Blood Stained

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Chapter 17 - The Shift

Clayton POV

I was use to being in control. I was use to getting what I wanted. I was use to having everyone kneel to me but right at this moment things were not going my way.

From the moment I had found out that Aria...Quinn was alive, I had vowed to track her down and take her. Twenty years ago I hadn’t fully understood what Quinn and her brother had been, I’d acted irrationally and to this day I regretted lighting the fire. I knew exactly what she was now and finding out that she wasn’t dead was music to my ears.

My pack was strong, they were ruthless. I’d spent the better part of twenty years recruiting rogue wolves from all over the region to join me. But I wanted more, I needed more. I wanted my pack to be the strongest pack out there and to do that I needed a weapon...that weapon was Quinn.

I thought that this would have been an easy task, to find her and grab her, but the sneaky little bitch had managed to slip away every time I got close.
I knew that if I could take her before her twentieth birthday that it would make life easier, she would be weak and any fight that she would put up would be futile.

The one thing I didn’t count on though was that Quinn would find herself a nice little home and a nice little mate in Fern Creek. I’d managed to locate the wolf, Cameron, that had been snooping around the other packs, looking for information on Quinn. Turned out he was the Beta of Fern Creek.

I snarled and kicked the table in front of me. Fern Creek. It had to be Fern Creek. I hadn’t been able to find out who Quinn’s mate was yet, my bets were on the Beta, considering he was the one asking all the questions.

I knew there was no chance of me getting Quinn out of there before she turned twenty, which was tonight. Even if I rallied all of my fighters we still wouldn’t stand a chance. The casualties would be too high.

Their Alpha, Jayce, had a reputation. A reputation of being one of the strongest, fiercest Alphas around. A reputation that I would love to destroy. I had known Jayce when he was a pup. He had been arrogant then too. I wasn’t stupid though, I needed a plan. If I went in there now, guns blazing, it would be all for nothing. Wether I liked it or not Quinn would shift tonight and become something that not even I could name.

I wondered if she had told her mate what she was. I wondered if she even knew what she was. I was hoping that once her new pack saw what she really was that they would cast her out, that was my best option.
But if her new mate was anything like Mason, then I knew I would need a plan B. To get my weapon I would need a weapon.

“Alpha...”

I turned around and faced one of my wolves standing before me.

“What is it?” I snarled, annoyed to be broken from my train of thought.

“TJ and Brax have returned”

“Did they bring back what I asked for?”

The wolf nodded.

“Excellent”

I followed the wolf to the basement of my pack house and grinned as I saw the present my men had brought back for me, my weapon to get my weapon.

I sauntered over to the human tethered to a chair and pulled the bag off her head. She screamed and pulled at her restraints.

“Hello Cami” I purred.


Quinn POV

Shit. Fuck.

I had underestimated the density of the forest that surrounded the pack compound. You would think that considering soon I would be not just one, but three, super powerful animals that maybe I would have some sort of sense of direction; but no. I was well and truly lost.
The sun had gone down hours ago and I was starting to regret my decision of sneaking out. Everything looked the same, the trees all looked the same. There were no landmarks to give me any indication of if I was heading in the right direction.

I wondered if Jayce was out looking for me or if Brad was right. Maybe Jayce would just go find another she wolf when he realised that I’d left. Maybe he would think that I had no intention of coming back.

I kept my arms out in front of me as I slowly plodded and stumbled my way through the dense scrub. I had always had better night vision than most but the darkness before me was ridiculous. My arms and legs stung from tiny scratches from the dry branches that I was constantly wading through.

“Crap!”

I bent down and picked up what was left of my sandal. The strap completely snapped leaving the shoe unwearable.

“Anything else you want to throw at me?!” I yelled into the sky.

