Under the Moon

Soul names.

The most valuable to a werewolf's person. The hidden name that is interlocked with the very being of one's self. It is this very name that sets that one individual aside from the masses. This one name shall come forth when you stand before the one, the one true mate. It bares everything within you and a bond stronger than most forms.

Right before all hell breaks loose, Blake finds his one true mate - just to find out that his true mate rejects his soul name, tries to shatter the very bond to dust and run away. What is a fairy tale for most, is a painful nightmare for Blake. But Blake was never one to give up.

Ember stands once again in a situation where running is the only option left. So, she runs. But the matters of the heart are complicated affaires, and Ember finds out just that, when she meets her fated one, her soul mate.

In the mist of the unknown threat it is not just an unexpected mate that needs attention. The werewolf kind has an enemy ready to destroy.


2. Chapter II


Broken bond

Being Alpha male meant a lot of responsibility and Blake did think he had done an okay job so far. He had won the few challenges that had been send his way when he was a fairly new leader back in the days, but with time came respect - or fear. It really all depended on the situation and the state of mind of the one challenging him.

Blake saw himself as a fair but stern alpha, that listened to his pack. This also meant that at the moment he was more than a little restless because his wolf half was agitated… a lot. He thought whether there was a challenger in the area, but something told him that was not it. But it didn’t help his mood. He was ready to snap at the smallest of things and found himself walking around in his study often.

It had been going on for the last week and his agitation had only been growing. Rubbing his hands over his face in resignation, he sighed long and low. Papers were on his desk and taunting him about all the worktime he had wasted on just pacing around. Not only that, it was as if he could hear child-laughter and pup barks everywhere - which was not possible when there only were a few pups in his pack so far, and none of them within hearing distance.

Okay, it’s official - I’m going crazy! he thought rather deflated. Defeated and tired he spread his arms and laid his hands on the desk, putting weight on them and closed his eyes as his head fell forward. Scarcely a minute later a knock could be heard on his door. Not moving Blake simply answered in a low voice.

“Come in if you dare…” It was not a threat, but simply a reference to his sour mood, that his pack already knew about. Most gave him a little space but his betas and guards were not in the position to do so. A chuckle could be heard as the door opened. Blake knew the tone and the scent and did not need to see who walked in.

“I see that your temper hasn’t cooled down yet,” a melodic voice that was not too deep, but still not as light as a woman’s voice, said. Humor was hidden in plain sight in that tone, and it was not wrong to think that that voice was used for laughter more often than not.

“Playing with fire as always, Jet,” Blake simply said.  

“It makes life interesting.”


Jet stood a few meters away from the desk, a respectful distance away from his leader. He cleared his throat a little before continuing in a more concerned tone.

“But really, how are you?” This time Blake looked up into Jet’s eyes and saw only worry. With a little push away from the desk Blake straightened his back, showing his impressive height.

“Seriously? I have no idea. I know I’m more than ready to shift and jump out the window and just run, but for the life of mine, why? I don’t know. I feel suffocated in here…” He let it sink into the silence that followed. Jet looked thoughtful for a moment, but they had already had a similarly conversation, just as Blake had had it with a few others. It was getting repetitive and Blake was more than tired of it.

“And what happens when you shift?” This was a conversation between friends and not alpha and beta, which meant that questions could be a lot more personal than otherwise. Blake turned slightly to look outside the windows behind him.

“Nothing. I just run, sniff, do my thing as alpha, but no matter how far I run, it’s just never far enough. I always feel like I should keep running - it’s like I’m searching for something specific, that I apparently don’t have a clue what is.” Feeling frustrated again, a hand traveled through his dark hair where it rested for a few seconds before falling back at his side.

Jet blinked for a second and tried to connect the dots with the information his alpha and friend had told him. It did sound strange and he knew for a fact that his alpha had never exhibited such behavior before - not in this way anyway.

“Okay, so let’s summarize shall we,” Jet said while pointing one finger up at a time. “One: you feel agitated. Two: it doesn’t help running as a wolf. Three: you have no clue to what this can be... four: Am I missing something?” he said, looking pointedly at Blake who thought for a moment before answering.

“I hear pups…” It was a weird thing to say, really, and Blake knew just that as soon the words were out. Jet looked baffled for a moment.

