Redeemed: True Mates Book 4 (BBW Wolf Shifter Romance) (A Craggstone Paranormal Romance) (9 page)

BOOK: Redeemed: True Mates Book 4 (BBW Wolf Shifter Romance) (A Craggstone Paranormal Romance)
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I steadied my breathing, trying to slow the stampede of my heart.

First, I had to gather all the information.

Straining my ears, I tried to pick out the rest of the conversation.

Dammit!
I couldn’t hear properly. Something was wrong. It was as if I were a human, with their dulled senses.

But one thing I did know for sure, it had been Jason I had heard in the next room, and he had been talking to someone. About Bert.

Fresh agony lanced through me, tearing into my heart. I had trusted him! Yeah, my mind might have doubted him, but deep down inside, my heart had accepted him. And he had deceived me. Betrayed me.

“…is she?” A different voice this time. A little louder. Mr. Average.

I sucked in a shaky breath. Was Jason going to betray me completely?

His answer was muffled.

Loud footsteps echoed in the adjoining room, vibrating up through the bed frame.

A door slammed, then another clicked open.

Light pierced the room, blinding in its intensity.

I immediately squeezed my eyes shut.

Squinting through closed lids, I tried to make out the large shadow moving toward me.

“Macey?” Jason’s voice was a low rumble.

I tensed, hating the frisson of excitement that shot through me. Hating the fact that my body still hadn’t caught up with my mind. Still reacted to him.

“Macey? Can you hear me?” He knelt by the side of the bed, taking one my hands in his, his white head bent as though in benediction. Strong fingers smoothed across my palm, warming my skin.

“I know you’re awake, I heard your breathing change. Could hear your heart speed up. I need you to listen to me.”

My eyes flashed open, hopefully spearing him with a look that conveyed my hurt and betrayal. Along with fury. Shitloads of fury.

He flinched.

Good. I snatched my hand away, or at least tried to, my movement limited by the shackles.

“I’ve got to be quick, they’ll be back soon. I haven’t betrayed you, you’ve got to believe me. I have no idea who they think I am, or why they think they know me, but—”

“You’re a liar.” My words came out slurred, like I was drunk or something.

“I’m not lying to you,” he hissed, smoothing my hair back with a gentle hand.

I twisted out from under his touch, baring my teeth at him. “Don’t fucking touch me!”

He blinked, hurt bleeding into his eyes.

Like he had anything to feel hurt about! I was the one who’d been betrayed. The one who was chained up on a stinking mattress.

“You wanted to find Bert; I’m going to find him for you. When they acted like they knew me, I realized that there was no way I could convince you that I was innocent. Not after what looked like damning evidence. So, I’m going to give you Bert.”

“You’re right, I don’t believe you.”
Fuck!
What was up with my voice?

“I’m going to keep you safe, I promise.”

“Let me go. Then I’ll be safe.”

“I can’t! You’ll never manage to escape, not without getting caught again. I
won’t
let them hurt you!

I grunted, squashing the tiny voice inside that melted at his protectiveness.
It wasn’t real!

“I’ve got to go, they’ll be back soon. Listen to your wolf, she knows I’m telling the truth.”

My wolf? For a second I stopped breathing. I hadn’t felt my wolf since waking up in this hell-hole. “What is wrong with me?” A tremor of fright tinged my voice.

“After knocking you out, they drugged you. I had no idea that’s what they were planning until it was too late, and they’d already injected you.”

Drugged?
I tasted bile in my mouth, fighting back the overwhelming urge to be sick. With what? How long?

He either read the questions on my face or I’d said them out loud, because he answered, his mouth twisted in a grimace, “I have no idea. Seems they think that I
already
know. That I do this on a regular basis. Whoever this Jay is, he likes his women…compliant.”

He was talking about himself as if he were another person. That was…strange. It meant he also knew what they’d given me, he just didn’t want to tell me.

He rose abruptly. “I’ve got to go, but I’ll be back for you. I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He made to leave, then paused, his brow furrowing in thought.

Hope erupted inside of me. He was having second thoughts.

Turning, he leaned over me, his breath whispering across my cheek. “I haven’t told you because I thought I’d wait. Thought that it was only a matter of hours until I could. Until any doubts you had about me were resolved, and then we could start our new life together without any of this hanging over us.” He closed his eyes, leaning his forehead against mine. “I can’t wait any longer. If something happens to me, I want you to know. I
need
you to know.”

“What?” Having him this close was scrambling my insides. I wanted him to wrap his arms around me and tell me everything was going to be okay. That this was all a bad dream.

“I’ve fallen for you, Macey. You’ve stolen a part of me that I didn’t even know still lived. You’re everything I didn’t know I wanted, and I would have denied with my last breath that I did. It’s not just about the biological urges for me. You’ve captured my mind with your strength and sharp wit. You’ve captured my heart with your love and compassion. Your wolf already had my soul.”

Why was he telling me this? Why now? I
hated
him! What was he trying to do?

“I don’t—”

He silenced me with a brush of his lips, my denials eclipsed by the sweetness of his kiss. The longing and tenderness I could almost taste.

“I love you, Macey. No matter what you think of me, I will always love you.”

If I had thought my heart hurt before, his words tore me in two, lashing through my defenses and burrowing deep.

“Then help me escape. Let the others find Bert. We can come back and help. Prove it to me. If you really are on our side, fight with me. Fight
for
me.”

“Would you believe my word against theirs? That I am not the man they say I am?” His gaze bore into me.

He was thinking about it! I forced myself to relax, not to give myself away. “If you help me escape then I would believe you.”

