TATUM: A WOLF’S HUNGER
Alpha Shifter Romance
S. RAVEN STORM
Copyright © 2017 S. Raven Storm
All rights reserved.
This book is dedicated to my loyal readers and supporters, known as Rav Stormers. Thank you for your encouragement and love.
I wish to thank A.K. Michaels for allowing me to participate in such a wonderful and amazing project. I’ve read the series and hope I’m included in the readers praise of A Wolf’s Hunger’s success. Thanks also to the several authors I’ve befriended over the years. Too many to count.
Bristol could tell by the weather it was not going to be a good day, the cumulus clouds were gathering together, creating odd shapes. She could feel it in her bones, something bad was about to happen. Bristol stretched her tall, sleek body to her full height before grabbing the brush on her dresser. Taking her time brushing her jet-black locks, struggling, as always, to remove the tangles, she once again looked out the window. The sun, desperately trying to shine, could only manage to peek out from behind the clouds, unable to stay for any length of time. Taking a deep breath, she thought a rainy day would be fitting. It was one month ago today that her father died. No. That he was murdered… Murdered by a coward. A low down dirty dog of a coward. If she knew who the culprit was, she would return the favor, with more painful results.
Bristol loved both her parents, but she was a daddy’s girl, and always would be. She’d been groomed to rule as an alpha’s mate, and to be a strong, formidable she-wolf. Her parents were the best trainers, and they were the best alphas in the region. Her father, Midas, ruled the lands and helped neighboring packs. Rolling Hill Pack, though small, were strong. Her father became alpha at eighteen and died at the tender age of fifty. Her mother Leona, a true warrior, ruled better than any male alpha. They both taught Bristol the fundamentals of being a strong, intelligent wolf that could one-day rule alongside a great alpha. Maybe that’s why her father raised her to be the son he never had. So, she would be two times better than the best. Bristol had had two sisters and a brother, all who died in the great blizzard when they were just pups. She was the only survivor of the litter. Between her parents’ strong hand and that of the pack, she learned to stand strong at a young age.
Since the death of her father, Bristol’s mother Leona had taken her rightful place as alpha, but without her husband or a strong mate, she’d become unfocused and lacking in her duties. The Rolling Hill Pack were now screaming for leadership and change.
Of course, Scotty, her father’s beta, was willing to fill her father’s shoes as alpha, and since she’s her father’s daughter, mating with him would be the simple solution to all. Mating with the last alpha’s daughter would bring power and status. So, whoever became alpha and chose her as his mate will have great power and position. Bristol liked Scotty, however, she’d be lying if she said she wanted him as a mate. No, Scotty was more like a big brother, he was her best friend.
With the mourning period over and the need for a leader, the gamma set the ceremony date. To Bristol’s surprise it was a week away. No one questioned the gamma’s decision, his job was to provide counsel, wisdom, and knowledge to the pack. With the taste of power on the tongues of many, challenges were rampant and Scotty, on a daily basis, has been dealing with them. Omegas and other underlings with hopes of grandeur have challenged Scotty and lost. Bristol smiled, he’s always been bigger and stronger than most, therefore my father picked him to be beta. Not to mention he’s smart.
Noticing the dim light coming from her mother’s room Bristol gingerly pushed the door open. Her mother, still in bed, was lying on her side. She’d been sleeping in later and later each day. As alpha of the pack, her responsibility was to lead in the hunt, yet her mother no longer took interest in the hunt. She was still allowed first meal of the kill, yet she declined to eat each day. Some days she would forgo eating at all.
Bristol didn’t know what to do about her mother. She wanted to help, yet each time she approached her mother she would dismiss her concerns as being futile and unwarranted. Bristol decided to speak to the gamma, in hopes of receiving the answers to her many questions. She sat at her dressing table brushing her long, ebony black hair. When she removed all the tangles she braided it into a long, thick plait, then pushed the pin spikes in various places throughout her braid. A little warrior trick her mother taught her. Her dark skin resembled the pecans she loved to eat. Bristol’s skin was flawless and smooth. She was tall, taller than most of the women in the pack, including her mother, her physique that of an athlete. Bristol pulled her hooded jacket around her tightly, for the wind was brisk. It wasn’t long before small drops of rain gently fell from the sky, promising more to come. It was strange having this type weather in the present season. However, if the truth be known, everything seemed a bit unusual since her father’s death.
Walking quickly, not wanting to draw attention to herself or where she was going Bristol covertly looked around, assuring herself that no one had noticed her, before ducking into the little cottage. She didn’t know why she was making such a big deal out of the outing, yet, Bristol didn’t want anyone to know she needed council from Gamma Rhone. Most of the pack enjoyed the gamma’s tales of the olden days, and found them to be entertaining fables. Bristol, however, reveled in the stories and believed them all to be true.
“Come in and shut the door, my child,” bellowed Gamma Rhone. He was a short, stout man with a long gray beard that looked surprisingly funny, since he had no hair upon his head.
Bristol, approaching the elderly man, immediately grabbed his hand, kissing the back of it, saying, “yes, gamma I…I came…” Bristol, stammered endlessly trying to find the right words.
“You came because I sent for you.” He said.
“I’m so sorry, I didn’t receive your message, sir.”
“Sit.” He instructed.
“I can’t stay. I just... I need some advice on what I need to do to help my mother.” She said, feeling uncomfortable in the dimly lit room.
“There is nothing you can do about your mother. Her fate has been determined. You, on the other hand, must follow my instructions.”
“What instructions. Do you not realize my mother is not eating?”
“Listen, time is ticking as we speak. You must leave this place to ensure our future. You must leave it all behind.”
“Leave! Leave my mother, and the pack? No!”
“If you stay we will be no more. You survived because in death your siblings kept you warm. You have matured because of your father, and strength due to your mother, and you will be the instrument used to save our pack and revenging both your parents.”
Bristol stood up and asked, “is my mother in danger? you said revenge…do you know my father’s killer? … No, I can’t leave!”
“But you must, for there’s a bigger picture, one you cannot see, as of yet.”
“I can see nothing but the murderer's blood on my hands.”
“Don’t be a fool. Blind revenge will be your end! You must plan and prepare, always, to defeat your enemy. War’s have never been won by emotional reactions.”
“Why should I leave?”
“Because, what waits for you is greater than anything you can imagine. You will return, I promise. And when you do, you will bring the pack back to its glory. For right now, your destiny does not lie here.”
“But to leave!” She cried.
“Go! The clock is ticking.” Gamma Rhone said, then closed his eyes.
Exiting the cottage, Bristol heard the noise coming from the square. Picking up her pace she found herself wedged between the crowd who’d gathered.
Scotty was battling Rex, Rex the rat, she called him. He was sneaky with beady rat eyes. Bristol never like Rex. She hated the way he would follow her with his beady little eyes, then lick his lips as if he could taste her. No, she didn’t like him worth a damn. He was of medium build, with very little muscles. Plus, she’d never she seen him battle anyone. No, he was destined to be an Omega, even as a yearling, he was unimpressive.
The fight, to her surprise, was evenly matched. Bristol, after a closer examination, believed Scotty had an advantage over Rex. Bristol noticed the way Rex kept backing Scotty up, not so much in defense, but just narrowing the space. It didn’t take Bristol long to see there was a hole behind Scotty. Not big enough to fall into, yet small enough to go unnoticed.
“Scotty behind you!” Bristol shouted, but it was too late, the moment his foot went into the hole he lost his balance. Rex seized the moment, jumping on Scotty’s chest he began throwing punches left and right. He picked up a rock and lifted it over his head intending to crush Scotty’s skull, until Gamma Rhone shouted, “Enough!”
Seconds went by as Rex continued to hold the rock over Scotty’s skull. Finally, he let the rock roll from his hand. He stood, sneering at Scotty, he announced loudly for all to hear, “I am alpha and I want you gone, now.”
Bristol ran over to Scotty and wrapped her arms around his neck, whispering in his ear, “you know he made sure you’d fall in that hole? He tricked you, Scotty.”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if he dug the hole himself. But pack rules are meant to be followed, rules are what binds us to our humanity. I’m going to miss you, squirt.” Scotty said with sincerity.
Tears flooded Bristol’s eyes, threatening to spill over, but she wiped them away quickly as she gave Scotty another hung. “Where will you go?”
“To my mother’s people, the Howling Wall Pack.”
“Do you know how to find them?”
“I have an idea how to locate them.”
“Please be careful.” She cried.
“I’ll be fine. I have to go now.” Scotty said as he locked eyes with Rex. “Be strong, Bristol.”
Bristol watched as Scotty transformed and ran down the path, his speed increasing with each step and soon she lost sight of him.
Bristol looked over to Gamma Rhone and shook her head. He tapped his wrist as a reminder that time was ticking.
The moment Bristol walked into the house she saw her mother sitting at the table with her head down on her forearm. Bristol ran to her mother fearing the worst. “Mother!” she shouted.
Leona lifted her head slowly. Her red eyes revealing she’d been crying. Her mother looked weak and tired. Bristol shook her head; how can I leave when she’s in this state of mind?
“How about something to eat?” Bristol suggested, as she ran her hands through Leona’s tangled mass.
“Not now, maybe later.” She said, weakly.
“Mother, you need to eat, to keep up your strength. If not for yourself, then for me, I need you.” She cried.
“I will, I promise.”
“Rex has been made alpha…He defeated Scotty with trickery and the gamma, he…he, said I should leave.”
“Why should you leave? If Rex is alpha your place is with him. I don’t understand.” She said as she walked over to her bed.
Bristol was about to follow to explain to her everything that had transpired that day, when a knock came at the door. Bristol answered and was surprised in one way to see Rex standing before her with an arrogant smug look on his face, then again, she wasn’t.
“What is it Rex?” Bristol asked coldly.
“I’m am now the alpha of the pack.” He beamed like a child receiving sweets.
“I know, I was there, remember.” She stated with total disdain.
“You are to be my mate, seems like you’d be a little friendlier.”
“Not really! We’ll see what the council says, after all, it is not a written law that I marry you, it’s just expected.” She said tilting her head up high.
“I bet you wouldn’t be saying this shit if it was Scotty.” He sneered.
“No! because Scotty is a true alpha, through and through. I know the trick you played getting Scotty to fall in that hole.”
“You’re mine, regardless.”
“Oh, really, and you think I’m going to follow you like a little lost sheep?”
“Let’s just say I have the wolf by the tail.” He laughed. As he grabbed her wrist.
Bristol slapped Rex face with her free hand, stunning him. She smiled knowing he hadn’t expect her response. “You can grab a wolf by the tail but you better be ready to deal with the teeth at the other end.”
“I won’t let you fuck up my plans, Bristol. I’ve waited to too long for this time. Your pompous ass father couldn’t stop me, and your stupid lover is gone, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to allow you to defy me.” He shouted, slapping her across the face. There was a loud growl and when Bristol turned she saw her mother standing in the doorway.
“It was you who killed my Midas!” She screamed, ripping her gown, shredding it into pieces as if it were paper. She shifted into a glorious gray wolf, baring her teeth as she lunged at Rex. Bristol, go, leave.
I can’t leave you mother, I can’t.
Rex was fast and dodged her attack while quickly shifting himself. Bristol knew in her heart how this would end, as she heard the gamma’s words ringing in her ear. Tears fought to escape the rim of her eyes as she saw her mother’s bloody fur coat. She was a true fighter, a great she-wolf, as Rex threw her across the room, yet she continued to attack. She wanted to join her mother in the fight. Surely the two of them could take him. She could sound the alarm, but would anyone help her mother, alpha-mate to the old and deceased leader, against the reigning alpha? Bristol was torn, her mind running rampant. All she could here was Gamma Rhone saying time is ticking, you must leave. She reached for her fighting stick, which once belonged to her grandmother, passed down to her mother and then passed onto her. It was fifty-six-inches tall and thick in diameter. Wolves in battle decorated the hickory wooden stick, as a large wolf’s head baring teeth posed as the handle. Bristol suddenly found herself running down the back road. Running like Scotty, except she hadn’t shifted. When she got to the end of the valley she turned in the direction she thought she saw Scotty run. If anything, maybe they would meet up. She prayed to the heavens that this was so. Mom, please, I love you. She waited for a response, but there wasn’t one.
She hadn’t changed to her wolf form and her human side was tired and hungry. Her stomach felt as if something was trying to claw its way out. Pain gripped her side and ran down her thigh. Changing into her wolf form, she entered the forest for her prey, she patiently waited until a rabbit appeared. She ate the small creature, but her hunger had yet to subside. Bristol, never a big eater, decided the day’s event may have taken a toll on her, more so than anticipated. She found a fawn drinking from the crystal brook, and quickly made it her meal. The tender, sweet meat, filled her belly as night began to fall. Bristol found a small cave to rest in. She would continue her journey at first light. Sleep didn’t come easy as she woke several times in a pool of sweat, her stomach continued to twist in knots. She remembered dreaming of a tall, handsome man with one gray and one brown eye. He was menacing, yet handsome. He made her feel secure. Bristol looked around and she felt everything but secure as pain cramped her mid-section.
Now is not the time to get sick. I must find Scotty and revenge my parents’ death.
Scotty realized his mistake the moment he crossed the ridge. He didn’t know how long he’d been traveling, but the smell of unfamiliar wolves told him he was in enemy territory. If he smelled them, it was a sure bet that they smelled his ass too. Shit, was the only word that rang in his head. It was too late to turn back and whatever was ahead, was ahead. Scotty slowed his pace, he knew shifting into his wolf form would appear as a challenge, yet he was vulnerable in his human form. “I’m dead either way.” He said out loud to himself. It didn’t take long before four men stood along the narrow path, blocking his way. “Shit!” he growled.
“I should have shifted.”
“Stranger, you’re a long way from home.” One of the men stated with a smile that was as cold as his eyes.
“Yes, I didn’t mean to trespass.” Scotty said, knowing he was out numbered.
“Yet, you did. What’s your name and where are you from?” The man asked.
Scotty assumed the one talking must be the alpha or no less than the beta of the pack. “I’m nobody, going nowhere.” Scotty answered, quietly.
“Well, Mr. Nobody, who’s on his way to nowhere, I need you to meet my alpha.” He then turned to two of the guys and said, “make sure Mr. Nobody is alone,” He then nodded his head for Scotty to start walking.
It wasn’t a long walk, yet to Scotty it could have been the death march to the guillotine. He saw several houses, small and large, houses unlike any he’d seen before. Even in his travels with alpha Midas, the houses didn’t look like this, the whole town was unlike any other. There were even log cabins scattered here and there, with several farmer type residents. They all viewed him with curiosity. This day couldn’t get any worse, thought Scotty as the group approached a large house with several men standing before it. The chat and hisses was getting louder as they drew near the house. Suddenly, a deathly silence fell over the crowd. When Scotty turned he saw the large man approach. He was over six-five, with muscles that seemed to be attached to muscles, his eyes were frightening and lifeless as they burned through Scotty. Scotty knew right then and there he was in Blackstone Pack territory and the man looking at him was no other than Tatum, the tracker. Scotty immediately got on his knees and bowed down to the fierce and legendary leader of his generation.
“Rise.” Tatum said in a deep baritone voice that vibrated in Scotty’s chest.
Scotty stood slowly, not wanting to make any sudden moves. Scotty was no punk, nor was he stupid. He knew he was outnumbered and by all rights a trespasser and a danger to all.
“This is Mr. Nobody…” the man said, but before he could finish Scotty interrupted.
“I’m called Scott, Scotty to my friends.” He said with a slight smile.
“From nowhere.” The man pronounced slowly.
“Sir, I am from the Rolling Hill Pack, I apologize for trespassing, I was looking for the Skylark pack.” Scotty explained.
“Why, why are you away from Rolling Hill and looking for the Howling Wall pack?”
Scotty wanted to tell him it was none of his business and that he didn’t think the Blackstone Pack was this far south. “It is my mother’s pack.”
“You look too old to be suckled, so why are you looking for mommy?” The other man said.
Scotty determined the man was Tatum’s beta and if so, was due as much respect as Tatum himself.
“Luke, stop looking for a fight where there is none.” Tatum announced. “The Howling Wall Pack died out and the few that were left joined me and I was able to expand my territory and help those who were without an alpha and dying to live.”
“You are welcome to stay. For now.” Tatum said, he was about to give instructions to Luke when a pain twisted in his stomach. It was so sharp it made him stop mid-stride. He was hungry and irritable, all at once. His temperament has always been cool and collected, but for some reason he felt on edge and restless.
“I think we should question him a little more.” Luke said.
“Did I ask your opinion on this matter, or did I announce plain and clear that he is welcome to stay, for now?” Tatum growled, causing Luke to take a step backward.
“I meant no harm, Tatum.” Luke whispered.
“Going for a run…” Was Tatum’s reply as he began to strip out of his shirt. He didn’t know what was happening to him. His hands were shaking and beads of sweat began rolling down his sharp pointed nose, proved something was wrong. His stomach growled, as if taking on a life of its own. This was the second day he felt this uncontrollable hunger. When he heard a wild boar running in the distance and caught wind of its scent, he transformed into his wolf’s body and with strong agile limbs he took off at breakneck speed after the boar. He was enjoying the run and the chase, it wasn’t long before he’d caught up to the boar and with lightening speed, Tatum pounced on the boar’s back, dragging it to the ground. Without ceremony he bit a large chunk from its neck. Tatum tore into the boar as if he hadn’t eaten in weeks. His primal nature was at an all-time high. He felt like an animal, wild and free.
When he finished, he felt stifled, as if he couldn’t breathe. You just stuffed yourself like a pig. Of course, you can’t breathe. What is going on, what is happening to me? The more he pondered on his condition the more irate he became.
On the way back to the town, Tatum caught the scent of Blackstone’s enemies, the Ringers. He was furious that they would dare cross the line and enter onto Blackstone’s territory. Positioning himself between some trees, Tatum spied six kappa wolves. He recognized them as scouts surveying the area. A stabbing pain hit Tatum in the side. Taking a deep breath, he closed his mind off to the pain and concentrated on his anger. He didn’t know what was happening to him, and at the moment he didn’t have time to deal with any weaknesses, not when his pack was being threatened. Tatum made a quick decision, for the element of surprise was on his side. His large, padded paws, pounding into the rich earth making his stealth movement undetected as he made his way down the side of the hill. In his wolf form, he was at least twice the size of the average wolf, his beautiful shiny black and gray hackles stood at attention. He ripped into the first kappa,
surprising the others. His teeth tore at the flesh of anything within reach.
