Authors: Samantha Horne
My men and I shifted as soon as the attack started; and what they brought to the fight in anger and just plain violence, we more than made up for with skill. I could barely concentrate on anything that was going on, with the fighting happening all around me. To my left, I could see Blake fighting two wolves, who were clearly injured. Knowing Blake, he was probably thoroughly enjoying himself. To my right I could make out Ethan, who seemed to be struggling from the full force of three wolves who were attacking him. I raced over to him, hearing a distressed whine come from his throat, when I felt a huge weight land on me, and I squared off against a wolf who was clearly the alpha of the pack. He didn’t waste any time, and charged at me, using his claws to scratch deep marks down my face. I lunged for him and sank my teeth in to his back leg, blood filling my mouth and his whines filling the air. The next few minutes were filled with growls and the scent of blood, before the wolf I was fighting just turned suddenly, limping in to the woods.
My men seemed to have the fighting under control, and I shifted back to human in order to focus better, when I heard my brother’s shouts somewhere in the distance. Racing towards the trees - back in my wolf form - I ran quickly through the forest to a small house which looked to be empty, until I saw my brother Noah, running out of the door. My heart rejoiced when I saw him carrying the young Annabelle in his arms, a blanket wrapped around her.
Mid-jump, I shifted back to human form and raced to my brother.
“Is she okay?” I shouted, and breathed a sigh of relief to see Annabelle smiling and pretty much unharmed.
“She’s okay. It looks like most of the bruises were from the car accident. She says no-one has hurt her but she doesn’t remember much.”
I wanted to hug her so I knew she was safe, but I knew that nothing would be able to prise her away from her father’s arms right then. Noah had tears in his eyes, but a smile on his face, and he was squeezing Annabelle as if frightened she might vanish before his very eyes.
“Noah, I’m leaving you in charge. The fighting seems to be under control and the cowards are retreating. Ethan is badly injured, make sure he gets help. And make sure someone checks over Annabelle, too. Give me a call as soon as there are any development, and to let me know the pack are home safe.”
“Where are you going?”
“I’m going to get my girl.”
“Do you need me to get the coordinates back up?”
“I remember it.” I was sat in the passenger seat of Tyler’s car and trying to keep my head on straight while we hurtled down the road. I had no idea how Tyler knew where we needed to go when all the roads through the forest looked the same, but I was grateful to have him with me. I’d never been more scared in my life, and I needed someone who I knew would be able to keep their composure if I totally lost it. I felt safer knowing that the rest of the guys were following close behind. They’d decided not to follow us straight away, in case it looked too obvious, so Tyler had left them with the directions that had been sent to my phone, and they were going to head out after giving us a ten minute head start. The time seemed to be flying by because I was conscious we were on a time limit, but I checked my watch to find only fifteen minutes had passed when Tyler started to slow down and scope around. All I could picture in my mind was little Annabelle in the hands of these evil men, and I knew that I would do whatever I had to, in order to get her back safely.
Tyler switched the engine off and stepped out of the car, so I followed suit. I took a step away from the car, trying to steady my nerves, when Tyler walked around the front of the car and stepped in front of me, with a look that gave me chills. His eyes had changed so they looked devoid of all emotion, and the bleakness in them made my skin cold and my heart beat faster. It was like the old Tyler had just disappeared, to be replaced with this new Tyler who was made of stone.
“What’s wrong, do you hear something?” I asked him, taking a step back from the strange vibe I was getting from him.
“Surprise,” he said, before giving a sinister smile which made me realise something was very, very wrong.
“Tyler, what are you doing?” I asked, as he stepped closer to me, crowding me against the car and boxing me in so I couldn’t get away. I tried to lean away from him, but just ended up knocking my head against the side of the car. I tried to remain calm, remembering that I had to be smart if I was going to be able to rescue Annabelle.
