The Alphas of North Forest

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Chapter Nineteen

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Rosemary’s POV.

My mind slowly wakes up. I groan as my stiff body twitches. Something hurts, a lot. My wrists. I groggily open my eyes and blink against the bright light. The first thing my sight focusses on is my wrists. They’re bound together with tight plastic cable ties that are cutting into my skin.

There are more cable ties, attaching my bound hands to a metal bar along the wall. I look around at the corrugated metal. There’s the smell of rust, metallic and salty, in the air.

I’m in an old barn or warehouse, by the looks of things. There is a gap between the metal slats in front of me, allowing a beam of sunlight on my face. I’m still wearing all of my clothes, so the temperature isn’t too bad. I lift up onto my knees, wincing at how stiff my body feels.

The sun is still up and shining brightly. I can’t have been out for more than a few hours. With my wrists tied, I can’t reach for anything to use as a tool or weapon. There’s nothing in my pockets and my backpack is missing.

At the far end of the building, the door opens. The blonde man, Brock, strides in. I swallow hard, feeling how dry my mouth is. He stops and kneels in front of me. He pulls something out of his pocket and fear grips me, my mind telling me that it is a knife or a gun. It’s a phone, but not mine. He places it on the ground in front of him. Obviously, he’s expecting a call.

“W-why did you take me?” I ask him, my voice thick.

I clear my throat, trying to sound more like myself. Brock’s face turns cold and he sits on the concrete floor, about a metre in front of me.

“Your mates and I go way back,” he says angrily. His nostrils are flaring and his eyes are filled with aggression. “Did they ever tell you how they got their territory? How they became the Alphas of North Forest?”

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Ezekiel’s POV.

“I need to go, the lecture starts in ten minutes,” Emmanuel says. I don’t look up from my laptop. “Have you heard from Rose?”

I shake my head and glance up at him. “No. Why?”

“She texted to say she was back on campus just before 11, but I haven’t heard from her since.”

“She’s probably with Oya. She said at breakfast that she was going to meet up with her today.”

Emmanuel’s frown fades. “Oh, yeah, she did, didn’t she? Well, I guess I’ll see her in ten minutes, anyways.”

“Alright. I’ll meet you after and we can go home early today.”

“Good idea.”

My twin leaves the room and I continue creating these term papers. Ten minutes later, my phone buzzes with a text.

Rosemary not in class. Oya is. Text Oya and ask her, I need to teach.

I frown at the text.

Where is our mate?

It’s not like her to miss a class. Ever. I pull up a new message to Oya and ask if she knows where Rosemary is. Her reply comes through less than a minute later.

She asked to meet me on campus at 11, but she was a no-show. Tried calling her twice but she didn’t answer. Have you not heard from her?

Fuck.

Panic rushes through me and I dial Rosemary’s number. I listen to it ring, and ring, and ring.

“Rose? Where are you? Call me as soon as you get this, kitten.” I leave a worried voicemail and then text her.

Where are you? Are you okay? Call me asap.

I’m worried, kitten.

A sick feeling settles in my stomach. I get up and go to Emmanuel’s lecture. I know he’s teaching, but fuck it. I stand at the door and my movement catches his eye. He looks over at me from behind his desk and I shake my head, letting him know that I haven’t got in touch with her. I open the lecture door, hearing him address the students.

“I am very sorry, but something personal has come up. I will upload this PowerPoint onto the system. Read through my slides and I want you to make notes from slides 11 and 12 in particular. Email me if you have any questions, I’m sorry about this.”

He dismisses the class and I march over to him.

“She’s not answering her phone, Oya hasn’t heard from her since 11.”

Emmanuel’s jaw clenches and his expression turns grim. “That’s the last time we heard from her, too.”

“She’s been MIA for three hours?” Oya asks from behind us.

We both spin around to face her. “She went to the cemetery this morning to visit her Grandmother and then took the bus back,” I recite to them both. “She texted us to say that she was on campus just before 11.”

Oya nods. “She texted me a bit before that, asking to meet at our usual spot in the square at 11.”

“We need to get back to the pack,” I tell Emmanuel. “We can collect the warriors and try to track her scent.”

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Rosemary’s POV.

“What do you mean how they became the Alphas of North Forest? Did they not inherit the role?” I ask naively.

Brock snorts. “They really haven’t told you anything, have they? You know that their parents are the Alphas of South Forest, right?”

