Bound to My Mate Ch. 20byDoctorWolf©
All the unmated were in a frenzy over the meetings with the human women that were coming up. The den was alive with excitement and anticipation. It was hard to miss.
The first group of women were being brought to us by Cedric Benson, Will's father. He and his pack had found them when they cleaned out the rouge dens in their territory. Much like the women we had found, they were being kept and claimed by the packs. Every effort went into finding them mates.
The pack was sure that the women belonged in the werewolf world. They were seen as a treasure trove for the unmated. Nobody doubted they would be special and unique.
The whole thing had confused me before Joel explained. The wolves worked with humans every day, most of them. It wasn't like they had never seen a human before. I couldn't understand what made these humans different.
What I didn't grasp was the focus of their belief system.
The wolves trusted fate and believed their fate was sealed by their goddess. Considering how they found their mates, that made sense. They believed any human dropped into their lap was destined to be mated to a wolf. In their opinion, why else would Luna have sent them that human?
That made sense to me, especially after watching Lucas and June's relationship. Lucas became a different man, a calmer man once June arrived. It was hard not to trust a system that worked such miracles.
From the moment she arrived, Lucas spent every minute in the infirmary with June. We even ended up rolling a cot in for him to sleep on, because otherwise he'd sleep on the floor. The big man never left her side.
I was grateful for Lucas' help, because in the beginning June was kept too drugged to do much. He fed her when she was awake and kept her comfortable as she slept. I was shocked the first time I saw him change the bag of intravenous fluids. There was nothing he wouldn't do for her.
June was doing something to him, too. Lucas seemed calm. He didn't startle when the door opened and his eyes only darted around when she was in pain. Lucas was serene as he cared for his injured mate.
The human women that stayed in the infirmary took note of Lucas' continued presence. They watched everything he did with curiosity. Despite my explanations, they could not understand what he was doing.
"He's in there again, Madam Alpha," Donna whispered in my ear one day, "and he's...he's...it looks like he's washing her."
"Donna, I've told you. Lucas is her mate, he is caring for her. I promise you he will never hurt her."
The women were upset. They didn't mind Lucas sitting with June or talking to her. The idea of him bathing the young, wounded woman really set them on edge though.
"She told us she only met him once before Dia brought her here," Donna insisted. "June barely knows him and you know how she is when the pain medicines kick in. She wouldn't have the strength to call out for help."
There was panic in the women's eyes. Despite their acceptance of this life, they still struggled with not fearing wolves. After what had been done to them, I understood their difficulty.
"Come on," I said and walked to June's room.
The women all stayed well behind me as I knocked and opened the door.
Lucas sat inside, beside June's bed. He was working on cleaning the skin under her arm when I entered. As I watched, he put the soapy rag back into one tub of water. A second towel from clean water rinsed her arm and then he dried the entire thing.
June was dozing as Lucas worked. Her eyes were only half open and she didn't seem to notice I'd come in.
"June," I called softly, not wanting to startle her.
Sleepy eyes looked up at Lucas first. He smiled at her and pointed toward me.
"How are you June?" I asked propping the door open and stepping fully inside.
"Fine, Madam," she said sounding groggy. "My neck was sore earlier, but Lucas rubbed it and now I feel much better."
"Lucas is giving you a bath today?" I questioned.
"Yes, Madam, I'd prefer it if he did it and not the helpers. They are so busy and Lucas doesn't mind," she said waking up a little more.
The women were still behind me and peering into the doorway.
"You aren't afraid of him?" I asked bluntly.
Lucas cocked his head to the side and looked at me with the oddest expression. June gave a short laugh and winced. She grabbed at her side where the chest tube had been. Lucas' attention turned immediately to her.
Shifting his tongue only, Lucas moved the bed sheet out of the way. He took long licks over the entire side of her chest. Unintentionally, he had exposed a taut breast, but he ignored it. He worked across her ribs until she breathed easier.
"Oh, that's good Lucas," June sighed. "I hope it gets better soon. I feel like such an invalid."
"It will," I assured her as Lucas recovered her body with the sheet.
