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“Relax,” Marcus had said to Christian, who could barely sit or stand still. He gave Marcus a look to which Marcus gave a soft chuckle. “She’s in good hands, besides if you freak out and she catches on to it, it could mean trouble for her.” That certainly got Christian to limit his panic. He was concerned though; anything could happen in the spirt world. What if this time it wasn’t just a nosebleed or god forbid the loss of another child – what of something happened to Jenny?
“How come you and Lauren never had your own,” he asked Marcus then, who was thrown off by his question. He thought over it for a while.
“Guess, we were just a bit selfish.” He said with a shrug. “Before you guys it was just us. We left the pack and were just finding our footing. Cecilia came to us and then suddenly you and well – both of you were a handful.” He chuckled and Christian could only nod in agreement. He had been a bit of trouble but would change nothing in his life honestly. Having Marcus and Lauren take him in had certainly changed his life for the better and without them, he wouldn’t have met Jenny.
The women looked over Jenny, her breathing stabilized and so far, things were going well. It was a relief when she sat up then. Both women at her side, Dana already preparing a cup of tea for Jenny. Lauren pressed a warm towel against her forehead and cheek. “There there,” she said in a soothing voice. Jenny seeing Cecilia meant she had tapped in and now has a bond with Iris that certainly could never be dismissed.
“What else did you see? What about the men?” She asked with concern. Though Lauren’s mind also ran then at the thought Cecilia was allowed now to roam the spiritual plane, which meant seeing her again, even if for just a moment.
Christian and the men soon headed over once it looked like the moment had ended. He was glad to see that Jenny was for the most part alright.
Jenny nodded and looked to Christian. She could feel his concern radiating off of him and she knew he had every right to be worried for her. Jenny looked to Dana and Lauren as she settled outside by the fire they had built, drawing in a deep breath. She closed her eyes and almost immediately, slipped back as she was sucked through to the other dimension where she was met with Iris.
“Well, well, well, look who it is.” Iris said as she stood opposite Jenny, the landscape around them dark and foggy.
“We need your help.” Jenny said and Iris laughed, it seemed to echo around her and Jenny stood firmly in place.
“I should tell you to leave, debt your request for help entirely.” Iris commented and her eyes trailed down to her stomach,
“You don’t understand what you’re carrying right now, you will in time but that child is going to unite Vampires and Wolves. So I will help but you must grant the spirits the right to visit their loved ones as they please.” Iris said, evidently unhappy about having to help.
Jenny looked confused,
“I can’t give that permission.” Jenny said and Iris rolled her eyes,
“You can. I can visit my loved ones, in dreams. Wolves work differently, they need permission. Look.” Iris waved a hand and some of the fog cleared to reveal a man Jenny didn’t recognise but looked strongly like Christian, beside him was another wolf she didn’t recognise and then Cecilia. Jenny felt her stomach twist uncomfortably and she sighed out.
“They have my permission if you help us, we need to know how the mountains are doing and where the hunters are.” Jenny murmured as she tore her gaze from the waiting spirits of the wolves back to Iris. Iris nodded and cleared more fog, a thick ethereal pool appearing. In it, Jenny could see the faces of the mountain pack. There was little food and they were struggling. The images changed again to the hunters who were sleeping, all except the wolf who stood at a window.
“Happy? You’re going to need all the help you can get.” Iris remarked and Jenny looked to her father as he stepped forwards. She couldn’t speak, emotion overwhelming her. Her father just smiled,
“You’ve done beautifully for yourself, Jen.” He murmured and waved a hand, “Back you go, darling. We will warn you all if anything becomes amiss.”
Jenny sat bolt upright, taking in deep lungfuls of air as she looked around wildly. She took a few minutes and looked to Lauren,
“I saw Cecilia.” She managed to say between breaths.
Christian felt uneasy about all this and of course Jenny was putting on a brave face, though something told him that she wasn’t that worried. She had defeated Iris before in spirit and Jenny had kind of progressed in the strength of her abilities. Christian wondered what she would be like if she had really pursued the skills that had been handed down to her. How was she able to subdue her vampire side so well? He pursed his lips then, brows meeting at the middle of his forehead before he sighed out. He figured he wasn’t really agreeing, more so acquiescing as this was their best option it seemed thus far. The last thing that had happened to Jenny was a nosebleed, nothing else could happen right?
