"Off you go. I'll see you all Monday morning." I smiled and called out to the pups of the pack as they left. I watched as they scurried off back to their homes with giggles and laughs. I couldn't help but love the way their innocent hearts filled mine with warmth. Once out of sight I sighed and walked back into the cottage. The sun was finally starting to come out so I decided to open up the windows and let in some fresh air. I walked over and lifted the first one and instantly felt relaxed at the breeze that hit my skin. The cool air felt so nice.

After opening up a few more I looked around the living room area and saw a few extra toys laying around. Walking over I bent down and grabbed the dolls.

"You're missing out on all the fun."

"Oh shi-!" I jumped and turned around while holding my chest in a panic. My eyes landed on the tall figure of our future Alpha. At only 20 he was already leading the pack and it wasn't going to be long before he took over for his father, Alpha Hunter. His strong arms were crossed over his chest as he leaned against the door frame. His green eyes twinkled with amusement as did his grin. "Eric, you jerk." I sighed and regained my composure. He chuckled and ran a hand through his longer dirty blonde hair. Eric was handsome, that's for sure. It didn't take a genius to figure that one out. His toned body pushed off of the door frame and he came walking towards me.

"Maybe if you kept your guard up you would have noticed me."

I rolled my eyes. "Maybe if you didn't hide your scent on purpose to always scare the crap out of me, I could."

His smile and laugh fit perfectly with his sharp features. "Okay, I'll give you that one. But seriously, you've been blocking my link all day. Dad wants us to start getting prepped for tonight."

"Tonight?" I asked, trying to remember what the plans were for tonight. I walked over to the makeshift toybox and placed the doll inside. I could feel Eric's eyes on me.

He groaned and ran his hand down his face. "Please don't tell me you've forgotten about the Red River Pack coming."

I straightened up and looked over at him. "That's tonight!?" I felt anxiety creeping up into my stomach. His features became a bit more serious.

"Yes. They are to arrive in about three hours."

I swallowed hard and nodded. The Red River Pack and ours, the Crescent Sky Pack, had been at odds for years. Alpha Hunter was finally able to come to an agreement with their new Alpha, Alpha Damien. They were coming to our territory to sign a contract that made us allies instead of enemies. With the rise of power of the most terrifying Alpha ever known, both our packs decided it was a good idea to work together and not against each other if we were to be attacked. The Darkness Moon Pack would make anyone cower in fear. They weren't ones to be messed with.

"Why does your dad want me there again?" I signed and began to pull my hair up into a ponytail. My hair was a frizzy and curly dark brown. They matched my eyes and I always found them to be boring. It didn't help that I was kind of the outcast of the pack. "It's not like I'm anything special."

Eric huffed and gently grabbed my arm, and tugged me forward. "He raised you. We grew up together. You know you are apart of the Alpha's family regardless of your..." he stopped and tried to find the nice way to put my condition.

"Disability? Condition?" I tried to finish for him. He groaned in annoyance and let my arm go, shoving his hands into his jean pockets.

"You make it sound worse than it is. You know we don't care about that."

I narrowed my eyes at him. "You may not care about that. But everyone else frowns upon me not being able to shift. It's not normal. What kind of disrespect would it bring to have another powerful Alpha in the home with me sitting at the head table? I'm technically lower than an Omega."

"Gwen, stop being so dramatic. I know you're just coming up with excuses to not come because you don't like being out of your comfort zone." He raised a brow at me once I didn't have anything else to say. He knew he had me there.

So a little backstory on me: I don't know where I come from. I'm an orphan. I was found and taken in by Alpha Hunter from the age of 3. He raised me as his own and I grew up side by side with Eric. I grew up hearing different voices and for some reason, that voice had made it clear that I was not allowed to shift in front of anyone.

So I had everyone believe that I was unable to shift.

I found out though that the voice I would randomly hear wasn't just 'a voice' after all.

It was the Moon Goddess.

Even being covered by the Alpha's family, I was made to be some kind of outcast. But with this supposed gift, I couldn't let anyone know. I had to listen to what the Moon Goddess asked of me. I was unsure as to why, but who was I to question her?

Even Eric, being my best friend, didn't know. "Plus-" he started. A small grin started to appear on his lips again. "With new people coming, you may just find your mate."

I couldn't help but chuckle and roll my eyes at his words. "Okay, okay. You win." I smiled at him and playfully punched his arm.

