“Aurora!” Mom shouted from downstairs. “I don’t want you sneaking out tonight while your father and I are gone.”
I pulled one of Tony’s sweatshirts over my head to mask my scent and opened my bedroom window. “I know!” I said. She’d told me that every night this week, and I hadn’t left the house once.
As far as she knew, I was that perfect-little-girl that she had shaped for years to take her place when she stepped down as alpha. The girl who trained relentlessly during the day. And the girl who just sat in her room all night, studying textbook after textbook about the most successful alphas in the nation. Their strengths. Their weaknesses. Their every move.
“I’m being serious, A,” she said. “Don’t leave this house.”
I gazed at my cat Ruffles who was giving me sassy attitude from her side of my bed and crawled out of the window, hanging on to the windowsill with just my upper body. “I won’t!” With a thud, I landed in a pile of rafts from the lake that I strategically placed right under my window for this exact reason.
Mom might’ve thought that I would be that perfectly trained alpha, but she didn’t know that a woman like me had needs. And those needs required me to be at the lake every night at 11pm to meet Tony.
The front door opened, and I hid behind a bush in the front yard, watching Mom and Dad leave the house to attend some urgent meeting they were having with the other packs in the area.
“Ares is coming,” Mom whispered to Dad.
Ares was coming. Ares was coming. Ares was coming. That was all that they’ve been whispering about the entire week. The Oh-So-Great Alpha of the East was burning up the lands, slaughtering the innocent, taking the weakest packs, and creating an empire for himself. And we were next. Apparently.
Dad closed the door. “What’re your thoughts about it?”
If I could, I’d tell her not to worry about anything. Alphas like him were easy to get rid of, as long as we had the right resources. Beautiful women, a night he wouldn’t forget, and a few drinks spiked with wolfsbane.
“He’s slaughtered every pack in his wake,” she said, her voice hushed. “We’re not as strong as we used to be, and”--she looked toward my window, and I ducked out of the way so she wouldn’t see me--“Aurora can’t fight.”
I gazed down at my feet, a feeling of shame washing over me at Mom’s words. Aurora can’t fight. They hit me hard, struck me right through the heart. Aurora can’t fight. I had heard those words for all my life. Everyone in this pack had heard those words too, and everyone in this pack knew it to be true. Aurora can’t fight.
Dad hushed Mom, and they both got into the car and sped down the street. I stood back up and hurried through the woods with my arms still wrapped around myself. Damn her. I tried so hard, so damn hard to make her happy, to be strong for our pack.
But I knew, deep down in my heart, that I would never be as strong as her or as good of a warrior as Dad was. I was just Aurora. The 19 year old girl sneaking out of her parents’ house to fuck Tony at the lake.
The forest was heavily guarded compared to last night. Mom must have expected Alpha Ares to be here sooner rather than later. I sighed and took the hidden route to the lake: shimmy through a deserted cave, climb down small cliff, walk right off the property without anyone seeing.
Nobody knew about the secret pathway except me.
I continued through the forest--making sure nobody was following me--and walked around one of the larger mountains in the area to the lake.
Tony wasn’t there. I sat down on some rocks and dipped my feet into the water, splashing them around.
All I had been craving for the past twenty-four hours was Tony playfully pushing me into the water with all of my clothes still on, watching me get soaked through the tiny pink tank-top that I decided to wear for him, pulling off his shirt and showing me all that thick muscle underneath. Tugging on my nipples. I drew a finger against them, making them hard. Pulling my hair. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Thrusting into me until I was begging him to stop.
My phone buzzed in my pocket, and I picked it up. Tony.
Sorry. Dad dragged me to the meeting with your parents tonight. Won’t be able to make it.
I threw my head back and sighed. It wasn’t like Tony to skip out on me like that, especially when I had sent me those pictures this morning.
I dipped my legs into the water. Well, there goes my plans for the night.
My phone buzzed again. Mom.
The Ironmane Pack was spotted ten miles away from our borders. You better be at home.
There it was again. The Ironmane Pack. Alpha Ares. Get back home now, Aurora, you know that you can’t fight. They’ll rip you in half, limb-by-limb. I put my phone back into my pocket and stared out at the water.
Nobody had seen him up close, and I couldn’t find any pictures of him when I searched this morning. Legend was that he killed so many and so quickly, people didn’t have a chance to even glimpse at him. The people who had the chance to see him though said he looked like a god with a back sculpted by the Moon Goddess herself, black tattoos that crawled up his forearms, and thick tousled brown hair.
I thought that was bullshit. No alpha ever looked that goo--
A twig snapped close behind me in the woods. I rolled my eyes, keeping my gaze on the water. “Tony, I’m not in the mood for one of your games right now. You know I’m here for one thing and one thing only, and that’s not for you to try to jump-scare me,” I said.
My eyes closed, and for a moment I breathed in the most captivating scent that I had ever smelt. Hazelnut.
Tony was trying extra hard tonight. Telling me that he wasn’t going to be here. Trying to scare me. Wearing an unusual but so damn sexy scent of cologne.
“And what are you here for?” someone said, voice impeccably smooth and deep in my ear.
I hopped up, my heart racing in my chest, and gazed at a naked man that I had never seen before. The moonlight was glistening off of his thick rippling muscles, his hair was a tousled mess on his head, and his deep brown eyes were nearly glowing when they gazed into mine.
Mate! My wolf said. She was jumping around, doing flips in my stomach. So giddy.
But I wasn’t feeling giddy at all. From that small scar running diagonal through his left eyebrow to his piercing browns, I was terrified. My breath caught in my throat. “You’re not Tony,” I said.
He clenched his jaw and stepped toward me. “No, I’m not. But I’m curious as to why this Tony was planning to meet you here.” He took another step closer, and I sucked in a breath. “Was Tony planning on taking what is mine tonight?” He towered over me, his large frame making mine look so small, then he grasped my chin between his fingers and forced me to gaze up into his dark eyes. “Because if he was, I’m going to have to take care of him.”
Slow updates for this book on Inkitt until STTA and/or The Twins is finished; however, I'll be updating this book every Monday on Patreon! You can read up to chapter 3 now. Chapter 2 gets right into the good stuff ;)