Apples and Mangos

The journey into the Midwest brought back memories for Adolfo. He could remember being sent to the Midwest by his father to trade with Andre and ended up finding Nova; a blessing in disguise. The trip home had been interesting, he remembered fondly, thinking back to Nova's wary and sometimes harsh attitude towards him at first. Adolfo could still proudly recall the first time she let him feel her breasts while they were laying in the bedroll.

He missed her warmth now.

The stars were shining brightly down on him as he lay awake. Shadows around him were making it hard for him to focus since the darkness made it challenging for him to keep watch while his warriors slept around him. They didn't dare make a fire this close to the enemy's grounds and the late winter's chill was making sleep uncomfortable and difficult for most. Adolfo could see cold steam escaping from his nose and mouth with every breath he took.

Adolfo could tell that the sky was starting to lighten just barely, but the sun probably wouldn't make it over horizon for another hour or two. He sighed and rolled over, his back aching from the frozen ground. To his left, Nova's father lay wide awake as well, staring at the trees around them cautiously. The two of them shared a grim smile since neither could muster up words at the moment.

Gradually, the men and very few women around him woke and began to gather the belongs for the last part of the journey, the most dangerous part.

"Weapons at the ready. Andre might have men stationed for a sneak attack," Adolfo barked out the low command. He gravely pulled out his menacing twelve inch knife, its use for if he was suddenly attacked and didn't have time to shift. The knife could easily gut someone, but Adolfo preferred his claws and teeth over steel. "Let's move out and keep your eyes peeled," he grunted before leading the way into the still, dark forest.

They fanned out and slowly worked their way through the forest, their footsteps quiet and their heads titled to the side to catch even the smallest sound of movement. The forest was silent, the animals sensing the superior predators maneuvering through the trees. The scent of the Midwestern wolves surrounded them, but the scent was weeks old and couldn't be used to track them, Adolfo noticed in frustration.

To his left, Adolfo could see Fauna ready with a bow and arrow with a small dagger strapped to her calf. The she-wolf looked deadly with a furious scowl marring her beauty. Adolfo guiltily looked away, knowing that she had left Ajax and her pups behind to be here. Fauna was amazing with a long bow and he would need her in the trees as soon as the battle began to pick of the enemy, but knowing this still didn't quench his guilt.

The progress through the forest was slow and the sun was over the horizon by the time Adolfo signaled for everyone to stop and take a break. It was a warm day and Adolfo already had sweat gathering on his brow and trailing down his back. He made sure that water was provided for each person before he took a small sip from the water skin, knowing that they had to make the supplies last for the journey home.

While his soldiers rested and huddled together, he scanned the area carefully and sniffed the blowing air cautiously. Stale scents and fresh scents swirled annoyingly in his nostrils, puzzling the alpha greatly as the new smell joined the old. The smell was something that he recognized faintly, but he couldn't exactly place where he had scented it before. The wind shifted again and the stench of the Midwestern wolves reached him, making his stomach lurch in surprise.

"Ready yourselves!" Adolfo barked out, their sneak attack forgotten as the enemy speedily approached them. Half of his warriors phased and stationed themselves in a defense line with their hackles raised while the other half readied their weapons for hand-to-hand combat, the water and food dropped and forgotten in the frenzy.

Adolfo noticed Fauna and two others shimming up the trees with their bows slung across their backs before hiding themselves in the branches, using the small amount of leaves as cover.

Adolfo snarled out commands, trying to diminish his soldiers' nerves as they hurriedly tried to prepare. He could feel vibrations through his feet of the approaching wolves as he paced edgily, refusing to phase just yet so he could verbally order his warriors until he was forced into the fight.

"Steady!" he roared just as the opposing wolves could be seen running through the trees, never slowing as the Western wolves came into their view. Adolfo bared his teeth in fury once he spotted Andre's cocky smile through the trees as he lazily followed behind his troops. The slime ball still looked the same since the last time Adolfo had seen him all those months ago.

He held his knife at the ready, never taking his eyes from Andre's smug expression. The Midwestern wolves picked up speed, wanting to barrel through the Western's front line and take down their defenses.

"Archers!" Adolfo snarled, his booming voice echoing through the trees. The twang of the bow's string sounded through the air. Andre ducked behind a tree, taking cover as his warriors ignored the arrows soaring at them until they were struck down. Wolves buckled in pain as arrows lodged in their shoulders and necks, slowing down the Midwestern approach as they jumped over the dead.

