Ignorance Is Bliss
Brisbane Airport, Australia
My wolf pushed forward, her tail wagging fiercely in my mind. I whispered a single word as I stood motionless, my body unsure what to do next. “Mate…”
Nicholas looked just as shocked as he stared at me. The bags he carried dropped to the ground as his entire body froze up. His eyes went to mine, and we lost ourselves in them. The mating pull snapped into place between us at that moment, and I could sense his wolf surging forward.
“IN THE CAR,” Fiona yelled as she grabbed me from behind and dragged me into the limo.
Nicholas growled, his shift coming on as he saw me taken away. Ian reacted before he could shift in front of God and Country; grabbing him by the ears, he pulled his son down to his level. “Calm,” he ordered.
I was growling at Fiona as she fought to get me to sit down. “Not here,” she growled back while keeping her eyes from a direct challenge to my wolf. “Breathe. Your mate is not in danger, and this is not the place.”
She was right. I sat back, focusing on my breathing, and pushing my wolf back. Nicholas was shoved into the limousine a moment later, his eyes searching for me. I grabbed his hand and pulled him next to me. I turned to him, my face going to his neck as his nose went to my neck. I couldn’t get enough of his scent; it called to me, calmed me, and excited me. I could feel my canines pushing forward; my wolf wanted to mark him and make him mine forever.
From the way his lips were fastened to my neck, I knew he felt the same. I could feel his canines coming in, right before his touch left me.
Another second and we would claim each other.
“WAIT,” I said as the door closed. I couldn’t, no, I WOULDN’T give my neck up to a man who wasn’t worthy of it. I didn’t care how good he smelled, or how good he made me feel.
I had to know him first.
I pushed him off me, shoving him into the corner of the bench.
Nicholas’ wolf didn’t want to wait. He shifted in the back seat, tearing his clothes off, his black wolf fighting to get to me. Ian grabbed him by the scruff, pushing him to the floor. “ENOUGH,” Ian said as he let his full Beta dominance out.
It wasn’t enough, and Nicholas continued to struggle. He turned his teeth towards his father, willing to spill blood to get free. I couldn’t allow this to continue, or we’d tear this car up.
I let my inner dominance out. The Alpha Mantled wolf in me forced everyone in the car to submit to my will. It crashed into the Aussie wolves like a tsunami, washing away their ability to disobey. Ian fell back onto the seat, his eyes wide open, and his neck bared. Nicholas rolled onto his back before shifting back to his human form. I watched, amused and aroused, as he grabbed his torn shirt and covered himself with it. “Sit down and behave,” I told them both.
They did, their eyes never leaving mine. “Fiona, please retrieve Dorothy and their luggage. She’s probably wondering what the hell just happened.”
“I am, too,” Ian said.
“Of course, Vicki.” She stepped back out, holding the door for Dorothy and Hammer to enter, then closed it until returning a few seconds later with the two suitcases and the backpack. She set the suitcases down and handed Nicholas his bag so he could change. I used the intercom to tell the driver we could leave.
Dorothy wasn’t happy with her boy. “You drongo,” she said as she smacked him in the back of the head. “Put that stiffy away! What were you thinking? That you’d get nuddy, bend that Sheila over the boot, tear off her knickers, and root away on camera?”
I looked at her, then at Ian, as Nicholas pulled on some cargo shorts. “What did you just say?”
“I’m sorry, I forget you Yanks don’t speak Aussie,” Dorothy said. “I told him he was a fool that needed to get clothes on to cover his erection because he sure wasn’t getting naked, bending you over the trunk of the limo, and screwing you in front of everyone at the airport.”
Looking at his muscled chest, maybe that would be worth the arrest and deportation that would follow. It would make great reality television, but Linda wasn't here to film it. “Right, then. I’m sure you have questions.”
“Who are you,” Ian asked. “Both of you.”
“I am Vicki Lawrence, Mantled Alpha Heir, and member of the Three Rivers Pack in Oregon. Fiona is a Pack Warrior and my bodyguard.”
“What is an Alpha,” Nicholas asked.
It was my turn to be shocked. How could these two be werewolves and not know what an Alpha was? “Your people are in a Pack?”
