Chris jolts up in bed, breathing heavily. His chest covered with sweat. When he looks around and takes in his surroundings, he realises that what he just experienced was just a dream. It was just too real, way too real. He flings his legs to the side of his bed and sits there for a moment to come to his senses, rubbing his face with his head to try to wake himself up. Somehow he dreamt about his mate. How she rejected him and he became weak. So weak that it killed him. He shakes his head as if to get rid of the almost life-like memory. It’s time for a good strong cup of coffee, he thinks by himself. When he walks into his kitchen, he sees Danny sitting at the breakfast bar in the kitchen reading the newspaper.
“Morning,” he grumbles, barely audible.
“Goodmorning, bud! Sleep well?” Danny says, visibly in a very good mood.
“Not really,” Chris answers. He grabs a cup from the cupboard and pours some of the coffee that Danny already made.
“How come?” Danny asks, he looks at Chris with a bit of concern in his eyes. Chris pushes the stool aside next to Danny and sits down with a sigh, then takes a big sip of his coffee.
“Hmm, this is good,” he grunts, “nothing better than a good cup of coffee in the morning.”
“I agree,” Danny smiles a little, but still has a concerned look on his face.
“I had this crazy scary nightmare. Made me wake up in not such a friendly way,” Chris says to answer his friend’s question, then he drinks some more of his coffee.
“Do you have a lot of those?” Danny asks him, now fully turning to talk to his friend.
“I never remember any of the dreams I have at night,” Chris says and finishes his coffee in one big gulp, “but this one was so just way too real, I can’t seem to forget. I want to, though, it was a horrible dream.” He gets up and walks to the sinks to rinse his cup. “I am going to get dressed. It’s time to get to work.” Danny looks at him while he walks out, a frown showing, he is concerned about his friend. When he comes back out of his room, fully dressed with his blazer in hand, Danny turns around to look at him. “I have some news to tell you,” he tells Chris.
“What is it?”
“I don’t know if you’ve noticed something last night, something with the pack-links?” He asks carefully, trying to awake Chris’ curiosity.
Chris fumbles with the cuff of his sleeve, trying to fasten the button, “I don’t remember, I’ve got a lot on my mind, sorry.” Chris looks up, “what is with the pack-link? Is there something I should know about?”
“I claimed Ava yesterday.” Danny’s cheeks turn a little pink and he looks down, “she is now a member of our pack.”
“Seriously, that is great for you guys!” Chris walks over to Danny and pats him on the back, “she’s taking big steps very fast, at least for a human, that is.”
“She asked for it herself, she is very curious and wants to know everything about us.”
On his way to the office, he gets a call from one of his employees. Something about a problem with a client. In an instant he decides to drop by to see what the problem is for himself. He has no appointments this morning, so he has the time. When he is back in his car from his visit to his client, he heads for the office. It’s almost lunchtime already, time flew by. When he arrives at the underground parking, he parks his car in his dedicated spot, grabs his stuff and his phone and gets out. He throws the strap of his briefcase over his shoulder and walks over to the elevator. When he pushes the button and waits for the elevator to come down, he checks his phone for messages. One is from his Gamma Simon, to inform him about some break-ins by some rogues, another is from Joseph to inform him that he has started the interviews and two from Nick about stuff going on at his pack. While he is focused on reading the messages thoroughly the elevator opens and he walks into the elevator. He notices that someone bumps into him with their arm. He steps into it and turns around to push the button of his floor. The doors of the elevator close and when he looks up he sees the back of a small, slender woman heading for her car.
“Mate,” he hears in the back of his head. He sniffs, he smells a scent that is very familiar to him. Did he really just walk by his mate and not recognise her? He quickly pushes some buttons on the elevator to try and stop it, but it doesn’t work. When it finally stops halfway to let some people in, he rushes out of the elevator, to the staircase to hurry down. Once down, he looks around, is she still there? He sniffs to pick up her scent and follows it. He scans the garage to see if he can see her. He hears the sound of an engine and walks to where the sound comes from. The scent in the air confirms that it is the car of his mate. He hears the car drive away from him and when he looks up, he sees an old, red car drive to the parkings’ exit. No, no! This can’t be possible, he thinks. He runs to the exit, but his briefcase hinders his movements. Chris reaches the exit, but is too late. His mate is gone and out of sight.
