The evening had been going as smoothly as expected. A lot of mingling and meeting new people. Jace was uneasy, he could feel his wolf pacing and antsy. Then he caught it. The scent.
“No no no no no no..” Jace mumbled.
Hunter looked at him oddly before his eyes widened in shock, “You found her.”
“I couldn’t have, it can’t be..” Jace shook his head in disbelief. Suddenly the room seemed to stand still as Jace made his way to the door. The scent grew stronger, like sun-ripened strawberries.
“Mate..” he whispered.
The girl before him turned around to face him, shock wide in her eyes. Jace had to admit she was absolutely beautiful. She had short blond hair and tanned skin that made her hazel eyes seem to pop.
“I’m Jace,” Jace held out his hand and as she took it he could feel a shockwave surge through his body.
Jace didn’t know what he was doing but suddenly he was pulling her close to him. Their faces were almost touching as he looked in her eyes. “Ryann...” he smiled.
Ryann looked up at him with a warm smile and he lowered his head to gently brush his lips against hers. Sparks flew as he embraced his mate, touching her skin and tasting her lips. He wanted to drown in her. He was brought back by a quiet cough. Jace looked up to see Hunter smiling happily at his brother with Layla standing next to him, happy tears in her eyes.
“Well that was fast,” Alpha Marcus boomed with a chuckle.
Jace straightened and looked at his father with pride, “Alpha Marcus, I present my mate Ryann.”
Alpha Marcus smiled brightly, “So happy to meet you my girl. I can’t wait to get to know you better.”
The room erupted in applause and Jace smiled as he watched his mate blush at the attention. The party resumed and he found a quiet place for them to talk and get to know each other.
Hunter pulled Layla to the dance floor and began swaying to the music, “I can honestly say I’m surprised. There’s going to be a lot of broken hearts tomorrow.”
Layla laughed, “Poor Trish, or was it Mary?”
Hunter chuckled, “Amy?”
Layla shrugged, “Who knows? Ryann has her work cut out for her. But he’s a good guy, I think they’ll be happy together.”
Hunter nodded in agreement, “I hope so.”
The song ended and Layla pulled away, “Well go find your girl, Hunter.” She walked away with a smile and Hunter couldn’t help but watch her go. She was beautiful. He took a deep breath and walked to a group of girls to begin his search once again.
“You up?” Jace asked as he knocked on the doorframe of Hunter’s bedroom.
“Mhmm..” Hunter mumbled.
Jace sat on his bed and let out a long breath, “I’m sorry man. I know you were looking forward to finding your mate today.”
Hunter sat up in his bed and sighed, “I really was. But I’m super glad you found yours, I’m so happy for you brother.”
Jace smiled, “She’s gorgeous, isn’t she?”
Hunter laughed, “If I say yes are you going to punch me for talking about your mate?”
Jace laughed, “Maybe. But seriously man, don’t give up. Maybe she was sick and couldn’t come tonight. Or maybe she hasn’t come of age yet.”
Hunter nodded, “That’s true. I have time.”
“Well, goodnight brother. I need to get some sleep, I have a hot date tomorrow.” Jace winked before heading back to his room.
The next morning Hunter woke up with a bit of a cloud over him. He had been disappointed he didn’t find his mate and that Jace had. But at the same time he was happy for his brother.
He walked downstairs to see Layla at the kitchen island talking to the cooks and smiled. At least he had his friend.
“Hey Lay,” he smiled as he sat in the stool next to her.
“Good morning!” Layla chimed, “How are you?”
Hunter shrugged and Layla gave him a reassuring squeeze on the shoulder, “You’ll find her. Be patient. You’ve only been eighteen for 24 hours.”
“I know.” Hunter replied with a smile. “So no training today?”
Layla shook her head, “it’s my day off. I’ll go out tomorrow.”
“Good,” Hunter smiled, “Want to skip out on whatever is happening today and head to the river?”
Layla frowned, “I wish! I told my mom I’d help her with some stuff today.”
“That’s alright, I should really see if dad needs help with anything.” Hunter replied, disappointed he couldn’t spend the day with her.
When Jace woke up this morning tangled in the arms of his mate he thought he had died and gone to heaven. Last night had been amazing. They had stayed up late talking and getting to know each other. She was perfect and he pulled her close to him, inhaling her scent and keeping her close. Ryann stirred in his arms and he smiled, “Good morning my mate.”
“Good morning!” She replied.
Jace leaned in close and kissed her, gently at first until it built into passion and they got caught in their mate pull. Jace pulled off his clothes and helped her do the same as they rolled around the bed, kissing and touching each other’s bodies. He roamed his hands up and down her smooth curves as they went farther. Jace could feel his body reacting to her and he could smell her arousal, making it even worse. She moaned as he nipped at her lips and kissed down her neck, sucking on the spot that would hold his mark. He could feel his eyes darken as his wolf tried to take over.
“Jace..” Ryann moaned, making her even harder to resist. Jace moved above her, touching her gently as he teased her with his tip. As they mated, they could each feel the pressure build and at his release Jace bit down on the sweet spot above her collarbone, marking her as his.
He licked the blood that had come before laying beside her, both of their breaths uneven as they laid comfortably next to each other.
“My mate..” he whispered before kissing her mark and falling asleep again.