“Pups?” he asked dubiously. Blake nodded sharply, knowing it sounded crazy. Abruptly Jet’s face changed and a lopsided smile took form. It made Blake wary for whatever crazy thought that had graced Jet’s mind.

“When did you last get some?” he asked, this time with a grin in his voice. A growl rumbled in Blake’s throat as he frowned at Jet. With hands raised in surrender, Jet simply smiled and said, sounding not at all sorry: “Just saying”.

“Right,” Blake grumbled before he took three pieces of paper from his desk to look them over. What he didn’t know were Jet’s much more serious thoughts. Primarily Jet couldn’t stop his grin simply because it seemed like his alpha was finally ready to make a family, but had yet to figure it out himself. Everything in its own time, Jet surmised.

“Was there something specific that you wanted or was annoying me just on your daily agenda?” Just as Blake asked this another knock sounded on the doorframe. Holding in a breath, Blake looked as the door opened to reveal his litter brother, his second beta and the man who was second in command with Jet as third in the pack. The two brothers were as close to Jet that he just as well could have been in their litter.

“Cailean,” acknowledged Blake in a tense voice, simply because matters were getting on his nerves. He was sick and tired of being inside and something was definitely urging him today to get out there and do something, much more than the last couple of days - as if today would be the day; of what he was not certain of.

Cailean stayed by the door, not looking like one to stay for long, which probably wasn’t far from the truth. Blake and Cailean resembled each other in a lot of ways. They both had dark hair, but where Blake had golden eyes, Cailean had gotten their mother’s grey color, and the only difference in height was a few centimeters that Blake had grown in his last juvenile years. Something they only knew because the young boys had been quite competitive with each other about who would be tallest. It was a young boy thing apparently. It was a glorious day for the young Blake that day, who had been the one lagging behind, when he overtook his little brother.   

“I just got a call from Leon,” Cailean said but not much more, and Blake thought on whether his pack just tried to get on his nerves on purpose. They certainly seemed to get a kick out of it. He lifted a brow in a silent question.

“A stray has step into your territory.” It was simple, straightforward, and Blake felt, with all the restlessness build up, how he began to burn inside as his wolf started to snarl in his mind. If his eyes could turn red, they probably would. Nothing of his was to be disrespected, and certainly not from some lone wolf. Though, before he could begin to make battle plans his brother continued and suddenly the tone of his voice changed.

“It is a female wolf, Blake, a lone female wolf, and you know as an unmated alpha you have first claim.” It was a funny thing how the word female could change everything in him. He really must be horny if he just had to hear the word female, and puff, things were alright he thought disgusted. Giving himself an inarticulate reminder to get his head out of the gutter, he concentrated on the information he was given.

“Do we know where she is headed?” he asked.

“I made Leon keep an eye on her, the last news I got was that she was headed towards the south of the city limit.”

“Alright, let’s go. Jet?” Never to miss a party Jet nodded and followed Blake and Cailean out the door. Just as they reached the car Blake addressed Cailean in a serious tone.

“I’m not looking for a mate, and you know it, so don’t spout such nonsense as first claim again.” He only got a funny look from his brother and a short “aye, aye” while Jet kept his grin to himself. 

It was in the car that they got two more calls; one from one of the juveniles who had seen her at Steph’s, and another from the tracker, Leon, who told where she was headed; Manson’s motel.

A cheap rundown place that against all odds was still up and running. They knew the shortcuts around the city so it didn’t take them long before they saw the motel with its queer colors and what to be known as a faulty illuminated sign that would be turned on as twilight fell. The tracker had seen the female wolf get into room twenty-three, but not that they had needed to know the number for as soon as they exited from the SUV Blake had been driving, they could smell her on the air, and something turned inside Blake.

His wolf stilled before he became so agitated that Blake could barely hold his wolf-side back from taking over. A pull stronger than ever had a hold of him, and with tunnel vision he paced straight towards the door of twenty-three. He was almost knocking the door off its hinges with the first knock, much to the glee of Jet.

“Easy there tiger,” the beta snickered, but with a warning glance from Blake he quickly understood and closed his mouth. On the third knock Blakes wolf was whining and growling - being no longer able to control the burst of overwhelming pressure from unknown sources within, he kicked the door open.