Just then, as if some higher power was answering my question, I heard a low, deep growl emanating from the forest behind me. A cold chill ran over my skin and my stomach flipped. Maybe it was Jayce coming to find me...
The growl came again. This time it was closer and louder. I could hear twigs cracking on the ground and the rustle of leaves as something moved towards me. I squinted my eyes, unable to see anything in the trees that surrounded.
The growl started to transform into a vicious sounding snarl, I could almost make out the sound of teeth gnashing together and saliva dripping from lips.

That’s not our Alpha. Run!

Without a second thought I jumped up and started running. I leapt over rocks and roots, focusing on my balance and trying my hardest not to fall. I had no idea if I was being followed, the only sounds I could hear being sticks breaking under my own feet as I fled in terror.

I cried out in pain as a branch whipped across my face, slicing open my right cheek. I kept pushing forward as I felt the warm blood trickle down my skin.
Then there was light! I could see a soft glow streaming through the trees ahead of me. I ran towards it, my legs burning and my lungs aching as I forced myself to move faster. It was a clearing, the warm glow of the moon cloaked the small space in light. At least if I could get in the middle of the clearing then I would be able to see whatever was hunting me.

I burst through the trees and stumbled into the grassed area. My heart was pounding in my ears and my body trembled from the adrenaline pumping through it. I tried to slow my breathing so I could focus more on the sounds around me.

Stupid idea! We are exposed here. We need cover!

I knew Rogue was right but I couldn’t keep running. For all I knew I was just getting further and further away from the compound and Jayce would never be able to find me.

He will find us. He is our mate.

My head snapped around as I heard movement in the trees to my left. My mouth went dry and clenched my fists. I heard the same low growl as before and I knew it had found us.

Run! We need to run!

I squeezed my eyes closed and shook my head. Running was pointless. I was just giving my hunter the joy of the chase, I refused to go down that way. I had been running my whole life and I was done. It was time to fight. The trees began to part in front of me and a large, low shadow began to emerge. My eyes grew wide as I took the creature in.

Run!

“No!” I screamed.

The beast stepped further into the light.

Wolf.

It’s eyes locked on mine and it stalked slowly towards me. It was massive, I had never seen anything like it. The wolf’s coat was a dark grey and shone like silk under the light of the moon. It snarled at me as it closed the distance between us, white fangs glistening and saliva frothing.

A sense of calm began to wash over me, accepting my fate. My eyes stayed locked with the beast’s as it closed in.

4 metres.

I drew in a deep breath, releasing it slowly.

3 metres.

I wiped the sweat off my palms on the sides of my shorts and readied my stance.

2 metres.

I slowly reached for the scabbard on my belt containing my...

“Shit!”

1 metre

The scabbard was empty. My flick knife was gone. I could feel the wolf’s hot breath on my face as it stood directly in front of me. It’s eyes didn’t break from mine. Why wasn’t it attacking me?

I lifted my hand slowly, I could feel my fingers trembling as I reached towards the animal. The wolf’s lips closed over its teeth and I watched it’s nose twitch, taking in my scent.

Suddenly a blood curdling howl tore through the forest behind me. Not even a second later another wolf came barreling through the trees towards me. It was almost twice the size of the grey one and it’s fur was as black as night. My skin tingled and the energy in the air crackled around me.

Alpha!


Jayce POV

“Matt and Moira, take East. Cameron and Brad take West. I’ll head North” I barked orders as we stood in the location that Quinn had last been.

Normally I would have just tracked her by scent but this forest was thick with the scent of shifters. Quinn’s smell stood out but it was weak as she hadn’t had her first shift yet.

Which is only an hour away.

“What are you waiting for!? Find her!” I growled.

I watched as all four pack members shifted into their wolves. Their clothes tearing and thick coats of fur spreading over their bodies.
I completed my own shift and ran North, smelling the air as I pushed through the trees.

As pissed off as I was, it felt amazing to let my wolf run free. I had been too scared to let my wolf out in fear of hurting Quinn, and look where that got me. I was angry at her for leaving the compound when she knew I had ordered my pack to keep her in. My anger was blended with fear. These forests weren’t safe for anyone on their own at night, let alone a female that was due to shift at any moment.

