Chapter 18 - Rogues
“Olivia, I love you. I never meant to hurt you.” Leo pleaded and tried to get closer to me.
I stepped back with a raised hand, indicating for him to back off. “Yet you did.” Once again I let Lumen take over and I retreated to my safe place in my mind. Maybe tomorrow I could come up with a solution to my problems.
I woke up in a field of winter moonflowers, midday judging from the sun’s position. I was naked other than the necklace nuzzled between my breasts. I had grown to hate the piece of metal that once represented their love for me but still couldn’t take it off. I often wondered if it was due to some residual mate bond that wouldn’t allow me to rid myself of the last piece of them.
It was time to head back to the pack and speak to Jason. Spending the night in my safe place let me come up with a plan. I would ask to be reassigned and focus on my Lycan business, forgetting about mates and love altogether. Maybe I could do some good by dedicating my life to protect others. It was clear that a mate and pups weren’t in the cards for me.
A growl spread from behind me, joined by another one and then another. I spun around and found several ragged-looking wolves. I had walked right into the rouge’s hiding place without even knowing it, some Lycan I am. The only consolation was that I was fresh out of the Academy and not a seasoned Lycan.
Lumen snickered. “Thought you needed a distraction so I tracked them all night and found their camp just downhill from this meadow.”
I guess I’m a better Lycan than I thought or at least Lumen is. “Thank you, Lumen.”
I assessed my situation and found five medium-sized wolves with matted and some mangy fur, one wolf had more scars than I had ever seen. They looked like they had been around for more than their fair share of fights and probably lost most of them.
The wolf in the middle growled and lunged towards me. Since I was still in human form and didn’t have time to shift, I dropped to the ground and let the wolf pass over me. While the wolf recovered, I started to shift staring with my claws. Another two wolves approached from opposite directions.
One of the wolves carelessly attacked my leg, leaving his side exposed. I swiped at him and drew four long claw marks stretching from his hip to his ribs. The wolf collapsed and I turned around to deal with the other wolf. He backed up when he saw his friend on the ground bleeding out.
It gave me enough time to fully shift and I managed to go for the throat of the first wolf, tearing it out. I watched the light go out of his eyes before I turned around to deal with the last three wolves.
They were all approaching me with bared teeth and snarling. Their back legs retreated, indicating that they were about to lunge. I snapped at the wolf on my right and managed to bite her on the shoulder. She let out a loud yip and but my internal celebration was short-lived when one of the others bit me in the leg and twisted. I heard a sickening snap and the pain radiated to the rest of my body.
The adrenalin in me allowed me to keep fighting. Limping on three legs proved fighting difficult but my determination won. My claws swiped against the wolf that bit me, leaving marks across his face right over his left eye. He whimpered and scurried off down the hill.
The two remaining wolves were temporarily distracted so I took the opportunity to gain the upper hand. I rolled over on my back and bared my neck, luring them in. They took the bait and approached. The only wolf left without a mark from me attacked and went for my throat but at the last minute, I turned over and bumped him.
He landed on his back, hit his head on a large rock, and passed out. The last wolf swiped at me with his claws and blood started dripping from my shoulder and front leg. I kept going and the wolf’s eyes darted between me and her passed out friend. She tucked her tail between her legs and ran off.
The only wolf left was still laying by the rock, I limped over and snapped his neck. It wasn’t a warrior’s death but I couldn’t risk the wolf recovering and take out revenge.
A deep breath later and taking a minute to look around for more rogues but didn’t find any I used the position of the sun to find my bearings. I started walking or rather limping in the direction of the packhouse.
Several hours and many ounces of blood loss later I was still nowhere near the pack grounds. My consciousness was slipping in and out and I feared that I might not make it in time. I laid down to rest my legs for a minute but when I awoke it was dark.
I didn’t know how long I had been out but knew my time was running out. Despite being a Lycan my wounds hadn’t started to heal and I guessed it was due to my injuries being too severe. I mustered up some strength since my adrenaline was long gone and kept limping one step at a time.
I started to hear the familiar sound of wolves playing, laughing, and having a good time. A few more steps and I was out of the woods and clearly visible.
