*7 Years Ago*
I felt a light tapping on my chest, drawing me out of my peaceful sleep. Sparks were erupting through my body from the soft pressure as my mate continued to poke me.
Keeping my eyes close, a small smile formed on my face, “You shouldn’t poke a sleeping bear, sweetheart.”
“Oh really?” she laughed quietly. I could feel her smiling at me even with my eyes close, “What about poking a sleeping Alpha?”
My eyelids peeled apart, my eyes immediately connecting with hers. She was glowing in every way. My beautiful mate.
“Ah!” she laughs, “So he finally wakes up. It’s about time, Axton. You have a meeting with your father, remember?” she reminds me.
“No, I don’t think I do,” I tease her.
“Oh really? It wasn’t you who kept telling me yesterday to remind you to wake up in time?”
“No, I don’t think so,” I say as I roll over and hover above her.
She smiles up at me mischievously, “Then it must have been my other mate then?”
I growled at her lightly, “Mine.”
I claimed her lips at once, drawing her closer to me still. Every kiss we shared was like the first one all over again. An explosion of fireworks went off as we both fought for dominance; I won of course. Her hands pulled at my hair, drawing me closer to her lips as my hands explored every curve and surface of her body.
She pulled away in need of more air, but I quickly moved down to her neck and to her mark, causing her to moan as I sucked at it.
“Axton, as much as I would love to stay in bed with you all day, you still have a meeting to get to,” she says as she pushes on my shoulders. Lust and love clearly in her eyes as they probably are in mine.
“I think we should go with that first thought instead and just stay in bed,” I teased, kissing her again.
“Axton,” she breathes out.
“Ellie,” I say as I move to hover over her again. She stares up at me as I get lost in her eyes once more.
As if she can’t stand even the little amount of separation there as I can’t, she closes the gap again with another heated kiss, “I love you Axton.”
“I love you too Ellie,” I tell her as I go in for another kiss. I just can’t seem to stay away from her for even a moment since we fully mated.
“Good, cause if you truly love me, you will listen to me when I say that you need to leave for your meeting,” she says as she pushes us both up into a sitting position.
I tighten my eyes at her, “You tricked me,” I accuse.
Ellie smiles again, “Of course I did, sweetheart. If I didn’t, we would never leave this room and you need to make it to that meeting on time today.”
“Fine,” I gave up, knowing she was right. Giving one last peck, I made my out of bed and hopped into the shower before getting ready for the day. When I finally came out, Ellie was sitting on the bed in just one of my t-shirts that has official become hers, “You know we could-” I start pulling her up into my arms before she cuts me off.
“No Axton. You have to go and I have things to do this today as well,” she said before giving me one last peck on the cheek and directing me toward the door, “Now go. I’ll meet you at the bonfire tonight.”
“Okay. I’ll go endure another boring alpha meeting.”
“Have fun!” she called out as I left: I could still hear her soft jingle through the door as a smile couldn’t escape my face.
Go back to bed with mate! Knox screams at me.
“Axton! There you are,” my father says as he comes down the hallway, “I would have bet money that you forgot about the meeting this morning with the Hollows Pack. Let’s go.”
He placed his hand on my shoulder as I made we made our way into the alpha’s office, a room that would be soon going to me. One I will be in for the next five or six hours, instead of spending time with me mate.
You should have stayed in bed, Knox teased me.
Where were you when Ellie made us go? I asked as I put on my alpha face and went into the meeting.
“Why do alpha meetings always take so long?” Walker, my soon-to-be beta, groaned.
“Because all alphas want to be heard and need the right amount of time to do it,” I told him after the meeting went three hours longer than it should have. I mean he did have a point. They are way too long only so a treaty that was already in place can just be reagreed to uphold.
“I know, but it’s like each meeting we go to gets longer and longer.”
“They are designed to bore you personally Walker,” Sawyer told him as she walked up to her mate. I started laughing as he pouted at her before turning his attention to me.
“Hey, where’s Ellie? I thought she was helping to set up for the bonfire,” Walker asks.
“I don’t know. She told me she would meet me there. Said there was some things she had to take care of today,” I told them.
“I just saw her,” Sawyer spoke up, “She was heading upstairs, looked like she was going to be sick.”
The second she said that, I raised to our room and threw open the door. But I didn’t find my mate sick, it looked like I had interrupted her pacing.
“Axton,” she said, drawing my eyes into hers, “What’s wrong?”
She knew I was worried as she moved closer to me as I closed the door and took her into my arms, pulling her close as I took in her intoxicating scent, “Sawyer said she saw you earlier and that you looked like you were going to be sick.”
Ellie pulled back slightly, “I’m fine Axton. It was just the fish in the fridge. You know how I feel about sea food.”
I nodded my head, knowing I was being overprotective again, but I just couldn’t help it when it came to Ellie, “Are you sure you’re alright?”
“I’m fine. I promise, Axton,” she told me before connected her lips with mine.
It was supposed to be a slow kiss, one of reassurance, but it picked up quickly.
I lifted her into my arms as her legs wrapped around my waist, drawing our bodies closer. Her back connected to the wall as I deepened the kiss even more. Electricity shot through me from every touch we shared.
Knowing we both needed air, I pulled back but only to move from her lips to my mark on her neck.
I nipped and sucked on the sensitive spot as her nails dug into my shoulder and she let out a soft moan, which just turned both of us on even more.
She lifted my shirt off my head as our lips connected once more into another heated kiss.
Pulling her closer, I moved away from the wall and towards the bed when a knock interrupted us mid-kiss.
“Axton! Let’s go!” pounded through the door.
