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Jenny turned her gaze to see Arthur, nodding in greeting as she approached.
“Arthur.” She greeted before gesturing for him to follow her in to see Christian. She looked to the lingering medics and nodded for them to leave them for some privacy. She glanced to Arthur.
“The child has been of no trouble?” Arthur asked and Jenny gestured he could take a seat, knowing vampires preferred to be invited for such things. She took a seat as well and nodded,
“She has been okay. A little wary, but I’m sure that’s understandable. I have some questions.” She said and thought for a while.
“This ceremony, the ritual.” Jenny started, “Will it hurt her?” She asked and Arthur thought for a while.
“It will hurt both of you.” He stared bluntly, “It has been done only once before, it was described as fire through the blood. Both you and the child will become as one.” Arthur explained, figuring that sugar coating such a thing would do no one any good.
“Irene will not remember what happened. She will be a different body, you and Christian’s flesh and blood, but her soul will be intact. It is the kindest to remove her memories of such an event.” He finished.
Jenny looked to Christian, warily and nodded. She could handle pain, she understood everything came with a price but it was a relief to know the baby in their arms at the end of everything would not be some foreign body who was aware they were not her parents.
“We are grateful for your sacrifice, both of you.” Arthur said to them. Jenny was frightened, still.
“The sooner we can get it done, the easier it will be.” Arthur murmured. “Irene’s body is sickly, it is decaying quickly and should her soul die in that body, the ceremony will be unable to take place.”
Christian sighed with relief, lad to know Lauren was doing fine and Jenny was unharmed. He we happy to know that she hadn’t gone against him and stayed safe on the mountain. He wouldn’t have been able to forgive himself if he lost her and their child. He had kissed her back in return, trying to eat to keep up his energy. Jenny was right, he needed to rets and he needed to get his strength back up. That meant not getting out in the field just yet. Christian knew he didn’t really have to worry, he trusted Jenny as his Luna would get things done. He would’ve preferred her to rest, especially carrying their child, but there was nothing he could do about it.
“Alright,” he told her finally with a small smile. He sighed out and leaned back, closing his eyes as his aching body relaxed against the cushioned mattress and soft pillows.
Dana was relieved to hear that things were fine, and Christian was doing okay. He knew what it was like to be so worried for ones mate, considering James also had been shot. She was lucky that he was going to survive. “One of the bloodsuckers – the vampires is here to see you.” Dana looked over her shoulder toward where Arthur sat near the fire that was being built. The wolves were still wary, but the tension was less than it had been before.
Arthur and his coven had chased the last. Three hunters far out of state ad hung around that howled night before returning, assuring that the hunters wouldn’t return. He was waiting check with jenny on Christian and make sure that Irene was doing alright. He also knew it would soon be time for the wolves to make good on their deal. Had they changed their mind? Was Jenny able to still go through with the ritual?
Jenny watched him, each of his kisses returned with vigour. She hated to see him like this and she knew that her place would always be beside him, forever and always. She shivered slightly, she could have lost him.
“She’s okay, everyone’s fine, just rest.” She said to him, glad he was eating and awake. She looked to his hand on her stomach and nodded.
“We’re alright, thanks to you keeping us safe.” She said to him, she knew that she had wanted to be at his side desperately but they had a child to think about.
Her gaze swept over him.
“Please just rest, I’ll take care of everything alright?” She said to him, letting him eat and then kissing his forehead. If they were a different couple she would have stayed at his side but he was the Alpha and she was the Luna and the pack looked to them.
“Please rest, Christian.” She said gently and brought a hand to his cheek, he needed to rest and heal. She got to her feet once she was certain he would rest before clearing his dishes and heading into the clearing to help with the others.
“Everything alright?” Dana asked and Jenny glanced to her and Christian’s cabin to see two of the strongest pack members keeping an eye on things and she nodded to Dana.
“Yeah, don’t worry. Everything’s fine.” She assured and ran a hand through her hair.
Christian was fortunate to eb alive. His wounds were severe, but they would heal eventually. He just knew he had to take his time and not get right into the action too quick. Though, he was sure that Jenny as going to stop him. He was somewhat hungry and when Dana had entered with breakfast, he made the effort to sit up some to eat. Jenny had entered shortly, and he gave a weak smile in her direction. He was. A bit out of it and knew eating would help. He closed his eyes at feeling her touch to his cheek and eventually over his shoulder. He leaned up as much as possible to deepen the kiss, exhausted by the time he gently rested back against the pillow. His good arm had reached up to brush back the strands of her hair behind her ear. Christian gently rolled their forehead against one another’s.
