Chapter 35: Pack Mates
My back and head slammed into the floor, causing stars to float across my eyes. He kept his hands gripped tightly around my neck, cutting off my air supply as my fingers tried in vain to pull them off. I focused on my legs, feeling my left one free I swung it up in the air and wrapped it around his head. I arched my back up into him, bringing my left leg up under his throat and catching it with my left foot. Squeezing my legs together while driving my legs out and away from me, I pulled his head down to the ground.
I kept the leg scissor going after it pulled his hands clear, but my hands grabbed his wrist and pulled it into an arm bar. Pushing it up, I created a lever using me left knee on top of his shoulder. I pushed up harder, making him scream as his shoulder started to move out of the socket. He tapped my shoulder and I let him go; he jumped to his feet and offered me a hand up. “Good job, Ella. Your ground game is improving, but next time move your feet back and drop your hips down so you can stay on your feet.”
I rolled my shoulders, catching the towel Olivia tossed me as the rest of the class applauded my effort. I hated going against Jacob, he could put me down any time he wanted. He didn’t even use his werewolf speed or strength against me. Hell, he didn’t even break a sweat.
“Take a ten minute break, Olivia is up next.”
“Good, let her ass get beat.” I smiled at Melanie as Jacob gave her a lusty look. She ran forward and jumped into his arms, kissing him deeply.
“Oh god, my eyes, someone save me from this!” I looked over at Natalie, she was covering her eyes, her bright pink Hello Kitty shirt covering her grey shorts. Natalie was too young to spar, but there was nothing wrong with a five-year-old werewolf learning basic self-defense skills. She was having fun so she came to all the classes. Nadine grabbed her from behind and started tickling her as she carried her upstairs to the kitchen for a snack.
I tossed the towel aside and followed the group upstairs, laughing at how much some of us had changed over this summer. When we returned home from the Johnson pack after my babies were born, I knew I had to get back into shape. Craig was concerned because there were still threats from werewolves and I was at a disadvantage in any fight. The Alpha in me hated being seen as being weak, so I decided I would combine self-defense classes with daily workouts to lose the baby weight. It worked great, my stomach was flat again and I felt great.
Craig fully supported the idea, but we were at a loss as to what to do. None of them had experience in teaching humans, and as wolves most training tended to focus on that form. Craig also recognized that with the Greens returning home soon, except Michael, Linda, Luke and Katie, we wouldn’t have an experienced werewolf to lead training. We were a small, young pack.
I reached out to my allied Packs, asking for a recommendation for a Pack Warrior with experience training humans and wolves who could come out and train us for three months. Alpha Charles Jennings of the Vermillion Pack responded with the perfect candidate for the job, Jacob Weinberg.
Jacob was in his mid-thirties and was born as a human in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. He made Aliyah to Israel after high school, where he learned Hebrew and enlisted in the Israeli Army. He qualified for their Airborne units, and later worked in Special Forces. His career was cut short by a back injury when a gust of wind blew him into a cliff wall. He had not found a wife yet, so he decided to return home to Minnesota.
He was on a canoe trip in the Boundary Waters wilderness with a buddy from high school when a rogue wolf attacked them in their tent. Jacob managed to fight off and kill the wolf, but his friend’s injuries were too severe and they were too far from help. A tracker from the Vermillion Pack came upon him, bloodied and severely injured, and called for help from his Pack.
Jacob’s next memory was waking up in a remote cabin in the wilderness. Alpha Jennings helped him through the change, and he grew to love the Pack and the area and settled down there. He was one of their top Warriors and their best trainer now. His military experience made him deadly in human form, and he quickly adapted the tactics to wolf form. His body had healed with the first shift; he was not a muscle-bound guy, but he was very strong. He had that aura about him, the one that said “if you fuck with me you’ll lose.”
