Wolf's Pet Ch. 33bylilgirlsix©
"What are they doing?" Katy watched the groups of Omegas bringing loads of wood to a large open area just outside the main compound. They were working non-stop which wasn't unusual. But she didn't hear the usual laughing and joking.
Rhys watched as she studied them. He could tell she was trying to figure it out. She wanted to know everything about pack life, or in this case, death. "They're building a funeral pyre. There will be a celebration of their lives tonight and they will be sent off to a brighter future." They hadn't really discussed this before. He wondered how she'd take it. This must be so foreign to someone raised human in this day and age.
Her head turned to look at him, her red hair blowing around her face in the breeze. "That's why you bury rogues? So they can never be reincarnated?"
"Yes little one, that's why." His hand absent-mindedly reached out to brush the hair from her face. He held onto a strand and let it slip slowly through his fingers. He would never let her slip away.
She couldn't took her eyes off his face. "What will happen tomorrow night Rhys?" She looked a little nervous, but not scared.
He looked into her green eyes, so much like a cat, or rather, a panther. Her scent seemed to permeate it's way into his brain. The tall Were inhaled deeply, ahhhh, mint and cinnamon. "Tomorrow night the pack goes on a hunt. After the hunt, those that wish to celebrate the full moon will mate. Most of the pack will be out in the open." He could see the look of alarm in her face. "There is no shame among the pack Katy." He stroked her face, from the edge of her eyebrow down past her ear, to her jaw where he traced a line to her chin. He smiled at her quick intake of breath. He knew he was affecting her with his touch.
"What if I'm too scared? What if I can't?" She turned away from him. She loved him so much in such a short time. But she was afraid of disappointing him. She couldn't stand the thought of that. She sighed when she felt his hands on her shoulders, stroking down her back. Her entire body relaxed.
He leaned down to whisper in her ear. "Little one, when the time comes, if you need privacy we'll move to where no one will see us. I won't allow you to be uncomfortable. Being turned is stressful enough, but if it makes you too self conscious, then we will leave the gathering and return when you have shifted."
She whipped around in his arms. "Shifted? I thought it took a while to shift. Karen and Sarah took days to turn. I'll change right then and there?" Her face paled and her green eyes flashed.
"A human who mates at the full moon will turn that very night. The full moon has many effects on us, and the Wolf Moon seems to have its own unique properties." He continued to slowly move his hands up and down her arms, feeling how tight her muscles were. The last thing he wanted to do was scare her any more.
"What is the Wolf Moon? Why is it special?" She seemed to be calming down, a bit anyway.
"The Wolf Moon was named by the indigenous peoples of this continent hundreds of years ago. They called it that because in the winter they heard the wolf packs howling around their villages. Little did they know the full moon in the darkest part of winter held great power for us." She seemed to forget her fears for the moment as they spoke. Rhys thought maybe it would be best to continue the discussion in private. "Why don't we talk about everything that will happen tomorrow so it won't seem so foreign to you." He held his hand out, waiting for her to take hold.
Katy hesitated for a moment but then reached for him and held on tight. She knew Rhys would never let anything happen to her that was in his power to stop. For a fleeting moment she thought of Katya and their daughter. He hadn't been able to save them. But that was a different time and place. And besides, she had seen their future, and they would be together for a long long time. She felt much better as they walked through the woods hand in hand.
They stopped in the middle of a huge clearing. She'd had a chance to explore these woods pretty extensively in the last two weeks. She didn't remember ever coming here with any of her friends. She thought she had gone everywhere within a few miles of the compound. She was sure she would have seen it.
Rhys sat in the very center and pulled Katy into his lap. She leaned against his chest. She could feel his heart beating through her back. It was such a calming feeling. She relaxed her body as he touched her skin, stroked her face, her hair. She thought she might melt into his body if he kept it up. She could feel him leaning into her, taking a deep breath with his nose near her neck. That made her smile. She knew there was something about the mate's scent that calmed the other half. Lila promised her that after she was turned she would understand.
