A Moment in Time(10)

By: Stormy Glenn


Looks were greatly deceiving where Iben was concerned.

Apollo wondered if the same could be said for his massive mate. At first glance, Grayson was a mountain of a man that inspired visions of power and strength, a man meant to dominate and lead others. Only by looking closer was one able to see that he was actually pretty gentle.

“Grayson is probably bigger than Djal and Hercules both,” Apollo said, “but I believe deep down inside, he wouldn’t hurt a soul.”

He had to believe that.

“We’ll find him, Apollo.” Hercules’s hand settled on Apollo’s shoulder, giving it a small reassuring squeeze. “We’re good at what we do, brother. We won’t let you down.”

Apollo sent his brother a weak smile. “I know.”

“We need to call in a few soldiers and set up teams to search the woods around the lake,” Ares said as he finally came over to stand next to Apollo and Hercules. “Unless he got sucked up by a flying saucer, he had to have left through the woods or the water. With more people, we can cover more ground.”

“Sounds good.” Apollo started feeling optimistic for the first time since he realized his mate was missing.

“Can you give us a description of your mate so we know who we are looking for?”

“That’s easy.” Apollo grinned. “He’s gorgeous.”



* * * *



Apollo pushed his hand up over the top of his head and back to the nape of his neck. He gently massaged his tense muscles as he listened to Ares outline the new search schedule. Apollo wanted to scream as Ares pointed out areas on the map that had already been searched—three times. They were planning for the forth.

Granted, Apollo would give it to his brother. Ares was thorough. Every square foot of Aberdeen Valley had been searched, including the town. While there had been a few disgruntled pack members that had balked at having their homes searched, most had been understanding when they learned Apollo’s mate was missing.

Mates were precious to all wolf-shifters. Unlike in the animal world or romance novels, mates were not given to them by fate. Each shifter was free to choose his mate, and they didn’t instinctively know their mates on sight. They found someone they were compatible with and claimed them.

The one requirement was that both parties had to be willing. A mate could refuse the mate bond. Both wolves had to accept the mating in order for the bond to form. If one of the wolves didn’t want the mating, no amount of biting would make it happen.

Grayson had readily accepted the mate bond as had Apollo, which did not explain why his mate had left. And, much to Apollo’s dismay, that was the conclusion that had been drawn after all of Aberdeen Pack territory had been searched.

Grayson left Apollo of his own free will.

Apollo turned away from the small group of men surrounding the table where Ares had the map spread out. He walked over to the window, resting his arm on the wooden window frame as he pulled the curtain back and looked out into the darkness. His whole body was engulfed in tides of weariness and despair.

Apollo had known there was something special about Grayson from the very beginning. Accepting the man as his mate had been surprising but not something he had thought twice about.

Ever since Grayson left, Apollo had felt an extraordinary void, an ache in his chest where his heart should have been. It had only been three days, but he couldn’t eat. He couldn’t sleep. All he could think about was Grayson.

“Apollo?”

Apollo reached up and rubbed his eyes before turning to face his alpha. “Yes?”

“Alpha Paolo Sanchez finally called me back.” When Iben’s lips thinned and a guarded look of sadness filled his eyes, Apollo knew he wasn’t going to like what his alpha had to say. “He told me that there is no Grayson in his pack.”

The Sanchez Pack had been invited to help celebrate Ares and Simon’s mating due to their involvement in getting the two men together and Simon’s affection for Alpha Sanchez’s daughter.

Considering that they had met at the celebration the Sanchez Pack was attending, Apollo had stupidly assumed that Grayson was a member of the Sanchez Pack.

Apparently, he was wrong.

Apollo’s shoulders slumped. “Thank you for telling me.”

He felt like crying. His eyes burned with the need to release the tears gathering. That had been his last hope. Alpha Sanchez had been out of town and couldn’t be reached. For three days, Apollo held out hope that Grayson was a member of the Sanchez Pack.

That hope was now gone.

Apollo didn’t know where his mate was or when he was coming back. Hell, he didn’t even know if Grayson was alive beyond the buzzing he could feel in the bond that had formed when they mated. The bite mark on his shoulder and his memories of the few scant hours they had together were all that told him Grayson was real.

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