"The Fae Noh were power beyond reason. They, the last bearers of the knowledge, the last speakers of the tongue of gods, became despondent and faithless. They disparaged the ways of the One God, claiming ownership of the creation of MagKaen. Five generations saw the error of their ways, and for five generations would they be punished."
-Imohe duAnda, The verse of Qui-eye Tan
The sudden cold of emptiness left Mat cursing and fighting the rumbling demand of the wolf. Claim! Find! It clamored beneath his skin demanding that he follow his mate, force her to submit. His power coalesced around him called by his animal side. He forced it to dissipate back into the air. He couldn't chase her, she'd just keep running.
He needed to give her more time. It was ironic that after he'd been forced to wait this long to feel the deep connection of mates, the absolute peace of finding the other half to his soul, he was choosing to wait just a little longer. He knew deep inside, as all mates did, that what Michaela needed was time. He just hoped it didn't kill him to give it to her.
His first instinct was to take her, force her to his will, protect her at all costs. His little female would never stand for that. She was too independent, too strong willed to ever be dominated by the wolf. She'd forgotten about him over these months, but he'd spent his every free moment finding out every last detail he could discover about her. She'd never left his thoughts. Had taken a hold of his heart and refused to let go.
He stood up slowly, got dressed and sat on the edge of the bathtub. He could still smell her. That unique scent that was hers alone, that essence that only one female on the planet had. His cock twitched against his stomach, still just as hard as the day he'd met her.
Her being in heat was a complication. He hadn't intended to take her the way he had. Scare her into running and, almost, force his way into the snug wet sheath of her pussy. He shivered with the memory of how good she'd felt wrapped around him like the last buoy in a world of never ending sea.
His wolf had taken reason, left only want, and need so intense that his vision had hazed with it. It had been all he could manage not to slide her over his hard throbbing length the minute she'd woken up.
There was a lot she needed to know. He was sure she knew the bad stuff, considering how she'd run from him like he was holding the new MagKaen plague. Female wolves had it hard in a male dominated species, but she was his female. And he'd be damned if he'd let the pack lock her up like she was some sort of concentration camp prisoner.
She was Sosyè, first and foremost. Freedom was worth more to her than air. It was his duty as her mate not just to take care of her and protect her, but also to meet her needs.
He'd be punished for refusing to sequester his mate. Severely. He'd been punished already, every time he'd let his need override his duty to the pack. He didn't care. She was the only thing that mattered to him now. He'd do whatever it took to make sure she knew that. Whatever it took to make her completely his.
Looking down at himself he chuckled. To anyone passing by he probably looked like an idiot. He was completely dressed with his pants open and his cock saluting him like a four star general. He'd never been so hard in his life. Gripping the base, he ran the other hand over the swollen head and fought off the stomach clenching shiver that wracked his body.
Taking a deep breath he savored the warmth of his mate that surrounded him. She was light and sweet with a slightly citrus twinge around the edges. It was about the best thing he'd ever smelled. He groaned at the image of her face as he'd wrapped his hands in her soft soft hair.
She'd rode him like a champ, taking everything he'd had to give and then demanding more. Her chocolate eyes as he'd sank into the hot tight depths of her had been about the only thing he'd wanted to see for about the next year or so.
The wolf rose suddenly pushing a rumbling growl from his throat. Find! Mate! Need! The impulse was strong, almost overwhelming, but he could resist. What he couldn't resist was the underlying fear the wolf brought, the worry that his mate was not safe when he wasn't near. Tucking himself inside his pants as best he could, Mat didn't resist this time when the wolf called his power.
His form coalesced in the middle of a tree lined street. Their bond was thin, incomplete, but he felt her, tugging him from the inside, a siren he was loath to resist. The house was average, clean and well-manicured. He stepped up on the curb and felt the wolf sigh inside him, she was inside.
She was safe, he could feel it. Her laughter was a cool tickle down the bond. Could she sense him? His mate should be able to sense him when he was near, find him anywhere in the world. He didn't think so. Something had gone wrong in the claiming. Her magic had prevented the complete bond.
The instant he'd connected to her his magic sliding against hers, he'd felt her as if they'd shared the very essence of their souls. Her emotions, needs, spoke to him, guiding him. It hadn't happened for her. If it had she'd have never been able to leave him the way she had.
There was movement from inside and he ducked pushing his back to the side wall of the house. His hand unconsciously massaged a place just a few inches from his heart. He felt her absence like a missing limb. Already he was too far gone. His body demanded that he claim her, wolven instincts running high. But his heart needed her as well. These last six months had been the worst of his life.
When he'd found out some other wolf had turned her.... He shook his head, his jaw clenching, as he strained against his wolf's rage. Breathing deeply he let his head rest against the cool blue siding, and slid down until he sat in the bark of the flowerbed.
His Fenrir had sent him to Europe for a month. He'd been wrapped up in pack business so tight he'd hardly had room to breathe. He'd returned in time to find her and take her to a hospital, but she'd disappeared while he was in the bathroom. She'd been in a coma.
He had no idea what had happened, no idea what the Fenrir had done or planned. It had taken him three months to find her again. He was lucky she had even survived. Each time he'd gotten near, close enough to claim her, he'd been called away on pack business. If he'd resisted even a little he'd been punished.
There were disadvantages to being part of the pack. They didn't outweigh death, which was the only other option, but they sucked sometimes. He'd been born into the pack, didn't know any other way of life, but he knew what he'd been through was too much.
