We got to see Emily and sat with her for a while. We all sat with her for about an hour. Tubes hung out of her nose and mouth, her arms covered in different lines. The room smelt heavily of antiseptic, and I could even smell the infection running through her veins, and smell the antibiotic drips hooked up to her. Emily did not deserve this; nobody did.
Looking down at her, she looked so frail, her skin pale, and I found it hard not to break down. Emily was always so bubbling and a chatterbox. Seeing her like this was heartbreaking. I prayed she woke up soon, prayed she would pull through this. I would even drink her terrible coffee. God, I wished I could be drinking that horrible coffee. I wouldn’t even complain if it meant she would come back to us.
We weren’t sure if she could hear us, but eventually, Zoe had to leave to help Marcus and Macey wanted to go home and check on Taylor. Sitting next to Emily, I held her hand, rubbing circles into the back of her hand.
“You hold on, Em. Benny needs you,” I told her. Kissing her hand, I tucked her blankets around her and reluctantly left. It was dark as I climbed into my car. It was the middle of the night, and I listened to the radio as I headed toward the old commune and to Emily’s caravan on the way home. I was mentally and physically drained, and all I wanted to do was go home, see Valarian and crawl into bed beside my mate.
The commune was all mud and puddles, the rough terrain a little slippery since the storm, yet I managed to navigate through to the back where Emily’s caravan was. Pulling up beside it, I got out. Using the key Officer Derrick gave me not long after she went missing, I unlocked the flimsy door.
I stepped inside the tiny little place she shared with her son. Toys and stuffed bears sat on the bed they shared, a small Tv perched in the corner, and the walls were littered with Ben’s artwork. I saw two jars of her special made coffee and chuckled.
I see a blue duffle bag hanging on a hook on the wall. I grab the bag, looking for clothes with her son’s scent on them before carefully bagging them, making sure not to taint them with my scent and hoping it would give Emily comfort. I tidied up a little before finding a picture of her and Ben taped to her fridge, both smiling as they stood out the front of the school.
He was 9 years old, and her entire life, he was her world, and she was a good mum, quirky, but that’s what everyone loved about her, and no one loved her more than her son. Emily worked her a*s off, and her only dream was that her son would grow up and become part of a pack and have the opportunities the other pack kids had one day.
We all wished that our kids would be a part of something bigger than us. That they would achieve more than us. It is what most parents dream of for their kids. To give them more, watch them grow and succeed, knowing we got at least one thing right.
Grabbing the picture, I put it in the bag for her when my phone starts ringing in my pocket. Valen’s name pops up on the screen.
“Where are you?” he says, his voice frantic, and his fear suddenly smashed me through the bond.
“At Emily’s place, grabbing a few things for her room, I’m hoping something with Ben’s scent will help her hold on,” I tell him.
“Head home now! A forsaken got past the borders, the border patrol has been chasing it for an hour, it keeps going to the commune, get out now Everly,” he orders.
“What?” I shriek, looking around nervously and at the open door to the caravan.
“I am sending men to your location. Get out now!” he says, and I hurry to grab the bag. I rush out the door and lock it before running to my car. I chuck the bag onto the passenger seat and start my car. Looked around into the darkness of the night nervously.
“Marcus is on his way!” I hear Valen say as I put the car in reverse. The car becomes stuck in the mud. The tires spin, yet the truck only g****s as the engines revs, spraying mud everywhere and up the side of my truck.
“I’m stuck,” I tell Valen, grabbing the phone. My headlights light up the forest surrounding the commune. My breathing becomes louder as panic sets in.
“Hold on, I am on my way,” Valen says, and I glance at the phone that was on the loudspeaker, sitting on the passenger seat.
“What about Valarian?” I asked, not wanting my son anywhere near here if a forsaken is on the loose.
“Tatum will watch him till my father gets here,” Valen says, hanging up. I try to drive forward, but the back wheels just spin, making a mess and the hole deeper. “F**k!” I curse. Just my luck! What is the saying it happens in threes? Well, I hope this is the last of my bad luck today.
