The Price of Ava

The Price of Ava

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Details

Status: In Progress

Genre: Fantasy

Summary

When Ava was 16, her dad made a deal with a wolfborne. When she comes of age, he must give her to the son of an alpha in payment of a debt. But when its time, he refuses. Now Ava is held prisoner. She wants nothing more than to go home but something draws her to her captor. After she is attacked by one of his men, truths come out. Now she must decide if her place is at home with her dad, or in the arms of her captor.

Summary

When Ava was 16, her dad made a deal with a wolfborne. When she comes of age, he must give her to the son of an alpha in payment of a debt. But when its time, he refuses. Now Ava is held prisoner. She wants nothing more than to go home but something draws her to her captor. After she is attacked by one of his men, truths come out. Now she must decide if her place is at home with her dad, or in the arms of her captor.

Chapter8 (v.1) - Chapter 8

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 11, 2021

Reads: 40

A A A | A A A

Chapter Content - ver.1

Submitted: January 11, 2021

A A A

A A A

Ava waited impatiently for Caige to return. She could feel Alecai pacing in her mind. ‘When will he be back?’ She asked her wolf. ‘he is getting closer. Almost here.’ Alecai responded. It had been two days since Caige had helped her find her wolf. Since then, a lot had changed. Shortly after her wolf spoke to her for the first time, she was given another dose of pain medication which had made her sleepy. Both her and Alecai had taken a nap. When she had woken up, Doctor Elena was standing over her shoulder looking at charts.

Elena had explained to her that because her wolf had finally woken up, her healing had been sped up and that she would be released soon. Today was the day she was able to leave the hospital. Caige had gone to his sister to get her some clothing to wear since hers had been shredded by the attack. As if on cue, Caige knocked and then walked in. Ava smiled. She still wasn’t sure about this whole mate thing but she did know that seeing him made her somewhat happy. In the back of her mind however, she felt mixed emotions on what he had done to her.

“I tried picking things that are more your style.” Caige said, holding up a plain grey t-shirt, and some bootcut jeans. Then he turned red and held up a shopping bag. “I uh, sent my sister to the store to get some undergarments for you. I didn’t pick them out.” He made sure to tell her. He set all the clothing on a chair and looked back at her. Ava watched in silence.

“Thank you.” She said shyly after a while. Caige stood there looking amazing like always.

“I think the doctor will be here soon to discharge you, did you want to get dressed? I can go in the waiting room while you do.” Ava hesitated. She didn’t want him to leave. Last night she had a nightmare about Tag coming back to finish the job. She had woken up crying in Caige’s arms. He had been brushing her hair back and trying to calm her down. Once she had calmed down, she had fallen asleep in his arms. It had felt so natural.

“I will be right outside the door Ava, I promise. I’m not leaving you again.” Caige promised. With that, Ava nodded.

“Okay.” She said meekly. “Can you at least leave the door open a crack?” she asked. She felt needy but she wasn’t ready to be alone. Since the attack, Caige had not left the hospital once and only left the room to use the bathroom or get her food. He smiled and nodded.

“Of course, love.” He replied. With that he walked out of the room but her wolf could still feel him by the door so she wasn’t alone. As requested, he had left the door open a crack. She went over to the clothing and opened the shopping bag first. In it was a perfectly sized bra and panty set. A very pretty periwinkle blue. It wasn’t too risqué but definitely didn’t leave much to the imagination. She pulled the tags off and slipped the set on. She pulled the pants on next. Of course, they were a perfect fit. Lastly, she tried pulling the shirt over her head but she gasped in pain as she felt her broken ribs move.

Caige immediately stuck his head in.

“Are you okay?” he asked. She was still getting used to the fact that he could feel her pain.

“I-I can’t get my shirt on.” She said embarrassed.

“Do you want me to get a nurse?”

“No,” she said hastily. They might try to keep her there longer. She took a breath. “Do you,” she started but then shook her head. “Never mind.”

“No baby, what is it?” he asked. She turned an even deeper shade of red and hesitated before she responded.

“Could you, you know, help me?” she asked timidly. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. Slowly, he stepped in.

“Are you sure you want me to help?” he asked.

“Please?” Ava turned so her back was facing him. “Just get it over my head, I think I can do the rest.” Caige approached slowly and gently took hold of the shirt. As his fingers brushed her bare back a chill went down her spine. She felt the sparks that were the sign of their bond. Instantly she wanted him to embrace her but he hadn’t yet. He lifted the shirt gently over her head and she was able to slide her other arm in without much fuss. He still stood directly behind her and she remained motionless. Then she felt his hand on her shoulder, he ran his hand down her shoulder and slowly turned her to face him. He gently took her face in his hand and just stared for while into her eyes.

