Chapter Nine

Abby hurried in the shower after her meltdown. She joined Stacey in the bedroom and dressed quickly. They eyed the bedroom door, neither of them wanting to make the first move. They had no idea what to expect.

"This is a pile of shit," Stacey muttered, her potty mouth at it again.

"Yes. This sucks," Abby sighed.

"Maybe we should climb out a window and run for it."

"Have you seen any windows? Because I sure as hell haven't."

"That's weird," Stacey tapped her chin. "Or very smart. Damn. These guys weren't supposed to be this smart. What's up with that? How did they know we were going to be out on that highway?"

"I have no idea. Maybe we can find out. We better head down."

"I'm good with hiding up here," Stacey muttered.

"We have to face the music so to speak."

"You first," Stacey motioned for Abby to take the lead. Abby sighed and opened the door. She took a deep breath and moved into the hallway. The walked past the closed doors just like before and again Abby wondered what lay on the other side. Were there other girls in there? Human girls?

"This place is creepy as fuck," Stacey whispered.

"Yea, it really is," Abby agreed. They hurried down the stairs to find Gracie waiting for them at the bottom.

"Good timing. Let's go into the living room and we can tell you what's going on," she smiled. It was strange to Abby how this girl seemed to be so comfortable. Did she not want to escape? Was she part of this pack? There were so many questions and the only way to get answers was to play along.

"Who's we?" Stacey glared at the girl. Gracie swallowed and continued to lead them into the living room. A girl a little older than Gracie sat across from the door. They looked very similar and Abby wondered if they were related.

"Sit down," the girl commanded. Abby and Stacey shared a look and Stacey spoke up first.

"I'd rather stand." She crossed her arms, daring the girl to make them.

"Whatever. My names Ginger. You already know my little sister Gracie. We're here to explain the rules to you."

"Were you guys taken too?" Abby asked. Ginger wrinkled her nose.

"No, we live here."

"You're okay with them kidnapping women?" Stacey asked incredulously.

"If it keeps them away from my sister until she's of age, then yeah. We don't have that many women in this pack and way too many men. I didn't have a mate until recently. I've been shared since I came of age."

Abby's heart went out to Ginger. It was one thing to be kidnapped and brought into this world, but to be born into it? If Abby had a sister she would have done anything to protect her. She understood where Ginger was coming from.

"Is Ronnie your dad?"

Ginger laughed though it held no mirth. "Hell no. He's my mate."


"Yeah. Oh well. At least I'm not being passed around anymore. He's one of the top guys in charge of kidnapping the women. People don't mess with him for fear of not getting one of the women captured. You two are the first that we've captured that are already wolves. Ronnie was not happy about it. Ben fears revenge from your pack, though I guess they have to find us first," Ginger shrugged.

"Who's Ben?" Stacey asked. "Is he the alpha?"

"Yea. Ronnie's his beta."

"What are the rules?" Abby asked, wanting to know what to expect. Her heart was hammering against her ribcage as she tried to remain cool. At least now she knew that both of the women across from her were wolves. Gracie looked so innocent and Abby hoped she stayed that way.

"First thing, you're going to go over to my mate's house and eat the dinner I made you. Then you'll be taken to the house with the other girls. Every night we let one male pick a female. We have five up for grabs right now, but seven now that you two have joined the ranks. If the male picks you, then you're his mate. He will do the claiming and give you his mark. That means you're untouchable to others unless they kill your mate and take you. You ladies know how this works."

"What if we don't want to be their mate? I have a mate back in my pack," Abby snarled. "He'll kill anyone that touches me."

"Is he here? No. Does he have a chance at finding us? Hell no. You might as well hope for the best. Hopefully the man that picks you won't be that bad. But you better get used to it. You're here now, in this pack. And you will live by our rules."

"Fuck you," Stacey snarled, moving forward. Ginger jumped to her feet and snarled back. Abby stood between them, trying to stop a fight.

"Easy. We need to know more. Let's drill her for info," Abby whispered so only Stacey could hear her. Stacey shot her a look, but nodded. Abby saw that Grace had moved behind Ginger. They were scaring the child.

"What other rules are there?"

"If you run, you'll get beat and sent around for all of the males to take a turn with you. You'll be weak enough that you can't fight back. So I don't recommend running. We know these woods better than you do."

"I can run pretty fast," Stacey looked at her nails, a wicked grin on her face.

"Be my guest. Test them," Ginger taunted, pointing at the door. "I bet they have you before you even reach the trees."

"Are we being watched right now?"

"There's two men prancing around the house, trying to pick up your scents and see if they want you," Ginger shrugged. Abby was beginning to see that this girl would be no help when it came to them trying to escape.

