Evangelica bolted up, sweat dripping down the back of her neck.
She glanced around, trying to focus on the present and not the past.
Her hands were shaky as she brought them to her face and rubbed her still tired eyes. Her body remembered exactly what they’d had to endure.
The bedroom door flew open and Artemis walked in.
“Good, you’re awake”
Artemis joined Clayton in the dining hall. Seeing as he couldn’t use his office at the moment, he’d decided he and his beta could discuss over a late lunch.
Striding into the large cafeteria like room he scowled as his presence ceased chatter and earned small cautious side glances.
Clayton was already seated at a table with Malcom, a red haired female perched on his lap as he nuzzled into her neck.
His skin prickled with irritation.
Walking over he grabbed a tray and filled it with various meats, a few fresh vegetables and grabbed a bottle of water before striding through through the throngs of tables until he came upon the one his beta and delta occupied.
Both males snapped their head up as he neared, the female was smart enough to keep her head down. Clayton looked at him in surprise. Malcom didn’t seem too phased that he was here dining with them.
It had been a few months since the last time he stepped foot in here while everyone else was here. Normally he waited until the pack ate and cleared out before he fixed himself a plate, taking it back to his room to eat alone.
“Alpha, to what do we owe this honor?” Malcom asked. Artemis surveyed the male as he seemed to already know why he was here.
“I have business to discuss with both of you, my space is currently occupied”
The female lifted her head and glanced up at him in wonder. He had no doubt rumors of why his raven haired female was still here were still circulating.
Clayton understood the underlying message and shooed the female away as gossip was a woman’s first language.
Artemis sat in front of the pair pushing off the feeling of discomfort, he squared his shoulders and held his head high. He was the alpha, the pack needed a reminder.
The chatter picked up, and the glances vanished.
Clayton chuckled as Malcom shook his head. Artemis knew they’d never understand what it felt like to be under scrutiny, everyone simply watching and waiting for him to lose his mind again.
“I need you to contact the young alpha and inform him that we will be taking a trip to come gather Evangelicas things.” Clayton nodded, “inform him that should he make this difficult, I’ll have no problem tearing out his throat and presenting it to his mate”
Malcom and Clayton both smirked, they were as bloodthirsty as he was. They just seemed to hide it better.
“Clayton, you’ll need to stay behind and take care of whatever happens to come up” Artemis stared before chomping down on a piece of fresh meat. He yearned to hunt, to chase his meal before devouring it but until he had the chance, the small amount of blood that the meat had been marinated in would help curb his desire.
He also couldn’t wait to hunt with Angel. His wolf was in agreeance , as they both wanted to show her that they could hunt and provide for her.
“Malcom, you’ll come with, I want Zedrik and Ryan with us as well.”
Malcom nodded, his fingers tapping against the wood table, “Alpha, a suggestion. I will borrow a bigger vehicle from one of the pack members as your truck won’t fit us all. No offense, but sitting in the back of the truck again isn’t exactly something I’m eager to do again”
Clayton chuckled before Artemis had the chance to reply, “If you had shifted, you could have felt the wind in your fur. You could have stuck your tongue out and enjoyed the breath of fresh air.”
Malcom let out a growl and slammed his hand down onto the table, the wood cracked beneath the force, “I’m getting tired of your smart ass comments”
Claytons eyes flashed with a bits of gold as his wolf peeked out at the threat, “Watch yourself delta before I put you in your place” he snarled as spit spewed.
Claytons wolf was more dominant than Malcolm’s, which was why he was Beta but as of late, Artemis began to wonder if Malcom was becoming stronger and possibly more dominant. They’d never know for sure unless a challenge was made.
Artemis wasn’t going to interfere as he needed the best at the top and if Clayton couldn’t hack it then it was only just that he no longer be beta.
Wolves positions changed all the time, as you weren’t simply born into your position, you had to fight for it. There were no free give outs or take aways.
Surprisingly , Malcom tilted his head to the side, showing his submission. Clayton snarled one last time before relaxing in his seat.
