Chapter 29 - The Search
Ian’s POV - Just After the Kidnapping
Mark and Daniel were still arguing, although now it was with each other. Mark was blaming Daniel for the whole thing and Daniel was yelling at Mark for keeping Irie’s identity from him. Whatever, they knew they weren’t leaving with her and after dad had his say, they weren’t even trying anymore. They were bitching at each other and keeping us from following Irie.
“I really don’t care what more you have to say, you can sit in here and whine for all I care, so long as you leave after that. We have a mate to mark.” I walked out of the room after having my say.
Irie must have already gone outside because I couldn’t see her anywhere as I went down the stairs. I could still smell her though, so she had to have just left. I walked outside and toward the podium, but still didn’t couldn’t find her.
Damien, are you on your way out, I can’t find Irie.
I just told Mark and Daniel to shut up. Mark asked if there was somewhere he could restrain Daniel, he’s afraid when we mark her, Daniel may freak out. I escorted them to a spare room and I’m on my way.
I continued to look around but still nothing, I did find Tori though.
“Tori, have you seen Irie? She came out here so we could finish the ceremony but I can’t find her anywhere.”
She looked at me, worried. “It isn’t like her to disappear. I haven’t seen her either, I didn’t even see her come out of the pack house.”
Now I was really worried. It wasn’t likely that she was mingling with the pack members right now. I could see her doing that after the ceremony but not while she was still waiting for us to mark her. I started walking around, trying to scent her in the area, but found nothing.
Damien, I still can’t find her.
I turned around to find my brother running toward me. “I’ve asked several warriors and they haven’t seen her since we all went inside.”
“What the hell?”
Damien thought for just a minute. “Close the boarders and check on Daniel and Mark. We don’t know if they brought anyone else with them but we have grounds to hold them if we think they did. Then lets get everyone in the pack spread out and find her. We’ve scented her enough and she carries her own that many now know from meeting her.”
I started calling warriors over by mind link as Damien gave his own orders to Kota about Mark and Daniel.
We explained what was going on to the warriors and trusted them to get everyone else going. Meanwhile, Damien, Kota and I were headed back to the pack house to address Daniel and Mark.
We walked in on Mark trying to explain what Daniel might experience once we marked Irie. I would have felt bad for him, except for the fact that our mate was missing. “Change of plans.”
“What’s going on? If you want us to leave now, at least give me a few hours to get him to a safe place. The moon would still be high.” He was worried about his pup. I had to admire that.
“No, we have a problem,” Damien stepped forward. “Irie is missing. Tell me the truth right now Alpha, did you have her taken?”
“Wait, what do you mean she is missing? You think we did something?” To his credit, Daniel was freaking out a bit.
“We have pack members searching the entire grounds and are closing our boarder. If you had anything to do with her disappearance... speak now.” I’m glad Damien was taking point with them, I wouldn’t be able to contain beating the truth out of them. I kind of wanted to just for the hell of it anyway.
“We have nothing to do with this!” Mark was less concerned about Irie and more about the accusation. I get it, after what dad had said, he probably didn’t want a reason for us to rip into them.
“Mark...Daniel, until we find out more, I need to confiscate your phones.” Daniel tossed his at me while Mark grumbled a bit but finally handed it over. “You’ll get them back once we’ve found her.”
Kota took their phones for us and we left and moved back to the conference room to speak with our and Irie’s parents. We had received word from the warriors that they had gotten everyone going. Every adult in the territory understood that the to-be Luna was missing and was out on search.
“We have the pack searching but I’m going out myself.” Damien chimed in with a me too. “Will someone stay here and help keep watch over those two?”
Both our parents and Irie’s volunteered to stay. Irie’s parents said they would talk with Mark and Daniel more, look for signs they were linking back to the pack or try to get information out of them. They had known Mark for years before they entrusted Irie to him, so they thought that they could maybe get him to open up. That is, if he was hiding anything. Our parents said they would help map out where the pack has searched.
Damien and I separated and shifted, running in wolf form around the pack lands trying to find our mate.
By dawn, everyone was worn out, and Irie still hadn’t been found. We sent most of the pack members home while the warriors continued the search, reporting back to Damien, our father, and I as to where they’d looked. They were working in shifts so that some could rest while others searched, then switch. Dad had a giant map of the territory in our office and was physically marking where the searches had been. As proud as I was with how large our territory was, right now it was a damn headache. There was so much land to cover.