I nod. That part, they did tell me.

“Well, little Emmanuel and Ezekiel decided that they didn’t want to wait for mummy and daddies to hand over the title, they wanted to steal it from someone. My father.”

My eyes widen in surprise.

They killed an Alpha for his position?

“That doesn’t sound like my mates,” I respond.

Brock growls and slams his fists on the concrete. “Well, it is!” He shouts. “I watched them murder my father in cold blood. They ripped out his heart and then snapped the neck of his Beta.”

My heart pounds quickly in my chest. I’m in the hands of a madman. My mates would never do such a thing. He’s crazy.

“What do you want with me?” I ask timidly.

Brock sneers. “They took my family. The only family that I had. They took my birth-right, my pack. I’m going to take the two things that mean the most to them; their mate and their pack. I will kill you and then kill them, and I will get my pack back.”

Shit.

“You are going to stay here whilst I go and talk to your mates. If you’re lucky, they’ll be smart and hand over their pack without a fight. If they do that, I might let you live, or I’ll make your death quick, either or.”

He leans in close to me, making me grimace and lean away from him.

“If they refuse, I will take my time killing you. You see, you were only meant to be insurance. But seeing how happy you are with their marks on your neck, is making me angry than I thought it would.”

Self-consciously, I bring my scarf up tighter around my throat, covering the marks. Brock gets to his feet, grabs his phone and storms out of the building. I sag against the wall behind me.

What I am going to do?

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Emmanuel’s POV.

It’s been five fucking hours.

“How have we not found her?” I snarl in frustration.

We have all of our best trackers out in the forest. We started at campus and radiated out in a circle. We have covered miles of ground, but there is no sign of her. No scent, no trace, nothing. Her scent disappeared right next to the west entrance of campus.

It’s like she just disappeared. Or got into a car and drove away. She was taken. Of that, I’m certain. Our mate wouldn’t leave us. Not after all the progress we have made. She knows how worried it would make us.

My phone buzzes and I answer it immediately.

“You need to come back, someone wants to speak to you and your brother,” Ruthie’s strained voice fills my ear. She sounds as though she is being choked. “Come quickly.”

She gasps and the phone goes dead.

“Someone is threatening Ruthie, we need to get back to the pack,” I tell Ezekiel.

“What if it’s a trap?”

“It’s the only lead we have on Rose, come on.”

We rush back to our territory. We sent out an alert to our pack when Rose went missing, they’ve been advised to stay in their homes. The pack area is dead when we pull up outside the main building. Ez and I run inside, heading straight for our office.

We burst through the door. The first thing I notice is Ruthie. She’s lying on the sofa, bound and gagged. She’s unconscious and there’s a large gash on her head, where she has been hit with something and knocked out.

Sat behind my desk, with his feet propped up on the surface and his hands behind his head, is someone I never wanted to see again. Someone we thought to be gone. We thought he had moved on from his declaration for revenge. It’s been almost ten years.

After eight years, we thought we’d seen the last of him. But, here he is, sitting in our office. Brock Turner.

He smirks and puts his feet down. “Took you long enough,” he sneers. “Did you miss me?”

I growl and make to lunge at him, but Ez’s arm comes over my chest, stopping me.

“Keep calm, brother,” Ez warns. “We need him alive.”

Brock smirks. “Yes, you do.”

He stretches his arms above his head and stands up. He rounds the desk and sits at the front of it, acting like he owns the place. My hands clench and unclench into fists at my side. I grind my teeth, desperately holding myself back from ripping his puny little head off.

“I have come to challenge you,” he says boldly. “Give back what is rightfully mine. This is my birth-right. This pack belongs to me.”

“We are not giving you the pack,” Ezekiel replies through gritted teeth.

Brock laughs humourlessly. “I knew you wouldn’t be smart about this. Alright. I, Brock Turner, challenge Alphas Emmanuel and Ezekiel to a fight to the death. Winner is declared Alpha of North Forest.”

“What about Rosemary?” I ask him. “Where is she?”

Brock shrugs. “I wouldn’t know, but I bet she’s doing just fine. Right now, you have more pressing things to deal with. You can’t ignore a challenge. It’s law.”

He’s right. It is law.

“If you have harmed one hair on her head,” I threaten him, taking a step forward.

Brock rolls his eyes. “She’s fine. Chill.”

“Let’s get this over with,” Ez growls. “Then, we can get our mate back.”

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