Chapter 44

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Talia knew she must be wearing a path in the brown carpeting of the small bedroom. Noelle had woken up a short time ago and hadn't stopped fussing. Her pitiful cries had some how not bothered Matthew who was sleeping peacefully, unaware that his father was gone and his mother was falling apart.

"Now you sleep," she hissed at him, though she was actually glad he was since she couldn't seem to make Noelle happy.

She had tried feeding her, but Noelle wasn't interested. She was glad she and Jenna had discussed feeding habits yesterday ... Was it yesterday? ... so she knew Jenna was still nursing. Talia herself was also still nursing, but she couldn't get Noelle to eat.

Tears of frustration streamed down her cheeks. Not only was she the reason this little one had been kidnapped, but she was also the reason this poor pup was going to starve. She was also the reason her own mate was dead. What a horrible mate she was.  She was an emotional wreck.

'You have every right to be, Love,' Lila said quietly, warning Talia's heart.

'Dear Lila, I don't know what I would do if you weren't here,' Talia murmured.

'Pup needs her mamma. You don't smell like Luna,' Lila said softly.

Talia swung around towards the door when she heard a knock. The door was pushed open, and Shane entered the room, a plate of food in his hand. He walked over to a small table and sat it down, then turned back to Talia. "Not happy?"

"No one's happy right now, Shane!" Talia growled at him.

"Let me have her." He held out his hands.

"Are you going to hurt her?"

An appalled look crossed his face. "No."

She reluctantly handed the pup over and Noelle immediately stopped fussing. Talia frowned. "How are you so good with pups?"

"I have one about this age." He stroked Noelle's cheek, then looked back up at Talia. "I'm sorry about what's happened to you."

She scoffed. "Then why did you participate?"

"Because if you go against the alpha for anything, you're out of the pack, and I have five pups." His eyes hadn't left Noelle.

Talia looked at him in surprise and saw the sorrow on his face.

"If it wasn't for them, I would have gone rogue long ago. Alpha Jason has left many victims in his wake." He looked back up at her.

"Why didn't you ask for a transfer?" Talia asked. It was the usual way for a wolf to go to another pack, but must be approved by the Alpha.

"The alpha doesn't approve transfers. If you request one, you're banished. Our alpha does not like to be questioned about anything. He banished his own beta for asking a simple question," Shane said in exasperation.

Talia felt her anger at him fall away. "I'm sorry I snapped at you."

He shook his head. "Don't be. You've suffered too much. No one should have to go through that."

"So what's going to happen to me? To all of us?" Talia asked.

"The Alpha will challenge the Alpha King for his throne. He thinks the King is weak." Shane peered down at Matthew, his finger lightly grazing the baby's cheek. "He wants the throne for himself and will take the King's sister, the princess Charity, as his chosen mate."

Talia stared at him incredulously. What in the world would make Jason think that Daniel was weak? The Remington family had controlled the throne since the beginning of the werewolves' existence. She highly doubted they hadn't been challenged before, though as far as she knew, not in recent memory. Jason was crazy if he thought he was getting that throne.

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