The commune was eerily quiet, and I cracked my window just a little to hear the sounds of howls and wolves in the forest. I stared out the windshield. My heart raced, waiting for Marcus or Valen to get here. I refused to get out of the car. I had watched one too many horror movies and knew that was a bad idea.
“You okay?” Valen says through the mindlink, and I could feel him getting closer but still a fair way out.
“Yes, fine, just a little freaked out,” this place was creepy, and I don’t know how Emily lived out here. Yet she loved her little spot.
“I will be there soon, just keep talking to me,” Valen says.
I explained about Emily, not that he didn’t already know he had been ringing me all night checking in. But rambling was better than panicking when I saw a wolf run out of the treeline, two border patrols chasing after it, and my eyes widened as I saw them tear into the wolf. The wolf turned and beelined straight toward my car. Only it diverted toward the caravan at the last second, clawing at the walls before snarls sent it running again. It seemed too small for a normal forsaken and It tried to run back toward the treeline to escape, terrified. I watched.
“Everly?” Valen says as I watch the two border patrols rip into it. Its howls are horrifying to hear when it is flung across the dirt and suddenly shifts or tries to. My heart lurches in my chest as I see the figure get to its feet. Semi shifted, its body still covered in fur, its limbs were deformed until it looked at me, and I instantly recognized that face, it was the only recognizable trait he had. He looked like most forsaken until he shifted only smaller.
My heart nearly stopped, and I don’t even remember opening the car door as I saw one of the patrols go to rip into him. His petrified eyes, so much like his mother’s widened as I ran toward them.
“No!” I screamed. The sound that left me was more of a strangled wail as I screamed out to them. One of them tackles him, tearing into his neck and shoulder before jumping back and looking at me, running toward them, waving my arms frantically.
“Please, God, no!” I cried, skidding on the ground as I fell to my knees next to his body. The border patrol tried to shove me back, but my claws slipped for my fingertips and slashed at them, an angry growl escaping me before grabbing him. Sobs wracked my entire body as I smoothed back his hair, looking at what had become of him.
He was deformed, and it shouldn’t be possible. How was it possible he was just a boy? He had no wolf yet. One of the patrols shifted back and reached for me.
“Get a f*****g ambulance now,” I screamed, clutching onto him and protecting him from the patrols.
“He is a forsaken,” the guard says. I shake my head, and his eyes flutter open, bloodshot and rabid, but I hold him tighter as he thrashes, snarling and growling, trying to attack me but I knew this boy, this wasn’t him. Someone had done something horrific to him but that wasn’t who he was. His wounds were horrific, and he eventually passed out in my arms. His slow heartbeat was the only indicator that he was still alive.
“Call for help!” I wailed as tears streamed down my face.
“Luna?” the young patrolmen questioned.
“He isn’t forsaken. He is a f*****g child!” I screamed, baring my canines at them as they slipped from my gums.
I hear the mind link open as the border patrol orders for an ambulance.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, help is on the way,” I whisper to him.
“Luna,” the patrolman says, grabbing my arm, but I shake him off.
“Don’t touch me,” I snapped.
“He is dangerous,” he tried to reason, but I didn’t care. I had known this boy since he was in diapers and watched him grow. I didn’t care how dangerous he was, he was family, part of my village.
“He is not dangerous. He was trying to come home, trying to come home to his mother,” I growled at them.
“Hang on, Ben, hang on for me,” I whisper, clutching him closer while my hand pressed against his gaping wound holding it shut, trying to stem the bleeding from his shoulder.
Hearing a car, headlights light up the clearing and I see Valen jump out of his car frantically. He raced toward me and I could hear sirens in the distance on their way here.
“Everly?” Valen screamed at me fearfully because I was so close to the mutated wolf.
“It’s Ben, it’s Emily’s son,” I choked out, turning my attention back to the boy in my arms or half boy.
Valen grabs my arms trying to pull me away but I shove him off. “Nobody touches him,” I snarled at him. I would not allow them to k**l him, I don’t care how dangerous he is.
“Everly!” He snarled.
“Tell them to stand down,” I growled and Valen growled looking at them and nodded for them to back off.