Abby rubbed her arm, scenting the air. She couldn't make out any scents but her own, Stacey's, and the two girls in front of her. When her fingers felt something on her wrist, she glanced down. Hope blossomed in her chest. The bracelet! It had the tracking device in it! If Kane or Travis got close enough, it would pick up her signal. But would they know where to look?

"What's that on your arm?" Ginger asked, sitting back down, seeming relaxed in front of the two female wolves.

"Nothing," Abby shrugged.

"Give it to me."

"No," Abby snarled. She braced herself, her fingers flexing as claws came out the tips. She growled low in the back of her throat, daring the woman to come and take it.

"I can make your life easier around her, you know," Ginger smiled menacingly at them. "Or I can make it a living hell. You might want to be nice to me."

"Fuck you. I'm keeping it," Abby snapped. Stacey would back her up if Ginger made a move toward her. They would take that bitch down.

"Whatever," Ginger snarled. Apparently she knew she couldn't take them both on.

"Next rule," Stacey snapped.

"Your mate is your boss, but you ultimately answer to the alpha and beta. You will live under his roof and will do best to remember that he can also make your life a living hell. You will act like a submissive wolf and not give him any trouble. If he decides he doesn't want you, he can share you. It's all up to him as to how easy you'll live."

"You guys don't mate for life?" Abby's stomach revolted at the thought of being shared. She felt sick and sank into the couch across from Ginger. Stacey didn't look happy either, but she remained standing.

"No. We don't have enough women for that."

"Your pack is disgusting," Stacey told her.

"Get off your high horse. At least your pack has women and men to choose from. Our pack is old fashioned. We don't want to go out into the world. It's full of electronics and stuff to rot your brain. We embrace our animal halves."

"Crazy people," Stacey mock whispered in Abby's direction. Abby laughed, though she tried to hide it. Ginger's eyes flashed and she got to her feet.

"Enough. I'm done explaining shit to you. I hope you end up messing up."

Abby watched as Gracie clung to her sister as Ginger walked toward the door. She yanked it open and waited. "Get the fuck out of here and over to my house," Ginger commanded.

Abby's stomach growled and she couldn't deny that she was hungry. She was also still kind of tired. Stacey shrugged and helped Abby to her feet. They may as well go eat and get some of their energy back. They may need it if things got rough.

Travis felt his wolf pacing in his mind. He was going nuts. He needed to get out of here. This jail cell couldn't hold him captive forever. Where was Kane? Why was he leaving him in here? He knew a cage could turn a shifter feral.

Travis got up and sent his fist into the stone wall. He tilted his head back and howled, not caring how animalistic it sounded. He heard a door open and close and then footsteps headed back toward him. He felt adrenaline flood through him If the officer came to tell him to shut up, he'd grab the bastard through the bars and slam his head against them.

He hadn't been able to sleep a wink since he'd been brought in. He was too on edge. Something didn't feel right to him. He needed to see Abby and he needed to see her right then. He had to make sure that she was okay, touch her skin to tell for himself. Tig was an ass for letting him stay in here. He had to have called Kane. Right? Ugh, it was just like his beta to try and teach him a lesson out of this.

"Kid, I need you to come with me. All charges have been dropped and you're free to go, but first Kane wants to talk to you."

Travis spun around, eyeing Dale. He was a shifter and part of Kane's pack. He worked at the local sheriff's department to keep an eye on things going on in town. He looked upset and Travis knew something was wrong.

He waited until Dale unlocked the cage and let him out. He sprinted down the hall, leaving the man behind. He could find Kane by scent. He needed out of there. Dale called after him, telling him to go to his office. Travis didn't bother responding, but pushed through the door that let him into the main office. He saw several heads turn to him, but no one tried to stop him.

He looked around, seeing Kane sitting on a desk in a room closed off from the rest of the offices. Blinds were open, allowing him to see his alpha inside. He walked over and opened the door, closing it behind him.

"Travis," Kane nodded in his direction. He pointed at a chair. "Sit down."

Travis walked over and sat down, though he was itching to run outside. He was antsy, wanting to get out of there and back home. He had to see Abby. He'd been an ass last night, but seeing her with that other man made his wolf take over. He could still feel the human's skin against his fists as he lost control. He hoped he hadn't killed the man. That hadn't been his intent, but damn, his wolf hadn't held back either.

"You're in trouble kid," Kane chastised him. "You will pay back the damage to the club. Every last dime. I don't care how you do it, just do it. And do it soon. You don't want this shit following you."

"I have the money," Travis told him. Kane's eyebrow rose, but he didn't ask how. Travis was glad. He didn't want to explain where he got it.

"You will also apologize to the human."

"I don't think that's a good idea," Travis growled. His wolf took over for a moment, making his eyes flash to solid black as emotion flooded through him. "I can't stand the sight of him. He touched what belongs to me."

"You will do it. He was kind enough to drop the charges."

"How'd you get him to do that?"

"Just apologize him. I'm telling you that as your alpha. You will do it."