Luke looking for Tatum couldn’t believe his eyes when he witnessed his alpha in mortal battle with, not one or two, but six interlopers. Luke took off running and tackled one of the wolves, taking a nip out of its leg. In their pack’s link language Tatum said, let him go! I want him to report back to Seth that I will kill to protect my territory.
Luke let the rogue wolf go, he too wanted the word out there. Turning to Tatum he said, what the hell? he looked around at the damage Tatum had inflicted.
I can’t explain it. But that’s the least of our worries. Seth was taking over territories left and right and thought he’d have an easy picking with Blackstone and the southern packs. But there was no way they would give away all the land the Blackstone’s have gathered. War was inevitable, today was confirmation of that, Seth would be forced to retaliate.
When the two-reached town, Scotty was standing nearby and trembled slightly at Tatum in his wolf form. He was thankful the goddess gave him sense to join and not fight the alpha and his pack. He’d never seen a wolf so large, it was unnatural. He now knew the stories were true about the legendary Tatum the tracker, whose ancestors were dire wolves. The two-transformed back into human flesh before reaching Scotty. When Luke passed he said, “you’ve chosen the wrong time to band with us. We are now at war, hope you can fight. And, by the way, initiation is tonight.”
“I’d be proud to fight for Blackstone.” Scotty said proudly.
Luke turned on a dime for a surprise attack on Scotty, looking to see what he was made of. Scotty, quick on his feet, dodged the attack and instead pinned Luke to the ground.
“Please, don’t try me, I’ve come to you in peace.” Scotty announced.
“Just seeing what you’re made of pup, that’s all.” Luke laughed.
“I’m not a pup, nor an omega.” Scotty stated, letting Luke up.
Tatum watched from the corner of the building. He knew for a fact it took a lot to put Luke down, especially when he’s the aggressor. Before Tatum could think more on the subject the stabbing pain gripped him again. His first thought was to seek out the pack’s gamma. Tatum knew the knowledge of pack history would help him figure out what disease he might’ve contracted. The gamma’s knowledge of ancient medicine could heal him. Even Doc Jax could give him something.
Bristol couldn’t believe her stupidity in over sleeping, she hadn’t realized just how tired she’d been. She wasn’t accustomed to the exertion she experienced yesterday. She was preparing to leave the little cave when she took a few steps and stopped. She caught the scent of her pack nearby, thankfully, she’d covered her tracks. Afraid of being caught out in the open, Bristol moved deeper into the cave, she hunched herself in the dark corner hoping if anyone looked inside, they would not see her. She could hear Rex dishing out orders, which made her snarl her teeth. She wanted to kill him, kill him like he killed her father, and more than likely her mother, too. Bristol called out to Gamma Rhone, Please, Gamma Rhone, tell me what’s going on. Is my mother…Is she okay? Bristol realized she might be too far to communicate with Gamma Rhone. She was alone and truly on her own.
It seemed like an eternity before Rex and his henchmen cleared the area. When she was sure the coast was clear, Bristol took the opportunity to vacate the cave. Quickly, she dashed across the small lake which would hide her scent even the more. When she got to the other side, she found herself at a loss. She didn’t know which way to turn and to her dismay, she got lost and wound up where she began. Wasting time was not something she enjoyed, and for some reason she felt lightheaded and hungry again. She decided to eat before trying to get her bearings straight.
“Come on, Bristol, dad taught you how to track and travel. Stop with the nonsense and get it together,” she said talking to herself. She quickly killed two rabbits, she wanted the deer grazing in the meadow, but thought better of it. She was a strong believer that food should not be wasted. The sun began to set over the horizon and Bristol decided to find shelter. She didn’t want to backtrack, nor did she want Rex to find her. She was sure his menacing attitude would not change once he had her as his alpha mate.
That thought alone made her forge ahead, until she saw one of Rex’s sentries standing beyond the trees. She had nowhere to turn and prayed he was alone. That Rex had them separate to find her. Dad always said the element of surprise and a great offense helped with your defense. Walking quietly on the balls of her feet, she snuck up behind the sentry, hoping he’d think her scent just one of the pack. Holding her fighting cane high above her head, with the silver wolf's head pointed downward, she approached. When the sentry turned she swung hard as she could, crushing the side of his temple. He fell with a solid thud to the ground.
Careful not to run into Rex, she continued walking through the thick brush, turning constantly to insure no one was following. She couldn’t believe Rex would cross the lake in search of her. Then it dawned on her she was still on Rolling Hill land. She increased her steps, taking advantage of the little bit of daylight left. I’ve got to get away from Rolling Hill, I need to find Scotty or a safe refuge from Rex. She decided to walk until it was impossible to go further. It was pitch black in the forest, and Bristol was tired. Her legs hurt and her shoulders felt tense, as if she’d been carrying the world upon them. Stopping under a large tree, she sat with her back against the rough bark, looking out into the night. She wondered about her mother, and wished she could send a message or something to Gamma Rhone. It didn’t take long for her to fall asleep. She dreamed again of the handsome man with dark hair and haunting eyes. Awakening to the slithering of a snake along her shoulder didn’t put her in a great mood. Tossing the snake aside, she stood, stretching, loosening her tight muscles.
She could tell it was early by the dew over the grass and the sun’s position. She welcomed a new day and marveled at the fact she’d wakened at the crack of dawn, giving her more travel time and a chance to leave Rolling Hill territory. Bristol walked along the riverbank and washed her face in the cool crystal-clear water. She wanted to skinny dip in the blue waters, but decided to wait. A nice cool dip would be her reward once she left Rolling Hill territory. She could see the fish swimming along the rolling river, without a care in the world. Even in her human form she managed to maintain the quick agility of her wolf. Putting her hand in the water she waited and when the large fish brushed against her hand she caught it, placing it in a tight grip. She hadn’t realized how hungry she was until she began to eat. She promised not to overindulge as she did the day before. She wanted to make good headway in leaving Rolling Hill and a heavy stomach would only slow her down. She also realized four legs would move faster than two so she shifted into her wolf.
Bristol was careful to continue walking off the pathway, as not to run into Rex and his goons. She knew from his conceitedness, he would never think her smart enough to travel out of sight, using the woodland as a cover, and following the river south. He didn’t know she’d been trained by the best and was an astute student. No, all he saw was a pretty face and someone to mate with. The mere thought of being with Rex turned her stomach. As once again pain gripped her mid-section and her belly began to rumble. It was very difficult but she mustered up enough strength to forge onward.
Bristol was doing good, making great time, as she followed her instincts. Until the wind began to blow. Every gust of wind brought discomfort to Bristol. She felt a pain in her chest, unlike anything she’d felt before. The pain was so sharp she was forced to shift back into her human form. Perspiration beaded her upper lip, her joints ached, every part of her body screamed for release. She even ache between her thighs. She was virgin, but not a child, so she knew the feeling was in her vaginal area. The feeling was so powerful, she had to stop and sit under a shady tree to catch her breath.
She rubbed her side trying to alleviate the pain that gripped her, when it finally stopped, her pussy began to burn. She slipped her hands inside her pants and began to rub the area. The feeling she was experiencing made her eyes close, as she got lost in herself. When her orgasm hit she was breathless, the sensation electrifying. Should she be ashamed of herself, hell yeah, she should feel like a bitch in heat, with no morals. But instead she felt exhilarated. Hell, she felt reborn, smiling she said out loud, “who knew?”
She never thought about her sexuality. Bristol spent most of her time practicing being a warrior, and preparing to be an alpha’s mate. That was something instilled in her since birth. Everything in her life since a child prepared her to rule Rolling Hill pack with her mate, plain and simple. Truth is, there were no males in the Rolling Hills pack that she’d been attracted to. The only wolf that came close to being what she wanted and needed was Scotty. However, he did nothing for her romantically. She and Scotty grew up as pups, so if anything, he was more family than lover, in fact, he was more of a big brother. Bristol shook her head at the thoughts of mating with Scotty. Sticking her tongue out she said, “yuk,” and began to laugh.
Continuing her journey, she began to fantasize about her duties as an alpha mate. Sex and romance were a mystery to Bristol. She wondered if it would be as tantalizing as her masturbating. Her mother never broached the subject and she never thought to ask about sex and her romantic, sexual duties as she-wolf. No, she never felt the need to ask about a relationship between a male and a female. After all, she thought she’d have a lifetime with her mother. Then the thought occurred to her, am I in heat? Is this where all my pent-up feelings are coming from? Again, she thought about how she felt when masturbating and decided it wouldn’t be the last time.
After crossing the large hill, Bristol stopped, lifting her head upward, she inhaled deeply. The odor was foreign, unlike any she’d smelled before. Then it hit her, she was no longer in Rolling Hill pack territory and no longer in Rex’s reach. Suddenly, the feeling of fear slammed into her chest when she realized, a new danger now existed, she was in enemy territory, and whose she didn’t know.
“What do you mean I’m as healthy as an ox?” Shouted Tatum as he loomed over Jax, the pack’s doctor.
“I’ve told you the symptoms I’ve been experiencing and look, look...” Tatum revealed the beads of sweat rolling down the back of his neck. “We’re not yet in the summer months, doc, this is the beginning of the fucking spring.” He bellowed, shaking the glass bottles on the shelf behind him.
“I see, I see… But I can’t find anything physically wrong, Tatum.” Jax explained calmly.
“Maybe you should speak to Gamma Tate, you know he’s been around and knows a lot. Hell, he was once the healer of the pack.” Jax stated trying to remove himself from a situation he felt trapped in.
“Yeah, I thought about that and then I figured maybe you, a modern man of science, would have some answers. You know, if you hadn’t help the majority of our people, I’d…” With fists balled Tatum stormed out of the cottage, he wanted to hit something, or someone. Shit, he felt his skin burning as if on fire. He wanted to shift, to run, to kill. He was determined to get to the bottom this… thing… that had taken over his life. Suddenly the idea of seeing Gamma Tate took a back seat when his stomach twisted into a knot. It hit him so fast, he felt as if he’d been sucker punched. His wolf wanted out, wanted to eat. Tatum had always been in control of...well, everything. But now it was as if he’d been possessed by someone or something.
Shifting in a blink of an eye he took off running. His heavy paws, pounding against the dew ridden grass, left its mark as the grass matted into the rich soil. He was free, as he jumped a log. He stopped when he caught whiff of a spotted deer. Tatum’s wolf crouched down to attack, he was so low his belly brushed the damp ground. It felt good against his underbelly, hell he felt good, he felt alive. With his ears pinned back and his eyes on the prize, he leaped forth, pouncing on the deer’s haunches. The deer was quick and twisted sideways, then ran to the right. Tatum felt his adrenaline rushing through his veins. He loved the chase. Yes, deer, go faster, don’t let me catch you, he shouted to himself, enjoying the fast paced game they were playing. It wasn’t long before Tatum cut the deer off and with one giant swoop, he was on the deer’s back, as his razor-sharp teeth pierced its neck, he didn’t ease up until he heard the deer’s bones crunch underneath the pressure of his jaws. The deer went down and tried a few times to rise, but Tatum put an end to it’s struggles by ripping out its throat. He took his time devouring the animal until only the bare carcass remained. When he shifted back he was bloody, dirty, and in need of a bath.
He washed in the small creek, thinking to himself, this is the life, running free, eating whenever and whatever. What is wrong with you? You have an obligation to the pack, your people. You are alpha! He argued with himself. He realized it was time to go back to town. And to see Gamma Tate.
The moment he stormed into the gamma’s hut, he felt uneasy. The small hut felt cramped and stifling. He was unable to straighten up and was forced to keep his head down.
“You look uncomfortable alpha; would you like to take a walk? Maybe it will help to digest your meal and give us time to talk.”
“If you don’t mind.” Tatum replied, grateful for the elder’s observation, and ignoring the fact that he knew he’d just eaten. “I’d love to.”
The two began to walk, Tatum took time to smile and return greetings to the town’s folks who passed them. He didn’t feel like being diplomatic, but when it came to children and the elderly, he went the extra mile with kindness. When they approached the edge of the town, Tatum began to discuss his concerns with the elder. Gamma Tate nodded his head periodically and said, ‘I see’, at all the appropriate times.
“Well, do you know what’s wrong with me? I mean, is there a cure or what?” Tatum asked, hoping for guidance and relief from his misery. His stomach growled, and a sharp pain attacked his midsection as they continued to walk along the meadow.
“Shit,” he hissed as he bent over in pain. “I need food.”
“You have the hunger.” Gamma Tate said smiling as though a joke had been shared.
“That’s what I just said, I’m hungry, I need food.”
“No, my son, you have a wolf’s hunger, it will not end until you find your soulmate and make her your own.”
“What the hell are you talking about?” Tatum shouted, causing the birds nesting in the nearby tree to scatter to the skies.
“It’s very rare, but when it happens, it’s a blessing for the ages. It’s when you find your true soulmate for life. She becomes one with you and you with her. She carries your scent and you feel what she feels and vice versa.” He smiled, remembering his Noreen.
“Bullshit, that’s just another folk tale, fantasy, legend passed down through the ages.” Tatum growled, wanting a real reason to his real problem.
“It’s not bullshit! I went through the very same thing. It’s rare, but once you accept it and mate it becomes total bliss.” Gamma Tate grinned.
“If you don’t know what’s wrong with me, just say so and spare me this nonsense about a wolf’s hunger. The one thing I don’t have is time to waste, especially on some dried up, outlandish folklore. This was clearly a waste of time.” Tatum growled wanting to take the old man by the collar and throw him across the meadow.
“Time will tell who’s right and who’s wrong.” Gamma Tate laughed.
Tatum looked back at Gamma Tate, shook his head and preceded to take long angry strides back to his place. He shook his head in disgust when he saw Luke sitting on the porch. Tatum didn’t know why he was in such a foul mood, but damn if he wasn’t, everything irritated the hell out of him. All his wolf wanted to do was run free, instead he was trapped playing the alpha game.
“What is it now, Luke,” Tatum asked as he walked up the stairs.
“I’ve notified the guards to be on high alert.” Luke announced.
“Good, also have a few scouts go out periodically to search the perimeter. I’m going for a run.”
“Can I tag along? Luke asked.
“What! Why?” Tatum asked looking at Luke as if he’d grown another head.
“Why not? I feel like a run too.” Luke cited, confused by Tatum’s behavior. He couldn’t put his finger on it but Tatum was acting stranger by the day.
“It’s a sad day when a man can’t go for a run by himself. Suit yourself.”
When they got to the outskirts of town, Tatum was still puffed up about Luke tagging along. Within a blink of an eye Tatum shifted into his wolf and took off running. Luke shifted and bounded after Tatum, by the time they cleared the edge of town, Luke was tired. However, Tatum never faltered in his speed. Tatum spotted a bear cub in the distance. Before Luke could stop him, Tatum ran across the meadow, jumping over downed trees and dodging everything in his path until he captured the cub and began to tear it apart. Tatum couldn’t explain it. Nevertheless, it was as if he hadn’t eaten all day. Even when his stomach felt as if it couldn’t digest another morsel, he wanted more.
Luke failed miserably trying to keep up with Tatum. When he reached Tatum, he was surprised by his behavior. Every time he tried to get Tatum’s attention or draw near, Tatum would bare his teeth and release a loud growl. That in itself would be enough to tell him something was amiss, however, after all the years of knowing Tatum, he’d never witnessed him devouring so much meat in one sitting. He was amazed that Tatum could consume the entire cub by himself. Luke began to get nervous, looking around carefully as not to be caught off guard if and when the mother bear showed up to take her retaliation out on Tatum. Luke, like all betas, was there to protect and help his alpha, he stood on watch as Tatum completed his meal.
Let’s go back, you’ve eaten, so let’s go.
I’m not ready to go back, but you can! he shouted as he took off running.
No, I’m sticking with you, Luke said, not understanding anything that was taking place.
Tatum had no idea where he was going, but his wolf felt free and happy running at breakneck speed. Suddenly it hit him. The pain so severe it knocked him to his knees. The sensations were overwhelming. His stomach felt as if it was in knots, cramping each time he tried to stand. His hands shook and sweat poured from his brow, as he blinked his eyes trying to get his blurred vision to clear. His penis was hard as a rock, and his sack heavy. He felt a mixture of fear and excitement, hunger and thirst, however, it was a different kind of hunger and a different kind of thirst.
When Luke caught up to Tatum and found him lying in the dirt, he became frantic. Still speaking in their pack’s language, he inquired, are you okay? What the fuck is going on, Tatum? Luke examined Tatum, making sure he had no injuries.
Suddenly Tatum began to moan as if in pain. Inhaling deeply, he began to howl, it was a long, deep howl that echoed beyond the trees. Tatum slowly gained his legs and began to run around in circles, leaping, jumping, his frantic conduct was scaring the shit out of Luke.
Do you smell her? Tatum asked, as he continued to leap about. His wolf was like a caged animal finally set free. Tatum took off running again, catching Luke off guard.
Smell who, damnit! You’re scaring the shit out of me, Tatum.
Bristol was tired, but promised she’d continue walking until dark, which was hours from now. The moment she crossed the little creek, she smelled the presence of other wolves, she quickly looked for cover, yet, there was none.
“Well, well what do we have here?” One of the men asked as he approached Bristol.
“Stay away from me!” Bristol shouted, holding her fighting stick like her mother taught her. She looked from man to man, waiting for one to make a move. The three men looked menacing, however, the thought of being in unknown territory and alone didn’t help the matter. She was confident…more than confident she could take the scrawny young man and maybe another, but not all three. No, there was no certainty in that.
“What are you doing out here all by your pretty, little self?
“I’m meeting my brother.” She lied, hoping the thought of her brother arriving soon would frighten them away. “I’m sorry to be trespassing, but he told me to take this shortcut.” She lightened the tone of her voice, and rested her stick along the side her hip, yet her dark brown eyes turned black, shining like onyx, as she cautiously looked for anything of an aggressive nature from the men.
