29.3K 1.4K 66

Light filters through my eyelids, alerting me that the sun has risen.

But that's not what woke me.

Tingles dance across my skin as feather light touches caress my skin.

I don't remember falling asleep but I am aware of my head resting comfortably on Thomas's chest. His thumb slowly moves over my skin. Tracing my eyebrow, down my nose and over the curve of my lips like he is committing it to memory.

He's touching me like I am the world most expensive piece of art. I'm not sure I hate it.

"So beautiful" he says in a husky whisper that has my stomach doing somersaults.

Is it wrong that he affects me this much, this soon?

Thomas moves his hand slowly along my forehead brushing stray hair out of my face. The gesture is so personal - so intimate - that it causes my breath to hitch and my heart to beat wildly against my chest.

"I know you're awake." He says as his fingertips skim my cheek again.

I tilt my head up to look at him. His ice blue eyes hold so much intensity and emotion that for the second time in just a few minutes, my breath is sucked from my lungs.

"Hi." I finally manage to breathe out.

Wow, Hailey. You have such a way with words.  I yell at myself.

I feel a slight pressure in my head and I know that someone is trying to mindlink me, but I don't want to answer. This is the longest I have gone without thinking about Cade and as much as that pains me, it makes me happy at the same time.

How does the even make sense?

I never thought that I would feel anything like this after I lost Cade. I was prepared for a life without a mate. I thought that maybe I could find love with a human or another mate-less wolf but I knew it would never feel like this. I can't even say for sure what it is that I am feeling, but as selfish as it is, I want to hold onto it.

"As much as I don't want to move, we should head back. My pack keeps trying to mindlink me."

"Weird, someone keeps mindlinking me as well." I sit up from his chest, but his arm stays wrapped tightly around my waist.

"They're probably wondering where you are since you snuck out." I gasp as his warm lips press a kiss on the exposed skin beneath my ear.

WHERE ARE YOU?! Jake screams when I open the link causing me to wince at the intensity.

Jake, relax i'm fine. I'm on a walk with Thomas. I debated whether or not I should say that I actually spent the night with him, but I figured it would just be a mess to explain.

Relax?! Fuck, Hailes, you don't even know what's going on here do you?

What hap-

Get home now! His tone left no room for argument.

My eyes lock with Thomas who looks ready to murder the next person who dare piss him off.

What happened?

I open my mouth to ask if he's alright, but he cuts me off.

"Let's go." he grabs my hand in a tight grip and no matter how hard I struggle, he doesn't let go.

"Thomas?" my eye brows scrunch in confusion.

What happened in the last few minutes?

Finally, I yank my hand out of his iron grasp and stop in my tracks, crossing my arms over my chest. I don't know what got to him but I am pissed.

I woke up in a great mood, not thinking of anything but Thomas and I. Now suddenly, he wants to act pissed off? Nope. That ain't gonna fly with me.

"What happened?" I demand, but he keeps his back to me.

Anger surges through my veins as I work to keep my wolf down. I have done nothing wrong!

Why is he ruining what we had this morning?

"Do. Not. Ignore. Me." I growl out, my wolf slipping out of my grasp with each passing minute.

Thomas runs a hand through his hair before turning to look at me. I can't read his expression, but my heart drops at the sight.

Something is wrong.

"Hailey." He breathes out but I don't let him grab me when he moves forward.

"Rogues attacked your pack about two hours ago. There are a couple casualties, a few wounded and -" He takes a deep breath as his eyes stare intently into mine "A few missing." 

His words barely register in my head before I lose my grip on my wolf and shift.

I am moving so fast, I am not even sure that my paws are touching the ground. Trees blur by and my mind is consumed with what Thomas told me.

Casualties. While I was enjoying waking up in Thomas's arms, someone was taking their last breath while fighting for the pack.

Wounded. I feel a pang of guilt hit my chest. Who was wounded and how bad? I should have been there to help.

Missing. The worst one yet. It's easy to grieve if you know someone is dead, because at least you have that closure. But missing could mean that we will find them and bring them home.

It means there is hope and when there is hope. And hope can be the worst thing of all.

I am vaguely aware of the paws hitting the ground behind me when I reach the pack house. But a growl rips from my chest when the smell of rogues hits my nose.

It is potent and disgusting, but that isn't what angers me.

I know this smell.

I know what rogue was here. The same one who killed Cade and in my head I am planning at least five different types of deaths for him.

"Hailey. Shift back please." Jake stands on the porch facing me, his hands raised in surrender.

My wolf growls, but for the first time since I forced shifted, she gives me control back. I trot behind a tree and grab a random pair of basketball shorts and black t-shirt before stepping back out.

Jake and Alex both stare at me in shock. I don't think they were expecting me to go down without a fight.

"Who?" I don't need to elaborate. They know what I am asking.

"2 pack warriors died. 5 injured wolves, including Dad and Mason." I feel my body shake as my wolf fights for control again.

A heavy hand is placed on my shoulder and instantly, the shaking stops. I look to Thomas to thank him, but I can't form any words.

"My beta informed me that there are a few wolves missing?" Thomas speaks, breaking eye contact to look at Jake and Alex.

They share a look. It doesn't take a mind reader to figure out they are debating whether or not to tell me. My heart thuds painfully and before I can demand them to just tell me, Alex speaks.

"They found the shelter. A few woman and children are missing. Including our moms and Hannah."

<3 <3 <3 <3

Another Forever (Completed) [Wattys 2018]Where stories live. Discover now