“You stupid bitch,” he said. I could hear my heart beating erratically and it was only just clicking in to place that Tyler was no longer on our side. He was a traitor. You know those moments, where you suddenly realise something that changes your whole life? That was how I felt right at that very moment. It was like everything I ever knew, had just been wiped out, and I struggled to wrap my end around the fact that we had all been fooled. Jackson was going to be destroyed when he found out.
“I don’t understand,” I whispered, trying to get out of him what was actually going on.
“Of course you don’t understand. For months now I’ve been working with the Grove Pack and no-one had any fucking idea.”
“No,” I gasped as the full direness of the situation hit me full force.
“I couldn’t fucking take it anymore. All my life I’ve been with the same pack, day in and day out being the same. Not allowing ourselves to mix with humans and hiding ourselves away and for what? So we can hide like we are ashamed? When it’s humans who should be ashamed! I’d always thought Jackson would be a good alpha, and lead us in the right direction, but then you came along.”
He looked at me with crazy eyes, and was pressed up against me so close I could feel his hot breath on my face and I physically couldn’t move anywhere. I stiffened as I felt one of his hands touch my waist and slide up my t-shirt. Before I could process it, his hand had grabbed hold of my breast and squeezed it hard making me wince in pain and tears filled my eyes. I tried to push him off me but I was no match for his shifter strength and it felt like trying to move a concrete wall.
“Get off me!” I shouted, futilely attempting to dislodge his hand from my breast.
“Shut up! I was planning on helping Jackson to see how good it could be to join our rival packs, in our fight against the humans but you came along and he was fucking pussy whipped after five minutes. Now he can’t get his head straight to figure out what the pack needs. I tried to get rid of you numerous times but you’ve got a fucking guardian angel following after you, bitch. I don’t even understand what it is he sees in you. You’re just another piece of ass.” He removed his hand from my top, and pulled away from me, grabbing me arm and dragging me behind him in the woods. I pulled on his hand and tried to get away but the shock and the stress was causing me to lose my strength, and I refocused my efforts on getting Tyler to talk more to me about his plans. As he pulled me deeper in to the forest, all I could think about was Annabelle, and how I needed to get us both out of here alive. I presumed he was hiding her in the forest, and if it was going to end up a fight to the death, then I had to get her location out of him before I hurt him. I knew I was being pretty optimistic thinking I could take on a wolf shifter when I was just a human myself, but I had to stay positive or I would going to wind up dead.
“Jackson’s only minutes way, he won’t let you get away with this!” I shouted, and my arm screamed in pain from the way he pulled me through the forest.
Tyler laughed and the sound made my blood run cold. “Oh, you really don’t get it do you?”
He stopped outside what looked like a large wooden shed in the middle of the trees, and the night combined with the dense forest made visibility pretty much impossible. He stood before me, and started pacing, ranting like a mad man.
“I’m the one in fucking charge here. Jackson hasn’t got a fucking clue that I’m against him. I gave the guys the wrong directions. They think they’re heading towards us when in fact they’re heading in the opposite direction, straight in to a trap with the rest of the Grove Pack. They’ll figure it out eventually, but by the time they do you’ll be dead and be the first example of what we want to do to all the humans.”
“Jackson’s not an idiot! He’ll figure it out. How is my death going to help you in your cause against the humans?! You’re just ostracising the pack even further and giving them more reasons to fight you!” Okay, I realised that pissing him off wasn’t the wisest decision, but I needed to keep him talking to give me the time for Jackson to figure it out and realise he’d been sent on a wild goose chase.
“Jackson is in love with you. He’s told me himself his plans to mate you!” He stalked towards me and I stepped backwards, praying for an idea to spring to mind.
“In our world, when we find our mates it’s for life. There’s nothing you won’t do for them. Your death will cause him to go insane, which means he’ll be weak. The rest of the pack will be vulnerable and once we take out the main men, the rest will be easy to persuade to our side. I’ll fight Jackson to the death for the title of Alpha and we can begin to move toward the other packs and get them on our side. We’ve got it all figured out sweetheart. Nothing personal, mind. You’re just part of a bigger plan.”
“And Annabelle?” I asked, my breaths coming faster as I stare at him with disgust. “Why did you take her? She’s just a child!”
