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Caught Beast Mate(5)

By:Milana Jacks



I slid off my backpack and got my water. I splashed some on his face. “Is he one of Mayhem’s hunters?” I asked Cole, since I avoided Mayhem’s visits and his males in general.

“Never seen this beast,” Cole said. “That’s why I marked him. He’s my beast. Gonna serve me.”

I blew my bangs out of my eyes and glanced at the kid. “Are you crazy?”

“No, dude. Mayhem said if I wanted it, I should piss on it. That way everyone will know it’s mine.” He touched a finger to his nose. “Beasts smell and know.”

“So do dogs.”

“That’s just… Why you so nasty about them? They nice, nicer than my dad and brother. When hunters raided this place, my big brother took off and ran, left my mom and sisters. Got him later, but still, he’d taken off. If Hasel wasn’t so nice, we’d have been in her stew. You better watch it.”

I ignored the infatuated boy. Without men at the community, he’d taken to the hunters. They were teaching him the beast ways, including morning meditation and prayer to their deity. I didn’t like that. He should be learning how to read and write, not how to be a barbarian. “Hey, you,” I called out and wiped the dirt from the beast’s face. “Whatcha doing out here?”

“Tanning.”

I chuckled. “You wanna tan some more? I could leave you out here if that’s what you want.”

One brown eye looked up at me. “You’d leave me to die?”

I shrugged. “Sure.”

“Are you real?”

“Mm-hm. You wanna stay out here and tan or what?”

“I’ll take what. Five minutes ago, I would’ve stayed.”

“Okay.” Might as well. When Zarik ran a perimeter check, he’d find him and, if the beast ratted me out, say I’d left his ass to die, Hasel might cook me. I sat down beside the beast. “Cole, let’s wait for the hunters.”

“What hunters?” the beast asked.

“Hunters of Mayhem. They’re here. They’ll take you.”

“No way,” Cole said. “This one is mine. I saw him first, and I marked him. I’m taking him back.” He circled us, paused, and narrowed his eyes, thinking.

I took a sip of my water and poured some over the beast’s lips. He wetted his tongue. “How?” I asked Cole.

“What do you mean how?”

“How you gonna take him? Even half-dead like this, he’s a… I’d say a two-hundred-pound monster. That’s me and you put together.”

“Got any rope?”

“You’re not with me, Cole.”

“We tie him up and drag him.”

“We’re two miles out.”

“I am strong.”

I ignored the boy and turned to the beast. “How much do you weigh?”

“Featherlight.”

Cole smiled. “He’s funny.”

“He’s dead is what he is.” I pointed. “Look at that leg. Useless. This means you have to carry him. You can’t carry him, and neither can I. Stay until Zarik comes.”

“Thank you, dearest,” the beast said.

“Sure thing. I just call ’em how I see them.”

“Lucky for me you don’t see a whole lot. Go on, tie me up. Drag my dead ass to this community. And by the way, who is Zarik?”

“My beast boyfriend, so don’t get crazy ideas because I’m saving your ass.” The beast blinked his one good eye shut but couldn’t cover his growl. I narrowed my eyes. “If you growl at me, I will leave you here and delay my beast boyfriend till tomorrow. This way, you’ll have another day to tan.”

“So sweet,” the beast mumbled.

I found some leather bindings in my pack. I tied one around his one wrist, making sure I left a long tail end. I did the same with his left wrist, then tied the tails together. I got up, gripped the leather, and pulled.

The beast stayed put.

Cole gripped the beast’s wrist and pulled with me.

Nothing.

“Told you so,” I said. “Let’s wait for the hunters.”

Cole stomped his foot. “Oh, come on, Sienna. Help me out.”

“I am helping out. It’s not working. Why can’t you wait?”

“I sleep with Mom and my sisters. I want my own room. Hasel said I gotta work for it, prove myself, be a man, then she’d give me a room with the hunters. On their side of the community.”

“And what do I get?”

“A thank-you.”

“I can’t wait.”

Cole shuffled his feet. His shoulders slumped.

“I’m a sucker. Sucky sucker.” I pulled harder, my leg muscles straining. We moved. I looked back to see the beast pushing forward with his one good leg. “I’d have left you for dead,” I told him.

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