Brita nodded, and the woman smiled at her, holding out
her hand. “Cool. I’m Havana.” Brita shook the offered hand as Havana continued.
“Congratulations on your mating. I only just mated myself about two weeks ago.”
A loud crash caused Brita to nearly jump out of her
seat. Max crowded her back and rubbed his hands up and down her arms as he
watched Havana rush over to help another woman who had accidently dropped her
bowl on the floor. “
, it’s okay, beloved. I’m
here. See? It was just an accident.” He felt Brita relax and was pleased to see
her continue to drink her soup. After they were both done, he saw her eyes
start to droop. Picking her up, he carried her back to their tiny home.
“I’m going to curl up next to you until you fall
asleep. Then, if you don’t mind, I’ll quickly run back into the main house to
see what it is
,” she mumbled sleepily.
Max kissed the top of her head and held her close,
running his fingers in her hair for a little bit after he lay down with her. He
felt so comfortable and didn’t want to leave his beloved, but he had things he
wanted to discuss with
as well. Once she was in
a deep enough sleep, he carefully removed himself from around her, and headed
back into the pack house. After knocking, he waited for the muffled summons
through the office door.
When he opened the door, he saw the alpha sitting at a
desk in a room that was crowded with monitors, and computers and a bed. As he
understood it, the room was being used for several purposes. He also recognized
Gale, who sat in
lap. Slate and Enzo sat
signaled for him to come in. After
shutting the door, he took the offered seat.
“I’m glad to see her able to shift again. How’s she
“I’m not certain, but I believe, in time, she should
be fine. We should have gone during the day.” He let his anger show on his
raised his eye and gave him a look that
had Max remembering who he was talking to. “Sorry, alpha.”
“I have my own mate so I can easily understand how you
must feel. I figured the worst of the offenders were on during the day, but
that would have put us at greater risk. And it was a big enough risk with not
knowing what we were going in to. In doing so, we were able to spend more energy
on helping the victims, which they needed.”
Max understood this, and agreed, but it didn’t make
the rage he felt inside any less.
continued. “I’ve been talking with
. That’s part
of why I wanted to talk to you. He’s got a small team heading up an
investigation coinciding with ours, looking into who all worked there so we can
take them down. And I promise you, Maximus, they will pay.”
When Max looked at the
he read the anger that burned in his eyes. It matched
Slightly appeased, he relaxed. “What did you want to see me about?”
“I wanted to ask if you would be our liaison with your
has promised us a great deal of
help and resources to aid us in this, what we are now calling, war.”
Max hesitated. He loved his former coven, and still
considered them family, but he had a beloved to think about, and she wasn’t in
a strong enough state of mind.
Enzo spoke to him. “Think about it. Talk it over with
. I’m sure her opinion matters, and
this is something big.”
Max nodded. “Yes, sir, it is. I will talk it over with
her. I will try to give you an answer by tomorrow. Is that okay?”
“That will be fine,”
answered with a smile. “Also, I wanted to ask you if you have had enough time
to discuss any more with her.
Where she’s from, how she was
captured, family, friends, or an alpha to contact?”
Max shook his head.
I don’t even know her last name.”
“Well, don’t wait too long to ask. We’ve found some
who have looked for their bank accounts, only to find out that their alphas had
declared them dead and absorbed their funds into their own. Also, some have had
all of their possessions thrown out. We are currently working on taking the
steps to get the funds back, and even recompense for what was thrown out, but it’s
a lengthy process through the council.”
“I’ll get you the information you require. That’s
disturbing that their alphas have done that. How long were they missing?”
Slate spoke up for the first time since he arrived,
answering the question. “The timeframes have varied, and many were brought in
from other countries. Some have only been missing a week or two, and we know
some were at least six months. We believe others, who have yet to shift and
talk to us, have been there longer.”
“I realize, after knowing some of what she’s been
through, that you don’t want to push your beloved,”
continued. “But we can use whatever information she’s willing to give us. You
have a lot of heavy talking to do. If there’s anything you need, let us know.
We’ll support both of you.”
“Thank you, alpha.”
As Max left the office and headed back out to his
beloved, he indeed had a lot of weight to carry. Taking on a liaison with his
old coven would be something he would welcome. He had grown up in the Buffalo
coven. However, his mate was dealing with some pretty bad experiences right
now, and this was a lot of change she might not welcome. He’d promised her he
would always keep her best interests in mind, but what would be in her best
interest? It was indeed, something he could only answer by talking to her about
it. And he didn’t know what all to expect from this new position.
As for the other things, it was something that he’d
to know and worried about himself. One thing
was for sure. The damage those bastards did to these shifters had had a large
rippling effect. This is probably only the beginning of what they started.
When he crawled back into bed with his beloved, she
jolted awake. He could sense the fear coming off of her
and he cradled her in his arms and rocked her.
, I’m sorry, my beloved.
I did not mean to frighten you.”
“It wasn’t you
I was having a bad dream.”
“What was the dream about?” Max stroked her hair as he
continued to rock her.
“You went away, and you never came back. I looked, and
looked for you
but it was like you were
always just out of my reach.” He briefly stopped what he was doing. “If I’m
able, I will always return to you, my beloved. The best thing about being mated
to a vampire is when we are apart, and you suddenly need me, you can just tell
me in your mind. It is our constant connection. You never have to be alone
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