His lips were so soft and he tasted amazing. His hand cupped my cheek as he deepened the kiss. His tongue traced my lips. I opened my mouth slightly. I wanted to taste his lips too. His tongue caressed mine. His teeth scraped my lip. My hands moved to his solid chest. He placed his free hand at the small of my back, bringing us closer together. He moved away from my mouth and traced kisses to behind my ear then down to the base of my neck. His tongue lashed out and I wanted him to bite down. “Not here.” Zeke growled behind Derek.
I came back to reality. Everyone was staring at us. Derek cleared his throat. “Sorry, I got a little carried away.” He turned to the crowd and took my hand. “Everyone meet my mate!” The crowd began to cheer again. People were then lining up to congratulate us. This had to be the best day of my life. I got a home, a family, and a mate. Life couldn’t possibly be any better.
After everyone finished their cake Alpha stood in the front. “Cass, would you come here please.” It wasn’t a question. I went up to the front. “You have been granted permission to join this pack. Since you are mated to my son that permission is no longer required. There is a ritual that I would normally perform that would link you to our pack. Would you like to proceed or would you rather wait until you are mated?”
Do I want to join this pack? They are not like the foster families I’d dealt with. Almost everyone has been kind and accepting of me. I looked to Derek. Sure, I’ve had a few dates, but I'd never had a boyfriend, now I have the man I’m supposed to be with for the rest of my life sitting right in front of me. I don’t know this man. But oh, I want to. I’m utterly drawn to him. He’s like a lifeline tethering me to earth. I looked to Zeke and his family, my family. They were all smiling at me.
Yes, I do want this. I don’t know how long it would be before Derek and I would mate. “I would like to proceed.” Alpha nodded. He took my left hand in his. “This part hurts a little.” In his right hand he held a glass looking knife. He pierced my palm leaving a little pool of blood. Then he pierced his own palm. “Please follow my lead.” He squeeze his hand making the blood pool over a metal basin. I did the same. Using the blade he swirled the blood together. Then he took my right hand and pierced my palm with the combined blood covered blade. “Now I need you to shift. The pack will join us on a run.”
I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know how to shift. Gina stood beside me. “Its okay, hon. Just close your eyes and feel the wolf inside you. Once you find her let her come out.” Gina told me. I looked around. Some people, mostly the females were scattered heading for trees while the rest were undressing right in front of me. Awkward. I looked back to her. “Come on.” She lead me to a tree where she too began stripping. “Shifting will ruin your clothes. So leave them where you’ll remember them and always keep a spare close by.” Gina was down to her bra and panties. “I’ll wait for you to shift.” She turned around giving me privacy. I stripped down. I closed my eyes and tried to find my wolf… whatever that meant. I took a few deep breaths. I felt the need to run aching inside me, deep in my core. I let that desire take hold of me and let the sensations have control. Gina shifted. She nodded her wolf head.
She was a soft gray wolf with light blue eyes. She walked out from behind the tree. I followed behind her. There were wolves everywhere. Allie and the twins were seated at the table smiling at me. You did well. I heard Alpha’s voice. I looked around for him, but all I saw were wolves. I’m here. A large black wolf stepped in front of me. He raised his head and howled. Everyone, including me bowed to him. I don’t know why I did it. It’s like I had no control. I’m the alpha. I can communicate to you and all of my pack. If you ever need me you can communicate with me also. Once you are mated, you will have the same connection to your mate. Welcome to the pack. Shall we run?
A second large black wolf came to stand beside me. I knew it was Derrek. I could feel it was him. Gina’s wolf and a large silvery gray wolf came to stand at my other side. Zeke. His wolf nudged my head. Alpha’s wolf howled again and took off running followed by Zeke and Derek. I ran to keep up with Derek. I was fast and stayed by his side the entire time. The run was exhilarating. I felt a rush of excitement and freedom. We ran. Together. My new family. People I would soon come to love and trust.
