7 Years Ago
I slowly crept down the stairs in the attempt to pass by without being noticed. They were making today a bigger deal than it needed to be. It had only been a year. No more, no less. One year older, but if you asked my mother, it was the day I became a man.
Moving through the pack house, I stayed on my toes so I wouldn’t be detected by the women who gave birth to me in the kitchen.
I had it all planned out. Sneak downstairs to avoid the big day surprise breakfast she did every year. Go to my best friend Walker’s house to hang out for a while. Then go to the party the pack was throwing late tonight.
It was easy, almost too simple. What could possibly go wrong?
That’s when I heard it. The slight tip of my bag pushing the antique china vase my mom had placed out on the entry table. Closing my eyes tight, I listened to the sound of the old glass shatter into a million pieces against the hard wood floors.
“Axton!” my mother’s Luna tone screamed to me through the walls.
Well there goes the plan, I thought to myself.
Did you really think one of your plans actually had a chance at surviving without you screwing it up in some way? Knox mocked me.
Not my fault you can’t handle the truth, he said. I could even see his wolfish smirk as he laughed at me.
“Axton Knight!” my mother yelled at me as she came veering out of the kitchen door. Her short stature put her less than a foot smaller than me as her brown wavy hair shook around her face. Her face held a stern look as her anger shown through the blue eyes I had inherited, “Where do you think you’re going?”
“Um,” I scratched the back of my neck, trying to think of a way not to piss her off any more than she was, “I was just going to talk to Walker real quick. I promised him I would come by this morning.”
“Oh, don’t try to pull that crap on me,” she scolded, “After what you just did to my vase! You are going to get in that kitchen and celebrate your birthday,” she pushed me towards the door.
“You would think after over twenty hours of excruciating labor, I would get just a little bit of respect today,” she muttered under her breath as we entered the decorated kitchen.
My sister, Alex, sat at the counter laughing at my failed attempted to get out of this family tradition.
She was only two years younger than me, but she looked to be almost the same age. Her brown hair twirled around her face as she smiled through the same blue eyes we both inherited from our mother.
“I see you failed at sneaking out,” she continued to laugh.
I stuck my tongue out at her childishly as she did the same before I took my seat next to her.
“Where’s dad?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
“He is in a pack meeting. He will be back in time before your party though,” my mother smiled brightly at me as she moved a stack full of pancakes in front of me, “Happy birthday, Axton.”
“Thanks mom,” I tell her as I start to dig in, trying to avoid the subject I knew she would bring up.
“So about tonight?” she started.
“No. Don’t even go there,” I say, although my words are muffled by the pancakes in my mouth.
“I was just wondering if you were ready to meet her,” she said offhandedly.
I swallowed my food before answering her unspoken question, “I don’t know if my mate will be there.”
“Well I think she will,” she said.
“Of course you do.”
“I am your mother. I can sense these kinds of things,” she mocked me.
“Mmhhmm,” I nod my head as I try to leave.
“I have a feeling about tonight!” she yelled to me as I walked out the door.
“Are you ready for tonight?” Walker asked me as he adjusted his tie in the mirror.
“Never been more.”
“So, you’re not nervous at all?” he asked as he wiggled his eyebrows in the mirror. I just shook my head as I cracked a smile. He gave a look to say that he didn’t believe me for a second before continuing, “Packs are coming in from all over. This house is going to be filled with hot, unmated she wolves, in which one of them just might be your mate, and you’re not nervous at all?”
“Not even a little bit,” I said.
“Wow,” he marveled, “If it was me, I would be freaking out already. Heck, if you remember I had been. Just the thought of meeting my mate had my wolf clawing at my insides, wanting to meet her but terrified about what she will think. I lucked out with Sawyer.”
“Well you aren’t me,” I laughed at him, standing to go to the closest to pick out a decent shirt to wear for tonight.
“That I am not, thank god!” he laughed, “Hurry up and get ready,” he said before leaving and closing the door behind him.
I started to mess with my tie. Every time I tried to wrap it around my neck, it just seemed to get tangled. I started to get frustrated and ripped the tie in half.
Calm down human.
I can’t Knox, I tell my wolf, I can’t stop thinking about tonight. Do you think she will be there?
I hope she is. I just want our mate! he called out.
You and me both, buddy, I thought, You and me both.
