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Fated To The Alpha

Chapter 1
Chapter 2



Chapter 1


My fingers drum on my school desk, watching the seconds tick by on the clock above the chalkboard. All while trying my best to ignore the twat flicking paper balls at the back of my head.

Mr. Spencer drones on with his boring lecture, unaware of the fact not a single one of his students is actually listening; most are too busy passing notes, whispering amongst themselves, or like Sam, tossing paper balls at me. I press my lips in a line: same shit, different day.

At least the school year was nearly over. Then my holidays will be spent lounging at home while going through college brochures. I just have to keep reminding myself I will be out of here soon. And that a suspension right now will have my mother breathing down my neck or maybe wringing it. And I know better than to piss that woman off. She would hand me my ass before I could process her coming for me. She has a reputation, and it isn’t for being a pushover. Plus, I don’t get a free pass just because I am her daughter.

I’m in my last year of high school, and I am glad this part of my life is nearly over. Soon I won’t have to endure the constant torment of being the freak of our Pack—only three more months of school and freedom. I’ll be free to choose never to see these assholes again.

My father is the Beta, a highly regarded Pack member. I’m sure you can imagine his disappointment when he discovered my secret. I am the freak, the wolf-less girl. Our school is a Pack school with only werewolves, no humans allowed. You can imagine what kind of hell it has been for me. I’m basically human, shamefully so. And they like to remind me of that every day while here.

However, my parents are the best. The Pack may shun me, but not once have they ever entertained the idea, always telling me I was a late bloomer and my wolf would come one day. I used to believe that story too, until now. I am nearly eighteen, at the age you find your mate, and still without my wolf. Most get their wolf at thirteen. Not getting your wolf is like not hitting puberty. On the plus side, I can say I did hit that one milestone. It was the rest I damn well skipped over.

When the bell rings, I am the first out of my seat, rushing to the cafeteria. I snag a lunch tray before making my way to the line and quickly grab some food before moving to the back of the room to my designated spot. Aren’t I so lucky? This seat and table were specifically reserved for the freak, some asshole even carved ‘freak’ into the tabletop, just in case I forgot my place within the Pack. How sweet. Conveniently, it was located beside the toilet,
which in a way, could be classed as the best seat in the cafeteria. Especially on Thursdays, when they serve something that resembles braised steak and onion, yet it doesn’t taste anything like it, the meat has been questioned plenty of times. Whispers that the kitchen lady is serving expelled students. Personally, I think it is roadkill or maybe rodent. Anyway, that lovely Thursday lunch has sent many running for the toilet. Luckily, after the first time, I devoured that crap. I make sure to bring a homemade lunch on Thursdays.

I have just taken my designated seat to eat lunch, the cafeteria bustling with students when I hear my name called over the PA system. “Katya Hartley, please report to the front office,” the middle-aged woman who works as the school’s secretary announces. The entire cafeteria laughs and boo’s at me, chucking food at me as I leave. I keep walking, tossing the contents of my tray in the bin and placing my tray next to it. I am more than used to their taunting remarks at this point.

For the most part, I try to remain invisible, which is near impossible when you’re the Beta’s daughter, and your mother is one of the leading Pack warriors. Tossing my bag over my shoulder, I pull a chunk of lettuce from my dark brown hair that was stuck when Thomas threw his burger at my head. Thomas couldn’t catch an IQ to save his life, but he proved his throwing arm is quite good, or maybe I am just an easy target because it splattered all over my head. I swipe at my hair, my fingers grazing over my wet cheek, and I pull my hand back to look at it.

Ew, and it has mayo on it. I groan, using the sleeve of my sweater to wipe my hair covered in the white gunk while marching out the cafeteria doors.

With quick steps, I walk down the corridor and head toward the front office. With my elbow, I shove the door open and race across the quad. The brown door to the office is nearby, my safe place. No one messes with me here. Mrs. Mason is a scary woman. No one dares to cause drama in the front office. As I am nearly halfway across the quad, Tabitha and her goonies step in front of me. I roll my eyes. What does this bitch want now?

Tabitha is the Alpha’s daughter, and her brother Darian is next in line for the Alpha position; both of them are my nemesis.

“Hey freak,” Tabitha sneers, blocking my path. I try to step around her, but she sidesteps directly in front of me.

“What do you want, Tabitha?” I ask. We used to be friends, well, until everyone found out I had no wolf, then I became the laughingstock of the school.

“Oh, nothing, just came to give you the proper send-off,” she says with a smirk, and my brows furrow as her words replay in my head.

“What do you mean?” I shake my head, having no idea what she is talking about.

Her blue eyes brighten maliciously, her plump lips pull up into a taunting smile. “You haven’t heard?” She questions in a sing-song tone. Whatever she has to tell me, she is enjoying this.
She fans herself with her hand before checking out her manicured nails. It makes no sense to me why she bothers getting them done when they only break off whenever she shifts.

“If you have something to say, Tabitha, spit it out. I have to get to the office,” I retort, done playing her stupid games.

Meril and Bianca, her goonies, snicker behind her as Tabitha takes a step forward. I give her the once over, my eyes moving over her.

Bitch, you don’t want to test me today. I am covered in burger and nasty ass mayo. I’m starving from not being able to eat my crappy lunch, and I’m being called to the office. Nevertheless, I will feed her bony ass to her if she tries anything. I might actually take my mother’s advice for once and deliver the beat down Tabitha deserves.

Tabitha jabs her finger in my chest, and I slap her hand away as she leans down closer. Her breath smells of mint chewing gum. “My father has banished you. So I thought I would come to see you. Can’t miss the chance to say my goodbyes to the unwanted Beta’s daughter,” she says with a giggle while Bianca and Meril laugh at her not-so-funny joke. Geez, those girls are just as stupid as they look. If they weren’t beautiful, I can guarantee no one would put up with their antics.

Before I can question her further about her outlandish claims, she takes a step back and something wet and cold runs down my face just as the office door opens. Meril dumps her milkshake over my head, and it seeps into the crocheted sweater my mother made me, drenching me completely. I feel the slivers of thickened milk run between my cleavage and press my lips in a line; taking a step forward, I clench my fist, wanting nothing more than to break Tabitha’s perfect nose. Only I don’t get a chance when my mother’s furious voice echoes around us. Tabitha jumps and I smirk. Now you’ve done it.

“Tabitha Elizabeth Blackwell, is there a reason you are tormenting my daughter?” My mother demands, I turn on my heel to find my mother walking toward us, her dark hair is pulled back in a high ponytail, and she has an expression as if someone has thrown a burger at her head, and she is going to yank off their arms and beat them with them. She marches over.

She is a strong woman, stern, and she brings fear amongst the she-wolves, including the Luna of the Pack. My mother kicked her ass in training in front of the entire Pack for saying I should have been put down at birth because I was that worthless to the Pack. If she weren’t the only female Pack warrior, my mother definitely would have been punished for embarrassing the Luna like that. Still, everyone knows Alpha Jackson has always had the hots for my mother. He has since they were kids, and was disappointed when she turned out not to be his mate.

Tabitha’s smile falls as she twirls around to face my mother, who is stalking straight towards her. Meril and Bianca take off afraid to face her wrath, but before Tabitha can do the same, my mother stomps past me. My mother growls so deeply and brutally it makes me flinch.
“It was-was an accident,” Tabitha stutters out, and to think this pathetic girl is an Alpha female and is scared of my mother. I can’t help the smirk that creeps onto my face. Her fear is so pungent I am shocked she doesn’t soil herself.

What I wasn’t expecting is for my mother to raise her hand and slap her. Tabitha squeals loudly, her head whipping to the side and my mother’s hand outline imprinting on her face. I cover my mouth with my hands in complete shock at what she did. Tabitha cups her cheek as her eyes water. Her eyes dart around the quad before the rest of her face turns as red as the handprint etched into her skin. Shit, Alpha Jackson is going to kill my mother now; she just struck the Alpha’s daughter.

I heard gasps and look around to see a few people had seen what my mother had done, yet my mother didn’t seem to care for the audience as she raises her hand again.

“Mom!” I shriek, and she looks over at me before spotting a few teachers rush out. My mother stares them down, daring them to say something.

Tabitha tucks tail and runs off, crying. I can just imagine the ridicule she will get tomorrow over it before her dear old daddy has to reinforce his control so that she can take back her Queen Bee status.

“I have always wanted to put that mutt in her place,” my mother says before gripping my arms and leaning down to look me dead in the face.

“Why do you put up with it?” she demands, grabbing my hands and raising them. “You are trained better than any of these little shits here. You may not have a wolf, but that has never stopped you from kicking their asses in training. I trained you. Your father trained you. These worthless bitches are beneath you. You just need to see it.”

I shake my head, knowing it would just make my torment worse, and my hands were no good against a shifted wolf.

“Come, we are leaving,” she orders, straightening up before turning on her heel and walking toward the parking lot. I chase after her before falling in line beside her.

“What’s going on?” I ask, worried after what Tabitha said. Getting to the parking lot, I see an orange moving truck parked next to our car, and I stop in my tracks.

“Mom, what’s going on?” I ask again when my father hops out of the car.

My mother also stops and reaches out, gripping my soggy sweater and forcing me to keep walking.

“Hey, Pumpkin,” my father greets, walking over and embracing me while my mother quickly gives the thumbs up to the mover waiting for her order.

“I knew you liked strawberry milkshakes. I didn’t know you wanted to wear them, though,” My father teases, drawing my attention back to him. He swipes some off my hair with his
hands before gripping it in a ponytail, wringing out my hair. My mother goes to the trunk, pops it open, and retrieves a water bottle.

“Tip your head back,” my mother instructs, and I obey, craning my neck back as far as I can. She uses the water bottle to rinse my hair before tearing my sweater up the side and taking it off me.


“I will make you another,” she scolds, tossing it in the garbage can along with the now empty water bottle.

“So, is someone going to tell me what’s going on?” I ask yet again. My father glances at my mother before giving me a smile.
“You’re moving,” my father announces like it is no big deal. I gape at him. Did he mean house, state, or country? Probably best to leave the country since my mother had just slapped Tabitha. That would be wise. Alpha Jackson wasn’t known for his willingness to forgive anyone.

“Why is what Tabitha said true? Did they banish me? Are you getting rid of me?” I ask, feeling sick to my stomach. We have never left the Pack, not even on holidays, before. My parents never took time off. They never had a chance with their positions in the Pack.

I only know of one other family in our Pack whose child didn’t have a wolf, and they threw him away like trash. They literally kicked him out, and it is something I have always been worried about. My parents getting rid of me like I never existed because I brought shame to them. My eyes move to the moving truck and back to my father, but it was my mother that answers my question.

“Yes, what Tabitha said is true. Alpha Jackson has asked you to leave. This is a werewolf-only community, and he wanted you gone once you hit eighteen,” my mother replies. I have to leave; the Alpha has finally convinced them to get rid of me. My lungs restrict, and I feel on the verge of a panic attack. Where will I go? How will I survive? My worst nightmare is coming true.

“So this is it? You’re sending me away?” I choke out, tears brimming. They are going to get rid of me, force me to go rogue.

“No, of course not. You’re our baby. We knew this was coming, so we made plans. All of us are joining another Pack and coming with you.” my mother tells me with a softer smile than usual. She cups my face in her hands, squishing my lips together. “We would never throw you away. Never, Kat!” she tells me, and I nod my head, relief releases the tension in my bones as she kisses my forehead.
When she lets me go, she turns to look at my father. “By the way, Hun, we should leave,” my mother quips before walking around to the passenger side in a hurry. My father goes to ask why, but she slips in, slamming the door before he can ask her.

“She slapped Tabitha,” I whisper to him, and he rocks back on his heels in shock for a second.

A silly smile slips onto his face when he leans closer to me. “Did she get her a good one?” My father asks, sending me a conspiratorial wink, and I smile, shaking my head with a soft laugh and hopping into the back seat. My father pulls away, and the truck follows us.

“What about you, Dad? Aren’t you the Pack Beta?” I ask, worried, knowing he will lose his title over this.

“I won’t be part of a Pack that shuns my daughter. They want you gone? Then I go too,” he says, leaving no room for argument.

I have the best parents. Relief floods me, even though I feel guilty for ripping them away from everything they have.

“Everything will work out, dear. You’ll see,” my mother reassures me, reaching over from the front and gripping my knee.

“What Pack would want a wolf-less Pack member?” I ask more to myself than them.

“You’re not wolf-less, just a late bloomer. Your wolf will come, Kat. You are born from two werewolf parents; therefore, you are a werewolf,” my mother states, not wanting to see the truth; I am as useless as they say I am. They know it, and I definitely know, yet they still continue to lie to themselves, believing some miracle will happen, and I will finally wake up and tell them my wolf came to me.

“We are moving to Black Creek Pack. Alpha Ezra has kindly offered to take us in,” my father tells me as my mother turns back to face the front.

Alpha Ezra? I rack my brain, trying to pull the name from memory, knowing I have heard it before. As I repeat the name, my eyes almost bulge out of my head, and I lean forward in panic. No, anywhere but his Pack. Fuck, I will take my chances going rogue.

“Black Creek Pack? Isn’t that the Pack that just went to war with the Blue Mountain Pack?” I cautiously ask, hoping I’m wrong about who he is.

“Yes, Katya, I know you’re scared, but the Alpha is truly a nice guy. He was very understanding. Besides, I think he was happy about stripping Jackson of his Beta and only female warrior,” my mother tells me smugly.

“Yeah, but he killed their entire Pack, mom. He is a monster,” I argue. I am more scared of my so-called new Alpha than my current one. Everyone has heard of the notorious Alpha Ezra and the fear he instills in his enemies. I lean back, knowing already that this is going to
be a terrible idea. Some sinking feeling in my stomach weighed down the gravity of the situation we are in.

“I’m sure he had his reasons. Besides, it is not like anyone else was willing to take us in,” my mother scolds.

“So he knows I have no wolf?” I ask, knowing all Packs are small communities solely of our kind. I am a little shocked he even agreed, who would accept a wolf-less girl?

My parents glance at each other and I blink at them, my brain finding actions and words hard to process. “It won’t be an issue as long as you can prove yourself to be helpful around the Pack,” my father replies.

Great, he doesn’t know, and I will have to act like an omega slave, I think dryly. I fall asleep on the drive, only waking when we stop at a storage shed. The drive took five hours total, and I am exhausted. My back is killing me, and my ass went numb halfway here. The movers load our stuff into the storage shed before a sleek black car pulls up beside ours and two men climb out. I move closer to our car, taking a step back as they approach us.
Chapter 2

Both look at me, sniffing the air as I watch them. By their scent, I know they are werewolves and high-ranking ones.

“Alpha Ezra requests your presence at the Packhouse immediately.” The man with dark hair that is faded on the sides growls. He appears to be in his early twenties, and by the authority oozing off him, I can tell he is the Pack’s Beta. His eyes dart to me, and he looks me up and down, a strange look on his face.

Is he angry, or is it shock? I can’t tell, but whatever it is, he covers it quickly. He presses his lips in a line and swallows, turning his attention back to my father.

“This is your daughter?” He scoffs, motioning toward me, not even trying to hide his dislike as he speaks; I guess it is anger. Yep, definitely angry because when his eyes move back to me, his cold gray-blue eyes glare daggers at me as if he wants to kill me himself.

“Yes, this is my daughter, Katya. I am Derrick,” my father introduces himself before holding out his hand. “I didn’t catch your name?” My father says, drawing the man’s attention away from me, that has me wanting to run and hide in the car to escape his intense gaze.

The man grasps his hand firmly. “Beta Mateo, this is Alex, one of our Gammas,” he introduces the other man. He is around the same age, with blonde hair hanging in his hazel eyes, yet he looks more bored than anything.

Both of them are huge, around the same size as my father. But, Beta Mateo has more bulk of muscle and is a few inches taller and is wearing a black shirt and dark blue jeans.

“I hear you used to be a Beta at your old Pack?” Mateo questions, and my father nods. “Good, we could use some help training some of our Pack. If you are up for it?” He asks with a smirk.

My father nods. “Sounds great,” my father tells him before introducing my mother to him. “This is Shirley, my wife and mate.”

“Nice to meet you,” my mother tells them, stepping forward and shaking their hands. The Beta’s eyes keep darting back to me, his anger is now gone, but he looks confused. Every time he glances in my direction, and he keeps sniffing the air, his lips pursed as he looks me over once again, and I notice the points of his canines poke out a little as if he was trying to control his wolf.

“If you follow us, we will escort you to the Packhouse. You can be placed with someone until the property is available,” Mateo explains, turning on his heel and getting in his black BMW.
We hop back in our car before following him through the sleepy town. It is quite a large town and way nicer looking than the one back home.

“See how nice they are? This will work out. It has to,” my mother says a little too enthusiastically.

We follow their car all the way to the end of town before pulling down a road and going into the forest for another ten minutes. We stop on a horseshoe driveway in front of a huge sandstone three-storied mansion with bushy green hedges out front. Massive arched windows and vines grow along the stone walls to the roof. I hop out of the car and my shoes crunch on the ground from the tiny pebbles that cover it. I look up at the Packhouse. It is definitely more lavish than the one back home.

Beta Mateo leads us to the white door before opening it and motioning for us to enter. Inside has white marble floors, and a hall stand sits along the wall near the entryway with a big, expensive-looking vase. My mother looks around in awe. Two staircases lead to the landing above, overlooking the floor we were on, and I stare, amazed, as I take it all in.

We walk toward the door between both stairwells. I spy some bench seats next to it, and Mateo knocks on the door before a deep voice tells him to enter. A shiver runs up my spine.

He slips through the door, closing it behind him before returning and telling my parents to go in and for me to wait until called. I wait for what feels like hours before my mother comes out, sitting next to me. The Packhouse is quiet, and no one walks around, and I can’t hear anyone else here.

“He is just speaking with your father, then he will want to speak to us individually to make sure our stories are the same,” my mother explains to me in a hushed voice.

“What story? They banished us because of me,” I whisper to her. He would find out and kill us, or worse, make me leave without my parents. My mother nudges me with her arm.

“Shh, calm down. Everything is fine. He probably won’t ask you much because you’re our child,” she tries to comfort me, trying to calm me down enough that I don’t get us caught. Tears brim and I quickly wipe them away. If I fuck this up, I would ruin our only chance of remaining together.

“What did you tell them?” I ask softly. I have to make sure I got this right. I can’t afford to say the wrong thing.

“They were going to banish us. It’s not lying; it’s the truth. He doesn’t need to know the reason why. You have a wolf, Kat. She will come. You’ll see,” my mother tries to reassure me.

“And if she doesn’t?” I whisper.

“She will,” my mother replies, steel in her voice.
I hang my head. I will be the biggest disappointment to them, which makes my stomach twist painfully.

My father steps out and nods to my mother. She wipes her hands on her jeans before getting up and walking into the office and closing the door.

“He will initiate you into the Pack. It isn’t so bad. You just need to drink his blood, Kat, and you will feel the Pack link snap in place.”

Gross, I think to myself. “What about the old Pack?”

“It will hurt a little once you pledge, like a migraine. I won’t lie to you; it even brought me to my knees,” he whispers, as I hear my mother cry out. My father jumps to his feet, head snapping toward the door. I hear soft murmurs before the silver door handle jiggles, and the door opens. My mother stumbles out, clutching her head. My father was at her side, instantly helping her to her seat.

Nervousness makes me take a step back, not wanting to endure whatever she just had. “Kat, you need to go in,” my mother whispers, pulling herself together, with her fingers gently rubbing her temples.

Fear chokes me and I shake my head, too scared to go in. My mother is the strongest woman I know, and if it hurt her that badly, I know it must be painful.

My father comes over, grabbing my arms and gives me a gentle shake until I look at him. “Kat, we did all this for you. This is the only choice we have to remain together, so I need you to do this for us,” he orders, holding my gaze and I swallow and glance at the door before I nod.

“Is everything alright out there?” The Alpha calls out from inside the room. I look to the door in a panic.

“Please, Katya, once it’s done, it’s done, it stops, I promise,” my father tries to reassure me, yet my mother still has her head clutched in her hands.

I let out a breath and nod. My father steers me toward the door and then nudges me. My hand trembles as I grip the door handle and push the door open. Keeping my head down, I step inside, close it, and look up at the Alpha.

He is looking at some documents on his desk. He has dark hair long on top and faded on the sides. I freeze at the strange look he gives me when he looks up. He sniffs the air slightly, and I wonder if he can sense that I am different. A low, deep growl rumbles from his chest softly as he grips the desk so hard his knuckles turn white. His caramel eyes flicker to the beast residing within him and I have to fight down the urge to run back out of the room.

Hesitantly, my feet move toward the desk. He is very handsome, with a five o’clock shadow, full lips, and a strong jawline. He smells nice too, like the forest after it rains, he has a strong
woodsy scent. I would guess he is around his mid-twenties. He watches me for a few seconds when I stop, not knowing if I should remain standing or what to do with myself.

After a few seconds, his body relaxes slightly, and I notice claw marks on his tabletop from where his fingers were. He beckons me closer, and I force my feet to move. His eyes watch my every move. Shit! Can he smell I have no wolf? The tight set of his jaw clenches and the way he watches me with his flickering eyes makes my blood run cold.

He knows, and he is going to kill me.
Chapter 3

“You can sit,” he says, nodding toward the chair beside me. I stare at it like it will come alive and bite my ass. He clears his throat and I scramble to sit on the edge, my leg bouncing as I clasp my hands in my lap, unable to keep still. I glance back toward the door where my parents are waiting before turning my attention away.

The room is vast, befitting of an Alpha. Though I am surprised to see the bookshelves lining the walls. He had more books than our old Pack library. My fingers itch to grab one and see what kind of person he was through the things he reads. His desk sits in the center and it makes him even more imposing.

Turning back to face the Alpha, I find him watching me again. “Your name is Katya?” He says, pronouncing it correctly. Most people don’t the first time or they just didn’t care to.

“Yes, Alpha.”
“You can call me Ezra,” he corrects quickly, and I nod. “How old are you?” “Seventeen,” I reply, and he nods, looking at some documents, which I notice are my
mother’s and father’s paperwork, along with my birth certificate. He picks it up while studying it.

“You turn eighteen soon? You will be able to find your mate. That’s exciting,” he states, his eyes flicking back to me.

I say nothing. No one will want me; I was little more than a defect with heightened senses. “You go to school; I take it?”
I nod, chewing on my thumbnail. “Last year?”
“Yes, I finish this year, well, I am meant to,” I am so not looking forward to going to another school, especially so late in the year. I don’t know what bullies this school will have, but I’d attract them. It was practically a guarantee.

“You’ll be finishing school,” he states, leaving no room for argument. I press my lips together, knowing better than to argue.
“You don’t like school?” he questions.

“Does anyone like school?” I snap back and he smiles.
“I liked school. I am surprised you don’t since you are a Beta’s daughter,” he says.

Yeah, school was great until they found out I was a freak.

“Your parents have already explained your reason for leaving. You had a run-in with the Alpha’s daughter, and your mother hit her?” He asks.

My mother is taking the blame. I keep my mouth shut to stop the risk of being caught in a lie, although technically, that was true, just not the reason we left. I nod.

“Good enough for me; I can’t stand Alpha Jackson. The prick should be put down,” Alpha Ezra scoffs, not even trying to hide his dislike for my old Alpha.

“Come here,” he orders, standing up and moving around to the front of his desk, where he stops beside me. I jump out of my seat and take a step back, nearly stumbling over my own feet. His eyes snap to mine at my abrupt movement.

He holds his hand out to me, and I look at it, feeling a little wary of the intimidating man, wondering how he has the reputation he has because he doesn’t seem as bad as the rumors I have heard. “I won’t hurt you; I will never hurt you,” I hesitate before I place mine in his.
Tingles spread across my palm, and I jerk my hand back, staring at it.

“Sorry, must be static,” he apologizes, and his eyes flicker black. He grabs my hand again with a smile playing on his lips, his thumb tracing circles over the back of my hand, making me look at him. The Alpha’s lips tug in the corners as he urges me closer. When I don’t immediately move, he pulls me toward him.

His hand is warm, yet the strange tingling sensation doesn’t stop. I look up at him thinking it is odd, only to find he is watching me again. He is tall, I only come up to the center of his chest, and he is wide too, all hard muscle as he towers over me.

He bites his wrist, offering it to me, and I stare. My eyes dart back to his desk and I see two glasses stained with his blood sitting on the edge. So why is he offering me his wrist? Surely he doesn’t want me to drink his blood from him like some vampire, does he?

“Times ticking, little one, hurry up,” he orders, pulling me closer and wrapping his arm around my waist before bringing his wrist to my lips. I grab his wrist and I can taste his lingering saliva there. His blood, surprisingly, doesn’t taste bad as it floods into my mouth. Not something I will go out looking to drink; and I would suck it if I were a vampire, but not really my thing. It was sweet tasting though, or maybe that is the taste of his skin? I’m not sure.

He pulls his wrist away, but doesn’t let go, holding me close to him. His arm tightens around my waist when he dips his head just enough so his face is next to mine, his lips grazing my ear as he speaks.

“Pledge to me,” he whispers, and I nod. The heat from his hard chest is pressing against my back, his warmth seeping into me and I suck in a nervous breath.
“I, Katya Hartley, pledge my loyalty and my life to Alpha Ezra,” I stop, not knowing his last name. I glance over my shoulder at him. And for a few seconds, I am stunned by the combined strong aroma wafting from him. Sandalwood is one of the fragrances as for the other, the spicy scent of cinnamon is unmistakable. It is an intoxicating blend and I inhale deeply. My eyes flutter shut so I can lose myself in the moment.

“Pierce,” he whispers, his lips almost brushing mine, and my eyes fly open as I wonder what came over me. He is so close and my face heats at what I did, he pulls back and I think I saw the ghost of a smile dancing on his lips. I quickly turn my face away, my weird reaction to him shocks me.

“Alpha Ezra Pierce of Black Creek Pack.” As the last word leaves my lips, a searing pain explodes in my head, making me drop as I clutch it. His grip tightens around me and is the only thing stopping me from hitting the floor in a heap. The chattering of my old Pack, every word I ever heard flits through my head loudly, making my ears ring, and a scream leaves my lips. The pressure of the Pack link breaking as the new one forges makes my head feel like someone is crushing it in their grip and that any moment now it will explode all over his carpet.

Just as suddenly as it comes, it stops like the snap of a rubber band, only for a dull ache to take its place. “You’re okay. It’s over now,” Alpha Ezra’s voice filters through my head, making me look up at him.

He smiles at me as I blink back the tears that had sprung to my eyes.

“Are you good for me to let you go?” He asks. I look down to see his arms wrapped around me, just under my breasts. My face heats with embarrassment as I realize he is the only reason I am upright before quickly becoming aware of his hands on my body.

Great, I was crushing on my Alpha.

I step away, and he lets go. His eyes glaze over, and seconds later, my parents rush into the room, he must have been talking to them through the Pack link.

“See, you’re fine. I told you it wouldn’t be so bad,” my father says, fussing over me. I slap their hands away. I wasn’t a baby. Sometimes they could be a little embarrassing.

“Tonight you stay in the Packhouse. Tomorrow I will show you to your new home. May I ask why you requested one so far from everyone?” He asks curiously, looking at my father.

“Kat doesn’t get along well with others. She prefers being by herself,” my mother answers. The Alpha seems shocked for a second, his head tilting to the side as he looks at me.

“And why is that?” He questions, staring down at me, I nervously look at my parents before returning the Alpha’s gaze.
“I just like being alone,” I shrug, which is true, I’m not a social butterfly that is for sure. He presses his lips in a line before looking back at my parents.

“I have already enrolled Katya in school. She can start on Monday. You can skip the Pack run on Friday and meet me here Monday morning for your work details.”

“Pack run?” I ask, and my mother nudges me with her elbow to be quiet, which doesn’t go unnoticed by the Alpha.

“Pack runs are compulsory. Why? Is that a problem?” He asks, and I duck my head down, looking at my shoes.

“No problem at all,” my father replies, throwing one arm over my shoulder and holding out his other hand to the Alpha.

“How are you with training teenage students?” The Alpha suddenly asks my mother.

“I trained my daughter mostly and older she-wolves, but I would give it a go,” she answers.

“Interesting. We do need an extra hand at the high school, so you can keep an eye on Katya as well,” he decides.

My mother seems excited about the idea. “That would be lovely, thank you, Alpha.” He nods, staring at me again before looking at my father.
“My Beta will show you where you are staying for the night,” he says before walking around to sit back at his desk.
Chapter 4

The next day we are woken early by Beta Mateo. Hopping in our car, we follow him as he drives to the outskirts of the small town. The house is more of a cottage with a large veranda out the front and a gravel driveway; it is cozy, nestled amongst the trees. Hopping out of the car, I make my way inside, along with my father.

Beta Mateo unlocks the green wooden door before handing the keys to my father. “Are you sure you want to live all the way out here? There are plenty of empty places in town that may better suit your needs.”

“No, this is perfect. Thank you Beta,” my father replies.

“We are of the same rank, and honestly, you have been doing this a lot longer than I have. You could probably show me a thing or two. Just call me Mateo, and welcome to the Pack,” Beta Mateo tells my father before patting him on the shoulder.

He walks down the steps to the lawn before he stops beside me and sniffs the air. “You smell different from most wolves,” he observes, studying me and I stiffen.
“What do you mean?” I was proud of myself for sounding normal, though inside my stomach is tied in knots. What if he can smell the difference on me just like his Alpha can?

“I don’t know, just different. I can smell you’re a wolf, but your scent isn’t very strong. Also, something else, your scent reminds me of someone,” he says, his eyebrows furrowing as if he is trying to figure out who.

“Anyway, I will let you get settled in. Don’t forget, Pack runs are mandatory and on Friday evenings at 6 PM sharp. I know you have been excused this week, but it would be good to introduce yourselves to fellow Pack members. We are a tight-knit community, and the rest of the Pack will feel more at ease with newcomers that attend. Something to think about,” Mateo tells my father, who nods. I hurry up the steps with a box from the truck in my hands.

“We will try our best to be there on Friday,” my mother reassures, staring me down as she walks up the porch steps toward me. I nod before following inside.

A giant fireplace takes up most of the room. Its dark black bricks stretch all the way to the ceiling and it spans an entire wall. The flooring was some sort of solid wood. It is stained dark-brown, almost the same black as the bricks. The whole place reeks like it has been locked up a little too long.

My mother rushes from curtain to curtain, throwing them open and cracking the windows to let the outside breeze in, and the stagnant, smelly air out.
I escape the living room and into what looked to be the kitchen. At least it wasn’t as dated as the rest of the house apparently was. Granite stone countertops, black stainless steel appliances, and even a small kitchen island bench sat in the center. I am going to like this room.

A few of Alpha Ezra’s men help bring in the furniture, and my parents unPack. Carrying a box from the truck to the back end of the house, I find my room, the smallest one right next to the bathroom and the window overlooking the forest surrounding the house. My parents’ room is down the hall and has an ensuite. Overall, I like it.

After we dragged everything inside, I went to my room and start putting my bed frame together, and one of the Pack members helped bring the rest of my belongings into my bedroom. Placing them along the wall that has the window overlooking the forest. We spend the rest of the day unPacking and cleaning and making the place feel a little more homely.
By the time night comes, I am exhausted and fall asleep before I could even eat dinner, only to wake up in the middle of the night.

Going to the kitchen, I flick on the light, grab a glass of water, hop up on a stool, and stare out the kitchen window. This place is quiet, unlike our last place, which was on a busy road. I like the quiet, fewer people to evade and it feels more comfortable without neighbors prying into our lives. Yet as I rinse my glass, movement outside makes my eyes dart to the forest edge. I blink wondering if my eyes are playing tricks on me as I lean forward. A huge black wolf stands in the forest staring directly at me. I rub my eyes before pressing closer and peering out. My breath fogs up the window. Only the wolf is now gone. Thinking I must have imagined it or that my mind is playing tricks on me, I shake off the weird experience and leave the kitchen, flicking the lights off.

Once back in my room, I climb back into bed. I pull my purple duvet with the generic lavender flowers on it up to my chin and snuggle into the pillow until I find comfort. I try to fall asleep, yet the wolf I saw keeps replaying in my mind. Who was it? We are pretty far out.
Maybe it’s the patrols checking the place. Either way, eventually I am dragged back under by sleep.

The next few days go by in a blur of getting into a comfortable routine. Monday comes around, and I get dressed in my jeans and blue T-shirt before grabbing my bag and loading my school books into it. My mother and father are meeting up with Alpha Ezra today before being assigned to their new jobs. Pulling up to the front of my new school, dread settles in the pit of my stomach. My mother glances at me in the rearview mirror. “Can I fake sick until next week?” I plead with her and she raises an eyebrow at me.

“You will be fine, and by the sounds of it, I may be working here. Just keep your head down and behave, Kat,” she cautions me, and I nod. With a heavy sigh, I open the back door and climb out of the car. I stare up at the brick building that is undoubtedly going to be like the last one, a disappointment and place of torment if they find out about me not having a wolf, which thanks to the whole mandatory Pack runs, it won’t be long before that happens and once again I will be school’s laughing stock.
I head straight to the main office and am greeted by a woman in her mid-thirties; she has straight auburn hair that hangs to her shoulders and big round glasses perched on her perfectly straight nose. Her hazel eyes look at me as I enter. A warm smile greets me and I give a small smile back.

“You must be Katya?”

“Yes, I am here to pick up my schedule,” I tell her, making my way to the office desk. She looks down at the papers before pulling out a manilla folder and handing it to me.

“Your schedule and a map of the school are in there, also a library card and your locker combination,” she explains. I open it, looking down at the schedule. My stomach drops when I realize they have training every afternoon except for Fridays.

I wonder if my mother knows that even the students train every day for two hours. Two hours of normal training and an hour of training with our wolves every Tuesday and Wednesday.
Great, just great. I won’t even be here a day before everyone finds out, and I am banished. I should be a fortune teller. I knew they would find out faster. I might as well restart Packing my damn room. Maybe I can be excused for the first week, I wonder.

“Thanks,” I tell her before going to go find my locker. I put the combination in while noticing a few curious stares at the newcomer, but no one is outright mean to me, which was a relief.
Putting my stuff in my locker, I grab my books for my first period, English. As I am closing the locker, I jump when I see a girl staring at me leaning against the locker beside mine. Her dark hair is cut in a pixie-cut and she has a golden hoop nose ring. Dark eyeshadow with streaks of purple and black completes her ensemble.

“Hi, you must be new here, I’m Jasmine,” she introduces herself before plucking my schedule from out of my fingertips.

“Ah, Katya,” I tell her, awkwardly, while waiting for her to hand it back.

“We have most of the same classes. You can follow me if you want and I will show you around,” she offers, passing me my schedule back. I set it on top of my books.

“Thanks, that would be great.”

“So you are from Alpha Jackson’s Pack I heard,” she says. I don’t reply. Gossip has already started, then again in Pack communities, everybody knows everybody, so it isn’t surprising.

“My father is third in command. He heard Alpha Ezra and Beta Mateo talking, so you have Beta genes?” She asks and I nod.

Not that they would do any good without a wolf.

“Your mother has quite the reputation too, the only female warrior in Jackson’s Pack. What was it like living there? Is Alpha Jackson as strict as the rumors say?”
“Um, it was okay, just like any other Pack,” I reply with a shrug.

“Yeah, well Alpha Ezra hates Alpha Jackson, I was surprised to hear he actually let someone transfer over. Your parents must have pretty good reputations, we haven’t had any newcomers in a few years now, the Alpha is very wary of who he lets in. There were even whispers that he was regretting his choice of allowing any new Pack members, so your parents must have impressed him,” she tells me. He didn’t seem wary of us. He wasn’t like anything I expected honestly. I thought I would be locked in the cells or banished by now, so her words make me a little uncomfortable. Jasmine stops by a green door and motions toward it.

“This is our English class, Mr.Tonks is nice but don’t be late. He hates tardiness.”
I look inside the classroom and unlike the classrooms back in my old Pack, everyone was chatting quietly as they waited for the teacher to arrive. My old Pack, the students did whatever they liked and were loud and uncontrollable most of the time, so I was a little surprised to see everyone on their best behavior. Jasmine pulls me to an empty desk at the back and I sit beside her. She points out a few different groups of kids chatting.

“That group over there are safe as I like to call them. They won’t cause any trouble,” she cautions, pointing to a bunch of kids talking amongst themselves. They look a little nerdy, not that I care. I was also a bit of a nerd.

“Now that group over there try to avoid them, the blonde girl her name is Angie and she is a real bitch, also Queen Bee of the school as you can probably tell, just try and coast through the middle like I do and you should be fine,” she says before pointing out a few other smaller groups. A few minutes passed before the teacher came in, who thankfully didn’t make a fuss about there being a new student, instead he set straight to work writing on the whiteboard before telling us to copy it.

The day passes by in a blur and, for the most part, I did what Jasmine advised, and kept to myself. At lunchtime, I sat out on the oval with her watching as students and teachers set up the training grounds. Nausea fills me knowing I am about to do two hours of training, when suddenly I spot my mother walking out onto the field along with Alpha Ezra.

Chapter 5

“Does the Alpha help with training?” I ask Jasmine.

“Yeah, he comes every day to help train us. Training is mandatory no matter age or gender,” I watch as Angie, the girl Jasmine told me to avoid, runs across the field towards the Alpha clinging onto him like a leech.

“Yeah, Angie has a thing for the Alpha. Seems to think he will choose her as his mate,” Jasmine says and I nod. For some reason, seeing her cling on to him annoyed me a little, but I shoved it aside, turning my attention back to my lunch. I don’t want any trouble with her, especially if she is as bad as Jasmine says she is.

“How old is the Alpha?” I ask, he looks pretty young compared to my last Alpha, who is in his fifties.

“Twenty-five. He is a good Alpha, strict but fair. A lot better than his father, who was a complete asshole and more of a dictator,” I bite into my sandwich, watching as the equipment is being set up.

“So he took over the Pack when his father stepped down?” I ask. Jasmine shakes her head. “No, Alpha Ezra killed him and took over when he was seventeen.”
I think about her words for a minute. To think that the Alpha could take down his father like that at only seventeen. What had been going through his mind? “Geez a lot wouldn’t have liked answering to a seventeen-year-old,” I quip, but she shakes her head.

“No, everyone was glad to see Alpha Dean get taken down. He was cruel. Women weren’t even allowed to train back then, he treated them like animals and he used to kill anyone that stepped out of line, he even killed his own mate, and his chosen one,” she says, making me feel sick at her words. Killing your mate can send your wolf crazed. It was almost impossible to do, though I have heard stories of some being rejected and taking chosen mates, however it was the first time I had heard of someone killing their mate.

“That’s terrible,” I tell her and she nods, popping a grape into her mouth.

“Yeah, everyone hated him. Things changed after the Alpha took over. He made sure women could train to better protect themselves. Maybe that’s why he was so quick to have your family join our Pack. Your mother will be an advantage to have and your father given that he has Beta genes,” I nod my head believing she is right, if he hates Jackson’s Pack as much as she claims he does.
“Maybe,” I tell her just as Alpha Ezra looks in our direction. I drop my head and am thankful when the school bells ring signaling the end of lunch. Jasmine and I make our way back to our lockers and grab our gym clothes. Going to the bathrooms we quickly get changed into the red polo shirts and black shorts before heading down to the oval where they were setting up earlier.

Alpha Ezra and my mother are talking amongst a few of the teachers before silence falls over everyone and people walk off to their designated groups. I follow Jasmine over to our age group and am a little shocked to see Alpha Ezra come over to us. Jasmine smiles at him when he approaches.

“Hey, Alpha,” she says, giving him a brief wave as she stretches.

“Hi Jasmine, you can sit out for today, Kat. That way you can see how things are run if you like,” he says, and I nod, grateful I don’t have to train straight away.

“No, she can train like the rest of them,” my mother corrects, coming up behind him. So much for sitting out. Is she trying to get us caught?

“She doesn’t have to Shirley. I can excuse her,” Alpha Ezra says and I give my mother a pleading look. My mother presses her lips in a line but says nothing.

“Come sit on the bleachers and watch,” Alpha Ezra tells me and I follow him over to them before sitting down beside him. I watch everyone train. Alpha Ezra gets up a few times to help some teachers and to correct some students when he comes back over.

He looks down at me. “How are you liking school so far?”

“It’s fine,” I answer, not really comfortable around him. I see my mother keeps looking over at me nervously, which in turn makes me more nervous about his presence.

“Do you train a lot with your mother?” I nod. Training isn’t only compulsory at school in our household, it is almost a damn religion. However, with how much training they have at this school, I hope she will let me off at home. Back at our old Pack, training was only twice a week, here it is daily, except weekends, so maybe she won’t be so strict on that front.

“Yes, mom doesn’t like me missing training as you can see,” I tell him, and he nods.

“Good, well you can have today and tomorrow off, but on Wednesday you start training with everyone else,” he orders and I nod.

Angie slunk over, stopping in front of us and I notice the glare she gives me. “You should be training, Angie. Get back on the field,” Ezra demands
“I was just seeing if you can come to help me, Ezra,” she purrs. It’s obvious the crush she has on him and she wasn’t even trying to hide it.
“That’s Alpha to you! Now get back on the field, Angela,” he tells her, pointing back the way she came. She looks down at me, her eyes narrowing before she saunters off. I knew she was going to make my life hell and I haven’t even spoken to her yet.

“Well, I better get back out there, Kat. I will see you around,” he says walking off toward my mother, who was now scolding Angie for walking off the field.

When training finishes, my mother calls me over. The polite but simmering glare on her face tells me she is upset about something, and trying not to let anyone else know. When I reach her, she grabs my arm, pulling me aside and away from prying ears.

“For someone who is meant to be lying low, you seem to be grabbing the Alpha’s attention. Kat, we talked about this. You need to stay away from him and his Beta. We can’t afford for people to know just yet,” she scolds.

“Well, maybe if you told them I wouldn’t have to hide,” I snap back, “and it isn’t like I sought him out. He approached me.”

“Attitude, young lady. I won’t handle disrespect,” she growls, and I roll my eyes, regretting it instantly.

“Katya, you may be my daughter, but that doesn’t mean you will get away with slacking off, now ten laps of the oval,” she orders.

“What? Come on, mom, you can’t be serious,” I argue back when his sandalwood scent hits me. Alpha Ezra walks up behind me and stops beside me. He obviously saw our dispute which just makes this entire scenario even more embarrassing.

“Everything okay?” He asks my mother.

She bows her head in respect before glaring at me. “Yes, Alpha it will be. Now go Katya,” she says, pointing to the edge of the field.

I take my sweatshirt off before tossing it at her. She can’t be fucking serious. Why was she being like this? My mother growls, catching my sweatshirt and pointing to the edge of the field. “This is bullshit,” I hiss, stomping off.

“Make that twenty,” she calls out. I groan, but go to the edge of the field, cursing her name to the moon goddess.

“Keep going Kat and it will be thirty. Now start running!” I roll my eyes and start doing laps as she shrieks, blowing her damn whistle. Jasmine does a couple with me before getting tired and sitting down.

My legs burn by the time I’ve done fifteen and my lungs feel like they are about to explode. Stopping, I brace my hands on my knees trying to catch my breath, my mother blows her whistle, grabbing my attention and I look over at her, sweat drenching me and even my shirt is sticking to me.
“Five more Kat.”

“Five more, Katya,” I mimic under my breath while glaring daggers at my mother. I peel my saturated shirt off, tossing it on the grass and leaving me in only my black sports bra.

“You want me to add more?” My mother calls out. I shake my head and continue running around the oval. As I run past the bleachers, I notice Alpha Ezra is still here and watching me. Unease prickles up and down my spine. Something has pissed him off, and I bet I knew what the answer was. What always seemed to be the answer in my world. Me. I wondered if he figured out I had no wolf and was useless to the Pack.

Chapter 6

Once I’ve finally conquered hell, I feel like a demon. My face is burned red like I’d been outside in the sun all summer and my breath comes in such short pants I sound like I am one of those squeaky dog toys.

I stumble over to my mother and collapse on the grass beside her. Let her see what she has done, what she’s caused to happen to her precious child.

She glances over at me, barely acknowledging my plight at all. “Let this be a lesson to you, Kat. All of this is for your own good. I’m not about to go easy on you. I never have and never will. It’ll just make you a bigger target.”

She stares at me as if she expects me to reply, fat chance of that happening. I am still trying to calm my racing heart and breathe normally again as I raise my arms over my head.
Maybe I am going to have a heart attack, I’d just die at her feet. That will teach her.

“Seriously, I don’t know what got into you? Did you really think I would let you talk to me like that in front of everyone and get away with it? You are supposed to be working with me, not against me.”

I wheezed. “I didn’t do anything, mom. He’s the one that approached me, not the other way around.” My entire body is threatening to give out on me. My legs burn and cramp, and my chest heaves as if it’s about to spontaneously combust at any given moment.

“Doesn’t matter, next time, watch your tone!” My mother scolds before walking off.

“Shirley, can I speak with you please,” Alpha Ezra’s voice isn’t too far away. Had he heard any of that? I turn to glance at him and mom hurries over.

“Of course, Alpha,” my mother says.

Alpha Ezra looks over at me dying on the ground and I look away. I must look pathetic right now, which will not be helping my situation of proving useful to the Pack. Jasmine walks over and squats next to me, handing me her drink bottle and I squirt some water into my mouth before reluctantly sitting up. I was quite content dying on the grass, but no, now I need to haul my ass to the locker room to get changed.

Jasmine leans over, dropping her voice so she won’t be heard. “Damn girl, I thought my dad was strict. What the hell did you do to get her panties all in a wad?”

“Apparently my attitude,” I tell her, and her brows furrow.
Jasmine’s head bobbed as she glances from me to my retreating mother. “But, I saw you. You weren’t doing anything.”

Mom is almost at the main building now.

“Tell my mother that,” I sigh before standing. My legs feel like jelly as I walk toward the building. School finished an hour ago, so I was a little shocked to run into Angie as I went to my locker after getting changed. Her blonde hair is highlighted to perfection, and her blue eyes are bright. I can see why she was so popular. She is gorgeous, but the snarl on her face says her nature is anything but.

Whatever, I don’t care why she is still here. I just want to get changed. I open my locker and pull out a new shirt. Taking a moment, I throw it on and revel in at least one thing on me being clean.

A hand darts out, pushing me against my open locker, almost into the thing. Jasmine is fast, she tries to grab Angie and shove her away but it doesn’t work. Angie grabs the front of my shirt and the collar tears.

Seriously? I literally just put this thing on. Why couldn’t she have ruined the smelly sports shirt that was drenched in my sweat? Maybe she has been waiting for me to change so she didn’t have to touch it either.

“Listen Bitch,” she snarls at me, shaking me again. “Stay away from the Alpha, or believe me, I will make every last moment of your pitiful little life miserable!”

I stared at her, realization dawning. “Wait, you stayed here for an entire hour after school to tell me that? Wow, possessive much?” I rip her hand away and turn to get the rest of my things. I am determined not to get into a fight today, thank you very much. Who knows what kind of punishment mom will have for me if I manage that feat?

Jasmine glares at the other girl. “Geez, Angie. Go away, would you? She hasn’t done a damn thing to you. What is it with everyone picking on her on the first day? She just had to run twenty laps on the field! Lay off,” Jasmine growls. It was nice to have an ally, though I wonder how long it will take for her to abandon me once she finds out the truth.

Angie wasn’t about to give up. Reaching around Jasmine, she grabs my hair and I hiss as I feel my hair being ripped from my skull.

That’s it! Bullying is one thing, but physically coming at me? I twist around, letting my hair pull tight and rip from my head and I punch the bitch square in her nose.

Angie shrieks and lets go to clench her face. Streaks of blood trickle from her fingers. I’d gotten her good. I am not in the mood to deal with this shit after almost being killed by my own mother. Besides, mom did tell me to use my fists next time.

Jasmine stares at us as Angie pulls her hands away and stares at the blood. “You fucking slut!” she screeches. She swings at me hard, but I duck beneath her blow easily and there’s
a clang as her fist connects to my locker door behind me. The thin metal dents from the force and she howls.

“What is going on here?” snaps a voice down the corridor. I glance up to see Beta Mateo making his way to us and glaring coldly at the situation.

Angie doesn’t waste a minute. She whirls away from me and runs over to him, her lip juts out in a huge pout and quivers. “She’s crazy,” she whispers in a simper, “she just attacked me for no reason at all,” she points to her bleeding nose. “Please, Beta, kick her out,” she tries to push her body against his as she grabs his arm.

Shit. I’m not hurt and Angie’s still bleeding pretty heavily. This looks like a lost little bloody lamb, Angie, trembling at his side, while a lion, me, glares at the two of them. He is going to believe the worst, that I was the cause of all this. After all, I am the new girl and she is the one that is always with the Alpha.

His eyes flickered from Angie to Jasmine and me. “Is this true? Did she attack another student?”

Thankfully, I have Jasmine, hopefully, my new friend put a hand on her hip and shook her head at the situation. “Angie started it. She attacked Kat as soon as she opened her locker. Look at her shirt. Angie attacked, and Kat defended herself. That bitch was the one threatening her.”

I almost wince at the bitch comment. I wasn’t sure of Beta Mateo yet, but maybe he would be the type to discredit people for using colorful language.

I keep my mouth shut, awaiting my fate. Mom and Alpha Ezra walk around the corner, coming toward us, oh great, because twenty laps of hell isn’t enough. Not only have I had to deal with this crazy bitch and her jealousy issues, but there is no way mom isn’t going to make an example out of me and make me run until I coughed up blood. My legs tremble at the thought of any more.

Angie lets go of Beta Mateo like his touch burns and she rushes over to the Alpha, trying the same clinging tactic on him. For his part, he side-steps away and she ends up grabbing for thin air, she hadn’t even got to brush against him.

Not that it will dissuade the woman hunting me. She turns to my mother and her eyes get all big and watery, “Ms. Shirley, your daughter, she’s out of control. She attacked me.”

I hang my head, waiting for the inevitable. How many more will it be this time? Or will I just be kicked out and left on my own after this?

“You must have deserved it,” my mother snaps.

My head jerks up, my mom has her hands on her hips and a fire blazes in her eyes. That’s my momma! She is always tough out there in the Pack, but when she is home she is my mom.
Angie glares at her as if she has been the one betrayed, she trembles with the rage that must be flowing through her body. Mom took the opportunity to wink at me and smirk.

Alpha Ezra’s eyes are unreadable, a coldness is present in him, an almost simmering rage, but it’s not directed at me. “Go put ice on it and have a nurse reset the bone. Oh, and Angie, you need to stay away from Katya in the future.”

Angie continues to tremble and this time when her lip trembles, I don’t doubt it’s real, her glare is piercing. She clearly hoped for a different outcome to this entire situation. She turns on her heel and scampers off down the hallway with tears flowing down her cheeks.

I almost feel bad for her. Thankfully, it only lasts a second before my mother’s stern voice steals my attention. She is in teacher mode again.

The woman pinches the bridge of her nose and shakes her head. “Katya, trouble on your first day? What am I to do with you?” It isn’t exactly a scolding, and from the way her lips twitch, I am pretty sure that mom is trying to hide that she is proud of the way I’d handled the situation. Though, that is tempered by the disappointment of me constantly drawing attention to myself.

“Wait, don’t get on her case. Angie attacked her first! Kat was just defending herself. Please,” Jasmine blurts out, her hands raised as if trying to defuse the situation. Is this what it felt like to have a friend? I am really liking this. Too bad it will probably end when she finds out I am a freak.

“That may very well be the case. However, I don’t condone violence when we’re not training. This is a zero tolerance policy. Kat, you will have detention with me tomorrow,” states Alpha Ezra.

My mother glances his way, her lips thin. Uh oh. There’s no more smirk or pride in her now. The Alpha must sense the mood change because he looks at her. “Is that an issue?”
My mother averts her gaze, her lips pressed together until they’re one thin white line. Even Jasmine has lost her nerve as she stares at the ground.
Well then, up to me to defend myself. “What about Angie?” I snap. “This is completely unfair. That bitch started it-“

I shut up from the withering glare my mom sends me. Time to shut my mouth. The Alpha looks over my head and at his Beta. “Beta Mateo will deal with Angie.”
I sneak a peek over my shoulder at the Beta and his eyes have darkened. He does not look happy about wasting his lunch hour having to babysit a student.
“You may go,” Alpha Ezra informs me.

I swoop down and grab my bag from my dented locker. In the time it takes for me to retrieve my things mom has already all but disappeared down the hall. I have to jog to chase her down, something my legs absolutely hate me for.

She waits until we’re far enough away before giving me a side-eyed glare. “Seriously, Katya. You’re always drawing attention to yourself,” she snarls.

I toss my arms in the air. I can never win with this woman! “You said,” I remind her with a classical imitation of her at my old school, “defend yourself, Katya, you’ve been trained by me, you’ve been trained by your father, use these,” I made a few practice jabs for effect.

She shakes her head and looks away. Far on the other end of the corridor Jasmine rushes out the doors. I hadn’t even told her goodbye and left her to fend for herself with the Alpha and Beta. I wince, that is one way to lose a friend. Said Alpha and Beta are still talking to each other far away from us.

Mom whirls and grabs my shoulders, making me look up at her square in the face. “Yes, I did. But we need this to work out here, Kat. I know exactly what I said, but this is it for our family. Unless you want us to end up as rogues, we have to make this work. There’s no other choice.”

I wrinkle my brow. “We could go to another Pack.”

Mom scoffs slightly as if I had told her a joke. “Another Pack? Kat, this is it, there is no other Pack willing to take us because of Alpha Jackson. It’s a miracle that Alpha Ezra hates that man so much he was willing to take us,” she sighs and rubs my arms gently. “I’m sorry,” she whispers, before stepping away.

Her other persona she puts on like a coat, her jaw hardening, her eyes like rough rocks. She turns on her heel away from me, storming out the door. I am forced to chase her once again so I’m not left behind.

I open the passenger door and hop into the seat. My mom doesn’t say anything the entire drive home, whatever gentleness she’d shown me in the changing room had been ruthlessly squished. She drums her fingers on the steering wheel and I wince. When she’s this upset her road rage peaks, whoever else is on the road, I’m so sorry. The only way to avoid her wrath at this point is to go well above the speed limit.

Sighing, I let the back of my head fall against the headrest, I never intentionally try to disappoint her. Now, on top of that, I have to deal with detention and being alone with Alpha Ezra. Just what I need, the one thing I can’t afford is his attention, and with this setup, there will be no escaping it.

Getting home, I am about to race to my room when my mother stops me. “No, go and see your father first,” she snaps at me, pointing in the direction of the kitchen. The radio is
playing a soft tune, but it’s drowned out by my dad singing along while he cooks. Whatever he is cooking makes my tummy growl in anticipation.

“Now, Kat,” my mother reminds, tapping her foot when I make no effort to confront my father. I groan, but one growl from her and I move toward the kitchen.

I’m not worried about him punishing me, as if that was ever possible, I am his little Pumpkin. I cringe at the nickname he uses, but if it gets me out of trouble, I will endure it as long as he doesn’t use it in public.

“Hey there, Pumpkin,” my father greets as I step into the kitchen.

Mom walks in behind me, grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge, and dumps her keys on the counter beside the microwave. She leans back, hip propped against the bench as she glares at the two of us. “Aren’t you going to say something to her?” She scolds dad.

He gives her a questioning look before slowly turning toward me. “Kat,” he sighs and it looks like he’s gained several years in an instant. “What happened this time?” I appreciate how he doesn’t put the blame on me automatically, not like mom does.

I shrug. In my eyes, I hadn’t done anything wrong.

Mom is quick to inform him, as she holds up one finger. “She was annoying the Alpha when she was supposed to be training,” she holds up another. “And after her punishment for that, she got into a fight with another student.”

Dad grins at me and bounced around the kitchen on the balls of his feet, shadow boxing. “Did you win?”

There is no way I can stop the smile tugging at my lips.

Mom scowls and slaps his arm, dad takes the time to send me a wink before coughing and thumping his chest with a fist. He puffed himself up and put his Beta figure face on. He was just doing this to appease mom, but I’d endure it.

“What kind of father are you?” Mom snaps. His gambit has failed. Mom is still mad at the two of us. “She is drawing attention to herself. I was even scolded by the Alpha for disciplining her.”

I blink at this news, dad’s teasing smile is gone in an instant. “The Alpha scolded you?”

Huh, the Alpha got on her case for trying to kill me? And here I thought he was pissed at me.

Mom rolls her eyes, as if trying to maim me for life for running my legs off wasn’t that big of a deal. “I made her run a few laps. It’s why we were late. Do you just ignore our mind link? I told you all of this already,” mom snaps at him.
“I was busy unPacking and cleaning, I might have missed that part,” dad tells her with a shrug. I didn’t blame him. If I was an adult and could tune her ass out without getting beat, it’s exactly what I’d do too.

She paused to take a swig of water from her bottle. “Utterly humiliated, I’ve never been reprimanded on my first day.”

I take the chance to slink out of the kitchen. I make it only to the entrance before my mom’s sharp voice stops me in my tracks.

“Katya, I am not done talking to you.” Damn.
“And now Katya has detention with him tomorrow.” She continues snitching to my father.

“Detention?” my father asks, his head turning to look at me while I was staring at the door looking for an escape.

“It’s a bit odd for an Alpha to be doing teacher duties,” he ponders, and come to think of it, it was a little strange that he was leaving the Packhouse just to watch me sit through lunch.
How boring, I think to myself.

“You need to be more careful. We can’t have the Alpha breathing down our necks for you misbehaving. What if he finds out you don’t have your wolf yet before we have proven you useful to the Pack?” My father whispers gently.

The same bloody lecture, this is their fault. They are the ones that lied to him about me. If they had been honest I wouldn’t have to walk on eggshells all the time.

Nope, if we get kicked out it’s all on me. As if I didn’t have enough stress on my shoulders with changing schools and trying to fit in. I want to be invisible and just survive, maybe it would be best if I just vanished. I am nothing but a burden to my family, some dirty little secret they have to keep hidden.

“Okay, can I go now?” I ask, wanting to be on my own where I can be just me and not the Beta’s daughter, and not the freak. Just boring old Kat.

“Yes, you can go, but seriously Kat, this is it. We fuck this up. We are rogue. You know Packs don’t like to have wolf-less Pack members,” my father reminds me of my pathetic situation once again.

Chapter 7

I stayed in my room all night. My parent’s judgy eyes are too much to handle, so I go to bed early.

Waking up the next morning, my mother is screaming for me to hurry up. I quickly race around getting dressed in record time, even for me, throwing on the first things I lay my hands on, which happens to be jeans and a bottle green shirt. Maybe I should have paid attention to the shirt, green really isn’t my color, I think, staring at my reflection in the bathroom mirror while brushing my teeth.

“Katya, Now!” my mother yells.

Damn it no time to change shirts now, I spit my toothpaste and rinse my face before racing downstairs.

“Really, Katya. Did you sleep through your alarm?” My mother scolds as I race toward the front door where she is waiting, keys in hand.

She passes me an apple and I grab it, taking a bite as I follow her out to the car. Yep, instantly regretting that first bite, toothpaste and apple is definitely not a pleasant combination.

On the drive to school, my mother gives me one of her lectures about coasting through the middle. She must think I have forgotten because she carries on about not drawing attention to myself, yadda yadda. I tune her out, mostly adding occasional nods and hmm noises so she thinks I am listening.

When I get to school, Jasmine is waiting for me, my heart squeezes almost painfully. As excited as I am to see her, I can’t help but worry. The closer I get to her, the harder this is going to hurt when she finds out my secret.

“Hey, Kit Kat,” she greets, waving to me.

That was a new one, the corner of my lip twitches. “Kit Kat? Really?” I shake my head, but I can’t hide my grin. Well, at least it’s better than my father’s nickname for me.

Jasmine smirks at me defiantly. “Yep, I like it,” she announces. “You’re sweet on the outside and crunchy on the inside, plus your name is Kat. It’s perfect. We’ve got Math first, come with me, I’ll show you where the classroom is.”
I hate Math, it’s such a boring subject and always gives me a headache. It’s not even that I’m bad at it, I have never failed a subject. I just hate it, all that thinking makes my brain ache.

“Remember what I said, Katya,” my mother calls to me as I walk into school. She heads for the staff room while I make my way with Jasmine to our first period.

Thankfully the first half of the day flies by, even though it involves Math. Lunch arrives before I know it, however, that also means detention, and I don’t even know where to go for it.

The bell rings as I turn to Jasmine to ask her when I see a figure entering the doorway behind her. I don’t expect to see Alpha Ezra wandering into the Science classroom to come and find me. Everyone grabs their stuff and hustles out of the classroom to lunch, leaving me alone with the Alpha. Even Jasmine retreats, giving me a sad smile as she goes.

I Pack up my belongings and sigh as I prepare myself, there is no getting out of this. I hang my head and walk over to the Alpha, preparing for the gallows.

Odd, I expect him to look strict, or glare at me for having to waste his time with me. But his eyes are sparkling, and his lips twitching. “Why so glum?” he questions.

I stare at the man, maybe it has been too long since he’s been in school like the rest of us. “It’s detention. Why would I be happy about that?”

He smirks. “Lots, because you’re with me, ” he tilts his head toward the door. “Come,” he says it like he expects me to obey.

I sigh, I have no choice. Following him, we stop at my locker, he leans against the one next to it, watching my every move.

“Put your stuff away,” he orders.

I shrug, like I wasn’t about to do that anyway? I reach for the handle of my poor beat up locker when he grabs the lock and undoes the combination, making it pop open. I turn and stare up at him.

“What? I know all the combinations,” he replies, and I raise an eyebrow at him.

“Really, then open that one,” I tell him, pointing to the one next to mine which I know is empty. He laughs and shakes his head before putting his hands up in mock surrender.

“Okay, you got me, I may have snooped,” he admits with a smile on his lips.

“And why would you do that?” I ask, confused. I can’t afford him doing that, I’m smart enough to not keep proof of my defect, but the idea of anyone snooping through my stuff sets my teeth on edge.

“You’re new and I am not sure I fully believe your parents’ reasoning for changing Packs,” he tells me, and my stomach drops as I avert my gaze back to my locker.
Shit, shit, shit.

“And by the sound of the way your heart rate picked up, I am assuming they didn’t really leave because your mother hit the Alpha’s daughter?”

“Technically, she did hit her,” I retort.

He closes my locker and grabs my hand. He doesn’t respond, tugging me after him.

Warm tingles shoot up my arm and my palm warms. “Um, Alpha?” I whisper, he looks down, meeting my eyes. His flicker to where our hands are joined and he lets go.

“Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” he admits.

His behavior is confusing. My brows furrow as I try to puzzle him out. He does not act like Alpha Jackson ever did.

I shake my head to try to break the awkward silence. “Where are we going?” We walk past rows of empty classrooms. Everyone else is safely at lunch.

“You don’t have to look like a hunted deer, Kat. You’re not going to get in trouble with me,” his deep voice rumbles.

As if to emphasize his point, he walks us into the faculty area and stops at an office door before opening it.

This is not a normal detention room.

“Is this your office?” I question. The room smells of sandalwood and cinnamon, I breathe deep and spin around taking it all in.

“Yes, I have decided to be more present here. The school is short of staff and I have free time, so why not?” he says.

I step past him and take a seat in the chair in front of his desk. Weird place to have detention, and there clearly isn’t a lot of room either, just one other chair was beside me. I am about to be alone with him for the next hour.

“What’s wrong?” He asks while taking his seat across from me.

I shake my head. “Nothing,” I answer and he stares for a second, almost as if he is studying me.

The door behind us opens and I twist around in my seat to see Mateo walk in, a pizza box balances on the tips of his fingers as he closes the door behind him. He sets it on the desk before flipping the top open and the glorious smell of cheese and pepperoni fills the office. He plops down in the chair next to me.
“Eat,” Alpha Ezra orders.

I look at the pizza, then between both men. All of this is not what I was expecting. “Isn’t this supposed to be detention? Should I be doing something like school work or writing a hundred times about how I won’t break anyone’s nose or something?”

For his part, the Alpha chuckles while Mateo cracks up like I’d told some joke. “You want to do school work?” Alpha Ezra presses.

“Well, no. But isn’t that what normally happens in detention?” I peer up at him. “I am in trouble, right?”

The Alpha takes his attention off of me and scowls at Mateo. The man has taken a large bite of the pizza and the cheese was dripping from his lips. “Why aren’t you with Angie?”

Mateo snorts. “You really thought I was going to be stuck with that Barbie doll? I dumped her on someone else. I don’t want my lunch hour wasted listening to her lies.”

Instead of scolding him for neglecting his duties, the Alpha chuckles. “Where is she now?”

Mateo grins and swallows the hunk of pizza. A malicious smile splits his lips. “I left her with Shirley.”

He popped the rest of the giant slice in his mouth. “What?” I squeak. “Like my mom, Shirley?” I verify.

He nods, his smirk has grown huge. He was so damn proud of himself. Maybe the Moon Goddess wasn’t completely against me. I could only imagine the hell my mom will unleash on that bitch. She’d be running until she coughed up blood.

I bite back the giggle threatening to erupt.

Alpha Ezra’s eyes flicker my way and he raises a brow. “Something funny, Kat?” The question is serious, but the smile on his lips isn’t. My Alpha is enjoying this.

“My mom is going to eat her alive,” I giggle. “Angie is going to have to scrape gum off the cafeteria tables, or run laps for an hour straight,” I snicker. “Or learn how to throw a proper punch.”

Both the Alpha and Beta chuckle at my glee.

“Exactly why I rearranged for Shirley to be in charge of her,” Mateo says with a sober nod. “That girl needs a humbling experience. You’re wrong though. It’s not the cafeteria where she’s scraping gum. It’s under the student desks,” he winks at me and takes another slice of pizza. Instead of cramming it into his mouth, he thrusts it at me. “Eat,” he orders.

The Alpha nods along as if this is all perfectly normal. “Eat,” he agrees. “Then we will talk.”
I wonder if this is a final meal situation before he kicks me out? But for once, the normal doom and gloom doesn’t feel right, I’m hopeful. I can’t imagine he would smile and laugh at me if he was planning on throwing me away.

Instead of arguing, I take the offered pizza and bite into it. Both men smirk and take their own slices. We all eat in silence until the box is empty. Mateo gets up to take it out to the trash, before returning.

Alpha Ezra raises a brow at him and they stare at each other, eyes glazing over with a mindlink. Mateo shrugs and deliberately walks back to his chair before plopping back into it and smirking. Whatever was being said, he was clearly amused by it.

The Alpha rolls his eyes and shakes his head, but doesn’t speak. Instead, he turns his focus back to me and this time I don’t have a piece of pizza to fend him off with.

Mateo shifts in his seat, leaning a little closer to me. “You like it here so far? Besides having to deal with Angie and all,” he makes a little shooing motion with his hand.

I nod. “It’s different, the way you run everything. But, I have already made a friend, I think, and I’m not behind in any of my classes.” At least until I have to train that is.

The Beta leans over, drapes an arm over my shoulder, and sniffs my hair. His whole body vibrates and a weird soft growl rumbles from him.

The smiling Alpha Ezra is no more, he glares stone-faced at his Beta, staring pointedly at the hand draped over my shoulder.

I try to slip away, but the Beta jerks me closer, he rubs my arm and sniffs again. “I think I know why her scent reminds me of someone.”

I glance at him, curious what he means, but he never gets a chance to elaborate on that comment.

“Hands off, Mateo,” Alpha Ezra snarls.

Mateo stays close to me for a second, glancing up at the Alpha and gauging his seriousness before putting his hands up and smiling. He shifts away back to his own seat and gives me my precious space back.

“Time for detention?” I ask, wondering when this punishment was going to begin. “No, I wanted to ask you some questions,” the Alpha replies, voice calm again.
“As would I,” Mateo says, leaning forward and looking at the Alpha who growls at him.
“What sort of questions?” I slowly ask. If I say the wrong thing I am going to get us thrown out of the Pack. The room suddenly feels like it is closing in around me as I try to calm down. I think I would rather swap places with Angie right now, scraping gum sounds way better.

“Why did you really leave your Pack?” the Alpha asks me, eyes pinning me down.

Flames of anger lap in my gut. I wish the pizza box was still around so I could hit him over the head with it. Why was he ruining everything?

“If you’re insinuating my family is hiding something, why did you even accept us into the Pack?” I demand.

“You’re sure you want to question your Alpha?” he asks, raising his eyebrow.

I bite back an instinctive snarky retort and bow my head in submission. Questioning him is the last thing I need to be doing, I scold myself for snapping at him. Hopefully, mom won’t find out.

“If you really must know, it’s because I love knowing I snagged two of that prick Jackson’s best fighters, that’s why.”

I note he doesn’t even add Alpha to my old Alpha’s name, he must really despise him.

“Considering you come from those two, I must say your bloodline intrigues me. I wish to see exactly what you are capable of. Yet, as I’ve been watching you I notice you have a lot of pressure on your shoulders.”

I sigh, why is it that having Beta blood changes how people think of me? Why am I suddenly thrust on a higher pedestal because of it? All I want is to be a normal she-wolf, without the wolf part obviously.

“Oh, you don’t agree?” he questions. Shit, I must have done that louder than I thought. I raise my chin and stare up at him. “And what if I’m a disappointment?” I challenge.
The Alpha chuckles like I’d told a joke. “You? Kat, you have Beta genes, and your mother… Well, she is a tough woman.”

I wonder if he will think the same when he knows my dirty little secret. Mateo cocks his head, studying me. “I’ve got a question.”
I prepare myself for whatever hardball question he has for me. What secrets has he uncovered by eating lunch with me? “Yes? What is it?” I ask. At least I sound normal and not like the scared rabbit I feel like on the inside.

“Have you found your mate yet?”
“She isn’t eighteen yet,” the Alpha answers for me. Mateo’s shoulders droop, is he disappointed in my age?

“Tell me, why did your family really leave? I promise no repercussions will come if you tell me the truth, You will be free to remain here,” the Alpha says and I feel my heart skip a beat.

My stomach drops and I break out in a cold sweat. The uneasy grip on control I have slips. The Alpha sniffs the air slightly, his eyes narrow on me. “Why are you scared?”
I can’t hold on, I’m going to break down. “Can I go, please?” I whisper the words. I can’t manage to speak louder.

He reaches over the table and tries to grab my hand, but I pull it away and out of his reach. “Kat, you can tell me,” he offers with sincerity.
I think about it, how easy would it be just to tell the truth and be done with it? But no, it’s not just my life at risk, it is my parents’ too. “Nothing, what they told you is the truth, Alpha.”

He tilts his head to the side and his eyes slide to his Beta. He gives his head a little shake. “You can go, Kat. But I will speak with you again.”

I don’t wait, I rush out the door.

Chapter 8


Kat rushes from the room and Mateo glances over his shoulder as I watch my mate leave. She is completely unaware I am her mate. I know her family is hiding something, something I am eager to find out.

If she wasn’t my mate, I might have reconsidered letting them into my Pack. Something is definitely amiss. They Packed up everything and left the second strongest Pack in the country, one her parents had built a life with. Why? When the request first reached my desk I was a little shocked, and more than a bit suspicious. For all I knew, that asshole Jackson was trying to plant spies in my territory.

