Hey everyone, i hope all is well with you. Now this is the Sequel to A Wolf's Duty so you must read that one first, the timelines overlap and you might not understand exactly who the characters are if you haven't read it first. I'll try to give you pieces of information so that it isn't too hard but i really do advise you to read the other one first. Now i want to dedicate this story to all my wonderful reviewers from A Wolf's Duty because this wouldn't have come about without the amazing response they gave Sebastian and his brother Ryan. I also want to thank my fantastic beta's: Twist Their Emotions and Queen of the Dragonslayers for helping me for so long. Finally i want to thank Tzotel431 for helping me with the summary. Now, if you've read A Wolf's Duty while it was being updated you're probably used to double updates, unfortunately i have to study for my final year exams so i'm confined to one a week until further notice. One chapter every Monday. Now that's enough from me on to the story. =)
A Wolf's Oath
Shimmering sapphire eyes scanned the crowd, searching for the lone familiar face in the throng of people that crowded the large ballroom in celebration of Princess Alexandria's successful defeat of Lucinda in the Challenge. Long dark hair caressed the exposed skin of her back and as she tugged at the hem of her knee length blue dress, Erica found herself cursing her best friend. Damn Anna drags me here, dresses me up like some sort of life size doll and then abandons me. Figures. She grunted. Though she had yet to meet the 'warrior Princess' she decided that the discomfort she had suffered was enough and stepped forward intent on reaching the exit. A firm hand at her elbow stopped her escape and she turned to glare at the owner of the hand on her skin, intent on making her get away from what she was beginning to consider her own personal hell.
Small and petite, Anna was everything that Erica was not, boisterous while Erica was more reserved; delicate while she was rougher around the edges and distinctly feminine while Erica was often called a tomboy. The simple black dress her friend wore seemed as though it were specially made for her, though knowing her friend it probably had been, and she wore the elegant floor length dress flawlessly. While Erica felt distinctly uncomfortable in her dress, longing for shorts or jeans, Anna couldn't have been more at home in her attire. Short sun streaked brown hair framed an almost cherubic face, while hazel eyes twinkled at her mischievously.
"Found you." Anna grinned, linking their elbows before beginning to lead her friend around the large ballroom.
"How could you just leave me?" Erica snapped, trying her hardest to hold on to her anger despite the hurt look that had crossed Anna's features. Don't cave. Don't cave. Her mind chanted, struggling to hold on to the feeling of righteous indignation, while Anna gave her the look that usually made her instantly concede defeat.
"I was only gone for a second, I thought you would be ok. I'm sorry."
"I feel so stupid." She groaned, once again tugging at the hem of her dress. "Me and dresses don't work well together. I must look like an idiot and I can barely walk in these shoes." She lifted one heeled foot from the ground, eyeing the long points with disgust. "I feel like I'm going to topple over any minute."
"You're doing just fine Eric, trust me. You look lovely." Taking in the straight black tresses that surrounded the smooth ivory skin of her face and the form fitting navy dress that highlighted a lithe figure, Anna felt a sense of pride in her work. "When I dress someone they always do, but with you I shouldn't even consider it work. You're naturally gorgeous, I don't know why you hide it."
Not this again. "Anna, you know why I normally dress the way I do."
"Well tonight is the night to change all of that. Tonight we're on the hunt for something good, or rather someone good." She giggled, pulling Erica further into the throng.
"I told you Anna, I'm not looking for a mate. I don't want one, so let's just leave it at that and call it a night."
"No." Anna replied petulantly. "I can understand why you don't want a mate, but we're not looking for one of those. All we want is a little bit of fun. Now just let me work my matchmaking magic."
Slipping her arm out of her friend's grasp, Erica smiled before taking a step back. "You can do all the matchmaking you like Anna, but I'd love to see how it would work without me as the bait." She laughed before disappearing into the crowd on wobbly legs, ignoring her friend's pleas for her to return. Now all I need to do is find the door without making a complete fool of myself.
