Sophia spent the next week getting ready for Melody to leave. This was going to be hard. There were times when she felt so alone in Wolf Lake. Of course she had been avoiding Luke and he was the only other friend she had.

She had seen him once or twice in the past week and he had looked very tired as if he hadn't gotten much sleep. She felt the same way. Most of her nights consisted of tossing and turning on the couch. She wasn't sure if she had been too hard on him. According to her dad, knowing who your mate was that early was rare. He felt that they had a special connection.

"You know, you could be one of the seven dwarfs. I know that would make it the eight dwarfs but we could call you Mopey." Melody laughed at her joke while finishing the last touches on her painting. "Why don't you just go talk to him? I don't know why you are fighting with him but he looks miserable."

Sophia walked up to the painting Melody was working on. "It looks just like him." The painting was of Luke the night he had dinner with Melody.

"I hope so. If not I'm getting paid too much for my paintings."

"I'm going to miss you Mel," Sophia said putting her head on her shoulder.

"Come back to New York with me."

Sophia sighed thinking that she would love nothing more than to get out of this town. "I can't. Anyways, you always told me not to run away from my problems."

"Did I say that?" She got up to wash out the brushes she had been using. "I need to work on the advice I give out."

The doorbell rang and Sophia got up to answer it. "If it's pizza my wallet is on the bed," Melody called out to her.

When Sophia opened the door she was surprised by who was in Wolf Lake. James stood on her doorstep. "I would have called to warn you but I was afraid you would disappear again." Sophia stood there mesmerized by the man in front of her. "Can I come in," he asked.

She didn't answer, just stepped aside. "How did you find me?" Before he could answer Melody came around the corner. "James, you made it."

"Yeah, you gave good directions. The place wasn't hard to find."

Sophia felt trapped. Her friend had set this all up. "If you will excuse us," she said grabbing Melody's arm and tugging her into the bedroom. "What did you do?"

"I knew you would be mad." She sat down on the bed picking up a pillow.

"Mad? I'm livid. I broke up with him when I left New York. You didn't think this would be weird."

Melody began playing with a thread that was hanging off the pillow. "You didn't really break up with him. You left him. This is your chance Soph. You are not sure about your feelings for Luke or James. This gives you the opportunity to find out."

"Where is he going to stay? How is this going to work?"

Melody shrugged," there is a hotel in town that he can stay at. As for you, I don't know how you are going to handle this but you need to make up your mind. I invited James here so that you could do just that." She got up and put her hands on Sophia's shoulders. "You can do this."

The thought running through her mind right then was, how would Luke handle James being in town? Sophia knew skin walkers were very protective. This was not going to go well.

Sophia made her way back into the living room where James was waiting. "Sorry about that."

He walked up to her cupping her face with his hands. "It's good to see you."

She smiled up at him trying to remember what it used to feel like to be in his arms. The only thing she felt now was emptiness. There was something missing in his touch. Skin on skin contact used to make her ache for more. "How long are you staying," she asked backing out of his touch.

"I have a business meeting I need to be at on Friday so maybe a day." They both sat down on the couch taking each other in. "I wouldn't be here if I didn't think we still have something worth saving."

"I know I left suddenly but I had a family issue I had to take care of."

"That's what you said in your note but seeing you tonight I wonder if it isn't something else."

"Something else?"

"Or maybe someone else?"

Sophia thought about it. Was there someone else? Luke had grown up as a skin walker. There was never any doubt about who he was going to be. Sophia, on the other hand, grew up thinking that it was a long shot if she was going to be one of them. The whole mate theory, of two souls connected together, was foreign to her. Was Luke really her mate? She had talked to her dad about it and all he said was that if Luke were her mate he would feel the connection more than she would because he had already flipped. He had also said that he believed Luke was telling the truth. "The truth is I'm not sure if there is someone else."

"Give me one day. Go out with me tomorrow night. We will spend time together and it will give you a chance to make up your mind."

"I can't. It's open mike night at the club I work at and I have to be there just in case they need someone to fill in any time slots."

"How about I go with you?"

She saw the plea in his eyes and she couldn't refuse him. She nodded and was given a hug. "Tomorrow at eight. The club is called Alley Nine."

"I will be there." He said his goodbye and left.

Sophia saw Melody peek around the corner," you're not off the hook for this one."

Luke walked in to Alley Nine trying to stay out of Sophia's sight. He had heard that James was in town and he didn't want her to think that he was spying on them even though he was. The place was crowded and it took a while for Luke to find an empty seat. Around him were singers and musicians warming up for their slots. Towards the front of the club he saw Sophia, Melody, and James sitting around a table having drinks and laughing. It took only a minute for Melody to notice him sitting in the back. He saw her whisper something to Sophia then made her way towards him.

"Don't worry they haven't made wedding plans yet," she joked taking the seat beside him.

"That's a load off of my mind," he answered dryly.

"You should join us. They aren't talking about how many kids they are going to have yet." She smiled at him," The trick is to act natural. Like nothing is wrong."

"It's that easy?"

"It's better than sitting back here wondering what they are talking about." She stood up offering her hand. He took it and let her lead him to the front.

"Look who I found," she said once they had reached the table. The first thing he noticed was how beautiful Sophia looked.

"Luke, right," James asked offering his hand. Luke shook it remembering how hard he had squeezed the first time.

He sat down beside James listening to the conversation. They spoke mostly about New York and a few stories about the paintings Melody had sold. He watched Sophia noticing that she avoided his gaze as much as she could.

"We have two open spots," he heard Pete say walking up to the four of them.

"That is a lot better than last month," Sophia said getting up.

"Wait, I know someone who could fill a spot," Melody interrupted. She turned her head towards James.

"I don't think so," he shook his head.

"You told me that you have been working on some songs. How about you play one? When is the last time you played the guitar?"

