"Alpha you received an invitation," Mia handed me the invitation. I opened it and read it’s contents. Besides the location and time in which the event would take place, there was another note in the envelope.
I threw the both papers on my desk. "Tell him I accept." Mia nodded. I continued, “make sure you and Nate are free that night. You’re both coming with me."
"Yes Alpha,” Mia bowed her head and left my office.
As soon as her steps faded, I opened the top drawer of my desk and pulled out a framed picture. There were three small boys in it. All in their mid teens. I recognized two of them, but the one on the far right was now a stranger to me even though we had the same colored eyes and hair.
"See you soon Mason."
• • •
In just a few hours I would attend the party, but I didn't know what to wear. Audrey always helped me with these kind of situations. Just the thought of my best friend made my heart ache.
There was a knock on the door soon after. I saw that Isabel stood on the other side of it after I opened the door.
"I stopped by to bring you this," Isabel raised the white flat box in her hands. I opened the door wide enough for her to enter. Isabel placed the package on the bed.
Isabel smiled as she opened the box and held a dress up into the air. It was a beautiful dress. A long pink crepe long-sleeved dress with a slit on the left side that reached just above the knee.
"It's beautiful. Thank you Isabel," I smiled at her.
Isabel’s smile grew, "come on let's get you ready."
• • •
"Go step in front of the mirror," Isabel gestured at the wall mirror.
"Wow," was all I could say as I looked at my reflection. The ends of my hair were curled. For makeup, Isabel did a brown smokey look and painted my lips nude. The dress was paired with pink crepe heels, and diamond teardrop earrings.
As I continued to look at my reflection, I noticed the dress revealed some of my scars. I rubbed my hand up and down my arm. I could tell Isabel noticed my discomfort but didn't bring it up, which I was glad about.
I can't back out now. If wearing this dress, knowing it revealed my scars will get me closer to my revenge, then so be it.
"You look amazing. I can't wait to see the looks on everyone's faces." Isabel clasped her hands together. “Well I'll get going now. I'll meet you later at the party." I nodded and headed outside with her.
As soon as she was no longer in sight, I sighed, "here goes nothing." My steps echoed down the hall. I noticed a figure standing at the end of it.
"You look gorgeous," Mason said once I stood in front of him.
"Thank you. You don't look so bad yourself." He wore a navy blue suit with a white shirt under and a tie that matched his suit.
He offered me his arm, "shall we?"
I linked my arm with his and nodded, offering a smile. Mason smiled back. Soon.
Upon entering the ballroom, we were greeted by many of the neighboring pack Alphas and their guests. I did my best to remember their names, but there just too many of them. Thankfully Mason did most of the talking.
"How are you holding up?" Lincoln asked as he stood on the threshold of the terrace and the room.
"I'm still here aren't I?" We each let out a small laugh.
"It's good to see you're doing better . . . Emma, I'm really sorry for what happened. If I could change it I would."
"Are you sure? Know that I'm here if you need me, that has never changed." He looked up and down my body. I knew what he was staring at, the scars that the dress revealed.
I nodded, "thank you and I'm sure."
I looked around the room and noticed Mason talking with another man. He had similar facial features to Mason, blue eyes and brown hair. He looked more like an Alpha rather than a pack member.
"Who's the man talking with Mason?" I asked.
"That's Liam, Alpha of the Duskfall Manes pack," Lincoln answer.
I gave both men one last look and continued to scan the people in the room. My eyes landed on some of the men and women that I had met before. They had similar scars. One man had a scar coming down from his hair line until it reached below his left eye. One woman had claw marks running down her exposed back. The scars were like accessories to their persona. Did they go through the same thing I went through?
I shifted my gaze once more and my eyes fell upon the piano on the stage.
"I used to," I answered.
"Who taught you to play?"
"My dad,” a small smile graced my lips. “Whenever he had the chance to play he would teach me. He said it was his way of escaping from reality, and it was mine for sometime."
"What made you stop?"
"The longer my parents were gone the more painful it felt to play. It only reminded me of them. Plus I had more important things to do like school and work," I answered. Lincoln knew about what had happened to my parents. I had told him about it sometime after we had worked together for a time.
"Would you like to play?" Lincoln asked, arching an eyebrow.
"Oh no, I don't think that's a good idea."
"If you want to play go ahead," he gestured at the piano.
"Lincoln I haven't played in a long time. I know I’m going to mess up. Besides I can't just go up there and play in front of all these people."
He chuckled, "I guess you’re right. Are you heading back in?”
• • •
"We meet again Mason," I spoke.
"It's good to see you too Liam."
"This is Mia," I gestured to Mia who stood to my right. "And as you know, Nate my beta." Nate, who stood to my left, nodded.
"If you don't mind I'd like to have a word with your Alpha alone," Mason said in a serious tone. I nodded at Nate and then at Mia. They slightly bowed their heads and walked away.
"So what is it you wanted to talk about?" I asked.
"I'm sure you know about the kidnappings and killings that have been happening." I nodded.
Mason continued, "I've spoken to the other alphas of whose packs reported of these kidnappings and to those around them. We've decided to have a meeting about it. You should go as well."
I agreed without a doubt.
Even if I didn't show it, I felt glad to finally speak to Mason after many years. I wasn’t sure if Mason felt the same. After the incident with his mate, things changed drastically and we stopped all forms of communication—except any exchanges between our betas which rarely occurred. Our conversation came to a stop when Lincoln and a young woman approached us.
"Liam, I'm sure you remember Lincoln," I nodded. I continued to stare at him as Lincoln whispered something into Mason's ear. I focused all his attention on the woman, her appearance, her smell. It was the same smell Lincoln had on him. I felt buzzed. I felt claws scrape against my skull. Stop it, I warned my wolf.
"There's someone I'd like to introduce you to Emma," Mason gestured towards me. "This is Alpha Liam, alpha of the Duskfall Manes. Liam this is Emma."
A beautiful woman, I thought. That was all I thought, but for some reason my wolf pushed against the mind barrier.
I continued to stare at her. Emma, my wolf repeated her name.
What do you want with her? I asked my wolf.
For her to be ours, my wolf answered.
Why? She's just like any other woman.
No she isn't. Don’t treat her like every other woman, he said.
I didn't ask any other questions. I decided to figure out on my own why Emma was so important to my wolf and to us as my wolf mentioned since he didn't want to tell me why.
I extended my hand and Emma placed hers in mine. "Nice to meet you Emma," I placed a kiss on her hand.
She nodded, "likewise Alpha Liam." We let our hands fall to our sides.
I now knew why my wolf wanted her. The moment her hand touched mine, I felt sparks.
That wasn't all. Since the moment she approached me, her smell became intoxicating. It wasn't like any other smell. Only a certain scent from someone could be so deliciously overwhelming.
When I kissed her hand, I felt our bond. The one that the Moon Goddess only placed on two people who she deemed belonged together. And at that moment I knew . . .
Emma was my mate.