Making his way through the busy crowd Sebastian struggled to reach his brother, constantly apologising as he collided with other bodies between him and his goal. Silly Ryan, there was no need to storm off like that. He groused, continuing his way through the crowd. The calmer of the two, Sebastian found himself apologising to others for his brother's actions as he struggled to follow Ryan's hastily made path. His movement halted abruptly as a refreshing scent teased his senses.
Smells good. He admitted, struggling to free his mind of the effect the warm scent of apples seemed to be having on him.
Having matured faster than most, he found it distinctly strange when his wolf made its presence known, rattling at the bars of the cage he had locked it away in. Animal instincts began to flood his mind and his legendary calm began to falter under the unexpected onslaught.
What is going on? Calm down. He ordered hoping that the wolf would prove obedient, as it had always done. Tonight however, it seemed intent on ignoring his wishes continuing to push against his mental confines.
No! The wolf snarled. She is here. Find her. She is so close. It purred before frustration returned to its tone. Can you not smell her?
Yes, you are not stupid. Find her. Damn it.
His heart sped up as the wolf's words took root, their meaning becoming clear. My mate. He whispered, turning frantically as he sought to find her. Following his instincts he walked through the throng of people gathered, all sense of courtesy vanishing as he barged through those gathered. Making his way to the edge of the room, he walked towards the open balcony, the smell of apples filling his thoughts and there she stood. Moonlight bathed her creamy skin and her jet black hair practically glowed in the low light.
Mine. The unexpected sense of possessiveness that filled him at the mere sight of her was shocking to him. And I haven't even seen her face. She turned, sensing someone else was nearby and their eyes locked. Beautiful.
Staring into eyes she could only describe as melted chocolate, Erica began to feel that maybe Anna had had the right idea in bringing her to the gathering. The stranger's searing gaze sent small shocks through her body and her breathing hitched as she stared back taking in the dark red hair that covered his head, skimming the nape of his neck. He was tall, somehow managing to make her feel petite, a feeling she hadn't had since she was very young. He wasn't overly built, his body seemed to have more of a swimmers build, long legs and well toned chest and despite her usual avoidance of the opposite sex she found herself stepping forward.
"Hello." She mumbled.
Taking a step towards her, Sebastian smiled. "Hello." A moment of silence passed as Sebastian stood near her, content to simply examine his mate. Beautiful. "What is your name?
She squeaked, unused to interacting with males in a possibly romantic setting. All the men she knew were strictly friends and they all knew better than to try and change that friendship into something more, despite this she found she couldn't resist the stranger and his soft spoken questions. "My friends call me Eric."
"Eric?" He inquired confused. "That is a man's name and you are no man." His eyes scanned her frame, taking in the soft curves of her body and he smiled to himself, immensely pleased with his mate's appearance.
"Oh this?" She waved a hand over her dress and he nodded. "This isn't what I usually look like. My friend Anna dressed me for tonight."
"She did a very good job, if this is not how you usually look then I think you should try looking into dressing like this more often."
"I'm not really all that comfortable like this. Tonight is just a one off thing and Anna knows that. So please don't read too much into it."
"I am still not convinced." He replied. "But like I said before Eric is a man's name, so I would like to know what your name really is."
"If you are going to be so insistent about it then I suppose I can tell you, my name is Erica, but I honestly do prefer Eric."
"Erica is a very pretty name and you do it justice, you should use it more often." He advised.
"All this talk about names and I still don't know who exactly you are."
"My name is Sebastian."
"Yes, of the Southern clan."
Recognition dawned upon her. "Lord Sebastian?"
He chuckled, scrubbing a hand against the back of his neck nervously. "I am not very comfortable with my title, most assume that I do well around people because of it and that couldn't be further from the truth. Ryan is the one that is good with people."
"Yes, I've heard about the Lords of the Southern clan." He groaned. "It's nothing bad. People are always talking about how you and your brother work so well together, that's all."
"Thank goodness, I thought it would have been some terrible rumour."
"No, I swear it's nothing but good. The way you and your brother jointly lead you clan when your father is absent just makes people wonder how you manage to do it that's all. People have always thought it was better for one Lord to rule a clan and then you and your brother show up and do such an amazing job working together, it just makes people curious."
"Are you curious Erica?"
