He could almost see her face if he focused hard enough. But no, as soon as his vision had just begun to clear something would jar him or snap him awake. He hadn't slept in over six days, his dreams littered with visions of a raven haired woman whom he had never even meet before. Though her features were always hidden he knew her to be a great beauty. She was delicate and graceful; kind and mysterious. And she was lonely. He lay wide awake in the darkness, chest aching from the loneliness he could feel coming from her. He had tried, on more than one occasion to speak to her, to ask her her name but the dreams were only visions. He couldn't communicate with her.
Who was this woman that plagued his nights? Glen wasn't sure. But he did know that he had to find her. He had to escape this insanity that threaten to take over his mind.
His mate was waiting for him.
It had been over three years since the dreams had started; three long years in which he was subjected to visions of a woman he couldn't touch. They had began softly, easing their message him as though scared how he would react but with each passing night the visions had gotten stronger until he could not even close his eyes without seeing her. He lost a lot of sleep from then on; managing only a few restless hours every evening. A man could go crazy on such lack of sleep and Glen feared he was approaching that point. The hours began to run together until he couldn't tell one day from the next.
It didn't take long for those around him to notice his cheery disposition depleting rapidly, but Aoden had caught on from day one that something was wrong with his second in command. He had confronted Glen about his strange behavior but Glen had kept his problems to himself. He always kept his personal issues to himself; Aoden had far worst things to concern himself with. It was around that time that Ceana, Aodens mate, had been taken from their bed by her vicious Uncle who aimed to sell her to a neighboring Laird. Ceana was eventually brought back to the Clan but Aoden kept firm remembrance of the fear at having her in danger. More guards were placed on the outer wall; all the hidden entrances into the castle were found and sealed shut and Dùghlas Castle became an impenetrable fort.
When the dreams hadn't stopped in over a year, Glen knew that he had only one option left to him. He could no longer go on as he did, with his mind elsewhere all the time. As Aodens second, it was his duty to insure his Alphas safety and if he couldn't do his job properly it endangered the packs life. So, two years ago, he had packed whatever he could carry and left his home and everything he loved to scour the countryside for his black beauty. Aoden had been strongly against it from the start.
'Tis crazy talk, Glen!' The Alpha had shouted. 'Ye are likely ta get yerself killed on this fools quest.'
Ceana, kind and gentle as she was, had tried to calm her quick tempered mate while expressing her own fears and concerns for Glens impeding journey. He had never been outside the castle for more than a fortnight, after all. And he knew that this journey would take him far longer than that. He just hadn't known how long.
But what did he expect? He was looking for a ghost after all for he neither knew this woman's name nor where he could find her. The visions had never shown him her face but he did get other clues. She lived alone in a small cottage on a wide plain with only a single large tree for miles. The climate hadn't been Scotland, that he was sure of. She always wore a shawl and the fire was always lit so he imagined it was quite cold where she lived. England, Ireland, China? God, she could be anywhere.
Kerr had carried his master far in the two year span but if asked Glen could paint an intricate picture of his beloved home. He missed his pack and longed to run the forests with them again. He didn't dare shift as often as he had been accustomed to when he was amongst his own kind. And even when he allowed the wolf the emerge, it was never truly free. He must be extremely careful to hide his true nature from mortals and that meant that no man was to see him in wolf form. Wolves were extinct in this country.
Glen felt a biting sense of shame for the feelings of bitterness towards this woman. He knew he should feel honored that he was privileged enough to be given a mate; not many could experience it. In fact in the entire span of Lycan history, Aoden had been the only one to have a mate. Even Glen had doubted him when he had first claimed Ceana but now he knew for sure that the illusion of a mate was anything but. However hard he tried to remind himself of that fact, he could not dull his feelings. He had never met this woman before; had never asked for her to come to him but the dreams had severely changed his life forever. They had taken him from his home and his kind and brought him into a world where he was feared and unwanted. There wasn't even guarantee that he would be able to find her.
But there was a urge inside of him to find her, no matter the cost. It itched at his skin and made him jumpy. The wolf inside paced with impatience and growled at him to hurry up and bring his woman to him. The sudden overwhelming presence of his wolf was still a shock to him; as was the claiming he had already put over this mysterious woman. Glen had never been like Aoden. The Alphas wolf had always been a dominate presence-sharing his mind and influencing his actions. It was how Aoden had managed to fight his way to leader of the pack. But Glen had never been like that. The wolf inside of him had always been unusually quiet for a Lycan. Glen never had the urge to fight or to challenge Aoden for leadership. Things had changed since the black beauty. His wolf had become restless and demanding.
