Chapter 18: Meeting The Mate
‘It’s cold.’ Artemis growled. ‘If you would have just stayed there, we would be warm. And possibly eating steak right now!’
‘Oh. So this is my fault?’ I growled back as I curled up into a ball under the tree. ‘You’re the wolf. You have the fur!’
‘Correction. We are both the wolf! We both have fur!’
‘Well technically, I would just be a regular human if you weren’t with me.’ I stated. ‘So I mean really, you are the wolf.’
‘You irk me so much!’ Artemis growled.
‘Aww. I love you too!’
Artemis was about to answer, but a twig snapping caught both of our attention.
‘Did you hear that?’ She asked.
‘Yeah.’ I said as I stood up.
‘It sounded like it came from the left.’
I turned my head in that direction and listened carefully.
‘I hear voices.’ I said.
‘Quick. Climb up in the tree!’ Artemis said.
I turned around towards the tree and jumped onto a branch. I climbed up a little further and crouched low to the branch.
Below me on the ground, two men came into view.
“I can’t believe Alpha King Ares found his mate.” The man said.
‘Wait.’ I said. ‘I know him.’
‘Which one?’ Artemis asked.
‘The one with the shorter black hair.’ I said as I watched them stop under the tree. ‘That’s Jason. He was with Janus and Apollo when they found us in the clearing.’
‘That’s right!’ Artemis said. ‘I remember him. But I don’t remember the other guy. They look like they could be related though.’
‘Brothers?’ I asked.
“And a rogue at that.” Jason laughed.
“I don’t even care if she’s a rogue.” The other one laughed. “I’m just glad that he found her. He deserves to be happy.”
“And we got a Luna.” Jason smiled as he high-fived the man.
I backed up slowly, but my foot slipped slightly. I cringed and stopped my foot in mid-air, hoping they didn’t hear anything.
“What the?” Jason asked as he picked up a leaf off his shoulder.
‘Smooth move.’ Artemis said.
“It’s a leaf dumbass.” The man laughed. “We are in the forest.”
“Oh shut it Achilles.” Jason growled as he looked around.
All of the sudden he looked up.
I yelped quietly and backed up a little.
“There’s something in the trees.” Jason said as he pointed at me. “But I can’t see what.”
“It’s probably just a squirrel.” Achilles said. “Maybe a bird.”
“I’m still going to check it out. The King would have my head if it was actually his mate and I didn’t look.” Jason mumbled worriedly.
‘What do I do?’ I asked as Jason walked to the tree.
‘I-I don’t know!’ Artemis said worriedly.
‘Brace yourself.’ I said getting ready.
‘What are you doi-’ Artemis started to ask, but I cut her off when I jumped down.
“OOF!” Jason let out a grunt as I landed on top of him.
“What the?” Achilles asked shocked as he jumped back.
I growled at him and darted off.
‘That was your genius plan?’ Artemis asked. ‘You’re an idiot.’
I ignored her and kept running.
“Jason!” I heard Achilles yell along with footsteps. “That was her!”
I pushed myself faster as the footsteps were getting closer.
I looked around and saw a road.
‘Where are we?’ Artemis asked as we ran alongside it.
‘I don’t know.’ I said.
I saw headlights from a car coming my way.
‘Cross before the car gets to us.’ Artemis said. ‘Maybe we can lose the guy.’
I was just about to cross, but the car skidded to a halt. I was about to start running again but didn’t once I saw the familiar face through the windshield.
I smiled as I saw Hecate get out of the car and I ran straight to her.
“Athena.” She smiled and pulled me in for a hug.
She clung onto my fur and buried her face in my neck.
“I was so worried about you.” She said.
I jumped around and growled as I heard the footsteps approach.
“Damn. You run fast.” Jason wheezed.
“Back off.” Hecate said as she pulled her gun out.
Jason and Achilles raised their hands up and stopped in their tracks.
“Hecate.” Achilles said. “We know what the orders were. Don’t worry. We just didn’t want to lose her.”
“We just wanted to make sure she got to you safely.” Jason finished.
“Athena.” Hecate said as she looked at me. “Shift. I have some of your clothes in the car.”
I nodded and jogged around to the side so they couldn’t see me.
I shifted back and quickly put on the clothes that were lying in the back seat.
‘Oh my gosh. Warmth.’ Artemis laughed as I walked back around.
“I’m sorry for jumping on you.” I apologized quietly.
Jason looked at me and broke out in smiles as he waved me off. “Don’t be sorry. If I was being chased, I would have done the same thing.”
“Great.” I nodded before turning to Hecate. “Now can we please leave before the Alpha King shows up?”
“I’m going to try and not take offense to that.” A deep voice said behind me.
I screamed and jumped while turning around throwing my fist.
My fist hit a hard surface and I immediately brought it back, clutching it to my chest.
“Ow.” I groaned as I rubbed my knuckles, but I stopped and froze when I felt the sparks running up my arm.