“Funny, that’s exactly what you’ve done. Trespassed. There’s a penalty for trespassers around these parts, even for pretty ones like you.” The larger man said in a slow drawl, as he proceeded to lick his lips obscenely.
“Again, I apologize, I never meant to break your laws. Yet, the truth is my brother is just over that ridge, if you let me pass, I will be more than grateful.” She announced, but could see they had no intentions of letting her pass. Slowly spreading her legs apart, she was ready to do battle.
“What territory am I in? Maybe I could speak to the alpha and explain.” She inquired.
The young man and the one who’d been talking, answered collectively, and neither answer matched. Bristol took a step back and placed her fighting stick back across her chest.
A fourth man approached, announcing, “I haven’t seen anyone, I don’t think this side of the ridge is protected by the Blackstone Pack.” Then he looked at Bristol and asked, “What’s going on here?”
“She’s our sweet prisoner, I think she’d be the perfect gift for Seth.” The mouthpiece of the group laughed.
“I don’t know who the hell Seth is, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to be his or anyone else’s gift.” She took a step back, prepared to fight to the death. Hell, two, three, four, it didn’t matter, she would not go without a fight.
“Who is she? Maybe we can ransom her off.” The new guy said.
“Shut up, I’m in charge and I said we’re taking her to Seth.”
“Like I said, I’m not going anywhere!” Bristol shouted.
The man with the big mouth turned to the younger one and barked, “get her!”
The second the young man got within range, Bristol slapped him along side his temple with the metal wolf end of her fighting stick, then flipping it to the pointy side she stabbed him in the eye, pushing the eye socket into the back of his skull. He fell to the ground as blood shot out from his eye and along side his head. Bristol, dismissing the blind man, looked up with narrowed eyes at the other three. She knew if they rushed her she’d be a goner, but if they choose to attack individually, she might stand a chance of surviving. She wasn’t so lucky as two men approached, one grabbing her by the hair, then jumping back screaming, as he looked at the blood pouring from his hand. Somewhere in her mind she could hear a voice saying, ‘hold on, I’m coming.’ She began to beat the other man about his torso, trying to get a good, clean shot to take him down.
Bristol didn’t know if she was losing her mind or if her inner spirit was speaking to her, perhaps it was her wolf telling her to shift into her wolf form and fight. Whatever it might be it was giving her strength and confidence.
She’s in trouble! Tatum shouted as he bolted up the steep, rocky terrain.
Who’s in trouble? Luke shouted back in response.
Tatum couldn’t answer. How could he, when he didn’t know the answer himself? All he knew was someone, something was pulling at him. His desire to be with her was overwhelming. His basic instincts were pulling the strings and Tatum simply followed, for he was without control, yet, in every other way he was in total control. Reaching the top of the ridge, he saw her, his heart felt as if it was being torn out of his chest. She was beautiful, the most beautiful creature he’d ever seen. Her skin was a rich cocoa color, with shiny bronze tones that illuminated her skin, her hair jet black, worn in a thick braid that rested across her shoulder. She was tall, taller than any female he’d seen in the region. Her body was that of a warrior. The hackles on his back were standing straight up, as his lips rose high, baring nothing but sharp teeth... The beauty was outnumbered, but with the moves of an alpha he witnessed her take one of the men out in only a few moves. Everything about her gripped him like an iron vise. His dick was hard and throbbed to be inside her. He felt protective, angry, and hungry to spill blood. The blood of the men before him.
Tatum leaped from the ridge onto the largest man standing. He gave no mercy as he ripped the man’s chest open with one slap of his claws. The man tried to shift but he was unable to complete the transformation before Tatum tore his throat out.
When Bristol saw the huge wolf ambush the big mouthed man she wanted to stop and watch, but one of the men had grabbed her arm. She jabbed her stick into his midsection and swung at his head, but he was too close to get an accurate swing, therefore he was able to avoid her attack. Bristol lost her balance and fell backwards, striking her head against a rock. She tried to sit up, when she did, darkness took over and the sounds around her became muffled until they finally ceased to be heard.
When the two saw their pack member in battle they instantaneously let their wolf out, preparing to do battle against Tatum.
When Tatum saw Bristol go down, a howl like no other escaped from deep within his soul. The sound so haunting and ominous it stopped the others in their tracks. Even Luke was struck with the uncertainty of what was taking place when he reached the top of the ridge. The alarming sound and the intimidating look in Tatum’s wolf’s eyes caused the others to submit. Both immediately tucked in their tails, lifted their heads, exposing their necks in submission. Tatum continued to growl, baring his teeth in a deep and sinister snarl.
Luke, communicating with Tatum said, let them go, they are of no threat to you.
He continued to growl, with his tail on his back and his hackles still standing, he walked around the two, and approached the woman lying on the ground. He sniffed around her lifeless body and let out another howl. The renegade wolves ran for their lives down the mountain side. Luke advanced towards Tatum and the unresponsive body on the ground. It was at that moment Tatum growled and snipped Luke’s shoulder.
She’s mine! Tatum shouted, looking Luke in the eyes.
I don’t want her, I was just trying to help. He said switching back to his human form, examining the broken skin on his shoulder.
Tatum shifted, showing remorse for attacking Luke. Examining Bristol more closely Tatum was relieved to find her still alive. He couldn’t explain the feelings that engulfed him. Her scent alone was so powerful, it was making him dizzy. He could feel her heart beating in his chest.
“Is she dead?” Luke asked, not wanting to get too close. He’d never seen his friend and alpha act so irrational. Yet he didn’t want to take the chance on Tatum attacking him again.
Tatum, sensing Luke’s mood, answered calmly, “she’s alive, just unconscious. We need to get her some help. We need to get her to Jax, fast.” Tatum surmised. He bent down and picked Bristol up into his arms. She weighed a little more than he expected and for some reason that pleased him. He saw her in action and he felt an overwhelming amount of pride at her resilience. Luke retrieved the stick lying beside her, admiring its workmanship. Tatum ran as fast as he could on two legs. The moment he got into town, he made a beeline to his house, giving Luke instructions, “bring Jax, now!”
Tatum kicked the door open, dislodging the knob from the door jam. He took large steps to his bedroom, placing her still frame on the over king-size bed. The bed, because of his height, had been custom made as well as the mattress. Looking at Bristol lying on his bed reminded him of a small child. But she was no child, no, she was all woman, and she was his. He shook his head trying to figure out what was happening to him. With his pack connection he asked, Jax, where the hell are you?
On my way up the steps, at the door, Jax, replied seconds before entering the room. He stopped long enough to take a deep breath and place his black bag on the nightstand.
“What happened?” Jax asked as he washed his hands.
“She fell while being attacked. I think she hit her head on a rock or something,” Tatum said, running his fingers through his hair as he paced the floor.
“Who is she?” Jax asked as he bent down to examine her, and stopped when he heard Tatum’s wolf growl.
“Tatum, I need to examine her if I’m going to be able to help her.” Jax said, careful not to move until he received an okay. Luke had filled him in on what took place, mainly about Tatum nipping his shoulder.
“Go ahead, Jax.” Tatum said as he stood on the other side of the bed.
Jax turned Bristol onto her side and began to examine the back of her head. “She has a little goose egg back here. I need to clean the area, there’s some dried blood. I need to make sure there’s no laceration that could get infected.” Jax said to Tatum.
“Luke, bring some hot water in a large bowl.” Tatum bellowed.
“I need some soap, too.” Jax called out to Luke.
Jax was satisfied that the cut wasn’t anything to be concerned about. “let her rest and I will check on her tomorrow.” He said.
Tatum wanted to run, to hunt, but he didn’t want to leave her alone, and he refused to let anyone else watch her. Her scent was making his head swim with images of them mating. His dick was making it known that it, too, was hungry. Even wearing loose sweat pants felt constricting. Being a shifter, clothes had never been an issue. Nudity was looked upon as being in a second skin, almost.
Tatum stood vigilant over Bristol, making sure her breathing was normal. He didn’t want to leave her side, regardless of how much pain and discomfort it bought him. His wolf wanted her, he wanted her. Her scent was trapped in his senses and driving him mad. Tatum tried to take his mind off his feelings, but it all came back full circle. Luke tried to get him to eat, but he had no appetite. Instead, he grabbed a bottle of scotch and drank until her scent was no longer on his tongue, only the bitter taste of liquor. Now all he wanted was for sleeping beauty to wake up and give him some answers. To explain where she’s been all his life, and why she was here now.
Tatum fell asleep in the recliner, and woke to the sunlight filtering through the curtains. Looking over at the still figure, he watched her chest rise and fall. His eyes caught hold of the fighting stick Luke had propped against the wall. Tatum walked over to the stick, picked it up, appreciating the workmanship, for it was extraordinary. The solid silver wolf’s head was truly a work of art. The balance, light but with enough weight to do damage.
“It’s a generational gift, passed down from my grandmother, to my mother, and from my mother to me...” A small voice sang sweetly in his ears.
When Tatum turned he saw her beautiful eyes focused on him. He felt as if he’d stopped breathing. She was lying on her side with her head resting in the palm of her hand. He wanted her so bad, he was afraid to move. If he got too close, he would surely lose all reserve and take her.
“Beautiful,” he said, meaning her, but then holding up the fighting stick he said, “great workmanship.”
“Thank you. And thank you for helping me out and bringing me here.” She said, laying her head back against the pillows.
“Are you alright? I can call Jax, our healer if you wish.” Tatum said, a little concerned about her need to lay back down, closing her beautiful eye, denying him the pleasure of looking in them.
“I have a splitting headache, and I’m very thirsty, sir.” She announced.
“You have a bump on her head with a small cut on it, not much I can do for you there. But maybe some aspirin for the headache, and a glass of water to quench your thirst.” He smiled, needing some fresh air because her scent was driving him mad. “By the way, my name is Tatum, not sir. I’m the alpha of the Blackstone pack. You are in my home.” He said as not to alarm her.
“Thank you for your hospitality, and I apologize for my trespassing. I am Bristol, the daughter of the late alpha Midas of Rolling Hill pack. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Looking at Tatum reminded her of the dream she had. It was him, the stranger in her dream. He was tall, well over six feet. Even taller than her father. He was more than handsome with his square jaw. She noted his dark hair needed a cut, but his eyes, those sexy, haunting eyes is what made him stand out. The way the light hit them made them hypnotic. She could see the color change every time he looked at her. His left eye a clear blue and the right a mysterious gray. Bristol could smell his desire for her and it was causing a hot, itchy feeling between her legs. Even her nipples felt tender and swollen. She wanted to remove the clothing that was suffocating her.
Yeah, you must have bumped your head really hard.
“Rolling Hill pack? You’re a long way from home.” He said trying to remember who mentioned that name recently. “What brings you this far south?”
“I’m looking for my friend, Scotty.” Bristol said, holding her head, she asked, “can I get that aspirin now?”
When Tatum went into the kitchen, he stopped, taking a deep breath, he tried to calm the wolf in him. Bristol, the name popped in his head and just saying the name out loud made his manhood rise. She belongs to Scotty, Scott the newbie to the pack. I’ll fight him and anyone else that tries to take her from me. Bristol is mine, all mine, he shouted to himself. His wolf was on the prowl, ready to do battle.
Tatum knew his behavior was irrational, not only to others, but to himself. Yet, it was impossible to deny, she belonged to him, and he to her. Tatum prayed she felt the same way. Looking at the clock on the wall he saw it was time for all to rise and shine. Stepping onto the porch he called for Dirk, the young omega who was on watch and told him, “go tell Jax the patient is awake and then tell Gamma Tate I need him right away.”
Tatum placed the aspirin in Bristol’s hand and they both watched the two tablets fall onto the floor. The electrical shock they both received was undeniable. Time stood still as their wolves connected briefly. Bristol found it hard to breath, as she felt the palpitations of her heart increase. Bristol could see by the look on Tatum’s face he was experiencing the same thing. Before Tatum could say anything, there was a knock at the front door.
Opening the screen door, Tatum said, “she’s awake. Everything’s fine, except for a splitting headache. I gave her two aspirins, I hope that was okay?”
“Yes, I would’ve prescribed the same. Good, good,” He said walking into the bedroom.
“Hello, Miss, I’m Jax, sort of the local fixer upper around here. Tatum tells me you’ve quite the headache, which is normal in your case.” Jax smiled brightly, as he pulled the small stool to the side of the bed.
“It appears I’m very lucky, she said looking into Tatum’ gray and blue eyes. She was drawn to him like a bee to honey. Bristol couldn’t stop the feeling that came crashing down on her, she wanted to kiss his sweet lips. Even from far away she could taste him on her tongue, instinctively she licked her lips. His every movement was a rhythmic dance, as his biceps rippled in effect. She felt the warmth on her cheeks, happy her dark skin didn’t display her blush.
Tatum’s eyes locked with Bristol, he was immediately lost in the dark pools of rich chocolate and wondered if she knew what she was doing to him. He was well past the feeling of desire, he needed her, no, she was his lifeline. He wanted her to be his forever and a day. Tatum’s wolf was turning around in circles, jumping like a caged animal. It was at that moment Gamma Tate knocked on the small strip of wood along side the screen door, bringing him back to the present.
“I called your name three times, where were you?” Gamma Tate asked, looking Tatum up and down.
“You told me when I found the woman that was making me sick I’d be healed.” Tatum whispered but the irritation was as strong as if he yelled the words. His gray and blue eyes were like a winter storm, dark and dangerous.
“I told you no such thing! I would never tell you she was making you sick or agree to that ludicrous terminology.” He shook his finger back and forth. “I told you once you found your soulmate the hunger would cease when you became one and mated.” Gamma Tate cocked his head to the side.
“Same damn thing. There she is…” Tatum pointed towards Bristol and stated, “and I’m still sick.”
Gamma Tate began to laugh. He was laughing so hard that tears ran down his ruddy cheeks. Seeing the seriously stern look Tatum was giving him only made him laugh even more...
“Get out, and don’t come back until you can talk to me like the elder gamma of this pack and not before.” Tatum broadcasted as the older man walked down the stairs. He turned and looked at Tatum and started laughing all over again, causing Tatum to slam the heavy wooden door.
In his mind Tatum could still hear Gamma Tate laughing. Maybe if the situation was different or happening to someone else he, too, would find the situation amusing. Tatum leaned against the door, and watched Jax in the other room complete his examination of Bristol. He could hear Jax ask, “Is there anything I can get for you?”
Bristol took a minute to respond, finally her sweet voice said, “can you arrange for me to have a bath, I’m afraid I’m in need of one, and maybe some clean clothes?”
“I can’t, but I know who can.” Jax smiled, looking over his shoulder at Tatum.
Tatum moved out of Jax’s eye shot, grabbed an onion as he decided to busy himself in the kitchen, but his ears were tuned into the conversation.
“I’ll have Maisie come help you, she’s one of our elders,” laughing he said, “and my mother.”
“Are there many females here?” She was wondering if Tatum had someone special in his life. As alpha, she knew he would have a lot of female attention. The fact that he was drop dead sexy as hell only increased the odds. He was nothing like that piece of shit Rex, even Scotty paled in comparison.
“Most of the pack is made up of family. Tatum received this part of his territory from another pack that was dying out and so his territory has increased ten-fold.”
Jax, you talk too much. Do your job and go.
Jax shook his head, “he’s telling me I talk too much.”
“You communicate with a pack link?” She asked surprised, thinking her father and her pack discovered that perfect way of communication. She realized just how sheltered she’s been.
“Yes, didn’t your pack?”
“Yes. Growing up as I did… well, you believe your father is responsible for every great thing present. Sounds silly? Yet, for some reason I thought we were the only ones capable of linking.” Bristol stated to Jax, then stopped when she caught sight of Tatum.
“You know he thinks you’re his soulmate.” A pan dropped in the kitchen. You’ve gone too far Jax, get out.
“I know he does. So, do I. So, I guess I am.”
Tatum froze amid chopping an onion. Did I hear her correctly?
“Why do think he’s your mate?
“Because I have a wolf’s hunger and so does he.”
“A wolf’s hunger? I’ve heard tale of the folklore stories, but that’s all they are.”
“Some say magic, folklore, but I believe it to be generational information.” She smiled showing beautiful pearl white teeth. “I’m a believer, a true believer in the ancient ways. My gamma always said I had an old soul.”
“Then you should talk with Gamma Tate, he’s all knowing and a believer of the ancient ways. Some say because he is ancient.” Jax laughed, however tears began to stream down Bristol’s face.
“I’m sorry did I say something to upset you?
Before she could respond, Tatum came busting into the room, lifting Jax from the stool, slamming him against the wall. “What did you do to her?” he shouted, his wolf fighting to get out.
“Tatum! Tatum,” Jax shouted, he could hear Tatum’s wolf growling and begging to be set free.
“Tatum,” Bristol called his name, and he and his wolf became immobilized, just by the sweet sound of her voice.
“Let him go. I’m fine.”
Tatum released Jax from his iron tight grip. He knelt down in front of Bristol, he saw sadness in her dark eyes, then catching a single tear with his finger, he asked soothingly, “Why are you crying? Are you hurt?”
Bristol shook her head and commenced to cry even harder, whispering, “I miss my mother, my home.” The stormy eyes softened becoming light and clear.
“Why did you leave home?”
Bristol shook her head, “It’s a long story. The short version is, I had to leave. Even Gamma Rhone said I had to go to complete my destiny and restore the pack. Whatever that means.”
“I hate gammas and their double talk. Always saying one thing, meaning another.”
Bristol laughed when she realized Tatum was serious. Bristol ran her fingers through Tatum’s hair. To her surprise it was soft, yet thick, thicker than her own. Her fingertips brushed against his scalp, and she quickly jerked her hand away. She heard him, she heard his wolf wailing, which made her juices flow, wetting her panties, as her desire to make love to him engulfed her.
