Chapter 18

It was a few days later that I found out that rogues had attacked more packs, but what I wasn't told was that they had attacked my home and that they were still fighting. I wanted to go visit my parents' grave and had wanted Alex to meet them. I wanted my parents to know that I had found someone who could make me happy, and that I was ready to move on. When Alex and I arrived at Deadwood, everyone was gathered at Uncle Tristan's house. There were blankets, food, water, and other necessities piled up against a corner and more people were carrying things inside. Alex was confused as I was and called Emery to explain what was going on.

"Dude! It's chaos here! The rouges have been attacking us," Emery said as he pulled me into a hug. "What are you doing here? I didn't know you were coming, not that I'm not happy you're here, but it's too dangerous for you to be here." Emery turned to Alex and said "Oh God, Logan is going to kill you for letting her come here."

"What's going on, Emery?" I demanded. I felt left out. This was my home before. I had the right to know what was going on.

"I can't explain right now. It's a long story. I have to go help, but Logan and Gabe are inside."

Alex took my hand and led me through the crowd of people. Inside the house were many injured men being treated, and some families crying at their loss. I spotted Uncle Tristan and a few other men talking inside his office and pulled Alex towards their direction.

"Uncle Tristan!" I called out.

He turned around and came towards us. He looked like he hadn't slept in days. There were prominent stress lines that weren't there before and a hard look in his eyes. When he got to us, he pulled me close for a hug.

"What are you two doing here? You aren't supposed be here."

"We came to visit since it is almost Christmas, and I wanted to visit everyone. It's been a while so I asked Alex to take me here for the weekend," I explained.

"Andrew doesn't know, does he? If he did he would not have allowed you two to come here," Uncle Tristan said shaking his head.

"Dad has been busy lately, and I didn't think he would mind. If I had known I wouldn't have brought her here," Alex said.

"We will have to get you two out of here and quick. I'll send Logan and Will to get you out of here safely and undetected," Uncle Tristan said rubbing his chin.

"I can't just leave now! I have to help anyway I can," I said outraged that he wanted me gone when I could help the injured or something.

"There is no room for a discussion. We are getting all the women and children out of here and you are going too," Uncle Tristan said with authority.

"I can't just leave and let people die when I can help. These are my friends and family, too," I argued.

"It's simply too dangerous, and I will not risk your life! Your aunt has left already, and you are going too. End of discussion!" Uncle Tristan yelled walking off.

"But-," Alex put a finger up to silence me. "I think it is a good idea to leave now. I don't want you to get hurt either."

"We have to help. We can't just leave everyone to die," I screamed furiously at Alex.

"I won't let you get hurt either so stop arguing! You heard your uncle!"

"I'm not leaving," I stubbornly stomped my foot.

"Then I'll just pick you up and leave. We can do it the easy way or the hard way. You decide," Alex said impatiently. I took off to find Gabe instead. At least he would listen to me. I heard Alex curse before chasing after me. I pushed past people and ran to the kitchen where I could hear Gabe and Logan talking to others about strategies. All the talking stopped as I entered with Alex behind me.

"What the hell are you doing here?" hissed Logan as he grabbed my arm and dragged me upstairs to his room with Alex and Gabe following along.

"God, you need to calm down. You would think your own family would be happy to see you," I said disappointed.

"Shut up! This isn't the time for you to do whatever you want!" Logan glared.

"I didn't know that it was bad here. If I did I would have come sooner," I glared back.

"You weren't supposed to know. We thought it would be better if you didn't know that you would get in some sort of trouble," Gabe finally spoke.

"I'm not a little child that all of you guys need to protect. This is my pack too, and I deserve to know what's going on," I said angrily.

"It's not your pack anymore," Logan said cruelly. Gabe tried to interfere, but I cut him off. I covered up the hurt that I felt at Logan's harsh words. "I see how it is. Just to let you know I didn't come here for you. I came to see my parents or do I not have the right to see them too?"

Logan walked over to stand in front of me before patting my head. "I'm sorry I shouldn't have said that. You'll always be part of this pack, but it's too dangerous for you to be here."

"I'm sick and tired of everyone telling me it's too dangerous!" I said pushing Logan away.

"We only want the best for our sister. You have to understand from our point of view. What if it was me in your position?" Gabe questioned.

I knew they were right. I couldn't allow my family to get hurt either. I nodded my head in defeat. "I'll leave as soon as I visit my parents' grave."

"Not today, you can come back after everything is over," Logan replied.

"I'm not leaving until I do," I said defensively. There was no way I would not visit them. Who knew when I would be able to see them.

Gabe roared out suddenly. "I've had enough of you being childish and selfish. It's time you thought about how other people feel. Don't you realize that you being here is a huge distraction and could get us killed if we're all worrying about you?"

