MoboReader> Horror > Bound

   Chapter 15 No.15

Bound By Julie Embleton Characters: 11207

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:02


Dean scrubbed his hands across his face, blew out a long, slow breath and sat back in his office chair. Okay, he said to himself, ordering his thoughts as he laced his hands behind his head. She's a rogue, a rogue, who for some really screwed up reason, has lost or can't connect with her wolf. Whatever did this to her has originated from her pack and she's terrified of them finding her.

That was all he had learned.

Glancing down at the phone on his desk he knew he could find out more, but his hands stayed firmly put behind his head. He'd met rogues before, dealt with them in all kinds of situations, but this was the first time he'd ever seen a rogue so completely and utterly terrified of being returned to their pack that they would choose to die before going back.

He knew her threat of harming one of his pack was an empty one – she didn't have the strength – but her determined words in the kitchen earlier had finally made him realize how her need to leave his territory was, as far as she was concerned, for her own survival.

It had taken a few moments before he'd been able to shake his head clear of her alarming revelations and follow her out of the kitchen. She'd found the living room and had curled up in a tight ball on the corner of his couch, her refusal to make eye contact with him lasting for nearly half an hour, along with her silence. Not that he'd asked her more questions, he'd decided to drop the interrogation because it had been making him uncomfortable to see how distressed she was becoming, but all his suggestions of how he could try to help were met with ardent head shakes until the moment when he'd offered her a place in his pack. Then she had finally spoken.

"No."

"Taylor, come on, think about it – if you join my pack you'd be under our protection, no-one would be -."

"I said no."

"Even just temporarily, it would -."

"No."

"Why?"

"It would only make things worse."

"How? That makes no sense."

"Replying with nothing more than a bitter laugh, she'd then clammed up again. In the end, more frustrated than he'd thought possible, he'd got up from his chair and suggested she get some sleep, offering to show her where one of the guest bedrooms was. She'd refused of course, insisting that sleeping on the couch would suit her better, and he'd just been about to remind her of how the house was securely guarded and there was no way she'd be able to sneak out during the night, when she had looked up and pleaded with him for one final time that he not contact her pack. He had been about to shrug a reply to his genuine indecision when her cowered form in the corner of his couch made him realize something; this wolf was maimed, maimed in a way he would never have thought possible and he couldn't pretend to ignore it any longer.

Lycans were violently territorial and unfailingly savage about protecting their own packs, but an honour code still existed beneath the aggressive covetousness, a code that compelled them to defend any of their kin when they were threatened by another kind – and there was no way another Lycan had done this to her. As an Alpha, this rogue was his responsibility. And as a werewolf, this injured female was his responsibility, too. "I won't contact your pack, " he had decided aloud. "But that doesn't mean I'm going to stop trying to help you. You know I can't ignore what's been done to you."

But how was he going to help her?

The question ran unending laps inside his head while he had grabbed sheets, a duvet and pillows and had made sure she was settled for her stay on his couch. And it was only as he had mind-linked with the patrol and warned them to keep an extra close eye on his house, when he had reluctantly admitted to himself that, despite what he had told her, he was going to have to find out who her pack was. But he'd have to be careful about it. Werewolves were a secretive lot; if he was going to start poking around he'd have to do it discreetly, otherwise he'd end up in the problematic situation of defending a rogue who didn't want protection – and maybe even from her Alpha who, although had the right to claim her back, could very possibly be a part of the disgusting situation which had been forced upon her.

"Messy, " he muttered, pushing himself forward on his chair and flipping open his laptop.

He clicked onto a link which, through several well-hidden links, would eventually lead him into the official Lycan Alliance website. "So, Taylor, " he said quietly, waiting for the page to load, "who out there is looking for you?" And someone had to be looking for her. Whether it was the monster who had maimed her, or concerned family and friends, there had to be someone tearing up the country trying to find her.

An hour later, Dean sat back and frowned darkly at the screen. An unnerving suspicion had started to creep inside him. Of the twenty odd rogues reported missing across the country, not one of them came close to matching Taylor, or whatever her real name was. The pack websites all shared the same information about the current rogues; recent sightings, descriptions, pictures, suggestions of where they would be heading next, but not one single tiny bit of information popped up about Taylor. It spoke volumes. Alphas always reported rogues, and what they didn't reveal in the initial posting always filtered through from other pack members in Lycan chat rooms; rumours, pleas for help, warnings and so on. It was like her whole pack had closed rank and was pretending she didn't exist. Surely someone out there cared for her a

nd wanted her back, or even just needed to know that she was safe? The silence was frightening.