The room smelled of her. And what a scent, it was almost enchanting. The need to find this female was pressing in on him with a hand of steel. He had expected her to stand in the room, probably nervous and ready to bolt, from what he could detect from her smell. But the room was empty, much to the lamentation of his wolfish nature. The two others were barely in his mind as they walked inside and looked around. Jet was the first to approach the window which had not been closed probably, and it didn’t take long before two and two was put together.

Having been together for so many years, Blake didn’t need to give out a command to Jet about what he needed to do. Being that much bigger than any female, Jet had quite the trouble getting out, but by breaking the frame of the window, he managed it. Soon, a breeze came in through the broken window, it gave Blake a good potion of the fresh smell of the female. He could almost taste citrus and green apple with a touch of cinnamon. She could have turned wolf and run through the foliage behind the motel, but no clothes lay scattered and he would have been able to see her from here. Something wasn’t right.

A single exchanged look with Cailean told him the same. As the gears turned in his head, he knew. Dammit he knew. Before Cailean could ask, Blake was already running out the door, and there, a female with red hair and legs working out a sprint, he saw her.

Everything went fast after that.

It was when he finally stood face to face with the intruder of his territory that he understood why his wolf had been so restless lately and more so that day. Her deep blue eyes drew him in and he soon found himself speechless.

The sensation was something that he had never felt before. His whole being warmed from within and suddenly he knew that he had never taken a proper breath before now. His lungs filled with air so light and fresh that whatever he had breathed before must have been smoke. Nothing was impossible; he would be able to run for miles and miles without being exhausted. His muscles were ever so ready, never tiring and never had they been stronger. A thought that was more like a wind in his mind, filling and spreading, told him why; so he could protect this very precious being before him.

His mate.

His one true mate.

While it had been a shock to say the least, that the unfamiliar wolf that had roamed into his territory happened to be his mate, his wolf-side rejoiced in the discovery. Howling in joy and growling in delight. He could as good as taste her soul name forming on his tongue, and he knew that nothing would sound just as right or promising.

But a broken promise it was, for no sooner an intense pain and desolation penetrated his whole being. What had been, vanished and all strength left him as he saw into the blue eyes before him and understood…

She was trying to break free from this blessed meeting.

Fright and rejection stood crystal clear in her eyes. It was heartrending. The warm threads that had been trying to join them together was close to severed and her soul name, unfulfilled, left with a bleak fade on his taste buds.

So close to let a whine escape from his lips, he crushed his teeth hard together. He felt weak, so pathetically weak that just trying and denying her retreat whilst gripping her arms was almost enough to make him fall to his knees. He felt the threads break and he had to take a sharp intake when he felt the cold harsh truth.

His mate was rejecting him and he felt absolutely helpless as it happened.

It was in that moment he felt her slip away, leaving his arms, leaving him and it woke his wolf from the slumber of disheartenment. Never being one to chase after females he threw caution to the wind and ran with everything he had, closing his ears to his betas’ calls. This was his mate, and he was not giving up without a fight. He caught up to her in less than five strides and she was back to where she belonged, in his arms. If he had been guided by his thoughts and not his instincts that desperately demanded his mate, he would very much had thought himself a brute and vulgar in the way he held her captured. His wolf thought it only fair. Dominance rang through, but his human side cried out at the inequality of the situation. She fought hard and breathless against him, probably already knowing it was pointless.

She screamed, kicked and tried everything in the book of dirty tricks, but he held her steady. Instinct took over, and without much thought he sought out her lips to silence and calm her down. Why, he had no clue, a touch of insanity perhaps, but it helped… a little. She froze as she realized what was happening, but only for a moment before she with a brute force got control of her arms, and held both of her hands against his mouth.

“What the hell do you think you are doing?” she snarled at him while locking their eyes, and if she had been in her wolf form, her hackles would probably have been raised. She had spirit and it pleased him to no end, but in this situation, it would have been better if not quite as much he had to admit. Jerking her hands away from his mouth he took ahold of her upper arms and steadied her.

“Why? Why do you fight against what is a joyous situation?” he could not help but ask. He felt the bond yet again try to reach out to her, it connected but it was a fight for a hold, as she still tried to close herself off from him.

“I don’t want a mate!” she all but screamed at him. She could just as well have struck him across the face.

