2 - The Wolf


"You're not getting any younger," my father stared me down from the other side of my desk. He had his large arms crossed over his broad chest like he always did when we had one of these conversations.

I was currently staring at the many photos and files he'd lain out across my desktop. Pictures of men and women from different wolf packs with their personal information. Likely sent to my father in an attempt form a pack alliance. Ash Walker had grown more secure over my time as Alpha. More threatening to those around us that dared to challenge my title or the choice I made in praising Novu instead of Luna.

The goddess had spat in my face with her pathetic council. Novu had given me life again, taken me back from the jaws of death Luna placed me in. All for a sick vendetta she had against my father and his killing of a council member.

"Quinn moved on already Gideon," his words stung.

I looked up from the photos and straight into his eyes that were the same shade of amber as mine. He wore a pained look. I knew how he felt about the situation with Quinn and I. I knew he still blamed himself for me losing my mate.

"I know," I couldn't hold back the growl that rippled through my words.

'I miss him,' Otto, my shifter spirit, cried nearly anytime he was near or mentioned.

'He would be happy to see us move on too,' Philo argued with him. My wolf had already let him go. Reluctantly, but he did.

My father studied me like he was able to see the internal battle going on inside. If only he knew how hard it was feeling the bond ripped from you not once, but twice. Seeing the pained look on Quinn's face when he formally rejected me was one of the hardest moments of my life. Nowhere near as hard as...

My fists balled up and I shook my head quickly. I had to take a deep breath before I could speak again," I'll consider them. Invite them to celebrate Litha with us if you want to. Even if I don't choose one of them, they may find their mates in one of our own or in the neighboring packs that will join us."

"Gideon," my father sighed and stood up," please just give it a try. It's been seven years. Stop torturing yourself over something you couldn't control." He left my office without saying anything else. As the door thudded, I relaxed back into my leather chair.

None of the pictures stuck out to me as too particularly interesting. Dainty women and soft looking men. I laughed at the fact these were the people my father thought I would go for. Surely they were all amazing wolves in their own way, but the attraction wasn't there. I didn't want to have to worry about my mate not being able to defend themself.

This is where my father and I differed. He loved that my mother had mostly given up on training and taken to her role as a homemaker with all the pups. I on the other hand couldn't imagine purposely encouraging my mate to not reach their full potential. Hopefully when she started living full time with the vampires she would get different encouragement.

The floorboards creaked and the air was sucked out of the room. I looked up seeing that time had stopped and the room had darkened. The dark curtains that were once gently swaying with the wind had frozen in place. A deep black darkness seeped out of the thick wooden doors my father had just walked out of.

Otto started jumping around excitedly within the depths of my mind. I reached up feeling the two pointed horns that had grown beneath my hairline and knew what was happening.

Novu was paying me a visit. The only way they could do so was by pulling me halfway into their realm.

The darkness pooled into a big sludgy looking pile, beginning to slowly creep up into a figure. Three sets of bony wings cracked and stretched out. A face began to form, half of it a skull the other being deathly pale skin with a red eye. Tufts of black hair peeked beneath the shadow like hood that covered the rest of the tall dark figure.

"Novu," I bowed my head as I spoke.

"Alpha Gideon," a chorus of raspy chuckles escaped their figure. It was always the tiniest bit disturbing that they spoke without any indication where the sound came from. Neither side of their face ever moved.

"To what do I owe the gift of your presence?"

"I will be recieving your mate soon," this time no laugh came. My figure went rigid at their words. My eyes locked onto Novu's single red orb.

"Y-You mean...?" I stuttered out.

"Yes," their bones creaked as they gave a slight nod," your mate will be crossing into my realm soon little wolf. I will give them to you afterwards but you need to continue with things as normal. Any change in your plans and it could mess with my ability to grab them from Luna's realm."

Luna's realm? That meant that Novu was giving me a wolf. The long awaited second chance mate. Something I was beginning to think they were lying to me about.

"I wouldn't lie to you," that raspy laughter returned. "Aren't you curious when it will be happening?"

