It is always the Betas that choose their Mate. Every wolf knew that and Tommy was very aware of the power he had over the situation. He knew that’s why Adam was willing to try everything in order to gain his thrust and heart. To be honest, Tommy started to like Adam courting him. With his women Tommy was used to doing that and with the few male lovers he had during the years, the dynamics was usually mixed. But Adam… he made it very clear that he wanted to pamper him, to take care of him and treat him as his equal.
This latter was the most important for Tommy. He was strong, capable of taking care of himself and to protect the wolves he was responsible for. But knowing that Adam wouldn’t go all Alpha on him the second the bond was created between them, made him less wary around him. As days passed by, he relaxed more around him and he couldn’t stop himself from remembering a few hot pictures from the nights they spent together in Adam’s room.
Tommy absently ran a slender finger against his wrist. He could still feel the hold of the leather-cuffs on them although nothing was visible on his pale skin. He knew Adam was bossy and dominant as a true Alpha, but he didn’t know he had this in him. Tommy felt how seriously he was taking his Dom role behind closed doors. He could feel his concentration to please Tommy’s needs, to ease all the shit that made him stressed. He loved the way he grounded him, made him boneless and afterwards his mind was liberated and free. He loved that state, because everything seemed and felt right and he could see clearer. He could be himself – just Tommy. Not Tommy, the Beta. It was like a cleansing ritual for his body and mind, the pleasure-pain releasing endorphins in his body, leaving him floating and relaxed. He loved that feeling and knew that Adam was a good Dom. Maybe it was because they were destined Mates, but it was as if the other man could read his mind, because he pushed Tommy’s buttons perfectly. He did everything in the right time, pushed his limits just enough to feel like falling apart under him.
And Tommy knew he was in trouble.
He took a deep breath and his eyes darted towards the door where Adam appeared talking to Isaac. Tommy tuned out the conversation, his mind was too full of his thoughts about the two of them. He willed himself to mask his scent that would’ve tipped off Adam about his arousal and conflicting feelings. He was still holding one of his wrists and he dug his nail into the skin as he watched Adam sit down gracefully to the table. The brief and warm smile he flashed at Tommy made the blonde’s heart beat a bit faster as he returned the gesture then pretended to be busy with staring at the label of his beer.
There were a few other wolves scattered around the house, because they felt safer close to them and they were always welcomed if they needed the safety and reassurance of the pack. The cubs – along with his niece and sister – were already in the safe houses with enough adults to protect them and that knowledge made it a bit easier for the rest of the pack. Adam’s house was guarded more than usual, but luckily no other attack happened since he was shot. Tommy tried to figure out with the others what was going on, but they still had little information about the attackers.
The bombing and the ambush was reported to the Werewolf Council that looked over the packs all around the world. The North America branch, under which their pack belonged, promised to look into the matter and send their Advisor. Which meant that they could expect Adam’s brother, Neil to arrive in a few hours.
Tommy hadn’t met him before, but judging by the buzzing excitement of some pack members he knew Neil was important to the pack too. He could sense the same vibe from Adam as well. Tommy still was to meet his family and Neil was the first step toward that. He heard some of the females’ excited chatter in the kitchen while they were preparing dinner for the gathered wolves. That meant a lot of cooking as each and every one of them had a big appetite thanks to their wolves. The blonde remembered them shushing about how Neil was handsome and wasn’t mated yet and that he was an Alpha too but chose to be a lone wolf who helps the Council as their Advisor.
It was certainly a good thing to have such a connection with the Council and Tommy was sure the brothers shared additional information about werewolf matters whenever they had the chance. At least if he had a brother in such a high position, he’d have done that for the sake of his pack.
Tommy chuckled to himself when he heard the females chat about how stiff and ironic Neil could get, a total opposite of Adam. Some of them liked that in him, some not so much. The Beta was sure he’d be able to handle that. But before that he had another matter at hand…
“Come with me, Tommy,” he suddenly heard Sutan’s familiar voice as he passed his table.
He raised a brow curiously and glimpsed at Adam who was still talking to Isaac and now Longineu joined them too. Getting up he walked after the lean and tall man, feeling Adam’s gaze on him until he got out of the room.
“What do you need?” he asked Sutan when he closed the door behind the other Beta’s room. It was exotic looking as expected. A colorful explosion of Indian, Native American and Chinese culture. Clearly Sutan loved his colors. The first time Tommy stepped into this room, his head nearly started to hurt, but the vibe was just as nice as back then and as usual, everything smelled of incense.