“Jenny will be in good hands,” Lauren reassured. Christian sighed before nodding. He kissed Jenny’s cheek. “We’ll set up the pit and stand guard in the backyard. Someone had to make sure that no one would come back on the land. Christian, James and Marcus had left outside to start the fire and sweep the perimeter of the house. Christian couldn’t tell if he was being paranoid, or if he was afraid, they weren’t prepared. Of course, with this happening out of the blue, they were struggling to coordinate as usually they had more numbers.
Lauren hadn’t connected with the spiritual world since their last trip, and not on her own in years. Though, she had faith in the abilities and figured Jenny would be an easy line of communication. “I’m sure you’ll be fine,” Dana said with a reassuring smile. The fire had been lit and Lauren and Dana sat around the fire, waiting for Jenny to join them. They were there to protect her in the physical world, but Jenny was alone in her thoughts.
Jenny listened to the explanations and she knew no matter how much they spoke, it would be fruitless if they didn’t sort something out.
“Iris could let me see it through her eyes, like with Xavier.” She said quietly and thought for a while. Sure it was risky, but what was the worst that could happen? Iris didn’t have her full form and she couldn’t physically hurt her, or at least she hoped so. She gave a small shrug.
“If we have access to the spirits, we should use it. And it won’t just be Iris, there will be others.” Any of the dead could help, technically.
Jenny nodded to Lauren. She hadn’t been pregnant last time this happened but she was sure she could protect herself. The worst that had happened was a nosebleed now and then. Her gaze shifted around to the others and she rested on Christian, she knew he wasn’t happy about it.
“Lauren and Dana can watch over me and the baby.” She said to him, they didn’t have many other options and they were working with borrowed time. She ran a hand through her red hair and looked back to the fire. She wouldn’t allow any harm to come to their child, but she wouldn’t let the pack be set upon in the night.
Together they all sat, warmed by the flames raging in the fireplace. Christian sitting beside Jenny. He rose a brow at her statement. It was unusual to consider eking help from those who had tried to kill them. Not to mention, last time Jenny had decided to interact with them, their child had been stolen. Christian wasn’t comfortable with the thought of them seeking help from the vampires, even saying Iris’ name had made him shift uncomfortably in his seating. Marcus even didn’t seem to like the words coming out of her mouth, but he looked to Lauren, both of them knowing that no everything Jenny had mentioned was crazy, nor impossible. Christian had caught a look from Lauren then to which he couldn’t ignore, and it made him think of the conversation that they had earlier. Christian was worried then; was Iris really dead? She still had a connection to Jenny, and it was appearing obvious that it wasn’t unusual and maybe had been real.
“He’s a pet,” Marcus said. “Like a bloodhound, probably trying to save his neck. The humans need one of ours if they’re going to track us properly. Every wolf has their own smell – and Lycans can detect it instantly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they return. That growl he made at Christian was clearly not a good sign.” Christian was glad to know that he hadn’t been paranoid and was right about Nick being a wolf. “The minute they put a bullet through the last of out kind’s forehead, they’ll kill him.” Christian shuttered at that thought.
“I think Jenny may be on to something,” Lauren said. “Maybe she can use Iris’ spirt to check on the mountain, see where the men are camped. It wouldn’t be safe for us to leave.” Christian was not happy about risking it though, but right now they could be blind sighted by anyone.
Jenny could tell Cara was terrified and she didn’t blame her. She had a newborn to consider and she looked to Dawn.
“We’ll fix this.” She promised Cara and Nate. She looked to them as everyone started to filter off to rest but Jenny stayed where she was, sinking onto the couch and watching the flames in the fireplace. She didn’t know what they would do and she thought over Christian’s words.
“No, I’m alright. I want to help.” She promised and looked to Lauren and Marcus.
“Could Iris help?” She asked, hesitantly and chewed her lip.
“Hear me out. She’s still related to me, and she isn’t ever going to come back. Maybe her and Xavier are finally together. They can see more than we can, I could ask her to go to the mountains and tell me what’s happening or-“ She cut off and sighed. It wasn’t a great plan and it would require convincing Iris and the other ancestors. It seemed less than likely somehow.
It was better than waiting here to be killed.
“What kind of wolf joins with hunters?” She asked, looking to the others. Maybe they just wanted to save themselves and they stuck with the hunters but even so it seemed odd.
