After their conversation Chris returns to the packhouse. He is relieved that Ava took his message so well. He hopes that Danny and Ava can work things out, that his friend really can be happy with his fated mate. Against his first decision to not let the girls know about them being wolves, let alone getting in contact with his pack, he invited Ava and Jolene for dinner tonight. He figured if Ava knows about them being werewolves, Jolene will also know soon enough, so it won’t matter anyway. He just hopes they handle this secret wisely. He drives his car into the garage and goes to his suite to change into his workout clothes.
When he was in Litchley, he didn’t have time to work-out, so it’s time for an intensive training. His training is heavy, much heavier than that of most of the warriors in his pack. He always tests his limits to see how far he can let his body go. When he is done, his body is wet with sweat, the towel he carries, is not of much help. He is on his way to his suite when Danny calls him through the mind-link. ’Chris!’
‘Danny! What is it?’ Chris has never heard Danny so distressed. He is instantly alarmed.
‘I- My wolf keeps fighting me. I can’t seem to calm him down! It is getting worse. He wants to find Ava and claim her! I have no idea how to restrain him!’
‘You have to stop him! If you claim her now, you will scare her away!’
‘Don’t you think I don’t know that? Chris, do something, he is getting stronger. I can’t hold on much longer!’ Danny really sounds disturbed.
’Where are you now? I am coming!’
‘Outside. The edge of the forest behind the packhouse.’
‘Just a minute, I’ll be there in a couple of minutes.’ When Chris reaches Danny, he sees him walking back and forth. Over and over again. Talking to himself, so it seems. His eyes glow yellow, a sign that his wolf has taken over. He is literally fighting himself.
When Danny sees Chris coming, he backs away. “Don’t!” He shouts to Chris, trying to keep him at distance. “Leave me alone! I have to see my mate, she is mine, only mine!”
Chris must act fast. He moves and stands in front of Danny; he towers over him. “Danny! Contain yourself!” Chris bellows with his Alpha-voice, he looks Danny straight in the eye. Chris makes Danny’s wolf surrender to him, his Alpha. He knows Danny lost control of his wolf and Danny’s wolf will only surrender and obey him now. No one else will be able to do so, not even Danny himself. Danny steps backwards to get away from Chris. Chris roars again: “Wolf, surrender to your Alpha!”
Danny falls to his knees; his wolf keeps fighting but eventually surrenders. He has no other choice but to listen to his Alpha, to Chris.
Danny gasps for air, he holds his hands in front of him on the ground, head down. “I’m sorry Alpha,” Danny says quietly, almost like a whisper, he doesn’t move, keeps his head low. “I’m sorry I couldn’t restrain my wolf.”
“Are you alright?” Chris asks him, worried. He puts his hand on Danny’s back.
Danny gets back up slowly, supported by Chris. “Yeah, I think I’ll be fine now.” When he stands up straight, he finally looks Chris in the eyes, “I’m just a little drained, now. Thanks for helping me out.”
Chris pats him on the back and they walk together back into the packhouse. “Anytime, buddy, you know I have your back. You have to be careful, though. This can’t happen again. Next time I may be too late. I told Ava about us being wolves, she knows how the claiming and mating goes, but she has yet to process it.”
Danny stops Chris to look at him. “You did what?” Did you give us away?”
“Yes, I did,” Chris answers and he walks around Danny to go to his suite.
“Why did you do that?” Danny asks, going after Chris.
Now Chris stops walking to look Danny in the eyes. “Every wolf deserves to be with his mate, whether the mate is a wolf, human, male, female, it shouldn’t matter,” Chris says. “There is a reason you are put together. Who are we to mess with the will of the Moon Goddess?”
They continue their walk to Chris’ suite. “When you put it like that, I can’t have anything against it,” Danny says, “but you took a risk nonetheless.”
Chris opens his door and enters his suite. Danny stops just outside the door. “I know,” Chris says he turns around to face Danny, “but if I didn’t do it, she would just have been gone tomorrow. She would come back, and she would just have to accept, whether she likes it or not. Now she has the chance to decline the job offer, even though she has already accepted it, and go back to her life. But she can also decide to stay here anyway. She can make up her mind and it will be her own decision.”
“Maybe you’re right.” Danny says thoughtfully, still doubting what is the right thing to do.
“You think you can handle your wolf now?” Chris asks, still a little concerned, “I invited the girls for dinner tonight here in the packhouse. Will that be a problem?”
“No, I don’t think so, at least I hope so.” Danny says with a sigh, “I have to talk to her sooner or later. Maybe it is better to go through this now, so it doesn’t drag on.”
