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.


9. Chapter 9

            I marched on, heading deeper into the territory. I kept my ears alert in case someone saw me. I tried my best to take any cover I could, and hope no one picked up on my scent. I realized too soon I had lost my mate's scent. Did I pass where he died? When did I stop paying attention? I cursed myself and sat quiet for a minute, hiding in the shade of a small bush. I took a deep breath. Okay, so I have made it this far. Should I turn back or keep going? My mate came here for a reason. I had to keep going. My ears flattened against my head with discomfort. I didn't like it here. I crept out from behind the bush and soon caught the strong scent of crisscrossing trails. Many wolves were active in this area. I soon came to a small little village like place. Wooden cottages all built close to each other, none of them were in very good shape, every one of them in some stage of decay. My ears pricked up suddenly. I heard a voice.

           "Bring him to me!" A voice roared. I crept behind the side of one of the cottages and peered around, my dark pelt blending into the shadows. A tall broad man stood, his arms crossed over his chest. Stringy black hair framed his angular face. This dark brows furrowed over steel grey eyes. He had a salt and pepper beard cut short to his face. Two braids fell on either side of his face. He wore a black t-shirt that was barely containing his well built body. Rough blue jeans held up by a black alligator-leather belt fell from his hips, the tips of black boots peeked out from under his pants hem. He looked about fifty years old. He had a menacing scowl on his face. No one met his gaze. A small group of people stood before him. They all looked thin and scared. Many of them had varying signs of abuse. Cuts down arms, bruises on their wrists, a couple of men had black eyes. Mothers stood clutching their young pups to their chests, one baby crying feebly. What really drew my attention was two men, strong and well built, but still not as well fed or groomed as the man who was clearly the Alpha, dragged a young man through the crowd and threw him at his feet. I heard him groan. He lifted himself up to look up at the Alpha. His short jet-black hair and his strong build held an uncanny resemblance to the man.

          "What is the meaning of this father!" He growled weakly as he tried to bring himself to his feet. The man reared back and caught him in the jaw, bringing him back to the ground. A couple of men chuckled. 

         "I should ask you that Ethan!" The man bellowed. My heart skipped a beat. Ethan...? Where did I know that name. "Where is your mate?" He snarled. I tilted my head in confusion. Mate?

         "I don't know, we were ambushed by a Swift pack patrol, they knocked her out and then I lost consciousness. I woke up bound by my wrists and ankles. They dragged me to the border and then your patrol found me." Ethan snarled. "What is your plan! What do you want with Arya!" Now he really had my attention. Arya was his mate's name, and she was still in this Swift Pack. I needed to find her next.

         "Why have you not completed your mating with her yet?" The alpha demanded. Ethan shook his head.

         "I never had time, besides I am not her only mate," Ethan snarled lowly, his voice sounding hurt. A look of confusion and shock spread over the alphas face. He picked Ethan up by the collar and bared his teeth, from here I could tell his canines were extended in rage.

         "What is this foolishness!" He threw Ethan to the ground. I heard him groan in pain. This poor guy was battered and bruised and his own father was throwing him around like a rag doll. I felt rage boil in the pit of my stomach. I found myself baring my teeth. "You cannot have two mates! You are her mate and you let her go!" The alpha snarled. "Do you think she will come looking for you?"

        "I hope she doesn't, I don't want her anywhere near here!" Ethan shouted. A dark look passed across his eyes.

         "This is your pack, you are the next in line for Alpha, you have a responsibility to bring her and complete the ceremony here," The alpha's tone was terrifyingly calm. A chill went down my spine. I saw Ethan finally manage to stumble to his feet. He pulled his shoulders back and met his fathers glare with ferocity.

         "She is the next in line as Alpha Female for her own pack, the choice is up to her, not you," Ethan growled. I saw the Alpha's mouth twitch. His grey eyes continued to grow darker. I was worried I would soon witness a fight between two fully grown males competing for Alpha. I stepped forward when a sudden creak made me jump. I had stepped on an old dry-rotted board, my paw fell through and the board cracked loudly as it splintered. My heart leapt into my throat. I saw everyone's eyes turn towards me. I frantically fought with the board, trying to wrench my paw free, but the more I pulled, the more the splintered wood dug into my soft skin. I looked up to see Ethan's eyes widen with terror. Next thing I knew he shifted and was pelting towards me despite his injuries. His father was hot on his tail.

         "Hang on!" He barked at me. I panicked even more, the pain was unbelievable as I tried to just drag the board with me. I stumbled and tripped, falling to the ground. Ethan slid up beside me and began frantically clawing at the wood, trying to set me free. "Shift, shift now!" He growled. I stared at him in horror, frozen with fear. His father tackled him out of the way and the two guards were quick to restrain Ethan.

          "Well, what do we have here, so glad I you found your way alright, Arya," He sneered. I trembled before him. "Shift, my dear," he purred silkily as he shifted back into his human form. Without thinking I obeyed. My pajamas were shredded and they hung from my body, just barely enough to cover me. With my free hand I covered my chest as I slipped my hand out of the board. Deep cuts were covering my arm. The alpha grabbed me by my injured arm and pulled me to my feet. I saw Ethan had shifted and was desperately struggling to get to me. "Myriad, I need your assistance," He said with a warm smile. I looked in terror at a woman who walked from the crowd. She was gorgeous as she walked towards me, her hips swaying as she walked. She wore a long black dress, dark as the night sky and appeared to have purple mist clinging to the fabric. Her eyes were a piercing silver and her long hair was no different. She smiled at me, her dark purple lips drawing my attention.

         "She has forgotten everything, Alpha Storm," She said calmly. Her voice had a strange relaxing effect on me as I found myself captivated by her. "This will make things much easier for me. Hello dear, do you know who you are?" She purred.

        "No," I barely whispered. She smirked.

       "You are Arya Swift, heir to the Alpha bloodline of the Swift pack, and mate to Ethan Storm, the heir to the Storm bloodline. You were ambushed by the Swift pack when you came with Ethan here to finish your mating ceremony, and thus blend the two packs together under Ethan's command. Are you following me so far?" Her voice was so warm, I couldn't help but slowly nod my head. I could hear Ethan trying to yell out to me, but the guards were silencing him. He was my mate, he wasn't dead. Why didn't he have the scent I followed here? Who did that trail belong to? Why did it lead me here? As my mind raced, I found myself suddenly not believing her. I saw her mouth form a frown as she probably could tell I was regaining control.

       "Do you not believe me dear?" She purred. Any questions in my head flew away as I once more found myself nodding. How could I be so stupid? That made sense. I looked at Ethan. He was shaking his head at me frantically from were a guard had his hand clamped over my mouth. I... No she was right. She turned to Ethan and met his gaze. He tried his best to avoid it, but soon he went limp in the guards hold. They carried him away to a nicer building that wasn't in ruins.

        "Come with us, Arya, and we will get you cleaned up and ready for the ceremony," Alpha storm said warmly, placing a hand on my shoulder. Looking from Myriad to Alpha, I just nodded and followed them. I trusted them, they were the only information I had. 

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