I walked through the halls searching for a ticket booth. I groaned as I realized that the next bus to my location is at ten. Supposing the Alpha didn’t find me within the hour, then great. But we’re talking werewolves and I knew he’d be able to sniff me out - literally. I paused, re-thinking my options.
If I made it to the clinic - I wouldn’t really be able to hide either because Zaina could’ve told him where I worked. Plus, I don’t know what the Umbra Pack is but anyone that has their sister kidnapped by some kind of psychopath when they’re not even remotely close to their territory - spelled absolute trouble. I shook my head as I stepped away from the ticket lines and move to an empty hall.
I looked through my bag, groaning as I find my undone stack of paperwork, neatly clipped together inside yet the corners of the paper had already begun to fold because of all the moving I’d been doing. It was only then that I saw something else in my bag, another phone. I stared at it in surprise - it was on silent and it wasn’t vibrating but… someone was calling-
“Auden!” Someone yelled from my left and I turned only to find my eyes meet a pair of vivid hazel. Oh shit.
I broke into a sprint, hiding myself in the crowds that were heading out as I zig-zagged through people. Thankful that werewolf genes let me be a little faster than the average human, I made my way out and ran towards Times Square. I began to smooth into a fast walking pace as I got further through the crowds. If I wanted to mask my scent, crowds were the way to go. I immediately went towards every crowd I could see before I took out Lana’s phone. I slid my finger across the screen and sighed in relief - she didn’t have a passcode. I dialed Zaina’s number and cursed as I waited for her to answer.
“Zaina, thank fucking god,” I said as I continued to walk along.
“Auden? What the hell are you-“
“No time to explain, what did the guy who was talking to you earlier tell you?” I asked.
“He told me he was your mate - Auden, that guy’s not a normal-“ I sniffed the air and groaned, I could already sniff him which meant he could do the same with me. Glad that whatever werewolf genes I had left was still able to aid me in my escape, I decided to make it down to the subways, crinkling my nose in disgust at some of the scents I picked up - heightening my senses wasn’t always a good thing. I wasn’t going to go for a train - but I did need the crowds to just go through me - which happened as people got off the train - I simply needed to make it to the other side and get out again.
“Sorry, you might get a lot of interference. I need you to help me get out of this situation, Zaina, I can’t just leave-“
“Auden, you have to listen to me, Alpha Lucien isn’t a small-fry that I can just negotiate with-“
“Zaina- I have done everything in my power to keep my nose out of werewolf life and I’m not about to lose it because of a guy that was chosen for me by a goddess that has never ever decided to bless me with anything-“
“Auden, I’m sorry but I can’t just-“
“You haven’t even tried!” I yelled as I got out of the station. People had stopped to stare and I felt my heart thump in my chest as I shook my head and continued to walk forward. “You can’t make me get back into this shit, Zaina, you just can’t-“
“It’s not for me to decide, Auden, come on, you know that mates are bound together-“
“What if I just reject him?”
“He’ll have to accept and you know he won’t-“
“If I tell him I’m practically human he will- what kind of werewolf would want a human mate, right?” I asked as I turned and I felt immediate regret as I caught a whiff of the scent. Just as I was about turn on my heel and go back I was pulled back with an iron grip.
I opened my mouth to scream but I felt him place a hand over my mouth and spin me around. I was inhaling his scent and it was driving me insane, plus the feeling of his body against mine was sending me sensations I did not want to feel at the moment.
“If I let go, will you please keep quiet?” Alpha Lucien asked and I nodded, he released me and stepped away from him.
There was only so much of the tinglies I could handle. And yes, I’m going to call those warm tingling sensations from the mate touch tinglies - because why the hell not? I folded my arms over my chest.
“Auden? Auden are you-“ I hung up on Zaina.
“Where’s Lana?” I asked and Alpha Lucien sighed.
“She’s sedated in the car.”
“Do you normally do that to your sister?” I asked and he shook his head.
