Bound to My Mate Ch. 10byDoctorWolf©
Thank you all for reading and commenting, enjoy! DW
When the pack parties, the pack parties. Once Joel and I came undone he cleaned me up a little and we made our way back to the sounds of revelry. The smell of roasting meat filled the air. Torches had been lit to light the area. As the food was turned and cooked, the dancing started.
The women danced for the men and the men danced for the women. Joel sat and watched all the performances. His interest in the goings on were obviously important. The wolves seemed pleased when he complimented them.
When the meat was done it was delivered to Joel first. He took a large chunk of the proffered item and we ate heartily. The rest of the pack followed his lead and ate with the same gusto. I felt thirsty and wondered where I could get a drink.
"We usually just drink out of the lake," Joel whispered to me.
"That's fine," I told him, starting to rise. He stopped me with a hand on my arm.
"I wasn't sure your human immune system would handle that well. Nate is bringing you water from the den," he said pulling me back down.
I was embarrassed. I felt like the kid that needed all the special attention in school. It was like if he handled me too roughly I'd just break.
"Not at all," he laughed at the conversation in my head, "but I have had occasion to see humans after they drink water that isn't pristine. Once I change you into a wolf it won't be an issue anymore."
"When are you doing that?" I asked him. I'd forgotten that should have been tonight.
"Tomorrow," he answered me.
My dry mouth felt about a hundred times drier all the sudden. Gratefully, I accepted the water Nate brought to me and gulped it down.
"What's making you so nervous about it?" Joel asked curiously. "You just had sex with me down by the lake with a large portion of my pack present. Your human modesty is not the issue."
"I was really excited, so I didn't think about that," I shrugged. "I know you don't understand this, but I've only ever been human. It's a strange idea to think I'll be something else after tomorrow."
"There's a wolf in there already," Joel grinned, "or I wouldn't be attracted to you. We just have to find her."
I wasn't really sure what to make of that esoteric explanation, but I let it pass. My life would seem empty without Joel, so I was going to do the change whether I really understood it or not.
The rest of the night was crazy. The pack ate, danced, and fucked. Katrina told me this was the wildest she'd ever seen one of these parties. The pack hadn't liked having their range restricted while the witch was threatening them. They were cutting loose.
I did find time to talk to Joel about what he'd learned from Ryana. Nate hadn't been lying, she had made her spells in front of him. She had believed him to be completely bespelled by her. She'd even talked about the renegade wolves. She wanted them placed in positions of authority.
Remembering Lucas and his punishment I asked Joel about the families of the rogues. I wondered if he had cast them out or killed them.
"When we first determined who was involved I interviewed all of the direct family members. They all pleaded innocence to me. Several asked me to end their lives out of shame," he said shaking his head. "I understand why my father acted as he did. It has been difficult to let them live and stay in the pack. There was the constant threat that they were involved. Despite those reservations, I chose to wait until I had more information."
Joel took my hand as he talked further, "The witch inadvertently told me I had made the correct decision. Tonight, in her plan, would have been not only her changing and your death, but the death of several of those families. She believed her Betas, as she called the rogues, would come out of hiding as soon as she ended their lines."
"They wanted their families dead?" I asked in shock.
"Yes," he answered solemnly.
"Did she know some of the renegades were already dead?" I asked him.
"Evidently not," Joel answered, "I believe she had been living in the woods, but she didn't seem to be in contact with the remaining rogues."
I sat and watched the bonfires burning around the clearing. There was so much I wanted to know.
"Did you figure out why you couldn't smell her?" I asked.
Joel lay back in the grass and threw his arms over his head. "I have never, never seen a spell like that," he said. "It wasn't hers, she bought it from someone else. When the drinker takes the potion it conceals their natural odor completely. It wore off toward the end and her scent came back. She didn't know how to make it, unfortunately. Amazing spell, completely effective, even on us."
I lay down beside him and stroked his chest. He was really irritated.
"Were the other witches involved?" I asked.
