As soon as the words are spoken, he is off of me and standing by the door like nothing happened. We study each other for a few moments. I note the subtle scars on his arms and what appears to be a necklace around his neck.
He leaves the room before shooting me one last look. I follow him, knowing if I don’t he will freak, and we make our way to the bonfire. The whole way there was silent, thank goddess. I don’t think I could make conversation after what just happened.
We exit the pack house and walk back to the field where the bonfire will be held. Wolves from around the world were all gathered here and it is a truly amazing sight.
We make our way through the wolves and stop only when people want to talk to Tyler about pack matter or to congratulate him on finding his mate. Not once have I been asked how I’m feeling, but I’m kind of thankful for that. I don’t know how I would respond.
We make it to what I hope will be our final destination and I spot Hailey with Jackson’s arm around her waist. She seems truly happy to be with him and my heart is filled with happiness for her. The feeling is soon replaced by sadness when I realize my mate is the only male without his touch or even gaze on me.
I look at the ground ashamed that Tyler doesn’t want to show everyone I am his mate. He seems fine stating I am his when we are in private but avoids me like the plague when we are in public.
I feel my eyes water but quickly blink them away. What kind of Luna would I be if I cried over the way my mate showed his affection to me? Assuming that I even become his Luna.
“One who cares.” The sudden voice in my head made me jump and I accidentally bumped into Tyler. He gave me an annoyed look and continued talking to whoever he was before my interruption.
“Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you. I am Freya, your wolf. I figured I should make myself known now that you are of age and have met your mate. I will be with you from now until death and I shall do my best to teach you what you will need to know. I know you have questions, and I assure you I will answer them all. I must go for now, as his wolf is calling to me and it is finally time we meet again. Goodbye, young one.”
Freya is out of my head as quick as she came in. I feel a heated gaze on me and turn to see Tyler looking at me expectantly. “Sorry, I got lost in my thoughts for a moment.” Hear some laughs, none of them my mate’s, and look to see about 5 or 6 people smiling at me. All of them seemed too old to have partaken in the gathering this year, or this decade.
A woman with graying black hair speaks up, “It’s okay dear, we just wanted to know how you are taking all this. Your parents told us you were less than thrilled to be attending this year’s festivities.”
“Not to be rude, but may I ask who you all are. I am not familiar with your faces, but if you know my parents I’ve probably heard your names.”
The woman lets out another small laugh. “We are the Elders, my dear. It is quite alright that you do not know our faces because we take on many forms.”
I feel a hand on my waist and a squeeze I can only assume is from Tyler. He is probably upset that I’ve embarrassed him in front of the highest, most respected ranking wolves.
“My apologies, your honors. Had I been paying more attention this mistake would not have happened. I take full responsibility.” Although it was my mouth moving, it was Freya’s voice that came out. She was talking through me like it was nothing.
“It is alright Freya, we understand no female wolf has had much time to prepare their humans.” Freya nods my head and retreats back. I’m sure my face must be one of complete confusion but the Elders just smile at me and walk away.
“What the hell was that?” I ask the question to no one in particular. Tyler, whose hand is still on my waist looks down at me. His gaze is quite soft for once and I fidget at the unfamiliar look. His eyes look away from mine and he stares at the fire. I do so as well as he speaks,
“That was the Elders letting your wolf speak through you. It appears there is something they see in you and your wolf that has led them to their decision.”
Without answering my question, Tyler removes his hand from my waist. He gives me a look that I have not seen before and walks away. I follow him with my eyes and watch him talk to another male. I choose my next move deliberately knowing it will make him mad, but I need time for myself.
I walk towards the fire and sit close enough to feel the heat on my exposed skin. I look around again to see all the couples wrapped up in each other and just being happy. I am unsure if the decision I made was the right one. Maybe Tyler would be better off with a girl like Victoria. She was outspoken and got what she wanted. In a pack like his, I’m sure that’s what’d he needs.
I feel a body next to mine and recognized my brother instantly. “Dills, how are you liking the mated life? Who is your mate anyway?”
His second question startled me a bit. I assumed that everyone knew already. Not wanting to talk about it, I quickly changed the subject.
“The mated life is everything I expected it to be, too much. Let’s talk about your mate for a bit. I saw you with a little redhead in the field, what’s her name?” His eyes softened as he spoke about her,
“Her name is Madeline, she was tired so she’s in the cabin right now but I know you’ll love her. She’s a warriors daughter and is so kind. I hope the Elders make their decision in favor of her.”
“What is that whole decision thing anyway? I tried asking T- my mate but he wouldn’t say.”
Christian eyes me skeptically but answers my question, “Did you not pay attention to anything in lessons? The Elders have the final say on whether you are fit to be Luna. Did you talk to them already?”
I nodded, still confused.
“What did they say?”
“Nothing really. They did let my wolf talk through me which was odd but they smiled before they walked away.” My brother smiled at me and gave me a hug. Great, Tyler will love Christians scent on his hoodie. “Congrats, Dills! They accepted you to be a Luna. Mom and Dad can stop worrying now at least.”
I didn’t say anything and after a bit, he got up and walked away. Before I had time to think deeper into the subject I saw Hailey and Jackson walking towards me with a worried look in their eyes.
“Cordelia! Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you. We need to talk about this whole situation and we ne-” Hailey was interrupted by her mate putting his around her waist.
“Cordelia, I am Jackson. Alpha Westwood’s brother and Beta. Why are you alone? I can’t imagine my brother leaving you unattended with all these males around. Especially not while you are unmarked.”
“Nice to meet you too. I don’t know where that male is and I don’t really care at the moment. He obviously hasn’t noticed I’m gone so it can’t be that big of a deal.” The moment I said it, Jackson’s eyes glossed over. When he came back to he looked worried for me.
“We need to get you to the cabin now, Cordelia. Tyler has noticed you’re missing and is not pleased.” I nodded, knowing there was no way to avoid this.
I followed Jackson and Hailey back to the cabin and prepared myself for the lecture I was about to get. There was nothing I could really fight back with and I just needed to pick my battles.
Even though we were all going to be staying in the same cabin, Jackson and Hailey dropped me off at the door and told me they were going for a walk. Great, now I get to face his wrath alone.
I walked in to see the cabin still neat and felt a little better. Maybe he isn’t too mad then. I walked further in and didn’t think he was even in the cabin until I felt him behind me.
“Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. Little girl, what did I tell you about listening to me? That’s strike one. And why do I smell another male on my clothes? Look at that, strike two. One more strike and you’re out.”
The whole time he spoke, his lips were pressed up against my ear and he was gripping my waist with such force, I thought I was going to break.
“Answer me, pup. It would be a shame for me to rush to judgments with hearing you out, no?”
“I’m just needed some time to think is all. The scent is my brother’s, I swear. Can you please let me go.”
“Why would I let you go? You are mine and if I feel like holding you I will.” The words were surely meant to show ownership. Some part of me though, felt pride that he did, in fact, want to hold me. His grip however only tightened and my next words were almost whimpers.
“You are hurting me.”
“You haven’t felt pain, girl. Just know that.” With those final words, he let me go and walked to the kitchen, leaving me in the entryway with tears in my eyes.