This entire story is dedicated to Jen-1982. Without her, this would probably never have happened. between her, StarlightRyder, and Lore507 and so many other wonderful followers, I have been shown a great deal of love. Thank you for the wonderful support that you give me. Even, or especially when I whine and cry. You guys are great and have been for a long time.
“Freya!” A deep voice yelled out.
Heaving a deep sigh, she answered. “Yes Xander.” Turning, she meet her youngest brother as he walked up to her. He was Freya’s closest friend and her confidante. She had been so carefully guarded as a child that it had been difficult to have playmates. So many of the parents in the District had seen her as a way to get an “in” with the Alpha couple, that she had often been pushed into playing with mean and sometimes cruel children.
“Are you even listening to what I’m telling you, Freya?” Her brother asked in exasperation.
“I’m sorry, Xander. I was remembering some of my rather unpleasant childhood.” Alexander frowned. His sister had not had an easy childhood. She had been a target for wolves and human females seeking a change in position and status within the District. His mom and dad had done what they could. But not even the Alpha couple was perfect at guarding their daughter.
“I was saying that a visiting Alpha is on his way and dad wants us all to be there to greet him. He’s supposed to be important.” Freya waved his explanation of with a disinterested wave of her hand.
“Mom and dad always get a little uptight when another alpha or higher ranked wolf comes. I think that they are hoping that each time, it might be my mate. Dear Goddess, how many more years must I wait. I’m already 23. By the time mom was my age, she was a widow and living in the convent. I want my mate, dammit! I want someone who will love only me. Me! Freya! Not the first female wolf born in almost one hundred years! Not the alpha’s daughter. Me!” In a fit of anger, she stomped her foot to emphasize her point.
Alexander responded to his sister’s pain by pulling her into his embrace. “Ah Rey, you will. Grandmother does everything for a reason. You know that. When she allowed mom to be changed and get pregnant with all of us, she had reasons. Even dad has said that when it happened Grandmother had told him that she hadn’t allowed mom to get pregnant with her human husband. That was something special reserved for dad. I strongly suspect that you will meet your mate very soon and that you will find that Grandmother does know what she’s doing. I know you get lonely, but it will be worth it, I promise.” Hugging her one last time, Alexander released her as they approached their home.
Taking a deep sniff, Alexander groaned in appreciation. “Mom’s cooking. And it smells like homemade bread, and......Oh my God!!! Mom’s making haggis! She never makes that. Even though it’s dad’s favorite. Says it stinks up the house for days. I wonder what else she’s making.” Turning to his sister, he grinned and grabbed her hand and pulled her along to the kitchen entrance of the massive house that they called home.
“Mom!” Xander called out.
Their mother came out of the pantry with bundles of sweets that she had made the day before. “Yes, Alexander? Is there some reason that you are running through the house and dragging your poor sister along behind you?” Their mother stood all of about five foot, eight inches and their dad was somewhere along the lines of six foot five. All of the boys were tall like their dad. But Freya had turned out to be delicate like Amy’s mom. The woman had been barely five foot tall. If she stretched really hard, that it.
Amy looked from one to the other of her two youngest children and smiled. They both stood there with their mouths hanging open with surprise. “Well, are you going to answer you mother?
Or do we assume that you have gone mute as well as having lost all of the manners that we tried to instill in you both?”
Amy turned to smile at her husband and mate. He couldn’t resist, Ulfr picked her up and held her and kissed her soundly before setting her down, leaving her flustered.
“Ewwww! Dad! Do you have to do that in front of me?” Alexander groaned.
A tinkling laughter was heard behind him. “Just wait Xander. You’ll be even worse than mom and dad. You watch and see. I think it’s great that they still act like they just got mated and married.′ Turning back to her parents, she smiled. “I’m sorry mom. Xander smelled the haggis and grabbed my hand and took off. He wanted to see what else you were cooking.′ Walking over to the eight burner stove, Freya began lifting pot lids, appreciating each new smell. Looking back up at her mother, she smiled again. “Need some help? I have nothing to do and I’m not bad in the kitchen, you know? Had a great teacher.”
Amy laughed at her child. “Of course you can help. You can make the topping for the sticky toffee pudding. Here’s the recipe. Mind you, don’t burn it or scorch it. You have to stir it constantly.” With that, Amy handed her daughter the recipe and ingredients.
They women worked in companionable silence for a time. “So mom, what else did you cook?′
“Enough of your dad’s favorites to have to fight to keep him out of the kitchen. I thought I was going to have to sic Octavia on him.” Freya shuddered at he thought of the large family cook. Octavia was pleasant enough to those she loved, or even liked. But you behaved in her kitchen. ‘They’ll be no shenanigans in my kitchen.’ she would say and wave a wooden spoon threateningly at the offender.
“Wow! That’s pretty bad. So, are you going to tell me?” Freya pushed.