Then there was Clayton. For all we knew he had just been lying wait for Quinn to leave our protection. He could have located her already. Quinn and I hadn’t completed the mating bond yet therefore if something was to happen to her I wouldn’t have the connection of the bond to alert me.

I growled and continued tearing through the trees. If anything happened to Quinn I would never forgive myself. If I hadn’t rejected her last night this wouldn’t have happened. We would have completed the mating bond and I would have been linked with her on the deepest of levels. I would have been able to find her instantly, I would be able to sense her fear and after her shift I would be able to mind link with her.



I had been combing the forest for close to an hour. Midnight was only minutes away and my wolf was frantic. I had picked up Quinn’s scent several times but it kept going cold. I stopped at a low hanging tree branch that was coated in a dark red liquid.

Blood.

I sniffed the blood and growled.

Quinn!

She was close. I could sense it and the blood was still warm. I looked around, studying where Quinn had moved through the trees.

“No!”

My head shot up as I heard Quinn’s voice. I lunged forward, tearing through the trees. She sounded scared, she sounded desperate. I had to get to her. I saw the small clearing up ahead and I pushed forward. Then I saw Quinn. She wasn’t alone.

I howled loudly as I burst through the trees into the grassed space. Quinn spun around and I watched as her face changed from fear to recognition, she knew I was here to save her. Quinn stepped to the side and my gaze focused on the wolf behind her.

It was a large male wolf but his size was nothing compared to mine. There was something about him that was different, his animal scent was so much stronger than his human scent. He almost smelt like pure wolf.

The grey wolf roared and swatted Quinn to the side. My anger intensifying as I watched her body fall limply into the grass. He ran towards me as I put all my weight on my hind legs, propelling myself forward. We were both airborne and the forest thundered with the sound of our bodies crashing together.

Being the bigger and heavier wolf I had the upper hand and pinned the grey wolf’s body under mine. I kept my head clear as he snarled and snapped his jaws, trying to get a hold of anything he could. I bit down on the wolf’s shoulder and held him in my grip. The wolf howled out in pain and used his strong hind legs to kick forward and push me off him, dislodging himself from my mouth.

The grey wolf shook his head, his lips curling up and teeth on full display. We moved in a circle, stalking one another and watching each other’s every move. I could tell my bite was causing him significant pain as he favoured his leg.

Just then the wolf turned his head towards Quinn as she groaned and sat up in the grass, holding her head. I chose this moment to make my move and lunged at the wolf. Just as I was about to strike he stepped to the side and raised his good paw, swiping it across my face. I roared as I felt his claws tear through the skin, momentarily blinding me. I rolled on the grass as I lost my footing. Blood stung my eyes and dripped down my face. I knew my injury was significant but nothing I hadn’t recovered from before.

I braced for the next attack, expecting the wolf to pounce before I regained my senses.
Then I saw the grey wolf, instead of preparing to attack me he stood face to face with Quinn.

Suddenly the injury to my face was the last thing on my mind. I howled loudly and flew towards the wolf. Every fibre of my being was screaming at me to protect Quinn. I wasn’t going to let him hurt her again.

Quinn lifted her hand to the wolf’s face. What was she doing?

I bared my teeth and pounced on the wolf, knocking him off his feet. Quinn yelled out to me but I couldn’t make out her words. My focus right now was to protect Quinn and destroy the threat.

I jumped onto the wolf’s back and pinned him to the ground again. Before he had a chance to kick me off I bit down on his neck. I clenched my jaws, my mouth filling with warm liquid as the wolf’s blood pooled between my teeth. I dropped my weight on him as he writhed around under me.

As I felt his movements start to weaken I heard a growl. The growl was guttural and primal, it forced me to look in the direction it was coming from. I let go of the wolf’s neck and turned, just in time to see a magnificent silver wolf lunge at me.

Quinn!







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