Mom had warned me about this as a child. It was a way to ensure children, to make the mating process faster. Shortly after marking your mate, the female wolf would go into heat. It always varied, sometimes happening a month after being marked.
A she-wolf’s heat was short, typically only occurring once a year. Mom had told me how brutal it was, how it felt like your body had been doused in gasoline and lit on fire.
Once I was older, she told me what would happen during my heat. That other males would take notice, that some might even fight over the she-wolf.
I knew what was happening the moment the fire began rushing through my veins, consuming my cells and blistering my skin. I should have noticed the signs before, but I hadn’t.
It made sense now, the increase in body heat, the random hot flashes that had been happening for a couple days now. My heat decided to come at the worst possible moment.
It was much harder to control in wolf form, and it took every ounce of my concentration to keep my wolf still. All she wanted was to seek out Asher, to let his touch soothe the fire blazing within us.
The best thing to do when a she-wolf’s heat hit was to spend the time with your mate. Only your mate could keep the other wolves away. As it was, Asher was much too distracted by the fighting at hand, and I couldn’t bring myself to pull him away.
This pack needed their Alpha to fight, but I knew Asher would never let another male claim me, even though I couldn’t make that decision for myself.
Mason sunk his teeth into a Vampire that had noticed me fall, and wanted to take advantage of the situation. Above the searing pain, I was hyper aware of Asher’s location.
My wolf’s desperation filled my mind. She needed someone–anyone to soothe the fire crackling beneath our skin.
I ground my teeth against the pain, an animalistic whine escaped my clenched jaw. I could feel my hold on my wolf slipping, and knew I wouldn’t be able to regain control once she fully took over.
Large black spots danced along my vision as I writhed on the ground, vaguely aware of the wolves that stood around me, protecting me from the Vampire’s.
With an agonizing cry, I rolled over on the grass, my bare skin angry and red. It took every last drop of energy I had to shift back into my human form. Soon, my scent would spread, acting as a beacon to any wolf who might want to mate.
Even now, I could see some of our own wolves’ tense as their instincts took over, letting them know there was a she-wolf in heat.
A large pair of arms wrapped around me, and a familiar voice barked orders to the rest of the wolves around me. I half expected to see Asher, but it wasn’t him.
Sean held me in his arms, ignoring the fact that I was nak*d and shaking. Sean snarled as a wolf stalked towards us, it’s intelligent eyes on my shaking form. My head felt like a weight, my muscles absolutely useless.
As Sean shifted me in his arms, my head fell to the side. Like a magnet connected the two of us, I locked eyes with Asher. His golden eyes were set on me, every ounce of his undivided attention was placed on my shaking shoulders.
Even from a distance, I could feel the rush of overwhelming desire and protectiveness that exuded from him. His entire body was tense, and I knew that he too was fighting the urge to come and claim me.
“I can’t be here. They’re going to die because of me.” I all but screamed through clenched teeth.
I couldn’t afford to be a distraction to Asher. He needed to focus, as did the rest of the wolves. I was a liability, a huge distraction that could cost countless wolves their lives.
I wanted to fight–I needed to, but I couldn’t. That fact made me want to scream in anger, if only I had the energy to do so.
‘Get her out of here, Sean.’ Asher grunted through the mind-link. ‘I can smell her from over here. Take her somewhere safe, just get her out of here.’
Apart from Asher, Sean was the next best choice to get me to safety. A she-wolf’s heat wouldn’t affect family members. As Sean was both gay and my family, he was the safest person to be around.
‘Mason and Ethan, shield them both.’ Asher snarled. ‘Watch their backs until they get away.’
Mason’s wolf sauntered over to us, visibly stiffening once he caught my scent. I could see the determination in Mason’s eyes, and admired his strength.
Fighting against your instincts was one of the hardest things a werewolf had to endure. I wish I could’ve said I was that strong, but the fire rippling over my skin crippled any fight I might have.
Weakly, I extended an arm in Mason’s direction. A silent plea, begging him to take away the fire that consumed my body. Mason’s wolf let out a low huff before tackling the nearest Vampire, sinking his teeth into its neck. Ethan’s wolf was the color of charcoal, with dark patches of fur.
Ethan was also affected by my scent, but had a much harder time controlling his instincts. A snarl ripped through him as he glared at Sean, viewing him as an enemy that shielded what he wanted.
‘Ethan, if you touch her–I f**king swear, I will kill you.’ Asher’s voice held such blinding power that I inwardly groaned. ‘Sean, take her to Breyona. She’ll be safe there.’
“No!” I tried to groan, but it came out as a garbled wail.
Sean knew, I told myself. He knew not to bring me to Breyona, that Tristan and Holly would be there as well. Vampires were unaffected by a she-wolf’s heat, but even though I had some trust in Tristan, it wasn’t nearly enough to believe he wouldn’t take advantage of the situation.
I could see the lure of my scent shatter in Ethan’s eyes, and watched as he shook himself off, as though he were ridding himself of the feeling. Ethan gave me a nod, his eyes conveying a silent apology.
Ethan and Mason did as they were told, keeping countless Vampire’s and Werewolves away from us. Some of our own warriors became distracted, lunging at Sean in order to get to me. Mason and Ethan tossed our warriors aside, leaving them stunned but unharmed.
I hadn’t a clue where we were going, nor could I think straight enough to clearly make out my surroundings. I faded in and out of consciousness, but my wolf kept pulling me from the darkness.
Her overwhelming need to satiate the fire was overpowering everything else, even as I fought to give into the darkness. When I opened my eyes again, Sean was placing me in the back of a sedan. He had slipped on a pair of sweatpants and was currently draping a blanket over my body.
A painful hiss slipped through my teeth as I tried to find the energy to tear the blanket from my body. It was too hot–much too hot. The blanket was only keeping the heat in, making me feel as though I were suffocating.
“Don’t take me to Breyona.” My words were garbled, but legible enough for Sean to understand. “Tristan and Holly–“
“I know, Lola. I’ll get you somewhere safe.” Sean replied, his knuckles tight on the steering wheel as he sped through the deserted streets in town.
“Everyone is far from town. Our best bet is to get you far from this fight and hole up in one of the vacant houses.”
Sean continued talking, but I could no longer make out his words. The fire burning within me wasn’t losing its intensity. It stayed strong enough to bring me blinding agony, but wasn’t painful enough to render me unconscious.
I was stuck enduring every excruciating moment until Asher could come and relieve me of the pain—if he came.
I forced the thoughts from my mind. He would survive, they all would. Asher’s voice filtered through the mind-link, somehow soothing the fire enough for me to understand the words that filtered through my head.
‘Your Father’s here, Lola.’ Asher grunted, as though he were throwing an opponent off of him. ‘No matter what happens, I love you–I love you so much. Don’t ever forget that.’