Here is your Friday Flash Fiction for this week. Sorry for the delay! This is part 2 of “Granger Pack”. As with all Flash Fiction, this is RAW and UNEDITED! Enjoy this weeks segment. Next week will conclude this series!
Granger Pack, Part 2
Sophia combed her long, blonde hair, pulling it back into a ponytail. The cold winter nights had turned into spring before her eyes. Her body was also changing. The flatness of her stomach had given way to the soft rounded baby bump she’d been impatiently waiting for.
She stood in front of the mirror rubbing her hands over the tiny babe that was nestled snug in her womb. This was their first child and it was already being cared for. The warriors of the pack wouldn’t let Sophia lift a finger. Before, she insisted on bringing in her own firewood, but not anymore. They’d been instructed by her mate to keep an eye on her when Vaughn wasn’t around.
Just like now. Vaughn had left the night before to escort a female wolf and her two children back to their pack. The human authorities had saved her from the wrath of her drunken husband.
Sophia shook her head, holding back a silent tear. It seemed that there were more and more instances over the past year. Thankfully, when the shifters made themselves known four years ago, the humans accepted them. Well, most of the humans did. There were still several hate groups that like to cause troubles. But anytime there was a dispute between mates in the area, Vaughn was called in to take the women into protective custody.
She made her way downstairs, just as morning meal was being set out. Everyone gathered around and waited for her to make the first plate. Vaughn had so many rules for the pack in regards to his mate that she didn’t know how they all remembered.
Esther, the pack chef, handed her a plate off of the stack and watched as she plated food for herself. Sophia had finally gotten over the awful morning sickness that plagued the first few months of her pregnancy. Now, she had the appetite of the warriors.
“Hungry,” Mathis, Vaughn’s second-in-command, said, taking a seat to her left. They purposely left the head seat at the table empty while the alpha was away. Sophia sat to his left and Mathis to hers. The other warriors sat to Vaughn’s right. The ones with mates and children filled the rest of the ‘head table’. The pack sat at tables on the left and the right of theirs. The children’s table was in the room next to the kitchen.
“Very,” she laughed, taking a bite of sausage. Sophia risked looking at Vaughn’s seat, a weary sigh escaped her lips. She missed him already. He’d left around midnight and hadn’t called home since.
“He will be fine,” Mathis said. Sophia blushed in embarrassment and returned to her plate.
“I know,” she said. The conversation was always the same. Mathis assured her that he would be home every time Vaughn had to leave. He was a good man and Sophia was glad that Mathis was here to watch over the pack when her mate could not.
Mathis was a striking man. His long brown hair touched the tops of his broad shoulders. He wasn’t quite as tall as Vaughn, but they were equally wide. Those two had too many muscles, but Sophia never complained about her mate’s strength. In fact, thinking about her mate caused an ache in her belly. She quickly scooped a spoonful of eggs in her mouth and moaned to cover up the erotic sound that almost escaped her when thinking about Vaughn.
“Alpha,” a small voice called from her left. Mathis turned in the direction of the voice. The female, Leslie Manns, who had been brought in a few months ago with her two children, stood beside the table, her face was a mask of fear.
“What is it, Leslie?” Sophia began to stand, but Leslie shook her head, pleading with her eyes to not make a scene.
“May,” she cleared her throat. “May I speak with you in private sometime today?”
“Do you need to do it now,” Sophia asked, worried for a female of her pack.
“No, alpha,” she shook her head. The dark hair on her head shifted as she moved. The long tresses curled at the tips and shined beautifully when the sun hit them just right. So much different from when she first arrive.
“After first meal,” Sophia reached out and squeezed the woman’s hand. “You can meet me in my office.”
“Thank you,” she nodded and walked away.
Sophia quickly finished her meal, worrying for her new pack member. When she excused herself from the table, all of the warriors stood and waited for her to exit the room. She stopped by Leslie’s table and placed a hand on her shoulder, letting her know she was ready for their meeting.
She’d just sat down when there was a knock on the door. “Come in,” she called out softly. Leslie entered, her eyes downcast in respect to her alpha. “You can be yourself, Leslie.”
“Thank you, alpha,” Leslie sighed.
“What is it that bothers you,” Sophia asked.
“Word has come that my mate is looking for me,” she paused. “I believe that I am in danger and that if I stay here, you will be in danger yourself.”
“Why,” she began. “Why do you think we would be in danger? Does he know where you are?”
“No,” she shook her head. “I’m not sure.”
“We will keep you safe, Leslie,” Sophia said, reaching across the desk to hold Leslie’s hand for support. “I will need to meet with the warriors. They will watch over you…us. I won’t let him take you away from us.”
“Thank you, alpha,” she sighed, pressing her fingers to her temples. “I’ve been so worried.”
“You should rest, Leslie,” Sophia said. “Do not let this stress you. Your pups need you.”