Rhys was having a harder and harder time keeping his wolf in check. He was insistent that there was no need to wait. Rhys was just as insistent that there was. His wolf pouted and laid down. Rhys chuckled to himself. A wolf was so emotional when it came to their mate. He knew once the mating was over, his wolf would settle. He knew his wolf was more than a little worried about losing a second mate. He wanted to be sure she was safe and the best way as far as he was concerned was to have their bond in place. Rhys assured him the danger was over. They would be fine.
After several minutes of silence, Rhys began to go through the procedures for tomorrow's full moon. "Normally the Alpha and his mate lead the hunt. But because Carr is not fully healed, the Doctor thinks it best for him not to shift. So Cole will lead the hunt with Karen. He will take the males, and she the females."
Katy twisted around in his lap to look at him. "Does Karen know that? Is she ready for that?" Katy couldn't believe it. Karen had only been a wolf for ten days. Could she really lead a hunt?
"Her wolf has good instincts. And Lila will be there to help guide her. She'll be fine." Rhys was glad that her own fears weren't overpowering her natural instinct to be concerned with others. "Carr and Lee will wait here, at the clearing, for them to return. He is still the Alpha and he will preside over the festivities. After the hunt, we eat...and then everyone is free to do as they will." With that thought his wolf had to at least have a taste and Rhys leaned down to kiss her neck, his tongue sliding across her skin to her collar bone. He felt the shivers running through her body. "And what a wolf wants is to taste his mate."
Katy felt the change in his body language. Out of the corner of her eye she could see the change in his face and eyes. His wolf wanted her and it took all of Rhys' will to hold him back. It frightened her and thrilled her at the same time. At that moment she realized how ready she really was for this, how much she craved it. She wanted to belong to Rhys forever. She wanted to be able to run through the woods with him, hunt with him, follow him wherever his duties took him.
Rhys felt his wolf trying to take over. He let him taste her and felt his wolf's elation. Rhys found himself lecturing his wolf. "Now that you've had a taste, you can wait until tomorrow night. Then she will be ours completely." His wolf agreed to wait.
"Little one, I will warn you about one thing. The pack will be curious about you and Jenna. They've never seen a Werepanther. They're going to want to see you."
"Aren't there other Werepanthers?" Katy couldn't believe they would be the only ones left.
"There are none in North American that I am aware of. And they are rare in Europe and Asia." Rhys began to wonder if Guillame was a fool. Two Werepanthers in North America. The packs would find out. They would be curious and some could be afraid or worse. He would have to speak with Alistair about his thoughts on the matter. Katy's voice brought him back to the present and their conversation.
"What about the children? I mean cubs." They didn't let the young ones stay and watch did they? She didn't think she could deal with that.
Rhys laughed and slid his fingers down her bare arms. "Don't worry little one. The cubs watch the hunt and participate in the feast and then are sent off to bed. Only those old enough to mate are allowed to stay. Usually the older Omegas will take care of them for the night, or those who have lost a mate. They won't want to be there. It brings up too many memories." His eyes strayed off into the distance.
"Do you have too many memories Rhys? Are you sure that you can do this?" She brought her hand to his face and laid it on his cheek. " You've been so worried about me, but what about you? Are you alright?" Her eyes searched his face for his answer.
Her look of concern almost brought him to tears. His hand closed over hers and squeezed it gently. "I am more than fine my Katy." He gazed into her eyes, lost in the depths of her soul. "Dwi yn barod i fod gyda chi bob amser yn un bach." He stroked her soft red hair. "I am ready to be with you always little one."
She nestled in his arms and felt herself drift off to sleep.
As she looked across the clearing it was filled with wolves, black, brown, grey, sable, and one lone white wolf. He was immense and stood on the precipice, watching those below. A black wolf that was just as big approached and stood by his side. They exchanged glances and looked in her direction. She had to side step to avoid being bowled over by the gigantic black panther that barreled past her on her way to the top of the bluff. She rubbed her body along the side of the white wolf. She purred as he licked her head.
