A Tale of Two Mates

Dark secrets surround the heart of the two most powerful packs in this forest, the Swift pack and the Storm pack. Secrets that go back hundreds of years. Arya Swift soon finds herself in the middle of it all when she stumbles across the son of the Storm pack's Alpha. It doesn't take long for her to realize she's found her mate. Ethan Storm brings nothing but trouble with him, however, and leads the Storm pack right into the heart of the Swift territory. When Arya's mother, the Alpha, is killed, the Beta, Jake, takes over. Arya trusts his judgement until she comes of age and takes over, until she realizes Jake has a plan of his own, and it has nothing to do with Arya.


2. Chapter 2

{Arya's POV}

              I was frozen. I had no idea what my mother was going to say. Normally she was very reasonable and kind, but I wasn't so sure how she would react to my mate being one of the enemies. She sighed. Her eyes lifted up to meet mine. I could tell she was battling a range of emotions. I waited patiently for her response.

              "I am very happy for you two." she finally said with a smile. I sank into my chair with relief. The breath I had been holding was released from my chest. Then she opened her mouth again and my breath caught once more. "However, the packs may not approve of this." She said, lowering her tone. Ethan nodded seriously. "I am trusting you to protect my daughter." She said to him in a grave tone. Protect me? Why exactly do I need protection?

              "Yes, Alpha Swift. I will protect my mate with my life." Ethan said seriously. He looked over at me warmly. I shot him a look of confusion, which was met with a look I took to mean don't worry about it. The problem was, I was worried about it.

I had fair right to be worried.

Mother turned to look out the window. She did a double take and I saw the color drain from her face.

"Ethan, take Arya and run. NOW." she ordered. He took my hand and headed straight to the back door.

"Ethan what’s happening? What’s going on?" I asked anxiously. He said nothing, he kept running.

"My pack was outside your house. Your mother is fighting now." He said.

"And you took me away?" I was livid. I shifted and raced back. He shifted and ran beside me, quickly catching up. His pitch black coat gleaming. I leaped into the fray of snarling wolves outside my house. My pack and Ethan's were fighting angrily. I scanned the fray for my mother. She was in the middle of the fight, with Alpha Storm. My eyes widened. He wasn't about to take both of them from me. I bolted forward and plowed into him, using my head as a battering ram I send him flying. I stood over my mother and then moved as she got up. Her eyes asked me why I had return but I had no time to answer. A wolf pounced on me and knocked me down. They lunged for my throat and I winced and closed my eyes. Suddenly the weight was gone. I looked up to see Ethan roaring and fighting furiously with the wolf. I looked and saw Alpha Storm and my mother quarreling again. She got to her paws and ran away from him. She wasn't paying enough attention and suddenly all I saw was her and Alpha Storm. He leaped forward and onto my mother’s back. Everything was in slow motion. The black wolf lunged for her neck before she could react and then she was laying on the ground. The silver eyed wolf trotting off. He howled triumphantly and then turned and gave me a glare that clearly warned me to watch my back. I was frozen, I stared at my mother's lifeless body. As the enemy receded my new pack all gathered around their Alpha. I shifted and ran over to her. I pushed past the wolves and picked up the brown wolf's head and laid it in my lap. My tears fell in her coat. 

{Ethan's POV}

             I watched her from a distance. What do I do? There is nothing I can do. My heart broke in my chest as I watched her fall apart. This... this was entirely my fault. I should have never talked to her. While she was distracted I backed up. My ears flattened against my head and my tail tucked between my legs. A tear fell from my eye and ran down my cheek. This can't be. I can't do this to her.

            "Ethan... Where are you going?" She looked up and asked me through tears. I perked an ear and then laid it flat again. I shook my head and whipped around and took off into the woods. I shouldered several Swift wolves out of the way in my dash into the forest. I heard a heartbreaking cry echo behind me as she desperately tried to bring me back. It wasn't happening. I couldn't do this to her. Blinded by tears, I kept running. My mind was racing. Where do I go? My pack won't take me back, not after I defended her and her pack. I don't want them as a pack anymore anyway. My father killed both of her parents, and now look at me. I walk into her life and it all falls apart when everything was going smoothly for her. Then again, what do I know? I just met her. Mates? Hah... my mind was just... playing tricks on me. I heard a low growl come from my wolf but I ignored him. I kept running for who knows how long. I was still trying to run away from her desperate cry, still ringing in my ears...

{Arya's POV}

             Just like that, he was gone. I collapsed and just held my mother's body closer to me, her warm fur was now cold and damp from the rain. Why would I think it would be different? What does it mean to be 'mates?' What does that mean? It doesn't make any difference now, Ethan's gone. I felt a warm nose nudge my back. I sat up and saw the big brown eyes of Jake looking back at me. His ears were flat against his head in respect for my current condition. He was the Beta of the pack, now the Alpha since I wasn't of age yet. I looked down, away from him. I had to submit to him now. I bowed my head to him. A low growl lifted my gaze back to his. I heard the familiar cracking that signified a shift. I felt a warm hand was placed on my shoulder. His brown eyes, now human once more, met mine.

