Chapter 2 -The Mating Call
I met Teresa by the jeep with Caspian by my side. Their hostility towards each other was palpable. I never found out why they hated each other so much. They always chose to ignore the question when I asked and I made it a point to not let it bother me.
“Teresa,” Caspian mumbled.
“Asshole,” she responded.
Caspian’s fist clenched at his sides. He kept his snarky comments to himself, especially since Alpha Hugo was nearby.
Teresa grinned smugly.
“A word, Teresa.” Alpha Hugo called to her in his thick accent.
Her face paled.
She left Caspian and me alone to talk. I motioned for him to join me in the jeep. He settled into the passenger seat and ran a hand through his messily styled sandy brown hair. His light brown eyes watched me carefully. “What ’s up?” he asked.
I didn’t want to do this but maybe it had to be done. “I was thinking,” I started.
He groaned and shut his eyes as he leaned back into the seat. He knew every time I started a conversation with that line it meant nothing good.
I started again, “I was thinking maybe we should cool it until we know our mates aren’t here. I don’t know how much more I can take of your dad glaring at me and besides, Alpha Hugo agreed it was best to take it easy while we’re here. You heard him.”
He eyed me warily. “You’re saying you want a break for a week?”
“Or at least until the end of the night,” I supplied.
He thought on it for a moment. “I don’t see why we have to. The chances of us finding our mates is slim, but if this is something you want to do then I’m willing to go along with it for you,” he smiled.
I raised my arms to hug him but stopped midway.
“Get over here, Green. If I have to stay away from you for a week then I’m going to need something to tide me over.”
I grinned in return.
Our lips found each other and we enjoyed the closeness while it lasted.
Teresa and I mingled amongst our pack as we waited for the call to start. Our pack mates ranged between the ages of twenty-one and sixty-five. It was about the same for the others. It was a good thing the royals had enough land to host this. The field held at least three thousand wolves.
Teresa was ready to jump out of her skin. She scoured the other packs, hoping to connect eyes with her mate.
“It’s time,” Teresa called over our group.
Our Alpha and Beta were already mated so they weren’t in attendance. It was up to Teresa to take charge.
Caspian made sure to stay away as he said he would and I was surprised to find that it didn’t bother me as much as I expected. The pack began to undress, tossing their clothes in a pile or neatly folding them.
How everyone seemed at ease getting naked in front of each other still astounded me, but it had to be done if we were to shift. Thankfully, I was somewhere in the middle of our pack so I wasn’t getting an eyeful of naked bodies from other packs. Although, I was seeing plenty from my own.
Teresa wasn’t shy with her body. She yanked her clothes off and stood proudly under the semi cloud-covered moon. As did many of the others, especially the older pack members.
I kept my eyes level with their neck and up. I folded my clothes and quickly began to shift. I didn’t want anyone seeing my bare ass longer than they had to.
I let the pain run its course through my body and helped the shift along. Fighting it only caused more pain. I’d learned that the hard way when I first shifted.
Once the shift was over I opened my eyes and took everything in with my senses. So many different scents from the various packs invaded my snout. Yipping and playful growling could be heard throughout the field. Everyone was in a good mood.
Two wolves caught my attention as it did for several others. It was the Alpha and Beta of the Royal Pack. The Alpha was hard to look away from. His midnight black fur blended into the night, but his cobalt blue eyes burned through the darkness and burned themselves into my soul. The white patch of fur around his right eye was a star in the dark sky that was his coat.
As quickly as he looked at me, he looked away. I felt breathless by his gaze alone. Was this because he was the Alpha of all Alphas?
I expected him to lead the call but he didn’t. His Beta howled into the night, starting a chain of howls. One by one, everyone joined in. I howled until my heart’s content, but I didn’t hear my mate’s call. I didn’t feel the pull that everyone talked about. A tiny part of me that held the smallest of hopes disappeared.
Around me, several of my pack mates yipped in glee and tussled around with each other. They’d heard their mate, felt the pull of their howl. I mentally smiled at their luck. No one had been mated in our pack for so long and now there were several. I looked around and my smile grew wider. Teresa was one of the few in my pack who’d found their mate tonight. She yipped happily with the others.
I looked for Caspian and he was watching me with a wolfy grin that’d begun to fall from his face.
My boyfriend had found his mate too. A sharp pain lanced my heart. I worked to hide my pain from him.
The run would begin soon. He needed to go. I tried to convey the feeling of happiness for him through the mind-link and sent one word through.
