Five males stood in a huddle; clinking glasses filled with whiskey while observing the females which walked around. For reasons unknown, this gathering seemed more primal. Many wolves came out and the intensity of the night escalated, much with the rising moon as fights commenced and mating not too far from watching eyes could be seen. The city wolves felt charged, while not used to such a feeling they couldn’t help but watch in wonder. The wild wolves much at home as they drank, ate and let their instincts take over.
Nathan’s hooded eyes took in the unmated females but despite everything, he wasn’t able to distract himself from his mate. His comrades nudged him back to attention, their own wolves feeling the heightened senses of the night.
Diego finished his glass to pour himself another one, “This trumps most the parties I’ve attended, who knew a hippy set-up with a BBQ could make it feel so alive?”
“What kind of parties have you been to Diego? The savages here can’t hold on two seconds without fighting,” as if proving his point he nodded to a brawling pair of females to their right, “a party that’s a mockery, that’s what.” Santiago added, his wolf had become quite domesticated over the years and was not present like the others. Instead, the wolf from Murcia in southern Spain criticized the festivities. Snubbing his nose up at the raw emotions the wild wolves let loose; even though it was by their very nature.
“Least the alcohol is pretty good, muy suave.” The brooding Hugo swished the amber liquid before taking a sip.
Nathan nodded, “I’m taking a few bottles of this back with me.”
“Pft, that’s the only thing.” Santiago snorted, disgust coating the deep chocolate of his eyes as his eyes latched onto a gay couple fornicating in plain view. “There’s such a lack of common decency, who on this Earth fucks out in the open?!”
Diego winked, “You’re complaining? What’s not to like about front row seats. Don’t like it don’t watch.” Hugo shook his head at Diego’s dirty thoughts, “Let’s just hope for an orgy.”
“I’m not watching, and I’m not into that,” he waved a hand to his crotch, “this guy likes woman only.”
“Maybe the wild ones could show us a few new moves.” The fourth male, Apollo nudged Diego, “imagine how freaky they must be if they’re like this outside the bedroom.” He drooled as his lewd mind took over.
“Wouldn’t you like that Santi? Brings me back to the years when we were teenagers.”
Wincing at the nickname Diego had given him since high school, Santiago removed his gaze from the couple and instead found something that caught his interest.
Nathan lost in this thoughts at the casual banter nearly spat the whiskey out his mouth at the words that flew out of Santiago, “Is that Alpha Brett with the bitch?”
None too casually, all eyes swung to the two Alpha’s in question who sat on a bench at the other end of the party. Speaking in Gaelic, their conversation couldn’t be deciphered or picked up from such a distance but from the male’s body language, it was clear that there was more than what was at the surface; Nathan’s wolf took over the pupil of his eyes as he carefully watched the interaction.
“So what.” He ground out, attempting to hide the contempt that his wolf was flinging at the male Alpha. He turned around as the other four noted their friends expression.
“My friend overheard Alpha Brett saying that he’s wanting Titania all to himself. Remember what the Elders said? She has three and a half months to claim a mate.” Diego did not miss the clench of Nathan’s fists, and he couldn’t help himself but prod.
“Honestly, out of all the wolves, he’s probably the best of a match you could get. He’s wild, an Alpha and let’s not mention he’s like her but a male version. Perfect.”
Santiago, with a mouth so wide he could eat a banana sideways supplemented, “He’s an annoying bastard and she’s an ice cold bitch. Compatability at its finest.”
Nathan took a quick swig of his drink. Hoping that the slow burn of the alcohol down his throat would take away from the reality of their words. His eyes flickered back to the pair and they were still deep in conversation. What were they discussing that took so much time? Was Diego right? His thoughts took a red tinge and he couldn’t relent as his canines extended.
“Nathan?” Santiago took the whiskey from his hand, “that’s enough for you brother, the fucks wrong?”
Diego tipped a smile at the anger radiating off of Nathan, “Our boy has a serious case of jealousy, don’t you Nathan?”
The other males shared confused glances while Nathan sent Diego the stink eye. Without another word, he stormed off. His head a mess of the contradicting emotions that the moon forced upon him. With a lingering thought for his cousin and rogue companions, he grabbed a female and started to dance, desperately seeking for a distraction from the grief and pain coiled inside.
Titania forced her gaze back to her mate, who was currently touching and flirting with his fifth female of the night. A dull pang took over the usual emotion of anger and she let out a deep sigh. It was as if their moment two hours previous had meant nothing. She let her eyes wander at the field filled with over two-hundred wolves, laughing, singing, dancing and drinking the night away.
Numb and almost empty, she made her way back to the campfire. The chill of the wind causing the flame to dance on its own merry beat. A pair of wolves were midway through mating and she recognized the male as no other than Alpha Lumiere and his Luna. He was howling at the moon, following his instinct that he had long since buried. A deep ache was all she felt, but as mating in public under a full moon was normal to her, she strode past, taking a seat opposite a few wolves.
