CH 12- THE POND
Wandering around the territory I found a pond that was next to the border between the two packs. Unaware how close I actually was to the border I laid down next to the water’s edge and thought about my parents and my mate. Sighing with sadness, I heard my wolf moving around in my head. There was a familiar scent. I tensed and started growling as I stood up. My eyes found him almost immediately.
There was an almost solid black wolf across the pond from me. He was staring at me intently as he came out of the tall brush. Something about him was familiar and the wind was blowing the wrong direction to catch his scent. I waited for him to do something. My wolf was jumping around in my head yipping. He disappeared behind some bushes next to the water and shifted. When he stepped out in a pair of shorts my eyes narrowed and I growled at him in warning. “Shift Hope.” Brody ordered.
Hating that he thought that he could boss me around, I turned my head and sniffed at a flower knowing full well that he would get pissed off at my ignoring him. I watched him carefully through hooded eyes as he waded into the water. I bared my teeth at him in a threatening snarl. I was feeling the bond again and it was beginning to piss me off. When he got close to the edge of the water on my side of the border he stopped and I began to wonder if I needed to call Jaxon or not. “Shift, now! We need to talk.”
Scowling at him, I huffed and got up slowly, walked to the treeline, searched and found a long shirt to put on. Coming back to the pond I stared down at the water’s edge. “What do you want?” I crossed my arms over my chest defensively.
“I thought that was obvious. I want you, you belong to me.” I shook my head in disbelief as the bond pulled at me, hard.
“See that is where you are wrong. I’m not a possession. I don’t ‘belong’ to anyone. I’m not a toy!” Brody edged a little closer to me. Frustration evident in his eyes. He noticed that I was getting ready to bolt.
“Wait, please don’t go. I can’t cross the border by getting out on your side of the water.” Hearing the emotion in his voice and feeling slightly more comfortable with this information I moved a little closer and sat down, letting my legs dangle in the tepid water.
“I meant that we belong together. Can I come to you?” He asked, his husky voice made my stomach flip as he slowly inched towards me in the water. Still glaring at him I nodded hesitantly. He reached me and slowly moved his arms around me but left them on the ground so as not to touch me. I felt my heartbeat pick up with his body bumping against my legs in the water. The sparks returned, making me blush. “I didn’t mean to scare you earlier.”
Not wanting to admit that he had scared me, I replied. “I wasn’t scared of you. You surprised the hell out of me! What gives you the right to just come up and declare that I belong to you and then start touching me? I’m a person you know! I’m not your whore!”
Brody’s darkened eyes searched mine for a moment. “I know you aren’t my whore, I never thought you were. Why does it seem like you don’t know anything about mates? My behavior was completely normal! Why haven’t I seen you before now?” He murmured as his hands were lightly touching my hips over my shirt. I felt the sparks get stronger wherever he touched me. It was distracting me, the sparks flickered between us and it made me blush. His eyes were hooded with lust. Fear of this bond and what it did to my parents, made my voice raise just a little.
“Probably because until two days ago I was a rogue!” I declared and watched to see how he would handle this news. His body tensed and he pulled me into the water and held me in a possessive hug. I tried to push away from him. Even though I knew it wasn’t the same, I felt myself both wanting him and afraid of him at the same time.
”Please, stop touching me.” My heart rate started to spike and I felt myself starting to melt under his touch.
“No. Stop fighting me. How long were you out there on your own?” Brody demanded while his touch sent sparks flying all throughout my body. I shivered and bit back a moan.
“Two and a half years on my own. Since I was fourteen.” His jaw clenched and I realized that he was becoming very angry. For some reason I wanted to calm him down, even though I had no idea why. I stopped fighting his arms and let him hold me to his chest.
“How did you end up out there? Were you banned?” I let myself relax in his arms a little and shook my head against his chin. My eyes closed and I breathed in his scent deeply.
“No, I didn’t know I was a shifter. I was in a group home in the city. I shifted on a football field by myself at ten o’clock at night. After that, I found a wolf in my head and she taught me about wolves and how to stay alive.”
Hearing this made Brody even more angry. He buried his face into my neck and inhaled my scent trying to calm himself. She has been all alone out there. She could have died a thousand different times in two years. His heart ached at the idea of her getting hurt out there on her own. “How did you end up with Silver Moon?”
“I accidentally crossed into their territory while hunting a deer and Jaxon and Jerod caught me and brought me to the cells for the alpha to speak to me. Apparently, they had been searching for me since I disappeared, when I was two.”
“You’re Blake and Lauren’s daughter?” Brody concluded with a look that confused me. “That’s why you think the goddess makes mistakes, because of what happened with your parents.”
Pushing my body away from him, but not out of his arms I looked up at him curiously. “Apparently. Your Alpha killed my Dad. I have no idea why I told you all of that. I haven’t even told my uncle all of that.”
