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Alexzander ran around to the back of the house as he allowed himself to halfway shift. He would have the strength and speed of his kind, but essentially stay in human form. As he entered the backyard, the beast turned towards him. As the beast ran towards him, Alexzander pulled the sword from his back and pointed it towards the creature. As the beast neared, he swung the sword and sliced through its neck, removing his head in one clean sweep. Before the head hit the ground, Alexzander was turning to go to his ward.

Rounding the side of the house, he found her in the arms of his oldest friend, Cassian. The look on her face spoke clearly of her fright. However, she refused to allow herself any hysterics, which pleased him. He knew she was a strong female. She however, was yet unaware of how strong she really was. She would soon discover that. Walking up to her, he couldn’t resist the urge to touch her. Cupping the side of her face in one of his large hands, he used his thumb to stroke over the small nick on her lower lip. Hearing her gasp of surprise, he knew that she felt her beast rise to reach out to his.

While it was an unseen complication, it was not an unwelcome one. At least, not for him. The Order, that was another story. In all of it’s history, he had never heard of a ward being a guardian’s mate. “It is only you and I. The girl has not been trained, she would be of no help. We must move her to a safer location. Then you can answer all of the questions that I’m sure she has.” Having said his piece, Cassian turned and walked to where their vehicle was parked and got in it. Before shutting the door, he looked at his friend and said, “You two need to sit in the back. I don’t need to smell all of the pheromones that the two of you are putting out. Make sure you get yourselves under control before we enter the compound. After all of these years that you have lived, I’d hate for the Old Man to kill you.”

Alexzander didn’t wait for Aurelia to respond. He simply picked her up and carried her to the waiting SUV. Placing her gently in the backseat, he climbed in next to her and shut the door. Turning to look at his mate, he said, “I know you have many questions and I will try to answer them all as soon as I’m allowed to. But first, we must go see my boss. He is someone you need to meet. It will help answer some of your questions. The first, I can answer right now. What you felt when I touched you was your inner beast. She was reacting to me as your mate. We all have mates. Some are lucky enough to find them in our teens. Some, like Cassian and myself, must wait years, centuries even, to find ours.”

He watched Aurelia closely for any reaction. She just blinked at him and laid her head against the headrest and closed her eyes. “How long will it take to get to where we are going?”

“Soon. Within the next ten minutes or so. I’m very sorry you found out about all of this in this manner. If you hadn’t found your mate by your 21st birthday, we would have brought you to The Order headquarters and told you everything. We should have done it when you reached your 18th, instead. It might have saved this from happening. But, your grandfather refused to allow it.”

At the word “grandfather,” Aurelia’s head snapped up. Blinking her eyes in an owlish manner, she looked at him in suspicion and a small amount of hope. “I don’t have grandparents, They’re all dead. Just like the rest of my family. That’s really mean of you to do that to me.” She refused to hope. Her dad had never talked about his father. When pressed, he would only say that they had never gotten along and that he had left the family home when he was just a young man.

“You not only have a grandfather, you have a grandmother that is very much looking forward to meeting you.” He replied.

“If they really are my grandparents, then why have I been alone for so long? Why have they not stepped forward when my family died? Why!” Realizing that she was shouting at him, she leaned back against the seat and let silent tears flow.

“I’m sorry, Aurelia, but I’m not allowed to answer that. Only your grandfather is allowed to answer that question. Believe me, as your mate, my first instinct is to give you anything that you ask for. I want to cherish you, pamper you and even nurture you. However, I will not be allowed to until your grandfather allows it. ”

Aurelia looked over at the mountain of a man that was seated next to her. “Will you tell me about mates?”

“I would love to. However, we have arrived at our destination. I will be lucky to see you at dinner tonight.” As the vehicle came to a stop, an armed guard opened the door, frightening her, causing Alexzander to growl loudly at the offender.

“I’m sorry, sir. But He’s anxious to see her, as is the girl’s grandmother. I was sent to retrieve her.” Turning to look at her, the guard reached out and Aurelia shrank back against Alexzander.

“No! Don’t touch me!” The guard frowned and reached for her again. She screamed her response again, causing Alexzander to growl menacingly.

Before the situation could escalate, Cassien spoke up. “Guard, allow us to lead her to her grandfather. I realize you have a job to do. But how much trouble will you be in if you bring her before her grandparents in hysterics. Leave her and step back from the vehicle. Alexzander can deal with his mate without interference, and we won’t have to carry you to the infirmary. Because, if you continue to upset her, I guarantee that your second will cause you great harm. I’m sure you’ve heard the rumors.” Cassien paused, allowing his words to sink in before continuing. “They’re all true.” He smirked as the guard went pale.

“Of course, sirs. I apologize. Please, allow me to hold the door open for you.” When Alexzander growled, the young man thought it a better idea to simply step away from the vehicle.

Alexzander got out of the vehicle and reached for his mate. Because the mate bond was strengthened, she leaned into him and allowed him to lift her up and out, carrying her bridal style. Aurelia looked up at him and whispered, “Please don’t leave me. I don’t want to be alone.”

“I promise.” The simple phrase seemed to soothe her as he stepped into the mansion where The Order was headquartered. Even though is was the middle of the night, the entry hall was brightly lit with beautiful crystal chandeliers. Coming toward him was his leader, whom he realized was not pleased to see Alexzander carrying his granddaughter.

“What is the meaning of this!” His Alpha voice carried with it strength and power and a demand for obedience. It terrified Aurelia even more. Whimpering, she turned her face into Alexzander’s chest and took deep breaths, hoping that his smell would calm her, not even realizing what she was doing.

“Calm down, Aleister. Things happened tonight. We had to save her from an attack. A rival tribe’s Alpha offspring wanted her and was going to take her if we hadn’t stopped him.” He watched as his leader’s eyes cut back and forth between the two of them, Cassien and the young guard that had followed them in. “Why didn’t you escort her in?”

The young man was still shaken from his enter with the tow men. “Because, Leader, they wouldn’t let me. Neither would the female. She clung to her mate and screamed if I came near her.”

“HER MATE!” Only Aurelis’a whimpers hushed him. Just as he was about to speak, a small, beautiful, older female walked up. “Aleister, that’s quite enough. Our granddaughter does not need you to terrify her anymore than she already is. Everything will be straightened out tomorrow. Allow Alexzander to take her to her rooms and Cassien to debrief you. Because, it’s patently obvious that they are mates and do not need to be separated.” Nodding in his direction, Alexzander bowed his head to his female leader and followed a maid out of the all and up the stairs.

I’m trying to use ancient names, because The Order Of Werewolves is old. Thousands of years old.

Aleister-man’s protector

Alexzander-defender of men

Cassien-metal helmet, old Roman family name

Aurelia-saint, lovely being with golden hair

A’lia(Aurelia’s grandmother)-glorious, magnificent, wonderful

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