Her eyes held firm and she studied, intently, what the moon had given her. The pregnant pause that descended between them allowed her to study him in a moment of peace.
He was a male with a body that had clearly been through many tough fights; with claw marks and gouges taken out the taut muscles of his chest. A chest that was covered in dark hair. A chest that was, although undernourished, lined with tough tissue.
Him being stark naked let her eyes wander the entirety of his body. And she was not disappointed. Although, she doubted the bond would have allowed her to feel anything other than pleased at the male.
The bond buzzed between the two wolves and the male’s face contorted back to that of a snarl, while Titania’s remained stone cold.
“By the love of God, this is a mistake.”
“How... interesting.” She managed, having difficulty choosing a word that best fit the situation.
Her eyes latched on to his hollowed face and followed his stubbled jaw to his eyes. A misty hazel swimming in nothing but hatred. She could spot the fight in his eyes and relished it.
“Interesting??! This is nothing but a farce. I don’t want you.” He all but growled.
She tilted her head to the side, “No? Unlucky me then.”
He thrashed yet again at her mocking tone. Growing fed up and conscious that her wolf was starting to demand other things, she knew she needed space. To process this interesting development and to also clear her own head.
Feigning boredom she regarded him bitterly, “Nevermind this,” she motioned between them, “I want to know why you attacked my wolves.”
He flashed his sharp canines at the mention of his fallen comrades.
“You and I both know it was not an accident or a simple hunting misstep.” His eyes hardened, “You planned it.”
Hitting the nail on the head he looked her up and down. Secretly admiring the power from the small but muscled female that was supposedly his. Her eyes were what captured him the most; a crystal blue framed by tumbling raven locks and an angled face. He could imagine his cousin slapping him on the back and saying that he’d caught an angel because that was what her looks perceived her to be. But, she was anything but and his cousin was dead: because of her.
He couldn’t pick up any emotions coming from her and even her eyes were vacant. This person in front of him was supposedly the one created for him and he wanted nothing, absolutely nothing to do with her.
Not supplying her with an answer, he stared her down. In this moment of heat and rage, he had forgotten that Alpha Titania was the ruler of these lands. And challenging her was not something you did unless you wanted a slow death.
Her chest rumbled dangerously.
“You dare to challenge me when you are the one who crossed my boundary lines? Utterly pathetic.” She seethed.
The air around them saturated with power and the rogue continued to fight his corner, unwilling to back down.
“You killed them without remorse! How pathetic.” He mimicked her.
Her sharp eyes shot to him, “They would be alive if you hadn’t crossed my lines, plotted an ambush with an unknown agenda.” She watched him flinch, “This is on you, not me, so grow up and don’t push the blame that is righteously yours.”
That statement alone cast a bonfire in his eyes. Ignoring his attraction to the wicked woman in front, he spat again. “Fuck you.”
“You know the way of the mountains. There really is no excuse.”
She unlocked his cage and stalked forward, walking right up to him but left enough space that if he decided to spit again, she was out of range. Titania was enjoying getting a reaction out of him. His face so open and easy to read.
“And having a bit of humanity helps, but knowing you, of course, have none.” He responded angrily, “Of all the females...”
She growled lowly.
“I will not accept you.” He finished, hazel eyes burning with fire.
She raised a clawed hand to his neck as anger tore through her system. Sparks licked at the contact and their bond grew and throbbed, pushing for much more.
“I do not care for that. Do whatever pleases you rogue, but you will tell me why you attacked my pack members.” She felt her grip tighten, “Right now.”
He spluttered as he watched her wide-eyed. It was a miserable feeling. Her touch ignited feelings and heat that were pleasing to his soul but her harsh touch was the opposite, only fuelling his distaste. He was torn and looking deep into her eyes, he spotted nothing that showed that she felt the same way.
Warm blood dripped down his neck and the metallic smell caused Titania to retract her grip. Its potency was mouthwatering and she caught herself before losing it. Her wolf was throwing itself against her barriers and her want for this male, only escalated with the contact.
He coughed, spitting blood onto the floor as his neck bled freely. Marks from her claws branding him. “Why don’t you let your lackeys beat me again, I’m sure you’ll get it out of me that way.” He said smugly before releasing a scratchy chuckle.
“I have much better methods.” She ground out.
Titania did not like the idea of others causing him pain. Not one bit.
Inwardly, she cursed the bond which forced emotions on her. After the past three bondmates, she knew the signs, quite well, but this was much more. He was much more and the bond, at this stage, was much stronger than anything she had ever encountered.