After about 5 miles, Alpha jumped onto a large boulder near a lake. You’re one of the fastest females I’ve ever seen. Some of the wolves jumped in splashing around playing. Derek’s wolf wrestled two other wolves along the water line. One was a caramel color, the other was a light gray with a goofy grin. Will. Even as a wolf he was silly. I smiled to myself. At least I think I did. After a short time Alpha howled again and we headed back.
Behind the tree where my clothes were, Gina shifted back and began dressing. “Relax, take a deep breath and feel yourself return.” I nodded and calmed myself. My body was still worked up from the run and the excitement of shifting. I had a hard time relaxing. Gina put her hand on my head. “Look at me.” She was so calm “that’s right. Now remember how you found your wolf inside? Put the wolf back inside.” I sat on my haunches. I have haunches. So weird, but so cool. I’m a freaking werewolf! How awesome is that! “Focus Cass. Put your werewolf back. Stay in control.”
Oh, right. I took a deep breath and shoved my wolf back to my core. “Well done. I’ll leave you to dress.” I was standing naked. I dressed quickly and came back to the party. People were starting to leave. I helped bring things inside to the kitchen where Zeke and Gina were cleaning up. Will stopped in front of me blocking me from returning to the tables. “What do you think you’re doing? You’re the birthday girl. You don’t clean today.” He bent down and hauled me up so I was sitting on his shoulder. I giggled. I had to duck so my head wouldn’t hit the ceiling.
He carried me up to the third floor which was a wall to wall entertainment room. A large movie screen and a long couch sat at one end of the room. On the other side were game tables. There was foosball, ping pong, pool, and my favorite air hockey. Derek gripped my waist as Will let me down. “Hey.” He took my hand in his. “Hi." Will rolled his eyes. “You two are so sappy. Cass what do you want to do? Games or movie?” I already knew what I wanted. “Air hockey. Play until you lose.” Allie, the twins and another guy joined us. They brought drinks and munchies. I know, I know we just ate, but hello, werewolves.
Allie introduced me to the new guy. “This is Dane. He’s Derek’s enforcer.” Dane extended his hand for me to shake, which I did. Derek growled. I rolled my eyes. “Nice to meet you.” He nodded his head. “Likewise.” Will shoved an air hockey paddle in my hand. “Let’s do this.” Will turned the air jets on and gave me the puck. “Ladies first.” I scored on my first try. “All right, okay. Game on then" Will said as he shot the puck across the table. My block sent the puck flying straight through the goal.
“I got next game.” Dane claimed. “Next.” Allie and the twins said in unison. They settled who came after Dane by playing a game of rock, paper, scissors. Allie won. Derek stood at my side with his tanned arms crossed over his chest watching us play. Will scored before I knocked 3 more goals in. He scored a second shot. And I scored again. “Woo! Game point.” Will sent the puck flying. I blocked it sending it his way. He blocked, I blocked. The puck was going back and forth clinking off the sides. Will made a shot for my goal, but I sent it straight into his goal. “Score!” I jumped and whooped. The twins gave me high fives. Allie was rubbing in Will’s loss. Derek wrapped his arms around my waist from behind and kissed my cheek.
The feeling of being in Derek arms is like nothing I’ve ever felt. When Zeke hugs me, I feel safe and protected. When Derek hugs me it’s like I’m his most cherished possession, not that I am a possession. Its like he wants to hold me forever and never leg me go. It was like I was protected and safe, but also warm and comforting, like I belong there. He ran his nose up and down my neck. I closed my eyes at the gentle contact. “Mmmm. You smell delicious. I can’t wait to taste you.” He whispered in my ear sending shivers throughout my body.
“Are we going to play or are you two going to make pups right in front of us?” Dane said standing at the table waiting for his turn. I blushed at the insinuation. “You’ll be the same when you find your mate.” Derek scolded. “I’ll be all over my mate when she turns 18, but I’ll respect my mate enough to keep it in the bedroom, away from prying eyes.” He gave Allie a pointed look making her blush. “What makes you think she’s not 18 yet?” Will asked. Dane quickly glanced at Allie. It was so subtle I would bet Will missed it. “Because I’ve felt the pull since I got my wolf. She’s in our pack.” He tilted his head up at me “Ya ready?” I smiled at him. “Bring it.”
