Bound to My Mate Ch. 16byDoctorWolf©
Thanks to all who left feedback or voted. I'm ridiculous about checking it. Please enjoy this next installment. DW
"Take down the rogues when they reach fifty-one," Joel commanded into a radio and then he paused. "The rogues are not to be hurt. Capture and subdue them, bring them back to the den alive and unharmed. I wish to speak with them."
I heard Lucas breath with relief.
"Thank you, my Alpha," Lucas whispered, "my mate loves her family. She would never forgive us if they were hurt."
'Why the change in how you treat the rogues?' I asked Joel through our bond.
'I feel there is something different here. There is history to werewolves I have only partially shared with you. This doesn't seem to be a dangerous pack of rogues. They may have escaped from Alpha DeSantos during his madness. If that is so, I would like such survivors in my pack,' Joel sent back to me.
We waited in the van and watched the rogues head off a few minutes later. We sat quietly in the van, but Lucas was itching to go get June. Joel ordered him to let Anthony handle that task and then something metal hit the outside of the van.
"Are you the FBI?" an elderly female voice screeched from outside.
Lights went on all over the trailer park and the woman continued to scream that the FBI was invading. Joel cursed and Anthony bolted toward June's door. Our organized plan was suddenly a mess.
When we left the trailer park about twenty minutes later, it was without June. Anthony had broken into the trailer, but the girl was gone. He found an empty vial that smelled like 'the secret' and an open window in the back.
The trailer was clean and well kept, according to Anthony. There were two small bedrooms. One seemed to be used by the males and the female slept alone. This was very unlike any rogue pack they had encountered.
Back in the van we heard over Anthony's police radio that a car had just been stolen one street over. The assumption was that June had taken it and gotten away. Joel didn't want to have to deal with human law enforcement, so we made ourselves scarce before they could show up.
Lucas was distraught. He babbled incoherently about losing his mate. I shushed and tried to comfort him, but he was inconsolable.
A call came in as we made our way back to the den. The rogues were apprehended and were being transported. That part of the night had gone without incident.
Once we made it home I was greeted by my assistant, Emily, who took up her usual place beside me with a notepad and her PDA. I'm not entirely sure what she planned to take notes on, but she usually found something.
I gave Lucas' glass from the club discreetly to Nate. He would take it to the healer. If June had been controlling Lucas with magic we would know soon.
Joel, Emily, and I walked quickly into the den to talk to the rogues. I was curious to get a good look at them. Joel was interested to talk to them.
Joel's belief they may be innocent was reinforced by several Council members that met us at the door. They had seen the rogues brought in and thought they knew who they were.
The four young men resembled a group of four boys that were listed as missing from the De Santos pack. One of the boys was a spitting image of his father, the Council members told Joel. They were most certainly survivors of the De Santos tragedy.
"I knew that boy's family," the Council member told Joel, "they were massacred by Alpha De Santos. They were good wolves, loyal to the end. If that boy is anything like his father, he's worth keeping."
We walked into a meeting room on the first floor. All the furniture had been pushed against the walls. The four young men were still struggling with their captors and looking wildly around the room. Everyone was nude, so I assumed they must have switched forms several times during the capture.
"Good evening, gentlemen," Joel said calmly, "I am Alpha Joel Latro and this is my mate," before he could continue he was interrupted by Emily.
"Hi," she said focusing on a lanky kid at one end, "my name is Emily."
"I'm Brett," he told her with a goofy grin. "You're really pretty."
"Dude, shut up," the older guy in the middle said harshly looking over at his friend.
"No, she's okay," Brett told his companion, "I can feel it."
I stood shocked watching this odd display. Emily never forgot her place and right now she was oblivious she had interrupted the Alpha.
"My Alphas," Emily addressed us while inching toward the boy, "I can keep him in my room. He's my mate, my real mate. May I keep him, please?" she begged.
I grabbed Emily to keep her from going farther toward him. Looking at Joel he was deep in thought.
I pushed into Joel's mind and saw his internal debate. These kids ran from a horrible tragedy, he didn't want to hurt them in the first place. The fact that one of them was destined to be mated to his pack member made him want to harm them even less. Joel didn't want to risk danger to the pack by allowing in unpredictable renegades, though.