“The question isn’t what I need, honey. It’s the other way around,” he chuckled lightly as he made his way to one of the comfortable-looking armchairs and sat down gracefully before waving towards the opposite chair for Tommy.
“What do you mean?” he frowned as he walked over and sat down, already curious. Talking with Sutan was always an interesting experience.
“If I’m right, you’re about to make a serious commitment…”
“How do you…” Tommy started to ask but trailed off because by then he knew better than to wonder about Sutan’s abilities. “Yeah, you’re right,” he nodded instead and his fingers found their way back to his right wrist.
The other Beta didn’t miss that gesture and just smiled under his nose, but then his expression got more serious. “I just want to make sure you know what you’ll get yourself into. It can be either a very good or a very bad thing for the pack and there was a reason why I didn’t let you step into my position right away.”
“I thought you just didn’t want my skinny ass to overrule yours in the pack,” he tried to joke but when Sutan’s serious expression didn’t ease up, Tommy frowned lightly and sighed. “What do you mean?”
“Saying yes to Adam’s courting and proposal to officially become his Mate is a life-long decision. But you already know this. And I’m sure you know it as well that after the Mating Ritual, things can go into two directions. The first is that the bond works well. It is the most powerful bond that can exist between two wolves. Once the ritual took place, the wolves won’t be interested in anyone else, just their Mate. The previously suppressed or hidden feelings come forth and can be overwhelming at the beginning as the bond strengthens and settles. The two parties will know everything the other feels and it’s not rare that thanks to the heightened senses they can also hear their thoughts for a while. In the case of an Alpha pair, once the bond is complete all that excess power must be directed towards the pack. You can already feel the pack in your mind to some extent, right?” Sutan asked and when Tommy just nodded he continued. “But after the Mating, you’ll feel them much stronger. Like Adam already does. He can teach you how to tune them out, but they’ll always be there and it’s a two way street. They’ll feel their Mated pair stronger too once that power gets channeled into them through the connection.”
“I see. But I don’t understand what’s wrong with that.”
“Ideally, the channeled power and the stronger connection with the wolves is a good thing, because it doubles if not triples the pack’s power. But you have to go into this without any doubts or fears. Because it’s an overwhelming experience to suddenly have all those voices and presence in your head, not to mention your own heightened feelings and powers. It’s an especially critical step with such a big pack as ours. If there’s any doubt or fear involved, it can quickly turn into something ugly. Like lashing out or going insane and most of all, instead of strengthening the pack, it could weaken it. If the Mating bond and the channeling fails, the pack and the mated pair become vulnerable and especially now when we are under attack, it can be lethal for all of us.”
“Are you trying to scare me off?” Tommy’s frown deepened, although he had to admit that he never thought about it this way. It made him squirm a bit in his armchair.
“No. These are simply the facts. I’m trying to make sure you know all the aspects this entails and that you aren’t rushing into this only because of lust for our dear Alpha,” he said calmly but seriously. Tommy could feel the Beta’s shaman-like powers lurking around the calm façade. It was clear now that it was different from any Beta power Tommy ever felt and it had a calming effect on him and this time Tommy embraced that instead of getting pissed off for trying to meddle into his business. He had to be reasonable in this matter, he knew.
He nodded and returned the serious gaze. “So what do you really want to know?”
“I only have two questions and the answers are more to you than for me to hear,” he paused for a moment. “Do you know what you want? And if you do then can Adam give that to you?” he asked and went silent just looking at Tommy.
He knew Sutan wanted to make him take a step back and really think about what was going on between him and Adam and how that could affect the pack. Tommy had the suspicion that the other Beta knew exactly that he was about to talk to Adam about the Mating and it wasn’t a coincidence that the skinny man dragged him to his room before he did so. His reasoning made sense though so averting his eyes Tommy stared at the richly decorated carpet and looked into himself. Of course he didn’t want to endanger the pack by being unsure about his decision. He thought about how far he and Adam have already come from that first night in the woods when Tommy could feel only hatred towards the Alpha. Now… now everything was different. He had to admit to himself that Adam managed to charm him without even trying. He was a good Alpha. He had his unique ways of leading a huge pack that had to be taken into consideration by anyone who stepped into their territory. And since he was trying to charm him, Tommy was smitten with him. He finally admitted at least that to himself.
