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Chapter 20

I had spent the last few hours on and off giving Atreus questioning looks, in between shuffling about. I'm not sure if its the seat, or these restraints but my lower back is beginning to feel sore, it could be just this human body of mine, I can feel how much weaker I am now with my wolf abilities suppressed.

My mind wanders back to Atreus again after I position myself more comfortablely.

Like... who does he think he is? To kiss me like that then say it was unnatural! I will give him unnatural, I told myself...

Then chickened out, every time!

He's the frigging Alpha of The Dark Orb of Knights for crying out loud, the most feared and beloved pack in the country, that's who he is!

Give it up, your no match for him.

I didn't make him kiss me though! that was all him. He can pretend it wasn't natural all he wants, but the possessive way he held me and dominated that kiss was too real.

So hot and passionate there was no way he wasn't as into it, as I was. No no! No way! Or at least that's what I'm going to tell myself.

Oh I need to fan myself off, the memory is so fresh in my mind, godess I can feel myself getting moist just thinking of it.

And even if he wants to deny it I can feel the sparks of chemistry between us, I think I just need to discover what's going on under that hard exterior. Maybe then he will quit this hot and cold behaviour.

When I was about to go stir crazy from the repetitive thoughts in my head, our vehicle came to a stop.

"We have arrived. Are you ready for this?" Atreus questioned.

"As ready as I will ever be." I smiled and winked at him, I wanted a reaction, something anything more than the blank silence he had been projecting my way for the last few hours.

"Stop messing about this is serious!" He replied sternly, I jumped but smiled at his closeness.

"Come on." He said and grabbed me by the wrist pulling up and out the vehicle.

We were met by a huge escort of Bellator Warriors, a quick estimate - I would put it at least forty, all suited in a camouflage uniform, a mighty show of strength and power. If it were not for the hold Atreus had on me, I would be terrified. Somehow his touch gave me strength.

Looking at the sea of warriors I was struck how Alpha Atreus had voluntarily wanted to come here with me. His own pack members left behind, his Beta gone rouge and he, still walked into the lions den, for me.

There was nothing friendly about this welcome, dont get me wrong I wasn't expecting a fanfare or anything even close. After all, I'm a prisoner here but on the contrary Atreus is a revered Alpha. I would expect some from of respect given. On the other hand what I saw of the Elders at my trial they all had an air of superiority about them, the jury is out on that though. Especially for the Paramount, I felt a sinister aura off of her.

It was a harsh wake up call looking at the mass of warriors surrounding us. My mind may have been caught up in the memory of our entanglement a little too much, because I didn't feel prepared for this.

Our location was a mystery to me, all I could see was huge tall trees and lots of undergrowth, we were deep in a forest somewhere, the Lunar Council pack location was kept secret from the average wolf, only those in power were given privy to such sensitive information.

Its rumoured that the pack grounds are that of the first pack of Werewolves, its known as sacred ground for that very reason, and therefore protected for the very same reason aswell.

I can't help the surge of hormones in my body with the thrill of setting foot on such hallowed ground, the historian in me coming to life. Many wolves never get such an opportunity, I'm just regretful to enter as a prisoner.

I scope the area trying to get my footing, though being limited to just my human senses is like a disability, after living a lifetime with the heightened ones of a wolf. There was no way for me to sniff out danger. Thankfully Atreus has a hold on me.

Before I knew it Vaughan and Gerard was stood infront of us. There was a smugness about him now, he had that aire, I guess a few hours apart from Alpha Atreus let his ego build back up that coupled with the large group of warriors, was giving him some kind of boost.

Tut tut!

I narrowed my eyes looking him over, I just cannot get my head around this new Vaughan. His mate must truly have her claws deep in him, or maybe I never really new him.

"Bellator! Transverto." Vaughan commands his men and like a wave of fur, one after another drop to all fours in such a fluid motion, I was in awe watching as one after another change into their wolf from.

Their clothing disappearing into thin air, I had heard rumor of their uniform before. It was said to be enchanted so that upon transformation it would disappear then reappear when shifting back to their human bodies, both practical and clever, and now I witnessed it for myself.

