You Wouldn't Dare (#1) *COMPLETE*

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Chapter 12

Chapter 12
Violet

After Khaos stormed out of the hall without a backwards glance, I was ready to chase after him and give him a piece of my mind, to remind him of the promise he made not to let his temper get the better of him, especially as I couldn’t see any reason for him to be angry at what had happened.

On the other hand, I had already been given so much today - I must be finally maturing as I put my own feelings aside and realised that he had to have some time to himself. Khaos had promised me that if things were getting too much for me, I could escape to a room that he was willing to build to be my sanctuary. I had readily agreed without giving a second thought about him.

Where did Khaos escape to?

He had the entire pack to take care of, as well as other affairs that didn’t disappear just because I was now here. Yet not once had he complained. All he had tried to do was to make me happy, to make sure I was comfortable and taken care of. He wasn’t perfect, but he had tried his best for me. Now was the time to show him I was stronger than he thought. I didn’t need to be treated as though I was made of glass.

Not that the whole situation hadn’t taken its toll on me, but now it was clear no one ever gave any thought to how Khaos was handling this. He was a powerful man; he ruled with his head and not his heart, but here I was, determined to break through his icy barriers.

I also recognised this for the opportunity it was. I could finally get to know the pack and learn a thing or two about the wolf I was supposed to mate with. People would be more than likely to speak their truth if he wasn’t around.

I glanced around for Jasmine, figuring it was best to start with a friendly face or at the very least her brother, anyone with whom I had had a basic bit of interaction. Of course, it was Jasmine who was there; it felt as though she had made it her mission to make my transition from one pack to another as easy as possible and I was never one to look a gift horse in the mouth.

“Do you mind if I join you?” I asked shyly as I approached their table. I noticed it was full of other she-wolves, all of whom had friendly, open faces.

Are you kidding? Sit, sit!” Jasmine ushered the women down to make room for me and gave me a hesitant smile. “Are you okay? Khaos can be...”

“Khaos?” I interrupted, earning myself a few laughs from the other women.

“Yeah, Khaos,” Jasmine let out a heavy breath, “it’s not you, you know that, don’t you?”

“Yeah, I know. This is a lot for him to take.”

"It’s a lot for you too!” a raven-haired wolf spoke up, “don’t make this any more difficult for yourself by trying to go easy on him. He’s my Alpha and I love him fiercely for what he does for this pack, but I know I’m not alone when I say he was an asshole for the way he took you,” the other women nodded along with her as she spoke passionately. “We try to stay away from him when he’s with his bandit brigade. Those wolves are borderline feral. We knew it would not go well when we found out he was taking them to retrieve you.”

“I suppose he thought they were the best option – no one was hurt though. Well, as far as I know…”

“There you go again! Honestly, Luna, you’re allowed to be annoyed. All Khaos had to do was come back to the pack and let us know that he had found his mate and we would have helped – I know I speak for every woman at this table when I say that we would have gone along with him. He didn’t need to take those fucking savages with him,” every wolf at the table nodded their agreement. “Your pack might even have been happier if they could see the women that would be joining you at your new home. Goddess knows what they’re thinking after they saw those idiots.”

“Honestly, I can’t say I blame him. I’m not making excuses for him,” I hastened to add when she opened her mouth to interrupt me, “my parents would not have let me go without a fight- especially not to a wolf like Khaos. My mother is a socialite, she lives her life in a very superficial world. All she cares about is looking young forever, she barely even wants to change into her wolf, so she doesn’t stretch her skin too much. It’s a game between herself and her friends, to remain forever beautiful and wanted, the ultimate trophy wife. She had plans for me to follow in her footsteps.”

“You don’t fit in there?” Jasmine asked quietly.

“Honestly? I’ve never really fit anywhere. I went along with it. There was nothing else I could do. My mother had been conditioning me from the moment I was born, and by the time I realised there was another way to live and figured out my own wants and needs, it was too late to stop her. She would easily dismiss my remarks as teenage rebellion and hormones that held no truth. She would brush me off saying I would regret what I was saying in a few years, that mothers know best.”

