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Chapter 12

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The calculated bite to his sensitive ear sent rage surging through Axel's deep chest. He was growling, his muzzle snapping furiously in his attempt to get a hold of Nathan. He kept coming away with nothing but inky, black fur as pain and adrenaline jumbled his senses. Axel felt his ear tear, and that was it. His howl of pain morphed into a very human cry of anguish as he shifted back, elbowing Nathan hard under the chin just before delivering a punishing kick to the black wolf's ribs.

Hazel stared in shock as she came upon the pair. Her brother was scrambling to get away from Nathan, clumsily manipulating the human limbs he'd once again confined himself to for whatever reason. A streak of red was traveling down the side of his neck and onto his collarbone. Why had he backed out of a fight, especially this one? It didn't make any sense.

She shifted back, running to Axel's side. "Axel! Are you okay?!" He swung his arm out at her as she stooped to try to see his wound, barely missing the teen's pretty face.

"Fuck off!" He roared, his face heated with anger and embarrassment.

"Hey," She snapped right back, smacking down his hand with her own. "Don't talk to me like that, I'm trying to help!"

Axel got to his feet, cupping his ear. "You wanna help? Go get dad," he seethed.

Kaiden had not been far behind Hazel and was clearly shocked at Nate, who was still growling and posturing aggressively at his opponent. "Nate! Nate, go!" The urgency in his tone hadn't translated to his cousin who was still focused on making sure Axel knew his place.

When the black wolf lunged again at the now human Axel, Kaiden shifted into his wolf form, darting between them.

Nate's bite came down soft as Kaiden folded beneath him onto his back, extending one paw to brace against Nate's chest as Kaiden snarled and barked back at him. Nate stalled a moment as Kaiden yipped at him again, trying to make peace with his submissive display.

It worked. Nate backed off, allowing the omega to get back to his feet, his focus successfully removed from Axel. But Kaiden could already smell trouble, and as if on cue, caught sight of Travis heading their direction.

"I can't wait to watch him and Dakota tear the shit out of you, you cheating piece of shit!"Axel yelled.

Kaid barked at his cousin to alert him of the incoming alpha. Nate reluctantly started to make a break for it, and when he hesitated, Kaiden nipped at his flanks to make sure he kept going. Once Nate was picking up speed, Kaiden dropped back.

With his tail tucked between his legs, he met Travis head-on. The agonized yelp from Kaiden that followed tugged at Nate to go back, but Kaiden had done this for him. If he turned back now, they'd both regret it.

With his headstart and the rush of adrenaline, Nate felt like he was flying, he'd missed this feeling. He weaved through trees, over logs, and around bushes like he was one with the terrain.

After a while, he wasn't even running from Travis anymore, but for the freedom. Eventually, his lungs and paws burned, and he slowed to a trot as he hit pavement. Trees had fallen away to street lamps and houses as a familiar scent on the breeze drew him to an age-worn family home.

Despite the window being open and his fan running, Sean's room still felt a little too warm as he tousled his wet hair with a towel. He'd showered twice since Kaiden had dropped him and Trevor off. Once, a few hours before his parents had gotten home, and again after dinner, during which the feline had thoroughly convinced him he still smelled like weed, and his parents knew.

"You still haven't told me what your problem is with him," Sean reminded Trevor, dropping the damp towel on top of his dozing friend. Kaiden was a better subject than what his dad had been talking about while they ate. Mr. Wilton, who'd lived a few houses down from Trev's parents, had died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital that morning...the police apparently suspected homicide, which was basically unbelievable for Aspinview.

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by Alix
Eighteen-year-old Sean Brooks comes from a long line of witches. But...
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