Everything hurts—Quite literally.
My body aches from the weight of my own emotions, pressing down on me until the claustrophobia hits. The air turns thick and stagnant in my lungs.
There were moments when I had convinced myself I had some semblance of control. I was now beginning to realize, I never had control. The illusion of control kept me sane for so long, and it’s absence was tearing me apart.
i shuffled through the thundering club, keeping my eyes glued to Breyona.
I refused to look at the dancing couples–Refused to acknowledge the smell of lut and sx in the air. It was all too painful, resurfacing images I had spent a year trying to forget.
I refused to look back at Lola—Ignoring the insane urge that always came over me when she was around.
Lola—A little bundle of fire and spice, but her heart was still pure.
She hadn’t known it at the time; but the first time we trained together, my heart was hers.
I never expected to feel that particular emotion again, convinced it was gone from my heart for good.
My wolf tried to convince me, tried to make me see reason but soon he too was swept away. What chance could we have when two other men already craved her heart?
She was not our mate, her mate was out in the world somewhere. What right did I have to take that from her? Could I truly expect her to pick me?
Nonetheless, I couldn’t continue ignoring how I felt. Lola had been the first one to grab my heart after what happened last year.
We had moved from the pack a year ago. My Grandfather on my mother’s side became ill. He was an old man, so his condition wasn’t surprising.
I know it sounds harsh; but my Grandfather wasn’t a good man. He spent his life molding my Mom into a submissive she-wolf, beating any form of disobedience from her. Maybe that was why I fell for Lola, her strong will remained unbroken even with everything life threw at her.
I could only stand idle while my Mom cared for the man that caused her years of trauma and pain. The sight was sickening, driving me from the house at every chance I had.
We lived in a small shack, right on the outskirts of the city. This gave me ample opportunities to go out and find something to do.
For the time being, I found myself a job. It wasn’t anything flashy, just a simple job at a family owned sandwich shop. This got me out of the house, and gave me some spare money. My Grandfather had a hefty will, leaving everything he owned to my Mom. She was numb with shock for hours after hearing the news.
I suppose somewhere in his sick and twisted heart, a part of him loved his daughter.
Months had passed, my Grandfather continued clinging to life. A stubborn man for the entirety of his life, of course he would fight death.
My Dad was much like myself, fighting the urge to end my Grandfather’s life at every chance. Dad couldn’t stand the pain he caused his mate, but my Mom insisted.
She didn’t want him murdered. After all, what satisfaction could be gained from killing a man already on deaths door?
Dad complied, and somehow found the strength to be in the same room as the man.
Grandfather caused no issues while we lived with him. I think he knew my Dad would end his life if he so much stepped out of line.
It was just another day leaving Dev’s Deli. My shift ended late into the night, but I didn’t mind. Night had always been peaceful to me, clearing my head with the crisp breezes that drifted by.
I had turned eighteen three days ago, accepting the crudely made birthday cake from my Mom with a goofy smile. Mom had never been good at cooking; that was something my Dad enjoyed.
On my seventh birthday I insisted Mom make my cake. Year after year, I watched my Mom’s face light up as my Dad made my birthday cakes. Her eyes would trail over every step he went through, asking questions along the way.
Her birthday cakes were a horrible replica of my Dad’s, but I didn’t have the heart to make her stop. Each year I’d eat my full of cake, telling her it was even better than Dad’s. He knew of course, but couldn’t stand to see his mate unhappy. The two of us protected my Mom in every way we could, making up for the worst years of her life.
I had left Dev’s Deli, taking deep breaths of the crisp night air when a smell hit me. It was mingled with the smell of smoked meat and freshly baked bread from the Deli. The scent of daisy’s and cotton swirled around my mind, my head turning in the direction of the scent.
I turned down the road, any thoughts of walking home were long forgotten. The delicious smell grew stronger as I turned the corner and continued down the road.
“Come on sweetheart.” A gruff voice chuckled lowly, “Just a little taste.”
“f**k off, Steph.” A rich voice snapped, fear absent in her tone. “You know I don’t answer to no one else.”