Christian was glad to see them gone, even if he knew that it wouldn’t be long before they returned. He sighed out, knowing they had to prepare themselves for an attack. This was not what Christian wanted, especially with Jenny being pregnant. Not to mention the fact that they had a wolf on their side. Christian could smell him, and he knew that the Nick guy certainly knew Christian himself was a werewolf and that Lauren and Marcus certainly were in the house. This meant they would more than likely assume they were holding Jason and Sabrina in the house as well tight he intention to protect them. The men had a mission and they weren’t going to leave until it was completed. They were all targets at this point and if they sat around, thy were going to be sitting ducks. If they left, surely that would mean they would be safe in the meantime, but that would mean leaving everyone on the mountain to die. Not to mention, who was to say that the men wouldn’t then come after them.
Jenny was pressed against him, her lips against his neck. His cheeks burned some and he kissed her in return. He knew she was worried about him and he was worried about her. As selfish as it sounded, Jenny was his prime and only source of concern. “I know they will.” He said to her. He looked to the others who had joined them all in the living room area.
“They have a wolf with them.” He said, to which the others were shocked.
“I think I recognize their leader, Bryson – they’re huntsmen.” He explained. There were very few humans still aware of the presence of the supernatural, though they were very secretive and recluse. They had their own little town to which young boys and girls were raised with the purpose to kill.
“Maybe we should pack up and leave?” Cara looked up from her daughter who she held in her arms, Nate her Alpha at her side. Christian knew of course she was worried about the safety of her partner and her baby. He could see where they were coming from and instinctively, held Jenny closer to him.
“We can’t just leave without a plan.” Where would they go? What would they do? Starting over was hard.
“Look, we’ll just be on alert tonight okay. We’ll figure this out, everyone just try to stay calm.” Christian remained calm, hoping it would help despite freaking out. The others had gone to sleep, but Marcus and Lauren. He looked to Jenny, “Do you want to rest?” He asked, though he didn’t like the idea of her being away from him.
“I want us to have a plan by tonight.”
On the mountain, it had been difficult already, as food was diminishing and people had plenty of questions for their new Alpha.
Jenny listened, scared to even breathe as she held her breath. If the men stormed the house it would be carnage, and Jenny didn’t want anymore blood or violence. They had a child on the way, she just wanted a peaceful life with Christian and a sage place for their child. Jenny heard the men backing off and she didn’t trust it. They would come back and they had to be ready. She breathed out finally in relief, relieved for now that things hadn’t gone completely south.
She stood straight and exited the kitchen, looking to Christian and trying to read his expression as she stood before him, draping her arms around him and making sure he was real and solid, placing and chaste kiss to the scar on his neck as she looked to the others,
“They’re going to come back.” She murmured softly and thought for a while. She knew the chances of her being allowed to fight now she was pregnant were slim and she would likely be with Dawn and her mother and Jenny hated the idea.
Green eyes searched the room for a moment, as if checking the men weren’t hiding in the shadows.
“We need a plan.” She said quietly, fingers fidgeting uncomfortably.
Everyone was soon in their rooms and the rest of them had already head downstairs. Christian didn’t like the idea of being away from Jenny, but he also didn’t want her in any kind of danger. His hand had tightened on hers, but loosed once Dana cleared her throat. Christian frowned then, gently cupping her face as their lips embraced one another’s. Christian sighed out and pushed the sleeves of his long sleeve shirt up, heading to the door and answering. He looked to the men; they were dressed in layers and certainly big and rugged looking. They were pretty old for their age, though seemed to be in good health. Christian listened to the man talk, he had a scar that stretched from his temple to his jawline, intense blue eyes that shifted behind Christian as though trying to scan the whole building from one spot.
Christian place his hand against the door entry, leaning almost as he shook his head. He could have very well given up the location of the siblings, but that would men risking the lives of innocent wolves and he wasn’t the type of man that would so something so dirty and conniving like that.
“Sorry, no haven’t come across anyone. It’s been pretty dead here since uh – well for the last couple of months,” he said. The men all looked to one another then. Christian stared at one of the men in the back, watching as his nose flared. Christian could feel his body trembling with the need to shift once their eyes linked.
“Hm, we trailed them to about here, but it kind of dies out. I hear there’s a big wolf community here. Surprised anyone stuck around, that’s a risk I wouldn’t take.” Christian chewed on his inner cheek nodding.
“Well, the inn is still open if you think you’ll be overnight,” Christian suggested. The man nodded then.