"Why do you think I would be afraid of Lucas?" June asked as she stroked a hand down his beard.
"He's a wolf and you're a human, June," I reasoned. "He's much larger than you and you barely know him."
Now both of them had the same quizzical looks on their faces.
"He's my mate, Madam," June said, obviously confused. "I feel safe with him. Lucas would never hurt me; I know that."
"If I scared you in the past, I apologize, Madam Alpha," Lucas said shaking his head. "I meant no harm those many months ago. My mind was not right then; it is better now."
A sound came from the doorway and Donna stepped in shivering lightly.
"You're nude beneath those blankets, June, he could do anything to you," Donna said. "A man can't be trusted under those circumstances," she finished looking down.
June looked between Donna and I for a moment before she spoke, "A mate can be trusted," she said. "The men here can be trusted," she gestured to the den.
"I don't see how you know any of that," Donna said looking up.
"My brothers live upstairs," June said with authority. "I know them. They wouldn't stand to watch abuse. They've seen too much of it in their lives. The pack is as peaceful and loving as they claim to be. If they weren't, my brothers would have removed me from here long ago."
The women stood and watched June for a moment longer before they disappeared from the door.
I smiled at June and Lucas after the women left. I thanked them quietly for their help and left so they could continue June's bath.
The rescued women huddled in Donna's room and talked. After a few minutes I gave in to my instincts and called Rick down. He sat with them for several hours working through their fears.
He really was amazing when it came to dealing with our psychically injured humans. Absently, I wondered what the other packs were doing with their rescued women, perhaps the same things. Hopefully, all packs had a person like Rick they could turn to.
The pack continued to be wound up about the impending visit of the human females. It made being upstairs in the den a hectic place. Fights broke out over nothing and Joel was constantly reprimanding someone. I made a point to keep myself out of all of it and stayed resolutely downstairs.
Soon even my sanctuary was dragged into the mating frenzy. June was healing fast from her injuries. She wanted to be better because she wanted to be with Lucas, her mate, in every way.
It wasn't that I had something against physical relationships. In fact, I was happy to see June talking to the other women about how much she wanted Lucas. I hoped it would help the humans see the good in mated relationships.
My concern was that June was still healing from two fairly nasty fractures; both her arm and leg on the left side were broken. I worried about her not being able to handle the wolf's aggressive style of mating.
June knew what the wolf wanted to do to her and it didn't scare her. I told her I didn't want her that active yet. If Lucas got too rough, she could re-injure her healing limbs. That really upset June, she wanted to be with Lucas badly.
It became a battle of wills down in the infirmary. Every day June found novel ways to tempt Lucas. He didn't want to hurt her, so he made an effort to listen to me. Lucas pleased her daily with his hands and tongue, but she wanted all of him.
From outside her door I heard her begging him. She wanted him to crawl over her and take her, damn any consequences. I walked in to find Lucas on the bed beside June, his hand buried between her legs, trying to sate her.
"Lucas, let me show you something," I told the surprised couple.
"No, Madam, I'm so close. At least let us have this," she begged.
The air was literally saturated with the rich scent of their arousal.
"Up, Lucas," I ordered.
The beds in the infirmary were all meant to be used for delivering children. They broke apart so the person helping deliver the child could stand between the woman's spread legs. When the bed was like that the woman on the bed was still fully supported by the structure under her, including her legs.
Quickly, I showed Lucas how to use the controls to set the height and how to take the bed apart. He moved between June's spread and supported legs staring down at his flushed mate. The understanding lit his eyes gold.
"If you stood there, you could have her. It won't make the wolf perfectly happy, but I wouldn't worry that she was in a position to re break any bones," I told him.
"My wolf will wait," Lucas promised hoarsely, "a taste of her will sustain me."
As Lucas removed the rest of his clothes while staring down at a panting June, I covered the little window in the room from the inside. Not that either of them seemed concerned with privacy, but it was the polite thing to do.
"If she gets too active and her wounds hurt her afterward, let me know and I'll give her pain medication," I promised them as I stepped out.
I doubted I'd hear from them for a very long time.