“So where do you see yourself in this pack?” The raven-haired beauty spoke up once more.

“I don’t know. Khaos said I could do whatever I wanted, but I really don’t have any hobbies or interests. I would like to train a little, to build up my skills to help defend should we need it but other than that, I really wouldn’t know where to start,” she nodded at me and dropped the conversation so I really had no idea whether or not my honesty had been the right course of action to take. I was slightly saddened by how much I wanted their approval.

“Well, I think it’s a fab idea if you want to train! You can join me if you like? I train twice a week with the warriors!” my gut twisted in horror. There was no way I would be joining anything that the warriors had the slightest part in. Especially not after the warning Khaos had given me. He would be livid if he found out I was alone with them, even if Jasmine was there. I already knew he wouldn’t see that as adequate supervision. “Hey, don’t look at me like that! My brother watches me the entire time.”

“Khaos wouldn’t like it, he’s already warned me I can’t be near those guys…”

“We’ve all received similar warnings. My dad nearly threw a fit when he found out, but we’ve all worked together to find a happy medium. We never train in the warrior grounds, but in a training arena that Khaos built for us when he found out what we wanted. We always have a chaperone and there’s a safety alarm that will make the alpha drop everything and come running to us. Besides, the warriors really are the best of the best. I’ll be the first to admit, we can rely on the men quite a lot, so this is a great compromise and allows us to feel as though we’re helping in some way. We’re not huge in numbers, but we are deadly fierce - or should I say they are deadly fierce. We have no worries; the men will always protect us. Goddess, that sounds pathetic, doesn’t it?” I gave her a grim smile.

“I had hoped this pack would be different- is it not against all rules of feminism to rely on a male for your protection?”

“Sure, in an ideal world. We don’t live in an ideal world; we live amongst wolves. Wolves who won’t hesitate to attack a lone female in groups of five, or maybe even more. There are women here that could hold their own against one or two, but males are naturally bigger and stronger than most of us. They can easily overpower us. Its why we were so insistent on training so we could learn the basics, but deep down we can admit that we need the warriors. It’s the only reason we’re all so tolerant of them. I know this plays on Khaos mind a lot, it’s why he never, ever takes all warriors with him. We always have someone here with us,” she lowered her voice to a whisper so it was only her and I in the conversation,

“I don’t know how much you know of his history, we’ve heard dribs and drabs here and there, enough to know something horrific happened to his adoptive parents at his own hands. He will see to it we are trained to defend ourselves but he feels more comfortable knowing we have our knight in shining armour,” she gave me a mocking grin, knowing how it sounded but I agreed that it made perfect sense and I was slightly relieved. I was eighteen and could count on one hand how many sparring matches my mother had let me take part in. I could never catch up to them in strength.

“Besides,” Jasmine continued, “women tend to be more cunning; a man will openly attack, women plot behind your back. They are the enemy at your side. You know every move they make has been meticulously planned for months before they begin. At least that’s my experience,” I thought back to my mother and the schemes she made. They were relatively harmless in the grand scheme of things, just a way to knock one woman down from her place in society. Then I thought of the story Khaos had told me about his mother and I agreed wholeheartedly, earning a wide grin from Jasmine.

Our conversation was interrupted by a hand on my shoulder that almost had me jumping out of my skin. I knew instantly who it was. The skin under his hand felt as though it was on fire.

“Violet,” his hypnotic voice called out softly. “I would very much like that run now, if you’re not otherwise occupied?” He gestured to the surrounding ladies, all of whom smirked at us, speaking over each other as they ushered me out of my seat and towards Khaos.

“Go, go!” They called out.

“Do nothing we wouldn’t do!”

“We want details! Keep the mushy stuff to yourself but give a girl her fantasies!”

“Come back mated or not at all” Jasmine finished pleasantly, her laugh showing she was joking. Khaos shook his head at them, indulgent patience shining in his eyes. He held the door open for me and gestured for me to leave first. I took note as I realised, he always did this - not once had I ever seen him allow anyone at his back. Understandable. It was more than basic manners; he couldn’t trust anyone behind him because there wasn’t anyone who hadn’t been important to him that hadn’t stabbed him in the back.