“Never again,” he said, and he hope it was a promise he could keep. For all he knew the hunters could come back, but maybe they would think twice considering their relationship with the vampires and maybe they just saw that this pack was leaving peacefully and willing to leave them be. He was glad to find that she was okay, though Christian new that the inevitable was to come they still had to go through the ceremony.
“I’m just glad you’re okay.” He said as he kissed her again. Christian made a little more space for her and managed to sit up, groaning as he reached for his plate of food. “How’s Lauren?” he asked as he hadn’t heard anything since waking up, he hadn’t even talked to Marcus. Christian reached his hand out to press against Jenny’s stomach. “You are okay right?”
Jenny didn’t exactly sleep much. She wanted to go to Christian and be with him but she understood why it was more pleasant for her not to be around Christian whilst he underwent treatment. She waited for dawn and she figured somewhere along the lines she must have slept. She showered and dressed, making sure Irene was tucked in comfortably before looking up as Dana came in.
“Morning. They got the bullet out... you can head over and see him.” Dana said and glanced to Irene. Jenny ran a hand through her hair, relief pouring through her. He was alive.
“Can you get a couple of the pack to guard the door?” She asked quietly and Dana gave a short nod before Jenny toed her hair up and headed over to the cabin that housed the sick and injured.
Jenny stepped into the cabin just as Dana was setting down some breakfast and Dana gave them a smile before heading out to give them some privacy. Jenny looked Christian over, sitting on the edge of the bed. His shoulder, she could see where the bullet had penetrated, beneath thick bandages and she reached over to run her thumb over his cheek. She didn’t know what to say, she was just so relieved he was alright, that he was alive.
“Christian.” She whispered softly.
“Don’t ever do that again.” She murmured as she leaned in and pressed her lips against his, cupping his face gently, not pressuring him but she just needed to feel his closeness and his nearness. Jenny rested her forehead against his, finally breathing out a breath she hadn’t even known she had been holding.
[left [pic https://i.imgur.com/73xowe3.png]] Marcus was worried about Lauren the minute she jumped in front of Christian. He had rushed to her side, nuzzling her neck and whimpering. He was relieved to find that it wasn’t a bullet, but he knew how important it was to get her off the field. Christian was one step ahead and already called some of the wolves to shift sand immediately carry her up the mountain. There weren’t as many wolves surviving, the humans proving to have killer shots. Fortunate for them, the vampires had come in handy as backup. When the smoke had cleared and the hunters were dead, at least those that had not run off, Marcus had done his best to round everyone up. He watched Christian wriggling in pain on the grass, and he knew if they didn’t get the bullets removed quick, he would be dead. He had made a promise to Christian’s father to be there for him, but after his death, Marcus made sure he would be there to protect Christian and he was going to make good on that.
Lauren was fine, just out of it and eventually had passed out, but Christian wasn’t doing so well. He was pale and the blood seemed never ending. “Jenny,” was all that he had uttered before being led into the med cabin. Marcus had soon headed to his cabin he shared with Jenny.
“Everyone is fine,” Marcus said as he closed the door. He looked in the corner of his eye to find Irene. He was trying not to show how uncomfortable he was, as her people had done their part.
“Lauren is fine, everyone is okay. . . Christian,” he paused then. “Christian was shot, they’re trying to remove the bullets now, but don’t worry.” Marcus knew that was hard to actually put into action. Christian was Jenny’s mate, of course she would worry, just as much as he was worried about Lauren. “For now, try to get some rest okay? As soon as I hear anything, I’ll let you know.”
Marcus had left the cabin then, making sure that wolves were still watching over the cabin just in case. They couldn’t afford letting their guard down. Arthur had already rounded up his crew to travel after the hunters and make sure they weren’t returning or still in the area.
Morning had soon come, Christian had a bullet removed from his shoulder rand just above his heart, sparing him from death. With previous injuries, he knew he couldn’t get back into fighting for a while, but he was alive. Dana had checked on James, who too had been shot but was recovering well. She promised to return with Jenny and breakfast. Christian wondered how she was doing, he himself felt terrible, but he was here and that was all that mattered.