The bed came apart every day after that. June was insatiable when it came to Lucas. He thanked me for finding a way to let him have his mate and not hurt her while doing it.
The sexual energy emanating from June's room had ended up making my sanctuary, ie the infirmary, into a strangely tense place. I'd be ecstatic when June was well and could be moved to Lucas' rooms in the den. For now she just needed too much assistance to be put upstairs.
All this concern about mating brought the talk of the visiting humans back to the forefront. I couldn't escape the pack's excitement about the visit. It felt like we were in sexual overdrive waiting for the first group to arrive.
To put it lightly, I was glad when the train of SUV's came rolling toward the den holding Cedric and his rescued women. I knew it would be strange while they were here, but it would mean one down. We'd be that much closer to getting back to normal.
Emily had the entire thing planned out. She told me she had scheduled times for the unmated in the pack to meet and greet the women in a safe environment. Everyone unmated was literally on lockdown unless they were at a meeting. It seemed strange.
"Okay, Joel, question," I said watching the caravan drive down the road. "Why are we so worried about safety? The unmated are being treated like rabid animals. They aren't allowed out and every meeting Emily scheduled has a literal guard of our strongest mated Betas present."
Joel raised an eyebrow and looked down at me like I had two heads.
"Do you remember Luna Ferus, love?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes, you got really fresh with me, but I never felt I needed a guard around you."
Joel shook his head and looked down at me.
"Let me explain. It took every ounce of my self control to let you leave that bathroom alone. I nearly shifted when I smelled your arousal in the dining room. Had I been younger or less in control of my urges, you would have ended up slung over my shoulder and mated in the first space I could find," he said. "That would have made you angry. You wouldn't have understood and would have hated and feared me."
"Well, Rick must have super human self control. He never acted out around April. He didn't touch her until many days after they met," I said still confused. "He didn't mate her until the celebration at the lake."
Rick was young. He should not be in control of his urges according to Joel's theory.
"Elizabeth," Joel sighed, "what did April smell like the day she and Rick first met?"
I remembered the dining room and the acrid scent of fear emanating from all the women at the table. April, especially, always smelled fearful. Her panic overwhelmed her, she couldn't sleep more than an hour at a time without medicines, before Rick.
I started to understand and Joel finished with a clarification. "Rick responded to his mate's needs. She was afraid, near out of her mind with it. The wolf in Rick knew she was safe with you, the Alpha bitch, so he didn't lash out. He just sought to comfort her."
"The women arriving today will probably have been put at ease. They will be surrounded by Cedric's Betas and were promised protection. The Alpha is even traveling with them. If a wolf found it's mate with one of them, the poor man may over react and scare the women. None of us want that to happen," Joel finished raising an arm in greeting as the Expeditions stopped in front of us.
The first person to step out was the Alpha male, Will's father. Betas, male and female, followed him out and started unloading their luggage. They watched the human women and spoke to them in comforting voices.
The Alpha approached us with a purposeful stride. Joel had told me Cedric Benson was a warm and funny man. He looked a lot like Will, except with slightly graying temples. He eyed me up and down with some humor on his face. I assumed he and Will had probably discussed my many adventures. We talked amicably as the women unloaded.
I saw what Joel meant about the women needing protection. The unmated in my pack were salivating at the chance to find a mate. Behind us no one was in the main lobby of the den, Joel had ordered it clear. The windows in every room were crowded with faces. Cedric's Betas were watching the faces in the windows intently.
One of the larger men placed his hand on a shivering woman's arm and I heard him softly reassuring her. Much like in our pack these Betas took protecting their charges seriously, from real or imagined threats. The woman leaned into his touch and seemed to take some comfort from it.
I heard laughing voices as our human females came outside. We had told Donna and the other humans that women were coming from another pack. I wanted our humans to come greet them. Seeing that humans were treated well here may help our new guests feel relaxed.
Donna walked out confidently, as always, with a pretty summer sun dress on. She was laughing and talking to April about making a line of women's dance wear. Looking up at the women in front of her she raised a hand in greeting. She stepped forward and took her usual position in front of the rest of the women.
