Two whole agonizing hours to find my mate, but I did. Her small frame and long raven hair was the first thing I saw. She was laughing with a taller man who gives her a kiss on the forehead before climbing into an SUV. I growled out in jealousy when he gave her a kiss and stepped out of my hiding place in the woods. My pack trackers and warriors followed my lead, standing tall behind me.
“Celeste.” I call out causing her to stiffen. When she turns around, her surprise turns into anger as she growls at the man from before as he tries to step forward. I watch as her red eyes glow menacingly at me. “Hello Austin.” She says coldly. The sound of my name coming out of her lips causes an involuntary shiver to run down my spine.
“I was just on my way to see you.” She smiles sweetly, too sweetly. “You were?” I narrow my eyes at her in suspicion, but my wolf keeps an undertone of excitement coursing through me.“Our mate wanted to see us.” He purrs happily.
Celeste begins to speak, but my attention turns to the short male heading towards her. Is he a threat? “Cal was going to give me a ride, weren’t you Cal?” The male namedCalstops next to my mate with an evil grin plastered on his face. “Yes, me and my friends.” A group of four others come out from the forest behind them and line up next to Cal.
“We just had to make a quick stop on the other side of the world. Oh, and we won’t be back.” She drops her smile as a white mist begins to glow and wind its way around them. “Witches!” I call to my pack, getting in a defensive stance. After a few seconds I realize they’re not attacking but leaving instead. “Get them! They can’t leave with your Luna!” We shift, charging ahead. “Stop them!”
“They’re getting closer Cal!” I hear my mate’s angelic voice call right as I jump at them. I tackle my mate just as the witches disappear into thin air. My wolves who had jumped at them ended up getting thrown across the clearing by the kick back of the spell. I landed on top of Celeste, covering the dust and ash that flew up when the spell was complete. “Celeste?” I look down at her, pulling on sweats after I shift back.
I bend down, picking up her small body. “Celeste?” Putting my ear close to her chest, I release a breath of relief when I hear the steady beat of her heart. “Someone get a hold of the pack doctor. Tell him to be ready at the pack house.” My Beta, Aston, gives a curt nod before his eyes fog over. “He’ll be in the living room when we arrive, sir.” He informs me as I begin the long run back to my pack.
I weave my way through trees, searching for the two people that matter most to me. My tiny feet being protected by nothing but my dirty and damaged tennis shoes.“Mommy, Daddy!” I call through the thick forest. “Come out! I can’t find you!” The sun has begun to set as I clutch onto my little panda bear, Hoshi.
Today mom and dad changed. They spent the whole day with me, doing whatever I wanted. We played tag, ate ice cream, and now we’re playing hide and seek, but I can’t find them.“Mommy?” I stop, out of breath and no longer able to run. “Daddy I’m scared.” The sun isn’t up anymore as I clutch onto my pale pink dress, shivering every time the wind blows. “It’s cold, mommy.”
My teeth begin to chatter as I sit down under a tree. “Miss Moon Goddess, I know you don’t take kindly to rogues and I know I’ve made a mess of my mommy and daddy’s life but thank you for giving me the best birthday ever with my parents.”
I jolt awake, sweat covering my body as I breathe heavily. I remember that day. I fell asleep under that tree. When I woke up the next day, I was scared. Scared for my parents, scared for my little panda Hoshi, and scared for myself. I have the same dream once a year; it marks the day my parents abandoned me. My birthday. That’s right, they left me on my birthday and today marks year fifteen of them being gone.
I wish I could just skip today.
I sigh as I sit up in my bed. Wait, why am I in a bed? I always sleep in trees or in caves. I go in defensive mode as I jump out of bed and do a quick scan of my surroundings. A sniff to the air makes me growl as I recognize that citrus smell.Hissmell.
“What happened yesterday?”I ask my wolf, the one I could always trust.“I don’t know.” She growls out groggily. Both of us can’t remember anything and we hate it. I grow frustrated as I make my way to the bedroom door. Yanking on the handle I’m not surprised when I find it locked.
“The windows, Celeste. Try the windows.”I pause at the vulnerability in my wolfs voice. What did they do to us?
Focusing on the task at hand, I go to the windows, pulling the drapes open to find silver bars.“If I give you some control, can you break down the door?” She doesn’t reply as quick as she usually does which gets me worried.“Can’t...too weak.” She mumbles quietly.
I yell out in frustration, clutching my hair as I pace the room back and forth. “I’m trapped. How? I’ve never been trapped. Got to be a way. There has to.” I mumble to myself, getting angrier and angrier by the second. Picking up a chair, I throw it at a wall causing it to break apart right next to the man I despise. “You!” I shout when I spot him in the door way. “What did you do to me?” I walk up to him, growling when he makes no attempt to answer me.
“Answer me! Why can’t I hear my wolf? Why is she so weak?” I shove at him as best I can, the feeling of a panic attack coming on. I’ve never been without my wolf. Even through the worst things, she was there as strong as ever. She’s the only one I’ve ever relied on, the only one I’ve needed, and I can’t reach her.
I feel arms wrap around me when my legs collapse in on me. “Let go of me.” I push him away as soon as his arms touch me though. “Why can’t I talk to my wolf?” I ask again, creating distance between us. He takes a deep breath, rubbing his hand through his hair as the bad feeling in the pit of my stomach begins to grow.
“I’m sorry.” He mumbles quietly, staring at the floor. “I have to protect my pack.” Now he looks at me. “And I can’t let you go.” He takes a few steps forward, me matching his steps as I walk backwards. “What did you do?” I whisper. “I had to block you from your wolf.”
That sentence was what broke me. I’m a werewolf without her wolf. There, but out of reach. And him, he is the man who holds the key to having my wolf ever again. The man I hate and wish to be away from, holds the key to my survival.