6 - Meeting


"You look like shit," Orion greeted me bright and early. We were setting up to greet the packs that would be arriving for tomorrow's celebration. I glared hard at him. No amount of body paint he'd applied could hide the amused smirk he sported.

I tossed one of the wooden bowls that held paint into his arms," didn't sleep well last night. I've been having weird dreams since the ceremony."

"Anything exciting?" he turned to face me as he started smudging the paints onto me.

I closed my eyes and tried my best not to lock up under his touch. It'd taken years of therapy to get to a point others could touch me. The council made me afraid of physical contact. They'd ruined one of my shifter forms completely.

"Not really," I lied. Everything about it didn't make any sense but had completely interested me. The one thing I could clearly remember about it all was a set of glowing orange eyes that belonged to the person contained within them. It made me hopeful that it was a sign Novu fulfilled their promise. However, it also made me sad knowing the only way Novu was able to touch somebody was in death.

Whoever Novu matched me with would be so heavily cherished by myself and the pack. I would give anything to make them happy. Spoil them if they just asked for it.

'We spoil them without them needing to ask,' Philo corrected me.

Otto had been completely silent since the ceremony took place three days ago. Waking up today to silence was expected. However, Philo had been constantly pacing to the point it was starting to piss me off. I think something about the Litha ceremony had him on edge.

"All done," Orion's voice ripped me back to reality. I felt his grossly wet thumb touch my cheek and opened my eyes to see him smudging off the paint around my warrior marks. All members of this pack that reached a certain point in training had the chance to receive them. There were three levels of our rankings and when you advanced you earned one. Orion, Silas, and I had gained all three.

Orion held up a small mirror for me to look at and I smiled. I looked just like all the other members of my pack would tonight. Adorned in makeup that made our faces look like skulls. It was a way of showing tribute to Novu and also intimidating the packs that showed up.

'Alpha,' Silas's voice ran through my mind.

I sighed and placed the mirror down,' you're supposed to be setting up border patrol not talking to me.'

I could hear it as Silas sighed back at me,' we found some rogues. Er-... well one rogue and two faeries. Three faeries? I'm not entirely sure what the hell the big one is.'

My brows furrowed and I looked up at Orion who already wore a knowing expression. I quickly l**ked my father and told him to take my spot for now. Today was too big of a day for some disturbance to occur. He cursed back at me through the l**k but I was already on my way towards where I knew Silas would be. The only weak spot the pack had, the western borders by the town.

We quickly stripped and tied our clothing to our legs. It was the easiest way to keep clothing on you and thankfully today we only wore jean shorts. I crouched down and let Philo come forth. His big black paws danced along the dirt as Orion's big grey wolf, Falco, followed behind me.

A strangeness hung around the thick forest surrounding us. I could smell the sparks of old magick that drifted through the air. The strangest thing about it though was I could recognize it. It was mine.

I pushed myself harder, making Philo run faster as the scent became thick and something else began mixing with it. My wolf started going frantic when the wind picked up the strong scent of brown sugar and cinnamon with a hint of... smoke. Smoke?

'Hellhound,' Philo howled out loudly.

He should be going into complete defense mode but instead he was excited. Excited? I ran behind a tree once the loud yelling of the border patrol caught my ears. Quickly Orion and I redressed, jogging over to the scene. The scent was getting harder to ignore. Something about it was making my body giddy.

"Where did you get this?!" Silas was spitting venom towards the three kneeling figures. The members of the patrol had positioned themselves in a circle around the group. I could barely see the person on the receiving end of his anger. Whoever they were felt incredibly unhappy. The scent of their anger lingered in the air and sliced into my tongue with a bitter tinge.

"I told you already! It was given to me!" a voice shouted back, spitting just as much venom. My body involuntarily shivered and Orion shot me a questioning look. I could only shrug at him. I’ve felt this once before but I was skeptical.

