I stared ahead as I let the tears flow.
I knew it would happen but didn’t think it would be like this.
I could feel Priya stir in my head, but she said nothing.
She told me never to get involved with him, but I didn’t listen.
I fell in love with another werewolf, and today was the worst day I have ever had.
Liam and I were together for two years. At first, it was just sex, but I realized I was catching more feelings for him over time, and I thought he was as well.
The dreaded word always loomed over us, ‘mate,’ we even talked about it.
Liam told me he wanted us to be mates, but when today happened, his birthday, I knew I was living in fear.
The day started out with Liam coming to collect me from my home, and we were going to have breakfast in the pack house to celebrate his twentieth birthday.
I knew today would be hard, but that never stopped me from thinking it would be me. How wrong was I?
We talked on the way there, but Liam suddenly became agitated and kept looking around. But he said the word out of nowhere, making me shudder as I looked at him.
His eyes were on something ahead of us, but when I looked to where he was looking, there was a beautiful woman with brown hair mouthing the same word.
Liam said nothing to me as he walked over to her and kissed her.
I felt every part of my heart shatter as I watched it unfold. It was like watching it in slow motion. I knew many people were looking on, and many eyes were on me.
Everyone knew of our status and knew what we were doing.
Many pack members shook their heads as they looked at the couple, but others were blank or happy for them.
I didn’t hang around to wait for a confrontation as I spirited off and headed toward my favorite spot in the forest.
I stared ahead.
I felt movement in my head, but I ignored it.
I knew Priya wanted to talk, but I wasn’t in the mood.
I could feel a few people trying to mind-link me, but I ignored them.
I knew they were from my parents and brother.
I couldn’t deal with the embarrassment that I felt.
I felt a shiver ripple as a slight breeze sent goosebumps over my arms.
A scent wafted toward me, and I knew who it was.
I didn’t move or even look when she sat beside me.
Ruby, my best friend, sat down but said nothing.
“I’m sorry, Sam,” Priya murmured, making me look back at her.
Her green eyes met mine but softened.
“It’s okay,” I said. “You’re right. I should have stopped when I realized I had feelings for him.” Priya said nothing for a moment but sighed.
“I hate being right,” she muttered, looking away, but returned to me. “Our mate will be here soon, but we must have some fun.”
“I don’t know if I can do that,” I said, looking back at the water.
“I feel so stupid,” I whispered. “I knew it was wrong, but it also felt right.”
“I know,” Ruby said, placing her hand in mine and squeezing.
I leaned my head and placed it on her shoulder as I looked ahead.
“What do I do now?” I asked as a lone tear came.
Ruby said nothing for a moment but sighed.
“I know you don’t want to be around here tonight,” she said. “We all know when people find their mates, the pack holds a gathering for them to celebrate.”
I forgot about that.
“I can’t…” I said, moving my head from her shoulder.
Ruby looked at me, giving me a look.
I knew that look all too well she was giving me. It was the one she would give to people who needed it. It was never full of pity, but it was more the lines that she had you and would be there for you, no matter what.
“I know,” she said. “I was wondering if you wanted to go out tonight.”
I stared at her.
“Where to?” I asked.
The corners of Ruby’s mouth hitched up slightly into a smile.
“We could go into the human town,” she said. “There will be no shifters or anything. We could have a dance and burn off some steam.”
I liked that idea.
“Even try to find someone for you to get under,” she said.
Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” I said. “That’s what got me into this position in the first place. I can’t be with anyone new.”
“Not what I meant,” she said. “A one-night stand, that’s what I suggest. To get Liam Turner out of your head.”
I stared at her, wide-eyed.
“A one-night stand,” I murmured. “I don’t know.”
I felt Priya move in my head, which made me look back at her.
The look of approval came as a surprise.
“Ruby is right,” she said. “I would like to fuck someone better in bed.”
I stared at her, arching my eyebrows at her.
“Our mate will be better,” she said. “Trust me. You only went out with Liam to get laid at the start, which turned into something else. I can guarantee there will be someone better than him, probably until mate comes along.”
I stared at my wolf.
What the hell?
No wolf would agree to something so crude.
She-wolves who have one-night stands are known around the pack as pack sluts, which I never understood as when male wolves did it, they got praised for having half of the women as notches on their beds.
I looked at Ruby, who was staring at me with a smile.
“Did Priya agree with me?” she asked.
I said nothing but nodded.
Priya’s smile grew wider.
“Great,” she said. “Let’s go back to your house to grab some clothes, and we can get ready at my house.”
I didn’t want to return to my house, as everyone would be smothering me with concern, and that’s not what I wanted.
I cleared my throat.
“I don’t want to return to my house,” I said.
Ruby’s face softened.
“Your mum will understand,” she said. “Just mind link her to tell her what we are doing, and we can go straight to mine.”
Ruby stared at me momentarily as the corners of her lips hitched up again.
“I have the perfect dress for you,” she said, making me frown.
That was worrying.
Ruby loved wearing revealing clothes, and it worried me when she said things like that. I said nothing to Ruby.
I opened a mind link to my mum.
“Mum,” I said.
“Sam,” she whispered. “I’m so sorry.”
I felt my heart clench again, but I cleared my throat.
“I’m okay,” I said.
“You will be,” she said. “I know you felt something for him, but you can get over him.” I smiled.
I love my mum, and she has always had my back.
“Thanks,” I said. “I was wondering if I could go out with Ruby, away from the pack house, tonight. I can’t see them together.”
“Of course,” she said. “Don’t worry about it. I will deal with your father and brother. You need a girl’s night.”
I felt slightly better knowing my mum was okay with it.
“I wouldn’t be drinking,” I said.
“Don’t be stupid,” she said.
“You will drink and find someone who will make you forget that, Liam Turner,” she continued. “It wouldn’t be long, hunny; Your mate will find you, and you will be happy again.”
Oh, my goddess!
I didn’t need to listen to my mum telling me what Priya and Ruby had already suggested. I cleared my throat.
“Okay,” I said. “I will get ready at Ruby’s house, as I don’t want people judging me.”
“Don’t worry about them,” she growled. “Most of the pack do much worse things than this, and I would happily put them in their place if they opened their mouth.”
“Thanks, Mum,” I said. “Ruby will lend me something to wear.”
My mum giggled.
“Oh, please send me a picture,” she said. “I want to see what she puts on you.” I felt my cheeks heat.
I said goodbye to my mum and looked back at Ruby, who was grinning.
“Mum, okay with you being at mine?” she asked. “Mine is there, and she knows what you are going through. She already got food and drinks ready for us.”
I nodded, feeling slightly happy.
I felt Priya move back. I knew she was settling down and preparing for the night’s events. “Yeah, my mum is okay with me going,” I said. “She wants a picture of what outfit you get me in.” Ruby laughed.
“Oh, she knows me so well,” she said, moving up from the floor and placing her hand for me to take. I smiled and took it as I got up.
“Let’s go,” she said. She pointed in the other direction that we could usually go to her house. “We can head that way, away from all pack members.”
I didn’t want to see anyone, especially not Liam.
Ruby grabbed my arm and guided me through the forest to her house.
I needed to get away from here.
Maybe a night of dancing and drinking will help.