Fated Mates Cross Paths
“She needs to graduate. The least you can do is allow her finish school. Then she can face her destiny.” The Elder responded.
“It was easier to wait when she was focused on her studies. But now, she is open to love. I cannot explain how much that annoys me. The more she socializes, the higher the risk of exposing her identity to the enemy packs.”
“I know. Still, there’s a stronger reason why you need to wait.”
Gillow gave him a knowing look. “Cain and his agenda.”
“He will kill the moon child to fulfill it. He will do anything to fulfill it. They know about the prophecy. They will be alert once they hear you’ve taken a mate. She will be in danger.”
“I want to challenge him.”
The Elder adjusted his balance on the stick. “The enemy packs need to be kept in the dark about her existence, otherwise, the reason for keeping her hidden all these years would be futile.”
“I said that I want to challenge him.” Gillow deliberately ignored the wise man’s words. He was impatient.
“It is not time. The gods have not permitted it.”
Gillow rose up, towering over the man. “My patience has grown thin. With all due respect, speak with the gods and tell them that if their silence remains, I will start making decisions. I grow weary of having my mate alone out there. They have until the next full moon.”
The Elder quickly cleared his throat. “No one has ever given the gods an ultimatum.”
“I just did.”
The man bowed and turned to go while Gillow’s eyes returned to Arda’s image inside the book. He really could not wait to claim her.
The next day, Arda lived her life like it was normal. She set her concerns aside and went about her business.
In the house with her family, she performed chores, aided her mother in the kitchen and went hunting with her father and sister at night.
The moon was out and half full and the forest behind their home was alive with the night sounds of nature.
Twilight thrushes sang and owls called back and forth to their young. Insects and frogs took over where the daylight songbirds had left off while crickets chirped incessantly in the background.
Arda, Mabel and her father were dressed in clothes that covered their bodies fully so that they were protected from the chill.
Ear defenders went around the backs of their heads and defended them from any kind of harsh sounds. The three held local guns and backpacks rested on their backs.
Presently, they were standing by a tree in the forest and looking around the bushes through the eyes of the night vision glasses over their eyes.
“Daddy, should we be worried about the wolf cries?” Arda asked and Mabel chuckled.
“Shut up, Mabel.”
Mabel laughed and Arda couldn’t help but recollect how she and her sister had come to make up.
The two had reconciled that morning after Arda served her tea in bed and told her she loved her and would always love her whether she liked it or not. Arda had spoken in sincerity. It was truly how she felt about Mabel.
In response, Mabel had thrown her arms around her, apologizing profusely for her bad behavior towards her and promising to change. Then Mabel had shocked Arda who had thought Mabel’s behavior was borne out of a grudge about sharing her parents. Mabel admitted instead that she was hurt by the knowledge that they weren’t blood sisters. Her constant show of antagonism was merely an unhealthy reaction to the situation.
Their parents had been so surprised waking up to the girls joking around as they made breakfast together. The girls had simply smiled at them with a simple chorused explanation. “We made up,” which had pleased their parents.
Arda’s mind returned to the present.
“You will scare the games away.” Their father cautioned Mabel and smiling, Mabel clamped a hand over her mouth to muffle her chuckle.
“Naughty you.” Arda told her and faced her father. “Seriously dad, the papers sounded serious.”
“The papers are serious about everything.” He replied. “Wolf cries are normal. If their cries have increased, it only means that their population has grown, so what?”
“Well, what happens if we find any?” Arda was worried.
“Simple, kill it. Besides, wolves are afraid of humans. They will rather avoid you.”
Arda sighed with relief. “Great.”
“Okay ladies, we will separate from here. You already know the deal. Don’t venture too far. Use your whistle…”
“and flash your light if necessary, should you encounter trouble.” Arda and Mabel finished for him and he shook his head in amusement.
“The trouble that awaits your husbands.”
The girls smiled broadly and they separated, the three going in separate directions.
Arda walked forward, the grasses scrunching beneath her booted foot. It took her a few yards before she came upon a grassy clearing dotted by clutters of wood against a backdrop of thicker woodland.
