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Chapter 97

Ari P.O.V

Liora was a very happy child. And a complete daddy's girl. Victor was the one who could make her laugh the most, and smile. Though I came a very close second. I didn't get down over the fact that she seemed to prefer Victor in her early stages, he was the fun one- the one that would throw her up and down, and all that other stuff. We'd both play with her, but I was a bit more sedate, reading to her, and playing with her toys with her.

For the first few months of Liora's life, Victor and I had to take special care to trim down her claws. She would often scratch herself otherwise, and that would hurt her badly. Even though she could heal, we didn't want her getting hurt. The smell of her blood and hurt angered and aggravated us to no end, and so did her cries of pain. We always wanted to rip the offending object to shreds, but when it was her claws, we didn't have that option.

When Liora started to crawl, it was a nightmare. She'd crawl into all the smallest spaces, and we had to put locks on cupboards to keep her out of them. We also had to make sure that the front door was never open for to long otherwise she was out of the apartment quicker than you could say speeding baby.

Our Cub's first word. Oh that was a day I would cherish for the rest of my life. I was reading Liora her bed time story, Victor was standing in the door frame, a smile on his face. Liora was sat up, listening to me intently. One of the cartoon pictures in the story book was of a lion with a large blonde mane. She looked at the picture, and pointed to it, and then to Victor.

"Dada!" She jabbered excitedly.

I stopped reading, and heard Victor freeze on the spot completely. I grinned. "Good girl Cub!" I said happily, picking her up and kissing her on the cheek. Victor strode over quickly, and I handed Liora to Victor.

"Dada!" She said again, a bit more tiredly this time.

Victor kissed her forehead, and held her close. She grabbed hold of his hair in one of her tiny fists and fell to sleep. I wiped a tear out of my eye.

"Why are you crying Kitten?" Victor asked.

"Because she just said her first word! I'm happy!" I replied. I stood on my toes and kissed him. He smiled, before kissing me back. We soon broke apart, and put her to bed.

My dad, Cari and Logan were the ones who visited the most, followed closely by Mort. Mystique and Pyro also visited some times, and so did Magneto, but his visits were rare. That was until this one incident.

It was just as Liora was beginning to really speak. Mort, Pyro, Mystique and Magneto were all visiting. Liora had been playing with 'Unca Mortie', as he was now called and 'Unca Johnny' (she had called him that) for most of the time they had been there. She loved it when they came to visit, she thought they were hilarious. When the time came for them to leave, Liora went; "Bye Grandpa!" to Magneto. It shocked us all, but hey, what do you do? So from then on, Magneto had Been Grandpa Mags, or Grandpa Erick, whichever one took her fancy for the time he was visiting, and his visits got a bit more frequent after that.

Then there was Unca Paddy, Unca Markie, Auntie Faith and Auntie Lucie. Oh she loved 'em. She'd throw herself all over them when they came to visit. Sometimes, even Auntie Cari and Uncle Jimmy couldn't top her favourites list when they all came around. But no one could beat Autumn. Liora adored Autumn. She could play with her forever, given the chance. Mam was over every chance she got, and Liora would fall asleep whenever she was held by her. She was one very relaxed Cub when her Nanna was around. It was the same with dad. Liora could easily fall asleep when her Gramps held her.

As she got older, Liora got clingy. She liked to hold onto either Victor or me, and not let go. Looking back now, it was almost as if she sensed something was going to happen. Something terrible. Sometimes it would take an hour at night to get her to settle down, and go to sleep.

Nearly a year after Liora was born, Eira was born too. Cari's and Logan's little girl was a beautiful little one who was always happy. When Eira and Liora first started playing, it was an instant thing, they both got on like a house on fire. It was like my friendship with Cari in a way. So, we brought the two together as much as possible, whether that was in Sacramento or Westchester it didn't matter, and the two became playmates. Eira had her father's eyes, and hair colour, but the rest of her was all Cari. She was a bouncy child, and would get excited at anything. Oh she was funny to watch when she was excited. She'd bounce, and she'd wave her arms in the air as if she was trying to take off.

Liora was three, when it happened. Victor and I were going out for our anniversary, and Mort had offered to baby-sit for us. But what happened made me regret not taking up Magneto's offer of Sanctuary.

Mort arrived at six, and Liora started running round the room in excitement because he was her babysitter while we were gone.