Dane was really good. Everyone was cheering and high fiving or fist bumping. It was more exciting than watching the Super bowl. Zeke and Gina joined us in the middle of the game. In the end I beat Dane 7 to 5. I don’t remember ever having so much fun. It was a blast. Allie stepped up and we battled it out. We were matching shot for shot. When we were tied at game point we battled it out even harder. In the end I sunk the winning point. I beat Nate followed by Matt just as easily as I beat Will.
Derek stepped up for his turn. The room went quiet. “Ladies first.” He put the puck in my hand and gave me a quick peck on the lips. He got to his side of the table. “Ready.” I shot the puck sending it flying. He was fast though. The puck clinked back and forth bouncing off the sides and hitting our paddles. I was quick and could see the puck clearly, but Derek was even faster than me. The puck continued to bounce back and forth when finally it sunk, in my goal. Dang it.
I put the puck back in to play and sent it flying. Derek blocked it hard enough to send it off the table. “Sorry, babe.” I put the puck back in to play. “No worries.” The puck went bouncing and clanking back and forth. Neither of us were scoring, but everyone was cheering us on. Finally, I was able to sink a goal. “Nice shot babe.” He smiled and winked at me. “Why thank you sir." He hit the puck scoring immediately. Oof. His smile didn’t leave his face. He has a dimple on the left side, how cute. I smiled and winked back at him. I leaned forward adjusting my position to get ready to continue our game. His eyes traveled from my face to my chest. He was looking down my dress, the creep. Honestly, I forgot I was wearing a dress. I shot the puck, but he was too distracted to notice. I scored.
It was a dirty trick, I know, but he’s the one that was looking down my dress. Derek realized his error and focused his attention back to the game. Derek hit the puck again sailing it across the table. I hit it back. We carried on for what felt like a good 5 minutes of no one scoring. Dane was cheering Derek on while everyone else rooted for me. Talk about pressure. I blocked the puck too late. Derek scored. I took a minute to stretch. I was getting tired. It’s been a really long day and I’m pretty sure it was after 1 am. I shook my arms out. “If you’re too tired to play, we can stop.” Derek offered. “Awe, is the big bad wolf afraid to lose?” I said in a child voice. I know it’s not wise to poke the bear, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. “Not quite, just concerned for the fragile female.” Gina and Ally both growled. Zeke laughed a big belly laugh. Old man knew. I’m no fragile female. I sent the puck flying. “Score! How’s that for a fragile female.”
Derek’s attention snapped back to the game. He cracked his neck and rolled his shoulders ready to continue. “Game point, babe. Ready?” I nodded ready to go. He tapped the puck gently, but I returned is sailing his way. He reached out with his long arm and caught the puck perfectly sending it behind my arm and into the goal. He won… Damn. He came around the table and threw his arms around me. “Good game, babe.” He kissed my lips. “That was one the best games I’ve played. First time I’ve ever lost.” I told him with a yawn.
He shook his head at me. “You’re tired. Come on, I’ll put you to bed.” I said goodnight to everyone, getting and giving hugs. He lead me down to the guest bedroom, my room. My things were in boxes throughout the room, I never really had time to go through them. I found my backpack that Zeke packed for me. I grabbed it and went into the bathroom to change into something I could sleep in.
When I came out Derek was on the bed. He pulled the covers off one side, allowing me to slip in. OMG this bed was so soft. It felt like a cloud and formed to my body. He tucked the covers in around me and kissed my forehead. “Goodnight, my beautiful mate. I’ll be here in the morning. I want to spend time with you, get to know you.” I nodded. “I’d like that.” I said with a yawn. He chuckled, kissed my forehead again and left the room. I went to sleep feeling the happiest I’ve ever been.