Artemis clasped his hand together and eyed the two.
Sure, Clayton usually said whatever was on his mind. Good or bad. He was playful when the time was right but he’d never noticed just how much Clayton picked and prodded at Malcolm.
Something was going on between the two.
Clearing his throat he drew the attention back on himself, “Malcom, how did the crops do this season?”
“Good, we managed to pick up more profit than last year after adding the watermelon to the table”
Artemis nodded, pleased that the packs income was solidified. A little over five years ago, Artemis had taken over the pack. He’d claimed the title by challenging the previous alpha. Alpha Normus, who had been a greedy and selfish wolf. Any and all profits made by him or any pack members, he’d keep and use for himself. The pack suffered, many wolves left until Artemis put his foot down shortly after his parents had passed away.
At the young age of nineteen almost twenty, Artemis had claimed the title and had sworn to protect and provide for his fellow pack members. Artemis struggled at first, until a few weeks later he’d met his mate wandering the woods completely lost.
Back then he’d been a different wolf. He’d been kind with a gentle soul. He could hold his own but killing to show dominance had never crossed his mind. He smiled more, especially after meeting Emily. His pack members weren’t fearful of him, they didn’t whisper his name to strike fear in others, they didn’t tuck tail and hide when he entered the room. He’d been a sane male wolf.
It was Emily who had suggested they grow crops and plant multiple gardens to obtain income. She’d helped him to create booths at local human markets where they could trade and sell goods. She was smart, and everybody loved their Luna.
After she passed, the crops died, the gardens went unattended and the life of the pack was sucked dry as their alpha fell into despair, until months later when he’d managed to gain some of his sanity back.
“Alpha” Clayton’s voice shook him from his train of thought, he looked up at Artemis with concern as Malcom glanced around the room wearily as the pack eyed their alpha with uncertainty. They were simply waiting for the shoe to drop, “Are you alright?”
Artemis nodded and scrubbed a hand down his face. His hand shook and he did his best to control it.
“I think it’s best if you went and tended to Eva” Clayton suggested.
Clearing his throat, Artemis stood from the table and tried to ignore how the entire pack flinched back as he stood.
A short while ago, he’d been fine with it. He’d enjoyed having others fear him, it meant nobody would step out of line.
Something was different now. It was as if the part of his soul that had been cast out when his mate died was trying to reattach itself to the other half.
He walked out of the dining hall and up the three flights of stairs, his mind a whirlwind of thoughts.
He walked into his bedroom and found Angel sitting up in his bed.
“Good, you’re awake” he said striding into the bedroom. He stopped by the bed and looked down at her.
His heart stilled as he took in her haggard appearance. Her eyes were puffy and red. The air around her smelt salty, wet trails lined her cheeks. Her hair was a giant mess of knots.
“Angel what’s wrong?” He demanded his eyes surveying the room. His wolf grumbled but didn’t feel any obvious threat, he stayed curled up in his mind.
She wiped at her eyes before blinking up at him, a soft kind smile spread across her face. His body warmed at the action, he felt his own smile creep onto his face.
This female did amazing things to him, he never thought he’d feel this way again.
Undeniably and truly happy.
“It was just a dream.” She said throwing back the covers, giving him an eyeful of the fabric that covered the juncture between her legs.
“That’s a pretty heavy reaction for it to just be a dream” he said holding out his hand. She slipped hers into his, letting him tug her from the bed. He pulled her flush against his body, his hand came up and swiped the leftover tear tracks away.
She sighed and leaned into his hand, turning her head she kissed his palm, “It was more of a memory. I guess talking about my heat helped to bring forth the memory of that day”
He nodded and stroked his thumb across her cheek, “If you ever want to dive into detail about it, to get it off your chest, I’ll always lend an ear”
“Thank you Artemis,” she said, sounding slightly breathless.
He dipped his head down and captured her sweet lips with his. He brought his hand up to clutch the back of her head. Her hair was so soft and smooth, like silk.
