Four - Slate's POV
The woman that practically blew into the room was no less than perfection. Even the strain that soaked her under its weight could not detract from the instant effect she had on me. The goddess certainly blessed me, and it was more than skin deep.
There was a delightful aura that surrounded her, and a delicious scent that alluded to a woman worth knowing. Her scent was familiar, and in the recesses of my mind I knew why.
As soon as I laid eyes on her, the wolf within nearly surged forward. Like my brothers, he wanted to claim her nearly instantly. Humans were not like shifters, and most had no clue of our existence. No, for her I would take my time, even if I had to cage my wolf to do so.
When she entered, I found I could do no more than watch her. She was stunning, and stirred that part of me I thought would never find fulfillment. So I watched, afraid the apparition that was her would disappear. Afraid that those many lifetimes I have waited for her would continue their dreaded course.
“Well, would you look at that!” Carter spoke next to me. From the corner of my eye, I watched his head bounce between me and the woman who held my attention. “If I didn’t know better…” he pondered teasingly.
Smiling, I quipped, “But you do, so no need to speculate any further. In the meantime, it appears that she might need some assistance.”
Carter watched her for a minute more as she started to speak. “I hate to interrupt, but the gentlemen outside said that there was a restroom here that I might be able to use?”
Her eyes scanned the crowd. If there had been any doubt about her connection to me, it vanished the moment her eyes met mine. Perfection!
Beside me, Carter chuckled. “How about I take this one,” he teased as he patted my shoulder. I growled low at the jest, but was content to drink in the sight of her.
The pack members here had grown silent, so I started a conversation with those closest by. Others understood the intent without me saying a word as they started their own conversations, though most hinged around the strange woman that entered our pack house.
In no time, Carter had ushered her to the restroom and returned with a genuine smile on his face. Jokingly, I asked, “What are you smiling at?” My own face sported a smile much like his.
Carter shrugged. “It’s just good to see you smile.” He put a hand through his blonde hair trying to shove it from his forehead, but it was relentless as it flopped back over his brow carelessly. “You have waited a long time for her, and I hated seeing it wear on your soul like it had.”
I grumbled at him. “Your lucky you’re my second, and I happen to have use of you. Otherwise, I would throw you in a cell for making me sound so weak.”
The man laughed at my poor attempt at humor, but my attention had already moved to the woman making her exit. My feet moved towards her of their own volition. The wolf within rumbled his approval as I reached her.
“Excuse me, miss.” Letting her go was not an option.
Even though I spoke, there was no response from the woman before me. She was in her own thoughts, and it made me smile to watch the soft, blank expression across her features. The lines etched upon her features seemed near permanent from worry and anxiety, and I wanted to erase their existence from her countenance.
Reaching a hand out to gain her attention, I was careful where I touched her. To touch her flesh would put the wheels of fate into action.
Two moons, that was the time limit on our mating if I was to remain High Alpha. The rules were slightly different for me and my family than for other alphas. If two moons pass without completing the mating bond, I would be stripped of my title, and the powers that come with it. A gift and curse from the goddess, though the woman before me was anything but a curse.
When I touched her sleeve, I could feel her energy reaching out to add to mine. It was bliss, and I worked at stifling the sigh that wanted to escape in its presence.
Her surprise made me grin, and her voice made me hum. Listening to her apologize was like listening to angels in chorus. But, when she put her hand out, providing me with the last name that will cross my lips in ecstasy, I nearly choked.
Her offered hand was delicately crafted, a strength in it lying behind the facade of the perfectly pale skin. I watched it curiously. Once I took it, I would have two moons.
Taking a breath, I inhaled her. Her scent was breaking my resolve, but it was the others that were wrapped around her that I needed to consider. They were prevalent as they sought to combine their flavor with hers, but none that coated her as a lover’s would. There were only scents that smelled as if they brushed against her rather than possessed her.
Though she would not leave without my mark, I would grant her the two moons. I was determined to give her that.
My hand shot out, my wolf nearing the surface. Enclosing her hand in mine, my whole body pulsed as I spoke her name for the first time. It was like taking a bite of your favorite meal, and pausing to enjoy the flavors that danced on your tongue. But, in reality, it was more than that. My body breathed her in as if I had finally ascended from murky waters that I had been immersed in far too long.
The moment was interrupted by two scents that swirled around her own. Two small boys ran through the door as she ripped her hand from my clutches. My whole body went rigid as the boys threw themselves into their mother’s awaiting arms.
Children were amazing little creatures, and so innocent and accepting of whatever came their way. They were more resilient than most give them credit for. Children were not a problem for me, but they would have another parent that might be.
Two moons. Our time was already starting to tick by.
Stooping low, I attempted to introduce myself. The youngest had such an amazing spirit about him. It drew people in, made them smile, and had them leaving happier than when they came. An infectious personality.
The oldest boy was a marvel, in his own right. The way he stood made him appear watchful, intelligence beyond his years not missing a thing. His very nature protective of those he loved.
Though they were both very different, their qualities were equally endearing. If they were to accept me into their lives, I would be blessed to have them in mine.