I quickly shook my head," no. If you tell me then I'll start thinking about it too much and ruin your plans." I ran a hand through my thick hair and tried calming my nerves. Both Philo and Otto were going insane. Their voices were crowding my mind and making it damn near impossible to concentrate on the task given.

"Very well Alpha. Keep your word and I will keep mine," Novu shook out their shape. Quickly they returned to the same pile of black ooze they came in from. I watched it slowly seep out into the hallway and the curtains began moving again.

The door opened with a loud bang and the tall dark brown-haired figure of my Beta fell onto the ground. He hit the wood flooring with a loud thud, groaning loudly. A mop of pale blonde hair that belonged to my Gamma peeked in over him," I'm surprised you even have the ability to think with as much as you hit your head." He rolled his eyes that reflected his fathers - pale pink with the blue swirl. Silas looked so much like his father in his younger years. He helped the bigger wolf up and they took the wooden chairs that sat in front of my desk.

Orion, my Beta, was rubbing his head angrily. He had been the pup in his family born with a special ability. His mismatched eyes reflected as much. One a forest green and the other icy blue. He had the ability to split in two, even in wolf form.

Silas picked up a few of the female wolf photos that lay on my desk and whistled," your dad picked out some good ones this time." We weren't sure what his ability would end up being or if he would have one. Like many wolves before him he had to be put in a stressful situation to have it come out. We were in the middle of a rogue attack when he seemingly disappeared out nowhere. It wasn't until rogues started dropping and enough blood had coated his shape that we realized he could become invisible.

I let out a long sigh," have at 'em. He's going to be inviting them all to Litha." I wasn't entirely sure if Novu wanted me to mention what we had talked about. They said go about things as normal, and acting like dating would kill me was normal. The only person more dramatic than me about it was my twin, Max. Mom pushed him a lot to stick to one girl but that was hard in his line of 'work'.

"Litha?" Orion's deep voice pulled me from my thoughts. I stifled a laugh at the view of a big red spot on his forehead.

I hummed," yep. We'll have to accommodate for all ten on top of the other packs bringing their unmated members. How many do we have coming this year?"

"Five," Silas cleared his throat as he pushed the pictures back down and propped his bare feet on my desk. I growled at the gesture but he only laughed.

"Ryder is on the list," Orion hesitantly spoke. "He wants to make sure you'll be able to handle things with Quinn being there. We don't want a repeat of two years ago." Silas laughed at his words. It was the year Quinn went public with his mate and pup announcement. It was a double hit to the heart for me. I held out hope too long and ended up in a puddle of puke on the bathroom floor. Orion and Silas hurried me out when I had managed to become drunk.

"It won't happen again," I tried to sound as sincere as possible. Even with Novu promising that I would receive my second chance mate soon the thought of seeing Quinn still made my heart hurt.

'We will always miss him,' Otto's lovesick self piped in.

'Not always,' Philo countered. 'Our new mate will be better. Novu will give us somebody good.'

'Nobody is better than Quinn,' Otto's words made the ache grow more. It made me worry he would have a hard time accepting the new person.

"Good," Silas smiled at me and slapped Orion's shoulder as he stood up. "Now let's go get a run in before the night training starts up. I heard Tabitha is leading the girls tonight."

"Tabitha?" Orion shot up out of his chair. He gave me a pleading look," come up with some reason to go check on the girls that involves me. She only looks at me when you're there." He did his best to imitate a puppy whimpering as we started leaving the old Victorian house my study resided in. Tabitha was our head warrior female that Orion had his eye on for a long time.

"Only if it will make you stop making that pitiful face," I rolled my eyes at him. Silas burst into another fit of laughter, nudging the larger wolf hard. Orion growled at him which only made him laugh harder. For a small wolf Silas never seemed to show fear of getting the shit kicked out of him. Which happened a lot with the foul mouth his father helped him gain.

"Shut up and shift already. You two fight worse than mates holding out during heat," my teasing caused them to quit. All three of us shifted and ran into the thick forest surrounding Ash Walker. The entire time my mind was filled with thoughts of my mate. Novu's gift couldn't come soon enough.

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