We descended the stairs into the pack house basement, the door had been unlocked at the top which made me think we had been wrong about Cami being down here. There had been no sign of any wolves in the house, not even the scent of one.
“You smell that?” Mason asked.
I nodded. Blood, human blood. The basement was lit up from the moonlight shining through the windows at ground level, casting ominous shadows over the room.
Then I saw her, the petite red head that had been in Quinn’s photograph. She was lying in the fetal position against the back wall, she was alive but not in a good way at all. I ran over to her while Mason and Chad kept lookout. I touched her shoulder gently and she flinched, a small cry escaping her blood covered mouth.
“Shhh. It’s ok Cami. I am a friend of Quinn’s, I’m here to save you” I soothed.
I looked around the room, this wasn’t adding up and it had me feeling nervous. I turned and looked over at Mason as he started approaching me.
“Something is wrong Jayce” he said, sighing as he looked down at Cami.
“I know, where are the guards? Why was the door not locked?”
“Not just that. I tried to mind link Cassius and got nothing...Quinn too”
The hairs pricked up on the back of my neck. I closed my eyes and focused on my mind link to Quinn, there was nothing. I couldn’t get through either, something was blocking us.
“Fuck. We need to get out of here”
I looked down at Cami again, there was no way she would be able to walk. She would need to be carried out of here.
“Chad. Get over here” I called.
Chad came running over and winced as he looked down at Cami. It made me sick that Clayton could do this to anyone, but to have done it to an innocent human woman was despicable.
“I need you to carry Camille out of here. Mason and I will make sure you’re both kept safe”
Chad nodded and knelt down to pick up the injured woman, cradling her gently in his arms as he stood back up.
“Q-Quinn...” she whispered, barely audible.
“It’s ok Cami. You’ll get to see her soon” I answered.
Just as we started heading up the stairs I felt a tightening in my chest, I looked over to Mason and could see that he felt it too.
“Quinn. Somethings wrong!”
I ran up the stairs and into the living area of the pack house. The house was still in darkness and I couldn’t smell any wolves. Something looked different though, I couldn’t put my finger on it. As much as I wanted to get to Quinn fast, I knew we had to be careful for any traps or ambushes.
Mason and Chad came up behind me, I put my arm out to stop them walking any further.
“Was that rug there before?” I asked, indicating to the long carpet runner that covered the floor between us and the back door.
“No, it wasn’t” Chad answered, “and the back door was open”
He was right. Someone had been in here while we were downstairs, why couldn’t I smell them?
“Stay behind me, we’re going out the front” I said.
I walked slowly through the living area, making sure there were no traps set. When I got to the door I opened it slowly, thankful to see that they hadn’t bargained on us leaving this way.
“You guys head out and find somewhere sheltered. I need to make this look like they got the jump on us”
Mason and Chad walked outside, moving to some shadows beside one of the neighbouring buildings. I knew something had been set under that rug, hoping that we would walk straight over it with Cami on the way out the back door.
I looked around the porch for something heavy and picked up the bench seat that sat against the wall. I stepped in the doorway and lifted the seat, throwing it as far as I could, so it would land on the rug...then I turned and ran.
Just as I had expected, there was an explosion, sending smoke and debris everywhere. I managed to gain enough shelter under a nearby vehicle to avoid anything landing on me.
“You good Jayce?” Mason asked as I emerged from under the vehicle.
“Yep. Now let’s go find my Luna”
I couldn’t pick up Quinn’s scent but I could pick up Cameron’s. We tracked it to a cabin to the West of the compound. The smell of Cameron’s blood was strong and I kicked the front door in.
I ran over to where Cameron was lying on the ground, Beth was lying over the top of him, crying uncontrollably.
“T-they captured m-me and b-brought me here” she sobbed, “T-they were going t-to kill m-me but Q-Quinn made t-them take h-her instead”
“Fuck, where did they take her?” I asked.
I looked down at Cameron, there was a lot of blood from a wound on his head but I could see the wound was already starting to close and the bleeding had stopped. He would be ok.
“Where is Clayton, Beth? Did they say anything about where exactly they were taking her?”
Beth thought for a moment then shook her head, sadness in her eyes.
“No, they didn’t say. They left in a vehicle though. Jayce, I couldn’t even smell them coming, they came out of nowhere. I tried to mind link Cam and I couldn’t”
I nodded and patted Beth’s back. Just then I heard a noise outside and my father came barreling in, blood and dirt covering his body.
“Jayce three vehicles left the compound. We tried to stop them but they had more wolves waiting at the main road. We’ve lost four of our own...”
“Fuck! We need to track those vehicles. If anything happens to Quinn...”
“We’ll get her back son, trust that she can hold her own until then”
I opened my eyes slowly, the side to side movement making me feel nauseous. Where was I?
“Aghh” I groaned as I tried to move my arms.