It took under a minute before the wolves had scampered from their previous positions elsewhere, leaving Alpha Titania alone. Her eyes took solstice in the flickering colours of the flames, the view somewhat soothing to her. The moonlight from up high bounced off the paleness of her fair skin as she simply let the flames lull her into a state of stupor. Not feeling, not hurting just being.
A female emerged from the woods. Her blonde hair bright against the darkness that had overcome the once light sky. It was clear from the lost look in her eye, the stillness of the wolf within and the way anger had consumed her that this was a rejected wolf. Lucy, a member of the Duskfall pack could barely move as her heart shattered within her chest. Too wounded to physically drag herself back to the party she had once rejoiced in at the start of the night, she spotted her Alpha and took a seat on the wooden log opposite.
The two did not say a word. A simple look of understanding, not pity was exchanged as they both gazed at the flames once again.
Laura won’t be happy, Lucy balked at the thought of her sister, who would be none too pleased with the revelation that her mate, the one destined for her had rejected her without a second glance. A look of scorn surfaced as uncapped feelings slithered through her; biting back against the agony that wanted to swallow her whole.
“Did you accept it?” Her Alpha kept her eyes focused solely on the fire but the depth of her voice, in a way an Alpha did, soothed Lucy. It was a tone of compassion from someone who knew what she was experiencing well.
Tears slipped one by one over her face, “I c-c-couldn’t.”
Alpha Titania’s eyes finally took to the young wolf, who was only the tender age of nineteen as her barriers broke and the rejection took root within her heart. Lucy’s sobs were drowned out by the band that continued to play and Titania eyes for a split second, softened before they clouded once more.
Lucy clasped her eyes, begging for them to stop. She hated that she seemed so weak in front of her superior, “I c-couldn’t do it. I tr-ried but it’s difficult! She’s my mate and I just....” Another round of cries forced the female to cower over, her hands dug into her hair for dear life.
“She?” Titania asked, her Alpha instincts felt the pain within this wolf and she knew, all too well what it was like to be on the receiving end of such torment.
Lucy kept her head bent down, “She said she wasn’t a lesbian,” she sniffed, “and she already has a bondmate. Not as if she would have accepted me anyway, too wild for her.” Anger peppered Lucy’s voice.
Alpha Titania stiffened and not wanting to hurt the wolf further, she refrained from asking anything more. Minutes passed in silence and Lucy, between hiccups slowly straightened. Her eyes latching onto the flames that separated the two heart-broken wolves. Different ranks but the same feeling of emptiness that would shadow them the remainder of their lives should they not reject their mates in return.
“Does it continue to hurt like this?”
Titania met Lucy’s eyes and with a hand through her raven tresses, only confirmed Lucy’s worst fears, “It gets worse.”
Lucy’s mood dampened, “You’ve got to be kidding me, worse? Worse than this? Not possible.”
A tremor went through her body and she cried out as her wolf struggled for control. Her body slouched and her eyes flickered dangerously between her and her wolf; neither knowing how to cope with the possibility of the agony growing.
“I can help.”
Lucy was taken back at her Alpha’s request but struggled to respond as another wave caused her to vomit. Wiping her mouth with the back of her hand, she lay in a heap on the cold grass, letting the contact with Mother Nature call to her wolf. “And how exactly will you do that? Force my mate to accept me?” Fur sprouted in pinpricks on her skin, “Nothing will change her mind, I can assure you Alpha.”
Losing the battle, her wolf warped her words and Titania gave a warning growl at the youngster. Not accepting the disrespect she was showing. Lucy, realizing her mistake, tilted her head and reined her wolf back.
Titania watched on with a sharp eye, “Not my idea. You have to find a distraction, training, running something that numbs your mind to the point that you can’t think about the what-ifs. From my experience, it’s the only way unless you reject her.”
Lucy took this in and not having anyone else to confide in other than the woman in front, she conceded. She extended a hand towards her Alpha, “Looks like we’re partners for the time being.” She tried to joke but it came out flat.
Titania took her hand despite not enjoying physical contact with others. She knew that it would not hurt to heal, especially with someone going through the same problems that she had.
Titania’s wolf stirred, “For now, let’s hope it’s not for long.”
They both mulled over the words spoken. The fire allowing both to become lost in themselves as they wondered. Why weren’t they good enough? Why was fate so cruel? Pointless but haunting thoughts that festered from the severed bond.
Lucy got up to walk inside before her Alpha left her with parting words, “Run tomorrow at five. You won’t want to get out of bed but trust me, it helps regardless of what you think.”
She nodded and slunk off to her cabin to cry alone, the brokenness beginning to shape her soul.
