I did not care about going to sleep anymore. I could not sleep without chasity safe and sound in bed with me. I knew my brothers felt the same.
The first thing we need to do is put the packlands on lockdown, said Alex. “No one enters or leaves our territory without explicit permission from me or one of my brothers effective immediately!”
He was using his Alpha Voice so that his orders would be , binding. Beta Keaton nodded. Gamma Kaiden was silent. I could feel his eyes sweep over me and then Calix. We were all standing around the Iiving room, everyone too anxious to Sit. I knew Kaiden was feeling sorry for me. I did not want to see the pity in his eyes. I was not used to being on the receiving end of pity.
“We need to make a list a suspects, I said. “A more extensive list than before. We underestimated the kidnappers before.”
“Underestimated them?” Said Calix. “We were monitoring Chasity at all times after their first attempt. We didn’t underestimate them. We let our guard down for one minute and it cost us everything we’ve ever wanted!”
Calixs voice cracked a little. Normally, I would bark at him over mind link lor showing weakness in front of the others but this was different. If there was any scenario an Alpha could break down over, it was the loss of his Luna.
We’re gonna get her back ,I said to Calix privately.
I felt the mind link equlvalent of a nod. He agreed with me but wasn’t in much of a talkative mood. None of us were.
I want a private investigator in addition to the pack police and pack warriors” I demanded.” I want people looking at this from all angles. The first twenty-four hours are crucial.”
“We have all the squads out scouring the pack lands especially the more rural areas. I highly doubt there would try to hide her in plain sight. It would be too risky. A scent, a strange noise, a single strand of blonde curled hair, anything could give them away. I guarantee the location she’s at is remote, reasoned Kaiden.
“I agree with you there but just in case I still want the city searched,”I said.
“Does anyone want some tea? Asked Mom, poking her head into the room.
I glared at her. Calix glared at me.
She’s just trying to help, he said.
“Some coffee would be nice,” said Alex.
“Coffee? It’s so late already” she commented with a concerned look at Calix.
“Yeah, let’s rush to bed so we can lie around while our fated Luna’s life is on the line,” I snapped.
“Coffee, Mom, thanks” said Alex dismissively.
She frowned. She ordered one of the maids to make coffee for everyone. L could have done that. I thought she was actually offering to do something. A few of the squad leaders had returned after searching their assigned areas. No one had any good news or leads
This is torture” I muttered.
“Danny” said Alex.
“What?” I asked, downing a cup of coffee, not for the taste, just for the stimulant effect.
I needed the energy.
“Danny is the name of the private investigator Jessie’s Dad hired when Jessie’s Mom was missing!” Said Alex, going through his phone.
“That was years ago, when Jessie was a pup;I said.
“You know any other private investigators that have successfully returned missing Lunas to their Alphas?! Twice!” Said Alex.
I frowned. I did not want to get my hopes up but this Danny guy had the best track record when it came to these kinds of cases.
“Call him,”I said decisively.
Alex looked at Calix. Calix nodded. At least, we were in agreement on one thing.
I Kept going over my notes detailing every measure in place so far and wracking my brain for what could be added to it. Were we doing enough to find Chasity? The lockdown, the pack police patrols, the pack warrior patrols, the private investigator, the mandatory Curfew.
Alex, it’s almost dawn,” said Mom, clearly worried about Calix.
She was saying my name but looking at him.
“I m fine, Mom,” murmured Callx.
“You’re not fine” said Mom.
“Well, of course, I’m not fine, my reason for being is missing!”
Mom fell silent. she flounced oft back into the next room. She was refusing to go to bed until we did though she wasn’t actually helping. Did she really not care about my Luna even in the slightest? I pushed the thought from my mind. Mom’s antics were a distraction right now. I needed to focus all my brain power on finding Chasity.
“Danny Saunders is here, Alphas,’ said a pack warrior, entering the room.
I perked up.I exchanged a hopeful glance with my brothers. The lack of leads was disheartening but perhaps Danny could put a fresh spin on things. I was doing just about anything to keep my mind off imagining the predicament Chasity might be in. It was excruciating to think about her being scared or hungry or hurt in anyway. It made me furious as well and l did not know where to direct that fury. I did not know who to blame.
Danny entered the room. He cleared his throat as if to announce himself.I shook his hand and so did Calix. Felix seemed to be sizing him up. He was eye to eye with us. Very tall. Broad shoulders.
You’d think he would’ve shaved first, grumbled Keaton in my mind, including Calix and Felix. Before meeting the pack leaders especially all three of you, Alphas!
I like that he didn’t shave,, said Felix. It means he dropped everything to come here and didn’t waste any time at my Baby Chasitys expense.
I suppose, said Keaton.
He looks like Uncle Henry, sald Calix. Like Jessie’s Dad.
He absolutely did not look like Jessie’s Dad. Jessie and his Dad bore a resemblance to my brothers and my Dad with their light olive skin, blue eyes and glossy dark hair. This guy had intense dark eyes and brown hair. He had a five o’clock shadow and a bushy moustache. I didn’t bother to argue with Calix. We were all so upset already. There was no need to quarrel over something dumb.