They were all giants and towering above me. It was terrifyingly magnificent. I have longed to walk and prowl amongst such as bounty of fierce beings.

Vaughan turns to us now, his smug smile dropped once he looked at Atreus. I guess he thought that little display would intimidate him, he was a fool to entertain such ideas. I haven't known Atreus too long but, even I can tell he is a force to be reckoned with.

"It's over ten miles to the pack grounds, we will have to shift. We can have the witch transport Pal- the prisoner, she has been alerted to our need, and her arrival is imminent." Vaughan stated, he couldn't even bring himself to say my name, stumbling over his words.

"Not going to happen Vaughan, the reason I travelled here was to ensure Paloma's safety, allowing your witch to transport her to gods knows where is not in the cards." Atreus vehemently disagreed with Vaughan, his grip on me became tighter.

"Alpha Atreus-" Vaughan tried to argue with him but before he could get more than two words out, Atreus had interrupted.

"She will travel on my back, I have no problem carrying her there myself." Atreus informed him.

"I'm not sure... this..." I could see it on his face, Vaughan was searching for any excuse to deny Atreus but, he wasn't quick enough."

"OK that's decided then, Paloma I will shift and carry you there, if your OK with that?"

"Ah well..." I looked about trying not to show my enthusiasm for the plan, I mean this is amazing haha!

Oh Godess!! I'm having a ball and I'm the prisoner, I would burst out in laughter but that will confirm my crazy, and we can't do that now can we, hehe!

Maybe this suit is having an effect on my mental sate too? ah who cares! I'm gona enjoy this ride...

"Yes that'll be perfect, I think I've had enough witchy voodoo done on me today, skip that-for a life time. Thank you Alpha." I replied, keeping my voice as monotone as possible, I don't want to let the cat out the bag.

"Well if that's the case then, I think it best she travels with me. She is a prisoner of the Lunar Council after all and I'm the comading Alpha of the Bellator here." We all looked at Vaughan like doh! We know your position, you don't need to reaffirm it to us.

"No." Atreus states, there's no quarreling with him. He doesn't need too, the certainty in is voice, Vaughan didn't try again, his eyes were filled with venom though. I could see it easily, I've seen it many times before but this is my first time to be on the receiving end.

One last "Are you ready." I nod and then Atreus shifts to his staggeringly beautiful wolf. He towers above all the others, pure muscle and fierce power. He is black as the depths of the darkest obsidian mine, his coat is black as night and the most beautiful of contrast to those deep blue eyes that now have a fire ring of gold surrounding the irises. They look like dark moons, so enchantingly beautiful.

He lowers himself into a crouching position and flips his head, indicating for me to climb on. It's such a surreal moment, I would have never imagined this scenario in my wildest dreams and yet I'm faced with it now.

Walking over to the impressively magnificent beast I'm caught in a state of awe, his kind are a rarity in the world. The raw power emanating from within, the sheer mass of muscle and bone. That huge maw, with razor sharp teeth that could easily rip a man in two with one bite.

Only for the connection between us would I ever consider getting any closer, he has the aura of a predator through and through and damned if I was to be on his next kill list.

My body trembled with with fear and anticipation with every step closer, the crisp sounds of the mulch under my feet felt jarring. But I made it in the end, standing to his side I put my fingers through his fur. It was thick and soft with some coarse hairs running throughout.

Grabbing a tuft of fur I pulled myself on his back, straddling the mighty Alpha in a sitting position and holding on to two clumps of his fur.

My body came alight the moment I got on board, It felt like an electric current was running from him through me, even in his shifted form there was this strange connection between us.

With the heads of all the Bellator focused on us, my usual insecurities began to creep their way into my head but before they took hold Atreus mind-linked me. 'Don't worry I've got your back.'

I instantly relaxed and felt comforted by his smooth voice, its funny how it sounds as sexy in my head as in reality. 'OK, thank you.' I replied timidly, the intimacy of our connection, making me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

The group began to move then, Vaughan and Gerard had shifted though I hadn't even noticed, I was so caught up in everything about Atreus.