Tatum laid his head on her lap and could smell her essence. His wolf was going crazy, for the first time in his life, fear took hold of him. He wanted to ravish her body, pierce has soul and become one with her mind. Jumping to his feet up, he ran out of the house. Tatum was in his wolf’s skin before his paws touched the ground. The wind in his face seem to cool the fire burning inside him, as he sprinted across the yard, trying to clear his head. As he ventured further through his land, he marked the terrain with his urine and scat, letting any renegade and rogue wolf know he was alpha and in total control. He was in a good mood, even happy, until the pain started ripping through his body. Shit, what now? He laid upon the ground, finally he shifted into his human form. He tried to walk it off, but the pain was too strong. He was hungry, he realized he hadn’t eaten since yesterday. Shifting back into his wolf, Tatum placed his head down and his nose to the ground. His nose led him to a small den holding two adolescent foxes, without ceremony he crushed the necks of both foxes, devouring them within minutes, his hunger didn’t respond to the snack and he set out to find a larger, heartier prey. It didn’t take long for him to find a second meal. Once he finished, he laid beneath a large tree, listening to the sounds around him. He was tired and wished he hadn’t travelled so far from home.
When Maisie came to help, Bristol realized the old woman, had the gift of sight. “Are you the gamma here?”
“Child, no!” she exclaimed, surprised by the question.
“But you have the gift, I can see it in your eyes.”
“The people here except Gamma Tate as their spiritual adviser, not me. They like having a man in leadership positions.”
“What do you see,” Bristol touched the aging woman’s hand.
“I see you are now home, and will experience a great love from your soulmate. You will be a strong and formidable she-wolf, but danger is present and until it is removed, you will never find true peace.”
“Thank you.” Was all Bristol said, accepting the words given to her.
Tatum took his time going home. He made plans to show Bristol around if she was up to it. He wanted her to meet his people and they her. After all, she would soon be the packs she-wolf, its female alpha, his mate. When he reached the end of the village, he stopped to make amends with Gamma Tate. He wasn’t surprised to see the elderly man sitting on the porch, drinking blackberry wine, sunbathing.
“Come on up and join me, sonny.”
“I came to apologize.”
“This morning. I had no right to speak to you as I did.”
“Of course, you did. You’re my alpha, and you’re confused about your hunger situation.”
Tatum laughing, said, “you make even apologizing difficult. Funny, Bristol seems to believe in a wolf’s hunger, she told Jax that she knew I was her mate because of the hunger we both share.”
“Smart girl. Well, this makes your task a lot easier than I envisioned.”
“What makes you think that?”
“You don’t have to convince her the two of you belong together, she already knows it and will be open to mating with you.”
A big smile broke across Tatum’s face. He hadn’t thought of it that way. This hunger thing was making him dense. The two sat for some time discussing life, the past, present, and future, when suddenly Tatum heard Bristol’s voice singing sweetly, ‘When are you coming home, I’m hungry and afraid to go out alone.’
Gamma Tate took note of the look on Tatum’s face and the fact he stopped speaking while in the middle of a story.
“What is it?”
“Bristol. She just asked when I was coming home, because she’s hungry and wants to go out hunting.” Tatum ran his fingers through his long hair then tied it in a knot at the nape of his neck. How? How can she use our pack’s link?
“She’s joining with you, sonny, soon the two of you will be one. It’s been like that for some time now. The fact you felt her in danger, and when she’s near your body craves her, and your wolf has a hunger for her. When she’s too far away you feel the pain of separation and your wolf is incomplete.” He laughs, “I thought I told you all this before.”
Tatum shot him a look, then shook his head, and replied to Bristol, “On my way.”
When Tatum got home he walked in the house expecting to see Bristol lying in bed, instead she was standing before him in one of his shirts. Her long bare legs made him buckle at the knee. He wasn’t sure if he had died, since his breathing had stopped. She’d combed her hair, and the sexy thick braid that sat upon her shoulder was begging him to wrap his hand around it and pull her to him. When their eyes met, everything in the room disappeared. Tatum inhaled deeply to take air into his immobilized body. Everything about her was beautiful. His wolf was running around, unable to contain himself.
Bristol could see the look in Tatum’s eyes and knew immediately what he was thinking. Her pulse began to race, and her entire body felt as if it were on fire. She walked up to him and place her hand on the side of his face, and he exhaled, making a hissing sound as if her touch burned his flesh. She stepped closer, looking into his eyes and she could see his wolf, big, strong, and fierce, unlike any she’d seen before. He was grey with black markings. He was magnificent, and he was hers. Bristol leaned in on her tippy-toes, lifting her head she placed a kiss gently upon his lips. They were soft, smooth, yet firm to the touch.
Tatum’s large hands wrapped her waist easily, as he lifted her off the ground, bringing her eye to eye with him. Holding her tightly he kissed her, letting his tongue open her sweet, tender lips. What started as a gentle kiss, progressed to one that demanded a response. Tatum’s tongue dueled feverishly with Bristol’s, fanning the fire that had been smoldering since they met. He could smell her heat, and wanted to rip his shirt off her back. When the kiss broke off, he placed small kisses along her neck. A knock at the door interrupted his next move to capture one of the hard nipples he saw outlining themselves under the shirt, his shirt. Reluctantly, Tatum let her slowly slide down against his body, knowing she would feel how much he wanted her. Her smoky brown eyes, almost black, mirrored his craving. He gave her a quick peck on her lips. His way of saying we’re not finish.
Tatum snatched open the door, ready to take the head off the person on the other side.
“Sir, I’m sorry to disturb you, but Gamma Tate wanted me to tell you to bring Bristol by after your hunt, and Luke said they found signs of rogue wolves on the northern ridge.” Dirk announced breathlessly, revealing the fact he’d ran a distance to deliver the messages.
Tatum ruffled the youngster’s wild, untamed hair and said, “tell Gamma Tate, I will do that and then go to Luke and tell him to handle it, I trust his judgment, and when he finishes to meet me at Gamma Tate’s.”
When Tatum turned back to Bristol he said, “We have unfinished business, but unfortunately it’s going to have to wait.”
“Good, because I’m starving.” She smiled.
Tatum simply shook his head. “Couldn’t you find any pants?” He asked looking at her long legs and shapely thighs. Thank God, she had small breasts keeping the shirt loose across her chest, even though he could see her erect nipples pressing firmly against the fabric.
“Do you really think a pair of your pants would fit me? Really!
“I’ll kill the first beast that looks at you!” He said in a matter of fact tone.
Bristol smiled, she was old enough to have been in contact with the opposite sex, but unfortunately never experienced having someone wanting her and she want them in return, but for some reason she felt seasoned, bold, and uninhibited with Tatum. “Okay, but let’s eat first,” she joked as she grabbed her fighting stick.
As they walked through town, Bristol could see how the pack loved Tatum. The children all ran to him and held on to his legs or hands, whichever one they could reach. She smiled when she heard several of them call him father alpha. They also acknowledged her. Some simply waved while others took their time to speak. The older ones told her she was beautiful and thanked Tatum, telling him what a great job he was doing as alpha. There was one thing they all had in common, other than their love and respect for Tatum, it was their curiosity about her, she could see it in their eye as well as hear the whispers. The town was spectacular compared to Rolling Hill. Blackstone seemed like another world, it wasn’t dirty, wild, and untamed. Instead, it was the total opposite. It was as if someone took the middle parts of the forest and cleared it away. The streets were made of smooth dirt and grass. The oak, willow, and maple trees stood tall on both sides, small cottages and log houses was fanned out, all scattered here and there. Some close together, some spaciously separate. She noticed Tatum’s house sat in the middle of the town at the end of a long winding path. In the catty-corner of the town sat two large buildings, one said schoolhouse, the other storage house. She was in awe of the advancement she saw, wishing her father could’ve envisioned something like this for Rolling Hill.
By the time they reached the outskirts of the town, Bristol was famished. Within seconds she stripped off her shirt, propped her stick against the tree, and hung her shirt on it, before transforming into her wolf. She was happy and free, as she jumped playfully around Tatum. Chasing him around and around in circles, taunting him, change, big bad wolf, change for me.
Tatum did just that, he shifted into his wolf, but his eyes never left his beautiful mate. She was cocoa brown mixed with black and white, her dark brown eyes now twinkled amber as they glowed with excitement. Tatum caught scent of a doe near by, he signaled for Bristol, who took off at a speed unlike any he’d ever seen. She was quick with unbelievable agility. She cut corners so fast and with such a mighty force it caused patches of dirt to fly high into the air. With a massive leap, she had her prey by the back of the neck, severing the spine as she flipped the young doe over and sliced it open from chest to its lower belly. Tatum was in awe of what he saw. She’s magnificent! More than I could ever hope for in a mate. Thank you, thank you Goddess.
Tatum gobbled up the doe he caught. He was ravenous and took little time engulfing his meal. But his voracious appetite included more than food, it included Bristol. Tatum began to think of his future with Bristol, and a smile tattooed across his face, as his wolf jumped for joy. When they both completed their repast, they laid upon the grass, savoring the moment. The sun was shining through the trees, and the sound of the birds chirping, was like a sweet love song. Peace washed over Bristol as she sighed deeply.
“We need to head back. Gamma Tate needs to speak with you and I need to meet with my beta, Luke. He was the one who helped me rescue you.
“Oh my god, look at you, and me, too. I can’t meet a gamma looking like this! Do we have time to go back to your place?
“I have a better idea. Follow me.”
Tatum took off down a deep and narrow slope. It was obvious he knew the terrain like the back of his paw. But Bristol was a little skeptical about going down the precipitous embankment, until Tatum said, “keep your head up, follow my steps and trust yourself.” Bristol was happy when she reached the bottom, she’d been holding her breath the whole time and immediately exhaled, then inhaled deeply to compensate. She was in awe at the sight before her. It was a beautiful grotto. The opening was protected by thick vegetation.
Changing to their human form, Tatum helped Bristol inside the grotto. She could see another opening, at the far end of the cave. A curtain of water streaming down the opening proved to be a waterfall. Bristol was mesmerized by the beauty of the cave, as the illuminating phosphorescence lights provided a romantic and secluded sanctuary for the couple. Once her body adjusted to the cool water, Bristol began to relax.
“What’s making the cave light up?” she asked looking all around.
“It’s from the algae.”
Tatum swam to the wall and put his head under water. When he came up he had a rock with green, fuzzy, slimy goo on it. She turned her nose up, shaking her head, as Tatum started laughing. He stopped, looking at her intently and said, “I heard you tell Jax you know I’m your soulmate.”
“Yes, I did.” She shrugged her shoulders “it’s true.”
“How can you be so sure? I’m trying to wrap my mind around all of this. My feelings, hell, everything. I know my wolf believes you’re my mate. Yet, I’m at a loss for a rational explanation.”
“I feel it too, but I know it’s real not only because of the way I feel when I’m with you, but because I believe in our ancient ways. I felt the hunger, so have you.” She said, removing the spikes from her hair and loosening her braid. Leaning back, she let her hair get wet.
“At first it was painful, I didn’t understand what was happening to me, but since I’ve met you I feel a peaceful assurance.” She smiled.
Tatum cocked his head to the side, making a mental note to ask her about the nails in her hair, every movement made him smile and caused his heart to beat faster. “What about the mate you have already?” He asked waiting to hear the words he knew would break his heart.
“I have no mate, and I’ve never… Well, I’ve never experienced …
“What about Scott or Scotty?”
She laughed, “Scotty is the closest thing I have to family, now. We grew up together and he was my father’s beta and if the truth be told, he’s like a big brother to me.” The light tone in her voice died, by the end of her statement. Her twinkling eyes, now filled with sorrow. “He lost a battle for alpha due to trickery, by Rex, a low-down dirty dog, who wants me as his mate.” She sighed deeply before adding, “he killed my father and my mother. It was him I was running from and now I know it is you, I was running to.”
Tatum’s relief was undeniable, “Thank you, but I didn’t mean to make you unhappy. I’m sorry.” He said wrapping her in his arms, her spoor sent his wolf spinning out of control. “Talk to me, tell me who you are. I want to know all about you, and I don’t care if we wait to mate, so long as it isn’t too long.”
“I have no problem sharing my life with you and I know you’re my soulmate and don’t want to wait another day to rightfully become your alpha-mate.” She smiled boldly.
“I’m the daughter of the powerful alpha couple, Midas and Leona. I had two sisters and a brother that I don’t remember. They died in the great blizzard, I was the only one to survive. Needless to say, I was daddy’s little girl and the son he didn’t have all rolled up into one. I learned early how to take care of myself, for my parents would go on hunts that took them from home days at a time. When I left Rolling Hill, I left my mother bloody and beaten, fighting off Rex, after we found out he murdered my father.” She swiped away the tears that began to flow. “Rex was never beta, or alpha material, he is and will always be an omega and I guess he wanted more. Scotty would have beaten him if he didn’t back Scotty up so he’d fall in a hole.” She said slowly as she whispered, “but I will have my revenge, one day.”
Her fierce attitude excited him as he pulled her closer to him. “I like the way you feel in my arms.” His lips claimed hers. Bristol’s mouth was sweet and inviting. Tatum let his hands roam freely over the curves of her body.
“And I love the way I feel in them.” She laughed, as she kissed his chest.
Her breasts were small and her nipples hard. Bending his head, he let the tip of his tongue swirl around the taut bud. She gasped for air, letting her head fall back as he abandoned the one breast to entertain the other. His teeth grazed her tender flesh and she pressed against him even the more. Kneading her plump, round ass had his wolf running in circles. Lifting her up so they could be eye to eye, Bristol wrapped her legs around his waist, her arms enclosed around his neck, and she began to kiss him, pushing him over the edge.
“I like when you pick me up.” And she did. She was always taller than the other females, even her mother, who was taller than most. But next to Tatum she appeared diminutive. Her mound pressed against his cock, made her grind herself against him. Tatum took his time to slowly enter her. She knew it would be painful at first, but she was ready, plus she’d always had a high tolerance for pain. Yet, after the pain, there was nothing but pure pleasure.
She was tight, hot, and wet. All the makings of a promise soon to be fulfilled. He moved methodically, taking slow even strokes until she moaned in ecstasy. The sound echoed through the grotto and vibrated in his chest, as his hips began to grind against hers. His wolf howled, making him shiver. Bristol’s nails dug deep into Tatum’s shoulder blade and it felt good. She began to adjust to him, and her boldness took over, as she matched him thrust for thrust.
Bristol couldn’t think, only feel, as Tatum’s mouth seared her flesh while his tongue tantalized her from head to toe. The moment he entered her, to this moment in time, it had been like a dream. The things he was doing and the way she was feeling was nothing like when she’d masturbated. No, there was no comparison, at all. She could hear his wolf panting and howling with desire and delight, as her wolf reciprocated. Bristol was lost in their lovemaking, all she wanted to do was please him... please him without measure. She wanted to give him all she had to give. Her body had been awakened by his lovemaking, never to be dormant again, she couldn’t wait to see what else he had in-store for her.
Tatum plunged deeper into the abyss of her sweetness. It was then he heard her wolf cry out, and his strokes became stronger, faster, deeper. “Baby, I’m about to come, I need to make you mine, now,” Tatum whispered, turning her head to the side, exposing her long slender neck, Tatum bit her, sealing the ritual, making her his for now and forever. He in turn lifted his head, baring his neck to Bristol. She accepted him as her mate and let her sharp teeth pierce through his skin.
The taste of her blood heightened his libido. The fact she was officially his she-wolf, to reign with him, to fight for him, and produce a litter from him was stimulating his inner beast. When her wolf cried out, signaling her orgasm, he shattered into a million pieces. Ejecting his cream inside her. His climax was unyielding as he pumped feverishly into her. Together they experienced a rise to crescendo that was both torrid and explosive.
They laid in each other’s arm, relishing the moment that just passed. The sun had changed position, revealing another part of the day had arrived.
“Don’t you think we should be getting back? She asked drawing small invisible circles on his chest.
“I’m not sure I want to leave.” He said as he rubbed his hand along her soft, silky skin. They quietly laid upon the landing of the grotto, as the sun played peek-a-boo with the trees.
“I was thinking the same thing. How about we make this our getaway place?”
“I’d like that. Thank you.”
“Anything for my alpha mate,” he said, happy to bring a smile to her face.
Bristol rolled onto her side, kissed Tatum, letting her tongue run along his bottom lip, then tenderly nipping it.
“Keep it up, and we will be visiting Gamma Tate tomorrow. I promise.”
“I don’t have a problem with that. I promise.”
“You know what, you’re not a she-wolf, you’re a she-devil.”
Walking hand and hand, Tatum showed Bristol the trail to take out of the grotto’s cavern. It wasn’t as challenging as the path they used to enter, in fact she wondered why not just use this path to enter.
Why didn’t you bring me this way first, instead of coming down the hill?
The hill is faster going down, but difficult climbing up. Plus, it’s hard to find this trail going down, because of the way the trees and vegetation grows.
They made it back to the big tree and Bristol donned Tatum’s shirt again and grabbed her fighting stick. It appeared to take longer to venture out than it did to return to town. She wasn’t ready to share Tatum with anyone else. But she knew now that she was his mate, an official ceremony must be held, before she could rightfully take her place as the female alpha of the pack.
The little cottage with its wraparound porch was charming at best. The little old man sitting in the big rocking chair, looked vaguely familiar, it was funny, when she saw him, she thought of Gamma Rhone. Tatum laced his fingers with Bristol’s and squeezed for reassurance as they walked up the steps of the porch.
“Gamma Tate, this is Bristol. Bristol, Gamma Tate.” Tatum introduced the two before pulling one of the rocking chairs around so Bristol could sit. He motioned for her to sit, however she walked closer to the gamma and taking his hand, she kissed it.
“It’s an honor and a pleasure to meet you, Gamma Tate.” Bristol beamed as she continued to hold his hand.
“I can see you’ve been raised in the ancient ways. Wonderful, I am very pleased to meet you, too.” Gamma Tate beamed.
“You can let go of his hand now. And he is to kiss your hand not the other way around.” Tatum announced, as he pushed the chair closer to Bristol.
“You shouldn’t speak in that manner when you’re around a gamma,” She cited, narrowing her eyes to show her displeasure.
He looked at Gamma Tate who didn’t try to hide his amusement.
“Okay, sorry! What did you want to see us for?” Tatum asked, wanting to get home so he could make love to his alpha mate in his… no, in their bed.
“I was hoping to counsel the two of you before the mating ritual took place, but I can see I’m too late for that.” He stated, looking at the marks on Tatum’s and Bristol’s neck.
