His clothes were beginning to feel too tight, his skin sensitive with the need to phase. In response, he hastily pulled his shirt over his head and tossed it on the floor. As he made another pass from one end of the room to the other, he crossed in front of the bathroom mirror of the hotel room. He froze.

His was skin tingling on the right side of his back and neck and down the back of his right arm. My markings, he thought to himself.

Sorin slowly turned, looking over his shoulder at his back in the mirror. His breathing halted as he watched the markings on his skin – which had been there since puberty – change before his eyes. They were already elaborate because of his position in the pack, but now that he had found his mate they were even more ornate.

The black swirls and lines climbed from below the waistband of his jeans up to the back of his neck, right at his hairline. Then they swirled down and slid over his tricep and elbow, continuing around to the inside of his arm to his wrist. The markings never moved to the front of his body because, though he was dominant, he was not an Alpha.

Even after the markings finished changing, he simply stared over his shoulder. When Elle fled, Sorin had thought that maybe he was mistaken about her, maybe his wolf was mistaken and she wasn’t their mate, but now he had no doubt. She was his. After 135 years of waiting, 135 years of the darkness consuming him piece by piece, finally he had found her, only to lose her in an instant.

Sorin snarled, unable to hold it in. Decebel was able to keep him from phasing and had given him the command to stay in his room, but his wolf and even the man was fighting it. She was out there, without him. Unprotected.  A Fae.

How was it even possible that a Fae could be his mate? He knew that she could hold her own in a fight, but he was still beyond worried about her.  Where had she gone?  Elle’s strength aside, the point was that she was his mate. She belonged by his side, under his protection.

Sorin stopped in his tracks and closed his eyes, searching for calm and control. He remembered the scent he had caught when she walked into the bar. She had smelled like raspberries and morning dew. It was the most alluring thing he had ever smelled. And as he thought of it he ached for her.

“Elle,” he whispered into the empty room. Why did she run? Had she felt threatened? Did she fear him?

Peri stepped into the room, Jen and Decebel at her heels.

The Fae took a seat on the end of one of the double beds. She knew it would help placate Sorin’s wolf if she kept herself lower than him. Jen started to sit but Decebel wrapped an arm around her waist and pulled her against him.

“If you sit, you are telling his wolf that he is dominant over you.  You are my mate, therefore, you are Alpha to him. You have to always be thinking of these things, baby. You become easy prey to anyone who might use your ignorance against you.”

Jen didn’t respond, but let him know she understood what he was telling her. She was glad for the information and glad that Decebel was patient in teaching her things that she should know as an Alpha female, but still didn’t understand because of her newness to this world.

“We need to talk,” Peri said calmly.

Sorin snorted, so un-Sorin like. “You think?”

Go Sorin, Jen thought. Getting some attitude, sticking it to the man.

“Jennifer,” Decebel chastised.

“Sorry, I forget you like to listen to my inner dialogue.”

“How is it possible that a Fae is my mate?” Sorin asked through clenched teeth.

“Well, it’s a new development.”

Sorin waited for Peri to continue.

“Wadim approached Vasile only days ago to tell him the Great Luna had come to him in a dream.” Peri went on to explain everything. While she was speaking, the room grew eerily still.

As soon as she finished, everyone waited for Sorin’s response. Jen beat him to it.

“Shut. Up.”

Decebel stood in shocked silence.

“The Great Luna made this possible?” Sorin asked in awe.

“She has seen how you have struggled as a species, how you have fought amongst yourselves, and now how Vasile and Decebel are trying to unite the packs again. She knows that her wolves are stronger with mates; she knows my people are at the best of times selfish, and at the worst of times complete asses. The Fae have grown complacent in their world behind the veil, uncaring for the needs of other supernaturals. She has created a way to help both species.

“Even though we Fae can tend to be reluctant to assist others' battles, we will not leave one of our own to fend for themselves. Hence, if a Fae is mated to a Canis lupis and that Fae comes under attack, then the entire Fae race will step up to aid the Canis lupis.”

Sorin walked over to the window of the hotel room. He stared out into the darkness, darkness that he had related to for so long. Now, for the first time in his life, he felt a small sliver of light breaking through, just from seeing her face. In her presence he had felt some relief from the struggle that life had become. His wolf was constantly restless, looking forward to the next hunt, the next battle.

“Where is she?” he asked Peri without turning around.

“At the veil that passes into our realm.”

Sorin closed his eyes, reaching out with his mind, searching for the mental bond. Nothing. Turning back around, he pinned Peri with eyes so light brown they looked like glass. They glowed as he spoke and the intensity in his voice seemed to make the temperature in the room drop.

“I need to see her. I need to know she is safe. I need her by my side.” Sorin’s voice was becoming more of a growl as he spoke.

Decebel stepped forward.“We will get her back, Sorin. I need you to stay calm and keep a clear head.”

Jen had never seen Sorin so out of sorts.  It was very disconcerting to see someone who was usually so calm and collected begin to unravel. It just proved again how important a male’s mate was to him.

“Give me some time, Sorin,” said Peri. “I will go speak with her. But you need to be patient. This is not the way of our people. She will not understand the intensity of your feelings, nor will she understand your possessive nature. Please understand.”

Sorin interrupted her, and though Jen had never heard Sorin yell, she knew she never wanted to hear it again.

“STOP!” The tension in the room was unbelievable. “Bring her back, Perizada. Just bring her back.”

Jen was impressed that Peri didn’t flinch under Sorin’s unwavering glare.

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