“That has got to be the lamest pick up line in existence” She said, still laughing at his attempt. She knew it was rude to laugh at him but it had just struck her as hilarious. He held his hands out to the side, smiling “I think I’m going to plead I was trying to make you laugh”
“riiight” She said as she wiped at her damp eyes then continued “You are one persistent guy, I have to give you that”
“I don’t give up, I hate to say it but I might have to resort to plan z if plan w through y doesn’t win you over”
“What? What’s plan Z?” she was amused and had to know more. “to just kidnap you, you know, tie you to a chair and have a date with you” She laughed again “Oh my gosh, you are a mess, you know that?”
“what’s the harm in one date?” He noticed a small frown, that happy demeanor going away. “what was wrong with one date?” she thought sadly to herself and answered it in her own head “My parents have already promised me away when I’m 21 and he refuses to let them go back on the deal” Somtimes Frona just wished her parents had let her die as a newborn. Death was better than having to spend eternity with a man she didn’t want to.
“Frona, if you really don’t want to then I’ll stop asking.” Alois didn’t want to trouble her if she truly hated the idea of dating him.
“It’s not that.” She said with a sad little sigh. “We just shouldn’t, it’ll only cause trouble.”
He reached out and took her hand. “I’m not worried about them, you’re an adult. Just one date and then I’ll never ask again.”
Frona looked up into those beautiful brown eyes, wishing he wasn’t looking at her like she was his whole world. He would only receive a broken heart in the end. “Alois, I…I want too, but…” He looked so hopeful and she let out another sigh. “It would be selfish of me.”
“Then be selfish, just this once.”
“Alois, I don’t want you hurt or your heart broken” He gave her a half smile and tucked some hair behind her ear “You just let me worry about that okay? I am irresistibly drawn to you. Even one date would make my heart soar. Please, if I get my heart broken you warned me okay?” She stared into those brown eyes for a long time as she thought and worried. She wanted to date him so badly. He had been so charming and even when his pick up lines were cheesy they were either adorable or hilarious. “Okay, what would you like to do?” He looked so relieved she said yes she felt her heart tremble. “I say lets start with lunch tomorrow and see where that goes. Let me give you my number then you can text me so I’ll have yours”
She typed it into her phone then sent him a quick message so he’d have her number and he gave her a hug, making her heart dance a little at how genuinely happy he was he was going to get a date with her. “Should I meet you somewhere then?” She asked when he let her go.
“How about right here?”
“Alright, I’ll see you tomorrow then.”
“Thank you so much, Frona.”
She stood there as he walked off, feeling sad and happy at the same time. She wondered what her friends would say if they knew she was going to go out with him. He was so sweet. A part of her knew she should take his advice and be selfish. She had two years left, two years to be something more than the girl who was promised to some jerk. She sighed, not knowing how she was going to tell Alois. She didn’t want to hurt him.
Frona walked home with her small bag from one of her favorite clothing stores. She was excited to show her mother but her excitement faded when she came inside and her mother was crying. She could tell it was pissed off crying and she had to know what happened. That was one interesting thing about her mother, she cried when she was pissed. Frona didn’t know anybody else like that. “what’s wrong mom?”
“Midus came over today while you were out. He wanted to know why you hadn’t spoken to him in weeks and demanded to know where you were today”
“I”m” her mother held up a finger, not wanting to hear her daughter say she was sorry “do not be sorry. For the love of god you have to move in with him in two years. You don’t belong to him yet though he feels like you do.”
“did he hurt you mom?”
“Frona, I’m fine”
“so he did then, you should have told him where I was”
“No, your father and I have already done enough to you” Now the tears were turning sad so Frona went to hug her. She had never been angry at them. Midus had taken advantage of grieving parents. They hadn’t been in their right mind when they agreed to what they agreed to. Plus, she knew they had never thought he would actually force the deal if Frona decided she didn’t want him. He had supposedly been their friend, why would they have thought he would do such a thing. “I’ll call him when I get upstairs momma” She sat with her mom until her dad got home from work then went up to her room and closed the door.
