It’s a fire. Everything is on fire. Save Denny… Go. Run! But it’s too late, isn’t it? The flames are too close now. There’s nowhere for me to escape. The flames are licking at my feet, consuming me entirely. I can’t stomp it out. I can’t move anything. My skin is slick with sweat. It’s hot enough to melt my skin away from my bones, and the screams in my ears seem so far away until I realize they are my own. This isn’t a fire. It’s them. “Harley! What the f**k!? Harls, wake up!” Denny’s screams broke me from the nightmare, but the pain, it’s all too real.
Those bastards. Both of them are trash. How could I be so cursed by the goddess herself to be dealt the hand of not one but two mates who sleep with anyone coming and going? My entire body weighs a metric ton, and the fire spreading through my veins is unbearable. No matter how often this happens, you can never get used to it. I can’t stop the screams from ripping out of me as every inch of my body is boiled in their sins. “Harley, please talk to me! Tell me what to do!” His pleading tone isn’t enough to break the flames away from my skin. I’m sure there will be blisters every time this happens, but it’s only soft tattooed skin with a few battle scars left behind. About the time I think it’s over, it comes back again. The flames always return. One day those flames will end me entirely, and I pray when they do, they burn them with me. I let myself fall into the shadows. Somewhere in the distance is still the pain, but I always find myself pulled into the darkest parts of my mind. Comforted by the spirit of the wolf that I was created to be. Bold and beautiful. Her thick fur is as black as night, and her eyes so icy blue it’s almost sinful. Wrapped in her thick fur, she comforts me. Denny’s voice is still there, along with another. A woman, maybe? I settle into my wolf, letting her lick the skin that still burns with hell’s fury while I burrow into her running my fingers through her fur, knowing she feels this way too. Slowly the flames dissipate, and the shadows start to lift. I blink to steady my blurred vision, and my body, still soaked in sweat, starts to feel mobile again. I sat up when a soft female voice called to me. “Welcome back.
How are you feeling?” she seems tender and kind, but I can’t be touched now. I swat her hands away, telling her I am fine. The straight fear on Denny’s face is clear, and now I have no choice but to come clean. Partially anyway. “Den, look at me. I’m okay… this happens all the time, I have seen many doctors, and they all say the same thing. This happens because I wasn’t brave enough to accept my mate’s rejection, and my mate… well– he was sleeping with someone else.” I forced myself to hold eye contact to show him I was okay with this situation until I could fix it. His expression faded from fear, morphing into a wave of anger that made me understand why he was chosen as beta. My sweet, emotional big brother is dangerous. “Who?” his eyes flashing from icy blue to black as he fit his wolf for control. “That isn’t important, Den. He rejected me long ago, and I never had the balls to accept it. I just ran away from it.” This is the most painful it had ever been, but I assume it’s the proximity of the three of us. They are probably just one floor-up balls deep in someone. “Of course, it f*****g matters, Harley. I thought you were dying, and then you tell me this happens all the time? I will f*****g kill him. Give me his name.” his wolf was trying to surface as if that would make me give anything up about the situation. “Simmer down, super Denny.” I let a nasty smirk cross my lips. “Get changed. We’ll hit the fancy schmancy training facility up that you brag about every time I see you.” I grabbed his elbows, making him focus. “Get changed.” I said again. “I can’t let this go, Harley, but under the circumstances, we can put it on the back burner for now. We can train with the pack tomorrow, but it is two in the morning, and no money could get me into the gym right now.”
His chuckle calmed my growing nerves a little bit. I thought this would get ugly until he kissed my forehead and left me to slump back as the pack doctor rechecked me. “It’s none of my business, Ms. Ashwood; however, it is in my professional medical opinion that I tell you this rejection going unresolved can be very detrimental to your health. The negative mental and physical impacts it can have on you are vast and understudied.” She put her little cold hand on my shoulder, squeezing it softly. “Here is my card. Call me if you ever need anything.” Her kindness radiated through my tense muscles, relaxing me some. “Thanks, Doc. I appreciate it.” I tried giving her a real smile, but talking about emotions is not my strong suit. She left, and as the door clicked shut softly, Denny came back in with a cold bottle of water for me. “I’ll see you in the morning, sis. I should’ve thanked you for coming earlier, but I was so happy to see you I didn’t want to kill the buzz… I am glad you are here.” His feet shuffled like he was nervous, or maybe he wanted to ask me something that he couldn’t put his finger on. “I love you too, Den. We will be okay. We can… figure this all out. See each other more. It’s going to be alright.” His boyish smile was back, making me relax more. Exhaustion suddenly swept over me like a fever you can’t seem to shake. He clicked the light off, closing the door, leaving me with my thoughts, and of all the things going on, I thought of my wolf. I could still feel her thick fur running through my fingertips. This is the only good thing about them having s*x with other women. I see her again, almost like a hug for my brain. I sank into my bed, falling into an exhaustion-induced sleep consumed by the warmth of my wolf’s presence, still fresh in my mind. Axel: “Please, baby!” the blonde screeched from underneath me. “Shut the f**k up.” I growled, bringing my hand down on her ass with a sickening crack, making her cry in pain. I can’t get my mind off, little bird.
