I don't know what to expect, but having Max close and the mate bond calming me, I start to breathe a little easier. I can't imagine who is on the other side of that door as he opens it, but the moment our eyes connect, I gasp.
My cousin, Lucy, and another man next to her whom I don't recognize, are both in front of me.
"Lucy?" I need to make sure my eyes aren't playing tricks on me.
"Kyda?" she states back and we run into each other's arms and embrace in a tight hug. I start to cry, unable to contain my emotions at seeing family for the first time in over twenty years.
I feel Max behind me, rubbing my back trying to calm me as I pull away.
"Max, this is my cousin Lucy"
He steps forward, "Hi Lucy. I'm the Alpha of the Blood Moon pack. I hear you wanted to form an alliance with us to help rebuild your home"
She looks up at me and Max. I nod my head in confirmation, "Yes He's my mate."
I look towards her and the gentleman. She also smiles and nodes, "This is Alex. He's my mate."
We look at each other before Lucy speaks up again, "We are trying to rebuild our pack, Yes Alpha Max. There were a few of us that survived and we found each other shortly after the attack. We have been growing, but in hiding. We didn't want the attacker to know that there were any survivors."
She pauses before she looks at me, "Kyda we tried looking for you! One of the survivors swears he saw you running through the forest, but we lost your scent. I promise we didn't give up on you"
I raise my hand to silence her, knowing that she didn't give up and signaling to her that I have no hard feelings.
"How many of you are left?" I state.
"Well, me, a few of the boys you grew up with, some of the Beta's children, and some pack members. Some have had pups already. We have about 15 members in total. Not as large as the almost 100 members your father had, but still a good size considering there were just 5-6 of us a few years ago."
"Who is leading the group now?"
"No one in particular. One of the Beta's children has taken up the spot as an interim Alpha to help us stay connected and not go rogue. We've had a lot of success given that we're a small pack still, and after all the loss we faced, no one would dare lead a fight for the position to cause more bloodshed."
I'm at a loss for words. Given the hierarchy of the pack, I would be next in line to lead, but I don't want to leave Max behind. As if reading my mind, Max steps forward, "You could join us. They could trust Kyda to be their luna and have some stability. We could easily integrate your number here. We have the land and the resources. Are most of the 15 members younger? Could they become warriors?"
"Yes" Lucy responds.
I turn to him, my eyes beaming with love. "Are you sure that's okay?"
"Of course" he responds. They are your family. And I don't want to let you go. So the only option is they come with us. They train, they have our protection, and we build our pack at the same time. It's a win-win situation."
I jump up and give him a kiss on the lips, "Thank you for being the best mate I could wish for."
I turn back to Lucy. "Do you think they will want that?"
Lucy responds with no hesitation, "Absolutely. They all want a sense of belonging and if you're leading them as Luna, they will follow. Your parents were incredible leaders Kyda. I've heard the stories from when I was little. Everyone misses them."
She squeezes my hand before letting go.
"Alright. Lucy how long do you think they can arrive and meet everyone?"
"I can have everyone pack and moved in about a week and a half's time. You guys aren't that far from us. We've just been really good at hiding so the trip isn't anything horrific. We have a few really good fighters. There is only one problem."
I feel Max's body close to mine as he feels me tense up.
"The attack wasn't random Kyda. They were looking for something. They will attack again. By joining this pack, we could potentially put you all in danger."
I look to Max, but he nods "I still stand by my decision Lucy. Please continue." he states authoritatively.
"We scavaged our home turf after the attack. One of the older wolves who knew your parents very well said we were protecting something from the Moon Goddess. That's why we were targeted. We found an old cabin on the outer edges of our borders that had a scroll hidden within the walls. I left it hidden, but took a picture of it on my phone just in case. Look"
I take her phone and read through it:
Alpha of White Moon pack:
Upon the completion of the chosen one's mating ceremony, be prepared for battle. For the great power will be targeted by our enemy. Your pack has been chosen to protect the chosen one. This birth will forever change the future of our wolf community.
I show it to Max, but he looks just as perplexed as I am.
"I don't understand. This sounds...unreal"
Lucy nods in agreement. "I'm not sure Kyda. I'm not aware of any crazy supernatural forces in our community, but the older wolf swore on her life it's the truth. She mentioned a rogue uprising that is going against the Moon Goddess and that this chosen one would be able to save us in battle. Sounded a bit far-fetched, but she was adamant about it."
I'm lost in my own thoughts for a bit before I hear Max speak, "I'm going to call Damien and Lyssa and see what they know about this. Lyssa's pack - The Volkis - Russian wolves, are about as closely mythical as I know. They have unique fur patterns if part of the Alpha bloodline and over the years, they not only have collected vast amount of wealth, but knowledge. Lyssa's mother was a pack doctor that dabbled slightly in medicine/spells. They may know something about this impending war."
We adjourn the meeting as Max sends a few of his men with Lucy for protection and to help the rest of my family head back.
We head inside our cabin as my brain wanders.
"Relax Kyda. We'll find out what is happening okay? I'll call Damien later today and figure out what information we can pull. In the meantime, I want to ask you something"
I look up to him and he grabs my hands, "with your pack joining us, I thought it would be a perfect time to host our mating ceremony. What do you think?"
"I think that's a great idea Max. My own family seeing me at my ceremony is a dream I never thought possible. I'm excited to see who I recognize from who they bring back."
He leans in to kiss me, "Would it be a bit too blunt for me to say that I also can't wait to fuck you after it?"
I gasp, hitting his chest playfully. "Max!"
"What?!" He groans. It's the truth! You don't want a liar for a Mate do you?"
I roll my eyes, before he grabs my hand.
"Let's go to one of the offices and call Damien and Lyssa. I'm sure with all that money they have laying around, they must have invested in a few library books to be useful to us." he chuckles, as we head over to an open room. He leans in before whispering, "And afterwards, I'm going to make your body squirm. Just because I can't fuck you yet, doesn't mean I won't have some fun."