To a wolf, they are everything.
They are our weakness and strength. They are our beginning and our end.
But for me, my mate is also my greatest mystery.
He is with me always, yet he won’t share a thing about himself. Not even his name.
He keeps himself invisible, only permitting me whispers of his voice on the wind.
I yearn to touch him. To please him. To feel his mark inside me.
Yet I fear he will never reveal himself to me.
Which is why I’ve decided to make him show himself.
Using my wit, my cunning, and my body.
Only then will I truly know him.
My mate. The light of my life.
It’s the afternoon of my twenty-first birthday and I’m pissed.
I come downstairs late, around four in the afternoon, to see my twin brothers, Draxen and Drayden, cuddling with their mates on the couch, watching Netflix.
I love all of them, but today their perfect show of romance makes me want to puke or rip somebody’s throat out, especially when I’m pretty sure I’ve just been rejected by my mate… Again.
My parents come running out of the kitchen, excited to wish me a happy birthday. My dad has a mixing bowl in his hands and my mom is covered in flour.
If I wasn’t so pissed today, I’d think it was funny: pack alphas Zayn and Skyla King covered in baking ingredients. But not today.
I don’t even acknowledge their cries of “happy birthday” on my way out of the house, leaving them all gaping after me.
I need a good run. My wolf clawing up my insides all day has me letting her free the moment we’re out of the house.
We go bounding through the forest, my wolf snapping playfully at butterflies. We even temporarily forget what happened—or more accurately didn’t happen—this morning.
Finally, after I let my wolf play for hours, I transform back into a human and look around.
She has somehow brought us all the way to the river, over ten miles from our house and immediately my bad mood settles back into my stomach like a rock.
I first met my mate at this river; fitting since it’s been a river of heartbreak ever since.
Most wolves meet their mate at the age of fifteen but I was different. I met him at age six.
Well, “met” isn’t really the right word because I’ve technically never even seen him, only heard his voice and felt his presence. But I really want to.
I sat down on the riverbank and splash my feet in the water, losing myself in memories.
It was a beautiful day, just like today, and my uncles, Silas and Thackery, were in town discussing pack business when mom told my brothers to bring me to the river.
I loved the river back in those days, and couldn’t wait to dive right into the water.
But here’s the thing about having older brothers: they find ways to make everything terrible, even things you love to do.
Within twenty minutes, they were splashing me and making fun of me, and I soon had enough.
I ran away into the woods, ignoring their shouts for me to come back.
I ran far and fast, and suddenly I was surrounded by darkness.
Getting scared, I started to cry. I could no longer see my brothers or even hear them over the sound of the wind whistling through the trees.
“Shh, little Lux, it’s going to be alright.” His voice was so deep, it calmed me instantly.
Jumping up to my feet I searched around for the owner of the voice, but I came up short.
I was alone, or at least I thought I was until he spoke again: “You really shouldn’t be here, my little Lux.”
Sniffling into the sleeve of my dress, I searched around again and found nothing, but I know I had heard him.
His voice was so calming. Even as a child I craved to hear it again. It felt good and safe.
“Who are you?” Searching around again, I hoped and prayed that I’d catch even a glimpse of the owner of that soothing melody he called a voice.
But instead I heard nothing and saw nothing. I stood there alone for twenty minutes until Draxel and Drayden came thundering through the woods to bring me back home.
And that was my first memory of my mate.
Since that day, I’ve had this feeling that he’s with me. Even though I can’t see him, I know he’s there, even sitting in my bedroom window most nights.
I know it sounds creepy, but it’s not like that; his presence calms me down, he makes me feel safe.
He gave me my first birthday present when I turned fifteen. A beautiful small gold necklace with a tiny white gold butterfly slipped into my discarded clothing during a pack run.
Every year after that, he’s given me a new birthday gift, and I now have a beautiful flashlight charm, a little metal wolf, a charm with “Lux” engraved on it, and an engraved metal “S,” which I assume must be the first letter of his name.
I love the gifts but what I’ve always wanted is to see him, or even just a tiny glimpse of him.
I was hoping he would do it today. It’s my twenty-first birthday. I’m a woman now, and this would be the perfect time to finally reveal himself.
But this year, I didn’t even get a gift. No, he seems to have totally forgotten, which is the reason for my terrible mood all day.
I hang my head. Maybe he wishes he wasn’t my mate. Maybe he doesn’t want me.
His voice is close, closer than it’s ever been. It’s as if he’s right behind me. But when I turn around, there’s nothing there. I’m alone.
I feel anger and defiance flare inside me. How dare he tease me like this? He’s my mate!
Wait a second; he’s my mate, and I’m his mate.
If he won’t show himself to me, I’ll have to get his attention some other way.
A naughty smile crosses my face and I stand up and stare resolutely at the place I think he’s probably standing. I unclasp the bracelet he gave me, laying it on the ground before removing my tank and bra.
When I start sliding down my shorts, I hear him again.
Grunting out as if he's in pain as my underwear hits the floor in a swift movement.
I can't help but smirk; he's usually so good at staying hidden, but tonight I got a reaction out of him.
Diving into the river I do a few quick laps above water, allowing the sunset to shine down and show off my naked wet curves as brightly as it can. Making sure to stay in the lit spots in the water. If he's going to be here he's going to be forced to see all of me.
On my last lap I smell it. Arousal!
He must have come closer because his arousal hits me so hard that I halt all movements in the water. My mouth waters at the smell, and my wolf begins to go crazy, trying to claw her way out of me to get to him!
Her primal need to sate his hunger overpowering my own need to even breathe.
The smell of him is so strong, that I moan out as my hormones take over every part of me.
Not being able to handle it anymore, I swim to the shore, not even bothering to grab my clothes. I walk to the strongest point I can smell him. And I see him for the first time.
He’s still invisible, but I can see his flickering outline as if it’s hard for him to stay hidden.
Even from the thin outline I can see, I know he’s beyond sexy, noting the bulge of muscles all over his frame.
And then I look up to where his face should be and I gasp.
I can see his eyes. Not just the outlines, the whole things.
They’re dark gray, almost black. And he has flaming red circles in the center.
They’re the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
And right then, I know what I have to do.
I have a plan to finally see my mate’s naked body. Tonight.
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