“Knock, knock! Can I come in?” Dad asked as he poked his head in her bedroom door a few days later.
Sitting up, Ember laid her tablet aside. “Sure, Dad. What’s up?”
Dad sat down on the end of the bed. In a solemn tone, he began, “Well, I’d like to talk to you about something. I know we’ve talked about this before, but I think it’s time to talk again.”
“Um… okay,” Ember said, puzzled as to what he was referring to.
“As an omega, our senses are weaker than most wolves.”
Ember nodded. “Not quite as weak as a human’s, but close.”
“Right. Anyway, tonight is a full moon, and on a full moon, we believe the wolf is closer to the surface. Do you know what that means, Ember?”
Ember shook her head no.
“It means that our senses will be at their strongest,” Dad told her.
“Okay, and you’re telling me this, why exactly?” Ember asked him.
Dad sighed, and, taking Ember’s hands in his, he looked into her eyes. “It’s harder for an omega to find their mate, you know this. If your mom hadn’t been an alpha and knew I was her mate, I never would have known. Sure, I knew she smelled good, but knowing she was my mate? No, I was too weak.”
“I know,” Ember whispered, remembering the story of how their love came to be.
“So, as an omega, if your mate is omega or human, your best chance to find him is on the night of a full moon.”
“When my senses are stronger, like tonight,” Ember stated in understanding.
“Why did you never tell me this before?” Ember asked.
“I gave it two years for you to find your mate in your own time. Now that your brother has found his mate, I think the time to search for yours actively has come,” Dad told her.
Ember gave a sad sigh.
“Yeah, it is a bit lonely being the only un-mated one around here. So, what do we do first then?” Ember asked.
“First, we see if your mate is part of our Pack or is at least living in this town. I’m going to take you to Oliver Road tonight after the moon has fully risen,” Dad explained.
“Why there?” Ember questioned, cocking her head.
“Because that’s as close to the exact center of town as I can get you. It will give your wolf a better chance of finding her mate no matter where he lives,” Dad said.
“Okay. Then what?”
“Then you’re going to shift and let your wolf have complete control. If your mate is here, she will find him,” Dad concluded.
“And if he isn’t here?” Ember asked him quietly.
“Then we start going from Pack to Pack on nights of a full moon to search. This is what wolf law states we must do before you can just pick a mate if you so desire that,” Dad stated.
Ember groaned. Wolf law stated that all Packs must be visited in the hope of finding your true mate. After that, if no mate is found, you can be mated to someone who isn’t your true mate.
“You don’t think…?” Her voice wobbled.
Dad smiled as he pulled her into a hug. “No, I know your mate is out there, and I truly believe he’s in our Pack.”
Ember breathed a sigh of relief, and Dad chuckled.
“So, do you want to try?” Dad softly asked her.
“Yeah, I do. I’ve been wanting mine, but since Emerson found his mate, it’s made me long for my mate even more.”
“Alright. We’ll leave as soon as it’s dark. Oh, and bring a bag,” Dad said as he walked out.
“A bag? What kind of bag, and what do I need it for?” Ember asked the empty room. Then with a shrug, she turned and picked up the picture next to her bed. “Oh, Ryker. How I wish I could talk to you in person. We used to tell each other everything, and now I’ve resorted to telling your picture.”
Ember snorted as she lay back on her pillows, still holding the picture.
“I’m going to start searching for my mate tonight. Guess that means it’s time to put my crush on you behind me, huh?” She laughed a bit. “Funny how it hasn’t died a natural death from lack of contact with you. Well, I guess when I meet my mate, my feelings for him will override any feelings, besides those of friendship I have left for you. Then you’ll be nothing but a childhood friend in my memories.”
Then with one last look, she put the picture down and stood up. Walking out of the room, she went to find something to eat.
Later that evening, Ember was digging through her closet when her mom tapped on her door.
“Do you need some help with that, Ember?” Mom asked as she stepped into the room.
Pulling a backpack out that she knew her wolf could wear, Ember looked at her mom with a grin. “Found it!”
Mom laughed at the Wonder Woman book bag. “It’s been a while since I’ve seen that.”
Holding it up, Ember gazed at it as memories filled her head. Memories of Emerson and his Batman bag, Ryker, his Hulk bag, and the three of them walking to school together.
“It started out a joke if you remember. Ryker dared Emerson and me to go our first day of Jr. High with something childish. If I remember right, Emerson ended up punching some junior for cracking a joke about them.”
“Ah, I remember that. The school called me because Emerson knocked the kid out. He was human if I recall,” Mom mused.
“Yeah, he was, and I told Emerson not to hit him.” Ember sighed. “Always the hothead.”
“Yes, but if I remember, it was your bag the kid was poking fun at,” Mom reminded her.
Ember frowned. “Mine?”
Mom sighed as she sat down on the bed. “Ember, you may not see it, especially right now because you and your brother are at odds with each other, but he’s always looked out for you. Sometimes he didn’t do it correctly, but he always had your best interest at heart.”
Ember sat down next to her mom as she hung her head. She knew if she was truthful with herself, she was the one that had pushed Emerson away. She was so hurt about him making Ryker leave, she never went and asked him why he’d done it. All she’d done was begin to ignore him, and his hurt soon became anger. Now, now they have very little to do with each other.
“Ember, maybe it’s time to mend fences with your brother. You have sometime before your dad plans to leave. I can pack your bag for you.”
“Pack it? With what? I thought it was to put the clothes I’m wearing in so that I’ll have something to wear if…” Ember stopped speaking. Taking a deep breath, she finished, “…if I meet my mate.”
“It is, but if you meet him, you’ll need other things too. You’ll probably want to stay with him. So, sleeping clothes, toiletries, clothes for the next day. If things move fast, which depending on how much older than you he is, you may want protection,” Mom concluded as she pulled a small box from her pocket.
Ember felt her face become fiery hot as she jumped up from the bed. Quickly heading for the door, she tossed over her shoulder, “I’ll go talk to Emerson now.”
Mom’s laughter followed her all the way down the stairs.