Home > Mated Girl (Wolf Girl #4)

Mated Girl (Wolf Girl #4)
Author: Leia Stone

 

Acknowledgments

 

 

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After talking to my mom about deciding to break Sawyer out of Magic City Prison, I slipped into the shower. The water ran down my body in warm rivulets and I sighed. I was glad that the Ithaki hadn’t damaged the gravity-fed water tower when they’d ransacked Paladin Village. I’d missed this, showering with soap and shaving my legs, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss that little cabin in the woods and my time there.

My thoughts were a frantic tangle of how exactly I would get to Magic City Prison, which was in the middle of high-tech Light Fey City, and then how I would break Sawyer out. Sawyer had indicated that the vampires would be waiting for me to rescue him, which meant going there was a trap … but I had no way around that. I was a one-woman show, although I knew Sage would insist on going with me and I wouldn’t have it any other way … but still. How did two women break into a magic prison? I had seven days to get him out before they killed him, and that was not enough time, especially considering I was basically a wanted woman with a target on my own back.

I forced down the sob that threatened to come back up. Now was not the time for a breakdown. Sawyer had seemed so hopeless when we’d last spoken. It broke my heart. I’d be hopeless too if I’d just been sentenced to death by guillotine.

I couldn’t let that happen.

I was also worried about leaving Creek, but if you had to leave your baby with anyone for an extended period of time, it felt good when it was your own mother.

After turning off the tap and changing into fresh clothes, I slipped into the living room to find Eugene, Sage, and Rab all bent over a map of Magic City. They held steaming cups of tea and coffee and were speaking animatedly about something.

“What’s going on here?” I asked, frowning at the food wrappers and old coffee cups that littered the table. “Have any of you slept?”

Sage looked like a zombie, hair in a messy bun, dark circles under her eyes, her left foot tapping out a rhythm like she’d had too much coffee.

She grinned as I approached, her eyes widening, which made her look even more amped up. “Eugene knows a guy who broke out of Magic City Prison a decade ago.”

I froze, my heart picking up speed until it was a steady thump in my chest. “I … I need to see him. Who is it? I need him to tell me everything, I need—”

“He’s a troll,” Eugene said, putting up his hands. “Went into hiding years ago. Haven’t spoken to him in a decade.”

Shit!

I’d assumed a wolf friend, preferably one still alive and here in Paladin Village. I started to pace the room, my mind spinning as I chewed on this new information.

Rab stood, stepping in front of me. “We’ve been up all night. We’ve decided that we three will go and try to bring Sawyer back … while you stay and take care of the pack.”

I looked at Rab with what I hoped was a grateful expression and not one of murder, which was what I was currently feeling. “That’s really sweet, you guys, but I can’t let you all do that. I have to be the one to go.”

Sawyer was my fucking husband, mate, and baby daddy. No one was going for him but me.

Rab shook his head. “You are the alpha, the most important—”

“What if it was Willow?” I stopped him. “Would you trust anyone else to get her back?”

He sighed, shrugging as a defeated expression crossed his face. “You can’t go alone, and we can’t leave the entire pack without leadership.”

I nodded. “You, Eugene, and Star will lead the pack while Sage and I go. It’s been the two of us forever. We can do this together.”

I looked at my bestie as her face pinched, like she was fighting the urge to cry.

“I’m totally going, not even up for discussion,” she added to Rab.

He growled lightly, running his fingers over the long scar on his face. “We just got an alpha, we are just starting to rebuild…”

I nodded. “And when I bring Sawyer back, we will build back stronger than ever before.”

He sighed, giving me a curt nod. Then an idea struck me.

Troll.

The guy Eugene knew was a troll.

“Marmal!” I shouted, causing everyone to jump. “We can go see my troll friend Marmal. Maybe she can help us find this guy that Eugene knows!”

Eugene shrugged from his place on the couch, where he nursed a steaming hot mug. “The trolls are notorious for their gossip and stories. Maybe she’s heard of him.”

I’m sure she had. Marmal said people in Troll Village paid in gossip. If a fellow troll had escaped Magic City Prison, she would know the story and possibly where to find him.

“We’ll leave right away!” I started to look around the room for what to bring.

“Hold up.” Rab put his hands out. “Our people just settled here. They will want to see you first, to have faith in this new home you’ve brought them to.”

I growled, not excited to play politics right now. But he was right. I’d need to make a small appearance before I left. “Fine. Sage, you get two horses ready. Pack them up with enough food for a week and I’ll go make one round outside through the village. We leave in an hour for Troll Village.”

I wasn’t letting Sawyer die because I had to uphold some image.

Sage nodded and stepped toward me, pulling something from her pocket. “In all the drama, I forgot to give this back. Your mom held on to it for me when I went looking for you.” She reached out her hand and my breath caught in my throat.

My ring.

I plucked it from her palm and slipped it on my ring finger. It felt so foreign to wear jewelry after a year in the wild, and yet this ring felt like home. It made me miss Sawyer so much more. “Thank you,” I croaked.

Rab stepped outside, ushering me to do the same, and I nodded. Sage then handed me a cup of coffee and a breakfast burrito, which I took gratefully. My hair was still damp, but I stepped out into the chilly morning air and took in the sights of my people, of our new home.

The first thing I noticed were the smiles. People were laughing, drinking from steaming hot mugs that had been heated over campfires, as they breathed in fresh air. After living off the land for a year, I couldn’t imagine hiding in a concrete bunker. Emotion clogged my throat when I noticed all of the fresh green grass, yellow and pink flowers, fern bushes. The land was still magically restoring itself, but it looked like it had become a garden wonderland overnight. Every tree was thick with leaves, every patch of ground covered in grass or moss, and each house still standing blanketed in creeping vines and flowers.

It was the physical manifestation of what I’d done in that cave by giving my magic to my people and this land, and it blew me away with pride and gratitude.

“The village has never looked more beautiful,” Rab said, startling me from my thoughts. “I checked on the fields a few hours ago. The corn, avocados, peaches, barley, peas, it’s all growing back at a rapid rate, with no sight of disease.”

A tear slipped down my cheek as my throat tightened. This right here made it all worth it. The year away, not being there for Sawyer, it was a hard choice, but I’d saved thousands of Paladins, and now thousands of city wolves, as this land would be their safe haven until we could take Wolf City back.

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