However, taking two of his strongest members was too good an opportunity to pass up. I knew if they did turn out to be spies, I could handle it. Our feud has lasted generations, and I have no desire to end it anytime soon. Something is still off with their story, running from the Pack because her mother hit Jackson’s daughter. Sure, they would have been punished for it, but fleeing the Pack was bizarre.

There are too many things that don’t add up. Beta Derrick’s reputation is well-known and he is one of the most respected men out there. And Shirley is a legend. Yet, I’d never heard about them having children. Why is Kat a secret?

Jackson is an idiot, but even he wasn’t stupid enough to kill his Beta’s mate over a tiff with his teenage daughter. Especially with the reputation Shirley held.

Why had I heard of Kat’s parents, but not her? Her scent was strong, her genes a powerhouse. Yet, something was off with her too.

Mateo watches Kat go and my hands turn to fists. I wanted to hit my best friend multiple times today. He’s been with me since we were old enough to walk, he’s always been by my side. “She’s your mate, huh?” he asks.

Was I that obvious? At least it is him, I trust him with my life. I sigh no point lying to him, he knows me better than I know myself half the time.

“Yes. And until she realizes it, I want you to keep it quiet,” I tell him.

He nods his eyes sparkling with mischief. Uh-oh, I know that look. He is going to make me regret confirming his theory.
“What?” I demand.

He folds his arms across his chest and leans back, eyeing me. “Nothing, just now I know why you refused to come to the whore house with me. She’s already got you whipped and she doesn’t even know who you are to her,” he laughs and I glare.

“I am not whipped,” I growl back.

“Whatever man, then why did you knock back Madeline? I saw her running from your room the other night crying,” he teases.

I roll my eyes. “She isn’t my mate,” I deadpan.

“Never stopped you before,” Mateo’s lips twitch. He is loving this.

“That was before I found her. I only want her now. You’ll get it when you find your mate.”

His brows furrow and his eyes dart away. He stares at everything but me for a second and his lips press into one thin line. He nods. “So how are you going to woo her? Keep giving her detention?”

“Why, so you can keep ruining it?” I scowl at him and he grins back in reply. “I was hoping to spend time with her, alone,” I grumble, at him. He lingered on purpose, despite clearly seeing I wanted to spend time with her.

Mateo laughs at me. “Don’t get so pissy. You’ll see her tonight.”

I lean back in my chair, staring at him. He has something to say beyond just teasing me. There is now a seriousness to him.

“The patrols told me they saw Maddox prowling around her house late last night,” Mateo admits.

I snort. “I wasn’t prowling, just keeping an eye out.” “Sure, sure, stalker,” he laughs.
I shake my head at him. I hate how much enjoyment he’s getting out of me.

“Hey,” Mateo interrupts, his smile wavering again. “Why didn’t you command her parents to tell you why they really left? I mean if it worries you so much?”

I scoff. That should be obvious. “I don’t want to piss her parents off, they have influence over her and she trusts them. Think about it, man, I start arguing with them and she’ll hate me.”

He sighs. “Well, now what?”
“I don’t know, I don’t really have a reason to hang around her without looking like a creep,” I admit.

Mateo seems to think for a second. “Thursday night?” He offers with a shrug. “Pack run is Friday after school. Most of the Pack kids choose to stay at the Packhouse.”

“I excused her and her family for the first week,” I want to groan. How could I be so stupid?

“You are the Alpha, un-excuse them, tell them Katya has to stay like the rest of the teens,” Mateo suggests.

I run a hand through my hair. “Staying at the Packhouse isn’t mandatory. Only those that want to will stay,” I sigh, I wish it was easier to find a solution.

Mateo shrugs. “Just tell them you want to keep an eye on her, see how she gets on with the rest of the Pack.”

Now that one I could use. It wasn’t half bad. “That can work. Fine, I’ll see her out there on the oval. Thanks.”

Mateo nods and gives me a smile.

I get up and head for the door, but notice him still standing in place. “You coming?” I ask. He’s got that mischievous grin on his face again. I growl before rubbing my forehead. “What did you do?”

Mateo cackled. “Not much. Angie was pissing me off so much I wanted to give Katya another chance for revenge. I paired them up for training.”

I glare at him. “Damn it, Mateo. Are you trying to piss me off?” I snap. I did not want Angie anywhere near my mate. Her infatuation with me is the main reason, but it is also clear she hates Kat with a passion. All because of me, not being able to ignore the magnetic pull to be in her presence. Angie had screwed up earlier, but she is trained exceptionally well. She has five brothers who are all renowned Pack warriors. She isn’t a pushover.

“Oh, stop worrying. Katya is feisty. There’s no way she’ll lose to Angie,” Mateo mock punched my arm playfully.

“You better hope so, because if she gets hurt it’s your ass,” I snarl at him.

His face falls slightly worried. “Her mom is one of the best warriors, her father is a Beta, what can go wrong?”

I can think of plenty of things that can go wrong. Angie is competitive and I know she doesn’t fight fair from watching her train amongst the Pack. I know my mate can handle herself in this form, it is obvious, she is fit and has good endurance, but I wasn’t so sure about her wolf form. On the other hand, I am excited about meeting her wolf, as is Maddox.
Leaving the office we walk down the corridors before exiting out of the faculty building and strolling out into the sunshine towards the oval. We climb up the grandstand stairs which overlook the field and take seats, staying out of view. At least I thought so until I see Angie wave to me.

Mateo sits next to me. I’m still annoyed at him for pairing them together. There was Angie, but where was Kat? My eyes dart around the field, searching for my mate.

The door to the changing room cracks open and Shirley walks out onto the field, talking to Kat. Though, by the fire in the woman’s face, berating Kat is probably a better description. My mate is pale and sweating profusely.

Mateo leans forward, a frown creasing his lips. “Wait, is she okay?” he turns to me. “She doesn’t look too good.”

That is an understatement. She looks like a ghost as she braces her hands on her knees and struggles to catch her breath.

What has that bitch done to my mate? Maddox is ready to rip her throat out.

Shirley blows her whistle to grab the kid’s attention and Kat rushes to the trash can, puking her guts out in it.

“I don’t understand. She was fine before?” I too mirror Mateo’s posture and lean forward, eyes searching the scene, trying to figure out an answer to this puzzle.

Shirley is strict. That much is crystal clear after she forced Kat to run twenty laps on her first day. Kat continues to hug the trash can, as if it’s her best friend, and she continues to puke. Shirley’s eyes flicker over to her daughter, she glares at her as she yells for her to get her pathetic ass back on the field.

My fist clenches and my teeth grind together. That fucking bitch, can’t she see Kat is clearly sick? She’s in no condition to be training, she needs to be at home and in bed.

Kat slowly unwinds her hands from the trash can and sways on her feet. She stands in line with one hand banded across her stomach and the other over her mouth. She waits for her name to be called.

Shirley calls out the names on the list, including Kat’s and Angie’s. She double checks the list of names and glances at her still pale daughter. She raises a brow when she realizes it’s not a mistake, Kat is paired with Angie. The blonde wore a smug grin on her face.

Jasmine walks over gripping Katya’s arm worriedly. At least she has one friend, and I actually like Jasmine. She gets along with everyone, except Angie and her cronies, but in this instance, I wonder if I should intervene.
“Get it together, Kat,” Shirley calls to her daughter who nods, waving her mother off. Kat shakes off Jasmine’s arm telling her to go, Jasmine reluctantly leaves to go to the person she is paired with.

I can’t just sit here and watch this. Getting to my feet, Mateo leans back in his chair as I push past him. I walk down the steps and get to the railing, leaning over, I look down. Angie and Kat move to their assigned square. Kat still looks like she’s struggling to keep whatever is left in her stomach down.

Angie takes a stance, her eyes hard. Kat can’t seem to catch her breath. She sways on her feet. Maddox howls in my head and claws at my skin.

Angie lunges, Kat doesn’t see it in time, but manages to lean back out of the attack’s range. She stumbles and loses her balance, falling to the ground on her back and out of the square. Angie doesn’t stop, she pounces at my mate determined to do damage.

My hands grip the bar. I’m ready to fling myself over and throw the stupid girl into the puke-covered trash can. Kat opens her eyes while on the ground, she waits until Angie is almost on her before she lifts her leg in a precision move, and kicks Angie in the face, not only knocking her back, but breaking her nose again. Fresh blood spurts from the brat’s nose.

Angie yelps and covers her bleeding face, Kat rolls to her side, struggling onto her hands and knees. Sweat drips off of her. Something is very wrong with all of this.

Maddox jerks and it’s only my iron control that keeps the wolf from taking over. “Wolfsbane!”
he growls at me.

I sniff the air, I can’t detect it, but it would make sense. It makes you terribly sick, and in high enough doses, can be lethal. Not much else could explain this kind of severe reaction with our exceptional immune systems.

I move toward the steps about to reprimand Angie, when she moves to pounce, just as Katya lifts her leg, kicking her in the face and knocking Angie back. Angie growls loudly, clutching her nose which is bleeding. Katya rolls on her side and gets up, I can see sweat literally dripping off her and drenching her shirt. Something is definitely wrong.

“We need to put a stop to this. She can’t fight like that!” Mateo objects. “Something is wrong,” He’s on his feet too, staring down at the scene. He’s concerned about her, his future Luna, and all because he paired her with Angie.

Guilt is graven on his face.

I nod. It’s time to put an end to this. I won’t let her be hurt. Angie shifts.
Maddox doesn’t give me time to react. Instead of wresting control of me, he forces me to spring over the railing to the ground below.

Chapter 9


Twenty Minutes Earlier

Having escaped the Alpha’s office for detention, I walk to training. As I pass by the gym, a hand darts out and jerks me into the locker room. I stumble back and whirl to fight my attacker, a gasp escaping me.

I frown as I come face to face with my mom. The tension in me fizzles out, replaced by curiosity. “Geez, you scared the crap out of me,” I chuckle, wiping the back of my hand across my forehead. “Mom?” I ask when she continues to stare down at me. She glances around making sure the locker room is empty and so do I, while wondering what is going on, when she turns her stern expression back to me.

“Where have you been?” She hisses at me. Huh, she knows I had detention. What’s got into her and why are we hiding in here?

“Detention, where else?” I answer.

“I looked for you, and you weren’t in detention with Angie, I know because she got palmed off on me.”

“No, I was placed in the Alpha’s office.”

Her eyes go wide. “What, why?” Worry and anger battle in her.

“Because that was where he told me to go,” I reply, crossing my arms over my chest. “All I did was obey my Alpha.”

Her eyes narrow at me, and she purses her lips briefly. “Don’t use that tone with me, young lady. Now listen, today is wolf training.”

I blink at her wondering why she is telling me this, I already know the drill. Just like I did back at the old Pack, well until it no longer worked that is, and my secret slipped out.

I wave a hand. “I get it, tell them I’m sick.”

“No, Katya,” she replies with a shake of her head. Her eyes dart around the room again as she pulls something from the back pocket of her yoga pants. “I’m afraid we’re going to need
something more,” I haven’t seen that thing in years. I try to back away, I remember the pain, the torture it brings.

“Mom,” I whisper. “Please, not like this.”

She stares at the tip of the needle and then back to me. “You can’t skip, this is mandatory. However, if I give you one of these, we can explain why you can’t shift,” her eyes are a little too bright. “It’s perfect.”

“No,” I shake my head. “You can’t be serious. Remember the last time?” I try to reason with her.

She gives me a strained smile. “This is the only way. We can’t afford to have them find out until after you’ve proven your use to the Pack. They’re not going to believe you’re sick. We’re wolves, we hardly ever get sick, Katya,” she chides.

“I’m not taking it,” I tell her. Before she had used pills, and I hated them with a passion. She used to give them to me in the old Pack. At first, it was to hide the truth from the Alpha.
Then, she gave them to me to build up a tolerance. Supposedly to prepare me for when I was older.

Until dad found out and lost it. He had flushed the pills in front of us and promised that if she ever did anything like that again, they were going to have it out and he would not hold back.

“I have to resort to it in this form, I’m not sure how strong the pills are so I’ve crushed them so they are less potent. I will give you just enough. You’ll take it, and you won’t say a single word to your father, young lady,” she threatens me.
“Dad will smell it on me,” I argue back. There is no way dad won’t recognize the smell. “Not in this form he won’t, I looked it up, just need to go into the muscle,” she pushes the
plunger into the vial and I back away from her, she mutters trying to do the math in her head.
I shake mine. “Mom, you don’t even know how much, you’re not a doctor or nurse,”

“Shut it, Kat, let me think, I’m trying to remember how much,” she snaps and I turn to run from the room when she grips my arm yanking me back, my feet slip on the floor and I crash down on it onto my side. She draws some liquid from the vial, still trying to figure out how much to give me, while she is busy I let my eyes glaze over, trying to warn my father through the mindlink, when she kicks my thigh, drawing my attention back to her.

“One word to your father Kat, I mean it. I have sacrificed everything for you! We are here because of you! Are you trying to split our family up,” she snarls, she withdraws the syringe from the vial and a drop of the liquid wells on the tip of the needle, dropping onto my hand, I hiss at the sting of it. It burns my thumb where it dripped on me and I cry out before scrambling away. “It will work, Katya, nothing to smell.” I shake my head, getting to my feet.

“No!” I object.
She glares at me and a menacing growl rumbles from her. I’m not facing my mom anymore, but a Pack warrior.

“I refuse to throw everything down the drain because of your tantrum. Fucking take it, Katya,” she hisses. “You will not embarrass me anymore than you already have.”

“You embarrass yourself,” I snap.

Her palm connects with my face, the slap echoes loudly around the locker room, as my cheek burns.

I bring my hand up and gingerly touch the spot she hits. It stings and I blink back tears.

“You dare speak to me in such a way after everything I have done for you,” she snaps, she grabs my arm, and pulls me to her, I struggle against her. She wastes no time in sticking the needle in my shoulder and pushing the plunger down. My arm burns as soon as the liquid is injected, when she suddenly licks the spot, hissing as it burns her tongue as she heals me.

Only parents and mates can heal each other, or are supposed to do it anyway. It is a sacred thing, and has come in handy over the years when I have been injured, since I can’t heal myself as a normal werewolf can. My arm feels like wildfire is eating away at my flesh as if she doused the muscle in acid and I clutch my arm.

This isn’t going to work, why can’t she see that, I was with the Alpha all lunch and was fine. He will know and I will get in trouble with her when he finds out.

The poison is enough to make me sway as it rushes into my body. This is so much worse than the pills ever were. I grab onto the door frame and hold an arm over my stomach as cramps make me double over. “Mom!” I plead.

“You get out there. Even like this, you can still kick their asses!” She growls, grabbing my arm and hauling me forward. She shoves me in front of her and I stagger.

“No mom, they will be in wolf form,” I choke out, suddenly feeling winded, as the cramping spreads to my muscles. It’s even hard to breathe.

“Stop making excuses. You are mine and your father’s daughter. More is expected of you than others. You will not let me down, Katya.” She grabs my arm and drags me after her onto the field.

Another surge of pain makes me tremble and I shake her off, running for a trash can. I practically hug it as I puke out my guts. I wish it had been pill form, at least I’d be able to expel a little of it like this. But the way she gave it, there was no escaping the torture.

Every inhale makes my lungs burn and my throat is raw. My vision is blurry and sweat trickles down my brow.

Mom blows her whistle and starts calling out names.
My sweat won’t stop. It pours off me like I’ve just run a marathon, and the cramps travel through my entire body. My blood feels like it’s boiling in my veins.

“Hey, are you okay?” Jasmine asks through the mindlink. I shake my head, not able to mindlink back. My vision doubles and I hear my mother call my name and then Angie’s.

As if all of this wasn’t bad enough.

“Shit!” My mother gasps, barely audible to my ears.

Great, Angie is going to rip me to pieces, yet after my mother snaps at me, I know I am just going to have to take the beating. I shake Jasmine’s hand off and move toward the square where Angie is waiting.

Everyone goes to their positions, but I can’t even stand upright properly. Swaying as I step into the square, Angie wastes no time lunging at me. I see her just in time, as her fist comes flying toward my face. Leaning back I avoid the blow, but stumble backwards and she goes to attack me while I’m down. I wait until she’s almost on me before lifting my foot. I kick her in the face. She staggers back, her nose bleeding. My vision doubles, I can see two of her.
With a groan, I roll on my side trying to get to my feet.

Seconds later, I hear the snapping of bones, and black dots start dancing at the front of my vision.

“Get up Katya, what’s wrong? You barely had any.” My mother mindlinks.

“Yes, but I haven’t had any in years, my tolerance is low,” I manage to mindlink back, barely.

“Shit, get up!” She shrieks. I am too weak to mindlink back.

I lift my head and see teeth and claws coming toward me. Squeezing my eyes closed, I wait for the extra pain. Instead, I hear a collective gasp as I fall back on my ass. My legs give out from under me. Angie whimpers and I open my eyes, sucking in a choking gasp.

Angie’s brown wolf’s head is bowed in submission. Something warm drips on me, I look up to notice an arm above me. Blood is dripping from it. I follow the arm to see who it belongs to, only to find the Alpha standing over me and his Beta standing off to the side. He blocked her attack on me, but in doing so, Angie bit the Alpha’s arm.

“She wasn’t even shifted, Angie!” He growls, menacingly.

My body trembles from the rage behind it. Angie whimpers loudly, baring her neck in complete submission.

“What’s the meaning of this? Why can I smell wolfsbane?” Alpha Ezra demands, staring down at me, he moves, reaching down to pick me up.
I try to get out of his arms, but he growls at me before pressing his face into my neck and sniffing. I give up trying to escape as I fight the urge to pass out from the pain.

“Why does she have wolfsbane in her system?” He asks again and my eyes flutter shut, my hearing becoming distant.

“Stay awake, Kat,” I hear him whisper, before I feel his lips brush my ear.

“Katya, say something?” My mother’s voice comes through my head, yet I can’t reply.

My tongue is swelling in my mouth, my throat restricting as I wheeze out trying to answer, and each breath I try to take becomes harder.

My mother’s panicked shriek reaches my ears, as my surroundings fade and I feel as if I am suffocating.

“Shit, get the Pack doctor!” Alpha Ezra yells before I can feel him running, with me cradled tightly in his muscular arms. I black out feeling like I’m being strangled to death as my throat closes.

My mother’s voice flits in my head. “I’m so sorry baby, so sorry! Stay with us Katya, hold on, help is coming,” she keeps repeating, as I fade away completely, floating into the abyss of unconsciousness.
Chapter 10


My mind races as I pace the hospital room and watch as the Doc gives Kat some injections and hooks an IV up to her. My blood is boiling trying to figure out how she got wolfsbane in her system. Shirley stands by the far window, her brows furrow in worry, her thumb and finger pinching her bottom lip as she watches the Doctor.

“Get out!” I tell everyone but the Doctor, the two nurses instantly rush out the door. Shirley lifts her head to look at me but remains, tears roll down her face as she looks on at her daughter who is unconscious, laying on the hospital bed covered by the clinical blue hospital blanket.

“I said get out!” Shirley looks at me startled.

“She is my daughter. You can’t make me leave her,” she scoffs.

“Until I find out how she ingested wolfsbane, no one goes near her,” I tell her. Shirley doesn’t budge; I am two seconds away from tossing her out myself.
“Get the fuck out of this room now!” I scream at her, forcing my Alpha aura over her. She whimpers, turning her neck in submission before rushing out the door behind me.

Moving closer to the bed, I sit next to Kat brushing her dark hair from her face while Doc frantically tries to hook a fluid bag up to her.

“Calm down Doc, I wasn’t talking to you,” I tell him and I hear his heart rate slow and his hands stop trembling as he exhales in relief.

“How much is in her system?”

“We won’t know until her blood samples come back,” he says and I nod, peering down at my mate who is almost as pale as the white sheet she is lying on, her skin cold and clammy.

Hours pass as I wait in her hospital room pacing, my wolf howling in my head at his hurt mate, giving me a headache. Kat remains unconscious; the only sounds are her breathing and the beep of the heart rate monitor.

Doc opens the door, I look up to see him with some papers in hand. I can hear Shirley and Derrick arguing in the hall but pay them no attention, I’m more focused on the sound of my mate’s beating heart. The door pushes open further and Doc comes in, shutting the door behind him. I stop watching as he flicks through her charts in his hand, he gasps and his eyes dart nervously towards me. “What do her blood tests show?” I ask him and he glances at her.
“She has three times the lethal dose in her system,” he whispers looking back down at the charts.

“She will be okay though?” I ask him.

“She is stable but–” Doc nods, but looks away from me and I can tell he wants to say something else.

“What is it?”

Doc sighs and tucks her folder under his arm. “The amount she ingested is near impossible for someone to swallow whole. No one would be able to ingest that much of that plant, Alpha. It was either in liquid or pill form. No one would be able to eat that much.”

“What are you saying?”

“I’m saying someone gave it to her, to hurt her, or she took concentrated levels to commit suicide.”

I take a step back in shock, my stomach dropping at his words. “You think she tried to kill herself? She seemed fine earlier.”
“No, that was just a suggestion. I believe someone gave her a concentrated dose. There is no way she should have access to that plant,” he tells me.

The yelling outside in the hallway gets louder, to the point we can hear it even through the closed door. The sound of a slap makes us whip around. I push past Doc to see what is going on.

Rushing out, I expect to see Derrick with a red mark on his face, but I am shocked when I see it is Shirley. Derrick’s chest heaves as he stands off with his mate, glaring daggers at her.

I see red at knowing he just hit his mate. I stalk toward him and he turns to stare at me, his wolf peeps out but I don’t care. I grab him by his throat and slam him hard against the wall.

Rushing down the corridor I spot Mateo from the corner of my eye. He reaches me and grips my arm, holding me back from teaching this abusive asshole a lesson.

“Woah settle down, Ezra,” Mateo says, having walked in on this chaos.

If he knew what Derrick had just done he would have him by his throat too.

Derrick glares at his mate unperturbed by my hand wrapped around his throat. He shoves me off him and I reluctantly let go, my entire body trembling at what he has just done.
Nothing justifies hitting his mate.
“You go near our daughter again I will fucking kill you,” he spits at his mate, and Shirley backs away from him, tears rushing down her face.

“Derrick?” I question. My blood runs cold. Pieces of a puzzle are falling into place but I don’t want to jump to conclusions.

Derrick shakes his head, growling as if he is fighting for control before pointing at her angrily. “I fucking warned you last time over this shit!” he screams. His face turning red with his rage, he takes a step toward her. Mateo’s hand falls on his shoulder in warning.

“Someone needs to tell me what’s going on, now!” I demand.

“Ask her, I need a fucking smoke,” Derrick growls angrily, stalking off down the hallway. We watch him leave and I turn to look at Shirley.

Mateo is also glaring at her, as Doc watches from the doorway.

Behind Doc, I hear a groan. I rush through the open door past him. She’s waking up. I stop inside the door, leaning on the frame as relief surges through me.

Doc rushes toward her with water and she clutches the glass, gulping the water down. Her hands tremble. Kat lays back down when she suddenly notices everyone, her face flushes an adorable shade of pink.

“I’m so sorry baby, I didn’t know, I didn’t know,” Shirley says, clutching her face, Kat looks at her mother confused.

Mateo lets out a menacing growl, ripping Shirley away from her daughter by the back of her shirt. “What the fuck did you do?” He demands. Doc jumps out of the way as fur sprouts on Mateo’s arms.

I move toward the bed to check on Kat. “You okay, love?” I ask her.

“Love?” She asks, as I realize what I said. She shakes her head, before looking at Mateo who has her mother cornered by the window. “I’m fine, please don’t hurt my mom, she didn’t do anything. I accidentally touched some in Science class,” she lies.

I could tell not even she believes what is leaving her lips. She was fine during detention, and we don’t allow wolfsbane in Science or any other class. She is scared and trying to protect her mother. This becomes more evident as tears spring up in her eyes and trail down her cheeks.

“No one can ingest that amount dear, who are you covering up for? Who gave you the wolfsbane?” Doc says gently, patting her shoulder.

“No, it was an accident, in Science.”
“Stop lying. One of you better speak and the truth this time,” I spit out, turning to glare at Shirley.

Shirley looks away guiltily and now it makes sense why her mate slapped her.

“She needs to grow a tolerance just in case,” Shirley whispers, barely audible to even my ears.

I growl, lunging at her and slamming her against the wall, while Kat screams in panic. “What did you just say?” I growl at her.

“She needs to build a tolerance to wolfsbane.”

“You gave her three times the lethal dose!” I scream at her.

“Please, she didn’t do anything,” Kat cries, jumping to her feet and clutching my arm.

I look down at her beside me. She shouldn’t be out of bed. Doc seems to agree with the way he hovers behind her and so does Mateo, as if they expect her to collapse at any second.

“Sit down, I am done listening to your lies,” I snap at Kat forcing my Alpha aura out accidentally.

She whimpers, Mateo grabs her as she drops to the ground sitting like I said.

“Shit, sorry,” I apologize, I reach down and gently grab her from him. “Sorry, Kat,” I whisper, scooping her legs out from under her and placing her back in the bed.

“You have got to be kidding me, this all makes so much sense now,” Shirley mutters to herself behind me, and I glare at her over my shoulder.

“Get out, I will deal with you in a minute,” I order her and she walks out slamming the door behind her.

I tuck my mate back under the blanket hoping she remains there this time.

“Mateo, stay with her while I handle her mother,” Kat reaches for my hand, probably to beg me to stop. “No, she did the wrong thing,” I growl at her, and Maddox presses beneath my skin, wanting to come to the surface.

Mateo pushes Kat’s shoulder back, forcing her to lay down. “Go, Alpha, I will stay with her,” he promises, sitting on the edge of the bed beside Kat.

“Wait, please don’t hurt her, she meant no harm,” Kat says, but once again I can tell not even she believes the words she is speaking as they come out as a whisper. But Shirley is her mother so I know she will still defend her even if she is intentionally trying to hurt her.
Chapter 11

With one last parting glance at my petrified mate, I follow Shirley out of the room. Gripping her arm, I drag her away and out of earshot of Kat, not wanting this to cause her any more distress than is necessary. Hearing the door shut, I glance back, seeing Mateo close it to keep her from listening in.

However, turning back to the woman whom I know is responsible for injuring my mate and almost killing her, I find her glaring at me.

“My daughter is your mate, isn’t she?” Shirley demands, her tone of voice does not sit well with me. She is lucky she is my mate’s mother, because if she were anyone else right now I may have killed her for what she has done.

“You don’t demand answers from me. Why would you poison your own daughter?”

“I told you why, she needs to build up a tolerance,” she replies while folding her arms across her chest. She looks away from me.

“That’s not good enough. Where did you even get it from?” Wolfsbane is banned in our Pack, from most Packs. Her heart rate skips a beat and I can smell her fear at answering.

“I grew it in my old Pack, I still had some of my stash left,” she finally admits, stunning me further.

Wolfsbane is allowed to grow in the wild naturally because we know better than to touch it, but it is illegal to grow it. “Where and how much have you got left?” I demand.

She looks away defiantly. How much longer is this woman going to push me?

“I don’t get it. Why would you want to grow it and use it on your own daughter? None of this makes sense. You know I can have you banished for this or have you killed? Is that why you left your last Pack to avoid punishment?”

“No, we were banished, or going to be anyway because I hit the Alpha’s daughter,” Shirley tells me, not giving anything away, yet I know there are other reasons. Too much does not add up and something in my gut is telling me more is going on. Realizing she is not going to give me a truthful answer irks me, but if I command her I know Kat will hear her distress and that will not be of any benefit to me in gaining my mate’s trust.

“Kat will be staying at the Packhouse until further notice. Tell your husband to drop her things off tomorrow,” I inform her. She goes to object when I glare at her forcing her mouth shut. “I wasn’t asking, until I know what is going on, Kat remains with me.”
I turn to go back to the room when she finds her voice. “Can I at least speak with her privately? I need to apologize, so I know she doesn’t hate me. I honestly didn’t realize the difference in strength from the pills to the shot.”

“Unless you hand your stash over, you won’t be going near her,” I tell her. Shirley presses her lips in a line before reaching into her back pocket and pulling out what I think at first is a wallet. She grabs my wrist, shoving the container into my hand.

“I want to see my daughter!” She growls at me before she realizes what she did.

Maddox shoves forward instantly. My eyes turn to that of my beast which makes her step back and she lets my wrist go. “If she permits it,” I tell her, turning my back on her and walking into the room. I shut the door in her face before she can enter. However, I notice she remains at the door peering in the little window but I ignore her turning my attention back to Kat.

Kat looks behind me worriedly. Mateo, still sitting on the edge of the bed, moves quickly and I take his place beside her.

“Is my mother okay?” Kat asks, trying to see around me to the door. She nearly died because of that woman yet, she worries this much?

“She is fine. She wants to speak to you. I told her it is up to you, though I don’t know why you would ever want to see her again after what she did,” I say to her. Kat sighs, leaning forward slightly and I am tempted to force her to lay back down. She is still a little too pale for my liking.

“She is my mother, she would never intentionally hurt me,” Kat objects, looking back at the door.

“Do you want to see her?”

“Yes, I want to go home now,” she says, trying to get up, but I tuck the blanket back around her, before grabbing her face in my hands.

“We will talk about that after your mother leaves, I will give you five minutes with her,” I tell Kat before letting her go. I nod to Mateo who walks over to the door opening it.

“Wait, what do you mean after she leaves?”

“You’re not going home Kat, you’re staying with me,” I tell her and I hear her heart start pumping harder in her chest, her breathing getting heavier.

“No, I want to go home. I need to go home,” she says with tears in her eyes and I look at Mateo who chews his lip staring at her. Her fear of going home with me is leaking from her pores, suffocatingly strong as it fills the room with her scent. Why is she scared? We haven’t done anything to her, yet she wants to go home with the monster she calls mother?
“We will talk about it after your mother leaves,” I tell her, motioning for Mateo to leave and tell Shirley to come in. He dashes out the door quickly and her mother steps in before moving swiftly to her side.

“What did you do to her?” Shirley demands, brushing Kat’s hair from her face, and trying to calm her down. My mate looks like she is hyperventilating and I fight the urge to let Maddox out to rip Shirley to pieces. She doesn’t deserve to touch her after what she did, and I hate seeing the hands that caused this, touching my mate.

“Nothing, you have five minutes,” I tell her, walking out. My wolf urges me to stay and calm my mate, but I will have time for that when her mother leaves. Doc comes out after me a few seconds later.

“Can you give her a sedative?” I ask him and he nods.

“I can but let’s see if her mother calms her.” He takes a breath like his next words are hard to get out. “She is frightened of you, Alpha. Are you sure you should take her home with you?”

“I am not leaving her with her mother, and she has no reason to fear me,” I tell him and he nods in agreement.

We wait in the hall and I have to move away from her door. I don’t want Shirley anywhere near my mate, and knowing she is there with her is making Maddox nervous. I worry about my wolf taking control from me. Mateo nods as I step away from the door and he takes my place to keep eyes on Shirley. I now understand why her mate hit her. To do that to your own daughter is disgusting and unforgivable.

By the way he spoke to her, this wasn’t the first time he had dealt with his wife poisoning their daughter. All for the sake of her building tolerance to a poison that could kill her.

Cigarette smoke wafts to me, I look down the hall to see Kat’s father coming back inside. His hair is all ruffled like he has been running his fingers through it constantly. He seems calmer, but by the hard set of his eyes, I can tell he is still furious.

As he should be.

“Derrick,” I acknowledge as he approaches. He looks at me, the anger leaves him, and I can tell he has been crying by the redness around his eyes.

“Is she alright?” He asks and I nod.

“Your wife is in there with her,” I warn him, looking toward the door.

“I know my wife wouldn’t intentionally hurt our daughter, she is extreme sometimes, but she loves Katya.” He goes to enter the room when I grip his arm pulling him back, he looks down at my hand on his arm before meeting my gaze.
“There is something you need to know. I would rather tell you before Shirley does,” he stops turning around giving me his full attention.

“What is it?” He asks, looking over his shoulder briefly at the green door where his mate and daughter are.

“Katya is coming home with me,” I tell him, and he puts his hands out in a placating gesture and shakes his head.

“Alpha, my mate wouldn’t hurt her intentionally. It was an accident. I can assure you I will speak with her–” he tries to say more but I cut him off.

“Your daughter will be safe with me, she is my mate and I don’t trust your wife right now.”

He seems stunned for a second, his eyes darting between me and the door. “She is your mate?” He whispers, his brows bunch together in confusion. His wife figured it out but he seems more shocked than her. “Does Katya know? Did you tell her?” He asks, glancing between me and Mateo.

“No, and she is reluctant to come home with me.”

“Because she doesn’t know you are her mate, I will speak to her. Are you going to tell her?”

I shake my head. “No, she will find out on her own when she turns eighteen, assuming your wife hasn’t told her already.”

He nods, but almost looks relieved at the news. We look to the door and I hear Katya sobbing, begging her mother to let her come home.

“This might be a good thing then, I will talk to Kat,” he suggests.

“What do you mean?” I ask, how could any of this be a good thing besides her being my mate?

He looks over his shoulder at me. “I mean you being her mate, it might help her.”

“Help her? What aren’t you telling me?” This family and their half answers are getting to me.

“Until I am sure you won’t reject her, I won’t tell you anything. Besides, it is not my secret to tell. Katya is a good judge of character, always has been. If she trusts you, she may tell you herself, but until you figure it out or she tells you-” he doesn’t finish and I can see he is debating something with himself. “Promise me you won’t reject her.”

“Now why would I reject my own mate?” I question.

“I want your word, all the rumors that I have heard about you, one that always stuck is you are a man of your word. I want your word. You will give her a chance to prove herself, don’t
shun her. My daughter deserves better than that and if you hurt my girl, Alpha or not I will cut your throat in your sleep.”

Mateo snorts at his threat, yet his eyes never waver from mine. He really would try, even if it meant his death.

“You have my word, Derrick. I have no intentions of rejecting my mate, nothing will change that,” I promise and he nods his head once before turning and opening the door.

“I will convince her then,” he says before walking inside and shutting the door behind him.
Chapter 12


My mother, seeing my panic, rushes to me. I try to breathe around my tight chest. He isn’t letting me go home. Does that mean I am being banished because I have no wolf? Does he know? Did he figure it out?

“What did you do to her?” My mother demands.

“Nothing, you have five minutes,” he tells her before leaving the room and shutting the door.

“Calm down Kat, breathe,” my mother tells me, clamping her hands on the side of my face trying to stop my panic attack. “Breathe, sweetie, breathe,” she urges, trying to ground me.

“He is making me leave you. He knows,” I whimper.

“He doesn’t know, but you will be staying at the Packhouse with him until I can be trusted,” I shake my head and her grip tightens. “Breathe, I need you to calm down,” she tells me and I nod, closing my eyes and I try to control my breathing.

“He will find out, he will find out and make me leave, mom,” I whisper. I have never spent a night away from them. I have always had at least one parent at home. “Please, you can’t let him take me. I want to come home,” I beg her, opening my eyes and she exhales letting me go now that I have calmed down a little.

“Listen Kat, you will be fine. He won’t find out, and if he does,” she shrugs. “It’s fine, we will go rogue. I never should have given you wolfsbane, this is my fault Kat, not yours and anything that happens because of it we will deal with,” she promises me, and I swallow. “That’s not all, though.”

“What?” I ask her worried about how this can possibly get any worse.

“The Alpha-” she doesn’t get a chance to answer as the door opens and my father steps in. He glares at my mother, shaking his head and I watch as they mindlink. My mother gets up and steps away from me and keeps her distance from my father as she moves to my other side.

“Hey Pumpkin,” my dad greets with a sad smile, sitting down next to me and grabbing my hand in his. He leans forward and presses his lips to my forehead, then sits back up, brushing my cheek softly with his other hand before tilting his head to the side watching me. “You will be staying with the Alpha, he will keep an eye on you.”

“But I want to come home, I can’t stay with him, Dad. He will find out. He will banish us.”
“He won’t find out. You’re a smart girl. Even if Alpha Ezra does, he seems to be a good man. I don’t think he will care,” my father says and my mother scoffs beside me, not agreeing.

“Get out!” He growls at her, not even looking away from me.

“Derrick?” My mother whimpers and I look at her, seeing the hurt shine in her eyes.

“I said get out,” he snarls, not even glancing in her direction. She goes to say something to him but stops. He holds up his hand. “Don’t!” he growls.

My mother blinks back tears, nods then leans over kissing my head. “You will be fine,” she whispers before walking out of the room and leaving me with my father.

When she is gone I look at my father. “Please don’t hate mom, you know she wouldn’t have meant it,” I tell him.

“She was warned last time. Your mother does stupid things out of fear, but hurting you should never be one of them,” he says, brushing my hair behind my ears. “Alpha Ezra gave me his word to look after you, and you will still see us. Besides it is your birthday in a week so he might let you come home, if you want to of course.”

“Why wouldn’t I want to? I want to come home now, Dad.”

“I know but everything will be okay, I promise. I have to take your mother home and talk to her, but I will come see you tomorrow before the Pack run on Friday,” I nod, and he kisses my head before walking out.

Alpha Ezra comes back in with Beta Mateo, my nerves play havoc on the idea of being in the Packhouse with him and him discovering I have no wolf. It is one thing hiding it when I have a place to go, in the Packhouse there will be nowhere to hide from him.

“I’ll send Mateo to retrieve some clothes for you,” the Alpha tells me and Beta Mateo nods at his words before leaving me alone with the Alpha.

“When can I go home?” I ask him, wondering how long he plans on keeping me at the Packhouse.

“That hasn’t been decided, but after your birthday if you wish to go home I will allow it.” “Why can’t I go home now?”
“Because your mother just broke the law, and nearly killed you while breaking it. She is lucky I didn’t banish her, and until I am certain she is no threat to you or any of the students at school, I don’t want her near you.”
Worry makes me cringe at his words, I know she didn’t mean to hurt me, although, some part of me knows I should be grateful he didn’t report her or banish her. “My mother didn’t mean it,” I explain again.

“That may be true but until I know for certain, you will be staying with me,” Alpha Ezra informs me. I nod knowing he has already decided and I can’t convince him otherwise.

We wait in awkward silence. Doc refuses to let me leave until my IV bag is empty and he takes more blood. By the time I am ready to be discharged, the moon has almost completed its trip across the sky. Beta Mateo doesn’t return. I thought he would have, at least to bring me back to the Packhouse. The Alpha never left my side, remaining with me the entire time.

Grabbing my flats, I slip them on, standing upright. Alpha Ezra watches me from the doorway, his arms folded across his broad chest and his lips press together while Doc checks that I wasn’t going to drop dead on the floor.

“She seems good to go,” he tells the Alpha who nods before motioning for me to follow him.

I do and we walk outside, the cool night breeze makes me shiver as I am blasted with the frostiness of the air. Alpha Ezra shrugs off his jacket, draping it over my shoulders before leading me to his blue car. He opens the door for me and helps me into my seat. Then hops in himself, starting the ignition before turning the heater up. His sandalwood aroma is strong here, his jacket is warm, and I can smell the unique masculine scent of him on my arms and shoulders from his jacket. We drive back to the Packhouse in silence.

The twists and turns of the road toward the Packhouse make me woozy. Driving this far out in the dark, the forest is eerily quiet and the eyes of wolves reflect amongst the trees as the patrols do their runs.

“Patrol,” Alpha Ezra tells me and I nod, having gathered that.

“How many people stay at the Packhouse?” I ask, tangling my fingers together in my lap and picking at my fingernails.

“Just Mateo and I usually. But it is kind of like a drop in center, anyone can stay at any time if they are Pack members or just don’t feel like going home. We get a few teens in every now then when they are having trouble at home,” he explains and I nod. “Thursday nights the Packhouse is usually Packed, most of the teens prefer to stay Thursday for Pack runs on Friday, a reason to ditch school on Fridays because no buses come out here.”

“You don’t mind them ditching school?” I ask and he shrugs, glancing over at me, before his hand grabs mine.

“Kat?” he says, glancing at my lap and I realize I had made the nail bed bleed from pulling at a cuticle. He lets me go, giving me a worried look. “I won’t hurt you,” he assures me and I nod glancing out the window again. “But to answer your question, no I don’t mind them skipping, Fridays aren’t that eventful at school because of the Pack run, minimal training, and only two morning classes, so kind of seems pointless to go anyway.”
I nod, feeling a little nervous, not wanting to run into Angie. Alpha Ezra drives a little farther before pulling up to the front of the Packhouse and parking near the doors.
Chapter 13

Hopping out of the car, I follow the Alpha, and he holds the door open, motioning for me to enter. Stepping inside, Beta Mateo is waiting in the foyer with my backpack when we arrive. He hands it to me, but Alpha Ezra takes it before I can grab it, throwing it over his shoulder and leading me up the stairs to the second floor of the building.

He walks me down the long hallway. Multiple doors run along both sides, I can only assume they must be other bedrooms. Walking to the last door next to yet another flight of stairs leading to the third level, he opens the door, revealing a bedroom.

“You can stay in here, if you need me just follow the stairs on your right, they lead to mine and Mateo’s bedrooms,” he says. He walks inside and places my bag on the edge of the double bed that has a fluffy dark blue comforter with softer blue cushions and gray headboard. The room is nice, nicer than my bedroom back home, and all the furniture is made of oak.

“You remember where the bathrooms are, and the shower block?” He asks. I nod, having used them the first night we came here while we waited for our house to be ready. So I know they are downstairs, up the corridors running alongside the stairs.

“Well, I will let you get settled. I’ll be upstairs if you need me, or sing out over the mindlink,” he lets me know, walking out and closing the door behind him.

Looking around, I sit on the edge of the bed before rummaging through my bag. I find some pajamas and my toiletry bag, my mother must have packed it, well I hope she did because I don’t like the idea of Beta Mateo rummaging through my drawers.

Grabbing my stuff, I walk downstairs, turning left at the stairs and following the corridor down to the showers. Walking inside, I flick the light on. There are six showers in curtained stalls. I go to the first one pulling the curtain closed behind me before stripping off and turning the shower on, adjusting the temperature until it is perfect, I step in enjoying the heat of the water warming my skin.

As I am washing my hair, my father mindlinks me. “Hey Pumpkin, did you get to the Packhouse okay?”

“Yep, currently showering.”

“You like the Packhouse, where did he put you?”

“Second floor, near the stairs,” I tell him, trying to get the soap out of my eyes. I blindly reach for the shirt I just took off and hung on the hook on the stall wall, wiping my eyes I rid them of the soap burning them. I blink a couple of times until my vision clears.
“He put you on the second floor?” My father asks.

“Yeah, where else would he put me? The third floor is where the Beta and Alpha stay. Did you think he would put me outside?” I chuckle.

“No, of course not, nevermind. I was going to come see you tomorrow, but I will wait until the night of the Pack run.”

Shit! The Pack run, that means this place will be bustling tomorrow night, and then I will have to find a reason to excuse myself from the run.

“What do I do about the Pack run?”

“Just go out when everyone else does, but wander off and lay low. We will come find you,” I nod. I can do that, hide away from everyone. Piece of cake. I am already invisible here to the other students well besides Angie.

“Okay, we will see you Friday night. I know Alpha Ezra has excused you from school tomorrow, so just relax. I love you, Kiddo,” my father tells me before cutting the link.

I finish washing before hopping out and changing quickly. I don’t like the way the bathroom is set up, I know nudity isn’t a big thing in wolf packs but it kind of is for me. The only people that have seen me naked are my parents.

Thankfully, the shower cubicles are empty because the showers themselves are too small to get dressed in without wetting your clothes. Grabbing my toothbrush, I make my way to the sinks, and brush my teeth when I hear the soft sounds of whispers out in the hallway. I couldn’t quite hear what was being said yet I could tell it was the Alpha. Rinsing my mouth out, I creep to the door listening intently.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Jackson. Why would I have any of your Pack members on my territory?” Alpha Ezra growls and I chew my lip. It was clear he was on the phone. Beta Mateo makes a strange noise and I pop my head out of the bathroom door, but see no one. Making my way to the stairs, I look over the railing and see the Alpha’s office door slightly ajar and the light is on.

“Well, your daughter must have deserved it, but I assure you if you step one foot on my territory, Jackson, I will retaliate,” Alpha Ezra snarls like a demon, and slams the phone down.

“All this over a few members leaving?” Mateo asks.

“Well, Derrick was his Beta. I would be upset if I lost you.” “What do you want to do?” Beta Mateo asks.
I creep to the stairs to sneak off and out of this drama. They creak under my feet and I hold my breath. Shit! I wonder if they heard.

Alpha Ezra’s voice calling out tells me he did. “Kat, come here please.”
Beta Mateo opens the office door wider and pops his head out. He smirks up at me on the stairs, shaking his head when he spots me. He wiggles his finger in a mock scold. “Well, come on, if you’re going to eavesdrop you might as well join the conversation,” he says.

My face heats at his words and I walk down the last couple of steps and over to the office door, my towel rolled up with my dirty laundry. “I wasn’t eavesdropping, I just overheard.”

“Same difference,” Beta Mateo tells me. “I suppose it is Beta,” I chuckle.
Beta Mateo shakes his head. “Mateo, you don’t need to call me Beta, you can use my name Kat,” he says.

That makes no sense, I am beneath him, we are supposed to refer to them by their titles. Alpha Ezra also asked me to use his name which I thought was strange. Shaking off his words, I turn to look at Alpha Ezra who is watching our strange conversation. “Sorry Alpha, I wasn’t trying to listen in.”

“Ezra, what is it with you and titles?” He says with a smile on his lips.

“But that’s what you are, you’re my Alpha. It’s rude not to call you by your title.”

“Yes, but I have asked you not to, same as Mateo. Our titles don’t affect you. We are all equals here.”

I shake my head. What was wrong with this man? He got upset with Angie yesterday for using his name, and I was not about to get in more trouble than I was already in.

“What did Alpha Jackson want?” I question.

“He wants your mother. To punish her for attacking his daughter.”

“She only slapped her, I would hardly call it attacking her,” I scoff, and Alpha Ezra nods. “Why did you tell him we weren’t here?”

“Because you are my Pack members, mine to protect. I am not just going to hand you over, and I don’t entirely believe his reasoning. Your mother admits to slapping her, yet he is wanting to chase her down just to punish her over one slap. It makes no sense, so until I truly know his intentions, I don’t want him snooping on my lands.”
I nod thankful, but also nervous, what if Alpha Jackson tells him I have no wolf?

“You should get to bed. Mateo will take you back to your room,” he says and I turn to leave. “Oh and Kat, till this issue with Jackson dies down I would rather you and your family stay away from the borders.”

I nod my head. “Night Alpha.” “It’s Ezra and goodnight Kat.”
I dip my head to him following Mateo out.

Beta Mateo shows me where the laundry is and he dumps my clothes in the washer before turning it on. He then escorts me back upstairs. When I am back in my room, I climb into bed. The blankets are soft and the mattress way more comfortable than mine back home, so sleep comes easy as I settle under the comforter falling into a dreamless sleep.
Chapter 14

Most of the next day I spend in my room, not wanting any unnecessary run-ins with the Alpha. This place is quiet for a Packhouse. Alpha Ezra pops his head in a few times to check on me, but other than that he leaves me alone thankfully.

There’s a knock on my door at lunchtime. I open the door and Beta Mateo waltzes in with a pizza box in his hand. “What is it with you and pizza?” I ask, shaking my head.

He gives me a wink. “It means I don’t have to cook.” He flops down on my bed and reaches over, grabbing the remote. He turns on the tv and idly flips through channels. He glances my way and pats the bed beside him. I roll my eyes at his antics and walk over and sit next to him.

“Eat,” he orders. He gets into one of his app accounts and puts on a girlie girl power movie. I raise a brow at his choice. “You want to watch the Princess Diaries?”
The door creaks open again and the Alpha walks in with cans of coke in his arms. He places them on the bedside table. He glances at the TV and groans. “Damn it, Mateo, not this one again.”

“Again?” I ask him wondering how many times they have watched it.

“Mateo is a chicken and only watches PG and below movies,” Alpha Ezra confides, sitting on my other side and making himself comfortable.

“You don’t like horror?” I ask turning my head to look at Mateo.

He takes a slice of pizza before setting the box on my lap between them. “Watched Paranormal Activity once, gave me nightmares for weeks. I was convinced the Packhouse had a ghost.” He takes a bite of his pizza.

“He wouldn’t sleep without every bloody light on in the place,” Alpha Ezra scoffs, shaking his head at his Beta who shrugs.

“How can you be scared of a movie when you’re a werewolf?” I laugh, grabbing my own slice. I bite into the ham and pineapple pizza, cheese stretching apart, and the sauce burns my face when it splats on my chin. This is why I hate pizza. They always put too much sauce on it and the topping always falls off.

“I’m not scared,” he says with a huff before reaching over and plucking the cheese off I was trying to remove, he eats it making me chuckle. The Alpha however, gives him a questioning look. “What? I was helping her,” the Beta defends, sending me a wink.
“Great, so that means only kiddy movies,” I sigh, settling back and eating my slice of pizza.

He shakes his head at me. “Nah, we can watch them if you insist, but we have to watch a Disney one after,” Mateo says.

“And to think you’re meant to be Beta and protector of the Pack. I guess we’ll be fine as long as we don’t go to war with ghosts,” I laugh.

“Yep, if there is a ghost, sorry to say you’re on your own,” he chuckles. He leans toward me, voice low in a conspiratorial whisper. “The Alpha used to have a fear of ducks.”

I turn and stare at the Alpha. He was in the middle of taking a drink and his cheeks darken before he huffs at me. “What? You would be scarred for life too if you got chased by a flock of them when you were a kid.”

“Chased into the lake,” Mateo adds with a snicker.

I can’t help it. I giggle at the mental image of my big strong Alpha being herded by a group of ducks into a lake. “So, our Pack is safe as long as we don’t have any duck or ghost attacks?”

The Alpha sets his drink down and crosses his arms over his broad chest. “They won’t stand a chance now. Maddox would swallow them whole.” He settles back against the headboard and Mateo presses play.

We sit and watch the movie in relative silence. Beta Mateo leans forward, engrossed in the tale of the princess finding her identity and self-worth. The Alpha however falls asleep before it is even halfway through. I can’t blame him. I am bored myself as the tale progresses. Try as I might to force myself to remain awake, with each second my eyes only get heavier.

The Beta glances over at me and shifts over so I have room if I want to nap. I move and the Alpha takes my spot. He searches with his arm for a second before rolling closer to me and settling his head on my lap like I’m some great pillow. His arm loops around my waist and his body relaxes.

I stare down at him, not sure what to do. I wasn’t expecting a situation like this. Looking to the Beta for help, he just chuckles at the sight of his Alpha snuggling me like I’m a damn teddy bear. His stubble tickles my stomach.

“Yeah the Alpha is a hugger, we shared a room while visiting another Pack, jerks made us share a bed. Alpha likes being the big spoon, which is fine by me, I don’t mind snuggling either,” Beta Mateo laughs, making me chuckle.

I relax, draping my arm over the Alpha’s shoulder. It’s as comfortable as I can get in this awkward predicament.

“Are you excited to find your mate soon?” Beta Mateo asks, eyeing the Alpha rubbing his cheek against my tummy.
“Never gave it much thought,” I tell him, honestly.

“Isn’t that what all she-wolves wish for, to find their mate?” Beta Mateo questions.

I shake my head. I’d always known mine wouldn’t want me, after they found out my secret, so I never allowed myself the false hope. Besides, I will have no way to recognize him without a wolf.

“Not me, have you found your mate yet?” I ask back, he shakes his head, showing me his neck.

“Nope, but I am happy being a player,” he says with a wink and I roll my eyes, typical male response.

“How old are you?” I ask him.

“Same age as the Alpha twenty-five,” he answers, eating another slice of now cold pizza.

“And neither of you have found your mates?” He shrugs but bites down on his lip, I wondered if it made him sad.

The Alpha snuggles closer, his arms tightening around my waist, Beta Mateo chuckles at him. The Alpha’s scent wafting to my nose makes me inhale deeply. When I feel his hand brush underneath my shirt on my lower back. Tingles rush over me, making me shiver.

“He really is a hugger, huh?”

Mateo smiles. “Yeah just watch out for the drool he can be a heavy sleeper,” he grins, making me laugh.

“Why are you both here anyway? Don’t you have Pack work to do?”

“Nope, for once we have nothing to do, so thought we would join you. Don’t you like us being around you?”

“No, it’s not that, just weird you both wanting to hang out with a teenager.”

“You’re not a teenager for long though, you turn eighteen soon and will be an adult. Besides, I’m not going to go and annoy Marge downstairs, she will put me to work.”


“She is a cleaner here, she sometimes cooks for us too,” he explains before sitting up.

“Well, I should go find something to do, make myself useful,” he says, hopping up and taking the trash with him and leaving me with the man still treating me like a pillow.
“Wait, take your Alpha with you,” I plead with him, looking down at the man with his head in my lap sleeping.

“Nah, he looks pretty comfortable, you can keep him,” Mateo laughs, and leaves the room. He shuts the door and I try to wriggle out of the Alpha’s grasp only for him to tighten it and snuggle closer, pulling me down lower on my pillow. I brush my fingers through his soft thick hair trying to wake him but he doesn’t. Giving up, I rest my eyes only to fall asleep. His warmth and his scent calming as I drift off into oblivion.

I am awoken by the sounds of people rushing into the house and footsteps on the stairs. Opening my eyes, I sit up and realize I am laying on top of the Alpha, his fingers caressing my sides softly. The voices downstairs grew louder and I understood it was students from school filling the place.

“Sorry,” I tell him, looking down at him and how our positions had changed.

“All good, you were keeping me warm,” he says with a chuckle. I untangle myself from him feeling embarrassed that I fell asleep on him, but to be fair he fell asleep on me first so it was kind of his fault.

My head turns toward the door as the door handle rattles, and I’m thankful that Mateo had the sense to lock it.

Mateo’s voice has a growl in it from the other side of the door. “Find another room, Angie, and stay away from the stairs near the Alpha’s room.”

“Great,” I mutter to myself.

“What’s wrong?” The Alpha asks, looking at me.

“Nothing, Angie will give me hell if she sees you leave this room and realizes I’m in here too.”

He chuckles, not understanding girls at all. “No she won’t, she isn’t too bad.” “To you maybe because it’s obvious she has a thing for you,” I retort.
“Well, I don’t belong to her and besides we aren’t doing anything wrong, we fell asleep,” he defends with a shrug.

“Yeah, well Angie seems to think I am stealing your attention away from her.”

“You are, but I will never be hers. I belong to someone else,” he says it lightly, but there’s a darkness to his eyes that hadn’t been there a second ago.

“Your mate when you find her?” I guess, hopping up and straightening my now wrinkled clothes.
“Yes my mate, and only my mate,” he answers, sitting up. “I’ll head down first. I need to check on everyone, we usually have a barbeque on Thursday nights, so it is easier. So I will see you when you come downstairs,” I nod before hearing a knock on the door, making me look at it nervously. The last thing I need is for Angie to give me hell over him accidentally falling asleep in here with me.

“Relax Kat, it is only Mateo,” Alpha Ezra says and I let out the breath I didn’t realize I was holding.

Chapter 15

The Alpha leaves before locking the door behind him. When 5 o’clock comes, I sigh, and get to my feet. I have no choice but to go down there, and face Angie, the queen bitch. Tossing on some warm clothes, I stick my head out the door. A few stragglers who are running late like myself, are coming out of their rooms before heading for the stairs to go to the lower level.

Opening the door, I slip out and quickly lock it behind me. I make my way to the stairs, following the crowd. Turning the corner, I bump into Angie. I almost groan at the sight of her. Her perfect blonde hair cascades down her back, ending just above her ass. Cherry-red lips turn down into a scowl when she notices me. Her breasts are pushed up almost right under her chin. Two giant water balloons drawing attention to herself. I wouldn’t doubt if they were fake, considering how tiny her body is. I wish I was a little taller so they weren’t in my face. It could be worse, at least they aren’t in my face all the time, like they are for her. She can practically place her chin on them and use them as pillows.

“Why are you here?” She sneers, in her nasally irritating voice.

“The same reason as you, Angie, move please,” I say, trying to step past her only for her to block me.

“Which room are you staying in?” She demands, looking up the hall in the direction I just came from.

“None of your business. Move please,” I repeat politely hoping she will give up.

She nods, but the gleam in her eye has me on edge. She steps aside and I walk past her. Out of the corner of my eye, I see her lunge forward and her hands push against my body, shoving me down the flight of stairs.

My world turns upside down as I tumble down the stairs. Each step digs into a different part of my body. My back, my hips, my legs, and even my head are not spared before I finally come to a blissful stop at the bottom with a dull thud, and my head hits the hard floor with a loud one.

I grit my teeth, glaring up at her. She clings to the railing, mocking laughter in her eyes. “Oops!” she giggles. “I’m so sorry, Katya. I slipped and I fell into you. Are you okay?”

Growling, I get to my hands and knees. I’m about to pound her snickering face in. Beta Mateo appears, out of almost nowhere and crouches beside me. He grips my chin and turns my head side to side as he inspects me, before examining the bump on the back of my head.
He swipes my hair aside and gently prods the spot that connected with the floor and I hiss at the pain.

His eyes flash and a feral growl rumbles from deep in his chest. The Beta turns and his eyes fall on Angie. She’s not giggling and snickering anymore. She looks like she’s facing a dangerous animal.

“Angie, what is the meaning of this?” he snarls. There’s a calmness to his anger, and it makes him all the more dangerous. He helps me to my feet, I can’t help but shiver from the change in him.

“Angie, what is the meaning of this?” he snarls at her, as he helps me to stand.

Angie straightens and holds her hands up. “Beta, it wasn’t my fault, she slipped.” She’d gotten back enough of her senses to purr at him like some fucking cat in heat.

Bile fills my throat. How much of a whore can she be? I try to shake off his grip on me.

Instead, he pulls me closer. The rumble is still coming from him, but it’s so low only I can hear it. His hands tremble, I glance up at him and his eyes flicker. “Don’t think you can lie to me. I saw exactly what you did,” he snaps at her. He pulls me against him so tight I whimper in discomfort and he finally lets go.

Angie puts her nose in the air and crosses her arms over her chest. “I didn’t do anything, it was an accident,” she argues.

Beta Mateo silently points above her head. I follow his finger and see a small camera I didn’t notice before. By the look on Angie’s face, it is the first time she has noticed it too.

“Should I ask the Alpha to check the cameras so we can see this accident?” he growls at her.

Her smile slips away, her fear comes back full force. Angie’s face pales, and her arms drop to her sides as she chews on her bottom lip. I raise an eyebrow at her, as she spares a moment to glare at me. But it loses the effect when she looks weak, like she can be pushed over by a gust of wind.

“Well?” The Beta insisted.

Angie swallows and her trembling stops. Her fingers curl over the railing until her knuckles are white and she forces a smile to her lips. “I was just playing around. You’re not really hurt are you, Kat?” she quips. I wonder if anyone will believe that fake ass smile she was giving.

I scoff. “No, Angie, I am not as breakable as you think.” I walk off and leave her behind. I don’t need to hear her response. I don’t know what her problem is, but I want no part in her petty bitchery.
“Go on ahead, Kat. I want to have a little talk with Angie here,” Mateo offers.
I give him a small smile and nod. I would take all the insulation from that crazy bitch that I could get. Walking out the back, I find everyone else sitting and talking.

The courtyard is just as impressive as the rest of the Packhouse. It’s enormous. There’s a giant fire pit in the center with stone benches and tree stump seating just close enough to feel the heat, but not close enough to be set on fire. There has to be enough seating here for over a hundred or more people. It already had thirty to forty students and it barely looked half-full.

I try to look for a familiar face, praying Jasmine comes here on Thursday nights.

Angie comes outside. Her arms are crossed and she glares at me as if she wishes I would catch fire. It made me wonder just what kind of conversation Mateo had with her.

I avoid her, and continue my search for Jasmine.

“Who are you looking for?” The Alpha’s voice questions behind me, making me jump. Angie glares daggers at me from her seat next to the fire pit.

“I was hoping Jasmine would be here.”

He nudges me, handing me a steak sandwich. “Here, eat, and Jasmine comes to the Pack run with her family. They don’t want her missing school. She is going to be a Pack doctor when she graduates,” the Alpha explains, pulling me aside and sitting down on one of the huge rectangle rocks.

As I sit down, I can practically feel Angie’s eyes boring into me. Mateo walks over sitting on my other side and I force myself to not roll my eyes.

Do they realize them being around me makes things more difficult with Angie? Not to mention the countless others that steal glances in our direction, it is making me very self conscious.

Their stares make me nervous, and I stand up wanting to escape. “Where are you going?” The Alpha asks, looking up at me.
“Back inside, everyone keeps giving me sideways glances, and it’s rather unsettling.” “They probably think you’re in trouble,” Mateo observes with a chuckle.
“I would assume the same thing, if an Alpha and his Beta were babysitting a student from their school.”

“Should I be offended that you are too embarrassed to be seen with me?” Mateo mocks, and I actually do roll my eyes at his sarcasm.
“I’m not embarrassed, I just don’t want Angie getting the wrong idea. She already thinks I’m after the Alpha,” I complain, pulling a face.

The Alpha smiles before shaking his head. “Let them think what they want, it won’t matter soon anyway. But if you are that worried I will leave you alone while people are here.”

It won’t matter soon? His words are strange to me. What was going to happen that it wouldn’t matter? This embarrassment would always matter. Why was he seeking me out like this, and his Beta too? “You say that like you are purposely making things awkward for me.”

“Not awkward, but yes I am seeking you out, if that is what you are wondering.” He calmly says biting into his sandwich.

“Why?” My last Alpha barely came near me, like I had the plague, and he was worried he might catch it. This one though, everywhere I turn, I run into him, when I should be avoiding him.

He shrugs and glances away, “You’re new to the Pack.”

I ponder over his words. Jasmine did say he was a good, fair Alpha. He does seem very involved in his Pack. Not only does he let the younger teens come and stay over at the Packhouse to make things easier for them, but he seems to know every Pack member by name. Where my previous Alpha barely even acknowledged anyone that was beneath his rank, unless it was to scold them.

My new Alpha also seems very involved in the school, and community meetings like Pack runs. We didn’t have those very much, thank the goddess, at my old Pack. But here, Pack runs are weekly, and he even lets Pack members into the Packhouse, which is what it’s for. Back home, the Packhouse is just a fancy name for the Alpha’s personal mansion.

I sit back down beside him, and he smiles over at me. “What changed your mind?”

“Well, besides you and Mateo, the rest avoid me. Nowhere else to go, so might as well stay here.” I give up trying to get away, for now.

Mateo chuckles, slinging his arm across my shoulders. “Well we can always give them something to talk about, really kick the rumors off,” he suggests, his eyes sparkling with mischief.

“You will do no such thing, hands off her, Mateo,” the Alpha growls at him, before getting up. Something seems to have angered him, as he turns and walks inside.

Mateo’s eyes glaze over a few moments later, and I can tell he is mindlinking before he abruptly hops up. “I will see you later Kat, I have pissed off the Alpha,” he says in a mocking tone.
Alone, I sit wondering why the Alpha got upset. Angie, seeing me on my own, smiles brightly before making her way over to me and I go to get up. “What did you say to piss off the Alpha?” She asks.

“I don’t know Angie, but why don’t you go and throw yourself at him and find out?”

“I might just go do that,” she taunts, but I find it pisses me off. I don’t understand my sudden anger over it, but I suddenly don’t want her claws anywhere near him.

Chapter 16
Angie struts away with a little sway in her hips as she heads inside after him. I sit there seething at her and the intense anger shocks me. I’ve been angry before, but the hate that has formed towards her takes me by surprise. There is a vehement hatred inside me and not just because she has shoved me down the stairs. The sandwich the Alpha has tried to get me to eat is crushed into mush and I glance down at my hand with a wince. What am I doing?

Something is different. I look around the backyard. There are rows of shocked faces staring back. I stare back. Haven’t they seen anyone get angry before? I sigh and throw the crushed sandwich goop in the trash.

Everyone is still staring at me. They’re whispering behind cupped hands to each other. My cheeks burn.

Why hasn’t anything changed? Along with the familiar licks of embarrassment the flames of anger bubble inside me. The Pack members stumble back and drop their heads. What the fuck was wrong with them? They spring away from me like I am contagious. Tears brim and I dash them away. I’m not doing a walk of shame.

It is just like home. I am being shunned. How could I be such a fool? They don’t even know about my secret yet and I am already an outsider. This Pack is no different. I am always the freak, and always will be.

I can’t stand it. Running towards my room I take the steps two at a time. I am almost there, when Angie appears at the top. She smirks when she sees me. Something twists painfully in my chest when the Alpha appears behind her, and worse, he places his hand on her shoulder.

My stomach drops like someone has just punched me.

The Alpha looks up from her and notices me. An indecipherable expression crosses his face. I shiver and take off running the rest of the way, ignoring them. I unlock my door with precision speed and throw it open. Slamming it shut behind me, I engage the lock firmly and lean against the door as I tremble.

My heart hammers in my chest. What is wrong with me? Am I really a freak? Why does seeing him with her coming from his room hurt so much? It is almost like I have some invisible claim on him as irrational as the thought is.

No, it’s like he said. I am new, that’s why he is spending time with me. Why he and Mateo watched a cheesy movie with me and always want to sit beside me.
There’s a knock on the door and I jump back. The handle twists until the lock stops it. “Kat? Are you okay?” The Alpha is on the other side of the door. The invisible knife buried in my stomach twists and plunges deeper inside me. My throat is clogged with emotions I can’t control or even explain.

“Kat, tell me. What’s wrong?” His voice is higher, almost panicked.

There’s another set of footsteps in the hall and I hear Mateo’s voice. “Alpha, everything okay?”

The door handle jiggles again. I wonder how much it can handle if he gets serious. This is his house he would likely think nothing of breaking it if he has to. “I don’t know,” he admits.

“Oh, Alpha,” Angie’s purr is way too close. Hearing her voice makes me grit my teeth. “She’s probably on the rag. Pay no attention to her.”

My vision turns red. I wish I had a wolf so I can tear her apart. That’s it, I turn around and grab the door handle, disengaging the lock and rip the door open. I focus on Angie’s face as she pales.

Mateo and Alpha Ezra take a few steps away from the door. A vicious growl escapes my lips, shocking Angie. The bitch looks like she’s on the verge of soiling herself. It shocks me too. In all my life, even when I pretend to have a wolf, I’ve never made a noise close to that before.

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think I have a real wolf.

Angie takes a step closer to the Alpha for protection. The heavy tension in the air snaps, and I lunge at her.

I see it a second too late as Mateo and Alpha Ezra both jump at me at the same time. Alpha Ezra’s arms wrap around my waist securely, ripping me back away from her. Mateo moves out of the way just in time as my leg kicks out aiming for Angie’s terrified face. Maybe this time when I break her nose she’ll learn her place.

“Angie, go!” Mateo orders her and she darts off down the stairs.

“What the fuck Kat, what is wrong with you?” Alpha Ezra scolds me, my anger vanishes while in his embrace, draining out of my body like it was manufactured. The warm cinnamon scent is oddly soothing. I am left with this overwhelming urge to hide away from shame.

I’m out of control, pushed to a limit I’ve never reached before. Never have I been this furious or so consumed with the urge to inflict pain on my enemy as I was in this moment.

The Alpha must notice my mood shift because he slowly unwinds his arms from around me and searches my face. Even after all that, his eyes shine with concern for me. “Why did you just try to attack her?” He grips my chin and forces me to look him in the eyes. “I will not tolerate violence, Kat.” he lectures softly.
He lets me go, and I move away, putting my head down. I’m ashamed of my actions. What has come over me?

“Answer me, please?” He insists.

I can’t. I don’t know why I am so angry, why I am so hurt by her being close to him. It is no concern of mine what he does with her.

I’d growled at her. How? Only someone with a wolf can growl like that. Growling comes from your wolf side, yet I have none. That I am certain of.

I sigh and put a hand to my head. “I think,” I whisper, turning away. “I should go to bed.”

The Alpha starts to speak, but stops before sighing as well. “That might be best, Kat,” he agrees before stepping out of my room and leaving me alone.

I stare at the closed door and put a hand to my chest. I really must be tired. My whole body hurts, but why do I feel close to crying?

I think about taking a shower and brushing my teeth, but the thought of going down the stairs and being exposed to everyone makes my stomach hurt. I crawl into bed, letting exhaustion drag me into slumber and away from the horrors of the day.

When I wake-up the sun hadn’t risen yet. It would be the perfect time to shower. Quickly I grab my towel and toiletry bag along with my clothes, and race down the stairs, slipping into the bathroom. I sigh in relief. I am right, the entire bathroom is empty.

Going into the first stall, I shut the curtain and strip my clothes off. Turning the taps I step under the hot shower, letting it burn my skin.

Today is going to be hell. I might go unnoticed with everyone’s excitement over the Pack run, but how long would that last before they remember to shun me? Halfway through my shower Angie’s nasally voice burns my ears.

That bitch.

This isn’t a place I want to be trapped. Naked in a stall? No, thank you. She’s talking to someone, which makes this situation even worse.

“I know that scent,” she whispers to whoever she’s with.

I take this opportunity to wash the shampoo out of my hair quickly. I have to get out of here.

Bad move. My eyes burn as the suds trickle down into them. Reaching for my towel, I feel around, desperate to stop the burn. It should be on the shower curtain, but I can’t feel it. Angie cackles at me along with some other person I don’t recognize.
Bending down, I try to find anything to stop my eyes from burning so I can see. A cold draft hits me while I search for my clothes.

The laughter is louder, and I step under the water, flooding my face and clearing out the suds, only to hear the click of someone taking pictures.

I open my eyes to find the curtain wide open, and my clothes are gone.

Angie stands there flanked by a girl and some boy, with a phone in her hand and a smug smirk on her lips. Her eyes gleam with satisfaction. I scream and rush for the curtain to close it, trying to shield my body away from their watchful eyes.

They laugh louder and hard at me, before running out, giggling amongst themselves.

I look around for my clothes, anything to shield myself, but come up empty. I look at the flimsy shower curtain in my stall and I rip at it, trying to get it off the hooks so I can wrap it around myself.

Chapter 17

Waking up, I stare at the ceiling. I want to know what happened to my mate. Why had she acted like that? I thought I was going to see her wolf with the way she had growled. Maddox got excited about it.

The entire Packhouse is buzzing. The laughter and cheer rises up to my ears. At least someone is in a good mood. Despite myself, I smile. I love the sound of a happy Pack. I get dressed and make my way down the stairs. Chatter and laughter fills the usual silence as they get ready for the day.

Glancing at Kat’s door I pause and knock. I listen for movement before opening the door and popping my head in. The room is empty. She’s not hiding in here anymore, I sigh in relief. I smile and continue down the steps, only stopping when I see Angie and a group of kids huddled together in a small mass laughing and watching something on her phone.

The laughter isn’t as happy as I’d first thought. There was something jeering about it. “What’s going on?” I ask.

Angie quickly tries doing something on her phone, shielding it away from me as the other teens suddenly take off. Walking into the foyer, I see everyone else scatter and Angie is still fumbling with her phone frantically when I see the TV. Angie is casting whatever is on her phone directly to the TV.

Acid boils in my stomach. Kat is on the TV screen while showering, trying to cover herself and crying. Red creeps over my vision. I look around for the remote but it’s nowhere to be found. The kids are still scrambling and running away. I grab a chair and fling it at the TV and shatter the screen. The image of Kat flickers off and glass and plastic rain down.

