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This is a flashback to when Lazarus first saw Celeste
The drive towards Stowe was long and tiring. After the tough meeting we had with the main pack in Maine, I was ready to get to my sister’s house and pop open a bottle of beer. The rogue problem was worse than we anticipated and it meant Layton would have to go to Maine himself to sort it out.
Dexter was driving whilst Marianne was sat in the back seat, flicking through documents. Out of all of us, her job involved the most paperwork.
“F*ck,” Dexter cursed, out of nowhere. I darted my eyes to him and saw him glaring downwards.
“What’s wrong?” Marianne asked, shoving the random pieces of paper into her folder.
“We’re nearly out of gas. We’re going to have to make a stop.” He answered, dragging a hand down his face. We were all tired. It was getting late.
“Hey look! That sign says there’s one a mile from here,” Marianne pointed out. Dexter muttered some incomprehensible words under his breath. Something about the stupid car being a stupid machine and that traveling in wolf form would have been easier.
I told the pack members in the other car that we needed to stop for gas over the mind link.
My head rested on the headrest behind me as I fluttered my eyes closed.
The closer we got to the small town of Stowe, the more restless I felt. Suddenly, my tiredness disappeared. I felt awake and alert.
My body tingled. It felt drawn to something.
Layton pulled up to a small, rusty gas station. The other car parked behind us. There was nobody else around but us.
I hopped out of the car and stretched my tense muscles. The air was fresh and oddly delightful. It mixed with a scent I loved, mangos.
Dexter hooked the gas pump up to the car and we all leaned against the car and waited.
Marianne was texting on her phone was Dexter tapped his foot on the floor rapidly. He was never a patient person.
That was when we heard a loud thumping noise. It sounded like music.
Oh, god. Are we going to bump into a bunch of drunk teenagers? Marianne groaned into the mind link. She hated mixing with other people, especially self-indulged teenagers.
A fancy, convertible car pulled up to the pump opposite ours. At first, I didn’t pay a lot of attention to anybody there, even though the scent grew stronger and had me weak at the knees.
Five teenagers exited the car. The two girls were dressed in tight, short dresses. They both had their backs to me. One of them swayed on their feet from the alcohol.
The brunette, who first had her head turned away from me, twisted her head in my direction. Her gorgeous blue eyes locked onto me.
I nearly lost the ability to breathe. I was barely able to stay standing up.
From that moment onwards, I could only focus on her. She was absolutely stunning. The most beautiful woman I had ever seen in my entire, petty existence. I lost sense of who I was because I became a new person—someone centered around her.
She had long, wavy brown hair that probably shone so brightly under the sun. Her features were delicate—cute. Her frame was thin, fragile. I only wanted to wrap my arms around her and guard her against the harshness of reality. The dress showed off more than I liked but it fitted her perfectly. The light blue color made her sea-blue eyes pop out.
Her soul called to me.
It clicked to me, finally. How could I have not seen it instantly? It all made sense. The alluring smell, the tingles, the edgy feeling. I had found my mate.
This young woman, who had to be either seventeen or eighteen was my soul mate. The woman I had been waiting for. After so long, I found her—at an old gas station of all places.
A growl escaped my lips before I could prevent it. My eyes widened in disbelief and awe.
The dreams—the ones I held onto desperately, hoping to get the smallest taste of her—did her no justice. She was everything I wanted and so much more.
This small, thin, stunning woman was my mate.
Only one small problem caused a flicker of doubt to cross my mind. She was human. She wouldn’t know who I was or what mates were. I would have to work hard to get her. Not that I minded putting in the work. I had waited for this day for too long. I would wait another two hundred years—or longer—just to have this moment again.
My entire soul was hers.
She turned away first, blushing.
“Celeste, come on. I need to touch up my make-up,” The blonde-haired girl beside her, presumably, her friend groaned and dragged her away from me. One of the guys, also a blonde, stared at my mate, his eyes glowing with love.