Leaning back in his chair he closed his eyes and thought about his current feelings for Adam. He was grateful that Sutan was patient and didn’t rush him to say something. It was clear that he knew how important this was for Tommy to figure out on his own.
Was he ready for this?
Strangely enough, during all of his wolf life he didn’t really give a thought about finding his true Mate. But of course he knew it could happen. Maybe, after all, without noticing he’s been searching for that one person created for him. He could feel his wolf’s attention on him now, coming a bit closer to the surface but not trying to take over. It just made Tommy aware that it was there too, on his side. Though the Beta could feel what it wanted. Being clamed by Adam and his wolf. The question was, did Tommy want the exact same thing? Should he listen to his heart and leave his doubts and insecurities behind? Was he ready to fully submit to his Alpha?
“Will it change me?” he asked quietly and it was the first time insecurity showed in his brown eyes as he looked up at Sutan.
“Yes, it will to some extent. As I already said, you’ll only want Adam. Close to you, satisfied, cared for. And you’ll care for the pack much more than you already do. When he’ll be busy or away, you’ll be the one to whom everyone will come for help or just support and feeling safe.”
“I know that… and I’m okay with it. I mean, I already care a lot for the whole pack and I’m trying hard to get to know each of them and make sure they know that, but…”
“What is it that you are really afraid of?” Sutan asked quietly when Tommy trailed off.
“We seem to fit perfectly with Adam. The way we are around each other, in bed. Oh god, we fit perfectly there for sure,” he shared a naughty look with Sutan, who just chuckled low then turned serious when Tommy did. “Sometimes maybe too perfectly. You know the ‘too good to be true’ feeling sometimes overshadow what and how we are doing something. But after the claiming… when I fully submit to him for the first time… will I stay… well, me?” he asked. Usually he didn’t talk this much about his feelings, but Sutan had his ways to make him open up and now he needed to see clearly in this matter. For a moment it crossed his mind that maybe it was good that the other Beta snatched him away like this.
“Oh honey. Changing doesn’t mean you’ll be a completely different person. Of course you’ll stay you, but your priorities in life will change. Adam and the pack will be first and second in your life and you’ll come just after that. I mean to yourself, because for Adam you’ll be the first too. You two’ll take care of each other in ways you never did before.”
“You talk like you know exactly what you’re saying,” he mused and paused for a second, not sure if he should ask. But Sutan helped him out answering the unspoken question.
“I was mated once,” he nodded and although his face didn’t change, a previously never seen sadness appeared in his brown eyes.
“Can I ask what happened?”
“Long story short, he was killed in a fight against Hunters. It was before I joined this pack.”
“How come you survived? I heard that many died after their Mate was killed.”
“The strong ones survive even that, Tommy. But I admit, sometimes I wished I hadn’t. There were some… let’s say, very dark years right after the loss of my Mate. Adam helped me find my way.”
“So that’s why you’re so loyal to him?” he raised a brow curiously.
“Partly,” Sutan chuckled shortly and waved with a hand. “But it’s easy to grow to love him and be loyal to such an Alpha. I found his way of leading his pack interesting and stuck around. It happened years ago.”
“I see. Thank you for sharing this part of your past with me. I can only imagine how hard it was for you. But yeah… that fucker can charm you without noticing!” he smiled at the end, trying to lighten the mood. “But… thank you for trying to make me see clearly before I rushed into anything. I think I needed this.”
“You’re welcome, Tommy. We are family after all, even if we are still just getting to know each other,” he nodded and crossed his legs again. “I’m here to help, you know. Even without my… special powers I’d try to do that and not just because of the pack, but because I want Adam to be finally happy and I like you, Tommy. You’re a good guy and I think you could be good together with him.”
“Thanks…” Tommy mumbled, feeling his cheeks slightly flush. He was never really good at accepting compliments.
“How cute,” Sutan teased him for a moment then took a deep breath. “So, do you have your answers to my questions?” he watched him closely.
“Yes,” Tommy nodded – this time without hesitation, because now he really knew what he wanted, thanks to Sutan’s help.
“Good,” he stroked the armrest of his chair and tilted his head to the side. “And?”
“I’ll mate with Adam,” he said on a steady voice, determination shining in his eyes and leaving no room for doubt, which only made Sutan nod and smile warmly at him.