“I apologize, it was as much my fault as Tatum’s.” Bristol cried, as she grabbed the elderly man’s hand and placed it upon her forehead.
“Well, I’m not sorry.” Tatum said looking the gamma in the eye.
“What’s done is done, I will make the announcement and arrange for the official ceremony. But first I need to know a little more about you, my dear.” Gamma Tate liked Bristol, she was a breath of fresh air and he could see she’d be very influential to the pack, especially the alpha.
Bristol told Gamma Tate the same story she told Tatum at the grotto. He listened carefully and never once interrupted. When she finished she let a deep sigh escape her lips. She felt better, she felt as if a burden had been lifted from her chest. She smiled and said, “Thank you.”
“What are you thanking me for, my child?”
“For easing the heavy load I’ve been carrying since I left home.”
“I met your father many years ago, he was a great alpha.”
“Thank you for saying so. You remind me of the gamma of my pack. I miss him and everyone dearly.”
“He must be a very wise man, and proud of you.” He smiled and looked over at Tatum who was busying himself talking to someone via the pack’s link.
“His name is Gamma Rhone.” She said proudly.
Gamma Tate sprang from his chair. “Rhone! What does he look like?” He asked, drawing the attention of Tatum, who approached the couple curious of the conversation.
“Well to be honest, I would say he looks like you. I mean, the moment I saw you I thought of him. I don’t know if all gammas look the way the two of you do or not.” She replied.
“Rhone is my brother, I haven’t seen him in many years. When my oldest brother became alpha of our pack, Rhone and I took off to start our own packs. I had a small pack, the Riverland, but we had too many weak links and when Tatum’s father came to challenge, I conceded with the agreement I’d be his gamma, due to my age and experience.” He wiped a tear from his eyes, “I haven’t seen him in over twelve years.”
Bristol hugged the aging man, sensing his pain and told him, “he is well and very wise, like you. The fact the two of you are in such important positions says a lot.”
Tatum realized he was helplessly in love with Bristol. She was wise beyond her years with a heart made of gold. The fact she held such respect for the office of gamma and just upon meeting Tate, to pledge her allegiance to him, spoke volumes about her character and loyally. Yes, he loved her with all his heart and would kill the fool stupid enough to intervene in his quest for happiness.
Tatum spotted Luke walking down the center of the road, he was coming from the direction of the storehouse. When he saw Tatum on the porch he picked up his pace. Luke jotted up the steps, stopping before Bristol, he said, “Hi, I’m Luke. I must say you look lovelier than the last time I saw you. I’m so happy you’ve recovered so quickly, my queen.” He beamed.
Bristol took his outreached hand. She liked the beta, and said with sincerity, “I owe you a debt of gratitude, thank you…” Luke was handsome, almost as handsome as Tatum. He had long dirty blonde hair that sat on his shoulders, curling at the end. His light brown eyes danced in the sunlight showing a red tint behind them.
Tatum didn’t like Luke holding Bristol’s hand, and he didn’t like all the flowery nonsense he was spewing. Both Bristol and Luke turned to Tatum when they heard his wolf growling.
“Hey, she’s my alpha, as you are my alpha. I will love and protect her as I do you.” Luke proclaimed, his eyes never wavering as he looked Tatum eye to almost eye, since Luke was an inch or two shorter than Tatum.
Tatum accepted Luke’s speech as being sincere and from the heart, however, he still didn’t like him holding her hand and rattling off a bunch of flowery stuff to her. She belonged to him and only him.
“How did you know I made Bristol my mate?” Tatum asked curious about Luke’s statement.
“Gamma Tate told everyone she was now our female alpha and that the ceremony will be held in two weeks.” Luke replied looking between Tatum and Gamma Tate.
Bristol began to laugh, she laughed so hard tears gathered in her beautiful brown eyes. “You and your brother have more in common than just your looks.”
“How the hell did you know I made Bristol my mate?” Tatum bellowed, not finding the humor in Gamma Tate not waiting for him to give the okay.
“A little birdie told me.” He replied with a twinkle in his eyes.
“There were no birds around, you old busy body,” Tatum huffed.
“He has brought us luck by announcing our union. Now, all will know it was blessed by the gamma and the preparations have begun for the ceremony, which I for one am glad is not on my shoulders to handle.” She smiled sweetly, causing Tatum to do the same.
“What happened with the rogue wolves?” Tatum inquired in a deep voice trying to recover from smiling like a little boy with a new toy.
“I saw no one around, but lots of evidence that someone crossed onto private property and it’s clear they knew they were in Blackstone territory.” Luke stated, wishing they had caught them in the act.
“Four deer and a wild boar.”
“Let’s start being a little more vigilant, we have enough men to surround this place.”
“Luke, I need to you to confirm the celebration will be in two weeks and I need you to extend the invitation to the surrounding packs who’ve sworn allegiance to me and Blackstone and to those who haven’t, let it be known this is an opportunity to do so.” He slapped Luke on the back.
“Fair enough, I’ll get my protégé to assist me.” Luke said.
“Since when does your ass have a damn protégé?” Tatum shook his head, “that’s like a beta having a beta, it’s absurd.”
“It might be absurd, but I did it. He’s smart, gifted, like a mini me.” Luke laughed, “he’s too good to be labeled an omega, and since I don’t plan to retire from my cushy job anytime soon, giving him the job as my second hand, seemed well… absurd, but a good absurd.” Smiled Luke.
“Whatever, I hope you know what you’re doing. We’re going home and do not, I mean do…not…disturb me. Unless this town is on fire and all hell has broken loose, do not disturb me!”
“Yes, sir!” Luke replied. “Here comes my probie now.”
Everyone turned and looked down what they called main street. The young man was kicking a rock as he approached the narrow path leading up to the gamma’s house. His head was down as he concentrated on the rock he was kicking. Even with his head down, Bristol would recognize the man if he was in the middle of a crowded room. Her heart leaped and her lips broke into the biggest grin it could produce, as she ran down the wide wooden steps, knocking the young man on the ground. Sitting on his chest she screamed, “Scotty, I found you!”
“Get off me Bristol, I wasn’t lost! What are you doing here?” he asked trying not to look like a kid in front of Tatum and Luke. He pushed Bristol onto her bottom, getting up, he reached down to give her a hand, which she quickly took.
“I was looking for you and ended up finding my mate.” She blurted out with glee.
“Your mate!” bellowed Scotty, drawing enough attention that both men on the porch came running.
Tatum had murder on his mind. He would tear the little newcomer to shreds for yelling at his mate. When he approached, Bristol placed her small delicate hand on his large muscular chest and said, “he meant no disrespect, he’s just surprised, that’s all.”
Tatum looked at Scotty, who nodded his head in agreement. “I left Bristol at Rolling Hill, where she was safe.” He went to grab her by the shoulders and thought better of it. He noticed Tatum still glaring at him suspiciously. “How did you get here; do you not know the dangers you could’ve faced?” Scotty turned back to the men and said, “She’s like my sister. My little annoying sister, but I promised my previous alpha, I would protect her.” Tatum, Luke and Gamma Tate could see the sadness attach itself to Scotty as he spoke of the late alpha.
“I had to leave! That son of a bitch Rex, he… He tried to make me his mate and when I refused, he told me how he killed my father. Scotty, he killed my dad.” She cried. All three men tried to hug and console her until they heard Tatum’s wolf growl a warning.
“I would’ve killed him if I had known. I wouldn’t have done that stupid challenge, I would’ve killed him outright.” Scotty said, as they all heard the pain and anger in his voice.
“I left because Gamma Rhone said I had to. He said in order to find what was missing and to make things right at Rolling Hill, I had to go away.” She wiped a tear away before adding, “but I wasn’t going to leave, then… Rex killed my mother.”
“What!” they all yelled in unison.
“Well, you have us now.” Cited Luke.
“Being my mate will give you more protection than you could ever image.” Tatum announced proudly. “And when the time comes, Rex will pay.”
“So, you and Tatum are together? You’re the new beauty who stole Tatum’s heart and is as fierce as any she-wolf?” Scotty repeated some of the things he heard around town. “I’m happy for you sis, I haven’t known him long, but from what I’ve seen and heard, the Goddess has blessed you.”
“Thank you. Come, we have a lot to talk about.” Bristol said grabbing Scotty’s arm.
“Not now, you don’t, tomorrow.” Tatum said, looking down at the woman who had captured his heart.
“But…” She started then looking in Tatum’s eyes she could see the passion and the promise and decided to change her mind, she said, “How about breakfast in the morning, I’ll cook?”
“How about dinner tomorrow, instead?” Tatum said, planning his own breakfast surprise tomorrow.
“We’ll be there.” Luke sang, making everyone laugh.
Time didn’t stand still for Bristol at Blackstone, she found herself very much involved in the ceremony after all. She had a dressmaker that insisted on making her ceremonial dress, so she was busy with fitting after fitting. The menu and the decorating of the great hall was given to her for final approval. She didn’t realize how much went into a ceremony, she remembered her mother doing it with ease and very little effort. But the number of guests quoted her would’ve tripled the number of guests Rolling Hill ever entertained. She thanked the Goddess for sending Maisie to help her with the preparations. She was very wise and knew what needed to be done and in what order. Bristol couldn’t believe the number of packs in allegiance to Blackstone. The hall alone held over a thousand guests. The town, to Bristol’s delight, was very functional. Not only was there a great hall, but a small inn, a restaurant, general store, and other small shops.
Bristol also found a friend, Kaylyn. Kaylyn, a year younger with long, beautiful brunette hair with sun streaked highlights, made Bristol laugh at every turn. She was knowledgeable of the town’s history and people. She, like Bristol, was an orphan and spent most of her time fighting to survive on her own. She owned a little bakery in the middle of the square and made most of her food from home. Neither had the good fortune of having a sister, and immediately made a pact to be sisters, best friends, and protectors of one another.
The two picked wild flowers and caught dinner for Bristol’s dinner party. Kaylyn explained to Bristol the history of Blackstone and how most of the villagers originated from elsewhere. They were a melting pot, with different ingredients that make up Blackstone. She told of the black rocks that seem to be everywhere, including blackberries, which they picked. “When Tatum came and saw all the rocks, he said the best name he could think of was Blackstone.” It wasn’t long when the two caught wind of a stray wolf in the area, and when he came over the hill, Bristol recognized him as one of the men who accosted her. She looked around for his partner and found him lurking behind a large oak tree, not too many feet away from them.
Bristol had her fighting stick and was ready to do battle, it was too late to shift, afraid of being attacked before the transformation completed. She screamed to Katlyn, “go, run, get help!”
“I’m not leaving you!” Kaylyn shouted, picking up a branch that must have fallen during a storm or by unwanted weight.
The man behind the tree attacked first, Bristol struck him in the nuts, then across the side of his head, bringing him to his knees. The second man ran, charging them like a bull looking to do harm. He was tall and gawky looking. The minute he was within range Kaylyn whacked him on the knee, they could hear his bone break, she then began to beat upon his back and head, until he lay dead, beaten and bloody.
Running back to town the first people they ran into was Scotty and Luke. Bristol informed them of what had taken place as Katlyn gave them directions of where the incident occurred. Both men and an epsilon ran into the woods, when they returned, they stated that they found the dead man’s body and nothing more. Luke recognized him as one of Seth’s henchmen, and set out to find Tatum.
The night before the ceremony Bristol invited Scotty, Luke, Kaylyn, Gamma Tate, and Maisie for dinner, she wanted to invite Dr. Jax, but he was out of town on business.
Maisie was nice enough to make a deer stew, with the lightest, sweetest biscuits Bristol ever tasted. Luke brought a jug of Blackstone’s blackberry hard cider he personally made himself and Kaylyn a fresh blackberry cobbler and a buttery pound cake.
Bristol’s eyes became misty looking down the long table at her guests. She took note of Gamma Tate and Maisie reminiscing on the past celebrations and ceremonies, and decided her first duty as a female alpha would be to appoint Maisie as gamma. Bristol smiled and her heart leaped in her chest as she watched Tatum debate with Luke over policies of the pack. Bristol also found her next project, which would be as matchmaker. It was clear to see that Scotty was smitten by Kaylyn and vice versa.
Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she thought of her parents and her new life now. It was both a sad and happy cry that escaped her. Tatum moved with lightening speed, kneeling before her, “what’s wrong, what happened?”
“I’m just so happy. Scotty has always been family, but now my family has extended, to all of you,” Bristol cried, burying her head on Tatum’s shoulder.
“Aw, sweetheart, I’m not used to tears of joy, but I’m so glad it wasn’t something bad.” Tatum smiled, kissing her lips gently, then increasing its pressure, until he heard Gamma Tate cough.
“I’d like to finish dessert before we’re asked to leave,” he laughed, and was quickly joined by the others.
“And you want to claim this bunch as family?” Tatum laughed shaking his head, before returning to his seat at the head of the table. It was good thing they had company. Bristol’s yellow dress hugged her hips in a way that drove his wolf insane, not to mention the long rows of buttons down the front of the dress. He wanted to unbutton each on revealing her silky skin.
The women cleaned, as the men sat on the porch talking. Everyone was excited about tomorrow and in a good mood. Bristol heard Dirk tell Tatum over fifty tents have gone up at the top of the ridge.
“Did you let them know we have lodging in town and some rooms in the hall?” Tatum asked, but knew some packs liked the outdoors as opposed to being cooped up in a room.
“Yes, sir, I did as you instructed. Paul is on the other end of town doing the same,” he said proudly, with his skinny chest stuck out.
“Make sure it’s know we have special rooms available for the alpha’s,” Luke added.
“Yes, sir I will,” Dirk said before running back to his post.
“Do we have extra security and had everyone is on high alert?” Tatum asked Luke not wanting to take any chances that a rogue may be amongst the guest attending.
“Yes, and everyone has been warned no fighting. We don’t give a rat’s ass what the situation is, be it new or old beefs,” Luke stated with all seriousness.
“Good, I don’t want any unpleasantness to ruin this celebration. Not a one.”
All was quiet when Bristol and Tatum turned the lights out. Bristol took note of the two men standing guard outside the house. “You placed guards around the house?” Bristol asked, as she ran the water for her shower, for some reason it took a while to get it nice and hot, but she didn’t complain, she’d never had a shower back home, only a small wooden tub.
“Yes, I’m not taking any chances on a rogue wolf thinking now would be a good time to move up in ranks.”
“Then why invite them?”
“Because it’s protocol for any important happening like new alpha, marriage, birth, and whatever event takes place in a leader’s life, to invite those who are his allies and neighbors to attend. That doesn’t mean I trust them. Hell, as much as I love Luke, I don’t trust him. Periodically he challenges my authority, in hopes of being alpha.” He hunched his shoulders, “It the wolf’s way, it’s been like this for centuries.”
“I’ve talked enough strategy and policies tonight, come here.” He growled low.
Bristol laughed, guess my shower will have to wait. As much as she longed to feel the hot water against her skin, she’d rather feel the heat from Tatum.
“The water is running,” she whispered as she climbed across the bed on all fours, to Tatum.
“Good, it will be nice and hot when we get in it. But before we get clean, let's get dirty,” he said as he flipped her onto her back. Tatum took his time unbuttoning her dress. He’d thought of nothing else all night. Tatum kissed her exposed flesh, searing her skin with his hot breath. He let his hands roam wherever they chose. When he reached her stomach, he stuck his tongue in her belly-button. Bristol began to laugh.
“You think my love making is funny,” he jested.
“No, but that tickles.”
“Let’s see if this tickle,” he said as he brought her soft mound to his mouth and began to lavish her clit, licking, sucking and blowing on the tiny bud, until she began to moan deep within her throat. He placed two fingers in her hot awaiting pussy, then three, then four, then five, then she came, her hips rose off the bed. “Ah, I’m coming, oh my… ahh,” she cried out as her body began to tremble, causing her small round tits to jiggle. Tatum grabbed her hips, letting his tongue lap up the juices that were flowing naturally. He let his tongue enter her removing all traces of her essence as the sweet taste coated his tongue. Still holding her hips, he lifted her upward as he got on his knees. Tatum entered her, inch by inch he let his dick slide into her saturated cunt. Bristol tossed her head from side to side on the cool satin pillows. “Give it to me,” she cried wanting him to stop torturing her, but not really, because it felt so good. “I want it all,” she whined.
“All, like this?” He thrust his dick deep inside, her inner wall. She shouted out in pleasure, “yesss.” Tatum continued to tease her, pulling out until only the head was at her entrance, then plunging deep inside her. She almost couldn’t stand the pleasure, as she locked her legs high above his hips and pumped and grinded her hips against his own. Her pussy was so drenched, the slapping sound echoed in the room. She tried but couldn’t contain herself as she began to spiral, her pussy clenched around his dick as she mewled. Tatum, holding on by a thin thread, felt her pussy’s tight grip throbbing around his cock as her orgasm tore through her body, igniting his climax, as he shouted out loud, “fuck, here I come...” He increased his speed, pounding her hard until his body shuddered uncontrollably, and their bodies locked together.
Bristol woke up to a bright, sunshiny day. Sliding her legs on the other side of the bed all she could feel was a cold empty space, which meant Tatum had been gone for some time. She was getting used to him rising early, sometimes it was well past noon before she’d see him. He would come home for lunch or just to check in on her. She sat on the side of the bed, reaching for the note he would leave for her each day. It pretty much said the same thing, ‘good morning, I love you, will see you soon, signed T.’ However, this morning he added a little more, ‘Too many alpha’s, demanding too much of me.’ Bristol smiled, it was evident the alpha’s who weren’t in attendance last night have made their presence known today.
Bristol stretched as she rose from the bed, deciding a long hot bath would do her aching body some good. A smile graced her face as she remembered why her body needed a hot relaxing bath. Time was moving quickly, yet somehow it seemed like a lifetime. Her life at Blackstone felt more like home than home actually did. Sure, she missed some things, but being here with Tatum and everyone else had become second nature.
Today she would officially be made female alpha of Blackstone, and she took the responsibilities very seriously. She knew what she had to do and how she wanted to reign. There was no doubt in her mind, she will be a great leader, and soon she will make all that have done her wrong, pay.