Angie shrieks and cries. This is her fault.
A guttural growl escapes me and anger surges through, threatening to consume me.

I want to break her, never in my life have I wanted to inflict pain on any of my own Pack members, but in this moment I want to hurt her like she hurt my mate.

Mateo, hearing the breaking glass and everyone’s terrified screams, races down the stairs as I lunge at her. My claws slip from my fingertips and Mateo yanks me backwards. My claws scratch her cheek, I was aiming for her head. Her hand goes to her face as she screams in horror at what I have done.
Mateo and I hit the ground and I roll off him wanting her blood, I wanted her to pay for the humiliation she just caused Kat.

“Ezra, what’s going on?” Mateo demands, struggling to hold me back. Angie tries to run.

Fat chance I’ll allow that. “Fucking move and die!” I scream and my Alpha aura rolls over her.

She freezes in place with a terrified whimper. Crying, she bares her neck. Her entire body trembles with tension.

Mateo lets me go and I get to my feet stalking toward her.

“Give me the fucking phone now!” I tell her as I hold my hand out.

She trembles but drops the phone in my hand, tears trek down her bleeding face. I try to get in but it has a passcode.

“Password now!” I snarl, and she rattles off her date of birth.

Her voice trembles badly as tears and her blood continue to stream.

Mateo looks over my shoulder trying to figure out why I am so angry, and he catches sight of it, a furious growl escapes him.

“You would dare do that to another woman, subject her to that sort of humiliation?” I ask her, my voice deadly cold. How could she? How could she do that to my mate, or anyone?
Humiliating her is bad enough, but showing it off to everyone is even worse to me. “It wa-was a joke?” she stammers.
“That is not a fucking joke, Angela!” Mateo roars at her, also on the verge of shifting and ripping her to pieces.

“Where is she?” I ask, looking around for my mate, needing to see she is alright.

“She is still in the bathroom,” Jake gulps from the top of the stairs. I look up and see him pale, his large petrified blue eyes watching us. He nervously tries to brush his blonde hair from his face.

“And how do you know that?” I coldly ask. I know the answer, and he knows I know. He looks like he’s on the verge of puking, but at least he told me where my mate is.

“It was Angie’s idea, I told her we shouldn’t,” he whimpers and my vision goes crimson. He helped humiliate her in such a way.
Mateo must sense my intentions. He grabs my arm and pushes me down towards the bathroom before I can rip one of her tormentors apart. “I’ll deal with them. Go, get her,” he orders.

“Everyone out!” I yell to all the lingering teens. They stare at everything with fearful eyes.

Angie and Jake go to leave when Mateo catches both of them by the arms. “Not you two, you two are coming with me,” he informs them.

“You better pray Kat is forgiving, because I won’t stop her if she banishes you,” I tell them and they pale before looking at me with twin trembling lips. They both look ready to sob.

“Banish us?” Jake squeaks.

“She can’t do that, she’s not our Luna,” Angie stutters. “We don’t have one.” “Yes, she can,” I argue back. “How dare you humiliate your Luna like that.”
Angie’s eyes widen, she turns to stare down the hall at the bathroom. She’s gone ghostly pale. “Our Luna?” she whispers.

“Yes, because she is my mate,” I say before walking off and leaving Mateo to deal with them.

When I enter the bathroom all I can hear is her sobs. One of the shower curtains is ripped down and wrapped around her but it did nothing to cover her naked body. The flimsy shower curtain was see through against her tanned skin, as she huddles in the corner of the stall.

“Kat?” I whisper while kneeling in front of the shower stall.

She has her head pressed to her knees as she cries. She looks up, her face all red and blotchy and my heart breaks for her.

I pull my shirt off handing it to her and she reaches out for it, pulling it over her head. “Why didn’t you shift? You could have shifted and come and got me or Mateo.”

She looks at me before tears well in her beautiful eyes and she sobs again. “She recorded it,” she chokes out.

I pull the phone from my pocket. Her eyes widen and her lower lip trembles. My gut twists. “You saw it?” She asks, crying even harder.
I look away and swallow. The entire Packhouse saw her, not that she had anything to be ashamed of. She is beautiful, but I know she won’t see it that way.

The front door bursts open and I hear it smash through the wall out in the foyer. And worse, I hear Shirley. “Kat! Kat, honey.” I want to kick her out, but the look on my mate’s face tells me she wants her mother, and she was the one who mindlinked her.
“In here!” I call out. As much as I hate this, my mate’s comfort means more than my grudge.

She appears in the doorway a few seconds later. “Oh baby,” she gasps, rushing over and I move out of the way.

My mate throws herself into her mother’s arms clutching onto her like she is her lifeline. “I want to come home,” she whispers to her mother, and hurt hit me. She doesn’t want to be here. Doesn’t want to be around me.

“How could this happen, and where is the little bitch? You told me she would be safe with you!” Her mother berates me.

“Mateo has Angie and Jake.”

“What about the other girl?” Her mother presses. “There was another?” I snarl.
Kat nods as another person finds themselves on my shit list. “I will find her,” I promise the both of them.

“And what will become of them?” Shirley demands, trying to contain her anger. It’s oozing off her in waves.

“Kat can decide that,” I assure her mother.

She pulls back, looking down at her daughter. “I am taking her home,” Shirley tells me in a do-not-question-me tone. My wolf hackles rise at her tone and he presses beneath my skin. The last thing I need is Maddox getting out, he despises her mother and wants to kill her.

“No, she stays and everyone will be leaving the Packhouse, she can also stay on the Alpha floor. I won’t let this happen again.” I turn to my trembling mate. She looks so fragile. It broke my heart that this has happened to her. ” Kat, please stay,” I beg.

“I want them dealt with,” her mother hisses. “And they will be.”
“Come sweetie, let’s find you some clothes,” Shirley says, helping her stand.

Kat tries to pull my shirt down, covering her exposed legs. I thought it a little odd that she is afraid of being nude in front of people. It honestly isn’t a big thing in wolf Packs, you are bound to see each other naked and some of the Pack members even strut around naked after the Pack runs.

I also find it strange she didn’t just shift and walk out of here to alert Mateo and I about what happened, instead she called for her mother.
She is led up the stairs and Mateo comes over to me, looking up and away when he realizes her ass is peeking out from under my shirt.

“Where are they?” I demand not taking my eyes off my mate’s retreating figure.

“In the cells, might teach them a lesson. Also Amy is involved. I sent someone to go get her,” Mateo explains and I nod.

“Is she okay?” He asks softly, looking up the now empty stairs.

I say nothing, I feel terrible that she was subjected to that in my house while under my watch.

“Why didn’t she just shift?” Mateo asks with a sigh.

“I don’t know, she must have panicked.” It is the only logical reason as to why she didn’t. “Have you deleted it?” Mateo asks.
“No, I want her to so she knows it is truly gone.”

Chapter 18


Getting to my room, mom digs through my bag, grabbing me some clothes and passing them to me. It is an oversized shirt and some tights. Sniffling, I slip them on as she looks around the room.

She nods, glancing at me. “It’s a nice room.” Pulling my shirt on, I nod. She goes to say something but stops herself.

“What’s wrong?” I ask when I see her lips purse, a sign she is upset about something.

Mom looks conflicted before her usual face slips on. Gone is my protective mother and in her place my biggest critic, I regret asking instantly as her eyes run the length of me in that judgy way of hers. “Why didn’t you fight back?”

“I was naked!” I yell at her. What did she expect me to do?

“You made yourself look weak, they won’t accept you if you look weak. You need to stand up for yourself,” she scolds me, and all I can focus on is the torture I had to endure.

Why doesn’t she ever try to understand things from my point of view? I wait before answering. “And last time I did, I got in trouble,” I tell her and she sighs, running her hand through her hair.

“You won’t get in trouble, do what you have to, you need to prove yourself, Kat!” She snaps at me, and I blink at her, it always amazes me how she can flick between multiple personalities.

It is why I fear the woman so much. One minute she is adoring and loving, your best friend, alibi, confidant, the next your enemy, judge, and executioner. It irritates me, the one time I need her to be my mom and she reverts back to her cold exterior, the one she gives others, the one that holds the reputation. She can never stay in mother mode long enough for me to catch my breath.

“Alpha Ezra said no violence between Pack members, mom. You want me to lay low then you tell me to fight back. Which is it?” I snap back at her.

She takes a step toward me, her finger points at me accusingly. “You make us look weak, you are not weak. No daughter of mine can be weak, especially in your position,” she says, her voice rising.
Burning hot anger shivers up my spine. For once, for fucking once can she lay the fuck off me? “In my position?” I scoff. “Just say what you want to say mom, spit it out.” I am sick of her judgment. I am damned if I do and damned if I don’t meet her expectations.

“Your life is going to get a lot harder, and you being a pushover looks bad. Your mate will have expectations and if you can’t prove yourself-”

I toss my hands up in the air in frustration. “What are you talking about? I don’t have a mate mom, I don’t even have a wolf. I won’t find him even if I miraculously do have one. And mates are meant to love us, not shun us,” I point out.

“Not all mates are equal Katya. You’re a weakness to any mate you get with for not having a wolf, so you need to show your strength in other ways before he finds out!” she screams but I have reached my limit today.

I am on the verge of snapping, so I point to the door. “Get out!” I order her and she stops her rant to stare over at me. “Get out, I asked you here as my mom and you can’t even do that. Everything is about titles and strength to you. If you think I am weak then just go. I criticize myself enough. I don’t need it from you too,” I tell her, tears brimming in my eyes from my anger. Why can’t she just love me and be a mother for five seconds without criticizing me?

“You don’t talk to me like that! I am just trying to help you!” My mother’s screech does nothing to move my heart.

“Get out!” I scream at her losing my temper, my voice rising louder than I meant. She glares at me and is about to say something when the door opens.
“She asked you to leave. Now go,” Alpha Ezra informs her coldly.

Shit! How much did he hear? Panic sets in and I hear my mother’s heart rate spike as well.

“I don’t know what you two are arguing about, but it is clear Kat wants you to go Shirley, so I suggest you leave.”

I let out the breath I don’t even realize I am holding. My mother’s mouth clamps shut. “I will see you at the Pack run,” my mother says, kissing my head before walking out and past the Alpha. She leaves and he steps in the room closing the door.

“What happened? You two were fine downstairs.”

I shake my head, knowing I can’t tell him and he sighs looking at the now closed door. “Your mother seems… strict.”
I scoff that is not the word I would use. I had more creative words in mind, some that would definitely make a sailor blush. “She thinks I make myself look weak,” I explain, before
looking down at the floor and running my fingers through my damp hair. I rub my temples, trying to stop the building headache before it sets in place..

“She said that?” He snarls.

I look up at him with a heavy sigh. “Yes, she told me, my mate, when I find him, he won’t want a weak mate. That I need to prove myself or some shit,” I admit.

It seems to anger him more. A growl escapes his lips, startling me. “Are you okay?” I ask him and he snaps out of whatever mood he is in.

“You’re not weak, and no one should expect anything from you, Kat, especially your mate,” he says.

“Well, I hope you’re right,” I tell him, knowing if by some miracle I have a mate my mother is right, it will be no ordinary mate bond when I won’t be able to recognize it.

We stand there in an awkward silence for a moment.

Mateo suddenly walks in clearing the awkwardness with his presence, and for once I am actually happy he barged in unannounced. The Alpha also looks relieved at his sudden appearance. “So which room are you putting her in?” Mateo asks with a grin, looking at the Alpha completely oblivious to the strange tension crackling in the room.

“I’m fine here,” I reply and Mateo looks at me.

“Think the Alpha and I would be more comfortable with you upstairs closer to us,” Mateo explains. The Alpha walks over and grabs my bag, not saying anything as he puts my few things in it, before throwing it over his shoulder. Looks like I’m not getting a choice in this.

Alpha Ezra looks at me expectantly and I sigh before following them. Mateo throws his arm over my shoulder tugging me closer and pushing his nose in my hair for a second, making me jerk away from the closeness. He is teasing, I get that, but no one ever gets that close to me. His eyes flicker to his wolf fleetingly before he smirks. “It will be like a slumber party where we can do makeup, comb each other’s hair,” he says and I elbow him, making him grunt before he laughs. “What, girls do that shit,” he says and I raise an eyebrow at him.

“Well, I don’t,” I chuckle at him.

“What never? Even the Alpha and I have slumber parties,” he says, mockingly.

“Never been to one, what do you two do then?” I ask, wondering if they really do have sleepovers considering they live in the same place.

“Stuff our faces, watch TV. Not much to do when not working, it is boring in case you haven’t noticed, sometimes we go to the whore-” he lists.

The Alpha growls at him, cutting him off mid-sentence.
“Sometimes we get rub and tugs from the ladies of the night,” he says with a wink and an eyebrow wiggle.

The Alpha doesn’t look nearly as amused. He growls, deeper this time and sends Mateo a glare that would freeze the blood of anyone else.

Not Mateo though. He shrugs the warnings off. This guy was either seriously brave, or a total fucking idiot.

“You mean a prostitute?” I correct him.

“See she already knows what the place is, why get your panties in a knot, Ezra?”

I stare at him. “Why would you have to pay anyone? I’m sure there are more than enough girls in the Pack that would throw themselves at you for free.” I had to admit, he is a striking man, him and the Alpha both.

Mateo chuckles and leans in close. “Why, Kat, it sounds like you’re offering,” he teases me with another wiggle of his brows.

The Alpha spins around on the stairs, and if glares could do damage, Mateo would be skewered multiple times over. Mateo puts his hands in the air at his taunting.

“That is not what I meant,” I laugh.

“He knows that Kat, he is teasing, and to answer your question it isn’t right to mess around with Pack members, knowing they have mates, so yes a brothel and a couple of girls who lost their mates but mainly brothels,” the Alpha answers while glaring at Mateo.

“So human women?” I am a little shocked.

The Alpha growls at his Beta and I watch as both their eyes glaze over in a private conversation.

Mateo pats his shoulder walking past him up the stairs. “Always so tense,” Mateo mutters. “I will see you later, Kat, for our slumber party,” Mateo says, sending me a wink.

“Damn fool,” Alpha Ezra says, reaching down and grabbing my hand. He tugs me up the stairs but I don’t even pay attention to where he is leading me, I am too focused on the strange tingling sensation of my hand in his. He stops and clears his throat, making me look up at him. I pull my hand away from his.

“Sorry,” I say, rubbing my fingers in my palm, trying to stop the weird sensation that is slowly spreading up my arm.

“My room is next door. Mateo’s is down at the end. it’s the last door,” he says and I nod, turning to look at the door we stopped at.
I open it and walk inside. The Alpha follows me in before stopping next to the dresser and placing my bag on it.

“Mainly this floor is empty unless we have a Pack Alpha visiting. There is a bathroom at the end, but it doesn’t get used much because we have bathrooms in our rooms, so you don’t have to worry about others coming in.”

I chew my lip, not really wanting to remember the earlier shower incident. Still, something in me warms at the thoughtfulness. He is making sure nothing like that has a chance of happening to me again.

“Well, I will let you get adjusted to your new place. I will be in my office if you need me, I have things to prepare for the Pack run,” he says. He walks to my door and pauses before turning back and coming to me. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a phone, pushing it into my hands.

My mouth turns to ash. I don’t know who this phone belongs to exactly, but from the hearts decorating it, I can make a guess. He scrolls through the videos and while I’m watching, deletes it in front of me.

I swallow. A weight lifts from me, but it’s not over. “They,” I whisper my voice thick. “They took photos too.” How could I forget the clicks amidst their laughter?

“You can scroll and delete those if you don’t want me to see them,” he offers, looking away.

“It doesn’t matter,” I whisper. “You already saw the video.” I scroll through and delete every image of me before handing the phone back. “Thank you, Ez,” I stop myself. I’d almost forgotten my place. “Thank you, Alpha.”

It is brief, maybe just a second or a trick of the eyes, but he looks so happy, it takes me by surprise. “You can call me Ezra,” he all but whispers. “You’ll be safe here, I swear it, and I meant what I said. You decide how they are all punished, Kat. No matter what, I’ll stand by your decision.”

He’s giving me too much power. Besides, nothing can change what has already happened. There will be no turning back time and making people forget what they have seen.

His grip tightens on my chin. That strange tingling warmth returns and follows along my jaw and over my chin. His thumb gently brushes just below my lips. His eyes are intense, I can’t tear myself away.

I shake my head to escape.

He sighs and gives me a teasing smile. “I can always make them strut down the main street naked if you want.”
I shake my head harder. “I could never do that, I’m not cruel. No, they’ll forget, eventually,” I hope.

He leans in close to me again. His eyes study me like I’m some puzzle he’s trying to solve. They search mine. “Your mother thinks you’re weak? What a fool. Most would want an eye for an eye for what they did to you. Showing mercy is not weak, it proves your strength, proves you are better than them,” he chuckles softly, closer than ever before. “Better than all of us.”

His lips brush my forehead so fast I think I imagine it. He lets me go and pulls away.

I glance away from him, unable to meet his eyes. “Are you sure you’re the big bad Alpha I’ve heard about for years? The one everyone fears?” I tease.

He gives me a wane smile and shrugs. “The rumors are mostly true but Packs are family, I protect what’s mine. You’re Pack, Kat. Everything else doesn’t matter.”

“So you really killed all those people from the Blue Mountain Pack?” I ask, slightly horrified it is true.

“Yes, they hurt my Pack.” He says it so simply.

“And your father? You really killed him?” I ask the question without thinking about it. How could I be so cruel? I mentally facepalm myself for my runaway mouth with all of its word vomit. I hold my hands. “Sorry, don’t answer that.” It is none of my business and far too personal to ask of anyone, let alone my Alpha.

He gives me another warm smile, one I don’t deserve. “You can ask me whatever you want. I did kill him. He was never a good Alpha, and an even worse father.”

I chew my lip trying not to ask anything else that could be seen as offensive or overstepping. There’s so much I want to know, but I’m going to behave this time.

“Does that bother you?” he asks, tilting his head to the side. “No, you had your reasons.”
He nods, before looking at the door. “I will see you at the Pack run, but I should go, I need to make sure the borders are still patrolled during the run,” he explains, not that he has to. He is my Alpha after all.

“Okay,” I answer softly.

“5pm, Kat. and I will be telling everyone the Packhouse is off limits, you won’t have to speak to them if you don’t want to. I will see you at five,” he says, slipping out of the room.

Great, now I need to find somewhere to hide in the forest so I remain unnoticed.
Chapter 19


The time for everything to be revealed ticks by dreadfully slowly. I should be grateful that each second feels like an hour, but I can’t escape my nerves. A pit forms in my stomach. I can’t be around the other Pack members, I stay in my room.

No one is allowed inside, but I hear them chatting excitedly outside. Everyone loves the Pack runs apparently. I do nothing, but watch the sun take its course and try to think of what I’m going to say, how I’m going to survive.

I slip some loose fitting clothes on, which is what most Pack members wear when they are going to shift. At least I kind of look the part. When it’s nearly five, I am about to head down when I hear a knock on the door. Has my fate come to get me?

Opening the bedroom door, my father stands there in just a tank top and shorts. “Hey Pumpkin,” he greets and I roll my eyes at the nickname he refuses to give up. I throw my arms around his chest hugging him tight, relief floods me at seeing him, I can relax a little now knowing he will be by my side.

“Your mother said you had an issue here today?” He asks.

I nod against his chest. He kisses my hair while rubbing my back gently.

“What do I do about the Pack run?” I ask with a whimper, looking up at him. My father is the best, he always has an answer for me. I rest my chin on the center of his chest and he presses his forehead against mine.

“I asked the Alpha if we could take off a bit early so you don’t have to deal with everyone, he agreed that’s why I am here, to come get you.” He smiles and kisses my forehead before letting me go.

I close my bedroom door following my father. The Alpha is talking to a group of people out the back as we slip outside, my mother is waiting next to the treeline. Ezra turns as we walk out giving my father a nod and my dad leads me over to my mother. We trek into the forest and start walking.

“We found a stream earlier today, thought it would be nice over there to wait out the Pack run,” my mother says.

I don’t care where we go as long as it is far away from everyone else.
Mom grabs my hands and squeezes them, forcing me to look at her. “I’m sorry about earlier Kat, I shouldn’t have been so harsh.” My father gives her a what-the-hell-did-you-do-now look, making her turn away from him.

“What did she do?” my father asks through the mindlink. I shake my head. I don’t want them fighting over me. My mother starts stripping her clothes off, before jamming them into a log of a fallen tree. My father does the same, shifting quickly as I keep my back turned to them. I have seen them naked, but that doesn’t mean I want to.

My father’s caramel colored wolf comes over to me, nudging me wanting me to climb on his back. I do just in time to see my mother’s black and gray wolf step out of the trees. They take off running, and it kind of reminds me of when I was little, before we discovered I have no wolf. I would always get piggy back rides on mom and dad when I was little.

We zip through the trees, and I dig my head in between my father’s shoulder blades so I won’t fall off from the momentum, my legs wrap around his waist and arms around his throat. They run for what feels like forever, before stopping and I climb off, finding my feet again.
This place feels secluded and a safe distance away from everyone. The stream running through the forest has only the scents of the passing animals but surprisingly no wolf scents.

“Where are we?” I ask.

“Near the border, no one will come out this far. Alpha Ezra forbids them getting too close to the border,” my mother mindlinks.

“Will I get in trouble being here?”

“He won’t know, your father reckons we should just tell him, but-”

“But not until I prove myself,” I mutter, knowing all too well why she doesn’t want him knowing. Though I have to wonder if it really is so necessary. This Alpha is unlike ours back at home, unlike any other. Being near him puts me at peace, and fills me with nervous energy at the same time. It is hard to explain.

In the distance, an air horn goes off. I look back at the path we traveled. “Go, I will be fine.” I know they love the Pack runs and letting their wolves be free. Taking a seat by the stream I let my feet dangle in the cold water. My dad approaches me and rubs his big furry head on top of mine and my mom licks my cheek.

In a flash they take off into the trees. I love watching them. Though I don’t have a wolf, it makes me feel better seeing them enjoy theirs. I wish I had brought my phone. As nice as the stream is, it wouldn’t keep boredom away for long. I could have played some Candy Crush while I waited.

Instead, I get to stare up at the stars and moon. Is the Goddess up there somewhere? I sigh. Instead, I focus on the stars and play dot to dot with them to piece out familiar constellations.
It’s still deep at night when the Alpha’s mind brushes against mine. His link is strong. “Kat, where are you?” he questions. There’s an almost eagerness behind his words.

I sit up. My entire body is tense. Should I duck into the water to escape? “Around,” I answer with a mental shrug.
Please, make him give up. If he finds out… I don’t know what I’ll do.

He waits a few minutes before contacting me again. “Are you hiding from me?”

I cut off the mindlink, shoving him out of my head. There’s little doubt I’ll get in trouble when I get back for it. We are never supposed to shove our Alpha out of our heads. He tries to force the mindlink and my will is pushed to the limit when he suddenly gives up and I let out a breath of relief.

Hopping up, I climb out of the stream. I glance around the dark clearing until I find a suitable tree. I’d feel safer up off the ground with how creepy and dark everything is getting. The shadows amongst the trees creep me out and I suddenly wish for the safety of my room.

The crickets sing their night song, and the owls hoot from their trees. My chosen tree didn’t seem to have one in it. Studying the smooth bark I look for the easiest way to scramble up when the animals around me fall silent.

Silence is never a good thing in a forest, it means predators are near. My eyes snap open as a twig snaps, I jerk up, staring into the trees around me. My eyes are stronger than that of a human but with the stars and moon hidden by a curtain of clouds, it’s impossible to see everything. I am tempted to move closer to the stream again. I will be out from the canopy the trees wove above me. It would be a little easier to see.

Another twig snaps, this time on the opposite side of the forest. My heart races and I spin around. There isn’t much I can do in the case of an attack, but I won’t die to some beast easily.

Glowing amber eyes peer out from between two trees. A black wolf the size of a small horse steps out, the trees bowing against his bulk. His fur is an intense ebony I can only just make him out in the darkness. He looks like he stepped from the shadows themselves.

I swallow. A wolf, but who is this monster?

He moves, stepping toward me and his aura vibrates across the ground. A familiar one. I let out the trapped breath I have been holding for so long. “Alpha,” I whisper, reopening the mindlink.

“Found you, although I have never been fond of hide and seek, I was terrible at it as a kid.”

Chapter 20

“Why did you block me out? And why are you out here by yourself?” He looks around the clearing, searching no doubt for my parents. He huffs and comes closer.

“I didn’t want to be around them,” I answer and he nods his head.

His wolf sniffs me, pressing his face into my neck before licking it. I push him away. His fur is soft beneath my palms and his big furry head nudges me, forcing his head under my arm wanting a scratch, his tongue lolling out the side as his tail wags excitedly.

“Sorry, my wolf is a little excited,” he apologizes.

I chuckle at the awkward admission. “What’s his name?” I brush his fur when he rolls out from under my arm. He wags his tail harder and plunges his head between my legs, sniffing hard. I shove his big head away and wag a finger at him. “Don’t be rude.”

His wolf makes a growling sound deep in his throat, but it’s not like a normal growl. I stare at him. Was-was this wolf purring at me? I’d never heard one purr before. I raise a brow and he licks the tip of my nose. His broad tongue covers half my face.

I push him away but he evades me and presses his nose into my hair, before licking savagely at the back of my neck. He nips me with his canines in his excitement and I wince and hiss.

Shouldn’t the Alpha have better control of his wolf? I push the big head aside again. He is incredibly bad mannered.

“Damn it, I’m sorry, Kat. This is Maddox. Stop that! You’re embarrassing us, stop right now,” he argues with his wolf.

Maddox responds by dropping into my lap, nearly drowning me in his silky fur. The wolf rubs himself all over me.

“Is he alright?” I ask out loud when his wolf pushes his snout underneath my shirt and licks my stomach. Through the mindlink he argues with his wolf to stop mauling me with his big heavy body. He was rubbing himself all over me like a cat and wouldn’t stop licking me and trying to duck his head under my shirt as if he thought he could climb in it with me.

I brush his fur and put a hand on each side of his face, forcing him to meet my eyes. “Stop, Maddox,” I scold him when he put his head inside my shirt again. He whines loudly pushing against me, trying to knock me on my back.
“I can shift back but I will be naked,” the Alpha warns me.

I did not want to deal with that. “He isn’t so bad,” I protest and Maddox licks my chin.

A much deeper and gravelly voice bursts through the mindlink, startling me. “Your wolf,” he insists.

“Was that your wolf speaking?” I ask hoping Alpha Ezra has enough control to hear me and hasn’t been blocked out by his wolf.

“He wants to meet your wolf,” Alpha Ezra replies, and my stomach twists in knots knowing that wasn’t possible. “Are you going to shift?” Maddox nudges me with his nose, urging me to give in.

The trees behind me sway as more creatures make their way through them. Maddox jerks and his ears perk up. His lips lift from his canines and he peers into the darkness. He steps over me, forcing me behind him. Growling in warning, he waits.

My father’s wolf steps out of the treeline and spots us. He ducks his caramel furry head to the Alpha bearing his neck before ducking into the trees again.

“Wait!” I called out to my father. He stops, coming back out of the trees, he pads over and stops next to the Alpha who stands over me completely and I have to push his fur aside to see my dad.

My mother steps out of the trees and my father looks at her, she becomes annoyed, growling at my father and I know he said something she doesn’t like. My mother dodges back into the forest. “I gotta go Kat, and deal with your mother,” my father says.

I panic. “But wait, he wants me to shift,” I tell my father through the link while getting to my feet.

Dad looks at me, cocks his head, and licks my fingers. “Just tell him the truth. Whatever happens, will happen Kat. If we have to move, we will, but I don’t think he will kick us out.” He ducks his head to the Alpha.

I try to chase after him when the Alpha’s wolf grabs my hand in his huge mouth, tugging me gently and making me look at him.

He lets go, and the sound of bones snapping and shifting fill the air. I force my eyes closed. The Alpha is shifting right next to me.

“The fact your parents know you’re here means they brought you. Are you going to tell me what’s going on and why you are hiding out here away from everyone?” I don’t answer and he sighs. “I’m starting to think I already know.”

A chill travels down my spine at his words. It was nice having an Alpha that cared, but this is it for me. “Please shift back so I can turn around?” I request.
He moves but there’s no bone snapping. “Step backward,” he orders.

I obey. His hand wraps around my waist and he tugs me down to the ground. He pulls me against him so I am leaning on him, his legs on either side of mine. I do my best to not think about what is exactly behind me.

It twitches like it could hear me thinking about it. I gulp. I dare not turn around, but even looking as his dark bare legs contrasted with my paleness made strange tingles work their way through my body.

“There, covered,” the Alpha announces with a chuckle. His stubble grazes my cheek when he rests his chin on my shoulder. The warmth of him seeps into my body and the cold breeze around us could turn into a snowstorm and I wouldn’t notice.

The tingles spread from the center of me and flow out. My legs are pushed against his, almost tangled together. “You can lean on me,” he whispers into my ear. His warm breath makes me shiver.

He’s not just talking about physically. Why is he so kind to me? I’m a freak.

His hand curves from around my side and over my stomach. Butterflies explode in my belly at his touch. The strange sensation travels through every spot where our skin touches.

“Kat,” my name on his lips is the sweetest sound. My heart pounds like a drum and it beats faster and faster. “Are you going to make me guess?”

Staying here is too dangerous. “I should go find my parents. They’ll be worried.”

I push off the ground to stand when he pulls me back down by my hips, his voice a husky whisper below my ear “I know you haven’t shifted yet.”

I jerk away like a live wire is pressed against me. He knows! I twist around to look at him, doing my best to keep my head raised and not looking down. “I-“

“I’m right aren’t I?” He asks. He pulls my body back down against him and he buries his face in the crook of my neck. “You can tell me anything, no matter what, I’m not leaving your side.”

We will see about that. I lift my head and meet his eyes as he looks up at me. “I have no wolf,” I admit softly. My hands clasped above my stomach tremble.

For his part he doesn’t shove me away or even show any visible disgust.

He takes my hands and his thumb caresses the back of it. “It all makes sense now. Why you didn’t shift in the bathroom, and why you were nervous when I asked about your wolf. Even why you’re out here in the middle of nowhere, or why your mom would be crazy enough to use wolfsbane on you.”
I swallow and stare at his hands cupping mine. This has to be a dream. He presses his face back into my neck, nuzzling against me.

“You’re not mad at me?” “Why would I be upset?”
I lean against him. “I have no wolf.”

“You do. I sense her. You’re just a late bloomer and there is nothing wrong with that,” he buries his nose in my hair and inhales. His chest shakes.

“You can sense her?” I ask, looking over my shoulder at him. His face is a few centimeters away from mine.

“Yes, that’s why my wolf wants to meet her.”

I let my head rest against his chest and I stare up into the sky. This was not what I expected when the secret escaped. “Alpha-“

“Ezra,” he insists in my ear with a soft growl.

“Ezra,” I concede. “Will you banish me and my family for lying?”

His arms wrap around me and he squeezes me close to him. “No, I’d never banish you. Even if you didn’t have a wolf, I could never do it.”

I continue to stare up into the sky. The moon is hard to make out. “It’s what my last Pack did. It is why we left. Alpha Jackson knew I had no wolf and was weak, that the Moon Goddess shunned me and a defect like me should be thrown away when it was discovered what I was.”

Ezra growls again, slowly at first but it picks up in speed and intensity until his entire chest vibrates. “Jackson is a dickhead, he doesn’t deserve the title Alpha. You have a wolf. I know she will show herself when she is ready. My belief is that late bloomers are late, not because they are shunned, but because they are blessed by her touch.”

His fingers brush the sides of my chin and he turns my face toward his.

“You don’t know that, I may not have a wolf,” I whisper. Tears sting my eyes. That hope I had shoved into the deepest corners of my soul when I believed my mom, it blooms again for the first time in years. Maybe it is true.

“Kat, I don’t care if you do or don’t. However, I know without a doubt you do. Your aura burns bright.”

“My aura?”
He nods. “It’s stronger than your parents,” He smiles,” it matches mine.”

I look away knowing now he is just making shit up, I am not stupid enough to believe I have an aura. The fragile hope withered in my soul.

“You don’t believe me? I wouldn’t lie to you.”

Is it just me or is there a thread of sadness in his words?

We’re interrupted by the air horn blaring and signaling the night’s end. I look away from Ezra and over the trees back toward the Packhouse. “We should go back,” I suggest.

Ezra scoffs. “Mateo can handle it.” He laces his fingers through mine and the warmth works its way through me again.

I swallow and gingerly remove his hand from mine.

He frowns. “What’s wrong?” he tries to grab my hand again.

“Nothing, but I thought you said you don’t mess with Pack wolves,” I remind him, turning slightly to look at him.

“I don’t,” he says.

“Then what’s this?” I motion to the way I am practically sitting on him.

“I’m not messing with you Kat, as you put it,” he protests. I don’t know what to think of his bizarre words because his actions say otherwise.

He grabs my legs, draping them over his and turns me sideways, his hand cups my cheek while his thumb brushes under my eye softly.

“I’m not messing with you,” he insists before leaning forward and pressing his lips to mine.

The tingles from before are nothing compared to the sparks that shoot through me. Sparks and fireworks. His lips are soft yet demanding against mine. He drags my bottom lip down and lightly nibbles on it before his tongue traces the same path, pressing against the crease of my lips.

I open up to him, his tongue gently twines with mine as he brings one hand behind my neck to cradle me closer. He moans and sucks my bottom lip into his mouth, before pulling completely back and kissing me chastely again. He pants like he’s run a race.

My first kiss is with my Alpha? The fire continues to zip through my lips. I stare at him, unable to form a coherent thought.

He chuckles at me and rubs his nose against mine. His hand cups my cheek and his thumb brushes over the lips he just kissed.
“But, you said-“

He laughs, cutting me off. “It’s not messing around. It’s different.” “But?”
“I kissed you. I didn’t steal your virginity. It’s still safe for your mate,” he replies, chuckling at my bright red face.

I stare at him. My brain is short-circuiting. My still very naked Alpha had kissed me!

“Come on, we should head back and I will keep my lips to myself,” he promises, about to stand.

“Wait, can you shift back? My parents might get the wrong idea if I walk out of the trees with you naked,” I blurt out.

“And what idea would that be?” He asks, my face grows hotter. “I’m playing Kat, you embarrass too easily, but yes I will shift back, so you don’t ogle at me,” he warns, with a peck to my flaming cheek.

Shuffling forward, I hear the rearranging of his bones as he shifts quickly, only to be shoved forward when his wolf collides with my back. I roll, trying to get out from under him, as he attacks me with his giant tongue licking my face.

“Ew, gross, you said you would keep your lips to yourself,” I tell him, trying to shield my face.

“Yes my lips, never promised to keep my wolf off you,” he teases me through the mindlink.

“He is slobbering all over me,” I squeal, when his tongue licks inside my ear making me squeak, while attempting to scramble away.

“Maddox, leave her be,” Ezra orders him. I think it is a little weird that he leaves the mindlink that far open where I can hear him talking to his wolf. It’s like hearing his inner monologue. His wolf growls at him, annoyed, not just in my head but out loud, before he gets his heavy butt off my chest and allows me to sit up.

I try to flatten my hair as I stand, pulling twigs and leaves from it before using my shirt to wipe my face of his wolf’s slobber. “That was disgusting,” I scold, with a nudge. Maddox nudges me back, only for me to fall face first into the dirt. He’s way too strong compared to me.

He laughs as I haul myself up. I glare in response. “So cute when you’re angry, like an angry mouse,” he taunts playfully.

I shove him, making him fall on his side before taking off into the trees, heading toward the Packhouse.
“Now you’re gonna get it, Kat. Run little mouse,” he calls and I pick up my pace. Adrenaline surges through me as I try not to run into a tree in the darkness or trip over my own feet.

The chase is on.

Chapter 21

Maybe I should thank mom for all the training after all. Maddox is left far behind in the dirt as I tear off between the trees. I leap-frogged over logs and ducked beneath low-hanging branches. It is like an obstacle course tailored for me, and while I am flying through, my large pursuer isn’t having so much luck.

I glance behind me, watching him try to jump over a log, his back feet sliding on the smooth surface and sending him tumbling to the ground. My laughter rings through the air, bouncing off the trees. Adrenaline courses through me. My Big Bad Alpha won’t be able to touch me at this rate.

“What’s wrong Alpha? Can’t keep up?” I snicker through the mindlink. Maddox picks up his pace, his paws audible behind me, the crunch of his footfalls on the earth thud as he barrels his way forward.

“Oh, you better hope I don’t catch you,” he teases through the link.

“Don’t worry you won’t, I am pretty sure Mr. Master’s would have a better chance of keeping up,” I laugh. Mr. Master’s is the Geography teacher at the school. The man is as old as dirt and needs a walking cane.

“We’ll see,” he laughs at me with a growl in his voice.

I duck beneath another low-hanging branch before zipping between two trees when his scent hits my nose from the wrong direction.

“Boo!” He booms through the link.

The bushes beside me rustle and are broken apart by the explosive force of Maddox jumping through them. He lands in front of me, I don’t need the link to know he’s enjoying his triumph.

I skid to a stop on the soft soil, falling on the ground with a thud onto my hands and knees. He prowls toward me, stalking me, the same grin on his lips. I scramble backward, eyes on him. I’m grinning too.

Maddox growls playfully and pounces. My fingertips are brushing the dirt as I study his big hairy body flying at me. At just the right second I lean to one side so he misses me, and then I do a heel palm hit to his hip, throwing him off balance. His back end sways in mid-air, before his side hits the ground and he lets out a grunt. Before he manages to get back to his feet, I stick my tongue out at him before racing away again. I couldn’t stop laughing.
“Brat!” Ezra calls through the mindlink and I giggle.

“Whatever old man,” I respond, picking up speed, excitement bubbles in my chest when I crest a hill and the Packhouse comes into view. I don’t get time to appreciate the twinkling lights coming through the trees. The heavy paws of my pursuer are not that far away.

The Alpha’s voice has changed in the link. I can almost envision him sputtering. “Old man? Old man?” he snorts. “You did not just call me old! I’m only seven years older than you!” The last word comes out with a huff of indignation.

I smirk, this is too much fun. “I can tell you’re already falling behind. I guess you need to train on your stamina,” I tease him.

His mental voice becomes a growl. “You just wait until I get my paws on you. You’re going to regret every word.”

Strange. Despite the growling, I am not worried. If anything, I’m amused. He’s teasing me, and I love it. “Gotta catch me first, Grandpa,” I add with a giggle.

I glance over my shoulder to check on his progress, he’s only several feet away. Scrambling between the branches of two thick trees, I squeeze through to the other side. The trees are thick in that area, he’d have to squeeze through as well, or jump the trees or something.

Maddox snarls behind me at the obstruction. He claws at the trees, trying to shimmy his way through.

I cover my mouth with a palm. There’s no way he’ll fit. If he tries, he’ll get stuck. He wriggles back and forth, butting his head between the trunks and his claws scrape against the bark.

“Tough luck!” I sing to him with a grin before turning back round and racing back to the Packhouse.

The ground disappears beneath my feet. I shriek and fall into a narrow pit. Hitting the bottom with a soft thud, I wince and rub my ass. Why was it always my ass getting hurt?

A chuckle from the top makes me look up. Sticking his furry head over the edge Maddox peers down, his tail wagging.

Ezra laughs in my head. “Aww, is the little mouse trapped?” he taunts. His tail wags far too much for any self respecting wolf.

“No!” I huff stubbornly. The walls tower above me, a good six feet above my head. I grab at the wall and scowl. Instead of soil I can try to get a grip on, it’s so deep that the sides are lined with smooth stone that my fingers slide right off of.

Who digs a hole like this? I snort, trying to reach out to both sides of the hole and shimmy myself up. It doesn’t work, I fall back down, on my ass again. I am going to look like a
reverse Rudolph with all the pain I’m inflicting on my poor ass. It will be glowing red soon if it’s not already.

The laughter above me makes me glare at him. “Quite the predicament you have found yourself in,” Ezra continues to mock me. Maddox sticks his head down the hole and lies down at the edge, keeping an eye on me.

Huffing again, I stare stubbornly at the walls. Why can’t magical handles just appear for me to scramble my butt out of here? I try climbing up them again, but the smooth wall gives me the exact same result.

I press my lips into a line. Not wanting to ask for his help, but knowing it is the only way out of the hole. “Argh, can you help please?” I ask, looking up at him.

“What was that? I can’t hear you, forgot to put my hearing aids in. You know, being a grandpa and all.”

I put my hands on my hips and glare up at him. Maddox pants, his giant tongue hanging out the side. He looks very pleased with himself.

“Ask nicely, and I might think about it,” Ezra offers.

I suck in my cheeks and grit my teeth. This is painful but better than being stuck in a dumb hole. “Please, can you help me?” I demand, folding my arms over my chest.

“Maybe, what do I get if I help you?” He asks, and I raise an eyebrow.

Maddox continues to watch me with interest, his ears flicking at my every word. A thought blossomed. “Maddox,” I coo. He whines at me. “Can you help me, please?”

He sniffs the air and growls. Ezra struggles to keep control of his beast and his advantage over me. Maddox moves closer, the edge of his paws curled over the hole and he barks at me, ready to jump into the hole.

Perfect. It’s working.

“Maddox, come here, come on boy,” I call, patting my thighs as if trying to get a puppy to come to me.

Maddox whines again and digs at the top of the hole showering me with dirt. He purrs, ready to dive in to get me.

“Fine!” Ezra’s voice was exasperated. “I’ll help, but stop calling him before we’re both stuck down there.”

I grin in triumph. He disappears for a few moments and the air is filled with the sound of snapping bones. I cringe, I always hate that part.
“Here catch,” Ezra calls, before tossing a long vine into the hole. I grab it with both hands and look up. Ezra has it wrapped around his forearm. Hmm, the smart thing to do would be to tie it around a tree. I am just going to have to teach him a lesson. Smiling with a mischievous grin, I yank the vine hard and twist it around my body for extra leverage.

Ezra didn’t expect that kind of force and he tumbles into the hole, falling onto the ground beside me. I giggle at his glare. “Well, that worked,” I muse.

“You,” he points a finger at me, “did that deliberately.” He stands up and dusts himself off.

My cheeks turn to fire, and I glance away the best I can. Thank the Goddess for the dark. The last thing I need is for him to see me reacting like this.

From the corner of my eye, I spot him getting to his feet and staring up at the opening of the hole. He pauses to throw a glare my way and I look away, clapping a hand over my mouth before I dissolve in a fit of giggles.

Ezra growls playfully at me in response and waves me closer. “Come here,” he grabs my shirt and jerks me against his body. He bends down to give me a quick peck on the lips before cupping my face in his hands. “You brat.”

He lets me go, intertwining his fingers to make a foothold. I waste no time, putting a hand on his shoulder and my foot in his hand. The sooner I’m out of this hole with naked Ezra, the better. I don’t think I can even recite the alphabet with the way my blood was boiling inside me.

“Ready?” He asks.

I stare up and nod my head. In one swift motion, he bends down and then tosses me into the air. I’m flying for the space of three total seconds before I grab the side of the pit on my way down and claw my way completely out.

I get to my feet and peer over the edge. Thank the Goddess the moon isn’t above us. I’m not sure I would be so brave if I could see him right now. “Hmm, it looks like the Alpha is in quite the predicament now,” I taunt.

“You wouldn’t,” he growls.

I smile deviously down at him and his eyes flicker almost back to his wolf. “Kat,” he warns. “Don’t you dare!”
I lean over with my arms folded across my chest and study him. “I just don’t know if I’ll be enough to get my big strong Alpha out of this deep hole,” I explain with a little shrug.

“Don’t make me command you,” Ezra challenges.
He could. But I have a feeling he wouldn’t do it. The pain it would cause me wouldn’t be worth it to him. I decide to poke the bear some more, well wolf in this case.

“Just how cold does it get out here at night? Do you need me to bring you a blanket and a pillow?”

“I swear, Kat, if you leave me here-“

“You’ll do what, command me? Do it.” I retort.

He looks away, but even from here I can hear him cursing beneath his breath. He places his hands on his hips and I glance sideways to the trees again. Even if I can’t see a lot, there’s enough light for shadows and that particular one I did not want to see at all.

Thankfully, he doesn’t notice my distraction. “You think you are so funny, huh?”

I chuckle. “Hilarious, I would have been an amazing comedian. I always make myself laugh.”

He chuckles softly, but it gets louder until he bursts into full blown laughter. “You better run,” he tells me, staring up through the dark. “When I get out of here, I’m chasing you down little mouse.”.

One more poke. “Not such a big bad Alpha now, huh?” What is he going to do to me? He is stuck in the hole, one I knew had no easy way out. If I don’t tease him now when would I get a chance to?

“Kat, don’t you dare leave me down here,” he warns again. At least he’s not doing that crazy laughter thing anymore.

“I think I might,” I sing-song and he growls. “If I help you get out what do I get out of it?” I throw his own taunting back at him.

“Well look at that, the little mouse is becoming more daring. Awfully brave of you.” “I’m not the one stuck in the hole,” I remind him.
He shakes his head and clicks his tongue before sighing. “Kat, please help me out of here.”

“Ah, fine, if I have to,” I agree with one last amused chuckle. I find the vines he used and pull them to check their strength. They pull apart almost instantly like mushy pasta noodles. I even try braiding some together to create a thicker rope, but it too can’t support any tension.

Perhaps pulling him in there hadn’t been the best move on my part. Not when I don’t have a solution on how to get him out of there.

The trees around me sway and I glance around. Footsteps pounding through the brush are all around me. They’re coming from the direction of the Packhouse.
“Would you look at that, someone is in trouble,” Ezra sings out below. He did this, whatever it was.

Seconds later Mateo’s scent tickles my nose from the breeze. I squeak and glance down at my Alpha. He’s grinning like a wolf that caught his tail.

This man had called for backup.

“Better run, when I get out of this hole, Little One, I may just have to spank you.”

The footsteps get louder, and Mateo breaks into my line of sight with a thick rope in his hands.

He gives me a grin in greeting before gazing down at Ezra. “How the hell did you fall in your own trap?” Mateo walks to the edge and shakes his head at him.

The temptation was too great for me. I like to think I’m able to resist crazy actions, but this time I didn’t even pause. “Like this!” I announce before shoving Mateo in the back and into the hole.

He flailed in the air, trying to grab hold of something, anything, to keep him from falling in, but it was too late. Mateo landed with an oomph on top of the Alpha.

I don’t wait around, I run.

“You’re in for it now, Kat,” I hear Mateo call out from behind me as I dart toward the Packhouse.

The bubbling laughter doesn’t stop even as I run inside through the back door. I put a hand over my mouth, trying to stifle my giggles. I need to find a hiding place before they get out. My belly aches from all the giggling, I haven’t been this entertained in ages.

Running through the house, I grip the banister and race upstairs. Running to my room first, I reach for the lock and pause. This is the first place they will look for me. I grab my deodorant and running back out, I spray as I go to try to mask my scent.

I’m running by their rooms and spraying when I pause. Wait a second. Where would the one place they would never expect me to be? I look between their doors for just a few seconds, before I decide Mateo’s would be the best option.

I race toward it, grab the door handle, and twist. It opens beneath my touch and I slip inside the dark room.

Downstairs I hear the creak of the back door. Were they trying to sneak up on me? I tiptoe to his bed and flatten myself on the ground before wriggling beneath it. I lay in the middle, waiting.
I shift to get more comfortable, as my hand brushes something stiff and it reeks of Mateo’s scent. It’s so strong it makes me gag.

What the fuck is that? I grab it to pull it closer for inspection and stare at the dirty sock. It’s so stiff the thing could stand on its own. What the fuck? Slick paper wrinkles beneath my hand and I twist to inspect it. I almost snort, it’s a fricking porno magazine. Now that I look closer, he’s got dozens of them down here.

Footsteps tiptoe up the stairs. My heart races and I struggle to think calm thoughts. They are going to hear me if my stupid heart doesn’t stop. Plus, I have this crazy desire to giggle nonstop. I put a hand over my mouth, but the harder I try, the more that escapes

Down the hall they opened my door.

“I can hear your heartbeat, Kat,” Ezra warns me from the hallway.

Goosebumps rise all over my arms. I crawl farther back toward the wall and finally manage to stop the giggles.

From my position, I can just make out the door opening. Mateo’s door doesn’t creak. My heart pounds harder, the blood rushes in my ears. There is no way they can’t hear me.

Ezra chuckles. Too close. My body freezes up.

Seconds pass and nothing happens. I let out a breath, and a hand wraps around my ankle before I am yanked out of my hiding place and held up in the air like a hunting trophy.

I squeal, clawing the ground trying to scramble out of his grip. Ezra looks way too satisfied. If that isn’t bad enough, Mateo walks in a moment later and closes the door behind him, leaning against it and cutting off any future escape attempts.

At least Ezra had pants on. It is such a relief to not be staring at naked man flesh. Mateo’s clothes are covered in dirt, and his eyes glitter, making me think of a snake about to strike.

Uh oh.

Ezra uses his strength to toss me into the air from his hold and catches me around the waist with both hands before slinging me over his shoulder. “What do you think, Mateo? How can I punish this naughty little mouse?”

Mateo studies me calmly from his position, and an evil smile crosses his lips. “For the amount of mischief she’s pulled, a hundred lashes, and a week in the cells.”

I whimper and my stomach knots. I’m not laughing anymore. My heart pounds against my ribs. Are they serious? I was just playing around!

Mateo snorts, before doubling over laughing and clutching his stomach. “Oh, Kat, I need a mirror. You should see your face! You actually think I meant that?” Mateo laughs harder.
That…. That… Asshole! I was ready to cry at the thought! I try to breathe normally and wriggle to get down.

Ezra lets me drop, but catches me before I hit the floor, holding me tight to his body. One hand is curved around my waist, his thumb following my hip bone, and my shirt has ridden up so I didn’t even notice my exposure. His other was around my shoulders, holding me against him, my back to his firm chest.

“My little, Kat,” he whispers just below my ear. I shiver at the warmth from his breath. “What should I do with you?” his nose skims along my neck and he inhales deeply, pulling me against him even more. His hand around my waist dips lower.

“Don’t make me grab a bucket of cold water, Ezra. Keep it PG, she isn’t eighteen, yet. Three more days,” he scolds.

My face burns at his words as my mind races and tries to catch up. If Ezra wasn’t messing around with me, what was he doing?

Chapter 22

For all his scolding, Mateo doesn’t stay with us. He gives Ezra a stern look before giving me a playful wink and walking out, closing the door behind him.

“Wait, come back,” I call out, but he only laughs in response from the other side. “You’re on your own, Kat,” he sings out. Some help he was.
“Are you trying to escape me, Little One?” Ezra all but purrs below my ear. A shiver crawls up my spine at his words, and his hot breath on my neck makes tingles spread along my entire body.

He dips his head and grazes his nose along my neck, inhaling my scent again. My heart pounds harder than ever before. We’re not out in the middle of the forest this time where everyone can see us. We’re alone, behind a closed door.

His arm bands around my waist, molding my body to him. The heat of his chest seeps into my back, threatening to consume me. It is getting harder to think. I tremble, not sure what he’ll do next.

Ezra pulls away and gently turns me around, his eyes searching mine. “Why are you frightened? I will never hurt you,” he whispers.

I find myself lost, staring into his dazzling caramel eyes. Whoever thought brown was boring had a hole in their head. The way his eyes sparkle and shine captures my entire spirit.

“If I’m making you too uncomfortable, tell me,” he pleads. He leans forward, lips brushing along the side of my cheek before he kisses the side of my mouth. “Am I?” he asks.

I swallow, trying to understand his words. “Are you, what?” I can’t bring myself to speak above a whisper.

He kisses the middle of my forehead, so softly, so sweetly, I’m afraid I might melt into a puddle at his feet. “Making you uncomfortable.” He pulls away and his hands curl around my hips.

His thumbs follow my curves again and I swallow. “A little,” I admit with a tiny whisper.
He sighs and lets me go, stepping back from me. The instant we’re not touching anymore I crave his warmth and I move forward, burying my head in his chest. I let the scent of him wash away any other thoughts.

His arms wrap around my shoulders and he kisses the top of my head. “Having trouble deciding what you want?” he teased me. “Don’t worry, you’ll know soon. Everything will make sense.”

I look up at him. “What are you talking about?”

“I’d rather you find out for yourself.” His head dips lower and his lips drift across mine, feather soft, barely touching.

It is not enough. I want more. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pull him closer to me and capture those lips of his. I’m not the best at it, I’m fumbling, but my lips moving against his lights a fire deep inside.

Ezra tenses, probably shocked at my reaction. A deep growl resonates from within him and he pushes me against the wall. His lips urge mine open, and his tongue invades my mouth, dominating my own and sweeping through like he owns the place. He tastes me like I’m a precious dessert he can’t get enough of.

He moans, grabbing the back of my thighs and picking me up, settling me over his waist, directly on top of his need. I’m too far gone to blush and I wrap my legs around him, almost instinctively.

He slips his hands up so he’s gripping my ass, and he pulls away from the kiss, his lips traveling from my jaw to my neck and to the base of my throat.

My heart hammers beneath his touch. I don’t want to stop him. I don’t know what this is, but the fire inside me is loving every second. He sucks at the skin of my shoulder and a little moan escapes me.

The door swings open and Mateo crosses his arms, shaking his head before lifting a finger in scolding. “This is not PG, and this is my room, guys, come on. Not in here.” He raises a brow. “Do I need to go get the hose for you two?”

I can’t face him and turn away, cheeks burning hot again. What am I doing? It is a good thing Mateo stopped this, whatever it is, before it goes further.

Stinging pain in my thigh attracts my attention. Ezra’s claws have slipped from his fingertips, and they’re piercing me. He’s frozen in place.

Mateo pushes off the door frame and snaps his fingers. “Hey, Ezra, you alright, man?” he asks. His features harden. It is not often I see Mateo serious, but it sends a chill through me and panic flutters through my body. Ezra’s face is still buried in my neck and his lips find my pulse point, kissing it lightly.
He pulls back to study me, and swallows. “I got carried away.” His voice is a mere whisper. It is more his wolf than him, now it is only his fingertips pressed against me, not his claws.

“Maddox can be a bit of a wild card,” Mateo agrees. Ezra nods his head. “I’m sorry, I should have known better than to leave him with you after we chased you back here,” Mateo apologizes, and Ezra sets me down on the ground. He looks dazed and hurt.

“I should have known better,” Ezra mutters, stepping back from me.

“I might go see what Marge left for dinner, you good Alpha?” Mateo questions, studying the other man. He must have been satisfied with what he saw because he nods and leaves through the open door.

Ezra waits until Mateo is gone before he faces me again. He takes my hands in his and brings them to his lips, gently kissing them. “I’m sorry, I let things spiral out of control.”

I wave him off. “I’m fine, Alpha. It’s not like you really hurt me.” I prod the spot where he’d grabbed me and blood doesn’t even well. “See?”

He studies my skin then nods in apparent approval. “Do you want to watch a movie with me?”

“I’m fine, not like you hurt me,” I tell him, his brows furrow and he nods his head once. “Come, do you want to watch a movie with me?” he asks.
“As long as it isn’t another Disney one,” I snicker.

Ezra drapes his arm across my shoulders, pulling me from Mateo’s room and down the hall toward his room. I pause outside his door.

He hugs me tight, his hand rubbing my shoulder gently. “You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do, Kat. We can watch one downstairs or in your room, if you prefer. I’m in control now, it won’t happen again,” he promises, stopping and waiting for me to decide.

“Kat!” My mother’s frantic voice interrupts us, drifting from downstairs. She doesn’t wait for an answer as we hear her climb up the steps.

Ezra peers over my shoulder at her and goes to meet her.

“I swear, Alpha. If you have touched one fucking hair on her head, Alpha or not I will kick your damn ass,” she threatens with a deep growl, stomping up the remaining steps.

“Calm down, Shirley. She is right here; I will never hurt your daughter,” he tells her when she finally gets to the top and can see us.

She lets out a breath and then rushes over, gripping my arms. “Did he hurt you? Are you okay, sweetie?” She gushes embarrassingly, as she checks me over.
“Mom, I’m fine,” I protest with a roll of my eyes.

She stops and mindlinks me. “You didn’t tell him, did you? Oh, thank the Goddess. I thought he would kill you for sure,” she says, her voice warm with relief.

Considering his protectiveness of me, she thought I hadn’t told him yet. “He knows, mom,” I say out loud.

She freezes and her eyes widen. They dart to me and then to Ezra before she gulps. He leans against the door, arms folded, and watches us. “You know?” she whispers, and yet still manages to sound skeptical.

“Yes, I know she hasn’t got a wolf yet, and I don’t care, wolf or not, she is still my-“ He covers whatever he is going to say with a cough and clears his throat. “She is still my Pack member,” he assures her.

“You don’t care?” She repeats herself. Mom looks dazed like she’d been told she won the lottery or something.

Ezra shakes his head. “No, Shirley, I don’t care. It changes nothing,”

She spins on her heel toward me, searching my face. “And he didn’t hurt you, threaten you? You can tell me, Kat,” she asks, concerned, just as I hear my father’s voice downstairs.

“Shirley!” Ezra groans, I chuckle at his frustration as he glances over his shoulder. “Up here!” He calls out to my father, and I hear his footsteps running up the stairs.

“Shirley! What are you doing?” Dad asks my mom, who turns to face him. He gives me a brief smile and wave. “Hey, Pumpkin.” My face flushes at the nickname, gosh these two can be embarrassing.

“He doesn’t care,” my mother mutters, more to herself than anyone else.

“I told you he wouldn’t. You need to learn some trust. Come on, we need to head home. Some of us have work in the morning,” dad scolds her.

“Mom, I am fine, everything is fine. Go home with dad,” I order her.

“You don’t want to come home?” She asks, looking at me and blinking like an owl.

I glance at Ezra, who straightens up, pushing off the wall, waiting for my answer. Not anymore I don’t. I give a decisive shake of my head and he gives me a warm smile. My heart races at just the flash of it. “No, I want to stay. Am I allowed to?” I ask her.

Her mouth opens and closes like a fish. She can’t get any words out, she can only stare.
“Yes Kat, you are an adult, well in a few days. I trust you to make your own decisions and you are safe with your… the Alpha,” my father says, glancing at Ezra.

“But-” My mother goes to argue with him, finding her voice again.

My father cuts her off. “She is in the safest place, love. Let’s go home, I am exhausted,” my father suggests.

She looks at me before nodding. “If you need us, no matter how late, Kat. You mindlink us and I will get here,” she reassures me.

“I’ll be fine,” I tell her, and she reluctantly leaves, but not before eyeing Ezra suspiciously, like she thinks he is going to execute me at any given moment. I hear Mateo let them out downstairs, before the door shuts behind them.

Mateo’s voice drifts from down the stairs. “Marge’s left-overs all have to be cooked, and I’m not doing that! Pizza?” My ears ache from how loud he yelled.

I have to wonder if he eats anything but pizza. It was his go to meal. I wrinkled my nose at the thought of eating it yet again.

“Anything but pizza,” Ezra yells back at him.

Even from here, I hear Mateo sigh. “Fine,” he grumbles. “Be back soon!” The door opens and closes, once more leaving me alone with Ezra.

“Movie?” he offers. I nod and enter his room as he opens it.

Strange. I would expect his room to be in shades of black. His walls have a soft gray trim and his carpet is charcoal. It’s thick and plush beneath my feet. I almost giggle thinking how it feels similar to Maddox’s fur.

The light in the room is blocked off by thick velvet drapes with charcoal filigree designs. It makes this room perfect for movie night. The warmth from it seeps into my body and makes me relax. Instead of intimidating, this room is cozy.

A huge four-poster bed dominates the room. It’s only against the middle of one wall, but the size of it makes it the main feature. Ezra walks over and grabs a remote off a rumpled thick gray comforter. He points the TV remote at the bedroom door behind me and the screen turns on, bathing the room in the artificial glow.

Ezra tosses it to me and goes to his walk-closet, coming out with a change of clothes and a thick gray towel. “Pick a movie, I need to take a cold shower.”

I shudder at the thought of cold water right now. I like my showers hot and steamy. Why would anyone want a cold one?
He pauses at the door and gazes at me with a small smile on his lips. “Or, you can join me if you want.”

My entire body burns from the suggestion and I turn away. “So innocent,” he whispers, with a gorgeous smile on his lips. “I am not,” I argue with my arms crossed over my chest.
His eyes sparkle deviously and he licks his lips. “Join me then,” he dares. Opening the door wider.

“I um..I-” I stutter, not sure how to handle the situation.

He chuckles warmly at me. “Calm down, Kat. You don’t need to. I know I overdid things in Mateo’s room and pushed you past your comfort level.”

“No, it’s not that, just that you will see me–” I trail off, even the word is embarrassing. “Naked?” He offers with a chuckle.
“Will you turn around?” I squeak.

“Of course, I promise, I won’t peek,” he says, turning around and walking into the bathroom. The sound of the water hitting the bottom of the shower floor fills my ears.

Hesitantly, I follow him into the bathroom. He strips his clothes off without turning around and I get a glimpse of his ass. It is much more impactful seeing it in a lighted situation than seeing it with shadows in a hole. I cover my burning cheeks with my hands. Damn, if he looks, he’ll know what I’m thinking! I avert my gaze, staring fixedly at a toothbrush balanced on his sink. Was that… a duck?

“Alpha?” I ask.

He sighs. “Ezra,” he corrects.

“About your toothbrush, I thought you were scared of those? Why is your toothbrush a duck?”

He growls but it wasn’t at me, more like he was growling at a memory. “Because Mateo likes to play practical jokes, but it’s a great toothbrush. The bristles are charcoal.”

He half-turns when he talks to me so I drop my vision to the black tiles on the floor. I don’t want to accidentally get a glimpse of anything I shouldn’t be seeing yet.

He notices. “Sorry,” he apologizes. He hadn’t even turned completely around. He doesn’t need to apologize. Ezra opens the shower screen and steps under the steamy spray. Inside are two shower heads, one on each end and a long bench built into the wall. “You coming?”
I strip my clothes off and drop them in the basket. Creeping closer, I slip into the shower behind him. I can’t resist the urge to try to cover myself, half expecting him to turn around. But, he doesn’t.

Instead, he grabs the shampoo out of the niche, squirting it in his hands, and scrubs his hair. I turn the other showerhead on, the spray coming down is hard and I adjust the temperature until it is bearable.

Ezra keeps his back to me, giving me a perfect view of the contoured lines of his muscled back and his ass. He has a large burn down one side, just below his underarm to his hip. I reach my hand out and run my fingers over it.

He freezes, but doesn’t stop me, as I trace the burn with my fingertips, it feels rough in places, smooth in others.

“Gross huh?” He asks softly. “No, but I bet it hurt.”
“Fell on a campfire when I was a kid,” he explains, stepping directly under the spray, rinsing the soap from his hair.

“How old were you?” I ask.

“I think eight or nine,” he shrugs.

I drop my hand, reaching for the soap in the niche. “You can turn around. Technically, you already saw me naked in the video.” I don’t understand why, but I don’t mind him seeing me.

He turns, and his eyes go to mine instead of looking down as I expect.

I stare back, before I find my eyes trailing down his body. He is carved like marble and I have this overwhelming urge to touch him, run my fingers over his abs, and his V-line when I suddenly get a glimpse of him. My eyes widen, and I gulp. The man was part horse or it’s fake, it has to be fake. I’d felt it against my body before, but there is no way it was that large.

I suddenly feel terrible for the women in the brothels, he definitely would have ruined them for any other man, no human would ever be able to compete with that weapon. My face jerks away, flaming, all my blood rushes to my cheeks.

He laughs and my eyes snap to his and he raises an eyebrow. “Perv,” he teases with a smile on his lips, when I hear the bedroom door open.

“Honey, I’m home,” Mateo sings out from the bedroom, making me jump. My face pales, the bathroom door is still wide open.
Ezra jerks me to him, looking over his shoulder toward it. Ezra presses me against the tiles shielding my nudity with his body. “Mateo, shut the bathroom door for me,” he calls out to his Beta.

“Ooh la la what have we here? Nice ass Alpha,” Mateo chuckles before shutting the door and closing it.

I exhale. That was close.

“I got Chinese,” Mateo announces from the other side of the closed door.

I’m about to slip away from Ezra when I notice he’s not moving. I find myself looking into pitch black eyes. “Maddox?” I whisper. I hadn’t expected to deal with his wolf a second time.

Ezra shakes his head, his grip on my hips loosening. “Sorry,” he whispers, clearing his throat, and I become startlingly aware of his body pressed closely to mine.

He leans down, pecking my lips softly. He moves to pull away when I reach up and wrap my arms around his neck, pulling him back down to me and kissing him. I’m shocked at my own brazen actions.

He chuckles, kissing me back, his tongue runs across my bottom lip wanting access. I part my lips and his tongue moves between them. He deepens the kiss, making me moan into his mouth, sparks rush over my body everywhere his skin touches. A strange sensation, like a pounding drum, throbs through me. It’s something unlike anything I’ve felt before, but it makes me want to stay like this and explore more.

“Oi hurry up, our food is getting cold!” Mateo scolds us yet again

I pull back laughing, peeking around Ezra at the door. That man isn’t about to leave us in peace, was he?

“I should feed you,” Ezra says with a smile, stepping back and letting me go. His eyes never wander, and I understand he is a man of his word. He never once peeks, never once pushes me for anything else, despite being pressed naked against him. My heart flutters at the realization. Great, I am more than crushing on my Alpha, I think dryly. Ezra wraps a towel around himself, holding one out to me.

“My clothes are in my room,” I tell him, wrapping the towel around myself. I bite my bottom lip. It is going to be awkward going out in a towel in front of Mateo.

Ezra follows my line of sight. “Wait here, you can wear mine,” he says, quickly slipping out before returning with a pair of shorts on. He hands me a shirt and some boxer shorts, then turns on his heel, going back out, and closing the door. I slip them on and wrap my hair in the towel. Ezra leaves the room, leaving me alone with Mateo and I hear his footsteps on the stairs.
Stepping out, I spy Mateo lounging on the bed with three plastic plates on the silken gray sheets. “Be grateful, I got the good china out, the disposable kind.” He winks at me and hands me a plate of Chinese.

My mouth waters. The strong scent of citrus, honey glaze, and tempura-fried chicken is irresistible. My stomach growls as loud as it can in anticipation of this culinary treat, and I stare down at it in embarrassment. Stupid thing.

Mateo scoots over and pats the spot next to him. “Ezra went to get some drinks, he’ll be right back.”

As if his words summoned him, Ezra returns with a can of coke and beers in hand. He tosses a beer to Mateo who easily catches it with one hand. Ezra pops open his own and hands me the coke.

I get settled between the two men and grab the forgotten remote. I balance my plate on my lap and settle against the fluffy pillows.

Flicking through the movies, I go to the horror section on one of the apps he uses, and Mateo groans loudly beside me.

“No, go to comedy or the kid’s section,” Mateo whimpers. “Act your age, geez, you’re a werewolf not a child,” I scold.
“Fine, but I am sleeping in here,” Mateo mutters, while sipping his beer.
Chapter 23

We watch the Conjuring.

Mateo has the blanket pressed under his nose the entire time so he can cover his eyes at the so-called scary parts. Some part of me thought he was just joking about being scared about this kind of thing.

I have never met anyone so scared of a movie. He is worse than a little girl, jumping every second, shrieking and pressing so close, he might as well sit on my damn lap.

Ezra passes out about twenty minutes into the movie, saying it’s boring.

Mateo has his eyes glued to the TV, too scared to look away. He keeps asking when the scary parts are over, as he continues to watch between the gaps of his fingers, pressing against me, like I can protect him from the TV.

Grabbing our empty plates, I put them in the trash downstairs before coming back up to find Mateo practically sitting on Ezra. His eyes glowing in the darkness nearly made me jump out of my skin.

“I shouldn’t have drank so much beer,” Mateo whines at me, as I climb back on the bed beside him, making him move over.

“Why?” I ask, snuggling under the comforter.

“Because now I really need to pee,” he squeaks, as I flick off the TV that is playing the ending credits.

“Go pee then,” I say, making a hand gesture towards the bathroom. “It’s right there.” He shakes his head beside me and pushes closer.

“Are you serious right now? You’re a goddamn werewolf, what is scarier than you?” I snap.

“The shadows,” he whispers, tugging on my arm. “Come on Kat, please I need to pee. I’m gonna piss my pants, I would go for you.” He pleads. He even tries staring up at me with a trembling lip like a little kid would.

“The toilet is like three steps away from the bed, Mateo. I am right here,” I tell him, before yawning.

“Can you look under the bed? What if something grabs my feet?” Mateo leans over the edge, eyeing the darkness. He shakes his head and pulls back, grabbing me again.
“Oh my Goddess, you’re annoying,” I huff at him sitting up. I lean over, hanging my head over the edge of bed, peeking under it. Thankfully, Ezra doesn’t have any girlie magazines or stiff socks under his bed.

“See? Nothing, just the woman from the movie under there. She won’t hurt you much, she only wants to devour your soul, maybe your toes, she is fond of those too,” I giggle.

“Not funny Kat, I told you to pick a kids movie.” He pouts at me again.

“No, it won’t be funny if you piss the bed. I should have got you some adult diapers, you scaredy cat.” I sigh. With each second that passes, it looks like I’ll have to walk him to the door like a bodyguard or something.

Mateo growls at me over the diaper dig.

Ezra, stirring beside him, groans. “What’s going on? Go to sleep,” Ezra mumbles, while adjusting his pillow.

“Ezra, my buddy, my pal, my bestest friend forever, come to the bathroom with me,” Mateo begs him, reaching over and shaking his shoulder.

“No, I am not holding your hand while you pee,” he grumbles, half asleep. “Ezra, please, I’ll let you hold it,” he squeaks out like a mouse.
Ezra growls at him, and I roll my eyes. “Fine, just hurry up,” I tell him, climbing off the bed. I walk to the bathroom and flick the light on. Mateo shoots off the bed and dives into the bathroom like the hounds of hell are chasing him. I roll my eyes and walk back.

“No, wait, you need to turn the light off once I’m back in bed.” How is this man the Pack Beta again?

I groan loudly. “You’re such a man-baby,” I grunt, standing next to the door while he takes forever to pee.

Two minutes later, I am still standing there and all I can hear is Mateo’s steady stream. Seriously?

“Are you for real? Hurry up. What did you drink, an entire lake? How is it possible to pee for so long?” I snap at him, my patience is at its limit.

“I’m like a sponge absorbing everything,” he explains, still peeing. When he is done, he washes his hands, and I flick the light off before he jumps back to the bed. He squeals like a girl and jumps on it, landing on Ezra, who groans before he shoves him off.

“I can’t believe you’re supposed to be my Beta, you big baby,” Ezra chides, as I climb over him into the middle.
I snuggle under the blankets and am just about to close my eyes when Mateo’s voice calls from the darkness. “Kat, will you cuddle me?”

“Argh, fine, come here,” I tell the man child. He wriggles over, nestling against me, and I find myself sandwiched between them.

