Are you ready, guys? Because Logan's back!!!

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Logan

"Come in," I tell whoever's banging on my bedroom door. I take off my headphones, pause the True Blood episode I'm watching, and switch to an essay that I keep running in the background.

Jess, my ex, got me hooked on the show over the summer and I still have a few seasons to catch up on; no way do I want the rest of the pack knowing it, though. Jasper, my Beta, would never let me live it down, and neither would the guys on the basketball team. I know a lot of them have secretly watched it too, but admitting it is almost as bad as being caught reading Twilight. Which I have never, ever done! Ever! Except the first book, and—oh, never mind!

I scroll through the essay on my laptop, not looking up when the door opens. Whoever it is can state their business and then I will judge if it's worthy of a future Alpha's attention.

When I catch Zara's scent, I look up. Her eyes move to Jasper's side of the room, as always, and only return to mine when she realizes he's not here.

"Hey, Logan," Zara greets me. "Alpha sent me to come get you."

"Thanks, Zara," I close my laptop and head for the door. It's rude to keep the Alpha—my father—waiting. I need to set a good example for my pack. After all, the way they treat him now is how they'll be treating me when I take over this pack.

The other reason I don't waste any time is that I'm really pissed at Father and I can't wait to confront him. He stopped by earlier this morning to let me know he was going out of town on business and was leaving me in charge. As he should have. Then, he got back a few hours later and didn't even bother telling me he was home. I had to find out from my packmates that he brought back some girl with him.

Not only did he keep me out of the loop but now the entire pack knows it, too. Ever since I turned seventeen, Father has been informing me of all pack business, not once making me wait and summoning me hours later. How is my pack going to respect me when their Alpha is still treating me like a kid?

We reach Father's office and Zara steps back so I can enter first. I lift my hand to knock, but Father calls for me to enter before my knuckles make contact.

Father crosses the office toward me, carrying one of the chairs. He sets it next to the fireplace, and my gaze naturally drifts up to that awful painting. I keep hoping one day it'll just disappear, but apparently not today.

A movement behind Father catches my eye, and I look over to see what has to be the most gorgeous girl to ever live. She's standing in front of the couch, frozen in place as she stares back at me. She's a few inches shorter than I am and although her clothes fit poorly and hide her body, I somehow know that it's perfect. That she's perfect!

She has waist-length, silky brown hair and smooth, tanned skin. When I look into her beautiful brown eyes I know that she's the one. Mate, my wolf cries and I take a step toward her. I can't believe I've finally found her!

My mate's eyes widen and her full lips part as she looks up at me. Seeing those lips, all I can think about is crushing them with mine. I take another step forward, intent on sliding one hand through her thick, silky hair and another around her waist. I want to pull her in for a kiss and never stop.

"Saffron. Leave us. Now!" Father yells, his voice laced with an authority that ensures obedience. "You too, Zara."

Zara rushes out of the office and my mate manages to hesitate for a second before following. Mate, my wolf cries again, and I start after her.

"Logan, stay," Father orders as if I'm an errant pup and not the future Alpha. My body can't help but obey his order, and I stay rooted in place, breathing in traces of my mate's fading scent. I fight the Alpha's order—willing myself to resist it—when Father speaks over the link. Wait Logan. This is important, he says, his words echoing in my head.

Zara gives us a curious look, probably wondering what's so important, but she knows it's not her place to ask and leads my mate out. I want to follow, but I figure I can bear a few seconds away from my mate, I relax.

Father remains silent until the door closes and the girls' footsteps fade. "She's your mate?" he finally asks.

"Yes," I reply.

All the anger I've felt at my father for not summoning me earlier is gone. I am so grateful that he found her for me, my mate. I think of her name—Saffron—and how beautiful it is. I've never met a girl with that name. It's so unique... entirely hers. I can't wait to see her again and spend every minute of every day with her. I'm going to start by learning everything I can about her. Then, I'm going to kiss those full, sweet lips of hers and never let go. Or maybe I'll start by kissing her. I can always get to know her after I get her naked.

I want this meeting with Father to end quickly and open my mouth to say so, but he doesn't give me the chance.

"Logan, she's not ready," he says, walking around his desk and taking a seat. He gestures for me to do the same.

"What?" I ask in shock and drop into the chair across from him.

Sometimes, when a wolf finds his mate, she isn't old enough. To protect the girl from a confusing relationship she's not mature enough to understand, the mates are separated. The girl stays with family until she's old enough, or the boy is sent to live with another pack.

Perhaps Father only brought my Saffron here to make sure she was my mate before sending her away. Even though I want her now—right now—I know I must obey pack law. I'll have to wait for her fifteenth birthday, which can't be that far away since she looks about my age. Even if it's just a month, or a week, or even a day, every second away from her will kill me.

"How old is she?" I demand, wanting to know just how long of a wait I'm in for.

"Around your age, I suppose. Same grade," Father replies and I am hit with a wave of relief. Everyone in my class is either sixteen or seventeen like me. Even if Saffron skipped a grade, she has to be at least fifteen, right? "Logan, that's not the problem."

"Then what is?" I demand. As far as I know, no wolf has ever had two mates, so she can't be with someone else. Can she? My wolf whines.

"She's weak. Broken," Father tells me, and I snarl at him in outrage. How dare he insult my mate? Even if he's the Alpha, he has no right! My wolf growls over the link and all the anger I felt toward Father earlier returns tenfold.

"Wait, Logan!" Father demands. "Let me explain."

This better be good, my wolf snaps. Father looks pretty taken aback, but then, I can't remember the last time my wolf's spoken to anyone but me.

"Her father's a piece of scum, a rogue," Father starts to explain. "Tried to sell her to me to settle a gambling debt. I only brought her here because living with him was no place for a young wolf. If I thought she was your mate..." he trails off.

"What? You'd have just left her there?"

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What should Logan do next?


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