Lucien, Alpha of the Last Hope Werewolf Pack, looked around Billy Rae’s Bar and Grill at the males and females gathered before him. At his request, all of his single pack mates, male and female, were gathered along the restaurant walls. All of the former Lost Souls pack members were gathered in the middle. In front of him, a handful of females stood in front of their males. Not a single male reached out to comfort his female, though their distress was evident in their stance as well as their scent.
He shook his head and sighed. They had been in his pack for six weeks and still they acted as if they were members of the Lost Souls pack.
“We are gathered here tonight because we need to discuss the issue of mates. I realize that your previous Alpha, Murdock, rewarded males by giving them females as mates. This is not done in our pack. Only true mates are recognized and allowed to live together. As of this moment, your relationship with the person you call your ‘mate’ has been severed. You no longer have any duty to that wolf.”
He heard surprised gasps and murmurs.
“It is my sincere hope that you will all find your true mate. That is why my pack is in attendance. I am hoping that some of you find your true mates tonight. This will help you assimilate into our pack.”
The crowd parted from the back, allowing someone to pass through. Lucien swore as he scented his mate.
“Didn’t I expressly forbid you from coming here tonight?” he asked his mate as she stood before him.
Lanie smiled mischievously as she responded, “I vaguely recall such a conversation.”
Shaking his head, he held his hand out to her. She placed her hand in his and he pulled her up, onto the raised dance floor. The females in the front row cringed, fully expecting him to beat her for her disobedience. Surprised gasps were heard as Lucien pulled Lanie into his arms and kissed her softly. His love for her was evident to all of his pack mates.
Lanie stroked his face and replied, “They don’t understand, Lucien. They probably think you are going to give them to other males.”
Lucien swore as he realized she was correct.
“You’re right, as usual, My Love.”
All eyes were glued to him. He turned to his pack and addressed the newest members.
“No one is going to force you into a relationship. When you find your true mate, it will take your breath away. You will just know he or she is The One.”
He held Lanie close to him.
“You will want your mate more than the air that you breathe. You will do whatever it takes to make your mate happy. It is impossible to deliberately cause your true mate pain. If you have ever felt pain or caused your mate pain, they are not your true mate. You do not have to stay with that wolf.”
He paused to let that information sink in. “You are all part of my pack now, so please, socialize with your new pack mates.”
No one moved. Lanie stepped off the raised dance floor and walked towards the females in the front row. Being human, she couldn’t smell their fear or distress, but their body language spoke volumes.
“You are safe here,” she addressed them softly. “As your Alpha’s Mate, I promise you, you are safe. I will not allow anyone to hurt you.” A male laughed behind one of the females.
“How are you going to protect anyone? You’re a mere human,” he said with contempt.
“She is my mate,” Lucien growled as he stepped down. “She might be a human, but she is as fierce as any wolf. In fact, she took down one of your young wolves while two others held her. She did this to protect one of our younger females.”
They looked at her in astonishment. She fought a male? And won?
“Lanie has me, has the entire pack to enforce her wishes. If she says you are protected, then rest assured, you are protected.”
“Did you have a question?” Lanie asked the female next to her who was biting her lip.
In a voice so low, she barely heard her, the female asked, “Is…is he going to pu…punish you later? You disobeyed him.” Lanie laughed, shaking her head.
“Punish me? Lucien loves me. He would rather die than cause me any pain. No, he will not punish me later.”
“I don’t know, My Love, I think you are in dire need of a spanking,” Lucien said wickedly as he reached for her.
“Lucien! BEHAVE!” She laughed and stepped out of his reach. “I’m trying to work here, so stop distracting me, or I’ll give you a much deserved spanking.”
Lucien laughed as he pulled his mate into his arms.
“Promises, promises….” He nuzzled her neck and his hands moved down her back to cup her bottom, pulling her closer to him.
Lanie wrapped her arms around his neck, enjoying the feeling of his hard body pressed up against hers. Her body reacted instantly to his touch. Her nipples pebbled and her channel tightened suddenly. Six weeks had passed since the birth of their daughter and she ached for him.
“Socialize damn it, so I can take my mate to bed!” he ordered and they moved. Lanie just shook her head. Her mate was incorrigible!