I bounded out to the training area. It was a round area of compacted dirt and sod with a giant circle he called the ring. Dane and Derek were already going at it in their wolf forms. “Baby girl. You’re a pretty little wolf.” I looked up to Zeke and hmphed. He laughed. “I know, I know. But you are. When you get a chance, you should see yourself.” Zeke sat next to my head. Will joined in the sparring match so it was two against Derek. Allie said she wasn’t up to training so she stayed behind. “Watch Derek. See how he stands so he’s aware of everything around him. He knows exactly where everyone is and what they are likely to do. Also his neck is always guarded. Protect your neck, that’s the easiest kill.”
I adjusted my stance to mimic Derek. Zeke pulled at my paws to put them in the right position. “Like that. Try to get used to that stance. It makes you lighter on your feet and gives you a faster reaction time.” Zeke then got me into the ring. He called out orders to Derek. It was slow at first so I could get a feel for defending in my wolf. Derek was great at helping train me. He never flinched or held back. He genuinely wanted me to learn. Eventually we switched so I was to attack Derek. He easily defended, but I understood what I was meant to do. “Alright, baby girl. That’s enough for today.” Zeke called it. “We’ll do some more later on.”
I was so amped up from sparring that it took me a bit to calm down. Derek came just inside the door of the locker room. “Are you alone?” I whimpered. He came around the corner. “Your wolf is really beautiful. Have you looked yet?” I shook my head. “Come on.” Derek lead me to the mirrors. I couldn’t believe what I saw. I was pure white, like fresh snow. My eyes were the same shade of teal and my tail was soft and fluffy. I really was beautiful. I was surprised it was me.
“I told you.” I looked up to Derek in the mirror, he was standing behind me. Without thinking, I turned toward him and shifted. “Wow, babe. I don’t know if I should be looking or not.” I looked down to realize I was indeed standing naked in front of him. I felt my eyes bug and my mouth drop open. He turned around, but I saw the smirk as he turned. “Oh my gosh!” I felt my cheeks blaze. “Derek, get out. This is the ladies locker room.” He strolled to the door, “yes, babe. I just wanted to make sure you would be able to shift back. I’m going now. I’ll meet you at the truck.”
I took another quick shower and got ready for our dinner. I picked out a skirt that Ally gave me along with a tank and vest. I put on some light eyeshadow with my hair hanging down and I was ready to go. Derek opened the door for me. He swept me up into his arms and kissed me, the way Zeke does to Gina. I pulled back after a minute. “We should probably go.” He swept a stray hair out of my face and placed me on my seat. “Yeah. It’s getting late.” Derek just stood there looking at me. “Derek?” He ran his hand down my face and kissed me again.
Derek drove to the far edge of pack territory. The small cabin sat near the river in a beautiful grove of trees. He parked next to a run-down Toyota Corolla with splotchy paint and missing hub caps. Derek held my hand as we stepped on to the porch. Vanessa opened the door and threw her arms around Derek. “You made it, you’re later than usual. You smell funny.” He chuckled and pulled back. “I was training. Vanessa may I introduce you to Cass, my mate.” Vanessa didn’t notice me until Derek said anything. When she realized who I was, her mouth dropped open. “You! You’re the girl that was with Ally. The rogue.” She said the last part with pure disgust. I reminded myself that this was his family so I wouldn’t lose control, but Derek growled. “This is my mate. You will respect her. Remember she will soon be family and the Luna.” Derek spoke with such authority Vanessa cowered. “Yes, of course.” Vanessa opened the door to allow us in.
She lead us to the kitchen. “Auntie.” Derek pulled the little woman into a tight hug. “My dear boy. You’ve changed. What’s…?” Monica looked around Derek. Her hands went to her mouth in a gasp. “You found your mate! Wonderful!” Monica picked up both of my hands and looked me up and down. “Aren’t you a beauty.” I smiled to her. “Thank you.” Derek took my hand in his “Auntie, this is Cass. She’s the rogue that Zeke was looking after all this time. Cass this is my favorite aunt, Monica. She’s my mother’s sister.” We shook hands. “It’s a pleasure to meet you.” I told her.