The black wolf continued to look in her direction. Was he looking at her? She looked to her left and to her right. There was no one else in sight. He must be looking at her. She began to walk and realized her feet were huge paws. She looked up and he continued to watch her, waiting patiently for her to reach him. She moved slowly towards him, not sure what he wanted from her. When she reached the top he met her at the edge. His tongue touched her mouth and she surprised herself by purring loudly.
The white wolf turned and walked away with his black panther by his side. The black wolf turned with him, looking over his shoulder at his panther. Would she come with him? She looked at him and at the wolves in the clearing. She saw many that she recognized. They were her friends, her family. She looked again at the black wolf and turned to join him.
The four walked into the distance, far from the pack.
"I'm leading the females on a hunt? Are you crazy?" Karen couldn't believe her ears. What did she know about hunting?
"Pet, you'll be fine." Cole had to hold back the laughter. He didn't think she'd appreciate it. "Your wolf is a great hunter. Look at how she tracked Cheryl and Katy and took Cheryl down alone. You'll be a wonderful leader."
"But shouldn't Lila lead the females? She's Lee's second, isn't she?" Karen was starting to panic and paced in their room. She had to move when she was upset. Her wolf really thought she was overreacting. They would be fine leading the hunt. Wolves hunted by instinct. She knew what to do. Karen just had to rely on her.
"But you are my mate. It wouldn't be proper for Lila to lead with me unless neither of us had mated. Before Carr had found a mate he led with the acting Alpha Bitch who was not mated. But if she had been, he would have asked another to lead the females." He saw Karen's confused look.
"Could you stop walking for just a minute? I'm getting a neck ache watching you go back and forth." Cole had been watching from the bed and felt like he was at a tennis match. He reached out and pulled her down to sit next to him. He scooted closer to her and put an arm around her waist. "The hunt brings the wolves alive like no other time except battle. After the feast, the wolves are...how do I put it?" He smiled broadly. "Horny, no other way to put it that you'd understand."
Karen blushed sitting next to him and tried to pull away. He held her tight. She turned to look at his smiling face. "And what do the horny wolves do?"
"They mate silly. That's why it wouldn't do for Lila and I to lead the hunt together. It NEEDS to be you pet. My wolf will want to mate with his hunting partner. YOU."
"In front of everyone?" Karen was having flashbacks to the leers she got when the Betas saw the bite on her neck. She couldn't even imagine the looks she'd get having sex in front of the pack.
"Believe me, they'll be too busy to be watching us. Besides, most are going to want to gawk at Katy and Jenna. We've never seen Werepanthers before." He tried to keep her on the bed but she popped up and started pacing again. He let out a loud sigh.
"What if I can't do it? What if I don't catch any game? What if I get too scared to mate with you with the pack all around us?" Her voice was rising as she listed her fears.
"I know you can do it, your wolf knows. You just have to believe in yourself pet. And Lila will be there to help you." He stood up and blocked her path. His hands landed on her shoulders and he ducked down to try to look into her eyes. "If the time comes and you are still worried about others watching when we mate, we can move out of sight. But to be honest, I think after the hunt your wolf will stay in control and there won't be any issue at all. She'll want to prove herself to the pack like any other wolf. And part of that is showing others that they better stay away from what's yours, mainly your mate."
She looked up, startled. "Could someone challenge me?"
"According to pack law, yes. Has it ever happened? No, not that I'm aware of. But if one of the females feels you aren't an acceptable mate, she could challenge you. And then you would kick her butt and we'd go back to what we were doing." He tried to give her a reassuring smile. He didn't want to lie about anything but sometimes telling the truth just made things more difficult for her. She was such a worrier.
"You better believe I would kick her butt." Karen had a set look on her face. There was no way in hell anyone would take Cole away from her. No way.
He was amazed by the way her dark brown eyes seemed to spark when she was upset. He thought it was sexy as hell. Of course it was less so when directed at him.
"The full moon will seal our mating. Until then it's a tentative bond that can be broken. I won't let that happen Karen. You are mine, I am yours. Forever." He looked into her face and bent down to kiss her gently. Unfortunately they didn't have time to play with the celebration tonight. But he wanted to show her what she meant to him. He never wanted her to doubt his feeling for her.