The fire in his loins was fierce and urgent.
She wrapped her arms around him, pressing her firm rounded breasts against his chest. He could feel the hard peaks of her nipples through his shirt.
He deepened the kiss, his tongue pushing past the seam of her lips. His tongue tangling with hers. She tasted his toothpaste.
A low rumble gave from deep in his throat as his hand fell from the back of head to grip the back of her thighs, easily lifting her up.
Angel wrapped her legs around his waist, her core hovering above the hard bulge in his jeans.
Walking them over to his bed he wasted no time placing her down, pulling off her shirt and sliding her panties down her legs. The heavy scent of her arousal penetrated the air like a perfume.
He watched as she scissored her legs together trying to ease the ache he had created before leaning up on her arms and spreading her legs. Her pussy glimmered with wetness.
Artemis fell to his knees, he grabbed both of her legs and pulled until her ass sat at the edge of the bed and her pussy hovered in front of his face.
The hammering of their hearts echoed in his ears. She looked down at him waiting, her lips slightly parted.
He gave her one good swipe across her lips before he dived in, indulging in her heated, soaked flesh.
Her soft sensual noises were music to his ears.
Her hands fisted in his hair, tugging. He groaned against her, the vibrations causing her to cream even more.
“Oh god Artemis ”
He lifted his eyes from her pinked flesh, watching as her back arched off of the bed. Her breasts were thrust high in the air, her taut dark pink nipples pointed. She cried out again as he sucked hard, his tongue twisting and turning.
“You taste so damn exquisite Angel” he rumbled against her flesh. His fingers dug deep into her thighs.
“That feels so wonderful”
He made a sound in the back of his throat before nipping at her clit. She cried out, a small rush of fluid spilling onto his tongue. He lapped at it, efficiently cleaning her.
“You make me one happy wolf” he said coming to a stand and shucking off his shirt and jeans.
“You make me one happy wolf” he said drawing his shirt over his head before unbuttoning his jeans and passing them down his hips.
Evangelica watched breathlessly with anticipation as her lovers firm built form crawled over her. The slightest brush of his naked skin against hers caused her to break out into shivers.
Her blood was boiling for this alpha male.
She’d thought the moon had been wrong in giving her Elijah as a mate. Instead the moon couldn’t have been more right, Elijah had been her true mate but once he’d chosen Marissa over her, their fates had been sealed. She’d always been destined to meet Artemis . One way or another.
The questions she never considered asking him until he stopped the truck was, what happened that led him to her? Where was his true mate?
Artemis’s head ducked down and captured one of her nipples in his mouth. He sucked on them like a feeding babe before giving her a gentle bite and tug.
Lifting her hips she ground her wet pussy against his cock, loving the feel of the mushroom tip slipping across her folds. A small pearly drop of semen leaked from the top onto her pink lips.
“Please Artemis ” she whined, her head thrashing back and forth. Her nails dug into his shoulders, embedding lightly into his flesh.
He growled before squeezing past her entrance and shoving all the way in.
Evangelica could feel every curve and ridge of him. His width always left her short of breath as he stretched her.
“That’s it baby, take all of me” he roared as his hips pumped rhythmically into her. Bringing her hips up to meet him thrust for thrust, she nearly passed out as he went deeper than ever before.
A tight coil of pleasure wound deep into the pit of her abdomen, clutching tighter as he pounded into her.
As his hand came up to cup her breasts and twerk her nipple, she came apart.
Black dots danced around her line of vision. Her limbs felt weak and yet relaxed at the same time. Her entire being seemed to take a giant breath as she’d never been more relaxed and at ease in her entire life. The walls of her vagina pulsed around his cock as he continued to thrust into her.
She stared up at him, no longer was she afraid of making direct eye contact with him. When the time came to it, sure she’d looked down and show her submission to him but here, in this bed, they were equal. His alpha status meant nothing. They were simply lovers while in this bed.
Running a hand through his hair she placed her lips on his, moving them against his and tasting herself on his tongue.
