When we got to the pack house, Cole grabbed my hand and led me upstairs to his room. Apparently he’d told Ryder to handle the pack for the rest of the night. By now I just want to know what it is. The suspense is killing me.
We didn’t encounter anyone on the way there, for which I was grateful. Had someone asked to talk to me, I don’t think I would’ve been able to smile and laugh, as if nothing was wrong. Cole’s weird attitude was slowly eating away at me, and the sooner he sat down and told me what was bugging him, the better for both of us.
We sit down on his comfy bed, and Cole pulls me back and into his chest. I draw soft circles on his chest, hoping to sooth his apparent nerves. Cole’s fingers play with my hair, slowly pulling it out of the French braid I had it in from the morning. The relief that comes with having my hair free and loose after more than eight hours is great, but it doesn’t get rid of my curiosity. At all.
“So Cole, what have you got to tell me that’s so important?” I ask, almost sarcastically. I expect him to smile, but when he doesn’t, I sober up a bit.
“Sweetheart, what I’m about to tell you, might go against everything you’d hoped for, everything you might believe in. Please take it seriously. I’m not joking around. And try to keep an open mind about it. Try to think about it from a wolf’s perspective. Okay?” His blazing blue eyes search mine, and I nod. The curiosity is at level one hundred right now, but I try to keep his words in mind.
“Okay. So remember a while ago, when you asked about the symptoms of being a werewolf? Or becoming one? And I said I’d tell you the last one a bit later?”
I nodded, remembering that day clearly. I remember I was so shocked and confused, but I haven’t forgotten anything. It was a day that practically changed my life. How could I forget?
“Sweetheart, when do you think it’s okay for a couple to start having sex?” He asks, and I blanch, leaning away from him. The question totally takes me by surprise, and I start to blush, not exactly knowing where this is going. All I know is that I don’t feel comfortable talking about this with him. I look up to see if he’s joking, but he’s dead serious, his eyes staring deep into mine.
“Cole, why are you asking this? What brought this on?” I question him. He sighs and stares down at me. He brushes a strand of my hair away and lightly kisses me.
“Please answer the question my love. It’s important.” His face is completely serious. I decide to get it over and done with.
“Well...I believe that it shouldn’t be done with anyone. It should happen with a person you believe is special. Someone you know you can trust. It should be done in time, and you shouldn’t be rushed into it. Now why did I have to answer that?” I ask, blushing as he waits for me to finish. I watch as his face falls and his eyes hold something like...regret?
“Sweetheart, there is one time in a year that mates can complete the mating process. When that time comes-”
“Whoa,” I say, cutting him off. “What is the mating process?”
“It’s when mates get together to...have sex. Not just to have sex, but to mark each other for the first time, to officially become one. Also, they take this time to get pregnant,” he says. My eyes widen. I can’t believe this is happening.
“You said it only happens once a year, this official ‘sex thing’.” He winces when I say that. “When is it for this year?”
“Sweetheart, I don’t want you to freak. Okay? In two weeks. When the moon is full. It was the full moon the day I found you. So you’ve been here for two weeks. There’s two weeks left,” he replies softly, looking down.
I start to breath faster and I get up, pacing the room nervously. “Cole you can’t be serious. I’m supposed to have SEX with you in two weeks?! I don’t even..I can’t even-”
Cole jumps up from the bed and tries to stop my frantic pacing. “Hey, hey calm down! It’s still a while away. You don’t need to stress. It’s going to be alright.”
“Can’t we just..not do it then? Like, you know, leave it for a bit?” I’m desperately trying to find a way out of this, but it seems luck is not on my side.
“Um..the Alpha and Luna have to begin the mating process... By mating,” he replies, biting his bottom lip worriedly.
“Of-fucking-course,” I mutter. So it looks like I’ve got my sex life planned out. I get to have sex with Cole in two weeks. Awesome! This is what I meant by rushing it. I don’t believe in this, but it seems I don’t have a choice in the matter.
I sigh and sit on the edge of Cole’s bed. I can feel his gaze prickling my back. But I avoid his stare, instead deciding to fiddle with the end of my sweater.
“I’m not really feeling hungry today. I’m just going to go straight to bed,” I say, walking off to the bathroom. I hear him sigh and stand up, walking over to me.
“Love, I know it’s a lot to process. But please, just try to think of it from a wolf perspective. Okay? You promised you’d try.” His eyes look desperate and hopeful. I nod, walking around him and into the bathroom, shutting it behind me.
I lean against it and slide down unceremoniously. A wolf’s perspective? What does that even mean? That it’s the only time they can have sex? I shake my head. Maybe it’s the mating part. He did say that it’s the only time they try for a baby. Maybe that is important. I decide to ask him when I go to bed.
I quickly brush my teeth and comb through my hair. I open the door and walk into the wardrobe, pulling out some pyjamas. I pull them on and walk out to the bedroom, where Cole’s back is facing me, his palms holding his head. I can see his black tattoo stretched over his back muscles, and I want to know what they mean.
“Cole, what does your tattoo mean?” I ask, and he turns around slowly. He stands and starts to unfold the bedding, slipping in between the covers. I follow suit and he pulls me to him. Even though our conversation has changed my thoughts on a few things, the comfort him and his body gives me is so soothing, and I lean into him even more.
“I got it when I first shifted. As son of the Alpha, it was a big deal. It’s kind of tradition for the boy to get a tattoo on his back when he first shifts. Even though he is only fourteen, we still do it. In a pack, fourteen is the age you become a man,” he replies. I nod absently.
