Alpha Killian P.O.V
I begrudgingly made the decision to attend this year's Moon Ball. Finding a mate had once been at the forefront of my mind, but after years of no luck, I quickly pushed the thought from my mind. Finding a mate had been a strong desire of mine in the past, now it was a simple necessity. If I were to maintain control over my pack, a mate would be crucial to that plan.
The trip from the Blood Moon Pack to the Southern Pack had only taken a few hours, so I kept my distance until it was time to attend the ball. I couldn't help but enjoy the frightened glances from the rest of the people who had also attended the ball. Being the feared Alpha was something I preferred. If you were known across the word as the most vicious Alpha to ever exist, who would dare challenge you?
Females and males alike were submissive to me, never daring to piss me off.
I sat at a large table pushed towards the far wall of the canopy, knowing the Alpha of this pack wanted me as far away from others as possible. I kept my face passive, as I was trained to do, but amusement made it's way into my head. My gaze drifted to many of the unmated males, watching as they shot me frightened glances. I let my gaze flit from female to female, noticing how some had frightful gazes, while others eyes were filled with lust.
"Do you think she is here, Alpha?" A deep voice to the left of me called out. I knew the voice without even needing to look. My Beta, Mason, liked to speak quite often.
"Possibly." I kept my answers clipped and short. He knew this was simply business for me. Last year Mason had finally found his mate, and I watched as she slowly softened the man. He may put on a good show whilst in front of me, but I can see the longing embedded in his gaze. The thought of allowing myself to have such a blatant weakness stirred my anger, but without a mate, I would quickly lose control of the Blood Moon Pack. The pack needed to be sure that my heir would someday come into this world, and rightfully assume the role as Alpha when I was no longer.
I could feel the corners of my lip turn down as I felt my wolf become agitated. Pacing, shuffling, whining. My skull began to throb at the agitation of my wolf.
"What is wrong, Titan?" I asked, keeping confusion out of my voice and willing it to remain neutral.
"I don't know.." Titan grumbled, his frustrated pacing only growing faster.
In what felt like an instant, Titan's head perked up, as I was assaulted by something I had never smelled before. Warm notes of vanilla, honey, and cinnamon filled my head and instantly soothed my headache. You would think the smell resembled pastries, but it was too complex to narrow it down to something so simple. The creamy vanilla intertwined with the sweet honey and the strong cinnamon. I felt my eyes scanning the crowd hungrily, looking for the source of this smell.
I felt myself stand, I could hear Mason speaking, but I couldn't bring myself to care. The sweet and creamy smell circled my brain teasingly as it beckoned me forward. I kept my face a mask of indifference as I let my nose lead me through the crowd. I hadn't noticed when the music skidded to a stop, or when the crowd I had walked through began to part in fear. I didn't give a shit about any of them, or their flesh reeking of fear and body sprays. There was only one smell I was following, my wolf pushing me forward with a sense of urgency. If I hadn't held him back, I'm sure he would have me sprinting towards the source of the smell.
I let my legs move me forward as I locked eyes with a small girl. No- Not a girl, a woman. She stood five feet away from me, her eyes locked on my own as if she knew I had been looking for her. While my face was detached, I couldn't help but notice how small she truly was. Her face was locked in a incredulous mask, like she couldn't believe what was going on. I looked on at her, her scent invading thoughts when my wolf shouted in absolute joy.
"Mate! She's our mate!" Titan rejoiced, begging me to push forward, to take her in our arms, to finally claim what was ours.
A feeling I had never experienced before coursed through my veins as I looked at her porcelain face. Her small pink lips were shaped in an 'o' as if she had finally realized who I was.
In a move that was more animal than man I said my first words to my mate, "You are mine."
Slowly, I closed the distance between us until I was standing only a foot away. I watched in interest as her gaze slowly made it's way up the length of my body, her eyes widened in fear. While I stayed detached, I could hear Titan whimper at the thought of our mate fearing us. A war began to wage in my head, one I knew wouldn't be simple to end. Fear was a necessity, it caused everyone to behave, reduced the carnage and death of disobedience. But as I looked on at this little girl- my little mate, the fear in her eyes gave birth to a new feeling inside of me, one I couldn't possibly name.