Brody’s smirk made my body heat up. I blushed and he kissed my forehead softly. ”It’s the mate bond. It will make you feel more comfortable with me than you would be otherwise. We are what humans would call soulmates. Our souls are paired up by the Moon Goddess herself. Once we are mated fully you will see. We can never love another the same way. You are mine, but I am yours too.” He brushed his lips over mine tenderly. “It was Alpha Matthew’s father who killed him. Matthew took over last year.” I nodded quietly.
“What happens if she makes a mistake in her pairings?” Brody stared at me. The upset clear in his eyes. Pulling back from him I realized what an intimate position we were in. I turned my head just as the breeze shifted and my eyes narrowed.
“Rogues!” I leaped from the safety of his arms and out of the water to see a group of five rogues coming out of the woods. They looked pretty feral to me.
“Hope, wait for me!” Brody jumped out of the water and stood next to me taking my hand in his possessively.
Jaxon! Rogues by the pond in the southeast corner.
Shit! How many? Are you alone?
Five that I can see but I hear noise in the woods so maybe more. Brody is with me.
Okay, I’m on my way. Stay with him!
“Jaxon is on his way.”
He nodded his head once. “Good, I called for some of our warriors too.”
The rogues approached us and started to circle. Brody and I shifted at the same time and the instant that we did the rogues started attacking. My wolf was almost as tall as Brody’s and we fought back to back. Launching myself at the closest rogue I viciously went for its throat and caught its shoulder. I tore at it until I took a chunk of it with me. Grabbing it’s back leg as it turned I bit down until I felt the bones crunching in my teeth. The adrenaline pumping in my veins numbed me to most of the pain and I didn’t notice the scratches I was taking from him. My fangs caught the throat on the next try and I shook my head until it stopped fighting.
Another rogue barreled into my side sending me rolling several feet away. I landed on my feet and we clashed in a fierce battle. The rogue and I were snapping at one another struggling for the upper hand. I took a chunk out of its chest and it took a bite out of my shoulder. He was bigger but I was faster. My fangs found his throat. I dug my fangs in deep and shook my head vigorously and pulled hard. His body fell lifeless as I ripped his throat out.
I turned snarling at the other one in front of me. I dodged it as it lunged for me. Catching sight of Brody fighting a large rogue I didn’t have time to process much more as rogues were coming out of the treeline. From the other side of the pond five warriors came charging across the border to help us.
Jaxon hurry! More are coming out of the woods. Brody’s warriors just got here too.
Brody shoved his claws into the soft underbelly of the large wolf he was fighting at the same time he caught its jugular. The wolf went down just as Jaxon and his men ran in to help. Brody looked around and when his eyes settled on me he darted through the others and he attacked the wolf that I was fighting. My fangs were in its chest and I ripped out a nice chunk of meat and fur. Brody sent it sprawling on its back and he buried his fangs in its belly and ripped its guts out furiously. He brought me the end of its intestines and dropped it at my feet and then gave me the sweetest look. I couldn’t help but think it was an incredibly romantic gift.
The packs’ arrival allowed Brody to herd me back to the safety of the pond. He shifted and picked up my shirt that I had discarded and handed it to me as I shifted and entered the water. He caught sight of the blood on my shoulder and shifted back to his wolf. He no longer sought out the rogues. He guarded me instead.
I stayed in the water and watched the rest of the fight while I cleaned my shoulder in the cool water. After it was over, Brody’s men went back to their side of the border and wait for instruction. I watched and looked up at Jaxon from the water.
Jaxon walked over to Brody and for a minute I was worried they would attack each other. Brody shifted and slid his shorts back on. I caught myself staring at his naked butt and I turned my head as I blushed. Turning around he took my hand and pulled me out of the water being careful of my injured shoulder. He slid his arm around my waist possessively. I was distracted by the sparks and the waves of desire I was having for my mate. He murmured to me “Are you alright?” I nodded and was lost in his eyes for a second before I pulled myself together.
“You okay little cuz?” Jaxon walked over and hugged me knowingly. His smirk told me that he knew that the bond was making me hornier than a pubescent boy with a nudie magazine and he saw it in my face. He was purposely ignoring Brody’s growl about touching me. “Fuck you Black, she is my family.” Brody nodded and controlled his irritated wolf.
“Yeah? Well she is my soulmate so back the hell off!” Jaxon smirked at his jealousy and put his alpha face back on.
“I know. Thanks for helping Hope out.” Brody’s warriors nodded and smiled before looking at Brody who signaled them that they could leave.
“Let’s go Hope. It’s almost dark and we need to get back.” Jaxon walked a few feet away so I could say goodbye to my mate. I couldn’t help but blush and Jaxon grinned, the jerk.
I was still focused on the tingles that were radiating from my waist outwards. “Okay Jax.” Glancing up at Brody, I gave him a peck on the cheek and blushed as I walked towards my cousin. Jaxon laughed at me and wrapped an arm around me. Brody stared at us until we disappeared from sight before he shifted and ran home.
Once we got closer to the pack house I caught a scent that was familiar to me, but I couldn’t quite place it. I wondered about it for a moment then gave up and went inside.
“Jax? Tell me everything you know about this mate bond thing.”