Alpha Brett couldn’t get his conversation with Titania out his head. It circled, like a shark, until he was consumed, much like his wolf. He recalled his proposition vividly and the look of revolt on her face had given him mixed signals; particularly when she had not abhorred to the request.
She had instead contemplated it and her exact words were, “I will not make any decisions until my time is up.” Leaving him both confused but not deterred.
He let her ponder over it and after he spotted her leaving for their shared cabin, he followed not far behind. It was currently three forty-five and the party for many had begun to dim, but others were still savoring a night of freedom; away from the threat that claimed so many innocent lives.
Falling in sync beside Titania he heard a grunt from her, “I thought I gave you my answer Brett, stop hounding me.”
“I didn’t say anything, I just don’t want to be locked out for the night. Not as if I’d mind, but the chill from the mountains is something I’d rather miss.”
Duskfall pack positioning focused on protection but the exposed lands did get punished by the elements and as snow continued to rest high on the mountain peaks, the wind would continue to get colder night by night, day by day.
“It would do you a world of good. Maybe even cool that hot head of yours, couldn’t keep your hands to yourself tonight I see,” she eyed the healing wounds on his upper torso and at his wide grin, she rolled her eyes.
Alpha Brett smirked, remembering fine well the wolf that dared start a fight with him. A wolf that to him had potential but was too clumsy in his technique; this had made it easy for Brett to show him who he was and why he wasn’t easy prey.
“Just a wolf that thought he could beat me, nothing I couldn’t handle.”
She snorted darkly, “That’s not what the marks on your body say.”
His eyes swirled at the implication. She shrugged her shoulders at his typical response but held firm, her own eyes blacking to a deep obsidian, her wolf demanding blood. Since the rejection, she could feel the darkness within and from the backing down of Alpha Brett she knew, that he too could see a new type of madness within her.
She shut down, her eyes empty as she rolled her shoulders. The previous joy of the night lost after witnessing the unfaithfulness of her mate. “What I’m saying is that he must have put up a fight to manage to break skin.”
They arrived at Titania’s cabin and they both entered. Warily, Brett could notice the differences within Titania. From the vibes her wolf was throwing to the sickly tinge to her skin, seen even through her make-up. He knew that something had changed, especially from the year he had known her.
He eased his dress shoes off on the living room rug as he continued his assessment, Titania locking the door behind them.
“The bastard had a few dirty tricks and was one angry fucker. Not sure if he was pissed at me or wanted to vent some frustration but either way he still tasted the dirt.”
She made her way to the kitchen where she poured herself a large glass of water. He followed and started unbuttoning the tight shirt that clung to his posture. It was a miracle how it hadn’t burst from the vast amount of muscle the male owned.
Titania clicked her nails against the counter in thought, “Interesting. Not one of ours?”
Not realizing Brett was stripping she caught his physique. A warm heat filled her and she chugged at the water, quickly refilling the glass with scotch instead.
“I’d never met the guy. It’s not as if I’ll see him again, not after the bruiser I left on his face.” His chest puffed at his ability to protect and innately, Titania could feel the primal urge draw her to him. She shook her head, convincing herself that she was not interested in such things. For now, men would remain a way to release pleasure and nothing more.
“Charming.” She raised the glass to her painted lips and relished the burn of the scotch.
Brett took the remainder of his shirt off, clothed only in his kilt which hitched low on the hips which had years of fights to map. From the claws of his first bear to the challenge from his Father for Alpha, all were present. He warily eyed the drink in her hand.
“I’m glad someone thinks so.” His cold exterior broke away at his ease with Titania.
After years of alliance and somewhat friendship between the two he knew that what they had was special. Since Titania did not bother with jovial things such as friendship, and with their similar backgrounds, packs, and personalities he anticipated the day she would accept his request to be his bond mate.
Titania finished her drink, discarded her heels and made her way to the spiral staircase in the center of her cabin. One of the only cabins to be more than two floors. All she wanted to do was to wallow in her misery for a few hours, alone. She flicked her eyes back to the half-naked Alpha Brett while he made his way to the couch. His gaze met hers and for a brief second, he saw the instinctual invitation of her wolf.
Brett knew Titania more than he would like to admit and despite the need that had his crotch swelling, he made himself comfortable on the soft animal hides and released a deep sigh.
Titania could feel the desperation of her soul, calling out to anyone that could provide her with comfort: something she had not felt since the rejection process had started. She would not drop her self-worth. Rebuilding her walls, she mumbled her goodnight before disappearing into her room.
Letting the loneliness of the broken bond claim her body she fought herself as she spent the night shifting between her wolf and Human forms indiscriminately, sometimes stuck in between the two. Alpha Brett’s own soul cracked as he listened to the female above his head. Growls filled with an unforgetting anguish plagued Brett until the sun arose from her place below the mountain peaks.