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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5. Chapter 5

           I stood there, frozen solid. I avoided eye contact with Arya. I didn't need to look at her to know the look that must be spreading across her face. Ethan shifted and pelted over towards me, snarling. I shifted quickly and was soon pinned down by the larger wolf. His bared teeth inches from my face. I didn't dare meet his gaze.

            "Well?" he demanded. "Is it true?" My ears flattened against my head a little more, but I said nothing. What is there to say?

             "I... she wasn't what I expected," I managed to barely whine. He snapped his teeth so close I felt my fur be tugged gently, a few hairs came out in his teeth but he ignored it.

             "Yeah she has that remarkable ability doesn't she?" He growled darkly. His paw came up to step on my throat. I felt my airway slowly begin to be constricted. "Why are you working with my father?"

               "He... made me an... offer..." I gasped. His paw became heavier.

              "What? He would accept you into his pack with open arms? Make you Beta and remove your status of Omega?" He snarled. "He would never do that. He isn't that kind. He probably just offered to clear your status. Of course he would kill you once you brought him Arya," I knew this. I knew this now. I already knew he was hunting for me since I sent the message back to him.

                "Ethan, keep your guard up, there could be an ambush at any moment," Hunter warned, his eyes scanning the area around us. Arya had still remained silent, her eyes empty, watching me.

                "I hope you regret this, you flea bag." Ethan snarled, pushing off my throat and walking back to Arya's side. She shifted and just sat down. Ethan tried to nuzzle her but she shrugged him off. Then she got up and walked a few steps away, turning her back to him. I rolled onto my belly, coughing. My throat was sore. I deserved it. Go to her, I told you to tell her the truth the moment you found out. I hate it when my wolf is right. I slowly got up, ears flat, tail tucked, and crawled over to Arya. Ethan perked his ears and snarled. I stopped a couple feed away from her and lay down, partially exposing my belly to her, my nose resting on my front paws.

                 "No one is going to ambush you." I whined. Her ear flicked in my direction, but that was all I got. "They're hunting me now,"

                 "Hopefully they rip you limb from limb when they find you," Ethan snarled. I ignored him. I was focused on Arya. She said nothing. I sighed and got back to my paws, still low to the ground.

                 "They know nothing. The moment I realized my mistake I withheld everything and told them I was leaving the mission. Arya is safe with you Ethan. Take care of her," I whimpered and I scurried off. I saw out of the corner of my eye Arya turned to watch me leave, her ears drooping slightly. From the bushes I disappeared into I could see Ethan walk over to her and rest his muzzle between her ears. She leaned into him. Hunter kept his eyes on where I was hidden. He narrowed them and made a 'shoo' motion towards me. He was the only one who knew I was still here. I took one last look at her, and then turned to leave. I would let her go, I could be of no help to her now. She's his mate, not mine. It's just my mind.

{Arya}

                 I just sat there and let Ethan comfort me. Something didn't feel right. Something was very wrong. I couldn't put my finger on what though.

               "You're much better off with me, don't worry, I'll take care of you." He said warmly. It had no effect on me. Not now. I turned to Hunter.

                "And what role do you play in this whole thing." I said dryly. He smiled at me.

                "There is more than just werewolves going on here, there is some faerie magick at work here." He said dryly as he came over and ran a hand over my head and scratched behind my ears. It felt nice. I found myself leaning into his hand. He smiled and ruffled my fur. "Dark faeries are assisting the Storm pack, but for what purpose, I have no clue. This is definitely something to be concerned about though." Ethan's eyes narrowed as his ears perked up. He nudged Hunter's hand away from me.

                 "And what are these dark Faeries capable of?" He growled.

                 "Anything, that's the fun part. We have to get somewhere safe. To my home, shall we?" He said, a warm smile dancing in his eyes. He turned and continued walking. Ethan reluctantly followed. I cast a long glance back at where Chance had disappeared. It hurt a little to know that was the last time I would see him. If Jake found him, he would shred him for abandoning me, if the Storm pack found him, they would kill him for betraying them and alerting me to their plan.