“You are so beautiful, you know that?” his words made her blush. She muttered a quick thank you and took a step back. Despite the actions of the past few days, she still felt apprehensive about him. She couldn’t deny that there was a force pulling them together and now that her wolf was awake, she could feel the bond. However, she could not just dismiss the events that led up to her position. Her thoughts turned to her dad. He had to be going out of his mind with worry. ‘he surely would have called the police by now’ she thought.

“Ava?” His voice brought her out of her thoughts. She blinked a time or two and looked at him. She hadn’t realized that her eyes had teared up. “Ava, what’s wrong?” he asked softly.

“Nothing,” she began, but Caige shook his head cutting her off.

“Don’t lie to me Ava. You were fine one moment and then you almost started crying the next.” He placed a finger under her chin and pulled it up gently. Looking away, she blinked back her tears and crossed her arms nervously. She was afraid of making him angry. Caige continued to stare at her and she realized he was waiting for an answer. Ava sighed.

“Will I ever get to see my dad again?” she asked. Her voice was so quiet that she thought for a moment that, even with his heightened senses, Caige had missed it. But she was wrong. Now it was Caige’s turn to look down at the ground. She was shocked at how much the question seemed to affect him. He wasn’t mad. He was… sad.

“I don’t know.” He responded. After which, he looked back at her. “I’m sorry.” Ava had so many questions.

“Why not?”

“There is a lot you don’t understand yet, Ava.” He began.

“Then tell me.”

“I can’t yet. It’s not my place to explain things like that. Your father, well, he’s not exactly welcome here.” That did nothing to ease her mind and only served to give her a million more questions that needed answered. Just then, one of the nurses walked in the door. A look of relief washed over Caige’s face.

“Mr. Denton, here are her release papers.” The nurse stated handing a pile of papers over to him. She barely acknowledged Ava’s presence in the room. It was then that she realized something. No matter what he said, Ava was still his captive. She was nothing more than a piece of property. She hung her head. ‘That’s not true!’ Alecai howled in frustration. ‘He’s our mate. He loves us!’ Ava almost wanted to believe her wolf but she just couldn’t. ‘If he loved us’ he never would have taken us from Dad. He wouldn’t have kept us locked in that cursed room. He wouldn’t have left us with that monster.’ Ava responded. Her wolf growled in frustration at her but she ignored it. Finally, Caige was done talking to the nurse. He turned towards her.

“Alright love, we can go now.” Ava nodded at his statement and then walked towards the door. Caige held it open for her as she walked through but she noticed that he seemed tense. ‘This conversation isn’t over.’ She thought. Caige ushered her out the hospital doors into a different part of the building. This one had a kitchen, and large living room and a staircase on either side of the large room.

“This is the pack house. The pack comes here to hang out, have meetings, and conduct pack business.” He explained. Then he went forward and held another door open. This one led to outside. There, in the driveway, was the same car that was used when she was taken. Her breath caught in her throat and panic began to set in. She froze in her tracks halfway out of the door. Caige cursed and grabbed the closest person. Whispering something to them. They yelped and ran to the car, driving it off.

“A different car will be here soon Ava.” He reassured. She barely heard him. She was shaking. She felt Caige’s hand on her back and flinched.

“Ava?” he asked. Tears were streaming down her face. “Ava its ok.” He said but it didn’t help.

“I want to go home.” She pleaded. Caige looked at her with pity in his eyes. She saw the remorse on his face but she knew it wouldn’t change his decision. Just then, a blue pickup pulled up to the hospital and the one driving it ran up to Caige. He handed the keys over to him and then quickly walked into the pack house.  Ava calmed her breathing and wiped her eyes, sniffing. Then she looked at Caige. She tried keeping her eyes from tearing up again.

“Please Caige, my dad will be so worried. I just want to see him one more time.” Caige shook his head as he ushered her to the truck.

“Ava we can talk about this later.” His voice was stern now. Like he was getting irritated. Ava refused to look at him as she got into the truck. Before he could even try to shut the door, she grabbed it and slammed it shut. Caige stood for a moment outside her door. She could feel his gaze and somehow, she felt like she had made a mistake. ‘You shouldn’t have slammed the door like that’ Alecai huffed. ‘He should let us see our father!’ Ava replied angrily. Alecai growled but remained quiet.

