| Kat |
Mom pats the seat next to her and though she smiles at me, there’s no warmth in it. She’s worried, nervous. Dad’s utterly uncomfortable.
“There’s something we need to discuss,” Dad says. I sit down in the chair across from them. “When you had your birthday in December we should’ve mentioned it-”
“mentioned what?” He and mom make eye contact. She shakes her head and sighs.
“Heat.” I blanch. “We’re talking about your Heat.” They’ve got to be kidding.
“We’ve been,” Dad starts. Mom growls. ”I’ve been putting it off. Heat’s when-”
“I know what Heat is.” I bite out. Heat starts after an Alpha female’s turned seventeen. For two weeks in the Spring, they’ll be extra... fertile. Unmated, the pheromones will drive all the other unmated males insane. Mated... well it drives the mate insane.
“I was going to take you North when it started,” Mom says softly. “But since your mate’s shown up...”
“And he hasn’t marked you yet...”
“If Cameron marks you before you go into Heat, the pack shouldn’t be bothered by the smell.” I blink a few times and look between the two of them.
“You’re telling me to have sex with Cameron.” Dad rolls his eyes.
“We’re telling you that he should mark you. Sex does not have to be involved.” Oh, sex will be involved. They both know it will. It’s how they conceived me. Mom’s first Heat.
“Katalina, it’s already Mid-April.” Mom says. “Please, you need to talk to him about it.” I can’t help it. I laugh. I laugh so hard I feel like I’m going to keel over. They just stare at me.
| Cameron |
Eric enters the kitchen just as I shut the back door. He’s mid-yawn when he notices me. Breakfast should be cooked by now. Instead, I’m caked in dirt, and shirtless.
“Where the fuck have you been?” He growls. Well, shit.
“I went for a run last night,” I tell him honestly. “Fell asleep out back by the shed.” Still not a lie. He watches me as I wash my hands in the sink. “I’m thinking omelets,” I tell him opening the fridge. Maybe he won’t smell Kat. Maybe he’s used to her smell by now.
“You smell like that girl,” Eric says slowly. He’s still somewhat asleep. I pull the eggs out of the fridge.
“What would you like on your Omelet? We’ve got ham, bacon bits, sausage, onions-” He slams the fridge shut abruptly and snatches the eggs from me.
“Why the fuck do you smell like that wolf?” He growls in my face. I shrink in on myself as he stands over me.
“What’s for breakfast?” Alaric asks entering the room. Eric grabs my shirt collar.
“Someone snuck out last night.” Eric seethes.
“I went for a run!” He pushes me towards his Beta, who catches me with an annoyed look on his face.
“Why can’t we just have a normal Sunday for once?” Alaric mutters with a shake of the head. .
“Smell him.” Leaning into the nape of the neck, Alaric takes a snif.
“Who’s the wolf?” He asks.
“L-look do you guys want breakfast?” Anything to get out of this mess. Eric growls.
'Go to your room before Eric does something he’ll regret,' Alaric says through the mindlink. He doesn’t have to tell me twice. I bolt for the steps. Eric screams at me from the kitchen, though he doesn't follow.
Fumbling, I pull my phone off it's charger. There's a text from Kat.
Thanks for last night. She likes you.”
The door opens to my bedroom opens as I hit send on her reply.
“Put the phone away,” Alaric says. “Eric went for a run." Shaking his head, he folds his arms over his chest. “You really screwed this one up, kid.” I only shrug. The response surprises him. “Do you not understand what-”
“I understand.” I snap, cutting him off. He raises his eyebrows.
“Watch your mouth boy. I just kept you from getting your face knocked in. When Eric gets back you're best to apologize." I snort.
"Apologize. To him?" Alaric growls at me, baring his teeth and all. I flinch.
"He is your Alpha." He seethes. I lower my head, keeping my eyes on his feet.
"He's a liar." I mutter. Alaric grabs me by the throat. I try my best not to look affected by it.
"What was that, Pup?" I swallow. No going back now.
"You've both lied to me." Alaric looks me over, eyes searching and nose flaring.
"How the fuck have we lied to you" He throws me backward onto my bed and waits, arms crossed. Like he doesn't know.
“My parents?" He stares, watches with cool calculating eyes.
"I was wondering when you'd figure that out." He says. "And we didn't lie to you."
“Lie by omission.” Alaric growls in warning. “It doesn’t matter anyway.” I mutter. “That wolf is the Alpha of the other pack’s daughter.” He tenses.
“Cameron-” He starts to growl again, the anger building.