“Lana’s only twelve, there’s no way I’m gonna let her roam around the city like a wolf - and there’s a lot more people looking for the two of our asses than you think. I’ve talked to your sister, Zaina and I have her permission to take you to Vancouver and let you do whatever you want beforehand. She says you need to deliver some papers-“
“You have her permission?” I asked with incredulity. What about mine?
“Yes, I do. As your Alpha her word is absolute-“
“What kind of archaic society do we live in where someone else gets to determine my-“ He placed a hand on my mouth again and I froze.
“Please don’t make a ruckus in public,” he said and his eyes made it look like he was begging. I nodded and he released me again.
“I’m sorry. I’m trying my best to calm down.”
“I can see that. Either way, your sister says that she needs some papers from you before she can-“
“She wants me to do her paperwork… In this situation?” I interrupt before looking at him and shaking my head. “God this is fucking awful…” I cursed as I stepped away and felt something inside me - it was rage - just pure fucking rage.
“Listen… I’ll try not to be overbearing, but we need to get a move on, there are people looking for my sister and myself… And this city is far from familiar to us.” I paused to think and stared into his eyes. He really did look worried - if not a little more tense. I peered into the bag that had somehow miraculously managed to stay with me through this entire chase.
“You know what? Fuck it,” I cursed as I took all the papers from my bag, I spotted a nearby garbage can. If any werewolf strength at all is in my hands, please let me do this one thing… I internally begged myself. I placed my hands on two sides of the thick stack of papers and pulled it apart. I hear the stack rip with a satisfying sound.
“Do you happen to smoke?” I asked Alpha Lucien and he shook his head. I groaned. Damn it.
“Close enough I guess,” I muttered before I tore the stack into further shreds and threw it in the trashcan. “Do you have my phone?” I asked as I turned to him and he nodded this time as he produced it from his pocket.
I took it from him and dialed my clinic.
“Good morning Clarissa from-“
“Hey Clarissa, this is Doctor Auden Breaux. I’m quitting and when my sister calls you, which I suspect she will do sometime today, tell her to go fuck herself.”
“Doctor Auden I don’t think I can-“ I hung up.
“When’s the flight, Alpha?” I asked and Alpha Lucien gave me a small smile.
“You can just call me Lucien… As for the flight - time’s not much of an issue if you need it to get other things done.”
“What? Last time I checked planes don’t wait for-”
“Oh. Well that’s convenient,” I said just as I looked for some kind of my pin in my bag.
“What are you doing?”
“Abandoning my sister,” I said with a smile before I found a safety pin. Lucien watched as I simply plugged the needle through my phone’s sim holder and took it out. I shook it out and plugged it back in.
“You could’ve just destroyed it,” he commented and I rolled my eyes.
“And waste a perfectly good phone? No fucking way.”
“Where were you gonna go in the bus station?” Alpha Lucien asked as we boarded the plane. I didn’t have many things to begin with, so I decided to comply.
“Carmine Territory. Two hours by bus and probably another hour’s worth of walking on human legs,” Supposing I was gonna be welcomed of course. I added in my head.
“How is Carmine as a pack?” He asked as I took a look at the plane’s interior. Mainly composed of leather reclined seats and an upholstered couch, with secured coffee tables - I basically gawked. Carmine wasn’t poor by any means - but who the hell could be rich enough to have a private plane? Just what kind of pack was Umbra? I heard someone clear their throat and I shook my head as I took a seat nearby where a table was propped up in front of me and the couch was to my left.
“Oh, um, Carmine… well, I guess we’re a small pack that just minds their own business. My sister Zaina is three years older than me and is learning the ropes of being Alpha,” I explained as Lucien took a seat across me.
“I mean how is Carmine, to you, in terms of attitude,” Lucien asked and I paused.
“I haven’t really seen them in a while, but I would have to say that they mind their own business, just as much as I mind my own,” I said freely. If Zaina wasn’t gonna be by my side, I needed someone else - and maybe my mate would do for now.
“How often did they come see you?” Lucien asked and I paused for a moment.
“Um… well, I came to see them for Christmas-“
“They don’t come see you? Not even your sister?”