After listening to their brief exchange, I realized that I would need to familiarize myself with superheroes. When I was growing up, we had our myths and legends that we retold by firelight. Norse gods and Roman myths were our bedtime stories, and those who taught us our morale aptitude and inclinations.
Now, it seemed there were a tremendous amount of supernatural beings that I must learn about to be able to sustain any form of conversation with the two of them as the youngest prattled on about some bat and robin. These were men? How odd. It seemed incongruous that a man would liken himself to a bat. They were not even a dominant species.
The tension that had crept over me eased a fraction as I let a smile play about my mouth. This small, familial unit reminded me of what I had longed for. The pang that I had felt when first seeing the two of them thumped heavy in my chest, an energy that no longer held trepidation but longing.
The front door unlatched and slowly revealed yet another intruder. When her name slid from his lips, my heart thundered in my ears. I knew the man, and the first time I picked up on her smell was brought to the forefront of my mind. No longer could I escape what was hiding there, a light being shined upon it as if the sun itself illuminated it.
Every muscle in my body went rigid, and I curled my fists in an effort to control the wolf within from trying to eliminate the threat. There would be no reasoning with the wolf, and I was not ready to expose my mate to a world that I was not all too sure she knew about.
My eyes stayed trained on the man before me as he made excuses that would send Brooke away. The rims of my eyes silvered as they started to bleed in. It was what they always did when I felt my wolf trying to push through, attempting to force his way into being. No doubt I would look near feral to this man.
His scent smelled off, but I already knew that. It was his illness that forced our introduction more than a year ago, and now he shows up on my door with my mate. If it was not for his submission, I am not sure I would be able to control my wolf.
Once Brooke was out of range, I could no longer prevent the words from coming. “Explain yourself,” I ground out through clenched teeth.
The man kept his head prone out of respect as he spoke quietly. “I know who she is to you.”
His words made me ache even more. To know who she was to me, and to bring her here to flaunt her in front of me was unthinkable. The torturous thought spread through me like wildfire as it radiated off me in droves. My skin felt as though it was lit on fire, as it always does when my wolf is on the brink of glimmering into existence. My voice broke through on a growl that vibrated through the entire room. “That explanation will end you. Do you have any idea what you have done?”
Mark cast an uncertain glance around the room before whispering to me once more. “I brought your yamala jyoti to you.”
Taking a step closer, I let my height bear down on him. “And how long have you known this little piece of information?”
The man before me flinched. Oh, this was going to be good! “Since the day you visited my hospital room.” Mark paled before continuing. “Your partners noticed your behavior when you smelled Brooke in my room. They thought you might tear through the hospital looking for her, and was surprised when you didn’t.”
I nearly did. The impulse to find her and mate her was nearly as strong as when I laid eyes on her. It was by the merest of threads that I resisted...the man’s mortality taking precedence for the time.
When I returned later, I searched that entire building to catch the scent that so captivated me. There was nothing. She was not there. If it were not for a huge case that took us nearly a year to sort out, I might have known my mate’s circumstance before now. As it stands, I only just returned, and had not even unpacked.
My face puckered. It shouldn’t matter now, but it did. “And you didn’t think to bring this to my attention sooner,” I snarled as I questioned him.
At that moment, Mark seemed to have grown a backbone. I was not sure whether to be impressed or offended. He straightened his shoulders, still keeping his head low enough that my wolf would be appeased. “You will have her for the rest of your life, I just wanted her for the rest of mine.”
There was no need to ask for his meaning. The sickly smell drenched him. Yet, my task to complete the mating bond within two moons was looking more daunting.
The pause lingered between us before he added, “I have not touched her since.” The admission sounded like it pained him to admit it. It would certainly explain the lack of a lover’s scent. He thought he was doing me a favor, but he just made my life that much more difficult.
I heaved a huge breath, blowing out as much of my frustration as I could. “Allowing a human in on our existence is one thing, and doing so within two moons is difficult enough. Now this.”
The need to run was overwhelming me, but there was no way I could let my wolf come forward now. He would end the man before me, and more likely than not take Brooke forcibly as his mate.
“Aye, I have two moons to complete the bond with…” The words that were meant to come out wouldn’t. To call her his wife felt disrespectful to the mate bond. “...Brooke.”
The man flinched, his brow lowering so low that it nearly shut his eyes in the process. “I won’t interfere with what needs to be done, we both know that I won’t make it to the first moon. Just...just promise me that you will...take care of her and the kids.”
I couldn’t help the snarl that flew out. The man offended me. Did he think I would not prize my mate and any offspring that represented her in this world? They would become my priority, which meant they would become my pack’s priority. “If you think that wouldn’t happen without a promise, then you don’t know anything about me!”
Turning on my heel, I forced my feet to put some distance between me and the man that just made my life more difficult than it should have been. If I managed not to end the man before his illness took him, both my wolf and I would be surprised. For now, I had to figure out how to win my mate over without seeming like a homewrecker. Great! And two moons was all I had!
Are you enjoying my ongoing story? Please let me know what you think by leaving a review! Thanks, BD VyneWrite a Review