C H A P T E R F O U R
It’s been a long day already. Chloe and I have been traveling since the wee hours of the morning when we left Colorado. Two connecting flights and an hour and a half car ride later, and we finally made it to her hometown in North Carolina.
Chloe is sleeping soundly on my shoulder, soft snores escaping her beautiful full pink lips. She jolts awake with excitement though the moment she hears her dad say, “we are here”. I love seeing her so happy, it makes me happy.
I know Chloe has been home sick. It has been a while since she was able to make it home for a visit. She is eager to see her sister, Rylee too. Chloe has not seen her in over four years, and she keeps saying how much she misses her. They talk every day on the phone though, so I am sure that helps somewhat. Still, nothing compares to being face-to-face and embracing in a tight warm hug with a loved one. She has been looking forward to spending some quality time with her parents as well.
Chloe is also excited to officially introduce me as her fiancé to her family. I met Mike and Sandy, Chloe’s parents, a little over a year ago when we came for a visit. That was the first time I met them, making this the second time. However, I was only her boyfriend then. Fiancé changes the game.
I have yet to meet Rylee. She was traveling for work when we were last in North Carolina. I am sure she will be just as lovely as the rest of the family though. The apple does not seem to fall far from the tree with this bunch.
I just know this week will fly by for Chloe, but it is going to drag for me. I already miss Colorado and my pack. I absolutely hate leaving home. For Chloe though, I am willing to make the sacrifice. I am just glad I have such a capable Beta. I do not have to worry about leaving the pack in his hands. Carter can handle anything. Plus, I am only a phone call away if he needs me. I will try to make the best out of this trip and spend my time relaxing. It is not very often the Alpha of the Blue Lake Pack gets a vacation.
As we pull into Chloe’s parent’s driveway, I suddenly start feeling strange. I feel warm all over, as if I am sweating without actually sweating. It is almost a blissful feeling. My wolf starts going nutty, pacing back and forth in my mind. It is as if he is excited about something but he is not quite sure what that something is. Neither am I. How bizarre. I have never experienced this feeling before.
‘What is going on?’ I think to myself as I open the car door and step out. At that exact moment, I catch a heavenly scent. It smells like lemon and cedar. The combination is having an unexpected effect on my insides. I feel like I caught a high just breathing it in. A wave of warm tingles slowly washes over my whole body. As we walk up the pathway to the front door, the scent becomes more fragrant and a surge of calmness and excitement comes over me.
All of a sudden, my wolf stills. I furrow my brows, looking around. I want to be alert if there is danger lurking. He has never acted like this, and I am not sure what to make of it.
As we near the door, my wolf starts bouncing up and down on his hind legs; maybe he is high. I chuckle to myself. Then as we walk in the door, my wolf finally speaks. ‘MATE!!!’ I go ramrod straight with confusion pulsing through my body.
I shake my head. ‘What?’ I say to my wolf. ‘Where? Chloe and her family are humans and I have met them all before.’
‘Nuh uh’ my wolf responds.
My eyes widen at the realization. ‘Rylee?’ My wolf is now grinning, nodding, with his tongue hanging out the side of his mouth.
I discreetly sniff the air. My eyes find Rylee’s as she slowly turns around in the kitchen to look at me. As our eyes meet, they involuntarily widen with realization. I cannot help taking her all in. I can feel myself grinning but I cannot help it. I finally found my mate; eight years of searching and now, she is standing right here in front of me.
All of a sudden, I hear Rylee say “NO! No no no no no no…… this can’t be happening!” Breaking me from my internal bliss. I frown looking at her. She looks so distraught.
Nevertheless, she is the most beautiful person I have ever seen. I think I am in love. Do I even believe in love at first sight?
Must be the mate bond. Mate. My mate. I smile to myself as contentment floods through me.