Wolf Betrayed(9)

By: Carrie Ann Ryan

They were both messed up beyond reason, and yet they kept circling around each other. They would break once again if they weren’t careful, and Bram wasn’t sure they could come back from that.

“We need to increase patrols,” Gina was saying, and he cursed himself for not paying attention once again.

Kade let out a growl. “We’ll need to train more sentries then because I don’t want us spread too thin. Something’s coming, I can feel it, and I don’t think we’re in any position to slack off.” He rolled his neck. “I just got off the phone with Finn, and we have another problem.”

Bram sat up, the hairs on the back of his neck rising. Finn was with Charlotte, and if there were a problem, he needed to know about it.

“What is it?” Bram asked, his voice a low growl.

Kade raised an eyebrow but didn’t comment on the fact that Bram rarely spoke up in these meetings. He didn’t speak often at all, as he didn’t have much to say. But bring in Charlotte, and apparently, he couldn’t shut up.

Or focus.

“The soldier that helped Ryder escape Montag showed up at the Pack’s doorstep,” Kade said slowly. “He saw through the wards, and was able to slide right in, even though he was in horrible pain.”

Bram stiffened. That wasn’t possible, or at least it hadn’t been when their magic was full strength.

“Gideon isn’t sure how that happened, other than the fact that the moon goddess spoke to him, telling him to let Shane, the soldier, into the Pack.” Kade let out a breath. “She doesn’t speak to just anyone anymore, and not anyone outside the original hunter’s bloodline.”

Bram shook his head. As far as he was aware, only Parker’s blood family was a direct descendant of the original hunter, the human who had long ago killed the wrong natural wolf and was forced to share souls with his prey when the moon goddess found out.

“Shane isn’t wolf, or maybe he is. We don’t know.” Kade’s gaze looked bleak. “He’s something, but he smells faintly of wolf, of other. And he wasn’t bitten. Wasn’t changed.”

The entire room went still.

“The humans did this?” Gina asked, her hand over her belly once more as if she could protect her unborn child from what was to come.

“We think so,” Kade said with a growl. “We won’t be sure until Shane wakes up long enough to tell us, but that’s what we’re leaning toward.”

“What do you mean he needs to wake up?” Bram asked. Charlotte was still over there, and it killed him that he wasn’t near her.

“He’s been in so much pain that he can’t form coherent sentences. He was dying until Gideon brought him into the Pack. He’s doing better now that he has the Pack bonds around him, but he isn’t up to full strength yet. I don’t know what we’re going to do about him, but no matter what, if the humans have a way to change their own into…something, then we have to formulate a plan.”

“If they can form their own shifters…” Gina shivered, and Bram put his arm around her in a comforting hold. They were wolves and tactile creatures. While her mate was also an enforcer, he was one of the few on patrol now, as they couldn’t leave their borders vulnerable.

“We don’t know what they can do, but we will figure it out,” Kade said after a moment. “No one will be happy if they found a serum or whatever the hell they are trying to do. Nothing can make wolves but our bite or by mating and giving birth. That is how we’re made. Anything else is something different, and from the way I hear Shane is reacting to it…I don’t think it’s a viable option. Either way, though, there will be dangers. Humans can be fearful of it or even use it, creating a new conflict. And within our own borders, some might use it to put others in danger. There is just too much in the air, and until we can figure it all out, we have to be prepared for every possibility.”

He paused then met Bram’s gaze. “Shane has only calmed down once fully since he’s arrived.”

Bram frowned, unease settling over him at the anxiety of what his Alpha might say next.

“It was when Charlotte stepped into the room with him.” Kade sighed. “When a wolf goes feral or is on the brink, sometimes there is only one way to soothe the beast.” He met Bram’s eyes one more time, and Bram held his breath.

He couldn’t breathe. Couldn’t think.

There was only one real answer for why Shane would suddenly calm in the presence of Charlotte.

“You think he’s her mate.” Bram’s words were hollow, though a thousand different emotions warred within him.