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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4. Chapter 4

                 Jake ushered me into the living room where two other pack members sat waiting. One was an older member of the pack, his name was Luke, the head of the usual hunting patrol.. He sat reclined in a leather chair, his graying brown hair ruffled. He started to pull a pack of cigarettes out of his flannel pocket when a growl from Jake got him to put them away. He grumbled. The second member I didn't recognize. He looked to be about twenty-two. He reminded me of Ethan a bit. He wore a black tank top and had on some loose blue jeans and worn leather boots. His strong arms crossed over his broad chest. The only difference was he was older, had short blonde hair and blue eyes. 

                 "Luke, give us a report on the hunting patrol," Jake said as he and I took our seats.

                "Well I reckon it was a good hunt, caught the usual amount. Stole a doe from a hunter he was mad as hell but oh lemme tell you it was funny!" Luke wheezed a laugh as he smiled a gappy smile. I gave him a warm smile while Jake dismissed him.

                   "Alright... How about you Mercedes?" He indicated to the other guy. Mercedes leaned forward and sighed.

                   "We followed his scent as far as we could follow, managed to get him pinned down a couple of times, I was able to leave a few good bites in his flank. Infection should take him out now if he doesn't make it back to his pack." Mercedes said, still thinking over his words. Ethan. They were talking about Ethan.

                    "He's hurt? You hurt him?" I jumped up. "What is the meaning of this?" I snapped. Jake stood up to meet my challenge.

                   "Arya, stand down. I have an order to kill him on sight." Jake growled, staring me down. I was furious. My new alpha or not, I was not going to stand for this.

                  "I won't allow it! He has done nothing wrong!" I growled.

                  "Arya! He planned the ambush on your mother! He is the reason she is dead!" He yelled. Tears filled my eyes and I turned and stormed out of the cabin. Chance jumped to his feet, probably expecting some sort of punishment for sitting.

                   "Come Chance, we're leaving." I snapped. I didn't mean to be cross with him, but I needed to find Ethan before they did.

                    "I take it it didn't go well?" He mumbled. I shifted and without question he followed my lead and followed me as I took off into the forest, sniffing the ground and scouring for his scent. It was hard to smell anything through all the fresh rain.

                    "Arya?" Chance's bark broke my concentration. I whipped around and bared my teeth.

                   "What!" I snarled, haunches raised. I saw Chance flinch and look away, cowering. I quickly regained my composure. "I'm sorry Chance. If you're wondering we're going to find Ethan. I need to make sure he is okay before they find him, or the Storm pack finds him, they'll rip him to shreds." I turned around and continued trotting on. I noticed Chance wasn't following me. I stopped and looked back. He had sat down, his ears drooping. He had a sad look on his face. I walked back to him. "Chance?" I whined. He quickly lifted his eyes to mine, snapping out of his trance.

                     "I'm sorry, I just, well why are we going to find Ethan?" He asked. I was taken aback.

                    "Because he is my mate! Are you daft?" I was in shock that he was seriously asking me this question. I saw his ears droop again and he lowered his gaze.

                    "You sure about that?" He whined so softly I barely heard it. I froze in my tracks. I tilted my head slightly. I watched him for a moment. I shook my head and turned around.

                     "Don't be stupid. Come on." I growled.

{Chance}

               I followed her slowly. I wasn't very excited about this excursion. I was less than thrilled about looking for Ethan. My wolf snarled his name. Why is she so obsessed with him when she has you? He snarled. I sighed. Will you please be quiet? I growled back at him. I didn't need him to rub it in. Yes, it was very unusual. Maybe she was wrong. Maybe she made it up... Right...

              "I just... When I first saw him it was an instant connection. I just had my heart broken by my ex boyfriend, he went away to college and found someone better," she whimpered to me. If it had been any other wolf, I would have drowned her out with my own thoughts, but for some reason I didn't get tired of hearing her voice. I guess she just didn't see it yet. I'm probably the one in the wrong here, I mean, I can't be this way. I keep forgetting my place now that she's treating me with such kindness, treating me like I am an equal. That has to be it. That's all there is to it. My wolf raised his head once more. Are you seriously daft, do I have to say it? I do don't I? Alright. She is your MATE! I stopped in my tracks. The familiar fire flowed through my veins as I let my eyes fall over her, her gorgeous blue pelt shimmering in the sunlight. The way her tail so gently swayed side to side. Here I am, falling in love with her. I'm in love with her. My head tilted slowly to the side as I watched her. Everything slowed down. She slowly slowed to a walk. Her eyes turned back to watch me, her gorgeous sky blue eyes sparkling as they looked back at me. Her thick black eyelashes framing them so perfectly. She looked back at me curiously. It was as if the sunlight was dancing around her as she walked back to me. Still in my trance, I slowly walked towards her. She sat on her haunches and looked at me curiously. Her tail patted the ground while she waited for me patiently. She's so patient. I walked right up to her. I was taller than her even in wolf form. I looked down at her, my muzzle an inch from hers. I just looked into her eyes. Without a single word, I stepped closer. Without a single thought, I lifted a paw and pulled her against my chest, wrapping my nose behind her neck, hugging her the best I could in wolf form. I nuzzled my nose into her soft fur. I inhaled her scent. Like... sugar, warm sugar. A hint of firewood in the middle of December. It was so distinctive, and it was so very perfect. I just held her there like that for what seemed like ages. To my surprise, she leaned into me. She sighed, nuzzling her nose into my chest.