She had the kindest eyes, but something in them showed that she was broken. She was the same height as Gina with dark hair and eyes. She looked older than Sabrina, but I knew that wasn’t the case. “What’s for dinner Auntie?” Derek began stirring a pot. “I thought with it being so cold lately, we would have soup.” She turned to me “Do you like chicken and dumplings?” I nodded and smiled. “I do. Thank you.” It hasn’t been cold lately at all. In fact it was a mild winter considering we’re in Wyoming, also its springtime and getting warmer every day. Odd, that’s how Ally described her. Got it.
The door bell rang. “Would you get that my boy, I don’t know where Nessa has run off to.” Monica turned to me. “Have you met my daughter? She’s the sweetest girl ever. I just know you’ll be the best of friends.” I cleared my throat. “I have. Derek introduced us just when we arrived.” Monica sat the table for six people.
“Derek, baby. I haven’t seen you in a while. Where’ve you been. I’ve missed you." I could hear Priscilla’s skanky whinny voice. I could just picture her running her fake nails down Derek’s chest. I wanted to barf and fight her at the same time. “Priscilla. It has been a while. If you’ll remember, I told you I’m not interested. Even more so now as I’ve found my mate.” I heard her giggle. “Of course you have, silly. I’m right here in front of you.” This time I did growl.
Derek came back into the kitchen, Priscilla hot on his heels. As soon as he stopped she grabbed his ass. He turned and growled the same time I had. “Keep your hands to yourself or you will lose them.” I heard him tell her, all authority in his voice. That’s right ladies, that’s my man. I stepped forward to stand beside Derek. He wrapped his arm around me. “Priscilla this is Cass. She is my mate and the next Luna. You will show respect.” He emphasized the word she so there would be no question.
“Come, come everyone. It’s time for dinner. Priscilla, I’m so glad you’re here. Derek have you met Priscilla? She’s Nessa’s friend.” Monica patted Derek’s arm. “Yes ma’am, I have. I was actually just introducing her to my mate.” Monica clapped her hands. “That’s lovely. Priscilla would you be a dear and let Nessa know dinner is ready?” Priscilla eyeballed me as she went to get her friend.
Derek kissed my head. “Monica always sets an extra place for her mate. Also she treats Vanessa like she’s a little kid. Vanessa stays away as much as possible because of it.” Derek whispered as he pulled my chair out for me. Poor Vanessa, that’s got to be hard. To be reminded daily that your father will never be there. At least I never have to think about mine. Then to be treated like a child. No wonder she goes the skank route, she just wants to feel like an adult. My heart softened toward her. I would not pity her though. No one wants to be pitied.
Monica had a nice little cabin, it was well taken care of. Her dining room was elegantly placed with fine China and gold plated cutlery. Her table had a runner and a beautiful centerpiece. I felt under dressed for the occasion, yet everyone was dressed similarly.
Monica gave Derek the head of the table. I sat to his right, she sat to his left with Vanessa by her side. She fussed over Vanessa’s napkin and reminded her to be a good girl and eat her veggies or there would be no dessert. Vanessa was clearly embarrassed. “Monica. This soup is delicious. I’m curious to know what is for dessert.” I spoke to get the attention away from Vanessa and out of actual curiosity. “I made peach cobbler. Its Derek’s favorite. Ever since he was little he has always loved my peach cobbler. I make it for him every time he comes to dinner.”
I sniffed the air. I could indeed smell the cobbler heating up. But every week, like clockwork, that had to get tiring. “That sounds amazing. What is your favorite dessert?” Monica had to think for a minute. “I don’t know if it’s considered a dessert, but I’ve always loved cinnamon rolls. I used to make them for papa. He loved them too. Sometimes at night we would sneak down to the kitchen and share one.” I smiled a the thought. Derek caught on to what I was doing “Auntie, would you make cinnamon rolls for me? I would love to try them.” Monica patted Derek’s hand, “Oh no, my boy. You enjoy my cobbler. I’ll make your cobbler. “Auntie, please. I have never had one of your cinnamon rolls. Papa George used to rave about them. I won’t mind changing dessert just once. Really it would be fun.”