I took a step back from her, wanting to get a good look at her. She was nothing like the women who pursued me on my territory, something about her radiated innocence. I let my eyes roam her face, and the first thing I noticed was how blue her eyes truly were. I had never seen eyes so lightly colored before, as if they were made of crystal clear waters. I let my eyes slowly trace over every arch and curve on her face, and run down the length of her chocolate hair. My eyes roamed the curves of her pink lips and slowly made their way down her exposed neck.
This little thing had the full attention of Titan and I, something I had never given to a woman was my full undivided attention. I had women in my pack that I had used for pleasure, but none have ever received my attention the way this little thing has. I let my eyes roam over her creamy skin and finally down to the ball gown she wore. I could feel Titan growl in the back of my mind, his eyes gazing at her bare, unmarked neck.
I looked up into her ocean eyes in time to see her pale skin turn red with blush. I watched the blood rise to her cheeks and made a mental note of how she looked in that moment. So many thoughts were churning in my head, Titan's desires, my own, and then the reality of the situation.
"What is your name?" I found myself asking, needing to know what this little thing called herself. What name could be fitting for someone like her? I found myself wondering.
I waited for her answer as she seemed frozen on my eyes. I could see the indecision in her eyes, as if there too was an ongoing battle inside of her. I could feel my patience begin to ebb, wanting nothing more than to know her name. If asked, I would blame this on my wolf, but some small part of me wondered what her voice sounded like.
"I asked you a question, little mate." I called out again, this time my voice came out impatient, almost angry. I tried to reign my impatience in, not wanting to frighten the little thing.
"Claire, my name is Claire." Her pink lips moved slowly, her voice sounding like a bell. I was surprised to hear how steady her voice was, as if she hadn't been afraid just a few moments ago.
"Claire." I repeated, feeling each letter on the tip of my tongue as I looked into her startled yet confused eyes. I couldn't help but wonder if she knew who I was. Judging from the previous fear on her face, I would assume she knew exactly who I was.
"Do you know who I am?" I found myself asking her, sure she had heard the countless rumors about I and my pack. I felt nothing about the fact that many of those rumors happened to be true. Fear kept enemies away, being vicious and brutal helped eliminate what enemies were left.
"I do." She answered softly, her eyes still locked on my own. Out of what seemed to be habit, she brought her pink lower lip into her mouth and began to nibble on it nervously. I couldn't help but look on in curiosity while Titan put all sorts of images into my head. I could feel my eyes darken as Titan fought the urge to mark our little mate right here and now, to hell with the bystanders.
I turned my back to her and told her to follow me, as I led her back to the table I had once been sitting at. I noticed right away how slow her pace was. With as short as she is, I shouldn't find myself surprised. I slowed my pace for her, allowing her to keep up. Titan couldn't help but be ecstatic with the close proximity between I and our little mate. Not even attempting to resist the urge, I looked down on Claire and was surprised to find her looking up at me, a strange emotion clouding her eyes. As I made my way to my chair and sat down, I found myself wondering what was going through her head.
While one half of me wanted to know more about this little thing that had come into our lives, the other part of me knew this was simply a means to an end. I never wanted nor expected happiness to come out of this. I knew my rumors would scare anyone away from me, and I was fine with that. I simply needed to ensure that this pack would be taken care of, and having a mate was the simplest way to achieve that.
I noticed how close Claire was standing to my sitting body before even she did. As she looked up at me, I was surprised to find her crystal eyes darkening, her wolf wanting desperately to take over. As if I had no bodily control, I felt my eyebrow lift in interest, my eyes scanning hers as if they would reveal their secrets. I wonder what made her wolf want to take control, what was she thinking about?
"We will be traveling to my territory tomorrow morning." I found myself informing Claire, curious as to what her reaction would be. I watched as she looked into my eyes for a few moments and for the time being, I allowed myself to get lost in her clear eyes. After what felt like minutes, her small eyebrows scrunched together and her little nose crinkled as she thought over what I had said. What she said next surprised me, but I kept that emotion hidden away.
"I'm going to say goodbye to my family and friends. I'll be back shortly." She said, her delicate voice ringing out like a bell. The blood began rushing to her face, tinging her cheeks with a rosy color. I found myself wondering how often this happened, how often would her face turn red due to her own thoughts? It intrigued me that she didn't ask for my permission, she was simply informing me on her decision. I could feel Titan howl in protest, he didn't want our little mate anywhere that wasn't with us. I looked into her eyes for a few moments, feeling positive she wouldn't try and run. If there was something she should know, it's that I absolutely enjoy the chase.
