“The way he moves; the way he thinks.”
Hadria watched Aran run through the woods in his werewolf form. He leaped over a fallen tree limb and landed back on the ground in fluid motion. Luna and Karayan leaped behind him. Their paws rustling through the leaves on the ground.
Hadria walked around in a little circle before she planted her butt on the ground. She covered her face with her tail and closed her eyes. She was not up for the run today. After the death of Bacia, Aran was a little off-kilter. He was his usual gruff self but a night, she could hear him howling mournfully at the moon or crying softly in his bed.
Pagen at first would go and check on him but after a while, he left him to his musings. Hadria wanted to go to him. To wrap her arms around him and tell him she would always be there for him but it was different. Aran was a bonded male. He wouldn’t let her nor Luna get close to him.
His heart still bled for Bacia. Hadria was hopeful though. She hoped for a way to break the cycle of the mating conundrum. She wanted Aran to love again. She wanted him to love her.
Hadria opened her eyes at the sound of Pagen’s voice. She lifted her head. He stood over her, menacing and powerful. She whimpered and got to her feet. The others waited for her and Karayan whimpered in response. If she could laugh in her werewolf form, she would. Karayan always knew when she felt down.
He walked up to her and nudged her gently with his nose. Hadria nudged him back to let him know she was feeling just fine. Pagen stalked away from them with a low growl. Hadria knew what that meant. He tolerated no lazing around. She padded slowly behind them and sighed. She wished something exciting would happen to her like love.
“That was a great run,” Luna said.
Hadria shrugged and threw her towel on the back of the chair. Luna went to the fridge and pulled out a bottled water. She offered one to her but she declined.
“You okay girl?”
Hadria shrugged again and tousled her curls a little. “Swell. I’m just a little tired.”
Luna smiled. She placed the water on the table and went back to the fridge to get something to eat.
“You want anything to eat?” she asked, pulling out the meatloaf that Lace made yesterday.
Hadria shook her head. Lace walked into the kitchen in a pair of shorts and one of Pagen’s t-shirts. Her hair was done up in a messy bun.
“Hello Ladies,” she said. “Did you enjoy your run?”
“It was great,” Luna answered.
She placed the dish of meatloaf in the microwave and set the timer. Lace went to the table. She took a seat as Luna did the same. Hadria watched them talk. Lucky for Lace. She happened to be in the right place at the right time. Pagen often told the story of how they met. Hadria was more than a little jealous.
Pagen got over Holly and found his mate and pretty soon, Karayan and Luna would find theirs. She would probably be the only one in the pack who wouldn't have anyone. She gasped when Aran came into the kitchen shirtless.
His shirt hung on his shoulder, his black hair was wet and messy. His body was to die for. Hadria stared at him as he went to the fridge and grabbed a beer. He said something to Lace and Luna but she didn’t quite catch it.
“...on the run Hadria?”
Hadria snapped out of her trance when all of them turned to look at her. She blushed and lowered her eyes.
“I don’t know; can you repeat that?”
Aran rolled his eyes and put his shirt on. “You never listen do you?” he growled.
“Aran, I’m sorry,” Hadria said, trying to smooth things over with him.
She hated when he got mad at her. Aran left the kitchen in a haste and headed back upstairs. Hadria wanted to follow him but he stewed over things awhile. She turned her attention back to Lace and Luna.
“What did he say?” she asked.
Lace went to the microwave and grabbed the meatloaf out. “He asked you if you were alright on the run,” she replied.
Hadria wanted to curl up into a ball and disappear. She was too busy admiring him that she lost herself. One thing he and Pagen had in common was they hated to be ignored. Pagen walked into the kitchen.
“Hey hon,” he said to Lace.
He went to her and placed a kiss on the side of her head. He joined them at the table as Lace passed around the meatloaf. Luna was in the microwave now, warming the vegetables that went along with their meal.
Hadria left the kitchen. She couldn’t stomach the meal right now. She went upstairs just as Karayan was coming down. He paused when he saw her.
“You’re not going to eat?”
Hadria forced a smile. “Maybe later.”
She hurried past him before he could ask her anything more. She went to her room at the end of the hall. She paused outside of the door and glanced at Aran’s room. He opened the door and she ran into her room. She went to the bed and sat down.
“What is wrong with you,” she asked herself. “Why are you being so difficult? No one appreciates you and you’re ugly. It's an honor you were accepted by them so why are you expecting more?”
Hadria laid back on the bed and stared up at the ceiling. Still, it would be nice to receive kisses like Lace received from Pagen or form a bond with a male so strong, not even death could break it like Aran and Bacia. Hadria rolled onto her side and closed her eyes.
“Will it ever happen for me,” she asked as she drifted off to sleep.
Victor Halton limped down the hall of his impressive mansion. Years of hard work had brought him to this point. Well, that and the fact that he was born privileged.
Battle-hardened from childhood until now made him appreciate the things he had. So many battles staring death in the face and so many comrades lost from betrayal or battle also shaped him into the man he was now.
He wasn’t an attractive man. His right eye was put out by one of his closest friends and he was riddled with scars from head to toe. His left leg was a bust.
However, he could still fight and no one crossed him and lived to tell about it. As the alpha male of the Bane werewolves, he demanded respect and if it was not given to him, he forced it out of you.
“What’s the news,” he asked, making his way to his favorite chair. His brothers Pierce and Bryce each made their way into the room. Pierce leaned against the wall.
“It’s been quiet as of late,” he muttered.
Bryce grinned. “Nothing to report Delta.”
Victor scowled at him. Bryce found it amusing to call him by his middle name for some odd reason. He ignored him and propped his feet on the old wooden table.
“Seems like our unruly friends got the message,” he said, stifling a yawn.
Victor sighed. He didn’t know what to make of the werewolves down in Noel Park. They kept trouble going no matter how many times they warned them.
“They’ll just start up again after a few days,” Pierce said.
“Then I’ll just have to get rid of them."
Victor was tired of the nonsense with them. He glanced at Bryce. He wasn't grinning anymore. Victor thought that would get him to wipe that stupid smirk off his face.
“But brother,” Bryce started.
Victor glanced at him. “They are unruly and loud. They do not care if they expose us nor do they listen to reason. What is the point of it all?”
“Father wouldn’t approve.”
“Father is dead and I’m in charge now.”
Bryce closed his mouth. It was true. Father passed down control of the clan to him. Victor ruled them with an iron fist. There were nothing and no one who could break his resolve. Victor rubbed his leg with a curse. Sonofabitch started aching all of a sudden. He dismissed his brothers so they wouldn’t see him in pain.
He groaned and ripped his pants leg to give the damn thing some air. It was twisted a little and marred with a nasty scar. Sometimes the pain made him stay in bed most of the day. If rival werewolves knew the extent of his injuries, they would come at him like a shark that smells blood in the water. He made a promise to his father he’d protect the Bane werewolf colony with all he had.
“I’m not dead yet,” he muttered. “This can’t hold me down.”
He waited for the pain to subside a little. When it did, he’d give it a good long soak in the bathtub. He touched the scar that covered his right eye. Even with this, he still had one good eye and that was enough. He was a warrior. He was scarred but he wasn’t out.