Faith (Quinn) POV
I was speechless. After composing ourselves Jayce and I had sat down again to continue our conversation. Jayce had explained to me how he believed that I was not human and that I was actually a shifter...like him.
“I don’t understand” I spoke up after sitting, for what felt like hours, in silence, “How could I be a...shifter...and not know?”
“That I can answer” responded Jayce, leaning forward in his chair, “How old are you?”
What a weird question, I thought to myself. How did age have anything to do with being a shifter or not?
“Nineteen” I answered, “twenty in two weeks, but I don’t see how that is any of your business”
“Well, a shifter is pretty much a human until they reach their twentieth birthday. More or less”
“More or less?” I echoed.
“Yes. To anyone else you appear completely human. You have no power, no ability to shift. The only thing that really sets you apart is the voice inside your head”
Rogue! I felt my stomach turn. I couldn’t believe all this time I’d thought I was crazy, I had pretty much convinced myself that I was schizophrenic and I had been comfortable with that. What an idiot!
Jayce smiled as he saw the realisation spread across my face.
“I thought I was crazy” I mumbled, “this whole time I’d convinced myself that I was a nutter, destined for the looney bin”
Jayce went to reach across the table for my hand but stopped short. I looked across at him and he sighed.
“As much as I would like to comfort you right now...I don’t think that would be a wise idea”
I blushed. I knew exactly what he was getting at. If this conversation was going to continue we needed to remain on opposite ends of the table and the less touching, the better.
“That voice is your animal” Jayce continued, “Your animal will usually surface around your sixteenth birthday and slowly grow stronger until you turn twenty”
“What happens when you turn twenty?” I asked.
I sat back. Taking it all in. I couldn’t believe my parents had kept this from me. I wonder if this had anything to do with Clayton’s obsession with me. I had so many questions but I still didn’t know if I could trust Jayce enough to ask him.
“I was ten”
Jayce looked at me confused.
“I was ten when my voice surfaced. She made me punch a kid that had been bullying me”
Jayce rubbed the stubble on his chin and shook his head.
“Are you calling me a liar?”
Jayce got up, pacing, before resting his hands on the back of his chair. He looked troubled, his knuckles whitening as he gripped the wood underneath.
“I’ve never known a shifter to have their powers surface at such a young age. I was fourteen and that was unheard of. My parents put it down to the pure Alpha blood running through my veins”
“Well my parents were both human, so that clearly isn’t the reason for me”
“Also impossible” Jayce said, matter of factly, “A shifter cannot be born to human parents. They were either lying to you or they are not your parents”
Jayce’s abruptness caught me off guard. Had he known my parents were dead maybe he wouldn’t have been so blunt about it. Maybe if my parents had lied to me about me being a shifter they may have also lied about themselves. Thinking about mum and dad made my heart ache, I needed them now more than ever and I was the reason they were dead.
“This is a lot to process” I sighed, “I think I need to have a lie down, my head is killing me”
“I have a spare room, it’s all yours” Jayce said quickly, “You’ll be comfortable there, it’s nicer than the motel and safer”
I looked over at Jayce. Stay under the same roof as him? I didn’t even know if I could trust him. My gut and heart were telling me to trust him but my mind, ever the skeptic, was telling me to get out of there.
“What did Brad mean earlier when he said that he wouldn’t have touched me if he had known who I was?” I asked, “Who am I?”
Jayce laughed and ran his fingers through his hair.
“You’re my mate” he hummed, “No one will lay their hands on you as long as I live. You are the mate of an Alpha wolf...I’ll kill anyone if they hurt you, including members of my own pack”
As far as answers went, that was a pretty good one. It also made sense. Any thoughts I’d had about Jayce knowing anything about my past were fading away. I wanted to trust him, I needed to trust him.
“Why do your eyes turn black?” I asked tentatively.
“It happens when my wolf comes to the surface. Usually when I’m angry or...” Jayce smiled and winked at me.
“Horny” I finished for him.
That also made sense, but didn’t really make it any less terrifying. I guess I just had to make sure I wasn’t the one making him angry.
“Ok, I’ll stay for now” I answered.
A smile spread across Jayce’s handsome face and my heart skipped a beat as he grabbed my back pack off the table.
“Great. Follow me”
My room was simple but nice. It was upstairs and opposite Jayce’s room. There was a beautiful queen size bed and my own bathroom. I also had a view of what Jayce described as ‘the training grounds’.
I looked out the window and watched as men and women of all ages trained in a variety of different fighting styles and techniques.
It was amazing. There were full grown beasts of men training young children. There were tiny, slight women sparring with men twice their size and doing a remarkable job.
This really was a community. Jayce had explained that everyone that lived within these gates were wolves or if they were human they were in a relationship with a wolf or a child of one. Everyone had a role within the community. Some were front line fighters, some were medical professionals, some were teachers, some were chefs, and so on. There were a few wolves that carried their professions outside the gates as well.
Matt owned and ran the bar, some of the doctors worked in the town’s clinic and a lot of the fighters worked in local trades.
Jayce mentioned that he was going to find me some work after I had refused to stay here rent free. I liked that he respected the fact I wanted to earn my own keep. What I didn’t explain to him was that I wanted to be able to save some money for if I ended up on the run again. I would have to be pretty naive if I thought that Clayton wouldn’t eventually find me here.
It was clear that I couldn’t go anywhere until after I turned twenty. Once I had completed my first shift Jayce explained that I would have strength and power and would be a force to be reckoned with. If I was ever going to take on Clayton then I would need all the strength and power I could muster.