Clicking out of the last page he turned off the laptop. He'd been sure he would have at least been able to find out who her pack was. Frustrated to still be stuck on square one, he shoved back his chair and stood up, rolling out his shoulders and stretching his arms.

What he needed now was a run. His head was practically buzzing with the constant stream of questions spinning around, and a hammering run through the forest would clear it all away, give him some free head space to think. But a run was off the agenda. There was no way he was leaving Taylor alone in the house. He could tell by her steady breathing that she had finally fallen asleep, her earlier forced, measured breaths not fooling him for one second. But even though the house was guarded, he wasn't going to risk leaving her.

Ignoring the thoughts of how amazing the forest would smell after the earlier rain he switched off the light and quietly closed the office door, pausing briefly in the landing to listen to the even breathing that drifted up from the living room. He couldn't help but grin as he crossed towards his bedroom. She was going to be pissed with herself in the morning when she realized she'd fallen asleep instead of escaping. And no doubt, he warned himself, peeling off his t-shirt and throwing it onto his bed, it'll make her even more determined to get away.

Dean had just flicked on his bathroom light when his wolf gave a low warning growl. Awareness hit his senses, prickling his skin and instinctively stilling him on the spot. Another wolf was in his house. For a short moment he held perfectly still, his head cocked towards the direction of the faint signal coming from somewhere downstairs. And then he moved.

Every outer door in the house had been locked, he assured himself, silently darting back out onto the landing – he had checked them all, twice. The windows had been shut too, so how in the hell did whoever it was get in?

The sense of the stranger began to grow stronger as he reached the top of the stairs and his feet automatically took over when he traced the trespasser to the living room. How had they found Taylor so fast? How did they get past his patrols, his boundary, how in the hell had they gotten inside his own damn house without him or anyone else sensing it?

It was just as he reached the living room door, and was preparing to mind-link with Nick for back-up, when the scent of the strange wolf hit him. It stopped him as abruptly as if he had hit a solid stone wall. Heat coursed through him, a tantalizing scent rushed through his nostrils and a violent possessiveness suddenly raged inside him. He had connected with his mate. She was here, in his house.

Dean flung the living room door open, before stalling in the doorway, confused. His wolf was howling for joy, but there was no-one in the living room. He could feel her though, the magnetic pull tugging at his insides was trying to drag him further in, but he ignored it as he stared wildly around. Where was she? He didn't understand. He could feel her, smell her, every cell in his body was reacting to her presence but. . .

It was then when his frustrated wolf took over and snapped at him to pay attention. Taylor! It's Taylor. Look at her! The second his eyes landed on her sleeping form his wolf began howling again. Stumbling over to the couch he sank onto his knees. What in the hell? Her wolf was clear to sense; its strength rolled off her in waves, and whoever she was, it was pretty damn clear she was no half-breed. "Taylor, " he whispered, his trembling hands hovering over her. He wanted to wake her. He wanted to tell her how the awful thing that had hidden her wolf was gone. He wanted her to open her eyes and see him, feel the rush of their first connection.

She stirred, and still sleeping, turned her face towards him. For the first time since he had met her, he saw a genuine, non-sarcastic smile playing on her lips. "Taylor, " he murmured again, feeling almost delirious and then suddenly, incredulous. "Shit." Clumsily rolling off his knees Dean sat heavily onto the floor.

He needed a minute. His stupefied mind was split in two; the male side wanting a time-out to rationalize and get practical, his wolf side begging him to move back closer to its mate, pleading with him to breathe in the warm vanilla scent from her skin, feel its softness under his lips, taste its smooth honeyed. . . Dean scooted further back on the floor and ignored a howling protest. Taylor did not need to wake up to him slobbering all over her like a puppy.

For a long moment he sat in a heap in the middle of the floor, his face alternating between a serious frown and what he reckoned was a dopey grin of bliss. Over the constant whining of his wolf begging to be back beside its mate, he came to realize how his bonding to Taylor had solved everything. Taylor was his now, she belonged to him, and his pack. She was no longer a rogue; she was an Alpha's mate. And he would protect her from whatever vile piece of scum had tried to take away her wolf.

He shuffled to the side of the couch again. It was time to wake her up. He couldn't wait to see her expression once she felt the return of her wolf. And when she felt their connection? That was going to be even better. Man, he was going to let her know that he'd never let her go, never, ever, let anyone harm her again. Reaching out he rested one hand against the side of her face. "Taylor, " he whispered, "wake up."

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