"No, they didn't seem to be, although they made no moves to stop Ryana. Althea sounded surprised when Ryana told her she had succeeded when I overheard them on the phone," Joel snorted. "Her grandmother asked her for money and Ryana laughed at her. She told the old woman she could be dying on the side of the road and she wouldn't give her a dime."
"Cold," I marveled running my fingers along his jaw. "I can't believe she said and did all of this in front of you."
"It was difficult acting unaffected by her. I wanted to tear her throat out, but I wondered if she would be as brashly confident as she was. Torturing her could have taken days and even then we may not have asked all the right questions. This was so much more effective."
"A lot less satisfying though, huh?" I asked him absently.
Suddenly I was pushed on my back and he was towering over me. "You got the only satisfying part of the entire ordeal, love," he growled pressing my into the soft grass.
His lips pressed into mine and I heard howling from the surrounding pack.
"Are you mad I did that?" I asked quietly in his ear.
"I was worried for you and stayed at your side for that reason. No, I don't mind sharing with you," he whispered starting to grind his hardness against me. "The violence was very attractive to me, although I still appreciate your delicate nature."
Joel's hands wandered all over my body for a while. He tweaked my aroused nipples and then moved his hands down to clasp my ass. When he moved inside of me I moaned loudly, eliciting another loud howl from the surrounding wolves.
"You smell of me and the forest, Elizabeth. I adore your skin this way," he told me burying his face in my neck.
I was lost in him, trapped beneath his warmth. I could stay like this forever. We exploded together and I saw stars. Except for the cold wind that started to blow, I could definitely stay like this forever.
After a while, even close to Joel and the fire I was chilly. My clothes were somewhere in the field, but they had probably been trampled by now. My shoes were gone, too. My toes and fingers were having trouble keeping feeling in them.
Noting my discomfort, Joel shifted into his large black wolf and started back to the den. I rode on his back and watched the wolves weaving effortlessly through the thick foliage. I felt bad because most of the pack followed him. As we headed into the den I was tempted to apologize publicly for my lack of cold tolerance.
"Elizabeth," Joel said as we walked into the wide back doors, "no one slept while the witch was here. We are all tired. You didn't end the party too early."
"And tomorrow's the real party and that will be all about you," Anthony said jovially following us in.
Joel turned and looked sharply at the man and Anthony bowed his head.
"Since you are so interested in my mate Anthony, go remove the mattress and pillows from our rooms. The Madam Alpha will not sleep where the witch did. I want a new one of similar quality in its place quickly," Joel said.
I heard the censure in Joel's voice and I wasn't sure if it was because Anthony interrupted or because of what he said. In an effort not to get him in more trouble I tried not to think about it.
"Would they have anything warm to drink in the kitchen?" I asked instead.
I didn't want to be staring longingly at the bed while they set it up. It would be more polite to give them a moment to work.
We wandered toward the kitchen and Joel heated me water for tea. A pretty brown haired Omega walked in while Joel was preparing the tea pot and fell over herself to do it for him. I laughed inwardly. Did she do it out of respect or did she think Joel couldn't boil water?
"Emily," Joel said addressing the Omega, "my mate is curious if you think I am unable to boil water?" I saw a smile twitching the corners of Joel's mouth, but Emily didn't.
The poor girl stuttered and stumbled over her words, trying not to offend. She obviously wasn't used to being teased by the Alpha. She bowed far too low and ran to get some tea from the pantry.
"I take it you don't usually play with the Omegas?" I asked with a raised eyebrow.
"Evidently not enough," he said watching the girl come zipping in with a selection she spread out on the table.
"Thank you for your help tonight, Emily," Joel told her and dismissed her to go get some sleep.
"I know there has be balance," Joel told me as we sipped tea alone at a table in the kitchen, "but it has been difficult to instill the proper amount of kindness into my actions."
"How's that?" I asked him not understanding.
"I am the pack's protector. I cannot afford to be seen as weak. I have tried to be gentler than my father, but it is a fine line to walk," he told me.
"You didn't kill or cast out the rogues' families because you wanted to handle this differently than your father," I said starting to put it all together.
"Yes," he murmured, "although one of the fathers took his own life in shame. Another family has asked to be leave the pack. None of them barely show their faces for the embarrassment they feel."