Ezra presses against my back. His arm drapes over my waist, and Mateo’s butt against my legs as I spoon the crybaby. I’m warm and comfortable and Mateo’s back makes a pretty decent pillow when he’s not whimpering. I yawn and snuggle into it, my eyes getting heavy.

I’m in that period where you’re not quite asleep yet, but on the cusp and I hear Ezra whisper something before pulling me closer to him.

It was low, so I am barely able to make it out, but I can swear he just said “My Luna.”

What? I wasn’t awake enough to figure whatever this was out. I let sleep claim me and drift off into oblivion.

When I wake up, I’m across Ezra’s chest, using him as a pillow and my foot is over Mateo’s stomach. I blink the sleep out of my eyes and stare in horror at the puddle of drool I’d left on my Alpha’s chest, though at least it isn’t as bad as the spot on Mateo’s back. I wince. I was far more tired than I thought.

How’d I turn in my sleep anyway? I sit up and catch Ezra’s eyes watching me.

“Morning,” he says, nuzzling his nose against mine. I look away, embarrassed I was crushing him all night. I roll off of him and pull my foot off Mateo’s stomach, the poor guy.

Ezra grabs me and pulls me completely on top of him, holding me close against his body. “Where are you going? I was enjoying my cuddles,” he grumbles.

I look over at the clock. It is nearly lunchtime. “When did you wake up?” I ask him, covering my mouth as I yawn.

“A few hours ago.”

“And you just let me crush you the entire time?”

He shrugs, rubbing his hands up my back. “I didn’t want to wake you. Besides I was enjoying watching you kick the shit out of Mateo in your sleep,” he chuckles.

Mateo rolls over, facing us, rubbing his eyes. “Good morning, lovebirds,” he teases while yawning, his mouth opening wide as he stretches.

Ezra moves quickly, he half rolls me over to nestle against one arm as he jams two fingers in Mateo’s mouth, making him gag mid-yawn. “Tickle, tickle,” Ezra laughs.
Mateo glares at him. “Tickle, tickle? You nearly shoved my tonsils out my ass,” he says, rubbing his throat, he glares at Ezra with a familiar pout on his lips. “I’m starving, I am going to see what Marge has made for breakfast.” Mateo climbs off the bed, and walks out of the room.

Sitting up, I roll to leave too when Ezra suddenly pins me beneath him on the bed.

He moves between my legs, pressing himself against me. “Now we have the room to ourselves,” he whispers, leaning down and kissing me. I smile against his demanding lips as they move against mine. He sucks my bottom lip into his mouth, biting down on it softly before he pulls away, resting his weight on his elbows to keep it off me. “What do you want to do today?” He asks, dipping his face closer and nibbling on my ear.

“I don’t know. Don’t you need to work?”

“That’s why I have Mateo, he can do my job just as well as me,” he answers, running his nose along my jaw and purring softly.

“You mean the giant man-child who needed me to hold his hand while he peed last night, that Mateo? Because your Pack is doomed if they need to be saved by him,” I snicker.

Ezra laughs. “Yes, that Mateo, despite him being a crybaby, he is actually the best fighter we have. He has even kicked my ass a few times and is the only one that can stop Maddox when I lose control,” he gently explains.

I remember last night and how he lost control. He stopped the moment he heard Mateo’s voice, and I wonder briefly how many times he has lost control of his wolf before. Maddox seems sweet to me.

Those thoughts disintegrate when he presses his face into my neck. “Goddess, I love your scent,” he says, inhaling deeply before sucking on my neck, pressing closer.

I run my hand up his side, he shivers under my touch. He nips at my jaw while his hand travels under my shirt. He pushes it up slightly, exposing my stomach, before stopping and pulling his hand back. I love the feel of his warm hands roaming over my exposed skin, so I am a little disappointed when he stops. His lips move away from my skin.

“Sorry,” he whispers, about to sit up when I wrap my legs around his waist pulling him back to me.

I am not done with him yet.
Chapter 24

Ezra seems shocked for a second before moving closer, gripping my thigh hooked around his waist and lifting it higher. “Careful Little One, my self-control isn’t that good,” he groans next to my ear, making me shiver. He grinds himself against me, and I gasp when his erection presses against me.

He laughs at my reaction at first, then groans like a starving man in need of dinner. He kisses my lips, then my jaw and he nips at my throat.

I lose myself to the sensations and moan against him. I arch against the bed, giving him access to more of my throat. Every kiss and touch burns into my mind. I never want it to stop, I don’t know what’s wrong with me and at this point I don’t care.

His tongue darts out and he licks a swirling pattern against my neck before sucking on it. Teeth graze me but I’m not afraid. I arch more, pushing my body against his. Tingles turn to sparks, that turn into a raging wildfire that consumes me. My clit throbs and I press against his erection, not sure what is happening, but knowing that he can make it all make sense.

A purr rumbles from his chest, vibrating against me. His hardness twitches against me and Ezra pulls away to bite his lip as he trembles at my touch.

He’s not gone long before he’s kissing me again. He nips at my neck, then nibbles on my shoulder, biting gently, his tongue sweeping in after to salve the spot. His cinnamon and sandalwood scent surround me. It’s the oddest combination, but somehow because it’s him it comes together perfectly.

The bed dips as he presses his weight against me, and I can feel every muscle lining his chest and stomach. One of his hands tangles in my hair, and he kisses me again.

Suddenly, I hear a strange crunching noise. I stare at the ceiling. Was that his back? Does he have arthritis? I wonder. He isn’t that old even if I had teased him over the age gap.

“Whatcha doing?” Chuckles a deep singsong voice.

Ezra freezes, and I jump beneath him. An annoyed growl escapes Ezra, and he pulls back to inspect our intruder.

Mateo lays next to me, head propped on his hand, staring at us intently while eating a bag of chips, which explains the weird crunching noise.

My face burns that he walked in without us noticing, laying like a ninja beside us this entire time watching stealthily.
“Mateo!” Ezra growls, annoyed. A vein on his forehead bulges.

A stupid grin splits my face. He pops another chip in his mouth, smiling at me cheekily. He’s such a goof.

“Want some?” He offers the bag to us.

Ezra pushes the bag away. “What are you doing here?” Ezra demands, sitting up.

“You can continue, don’t mind me. Looked like we were about to get to the good stuff. Carry on as you were. I have popcorn too,” he says, shoving another chip in his mouth and crunching loudly. I chuckle at him. It is hard to be embarrassed and annoyed with Mateo.

“I thought you were going to see Marge?” Ezra complains, climbing off the bed.

“Been there, done that.” He pauses and shudders. “Well not that…. But I already saw her.” “You didn’t think to knock?” Ezra questions with a twitching eyebrow.
Mateo taps his chin with his finger, as if thinking deeply. “I did think about it. But then thought nah, surprise is better. Bet you’re glad I am here to protect that virtue of yours, Kat, the big bad Alpha looked like he was about to steal it,” he teases, sending me a wink.

“My virtue?” I ask, shaking my head.

“Of course, someone’s gotta look after it for you.” He thumped his chest with a fist. “You were about to give it away with all that moaning and dry humping you two were doing, you even got me all flustered,” he says, fanning himself with his hand.

I reach over, grab a cushion and smack him with it. “We were not about–”

“Sure you weren’t,” he winks at me. “Lucky I’m here to save you for your mate. Isn’t that right, Alpha? She should wait for her mate and all.”

Ezra growls at him, I find his annoyance quite amusing. I like seeing all the different expressions he can make. “Her virtue,” Ezra says with air quotes. “Was never in danger,” he spits back at Mateo.

“Oi, don’t be taking out your blue balls on me. I’m just looking out for my best friend. Us girls gotta stick together, right, Kat?” Mateo asks, nudging me with his hip.

“Really, you girls? Did you have a sex change and forget to tell me?” Ezra snorts and runs a hand through his hair. But even he can’t stay mad at Mateo. I see his lip twitch as if trying to contain his laughter.

“Maybe, I didn’t want to tell you, I know how hot you get for me,” he laughs.
Ezra sighs, the almost smile is wiped away in an instant. “Mateo,” he growls.
Mateo continues on, oblivious. “I will show Kat later, she can check it out for me, we can even compare,” Mateo pops another chip in his mouth while Ezra flat-out glares at him. “So moody,” Mateo mutters, waving him off with his hand.

“Don’t you have work to do?” Ezra demands. His nostrils flare.

“Probably, but that’s one of the bonuses of sleeping with the boss, I can get out of it,” Mateo says with a shrug.

I raise an eyebrow at his words.

“What? Technically, I did sleep here, didn’t I? Therefore, I get friends with benefits privileges,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows at us.

“Work, Mateo. Now!” Ezra orders him.

They bicker like an old married couple, I think to myself.

“Fine, come on, Kat. Let’s go,” Mateo says, grabbing my hand and pulling me off the bed. I stand up, stretching.
Ezra scowls at him. “Mateo my…… Kat stays here, you can’t take her.” “But I saw her first, therefore I call dibs.”
“You get dibs?” I chuckle, shaking my head.

He moves closer, yanking me to him and licks my arm. “Gross!” I shriek.
“You didn’t say that when the Alpha was licking and sucking on you,” he pouts, and my face turns red at his words.

“See? I licked her, she’s mine now.”

“I’m not food, you don’t get to call dibs by licking me,” I complain. “Mateo!” Ezra warns with a deeper growl.
I see his eyes flicker, making my brows pinch in confusion, why is he getting so upset? Mateo is only messing around, his abrupt anger makes me feel a little uncomfortable.

“Well as fun as this is, I’m going to leave. I will let you sort out the bromance you got going on here,” I say, moving toward the door.
Ezra sighs, running a hand through his hair. “I should go do some work, I suppose,” he mutters.

“Yeah, gotta work off all that sexual tension, smells like a brothel in here,” Mateo says, sniffing the air and waving a hand around. Ezra smacks him in the chest.

Shaking my head, I leave and head to my room.

Chapter 25

Once I am back in my bedroom, I change into my own clothes before heading downstairs. I really want to go home and grab a few things, like my sketchbook and the book I am reading. Throwing my shoes on, I walk over to the dresser, grab a hair tie from the drawer and pull my hair into a ponytail.

Something red in the mirror catches my attention. I brush my hair aside and study the red and purple mark on my neck. It’s huge. I blush and put a hand over it.

Ezra left a giant-ass hickey on me, in plain view, where the entire world can see it. I snag the hair tie and yank it off, letting my hair fall back to my shoulders. No ponytails for me for a while. Who knows how long I’d have to live with that dreadful mark on me. Great, now I need concealer for Monday.

The idea of going to school and facing everyone after what Angie had done makes me want to puke. Maybe Ezra will let me have a day off or drop out? I don’t need a diploma. I can work at a cafe or something shitty like that. I sigh. Even I know how lame that sounds.
Nobody’s dream job is to become a waitress.

Grabbing my phone, I make my way downstairs. When I get to the bottom floor, Mateo comes out of the basement underneath the stairs.

“What are you doing?” I ask, stopping when I see Angie walk out along with her two accomplices. Angie looks at me, dropping her gaze to the floor and bares her neck to me.

That is…. strange. You only do that for those of higher rank or the Alpha and I am neither of those. It makes me wonder what Mateo or Ezra has done that would make them act that way.

“Hey Kat, just letting these ones out of the cells,” he calls.

So they spent the last two days in the cells? That would explain why I never saw them the night of the Pack run.

Angie walks over to me before stopping, Mateo has a triumphant grin on his face as he folds his huge arms across his broad chest.

She takes a deep breath and looks up at me. This is not the same girl that was hell bent on torturing me from day one. She looks scared, terrified of me even. She worries her bottom lip with her teeth. “Look I’m sorry, Kat. Honestly, I never should have done that. It was way out
of line. Please forgive me, I gave Alpha my phone and he deleted everything, please don’t banish me or my family,” she pleads, confusing me.

Banish her family? I don’t have that sort of power even if I wanted to, and I don’t. All I want is to be left the hell alone. I glance at the other two, they won’t meet my eyes and keep glancing nervously at Mateo.

“Well, that’s enough, go home all of you. The Packhouse and Pack runs are off limits until the Alpha tells you otherwise,” Mateo lectures. The girl and boy, whose names I still don’t know, mutter quick apologies before rushing out the front door.

I just stand there a little dumbfounded. Angie actually apologized. Huh, turning around, I head for the door when an arm snakes around my waist and spins me around. I smack into Mateo’s chest.

“Um, where do you think you’re going?” Mateo asks, peering down at me.

“Oh, home to get some things,” I tell him, trying to pull out of his grip, it only tightens.

“No can do, Princess, I am under strict orders to keep you guarded. So no going anywhere until your… Alpha says so.”

“What? Where is he? He can’t keep me locked up in the Packhouse. I am going home to grab something geez, he isn’t my dad and isn’t my mate, so he can’t tell me what to do,” I protest, annoyed.

It makes no sense. Why can’t I leave? I don’t understand, my mom is safe, he should know that by now. I pull out of Mateo’s grip, only for his arms to go across my chest as he steps closer.

“Sorry Princess, he is the Alpha and I have to follow orders,” Mateo scolds, steering me toward the living room. I drag my feet before dropping my weight. He only chuckles before catching me around the waist and tossing me over his shoulder. He smacks my ass before dumping me on the couch. I shriek nearly bouncing off. Glaring up at him, and he only smiles back at me. “Put a movie on or something, you can’t leave, not right now.” He walks off like that’s the end of this.

“Then tell me where he is, I will ask him myself!” I grip the back of the couch to sit up.

Mateo groans but stops, turning to face me. “He is in his office on the phone with the border patrol,” he answers and waves his finger at me. “It would probably be best if you don’t disturb him until he’s done.”

I huff, annoyed and storm off in the direction of his office, Mateo leisurely following behind me. I push the door open and see he is on the phone.

He holds up a finger, telling me to wait before hanging up the phone. He glances over at Mateo and raises a brow. “What did Mateo do this time?” he asks with a sigh.
“Hey!” Mateo objects. “That’s not it at all. Tell him, Kat.”

I resist the urge to snort at him. Ezra ignores him and his eyes study me. “What’s wrong?” He asks, motioning for me to come to him.

I shake my head and Mateo walks into the office closing the door behind us. He takes a seat across from Ezra and props his long legs up on Ezra’s desk.

Ezra gives him a look, but he’s too busy with me to really do anything about him.

“Why can’t I leave?” I blurt out. I probably should have thought of a better way to bring that question up.

Ezra wipes both hands down the sides of his face and leans his head back. “Argh, really, of all the times you could have left, you choose right now?” He groans, hopping up and walking around his desk and Mateo’s legs, to lean on it in front of me.

“Why is now a bad time? I just want to go home, and grab some things.” “Jackson, that dickwad, knows you’re here.”
I almost gasped but kept it in check. I’d never heard of an Alpha insulting another to that degree. There is always some sort of respect, but now when it comes to their grudge, there is nothing but hatred.

“Your mother was spotted near the border the other day. I don’t care where you go, Kat, but I would prefer you stay with me for a bit. They haven’t crossed the border, but his men have been hounding my warriors for entry. I don’t trust him not to step a toe on this territory.”

“I don’t understand. All of this because my mother hit the Alpha’s daughter?” I ask.

He shrugs. “Jackson never really makes sense, and I think it is more to do with me having your family in my Pack. He probably wouldn’t care if you went to another,” Ezra answers.

“Wait, why would that matter?”

“Because Alpha Jackson was close with my father. Jackson hates me because I killed my father and I threatened his oldest son if he retaliated.”

“But change of power happens all the time, so why would he hold a vendetta against you over something that happened years ago?”

“Because my father was Jackson’s brother, this Pack was originally my mother’s, until my father discovered she was his mate and he took over her Pack,” he explains softly and I am shocked,
I didn’t know they were related. They look nothing alike, not even the slightest resemblance, even their way of living and running their Packs is vastly different. What shocks me more is that his Pack was run by a woman before his father took over.

“If you want to go that badly, I will take you,” Ezra offers

“Wait, does that mean I can get out of school?” I perk up at the thought of not having to go. “Nice try, and no, Mateo and I will go with you.”
“Wait, why do I have to go? She has the most boring electives,” Mateo whines, and Ezra shoots him a look.

“What, you’re not actually coming to my classes too, right?” I ask Mateo.

Neither of them says anything, but it makes me wonder how bad this threat from Jackson is for them to be taking such precautions.

“I am not going to school with you. I get in enough trouble as it is without either of you with me. Angie will claw my damn eyes out.” I shudder at the thought. I pause and point at Mateo. “And you, there’s no way I’ll get any work done with you around and your constant commentary.”

“Angie won’t be a problem, she knows her place now,” Ezra assures me.

“Yeah, she does, behind me, so she can stab me in the back when I am not looking. That girl is just waiting for an opportunity to strike again,” I scoff, folding my arms across my chest.
She may have apologized, but that doesn’t mean I trust her. “Then I will sit through your classes,” Ezra offers.
“What? No, I don’t want everyone thinking I am hiding behind the Alpha. No, you’re definitely not allowed to do that.”

“You do realize you’re arguing with your Alpha, right? And not being punished for talking against him,” Mateo chimes in.

I stop. Shit, he is right. Other wolves would be in the cells for this behavior. I am supposed to do what he says, no questions asked.

“Sorry!” I yelp. I turn to walk out before I get myself in more trouble.

“Kat, stop, ignore Mateo. He is just playing. Besides, I like that you talk back to me. You’re probably the only one game enough too,” he says with a grin on his lips.

“I don’t mean to. I am just trying to explain, you coming to school with me will make my life harder,” I explain.
He’s silent for a moment, hopefully thinking over my words. “Fine, but Mateo goes, I will stay here, and at lunch time you go to my office and stay with Mateo,” he offers.

It is better than nothing, at least people won’t stare at me like they would if it was both of them sitting with me in class. It almost makes me cry to think about. No matter what he says about Angie, there is no way she would have tolerated me sitting with the Alpha in every class.

I can even envision the nickname the others would use to taunt me. “Alpha’s Pet, Alpha’s Pet,” they’d likely tease.

“Deal?” He asks, tearing me out of my vivid daymare. He raises an eyebrow at me.

Still not happy about it, I purse my lips. “Fine,” I grudgingly agree with the deepest of sighs.

Mateo gets up to leave, before stopping at the door. He glances over his shoulder at me.” Oh, what do you want to do for your birthday on Monday?”

Damn, that’s right! I am eighteen on Monday. I shrug. “What I do every year, sit at home and watch movies stuffing my face,” I tell him.

Mateo stares at me. “Wait, you don’t want to do anything? Like nothing at all?” he turns back and stares over his shoulder at Ezra, like checking with him that I am crazy or something.

“Yeah, I’m more of a homebody; I prefer the quiet.” What I will not admit to them is that no one ever showed up for previous birthdays. It is easier to not get your hopes up at all than suffer crushing disappointment. Assume you’ll never get an invite and it does not sting as much when you’re ignored.

“Movie night it is then,” Mateo decides with a sage nod.

Ezra clears his throat, making us both look at him. “Actually, maybe I can take you somewhere?”

I cock my head, trying to understand his reasoning. “You want to take me somewhere?” I ask, a little lost as to why he is breaking so many of his own rules about being involved with Pack members. It makes me uncomfortable because it means he is drawing attention to me. It is one thing fooling around with him here in his room, but going somewhere in public?

“Just us and not far. When we come back, we can have a movie night?” Ezra suggests, eyeing the pouting Mateo.

Mateo perks right up at the invitation. “Sounds good to me. Go on, Kat. You can’t sit at home on your birthday.”

“Well, technically, I’m not, because he is making me go to school,” I retort.
“She does have a point,” Mateo agrees with another nod. “Are you really going to be that cruel? Make the poor girl go to school on her birthday of all days, Ezra?”

Ezra is the one pouting now. I wonder what I said to upset him. He glares at Mateo but as always, the man doesn’t register it.

“I’ll go wherever it is you want to take me,” I offer Ezra. His smile returns.
“Awww,” Mateo coops. “Group hug! Look at us all working together, avoiding work.” He walks back to me and hugs me so tight I am crushed against the table. But Mateo isn’t content with just me being squished, he grabs Ezra’s shirt and rips him towards us.

“I am beginning to think you just like touching the Alpha,” I joke, getting squished against Mateo’s sweaty armpit. Ew! But at least he smells nice. Not sweaty kind of gross, just masculine.

“I do, he is one fine specimen, and has quite a nice ass, I definitely would tap that,” Mateo agrees with a lick of his lips.

I stare up at him. “You’re gay? But I thought you went to brothels together?”

“I’m not gay, I’m bisexual, therefore I admire both genders,” Mateo says, sending me a wink. “That explains so much. Wait, are you bisexual too?” I ask, peering up at Ezra.
He scoffs. “Nope, I’m straight,” he answers.

I wonder how I missed that, but despite him being bisexual, Mateo and him seem extremely close. Hmm, interesting. While I ponder this newfound information, Mateo takes me by surprise, suffocating me in his armpit. I try to shove him off, without inhaling his scent, and fail.

“Get my scent all over you,” he cackles, rubbing himself on me.

Ezra shoves him away, shaking his head. “Geez, you’re a menace, I really question my judgment when it comes to you sometimes,” he says.

“Yeah right. You know I can kick your ass and everyone else’s if need be, you need me,” Mateo teases.

“Is that so?”

Mateo nods with a satisfied grin. “Yep, besides, no one else will put up with your grumpy ass.”
“I don’t think he is grumpy,” I correct Mateo. In fact, I had yet to see him ever get angry at me.

“Yeah, because he wants to get in your pants, everyone else he is a jerk to. Well, except me of course because I am awesome,” Mateo grins at me smugly.

“So, are you going home, or staying?” Ezra questions me. “What did you want from home, anyway?” Mateo counters.
“My book and sketchbook. It can wait. I will get mom to bring them to school on Monday,” I tell them.

Mateo nods before reaching over and grabbing my hand. “Good then you’re coming with me,” he says, tugging me out the door.

“And where are we going?” “To get lunch,” he replies.
“Argh please tell me it’s not pizza?” I plead. This man and his pizza obsession is going to make me hate the stuff forever.

“Yep pizza,” he answers in a sing-song. I want to cry.

“Goddess knows how you’re not the size of a house,” I point out, as he jerks me out the front door toward his truck. He unlocks it and I stare at the passenger door trying to figure out how my short ass is actually going to climb in it. I open the door, when hands wrap around my waist, before I am placed on the seat.

Mateo shuts the door and gets in on his side, and reaches over to put my seatbelt on. “Wait, can you run me home real quick?”

“It’s twenty minutes in the opposite direction, I would hardly call that quick,” he corrects with a shake of his head. He starts his truck.

I stare ahead of me and my lips tug down in a pout.

He reaches over with one hand and ruffles my hair. “Yes, Kat. I’ll take you,” he agrees. He turns the car around and drives down the long road to get to my place.

Chapter 26

Mateo takes me home, I am hoping my parents are there, but when we pull up, their car is gone. Jumping out of the truck, I mindlink them, hoping they aren’t far or are on their way back.

“Where are you guys?”

“Grocery shopping, what’s up, Pumpkin?” Dad asks.

“I’m at home, I came to pick up some things, but you aren’t here.”

“You must have just missed us; the bathroom window is open. You should have told us, we would have waited.”

“All good, I will break in then,” I chuckle at the thought

“Okay, Pumpkin.” I cringe at the nickname. “Dad, you really gotta stop calling me Pumpkin.” “But that’s your name.”
“It’s not my name, dad. My name is Katya,” I tell him.

“But to me, you will always be my little Pumpkin,” he retorts. I internally groan, no use arguing. I am sure he would legally change my name to it if he could. All this over an incident with a pumpkin when I was a baby. An incident he is never going to let me live down.

Zoning back into my surroundings, I look at the house. “So what are we doing?” Mateo asks.
“I get to break in,” I tell him, walking around the side of the house to the bathroom window. It is barely open. Mateo watches as I slide it all the way open, the window is narrow.

“There is no way you will fit,” he observes, assessing the gap.

“I have fit through smaller,” I tell him with a shrug. Grabbing a chair from the back patio, I carry it to the window before climbing on it. Scrambling to hold onto the window frame, I put my head and arms through before shimmying to my side and pulling myself through sideways.
Looking down, I note I am directly above the toilet which is open. Not wanting to go swimming, I close the lid with my hand so I don’t go headfirst into it.

Now for the hard part. I wiggle my way in until my legs were the only things left outside. Pain throbs in my leg as something slices into my thigh.

Unfortunately for me, gravity takes control and I’m hurtled into the closed toilet. Whatever it is slicing into me, cuts down my entire leg and I crash hard into the porcelain throne.

Mateo laughs at me outside. I hiss in pain, wishing I had something to throw at him, I’m stuck in the gap between the toilet and the wall.

His laughter stops cold. “Kat?” he asks. There’s fear in his voice. “Hey, why can I smell blood? You okay?”

I roll back and forth, trying to free myself. I manage to pull myself by my arms out of the little gap. Standing up is rough, and my knees tremble like a little fawn’s. At any second I could fall right back down.

Looking down I assess the damage. My tights are drenched in blood, the tiles I landed so professionally on are also smeared with the ruby liquid.

“Kat?” Mateo’s panicked voice echoes from outside.

“I’m fine,” I reassure him, with another wince. He will probably be all dramatic if he could see me right now.

“Open the front door,” he orders all humor aside. I glance down at my leg, then turn to look at the window, trying to figure out how I did it. A bloody nail sticks out of the window frame and I groan, fuck me!

Mateo bangs on the door like he’s trying to escape Angie herself. I hobble to the front door, my leg burning with every step. I open it.

Mateo looks down, a panicked noise leaves his lips when he notices my gray tights soaked in blood. “Fuck, Kat,” he says, scooping me up against his chest.

“I’m fine, it’s just a scratch,” I tell him, he was seriously overreacting. Mateo walks into the kitchen, placing me on the dining table. “Mateo calm down, I’m fine,” I repeat.

However, he won’t listen. “The Alpha is going to kill me, show me your wound,” he demands, tugging on my tights.

“Seriously, it’s just a scratch, I will go change and then we can go,” I tell him, pushing him away, and jumping down off the table.

A weird whimpering noise leaves his lips, and his eyes focus on a ruby puddle left on the table before they drop to my leg.
He doesn’t waste a second. He grabs my tights and rips them apart like wet tissue paper. I shriek, trying to grab the remnants and pull them back up, but Mateo smacks my hands away.

“Mateo!” I shriek, but he is already kneeling down, examining my leg.

“That is not a scratch Kat, you need stitches. Wait, why aren’t you healing?” he’s crouched by my leg and looks up at me with his head tilted.

“No wolf, remember, also can I go get some pants?” I ask, my face burning up.

“Hush, I have seen plenty of girls naked, and you’re not even that naked, you have panties on,” he scolds me. He gently prods the jagged line going from my hip to just above my knee, I flinch at his touch.

“Will you stop that? It stings!” I hiss at him.

Mateo peers up at me. “Where is your first aid kit?”

“Above the stove.” He runs off to go and get it. He returns, opening it and grabbing some gauze and alcohol wipes. I nearly slap him when he dabs it with an alcohol wipe, instead I fist my hands at my sides to fight the temptation, it really fucking hurts.

“Stay still, fuck Kat, we need to go, it won’t stop bleeding,” Mateo says, after my wound saturates the gauze for the third time. He grabs a bandage, wrapping it around my leg while I lean on the table.

Mateo quickly cleans up the mess, because I refuse to let my parents come home to it and freak out thinking I have been murdered, my body dragged off into the woods. He also helps me into a new pair of tights that haven’t been ripped apart.

When he is done Mateo comes over and scoops me up, making me roll my eyes. “I can walk you know,” I inform him.

“I know you can but I’m faster,” he says, pecking my cheek and then the side of my lips.

He tenses. “Sorry, I shouldn’t have done that,” he mumbles, opening his truck door. He gently places me on the seat then grabs my face. He opens his mouth to say something then shakes his head. “Let’s go home,” he says instead, letting me go and walking around to the driver’s side. Mateo is tense on the drive back to the Packhouse.

“Hey, are you okay?” I ask him. It’s surreal to see him serious for so long.

“I shouldn’t have kissed you,” he answers, his grip tightening on the steering wheel. “I would hardly call that a kiss, besides the other day you licked me,” I deadpan.
“That was different, we were messing around,” he says, running a hand through his hair, before side-eyeing me.

“I don’t see what the big deal is?” I comment with a shrug

Mateo glances at me, then turns his eyes back to the road. “Ezra will be really angry.”

“That you pecked my cheek?” I question, raising an eyebrow at his words, seriously? “Why would he be upset? It’s not like you have to tell him.”

I hiss as we hit a bump and Mateo mutters something too low for me to hear. I shift on the seat uncomfortably, my pants sticking to it, and my shoe fills with blood.

“Argh, crap. I’m bleeding on your seat,” I apologize. My blood stains his seat as it soaks into the fabric; Mateo glances over at me. It’s going to be a bitch getting that out.

“It’s fine, Kat,” he says, reaching over, and squeezing my fingers before watching the road again.

We pull up out front, and Mateo hops out of the car, opening my door and grabbing me, carrying me like a princess back to the Packhouse.
Chapter 27

His eyes glaze over as he carries me toward the front door. When we get closer, it opens and Ezra storms out. “What the fuck happened?” he growls.

“I scratched it,” I explain, and Mateo passes me over to Ezra. Mateo walks ahead, opening doors before I am placed on top of Ezra’s desk.

Ezra glares at Mateo “How?”

“On a nail, climbing in the window of the house,” I rush the words out, not wanting him to blame Mateo.

Ezra looks at me, his eyebrows rising. “You broke into your parents’ house?” “No! Yes! They told me I could, so technically, I didn’t break in.”
He shakes his head and clicks his tongue, pulling my new bloody pants down. The doorbell rings and Mateo rushes off, returning with the Pack Doctor who assesses it. I look at Mateo, knowing he must have been the one who freaked out and called him over, for him to be here so quickly.

“She needs stitches unless you want to heal her?” The doc says, looking at Ezra. I watch both their eyes glaze over.

Doc walks out closing the door and Ezra takes off his shirt before I realize what he is about to do.

“Hell no, that is not happening, so gross, only mates are supposed to do that!” I shriek, scrambling off the table, while trying to yank my pants up.

“Grab her,” Ezra orders Mateo as I scurry away from him.

“No, Alpha you can’t do that. Well, you’re not supposed to anyway,” I try to object.

“What did I say about calling me Alpha, Kat? Either I do it or you heal like a human which will take ages. Nobody has to know, you can stay home for a few days and rest.”

“No, I will know, you’re not supposed to heal those who aren’t your mate or child,” I argue. It’s sacred, well supposed to be, in wolf form your mate or a parent’s saliva has healing properties and can heal their loved one if injured badly. It is only meant to be between mates and children because it requires them to obviously lick you and their saliva to go into your system. So Maddox licking me will give me pieces of Ezra’s DNA.
“Kat, it’s not a big deal,” he sighs, stripping off his pants, leaving him with only his boxers on. Shaking my head, I look away. “Yes it is, you’re not supposed to.”
“Maddox was licking you the other day,” he points out.

“That was different and you know it; I wasn’t injured, your wolf’s saliva has to change and will be temporarily marking me.” Horror washes over me at the thought of someone finding out. “Everyone will smell you on me, they will know what you did.”

“So what? Let them know.” Ezra shrugs, walking over to me. He grips my face and kisses me, his lips pressing against mine softly before he tenses. He pulls back, then leans forward and sniffs my face.

Mateo’s grip tightens on my arms, his body goes tense behind me. “I kissed her,” Mateo blurts out like a maniac.

Ezra’s eyes turn onyx, his wolf appearing for a second, which is odd to me.

“Really? You pecked me on the cheek. Why are you so worried over it Mateo? Why would he even care?” I ask him, shaking my head. I can’t believe that he thinks now is a great time to blurt out something that is trivial.

“We will talk about that later,” Ezra growls, glowering at Mateo behind me.

Ezra shifts so quickly even Mateo jumps. Maddox growls at Mateo, even snaps at him.

I react by smacking his nose, grabbing his attention. “What’s wrong with you? He is your best friend!” I reprimand.

Maddox whines, sniffing my neck. His wolf is every bit as big as I remember him to be, and in the light he is just as magnificent, his dark fur shimmers under the lighting and he looks down, sniffing my leg before licking my fingertips.

“He is just angry Mateo kissed you,” Ezra tells me through the mind link.

“Why are you both making a big deal out of it?” He doesn’t answer, then Maddox’s tongue runs up my leg. He licks the long jagged scratch on the outside of my leg, and I can feel it healing, closing as my skin tingles and sparks rush over my skin, making me gasp and my knees go weak.

Mateo’s grip tightens on me, holding me upright as my eyes flutter shut and euphoria washes through me.

Now I understand why mates should only do it. My father’s wolf licked me once when I was a child and broke my arm, the bone jutted out, it healed and my skin felt warm. But Ezra doing it, and me not being his kid has a completely different feeling and I now understand why it is sacred.
Sparks rush everywhere and my legs tremble, arousal floods me and a small moan escapes. The feeling is orgasmic and unbearable. I am forced to lean against Mateo or risk falling.

Mateo’s grip on me tightens, and he holds me against him. “It’s okay, shh, don’t be embarrassed,” Mateo whispers. My face heats from my reaction to Ezra, when he suddenly stops. Maddox presses his nose to my leg and I look down breathless, my wound completely healed and I feel dazed.

I’m embarrassed at the noise I made and I realize Mateo heard it too as he still holds me.

“Don’t be embarrassed. We know why it is sacred between adults,” Mateo whispers as Ezra shifts back, putting his pants on.

“You could have warned me first,” I scold them, absolutely mortified.

“You would have said no. Besides, it is all over now,” Ezra tells me while stepping closer. He kisses my head and Mateo lets me go, swiftly stepping away from me.”Kat, go shower and get dressed. I need to speak to Mateo.” He bends down and retrieves my bloody pants off the floor. He hands them to me and I slip them on.

“Is this because of him kissing me? It was innocent, Ezra. I don’t get why it matters.”

“I will come see you in a minute, Kat,” Ezra dismisses me. I sigh, giving Mateo a worried look. Why is Ezra so mad over it?

“Go, Kat,” Mateo nods toward the door. I can’t help but feel worried about him. Ezra’s entire demeanor changed once Mateo blurted it out. I reluctantly left, yet I can’t help but be curious as to why Ezra is so upset over something so small.

Chapter 28


Kat leaves and I wait to hear her walk up the stairs so she isn’t within earshot before turning to face my Beta. A growl erupts, Mateo is my best friend, has been my entire life. I am fuming, fucking absolutely livid that he kissed her. I feel betrayed. As soon as I kissed her, I could smell his scent on the side of her mouth, and smell him on her skin, subtle but there.

“Let me explain, Ezra,” Mateo says, as I turn to face him. He steps back and Maddox presses against my skin.

“Why?” Is all I ask, unable to form words as I fight off the urge to attack.

“I didn’t mean to. She hurt herself and I was carrying her. I don’t know why I did it, please try and understand. I know I fucked up, it was an accident.”

“You accidentally kissed her?” My hands tremble, I ball them into fists at my side, trying to fight the urge to punch him.

“It’s not like that, I know she is yours. It just happened, she doesn’t seem to think anything of it, I swear Ezra, I didn’t mean to kiss her.”

“Do I need to be worried about this? Do I need to be worried about you being around her?” I demand. The hurt hasn’t calmed, it still throbs through me. What kind of best friend does this? He knows how long I have waited to find her, and then he does this?

“No, it won’t happen again. It was just a slip up, you know me, Ezra. I would never do anything to deliberately hurt you.” Some of my keyed up tension drains at his words. I know he wouldn’t deliberately betray me, he’s been like a brother to me. We have been inseparable since we were kids.

“Do you have feelings for her?” I question.

His heart rate picks up, his body tenses. “I know she is yours, your mate.”

I press my lips in a line and look away from him, Maddox growls angrily in my head. He notices it too.

Turning my attention back to Mateo, he gulps.

“That’s not what I asked.” He glances away from me. “You do, don’t you? You like her?”
Mateo sighs heavily, scrubbing a hand through his hair. “Of course, I like her. She is my Luna and your mate,”

“You know what I mean, Mateo,”

“Yes, I like her. She is different from the others, she isn’t power hungry and doesn’t care for titles. What isn’t there to like? But I won’t act on it. I know she’s yours.”

“You’re right. She is mine, so don’t put me in a situation where I have to choose, Mateo.”

“I will keep my distance,” he whispers, but I also know he is Kat’s only friend besides Jasmine.

Kat is comfortable around him and I don’t want her to become between our friendship either. Suddenly, I find myself torn. “What did she do when you kissed her?” I ask, now worried she may have feelings for him too.

“Nothing, she didn’t react at all, I even told her I shouldn’t have done it. Kat just seemed confused, she didn’t understand why I was worried about it.”

“So she didn’t do anything?”

“No Ezra, she thinks of me as a friend and that’s it.” Some possessive part of me wants to rip him apart, another worries his feelings for her are reciprocated.

“And you? What do you think of her?” I ask him again.

“I think I fucked up, okay? That’s why I told you. It won’t happen again, I have a mate out there, anything I feel for her will go once I find him or her.”

Though the look on his face doesn’t convince me. Mateo has never once gone looking for his mate, never once mentioned wanting to find them, always saying he is content with how things are, that he doesn’t want to find them. I nod, trying to think of what the right thing to do is. I can’t force him out of her life, nor do I want to, but the other side is telling me to keep her away from him. That he is a threat to the mate bond.

“Don’t let it happen again, we have enough going on with Jackson’s Pack. I don’t need to be worrying about you chasing after my mate, when you’re the only person other than myself I trust to protect her,” I confess.

Mateo steps forward, gripping my forearms. “I’m sorry, I won’t let it happen again,” he pleads.

My jaw clenches and my teeth grind together. I swallow back the urge to yell at him, to hurt him for what he did. “You can go.” Mateo nods, letting me go. I watch as he leaves my office, then I hear the front door as he leaves the Packhouse.

Walking upstairs, I follow my mate’s scent to her room. Knocking on the door, she opens it before going back to the walk-in closet.
“What have you lost?” I ask her.

“My robe,” she answers, digging through the closet. “I hung it up behind the door in the bathroom.”
She nods, grabbing her pajamas before walking down toward the bathroom. “My bathroom, Kat,” I correct.
Kat stops, turns on her heel and looks at me. “Your bathroom?”

“Yes, Marge washed it for you, and I put it in there. I thought you would come stay in my room from now on.”

“You want me to stay with you?” She asks, confused. I can see the wheels turning in her head, trying to piece together my actions. I know she feels the bond, but without a wolf confirming I am her mate, she is unsure what to make of the strange pull she feels toward me.

“You don’t have to,” I tell her, as she chews her fingernails.

“You think that’s a good idea?” She asks, stepping toward me. I don’t care if she doesn’t get her wolf on Monday, either way I am telling her. Her not knowing is driving me crazy. I tug her closer, gripping her chin and tip her face up.

“I would like you too, but you don’t have to.” Her being comfortable is all I care about. I don’t like the idea of her feeling pressured to do anything just because I am the Alpha, she gets enough pressure from her mother and everyone else, she doesn’t need it from me. “You can say no, I won’t be offended,” I add.

“You won’t be mad if I say no?” she asks.

“No, it’s your choice.” She thinks for a second, before standing on her tippy toes and kissing me. I like that she is becoming more daring, more comfortable around me though if she calls me Alpha once more I may just lose it. I am not her Alpha, I never want her questioning whether or not she will anger me, or need my permission to be who she is.

Although, I do hope whatever she does want to do, she will tell me because she wants to, not because she feels obligated to because of my title.

Her lips move hesitantly against mine and I let her kiss me, letting her have control as her tongue hesitantly plays with mine. I can tell she is unsure though, so after a few seconds, I grip the back of her neck and kiss her back harder, letting her know she can do whatever she wants with me. Kat presses closer, her hands going to my chest as she runs her small fingers through my chest hair, her hands move to my shoulders.
Leaning down a little, I grab the back of her thighs, I pick her up. She wraps her legs around my waist, pressing closer to me.

“Is that a yes?” I ask her, squeezing her ass. Her face turns bright red, it’s so cute I can’t stand it. Her cheeks become stained with her blush.

“I will as long as you want me to,” she answers softly.

I pull away, looking at her. “Not if you don’t want to, Kat. I will back off if you tell me to,” I remind.

“No, I want to; I just meant as long as I am not annoying you,” she whispers and I press my head against hers.

“You could never annoy me, Little One. I just want to make sure you’re comfortable.” “And I am. I always feel funny around you.” She admits more to herself than me. “Funny?” I ask, amused by her choice of wording.
“Yeah, all tingly,” she says, making me smile. My mate is in for a surprise once she turns eighteen then, because that feeling is going to get a whole lot worse.

“You make me tingly too.” I chuckle at her and she slaps my arm. “Shower with me?” I ask her, and she nods. I turn toward our room, glad that she wants to stay with me.
Chapter 29


The weekend passes by in a whirlwind blur. I am a little upset, though. Something is wrong with Mateo. Ever since he took me to my house, I have hardly seen him and he doesn’t even have dinner with us, making me wonder if he and Ezra had a fight.

Waking up, I’m greeted by my parents singing happy birthday through the mindlink, I groan, sitting up, looking around to find the other side of the bed empty. I look to the bathroom door, sniffing the air, looking for his scent but it is faint.

“Happy Birthday, Pumpkin,” my dad says, and I roll my eyes, throwing my legs over the edge of the bed.

“Thanks dad.”

“I will see you in a few hours at school, Kat,” Mom says before cutting her link.

“When can I see you?” I ask my father.

“I am on night shift tonight, but I will come over tomorrow when you get off school, feeling different? What do you think of Alpha Ezra?” He asks.

“The Alpha? Yeah, he is good,” I tell him, a little confused he would ask about him on my birthday.

“Feeling wolfy?”

“Nope, it feels like any other day, dad,” I tell him while stepping in the shower and rolling my eyes.

“She’ll come, typical woman always late.”

I sigh, knowing once again they were in for disappointment. “Or not at all, you say this every year, when are you going to realize it may not happen?” Every year the same thing, Dad is always hopeful then disappointed.

“It will happen, Kat; you just need to hold out a little longer. What are you doing today besides school?”

“Not sure, it depends on what the Alpha has planned, he wants to take me somewhere,” I tell him.
“You didn’t ask him? Didn’t you wake up next to him?” This question has me blinking soap from my eyes.

“Dad!” My face flames at his words; I haven’t exactly told him we are sleeping in the same room! How had he found out?

“What? Nothing to be embarrassed about. You’re at that age now where you are probably curious about the opposite sex. When I was the Alpha’s age-”

“Ew, Dad, enough and I know you are not trying to give me a sex talk right now, like no dad, gross.” I shudder, thinking about what his next words would have been. I’d happily go back to all the Pumpkin talk if it saved me from that kinda discussion.

“Nothing wrong with sex, your mother and I still go at it.”

So not what I want a mental image of.

“Nope, not doing this, bye Dad,” I tell him. He laughs before I cut the mindlink. I shake my head at that embarrassingly awkward conversation.

I quickly shower before hearing a knock on the door. “Just a sec.”

“Gotta go soon Kat, you will be late,” Mateo sings out from the other side of the door.

“Yep, getting out now.” Cutting the water off, I grab a towel, wrapping it around myself before opening the door.

“There’s the birthday girl, oh and in her birthday suit.” Mateo laughs and I smack his arm walking past him.

“Where is the Alpha?” I ask him.

“Ah, busy. He was called away, but don’t worry you have me to annoy you. Get dressed, I will meet you downstairs,” he suggests before grabbing me and crushing me against his chest. “Happy birthday, Kat,” he says, before letting me go.

“Thanks, I will be down in a minute.” I walk into the walk-in closet and grab my bag that has my clothes in it. Mateo leaves and I snag some jeans and a tank top. Walking back out, I quickly slip on my bra and panties before getting dressed and pulling my hair up into a ponytail. Thankfully, I can wear them again. Grabbing my sneakers, I walk out the door and down the stairs.

“Gosh, you’re slow, woman, hurry up. You do realize you’re already going to be late?” Mateo whines.
I slip my shoes on before hopping up and find Mateo with my school bag over his shoulder. “Come on hurry up.” Mateo grabs my hand and tugs me out the door. I walk to his truck, and he opens the door, turns, grips my hips, tossing me in just as I am about to climb up.

I fall forward, falling into the driver’s seat floorboard.

“Falling for me, Kat?” He says, opening his door as I try to climb out. “Jerk!” I scold him. Sitting in my seat and clipping my belt.
“So, still no wolf?” He casually asks, putting the truck in reverse and turning it around.

Digging through my bag, I pull out my schedule. “Nope, and I wish everyone would stop asking.” I huff. How many more times will I have to have this conversation before everyone gives up?

“I didn’t mean to upset you,” he apologizes, his usual cheer fades and his shoulders sag. I sigh. “You didn’t. I already got the lecture off my dad, along with an embarrassing one.”
“What was the embarrassing one?” He asks with a chuckle. Had he been faking a few seconds ago? I shake my head. No way am I telling him that.

“Aw Pumpkin, are you too embarrassed to tell me?”

I slap his chest and he laughs. “Don’t call me that, it’s bad enough he does,” I complain.

“Yeah, usually nicknames wear off, but that one seems to have stuck with him,” Mateo agrees, making my face redden.

“Yep, he is never going to let me live it down.”

Mateo glances at me. Interest sparkles in his eyes. Oh no, I’m not letting this one know, ever. “Live what down?”

“The whole pumpkin thing, and no I am not telling you.”

“You can’t say something like that, then not tell me,” Mateo says with a pout. “Well, I did and I am not telling.” I will not be fooled this time by this rascal.
“Fine, tell me the embarrassing lecture he tried to give you instead?” He suggests with a wink. I shake my head looking out the window as we hit the town’s edge. “He tried to give you a sex talk didn’t he?” Mateo nods to himself and my face burns hotter than before, if that’s even possible, I seriously need to learn to control that.

“Ha, he did! What did you say?” Mateo is far too invested.
“Nothing to say, besides that is not a conversation I want to have with my father, he was about to tell me his and mom’s sex stories.” I shudder. “So gross.”

“Nothing wrong with sex, I like sex,” Mateo states boldly, which reminds me of what I saw under his bed.

“I could tell by the dirty magazines under your bed and that sock,” I laugh at him and this time he blushes. “Oh, was that a secret?” I mock, laughing at him.

“No, it isn’t a secret, but what were you doing looking in them?” He counters. “I wasn’t, I just found them.”
“Sure you did, pervert,” he growls and I elbow him. He grunts from the impact, reaches over and messes my hair, I slap his hand away. “You need to stop hanging around the Alpha, you are turning violent,” he laughs, pulling into the staff car park.

Jasmine waves from the steps when we pull up and she comes rushing over to the truck. I open my door hopping out, only to be crushed by her in a hug. “Oh my gosh Kat, I heard about what happened! I am so sorry that bitch did that.”

“Well, I actually forgot but thanks for reminding me,” I chuckle, hugging her back. “I will see you later, Kat,” Mateo gives me a little wave before walking off.
“So where were you on the Pack run? I looked everywhere for you.”

“I was with the Alpha, actually.” She tilts her head to the side and I sigh, deciding to tell her about me not having a wolf. She seems a little shocked, but says she will keep it to herself and I trust her.

Chapter 30

Angie for the most part is actually nice to me and shockingly, she even stood up for me against some asshole that deliberately tripped me in English class. Though the whispers don’t stop. I try my best to ignore them, trying not to pay attention to them openly staring at me over the shower incident.

By the time it is lunch I’d had enough and want to go home. Walking to the office, I go looking for Mateo to beg him to let me leave. I can’t find him, but one of the teachers tells me he is in the gym setting up for training.

“Just ignore them, Kat. You have a smokin’ body, I wish I had boobs like you,” Jasmine compliments, as she helps me look for Mateo.

Stepping into the corridor heading for the gym, I freeze, everyone turns as we enter and my stomach drops. They’re all whispering, some even pointing, all laughing at me, the laughing stock of the school. I even have a couple of the boys grab my ass and people whistle. The gym doors open, and everyone quiets down as Mateo stomps out.

“What the fuck is going on? What’s with the commotion?” he snaps at everyone. They all bare their necks in submission to him. The chatter stops abruptly.

“Now shut up all of you, and get dressed,” he commands, opening the gym doors and letting everyone in.

Jasmine and I walk in last, Mateo steps in front of me, blocking me from entering the gym. Sighing, I look up at him, while Jasmine continues to the girls bathroom. I try to step around him when he cages me against the wall.

“Hey, are you okay?” He asks, grabbing my arm.

“Yeah, fine, can you take me home?” I ask a little too hopefully.

He looks back into the gym and scowls. “Are they giving you a hard time?” “Don’t worry about it,” I answer, about to walk off. His arm on the wall blocks me.
Mateo leans closer, dipping his head lower. “If they are, tell me Kat, I will make it stop.” “It’s fine, Mateo. Let’s just get this over with,” I groan, pushing past his arm.
“Kat?” Mateo growls, his steps gaining on me quickly, when his arms lock around my chest making me stop. “Wait, if you want to go home, I will take you, I just need to get someone to
fill in for me first.” I look over my shoulder at him. “Do you want me to take you home?” I chew my lip, knowing it will be the easier option, but it also will be a hassle for Mateo.
Sighing, I shake my head. “Are you sure?” he asks, rubbing my arms. “Yeah, it’ll be fine. Last class, right?”
“As long as you’re sure, do you want me to get Ezra?”

I shake my head. If he thinks I am having a hard time, he might say he will sit in on my classes and I don’t want that.

Mateo nods once and pushes me toward the doors. “Get changed, I will see you in a second.”

I walk into the girls locker room and get dressed.

Training is horrendous. I can’t focus and I am knocked down more times than I can count. Jasmine apologizes relentlessly as I just shake it off.

“You’re supposed to get me down. Stop apologizing,” I snap at her, standing back up just as the whistle blows. I sigh in relief that it is finally over and I can go home. “Finally! Home time,” I groan.

Following Jasmine to the girl’s locker room, I walk in and all the girls start mocking me and pretend to be me in the shower. Squealing and in fits of giggles while they egg each other on.

“You know what? Fuck this shit,” Jasmine growls, dumping her bag on the floor. I look at her along with everyone else, it is so strange seeing her get angry and clearly, they think the same thing.

She starts taking her clothes off, tossing them on the ground. “Come on bitches get ya phones out, you are nothing but gutless jealous whores,” she screams at them with her hands on her hips, giving no fucks that she is naked and encouraging them to take photos, she glares at them. Not one of them pulls their phone out, they all stare mouths open in shock. “Like what you see?” She screams at them. They share nervous glances at each other, not daring to move, they all stand there, mouth’s open while she struts around the girls’ locker room with everything on display.

“What are you doing?” I hiss, trying to cover her with my body and hands.

“Giving them something to talk about, get ya clothes off Kit Kat, we are streaking,” she announces.

All I can do is blink at her. “You can’t be serious?”
“They pick on you because they know it is embarrassing you, you have nothing to be ashamed about, you look better than these fugly bitches,” she says, lifting her chin and glaring at the murmuring girls.

My eyes dart to the crowd of girls when Angie shoves through them, “I’m down!” She says, stopping beside us. Angie strips naked and she tosses her shirt at Tammy’s head. Bending over, she strips her lacy panties off, throwing them at her too and smacking her in the face.

Jasmine laughs before looking at me. “See?” Jasmine nods to Angie. “Are you really going to do this?” I ask them.
“Yeah, I started it, this is me apologizing,” Angie says with a small smile. Jasmine shrugs. “Shit, I am even doing a cartwheel,” she laughs.
A smile pulls at the corners of my mouth, they are really going to do it. Pulling my shirt over my head, I shrug, “You know what? Let’s do this.”

“Damn girl! You have nice tits, look at those button nips,” complimented Jasmine. She turns to Tammy and nods toward my chest. “See these, Tammy? Something you will never have because you are so flat, you make the walls jealous.” Jasmine mocks the punk bitch that has been picking on me in every class today. Jasmine walks to the door before swinging it open, and walking out.

“I can’t believe we are doing this,” I squeal nervously. As soon as Jasmine walks out I hear the boys catcalling and whistling at her.

Angie walks over to the door, takes a deep breath, then looks back at me. “Coming, Kat?” She smiles, offering me her hand.

I snort holding in my laughter before taking it and peering out. There are so many people still in the gym, the boys staring at Jasmine while she taps her foot impatiently, waiting for us.
Angie nudges me and I look at her. “One… two .. three,” Angie counts, and we both rush out. “Woohoo!” Jasmine yells excitedly, shaking and slapping her ass, we chase after her.
Jasmine runs down the corridor and through the doors leading outside. True to her word, she
does a cartwheel on the oval as we lap it. I am in endless fits of giggles.

All three of us burst out laughing making our way back to the gym to retrieve our clothes, when a ticked off Mateo spots us, and I suddenly cover myself and so do the girls.

“Shit! Run,” Jasmine laughs. He has three towels in his hands, but before we can run, he catches up to us. He tosses the towels at us and the girls run off, as I wrap mine around me.

Mateo steps closer, wrapping the towel around me when I fumble with it. “Are you nuts? The fucking Alpha is going to kill me now.”
“So what? It was fun,” I tell him and he scowls at me.

“Fun? You just ran naked across the entire oval in front of everyone. Jasmine even did a cartwheel, I have now just seen more of Angie than I ever wanted to and you, he is going to kill me for seeing you stark naked,” Mateo says, pushing me toward the gym. “Fuck Kat, you better hope nobody filmed that, if the Alpha finds out–”

“Too late to worry about that because he is right there,” I tell him, pointing over his shoulder.

“What?” Mateo squeaks, spinning around. I duck behind Mateo using him as a shield. Ezra looks angry.

My mother is hot on his heels coming toward us.

“I’m out,” I tell Mateo, taking off. Mateo tries to grab me, but I slip from his fingers. “You have to come home with me Kat, you can’t run forever,” Ezra calls after me.
I laugh running back to the locker room and getting dressed. Jasmine and Angie are talking excitedly about our nudie run.

“Mateo looked like he was about to kill us,” Angie snickers, putting her jeans on, when the door suddenly opens and my mother comes in.

I groan. Great, here comes the lecture.

“10/10 for that cartwheel, Jasmine, but I need to say one thing-” We all pause, waiting for the scolding. “That was the most hilarious thing I have ever seen, you girls have the whitest asses,” she giggles and we all start laughing. “No, I am being serious you girls gotta get some sun on them bums.”

My mother smiles, holding her arms out to me. “Happy Birthday, Kat,” she says, hugging me. “Oh, your dad and I got you something.” She steps back, pulling a box out of her pocket. “Close your eyes.”

I do and I hear her fiddling with the box before feeling her place a necklace around my neck. She clasps it into place, and I reach up to touch it.

“You can open your eyes.” I look down at the gold chain and she hands me the box when I notice the pendant between my fingers. “A pumpkin, seriously dad?” I groan out loud before laughing.

“Has matching earrings too,” she says, and I look in the box. Two hanging pumpkins on each earring.

I chuckle, shaking my head, but slip them on anyway. “Thanks mom.” Stepping closer I give her a side hug. She kisses my head.
“You’re welcome. Well, you better go face the Alpha, he is waiting for you outside, he didn’t appreciate your nudie run in front of the entire school and staff, I asked for the footage. I will save it for your 21st,” my mother laughs and we all chuckle.

“Can I come home with you? You can smuggle me out?” I ask, hopeful.

“Nice try, you gotta face him sometime,” she grins, and I sigh heading for the door.
Chapter 31


I take a good five minutes and multiple nudges from my mother before I actually get the guts to go face Ezra for my actions.

For some reason, the idea of upsetting him makes me nervous. Though it was funny and exhilarating to do at the time, now I am worried he will think less of me for doing it.

I creep out, but Mateo and Ezra are waiting in the corridor. Ezra pushes off the wall he is leaning against. I turn, about to run back into the locker room, only to run into my mother, who spins me back around to face him. Jasmine and Angie are still hiding in the gym’s locker room, waiting to see how much trouble I will get in before trying to escape.

“Ah ah ah Kat, you run, and I may just spank you,” he taunts me. My face heats at his words, especially since he just said that in front of my mother.

“Well damn, that sounds like fun. Run, Kat, run,” my mother whispers, making me chuckle and gape at her. What is with my parents today?

She gives me a push toward Ezra. “Well, I gotta go, but I will see you tomorrow, Kat,” my mom says, giving me a hug. She kisses my head, walking off. Mateo follows her as they discuss training for tomorrow.

I bounce from one foot to the other awkwardly; Ezra stares with an indecipherable expression on his face. The man would be good at poker. I can not read him right now, which makes me more nervous.

Chewing my lip, I take a step toward him. “I can explain.”

The edges of his lips twitch, and he raises an eyebrow at me. “By all means, please explain yourself,” he suggests. At least his words don’t sound angry. They are more amused than anything else, making me confused and the swarm of nervousness in my stomach worsens.

” I …you see-“ I fumble for an explanation.

“I did see, the entire school saw,” he says, a smile slipping onto his face. “Wait, you’re not mad?”
“Oh, I am mad, but not for the reason you are probably thinking,” he says while stalking toward me. I take a step back, making his smile bigger, and his eyes flicker to his beast for a second at the action. “I am mad,” he says, reaching for me and pulling me against him, his voice next to my ear. “I am mad because you ran naked in front of the entire school, yet I shower with you and still have not seen you naked,” he growls.
“It was a spur of the moment thing, not a well thought out decision.”

“And you don’t sound the least bit sorry,” he adds, though I can hear the smile in his voice. “I am sorry, I’m sorry I got caught,” I chuckle. “So you’re not mad at me?”
“No, not mad. A little jealous that you were so willing to show everybody what is mine before showing me.”

“What’s yours?” I question. He laughs, kissing the top of my head, when the air is full of screams.

The Alpha spins, facing the corridor exit, yanking me behind him. More screams drown out every other noise, just as the mindlink opens and a flood of voices howl through my head. Fear consumes me when I realize we are under attack.

“Rogues!” Everyone starts screaming the warning, just as we hear fighting outside and deafening growls.

“Fuck, I knew it,” Ezra growls, confusing me. “Get back in the gym now. Wait for Mateo!” He orders before taking off in a blur.

I am left standing in the corridor, when Jasmine and Angie rush out. The school is now empty besides staff and a few lingering students. Of all places to attack, why attack the school when it is about to close?

“Is it re-really rogue’s?” Angie stutters, her eyes wide while looking toward the glass doors. Her fear is so pungent I can smell it. Her heart is racing. We may have to train every day, but that doesn’t mean we are ready for a war.

“Kat, where are you?” My mother’s frantic voice comes through the mindlink.

“Still in the gym,” I tell her, my heart pounding in my chest. Three large wolves parade past the glass doors at the end of the corridor. I freeze, holding my breath as the huge wolves prowl past. My heart beats like it is about to jump out my throat. Slowly they walk past, when abruptly the last one stops. His brown matted fur sticks to his body, he lifts his muzzle and sniffs around. Slowly, he turns, and makes eye contact as his breath fogs up the glass door.

“Mom!” I stutter through the link. It must be something in my voice because she screams at me.

“Hide! I am on my way!”

Angie, Jasmine and I start to back up, slowly and cautiously, trying not to draw attention to ourselves. Just as the other two wolves come back, also peering in at the three of us. The malted brown one licks the glass, its tongue rolling over it lazily.
“Get back in the gym,” I whisper, taking a step back, refusing to take my eyes off them.

The black one backs up before charging at the glass. It cracks on the first impact. A network of spider-web-like cracks travel across the glass. The wolf backs up and charges again. The barrier gives out, glass shards raining down onto its fur and across the floor.

“Run!” I scream, and spin on my heel. We sprint for the gym doors, our shoes squeak on the smooth floor as we run for our lives. We hit the green double doors at the same time, busting both of them wide open. Angie and I turn and grip the doors, forcing them closed and the lock clicks in place. One of the rogues hits the door, they push inward, making us jump and scramble to hold it shut.

They growl like possessed demons, before slamming their bodies into the doors over and over again, desperate to get to us, and willing to use their bodies as battering rams no matter the damage it caused. Jasmine takes Angie’s place to put extra pressure on the doors so they don’t bust open. Our shoes slip on the linoleum floor as they continue throwing their huge beast’s against it.

“Angie!” I scream, using the full weight of my body against my door. “Angie, find something to brace the doors.”

Angie looks around frantically, grabbing a chair from beside the bleachers. We jam it under the two handles, hoping it will hold as we back up, the door groans as they ram it again.

“What do we do?” Angie whimpers. The banging stops.
Our hearts pound so hard that’s all I can hear.

A loud bang from behind us makes Angie yelp. We spin to face the new threat. Jasmine takes off, running full tilt at the door blown open by the wind.

“Jasmine! No!” I scream. Jasmine skids along the floor, trying to stop when the black wolf steps through.

The big black wolf shakes its head, baring its teeth as Jasmine scrambles backwards trying to retreat, but she is too close. It lunges at her, she doesn’t even have time to shift before it rips into her neck, shaking its head viciously like a dog with a stuffed animal, sending the stuffing flying everywhere.

Jasmine can’t even scream because of the violent attack, and her eyes roll toward us, just one word on her lips before the light in her dies away.

Chapter 32

He killed her; he killed her right in front of us. I can’t take my eyes off her limp corpse. My once bubbly friend is dead. Angie steps back, bumping into me, making me look away from Jasmine’s body, when the other two wolves step into the gym. All three are stalking us. One is female, the other two are male.
“We need to shift,” Angie murmurs, before she suddenly shifts. Her clothes shred to pieces as she jumps into her wolf form. The moment she shifts, the sandy-brown wolf lunges at her and she sidesteps, attacking the she-wolf. They dart in and out testing each other for weaknesses.
I look around for something to use as a weapon, and spot a broom leaning on the wall next to the bathroom door. I run for it, my sneakers screech on the floor, before fangs sink into my shoulder, claws tear through my back and the creature slams into me from behind, knocking me face first onto the ground. Instinctively, I shield the back of my neck and head with my arms.
I scream, as it tears a chunk of flesh from my arm. I roll, yanking myself from his hold. My blood stains his muzzle and I glare up at it. I shove my feet under its ribs, kicking it off.
My attacker falls on his side and I scramble to get up, when I am attacked by another wolf from the side, and I am thrown forward to the ground. Angie is still viciously fighting with the she-wolf, but I can’t see which of the two is winning. I am too focused on the two wolves pursuing me, caging me in.
I scramble backwards on my hands and feet, slipping on my blood as it oozes out of my wounds. I fall back on my elbows and stare at them, I’m frozen in place. A feral growl rips out of the brown one, and he lunges straight for my face. I close my eyes, waiting for my death, this is it.
A furious roar rings through the gym, and the other wolves whimper. Fur brushes past my face.
Keeping my eyes closed I focus on the sounds around me. The fighting is intense. One of the wolves is yelping with a high-pitched whimper, but whoever is fighting them has no mercy. Each cry is weaker than the last.
Opening my eyes, I see a massive gray wolf fighting both my attackers while protecting me. Getting to my knees, I turn, attempting to get to my feet, only to see Angie unconscious on the ground. The female she-wolf stands over her, but the fighting behind me has frozen her in place.
I’m not losing another friend to these monsters. I stagger, regaining my feet and prepare to rush to help Angie. The she-wolf’s head snaps in my direction. Her lips pull back from her sharp teeth and I hear a sickening snap behind me. A wolf has fallen. The she-wolf snaps at me.
I drop to the ground as the wolf lunges through the air, and I wait for the right timing. Just like Angie learned, I’m not entirely as helpless as I look. I kick her square in the snout and she falls back, shaking her head and trying to gather her surroundings again.
She growls deep in her throat before staggering toward me.

Maddox dives past me. He tackles the she-wolf to the ground and rips into her neck. He flings her away from me, straight into the steps next to the bleachers. Her body makes a dull thump when she hits, but she stays still.
I take a moment to glance around the battlefield. Angie is lying on the ground, her thigh ripped apart badly. A single flap of skin is all that’s holding it together. I raced to her side.
Maddox and the gray wolf are teamed up and fighting the big black rogue. My mother races in and to my side, shifting back as soon as she gets to me. She helps me wrap Angie up and to stop the bleeding.
The she-wolf is lunging at us, I didn’t even hear her get up.

Mom tries shifting, but is only part way through when the other wolf barrels into her. Mom’s forced back into human form. She punches the wolf in the nose, the same spot I hit, and the wolf yelps. Mom’s not done yet. Her claws slide out and she sinks them into the she-wolf’s side before rearing back and using her forehead to head butt the wolf. The she-wolf cries.
Angie wakes up and screams when I push harder on her leg. My hands are drenched in her blood. I almost start crying when she slowly starts to heal.
My mother keeps the wolf from us, fighting in her human form, her skill is unlike any other. The she-wolf doesn’t stand a chance. Mom tosses her to the ground and continues to rain blow after blow. Despite being in human form, she has dominated the fight with ease. It is clear why mom has such an excellent fighting reputation. All of that training she’d drilled into me has purpose.
Bones snap behind me and I look to see who it is. What I am not expecting is to see the gray wolf that saved me, Mateo.
Mom is about to deliver the killing blow. Her claws glisten in the lights of the gym. Mateo throws himself in front of her, stopping her. Maddox is still tearing the other wolf apart, but I can’t tear my eyes away from what’s going on in front of me.
The she-wolf rolls off the ground and stares at Mateo as he slowly approaches. He holds his arms out like he’s trying to cage a wild animal, and there’s a sense of desperation in the air. “Don’t,” he warns. “Don’t do it.”
She tilts her head to the side and sniffs the air, hesitantly, she takes a step toward him. “Mate,” he whispers.
She shakes her head and in doing so her eyes catch sight of Maddox and the other wolf. A strangled noise escapes her and she lunges at the two.
Mateo intercepts her at the last second, grabbing her, but she bites into his arm before tossing him off.
Maddox pulls away from his enemy but instead of attacking her, like I was sure he would, he sidesteps her and ignores her attacks. He only evades and blocks.
Mateo gets up, grabs her around the stomach, and rips her backwards. She whimpers, snapping her teeth at his face.
Maddox pads over to me, sniffing my back and shoulder, and I look back at the black wolf he killed lying not far from us. He shifted after his death. He was an older man, maybe in his 50’s, his body is covered with fresh wounds. He had put up a hell of a fight. In the end, he was no match for my Alpha, although it made me wonder who he was to the she-wolf. She keeps trying to escape Mateo to get to the man on the floor.
“I’m alright,” I tell Maddox as he sniffs and licks my face. My hands are still wrapped around Angie’s bare thigh, holding her skin together as she slowly heals. She coughs and the place falls silent. Out of the corner of my eye, I can see Mateo, struggling to hold his mate down
Ezra shifts back to help me. “Shirley, are you alright?” He calls out to my mother.

She is battered and bruised, but seemingly not from this fight, otherwise she is okay. She gives him a thumbs up, getting to her feet.
“We need to get Angie to the clinic,” Ezra says, scooping her up, he holds her leg with one hand so her slow healing can continue.
“You’re okay, Angie,” I tell her, brushing her hair from her face.

Walking toward the gym exit, I stop when I see Jasmine laying dead in a pool of her blood. Frozen, I look down at her, unable to believe she is truly gone. Her eyes are open wide, staring vacantly at the ceiling, and sharp stabs of pain radiate through my chest at seeing my friend dead.
Seeing her drained of life, my legs give out and I hit the ground beside her. Gone is the adrenaline of the fight. I am faced only with the consequences, and her loss. Brushing her face with my fingers, my mother comes over, grabbing me under the arms, trying to pull me up and away from her. I can’t leave her here.
“Come Kat, we will send someone back for her,” she assures me, I shake my head.

“Please don’t leave her here,” I plead, looking up at my mother. She looks back at me sadly, before looking at Jasmine, her eyes turn glassy. She clears her throat, trying to pull me away again.
“Kat, now,” Ezra calls, and he stops at the doors, looking back at me. Tears roll down my cheeks, and a sob escapes me.
“We need to go, baby,” Mom whispers.
I nod, leaning down and kissing Jasmine’s forehead before letting my mother pull me to my feet and toward Ezra.
My head spins violently. The room tilts and my vision dims. Pain radiates down my neck, I clutch it, staggering on my feet as I try to blink.
My mother clutches my arm, holding me upright, and Ezra turns to look at Mateo, still holding down the she-wolf.
“Your mate can’t come back to the Packhouse until she has calmed down,” Ezra informs him, and Mateo nods, while she snarls and thrashes in his grip.
However, she is the least of my concerns. I can’t pay attention to my surroundings, consumed by the rush of coldness numbing every part of me, I stumble. My surroundings are blurring, and I am choking, drowning.
“Kat? —Shit, Shirley, take Angie!” Ezra’s voice is frantic, yet it sounds distant as if through a long tunnel, maybe my hearing too is waning.
Tingles rush over my skin, I try to see, blinking hard, but my vision grows darker with each heavy flutter of my eyelids.
“I don’t feel too good,” I mumble, my tongue is thick in my mouth, Blood coats my tongue. A choking gasp escapes me, and I pitch forward, losing the feeling of my body.
I expect the impact of the hard floor.

Ezra scoops me up before I hit. “Kat!” His voice vibrates with his panic.

Mom gasps. “Jasmine?” she whispers, her voice rings in my ear and I plunge into the waiting darkness.
Chapter 33


“Kat? —Shit, Shirley, take Angie!” I order, placing Angie on the ground. I grab Kat, her skin is so gray, it looks like life is draining out of her. She feels clammy and so cold as I hold her, and I see Mateo jump to his feet. Her wounds tear back open as I clutch her. Blood gushes from a gaping wound on her neck that I am positive wasn’t there before.
“I don’t feel too good.” I pick up the softest of mumbles. Her precious blood pours down my arms.
I hear a strong gasp behind us, like someone taking their first breath after nearly drowning, the noise is deafening in the quiet of the gym.
“Jasmine?” Shirley gasps.

I spin around to see Jasmine sit up, groaning.

She is alive? But, that can’t be. Her death had happened. Her tether to the Pack had snapped.
She looks around, confused. Not a mark left on her. Her throat closed back up and she is very much alive, though Kat in my arms looks on the brink of death.
“I should be dead, I was dead,” Jasmine murmurs before staring at Kat.

“Kat!” she screams, getting to her feet. Mateo moves to help her up. Mateo’s mate has stopped thrashing, she too is staring at Kat. She shifts out of her wolf.
I don’t have time for this. I need to get Kat to a doctor before I lose her.

I take a single step towards the double doors and the rogue woman screams. She lunges for Kat. I step back, stumbling, still cradling her in my arms.
Mateo rushes over and grabs her, trying to calm the crazy bitch down. “Make her heal him, make the bitch fucking revive him,” she snarls, thrashing in Mateo’s arms before throwing her head back and breaking Mateo’s nose. She lunges at me, trying to grab Kat, when I see her head whip to the side before she collapses on the ground like a ragdoll at our feet.
I look up at Mateo. He stares at his hands, emotionless. He slowly drops his gaze to his mate, the woman whose neck he just snapped. His hands shake. I don’t have time to comfort him when my mate is dying in my arms, I’ll have to tend to his loss later.
I run, rushing toward the clinic in town. The trees zip past me in a blur of various shades of green as I clutch her to my chest. My entire body is drenched in her blood. Looking down, I
see her neck is torn open, an injury matching that of what Jasmine had. My mind tries to conjure up a reasonable explanation, but I come up blank.
Through the link, Mateo’s deadpan voice tells the doctors to be ready and listing the injuries Kat has. My mind is so consumed with fear I didn’t even think to call ahead.
Yet, despite him just killing his mate, he still called ahead to help Kat.

