Status: Finished.

More Than Just Baser Instincts.

The Northern Sector

On my first day at work, a stupid grin was plastered to my face. Quince introduced me to everyone, and despite the fact that they all seemed to know I was Quince’s mate, my good mood couldn’t be soured. The kids were also wonderful and eager to absorb every ounce of knowledge placed before them.

The second day was the same. The women in the staff room nagged me about Quince because he was apparently an elusive beast. Of course, they all immediately shut up whenever Quince decided to waltz into the room and ask what we were talking about before whisking me away for lunch.

By the third day I had my routine all figured out. Quince liked to “visit” my classroom during fourth hour because he didn’t have a class, and the kids seemed to just love his awful demonstrations of wildcats as I tried to be serious for just a moment. That was impossible when he was around.

But on the fourth day there seemed to be a different mood; everyone was scurrying around, even Quince. I asked why he was so skittish today, but he only flashed me a nervous smile and told me to do some paperwork “or something.” There was a sinking feeling in the pit of my gut that I had to work hard to mask from my students, who were oblivious to the tension.

“But, Miss Porter, I like water,” one of the boys all but shouted, forgetting about his inside voice.

I smiled. “I happen to hate water, Benjamin. So much that… My, did I even shower this morning?”

The entire class erupted in groans, and I laughed. “Okay, you know the drill. I’m going to sit at my desk and do some of this paperwork, and you’re going to do your homework. Remember, you can talk; but if I get teachers coming from down the hall and complaining about noise, it’s going to get real quiet real fast.”

I dropped to my chair, glancing to the photo frames on my desk. They said I could personalise this space all that I wanted, but all that I needed was the picture of my mother and I and a new picture that Quince had insisted we take with Anne, Bryce, and Cameron when they helped me move out of the inn. I ran my finger along the glass. Old memories, new memories… Both were unbelievably precious.

But then this…this chill ran up my spine and time seemed to almost freeze. I turned my head slowly, my eyes perfectly steady as I looked upon the doorway. Two men were standing there; one was the principal, but another was unfamiliar in almost every way.

My breath caught in my throat as I looked into eyes that mirrored my own, only this pair was narrowed and placed on a suspicious face. His suit looked to be incredibly expensive, but it failed in comparison to the exotic colour of his platinum hair. I could tell his lips were moving despite my daze; I couldn’t, however, make out what he was saying.

But I knew that the principal said “Elaine Porter.”

I tore my gaze from him and stood, walking up and down the aisles to preoccupy myself and look busy so he would leave me alone.

The sooner he left, the better. He gave me a bad feeling.

“Elaine, what are you doing in here?” Quince murmured, pulling me into his arms and away from the safety of the corner.

“I’m hiding.”

He chuckled. “I see that. But why?”

I glanced around the staff room, making sure the man was not here before I said, “Who is that man? The one walking around with the principal?”

His smile faded. “I don’t know; one of the higher-ups, I guess.”

“Oh…” I muttered, looking down. That meant he would be around a lot? I wanted him gone.

“He… He looks like you, Elaine—like he’s from the Northern Sector.” My eyes darted to him, but he was staring at his feet so his face was hidden from me. “What if he tells your father? What if they try to take you back?” He slowly peered up at me. “I won’t let them take you unless they kill me first.”


“No, I mean it.” I cringed when he lashed out and caught my wrist, dragging me roughly to him. “I can’t lose you, Elaine! That bastard wants to steal you? Well, he can’t!”

“Quince, just…” The last thing I wanted to worry about was comforting him, but he was useless in this state. I wrapped my arms tightly around him and breathed slowly into his chest until he reciprocated the calm embrace.

“I love you,” he murmured, kissing the top of my head once.

“I love you, too. Just… Just stand here with me.”

“Get off of her, you mutt!”

I jolted in my skin, but Quince’s arms just tightened more. And protesting the action was definitely not on my mind. My hands clutched at the fabric of his shirt, my only real comfort being the low warning growl rumbling throughout Quince’s chest.

“What do you want?” Quince hissed, glowering at our white-haired, silver-eyed company. The man tried to take a step forward but seemed to think better of it.

“I just want her, and then I’ll be on my way,” he tried to reason, but there was no reasoning with Quince when he was angry.

“You’re an absolute lunatic if you think I’ll just hand her on over! She’s mine!

The man faltered, staggering backwards a few steps. “She is most certainly not! Mr. Baum, I’d suggest you get this ridiculous notion out of your head before someone gets hurt.”

“And what is so ridiculous about it? You can’t deny the bond of mates!”

“Mates? She is not your mate; she’s a white, of my sector!”

“No… She’s not.”

“You must take me for some fool.”

Quince shook his head, and then he cast a nervous glance down at me. “She just likes to look like this, so I let her dye her hair if it would make her happy. She has coloured contacts right now… I thought no one was allowed to leave the Northern Sector? Not as tight a ship as I had thought, eh?”

“Shut up! Maybe your cute story would be remotely plausible if I didn’t happen to know exactly who she is. Only one woman has ever left the sector, but she came crawling back after releasing her spawns into the world. We knew they’d find home eventually.”


“Christine thought it would be so funny to run off with our top male’s children. But we found Arianna, and now we’ve found you. That bitch had the nerve to not only lie about Gerald’s child dying, but she also lied about having twins! I wouldn’t be surprised if she is being punished right now for this insolence! Is there another daughter I should know about? Was it triplets, now?”

I would have collapsed there if Quince had not been holding me upright. My mother… She was alive! But so was my sister? I had a sister… And my father had caught her. Was it evil of me to still not wish to go? I still didn’t want to go!

“Quince,” I whimpered, “Don’t make me go. Please don’t make me go there!”

“Elaine, I—”

“Please! I love you!” I was begging now, screaming and holding onto him in case he dared try to let go. “I love you so much! We’ll have a family of twenty if you want; I don’t care—as long as you don’t make me go!”

“Elaine!” I shrunk into myself at his hiss, but then a forced smile was pushed to his lips. “I’m not letting you go, so you can stop.”

“What is this? Just what is this!”

I growled at our company.

He scoffed. “A pure white…obeying a tainted breed. That is disgusting! Elaine, was it? You’re coming back!”

I shook my head fervently, but the response was not from my own mouth.

“Wait… What if we come willingly?”