From the beginning I fought this weird connection between us. At the time I was starting a new life with Nathaniel. Thinking back its not even been that long since we met, a few weeks, one moon cycle hasn't even completed and everything has flipped on its head.

Now I cannot seem to remove him from my every thought. And the more that I think of it, it makes perfect sense that Atreus would feel that our connection is unnatural. Just as I had felt myself originally...

Nathaniel was the knot in the line between us, for me. My connection to him, my mate bond had put the spanner in the works. I couldn't see past it because not only was my mind and body giving me the signals that Atreus was something more but society, the way of the wolf, our community all lived for our other half, our mate.

That being the case any other relationship would seem unnatural, especially if the two mates were still bonded and neither rejected the other.

So then what could it be? This new marking on me, the so called mark from the Godess had removed Nathaniel's mark from me. Did that mean the Godess changed her mind? and Nathaniel was not my mate, was he some kind of placebo mate? Fake mate? I have so many questions and I don't know where to find the answers.

One thing I do know is that this connection between myself and Atreus is getting stronger every day and from now on I'm not going to push it away. I will embrace it with everything I've got. The result may not be perfect, it may come to nothing but I'm willing to give it a chance, I just can't help myself.

As we moved through the forest the Bellator took postion surrounding us, myself, Atreus, Vaughan and what I assumed to be Gerard were at the epicentre of the formation.

Having not witnessed his shift, I couldn't be sure, but assumed so. He was, from what I could tell, one of the more senior ranking in the group but what gave him the position was beyond me.

The terrain was thick and steep, the jumps required were staggering and as we progressed I felt lethargic. It became more and more a struggle to keep my balance, imagine riding bareback on a horse without a saddle or reigns. Yes a seasoned rider would have no difficulty but I wasn't such and was becoming more and more agitated as we continued.

That was until someone invaded my mind again. 'Your going to have to get closer, I can feel you slipping off, and the track gets more brutal as we continue.' Atreus said, it was a command and I was grateful for it as I lay down and wrapped my arms around his neck.

His sweet scent of whiskey and the woods combined with the soft fur that my face nestled into, was heaven. I could stay like this forever, I didn't want to ever let go and hugged him tighter, that very thought scared me...

But I pushed it aside enjoying the closeness, the stiffness of my body became more relaxed and in no time at all, we arrived at our destination.

We stood at the bottom of a steep incline the forest at our back facing the most enormous of compounds I have ever seen.

It was surrounded by a vast wall of huge ancient stone, akin to that of a castle or fortress. Wolves guarded the area both in human and wolf form. I could see the roofs of the small city behind the outer wall and couldn't wait to see what lay behind.

Atrues crouched down allowing me to disembark, I took a quick look back and watched as the mass of Bellator returned to their human form, all suited a booted. All but Atreus, who stood before me naked as the day.

My hormones took off and I couldn't help my wandering eyes as they scoped his fit muscular body.

"See something you like, love." He said with a fiery gaze. I shivered as an electric current shot through me, right to my core. My cheeks flushed from the intensity and I subconsciously bit my lip.

It reminded me of the first day we met, I think he said the very same words but this time there was no obstacle between us and I loved every sexy word about the innuendo.

"Yes." I replied and walked past him, brushing my finger on his chest as I passed. This confidence was all new to me but when it came to Atreus he brought out a different side of me, one I felt was locked away and only now... with his presence, was this side capable of stepping out, into the sun.

I smirked at my newfound sassy attitude then began to take in the beauty of our surroundings.

I could feel his presence come closer, my body reacted every time and he was near. Then he did something unexpected and I was taken aback...

I looked down as he took my hand in his own and interlaced our fingers. It was the smallest of gestures but ment so much. My gaze looked to his face, searching for an answer and he smiled down at me, my heart almost lept out my body, thundering into a melodic pace.

"Everthing is going to be ok..." he said fervently and I believed him, I truly did.

* Transverto - transform/change.
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