              "You need not bow your head to me, Beta Swift." He said softly to me. He was just 19, and now he was the alpha of his own pack, and he just declared me as Beta. Despite this honor, I wasn't cheered up. He opened his mouth to speak, when it shut once more. He shook his head and just ran a hand through my hair, casting worried glances up at me occasionally. Finally after a moment he stood and crossed his arms over his bare sculpted chest.

                "Well, what are you lot standing around for. Alpha Swift has just been murdered in our own territory. Any of you going to take that?" His warm tone emphasized by a light British accent. Normally it was quite relieving to hear, but now it did no good for me. In response, growls came from all sides of the pack. He nodded approvingly. "That's more like it. Hunters, scope out the perimeter, make sure they've all gone. Males, you know what to do, reinforce the boundary markers." The select wolves stepped out of the pack and headed off as a unit to go on the patrol. His thick brow furrowed as a hand rose to his chin in thought. His strong jaw was set. He turned to call back to them. "If you see Beta Storm, destroy him." He growled firmly. I jumped up.

               "Alpha, you can't-" I started to oppose when a firm hand clapped down on my shoulder.

              "Arya, can't you see he set this up. He brought them here, while you and Alpha Swift were distracted with him, his lot made their way into our territory and took out Alpha. He just forgot the minor detail that you aren't old enough to be Alpha yet, and he fled to go back with his pack." His words stung like a hot blade being shoved through my chest straight to my heart.

                "There's no way... he wouldn't-" I weakly tried to defy him.

                "He would, and he has done so already." His attention left me as he continued giving other wolves orders. "Omega. Get over here." He snapped rudely. I always felt bad for the Omega, no one even called him by his name, however this was the way of the pack, and as the daughter of the Alpha and Beta, I was under strict rule not to speak to the Omega. Now I saw him step forward. He was shy, his tail tucked tightly between his legs, ears as flat against his head as he could make them. He walked so low to the ground his belly fur was dragging the dirt. His eyes stayed so low I couldn't tell their color. His coat, however, was a gorgeous brindle, thin and dull, but with a little more food and grooming, it had potential to be a lovely color... What was I thinking, this is the Omega, of course he is underfed and no other wolf grooms him. He shifted into his human form, he remained crouched on the ground, eyes staring at his worn out sneakers. His blue jeans were tattered and a loose grey tank top fell from thin, yet toned and tanned shoulders. His hair was a medium length and shaggy. It was a reddish brown color, similar to his coat.

                   "Alpha," the Omega murmured, not lifting his gaze.

                   "You may rise, Omega." Jake almost spat the words. The man slowly stood to his full height. Tall, not too tall, but tall enough. Around 5'10, I guessed. His eyes still on the ground in front of him. Now in the rainy light I could at least tell they were a golden hazel. "You have a very important job, Omega." Jake said, his voice grave. "You will be Beta Swift's personal guard." I saw the shock pass over the Omega's face. He bit his lip nervously. The act was almost... cute...

                      "P-permission to speak, Alpha..." Omega said so softly it was almost a whisper. I saw him cringe as though Jake was about to strike him for speaking out of line. Jake's face twitched, but he did nothing of that sort. His arms crossed once more, one hand rising to his chin and his head tilted slightly.

                    "Permission granted." Jake was very curt.

                    "I-I do not mean to question your authority... A-alpha... b-but why... m-me...?" The Omega's voice was still barely above a whisper, and it shook as he addressed the Alpha. Jake raised an eyebrow.

                    "Why you? Who will suspect you, the Omega of all wolves, to be guarding the last of the Swift line, and the one true alpha." Jake said gently. I had never known Jake to go out of his way to be mean to anyone, however, being the Beta of both my parents, and now Alpha, he has always been sure to assert his authority. The Omega simply nodded. "Beta Swift, please return to the confines of your home. Omega will come with you, as you know, as your guard. You need not speak to him if you do not wish, however I am not to say you are not allowed to." He said kindly to me. He turned his attention back to the Omega, his voice now stern. "You are not to say a word to her, you are not to even look at her without her permission, understood?" Jake snarled. The Omega had started to tremble slightly. He gave a tiny nod. Jake simply nodded and walked away, continuing giving out instructions. I looked over at the pitiful Omega standing before me now, awaiting his orders from me.

                    "Come along, let's go get dry and warm. Are you hungry?" I asked him. I saw his eyes widen. He started wringing his hands together nervously. I realized soon why he hadn't responded. "I'm sorry, you have my permission to talk at will. You don't need to ask for it."

                    "I-I will not t-take food from you, g-great Beta... I will be fine..." He said softly, still looking at the ground. I didn't know what to say, so I just nodded and headed back inside, he followed me, being religiously careful not to get too close or stray too far. I just shook my head. As long as he was staying by my side, I would make sure to treat this poor man as an equal.

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