The room got quiet at Gabe's outburst. Never had he ever gotten this angry at me before, and that made me feel guilty. I mulled over his words for a few seconds and realized he was right. I was being selfish and childish, but I wanted Alex to meet my parents. I was stuck in my own little world that I didn't see what was happening in the real world.

"I'm sorry, you are right. Alex and I will leave immediately, and come back when it is safe."

Everyone's face relaxed as Gabe gave me a hug, whispering that he was sorry for yelling at me, and then passed me to Logan who also hugged me before leading us downstairs and out to the backyard. I was shocked to see our backyard filled so many injured men and dead bodies. There were a two doctors helping, but there were far too many for them to handle at once. I knew some would die, so I whispered a small prayer for them while we waited.

"Logan is going to find Will to take you out of town while I go find out what happened with the ones who survived," Gabe informed while walking to a man I recognized as an old teacher of mine.

"What's going on? First, there was the dead girl, and now this," I said quivering.

Alex wrapped his arms around my shaking form and tried to calm me down. "I don't know anything except that strange things have been happening to other packs, but Ivy, I won't let anyone hurt you." I glanced up to see determination written on his face, but life is uncertain and sometimes things happen out of your control. Though his vow gave me some comfort, I couldn't help but feel that something terrible was going to happen.

"Come on, you two. We need to leave quickly while everyone is distracted," Logan said.

"Where's Will?" I asked.

"He's waiting in the woods by your house so we need to move now!" Logan demanded running to the way my house was.

We ran as fast as we could, but I could hear howls getting louder. There was a distinct smell of blood in the air that it was almost suffocating. I stopped short as images of my past assaulted my mind. There was blood everywhere, so much blood. I fell to the ground as more unwanted memories came rushing back. I heard myself scream, and Alex and Logan stopped so Alex could gently pick me up and keep running until we got to the woods behind my house. "Close your eyes and take deep breaths," Alex murmured in my ears. I tried to focus on his voice as he kept whispering calming words. I knew I scared him and that I would have to explain later. As we got closer to my house, it was eerily quiet except for the howls in the distance. I could see Will standing by a car scanning the property. Alex let me down when we got to Will.

"Don't stop for anyone Will, and keep driving until the next time. Someone will be there to pick these two up by Motel 6," Logan said. "We will keep the Rouges distracted so that you guys can get through town."

"Alright, got it," Will stated.

Logan walked until he was in front of me and pulled me in his arms. "Stay safe, and know that I will always love you."

I buried my head in his neck, "I love you, too, and you better not die or I will sell all your cars."

Logan ruffled my hair before opening the back door for me. I got in and waited for Alex to get in after Logan had a talk with him. Will and Alex got in, and I watched from the back as Logan's figure faded away. I couldn't help the tears that started to flow.

"It'll be okay, Ivy. He won't die if he wants to keep his cars," Will joked.

I couldn't help as a small laugh escaped me. Only Will could relieve the tension by cracking a joke. The car sped faster until we hit town. The town was as it usually was with no knowledge of any supernatural activities going on. I couldn't help but envy the humans who were so carefree. Suddenly, Will jerked the car to the other lane before taking a sharp turn. Confused, I turned around to see a slick SUV following us. I put my seatbelt on as the car chased us throughout town before we lost sight of it. I sighed in relief as we got out of town and near the border.

Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the SUV heading straight for us from the woods on Will's side. I screamed at Will to watch out, but it was too late. The car hit us and flipped over. I groaned as my head throbbed and my forehead bled. I tried to push my way out before I was yanked out by Alex and Will.

"We need to shift now and run!" Will said already shifting.

I shifted and ran after Alex and Will. I could hear four of them after us. My heart beat faster as I ran pushing my limits. We were only a few miles away from another town. One of them was gaining on me fast, and I tried to maneuver through the trees in hopes of losing him. He snarled and tried to bite my leg, but I quickly dodged and kept moving. The other three were quickly gaining, but Alex and Will were trying to fight them off. I knew a cliff was near from my previous adventures, and it would be my only chance at escaping the wolf. The wolf kept trying to bit me, but my small form was able to dodge all his attacks. I saw the cliff coming to my view and shifted back. I kept running to the edge of the cliff, and even though the wolf was confused, it kept coming after me. It jumped after me as we both fell off the cliff, but at the last second, I grabbed the tree root at the edge of the cliff and swung myself back. I saw the wolf howl as it hit the bottom.

I shifted back and ran to help Alex and Will. The brown wolf attacking Will was bleeding badly as Will finally finished him off. Alex was fighting the other two, but he was also having a difficult time keeping up with both. One of his paws was bleeding. I attacked the smaller wolf in hopes of helping Alex. Quickly, we were able to finish them off. Will motioned for us to keep going as we heard more howls coming towards us. Alex was limping slightly as we ran, and I couldn't help but worry as more wolves were closing the distance.