“She’s my mate, Alaric.” I whisper. “The girl’s my mate.”
| Kat |
It's cold Monday morning as I wait for Cameron to arrive at the school. I stand outside alone, my light blue jean jacket draped over my shoulders. I haven't heard from him since Saturday. His parking spot remains empty as the warning bell for class goes off, leaving me no choice but to go in without him.
'Everything okay' Louis asks through the mindlink as I take my seat.
'Yeah, why?' I know why and he knows that I know, so the conversation ends there. I don't hear a word Mr. Welsh says. Instead, I've been on my phone, texting Cameron under the desk. I don't get a response.
I breathe a sigh of relief when he walks into our English class. He wears a red sweatshirt and keeps his head down as he walks to the seat beside my own. My wolf pushes at her restraints but I hold her firm.
"Where have you been?" I ask quietly.
“Alaric took my phone.” He mutters. “Sorry if you were worried.” Worried's an understatement. Under the table, I take his hand and hold it tight until the bell rings. In the hallway, I wrap my arms around him. He grunts.
"Are you okay?" I ask. He doesn't smile, doesn't meet my eyes. I notice a smudge under the left side of his jaw. "What the hell..." Reaching up, I pull down the collar of the sweatshirt to see the massive bruise stretching down his neck to his collar bone. He snatches my hand away.
"I'm fine." He says, deadpan.
'"No, you're not." I bite back a growl. The bell rings, and the hallway empties. How dare anyone lay a hand on him.
"Kat," He works his jaw. "I'm. Fine." There's a growl of his own forming in his chest. "Eric wants to meet you." His mutters. I raise my eyebrows. Unexpected.
“I don’t want to meet them.” If I see that Alpha’s face I might cut his head off.
"I don’t want you to either." He says. "Your father probably wouldn’t allow it anyhow. But...” He shakes his head.
“What?” He smiles for the first time and pulls me into his warm chest.
“They think I’m lying about you.” He brings his head down to meet mine just as someone clears their throat. He starts to pull back but I kiss him anyhow, relishing him a moment longer.
“Katalina, get to class,” Jeanette says. “Both of you.”
IAfter a fight with my dad, Mom was able to convince him to let me go with Cameron to meet his Alpha. It needed to be done, she’d said. But it would also give me a chance to talk to Cam privately. “We need to talk,” I say quietly, sitting in the passenger seat of the car. We haven’t left the school parking lot yet. He takes his hand off the emergency break and looks at me, tensing.
“Okay,” He says slowly.
“How much were you taught about Mates?” He tilts his head, thinking then shrugs. He’s grown up in an all-male household. The chance that they've taught him much of anything is slim.
“I know that a Mate is your equal... The one you’re destined to be with for the rest of your life.” I nod.
“Do you know what Marking is?” My voice is a whisper, showing him just how uncomfortable this is for me.
“Like ‘marking your territory?’”
“Yeah, something like that.” We’re silent, listening to the rain as it bounces off the windshield. My wolf’s already on edge today because of the storm. It’s not helping my mood. “It’s an act, normally taken by the male, to make sure other wolves understand their mate is taken... Some call it Claiming.” He’s quiet. “It usually happens by instinct during...” I trail off, shaking my head. “Nevermind.” I’m uncomfortable. This is uncomfortable. Maybe bringing it up was a mistake. We’ve only known each other for three weeks. That isn’t even a month.
“You mean, sex.” He finishes for me with a side smirk. Oh, I’m way too young for this. Way, way, way, way, way-
“Mhm.” I mumble. The smile grows.
“Kat, is this your way of telling me you want to have sex?” I blush, turning to look out the window.
“I... maybe?” He chuckles.
“You’re adorable.” I’m still looking out the window as he kisses the back of my head.
“I’m Seventeen,” I say after a few minutes more of silence. “Which means I’ll be going into Heat in a few weeks... for the first time.” When he says nothing I turn and look at him. “Do you know nothing of the female wolfskin anatomy?” He just blinks. Sighing I give him a quick explanation and I watch as his face slowly drains of color. “If I’m not Marked by the time I go into Heat, my Mom’s going to have to take me North on some ‘vacation’ so I don’t get attacked by my own pack.”
“And if I Mark you... If we Mate, then-”
“Only you’ll be affected.” He gulps. It’s his turn to grow uncomfortable.
“Does... this happen to every female wolf?” He starts backing out of his parking spot.
“No. Only Alphas. If it happened to everyone the whole damn pack would be full of horny males.” He chuckles at that.