“Do you even know what you are saying?” He felt his rapid breathing burn his throat, just as much as he felt his eyes burning into hers, which were steadily filling with anger along with pain. For pain followed the broken pieces of the bond. She knew what she was saying though, he could see it in her depths, and it almost made him let go of her - until he felt it click.

Whatever she had done to hold him at bay vanished as the bond took hold, and he felt warmth yet again, alongside emotions from her. Almost overwhelming for a second. Disbelief and panic marked her and it saddened him. Like second nature he knew though that the bond was still very fragile because of the fight, and needed time to join probably, and this time no soul name came at the tip of his tongue.

Fight left her completely, and he felt it only proper to let her go. She stood still not really looking at him. His wolf was perplexed about what they had gone through. He had gotten his mate but at what price. Blake didn’t know if he should apologize or not. Half of his awareness was upon the two arrivals that was Cailean and Jet. He had completely forgotten about them in the midst of this mess.

He could feel if not smell their unease. Well, he was right along with them. On one hand he was grateful that they had his back but on the other hand he wanted them as far away from his new mate as possible. Their bond was not completed, and neither was the mating, this was just phase one, and that made their bond vulnerable still.

“At least tell me your name,” he asked, since he didn’t yet know, which kind of made the whole situation more ridiculous. Finding one’s mate and bonding not even knowing each other’s names, well, that was a sight for the Gods he thought. Her eyes were for a moment a sharp glare, like she had had the very same thought.

“Ember,” she answered in a low voice. And she definitely felt the whole situation as a big fat joke. She began to rub her arms, finally feeling the chill in the air that late winter possessed. She could not believe what had just happened. She had fought with tooth and nail to get away, yet something told her even if he had not run after her, the bond would have been made anyway. And that just pissed her off more.

He looked pleased through when she told her name, as though he had been afraid she would not even grace him with that. Well, she had pretty much turned down sharing her soul name with him, and somehow that made her feel hollow in a way she did not want to think about. The other two werewolves had joined them, but cautiously, no wonder with what they had witnessed and with an alpha male getting a mate, he was bound to be protective and hostile towards other males. Especially when the mating was this new and not yet consummated.

What a mess. A big fat mess that she could not see a happy ending to. Then and there she promised herself that she was going to find a solution to this. She was no mate. That she was certain of. Her wolf on the other hand was in bliss. It was such a conflicted state to be in, one part of you angry and scared and the other could not be happier. What a way to get disoriented and tired, for that was what she was.  

She looked him over once again. It wasn’t that he wasn’t pleasing to look at, because he was, no doubt, but that was not a good enough reason to mate with someone. He could have a horrible personality and she would be stuck with him for the rest of her life. She had almost ended up in that situation before, and she was not pleased that that might be her fate anyway.  

She had been in her own mind but was abruptly pulled back when she felt something getting wrapped around her. She turned her eyes up and found that the guy, her apparent mate, had given her his jacket - having noticed that she felt chilled. Well, that was nice, she had to admit. He had a little unsure smile on his face. Being alpha, he was probably not used to not knowing what leg to stand on, and now his little new mate had pulled the rug from underneath him.

“So, I gave you mine, what about yours?” she asked. He looked confused for a moment until she clarified what she meant.   

“Your name, stud.” He seemed a little surprised by the nickname but got over it fairly quickly.

“Blake, my name is Blake Macbay, and this is my brother Cailean, my beta and this is Jet, my second beta.” He turned half around and pointed to each of them. They nodded and smiled back a little uncertain. She only nodded at each introduction and thought it was kind of peculiar that he had two betas, but she wasn’t going to comment.

 He turned to her again, took a step closer which made her tense a bit up, not knowing what he had in mind, but having a little bit of a connection to him by their bond, she knew she was not in danger, nevertheless he was still a stranger and their situation was weird all over. He took hold of both of her hands and, seeking her eyes, he spoke in a soft voice.

“I know that you would probably rather be free, but I am going to take you back to my pack now, and we will figure things out there. Alright?” She could have torn her hands free, snapped at him, anything to make him leave her alone, but the warmth that came from his touch was calming and she was tired, so very tired from being on edge the whole day, which turned out to be pointless, since she ended up in the very situation she didn’t want to - but who would have thought that her true mate would be here? She looked at their hands and a small thought how her hands in his looked just right swirled around in her subconscious. Not that she was going to pay it any mind, mind you.