Adolfo waited until they were just a few yards away until throwing back his head and letting out a bone chilling howl, signaling for his troops to attack. The two pack's meet head on with destructing in mind for their enemy. Adolfo watched coolly as the wolves fought and the men smoothly swung their knifes at anything that smelled foreign to them. He kept his emotions at bay, not letting his mind comprehend just how many friends he would be losing.

His arches continued to fire, always careful not to hit their own warriors. A group of Midwestern wolves finally realized they would have to take out the archers if they were going to have a fighting chance on the ground. Four men began to climb the trees, deadly knives clenched in their teeth as they quickly began their attack on the unsuspecting archers.

Adolfo snarled, wasting no time to help them. He sprinted around fighting wolves, making sure not slip on the bloody ground. Once he was in range, it was only seconds later that his twelve inch knife was embedded in the back of one of the climbers. The four men were rapidly lying on the ground, each having received a crucial wound from the Western alpha.

The sun beat mercilessly on them as the fight grew.

His red eyes quickly swept over the masses, trying to locate the detestable Andre. The dark haired blond was still lurking behind the trees, making sure to stay out of range from the archers and away from the intense battle happening only a few feet from him.

Just as his feet began to carry him in the direction of the Midwestern cowardly alpha, Adolfo's concentration was broken as a furry body jumped onto his chest, making him stagger back into a tree and lose his grip on his knife, dropping it somewhere in the grass. Teeth latched into his left arm before Adolfo could train his eyes on the attacker.

He phased hurriedly with the other wolf still attached to his arm, ignoring the sharp pain that was hindering him. The change of Adolfo's shape confused the wolf and made him loosen his locked jaws just enough for Adolfo to slip out of his biting reach. The opposing wolf paused, sizing up his opponent, but the alpha wisely didn't waste any seconds and rushed his attacker before he could react to save his life.

The wolf's blood stained Adolfo's muzzle as he stalked a circle around the battle, trying to get closer to Andre. He would only pause long enough to give assistance to one of his pack mates if their fight was heading for the worse.

His progress was slow despite his determination to reach the other alpha. It seemed the Midwest wolves had targeted him as the Western's alpha finally and the warriors were either incredibly brave or stupid enough to try to get in his way while he was stalking his prey. Adolfo left a trail of blood and death behind him, his black fur thickly coated in the red gore as the sun quickly dried the blood into his pelt. He fleetingly thought that he was thankful his tiny mate would never have to witness this hostile part of his responsibility as alpha.

Out of the corner of his eye, Adolfo spotted a flash of reddish brown fur that was unkempt and matted with sweat and dirt. Bayard, Andre's savage beta, was fighting ferociously with two of the Western wolves and was easily winning against them. Adolfo's two fighters were ragged from trying to keep up with his intensity and untamed energy while Bayard sickly played with their lives, giving them false hope that they had any chance of beating him.

Without an ounce of hesitation Adolfo threw himself into the fight, revenge for his mate on his mind and Andre momentarily forgotten. Adolfo's hefty weight slammed on top of Bayard's surprised form and pinned his struggling body. He barked at his two stunned comrades and they quickly understood their alpha's command. The two darted in and latched their jaws into Bayard's side, pulling patches of fur and muscle away without mercy as their victim squealed and shrieked in pain. He pushed his weight down, fighting to stay on top of the withering wolf as his soldiers worked around him. Adolfo finally took mercy and locked his jaws around his flailing neck, biting down until he felt a snap vibrate into his mouth.

He released Bayard's scruff and howled in triumphant before jumping off of the corpse to continue his progress towards Andre. His red eyes snapped back to where he last saw the man and started in surprise to find him no longer watching the battle, but very much involved in the fight now.

Nova's father was circling Andre's blond figure with a slight limp in his back right leg, but his lips were curled back to show all of his pink tinted teeth as his hazel eyes glittered with hostility. Andre watched the wolf warily, two large knives held readily in his hands as he waited for the attack.

Adolfo stumbled hurriedly around fights, trying to reach Andre before Nova's father lunged. Nova would be devastated if her father didn't return and she would never forgive Adolfo if he let injury fall on her father.

He was only yards away, almost close enough that the massive, black wolf could pounce on Andre's unprotected back when something slammed into his side, sending him rolling for several feet until he could get his paws under him again. A man that rivaled Adolfo in muscle, but lacking in height stood over him, a machete in one hand and Adolfo's missing knife in the other. The alpha snarled angrily, keeping one eye on Andre, but unable to reach him under the circumstances.

