It was bright and early in the morning and my suitcases were already packed. I guess you could say I was ecstatic to go to my old pack, not because I wanted to get away from Alec, but because I missed my family and friends. After mine and Alec’s breakthrough, I think the best thing would be for some space to clear our minds and start fresh.
I knocked on Alec’s door for the second time. For some reason, he has been in his bedroom for a while. “Go away!” He roared. Someone woke up on the wrong side of the couch.
“Is it because I’m leaving because it was your idea,” I replied.
“I know, but my wolf is aggravated.”
“Let me talk to you then.”
The door made a squeaky sound as it slowly opened. I walked in and the door shut.
“I didn’t mean to yell but my wolf is really messing with me.”
“Yes, he’s furious that you’re leaving so soon when he feels like he just got you back.”
“He still wants me, even after knowing I’m a witch?” I asked.
“Of course he still wants you, and I do too. No matter if there is a mate bond between us or not he still feels drawn to you.”
“Can I talk to him?” I asked. I wanted to know if I could calm him.
Alec shook his head, “You don’t want to talk to him. I am protecting you when I say that.”
“I’m sure he wouldn’t hurt me.” I try to convince Alec.
Alec leaned in until I could feel his breath on my face. “If you talk to Lucian when he’s like this you’re not going to like him.” His lips were so close to my ear. “He’ll tie you down to the bed and you won’t be leaving, he’ll make sure of that.”
I stumbled back as a shiver went down my spine, and I was positive I was blushing. “I’m sorry.” I stuttered.
He chuckled and stalked closer to me like a predator. My back hit the wall and I stared at the ground. However, I did not fear him.
Alec gently lifts my face to meet his. “He’s not the only one that would enjoy that, little one.” Alec’s lips were so close to mine. His breathing fanning down to my face. Alec’s eyes swirled with lust and a hint of another emotion that I couldn’t place. These were the moments that I was happy to have with him, but it was short lasting. A knock on the front door ruined everything.
I was anticipating what would happen next but it was ruined. I guess Alec could tell by the look on my face that I was disappointed. He kissed my forehead and held my hands. “Don’t worry love. There will be more moments to come.”
My stomach did somersaults at his show of affection, and when he left I felt myself wanting to be in his arms. I have become quite attached to him before I died but that was mainly because of the mate bond. Now, with the mate bond gone, my actions were purely true. I could tell that Alec, with the affection he showed toward me, genuinely felt something for me as well or he wouldn’t have let me get close to him. I think I was really growing on him now that we actually had the chance to fall in love with each other without any influences, like the mate bond. As long as he changed, the past didn’t matter to me and I didn’t care what anyone said.
“Leah!” Alec called, which snapped me out of my thinking mode. “The girls are here and your ride is ready.” He didn’t sound too enthusiastic but at least he was trying.
I grabbed my suitcase out of my room and started to make my way downstairs. Yesterday night, Alec called Alice and Christie to ask if they would like to come with me and they agreed. So now Axe and Rem were driving us to my old pack.
Before going out the door with my luggage, Alec stopped me. To him, it probably seemed like I couldn’t leave fast enough, but it was only because I could wait to see my pack. Right now, I guess you could describe me as homesick.
Alec grabbed me by the waist and pulled me closer to him, hugging me from behind which made me let go of my suitcase.
Everyone else was already in the car.
“No hug? No kisses? Nothing?” He said disappointedly.
I chuckled and turned around to kiss him on the cheek but he snuck a quick kiss on my lips. Just a little peck. It seemed like we hugged for the longest time because when I was trying to let go and wiggle away from his grip, he seemed to hug me tighter.
“Alec I have to go. They are waiting,” I stated.
He sighed, “I know. When you get back I have a really good surprise for you.”
“A surprise?” I asked. “What is it?”
“It is a secret.” He said.
“I hate secrets.”
“Well, that sucks. Anyway, you have a car to catch. Everyone is waiting. Bye now.” He kissed my forehead once more.
I walked to the car and put my suitcase in the trunk. Rem was in the passenger seat but I wanted to be in the back with the girls anyway.
When I got into the car I looked back at Alec. I couldn’t look any more or else I wouldn’t want to leave because Alec’s facial expression was very gloomy. It almost made my heart break for him, but I knew I would be back.
