The whole room glowed with light, as Master Nyx performed his magic. He usually kicked everyone out during his rituals, but this time he let me stay, probably sensing my raw desperation. My mates golden lock floated in the air, while Zayne repeated over and over again an incantation: ” Eam inveniri, Eam inveniri ”. The language meant little to me, but I guessed it was Latin.

Suddenly, the hair burst into tiny glittery pieces, like sand and felt on the table, morphing and revealing a map of our surrounding forest and city. We both leaned over, observing carefully the surface. It was a perfect depiction of Habicht Forest and Wolfhagen. You could clearly see all streets and paths.

” There she is! ” said Zayne, pointing out a singular shiny dot that moved around, almost at the edge of the woods. With a dried mouth and racing pulse, I watched my mates light hovering around the trees. She was so close! My wolf growled anxiously in the background. All we wanted was to get to her as soon as possible, to drown in her sweet scent.

” Strange though.. the note said they will be waiting in the West Clearing, but shes a couple of hours further from that point ”, stated Nyx, stroking his chin.

” That means she might have escaped? ” I gasped, clenching my fists. My brave female managed to evade those bastards and by the looks of it, she was heading to our city. Was it possible that she knew about me from the hunters? The idea of her searching for me made my blood boil with excitement.

” So it seems. We need to act quickly before they pick up her trail! She took the road to the Northern Gate ”. I was already at the door, heart pounding in my ears. I could not wait anymore.

” Erik, don go alone! Speak to your father! ”, he yelled after me, as I made my way quickly down the stairs. I had a hard time containing the angry beast inside. He itched to come forward, to kill anyone who stood in its path to his mate. They will regret ever thinking to kidnap her. I tried focusing on the task at hand.

First, I had to tell my father that those brainless hunters were at our doorstep. Goddess, will they never relent? Then, I needed to form a crew to take with me, the most lethal Lycans in our pack. I had to make sure that she escaped unharmed from all of this.

As I emerged from the wizards tower, I saw my father and his Beta Elias on horseback, returning home. I ran to him as fast as I could. Once he descended from his stallion, he noticed me, along with my nervous aura.

” Erik, whats wrong? ”, he frowned unhooking his leather bag from the saddle. He wore his usual navy blue doublet, with a golden wolf embroidered on the chest. An elegant fur coat covered his shoulders.

” I need to talk to you, in private ” I looked him in the eye. ” Where have you been? ” He nodded and we started walking to a secluded spot. Elias bowed his head, saluting me. My wolf was rawring with impatience, cursing me for wasting precious time.

” Ive been inspecting the winter supplies of the whole town, making sure that everyone has enough food and resources ”. He crossed his arms, narrowing his eyes. ” So, whats the matter? Did Luke start another brawl at the tavern? ”. I would have laughed in normal circumstances, but not today. My father noticed too. ” That bad? ”.

” Its about my mate. I know where she is ” I said, grinding my teeth in anger.

” Really? Well, where and who is she? Your mother will be ecstatic ” he smiled warmly. But as I did not respond and kept my eyes on the ground, his expression changed into a worried frown and added: ” Is something wrong with her? ”. I decided it was better to show than tell, so I took the threat note I received from my pocket and handed it to him. He read the whole thing with a hard face and let out a pissed growl at the end, squeezing the paper in his big fist.

” Fuck..only the hunters would be mad enough to pick a fight with us ” he said running his fingers through his hair. ” Im so sorry, my son. We will rescue her, don you worry! ” he added with guilt in his voice. He still suffered a great deal because of his lost brother.

” Nyx performed a locator spell. It seems she managed on her own and shes heading for the keep. I just wanted to let you know, before I take a couple of our men and go after her ”.

” Erik, this could be a trap! ”. He grabbed my arm before I could leave. I gritted my teeth threatening, my control slipping by the second, my wolf taking over.

” Im going ! If anything happens to her … ”. I couldn finish the sentence, my voice not sounding human. The thought of losing my fated one was too much to bear. I closed my eyes and sighed, trying to calm down. ” With some luck, I will get to her before those **ers do ”.

” I don like this, but fine..I won stop you. Take at least five men with you and keep me informed at all times. Ill have men at the ready if things go sideways ”.

We both shifted our gaze at the same time, as we scented Luke close by.

” I want to come too! ” he said quickly, flexing his muscles excited, running towards us. He clearly heard our whole conversation. ” Time for some real action! Can wait to bash some hunters heads! ”. I shook my head immediately.

” No, you
e not ”. His face dropped and clenched his jaw.

” Why the hell not?! I wanna help you! ”. I put my hand on his shoulder and gave him a serious look.

” You are a great fighter, Luke. But if something happens to me, you will be next in line. I can risk us both! ”. Father nodded, grasping the handle of his sword.

” Erik is right. The welfare of our dynasty always comes first! Come, you will help me with the winter planning. You need to learn some other things, besides fighting ”. He patted Luke on the back. My brother shrugged disappointed.

” Damn, its not fair! ”, I could hear him bitching, but didn waste any more time listening.