The man swung the machete dangerously close to Adolfo's head, making him roll to the side to avoid losing an ear. His red eyes gleamed with malice, loathing the man that was cleverly herding him away from Andre's distracted form and closer to the battle raging behind them.

"You fight for a lost cause," the man chuckled, swinging out with Adolfo's knife, making him jump back once more. "The North has many numbers and will overrun your territory." Adolfo darted towards his legs, cutting his monologue off and he dug his teeth into the man's calf muscle before flitting away out of his reach again. "Bastard!" the man snarled through gritted teeth.

This pattern continued for several tense minutes, Adolfo darting at his legs to sink his teeth into him while the man fruitlessly tried to catch Adolfo's flesh at the end of his blade. The man's trousers were in shreds and blood seeped freely down his raw legs as he tried to keep his balance and swipe at the black alpha's blurring figure.

It was only a small amount of time before the man would collapse from blood loss, but already Nova's father and Andre were locked in a bloodthirsty fight for dominance and Adolfo was running out of time if he wanted to kill the slime ball for himself.

Adolfo phased and flexed his muscles carefully to make sure none of his minor injuries were irritated from his body's shift. The man blinked dazedly at him, but readied the machete and knife, his confidence growing now that he had a bigger target to swipe at. Before Adolfo could tackle the unsteady man and overpower him for his knife, an arrow whizzed by his ear and lodged itself in the man's heart, knocking him to the ground.

Fauna's proud cheer came from the trees before several more arrows rained down on the distracted Midwestern fighters.

Taking his knife and the machete from the dead man's grip, Adolfo turned to watch the fight between his father-in-law and the blond haired beast. The Midwestern alpha had shifted sometime during the fight and his knives lay unused in the grass. Andre's ears were tattered and his muzzle had been sliced multiple times by claws already, but he was standing strongly. His mate's father didn't appear to have any new injures besides a small cut over his right eye.

Before Adolfo could join in on the fun of tearing Andre up, he was tackled from behind, being pulled back into the battle. It seemed every time he came close to helping destroy the other alpha, one of his warriors would jump on him and distract the large man for as long as they could. Adolfo was getting tired off the pattern of being distracted, but there was nothing he could do besides take his anger out on his opponents.

Sadly for Adolfo, but wonderful news for the war's progress, Nova's father was the victor after a grueling fight with the blond wolf. After the Midwestern alpha fell, the battle easily swayed in favor of the West and it was only a short hour later after the alpha's defeat that Adolfo was seated across the lone survivor of the battle.

The man was young, probably close to Nova's age, and had sandy brown hair that laid flat against his head from his sweat. His face was amazingly feminine for a male and reminded Adolfo of a baby in some ways. He was still lanky from his boyhood years and his muscles were wiry under his skin, but his fighting style was deadly even for the best and his capture had been no small feat.

"Oran will kill all of you! He will seek revenge for this!" he screamed, cradling his left arm and wrapping the stub where his hand used to be with his torn shirt. Adolfo raised his brow in annoyance, not enjoying the young man's attitude, but let it slide for the moment considering the boy had just lost his hand in a vicious battle.

"Who is Oran?" Fauna questioned heatedly, pacing behind the man anxiously with her bow ready just in case the male tried anything. She was antsy and ready to return to her family in the West.

"He is the Northern alpha," the feminine man hissed, his face scrunched up in a grimace of pain. Adolfo sighed and tossed an extra roll of bandage to the injured man, knowing he couldn't just sit there and let the boy suffer while they tried to hold a civilized conversation.

"Tell us of this Oran fellow," Adolfo ordered curiously, making himself comfortable for a long talk.

The sun was shining brightly today and had warmed the water nicely for skin contact so a few of the females had decided take advantage of the wonderful weather for bathing in the spring. A few of the elder men that were unable to go to battle were patrolling the area carefully to make sure no one attacked the females all the while keeping a respectful distance from the naked women.

Nova bathed herself slowly. Her hands ran over her protruding stomach, hoping in vain to feel movement from the life growing inside of her, but didn't feel anything yet again. Nova's stomach had grown even bigger in the last few days and Camila had excitedly told her that she should be able to feel the baby's first kick any day now. Nova was ecstatic that

Her bigger figure was something that the multiple women of the pack fondled over, but Nova wasn't as pleased with her bigger and rounder body as some of the other enraptured mothers. It was taking her some time to get used to sleeping on her sides and back at night while some of her clothes were quickly becoming too tight on her curvier form. Her friends and mother gladly helped her sew and weave new dresses for her larger figure though, using the time to gossip about children and share their fears about the war.

