over here. Multiple cabins are on fire. It looks like it’s been done by humans. We need you, right now!’ His brother’s voice booms in his head.

He quickly gets up from his bed and pulls a t-shirt over his head. ‘I’m on my way.’ He replies.

A few minutes later, he steps down the stairs in front of the packhouse. The sky is orange where the fire is consuming the houses. Dark, grey clouds are covering the sky.

“Leo,” Chris comes over with his Beta Danny. “Sniff out the area, I’ve sensed a rogue in the vicinity. Track him down and bring him here. Take Danny with you.”

“Where did you sense him? Then I’ll have a starting point and a direction to look for.”

“Right past the last cabin on the left. Just see if you can smell his trail.”

Leo nods and walks off into the direction Chris has just told him. Danny follows right behind him. “Do you have an idea who could’ve done this?” Danny asks him.

Leo shrugs, “it could be anyone. Although-” He halts a second and sniffles the air. Except for the heavy smoke, he smells a different scent. “Humans. There’ve been multiple humans over here. A lot, actually. And they’ve used gasoline to fasten the fire.”

Danny nods, “I smell them too.”

Sniffling the air, Leo walks around some more. “It’s hard to separate the different scents from each other, especially with the heavy smoke thick in the air.”

Danny nods. “What do we do, do we shift? Maybe we can distinguish the scents better in our wolf form?”

“Wait,” Leo gestures Danny to stop. “There’s somebody here.”

Leo decides to continue via mind link, to not give away their presence. ‘Do you smell that?’

Danny shakes his head.

‘Use your nose, use your senses like you’re meant to do. Close your eyes, focus.’

Danny does as Leo tells him. ‘Hmm, there’s definitely someone here.’

Leo walks further and after walking a few feet he stops again to listen and to smell the air. ‘The rogue, Chris was right.’

’I guess so. He’s still near, dowe shift?’

‘I think it’s best. He will be able to detect us a little less easy.’

Leo and Danny both shift into their wolf forms.

‘Do you see him?’ Danny asks.

‘No, but I can smell him ten times better now.’ Leo answers. He turns his head to look at Danny’s wolf. ‘Don’t you?’

‘You do this all the time, man. I’m just a financial guy.’

‘But you’re a Beta. You should be better at this.’

‘I don’t know. After all, you’re the son of an Alpha. Even though you’re not the eldest, you still have some of the traits in you. And they should be better than the traits of a Beta.’

‘Danny, I don’t understand what you are saying. You’re a Beta door goodness sake! You should be in much better shape. You should be joining the warrior training more often. Now let me focus.’

Leo’s wolf crouches down. His belly scrapes the forest floor. His nose on the ground to sniff out any traces.

‘Over here,’ Danny calls. ‘I think he headed to the west.’ Danny has his nose on the ground too. Then he examines a tree further away and then another bush even farther away.

Leo joins him soon after and confirms Danny’s findings. ‘Well done man. See, you’re better than you think.’

For a while they’re quiet. Just focussing on following the traces of rogue-scent.

‘Wait, I know where we are.’ Leo halts suddenly. ‘This is where your sister and your grandma live.’ He sniffles again. ‘They’re still at home since that’s where their scent comes from.’

‘Let’s proceed. We need to catch this guy.’

Leo’s wolf doesn’t agree. Sniffling again, he just feels enchanted by smelling the scent of his mate. The wolf decides to shut Leo out, and goes his own way, over to the little cabin.

‘Leo, where are you going?’ Danny sounds confused.

Leo’s wolf doesn’t listen. ‘Mine.’

‘Leo! What the hell are you doing! Where are you going!’ Danny sounds desperate. ‘We need to catch this guy, Leo!’

‘Need to see mate,’ the wolf just continues his way not listening to Danny at all. Danny doesn’t realise that it’s not Leo he is talking to, but his wolf.

All of a sudden, a loud growling is heard. Leo’s wolf hears it, but doesn’t act on it, he just continues to walk away.

‘Leo, the rogue, he’s here.’ Danny warns. The snarling of wolves is clearly audible. ‘Leo, get your ass over here and help me out! I can’t handle this beast myself. He is much bigger than I am, almost like an Alpha-rogue or something.’ Danny uses his Beta-command. Desperate to get Leo out of whatever spell he is under.

The command makes Leo’s wolf stop in his tracks and doubts what he is doing. Leo uses the wolf’s confusion and takes the opportunity to take over again.

Sounds of wolves fighting are coming from the direction that Leo saw Danny last and then he hears Danny’s wolf scream in agony. He rushes over to help him out. When he arrives at the scene, he sees he’s almost too late. Danny’s wolf is on his back, a big wound is visible on his neck and blood gushes out. The big rogue hunching over him, ready to end Danny’s life.

Leo wastes no second and starts running. He doesn’t slow down when he’s near the rogue, but he lowers his head and collides into the rogue. With the speed that he had; he pushes him off of Danny. Immediately baring his teeth.

The rogue hadn’t seen him coming and is disoriented for a second. Leo takes this opportunity to attack him and aims for his neck. But just before he can bite down, the rogue wakes up and pulls away. Making Leo bite down on only a little bit of skin. The rogue quickly gets up on four paws and runs away. Leo chases after him but gives up when he hears Danny whimper. He turns around and moves over to Danny. Danny has shifted and lies there on the ground, bleeding out. Leo mind links doctor Adina to rush over and then shifts too.

“Is he gone?” Danny asks when Leo is within eyesight.

“He is,” Leo kneels and adds pressure to the wound. “Now don’t speak, you need all of your energy to heal yourself.”

“What got into you? Why did you walk away?”

Leo sighs, he can’t look Danny in the eye. Too ashamed of his mistake.

“I’m sorry, Danny. My wolf took over and he was beyond reason. I couldn’t regain control back. He just acted on instinct.”

“Why not? Leo, you’re one of the few people in this pack who have such a good control over their wolf. This is not like you at all.” Danny breathes heavily, his voice barely a whisper.

“Danny, focus on your healing. We can talk later.”

“It’s my sister, isn’t it?” Danny looks him straight in the eyes. “Her scent made your wolf take over. She really is your mate?”

Leo shrugs, then nods and looks away. He failed, he failed Danny because he couldn’t keep his wolf in check.

Not long after, Adina arrives with Christopher in his truck.

“What happened?” Christopher asks immediately as he gets out.

When Adina kneels next to Danny and tells Leo to let go, Leo gets up and walks to where his brother is waiting. Close enough to see what Adina is doing to Danny, but far enough to stay out of the way.

“I failed.” Leo shakes his head.

“Tell me.” Chris looks down at his brother who stares at his shoes. “Leo, look up, what happened?”

Leo tells him everything, while Adina is still busy helping Danny.

“Damnit Leo. This thing with your mate is escalating quickly. Next time i’’s not Danny, but you.” Chris frowns. “I can’t let this situation go on like this. This is dangerous. Our whole pack depends on you, we can’t let our safety depend on someone who doesn’t have control over their wolf.”

“I know,” Leo looks down again. “Sent me away. I’ll live in the city until Elianne is of age.”

“No. We need you.” Chris shakes his head and sighs. “We’ll think of something. Chris glances in Danny’s direction. “Did you happen to see what this rogue looked like?”

Leo nods. “I just got to see his wolf. But his eyes were familiar to me. I just know I’ve seen those yellow-greenish eyes before somewhere.”

Chris head jerks up. “No way. I know only one rogue with that eye colour. But- but that can’t be. He is in jail.”

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