Never Ago (Book 1)

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Down On Knees

Lily took a deep shaky breath as she curled her small hand into a fist and knocked on the door. Earlier when she was informed the current Alpha wants to see her, her first thought was, Did he find out?

It then downed on her that ever since she had met her mate, she'd been doing nothing but comparing and connecting everything with him. The food she made wasn't there in the morning, a part of her was ecstatic thinking he came and he tasted what she made for him. Then Rosey informed her the kids took the packed food to their homes.

"Come in."

Lily opened the door quietly and peeked her head inside. The alpha smiled when he gazed up to see who came. He was always fascinated by the quiet and calm nature of Lily. She was the essence of elegance.

"Come in, Lily. Join us." His authority voice betrayed the warmth in his eyes.

Lily felt at ease when she noticed the other members of the pack in the spacious office. The alpha's desk sat on the high platform in the house while all the pack members that recently shifted were seated on the various couches on the lower level of the office. She walked with light steps to the far end of the office and sat on a chair.

"First of all," the alpha rose and made his way to the bottom stair of the platform. "Congratulations, you are officially a werewolf now. For us, our wolves are our prime identities. Connecting with your wolf was the first step of your course. The second step is going to be training."

Lily frowned. She wasn't fond of leaving her dreams of becoming a chef someday. The alpha noticed.

"This training is to awaken your basic instincts of defense or attack. You're going to learn how to protect and how to defeat. The rest defends on you. If you passed the Instinct test, you'll have the choice of either joining the warriors or proceeding with your life as it is. Any questions?"

"No, alpha." The group chorused.

"Good." The alpha descended to the bottom level of the office and joint his hands behind his back. "Along with the training, your mind link will be activated. There's no training of the mind link since it entirely depends on you but you can ask the other pack members for guidance. That's all, you can join the training tomorrow morning with our sub-commander Cole."

"You may leave," he dismissed the group and watched as Lily patiently waited for the others to exit first.

"Lily." He called her over when the others left. "Come here."

Lily's shoulders suddenly felt heavy. Her heart started thudding wildly. Is he going to ask about Ezra? What did I do? Is he going to be disappointed?

Lily walked stiffly to his side and smiled nervously. "Yes, alpha?"

"I need a favor." He said, "I'm going to have guests over at dinner. You know your Luna isn't very well these days-"

Lily's head shot up, "Is she okay?"

The alpha sighed and walked back to his desk. "There's nothing much to worry about. She's not in her twenties any more. The decline in her health is as expected. Besides, I deserve to have a good meal every now and then, don't you agree?"

The mirth in his eyes eased the tense knot in her shoulders. She smiled up at her alpha. The man left no opportunity behind in serving his pack and proving his worthy title. He was the best leader a pack could ask for.

"Are you saying the Luna doesn't know how to cook?"

"Yes. But don't tell her that."

They shared a laugh.

"I'll be there, alpha. And no worries, your secret is safe with me."

-

The entire day, Lily was lost in her head. Her heart still throbbed when she thought about Ezra. He missed their first almost-date. Blaming him felt like kicking a puppy. She assured herself there must have been a good reason why he couldn't make it.

Helping the other maids with the gigantic packhouse, which could almost be considered a mini castle, Lily had a few spare hours before she had to head over to the alpha's house. Her cooking was quite famous in the pack. Lily's infatuation with taste and health wasn't lost on anyone.

It wasn't the first time she had cooked at the alpha's house. But it was the first time her heart threatened to burst out of her chest at the possibility of seeing Ezra. He was usually out, busy in some work or at his own place. This time she hoped he would be there and eat what she made. The guests were the Beta and the Luna of their ally pack which required his presence too.

Thinking of finally seeing your dreams come true and actually living those dreams were two different things. She'd been feeling like her feet were off the ground ever since that intoxicating scent had hit her senses. It was embarrassing to think of how over the moon she was. She couldn't keep her emotions in check. She felt like a high school girl whose crush said hi to her. Gosh, it was even beyond that.

"Lily!" Marie shook her so hard she almost bit her tongue, literally. "Lily, Lily, oh Lily!"

Lily waited until she made it out of the claws of Marie. Never has she even seen Marie so full of excitement and dancing around her. It was a welcomed distraction.

"Can you believe it?! Dad said he signed me up as the head coordinator of the upcoming mating event, ahhhhh!"

Lily winced. The shrillness of Marie's voice never ceased putting her ears at risk. "Calm down, Marie."

"Calm down?" Marie looked at her as if they'd never met. "It's going to be my second chance at finding my mate and this time you're going to be there with me too! I can't tell you how excited I am."

Lily immersed herself in Marie's happiness to deal with her own jittery. They talked, and talked, and talked. Unfortunately, Marie was the only one talking. Her exterior came off tough at times. Only Lily knew how soft she truly was on the inside. Guilt reared its ugly head when she had to hide from her that she had already met her mate. A valcano of hope and gratitude was ready to burst in her exhausted heart. Everything she went through was worth what she got in the end.

Ezra.

Their little walk in the garden behind the packhouse came to an end when Marie was mind linked. Her brother asked to meet her. Lily waved her off and started towards the center of the pack grounds. The sun was peeking over the horizon, scattering a warm orange and pink vintage over the sky.

The journey from the packhouse to the alpha's house was short yet Lily was breathless when she rang the bell on the front door. The Luna's charming smile greeted her.

The bubble of hope deflated when Lily couldn't smell her mate throughout the house. Her eyes kept jumping from corner to corner in search of her mate but she finally gave up when she asked the Luna if she could start with the preparations.

"Are you sure you don't want my help?" The Luna planted her feet to the floor when Lily ushered her out of their wide white and red kitchen. "I can help, I swear I can cook better than your Alpha claims I do."

Lily laughed at the concerned Luna. "You need to rest, Luna. If you don't think I can handle it then sure join me."

"Of course you can handle," The Luna said. "I just want to learn a few things here and there now that I'm finally going to have more time to myself."

"Let me take care of this dinner for now." Lily reassured her, "After you're well rested and free from the duties of the pack, I'll come as often as you want. You'll learn in no time. I promise."

The Luna smiled broadly and patted her cheek. "You're a very talented child. Goddess bless you."

She already has. Lily thought to herself. The sudden realization of the woman in front of her being the mother of her mate warmed her chest. She was the only mother figure in her life after her parents. Mom.

After a few more minutes of caoxing when Lily still had that stubborn glare on her face, the Luna gave up and went to make preparations for the guests. Lily dived into her world, the kitchen. The list of dishes the alpha requested were his own favorite. It made Lily laugh. She wasn't certain if this an attempt of impressing the guests or if the alpha actually really wanted to eat his favourites.

Too preoccupied with slicing, dicing, mincing and cutting vegetables, Lily failed to notice the presence behind her. Her lip was safely tucked under her teeth, a frown was maring her face. The concentration on her face was... cute. The delicious aroma of food clouded the kitchen. Maybe that's why she didn't know the arms that wrapped around her waist belong to her mate.

She froze then melted when Ezra placed a kiss on her shoulder. With the close proximity, his scent swept her off her senses. Ezra made sure her back was glued to his front. He smiled when she turned putty in his arms.

"Will you forgive me if I get down on my knees for you?"
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