He held my coat out for me and I shrugged my arms into the holes as I asked, “where are we going? Are we really going to go for a run?”

“Of course. From the moment I met you, I’ve been impatient to meet your wolf. It will be my pleasure to have you run by my side.”

“Well, with words like that, how can I say no?”

I squealed with laughter as he delivered a painful slap to my behind. “Plus, I get to see you strip naked, there’s always selfish intentions behind everyone’s actions.”

What could I say to that?

**********************************

Despite what Khaos said, he did not, in fact, watch me strip naked before I changed.

He granted me my privacy to change comfortably, knowing just how vulnerable we were at this moment. I was beyond relieved. It had always been a fear of mine that my wolf and I were not as bonded as we should be and she would refuse to complete the change, leaving us stuck part way through. We would both die a grotesque mix of human and wolf and I didn’t need the added pressure of Khaos watching me, especially with the added pressure of this being the first time he saw us go through the change.

I had heard horror stories of wolves stuck halfway through their transition, unable to take on one form or the other and it was always there in the back of my mind, especially considering how my mother viewed wolves as a hinderance and didn’t like to take on her wolf form, choosing only to benefit from the boosted senses and younger looks.

I emerged from behind the tree I had used to change and was once again awestruck by the sight of Khaos’ wolf. He was midnight black, completely devoid of any other colour. His fur was glossy and long and he stood at least double the size of my own small wolf. His paws were the size of my head, his claws razor sharp. His entire posture screamed out death, he looked like the ultimate predator.

My wolf paled compared to his. I was small and lean, mostly golden with flecks of whites, reds and oranges running through the fur. If the light caught me properly, there were also hints of whites, pinkish hues. I was a mirage of colours that Logan had once referred to as dazzling, sparkling like the gleam of a diamond. Not that I would tell Khaos that anytime soon.

I stood still, waiting for any sign of his approval, hoping that he would come over and rub against me the way all mates did to cover each other in our scents. He didn’t. He simply flared his nostrils and inclined his head to me, showing he wanted me to go on ahead. I did my best to hide my disappointment, there was still time - after all the night had only just begun.

We walked side by side for a while, close enough for Khaos to be reassured that I was comfortable and happy to continue, but not close enough that we might accidentally brush up against each other. Maybe he was being respectful, maybe I was taking it too personally, but after years of being self-conscious over my wolf, it was a bitter pill to swallow. I was reading too many romances, lost to the world of men who wore their heart on their sleeves. I had to keep reminding myself that Khaos was not like any other man I had known. He was doing his best to show me I was the one he wanted, if he was unhappy, he would let me know and I just had to have faith in that.

“How much training have you had?” Khaos voice came through the mind link, startling me from my thoughts. I cocked my head at him, silently asking how he did that.

“It’s a gift, little one. An Alpha has enough power to project to almost anyone, his mate included. If you concentrate hard enough, you’ll be able to get through to me too. Or I could always have my way with you now, completing our mating and giving you the pack link?”

I stuck my tongue out at him, ignoring his second question as I tried to concentrate on projecting my thoughts to him. I chuffed in frustration when Khaos gave me no sign that he had heard me. Thank the Goddess we were too far away from my mother for her to pick up on this link. I frowned, giving it another attempt but the same thing happened. I shook my head and whined, feeling completely hopeless.

“Relax,” Khaos’ voice felt almost like a caress as he whispered into my mind. He brushed up gently against the right side of my body, circling me to repeat the action on my left and then nuzzled his nose into my neck. His scent surrounded me, filling my nose with its intoxicating fragrance. I breathed it all in heavily, feeling instantly calmer. I adored moments like this, no one else got to see this side of him. No one knew that this beast of a wolf, this jealous, possessive, fierce, often angry man had such a sensitive, warm, patient side to him. My wolf purred her pleasure.

“Try again, little one. Just picture me and only me. Let the words flow, don’t concentrate too hard. It’s no different from talking. Your wolf may be the one in physical control, but you’re still in there, Violet, and I’m still right here.”