Alpha Jennings told me he was afraid to lose him because he was getting restless without a mate, and was considering going on a solo trip to find her. He asked if I would agree to take him along as security when I traveled, knowing how many contacts I had in other Packs. I readily agreed, but it wasn’t needed. As soon as he walked into my house, his wolf came forward as he smelled her. “MATE!,” he yelled, then he took off. Racing past Craig and I, he ran down the hallway to her room and burst through the door, intent on claiming and mating her immediately.
I giggled as I thought back to what actually happened. Melanie was paranoid after what she had gone through, that was one of the reasons she wanted to live with people she knew. She carried pepper spray on her pocket at all times, and kept a Taser in her purse along with a baby Glock. When the door burst open and a strange man was there, gazing at her like his next meal, she didn’t stop to recognize it was her mate.
She grabbed it from her bedside table and tazed his ass.
We ran up on the scene, him twitching in the hall, and her hiding behind her bed with the Glock 9mm pointed at the door. “Melanie, it’s Ella. You’re safe, he wasn’t a threat to you.” I motioned to Craig, he crawled forward and grabbed Jacob’s wrist, pulling him back down the hallway and out of sight. I slowly moved into sight, watching her as she lowered the pistol and broke down crying.
I moved to her side and took her in my arms as she broke down. When the adrenaline dump was over, she had questions. I didn’t want to say too much, just that our new instructor had arrived and recognized her as his mate. “He won’t hurt you, Melanie. He’s a good man, well respected in his Pack.”
She shook her head at me as we sat on her bed. “I can smell his lust in the air.”
“That’s not a bad thing with your mate,” I said. She giggled, the whole house had been smelling a lot of that as Craig and I were young and active. “Come on, let’s go out to the living room. I’ll stay with you as long as you want, and Craig will make sure he doesn’t do anything to make you uncomfortable.”
She clung to my arm as we walked into the room and sat down on the couch. Craig had taken Jacob outside. Once he was recovered from the shock, he sat him down and explained some of her background to him. When he came back in, his wolf was restrained. He looked at her like she was his life, and it didn’t take long for her to start feeling the bond either. By the next morning, she was marked and two weeks later they were mated. They were a very happy couple now, and he was helping her come out of her shell.
Olivia went to the fridge and tossed me a bottle of water as she grabbed some for the others. “Ella, I’d like to talk to you and Craig for a few minutes after practice if you have time.”
“I think we will have time before dinner, what is it about?”
“I’d rather not say now.” I nodded and we moved back downstairs. Jacob was demonstrating techniques for breaking holds while on the ground, and I was glad Olivia was now his punching dummy instead of me. I loved learning Krav Maga; the martial art form was not pretty or spiritual, and it didn’t do tournaments or belts. It was all about finding the best ways to fight your way out of real world situations. All but the on-duty security wolves were taking the training now, so the basement room with the padded floors and walls was full. Jacob had Olivia on the floor, stomach down, and had her in a headlock. She was trying everything she could to get out, with no success.
Jacob swapped places with her and demonstrated three techniques, then we split into pairs to practice. I was paired with Olivia since we were similar size, but I was at a big disadvantage in speed and strength. By the time Marge called me to say the twins were awake and hungry, I was a sweaty mess. I left the room ten minutes early, took a quick shower then sat in only shorts in the recliner in our bedroom as the boys were brought to me.
Both boys had grown a lot in the first eight weeks of their lives, and every ounce felt like it had been sucked through my breasts. I’d had some issues with cracked nipples earlier, but at least things were better now. The milk was flowing, and with how much they ate, if I waited too long between feedings my boobs got huge and painful. It was funny at first with Craig; he loved the “boobie fairie” coming, then got mad because they were so painful and sensitive I wouldn’t let him play with them. Luckily, all fields were now open for play.
Craig walked in, kissing me before taking a shower and changing into shorts and a Tottenham Hotspur jersey. He looked hot, and he smirked a little when he caught me looking at his shirt. He liked to needle me since he knew what I thought about soccer. Since he played it throughout high school and watched games every weekend, I couldn’t avoid it. The sad part was I was starting to like it.
There was a knock on the door as I was handing Darryl off to be burped, and Olivia walked in. She had also changed, this time into a Dickinson State T-shirt. “Am I disturbing you?”
