Bound to My Mate Ch. 04byDoctorWolf©
Thanks to everyone for the feedback. The encouragement and advice has made this a lot of fun. Enjoy!
Shadows crossed the little windows in front of the cabin. Ragged curtains prevented me from seeing who was out there. Fear had me clinging to the wall of the cabin as I held the knife in a death grip. I steeled myself for a fight; I wasn't going to be tied up and tortured again.
The door crashed open to reveal a very angry looking Joel Latro striding through. He crossed the room in three large steps and came to rest directly in front of me. He was dressed in a tight black t shirt and black cargo pants. His black boots were caked with mud. He looked furious, but spoke softly.
"Put the knife down, love. We are not here to hurt you."
"The giant, Lucas, isn't here," I said cringing against the wall. The cabin was filling with large angry looking men dressed like him. "He ran into the woods," I finished.
"Oh, don't worry, love, we'll find him and when we do the mutt will never bother you again," Joel's jaw tensed as he said the last of this statement.
"NO!" I shouted at him, getting the attention of every man in the cabin. "Please don't hurt Lucas! He never hurt me, he thinks I'm Linda. Those creepy assholes brought me here to hide me."
"They were supposed to kill me, but they wanted insurance. They gave me to Lucas because they thought he would keep me ...here." I gestured wildly with my knife to the cabin.
"I don't even think Lucas understands what is going on, he's out of his mind. He said you killed his Linda, did you do that?" I stared hard at Joel caught between being angry for poor crazy Lucas and terrified for myself.
"Elizabeth, please put down the knife," Joel said sounding like he was pleading just a little, "and no, I did not kill Linda. That happened a long time ago and now is not the time to explain it."
I placed the knife on the hearth beside me and sagged into the wall. I was so relieved he was here. Joel's strong arms were around me pulling me close before I slumped completely.
"I promise not to hurt Lucas, love, but if he's not in his right mind I may to have him restrained. Did he know the...men that brought you here?"
I pushed my nose into his chest and inhaled his heady aroma. "No, kind of, I don't know. And I know they aren't men, you aren't either."
Joel's hand came up to gently stroke my cheek and I felt his lips on my still damp hair.
"Please, don't be afraid of me," he whispered.
I looked up into his eyes and smiled wanly, "I already told you I wasn't."
Joel reached down and started to gently turn the broken remains of handcuffs on my bruised wrists.
"Lucas broke them, the thugs had me," I choked up a little, "tied and gagged when they brought me here."
Joel pulled me tighter and whispered, "I'm so sorry love," into my hair.
I recognized Nate coming out of the small bedroom, the sock/gag I had been wearing pinched in his fingers. I answered his unspoken question with a nod. He handed the gag to Joel who smelled the dirty fabric deeply.
I felt claws on my back where Joel was holding me and a growl started to resonate in his chest.
"Calm, my friend," came Nate's smooth voice, "she is safe and now we know for sure."
I shivered a little at the breeze blowing through the still open door. I felt Joel push me down beside the fire. He turned to one of the men that was with him and started to quietly issue orders. A jacket, a pair of jeans, and thick socks were produced quickly. Soon, I was dressed and warm. Everything was 3 sizes too large, but it was still a big improvement on being near nude.
Joel paced in and out of the cabin, directing his troops as they looked for Lucas. Nate, however, never left my side. He stood like a sentry to my left. It felt a little weird to have him standing guard over me.
"Aren't you bored just standing there?" I asked him finally. "I'm fine now. You could probably go do something else."
He snorted at me and smiled, "I have my instructions, but thank you for asking."
A few moments later I was glad he was there. I nearly jumped into the fire when the growling erupted outside. I knew what was happening when I heard the name Linda being screamed repeatedly. Nate took a step to position himself between me and the door. Soon though, all was quiet again and Nate relaxed his pose stepping back.
The men with Joel were very efficient, cleaning up the remains of what was to have been dinner, putting out the fire, and even tidying the small cabin. I sat in the middle of their ministrations with my guard watching and listening, but not really present.
Joel finally returned nodding to Nate. Nate bowed his head to Joel and left the cabin. Joel picked me up and moved me out the door. We headed for a series of dark tinted Suburbans that now took up the entire front yard of the cabin.