Caige walked around to the driver’s side and got in. he gripped the steering wheel with a white-knuckle grip and took a slow deep breath. When he spoke to her again, his voice was almost a growl.

“Do not disrespect me like that again Ava.” She flinched at the venom in his voice. She heard him take a deep breath and felt the air in the truck lighten. She hadn’t realized that it gotten dark and restricting. She cursed internally realizing that she was crying again. Caige put the truck in gear and they drove out of the driveway and onto a small dirt road. Ava watched as the trees flicked by. They were going extremely fast. Ava feared they were heading right back to her room. She brought her knees up to her chest and hugged them as she stared out the window. Every once in a while, she could feel his gaze turn to her.

 

Caige

You used your Alpha voice on your own mate.’  Axel whined. ‘Shut up! Don’t you think I realized what I did?’ Caige was mad at himself. He had let himself believe that everything was fine. When Ava asked about her father it was one thing. He had felt guilty. He had felt downright deplorable when she panicked at the sight of the car, but he wasn’t expecting her to ask to go home. The mate bond and his alpha blood had made him angry at the thought of not having his mate with him. He had used kind of a stern tone on her. Then, when she had slammed the door in his face, he had to control his temper. She had shown an alpha great disrespect. Any other pack member would have been punished for that. As it was, he had tried to control it.

When he had gotten in the truck though, he let his Alpha tone take over for a moment. He could see it as she shrunk into the seat. The moment he realized what he had done he pulled it back but the damage was done. She had spent the rest of the ride in silence. At some point she had brought her knees up and looked just like she did the night he had taken her. It made his heart ache seeing her like that again. especially when he noticed that she was crying again. ‘What do I do Axel? I don’t want to lose her.’ Axel paced in his mind. ‘Talk to her you idiot! But this time how about you lose the Alpha voice!’ Caige grimaced against the sting of his wolf’s words.

After what seemed like a long time of trying to find the right words, he spoke.

“Please stop crying, Ava.” At the sudden sound of his voice, she flinched and hugged her knees tighter. “I’m sorry.” He finished. He waited for a reply from her but she just continued to stare out the window. His heart sank even further once he realized she had no intentions of talking to him. ‘You realize that she can access the pack link now smart one.’ Axel suggested. Caige shook his head. He hadn’t even thought about that.

‘Ava?’ he gently pushed on her mind link. She must have heard it because she jumped slightly. ‘This is the pack link. You can talk to me without talking out loud.’ He waited for a response. He sighed as she continued to give him the silent treatment. ‘Please talk to me. I didn’t mean to make you cry.’ He glanced over at her and saw her looking at him with hurt filled eyes.

“I’m sorry.” He said aloud again.

“You were never going to let me go.” She whispered. She said it so matter-of-factly. His heart dropped even lower. “I’ll never be anything more than your prisoner.”

“No, that’s not true.” He began. But she shook her head.

“Then where are we going?” he paused for a moment, confused. ‘she thinks we are going to put her back in the locked room.’ Axel growled at him. ‘Way to go!’  Caige glanced over to look at her face and the expression it held told him his wolf was right.

“You think I’m taking you back to the cabin?” Ava nodded in response.

“Where else? You never had any intentions of letting me go.”

“It’s not like that, Ava. There’s just, well, there is a lot you don’t understand of pack culture.” He finished. He saw her wipe her eyes and turn back to the window. “I promise you; we aren’t going back to the cabin. We are going to our house.”

“Why did you get angry?” she asked in a timid voice. He could tell in her voice that whatever trust she had developed for him was gone. She was terrified of him again. He sighed as he turned off of the main road.

“I’m sorry Ava, I let my temper get the best of me. There is a lot you need to know about being wolfborne if you are ever going to understand it.”

“Then tell me.”

“Well, to start, the wolf bond is a very powerful thing. When we were created, the moon goddess gifted us with the spirit of a wolf. But wolves are pack animals. That’s why our community is called a pack. Another part of that is that each wolf has a mate. There is no refusing that mate bond but it is a gift. Your mate is the one who protects you, who is there for you no matter what. You can share emotions but you also share each other’s pain.” He paused to take a breath and gauge her reaction. She was staring out the window but he could tell she was listening still. “I’ve been waiting for my mate for a long time. I found you years ago but I had to wait until you were of age. To be without your mate once the bond is complete is to know the very definition of pain. Especially for someone of my bloodline.” This piqued her interest and she looked over at him.