Bristol was hungry and felt restless, she decided to go out for a run and to hunt for something fulfilling to eat. Since being with Tatum her hunger no longer ruled her, however she still maintained a hearty appetite. She knew there were a lot of strangers in town, so she assured the two guards Tatum assigned to her that she wouldn’t wander far. She caught two cottontail rabbits and a squirrel before returning to the house. Bristol kept looking around, it was as if she was being watched, true it could be the sentry that were assigned to keep an eye on her. There were so many different packs around, she couldn’t pinpoint the smell in the air. Deciding to be safe rather than sorry, she headed back to town. Blackstone was noisier than she was accustomed to, the streets overflowing with people amazed her, even the shops contained more people. One good thing will come from this, she thought, the merchants will make more money then they have all week. It wasn’t long before Kaylyn was knocking at the door. She’d almost forgotten she asked Kaylyn to help her get dressed for the celebration. Kaylyn had a sapphire blue dress draped across her arm, along with a small tote bag.
“Is this what you’re wearing?” Bristol asked as she relieved Kaylyn of the garment. The dress was beautiful and the color vibrant.
“Yes, I hope...” She stopped in mid-sentence, casting her eyes downward.
“You hope what?” Bristol asked already knowing the answer.
“You hope Scotty likes it. As an old and dear friend of his, I can tell you, yes, he will.”
“You think so? I mean I haven’t dated much and well, well, he’s the first boy I feel connected to.”
“Well, if that’s the case, I will do what I can to help you. Scotty can be a little dense sometimes.”
They both laughed at the silliness of the opposite sex. Before long, Kaylyn was doing Bristol’s hair, getting her ready for the festivities. Dirk came by to tell Bristol that a room had been set up for Tatum and Luke and some of the others were helping him get ready for the ceremony.
“I don’t know what kind of fixing up they be doing to him, but I know I heard him growl a few times, meaning he ain’t like none of it. Nope, he ain’t like it one bit,” Dirk said with a serious, concerned look on his face, that made both woman laugh.
“I’m sure the alpha will be just fine, he can be a little grumpy sometimes.” Bristol took her necklace of a wolf’s head off and opening Dirk’s hand she placed it in his palm, and said, “Give this to him and tell him I can’t want for him to place it back on my neck.”
“Yes ma'am, and by the way you look real pretty.” He blushed.
Dirk ran out the door as if his pants were on fire. Bristol shook her head as Kaylyn laughed so hard she got the hiccups. Time was drawing near and Bristol became nervous. She didn’t know what to expect and wished Tatum was here to calm her down. Instead, she received another guest, Maisie, who bought her a crown made of daisies to place on her hair. Bristol decided to wear her hair loose. The small waves from the unbraiding gave her hair body. The yellow and white flowers matched her lemony yellow and white dress that showed off her figure beautifully. Taking a deep breath, she was ready to leave. Two guards escorted them to the great hall. The women had out done themselves, the decorations were lovelier in person than on paper, the smell of roasting meats laid heavy in the room, its aroma mouth watering. The sound of conversation and laughing was almost deafening. A hush came over the room the moment she walked down the narrow aisle of the hall. As she approached the dais, she kept her eyes locked on Tatum’s. She could see the passion in them, then heard him say in their pack link. You look good enough to eat.
She smiled and replied, I’ll test that theory soon.
Bristol continued walking, suddenly, a small child ran up the aisle, she could hear the parents calling, “Come back Cindy.” Bristol simply swept the child up in her arms, placing her on her hips and continued walking. The women sighed at her gesture and the men clapped. When she reached Cindy’s parents she handed the child to them. The dais had two rows of tables, the first table was long and held Scotty and a few other men, the second-row table was shorter and occupied by Tatum, Luke by his side and at the far end Gamma Tate and Dr. Jax. All stood when Bristol, Kaylyn and Maisie advanced towards the dais, two omegas assisted the women up the stairway to Tatum’s table.
Once they sat in their seats, Gamma Tate stood. He raised his hand for silence, then bellowed for all to hear, “Quiet, I need everyone’s undivided attention.” It took a minute or two for everyone to heed his directions. “We have gathered her to celebrate the union of Alpha Tatum, the tracker, the unprecedented leader of the Blackstone pack, to Bristol, daughter of the late, great Midas, the just. For all who have bend a knee to Blackstone and Tatum, I ask you to do the same for his soul-mate, Bristol the first female alpha of Blackstone.” The hall erupted into shouts of cheer, and many if not all, stood on their feet.
Luke stood, mimicking Gamma Tate, he raised a hand to silence the hall. They quickly sat down as a hush fell across the room. “I would like to raise my glass in a toast to my leader, mentor, brother and alpha, Tatum.” The hall yelled, “To Tatum.” Many raised a glass and swallowed deep from those glasses. “And to the beautiful, strong she-wolf, my new leader and female alpha, Bristol.” Again, the hall erupted into a standing ovation and roars of, “To Bristol.”
Tatum stood as Luke sat back down, the clapping, and praises for Tatum spread throughout the crowd. It was sometime before they would let him speak.
“I know some of you have traveled a long distance to be here, and I thank you for your support and diligence. To the many alpha’s who are here, I bend my knee in support of you as you have done for me. I pray we continue to live in peace and join together to defeat any enemy that chooses to disrupt our peaceful existence.”
“Hear, hear,” one man shouted and everyone else followed. Tatum turned to Bristol and asked, “Do you want to say something?”
Bristol stood and unlike the others, she began to walk down the stairs. Two of the guards quickly joined her, placing a light hand on her elbows. When she descended the last step, she said, “I just became the alpha of this wonderful pack and already I love the people of Blackstone. This is a large pack with a lot of alliances, and I will give my all to serve you. But to a lot of you, I’m just a simple girl, from a small simply pack. That’s fine, because it’s the truth.” The crowd applauded.
“My first duty as alpha is to appoint the Blackstone pack with its first female gamma. Her kindness, wisdom and age, dictates that she walks in the position to counsel and advise the women young and old of Blackstone. With my alpha mate’s approval, I appoint Maisie, as the new gamma of Blackstone. Gamma Maisie, please sit beside Gamma Tate,” Bristol instructed, as she watched large teardrops roll down the wrinkled skin of the elderly woman. Everyone clapped, and the women of Blackstone cried and shouted their approval.
“My second duty as alpha, with my alpha mate’s approval is to assign to myself, my own personal beta, I have watched this woman fight, and protect me while risking her own life. I choose Kaylyn as my beta.” Bristol smiled at the shocked look on Kaylyn’s face.
“To Blackstone pack, I pledge to you my love and gentle hand when needed and my heavy hand when appropriate. I’ll be mother to your children and a sister to you all, but first and foremost, I will be your alpha and the she-wolf of this pack.” Again, the crowd erupted in glee. Bristol saw the look on Tatum’s face and knew she’d done good. He looked taller, his chest bigger and his eyes clearer, than earlier.
Gamma Tate stood and said, “Before we partake in the wonderful meal that has my stomach doing back flips, I’d like to perform the official mating prayer to our leaders. Everyone please raise your glass, and say the wolf’s prayer.” Everyone stood and held their glass up high, even the children who were taught the prayer joined in, reciting for all to hear, “Spirit of the wolf, we who wander the wild lands, we who stalk in silent shadows, we who run and leap between the moss-covered trees, ask for primal strength and the wisdom of the spirit wolf’s glowing eyes. Teach us to relentlessly track our desires and to stand in defense of those we love, show us the hidden paths and the moonlit fields. Make our pack strong.”
Silence fell in the hall and all eyes were on the couple as they joined hands and recited to each other, “Fierce spirit guide me as I walk with my mate, even in my solitude. Howl with me my mate in my joy. Guard me my mate as I move through this world. Follow me down the path and I will walk beside you, guiding and showing you the way. I will not leave you. If you ever feel alone close your eyes and you will see me, and my voice will forever be in your ears. Together we will build a pack, help strengthen the weak and fight together with the strong.”
Tatum took Bristol in his arms and kissed her like they were alone in their special place, and the room came alive with chants, as several others cried and howled in appreciation of the prayer and the kiss.
The food was delicious, all the major alphas were impressed by Tatum’s modern town and generous hospitality. When the food was served they were beyond grateful. They all agreed they’ve never sat before a feast like the one that day, not even under their own roofs. The servers bought roasted stag for each table along with a roasted pig. Baked sturgeon, goose eggs scrambled with deer roe, wild greens and dandelions along with crusty loafs of bread. On tall stands sat fresh fruits with sweet whipped cream and on the lower level were lemon cakes, Blackberry pies, and sweet powered dough. It was a meal fit for a king, in this case an alpha. The room was inviting and happy.
When the food was cleared away, the tables were relocated, and the music began. It was customary that the alpha opened the dance, if mated it would be he and his female alpha. Bristol and Tatum made a fetching couple. She was tall maybe four inches shorter than Tatum, she wasn’t a small woman, nor big, but for Tatum she was the perfect size. She smiled and Tatum thought his heart would beat itself out of his chest, it was pounding hard and fast.
Bristol lifted her head and bit his chin. When he looked down she said, “Can we leave now?”
“We can do whatever you want.” He smiled, bringing her closer to his hard-muscular body.
Tatum called Scotty and Luke over. They’d been watching to make sure no one got out of control. They had begun watering down the wine and liquor after dinner, as a precaution. He and some of the best Etas were vigilant around the room as well as outside the hall.
“We will be making our exit soon. Can you hold this down, Scotty?” Tatum asked.
“Yeah, some have already been escorted up to their rooms and the ones who are staying on the outskirts, we’ve asked their pack to take them to their campsite.
Luke added, so far, so good.” Then smiling he slapped Tatum on his back, and quickly gave him a bear hug.
“Okay, I know you don’t drink on the job so what’s up with the hug.” Tatum laughed, looking at his misty-eyed beta.
“I’m happy for you. Truly happy. That speech she gave, and the appointments made, she’s a natural.”
“Yeah, she is that, and a hell of a lot more,” Tatum said looking at Bristol talking to one of the alphas with Kaylyn by her side.
Bristol saw Tatum watching her, she blew him a kiss and gave him a wink, which made him smile. She vowed at that moment to always make him smile. Bristol turning her attention back to Alpha Briar, told him that she remembered him coming to her father’s aide many years ago. “You were kind then, and kind now. My father had a great amount of respect for you.”
“And I him. Yet, it was different back then. A lot of fighting for territory, and fighting amongst the packs, but Tatum has united most of the southern packs together. In my time, we would’ve never sat under the same roof with other packs. This amazing town alone shows his vision for the future.” Alpha Briar took a deep breath and said, “I love him like a son. He’s a great leader.”
Pride swelled up in Bristol’s heart. She didn’t realize how important Tatum was to the surrounding packs. Sure, she knew he was loved and feared by the Blackstone pack, but she didn’t know his popularity also included respect and honor for the things he has accomplished. When she finished her conversation, she joined Tatum who was laughing jovially with a young man. He excused himself to join her. Tatum’s arms instinctive went around Bristol’s waist. She loved his touch, she loved him.
“Did you let your beta know we were leaving? Tatum asked as he handed her a glass from the passing server.
“No, I thought we were going to slip out undetected,” she responded.
“We are, but your beta should know every move you make. The only other person outside of me that should be linked stronger to you, is Kaylyn.” Tatum smiled, he liked the fact she was concentrating and hanging onto every word he spoke. She will be a good student.
“So, I can link to her like I do you without it being to all the pack?”
“The link is there the moment you chose her, you just have to perfect it. Remember your beta is an extension of you. Your beta is your right hand, your confidant and your conscience.”
“Humph, some folks need to practice what they preach.” Luke snorted standing behind the two, then continued walking when Tatum gave him the evil eye.
“I’ll go let her know now.”
When all was done, Tatum and Bristol snuck out the back door. There were a few people standing outside in the cool night air talking or making out. A couple congratulated them again, yet no one said anything about their departure. Luke and Kaylyn walked a slight distance behind them, watching but not interrupting.
Bristol wanted Tatum to take her to the grotto, but Tatum talked her out of going, promising instead to take her tomorrow.
“It’s late and I’m tired, shifting and making that trip after the day I’ve had. I wouldn’t be good for nothing but sleep once we got there.” He smiled knowing that would change her wants, since the last thing she had in mind for him to do was sleep.
“Plus, I need to be close by in case something goes awry tonight.”
“Okay, you promise, tomorrow. Tomorrow afternoon?”
“I promise, as soon as the packs clear out.”
“I heard some were leaving tonight. However, Alpha Briar said, he’s leaving in the morning, right after breakfast,” she informed him.
“Maybe we should invite him for breakfast at our house. Will that be possible?” He asked, not wanting to put her through unnecessary troubles.
“Yes, I’d like that. I can have them bring the food over from the hall, since it will be more than enough to feed everyone.”
“I like him,” she said quietly.
“I do too. He’s an idol of mine. A mentor of sorts. He has an amazing mind.”
“He feels the same way about you.”
“Ha, no way.”
“Yes, he told me so. He said you’ve changed the way the southern packs interact, and Blackstone proves how much of a visionary you are.”
“Yes, and he’s right.”
Tatum stopped in front of their house and said, “I’m linking with Luke.” Luke go tell Alpha Briar that Bristol and I would like he and his beta to join us for breakfast in the morning, before he leaves.
“I told Tatum to invite Briar and his beta for breakfast.”
Kaylyn, Kaylyn! She’s not answering.
“I hear you, now concentrate on her. Connect with her.”
Bristol inhaled deeply, closing her eyes, she called to Kaylyn and this time she answered. Tell the kitchen we are having seven guests for breakfast. We need everything on the menu brought to the house. You and Luke are to join us.
Thank you, I'll let the kitchen know, Kaylyn replied.
“I did it! I actually did it.” Bristol smiled, walking up the stairs, as Tatum held the door open for her to enter.
“Yes sweetheart, you did.” He smiled back and his dick twitched.
“You know I met Alpha Briar years ago when I was a child. He knew my father.”
“I heard tales of the great Midas the just. Seems Briar and your father are cut from the same cloth.”
Sadness crept up on Bristol, she didn’t want to think of her father, not now. “Let’s not talk anymore, I have something else in mind to do with my mouth.
Grabbing his hand, she pulled him into the bedroom. Bristol took her time unbuttoning Tatum’s shirt, while placing small kisses on his chest after each button she removed. Sliding his shirt off his broad shoulders, down his muscular arms until it fell on the floor, she then set her sights on his pants. Unbuckling his belt and helping remove his pants she stood back admiring his magnificent body. Turning her back to him, silently instructing him to unzip her dress, Bristol could feel the cool air on her back as the zipper retracted. The dress made a whooshing sound gliding off her body onto the floor. Bristol laughingly pushed Tatum onto the bed and eased herself onto his sprawling body.
Bristol, kissing each side of his face before centering on his lips, skillfully she played with his tongue. Every now and again, she’d capture it and suck on the slippery member. Bristol let her hands run down the plains of his stomach until it reached his engorged penis. Sliding her hand up and down his thick, long shaft, she made it grow even the more. Breaking their kiss, she began to kiss his massive chest, as her tongue ran circles around his nipples, causing them to harden into tiny pebbles. “Umm” he groaned, as she licked her way downward. When she reached the patch of hair that surrounded his hard-on, he whispered, “By all that the Goddess holds dear.” Bristol had never ventured into this unknown territory of lovemaking, but she felt compelled to do so tonight. Tatum had driven her mad several times with his mouth and she felt obligated to return the favor. Bristol gently took his penis into her mouth. She began at the crown, which caused Tatum to make a sound she’d never heard him make before. The more she experimented, the more brazen she became, until she was sucking and licking him from the crown to the hilt, producing a shiny pre-cum which she licked off. Suddenly, he called out, “Stop or I won’t be able to...”
Bristol wanted to continue to see what would happen if she pushed him over the edge, but before she could decide, he pulled her up and placed her across his lap. “Since you like being in control my she-wolf, try this on for size.” He entered her and she’d swear his cock was lodged in her belly, he was so deep. She moved gingerly upon his cock, rocking back in forth. Bristol started bouncing up and down in a slow almost methodical way that made him call her name.
“Bristol, you feel so good.”
Confidence replaced her innocence as she lifted upward then plunged downward, grinding her hips against his. The power of his vast cock and the movement within, took Bristol by surprise as her orgasm washed over her, causing her body to tremble. Tatum, grabbing her hips changed the tempo to fit his needs, and within seconds he shouted out, “Ahhh! I’m cumming…” as he pumped her with his hot molten cream.
Morning came too early and for the first time, Bristol woke with Tatum by her side. She watched as his chest rose and fell in a rhythmic fashion. She liked the way his eyelashes curled upward. Before she could relish the idea of waking him up, she heard Kaylyn say, Good morning my alpha, the kitchen will deliver the food in thirty minutes and Alpha Briar will arrive in forty-five.
Good morning, and thank you. I assume you will be arriving with the food. So, I will see you then.
Bristol decided to let Tatum sleep, after all it would take her a lot longer to get dressed than it would him. Being wolves, clothing was just a formality, but functional. It was not unusual to see others nude for shifting with clothes proved costly, and constantly having to take them off and remembering where you left them, a pain in the ass.
The water ran while she picked out a simple dress to wear, the moment she entered the shower and let the water wash over her body, Tatum entered the confined space with his mammoth frame. Because of his height, only a few drops of water fell onto Bristol. “You and I in the shower together, is not a good idea.” She laughed.
“I thought you were done,” he said, slapping her on the ass.
“It’s a good thing Kaylyn is on her way.” She narrowed her eyes, letting him know she meant business.
“Who’s afraid of the big bad wolf?” He laughed again, repeating his last gesture slapping her on the ass.
“All yours, my Alpha.”
Bristol quickly dressed then sat in at the small dresser Tatum bought for her and struggled to undo her matted hair. “So much for wearing it loose.” She said out loud to herself, “This is why I braid this mess,” as she struggled with the tangles.
“I like your hair out. But what do I know, I like it braided too.”
“Well, braids it is then.”
“That reminds me, why do you place nails in your hair?”
“I don’t place nails in my hair, darling, I put spikes inside my braid, to defend myself. My mother taught me this little trick, so if anyone grabs my ponytail they will get a nice little surprise.”
“Most mothers teach their little girls to bake and sew.” He arched an eyebrow.