Discussing the war was Nova's least favorite thing to do, but it was always brought up in almost any conversation Nova held with her pack mates. It was something she tried to avoid speaking of if she could, but she could never escape her own musing on the war with Adolfo gone. She thought of it almost constantly if she wasn't successfully distracted and was sickened at the images her own conscious created. Her worry for Adolfo was always an aching pain in her chest, seizing her at her greatest moments of panic and leaving her panting in fear.

"Dear, I believe your stomach is clean!" Camila teased, splashing Nova out of her thoughts. She sputtered and splashed back, her hair hanging wildly in her face as the two females played in the water as if they were pups again.

It wasn't long before the other women ushered Nova out of the water, insisting that she would prune or catch a chill, and they made her sit by a small fire to dry before donning a fresh dress for the day. Gemma cheerfully helped Nova comb her long hair with her fingers, humming an uplifting tune while her willowy fingers untangled the petite woman's damp tresses while Nova watched the other women enjoy the clear water.

"We should finish the lavender dress this afternoon if we can finish the collar and your mother said she could fix the hemming on that dark green dress that you love so much. Adolfo will come back from the war and be so surprised to see your new wardrobe!" Gemma exclaimed brightly, beginning to twirl Nova's mahogany locks into an elegant twist.

Nova's stomach twisted as anxiety hit once more at the reminder, but the urge to vomit passed just as quickly as it came. She had noticed that her morning sickness was lessening as the days past, but this time was no result of the pregnancy.

"I'm sure he'll enjoy how….plump I've become," Nova tried to steer the conversation towards the baby instead of her absent mate. "He'll be reminiscing of the days when my waist was trim and flat," she pouted whimsically, secretly worrying that her statement might be true. Gemma laughed and lightly rebuked her friend for saying such a thing about "the miracle growing inside you".

"I think when Aric returns we will try to have a baby too. I hope our baby has his dreamy eyes," Gemma said adoringly as images of her ideal baby swam through her head.

Nova skillfully directed the conversation towards pups until all the women made it back to the fire center to begin the day's work with everyone else. Camila and Gemma lead her into her mother's den for another mundane day of weaving and sewing, trying to complete the dresses so Nova could at least have clothes on her back. It was just the kind of work that Nova needed to numb her mind for several hours during the day.

During the evenings, Nova took her meal with the rest of the pack, wanting a big assembly of people around her before having to retreat to her empty den for another cold night by herself. Dinners were somber events on most nights, but tonight the older men had brought out caskets of whiskey to indulge themselves in.

The fire was burning strongly, but the beauty of the flames weren't holding Nova's attention like it normally would on any other night. She felt restlessness deep inside of her and her side was freezing where Adolfo should have been even though her skin was almost flushed from the heat rolling out of the fire. It was an odd feeling for the young she-wolf, nearly an experience that was worth worrying over.

Her mother made her retire early for the night once she realized that her daughter was feeling off. "A good night's sleep will put that sparkle back in your eyes," she stated confidently, certain that Nova's pregnancy was draining her energy for the rest of the night.

It seemed like seconds later that Nova was tiredly slipping on her dressing gown for bed and stoking the small fire to warm the cave throughout the night. Nova tucked herself awkwardly under the furs until she found a slightly comfortable position on her left side with a feather pillow tucked right behind her.

Sleep was hard to come by that night, but eventually Nova was lulled into her dreams by the snap and pop of the wood.

A calloused hand ran down Nova's side, bringing her attention to the person lying next to her. Adolfo's red eyes gleamed mischievously back at her while his large hand trailed suggestively down her side again, brushing against her breast along the way.

Her breathing hitched in pleasure and surprise before flinging her arms joyously around him, trying to breathe in his scent through her sobs.

"Why are you crying, little Nova?" Adolfo murmured, prying her arms away from his neck so he could look at her clearly.

"I am just so relieved to see you! I hate when you leave me here," Nova sniffled, smiling up at him happily. Adolfo smirked down at her before rolling on top of her.

"I would never leave you," he crooned, nuzzling her cheek. She ran her small hands over his arms curiously, having a hard time believe that he was truly back. Adolfo rumbled his approval of her touch and pulled her tighter against his chest while keeping his hefty weight off of her. Adolfo's lips hovered above Nova's, pausing to see if she would resist him and once seeing that she wasn't, he placed his lips against hers and kissed her softly for just a second before letting his actions turn more aggressive as his excitement grew noticeable. His tongue ran against her lips, begging for permission to enter which Nova happily gave to him.