The idea of him being in love with her made my wolf and myself snarl internally.
I couldn’t think about anything like that now. I should focus on her. The girl said Celeste when addressing her—that meant my mate’s name was Celeste. Such a traditional and fitting name. It suited her.
Lazarus! A female’s voice shouted in my ear. Marianne’s.
I snapped my head away from my mate’s retreating form, reluctantly. Marianne’s light blue eyes—that were nowhere as near attractive as my mate’s—connected with mine. They were narrowed.
“What are you doing?” She questioned, roughly.
Dexter pulled the pump out of the car and paid attention to our conversation. “What’s going on?”
Marianne shook her head in disbelief, “Did you not see Lazarus stare at that teenage high school girl like she...” She stopped and processed what she was about to say. Her own eyes enlarged in shock. “Wait...”
“She’s my mate, Marianne,” I filled in for her. It would have taken her too long to actually accept it.
Both of their jaws fell open. None of them said anything for a few seconds.
They both stammered, stunned. We all felt like I wouldn’t have the privilege of meeting my mate. Or at least, not for a very long time. Yet, here we were.
“Oh, my god,” Marianne whispered to herself and shifted her gaze from the ground to me again. The next thing I knew, she was throwing herself at me and congratulating me.
Marianne didn’t act like this very often. We all knew she cared about us but she didn’t show it very often. Usually, she showed affection when special things happened. Such as this.
Dexter also joined in on the hug. I felt their genuine happiness for me through the mind link.
We all separated just before my mate and her friend left the bathroom. I could hear their footsteps approach the car.
Discreetly, we all watched their interaction. I wanted to see more of my mate but I knew it wouldn’t be possible here. She was going somewhere.
Are we going to follow her? Dexter asked through the mind link.
Yes. I want to get to know her more.
They didn’t mind this adventure.
I watched the young blonde male hop out of the car and saunter over to my mate hungrily. It made my blood boil watching him. If only he knew...
The other two could sense my anger. They would step in if I needed them to.
I nearly lost it when he wrapped an arm around her shoulders as if he owned her. I was seething on the inside. Externally, I maintained nonchalance. I didn’t want Celeste to fear me.
He led her back to the car. Celeste and her friend exchanged something unspoken. She smiled bashfully. I immediately fell for her smile. It could light up a cold, dark room.
Her blue eyes floated back to me again. It was the mate pull—it was enchanting her. No matter how much she resisted, it would try and push us together. She would not be able to look away from me. She would be attracted to me. That boy was nothing now.
I smiled softly at her. Then movement behind her, the guy, captured my attention. My eyes hardened.
I could hear her heart hammering in her chest.
“I have finally arrived!” A new, enthusiastic voice drew all of our attention to the other boy. He bounced over to the car and hopped into the car. “Now let’s party!”
Dexter snorted, quietly.
“You’re such a dumba*s, Matt,” The blonde girl rolled her eyes at the driver—Matt.
“I’m your dumba*s,” He replied, cockily. The girl glared at him. There was definitely something going on between them.
And for the first time, my mate spoke. “Wait--are you two back together?” Her voice was so soft and silky. I could listen to that voice all day.
The girl vigorously shook her head, “F*ck no.”
Matt shifted in his seat and looked over his shoulder at the girls. He feigned hurt. “Ouch, Georgie.”
“Just get moving. I want to get there before I die,” She ordered, bossily.
Celeste drifted her eyes back to me, one last time. Her expression changed—those eyes that were once bright were now dimmed. She didn’t want to leave me.
Matt increased the volume of a rap song and accelerated out of the gas station loudly. The blonde girl whooped and Celeste laughed. It sounded like heaven.
I watched the car until it disappeared and then quickly slid into my SUV. Dexter was already on it. He stomped his foot on the accelerator and swerved out of the station.
It didn’t take us long to catch up to them. I spotted their car easily. They parked at a parking lot and stumbled over to a packed club. The line for it was long. People there were already drunk. Alarm coursed through my body. I didn’t like knowing my mate would be inside with a bunch of horny, drunk young adults. They could be unpredictable and dangerous.
