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, there have been many times I’ve wanted to murder him myself. But it’s something completely different when a stranger does it, eh?
Although murder aside, she was quite captivating. She was tall and beautiful, with very long brown hair that blew seductively in the wind coming through the window (objectively, it probably wasn’t that seductive, but it felt seductive). And, oh man, those eyes. It was like they could see into my soul. They were the most distinct shade of blue. Granted, I knew nothing about her, but physically she was perfect—exactly my type.
And then she was gone. I could sense fear permeating the air around me as she jumped from the window, tearing all her clothes. I stepped forward, past my father’s corpse, far too captivated to bring my attention to him. All I could do was stare out the window as she disappeared into the dark night. I turned back around and knelt down to pick up her clothes, now just scraps, before bringing them to my nose and inhaling her intoxicating scent. A moan escaped my lips as I did so, the scent was so enchanting and sensual. It was the same scent I’d caught in the woods behind the packhouse, not knowing at the time what it was. I finally understood what people meant when they talked about the scent of a mate. It was tons better than all my other favorite scents: fresh laundry, cinnamon buns, cookies fresh out of the oven, freshly cut grass, new car smell. I’d be willing to never smell any of those things again in exchange for smelling her scent every day for the rest of my life.
My sister and mom caught me in the act as I inhaled my mate’s clothing scraps. Clearly, that was not the correct reaction for stumbling upon my father’s murder. My mother screamed—the correct reaction.
“What the fuck?” Sara, my sister, gasped as she walked into the room and squatted next to our father. A large puddle of blood had formed by his face, seeping out from his mouth and nostrils. She pulled a dart out of his arm and smelled it. “Wolfsbane,” she said.
“How ironic,” I responded.
“What?” She looked at me, confusion on her face.
“Well, it was his idea to use wolfsbane darts in battle. It’s pretty ironic that that’s how he dies in the end, eh?”
“Did you do this?” She glared at me. “Did you kill Dad?”
“What? No!” I replied in shock. Although, that must show how good our father-son relationship was for her to accuse me of that. “Anyway, if I did kill him, it wouldn’t be using darts.”
“Who did this? Did you see them?” she shouted at me.
“Yes,” I replied. My mom shrieked.
Sara looked over at our mom and sighed. “Stay here,” she said, going to my mom. She helped my mom get up and led her out of the room. I did as commanded and didn’t move from the place where I was sitting, inhaling the scent of my mate again. Goddess, she smelled amazing.
After some time, Sara returned. “Who did this?” she demanded.
“I don’t know,” I replied, my thoughts returning to the beautiful mystery woman, sighing to myself.
“But you said you saw them.”
“I did, but I’d never seen her before.”
“Here, smell this,” I said, handing her a clothing scrap.
“Rogue,” Sara said, looking evil as she sniffed. As she said the word, I instantly recalled that one of our pack members had asked to bring a rogue into the territory as a temporary living situation thing. It seemed innocent enough at the time. My beta, a man I trusted with my life, had checked her out and approved her moving here.
“I think I know who it is. Or at least who brought the rogue here,” I said.
“Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go get them!” She shot up, looking ready to kill.
“Under one circumstance. The rogue is mine, and nobody touches her but me.” I looked fiercely at Sara. I couldn’t exactly have someone killing my mate. And Sara was not someone who hesitated when it came to killing. She took far more after our father than I did.
“I’m not promising that,” she replied.
I grabbed Sara by her arms, holding her in place, staring into her eyes. “She’s mine, and if you touch her, I will banish you from the pack.” I glared at her.
“Are you fucking serious?” She looked shocked, struggling to free herself from my grasp. Sara was tough, but she wasn’t as strong as I was.
“Yes, 100 percent. You lay one finger on that rogue, and you are dead to me. She’s mine to do what I want with. So you better fucking promise that you will hand her over to me alive and in one piece.”
“Fine!” she cried as I tightened my grasp on her arms.
“Promise me now,” I demanded. I wasn’t usually like this with my sister, but I felt very possessive of my mate, and I couldn’t trust that my sister wouldn’t take matters into her own hands if she got to her before I did. My hands were tightening around her arms—any more and I’d likely snap her bones.
“I promise!” she screamed in agony.