"Maybe a little, I'm not a noble or anything so how you and Ryan lead isn't really going to form the basis of how I do anything." She shrugged.
Not noble yet. He mentally corrected. You're my mate, so you'll be noble as soon as I claim you.
Soon I hope. The wolf inserted.
"Ryan and I have a system." He began. "Ryan is much more of a people person than I am, so he deals with meeting people and public appearances and the like while I do background things. I much prefer it that way. Although our appearances are identical we're actually quite different."
"You seem to be doing a fine job talking to me." She smiled.
Stepping closer to her, he breathed deeply, imprinting her scent firmly into his mind. "Well you are a special case."
Frowning, she met his gaze. "A special case? What's so special about me?"
"You Erica, are my mate. You are the most special case I can ever meet. I am glad that I found you so quickly. I did not want to wait as long as Tobias had to wait for Alex." He beamed remembering the two hundred year wait his cousin had been forced to endure before finding his mate in Alexandria, the human who the party was being thrown for.
Her eyes widened at the claim and she began to take steps away from him, cursing the heels that she wore for making her less steady on her feet, when she might very well need to run. "I am not your mate, I am no one's mate."
"Erica, trust me on this, the first time I became aware of your scent I knew you were the one. There is no other for me. You are my mate. Do not worry, I will take care of you."
"I don't need a mate and I can take care of myself just fine. So leave me alone." Her steps away from him had finally led her to the stone balcony and as she leaned against it she began to toe off the shoes that clad her feet.
"Erica, you are a wolf otherwise you would not be here, you must know of a male's need to find a mate."
"I am perfectly acquainted with your need to find a mate. It doesn't change the fact that I don't want one." Her feet now blissfully bare, she eyed the door behind him. "Please just leave me alone." Sorry about the shoes Anna. She mentally apologised before running past him. She escaped into the ballroom, weaving her way through the crowd desperate to get away. The door in sight, she slipped through arriving in the empty hall. A warm hand against her exposed wrist stopped her from running any further. Spinning out of his grasp, she glared at Sebastian's crestfallen face, refusing to feel sympathy towards his plight.
"Why are you running from me?" He questioned.
"I told you I want nothing to do with you. I am not your mate so leave me be."
"I am not mistaken about this Erica, you are the one."
"No, that's where you're wrong. I am not your mate or anyone else's for that matter. I do not want a mate, so I suggest you go find someone else."
"There is no other for me Erica. It is you or no one."
"Well then I suggest you get very acquainted with the idea of no one because you will never have me as a mate." She screamed, desperate to escape him.
"Why are you doing this?"
"The better question is why are you doing this? You don't even know me."
"The instinct is never wrong Erica, you are the one I will spent my life with. Are you afraid of me? Is that why you resist my claim so strongly? I am not a bad person Erica; I would never harm you. Please stop this." He pleaded, his hand returning to her wrist and holding her in place.
"I am afraid of no one least of all you." She hissed, struggling against his grip. Damn, he's stronger than he looks, if he doesn't want to let me go I might not be able to escape. Deciding to try a different tactic, she stopped fighting him. "You say that you would not harm me, but what exactly do you call this?" Her wrist jerked within his grasp. "If you truly think that I am your mate, then let go of me."
His grip slackened as he released her wrist. "I am sorry, I did not mean to hurt you Erica."
"Look Sebastian, just let me go."
Never. The word floated through his mind shocking him in its intensity and he was unsure of whether it had come from him or his wolf and he found himself stepping away from her as he tried to sort his thoughts.
"Sebastian, please leave me alone. It's nothing personal, who knows if you hadn't said I was your mate we might have had some fun tonight, you seem like a nice enough guy."
"You are rejecting me?"
"Like I said it's nothing personal Sebastian, please I just want to be alone." She turned and fled, disappearing down the long corridor.
What are you doing? The wolf demanded.
I am letting her go.
She is ours, chase her and bring her back here. Force her to see sense.
No, we must give her the space that she wants. For now. He qualified, under no delusion that he would let her escape him completely and unwilling to do so as new possessive and protective instincts rose within him.
Now don't forget to drop me a review, they're essential to preventing writer's block from creeping up on me. I'll see you next Monday. =)