The way she came crashing through those gates straddling that Ducati. Soaked in the blood of my enemies. I can’t stand the little brat, yet seeing her this evening like that and knowing she is under my roof has me in a lust-induced rage that’s strangling me, slowly twisting off every thought but those blue eyes and those pouty pink lips. “Fuck.” I groaned, finding my release in the thought of her mouth. This b***h is splattered out on my bed, almost in tears. “Get out.” Tying off the condom and throwing it away. I threw her clothes at her, dragging her off my bed and pushing her towards the door. “OUT!” I yelled. She shouldn’t even be here. If it weren’t for the demise of her parents and Denny being a good friend and my beta, she wouldn’t be. We were never supposed to see each other again after the rejection. We promised her she wouldn’t have to see us again, and now I just want to drag her to this floor and into my bed where she belongs. “I take it that didn’t help you either?” my brother asked from the doorway where he had just pushed the brunette he dragged in back out of the door in a similar manner as I did. “No.” I answered dryly. We are both incredibly bitter by nature, but tonight we feel more dangerous than anything. I would burn the world down right now if I allowed myself to leave this packed house. A knock at the door broke me from my raging thoughts. Nathan was supposed to come up after stopping in at Denny’s to review the rogues Harley encountered. I haven’t seen the proof yet, but the Harley Ashwood that I knew couldn’t even run without tripping. There’s no way she took on one rogue, never mind three. Yet she rolled in, looking like a little miraculous creature of death. “Sorry, it took me so long. I waited until Harley went to bed to speak with Denny about the rogues. About midway, she started having some kind of attack. Or I thought a nightmare. Get this. She told Den once it was over that she had met her mate and that he had rejected her, and every time he f***s a girl, that happens because she couldn’t accept his rejection. It was f*****g insane. I don’t think I can ever forget her screams, man. I don’t really know how anyone could reject her anyways. She’s fine as hell and—” I can’t hear him talk about her anymore. “Enough.” Atlas and I said in unison. “Let’s get to business.” Atlas had his fists balled up under the table, and his leg was jarring, looking as antsy and pissed as I am. “s**t, fine. My bad. Anyways, she encountered them approximately fifteen miles from the clearwater entry point.
She fought three, killing three, and they ran when she started for the others. She got in touch with the beta letting him know the situation. He met her at the gate, and she demanded he pushes border patrol forward a few miles to lessen the odds of the remaining rogues getting close enough to breach patrol. Upon his discussing it with Drake and me, we agreed. We not only pushed forward the perimeter, but Drake called in a few more warriors to add to the line and a few more to group up and clean the mess Harley left behind, which was nasty as f**k, by the way. Then moved into the forest, where they ran to look for and eliminate them. Harley did not shift; she took those three out with a sword she had with her. One of the warriors identified two of the ones she killed as two of the rogues that got away after the attack last night.” We were silent for a minute, taking in Nathan’s report . “Drake was very impressed by her skills and the fact that she didn’t even shift… Beta Denny had mentioned if it were not for her remaining ties to this pack, she would be Alpha Byron’s head warrior.” I scoffed at that. Bull s**t. Little bird could never be a warrior. She couldn’t even look at us when we were angry with her without crying. Atlas’s dark laughter made me believe he was thinking the same thing as me. “Bull shit.” He laughed. “Look, Den said he convinced her to train in the pack in the morning before they make the arrangements for their parents, and I convinced Drake to do the Devil’s Mile. One of you should come to watch her. She seems skilled, and if she is already tied to this pack…” he shrugged, letting us fill in the blanks. No. She will not stay here… She can’t. We agreed to part ways, and after her parent’s funeral has passed, she won’t be back. No matter what. Atlas let Nathan out, and we sat silently in the living room, taking turns with a bourbon bottle. “There is no way Harley f*****g Ashwood is a warrior. Sure, she was just a kid the last time we saw her, but she was so timid even then, no one could have guessed she was even of beta blood.” Atlas growled, staring into his bourbon like it held the answers he sought. “Do you think she knows when we sleep with other women?” His voice was quiet, but I could see the anger swirling in his eyes like looking into my reflection. “I don’t know. I have never had any attacks that made me believe she was having s*x with someone else.” I answered, exhaling my frustrations.
She had this ‘attack’ in the same exact moments I was f*****g my frustrations away. I hate that the thought of causing her pain even affected me the way it did, and I wanted to tear my gamma’s throat out for commenting on her appearance. Sleep was far out of my reach tonight, and I guess Atlas was on the same page as me. We got to work tag teaming the paperwork for today since, at some point, we will crash out. The closer it got to 4:30, the more I wanted to do exactly as Nate suggested and sit in on training today. How Atlas keeps looking at the clock tells me he may be thinking about the same thing… Maybe we could visit our little bird before she has to fly away again. “Get changed, brother.”