Damien and I couldn’t catch Irie’s scent anywhere but just outside the pack house too. Whomever had taken her had somehow concealed her scent.
We had searched all day and through the night. Adam and Catherine said they didn’t think Mark or Daniel had anything to do with it. Even though Adam was still pissed about everything, he was willing to believe him. We invited them to eat with us. Well, mom and dad did at least. Damien and I just wanted to look more but they were forcing food in us.
This cycle went on for two days.
“Damn it! Where could she have gone!” I wasn’t even angry at anyone in the room, but rapping my fists on our desk just made me feel better. At least for half a second.
Tori had joined us as well. “Irie isn’t one to just run off. Even if she was upset, she wouldn’t have gone anywhere. Something has to have happened.”
“I really don’t think that Mark or Daniel had anything to do with this.” Catherine added. “Daniel’s freaking out almost as much as you two are and Mark is just cranky. They’ve been volunteering to help search with us or other pack members, knowing that we’re not entirely trusting of them.”
“Mark’s phone has been going off since just after we took it from them. Daniel’s too. I can’t tell if it’s pack related or not.” Dad supplied. “We could monitor them reviewing the messages, just to make sure.” He had zero trust in them, especially after Mark had nicked mom.
“Tori, can you and Kota go get them?” She nods to me and leaves the room. A few minutes later she returns with them both, Kota right behind her. Daniel looks like he hasn’t slept in days, which I assume is how I look.
“What is going on? Have you found her yet?” He asks.
“If we had, she’d be here right now.” I admit I growled out the words, I’m cranky and I want my mate back in my arms.
“Mark, your phone has been going off. I assume that your pack would mind link you but not sure if you have other business that may require phone communication?” Dad asked, making it glaringly obvious that he suspected something.
“I have trade with other packs yes but nothing that would be critical. They would be contacting my mate right now if they needed anything urgent.” He offered.
“Then open your phone and show us what the emergency has been.” Dad threw his phone at him and he looked at it strangely.
He unlocked his phone and handed it back to dad. “I assume you still think I have something to do with this. I have nothing to hide and as much as I wish things were different, I wont be held responsible for her going missing. Go through my phone all you want.”
Dad did just that.
“Well, you do have two messages from other packs about what I assume are treaties, but both are followed with the update that they spoke with your mate. Then there’s a message from your mate, asking why the hell your link is blocked. Good news for you is that helps your case. By the way, she seems pretty pissed. You might want to touch base with her soon. However, there are several more messages from an unknown number here.”
Dad starts reading the texts, not outloud, while I eyeball Mark. He looks confused and doesn’t seem anxious, but I also don’t know the man to know if he has any tells.
“This is quite interesting... Here, I’ll just let you all read it yourselves.” Dad passes the phone around.
Two Days Ago 9:00 PM UNKNOWN: This is Riley. I snagged your number from the kid when we were on the way to RiverRun.
One Day Ago 11:20 AM UNKNOWN: Although you two are worthless, you better keep up your end of the deal.
This morning 8:27 AM UNKNOWN: Since you don’t want to respond, I’ll assume you’re going back on your word. So I’ll just up the ante. You accept me into your pack and you can have the girl.
Minutes Ago 11:32 PM UNKNOWN: For fucks sakes, I’ll spell it out. I have her, if you want her you better get back to me. Oh, the bitch is pregnant too. If you don’t have any interest in her, let me know.
“What the fuck is this?” I ask as he finally reads through the texts.
Daniel reads over them while Mark stands there dumbfounded. “I’ll tell you everything.” He pipes up after his dad obviously can’t think of shit to say. Daniel explains their entire encounter with Riley. How they met her, what she said to them, specifically leaving out that we were true mates, and how they helped each other get inside the boarder. He also explains that Riley wanted into their pack, even knowing that it was their plan to bring Irie back with them.
“Call her, tell her you left just after finding out that Irie went missing, say you are willing to go through with this deal. Figure out a place that you can meet her and we’ll go with you. Riley lost her shit when we kicked her out for attacking Irie. She’s obsessed with us...I didn’t realize it was this bad.” Damien continues to explain Riley’s mental state when we kicked her out. All of her antics, the commentary she had about Irie being a thief and a liar, all of it... I, on the other hand, am just feeling guilty. Guilty that I didn’t see the signs of her infatuation gone too far, guilty that she’s the reason that our mate is missing, and more guilt over how far she went over this.
“Lets get a move on. I don’t trust that she wont harm her.” I’ve known Riley a long time, she is ruthless.