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.

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3. Chapter 3

{Ethan's POV}

               I woke up underneath a bramble bush I managed to wedge myself under. The wounds covering my flank were sore, and reminded me of their presence every time I moved or even breathed with sharp shooting pains. I shivered. I licked the bite wounds on my flank to try and ease the pain. I had been hunted down by some of the members of the Swift pack. I wasn't surprised they would attack me on sight. The way I fled so quickly made it seem as though I was a part of the Storm Pack's plan. I would have hoped Arya would have put that idea at bay, but then I remembered too late she was not of age yet. She wasn't the alpha. She had no control anymore. Clearly the new Alpha had put out a strong word that  I was the prime suspect in the ambush on the heart of the Swift pack. A soft rustling in the bush beside me made me freeze in my grooming. I slowly turned to look, my lips curling back into a snarl when I noticed a pair of light green eyes watching me.

                "Are you okay?" A shy voice asked. I sat up slowly and backed away from the eyes. I couldn't see anything else, and I had no idea if I could trust this... thing. "Forgive me, I know you can't see me properly, but I would much rather not wedge myself among the brambles like you have."

                "What are you?" I growled. A giggle came in response, it reminded me of the tinkling of bells. It had a sort of soothing effect on me. My snarl faded and I perked my ears in curiosity. I tilted my head and narrowed my eyes.

                "A faery. However I forget werewolves are not used to my kind interacting with, well your kind." Her voice was sweet, like honeysuckle after a morning rain in spring. Now I was curious, however I could not deny her claim, no werewolf has that effect.

                  "How do I know there isn't an ambush waiting for me? Your kind doesn't interact with my kind. Why start now. What's your motive?" I growled, my ears laying back once more. I couldn't let my guard down, not when there's a hunt out there with my face as a trophy.

                 "You wolves have nothing to over the fae. To be quite honest you have entered my territory, my section of forest that I guard, and I couldn't help but notice your wounds. Yes, yes I know, but why, why have an interest in you. Faeries are much cleverer than we are given credit. Well I happen to be a faery who does not take lightly to an injured animal in my realm. Don't give me that look you are indeed an animal." A low growl was building in my throat. For a creature so kind, she had a lot of nerve calling me an animal. Reluctantly, I scraped myself out of the brambles and walked around the bush to where she had been sitting. There, crouched outside the bush and staring back at me curiously was the most beautiful creature I had ever seen. His skin was fair, and his hair was white as snow. He stood to face me.

                 "You're a male?" I said curiously, not realizing the rudeness of that statement until it was out of my mouth. An empty smile pulled at the corners of his thin mouth. His green eyes sparkled.

               "Yes, and now I suppose we are even on the insults." He said curtly, his voice still sweet and melodic. He wore clothes of fine materials, a shirt that had the appearance of silver mist, with small gold buttons and pale mint green trim. He wore leggings of a stormy gray color, and small shoes of the same mint green. He lifted a hand to run his long thin fingers through his medium length hair.

                 "What do you want with me," I shifted to my human form and stood before him. My clothes shredded and bloodstained. I could feel the dirt and mud on my sweaty face and exposed shoulders. I saw his almond shaped eyes narrow as he stepped closer to me, inspecting the deep bite wounds on my side. I winced as his cool fingertips touched them. Without a word, he reached into a small pouch that hung from his waist. He pulled out what looked like silver spider webs and gently pressed them to each of the individual punctures. They adhered on their own and he continued applying the webs to my side, the sharp pains slowly dulling away to a barely noticeable ache.

                  "A war is about to rage throughout my realm, and you seem to be at the center of it. Obviously I will take interest in you." He said, his thin arms crossing over his chest. "There is much more here than even I know."

                 "What, you think I can help you? I have the two most reputable and powerful packs in existence both out to kill me. You think I have time to play detective?" I snapped. I was in no mood to be used by a little faery man like him. After everything I just lost... I was snapped out of my thoughts by the faery suddenly storming over to me, his green eyes suddenly dark.

                   "Look, you are the key to this entire thing. I need your help, and I think you owe me after I just saved your life from those infected wounds." His voice had lost its melodic charm and now it was colder than ice. I felt a chill run down my spine. It was like my instinct said to run, but his gaze held me where I stood. I narrowed my eyes.

                    "Fine, but I don't know what help I will be to you." I shifted back into my wolf form and sat down. I did't meet his gaze. He sniffed and then walked over and picked up a beautifully crafted bow that was laying neatly on a patch of moss. He slung a quiver of silver arrows across his back.

                   "I need to meet your mate." He said simply.

 

{Arya}

           I came back into the living room where I had asked the Omega to sit. Apparently he needed my permission to sit down. I walked back in with a warm cup of Earl Grey. I handed it to the Omega.

           "Please, take it," I said warmly to him. He opened his mouth as though he was going to refuse, but then I saw him lick his lips, and he reluctantly took the cup from me. He drank it down gratefully. "How long have you been Omega?" He kept his eyes on the floor in front of him as he held the cup of tea.

            "My whole life, I suppose." he said softly. The stuttering had faded, as I hoped he was growing more comfortable with me.