We sat in silence for a moment and listened to the sounds of everyone filing back into the den. From the ones I had met, the wolves seemed good and friendly by nature. They weren't inherently evil.
"Since you don't think they were involved, isn't there any way to make them realize it wasn't their fault?" I finally asked him. "Parents guide their children, but they shouldn't be held responsible for every choice their child makes. Would they listen if you told them that? If you openly told them you forgave them would they accept it? Would the rest of the pack accept it?"
"Yes," he said pensively, "but I have not done that."
"Because?" I questioned.
"I was angry, I am angry that they raised children that would do this to me and mine," he said hotly. His eyes had taken on an eerie glow.
I chose to ignore the fact his wolf was surfacing. I gambled that neither the wolf nor the man would hurt me. "Anger will only eat at you. It's time to make a choice. The families are innocent or guilty. If they are innocent then grant them forgiveness and move on. If they are guilty then kill them or cast them out."
I took a breath and continued. He wasn't going to like my opinion. "At this point you haven't made a different choice than your father made. They are killing themselves and casting themselves out of your pack. It seems like they've already determined where your opinion lies. You've just forced them to do the work."
I sat silently and drank my cooling tea. Joel hadn't moved a muscle; he just stared at the floor. I shifted a little on the chair underneath me and wondered if I should clean it off when I moved.
"We should go to bed," he said softly. "Tomorrow will be a busy day."
Most of the pack was still out and about as we made our way toward the staircase. They all seemed to note which direction Joel was going. It struck me that they weren't going to bed until the Alpha went to bed. Everything he did, every decision he made was reinforced and reflected by the pack.
"Damn it woman," he said softly and then turned on the stairs so he faced out over the main floor.
"Bring me the families of the traitors," he boomed out.
We stood half way up the first flight of stairs and waited. I tried not to move around and Joel just stood staring out across the wolves. I noticed the pack was gathering to watch this latest drama unfold.
I couldn't get over how uncomfortable I was right now. Not a scrap of clothing standing in front of this massive group of people. They crowded the main floor and lined the stairs going all the way up to the third floor. This made the night he introduced me to them look like a breeze.
A small group of people were ushered in front of Joel on the main floor. Everyone that had been at the party was still walking around naked as the day they were born. The people that walked in front of us were all fully clothed and shivering.
"Your children are a disgrace," Joel said in a low commanding voice. "When the remainder are found, they will be torn to shreds for their crimes."
He took a breath, as though steeling himself, and continued. "My mate and I find the rest of you blameless for their actions. You did the best you could and should not be held accountable for the actions of your grown children. If you wish to leave this pack, I will allow it, but I do not want for any of you to go. Your family is here and this is where you should remain. Come here," he ordered waving them toward us.
The families of the rogue wolves climbed the steps quickly. As they got closer, I had a chance to appreciate how worn they all looked. Joel leaned down touched each one of them; a handshake to some or a pat on the shoulder to others.
The first man bowed to me, but didn't try and touch me. Wolves like to touch, I knew that much. I reached out and stroked his arm. As each one passed I reached out and stroked them. Several leaned into my touch and the last tentative female reached out her fingers to me. I squeezed her hand gently in reassurance.
Once they were done and walking away Joel led us the rest of the way up the steps. I snuck a glance back down and saw them surrounded by pack. Everyone seemed to be caressing them soothingly.
"They are forgiven," he said. "The pack will accept them again."
Nothing else was said between us until we reached our suites. The guard outside nodded as we passed him. "It is done, my Alpha," the man said, "the bedding is all new."
We walked into the rooms and walked quickly toward the bedroom. The bed looked like it always did. I knew I was being really immature, but if that was the same bed I'd sleep on the couch.
"It is new," Joel told me.
I looked questioningly at him, "I don't doubt you if you say so, but where do you keep extra beds? And why do you keep them? That seems a little strange."
"After everything you've seen, that seems strange?" he laughed. "We are very rough on bedding. The pack keeps a supply of extra mattresses in stock. Our claws can rip through the material before we've noticed we've done it."
"I've never seen you rip anything in the bed," I said thinking back.