I sprinted to the mixt-pack house, where my warriors had their private chambers. They all felt my powerful Alpha presence as soon as I entered the house. The parlor was empty, all the Lycans resting at this time of the day after training. The house had a rustic design, made of dark ebony wood, with cozy futons gathered around a fireplace.

My eyes went white into the Link and as I addressed them ” Brothers, who will join me today? Your future Luna is in danger, trapped by the Lodge of Hunters ”. I didn manage to finish my line, as four big packs of muscles appeared from all corners of the villa. I smirked proudly.

They were my most faithful fighters, as always: Horst, Uwe, Fritz and Karl. All of them bowed at the same time, ready to lay down their lives for me.

Horst was a huge, 6.5 feet vicious beast, mostly wolf than man. He almost lost himself when his mate passed away in the second war, ten years ago. So, instead of going bat shit crazy, he focused all his energy on training recruits with me.

Uwe, his brother, is almost as strong. Hes always there to keep him from slipping into madness and slaying everything in its path. Hes unmated too. They both share the same ferocious-looking mug and black hair.

Fritz is the oldest and also a relative of the König dynasty, my primary cousin. Hes really smart and the most good-looking in our crew, ginger-haired. Hes mated as well, to a noblewoman named Adele, originally from the Adair house, one of the four big Lycan families that rule in Germania. She moved here some years back to be together. Although a nobleman, he chose to remain a warrior at my side.

Karl is the youngest, only just passed the tests to join the big boys league. Hes impetuous, loud, but has a mind for strategy and raw force. He resembles my brother very much, which is why I took a liking to him immediately.

” Raise ! ” I paced in front of them, grinning. ” I expected nothing less. Listen up! I received a threat note, which I assumed was sent from the hunters. They kidnapped your Luna, my mate and they were holding her in the West clearing of Habicht Forest ”.

” Were? ”, asked Fritz growling, arms crossed over his chest.

” It seems she managed to escape and shes heading to the Northern Gates. Im not sure what to expect, but we need to reach her before they do ! ”. They all took a step forward, showing their fangs, fists clenched, clearly ready for the fight. They needed no more information, all trusting me with their lives. I nodded and stormed the packhouse, changing into our wolves.

My beast thanked the Moon Goddess for finally taking control. He rawred while sprinting faster than the others. We could only imagine sinking our teeth into those **ers that hurt my fair-haired lass. We ran faster than the wind, the woods around transforming into a blur of shades and colors. All sorts of thoughts crossed my mind while running, like ” How did they find her? How did she manage to escape? Was she a Lycan? Was she one of them…? Would she hate us if she was indeed a hunter ? ”. I growled angry, not wanting to think about that, but I was thought to observe all the possibilities and aspects of a situation. Being a future Alpha came with a lot of learning and responsibilities. Whatever she was we will be by her side, if she wanted us to.

As we were nearing the place Nyx located with his spell, I caught a trace of her scent. Once you sense your mate for the first time, you never forget it. I would be able to find her always. My heart jumped like crazy and somehow I managed to run even faster. ”Get ready! We are close. I can smell her ”, my wolf ordered the others through the Link. They growled in response. I followed the trail, scanning the area closely, trying to catch the slightest sign of a surprise attack.

” We should split up, cover more ground ”, said Karl, pointing with his snout at the other way.

” Fine. Take Uwe with you and let me know what you find. Horst, Fritz, with me! ”, I commanded, the three of us heading in the opposite direction. We circled fast the area on both sides, until, from the depth of a small clearing, I heard a clash of weapons and screams of pain. My whole body tensed in horror, as I sprinted there without a plan or second thoughts. All four of us converged in the meadow at the same time.

And there she was. Panting, covered in blood, with two silver daggers in her hands, slashing her opponent down, as he intended to strike her. Two others were dead at her feet, guts splattered. She managed to put down all three hunters on her own. I was both impressed and worried. Between the tree branches, a morning ray of sun crept, shining on her pearlescent white skin and golden long hair. A deep red cloak surrounded her small shoulders, falling like waves on the snow-covered ground. On her knee, she had a metal wolf head as armor, which was so badass. She looked exhausted but remained in a fighting stance, cheeks flushed, blood drops dripping from her blades. My wolf purred in approval, as her lavender and citrus scent hit us. She was perfect. She was all mine!

When she noticed our presence, her beautiful eyes widened and her breath caught in shock. I could hear her heart drumming in fear and all I wanted to do is reassure her. I took a step forward, wanting to get closer. Her body tensed instantly, moving backward slowly.

” Good doggy! ” I heard her say. I would have laughed hard if I was in my human form. My men howled, amused as well. But all they managed to do was scare her further. I could see it on her face, trying to decide if she should run or fight. Being too tired for either of that, she stood no chance against all of us and she knew it. Still, she wasn going down without a fight. She gritted her teeth, squeezing her weapons. She looked fierce and I **ing loved that.

” Come and get a piece of me, furry **er! ”, my mate yelled with courage. I wasn sure if I was amused or angry by the way she spoke to me. So, I started running towards her excited, changing in my human skin at the same time. I ended up right in front of her, butt naked and muddy. We were inches away from each other. She gulped and froze, arms dropping, mouth agape. I bent over her, our eyes meeting for the first time.

”Who are you calling a furry **er? ”

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