Though Finn could have probably found a way to evade those on his tail, he let the others keep up with him. That way, the world could see that they were just simple people going to meet friends. It was all a lie, and would always be one, but she would do her part and protect what was hers. After they’d entered the Talon territory and nodded at the wolves who guarded their home, Charlotte followed Finn and Brynn to the infirmary.
“Do you know why we’re here?” Charlotte asked. “I mean other than the fact that Gideon asked for us.”
Brynn shook her head. “Not really. Gideon just asked us over. Kade said he’d come, but I haven’t seen my family in a week so I asked if I could come instead.”
Charlotte nodded. “Everything is so secret these days, I never know.”
Finn shrugged. “It has to be, but I wanted you here.” He met her gaze. “I don’t know why, Charlotte. My wolf urged me to bring you with, and I listened to him.”
Her eyes widened. “That’s…a little spooky.”
Finn snorted. “Tell me about it. I never used to have this connection with my wolf but after the…procedure, things are different.”
The procedure that killed him, she remembered. But if Finn’s wolf thought she needed to be here, she’d listen. He was the Heir for a reason, after all.
They made their way into the building, and Gideon came toward them. He had to be the biggest man Charlotte had ever seen, and that was saying something, considering how big her cousins and uncles were.
“Good, you’re here.”
A man’s scream echoed off the walls, and Charlotte’s wolf moved forward, ready to fight.
“What the hell?” Finn growled.
“That’s why I wanted you here,” Gideon said with a sigh. “We have a new Pack member.”
Charlotte’s eyes widened. While it was not uncommon to bring in new members of the Pack, they were in the middle of a war, and turning a human probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do. Not that she’d tell a very dominant Alpha wolf that.
“Seriously?” Finn asked.
“What happened?” Brynn said.
Gideon pinched the bridge of his nose. “He is—was—a soldier, working under Montag.”
Charlotte hissed. Montag was the General who had killed dozens of wolves in the name of science. He tortured them to discover their secrets and was one of the loudest opponents against the wolves’ right to live at all.
“I don’t know what happened exactly, but we’re going to find out,” Gideon continued, giving Charlotte a curious glance. “He saved Ryder and Leah and risked his life to do so. Then he showed up at our borders and saw through the wards.”
“Holy hell,” Brynn whispered. “Ryder told me about the human that saved him, but I didn’t know who it was.”
“He’s also the man who saved you from that bullet, FYI,” Gideon said to Brynn. “But he’s not human anymore.”
“You changed him?” Finn asked.
Gideon shook his head. “No. That’s the thing. He smells of wolf but he isn’t yet. He was dying, and the only way to save him was to bring him into the Pack. He’s not wolf. He’s not human. He’s something…different. The humans made something, Finn, something that could destroy us all if we’re not careful. I don’t know what to do with him.”
Another scream. This one louder.
“He’s in pain,” Charlotte growled. She didn’t know this human, didn’t know if she could trust him. He was a soldier—the enemy.
Gideon nodded. “And there’s nothing we can do to calm him. He’s here because Walker is trying to help, but no matter what we do, nothing seems to work. I’m at my wit’s end here.”
Charlotte was listening, but her legs had started to move without her thinking. She moved toward the source of the screaming and sucked in a breath at the sight of the man on the bed. He was chained at his ankles and wrists, but from the gouges in his arms, she figured the restraints were for his own safety.
His veins stood out prominently, and he thrashed under the blanket he wore to cover him since he didn’t seem to have a stitch of anything else on. He screamed again before his eyes snapped open and met hers. His nostrils flared, and his body went rod-straight at the sight of her. Gradually, his breathing eased, and the cords on his neck softened.
Her wolf pounced, pushing at her to go closer.
But she couldn’t.
Because she’d heard a word on the wind she shouldn’t have. The one word that could break her.
“Charlotte?” Finn asked. “What is it?”
She looked at him, her body swaying. “My wolf…” She pressed her lips together and pushed past him and the others so she could breathe once again.
“Charlotte,” Finn said once again when he came to her side. “He’s your mate, isn’t he? That’s why my wolf told me to bring you. Because he’s here…because you needed to be. It’s fate, isn’t it, Charlotte? It’s a twisted, fucked up fate.”