Chapter 39 - Reece-Azure River Pack
It was a bit after nine when I pulled the car to a stop outside the Azure River Pack Alpha House. It was the house that my cousin Riley had been raised in and lived in still. Like me, he took charge of his pack seven years ago, we both lost our fathers in the same battle. He was lucky enough to still have the former Luna, his mother, there to help him transition into the role. My Aunt was stronger than my mother, that or my mother just loved my father more and his loss was harder on her.
I had no sooner shut off the engine than Riley came running out of the house.
"Reece!" He yelled, giving me a bear hug like he's always done since we were kids. He's two years older than me but you'd never know it based on the way he acts.
"Hey Ri." I smiled hugging him back. He was my best friend growing up. Between the two of us, we convinced our fathers to make monthly visits just so we could spend more time with one another. But that was in a simpler time.
"So, where is this new sister of mine?" He asked just as Little Bunny was getting out of the car without waiting for anyone to open her door. I should work on training her too. She needed to wait for someone to open doors for her, pull out her chair, things like that. That wasn't me being chivalrous. No, she's the Luna now, people need to treat her a certain way, and she needs to learn to let them.
I walked around the car and slipped my arm around her shoulders, putting a smile on my face as I did so. I hoped she would understand my gesture as me saying Play along Little Bunny.
"Riley, this is my mate, Trinity." I smiled down at her. She was smiling sweetly at Riley and playing the ever devoted and loving mate properly as she had slid her arms around my waist hugging me gently but firmly. My wolf was standing at attention, panting in my ears just from her touch. Down boy. I snapped at him and told him to calm down.
"It's a pleasure to meet you Trinity, I'm Riley, the Alpha of the Azure River pack and Reece's cousin. But I've always considered him to be more like a brother, since we were both only children, he was the closest thing I had to a brother." Riley introduced himself with a big grin.
"Hello, it's wonderful to meet you." She smiled brightly, the light of which looked like it nearly blinded Riley.
"She's absolutely gorgeous Reece, I have absolutely no clue what she sees in you." He said pointedly. To my horror Little Bunny laughed at his remark which set Riley laughing hysterically. "Oh, she's going to be fun. Shall we go inside so I can introduce you to everyone?" He held out a hand to her. She slid her hands off of me and took his hand instead as they started walking. My wolf and I both growled simultaneously.
Without thinking much about it, I reached out and took her hand from his and held it firmly in my own. To lock her in place I put my arm around her shoulder. She was my mate, she was supposed to hold my hand, not his. She looked up at me perplexed while Riley just laughed at us both.
"Look at you, being all jealous, I never thought I'd see the day." He smiled at me. I wasn't jealous, I just had to put on all appearances. "I'm not jealous." I grumbled. "Not of you, that's for sure." Little Bunny was still looking confused and unsure of the situation, but she didn't fight me off, good.
When we got inside I nearly roared. I did growl low under my breath. Riley had done something he shouldn't have. He had gathered a large number of his pack members in the house, and the moment we went inside confetti was dropped and shouts and cheers rang out.
"Way to go Reece!"
"Cheers to the happy couple!"
"To the Alpha and Luna!" I heard so many different voices yell out to me at once that it nearly gave me a headache. It did, however, piss me off.
"Allow us to celebrate with you tonight." Riley said, grinning like a fool. This explains why he had come running outside when we got here. This was an ambush, and since I was in comfortable, familiar territory I had let my guard down. Damn that meddling cousin of mine.
I saw Riley's mate coming up to him. She seemed to be expecting again. This would make his second pup. He had found his mate four years ago. According to him, he was the happiest man alive with his mate and a little one. I would never have that. That thought was depressing.
Riley's pack was smaller than my own, which is why our packs had a long-lasting treaty. They only have about one third of the pack members that we did, meaning if someone tried to invade their lands, or if they were to go to war with another pack, that pack would actually be attacking me. Riley was a good Alpha to his people, I would never doubt that, but they didn't have enough people to protect themselves. That's why we always visited as a kid, to strengthen their lands and borders. These people were also my people, making them Little Bunny's people too, something I would need to fully explain to her later.
We were forced to be the center of the party. Everyone was coming to introduce themselves to us. Everyone was eager to meet my new mate and introduce themselves to the new Luna that governed over them. I could tell that she was uncomfortable with all the attention, even though Little Bunny did good. She smiled through the whole thing and handled herself like a true Luna. She just might have what it takes to be there for the people. If only she had a wolf, then she would be strong enough to take care of herself and the pack.
It was after all the introductions were done that the low music playing was cut off and I heard Riley's voice ring out. I had a bad feeling.
"Welcome everyone and thank you for joining us in welcoming the new Luna of the Red Springs pack and my cousin Reece's new mate. I'm happy for you man. You know that I think of you as a bother, so I thank you for giving me a beautiful sister-in-law who will now grace us all with beautiful children who will hopefully call me Uncle Ri." He exclaimed, laughing. I noticed the slight blush form on my Bunny's face, it was funny what affected her and what didn't.
"Now, I would like to ask you to grant a selfish request of mine. I was not there for your mate announcement. I didn't get to see any of the typical firsts. I would like to see some here, they will be your firsts here." Riley was saying with a huge grin on his face. Yup, I was definitely getting a really bad feeling, and the Little Bunny was looking more and more like her namesake every second.
"Yes!" Echoed throughout the room.
"Now, Reece, dear cousin and brother from another mother, please have your first dance in this territory with your mate."
"Dance, dance, dance." The people in the room chanted after his request. I looked down into my mates terrified eyes, the question clear on my face. She sighed, lowering her eyes momentarily, then looked at me with resolve and nodded her head.
"Fine, let's give them what they want." She nodded. She was at least emotionally stronger than I thought.
"Fine." I said, turning to look at Riley with a stern look.
"Excellent. Does the lady have a song request?" He asked. She shook her head. "No, then allow us to pick one." He and his mate, Katie, put their heads together before starting the music up. I hadn't noticed at first. But everyone had completely cleared the dance floor. Little Bunny and I were now alone on the floor.
I didn't know the song that started, but I could tell that she did, by the look in her eyes.
"You say you'll be down in five." The song started with light piano music and someone snapping their fingers in a slow rhythm. "The smell of your perfume is floatin' down the stairs." I took her left hand and pulled her close, wrapping my other hand around her waist. I knew she had had dance lessons as a kid, so she should be able to keep up, even though we had never danced together before.
I started to slowly spin her around the floor, staring into her eyes as we went. The tempo was picking up slightly as the song went along.
"I thank god you can read my mind, cause when you look at me with those eyes, I'm speechless." The song seemed to be a love song, a man singing his devotion to his lover. In a normal mate bond this would be perfect, but for us it didn't fit. But I had to play the part, as did she.