"Listen, honey, the land we all share on the range is being reconfigured. We have the opportunity to grow our community. You need to find your mate, we could use an alliance to strengthen our position." His tone was soft while his words remained serious and political.
"I understand, Father." Eve said the line just as she had been taught to say it. Once the words left her mouth his eyes creased with concern.
"I want you to be happy. To be complete. It's important to your future, not just the pack. The only way to find happiness is by finding your other half." His words were softer than his daughter was used to. Yet, before she could respond he headed back upstairs toward his office.
"He loves you honey. He wants you to be happy." Becca chimed in, stepping into her daughter's line of sight. "You'll do wonderfully, like the years before. Who knows, maybe the goddess will bless you with your mate this year. I do have a feeling." A smile crept onto her lips.
"Maybe." Eve forced a smile. "But you say that every year."
"Do I?" Her mother responded calmly, "Then I suppose eventually I'll be right."
"So you say." Eve snickered, pushing away that stomach feeling again.
"Just remember, when you feel the wind pulling you... Run, don't walk." She gave her old speech again.
"Run into the wind." Eve responded the only way she could think of.
"You've been trained for this, Eve. You can do this." Her words of reassurance only peaked Eve's already tightening nerves.
"And if I can't?" Her voice was small but her mother's wolven ears definitely heard her so she followed up her remark. "What if he's just not looking for me? Or if he's dead?"
"You would know if your mate was dead, you would feel a pain so deep it threatened to engulf your soul. I've seen it myself." She turns toward her daughter's concerned features. "And of course he's looking for you. He needs you, as you do him."
"Okay, Mother." She forced another fake smile. "But until then, I'm finishing my book."
"Always reading," she muttered as her daughter bounded up the stairs and closed herself in her room.
Eve threw herself on her bed and thought again about her parents' individual advice. Her father had been soft with her which was unusual for him. She could feel what he felt. The reverberation of his feeling still echoed within her mind. She exhaled at decided her father may be right, Eve finding her mate would strengthen their pack.
She had been raised and prepared for it. Yet, she felt unsure about it. How was she to go about calling out with her heart, pleading the goddess to complete her soul? She tried a simple prayer, standing in the middle of her room she straightened her arms at her side and simply asked in her mind for her mate.
It was time, as a matter of fact, she was two years late. A few moments later a knock fell on her door. She knew who it was before he entered the room. Not waiting for her response.
"Evie?" Jay said watching her drop her arms so she could face him.
"What's up?" She responded pasting her smile back to her lips.
"Your fake smile is less convincing than it used to be." He responds, strolling in and sitting at her desk.
"And your enormous ass may break my chair." She retorts bringing a broad smile to his face.
"Dont be jealous, pup. Soon, you'll have a mate to take your aggression out on." He smirked.
"Soon." She scoffed, "If he were looking for me he would have found me before. I don't even need a mate, I dont care of he shows up or not."
"Lie." He said seriously, "You do care. There is a mindlink you know. We can all feel the nerves. Just as we all felt the concern from Father."
"Nervous for when he doesn't show." Eve grumbles.
"He'll show, pup. Mom says she has a feeling." He smiled at his sister before standing.
"She always says that." Eve responded.
"So? That just means she's already more right than last year." He called back, exiting into the hallway.
"Whatever." She grumbled to herself while closing her door and returning to her position on the bed. She exhaled again and felt her wolf, she was impatient and antsy to run.
Let me out! She seemed to be screaming in Eve's mind.
I will. It's not time yet. Eve responded, which she usually tried not to do.
Her wolf was wild, she could help her or try to control her at any moment. She was taught as a pup to suppress the wolf during the day but she was too mentally exhausted at the moment.
Do we think he's going to come for us? Did we mean it when you said he didn't want us? The voice that was so often wild seemed insecure. A rare trait for a wolf.
I don't know. I dont even know what I want. Eve responded again, feeling herself yield a little of her power to her wolf.
Yes we do! You can lie to yourself, your pack, your family, but you can't lie to me. I am you. We feel empty, all the time. The she wolf seemed annoyed.
Our life is good. Calm, simple. If we found him, we would have to leave to go to his pack. We would leave ours behind. Before she knew it Eve felt comfortable being honest with her wolf, as if it were her own inner self.
We want to, you know it. We're supposed to, it's what happens. We grew up, let's have our own life. Make our own pack. Her voice was nearly pleading for acceptance.
If he calls, we will go. We will run into the wind just as Mother says. If not, I don't know if I can do this to us again. Her honesty shocked even herself.
So you admit we want him. I hope he calls for us this time, it's good to know you do too. Her tone was calmer, more at ease.
I told you we don't know what we want. Referring to her own thoughts and decisions as we felt odd but she could feel the importance of acceptance to her wolf.
We went over this once already. Yes, we do. Without further thought Eve sat up to the sound of a soft knock on her door.