“You alright?” Dana has entered and Jenny looked to her, giving a small nod. Dana at least understood what was going on with her and Jenny sank into a chair beside Irene’s bed. She couldn’t seem to sit still, beneath the rain she could hear distant gunshots and she swallowed. This was bad. She was panicking and she looked to Dana. She was about to speak when she felt a sharp pain in her back, something was wrong and she hissed.
“Dana something’s wrong.” She whispered, she had felt the sting, the sharp bite in her back and she knew immediately something was wrong with Christian.
“Easy, relax. C’mon. They’ll be back soon.” She murmured quietly and watched the Luna pace. She looked up as Marcus approached the cabin and Dana glanced over his shoulder, seeing them carrying Christian back. She exchanged a look with Marcus before letting him inside and drawing the curtains so Jenny wouldn’t see. She slipped out the cabin and off to find her own mate.
Jenny cleaned her face and then looked to Marcus,
“What happened?” She asked him, “Lauren... Christian are they...?” She couldn’t finish the statement and she just watched Marcus, her heart hammering inside her chest. She had felt the shot, and something was making her feel so sick. She would know if Christian was dead, right? It would be like part of her went with him. Jenny looked to Irene in the bed, the girl seemed to be sleeping and she was relieved as she turned back to Marcus.
[I “You come back.”] There was no other option for him once Jenny said that. He saw the fear in her eyes, how her kiss seemed to try and remind him that he had so much to come back to. No matter what was going on, no matter what would happen with their child, it was important for him to come back because through all this the one remaining constant in his life would be his mate: Jenny.
“We need to go,” Marcus had barked, and Christian wiped away the tears and left the cabin. He joined the other men in shifting, leaving behind shattered clothing and as though the earth new of the bloodshed, the rain had begun. They had run down the mountain, soon joining the others. There they stood in front of the mountain, their home. On the opposite side of them were the hunters, and as expected one wolf: the tracker that tagged along, the one who picked up on their scent right away.
“It doesn’t have to be this way,” the leader of the humans announced over the loud sound of the rain falling. “I am happy to allow you to join our ranks. You and your strongest, and with us we can cleans this world of the others: those who are not good.” Christian was breathing hard. He wanted them as pets, to aid in murdering wolves like them. There were bad wolves that was true, but it was not right to kill them, and Christian wanted no part of it. The man had prepared. His gun “In one minute, this war will begin, and the offer will be off the table.” Christian wanted peace, but not this way.
The shot ran out and Christian was surprised to find that it had been Lauren punctured, a bullet meant for him: he’d been the target. She want bleeding though, but sedated. Kit didn’t matter, the war had begun. Everything was a blur then; the sounds of growling and the smell of bullets being fired through the rich earthy rain. Christian had seen Arthur, beautifully tearing off the heads of the hunters. Christian had finally felt the shot, one that tossed him on his back. He yelped out, crying in pain. The hunters had been killed, but maybe they had gotten what they wanted.
Christian continued to cry out, his eyes rolling back as every memory he had rushed through. He thought of Jenny, of her smile and their child -the many times they declared their love for one another. He could hear the others, someone telling him to hold on as his body was lifted. That was al he remembered.
Marcus was glad to find Lauren was safe. But she had yet to wake from the sedative. Everyone was tending to Christian and the other wolves, Marcus had headed to find Jenny.
Jenny watched Irene for a moment before looking to Christian, watching him closely. She was wise enough to know what was going to happen and she hated every moment of it. She had been with him, at his side through every battle they had endured. Christian was her Alpha and he was her love. She looked to Marcus and then to Christian as he showed up.
He asked her not to save him. His hands were warm as she looked into his dark eyes and she felt overwhelming love.
“Christian.” She started but there was something adamant in his gaze, something strong and something afraid. Jenny listened to his declaration of love and she swallowed thickly. He wouldn’t hear her arguments, he just wanted to protect his pack and she felt his lips crash with hers. She would feel everything, and she would know if he died.
“I love you.” She murmured quietly, frightened tears in her eyes but she was the Luna and she had to be strong for him and their pack.