“Alright, I am going to take a shower now, I feel like I stink really bad.” Chris smiles a little.
“I wondered what I was smelling the whole time, but it’s you I smelled, go wash yourself, stinky.” Danny smiles a little, he just loves to tease his Alpha.
“I’ll see you at dinner.”
A few hours later, Chris steps into the dining hall, dinner will almost be ready. All tables already have been set, waiting for the pack to take their places. He hears a knock on the door and says: “Enter.”
“Err, Christopher?” It is Ava who peaks inside coyly. “You didn’t tell me what time dinner was, so I came to see-” She doesn’t finish her sentence, she doesn’t really know what to say. Her eyes flutter to the floor, she is aware of his dominating aura.
“Come in, dinner is almost ready, it won’t take long,” he says friendly, then he frowns a little when he realises her friend isn’t with her, “is your friend not with you?” Now that he thinks of her, he remembers the sweet smell in their cabin.
She steps a little further into the room and shakes her head lightly, she is still a little overcome by his powerful aura, “No, she went on a hike this afternoon and was still freshening herself up when I left. She told me to go already and that she would come right after me.”
She is startled when someone bursts through the door. It is Simon, Chris’ Gamma. “Alpha, the Beta of the Foggy Forest Pack is on the phone. He wishes to speak to you.”
“I’m coming,” he tells Simon, then he turns his head to Ava. “Ava, you can wait here until dinner starts, the bell will ring any minute. If you’ll excuse me now.”
He turns to look at Simon again. “Simon, bring Ava here to her seat, please. Make sure she is well taken care of. She is a guest here with her friend Jolene.”
“On it, Alpha.” Simon says with a little bow. Chris walks out of the dining hall, to his office to pick up the phone. He wonders why his brother Nick, the Beta of the Foggy Forest Pack, is calling him at this hour.
When he puts down the phone in his office, he stares ahead, wrapped in his mind. What his brother Nick just told him is worrying. His pack is dealing with small attacks of feral wolves. It is always small groups of wild wolves that attack, but the attacks become more frequent and they are getting closer to their packhouse. Nick fears it is all coming from a bigger group of feral wolves, maybe even a feral wolfpack with its own leader. He fears that it will get worse, that they are planning to weaken Nick’s pack and then launch a big attack. Nick wanted to warn Chris, but also ask for help on behalf of his Alpha. Chris promised to do what he can, but he has to discuss this with his Beta, Gamma and Delta. He has to come up with some kind of strategy to defeat these rogues. He rubs his face with his hands. This is not good, not good at all. He opens his mind-link to all his warriors and all the higher ranks of the pack to be on high alert. That rogues have been attacking the Foggy Forest Pack and they must pay close attention to their surroundings. Everything that is even just a little bit off needs to be reported at once.
He keeps thinking about the attacks until his stomach rumbles. It’s about an hour later. He decides to see if anything is left over from dinner, he can’t think clear with an empty stomach. When he descends the stairs, he smells that sweet scent again. It is extraordinarily strong this time.
‘Mate!’ His wolf shouts happily in his head, ‘I can smell her, she’s here!’
Chris looks around but doesn’t see anyone. He walks into the dining hall; the scent is there too. But there’s only some pack members doing their chores, cleaning up the remnants of dinner. He steals some leftover bread from a basket and returns to the hallway.
’She left; she went outside!’ His wolf screams in his head. ‘Go after her, now! We need to find her; we must claim her! She is ours, ours alone!’
‘Wow, stop!’ Chris thinks by himself, looks like his wolf is acting the same way Danny’s wolf did. Trying to make him claim her, before she even understands what claiming means. ‘If I claim her now, I will scare her away,’ Chris replies to his wolf, ‘I don’t want to force her into a relationship with me. I want her to be with me because she wants to, not because I claimed her without her consent and therefore forced her to be with me.’
His wolf growls and grumbles, but he doesn’t care. His wolf will have to listen to him. He just won’t claim her now. He walks through the main entrance of the packhouse and follows her scent, but the scent evaporates faster than he can follow her and soon he doesn’t smell her anymore. He curses, frustrated that he was so close to finding his mate.
‘I told you, you had to be faster!’ His wolf says to him. His wolf is so upset, so frustrated with him. He feels his wolf go into hiding.
‘Yes, I know. I am sorry!’ He replies. After he fails walking around in a circle to find any traces of the scent, he heads home disappointed. Time for bed, he won’t find her today.