My wolf surged, forcing me into a run as I turned the corner into the alley way.
A girl was pushed against the brick wall of the alley way, her face contorted into a glare as she looked up at the man before her.
The man looked amused, his eyes glinting as he stared the little female down.
“Steph, I’m gonna f**k you up if you don’t back off.” The woman snapped.
“You can’t f**k anyone up.” The gruff man chuckled, “You still need Felix to fight all yer’ battles.”
“Come next week you’ll see.” The woman spat.
The entire exchange was weird. It seemed like the two knew eachother, hated yet tolerated one another.
“She said back off.” My wolf spoke through me before I had the chance to react.
Their heads whipped in my direction. It was too late to change my course of action; my fate was already decided.
“Mate.” My wolf cried out at the woman against the wall, clawing at the walls of my mind.
The man backed off from the woman, turning his deadly gaze onto me.
A low growl escaped my lips, the mans eyes widened in response.
I expected a fight; some form of confrontation from the man but nothing happened.
He turned to the woman one last time, keeping his hard glare on me.
“You know what to do.” The guy snapped, turning down the alley way with a huff. His fists were clenched at his side as he walked into the distance.
“Are you alright?” I frowned, approaching my newfound mate.
As werewolves, you always imagine what it will be like to find your mate. You could never truly understand until you’ve felt the real thing.
Everything about this woman was perfection. Her skin was deep ebony, the color of fresh espresso. Her eyes were an intoxicating shade of brown, set with glimpses of amber and gold. Obsidian hair ran down to her shoulders, thousands of spiral curls grazed against her throat. Ruby red lips, long eyelashes and high cheekbones. She was wearing a ankle length dress, a few rings glinting on her fingers.
“Stephs a d**k but he’s harmless.” The woman shrugged, a hand placed on her round hips. “I can handle myself just fine, y’know.”
“I’m sure you can.” My eyes were dancing, a smile playing at my lips as I looked down at my beautiful mate.
“Now, do I gotta be worried about you Mr?” Her dark eyebrow raised, but humor flickered in her eyes.
She could feel the mate bond pulsing between us. It was clear she was a human; her scent unlike a werewolves. She wouldn’t know about the mate bond, but she could feel something between us; a connection of sorts.
“Of course not.” I grinned at her, “Just one of the good guys.”
“Good guys.” She scoffed, her radiant eyes were twinkling. “What’s your name good guy?
“Mason.” I grinned, “And yours?”
“Adrienne.” She grinned making me stagger. Her smile sent my wolf into a frenzy, wanting to mark her skin without warning.
“Beautiful name.” I smiled softly, my eyes trailing over her face. “It fits.”
“You wanna meet up tomorrow?” Adrienne smiled in return, her eyes lingering on my own before they traveled down to my lips.
“Name the time and place.” I breathed, completely taken with my mate.
“The little park on second street, the one with the fountain.” Her eyes glimmered, “Meet me there around eleven tomorrow night?”
“Why so late?” I questioned. i wanted to know more about her, I wanted to know everything.
Wolves rarely had patience, and mine was not an exception. He wanted to carry her away, ignoring any screams of protest. I on the other hand, didn’t want my mate to fear me or hate me. Patience was key.
“I get off work around ten.” She shrugged indifferently, “The parks my favorite place to go.”
“I’ll be there.” I grinned, my heart thundering in my chest.
Excitement coursed through me, sending my hairs on end. This was the beginning of everything, the beginning of the rest of my life.
The breeze shifted suddenly, lifting her coiled curls and swaying them to the side.
Something bright stood out on her espresso skin.
A bright scarlett mark stood out, placed on her shoulder. The mark was bright, and shaped like the blade of a scythe.
The mark looked like a freshly done tattoo, the ink bright and vibrant. I wondered what the mark on her skin stood for, what it symbolized.
“What’s that?” I murmured, looking at the bright mark.
“Just a tattoo.” Adrienne shrugged, grazing the mark with her fingers.