"Emily," I said softly, "please remember protocol. We don't know these boys. Apologize for interrupting your Alpha."
"I'm sorry, Alpha Latro," Emily said, "please don't hurt him. You have to understand, I need him. Please, let me keep him."
Joel ran a hand through his hair and addressed me through our bond.
'We should not hurt a pack member's pre determined mate. If these boys are who I think they are, I'm letting them stay as full members. We've got the cameras in the den now. We could literally watch everything they did. Do you agree with me?' he asked.
'I don't sense these are dangerous renegades. If you say they should stay, I agree with you,' I sent back to him.
"Where are you from?" he asked the four boys.
When no one answered he crossed his arms and stared at them. Joel glanced back at Emily and an evil smile lit his face.
"Emily, ask Brett where he is from," he ordered her.
Nobody could resist talking to their mate. Joel was really playing dirty.
She repeated the question and the boy told her they were from the De Santos pack.
"Did you run from fear or when we cleaned out the De Santos den?" Joel asked.
"What the hell do you care?" the boy from the middle spat out. "We are half bloods, kill us now and get it over with."
Joel sighed, "You are not half bloods, there is no such thing. Alpha De Santos made a horrible mistake. A changed wolf is a wolf. There is no weakness in you just because you were changed or the child of someone who was changed."
I was confused. From what I'd heard so far it sounded like the Alpha had turned on his pack. Still, this talk about half bloods didn't make any sense to me.
"My mate was changed in the winter," Joel said gesturing to me. "No one believes the ridiculous ideology that the Alpha De Santos started espousing after his daughter disappeared. There is no difference in being born this way or being changed."
The boys stared at me with disbelief.
"She is a doctor in the human world," Emily said directing her comment to Brett.
Despite my firm grip on her arm Emily was desperately trying to get closer to Brett. The Beta holding the object of her affection seemed to be having the same problem. They were like two ends of a magnet.
"June got sick in t-t-the fall," the kid on the other end stuttered quietly, "remember t-t-that poor clinic we went t-t-to in the city. Isn't that t-t-the doctor who treated her? She wasn't a wolf t-t-then."
"We tried to help her by licking out the sickness from her nose, but it didn't work," Brett told Emily and I cringed.
"Just go to the clinic next time. My God, that's nasty," I said reflexively and shuddered.
"You think that's nasty?" the boy in the middle asked incredulously.
"Yes, disgusting," I answered honestly, "I know you were just trying to help, but just go to a clinic next time."
Everyone was staring at me. I looked at Joel and he was grinning.
"Cleaning an infected area is not nasty, love."
"Putting your tongue in someone's nose is filthy. I don't even see how that would help. Can we please stop talking about this? I feel like I'm going to throw up," I begged Joel.
"You don't lick the wounds when you are healing in the infirmary?" Joel pushed.
"That is different. I have never stuck my tongue into someone's nose," I answered putting a hand over my stomach.
I hated nose picking and this was about the most severe case I'd ever heard of. Just the thought of it made my skin crawl.
"She really wasn't born a wolf was she, sir?" the boy in the middle asked Joel with awe in his voice.
"No, she wasn't," Joel answered and motioned to the Betas to let the boys go. "We didn't know what Alpha De Santos was doing until it was too late. We were able to step in and stop him finally. I'm sorry for what you've gone through. None of it was right and it should not have happened."
"We thought everyone would hate us," the boy in the middle said. "Our families were all friends. They met one night and decided it wasn't safe anymore. Our parents told us to stay together and to get away. They said that someone would pick us up, but no one ever came. We've stayed together as a pack and found a way to live on our own. I heard later all our families had been killed. We've been hiding ever since."
"You deserve a pack. I would venture you need a pack," Joel astutely surmised.
The boy in the middle held Joel's gaze a moment before looking at the floor. "Yes, sir, it's been hard for us."
"What was left of your pack was given mostly to Alpha Sebastian Germain," Joel said, "but I am claiming you four as mine."
"You'd claim us?" the boy in the middle said sounding shocked.
"I will claim you as my pack members and protect all of you to the best of my ability. You have my word on that. You will not be intentionally harmed or treated with disrespect due to you lineage. All of your family will be safe here," Joel said solemnly.
