Oh. My. Gosh.
I was beyond speechless. I had been talking to my mom, moderately enjoying myself when all of a sudden I caught this smell of amber and musk. It smelled amazing, but I had no idea where it came from. When mom had turned to introduce me to the visiting Alpha, it was like the air was sucked out of the room.
“MATE,” we both seemed to whisper as our eyes were locked.
There was a gasp that brought me back and I turned to see my mom teary-eyed with her hands to her mouth. And my dad just stood there, mouth wide open.
I didn’t know how long we stood there until my dad composed himself and spoke breathlessly, "Well... that’s not how I expected this evening to go... let’s head over to my office.” I looked up to see the visiting Alpha's dark eyes still fixed on me and my breath caught.
We all walked silently up the stairs to the Alpha's office. The party had pretty much ended at that point and we could hear everyone quietly speaking as they shuffled out, no doubt about what had just happened.
“Alright,” Dad sighed as he sat in his chair behind the desk, "Alpha Slade, I know you were hoping to leave tomorrow but is there any way we can convince you to stay another day or two? To make sure we can get everything sorted for Addison.”
I just stood there in semi-shock. I could feel my wolf inside going crazy, but I physically just stood there. I had never planned for the possibility that I would find a mate from a different pack, let alone the Alpha of another pack. I was hoping I would find someone here, where I could be near my family.
Alpha Slade spoke, running his hand through his hair, “I have some business I need to take care of at the end of the week. I was hoping to leave early tomorrow.” But just then he looked toward me and our eyes met. He sighed, “ I guess I can stay another couple of days. But it means we HAVE to leave by Tuesday afternoon at the latest.”
When a couple found their mate, the female always left to join the male’s pack if they weren’t from the same one. I hated that fact. But even if there was a choice to have the male move instead, there was no way that was happening in this situation. Slade was an alpha, I had to go with him. And we hadn’t even spoken to each other yet.
There was no way I was sleeping tonight. I could feel my wolf pacing. As I lay there in bed I looked around my room. I had slept in this room for twenty one years, except for the four years I was off at school. It was nothing fancy. I had a desk full of random papers and things. Above it was a board full of pictures and memories. On the left wall was the closet and dresser, my bed in the middle of the room, with my small bathroom to the right. It wasn’t much but it was home.
I opened my eyes with a grimace as my mom threw open the curtains. Sleep must have claimed me at some point last night and I chalked everything up to a bad dream. “Morning love!” My mom half-sang as she sat down next to me on the bed. I looked at the clock. Seven am. This woman was trying to kill me.
“MOOOOOM, why on earth are you waking me up? It’s my day off!” I moaned as I rolled back over.
“Sweetheart, it’s seven in the morning. Hurry up. Shower and get dressed and come help me make breakfast. Show your mate those mad cooking skills!” She teased with a nudge.
“Mate?” I stared at her like she was crazy. Then it all hit me. Last night really happened. I gasped, ”OH MY GOSH MOM! What am I going to do?!” The panic was setting in.
“Addison Lee Jennings. You’re going to do what every other wolf in history has done,” my mom said, rolling her eyes. “We are going to pack up your things, hug the crap out of you, possibly threaten your mate about taking care of you, and miss you like crazy.” Mom was fighting the tears now and we embraced and cried for a few minutes.
“Okay,” she sniffed, straightening her dress, “Go get dressed and come help me.”
The warm shower helped fight off some anxiety. As I walked back into the room I opened the closet. “What does one wear to meet their mate?”
My wolf answered back, eyes rolling. Addie stop it. He is our mate, he’s going to love us.
That helped a bit, but not much. I settled on my favorite pair of skinny jeans, rolled up past the ankle, and a yellow floral top. It was loose and comfortable but cute. Perfect to make it look like I wasn't trying too hard, right?
I walked downstairs to the common area and into the large kitchen. Mom always made so much food, for anyone who wanted to come and eat. And there was usually a small gathering for each meal. But this morning it was just mom down in the kitchen. She looked up as I walked in. “Hey, can you start on the pancakes while I do this bacon?”
“Sure mom,” I replied, knowing it was one of the last times we would cook together.