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Chapter 8

Ezra

Kat rushes from the room and Mateo glances over his shoulder as I watch my mate leave. She is completely unaware I am her mate. I know her family is hiding something, something I am eager to find out. 

If she wasn’t my mate, I might have reconsidered letting them into my pack. Something is definitely amiss. They packed up everything and left the second strongest pack in the country, one her parents had built a life with. Why? When the request first reached my desk I was a little shocked, and more than a bit suspicious. For all I knew, that asshole Jackson was trying to plant spies in my territory. 

However, taking two of his strongest members was too good an opportunity to pass up. I knew if they did turn out to be spies, I could handle it. Our feud has lasted generations, and I have no desire to end it anytime soon. Something is still off with their story, running from the pack because her mother hit Jackson's daughter. Sure, they would have been punished for it, but fleeing the pack was bizarre.

There are too many things that don't add up. Beta Derrick's reputation is well-known and he is one of the most respected men out there. And Shirley is a legend. Yet, I'd never heard about them having children. Why is Kat a secret?

Jackson is an idiot, but even he wasn't stupid enough to kill his Beta's mate over a tiff with his teenager daughter. Especially with the reputation Shirley held. 

Why had I heard of Kat's parents, but not her? Her scent was strong, her genes a powerhouse. Yet, something was off with her too.

Mateo watch’s Kat go and my hands turn to fists. I wanted to hit my best friend multiple times today. He's been with me since we were old enough to walk, he’s always been by my side. "She's your mate, huh?" he asks.

Was I that obvious? At least it is him, I trust him with my life. I sigh no point lying to him, he knows me better than I know myself half the time.

"Yes. And until she realizes it, I want you to keep it quiet,” I tell him.

He nods his eyes sparkling with mischief. Uh-oh, I know that look. He is going to make me regret confirming his theory.

"What?" I demand. 

He folds his arms across his chest and leans back, eyeing me. "Nothing, just now I know why you refused to come to the whore house with me. She's already got you whipped and she doesn't even know who you are to her," he laughs and I glare.

"I am not whipped," I growl back.

"Whatever man, then why did you knock back Madeline? I saw her running from your room the other night crying," he teases. 

I roll my eyes. "She isn't my mate," I deadpan.

"Never stopped you before," Mateo's lips twitch. He is loving this.

"That was before I found her. I only want her now. You'll get it when you find your mate."

His brows furrow and his eyes dart away. He stares at everything but me for a second and his lips press into one thin line. He nods. "So how are you going to woo her? Keep giving her detention?"

"Why, so you can keep ruining it?" I scowl at him and he grins back in reply. "I was hoping to spend time with her, alone," I grumble, at him. He lingered on purpose, despite clearly seeing I wanted to spend time with her.

Mateo laughs at me. "Don't get so pissy. You'll see her tonight."

I lean back in my chair, staring at him. He has something to say beyond just teasing me. There is now a seriousness to him.

"The patrols told me they saw Maddox prowling around her house late last night," Mateo admits.

I snort. “I wasn’t prowling, just keeping an eye out."

“Sure, sure, stalker,” he laughs. 

I shake my head at him. I hate how much enjoyment he's getting out of me.

"Hey," Mateo interrupts, his smile wavering again. “Why didn’t you command her parents to tell you why they really left? I mean if it worries you so much?”

I scoff. That should be obvious. "I don't want to piss her parents off, they have influence over her and she trusts them. Think about it, man, I start arguing with them and she'll hate me." 

He sighs. "Well now what?"

“I don’t know, I don’t really have a reason to hang around her without looking like a creep,” I admit. 

Mateo seems to think for a second. “Thursday night?” He offers with a shrug. “Pack run is Friday after school. Most of the pack kids choose to stay at the packhouse.”

“I excused her and her family for the first week," I want to groan. How could I be so stupid?

“You are the Alpha, un-excuse them, tell them Katya has to stay like the rest of the teens,” Mateo suggests. 

I run a hand through my hair. "Staying at the packhouse isn't mandatory. Only those that want to will stay," I sigh, I wish it was easier to find a solution.

Mateo shrugs. "Just tell them you want to keep an eye on her, see how she gets on with the rest of the pack."

Now that one I could use. It wasn’t half bad. "That can work. Fine, I'll see her out there on the oval. Thanks."

Mateo nods and gives me a smile.

I get up and head for the door but notice him still standing in place. "You coming?" I ask. He's got that mischievous grin on his face again. I growl before rubbing my forehead. "What did you do?"

Mateo cackled. "Not much. Angie was pissing me off so much I wanted to give Katya another chance for revenge. I paired them up for training."

I glare at him. "Damn it, Mateo. Are you trying to piss me off?" I snap. I did not want Angie anywhere near my mate. Her infatuation with me is the main reason, but it is also clear she hates Kat with a passion. All because of me, not being able to ignore the magnetic pull to be in her presence. Angie had screwed up earlier, but she is trained exceptionally well. She has five brothers who are all renowned pack warriors. She isn’t a pushover.

"Oh, stop worrying. Katya is feisty. There's no way she'll lose to Angie," Mateo mock punched my arm playfully.