She sat her bag down and angrily called him “There you are” he was angry again too. “Yes”
“drop the attitude Frona”
“after you bullied my mom?”
“You haven’t called me or come over in some time and when we talked two weeks ago it was only because I called you”
“Why the hell would I call you? I resent you more and more as each year passes. I hate you, do you understand that?”
“That will change once you’re living with me and my pack”
“You know what’s disturbing to me? The fact you actually seem to believe that”
“I have money, what more could a woman want?” She shook as she gripped the phone. “Look, I will come over once a week if you leave my mother alone. Stop it, you’re bullying of her needs to stop”
“If you call me twice a week on top of that”
“Frona, you make this harder than it has to be. You’re being too stubborn”
“It’s not me with the problem Midus”
“Never touch my mother again.” She hung up before he could say more, knowing she would start yelling if she didn’t. He could be pissed off at her all he wanted, but laying hands on either of her parents was crossing the line. Her phone vibrated and she nearly threw it until she saw it was a message from Alois. It said, “Where something comfortable tomorrow, I just had an idea.” She felt her heart dance a little as she replied with an okay then sat her phone down. She had two years and just because Midus insisted on being part of that two years didn’t mean she couldn’t live a little. She refused to let Midus be any of her firsts, she would rather tie bricks to her ankles and jump in a lake. She sighed as she headed back downstairs to check on her mother.
“I’m sorry Frona.” She said.
“Everything’s okay now, I handled it.”
“But you shouldn’t have to.” Her father replied. “We’ve put such a burden on you, we’re just as bad as…”
“Don’t you ever say that daddy.” She hugged her father. “You are both such wonderful parents so please never compare yourself to him.”
They both looked so heartbroken so she said “why don’t we play some board games while we watch some comedys. I want to watch The Jerk”
“alright, you and your mother get some out of the game closet while I grab some DVD’s” Frona and Mahalia pulled out exploding kittens to play first, it was one of Frona’s favorites. When her father started the movie they played a few rounds then switched to Furt. It was an amazing evening and Frona only went to bed when she did because she didn’t want to be tired tomorrow while out with Alois. “I’ll be leaving for the day around lunch tomorrow” she said as she hugged her dad “have fun, do you need any money?”
“I have plenty dad” His face told her there was so much he wanted to say but he didn’t want to be a broken record. Once she had told them both goodnight she went to her room and hungup her new clothes before plugging her phone in and going to sleep. Lunch couldn’t come fast enough the next day and her actual happiness didn’t go unnoticed by her mother. She didn’t ask, she just enjoyed seeing her daughter happy. It was her habbit not to ask anyway. Mahalia felt the less she knew about how her daughter spent her time the better for when Midus or his pack came bothering her about her daughter.
Alois was waiting for her when she arrived at their meeting spot and he just stared at her for a moment, his eyes shining with amazement. “Do I look bad or something?” She asked and he smiled.
“God no, you’re so beautiful.” He answered and she felt butterflies brush her insides.
“I’m not even dressed that nice.”
“I disagree, you look amazing.” He held out his hand. “May I hold your hand?”
She hesitated for only a moment before letting her hand slip into his. Her heart gave a little leap when he kissed her knuckles before pulling her away. “Where are we going?”
“I decided a picnic would be perfect, but we have to hike a short ways. I hope that’s okay.”
“Of course, sounds fantastic.”
“You’ll like it, it’s a beautiful place.”
She smiled at him, looking even more radiant somehow. He wanted to pull her a little closer as they walked but this was their first date. It had taken him so long to earn it he didn’t want to risk making her uncomfortable. “so, you’re a wolf right?”
“do you have a pack?” Midus’s pack was the only one she knew of and he wouldn’t have dared flirting with her if he was a part of his pack. “Sort of I suppose. If we went back to where I lived as a child our old pack would welcome us with open arms. They told us when we moved we’d always be one of them. My parents just wanted to live here and they would have joined the pack here but they didn’t like them, said they brought shame to wolves. I can’t remember my parents ever being so repulsed.”
“Yeah, they are a bunch of pricks. I’m glad your family is better than that”
“You’ve had trouble with them?”
