Chapter 1 - A little bit of background
As we pulled out of Shadow Creek, I tried to look away as the female warrior, Tanya, blew a kiss towards my best friend, and Alpha, Raiden. She has been trying to win his affection and gain herself a place by his side as the new Luna of the pack ever since Raiden had turned twenty. Had it been me, I would have given up a long time ago. I cannot even begin to think who in their right mind would pursue a relationship with someone, for two damn years, knowing full well that the person was not their destined mate.
Werewolves usually find their mates around the age of eighteen or sometimes as late as twenty, but a wolf rarely ever finds his destined mate after the age of twenty-one. If one has not found his or her mate by that time, it was usually presumed that the Moon Goddess never assigned him or her with a mate, which means that they were cursed, or that the mate had unfortunately passed away.
The Moon Goddess is our deity, a divine being that all werewolves believe in. She is the one who pairs us with our destined soulmates, the other half of your soul, which we commonly refer to as a mate. A person made especially for you.
A wolf would be able to recognize his mate as soon as he turns eighteen. At that time, the bond will snap into place and draw you towards one another. It is a magical connection between two souls, and without doubt, the strongest bond on earth. Fighting it will only cause both parties harm and embracing it will ensure you heaven on earth.
Neither I nor Raiden had been able to find our destined mates. We were both turning twenty-three, and the chances of finding our mates were getting slimmer by the day.
Raiden believed with his whole heart that he had already found his mate in Lily Scott, the daughter of Alpha Leonidas, from our ally pack, Hollow Stone. Raiden and Lily had been inseparable from the moment they first met, but unfortunately, due to unexplainable events, she had disappeared into thin air just before his eighteenth birthday.
To say that it had been a terrible tragedy was an understatement. No one knows what had happened to her and no traces of her has been found after her disappearance almost five years ago. The heartbreak of losing his dear, Lily-flower, as he used to call her, had left Raiden broken and empty. He tried to keep it a secret, but I knew he sneaked out at least once a week to the place where Lily’s final scent had vanished.
Maybe we were cursed by the Goddess?
“So, Grimlark,” Ray said with a sigh as he leaned back into the comfortable black leather seats.
We had made it onto the highway and was now travelling at top speed towards an ally pack in the back of a sleek, anchor-grey SUV.
I flashed him a sideways glance and huffed as we mentally prepared ourselves for the long drive up north towards Grimlark’s pack grounds.
It was customary for the Beta to accompany his Alpha on official pack business such as this, but I would have done it anyway, regardless of my rank, since he was my best friend.
Werewolves, like us, usually live in small communities called packs. Every pack has an Alpha, who is considered the leader of the pack. A Luna, who is the mate of the Alpha, and a Beta wolf, who is the second in command, after the Alpha and Luna. Beta’s act as discipliners to reinforce the Alpha’s decisions and enforce the rules of the pack.
We were visiting Grimlark at the request of their Alpha to discuss the unexplained rogue killings, slowly making their way up north. He wanted us to help him strategize and prepare his pack for the possible onslaught since we had been through something similar already.
“Have you ever been there before?” I asked just as Raiden closed his eyes to get some rest.
He lazily lifted one eyelid, before closing it again and answering, “nope.”
I turned my gaze away from him and stared absentmindedly out of the window.
“You?” I heard him asking.
“Nope,” I answered, popping the ‘p’ at the end.