“Sh!t!” Denny growled. “Jude, Joey go get Taylor out.” I watched as Jude and Joey blurred past me and Denny’s eyes turned to me.
“Stay here Clover.”
“Wait a minute”| objected, but Denny growled and pointed at me.
“Do not bark orders at my mate. Now you have a job to do… go do it.” Sion’s voice was low and threatening. His eyes were black and I could visibly see he was fighting to control himself.
“It isn’t safe out there for her.”
“That’s because she had you protecting her before. I am protecting her now. Go and tend to your business; that no longer includes Clover.”
I swallowed as I watched Denny’s hands ball into fists. I listened to his sharp breath intake before he turned around and abruptly ran out of the room. I looked up at Sion waiting for him to say I shouldn’t go or that I should stay here and finish packing.
“Well?” Sion smiled and winked at me. “You want to see what’s going on right? Let’s go, you are part of my pack now.”
“Yeah, not the wet behind the ears pup. Logan snorted and Sion shot him a sharp look which shut him up instantly.
“Logan, keep your feelings to yourself.” Sion turned to look at me and gave me a soft smile. “Be considerate of Clover. That was her alpha.”
I took a couple of steps towards Sion and then the sound of screams echoed from outside. I ran. I needed to see what was happening, I wasn’t sure what to think of Sion and his actions, but l had no time to analyze them. I was now officially going against my alpha’s orders. And it was a little bit weird since, as an officer, my job was to obey unconditionally.
But as Sion pointed out, he wasn’t my alpha anymore. Out of the corner of my eye l could see Sion effortlessly keeping up with me.
Of course, I didn’t have my wolf, sol wasn’t as fast as I usually was. I could hear someone else running and glanced over to see Conner on the other side of me. I felt like I was being escorted rather than followed. They kept in a protective formation around me.
I could smell the smoke and see the orange glow in the distance. There was a group of men putting out what was left of the fire and a lot of others trying to get closer to see what was happening but they were blocked. There was a wall of men not allowing them to get close. Behind them, l could see Alpha Scott, Denny, Jude, and Joey clearly. I could also see beta Sam from the Diamond Pack.
As we approached the barrier of men Sion moved in front of me.
“Stand aside,” he commanded in this deep authoritative tone. The men didn’t even hesitate to move out of the way for him. I watched him turn his body slightly towards me and a moment later I was being scooped into his side. He ushered me along with him and Logan and Conner followed.
My eyes scanned over everyone until they landed on a charred body on the ground. I gasped and raised my hand to cover my mouth. She might have been conspiring to kill me, but I didn’t want this. I stepped away from Sion’s arm and closer towards the body to examine it further. I might not have my wolf, but I wasn’t useless. I could see by the way the body was burned that this wasn’t a normal fire.
I knelt next to the body aware of the eyes watching me to see what I was going to do.
“Magic,” I whispered out looking up to see Sam nodding his head in agreement.
Yes, but l am not sure what kind.” Sam looked over at Alpha Scott and began asking him questions about the pack.
Meanwhile, I returned to looking at the body.
Jude knelt down beside me and I looked up at his blank expression. I’m sure this was hard on him. She was his girlfriend and he had feelings for her. “Where are the guards who were watching the holding cell?” l asked Jude and he motioned his head in the distance. I glanced in their direction to see Denny talking to them with Joey.
“They were asleep and don’t remember seeing anyone,” Jude sighed and he looked up at me. They were put to sleep by someone.”
“Who has magic in your pack?”
I turned to look at Sion as he moved closer to me. I shook my head and looked back at the body. “There isn’t anyone who has magic at this level.” I pointed over the body.
“You see how even the burn is? This was done by someone with a lot of power who is very experienced. The body was engulfed by an even amount of heat. Whoever did this has a lot of control and power.” I looked back at Sion to see him looking at me intently.
“Impressive Clover,” I shrugged slightly with a small smile. “I had a lot of time on my hands to study.”
“Alpha Scott I will expect a full investigation and report. I want you to keep me informed of anything you find.”
Sam turned and looked at me and then at the body. “Better have the body taken care of. You don’t want her parents to see this sight. And Clover… I will be leaving shortly. You are sure about your decision?”
Was I sure about my decision? | wasn’t sure about anything right now. I watched as a few men carried a body bag over and began putting Taylor’s remains in it. I could hear hysterical screaming and crying in the distance. Most likely it was Taylor’s parents. What a mess.
One thing I was certain of as that I was not staying here. I felt oddly at ease with Sion, and we did have a history together. I wasn’t sure if it was the right decision, but| wanted to go with him. I nodded my head and Sam smiled at me.