"What if i-t-t-t's just a lie," the kid on the far end said quietly.
He had blonde hair and sunken eyes. His skittish look told me everything I needed to know about his state of mind. The boy reminded me of Lucas.
"Kid," the large Beta behind him said, "the Alpha doesn't go back on his word, ever. If he says it's that way, then that's how it is."
"I bet you want something, t-t-though," the kid said watching the carpet under his feet.
Joel moved in front of the boy and nodded. "I do want something. I want to talk to the female that travels with you. You have my word I won't hurt her, but I want to know where she is getting the spells."
"Damn it," the kid in the middle cursed, "we told her to stop that, sir. Please forgive her. She's a human orphan. She found us and we've just stuck together. We've lived as a family for almost ten years now. She started selling those things and we told her to stop. I thought she had. She hated to see us go hungry, though."
"We don't want to harm her," Joel said, "I would like to question her, though. Can you tell us where she went? We were watching your trailer. One of your neighbors alerted her we were nearby and she ran."
"No, sir, I don't know where she went," the boy said shaking his head.
"Keep looking for the girl," Joel ordered Nate. "Absolutely no harm is to come to her in our care."
"Yes sir, Alpha Latro, we'll keep on it," Nate said striding out of the room.
"Tell me your names," Joel demanded.
"Joseph," the boy said and then pointed to the other boys introducing them as Brett, Michael, and Rick.
"You are the acting Alpha in your pack, Joseph?" Joel asked.
"Yes, sir, I guess I am," the boy nodded.
"I would like to do this right. We will meet in the circle and we will battle. When I win, I lay claim to all of you," Joel said, "including the female."
"And what if I win?" Joseph asked puffing out his chest.
The Betas in room all snickered a little.
"You've never fought a true Alpha, kid," Anthony snorted from behind me, "there's no chance of you winning."
As we walked to the circle Joel ran me through how this would happen. He would "battle" Joseph. When he won and Joseph submitted the rest of the renegade pack would come forward. Joel would inspect them and I should follow him. The rest of the pack would follow us.
Once the introduction was done the pack would celebrate its newest members and their Alpha's superior strength. I remembered how the pack liked to celebrate Joel's strength and he smiled broadly. Personally, I felt there were easier ways to earn a good screw.
When it came to the battle, Anthony wasn't wrong. It was over before it even started. I did note the kid had good potential, just no training. Joel had Joseph's neck between his jaws in less than a minute.
Nobody really cared about the fight anyway, they were all too busy watching Emily get acquainted with her new mate. All their touching and kissing made me watch Lucas, who looked despondent. His distress was heartfelt.
Joel nudged me mentally and I quickly divested myself of my clothing and shifted into the white wolf. I padded forward and inspected each of the new wolves. Sniffing their backsides felt so wrong, but my wolf knew it was the appropriate place to catch their scent.
We stood and watched as the pack paraded past inspecting their newest members. Several females seemed very excited to meet the new wolves. I had to laugh internally at that, it seemed pack life was already looking up for the ex-renegades.
I saw the pack standing in the circle watching us and a I knew what they were waiting for. I just wasn't in the mood. All I could think of was how bad Lucas must feel right now. In my mind I tried to conjure sexy images, but it wasn't working. 'Love,' Joel sent into my mind, 'Lucas will survive tonight without her. The security team will find her or she will find these boys. Relax and let me help you.'
Joel flooded my brain with erotic images. Mainly his memories of the things we had done and the love we'd shared. There were also a few things we'd never done, but that he wanted to try. His imagination blew me away.
The passion took over as Joel circled around me. He crawled over me with a triumphant bark and the pack followed his lead. All the mated pairs were joined around us as wolves celebrating their leader. The unmated shifted to a human form and rejoiced that way.
The pack was in a frenzy, everyone enjoying one another. I loved to see them like this, happy and free. I howled my pleasure to the sky when my world exploded in orgasm.
As we walked back to the den as humans I saw Lucas and felt bad again. He shouldn't be alone, he'd been alone for so long. It really was a sad story.
"Lucas," I called, "where are you spending the night?"