“You could say that” she said a bit nervously. “well listen, my parents and I can call on our old pack if it;s ever needed. Don’t be afraid of them. I know it might be a bit invasive but I can’t tune down my senses that well. You’re pretty tense when it comes to them.”
“Thank you” She felt hope for just a second but thought better of it. She couldn’t drag him, his family and their pack into this mess. Midus and his pack killed unrepentantly, if Alois died or he lost any loved ones because of her she didn’t know if she could take it. He was obviously a warm hearted, kind man and she didn’t feel her life was worth the risk of his.
Their walk soon had them in the woods and heading up hill. It wasn’t so bad and he slowed his pace to make sure she was okay. “I’ve never been up here.” She said as she admired the scenery.
“Then I’m really happy I’m the first to bring you here.” He smiled sweetly at her and she had to look away as a blush tinted her cheeks. “Are you doing alright?”
“You’re so sweet, I’m fine.”
“I can carry you.”
“You don’t have too, I’m good.”
“Alright, but I wouldn’t mind so if you get tired let me know.”
“How’s a guy like you single?”
“I could ask you the same question” He felt sadness from her again and he wished he knew what plagued her so. It wasn’t like he normally enjoyed people being unhappy or anything but every time he sensed sadness from her it bothered him to his core. He spoke again, hoping to make her smile with a bit of honesty “To be honest with you Frona I’ve just never had any interest in a woman until I saw you. My brother teases me, says I’m gay and I don’t know it but what I feel around you, I’m definitely not gay. I just hadn’t met the right woman yet. You were very worth the chase and I am glad you came with me today”
“so you were having gay thoughts?” she teased and he huffed “No” she laughed and his heart warmed again, there she was, the beautiful, happy Frona he so admired.”To be serious that’s really sweet Alois. You haven’t mentioned a brother yet. Do you two get along?”
“Yeah, I mean we butt heads a lot but no more than any other brothers.”
“Any other siblings?”
“I think my mom is experiencing that empty nest thing. I’m pretty sure her and dad are trying for another”
“Do you want another brother?” He shrugged “Either would be good. I don’t think my mom cares either”
“I don’t have siblings, you’re lucky.”
“I…well I was stillborn, so I guess my parents probably didn’t want to go through that again. I guess I’m the miracle baby.”
He stopped and hugged her. “Are you serious, Frona?”
“I can’t believe I almost never knew you.” He pulled back and took her face in his hands. “I’m so happy you lived.”
Her heart skipped a beat. “Me too.” She had never been grateful for not dying, but Alois’s sweet words touched her.
“We’re nearly there, come on.” He took her hand again, holding it a little tighter as he thought about a world without her in it. It made his heart ache knowing he had come that close to never meeting her.
When they got to where he was taking her she smiled, actually feeling a bit emotional. “this is gorgeous and so thoughtful Alois. You’re…I haven’t had a man be so good to me”
“I just took you somewhere pretty to eat with me. You must have met some real horses ass’s before me” They set up the picnic and began to enjoy “amazing”
“I’m glad you like it Frona”
“so..if I may ask, how are you living?” He felt her get uncomfortable again and said “you don’t have to answer” she sighed, she should just tell him the truth. She couldn’t keep swerving around the elephant in the room. “Alois, the truth is” she paused, struggling to tell him. It felt so demeaning to tell anybody she was promised to a man, that she had to marry him even though she hated him.
Alois moved closer, sensing her distress. “It’s okay, don’t push yourself.” He reached up, tucking her hair behind her ear and letting his knuckles gently stroke her cheek. Her eyes met his and he could see sadness and anger playing there.
“I…I’m promised to the alpha of the pack here.” She finally said, feeling herself tear up.
“I…he had my parents promise to give me away before saving me. I have to go to him when I turn twenty-one.” Alois had to push down the growl that threatened to rise in his throat. How could someone make such a deal at the expense of a child. “My parents didn’t think he’d go through with it, but he was serious and now they have no choice.”
“Frona.” He hugged her and she buried her face in his shirt.