It was something that would have spooked any other horse but Kerr. The horse had been with him for far too many years. It was why he had chosen the animal for the journey, Kerr didn't spook easy.
Aoden had supplied him with enough coin to last him 20 years but Glen still used it sparingly. He had bought himself a fine new saddle and generic clothing that wouldn't associate him with the Demon Clan of the north. Cooking his meals by fire and sharing his company only with Kerr. The warm summer air had allowed him to sleep out doors most nights but sometimes he had allowed himself the luxury of a soft bed. That wasn't too often, however. He didn't enjoy mortals with their prying eyes and questions. But he did bare the unease to inquire about the black beauty even though he hadn't succeed in getting any closer to her so far.
It was late and well past midnight by the time Kerr and Glen arrived at the small unassuming lodgings of Campbell Inn. The structure was run down and haunting in the darkness. The candles burning the window guided him to the stables and he finally dismounted after a long days ride. Glens legs were stiff and his body groaned upon the movement but he ignored the pain. Kerr stood patiently as ever as he removed the saddle and Glen rewarded the animals faithful service with a an apple from the supplies. As Kerr enjoyed his prize, Glen took to brushing him.
Glen turned when footsteps came down the stairs and saw an old man with snow white hair and a matching beard. He was dressed in his night gown with a candle to light his way. "It's very late, my lad. We don't typically accept patrons past 10 in the evening."
Glen quickly finished with Kerr and left the stall, shutting the gate behind him. With his saddle in his arms, Glen replied, "I apprentice ye exception. It's been a verra long day and I'm looking forward ta some rest."
"A Scotsman, hmm?" The man stated.
"Is that a problem?"
"Oh no, and I'm sorry to have caused offense, It's just my wife was from Scotland, passed some years ago but the accent reminds me of her."
"I'm sorry for yer lost." Glen meant his sympathy and he didn't wish to be rude but his eyes had trouble staying open and he fought against the weakness in his legs that urged him to lay down. Bless the man, for he got the hint and gestured for Glen to follow him. He lead the way up the steps and down the corridor to a door at the end. Glen handed over three coins to pay for the shelter and bid the man a good night before slipping inside his room.
The smell was musty and dust layered over the surface of every piece of furniture. The bed was barely large enough for a small lad let alone one of his size and the candle had been used so much that it didn't have another light left in it. The room was far from his own room back home but he couldn't complain. He collapsed on the sheets and fell into a dead sleep before he even had a chance to remove his clothing.
She was walking down a path; the sun making her hair shine like burning coal. Her gown was worn and the color was drastically faded from what it had once been. Her feet were bare; small pale toes peaking out with every step. She was happy today, he could tell by the bounce in her step. Most times that he had envisioned her, she had been sad and withdrawn but not today. He wanted to know what had made her happy; was it another man? The thought made his furious. So much so that he didn't wish to think of it anymore.
She had arrived at the lake. Birds were floating by as she knelt at the waters edge to judge the temperature. Finding it to her liking, she began to disrobe. Glen's heart was in his chest as he watched from miles away the private time of a young woman. It was times like these that made him sure that this connection, or whatever it was, was felt only on his part. She wouldn't have lived him watching if she knew that he was seeing. He felt embarrassed by his visions but it wasn't as if he could look away. The visions were like a story and he only a spectator. He couldn't change the plot and he couldn't interrupt.
The woman shed her skirt and it pooled at her feet. The lacing at her back was next as expert fingers pulled the ribbon from its latching. Delicate feminine fingers that he imagined wrapped around his...
Glen jerked awake to the land of the living so hard that the jarring action and weight of his body caused something to snap beneath him and the bed sagged to the left. Glen pushed himself up against the headboard with a heavy sigh shifting his weight so as not to slide off the lopsided bed. He rubbed his tired eyes so hard the black spots formed. Glancing out the window across the room, he was surprised to the see the sun rising over the horizon. He must have slept for at least 6 hours; the most he's gotten in a very long time.
His cock ached sharply at the thought of what he could have seen if the dream had continued. That had never happened before. He had seen many aspects of her life but never before had he seen her undress. It made him fear where these vision were headed and just how intimate they were going to become.
Glen was walking Kerr down a rather steep decline when shouting in the distance caught his attention. Pausing on the hill, he looked out across the plain to see three horseman galloping across the field toward a small hut situated in the centre of a vast and empty field. No, not empty. A single tree stood proud beside the hut, it had managed to survive where nothing else had.
