Blood Stained

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Chapter 11 - Ghosts Of The Past

Jayce POV

I had left Quinn alone to unpack and get some rest. Matt agreed to stay at the house to keep an eye on things while I went to see Cameron.

I sat down and told Cameron Quinn’s story, the second I mentioned Clayton’s name he started making phone calls.

“Thanks Alec. I appreciate the information, I’ll be in touch. Just keep this to yourself for now. Cheers”

Cameron hung up the phone and sat back in his chair.

“So it’s him?” I asked.

I had pretty much got the gist of the conversation between Cameron and the Alpha of the Eastern Ridge pack. My Beta nodded and noted down a few things in his folder.

“Clayton was banished from the pack after the fire nearly twenty years ago that killed Claudia and her pups”

I knew this already. A lot of pack members thought it was Mason that lit the fire but the vast majority believed it was his Beta, Clayton. After a vote it was decided that Clayton was to be banished from Eastern Ridge as Mason had already left. They never found out who really lit the fire but couldn’t risk the danger he posed if it were actually him.

As far as I knew, Clayton had travelled South and started his own pack after meeting up with a few other rogue wolves. I had my strong suspicions that it was Clayton that lit the fire all those years ago.
He had been very vocal about there being something wrong with the twins and had even tried to convince Mason to kill them. You can imagine how that went down. Clayton then tried to convince the pack that Mason had lit the fire to kill the babies and knew that Claudia could never forgive him, so killed her too.

I’d seen the love that Mason had for Claudia, they were mates. Just like my parents and just like Quinn and me. There was no way Mason would have killed his mate and no way he would have killed his own pups.

“Last I heard Clayton was Alpha of the Orcann Pack” I said, “but that was sometime ago”

“He still is. With no heir he has continued on as Alpha”

“Why haven’t any of the younger wolves stepped up?” I asked.

Usually if an ageing Alpha had no heir, a younger, stronger wolf would challenge the Alpha for the role.

“A few have, I believe. Alec heard that Clayton had fought them and won...then killed them and tortured their families as punishment”

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How had I not heard of this sooner? This was not the way pack dynamics were meant to work. As much as I’d love to go down there and show Clayton what a real Alpha was like...I needed to get to the bottom of what he wanted with Quinn first.

“What else did Alec have to say?” I asked

“He hasn’t seen Clayton in years and apart from the odd rumour here and there, he doesn’t know much about his pack either. He said the pack doesn’t liaise with any other’s in the area and have a pretty bad reputation”

“I see”

“I’m not sure what Clayton would want with Quinn. Are you sure she doesn’t know?”

Cameron was still skeptical that Quinn was telling me the whole truth. I believed her though but there was still something that was playing on my mind that I needed to get some clarity on.

“She’s telling the truth” I said, standing and heading to the door.

“Where are you going?”

“To see my father”

My father, Dominic, lived in a cabin to the rear of our community fence line. He enjoyed being out of the way and spent his days either training young wolves in the training grounds or fishing in the creek that ran alongside his property.

I had taken over from my father as Alpha 9 years ago. He’d been the best Alpha this pack had seen and as much as he told me that I was doing an amazing job, I still felt like I fell a little short.
The difference was that Dominic had led alongside his beautiful mother, Delilah. Their love had been epic and gave hope to all wolves in the pack that they too, one day, may know the joy of meeting their own true mates.

Sadly my mother had been killed in a car accident not long after my twentieth birthday. Her death was devastating and had taken a toll on my father. It was decided that I would take over from him when I turned twenty one. I was young for an Alpha but my wolf had been well and truly ready for the role.
Now that I had found my mate I was hoping that I could live up to my own expectations of what an Alpha should be. Hopefully Quinn would agree to be my Luna and we would lead this pack together.

“Jayce. Come on in” my father greeted me as I knocked on the front door, “here for some more help with controlling that wolf of yours?”

I laughed as I walked inside.

“No actually, I’m here to talk about Claudia”

Dominic looked at me quizzically and gestured for me to sit down.

“Claudia? That’s a name from the past. What makes you want to stir up old ghosts, son?”

“You knew her when she was young didn’t you?”

Dad smiled and grabbed himself a beer from the fridge, he offered me one and when I declined he shrugged and took a seat.

“Yeah of course. She was fifteen when she moved into the Eastern Ridge pack to be with Mason”

I knew this was a difficult topic for my father. He and my mother had been so close to Mason and Claudia. After the twins had been born and Claudia pretty much cut everybody off, my mother had tried so hard to reach out; but it was of no use. The next we had heard Claudia and the babies had been murdered and Mason had fled. Not having closure had been rough on my parents.

“I remember you had a photo of the four of you hanging out by the old paper mill. I was wondering if you still had it”

“Why Jayce?” Dominic sighed, finishing off his beer already.

“I need to see something. Please dad”

Dominic grumbled and stood up. I watched as he rummaged through a draw in his hall table. He pulled out a photograph and passed it to me.
I looked at the image. Claudia’s face was unmistakable. She had been breathtaking. Her hair in long blonde waves down to her hips and her skin, flawless and sun kissed. Then there were her eyes, ice blue and soul piercing...just like Quinn’s.

The likeness was undeniable. The only difference was Quinn’s hair colour, which was clearly, looking at the photo, the same colour as Mason’s. I couldn’t believe it, this changed everything.