“I’m sorry, Alois.”
“For what? It’s not your fault.”
“For coming on this date with you, for…for getting your hopes up.”
“I’m happy you’re here.”
“I want to be selfish, but not at your expense.”
“You’re not being selfish.” he was having trouble containing his anger as he tried to comfort her “I’m glad you told me. He will not be forcing you to be with him. I’m going to talk to my parents and our old pack will settle this”
“Alois, he’ll kill you”
“This is what wolves do. We don’t let shit like this go on. It’s not even just me wanting to be with you, believe me that does fuel some of my anger but we wolves police eachother. We didn’t realize this pack was this level of bad. It’s disgusting and he wont have you” She started to cry, honestly afraid for him. “Hey now” he said gently and began to stroke her hair. “if you get hurt or killed by him” she couldn’t finish the sentence. “I wont let that piece of shit touch me. Come with me to my home. We’re getting this squared away and then when it’s all over I’m going to give you the date of a lifetime, you freaking deserve it”
He swept her off her feet and began running back to his car. He sat her in his passenger seat and buckled her in before going to his side and driving off. “you left your basket”
“I couldn’t care less about it right now? Has he forced you into anything yet?”
“No, he makes me talk to him and see him but he hasn’t..welll.. you know” Alois gripped the wheel “good, he’ll be thanking the gods he didn’t” He banged on his parents door and his mother answered, looking concerned “what’s wrong? Why are you knocking like that?”
“We have a problem.” He pulled Frona inside and his mother followed after closing the door. “Is dad here?”
“Yeah, he’s out back.” She went to get her husband while Alois sat with Frona on the couch.
“Please don’t do this, I don’t want anyone getting hurt over me.” She said.
“It’s okay, Frona, I’m not letting you be roped into being forcefully mated with someone.” He hugged her, pressing a kiss to her forehead and lovingly rubbing her back. When his parents came back and had settled down, he explained what was going on with Frona and the leader of the local pack.
“That’s out of hand for any pack. You can’t just force mates.” Fate said, his fists clenched. “We won’t let him have you.”
“He’ll hurt you.”
“Alois, you know the rules, you know what has to be done.”
“I’ll challenge him once you get the pack here.”
Frona looked terrified so Alois’s mother, Ivah, moved closer to Frona “Our old pack is strong and my son, though he is young is fierce. I am very proud of him. As his mother who loves him with every bit of my soul I am not afraid of him challenging that revolting wolf I met when we first moved here. Alois and our old pack will win and you’ll be free, I’m so confident I promise you it will all be okay and you can be with whomever you choose”” Fate walked over to their house phone and began making calls.
To distract Frona, Ivah kept talking “so, my son has talked about you a few times I think Frona. He’s been trying to get your attention for some time”
“Yeah, I’ve always liked him…I just didn’t think it was fair to go out on a date knowing I have to marry Midus”
“well it’s nice to meet you. Well have to actually do something fun together after this”
“Thank you all so much” She sat with them a few more minuets then decided to call her parents. They needed to know what was about to happen. Her dad was working so she dialed her mom first. “Yes baby?” Mahalia answered.
“I just wanted to call and tell you that I’m not going to be mates with Midus. There’s someone else, Alois, he’s going to help me so I don’t have to.” She swallowed as she felt a lump forming in her throat. “I’m sorry if it causes you trouble, but I just can’t do it.”
“It’s okay baby, are you safe?”
“Yeah, I’m at Alois’s house. His dad is calling their old pack so they can help. Alois said he’s going to challenge Midus for me.”
“Oh baby, I’m so sorry we brought this down on you.”
“It’s okay mom, I could never be mad at you and dad, I really understand.” She swallowed again. “Has he been by?”
“Not today, he did call though and I told him you were out.”
“I can’t believe he called even after I agreed to call him”
“I’m just glad you found help. I hope things work this time. I was heartbroken when you ran away and he found you”
“well..now I’m glad that failed. This way, if it all works out, I can be free of him and still have you and dad”
“we love you so much, can we help?”