Joel slid me into the back of one of the vehicles then disappeared for a few moments. I recognized his driver from my prior experience and managed to smile at him. When Joel rejoined me he pulled me onto his lap. I wrapped both arms around his neck and laid my head on his shoulder.
"What did you do with Lucas?" I asked him. I felt protective of the crazy giant. Without him the kidnappers would have done horrible things to me.
"We had to restrain him and he's coming back with us," Joel sighed.
I looked up into Joel's eyes and saw him warring with himself.
"Look, I get this is probably a big secret, but I saw those creatures that brought me here. I saw Lucas change in front of me. I know you are like them, too. Please, just tell me what is going on."
A soft chuckle from the front seat reminded me Nate had also slipped into the SUV with us.
"I don't know where to start, love."
"Start with Lucas," I suggested. "Who is Linda and why does he say you killed her?" For some reason I couldn't care less that Joel turned into a hairy beast, I just wanted to know if he had killed an innocent woman.
"That's a difficult place to start, but I'll try to explain it. You know we aren't humans, we are werewolves. The difference is far from skin deep though. We need family to survive. Werewolves thrive in a community, to be cast out of one; it's usually a death sentence. Lucas was cast out."
I nodded my understanding and Joel continued.
"You asked about Linda, she was Lucas's mate, his wife, in your world. She wanted power and authority; she wasn't satisfied with her life. She thought she could overthrow my father as Alpha, as ruler, of the pack. She didn't go about it in the normal way. She used magic to poison the pack leaders above her, her and a group of others that felt the same way. The poison didn't work right and they were caught."
"Those involved in the plot were all put to death by my father, I was still very young then. Several, like Lucas, could not be directly linked to the coup. My father was so angry, though. In retaliation he cast out many that were just related to those involved. Most of them died quickly or were taken in by other packs. Lucas was not so lucky and has lived the last hundred and fifty years as an outcast."
"Lucas had many that spoke for him back then, even with the fear of being cast out hanging over them. They knew the pack was his life and he would never endanger the family. Father was just too angry to listen to anyone."
"I have the power to pardon him now, though, as a way to repay him caring for you. You've asked me not to hurt him and I won't. It may take time to heal if he ever does."
Joel's blue grey eyes focused on my face and softened a little. I felt his hands stroking up down my back. He pressed his lips softly to mine and then he pulled me close.
"How did you find me?" I whispered against his neck.
"I had your phone's GPS tagged by our system. I also had some of my wolves watching you. Did you know there was an explosion at the restaurant you had your meeting at?" he asked.
"Yes, I remember hearing it, was anyone hurt?" I looked back into his eyes.
"There were casualties, love, although I don't think that was the target. I believe it was meant as a distraction for the wolves I had sent to watch you. Luckily, one of my omegas saw you leave through the front door and followed you. After the explosion he saw the van driving away and had the instinct to try to follow it."
"What's an omega?" I found myself asking.
"Omegas are what make up most of the pack. They are the common man, you would say. He was working as a waiter at the restaurant, to help me by watching you. Omegas aren't built for fighting or speed, which is why it took so long to find you," he sighed. "He tried to follow the van, but it just went to fast for him, he stayed on its tail as best he could and sent us information on where to start the search."
I snuggled into his chest, wishing I could be just a few layers closer. 'What was wrong with me?' I wondered. I was almost raped and here I was wishing to be naked and cuddling with a man I barely knew.
"So they kept my phone?" I asked him.
"No, they must have thrown it out when they found it. We tracked it down and then found a trail of your scent not far from there," his voice faded off and I felt fur under my cheek.
"You found my clothes," I surmised stroking his furry neck and cheek in what I hoped was a comforting gesture. I didn't look up fearing what I wasn't ready to see.
I heard Nate shift in his seat up front. The fur under my hands slowly receded back to olive toned skin.
Looking back at us Nate answered my question as Joel's breathing became steadier.
"We tracked your scent by the clothes at first, and then used a grid pattern to look for any wolf activity in the surrounding area. We correctly assumed that since they hadn't just killed you at the restaurant that they planned to keep you alive. We also correctly assumed they would use a place they were familiar with."