I was hanging by chains around my wrists, suspended from a rafter beam than ran the length of the ceiling. I looked around the room, it wasn’t familiar. There was a bed and some other furniture, there was also a window but it was covered in floor to ceiling red drapes. I tried wriggling my wrists to see if I could slide my hands out of the restraints but the metal bit into my skin and made them tighten a little bit more.
“Fuck” I groaned.
“Now, now. That’s no way for a lady to speak. Or should I say...Luna?”
I tried to turn my body to face the voice, causing the chains to cut in even more. I hissed at the sudden pain.
“Don’t worry. I’ll come to you” the voice came again.
I heard footsteps approaching from behind and felt something touching my hip. I looked down to see a hand tracing along my shorts until a man came to stand in front of me. He was tall with dark hair, the sides peppered with flecks of gray. A beard covered his square jaw. His face was angular, harsh. His eyes were dark and cold...if they were a window into his soul, then he didn’t have one.
“Clayton” I growled between clenched teeth.
“Aria” he drawled.
I flinched at his use of my birth name. How dare he use the name that my mother gave me? the mother that he murdered.
“It’s Quinn” I spat back.
Clayton laughed and continued to walk around me, his eyes raking over every inch of my body. My skin crawled as he licked his lips. Then he leant forward, smelling me.
I attempted to kick him but he moved easily out of the way.
“I can smell him all over you” he sneered, his eyes darkening more.
“You didn’t waste anytime opening your legs...and to the Alpha? My money had been on the Beta”
“Fuck off” I hissed.
Clayton hummed and rubbed his jaw.
“I wish you wouldn’t swear. It’s not very becoming”
Was he fucking serious?
“Fuck off” I said again, then spat at his feet.
Clayton growled and punched me in the stomach, hard. I coughed and groaned as the air was pushed from my lungs.
“Now. Enough of that. I don’t want to hurt you but if you’re going to act like a dirty-mouthed whore then I will treat you like one”
“You don’t want to hurt me?” I laughed, “then why the fu- ....why am I here?”
Clayton raised his eyebrow and continued circling me, tracing his cold fingers over my body.
“To be my Luna, why else?”
I felt the bile rise in my mouth and had to stop myself from vomiting.
“You heard me. I’ve never had to work so hard to pursue a woman in my life. Nineteen years Quinn, nineteen years you’ve kept me waiting”
“I was a child! You sick fuck!” I screamed.
Clayton punched me in the stomach again and I cried out.
“Language my dear”
I couldn’t believe it. All this time I had been under the impression he wanted me dead but instead he wanted me as his mate. At this stage I couldn’t think of what would be worse.
“Well you’re too late. I am mated to the Alpha of Fern Creek, we are bonded for life” I replied.
“Yes, I’m aware of this. But you know what the funny thing is about life?” He asked, looking at me, “it ends when someone dies”
Jayce. What was he trying to say?
“Good luck with that. Jayce would wipe the floor with you” I laughed.
Clayton smiled, an evil smile. My heart sank.
“Jayce is no longer an issue. He fell right into our trap. He, your father and your little friend Cami, they’re all dead”
I felt another wave of nausea come over me, my skin felt cold and clammy. He was lying, he had to be. If Jayce and my father were dead then I would have felt the bonds break. Then I remembered the cloaking spell and the block on our mind link...maybe that blocked everything else too.
“No” I whispered, a tear running down my cheek.
“Jayce wasn’t worthy of you. You wouldn’t have been able to reach your full potential ruling next to an arrogant child like him. I will nourish your power, I will encourage your wild side. And our children...”
“Children?!” I screamed, cutting him off “I’ll never have children with you! If that’s your plan, then just kill me now”
Clayton’s eyes flashed black again and he grabbed a lever on the wall, pulling it. The chains around the rafter suddenly released, dropping me to the floor below. I winced as my head hit the ground. Clayton wasted no time, coming down to my level and grabbing me around the throat. He turned my head so I was staring him right in the eyes.
“Wether you like it or not, you will produce my offspring. Once you have done that if you still wish for me to kill you then that can be arranged”
Clayton threw me back down to the ground and stood up, walking towards the door. He turned back around to look at me and shook his head.
“Clean yourself up and get some sleep. In the morning you become my Luna”
Then he was gone. Slamming the heavy wooden door behind him and locking it. I searched in my head for Rogue but she was nowhere, I don’t know if this was because of whatever I had been injected with or if she was mourning the loss of her mate.
I refused to believe that Jayce was gone. Surely I would have felt something, regardless of whatever magic had been used...love was stronger than that. I wiped my tears with the back of my hands and dropped the chains to the ground. I had never even told Jayce that I loved him, and I did love him, with all my heart.
I stood up, still a bit unsteady on my feet. I moved as quickly as I could towards the window and pulled the drapes across. My heart sank as I looked at the thick steel bars that covered it. I was in a cell. I looked out the window to the forest ahead, the moon lighting up the tree tops like a painting.
“Jayce” I whispered, “I love you”