I growled at the intrusion, telling him to go away as Ellie laughed before climbing down out of my arms. But she didn’t make it a foot away before a wrapped my hands around her waist and pulled her back towards me, kissing my way down her neck and to her mark.
“Axton! Stop trying to make babies in there! Luna wants your help with set-up!” Reid, my gamma, screamed through the door.
Ellie pulled back, while laughing, “He’ll be out in a minute!” she shouted back before looking at me, “Alright maybe five!”
I raised my eyebrow at her, “Sweetheart, we’ll going to need a lot more than five minutes.”
She laughed as she pushed her way out of my arms and threw a shirt at my head, “Well I guess we will have to just pick this up later,” she said walking up to me as I put on the white t-shirt.
“Oh, I promise you, we will,” I leaned in for another kiss, but before our lips could even connect, Reid started pounding on the door again.
“Let’s go, Axton!”
“I’m going to kill him,” I grumble as Ellie laughs again, “Do you want me to wait for you before heading over to the bonfire?”
“No, I have some things to take care of before it starts,” she says, although I can tell she is trying to hide something from me, “I’ll meet you at the bonfire.”
Before I even have an opportunity to ask her about what she is doing, I am on the other side of a closed door, “Well that was quick,” Walker commented to Reid as they both gave me a smug look.
“Yeah who knew he was a minute man,” Reid said back.
I growled at the two of them.
Reid raised his hands, “What? Was it something I said?” he smirked as both of them started laughing.
“I’m going to kill both of you,” I tell them before they dragged me away from my room to go help my mother set up for tonight.
I wonder what Ellie is hiding, I tell my wolf.
I don’t know. Raelynn won’t tell me either. She says it will be a surprise, Knox answers back.
Huh, I wonder what surprise my mate has for me.
The bonfire set up only took about two hours, but by the time we finished, half the pack had already shown up and we weren’t a small pack. Hundreds of people were here, all with their mates and kids.
I wondered about that for a second as I watched a woman from the pack play were her son. She smiled at the boy as he ran around the adults and went off with the other kids. I thought about what it would be like when Ellie and I had kids. We hadn’t talked about any of it yet, but I knew that I would want exactly that. A happy family.
I was pulled out of my thoughts as my sister ran up to me with my parents, “Hey, where’s Ellie?”
“She’s on her way,” I tell Alex.
“Okay, tell her to come talk to me when she gets here. I have news!” she jumps up and down before running off.
“Did you give her sugar or something?” I ask my mother.
“No, she was born that way,” she laughs as my uncle approaches my dad and whispers something in his ear, “Is everything alright?” she asks, noticing my father’s now seldom domineer.
“It’s fine, just a few rogues that got near the border. It’s been taken care of,” he reassures her before giving her a light kiss on the forehead.
“Are you sure, dad?” I ask him, not liking the idea of rogues either.
“Yes, the border patrol and your uncle took care of it,” he tells me before smiling and changing the subject.
“Excuse me, Alpha, Luna, but do you mind if I borrow your son?” Walker asks as he approaches us.
“Of course Walker, but you don’t have to borrow him. He’s yours to keep,” my mother laughs as Walker pulls me away to our friends. I thought Ellie would be already with them, but it seems she still isn’t here yet.
“So, I was just telling Sawyer about when you broke your arm losing to me in an arm wrestling match,” Walker says as he takes a sip of his drink and Sawyer laughs saying that she betted that he was lying.
“That is not how I remember it,” I tell him.
“Well it’s what happened,” he says, “So, Axton-”
Walker kept talking, but I heard nothing. No words, no laughter, no sound at all. It was as if the entire world went silent.
Then I felt it.
Pain shot through my body in an immense burst, shooting out from my heart. Clutching my chest, I doubled over as I screamed out, the pain being too much to hold in.
Everyone rushed forward. Walker kept screaming at me to say what was wrong as Sawyer screamed for the pack doctor.
But I heard none of it. I couldn’t focus on anything but the pain. My wolf was whimpering at me in my head as I tried to figure out what was happening.
It felt like death itself.
“Why is he in pain? What’s happening?” Sawyer wept as she clutched my hand, but the only one who I wanted to be there was Ellie.
The pain died a bit after a moment, but all I felt was hollow, like my heart had been ripped from my chest.
My wolf cried out to me, She’s gone.
“Ellie,” those two words from my wolf were everything. It wasn’t me who was hurt, it was my mate.
Pushing off from the ground, I ran into the woods and toward the house. The pain was Ellie’s; she was hurt. I pushed harder as I tried to numb the stinging and focused on only getting to her.
I thought about everything as I ran towards that house. All the smiles and the kisses. All the moments we have had and all the ones we still will. I thought about the family I wanted for us, the one I was going to tell her about when I got to the house.
I kept telling myself that she was fine. That I was going to walk into the house and she would be just standing there. She would smile when I walked in and I would tell her that I loved her. I would tell her about being a family.
But when I got to the house, my heart broke even more.
The door was broken down, shattered pieces were all over the floor. Running faster, I started searching every room, trying to find her scent, “Ellie! Ellie, where are you!”
Every room was torn apart, the furniture ripped to shreds as claw marks covered the walls. But there was no sign of Ellie. It was like she had vanished.
“Ellie!” I called out again, but to hear only silence once more.
She was gone. Someone had taken her.
Running out of the house, I shifted midair and started racing towards the pack line. If someone had her, then they would be leaving the pack land and I wasn’t going to let that happen.
I raced through the woods, scanning every area, trying to find her scent or any foreign scent. But there was nothing to catch.
My mate was gone and I had no idea how and where she went.
My wolf whimpered as he shrunk into the depths of my mind as I released a long and broken howl.