The blonde girl flirted with the bouncer whilst Celeste and her two guy friends stayed back and watched, amused. They talked about how the blonde girl could flirt her way into anything.
Surprisingly, they got in.
I quickly rushed to the front of the line. The bouncer, who was tall and buff, shrunk in size at the sight of me. I wasn’t as physically big as him but I had an aura of power around me. I usually didn’t abuse my power like this. But I needed to make sure my mate was okay. I would never forgive myself if something happened to her.
The bouncer shuffled to the side and let us in.
I was immediately enveloped in a smell of sweat, alcohol, and cheap perfume. My lips turned downwards in distaste.
How are we going to find her? It’s packed. Dexter questioned through the mind link.
We’ll split up. I suggested.
It turned out there were multiple rooms. I shoved my way into the main room—that was the most crowded—whilst Dexter and Marianne investigated the other two rooms.
My eyes did a sweep of the room. Lots of girls who were looking in my direction tried to catch my attention. A few even beckoned me over. I politely shook my head. I had moved on from those days. And now that I found Celeste, I would never even think about it.
Wavy brown hair caught my attention. She moved her body to the beat. The way she danced, it was like she had no worries—that at this moment, it was just her. I was entranced.
I felt myself gravitate towards her.
Found her, I told the others through the mind link.
I situated myself to the edge of the dance floor and leaned against a high table, casually. I had the perfect view of her.
Suddenly, a cold hand, that I didn’t know, wrapped itself around my bare arm. I jolted away, hoping it would let go but it remained.
Hesitantly, I shifted my gaze to the perpetrator. It was a young girl who had fiery red hair and striking green eyes. She was wearing a daring red dress that attracted several pairs of eyes.
Her bold red lips stretched into a confident smirk. “Hello, handsome,” She whispered, in a sultry voice.
“Hi,” I said, uncomfortably. “Do you mind letting go of my arm?”
She pouted but did as I asked. I instantly stepped away from her, putting as much distance between us as I could muster.
“Do you want to buy me a drink?” She queried, biting her nail in a manner that was apparently deemed sexy.
“No, I don’t,” I said, bluntly.
She blinked in shock; no doubt surprised somebody turned her down. She looked like the type of person that always got their own way.
“Oh, right,” She muttered, still in a state of shock. “I’ll just go then.”
I followed her with my eyes as she left. People parted for her on the dance floor. That was when I saw Celeste, being hassled by some sleazy guy.
Dexter popped up by my side and also saw what was happening. His own anger grew.
I despised how he stared at her. Like she was a piece of meat he could devour. It made every cell in my body quake with rage.
Celeste looked petrified.
It was when she begged to him, her voice cracking, that I moved forwards.
However, before I could fly over and pound my fist into his disgusting face, her boy friend interfered. He threw the sleazy guy off her. I stayed back for a moment and watched angrily. I wouldn’t step in unless I absolutely had to. If she saw me, she would think I was following her—which I was but that was beside the point.
I was so focused on her panicked form that I failed to notice another man with shiny blonde hair approached her from behind and wrapped his arms around her.
She struggled in his hold but he was stronger than her. That was when I had enough of staying on the sidelines. I couldn’t watch her look so distressed anymore.
In a flash, I was over there and had knocked the pathetic man to the ground.
Dexter had sorted out the other guy who was beating her ‘friend’.
“W—What?” She stuttered, staring at my glowing green eyes. Now that I was this close to her, I felt calmer.
“Are you alright, mi amore?” I asked her in a low voice. Concern leaked into my tone. I examined her body, from head to toe. She shivered and her heart rate spiked.
A frown marred her bewitching face.
“S—Stay back,” She warned. Yet, I could detect the fear in her voice. I didn’t blame her, what just happened was scary.
“Are you okay, Celeste?” Her blonde friend rushed over to her.