“Thanks for your help, be safe.” He said as they all turned to leave, all except the man who continued to stare. He had thick curly hair, dark brown eyes and lips permanently pulled into a snarling position it seemed. “C’mon Nick,” the man had said as they were already a bit away. “Nick!” He yelled before whistling, almost as if calling a dog, to which Nick complied, slightly growling in his direction. Or had he imagined that? Christian sighed and closed the door, he knew he had to listen to his gut. Those men were going to be back.
Jenny looked to Christian and she had a bad feeling about this somehow. She looked to the stairs as people shut themselves in and there was of course a protective side to her, they were her pack members and she would fight to the bitter end for them. She looked to Christian again and bit her lip. Answering the door seemed so simple but how did they know the men wouldn’t just open fire? She clutched at his hand,
“I’m not going anywhere.” She said quietly and Dana cleared her throat,
“Jen, come in the kitchen with us.” She said and looked to Christian. Jenny was pregnant with their Alpha’s prodigy. It seemed so cruel but if things went south then the survival of the child Jenny carried would be paramount for keeping the line of succession clear.
Jenny hesitated and looked to Christian, sighing out and she leaned up and pressed her lips to his, intensely as she left the words unspoken between them. She stepped into the kitchen with Dana and Hames, James by the door but out of sight so the men wouldn’t see them. It was his duty to protect his mate and Jenny if the men broke through. Hammering on the door stunned everyone into silence and Jenny closed her eyes, keeping away from the windows, clutching the counter so her knuckles were white as she stayed quiet so she could listen.
The tallest and broadest man stared at the door as it opened, hushing his men.
“We were just passing through the neighbourhood. Looking for a couple, two youngsters, teenagers. Wouldn’t know where they are would you? Or an older couple? But rough around the edges... we have some unsettled business.” He grunted and Jenny could feel her heart racing in her chest. She would fight to the death of these men dared to try anything.
Christian wasn’t sure if Jenny was imagining things or if Iris was actually back. That was impossible, wasn’t it? She had been killed, ripped to shreds in that field those months ago, blood drenching her ragged fur. Still, it was better to be safe than sorry and he could tell that Jenny was definitely spooked by what she saw or at last [I heard] outside. He was glad to see her heading upstirs, hoping maybe it was just a bit of stress and she needed rest. Jenny had been pushing herself extra hard lately. He was glad when everyone began to warm up to her and trust her, despite being half vampire. Though she had gained their praises after working so hard. Still, to this day she did more than needed, always a part of the team and yet clearly a strong leader. He hoped with the birth of their child they would be able to rest.
Breakfast was being put away and cleaned.
“What’s wrong with Jenny?” Lauren asked with a raised brow. She could tell something was wrong the minute Jenny noted the home.
“She thinks she heard Iris,” Christian said, trying to gage their reactions to see if he was maybe not really reacting appropriately. “Which is impossible right?” Lauren and Marcus looked to one another.
“Of course, Iris is dead. . . that connection doesn’t break. Remember Jenny when we went to the tomb?” Christian thought about that day and how soon after he’d been visited in a dream by his father. It was clear the spirit stills somehow lived on in a different realm. Could they still bring harm though?
They didn’t have much time to talk before Jenny had come downstairs. They followed her up to their bedroom, looking out the balcony to at least four men who seemed to be inching their way.
“That’s him,” Marcus said. Christian figured he meant the person who had been chasing them when he called. He wasn’t sure if the man had a scent on Sabrina and Json and it led them here – they all at one point in time had been close enough to her. Christian suggested they play it cool. The men hadn’t ambushed them, and their gait was a bit casual.
“Keep Dawn and her mother up here.” He said to Lauren. “I suggest you all stay in your rooms.” It was strange to see Marcus take an order from him. It was important they weren’t seen though, as if the man meant trouble, it would be easier to li and say thy hadn’t seen Lauren or Marcus is asked. He had James and Dana in the kitchen, just in case.
Christian looked to Jenny then. “You alright?” He asked. This could be simple; they answer the door and see what the men had to say. There was no need to endanger their lives by attacking prematurely.
Christian didn’t judge her, he didn’t even seem to flinch at her words and Jenny was grateful. She looked to him and nodded silently as she did her best to relax. Maybe stress had brought it on? She didn’t know but she certainly took things a little easier as the day progressed and made a deliberate attempt to stick around the pack so she wasn’t alone and an easy target.
