Hello all,

Thank you for taking the time to read my very first story. Please don't hesitate to leave reviews of good/bad comments and criticisms. Every little bit will help to encourage me and give me feedback of how my writing is. I hope you enjoy this story as much as I enjoy writing it!

Amy J Mars

Chapter 1 - Waiting

Colorado, USA. April 1, 1921

It wasn't everyday that a Quinn was married.

Mrs. Marie Quinn had been ordering boxes and boxes for months now. Everytime an order arrived at the post, gossip ran wild about what she had bought for her son's wedding this time. Silk tablecloths? Dainty china ceramics? Silver spoons with gold trim? The theories were endless.

When invitations were sent out every single one was accepted immediately. The wives were in a frenzy. Formals were aired out, last minute touches to dresses were quickly sewn, and the boxes continued to arrive daily. The townspeople anxiously awaited for the spring wedding to arrive.

On that perfect day shops closed early and farmers returned home long before the supper bell. They arrived fidgeting with their starched shirts and pretty bonnets, but Mrs. Marie Quinn's ice-cold champagne soon had the townspeople relaxed and laughing.

The ceremony itself was magical. The groom, Bastian Quinn, looked dashing in his sharp city suit and well-oiled boots. His lovely bride, a Miss Jane Elliot in a beaded white wedding dress, cut a beautiful silhouette among the sunset behind them. Both the Quinn and Elliot parents smiled nonstop during the blessing. The weather was clear, the wind cool and not a cloud marred the sky. It couldn't have been more perfect. Except for one thing. Where was the brother of Bastian Quinn?

He wasn't near the newlywed couple, nor was he seated at the front row reserved for family members. The eyes of the audience looked everywhere but no one spotted the elder Quinn brother's tall figure. In fact, he didn't seem to be present at all.

As the sun sank, the champagne bottles emptied, men sat back and enjoyed their cheroots and women sighed after the now-taken Bastian Quinn. The lanterns dimmed and the band's music slowed. Bastian Quinn led his new Mrs. Jane Quinn around in slow circles. The two were a striking couple and a resounding sigh was heard as women yearned behind their fans. Questions of where the eldest Quinn son was was soon forgotten.

But he was there. And he had watched. He stood on the east wing's third floor balcony where the lantern light just grazed and only snatches of music could be heard. He leaned against the balcony's railing, loosely holding an untouched flute of champagne in his right hand. He'd long since discarded his hat, leaving the wind to play and tumble through his dark blond hair and unbuttoned shirt. His eyes were reminiscent of a predator, caged unwillingly, patiently waiting for the right time to strike.

Lucas Quinn watched his younger brother twirl his wife about below. The two laughed joyfully as onlookers smiled and nodded indulgently. Lucas saw the loving familiarity between husband and wife, his younger brother's hand curved possessively around his wife's hip. She smiled up at him. A spike of emotion shot through Lucas and he tightened his grip on his champagne.

He resisted the urge to throw his champagne against the wall, but he reared the emotion back. Today was not a day for dark thoughts. His brother deserved at least that much from him. Lucas placed his glass on the railing and watched the dancing couple once more. He had to admit, Bastian wasn't such a younger brother anymore. At 73 years of age, Lucas could hardly gloat about his own 107.

Tonight was supposed to be a celebration of happiness, but Lucas could not help the envy that dripped into his heavy thoughts.

"Hiding does not fit you at all," a deep voice said from behind.

Lucas didn't need to turn around to know who it was. "I've already told the fool how lucky he is more than once. He doesn't need to hear it again."

A huge shadow unfolded from the darkness and shifted next to Lucas. "I was referring to your Mother. She has aimed her attentions at me as of late. She's called on me three times in the past week to talk of you. And your father seems to agree with her."

Lucas sighed heavily. Mother had been...worried lately. With Bastian's upcoming nuptials, she seemed hell-bent on finding someone for her eldest son. Although not adverse to the idea, to have his future wife be chosen for him by his Mother, it was embarrassing. And now his Father was getting involved. Lucas couldn't even begin to imagine his life from tomorrow now that his Mother wouldn't have Bastian's wedding to occupy herself with.

"You know I'm waiting for it. Waiting for her."

"A few years ago you claimed that you'd never accept your Fated. That no matter what you would never forgive her for intruding into your life."

"I was a pup then, Piotr. You know as well as I do that that was at least sixty years ago, if not more." A low chuckle escaped from the big man.

"Yes, well, just making sure," Piotr, still chuckling away, withdrew back into the house to return downstairs to the party. Most likely he would rejoin his lovely wife, Anya. A beautiful woman, both in and out, she was of steady character and matched well with Piotr. They had both come from Russia and had been with the pack since before Lucas had been born.

Lucas returned to watching the grounds below. Despite what most of the pack believed, including his own parents, Lucas had changed his views about his Fated quite a long time ago. 107 years was too damn long to live without love. Over the years, he had begun to yearn for his Fated and impatiently waited the day of his Sensing.

The number of Fated Sensings had dwindled and more males were becoming desperate to find the one who would fulfill them. His brother, just one of the many, had also finally chosen to mate with Jane Elliot, a family friend. He knew his brother looked forward to sharing his life with her, but they would both forever fear a Sensing. Apparently, Bastian had gotten tired of waiting.

As for Lucas, he had no options.

He was the son of Alpha Dylan Quinn and the future pack leader. Lucas was a symbol. More than a few wolves in their pack would give up if Lucas were to also succumb to the loneliness. A few would even choose life as an everwolf, forever walking the Earth as a wolf, never to return to their human state. He shuddered at the consequences.

He would keep his pack alive. He had promised it to himself. He would not mate and condemn his future Fated to walk this life alone. He refused to show his desperation and weakness that could destroy what little hope his remaining pack members had. But if the truth were to be known, he was tired of this life. Tired enough that he sometimes envisioned a half-life shared with a friend. A friend who he could talk to, dream with and bed, but never love.

And yet, he would have to wait. He would have to wait. He would have to wait. He would have to wait. The words had long past become a familiar mantra running through his head. He would have to wait. Wait as others had to wait. Wait as he had for the past sixty years. Wait as he had ever since he had realized that he desired her presence in his life more than anything else.

And when he finally did Sense her, nothing would keep him from her.