She-wolf shook her fur out as she stretched. She stood motionless for a moment staring at the full moon, waiting to feel the pull of her mate. Once she felt its weak power, she gave a long howl, taking off fast across the road and into the forest.
The she-wolf moved fast, faster than she ever remembered going before. This must be the effects of the full moon, she thought.
As suddenly as she had taken off, the she-wolf stopped. She stood still as a statue for a moment, her heart pounding as she searched once more for the pull of her mate. Again, she felt its tug, stronger this time, which meant he was closer. So, she let out a long, low howl before taking off once more. Veering off to the left, she raced out of the woods and down a long road of houses, at some point crossing back over into pack land.
This meant her mate was part of the Pack.
Turning left once more, she ran for just a moment before stopping again. She waited for the pull when she felt it, and she moved again.
She-wolf looked left, then right, panting heavily from her run, before moving slowly toward one of the houses. She stopped and stood in front of the house the mate pull had brought her to. That was when she caught a faint whiff of it, the spicy scent of her mate.
She-wolf cocked her head sideways a bit. She was puzzled as to why the scent was weak. She sniffed again. It wasn’t human, though she did smell human scent threaded through the scent too. Neither was it omega like her. No, it was more potent than an omega’s scent. It wasn’t the scent of a pup either because it smelled too mature, old enough to have already shifted. Yet he wasn’t.
Letting out a soft whine, She-wolf stepped closer, drawing her mate’s scent into her very being. It made no difference to her why it was different because he was hers, and tonight, he would know it.
Then with one more deep breath of his heavenly scent, She-wolf let her human side take over and shifted back into her human form.
Ember quickly pulled her backpack from her shoulders, scrambling through it and dressing. At least her wolf had left them in the shadows where they wouldn’t be seen. It could have been embarrassing otherwise because she hadn’t even realized they were shifting until it was done.
Once Ember was fully dressed, she looked up to see where her wolf had brought her. She froze, staring at the dark house in front of her. It was a house as familiar as her own, Ryker Hollington’s house.
Ryker is my mate.
Ember groaned as her head dropped, her eyes closing.
He hates me. How can I just walk up and say, Hi Ryker, guess what? You’re my mate.
Ember felt her wolf whine inside her head, wanting to hurry up and go to their mate. Opening her eyes then, she looked once more at the house. It was all dark, not a single light on. So, picking up her back, she pulled out her phone to check the time. Eleven-thirty.
Ember sighed and whispered, “Now what? They’re all in bed. I didn’t think about the hour when I agreed to do this.”
Ember’s wolf once more whined. She wanted her mate, now. So, biting her lip, she remembered how they use to sneak out Ryker’s window as kids. Of course, they were only six and eight and always ended up getting caught. Still, they thought they were doing something big at the time.
“Well, if we could get out, then I should be able to get in,” Ember mumbled in a barely audible voice. “I’m coming, Ryker, and I hope you’ll accept me after all the trouble I’ve been through to find you.”
Ember made sure she was extra quiet. She didn’t know if Ryker’s Dad would be home or not, but as an enforcer, he could probably hear her pounding heart through the walls if he was. She almost giggles at that, though, and quickly slapped a hand over her mouth.
Finally, coming to Ryker’s bedroom window, she saw he had it slightly open. This brought another memory to her mind. She remembered him telling her how his mom was always grumbling about him and his dad wanting to leave a window open. They told her as wolves; they liked the fresh air. She’d said, ‘and to freeze the puny human.’ Ryker said his dad had laughed and told her not to worry so much because he would keep her warm.
Well, she was glad he still got hot enough to leave his window open. It was going to make her breaking in a whole lot easier. Stepping up to the window, she began to slowly and carefully slid it further up. As she did this, she kept one ear tuned to the light breathing inside. The further open she pushed the window, the more pungent the spicy aroma of her mate became.
Ember heard her wolf whine again, anticipating being in Ryker’s arms, face buried in his neck. She just hoped her wolf didn’t end up broken if Ryker refused them and kicked them out because that was her fear. That he hated her to the point, he wouldn’t want her as his mate.
Finally, having gotten the window open enough, she crawled inside and stood up. Staring across the room, she saw him. Ryker lay on his back, one arm up over his head and facing her way. The covers were pushed down to his waist, leaving his chest bare.
Ember slowly and quietly moved closer, drawn to him and unable to stay away from him any longer. Kicking off her sandals and dropping her bag, she made her way to the empty side of the bed.
Ryker sighed and shifted suddenly, causing her to freeze. If he awakened, they needed to talk. Well, they needed to speak anyway, but she wanted to take in his sweet face for a bit first. A face that had lost its baby roundness and matured.
Finally, with a soft snore, he settled, and she continued to walk. Once she was next to the bed, she carefully crawled onto it and lay down next to him. She took in his bedhead and the slight shadowing on his cheeks. It looked as if he hadn’t shaved today, and she longed to run her fingertips over it.
Ember allowed her gaze to move down lower. Ryker’s chest had filled out nicely, and he had a small six-pack going. His chest was also lightly furred, and Ember looked longingly at it. Unable to help herself, she reached out and softly lay her hands on his chest, almost groaning at how soft the hair there was. She could feel the tingles of electricity going through her fingertips from the light touch.
Ember realized her mistake in touching him when Ryker made a light sound and rolled over onto his side, now facing her. Removing her hand from his chest, she waited for his eyes to open. Then they did, and he lay staring at her sleepily.
Ryker blinked once, twice, then asked, “Am I dreaming?”
Ember smiled. “No, you aren’t, I’m here, and we need to talk.”
Ryker shot up on the bed, his eyes now wide open. “You shouldn’t be here.”
Ember sat up also. “Sh… you’ll wake your parents, and yes, I should be here. Ryker, I’m sorry for whatever Emerson said, but…” Ember started only to stop when he shook his head.
“No, it doesn’t matter. Emerson was right in his own way. We were close, maybe too close,” Ryker told her as he looked anywhere but at her.
Ember’s wolf didn’t like him not looking their way. She wanted his gaze on her, and she wanted to feel the electric shock of his touch. Ryker was theirs. She wanted him to know he was theirs.
“No, my baby, we aren’t nearly close enough,” Ember heard herself say in a husky voice.
Ryker’s eyes snapped to hers.
Holding his gaze, she moved over onto his lap. Electricity flowed between them where their skin touched, making her heart race.
Ryker’s eyes widened as he realized what the electricity meant and whispered, “Mate.”