Claimed (Wolf Essence Book 1)

Cade

Starling rounded up all the enforcers while Denver gathered the trackers, with orders to meet at Devon’s in ten minutes. “We need you to sound the alarm, Ivana. I want people in groups and guarding every access point of the property. I want guards stationed around the perimeter, here at the main house.”

* * *

I stood on the stoop of Devon’s house, addressing his Pack. I gave out directives, informing everyone there was no information too small to report to Ivana, Starling, or myself. Denver scanned the east side looking for rogues, with Starling and two of Devon’s men, Christian and Braden.

I pulled Mya flush against my body, soothing my beast. “I want you to stay here. I need to know that you are safe.” I knew she wouldn’t agree without an argument. “Cade, I think I could be helpful.”

“I just got you back,” bending down to kiss her. “My phone is on, and I’ll stay in contact with you. Please promise me that you won’t leave the compound,” I urged her until she relented.

I left her with Ivana and walked over to Devon’s brothers and one of their trackers, Len. “Darius, so you’ve met Vladimir?”

“Yeah, Cade. Vlad’s a good guy. He wouldn’t do anything to endanger our family or pack. Dev, and he hit it off, right away. We’re all part of the supernatural race, that’s what they always say.”

“Well, I’m not too concerned with Vlad’s caring side. My brother is missing, and from what I understand, he fathered a genetic anomaly. Before we roll out, I want everything locked down, here to ensure maximum safety for everyone.”

In the car, driving towards Vlad’s house Magnus patted Darius, on the shoulder. “Let’s get this shit done,” he stated. “The sooner we finish, the quicker we can get out there and start searching.”

“Let’s get it done, guys. I want to get back to my wife,” my brother-in-law, Luke added.

“Shit, Luke, you still in the honeymoon phase? I love Willow, but she has a mouth on her,” I smiled as we made the rounds, jumping into a 4x4.

“I go with the flow, my brother. You know how Willow is, she always gets what she wants.”

“You sound like you’re fucking pussy-whipped,” Nico remarked.

“Says the guy without a girlfriend or a mate,” Luke smirked. “You should talk to Starling.” I watched Nico’s expression turn from amused to pissed. “She could give you tips on how to avoid long-term relationships.” Luke laughed, “Nah, forget it, she’d just smack down your little hard-on again anyway.”

“You’re a fucking dick,” Nico sneered, his dark eyes void of any humanity.

Magnus stopped and parked his truck. We got out and walked along the deserted road. I led as Len tried to catch Devon or Dom’s scent.

“Why do you think they’d be out here?” Nico asked with a smugness “Wilket Creek Park is a great place for a run, but I doubt this is a place vamps would congregate.”

“Darius said the Vamp King built a castle-like residence off Tottenham Road. Do you know something that you’d like to share with the rest of us?” I asked him.

Magnus walked up to Nico and cuffed him in the head. “Stop being a douche bag, you’re always fucking with people. Shit, Nico, you’ve been acting weird lately.”

“You know what, fuck all of you, assholes. I’m going for a run, maybe I can pick up their scent with my wolf…”

“We’re not staying here long, and if you’re not here when we’re ready, you’ll be going it alone.” The little prick rolled his eyes at me. I was glad he shifted and took off, it saved me from beating his ass.

“Cade, Tottenham is this way,” Magnus declared. “Darius, do you remember which house Vlad’s is?”

“Yeah, it’s hard to miss,” Darius commented. I patted him on the back, “Lead the way.” Darius led us down Leslie Street until we reached Tottenham Road. We walked up Overland to the corner and found the house in question. It was huge with a distinctive gothic feel. A wrought-iron fence surrounded the perimeter, heavily cast with dim lights, which hung from ornate poles. There was a brick booth stood just on the inside of the gate with a guard. In his hands, he held an AK-47 assault rifle, which seemed more than strange to me. If this is a check-in point, why does it need to look as if a war zone lies ahead?

The guard came and stood directly in front of us, with only the iron fence separating us. “What business do you have here?” he asked Darius.

“I’m Devon Richie’s brother, Darius, and this is Cade James. We understand that Devon contacted Vlad earlier, and we would like to speak with him.”