His alpha had not wanted him to claim his mate. The Fenrir had done everything he could to prevent it. Betrayal shivered up his body shifting muscles in a precursor to the change. Mateo forced himself to calm. He'd been loyal, followed all the laws for as long as he could remember. Why would his alpha deny him the wolf's sole purpose, the One God's Gift?
Mateo had only been able to claim his mate this time because his Fenrir didn't know he'd returned early. For the first time, he'd gone straight to his mate, not bothering to declare his presence in pack territory as was required. He'd pay for that lapse, but it was worth it. He’d pay ten times over for the few short hours he'd had with his mate.
Tapping the thread like bond between them he magically amplified his hearing. The wolf needed to hear that she was fine, and so did Mat.
“…gawd Mick! You’re like totally naked!”
“Tatum you are not going to believe what just happened!”
She sounded fine.
“Oh spill it! What yah doing? Na-uh you don’t get to get dressed birthday suit. Just what exactly where you doing before you popped into my living room?”
Was she embarrassed?
“You slut!!” Light giggles. “Who was it? Did your wolf come back?!”
Her wolf? Hm… Mat smiled.
“Wait. Wait. Wait. You did the dirty mambo with him? And then you took off?”
“It wasn’t like that T’ we…”
“Wolf n’ run. That’s you cuz. Wolf n’ run.” Loud belly cackles followed.
The connection broke suddenly. Mat’s wolf howled inside him, the force of its demand shaking him from the inside out. The Call was a knife twisting his insides bringing his incisors to sharp elongated points. The wolf called his power again pulling through his link to every wolf in the Nineve Clan, bringing Mat directly in front of the pack leader.
“What have you done?”
The words were ripe with fury, his leader looked down at him with eyes that glowed an unnatural red. His face showed none of his fury, but it beat at Mat stinging whips of displeasure.
Compulsion pulled Mat to his feet, muted his voice so that he couldn't speak if he'd tried. The Fenrir's power was the power of all the pack combined, they were a web of interconnected nodes, and he was the apex.
The alpha’s gaze held Mat's, suspicion and worry swirling behind the evil tinged eyes.
Relief was a cool wave up Mat's spine. His Fenrir did not know if he'd been able to claim his mate. This was good, he couldn't be punished for that, but if his leader knew for sure, this punishment, for not declaring his arrival, would lay him low for the next month.
Why was Fagan so intent on keeping him from his mate? Mateo could never be pack leader. He could never hold the pack in his dominion. The Earth Daughter had punished his kind for the old wrong, the first wrong they'd ever done.
The choices of his ancestor had begun the line of Morden, the werewolf. It was said that Modeen of Morden was Sosyè, like his mate, before the change. After he'd been corrupt with power, incarnated with arrogance. His punishment had been two fold. His line would diminish, and the weaker less pure wolf spawn would forever lead. Modeen's progeny could never be alpha again.
Mateo was a direct descendant of the line of Modeen. The Fenrir was descendant of the first bitten, a human turned wolf. Fagan was alpha as his father had been before him.
In a blink, the strike was so fast that it was over before Mateo felt the pain. It bloomed from the side of his face radiating in a wave of anguish. His cheek bone crumbled beneath the blow. Still he was held by compulsion, unable to move or cry out. Blood pooled in his mouth seeping between his misaligned lips.
"Each route will take part. Finish quickly. We have more important things to do."
Mateo had been wrong. His Fenrir didn't need to know that he'd claimed his mate. Only the chance that he had was enough. There were fifteen families in the Nineve clan. That meant he would suffer fifteen more bone crunching hits.
“And if it kills him? That seems like a harsh punishment for something as small as not declaring your entry into pack lands.” Kaye stepped to Mat’s side. The domovoi was small in stature but larger than almost all of them when it came to power. Several pack members paused at the sight of him.
There was no murmur of agreement. To disagree with the alpha was treason. Treason was punishable by death.
If you die, I’ll raise the lot of them from my lands.
The domovoi’s mind-voice was resonant, but soothing against the crushing ache in Mat’s head.
I won’t die Kaye. Not when I’ve finally found her.
Your mate? So that’s why he’s so angry! He intends for you to die you know.
I gathered. But why?
Didn’t you know Mateo? Fagan fears the power you’ll have fully mated to another angiras.
Power? But Harthen…
Has fear ever been rational my friend?
Mat thought of his own fears. Even now with his life in mortal jeopardy he was worried for his mate. What would happen to her if he died? She was a known female werewolf. Only Mat’s claim had kept her free this long. Would she be taken? Would she be harmed?
I hope all the blows aren’t to the head. Head wounds were a lot more difficult to heal.
You better survive. I don’t have many friends, but I like to keep the few that I have.
“If the angiras dies for your pride alpha, you will regret it. This I vow.”
Fagan’s canines breached his mouth and he growled in fury at the small male. That had been a direct challenge to his authority as alpha. If Kaye were a wolf, he’d be dead on his feet waiting for the wind to tip him over.
There were murmurs among the pack members. A few of the males in wolf form wined softly. All of them knew the domovoi’s power. The Nineve had lived in Kaye’s territory for centuries. He protected them, cared for them as if they were his children. Every alpha before Fagan had respected the gift they’d been given.
Fagan’s eyes were cold as he looked over his wolves.
“So be it.”
The compulsion left suddenly, leaving Mat struggling to stay on his feet. He kept his gaze to the ground as required, relieved not to have to look at his Fenrir. He steeled himself turning as Jackson, the second in command moved before him.
The blow came from the opposite side, crashing into his temple, ringing his mind like a midnight bell. Then the strongest male of the next family stepped up.
……To be continued………