The white brick building comes into view, I push myself harder and the doors are thrown open wide. A stretcher is rolled out and Jasmine’s father, Mathias, rushes out. I place Kat on the stretcher. Mathias screams orders for blood as they race her inside. I follow before being shoved aside by the nurses. They wheel her through some double doors but instead of letting me follow, one whirls and stops me in the middle of the hall.
“Alpha, wait here. What’s her name?” The nurse tries asking me, but I am frantic. Never in my life have I ever been so terrified. “Kat… Katya,” I stammer out. All I want to do is pick the nurse up and toss her to the side, run after my mate, hold her hand, and be there for her.
The knife in my heart twists at my thoughts. No, she will be okay. I pace in front of the nurse, searching for a way past.
“Alpha, you need to sit down while we work on your friend,” the nurse scolds, pushing on my chest.
Maddox presses beneath my skin, wanting to go to her. “She isn’t a friend; she is my mate,” I tell her, and she steps back before rushing back into the operating room, yelling to them it’s their Luna.
I clutch my hair and Maddox lurches forward, taking control, forcing the shift. We barrel through the doors, and he jumps on the stretcher. The nurses scream and jump back. Mathias grabs the stretcher to stop it rolling over before screaming at them for blood, not startled in the slightest by me. Maddox licks her neck and Doc works around us, hooking up blood bags to her, the frightened nurses kick into gear as they do what Doc orders.
“Flip her for him,” Mathias yells at a couple of nurses. They grip her shoulders, turning her over as Maddox continues trying to heal her wounds. She has already lost so much blood, he could heal her but not replace the blood loss.
Her wounds are slowly closing, but Maddox is becoming drained, and he forces himself off the stretcher, falling heavily as it exhausts him. We lift our heavy head and watch as the nurses flip her back. The wound on her neck is healed, but her skin is still deathly pale.
“You did good Alpha, you healed your mate, she just needs blood,” the doc says, hooking an IV up to her. I look at him, his eyes are trained on the task at hand. Her heart rate increases on the monitor and Maddox finally lets me have control, letting us shift back just as the surgery doors fly open. Jasmine runs in before I hear a nurse out in the hallway call out.
“We have another one,” she yells before people rush up the corridor, no doubt to help Angie. “You can’t let her die Dad, she saved me,” Jasmine whispers to her father.
Mateo rushes in a few seconds later, stopping dead in his tracks as he looks down at Kat on the stretcher. He walks over to me, clasping his hand on my shoulder. I grasp his hand, giving it a squeeze and watch on helplessly. They give her blood and clean up the claw marks on her back we didn’t manage to heal.
Jasmine helps her father, passing him things as he works. The pair of them are perfectly in sync with each other. After a while, Kat gets color back in her. As Jasmine explains what happened, he asks more questions.
I end up walking out. I can’t handle seeing her lying limp on the table, though Doc reassures me multiple times she would be fine.
The entire clinic is overrun with injured Pack members. Nurses and Doctors race around everywhere trying to save those they can. This is the first time we have been attacked by rogues in six years, and I realize how totally unprepared we were for it.
We have grown complacent, and it nearly cost my mate her life.
Chapter 34

Mateo and I sit on the chairs in front of the surgical door. Neither of us say anything, we just sit helplessly. He is crushed over his mate. He barely had her for a few minutes, before he killed her in order to save Kat. The she-wolf’s words replay in my head, and I remember what Jasmine said she felt. Jasmine had explained it to her father, who was shocked to hear his daughter was dead before miraculously recovering. Yet, she said she could feel Kat. She didn’t know how, but she said Kat was bleeding into her and pulling her back from death.
Nurses race around everywhere. Many of them are racing to stop more of my Pack members sliding into death’s embrace. The only thing I hate about being Alpha is my tether to the Pack, feeling their deaths and then being the one to tell their families. Nevertheless, I am relieved I don’t have to deliver that news to Mathias and his mate.
At the moment, I have thirty-one other families to notify. That number is only likely to grow.

The doors beside us open and we look up, jumping to our feet at the same time. Mathias walks out, brushing his fingers through his graying hair, his blue eyes sparkle with unshed tears.
It makes me panic. The heavy hand of fear that gripped my heart from the start of this shit show continued to squeeze. “Is she alright?” I ask, my heart skipping a beat at his sad expression.
“Oh, yes, sorry, Alpha, she is fine. She should be up in a few hours,” he adds, and I let out the breath I was holding, the fear fades.
“Sorry, I am just shocked about the situation with Jasmine. I owe our Luna a great debt,” he says, rubbing his face with his hands. “Why didn’t you tell the Pack you found your mate, Alpha? Especially one as special as her,” he questions, motioning to the chairs we were just sitting in.
He flops in a chair looking exhausted, and Mateo and I both sit back down in the hard blue chairs we had just gotten up from. “I only just found her. She doesn’t know I am her mate yet.”
“Because she has no wolf yet, I didn’t see your mark on her neck,” he explains, making both Mateo and I look at him.
“I don’t understand,” I admit.

“Her wolf, she is a Lunar Healer or to make it simpler, Healer.”

“You’re saying she is a healer? She is blessed with special abilities?” I ask.

“Yes, how else do you explain her bringing Jasmine back from the dead? Whenever she heals someone, she takes it from them, giving it to herself. Have you noticed anything odd about her? Can she heal herself?”
I shake my head. “No, she hasn’t got a wolf to heal her.”

“Just as I thought, her wolf will come. She is a Lunar Healer, a blessed wolf. She will probably come on the next full moon, but Alpha, even with her wolf, she will never be able to heal herself. I have done extensive research on healers over the years, I honestly didn’t think I would live long enough to meet one. One thing I do know, most seem to share the same characteristic,” Mathias pauses.
“What is it?” I ask him.

“All research I have done, it has said the more she uses that power the weaker she will get, if she uses it as she did today it can kill her.”
“So, her healing people can kill her?” I whisper, looking toward the door where Jasmine and Kat are. Mathias nods, bracing his arms on his knees and leaning forward.
“Which one of her parents did she inherit it from? I would love to meet them. Do some research of my own?” He asks, making me look at him.
“Pardon?” Mateo asks before I can.

“Healers, it is usually passed down the bloodline by a biological parent, though I could be wrong, but in every report I have ever read it is passed down. I honestly thought we would never see one. The last known record of a healer was in the 1800s.”
“How though? If it is passed down, how aren’t we crawling with healers?” I ask him. I really need to touch up on my history.
“Rarely do any make it past their twenties. Healers used to be hunted and used to heal the rich and powerful. From what I have read, they were slaves to their masters. Used as their own personal life support, until they healed too much, and they all died.” Mateo and I both look at each other, horrified. This ability could very well turn into a curse if people found out about it. It makes me think of Mateo’s mate and how crazy she became. Did she know Kat was a Lunar Healer?
“We must keep this secret, Alpha, people will come for her if they know what she is,” Mathias warns us. I nod, a little shocked, but now I have more questions than answers.
The main one is, if this ability is passed down from a parent. Then who the hell are the people who raised her if they aren’t her parents?
“Something is not right,” Mateo mindlinks me. I nod. Doc gets up, walking back to the door.
“I will have her moved to the ward, Alpha then you can see her,” he says, and I nod, watching him walk back in to check my mate.
“Want me to go and question, Shirley and Derrick?” Mateo suggests, making me look at him.
“You just lost your mate to save mine. It can wait.” He looks away, and I can tell he is barely holding himself together.
“She may have been my mate, but Kat, I…” He doesn’t finish, though I already know. His mate he had only just met, the bond was weak.
Luckily for me, his love for Kat was stronger. I don’t know how I would have fared in his position. I know I would pick Kat over anybody, even if it meant going against someone I considered family.
Shirley walks down the hall toward us. She is covered in Angie’s blood. “Kat?” She whispers like she’s too afraid to speak louder.
“She is fine,” I tell her, not knowing how to broach the subject of Kat’s paternity. It is odd though, her parents smell like her, so it confuses me. Mateo sniffs the air as well.
“Ah thank the Goddess, I will mindlink her father,” she closes her eyes, tears trailing down her cheeks. She certainly looks like a relieved mother.
Getting up I head to the wards. I walk down the hall, stopping when I don’t hear Mateo following. “Are you coming?” I ask over my shoulder.
Mateo lifts his head and stares at me. There’s a haunted look in his eyes. “I’m allowed?” “Why wouldn’t you be?” I question.
“Because of what I said, that I..”

“That you love her? Since when is that a crime?” He thinks for a second and he nods once before following me.
Chapter 35


My entire body feels like it has been hit by a truck, then reversed and ran over again, twice. Everything hurts. Forcing my eyes open, I groan and try to roll onto my side, but something heavy is holding me down. I don’t recognize the room I am in. This isn’t Ezra’s room?
I scramble to a sitting position. Ezra’s head is cradled next to me, his head resting on the edge of my pillow and the top of his head had been touching mine. Machines beep all around me and my wrist burns. I glance down to see I’m hooked up to an IV. I’m in the hospital? How did I get here?
Why am I here? What happened? There was that battle, but I couldn’t remember much of it. A snore from beside me made me jerk. Mateo is on the chair next to me, sort of. Most of him is in the chair, but one of his arms is wrapped around my waist, and his head is nestled on my thigh.
What is going on? What am I missing?

I lift my hand, brushing it through the Alpha’s hair, where his head rests, before cupping his cheek. He turns his face into my hand and kisses my palm. Tingles rush over it warming my skin. “I love you,” he mumbles in his sleep. Seconds later, his head snaps up, as I giggle at his sleep-talking.
“Kat!” He gasps, staring at me before touching his hands to my face. He squishes my cheeks together and I can tell he is still half asleep. His eyes are still glassy from sleep. My lips must resemble a fish as he squeezes my face between his palms like he can’t believe I am really here. Why is he acting like this?
“You’re squishing my face,” I mumble through my puckered lips, when his eyes widen in recognition at the sound of my voice. Doesn’t he recognize me, or is he still half asleep? I have so many questions, yet my mind can’t process anything, but the tingles rushing over every part of me he touches.
“Kat!” He exhales, letting my face go. I stretch my face, only for his lips to crash down on mine almost frantically.
I try to shove him back as his tongue invades my mouth, before giving up and kissing him back. He releases me and I suck in the much needed air he has deprived me of.
“Geez, what’s got into you? You’re acting like I just dropped dead.” I scold him with a raised brow.
He falls silent, staring at me before dropping his head and grabbing my hand. He kisses each of my fingertips clasping my hand in both of his.
“What is it?” I ask him, worried about his severe affections. Usually, he wasn’t this clingy, in public at least. He says nothing, just lets out a shaky breath.
The weight on my thigh disappears as Mateo lifts his head. “Kat, you’re awake,” Mateo greets. He stands and leans over, bending down and kissing my cheek. He gives me a tight bone-crushing hug. He buries his face in my neck, in front of Ezra, who last time Mateo kissed the side of my mouth had gotten all weird.
What was going on here? My brows furrow, trying to puzzle it out. Why are they acting this way?
“You had us so worried,” Mateo breathes and I lift my hand, my fingertips brush the nape of his neck. If I didn’t know him better, I would think he’s trembling.
“I’m fine, what’s wrong? What happened?” I ask, worry eats away at me.

Mateo pulls back, cupping my face in his hands before kissing my cheek and the side of my mouth. “You’re okay, that’s all that matters,” he murmurs, sitting back down. Ezra is watching him, but the anger that had happened last time over a similar incident was completely absent. He nods, clasping my hand in his, and kisses my knuckles.
Was the Twilight Zone real? “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be?” I slowly ask the words, hoping they’ll pick up on the fact I’m completely clueless about why they’re being so crazy.
“You don’t remember the Rogues?” Mateo gently asks, looking down at me.

The rogues… the rogues… The word should mean something, but all I could think of was something fuzzy and black. My eyes widen. I remembered more than fuzzy and black. I remember my best friend being torn apart and Angie almost killed. The memories hit me one after the other, nearly suffocating me.
It wasn’t a dream! I’d been so convinced that it had all been some crazy nightmare I had conjured up. A punishment for teasing Mateo with my scary movies too many times.
Tears fill my vision. It was all real. A living nightmare. The beasts were real. Jasmine was gone for good. All I can think about was her last words before her death and her blank eyes after, and all the blood she’d been surrounded by.
“Jasmine!” I gasp, unable to breathe. My friend, my friend is dead, and what about Angie? What became of her?
“Kat, calm down, just breathe.” Ezra tries to calm me, rushing to cup my face in his hands. I shake my head.
“No! Jasmine, Jasmine,” I tell him frantically. Does he not remember? Shouldn’t he at least be a little upset about losing a Pack member?
“Kat, calm down. She is alive. Jasmine is okay,” Ezra reassures me.
“No, she is dead, I saw her, she…. she…. they ripped out her neck. There was so much blood,” I tell him with gasping breaths while breaking down.
“She is alive, Kat, Jasmine is alive. She didn’t die, you brought her back.” Ezra tries to reassure me again, but I know what I saw, he is lying. He said he would never lie to me, but he is. Maybe he thinks I can’t handle the truth.
I can’t breathe, all I can see are her dead eyes. I can’t get the image from my mind, now that I know it wasn’t a dream. I recalled the coldness on my lips as I kissed her head.
“Shit! Kat, breathe, you will pass out, just breathe please,” he begs, grabbing my face. I see Ezra’s lips moving, trying to tell me something as the room dims. Yet, I can’t understand what he is saying, the room gets darker as I try to breathe, my head feeling lighter as the room spins. “Kat, she is alive. I will explain, but please breathe,” Ezra begs.
She is alive; she is alive. I try to convince myself to believe it. People don’t come back from the dead, not even werewolves or vampires. We aren’t cats; we don’t get nine lives, so what he is saying makes no sense.
I concentrate on his face and his breathing, trying to regain my breath as I suck in air before I chuckle at his face so close to mine. His eyes blur into one. He raises an eyebrow at me, and I manage to catch my breath, though he continues to do his weird breathing.
“Why are you panting like a woman in labor?” I ask, and he pulls back.

“I was trying to help you, you’re the one who forgot how to breathe,” he scoffs, sitting back in his chair and grabbing my hand.
“I called her over,” Mateo announces, looking at Ezra.

“Called who over?” I ask. I wonder if he’s talking about his mate. I don’t know how I’ll be able to stomach her. That woman was part of the group that took Jasmine away. The very thought of being nice to her makes my stomach ache.
The door bursts open and a bleary-eyed Jasmine runs into the room, in her pajamas which have little Tweety birds on them. I thought I had gone mad until she spoke. “Kat?” she murmurs, her voice like music to my ears as I fly off the bed and jump on her.
I crash on top of her and she feels solid; real. “You’re alive, you’re alive! How are you alive?” I squeal, kissing her pretty head as she pats my back.
“Yep, very much alive, but if you bust out in song, I may just kill myself and ew you’re slobbering on me,” she says, patting my back as I squeeze the living daylights out of her, never wanting to let her go. She is alive, Jasmine is alive! But how? “You would think she would want to keep me alive after bringing me back to life.” Jasmine teases.
“Shit, sorry,” I apologize, pulling back to look down at her.

“Oh yeah, girl-on-girl action,” croons Mateo’s voice from behind me, I look at him over my shoulder.
“Huh?” Both Jasmine and I say at the same time. Mateo nods downwards and I look down at her, realizing I am straddling her waist, my hands conveniently on her breasts. I raise my hands.
“Sorry,” I squeak, my face heating.

“Don’t worry if I was gay, which I am not Beta Mateo,” she states, glaring at him. “You would totally be my type,” she says, sending me a wink before giving Mateo the stink eye again.
I laugh before hopping off her and helping her up. “Nice jammies,” Mateo tells her, and she rolls her eyes at him.
“See? All healed, thanks to you. Now can I go back to bed? I was having the best dream-” “A wet one?” Mateo asks, cutting her off, and she flips him the bird.
“No! Actually, about getting into the college I want to get into. Nothing wet about it, although I think I would pee a little with excitement if I got in,” she giggles, her eyes lighting up.
“You dream about attending more school after finishing school, so lame,” Mateo butts in again.
“As I was saying before this moron butted in, I am tired. Can I please go to bed? Thanks for saving me, but I need beauty sleep,” she says, pouting. “We can’t all be as beautiful as you, Kat. Some of us have to work at it.” she winks at me.
“Wait, I saved you?”

Jasmine looks around me at the Alpha, who is just observing quietly. “You haven’t told her yet? Come on, man, I am not lucid enough for this right now,” Jasmine whines.
“I will explain. You may go back to dreaming about college,” he says in a mocking tone waving her off.
“Ok, I love you, thank you, Alpha. Beta Mateo, fuck you and goodbye,” Jasmine says. She tips her head to the Alpha before racing out.
I shake my head at her quick departure. “She is feisty isn’t that right, Pumpkin?” Mateo says and I grab the closest thing to me and lob it at him for calling me Pumpkin. Turns out it is a bedpan.
Mateo bats it away with his hand. “Ew so gross and you touched that with your hand,” he mocks.
“It’s clean,” I tell him before turning to Ezra. He holds his arms out to me and I step closer. He pulls me onto his lap, shoving his face in my neck and inhaling my scent. His tongue over my neck and I shiver. Sparks erupt over my skin and I moan before clamping my hand over my mouth at what I did in a hospital of all places.
“Gosh, I can’t wait for her to figure it out,” Mateo chuckles, shaking his head.
Ezra laughs at him. And I glare at them both. “Are either of you going to tell me what’s going on? Or how my best friend was resurrected from the dead?” I ask, waiting for some explanation.
“I thought I was your best friend?” Mateo whines, feigning hurt as he clutches his chest. “I can have more than one,” I tell him with a roll of my eyes.
“But I am number one, right?” He gives me a wink.

“You are getting off-topic. One of you needs to explain, please. I am getting a headache.”

Ezra grips my chin, turning my face toward him. “Let’s get you home first, then I will tell you in the morning. It’s a little late for this conversation. Besides, we have been sitting in these uncomfortable chairs for three days. I miss our bed and I am sure Mateo misses his, too,” he says.
“I miss our bed,” Mateo agrees with a nod, slinging an arm around both me and Ezra.

Wait, did he just say three days? They have been waiting for me to wake up for three days? “Three days?” I gasp. I lost three days, but I wasn’t even that badly injured. It makes little sense.
“Yes, Kat. Doc thought you would wake up after a few hours, but it’s been three days. I will explain tomorrow, but can we please go home?” Ezra pleads and I look at him, really look at him. He does look rather tired, his clothes are all wrinkled, and he definitely looks uncomfortable.
Chapter 36

After getting the discharge documents from Doc, Ezra takes us back to the Packhouse. Mateo wanders off to his room while Ezra drags me to his, before flopping on the bed face down. I guess he wasn’t exaggerating when he said he missed his bed.
Walking into the bathroom, I turn on the shower, wanting desperately to wash myself. My skin feels gross, and my hair feels flat on my head. Standing under the hot stream, I grab the shampoo. The familiar smell of his shampoo fills the air around me and I find it soothing, relaxing.
I am rinsing it out when a draft makes me shiver. Opening my eyes, I’m greeted with Ezra stepping into the shower. He leans down and pecks my lips before reaching behind me and grabbing the soap from the niche.
He turns around and washes himself. I stare at his back, my eyes trailing down to his backside.
I touch his hip with my fingertips, and he chuckles, turning around to face me. “Bit handsy, considering you still haven’t even given me permission to look at you.”
“I didn’t realize I had to since my nudie run. Kinda seems pointless when half the Pack has seen me naked, don’t you think?” I tease him.
“Yes, but I stand by my word. I won’t look without permission.”

I wrap my arms around his neck, standing on my tippy-toes to kiss him. His hands curl around the back of my thighs, and he lifts me, pressing me against the tiles. I shriek the moment my back comes in contact with the extreme cold, breaking the kiss.
Ezra chuckles, and pushes his face against the crook of my neck. His tongue sweeps over it before he sucks the water off the skin there. I wrap my legs around his waist. There’s not much keeping us apart now. His hands travel up my thighs, and sparks dance beneath his touch. He sucks on my neck and nips at it.
“No, you gave me a hickey last time, lips off my neck,” I scold him, pushing his face away as he sucks one particular spot where a mate’s mark usually lies. My skin threatens to bruise yet again beneath the assault.
“Sorry, I got carried away,” he pants, nipping at my chin and making his way back to my lips. My lips part and he sucks my bottom lip into his mouth before nibbling on it.
I kiss him back, pulling him closer, he groans, pressing himself against me. His hardness presses against me, that monster is like a steel cable, but I can’t focus on it. Everywhere his skin touches my skin tingles and burns, fireworks exploding all through my body and making my heart thump wildly in my chest.
“Are you okay?” He asks with a silly smile on his lips, while I feel woozy on his intoxicating scent, touch, and the sensation the tingles leave.
“Yeah, you just make me all flustered,” I tell him, trying to regain my breath. What the fuck is wrong with me?
“Want me to put you down?” He offers and I shake my head instead grabbing his hand that is on my thigh, my legs tighten around his waist. My hand shakes as I move his hand up my body until it curves around my breast.
His eyes flicker, turning black. And I find myself staring at the eyes of his wolf. “Hello Maddox,” I chuckle, cupping his cheek. His eyes flicker oddly and I can see Ezra is fighting him for control back, his grip on me tightening as he struggles against his wolf.
“Why have you appeared?” I ask him.

His lips open and his body trembles. “Ma-” he tries to say, the words sound stuck as he stutters, Ezra fights for control back. Ezra’s grip on my hip tightens, his nails digging into my flesh.
His hand on my breast moves quickly, slamming against the tiled wall with a thud and I see his eyes go back to their normal caramel color and he exhales. “Sorry Kat,” Ezra says, looking away.
“Why are you sorry? I know he won’t hurt me.” I turn his face back toward me.

“We should hop out.” His mood shifts abruptly, and I unwrap my legs from around his waist. He gently sets me on my feet before kissing my forehead.
“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Nothing Kat, I just want to do the right thing by you, but I am tired, exhausted even, and I don’t think I can keep Maddox at bay like this. He can be… difficult sometimes,” he says, reaching around me and cutting the shower off.
“I don’t get it. Why is your wolf appearing a bad thing?” I don’t understand, his wolf has never hurt me. Quite the opposite, actually.
“The fact that you’re even asking why that’s a problem, means I shouldn’t let him that close to the surface around you, not yet at least. He won’t intentionally hurt you, but you may freak out if he gets carried away, like he just did,” Ezra grumbles, grabbing a towel and handing it to me.
“He only tried to talk to me,” I mumble, not seeing the big deal about it.

“Just wait until the Full Moon tomorrow, then I will let you speak with him. Things may make more sense, at least I hope they do,” he says, kissing my cheek.
Ezra walks out of the bathroom and into his walk-in closet before coming out with shorts on and a shirt in his hand. He hands the shirt to me, I pull it on before getting rid of the towel and hanging it on the bathroom door.
“Are you sure everything is alright, did I do something? I can leave and sleep in the other room,” I offer.
“What? No, you stay with me.”

“But, you said I am upsetting your wolf?”

“You aren’t upsetting him, he is just anxious, Maddox is… as I said before, I need sleep, so just come to bed, please.”
I nod before turning around and climbing on his bed, yet I am wondering what he isn’t telling me. I slip under the covers, but now I worry I have pushed him too far.
I know he doesn’t sleep with Pack members, I never should have grabbed his hand. I feel stupid, and a little rejected by his reaction. But then again, wouldn’t he tell me to leave? This whole thing is confusing me. He says one thing, yet his actions clearly say another.
Chapter 37

“Kat!” comes a soft distant voice, the sound muffled like the person is talking underwater.

“Let me sleep!” I grumble back.

“Kat, can you hear me?”

“Of course, I can hear you, go away, I’m tired.” I yawn, rolling over to face Ezra. Only he wasn’t there. I sit upright, looking around the room, but no one is in the room.
“Ezra?” I call, hopping off the bed and walking into the bathroom. I quickly pee before washing my hands and wetting my face, and drying it on a hand towel.
Squinting at the mirror, I shake my head. I need coffee. Caffeine get in me. I must be hallucinating from being tired. My eyes definitely aren’t that color.
Shaking my head, I walk out. The Packhouse is silent as I walk downstairs.

“Hey, where are you?” I mindlink Ezra.

“Went to get breakfast, I’ll be back soon, Mateo is asleep. Wake that idiot up for me,” he replies.
“Damn, he has a sexy voice,” I shake my head at the strange thought slipping into my head. Glancing at the stairs I just hauled my ass down, I groan. That means I have to walk back up three levels to his room.
“Fine, see you soon,” I tell him, turning around to head back up the stairs.

I knock on Mateo’s door, but get no answer. “Mateo?” I sing out before giving up and opening the door. Mateo is face-down on the bed. He rolls over, and I get an eye full of him and I choke on my own spit, shielding my eyes.
“I definitely wouldn’t kick him out of bed for farting.” What the fuck is wrong with my inner monologue today? I shake my head at my strange, vile thoughts, yet even I must admit he is gorgeous.
I grab a shirt that is on the floor and toss it over his huge manhood. Were all werewolf men huge? I shake my head at the thought. My cheeks burn and I am glad he isn’t awake to catch me admiring him.
“Mateo!” I yell, shaking his shoulder.

His eyes fly open, and he grabs my wrist. I find myself jerked across his hard body before he pins me to the bed beneath him. His canines protrude, his eyes are pitch black and he growls, the sound menacing as his teeth press against the hollow of my neck. My wrists are pinned above my head in one of his.
“Mateo?” I squeal and he shakes his head, his eyes turning back to their normal polar blue color.
“Shit, Kat, sorry I thought,” he shakes his head, looking away while I remain pinned. His warm body presses against me and the look he is giving me makes me squirm underneath him as he tries to slow his breathing.
He drops his head to my collarbone, his breath sweeping over my neck. “You caught me off guard,” he mumbles, while his other hand moves to my ribs. The heat of his hand seeps into my skin, warming me. “This is really hot.” my face heats as that thought flits through my head.
His lips are so close to my skin, all he would have to do is move forward and they would brush against my neck. His hand dips lower, grabbing my hip and squeezing.
He shudders against my neck.

“Kiss! This is getting good!” My irritating monologue cheered. This is getting ridiculous. When had I turned into such a bitch in heat? I definitely have some sort of head injury, this keeps up and I will be demanding brain scans.
His hand skims back up, past my ribs, fleeting across the side of my chest and up to my neck where he held me. He pulls his head away from my neck and presses his forehead against mine, his body shaking. “Kat,” he whispers my name, his voice thick with sleep while my heart thuds hard against my chest at his closeness.
“Can you get off me now?” I squeak at him, my cheeks still haven’t returned to normal; they’re blazing red by now. I needed to get control of my crazy thoughts.
Mateo looks down at his naked body pressed against mine, which is only covered by Ezra’s shirt. He lets my arms go, covering himself with his hand, and hops off the bed. I sit up on my elbows watching him.
“Sorry, just knock next time,” he says, grabbing the shirt I tossed on him and using it to cover himself.
“I did knock, and I called out to you. Ezra asked me to wake you,” I explain while crawling to the edge of his bed and standing up.
“I’ll get dressed and be down in a minute,” he says, scratching the back of his neck. My eyes run the length of him, he is muscular, with a broad chest, and tapered waist, much like Ezra in that sense. My hand reaches toward him, almost hypnotized by his form, when his hand grips mine before it touches him, snapping me out of the strange need to touch him.
“He is so fine, has a nice ass too,” said that weird voice again. I need to eat and definitely need that coffee.
Mateo clears his throat and he lets my hand go, I pull it to my chest unsure what came over me. “Kat, are you going to go?” Mateo asks, and I realize I am still staring at him. My face turns to lava when he catches me ogling him.
“Sorry!” I murmur, rushing out before I embarrass myself further.

Dashing downstairs, I go to the kitchen and turn the kettle on while preparing some mugs when I hear the front door open. Ezra’s scent wafts through the house making my mouth water. “I wanna take a bite of that.” I definitely have a brain injury from the attack.
Ezra walks in, stopping when he sees me. “Hey, what’s wrong with you?” He asks and I can tell my face looks flushed, feeling how hot it is.
“Nothing, and you could have told me Mateo sleeps naked when he is in his room.”

Ezra steps closer and tilts his head to the side to look at me, his eyes darken, but don’t turn black, they flicker and his lips press together. Was he mad at me? “Why did you go in his room?”
I raise a brow at his clipped tone of voice. “You told me to wake him?” I remind him with a shrug. Geez, what’s got into him?
“Yeah, wake him, I didn’t say go into his room,” Ezra sniffs the air for a second before walking over. He grabs the front of his shirt, jerking me toward him. He runs his nose along the length of my neck, and a low growl slips from him. “Why is his scent all over you?”
“Because I startled him. He thought I was attacking him,” I tell him. His eyes darken for a second, and he takes a deep breath.
His scent overwhelms me, and I lean in, inhaling deeply, needing to get closer to him. Standing on my tippy toes, I grab him so I can smell his neck. An overwhelming urge takes over me and before I can stop myself, I run my tongue over his skin.
He pulls me closer, his hand slipping into my hair as he urges my face closer, my tongue runs across his neck and I resist the urge to nibble on him, he shivers, snapping me back to my senses.
I pull away and find him smiling at me. He grabs my face, gazing at me. His eyes staring deeply into mine.
“You look different,” he murmurs, brushing his nose on mine.

“You woke me up to watch you two make out in the kitchen?” Mateo’s voice complains behind Ezra, making him step away. I glance around Ezra to see Mateo leaning on the counter before reaching over and stealing my coffee, taking a sip. “Gross, how much sugar did you put in it?” he asks, scrunching his face up.
“That’s mine. Yours is the blue cup.,” I nod to the right one and he grabs it, handing me mine back.
“I got breakfast,” Ezra says, holding up a paper bag. “Hot croissants.”

I grab one out, biting into it. So good, my stomach rumbles loudly at the taste, I am starving.
“So you’re going to explain? You did say you would today.” I remind them. Mateo glances at Ezra, and their eyes glaze over as they have a private conversation.
Ezra turns to me. “Let’s go and sit down and I’ll explain everything.” Taking my hand and our mugs, he guides me to the circular table in the corner of the kitchen that looks out the back of the Packhouse. Mateo follows, bringing the bag of croissants, some plates, and his mug. Ezra pulls out a chair motioning for me to sit and I do, as do he and Mateo.
Ezra tells me about being some Lunar Healer with some mystical healing ability. Honestly, he sounds insane, yet the serious looks on both their faces have me wondering if it is true.
“So you’re telling me I brought her back from the dead and then passed out because I gave her my energy and took her wounds into myself?” I ask, skeptical. And I thought I was going crazy.
“I know it’s a lot to take in, but yes, that is correct.’’ Mateo nods, biting into his croissant.

“It also means you have to remain hidden if people find out this could be dangerous,” Ezra adds.
“How so?”

“People will want to use you, so you don’t go anywhere without me or Mateo from now on,” “Wait, do my parents know this?”
“Yes, they know, but Kat, there is something else you should know,” “What? There is more to this crazy story you just told me?”
“Doc said it is passed down. Neither of your parents has this ability. I don’t want to alarm you, but I don’t think they are your parents.”
“Excuse me? See, now I know you’re wrong. They are my parents, I know they are, we have the same scent,”
“That doesn’t mean they are your parents, family yes, but doesn’t mean they are biologically your parents.”
“No, you’re wrong! I am not listening to this,” I growl at them, walking out. How can he say that? They are my parents! I know them, they have always been my parents.
Taking the stairs, I head for my room.


“Just leave me alone,” I snap, turning back around. Only no one is there. Maybe Mateo is onto something about the Packhouse being haunted. Or I must be losing it. I am going fucking crazy. Nothing makes sense, maybe almost dying broke something in me.

Chapter 38

“Kat, open the door please,” Ezra begs, from the other side of the door.

I ignore him and I hear the jingle of keys and the door opens. “You have a key?” I snap with a frown.
“Uh yeah to every room, master key,” he says, holding it up and showing me. I roll my eyes at him. He runs a hand through his hair and sighs, leaning against the wall beside me. “You wanted to know we told you.”
“They ARE my parents.”

Ezra sighs loudly. “And if they aren’t, it changes nothing. They can still be your parents. They raised you giving them that title.”
“There are holes in what you said though, I don’t have a wolf. You even said only a Lunar wolf has those traits, so if that’s true, where is she?” I ask him, turning around to face him.
“Tonight is a full moon, Doc said after your 18th birthday on the first full moon you should get your wolf.”
“And if I don’t?” Like I am going to believe that fake tale again. Why did people insist on moving the goalposts on this thing? Just accept I am wolfless like I have.
“Then nothing, nothing changes. But you have a wolf, Kat.”

“No, everyone else has a wolf, not me. She should have come when I was thirteen, not eighteen. Everyone knows this, so why can’t you and my parents understand? Just because you want something doesn’t mean you always get it, Alpha. You are in for some disappointment if you think she will magically appear because of a full moon,” I explain with a roll of my eyes.
“I told you already, I can feel you have a wolf. I haven’t lied to you yet, Katya. So why won’t you believe me?” he growls, he turns on his heel and walks out slamming my door.
“You should listen to him, go touch him or something.”

My hormones are all out of whack, first checking out Mateo and now wanting to chase after the damn Alpha. “Shut up horny, perverted brain.”
Great, now I’m laughing and talking to myself. Maybe nearly dying has done something to me. It is the only thing that makes sense?
Mateo knocks on my door at lunchtime asking me to come out before leaving. I wait ten minutes before going downstairs. My thoughts run rampant, and this stupid incessant inner monologue won’t shut up. My thoughts are erratic and have been running haywire all damn day.
“You’re still angry at us?” Mateo says, leaning on the counter. “Pumpkin, why won’t you listen to me?”
“I am fucking listening to you and stop calling me Pumpkin. You know I hate it!” I snarl.

Mateo drops his sandwich, staring at me. I sigh, not meaning to bite his head off, but I am becoming overwhelmed.
I rub my temples. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell at you,” I tell him, lifting my head to look at him and he gives me a funny look.
“Are you okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine. Where is the Alpha?”

“He’s in his office, you upset him,” Mateo answers with a wiggle of his finger.

“Maybe go apologize to him.”

“Yeah, I will in a sec,” I tell Mateo.

“You will what in a sec?” Mateo asks, cocking his head.

“Apologize, you just said to go apologize. I will in a second,” I explain with another roll of my eyes. Why did I need to explain things to him like he was in grade school?
“I never uh said that?” Mateo stares at me. His brows are drawn down. “Maybe you should get some rest.”
“Yes, you did. I heard you.” I argue. “Is this the Alpha’s?” I ask, pointing to the other plate next to mine.
“Yes, it is, crazy pants,” Mateo says with a huff.

I grab my plate and go to grab the Alpha’s, when Mateo does and follows me out of the kitchen and down the hall.
I open the door, and the Alpha looks up, his scent smashing into me something fierce and I have to fight the urge to throw myself at him. I shake the feeling off, a shiver running up my spine.
“I’m sorry,” I tell him, forcing myself to his couch in the corner, before I try to start dry humping him. Why does he smell so good? I swear his scent just keeps getting stronger.
“What? That’s it? You say sorry and run over to the couch?” Ezra crosses his arms over his chest. “No I’m sorry, kiss?” he asks, raising an eyebrow at me with a smirk on his face.
I cross my legs, trying to stop the throbbing between my legs that his scent caused. “Mateo can give you one. I’m sure he wouldn’t mind.”
Mateo sets his plate in front of him with a chuckle before shaking his head and sniffing at the air.
Shit, shit, shit. I fight the burn creeping across my cheeks. One thing I hate about being a werewolf is the ability to smell when someone is aroused. Well, girls anyway. I shift uncomfortably, crossing my legs.
“Looking real uncomfortable over there, Kat, got an itch you need scratched?” Mateo teases with a lazy grin.
Ezra shoots him a look, and Mateo puts his hands up, laughing at my sudden discomfort.

“I wouldn’t mind if he scratched it, Alpha might though.”

I chuckle at the thought. And both of them stare at me like I am deranged. “Sorry, I thought of something funny. Wanna watch a movie?” I ask them.
Ezra runs his hands through his hair and gives me a sideways glance. “So you’re over your mood, then?”
“I wasn’t in a mood,” I retort.

Mateo chuckles, sitting at the end of Ezra’s desk, watching me. “Quite the attitude she’s got, Alpha, you just might need to spank it out of her,” Mateo suggests with a cheeky grin.
“I just might have to,” Ezra agrees, and his eyes flicker, his lips tugging up at the edges.

My panties grow wet at the thought. Since when did I become so horny all of a sudden? And was it hot? My temperature is skyrocketing and I look at the AC thinking maybe it was off, but it was definitely on.
“You might want to control that, Kat,” Ezra growls and his eyes turn pitch black, his claws sink into his desk like he’s holding himself back from launching at me.
My face heats impossibly more under his intense gaze.

“Yep, movie time,” Mateo interrupts, abruptly breaking mine and the Alpha’s stare off.

I nod, getting up and grabbing my plate before walking into the living room. I put a comedy movie on before grabbing a pillow and lying down.
Ezra climbs on the couch behind me, and Mateo lifts our legs, dropping them on his lap as he settles in and sits down. “Aw thank the Goddess, I’m not watching that Conjuring shit again,” Mateo says when he realizes it isn’t horror.
I chuckle at him and his childish taste in movies, but I wasn’t about to escort him to go pee again.
We watch the movie, and about halfway through, Mateo’s running commentary is driving me nuts.
“Mateo, please, for the love of the Goddess, just watch the movie and stop talking,” I groan. Ezra sits up on his elbow, looking at me.“That wasn’t very nice, Kat. “
“Then tell him to be quiet,” I complain. “Who are you talking about?” Ezra asks.
“Mateo, who else?” I ask, looking at them. Only Mateo is asleep. I nudge him with my foot and he looks up at the TV before stretching.
“Mateo has been asleep since about five minutes into the movie, Kat,” Ezra says. “But I heard him talking.”
Mateo sits up, yawns, and rubs his eyes. He looks at us both staring at him. “What’s going on?”
“Are you hearing voices?” Ezra asks, turning his attention back to me. “What, no he was talking,” I tell him, pointing at Mateo.
“Ha, that makes so much sense now,” Mateo chuckles and grins. “What does?” Ezra asks him.
“She thought I told her to apologize to you, and I didn’t. She also yelled at me for no reason.” Mateo’s eyes glaze over and I look at Ezra to find his eyes are also glazed.
“You know that’s rude, right? I’m right here.” I remind them. Ezra kisses my cheek, running his nose to my ear.
“It is not us talking to you, Little One, it’s your wolf,” he purrs below my ear.

“Finally, someone who makes some fucking sense! I’m right here. Hello, now let me in.” The voice demands, and I blink, feeling a scratching sensation, the same scratching sensation that has been driving me mad all damn day.
“My wolf?” I whisper.

“Yep, that’s me Pumpkin, name’s Kora. Now, can you just drop this veil? Got more junk in my trunk than I realized and it is a bit of a tight fit for me,” she says, digging in my head at some barrier. “Just need a little more room to squeeze through.’’ She explains, her voice getting clearer now that I focus on it.
“Wait, you’re not my subconscious?”
“No, I’m the damn tooth fairy! Of course, I am your wolf,” she growls, scratching in my head again, making me clutch it. “I’ve been trying to get you to listen for hours. I was beginning to wonder if you were deaf or just not with it. Suck it in, Kora, you can do it!” she says, cheering herself on and scratching again.
“I have a wolf? I have a wolf!” I squeal, shoving my way off the couch and doing a happy

Ezra sits up and chuckles, watching my excitement.

“Here I was thinking she was being a smartass all day,” Mateo mutters.

“Just a little more.” I hear her groan before feeling a shudder. “Why can’t I get through? Stupid Moon fucking Goddess is going to make me wait to find him. Sorry Kat, my fat ass can’t break it or shimmy under it. Got me locked in real good!” My wolf huffs.
“Find who?” I ask, not realizing I said it out loud.

“Mate. Just need you to drop this goddamn veil so I can feel for his wolf.”

“You know you can talk to your wolf in your head. You don’t have to say it out loud, but I am curious about what she is saying,” Mateo says.
“Just that I need to drop some veil between us so she can find our mate,” I tell him before looking at Ezra. Would he be mad that my wolf wants to find her mate?
Ezra shakes his head, a huge grin on his face. “Can’t wait to meet him. Bet he is a top guy,” he adds with a chuckle.
I raise an eyebrow at him.

“Probably a right ass,” Mateo adds, and Ezra smacks him with a cushion.

“What? He probably is, be sad to see her leave us though,” he says with a dramatic sigh. “Who will watch movies with us without falling asleep in the beginning, like a certain someone?”
Ezra ignored him.

“So, you don’t care if I find my mate?” I ask. “Nope, in fact I can’t wait for you to find him.”
That is not the reaction I was expecting, confirming that’s why he rejected me last night.

“Damn it, just going to have to wait it out, Kat, till the full Moon reaches its highest point,” my wolf complains.
“What did she say that time?” Ezra asks. “You can tell when she is speaking?”
“Yeah, your eyes change slightly,” he answers.

“Something about the full moon, oh and her name is Kora,” I tell them. “Hmm, Kora, I like it,” Ezra muses, and his eyes flicker black.
“Well, I am going to make myself scarce. See you at dinner,” Mateo says, getting up suddenly.
“What why?”

“Busy, Kat,” he says without stopping. I sigh and look at Ezra “Is he okay?”
“Think it was all the mate talk,” Ezra says, and I realize what I did wrong. I forgot he killed his mate for me. And I am here talking about mates, while he doesn’t have one anymore.
“I’m sorry, I forgot. I was just excited about having a wolf. Shit, I didn’t think, he is probably pissed at me now.”
“He isn’t angry, he’s fine,” Ezra assures, tugging me back to him. “I should apologize to him.”
Ezra shakes his head. “He will get over it eventually,” he pecks my lips.

“Well then, since your wolf is hellbent on finding her mate, I guess I should enjoy you while I have you then,” he growls, snuggling closer and pressing his face into my neck. Sparks dance through me.
Chapter 39

After teasing me with promises of wanting to make out more, Ezra instead changed gears and kept me up nearly all night, watching movie after movie until they all blur together. I want to sleep, but he makes me sit on the couch. It had been fine for a while, but the longer I sat on the damn thing, the more uncomfortable it got since I was stuck there hour after hour.
“Please, can we go to bed?” I yawn, desperately needing rest. It is 10pm, and I have been up since sunrise, I am beyond bored of movies. Even though Ezra let me watch whatever I want, my eyes were like sandpaper.
“Just stay awake a little longer, just until midnight,” he whines, trying to tug me back down on the couch as I try to get up.
“Nope, I’m done. I am going to bed, either come or don’t, but I’m tired,” I tell him, yawning for the hundredth time. “Aren’t you?” I ask him. Looking back at him on the couch.
He grabs my hand as I walk past the back of it and squeezes my fingers. “Stay awake with me.”
“Why? I am sick of looking at the TV and Kora is driving me nuts with her talking. Nobody ever said how annoying it is having a wolf. I guess people leave that part out.” I yawn again. My eyes are watering constantly as I fight to remain awake.
“It’s because you’re not used to having one. After a while, you won’t be able to imagine life without your wolf. They feel like a piece of you,” he suggests.
“I’ll take your word for it. I’m going to bed now, Alpha. Go annoy Mateo,” I tell him, trudging up the stairs.
“Kat…. Kat,” Ezra whines, and I chuckle, shaking my head before walking to his room and falling face-first on the bed.
“Yes, roll on his bed, get his addictive scent all over you,” Kora encourages me. “I wish we could bottle it all up and douse ourselves in it every day, or you know, the other alternative would be to let him make sure his scent is all over us.” I had the distinct impression she was wiggling her brows at me like I needed another Mateo around.
“Sleep!” I mumble to her, hoping she will just shut up.

“No, I’m too wired,” she yaps.

Oh my gosh, the yapping. I swear she isn’t a werewolf; she’s a freaking chihuahua.

“Come on, Kat, stay up,” she whines, bouncing in my head and giving me a headache on top of my exhaustion.
“Can you whine quietly? Some of us need beauty sleep, gosh I feel so tired. Why do I feel so tired?” I ask while clawing my way to the top of the bed. My jeans are strangling me as I unbutton them, before forcing them down my legs and tossing them off the side of the bed.
“You’re no fun. Doesn’t he smell divine, though? Steal his pillow, I can get high on his scent.“

Why won’t she just shut up? I grab his pillow, hoping she will shut up, but she doesn’t stop talking.
“Please, Moon Goddess, take her back. I want a refund. She talks too much.” “Is she still talking?” Asked Ezra’s voice as he steps into the room.
“Yep, she talks more than Mateo. I didn’t think that was possible. She proved me wrong,” Ezra chuckles before climbing on the bed.
“Did you steal my pillow?” “No, Kora did. Blame her.”
“She likes my scent?” He asks with a silly grin.

“Apparently you smell divine, her words not mine. I suppose you smell alright?” I tell him, trying to get comfortable. He snags his pillow from underneath me.
“No, she’s going to whine more. Give it back,” I beg him. He laughs, climbing under the blankets.
“You don’t need my pillow for my scent when you can cuddle the real deal,” he offers, tapping his chest with his hand. I groan, but wiggle over and drop my head on his chest.
“Geez, just catapult your head at me.”

“You stole my pillow,” I grumble, running my hand over his chest and running my fingers through his chest hair.
“No, I stole my pillow that you stole from me,” he corrects, running his finger through my hair.

I found it soothing, and my wolf finally stopped talking so damn much. His hand moves down my back and he unclips my bra through my shirt. I sit back up, pulling my arms out of the straps before pulling my bra through the armhole and flinging it across the room. Ah freedom, nothing felt better than removing your bra and setting your titties free.
Ezra chuckles as I flop back down on him. Kora finally calms down as I melt against him, his warmth seeps into me. His scent wraps around me, and I hear her purr.
“Stop that, you sound like a chainsaw,” I tell her.

“Better now?” Ezra murmurs, pulling me closer against him. I nod my head against his chest and snuggle closer, his hand running up and down my arm, leaving a trail of sparks
everywhere his fingers caress. I drift, floating away into the oblivion of darkness, finally allowed to let sleep take me.
My sleep is plagued with dreams. I toss and turn, Ezra’s grip tightens and a weird noise leaves him that is like a whimper. I am aware that I am dreaming somehow, even asleep. I know it is all a dream, or a more accurate word would be a nightmare. I’m in that part of sleep where I am aware I am dreaming, yet can’t quite wake myself up. Ezra’s grip tightens around me the deeper I get, unable to pull myself out, the dream holding me hostage and trapping me within its confines as I became a part of it.
Yet, I feel there was a strange truth to it. Something about this dream as it morphs around me, feels real. I can even smell the smoke in the air, taste the ash on the tip of my tongue as the darkness of sleep turns into something else, my body comes alive as adrenaline surges through me.
Even asleep, I can feel my heart rate rising, beating like a drum in my chest.

Chapter 40

Kora is restless within me as she whines, and I find myself plunged into new surroundings.


I am running; I don’t recognize where I am running to. I just know I need to help them. I run through the trees before stopping at a small village hidden amongst the forest next to a field. The place is set alight, fields filled with wolves dying and fighting.
We are at war.

I hide on the outskirts, watching men with pitchforks file out and march down a small dirt road. The cries of children ring through the night. Everything settles and falls still.
Except for the agonized howls and crying. It is over. I creep out from my hiding place. The Earth is stained with my Pack’s blood, the air thick with the pungent smell of death and scorched earth.
The entire village is decimated. There is nothing left but burning huts; fire took everything in the small village.
I look down at the wolf next to me, his dark fur almost blue under the moon’s beam. I stare at him before kneeling beside him. His eyes open as I stroke his fur. Why does he look so familiar? The look in his eyes reminds me of someone, yet I can’t place him. I just know I love him, know he is mine?
I am dreaming, I’m aware of that fact, yet I can’t tear my eyes from the black wolf who lies dying at my feet. Some pull tells me to save him. He whines loudly, the sound so sad it breaks something within. His eyes peer up at me with so much love, yet I know I don’t know this wolf; I’ve never seen him before in my life.
The sky above crackles with lightning and I peer up at the sky. Deafening thunder rolls across it, angry and powerful. The moon, however, shines down unaffected by the carnage below or by the anger of the storm, just watching us suffer, taunting us with its light.
“We are children of the Moon, yet all you do is watch. How are we expected to believe in our Moon Goddess when she is never here when we need her?” I scream at it as hot tears burn my skin and fall down my cheeks.
Thunder cracks loudly, whipping through the night sky, leaving angry streaks of electricity to light up the destruction of the war; every wolf that lies dying in the field, the burned down huts, the children screaming for their fallen parents, all are the cries of death.
“You can save them. You could have saved us!” I cry to the Moon brushing the fur of the wolf next to me.
“Save him then. If you want to help them, do it. But everything comes at a cost. You think you can do better, child. I never caused this bloodshed. This is on you. All of you,” comes a feminine voice ringing through the night, loud and clear and angry.
I turn around, looking through the darkness, using the lightning to see. I gasp at the sight of a white wolf standing amongst the carnage, looking regal and serene as she strolls toward me like she is unaffected by the death surrounding her. Her fur is so white it looks like it is glowing like a beacon in the night.
“Stay back. Who are you?” I ask her, picking up a stick, ready to defend myself.

“You had no problem cursing me to the moon a few seconds ago, child. You should know who I am to speak so boldly to me.”
I gasp. It can’t be. I look at the Moon before staring back at her. “You’re the Moon Goddess?”

“Yes, I am Seline, blessed by the Moon, yet you think you can do better than me?” She asks. Her steps are purposeful as she circles me, looking me up and down with judging eyes.
“You could save them. They slaughtered my entire village, only leaving the children,” I tell her.
“Yes, because you all killed off their livestock, so they poisoned you. They found your weakness, then exploited it, waited for you to be defenseless before coming in and picking you off.”
“You knew and didn’t warn us, didn’t try to help save us.”

“I am busy, child. You think you can do better? I have thousands of children, thousands to watch over. I am tired and can’t baby everyone. Your Pack made mistakes, and now they are paying for them.”
“So you don’t care? You will let us all die, let them suffer because you’re too busy for us. We are meant to be your children. What mother turns her back on her children?”
“It’s not up to me to decide your fates. My job is to help you find your mates. To guide you to make the right decisions, but not make your choices, your Pack was greedy and took more than they should, and that was their downfall,” she says, leaving and turning her back on us as we all lay dying in the fields.
“You are not my Moon Goddess; she would never turn her back on us. You are just as bad as them,” I scream at the white wolf. She stops, turning around and baring her teeth at me.
“Fine, you think you can do better, you want them back, then bring them back,” she says. I stare at her, trying to figure out what she means.
“I can’t. Only you can do that.”

“I will give you a choice, a gift in a sense, but it is also a curse. You think you can choose who lives and dies, but at what cost? What price are you willing to pay for your people, child? Everything has a consequence. I will offer this to you once and once only. A curse and blessing bestowed upon one member of each generation of your bloodline starting with you.”
“I don’t understand?” I tell her, looking at my people who lay dying on the field. “Simple, yes or no, dear. Do you want to save them or not?”
“Of course I do. I love them. This is my family,” I tell her.

“And what price are you willing to pay… your life? Would you give your life for them?” “Yes, just please save them, Seline.”
“Oh, I won’t be saving them. You will be. You cursed me out, so now you shall know the burden I carry. I shall give it to you. You are the one who will live or die from the consequences. That will be your choice, but remember, once I give it to you, I won’t take it back. It’s yours forever and will belong to every firstborn of every generation. Now, after hearing that, how do you choose? Will you carry that burden? Will you choose who lives and dies? Are you willing to pay the ultimate sacrifice, your life?”
“I will do anything. Please just save them,” I beg her, looking at the black wolf who is no longer moving. His breathing stopped completely.
“Very well,” she says. White light blinds me, and I put up my arms to stop it from burning my eyes. The light dims, and I squint, my eyes adjusting to find a woman in a flowing white gown. She is barefoot, yet the blood-soaked earth doesn’t touch her and doesn’t stain her as she steps closer to me. Her long blonde hair hangs freely to her knees as she studies me.
“Just remember, child, it is every part a blessing but also a curse. Death shall taint your soul. With every touch, every caress of life you give. They take a piece of you back with them,” she says before grabbing my face between her palms. “I will make you a Goddess. A Goddess of death, a Goddess of life. I’m giving you the burden I no longer wish to carry, and you will carry it, all of it. I curse you, child, curse you with the gift of life,” she tells me before leaning her face closer to mine.
Her lips press against mine before I scream. Power so hot it burns my lips and scorches my throat, bleeding its power into my heart and into my soul. It is pure bliss, but at the same time, pure agony as her magic fills me. She pulls back, wiping my tears away.
“Choosing is the hardest part. Deciding who lives and dies is the worst job to have, and you my child, I just blessed you with it,” she says, letting my face go.
I look down at my hands, which are glowing subtly. Every fiber of my being buzzes and jolts. I feel electrified; I feel alive. “What did you do to me?”
“I made you into a Lunar wolf, a white wolf, and blessed you with a healing touch and an ability to shield those you love.”
“I can heal them?” I ask excitedly, rushing to the wolf.

“Yes, but everything comes with a price, a sacrifice. Choose wisely, child, for some don’t deserve saving, and you will find this blessing is far from what you expected,” she warns before evaporating into thin air. I hear her cackling laughter, but I don’t care; I can save them.
Save them all.

I kiss the wolf, needing him most. Nothing happens at first before he gasps for air while I choke for it. I try to catch my breath before moving on to the next. I don’t need to kiss this one. She isn’t dead. Magic flows freely as I grasp her face, my hands turn gold, yet I can feel it tugging at my life’s essence.
She takes a deep breath while mine wheezes out of me. With each touch, they grow stronger while I grow weaker. My people are begging me to save their loved ones, save their wives or husbands until I can’t do anymore. With each healing touch, my life leaves me more and more until I collapse, trying to suck in much-needed air. I gasp, choking on death.

I sit upright in bed, my lungs heaving for air as I suck in a huge lungful, trying to catch my breath. I am gasping, choking on my own inability to breathe. My hair is drenched and sticking to my face. Ezra is sleeping peacefully next to me, and I look at the familiar surroundings, relieved to be pulled from that nightmare.
My heart rate slows as I realize it is just a dream, just a dream. Climbing off the bed, I walk to the window and open it. The room is stuffy. My skin is sticky from the thin sheen of sweat that coats my entire body.
The Moon shines brightly back at me like it is taunting me. I stick my head out the window, loving the cool breeze when I feel a burning sensation. My lips tingle and I open them, trying to cool them using the breeze before I gasp, clutching my throat. Searing pain like in my dream bleeds into me, scorching every cell, and I scream at the pain. My hands claw at my chest as it ripples through my bloodstream.
“Nearly there, Kat. I am sorry. I have dreaded this part; I tried to warn you,” Kora apologizes; she’s serious for once.
“The dream?” I cry out.

“Yes, that is how it all began.” I clutch the window, dig my nails into the wood, and scream. I howl in pure agony as hot light fills me, blinding me to everything. My skin is burning, yet all I can see is white light as it fills me with its power.
“We have been kissed by the Moon,” Kora says before screaming with me, and something within me snaps, like a rubber band that has been pulled and pulled until it breaks under the pressure.
My head explodes with pain, along with every bloody cell in my body like I’m set alight. “Kat, Kat!”
I hear a voice, but all I can focus on is the pain. Sparks rush over my skin, soothing the pain, and I feel myself being pulled. The tingles wrap around me soothingly.
“I’m right here, Kat, right here,” the soothing voice says when I feel it suddenly burn so bright, my eyes burn from my head and I blink, trying to rid myself of the pain.
Hot tears burn my cheeks, my back arches and twists as I writhe in agony before it finally stops. I gasp, and the pain recedes. My eyes flutter open with new clarity. My senses are stronger, alert to every detail, and my sense of smell is so strong I can taste the different scents on the tip of my tongue.
“It’s over Kat, it’s over for now,” Kora whispers between trying to catch her breath.

I sigh, catching my breath. Looking around, I see I am on the floor by the window. Tingles rush over every inch of my body and remove the tension in my tight muscles. I sag against the warm body with relief.
I feel lips press against my forehead and look up and see caramel eyes staring back at me. His lips press to mine softly before he pulls back, brushing his nose on mine.
My wolf bounces around excitedly, screaming in my head. “Mate, Mate, Mate!” she yaps. Ezra smiles, his eyes sparkling under the light from the moon coming in the window. “Mate,” I whisper.
“Mine,” he whispers back, running his nose along my cheek to my neck. “Yours,” I agree, and he pulls back.
“And I am yours,” he says before kissing me. His lips meld against mine perfectly, and I kiss him back. Every piece of me calls for him, calling for his touch as I pull him closer. My fingers run through his hair, and sparks rush over me delightfully, dancing on my skin. I moan from the sensation before the door bursts open.
Ezra pulls away with a chuckle, and Mateo rushes in, looking alert and panicked.

“Everything alright? I heard screaming?” he interrogates, grasping his knees with his hands as he catches his breath. “Kat, your eyes,” he whispers, looking over at me.
“What’s wrong with my eyes?” I ask, looking up at Ezra. “They are gold.” He kisses my lips.
Mateo walks over, kneeling beside us. “Is she alright?” He asks Ezra like I’m not sitting right in front of him.
“Yes, she is perfect,” Ezra whispers, staring down at me.

Mateo brushes my hair from my face, also staring at me. He brushes my cheek with his thumb, his touch soothing the heat of my skin. “Yes, she is,” Mateo murmurs, pulling his hand away. He cups the side of Ezra’s neck and shoulder with his hand, giving him a nod before standing up and leaving.
Ezra watches him go before staring back at me with a smile on his lips.
Chapter 41

“Have you known all this time we are mates?” I ask. All those little comments are now making sense. He knew, yet he hadn’t said a word.
“Since the moment you walked into my office, you were always going to be mine, Kat. You just didn’t know it. Even if you didn’t have a wolf, though I knew you did.”
“Can we shift now?” I ask my wolf.

She shakes her head. “Not yet, we aren’t strong enough.”

“What’s your wolf saying?” Ezra asks, bringing me back to my surroundings. “That we can’t shift. We aren’t strong enough.”
“You will eventually, but for now, let’s get you in the shower,” he suggests, standing and pulling me to my feet. His eyes flicker to Maddox for a second, and Ezra shudders, pulling control back from his wolf before his shoulders relax again.
I follow him to the bathroom, only to realize my clothes are soaked in sweat and sticking to my skin. I peel them off, disgusted I can even sweat that much. Ezra starts the shower behind me, and I walk over to the mirror, peering at my reflection.
I almost jump at the sight of my complexion. My skin is glowing, and I don’t mean subtly either; it is literally glowing like a halo around me. My eyes now have a golden glow.
“I can’t go to school like this. I look like a glow stick,” I complain, trying to rub the glow off my skin.
“I’m sure it will go down, but Kat?” His voice is hesitant, and he pauses until I look at him. “What?”
“I don’t think it is wise if you go back to school. We need to keep you hidden. We can’t risk anyone finding out what you are.”
“What? Am I meant to just stay in the Packhouse?” I demand.

“Not forever, just till we figure this out. Once we know you’re safe, then you’re free to do what you want.”
“I can’t stay here; I will go crazy with boredom, Ezra,” I whine at the thought.

He sighs heavily. “Just for now, please. I am not going to stop you if you do leave. You aren’t my prisoner, but please think about it. I don’t want you leaving without Mateo or me.”
“Can I at least visit my parents and see Jasmine?” “Of course, but no school, not right now. “
“Has something happened?” I ask him. “Besides the attack, I mean.” “Your mother was spotted by the border. This was before the attack.”
“So, why is that an issue? Jackson won’t step foot over here. Your Pack has always scared him.”
“That’s not the issue, Kat. When we tried to deny it, they had photos,” he tells me, stepping out of his shorts.
I step into the shower, grabbing the soap. The water feels cold, making me shiver, and my nipples harden. I turn the temperature up, trying to warm myself. “I don’t understand why that is a problem.”
“The photos were taken from inside Pack borders, Kat. They even had one of you at school.”

“What?” My heart skips a beat at that information. There is a traitor in the Pack? I can’t believe that.
“One of my Pack members is helping Jackson. If an outsider steps over the border, I would know. Alphas can feel it when an intruder is on their territory. Once I mark you, you will be able to feel it too.”
“But that makes no sense, or you would have predicted the rogue attack,” I point out the flaw in his logic.
“I did, but I asked my men on the borders, and they said nothing came through, so I put it down to stress. It wasn’t the first time I had a false alarm. Sometimes I am wrong.”
“So someone in the Pack is helping get information to Jackson?”

“Yes, and I don’t think it has anything to do with your mother hitting the Alpha’s daughter. I think it has something to do with you,” he growls.
Ezra steps into the shower before jumping. “Shit, Kat. That is boiling,” he complains, adjusting the taps.
“I thought it felt cold,” I tell him, looking down at my skin, which is red from the heat. “Ok, maybe it is hotter than I thought,” I tell him, looking up and washing myself.
“So can I look?” he asks, making my brows furrow. “Huh?” I was about to ask before it clicked.
“Are you seriously still waiting for verbal permission?” I chuckle at him and shake my head. “Well, it’s not my body, so yes, I am.” He gives me a quick peck on the lips.
“You know I saw you naked the first time we showered together, and I never bothered to ask?” I laugh.
“I know, I could feel you eye fucking me, felt quite assaulted by your gaze,” he mocks. My face heats at his words.
“You embarrass way too easily,” he observes.

“Fine, you can look, and I wasn’t embarrassed,” I tell him. “Sure you weren’t,” he sing-songs.
“You were embarrassed because you got caught. Don’t worry, I’m taking pics for the memory bank for you,” my wolf says, and I chuckle at her. “He’ll never be able to tell we’re enjoying all this deliciousness from our own heads. You’ll be able to look at every single last inch of him, hey, is that a mole on his thigh?”
Kora’s words tempted me, but instead I focused on Ezra, his eyes are pitch black, his jaw clenched tight. “Hello Maddox,” I greet, touching his cheek. His jaw relaxes, and he smiles devilishly. “Are you done gawking? Can you give Ezra control please?” I request.
“No!” His wolf snaps, making me jump at the tone of his voice. It makes me shudder with the possessiveness behind it.
“Well, isn’t he quite the brute? I like him already,” Kora purrs, pressing forward.

“Kora, stop it,” I scold her as Maddox grips my arm, hearing her purring at him. His canines protrude, his face twists slightly.
“Maddox?” I question, and he growls softly, pushing me back against the damned cold tiles. Why the hell did those things always feel like ice? I gulp and try to wriggle free, but Maddox won’t let me get by him.
“Shit, Kat get out!” Ezra’s voice echoes in my head. Maddox’s claws slip into my arm and I hiss as they break my skin. His eyes flicker. “Kat, get out now, Mateo!” He booms through the mindlink.
“We can’t shift, we can’t shift,” my wolf worries.

“Well, if you didn’t start purring at him!” I scold.

“I didn’t think he..” I shove her back, which surprisingly, is quite hard to do.

I try to get out of his grip as he presses his entire body against me, his chest rumbles against mine as he purrs, caging me against the shower wall.
“My Kitty,” Maddox purrs, licking and nuzzling my neck.

“Mateo!” I hear Ezra scream through the bond before hearing a door thrown open in the hall and running footsteps. “Kat, do something!” I have never heard him so frantic.
“I don’t want to hurt you,” I answer.

Mateo hits the bedroom door. Shit, it’s locked.

“Just do it Kat, he won’t give me control and he is going to mark you!” The door bangs again before Mateo curses.
Maddox growls and his tongue traces over my neck before his fangs graze my skin. Fear prickles down my spine.
“Sorry!” I whisper before slamming my knee up between his legs. Maddox grunts and staggers back, and I shove him off.
The bedroom door crashes down at the same time, when Maddox growls and lunges at me before shoving me behind his back.
Mateo walks in with his hands up. The fear on his face makes my stomach cramp. “Alpha, you’re scaring her,” Mateo cautions, and I try to push him forward so I can run for the door. Maddox growls at him, shoving me farther behind him, his claws cut into my wrist. “I’m not taking your mate from you, Alpha, just opening the shower screen.”
“Mine!” Maddox snarls at him, his voice demonic.

“Yes, she is yours, but I need to get her out. You’re scaring my Luna.” Mateo’s heart thumps loudly. Ezra tells Maddox to let Mateo take me, leaving the mind link open so we can hear him.
“Kat, take my hand,” I hear Mateo’s voice, yet can’t see his hand around Ezra’s body, blocking me.
Maddox growls menacingly. “Mine!” He growls, and I see fur grow on his arms. “Mateo, get out,” I gasp as Ezra’s entire body trembles.
“I do, and he will mark and mate you right here, Kat,” Mateo warns, and my heart rate picks up.
“Listen to her heart rate, Alpha. You’re scaring her. Give Ezra control and I will leave,” he bargains.
I try to squeeze past him when he shoves me back behind him, refusing to let go of my wrist which is bruising under the pressure. “Maddox please?” I whisper, touching his side. He shivers, the trembling stopping.
“Mine!” Maddox growls.

“Yours,” I tell him, and his grip on my wrist loosens. I run my hand across his back and he relaxes beneath my touch. “Yours, please give Ezra control,” I plead, my voice quivering with the fear I feel. He shakes his head before turning around to face me.
“Mateo, get her out.” Ezra’s voice gets softer and softer as Maddox pushes him back, taking all control from him.
“Mine, you are mine, not his,” Maddox growls at me. I stare at him, confused.

“Yes, yours,” I respond, pushing at his chest, but it is like trying to move a brick wall. His breathing is getting heavier, the savage look he is giving me makes goosebumps rise on my skin. I spot Mateo’s hand out of the corner of my eye and slowly move my hand off his chest. Maddox presses closer, sniffing me.
Mateo’s hand wraps around my wrist.

Maddox purrs softly, pressing his face into my neck, his hand grabs my breast and he runs the pad of his thumb over my nipple when I am suddenly jerked away. I stumble into Mateo who shoves me out the door. There’s a deafening growl on the other side and the snapping of bones. I tumble onto the carpet in the bedroom before getting up and jumping out of the way as they both shift.
Maddox shifts into his true self before he tears into Mateo’s shoulder, he grabs him by the scruff of his neck and flings him into the wall. He hits the tv before crashing into the floor. Mateo gets to his feet and lunges at him. It’s a clash of fangs and claws as they throw themselves at each other.
Maddox dives low beneath the leaping Mateo. He reaches up, snapping at the gray wolf, and buries his teeth into Mateo’s back leg. Mateo yelps, and Maddox tosses his head to the side, flinging Mateo again. He goes flying into the wall and thuds as he falls to the ground.
He doesn’t give Mateo a chance to catch his breath. Maddox darts in and bites Mateo’s shoulder, ripping out a chunk of flesh, snarling the entire time.
Mateo whimpers, forced to shift back. Blood gushes from his wound and stains the floor. Mateo waits patiently and when Maddox tries to go for his throat, he kicks him in the nose. Maddox’s head snaps to the side, and Mateo scrambles backwards away from him.
Maddox growls, stalking him, and lunges. He’s going for Mateo’s throat. I throw myself at Mateo and face the furious wolf. Maddox’s paw comes straight for my face, claws out when he freezes. His paw stops just off the side of my face. He shakes his head, lowers his paw, and backs up.
“Please bring Ezra back,” I sob, tears running down my face. My heart leaps in my chest.

He growls at me. Mateo pulls me toward the door with his arm around my waist. Maddox snarls and I squeeze my eyes shut, a whimper leaves my lips when I am smashed with his Alpha aura. Mateo whimpers too before bones snap and familiar tingles rush over my face as warm hands cup it.
“Kat, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry,” Ezra’s voice whispers, and he’s near tears. I grab his hands, my own shaking uncontrollably. Mateo lets me go and he takes a deep breath behind me, his heart rate slowing, but I can still feel it thumping erratically against my back where he has a hold of me.
Ezra grabs me, yanking me toward him and crushing me against his chest. Mateo is bleeding, his shoulder is torn badly and his flank, his entire body is drenched in his blood because he tried to save me.
I reach out to him, but he jumps back away from me. “Don’t waste it on me Kat, I can heal on my own,” he scolds.
“Thank you,” Ezra whispers to him with a nod, and Mateo nods back before looking down at me in Ezra’s arms.
“Be more careful next time,” Mateo lectures.

Ezra nods to him before turning to face me. Mateo walks out, blood running down his back and legs from Ezra’s wolf.
Ezra, however, wasn’t unscathed either. His body is also coated in blood, but he is already healing like Mateo. “I’m sorry, I didn’t think he would come forward like that,” he apologizes again, tipping my chin up to look at him. “You know I would never hurt you intentionally, right? Did he hurt you? Are you okay?” Ezra studies me. He grabs my wrist, examining it.
“I’m fine, it’s not that bad,” I tell him, more worried about the state Mateo was in when he left the room.
“I’m sorry.”

“Stop apologizing, I know you didn’t mean it.”

“No, it’s my fault. It’s because I haven’t let you near him much. He is anxious to mark you.” “It’s fine, I’m fine,” I stress.
“I need to shower, but I don’t think you should come in with me.”

I nod in agreement. “I will use the other bathroom.” My body is covered in both their blood and a mixture of gray and black fur, my wrist aches from his grip. The outline of his fingers are bruised into my skin.
I hop up and grab my towel before wrapping it around myself and heading for the other bathroom down the hall.
Chapter 42


I can’t believe I fucked up like that. Maddox is aware I am furious at him, I shoved him out as punishment. He would have hurt her, not intentionally, but I know with him like that, he would have hurt her or scared her, making her hate me.

I rinse the blood off, Mateo got me good, I’ll give him that. If Mateo hadn’t gotten her out, Maddox would have marked and mated her on the spot. Somehow I don’t think that is how she would want to lose her virginity or remember losing it.

Getting out, I wrap the towel around my waist, relief floods me when I find her back in our room. She didn’t run; I half expected her to go hide in her old room.

“You came back,” I greet.

“Of course, I did, can’t scare me off that easily. Clearly, you forget who my mother is. Nothing is scarier than her.”

She gives a little shudder, but I appreciate her trying to make me feel better. She smells strongly of strawberry soap. I grab a pair of shorts from the drawer before picking up the broken door I will have to fix tomorrow.

I check on Maddox, making sure he is secure. He whines at me, and I know it is because he is paranoid about Mateo stealing her from us.

“Are you coming to bed or just going to stand there all night?” She asks, pulling me out of my head.

My lips tug up at her words, she seems fine and unaffected, yet when I climb onto the bed, her heartbeat picks up. “I can sleep in the spare room if you’re worried.”

She gives me a strange look. “What? No, besides, I will just end up following you there anyway.”