He attacked her neck with his lips and sucked greedily on the sweet flesh exposed to him. He hurriedly ripped her dress down the middle, not having the tolerance for waiting. He roughly tugged her dress away from her figure and exposed a taut, pink nipple just begging for his attention. She groaned when he took it carefully between his teeth and grabbed a fistful of his dark hair. Nova could feel her core quickly becoming wet from Adolfo's eager nibbles and licks.

"I can smell your arousal," Adolfo grunted, releasing her breast to speak. "Are you ready for me?" he questioned huskily before dipping a hand into her damp curls to check for himself. Nova moaned loudly as his talented fingers slid easily along her folds, teasing her until Nova had to bite down on Adolfo's neck to keep from screaming in frustration and ecstasy.

Nova growled loudly as they desperately began to kiss again, their teeth clanking together as they tried to get as close as possible before hastily repositioning their lips. Her lips were swollen from his hard kisses and her cheeks were flushed with want, her eyes a glittering gold as she repressed tears of frustration. Nova could tell Adolfo was restraining the urge to plunge himself inside her, his manhood probing her leg insistently from not getting any relief.

"Now, please, now," Nova whimpered, opening her legs wide enough that he could settle snuggly between them. Adolfo grunted his agreement and flexed his hips to penetrate her heated core and-

A bird's piercing cry shocked Nova awake from her deep sleep. Her hazel eyes swept over the den wildly, looking for Adolfo's dominating figure, but his presence was gone and his scent stale from his long absence. He had never been there in the first place.

Nova gave a frustrated cry and ran a hand over her sweat dampened forehead, her cheeks flushed from the fervent dream. She rubbed her eyes, tears threatening to spill over as disappointment crashed over her as reality set in. It had been a dream mixed with her memories of her experiences with Adolfo and it had left her longing for her mate more than ever. She was still alone.

With some effort Nova was on her feet, placing a hand on her round stomach as she went to the entrance of the cave to gaze out at the gray morning sky, hoping the fresh air would cool her body and clear her mind from the deception of the dream. With a few minutes of deep breathing, Nova had repressed her tears and calmed her hormonal body down somewhat so that she at least didn't reek of arousal.

Now that her mind was awake, Nova noticed quite a lot of trees had budding leaves bravely showing and at least three trees already had a handful of beautiful, miniature flowers. It was a rather hopeful sight; color coming back after the winter's gray had covered the land. Nova was curious to see the Western lands in spring and if all things went well she would have a healthy child in her arms by midsummer.

Nova retreated back inside the den and struggled into a dress that stretched tightly over her stomach before putting out the embers in the small fire pit and making the bedding tidy. She left the cave hurriedly, wanting to be near her pack and be distracted with today's work instead of focusing on her dream.

The Northern refugees had easily woven into the Western's society and with little effort on Leone's part they were accepted into the pack with no problem. It was surprising to watch their enthusiasm in helping with any little thing around the area and the chores were completed much quicker now.

It was odd to witness, but Dino was becoming incredibly smitten with the young girl with short, curly blonde from the North. He was leaving boyhood and becoming a young man with new interests and Nova found his clumsy attempts of courting and wooing the girl amusing, but sweet. It was quite the gossip around the pack as the former alpha's youngest son pursued his first serious crush.

Across the fire center Nova spotted Camila and her young ones along with Gemma's gorgeous figure as they ate breakfast away from the hustle and bustle of the morning chores. Nova silently sat with her friends, too tired to talk with them after her distressing morning and chose to sit and listen while she munched hungrily on a red apple.

Off in the distance, joyous howls echoed through the trees and reached the ears of large pack. Heads lifted in curiosity before smiles broke across their faces as they recognized the call. Tools and food were dropped as everyone gathered around the edge of the forest, eager to see the returning warriors.

Nova waited impatiently beside Gemma and Camila, standing on her toes trying to see over everyone else's towering figures for a glace of Adolfo. She was distracted by the commotion and noise all around her that she almost missed one of the most important moments of her young life.

Nova gasped.

A tiny fluttering came from inside her stomach. The baby was moving.

Author's Note:

I'm sure a lot of you are mad that I took so long to update, but my computer is messed up and no one knows how to fix it at the moment.

With that said, it might take some time for me to update again, but hopefully nowhere near as long as this time.

Hoped everyone liked this chapter!