I sit back in the taxi seat as the driver turns up the Christmas tunes as we drive through the woodland area.
I was returning home for Christmas. Christmas Eve was tomorrow, and this was the first one in three years I would be here to spend it with my family.
I left the pack three years ago to do a student exchange. I swapped lives with someone in the southwest region and moved into their home.
It was strange at first, but I loved it. I learned so much about the pack. They had more amenities than us, such as a school and a swimming pool, and access to a human town, whereas we in the Dark Moon have none of those things.
As a pack, we have been in contact with humans, but that was mainly when some pack members returned with humans as mates.
I sigh as I lean toward the window and look out.
We were getting close, but I knew we had more miles to go.
My mind wandered to my family, who I left behind. The exchange student left, and I was told by my alpha that I had to return. I was happy too, but I had to wait a further month as I had to finish up a project that I was doing.
I remember ringing my sister, Stella, to tell her I was going home. I asked her not to say anything to my parents as I wanted to surprise them, and she wanted to help. She arranged for the taxi to pick me up from the airport and bring me straight onto the pack grounds.
I was happy. That was until she told me that there would be a Christmas party being held around the pack. My happiness was short-lived, as I knew I would end up seeing him, the one person who promised me he would wait for me, but something changed over the last year; our calls went from twice a week to nonexistent.
Wyatt and I have been best friends since we were babies. Our families were close friends; we stuck to tradition and were inseparable. Many classmates thought we were dating as we are always together. We would get singing, ‘Billie and Wyatt sitting in a tree, K.I.S.S.I.N.G.’ all the time.
I liked Wyatt, but I didn’t like him romantically. He was the nerd as me and wore his brother’s hand-me-down clothes and beat-up trainers.
When the calls stopped, my mind went to thinking he had found his mate, which would be nice for him.
I hoped to find my mate while I was in the southwest pack, but I never did.
When I arrived, I changed my outlook and trained more. I didn’t like who I was when I arrived. I worked my butt off to look like I do, but I’m not one for bragging about looks.
“We are nearly here,” calls out the driver.
I nodded but said nothing.
At the sound of the driver’s voice, Sia, my wolf, moves in my head. She had been sleeping most of the day, as she hates traveling.
“Are we there yet?” She groaned.
I look back at her and sigh.
“Good evening to you, grumpy pants,” I muttered.
Sia looked at me and huffed out, but ignored me.
I looked back and looked over the front seat, seeing the pack house come into view. It was decorated with lights. There was also a blow-up Santa to the side, which made me smile.
I loved Christmas back in the day in the pack. They were always magical and especially when it snowed.
The taxi driver pulls up to the side and comes to a stop.
I climb out and grabbed my bag. Most of my things were already sent over, so I only traveled with the essentials.
I looked around and could hear Christmas playing loudly. My eyes scanned around until they landed on someone running toward me, and I couldn’t help but smile.
I opened my arms as Stella launched herself into my arms.
I closed my eyes and breathed in her scent. Oh, how I missed it.
“You’re here,” she squealed in my ear and pulled back, “Mum and Dad are waiting inside. I had to make sure they were here before you came, which is hard, as you know. Mum loves to make an entrance, so you can imagine her surprise when we turned up and be the first ones there.”
I stare at my sister. I missed her rambling.
“I haven’t,” murmured Sia in my head.
I ignored her and laughed slightly.
I knew my mum all too well and she would have taken her time getting to the party. It wasn’t the whole making an entrance with her. It was to make sure we arrived when all the good stuff went down, especially when people found their mates.
I shook my head to get back to Stella.
“Where are they?” I asked.
“They are in the entrance,” she said. “Dad wanted some air, but I noticed the taxi come up, so I made my escape while they went around the other side.”
Stella turned her attention to the driver and gave him the money. He waved to us and wished us a Merry Christmas.
The driver climbed back into the car and set back off.
Stella placed her arms into mine and pulled me toward where my parents were. I stepped around the corner, but stopped, taking in the two of them as they talk to the alpha and Luna. “Mum,” called out Stella. “Dad, look who’s here.”
Mum and Dad looked up and stared back at us. Both of their eyes widen with surprise. “Billie,” they say together, and Stella lets go of my arm as I walk right into theirs and hug them. Their scents hit me and felt warmth spread through me.
Sia hummed in my head as she felt their presence.
I pull back and smile, but was met with some tears.
“Billie,” says my mum as she smiles, but a lone tear runs down her cheek, “you don’t know how much this means to us to have you home, is it for Christmas or...”
“No, Darlene,” said the alpha, as I look over at him with a smile. “Billie is back for good; the exchange program was a tremendous hit,” he said and stood next to us. “We will send another candidate next month, but Billie is back for good.”
I smiled at him but looked back at my parents, who were beaming.
“That’s such a better Christmas than ever to ask for,” my dad murmured, who pulls me toward him to place a kiss on my head.
I nodded, feeling slightly emotional to speak.
I knew I would be like this, as I missed them so much.
“Well, I think you all should go inside and have some fun,” said the Luna, who wrapped her arm around the alpha.
We all nodded and walked away, with both my parents holding onto my arms. Stella walked next to mum, telling her all about her involvement in getting me here.
As we walked in, I couldn’t help but admire the decorations and the enormous tree that they placed in the center of the hall.
I scanned around, but Sia paced more than we went further in.
“What’s going on with you?” I asked her as my parents found a table to sit around. “I don’t know,” she murmured.
I sat down at the table, and only we weren’t alone. We sat with non-other than Wyatt’s parents and family.
We all talked for a bit, but after a short time, a delicious scent wafted toward me. I sniffed the air, but couldn’t place it.
I looked around, but there was no one around.
I sniffed again, only for Sia to shout, ‘MATE’ in my head.
I looked around. I could tell everyone’s eyes were on me from the table, but I didn’t care. Where was my mate?
I felt a presence behind me, and my mate’s scent hit me hard as a shadow came over me. Whoever it was, was huge as their shadow covered me from the light.
‘MATE’ growled behind me, but my eyes widen as it can’t be.
My mate lowered down his head to my ear. “Welcome home, Billie,” he rasped, sending tingles right through me.
I didn’t want to look up as I looked straight at Stella, who was now in a full grin, staring back at me. “Knew it,” she shouted as I turned slowly and looked back into the purest of green eyes, the green eyes that were there for me throughout high school and more.
Wyatt was my mate.
I stared at him, and he looked different, but in a good way.
I licked my lips, but my head and core had problems navigating through my emotions.