Standing by a tree, she saw a single pig feeding on rape. She could not see any piglets but a single pig at that time of the year could be a sow. Its silhouette looked more like a sow than a male.
It was too dark to see any more details but she couldn’t pass up her first kill on the hunt. This was why they were here. Arda aimed her gun at the pig and fell into concentration.
Then she noticed branches braking in the wood a couple of yards adjacent the pig. It meant that something was probably going to come out. Her attention was divided at the moment. Even the pig raised its head and turned towards the direction of the ruffling behind it.
It took about five seconds of waiting before a couple of pigs lazily emerged one after the other from the rustling spot. They were not too big and were roughly about the same size. There was no sight of piglets.
She wondered which one she would take down and finally decided on the one she had first seen which had returned to its meal. It seemed fatter than the others.
Giving it her full attention, she was about to pull the trigger when she heard a gunshot and saw a bullet hit her target, bringing it down. Her finger froze on the trigger.
Startled, Arda’s eyes went up because, she could tell that the shot had come from somewhere close by in the trees. Her eyes fell on the figure of a hunter who was positioned on the sturdy branch of a tree just a couple of feet beside her.
Arda was angry. She knew that she didn’t own the area but that fat pig was her kill. It was almost her kill and the situation upset her. To add to her anger, the other pigs turned and hastened back into the woods, no doubt in escape.
Fuming, Arda watched the hunter make his way down from the tree. His movements were smooth and graceful. He seemed skilled and from his silhouette, tall and brawny. He wore a hat and his hair flowed underneath it. Where had she seen long hair on a tall and sinewy guy recently? She wondered and started marching towards his direction.
Before she could reach the tree, he was already at its foot. He switched on the hunting lamp at the foot of the tree, illuminating the spot around him.
Getting a clearer view of him, Arda was befuddled. She could clearly recognize the handsome guy she had been drawn to at the restaurant on her date with Luke.
He seemed even more handsome in his rugged hunting outfit, raw and intriguing. As he stared at her, it felt like he could see through her soul. Why did he affect her so? She scarcely knew him.
Arda cleared her throat, reminding herself why she was there.
“You stole my kill.” She fumed and he arched an eyebrow.
“Oh, is that so?”
Where had she heard that deep, cultured yet rough voice before? She wondered.
“I almost had it before you…you stole it.”
All Gillow could think about was how her beauty affected him and the fact that she didn’t even know who they were to each other was quite upsetting. That they had met tonight was purely by accident and he could not help but marvel at how fate had them entwined. And she didn’t even know she was standing before her mate, her Alpha. A small smile crept across his lips as he perused her from head to toe. The day he would claim her, her screams of pleasure would be music to his ears.
Arda felt like he had just stripped her naked and she struggled to hide the blush that had probably stained her cheeks. Damn, he was handsome and so rugged. Thank God it was night and her blush didn’t have to show. She quickly told herself to concentrate on her anger.
He walked past her and headed towards the direction of the kill.
“What are you doing?” she demanded, turning back towards him.
“Picking up my kill.” He threw over his shoulder.
Arda broke into a run, dashed past him and headed towards the pig which was lying still on the ground. He paused and watched her stand protectively around it. He was amused but chose to hide it as he started approaching her.
“I cannot let you have it.” She said as he came to stand across from her, the pig lying between them.
“And you really think I would let you have my kill?” he asked.
“It is mine.” She insisted.
“No, it is mine.” He countered cooly. Then his voice dropped a notch. “For a young woman out here alone with a strange guy in the woods, you do have some guts.”
He watched fear creep into her eyes for the first time. He was just toying with her but of course she didn’t know that. She had been too confident and he wanted her just a little bit scared. What if it wasn’t him out here? What if it had been some dangerous person?
“I’m not alone.” She said, her voice starting to waver. Suddenly, the pig was starting to lose value in her sight. She was afraid of him now.
Good, he thought with firm determination. He would teach her a lesson about keeping herself safe for him and the people dear to her.