"I was lucky," I said quietly, "that's what you are saying, right?"
"Yes," said Joel taking my hand and pressing my palm to his lips. "We were all very lucky."
We sat quietly together as the forest flew by outside. A question struck me suddenly. This one had really been making me nuts. Now that the truth was out I figured he'd tell me.
"How did you know my name? At Luna Ferus you knew my name before we talked to each other," I said looking quizzically up at him.
"Our senses are better than yours and your dinner date wasn't very quiet," Joel answered laughing softly. "Are you planning to see that man again?" he asked sounding a little upset.
"No, Joel, it was a blind date. I didn't like him. Evidently, I was interested in someone else at the restaurant," I said feeling him relax under me.
"Good," Joel murmured pulling me tight, "because you are mine now."
What a strange comment. It should have bothered me. I just let my eyes close and relaxed against my hero.
I dozed languidly in Joel's arms for the rest of the trip. His hands were soothing, rubbing my back in slow even circles. Often, I felt his lips brushing across my cheek or feathering light kisses over my lips. I was so relaxed I didn't even wonder where he was taking me. It just felt right being with him.
I was jolted as cold air hit my face several hours later. Groggy and half awake I struggled with the strong arms I was being held in. Memories of being bound and gagged assaulted my conscious mind and suddenly I was terrified.
"Le'me go," I screamed as I pushed on a rock solid wall of chest and flailed my legs pointlessly.
"Love, wake up, we're home. Open your eyes," I heard Joel's voice and calmed slightly.
"Sir, the pack is assembled as you requested, several are unaccounted for as you suspected. What would you like us to do?" asked a man with a clip board as he approached us.
He seemed to see nothing unusual about Joel toting around a bedraggled woman dressed in men's clothing. I felt a little uncomfortable and raised my hand up to my head to smooth my hair reflexively.
"Elizabeth, I have some pack business to attend to. This is the den, our home," he motioned to the huge structure beside us. "Nate is going to take you to my quarters. You can take a shower if you would like, some clothes and food will be brought to you. However, for the time being you may not leave my quarters and do not go anywhere with anyone other than Nate or myself."
He stood me on the ground then lifted my chin with his finger, "Do you understand me?"
I nodded numbly and tried to get my bearings. Where ever we were was totally unfamiliar especially in the dark of night.
"Take her upstairs, set up a protection detail, and use only Betas we've discussed," Joel said to Nate before stealing a kiss from me.
The area was pitch dark except for the structure looming in front of me. It looked to be at least three stories tall. The outside was tastefully if not very subtly lighted. It looked to be the color of sandstone. Nate put a hand gently on my back steering me toward a large open door. I could hear talking coming from inside, but when we entered the spacious lobby it was empty.
The room was tall going up all three stories, a large sloping staircase dropped into the lobby on the left and the right. In the center of the foyer was the most striking detail though, a marble inlay of two wolves howling at a large moon. I saw heads peaking out of several double doorways that lead off the large room. I didn't really have time to focus on them though.
Nate continued to push me gently toward the staircase. I climbed as quickly as I could frequently stopping to pull up my pants. Nate walked patiently with me, never seeming to get irritated with my slow progress. He guided me to an ornate set of double doors on the third floor. A large man stood outside the doors looking imposing.
I gasped when I got a good look at the man standing guard. Short black hair cut military style, he cocked his eye at me before politely bowing his head. It was the police officer that pulled me over the night I met Joel.
Nate nodded to the man as he opened the door. I didn't have time to say anything because Nate continued to nudge me through the doors.
The room was warm and inviting. A small fire crackled in the fireplace of a cozy sitting area. There were several comfortable looking chairs near the fire. A large flat screen TV sat unobtrusively in front of a full sized leather couch. What I'm sure were antiques decorated the area tastefully. I noted all the blue and grey and had to think how that would compliment Joel's eyes.
I was pushed gently inside and Nate followed. He directed me to one of the chairs and asked me gently to sit down.
"You are safe in here. These are Alpha Latro's private quarters. The bedroom and bathroom are through there. I will have food and clothing sent up for you. There will be a guard posted at the door. I believe you have already met Anthony."