Pale blue eyes scrutinized me, and I forced myself to breath normally, not to flinch, adding, “You’re my mate. The Mother of All must know what she’s doing.”

His lips curved up as a broad smile broke over his face, happiness glowing in his eyes.

I struggled not to squirm. I felt about two inches tall.

“Thank you,” he murmured, kissing me again.

It should have been hard to pretend, but luckily for me, my body did just fine with the pretending all on its own, not needing my mind to agree. As his tongue speared my mouth, a moan trickled from my lips, a shudder rippling through me.

“Ahem.” A pointed cough and a chuckle sounded from the doorway. “Am I interrupting something?”

Jason ripped himself away from me, shielding my body as he turned in the direction of the voice. “Leave us alone,” he ordered, his tone cold and unforgiving.

“Sure thing, Jay. Give me a shout when you’re ready to share…”

Jason’s hand bunched, twisting the bed sheet next to my face. “I will not share—”

“Aw, come on! You always say that, then when you get bored, you pass them around. Fine, I’ll just wait until you’ve had your fun. Though maybe I should go find myself some fresh meat. I don’t know why Bert says it’s fine that you leave the camp and go hunting, but the rest of us have to stay here, or even worse, up at location two. Like we’re well trained dogs or something,” Mr. Average, I could recognize his voice anywhere, whined.

“You
are
dogs,” Jason stated, as though commenting on the weather.

“Hey! Just because you’re Bert’s favorite! You’re only the Alpha because he says so, and you know it!”

Jason was the Alpha? And Bert’s favorite?
My head spun, overloaded with all the new information.

“Leave us,” Jason growled, and turned his back on the smaller man.

The door clicked shut, plunging the room back into darkness.

I heard the rustle of fabric, then a light clicked on, just behind my head. Blinking furiously, water blurring my vision, Jason’s handsome face swam into view.

“I believe you. I believe in
us
,” he whispered, then the first cuff fell open. Then another.

He had sliced through the metal with a single claw, freeing me.

I called on my wolf one more time. This time, she grumbled deep within me, sluggish and weak—but she was there. Finally, I could feel her again.

Sitting up, I met his eyes, massaging the circulation back into my poor, abused hands.

“Let’s do this,” I whispered.

For this, I needed him.

After? I couldn’t think that far ahead. Couldn’t bear it.

 

 

CHAPTER TEN

Jason

She was in pain. Like an animal licking her wounds, she stared at me.

She said she trusted me, that she believed me. I could only hope she did, because getting out of here without getting caught wasn’t going to be easy.

The pack was cowed by Bert’s men, meek and subservient. We weren’t getting any help from them, but I didn’t think they’d stop us either.

Reaching out a hand, I helped my mate to her feet, concern rocking me as she swayed, her lashes fluttering as her eyes rolled back.

“You need to sit back down—”

“I
need
to get out of here,” she snapped back, gritting her teeth and starting toward the door, each step deliberate and careful.

“Let me go first, check to see who’s hanging around.” I brushed past her, and was about to open the door, when she stopped me with a small hand on my arm.

“We do this together,” she murmured, searching my face.

For what? Signs of deception? She wouldn’t find any.

I traced her cheek with a finger. I would do anything for this woman. I still couldn’t understand how she had become so important to me, so fast. But she had, changing all my plans and causing me to question my beliefs.

I couldn’t lose her. No matter what.

“Together,” I agreed, pushing the door open and stepping out into the hallway, her hand caught in mine.

 

***

Jason

We had traversed the corridors easily. A little too easily. The thought niggled at me, stirring unease in my gut.

Just the courtyard to go, then we would be in the forest and able to run.

Macey hovered behind me, anxious energy pouring off her. She was struggling, the effects of the drug not having worn off yet, but she was determined.

I had underestimated how strong she was. How fearless. Most women in her situation would have given up hope, but she hadn’t. She was still fighting.

“Can you shift yet?” I asked, her answer clear in her grimace.

“It’s like she’s in there, but we can’t reach each other. Another half an hour, maybe?”

We couldn’t stand in the corridor for half an hour. “On two feet then. We’re going to walk, nice and normal, not attracting attention. If anyone speaks to us, let me answer. Okay?”

She nodded, for once quiet.

I decided then and there that I would give anything to put the spark back into her eyes. She had been drugged like an animal, and it fucking killed me to see it.

I shoved open the door, and taking her arm in mine, led her along the side of the single story building we had just exited.

“What is this place?” she hissed under her breath, casting furtive glances around.

I tried to see the camp through her eyes, but failed miserably. This place had been my home as a pup, and not much had changed. “Sunclaw doesn’t believe in comfort, or family values,” I offered, scanning the small spattering of people for threats.

Nobody met my eyes, everyone quickly looking away.

“It looks like a military camp. All basic and regimented. Has it always been here, like this?”

“Always. It’s well hidden and is designed to look like government buildings to outsiders. The fence—” I tipped my head toward the tall, wire fence that ran around the perimeter of the camp, “—it’s scattered with warning signs. Government testing, keep out, and such.”

“Fence?” Her mouth parted a fraction as she followed my gesture. “More like a cage, you mean. Are the packmembers free to come and go? Mr. Average mentioned no one being allowed to leave, except you and Bert.”

“Mr. Average?” I couldn’t help but smirk. She was always surprising me. “And it’s not
me
that is allowed to leave, remember?”

“Oh, yeah. Sure,” she replied, her tone vague and unconvincing.

BOOK: Redeemed: True Mates Book 4 (BBW Wolf Shifter Romance) (A Craggstone Paranormal Romance)
5.67Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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