I jog through the packhouse. I need to get to the gym. Jordan and I are having our first training session this morning.
As I reach the first floor my wolf starts whining and pacing. I try to shake it off but it's a really uncomfortable feeling. It's nagging, like I've forgotten something, but I'm sure I haven't.
When I push the door open Luna Sorsha is standing in front of the packhouse, she's with the Alpha. He has more tattoos than I've ever seen on one person. He's wearing shorts and a t-shirt, every bit of exposed skin from his face, down, is covered.
"Lucienne! Good morning!" Her sweet voice rings through the quiet.
"Good morning, Luna, I..."
My whole body trembles. There is another man with them. His back is turned but... oh my God.
As soon as his scent hits me I feel simultaneously calm and frantic.
He turns slowly and my heart stops. His blue eyes meet mine and I feel like I might pass out. The look on his face is hard, angry, I can see shock there, too.
He stands completely ridged, staring at me like he's seeing a ghost.
He's tall and muscular, his biceps strain against his shirt sleeves. He looks... hardened, angry, like there is no softness in him. His eyes study me carefully, I can't tell if he likes what he's seeing or not, his expression hasn't changed.
He takes a deep, shuddered breath, the first time I'm able to see anything under his resolve.
"Cole," the Alpha tells him.
Cole, my mates name is Cole. I want to speak it out loud but I'm afraid.
He turns on his heels, without a word and walks away.
"Cole!" The Alpha says again, only this time his voice booms through the quiet, laced with authority.
He freezes and I can see his body shake. He's physically fighting the instinct to submit to the Alpha.
My heart cracks and I whimper. He wants so badly to get away from me that he would disobey his Alpha.
He disappears around the corner. The loud rumbling of a motorcycle coming to life vibrates in my hollow chest. He zips past, speeding down the street and out of sight.
I hear Luna Sorsha whimper and the Alpha steps forward, his eyes are wide and panicked. He's looking at me like I'm a bomb about to explode.
"It's ok, Luna," my voice shakes, "don't worry about me."
The Alphas hand clench by his sides and he growls angrily.
"Would you link Jordan for me? Tell him I'm unable to make our training session?"
Tears fall down my cheeks but I ignore them, willing them to stop.
She nods and steps toward me but I cower back. If she touches me my heart may burst. I need to be alone, I know how to deal with that.
"Of course," she whispers as she steps back.
"Thank you. Welcome home Alpha," I try to smile but I know I'm not succeeding.
His eyes are soft and sad. I wish lightening would strike me where I stand. I'm humiliated. I turn quickly and walk back into the packhouse. I want to run but I don't, I walk calmly back to my room.
Once inside I lean against my closed door. What just happened? I have a mate. After ten years I've found him but... he left. He took one look at me and left.
I hold my chest, trying to rub away the gnawing ache I feel there.
I settled into the belief that I would never find him and now I wish that had been my fate. At least before I could hold on to the naïve shred of hope that he was out there looking for me. Now I know for certain, he knows exactly where I am, but he walked away.
I slide down to the floor, my wolf whimpering, crawling into the recesses of my mind, she can't handle this. My lungs burn, I can't breathe.
I crawl into the bathroom and into the shower. I don't want to disturb anyone, it's still early. The water will hide the sounds of my sobbing and gasping for air.
I reach for the faucet, icy cold spray shoots from the shower head. I try to reach up for the warm water but my vision is blurry and the room spins. If I could just take a full breath.
I lay my head against the cool tile floor, trying to get enough air but it's no use.
I lay under the frigid water for an hour, two, four? Who could say.
"Oh my God! Elijah help!" I barely hear the Luna's voice.
The water turns off and warm arms pull me up from the ground.
"Fuck, she's freezing, I'm going to lay her in her bed."
"I linked the doctor," she says quietly, covering me with blankets.
My eyes are heavy and swollen, I don't attempt to open them. I feel the Luna's warm hand on my forehead.
"I'm going to kill him, Sorsha. I'm going to break his fucking neck," the Alpha growls.
"He's tried to hide it for years but I know, deep down he wants his mate. He just gave up. Now, she's here, right in front of him, and he walks away?"
"Elijah, you know Cole..."
"Exactly, I know Cole. I've seen him quietly yearning for his mate all this time... I just don't understand."
I drift out of consciousness.
When I wake I'm under an electric blanket in a sterile white room.
I try to smile beneath the plastic cup of an oxygen mask, "I'm sorry I scared you, Luna, I slipped, then I couldn't get up."
"Just Sorsha, please. Lucienne, the doctor said you passed out because your body wasn't getting enough oxygen. Your blood oxidation levels are dangerously low."
I only nod.
"Lucienne... Cole is... he's..."
My heart throbs at the mere mention of his name and I hold my breath.
"He doesn't want me. It's alright, Luna."
I smile like each intake of breath doesn't feel like it's killing me. This is his Luna, his pack, his family. I don't need them worrying about me.
"Sorsha, please, just Sorsha," she scolds me, "Give him some time...he's...not used to emotions."
I close my eyes and will the memory of his face out of my mind. I won't let this break me, I'll make myself strong again, somehow.