Her heart was racing just as fast as she was running. Her feet pounded into the earth as she ran at a strong pace. She wasn't going as fast as she could but at a comfortable speed that she knew she could keep up longer then if she was running at her fastest. The woods in Romanian were a lot different than the woods back home. She already missed home already and she was only going to be here three days while her family attends the pack meeting here, right now this time of night the cool winds would be bringing the smells of the rivers and wildflowers. These woods felt thicker and more intense whereas the woods at home were greener and felt more peaceful. Maybe she was just home sick and overreacting either way it wasn't going to stop her from her midnight run. Her headphones were at full volume and playing one of her favorite songs. She got so lost in thought it didn't register to her that the smell of water was getting stronger until it was too late. She had no choice but to leap off the cliff that suddenly popped out before her when she broke the tree line. She fell fast and braced as she hit the water below. The water felt instantly cold compared to her hot body. She broke the surface and swam to shore. There she laid down and took a few breaths to slow her breathing, as she did she looked up at the night sky "even the stars feel different here" she thought to herself. Her music had stopped the moment her headphones and phone got wet. She sighed and put the broken headphones in her pocket with her now broken phone. She started to feel a little cold So she stood up and started to take off her wet clothes. Soon she was completely naked, she stretched as she prepared to shift

"You are aware that this is private property, right?" Antony said from behind the trees.

He saw the young woman jump into the water undressed. He hadn't had time to properly see her features, and out of respect, would not watch her in such a vulnerable moment.

"What are doing here?" he asked.

Anastasia was shocked, she had not only heard him come this close but she didn't smell him either. That was unsettling to her and instantly worried that this was not a human so she needed to be careful "I'm sorry I didn't know ill leave" She said in a calm tone though she was ready for a fight as she slowly went to shore watching for any movement from the stranger,

Antony, needing an excuse to hear her speak again, said, "It's fine. I don't mind you being here. I don't usually come out this way. But please, tell me what brought you to the far edge of my property."

She pinpointed where he was by his was by his voice but pretended, she didn't know "like I said it was a mistake, I must have made a wrong turn somewhere while hiking " She said reaching the end and standing up, the only light was the moonlight but it was enough for her to see but she didnt know what the stranger was so she didnt know if he could see her but she was betting he could. She didnt care that she was naked she just didnt want to have to get into a fight tonight

"Well, then, perhaps you wouldn't mind if I escorted you back," he said. "I can take you as far a the stream three miles north. I'm sure the villagers will be looking for you. If not them, we have visitors from out of town who would surely miss you from their group."

She froze "who are you?" She asked standing a more dominant stance, directly facing him even though she still couldn't see him.

"Antony Dubrinsky," he said. "Now, may I ask what your name is? Or do you plan on becoming a statue by my spring?"

She instantly kicked herself "Oh shit your the prince..." She said in a shocked and regretful tone. She quickly dressed back into her wet clothes. She was instantly cold because they were cold "my name is Anastasia I'm travelling with m pack for the clan meetings here, though as you made clear you already knew that" she said putting up her wet hair in a messy bun "Ill take my leave now, again im sorry i didn't mean to trespass"

"So, you're with the packs," Antony said, stepping out when he was sure she was done and drying her hair and clothes. "I believe, then, I know where the meeting is. I allowed them to meet on another part of my property as a neutral space, though the barrier a mile back should have kept anyone from this area. I'll escort you to that boarder."

She was thrown off for a moment from her clothes and hair becoming dry for a moment but then remembered what she had been taught about their kind. When he stepped out she met his eyes almost instantly. Her heart slammed in her chest and she felt a rush of heat was over here body. She took a long breath in, inhaling his scent. His scent is what over took her. Every fiber of her being told her to get closer. She felt dizzy and forced herself to look away "Um..." She was not the one to be speechless , yet here she was unable to hold a thought yet she wasn't a idiot either, she knew what this was, but knowing and accepting were two different things. Yet her body was acting as nature intended. She felt her wolf rise to the surface fast and strong. The urge to shift was overwhelming but if she did so right hear it might be considered a threat and she couldn't allow that, she couldn't put her pack in jeopardy "Im sorry i really need to leave..." She said in a strained tone "I appreciate the offer but.."She felt her arm twist as the shift started. She held it wither her other arm "Please excuse me" She said and bolted off in the direction she came, he had said something but she didnt hear it, now she was running as fast as she could, the forest around her becoming a blur yet she masterfully weaved around the trees. She shifted in mid air as she jumped over a fallen tree

Antony stood stunned. He felt. Her voice had restored everything, and she ran from him.

"Erik," he called out, "find out the pack she is from. I'm afraid we have a matter to discuss and I do not know how the Alpha will take it."

Erik stepped out of the shadow behind him "why did you stop me...as your second it is my job to protect you from all threats and..."

"There was no threat." Antony looked at him. "She could no more harm me than I could her. She is my lifemate, but considering she is part of one of the lycan packs, this must be handled delicately so as not to strain any relationships we have built since my grandfather's time. We still have many among their people who refuse to see the difference between Guardians and Sange rau. I hope to avoid war, if possible."

Erik was silent for a moment "I understand I will contact Angelo he is with the Lycans right now helping them set up , But since she is your lifemate and you are deep in your fall please for not just you but all of us at least go say the binding words to her now"

"Not without her consent," said Antony. "I do not think any lycan female would be as... gentle in their approach as a human female, or even Carpathian. Besides," he turned and patted Erik's shoulder, "that approach worked well for you, did it not?"

He joked while he could. His emotions and colors were fading now that she was moving away from him.
She ran all the way pack to where her pack was staying, his smell still lingered in her nose. She felt hot and the need to go back to him was strong but she wanted time to think first. The moment she shifted her brothers were there with clothes "always the troublemaker sister" Lucian said as he drapped her jacket over her shoulders "so did you find anything on your run worth talking about?" Gaberial said in a teasing tone "How did you.." She began but they cut her off "word travels fast when your mates with the prince of a entire race" Lucian said "you were always the go big or go home kind of girl but jeez ana you really shot for the moon this time huh" Gaberial said nudging her "like i have any control over it!" she yelled getting annoyed by their teasing "come on this is serious i have no clue what to do or where to even begin " she said with a sigh as she dressed "come on lets hit the books and find out what we can, we already know how it works for us lets see if we can find out more about how it works on their end and we can go from there" said lucian

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