“Cole..what’s so special about marking your mate,” I ask. His eyes light up, as if it’s a wonderful topic. “When you mark your mate, your bond becomes stronger. You can read each other’s thoughts and all the feelings you feel together are multiplied. That’s why the marking is the first thing you do when you mate. So the event is...even more special,” he says, and I blush, realising what he meant. He smiles down at me, his eyes full of love. It just makes me feel uncomfortable and unhappy. But I try to hide it. I don’t want to hurt him.
“Okay. Goodnight Cole,” I say. I kiss him briefly on his lips, before snuggling into his chest.
“Goodnight my love. I love you.” I smile to myself when I hear that.
I wake up to a painful snap in my body, and I scream in pain. Cole bolts up from the bed, and he looks over at me.
“What’s happening?!” I scream out. My body feels like it’s burning. Another painful snap, this time my other arm. I whimper out Cole’s name, and his eyes widen.
“Jade! Jade, you’re shifting! I’m going to call the doctor and we’ll go outside.” He quickly scoops me up, and he practically sprints down the stairs, waking up every person behind every door. My body is still snapping, my bones breaking and reforming under my skin. I can feel every snap, every bone changing its position in my body, and I arch my back in pain.
By the time we make it out to the field, the whole pack is outside. Someone must have alerted the rest of the pack, the ones who lived in separate houses, because there is hundreds of people here. But I don’t really notice them. All I’m aware of is the fact that my skin is becoming unbearably tight around my newly-formed bones.
“Luna! Luna, I know you can hear me, so I’ll tell you what’s happening.” I know that voice. It’s that doctor, Dr Jasmine. She continues, but I don’t know how far or how close she is, my vision blurring in my pain, the only thing I can do is listen.
“Your becoming a werewolf, Luna. So your body has to readjust itself to accommodate your wolf form. The first time is painful, and it will hurt a lot, but after that, shifting becomes easier.”
Her voice disappears and is replaced by a hand stroking my face. But I can tell from the sparks and the amazing feeling that comes with it that it’s Cole. I whimper when he touches me, his touch temporarily giving me relief. But it’s only temporary. A new wave of that burning sensation hits me and I let out a broken scream. My throat is raw and my lips are cracked.
“Sweetheart, I know your frightened and in pain, but please, pull through. I know you can do this. Imagine us being able to run together at night, as Alpha and Luna. Imagine what life will be like after the shift. Think of only good things.”
I hear every word he says, laced with pain, hope and love, and that’s what makes me feel stronger. As my body cracks, bends and shifts into a beast, I think of us snuggling in the woods, completely and utterly in love.
I feel hairs prickling my skin, growing through every pore I have, and I scream. My screams are echoing through the woods, my body falling to the ground as I scream my lungs out. I feel my pain, I feel Cole’s pain, but suddenly, it’s all gone. The pain’s gone.
“My love, you are the most beautiful wolf I’ve ever seen,” I hear, and I think, ‘it’s over.’ So I open my eyes for the first time during that shift. I open my eyes and stand.
The world around me is suddenly clearer. The little details on the trees surrounding me are visible to me, the stars in the sky, the blades of grass I’m standing on. And that’s when I realise that I’ve got paws. Brown, silky fur covers the paws I’m standing on. I turn my head to look at the rest of my body. It’s all a light hazel colour, except for a long, thick strip of white that goes from my back paw up to my back, making my entire left, back paw white.
“Hello Jade. It’s nice to finally be able to meet you.” I jump in surprise, a soft whimper coming from my lips. The voice in my head laughs quietly, and I take note that it’s a female.
“There’s no need to be afraid. I’m your wolf, Tensa. I’m your other half. Well, your other half apart from Cole, our mate,” she giggles.
Im completely confused, and I decide I should try to communicate with her. She seems, bubbly. A younger, more childish version of me.
“H..hi. How is this even happening?! I’m speaking in my head to a wolf?” I question, and she laughs again, a soft, delicate sound that tinkles through my hearing. I feel relaxed around her, and I have an instant liking to her.
“Don’t worry, I know it must be very confusing. But for now, I think you should go to our mate. He hasn’t moved or stopped staring since you shifted.” I can feel a sudden quietness and I realise she’s dormant again, until she feels like she should come out. So I turn to Cole, and internally laugh.
With his wide, amazed gaze, he looks almost comical. I slowly walk over to him, still getting used to the feel of four legs, and stand directly in front of him.
The pack cheers, their yells and happiness breaking Cole from his little trance, and he reaches out to touch my fur. His touch is slow and gentle, as if he’s scared he’s going to break me.
“You are so beautiful. I finally have my mate. My wolf. My Luna,” he says in a whisper. I nuzzle his hand and growl softly at him. I want him to shift as well.
I think he gets it, because he pulls off his shirt hurriedly and takes off his pants too. In two seconds flat he’s standing in front of me, on all fours. His eyes black, signalling that Damien is in control. So I nudge Tensa up and let her take over.
“Hello my mate. My name is Tensa.” I purr, nuzzling Damien.
“Tensa. My mate has a very beautiful name. And a beautiful wolf. Let’s go for a run. Stretch your legs,” he replies. So I take off, sprinting into the woods, letting my fur ruffle in the wind, blowing in all directions. The sky above me twinkles and I feel so happy, so above the world. Until I’m thrown to the floor, a growl resonating above me.
“Don’t run away from me Tensa. I will catch you every time,” he growls. I bow my head in respect to my mate, and he nudged my head up, nuzzling my neck, purring. I whimper, feeling so good. He makes my body tingle in ways it’s never done before.
“I love you Tensa. You are so perfect. My perfect mate. You don’t know how long I’ve waited for you. Every day I wake up wondering when I’d finally be able to see my mate. Cole and Jade had their time together. Now it’s our turn,” he growls. I nod my head, completely content with that.
“I love you too, Damien,” I reply. He lays down beside me, his black fur brushing against my side.
And we stay like that for as long as I can remember.