             "And, do you have a name?" I felt silly asking if he had a name, but I had never once heard any omega be called anything but their status, I wasn't even sure Omega's had names. I got a nod from him. I didn't think he picked up on the question. After a moment he realized I was waiting. He cleared his throat and raised his chin a little, still not making eye contact.

             "My, um, my name is Chance," He said the name so softly I almost didn't hear him. I smiled gently.

             "It's nice to properly meet you, Chance," I said. I saw a confused look go across his face. I seriously doubted he had ever been addressed by his birth name. "You can call me Arya. And, Chance?" I saw his eyes flicker closer to where I was, but he restrained himself from looking at me. I reached out and tilted up his chin. Reluctantly, his eyes rose and finally met mine. Suddenly, it was like the coldness in the room fell away. I slightly tilted my head as I gazed into his eyes. Lined with a deep forest green and accented by golden flecks, his eyes were beautiful. Seeing him up close, I was able to really take in his features. He had a splash of pale freckles across the bridge of his nose, which softly led my eyes to his mouth. His lips were a pale crimson, thin and starting to chap. My eyes came back to his eyes, they were so soft, and so kind. They also held many secrets, and years of suffering. Without thinking I reached up and slowly ran a hand through his hair. His mouth opened ever so slightly as he blinked, as if trying to wake from a dream. I smiled softly as I pulled away again. His eyes followed mine as I leaned back into my chair. "Status has no place in my presence. Please, you are my equal here, feel free to act as such,"

           I saw something pass across his eyes. I felt my wolf raise her head, she was now curious. She tilted her head. Strange, she whispered. I agreed. His eyes fell back to the ground as a soft blush fell across his cheeks. I sat there, quietly watching him as he sipped his tea, his eyes focused on the fire that was going in front of us. The flames flickered in his eyes and once more, I found myself losing myself in his eyes. I tilted my head slightly, a small smile forming on my face as I took him in.

          "No one... cares..." He said, actually speaking up a little bit. His voice was so warm, it was so familiar. I found myself leaning in further, hanging on his words. His eyes flickered back up to me. "You of all people, why do you care...?"

            "Status has no place in affairs of the heart," I said breathlessly without thinking. I thought about my words for a moment, carefully choosing what I would say next, dragging my eyes from him to the fire. I sighed softly before I continued. "I mean..." I started to laugh softly, I looked down, my bangs slipping from behind my ear. I looked up at him, a smile still dancing in my eyes. I noticed he was watching me intently, his eyes holding something. For the first time I saw the ghost of a smile dancing on his lips. I laughed again, shaking my head. "I'm sorry, I've no idea what I mean," I heard it then, so soft, I almost missed it. He laughed. My eyes darted back over to him, he had looked away now, his hair shielding his face from my view, but not enough to where I couldn't spot the light blush spreading across his cheeks, and the sweet smile that had managed to fight its way to the surface. I felt my heart squeeze as I saw this. I felt my wolf wag her tail slightly as her ears perked up. What's going on? She asked me.

            "Beta Swift... er... Sorry, Arya... You haven't stopped staring at me since you brought me my tea..." He said softly, I saw his eyes flicker up to watch me out of the corner of his eye just barely peeking out from behind his bangs. I blinked a few times. I felt a soft blush spread across my cheeks.

             "Forgive me, Chance." I looked up at the old clock above the mantle. "My, its gotten quite late, here, let me take you to your room," I stood up a little too quickly and wasn't paying attention. I tripped over the blanket I had draped across my legs, and started to fall when I felt arms wrap around me and pull me into them. Chance had leapt up and caught me, and now he held me against his chest, waiting for me to right myself. I felt the heat really rise to my cheeks as my heart began to race. My wolf let out a yip of delight as she danced around. I scrambled to find something to say. I looked up to find my face was less than two inches from his. His eyes were wide, he was just as shocked as I was. He quickly pulled away, blushing madly.

           "I-I'm sorry I just..." He was stuttering again as his gaze once more fell to the ground. I just stood there for a moment, confused. I laughed, and I walked over and without thinking I wrapped my arms around him and just hugged him. Tears started to slowly fall down my cheeks.

          "Thank you, Chance... Company is nice in dark times like these..." I whispered. Without a word, I felt a different personality start to shine through, and Chance raised his arms and wrapped them around my shoulders, holding me there as I started to cry softly. I felt him relax, and his hand absentmindedly petted my hair.

             "It will get better, Arya..." He whispered. I nodded and just let him hold me there. Soon I found myself giving into the tiredness that had been fighting to consume me for a while. I felt him lift me up and carry me to my room. As I faded in and out of sleep, I felt him pet my hair as he tucked me in. His fingers grazed my cheek softly as I heard him pause. "Sleep well, Arya..." he whispered warmly. I smiled tiredly through the weariness, and then gave into the exhaustion.