“I don’t think so. It sounds like they need to handle it. Just stay home and safe okay. Maybe even go somewhere until I call you again. I don’t want him to get pissed and send some of his wolves to hurt you guys because he’s angry. You know he’d do that. Everything with him is about brute force and punishment if he doesn’t get his way. I think I’d feel better if you go somewhere, don’t tell anybody where okay”
“Okay honey, that probably is best”
“I love you mom, please call dad and tell him.”
“I will baby, you just stay safe.”
They hung up and she let out an exhausted sigh. “You okay?” Alois asked as he hugged her.
“I’m just tired, I really want this to go well, I don’t want you or your pack hurt and I want to be able to live, to really live. Midus is so controlling, he treats me like property. I just want a life, I want to be happy.”
“You will be, I promise. I’ll love you always, Frona, I’ll laugh with you and cry with you, I’ll give you your freedom, I swear.”
“Why me, Alois?”
“Because the wolf knows when it’s found its mate. It feels it, the other half of its heart and soul. You are my other half, Frona, my everything, my mate and I love you.”
She felt her heart do a little flip as butterflies filled her insides. “Oh Alois, god you’re so sweet”
“I’m just glad you didn’t let Midus give you a bad taste for wolves”
“That would have been pretty stupid. I mean, all the wolves around here except you guys suck but I’ve met some really nice ones online and on family vacations to other places”
“we’re hoping a few in his pack will turn on Midus when we attack. Hopefully not all of them are actually bad, simply following a bad leader”
“Maybe, I guess I really don’t know. I stay away from him as much as I can and it’s always the same wolves in his pack that come to bother us so I haven’t met them all” Fate and Ivahs old pack arrived that night and they spent the evening planning how they were going to handle tomorrow morning. They were all excited to see how much Alois and his brother Eric had grown since they last saw them. They were also happy to see Alois had found a mate and it touched Frona how much they treated her like one of them even though she had barely started her relationship with Alois and had only just met them.
Are you going to want me with you?” Frona asked as Alois got her settled in his room for the night.
“Do you want to go with me?” He sat down on the edge of the bed.
“I feel like I should, like I should be there to tell him I’m not going to be his mate. He’s been so used to me just giving in when he gets mad, I want to tell him to his face that it’s not happening.”
“Then I want you to promise you’ll stay out of our fight. I have to take him on myself.”
He leaned down and kissed her forehead. “Rest okay, I’ll be on the couch if you need me.
Frona grabbed his hand when he started to get up. “You can stay.” She felt a blush creep up her neck and into her cheeks. “I want you to hold me, I think I’d sleep better.”
Alois smiled, feeling glad she was inviting him to stay. He crawled into bed with her and blissfully faded to sleep. It had taken him so long to get her to talk to him and in the course of a day he managed to get her in his arms. The next morning Ivah and a few of the other pack members made a huge breakfast, wanting their wolves as strong as possible. It should only be a fight between Alois and Midus but it was better to be prepared for the wolves not accepting Alois as the new leader. With all the wolves full and ready they left, letting Alois and his family take the lead.
Frona started out running with them but they became so fast she had to start flying to keep up. Alois hadn’t paced them for her to run because he already knew she was half fairy and could fly to keep up. A patrol stopped the large group. “Frona, why have you brought these wolves to our home? Are you betraying our leader?”
“I’m not betraying him. I never swore myself to him. He claimed me as a baby after he took advanatge of grieving parents. He knows I hate him. I’ve told him nearly every time we’ve talked. If this comes as a surprise he’s a moron” They growled at her and Alois and his father growled back.
“Stand down, I have come to challenge your alpha, if you get in my way, we will use force.” Alois said, moving closer to the male so they were nearly nose to nose. He stared into his eyes, unwavering and the male must have seen or sensed something because he moved aside. Fate bared his teeth as they followed Alois and Frona forward, making the wolf look at his feet.
“What was that?” Frona asked.
“His display of dominance failed is all. Looking away is a sign of weakness, he thought to scare me.”
“I didn’t think any of them could be intimidated.”
“Midus has given them a false sense of power. A bad alpha makes a bad pack.” He took Frona’s hand. “I didn’t scare you did I?”