I climb in beside her, relief relaxes my tense muscles. I don’t think I would get much sleep without her beside me. Especially now with her knowing I am her mate. She wiggles over the moment I lay down, placing her head on my chest. I kiss her hair, pulling her closer, and she sniffs me, inhaling my scent, and instantly I feel her relax, her fingertips run down my chest and abs, leaving tingles everywhere she touches.

“I’m sorry,” I tell her again. I don’t think I can apologize enough. Not after what Maddox had almost done to her.
“If you apologize even once more, I will be the one that needs to apologize for beating you,” she grumbles at me, before giving me a reassuring smile.

“Is that so?” I raise a brow at her daring.

“Hmm,” she hums, her hand moving back to my chest as she runs her fingers through my chest hair. “Everything feels different, more intense,” she says, more to herself than me. “Even your scent, and the tingles are stronger too.”

“You don’t like it?” I ask.

“No, I love it. It’s just…different.”

“We should get what sleep we can,” I suggest, seeing as the sun will start to rise in a few short hours.

Kat falls asleep easily in my arms. Once I am sure she is in a deep sleep, I slip out of bed, and arrange it for her to hug my pillow. Hopefully, my scent will be enough for her to not wake up until I get back.

I stop at Mateo’s door listening, and can tell he is still wide awake. I open his door to find him sitting on his bed with a medical stapler in his hand.

“Still not healing?”

“I’m fine, but your claws are sharp,” he grumbles. He is a normal Beta werewolf, Alpha’s heal exceedingly fast, and so do normal werewolves with minor injuries, but Maddox tore into him pretty good.

I walk over and grab the stapler from his hand, and he sighs, looking up at me where I stop beside him. “You know I would never take her from you or try to, right?” He asks.

Maddox whines loudly, he let his possessiveness get the better of him, but he knows Mateo would never do anything now that he has calmed down.

“Turn around and lift your arm up,” I order, and he does. I pinch the skin together before stapling it. The skin across his ribcage hangs down in a flap. “I know that; Maddox knows that. He is just eager to mark her.”

He nods before watching what I am doing. “Should heal by morning now that the skin is holding in place,” he observes, examining it. He is right; the edges are already starting to close now the skin is held together. “You should get to bed, Ezra; Kat will notice you’re gone,” he scolds, taking the stapler from my hands.

“Thank you,” I tell him, he nods before rolling onto his side on his bed.

I return to my room and climb back into bed. Kat thankfully hasn’t woken and I finally give into exhaustion, holding my mate close to my chest.

Chapter 43


My mom’s voice is the first thing I hear when I wake up.

“How are you feeling this morning?”

“Good, but we need to talk,” I tell her, and she goes silent for a long moment.

“So you got your wolf then, and know about the Alpha?” she asks.

“Yes, I know he is my mate….. Am I adopted?” I ask after a few more seconds of silence, I feel it best to just blurt it out, pull the band-aid off if you will.

“What? No, Kat, I can explain. Just give us a chance to speak to you. We have been dreading this day since you were born.”

“So you knew all this time and didn’t think to tell me?” I might have snapped at her with that question.

“We were trying to protect you, if people knew, Kat-” she doesn’t finish, just goes quiet. “We should really do this in person.”

“Yes, I will come over today. Are you and dad home?” I wasn’t about to do another bathroom break-in just to get the information needed.

“Yes, we knew with the full Moon you would have questions, both of us are home,” she adds.

“I will get dressed and head over, and mom?”

“Yes, Kat?” Her words are soft, fragile almost. I’d never heard her like it before.

“This doesn’t change anything, you’re still my parents.”

“And you are still my daughter,” she agrees, before she cuts the link.

Finally, I’ll get some answers. Though, I’m not so sure I’m going to like them. But who knew? Stranger things have happened before, Ezra being one of them.
Rolling over, I face him. Kora comes forward and peers out at him, licking her chops like he is a piece of meat she wants to devour, purring like a damn cat again. Did she not learn a lesson from last night?

“Will you stop that? It is embarrassing,” I complain to her, but she only gets louder.

Ezra’s lips tug at the corners, a silly grin splitting onto his face and he opens one eye. “Are you just going to purr or do you want something?”

“You can hear her?” Oh, Goddess, what if she went on one of her spiels? I could just imagine if he could hear her checking out Mateo’s ass.

“Bit hard not to when you’re doing it too,” he chuckles, eyes open and studying my reddening face. I want the bed to open up and swallow me. Stupid horny wolf! At least it is only the purrs he heard, the other stuff is worse.

Ezra’s hand wraps around my arm and he pulls me on top of him. “Morning!” He murmurs, his eyes sparkling at me. Leaning forward, I kiss him, his hands move to my ass and he squeezes it and kisses me back.

His hands move to my hips. I’m straddling him and his erection presses up against me. I kiss him harder, his hands slipping under my shirt before he tugs it off and sits up with me still straddling him. The blanket falls down to my hips. He nips and sucks at my chin, his lips moving down to my neck making me moan softly at his touch.

He growls in return before his tongue flicks over my nipple, he sucks it into his mouth making it harden and I bury my hands into his hair, loving the feel of his lips on my body, his hands squeeze my ass again and he uses his grip to grind me against him, making him moan against me.

“Kat?” My mother’s voice echoes in my head, and I swear she timed it that way on purpose. I yank away from Ezra and sit up, too embarrassed to talk to her when he essentially had me dry-humping him.

“Yes, mom?”

“You okay? You sound annoyed.”

Annoyed is not the word for what I am feeling right now. “It was just getting good!” Kora whined at me. “Hurry up, hang up on her, I wanna ride him some more!” She wiggles her ass in anticipation.

“Nope, everything is fine. What’s up?” I was proud of myself for not letting my irritation seep through too much.

“Your father said, we will come over to you.”

I climb off Ezra’s lap and he growls, reaching for me but I push his hands away.
“Okay, what time?” I ask her.

“Be there in about half an hour.”

“Okay, see you soon,” I tell her, cutting off the link.

Ezra notices I’m no longer mindlinking and grabs me, pulling me back down on the bed and rolling me beneath him. He moves between my legs and kisses the hollow of my throat, his tongue dipping into the spot. His erection is harder than ever before and pushes against me.

I don’t have time for this. Kora is already wailing at my decision. Reluctantly, I grip Ezra’s face in my hands and pull him up so he’s focused on me. “My parents will be here soon.”

He tilts his head back and groans. “What am I supposed to do with this, Kat?” he whines and rocks his hips against me.

I pat the side of his cheek. “Sorry,” I apologize with a giggle, and he huffs in frustration before leaning down to place a soft kiss on my lips.

“Fine,” he grumbles. He climbs off me and helps me sit up.

“Tonight, maybe?” I offer. I need to get dressed before my parents get here and I don’t fancy them seeing me like this.

“It’s fine Kat, I will get you to myself, eventually,” he sighs, leaning over and pecking my lips. I grab his face, kissing him and he growls, pulling away. “Don’t or your parents will be waiting downstairs having to listen,” he threatens before laughing at my wide-eyed expression

“Go get ready while I get rid of this,” he suggests, looking down at the tent in his pants. My eyes follow and I feel terrible knowing he has been waiting since I met him, and now he still has to wait.

He hops off the bed, walking into the bathroom, and shuts the door.

I grab some clothes out of the drawer, tossing them on quickly, and race downstairs to turn the kettle on. Mateo walks in just as I finish making three cups of coffee.

“Morning, Kat,” he greets on his way past, stopping and placing his hands on my hips, peeking over my shoulder to see what I am making. He kisses my cheek, points to a cup and himself, and I nod, letting him know it is his.

“Where is Ezra?” He asks, taking a sip and stepping away from me.

“Shower, pretty sure he is rubbing one out,” I chuckle at my poor Alpha’s fate.

“I’m shocked you’re not up there helping.” He wiggles his eyebrows at me for emphasis.
“I had every intention to, then mom said she was on her way over,” I sigh, rolling my eyes. “Are you going to ask about your bloodline?”
I nod, noticing the staples sticking out of his skin. The wound has healed but it left a huge angry-looking scar. “Yeah, is that from last night?” I ask, pointing to his ribs and he looks down.

“Yep, all healed. Just gotta pull the staples out,” he says, strolling over to the fridge and grabbing something out of the basket on top of it.

“You’re going to use pliers?” I ask.

“What else will I use? I am not going to the hospital to get them pulled out.”

“Sit, I will pull them out then,” I order him, holding my hand out for the pliers. He hands them to me before pulling a chair out and straddling it, resting his arms on the backrest. I set to work pulling them out as carefully as possible. There are around thirty going from his shoulder blade to the front of his lower ribs. I have pulled around ten out when Ezra walks in.

“That healed nicely,” he says, walking over and looking at it.

“I got a wicked scar though,” Mateo cackles and I chuckle when Ezra rolls his eyes at him.

“Want me to get the rest out?” He asks me, and I nod, handing him the pliers. He takes them from me, taking my spot, and removes the rest while I drink what is left of my coffee which is now cold. I take a sip, hot, cold, it doesn’t matter anymore. My nerves are shot and it’s the only thing that will get me through what’s coming next. As if on cue, the doorbell rings and we all look toward the dining room.

“I will let them in,” I tell them and Ezra nods, pulling the last staple out. I scurry to the front door and open it to find my parents standing there. My mother looks worried, I can tell she is nervous about coming here, probably as nervous as I am about finding out if they are my parents or not.

My father however is his normal happy self. “Hey, Pumpkin,” he says, stepping inside and hugging me.
Chapter 44

“Hey dad,” I tell him, hugging him back and inhaling his familiar scent. He smelt like me, and so did mom so it only made me more confused.

“You really need to tell us the story behind her Pumpkin nickname, she hates it,” Mateo requests, eavesdropping and walking over to us, he throws an arm over my shoulder.

My father laughs before going to answer, but I escape from under Mateo’s arm and slap my hand over his mouth.

My father chuckles, tugging my hand from his mouth. “Obviously, she doesn’t want you to know,” he laughs.

“I made everyone coffee,” Ezra sings from the kitchen. Walking back toward the kitchen, Mateo nudges me. “We will find out eventually,” he taunts and I roll my eyes at him.
Ezra went into the laundry room and returned with a shirt, tossing it at Mateo. He pulls it on and I can smell it came fresh from the dryer, also by the warmth radiating off it.

My parents sit down at the dining table, and my mother becomes a little nervous. I find it hard to bring it up now that they are in front of me.

Luckily, Ezra has no such issues as he pulls me to sit on his lap and wraps his arm around my waist, nestling his chin into my shoulder. “So you aren’t her parents?” He asks, getting straight to the point.

“No, I am her biological father,” my father answers before glancing at my mother.

“But I am not the woman who gave birth to you,” she admits, her voice soft, looking away as her eyes fill with tears.

What they said only makes me confused. She is his mate, how can I be his and not hers? “You had an affair behind mom’s back?” I ask, horrified. Am I an illegitimate child?

My father waves his hands trying to get my attention while I become enraged at the idea. “Woah, wait. No, that is not it, she is my mate Kat. I would never do that,” he says, looking at my mother.

“Then how is she not my mother?”

“I didn’t meet your father first. In fact, I didn’t meet him till my sister was pregnant with you.”
“You told me you are an only child; this isn’t making sense,” I complain, this entire conversation is giving me a headache already, and we have barely begun.

“Let her explain, Kat. I know this is a lot to take in, but it is about time you knew,” my father sighs.

I press my lips together and fight the urge to break down. This is too much. I no longer want to know. Whatever they’re about to tell me will change my life as I know it.

My mom shifts in her seat and stares at the table. Slowly, she looks up and stares at me. “I did have a sister. She was my identical twin, your father met her first, and they were also mates. Same-sex twins tend to share mates; we found out your father was mated to both of us. I had left the Pack for a few years to go and train, while I was gone, your father joined and met her. She asked me to come home for their wedding. I did, and discovered he was also my mate. I was heartbroken and angry and didn’t believe him or her when they claimed to be mates.”
“They called the wedding off while we sorted things out, which took some time. Then you were born, and she died having you, just like my mother died having us. After that, you were the only piece I had left of her, so I raised you as my own. We tried to have more kids for years before finding out I couldn’t carry children, so you became our entire world. You may not be biologically mine, but you are my daughter Kat, and I have never thought of you as anything but mine,” she explains, taking a deep breath after that long explanation.

I sit there and absorb everything she’d said. “My bio mom died having me?” I swallow. I never had a chance to even meet her, and yes, I had my mom and I loved her, but knowing that it wasn’t because she abandoned me or anything like that made a difference.
“What-what was her name?”

Mom is shrinking in front of me. A woman who is so brave and strong in the face of battle, and telling me this is killing her. My dad reaches out and squeezes her hand, his thumb sliding over her knuckles.

She gave him a weak smile before turning back to me. “Her name was Katherine, that’s where your name comes from, and yes, she died during labor. Your mother knew something was wrong,” she pauses and gathers herself, blinking back fresh tears.

“She wouldn’t stop bleeding and begged me to cut you out, to give you a chance to survive. I called for the Pack doctor and tried to hold off, but once she died, I had no choice but to cut you out myself. Your father and the Pack doctor got there later, and she was already dead.
Her autopsy said she died from heart failure, just like my mother and grandmother. Our family is cursed by the Moon, and history was to be repeated as punishment for cursing out the Moon Goddess or some crap,” she tells me.

I am numb, and I don’t know how to feel about what I have just been told. “So you’re a healer?” Mateo asks my father.
He shakes his head. “No, Katherine was. It is passed down to the oldest female child of each generation.”

“Your mother was three minutes older than me, so she was the one that was blessed with the gift of life and cursed with death,” my mother explains, another tear escapes and slides down her cheek.

“Three minutes, three minutes determined which one of us was doomed before we even took our first breath,” my mother whispers, looking at my father, who smiles sadly at her.

“I have a question,” Ezra speaks up, making me look over my shoulder at him. He presses his lips to my shoulder before staring at my mother. “Why did you really leave Jackson’s Pack?”

“They knew about Kat from the start, she was coming of age and Jackson forbade us from telling anyone. Instead, he wanted to keep her for himself. He wanted her to be his personal healer, said she was born of his Pack and she is rightfully his to use, just like Katherine. So we packed up and left. The only Pack he fears is yours, so that is why we asked to join. Luck was with us, since you’re her mate. You were our last hope, if you had denied us, we would have ran. I would never have let him do what he wanted with my daughter.”

“He used my mother?” I question.

My father slowly nods. His hands tighten into fists. “Yes,” he whispers. “That bastard used her every chance he got. I still believe he’s the reason she died. Katherine healed his mate the day before her death. She had some sort of genetic disease and your mother cured her. When you were born, the Alpha discovered you had no wolf at first, just like your mother. He decided he would use you to heal his daughter, she is a year older than you and already has the gene. It’s only a matter of time before her health starts declining,” Dad explains.

“You mean Tabitha?” I ask, a little shocked. She looked healthy, fit, and bitchy last I saw her.

He nods. Beside me, Ezra tenses, but continues to listen. “Yes, I refused of course. Then he told us about his other plans. You wouldn’t even have a chance to say no. Darian was to mark you so you were to do his bidding. He’d planned to tell the Pack you’d been banished and forced you to leave. He would have kept you locked away, we weren’t about to let that happen.” Ezra growls loudly at the last part, his body trembling in anger.

“Over my dead body is my cousin taking you from me,” he snarls. Now it is my parents turn to be confused.
“Alpha Jackson is Ezra’s uncle,” I explain.

My dad chuckled wryly. “No wonder he hates that we came here of all places.”

“You spoke to him?” Mateo questioned, he too is tense, prepared for whatever all this would mean for us.
“Yes, he rang me. He threatened I either hand Kat over or he will kill my mate.” Dad speaks the words through gritted teeth.

“We will organize patrols to remain on your property, but I think it might be best if you move into town closer to the rest of the Pack,” Ezra suggests, and my dad nods in agreement.

“Can the curse be broken? Will I die if I have kids?” I question. I know part of me being mated to Ezra means I have to produce the next heir to take over the Pack, but what will that mean if it is a girl? Will I die like the rest of the women in my family, and will it be my fault if it dooms his Pack?

“It said from the scrolls at home that no woman is strong enough to carry a Lunar healer, if you have children, Kat and it’s a girl, there is a high chance you will die during the birth,” my mother informs me.

“Can I have those scrolls, please? I want to do some research and have doc go over them too.” Ezra was polite, but there was a coldness to him. This whole Jackson thing seems to have pushed him to the edge.

“Of course, Alpha, I will bring them over tomorrow,” my mother agrees.

My mother and father eventually leave, giving me time to process what they told me. I thought I would finally get answers, but all I got were more questions and an impending death date.

Chapter 45


I can tell Kat is upset with what they told her. She barely says a word for the rest of the day. The fact she can’t leave the house at the moment is also bringing her down.

“What’s going on with you, what are you thinking?” I ask, plopping down on the couch next to her while she stares off vacantly. “Are you upset that Shirley isn’t your mother?” I ask her.

“Mom will always be my mom,” she says simply. “You know what I mean,” I tell her.
She shakes her head. “She raised me, she is my mother,” she says staring off out the window. I touch her hand, and she pulls it away. My stomach sinks. She has been off ever since they left and has barely let me touch her. Ignoring her weird mood, I pull her onto my lap. She scoots off and walks out of the room leaving me staring off after her.

“Kat?” I yell after her as she runs upstairs. Mateo stares up the stairs where she just dashed to before looking at me.

“Everything alright?” I shake my head, before sitting back on the couch and resting my head on the back of it. Mateo sits next to me and drops his hand on my knee. “She is probably in shock, it was a lot of information to take in.”

I scowl at him, he is supposed to be on my side. “True, but she’s shoving me out. This is the time she should be leaning on me. I can’t even touch her without her dashing off like a scared rabbit. She’s been off since they left,” I huff.

“I don’t know, maybe just leave her be for a bit or see if Jasmine can cheer her up?” Mateo suggests.

“Jasmine is at school.”

“Want me to talk to her?” He asks.

I shrug, I don’t care, I want my mate back. “You can try, don’t think it will do any good though.”

“How about I go get some stuff and I will see if Jasmine wants to come and have a girl’s night with her or something?” Mateo offers.
It might work. “Yeah, you do that, while I try to talk to her.”
I tread up the stairs, each step a painful reminder that all is not well with us. Only that morning we’d been so close, and now she is avoiding me. I head to our room. Pushing the door, that I fixed earlier, open. She’s not here. I sniff, trying to pick up her scent before I turn and check the hall.

I follow her faint scent to a door and twist the handle. It’s locked, I growl. What is she thinking? “Kat, open the door.” Her mood I can handle, but locking herself away and hiding from me? That is pissing me off. “Kat!”

“Just go away, Alpha.”

Alpha? That fucking word again. I have never despised my own title as much as when she refers to me by it, and she does, constantly. How many times have I corrected her now?

“What did I say about calling me that? Open the door.” My last words come out in a growl, Maddox is not happy either.

She ignores me. I grumble and stalk off to our room. Jerking the bedside drawer open, I grab the key ring. She knows I have this, why is she being so stubborn? I return and unlock the door, letting it swing open, and observe her.

Kat is lying on the bed, I can smell the saltiness of her tears and hear her sniffle. The rage burning in my chest fades and I take a deep breath. She barely reacts when I take a seat beside her and run my fingers through her silky hair. She turns away and rolls over, trying to escape my touch.

“I understand you’re upset about your parents, Kat. But, please don’t shut me out,” I beg. “I’m not upset about my parents,” she responds with a shake of her head.
Maddox presses forward. Worry for his mate is clouding his mind.

“You can reject me, I understand…” Her white knuckles are tangled up in the sheet and she stares down at the ground. “Just do it,” whispers.


Maddox snarls at her words, his rage bursts out of me loudly. She jumps. “Why is she talking about us rejecting her? What did you do to her?” His rage is laser-focused on me, like I am the one that has caused her to suggest it. I shake my head at him. He would know if it was my fault.

“I don’t know, I am not rejecting her,” I snap at him as he tries to fight me for control.

“Fix it now, or I will,” he growls in a dark promise. I understand what his way of fixing it will be, and I won’t let Kat go through her first time like that, or be remarked without her wanting it.
“Kat, I am not even close to rejecting you. Why would you even think that?” I demand. I try to roll her over to face me, but she’s stubborn and won’t budge.

Why does she have to be like this? Why won’t she talk to me? The more I think about how things are, the more the anger builds inside me. This isn’t just Maddox’s rage, but my own as well. I have been patient, waiting for her only for her to now push me away.

“I don’t know what has gotten into you, but when you want to tell me, come and fucking find me,” I lash out. Getting up, Maddox growls wanting me not to leave her but I needed to leave before my temper got the better of me and I say something I can’t take back.

I head downstairs and into my office. Throwing myself into my work, I try to force myself to calm down. There’s page upon page of Pack business for me to sort through, and when that is settled, I get to focus on patrol schedules. I deliberately set Mateo on one of the longest ones for no other reason than to soothe the irritated beast that continues to claw at me and trying to take control.

As if my thoughts summon him, Mateo wanders into the room and drops in the seat in front of my desk. “Jasmine will be over after school.” He hands me a bag filled with art supplies and I raise a brow. What kind of message is he trying to send? “I got her these for you. This is what Kat wanted from home the other day when she got hurt.”

“Thank you,” I grumble, putting it aside. I am a little upset that he knows that about her and I don’t. It only gives Maddox more reason to rage at me.

“You get her to speak to you?” He questions.

I shake my head. “Not really, and she hasn’t left the room upstairs either. She’s all wrapped up in herself, she told me I could reject her, that she would understand,” I tell him with a snort, before dropping my head in my hands and leaning on the desk.

“Reject her?” He asks, taken aback.

“That’s what she said and she won’t tell me anything else, I also snapped at her. I didn’t mean to, but she won’t fucking answer me.”

“Go take those up to her, it will give you a reason to try to speak to her again,” he encourages, tapping the bag.

“When will Jasmine be over?” I already forgot, I pray she can get answers from her. “After school,” he adds with a shrug. I nod, taking the bag of stuff he got her.
Traveling back upstairs, I find her still in her old room. Damn it. Why there of all places? She’s wrapped up in the blanket like it’s her own personal cocoon. I stride over and scoop her up against my chest.
She stirs, squirming trying to escape me.

I hold her tighter, she’s not escaping me this time. Striding to our room, I drop her on the bed and enjoy the way her breast bounce, dropping her bag on the bedside table. “You want to be mad at me? Fine, do it in our room though,” I scold her. I kick my shoes off and climb into the bed beside her.

Kat tries to unravel the blankets tucked around her, and I pull her to my chest, keeping her trapped.

“Struggle all you want, I am not letting you out until you tell me what’s wrong,” I growl in the direction of where I think her ear is, though it could have been a random body part since she is one blanketed lump.

She thrashes in frustration. “Ezra, let me up, you’re making me claustrophobic,” she whines. I chuckle at her before letting go.

She unravels the blankets before trying to get up and away, I grab her, shoving her back down, and move between her legs. I kiss her cheek, then drag my lips to the side of her mouth before nipping at her neck.

She moans at my touch before realizing what she did and tries to shove me off. “Ezra, stop,” she orders, grabbing my face.

I sigh, leaning on my elbows so I don’t squash her petite frame. “Why? I want you,” I tell her, and it’s obvious she wants me too. I sniff the air and my cock twitches. She can pretend that she’s not bothered by this, but her body says otherwise. It creates the most intoxicating scent and I want to slam her thighs open and devour her.

“I can’t give you an heir,” she whimpers, pulling me out of the lust-filled haze I am slipping into, as strongly as pouring ice-cold water over me would do. I pull back and look at her. Is this what she has been upset about?

“Well, not now, but we will figure it out,” I promise.

“If I have kids I can die, but you need kids to pass your title down. I can’t give you that,” she tells me softly.

“Is this why you have been avoiding me? Because you think you can’t have kids with me?” She looks away and I know I am right. All of that anger is because she thinks she can’t give me an heir? She is worried about me. A silly grin tugs at my lips. “We will have kids, but not anytime soon, you’re eighteen Kat. I don’t expect that of you right now.”

“But you do expect it of me?” she asks, biting her bottom lip.

I sigh, I am appalled that she thinks that little of me that I will reject her because she can’t have kids. “Yes, but not right now, not until we find a way to break the curse, Kat. I’ll never
put your life in danger,” I tell her. My happiness has soured to annoyance that she thinks I only want her to produce the next Alpha.

“And if we can’t?” she insists.

“Then we adopt like normal people do.”

“But they won’t be yours…” she sighs and looks down at the sheet.

“Yeah, just like you aren’t your mother’s Kat, yet that doesn’t stop her from loving you and you her. I am not rejecting you just because you are convinced you won’t be having kids. You are mine and I am yours, nothing will ever change that and I mean nothing, Kat.”

Chapter 46


How can he say that when I know children will be out of the question? I can’t tell him to make that sacrifice for me.

“You say that now, but-” His lips cut off my protest as they devour mine. His tongue sweeps through my mouth, thoroughly shutting me up, for now. Kora has also been quiet, not even she feels deserving of him when we can’t give him the one thing mates are for. “Alpha!” I mumble against his lips before he growls, pulling back.

“Call me that once more and I will turn your ass red, Kat. I am not your superior.” His eyes are like scorching hot caramel as he glares at me.

My face burns and I turn away from his penetrating gaze. “You need someone-“

His fingertips grip my chin, tilting my face back to him, only it is Maddox staring back at me having come forward. Kora stirs nervously, peering out of my eyes. Worry eats at me after last night, but he seems calm enough.

“No more talk of me rejecting you, Kitty, I won’t accept anyone else, you are mine, and anymore talk of it and I will mark you to prove it, understood?” he snarls, his voice so much rougher than Ezra’s.

“Damn girl, piss him off so I can hear him keep speaking in that voice,” Kora purrs, making the sound vibrate out of me. His lips tug up in a smirk.

“My Kitty,” he growls, running his nose across my cheek, I gulp having him so close to my marking spot, before he runs his tongue across my neck all the way to my ear, he sucks my earlobe into his mouth.

Kora’s earlier worry is now gone as she continues purring like a fricken cat. “Stop Kora, remember what happened last time?” I remind her.

“Hey, I was down for last time, bring on last time, just no marking yet. That needs to wait,” she says and I roll my eyes at her, stupid horny wolf. He pulls back, kissing my jaw before pecking my lips and I watch his eyes flicker as Ezra tries to take back control from him.

Kora pouts that Ezra is coming back, before forcing forward unexpectedly. “Alpha!” She forces out my lips before I can shove her back. Ezra moves so quickly I have no time to react, ripping me across his lap.
“It wasn’t me, it wasn’t me, Maddox,” I blurt, after having the air knocked out of me from his swift movement. I wriggle, trying to get off his lap. His hand rubs up the back of my thighs and over my ass when he hooks his thumb under the waistband of my tights, pulling them down my legs. “Ezra!” I squeal, not wanting to be spanked by his bloody wolf.

“Look at what you did!” I yell at Kora, he laughs as my pants slide down.

“I warned you about calling me that,” he chuckles, enjoying this far too much. I turn, looking up, it’s Ezra’s voice now and not Maddox’s. Thank the Goddess. I try to get up when he shoves me back down.

“Ezra?” I squeak.

“Yes?” He whispers next to my ear, his face is so close his warm breath fans my neck making me shiver.

“It was Kora, I swear I didn’t say it,” I explain.

He chuckles and I push off using my feet. His hand grabs my bare ass in a bruising grip.

“Still the words left YOUR lips,” he reminds me, pushing me back down. Kora paces excitedly in my head like this is the best thing she has ever witnessed, while here I am sprawled across his lap, being punished for what she said, not me!

“Wait until I shift, you can smack her not me,”

“Oh, this will be good! Take one for the team, Kit Kat,” Kora purrs.

“Fuck you! You take one for the team, it ain’t your ass!” I argue.

His hand brushes over the curves of my ass, almost like he’s worshiping it. He’s so gentle, there’s no way he’s going to carry this out.

“What is my name?” Ezra asks.

“Alpha! Alpha!” Kora chants and I clamp my lips shut, refusing to utter a word in case she taunts him more or tries to take over just to get her jollies off my soon to be tortured ass.

“No answer?” He muses, I can tell he is smiling by the change in his voice. His hand leaves my backside and I tense. Seconds tick by and nothing happens. I breathe a sigh of relief and a sting spreads over my cheek as a resounding smack fills the air.

I buck and hiss at the sudden burn, and then I laugh. Was I laughing before it hurt? Or because I can’t wrap my mind around the fact he’d actually done it. Kora the hussy purrs in my head, she’s eager for more.
“Stop, that fucking hurt,” I giggle, trying to cover my ass with my hands but he grabs them holding them against my lower back with one hand. My eyes sting with tears from laughing, and the burning sensation of where his hand just branded my ass. His hand rubs over the spot he smacked, tingles spread across my bare ass.

“Are you laughing?” He asks, with a chuckle and a shake of his head.

“No!” I snort, when his hand lifts off my backside again. “I’m not laughing,” I shriek and his hand comes down harder, burning pain radiates across the back of my thighs this time. Yet, I can’t help it. I laugh at the ridiculousness of the situation I am in.

I can’t believe he is spanking me.

“Pretty sure that sounds like laughing,” he snickers, before laughing himself. “This is meant to be a punishment. Clearly, I need to get more creative,” he chides.

Tears escape my eyes, rolling down my face and my cheeks hurt from laughing as I squirm on his lap but he doesn’t let me up. I did not like the sound of that.

“Hmm,” he hums. His fingertips trail up the inside of my thigh, they brush against my pussy.

My laugh dies out as sparks rush south toward his fingers, arousal floods me. I moan as electricity rushes everywhere his fingers graze. The tips trace my slit, stopping just below where everything throbs.

“No, more, more,” Kora whines.

I agree with her there. I want more too. I lift my hips, trying to make him touch that perfect spot.

“So is that a yes? You want me to keep going?” He asks.

For answer I jerk my hips forward, making his fingers graze against my wet skin. He leans down, his mouth next to my ear. “Say yes, Kat or I will stop.”
“Yes!” I groan, my words coming out more like a moan.

The moment the word left my lips, his fingers slide between my wet folds teasingly before he rubs my clit in circular motions slowly. On one hand I am getting exactly what I want, but on another he isn’t doing it right and just torturing me. I whimper and push against him.

“Oh, I believe I just found a new way to punish you,” he teases, before he spreads my pussy lips apart with two fingers and presses against my clit with his thumb in a steady but soft pattern. I need so much more than this.
Chapter 47

My thighs wetter and stickier the longer he caresses me. His fingers dance around my slit, teasing my clit where the pounding is the worst, but not giving me that release I crave.

“Ezra!” I whine. I’m practically humping his fingers and I’ve lost track if it’s me who’s making the movements or Kora who is practically drooling.

“Oh, now you know my name?” He taunts. One finger presses against my clit, with barely any pressure at all and he slowly rubs it in a lazy circle. With his other hand, he pushes the tip of one finger inside me and sucks in a breath. Beneath me his erection twitches like it’s trying to escape the confines of his pants. “What’s my name?” he purrs into my ear, he presses a little harder with his rubbing motion and I gasp, biting my lip.

“Whatever you want,” I pant. I spread my legs, wanting more of that sweet friction. One finger slides in and out of me, making me tremble against him while the other rubs the delicious little circles of heaven.

“Anything?” he suggests with a chuckle. “Are you sure about that, Kat?” He slips another finger inside and scissors them back and forth, slowly preparing me.

I shudder. The faster his fingers thrum against me, the closer I get to breaking apart. But I’m not afraid, I’m almost looking forward to it, and Goddess knows Kora is having a field day.
She is crooning from every touch. “Not daddy,” I growl at him. “I ain’t calling you that ever.”

Ezra chuckles at me and twists his hand that’s inside me so he’s rubbing my insides and curling the two, no, three fingers now. His other hand continues to rub me faster and faster. “Fuck,” he groans and bites his bottom lip. “You’re so wet right now.” He pulls his hand out of me and brings it in front of me, letting me see the strands of my excitement between his fingers.

Kora is bouncing from side to side in our head. The closer I get to losing control the more excited she gets. She pants heavily. “More!” she begs.

“More,” I plead. It feels so good, I don’t want this sweet torture to stop. If this is a punishment I’ll force him to give it to me every day. Sinfully slow, he pushes his fingers back inside me and my walls clench around him, determined to lock him in place.

I’m hitting that breaking point. I pant faster, spread my legs to get that perfect pressure. I moan, unable to hold back. It is happening.

Ezra pulls both hands away from me, and stares me in the eyes. “Call me what you want, just not Alpha. You are more than my equal, do I make myself clear?”
“Crystal,” I pant. I reach for his hand, bringing it back down to me. He starts again, but at a painfully slow pace, keeping me away from that sweet moment I know is waiting. “Ezra,” I whine.

My legs tremble and he pulls away again. In the moment it takes me to huff, he picks me up and tosses me back onto the bed. He follows quickly after, grabbing my tights that are pushed to my ankles, yanking them completely off.

“Ezra?” I whisper, I’m not sure what he’s about to do.

He grabs me by my hips and drags me to the edge of the bed, slamming my knees to the bed. He has a full view of my drenched lady bits.

My cheeks burn like an out-of-control wildfire and I turn my head to the side. I can not meet his eyes while he’s studying me so intensely. He leans forward and kisses just below my belly button. “Kat,” my name leaving his lips makes me squeeze my thighs together to try to stop the ache.

“Yes?” I can do little more than whimper. “Can I taste you?” He whispers the words.
I nod, but he continues to kiss the same spot. “Ye-yes,” I whimper.

He smiles against me, slowly kissing his way down. My eyes flutter with each kiss. I would let him do anything to me right now as long as he doesn’t stop. He leans against my thighs so I can’t close them. I’m trapped beneath him, his prey.

His warm breath drifts over my insides and I whimper and gasp, desperate, but I don’t know for what. His thumbs rub the side of my wet lips, pulling them open.

A strangled cry escapes me, his tongue is tracing my slit, the tip of it is tickling my clit. He only laughs at my predicament and sucks the tiny nub into his lips pressing down on it and humming. I almost go cross-eyed.

He moves away, licking a path down to my entrance. His tongue slowly enters me and he licks and laps at me, moaning as he does so. My legs tremble and my back arches off the bed. I can’t stop my toes curling as his tongue swirls around inside me before he returns to my clit and sucks on it, driving me to that edge I’ve been so close to before.

My cheeks flame with heat, feeling his breath sweep over my lower lips, before his thumbs move, opening me up to him. I feel his tongue run across my opening before dipping inside me, he licks a straight line to my clit and sucks on it. My legs try to clamp shut, but his arms resting on them force them back against the bed as his elbows push my knees flat.

My stomach tightens, my whole body tenses, prepared for what’s coming. My walls clench and he only moves faster. His tongue alternates from diving inside of me, twisting and turning around, or going back to my clit and sucking on it. Soon he uses one hand to tease
and play with my clit, while returning to my entrance. Instead of sucking on me again, he goes back to slipping his fingers in and out of me, curling them at that delicious angle again.

I can’t take it. “Ezra,” I moan. I grip his hair, I’m going to explode if he doesn’t stop. I can’t handle anymore torture.

Instead of stopping, he moves faster. His fingers brush against something inside me and a strangled moan leaves my lips. His fingers work at a frantic pace and I become undone. My walls squeeze his fingers tight and he growls against me.

It is all I need. The vibrations pitch me forward and I break. My eyes roll in the back of my head and my body dances beneath his touch, I can’t control it. My hands fist into his hair and he pulls his fingers away, only to replace them with my mouth. As my orgasm sizzles through my body, he sucks and laps on the juices that leave me until I’m breathless and boneless.

He kisses the inside of my thigh and moves back to the bed. He settles himself behind me pulling me up to him. I can only yawn at his actions, and he chuckles before kissing me. His tongue invades my mouth and my own taste spreads over my tongue.

I wrap my legs around him, tugging him closer and run my fingers through his hair when he pulls back looking down at me. “I love you, Katya,” he whispers.

My chest restricts at his words and my heart flutters in my chest at his words. A silly smile splits my face. “I love you too,” I whisper back, and my heart throbs at what I said, yet I mean every word.

He smiles, leaning his face down and kissing me again, only much softer. I kiss him back, my hands reach for the edge of his shirt, pulling it up, he reaches an arm up, tugging it off and throwing it on the bed, I run my fingers down his chest to his abs. My fingertips graze across the leather of his belt and I tug on the buckle when my name is called from downstairs.

“Kat?” Jasmine yells.

“No!” I groan, annoyed. I love Jasmine, but at this moment all I want is my mate, I want more of what he can give me.

He chuckles and kisses the top of my head, sliding towards the edge. “No, come back,” I beg, wrapping my legs around his waist tighter. “Jasmine is downstairs,” he says, pushing my legs from around him. “So?”
“Come on Kat, tonight I’m all yours, promise,” he says, leaning down and pecking my lips. I sigh and sit up on my elbows. “Promise?”
“Yes, I promise,” he repeats, climbing off the bed and grabbing his shirt.

Chapter 48

I throw some clothes on before stomping downstairs. Jasmine is talking to Mateo in the foyer as I come down. She looks up as we walk down, and she stares at me before her mouth falls open.

“Damn, look at your eyes!” She rushes up the stairs and grabs my face, looking at my now gold freaky ass eyes.

“That is so cool,” she gushes, with a smile.

“Glad you think so, to me, it’s a beacon saying freak!” I grumble, in complaint.

“You’re not a freak, Kat,” she scolds, with a roll of her eyes. She grabs my hand and tugs me down the stairs. Picking up a plastic bag from near the door and rummaging through it. “I brought facials with me,” she announces with a grin.

“Pretty sure that’s a cucumber,” Mateo points out, making me giggle. Mateo shrugs, folding his arm across his chest when she glares at him. “What? It is, I know my fruit and veggies.”

“Yes smart ass it is a cucumber, it goes on your eyes, we have to make the paste that goes on your face.”

“Pretty sure you’re meant to eat the cucumber, not wear it,” Mateo remarks, and Jasmine slaps him on the head with it before tossing it to me.

“How do you live with this fool?” She asks.

“Because I’m charming, and they love my wicked sense of humor,” Mateo tells her, batting his eyelashes at her. He steps closer to me. “Hand it over, I need to inspect it to make sure it’s safe.”

Jasmine rolled her eyes. “Now you’re just being an ass.”

I pull it back from him when he reaches for it, he growls, grabbing me from behind. “Hand it over, Kat,” he chuckles, then freezes, he presses his face into the back of my neck and I hear him sniff me. He then snatches the cucumber from my hand. When Mateo sniffs my neck again, before pulling away from me. I watch his eyes flicker before he sniffs at the cucumber, and turns it over in his hands.

He tenses and glares at Jasmine. She’s startled and takes a step back. “What are you trying to pull?” he growls.
“What?” she demands. “It’s perfectly safe!”

Mateo shakes the vegetable at her and heads to the sink in the kitchen, he runs it under cold water and proceeds to wash it. “Didn’t anyone tell you that you need to wash these things first? Imagine what you could have done to poor Kat. “Goddess, it’s a cucumber, not a sex toy,” she laughs. Mateo laughs, “You use cucumbers as sex toys?” Mateo taunts.

“What no! That isn’t-” Jasmine shakes her head at him. “I can’t with you! You are only tolerable in small doses. I can’t believe I have to put up with you all night,” she says, pinching her brow. “We’ll be best buddies by the end of the night,” he chuckles, sending her a wink. She raises an eyebrow at him.

I double over giggling at him as he finishes washing the thing. “Are you getting a facial too?” I croon at him.

“Um, no, I am not wearing food on my face,” he says with a shudder.

“I thought you wanted to join our slumber party? You and Ezra have them all the time, right?” I mock. Jasmine cackles at him, crossing her arms with a smirk on her face.

“You did say you love slumber parties,” Ezra says with a laugh. “Fine, but Ezra is joining us,” Mateo adds, smirking back at him.
Ezra puts his hands up, backing away before making a run for the back door. Mateo tosses the cucumber at Jasmine who shrieks, catching it before he rushes past her only to stop next to me. He lowers his head next to my ear. “And don’t think I don’t know what you and the Alpha were up to before we arrived, naughty girl, you reek of lust and sin,” he laughs, and my face heats before he hears Ezra fumble with the back door.

“Nope, if I am getting one, so are you!” Mateo yells and chases after him, tackling him to the ground. Jasmine shakes her head as they wrestle. Ezra tries to escape Mateo’s clutches as Mateo pins him face down, pressing his knees into his back.

Jasmine laughs at them before grabbing my hand and tugging me around the counter next to her. “We need bowls.” She tugs me into the kitchen. She sets the bag on the counter and rummages through it, pulling out oatmeal and other ingredients, mixing them together. “I got movies too,” she adds, while continuing to mix the paste.

She points to the bag as she hunts for suitable bowls and I open it, pulling one of them out. “Legally Blonde? Really?” I ask.

“What? I like it. It’s a good movie on girl power!” She chirps, and I roll my eyes at her.

“Mateo will approve then, you two have similar taste,” I giggle, eyeing them just outside on the back patio, Ezra was not going to win this one.
“Wait, Mateo likes chick flicks?” She asks, setting two glass bowls on the counter, she spoons the mixture into the two bowls.

“Yep, made me watch The Princess Diaries when I first got here.” I dropped my voice like I was relaying some horrible torture session.

“Oh, that’s one of my faves, we can watch that afterwards,” she says, bouncing excitedly on her heels.

“Yep, you are two peas in a pod,” I tell her, with a chuckle, before watching Ezra sulk past us about having to join in. “It’s not that bad Alpha,” she taunts him, as she watches them both leave the kitchen. She ducks her head out the door, and turning back she has a devious smile on her lips. “What?” I question, when she comes back over to me.

“Got any glue?” She asks, cackling again. Whatever she is up to, it’s not going to be fun for the recipient. I point to the dry mixture still left. I grin, grabbing a tube out of the cupboard.

“Tarzan grip,” she snorts, snickering and popping the cap off it.

“You’re not putting that on Ezra,” I snap at her, she shakes her head glancing at the door quickly.

“Not even I am stupid enough to prank the Alpha. Mateo on the other hand…” she cackles, squeezing the tube into one of the bowls and mixing it. “Have you got any food dye?”

I nod, checking the pantry and coming back with green food dye. She tips a heap in turning the concoction dark green and mixing it through.

“We need gloves. I don’t want it sticking to my hands” She objects. I grab two pairs of dish gloves. “Why two pairs?”
“It will look suspicious if you only wear gloves to do him,” I reply. I should feel sorry for Mateo, but hey, he had made me watch that stupid movie, and likes to push my buttons. This is only a small sampling of payback.

“Good thinking,” she nods and we both put them on.

“We need to be quick before it dries and sets in the bowl,” she whispers, laughing. I grab the two normal bowls, as she grabs Mateo’s special mix.

We walk out with the bowls and cut up pieces of the cucumber, setting them on the coffee table. Ezra doesn’t look impressed at all about having to participate, and he groans when we come out. Jasmine keeps a hold of her bowl so he doesn’t get a chance to glimpse into it.

Mateo has been sneaky while we were gone. He holds up the DVD I’d been looking at before, the first on our list. “Ooh, I love this movie!” he squeals, racing over to the DVD player.
“Two peas!” I mouth at her and she chuckles, shaking her head at me.

Mateo grabs the remote, pressing play before sitting on the lounge, he reaches for one of the bowls and sniffs it then dips his finger in it, tasting it. “Tastes like porridge only lumpier,” he comments with a shrug.

“You don’t eat it, now sit back,” she orders, setting the bowl he has back on the coffee table. She moves behind the couch while he leans his head back, shutting his eyes.

He reaches over beside him and slaps Ezra’s chest. “Come on, don’t be a spoilsport,” Mateo demands.

Ezra groans, but puts his head back. I grab a bowl about to walk around the back of the couch too when he grabs me, pulling me onto his lap so I straddle him. “Ezra!” I yelp.

“They don’t care,” he says simply, I look over, but Mateo is too busy talking away to Jasmine, oblivious she is gluing his face, and Jasmine is too busy, red-faced trying not to laugh at her latest piece of artwork.

I settle on his lap, covering his face in the safe concoction Jasmine made. “That feels so nasty and cold,” he whines, as I rub it on.
Jasmine uses the entire bowl on Mateo’s face and both of them look like they have been covered in lumpy baby vomit. Jasmine takes her bowl to the kitchen, returning like nothing suspicious is going on, she winks at me as she sits down.

I quickly do Jasmine’s face and she does mine. It is nice to do something like this with a friend. It’s been so long, I’ve almost forgotten what having a girlfriend is like. I’d missed it more than I’d realized.

A loud crunch jerks me out of my thoughts. I look at where the cucumber slices had been. They’re gone. Another loud crunch leads me to the culprit. Even in his state, Mateo is dipping them in the mixture and munching away.

“What? You can’t watch the movie with them on,” he lectures.

Jasmine shakes her head and rolls her eyes before sitting next to him on the couch. I sit between Ezra’s legs, leaning against him to watch the movie. His fingers play with my hair while he forces himself to endure the movie.

We don’t get too far into the movie before Mateo starts complaining. “This crap is itchy and my face feels like I’ve got lockjaw,” he whines, opening his mouth wide and stretching his face.

I press my lips together, trying not to laugh and Ezra leans forward eyeing me. I keep my eyes straight ahead and he sits back. “Mine is not itchy.” He carefully points out.
“Mine is itchy as fuck, like I got crabs on my face,” Mateo whines. “You’ve had crabs?” Jasmine asks him, before snickering.
“No, I was just saying— ah it really itches.”

“Saying that you got crabs and they burn and itch,” she teases.

“No, this stuff burns, and it itches. Maybe I am allergic to it?” He suggests.

“If you were, you would be dead because you ate half a bowl of it,” Jasmine snorts at him. “Are you sure yours doesn’t itch?” He asks, glancing at Ezra who studies him.
Ezra shakes his head before speaking. “Why are you so… green?” “What?” Mateo asks. His eyes darting between us.
“Am I green?” Ezra asks Mateo and he shakes his head.

“I must be reacting to it,” Mateo sighs and Ezra nods in agreement. Jasmine and I try not to laugh or do anything that will get us found out. “Yours isn’t itching?” Mateo checks again, trying not to touch his face.

“Nope, mine feels fine, just a gross sensation like my face is melting off,” Ezra tells him. “Mine feels stiff, argh the itching. I need to wash it off, it’s really bad.”
Jasmine and I chuckle, and I put my head down before I’m caught. Ezra wraps his hand around my hair, tugging my head back gently.
“Kat?” Ezra’s voice comes through the mindlink. “Did you do something to Mateo?” “No…”
He huffs. “Did Jasmine do something to Mateo?”

“Maybe,” I reply with a mental giggle. He shakes his head.

Mateo jumps off the couch, nearly tripping on the rug as he races out of the room. “I gotta get it off, I can’t handle the itchiness!” He shrieks, rushing to the downstairs bathroom.

Jasmine bursts out laughing, and so do I.

“What have you girls done to my Beta?” Ezra demands.
Jasmine holds a finger in the air. “Any minute now,” Jasmine cackles. “One…two,” “What the fuck is this shit?” Mateo howls.
Jasmine and I erupt with laughter. Jasmine rolls on her side holding her tummy, wheezing as she tries to breathe, tears rolling down her cheeks.

“What did you do?” Ezra asks, before laughing himself.

“Tarzan grip and food dye,” Jasmine manages to wheeze out between bouts of laughter.

Mateo comes out of the bathroom, the stuff still stuck to his face when he notices us laughing at him. Ezra also laughs at his horrified face, while he looks like he is about to go on a rampage. “You! You did something, didn’t you?” He accuses, pointing a finger at Jasmine. Her face is purple from laughing harder at his accusation. Mateo growls and his fists clench.

“Settle down, Shrek,” she cackles. “My cheeks hurt from laughing,” she whimpers, rubbing them.

Mateo moves toward her, and she jumps up, ducking away as he tries to grab her. “What is it? What did you put on my face, Jasmine?” He demands.

“Tarzan Grip and food dye,” Ezra snitches.

“You glued my face?” Mateo asks, with a growl in his voice.

“Yes, because you’re so charming and have a wicked sense of humor,” Jasmine blurts out before laughing.

Mateo lunges at her and she shrieks, darting off. “Get back here and get this shit off my face!” He screams, chasing after her. We listen to him chase her around the house while she squeals and giggles, trying to escape him.

Ezra shakes his head, hopping up. “Come on, let’s get this off and Kat, mine better come off,” he warns.

“I wouldn’t do that to you,” he smirks. ” I have to be seen with you!” I tell him, with a giggle.

He drapes his arm across my shoulder, pulling me toward the stairs when a furious Mateo comes toward us with Jasmine over his shoulder. He marches into the bathroom while she continues to laugh non-stop. Her whole face is red and tears stream down her cheeks. She clutches the door frame as he tries to drag her inside with him.

“Help Kat,” she shrieks, laughing while Mateo pries her fingers off.

“Bye Jasmine,” I chuckle and her fingers slip off the doorframe and she disappears in another fit of giggles.
“You’re not leaving until this is off my face and I am no longer green,” Mateo snaps at her, as we walk up the steps. Jasmine cackles at him and he only growls in response.
Chapter 49

“Do you think it’s a good idea to leave those two alone?” I ask, as we walk upstairs. “Mateo won’t hurt her.” Ezra shrugs nonchalantly.
“I wasn’t saying he would hurt her!” I bite back my laughter.

Ezra seems to think for a second, catching what I meant. “Definitely not a good idea, but they are both adults, Kat. Mateo won’t do anything to make her feel uncomfortable,” he assures, pulling me into our room.

“I thought you don’t like the idea of messing with other Pack members?”

“I don’t, but they can make their own choices. Mateo lost his mate and Jasmine hasn’t found hers yet, it’s not that big of a deal.”

My brows furrow. That is not what he told me previously. “Well, you changed your tune,” I tell him.

“Mateo deserves happiness, besides I prefer him focusing on safe things rather than on those that are off limits,” Ezra adds, making me look at him, as I dig through his drawer and steal one of his shirts.

“Off limits?” I ask, confused.

“It doesn’t matter, Kat. Jasmine is safe with him, that’s all that matters,” he huffs.

I nod, but I was never worried about her safety. Mateo is a good man, and I know he would never do anything to seriously upset her.

Ezra’s arms wrap around my waist and he presses his face on my shoulder, rubbing the face mask all over me.

“Gross, you’re getting it in my hair!” I yelp, pushing his face away as he rubs his face in my neck deliberately, wiping it on me. “Ezra!”

He chuckles, kissing my neck before steering me toward the bathroom. He flicks the light on, then wets a hand towel in the sink basin and starts scrubbing his face with it.

“It’s fucking everywhere,” he mutters, wiping it off and splashing his face with water. He reaches over, grabbing me and pulling me in front of the mirror.

I laugh at my reflection. It looks gross, like mushy rice bubbles covering my face. I take the cloth, rinsing it before washing my face. Ezra tries pulling the mushy lumps out of my hair.
“Do you think the color will fade?” I ask him, staring at the odd color of my eyes. Ezra reaches around me, washing his hands that are covered in the goop from my hair, before resting his chin on my shoulder.

“Does it matter if they don’t? You’ll always be beautiful to me,” he murmurs, kissing my cheek, as his hands wrap around my waist. One hand moves underneath my shirt, caressing my stomach.

“Yeah, but people will stare. They will know something is wrong with me,” I pout.

He pauses for a second, realizing what I am saying, that people can find out about what I am just by looking at me.

“We will think of something. You can always wear contacts,” he suggests and I nod at his words, leaning against him. His hand underneath my shirt moves higher and his palm skims the underside of my breast, squeezing it gently. His other hand sneaks inside the waistband of my pants, his fingertips slipping beneath my underwear as his fingers rub my slit. A soft moan escapes my lips, as his lips travel down my neck, while fingertips rub my clit in slow circles.

“I want to mark you. I want everyone to know you’re mine.” He whispers against my neck between sucking and kissing my skin.

His fingers tease as they move between my folds, soaking wet with my juices. His hand inside my shirt squeezes my breast and I move my hips against his hand, seeking that blessed friction again. He shifts, bringing his hand, slick with my wetness, down between my legs and strokes my entrance, pushing a finger inside me. I whimper at the loss of his touch and move my hips to ride his hand, desperate for some sort of friction to take me to heaven again.

His teeth graze my skin as he nips at the spot where his mark will be. He adds another finger, and I moan at his touch, his tongue traces a path across my neck and I shiver.

Kora stirs to life, pressing forward eagerly. “Hello, Kora’,” Ezra whispers, making me wonder how he knows she is so close to the surface, when I see my eyes burning brighter, almost fluorescent. My eyes are eerie looking, I shake my head when she tries to tell me something, shoving her out, I’m creeped out by the sight of them.

Ezra chuckles, his hand slipping out of my pants before he turns me around. He grips my hips, placing me on the sink basin. “Lift yourself,” he orders, gripping the waistband of my pants and he slides them off, tossing them over his shoulder.

He stands pushing my legs apart, moving to stand between them and tugging my shirt off over my head. He showers my shoulders and chin with kisses before leaning forward and claiming my lips. One hand pulls me closer to the edge, while the other unclips my bra. His lips devour mine as he nips and sucks almost urgently, I push him away when his hardness presses against me, a bit too close for my comfort.
“I am not losing my virginity on a sink basin next to the toilet,” I scold. It doesn’t stop him from grinding against me.

He drags his canines down my neck and across my shoulder making me shudder. “No, you’re not losing that next to the toilet,” he chuckles, pulling back and shaking his head. His hands go under my thighs as he lifts me.

I wrap my arms around his neck and my legs around his waist. He rolls my hips against him, so much for our shower, I think to myself, when I feel the mattress suddenly under my back as he places me on it.

Pressing himself between my legs, he pulls back and I notice his onyx eyes, before they flick back to his gorgeous caramel ones.

A shiver runs down my spine as he dips his face into the crook of my neck, his tongue dancing over it, before he sucks hard on one spot. His teeth prick my skin as they lengthen and turn to sharp points.

“Let me mark you?” He mumbles against my skin. I pull his hips closer. “Kat?” He says, pulling back and looking down at me.
“It will hurt.”

“I will be gentle,” he says, pecking my lips.

“Pretty sure, there is no gentle way to bite somebody,” I point out, and he chuckles. “It will only hurt for a second then,” he whispers.
“Yes, because you have so much experience in marking someone.” I roll my eyes at his single-minded devotion.

“Well, no but I hear it feels good after a few seconds,” he defends, kissing my lips and nipping at my chin. Kora keeps trying to force forward, trying to interrupt us but I force her back every time. This is my moment, not hers.

His hand trails down my side, and he presses himself against me, making me moan softly. “So, is that a yes?” He asks, grinding himself against my throbbing entrance.
“Yes!” I breathe.

His lips trail over my neck as he inhales my scent. Kora tries to push forward again, going ballistic when his canines press against my skin, they are sharp like razors.
Kora forces forward, breaking the barrier between us, and shoving toward the front alarmingly fast.

“He can’t, not yet, we have to be outside!” She screams.

“What?” I ask her, slightly panicked, but it is too late. His canines sink into my flesh, so deeply they hit bone, a cry leaves my lips as agony tears through my shoulder and neck.

Kora is shoved back, her voice an echo in my head as his saliva enters my bloodstream, the bond is forging.

Tears run down the sides of my face at the sudden pain and black dots dance in front of my vision. His teeth leave my skin and he runs his tongue over my mark, tingles erupt everywhere, but not enough to stop the darkness smothering me, I can’t move, my body becomes paralyzed.

“Kat?” Ezra whispers. His lips brush my cheek, and he pulls back when I say nothing.

“Fuck! Kat?” He panics and I try to speak, but everything goes black. My entire body feels like it is on fire, catching alight. My blood is blazing in my veins, Kora slowly returns, squeezing through the veil back to me.

Chapter 50

“Sorry Kat, but you’re just going to have to endure it. I wanted to prepare you before this happened.” Kora sighs, her voice floating to me in the darkness.

I try to ask her what she means, but I can’t speak through the pain. My nerve endings are on fire.

Her voice drifts away from me, out of reach. Pain similar to the curse ravages my body, only it doesn’t end. I see no end to the pain when I am suddenly drifting, floating in the abyss.

The darkness ripples like a stone, skipping along the water. A picture flickering in front of my eyes grows larger before I am thrown into it, forced to become a part of it.


It is the same place, the place with wolves dying in the field. I know because I recognize the man’s eyes, it is the black wolf that she saved first.

“Marabella,” he says, cupping my face, his hands warm as he sits me up. He has long, dark hair that hangs to his shoulders.

A large scar goes from his hairline to his jaw that makes his eye crinkle, even with the scar he still looks beautiful. It just makes his features more prominent, more manly. I look around to see the wolves that are healed, and shifting back, yet I feel heavy, my limbs not cooperating.

Men and women are screaming for their loved ones who can’t be saved. Children clutching the dead bodies of their parents. “I tried, I tried, but I couldn’t, Micha. There are too many,” I tell him. Though I know the words aren’t mine as they leave my lips, but that of the woman I have become.

“I know my love.” He cups her cheeks. Her sadness is bleeding into me and I can feel her anguish, feel every emotion coursing through her.

“She’s awake!” People start murmuring, rushing toward me, and crowding around us.

“Tell her to save them, tell her Alpha, she needs to bring back my son.” A woman in her thirties says, clutching the man’s arm. I shake my head.

“I can’t, I can’t save them all.” I tell the woman, clutching his arms. Micha shoves her off before scooping me up. People crowd around trying to grab and pull on me, and he starts walking but they don’t stop. Their hands are grabbing and touching while they scream for me
to save their loved ones. My head is ripped back as someone grabs my hair. Micha growls before spinning around and kicking the man in the chest with me still clutched in his arms.

He starts running, zipping through the trees and into the forest. They give chase, trying to catch us. Yelling and screaming, enraged that their loved ones wouldn’t be saved. The picture ripples, I feel a rush, the vision flickering ahead pulling me into a new time, once again my surroundings change.

Pain, intense gut-scorching pain makes me scream. My abdomen cramps and I look up, I am in a cave. I look around disorientated. A fire is off to the side of me and a bear skin lies under my hands, I clench it for dear life before screaming through the pain again.

“That’s it my love push, push,” Micha encourages, pushing my legs wider. I scream, gritting my teeth and pushing, pressing my chin to my chest as I do, panting through the pain before I hear a cry. A baby’s cry of life.

“It’s a boy, it’s a boy,” Micha says excitedly, holding the baby up to show me. He places it on my chest and I stare in awe of him, when the pain starts again and I scream, gritting my teeth with a violent urge to push again.

“What’s happening?” He asks as I scream, the pain once again unbearable.

“There’s another one,” I choke out, pushing before feeling the baby slide out the birth canal, Micha grabs it in his hands, looking down at it before he looks up frightened. “No,” he murmurs, shaking his head. “Is the baby alright?” I choke out, reaching out to see.

“It’s a girl,” he gasps, looking down at the baby in his arms. “She will be cursed too,” he whimpers, his voice breaking as he looks at his daughter with fear in his eyes.

Voices come from outside the cave, Micha hands the baby to me, forcing me to hold both, looking behind him into the darkness of the cave.

“They found us, get up Marabella, get up!”

“I’m tired of running, I can’t keep running, Micha,” I cry, when he pulls me to my feet, the babies clutched in my arms. He severs the cords attached to the babies with his claws. “Push, you need to run,” he demands, tugging on the remainder of the cords.

“No, I won’t leave you,” I cry.

“It’s not about us, you need to keep them safe, keep her hidden, so push,” he pleads, looking up at me. “We need to get the placenta out, push my love, please,” he begs, I shake my head, tears streaming down my face but I do as he asks while he tugs gently, it is the grossest feeling as it leaves my body.

Blood runs down my legs. The voices grow louder as they enter the cave. Micha looks around frantically as he pulls my skirt down and pulls me to my feet, my belly aches in protest. He forces me to stand.
“Run! You need to run for me,” Micha orders, pushing me to the back of the cave. He lets me go and I stop, turning to face him.

“Not without you,” I argue, clutching his arms while holding both our babies.

“We don’t have time. They have humans with them. I love you, now go!” He demands, pushing me to go deeper into the cave.

“No!” I cry, when he steps closer, he clutches my face between his hands, his lips crash down on mine before he pulls back kissing both the baby’s heads.

“I’m sorry, my love, but I won’t let you die, I won’t let them take them,” he says, before his aura rushes out, so strong that it nearly brings me to my knees.

A whimper escapes my lips as I try to fight it. “Micha no!” I sob.

He clutches my arms, holding me steady. “I’m sorry, I love you.” He presses his lips to my forehead, pulling back, his eyes glistening with tears. “Run! Keep them safe,” he roars, forcing the full weight of his command on top of me, crushing me before it’s too much and I run.

The voices grow louder inside the cave before I hear his bones break as he shifts, my legs grow weary as I run through the cave before I see a tiny pinprick of light in the darkness ahead. It grows bigger the closer I get to it. I hear fighting and vicious growling coming from behind me, but I keep going. I burst out of the cave and into the forest, fresh air surrounds me, and the cool breeze makes me shiver.

My legs push me through the forest ahead and I don’t stop, not until I feel his tether snap.

My neck sears with pain, I know my beloved is gone. The severing of the mate-bond and crushing pain ripples through my chest bringing me to my knees, as the force behind his command also snaps.

The two tiny babies clutched in my arms scream as my body heaves with sobs, their cries ringing out into the forest.

Voices drift to my ears and I spin around, they are hunting us. Adrenaline courses through me, he died for them, died for us all. He would not die in vain.

Looking at the babies he gave his life for, I force my legs to move as I stumble through the forest. I have a promise to keep and I will die before I break it.

The picture flickers before flashing forward yet again, my surroundings once again morphing into another vision.
This time I am in a field, a boy with dark curls hanging down his back chases after an equally dark-haired girl as they play. I watch from the hill where I sit in the grass amongst the wildflowers.

“Micha!” I yell and the boy turns around. He looks around twelve years old and he runs over to me before falling on the grass next to me. The girl picking flowers amongst the high grass looks up and waves to me. The boy and I wave back.

“You must keep her safe, keep her hidden, and don’t let her use her power, they will hunt her,” I lecture him.

“The Pack, but we haven’t seen them in years now, mother.”

I cup his cheek, my thumb brushing his skin. “No son, from everybody, even the humans, everyone. Trust no one for they will take her from you.”

I tell him, and he nods. “Why are you telling me this?”

“Because you’re getting sicker, and you are my son. I promised your father I would protect you and I keep my promises.”

“I don’t understand,” he tips his head to the side trying to puzzle out my words. His eyes are bright with love and trust. The world hadn’t stamped them out of him yet, but one day it will.

“You will, for you hold my heart,” I tell him, patting his chest where I see the scar. It is dark gray, looking down, my chest is the same, only glowing brightly blue, an identical scar running between the valley of my breasts.

“Is it because of her, the one who cursed you, mother?” The boy asks.

“She didn’t curse me, she blessed me with the gift of life, but it comes with a price, a price I will pay, a price your sister will pay if she is not careful.”

“How is it a gift when it is taking you from me?”

“Because without it I wouldn’t have either of you,” I answer, clutching his hand.

“But can’t you ask her for more time? What did you promise her mother? I don’t want you to go.”

“I promised her my heart for yours and she granted my wish, so that means you have to live for me, live for your sister,” I explain before coughing.

“Why would you promise her your heart for mine?” he whispers.

“Because it was already broken to begin with, but you, you will make it whole again,” I explain, before coughing, blood covers the palm of her hand and I clench it into a fist.
“Go and play with your sister, be a good brother to Katarina,” I tell him. He nods.

“And Micha?” He stops looking back at me. “Gosh, you remind me of your father, I love you, son, I love you both so much,” I tell him and he rushes over, wrapping his arms around my neck, and hugging me before running off to play with his sister.

I watch them play for a bit before the coughing starts, only this time a lot worse. I fall back on the grass, staring at the clouds before I gasp and I smile. “Thank you,” I whisper to the Moon Goddess, when everything goes dark.

The picture disintegrates, and I am tossed forward again, but now stopping as the vision awakes. I am standing on some wooden platform in the center of a village with my hands tied to a wooden pole. People yelling, screaming, and throwing things at me.

“Witch, witch, witch!” They chant.

“Katarina!” I hear a man scream out amongst the crowd.

My eyes scan the crowd when they land on a man, identical to Micha, though different. His shirt is slightly open, a glowing fluorescent blue scar on his chest, identical to the one Marabella had on hers. In his arms, he clutches a baby.

“Take care of her brother,” I mouth to him. His face stained with tears, he nods once, disappearing into the crowd before the podium on which I stand is set alight. My dress catches fire and I stamp my feet, trying to put out the flames before stilling, knowing it’s useless and I look up at the sky.

“Pray for her, Seline. Pray for my baby girl,” I whisper to the sky.

I close my eyes, glad for her safety, knowing he will keep her safe. Within seconds my body is engulfed in flames, making me scream before I am thrown out of my nightmare screaming in agony.

My eyes focus on the room, and I look down frantically patting my clothes, when hands grab mine. My breathing is heavy as I try to catch my breath, and tears burn my eyes as the pain of her death ebbs and flows like a tide.

“Kat? Kat!” Ezra says frantically, clamping his hands on my face. He sighs, putting his head down. “Thank the Goddess,” he murmurs.

I feel like I just lived all their lives, lived through their deaths.

His words anger me for what she has forced my family to endure, for what I just witnessed and felt.

“Fuck the Moon Goddess,” I spit, trying to catch my breath.

“Kat?” Ezra gasps, he looks down at me, appalled by my words but I don’t care.
I have done nothing to her, yet I am cursed by her. I have to watch and endure the horrors this curse has caused, live with their anguish and fear as if it were my own.

“You don’t mean that,” he says, I shake my head and go to speak when he clamps his hand over my mouth. “You don’t mean that,” he repeats, his words could cut like a knife, they are spoken so sternly, his eyes hold mine before he jerks me forward, crushing me against his chest. “I was terrified, I thought I killed you. That was the worst few minutes of my life,” he says, rubbing my back.

“Few minutes?” My brows furrow. I had to have been out longer than that. It felt like I had been trapped for all their lifetimes, more like decades, or centuries even, had passed me by.

“Yes, you were only out for a few minutes,” he answers, rocking back and forth with me clutched to him.

Hot tears spill down my face. I want to forget, want to unsee what I saw, want their deaths to no longer linger, burning and tainting my soul. “Why did she show me that?” I ask Kora. It makes no sense to me, they didn’t die like my mother did or grandmother.

“It’s just the beginning, Kat.” Kora answers softly.

“I don’t understand.”

“You will in time but for now rest, because at midnight we shift.” “We shift?”
“Yes, Kat, that’s why I didn’t want him to mark us yet.” “Why?”
“Because it’s not a Full Moon tonight and we will be weaker, we haven’t had time to recharge.”

“I still don’t understand.”

“Shifting in a full Moon is quick… It won’t be quick, Kat,” she says sadly. I know shifting for the first time is painful, but for her to be worried just scares me more.

“Kat?” Ezra asks, worriedly, I shake my head trying to wrap my head around the horror that has become my life. I clutch him, hugging him back, letting his scent calm my racing mind.

“We will survive the shift, Kat. Ezra’s bloodline is strong, his DNA runs through our veins now, we will survive, we just won’t want to,” Kora warns.

A chill runs up my spine at her words. We won’t want to? A blessing, how is any of this supposed to be a blessing when everything I feel only tells me it’s a curse?

Chapter 51

So much for rest, Ezra felt bad that marking me knocked me out. I don’t have the heart to tell him it will also be forcing my shift.

We watched the hours tick by, it’s amazing how long a minute can feel when you’re waiting for something. Every minute passing by raises my anxiety and Kora is not helping, only scaring me more.

I tried asking her about the visions, but she only said we would keep having them, that she couldn’t control them, and that they are brought on by change and by the Moon.

Not even she understands the dreams. She couldn’t make sense of them either, yet she said they felt familiar to her.

“I’m really sorry Kat, if I had known it would cause you to pass out, I would have waited like you wanted,” Ezra apologizes. We have been sitting in the room for hours now, the silence making my anxiety about what’s to come way worse, I need a distraction.

“It’s fine, either way, it would have happened eventually just try to sleep,” I order.

His hand lazily traces up my arm as we lay in bed. “I can’t because I can feel you’re upset over it, I ruined the night, and killed the mood.”

Little does he know, I am not upset about him marking me, I am upset I’m about to shift. I need him to go to sleep so I can sneak off without him knowing. I don’t want him to see me like that, I also don’t want to make him feel worse about marking me.

“Maybe ask your mother to meet us,” Kora suggests. “And you’re sure you can block him out?” I ask her. “I think so, we can only try.”
“It’s fine, I’m fine. Let’s just sleep, you didn’t ruin anything,” I say, snuggling under the blanket. Ezra eventually drifts off an hour or so before midnight, so I mindlink my mother.

“Mom?” It takes her a few seconds to answer and I can tell she is half asleep. “Mom.” “Kat? It’s late honey what’s wrong?”
“Can you meet me at the border where I hid on the Pack run?” I feel her foggy mind become alert in panic.
“What’s going on? Do I need to wake your father?” She questions.

“No, I just need you, please. Kora is going to shift,” I explain, I definitely don’t want my father coming, no girl wants their father seeing them naked.

“Where’s Ezra?” she asks with a yawn.

“Asleep, I haven’t told him.”

She absorbs my answer in silence. “I will be there soon, I love you.”

“Love you too,” I tell her, cutting off the mindlink. Ezra snores peacefully beside me. I move out from under his arm that is draped over me.

“Maybe put your pillow there, it will have our scent on it,” Kora suggests and I nod at her words. He cuddles it, and once I am sure he is sleeping soundly, I quietly slip into the closet and tug on some jeans and a shirt before sneaking out of the Packhouse.

I hear no movement in the house, so Mateo must be asleep and Jasmine must have gone home. I feel bad I didn’t say goodbye to her, but knew she would forgive me.

The forest is dead silent, and it looks like it is going to rain by the low-hanging clouds blocking the stars and making the forest even darker.

“No Moon tonight, it’s going to be a rough night,” Kora says, as we walk through the forest.

“Shouldn’t you be giving me a pep talk? Pumping me up for this moment?” “That’s what I have been doing all night, preparing you.”
“More like scaring me, seriously you would suck at motivational speaking.” “Gosh, you’re such a downer, I was just explaining,” she says with a huff.
I manage to pick up my mother’s scent halfway through the forest and follow it, knowing she is already there and waiting for me.

I look at my watch and see I have three minutes until midnight. I am still at least twenty minutes from the meeting spot.

“We aren’t going to make it to her, you need to run,” Kora panics.

“Maybe we should have told Ezra?” I suggest, as I start running through the forest. “Too late now, besides Maddox is pissed off with Ezra!” she replies, with a wince. “What, why?”
“Because he wanted to mark you.”

“He does realize they are the same person right?”

She shrugs and I shake my head at her words. His wolf is slightly unpredictable, but there is also something else, I just can’t figure it out, something is unnerving about him sometimes.

I can smell rain as I run through the forest. “Two minutes, Kat,” Kora says, but I am already running flat out. It is impossible and I know I am never going to make it to her.

“Mom, I won’t make it to you,” I say through the link.

“I will find you, just keep moving,” she reassures me, before cutting the link.