I let her go. “Good, now let’s go find her.” I led Sara to Hugo’s house. He wasn’t someone I knew well. We were a few years apart in age, and he wasn’t one of my warriors. During our drive over, I mindlinked the senior warriors on duty to see if any of them had spotted a rogue leaving the territory. One of them mindlinked me back a couple of minutes later to confirm that a rogue had sprinted out of the territory. “If the rogue comes back, grab her, and put her in a cell immediately,” I mindlinked all of the senior warriors.
It was around two in the morning when we banged on the door of Hugo’s house. His brother, Rocco, answered it groggily, his eyes shooting open in shock to see the two of us standing there. “Alpha, how can I help you?” He straightened up.
“Where’s Hugo and the rogue?” I asked.
He widened his eyes. “Not here. Did something happen?”
“Stay here.” I used my alpha aura on him, forcing him to stay put as Sara and I pushed past him to search the house. It was a small house and a quick walk through all the rooms. His mom was shocked to see us, waking when we entered her room, but I quickly commanded her to stay still until I left.
“No fresh scent anywhere in the house. Neither of them was here recently,” Sara reported.
“Hugo is at work. He works until four or five on Fridays normally,” Rocco said once we stepped outside.
“Where does he work?” I asked.
“A brothel near Calabogie.”
“I know it,” I said, looking at Sara. “You’re free to go.” I turned to Rocco, undoing my alpha aura. We got back into the car and drove just over a half hour to get to Hugo’s place of work. I was familiar with it as that was where we got our wolfsbane darts supply, which would explain how the rogue was able to obtain them.
We stormed in to be greeted by the brothel’s madam, an older lady who was desperately hanging on to her youth through Botox and hair extensions. I’d met her once before. Normally my father picked up the supply, but I’d gone with him a couple of times to become familiar with the operation.
“Mr. Adalwolf.” She nodded at me. “Here without your father?”
“My father is dead,” I replied. “Which is why I’m here. One of your employees is likely responsible for his murder.”
She gasped. “It can’t be!”
“Yes, it is. Now, if you don’t mind, I’d like to speak to Hugo Bernardi immediately.”
“Of course,” she replied, nodding at a couple of men behind her. We waited until they brought him over to us.
“Alpha,” he said, looking at me, appearing shocked to see me.
“Come with us quietly and we won’t make a scene,” I said. He nodded and followed us outside. We walked across the parking lot, over to where I was parked. After checking to see no one was around, I asked, “Where’s the rogue?”
“Back at my house,” he replied.
“We just checked your house, and she wasn’t there. Now, I’m going to ask you again, and you better answer. Where is the rogue?”
“I honestly don’t know if she’s not in the house. I can call her if you’d like.” He pulled out his phone and showed that he was calling her, putting the phone on speaker so we could hear. It rang and went to voice mail.
Hi, you’ve reached Talia. Sorry I missed your call. Leave a message after the beep!
“Let’s take him to the cells for interrogation,” I said, turning to Sara. We each grabbed an arm and threw him in the back seat. We drove to the pack jail where I chained him to a wall.
“Okay, start talking,” I said once Hugo was chained in place. “Where is the rogue?”
“I don’t know. I’m sorry, Alpha. She’s staying with me and will probably return later tonight if she’s not there now.”
“I have reason to believe she won’t. Now, where would she have gone otherwise? You must know her well if you were keeping her at your house.” I pulled out a knife, threatening him with it. I wasn’t opposed to torture. I had been trained by both my father and my university in the art. While it wasn’t my preferred activity, it was effective for getting answers.
“I honestly don’t know. Her mother is dead, and she doesn’t have a father. I think I’m her only friend. Alpha, may I ask why you are looking for her?”
“She killed my father.”
“Fuck.” Hugo's chin trembled and muscles tensed..
I brought the knife closer to him, making a shallow cut in his neck so that blood trickled down it. “Now I have reason to believe you may be involved.”
“Please, Alpha. If you kill me, my mom and brother won’t have anyone to support them.”
“Maybe you should have thought about that before you brought a murderous rogue onto our territory.”
“I didn’t think she was capable of murder—I swear. And I never would have assisted her in any way. In fact, I advised her against it.”
“But you knew she wanted to kill my father, eh?”
