Beauty And Her Beast13
I watched the backs of the two girls as they slowly moved out of my line of sight, the footsteps of my beta approaching me from behind.
"So?" He asked, setting a hand on my bare shoulder right as they escaped my sight.
"So?" I questioned back, turning to face him.
"So, how is it? How is she? You've had a stupid smile on your face ever since we left, so I can only assume things have gone well so far."
My chuckle stood out from the heavy breaths of the men and women around us.
Tired as they were from the sparring, I knew they would be listening in on this conversation.
"Well, I explained to her what being mated to me entails, and she didn't run off, so I'll take that as a definite win."
He rose a brow, "Did you think she was going to?"
"It passed my mind," I admitted.
Having gone decades without any sign of my mate, of course I was worried about her slipping through my fingers.
We both began leisurely walking up the slight incline to where the girls were watching us from finding some relief in the fresh spring breeze against our sweat slicked skin.
"She's been somewhat hesitant about everything so far," I glanced back to where she disappeared from my view, "but I think both her innate curiosity as well as the bond itself should keep her here long enough for us to figure this out."
He looked me over, head tilting to the left with a slight grin.
"You think that's the only thing keeping her here?"
"For now," is all I said.
His brows furrowed, his next word coming out flat, "Really?"
"What are you insinuating?" I questioned.
He stopped walking entirely, causing me to do the same and turn to face him again.
"Where the hell did my Alpha go," He began, "Where is all of this hesitation coming from? Usually meeting your mate is supposed to boost your confidence not... whatever you've got going on is."
I rolled my eyes with a sarcastic scoff.
"My confidence is fine, Milo, I'm just trying to hold myself back so I don't mess this up. I'm already reigning back half of the things this mate bond is pushing me to do because I know all of this is new to her. I jumped ahead of myself once and she got scared and ran away. We weren't even discussing the bond between us at that point, but seeing her like that is never something I want to repeat."
That and just her mentioning rejecting this has admittedly left me antsy.
Even though I was aware that she didn't know what it meant at the time
She was definitely more comfortable, and she showed that with her interest in the acceptance process.
That and I could sense her security as I introduced her to my friends, which was a fantastic shift from the uncertainty she began the morning with.
She was coming around quite quickly, but there was a difference between her accepting the community, and accepting me as her mate.
"Luna surely made me wait, but damn I'd be lying If I said she didn't give me a good one. Maybe a little too good and that's what I'm worried about."
It wasn't necessarily uncommon for mates to meet and formally accept each other within the same night.
All the hormones and overall relieved excitement of finding their other half leads the acceptance process to be over and done with quite quickly.
Half of which came from the half of her that hadn't yet made an appearance.
Though all my years mate-less I always made sure not to come up with any expectations as to how it would go once I finally found her.
I was more than happy to introduce all of this to her at her own pace, I just had to first make sure that I was matching whatever that pace was.
"Relax, Luka. I know you can't help but stress especially given the strange circumstances she's in, but don't make yourself sick over something that hasn't happened. She hasn't been here long, but she looks comfortable here and looks like she'll be enjoying it to the fullest in no time. With half of her entire being dormant all these years, and with her mate by her side this shouldn't take any time at all."
"You've met her once and you already deducted that she likes it here?"
"Well, that and the fact that Eren's been keeping me updated on their conversations through our link. Lydia's really impressed with your carpentry by the way, as well as 'obsessed with the scenery' as Eren put it."
"And she's not telling ME?" I exclaimed, earning a half-hidden laugh from him.
Every member of this pack and two mind links, one between their mate, and another between their alpha.
And Eren had the audacity to not utilize both in this situation.
She knew how to use both at once, yet she was keeping me in the dark to tease me.
Which was fine, I am a man who is aware of and can respect privacy, but that didn't mean I wasn't going to give her shit for it anyway.
Straightening myself to do just that, Eren's voice rang through my head before I could even start.
"Heads up, Alyssa's coming down from the south. She's already staring down Lydia, and can only imagine that she's coming towards you."
Milo and I looked at each other as we spoke out the same reaction, telling me she told him this as well.
"Already? Goddess, I thought you'd have at least a day or two before she had something to say about it," Milo spoke.
Brushing my hair back from my face I forced my sudden annoyance to come out as a sigh instead of a growl, "Word travels fast, epically when it comes to my mate status," it showed through my voice anyway.
"Thanks for the warning, keep an eye on Lydia for me," I responded through the link.
I turned my head towards the south, sure enough spotting her in the distance across the river, now staring me down.
The pace of her steps showed she was in no hurry to reach me, but her look told me it was her intention.
And she didn't look happy.
"What do you think she's gonna say about it?" Milo asked.
"I find it funny that she thinks she had any right to say anything about it." I bit.
"True, but you know she's still going to."
I turned and began walking the other way.
"Then she can do it later. Not on the first day of my mate's arrival."
With my worry of my mate came with it the urge to protect her, and knowing how Alyssa spoke and acted, it was enough to where I could feel my wolf positioned to pounce if provoked.
She's upset that the spot she herself deemed as her own finally got taken.
And I didn't have the patience right now to listen to her whine about it.
"So you're just going to avoid it?" He didn't seem too happy with my decision.
Milo was a smart man and an excellent beta, but there was still a biological difference between betas and Alphas that he hadn't quite grasped.
"Right now, yes. as long as she doesn't go anywhere near my mate, it's not really my problem. She can hunt me down later."
One thing I recently learned about finally experiencing the mate bond is that it heightened my protective instincts
The instincts that already existed due to being the alpha.
So now it didn't take much to rile up to wolf that was already worried about something going awry.
It wouldn't take much for him to snap back in a way that could end up with someone getting hurt.
And that was not how I ran my pack.
I'll discuss things with her civilly once I've calmed down.
I huffed out another deep sigh, turning my head towards Milo.
I needed to let my wolf out and blow off some energy.
"Finish up the training for me, I'm gonna go ahead and do the perimeter check."
A give or take five-mile trip to round my territory.
It was a trip I took every morning as the sun rose to make sure this pack stayed unbothered.
But with the arrival of my mate, I didn't get to do it this morning.
It should be enough to calm us both down.
I could feel my bones shifting before Milo gave me a response.