"Whatever," Travis snarled, pushing his wolf back. He ran his hands over his knees, needing to feel the breeze on his skin. He glanced at the door and Kane noticed his impatience.

"We'll go home now. There is more to discuss, but we will talk there. Thank Dale for letting you out," Kane commanded. He nodded at someone behind Travis and Travis turned to watch Dale open the door and step in.

"Thanks," Travis spat out.

"You behave now, kid. I don't want to see you in here again."

Travis nodded and got to his feet. He left the office, heading toward the main doors. He pushed them both wide and stepped out into the early morning light. It was slightly chilly, but he loved the feeling of the crisp wind against his skin. Maybe after he apologized to Abby, he could talk her into a run.

Wait. Where had that thought come from? He was supposed to be ignoring her. He didn't want a mate. Didn't need one. Yet after last night, seeing her in someone else's arms, he had to do something. He would mark her; not claim her, but mark her. That way no one would touch what belonged to him. His wolf agreed. His human side rebelled, not wanting the commitment, but knowing that his wolf needed him to mark her or he'd never let him have peace.

Kane stepped out behind him and ushered him toward his truck. A silence settled over them as they headed back to pack land. Kane was tense and it was unsettling Travis's wolf. Travis wanted a distraction and reached for the radio. He turned it on some random station and stared out the window.

"There's something I need to tell you," Kane said after ten minutes. Travis turned to face his alpha. Kane reached over and turned the radio off. He pulled over to the side of the road close to the road that led to their pack land.

"What's wrong?" Travis asked. His throat grew tight and it was hard to swallow. For some reason he knew that it had to do with him. Was Kane kicking him out of the pack? To keep him away from Abby, Travis wasn't sure what lengths Kane would go to.

"Something happened last night after you were hauled to jail. Tig was bringing the girls back home," Kane started. The blood drained from Travis's face. Abby. This had to do with Abby. Something had happened to her.

"What happened? Is Abby okay? Where is she?" Travis was growing panicked.

"Calm down," Kane commanded. "I need you to focus."

"Tell me what the fuck happened to my mate," Travis snarled. His wolf was trying to take over. Travis was fighting the urge to shift and track her down himself.

"Tig said that they cut his tires. They also shot tranquilizer darts at them. He got hit with a couple and passed out. When he woke up, both of the girls were gone. He managed to take one of the rogues down, but the man died before we could question him. Tig's trying to hack into something to get the guy's identity. Dale is trying to help us best he can. We need to know where the guy came from. But she's gone, Travis. They took Abby."

"No," Travis shook his head. He couldn't believe it. His heart was hammering hard in his chest. He should have been with her last night. Should have been following her, not ending up in jail. Now his mate was gone.

Reality slammed into him. He had to claim her. Only then could he keep her safe. If he was her mate, he could keep her home and safe. Right then and there, Travis promised himself that when he got back, he was going to claim Abby. And he'd never let her out of his sight again. He didn't care if she didn't want him after last night. She belonged to him. He was tired of running. He couldn't imagine living without her. This whole scenario showed him that.

"We have to find her," Travis snarled.

"She still has her bracelet on, as far as we know."

"Can we trace her?"

"No. She's too far away. We're going to have to drive around and see if we can get close enough to her to pinpoint her location. Tig's searching for a good area to start. He's stressed out and worried. Stacey got taken too. I think it's got him messed up."

"She his mate?"

"No," Kane denied. "He would have told me."

"There's a huge age difference there."

"No much, but they're not mates. He just feels responsible because he was the one driving. If they'd attacked as wolves, he could have handled it. Using tranq guns was smart. The enemy is outsmarting us and growing ballsy. They shouldn't have attacked us this close."

"I"m going to kill them all," Travis promised. "If they hurt Abby, they're dead."

"I feel you. That girl is like a daughter to me. I need you to find her. You and Abby are connected. I know you're not mated, but your wolf is attuned to her. Find her Travis. Go to the crash site. It's about two miles back down the road. See if you can pick up her scent," Kane told him. "We're running out of time."

"I'll find her," Travis promised. He opened the car door and started stripping. He threw his clothes back in the truck and then slammed the door when he was naked. He nodded at Kane before shifting and taking off back down the road. He didn't hear any cars and hoped that no one drove past and saw him. He didn't want to chance them shooting at him if they were a local. Not everyone was a fan of having wolves in their back yards.

Hold on, Abby. I'm coming for you. Travis sent that thought off into the night, hoping that she'd know that he wouldn't stop until he found her.


ANOTHER UPDATE! I've been working on Be Still My Heart all weekend and just now got around to this one! I'll try to update quicker! But now Travis knows that Abby is missing and Kane got him out of jail. Abby and Stacey might get shackled with a mate unless Tig, Kane, and Travis get there in time.

Let me know what you think.