Fearless Human Mate
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After many years have passed since the Century War between humans and other species, times seem to be getting better. The world has even seen the first inter-species birth between humans and werewolves. Since then more have come to terms with living peacefully side by side, while others believe things should go back to where the species were segregated. Xenia Bakken is just a baker who wants to run her own business one day and work with her best friend, Lottie. Everything changes when a chance encounter turns into a kidnapping. Now she is thrown into a world she doesn't want to be in and has to adapt to survive. Mason Dalton, Alpha of a mysterious pack, only has one goal: to bring back his first mate, Melania. He would do anything to make sure his plans are successful, so when he meets the perfect person to help he acts without hesitation. However, he discovers his perfect vessel is unwilling to give up without a fight. The attraction between the two is stronger than they both realize and will test them to their limits. With a quick deadline and people searching for them all over, will Mason be able to reunite with his love or will Xenia gather the strength needed to get away?
The sound of church bells rang in the distance, signifying the moon had reached the highest point in the sky. Occasionally, thunder rumbled in the distance, foretelling the coming storm, but that didn't bother Mason. He had to be here. He had to see this through by her request. He stood with his brother, Micah, and the members of the Elder Werewolves stood in the center of the Nexus, a sacred ground for the Moon Goddess's worshippers. The gravel aisle led up to a raised circular concrete stage, and in the middle of the circle, chained to a metal spike, was Melania.
Behind her were four others kneeling on the ground, weeping about their current predicament. Although she had been a prisoner for months, she looked pristine, untouched by the filth surrounding her in the dungeons. Her clothes looked newly pressed, her hair brushed into smooth waves draping over her shoulders, and her face glimmered as if she was dusted by starlight. At least it looked that way to Mason, who could tell his brother felt the same. So why was she still here, Mason wondered.
One of the elders stepped forward in front of Melania. She didn't pay him any mind but kept her gaze on her mates instead.
"Melania Grayfur, you have been charged with treason for the attempted murder of the Alpha King, theft of an ancient artifact, and unlawful practice of creation magic. Do you deny these charges?"
"I'll answer with commentary," she said sweetly. "I did not commit treason. If I wanted my cousin dead, he would've been," she said, smiling at the Alpha King. "I didn't steal anything that wasn't mine by birthright, and the unlawful practice is...debatable. I'm only carrying out what the Moon Goddess wants. Why else would she create the Moonstone if she didn't want us to use it."
"Do you jest now, girl? Do you not see the danger in your actions? You are not the Moon Goddess. You do not force creations onto this world," the Elder werewolf said disgustingly to her.
"I am her daughter," Melania snapped at him, "and closer to her than any of you could ever wish to be."
The Elder werewolf shook his head. "You are nothing if not misguided, girl. For that, you must be punished."
"Do your worst, old man."
The Elder werewolf growled at her. "Death by beheading."
The smile on her face was something Mason couldn't forget. It was as if she knew something that he didn't. He desperately wished she would tell him.
The Elder werewolf turned towards the other four behind Melania, citing their atrocities. At the same time, she returned her gaze to her mates, more specifically, Micah. The one who helped in her capture. A part of her was surprised, and mostly in part that she fell for his trap. Playing on her feelings for him and pretending to want to come back to her side. It was a big slap to the face. Though it was impressive and made her want him even more.
"We should do something," Mason whispered to his brother. "She is our mate, Micah."
Micah gave his brother a warning glare. Ever since she was imprisoned, Mason had been fighting to get her out, but Micah knew it was a lost cause. If not for his loyalty to the Alpha King, Mason would be standing on the chopping block with Melania and her followers.
"Not anymore," Micah said to him. "Besides, we did all we could, Mason. She's beyond our help."
"Of course, you feel that way," Mason said. "I wouldn't be surprised if you ever loved her."
Micah clenched his jaw and bit back his retort. The problem was he loved her too much and blinded himself to see the ugly thing growing inside her. Micah knew he couldn't stay bonded to her when they found out what she was up to. He knew he wouldn't be able to let her go if he didn't. He tried to get his brother to reject her, but Mason was weak and feeble-minded. It was a lost cause from the moment they met her.
Mason felt disgusted by his brother's lack of retort. He couldn't understand why Micah would reject her. She was perfect. She was their mate, a gift from the Moon Goddess. He knew from the moment they met he would do anything for her. He would've stood beside her, but she wouldn't allow it. Saying that there was more for him to do.