Monica looked to her nephew with such admiration. “If you’re sure you won’t be disappointed to not have your cobbler?” He batted his eyes to his Auntie like an innocent little child. “I promise, Auntie. I won’t be disappointed.” Vanessa hid a smile behind her napkin. She looked relieved. “Alright. I’ll make cinnamon rolls for next week. Will you be joining us again Luna Cass?” The title caught me off guard. Derek reached for my hand under the table. I had to clear my throat. “I would be honored. Thank you, Monica.”
Monica cleared the dishes to make way for dessert. Derek, being a gentleman went to help, leaving me with Priscilla and Vanessa. “How did you get your skanky claws into my man?" I assumed Priscilla was looking in a mirror, there was now way she was talking to me. I raised my brow and turned my head to her in question. “Every one knows he’s my mate. I’ve felt the pull since I was 16. He’s mine and I’m not going to let some mixed bread bitch come between us.” Huh. She really was delusional, Ally nailed it. “Wow. Priscilla. According to what I’ve heard, the skanky claws are on your hands. And just because you have the hots for him, doesn’t mean he’s your mate. The bond works both ways, he’s obviously not attracted to you. And just so we’re clear, you don’t scare me. You’re weak and Derek is mine. If you ever touch him again I will mangle your face so bad, no one will recognize you.” She growled low in her chest.
Monica and Derek came back with cobbler, ice cream and clean dishes. Derek set the dishes in front of each of us, Priscilla went to grab his arm, but I growled a warning. Her hand went back into her lap. I wasn’t sure, but I thought I saw a smirk on Derek’s face. He returned to his seat and brought my hand to his lips. He kissed each of my fingers lightly, making my breath catch, while Monica served up the dessert. I cleared my throat. I love peach cobbler. I was so excited to dig in.
Derek drove up a dirt road that I didn’t recognize. “Where are we going?” He squeezed my hand then kissed my fingers. I love it when he does that. “Just a little further, we’re almost there." Derek pulled the truck over and parked. It was pitch black outside, except for the moon shining down. He lead me through some trees until they parted leading to an old wooden dock. At the end of the dock was a floating gazebo.
Derek lit a torch that hung like a chandelier, bathing us in a soft light. “This is beautiful. What is this place?” Derek pulled me into his arms. “My great grandfather built it for my great grandmother. It’s kind of a family secret. Pack members know about it, but they also know it’s off limits.” He tilted my chin up and kissed me softly at first, but then his desire kicked in. I could feel it in his kiss, his touch, his embrace, and in my hip. My desire sparked to life. I began rubbing my hips against him.
“Cass.” He whispered my name and continued kissing me. His mouth went along my jawline and under my ear then down to my collarbone. My fingers ran through his hair of their own accord. My eyes were closed as I exhaled in his ear. His hands were freely exploring my body. He picked me up and I naturally wrapped my legs around him. His erection rubbed deliciously between my legs. He laid me down lightly on a cushion I wasn’t aware of and laid on top of me while his mouth continued to work on my body. Every nerve inside of me felt alive and electrified.
I wanted this man more than anything, but in that moment I got scared. What if I’m not good. Surely he’s experienced. I wonder how many women he’s been with. Ewe, of course I’m not going to be his first. That’s not fair to me. I hope no dirty girls have touched him. He wouldn’t do that. I’m crazy, of course I’m not the first. He’s too hot to have waited. Why hasn’t he waited. He knew he had a mate waiting for him. Ugh, the jerk. “Babe.” Derek whispered and pulled back to look at me. “Are you okay? We don’t have to. It’s okay, I can wait.”
“I’m so sorry. You brought me to this beautiful place, you make me feel special, and all I can think about is other women you’ve been with. I got freaked out and…” Derek stroked my chin and rubbed his thumb on my bottom lip cutting me off. “What other women? I’m not going to lie and tell you I haven’t played around with a few girls, but never.” He shook his head. “I’ve never been with anyone. I waited for you. If you need me to wait longer I can. You’re all I want. I love you Casydi Williams.”