“I fixed tatties and neeps, black pudding, leek and tattie soup, haggis and of course, because we are wolves, your dad’s out back with all of your brother’s spit roasting a stag he killed this morning.” Freya was impressed. Her parents never went all out like this. Not even when Magnus, the Alpha heir, met his mate and married her.
“This must be a very important wolf for you and dad to pull out all the stops like this. May I know who he is?” Freya asked.
“His name is Artair. Some say that his father named him after the god Artos in defiance. Some say he did it out of worship. Some just make stuff up to satisfy their need to gossip. But, for whatever reason his father named him that, it turned out to be appropriate. He’s a big man. Bigger than you father, even. He also has more muscle than your father. I almost feel sorry for the woman the goddess chose as his mate.”
“Why momma?” Freya asked. She thought he sounded perfect.
“Because he is even angrier than your father was when we met. He was old and had had female companionship, but no mate. No wife. It does something to a wolf to go that long without love. The mate’s touch can do many thing. Including calming an angry wolf in seconds.′
“I’ll vouch for that.” Amy and Freya turned where Ulfr was standing in the kitchen doorway watching her mom. “Dad. You have to behave. Mom and I have got to finish this food.” As a way to distract him, she asked, “When will this Artair be here and will he be bringing the usual entourage that most alpha’s bring with them?”
“He will be here in just over an hour. Long enough for you and your mom to get finished and go shower.” Ulfr watched both women open their mouths to say something, when he raised his hands in surrender. “I know. I know. Don’t touch anything. Don’t eat anything. stay away from the stove. Stay out of the refrigerator. If I don’t, Octavia will get me. That would be a neat trick, Sweet Amy, considering she had the day off and won’t be back until tomorrow.” Ulfr grinned at his mate. He had known the the threat was an empty one. But, he loved her and wanted to make her job a little easier. Leaning down, he kissed her. Then walked in the direction of their cellar.
“And just what are you doing now?” Amy asked him.
“I’m getting some traditional meade from the cellar that I have had fermenting for almost four weeks now. Magnus helped me with it. He added some lavender and blackberries to the mix as it cooked. Also, I’ll pull some of that wine that Dominic gave us last year. I think we still have about six or seven bottles left.” Ulfr stopped at the cellar doorway and turned to Amy and asked, “Do you think I ought to get the scotch or .......?”
Amy walked up to her very nervous husband and mate and placed both hands on each side of his face and gently kissed him.
“Wolf, whatever has made you nervous? This is just not like you to act like this. You are a very self-assured and confident wolf and man. What has you so tied up like this?” Amyl et her hands fall to Ulfr’s shoulders and looked at him and said, “Has your mother been to see you about our guest? Is that what’s going on?” Amy watched as Ulfr’s face went completely blank.
“What Ulfr? What did she tell you? I deserve to know. After all, a very grouchy and ancient wolf is going to be coming into my home and I deserve to know what is going to happen.” Amy finished her tirade and the air seemed to shimmer. As the Goddess of all werewolves appeared before them, her granddaughter ran to her and threw her arms around her to hug her.
“Come child, time for that later. Go stir your confection so that it does not burn.′ Turning to her son and his beautiful wife and mate, she said, “I will not tell you what it is. I will tell you what I told Wolf. There will be a wolf in this entourage that is very important to this household. The political ties alone will be staggering.” Having said her peace, she disappeared again.
“I really hate it when she does that. And she knows it, too.” Amy said. Turning back to her mate, she kissed him again. “Meade and wine for dinner and scotch for after. Make sure you offer him one of those really great cigars you have in your study. I’m sure that you two will end up there.” Amy said with a sigh.
Shortly, Amy and Freya finished everything and began to set the table, the both went to shower. After all, Freya reasoned, if it was that important that grandmother visited in person, it had to be worth the effort. After her shower, Freya stood in front of her closet and looked over everything. She had everything from backless evening gowns to denim overalls and flannel shirts. Their parents had indulged them when it came to clothes. Amy wanted her children to understand how to dress well, and in turn, how to dress down.
“Just because you are children of the Alpha couple doesn’t mean that you can’t get out in the yard and get muddy. But, at the same time, you have to know how to dress appropriately." Freya knew without question that tonight was a dress appropriately night. Reaching in her closet she pulled out a royal blue silk dress that was tunic style and fell to just above her knees. The sleeves stopped just above her elbows and were loose to allow for movement. The dress itself was simple and unadorned, so Freya added a sapphire and diamond choker that her mom and dad had given her after she graduated from college. In her ears, she wore the matching earrings and a simple platinum braided chain on her left wrist. On her feet, she wore heels that were made of black satin straps and white metal chains that flattered her feet. She really despised wearing high heels. She tended to teeter around on them. Unfortunately, it would never get any better. She was human female short and she lived in a world that was werewolf tall. She wondered what her Grandmother could possibly have been thinking.