{Chance}

          I stood there watching her for a moment. I was confused. I ran a hand through my hair and sighed. She was so... different. She was so beautifully different. She was the only one who ever even began to treat me as an equal. She was the only one other than myself who knows my name. I hadn't expected her to behave this way. I expected her, especially her being the daughter of Renee and Sirius Swift, to be the cruelest of them all. The hatred I grew up knowing towards them, towards the Swift clan for placing this curse upon my bloodlines, she made it all disappear. I shook my head and walked out, shutting the door behind me. She was making things so difficult for me. I ran both my hands through my hair once more. What was I going to do. I hadn't expected to feel this way. I let my fingers entwine behind my head as I gazed up at the ceiling. My wolf raised his tired head. You really need to rethink this, he said tiredly at me. I know, I know. I can't turn back now, I'm in too deep. You and I both know what she means to you. How can that be? That isn't possible. It's a mistake. He shook his head. She needs to know, you have to tell her. No! I can't... This... isn't how it was supposed to happen...

             A knocking at the door pulled me away from the conversation. I walked over and opened it to find myself being grabbed by my shirt collar. Instinctively, my eyes fell to the ground once more. I had almost forgotten my place. Jake leaned in and growled darkly.

            "You know what to do, Omega. And if you fail me, I will see to it you receive proper punishment. Keep her safe. There are guards that watch the house, but you are the crucial link to the protection of the last of the Swift bloodlines." He released me. I opened my mouth to speak when I felt his hand connect with my jaw. "You dare think you are about to speak without permission?" He snarled. I said nothing. I could feel the smirk cross his face. "That's what I thought. Return to your post, Omega," he spat. Turning and disappearing into the darkness. I shut the door and locked it twice. I let my back hit the door. I slowly slid to the ground. I raised a hand to my sore jaw. I heaved a heavy sigh. I shook my head. How could I forget? She has treated me so much like an equal I forget I don't have the privileges of ordinary pack members. How stupid of me... Stupid... stupid....

{Arya}

            The sun filtering in through my window woke me the next morning. I lay there, thinking about the previous day. I knew I didn't have to go back to school now. That wasn't an option for me anymore. I sighed and rolled onto my back. Then it hit me. How did I get here? It all flooded back at once. Chance. I sat up. Chance! My wolf woke up suddenly at his name. I stopped myself. Why am I this... excited to go see Chance? I shook the thought away. I rubbed my eyes when a knock at the door caught my attention.

            "Arya, I was just seeing if you are awake?" His warm voice made that warmth come back into my chest. I relaxed at once. My wolf sat there patiently, her tail wagging once more.

          "Mhm, you can come in Chance," I said happily. The door opened and he stood in the doorway. He leaned against the frame, running a hand through his hair. A light smile danced across his lips.

          "You," he pointed a finger at me, the crooked smile growing a little. "Almost got me in a lot of trouble last night with Alpha," I smiled and ran my fingers through my messy hair.

           "How so?" I couldn't help but notice the way the morning light danced across his eyes. It was mesmerizing.

          "I almost spoke back when he spoke to me," he chuckled a little when he said that. I couldn't help but laugh a little myself. The ridiculousness that he couldn't answer someone when they speak to him was beyond me. He walked in and sat down at the edge of my bed. The little smile on his face faded. He ran a hand through his hair again. It was so... lovely the way no matter what he did his hair just seemed to fall perfectly into place. The dark reddish brown strands complementing his warm hazel eyes. His gaze met mine. "You're staring again, Beta." I blushed and looked away. I swear I saw a hint of a smile.

            "I tend to do that to you a lot don't I?" I attempted to get another little smile, but all I got was a little tug at the corners of his mouth. That was just as cute to me, for some reason. His eyes looked confused for a moment, and I saw him bite his lip. I raised an eyebrow. "What's wrong?" I saw his eyes widen for a second. He looked back up at me.

            "N-nothing, Arya, I was just surprised." He blushed slightly and looked away again. "Sorry I mean, I'm not used to... well..." His voice trailed off as dark clouds rolled over his eyes once more.

           "People caring about you, well you need to get used to it with me, because I do care." I said it so fast I didn't even have time to think about it. I blinked a couple of times to make sure that's what I said. I ran a hand through my own hair, pushing my bangs back. I saw a flicker of a smile cross his face. He started to say something then changed his mind. I wondered what it was that troubled him...

          "Alpha requested to see you this morning... Beta Swift." He said softly. He was going back into his shell, and there was nothing I could do about it. I nodded and stood up, still wearing my wolven gown. I saw his eyes flicker over to me before darting away again. I glanced over at him for a moment before I headed out to meet Jake. I needed to remember now that I'm Beta it's important I am included in the daily report and the hunt statistics. I walked through the woods from my house to Jake's, Chance following closely beside me, eyes focused on the ground. He had returned to Omega mode. I knocked on Jake's door, holding my cloak closed around my shoulders. Jake quickly came to the door. He smiled warmly at me.

          "Beta, pleasure to see you my dear. Please, come in," I nodded to him and entered. Chance started to follow me, when Jake's hand pressed firmly against his chest, stopping him. "You are not needed while she is here. You may wait outside." His voice changed completely, it was so cold and heartless when it came to Chance. I saw a flicker of hurt cross Chance's eyes before Jake shut the door in his face. I watched the door for a moment before Jake's guiding hands led me away.

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