Love Stained

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Chapter 20 - Jawbreaker

Jayce POV

I couldn’t help it if I was jealous, hell, if she put herself in my shoes, Quinn would be jealous too. My wolf wanted to lock her up, keep her caged and safe and far away from that fucking panther; but my human wanted to trust her, know that she would never hurt me or betray what we had.

Then she walks in the door, while I’ve been patiently waiting for her, trusting her...smelling like Kyanite. With fists clenched and gritted teeth I listened to her explanation; or half listened as I was too focused on trying to keep my wolf from breaking through and tearing the pack house to shreds.

“It’s absolutely not what you think” she sighed, annoyed with my outburst.

“Try me” I spat.

Quinn stood her ground, arms crossed in front of her chest. I looked at her face, noticing the redness in her beautiful blue eyes. She had been crying. She had been crying and that piece of shit Prince had been the one to comfort her.

Or the one that made her cry.

My anger was reduced to a simmer. I didn’t like seeing her upset, I wanted to spend my whole life making sure she was never upset again.

“I bumped into him and it surprised me, I lashed out and threw him to the ground”

“What did he do to you?” I asked, knowing Quinn didn’t just lose her temper over nothing.

“He didn’t say anything”

She was lying but I wasn’t going to push the subject.

“I’ll go shower if it’ll make you feel better” she added.

I sighed and walked towards my mate, wrapping my arms around her. She melted into me and I rested my chin on the top of her head.

“You don’t have to do that” I answered gently, “I’m jealous, I know that but I’m not going to apologise for it. I know this whole thing is hard for you but it’s bloody hard for me too; you just need to remember that next time I lash out...because I assure you, there will be a next time”

I felt Quinn nod her head against my chest and she gave a little sniffle. I held her tighter, my wolf enjoying that his mate was taking comfort in him instead of the panther.





We travelled up to Eastern Ridge in two vehicles. My father agreed to stay back at Fern Creek with Mason to handle things there and ensure that the lockdown I imposed stayed in place. It was imperative that we kept all the citizens of Fern Creek safe and within compound walls until we dealt with the matter of the missing wolves.

Quinn, Cameron and myself travelled in one vehicle and Moira and Percy travelled with Kyanite in another. I didn’t want Quinn and the panther travelling in the same car if I could avoid it. I hated the way he stared at her, he didn’t even care that I was there. I couldn’t stand him.

“Welcome!”

Cassius and his Luna, Lily, greeted us as we approached the pack house. Lily was the heart and soul of Eastern Ridge. She had filled such a void in the pack after the passing of their previous Luna, Alessandra. The daughter in-law seemed to take being a Luna in her stride, she was a natural.

“Cassius, Lily. Good to see you again, although I wish it were under better circumstances” I said, shaking Cassius’s hand and giving Lily a peck on the cheek.

Cassius nodded and embraced Quinn in a hug, patting her on the back.

“Good to see you cousin”

Quinn smiled warmly.

“You too”

After everyone had exchanged pleasantries Cassius’s attention turned to the Prince. He straightened his shoulders and dipped his head respectfully.

“Prince Kyanite, welcome to Eastern Ridge”

Good old Cassius. Ever the diplomat.

Kyanite seemed surprised by the warm welcome and dipped his head in return.

“Alpha Cassius, Luna Lily. Thank you for having me”

“Is that Jawbreaker Jayce I hear?!” Came a loud female voice from inside the pack house.

No fucking way!

I cocked my head to the side as a face that I hadn’t seen in many years popped into view, practically bounding out the front door.

“Gretchen! Since when have you been back in town? Or the country for matter of fact?” I laughed as Cassius’s older sister came running into my arms.

I hadn’t seen Gretchen for about ten years, I hadn’t even been Alpha then. A lot had changed in that time, I just hoped she was aware of that.

“I’ve only been back a day. I was going to head off again pretty soon but my little bro tells me that you might need my help...”

Cassius cleared his throat.

“Her little bro...as in, her Alpha”

Gretchen was part mage, just like her brother but she had developed, over the years, a keen interest in ‘mythical’ and magical history. I guess you could say she was a historian of sorts. I wondered if she knew anything about Magdalene, if she did, her help would be absolutely welcomed.

“I hope you don’t mind” Cassius added, “I told her what Moira told me. Between Gretch and Farley I think we have a pretty good idea of what we are dealing with”

Cassius moved to the side and gestured for us to step inside the pack house. Everyone entered but I was held back for a moment by Quinn as she gripped my hand.

“What’s wrong?” I asked as she looked up at me.

She shrugged.

“Who’s Gretchen?”

Wasn’t that obvious?

“She is Cassius’s sister and extremely well versed in the history of pretty much anything other worldly...or our worldly”

Quinn nodded, still looking into my eyes like she was searching for something.

“Come on. They’re waiting for us” I said quickly and tugged her hand gently for her to walk with me.


Quinn POV

Everyone took their places at the large round table. I hung back for a minute to pour myself a drink from the water jug on the the buffet. To my surprise, when I turned around, Gretchen had taken a seat next to Jayce.

Not cool.