                    "Good luck, Chance," I whispered softly. I got up and followed the boys, my head hung low, my tail tip dragging the ground.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                     "This is... Beautiful," I gasped as I looked up at the stained glass high up in the grand old tree Hunter called his home. Light filtered through the tree's leaves to hit the glass, forming a flickering mirage of colors to scatter throughout the room. Little gems and items floated around the air, reflecting the colorful pale light. Bright green veins flowed through the walls of the tree. They glowed with a gentle magick. On one portion of the wall there was nothing but books placed lovingly on shelves carved into the wall. An elegant circular silver and mint green rug was the centerpiece in this round room. It needed nothing else, it was beautiful the way it was. Hunter walked over to his bookshelf and with a flourish of his hand, a glimpse of a silver shimmer billowed from his palm. A book floated down from the higher shelves and came to rest in his outstretched palm. He opened it and flipped to the page he was looking for. A tiny sprite fluttered over to perch herself on his shoulder. He payed no mind to the little golden orb and continued reading. I ran my fingers over the wall, I felt the pulse flowing through the veins, a gentle throbbing that was just barely detected by my fingertips. Ethan strode up behind Hunter to peer over his shoulder at the book, his hands in his pockets. His eyes narrowed when he looked down at the writing.

                   "I suppose that is your language." He said, his voice emotionless. Hunter nodded silently. Lost in his book, he began to slowly pace the room. I did the same. Chance would love this, I caught myself thinking of him again. I shook my head. I needed to stop this. Chance is gone. I should have never treated him like I did. I should have just ignored him like everyone else. That would have made him remain your enemy. My wolf whispered to me. Even though she was just a few steps away from our mate, my wolf remained sullen. Why are you so down? We have Ethan back! I said, trying to cheer her up. No. I need to find Chance.  She turned away. What was her desire for Chance? Sure I found myself attracted to him, but he wasn't my mate. We didn't have that connection like Ethan and I had. I knew Ethan was right. Is he? my wolf whispered back to me. I furrowed my brow and a chair grew out of roots just behind me. I smiled halfheartedly and sat down. I buried my face in my hands. A small vine crawled up the chair and rested against my leg. The tree was trying to support me.

                   "Thank you, but it isn't helping," I whispered, lightly running my fingertips over the armrest. I felt the roots shiver. An empty laugh passed across my lips. Trees are strange. I felt a warm hand touch my shoulder. Ethan stood beside me. I didn't look up at him, I just lifted my head and stared blankly ahead.

                  "What's wrong, love?" He whined, lightly stroking my cheek with his finger. How do I explain? 

                  "Why did you leave," Those were the first words I could think to say. I heard him heave a deep sigh. 

                  "I thought I was the reason they found you, now I am more inclined to believe it was that rat giving away our location." He said softly. I tensed up at his mention of Chance.

                   "He has a name." I snapped. "His name is Chance. Not like he's ever been given one." I said dryly. Hunter turned around and snapped his book shut.

                  "Oh but that isn't true, my petal," Hunter said, a smile creeping across his face. "You are the only one who ever gave him a chance, and that may have just saved your life." The book rose from his hand to be placed back on the shelf neatly. He strode over to us, an ebony wand forming in his hand. "The way I see it, he was born into the class of 'omega.' He probably gave himself that name, since I have not heard of the omega ever being given a true name. Being looked down upon by every wolf in the pack since a pup is a very tough road for any wolf to have to endure. Most of them go rogue to be replaced by the next wolf above them. An older wolf more conditioned to the pack typically would have an easier time of accepting their role, since they would be older and would understand the importance of a structure, of a hierarchy..." Hunter paused in his pacing to think.

                   "He thought it was my fault, he wanted my family and I dead, so that Alpha Storm would grant him a higher position in a pack he thought would respect him," I finished for him. Hunter whipped around and pointed in my direction, winking.

                   "Exactly my dear. Now, he expected you to treat him the worst he's been treated, since you are the last of the Swift blood. He was probably shocked by your kind and accepting nature and decided to abandon the plan," Hunter's thin eyebrows came together as he thought. "The only problem is males do not behave that way. The only reason his greed would have been replaced for sympathy would be if he found himself to be..." Hunter stopped talking. He looked over his shoulder at me and then Ethan. His eyes narrowed.

                    "Yeah? If he were what?" Ethan was growing impatient.

                   "How did you two discover you were, as you say, 'mates?'" Hunter asked slowly. Ethan and I gave each other a confused look.

                   "We met, and we had the instant connection, you just know when you've met your mate, its a bond that instantly forms. It is quite unmistakable. If you're about to tell me we aren't mates, you're wrong, because I'm certain she is my mate." Ethan said defensively, his hand tightening on my shoulder. My mind was racing with all this new information. It was all starting to fall into place.

                   "You are certain. Arya, are you?" Hunter turned his attention on me. I blinked a few times. 

                  "Me? O-of course, why wouldn't I be?" Was it the truth? Of course. We had the connection, we shared the bond... Because of Chance, my wolf whimpered. Hunter saw the confused look cross over my face. Ethan noticed as well.

                   "Arya?" Ethan asked, stepping away from me. "Are you sure?"

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