Cain let out a tired sigh as he looked around. Members of his pack seated around a huge bonfire. All around him, his people were celebrating. Barbecued meats sizzled on grills, and bottles of various drinks littered the place. As well as boxes of pizza. The full moon stood at its highest peak, shining brilliantly in the sky. Casting its night light upon them. It was the feast of the full moon.
Younger members of the clan were seated in a small circle before the elders. Cain could see his father talking to them. He already knew what they were saying by heart. After hearing it so many times, he could tell it word for word. It was a tradition for the elders to tell them their history, everyone’s role in the pack, how far they had come, and the importance of mating and continuing their bloodlines. Sex. Reproduction. He wanted to roll his eyes at the last part.
The Crescent Moon werewolf clan migrated from Oregon to settle in Colorado. A fight had ensued between their clan and other shifters for territory, and they had lost. So, they were forced to move to the Colorado Mountains, where they settled. They delved into ranching and prospered from it. Some of them went into horse breeding. They sold their beef, horses, and produce all over the state and beyond. They recovered from their losses and made a community in Roswell. Crescent Moon lived comfortably and in peace ever since. They went on explaining this was mostly because they, as elders of their community, helped the Alpha with this transition, pack decisions, settling disputes, and advised the young werewolves.
During the full moon on the winter solstice, they celebrated and took mates within the pack. For a brief time during that night, their wolf instincts would be enhanced, and they would all shift and go into the forest. The werewolves who found their mates would mate in the woods when the moon reached its highest peak. Those who didn’t want to choose a mate or have one would still shift and go hunting.
Cain couldn’t wait for it to happen. His chest tightened, watching other werewolves with their mates. The whole scenario reminded him of his wife, Sarah, and how they used to cuddle and mate all night. Tortured by everything going on around him, he ran into the woods. His body started vibrating. His eyes changed from black to a shade of gold and then red as he shifted. His feet thundered on the ground as he raced through the forest. Angry that his life wasn’t the joyous one it had been years ago with Sarah.
For the billionth time, he regretted not feeling anything for Hannah. He wondered if he should just give in. Maybe if he did, they would be racing together and would end up mating. If he did, there would be hope that he would have them an heir in nine months time. But he couldn’t. He gently rejected her when she came over to his home nights ago and simply told her they couldn’t mate because he just wasn’t ready. He played the famous ”it’s not you, it’s me" card on her.
When she pressed, not taking his excuse, he had ruefully told her that he didn’t feel anything for her. She told him she accepted it, but it seemed she didn’t buy it. Hannah, the sweet woman he had always known her to be, had simply smiled a little and nodded. They both had a true mate out there, and even though they were rare nowadays and he could just take whoever he desired, he was determined to find his. Even if he had to wait an eternity for her, he would mate out of love.
“I knew it was too good to be true, being chosen as your breeder. I understand that you aren’t over Luna Sarah. None of us are over losing her too, which is completely okay. I’ll still wait until you’re ready if I have to. No hard feelings."
He noticed her tearing up and felt terrible sending her away, but he couldn’t deceive himself or his wolf. His wolf wouldn’t have even allowed him to mate with her. There was no connection between them. He is an Alpha, and he should be able to choose his mate. At least his wolf should.
Go towards the border. Cain grounded to a halt when he heard the strange but familiar voice.
Sarah? He could have sworn for a moment; he heard his wife talk to him.
Go towards the border, love.
Sarah, is it you?
“Who’s there? Show yourself!”
Was his late wife calling to him? Could she be alive? Before he could decipher what was going on or where her voice was coming from, he found himself running towards the border.
His wolf urged him to go where her voice led him to, and he lost control of its actions. He tried to stop himself and go back to his pack, but he couldn’t.
Cain, where are you, son? We’re waiting for you to lead us. He heard his father calling to him in mind-link, but his wolf blocked him from talking back and chose to ignore him. The pack would worry about him; they were already waiting for him. But his wolf pushed him to move forward and took over.