A knock at the door prevented her from responding to Tatum’s analogy. When she opened the door, two of the kitchen staff and four young men entered the house, all carrying large pots and trays. It wasn’t long before Kaylyn and Scotty made their presence known. Scotty carried a large pot with several little containers in it.
“Oh Scotty, I forgot to invite you,” Bristol cried, giving him a bear hug.
“I can’t breathe Bristol.” Scotty shouted, “Why do you keep doing that, gee? I can’t make it to breakfast anyway, I have to make sure everyone is out of the territory,” he said with great importance.
“Well, that definitely takes precedence over breakfast at my house.”
“Yes, it does! Make sure that the area is clean of any trash and debris. I want everyone on the other side of the river by noon. They know the time schedule, it’s been posted and verbally announced. Watch out for rogues. No man, not even yourself should be without a partner,” Tatum announced. “Luke will be here, however we both will connect with you when breakfast is over.”
“I thought we had plans?” Bristol whispered. She was looking forward to the warm spring water at the grotto.
“We do, but I told you I wouldn’t be available to go until all the packs were gone.”
Bristol inhaled deeply, she’d forgotten that little tidbit. She gave directions to the servers, and made a mental note to buy some nice tablecloths. It was time to feminize the house. She wanted to plant flowers and give it a homier look. Overall, Tatum has done well with the house, but a woman’s touch is always better.
Food was in abundance, deer sausage, bacon, ham, eggs, pancakes, waffles and coffee. When Alpha Briar arrived, the table was set and everyone seated with their first cup of coffee.
“Please, sit,” offering her chair, Bristol sat beside Tatum.
“You should keep your seat at the head of the table,” he stated.
“No, you are our honored guest, and pray that this will not be your last visit. Our home is always open to you,” Bristol proclaimed, as she leaned against Tatum
“We are honored today and will be honored any time you bless our home with your presence,” Tatum concurred with Bristol.
“Great, because this young man, Tank, is my beta and my adopted son. I adopted him some months ago. As you know, I have no living heir and I am getting old and will not reign much longer. Yet, as alpha I must think of my pack for today, tomorrow and in the future when I am long gone. I truly believe Tank is the future.”
“Congratulation, Tank.” Everyone around the table, gave him their well wishes.
“Tank and I spoke at length last night and this morning. What you’ve done here is amazing. I know you’ve lived amidst the humans in the big city and learned many things. It obvious, you learned how to implement some of those things here.”
Bristol was surprised, she didn’t know Tatum lived in the big city with humans. She was not only surprised, she was envious and curious about his travels. She also realized there was more to her mate that was a mystery. It’s time she asked, who are you?
“Yes, I’ve tried to do as much as possible to bring us into the modern times, and in doing so alleviated some of the trials and tribulations our pack were experiencing. I also did it in case human’s stumble upon us. This will just be a little backward southern town away from the big city.”
“Yes, yes, I can see where that would work. I have a favor to ask of you Tatum, if you decline, it will change nothing between us.”
“What is it that you need from me?” Tatum asked curious to the alpha’s request.
“I need you to come to Sky Ridge and see what is needed to bring us into the modern ages. And periodically, Tank will come and observe and learn how to put into operation some of the things we’ve witnessed here.”
“That’s not a favor Briar, it will be my pleasure.”
Tears gathered in the old alpha’s eyes as he grabbed a sausage and said. “And I need the recipe for this deer sausage.”
Laughter and conversation along with a great meal brought about a wonderful day. As the kitchen help cleared away all the pots and pans off the table, Bristol and Kaylyn sat on the porch, letting the men talk man talk. The day was clear and sunny, everything seemed to be returning to order.
Bristol suggested, they take a stroll to Gamma Maisie's house. The moment they approached, the door opened. A young woman exited the home, gave her proper greeting to Bristol and Kaylyn and continued down the steps.
Gamma Maisie, stood in the door and said, “She’s the third person, I’ve seen this morning. I never knew there were so many women with questions and problems in this town.” She motioned for the two to come in. She gave Bristol a hug, and said, “The dangers we spoke of are very close. I wished I could tell you more. Just now I felt it, it’s near.”
“I will protect her from any danger, Goddess willing.” Kaylyn stated, looking at Bristol for acknowledgement of faith.
“Well I’m happy my appointment has been a blessing not only to you, but to this town.” Bristol smiled. She wanted to know more, but was afraid to ask. Before she could say more, there was a knock at the door, it was another troubled soul needing to speak with Gamma Maisie.
“Well, what now?” Kaylyn asked, as they continued their walk.
“How about picking some blackberries? I’d love to make some tarts for tonight,” she said, wishing she’d bought her pail from home. It was at that moment she spotted Dirk crossing the street, and called out to him. Dirk and another young man, Bristol couldn’t remember his name, came running.
“Yes, mother alpha,” he said with ease, bringing a smile to Bristol’s face.
“Will it be too much for you to bring me a pail from my house to pick blackberries?” she asked.
“No, mother alpha, we were on our way to give father alpha a message from Scotty,” he announced with glee, as the other young man nodded his head in agreement.
“And what is your name son, I’ve seen you several times with this young warrior, but I don’t remember if I’ve heard mention of your name.”
“Its Paul, mother alpha.” He blushed.
“Good, both of you have proven to be a great help to Tatum and myself, thank you.”
“Thank you!” They shouted in unison, as they ran to do her bidding.
The two stood chatting and responding to several greeters as they waited for Dirk and Paul’s return. When the boys advanced, Bristol could see they had not one, but two large buckets in their hands and her fighting stick she’d left by the door. Bristol arched a brow at Dirk, signaling a need for him to elaborate.
“Father alpha said, ‘Pick enough for wine to be made.’ He also told us,” pointing to himself and Paul, “to tag along to carry the buckets back. Oh, and to give you this, he said you forgot it.” He handed Bristol the walking stick.
“Thank you, son. Wine, it is!” Bristol and Kaylyn laughed.
“Yes, he also said, remember you have a date with him, so try not to stay too long.”
Enjoying the sun shining through the trees, and the soft wind blowing in the valley, Bristol listened to Kaylyn’s endless chatter about Scotty. They found a spot with ample supply of blackberries, only picking the black ripe ones, they ate as many as they dropped in the pails. The boys helping to eat and pick, placed some of the morsels in their discarded shirts. Bristol shouted a caution, “Watch out for snakes.” Snakes were known to nest in the blackberry bushes.
They’d gathered enough berries for pies, wine and even some to give out to Gamma Maisie, when Dirk said, “I smell a rogue in the area, stay put while I check it out. Paul, stay.” He wasn’t gone long, “With the wind blowing, I’m not sure what direction it’s coming from.”
“I think it is coming from the east, beyond those trees,” Bristol stated as she pointed in the direction she thought the odor was coming from.
“Let’s go back,” she said, as she handed one of the buckets to Paul. It was in that split second three rogues came bursting through the foliage, two were in wolf form, the other in his human body. Dirk transformed, ripping through his clothing, circled the two wolves.
Bristol stood in her fighter stance, ready to do battle, when one of the wolves, jumped toward her. She threw her stick up stopping his teeth from getting close to her face. Kaylyn, who carried a machete on her hip, ripped the wolf from the top of his front hind leg, along his rib cage, ending at his back leg. His teeth were still locked onto Bristol’s walking stick as she tried to dislodge it. She saw the wolf Dirk was battling with toss him around like a rag doll.
Bristol screamed, “Go get help!” to Paul who was trying to save Dirk. Bristol called out to Tatum, but she could barely hear him, which meant he probably couldn’t hear her. Kaylyn ran towards the man with her machete ready to do damage when one wolf charged, knocking her to the ground. Bristol ran to Kaylyn and then everything went black.
Bristol’s head was pounding, and the pain behind her eyes felt like daggers piercing her orbs. The room, dimly lit, reminded her of the rural life she used to live. Blackstone used lanterns that illuminated the rooms, unlike the smelly beeswax candles that permeated the room. She wanted to open her eyes all the way, but they felt heavy. All she could do was squint. Everything was out of focus, she didn’t know if she was dreaming or awake. There was something on her arm, something weighty. She also took note her feet were bound as well as her hands. She inhaled deeply, trying to clear her head. A moan escaped her lips as she felt the weight on her arm decrease.
“Are you okay?”
“Kaylyn, where are we?”
“I don’t know.”
“Are you tied up too?” Bristol asked
“Yes, my hands and feet. Is something wrong with your eyes?”
Bristol tried again to open them, but the pain was still there. Forcing them open seem the only solution. Once open, she lowered her head towards the darkness, allowing a little light to slowly engage he pupils.
“Here, turn around, let me see if I can untie you.” Kaylyn instructed, as she struggled with the double knot in the hemp rope. Her fingers felt numb and achy, from the tightness of her rope, yet, she was determined to free Bristol, so she could in return untie her. She finally released the first knot and was working on the second when a flood of light filtered the room.
A tall figure stood in the doorway. Bristol tried to adjust her eyes against the sharp bright sunlight. Before she could distinguish the figure, he spoke.
“So, you’re finally awake, good,” he said.
“Rex?” Bristol whispered softly to herself. However, her voice filled the small, empty room.
“Yes, it’s me your true and only mate.”
“You are nothing and will always be nothing!” she shouted, causing a sharp pain to shoot inside her head, yet, she began to struggle against the ropes. She tried to stand, then remembered she was tied to the chair. Knowing her kidnapper was Rex only infuriated her even the more. She could kill him, she should’ve killed him. If the Goddess is just and loving, she will allow her to take his life.
“Always with the sharp tongue. I’m going to enjoy taming you,” he said with a sly grin.
“Are you kidding me, don’t you know who she is and what you’ve done?” Kaylyn asked, unable to comprehend the complexity of the situation.
“Yes, I know who she is, she’s my mate, and what I’ve done is bring her back where she belongs!” he screeched.
“I’ll move you and your stupid friend to a more suitable place when you curb your tongue. Or I might just throw her to my men for fun,” he sneered, as he slammed the door shut.
“What the hell was that all about?” Kaylyn asked, as she changed positions, giving Bristol a better angle to untie her.
“He’s the one I was running from. He killed my parents. We must get out of here and fast. Trust me, he isn’t stable, not at all.”
“Okay, so get me out of these ropes so we can go home.”
“I have one done, see if you can finish untying me.”
Tatum knew something was wrong. He could feel Bristol’s wolf, when she tried to contact him, it was as if she was out of reach. Now he felt nothing but pain, gripping deep down in his belly.
“Let’s head back, something is wrong with Bristol,” Tatum said to Luke and Scotty.
The moment he crossed the ridge, he caught sight of Paul running in his wolf form, when he reached them he collapsed.
Father alpha, some men attacked us. They took mother alpha and Kaylyn, and, and… I think they killed Dirk.
The men shifted instantly, Luke said, Lead the way, son, we must hurry.
Men, meet me at the edge of town, Bristol has been kidnapped by rogues. Tatum gave orders to his army. By the time they reached the edge of town the men were all ready in place. I need half of you to stay and protect the town, I have no idea who is behind this and what they are looking to achieve.
When they reached the spot where Bristol was taken, they saw Dirk’s lifeless body laying by the pail of blackberries. Luke ran to Dirk’s still body. He sniffed and used his muzzle to turn him over.
He’s still alive, but barely.
Tatum tuned to one of his epsilon and said, Take him to Jax’s and be quick about it, then join us. Most packs, if big enough, had two epsilons. Tatum had three. He made sure one stayed in town. He brought his most trusted with him. His epsilons were the guardians of the pack, the negotiators. He also has three zetas, two with him, they were his war generals.
While looking around for clues and to get a bead on the scent, Tatum found Bristol’s walking stick. He inhaled deeply and felt a stabbing in his chest. He felt sick to his stomach and wanted to rip someone or something to shreds. Tatum’s body bowed low to the ground and the hairs on his back stood at attention as a blood curdling howl escaped deep from within his soul.
We’re going to get her back! Luke proclaimed, as he dug his claws in the dirt, unearthing the scent needed to track the rogues.
I think that bastard Seth did this, he’s hell bent on starting a war. He’s been trying, trying hard, to take the territory. Let’s get those Pinger pack assholes. Tatum barked. He began in the direction of the Pinger pack and after a few yards he stopped.
What is it, what’s wrong, Luke asked, as he stood shoulder to shoulder with Tatum.
We’re going in the wrong direction, they didn’t come this way.
What are you talking about, this is the way to the Pinger pack.
It might be, but this is not the way they traveled.
Luke trusted Tatum, after all he had the best nose around. He could track anything, anywhere. They turned around heading in the opposite direction. Once they reached the small creek, everyone thought the scent was lost until Tatum found the shallow part of the creek and crossed it. The rest of the pack followed, surprised at Tatum’s skill at picking up scents. When they went down an embankment and came out on the other side of the highland, they stopped.
Scott approached the two and said, This is the way to Rolling Hill and I bet my life, Rex is the one behind all of this.
Are you sure? Tatum asked.
Then lead the way and be quick about it. We need to make up time. The pack took off running, their paws, pounding the rich soil. Every now and then a few prey would scurry out the way, in hopes the pack would not follow. It wasn’t long before Scotty stopped.
Beyond the ridge lies Rolling Hill, if everything is still intact, there should be two omega’s sitting on the ridge, and another at the bottom of it. I know a shortcut that will bring us lateral to them. This way when they see us, it will be too late. Even with the wind blowing over the top of the hill, by the time they figure out the scent, we will be there.
How many fighters are in the pack? Tatum inquired.
Fifty or less, that’s when I was there, I doubt if many stayed with Rex as the alpha.
Luke nodded his head, I told you, he’s good.
We’ll see just how good. He better be right about this.
To Tatum the shortcut took too long. The rocky terrain on the lee demanded a slower pace than before. Padded paws carefully gripped and threaded up the scree. The fact that Rex killed Bristol’s parents just to have her as his mate, didn’t ease Tatum’s mind. It stood to reason, he’d do anything to have his way, and if he didn’t…Tatum shook the thoughts from his head, he didn’t want to think negatively. He wanted to believe she could handle herself against anyone or anything. But what if she tried to take him herself?
When they were midway up the side of the hill, Scotty stopped and said, Let me and Luke go first, I can use my identity to distract them. Whatever we do, it has to be done quietly, as not to alert the guard below.
The moment they reached the brow of the hill, Scotty shifted to his human form. Luke following his young apprentice’s lead, did the same. They were only a couple of feet away from the omegas before they took notice of the two.
“Scotty, is that you?” One of the omega’s asked, walking over to the two men.
“In the flesh.” Scotty laughed
“Are you coming to challenge Rex again? You might want to turn around and go back to where you came from,” the other omega suggested.
“Why, the last time he tricked me, I’m not stupid enough to let that happen again.”
“Who’s that with you?” The first omega asked as he pointed to Luke.
“Met him on the way,” Scotty said, motioning Luke forward. When the two omegas drew near, Scotty reached out his hand, when the omega took it, Scotty pulled him closer, snapping his neck. Before the other man could sound the alarm, Luke put him in a choke hold until his body went limp.
“Stay here,” Scotty said, before walking down the side of the hill, it only took a minute, before he returned and said, “Let's move out.”
The Blackstone pack was ready to tear the town apart for their alpha. Tatum didn’t want unnecessary bloodshed, he knew these were Bristol’s people. And made it clear that only those who tried to stop them or were loyal to Rex, would meet the Blackstone justice. Bristol baby, stay strong, I’m coming.
Tatum’s legs went weak when he heard, I will, just hurry.
She’s here, He shouted, she said we need to hurry.
We can’t just rush in Tatum let’s plan this out, Luke stated, before calling one of the zetas up.
When Gamma Rhone saw Rex strutting around like a peacock, he cut him off, stopping him from going towards the small wooden shed. He had enough insight and spies to know what Rex was up to. And if it was the last act he performed, he was going to free Bristol.
“Do you know what you’ve done, son?”
“I’m not your son, I’m your alpha. You’d do good to remember that, old man.”
“As alpha it’s your job to protect the pack, instead you’ve brought hell fire down upon us,” Gamma Rhone broadcast for all to hear.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Rex growled, as he tried to walk around Gamma Rhone.
“Everyone knows you’ve kidnapped Bristol from the Blackstone alpha. What do you think he’s going to do about it?”
“I don’t give a shit about that pompous ass. She’s mine, he took her from me!” he yelled as he kicked at the dirt.
“She was never yours, and that pompous ass, as you call him, has an army, not to mention strong alliances. We are no match for his pack. We are sitting ducks ready to be slaughtered.”
Rex, slapped the gamma’s face drawing growls and hisses from onlookers. He shouted to Gamma Rhone and his audience, “Then run and hide. I’m not afraid! Plus, by the time he finds out what’s happened to his bitch, she’ll be mine. I will use her until she has my pups,” Adding an evil, wicked cackle.
Gamma Rhone decided to ignore the physical and verbal disrespect he’d received and said, “So you think it’s going to be some time before the Blackstone pack finds out where Bristol is?”
“Yes, maybe a day or two after they finish chasing their own tails.”
“Do you know the name of the alpha leader of Blackstone?”
“No, should I?” he asked as he crossed his arms, waiting for the Gamma to enlighten him.
“If you’d spent your time learning the things an alpha needed to know, you’d have the answer to the question. His name is Tatum the tracker. That is what most call him, his other name is Tatum the tall. You see, not only can he track anyone or anything, anywhere, he stands taller than every wolf in this region. Some say he is a descendent of the dire wolves.”
“Is that supposed to scare me?”
“I was hoping to shed some light on a dark situation. But if you insist on going down this path, all I ask is that you let me speak to Bristol first.”
“Sure, I want you to tell her you approve of our union and advise her if she doesn’t cooperate, her little friend in there will meet the same fate her mother did.”
“I will tell her what she needs to know, of that you can be sure.”
When the light from outside filtered in the room, Bristol and Kaylyn turned their heads. Bristol called out, “Please leave it open so we can get some fresh air and a little light.”
Walking into the small weather beaten shed, Gamma Rhone shook his head. “I’m so sorry you’re being treated so unkindly.”
“Gamma, how did you find us? We…” Kaylyn shouted, then stopped.
“Do I know you, my child?” He asked, wiping his glasses on his calico shirt.