He tore through the field and into the nearby woods. Everyone went at their own pace in finalizing the bond between mates, but no one would be marked tonight. Mates would be presented in front of their packs first and lastly in front of the Royal Pack’s Alpha.
Lots of ceremonial bull.
My fellow pack members who hadn’t heard their mate began to shift back. Their faces held a mixture of happiness and pain. Just as I was about to shift as well, another howl broke through the night.
A sharp ache pierced my chest followed by an overflowing heat. A howl ripped its way through my body, answering his call. My mate was out there.
By this time many people had shifted back into their human form, and almost every face held astonishment as they looked at me.
Slowly they parted like the red sea and in front of me stood the Alpha of the Royal Pack. If my mouth could have fallen open, it would have.
He was my mate. He was mine and I was his.
He tilted his head in a motion that said he wanted me to follow him. He trotted into the woods and I blindly followed, too overwhelmed to do anything else.
Several of the shocked faces turned into wild grins and cries of joy.
The Royal pack had found its Luna.
I couldn’t see him in front of me, but I followed his scent instead. He smelled the way it did when rain fell on dry soil. It was mesmerizing. I shook my head and continued to follow. Just because he was my mate didn’t mean anything, I told myself.
He’d stopped up ahead in a meadow and sat on his haunches as he waited for me. I stood in front of him waiting.We did nothing but watch each other. I didn’t know what to do so I mirrored his position. I could see myself reflected in his eyes. A white wolf with a black patch on her left eye. I was the yin to his yang and what a pair we made.
He began to shift into his human form. I was curious to see what he looked like, but it meant seeing him naked and that made me nervous as hell.
Once his shift was completed, I made a point to look anywhere but where he now stood.
“Shift,” his voice rumbled.
I mentally rolled my eyes at the bossiness in his voice, but I did as I was asked. I wanted to speak with him. I soaked in the pain as my body turned back into its human form. I quickly covered my breasts and clenched my legs together.
I could feel his eyes graze my body hungrily. “Look at me,” he commanded.
My eyes turned towards his voice. His eyes were as blue as they were in his wolf form. I sucked in a breath. He was so damned gorgeous I couldn’t believe he was real. The scruff on his face was neat and trimmed. He had high cheekbones and a straight and narrow nose that jutted out just a bit at the end. His jaw was well defined and even his ears were adorable, slightly pushed out.
His hair was swept up and back over his head. The sides and back were combed neatly and kept close.
I brazenly swept my gaze over his torso and nearly sighed. Holy hell, what was wrong with me?
I snapped my eyes back to his. His grin was the panty dropping type of grin. If I had panties on they’d definitely drop.
“What’s your name?” he asked.
“Lyla. And yours?”
He raised a brow. “You’re telling me you don’t already know it?”
Well someone was cocky. I shook my head.
“Sebastian. How old are you, Lyla?”
“Twenty-two,” I responded.
This was surreal. I was talking to my mate in the middle of a meadow filled with wild daisies. The sounds of the forest played a quiet melody for us as we tried to get acquainted.
“You?” I asked.
I reeled at this information. He was six years older than me. He had to wait six years for his mate and I only had to wait one.
I moved closer to him, closing the ten foot gap between us. The meadow became charged with a feeling I’d never felt before, at least not like this. My body ached to touch him and I was willing to comply. The frenzied chirps of the crickets pushed us closer.
We were a few feet away from each other now. He held out his palm waiting for me to touch mine to his, but before I could, he pulled me behind him. A growl erupted from his chest.
At his touch, I felt the same chest piercing ache as before. The skin burned where he touched. A quiet moan escaped my lips.
A voice came from the trees. “Lyla?”
I was so enraptured by Sebastian’s back muscles that I nearly missed it. I shook the lust from my mind and looked around Sebastian’s body. He growled again, holding an arm out, not allowing me to pass.
“Caspian?” I gasped.
Caspian was also fully naked. I’d never seen him naked in the two years we were together and it did nothing for me now. I had found my mate.
“Are you alright?” he asked.
Sebastian growled again. “Mine.”
Caspian’s eyes widened. He finally understood. What was he doing here alone? Where was his mate?
His head fell in submission and slowly backed away.
“Who was that?” Sebastian snarled. “And why is your scent all over him?”
“Uhm, he’s my boyfriend,” I mumbled guiltily.
His growl silenced the forest around us and shattered the quiet peacefulness that had settled between us.