Luke watched Sophia's face light up," we could do one together."

Half an hour later Luke and Melody sat alone at the table waiting for James and Sophia to take the stage. When they took the stage James had a guitar in his hand and they both walked up to their mikes taking a seat on the stools.

"Good evening," James started," this lovely lady and I are going to do an older song called Missing You."

They began singing and Luke couldn't help but watch her face. They were singing this song of love lost and he decided he couldn't take this anymore. He got up and walked out.

When he reached his home he noticed that the light was on in his office. His mother was lying on the couch that had been moved from the living room. "You look terrible," his mother commented.

"Thanks," he mumbled.

"I heard that your competition is in town."

"Yup, when I left they were singing love songs to each other," he rolled his eyes.

She patted the seat beside her. He sat down putting his head against the back of the couch. "What are you going to do?"

"I told her she couldn't leave Wolf Lake but I think its just added to our problems."

"My son, I love you but you don't know much about women and even less about Sophia. This whole thing has been about choices. She was angry with you for bringing her back from New York because she wanted to choose where she lived. She was angry when she found out she was your mate because she doesn't feel like she has a choice in the matter. In the last two months you have told her exactly how she is going to live. How would you feel if you were in her shoes?"

Luke hadn't thought about it that way. When it came down to it he had trapped her. "So now what do I do?"

She smiled," the hardest thing you will ever have to do. Let her go." He stood up to pace around the office. "This time you will let her decide what she wants."

"What if she chooses him?"

"Then it will hurt for a while but you will be fine."

Later that night Luke was still pacing in his office drinking any bit of alcohol he could get his hands on. It surprised him that he could even stand, let alone walk. This evening had wrecked him and the last thing he wanted to do was remember it when he woke up the next day.

The scene at the club kept going through his mind. He had been singing to her. This jerk from New York had shown up and ruined everything. Luke had no doubt that he could have gotten her back if he hadn't shown up. Sophia was his mate and he wanted her so bad he could almost feel her.

Then he realized that she was standing right behind him. "You left the club." She stood in the doorway not moving closer.

"Did you miss me," he asked slurring his words. "Or were you too busy to notice that I left."

"I didn't come over here to fight with you," she said pulling her loose hair behind her ear. "I just wanted to make sure you were okay."

"Yeah, I'm fine. Watching you serenade him was the highlight of my evening." He strolled over to her. "What are you doing here?"

"I was worried about you."

He leaned over her," as you can see I am just fine." He grabbed her arms roughly," his scent is all over you. You reek of him. It's driving me crazy," he said before claiming her mouth. His kiss was passionate and rough. He wanted to pour all of his emotions into this kiss and into her. He ran his fingers through her hair and down her back. She kissed him back clinging to him as if he was her lifeline. He picked her up carrying her up the stairs and towards his bedroom. All he wanted to do was claim her as his own.

When they reached his room he set her down and pushed her up against the wall. He started kissing her again until he felt her hand push against his chest.

"We can't do this," she whispered.

"Would you rather have him?"

"This isn't about him. This would only be about you stacking your claim. Not because you love me but because you don't want him to have me."

Luke thought back to what his mom said. He had to let her go. She would never choose him if he was bullying her. He pushed her away from him drawing all the strength he could," get out of here. You want him go to him."

He saw tears form in her eyes and fall down her cheeks. "Everything has always had to be in black and white for you. This isn't like that. I had a life with him but you bring me back here and this works too. I can't make this decision on a whim. No matter what I decide to do someone is going to get hurt."

"Get out," he yelled. She left and he passed out on his bed.

Luke woke up the next day with a pounding in his head that wouldn't go away. He had slept in his clothes and he had a sinking feeling that something bad happened the night before. He hadn't been drunk like this in a long time and he couldn't understand why he had decided to do it last night. Just then he heard a pounding on his door causing him to get dressed and ready for what the day would bring him.

"Boy did you blow it last night," said Melody moving past him into the house. "She came home in hysterics. If you think you're getting any brownie points you are mistaken."

"Melody, if I had any idea what you are talking about I'm sure I would hate myself right now but since I have no earthly clue, can you tell me what happened?"

"You were more drunk than she let on. From what I got out of her you kissed her and then told her to get out and go to James."

The night before came crashing back to him," I'm an idiot."

"Yes, you are. I thought the point was to get her back not push her into the arms of another man." She made her way into the kitchen pulling a cookie from his cookie jar. "What are you going to do?"

"I guess an apology would be a good place to start."

"Probably but you may want to do it quick."

"Why?"

"She is leaving for New York in," she looked at her watch," five minutes."

Sophia was pushing the last box into her car when Luke showed up. "Don't go. I'm not telling you that you have to stay. This isn't an order. I am just asking you to stay."

"Luke, don't do this."

"I want you to make your own decision but I want you to choose me."

She sat down on the back of the car looking him in the eye," James left this morning. He's going home where he belongs."

"Then why are you going to New York?"

"New York? Melody and I are going camping."

He looked confused for a second. "She tricked me into apologizing."

Sophia laughed," she does have a few tricks up her sleeve. We were going out for two nights before she left."

He sat down beside her and pulled her in close. She rested her head on his shoulder and he was sure nothing else had been this perfect. "So now what," he asked.

"I think that when I get back we should start over."

"That sounds good but only if you stay at my house. It's too quiet without you."

"I guess that would be okay."

Luke hung around until the girls left and watched her car disappear in the distance. Even though he knew he would see her again, he knew they still had things to work out. He was Alpha and she hadn't flipped. What would he do if she decided not to? Despite the problems that still lay ahead he found himself walking home with a smile on his face.

The End

*Contemplating writing a third season. Please review this season and give me an idea if you would like to see a third season written. Hope you enjoyed.