                 A deep growl caused me to release her. My hackles raised as I looked for the threat. Then I saw them standing there. Arya whipped around. In an instant she was shifted and was back on her feet. She raced to him and leapt into his arms. My ears slowly fell back. My tail fell and my heart broke. I should be angry. I should be enraged, but no. I knew this would happen. I averted my eyes to the ground once more. This is why I didn't like this adventure. Because I knew we would find him. I knew we would find Ethan.

{Ethan}

 I lead him back the way I came. Then, I saw them. It was everything I could do not to shift right then and rip his face off. A strange wolf, thin and malnourished, holding my Arya. A low growl escaped my mouth. He released her immediately. Arya turned around and her eyes were huge. she leaped up, shifted in mid air and hit the ground running. She ran and leapt into my arms. I grinned as she held me tight. I held her close to me and breathed her in. I missed her, but why did she come back? I guess she didn't believe that I was the reason for the ambush. She pulled away from me and I had already forgotten about the other wolf. She noticed my faery friend immediately. She had forgotten the other wolf as well. Good, my wolf snarled.

                  "I'm so glad you're okay, I heard they attacked you, are you alright? Where did he get you?" She asked frantically.

                  "Calm down babe, its alright. Hunter here is the reason I'm not a walking infection right now." I said, kissing her forehead. Hunter gave her a smile and a short bow. She admired him and was looking over his interesting attire.

                   "You're name is Hunter?" She asked. He nodded. "What... are you?"

                  "A Faerie, my dear." He said with another one of his brilliant smiles. She looked at him in awe. "I had a few questions for you, if you will just come with me to my home, we can discuss things in private there," he said. She nodded and we followed him back into the woods.

{Chance}

                 They talked for a minute or two. I didn't bother listening. It was when I finally noticed they fell silent I started to panic. They were gone. Arya, gone. I leapt up, my heartbreak melting away. I had to find her. I pelted through the woods, following her scent. She couldn't have gone far. A million scenarios raced through my head of a million things that could have happened while I wasn't paying attention. Finally though I found them. I shifted and jogged up behind them

                 "Excuse me, I'm her personal guard," I said shyly, keeping my eyes averted. The faerie was the first to turn around.

                 "Well, I assure you she is safe with us. You are dismissed," He said curtly. I opened my mouth to apologize, but then I stopped myself. I walked forward.

                 "I think you misunderstood me." I met his gaze, and I held it. "I am her guard." I said darkly, my voice was probably the loudest its been in years. The faerie shrunk back a little at my assertiveness, but he quickly regained his composure.

                "And a good one at that, alright come on." He smiled. I relaxed and walked up next to Arya, even though she had completely forgotten I was here.

               "So what do you think you're doing getting so close to my girl, huh?" Ethan had grabbed me by the shoulder and shoved me back, his green eyes dark as he blocked her from me. My wolf and I both growled fiercely.

               "If you haven't noticed I am her guard. On top of that I'm the only one who's there for her while her world is falling apart while you're running scared." I stepped towards him. He shoved me back.

               "That a challenge you dirty omega?" He roared. I growled fiercely, every bone in my body preparing to shift when a soft hand pressed against my chest.

               "Guys, please, stop," Arya had stepped in between us. Ethan grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her out of the way at which point I grabbed his wrist. Hard.

               "DO NOT touch her." I growled in a low voice. Barely audible. A light flickered over his eyes but he stepped back. Arya looked shocked, and I was thrilled when she took a step to be close to my shoulder. I gently rested a hand on her shoulder. She flinched. She flinched. A growl rumbled in my chest, but I didn't let it go further. I stepped towards Ethan. "Some ruddy mate you are, I make a better mate than you!" I snarled. Ethan snarled ferociously and just as he was about to lunge for me he stopped. Arya had a hand on his chest and was growling now.

               "I said stop." She growled. Ethan backed off. She turned to Hunter. "I don't think we will make it that far. What do you need," She asked. Hunter cleared his throat.

                "You see, there is a big plan in place for your murder, and Alpha storm has hired a wolf within your pack to bring you to him." Hunter said bluntly. My blood ran cold. Ethan and Arya looked shocked. Hunter's eyes darted to me and they both looked at me, confused.

                "Someone in my pack? But who?" Arya said, turning her attention back to Hunter.

               "Someone who would be by your side at all times to keep an eye on you."

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