'You smell strange,' The words travel through the mind link before I can stop them. I find myself nuzzling her fur, and inhaling deeply her scent.
'I missed you.' She says for the second time. Pulling back I look at her. Her eyes shine with a happiness I've missed.
'Cameron.' Her father says to me. We pull away quickly and I turn to look at him. The large black wolf looks at the two of us. It's impossible to tell what he's thinking. 'Walk with me.' I look at Nick, then down at my mate and her second, before nodding and following him back towards the pack house.
'I'm sorry.' I blurt once we're far enough away from the others. He merely glances at me before focusing ahead once again.
'An Alpha does not apologize.' He states. His words make me feel small, and I keep struggle to keep myself from shrinking in on myself.
'Whatever he did, whatever happened back at that house, was enough to make you leave. I don't need to know what happened.' I nod. 'My goal my priority, has and alway will be to keep my family safe.' He pauses at the top of the small hill. Ahead his pack is awake and moving. 'Shira originally came from Ontario when she was ten, escaping a male run pack in the mountains. The Alpha, her father wouldn't let anyone mate... the women belonged to him.' I take a step away from him.
'Why are you telling me this?' He still looks down on his pack, his fur bristling in the wind.
'You need to understand me.' He says. 'To understand me is to understand my mate. Then you'll fully understand Katalina.' He continues. 'Shira and I discovered we were mates when she turned seventeen. On her first Heat, she got pregnant. She was seven months along when He found her.' Reginald sighs, a almost huff sound. 'He attacked us with four or five of his sons, took Shira prisoner. Her mother agreed to go with him if he let Shira go. We lost a few of our own in the fight, including one of our pups. Shira went into labour early. Kat fought hard to stay alive. That's why she's so important me. My daughter and this world we've built for her.' I let his words sink in. For a while we just stand there, watching over everyone as they go about their day.
'I want to be here.' I say suddenly. Reginald glances at me.
'I have to go back, don't I.' It isn't a question. The silence stretches on, until I grow bored.
'You need to have a conversation with Erik. I don't believe it's going to be a pleasant one and I don't believe it is my place to intervene. It's your turn to be an Alpha. Speak up.' He's right, I know. We start to head down the hill. It's as we near the property line that Reginald speaks again. 'Kat's in the beginning stages of Heat. I'd be careful where you tread.'
"That was really stupid of you." Louis says bluntly outside my door as I throw on a shirt.
"He was in trouble."
"But instead of getting your father, you went after him yourself."
"You did that for me."
"I did what you should've done." Throwing open my bedroom door I glare at my second. "You threw yourself into unknown danger. You didn't weigh the risks. You just did it."
"Are you done?"
"No." I spot Cameron as he reaches the last step, his eyes glued on Louis's head as he snaps at me.
'Please don't.' I say it through the mind link without thinking, and without the expectation that he can hear me. But to my astonishment he does. His eyes lock onto mine, shock apparent on his face as he realizes what's developing between us.
"Get out of here Louis." Cameron says with a bite. Louis keeps his eyes on me, his jaw set as he ignores my mate. I curl my upper lip.
"You heard him." I snarl. Shaking his head, Louis shoves his way past Cameron and storms down the steps. I take a step to follow him, for laying a hand on my mate, but he stops me, stepping into my path and wrapping his arms around me. His chest is bare. I'm all too aware that all that he wears is running shorts. His head immediately drops to my neck where he inhales deeply. Seeing him. here. It makes my heart skip a beat. I run my hands through his soft hair, painfully aware that there's blood coated throughout it. Pulling his head back, I kiss his warm lips. We're in the open. I start to pull him into my bedroom, to get away from prying eyes, but he grunts.
"Kat," He says, painfully soft. My lower lips trembles slightly. He shakes his head. "I have to go back."
"N-no!" He kisses me, his hands brushing my sides, his hips painfully close to mine.
"I have to talk to Eric, Kat. I don't have a choice. I'll be back though." My eyes start to water. I again shake my head. "Please don't cry." I can't help it. "Fuck." He kisses my neck, my cheek, my forehead, my lips. His hands again roam my sides. He pushes me away.
"You're in Heat, Kat." He says it sharply, with pain in his eyes. I tense. He takes another step away from me. "I promise I will be back. Today." I watch him, stunned as he walks down the steps, my body filled with shock and dread.
I hate to leave her like this, especially with every inch of me wanting to lift her up by that beautiful waist of hers and take her against the wall of her bedroom. I plan on eating every inch of her when I get back. Eric can't keep me from that. He won't keep me from that.
Downstairs, the floor is empty. I approach the sliding glass doors. Outside the large black wolf stands off by one of the pack houses, playing with a group of five or six pups. They're all howling as they jump on him. To the side Shira stands on all fours, her white wolf watching her mate with a shine to her eyes. That could be Kat and me one day.
I decide to take the side door, next to the steps and off the side of the house. My plan's to slip away unnoticed. I don't want a lecture or speech from Shira or Reginald. I don't want looks from others in the pack. My body's still covered in blood from Eric's attack this morning. Kat had been polite enough not to ask.
"Where are you going?" Louis says behind me as I start to shed the shorts Shira had handed me upon entering the house. I turn to Louis, fully prepared for an argument.
"Does it matter?" Louis snorts.
"You're her mate." He says matter of factly. I roll my eyes. Not at his words, no because the words themselves naturally make me beam, but because it's him saying them. "If you get yourself killed, I'll be the one left picking her up off of the floor."
"I'll be back." Louis shakes his head.
"You don't know that." With a glance back at the pack in the clearing he sighs. "I'm coming with you."