“Oh, please. I knew that if I threatened her you would do whatever I wanted. Your bond with that child makes me sick.”
“Where is she?”
“Don’t worry, she’s safe. I might be a little bit twisted, but even I draw the line at hurting children. She’s with the Grove Pack probably babbling on in that incessant way she normally does and driving them insane. Jackson and his men will find her but they’ll have to fight the pack to get her.”
“No, darling. I’m ambitious, there’s a difference.”
I laughed and tried to hide the fear I could feel all the way down to my feet. I’d never been more scared in my life, but a part of me felt relieved that Annabelle was nowhere near this psycho. I was confident that the guys could beat the bastards that had taken her, and knowing that Annabelle would soon be reunited with her family gave me a boost of confidence as I stood before Tyler. I straightened myself and looked him in the eye. If this was the way I was going to die, there was no way I was going down without a fight. How this man had managed to hide his true colours from us all was beyond me. Looking at him now, I found it impossible to leave he had had fooled us. His crazy eyes, his mad ramblings and his pacing on the floor just illustrated how loony he really was, and I was in shock at how well he had managed to hide from us all. My mind went back to the time when Jasmine and I had been out shopping, and those men had attacked us. Tyler had arrived only five minutes after, but now I saw it for what he really was. He hadn’t been my rescuer. He had obviously known what was going to happen, and planned to swoop in and rescue us so no-one would ever suspect him of anything. He looked like the hero, and Jackson would have trusted him even more after saving my life.
He suddenly ran towards me with a speed that took me by surprise, and before I could blink I was pushed backwards until he fell on top of me, knocking the breath right out of me. He balled his hand up and punched me so hard in the face, I saw stars and the nausea hit me as I fought to stay awake. His hand grabbed me by the throat and the panic hit me full force when I found I couldn’t breathe. He squeezed tightly and I fought against him with everything I had, to try and get him off me. He laughed manically, watching the fear in my eyes, and I knew that I needed to do something now, or I was going to die.
I managed to free my right arm from where I had landed on it, and using the last remaining strength I had left, I reached between our bodies and grabbed at his crotch, inwardly cheering as I found what I was looking for. I shuddered as I could feel just how excited he was at watching me suffer. Desperate to get him away from me, I grabbed hold of his balls through his trousers and squeezed as hard as I could. Tyler let out an inhuman scream, reaching pitches I had never heard before and I tried to arch away from the sound, without releasing my hand. He let go of my throat and I sucked in a deep lungful of air, scrambling away from Tyler who was curled up in the foetal position and screaming. I knew I only had minutes before his accelerated healing kicked in, so I jumped up on shaky legs and started to run. My legs could barely hold my weight and my head felt woozy from where I had been starved of oxygen, but I knew this was a life or death situation and now I finally had something to live for there was no way I was going to let it end this way.
“You fucking bitch!” I heard Tyler’s scream from close behind me, and pushed myself faster through the forest. The next time he shouted, his voice sounded as if it was right behind me, causing my heart to drop.
“You think you can outrun a wolf? You’re not only annoying, but you’re fucking dumb too!”
It wasn’t until I heard a growl, that I realised Tyler had shifted and now I was being chased by an injured, very pissed off wolf. My situation seemed dire and my strength was waning. I knew there was no way I was going to be able to outrun a wolf, so I needed to think smart.
I was trying to come up with some grand plan, when I heard Tyler’s growls turn to whines but I didn’t have the time to turn around to see what was happening to him. I kept running until I thought my lungs were going to burst, and my legs gave out underneath me causing me to crash down to the floor. I sat and tried to breathe but it was so fucking hard, and I made a mental note to join a gym and get fit as soon as possible. I heard footsteps behind me and I stood up so quickly I thought I was going to pass out, but I readied my body for a fight against Tyler. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw Jackson stood in front of me, completely naked and covered in bruises. Unable to hold myself up any longer and knowing that I was finally safe, I fell in a heap on the floor and started to cry.