“Yes, alpha,” she nodded. “I think I will take them home and get some rest.”
“I will send some warriors to watch over your cabin until this threat is gone,” Sophia promised.
Leslie said her goodbyes, relief on her face. Sophia called in Mathis and repeated the conversation with the female. He assured her that the male would not cross onto Granger land. He sent two of his best warriors to keep an eye on Leslie and her children.
Sophia felt the weariness of the day and decided to take her own advice and get some rest. She advised Mathis that she would be in her room and to call if anything was needed.
Sophia knew it was her job while Vaughn was away to take care of the pack, but sometimes she wondered how he handled the day to day problems without showing any weakness, or in her case, showing how tired she truly was.
Her back ached as she slid into the hot bath in their master bath, closing off her senses to the sounds of the house around her. It wasn’t until the water was cold that she slid into her pajamas and shut the lights off in the bedroom.
The bed was cold without the warmth of her mate, but at least his scent still lingered on the sheets. Closing her eyes, she felt the tingle of pain in her back again. She frowned at the sudden ache and blamed it on the tasking day that she’d just completely. It didn’t take long before the exhaustion took her under.
“Alpha,” Harold, one of his warriors, growled as he knocked on the door to the hotel room Vaughn was staying in for the night. He missed Sophia in his bed, her softness pressed against his side.
“Harold,” Vaughn said, opening the door to find his warrior looking distraught. “What is it?”
“It’s the alpha,” he swallowed. “Mathis called. It’s the babe.”
“What,” he cursed, grabbing his clothes frantically. “Sophia?”
“She is having pains,” Harold said, handing Vaughn his duffle bag. “The doctor is at the house. She’s resting comfortably now, but she was having some mind contractions. They have them stopped, but they want her on bed rest for the next few weeks.”
“I have to go,” Vaughn said. “Can you handle the transport tomorrow?”
“Yes, alpha,” he bowed. “It would be my honor to take over for you.”
“Make sure Ms. Lynn is comfortable on the ride to the pack house. Carry enough snacks and beverages for the children. Do not tell anyone where you are heading.”
“Yes, sir,” Harold answered. Vaughn knew that his warriors knew the drill. It was the same with any removal of a mate. Do not leave a trail that the male can follow. These females have been abused and are afraid of their own shadows. Moving them to the Granger pack was for their safety and to get them free of their abusers. The Council will come in and charge the male for hurting a sacred female. All female wolves are sacred, because there are not very many of them left. Something had happened over the past twenty years that the female population had declined. Females were already held with respect, but since the decline began, they were protected more fiercely than ever before.
The ride home was long. It felt like years before he pulled onto the secured lands that Vaughn called his home. As he pulled up to the front of the house, he found Mathis pacing the large wrap around porch, running his hands through his hair.
“Thank the gods you’re here,” he sighed.
“How is my mate,” Vaughn demanded, still walking toward the door, silently commanding Mathis to follow him.
“She’s finally resting,” Mathis informed him. “The doc gave her something to slow the contractions.”
“Thank you,” the alpha sighed, as he stopped at their door. He could smell his mates fear. It wasn’t a scent he ever wanted to taste on his tongue again. Pushing the door open, he found her resting on her back, pillows had been tucked around her, keeping her comfortable while she rested. He immediately removed his clothes, sliding into the bed. He knew that only skin-to-skin contact with his mate would calm her deepest worries. Her eyes fluttered open when he gathered her in his arms.
“Vaughn,” she whimpered. “You’re home.”
“Let me hold you, my mate,” he whispered, pressing his lips to her temple. He willed his heat into her cold body. She felt as if she’d been standing in the freezing outdoors for hours.
“You’re so warm,” she moaned, burying her face into his neck.
“What happened, love,” he asked.
“I was having back pain,” she whispered. “I took a bath and tried to relax. I figured if I went to sleep, everything would be okay. But I woke up a few hours later and it was much worse. I called for Mathis and he got the doctor to come over here. I guess they told you the rest.”
“How is our babe,” he asked, almost afraid of the answer.
“He is fine,” she smiled. They’d found out the week before that it was, in fact, a son.
“Thank the gods,” he deflated into the bed. “How are you?”
“I’m worried,” she paused. “Not for myself, but for one of the females. With everything that happened tonight, Vaughn, I haven’t had a chance to tell anyone.”
“What is it,” I asked.
Sophia told him of the worry that Leslie had come to her with earlier in the evening. Vaughn echoed Sophia’s promise. The male would not come for the female. That particular male had not been found by the Council, but Vaughn didn’t want to tell his mate that while she was recovering from a scare with their child.
No, he’d hold her and give a silent prayer up to the gods, thanking them for her and their babe being okay. He’d deal with the missing male and the frightened female at first light. Tonight he would just hold Sophia in his arms and be thankful that everyone was okay.
To Be Continued…..