Ian asked for water, and I handed over a few bottles out of the cooler. He took a long drink, composing himself. “We organize by family units. The oldest male is responsible for the extended family living with or around them. My wife and son, my younger brother, and his family are my responsibility. We share a big home in Port Lincoln.”
Nicholas had finished getting dressed and was staring at me with a mix of fear and lust. “You said I was your mate.” I nodded. “We’re not even friends yet. I want to be your friend and more; my wolf is going nuts in my head telling me you’re my mate, though.”
“We’re more than friends,” I told him. “Come here.” He moved over next to me, and I slid into his lap. My wolf and I wanted to calm him, and contact was the best way to do that. I relaxed into his arms as the fear went away. “When the Moon Goddess created werewolves, she made them in pairs. One male and one female, searching for each other from the moment we come of age, the perfect match. Mates until death.”
“We’re mates?” He had his nose buried in my hair, as my hand moved under his shirt and over the eight-pack of a stomach he had. I could do laundry on those abs. “We are meant to be together.”
“Yes. That feeling you had when you first smelled me? That is the mating pull. Our wolves reached out for each other; they’ve already started to bond, and our human side has to catch up.” I snuggled into his arms, my wolf happy with the contact. “This is only the first part.”
Dorothy turned to look at Ian. “Did that happen when we met?”
“No,” he said. “I’ve never heard of this happening. I fell in love with you, but my wolf has never said anything.”
We were going to have to start with the basics. I spent the next ten minutes teaching them about mates and the mating pull, then a rundown on Pack structure and leadership. Everything I told them was new to them.
“So, your wolf is dominant over mine since you are an Alpha,” Nicholas said.
“Yes. Alpha blood wolves are dominant over all others, and Mantled Alphas are the strongest of all. The Alpha’s dominance allows them to maintain order, enforce discipline, command obedience, and keep the Pack running harmoniously. A strong Alpha can have a Pack with hundreds of members.”
Ian just shook his head at that. “We’ve found that things fall apart once we get more than twenty in a group. We lose the ability to link with each other, and the group splits up and moves apart.”
“How many of you are there in Australia,” I asked.
“Eighty-seven, total, fifty-six of them with wolves. There are ten groups total, all along the southern coast from here to Tasmania. We don’t like the heat up north,” Ian said with a grin.
Ten mini-Packs, with zero knowledge of what they are and what mates are. “And no werewolf has found his mate among your kind, or amongst the humans?”
“This mate stuff is all new to me,” Ian said. “We all descended from a single man, who came to Sydney as a prisoner in 1799. The men marry human women, like Dorothy and I, or the females a human male.”
“Do your wolves claim them? Bite them on the neck, like Nicholas was about to do with me?”
Ian nodded once. “My Great-great grandparents married each other. They were second cousins. They bit each other and lived. I don’t know of any others.” That made sense. In addition to potential inbreeding issues, the wolf would never agree unless the other was the mate. Why didn’t Luna find mates for them?
“If we get bitten by a wolf, we die,” Dorothy said. “It has always been that way. I have to be careful when they are playing as wolves, so I don’t get an accidental bite.”
“It’s a crapshoot,” I said. “It is possible to bite a human and turn them into a werewolf, but only half of them survive. We don’t know why some make it, and others don’t. We do know that a successful change requires an Alpha to be present; an Alpha can pull the wolf forward and calm it throughout the change. If you don’t have an Alpha, it’s unlikely the person survives.”
“That’s why I’m getting married now,” Hammer said. “My bride, Susan, is a werewolf. After we return home, she’s going to change me into a wolf.” That shut them up. Their eyes showed how shocked they were; they thought it was a terrible idea. “I understand the risks, and I’ve made the decision.”
Dorothy looked at her husband. “Could you?”
“I don’t want to risk losing you, my love,” he said. “You’re everything I need.”
He was probably right, but I knew that changing her would be a mistake. If she weren’t his mate as a human, she wouldn’t be his mate after the change. In this case, ignorance is bliss.
I could see we were getting close to the hotel. “Today is about Hammer and Susan, not me. Please don’t say anything about Nicholas and I being mates. We have a lot to talk about and now isn’t the time.”