He recoiled slightly at the morbid tint to her eye and did not put it past her to hurt her own mate. He had heard the rumours. Listened to the tales of the Scottish Alpha. She was insane and had murdered every bondmate she had been mated to. Murder was putting it lightly to him: she had torn them to shreds.
She was the living embodiment of the black widow spider.
“Why?” She asked and his eyes dulled slightly.
She felt a twinge of guilt in her gut looking at the spilt blood. For she was just as bad as the males in her past; for hurting him while he could not defend himself. Pushing that thought down she knew that right now, for the safety of her pack, she needed to know why there was an ambush and those responsible behind it.
Pushing her wolf forward she forced submission from the male. Static filled the already stagnant air and his body, tired and weakened, gave in to her. His body may have lost the fight but his eyes promised her that he would never stop fighting her. A smirk danced with such a prospect.
Giving in, for now, with a sigh he responded, “I want a swift death in return.”
His request momentarily surprised her, he would prefer death over being bonded to her. Even she couldn’t deny the hurt in her gut. She shook away such pointless emotion.
She nodded, not allowing the wolf to hear her discomfort.
“I have your word?” He prodded. Again she nodded against her better judgement and he sighed. “We were hired to test your border.”
Her attention was fully centred on him. Sweat gleamed on his olive complexion as the silver drained the life and soul out of him, but he continued on. For a quick death surpassed being forgotten and starved in the basement.
“Go on.” She urged.
He scowled but complied, “Well, test the border and kill as many warriors as we could. There were six of us so we thought we would be able to kill one each, but that went south as soon as it started.”
He stilled, recalling the memories of his friends and cousin, before giving the female what she wanted, as remembering his cousin, sent numbing aches through him.
His only family. Dead. And now he only wished to be reunited with him.
“South England. A pack down there wants you dead. This was meant to weaken you before the other packs moved in, then they planned to end you.”
His head went slack and he missed the flash of rage that coursed over Titania. She knew, very well, the one behind it. Alpha Jared. The old man had wanted her dead for years and refused to challenge her outright, resorting to lower methods. Like hiring rogues for hits.
Titania had killed his son, her previous bondmate who thought abuse was the way to keep a woman in line, and he would keep chasing her until she took her last breath.
“As if that old bastard could take my pack and kill me.” She muttered, “Sending rogues to do the dirty work, how I’m going to enjoy his blood on my claws.”
Her mind raced. Knotting together a plan to deal with the interfering Alpha. Not as if she had enough to do lately, she thought to herself sarcastically.
“He was sure, from what he last remembered of you, that you’d be easily dethroned. I’m, sure now he’s got the memo. We were supposed to report back three days ago.”
The male watched as disgust, anger and a deep sense of darkness crossed over her face. The first he’d seen any emotion touch her angelic features. And these emotions only served to make the angel’s face even more twisted and menacing. A look that seemed to fit her well.
“He offered us a patch of land. Not like he gave us much choice to decline his offer in the first place.” He didn’t know why he was still talking but suspected it had something to do with the bond that had formed between him and Alpha Titania.
“You’re not English.” She stated, after a minute of silence.
“No.” Came his gruff reply.
His eyes watched her with just as much ferocity as before, as she seemingly looked beyond him, in thought. And for the third time, he couldn’t help but let his eyes roam. He quickly snapped them upright when she had come to some sort of conclusion, her eyes bright against the darkness of the basement.
The male prepared himself for his promised death and looked expectantly at the Alpha in front. She walked forward, knowing what needed to be done to the offence caused to her pack. An Alpha’s duty. Pack first, herself after.
Titania raised her arm over his throat, just above his jugular. A swift death as promised. Accepting his future he stared her down, for even a dead wolf like him did not flinch in fear. And he, was not afraid of her, no matter the rumours.
She hesitated. Something she had not done for years and with a sigh, pulled back. Titania pinched her nose harshly, hoping the future did not punish her for what she was about to do.
With a clawed hand, she swiped the silver chains, letting the silence, apart from the falling clinking of the chains, fill the room. Bewildered he watched on.
Her face met his and for the briefest millisecond, longing twinkled in her deep blues. So quick, that the male almost thought he had imagined it.
He sat up, rubbing the torn flesh around his wrists and listened as words he did not expect, nor want, come tumbling out her rosy lips.
“Forgive me, but I will have to break the promise I made to you.” She started, “You will not die here, not today.”
In haste, she relocked the cage doors before disappearing up the cellar steps. His screams and shouts echoed behind her. Holding strong and fighting back the intense need to stay, she forced one foot in front of the other.
The mate bond would not control her.
Not ever again.