I tried to focus on the conversation that was going on in the car but the only thing I could think of was Alec as the car was moving further away from him.
All the sudden, it hit me like a ton of bricks. My eyes widened and I remember what I last said to my family and Xena. I told them that I love them no matter what happened. It sounded like saying goodbye and it technically was but now that I’m alive that is going to be a problem.
“Leah, are you listening?” Rem asked.
“What?” I asked. I didn’t even know that he was talking.
“Guess not. Anyway, Axe and I are staying with you at your old pack. Just let us know when you girls are ready to go home. Are you sure that we will be okay without a warning of coming to their pack territory?”
“Of course! Mark is a really good friend of mine, and I was high ranking in the pack. They’ll be happy to have me stay for a while.”
“Who’s Mark?” Alice asked with distaste in her voice. It seemed like she was defensive when it came to me knowing another male, probably because I was her brother’s mate.
“He is the best boy friend anyone could ask for,” I replied. He was truly my best friend beside Xena.
Everyone’s face twisted with horror. “You had a boyfriend?” Christie asked.
“No. I never had a boyfriend other than Alec. Mark is just simply the best boy friend- let me rephrase that- he is the best guy friend I ever had.” I could see why everyone became so tensed, but even if I did have a boyfriend it would be none of their business. “Besides, it doesn’t matter. Alec had many of whores and before me and I didn’t care, so what does it matter if I even did have a boyfriend.” I wasn’t throwing shade at Alec I was just simply making a point.
Everyone was silent and didn’t respond. Finally, Christie cleared her throat and spoke, “Um anyway... What is your old pack like?” She asked.
“A lot like Alec’s, the format that is, but we have more flowers than trees. We also have a swimming pool. I haven’t seen one at the pack yet.”
“We do have a swimming pool.” Alice chimed in.
“Then perhaps we could go one day?” I suggested.
“I prefer clubbing,” Christie muttered.
“Same girl.” Alice agreed.
“Never been clubbing before,” I said.
“Trust me, with Alec as a mate you never will. He won’t let you go because he knows how guys think.” Rem remarks.
“Bet,” Christie smirks. “I’ll take you clubbing one day. Don’t worry.” Christie winks at me. Alice and I both chuckle.
“I need to start hanging out with you more,” Alice said to Christie.
“Indeed. I think we might take Grace with us too. A girls night out.” Christie proposed. I could tell she loved to have a good time. Whoever was going to be her mate would probably appreciate that.
Rem’s jaw clenched. “No.”
Christie rolled her eyes but gave me a devious smirk.
“Have you thought about doing anything to your hair?” Alice asked me.
“I want to cut it.”
Christie’s eyes lightened up even more if that was even possible. She grabbed my arm excitedly. “You should let me do it! I love doing hair.”
I giggled at her outburst. I could tell this was leading to a beautiful friendship. The three of us, the only thing that was missing was Xena.
“I not sure Alec would like that. He likes long hair.” Axe muttered and Rem chuckled. It was probably a personal joke between the three guys.
“No one gives a shit about Alec’s personal fetishes.” My eyes widened at Alice’s remark. These girls are too much for me because I felt like dying with laughter right now. “She can do what she wants with HER hair.”
“After I cut it I want to grow it out anyway. I like my long hair.” I put my personal opinion out there.
The rest of the ride was spent with girl talk and gossiping about the pack, which Christie knew a lot about. It also contained the two guys in the front rolling their eyes or just ignoring our conversations.
The ride was longer than I expected, but there was never a dull moment.
Halfway through the trip, Alec texted me to make sure everything was fine. I told him there were no complications along the way, but he texted me for the rest of the way to my old pack to make sure I arrived safely. We only had two more hours to go, and I could tell that would fly by quickly.
Our packs were only six hours apart from each other. I figured that out when I first took the taxi ride to Alec’s pack.
I was left to simply anticipate my meeting with my pack. My littlest brother, who is now six, would be very happy to see me. I could not wait until he was in my arms so I could squeeze him to death. My oldest brother, Chris, is now twenty-one. Nick, my younger brother, is sixteen.
Xena and Mark were around my age.
Two hours goes by quickly in a car with people to talk to. Before I knew it, we were riding down a familiar path of gravel surrounded by trees.
“Look,” Christie pointed out the window. I saw a group of wolves running in the woods. They were observing our car to see who the visitors, or trespassers were.
