The way Jet looked at me made my stomach tighten. Everything was telling me to get away from him.
"I need to go." I tried to leave, but Jet slammed me back against the boulder.
I cringed as pain shot up my spine. "Let go."
He didn't listen.
"Stop it, Jet." I fought to get away.
"Where are those snide remarks now?" Jet grabbed my chin and squeezed. "Or did you finally learned to hold your tongue?" He tilted my head up to him.
I jerked it to the side. "I said stop!"
"What the hell are you doing?" Titus dropped the bundle in his arms. "Get away from my mate." He shoved Jet and pulled me behind him. "You have no right to touch him."
Raising his hands, Jet stepped back. "I'm just messing around, Titus, but you might want to watch the boy's sarcasm." His eyes flicked to me. "For a sub, he speaks his mind a little too freely.
"I didn't say anything this time. I'm sorry," I replied, clutching my mate's arm.
"It doesn't matter what happened in Midfield," stated Titus. "Don't touch him. If you have an issue, talk to me about it." Pulling me along, he started down the path.
We stopped, and I gathered up my clothes. Jet had already disappeared.
"I'm sorry," I said quietly.
"It's not your fault." He pulled me into a hug. "Jet knows not to do that. He shouldn't have touched you."
Nodding, I exhaled slowly. "Can we go home now?"
"Yeah." Titus put his arm around my shoulders and led me down the trail. "Do you feel okay?" He rubbed my arm. "You can shift, and I'll give you a ride back?" he offered as we turned a bend.
I shook my head. "No. I'm okay."
A flash of black came out from the rocks, and Titus hit the ground. I gasped, my eyes growing wide. There was blood.
"Oh my god, Titus." I went to help him.
Jet snatched my wrist and yanked me to him. "You ran your mouth a little too much, Aden." He brushed his clawed finger against my lips. "Something so pretty should learn to be silent."
Growling, Titus climbed to his feet with red staining his muzzle. "What the hell are you doing Jet!"
The dominant held me in front of him. "I've found something I like. A submissive wolf," he slid his hands down my arms, "with a little fire."
"This isn't funny." Titus reached for me. "Aden, come here. We're going home."
Jet released me.
I hurried to Titus's side. "You're bleeding."
"I'm fine." He wiped his face with his arm. "Expect a visit from my father. Aden may have said more than he should, but you took it too far. Let's go." He pressed me to his side as we passed the other man.
Jet chuckled. "For the next beta, you're stupider than I thought."
Titus's breath caught, and he lurched forward. I stood frozen when I saw Jet's claws embedded in my mate's back. Jet jerked them free, and Titus's dropped to his knees.
"It's an old tradition." The Bloodhound werewolf licked his away the blood. "Let's see if you're capable of defending your mate." He sat back on his heels by Titus's head. "Subs are for the taking. They can't fight back, so all I have to do is get rid of you, and Aden's an omega."
"He's human," groaned Titus. "His parents won't let you."
"Now you're just making up an excuse for me not to kill you." His claws grew longer. "It'll be quick. I promise."
"Leave him alone!" I charged him, knocking Jet off balance.
Jet rolled us over and slammed me into the ground. He glanced at the small scratches on his shoulder from my claws. He clicked his tongue at me. "That was a very stupid thing to do."
"I'm sorry," I breathed. "I'm sorry for everything I said, so please stop. I don't want this. I'll never disrespect you again. I swear. Please, just let us go home."
"Shh..." He brushed a hand through my head fur. "I'll take you home. Don't worry." Jet cried out, howling in pain.
I climbed out from under him and saw Titus's jaws wrapped around the other dominant's calf.
"Where are you going?" Jet kicked my mate in the face, drawing a yelp, and seized my ankle. He dragged me to the ground and wrapped a hand around my throat. "You're going to sit right here and watch us fight to see who wins your pretty little ass." He touched my thigh.
"Stop it." I struggled to get him off.
His hands went higher.
"Don't touch me!" I pulled my knees to my chest and kicked right in the crotch.
The air rushed from his lungs, and he rolled to the side. I leaped to my feet and went to help my mate.
"Titus?" I lifted his head. He looked dazed. "Titus's you need to wake up."
"You fucking little slut," growled Jet. "I'm going to claim you right now. And right before you slip off to sub heaven, I'll kill him while you watch."