He gave her a small squeeze when she didn’t react. The blue eyes looked up and found his golden ones, and she found herself nodding. Not having anything more to give, she gave in. His smile was beaming and she thought she was in trouble. Big trouble.

They collected her things and Jet was made to drive her car. Ember sat in the back seat of Blake’s SUV, while he drove and Cailean sat beside him. Turning to the window, lying her forehead against the glass, she looked as the surroundings pass by her in a blur. Her eyes were half lidded as sleep was sneaking upon her. She bent her head a little and took a look at her now supposed mate and his beta.

Definitely brothers, she absentminded reckoned. They looked a lot alike, though she would be able to know the difference. Cailean had something to his eyes that made him seem like a rock in a stormy ocean, you always knew where you had him, but not meaning that there wasn’t a fire underneath. Just take a look at his brother, Blake, his golden eyes were almost burning when he saw her.

Her mind began to play with his name, as if it couldn’t let it go.

Blake huh, hmm, not bad. Blake, cake, heartache, remake, wedding cake. Rhymes huh, well what do you know, Blake Macbay…

It was like her inner wolf was growling in a steady rhythm that vibrated in her chest. Calm wrapped around her like a blanket. She hadn’t tried that before, she thought. Her eyes glanced a last time at Blake. No matter what he said she knew she wanted to be free, and why that was, she was not going to acknowledge it. Especially to herself.

It didn’t surprise Ember that the den of the pack was located outside of the city, and near the forest, that graced the outer limit. But she now knew why they could have been that fast to reach her motel, since the motel lay closer to the forest and by knowing all the shortcuts. Kind of unfair that was.

She followed the trees with her eyes as they drove past and slowly but surely the greenery began to grow denser. She knew that soon she would meet his pack and then her fate would be decided. It sent a shiver down her back. She certainly didn’t feel ready to meet a whole unknown pack. A pack was a closed unit and she, as a stranger, was not necessarily welcomed by the others - even if she was their alpha’s true mate.

The SUV was shaking along the road that was no longer of asphalt - it made Ember take her head from the glass but not her glance. That was until she felt like somebody was looking rather intensely at her. Searching for the source she found Blake’s gaze on her through the rearview mirror. She held it for a time before he needed to focus on the road again.

It didn’t take long from there before she saw them arrive at a valley. Cottages graced the area, and the further they went into the valley, the closer the cottages stood to each other, but still with a lot of space for gardens and what seemed like a common playground. There were no fences around the grounds; werewolves knew when their territory stopped and another started. Of course, the whole region had one single owner and that was the alpha, but the human part of them needed something that they could call theirs, the same with the more opinionated males, so this was one way to do it and keep everyone from each other’s throats and not get daily challengers.

A few snowmen stood by the side of the small road and winked to whoever came past. So Ember knew that this pack was graced by pups. She also noticed that those who were out and about stopped with whatever they were doing and waved hello or gave respected nods when they saw Blake. Their actions spoke louder than words. Blake was well loved, that she could see. While she was not happy by the situation she was in, she could appreciate the peace that filled this den. Some saw Ember and got big eyes. Talk would soon be all over this little community, that she didn’t doubt.

As they got closer and closer to what seemed to be a big hill that had mountains in the horizon, she saw what she undoubtedly believed to be the alpha’s den. It was that much bigger and placed on the hill, able to overlook the whole area. Instinctively she knew it was big because it had to be able to hold the whole pack at meetings and other gatherings. That was the way she was used to anyway.

The cars barely parked before somebody was already out the front door of the main house and meeting them. An older woman, by the looks of it. Her hair was neat and in a braid. Her dark hair had greying streaks, the flow almost like veins in marble. Her expression was stern and her eyes light grey. Ember had hardly left the car and already it reeked of alphas, because the lady before her was definitely an alpha. But for her to have greying streaks and the touch of age, she had to be quite old, since the lifespan of a werewolf could easily be trice that of the average human being, it just rarely happened in a world where violence was most of the time a way to settle rogues or the fight for the scarce females was everlasting, and so on.

The door was opened for her and Ember could not help but feel a bit irritated by it.

