I couldn’t remember the last time I was this angry.
I know I had made things difficult for Eros by angering him, but that was no excuse for him to go around attacking innocent men. Chad has his hands on me because I wanted his hands on me. Jealousy was a vile emotion, and I had no patience for it.
“He is mate. Alpha mate,” my wolf reminded me with a huff, disgusted at me for being appalled by Eros’ display of strength. As far as she was concerned, Eros had proven to us he was capable of taking care of us, and that there wasn’t a thing he wouldn’t do or a person he wouldn’t fight to ensure that we remained by his side.
I couldn’t have disagreed more.
Somewhere on the journey home, I calmed down enough for the Omega to release her grasp on me. She tried to make conversation with me, but I wasn’t ready, brushing off her attempts with a snarl or nasty sneer.
I knew it wasn’t her fault, but I could already sense where the conversation was going to go - don’t judge Eros too harshly, don’t do anything you’ll regret, he’ll find a way to make it up to you. I could smell the loyalty dripping from her. She would never say a bad word about her precious Alpha-to-be.
The thing is, I didn’t blame Eros for what had happened tonight. I knew what it was like to have the overwhelming anger coursing through your veins; I knew the call of the wolf as it demanded vengeance. I had felt it enough over the past year when I had caught Eros with one woman or another. I was just lucky enough that I hadn’t seen his hands on them, other than his arm thrown around their shoulders. Who knows what I would have done in that situation?
Would I have given in and allowed my wolf to reign free?
My human side hoped now, but I knew that my wolf was strong enough to burst through any resistance.
“Are you okay if I leave you here?” The Omega said softly, and my eyes focused on the bite mark on her neck. She had a mate waiting for her back at the packhouse, but here she was, cleaning up my mess without a single complaint when we both knew where she would rather be. The bite was still fresh, not quite having reached the scarring stage. It made me wonder what my own mark would look like. Each mark was unique to their owners. With Eros being an Alpha, his mark would be more pronounced and defined than the Omegas.
“One way to find out,” my wolf told me.
“Of course not” I replied, ignoring my wolf relenting towards the Omega slightly. “Thank you for seeing me this far.”
“May the Goddess be with you,” she smiled, walking away from me.
There was food for thought. It seemed as though the Goddess hadn’t played a single part in my life. Everyone had heard how fiercely loyal she was to her wolves, but I had yet to see any evidence that her loyalty extended to me too. Maybe she too saw me as an abomination, along with the rest of the world.
Then again, my other Goddess hadn’t exactly come forward to claim me either.
With my shoulders slumped, I walked down the street leading to my house, thinking of the million ways I wanted this night to go.
I should have been wined and dined tonight. Made to feel special. Wanted.
Chad would have given me the rush that I craved. He would have been an escape from the mundane sameness my life had become.
I pushed open the door and my mouth fell open in shock at the scene in front of me.
My mother was running from one end of the room to the other, her drawn in face showing her worry, her skin tone pale and sickly.
“Mum!” I gasped, rushing towards her, and grabbed her hands. “What’s the matter? What’s happened? Is it dad?” I babbled. A million and one different scenarios raced through my mind as I tried to figure out what would have her in such a panic. She grabbed my hands tightly and pulled me with her, grabbing random items and stuffing them into her suitcase.
“Stop!” I pleaded, rubbing my arm. “Talk to me, what’s made you like this?” It wasn’t uncommon to walk in on her in a state of panic, but this was something else. Something had spooked her.
“It’s Jeremy. He’s found us, dear Goddess, he’s found us!”
My head snapped back with shock, my stomach clenching with butterflies, and an overwhelming feeling of sickness shook me.
“Are you sure? How do you know?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm but failing miserably. I could feel the prickles on the pack of my neck, the tightness in my chest that made it difficult to breathe. I was growing as panicked as she looked.
She thrust a letter under my nose, and I wrinkled my face at the smell of it. It didn’t take a genius to guess what it had been written in. The smell of my uncle Owen was all over the “ink” as it ran down the page.
Haven’t you learned yet, Mark, that there is no place you can run where I won’t find you?
Tell Sophia I said hi. I’ll be seeing you very soon.
“Mum, come on! You don’t know that it’s him! Why would he send this letter? He has to know that we would run, that we wouldn’t stay here? Surely he’s not that stupid?”
“Sophia!” She screeched, pressing her palms to her cheeks. “It’s the thrill of the hunt! He doesn’t care if we run! Jeremy doesn’t do anything without thinking of every possible outcome. He’ll have a plan for if we run, and he’ll have a plan if we stay! The best we can hope for is to get out of here quickly and make sure we have thoroughly cleaned away out scents. It’s not much, but it’s the best we have! Jeremy won’t wait much longer. He’s on to us, he knows the chase has just begun and he wants to take his time with us, he wants, he wants...” she began to hyperventilate, choking on her own sobs of fear. I grabbed her and pulled her on to the sofa, plopping down next to her.