Yeah, a little bit, the nose, I lied.
Um, no! What? I Disagreed Felix.
Thank you, Danny, for coming straight here. Time is of the essence,” I said.
Felix finally decided to shake Danny’s hand.
“I’m Danny Saunders, said Danny Saunders unnecessarily to the room
We clearly knew who he was.
I require an audience with all three Alphas. You three will be my first three interviews,” said Danny.
He had a strange way of repeating himself.
You sure you said ‘three’ enough” muttered Felix.
Is there somewhere we can be alone? Continued Danny,
unruffled. “A more intimate setting?”
“Buy us dinner first, at least,” joked Felix wryly.
I smiled slightly. I was glad to hear Felix crack a joke. It hurt me to see my brothers so drained of life. Danny remained stone faced.
All right, let’s go to the conference room, I suggested.
Beta Keaton and Dad attempted to follow us up the stairs.
“Just the three lovers of Chasity for now, thanks, said Danny.
Felix snorted. We went to the conference room with Danny and sat down.
I need to interview you separately and as a group. Your pick.
What will we do first?” Said Danny, opening his briefcase and revealing an old-fashioned looking tape recorder. I noticed he already had a few newspaper clippings of Chasity, Felix, Calix and me in a folder. My heart hurt seeing our smiling faces on our joint birthday. It had been the first big news story about the four of us.
This morning’s headline would be another one.
Together first,” I insisted.
I felt so shaky without Chasity. I didn’t feel like being away from my brothers even for a few minutes right now.
“How long is this gonna take? My Baby is out there. I must have recounted this story half a dozen times already,” grumbled Felix.
“I can imagine your frustration but I need to conduct my investigation independently from the police and warriors. That is what you hired me for? Isn’t it?” Said Danny.
We nodded. Danny made us start all the way back. He wanted to hear about how we first met Chasity and what our relationship was like before that fateful birthday, Then, he questioned us about our parents reactions to us being mated to Chasity as well as our own reactions.
“I knew I loved her instantly,” said Felix without hesitation, “I was…relieved in a sense. Now, I could love her more openly, Now,I could try to convince her to love me. I hadn’t realised how much I wanted her to be the one until I found out that she was.
Danny nodded encouragingly. He looked at me. He had a way of asking questions without necessarily verbalising them.I pictured Chasity’s beautiful face in my mind. My chest hurt like there was a band constricting around my heart.
“My relationship with Chasity was different. I never tried to hide my liking for her. My brothers knew how I felt. My mother knew how felt. I never hid my feelings themselves but I dialled down their intensity. I pretended it was a fleeting crush and not a…devotion,”I explained. “it was more than like. Even though she was not the first girl I dated..she was my first love…long before the mate bond.I think little me fell in love with her from the first time I saw her on the doorstep. When she became my official mate, I was able to court her properly. I was eager. I felt lucky to be matched with her. I felt emboldened too. Now, I knew the chances of her loving me back were very good. Fate was on our side..until now.” I mumbled, trailing off awkwardly.
Alex sighed, I could feel his sorrow emanating from him like smoke filling a room. It was suffocating: being around all this sadness, some of it mine and some of it belonging to my elder brothers. We all wanted to wake up from this nightmare.
Alex, prompted Danny. “Same question. Can you compare your feelings for Chasity before and after the mate bond took effect?
Is this therapy or an investigation Snarled Felix.
“Both,” said Danny unabashedly.
I ‘ve always loved her said Alex simply.
“Well, don’t talk us half to death, said Felix.
“There isn’t much to say, said Alex defensively.
Danny raised his brows. I knew Alex was holding back his emotions like he always did.
“Chasity always ignored me before the bond. I was…petty. I was annoyed about how little attention she gave to me. It was so easy to get the attention of every girl in the pack besides the one I wanted.
When I found out she was mine, I was determined to earn her forgiveness and win her over. How is this helping the investigation?
Asked Alex pointedly.
I was wondering that myself.
“It’s helping me compile a list of suspects,” said Danny.
I glanced at the list:
Luna Ronnie – begrudgingly took Chasity in. Vying for Calix’s attention.
Sandra -recent ex of Alex. Obsessed with birthing a new Alpha.
Tonya-recent ex of Felix. Jealous streak. A woman scorned.
A very-recent ex of Calix. Unlikely to be main suspect. Possible accomplice.
Roxie – former ex of Felix. Old grudge.
“You think our Mom is capable of this? I asked, feeling affronted.
He did not attempt to hide his notes. He did the opposite. He turned his notes towards us so that we could see them more clearly.
“You think she’s not?” Countered Danny.
I frowned. He put a pencil down in front of us. We stared at it.
“if any of you are confident enough to put your missing mate’s head on a block where Luna Ronnie is concerned, then take the pencil and cross out her name!” Instructed Danny.
He sat back, waiting. No one took the pencil.