I nodded and Nate took a big breath. He let it out slowly and kneeled down in front of me, "At the cabin, there was blood...in the bedroom. We know it was yours. I'm sorry to ask, but I know Alpha Latro, Joel, couldn't bring himself to. Were you raped?"
I shook my head no and Nate relaxed a little. "We had hoped you weren't. Are you hurt though? Do you need medical care?" he asked cautiously. I got the feeling he would rather not be the one having this conversation with me.
"No, thank you," I said not wanting to discuss exactly where I was cut, "just scratches. They've all scabbed over by now."
It didn't surprise me when Nate said he was in charge of security, he spent the next hour smoothly questioning me on every aspect of my capture. He never raised his voice or rushed my jumbled descriptions; he just wanted every detail. I may have skimmed over my time in the van, it was just too humiliating. By the time he left, I was exhausted.
He reminded me to take a shower and told me clothes would be waiting in the main room when I finished.
"These rooms are Alpha Latro's personal domain; no one will bother you here. For now stay inside the rooms though and don't go out on the balcony," he motioned toward the bedroom. "You probably won't understand this but the Alpha's rooms have been protected against certain things with magic and that protection doesn't extend to the balcony."
I nodded numbly because, although I didn't understand, I wasn't going to make my life anymore difficult than it was already. Nate walked out the doors and closed them behind him.
Alone inside the sumptuous suite, I walked from the sitting room into the large bedroom and noted the doors to the balcony warily. I had no wish to go outside if I was safe here. The glass doors allowed faint moon light to wash inside the room and give everything a silver glow.
An enormous king sized bed graced one wall of the room. The bed towered in the large space. I stepped up to it and took in the detail on the magnificent carved wooden posts that supported the heavy canopy above it. Piled high with large pillows, it was a bed fit for a king.
Shaking my head at the extravagance, I walked to the room Nate had said was the bathroom and was again amazed. It was big and could have accommodated a football team. A large walk in shower adorned the back wall and a Jacuzzi tub sat quite prominently in the middle of the room.
The colors were all lighter than the main rooms but in the same blue family. Large mirrors covered most of the walls. The sink area was very Spartan, a toothbrush and a razor sat at the ready.
A second sink area was on the opposite wall. I was surprised to see still in boxes were my brand of deodorant and toothpaste. I picked up an unopened toothbrush and pondered the significance. Joel had already planned for me to end up here. The genuine happiness that accompanied that thought was frightening.
The travertine tile was cool under my feet as I kicked off my socks and stripped down. Not being sure what to do with my clothes I piled them on the counter. Catching a glimpse of my reflection in one of the many mirrors I was horrified.
I looked a mess. My ass was mostly a large purple bruise with punctures smeared with dried blood. My breasts and between my thighs also had the same look bitten, scratched, and bloody. Deep angry claw marks adorned my stomach and sides, probably from where my clothes were ripped off. The broken handcuffs still dangled from bruised wrists and ankles.
Shaking my head, I moved away from the mirrors and into the shower. Fervently I hoped I would not have to explain the marks to anyone too soon. I was glad I had had a tetanus shot the year before. That was probably universal.
My analytical mind started to ponder the medical dilemma I found myself in. I knew about dog bites and human bites, but I wasn't sure what kind of antibiotics I should be on for werewolf bites. I would call myself something in to the pharmacy in the morning when I figured it out. I also reminded myself to ask Nate to get the handcuffs off my limbs.
After my shower I found a t shirt, underwear, and sweat pants all in my size in the sitting area. Nate had also left a tray with different kinds of sandwiches. It was wonderful to be dressed in clothes that fit and have a full stomach. I looked at the clock on the wall and it read three in the morning. I didn't want to bother anyone with my bracelet problem so late at night. Feeling sleepy, I curled up on the couch and waited for Joel to come back.
When I woke many hours later sun was coming in the windows and I was so comfortable. I was lying on my side in a soft bed wrapped around a warm solid mass. Never in all my life had I been so relaxed. As I stretched my arm out in front of me I heard a hiss.
"Damn those are cold! Love, why didn't you ask Nate to take these off of you last night?" rumbled into my ear from Joel's chest.