Suddenly, the car slammed to a complete stop. A tall man stood in front of the car prohibiting us from going further. With dark hair and glowing eyes of anger, I instantly recognized him. He was barefoot and shirtless as he was breathing heavily and angry.
“That’s one angry Alpha.” Rem commented. Technically Mark wasn’t the alpha, his father still was, but they could obviously still sense he was from an alpha bloodline.
“One hot angry Alpha.” Christie corrected.
Alice shrugged her shoulders, “I’ve seen better.”
“I can handle this.” I got out of the car. Mark’s eyes snapped up to mine at the sudden noise and movement.
He stared at me for a second and his eyes softened. He held out his hand to me. I slowly walked up to him. I haven’t seen him in a year and right now his wolf was in control.
Wolves surrounded the car and growled. Something was not right because my pack was never this sketchy of visitors. As I walked closer to Mark, the wolves surrounded us and formed a circle, trapping me inside. I recognize a couple of wolves in their forms and I could tell most of the wolves recognized me because some eyes held happiness to have a former pack member back in the territory. I looked back at the car and saw Rem and Axe coming toward me. It was obvious they were trying to keep me safe.
“Stop. It’s fine.” I said to them. Rem and Axe stopped walking.
I placed my cold hand in Mark’s palm, then he gasped it and pulled me in for a hug. I sighed as the intense feeling faded and his shoulders relaxed. Mark breathed out and was finally calm.
“I thought you were rogues trespassing.” Mark’s voice sounded like he hasn’t slept in days.
“Rogues don’t ride in cars,” I said as we pulled back from the hug.
“You would be surprised at this point.” He looked at me. His eyebrows furrowed in anger, “Where were you all this time? You just leave everyone like we are nothing! Do you even realize how worried everyone was!” With every word, Mark’s anger only got worse.
“Don’t yell at me,” I said as I tried to pull my arm away from Mark but his deadly grip was definitely going to leave bruises.
Another growled erupted through the air and the wolves surrounding us parted to let Rem through. With their heads ducked down showing submission, Rem marched straight up to me and Mark.
“Let go.” Rem growled.
Mark reluctantly let go. Something had to have happened recently because Mark was not the same carefree person that I remember.
Since I wasn’t a wolf I couldn’t feel the vibes from other wolves, so that meant I couldn’t tell the true ranks of wolves. However, based on the behavior of wolves surrounding us I realized that Mark was more high ranking then just being the Alpha’s son.
“Mark,” I snapped Mark away from his stare down with Rem. “Are you the Alpha?” I asked. Usually, you would become the next alpha at twenty-one, but there were always exceptions. Mark was not yet twenty-one, but Alec wasn’t either when he took over his parent’s pack. He was very young.
“My father died a month ago.” Mark snapped. “Why did you bring high ranking wolves on to my territory?” He narrowed his eyes on me.
“Rem is my Beta. Alice is the sister of the Alpha who is my mate.” I told Him.
Mark’s eyes held disgust. “This whole time. You had me and Xena worried sick about you. You had your mother and father crying every day, and your little brother cried every night for six months straight after you left. No one could ever get some fucking sleep. This whole time!” I flinched when he yelled. For a minute guilt sweep through, but he had no idea what I been through. “And you’ve been out frolicking with your Alpha mate to which we have no idea who his name is.” Anger surges through my body but before I could say anything Axe actually made the first comment.
“Watch who you’re talking too. You have no idea what pack you’re messing with.” Axe stepped up to my side. I looked around to see Christie and Alice still in the car. They were busy growling at the wolves who were growling at them from the outside of the car. My whole attempt to surprise my family and friends blew up in my face, but I should have known to talk to Mark first to get permission before walking onto another territory that was no longer my home. That was my mistake.
“You have no idea what she has been through.” Rem sneered.
“You’re right. I have no idea because she left my pack along with her family high and dry.”
“Enough! I did not leave anyone. It wasn’t my choice at first.” I had enough of every accusing me of doing things that I had no control of. Besides Rem, Axe was the only wolf there at the mating ceremony, so he witnessed when Alec kidnapped me. He was basically the only normal wolf in the pack that knew what happened between Alec and me.
Everyone’s eyes were focused on me, except for Alice and Christie. I probably should have used a different word selection. I could feel myself becoming vulnerable with everyone’s eyes staring into my soul.