"Come in, Mother." She responded quickly feeling her wolf get excited.
"The festival is beginning. It's time to get ready." She smiled handing her daughter a dress box.
"What's this for?" Her daughter smiled at her mother's kindness.
"It's for the festival. As much as I love your style maybe jeans and boots aren't.... right for this occasion." She chose her words carefully while keeping her smile tight.
"You never had me dress up with you guys before...?" She looked at her mother suspiciously.
"Well you didn't take the stage with us last year, or the year before." Her face was pleading Eve to stay complacent but it was to no avail.
"Uncle Skylar, Lauren, Jay, Faye, Father and you are the ones who take the stage. You're mated, it's why Jay was allowed up there. I have no mate so why would I stand up with our Alpha?" She asked a question almost feeling what the answer would be.
"It's your third call, my dear. In case your mate isn't found, your Father would like to cement you into the pack's minds as one of their leaders." Her voice was soft and calm, wanting her daughter to not be discouraged. "It's a precaution. Nothing more."
"I'll wear it." Was Eves response though worry washed through the mindlink of the pack.
"Ellie is on the way to help with your hair and makeup. I'll send her up when she arrives." Her mother stood and stepped through the door before turning back to her child. "He's out there dear. Just-"
"Run into the wind if it calls me." Eve finished her mother's sentence.
"When it calls you." She smiled and closed the door leaving Eve alone holding her dress box.
She eyes the top for a moment. She was upset, though the reason behind her feelings seemed to allude her. She opened the stark white box and pulled back the black wrapping tissue in her way. She revealed an elegant, and vibrant heather gray dress. It was their pack colors. The smokey black at the bottom seemed to fade into the gray that lay on the bodice.
She couldn't tell herself it wasn't beautiful because it was. Her self conscious ways made her search for something to dislike as she shed her clothes and jumped into the shower for a quick moment.
She washed her hair and allowed the smell of raspberries to wash over her. She had so much weighing on her that the time seemed to pass in a moment as she was soon towel drying her hair.
She slipped the dress on and looked at herself closely. Trying to imagine what her mate would think if he did find her. Would he find her to be plain or boring? She studied the gown on her body, it hugged her hips and cupped her breasts. She looked like an adult, for what felt like the first time in her life. The subtle sparkle of her sweetheart neckline only seemed enhance her shape. She felt as if it was too much, yet no matter how the dress looked she knew she would feel that way.
The split up the side seemed to reach nearly to her thigh, which she was unaccustomed to. Though, remembering the dresses of her family in the past years did bring her some comfort. Soon, Ellie entered quickly closing the door behind her, knowing she didn't need to knock.
"Wow, Eve." Her tone was astonished. "You look so amazing." She approached the plug and connected her hair straightener before Eve responded quietly.
"Do I?" Her soft tone drew her friends eyes to her face. Revealing a look Ellie could only describe as panic.
"You so do." She says guiding her friend to the desk. She began to brush her friends hair carefully, waiting for her to come out of her daze.
"Father wants me on the stage in case he doesn't show tonight. He wants me to become a leader of our pack if I can't find him." Eve let her words sink in.
"I think it's a good thing." Ellie finally answered while grabbing the straightener and pulling it down her friends long hair. "Look at it this way, if he doesn't show you have a place here with us. An important place at that."
"You're right, I know. I just feel so bad about it for some reason." She rambled.
"That's what hope feels like, Evie. You hope you'll find him." A small smile reached her lips. "I'm nervous too. My father is just a gamma so my pairing holds less importance, I know-" Her friend interrupted her.
"Its not less important, Ellie. It's your life, just as important as mine." Her friend was quick to correct her.
"I mean it's not expected of me. I can mate up anytime. Don't let the pack weigh on you and I won't let the thought of my mate weigh on me. Deal?" Her friend extended her pinky.
"Deal." Eve smiled looping her pinky around Ellies as they both kissed their thumb.
Soon Ellie was finished primping her and Eve wanted to see what she had done. Gazing back at her from her floor length mirror was a tall, sun kissed grown woman. Her straight, honey blonde hair fell just below her breasts. The black eyeliner that circled her eyes seemed to accentuate the blue that was within them, that or it was the deep blue eyeshadow that coated her eye lid.
"Goddess level awesome, right?" Ellie chirped.
"You made me look..." she paused trying not to sound cocky, "Beautiful."
"I had a good canvas." She smiles wide as they prepare to join the party outside.
"You ready, Ellie?" Eve asks as they stand, staring at the front door.
"We both are, Evie." She smiles nervously.
"Indeed, we seem to be." The friends held hands as they swung the door open and saw the party in the street below.
People chatting about the call and their hopes for their mates. Skylar nodded at Eve as she stepped onto the porch, his link urging her to join the family on stage. And so, she did.