“No, it was just surprising and amazing. I was so worried, but you didn’t even flinch.”
They slowed once they arrived and Midus came out right away “Frona” he growled. For once in her life he didn’t scare her. It actually surprised her how unintimidating he was standing with Alois and his old pack. Alois growled and stepped in front of her “leave her alone. I’ve come to challenge you” Midus growled “First you insult me as a young girl and try to break your parents bond then you rub salt in it when you tried to run away to another world, actually thinking I wouldn’t be able to hunt you down and now NOW you run to another pack. You thought you were in a world of misery when I punished you for running away, just you wait until I get these mutts out of my territory. I’ll put you in your place for good this time Frona”
“Fuck you Midus” she spat and he shifted. Alois shifted aswell and all the wolves, including Midus’s gave the two alphas space to fight it out. Ivah took Frona’s hand “it’s going to be okay. No matter what happens he wont be hurting you Frona”
Though Midus was alpha of his pack and the older of the two, Alois was far more nimble. He used his speed to his advantage, rushing in and doing damage before jumping out of reach of Midus’s sharp teeth. He was also calmer than Midus. Frona gripped tightly to her mother’s hand as she nervously watched them, fearing that Midus would get ahold of Alois at any moment.
Blood loss is what finally weakened Midus and had him swaying as he growled and snapped at Alois. Alois jumped back and went low then pushed himself forward, his teeth wrapping around Midus’s throat as he slammed him back and onto the ground where he pinned him. He resisted the urge to crush his windpipe, knowing there was no way for Midus to stand in his weakened state.
Alois shifted back to human, hoping it wasn’t a mistake to let Midus live, hoping he wouldn’t just try to enslave a new mate and make a new pack elsewhere.”This is my pack now and I suggest you” he looked up to continue “and anybody else who approved of his ways to get out with him. In my pack your mates are your equals. They will not be your slaves, there will be no forcing of mates period. We will be a peaceful pack and I won’t hear of any wolves in my pack bullying anybody outside or inside the pack. Do I make myself clear. A few men walked over and picked up Midus and a few others followed them away. Alois was surprised at how many stayed. He knew it would be an uphill battle because he was sure this pack had given wolves a bad reputation here but he planned to make peace with everyone and make it so nobody here feared the pack unless they were wicked.
He walked over and took Frona’s hand, guiding her back out into the center “This is my mate, my equal. She is your alpha as am I.” The wolves howled and Alois’s old pack howled along. Fate’s pack stayed until Alois knew all the wolves and had already begun his effort to heal the towns relationship with the pack. Before they all left they threw a celebration of the new and he was toasted by many about how proud they were of him.
“I can believe everything went so, well smooth.” Frona said as she walked hand in hand with Alois one night.
“The power of love.” Alois said with a wink.
“Oh stop, you were just a better fighter.”
“Loving you gave me the determination not to lose. I wasn’t going to let him force himself on you, he’s lucky I didn’t kill him.”
“Why didn’t you?”
“I was trying to be fair. He was down and he stayed down so I let him go, plus you were standing there and the idea of killing someone in front of you didn’t set well with me.”
“You’re really too sweet.”
“It’s easy when it’s you.” He came to a stop and pulled her into his arms, smiling lovingly at her. “Would you consider marrying me? I know we’re already mates and for wolves that’s just as good as marriage, but I thought maybe you’d like to have a ceremony for you and your family.” He tucked some hair behind her ear. “Even if you say no, I’ll still be your mate so don’t feel pressured.”
Without a moment of hesitation she answered “I’d love that Alois. I know my parents would too” He smiled happily then kissed her “I want you to be happy, plan it however you want it.”
“You’re so perfect Alois…I just…I would have never thought my life would end up so happy. Thank you”
“Thank you for giving me a chance and letting me love and protect you Frona. As long as I live you’ll be happy and safe from harm” Frona felt near overwhelming happiness fill her entire being as she looked into her wolfs eyes. She loved Alois beyond expression and she hoped he would always adore her this much.
~ The End