Wolf on a Mission:Salvation Pack, Book 6(5)

By: N.J. Walters

The forest called to him and his wolf longed to break free and run. He kept a tight rein on the primal urges inside him. Until he knew it was safe, he wasn’t taking any chances. Elias yanked his T-shirt over his head and rolled his shoulders, unable to rid himself of the tension permeating his body.

He knew Reece and Sage needed time alone. He had to give them some freedom. They were no longer children he could keep by his side.

“Fuck.” Elias tossed his shirt aside and stalked off in the direction his nephews had gone. They’d just have to be pissed off with him. He couldn’t leave them out there alone. He couldn’t shake the sensation that something was wrong.

If he shifted, he could sneak up on them and watch over them without their knowing. He shook his head before the idea took root. If they ever discovered he’d done that, they’d never trust him again. Better to be upfront and blunt even if it irritated them. This parenting business wasn’t easy. It didn’t come with a how-to manual. He was winging it every single day. Being a doting uncle was a lot different from being the one in charge. He’d gained a whole new respect for his brother and sister-in-law.

Elias sniffed the air and quickly picked up their trail. The dirt and moss were soft beneath his sneakers. The air brushed over his skin like a warm caress, but it was growing cooler as the sun sank low in the sky. It would disappear totally in another hour or so.

Not that it mattered. He could see just as easily in the dark and so could his nephews. He knew Reece would be okay, but he worried about Sage. It had been a big blow to the boy to discover his brother could shift and he couldn’t.

Elias was still shocked at Reece’s ability to shift into a wolf. As far as he knew, no half-breed had ever done such a thing. Of course, Reece was three-quarters werewolf and that likely made the difference. But if he could shift, why couldn’t Sage? There was no answer, and that made it doubly hard on his nephew.

Elias picked up his pace. Warning bells went off inside him. Something was wrong. He didn’t question the feeling. As a werewolf, he lived by his instincts, and his were screaming that his boys were in trouble.

He ran, jumping over downed trees and several large rocks. He startled several squirrels and a deer, which loped off in the opposite direction. A flash of color caught his eye and he detoured toward it. He slowed and eased to a stop. He recognized the folded T-shirt and jeans. They belonged to Reece. He’d shifted.

Anger and fear warred inside him. Elias sniffed the air and set off after them again. He and Reece were going to have a long talk about responsibility when he caught up with him. He was putting not only himself, but also his brother in danger.

Sue put away the last of the dishes. The barbecue had been a huge success. Billy had eaten his burger and several marshmallows, and even laughed at the antics of a squirrel that had chattered endlessly from his perch in a nearby tree.

He’d stayed outside on the back porch to play while she’d cleared away and washed up. Even though it was still light out, Billy should have already had his bath. “Relax. It’s summer,” she reminded herself. He’d have to be on a stricter schedule once school started. They both would. Better to let them both enjoy these last days of summer.

She glanced out the window at the back porch. Her heart skipped a beat and she tossed aside the dishtowel. Billy had been there only a minute ago. She hurried to the backdoor and pulled it open. “Billy?” His toy trucks and cars had been abandoned and he was nowhere in sight.

“Don’t panic. Don’t panic.” He had to be here somewhere. “Billy, where are you? Billy?” She turned in a circle, taking in the entire yard. There was no sign of her son.

“The creek.” He liked to play by the water. She ran toward the path, her heart pounding and chest aching. “Billy!” He knew he wasn’t supposed to go off on his own. This was the first time he’d ever done such a thing. “Billy!”

A vision from the past slammed into her. She could still remember coming out to visit Anny that fateful Saturday morning and finding her friend’s bloody body. The paramedics had saved Anny’s life, but nothing had ever been the same again.

Sue kept her gaze on the path ahead of her and picked up her pace. “Billy!” she yelled. “Answer me.” Her phone was in the charger on the kitchen counter. She should have grabbed it in case she needed to call the sheriff’s office.

No, she wouldn’t think like that. She’d find Billy looking for frogs by the edge of the stream. Thankfully the water level was low at the end of the hot summer and her son could swim, or at least dog paddle.