One afternoon, well into September, a mindlink for Luke and me came in while we were in the office together.
“I smell a rogue in my patrol area.” Jack’s voice said in our minds. Luke and I both looked up at each other and instantly got to our feet.
“Be right there,” I mindlinked Jack back. We both rushed outside, quickly shifted into our wolf forms, and sprinted over. When we got to him, Jack led the group in tracking the scent, inhaling the unpleasant aroma that had clung to the dirt and ferns just outside our territory. Rogues usually weren’t a big problem. It was just a matter of making it clear to them that this was pack land and that they should move away from the area. Every once in a while, we’d encounter a problematic rogue, one that had spent so much time in its wolf form that it became feral and refused to shift, occasionally attacking us. Those rogues were dealt with differently. But hopefully, this would just be the standard, run-of-the-mill, confused rogue.
We followed the scent to a rocky hill that turned into a mountain, continuing up some rugged terrain. We dug our sharp claws into the stone, making our way up quickly and efficiently, stopping at a plateau partway up. Resting on the ledge, looking over the forested land, was a she-wolf with thick, dark-brown fur and icy-blue eyes. The three of us instantly surrounded her as she got up onto her four legs, turning to face us. She slowly moved her head, making eye contact with each of us one by one, her face emotionless.
Unable to communicate in my wolf form, I shifted into my human one and stepped forward. “Please shift so we can speak,” I said.
The wolf looked me up and down.
When she didn’t shift after a few seconds, I spoke again, more loudly. “Shift now, or we’ll force you to shift.” She didn’t move or make a noise so I continued, “If you don’t shift peacefully, we are not afraid to attack, and you’re outnumbered.”
Her eyes locked with mine, and after a moment, she finally shifted into her human form. She got up from her crouching position and moved toward me on her long legs, her voluminous, dark hair blowing in the wind. She was actually quite beautiful and had an elegant gait. I thought to myself, she was not at all like other rogues I’d met who’d normally been quite bedraggled and always seemed to have something a bit off about them, clearly growing wild throughout the years of sticking to their wolf form.
As she came closer, I realized that something about her seemed very familiar, but I couldn’t place where I’d seen her face before. She came nearer and eventually touched her palms to my chest, tracing them down to my stomach, inching lower. Recognizing what she was doing, I pushed her hands off me and backed away. “Stop! Don’t do that!” I used my alpha aura in shock.
She moved back toward me, and my mouth fell open in disbelief that my aura hadn’t worked on her. Although she wasn’t part of my pack, it should have at least temporarily immobilized her. She fluttered her long eyelashes a bit and said, “You like to work out, eh?” Her eyes traced my entire body. She put her hands out again, reaching for me, and I reflexively grabbed her wrists, holding them away from my body. What was with this rogue?
“Luke, Jack, grab her!” I commanded. They both shifted, and each took one of her arms from me. Once they had her in a firm grip, I asked, “Why are you here?”
“I want you,” she replied.
“You want me?” I asked, running my hands through my hair.
“Yes, I want you so badly. I want to feel your cock inside me.”
I almost choked.
“Wow, she’s exactly your type, Blake.” Luke chuckled.
I gave him a hard stare and turned back to her. “That’s why you came here?”
“No, but now that you’re here, that’s what I want,” she replied, shaking her hair out in a seductive manner and thrusting her chest forward, putting her not-so-modest breasts and erect, light-pink nipples on display. I froze, flustered by her behavior, and she soon threw her head back, exposing her neck and parting her full lips, letting out a soft pant.
I blinked a few times and quickly gathered myself. “You need to leave. This is pack territory, and you’re a rogue,” I said sternly, not allowing myself to be distracted by her antics.
“No,” she replied, just as sternly.
I shook my head in frustration and looked between Jack and Luke, who were continuing to hold her arms as she put on her show. “Let’s bring her down.” I was baffled. I’d never met a rogue that came on to me like this before. The two of them pulled her with them as they moved back toward the path we’d come up. We hiked back down the mountain in our bare feet, careful to stick to the path, me in front, and the other three behind.
“You’ve got one very nice butt,” she said.
Luke and Jack both snickered, flustering me once again.
I turned my head and said, “That’s enough! Keep your thoughts to yourself!”
“You’ve caught him at a bad time. A year earlier, and he would’ve been much more receptive to the commentary.” Jack laughed. “But I can’t disagree with you.”
“You too, Jack!” I gave him a quick glare.
Once we made it to the bottom and got back to the patrol station, we put shorts on and gave a T-shirt and shorts to the rogue. I called over some juniors to take her from me and bring her to the cells overnight, perplexed by her behavior. I was hoping a night in a cold cell would sober her up to act more appropriately, and then she could explain why she was trying to seduce me, or whatever she was doing, and why she was here.
The two juniors came over. They balled their hands into fists and stopped far from where we were standing. “Good afternoon, Alpha, Beta,” one of the juniors, Jimmy, said, looking between Luke and me, almost groaning, with a pained look on his face.
Not understanding why the two juniors were acting so strange, I started speaking to them. “Can the two of you please escort this rogue to the cells? She is acting very odd, and I’m hoping we can have a normal conversation tomorrow morning.”
“Alpha, I’m sorry, I can’t,” Jimmy choked out, pleading with his eyes.
“I can’t either.” The other junior, Chad, backed away, flinching.
“Why the fuck not?” I shouted, irritated by two juniors refusing my orders.
“Alpha, she’s in heat,” Jimmy replied.
“What?” I looked at Luke and Jack. They both shrugged. “That can’t be. Why isn’t it affecting me? I’m not marked.”