“We have a lot to catch up on.” I regained my posture. He could sense that I wanted to talk to him alone.
Mark nodded and turned to his wolves, “Take them back to the pack house and get them situated tonight. It looks like we are having visitors for a couple of days.” Then he looked at me. “Walk with me? Alone.” He asked.
Rem and Axe stiffened. That confirmed my suspicion of Alec giving them orders to guard me twenty-four seven. “It is fine, you guys can go.” I nodded at them.
Axe and Rem seemed reluctant but eventually, they retreated back to the car. Mark and I moved out the way so the car could go past. I watched as the car followed the wolves back to the pack house.
Mark stared at me and we stood there for an awkward couple of minutes. It was eerily quiet with just the two of us. I gave my best smile at him.
“Cut the fucking shit, Leah. What the hell happened to you?” His voice was a little softer at the last sentence. As he crossed his arms his muscles bulged and it was very noticeable because he had no shirt, but Alec had more of a muscular build than him.
“Didn’t my Parents tell you that I found my mate?” I asked
“No. No one told me fucking shit.” He threw his hands up in the air as we walked down the gravel road. “All your parents ever said was she is gone. They never talked about it. Mostly everyone in the pack assumed you were dead, and no one would talk to your parents because they were grieving.”
“But I didn’t die. I went to the mating ceremony and found my mate.” I was going to try and give them less information as possible. I didn’t need anyone to know the real truth about what Alec did to me before because that would only hurt them more.
“And you couldn’t give anyone a call for about a year? What was everyone supposed to think when you didn’t contact us anymore.” He raged.
I couldn’t come up with anything to say to him.
“To my understanding from Xena, you stopped calling. She knows more than I do because she is closer to your family. They assumed you were dead. All I know is that you vanished after the mating ceremony then a couple of months after that they said you were gone. Then you didn’t contact anyone for almost a year. After that, they isolated themselves from the pack. This mysterious Alpha that is your mate. Who is he?”
“I’m sorry I worried you so much I...”
“Leah!” He growled making me jump. We stopped in our tracks. He looked at me up and down. “You look different.”
I shrugged my shoulders. His eyes hardened.
“Who is he?” He growled.
I gulped knowing this wouldn’t go good because not many people in my pack liked him. If anything they despised his ruthlessness on killing rogues, even if it was for no reason.
“His name is Alec Knine.” I looked up to observe his every reaction.
His lip curled up and a loud snarl erupted from his lips. “Why the fuck Leah! It all makes sense now!” He snapped.
He stomped closer to me and examined my arms with force. He tilted my head from side to side and even pulled down the hem of my shirt just a little.
I ripped away from him and could help but feel a tad bit violated. “Why do you think you’re doing?”
“I’m checking for marks or bruises. He is cruel Leah! I know he had to have hurt you.”
“He is not like that!” I couldn’t help the lies that came out of my mouth. Except, in a way, they weren’t lies. He has changed and that has to count for something.
“Oh really? Then where is the Alpha’s mark? You’ve been with him for a year, and yet I see no mark on you. No act of permanence. A male wolf is possessive, an Alpha wouldn’t be able to not mark his mate for more than a week. Not to mention the fact that he let you come here with unmated males and he doesn’t even have the balls to protect you in person.” He seethed. His face was filled with disgust as he looks at me as a different person.
“Do not speak about my mate like that. You have no understanding of what Alec and I are doing. We are just deciding to take things slow. Also, he is not here because he has a pack to protect, so that is why he sent his beta and Axe, a top fighter.”
“I don’t believe that. Tell me the truth.” He demanded.
“I did tell you the truth,” I replied. “Anyway, I’ve had enough of this conversation,” I stated. “All you need to know is that Alec is my mate and we are taking things slow.”
“Well, I’m not done. You didn’t even come back to the house to gather your things.” Mark pointed out.
“Alec had important matters and he had to be back at his pack so he took me with him. He bought me all new things.”
“I don’t believe you,” Mark said.
“As my best friend, you should.”
The rest of the walk to the pack house was silent.
When we almost arrived Mark abruptly halted in his tracks. “Stay here. I contacted your family to meet me at the gates. I want your family to see you first. Your friends are fine, and also one of them found there mate.” Mark said. I smiled and wondered who found there mate. Whoever it was, I hope everything was going okay for them.