“Not at all,” I said. “Here, take Mitchell and burp him while I get a shirt on.” I pulled on a shirt and snuggled in on the couch with my babies and my mate as she sat across from me in the chair. “So what did you want to talk about?”
She was nervous, she had her hands on her knees and was looking down. “You know that Mark and I are having some difficulties moving forward, right?”
“I know he hasn’t marked you, and he’s still living with his parents,” Craig said. “We were trying to stay out of it so you can work things out.”
“That’s part of the problem, actually.” She looked up at me. “He is still struggling with my involvement in what happened to you, Ella.”
“I forgave you, I even told him that he needed to let it go!” I shook my head, I thought we were past that.
“You did, but… you haven’t asked me to become part of your Pack. He sees that as evidence that you still hold a grudge.”
I should smack him behind the ears, I thought. “We didn’t know if you wanted to join us, Olivia. Sooner or later your father would get what is coming to him, and we thought you would return to St. Cloud then.”
“I don’t want to go back,” she said as tears leaked out. “Mark wants to continue going to school here, he doesn’t want to move away from his parents and the rest of his family. I don’t want to leave my brother, either. Please? Can I join?”
“Of course, sis. Come here.” He pulled her to us and went through the process of adding her to our Pack. I couldn’t feel it, but I could see it in their faces when it snapped into place. She smiled as the other members sent their congratulations over the newly established link. “We’ll have a celebration on Friday night, the weather looks great for a pool party if you’re up to it. It’s Labor Day weekend, so it’s the last hurrah of summer. We can also say it’s for the Green’s going away. I’m sure the boys would love to tear up ground with their ATV’s and dirt bikes one last time before they are loaded on the trailer.”
I had an addition made to the house, it was an atrium-like area to help brighten up the cold winters. It had a hot tub, koi pond, greenhouse area and a small swimming pool with a slide and basketball hoop, all enclosed by a greenhouse roof and sliding glass doors. It was wide open on the sides in the summer, letting the breeze through while keeping weather out. When it got too cold, we’d close all the door panels and it would become our little tropical paradise in the frozen landscape. We’d finished it in under a month by using prefabricated panels and shotcrete. It had an outdoor kitchen Craig was itching to try on a big party. “Why not? It sounds like fun, and with school starting next week it’s the perfect time.” I had decided not to start school for a year, I had more than enough on my plate right now, and Craig was just taking online classes.
“That would be great,” she said. “Do you think we could invite Mark’s parents?”
“Absolutely, they are family.” I thought about it for a bit. “Have you talked to Mark about whether he is going to take the change?”
“That is part of why he hasn’t let me mark him, even though we are… you know. Intimate. It’s driving my wolf crazy.”
I giggled. “I bet your wolf is not happy about the idea of your unmarked mate going to live in another town with a bunch of college sluts and parties, either.”
Her eyes flashed as her wolf came forward before being pushed back. “Yeah, that was another reason I needed this Pack. I will need permission from the local Alpha to go to Dickinson with him, and Alphas don’t like lone wolves.”
Craig hugged his sister. “We will call the Alpha tonight and get the permissions we need. You know,” he said with a glint, “We should invite some of our allies to this party. Make it an all-day thing to build bonds. I’m still not traveling since we’re keeping my identity secret, so it makes sense to bring them here. It gives them a chance to see our Alpha heirs as well. We have plenty of room to put them up overnight, and we will need their help to keep the pressure on the St. Cloud, Brainerd and Grand Forks packs.”
“Good idea, honey.” I put the babies in the crib as they had fallen asleep. “We should ask them to bring some of their unmated wolves as well. Maybe we can find mates for Matthew and John.”
“Yeah, that would settle them down,” Olivia laughed. “Maybe we can find a distinguished gentleman or two for Marge and Mabel.”
“Oh, I could just see that!” We all laughed. “It’s a plan. I’m going to run everything past Moe, then we can start calling the Alphas tonight.”
It was going to be an epic party, I was sure.