“What do you mean?” she asked.

“Do you know how wolf packs work in the wild?” Ava shook her head.

“Well, there are different levels of a pack. There are the normal pack members, warriors, trackers, then you have the Beta. He is second in command. Leading all these members is the Alpha and his mate, the Luna.” Ava nodded in understanding. “My father is the Alpha of our pack. When he is ready, he will hand the title down to me and I will lead the pack. I need a Luna to be by my side.” Ava shook her head.

“Why did you pick me? I’m not even part of your pack. I didn’t even know I was wolfborne. I didn’t even know they existed.” Caige’s expression grew dark but he quickly changed it once he saw her shrinking back again.

“You don’t need to be afraid of me, Ava.” He reiterated. “It just makes me mad that your ancestry was hidden from you.” Ava was looking out the window again. “Now back to your question, I didn’t ‘choose’ you, Ava. The moon goddess did. There is nothing that I, nor you, can do about that.” She still didn’t respond.  He sighed again as he pulled up to a smaller cabin. He had spent the last year building it in anticipation of her arrival. Once he turned off the car he sat in silence for a moment. Then he slid across the bench seat and sat next to his mate.

“Ava, I know this has all been traumatic and I know I did things all wrong to begin with but I’m trying. I got mad because the thought of losing you is painful to me. Because I thought we were doing well and then suddenly you wanted to go home. I know it’s selfish of me but I can’t live without you. If something were to happen to you again because I wasn’t there to protect you, I don’t think I could live with myself.” As he finished, he placed a hand on her shoulder. He felt the sparks but he also felt fear, and sadness. Ava didn’t flinch or pull away but he could tell she had shut down.

Gently, he took her other shoulder in his hand and pulled her into an embrace. At first, she hesitated but then she turned and buried her face in his shoulder. Soon, he felt her tears soaking through his shirt onto his shoulder. He hugged her tightly.

“I’m so sorry Ava.” He whispered as he brushed her hair back with one hand. He kept the other hand wrapped firmly around her. She sniffled and then lifted her head to wipe the tears away. He could see doubt in her eyes. ‘We will just have to get her to trust us again.’  Axel said.

“Let’s go inside.” He suggested as he slid back across the seat and got out. Ava remained stationary with her head hung and arms crossed. She was trying to hide her sorrow. He walked around to her side and opened the door. Ava hesitated so he held his hand out for her to take. She looked at it for a moment before cautiously taking it. Caige helped her out of the truck then gestured to the cabin.

“I started planning this house the day after I saw you the first time. I spent the last year making it a reality. I really hope you like it.” Ava looked at the cabin and slowly stepped towards it. She was hesitant. Caige could see the suspicion in her eyes. It was a two-story cabin but with only 3 bedrooms. Wrapping an arm around her waist he guided her forward. He saw her looking at the forest to the side of the cabin and saw the gears turning in her mind.

“Please don’t.” he said softly. “I need you Ava. Give me a chance.” She looked back to him and then to the cabin.

“Why should I?” she asked quietly. he reached up and brushed a piece of her hair out of her face.

“Ava, I have given you no reason to trust me or even to care about me. In fact, I have given you every reason to hate and fear me. I can give you no other reason to give me chance than the fact that you can feel our mate bond too.” Ava looked up at him. It made it hard to catch his breath. The look on her face was timid and sad but it was still the most beautiful thing he had ever seen. He wanted to just wrap her in a hug but he was afraid she would reject the gesture. Instead, he stepped up to the door and unlocked it. For a moment both his hands were fumbling with the knob and keys.

He tensed as he saw Ava take a step back, looking at the forest. Then she stopped, looking at him. He pushed the door open and took her hand. As their hands made contact, he lightly pushed on her emotions, soothing them. He could sense her fear easing. He was startled when she spoke up.

“Stop trying to calm me down.” She insisted. Then, almost as if she feared making him angry, she added, “please, Caige.” He hated that when she said his name it was usually because she was afraid of him instead of in love with him. ‘Gee, I wonder whose fault that is.’ Axel piped up. Caige shushed him with a gentle nudge.

“I just don’t want you to be afraid of me, Ava.” He said as they crossed the threshold and he closed the door. The sound of the door latching made Ava jump slightly and take a deep breath. He watched her expression as she took in the cabin. From the foyer they could see the entire bottom floor. The big kitchen was against the other wall to the left. The large family room took up the entire right wall and had an enormous open wood fireplace with big plush couches. The dining room was nestled in the center along the back wall and had windows along the entire wall going all the way up past the second floor. There were also sliding glass doors that led to a back porch. To their left was a small bathroom as well as the door to his office. Right in the middle of the cabin was a log spiral staircase that led up to the balcony. Ava looked around in amazement. Caige smiled as he led her to the staircase.