"Sir, do they understand the importance of tomorrow night?" Jószef was a little worried. What if things didn't go as planned with the Werepanthers? What if the Council got here before they mated? Would they try to stop them? Could they succeed?
"Jószef, you worry too much my boy. The future has been written. The Council may try to stop it, but they won't be able to change what has already been seen." Guillame smiled at the younger Were. He would make a good Alpha, he just needed more experience out in the world. This would be good for him.
This pack would be good for him. She was here somewhere. Jószef just had to find her. Guillame hated to mislead him about why he was here, but finding a mate was the most important thing in a Were's life and when she was half a world away, one just couldn't leave it to chance. He was so glad he had kept his notes of Orsolya's dreams and reviewed them every so many years. He'd almost missed what she'd said about his apprentice finding a mate in the New World at the home of the panthers.
Jószef had grown up thinking of the European Council as infallible. It had only been since he'd been sent to learn from Guillame that he'd realized the truth, they were power hungry as much as any human could be. It sickened him to realize his kind was no different in that way than the humans.
Guillame studied Jószef for a moment. He was a strapping lad, only seventy eight years old. If he could find his mate now it would be wonderful for his pack. They would know there would be an heir. Jószef's father didn't find his mate until he was almost six hundred. His pack was starting to break apart with infighting from some of the Betas jockeying for a position. But now things had calmed, and if Jószef were to bring a mate home that would help solidify his standing as the next Alpha.
"Are you ready Jószef? We don't want to be late." He checked his appearance in the mirror. No need to meet the entire pack looking disheveled if he could help it.
Guillame and Jószef left their rooms immaculate as always. They did look sort of out of place in the Baxter pack. They would normally have worn expensive European suits, but after speaking with Lee and Carr, decided on a bit more casual wear, tailored slacks and polo shirts. As soon as they left their rooms they realized they were still over dressed. Every male they spotted was wearing jeans and a t-shirt or work shirt.
They stood on the second floor landing watching the pack members leaving for the gathering. "We really are over dressed, aren't we?" Guillame was laughing as he realized how out of place they were.
Several Betas walked by and stared at the strangers. They knew they had something to do with the European Council but had no idea why they'd come here.
"Ya'all ain't from around here are ya?" Cole started laughing hysterically. They were the country bumpkins in comparison to the Archivist and the someday Alpha. He quickly felt Karen's elbow in his ribs. He stopped laughing immediately. "Sorry about that. I think I have some jeans and shirts that would fit if you want to try them."
Karen nodded approvingly at her mate. She wouldn't tolerate him making fun of her grandfather, or at least that's what she was going to call him. "If you want, we'll wait for you and you can come with us. That way we can introduce you. I think Lee and Carr are already there." They talked as they made their way to the third floor so Cole could donate some clothes to make them look more like pack members.
Guillame and Jószef donned the proffered clothing and walked out of the room, stopping in front of Karen for her approval. "Well? What do you think granddaughter?" Guillame beamed at her, so proud of how understanding she and her cousins had been and how welcoming they had been to him.
Karen put on a serious look, her hand to her chin and walked slowly around the two males. "Hmmm, pretty darn hot if you ask me." She had a silly grin on her face.
Guillame laughed but Jószef looked entirely confused. "Hot? I feel comfortable, not hot at all."
Karen and Cole looked at each other and burst out laughing.
"Hot means sexy. The females will be swarming around you like bees in a hive." Karen thought Jószef's bewildered look was adorable. The females would really be flocking around him. She was starting to get used to the free sexuality in the pack. But at the same time she was grateful she had her mate already.
Karen took Cole's arm and looked at him and then at Guillame. "Do you mind?" She asked through their bond.
He gave an imperceptible nod and smiled. Guillame was her family. His wolf wasn't threatened by him anymore. Yesterday he would never have allowed him near her. Today was a new day.
Karen held out her arm to Guillame who laughed and took it carefully, nodding back to Cole his thanks.
The three of them walked arm in arm with Jószef following closely. They made their way to the funeral pyre where the pack was assembling. Everyone would be here except for those too badly injured to attend. There were several with bandages and sitting in wheelchairs.