“Dang it!” He shouts and he lets some more curses slip from his mouth. ’No, no, no, no! Not again, not again!’ He thinks by himself. Striding back to the elevator, he curses again. He can’t help himself but slam his fist against the wall just beside the elevator door. The elevator arrives and he gets in. The scent of his mate still lingers in the air, he can easily distinguish hers from all other scents. It’s making him double his anger. The elevator stops at his floor, he strides out, not looking up, trying to contain his frustration. Employees scurrying out of the way, terrified of the murderous look on his face. He still smells her scent, she has been on this floor. He smells her all the way to the two directors-offices.
Once he is in his office, he slams the door shut with a loud bang. He leans against it and lets out his breath very slowly, only realising now that he had kept it in. He tries to contain his anger, he really tries. His breathing gets heavier, his heart rate speeding up.
“Aargh,” he roars, stepping over to his desk. Wiping everything that is on it, his computer, his papers. The stuff lands on the floor with a bang. Then he lifts up the top of the desk, toppling the thing over, again, making a lot of noise. He roars again but tries to calm down, he is heaving, his chest moving violently. He stands there with his back to the door in the middle of the room, his fists balled, trying to control his breathing.
A silent knock on the door can be heard. “Mr. Anderson, Mr. Anderson, are you alright?”
“Go away! Leave!” Chris bellows.
“Mr. Anderson, it’s me, Joseph, I am coming in.” The handle of the door goes down and the door opens slowly.
“No! Leave!” He bellows again.
“Mr. Anderson, Christopher, what is going on?” Joseph’s form is getting visible in the doorframe. When Joseph sees Chris tense form, he enters cautiously. Chris feels the hands of Joseph on his shoulders. “Turn around Christopher, what is going on?” Joseph asks him quietly.
“Nothing, it’s nothing, Joseph.” Chris lowers his head, looks at the floor.
“Turn around, look at me.” Joseph pleads, “tell me what made you so upset.”
Unwillingly Chris turns around, but keeps staring at the floor. “Nothing, Joseph, I’m fine now,” he says quietly.
“Come with me, let’s get to my office, I’ll get someone to clean this mess up,” Joseph says in a calming tone, he puts an arm around his shoulder and leads him to the other office. Once inside Joseph’s office he leads Chris to a sofa that is placed against one wall. “Sit down, calm down a little, take as long as you need. You can even lie down if you like. I’ll get some water for you.” Joseph heads out to do what he said. Chris is still tense, but is no longer about to explode again. He takes a deep breath and lays his feet on the other end of the couch so he can lay down, but shoots up immediately. The scent, it’s here. She has been here. No, it must be a trick of his mind. This is not possible.
After a couple of minutes Joseph comes back with a glass of water. “Here,” he says and gives the glass to Chris. He takes one of the chairs that stand behind his desk, places it opposite of Chris to sit down on it. “Now tell me,” he says and he looks Chris straight in the eye, “what made you so upset that you trashed your office? You know you can trust me.”
“I, I..” Chris looks at his feet. He doesn’t know what to say. He trusts Joseph, he is his business-representative for a reason, but he can’t simply tell him about his mate. Joseph doesn’t know anything about werewolves and the pack he leads, let alone about mating and those kinds of things. “I don’t know how to explain, you wouldn’t understand.”
“Look, I don’t want to force you to tell me, if you’re not ready. I know I’m not in the position to scold you, but you can’t just barge in here and go mad like that. You are an example for your employees, they look up to you, you know.”
“I know, I’m sorry,” Chris is quiet and rubs his face with his hands. He actually is ashamed of his outburst, he feels like a little kid being scolded by it’s dad.
Joseph gets up from his chair and puts it back on it’s spot when he says: “Well, I’m going to get some work done. Those interviews take a lot of time that I don’t actually have.”
Chris’ head jolts up, “did you have some today? Are there any suitable candidates?” He looks at Joseph expectantly. Maybe his mate was here for an interview?
Joseph’s head shoots up to Chris with a look of surprise. “I thought you weren’t interested in those interviews?”
“I know,”Chris sighs, “but I could use the distraction right now.”
“I made some folders of the candidates I have already talked to. You can skip through them if you like.” Joseph hands him the stack of folders. “I have ranked them from most interesting to least interesting. The one on the top is the one I find the most suitable. A very polite, young girl, very qualified. She was the last I have spoken with.” Chris takes the files from Joseph and looks inside the first folder. When he reads the name his heart starts to race, his hands become clammy. He just knows, this is her, this is his mate!