“Renting a car. Cash, of course. I’m sorry, you know we can’t stay here sweetheart, don’t you? He can’t find you.”
“I know, mum, I know.” I sighed. We had been planning on leaving, anyway. What was one day sooner really going to do to change things? “What do you need me to do?”
She seemed to pull herself together, her spine straightening with pride. “Nothing, baby. I’ve got this,” her eyes hazed over as she intercepted the link that I knew would be from my dad. “We leave in the morning. They won’t release the car at this time of night.” She looked at me with pity.
“I’m not surprised. It’s fine, mum. We were already leaving tomorrow. Let’s just take it easy tonight and follow the plans that we already had in place. I can’t see Jeremy arriving at the crack of dawn, can you? He’d be here now if he were planning on coming already.”
“I suppose you’re right. Sophia… There’s no coming back after tonight. Maybe you should be making a call and saying your goodbyes?” She didn’t wait for my response. She went back to her packing, removing some of the nonsense items she had packed earlier, appearing much calmer now that a plan was in place and she knew the timescale she was working with. My mother was a creature of habit, needed structured routines and timetables. Knowing that she was still working with the original plan and not leaving in a mad rush would help calm her more than anything I could say.
Which meant that there were more important things I should be occupying myself with.
I knew she was right. I couldn’t leave this place without saying goodbye to Eros.
As soon as his name echoed through my mind, a shot of desire raced through my veins, my skin feeling as though it was on fire, though it disappeared almost as soon as it began.
My mother shot me a confused look at my sharp intake of breath, and I gave her a reassuring smile, leaving the room with a frown once she turned away from me.
I went upstairs to make the call, my knees almost buckling underneath me as another wave of desire coursed through me. I clutched the bannister, my hand coming to my chest as my heart pounded, ringing out in my ears. I could feel the blood rushing through my veins, my legs shaking. Every move I made was sending darts of desire straight to my core. My thighs rubbing together was almost more than I could bare.
What fresh hell is this? Haven’t I been through enough tonight?!
Using the last bit of strength I possessed, I shook it off and walked the last few steps to my room, feeling the sweat trickle down the valley between my breasts. I took a deep breath and picked up the phone, my palms growing damp as I waited for the man on the other end to pick up.
Goddess, make this fucking end already! I silently pleaded as my mother shot my another angry look and began another angry rant.
I had heard it all already tonight.
I had spent the past hour getting berated by my mother. She was angrier about the fact that I had almost exposed us all, rather than the loss of a life. She kept saying, over and over again, that I was to be an Alpha, and therefore I should be able to think things through more thoroughly before I went lashing out. What about Sophia? Did I even stop to think about how this would have affected her? She didn’t grow up in a pack, she wouldn’t have been used to such possessive and wild wolf behaviour.
I get it, mother. I fucked up!
Antheia laughed the entire time. She was angry at my stupidity, but she was more amused at the verbal bashing I was getting. My mother rarely lost her temper. She had infinite patience, and she was used to my dad bringing one problem or another to her. But tonight was something else.
She was livid.
She didn’t even wait until I had entered the packhouse. She was waiting for me at the gates, and as a result, the entire pack heard her rants, all of them looking at me with something akin to pity and amusement.
That mother of mine had a sharp tongue on her and it wasn’t fun to be on the receiving end.
“I’m sorry! How many more times do I have to say it? I snapped! I made a mistake! But you’re deluding yourself if you’re going to stand there and say you’ve never fucked up before!”
“Don’t you dare take that tone with me, Eros! We have never come down hard on you. You have more freedom than any other wolf your age, and with that freedom comes responsibility. We placed our trust in you, and you broke it!”
“I’ve had enough of this,” I told her, but I wasn’t quite brave enough to meet her eyes.
My dad had shot me a look that said “told you so” as I made my way past, looking almost smug that he was right and that it wasn’t him getting the tongue lashing for a change.
I ignored them all, barging my way past the crowd and into the packhouse. I saw the spies jump into action, pretending they had been doing pack work when in actual fact they had been eavesdropping on my telling off.
I growled under my breath.
“Don’t take your anger out on them, mister!” my mother yelled after me. “It’s not their fault you can’t control your temper! Don’t you have anything to add, Khaos? He’s your son too!”
“Sounds like you have it under control, I’d hate to interrupt. Besides, I’m going to take our good child on a run, I can feel her wolf scratching to be let free.”
I poked my head around the corner and saw Antheia as she let out a squeal of delight, and threw her arms around his waist.
“Go easy on him,” my dad murmured in my mum’s ear. “I think he gets the message now” he kissed her cheek and went out the door, Antheia skipping happily behind him.