“Easy child. You are very special, and you are small so that your mate will be automatically geared toward a deep seated need to protect you and your offspring. Being small has it’s advantages. You will come to understand.” Freya hugged her grandmother.
“Amma, I have never seen dad so nervous about guests before. Are they something special, then? Truly?” She asked looking up at beautiful grandmother.
“Truly child. This group of wolves are very special. They were the first. My first children. Many of the females do not have mates and are going feral. Your brothers will be mated by tomorrow morning. Magnus excluded of course.”
Freya felt a tear slip down her cheek. It wasn’t that she wasn’t happy for her brothers, she was. But she needed her mate. already her wolf took her on longer and longer runs to calm down and she was easier to agitate than her older brothers.
“That’s because you’re a female and are more emotional. Now, it’s time to go downstairs and greet the guest with you parents.” With that, Freya received a quick kiss on her forehead and then her grandmother was gone again.
As she exited her room, Xander was waiting outside her suite to escort her downstairs.
Meanwhile downstairs, Ulfr and Amy and their other children stood at the entrance of their home and greeted the Alpha’s entourage of Betas and Gammas. Next came the Alpha’s daughters. All four of them. It was funny to watch as they were greeted and each son grabbed a girl and claimed her. Each girl squealing in joy. The last daughter looking dejected. They was no male to claim her.
Artair stood back and watched his children and the children of the Goddess’ children realize that they were mates. He knew, of course. She had already told him. Forewarned is forearmed, she said. A saying she had picked up from her daughter-in-law.
Because he was two thousand years old, he senses were so much stronger than even Ulfr’s . When he caught a whiff of her, he stood completely still. He listened and watched. The scent could only be coming from one female. A very small young lady was being escorted down the stair by another male. Even though, Artair was reasonably sure that the male was her brother, he could not stop the growl that rumbled deep in his chest. His last daughter, standing next to him, looked over at him and gasped.
“Father, stop that before you get us thrown out.” She whispered fiercely. Artair looked down at his youngest “daughter” and smiled.
“Don’t worry, child. She is my mate and if I am not mistaken, she is being escorted by her brother who is your mate.” The girl turned her head and quickly took a sniff in the young mans direction. Letting out a joyous squeal, she dropped her father’s hand and ran to Alexander. Who caught her just as she leaped up on him.
Freya stood by watching all of this, in pain. She wanted her mate. She wanted someone who would be that happy to see her. She knew, that because of her circumstances, her mate was probably going to be fiercely aggressive.
“Well, that seems to have gone well.” Ulfr said. He hurt watching his youngest. He knew exactly how she felt. He had waited hundreds of years for her mom. She was only 23, but still old enough to grieve the lack of a mate. Before he could introduce their guest to his daughter, she made some hasty excuse about being sick and turned and ran back up the stairs. He watched in disbelief as Artair followed in a determined fashion. “Where are you going?” Ulfr aske the massive wolf.
“To get my mate.”
Ulfr and Amy stood still as his words sank in. His daughter, the first female wolf born in almost one hundred years was mated to a two thousand year old warrior Alpha. He smiled. She couldn’t be in better hands than if he had planned it himself.
“Where is father going?” Ulfr turned in confusion.
“Your father?” He asked.
“Yes, our father. There are six of us girls. Adopted at differnt times.” At the word adopted, Ulfr released a deep sigh of relief.
One girl spoke up and said. “My parents dies in a rogue attack when I was two and I had no other family. That’s why he adopted me. My other sisters pretty much have the same story. He didn’t adopt us because he got our moms with pup. He’s just very caring for the wolves in his pack and district.”
Freya slammed her bedroom door and threw herself on her bed and sobbed. Watching her brothers get to meet their mates tonight had been wonderful, but extremely painful. Here she was 23, well past the age that wolves meet their mate. The longing in her very soul was beginning to turn to bitterness. Her wolf wouldn’t make it another yet without a mate.
Just then, a forceful knock sounded on her door. “Go away, dad. I’ll be down later. I can’t face everyone right now.”
Knocking again. This time stronger. “Dad please go away. Just tell mom that I don’t feel very well and that I’ll be down later.”
Before all of the words were completely out of her mouth, her door was kicked in and the stood the largest wolf she had ever seen. He was easily seven feet tall. He had black hair and a bushy black beard. His eyes were the clearest blue she had ever seen. Drawing in a breath, she started to shout at him for busting down her door, when she realized what she was smelling.
“Oh.” She whispered.
“Aye. And I’ll thank you to come greet your mate properly.” When Freya stayed frozen in place, in shock, Artair stalked to her bad and stood her on the mattress, causing her to be just about eye level with him. Handling her like she was made of the most fragile glass, Artair leaned down and touched his lips to hers. At her sigh of welcome he pressed forward and lifted her, forcing her to wrap her legs around his massive body.
Freya pulled back and looke at him with tears in her eyes and whispered, “Mate.”