Marcus and I had made it safely onto Shadow Flame’s territory and was currently being escorted by the Beta and a few of their warriors to the furthest northeastern border where we would be only a few miles away from Malice Creek.
Shadow Flame had been our allies for years and we knew many of the wolves by name, which made the crossing of territory less daunting. The problem however was Malice Creek. We haven’t had many interactions with them and the few times we had, it always seemed to turn into utter chaos. They were known to be unpredictable and seldomly followed rules.
Malice Creek knew we were coming, but they didn’t know Marcus was of Alpha blood. They merely knew that one of our wolves were travelling there to collect his mate, which was true and was all they needed to know. The Alpha had agreed to let us enter, but we were to be accompanied by his Beta and a few warriors at all times, which made perfect sense considering they have never met us before. I guess they felt less threatened, knowing we were travelling alone.
After Shadow Flame had said their goodbyes and gave us the directions to Malice Creek, I started experiencing that terrible foreboding feeling again. Marcus also looked anxious, but for many different reasons. He couldn’t wait to see his mate again and felt nervous about whether she would be willing to leave with him and come to stay with us in Feral Grove.
I desperately wanted to mind-link Conner, but I knew it wouldn’t do any good, in fact, it might only confuse him and complicate things for us.
Glancing at the tiny electronic clock in the dashboard, I tried to imagine where he might be and what he was busy doing. It was 18h20, which meant that he had finished off work a little less than an hour ago and must be at home, probably taking a shower or preparing dinner.
“What are you smiling about?” Marcus suddenly asked with a sinful grin on his face. He obviously knew the answer already and just wanted to taunt me.
“Oh, nothing,” I replied with a slight blush.
“Don’t worry, we’ll have you back in your precious mate’s arms in no time,” he joked with a twinkle in his eyes. I could tell he was excited to see Catalina again.
“Are you nervous?” I found myself asking and saw a shy smile replace his grin.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he answered without hesitation, “she is like a goddess, who wouldn’t be?”
I was so happy for Marcus; he was totally whipped, and it clearly showed.
“You know, you’re pretty cute when you’re all lovestruck like that,” I teased with a pout.
“Oh shush, I am a big mean Alpha with a bloodlust like a beast,” he replied and puffed his muscular chest out comically.
“Sure,” I mumbled sarcastically earning a chuckle out of him.
The rest of the drive, we made small talk like old friends and the time flew by quicker than I had expected.
“Welcome, Conner, please, come in,” Otis greeted me warmly as he gestured for me to enter the Alpha’s office.
Alpha Julian was seated behind his desk and quickly stood to shake my hand, “please, sit,” he said as Otis closed the door behind us and took a seat in the leather chair next to mine.
“Thanks for coming,” Alpha Julian said as he gathered up the paperwork, he had been busy with when I entered.
“It’s no problem.”
“First of all, welcome to the pack. Even if you are not fully mated to Melena yet, a marking is as good as an engagement in our terms.”
I nodded and found myself smiling at the thought.
Otis saw my goofy smile, which quickly spread onto his face as well and he shook his head knowingly. I guess all the wolves knew how the mate bond worked and how effective it was.
“So, there are a few things you need to know before things can go any further, practical things, to make the transition easier for both you and Doc,” Alpha Julian continued.
I furrowed my brows and stared at him in confusion, “what type of things?”
“Well, like for instance that you will have to give up your apartment and move onto pack territory.”
“And why is that?” I asked before he could list any more things.
“Because Melena is very valuable to the pack and we need her here. She is a pack doctor and needs to stay close to the pack where she could aid members and the Alpha household if needed.”
I understood that and knew her work was more important than mine, so I guess moving closer would be inevitable. It just felt so soon. Don’t get me wrong, I was head over heels in love, but moving in together after only a matter of weeks seemed insane.
“I know it seems fast, Conner, but we do things differently than humans do. For us, it is the natural order of mating. It is not strange or forced at all. You two were made for each other by the Moon Goddess herself, it is unavoidable that you will end up together anyway, might as well do it sooner than later, right?”
My eyes flicked to Otis who was still casually sitting next to me. He seemed to agree with Alpha Julian and kept his face void of any emotion.
“I guess,” I finally agreed and Alpha Julian gave me a single nod.
“Another thing, which I am not sure if someone has told you yet, but you won’t be able to have kids.”
He said it so casually, yet it shook me to the core and made my heart stop for a split second.
“Wait, what do you mean?”
“Well, since you are a human male, your kids will not be born with the dominant wolf gene,” he explained. I knew a little bit about genes from my days at the zoo, so I wasn’t completely lost in the conversation.
“No, wait, so we will be able to have kids, just not werewolf kids?”
Alpha Julian nodded, “that is correct.”
“I don’t see a problem with that,” I simply said as I leaned back into the leather chair.
Otis shifted his weight uncomfortably in his seat and spoke for the first time since we sat down, “Conner, having human kids in a human world is much different than having human kids in a wolf world. They will suffer, incredibly. Believe me, you wouldn’t want that for your kids.”
Something about the way he spoke truly cut through me and for the first time in years I felt utterly heartbroken.
“I am sorry, Conner,” he said with raw compassion while I was at a loss for words.
“Does Melena know this?” I asked gruffly after a while and watched as Alpha Julian pulled his hand through his hair in defeat.
“Yes, she does,” he answered truthfully, “that is why she tried to avoid you at first.”
Instantly my mind replayed multiple memories of her trying to get away from me at the beginning of our friendship. Shit. I did this. It was my fault.
“How do I fix this?” I asked desperately, hoping for an answer to the dead-end we found ourselves in.
“Conner, look, Melena knew what she was getting into and in the end, she chose you.”
I cringed at the Alpha’s words, I didn’t want her to choose between having me or having a family.
“There must be something!” I yelled out in frustration as pure rage burst through me.
At that stage, I was trembling uncontrollably and struggled to keep my composure. I was hurting the woman I loved, without even knowing it. She had given up so much for me already, which I had no clue about, and it angered me. I wanted to be her hero, not her downfall.
“Please! Tell me! There must be something!” I stood up with balling fists and flicked my eyes from Alpha Julian to Otis.
They exchanged a strange look between them before Alpha Julian asked me to sit back down.
What happened after that was one big blur.
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