"Is there anything I need to do?" Mort asked.

"She's already had her bath, there's a bottle in the microwave, two minutes should do it. But that's only if she wants it. She's to be put in bed at seven. No later, otherwise we'll have hell putting her to bed tomorrow. She likes to have a story read, leave her pick the book, or she'll raise hell." I said, checking things off on my fingers. "Other than that, I don't think anything bar keeping her entertained for an hour is really necessary." I said.

"Right, got it. Play, maybe a bottle, story, bed." Mort said nodding.

"Thanks for doing this Mort. We apprieciate it." Victor said.

"No probs Sabes, have fun." Mort said. "Alright then Tyke, come say goodnight to your mamma and daddy, they won't be back until after you're asleep."

Liora ran over, and jumped up, into Victor's outstretched arms. Victor caught her, and held her close to his chest. He kissed her forehead and Liora buried her face in the crook of her neck and inhaled deeply.

"Night daddy." She said.

"Night Cub. Be good for your Uncle Mort."

"I will." She said.

Victor passed her to me, and she immediately buried her head in the crook of my neck, and inhaled deeply again. It was as if she was memorizing our scents, like she was afraid she'd never see us again and wanted to remember our scents, if nothing else.

"We'll be back by the time you wake up Cub." I said, kissing her on her forehead.

"Kay mama. See you in the morning."

I put her down, and she grabbed hold of Mort's hand. Victor ruffled her ears, causing her ears to twitch. She swished her tail agitatedly. Victor chuckled, and she grinned.

We were both soon walking down the stairs and getting into the jeep. Neither of us noticed the black van, parked in a shadowed alley. It was a half hour drive to the restaurant Victor had gotten us reservations at, and we were almost there, when Victor's phone rang. He handed it to me, and I answered.


"Ari- get- back- humans- with guns! Ahh! I've been shot- Liora- they- they- took her!" Mort gasped out.

I felt the blood drain from my face. "Victor! We need to get back home! People broke into the apartment! Liora's been taken and Mort's been shot!"

The tyres screeched as Victor span the jeep round and sped home. His loud growls ripped through the jeep. When we got back to the appartment building, there were several ambulances and police cars. Paramedics were loading a gurney into an ambulance. Patrick Jane was stretched across it.

"Ari, Victor!" He said. "I tried to stop them taking her, I swear, but they shot me. Call Lisbon, tell her to take up the case, I want to help."

I nodded, as Victor rushed into the building, eager to get to Mort, and catch hold of the scents of the humans who took Liora.

"There's someone wounded upstairs, he called us." I said to some Paramedics.

The man and woman nodded and followed me upstairs, pulling a gurney with them. In the apartment, I saw Victor bending over Mort, keeping pressure on Mort's abdomen. There was blood coming from between Victor's fingers.

When the Paramedics took over, Victor and I started to inhale through our noses, exploring our entire apartment, and taking in all foreign scents. We were determined to find Liora. We familiarised ourselves with all the new scents- the ones that we didn't know. We had to find her. We just had to.

"Kitten, head to the CBI, ask Agent Lisbon for her help. As much as I hate having human authorities helping us, having Patricks skills could be useful. I'll call the Brotherhood and Jimmy. Let them know that we're going hunting for our Cub." Sabertooth growled.

I nodded, feeling Tigris take over, and I teleported over to the CBI building. I'd take all the help I could get. I ran into the building, registered as a visitor, and took the elevator up. I ran into the bull pen, and to Lisbon's office. I threw the door open, and she looked up startled.

"Some human's have taken my Cub, and shot Mort and Patrick." I growled.

She rocketed from her seat. "Are they alright?"

"They've been taken to hospital. Before he was loaded onto the ambulance, Patrick said he wanted to take up the case."

"Then we will to." Lisbon said, before walking out to the bull pen, and away, from her thoughts I knew she was going to inform the director that she and the team were taking on the case. I had to hold back my tears. I needed to stay strong for my little Liora, my little Cub.

No P.O.V

Bella Stryker watched the mutant through the one way glass. It was small. She sneered. She didn't see what was important about that thing really. But it would help her get her revenge on those freaks for her Uncle's death. She couldn't keep it in a facility full time though. But she knew where to put the thing.

A/N: There it is! Feral is finished. Stay tunned for the sequel. I'll start posting A.S.A.P