I yelped as I was knocked into a tree. A gray wolf was snarling and pushing me down until he was shoved off by Will. Will and the wolf kept fighting, and the wolf seemed to overpower him. I went to help him, but Alex kept me from going to him.

"Go!" Will said as he shifted back. He was bleeding badly, but so was the other wolf.

Another wolf was close by, however I refused to leave Will.

"Leave, I will handle this!"

Alex nudged me to follow him. I pushed him away and went to reach out to Will, but Alex forced me away. I howled in anger and tried to get past Alex.

"Ivy, go! I will be fine. I'll catch up to you guys," Will hollered.

I saw him give me a stern look, and flinched. Will never gave that look before. I swallowed thickly before running with Alex behind me. Ten minutes later, I stopped when I heard a howl of pain and then nothing. I knew who it was and howled back in sadness. Alex shoved me to keep moving forward. I moved without feeling anything. It was my fault. I couldn't help but think that he would have been fine if I hadn't come back. We ran until we arrived in the next town and waited behind the trees for our ride to show up. A sleek black car stopped in front of the motel, and Alex's father got out. He looked furious while he searched for us. Alex moved first letting me know that it was okay to come out of hiding.

"You two are under house arrest when we get home," Andrew let us know as he gave us a change of clothes.

"Dad, it's not our fault you didn't tell us what was going on. The least you could have done is share with the future Alpha," argued Alex.

"If you had told me before deciding that it was okay to leave the pack, maybe I would have," glared Andrew.

"Right, just like when mom died and you told us after two weeks? You lied to us and said she was visiting her sister!"

"That's enough Alex! Get in the car. We don't have time for this right now. Your mate needs you more," Andrew pointed out angrily.

"When do you have time for anyone anyways," Alex muttered sarcastically.

Andrew glared at him and got in the car. No one spoke the whole way back except for Andrew making phone calls. Occasionally, Alex would rub my hand in comfort. The only thing on my mind was Will and how I got him killed.

As soon as we got there, I noticed there were a lot of cars parked outside the house. One of them I recognized as my Aunt's car. Alex asked the question I was about to.

"Most of the women and children from Ivy's old pack got here the day you guys left," answered Andrew.

Hearing that I rushed to the door to see my Aunt and Fiona, but I paused when I realized that I didn't know what I was going to tell them about Will.

"No one will blame you Ivy," Alex said holding my hand.

"Maybe not, but I blame myself," I said solemnly.

The door flew open and Riley and Isaac threw their arms around us. Riley kept ranting about how immature we were and stupid. Alex pushed Riley and Isaac off gently and explained that I just wanted him to meet my parents while I went to search for my Aunt. Aunt Kat was in the kitchen helping other women cook while Fiona was keeping the children busy. I gulped as I cleared my dry throat to get her attention.

Aunt Kat gasped before rushing to give me a hug along with Fiona. They both went on for a few minutes about how careless I was and that it was good that I came back unharmed. Both of them looked distressed, but I could see that they were keeping themselves busy to stop thinking about their loved ones.

"I'm sorry," I said in a low voice.

"Oh, honey never worry me like that again," Aunt Kat said relieved that I was okay.

"If you ever pull a stunt like that for any reason again, I will tell Alex what you did the summer of our freshman year," threatened Fiona.

"I'll try," I promised. "Aunt Kat, can we sit down somewhere private? I have to tell you something important."

"Sure sweetheart, we can go outside to the porch."

The backyard was also filled with kids running around and playing. Sometimes I wish that I was a kid again, but I knew no matter how much I wished for time to turn back, it couldn't.

I took a deep breath before beginning from the start. I want my Aunt to know the full story before she judged me. I told her everything until I got to Will's death.

"I'm so sorry. It was my fault. I hope you can eventually forgive me," I apologized.

"Forgive you for what?" Aunt Kat said quizzically.

"Will is dead," I said swallowing the lump in my throat. "He tried to give us a head start."

My Aunt grew silent before tears started running down her cheeks. "Not my baby!"

I hesitated before wrapping my arms around her. "I'm sorry. I should have gone back for him."

She wiped her tears before looking me straight in the eye. "Don't you ever blame yourself again young lady. My son, your brother, died protecting you, and I don't blame you for his death. It's those bastards' fault!"

"No, it was my fault!" I screamed in frustration. No one seemed to blame me except for myself. I couldn't bare to look at my Aunt's misery anymore and fled to my room. Despite her not blaming me, deep down I knew that she was right. There wasn't anything I could have done even if I went back to help him.