After leaving Faith to make herself comfortable I headed over to Cameron’s place which was located next door to mine. It was customary that the Beta live next to the Alpha and was available to him at all hours of the day and night.
Cameron had sent me a text an hour ago to say that he had some more information on Faith. I was intrigued but also felt slightly guilty that I was having someone look into Faith behind her back.
I hadn’t known her long and I clearly didn’t know her well, but I guess the fact that she was my mate meant that I trusted her and wanted to protect her. On the flip side, being Alpha meant that I also needed to protect my pack. If Faith was hiding something from me, I had to know, especially if it was something that could potentially endanger the pack.
“Want a drink?” Cameron asked as he poured himself a Whiskey.
“Am I going to need one?” I asked tentatively; It wasn’t a good sign if Cameron was offering me a drink at this hour of the day.
Cameron shrugged and poured me one anyway, placing it on the bench in front of me.
“Spill” I sighed, “don’t keep me waiting”
Cameron put a large folder in front of me and shook his head. I opened it and started scanning through as Cameron spoke.
“We thought that we had come to a dead end with Faith” he started, “Until we started looking outside the box. We tracked sightings of her close to Green Falls and then looked into the towns closest to that to see if anything stood out”
I eyed off the map that Cameron had contained in the folder. Multiple towns had pins in them to show sightings of Faith and a rough timeline of when she had visited them. Cameron tapped on a circle on the map.
“Atlas?” I asked, looking at the town he had touched.
“Yep. This is where it gets interesting. Just over two weeks ago, so just before Faith started on her journey, there was a brutal murder in Atlas”
Cameron turned the page and I winced as I looked at the photos. They were crime scene photos from a house where a man and woman had been savagely murdered, the man having his head completely severed from his body.
“What does Faith have to do with this?” I asked.
“Have a look closer at the fireplace”
I looked closer at the image and my eyes caught sight of a framed photo sitting on the mantle. The photo was of the murdered man and woman...and Faith.
Cameron gave me a minute before continuing.
“So after seeing these crime scene photos I had a chat to a buddy that works for Atlas P.D. He said that the murders remained unsolved and that the only lead they had was a lead that they couldn’t find...”
“Faith” I breathed.
“Only that girl in the photo, the daughter of the victims, isn’t called Faith. Her name is Quinn, Quinn Roberts”
I sat back in my seat and pinched the bridge of my nose. I couldn’t really make sense of what I was hearing or seeing. I didn’t know what I wanted to believe and I knew my feelings towards Faith were what was clouding my judgment. Only she wasn’t Faith, she was Quinn- so she had already lied to me.
Did she witness the murders and escape? Did she know her parents were dead? Did she have something to do with the murders? Did she murder her parents?
I was pissed off. I was pissed off that she had lied to me about her name, even after I had offered her a place to stay, even after I told her she was my mate. I had been honest with her and had welcomed her into my home, into my life.
“Jayce” Cameron said, regaining my attention. I looked up at him and waited for him to continue.
“The people that were murdered, they were human. They weren’t shifters”
I nodded, I knew what Cameron was getting at because it had already crossed my mind. It was obvious that Faith...Quinn...was a shifter, of some sort. There was no way that her parents could be human. The people in that photo were not Quinn’s parents.
“She said to me earlier that her parents were human, I just figured they had lied to her to protect her from knowing that they, and her, were actually shifters. Clearly the lie that they were hiding was not that they were shifters, they were hiding the fact that they were not actually her parents at all”
Cameron nodded and scratched his head, looking uncomfortable.
“Cam, whatever it is...just say it” I spat.
“I’m saying this as your Beta and your friend” he started, “I know she is your mate and I am so happy that you have been able to find her—”
“But. If there is a chance that she had anything to do with that horrific scene in front of you then is it really safe to have her unsupervised in your pack house?”
I shut the folder and stood up from my chair, slamming back my Whiskey at the same time. Cameron was right. As much as my heart and wolf told me Quinn was good, the fact that she had already lied to me was something I could not look past. I had a pack to protect and I couldn’t let my needs and wants get in the way of that. Quinn needed to learn what happens when you take advantage of an Alpha’s trust.
I strode up the stairs, taking two at a time, before stopping in front of Quinn’s bedroom door. I could hear the shower running and I took a deep breath, exhaling slowly before I opened the door and walked in. I could see her back pack sitting on the bed, it was open with clean clothes spread out next to it. I picked up the black lace g-string, rolling the soft material between my fingers.
I turned to face the bathroom, seeing the door was open. I approached slowly and watched Quinn’s silhouette moving under the water, steam protecting her modesty. I could make out the shape of her breasts and the curves of her hips as she moved to wash herself. I growled under my breath and my wolf stirred inside. I paused for a second; knowing this wasn’t a good idea. Part of me knew I should wait, remove myself from her room and respect her privacy. But the other part of me didn’t care; she’d lied to me, this had to happen now.
Suddenly, as if sensing my presence, Quinn spun around and screamed.
My wolf reacted, her fear disarming my human side, allowing my animal to reach the surface. I pushed the shower screen open and watched as Quinn scrambled to cover herself with her arms and hands.
“What the fuck are you doing Jayce?!” She screamed.
I stepped into the large double shower, Quinn backing herself up against the wall. She looked up at me, I could feel the fear and anger radiating from her.
I could also feel the lust.
I grabbed her chin and lowered my head, lips hovering above her’s. The water showered over us, my breathing labouring in the steam. I heard a small, sensual cry escape her and she moved her lips closer to mine.
I dropped my head to the side and brushed my mouth against her ear, feeling her body tremble against mine.
“Quinn...” I growled