“You look like my gamma,” she whispered, as tears gathered for the first time in her eyes. She knew Tatum and the pack were close by for Bristol told her so, but she wanted out of the filthy room, she wanted to go home, now.
“You look a lot like your brother, who is gamma of the Blackstone pack.”
“My brother? You said my brother?”
“Yes, Gamma Tate. He is a lot like you in more ways than one.”
“My brother is alive and he’s the gamma of Blackstone? Well I’ll be damned. I came to give you good news and here you are giving me the best new of my life,” he stated, as he brushed a tear away.
“What news do you have for me?” Bristol asked, happy to see a friendly face and hoping he was going to tell her he’d seen Tatum.
“I must whisper this, for this camp has many ears,” he said, before bending his head to her ear. “You mother is alive and well.”
“My mother!” shouted Bristol.
“Hush girl before you get us all killed. Yes, she was inches away from death's door, when I convinced Rex to let me bury her properly and without fanfare like he wanted. Instead I took her to a healer I know and she’s nursed her back to health.”
Bristol began to cry; her tears were one of joy and sadness. Before she could find out more, Rex without any decorum yelled, “Did he tell you, bitch, that you will be mine, with the blessings of the pack’s gamma, making it legal and righteous?” He was with another man Bristol had seen around the village, another nobody, wanting to be somebody. She assumed he must be Rex’s so-called beta.
“Rex, I’m so sorry...”
When he began to smile she finished with, “Sorry I didn’t kill your pathetic ass when I had the chance. At least with me killing you it would’ve been kinder, quicker and so much better for you, than what is to come.” She smiled, but Bristol’s eyes were as cold as ice.
“You think your ridiculous comments will stop me from having you, Bristol. Your threats of killing me shows me that your alpha dog taught you nothing.”
“You call it ridiculous, but my killing you would’ve been a lot swifter and more merciful than anything Tatum is going to do to you, that I promise you,” Bristol said, as she held on to her untied rope. She was ready to strangle Rex with the rough, thick piece of hemp, but knew right now was not the time.
“You think I’m afraid of the great Tatum. Yeah, Gamma Rhone told me all about him. I’ll spit in his face once I kill him or maybe I’ll wait and make him watch me fuck you until you scream my name.” Rex laughed.
“No, you’re not afraid, you’re too stupid to be afraid. This is one time your trickery and games will not help you. He’s going to rip you to shreds and toss you around like the useless little omega you really are.” She laughed before he slapped her face, causing the chair to rock back and forth on its weak legs.
“What a big and powerful alpha you are, slapping a woman, tied to a chair!” shouted Kaylyn. She’d been so busy concentrating on Rex, she forgot the other man in the room until he hit her.
“You like this spitfire?” he asked his beta, who nodded his head and rubbed his obvious erection.
“I don’t think this is necessary,” Gamma Rhone said trying to defuse the situation.
“Come with me gamma, and stop meddling in other people's’ business” he stated as he pushed the gamma out the door. With the door still open Rex turned and said, “I’ll kill you if you touch my bitch.”
Kaylyn could taste the blood gathering in her mouth and spit it out onto the man's boots, which gained her another slap across the face.
The moment the Blackstone pack entered Rolling Hill’s camp, the people ran and closed their doors. Some ran inside and watched from their windows, or sat on the porch. Some of the men bowed down to the pack. The Blackstone pack were huge, rough looking beast and too many for the small pack to handle. Tatum called to Scotty, You know this place, find them, find Bristol. Bristol, I’m here, can you tell Scotty where you are?
No, but it’s a small barn or shack. Tell Scotty, the idiot left the door open, but hurry Kaylyn’s in trouble.
Tatum relayed the message and Scotty took off running, he passed all the closed doors and large buildings. Scotty saw Gamma Rhone standing on the side of a small shed. He didn’t want to shift back to his human form, so using his instinct he ran towards the building.
Gamma Rhone, closed his eyes knowing this would most likely be his last day on earth, when he saw the gray wolf running toward him at break neck speed. However, his preparation was unwarranted. Gamma Rhone felt a breeze pass him, then the sound of a loud crash that shook the wall he was leaning against. He decided now would be the best time for him to leave and do what needed to be done on his end.
The first thing Scotty saw when he approached the entrance of the shed was a man slapping the face of his beloved Kaylyn, then ripping her shirt open, exposing her creamy breast. He saw Bristol shift, but it was too late, for he’d slammed the man across the room against the wall. His brute force knocked the air from the man’s lungs, but he wasn’t finished as his eyes glowed and his hackles stood on edge. Scotty gripped the man's throat until he heard bones splintering under his creature’s strength. Scotty shifted into his human form, untying Kaylyn. He gathered her in his arms, holding her tightly, then passionately kissing her supple lips.
“I will never let you go, never,” he whispered.
“I’m going to hold you to that promise,” as she drew his head to hers and kissed him soundly.
Bristol was happy to see the two of them finally give in to their feelings, but she had a man of her own to get to. She took off in search of Tatum. She wanted to be there when he passed judgement against Rex.
Tatum noticed a group of twenty wolves gathered to do battle for their pack and leader, Rex. The numbers were laughable, especially against his pack. Even if it was five times the number, his pack would bury them all. They were ruthless and loyal to him, and now to Bristol.
Cyrus and Buster, Tatum’s Eta and Epsilon, walking ahead of the pack, shifted into their human form. They stood in wait to see who would turn first. Instead a tall, wiry men walked ahead of the pack.
“I’m Rex, alpha of Rolling Hill. I guess you’re Tatum! Well, I suggest you take your happy ass back home, Tatum. I know you came for Bristol, but she’s mine. She was mine long before you met her.”
“I’m Buster, the epsilon of the Blackstone pack. There is no need for bloodshed here today. All we want is our she-wolf, our alpha, Bristol, back. There is no need for your people or your camp to be affected by this. We see you’re small and simply wish to have back what was taken.”
“I’m not giving you shit! What, your alpha is too afraid to face me, so he sent you?”
“No, he abides by the protocol of an alpha, by sending his epsilons and etas first.”
“Protocol, who cares about protocol!” shouted Rex
Kill his supporters, but leave him. Half to the right and half to the left. One wolf a piece should do, ordered Cyrus.
Before Rex could utter another word, dust was flying and the cries and howls of the wounded permeated the air. It was over so quickly, he didn’t have a chance to assist any of his pack. The Blackstone pack slowly walked back to their original position, as Rex struggled to see through the thick dust that swirled around him. When it settled, he stood in disbelief for the carnage was terrible. His pack laid scattered in the dirt. To his surprise and regret, not one of his pack survived the melee.
Rex, inhaling deeply, finding it hard to breathe. He took three steps back as the colossal wolf approached him. His hunches automatically bent in surrender as he exposed his neck as confirmation of his submission, slowly tilted his head upward to the colossal wolf before him. When the giant wolf shifted to his human form, Rex began to relax. He was tall and muscular, but still in human form which made him vulnerable. That thought alone gave him strength.
Tatum could smell Rex’s testosterone increasing and wondered if he was devising some delusional plan. Tatum took his time approaching Rex, as he waved his hand to some of the men standing around observing what was taking place, a couple gathered a little closer as if debating on whether they wanted to join Rex or stay neutral.
Tatum stopped directly before Rex, stood with his legs apart and his chest out and in a booming voice that almost made Rex piss on himself, Tatum said, “You trespass on my lands, kidnap my mate and think there will be no repercussions, no consequences? Well, let me help you with this. The only reason I didn’t bring my entire pact to this pitiful little village is because I know Bristol has fond memories and an emotional tie to this inessential place, and I respect the love of my mate and her love for Rolling Hill...”
Before he could finish Rex interrupted, “Isn’t that sweet? I guess I should thank you.”
“No need, because you… you, mangy dog will die today. I just wish it was something in me to make you live to regret your foolish actions, but there isn’t,” he announced, without compassion, as he turned to the trivial crowd. “If any of you wish to join your so-called alpha, you do so with the understanding, you too will meet the same fate. But I think you have enough love for Bristol and respect for the memories of her parents to stand against this vile creature.”
The crowd moved back, denouncing all allegiance with Rex, “Looks like you stand alone.” It was at that moment Bristol walking gracefully through the crowd, nodded her head in agreement to Tatum as she continued to walk toward him. Tatum, shifting into his wolf, rubbed his head against Bristol’s neck when she joined him, standing side by side.
Rex was angry, his eyes burned with disgust as Bristol and Tatum showed their affection for one another.
“I challenge you today for your lands and Bristol,” he sneered, then swiftly shifted to his wolf form, letting Tatum know he wasn’t backing down. Sure, he was caught off guard at first, but he wanted Bristol. She could solidify his position with the pack and he wanted her because she didn’t want him, and for that, he will make her pay.
The moment he shifted, he began to circle Tatum, he tried to back him up, but Tatum stood his ground. Rex lunged at Tatum’s hind legs and received a kick in the face for it. When Rex stood on his hind legs attempting to grab Tatum’s throat, Tatum nipped him on the side of his face. When he tried again, Tatum grabbed him by the nape, slamming him to the ground and with his mighty claws he tore through Rex’s underbelly, from chest to balls. The cut so deep you could see his intestines. Bristol approached the injured Rex and without a word, she looked him in the eyes, then ripped his guts out, flinging them across the yard.
Tatum, shifting back to human form, decided to speak to the people of Rolling Hill. “I’ve defeated your alpha, but I have no need to rule over you. My mate, Bristol, was once part of the strong and wise house of alpha Midas. I respect that. So, I need to know if your loyalty is with this slime. If so you have the option to leave, but if you are ready for a new pack alpha, one who is kind, smart and able to make this village a place to be proud of, let me know now.”
Shouts rang out amongst the people.
Luke and Bristol stood by his side, all now in their human form, “Where is Scotty?” Tatum asked. Then with their pack link he said, Scotty I need you front and center, now.
On my way, he replied, looking down at Kaylyn, he said, “We need to go.” He wanted more than her sweet kisses and he knew she would give it to him. If Tatum hadn’t summoned, he might have put his theory to the test. When Scotty reached the crowd, he saw the destruction that had taken place in his absence and wished he’d been able to witness the death of Rex. He’d been holding Kaylyn’s hand and released it, watching her take her place next to Bristol.
“Scotty, Luke is correct in his assumptions about you. You are too valuable to me to be anything less than a leader. I won the position of alpha of Rolling Hill, and it is mine to do with as I please. I know before Rex’s trickery, you held the station of beta. However, I deem it necessary that you remain here at Rolling Hill as their new alpha and continue your allegiance to me and Blackstone,” Tatum announced, letting his voice resonate through the crowd, so they could understand clearly his plan for the Rolling Hill pack.
The crowd clapped and shouted in glee. Some even shook his hand and patted him on the back. Scotty was in shock. He looked to Luke, who in a short space of time, became more like a father than a friend. Luke nodded his head in agreement. Bristol, in true form almost knocked him over.
“I’m proud of you. I’m going to miss your ugly mug, but I think this is a perfect ending to an awful day,” she cried.
Scotty looked over at Kaylyn, their eyes locked. Scotty held his hand out to her. When she reached him, he kissed her lips then whispered in her ear, “I want you as my she-wolf. Let's wave the banner and have a double ceremony.”
Kaylyn looking up into Scotty’s sexy gold eyes said with joy and happiness, “Yes, yes, yes.”
Everyone began to laugh as they all gathered around congratulating the couple. No one noticed the couple approaching until a hush fell over the crowd. Bristol, turning her head in the direction in which the crowd was looking, placed one hand over her heart and the other on Tatum’s arm as her knees began to buckle. Bristol couldn’t believe her eyes. The woman walking with Gamma Rhone, used a cane for support as she dragged her left leg behind her. The right side of her face was slightly disfigured, she appeared small and aging, but it was no denying that the woman was her mother. Tears of joy streamed down Bristol’s face. She tried to let the air circulate to her lungs, for it was as if she’d stopped breathing.
Finally, she ran to her mother, crying as if she was the little five-year-old that scraped her knee and needed her mother to kiss it and make it feel better. “Mother!” she cried unable to find any other words, she repeated it as if it were a chant. “Mother.” The two held each other, not willing to be separated again.
Leona’s voice was weak, but she managed to say, “I love you my child. I prayed daily that you would find happiness and never look back.”
Bristol, asked Tatum to join them, and Bristol said to her mother, “This is my mate, Alpha Tatum of Blackstone,” she smiled proudly.
“Tatum the tracker? Your reputation precedes you. I know her father would be as proud as I am to know she mated with a powerful alpha as yourself.”
“The honor is all mine. And I know I speak for my mate when I say, you will come stay with us.”
“Thank you, but you two are young and need your privacy and I am old and like solitude.”
“Then stay with us until I can build you a home,” cited Tatum, leaving Leona speechless.
It was then that Tatum took note of the Gamma. “You must be Gamma Rhone, I’ve heard a lot about you sir, but I think my mate has made you more angel than man. I, on the other hand, have suffered under your brother Gamma Tate’s hand, who is more devil than man.” But the smile on his face and gleam in his eyes let Gamma Rhone know he was jesting.
“It is getting late and we should be heading back to Blackstone, it’s been a long day,” Luke announced.
“Yes, it has,” Tatum agreed before taking control and barking out orders. “Scotty, I’m leaving half the men here until you can get things under control and in order. I need a cart or something with wheels to transport mother alpha. Gamma Rhone, I hope you don’t mind but I will need you to join us, just for a couple of days. Kaylyn, we know where your heart lies, you are relieved of your duties as beta to Bristol.”
Kaylyn looked to Bristol who nodded in agreement. “We’re still linked, so whatever you need…” The two-embraced saying goodbye.
It didn’t take long before they were soon on their way back to Blackstone. It took a little longer to get home, since the rugged terrain they traveled earlier was be too dangerous with Leona in a cart and the elderly Gamma Rhone, riding a donkey.
The sun was starting to set when they reached Blackstone. The town came out to greet their returning leaders. It was plain to see they were aware of the situation that had taken place. Luke immediately asked for Doc, wanting to check on Dirk.
Bristol smiled when her mother and Gamma Rhone looked around in amazement at the town she now called home. She was proud of it more so now than before. Going back to Rolling Hill with its unkempt dirty streets and small shacks, gave her a new appreciation for Blackstone. Funny, when she was growing up in Rolling Hill, it was paradise.
Tatum, in one smooth swoop, carried his mother-in-law into the house, placing her in his overstuffed chair. Tears gathered in Leona’s eyes as she patted Tatum’s hand, thanking him for his kindness. She slowly observed the home her daughter now a female alpha of her own pack, and her heart was full. When Bristol entered the house, she was followed by three men and an elderly woman, all carrying baskets of food.
“Mother, this is Gamma Maisie, she’s here to help you. Tonight, we’ll eat late due to the trip, but if you want something now, I’ll get it,” Bristol announced.
“No, the kill on the way here was satisfying,” she replied. It didn’t take much to fill her belly these days.
“Good. How about a hot bath, a change of clothes and some warm milk? Gamma Maisie will help you while I ready the guest room.”
“I don’t want to put anyone out.”
“Nonsense, it takes a minute or two for the water to heat up, but after that it’s fine.”
By the time Leona finished her bath, the guest room was ready, and a light meal sat prepared in the inglenook.
“I can’t believe this place,” Leona exclaimed, “heated water indoors, clean, covered dirt, and the buildings, this house. It’s breathtaking.”
“I know it’s amazing and you’ve yet to see everything the town has to offer. I’m proud of the work Tatum has done here. His vision goes beyond anything imaginable,” Bristol beamed.
When Bristol went back to her room, she found Tatum, sitting on the edge of the bed.
“Is your mother settled in?”
“Yes, she’s in the guest room, eating a small meal.”
“Good, I asked Maisie to keep an eye on her until our return.”
“Where are we off to?”
“Did you forget, we have a date set for today? The grotto…”
Bristol, jumping in his arms, planted kisses all over Tatum’s face. She had indeed forgotten their date with all the added events that had taken place.
They walked along the street, waiting to shift once they reached the woodland area. On the way, they stopped to speak to Gamma Tate and Gamma Rhone who sat on Gamma Rhone’s porch drinking blackberry wine. The two men were beaming with joy. Seeing the two together brought tears to Bristol’s eyes.
“This is the best gift I could’ve ever received. If I died today, I would thank the Goddess for blessing me ten times over this day,” Gamma Tate announced as tears rolled across his ruddy cheek.
“Thank you both for inviting me to come and allowing me to lay eyes upon my brother. I pray we need lose touch again,” Gamma Rhone cried, as he hugged he brother.
Tatum and Bristol left the two reminiscing about their childhood.
The moment they reached the woodlands, the two shifted and began to run free, jumping on each other’s back and chasing after each other playfully. They followed the path to their secret rendezvous as the green illuminating lights brightened the grotto and the steam from the underground spring fogged the air, giving it a romantic and mysterious ambiance.
Transforming into their human bodies, Tatum pulled Bristol into his arms.
“Finally, where you are meant to be for now and forever.”
“I am yours as you are mine, my alpha.” Bristol cried.
“Yes, and now that I’ve found you, I will kill anyone who tries to take you from me,” he said as he captured her lips, letting his hands roam freely across her curvaceous body, causing her to moan against his mouth, as her wolf jumped and leaped for joy, hearing his wolf howling his desire for her.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
S. Raven Storm is a native New Yorker, who currently moved from Goldsboro, N.C. to Dover DE. She writes paranormal, erotic, and contemporary romance novels as well as poetry. S. Raven Storm released her first novel titled: Someone for Me, February 2015. After her success with Someone for Me, her fan base, which she calls Rav Stormers, asked for a sequel. S. Raven Storm gave them Someone for Me 2 Tina’s Turn, which she released December 2015.
S. Raven Storm’s biggest hit released in May 2016. The paranormal romance Lyon’s Queen, captured the hearts of her fans. Her next book was the hot follow up to the Someone for Me Series, titled Someone for Me 3 Stone’s Story.
S. Raven Storm is the 2nd place winner of 2015 Smexiest Erotic Romance writer. She won with her breakout novel Someone for Me. S. Raven Storm is known by her iconic trademark purple, her logo purple lips, as well as her branding slogan, “If it ain’t naughty, it ain’t nice,” which has become synonymous with her body of work.