“Khaos?” I whispered hesitantly and saw his head cock to the side, finally hearing me. “Khaos! I did it!”

"That’s my girl. Now come on before the night is over,” he nudged me with his nose, repeating his earlier question regarding my hunting capabilities.

“None,” I responded bitterly. “My mother didn’t approve of women hunting, that’s not our job. I got some small combat training from…”

”For the love of the Goddess, do not say Logan” Khaos huffed, stepping away from me

“I had no idea you were the jealous type, Khaos!” I laughed, “no, it wasn’t from Logan. It was the pack you attacked last… I told you I had friends there. The alpha always made sure that he kept my mother distracted so that I could do something that didn’t involve my appearance. I can throw a punch but as far as anything else goes regarding my wolf? I suck.”

“Do you want to change that?” He replied simply.

“It’s an option?”

“It’s of no consequence to me, little one. We live in modern times. If you want to hunt, I’ll teach you, if not... well, I doubt you’ll starve, you’ll get all your meals from the packhouse. Although you will miss out in an amazing part of your wolf if you decide not to do this.”

“No, I’d like to. If you’re willing to teach me, I’ll be a star pupil.”

**********************************

Khaos was true to his word, he taught me how to hunt very matter of fact. There was gentle patience within him, but for the most part, he treated me as though this was an everyday occasion, growing angry with me when I made silly mistakes and nodding his approval when I succeeded.

There was no gushing of praise and no sugar coating my abilities, which was a strange thing to me. Everything I had ever done had been the biggest thing in my pack. Looking back, I saw how insanely spoiled and pampered I had been. Khaos didn’t work that way. He wouldn’t pretend I had conquered Everest when in reality, I was doing something all wolves should know how to do. It made me work all the harder- wanting the compliment from him more than anything, craving his feedback both positive and negative, knowing it would be me that earned it and not because I was the daughter of the alpha.

I smelled the deer before I saw it, detecting it a mile or so to the East. Khaos’ ears pricked at the same moment, letting me know I was on the right track. I stuck my nose to the ground, inhaling deeply to pick up a stronger scent.

Khaos watched, saying nothing as I followed the trail, circling back with me as I made a mistake and had to start again. I just knew that he already knew the exact location of the deer and that pissed me off. I tried to I remembered what he taught me and applied myself more thoroughly. The next time I scented the ground, I closed my eyes, shutting off my other senses. I followed the scent, slowing my pace, reminding myself not to rush lest I spook my target.

It wasn’t long before I heard the sounds of the deer’s hooves as it padded along the meadow. I opened my eyes, keeping my body low to the floor. I slithered on my belly, blending in easily with the yellow grass. I deliberately made a low noise, attracting the deer’s attention, but not loud enough to frighten it into running. I wanted its neck raised so I had an easy opportunity to make a clean kill. I locked eyes with the deer, its fear rooting it to the spot as it tried to assess me, to figure out if I was a danger.

I desperately wanted to glance at Khaos, to see if I were doing this right, but I knew that one wrong move would be catastrophic. The deer could get spooked and run, or it could try to defend itself and charge at me. One wrong hit with those antlers and it would impale me. I made my decision.

I charged forward, surprising the deer with my speed. It ducked as I got closer, his stance turning protective as it lowered its antlers, ready to lash out at me. I veered slightly to the left at the last moment, using my hind legs to propel me forwards, chomping down on its fleshy belly as it bucked to get me off. I had wanted the clean kill of its neck, but this was second best, so I bit down harder, shaking my head vigorously, holding on tight as it sank to the floor.

I dug in with my claws, feeling the last breath slip away from it, pulling out its meaty organs. I pulled back to howl my victory to the sky before finding its bloody heart- always the trophy in such a hunt. Khaos respectfully sat to the side, waiting for me to be satisfied before he would dig in. I bit the deer’s heart, tearing it in two so I could toss it his way, moving over to let him join me. He had taught me how to do this. We deserved to celebrate our victory together.

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