"In the rooms that belong to my second cousins," he smiled sadly.
"In the morning you work with the security team and find June," Joel ordered.
"May I start tonight, my Alpha?" Lucas asked happily.
"Of course you may," Joel told him.
"Where are the new wolves going to stay?" I asked Joel.
"I think Brett," Joel motioned toward the lovebirds behind us, "will be with Emily. Her family will allow him to stay with her, I'm sure. The rest will go to the quarters for the unmated young wolves on the main floor. The house officer will set them up."
'Is it safe?' I asked through our bond. 'Can we be sure they won't try to hurt anyone?'
'Leaving them in the holding cells would be safer, of course, but it felt wrong to me,' Joel sent back. 'After everything they've been through, opening our home to them seemed the decent thing to do.'
'We do have someone watching them on the cameras, right?' I asked.
Joel grinned and looked down at me, 'Yes, but that doesn't change what I said to them. I will protect them.'
'You're a good man,' I sent to him as he picked me up and carried me the rest of the way to the den.
Joel and I stayed up late that night. He explained everything he knew about the Alpha De Santos tale. It was a long and very sad story.
It started innocently enough. Joel had heard something was wrong with the Alpha's only daughter, he didn't know exactly what. Alpha De Santos kept her secluded, but the rest of the packs didn't think that was too odd. Some children are sicker than others.
The horror began in her ninth year and she disappeared. Everyone looked, but they couldn't find her. The DeSantos pack started to crumble after that happened. No one knew what Alpha De Santos had started to do until it was too late.
Alpha De Santos decided his daughter's problems were because her maternal grandmother had been human. It started slowly. He demoted anyone with human ancestry. Later, he had a series of tests for anyone with any human blood in them. Eventually, he killed anyone with links to a human.
The Alpha encouraged his pack members to hate humans and allowed them to turn on members with links to humans. Some of his pack members became so virulent that when it all ended, they splintered off into rogue packs. There were so many groups that spread across the country it was impossible to stop all of them. Those rogue groups were responsible for multitudes of human attacks and deaths.
The four boys we had found were part of a very small number of the 'half bloods' that had escaped. Most of the escapees had gone straight to the other packs. Joel felt the boys must be very strong to have lived so long on their own. He wanted to see them stay and be happy, but he knew it would be hard for them.
"They've learned to hate us and they still fear us. I think they know where the girl is, but they are afraid of what we will do to her. It's going to take some time for them to trust us. I'm hoping by giving them free reign of the den they will realize we don't mean to hurt them," Joel told me as we headed for the bed.
I snuggled with Joel and thought about Lucas. Part of me hoped he really had found a mate and part of me hoped he hadn't. It was going to be hard either way.
The healer was at our door the next morning with the glass from the strip joint.
"No spells," she guaranteed us, "although they might want to invest in a dishwasher. I don't think this thing has ever really been cleaned."
I balked thinking I had drank out of a glass just like that one.
"You have a superior immune system now, love," Joel reminded me when he caught the look on my face.
Joel and I went to the security center and watched the videos from overnight. Brett had stayed with Emily's family. He had not left their quarters, no surprise there. Joseph and the others stayed in a room for unmated wolves. One of them had been out checking out a different part of the den all night.
"The only thing they did that was questionable was take a bunch of food from the kitchen," the security chief told us. "We just assumed they were hungry, so we let it go."
"They're hoarding," Joel told me, "Alpha De Santos wouldn't let the impure eat with the pure. They had to scrounge for their food."
"I say we go invite them to breakfast in the main hall," I suggested.
I had not spent a lot of time in the wing for unmated wolves. It was a lot like a college dorm. Joel and I walking through was like having the dean visit. Everyone poked their head out when they heard we were down here.
Joel knocked on Joseph's door and he peeked out. Once he saw it was the Alpha he opened the door wide and I could see him gulp down his fear. His eyes were wide and the boys behind him looked just as panicked. They must have thought we were here to search the room.
"It is early, I understand," Joel told them, "but my mate and I were hoping you all would join us for breakfast in the main hall."
"Sure, of course, Alpha Latro, we'd be happy to join you," he said motioning for the other boys to hurry up and get ready to go.