I gulped and looked up to meet hazel eyes.
‘Hey Athena?’ Artemis said suddenly.
‘Yeah?’ I asked.
‘Mate.’ She gulped.
“Hi, Athena.” He smiled.
But as I stared into his eyes, I could tell he was quite hesitant.
I quickly dropped my eyes and bowed my head. “Hello, Alpha King Ares.”
I heard him sigh and I felt his fingers lift my chin up.
“Please. Just call me Ares.” He smiled. “And you don’t have to bow. You’re my mate, we are equal.”
I gasped as I felt the sparks and I quickly turned my head so he wasn’t touching my chin anymore.
There was an awkward silence between us. I don’t think either of us knew what to say.
“Well, this is a lovely night.” Apollo said breaking that awkward silence as he looked up. “The stars are beautiful.”
I looked up and smiled. He’s actually right. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the moon and stars were bright.
“Athena?” Ares asked.
I looked away from the stars and back to his face.
Why did the moonlight have to make him look so sexy?
“Yes?” I responded.
“M-May I talk to you?” He asked. “In private?”
‘Should we make a run for it?’ I asked Artemis.
‘I don’t think we’d make it very far.’ She pointed out as I looked around us.
Apollo, Janus, Jason, Achilles, and Hecate all stared at me.
Hecate gave me a small smile and nodded.
I sighed and looked back at Ares. “Sure.”
He breathed a sigh of relief and grabbed my hand.
I quickly retracted my hand from his as I felt the sparks.
“Uh sorry.” He apologized as he looked down and walked forward.
Great. I just made the Alpha King sad. Way to go Athena!
I followed him a couple of yards away from everyone and scanned the area.
“Please don’t run. I just want to talk.” He said quietly as he continued to walk over to a tree.
“How did you know?” I asked shocked.
Once we got to the tree, he turned around to look at me. “I had a feeling.”
I looked down at the ground and tapped a rock with my foot. “What did you want to talk about?”
“Why did you run?” He asked.
“You’re very blunt.” I laughed nervously.
He shrugged. “I’m the Alpha King. I kind of have to be.”
I cleared my throat. “Right. That makes sense.”
“I’m sorry for scaring you, okay?” He said as he took a step closer to me. “I-I didn’t mean too. Those weren’t my intentions and I truly am sorry for scaring you. I just wanted to meet you.”
I looked at him shocked. Did he just apologize to me? The Alpha King…apologized…to me?
“W-What?” I asked unsure if I heard him correctly.
“When I got word from Janus that there was a female rogue, I headed his way. But then I smelt your scent and I knew that you were my mate and I ran as fast as I could. I wanted to meet you. I had to meet you, Athena. You are my mate.”
“I-I don’t know what to say.” I admitted.
“I don’t know what happened in your past, but I can assure you that your future will be so much better.” He smiled as he stepped closer. “I just want a chance, Athena. I want to be with you.”
I stared at him with large eyes.
After everything that happened to me, I didn’t know if I should believe him or not. He could turn out to be just like Rick and was I really willing to risk that? I refuse to go through that again.
“Ares.” I stared.
But I took a small step back as I saw his eyes darken.
‘Careful how you say his name.’ Artemis laughed. I could tell she was smirking at me.
I cleared my throat. “I-I just need some time. To think.”
Ares looked sad but nodded his head in understanding. “That’s okay. Take all the time you need.”
I cracked a small smile. “Something tells me you don’t really mean ‘take all the time you need’.”
Ares chuckled softly. “I don’t, but I’m trying to be nice.”
“At least you’re honest.” I shrugged.
“But I do want you to take time to think about this. I don’t want you to feel pressured.”
“Thank you.” I smiled.
“But I mean I would like an answered in a week. Tops.”
“Ares!” I yelled laughing.
“What? I’m only joking.” He smirked. “Maybe.”
I laughed again, but slowly stopped when his smirk dropped and it was replaced with a smile.
“What?” I asked confused. “Why are you looking at me like that?”
“You just look really beautiful.” He said softly as he scratched the back of his neck nervously. “That’s all.”
I felt my cheeks heat up and I looked away. “Thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” He said laughing. “But you do realize that I will have guards watching the house right.”
My eyes shot back to his. “You’re joking right.”
He shook his head and that stupid little smirk was back. “You’re my mate. What can I say?”
I groaned. “No thanks.”
“Too bad.” He shrugged. “You’re also the Alpha Queen so you need protection.”
“I told you I was going to think about it.” I stated.
Ares looked at me and hurt swirled in his eyes before he masked it. “Well, I don’t care. You are getting protection and that’s that.”
With a light growl, he walked back over to where everyone was standing.
‘Not only did you make him sad, but you also made him mad. Good job!’ Artemis said rudely.
I groaned and followed him.
I have a feeling this won’t be the only time I make him mad.