Chapter 5: Packless
I heard a twig break just beyond the tree line. My head shot around, eyes searching the trees for the source of the sound. Crystal deep blue eyes shown between the trees and my breath caught in my throat. It was the same eyes of the wolf from the races.
Emerging slowly his large white wolf entered the clearing. Eyes locked onto mine, he took a few steps forward before stopping. His striking blue eyes scanning over my face, he sniffed the air before releasing a growl deep in his belly. It was not an aggressive growl, but something else altogether. Closing his eyes briefly, he stepped forward before I stopped his advances with a warning.
“Who - Who are you? Why have you followed me?” I said with as much authority as I could muster.
His wolf’s eyes flashed once more before turning and disappearing behind the trees. I heard rustling before a man emerged from the brush. I thought his wolf was breathtaking, but before me stood a man out of fairytale.
He was taller than my 5’7” frame, probably about 6’3”. He had broad shoulders, wearing a simple black, long sleeve, V-neck knit shirt that hugged his heavily muscled chest. My eyes trailed down a perfectly toned abdomen, ending in faded blue jeans and simple black sneakers. The muscles in his arms seemed to strain against the fabric as I could see him clench his hands into fists at his sides, my eyes raked over his body taking him in with a gasp. Meeting his face again, he had a strong square jaw, straight nose and straight white hair that fell, tousled, a little past his shoulders. As my eyes grazed over his features, he met me with a light blue stare. Raising an eyebrow at my wordless assessment of his physique, I could feel my cheeks enflame.
Clearing my throat, I shook my head to gather my thoughts, yet again. “I will not ask you again, why are you following me?” I demanded.
His face was impassive, features clenched so hard that I shivered beneath his stare. It was his turn to appraise me, as his eyes outlined my curves, I felt my resolve weaken. I squirmed under his gaze, suddenly feeling self-conscious in my favorite sundress. It was a capped sleeve, black and white polka dot A-line dress, with a hem that stopped a few inches above my knees. Yes, I filled it out nicely, but this was supposed to be a light-hearted fun event.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I would be under the scrutiny of – of our mate, my wolf responded to my jumbled thoughts. My eyes widened, how can you be sure? I asked her.
Simple, she responded, We’ve dreamt of him many times, or have you forgotten? She sneered. What? I seethed. Raking the gaps in my memory, I inhaled sharply.
He took a step forward; his eyes held an intensity that scared me. I felt myself stepping back, not watching my footing, I slipped on the wet stones. My step faltering, I lost my balance and began to fall back. In the blink of an eye I felt impossibly strong hands pull me the other direction, securing their hold around my hips, the breath left my lungs in a whoosh as I fell on top of him.
My eyes widened as I came face to face with this strange and devastatingly handsome man. Startled, my initial reaction was to push myself up, but as my hands found a hold on his muscular chest, I was drawn from my thoughts as I felt him release a deep growl, causing the muscles of his abdomen to vibrate. Tightening his grip around me I gazed into his eyes, now so close I could see specs of deeper blue swirl in their depths. Trailing a hand over my back, he gently pushed strands of hair out of my face, his feather light touch left my skin tingling as he grazed his fingers over my cheek.
“Who are you?” he breathed. His voice was a deep rumble that I immediately wanted to hear more of. I felt his hand travel up my spine coming to rest on the back of my shoulders, the other returning to my lower back.
“I – My name is Red.” I stammered.
“Red.” He repeated after me. My name coming from his lips sounded like a prayer, I licked my lips involuntarily. His own parted slightly as I could not resist the urge to breathe his scent in deeper.
Following his own need, he shifted under me, quickly flipping me over so I was on my back, breathless and staring up at him. Holding his weight over me he propped himself up on his left elbow, my left arm pinned beneath him. Drawing nearer, he leaned closer to my neck breathing deeply, his breath cold on my skin. I clutched the front of his shirt with my free hand, trying desperately to not let him hear me gasp from the sensation.
Tantalizingly slow, using the fingers of his right hand, he trailed them up my side to grasp ahold of wrist, pinning it to the ground. I could feel my body betray me as that skin to skin contact caused me to shiver to my core.
“Red, what?” He questioned. His eyes returning to bore into mine. I inhaled sharply, momentarily stunned by the flecks of deeper blue and black that I found burning in this gaze.
“I asked you a question, what is your surname?” He continued, his gaze becoming darker in intensity.
“I – I don’t have one” I whispered, trying to catch my breath.
“Who is your alpha?” He asked further, finishing off the question with a deep growl.
My eyes widened in understanding, he wanted to know which pack I held allegiance to. He wanted to know which alpha he would need to stake his claim with. I lowered my gaze; it was not a point of pride to be a rejected orphan.
I could hear my wolf whine. He is our mate, he should not care where we come from, she said.
But still, I thought to her, I don’t want him to reject us so quickly.
Be true to yourself, she replied, this is the least of our secrets he needs to fear.
I inhaled deeply, whispering. “I do not have an Alpha, I am one of the northern orphans.” Still not meeting his eyes, I fought back the emotions that came with this confession. I felt him shift to a sitting position, pulling me up with him. Hooking a finger under my chin, he forced my eyes to meet his. Wiping a tear that I hadn’t realized I shed from my cheek, he took my face in both hands.
“I have waited longer than you can know to find my mate, it does not matter to me where you hail from. I swear to you, you will never be packless again.” He promised, his voice ringing clear in the chill air.
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