“Our room is upstairs.” He said casually. Ava looked at him with an emotion that he couldn’t quite figure out. Then slowly began to ascend the staircase. At the top, the loft split off to either side. On the left side, the walkway went straight to a fancy oak door. On the other side, the walkway went to a “T”. Both ends of the “T” had its own door and then there was a door right in the center like the other side. Caige motioned to that said.

“Those are the guest bedrooms.” In reality at least one would be for their child but he knew she wasn’t ready to hear that. “The door in the center is the guest bathroom.” He motioned to the other side and guided her to the door. “This is our room.” Ava watched as he opened the door. Her eyes widened at the splendid sight within. He had made sure to spare no expense when he had designed their room.

Without being encouraged, Ava stepped into the room. ‘That’s a good sign.’ Caige told Axel. He could feel Axel nod in agreement. He watched as she looked first at the bed. It was a large pine canopy bed with white sheer curtains. In fact, all of the furniture in the room was fresh cut pine. One entire wall was nothing but windows overlooking the forest. At the foot of the bed was a small fireplace with a large flatscreen tv over it. Next to fireplace on the opposite side was a door. When Ava walked in further, he saw her look through the doorway into the master bathroom.  She just stared in awe, taking in the large jacuzzi tub with waterfall at the base. Next to that was the walk-through shower and sink. It also had a small stall with the toilet.  Ava turned to look at him. He had leaned against the door jam watching her but when they made eye contact, he stood up straight.

“It’s absolutely beautiful.” She said in awe. Caige couldn’t help but smile widely.

“I’m glad you like it Ava.” He said honestly. “I did it all for you my love.” At the term of endearment, she blushed. He could tell she was still conflicted but the bond they shared made it hard for her to completely despise him.

“I-I don’t know what to say.” She answered as she walked back to him.

“Would you care to have dinner with a stubborn, slightly foolish, but very sorry wolfborne?” he gestured to the kitchen downstairs. Ava looked down off the walkway to the open floor below. She nodded shyly and walked towards the staircase. He noticed however, that she had made sure to nonchalantly check the door for outside locks. When they reached the bottom of the stairs, he led her to the kitchen.

“What would you like?” he asked. She looked to the floor. Suddenly nervous. “Ava? What’s wrong?”

“I-I” she stammered. “I’m sorry, I’m not very hungry.” She told him. It was like she expected him to get angry with her again. ‘Of course, she isn’t hungry smart one! She’s been on an emotional roller coaster.’ Axel said flatly.

“That’s okay,” Caige reassured her. “I can just make some snack foods or we can just wait until you are hungry.”

“I don’t want you to be hungry though.” She said timidly. Caige was hungry but it could wait. He wanted to make her as comfortable as possible.

“I’m not that hungry.” He lied, “I can wait a while. Do you want something to drink?” Ava nodded. “we’ve got Dr. Pepper, Sprite, O.J, milk, water, or lemonade.”

“Uh, lemonade is fine.” She answered. ‘She is so timid. Like a mouse’ he thought. He grabbed a glass out of the cupboard and poured her a glass of lemonade. After handing it to her, he poured one for himself. She sat at the kitchen bar and took a sip. Caige walked over and sat next to her. He had been thinking about something for a while but he was nervous. It would either help his case or ruin it.

“Ava?” he began. She glanced up from her glass. “I know it’s not exactly what you want, but would you like to call your father tomorrow?” her eyes lit up.

“Really?” she said in disbelief. “You would let me?”

“I know you don’t really understand everything right now but despite what you think, you aren’t my prisoner. I want you to be happy here and if that means you need to talk to your dad then so be it. But that’s all I can do for the time being. Later, maybe we can try to arrange something…” he trailed off. Her eyes were moist.

“You mean it?” she asked again. He nodded and for the first time she leapt forward into him for a hug. He hugged her tightly.

“Thank you,” she whispered. Her voice was muffled by his embrace. Gently, he kissed the top of her head. ‘This is how it should be.’ He told Axel. Axel pranced around in agreement.  Caige was terrified that when she talked to her dad, he would convince her to leave. He knew however, that if he didn’t let her at least speak with him she would forever feel like a prisoner. And there was no way she would ever love him if she felt that way.


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