I’m not helpless… a door should not be that hard to open.

She didn’t say anything though, and just jumped out of the car. The intense stare from the woman was instant - as Ember knew it would be. Still, Ember kept her peace and stood with an air of indifference. No matter how short a time she stayed, she needed to show that she was not a pushover or one to get pressed by others - most of the time. She needed to establish her claim of right and rank, and the battle had already begun the moment she got into that car.

Jet had parked besides Blake and he took a position beside Ember. She didn’t know if it was because he tried to give her some sort of support or not, but either way, Ember didn’t think too much about it. In one hand he had her backpack and she eyed it up. Deciding that she would much rather carry her own stuff, she asked for it by holding out her hand and indicated towards her things. But he just simply smiled and kept holding onto them. And if it wasn’t because it would seem weird to break into whistling, he would probably had done it and looked clueless towards the sky in the wonder of what she meant.


 “Mother.” Blake’s voice broke through Ember’s annoyance. She eyed the little family greet each other in warmth.

“My boys,” their mother said with in an approving voice as she opened her arms to take each of them in a hug. It kind of contradicted with her appearance - being so warm that was. She smiled at her boys and then simply and elegantly ignored Ember completely, and looked at Jet. If it wasn’t because Ember was not one to lose face often, she would probably have dropped her jaw by surprised.

“Mrs. Macbay,” Jet greeted the approaching woman, who embraced him. Her otherwise warm features turned stern, when she heard how he addressed her.

“How many times must I tell you to just call me by my given name?” He simply shrugged with a sheepish smile. It didn’t quite fit his person, Ember thoughtfully noticed. Then it was Ember’s turn. Ember felt how her back automatically got straighter as Mrs. Macbay locked her eyes on her.

“And who, pray tell, are you?” It wasn’t that her tone had gone cold per say, but it certainly wasn’t a warm and welcoming voice. Ember was just about to answer when Blake stepped in. Ember’s glare was not to be mistaken when he introduced her.

“Mother, this is Ember. She is my mate.” A gasp sounded briefly from the older woman.

“I am not your mate!” Ember interrupted before anymore could be said. A fast turn and the former alpha female of the park turned to her son.

“What does that mean?” she asked rather perplexed, but also in a certain scary tone that Ember really did not want directed at her. Blake send an admonishing glare at Ember, before trying to calm his mother down.

“She is mother, she is my true mate.” That was a truthfully statement that Ember could not deny. His mother sudden radiating of surprise but also delight, kind of alarmed Ember. Her slender hands pressed against her cheeks and Ember got the impression of a little girl. But she did not scream or jump in joy. She kept her dignity. Ember felt she completely lost the upper hand of the situation.

“Excuse me, but I am not your son’s mate. Blake, I am not your mate and I told you this when we met!” She tried going for a polite but firm tone of voice, but felt how panic spread through her. This was not going her way, at all.

“I don’t understand,” his mother said, while looking between the two in question, before resting her gaze on Ember. “You should both know that you are mates if you have experienced the recognition. I mean, knowing each other soul names is not something that happens without you not knowing it!” Feeling very much on the spot Ember tried to say something but found herself opening and closing her mouth like a fish out of water. Without thinking she locked eyes with Blake, but in the next instant she wished she hadn’t.

The broken and dimmed light in his eyes almost made her legs give in. Breathless by the pain in him, which she could feel in vague waves inside her, through their connection, she began to try and make a safe route of the deep water she had placed herself in. The atmosphere was tense and crackling around them and Ember found herself for once completely lost for words.

“Please, somebody explain to me what has happened,” the old female said while alternating looks between the two of them.

“I will talk to you later, mother. Ember, follow me, let me show you where you are going to stay,” Blake simply said, in a tone very much close to dead. His mother looked shaken by the tone. Blake didn’t wait though and began to walk towards the front door, leaving his mother and betas behind. Ember excused herself in a very small voice and followed.

“By the name of Fenris, what has happened!” Mrs. Macbay asked the two betas who stood on each side of her and watch the departing mates that had yet to happen, in distress. They knew that their alpha hurt and there was nothing they could do about it.  

“It’s going to be okay, mother,” Cailean tried to reassure his mother, though it was hard when he himself didn’t know if it really would.

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