Apparently, it was still a secret, but he trusted her and played his part as the feeble brother. Still, it was hard seeing her like this with nothing to do. Since it was broken, he couldn't even speak with her through their bond. He felt hopeless.
Melania and the prisoners were brought to their knees. The executioner stood behind them with the most enormous axe Mason had ever seen. The blade was definitely pure silver as the moonlight reflected off it. Melania was the first to be pulled forward. As her head lowered, she took one last look at her mates, wishing she could speak to them.
"I will see you soon," she whispered with a smile before closing her eyes.
"No," Mason whispered while taking a step forward. Micah caught his arm to stop him, but Mason pushed him away.
"Don't, Mason," Micah's calm voice pleaded with him. "It has to be done."
Mason glared at him and wondered how he could be so calm in letting her be killed. Finally, Mason yanked himself free of his brother's grasp. They stared at each other for a long moment before the sound of metal hitting the ground made Mason turn back.
Thunder spread across the sky above them as if the Goddess herself was protesting. Mason went limp and fell to his knees. Even without the bond, tiny pin needles were attacking his heart. His breath came out ragged and short as he watched Melania's head roll to a stop only a few feet away. Her eyes and mouth were opened, leaving her frozen in shock. He could feel his brother pulling him back, trying to block his gaze, but Mason could never forget that image. He could never forget her face.
A beautiful woman stood naked in front of a mirror. The only light was from a lonely candle carved with a single symbol and a glow from a crystal hanging around her neck. In front of her stood a tall oval mirror that did not show her reflection. Instead, the mirror was filled with smoke that she couldn't touch.
"Hurry before she's fully gone," she commanded as a more petite woman rushed to her side. The petite woman knelt before her, holding up two small crystal globes. Words were spoken, and the globes filled with darkness before revealing an eye.
She whispered the name repeatedly while holding the knife in her hand. She pricked a fingertip and drew a similar symbol on the mirror. It glowed the moment her blood touched the mirror. Her blood swirled and mixed with the smoke, then the mirror went black. There was no image, no blood, no anything. She grabbed the mirror's edges, desperately searching for the one thing she wanted.
"It's not working," she panicked. "Why isn't it working," she growled at the petite woman, who shrank away from her.
"Place the globes in the mirror," the scared woman said meekly.
The woman looked at the tiny globes. The one thing holding what's left of Melania. The globes swirled with the souls of Melania and her werewolf, Nova. She didn't think this would be so hard. But, this is the way she wanted, the woman reminded herself.
She stepped close to the mirror and, with little hesitation, placed the globes onto the surface. She waited a moment before the mirror absorbed the globes from her hand. Then, after a few moments, an image slowly appeared in the darkness. A white werewolf was curled into a ball. Her fur shook as if she was cold.
The werewolf lifted her head at the sound of her name. She looked confused, looking around at her surroundings.
"I...I shouldn't be here," Nova said with confusion.
"You're right. We should be out there," Melania said, appearing from behind Nova's body. Her hand soothed the wound around her neck as she moved closer to the mirror. "You were cutting it quite close there, Lillian," Melania snapped, causing Lillian to wince at her tone. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth. "Pun intended."
"Getting both of your souls was…taxing," Lillian explained, glancing at the bodies they had to sacrifice for the spell to work. "I'm sorry-"
"I'm over it," Melania interrupted. "I can never stay mad at you for too long, my Lillypad."
Melania caressed the mirror, and Lillian closed her eyes as the ghost of Melania's fingers traveled down her body. A moan escaped her mouth just as a slight growl could be heard behind her. Lillian's eyes opened with quickness and snapped at the petite woman, who quickly averted her eyes to the ground.
"We have little time and much to do," Melania said. "The Red Moon is coming, and I want everything ready for my return."
Mason's body reacted faster than his mind could process. The moment the woman glanced back at him, her eyes widened, and he could see her eyes much clearer now.
The color was even more impressive, like a glass of champagne. Mason knew she was going to fall when she looked over her shoulders. He quickly moved through the tables and caught her before she hit the ground. Wrong move. The smell of winter blossoms invaded his nostrils as he pulled her hard against his chest. Rodin, his werewolf, stirred happily in his mind. This must mean she's my…
"Mate," Rodin said in the back of his mind.
Mason nearly pushed her away the moment Rodin said those words. His second chance mate was right in front of him. Of course, he would meet her now. It was like fate telling him everything was coming together.
"Hey, what was that for," she said, looking up at him with her hands on her hips. "I didn't need your help in the
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