He groaned, his entire body shuddering as spurts of semen fell from him into her.
Artemis pulled away from the kiss, hovering above her his gray eyes darkened as she licked her lips.
“You’re going to be the death of me” he said kissing her again. He couldn’t seem to get enough of her and she couldn’t blame him as she couldn’t seem to get enough of him either.
She drew a lazy hand down the curve of his back, her finger tip grazing along his slick sweaty flesh, “I doubt it, you definitely have way more stamina than a normal wolf” she chuckled.
He smirked before pulling out of her to flip her over on her stomach. He grabbed her hips, pulling her ass up in the air. Her arms immediately went out to hold her weight.
She didn’t even have time to respond as he shoved back inside of her.
Evangelica moaned and clutched at the covers. She thought she could feel all of him before, well she most definitely could now.
“Let’s find out shall we?” He replied wickedly.
He gripped her hips roughly and thrust in and out from behind. Her sex was sore and yet she couldn’t say she wasn’t turned on because she was dripping with a mixture of hers and his.
Her breasts swayed forcefully, her eyes squeezed shut and she let out a loud feminine growl.
That seemed to spur him on even more as his tempo increased and he snarled from behind her.
It was at that moment that she wished he’d mark her. She wanted to be his forever. She should cry out to him, say something about it. Ask him to mark her.
But she didn’t. She couldn’t.
Because she had no idea if he’d met his mate yet and if he had where was she?
Evangelica cried out as hot waves of pleasure coursed through her, her core tightened around his length.
Artemis let out a hiss and erupted inside of her.
They stayed locked together in that position for some time. Both catching their breath and trying to make sense of everything.
“Was that good for you?” She asked still slightly out of breath.
Artemis’s booming laughter filled the bedroom.
The couple walked nervously into the dining hall.
Evangelica fiddled with her fingers as she tried her best to keep her head high. She was a strong wolf, her strength and female dominance stood close to a higher up females.
All at once, Artemis ’s entire pack went silent as she could have sworn everyone’s ears and nose twitched at their arrival.
The scent of their tryst clung to them like a thick perfume.
Artemis placed a comforting hand on her back and she let him guide her to the food table. He gave low warning growls to those who stared to long and grunts as pack members said fearful hellos.
He grabbed two plates as she reached her hand out to grab her own. She glanced up at him in confusion, “I can do that you know” she said.
“I know” was all he said before moving down the line, piling her plate sky high with various amounts of meat and vegetables.
Rolling her eyes, Eva strode past him over to the desert table just to spite him and grabbed a piece of Angel food cake. She turned and nearly lost her food as she bumped into his chest.
He quirked an eyebrow at her, “Dessert before dinner?” He asked, sounding slightly amused.
She shrugged, “technically I’ve already had dessert before dinner”
She watched as a large humor filled smile stretched across his face.
The pack looked on with wonder and encouragement as the small raven haired female brought their alpha out of his shell.
“As did I” he said before ushering her to an empty table as she laughed. She was beginning to feel like her old self again.
Artemis chowed down on his food as she ate small child size bites.
“Well look who decided to come out of their Love nest” a deep voice drawled from behind them.
Turning she smiled up at Clayton who looked onto them with laughter. Joy written across his face.
He seemed to be happier as of late.
“I wouldn’t call it a love nest” she giggled trying really hard to keep the blush from staining her cheeks.
He grinned even bigger, “And why not? Everyone in the pack could hear you both squawking like birds.” He leaned close to her and sniffed her, “And you smell of sex and sweat” Artemis growled at him in which Clayton only shrugged, “When you arrived here, you smelt clean and pure” he said taking a quick sip of his drink, “no longer” he said wickedly.
Artemis slammed his hand down onto the table and stood from his seat, his snarl ripping through the dining hall. “Watch how you speak to her beta”
Evangelica laid a hand on his arm, she could feel his tense his muscles were as he was close to truly putting Clayton in his place, “He was just joking Artemis . I knew that. It’s ok”
Unlike a mate bond, her touch didn’t calm him as a true mate would. Which brought back the question she had wanted to ask him.
