I woke the next morning with a new determination. I would do whatever it took to make my mate happy and if that meant only being his friend then that is what I would do. Jeremy had let me in on what had happened and what had led up to Tony rejecting Steve. It made me see red that someone would disregard the mating bond of Tim and Jon when they knew they had a mate out there somewhere.
There was a somber feel in the air when I walked into the dining room; it made the hair on the back of my neck stand on end. I looked around for Tony, but he was nowhere to be seen. I figured he simply hadn’t come down yet but there was a feeling in the pit of my stomach that it was something much, much worse.
I sat down next to Tim once I had grabbed my breakfast. I made sure to sit facing the door, so I would see Tony when he finally came down to eat.
“If you’re looking for Tony, I haven’t seen him yet. Jon got called to the border early as part of the security force sent to round up the trespassers.”
“I have a bad feeling Tim. I don’t know what it is, but I felt like someone walked over my grave a few minutes ago. I’m worried it has to do with Tony.”
“I had a similar feeling when Jon and I got woke up about the security breach.”
“Shouldn’t someone have come and got me? I mean that is part of why my team and I are here, isn’t it?”
“Jon said they grabbed only a couple of your men to hopefully make the security team work a little more cohesively then what it looked like would happen last night.”
At that time Alpha Jeff came in and gestured for Tim and me to follow him. I looked at Tim and that feeling of dread came back worse than before and I did not feel good about what we were about to be told.
We followed the Alpha to his office and waited until the door shut so there would be the modicum of privacy even though we wolves have incredible hearing. We sat and waited for the Alpha to take his seat.
“Tim, before you work yourself up, Jon is fine and is at the holding facility trying to get the shifter to talk that we caught in the woods. He said he would meet you at the house when he goes to get cleaned up.” He turned to look at me and his facial features changed; they looked as if his face had changed to granite in the blink of an eye. “Louis, we need to collect your entire team. Jon has an idea of where Steve may be going, so as soon as he is ready to go we are heading out. Tony was taken on his way to the packhouse this morning, which is what alerted us to the trespassers. We had hoped we could find them before they got out of the area, but they must have had a vehicle waiting for them because we were only able to get a faint trace of the direction they left in.”
“Why am I only finding out now? Why wasn’t I one of the ones notified from my team?”
“My Beta Paul it seems decided to only contact the few that were in the dining hall when the call went out. He has since been demoted and is currently in the security building waiting for my mate to get there to interrogate him and his reasoning behind it.”
“I will be there while he is being questioned.”
“Louis, I understand how you feel, but you have to understand that right now this is an Alpha situation to handle.”
“Alpha Jeff, I mean no disrespect to you or your mate, but how can either of you be able to not take this personally? I know I would take it as a personal attack on me as the Alpha.”
“I understand why you feel that way, but I would rather hear from him why he did this than to jump to any conclusions”
“Well, what are we waiting for? I want to hear what he has to say.” I couldn’t believe a pack member, especially the Beta of the pack would have anything to do with a pack member being abducted.
Alpha Jeff lead the way out of the packhouse and down the street to what looked like a warehouse but was instead several large interrogation rooms, all of them were soundproofed so no one outside the room could hear what happened inside the room. If it was any other situation I would have been impressed by their set up and maybe I would be later when everything was resolved. I was more focused on the fact that my mate had been taken and this Beta seemed to be working for the man who took him.
Alpha Jeff indicated for me to go to the observation room before he went in to talk to Paul with his mate. I really wanted to be in that room but as I looked at him through the one-way glass I realized that if I was in there with him I would probably kill him. We needed answers, then I would get my justice for his actions against my mate whether Tony accepts me or not.
I came out of my thoughts as the Alpha pulled out a chair and sat across from Paul who was shackled to the table in silver handcuffs. I could barely contain myself as I waited for Paul to be interrogated. I wanted to rip his throat out for betraying his pack and handing over my mate. Alpha Jeff looked to his mate as if they were having a silent conversation before he turned to the prisoner.
“Paul, what were you thinking?” Alpha Jeff asked.
“I was thinking that by turning him over we could get our children back. I was trying to protect our pack.”
“Except Tony is a part of this pack!” Alpha Jeff snapped.
“He didn’t grow up here. Those children belong to friends of mine who grew up in this pack and never had any intention of leaving. Besides his best friend is mated to a bear and I didn’t want another one admitted into the pack if he changed his mind about his mate. I mean who in their right mind would reject their mate?”
“How about someone who knew their mate had questionable loyalty? How about someone who knew their mate had already tried to break up one mating all because he wanted one of them for himself?”
“You don’t know that’s what happened! All you have is his word for that.”