"Do not stray too far little mate." I responded to her, my voice amused. I could feel my eyes begin to darken as Titan and I looked at our little mate in her ball gown. I kept my eyes on her back as she walked away and into the crowd. With each step away from us, the more agitated Titan began to grow.
"Keep an eye on her." I nodded at one of the men in my pack. I could feel Titan's anxiety flood my head, knowing that no one could protect our mate better than we could.
I sat like this for awhile, lost in my own thoughts when something absolutely foreign washed through me. Fear. Absolute fear.
I felt my eyes widen in surprise as I tried to locate the source of the intruding emotion. When I finally realized the emotion did not belong to me, my blood had turned to ice. I grabbed Mason and ordered him to follow me, letting her creamy scent lead me to her.
Mason followed me outside and around the side of the tent where I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
My mate, her hands bound above her as someone forced her against the tree. Whoever had her pinned against the tree began to lift the bottom of her dress. Realization crashed through me like a tidal wave, and before Mason could say a word, I had grabbed the boy by the back of his throat.
My vision turned red as Titan and I both held the reins. With a simple fluid movement, I slammed the boy to the ground on his back and lurched my other fist forward, smiling cruelly at the satisfying crunch of a shattered nose.
"Claire, are you alright?" I found myself asking calmly, turning my head ever so slightly so I could look at her face. I could see the start of a bruise forming across her cheek, which only fueled my rage. I let my eyes trail down to her wrists, knowing they too would be bruised as well. Although I would later deny this, my eyes met her own and noticed the tears that began to form. It disgusted me how someone could attack someone so small and innocent and still try to call themselves a man. This boy would learn quickly not to fuck with what belongs to me. His punishment would be slow, and inevitably end in death. That I was sure of.
I wasn't surprised when a crowd began to form, looking on at me in horror. I could care less. Finally, one of the other Alpha's emerged, his eyes locked on the boy with the shattered nose. I could tell by the weak look in his eyes that he wanted to protect the boy, but there was no way in hell I would allow that to happen. This mutt tried to take what belonged to me.
The red tinge that had taken over my vision remained as I threatened the Alpha. I could tell by the look in his eyes that he knew I wouldn't only follow through on my threat, I would greatly enjoy it as well. Not only would I claim the boy's life, I would claim his own and in the process, take command over his pack. With a look of fear and pity, the man left the boy's fate in my hands. I stifled a cruel smile as a look of terror came over the boy, knowing his life would end at my hands.
"Grab him." I spoke calmly, my wolf bristled and ready to exact his revenge. Without another glance to the pathetic boy, I turned back to Claire who leaned against the large oak tree as if it were her lifeline.
Without being table to stop myself, I lifted my hand and allowed my finger to run down the length of her cheek. I felt my anger return, stronger than ever, as she winced under my light touch. The sparks that shot down my finger stunned me, and I quickly dropped my hand. I couldn't find the right words to say as I looked at my little mate. It had been years since I actively looked for a mate. Eventually, I had grown to abhor them. No part of me was interested in having a companion to spend my life with. I simply needed an heir. The problem was the emotions and thoughts this little thing had evoked in me even in the short time I have known her. The walls that encompassed me seemed transparent around her, almost nonexistent.
I watched as she attempted to take a step away from the oak, to support her own weight. In an instant I watched the realization of the mistake she made flash through her crystal eyes. It was as if the lights behind her eyes had shut off, and without a single sound she fell to the ground.
Anticipating her fall, I swept her legs out from under her and cradled her in my arms. The sparks that ran down the length of my forearms pleased my wolf more than words can express. Sparks shot into my chest as her head fell gently against me.
I tried to steady myself as a barrage of emotions came over me. Titan was already completely wrapped around our little mate's finger, absolutely smitten with her. I grasped around blindly, feeling for the walls I had build around myself. Once I could feel the connection, I did what I could to make those walls stronger than ever. There was no way in hell I could let this little thing be my downfall. I have ended men's lives who were ten times her size, ten times her viciousness. Why should she be able to affect me so much? I wouldn't allow it. She would quickly learn that in the Blood Moon Pack I am Alpha, and my word is law. With a few quiet breaths, I walked over to what I could only assume was her family. They too looked up at me in horror, finally realizing the fate of their child.
"Show me to your house." I told the man who looked to be her father, my gaze emotionless and unyielding as I carried his quiet daughter in my arms.
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