“No one has gone in or out, today. You’re misinformed, now get off the property. The last thing I want to do is to deal with any of you foul mutts,” the guard stressed without any outward emotion.

“We’re not leaving until we’re sure, your master isn’t holding any prisoners. Do you understand,” I growled, reading his name tag. “Tyler? I am Cade James, an Alpha, and Devon Richie is an Alpha and a friend to your employer. So, I would suggest that you get in touch with him and announce our arrival. NOW!”

With great reluctance, the guard backed up to the booth and spoke to someone on a two –way radio. “Hello Master, I have five weres here, who wish to see you. Yes, sir, they are friends and brothers of your associate, Devon Richie. Yes, right away.” Tyler came out of the booth and told us we could go in.

“James,” I answered, without checking the caller ID, “Fuck, Denver, can you speak some fucking English?”

“Cade, where are you?” he asked with urgency.

“We’re walking up the lane to Vlad’s place. What the hell is going on? Is Mya okay?”

“Listen to me Cade; get the fuck out of there, now. You’ve got to get back to the compound, pronto!”

“I’m not leaving until I talk to Vlad.”

“Fuck, Cade, that’s why you need to get out of there. I’m trying to tell you, Vlad is dead,” he roared. “You are walking into a fucking trap. There are Rogues in the house, get the hell out of there!” After that, I only picked up every fourth or fifth word—the ones—been causing havoc— back home.

“Rogues, they followed us here. Why?” I asked him. I couldn’t comprehend any reason why they followed us here.

“Cade, Vlad’s decapitated body was dumped on the road, in front of the compound. Dom is in the infirmary, and he is in bad shape. He told us, that, they’re gunning for you, and they have, Devon.”

“I asked you a specific question, Denver—answer me, goddamn it!” I was close to losing it.

“They want Mya, Cade, plain and fucking simple. Those dirty fucks think they can get away with this, and it’s not happening on my watch.” I heard him growl out his reply, “Get out of there,” he yelled through the earpiece.

I dropped my phone and felt as if the world was closing in on me. Luke was talking to me, but I never heard what he was saying as my knees buckled and I fell to the pavement. I tried to speak, but words would not come, just these thoughts swirled through my head, My Mya, my mate, my world, my destruction.

“Fuck, he’s going into shock.” I heard Luke’s muffled words, over the roar of blood rushing in my ears. What was I going to do, what kind of mate would I be if I couldn’t protect her?

It dawned on me that this situation was much bigger than finding Milo and bringing him home. Devon was their captive, and they wanted, Mya, my Mya. As long as blood flowed through my veins, those shit eating rogues—would never, have any contact with, my mate.

My brain suddenly clicked, and I yelled, “We have to get out of here, now. Shift and get as far away from here as possible. Meet back at the truck, and we will take it from there. The vamps have Devon.”

“Why would anyone be stupid enough, to fuck with an Alpha?” Darius’ angered voice was fraught with tension, “Do they have him in Vlad’s house? That double-crossing bastard, I swear he’ll pay for this with his life.”

“Stop,” I got the word out as my body switched into defense mode; which meant I was shifting whether I wanted to or not. “As acting Alpha, I’m ordering you off these premises! Get out of here.”

“Fuck that. I’m going in there, Cade. I know all the bullshit about orders, but this is my brother were talking about, my Alpha,” Darius murmured.

He took off running up the lane, fusing with his wolf and shifting mid-stride. Bones cracked as we reshaped into shifters, but the yips of rogue wolves marred the sound of running. Howls of our fallen ripped through the night air, and now I knew they were out for blood. An anguished howl made me shudder, it was now or never for everyone.

‘I’m going in there to get them; the shortest route to the road is through the trees. You’ll have to climb the fence and from there…get back to the compound.’ I spoke to them through our bond.

Luke hesitated, and I knew he didn’t want to leave without me, but they needed one Alpha at the compound. ‘I can’t leave, Willow will have my ass.’

‘Right now, you need to get back to the compound. Find Denver and Starling and get a plan together.’ I muttered as I ran toward the house, Magnus at my side, bracing for the oncoming melee.