I paced back and forth across the living room floor, but it wasn’t enough. My mind raced, and being trapped inside four walls was only making it worse. I picked up my phone and sent Park a text. That way if he and Kraig came back they would know where I was. It also reminded me that I needed to get Kraig a phone. We may not be parted that often, or very far, but he needed a way to get in touch with me if he needed me.
Once I hit the grass in the backyard, I removed my shoes. The blades were cool between my toes. It had been too long since I let loose, and the strain on my animal soul was telling. My senses fluctuated, since getting too strong and then fading away, the sounds from hundreds of yards away echoing in my ears.
Even stronger than the bond between my spirit and Kraig’s was the bond between me and my animal soul. A part of me, yet also somehow a separate force, the wild nature of my Tiger soul needed to be let free. I ripped my shirt over my head and dropped it to the ground. I close my eyes and lifted my face to the night sky taking deep breaths, listening to the land around me.
And then I ran.
I quickly left the manicured lawn behind and entered the forest that joined with the back of the alpha property. It was even darker under the trees, but that wasn’t a problem for me. I ran on instinct, giving everything up human so I could think of nothing. Every movement was dictated by the Tiger inside of me as I fluidly avoided trees, rocks, and roots sticking up out of the ground ready to trip me. I didn’t stop until I finally reached the rushing river.
Panting I stood next to the water. I wish it was clean enough to drink because I was very thirsty. Running felt good, but there was no way to outrun my problems. All werekins’ problems. I made a loop checking the other border on the south side of my property, making sure there were no intruders.
They knew we had Ritch. Henry had told them we had Kraig after I found him. I’ve never seen any indication that Henry knew who the doctor really was and that he still held Kraig prisoner, or if Henry thought truly thought he disposed of Kraig like he was supposed to do when the experiment went wrong.
When I got back to the house Kraig and Park were waiting for me. I picked up my shirt from the grass and used it to wipe the sweat off my face and chest. “How’s your mom doing?” I asked.
“She’s fine." Parker tilted his head to one side and stared at me.
“What?" I scowled at him. “Why are you staring at me?”
“You haven’t run like that in a long time,” was all he said. He wasn’t joking. The muscles in my calves quivered, and I was exhausted. Lack of sleep, stress, and running for miles had me on edge.
"Tell us what’s wrong," Kraig said. He was wrapped in a blanket and sitting on the porch swing. “And don’t try to say nothing. You were coming to look at the files on your laptop but it doesn’t look like you even opened it.”
“Let’s go inside. I need some water.” I was also afraid of who or what might just be hiding in the darkness. I’d already missed a betrayer close to me. If there was anyone else still here working for the group responsible for what that doctor did to innocent werekin, I wasn’t going to give them any information they didn’t already have.
I trudged up the stairs and into the house. “I need some water,” I said. I filled a tall glass, gulped it down, and then refill it again. How was I going to tell them this?
“Let’s sit down.” Sitting would be a good thing. I set my glass down on the table and then spread my fingers out, placing my hands flat on the surface. I took a deep breath. “I don’t know how to say this, so I’m just going to say it. Kraig, that doctor kept you a prisoner because of me."
“What!” Park leaned forward and hissed. “What do you mean because of you?”
“I doubt it sincerely. And who are they?” Kraig asked.
“Instead of coming back here to look to the computer files again, I went to that house. I found information hidden in that secret room where you are kept, Kraig. I found an ID that belongs to Ritch’s cousin. It must have been because he had secretly mated a leopard that it didn’t show he had a blood bond.
“They never intended you to have two animal souls, Kraig. You were supposed to receive a Tiger soul. They wanted to see what would happen if the created a bonded werekin from a human werekin, and then sent him to infiltrate a group. The doctor’s notes said that when a bonded werekin dies his soul can rebond immediately or waits in some sort of limbo before a suitable unborn werekin is ready to receive a soul.
“They gave you drugs, and cut into your brain to stimulate part of it into that same state of an unborn werekin, and then they killed the Tiger. But when his soul left his body, his leopard mate also lost her soul. She died, and they both entered you.”
“The doctor was ordered to kill you. Your dad told the doctor about me. The bastard wanted to experiment on a blood-bonded pair, so he brought you here."
Kraig’s hands curled into fists. “You’re saying my dad knew I was in the basement the whole time?”
“You haven’t answered his question yet.” Park’s voice was a quiet snarl. “Who. Are. They?”
Did you see that coming? Huh? Huh? Huh?
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