“Thank you, Mark. Are you mad at me?” I asked.
“No.” He gave me a quick hug. “Just overly worried.”
I tried to make a conversation with him. “So did you find your mate?” I asked.
“No. Hopefully, it’s soon.”
“I hope you have a wonderful mate. She’ll be happy to have you.” I complimented.
“Even though I don’t like the guy. I hope he treats you good.” The was the closest I was going to get with Mark when it came to Alec.
“Why does everyone hate him.” I wanted to know what he did to everyone else to hate him.
“His reputation. He has killed for no reason multiple times. After the so-called legendary war, he has slaughtered many packs and combined the rest of the survivors to his pack. That is why his pack is big in numbers.”
“He has changed.”
Mark rolled his eyes. “Of course you would defend him.”
“He is my mate! And he’s not the same person. Honestly, no one knows the real truth behind the war. Everyone just assumes it was over land disputes and they think it was all Alec’s fault.” I said. I was trying not to argue with my best friend but I wouldn’t take anyone talking shit about what they didn’t know.
“And I suppose you know the truth.” Mark mocked.
“Yes. I do.” I stated and gave him a glare. “We aren’t talking about that right now. Let’s just enjoy our time together because I can’t stay here forever.”
“Right I forget. Your infamous alpha mate would probably drag you back to his pack by your hair.” This time Mark had crossed a line.
“Shut the fuck up Mark. I don’t give a shit who you are or that you’re the Alpha of this pack, don’t ever talk to me like that again. Don’t ever shame me or my mate again.” After my words, we just stood there and had a stare down. A stare down to which I wasn’t backing down.
“Leah!” I heard a little kid screaming. My eyes widened as a six-year-old kid ran in full werewolf speed to me. My eyes widened and I almost forgot how fast and strong kids could be with the werewolf gene. At this rate, he could tackle me to the ground because his werewolf was physically more powerful than my witch. I was right.
Blake ran straight into me expecting me to catch him and be steady but I couldn’t. We both fell to the ground and he squeezed the life out of me.
“I love you so much. I knew you would come back!” Blake exclaimed. This was the happiest I ever saw him. I hugged him back tightly.
“I missed you so much. There wasn’t a single day that went by without thinking out you.” I had to keep in my tears.
Mark helped me up to my feet but Blake still clung into me. Mom and Dad had finally jogged up to me along with Nick. Gasps were heard among them. My mom took one look at me and burst into tears. My dad instantly ran up to hug me. He was a lot better at not crying during situations. Nick consoled mom as she was full on crying now. When my dad let go so did Blake, and mom instantly engulfed me in a hug.
“That text you sent me...” She sobbed in between words. “You said I love you no matter what, never forget that. I texted you back many of times but you never answered. I thought you died.”
My heart broke as she recited back those words. That was exactly what I sent her word for word. That text must have been on repeat in her mind for a long time.
“I’m sorry to scare you but it’s a lot to explain,” I told her.
Mark scuffed and walked past us. “Come back when you’re ready. I will let you all catch up.”
“Where did you go?” Nick asked as it was now his turn to hug me.
“I found my mate and I had to leave to go to his pack,” I answered.
My parents narrowed their eyes at me. “Nick take Blake back to the pack house. Your father and I need to have a conversation with your sister.” By the tone in my mother’s voice, Nick and Blake knew not to argue.
As they left my mom tried to dry up her tears. “I’m glad to see you. I missed you so much.” Mom said.
“Are you alright?” My dad asked.
“Yes, I’m fine. It was all just a misunderstanding.” I told them.
“You’re still with your mate?” My dad asked.
“Alec Knine.” My mother repeated.
They looked at me with their vulture eyes. I almost shivered as they read me like a book.
“I don’t see a mating mark.” My father examined me.
“We are taking things slow.” Now things were starting to get awkward.
“Are you sure you are okay?” Mom asked.
I nodded my head, “Never felt better. Shall we go to the pack house, I have plenty of time to catch up with you guys there.”
Both of them smiled at me. “Of course, sweatheart.” My mom held my hands as we walked through the gate.
“Your brother Chris found his mate.” My dad stated from beside me.
My eyes lit up like the fourth of July. “Yeah, I was wondering where he is.”