I got up and made my way to my room, closing the door gently behind me before my mother followed me. All things considered, she had gone easy on me. I knew I deserved all her anger, and I was grateful that both of my parents didn’t nag me much. They said their piece and let me know their thoughts and then they dropped it to let me reflect on my own mistakes. I knew that this would never be brought up again after tonight, as they weren’t the type of people to dwell on something that couldn’t be changed, but she would make sure that she had said everything that needed to be said whilst she had the chance.
You killed someone tonight.
I cringed at the voice in my head.
I don’t remember killing him, but the fact was, there was a dead body in the woods, and I had been the one throwing the punches.
Or was I?
I vaguely remembered being pushed off Chad by something that moved too quickly for me to register what it was in my rage. But there was definitely something there. Something that smelled suspiciously like Sophia.
Is that what she was hiding from me?
Thinking of Sophia had a fresh wave of guilt wash over me. Would she forgive me for this? No doubt her wolf was already in her ear, telling her that this was no big deal and I had done it because I cared for her. I wasn’t a psycho, and deep down, she knew this.
I was pacing back and forward, thinking of all the ways I could make it up to Sophia when my mouth suddenly went dry, my veins burning, and a fire licked its way across my skin. Beads of sweat began to drip down my forehead as I clenched my teeth against the almost painful feeling.
It disappeared almost as soon as it began and I flopped to the bed, trying to catch my breath.
What the fuck was that?
I had never felt anything like it before.
I had felt my fair share of desire, but this was nothing like that. This was something else entirely. Something that was both compelling and scary with the strength of which it took over me.
The ringing of the phone to my side caught my attention, especially when I saw Sophia’s name flash on the display. I snatched it up, almost dropping it as my hands were still shaking from the overwhelming feeling I had just had.
“Sophia?” I breathed, my voice uneven.
“Hi Eros,” she replied softly, making my heart skip a beat. “Is this a good time?”
As if any time would be bad where she was concerned!
“I don’t know where to begin with this so I’m just going to say it. Please hear me out, promise?”
Oh, oh. Nothing good will come of this conversation.
I sat up, swinging my legs over the side of the bed. “I promise, what’s wrong?”
“Not a word, Eros, please. Let me say this.”
“My lips are sealed,” I promised.
She took a deep intake of breath, “years ago, my father lived with a pack. The Alpha... He’s not the type of man who should control a pack, let’s put it that way. When my mum and dad met, they decided to leave the pack behind. Cut a long story short, Alpha Jeremy has been searching for them ever since, for reasons that are not mine to tell. Suffice to say, he can’t ever find us,” she broke off as she choked, her breath catching in her throat. I felt the same rush of burning heat through my veins and clenched my jaw against it.
For the love of the Goddess, this was not the time for my hormones to be running wild!
Sophia recovered before I did and continued her story, “Eros, I have to leave. I—”
“What do you mean, you have to leave?”
“I can’t stay here. It’s not safe for me.”
“I can keep you safe, Sophia. You would never come to any harm with me.”
“You can’t promise that. You don’t know what you’re up against with Jeremy. He… he doesn’t treat werewolves as people. He abuses them, Eros. He experiments with them. I can’t risk you getting caught up with anything like that.”
“It’s a risk I’m willing to take.” I was growing desperate with how final she sounded. She was as stubborn as my mother, and I knew that there would be no way in hell I could get her to change her mind once she was set on something. “Besides, we will be safe in the pack. There are hundreds of us. My dad will up the guards, he’ll have more warriors on patrol.”
“It’s not just me, Eros. There’s my parents as well—”
“Bring them with you.”
“I can’t… your pack won’t accept my dad once they realise—”
“Realise what?” I interrupted, growing angry.
“It doesn’t matter. Look, it’s for the best. I have to go with my parents, they’re the only ones who know how to deal with me. I’m not like you and Antheia, Eros. Jeremy already got to my uncle Owen. He made sure we knew it as well. He sent us a message written in Owen’s blood and—” she broke off as I roared, the sound vibrating through the room.
Jeremy had killed someone she loved, and my wolf wanted vengeance.
My mother burst through the door on cue, staring at me with concern but not interrupting the conversation, remaining in the doorway.
“I’m sorry, Eros, I just needed to hear your voice one last time before I left, my wolf needed this. Goodbye, I... Gods, what is this?” she breathed, her voice changing to that of a husky whisper.
The sound hit me straight in the groin, my cock springing to life as is it twitched against the material of my trousers. Fantastic, my mother was still stood in the doorway, frowning at me at the same time I was experiencing the hardest erection of my life.
I didn’t have time to be embarrassed as I heard the phone being dropped and Sophia’s desperate pants coming through.
My own body wasn’t any better, the waves of desire was all I could focus on.
I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned in the direction of the cool touch on my scorching skin. “Go to her,” my mum said with a smile. “That’s the only way to end this.”
“What are you talking about?” I panted, my voice hoarse as my throat dried up.
She smiled at me knowingly. “Have fun, Eros. You’re about to understand the true meaning of The Heat.”