“You better hope so, because if she gets hurt it's your ass,” I snarl at him. 

His face falls slightly worried. “Her mom is one of the best warriors, her father is a Beta, what can go wrong?”

I can think of plenty of things that can go wrong. Angie is competitive and I know she doesn’t fight fair from watching her train amongst the pack. I know my mate can handle herself in this form, it is obvious, she is fit and has good endurance, but I wasn't so sure about her wolf form. On the other hand, I am excited about meeting her wolf, as is Maddox.

Leaving the office we walk down the corridors before exiting out of the faculty building and strolling out into the sunshine towards the oval. We climb up the grandstand stairs which overlook the field and take seats, staying out of view. At least I thought so until I see Angie wave to me. 

Mateo sits next to me. I’m still annoyed at him for pairing them together. There was Angie, but where was Kat? My eyes dart around the field, searching for my mate.

The door to the changing room cracks open and Shirley walks out onto the field, talking to Kat. Though, by the fire in the woman's face, berating Kat is probably a better description. My mate is pale and sweating profusely.

Mateo leans forward, a frown creasing his lips. "Wait, is she okay?" he turns to me. "She doesn't look too good."

That is an understatement. She looks like a ghost as she braces her hands on her knees and struggles to catch her breath. 

What has that bitch done to my mate? Maddox is ready to rip her throat out.

Shirley blows her whistle to grab the kid's attention and Kat rushes to the trash can, puking her guts out in it.

"I don't understand. She was fine before?" I too mirror Mateo's posture and lean forward, eyes searching the scene, trying to figure out an answer to this puzzle. 

Shirley is strict. That much is crystal clear after she forced Kat to run twenty laps on her first day. Kat continues to hug the trash can, as if it’s her best friend, and she continues to puke. Shirley's eyes flicker over to her daughter, she glares at her as she yells for her to get her pathetic ass back on the field.

My fist clenches and my teeth grind together. That fucking bitch, can't she see Kat is clearly sick? She's in no condition to be training, she needs to be at home and in bed.

Kat slowly unwinds her hands from the trash can and sways on her feet. She stands in line with one hand banded across her stomach and the other over her mouth. She waits for her name to be called.

Shirley calls out the names on the list, including Kat's and Angie's. She double checks the list of names and glances at her still pale daughter. She raises a brow when she realizes it's not a mistake, Kat is paired with Angie. The blonde wore a smug grin on her face. 

Jasmine walks over gripping Katya’s arm worriedly. At least she has one friend, and I actually like Jasmine. She gets along with everyone, except Angie and her cronies, but in this instance I wonder if I should intervene. 

“Get it together, Kat,” Shirley calls to her daughter who nods, waving her mother off. Kat shakes off Jasmine's arm telling her to go, Jasmine reluctantly leaves to go to the person she is paired with. 

I can't just sit here and watch this. Getting to my feet, Mateo leans back in his chair as I push past him. I walk down the steps and get to the railing, leaning over, I look down. Angie and Kat move to their assigned square. Kat still looks like she's struggling to keep whatever is left in her stomach down.

Angie takes a stance, her eyes hard. Kat can't seem to catch her breath. She sways on her feet. Maddox howls in my head and claws at my skin. 

Angie lunges, Kat doesn’t see it in time, but manages to lean back out of the attack's range. She stumbles and loses her balance, falling to the ground on her back and out of the square. Angie doesn't stop, she pounces at my mate determined to do damage.

My hands grip the bar. I'm ready to fling myself over and throw the stupid girl into the puke-covered trash can. Kat opens her eyes while on the ground,  she waits until Angie is almost on her before she lifts her leg in a precision move, and kicks Angie in the face, not only knocking her back, but breaking her nose again. Fresh blood spurts from the brat's nose. 

Angie yelps and covers her bleeding face, Kat rolls to her side, struggling onto her hands and knees. Sweat drips off of her. Something is very wrong about all of this.

Maddox jerks and it's only my iron control that keeps the wolf from taking over. "Wolfsbane!" he growls at me.

I sniff the air, I can't detect it, but it would make sense. It makes you terribly sick, and in high enough doses, can be lethal. Not much else could explain this kind of severe reaction with our exceptional immune systems.

I move toward the steps about to reprimand Angie, when she moves to pounce, just as Katya lifts her leg, kicking her in the face and knocking Angie back. Angie growls loudly, clutching her nose which is bleeding. Katya rolls on her side and gets up, I can see sweat literally dripping off her and drenching her shirt. Something is definitely wrong.

"We need to put a stop to this. She can't fight like that!" Mateo objects. "Something is wrong," He's on his feet too, staring down at the scene. He's concerned about her, his future Luna, and all because he paired her with Angie.

Guilt is graven on his face. 

I nod. It's time to put an end to this. I won't let her be hurt. 

Angie shifts.

Maddox doesn't give me time to react. Instead of wresting control of me, he forces me to spring over the railing to the ground below.

Comments (3)
goodnovel comment avatar
Debra Pearson
loving this one
goodnovel comment avatar
Mary McMahon
OK I am loving this
goodnovel comment avatar
Mary Pownell-Styer
Poor Mateo.
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