"OwW! Watch it! I haven't been eating my wheaties like you have." he pouted and held his arm.

"Shut up, Eric." I joked. "Let me just grab my bag and we can go." Eric knew my weak spot. He knew I was kind of a hopeless romantic. We both came up with a secret agreement that we would always help each other when it came to finding out chosen mates. But if the day came that we never found them, then we would just stick together and enjoy the rest of our lives with one another.

"Finding mate sounds good." my wolf, Athena piped in. That always made her ears perk up. Of course.

I walked over and went into the back room where there was a full size bed and a few other things. Once in a while I liked to have time to myself and would stay out here instead of at the main pack house. I was always welcome, but with so many disapproving eyes, it was hard to feel comfortable all the time. So Alpha Hunter made this place for me and made it big enough that I could have the younger pups here to learn during the week.

I reached over and grabbed my smaller bag that had a few things in it. From there I looked around the room to make sure I didn't forget anything. I figured I would be needing to stay at the pack house for the next few days with Alpha Damien being present. Eric is going to want me to be safe and under his watch.

I walked out of the room and went up to Eric. "Alright, I'm ready to go." He nodded and wrapped an arm around my shoulders. Leaning down he moved his lips towards my ear. I shivered.

"I'll race ya." he teased and quickly threw his arm off me and bolted out the door. He laughed as I gasped.

"Cheater!" I yelled out, giving in and chasing after him.

It was a few hours later and I there was word that the Red River Pack and their Alpha had crossed over our borders. I was inside my room of the main pack house and was finishing getting ready. My hair was unmanageable in the state it had been in after running across the pack with Eric. So I opted for a shower and used a bit of gel to make my natural curls look nice. I threw on a nicer blue dress that complimented my skin tone. It was lighter and hugged my chest in a respectful way and the rest laid down my body losely. I threw on a little bit of makeup and a pair of flats. I don't know why, but I was super anxious.

My nerves were on end.

It didn't help that Athena wouldn't stop pacing in my mind. She was quiet but wouldn't sit still.

"Is there something wrong?"

I heard her mumble something but couldn't make it out. I just sighed and left her alone. She could be moody at times. I was very laid back while she was very strict and dominating. We were complete opposites.

A knock at my door brought me back to reality. I stood and went over to open the door. Eric's bright smile eased my anxiety at bit. His eyes roamed over me and I blushed slightly. "Well, well, well. Someone cleans up nicely."

I threw my hands on my hips in a playful manner. "Well I couldn't say the same about you." He smirked his youthful smirk and threw up and arm, flexing his bicep.

"You know there's so much here to love. I'm irresistible."

"Sure. You keep believing those lies all those old wolves have been telling you." he placed his hand over his heart. He frowned.

"That hurt."

I laughed lightly. "Come on stud, we have somewhere to be." I joked and waited for him to hold his arm out for me. I took it once he did and he escorted me down to the dinning hall. Normally I could take myself, but everyone was on strict orders and Alpha Hunter and Eric both wanted me to safe.

I couldn't help though to feel more and more anxiety as we came closer to our destination. I felt off, like something was different. I couldn't explain it. Athena was now pushing at the surface, which she rarely did. Soon the most amazing scent hit my nose. Hmmm... Did they make something different for dinner? It smelled oddly like cinnamon and cream. A new desert?

"What did they make for dessert tonight?" I asked Eric, thrown off by the smell.

"Dessert? Um..." he thought about it then shrugged his shoulders. "Don't Know. Probably the usual. Apple pie."

Well, that didn't seem right. Then what was that smell?

As soon at the dining room doors opened I was hit with the scent ten times stronger. I felt my knees start to go weak. I gripped Eric's arm tighter and he glanced at me with curiosity.

"You alright?"

I couldn't answer. I just nodded. I looked around the larger room and found that it was only Alpha Hunter, Luna Lynn, the Beta; Zach, and his mate. Then there were four other strangers standing with their backs to us. I felt my breathing become more labored as we took a few steps closer.

There in the middle was a tall, brown haired god. My eyes zoomed in on him they roamed from the top of his head down to his toes. His back was lean and strong and all the perfect proportions. I swallowed hard.

As if sensing my gaze, his back became straighter. He turned and looked over in my direction. It was as if the Moon Goddess herself threw me into a movie and I was watching in awe. HIs chiseled facial features were perfect. His jaw lines tight. His green eyes dark and mysterious. And that's when it happened. Our eyes met and the world stopped.

"Mate!"