Never Ago (Book 1)

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Clear Reflection

Lily rolled over to her back with a pounding heart and chilly bones. The last time she ever faced a rogue on the edge of life and death was the night her parents got murdered in front of her. She was trying hard to focus because her trauma was numbing her limbs.

With a roar, the rogue leapt for her throat. She jumped to the side and snapped her jaws at the scary rogue which was twice her size. She had no clue how to attack, her training so far had been about defense so she used her instincts.

Lily snarled at the wolf, challenging his ego and ran in the opposite direction of Joey. Her ears picked up the crazed growls of her predator and soon two other wolves surrounded her from both sides. She led them to the forest behind the school and ducked when one of the wolves jumped at her. The wolf landed in front of her and whirled around with his canines bared.

The larger wolf raised it's extended claws and narrowly missed her neck when she rolled to her side and crawled through roots. Her size gave her the advantage of making it to the other end while the wolf that swooped after her got stuck in the thick wines in the ground.

The other two wolves chased her to the deepest part of the forest. Vicious roars and heavy clashes filled the air. There was a whole pack of them fighting the warriors. Lily ran straight up to a tree, the wolves behind were too focused on her to notice the last minute side jump. As she disappeared from their view, their heads drove into the wide trunk of the tree. One of them fainted and the other swayed on it's legs.

Seizing the opportunity, Lily clamped her jaws on his throat and cut out a lot chunk of flesh. Blood splattered her body with vengeance.

Lily shifted back in horror and instantly threw up. The image of her parents lying dead in a pool of blood and broken bones flashed through her head.

Mom, dad! The blood curtling screams of her sister rang in her ears. Lily! No, no, no! Help me!

Another wave of nausea hit her. Her arms gave out and she collapsed on the ground. Lily, get your sister out of here! Run!

"It's Lily!"

The voices and cries reached her ear but she couldn't process anything. Her mind had stopped working as the scenarios from her parents death paralysed her limbs.

But Ezra heard. He was there. The moment her name reach his ears, he left his men to fend for the disaster and dashed to her side. In his haste, he shoved the paramedics away from her. His heart freefalled to his guts when his eyes caught sight of the blood painting her skin.

"Get the fucking doctor!" He screamed and scooped her up in his arms. His knees nearly bucked when he gazed down at his mate.

Her eyes fluttered then closed, her arm dropped from her lap. The sight wedged a knife in his chest.

No one had seen the Alpha run as fast as he did then. He went past the buildings in a blur until he reached the hospital and barged into the nearest doctors office. The nurses and two doctors in the room shot up to their feet faster than light.

"Check her!" Ezra placed Lily carefully in the couch. He snarled at male doctor reaching for her wrist. "Not you, get the nurse!"

He frantically grabbed the doctors coat from one of the chairs and cover her body with it and kneeled by her side. The trembling nurse checked her pulse, her eyes and then her abdomen for injuries.

"She's not hurt, Alpha. She's unconscious." The nurse blurted. "Her body isn't wounded."

Ezra drew a huge breath of air and clutched his hair. "So much blood..."

"It's not hers. I'll take care of her if you could take her to one of the rooms."

With shallow breaths, he rose only in hid briefs and picked her up like a fragile door then followed the nurse out of the office to a room and placed her on the bed by the wall. He sat on the bedside stool and let the nurse fetch a bowl of water and a towel.

Rattled, he watched the nurse clean the blood from Lily's body like a hawk. It bothered him immensely seeing someone else touching her skin even if it was a woman. The thought of losing her shattered him into tiny shards. He was still reeling from the shock.

Ezra! His father mind-linked him urgently. Come to the packhouse as soon as you can.

His gut wrenched. He didn't want to leave Lily in that state. Why?

Why?! Your pack was under attack, you idiot. His father bellowed. Azazel is here to see you and you have to control the damage inflicted on your pack. Get your ass over here right this second or I swear to goddes–

Ezra shut his mind-link off and sighed. He walked over to the bed, pecked Lily on her forehead and brushed her hair away from her face. The nurse fumbled with the bowl and disappeared into the adjoining bathroom.

"Hang in there for me. I'm sorry I have to go but I promise I'll be back soon. Don't go anywhere, okay?" He spoke softly, peering down at her peaceful face with a yearning that surprised him.

He kissed her lips firmly and walked out of the room with a sour mood. Each step he took away from her tugged at his throbbing heart.

The packhouse was buzzing with concerned parents, guards and guests. He climbed the stairs two at a time and joined his father at his office.

Cole was there along with a handful of warriors, the former Beta and his son Luke. Azazel was seated at the couch with a stack of papers in her lap.

"Ezra. There you are. Come here," his father waved him over to his desk. "Three of the schools in the pack were attacked. The surveillance team of the buildings have reported abduction. They were attacking the warriors but none of them hurt the children." He rotated his screen around to show him the footage. "There are eleven children missing."

Azazel strode over to his side and threw the stack of papers to Cole. "Our pack was attacked earlier today. I was hoping I'd get through to you fast enough but as it seems, I couldn't. There are seventeen children missing from our pack. This isn't a coincidence. There's no proof of children's abduction in the history of their attack. This is new and worse."

Ezra leaned over the desk, planting his fists on it's surface. "What could they possibly gain from children?"

"No clue. I'm going to visit the other packs and see if I can dig something up. Another shocking news is that we're not the only ones."

Ezra shot up straight. His father rose from his chair and nodded at his questioning eyes. "The only lead we have right now is that the five most dominant packs are targeted. Similar events occurred in the span of one day. This is no longer a matter of defense."

Cole skimmed the documents in his hands and frowned. "You mentioned here, they abducted the Luna in their previous ambush."

Azazel tied her hair in a knot and pulled out a tab from her bag. She tapped on the screen a few times then handed the tab over to the new Alpha.

"The reason why their prey pack collapsed last year is the disappearance of their Luna. Their Alpha experienced her death which drove him to temporary insanity. They used his condition to their advantage. Since your new Alpha has no mate yet, your pack has no reason to worry about your Luna. If he had one and they had caught a whiff of her then she'd be toast by now."

The air was knocked out of Ezra's lungs. Is that why she was attacked? No, no. Nobody knows about her, damn it.

His father came into his line of sight with a determined look in his eyes. "Son," he gripped his shoulder firmly. "Azazel has one day of informing the other packs before she returns. We're going to take this issue to the high council."

Ezra nodded. "I'll take care of the pack."

Luke cleared his throat and appeared by his side with a tray. In the center of it laid a golden feather with a blue gems adoring it's stem. He knew what it was. It was the honorary symbol of a new Alpha.

"The ceremony is tomorrow before I leave, son. I want to leave this pack in your hands like how it should be before I head for the council. We'll have to forget about the formalities of celebration until after this whole situation is under control."

Ezra eyed the feather and blinked. This meant he had to chose his Luna tomorrow. His stomach tied up in knots at the thought. He was hurled into an ocean of decisions. So many, hard and fatal.

"Do you understand?"

His father waited for his objection. Denial, disbelief, frustration or anxiety. He even prepared himself to hear that he hadn't found his mate yet which was part of the ceremony. But he only witnessed his acception.

"Yes. I'll prepare the training ground for tomorrow. Right now, I need to check up on the prisoners. Cole and Luke, follow me."

With that, the new Alpha exited the office. Azazel slipped her tab back into her bag and slung it over her shoulder. "I'll see you soon, Alpha. And congratulations for your son but if he decides to choose his Luna tomorrow, keep an eye on her."

They shook hands. "I'll make sure of that."

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