Clearing her throat she looked up at Artemis , “If you could sit down, I actually have a question for you.”
He eyed Clayton once more, sizing him up before giving a huff and sitting back in his seat. Clayton didn’t say anything else as he knew what was best for him.
“Ask away” he said.
She hesitated a moment, picking at her food with her fork before asking “Have you met your mate yet?”
The small chatter the pack had tried to pick back up once again went quiet. Clayton seemed to hold his breath as the silence drew on.
“Artemis ?” She asked hesitantly reaching out to him.
He drew back quickly, his voice devoid of all emotion. His gray eyes looked dull and lifeless. She didn’t understand. Artemis stood up from the table, his eyes never straying to hers as he turned his back and walked out.
She bit down on her lip and willed herself to stay strong. Normally, she’d be a sobbing mess but after everything she’d been through, she’d grown a little and she refused to appear weak in front of a whole new pack.
A part of her soul had mended because of Artemis and now it felt as if it were being ripped from her again.
She thought they’d passed this. She’d opened up to him, so why couldn’t he open up to her? Was the problem that he’d met his mate and still loved her?
Probably and she wasn’t selfish enough to be sad or angry about it. Your mate is someone special, someone you’re meant to connect with on a level that humans wouldn’t understand.
However, the real question was, when they made love was he picture Evangelica or was he picturing his mate? When he held her was he wishing it to be his mate?
Claytons hand landed on top of hers and gave her a reassuring gentle squeeze, “Don’t do that” he said whispering low. He didn’t want any nosey wolves picking up on their conversation.
“Don’t do what?” She asked swallowing the lump that had formed in her throat. She shifted her legs and winced as the apex between her thighs was sore and swollen.
The action didn’t go unnoticed by Clayton but he was smart enough not to say anything, “Don’t shield yourself away again. The topic of his mate is a sensitive one. I have no right going into detail about it and I believe he should be the one to talk about it but just know that he’s the strongest wolf I know for what he’s had to endure” he said looking proud.
Eva nodded and continued to pick at her food. She sat there with Clayton by her side for another hour, they picked up small talk. He had her laughing, easily lifting the sullen mood and she had him busting a gut as she gave back what he put on the table.
He was like the class clown, it didn’t mean he wasn’t smart, it simply meant he preferred to make people laugh.
They say the happiest people in the world are usually the saddest.
She couldn’t help but wonder what made Clayton so sad. Nobody else could see it, but Eva noticed a small darkness, barely visible, lingering in the depths of his eyes.
One day, she’d ask him about it. That one day was not today though, as she had to apologize to a heartbroken alpha.
Picking up her tray she threw away the leftovers and made her way out of the dining hall before turning towards the exit.
Clayton was immediately at her side, “Are you planning on leaving?” He asked casually although she could hear the genuine concern behind the question.
“No. I plan on finding him” she said, walking out into the night. The sun had set some time ago and now the October night chill was in the air.
Suddenly Malcom joined them, quietly walking along side of them.
Clayton sent him small, almost unnoticeable glances. Evangelica picked up on them and was surprised that they held such longing.
Longing for what though?
“Eva?” Malcom questioned.
“Yes” she said continuing forward even as she had no true idea as to where she was going.
“Maybe it’s best if you wait for him in his room. The Alpha has a tendency to run all night, sometimes he ends up sleeping outside until morning. It’s cold and should anything happen to you, he’d have our heads” he said logically.
As much as Eva wanted to argue with him, she knew he was right. Besides, walking had become slightly uncomfortable.
“You’re right” she said turning on her heel to head back the way they’d come.
Clayton smirked, even in the darkness she could see it.
“What?” She asked.
“That’s the first time I think I’ve ever heard a woman agree with a man without putting up a fight” he said.
Evangelica clenched her fists and ground her teeth a small growl slipping from between her lips.
All while Clayton was having the time of his life.