“I don’t know, but it’s affecting me,” Jimmy said, his neck and shoulders stiff and forehead creased.
“It’s affecting me too.” Chad looked as if he was in agony as he squeezed his eyes shut.
“Okay, leave now. I’ll find others,” I replied. They both let out deep breaths and instantly sprinted away. “What the fuck?” I looked at her. “Are you really in heat?”
“Heat? Like a cat?” she asked.
“Do you feel really horny right now?”
“God, yes,” she replied.
“Do you have a mate?”
Did this rogue know anything? “Have you met anyone that you felt an instant connection with like they were your soulmate or a love-at-first-sight-type feeling? Perhaps you even said the word ‘mate’ when you met them?”
She seemed deep in thought as she considered my question. After some time, she replied, “Yes, I guess I did. But I don’t ever want to see him again. His father is evil.”
“Fucking Artemis. Why don’t I sense it?” I spoke more to myself than to anyone else. I turned to Luke. “If she’s in heat, maybe we should just take her back to the packhouse and keep her there overnight. It’s probably not safe to leave her in a cell in this state. Also, not much privacy—since I’m sure she’s going to want to, well, take care of her needs.”
“I’m not sure Lucy would be happy about me bringing home a rogue, especially with a baby in the house. Jasmine would probably have something to say about it too. I mean, the rogue’s all over you.”
“What should we do then?”
“Is there another house we could bring her to?” We both turned and looked at Jack.
“Why are you looking at me?” he asked, then groaned. “I hope I’m not going to be your heat babysitter moving forward. The last time was pretty fucking awkward as it was.”
“Okay, let’s not talk about that!” I quickly responded.
“Agreed,” Luke chimed in. My neck prickled in discomfort. I’d never told Luke that story, and I wasn’t about to start telling him now. I wasn’t sure how much Jasmine may have told him. There was still a lot of tension between Luke and me when it came to Jasmine, so we’d made a silent agreement to speak of her as little as possible.
I did plan to move her into the packhouse as my mate and luna eventually. But it was still a very delicate situation, considering that Luke was her fated mate and ended up choosing her best friend as a chosen mate over her. Jasmine and Lucy were still not on friendly terms, and it wasn’t clear if they ever would be again.
“You can babysit me,” the rogue moaned out, licking her lips.
I sighed. “Jack, I promise I will return the favor. Anything you want.”
“Not a threesome.”
Jack laughed. “Look who got his sense of humor back finally.”
“I wouldn’t mind a threesome,” the rogue said.
“Fuck! Look what my sense of humor just did.” I groaned.
She tried to inch her way back over to me, struggling to pull her wrists free of Jack and Luke. “Please, I want you so badly. I’m so wet. It’s like a waterfall on my thighs,” she cried out.
“Why aren’t you interested? Most men are,” the rogue choked out with emotion, pleading with her bright, feverish eyes.
She bit down on her bottom lip as I stepped closer. As she looked up at me, I noted there was a sadness in her eyes. I realized her eyes reminded me a lot of my own—the same very icy shade of blue. I softened toward her and asked, “What’s your name?”
“Talia,” she replied as a tear slid down her cheek.
Her tear imparted some compassion in me toward her. “Don’t take it personally. You’re only doing this because you’re in heat now, and you won’t feel like this tomorrow. Normally it would affect me too, and I have no idea why it isn’t. You are clearly a very attractive woman. But I have a girlfriend I love very much, and I would never cheat on her. In fact, I’m planning to propose to her soon.”
“You are?” Luke jerked his head up at me and blinked a few times.
“Fuck, man, well, good luck.” He looked down at the ground. The air was thick with tension.
The rogue whimpered.
“Okay, let’s take her to my car.” Jack sighed. Luke nodded and turned to walk with Jack, pulling the rogue along with them. We put her into the back seat, and Jack drove away.
Once Jack’s car disappeared into the distance, Luke and I returned the shorts we’d borrowed to the patrol station and shifted back into our wolf forms, sprinting back to the packhouse. After we found our clothes and dressed, before we went inside, I stopped Luke. “Is everything okay? Is me proposing to Jasmine bothering you?”
“It’s fine,” he replied, in a voice that indicated it was not fine at all.
“It’s obviously bothering you,” I pushed.
“Blake, it’s fine. Just let it go,” Luke replied, his jaw tense.
“What, you didn’t want her, but you don’t want anyone else to have her?” I demanded.
He sighed. “Well, it would be a whole fucking lot easier if the person she ended up with didn’t live in the same house as me.”
“What am I supposed to do? I love her, Luke.”
“It’s fine. We’ll figure it out.” He patted me on the shoulder and walked inside.
ALEXANDER Well, that was an interesting way to meet my mate, to say the least. It almost wasn’t surprising when it happened. Okay, it was very unexpected and shocking, but I’m also one of those people who attracts drama and crazy situations. Needless to say, it is never a dull day in my life, and I never run out of stories to tell at parties. So, it was almost expected that I wouldn’t meet my mate the normal way. Most people meet their mates at a party or a café, they lock eyes from across a room, they go to the same park one day. You get the picture—there are hundreds of normal ways to meet a mate. Of course, I’m the one that meets my mate at my father’s murder scene, my mate being the number one and only suspect. If it weren’t so disturbing, I’d laugh about it. The Moon Goddess clearly has a sick sense of humor. Granted, my father was not exactly in the running for father or, heck, person of the year. But I’m not quite sure what crime he committed that deserved murder. Okay, okay,