“You come back.” She said to him softly, meeting his gaze and nothing else mattered right then. He had to come back, he had to live because without him there was nothing. She placed another kiss to his lips, one that was desperate and full of every piece of love she felt for him. They had overcome too much for him to be taken from her like this. She shivered slightly before watching him head off with Marcus and the others. She hated this and she looked to Dana as she appeared, wiping her face and sinking onto the bed beside Irene, stroking the young girls hair gently.
Christian struggled to catch his breath as Jenny helped him up. He exhaled and leaned against the wall for support before he managed to get over the sting of pain. She certainly ad some strength to her and that worried Christian. What if this would turn our bad? He didn’t even want Jenny to check on Irene or soothe her, though her words seemed to calm the woman down somewhat. They were in danger though. Irene cowered under the blanket from Jenny’s words, her eyes wide and bright swimming.
“I’m sorry,” she had said in a small voice.
“I’m sure Marcus and the others are getting them in line,” he told her as he massaged his side. “I should go check on them.” Christian paused then, his hand taking Jenny’s. “Maybe I should have Dana stay with you. I don’t want you harmed Jenny,” Christian admitted. He was scared about leaving her in the care of Irene. There was a knock at the door then and Christian walked over to find Marcus.
“One of the wolves caught scent of the hunters. They’re closing in and quick. I’m thinking ambush.” Christian sighed out. He was afraid of this. He knew this would mean going into battle without Jenny. He knew how important it was to protect her and himself. He didn’t want to lose her, and he didn’t want her to raise [I their] child without him.
“Alright, I want Dana here with Jenn and I need two on guard.” Christian said as he looked toward Jenny, Marcus eyed the young girl.
“You’re still going through with the treaty? Giving up your own child?” Marcus muttered under his breath. Christian sighed.
“I want peace,” Christian said almost in defeat. He sighed and turned back to Jenny. “Dana will be on her way okay. Please, no matter what don’t try to save me.” He said. Christian’s hands pressed on either side of Jenny’ head as he pressed his forehead against hers. He knew tethered, that she would feel his pain, but he didn’t want Jenny to risk her life. “I love you.” Christian said as he kissed her.
Jenny couldn’t begin to understand the cascade of emotions her and Christian were going through. This wasn’t going to be easy and she sighed quietly as she nodded. They did have to do it, they didn’t have any option. If they went back on their treaty then it would bring about war and bloodshed all over again. Neither of them were ready for that in all honesty. She was scared and so was Christian.
Jenny lurched as Irene screamed and she looked bewildered for a moment, Christian was tossed aside and she stared in utter shock.
“Irene!” She said and approached slowly. She wasn’t going to pressure the young girl but she couldn’t act like this.
“They’re alright, come on. Arthur will be back shortly, you’ll see.” She tried to comfort but she figured that Arthur was the only constant the girl had ever had. Jenny understood, she wouldn’t be calm if Christian was off in a war.
Jenny looked to Christian and helped him up,
“We should have the pack on guard... in case this doesn’t go the way we want it to.” She murmured softly. It could go awful and the hunters could end up storming the pack. This would all be for nothing is something terrible happened. She shuddered at the thought and helped Christian to his feet. Irene would be alright, Jenny would stay with her for now and make sure she didn’t freak out and that no pack member dared to try anything.
Christian wasn’t sure how much the young girl knew, but felt it was possible that she had knew more than they did about the ceremony. He thought about what he had discussed with Arthur.
“Blood sacrifice,” he whispered as he looked over to make sure the young girl was still asleep, He knew his words earlier had worried her and he was surprised at how much he was starting to care for her feelings. Honestly, it was a bit disheartening to know that she would be losing her life much the same as their own child. Honestly, it was a feeling that Christian never thought he had to worry about. There had always been a rivalry between the wolves and the bloodsuckers. This was finally an end to centuries of bloodshed. Why did it make him sick?
“I’m confused,” he admitted to Jenny. “I don’t want to give away our child, yet – I don’t suspect the vampires would be keen on us going back on our treaty.” Christian wondered then, was it possible for them to save the child and still live in peace? He knew obviously not, as the child looked sickly and he figured the vampires were keen on the idea of preserving Iris’ lineage.