I run, adrenaline pumping when Kora suddenly goes eerily silent, like she just vanished, my mind is silent for the first time in days. I jump over a log, trying to get to my mother when I feel it.

The first snap of bone.

My ankle snaps as it comes into contact with the ground, making me fall forward. A blood-curdling scream tears from my lips as pain shoots up my leg.

“Kora!” I cry out to her, before the bone snaps back in place, making me cry out again. I force myself up and start running only to clutch a tree when tearing pain ripples up my spine, making black dots dance in front of my vision, pain radiates across my ribs as I feel my spine rearrange itself, and my back arches.

Gasping for air, I collapse on the ground. The bark of the tree splinters into my hands as I slide down it, when I feel my wrist snap. The unbearable pain takes my breath away, and glimpses of images flash in my vision, of the Moon, Marabella, of Katarina. I try to focus on the images, anything to not focus on the pain, when I feel fur brush against me and my mother’s voice flits through my head.

“I’m here baby girl, I’m right here,” she says and I feel her warm hands grab me.

I feel my neck twisting and cracking, my entire body set alight like it is a raging inferno, every nerve ending on fire.

“Kat, focus on my voice, talk to me, baby. I am right here,” I hear my mother tell me.

Those were her last words I hear as I am sucked under, the white light is so bright I think I am going to be blinded by it. I can hear my scream echoing around me, when everything goes black.

Just when I think it is over, on the brink of begging the Moon Goddess to end me, to put me out of my misery, the pain recedes a little, and I am certain I’m dead. That I will finally be free
of the torturous pain, that is when the visions start. I watch every first-born female of my bloodline die and relive their deaths as if they are my own.

My life is taken, again and again, only to come back and die as the next generation, the more I see, the more I feel something is off. The only one to die during childbirth was my grandmother. I know she is my grandmother because of her resemblance to my mother. Nothing my mother told me made sense, and none of her claims were proven.

“No more, no more,” I beg and plead to the Goddess, to Kora, to anyone, as I feel the next one start.


I am in a room, a bedroom with light pink wallpaper, when I hear a familiar voice. They appear to be arguing with me, the dream sucking me in, and I turn to face the woman. Shock hits me when I see her. The woman yelling at me is my mother.

“You think I asked for this, I never wanted this, Shirley!” I scream at my mother.

“You ruined my life, and now you’re taking my mate. Haven’t you taken enough from me? I have always lived in your shadow, Katherine. I’ve always been the forgotten one, always second to you.”

“He is my mate too! How many times do I have to tell you this? I am not giving him up just because you don’t want to share. I have given up enough already, do you know how much it killed me to do that, to throw my fate away? I won’t give up anymore, we have to share.”

“Share? My life has been solely based on you, always helping you. So for once, do the right thing by me and give me my mate. I refuse to come second with him. I am done living in your shadow!” she screams furiously.

“Shirley, just stop, I am not arguing with you over him. We called off the wedding for you to get used to the idea, we are having a baby for goodness sake, I am not going to give up my mate for you,” I tell her, turning to leave the room.

“He’s not yours!” My mother screams, before punching me. Her fist connects with the back of my head. I stumble forward into the mahogany dresser, just managing to catch myself before I fall.

“Shit! Kath, I didn’t mean it, I’m sorry,” she says, grabbing my shoulders. I push her away with my hand, just wanting her to leave, shocked she would hit me.

“You need help, Shirley, I can’t believe you would do that,” I tell her, rubbing the back of my throbbing head. I stagger out of the room and into a hallway with pink floral wallpaper and the gray carpet that is soft beneath my feet.

“I didn’t mean it,” she says, clutching my hand. “Please, Kath. I don’t know what came over me.” I shake her off, rubbing my huge baby bump. “Katherine,” my mother pleads.
“No Shirley, I am done with your jealousy, either accept it or leave,” I tell her, walking toward the staircase at the end of the hall.

I hear a growl before spinning around. My mother rushes at me with an enraged look on her face, one I had never witnessed in my life.

“Shirley?” I scream, but it’s too late. Her body smashes into mine and I feel myself falling. My heart skips a beat in pure panic as one hand goes to my round bump, needing to protect it. Everything feels like it is in slow motion as I try to grip the handrail on the stairs. My fingertips slip off and I am thrown backwards down the stairs. My head hits the stairs first before I roll, pain shoots up my spine. A loud snapping sound echoes in my ears, pain radiates up my back as I continue to roll down the stairs, landing on my stomach.

My mother’s frantic voice screams out at what she has done before she rushes down the stairs.

“What have I done, what have I done?” My mother frantically cries as she rolls me over, clutching my face, she starts fussing over me, her hands checking my body.

“Shirley, call the doctor. Get Derrick,” I cry out, pain radiates through my abdomen, my breathing comes in gasps. But I can’t move, not a muscle, only endure it and pray she gets help.

She shakes her head, frantically looking around, cupping her mouth in her hands. And I don’t understand why she isn’t helping me, tears stream down her face. “You’re okay, you’re okay, you just need to get up,” she tells me, trying to lift me, my body is floppy, dead weight in her arms. “Come on, you’re fine. You’ll be fine,” my mother cries.

“Derrick, get Derrick,” I murmur and she sets me down, looking off somewhere.

“He will find out, I can’t have him find out,” she mutters, as she glances back down at me. Her eyes move over my body from my face to my feet.

“You’re bleeding,” she shrieks, but the room is growing fuzzy, my entire body tingling. I try pleading with her to get the Pack doctor, but the words don’t leave my mouth, I can’t feel my legs, can’t feel anything but pain from the waist up.

“He can’t know, he can’t know,” I hear her say, her voice getting lower, I feel a tear run down my cheek as I fight to stay conscious.

“Forgive me sis, I didn’t want this to happen,” she whimpers, clutching my face. Her face is blurry through my tears, when she lets go. I feel pulling, I try to clutch her arm, my fingers falling from her arm as I try to move. Then I feel the worst sort of pain as my flesh tears, I scream a mangled, tortured scream, gasping in pain when I hear a man’s voice.

“Shirley, what have you done?” I hear their voices becoming soft murmurs as my hearing starts to leave me.
“Alpha, it was an accident. You need to help me, help me get the baby out,” she begs.

Footsteps grow closer before I see my old Alpha, although he is much younger, not as much gray taints his dark hair, there aren’t as many lines dawning on his face. He peers down at me, and I blink to clear my vision of the tears, praying he does something, yet no words I want to say leave my lips.

He crouches down, lifting my shirt, and he looks sideways at my mother, when I feel his claws tear through my flesh. He then rises to his feet, his claws covered in blood, while my mother hovers over me, eyes focused on the task at hand.

I feel pulling from inside me, and more unbearable pain, before I hear the sound of a baby cry.

My vision is going and I can’t breathe. The last sound I remember is hearing her cry. My precious baby, I think before everything goes black.
Chapter 52


Something tugs at my chest, and I roll onto my side, my mind trying to decipher why I am waking, trying to recognize what is different since we went to bed. We? That word lingers in my mind and at how cold the bed suddenly feels. I stretch feeling for Kat, my hand hitting the empty space of the bed where she is meant to be.

I wake with a start, sitting upright in a panic. “Kat?” I call out to her, glancing at the bathroom door that is wide open, the light is off. I toss the comforter back, get up, and look in the bathroom and closet, flicking all the lights on. I look out the window and see it is still dark outside. The alarm clock on the nightstand says it is 4 AM.

“Where are they?” Maddox growls, stirring and coming forward with me. “Why can’t I feel her?” he asks, suddenly.

I stop, trying to pick up her emotions, trying to feel for her location when I hear a
blood-curdling scream. Panic courses through my veins, when suddenly I am smashed with pain, making me stagger backward landing on my ass. Maddox tears through the blockage Kora has put up to shield us.

Scrambling to my feet, I rush from the room, just as Mateo darts out of his room, hearing the scream too.

“Find Kat, fucking find her!” I scream at him, as he races toward me skidding on the floorboards. Jasmine comes out of his room, half undressed behind him when I hear another blood-curdling scream.

Maddox forces the shift as we get to the bottom floor and runs through the house, smashing through the glass doors leading out the back. The doors shatter, raining glass down on us as we race toward the forest.

“Kat!” I scream through the mindlink, but get nothing except silence as I try to figure out which direction her scream came from.

“She is in here, I can feel she is close,” Maddox says, running in the direction I can feel the bond pulling us to. Mateo and Jasmine are on our heels as they too race toward her, following us.

My heart hammers, trying to make sense of why she would be in the woods. Maddox slows when we hear footsteps. We stop, our claws digging into the soft earth and I feel her getting closer.
“Where is she?” I mindlink as Jasmine and Mateo both stop, looking into the trees frantically.

Shirley steps out of the trees, collapsing with Kat in her arms. Kat’s clothes are torn and she is muttering incoherently.

I shift back, grabbing her from Shirley while she tries to catch her breath.

Sweat coats Kat’s hair, her skin is warm, and blood drenches her when she suddenly screams, her bones snapping and rearranging while she is in my arms.

“Kat?” I speak, brushing her hair from her face, she starts muttering, again saying different things that make no sense to me. “Hang on, baby,” I whisper to Kat, scooping her up in my arms, she cries out as her bones start cracking and I start running, clutching her tightly to my chest.

Shirley and Mateo follow behind me. Just as we hit the backyard I drop her, her body becoming scorching hot, it feels like my arms are on fire and she has caught alight. Her skin burns mine, I drop to my knees beside her, trying to pick her up, but her skin is too hot to touch.

“What’s wrong with her?” I mutter to myself, frantically looking down at her, trying to soothe her pain, trying to reassure her that I am here with her.

Maddox howls in my head at her distress and my stomach sinks as she writhes, begging us to kill her, begging me to put her out of her misery.

“Kat, tell me what’s wrong baby? I can’t help you if I don’t know,” I tell her, trying to rouse an answer out of her. I pull her eyelids open only to see white, her gold eyes glaze over when she whispers one word. “Katherine.”

“She is shifting,” her mother says, finally catching up to me.

“I can see that. How long has she been like this? Why is it taking so long and why didn’t you tell me?” I demand.

“Four hours, it started at twelve. I was trying to get her back here, but her skin, she gets so hot,” she stammers, clutching her knees as she tries to catch her breath.

Growling, I turn back to my mate. I grab Kat, her skin blistering mine making me let go. She screams as her spine starts cracking, ankles snapping, and her clothes begin to strangle her as her body twists with the pain.

Mateo shoves me aside gripping the neckline of her clothes, tearing it, and I don’t have time to even think of her nudity as he tears what’s left of her shirt down the middle. He hisses as his fingers brush her scalding hot skin.

She curls into a ball, clutching her stomach and wailing, begging us to end her. “Help me with her pants,” I order him and he grabs her shoulders, rolling her back onto her back. I
struggle with them, her skin pinches the waistband so tightly as she tries to shift that the button is cutting into her flesh.

“Stop, Kat, I need you to hold still,” Mateo whispers, clutching her face in his hands.

“Mateo, your hands are blistering!” Jasmine shrieks and I glance at his hands, my fingertips are bleeding as well from her skin or the power beneath it burning us.

Turning my head, my eyes fall on Jasmine’s grief-stricken face. “Mateo?” Jasmine says while he ignores her, trying to soothe Kat, while my fingers, slick with blood, struggle with the button of her pants.”Mateo!” Jasmine yells at him, grabbing his arm.

He shakes her hand off. “I don’t care, Jasmine, she is more important,” Mateo snaps at her. “Get your father!” I yell at Jasmine. She nods, rushing toward the Packhouse.
I yank her pants down her legs, some parts are burned and melting to her skin, Mateo hisses as he helps peel them off her skin, when she screams again the sound tears at my heart.

“Kat? Can you hear me, baby?” She just writhes and thrashes, screaming in pain “I’m going to force your shift.”

“What, are you nuts?” Mateo yells, looking at me.

“Shirley said she has been like this for four hours already, her pain can’t get much worse. I can force the shift, take her out of her misery,” I explain to him.

He shakes his head. “You can’t do that to her,” he argues, when she suddenly screams. Her back arches off the ground, white light, so bright it burns my eyes, appears, as her eyes open. Light fills the night sky from her open eyes and mouth, it burns brightly from within her.

I cup her face, trying to soothe her. “Don’t you do it, Ezra,” Mateo warns.
I growl at him. “She is my mate, back off Mateo. I won’t let her suffer anymore,” I snap at him and he looks away, not able to meet my gaze. “I’m sorry, my love,” I tell her before getting up. Her back falls onto the grass as she thrashes in pain, rolling on her side. Her bones snap, and shift back into place, but don’t complete the transformation.

My aura ripples and Maddox whimpers at what I am about to do. I press it down on her and she whimpers, curling into a ball. ”I’m sorry, Kat,” I whisper, before clearing my throat and shoving the full weight of it over her. “Katya Hartley, I command you to shift!” I yell at her, my Alpha aura rushes from me, and her body arches and spasms while she screams, the sound so tortured it breaks my heart.

Shirley steps closer, and I shove the full force behind my command, her mother clutches my arm trying to get me away from her.
“Katya shift!” I command, when her agonized scream reaches a new level. The noise is so loud I cover my ears, unable to handle it. Her pain smashes into me when I am blinded by the light. I jump away from her, the ground burns my feet and Mateo leaps back as well. The ground burns when I hear every bone in her body break simultaneously. Her screams are deafening and I lose sight of her as I stumble back, tripping over Shirley behind me.

I squint through the light when it suddenly goes black. I’m blinking while my eyes try to adjust to the darkness and I find her.

I gasp at the sight before me, and Mateo echoes the gasp. She is magnificent, her wolf is white as snow except for her gold eyes burning brightly. Her fur, pure white, is glowing and it has a blue hue to it. It shines that brightly.

“Kora!” I gasp and she shakes out her fur.

“Hello Ezra,” she greets, shocking me when she doesn’t use her mindlink but actually speaks.

I get up and intend to go to her, when I look down at the ground around where she stands. It is black, and the earth is burnt. A huge round circle burned into the ground surrounding her.

I take a step forward when I hear her howl, before hearing the snapping of bones. She shifts back and I rush to her, grabbing her as she tries to catch her breath. Her hands tremble as she grabs a hold of me like I am her lifeline, clutching my arms, her nails bite into my flesh as she clings to me desperately. I pull her toward me and into my lap. My legs are burning from the hot ground, but I don’t care, I need to make sure she is okay.

“Kat?” Her mother cries, racing over when Kat flinches and pulls away from her, burying her face in my chest.

A surge of fear flows to me through the bond from her.

“Kat!” Her mother cries, her daughter’s body shudders against mine and she whimpers. Shirley reaches for her hand, Kat turns her head and growls.

“Get away from me,” she growls out, her voice shaking terribly as she clings to me, almost as if she wants to crawl inside me so I can protect her. I look to Shirley wanting an explanation as to why Kat is scared of her. Kat’s entire body shakes violently and Mateo comes over to us.

Mateo crouches beside us, his hand brushing her hair from her face, her hand grips his arm, her nails drawing blood and he growls, turning his head to glare at Shirley, which is where my eyes go too.

“I think you should leave, Shirley,” Mateo snarls and Shirley looks at her daughter. Kat pushes her face into my chest, looking away from her while still gripping Mateo’s arm.
“Make her go away,” she whispers, her voice so soft I nearly miss her words. I nod, kissing her head, I have no idea what happened between them but if Kat wants her gone, I will see to it.

“Leave!” I order her and Shirley whimpers from the command, then darts back into the forest. Kat lets out a shaky breath.

“She’s gone, Kat,” Mateo tells her, prying her hand off his arm and placing it against my chest. I pick up Kat’s naked body, clutching her to me, and Mateo grips my elbow, helping me stand.

“Did she hurt you, Kat?” I ask, walking toward the Packhouse. Kat doesn’t answer, just breaks down crying in my arms, she clutches onto me. I look at Mateo when I hear the front door of the Packhouse burst open and I remember I sent Jasmine to wake her father.

“I will deal with Mathias,” Mateo offers, running inside the house.

I follow, climbing the few stairs onto the patio, and walk into the house. I hear Mateo talking to Mathias somewhere inside the house but ignore him, walking toward our room. Climbing the stairs, I worry when she still doesn’t speak. Instead, she just cries and I can feel her heart breaking. Over what? I have no idea, but I know she will tell me when she is ready.

Right now my only priority is getting her to calm down and to the safety of our room.
Chapter 53


Grief struck me, the feeling of betrayal, disbelief, and shock tear away at my soul. She lied!
She said my mother died in childbirth, but in reality, she killed her. The woman who raised me killed my mother, her own sister, and my father’s mate.

Was everything she ever told me a lie? Was I just a convenience to her to make it look like an accident? How could she do that? Her own flesh and blood.

My entire body is shaking. I can’t wrap my head around it. My thoughts run rampant, refusing to shut off. I just keep seeing her enraged face coming towards me on the stairs, I can’t stop hearing my mother’s pleading voice as she begs her to get a doctor.

“Tell me what’s wrong, love. Are you in pain? I can’t read you, your emotions are everywhere,” Ezra pleads, making me focus on my surroundings.

We are back in our bedroom. Daylight is breaking out the window casting the sky in a pink and orange hue.

“What time is it?” I ask, a little shocked.

“Finally, how do you feel? I have been trying to get you to speak to me for hours,” Ezra tells me, kissing my hair and his arms tighten around me.

“What time is it?” I repeat. My mouth is so dry, probably from screaming all night.

“It’s just after 6 AM,” he answers, pulling me to him and cuddling against the top of my head. 6 AM? Seven hours passed since I walked out those doors downstairs.
“I’m sorry, I had no choice. I knew it would hurt, forcing you like that. I’m so sorry. Why didn’t you wake me? Why would you go in the woods alone in the middle of the night?” He asks a million questions, pulling me onto his chest as he lies down.

I don’t want to talk about it, I just want to forget everything and have my mother back. After what she did, I would never be able to forgive her. I just want to forget the visions, want them taken away.

I want my life back.
“Kat, don’t cry, please. You have done nothing but cry. Tell me what’s wrong?” Ezra pleads with me, giving me soft little kisses.

I shake my head, climbing off him, I feel gross. I can smell the dirt and my blood as it stains my skin from my shift, yet I have no wounds which is weird, I never heal. Ezra, noticing me examining my skin, clears his throat.

“I gave you my blood, which was quite difficult to get an unresponsive person to swallow,” he tells me.

“Will that happen next time?” I ask, worried I am going to be torn apart every time I shift.

He shakes his head. I sigh, feeling a little comfort, before climbing off the bed. The blankets and sheets are covered in my blood.

Ezra watches me for a few seconds before noticing my gaze, and he hops off the bed.

“Go shower, I will change the linen, then will you talk to me about what’s really bothering you?” He asks, I say nothing.

Another thought crosses my mind. How do I tell my dad? It will break him. I don’t know if I can tell him that. Not only one mate would have been lost to him, but two.

“Kat?” Ezra murmurs, as I turn and move toward the bathroom. Walking to the shower I open the screen, turn the shower on, and remove what is left of my clothes. I step under the hot water and let it wash away all the dirt and blood. If only it could do that to the haunting memories that ruin my life. The bottom of the shower turns red and brown from the muck coating me. I scrub my hair and my hearing picks up Ezra and Mateo’s voices, talking in the bedroom. Despite myself, I strain my hearing to hear what they’re talking about.

“Is she alright?” Mateo demands.

“She won’t tell me anything,” Ezra growls. “Nothing important anyway, nothing about what’s eating her and making her throb with guilt.”

I can’t tell him, he will banish her, I know he will. As much as I hate what she did, she is the woman who raised me, she is my mother.

Which just makes up my mind about my father, I’m not going to ruin him and what’s left of our family. I will just have to carry this secret, keep it to myself. My life is already falling apart, I don’t think I can handle my family breaking too.

Wetting my face under the water I try to regather the pieces of me that I know will never be the same again.

“Are you okay?” Mateo’s voice questions behind me. I hadn’t even noticed their little discussion breakup. I glance over my shoulder, prepared to throw a shampoo bottle at him, and see him leaning on the door and staring at the wall.
“Yes, I am fine,” I answer.

“You don’t sound fine, speak to Ezra, Kat. He feels bad enough, don’t leave him in the dark,” Mateo begs.

“Where is he?” I question, glancing back at him, only to see his eyes run up the length of my body before meeting my gaze. I raise an eyebrow at him, he smirks knowing he was caught checking me out and his eyes return to the wall.

“He’s grabbing fresh linen,” he replies calmly.

“You done staring perv? I see you are no longer green,” I observe, finding some of my normal snarkiness.

“Just enjoying the view and yes, Jasmine helped get it off,” he retorts, making me chuckle.

He looks away again and I am glad I have my back to him, he clearly has no problem looking. Though Ezra refused until I verbally said he could, the thought makes me shake my head and smile.

“What’s so funny?” He asks. “Nothing,” I tell him, he sighs.
“Jasmine went home, she said to tell you she would come by tomorrow,” I nod at his words, when I hear a growl.

“We are just talking, Alpha,” Mateo says.

“Can you talk when she is clothed next time?” Ezra snarls. There’s a wall of rage behind his words.

Mateo leaves and I grab the shampoo wondering what got into him. Nudity isn’t a big thing in werewolf communities, though I still preferred to be clothed.

Ezra mutters to himself as he makes the bed, while I wash my hair and rinse it out, when the shower screen door opens. Ezra steps in behind me. His hands go to my hips and he tugs me back against him.

“I don’t want you naked in front of other men, Kat. Why didn’t you tell him to leave?” He demands, I am a little shocked at how angry he sounds and how tight his grip is on my hips.

“It’s just Mateo. Geez, not like he hasn’t seen me naked before,” I answer, with a roll of my eyes at his grumpiness and he growls.

“Especially in front of Mateo. You are mine, I won’t share you,” Ezra snaps, making me turn around.
“What’s got into you? He’s our friend. If you’re going to be a dick, I will leave and stay in another room,” I reprimand him.

He sighs, wiping a hand down his face. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to take my anger out on you,” he says, taking a deep breath.

“Goddess, possessive much?” I demand.

“You have no idea, you are mine, Kat. Nobody else’s,” he growls back.

“I am not going anywhere, so calm down,” I tell him, as he lets out a breath, pulling me to him. Having had my entire life turned on its head, the last thing I need is to be fighting with him too. I grab the soap, washing his chest. He seems to calm down, his breathing evening out as he stares down watching me.

“Are you going to tell me why you made me make your mother leave? You had no problem sneaking off to go to her, and sneak out on me,” he complains.

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I answer with a shrug and he sighs. He goes to say something when I stand on my tippy toes and kiss him, cutting off his words.

“Kat?” He mumbles around my lips, as I wrap my arms around his neck, tugging him down so I don’t have to balance on my tippy toes like a friggin’ ballerina.

He pulls back and I huff annoyed at his height towering over me, I need a step ladder.

“Tell me, Kat, I want to know,” he says. My fingers tug on his shoulders, and he leans down again, pecking my lips softly. I jerk him toward me, taking advantage of him dipping down. I kiss him harder, refusing to let go and he gives up and stops fighting me. Instead, picking me up so he doesn’t have to bend to kiss me back. I wrap my legs around his waist.

“Kat?” He says around my mauling lips, becoming annoyed as I ignore him, instead kissing his jaw and nipping at his neck. “Tell me, Kat,” he urges, letting me go but I remain in place, my legs securely wrapped around him as I cling to him like a spider monkey.

He grabs my ass when I don’t let go, hoisting me up higher so my elbows rest on his shoulders.

“You’re hiding something, I can feel it. Something you don’t want me to know,” he accuses, holding my gaze.

I look away from him because he is right, yet I still can’t bring myself to tell him, I don’t want any harm to come to her. She is my mother, I love her even though she betrayed her family.

“Kat?” He says, making me look at him.
“It doesn’t matter right now, I don’t want to talk about it, I want something else, something promised to me,” I remind him, kissing and sucking his bottom lip into my mouth.

His lips part granting me access and I brush my tongue against his. He groans into my mouth, kissing me back harder, his grip on my ass tightens as he squeezes it.

It doesn’t take long before he is taking control of the kiss. His tongue sweeps through every inch of my mouth and I moan softly, excitement zips through me.

Ezra fumbles with the taps, turns them off, then steps out of the shower. My lips trail down his neck and I nip at his marking spot and an overwhelming urge to make him mine washes over me. I want to mark him.

My teeth graze his skin, and he shivers when he grabs my hips and unwraps my legs from around him, placing me on my feet.

I growl at him and he chuckles, handing me a towel. I dry myself annoyed, while Ezra laughs at my pouting.

“Are you hungry?” He asks and I raise an eyebrow at him. I definitely wasn’t hungry for food that’s for sure.

Ezra drys his hair, running the towel over it. I step closer to him running my hand down the front of his chest and down his abs to his V-line, he grabs my hand before I can wrap it around him.

“Kat you just shifted, you should rest.”

“I feel fine, I don’t need to rest.” He arches an eyebrow at me. Letting go of my hand, his lips tug up slightly, his eyes flickering black before returning to their normal mesmerizing caramel color.

“Just jump him, we can take him,” Kora purrs. She also wants us to mark our mate, and claim him as ours.

“Really you think so, Kora? Is that a challenge?” He asks, my face heating at his words, knowing he can now hear her is going to be so embarrassing, especially when she doesn’t shut up and seems to have no filter at all.

“I don’t need a filter, that’s what you’re for,” Kora responds, listening to my thoughts, I shake my head at her.

“She is eager.” Ezra smiles, while listening to her.

“Yes, I am. Now move over, Kat, if you won’t hand that V-card over, I will for ya,” Kora offers. Ezra laughs at her filthy mouth.
“Fucking stop, you hussy, you wouldn’t even know what to do with him,” I tell her and she starts purring. I cough and try to get her to stop and clear my chest which is vibrating, when she suddenly presses forward and takes control, she all but throws me toward him.

Ezra grabs my arms to steady me. “That’s my bad that time, Maddox is taunting her,” Ezra admits, making me look up at him, wondering what Maddox was saying to her.

“What did he say?”

“Nothing your ears need to hear.” His hand trails up my back as he pulls me closer. Standing on tippy toes, I try to reach his lips and he smiles.
“What’s wrong shorty, can’t reach?” He teases, and I glare at him.

I jerk him forward and lift my leg, tapping his ankle and making him stumble. He catches himself on the bed before he growls.

“Get him!” Kora purrs, and I roll my eyes at her when air rushes past me. A squeal leaves my lips as he flips me and I find myself flat on my back on the bed. Ezra stands next to my head in all his naked glory, his cock just above my face.

“Nice try, you are no match for me short stuff,” he says, cockily. Leaning down over me, he braces his arms on either side of my head.

I grab his arm using his momentum against him, he jerks forward and I wrap my leg around his shoulder, and roll, forcing him onto the bed pinned beneath me.

“Hmm, I like this position,” he says, biting the inside of my thigh next to my vagina. I look down at him, realizing I am practically sitting on his face naked. He tries to flip me off but I move, twisting and wrapping my legs around his arm, he chuckles slipping out of it, easily.

“You are stronger than you look, little mouse,” he coos, pinning my arms above my head and pushing between my legs. I wrap my legs around his waist.

“Good genes,” I answer with a grin.

“Really? It wouldn’t have anything to do with the fact my blood now runs through your veins?” he teases.

“Maybe a little,” I admit.

He tries to unwrap my legs from around his waist, but I squeeze tighter. He struggles while laughing, “Are you trying to de-man me?”

“Just showing you who the stronger sex is,” I tell him with a chuckle, as he tries to unlock my legs around him.
He jams his fingers in my ribs, my legs instantly unwrap from around him as I try to escape his tickling and prodding fingers. He grabs my ankles, jerking me back toward him.

“So much for being stronger.” He teases, kissing my lips softly. His nose runs across my jaw to my neck, as he inhales my scent. He nips at my neck where my mark is before sucking on it. Fireworks rush over my entire body, the sensation makes my insides pulsate in anticipation, a moan escapes my lips, and he presses his weight between my legs.

His hard length presses against my thigh and twitches.
Chapter 54
His body presses firmly, but cautiously onto mine, so as to not make any sudden movements that will easily startle me. He settles between my open legs, his eyes hazed with love and lust.

The thought of him pressing against me makes butterflies erupt in my belly, and heat rises from inside me, threatening to spill out.

And, of course, Ezra notices my nervousness as he settles his weight on me. “You’re safe with me,” he murmurs.

For some reason, that eases any lingering tension around my shoulders, and my heart skips a beat as I stare at him again, the nervousness ceases, and instead, another emotion builds in me when my tongue goes to wet my dry lips. I want more of what he’d given me before, to feel that delicate balance between being totally treasured and ready to break into a thousand pieces.

He watches, mesmerized. His eyes snap back to me, and I tilt my head to the side, staring at him through my long lashes.

Ezra, seeing I am not shying away, leans down, and his lips are on mine. Just like the first time he kissed me, electricity zaps through me, igniting my body like an open flame. Time seems to stop for everything but for both of us, the fluttering feeling in my stomach only intensifies. All I can focus on is how addicting and soft his lips are against mine. My inner walls clench as our tongues greet each other in an erotic dance, this time as equals.

I bring my hands up to cup his face, his rough stubble scratches lightly against the palm of my hands. A groan escapes his lips, and it sets off something in both of us.

It takes my breath away when he nibbles and sucks on my skin. I bite my lips to stop my moan as he trails his tongue down my sensitive neck. His lips move across my neck to my shoulder before moving lower. Before I can even let my nervousness and shyness set in, he latches onto one of my nipples, squeezing the bottom of my breast. His other hand flicks and plucks my other nipple, giving them his undivided attention.

His hand tugs my leg up, and I wrap it around his waist. His mouth lets go of my puckered nipple with a pop, his eyes on me like a starving wolf. His hand moves over my thigh to my ass, and he gives it a squeeze, his teeth continue teasing my nipple, as he rolls his hips against me, pressing his impressive length against me before his lips move lower.

He has awoken something in me that has been slumbering until his touch brought it to life. His hand rubs my pussy like before, and my lips part in a silent moan.

I can die right now, and I wouldn’t complain.
He rubs my clit in tight little figure eights, and my body temperature rises, getting hotter until I am writhing under him. I am panting, utterly unaware of anything but his fingers as he parts my lower lips. I almost come undone when his fingers come into contact with my bundle of nerves. Shamelessly, my legs fall open for him, all I need is more of his touch.

He slowly eases two fingers into me and hisses, pulling away from my nipples. “Fuck. Kat, you’re so tight, no matter how often I play with you.”

My arms wind their way around his neck, holding tightly onto him as I admire the beautiful man above me. He plants a soft kiss on my lips, almost like he is asking if I trust him without speaking the words, he withdraws his finger from my pussy. I watch, blushing, as he sucks on his fingers one by one, my juices that coat his long digits are lapped up like he can’t get enough. He groans, almost rolling back and his erection pushes harder into me.

His rough hands lay on my shoulders on the plush bed cover, and I relax under him. He growls in approval, his eyes sweeping possessively over my body.

He pushes my legs apart and gazes at my pussy, already a wet mess for him. He continues to stare like a man possessed, he can’t tear his eyes away from it. Admiring it like it is a great work of art by one of the Masters, I see his Adam’s apple bob, his eyes focused only on me.

“Your pussy, Kat,” he murmurs a growl, and I gasp when he settles between my legs, his lips brush my pussy. “Is going to be the death of me.”

My cheeks burn at his dirty words, the sparks zapping all the way up my spine. I want sweet relief, but I know he will take his time.

Two large fingers of his left hand go to spread my wet slit, with a finger from his right he rubs my clit in solid circles. I clench hard onto the silk bed sheet, whimpering and thrashing my head while a shock wave rocks through my body.

“That’s my good girl,” he mumbles. Lowering his head, he laps, licks, and nibbles. His mouth sucks hard onto my pussy, bringing me to new heights as my hands find their way into his hair, holding him in place.

“Yes,” I moan, my hips rolling up to meet his lips, my eyes flutter to the back of my head, and my back arches off the bed. My other free hand goes to grab the back of my thigh, lifting it higher, almost presenting myself up like a gift to him. “Ezra, please,” I beg. I want more, need it like I need air to breathe.

He growls softly, the vibration makes my walls tremble, his hand moves down my offered thigh, the other gripping my hip, pushing my leg higher up so it rests over his shoulder. His tongue delves deep into my body, curling, twisting, and dominating it. I can’t control my moans as he pushes me higher and higher.
My hips move against his mouth, he slides a finger inside me, curling it upwards before adding another. His fingers stretch me, building up the friction, causing my skin to heat while he sucks my clit. His fingers slide out of my pulsating pussy, slick with my arousal.

A breathy moan leaves my lips, and he adds another finger, sliding them out before plunging them back into my soaking wet heat. I roll my hips and ride his fingers while he sucks my flesh.

My skin heats up, and my stomach tightens as he curls his fingers inside me, hitting that hard-to-reach place that he always seems to find so easily, and makes my legs quiver.

I reach down, my fingers sliding into his hair and I cry out as my orgasm ripples through me, washing over me in waves, my walls clench his fingers. He slides them out and dips his tongue back inside of me, lapping and sucking up my juices. His nails dig into my legs as he devours me, leaving me breathless when he kisses my clit and moves up my body.

He positions himself between my legs, his cock sliding between my wet swollen lips as he leans down kissing me. He forces his tongue into my mouth, making me taste myself on him.

I kiss him back, pulling him closer, when he kneels between my legs. A smile rests on his handsome face as he looks down. I swallow the lump, as his physique is revealed to me. His chiseled abs, his muscular arms with broad shoulders. He is the whole Package and more.

There is no time for me to hide my forming blush at the sight of his fully erect cock. It is swollen, red, and hard, pointing straight up against his stomach. I have no idea how he is going to fit inside me without splitting me wide open. There is no way.

I tense and he moves closer to me. His hand covers my breast and he rolls my nipple between his fingers, focusing only on giving me pleasure. He pinches it and my head falls back against the pillows. I moan and he puts my hand over his, letting us both guide him toward my entrance. He rubs the tip against my wetness and I tremble.

His eyes stay locked on mine. Slowly, he unwraps my fingers from his and brings my hand to his lips, gently kissing my knuckles. “If it hurts too much, tell me,” he orders, in a husky voice in my ear. He leans down and kisses my jaw before moving back, watching as his tip slowly sinks into me.

I try to move my hips to help the process, and tense as I hit a wall. My eyes water as if someone has hit me. I clench them shut and my body trembles as I grip his arms. He goes completely still before sliding out.

“I’m not going to lie, it’ll hurt a bit, but if you tense it’ll be worse. You need to relax Kat, just breathe, baby,” he encourages, leaning down and pressing his forehead to mine. I let out a shaky breath I hadn’t even realized I was holding. My body relaxes and I open my eyes, tears slipping down my cheeks.

“Please tell me it’s in,” I choke out, and he chuckles, shaking his head.
“Not even the tip,” he breathes, and I nearly choke at his words when he kisses me again, pushing back slightly, and I wiggle beneath him, trying to get away from him. I knew he was big, but the burn, by the Goddess, my pussy is on fire.

Ezra stills, letting me get used to the feeling of him stretching me before slowly pulling out and thrusting back in. With each thrust, he goes a tiny bit deeper, forcing more of my body to accept him.

My hands go to his shoulders and my nails sink in as he continues to pick up his pace. He pushes in more, the pain almost paralyzes me. Ezra senses it and kisses me. As if he is trying to take all the pain away and apologize simultaneously. His warm, pulsing cock is seated snugly in my tight canal, neither of us moving as he allows me to adjust to him.
Though it hurts, it also feels so right having him inside me.

It’s tight, but my body slowly adjusts, the pain lessens. A ribbon of it still hangs on at the fringes, but I can focus on a new heat as something inside me comes to life and grows. Sparks of desire race through me. The instinctive knowledge that our bond is kicking in and this only serves to bring us closer. “Mo-more,” I whisper.

He doesn’t hesitate. His speed picks up and he goes deeper, until his body rocks up against mine. He cups my cheek tenderly. “That’s it, Kat, it’s all in now,” he praises me.

A weak smile tugs at my lips. I move my hips against his, trying to match his pace. There is still a dull pain, but beyond it, as he thrusts up and into me from this angle, he’s rubbing that oh-so-perfect spot inside that makes fireflies dance before my eyes.

His tongue trails into the crook of my neck, lightly biting down on the mark that proves I am his.

I moan and lose myself to the moment. The closer I get, the wetter I become, and the easier it is for him to slide right inside.

Ezra growls softly, letting me move against him. “That’s it, baby, just keep moving,” he whispers against my neck. His hands grab my hips rolling them against him. My whole body is electrified with every thrust. My body accepts him, stretching and taking him all in. A louder moan leaves me, I’m so close. I’m ready to explode.

“I’m not hurting you, am I?” He breathes, next to my ear, and I shake my head, my hand tugging at his hip, wanting him to move faster. He grabs my legs and shifts them to his shoulder and leans in, squishing me but pounding even deeper than before. My knees are pressed against my chest and Ezra grabs my nipple, grazing it with his teeth.

I stare up at him, and Ezra pulls back to smile at me, gently kissing me again. “Ezra,” I moan. I’m almost afraid of this angle, I’m so vulnerable to everything he could do to me.

“Still good?” he checks in. He’s panting, sweat trickling down his brow. Oh, he’s holding back, for me. “I can slow down, or not go so deep.”
Warmth fills me as I reach down and grab my thighs, pulling myself apart for him. A deep rumble escapes his chest and he kisses me hard, before he picks up his pace. I let him have free reign tossing my head back, taking all of him.

One of his hands goes to my breast, playing with and teasing my nipple, while the other reaches in between the tight space between us, and he presses down on my clit as he rubs it. The pressure is so divine I cry out, it’s not a moan anymore, I think it might be a line of worship.

His hand moves faster, and I move against it, seeking that blissful peak that’s so close. My insides clench around him, he picks up his pace in response.

“Fuck! That’s it, baby,” Ezra groans, sweat trails all over his body. He cups my hips with his hands and slams into me, harder and faster than ever before. Pain is a dull memory since he keeps teasing and playing with me. His cock hits my g-spot from this angle and I scream into the night, nails digging into him as I hit my peak.

While my orgasm rushes over me like a breaking wave, Ezra’s fangs sink into my flesh, prolonging the sensation and my pussy quivers around him. I turn towards his neck, the overwhelming urge makes my gums tingle before my canines protrude and I sink them into his skin.

His blood fills my mouth, as they tear into his flesh, through muscle, before a strange rush rolls over me, crashing into me, like the flick of a rubber band as the other half of the bond solidifies, his emotions rush into me full force.

Ezra holds me to him, his grip is tight when I feel his cock twitch inside me, finding his own release. I pull my teeth from his neck breathless. Ezra’s face rests against my collarbone, he kisses my skin before pulling back and looking at me and pressing his lips to mine softly.

“I love you.”

“I love you too,” I tell him, trying to catch my breath, as he pulls out and lets my trembling legs down.

He sits up, pecking my lips, and walks into the bathroom when I hear him curse.

I drape my arm across my face, my entire body is bogged in exhaustion. All I want is to sink into the confines of the mattress and lose the world for a little, while I recover from whatever that was.

Ezra returns and something warm and wet presses between my legs. I hiss at the faint pain and move my arm. He’s cleaning me, as gently as he can. He leans over and kisses my forehead. His worry thrums through my bliss like an invader, I can’t escape it, the foriegn sensation has to belong to him.

“What’s wrong?” I ask him, his worry is so bad I think he might make himself sick. It makes enjoying this after effect way too difficult.
“I wasn’t wearing protection, Kat,” he whispers. I don’t understand at first, when I realize that not telling him about my mother means I hadn’t told him she was lying.

The curse doesn’t involve childbirth. It was those around us that caused our deaths. We were blessed with life and cursed with death but it was never by our own hands, but the hands of others. The curse of being a Lunar Healer wasn’t childbirth, it was greed, fear, and jealousy and last of all sacrifice. Everyone else took too much, until there was nothing left but our burned broken souls.

Cursed to die, for giving life, shunned by those who didn’t receive it, and killed by those who wanted more than we could give.

“Babe, did you hear what I said?” He says, gripping my chin and forcing me to meet his gaze.

“It’s fine Ezra.”

“No, Kat it isn’t, I know the chances are low given you’re not in heat, but the curse isn’t broken,” he grumbles. I sit up as he curses, his topsy-turvy feelings tearing him to pieces, his guilt hits me like he just signed my death sentence.

“There’s no curse my mother lied, childbirth won’t kill me,” I admit, and he spins around to look at me.

“What?” There’s a balance of disbelief and hope in his voice. “My mother lied, that’s not how they died.”
“You don’t know that Kat, how would you know? Your mother said childbirth killed off your entire bloodline of healers, I think she would know what she is talking about,” he rambles, running his hand through his hair, before clutching the back of his head with his hands.

“I do know because I saw it, I have been having visions, reliving their deaths, only to move to the next one and suffer their torment too. Only one died from childbirth and that was my grandmother, Ezra, you haven’t killed me.”
“You saw it?” he frowns, staring at me, trying to puzzle out my words. “Are you sure?” “Yes, when I shifted.” I suck in a deep breath, knowing now I have no choice but to tell him.
“The Moon Goddess cursed me with their deaths and I suffered their fates as I relived them.”

“But your mother died during childbirth.” Ezra repeats, and I realize nothing I say he is understanding, all because of one lie, one my mother told.

“My mother didn’t die from childbirth,” I whisper, before swallowing the lump that forms in my throat at my words.
“You’re not making sense Kat, just tell me what’s going on,” he says, grabbing my knee and looking at me. He’s careful to not jostle me too much.

“You need to promise me you won’t do anything and you will leave it be. You can’t tell anyone,” I demand of him. His brows furrow and I can feel his confusion as he shakes his head. “Promise me you won’t banish her,” I insist.

“Banish who? What are you hiding?” His confusion morphs to anger, he pins me with his glare, he hates secrets and this one will test his loyalty to me.

“Promise me!” I tell him, and he gets up, nostrils flaring.

“No, because whatever you are hiding, you know I won’t like, so spill, Kat. I’m not promising you something if I don’t know what it is you’re hiding.”

“Then I can’t tell you.” I tell him simply.

“No, you don’t get to do that. I don’t want you hiding things from me,” he complains, while climbing back onto the bed. “Tell me now,” he growls.

I shake my head, I can’t tell him. Ezra is a man of his word, so until he promises not to react badly I won’t give up my mother.

His eyes flicker and Maddox comes forward. “Is this why Kora has been off?” he growls, his voice rough, savage and I gulp before Ezra shakes his head, his eyes returning to normal.

“Sorry, he is a temperamental bastard sometimes,” he groans, before pinching the bridge of his nose in frustration. He sighs looking up, his hands going to either side of my hips.

“Promise me, please,” I beg. “Why do I have to promise?”
“Because I know you won’t break it. I trust your word.”.

“What are you hiding? Is this why you were upset over your mother because you saw her die?” He asks. I say nothing and he lets out a breath of frustration. “Fine, I promise not to do anything, but don’t think I won’t react if someone has hurt you,” he snarls.

“That’s the same thing,” I scold.

“Take it or leave it Kat,” he says, his eyes flicker. I look away, his hard gaze makes me nervous.

“She killed her,” I whisper.

“Who killed her, the Moon Goddess?” He asks, I can feel his confusion.
“No my mother, she killed her sister, my real mother, Katherine. Shirley killed her and covered it up with Jackson’s help. She didn’t die from having me, my mother tore me out of her, killing her,” I tell him.
Chapter 55

His entire body tenses as he takes in what I said, his hands fist the bed linen, and I watch in horror as his eyes flicker and his jaw clenches.

“No!” he says, now confusing me.

“What?” I ask, trying to figure out what he means. Did he not believe me?

“I said no!” He growls, pushing off his hands and standing, fur grows along his arms, he walks to the door, and I jump out of bed.

“Ezra!” I yell, petrified by his reaction.

“No, Kat, that is not a promise I will keep,” he snaps, before turning and walking out of the room. I scramble for a shirt, throwing on one of his then darting out after him.

“Wait, you promised! You promised not to do anything, please,” I beg, grabbing his arm, his entire body is shaking, and he is on the verge of shifting.

A terrifying growl rips out of him as he shakes me off a little too hard, sending me flying into the wall. The wall cracks as my body bounces off it, and when I look up it isn’t Ezra I am dealing with but Maddox. A loud bang makes my eyes dart down the hall to see Mateo come flying out of his room. I watch him pause out of the corner of my eye, yet I am too focused on Maddox’s terrifying glare as he stalks toward me when I feel Ezra’s panic, feel him fighting for control back.

“You should have told us. You should have fucking told us when you knew, I won’t have your life put at risk for your mother’s,” Maddox rages, his canines protruding, forbidding him from closing his mouth.

“She is my mother, Maddox.”

“She is not your mother!” He snarls his fist connecting with the drywall next to my head. I flinch and a shriek leaves my lips at his fury.

“You don’t hide things from us, I won’t have you lying to me,” he snarls, his claws slipping from his fingertips as he partially shifts, fur covering his body, and his face starts to elongate, he presses his face closer towering over me, my heart pumping hard in my ears when he grabs my arm in a vice grip and I realize he is losing control of Maddox, Ezra will never harm me, Maddox however I wasn’t so sure right now.

“Get out Kat, get out!” Kora’s panicked voice screams in my head, her fear so strong I swallow, my throat restricting, when Maddox is torn away from me.
A feral growl tears from him as he hits the ground with a loud thud. Ezra rises and I realize it is Mateo who has tackled him. My heart clenches, Maddox was in no mood for insubordination. An aura of killing intent rolled over me from him.

Mateo scrambles away from him, before looking at me.

“Run!” He screams using his Beta aura on me just as Ezra shifts.

I feel it wash over me, but it has no effect, my fear keeps me rooted to the spot as I look on helplessly, Maddox turns at his words to see if I move and growls stalking toward me.

“Kat now!” Mateo shifts just in time, tearing into his flank which only angers Maddox more.

Kora growls furiously in my head as they tear chunks off each other, teeth and claws sinking into skin, fighting to the death.

“Get out of here Kat, Ezra is gone!” Mateo screams through the mind link. With one last fleeting glance, I run for the stairs, Kora fights me for control when Mateo and Ezra smash down the stairs, crashing into me.

All of us are rolling down the stairs in a heap, a scream leaves my lips when Mateo smashes into the wall, his claws biting into the marble floors, scratching lines through them. I now truly understand why people fear Alpha Ezra.

Maddox is lethal, angry and uncontrollable. Maddox seems to grow impossibly bigger as he stalks toward Mateo, grabbing him by the scruff of his neck, tossing him like he weighed nothing. Mateo smashes into the hall stand on the second floor, the paintings on the walls crash to the ground, and Maddox turns on me.

I back up when Kora’s voice booms in my head. “He’s going to make us submit, move Kat!” Kora growls at me, yet I freeze in place, facing down the monster I didn’t realize he could become, while he growls.

Mateo’s wolf gets back to his feet, shaking bits of drywall from his fur. He lunges at Maddox, tearing into his flesh, Kora becomes enraged at the sight, her anger so intense as she watches them tear into each other, that she forces the shift.

A scream tears from my lips, only to be cut off by her roar as she runs at them. My heart skips a beat, knowing Mateo is about to cop her rage too, when she pivots at the last second and tears into Maddox. Her teeth rip into his side viciously. He snaps his head to the side, sinking his canines into her back leg and flinging her off before lunging at her as she hits the ground. I watch in horror as his teeth come straight toward us aiming for our throat.

His claws bite into the marble floors as he skids into us, his teeth and jaw wrapping around our throat, yet no pressure clamps down on us. Recognition kicks in at the last second and he whimpers, licking her fur when she snaps her teeth at him, biting the side of his face. A
growl rips out of her that makes him cower and duck his head, his shame smashing into me through the bond as Kora shoves past him, knocking him aside.

She is angry that he scared me, furious he attacked Mateo, livid he forced control from Ezra. Yet, she’s also nervous that he can so easily lose control, she’s fearful of him. Yet she will not bow to him, she refuses to be beneath him and I can truly see how magnificent she is.
For the first time, I actually feel blessed by having her as my wolf.

Maddox snarls when she stalks over to Mateo to check on him. Maddox howls and growls in warning at her as she approaches the Beta’s torn-apart human form before she stares back at Maddox and I am startled when I hear her speak, just like the Moon Goddess did in my vision.

“Shift back, and give him control,” she orders Maddox, before turning back to Mateo who is staring at her in shock or is it awe, I’m not sure. But I am also in awe of my wolf at this moment.

Mateo reaches up and gently pats her, she licks his cheek. Maddox’s growl rips out of him, so loud it is deafening, and shakes the windows. Kora ignores him while I want her to turn around, fearful he will attack us again when she licks Mateo’s ribs.

I try to fight her for control, knowing what she is doing is wrong when she snaps at me. “He would have given his life for us, quit fighting me,” she barks at me, shoving me back.

“He’s not our Mate,” I remind her.

“This is what I’m for, what we are for. Maddox needs to learn, he hurt him. I won’t let his Beta suffer for saving us,” she snaps at me. Mateo moans as her tongue laps at his wounds and he grabs her fur. Mateo pushes her head away as she licks the jagged line going from his lips to his ear, healing it. I hear shifting in the background behind us.

“Kora?” Maddox’s gravely voice reaches our ears, his voice almost pleading as he grabs her fur, and she spins around, snapping at his fingers, his eyes are pitch black and I know Maddox still has control of him in this form.

“You hurt him! You hurt us!” She growls at him and turns her head back to Mateo, but he doesn’t let go even as she starts licking his chest, his hands tremble in her fur. Mateo keeps trying to push her face away and I can feel her energy draining, yet she ignores the feeling intent on trying to heal as much of him as she can.

“Kora, stop.” Mateo groans the words, when Ezra whimpers behind us at what she is doing. I try to fight her, but she doesn’t stop until Mateo nips her ear.

“Enough, I’m fine. What you’re doing is wrong. You’re hurting your mate,” he murmurs, and my stomach sinks knowing he is right, but nothing I did stopped her until Mateo grabs her face. “He gave him back control, look,” Mateo breathes out, pressing his head against her furry one. She sighs, not happy he won’t let her heal him, when Ezra speaks.
“Please Kora,” he chokes, and I feel relief hit me from her, when she turns her head to see Mateo is right. Maddox has given Ezra back control. She lunges at him, licking his face frantically and his chest, his wounds closing and she all but mauls him with her tongue, though the more she does, the weaker I can feel her getting, feel myself getting, as our surroundings blur. I cry out when I feel my bones snapping, yet it isn’t like last time.

The transition doesn’t tear my flesh, more like a slipping and popping sensation, yet the shift being forced has broken my skin around my ankles and wrists. Blood trickles down my face from my nose, as fur turns to flesh, leaving me panting on my hands and knees.

Ezra clutches me to him, his hand in my hair and I slip my arms around his waist. Mateo I can see is still trying to catch his breath across from us, his chest rising and falling heavily.

Through the bond, I can feel Ezra is angry, but it is directed inward at himself. I can feel something else, and Mateo hasn’t taken his eyes off him, making me worry. Mateo rises to his feet, clutching the window frame next to him, blood seeping from the back of his leg, spills onto the floor.

Ezra lets out a shaky breath. “Mateo?” he breathes out.

“Save it. How many times over the years have I told you to get him under control? I am sick of taking the brunt of it, Ezra,” Mateo coldly tells him, confusing me.

Mateo walks over, stopping in front of us. He holds his hand out to Ezra before pulling him to his feet. Ezra grips my arm pulling me up with him.

Mateo grabs the back of Ezra’s neck pressing his forehead against his. “Maddox said he won’t allow her to keep secrets, yet you are. You tell her or I will,” he threatens, letting him go and looking down at me pressed between them.

Mateo presses his lips to my head, and Ezra’s grip on me tightens, his arm wrapping around my waist possessively.

His chest vibrates on my back as he suppresses a growl. Mateo’s lips leave my head and he looks at Ezra. “She has a right to know.”

Mateo grips my chin, my heart thumping in my chest, petrified they were about to fight again.

The testosterone in the room is thick as Mateo forces me to look at him. “You’re not the only one cursed by the Moon Goddess,” he says, his thumb brushing over my bottom lip. “And I’ll be damned if I let him hurt you,” he adds, making me swallow. He looks behind me at Ezra. “Tell her,” he insists, letting me go.

He steps away before heading toward the stairs and back up to the top floor. Ezra’s grip on me tightens, as he pulls me flush against him.

“I knew something was up with his wolf,” Kora says.
I’m confused, trying to put the pieces together yet I come up with nothing. Looking over my shoulder, Ezra bites his lip, a tear sliding down his cheek.

“What is it?”

He shakes his head. “Not now Kat,” he whispers, before letting out a shaky breath.

Chapter 56


Kat’s scent covered me, her scent is exactly like Ezra’s, they smelled the same to me, except Kat’s scent was a little sweeter, and more feminine.

Making my way back to my room, I step inside and shut the door, hissing as I lift my arm to see the jagged flesh torn apart, the injury Kora didn’t get to heal. Maddox had ripped into me without holding back, and if Kora didn’t heal most of me I would be in some serious pain right now. Ares and I could tell she would have, but we won’t allow her to risk herself for us. Once I saw Ezra’s eyes return to his normal caramel color, I couldn’t take the anguish on his face, seeing her doing something that was mostly kept between mates.

She wasn’t mine, no matter how much I wanted her to be, she would never be mine. If I was smart I would leave the Pack, let them be, but the thought of leaving them rebroke parts of me that I didn’t realize weren’t whole until Kat came here and repaired them. She was the missing link to my life, the connection I craved. Just as I needed Ezra, I also needed her.

Friendship is what keeps me here, Ezra has told me to leave countless times, yet I never can. I have always loved him like a brother. No, I love him far more than that too. No matter how much he scares me sometimes, how much he rejects me and shoves me away, I can never bring myself to leave him. Not after everything I know. I won’t let him destroy himself, let his beast take him over like it did his father and I now have more reason to stay, Kat. I won’t let Maddox destroy her either and if somehow he succeeds in doing that it would in turn destroy Ezra.

Fear prickles my skin as I hear Maddox’s voice in the hall. History is going to repeat itself. The beast within him is always savage, a monster in every way and Ezra fights constantly to keep him at bay.

I have no doubt Maddox loves her, that Ezra does too, yet in the Pierce family, love is what kills those around them. His father was a monster, he killed his first mate, and ripped apart his chosen mate. Nearly killed Ezra too, that is one thing that always keeps Ezra level headed, he knows what Maddox is capable of and always makes sure to be the best version of himself.

Yet he also knows, it is a battle he can’t always win. Even though I usually caught the brunt of it over the years, and Ezra hates hurting me, I know he is grateful, and trusts I will keep our Pack safe, keep his mate safe from him. It’s why he always calls for me when the darkness threatens to overtake him.
He has always wanted his mate, as much as it scares him, he always wanted someone to love him, and accept the monster that lurks just beneath his surface. Someone who will love him without question, and I know Kat does. But he needs to tell her, she won’t run like he thinks she will, like his mother tried to.

No woman has lasted mated to a Pierce wolf, no woman has been strong enough to contain and keep the wolf at bay. But after seeing the way her wolf is almost fearless of him, she saw the monster he is, yet still attacked anyway and that seemed to reign him in.

Or maybe it is Katya’s soft personality that calms him? He is a storm that destroys everything in his path, while she is the calm to his madness, the eye of the storm. Kat is the peace within the destruction. It gives me hope she can break through to him. That her love for him will be enough to break the curse on his bloodline. Maybe she will survive a Pierce wolf when no other woman has. Then again, it’s the eye of the storm that takes the most life, those that think things have settled and relax the tiniest bit. I can’t let Maddox crush her.

Staggering back to my room, a trail of blood follows me. As I push the bedroom door open, I hear them walking back to their room, when the footsteps stop.

“Go ahead, I will be back in a second,” Ezra tells Kat. His heavy steps approach my bedroom before the door opens.

Yet I can hear Kat hasn’t moved from the hall, her heart rate spikes as he gets closer to my room. The door handle twists before stopping.

“Kat, go to our room, please,” Ezra requests. “Ezra?” She whispers his name.
“Mateo will be fine. I am only checking on him,” Ezra replies. She must have agreed, because I hear her walk off, though I know what is coming. He pushes my door open, stepping inside and closing it behind him.

“I know you’re mad, bro but seriously what do you expect?”

“Are you done?” He asks, making me look at him. “I’m not mad, well I am, but you had no right doing that, telling her that! That wasn’t your place,” his tone is calm, but the answer beneath his words threatens to reach out and consume me.

“She won’t run Ezra, she hasn’t yet. She could have when he unleashed in the shower on her,” I tell him and he sighs. “You’re scared she will, aren’t you?”

“I’m scared she will pick you,” he admits, and I look away. “I wouldn’t allow that even if she did.”
“Wouldn’t you? Because you have no problem getting up in my business when it comes to her. I see the way you look at her.”
“Would you rather me let him kill her?” I question.

“He wouldn’t have, I have more control than my father did.” I scoff at his words of more control, he had Maddox reigned in better than his father had with his wolf, yes that is true, but I would hardly call that control.

“You need to let him around her more, Ezra. His jealousy can’t be the only reason he is unleashed.”

“It wasn’t his jealousy this time.”

“Then what is it?” I ask, laying back down, my body is aching, though Kora healed most of me, but still I ache. The bed dips, Ezra sits near my feet.

“He was angry she hid it, hid that Shirley killed her mother.”

“What?” I ask sitting up. Ezra nods, his fists clenching on his knees where they are placed.

“Shirley killed her mother Katherine, yet she doesn’t want me to do anything about it, doesn’t want her father to know there is no curse involving her having children. Everything Shirley said was a lie and Jackson helped cover it up.”

“Maddox doesn’t think she can be trusted?” I question.

“Neither do I, how can she be? She already poisoned Kat, she lied to her, yet she still chooses her?”

“She’s her mother, Ezra, let Kat deal with it, she will tell her father eventually.” “And if she doesn’t?”
“Then I will, so you don’t come off as the bad guy, but what I want to know is why Jackson didn’t tell Derrick, what did Shirley promise Jackson to remain quiet?” I ask, he sighs, before what I said sinks in.

“You don’t think…? She wouldn’t have promised Kat to him would she?” He swallows hard, his control is fluctuating at just the thought of something like that.

I can’t blame him, even Ares is pissed at the thought. I shrug, but it makes sense why Jackson has been trying to get Shirley back.

“I don’t know, but we will figure it out, he isn’t taking her and I feel sorry for him if he tries. Maddox will rip apart not only him but his entire Pack to get her back, you know this.” I get up, hobbling to the bathroom.

“Do you need a hand?” Ezra calls, and I shake my head. “So what happened with you and Jasmine?” He casually asks, as I step in the shower.
“Nothing you know that, we don’t mess with she-wolves.” “She was half naked.”
“Come on, Ezra, you know me better than that. I won’t sleep with her, I know she has a mate out there and I am not it.”

“I’m just saying, it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you did,” he suggests, and I roll my eyes, there is no point. Jasmine has a mate, so no point getting attached to her only for her to run off.

I hear him get up before he stops at the door. “Kora licked you.”

“I am aware of that, she is a Healer,” I tell him, he nods before pinching the bridge of his nose.

“You need to get Kat out of your system, I can’t stop Maddox if you get too close to her.”

“So what? You want me to screw Jasmine and hope it works?” I scoff, shaking my head. “I won’t confuse Jasmine like that, or push her away from being Kat’s friend because she ups and leaves me. And she will leave when she finds her mate.”

“Well you need to think of something, you need to do something, Mateo!” “And if it doesn’t work?” I ask, looking over at him.
“It will, it has to.”

“You should get back to your mate, Alpha.”

“Call Jasmine, I know you like her too,” he says, with a sigh. “She isn’t Kat,” I reply.
He stops and turns around. “No, she isn’t, and that’s why I said call her, Maddox won’t share her, Mateo.”

I chuckle at his words. “But would you?” He is always so consumed with giving his wolf what he wants, that he often overlooks what he wants.

“I will never deny her what she wants, but that doesn’t mean I will be happy about it either, she is mine, Mateo,” he growls softly.

If only he knew. One thing Ares and I have come to realize over the years, is there is one bond that is stronger than a mate bond, and that is a chosen one.

“Mateo!” he snaps. I glance at him. “Did you hear what I said?”
I nod, rinsing the soap off. “Yes, I know she is yours.”

Ezra exhales, but he is wrong about one thing. No one will compare to Kat, she may belong to Ezra and Maddox as a fated mate, yet Ares and I chose her, the moment we recognized her scent matched his.

I knew the first day I met her, at that storage facility, who she belonged to. Who she reminded me of. I just couldn’t see past my jealousy at first, and was lying to myself hoping it wasn’t true. “I might leave for a few days, try to figure some things out,” I confess and he looks at me, fear reflecting in his eyes at my words. “Maybe if I am away, Maddox will calm down,” I suggest.

“Yeah but what if he doesn’t? No one else will get in my way if he loses it,” Ezra whispers, panicking slightly.

“Spend time with Kat, I will leave for a few days, see what I can find out about Jackson. We still have the little issue of who in the Pack is giving him information,” I remind him.

He nods. “You will come back though, right?”

“Of course I will, I know you can’t live without me,” I tease him and he chuckles. I shut the water off, climbing out and Ezra hands me a towel.

“Go back to Kat, I will handle your duties for a few days while we figure this out.” My bedroom door opens again. Her addictive scent wafts to me, and Ezra walks over to her.

“He is fine, we are just talking,” he assures her. He opens the door wider, showing I am still alive, my heart twists painfully seeing her worry about me when she shouldn’t. She lets out a breath before looking away, seeing me in only a towel.

“I’m fine, Kat, Ezra won’t hurt me,” I reassure her, knowing he won’t. Maddox however, would kill me if he wanted to, and would have if Kora hadn’t intervened.

She nods looking at Ezra, wanting him to go with her. It shouldn’t bother me, yet Kat doesn’t look at me like that, and she shouldn’t, she only wants Ezra, yet that doesn’t calm my beast from wanting her too.

“She does want us,” my wolf growls, yet, I don’t believe him. How can I, when I see the way she is with Ezra and he with her?

“Go, I am fine,” I tell them both, they need to get out before I embarrass myself, getting a hard on at the sight of them, the towel won’t do much to hide it.

Ezra nods to me before walking out, I hear Kat squeal as he grabs her. “I can walk you know,” I hear her complain, with a soft giggle, before my door shuts completely, I chuckle at them and shake my head. Why couldn’t this be easy?

Chapter 57


Ezra doesn’t say a word for most of the night, his thoughts consuming him.

Kora is on edge and keeps telling me something isn’t right. Her anxiety sets mine off. “Maddox is going to kill her,” Kora tells me, making me zone back into what she is rambling about. “He will if he gets out again,” she rambles.

“Who, Mom?” I ask, and she nods, pacing some more, always pacing. She hadn’t stopped since Ezra brought us back to the room.

I sit up and Ezra jumps, gripping my wrist. “Where are you going?” “To pee?” I suggest, and he lets go before sighing.
“You’re not leaving me?” he asks, and I stare at him.

“Why would I leave you? I love you.” I lean down and kiss him.

He rolls on his side, facing me. He has been staring at the ceiling for hours. “Because of Maddox,” he answers.

“I’m not going anywhere, Ezra, except to pee.” My bladder is screaming for me to get to the bathroom.

“Mateo is leaving for a few days,” he announces, as I reach the bathroom door. I stop, my heart skips a beat, knowing I would be on my own with Maddox if he did take over Ezra again. Kora knows she isn’t strong enough to restrain him if he does, bile rises in my throat.

“Does that bother you?” Ezra asks, but I ignore his question and walking into the bathroom, I shut the door. I quickly pee before washing my hands and reach for the door. My hand trembles at the doorknob while I try to pull my fear aside, trying to block my emotions from him.

Ezra sits on the edge of the bed staring at the bathroom door. “You never answered, but I know it does bother you. You feel safer with him near,” he sighs, I can feel his hurt at his words.

“How long will he be gone?” I question him.

He growls before suppressing it. “I don’t know, a few days he said.”
I chew my lip, watching him for a second, before walking over to the bed, he pulls me between his legs and wraps his arms around my waist. “What did Mateo mean?” I ask, and he presses his head against my breasts.

“It doesn’t matter.”

“But he said you were cursed too,” I point out.

“Not cursed, not like you, But yes it does feel like a curse sometimes.” “What does?” I ask, pulling his face back so I can see his eyes.
“My wolf.”

“I don’t understand.” Maddox has a serious temper problem, but he is sweet for the most part, in my dealings with him.

“My father’s wolf killed both his mates, and my grandmother died by her husband’s too. Our wolves are a separate entity to us, they allow us control, not the other way around,” Ezra explains.

“But I have seen you control him,” I argue, stepping away from him.

Ezra nods, reaching for me. “Yes, I do have some control, more than my forefathers, because I haven’t kept him locked up. That’s why I let him forward with me, why I let you hear him through the mindlink. It helps keep him calm, you keep him calm. You keep him from taking over.”

“What do you mean? Maddox is sweet, well when he isn’t angry.”

He chuckles, nodding. “He can be. My father’s wolf never was. He was cruel, but my father feared his wolf, and refused to accept him as his, which only fueled the animal’s rage.”

“You’re not scared of Maddox?” I ask.

Ezra shakes his head. “Not of him exactly, just what he is capable of. My father’s wolf took him over, shoved him out, and killed my mother. His wolf then took a chosen mate,- and killed her too.”

“When you say took over, like he didn’t give control back?”

“He killed off my father’s human counterpart basically, took over both forms, and locked my father away in the back of his own mind, so I killed him with Mateo’s help.”

“Mateo helped you kill your father?”
Ezra nods. “Yes, I never noticed at first, but after a while, I noticed the change in him over the years. His anger became worse, his control less. He attacked me when Mateo was staying the night. He would stay when my father was being particularly difficult. Mateo’s wolf Ares attacked him really. He turned on Mateo and Maddox lost it, forcing the shift before killing him.”

“You’re worried Maddox will force you out, like your father’s wolf?”

“Maddox wouldn’t do that, he would eventually give me control back, we are different. We have a bond, something Mateo always worked on with me. Mateo would make me let him out so I could learn to control him in a sense. After a while, it got easier and we have grown together. I am not afraid of him taking control, I am afraid of him losing control and you getting hurt in the process.”

“But you’re good now though?”

He nods, pulling me onto his lap. “Yes, he is calm right now,” he answers.

I run my fingers through his hair. “Does Maddox want to kill my mother? Kora said he does.”

Ezra doesn’t answer, that is an answer in itself, and I know I will have to warn her to stay away. Maybe tell her to leave.

“He doesn’t trust her, not after everything she has done and neither do I. I don’t want you seeing her anymore,” Ezra decides, and my stomach drops.

“She is my mother,” I object, and his grip on my hips tightens.

“You are to stay away from her. I haven’t given you any rules, Kat. I let you do what you want, when you want, which is more than most Alphas allow of their Luna, but you break this one, and I can’t be held accountable for what Maddox does to her.”

“What are you going to do, banish her?”

“Mateo will tell her to leave for me. He will give her a choice to either come clean and leave with your father, or to run and go by herself,” he explains.

I hop off his lap. “What? No! way!” “Kat!”
“No! If she can’t stay then I’m not staying either, Ezra, I won’t give up my family because your wolf has some God complex,” I snarl at him.

“Kat, enough!”

“No! She is my mother, my father’s mate, Ezra.”
“She isn’t your mother, and your father would hate her if he knew what she did. Now get back in bed, I won’t ask again, this is how it is, I won’t have a traitor in my Pack.”

“And I won’t stay without my mother,” I snap at him.

“Calm down, we will think of something. Probably not best to poke his wolf right now, Kat.”
Kora warns and I swallow, she is right.

Ezra gets up walking toward me, but I dart past him and climb in bed before he can grab me. I hear him sigh, then he climbs in beside me.

A knock on the door has me glancing at it. An older woman walks in, a bag in her hand which I can smell from the spices used, is Chinese food. “Mateo ordered this before he left, I will start cleaning up, Alpha.” The woman nods her head to him.

“Leave it Marge, I will take care of the cleaning tomorrow,” he says, climbing out of bed. “So Mateo left already?” Ezra questions.

“Yes, he seemed to be in a rush, but said you both haven’t eaten,” she added, looking over at me. I give her a brief wave, feeling awkward that I am in bed while she is in here. Yet the way she looks at Ezra is quite motherly.

“Thank you, you can go home Marge, you don’t need to stay.”

“You sure? I can see there is quite a mess downstairs. I don’t mind cleaning it.”

“Go home, I will take care of it, thanks for bringing us dinner,” he tells her, and she nods giving me a small wave and I nod to her.

She leaves and Ezra comes over to me. “Hungry?” He asks, but I shake my head. “You should eat, Kat.”

“Can I speak to Maddox?”

“Kat, what are you doing?” Kora asks. She doesn’t want me near Maddox, not after earlier.

Ezra stares at me. “You want to speak to him after what happened before?” He seems a little shocked. His eyes search mine, trying to figure out if I had some agenda he hasn’t discovered. “Only if you eat first,” he decides, handing me one of the dishes.

Satay chicken, my favorite, and I am a little surprised with how Mateo always remembers every small detail. I pull the lid off and Ezra walks out, returning with two trays and some bottled water.

“Thank you, gosh that’s hot,” I tell him and he sits beside me. We eat in silence, though I can barely taste anything. My mind is consumed with how I’ll try to convince Maddox to let her stay. I know my mother would never hurt me, she may have done the wrong thing by my bio
mother, but she raised me, and loves me like I am her own. Now I just have to convince Maddox to give her a chance.
Chapter 58

Ezra refuses to let me speak with Maddox. The house is extremely quiet without Mateo’s constant chatter, and I find myself becoming lonely.

Two days have passed. Ezra remains in his office for most of the day, he’s avoiding me. Deciding I am not going to remain stuck in this empty house by myself, I mindlink Mateo. “Hey Pumpkin,” Mateo greets as the link connects.
“Don’t call me that,” I retort, rolling my eyes.

“What’s up?” He asks, and I can tell he is in wolf form, his voice is slightly distorted and muffled.

“Have you spoken to my mother?” I ask him, and he goes quiet. “Mateo?” I try again.

“Ezra told me to kick her off the Pack territory, she has until the end of the day to come clean with your father, or just leave. I told her to go until he calms down,” Mateo sighs.

“What did she say? She hasn’t even tried to contact me, I have tried to get in touch with her, but she blocks the link and shuts me out.” I try to keep the hurt from the link.

“She is upset of course, she doesn’t want to leave you or your father, but it is out of my hands. How has Ezra been?” He asks.

“Hiding in his office avoiding me,” I grumble, and he sighs. “I’m going back to school tomorrow,” I add, with a forced smile.

“Ezra said you could?” Surprise colors his words.

“No, I haven’t told him, but I am not sitting in this house bored.” I snort at the thought.

“Kat, if you leave, it will tick him off, besides we had intruders last night, three of Alpha Jackson’s men got onto the territory, and Ezra killed two of them.”

“Last night? He didn’t tell me that. I also didn’t even realize he left…”

“Yep, they were caught in the forest near the Packhouse.” I think for a second, knowing they are getting closer is frightening, but Ezra not telling me worries me even more.

