Evander, or Evan, as most people called him, had caught the scent of something delicious.
Floral and earthy, it made his mouth water and his cock hard. There was only one thing that could have that effect on him, and it was his mate. Somewhere close by, she waited for him, hungered for him as much as he did her.
The only issue was tracking her down.
She was a clever thing. He followed the trail for so far, only to lose her scent on a river bed or mingled with the stench of humans. She was hiding and doing a grand job of it, but he’d find her. Now that he’d caught her scent, he wouldn’t rest until she was by his side.
Or writhing under him.
Since that first whiff of her, it was an image he couldn’t get out of his head. A faceless woman begging to be taken by him, consumed by him. He would give her his all, treasure her above all else, and spend countless hours between her legs, making her scream his name.
Even the thought made him shiver in anticipation.
Every species in the world hunted for their perfect mate. From the smallest insects to humanity itself. But for wolves, and other were-species, it was imperative to find your destined one.
Not only would he sire pups now, but he’d also have a woman by his side who lived and died for him as he did her. Someone who would put him above all others, have his back when no one else did. Who would love him even when they wanted to hate him.
Evan walked into the packhouse, ignoring the low growls from the sentries. Low-ranking pack members were not worth the effort to snarl back at. With his head held high, he made his way down the grand corridor, into the courtyard.
As expected, his father was there, playing with the pups they had welcomed only a few short weeks ago.
It was the only time he saw a gentle side to his father. In most circumstances, the man was cold and distant. Cruel. Ruthless. As Alpha, he had to be.
Their pack was one of the oldest in existence, generations born inside the walls of the old castle. Descended from the first settlers, their clan was renowned for its success. But it was also hiding the truth of their heritage, the truth of who they were.
They could trace back their family line to those first man-wolf hybrids created by a madman all those centuries ago. Where other packs had died out, they prospered, going from strength to strength until they finally settled in Scotland and made the land their home.
Other packs had made it this far north before, but more often than not, they left quickly, unable to handle the competition of such an old family.
It was why Evan needed his father’s help.
If his mate’s pack caught their scent, they would surely scarper, taking his chance at completion away with them. He couldn’t allow that. Not with her so close. Not when he could see his future.
Theo Angus was a formidable man. He stood taller than any man Evan knew and built of solid muscle. His bare chest displayed evidence of his many battles, scars from claws and bites decorating his torso. Evan admired him for his strength, for his ability to defend their pack, their clan, and their territory.
And he loved that when Theo looked at him, his gaze softened and his smile beamed with pride.
“What is it, son?” At his side, a young pup pulled at his kilt, demanding attention from their revered leader. Theo chuckled and looked down at the boy, tsking gently. “Not now, Ewan, play nice.” The boy may have pouted, but he immediately released the kilt, turning to his siblings.
“Ah, a fine soldier in the making,” Evan said. His father nodded his approval.
“Indeed. Now, why have you interrupted my time with the young ones?”
“I caught the scent of wolves, two villages away,” Evan began. His father held up a hand and nodded.
“I already know of the pack, Evan,” Theo said. “We’ve been tracking them. So far they’re keeping to themselves and if that continues, then they’re of no bother to us.”
Of course, his father knew. How could he not?
“I’m afraid that’s not true, father,” Evan said. “Unfortunately, this pack is of great importance.” Something was comforting about the way Theo gave Evan his full attention, his eyes focused on his son’s face. “There is one scent that stands out above the rest.”
“Your mate?” Theo asked, a soft reverence to his tone. “You have found her?”
Evan shook his head. He wished he found her. It would make this thing easier. Instead, he had to admit he had failed in tracking her.
“No, father. I’ve just smelled her around,” he said, clearing his throat as he shifted his weight. “I keep losing her scent. Over rivers, around the humans, hell it even seems she swam across the loch to hide her whereabouts.”
Instead of the disappointment Evan expected, he heard his father laugh.
“So she is smart. I like her already.” The older man approached Evan, moving his arm around his shoulder. “Do not worry, son, you’re still young. You’ll get there.” Pulling him out of the courtyard, Theo lowered his voice as they passed the sentries. “And between you and me, this pack of hers is giving even our most seasoned hunters some bother. But we’ll find them, son. We will find your mate.”
Relief soared through Evan as he had never felt before. She would be his, and he would be hers. He would make her happy, protect her above anything else. He could almost see her. She would be beautiful with a smile that made his heart ache and a body that made his cock hard. Theirs would be a story for the ages, a bond all others would model themselves. No one would ever love another person, as he would love his mate.
“Evan”?” Theo interrupted his thoughts, bringing back to the present. “Once you have her, lad, you never let go. You bond with her, make sure you are together always.”
Evan nodded in agreement, his eyes serious.
He wouldn’t be without his mate.
He wouldn’t be like his father.