15 years earlier
Paul stood in front of the house and studied it. It had a main front door, a back door, and the attached garage. His best friend Travis growled from beside him, and he knew the wolf was in attack mode. Travis’ mate Erin wasn’t fairing much better. Their cub was in that house, and they were prepared to kill everything in their path to get him back.
Suddenly, a child’s scream echoed through the darkness. It was enough to send the wolves into a frenzy. Clothes tore and bones snapped, as the couple shifted and raced for the house. The door didn’t stand a chance, as the massive wolves hit it. It splintered and flew from its hinges, to land somewhere in the house.
Paul growled and took off after the wolves in human form. He hit the porch and raced into the house. The child’s screams were coming from the second floor, and Paul could hear the pounding of the wolves, as they raced down the hall. He took the stairs two at time and powered after them. He had always been faster and stronger than the rest of the wolves in his pack, so he wasn’t far behind.
When he hit the room at the end of the hall, he stepped inside and froze. A man and a woman stood to the side of the room, and they were holding fireplace pokers. It was obvious they thought that would stop Travis and Erin from tearing them apart.
His eyes darted around the room, until he found the cub. The boy was in human form, and he was a bloody mess. He only wore pyjama pants, and it was blatantly obvious he had been beaten to near death. Paul was instantly furious.
Then his eyes darted to the slip of a girl that was standing protectively over the boy. She could be no more than seven herself, but she locked fierce as she placed herself in the couple’s path. The wolves would have headed straight for their own, so that meant that they felt the girl wasn’t a threat. The girls parents however were a different story.
The wolves were snarling, and saliva was dripping from their fangs. The parents would be dead in minutes, and it would be extremely bloody.
Paul inched his way to the children. The girl eyed him warily, but continued to block the boy. He kept his distance, but he had to get to the bottom of things.
“Your parents”, he asked the girl, as he pointed to the couple across the room. The girl merely nodded. “They did this”, he asked, as he pointed to the cub. Again the girl simply nodded. He dropped his head in sorrow, then powered on.
“They will die tonight”, he growled. Again, he got a small nod. “You know what we are”, he continued. Another nod. “You know what the boy is.” The girls eyes darted to the boy protectively.
“My friend”, she said surprising him. “My parents were killing him. I hate them, but I don’t want to watch them die.”
Paul stared at her in shock. “You know this needs to happen”, he asked. Once more she nodded. “You want to wait in the hall”, he questioned. The nod came again.
He approached quickly, knowing he only had seconds before the wolves pounced. He scooped up the boy, and nodded for the girl to lead the way. She moved quickly for such a tiny thing, and they were out of the room immediately.
The minute they were clear, all hell broke loose. Screams filled the air and viscous snarling followed. Paul cringed as he heard bones break and blood hitting the walls. It lasted approximately two minutes, until there was complete silence.
The girl looked troubled, but not once did she cry out in terror. Paul found himself amazed by the girls strength. He had no time though to ponder his reaction, as the wolves prowled out of the room. Blood coated their paws and snouts, and Paul knew they were still in a killing frenzy. The taste of human blood would do that to a wolf.
He stepped right up to the girl, closer than he had dared get yet, and froze once more. The girl smelled like strawberries, and the scent him like a ton of bricks. He snapped his head in her direction and stared directly into her eyes. She stared back innocently.
The growls coming from Travis and Erin had him turning away and growling himself.
“Mate”, he rasped out in a guttural voice. Immediately, the wolves backed off, and turned to their cub. Erin whimpered as her yellow eyes took him in.
He was forced to step away from the girl, and carry the boy closer to his parents. The wolves licked the bloody skin of his chest, and threw their heads back to howl. It was a sound of pure agony.
Paul had no choice but to follow the wolves, as they prowled down the stairs and out the front door. He stopped before stepping into the porch, and turned back to look at the top of stairs.
The small girl had followed him there. She watched him with achingly sad eyes, and his heart broke. He knew she was his mate, but she was human and still incredibly young. She had no place in his world yet.
“Mate”, he heard her whisper in confusion, but he turned away and raced into the night, the broken cub in his arms. He had no choice but to leave her there, but he vowed that one day he’d return. And when he did, he’d claim the girl, and she’d be his.