I was barely holding onto my wolf as I listened to him spew all that garbage about my mate. Who is he to pass judgment on Tony? I started to storm out of the room Tim and I was in when he grabbed my shoulder to hold me in place.
“Don’t do it, Louis. I know you want to rip his guts out but we need the information he has. Who knows, maybe he knows where they are taking Tony.”
“I know Tim, but my wolf is going crazy right now.”
“You need to chill because the Alphas know what they are doing, and they aren’t going to let him get away with it. Tony is a member of this pack and they will do whatever they can to get him back safe and sound.”
“Tim, what would you do if it was your mate that was missing? Wouldn’t you do anything and everything to find him? To get him back?”
“Yes, I would. Louis. We need to find out everything we can so that we can find him and get him back safely. I want him back as much as you do. He’s one of my best friends and I will do whatever it takes to get him back.”
I looked back through the two way glass to continue to watch as the Alphas continued to question Paul.
“Paul, where did you meet Steve when you turned Tony over to him? If Steve was truly going to return the children he would have already done so. None of the missing children have come back yet.”
Alpha Jeff wasn’t letting Paul get away with anything and I could tell that he was furious about what a member of his pack had done. It was worse that it was a Beta, someone he put his trust in. He thought his Beta would always have his back if things went sideways.
“Alpha, what was I supposed to do? Our pups were being taken. My nephew was taken yesterday and I wanted to get him back. Early this morning I got a note that said, “If you want your nephew and the other pups, bring Tony to the border. You will get them back as soon as we have Tony.”
The Alpha was furious that his Beta had made this decision on his own without even consulting his Alphas. This was the point where he decided what one of Paul’s punishments would be.
“Paul, you are hereby demoted to the rank of Omega. Every wolf in this pack will be ranked above you. You decided on your own selfish goals and not for the good of the entire pack. I understand that you want our pups returned, but we need to do this the smart way and this was not it. You are also hereby sentenced to 15 years in confinement and not allowed to turn into your wolf form until you are released.” The Alpha looked at the guard who was in the room with them and nodded his head to signal for him to take the prisoner away.
I could see how hard a decision that was for the Alpha to make, but in the end, I respected him more for it because he was looking out for his entire pack and not simply a portion of it. Just because Tony was a transfer did not mean that he wasn’t pack. The Alphas left the room and met us outside the interrogation room that they had been in.
“I will be calling a pack meeting to discuss the situation. We will, as a pack, determine the best possible course of action and go from there. Go and get your team together. We will meet in the pack hall in twenty minutes.”
Even before he had told us this I would have gone out to search for Tony, he was after all my mate. I went to look for my team to let them know what was going on and to decide which ones would go with me to help search and which ones would be left to help guard the pack. I found everyone in what looked to be a common room for the house and signaled for them to meet me outside.
Once everyone was gathered I started the brief little meeting. “Alright, the Alphas are going to call a pack meeting and we will determine as a group what the best plan of action will be to get the cubs and Tony back. I want four of you to stay and help guard the pack, especially the remaining pups. Team up with the enforcers from the pack that will be staying to set up a plan to protect everyone. Jeremy, you and two others will come with me to help the pack search for those who are missing. Finding Tony is as important as finding the pups. Please be on the lookout for any sign of those who are missing. Now let’s head to the pack hall for the meeting.”
As a group, we headed to the meeting. The seven enforcers were softly discussing between themselves who would be going with us and who would be staying to guard the pack. When we got to the hall it was packed. The hall was so full of tension you could cut it with a knife. Members of the pack looked at us with suspicious regard, especially when they saw us with Jon and Tim talking amongst ourselves.
“Jeremy, I want you, Jon, and Tim to form a group with my Theta Jesse to start searching the area Tony was last seen in. Louis, I know Jeremy is a member of your pack, but I felt since he knows Tony he would be a wolf to lead one of the teams,” Alpha Jeff said.
“That’s fine Alpha. I will be taking Kelly, Sam, and Lee with me to search whatever sector you want us to search. My other enforcers will stay to help yours to protect the pack while we are out searching.”
Alpha Jeff nodded and turned back to the rest of the pack. “The visiting enforcers will be treated as if they had been born into our pack and you will obey them while we are gone. They are here to help protect you.”
“Yes, Alpha!” the pack called out.
“We will be searching in teams of 4 to search each sector for any sign of those responsible.”
The pack’s enforcers began to divvy up their assignments and determine who was doing what and where each group would be searching. I was itching to get out there to start looking for the missing pups and my mate. I would not stop until we found them and those responsible were punished or taken care of in any way possible. I would not mind at all if each and every one of them were killed during our rescue.