“Well, just remember you are always welcome at the Diamond pack.”
“Thank you. | smiled and straightened up to my feet.
“I’ll keep it in mind.” l glanced over at Sion to look at his face. I was curious if that bothered him at all but if it did, he didn’t show it. I wasn’t used to that. Denny wore his emotions on his sleeves. Everyone always knew how he was feeling. But it seemed even when Sion was upset, he was able to keep his composure well.
“They don’t remember anything,” Denny said as he walked over. I caught him glancing at me for a moment before looking back at his dad.
“We start our investigation immediately. I want all the wolves who were in the area to be questioned first. Then we make our way through the pack. It is going to be a long night.
Thank goodness the meeting is over.” Alpha Scott then turned his head towards me. “Clover, I’m afraid we will have to tell you goodbye now. Given the circumstances
“l understand.” I cut him off and he nodded his head. I hadn’t wanted a weird awkward goodbye and now that there was a pressing issue, it wasn’t a problem.
“If you ever need anything of course we will see you again. Take care of yourself, Clover.” Alpha Scott then turned and walked away with Sam. He wasn’t a man to prolong things and he had a murder in his pack.
It was Denny, Jude, and Joey that were looking at me with crestfallen faces. If you would have told me a week ago that I was going to leave this pack, I would have laughed. I couldn’t imagine not being the delta of the Sulfur pack. And now l couldn’t imagine staying in the Sulfur pack. It is funny how fast things can change.
“I don’t want to send you off like this… hell l don’t want to send you off at all.” Denny stepped up to me and wrapped his arms around me. “After you get settled… and things settle down here I will come and visit you. You can always come back here. I want you to know that.” I could hear Denny’s voice waiver as he let out a breath. “I’m sorry for everything that happened.”
“Denny, you don’t have to worry about me. Take care of your pack and be the Alpha, I know you can be.” I stepped back and could see the torn expression on his face. There was a lot he wanted to say but one of the men called out his name near the burning building.
“I’ve got to go. Take care… little sis.” A small smile reached his lips as he patted my head and walked away. That was the actual reality of my relationship with Denny and the others. I was like their adopted little sister, not a romantic interest.
“Don’t be too much of a handful. I won’t be there to keep you in line..” Jude teased as he ruffled my hair. “Call me and we can video chat. Maybe we can even play some video games online together. Until next time..” This was Jude’s way.
He didn’t like saying goodbye.
“Jude,” I called out as he started to walk away. “If you don’t mind losing, I’ll play some games with you.” I listened to him chuckle as he went about his duties. I looked up at Joey and bit my inner lip. I didn’t know what to say to him. He had asked me to be his chosen mate and I was leaving with another.
I hoped he wasn’t upset with me. Deep down he had to understand that this was for the best.. I hope.
I watched as he reached out for me and pulled me into his arms. He rested his chin on the top of my head and for a moment he just held me like that. “I’ll always be here for you. If you ever need anything… I hope you find the home that you want. But if not… you can always come back here. I love you, Clover.”
He kissed the top of my head and then briskly walked away before I could say anything. I didn’t know what to say anyway. It felt like anything that came out of my mouth wouldn’t be enough. So I stood there quietly watching him walk away. I didn’t realize how hard this feeling would hit me. I was saying goodbye to a very big part of my life. It was much harder than I imagined.
“l guess we know why she smelled like Joey.” Conner snorted, and I turned and looked at him.
“You don’t know what you are talking about,” I said quietly.
“We can very clearly see” Conner began, but Sion interrupted him.
“Conner,” Sion’s gruff tone silenced the man instantly.
His hazel eyes found mine but I couldn’t read him at all. “Don’t pry into her past.”
“Uhm, I think you are getting the wrong impression.”
Sion was still looking at me and I decided to elaborate just a bit. “Joey and I aren’t a couple. He offered to take care of me after… after I lost my wolf. He has been the one guarding me around the clock. He cares about me… but he hasn’t met his fated mate yet,” I shrugged. “It’s for the best..”
I averted my gaze from Sion to glance back at the Sulfur pack members. This was it.. I was leaving for good. I couldn’t see the guys anymore. They were probably being torn in so many different directions and usually I was right there with them. And part of me still felt this responsibility. l inhaled deeply as I tried to bury my feelings.
“I need to finish packing,” I mumbled and started walking back to the pack house.
We walked back in silence to the house. Sion was by my side and Conner and Logan were right behind us. We were just about to step onto the porch when a loud voice screamed, “YOU!”
A large muscular man stomped towards me. His red crazy eyes were fixated on me as a sinister snarl escaped his throat. Shit… this was Taylor’s father and he looked unhinged.