"What did you do?!" I yelled as I rushed into the cell. Lying on the floor was the bloodied, beaten image of J.
"He refused to answer our questions. Three of our men were killed today, I have no patience for this," my father growled as I tried to examine him.
"Dad, this is not okay. This isn't how we do things..." I said to him as I knelt over the unconscious prisoner. I hadn't seen him in months. Once his hand had healed I had no reason, or desire, to go down there. "Help me get him on the bed."
The two warriors that, from the looks of their raw knuckles, had helped with the beating stepped forward and lifted him onto the bed. I worked quickly, trying to stop the bleeding from the gashes in his cheek and the cuts on his arms.
"Get out." I growled.
"I'm sorry, but we can't do that," the men replied.
"Get out and let me do my work, you all have done enough," I boomed at the group of men standing behind me. The warriors and my father sulked back upstairs, leaving only me and Johnny in the holding cells.
"What do you need?" Johnny asked, kneeling next to me.
"Check him for wounds, make sure there is nothing bleeding too badly. I think I've gotten his cheek under control."
Johnny inspected him and reached into my bag, grabbing some more gauze for me. "Thank you," I replied with a smile. J woke up a while later as I was cleaning his wounds. He was once again the snarky jerk I remembered.
That night I laid in bed, thinking about what had happened. I had never known my father to lose control like that. I had never seen someone beaten so badly and survived.
He is strong... and hot! My wolf howled. I rolled my eyes before going to sleep.
The next morning I woke up and got ready as usual, throwing on my purple scrubs for my shift at the clinic.
"Are you checking on the rogue this morning?" Austin asked, his arm slung over his new fling's shoulders.
"Yes, why?" I asked.
"No reason, I heard dad and those warriors gave him a good beating," He said with a smug look, "Serves him right, defying an Alpha for so long. His friends killed some good wolves."
I let out a huff, "Nobody deserves to be brutally beaten. Besides, it just gives me more to do in an already busy day.”
After breakfast I made my way down to the holding cells. "How are you feeling?" I asked as I pressed gently on his ribs.
He winced but stayed silent.
"If you don't answer I'll just assume you feel fine and won't give you any pain meds," I replied in a snarky tone.
J glared at me before letting out a huff, "I feel fine. Just hurts to move or breathe or exist." He winced as he sat up, lowering his shirt after my examination.
I gave a smug smile, "That's better. That wasn't so hard, was it?" I removed the bandage from his cheek and examined it before placing a clean dressing on it. "Your injuries are going to take a while to heal, since you haven't shifted in months. You should shift after I leave and let your wolf heal you."
"I'll be fine," he muttered.
"Suit yourself," I replied, standing and gathering my things. "I'll come check on you again tomorrow at some point. It might be a while though."
"Why?" he asked.
"Tomorrow is my birthday," I smiled before walking out of the cell and back upstairs.
I spent the day working at the clinic. I was almost finished for the day when a mother and sick pup came in. She looked panicked, not knowing what was wrong. I took him in to examine him, only to be violently vomited on. I held my breath as I stiffly walked out of the room.
"AHHH!" Rick recoiled as he approached me in the hallway with a disgusted look on his face, "What happened?"
"Jamie Rich's pup isn't feeling well..." I responded quietly, continuing down the hall to the laundry room where we kept extra bedding and scrubs. I changed into a new pair of scrubs and walked into the hallway, still smelling of vomit.
"You should just go home, I'll finish up here," Rick said as he walked out of the exam room I had just left.
"You don't have to tell me twice. I'm going to go shower six times," I muttered as I grabbed my bag and headed out the door. I took a long, hot shower in an attempt to clean off all the residual vomit and relax for a minute.
"HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!" My mom hollered as I walked downstairs for breakfast the next morning.
"Thanks, mom," I replied with a smile and a hug.
"Hey baby girl, happy birthday," my dad smiled as he walked into the pack kitchen.
"Thanks dad," I grinned before grabbing a plate of food and heading to a table.
"So?" Austin leaned across the table, "Did you find your mate yet?"
I rolled my eyes, "I've only been twenty-one for like six hours and most of those hours were sleeping."
Austin shrugged, "Maybe you're like me and you don't have one."
I shook my head, "You have one, she's just hiding because you're such a fool."
"Okay, okay. That's enough," my mom interrupted as she sat down next to us. "Here's a little something from us," she said, handing me a small box.
I opened it to find a small pendant necklace. It was a crescent moon with a small diamond hanging off the top corner. "Mom, this is beautiful..." I whispered as I took it from the box.
"Here, put it on," she said, bringing it around my neck. "This was your grandma's, it's been passed down to every female in our on her twenty-first birthday."
I lowered my head and looked at the pendant around my neck, "Thanks you guys, this is amazing."
"Now for my gift!" Austin said with a smirk. He came around the table and began punching my arms, counting each hit. "Three... four... five... six..."
I hopped up from the table and began pushing him away, laughing and punching him back.
I swung around to see almost the entire pack standing in a group behind me, holding a large cake with candles.
"You guys!" I grinned brightly, "This is too much!"
After the morning's festivities everyone went on with their day. I was lucky my boss was my uncle and he had given me the day off but had asked me to check in on the rogue at some point. It was a little past lunch time when I made my way down to the holding cells.
When I reached the bottom of the stairs my senses were overtaken by the most amazing scent of redwood. I could feel my wolf getting restless but I pushed her to the back of my mind.
"J, how are you feeling?" I asked as I stood outside the cell.
He looked up from his seat on his bed and our eyes met, sending sparks through my whole body.