Jenny headed upstairs, listening to the buzz of conversation as she stepped out onto the balcony of her and Christian’s room, looking to the tree line by the lake and she narrowed her eyes. Something was wrong. She set her sharp eyes to the tree lines and saw movement, not just one but several. They were coming this way. Jenny pauses for a moment but something within her sparked worry and she turned and went downstairs, catching Christian’s arias she pulled him aside.
“There’s men, coming this way. A few of them.” She said quietly and gestured to the window, looking to the pack. Protecting Dawn and her mother was the first priority. She didn’t think these people were friendly but right now that was the least of her concerns. She knew Marcus and Lauren had spoken about a hunter and she figured maybe they had been followed. Didn’t they know they didn’t have the siblings?
“Maybe they think Jason and Sabrina are here?” She murmured quietly.
Jenny certainly didn’t seem like she was alright. He could tell that she was shaken up and trying to mask how fearful she was of what had happened. He listened to her and Christian, somehow, managed not to get beyond himself and overreact. Iris was dead. They were there when she was killed. There was no other reason as to why she should have been able to inhabit the living world right? Maybe Jenny was just dreaming, or it was a stress trigger. He just didn’t want to believe and couldn’t believe that the evil vampire was back, and he refused to accept that to only bring positive thoughts to the surroundings if his unborn child. His hand instinctively pressed against Jenny’s hand gently on her belly. They were not going to steal this child from them.
Christian didn’t and wasn’t going to call Jenny crazy. He wanted her to know that he was on her side. There was no proof now, but there was no harm in being sure and staying productive and proactive,
“I don’t want you by yourself anymore,” he told her softly. He held her close to him, kissing her cheek softly. Was Iris really dead? Why was she showing p now, as though things weren’t already going pretty crazy? Christian didn’t want to alarm the other pack members at this time they already had a lot to deal with. “Just take a seat and rest,” he told her as he kissed her cheek, leading her to the table. “We’ll talk to Lauren and Marcus later.”
Christian tried to appear normal, but the others could clearly tell the mood had changed once he sat back down. Christian just tried to keep things normal.
In the distance it appeared, the man they feared had located them easily, and brought a few friends.
Jenny’s hand was shaking as she took a drink of water. It was probably nothing, a trick of her mind. She looked to Christian and glanced to the others who seemed wrapped up in their own conversations. Christian was her Alpha, he would know something was wrong. She couldn’t deny it and she kept her voice quiet.
“I heard Iris.” She said softly, concern rife in her gaze.
“Outside, I heard her voice and felt her...” She said, placing a hand on her stomach, taking a few deep breaths. Iris was dead, she knew that but she was so sure that she had heard the Vampire. She shuddered a little and she wasn’t sure why this had happened. She gave a small smile to Christian,
“I’m fine, really it just spooked me.” She was desperate to have herself believe what she was saying but she was well and truly spooked.
It wasn’t something she had expected and she knew there were still very real dangers. But the last thing she wanted was Iris tied to her in any way, or their child. Jenny set the glass aside and turned her gaze to Christian, searching his face because maybe he would understand what was happening better than she did right then.
“So, what’s your plan?” Marcus asked as they all sat at the table. No one was to eat unless Jenny was present, even if she wasn’t eating it was out of respect for their Luna. The food was still warm and James had come back in, which let him know that Jenny would be on her way. Christian looked to Marcus.
“Well, we’re thinking why not just settle here for a while. Jason and Sabrina won’t be able to handle the wolves on their own.”
“So you’re going to allow them to keep the mountain to which you nearly lost your life for?” Marcus asked. Christian sighed out.
“It’s complicated. Besides, they shouldn’t last up there long.”
“So you don’t plan to help them?” Christian turned and looked at Marcus, his brow raised.
“What’re you getting at?” He was confused. Marcus should be on his side, to let them starve to death to worse, to accept whatever fate the murderous man brought their way.
“Christian, right now their mid is corrupted. Though, they are not at your side, you know those are your people. You fought for them. Soon enough they will want a true leader. Are you going to really turn your back on them?” Christian thought about that. What if Sabrina and her brother brought all that drama toward their way? It wouldn’t do them good to fend for themselves, working as a unit was the best way to beat whoever was after them and who else might be on his side.
Christian tried to think about that as Jenny came in. She looked a bit flushed, but quickly dismissed it. Everyone had soon begun to enjoy their breakfast. Christian looked to Jenny though, something was wrong – as her Alpha he could tell. He paused in eating and came to a stand. “You sure you’re alright love?” he asked in a low voice.
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