Coming up behind Silas I couldn't shake the feeling anymore. I was hit with a wave of the strong brown sugar scent. Up close it was heavenly, smelling like the best cookies to ever be made. My body went rigid when Silas stepped aside and I knew I would have to face the strange creature whose scent was captivating me.

"Alpha," Silas straightened up and held out a hand. "Patrol said this group appeared out of thin air. The one with black hair was found holding this."

I looked down to see him holding a necklace set on a gold chain with a purple gem that was cracked in the middle. My eyes widened in recognition and I snatched it up. This was a piece of jewelry I never expected to see again. It was the last thing I'd crafted before leaving the council. I gave it to the man who helped me escape. His son was next on the list of people to be detained and I had promised to protect him should the need arise.

My head whipped to the side and I stared at three figures. There was a boy with green skin sat to the left, a girl with golden hair to the right, and smack in the middle was another boy with his head hung low who breathed hard. I slowly walked over and crouched down to their level," tell me your names." I surveyed each of them. Their scents were mixed and so strong I was having a hard time deciphering who the alluring scent came from.

The girl was first to lift her head. She had a pair of pale-yellow eyes that held much curiosity as she took me in," Mira Fairlite... Alpha." She swallowed hard and let her eyes linger around to my other men.

The green boy came next. He was shaking life a leaf and looked ready to run. As he spoke his voice trembled," A-Alpha sir... uh... my uh..."

"Your name boy, what is your name?" I hardened my gaze which only caused him to tremble more. Philo was getting mad that he didn't do as told.

"Ashton Feyleif," he spoke so fast I almost couldn't catch it.

I tore my gaze from the shaking boy and stared at the one in the center. He had long obsidian locks that were decorated with bone beads. His build was more muscular that the other two and I could only see small points to his ears. He wasn't completely fae, and if my suspicions were correct neither was the green one.

"Don't keep him waiting," Orion sneered from behind me.

"Mordecai..." a low husky voice emitted from him.

"Just Mordecai?" I snorted and let a bit of authority leak into my tone. "Look at me when you speak Mordecai."

Slowly the person began to look up and I nearly fell flat on my ass as the pair of orange eyes that haunted my dreams looked at me. For the second time this week it felt as if the world around me started spinning. It only took Philo pushing himself forward for me to completely drop to my knees closer to the boy. A loud rumbling left my chest as he barked out the word," mate!"

My heart quickly sank when the only thing he uttered out was a harsh," fuck."

I could hear Orion and Silas start clearing out the guards. They quickly shifted back to their wolf forms as my Beta and Gamma each picked up one of the fae to back them up.

Mordecai looked above me momentarily and I growled when our eye contact broke. I wanted him to look at me and only me. His eyes snapped back down to me and he raised a brow," you guys cannibals or something?"

I reluctantly turned my head to see what he'd been staring at. Bone chimes hung from the trees around us that were made from bodies of rogues that had been killed. Most of them had been placed at request of my father's wolf, Cinnabar. He liked displaying them like trophies.

"No," my voice was more like a whisper at this point. His orange eyes connected with mine again as I turned back around. It felt so intense having him this close. Like nothing else around us existed. For once I was left completely speechless.

Mordecai shifted uncomfortably beneath my gaze. He cleared his throat and awkwardly held up his arms that held silver binding bracelets around them," not to like seem super rude or anything but I can't feel a damn thing and you're just creeping me out."

Philo whimpered inside my mind,' he can't feel us?'

'Not yet,' I tried to soothe him.

"I can remove those," my lips twitched into a genuine smile. "Will you let me?"

"Please," the boy sounded relieved and my heart swelled. "It's really starting to hurt."

This time I suppressed the growl that Philo wanted to let loose. We couldn't come off as extremely possessive or he might run. I needed to make him trust me and let him feel the bond first. I couldn't creep him out more.

"Follow me... please," I stood up and offered my hand to him but he didn't take it.

I buried the hurt that flowed through me in waves and turned my back to them," Orion, Silas... bring the fae with us." I straightened myself to stand tall and began walking towards my house without looking back.

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