“None of this is what we had planned,” he said with a sigh. Months ago, they were just two people who bumped into one another and fell in love; now they were in charge of protecting their own species and humans, a responsibility they never thought would be on their shoulders. “But we must do it,” he said with a sigh. He knew ultimately Arthur was right. This was scary and it would be painful, but this might be what was needed to bring back order. There wasn’t much time to think before a howl sounded out. The young girl had sat upright in bed, a bloodcurdling scream coming from her.
“Arthur!” She yelled as she sat up. Christian had quickly jumped to attention to stop her but found the young girl’s strength and speed unmatched as he was tossed to the side. The hunters had begun their attack.
Jenny looked to Christian and she was relieved he was back and that he was safe.
“I’m alright... it’s just- it’s a lot to take in.” She said softly to him as she joined him at the table, keeping an eye on the sleeping child. At least Dana hadn’t readily judged her and she figured that maybe the pack might just trust them this time. Christian had never lead them wrong and she didn’t even want to imagine how Marcus and Lauren would be feeling about this entire ordeal. She pushed around her food for a while before eating a little.
She glanced to him when he mentioned the dreaded ceremony. He was right, they’d need to wait for the hunters to leave or for it all to wash over before they could do anything.
“Do you know how it will work?” She asked him and looked to the foreign child in the small bed. She hoped the girl didn’t have to suffer any pain, no matter what she was she still felt. She swallowed nervously and ran a hand through her red hair.
“Are you alright with this? I know it’s not what we planned, Christian.” She figured maybe they could get to know the child, perhaps there would be natural love between them. It would be cruel if they couldn’t accept the girl despite everything. The least fate could do was grant them happiness through all of this.
Dana knew if anything Jenny and Christian had never disappointed her and her mate nor the pack. They would do what was for the best and Dana would stick by her friend’s side no matter what. Though, she knew that the wolves would find it hard to listen and just hoped they wouldn’t go against them again. Sabrina and her brother at least seemed to be much quieter and she figured it had something to do with the humbling experience of their failure. Christian had eventually headed back up the mountain. After talking with Dana, he found that Jenny was in the room with Irene. He chewed on his bottom lip then, almost a bit afraid to bother going into the cabin. Still, he felt just as uneasy thinking about Jenny being alone with the child. He sighed out, he knew Irene wasn’t a danger, the girl looked just as scared of them and to be honest she had every reason to be she’d be giving up her life for a whole cause.
Entering the cabin, he was relieved to see Jenny, offering her a smile of reassurance. He knew he had to eb strong for her, as this was hard on the both of them, but this child lived inside Jenny and already one had been stolen. He hoped she was doing okay. He could smell the food in the air and was thankful considering how hungry he was and knowing he would have to maintain his strength in case anything went wrong.
“How’re you?” He asked her as he pressed his hand against her cheek, kissing her forehead. He looked back toward the young girl who had seemed to doze off under the comfort of the blankets. He supposed a warm cabin was much more comfortable than the inside of a cave. Christian had taken a Seat at the small dining table in the room. He’d started to eat, feeling his nervousness going away for the moment at least. “I spoke with Arthur; I suppose maybe it best we wait until the hunters leave before . . .the ceremony.”
Jenny watched the young girl, she was truly lost and Jenny didn’t know what to feel for the girl. She looked over when Dana came in and sighed out. She wasn’t sure how she was going to explain this to anyone, let alone their pack. She nodded to her,
“I promise we’ll explain everything but just trust us, this is for the best.” She murmured as she looked to Irene. She was hungry and Jenny stepped out for a moment as she fixed her up some food and looked to Dana, giving a small smile as she took her and Christian’s food back in along with a smaller plate for Irene.
Jenny set the plate down and watched her for a while. She was so young, she looked terrified and Jenny wasn’t sure how to comfort her. She didn’t have the same unease around vampires that many of the wolves had, they were part of her no matter how much she wanted to deny it.
“Here, sweetheart.” She said as she gestured to the food and glanced out the window, picking at her food mostly. She was just as scared as Irene, she didn’t know what the future would hold.
Jenny fixes the blankets around the girl and made sure she was comfortable for now as she got to her feet once more and stood at the doorway, watching for Christian’s return. She trust Arthur enough, the old council members wouldn’t ever try anything. They wanted peace and had lived through many years of conflict.
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