"I have had to be remarkably careful. I didn't want to harm you accidentally in a moment of passion," he said.
"Can you grow just your claws?" I asked him.
Holding up a hand, daggers grew from the ends of his fingers. Tentatively, I touched them. They were hard as any metal and sharp.
"Mine will be like this also?" I asked him.
He nodded and continued to watch as I explored his new anatomy.
"Can you shift for me?" I asked.
With a few pops and a light growl the wolf man was standing in front of me. He let me explore him to my heart's content.
I started to yawn and Joel shifted back into his human form.
"You need to sleep, mate. Neither of us did that last night," he said nudging me toward the bed.
Whoever had remade the bed had put a bunch of white decorative pillows on it. I crawled up and started to toss them off. Against the white linen, I looked filthy. My knees were grass stained. The rest of me was scuffed and dirty. I shuddered at how bad my hair must look, probably full of twigs and knotted.
"Okay, bed in a minute," I told Joel heading off the other side for the bathroom, "I'm showering."
"I like the way you smell as you are now," he said moving to stand in my way. "I don't want you to bathe."
Breathing deep, I held onto my temper. The obsession with how I smelled was so annoying and the arrogant bossy Alpha routine really got under my skin.
"Compromise with me Joel. I have no intention of climbing into that beautiful clean bed as dirty as I am right now," I said watching his eyes.
We stood in a deadlock for several moments before he relented.
"They could have just washed the sheets," he told me as he cuddled me later.
"I like to be clean, get used to it," I yawned slipping toward sleep.
"Wolves aren't as obsessed with it as you are, that will change," he said.
I didn't have the energy to argue with him about it, but I hoped I wouldn't change that much.
I woke up the next morning to the smell of fresh bacon assaulting my senses. I dressed in our rooms and Joel directed me to the main sitting area where a feast had been laid out for us.
I woke up as I ate and watched Joel busily move around our suite. There was a constant stream of people coming to the door and he directed them succinctly on what sounded like tasks. Eventually, Joel sat down next to me and started to eat.
Our conversation soon turned to the changing ceremony tonight. He explained that he would be leaving me at nightfall. I would have to come to the circle on my own when the moon was high to meet him. I must have looked confused because he rolled his eyes and told me eleven o' clock.
"What exactly will the ceremony entail?" I asked trying not to cringe. I had a pretty good idea.
"We will have sex, as I'm sure you already know," he said watching me.
"Right, we've done that before and I'm not a werewolf," I answered him.
"I will bite you during your climax. I will intend for my bite to infect you, much as I intended my first bite to mate us," he said.
Chewing nervously on some toast I avoided asking anymore about the actual ceremony. I was freaking out enough as it was. "What do I wear?" I asked him instead.
"Something easy to get out of," he said suggestively.
"Like what," I asked, "a robe?"
After much discussion the right outfit was chosen. The hot pink halter top and pre ripped jeans Joel pulled out of the closet I found unusual attire. It wasn't an outfit I'd ever have chosen to wear anywhere and it certainly wasn't something he liked. In addition, I had assumed the occasion was more somber.
I dressed myself for the day in a simple skirt and blouse. This outfit I felt comfortable in. Why couldn't I wear something like this tonight? I shrugged off the sense I was missing something.
Joel's mood was odd the rest of the day. He looked at me like I was something to eat. By the pack's tradition he wasn't allowed to have sex with me. That obviously didn't mean he couldn't kiss me senseless in the bathroom or corner me in his office for a grope session.
"Do you mind?!" I asked him, pushing my shirt back down over my breasts.
"Do you?" he asked nuzzling my neck.
I felt his hands slip over my ass as he ground us together, breathing heavy in my ear. He groaned as Nate called him into the main room.
"I can't wait for tonight, love," he said grinning as he strolled out of the office. I felt uncomfortable, something was definitely going on.
Despite my uneasy feeling the day passed quickly and the sun was soon setting. Joel stripped naked and left our suites amid much howling. I watched from the window as he ran as a wolf into the forest with a large number of the male wolves behind him. He had told me they had rituals they preformed before I got to the circle.