I collapsed and let out a big sigh as I heard voices surrounding me. I couldn’t make out what they were saying but felt two strong arms lift me up, green apple and lemon invaded my senses and I couldn’t help but snuggle in close.
I was getting pretty tired of waking up disoriented and in a different place. The beeping monitors let me know I was in the hospital and I could smell the twins in the room over the antiseptic smell.
“I know where they are, or at least where they were. We can pick up their trail from the campsite and track them.” I sat up but the pain in my leg reminded me of my injuries and I slammed back down to a laying position.
The twins were standing by my bed with looks of concern. Liam reached out to touch my hand but quickly retracted it. “You’re not going, tell us where and we’ll take care of it.”
“No,” I exclaimed through clenched teeth. The pain was bearable and it seemed my healing had started.
“Olivia.” Jameson started and then looked at his brother for support.
Liam nodded and continued. “We’re not letting you get hurt anymore. Tell us where.”
“Why not? Do you hate us that much?” Jameson pleaded.
“You’re not trained for this, you’re not strong enough, you’re not Lycans.” I spat. I realized that my words were similar to the reason they had rejected me in the first place. They were almost enough, almost strong enough. Almost.
Both their eyes turned black and the familiar gold flecks danced in them. Their wolves were surfacing. “But Leo is?” Jameson spat.
“Do you see him here? By my side?” I spat back at him.
“He tried to come in but Alpha Jason ordered him to stay away. I guess he didn’t want to see his mate hurt like this.”
I laughed and the sound echoed in the room. “Leo could care less what state I’m in.”
“That’s not true, he’s your mate. A mate is the most precious thing in the world.” Liam laced his hand with mine and looked me in the eyes.
I was seething with anger. What does he know about the value of a mate? He threw his away like yesterday’s trash. “Maybe he should have thought of that before he fucked your sister and marked her,” I screamed at them and forcefully removed my hand from his. “Get me Jason.”
Both the twins were in shock at my news and hurriedly walked out the door to get Jason. A few minutes later I heard their footsteps in the hall and they entered my room again with Jason in tow.
“You can both go now.” I calmly said and watched them slowly retreat. I was sitting up and had moved over enough for Jason to sit on the bed in front of me. I patted the bed, motioning for him to sit.
“I need you to meditate with me so I can heal.” I pleaded.
“Ok, but afterward we will talk about Leo.” Jason grabbed my hands and started chanting in the ancient language of the lycans. It didn’t take long for me to start feeling the cooling sensation on my wounds as it started to heal just to be replaced with heat.
30 Minutes later most of my injuries were healed enough that I could walk although with a slight limp. Jason helped me get dressed and then I headed for the door but was stopped by Jason’s voice. “Sit. You owe me a talk.”
I rolled my eyes and sat down like an insolent pup in trouble. “Fine, talk.”
“I spoke with Leo.” He sighed. “He’s hurting.”
“He loves you,” Jason assured but his words felt empty.
“He doesn’t know what love is. What we had was real, not brought on by a mysterious force that bonded us together. My love was real, she will never be able to give him that.” I started to break down, feeling comfortable enough in Jason’s presence. “We were even trying for a pup.”
Jason swooped me up and held me in his lap. “I know, Olivia. He’s a fool for doing this to you. No mate could be better than you.” He kissed my forehead. “It’s no secret that I love you and if you’ll have me I would like to make you happy.”
“Jason?” I sniffed and wipes my tears away. His face was genuine, his words were true. “I do care for you... but I have no love left to give. After Liam, Jameson, my baby, and now Leo. There’s nothing left of me but a shell. I can’t trap you in a relationship like that.”
“You’re not trapping me,” Jason promised and kissed me on the mouth. I lost myself in his lips but quickly realized what I was doing. I was seeking comfort in a man that loved me but I couldn’t love him back. A man that belonged to another, Betty.
I broke the kiss. “Jason, I’m going to finish my assignment here and then I’ll ask for a new one, then another and another after that. I’m not coming back home with you.”
“Please,” Jason begged as he cupped my face.
I looked down and shook my head. I wanted to comfort him but none of my words could fix the heartache we both felt. “I... Jason, what about Betty?”
Leo came running into the room and stopped in his tracks when he saw us embracing. His eyes turned black in anger. “What the fuck, Jason?”