When he didn’t answer immediately, I shoved the knife into his thigh. He screamed in agony as I withdrew it. I waited for him to begin healing and stop screaming. “Now, tell me the whole story, and don’t leave anything out.”
“Alpha, I’m sorry. It was a mistake. But you have to know something. Your father killed her mother.”
“What!” I roared. “Tell me the whole story now!” I bellowed using my alpha aura. I probably could have done that from the beginning, but, okay, there was a part of me that may enjoy torture just a little bit. Especially after the murder of my father.
“Talia’s mother was a sex worker at the brothel where I worked. Your father was her number one client and, from what I understand, had been going to see her for years, possibly decades. Talia was raised in the brothel. I became friends with her after I was hired as a bouncer. A couple of weeks ago, Talia discovered her mother’s corpse, with her heart ripped out, and your father’s scent was the only other scent in the room. Based on the scent, that he had just been in to see her, and the way that Talia’s mother was killed, there is no question it was him who did it. Talia was kicked out of the brothel and had no other place to go, so I offered for her to stay with me until she could get back on her feet. She did ask me how to kill a werewolf and I replied honestly, but I also told her that she’d more likely get herself killed than accomplish what she wanted to do.”
“What the fuck?” Sara gasped. “Dad was going to a brothel regularly?”
“Well, it explains a lot. Like where he disappeared to on his nights off and why he always smelled like rogue when he’d get home,” I responded, then turned back to Hugo. Using my alpha aura, I asked, “Where did she get the wolfsbane darts?”
He looked at me, eyes widening. “I don’t know.”
“Where is she?” I asked using my alpha aura again.
“I don’t know.” He let out a long, low sigh and in an emotion-choked voice, asked, “Are you going to hurt her when you find her?”
“None of your business,” I replied.
“Please don’t hurt her, Alpha,” he pleaded with me.
“You have no right to ask anything of me. You brought danger into the pack, and you’re lucky I’m not banishing you. I think it’s best if you stay in the cells for now. And you better pray to Artemis that we find her because otherwise you might find yourself rotting in here.”
He nodded sadly at me. Sara and I unchained him and led him into a cell, locking the door. I nodded at the guard on duty as we exited.
“Well, I guess that leaves only one option,” I said, looking at Sara as we walked back to the car. “You are our best tracker.”
“My pleasure,” she said, grinning.
“But my directive stands. You better bring her back alive and in one piece.”
She rolled her eyes and said, “Fine. Why do you get to have all the fun?”
“Because I’m the alpha.”
Before going into the packhouse, we walked into the backyard, sniffing the area. Her scent led us to a small purse that was left in the woods behind our house. I picked it up to find a small wallet and cell phone inside. The cell phone was locked, so I wasn’t able to open it, but there was a picture of her with her mom on the lock screen. The two of them looked very alike, like sisters. I opened her wallet to see there wasn’t much in it. She didn’t even have a driver’s license. There wasn’t much money in it either, just a few loonies and toonies.
Sara left me and headed into the woods, hot in pursuit of my mate’s scent. She returned over a week later, empty-handed. “This rogue bitch loves to swim,” she whined.
I returned to the cells to visit Hugo. “Well, we weren’t able to track your rogue friend,” I said. “Any ideas on how to find her?”
He sighed and said, “I don’t know. I honestly have no idea where she could have gone. Maybe you can go through her things in my bedroom. Maybe it will give you a clue as to where she went. We did speak about her joining a pack. I mentioned that her mom may have been part of a pack before she came here. If I had to guess, I’d say that may be where she went.”
“Any idea where her mom’s pack was?”
“I’m not even sure if her mom was part of a pack. The only thing I know is that Talia’s not from Canada. She told me she’s not here legally.”
“Well, you better start coming up with some more ideas. You don’t get out of this cell until we find her. But thanks for the tip on the pack.” I walked out of the jail heading straight for Hugo’s house. Just as he suggested, I searched his room. I found a backpack inside with different notebooks and books. Pulling everything out and going through it all, I came across a folder with an American passport and two birth certificates. Bingo!
Thanks for reading the preview of the next book in the series, Wolfblood! If you'd like to keep reading, please search for 'Wolfblood', now complete on Goodnovel. While this book does introduce some new characters, it also continues the story of Jasmine & Blake. Happy reading!