Music blasted through the house as I made my way down the stairs. Streams of people were filing into the house as many went straight to the dance floor. Each stopped by to nod their heads in respect, saying happy birthday. But the more people entered, the faster the house filled.
Within an hour, people were pouring out of every door and window. I went around the room talking to each of the other alphas and betas that had come. Although I tried not to think about it, I couldn’t get my thoughts off my mate.
Maybe she was here. Maybe she was coming. Maybe I wouldn’t find her tonight.
The last thought put a frown on my face at the idea of not meeting her tonight.
“Why you frowning?” Walker came up to me, slinging his drunk arm around me in a supportive manner, “She not here yet?”
“Well nothing we can do now,” he slurred, “Come on. Reid set up beer pong in the basement.”
I cracked a grin at his drunken behavior before following him downstairs. Most of my friends were down there, laughing as Walker tried to walk to the table before failing and collapsing onto the couch.
Reid called me over to his team as we shot the ping pong balls into the red cups. By the time we won, both Reid and Walker were extremely drunk.
“We’re out of beer,” Sawyer said.
“I’ll go get more,” I told her as I made my way up the stairs.
I pushed past the people blocking the hallway, trying to make my way to the kitchen. But the second I reached the door, a scent hit me like a truck. The smell of vanilla and honey invaded my senses, blocking me out of everything else in my surroundings.
It was her.
Her scent filled me with joy as I followed it right into the kitchen. I walked in, pushing past a girl that apparently had come up to me.
Mate! Mate! my wolf screamed to me.
The second I saw her, my entire world stopped. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever laid my eyes on. Her blonde hair fell in waves over her shoulders, while the tight red dress she wore showed all of her perfect curves. Her green eyes pulled me in as if she had hypnotized me.
“What are you doing in here?” a voice snapped me out of my trance.
I looked over to the person who had interrupted the perfect harmony my mate had just put me in. I growled at the boy as I saw how close he was to her. He had placed his arm around her shoulder and seemed to be trying to flirt with her.
I took a step forward, about to threaten him to remove his hands before I did, but my mate beat me to the punch.
“He is here for me,” her voice was like an angel singing. All I wanted was to hear her speak forever, “So why don’t you leave me alone.”
He gave me one last look as he stormed out of the room, pissed that he didn’t get his prize. But I had. She was standing in front of me and she was all mine. My mate.
“Hi,” she spoke softly as she took a step closer to me.
“Hi,” I breathed out, not even knowing I was holding my breath.
I took another step closer to her, closing the distance in seconds. Slowing lifting my hand, I gently placed it on her cheek. The second my skin touched hers, electricity shot through my body, sending pleasurable sparks everywhere.
She let out a slight gasp at the new sensation before slowly leaning her cheek into my hand.
She looked up at me before giving me the greatest reply I have ever heard, “Yours.”
The second the words were out of her mouth, my lips were on hers. As intoxicating as her scent was, her taste was even greater. We moved in sync as I held her closer to my body. Sparks and fire ignited inside of me as my wolf howled over our mate accepting us.
The bond pulled as we continued to kiss, not wanting to break contact for even a second. When I could feel both our loss of air, I pulled back slightly from her lips and pressed my forehead against hers. Her eyes were still shut as a soft smile was placed on her now plump red lips.
Her hand rested in my hair and I held her waist. I finally had my mate in my arms.
“What is your name?” she asked quietly, slowly lifting her eyes to meet mine.
“I am Axton Knight, Alpha of Black Stone Pack,” I tell her proudly.
She gave a shocked and confused look before asking, “So wait, this is your party?”
I smiled down at her, nodding me head slightly.
“Well then,” she put both arms around my neck, pulling us closer together than before. She smiled up at me as she whispered, “Happy birthday.”
She pressed her lips once again onto mine. All I wanted to do was continue kissing her, but I needed to be careful. If we went too far, my wolf would claim her. As much as that was the only thing I wanted to do at the moment, I had to make sure she was ready.
She pulled back from my lips as I gave her a slight frown from the distance she created. She laughed at my reaction, her voice sounding as bells singing out.
“I have told you who I am, now it is your turn,” I tell her, “What is your name?”
She smiled again as I pulled her closer to my chest.
“Ellie,” she told me, “Ellie Baker.”