“Um… I’m sure I’m getting it wrong…” I said and Lucien simply shook his head. Deciding not to really think about it, I spotted Xander as he carried someone in his arms and my eyes widened as I realized that it was Lana who was now dressed in a simple white T-shirt dress. He rested her on another chair and buckled her up before he bowed his head towards Alpha Lucien and then at me. I raised an eyebrow as he walked towards the back of the plane, taking a seat.
“Is he Lana’s mate?” I asked and Alpha Lucien chuckled.
“She’s not old enough to discern if that’s true - but from what he tells me, it seems like it,” he said before he looked over at his sister and smiled.
“How old is he?” I asked.
“He’s seventeen, five years older than my sister.”
“And you’re okay with that?” I asked just as the airlock door shut and I buckled my seat - Alpha Lucien did the same.
“Lana isn’t someone I can say no to, plus, Xander’s been her friend for years before he figured out he’d been mated to her. I think that’s enough to prove I can trust him, don’t you?” He asked and I nodded. “Though I guess that kind of justification doesn’t work in our case.” I paused.
“…Oh, you’re referring to the fact that we literally don’t know each other,” I said and he nodded in response. I leaned back in my chair as take-off began.
“What exactly convinced you to come with me?”
“I’d rather not talk about the real reason so I’m gonna just say one of them. Having an Alpha chase me attracts attention and I’m guessing that if I had stayed and you chased me- while others chased you…” I trailed off, only spotting a hint of uncertainty in Alpha Lucien’s eyes. “Well. My life would easily become a mess no matter what,” I said, completing my answer.
“So that’s it?” he said and I sighed.
“You didn’t expect me to say that I did it because you were my mate right?” I asked before looking over at Lana.
“A wolf can dream,” he said in response and I rolled my eyes as I took my bag back into my hands, sifting through the piles of paper.
“How long is the flight?” I asked.
“Five to six hours.”
“So… more about you. How often do you go back to Carmine?” He asked and I chuckled.
“…Once, twice a year?” I admitted. “I haven’t really seen anyone other than my parents and Zaina for… maybe seven years. Most of the time, I lock myself up in my room in the pack house- there’s not much space for a human there-“ I said stopping myself, I looked at Alpha Lucien, his hazel eyes had turned dark green and filled with concern.
“It’s not like it’s their fault though, I let my head talk me out of the pack,” I tried to explain but he still gave me that worried look that made me feel uneasy. It was a look that I was used to - a look that I got from my parents when I said I was leaving - a look that I’ve come to really resent.
“Do you think your sister can handle your workload?” He asked and I nodded, appreciating the fact that he had changed the subject.
“I mean, it’s not like I can run it from Vancouver. And it isn’t that big of a business in the first place - I don’t really even get paid to do it,” I added, pausing for a moment.
“Does this plane not have wifi?” I asked, trying to get on a more easy subject, and he gave me a blank look.
“I wouldn’t know, it isn’t mine,” Lucien said and I paused.
“Then who’s is it?” I asked.
“What? Who lends someone a private plane?”
“I went to New York for a reason, Auden. Speaking your language… I went for a business reason,” he said casually and I stared at him.
“What reason would have you drag your pack out here with your sister and get her almost bleeding to death beside my apartment?”
“I’m not inclined to tell you anything…” He trailed off and I folded my arms over my chest.
“Really? After I just spilled my beans?” I asked and he smirked. “Wow, okay, well, as your mate, I’d love to know the reason for your being in the city- you know, especially since I don’t believe that fate has everything all planned out for us to meet,” I said and he simply looked away, staring out the windows. I looked as well, smiling as I got a view of the clouds.
“We were hunting for some people, but another group found us instead,” he explained plainly, like I was supposed to get his story.
“God, it’s been a while since I’ve been on this side of things…” I murmured.
“We can talk about this later.”
“I’d rather… not stay in my thoughts right now,” I admitted honestly and he smiled.
“Then maybe I should let you ask other questions,” he said kindly and I paused.
“But I just asked you one-“
“I said other questions.”
“Stingy motherfucker.” He laughed at me and I rolled my eyes.
“Do you have none?”
“…Fine, let me think about it.”