Choose me or lose me

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Beta Tobias

The run to the lake did little to ease my mind, or that of my wolf. The further we got away from the pack house, and our mate, the more restless he became. Even a swim in the clear cool water didn’t help.

I refused to visit the infirmary when we returned, and instead went to my cabin. Many of us lived in the pack-house, but several of the more senior ranked wolves had their own cabin. I still went to the pack house everyday. As Beta I had my own office there. It also gave me the opportunity to catch up on the day to day running of the pack. Quite often the pack would eat together, although it wasn’t required except on special occasions.

By the time I arrived back it was getting dark. I’d missed dinner, but to be honest I had lost my appetite.

I tossed and turned all night, getting little sleep. Mostly thanks to my wolf who was restless. He just wanted to see his mate.

I quickly showered and headed to my office. I could bury myself in my work. Checking the patrol shifts for the borders.

As I walked in, I saw a folder on my desk. It was a medical report. The doctor must have dropped it in first thing. I rolled my eyes and pushed it away. I immediately blocked my wolf, not wanting another argument. We didn’t disagree very often, but on this we were poles apart.

I ran my fingers through my hair and then rubbed my forehead. I had the beginnings of a headache. It was unusual for werewolves to get a headache, except if they were blocking someone who was adamant they wanted to communicate, in this case, my wolf.

I looked up as I heard the door open, just about to snap at whoever it was for not knocking.

It was just as well I didn’t, as the Alpha stood there in front of me.

“Bryn!” I forced a smile, “how was it? Any luck? I asked.

We only used each others titles at formal meeting or in front of other pack members. We had been friends for a long time. Even when we were in our early teens we both knew that Bryn would be the Alpha and I would be the Beta. Our fathers would always tell us how important it was for the Alpha and Beta to have a good relationship. I smiled, remembering how our mothers insisted it was just so they could go for a boys night out.

He looked at me and shook his head, “not this time,” he sighed.

We were similar in height and build, the only real difference was Bryn had long blond hair that settled on his shoulders, and bright green eyes. My hair was dark brown, the same colour as my eyes, but my eyes had hints of gold. Most werewolves eyes turned black when their wolves took over, mine didn’t they changed to gold.

He looked a bit deflated. I knew he was hoping he would find his mate this time. We both knew she was out there somewhere. I glanced at the hospital report, I just hoped that his search would be a better outcome than mine.

Bryn followed my eyes to the report on the desk.

“Did something happen while I was away?”

I sighed, and nodded.

“You could say that!”

I gestured for him to take a seat.

“The girl, staying with Maria...she disobeyed instructions and entered the forest.”

I watched him as he closed his eyes and shook his head. It wasn’t a look of disbelief on his face, more like exasperation.

I continued.

“She saw one of the patrol, screamed and ran so they tackled her to the ground. One of them shifted, and she saw. She blacked out.”

“Where is she now?” he sighed.

I ran my fingers through my hair.

“In the hospital. She was in the cells, but the injuries were more severe that we thought.”

I picked up the folder and tossed it towards him. I hadn’t read the contents, but I guessed if the problem was too bad the doc would have paid me a visit in person.”

Bryn opened the report, and glanced over it.

Then he looked at me as I rubbed my temple.

“What aren’t you telling me Tobias?”

I looked up at him, he didn’t look angry, just concerned.

“I think...” I began, then I shook my head.

I didn’t think, I knew.

“The girl...she’s my mate,” I huffed.

Bryn frowned, “I thought you would be happy Tobias. You’ve found your mate at last.”

I rolled my eyes.

“She blacked out when she realised that the wolf she had seen could shift to human form. She never actually saw the shift. She was a shivering wreck when the guards bought her a plate of food, how do you think she’s going to react to the whole mating and claiming ritual,” I scoffed.

Bryn leaned back and scratched his head.

“You’re thinking about rejecting her?”

I nodded and rubbed my temples, “my wolf is less than happy, but yes.”

Bryn stood up.

“Come Tobias, walk with me.”

I stood up and followed Bryn out of my office.

We walked in human form down one of the many tracks that zigzagged the territory.

I knew where we were heading. It was a small clearing where we used to play as children. Wild flowers dotted the grass, and the sunlight trickled through the tree canopy above giving the whole place a magical quality.

An overturned tree lay at the edge. An ancient oak. It made the perfect place to sit. As children we would run along the top, having races to see who could run across the fastest without losing our balance.

“Do you remember what we used to say about this place when we were younger?” Bryn asked.

I smiled and nodded.

“The moon-goddess made this place just for us. When we found our mates we would share it with them,” I recalled.

Bryn looked up at the canopy.

“It isn’t a lottery, Tobias. The moon-goddess doesn’t just pick random names out a hat and pair them. Everyone has a chosen mate for a reason. She has a reason for giving you a human mate.”

I sighed, “You know they aren’t ready to know about us yet. Besides, humans are so weak, they die so easily. Having no mate is better than losing one after you’ve completed the bond.”

Bryn sighed.

“You have a choice to make Tobias. Either you accept her as your mate, or I have to execute her. You realise that, don’t you?”

I rested my head in my hands. I knew it, I just didn’t want to think about it.

“Basically then, if I don’t accept her, I will be responsible for her death?”

Bryn put his arm around my shoulder.

“She didn’t come here by accident, Tobias. Fate had a hand. Who knows even Maria finding her human mate in England may have been part of the goddess’s plan to eventually bring Megan to you.”

I looked up and frowned, “Megan? Is that her name?”

Bryn smiled and nodded. “Maria told me her name when she requested the visit.”

I blew out a breath.

“And what if I accept the girl...Megan, and she refuses or she tries to run away?”

Bryn stood up.

“If she refuses then it will be her choice. Life as your mate, or death. We cant let her leave. If she chooses you, she will need to know what the consequences will be if she tries to run.”

I nodded, “I cant let her die, she’s so innocent.”

Bryn smiled, “the perfect little mate, I’m a little jealous.”

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