Clayton POV

I laughed as the wolf in front of me coughed up more blood and struggled against his restraints.
I had spent the last six hours torturing him and it was beginning to pay off. Weak bastard.

Where is she?” I asked again, selecting a iron mallet from the table beside me.

The wolf coughed again, more blood trickling down his chin. Although he was a wolf he was not shifting into one anytime soon. I had injected him with enough wolf sedative to comatose his animal for a very long time. Without his wolf he wouldn’t be able heal any faster than a normal human being.

“I d-don’t kn-know” he stuttered

I smiled wickedly and slammed the mallet down on his left hand that was tied to the arm of a chair. The man howled as bones splintered his skin.

“One more time. Where is she?”

“I said I don’t know!” The wolf roared, “I told you, she passed through our town w-weeks ago”

I rolled my eyes and twirled the mallet around as I sauntered over to the man’s other hand. I heard him whimper, he knew what was coming.

“So...who called your Alpha asking about her?” I asked

“I don’t know! I d-didn’t take the c-call!” He choked as I raised the mallet above his hand.

“Wrong answer”

I sent the mallet slamming down, squashing his hand against the chair, his fingers spreading in all different directions. The man screamed.

“Next time this mallet is going to end up between your you had better think of something”

The wolf dropped his head forward, his shoulders heaving as he struggled not to vomit over himself.

“Cameron. That’s all I know” he murmured, “They said his name was Cameron”

I smiled to myself. At least that was something, a name I could work with. I wandered over to the table and picked up a machete.

“Thank you for your cooperation, let me get you out of these restraints” I drawled

The wolf looked up at me, his swollen eyes growing wide as the last thing he saw was the machete swinging straight for his neck.

Quinn POV

It was morning and as I walked past Jayce’s room it was clear that he hadn’t returned home last night. I don’t know why it bothered me, but it did. I wandered down the stairs and had just reached the bottom when Jayce walked in the front door.

He had two men with him. One I recognised from the day Jayce attacked me and the other, older man, I hadn’t seen before.

I smiled at Jayce as he slowly approached me.

“Hey” he greeted me softly.

He looked tired, like he clearly hadn’t slept in a while. His eyes wandered over my body before resting back on my face. I sucked in a breath as his fingers gently grazed mine, the energy crackling between us.

“Hey to you too” I whispered

I heard one of the men clear his throat behind us and Jayce turned to face them.

“Sorry Quinn” Jayce said “This is Cameron, my Beta” he said, gesturing towards the younger of the two, “and this is Dominic, my father”

Of course it was. My eyes lit up and I took Dominic’s hand, shaking it. I couldn’t believe I was meeting his father.

“Call me Dom” he said warmly.

Dom smiled at me. It was pretty obvious from looking at him that he was related to Jayce. They had the same facial features and the same dark eyes. Dominic was ruggedly handsome but looked much too young to be Jayce’s father. He didn’t look much over forty.
I knew, from talking to Moira, that shifters aged differently to humans. After they reached the age of forty their ageing process slowed substantially, making it very hard to get a gauge on how old they really were.

“Nice to meet you Dom” I smiled in return.

“Quinn, we need to talk” Jayce said. He gestured towards the lounge and we all took a seat.

Matt had slipped out as Jayce had returned home, poor guy must have spent the night on the couch. Making sure I was safe, no doubt.

“Have you got information on Clayton?” I asked

“Quinn, what do you know about your parents?”

I looked over at Cameron, why was he asking about my parents?

“What do you mean? Their names were Stacey and Marcus Roberts. Mum was a writer and dad drove trucks for a living. They raised me in Atlas...they’re dead...”

Jayce sat next to me on the couch and put his hand on my knee.

“What do you know about your biological parents?” He asked.

My stomach turned and I looked at him, waiting for him to elaborate. I knew what Jayce was implying, how could human parents have a shifter child?

“They were my biological parents Jayce. Maybe they lied to me to protect me, maybe they were shifters too”

Cameron shook his head and looked at Jayce, who nodded at him, giving him permission to jump in.

“Quinn. I have been making a lot of phone calls, speaking to a lot of people. I have contacts in all sorts of places, one of which is in the Atlas Police Department. This contact was able to look into the investigation into your parents murder”

I felt my face paling and I squeezed Jayce’s hand.

“When a shifter dies in their human form they appear completely human to the untrained eye. The only way to differentiate is to test their blood. My contact was able to get into the morgue and test your parents blood...they were completely human”

I knew what this meant. My whole life had been a lie, and for more reasons that one. If it was impossible for two humans to have shifter offspring, then they clearly couldn’t be my biological parents.

“I had no idea” I breathed, “They never said anything, my earliest memories are with them. There are photos of me as a baby with them. I had no idea”

“Quinn, we think we know who your real parents were” Jayce said, rubbing my hand.

I felt tears welling behind my eyes. It was all just too much. I had just been told that the only family I had ever known were not my real family. It’s not like I could even confront my parents about it, they were gone. They raised me from a baby and loved me with all their hearts.

“Stacey and Marcus Roberts were my real parents” I said, tears running down my cheeks, “They may not have given birth to me, but they were my parents”

Dominic handed me a glass of water and sat down on the other side of me.

“Of course they were, little one, no one will ever take that away from you. What Jayce is trying to say is that we know who your biological parents are and it explains why Clayton has been searching for you all this time”

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