It was clear to him that this was the house from his dreams. And who ever those men were, Glen had a horrible feeling that they meant to do harm to the habitant of that house. Glen grabbed the reins and swung a top Kerr in a single expert maneuver. Kerr reared in excitement before he took off in a bold run down the sloop and onto the plain. Glen's heel dug into Kerrs side; urging him faster but Glen knew that he would be too late. Those men would arrive at the house well before he could and God knows what could happen in the span of time.
His heart pounded with fear for this woman's life; so much fear that this entire quest could be in vain. He could have come all this way only to have her die before he even got the chance to know her name. Or to see the face that had been tormenting him every night for over three wolf inside him growled and scratched at the surface of his mind, wanting to be let free. The wolf could run faster than Kerr and he knew it but the risk was too high. To change would endanger more lives.
Glen watched helplessly as the riders dismounted their horses; swords clutched in hand. Glen let out a vicious warrior yell and started even Kerr and had the men shifting their attention to him rather than the hut Good, if only he could keep them distracted until he could arrive, the woman would be alright. The men were arguing amongst themselves. One of them looked like he had changed his mind about what they had come here to do but the other two refused to let him go.
Glen withdrew his sword in a broad motion and held it out next to him and Kerr slammed his hooves into the dirt and caused the three to flinch back in the presence of such an apposing animal. Glen's hand clutched around the sword as he stared down at the less than confident men before him.
"I would suggest ye lads think wise about doing whatever it is ye came here ta do." Glen stated, his voice deathly still with a false sense of calm. The wolf was in his voice, he knew it from the boys expressions and the smell of fear that wafted through the air. The one with the change of heart looked ready to piss himself if he hadn't already as he stumbled back a couple steps. The sword fell from his hands, making it clear that he had experience with the weapon.
"And who are you to order us to do anything?" A boy with a much larger ego, clutched his sword with arrogance and stood his ground. His teeth were missed on both the top and bottom and his face was dirty and smudged with a black substance of some kind. All three of the boys wore torn and dirty clothing and the smell coming off their bodies certainly wasn't the fresh scent of flowers.
"This woman in here belongs ta me." Glen replied swaying atop Kerr as the horse huffed and puffed and tossed his head; angry that the run had been cut short and wanting to run again.
The leaders eye brows shot up with disbelief and he had a chuckle on Glen's behalf, his partner in crime joining him until Glens glare silenced all amusement. The leaders throat jerked as he swallowed and Glen saw his hand began to shake before he tucked it behind him.
"You can't possibly mean Barabell!" He snorted. "That woman's a witch, everyone knows that."
So her name was Barabell. Strange that a name could mean so much after knowing so little for so long. It made everything real when he could put a name to the woman in his dreams. It proved that he wasn't going crazy, that all of this had been real. He glanced at the door to the hut out of the corner of his eyes and wondered if she was behind it. Perhaps she was watching all of this in fear, wondering if he was just as bad all these men. Glen didn't want her to ever think she needed to fear him for any reason.
"Do they?" It would certainly seem plausible for this woman to be a witch. She was living alone, probably shunned from the rest of the village. And he mustn't forget the visions. Maybe she had be-spelled him across the distance for reasons of her own. Even if her motives were linked to the dark arts, the compulsion to meet the woman destined to be his mate forced him to protect her from harm.
"Well, I'll be sure ta bare that in mind. Now, I think it's time ye moved on."
The leader went flush red. He squared his shoulders and positioned his body like he meant to fight but Glen could still tell that he was scared. The human was smart enough to recognize the presence of a animal higher on the food chain than himself but unfortunately not smart enough to anything about it. "Listen to me you-"
Hi partner took hold of his arm and pulled him back. "Let's get out of here, Harold. will be wondering were we got off to." He kept pulling the older boy back until the leader falling relented and all three mounted their horses and took off back across the field. Glen watched them until they disappeared over the hill before letting the fighter tense leave his body.
He swung his feet off of Kerr and landed softly on the green grass below. It was long and tickled the skin left exposed beneath his kilt. The sound of birds and soft breeze caressing the field gave this place a warm inviting feeling. Certainly not the typical environment for an evil witch, if the rumors are to be believed. Kerr was enjoying himself; feasting on the grass at his feet without a care in the world. Glen had learned to trust both his wolf and his horse over the years and neither showed any sigh that this place held danger.
Glen cocked his head and studied the small house before him. It was a peasant residence; run down and the occupants having no money to fix it. He could hear and smell the presence of sheep and goats around the back and smell something cooking on the stove inside. Barabell was most defiantly home and Glen knew that after three years he was finally going to meet the woman who plagued his dreams at night.
He heard the soft click of the latch to the door.