Any warmth I felt vanished. My eyes turned cold and unfriendly. My jaw clenched and I shifted my gaze to the ground. It wasn’t just jealousy that coursed through my veins, it was sadness too.
What if she couldn’t let go of this man here? What if my one chance at redemption and love didn’t want me?
All that waiting and it would have been for nothing.
As the guy moved closer to her, she stepped away from him. It earned a puzzled frown from him and a spark of triumphant from me.
“Yes, thanks,” She breathed, her shaky hand combing through her styled hair. Her two friends came over to her. That was when I disappeared.
Hidden by the masses of people, I listened to their conversation with my super hearing. Dexter and Marianne joined me; waited for my orders.
They left soon afterward. We hopped into our car and followed after them. Marianne shuffled into the middle seat and leaned into the gap between the two front seats.
“You’re not going to be leaving tomorrow then, are you?” Marianne said, guessing what I was thinking.
“No,” I replied, simply.
Dexter and Marianne shared a glanced through the mirror. They were mind linking, privately.
“Then we won’t be leaving tomorrow, either,” Dexter declared.
I didn’t both arguing because it would have been pointless. Plus, I knew I needed their support.
After they dropped Celeste and her friend off, I got out of the car and shifted outside. Marianne and Dexter drove to Leah’s house.
I knew which room she was in because of her scent. Using my werewolf hearing, I listened to her move around upstairs.
They spoke about Jamie and the events that had happened.
Eventually, I heard her friend’s light snores. I remained under the window and waited for Celeste to fall asleep.
She didn’t though. Instead, the sheets rustled as she rose from the bed and padded on the carpeted floor. She was coming towards the window.
Her head poked out of the window. Strands of her glossy hair blew in the soft and gentle breeze. From where I was, she was like a goddess. The bright moon illuminated the contours of her face.
She might not have realized it yet but she was enamored by me. She was transfixed by me.
I didn’t detect an ounce of fear.
I stepped closer to the window, slowly. She didn’t jump back in fear. In fact, I saw the edge of her lips quirk upwards in a smile.
Her sleeping friend groaned in her sleep, breaking the trance. She shook her head and slammed the window shut.
She didn’t move away though. Her eyes floated back towards me one last time. The way she stared at me; it was as if she knew who I was. My heart pounded in my chest anxiously. Did she know about werewolves?
When she was in bed and fast asleep, I left.
Leah was still up when I returned. She was sat on the porch, holding a cup of tea. Her green eyes landed on my human form instantly.
“I wanted to say congratulations,” She murmured.
Leah had lost her mate Miles a long time ago. She never really got over his death. I knew that this was going to be hard for her.
“Who is it? Anyone, I know?” She questioned, curiously.
“Her name is Celeste,” I informed her, crossing my arms over my chest.
I didn’t expect her to know who she was. However, she raised her eyebrows and snapped her eyes back to me.
“Celeste? As in Celeste O’Connor?”
“I don’t know her last name.”
Leah pursed her lips together and flickered her green orbs back to the ground. “Celeste is the girl I saved a few years ago.”
This time, I was taken aback. “What?”
“She was attacked a few years ago by some madman in the library. I saved her,” She elaborated. Her eyes glossed over—reliving the time again.
I loosened a breath, “That was her?” She nodded her head, sadly. “Why did that happen to her?”
Leah shrugged her shoulders, “I’m not sure.”
My shoulders slumped. During my time here, I was going to find out why that happened.
“I’m going to be staying here,” I told her.
“I think I’m going to get some sleep. I have a busy day tomorrow. Night, sis,” I pecked her on the cheek and swung the door open. My room was already set up and my bags were on the bed.
Changing into pajamas, I crawled into my bed and fell asleep straight away. My dreams were filled with Celeste. This time, she wasn’t faceless.
I knew what she looked like and who she was.
I was no longer alone.
I love Lazarus so much. What do you think of the chapter? Do you like reading in his POV?
My next update will be on Tuesday. Have a great weekend