“When are you coming home?” I ask.
“Why do you miss me?” He chuckles warmly.

“Yes, the house is quiet without you,” I admit.

“Meet me in the forest, I am on border patrol. I will be going that way in half an hour. Ezra will bring you out if you ask, and I will come to find you,” he tells me and I nod.

“Okay see you soon,” I reply, cutting the link and focusing back on the room. I grab some shorts and a tank top. It is pretty warm today, the sun is out and the sky is clear. I grab my sneakers, placing them on my feet before walking downstairs to see Ezra.

I push his door open before stepping into the room. He looks up at me and I can see he is on the phone.

He motions for me to come to him, I skirt around his desk and he pulls me onto his lap, before telling the person he has to go and hanging up. He presses his face into my neck before inhaling my scent. “What’s wrong? I am busy,” he says, picking up a piece of paper and reading it.

“Can we go for a run? I want to meet up with-” his eyes glaze over as someone mindlinks him, I sigh, waiting for him to finish talking to whoever he is talking to. “I have to go,” he interrupts, tapping my leg and hopping up.

“Where?” I ask, as he rushes to the door.

“The high school. Apparently, there is a brawl on the oval between some of our Pack warriors in training,” he says.

“Wait, I will come with you,” I offer, chasing after him when he stops making me run into his back.

“No, stay here. Mateo is on border patrol or I would have sent him. I won’t be gone long, then I will take you wherever you want to go,” he promises, kissing the top of my head.

“Wait, can I go see Mateo?” I call out to him.

He doesn’t stop, instead rushes out the door. I mindlink him but he shoves me out.

“Just go Kat, he is in a mood,” Kora suggests, also wanting to see Mateo.

“Yeah but if he comes home and we aren’t here, he will be pissed,” I remind her.

“We won’t be gone long, besides he can’t get cranky at us when we will be with his Beta. I am also sick of being trapped here. Fresh air will do us some good.” She does have a point, he did say I can’t go anywhere without him or Mateo, and being that I am going to see Mateo, I doubt he will have an issue with it.
Grabbing my drink bottle, I walk toward the back door, before heading toward the forest. The sun is sweltering outside and by the time I am halfway through the forest, I am sweating profusely.

“Geez summer is going to be a stinker this year,” Kora whines at me, as we climb over a log.

“It would be easier if we can just shift, instead of walking,” I tell her.

“We can’t risk being seen, Ezra will be pissed if we shift without him present, and I would hate to see what Maddox would do.”

“Do you speak to Maddox much?” I ask, as we continue through the forest.

“Nope, Ezra has been keeping him under lock and key, every time I have, he has been pissed off though, wants your mother off Pack territory,” she says, and I sigh.

I am near the stream running along the back of the forest when I hear rustling in the trees.

“It’s just Ares, Mateo’s wolf,” Kora reassures, just as I’m jumped and knocked off my feet. His wolf knocks me forward and into the river.

I cough and sputter before surfacing. “Fucking dickhead,” I grumble at him, clawing my way out. Kora laughs while I am now drenched. I glance up and see Mateo’s gray wolf, he grabs my shirt helping haul me out. I push him away before ripping my now-wet sneakers off.

“Bad boy,” I scold him, smacking his nose.

Ares pounces on me, mauling me with his tongue and huge body. Mateo laughs through the mindlink. “Gotcha good aye, Pumpkin?,” he teases and I growl at him and Ares settles back on his hunches.

“Where is Ezra?” Mateo asks, looking around.

“At the school, some fight broke out,” I tell him, wringing the water out of my clothes. On the plus side, at least I am nice and cool now.

“Nice nips,” Mateo snickers, making me look down to see my shirt completely see-through. I cover my chest with my hands, walk over to a boulder next to the stream, and sit on it. “So Ezra knows you’re out here, right?” Mateo questions, and I shake my head.
“Nope, he took off before I could ask, he said I can’t go anywhere without him or you and here you are.” I shrug and he walks closer. I pat his wolf’s head as he places it on my knee. “Hello, Ares,” I greet, and he lifts his head, licking my face and neck. “So what have you been doing?” I ask Mateo through the mindlink.

“Nothing, do you mind if I shift back?” He asks.
“You will be naked,” I point out, and he shrugs his furry shoulders.

“Just close your eyes until I find something to cover myself with,” he suggests and I do. I hear him shift back before walking off and returning.

“You can open them.” He can’t stop snickering.

I open my eyes, only to find him covering himself with an elephant leaf.

“Wow, Greek God, you look like you’re posing for a painting,” I chuckle, shaking my head. “Couldn’t find a pants tree anywhere so it’ll do.” He takes a seat on the grass.
“When are you coming home?” I ask, and he gives me a noncommittal shrug. “Not sure, I have been staying in town at Jasmine’s.”
“You and Jasmine huh?” I tease, and he shrugs.

“Well, I can’t have who I want, so why not? We only fool around, nothing more,” he sighs.

“Your mate? I am sorry about that, you shouldn’t have had to kill her.” I still feel guilty about that.

“Yes, I did. You’re more important, besides I didn’t even know her,” he waves me off with one hand.

“Yeah, but she was your mate.”

He shrugs seemingly unaffected before he changes the subject. “So what’s been happening with you?” He asks.

“Nothing just sitting in my sandstone prison, I want to go back to school, but I don’t think he will let me,” I pout.

“Want me to ask him? I will even volunteer to sit through your classes with you, get you some contact lenses, it should be fine.”

“You can ask, but he has been in a mood. Kora said he has been blocking Maddox out.”

“That won’t go down well when he gets out then,” he groans, and I nod in agreement when Mateo looks at the water. “Wanna go swimming?” Mateo questions me, looking at the river behind me. I shrug, I am already wet and it is hot. Standing up, Mateo does the same before I shove him, he squeals as he falls into the cold water before dunking his head under it.
“Goddess that’s nice, damn stifling hot today,” he grumbles, swimming to the center. I dive back in before coming up to the surface and floating on my back. Mateo grabs my feet pulling me toward him before draping his arm across me as I float.

“What time do you finish patrol?” I ask.

“Technically an hour ago. Mathias is filling in for me.” “Jasmine’s dad?”
“Yep, he wanted to go for a run. Been at the clinic for weeks now and he missed the last two Pack runs,” he chuckles.

“What does Mathias think of you being with his daughter?” I elbow him in the ribs.

“We just fool around. I haven’t slept with her, besides not much he can say really. She is eighteen already and an adult.”

I nod at his words and nearly drown myself as my head dips below the surface. “So do you want me to speak to Ezra about you going back to school?” He asks. I nod. “What time did you tell my mother to get off Packlands?”
“She is supposed to leave by five, but stress less. I won’t harm her if she doesn’t Kat, I know she is your mother.”

“Can you tell her to stop blocking me? I don’t want to tell dad because he will know something is up.” I ask.

Ezra’s voice suddenly flits through the link. “Kat, where are you?”

I swim upright, making Mateo fall beneath the water from leaning on me. “With Mateo,” I tell him.

“Ezra?” Mateo asks, while swimming back to the side and pulling me with him when I nod.

“Okay, but where are you?” Ezra asks, and I can feel he is getting ticked off.

“I’m on my way back, don’t get your panties in a knot, we just went swimming,” I tell him, as Mateo pulls me from the water.

“I’m coming to get you, just wait there,” he snaps, cutting off the link abruptly.

“You should probably leave. He doesn’t sound impressed at me being here,” I tell Mateo, making sure to keep my eyes eye-level knowing he is stark naked.

“I can wait with you?” He suggests.
I shake my head and Mateo pulls me to him, wrapping his arms around my shoulders, I hug him back. “I will speak to Ezra tonight and maybe come home,” he says, kissing the top of my head.

“Rightio, I will see you later,” I tell him, and he shifts back before darting into the trees.

I start my walk home, the sun slowly drying my clothes when I spot Ezra striding toward me. “Where is Mateo?” He demands.
“I told him to go back to patrol,” I answer with a shrug, climbing over a log. He grabs my arm helping me down as I climb over it.

“You reek of him,” Ezra growls.

“Yeah, because I was just with him. We went swimming,” I tell him. He looks down at my clothes and my see-through shirt.

“Why aren’t you wearing a bra?” He asks.

“Have you felt how hot it is? The last thing I want is sweaty boobs,” I tell him, and he presses his lips in a line, but I ignore his behavior.

“What happened at the school?”

“Doesn’t matter, why are you out here? I told you to stay home,” he says, pulling me through the forest quickly.

“Ezra let go,” I demand, stumbling as I try to keep up, his fingers bruise my arm, his grip was that tight, and I know Maddox is pushing beneath his skin when it ripples.

“I leave for a couple of hours and you wander off. You know I don’t want you wandering around by yourself,” he snaps, pulling me into the backyard.

“I was with Mateo, perfectly safe,” I argue.

“But since you suddenly found your voice, I need to speak to you about my mother,” I tell him and he stops looking down at me.

“Not this again, get inside,” he orders, pushing me toward the back doors. “Ezra!” I shriek, but he ignores me.
“You deliberately disobeyed me, I told you to stay put and you run off with Mateo of all people,” he growls.
“Ezra? Let go, you’re hurting my arm,” I tell him and he looks down. He lets go before muttering an apology.

“So Mateo told my mom she has to leave, I don’t want her to leave. Can you please let me speak to Maddox?” I ask, and he goes tense before shaking his head.

I sigh knowing I am not getting anywhere with Ezra when a thought crosses my mind. “Wanna shower with me?” I suggest
“I have things to organize for the Pack run in two days,” he snaps, before walking off into his office. I was about to go have a shower, when I stop on the stairs instead, turning around and stripping my clothes.

“Kat, what are you doing?” Kora asks though I can hear her laughing.

“He won’t let Maddox out, then I will force him out,” I reply with a smirk, dumping my wet clothes on the marble floor, before pushing his office door open. He has his head down going over paperwork and I sit on the couch across from his desk.

“I thought you were going to have a shower?” He questions, not bothering to look up.

“You might have to step up your game, Kat, touch yourself,” Kora says, and I feel my face heat up. She can be vulgar sometimes.


“Chicken,” she cackles, I roll my eyes before opening my legs, my hand moving between my thighs.

“Oh my god, you’re really going to do it,” Kora snickers.

“You told me too,” I deadpan.

“Yeah, but I didn’t think you would. Do you want them pics from our flick bank, I can whisper sweet nothings to you if you want,”’ she says and I roll my eyes at her, shoving her away.

Ezra is still writing away, ignoring me as he has for the past two days. Fine then, I will take care of my own needs, right here, right now.
Chapter 59

I settle one leg over the side of the couch and lean back into the cool leather. All he has to do is look up. I teasingly run a finger around my entrance, gathering wetness on the tip of my finger and dragging it up to where my clit pounds.

I’d dabbled before with taking care of myself, but it wasn’t something I did, and nothing I’d done before had the effect that Ezra had brought forth inside me. I rubbed a slow teasing circle around my clit, and with my free hand, I reached up and grabbed my breast, squeezing it tight until a soft little moan escaped me.

I run my fingers down. Goddess, I’m wetter than I should be at this point. I’m practically dripping all over his poor couch. Taking the wet, I rub it up and into my clit. A deeper moan falls from my lips and I push against my fingers as my head falls back. My fingers go to my nipple and I roll it before pinching it hard.

Maybe it’s because I’m doing this in front of him. I force my head up and meet his eyes. He put down his work, he’s staring at me, eyes intent on my every movement. “Kat,” he growls in combined arousal and frustration. His fingers have turned to claws, and they scrape against the wood of his desk.

“Yes,” I moan, bringing my hips forward and swallowing my fingers. I twist them around and rub against that perfect spot inside me. My eyes flutter. “Close,” I whimper.

Ezra sniffs the air, his knuckles turning white. “Damn it,” he groans. “Kat, stop!” He demands through gritted teeth.

Too bad for him, I am already too lost. I spread my legs wider, plunging my fingers into my body, and my pussy sucked on my fingers, making a slurping sound with each movement.

His eyes flicker. “Fuck,” he pants.

“Ezra,” I moan. “You can always help me.” I shift on the couch, so both legs are held up by the arm, and I’m lying there, spread out like a feast for him.

“Kat!” He warns, his eyes flickering black, his entire body shuddering.

“Hello, Maddox,” I smile, knowing it is working, my heart skips a beat, as much as it scares me, it thrills me the same way. I slip my fingers into my pussy, arching my back as heat floods through me, my stomach clenches as I curl them inside me.

Ezra regains control, forcing him back before standing, then stopping halfway to me. Maddox pushes against him, wanting to remain forward and Ezra grits his teeth fighting for control. “You’re going to be the death of me, love. Stop,” Ezra warns.

“Make me,” I moan.
His control snaps, his eyes go pitch black as Ezra is thrown at me.

My heart thumps so hard, yet I am also buzzing, seeing that I am able to force Maddox to take control.

His body smashes against mine, and he leans against my body, pinning me against the couch. His lips go to my neck as he sucks on my mark, tearing the skin, yet the sparks rush over me, stopping the pain searing from his bite.

“My Kitty!” He purrs, pushing between my legs before grabbing my hands, pushing them above my head and holding them in one of his. His lips travel down to my breasts before he bites one, throbbing pain from his canines sinks into me, makes me cry out.

“Kat, I warned you. Why didn’t you listen?” Ezra pants, trying to take control back from him. “Leave him, I can handle it. I will be fine as long as he doesn’t shift,” I snap back at him.
Maddox’s teeth graze my stomach before sinking into my hip, yet he still doesn’t let go of my hands as I struggle under his grip.

I wrap my legs around him, stopping him from going lower, not wanting him to bite me down there. He growls pushing against me.

“Open your legs for me, Kitty.”

“You’re hurting me, Maddox,” I tell him softly, he growls before looking up. His eyes roam over my body and his bite marks. He whimpers before licking my breast, I moan at the sensation, his mouth moves higher, licking my skin and healing his wounds before going to my neck. He sucks on my mark and I turn my head kissing the side of his face.

He purrs loudly, before kissing me and lets go of my hands that are trapped in his as I kiss him back. His hands grab my legs as he pushes his hips against mine and I relax my legs from around his waist.

“That’s it, gentle,” I breathe around his lips, I see his eyes flicker as he lets Ezra come back, letting him share control, his grip on my thighs loosening.

“I love my Kitty,” he purrs, before sucking my nipple. I run my hands through his hair and he sits up, his eyes flickering back and forth between caramel, amber to black.

I push on his shoulder and he looks at my hand and growls at it, thinking I am pushing him away.

“Roll on your back,” I tell him, leaning forward and kissing his lips. He growls softly, but rolls pulling me on top of him so I straddle his hips. He grabs my hips rolling them against him, his claws sinking into my skin and I grab them, prying them from my body and placing them on my heavy breasts. He squeezes them and I lean down kissing his lips, sucking his bottom lip into my mouth and he growls.
“Maddox!” I moan, between kissing him. He grunts, one of his hands going to my hip, I have to fight the urge to scream, when I feel his claws sink into me painfully.

He sits up pulling me flush against his chest. His hands grip my hair as he pulls my head back, licking and sucking on my neck.

“Maddox!” I moan, sparks rushing everywhere, his erection strains his pants as he rubs himself against me.

“Stop Maddox, wait. I need to speak to you,” I tell him and he lets my hair go.

“You want to speak to me?” He seems genuinely shocked that I want to talk to him, making me wonder if Ezra even told him I had been asking for him. He grabs my face in his hands. “My Kitty,” he growls, before sucking my lips and I have to wait for him to stop before being able to speak.

“My mother.” His grip tightens on my face.

“No!” He growls menacingly and I feel one of his claws cut the tip of my ear, as his nails elongate from his fingertips.

“Please listen.”

“No, she deserves death, Kitty.”

“No, Maddox. You hurt her, you hurt me,” I tell him and he seems to think. It is so strange seeing his eyes through Ezra’s, feeling how rough he is compared to Ezra’s gentle touch.

“I don’t want to hurt you,” he mutters to himself, I think more than to me.

“I will stay away from her, but please let her stay,” I ask him, his eyes snap to mine. “No!, She will take you from me, I won’t let her hurt you.”
I shake my head at his words. “I will stay with you, just let her stay please, I won’t ask for anything else,” I beg him.

“You will stay, you won’t run off with Mateo?” He snaps. “Huh? Why would I run off with Mateo?”
“You promise you will stay, you stay with me, me only!”

“I promise I won’t leave you,” I tell him, grabbing his face. “I’m yours, all yours,” I tell him, confused about his Mateo comment, was that why Mateo left?
Did Maddox threaten him thinking I liked him more than a friend? Sometimes my feelings with Mateo blurred a little, but we are only friends.

“Will you let her stay?” I ask.

He seems to think, his eyes watching my face and his grip loosens before he sighs. “You don’t go near her, you stay with me and you tell Ezra to let me out,” he asks and I nod. I would agree to anything if it means my mother can stay, especially now I know Maddox can be reasonable.

I kiss him, his lips parting as he kisses me back, when I feel gentle hands run down my arms making me pull back to see Ezra’s eyes peering back at me.

“Where did he go?” I ask, expecting Maddox.

“He gave me back control,” Ezra says, with a smile on his lips as they crash against my own.
Chapter 60

I tug on his belt, undoing it before he stands up with me still wrapped around him.

“Not here, Mateo is on his way over with Jasmine.” Ezra manages to get out between kissing me, as he walks out of his office and toward the stairs. His lips nip and suck at my neck before growling when I roll my hips against him.

His hands squeeze my ass as he races up the stairs with inhuman speed, kicking our bedroom door shut behind him, and I feel the duvet under my back as he presses himself against me on the bed.

I tug on his jeans, undoing the button, before pushing them down and reaching between us, wrapping my fingers around his hardened cock, stroking him. He thrusts into my hand as I position him near the wet mess I’ve made, teasing us both.

He growls softly before thrusting inside me. His cock fills and stretches me, he groans as he sheaths himself inside me. His lips go to my chin as he nips at it, his hips moving slowly as he thrusts into me, and l move my hips meeting his pace.

Ezra grips my hands, pushing them above my head before holding them in one of his, his mouth travels down my neck to my breasts, as he takes one in his mouth, licking and sucking on it. Sparks rush over my skin and I moan at the sensation building in me.

“So beautiful,” he whispers against my skin, I move my hands, wanting to touch him, wanting to run my fingers through his hair. When he pulls out of me.

“Roll on your stomach,” he orders, giving me a quick kiss on my lips and I do, before he pulls my hips up, my ass in the air. He grabs his pillow and shoves it beneath my hips, forcing my body higher for him.

“Ezra, I’m going to ruin your pillow!” I protest. I haven’t stopped dripping, he’s going to smell like my arousal every night at this rate.

He chuckles and kisses me again. “You’re only making it a better pillow. I’ll be able to smell you like this every time I put my head on it.”

He runs his hands over my ass to my hips, his cock presses between my pussy lips, his balls slap my clit as he slides himself all the way inside me, making me moan loudly. This position is so much deeper.

“Fuck,” Ezra moans. “You’re taking me so deep, baby.” His fingertips run up and down my spine. I move my hips in rhythm with him, taking him as deep as I can. The pain that had bothered me before is a dull memory.
All that matters is reaching that blissful moment again. I turn my head and kiss Ezra softly. One of his hands slips around the front of me.

“Spread your legs,” he orders.

It is hard from this position, but I do the best I can. His fingers brush against my clit and I shudder, totally at his mercy. “Ezra,” I whimper. “Feels… so good.”

Still, I can tell he’s holding back for some reason. Maybe he is worried about hurting me. “You won’t hurt me,” I tell him, pushing up on my hands and pushing back against him.
“You will tell me if I do, Maddox is forward with me,” he informs me, leaning over and kissing my shoulder blade. “Kat?” He asks, slowing down again and waiting for my answer.

“Yes,” I pant. “Don’t stop,” I plead. He chuckles against my ear and his fingers move at a pace I don’t think is humanly possible. He rams into me, hard and fast, he could break me in half as long as he keeps making me feel this good. I am so close to hitting that perfect moment.

“I want to mark you, Kitty.” Maddox’s rough voice below my ear makes me look over my shoulder to see his onyx eyes staring at me.

“You can say no, Kat. We have already marked you.” I hear Ezra’s voice through the link, as Maddox slams into me. It’s fast and hard and brutal, but I don’t want it to stop.

I moan before I can answer. “You can if you want to,” I tell Maddox, he kisses my cheek.

Ezra’s hand grabs my breast as he pulls me closer, his grip tight so I know Ezra has given him control, his thrusts brutal as he pounds into me. His tongue runs over my neck.

“I will try to be gentle,” Maddox purrs and I can feel Ezra’s worry when his canines slip out pressing against my skin.

“Gentle Maddox, slow,” Ezra tells him, before his teeth sink into my skin slowly and I can tell he is holding back as they slowly penetrate my neck and shoulder. My orgasm reaches its peak as he sends me over the edge, and I moan loudly, sparks rushing everywhere when I feel his canines hit bone.

His movements become erratic, before he stills inside me with a groan. Maddox pulls his canines from me before running his tongue over his freshly made mark.

I feel his grip on me slacken and Ezra presses his lips to my shoulder. “He didn’t hurt you, did he?” He asks, and I shake my head.

“No, the opposite,” I tell him, before feeling him slide out of me and pull me down on his chest as he lays down.
“You can’t fear him, Kat. I don’t want you scared of that side of me,” he says, kissing my head.

“He doesn’t scare me,” I tell him and he grips my chin tilting my face up. “Don’t lie, I know he does. You know I can tell right?”
“Maybe he does a little.” I answer with a shrug.

“Just don’t ever run from him, promise, no matter how bad your instincts scream at you to run, don’t. It makes him go into overdrive. He likes the hunt, only run if Mateo says to or I do,” Ezra tells me, his words make my heart skip a beat. I nod my head, thinking back to every time he has come out I am usually trying to escape him.

“Why does Maddox think I will leave him for Mateo?” I ask, remembering his strange words and the possessive demeanor behind them.

“Mateo likes you,” Ezra says with a sigh.

“Yeah, he is my friend, I would hope he does,” I chuckle.

“No, Kat. Mateo killed his mate for you, and not just because you’re his Luna, but because he is in love with you,” Ezra says, making me think back to the river, he said he was fooling around with Jasmine because he couldn’t have who he wanted.

My stomach turns to lead. Does that mean he meant me? “Does that bother you?” Ezra asks.
I don’t answer, not knowing if it does or doesn’t. I never thought of being with Mateo but Kora likes him a lot and so do I, but do I like him more than as a friend?

“Do you like Mateo, Kat?” Ezra asks, and I can feel his anxiety over what he asked.

“He isn’t my mate you are,” I reply, not sure myself, and he presses his lips to my head before letting out a breath.

I kind of wished he hadn’t told me that, because now I will always question his intentions, question my reactions around him.

“Calm down he won’t act on it, he knows you’re mine.” “Yes, but he killed his mate for me.”
“And that was his choice, you never asked him to and neither did I,” Ezra reminds me. “I wish you never told me that,” I tell him honestly.
“He doesn’t need to know I told you, Kat. You can still be his friend.”

I run my fingers down his chest, loving the feel of his hard abs beneath my fingertips. “Can we go for a run? I want to let Kora out.”

“What, now?” He asks. I shrug, she just wants to run, she wants out.

“You will stay with me, don’t run off. I’ll tell the border patrol to steer clear of this side of the forest.”

“Why can’t they patrol?”

“Until I find out who took those photos for Jackson, I don’t want my Pack seeing your wolf,” he growls, running his hand down my side.

“Come on then, we can go now if you want,” he says sitting up. I feel Kora come forward, excited to be let out.

Ezra tosses me one of his shirts and I slip it on before he grabs my hand leading me downstairs.
Chapter 61

The front door opens and a giggling Jasmine and Mateo walk in, stopping when they see us. Jasmine’s face turns red and I chuckle, shaking my head at her flaming cheeks as she holds Mateo’s hand.

“We are going for a run if you want to come,” Ezra offers them.

“We might meet you out there, have fun,” Mateo says, before grabbing Jasmine, throwing her over his shoulder, and heading for the stairs.

“Kat!” Jasmine calls out, as he climbs the stairs, holding her hand out to me. “Use protection,” I taunt, letting Ezra tug me toward the back of the house.
Ezra pulls me with him to the forest edge, the sun is going down, yet the heat makes the breeze warm as it washes over my skin. I watch as he mind links everyone on patrol before focusing back on me.

“Stay with Maddox, Kora. No wandering, we can’t go past the river, so stick close,” he orders, grabbing my face, she agrees and he lets go, tugging his shirt off and dropping it on the ground next to the tree before stripping his shorts off.

He tugs my shirt off over my head and I cover myself, looking at the trees wondering if the patrols are gone. “No one is out there Kat, you can shift,” he says, pulling my face back to his.

“Can you turn around? I don’t like you seeing me shift.” He presses his lips to my head before turning around and shifting himself. Kora presses forward before I feel her shift, the gross sensation of our bones dislodging and snapping as they realign makes a shiver run up my spine, my face elongates and my hands turn to paws.

Kora digs her claws into the soft earth before stretching herself like a cat.

“You can turn around,” I tell Ezra, as he turns around in wolf form. Maddox jumps on her and rubs his face along her neck, masking her with his scent as he rubs himself on her like a cat. Kora starts purring before she licks his face.

“Ready?” Maddox growls and Kora answers him talking as if she were a person.

“Yes, lead the way,” she says, biting his tail as he ducks his head between her legs. He whimpers before pulling away and licking her face and she bites him playfully.

“Maddox, you’re meant to be taking her for a run, not mauling her,” Ezra lectures him, making me laugh.
“Shall I lead the way, Alpha cling on?” She tells him and he growls at her nipping her ear. “Mine.” He snaps at her.
“Yes, yes, you keep saying that. Anything else in your vocabulary?” Maddox bites her muzzle softly, and she smacks him with her paw.
“I am trying to stay with you, but if you don’t move and start running. I will ditch you and leave you behind,” she taunts him, as he keeps trying to scent her.

“Maddox, run with her. We can’t keep patrols off for too long,” Ezra tells him, he growls wanting to play with her. She jumps on him, biting his ear when he still refuses to lead the way.

“I will race you to the river,” she offers, before jumping off him and darting into the trees. I can hear him chasing after her which spurs her on more. Maddox’s heavy paws catch up behind her and she ducks under a log, only for him to jump over it and in front of her before taking off. Kora chases after him.

“Come on Kat, keep up,” Ezra taunts, as he gets further ahead. Kora picks up her pace, pushing her legs faster, the breeze moving in her fur as she gives chase. Maddox beats her to the river when Kora barrels into him, shoving him in.

He drops under the water and she looks over the edge, yet he doesn’t come up. “Where did he go?” she asks, looking in the water and up and down the stream. She starts running up the side in panic.

“Calm down, I’m sure he can swim,” I tell her. Kora continues panicking when he still doesn’t surface, suddenly hands grab her fur pulling us into the water. A yelp leaves her as she drops beneath the icy surface. She kicks her legs before arms wrap around us pulling us back up.

“Fucking dumbass, I thought you drowned,” she snarls at Ezra.

“Give Kat control,” he tells her, laughing as she kicks her legs, he presses his head to hers and she licks his cheek before shifting back. I wrap my legs around his waist and place my arms around his neck.

“How long can we stay out here?” I ask, when I hear the trees rustling making me look back. A black and white wolf steps out of the trees followed by Mateo’s gray one.
Ezra looks up and smiles, Jasmine suddenly shifts back to human form, not a care in the world that she is naked. Her boobs jiggle as she runs toward the river. “Cannonball!” She screams, running and bombing the water beside us. I see her white ass fly over the top of us as she hits the water with a huge splash. A few seconds later Mateo jumps in after her and yanks her back under the water as he goes beneath.
Ezra laughs at them before they suddenly appear again, Jasmine coughing and spluttering as she splashes Mateo’s face with the water, before dunking his head under it.

Jasmine squeals when Mateo swims between her legs lifting her onto his shoulders. She grabs his head. “Dude, my vag is on your neck,” she says, smacking his head.

Mateo shrugs. “What’s it matter? It was sitting on my face earlier,” he teases and I chuckle at her reddening face.

Ezra drops below the water doing the same, nearly making me tip backwards. Except Jasmine grabs my hands, steadying me. I grip her fingers trying to shove her backwards off his shoulders and it becomes a game of wrestling, trying to push each other off the others shoulders.

Jasmine gets me down twice before I finally get her back, falling backwards into the water with a squeal. I slide off Ezra’s shoulders and beneath the surface of water wetting my hair. Ezra and Mateo go off talking, while I move to the edge of the water with Jasmine.

“Mateo said you want to come back to school?” she says, and I look at Ezra who has his eyes on me as he listens.

“We can get her contacts.” I hear Mateo tell him and Ezra presses his lips in a line, clearly not happy about the idea.

“You want to go back?” He asks and I nod.

“You know they will know you’re my mate now that I have mated and marked you?” He says. “I know,” I answer with a shrug.
“No training, remember what you promised Maddox, Kat. You can’t go near your mother,” he says. I had completely forgotten, but maybe it is an opportunity for me to see her without him knowing.

“What happened with your mother?” Jasmine asks, I tell her and she seems a little shocked. “And your dad doesn’t know?” I shake my head.
“Hmm, tough one, I know she raised you, but I do see Ezra and his wolf’s point, you don’t know what she is capable of anymore, Kat.”

“She is my mom, Jaz,” I argue. And she shrugs.

“So what’s going on with you and Mateo?” I ask, wriggling my eyebrows at her. “Tomorrow at school not here?” She whispers and Mateo smirks at her words.
“Come on guys, we need to head back, patrol hasn’t been over here in two hours now, I need to let them pass,” Ezra calls, coming over and grabbing my hips.

We watch them leave, before Ezra climbs out pulling me with him. “Maddox was good,” I assure him, as he grabs my hand leading me through the forest.

“Yeah, he has calmed now that he knows you don’t have feelings for Mateo,” Ezra agrees, pulling me to him and draping his arm over my shoulders as we head home. His words make me a little uneasy because that isn’t entirely true, those lines are very fuzzy and as much as I love seeing him happy with Jasmine, I feel like I am losing my best friend.

“Hopefully him and Jasmine-” my mind wanders off, not knowing what I wanted to become of them.

“Jasmine hasn’t found her mate yet, things change when you find your mate, Kat,” Ezra corrects, cutting me off.

“They would make good mates though,” I argue, hearing the truth in my own words.

“We’ll see what happens, maybe if she doesn’t find her mate after a while, she may let Mateo mark her as his,” he says, kissing my head.

Chapter 62

The next day, I wake to Mateo singing out from down the hall, before he shoves the door open. “Wakey wakey, hand off snakey,” he calls over to us.

I groan, suddenly not wanting to get up.

“Come on Pumpkin, time for school,” Mateo calls and I grab my pillow and I lob it at him. He ducks and the pillow hits the wall.

Ezra rolls over and out of bed, and I raise an eyebrow at Mateo when his eyes roam over his muscled body. “Oi, stop, checking out my mate,” I scold, and he smirks.

“I can look, just can’t touch,” he says, wiggling his eyebrows at me.

Ezra yawns, rubbing his eyes. How is it even possible for him to wake up dead tired and look like a God in just his boxer shorts, while I look like I got attacked by some angry raccoons? I try to flatten my hair, getting up myself. “You really want to go?” Ezra asks, as I reach for my toothbrush.

“Better than watching you work,” I grumble, and he shrugs, grabbing his own and brushing his teeth. When I am done, I rinse my mouth out before Ezra turns to face me.

“You finish at lunch, I don’t want you near your mother, and Mateo will be in all your classes.” “About that,” Mateo interrupts, walking in.
“Seriously, you need to change your electives. I am not sitting through child studies and sewing, why would you pick those subjects?” He whines.

“Because they are the easiest,” I tell him.

He groans. “I will go get ready then, oh, and is Jasmine in all your classes?” He asks, and I nod, his eyes light up and I smile at him, happy to see him excited about spending time with her, even if it does feel like I am becoming a third wheel.

Yet I know that line of thought is selfish, I have a mate and Mateo deserves to be happy.

Ezra reaches into the bathroom cabinet, pulling out a white oval case with two separate partitions before opening it. “This is the closest we can get to your normal eye color,” he says, showing me the contact lenses. He grabs my hips, placing me on the sink basin.
“I mean it. Kat. I don’t want you near your mother,” he warns, pulling my eyelid up and popping the contact in. I blink rapidly, my eyes watering. “Did you hear me?” He asks and I nod.

“Yes, I heard you. I will stay away from her,” I tell him, rolling my eyes when he grabs my chin.

“Attitude, you don’t speak to me that way,” he scolds, kissing my lips. “Save that for Mateo,” he adds, while reaching up and pulling my other eyelid up while I look at the ceiling. He pops the other contact in before closing the little case they were in. His hands run up my thighs.

“How long do I have to stay away from her?” I ask and he eyes me. “Kat?”
“I will stay away, besides, Mateo would tell on me anyway. But how long? I can’t avoid her forever,” I tell him. He doesn’t answer and I jump off the basin, only for his arms to wrap around my waist, tugging me back against him.

“Stay with Mateo, and if you need me, mindlink me, I don’t want you wandering off,” he growls, nipping at my mark.

“I know, I know,” I sigh, unwrapping his arms from around me.

“Wait, can I still see my dad?” I whisper, stopping at the walk-in closet.

“Yes, if he comes here.” I grab some shorts out and a tank top. “You’re not wearing that,” he says, glaring at the shorts.

“It’s stinking hot outside. I am not wearing jeans,” I argue, tossing them on the bed. He walks over before grabbing them and tossing them in the trash.

“Knee length, any shorter and you will go to school wearing a burka.” He is not being serious right now?
“Meow cat fight,” Mateo taunts, walking back into the room fully dressed in jeans and a black t-shirt.

Ezra walks into the walk-in closet, rummaging through my clothes before coming out with capri jeans. I huff, snatching them from him and grabbing my tank top, stalking into the bathroom.

“Thank you,” I hear him call out as I slam the door.

I get changed before walking out and downstairs. Mateo is talking to Ezra on the stairs. My bag is tossed over Mateo’s shoulder and they both look up as I walk down the stairs.
“Happy?” I ask, both Ezra and Mateo look over what I am wearing, before Ezra gives his nod of approval.

“That’s completely outrageous, you will be the talk of the school wearing such scandalous clothes,” Mateo gossips and Ezra sighs. “I can see your ankle,” Mateo whispers and Ezra chuckles. I flip Mateo off at his teasing.

Ezra grabs my face in his hands when I stop beside him. ”See you at 1,” he says, pecking my lips and walking off, only to pause near his office. “And make sure she eats on the way to school,” he calls out to Mateo.

“I know,” Mateo calls back, draping his arm across my shoulders, he presses his lips to my temple.

“Now, to sit through your boring ass classes,” he mutters, opening the door and pulling me toward his Black BMW. “You’re not taking your truck?” I ask.

“Nope, it’s at the mechanic getting fixed,” he says, unlocking his car. I climb into the passenger seat and clip my seatbelt. We get breakfast from McDonald’s on the way before pulling up.

We end up being ten minutes late as we walk to my English class.

Everyone’s heads turn to look at me as I enter the room. The teacher turns and glares at me. Mr. Nagi is a real jerk and hates tardiness.

“Kat, nice of you to grace us with your presence after skipping last week,” he chides, waving his ruler in my face before slamming it down on his desk, when I feel the heat of Mateo as his chest brushes my back. Mr. Nagi suddenly steps back, straightening up as Mateo stands behind me. I can’t help the smirk on my face at Mr. Nagi’s petrified one.

I can see Jasmine giggling in the corner when Mateo drops his hand on my shoulder.

“That’s Luna to you, is there a problem because I can call the Alpha down if necessary?” Mateo suggests.

Mr. Nagi sniffs the air and Mateo embarrassingly flicks my hair over my shoulder revealing my mark. I try to swipe it back in place but the entire room sees it, my face burns up having everyone’s attention directed at me, as they whisper amongst themselves.

“No problem at all Beta Mateo,” Mr. Nagi says, offering his neck in submission. I walk toward my desk where Jasmine is sitting, everyone’s eyes go to me and I feel like I am doing the walk of shame.

“Was the Luna bit necessary?” I whisper to Mateo.

“He should know his place, and now everyone does,” Mateo says with a smirk, leading me to my desk. He grabs an empty chair pulling it over to where Jasmine and I are sitting. Thank
the Goddess we are at the back of the class, anyone turning around to glance back at us is met with Mateo’s glare, so after the first couple of times, no one dares look back at us.

Poor Mr Nagi’s hands visibly tremble as he writes on the chalkboard, I actually feel terrible that Mateo called him out. The day goes painfully slowly, everyone stealing glances, and I find everyone is too scared to even approach me, except for Angie, and for once I am glad to have her attention directed at me, she walks toward us during the first break of the day.

“Kat, Jaz,” she greets, walking over to us. “Hey,” I tell her, giving her a wave.
“See the Alpha finally made it official and since you are currently the hottest topic in school, I would advise you to avoid the cafeteria.” She loops her arms through mine and Jasmine’s. I look down at her arm. Mateo follows behind us as she starts leading us outside.

“And where should we go, if not the cafeteria?” Jasmine asks.

“My brothers are on the oval, though I doubt anyone will mess with you while Mateo is around, but down there it is away from prying eyes.”

“How many brothers have you got?” I ask, because I always thought she was an only child with how snobby she was when I first came here.

“Five, only four are here though. My oldest brother is away on Pack training,” she says, leading the way.

“Kat, Ezra won’t like you skipping meals,” Mateo lecturess, before rolling his eyes when I turn around to face him. “Fine you go, I will go grab your lunch. Oval and no further, stay with Angie’s brothers.” I nod, letting Angie lead us to the oval.

Chapter 63

Jasmine jogs ahead when she recognizes one of them.

“That’s Jake, Jasmine and Jake used to be best friends in primary school. I suppose they are still close. They catch up sometimes,” Angie tells me, pointing to a blonde-haired boy who jogs over to her, tossing an arm across her shoulders and pulling her onto the grass beside him.

“Okay, this is Kat, that one there is Daniel,” she introduces, pointing to the one that looks to be a little younger than Angie with dark curly hair. “That’s Steve,” she says, as she points to a tall, blonde-haired guy with blue eyes and a cheeky grin. “And last but not the least Myles,” she says, pointing to the last guy. He waves before the strong scent of weed wafts to my nose.

“Luna.” They all say, and I shake my head.

“Please don’t call me that here, it’s embarrassing,” I tell them, and they nod and Myles shrugs.

“Kat it is then,” Myles says, handing a joint to Jasmine. She takes it, giving it a puff before passing it to Jake. I give her a look.
“What, it’s natural?” she says, shrugging and leaning against the tree behind her. Great, now I am going to stink of weed. We sit around chatting for a bit, them smoking.
Jasmine’s eyes turn red as she giggles away, chatting to Angie. I find it quite relaxing just
sitting in the sun.

When Jasmine hands me a freshly lit joint. I scrunch my face up at it, only for it to be plucked from my fingers making me look up.

Mateo stands above me, he raises an eyebrow, before drawing back on it, and flopping down behind me. He tosses a salad roll to Jasmine and drops one in my lap before pulling me back to sit between his legs.

He hands the joint back to me. “Ezra won’t care, Kat,” he assures and I shake my head.

Jasmine reaches for it, plucking it from his fingers. “Should be called chicken, not Kat,” Jasmine taunts, sending Mateo a wink and he chuckles.

“Technically shouldn’t you be scolding us?” I ask, raising an eyebrow at him. Myles starts laughing, making me look at him. “Where do you think we got it?” he asks, nodding to Mateo.
“Does Ezra know?” I ask him, a little shocked.

“Yes, it’s only weed and it grows in the forest, everyone has access to it.”

Jasmine nods at his words. “Yep, my dad has been making cannabis oil for some of the oldies with Parkinson’s disease,” she says.

“And we have been smoking it,” Angie giggles, handing the blunt back to Mateo.

He draws on it before turning it in his fingers and pressing it to my lips, when I don’t open my mouth he draws back on it, I turn to face the others when he grabs my chin, turning my face to his. His thumb pushes down on my chin and his mouth covers mine, blowing the smoke in my mouth.

In shock at what he did, I suck in a breath. It tastes nasty. Jasmine snorts a laugh when I scrunch up my face.

“See? Not that bad,” Angie giggles.

Mateo presses the blunt to my lips and raises an eyebrow at me. Rolling my eyes, I draw back on it before coughing my lungs up. Mateo chuckles, handing it to someone else. His hand rubs my back while I try to suck in much needed air, feeling like I am going to cough my lungs out my ass.

My head is spinning. “You’re not supposed to draw so much back, especially if you haven’t tried it before,” Jasmine scolds, while I continue to cough.

“Can tick that off the bucket list of shit to never do again,” I cough out. Jasmine hands me a drink bottle and I gulp the water down. I feel funny and don’t understand why they all seem to like it. It tastes like crap, burns my lungs and I feel like throwing up as I lean heavily against Mateo, trying to focus on his fingertips, brushing across my ribs instead of puking, why is it so hot? Myles chuckles. “Ha, you look like you’re about to green out,” he chuckles while I wait for the feeling to subside.

The bell rings and my heart races at the idea of going to class like this, everything feels dull. Angie digs through her bag, grabbing deodorant and spraying herself before tossing it to me. I spray my clothes and hair to try to get rid of the smell.

“What class do you have now?” Mateo asks, looking at my schedule in my hand. “Ah, history is a subject I don’t mind,” he says.

“Speak for yourself, the teacher is an ass,” Jasmine grumbles, coming over to me. “Well, I have math, I will see you on the next break,” Angie says, giving us a wave.
“Yep, yep,” Jasmine agrees, leading the way to history. The next two periods go by surprisingly quickly or maybe it’s because Jasmine and I seem to be in fits of giggles the entire time. Yet we never get in trouble for talking.

“Hmm, I think I will like having the Luna as my best friend, I can get away with everything now,” she chuckles, as we walk out of 4th period.

“Pretty sure it’s because he is sitting with us,” I tell her, nudging Mateo who messes my hair, making me have to flatten it back down.

We are heading toward the quad, when my mother sees me. She stops, turning to make her way over to me and I am actually excited to speak to her, when she suddenly stops, she looks at Mateo, and her eyes glaze over. She drops her head, turns and walks the other way. My heart breaks at the disappointed look on her face.

“Sorry, Kat but we need to go anyway. Ezra was expecting you at one,” Mateo tries to soften the blow, and I nod, letting him steer me toward the car.

Jasmine follows us, tossing her arms around Mateo’s neck. I rummage through his pockets, take his keys, unlock his car door and climb in.

While Mateo is distracted kissing Jasmine, I mindlink my mother. I push the link and am surprised when I feel it connect, she is no longer blocking me out.

“We need to talk, Kat. Please don’t shut me out. Just let me explain,” she begs. I almost burst out crying hearing her voice.

“Does dad know yet?” I ask.

“No, but I am going to come clean, it will come out eventually. I just need to see you, please Kat. I know what I did was wrong. I loved her, I truly did but please, am I not a good mother to you?” she asks.

“No, you are. But Ezra has banned me from speaking to you, I have been wanting to for days now.”

“What about the forest? I can meet you at the river, you just need to let me know, I will be there no matter how late,” she mindlinks me back.

I hear the car door open. “Gotta go, we’ll talk soon,” I promise as Mateo climbs in the car.

“I will pretend I don’t know you were just talking to your mother,” Mateo sighs, starting his car.

“I wasn’t,” I lie to him, when he reaches his hand towards my face. He rubs his thumb over my cheekbone. “Your tears say otherwise,” he whispers, his eyes softening.

“It’s not fair, it doesn’t change that she raised me,” I sniffle, and he sighs, dropping his hand.
“Maddox will come around, it’s only because he thinks she isn’t trustworthy.”
“And what do you think?” I ask him, curious what an outsider’s view was on the situation. “I think she is your mom and no matter what, you will still always love her, even if what she
did is unforgivable,” he analyzes with a shrug. “So what did she say?” He asks, turning onto the road leading home.

“Just that she wants to talk.”

“Are you going to tell Ezra?” He glances at me with a brow raised.

“You’re not going to tell him are you?” I whimper, if he does, he may just stop me going to school, yet after the day I had with everyone’s lingering stares I wasn’t sure I wanted to go back, but if it meant seeing her, I can endure it. He takes a while before he answers, my anxiety going haywire, worried he is going to tell Ezra.

“I won’t tell him, but Kat, please don’t tick Maddox off by sneaking around behind his back and seeing her. Maddox and Ezra are right to not trust her,” Mateo observes, pulling into the driveway. Ezra is already waiting for us and walks over.

“You won’t say anything right?” I mindlink, as I see him approach.

“No, Kat I promise.”

I open the car door, and rush over to him, wrapping my arms around his waist when he smells my hair. I could have sworn I sprayed enough deodorant in it.

“She smoked weed,” Mateo tells him with a shrug.

Ezra pulls back looking down at me. My face flames under his penetrating eyes. “I can smell it,” he confirms, though he doesn’t sound angry, just shocked. He presses me against the hood of Mateo’s car, and grips my chin tilting my face up. “And you won’t again?”

“Definitely not, made me cough my lungs up,” I complain, and he chuckles brushing his nose against mine.

“That’s my girl,” he praises, before biting my bottom lip and tugging it in his mouth.

“Oi, you fuck her on my car, you’re washing it,” Mateo threatens, and Ezra looks over his shoulder at him.

“Who gave her weed Mateo?” he challenges, but I can hear in his voice he is smiling.

Mateo taps his chin, appearing to think. “Technically, I didn’t give it to her, but I did pass it to her and may have smoked some,” Ezra shakes his head laughing. “Oh can Jasmine come over later?”
“You don’t have to ask Mateo, it’s your house too.”

“Just being considerate,” he mumbles, turning and walking inside.
Chapter 64

Ezra led me toward the house. “There is someone waiting inside for you,” Ezra whispers, making me pull back from him. “He is in the living room, I pulled him from work.”

I toss my bag at him before racing inside, Ezra laughs behind me as I slide across the floor, my shoes lose grip, and I only just manage to catch myself on the door frame. “Dad!” I squeal before launching myself at him.

“Pumpkin,” he says, squeezing me tight.

“I missed you,” I confess, hugging back as tight as I can.

“How can you miss me? It’s only been a few days? Oh! The Alpha marked you. Did you tell your mom yet? What did she say?” My dad teases.

“Where is mom?” I ask, ignoring his comment.

“At work, I asked if she wanted to come, but said she has Pack training,” he explains, with a shrug.

“That’s alright,” I tell him, and Ezra side-eyes me. I can feel the tension coming off him in waves. Thankfully, my dad doesn’t seem to notice. “Coffee?” I ask, trying to get my father away from a brewing Ezra.

“Sure,” he agrees, following me into the kitchen.

Ezra, unfortunately, also follows. I am suddenly uncomfortable with him being near because mates tend to talk about their mates, so I know it won’t be the last time my father mentions her.

“You should come over for dinner on Thursday, before the Pack run on Friday.” Dad invites.

“I have to cancel the Pack runs for a bit, having trouble with Jackson’s Pack,” Ezra informs, walking in.

“Well, Friday would work better for me anyway. How about Friday night? I can make Tacos?” My father grins at me, and I smile. I love tacos.

“This week is not good. Kat will be busy,” Ezra answers for me, before I have a chance to say anything. I stare at him, is he being serious right now?

“What day do you have off?” I ask my dad.
“I have Saturday and Friday off.”

“Maybe I can come over Friday morning?”

“Okay, I can tell your mother to start late,” my father says, with a shrug.

“Kat has school,” Ezra interrupts, and I bite the inside of my lip to stop the profanities I want to scream at him.

“I will come over Friday, dad. Ezra can drop me at school afterwards.”

I don’t bother looking at him. I know the disapproval I will find on his face. He’s seething inside at my words. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” Ezra mindlinks.

“It’s my dad,” I tell him.

“And he said your mother will be there.”

“And I said you can come,” I deadpan, cutting the link and shoving him out of my head.

“That probably wasn’t a good idea,” Kora scolds me.

My father clears his throat, awkwardly. “Um Kat, are you ok?” He asks, making me focus on what I am doing. I was in the middle of handing my father his cup and didn’t realize I was spilling it everywhere while my hand was trembling in anger.

“Shit, sorry, I will make you another,” I apologize, grabbing a tea towel and wiping up the spilled coffee.

“I’ll make it,” Ezra offers, coming over and taking the cup from me while I clean up the mess I just made.

“You ok, you seem off?” My father’s tone is full of worry. I hate having to lie to him. “Yep fine, how’s work?” I chirp back.
“How’s work? You never ask about work, what’s going on here, Kat?” “Nothing, dad, I’m just stressed with classes. I’ve fallen behind,” I lie.
“Don’t blame her. Her classes are so boring,” Mateo defends, coming in and cutting the weird tension. I could have kissed him when he walked in, completely distracting my father. Mateo winks at me as he walks behind my father.

“Ha, that’s right you’re sitting through her classes while we figure out this whole Lunar wolf thing,” my father chuckles. “Better you than me. I admit I don’t know your teachers, but I’m more than done with all of that.”
“Speaking of that, have you had a chance to find those old scrolls?” Questions Ezra.

“Shirley said she can’t find them. I will ask her to have another look. I take it you are keen to break the curse. Start pumping out those heirs,” my father chuckles, wiggling his eyebrows at me. My face heats and I know I must resemble a tomato.

Little does he know there is no curse, his mate is just a murderer.

“Yep can’t wait for grandbabies, the sooner you break the curse the better,” my dad adds. “Dad, I’m eighteen.”
“Your mother wasn’t much older than you,” he shrugs with a huff

“Maybe a few years down the road,” Ezra agrees, and relief floods me with his words.

“Yeah gotta survive your first heat yet, hated that part. Thankfully, Shirley never went through it, it would have been nice to give you a brother or sister though.” He sighs.

“What are you going to do when she goes in heat, will be too hard for you living here?” My dad asks, curiously looking at Mateo.

“Huh?” I ask, confused.

“Mateo, he is unmated,” my dad explains, yet I am still struggling to wrap my head around what that has got to do with anything.

“Come on, Kat. Your mother had this chat with you already.”

“Yeah, but I don’t know how it affects Mateo, dad. Heat will only make me horny,” I tell him, before my face turns a darker red at what I just said. Here I am talking about being horny with my father. I wish the floor would just split apart and swallow me. Kora however is snickering at my whole predicament.

“Yes, but it won’t just affect you and Ezra, any unmated wolf will seek you out, Kat. Why do you think wolves in heat remain home with their mates?”

“But it will only affect Ezra?” My mother did not tell me this bit, but saying that, my mother never went into heat due to her fertility issues.

“Yeah and any unmated wolf that catches your scent, I could have sworn she told you all this.”

“I may have tuned it out,” I admit. Does anyone really listen when their parents try to talk to them about sex?
“Seriously, I have to have this discussion with you too? Bad enough I had to explain your periods to you. Hopefully, you have a boy when you have kids, less talks,” my father chuckles.

Maybe instead of just the floor, the soil itself could eat me. I wanted to be buried several feet beneath the ground and away from all this talk. Why did he have to confess about the period thing? There is no way that little line will go unnoticed.

“Ha, you had a period talk with your daughter?” Mateo snickers. I roll my eyes at him. “Yep, Shirley was away for a few days, most awkward thing as a father I have ever done.”
“No, the most awkward would be you buying me pads, then you watching that stupid video trying to show me how to use them,” I scold him.

“Hey, YouTube is the best invention, I swear, I can get any tutorial on there,” my father objects, making me laugh.

“You could have just handed them to me, I didn’t need you to show me, it was so embarrassing.”

“I am so glad to be a man, my dad only told me the 3 F’s,” Mateo grins.

“The 3 F’s, you use the 3 F’s too?” I ask, wondering if his were the same 3 F’s I was told. “Yep, find them, fuck them, forget them,” he announces, and I pull a face.
“Shirley’s version is a lot cleaner than that,” my dad chuckles.

“Mom’s is the shower version, she used to say to me, always wash your face, fanny, feet,” I laugh. That time Mateo and Ezra both pull faces.

My dad laughs, shaking his head. “Anyway if you need somewhere to stay when she goes in heat you’re welcome to stay with us, I know it can be uncomfortable for unmated males,” my dad sympathizes with him.

“Thanks, I should be fine though. Ezra will lock her away and I will just lock myself in my room,” Mateo shrugs and Ezra nods at his words.

I completely forgot about going into heat, the one thing women dread about being werewolves and finding your mate is the heat, until you get pregnant, every few months you will go into heat, basically the she-wolf turns into a hormonal whore. Well, that is what my mother said, which is probably the only thing I remember of our awkward chats. I definitely don’t remember her telling me all unmated males are affected, making me wonder if she left that part out so not to scare me.
I just assumed it made you want your mate and them you. Now the idea of it scares me. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever have to worry about going into heat because I didn’t think I had a wolf.

“Well, I better go. Your mother should be getting home soon.”

“We will see you Friday morning,” Ezra says, making me look at him, though I am also excited about being able to see my mom. “You don’t leave my side,” Ezra adds through the link. I nod before following my father out.

Ezra pulls me to him as he drives off and Mateo ducks out to his car. “Going to pick up Jasmine, I will catch you guys later,” Mateo calls, before heading off.

“Have fun,” I tell him, glad he is finally finding some happiness after killing his mate, though I hope I’m not about to get into an argument with Ezra over me seeing my mother on Friday.

Chapter 65

Mateo never came home, but did mindlink asking what I was doing. Without Mateo or Marge here it means we have the place to ourselves. We spent most of the night watching movies, and Ezra helps me catch up on the mountain load of homework I missed from the previous week.

“Homework should be banned,” I mutter, as I look at the English homework Mr. Nagi gave me. I swear he gave me extra for Mateo embarrassing him.
“Stop whining and just do it. You want to go back to school. And school means homework.” “Easy for you to say. You’re not the one having to do it.” I complain and glare at him.
Besides, he is the Alpha. I’m sure he didn’t have to deal with crap-tons of homework in the
first place.

“When does it have to be in by?” he asks, not caring about the death glare I’m giving him.

“Not until the end of the week, except this damn one. Mr. Nagi is trying to get back at me. He wants it tomorrow.”

“Well, it is getting late. You can always skip tomorrow, ” he offers, taking my pen I am happily chewing on. “Up, it’s bedtime,” he scolds, slapping my butt where I am lying on the living room floor.

“I still have to finish this,” I insist. “What is it on?”
“Some old dude called Eziah Mathers.’”

“Some old dude, hmm, just some random old dude?” he asks, and I nod.

“Yeah, Mr. Nagi wants 2000 words on his accomplishments and life story or some crap, and because I didn’t check the assignment, I never bothered with the library, so I have no information, and Google has nothing,” I admit.

“Sounds more like a history assignment than an English one, and why would you find information on an Alpha on Google, or do you think we are just spilling our secrets to the human population?”

“See? Mr. Nagi is out to get me, huh, I think I will just take the F and tell Mr. Nagi to get F’ed,” I tell him.
“You will do no such thing. Ask for an extension.” Ezra orders.

“Yeah right, have you met the old fossil? Now, thanks to Mateo, I am going to fail English.”

“I think you forget who you are. You can always tell him to give you the extension,” Ezra chuckles.

“I already get enough stares from the other kids. I don’t need them thinking I get away with everything just because you’re my mate.” I complain, closing my English book.

“You could always say your wolf ate your homework,” Ezra snickers, and I raise an eyebrow at him.

“That was a dad joke. My dad would be jealous.”

“The only thing I’m jealous of, is the pen you have been slobbering on for the past hour. Now if you want something to suck on, I have just the thing for you.” Ezra winks at me.

Yawning, I stand up before dragging myself to bed. I was dreading school tomorrow.

“Remind me again why you insist on going?” Kora questions, with a yawn as I flop face-first on the bed.

“Because it’s boring here and our only chance to see mom,” I reply.

Ezra climbs in beside me before jerking me over to him. His chest against my back.

“Why do I have to always be the little spoon? Roll over, you’re squishing me,” I try to roll away from him, but he tosses a leg over me and pulls me closer to cuddle.

“Because you are small and can’t escape me,” he teases, nibbling on my ear lobe when I feel the Mindlink open up. Mateo’s voice flits through my head.

“How did your homework go?” He asks.

“Shouldn’t you be spending time with Jasmine and not worrying about me?” I chuckle.

“Jasmine is asleep, as for worrying about you, that is all I do,” he says. I say nothing when Mateo speaks again. “Your homework?”

“Kora ate it,” I snicker.

“So you didn’t finish it?”

“Nope, and Mr. Nagi will go off his brain at me no doubt.” “I can come home and help you?” he offers.
“Na, besides you have patrol early in the morning?”

“I don’t mind, kind of boring watching Jasmine sleep,” he tells me. I yawn and snuggle back against Ezra. “Think I will just take the F. I am in bed now anyway,” I tell him, now fighting sleep so the link doesn’t abruptly cut off.

“Night, Kat,”

“Night,” I yawn not realizing I said it out loud until Ezra grips my chin making me look at him. The link cuts out and he stares at me.

“Who were you talking to? Better not have been your mother,” I roll my eyes at him and he growls. “It was just Mateo,” I growl, snuggling back against him. Ezra mutters something yet my mind is already drifting off to sleep and too sluggish to catch what he says.

I wake the next morning to wandering hands strolling up my rips and slipping around my chest. I roll, trying to block the light from burning my eyeballs out of my head.

“Up, you have school,” Ezra says, nuzzling the back of my neck. “Nope, I’m faking sick.”
“If you’re going to fake sick, best not tell the person who is taking you to school you’re faking,” Ezra observes with a laugh, making me sit up.

“Wait, Mateo didn’t come home?”

“Nope, he spent the night at Jasmine’s. He is also filling in for border patrol,” Ezra says with a shrug. And I nod remembering him mindlinking last night before bed.

“Then I’m definitely not going. I am not having you sit in my classes.” I can just imagine it. Ezra with me in every single class. Though, maybe it would be worth it if he can scold Mr.
Nagi for giving me impossible assignment

“You don’t have a choice, get up, or I will drag you out,” he threatens and he bites the shell of my ear.

“Can’t you fill in for Mateo on border patrol?” I complain.

He raises an eyebrow at me and presses his lips in a thin line. His amusement is wiped away in seconds. “Fine, I won’t sit in on your classes, but I will be staying,” he growls at me, before muttering under his breath.

“Fine!” I snap, getting up and getting dressed. Today is going to be rough.
Ezra drives me to school, and just as I am climbing out of his car, I spot Jasmine. She waves, rushing over to me. “Please tell me he isn’t sitting in our classes?” Jasmine whispers nudging me.

“You know I can hear you?” Ezra asks. “No he isn’t.”
“Ah thank the Goddess, no offense Alpha, nothing more nerve wracking than having an Alpha breathe down your neck.”

“Try living with one,” I crack, beneath my breath and she chuckles. “Nope, Mateo is bad enough, bastard took up my whole bed.” “How are you and Mateo going anyway?”
“Hmm, it’s fine, though he is a little clingy.” She shrugs. “A little clingy?”
“No, actually a lot clingy. He also made me follow him to the bathroom last night, damn crybaby is scared of the dark.”

I snort. “I take it you watched horror movies?”

“Yeah, and it was crap, it wasn’t even scary and the graphics were terrible,” she complains, as we make our way to the first period.

Walking through the corridors we notice a few stares. “What the fuck are you looking at Tammy?” Jasmine demands as the bimbo eyes us.

Everyone gives us side eyes as we approach our classroom. Just as I am about to walk in, I find myself jerked backwards by my bag.

“Forgetting something?” Ezra deadpans.

“Well, that explains the stares, I thought he left,” Jasmine mutters.

“Nope, have everything,” I chirp, looking at my bag when he jerks me closer. His lips crash against my own before he presses me against the brick wall, his tongue invading my mouth.

My face burns at his public display and the traitor Jasmine snorts with laughter. “Ezra!” I squeak around his lips. He pulls back, chuckling at my embarrassment. “Have fun,” he says, giving me a smirk and walking off down the corridor.
Jasmine whistles low. “Well, that was something.” “Something embarrassing,” I mumble.
“Katya Hartley, if you are done disturbing the rest of the class please take your seat.” Miss Taylor commands, her lip is curled in disgust.

“Someone woke up on the wrong side of bed this morning,” Jasmine whispers as we find our seats.

Class is as boring as watching Ezra work. Why had I been so desperate to get back here again? My interest is waning quickly. Miss Taylor is a right bitch for the entire class period so I am relieved when the class finishes. While walking out when the bell rings, Angie catches up to us.

“Fuck, what is up with her? She really has it out for you, Kat. She looked like she wanted to claw your eyes out,” Angie gossips, as we make our way to English.

“So it wasn’t just me that noticed then?” I chuckle. Here I am thinking I’m imagining it all because I am bored.

“Nope, she was being a bitch,” Jasmine agrees.

Entering Mr. Nagi’s class, I want to run back out. His evil beady eyes light up when he spots me. “Katya, I hope you have that homework done.” He greets, with a snide smile, holding out his hand expectantly.

“I need an extension, I haven’t finished it yet,” I request. That is a flat out lie. I barely started it, literally wrote one line and that was his name.

“Hand over what you have down then. Let’s see how bad our future Luna is failing classes,” he demands, clicking his fingers.

“Tell the old fossil to get stuffed, Kat. Seriously, what is up with your teachers today?” Kora growls. I roll my eyes at her.

“Without the attitude, young lady,” Mr. Nagi demands and I realize he thought I did it to him. I hand him my English book, waiting for the scolding I know I am about to receive. Mr. Nagi flicks through till he stops. He raises an eyebrow at me.

“Take your seat,” he snaps, but doesn’t give me my book back.

I sigh, going to my seat when I see him reading before tapping the chalkboard with his ruler.

“Start on chapter three,” he orders, pointing to the chapter title on the board. I pull the book we have been working on and find the chapter before I start reading. Jasmine intently reads hers, I have never met anyone that loves learning as much as she does. Halfway through class a shadow falls on my desk and I look up to see Mr. Nagi standing over me.
“Well, it seems you can focus when not distracted,” he says, dropping my book on my desk and walking away. I look at the page he has it open to. And nearly choke on my own spit. I flick through the pages of the completed assignment. Typed up and glued to the pages.

“Well, we didn’t do that,” Kora observes.

“Obviously it was Ezra,” I tell her, looking at the A scribbled on top.

When the bell signals for our first break, I grab my belongings before going in search of him.

Walking to the faculty lounge, I head for the corridor leading to his office. Only when I approach I see the door is slightly ajar and I can hear a woman talking, a voice that screeched at me all through first period, Miss Taylor.

“Madeline don’t you have students to teach?” Ezra asks her.

“Nope, first break. Come on, Ezra it will be like old times,” she offers.

“Old times? What does she mean by old times?” Kora growls. First I have a run in with students and now I need to be worried about the fucking teachers trying to take my mate?

“I have a mate, Madeline. Now get the hell out,” Ezra snaps at her, just as I push the door open.

Miss Taylor jumps, turning to look at me with a devious smile on her lips. “Miss Hartley, this is a teacher’s only area back to the student areas, please,” she lectures.

“Fucking claw that sluts eyes out, Kat,” Kora growls, the noise tearing out me.

“Madeline out. She has every right to go where she wants. Now get out of my office!” Ezra demands.

“Of all the people, Ezra, you choose her? You left me for her. Some little teenage brat?” I stare at Ezra and he presses his lips in a line.
“What’s she talking about, Kat?” Kora whimpers in my head at the thought of Ezra being with this old hag.

Kora presses beneath my skin, forcing me to step into the room when all I want to do is run. Kora though is refusing to have it.

“Kat, don’t you shift. She is leaving,” Ezra mindlinks.

Chapter 66

Kora wants blood and I feel the first twinge of her forcing control. A hand drops on my shoulder. Mateo’s scent hits my nose, and he crushes me under his arm to his chest, wrapping both arms across my shoulders.

“Do you need help leaving, Madeline?” Mateo asks with a wide smile, his grip on my shoulders is so tight and Kora knows shifting will mean hurting him. I feel her release the hold she has on me, my body relaxes, and the trembling stops.

“Madeline leave!” Ezra commands, a strangled whimper leaves her lips as she rushes past me while sending me a glare from the rejection.

Mateo lets me go, only for Ezra to grab my arm. “You need to get yourself under control. You can’t shift at school, you could expose yourself,” Ezra snaps.

“So what? You expect me to watch her throw herself at you? I can’t believe you let me sit through a class with a woman you have clearly screwed, you fucking jerk! I just sat through an hour of her being a bitch only to find her practically sitting on your fucking lap!” I scream at him, shaking his grip off.

“Kat!” Ezra warns, when a couple of teachers stop in the hall, and stare into his office. “What the fuck are you looking at?” I snap at them, and they duck into the closest rooms. “Kat, stop. We can talk about this at home,” Ezra warns.
“I thought you don’t mess with Pack wolves,” I jeer at him, throwing the words he told me before at him.

“I don’t. She lost her mate and I didn’t realize she was one of your teachers, or I would have had your schedule changed. Mateo shut the door please,” he commands.

“Don’t bother, I’m leaving,” I snap, pushing past him and heading for class. “Kat!”
“Fuck off, Alpha,” I spit, as I race down the hall.

“Jasmine, where are you?” I mindlink.

“On the oval with Angie, what’s wrong?” She asks, alarmed.
I don’t answer.

“I’ll find you,” she suggests, cutting the link as I try to see where I am going with my vision blurring from the tears threatening to spill.

Rushing down the corridor that leads outside, I run straight into my mother. She grabs my arms to steady me.

“Where do you think you are running to?” she snaps, before realizing it is me. “Kat? Shit Kat, what’s wrong?” She asks, wiping my tears with her hands. My mother glances around before tugging me into a nearby janitor’s closet. “Honey, tell me what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, I just want to go home.”

“Is someone picking on you? I have been trying to find you all morning to talk to you,” she says, pulling me against her. Her familiar scent floods me, and I hug her back. “Tell me which student honey, I will make sure it stops. Just jealous little bitches, sweetie. Comes with being mated to an Alpha,” she adds.

“It wasn’t a student, it was Miss Taylor,” I sob and she goes tense. “Miss Taylor?”
“Yes, she was with Ezra. I was wondering why she had it out for me and then I just caught her throwing herself at him.”

“What did the Alpha do?” She softly asks.

“Told her to leave, but he yelled at me because Kora tried to shift,” I sniffled.

“Oh, honey, don’t you worry about Miss Taylor. I will handle her, but you need to realize the Alpha has a past before you. You can’t hold it against him for who he was with before he met you, I am sure if he knew she was your teacher he wouldn’t have allowed her near you,” she assures. I nod against her chest letting her soothe me, gosh, I missed her. Sometimes you just need your mom to make everything better.

“Mom, we should probably get out before the janitor comes,” I suggest, realizing I am now covered in her scent. Ezra is going to lose it.

“Dad said you’re coming over on Friday?” I nod.

“Have you told Dad yet? If you do Ezra might let me see you more,” she sighs and I can’t imagine being in her shoes, she will risk losing him to keep me.

“I promise I will do it tonight.” The bell rings at the end of the recess break. “We need to go. I am sure the Alpha will be looking for you.” I nod and she opens the door before looking out. “Coast is clear, I will handle Miss bitch for you.”
“Wait, what are you going to do?” I ask her, as she storms off toward the teachers lounge.

“Need a sparring partner for training. I think she will do just great and it will save you from getting in trouble for doing something,” my mother says, with a smirk and I feel myself smile.

“Get her mom,” Kora growls, her mood perking right up at her words.

“There you are, I have been looking for you everywhere. What happened, who’s ass am I kicking?” Jasmine asks, running around the corner and into me.

“Wait, is that your mom?” she asks, studying me. “Did she do something?” She growls softly. I shake my head before telling her what happened as she drags me to class. Strolling in, I find Mateo sitting next to my desk.

“Where’s Ezra?” I ask.

“In his office,” he answers, before reaching into my bag and grabbing my perfume out of it and stealing my jumper. He tugs it off over my head. “Use it, I can smell her all over you,” Mateo cautions. I take it from him, and he stuffs my jumper inside his shirt.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

“Better he finds you with my scent all over you, then that one.” He folds his arms over his chest and waits for my teacher to enter the classroom.

The next two classes drag on, and I am in too much of a bad mood to focus on what the teachers are even trying to teach, though by the time it is lunch I am over it. Jasmine and Mateo both try to cheer me up, but I am dreading having to go home.

Walking toward the parking lot, I head for Mateo’s car only to find he parked next to Ezra. I groan and turn around about to head back to school when I spy Ezra leaning against his car waiting for me.

“Kat, don’t you walk away from me. You just caused a scene in front of so many people now get in the fucking car,” Ezra snaps at me. I was over his mood swings, he is almost a different person since he marked me, always getting cranky at the stupidest things.

“Nope, I will get a lift home with Jasmine.”

“Kat!” Ezra growls, when I continue to walk away from him.

“Katya, get over here now.” He commands, and I feel his Alpha aura smash into me.

My feet became rooted to the ground, unable to take another step. I grit my teeth fighting his command, sweat runs down the back of my neck only to cry out at the intense urge telling me to submit to him. Kora whimpers in my head trying to urge me to do what he says when I spot Mateo walking towards us.
“Ezra! You’re hurting her,” Mateo snaps at him.

“Stay out of it, Mateo, she didn’t accuse you of shit in front of half the staff. Now Kat, come here,” Ezra orders, though he drops the aura command. A shudder runs through me as it drops and my shoulders sag.

Mateo comes over rubbing my arm. “Hey, you okay?” he asks and I glare over my shoulder at Ezra before looking back at Mateo.

“Can I go home with you?” I ask him and his lips part to speak when we hear an uproar of yelling and screaming coming from the training grounds.

“Mateo, go see what’s going on. Kat now!” Ezra yells at me.

Mateo gives my arm a squeeze then lets go. He heads toward the training grounds when I hear his voice flit through my head.

“Just go, Kat, I will be home soon,” Mateo tells me, rushing off to see what the commotion is. I turn around and walk back toward Ezra. His aura is intimidating as I approach him, he has his arms folded across his broad chest.

He lets out a breath, and his aura drops slightly as he takes a step toward me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know she was one of your teachers. I didn’t hurt you, did I?” He asks, reaching for me, but I pull away from him. He pinches the bridge of his nose. “Just get in the car.”

He turns on his heel and hops in the driver’s seat. Gritting my teeth to fight myself growling at him, I reach for the door handle when I hear running coming up over the small hill leading to the parking lot.

Ezra rolls the window down. “Kat, get in the car,” he growls, making me look at him.

I sigh, grabbing the door handle and dropping my bag in. Just as I go to hop in. I see Miss Taylor step into the parking lot, looking rather frazzled. Her clothes were torn as if she had been in a fight and on the losing end of it. I press my lips in a line to hide my smile. By the amount of blood on her face, she clearly had her nose broken and a cut across her eye though she is mostly healed.

She turns, glaring at me as she heads for her car while I climb in Ezra’s and put my belt on. The moment my seatbelt is locked in place, Ezra tears out of the lot at an alarming speed, making me grip the seat.

“That’s our Momma,” Kora howls in my head.

“Do you have any idea how angry I am with you right now?” Ezra snarls, snapping me back to the situation at hand.