What happened next was so fast, even I nearly missed it. One of the Betas surrounding Cedric's women shot forward toward Donna. He was mid shift into a large grey wolf when Joel collided with him.
The two men landed on the front of one of the Expeditions, crushing the hood. My wolf went into overdrive and I shifted, ripping out of my clothes. I took a defensive stance between our visitors and the door to the den.
It felt wrong growling at terrified human women, so I just stood and watched. Joel had subdued the grey wolf and forced his submission. As he backed away to stand next to me, Cedric was firmly demanding the man shift back.
I heard the sounds coming from the women Cedric had brought. They sounded worried about the grey wolf, who they called Paul. They didn't understand why he'd acted that way. He was always so sweet to them. They were all very concerned.
Cedric was giving the man a talking to I would have hated to get. That much lack of control was not tolerated. He said he couldn't decide if should demote him, beat him, or do all of the above.
"Well, what the hell is wrong with you?" I heard Donna scream from behind me.
She was huddled against the brick face of our den, but she hadn't gone back inside with the other women.
"Are you and idiot? Don't you have any sense?" she screamed coming forward.
I had to give her credit, she was acting braver than I would have expected. Admittedly, she smartly stayed behind Joel and I, but she said her peace.
"I'm sorry," the man stuttered.
He was back to being human with short cropped blonde hair and obvious bite wounds on his neck. Despite the wounds and the tongue lashing, his raging erection had not diminished at all.
He spoke, looking right past Joel and I, speaking directly to Donna. "It has been so long. I never thought I would find my mate. You have to understand, I'd given up hope. My wolf was so lonely. Your face, your voice, and your scent they all call to me. Please, I beg you. It was excitement, not aggression that made me act badly. Forgive me."
"That doesn't make any sense," Donna said bluntly. "Why would you shift and jump at someone like that? You could have killed me!"
The man, Paul, got down on his knees and held his hands at his sides. "I just wanted to get close to you, to verify it was real. I swear I'll never hurt you. Please, let me get close to you."
Donna had crept slowly forward until she stood between the front shoulders of my mate and I. She was interested in him, too.
"I feel something strange when I look at him," she told us. "I think I want to be near him, but I'm scared," Donna finished looking down into Joel's bright eyes.
Joel walked toward the kneeling man and looked back at Donna. He wanted her to follow him. This idiot Paul could check her out if she allowed it, but Joel would bite his head off if he tried anything stupid.
Since the emergency was over, my animal half was bored. I shifted back to my human skin, since I'd need it to apologize for scaring the six women huddled by the vehicles.
Nudity was very acceptable in the pack, but looking at someone new always got the men's attention. I saw Cedric and his crew grin when I shifted back. I rolled my eyes at their blatant attention and started to call out to the human women.
Joel's low growl stopped everything. He had seen the same thing I had seen and it pissed him off. I saw eyes drop immediately off my form.
"Ladies, I am the Madam Alpha, Elizabeth. I apologize if we scared you. I would like to welcome you to our home."
"We could really use a bathroom break, Madam Alpha," one of the small women spoke up from the back of the group.
Emily had showed up with a pair of sweats for Joel and I. She offered to take the women inside to the quarters they would be using. A set of female wolves would be on hand to handle getting them settled, but Cedric's Betas went with the women to make them comfortable.
I threw on the now familiar emergency wear and stepped toward Cedric.
"So," he said crossing his arms, "it appears that we will only be able to take mated Betas with us when we go on these little excursions. I apologize, Elizabeth, I didn't realize your humans would be greeting us. With the exception of Paul's outburst, it was a good idea."
"I apologize, Alphas," the kneeling man said sounding dazed.
Donna had one hand on Joel and was running her fingers along Paul's cheek.
"Of course you do, Paul," Cedric sighed pinching the bridge of his nose. "As the human stated, you acted like an idiot and ruined one of our new vehicles. No wonder the damned dealership loves us so much."
"I'll pay you back, sir," Paul whispered as Donna knelt on the drive in front of him.
Paul made no attempt to grab Donna, but seemed to be content letting her explore him.