"Aden," breathed Titus, cupping my cheek. "Run, run to the pack. Get help."
I nodded. "I'll get Darius. I'll bring the alpha."
"You're not going anywhere." Jet hobbled away from the rocks.
Titus shoved me away and crawled to his knees. "Run, Aden. Get to the cave."
I shifted to all fours and raced down the path. My heart was pounding, making my legs go faster. A hurt cry echoed through the forest.
I skidded to a halt. "Titus," I breathed.
"Oh, Aden," sang Jet. "Come here my little omega."
Panicked spiked in my chest, and I darted through the trees. I could hear branches breaking behind me.
What if I didn't make it? Jet was a dominant, a future alpha, I couldn't outrun him. I wasn't that fast. I didn't even know how fast I was compared to other werewolves. Tears started to fall as my lung gasped for air. My legs were burning. But I couldn't stop, Jet would win if I did.
He was gaining. I could hear the river. The smells of the pack were becoming stronger too, but I didn't know if I could make it.
"There you are my omega," Jet growled. "I'm going to get you."
I glanced behind me to see a black werewolf barreling through the trees. Howling, I broke into a clearing and ran straight into the water. Gagging and struggling to swim across, I turned in a circle, but Jet wasn't there.
My packmates hurried from down from the embankment. They pulled me out of the water. I struggled to breathe, my vision swaying.
Darius made his way to the front with Xavier right behind him.
"Aden?" The red werewolf dropped to his knees. "What happened?"
"Titus," I cried. "Please, Titus."
"Where is he?" asked the alpha.
"The hot pools, Jet." I quickly looked around. "He's hurt. Jet attacked him. He followed me. He's here."
"Darius," stated the alpha. "Go find your brother. I'll send more men to help.'
The red werewolf nodded and hurried across the river, before disappearing into the forests.
"Let's get you inside." Xavier helped me up. "Someone find Jericho!"
My legs were shaking. It had taken everything I had to beat Jet here.
"Come here." Xavier picked me up and carried me up the hill. "You're bleeding, Aden."
"I am?" I scanned my fur but didn't see anything.
"Your leg. I need to heal it. It has Jet's scent on it."
Nodding, I put my arms around his neck. He carried me inside. Storm and Rose were right behind us as he took me to his room. He let me down on a stack of furs and examined my ankle.
The pain was awakened. The numbness had started to fade, and I cried out as he touched the torn skin.
"It has his toxins in it." The alpha shook his head. "It's not deep, but I'm still surprised you made it back." Leaning down, he licked it.
My leg twitches as he did so. Covering my face, I tried to stay still. It burned, and it was traveling up my entire leg. The skin started to pull together, and the pain became bearable.
"That should do it. You'll be fine now." He smiled at me.
The beta arrived. "Xavier?"
The alpha stood, leaving me to his mate. "Take Ruben and tracked down Jet. The rest of the dominants need to go to the hot pools near the human border and help Darius."
Jericho nodded and ran down the corridor to relay the message.
"Titus," I breathed. "He's okay, right? He'll be okay?"
Xavier nodded. "He's my son. Of course, he will be." He exited the room, and I heard his footsteps as he ran down the hall.
Storm helped me sit up and put a towel around my shoulder. "Why don't you shift? I'll go get you some clothes."
I wrapped the towel around me and did so.
Rose took another look at my leg. The skin was still a bright red. "Why did Jet do this, Aden? We've always been on good terms with Bloodhound." The brown werewolf shook her head. "It doesn't make sense."
"Me," I whispered. "He said he was going to claim me and kill Titus."
She laid my head on her shoulder as I struggled not to cry.
"What if Jet makes it back first?" I wiped my face.
"Darius is the fastest runner in Northern Ridge. In school, the only sport he ever liked was track, because he always won."
I laughed and cleared my eyes. "Sounds like Darius."
She rubbed my back. "We'll fix this. That's what a pack is for, and an attack on the alpha's son isn't going to be overlooked. Jet would pay for what he's done," she cupped my cheek. "to both of you."
Pulled my legs to my chest, I leaned against her. "I couldn't even do anything. If he had a stronger mate, this won't have happened. If it had been Darius or Xavier, you or Storm would have been able to protect them."
"Titus fell in love with you, Aden." She brushed her thumb across my cheek. "He knew the risk of taking a sub as a mate before, but he still insisted that it had to be you."