I already didn’t like the possessive vibes she was giving off around my mate and now she had taken my seat at the table. I couldn’t sit on the other side of Jayce because Cameron sat there, that was his place. The Beta sat to the right of the Alpha during pack business and the Luna sat to the left; but the thing that annoyed me most was that Jayce hadn’t even noticed.
One person that had noticed was Kyan. He looked at Gretchen and Jayce, chatting away like best buds, then looked back up at me with a smirk and a raised brow.

Dick.

Not wanting to hold the meeting up anymore I wandered to the opposite side of the table from Jayce and took a seat to the left of Kyan. I could tell by the way the panther’s body tensed that it wasn’t an action he expected and judging from all the side glances to Jayce it wasn’t an action that anyone expected.
As if noticing the change in atmosphere in the room, Jayce looked up from his conversation with Gretchen and glanced around for me; his eyes settling on me and narrowing once he saw who I was next to.
I gave him a look, a silent ‘I dare you to say something’ and his narrowed gaze quickly faded.

“So...Gretchen” I started, my eyes moving from my mate’s to her’s, “You have information to share with us?”

The she-wolf looked at me puzzled, then smiled.

“I’m sorry...I don’t think we have been properly introduced...”

Bitch. Please.

Jayce’s expression had ‘oops’ written all over it.

“Gretchen, this is Quinn...my Luna”

“Oh!” She gasped, “I had no idea! Jawbreaker Jayce, all grown up and mated. I guess the whole ‘no woman will ever tie me down’ act was just that...an act” she laughed.

Ok. I didn’t like her. My wolf growled and huffed inside my head and, I might have been mistaken, but my panther seemed to be slightly...smug. Maybe sitting next to her mate and seeing my wolf’s mate dig himself into a hole was just what she needed.

“Gretchen...” Cassius muttered, a hint of warning to his voice.

“Yes” she said, rolling her eyes at her brother and looking back at me, “I do have information but I’d like to wait for Farley before we get into it”

Jayce had told me about Farley. He was an Eastern Ridge elder, the oldest wolf that still lived in our region. Farley was a walking encyclopaedia, if he didn’t know about it then no one knew about it.

“Speak of the devil” Moira said warmly and stood up as a very elderly looking gentleman entered the room.

“Who are you calling the devil?” He laughed and embraced Moira in a hug before taking a seat next to her.

Farley looked to be in his nineties, at least. I knew that meant absolutely nothing in wolf years. He could have been two hundred years old for all I knew, I’d have to ask Moira later.

“You must be the Luna tribrid” he said in his gruff voice, looking to me.

My face blushed slightly as I had clearly been caught staring.

“Yes. Quinn. It’s an honour to meet you”

He smiled and nodded before turning to Kyanite.

“And you must be the panther Prince...the tribrid’s other mate”

Cameron coughed and spluttered at Farley’s observation, spitting water all over the table then using his forearm to wipe it up.

“Sorry” he rasped.

“...yes” Kyanite answered, “that would be me”

“Interesting” the elder tutted.

Mate...our mate.

My panther purred in my mind, elated with the fact that someone acknowledged their pairing and that Kyanite also acknowledged it out loud. I felt my body begin to heat as I suddenly realised how close I was to the Prince. An invisible energy crackled between us. I wasn’t sure if he felt it too, until I glanced out the corner of my eye, seeing his fingers tightly grip on to his knees, as if he couldn’t trust his hands being this close to me and not to reach out to touch me. I studied his hands, they were large and strong. They had prominent veins that went up his muscular forearms. He really did have magnificent arms, they were powerful and I imagined he’d be able to throw me around like I was nothing...only if I let him of course...

“Quinn...?”

Shit.

My head shot up and I looked to Cassius who repeated my name. I could feel a wave of anger come off Jayce but chose to ignore it.

“Sorry, did you say something?” I asked.

“Yes. Percy was just explaining what happened yesterday in the forest...is it true that your Luna influence worked on him?”

How had I forgotten about that? I was so wrapped up in this Jayce/Kyanite thing that I’d completely pushed such an important detail to the side. I think I’d just assumed he maybe had a lineage to Fern Creek somewhere and that made me his Luna? I knew that wasn’t how it worked though.

“I gave him an order and he obeyed...I can’t tell you if it was voluntary or not”

“It wasn’t” Percy grunted, clearly still not happy about the situation.

“Well, then yes, it is true”

Farley rubbed his white beard and nodded.

“Interesting” he muttered again.

“What does that mean?” Jayce asked, “was it because of the possession? Did that screw up his pack loyalties somehow?”

That was a theory I hadn’t considered, but would make more sense than the theory I had considered.

“Possibly” Farley answered, “possibly not”

Is this old fart senile or something?

“And you’re certain it was Magdalene that was with Brax?” Cassius asked.

“Well that was the name he called her and she was very very heavy with the magics...so I would say so” answered Percy.

I watched as Lily put her hand over Cassius’s and gave it a gentle squeeze. This would no doubt be hard for him. Magdalene was responsible for the death of his mother and now she was back, stealing wolves right from under our noses.

Farley cleared his throat and glanced at Gretchen across the table, giving her a subtle nod.

“What is it?” Jayce asked, also noticing the exchange.

“We know why Magdalene is here” Gretchen answered.

Everyone is the room fell silent and turned to her.

“She plans to control and rule all shifters. The ones who she cannot control she will kill...or use for breeding. Once she has power over all shifters she plans to use them as her army...”

“Army against what?” I asked.

“The humans”

Oh shit.






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