The ferocious growl invaded nearly every room in the two-story house.
Zya snickered when she heard her younger sister’s cry. She placed the coffee mug she had been sipping from on the counter before walking out of the kitchen.
“Yes?” she asked when she stepped into the bedroom. Her eyes gleamed innocently but the smirk that was plastered on her face was a tell-tale sign that she knew exactly what triggered Zena’s anger.
She found her in the center of the room, glaring disapprovingly with the contents of her closet sprawled out on the floor. “What the f*ck did you do to my closet?” Zena demanded and bent down to retrieve a pair of ripped grey skinny jeans.
“I needed a dress,” the other wolf replied curtly.
The answer earned her a snarl. Zena wrung the jeans she held in her hands with a vengeance. She approached a wary Zya who took various steps backward. “What are you doing?” she asked gingerly.
“Making myself a single child,” Zena snaps and launched herself, fueled with the intent of strangulation.
An oxygen-appreciative Zya jumped over the various articles of clothing that littered the floor. Zena didn’t miss a beat and ran after her. She was about to jump on her back when her foot met a lacy cloth. She slipped unceremoniously and smashed her head on the wooden floorboards.
Zya roared with laughter. The thought of helping Zena off the ground didn’t even cross her mind.
The female alpha groaned from irritation and pain. She sat up and searched for the cause of her fall. The offender, a baby blue dress, was pooled by her bare feet.
A pain that she had become all-too-familiar with settled into her chest when she recognized the item. The aching in her head paled in comparison with the fiery sting that was piercing her.
Zena wore the blue dress on the 21st birthday. The dreadful day she met her mate. She gripped the soft dress angrily when the grim memories of the tragic night came crashing in.
She threw her head back and laughed at Alpha Nathaniel’s comment. His kind dark brown eyes contained nothing but mischief. When a warm hand gripped her bare shoulder, Zena turned and was greeted with the bright smile of Alpha Hazel- a woman she highly respected.
She mingled with her friends and family for some time, receiving nothing but congratulative smiles. Later, she went in search of Zya. She scanned the room, looking for a sign of the dark-haired devil.
Zena blinked repeatedly once a particular scent invaded her senses. She changed her course, wanting to track down the bearer of the scent.
Her heart slammed into her ribcage with enough force that had Zena wondering how her ribs were still intact. She knew what the attraction to a particular smell meant: Her mate was in the room.
With sweaty palms and a knotted stomach, she searched for the man she waited 21 years to meet.
She forgot all about the people in the room; too busy planning what she would say when she finally found him. She felt the butterflies that had gone into hibernation long ago flutter in her stomach. Her legs seemed to grow weaker with every step she took and her breathing became labored.
She was guided to Alpha Adrian, Eva, and Alpha Lukas. Her head crooked with confusion. Adrian and Eva were mates. This took Adrian out of the equation. Lukas was... simply not a possibility.
The man was too hateful, arrogant, and destructive to deserve a mate. He needed to die alone. Procreation would be disastrous. His bloodline couldn’t continue.
The butterflies in her stomach scattered, her smile faded, and the panic kicked in when Zena realized that she was rooted to the ground. She couldn’t move.
Her body’s reaction had confirmed the impossible:
Alpha Lukas- a man who a couple of days ago told Zena that he wasn’t interested in conducting business with her because she was a woman, was her mate.
The cup she held in her hand escaped her sweaty grasp. It shattered to pieces once it met the floor. If the sound of glass exploding didn’t grab guest’s attention, her shrill cry sure did. “Goddamn it!”
Lukas’ eyes narrowed for a second before recognition dawned. Today, he struck gold. He offered Zena his signature smirk— a gesture powered by malice. “Hello, mate.”
She panicky ran her hands through her hair, dishevelling the neat bun that the locks were previously locked into. ”This isn’t happening!” she promised, directing an accusative finger at the tall man whose suit was as black and his vile heart.
Lukas’ smile only widened. His gaze was contaminated with ill-will. “Oh yes, it is. We’ll mate, merge packs, and I’ll become the alpha. You’re not fit to be an Alpha... Women don’t belong in positions of power.”
The realization that the disgraceful misogynist now had a claim on everything she owned-including her pack, made bile threaten to burst out of her mouth.
Zena visibly shook with rage. Never had the urge to wring someone’s neck been so tempting.
“Get the fuck out of my state and crawl back to the depths of hell where you belong. You pompous, sexist asshole!” She cursed, not caring that everyone at the event heard the outburst.
And with that, she walked away.
Zena’s face contorted with newfound fury as she thought of her problematic mate.
Lukas attempted to meet with her multiple times. He used business as an excuse but she knew he simply wanted to roll out this devious plan. The alpha female avoided him at all costs; making her beta deal with him when he so as much called. She took comfort in the fact that Lukas couldn’t enter her territory without her permission so she was safe within her borders.
There wasn’t a single case in werewolf history in which two different alphas became mates. There weren’t any written rules that dictated how their assets would be divided so no one knew what to do in this situation. The packs could merge, but determining the official Alpha wouldn’t be as easy. Zena and Lukas would have to bring their case to the council and battle it out.
Zena was stuck. As mates, he was the only man alive that would ever be able to impregnate her. Rejecting a mate had its costs- the cost of parenthood. Zena wasn’t sure if she had it in her to give up the ability to bear children.
Adoption also had its costs. Werewolves were meant to rule as monarchies. If the heir to the pack didn’t have her bloodline, they would be feeble in both mind and body.
For ten months, she mopped around and contemplated her few options- rejection and losing the ability to become pregnant, or accepting a man who would never respect her and risk losing her alpha title.
The probability of him becoming a decent man overtime was also on the table. But the chance of that happening was so slim it couldn’t even constitute as a chip on the wood.
She broke her trance with a blink. “What do you need a dress for?”
“Alpha Nathaniel is celebrating his first wedding anniversary. Didn’t you see the invitation?” Zya replies.
Zena’s answer was delivered with a shake of her head. “No,” she lied and retrieved a flowery blouse from the floor. As soon as she received the red envelope that contained the invitation, she shoved it into the nearest trash bin.
Zya stared knowingly as Zena folded the blouse and placed it on the bed. She knew she was lying and locked herself in their territory to avoid a certain alpha. But Zena’s ego would rather have her swallow glass than admit that she was hiding from Lukas.
“Well, luckily for you, your amazing and responsible sister prepared everything already,” Zya chirped.
The alpha female glared intensely. “I can’t go. I’m too busy,” she grumbled and resumed the distracting task of folding clothes.
“When did you become a coward? Stop hiding from him,” Zya pushed, knowing that the noun would test her temper.
Of course, this was only a jab. Zya respected and admired her sister. Most alphas took over once they reached 21. Zena did so at 19 when their father died. The deceased alpha left her with a nearly bankrupt pack.
With multiple smart investments and political decisions, Zena managed to dig them out of the grave her father had shoved them into. While Zya was older, she didn’t shift until her mid-twenties. The absence of her wolf resulted in the alpha title passing onto a resourceful, loyal, and fierce Zena.
Zena leered at the accusation. “Mind your own business.”
“It’s been too long. You need to go out” Zya insisted, not shying away from Zena’s tense figure and murderous glare.
Without bothering to reply, Zena turned and slammed her bedroom door close on her way out. She marched into her office; planning on distracting herself with work as she had been doing for the past ten months.