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T W E N T Y - F O UR


I gasped for air as I collapsed on the grass beside the River.

Kaden stood over me laughing as he propped his sword against his thigh.

"What's wrong Pup?" Kaden taunted "I thought you were the best? You are the Alpha? Aren't you?"

"I never said I was the best" I growled and jumped back up "My third is the best at anything that has to do with weapons or combat. She'd take you down in two seconds flat"

He raised an eyebrow "She?"

I nodded "Yeah. She's the girl still sleeping in the infirmary"

"That little thing?" he asked incredulously "She looks like one of my daughter's doll"

I laughed "Yeah, she might look like one but trust me, she's no doll. Or Princess. Or Anything Girly"

"And I'm guessing that boy next to her is her Mate?"

I nodded "Shawn. He's human and they've been best friends since he was adopted by a older couple in my Pack. He was bullied a lot, because of what he is, but that never stopped Everly from becoming his friend. Eventually, when they turned 16, it was a shock to everyone that they turned out to be Mates. Not because there wasn't chemistry, because trust me, there was, but because the daughter of one of the most strongest wolves in our Pack, and my father's Beta, was Mated to a Human. Something no one thought possible"

"Why did everyone think it wasn't possible?" Kaden frowned "It's 100% possible. Hell, I'm Married and Mated to a Human"

I chuckled "No offense Alpha Kaden but over here, things don't work the same as in Cali. It's not like my pack hates Humans. Quite the opposite. It's the fact that we haven't had a Human/Wolf Mating in over two centuries in our Pack"

"How is that possible? You would have to have had at least..."

I shook my head "Nope. Not one. Many of our Pack members leave the Pack temporarily if they haven't found their Mate by their 16th birthday. Think of it like a spiritual journey but instead of finding inner peace and solace, you find your significant other" I grinned "Once they leave and enter a New Pack's territory, state, or country, they end up meeting their Wolfy Mate"

"But, you never went on this spiritual thingy? Why?"

"I don't know. Something was telling me not to go. At the time, I shook it off because I was the Alpha's Son and my duty was to stay here and help my Dad but then I realized that it wasn't the case" I sighed "Funny enough, a lot of people thought Everly and I would end up as Mates because our parents were Alpha and Beta but fortunately that wasn't the case"

Kaden laughed "Harsh much?"

"Nah, Everly is a pain and needs someone with much more patience than I have. Shawn is exactly that person. He has the patience of a Saint" I chuckled "You don't know how badly we were praying to the Moon Goddess to not make us Mates. Every crazy ritual there was, we tried. I'm pretty sure we almost summoned a demon after one particular ritual"

I laughed and Alpha Kaden joined in

"So you never asked why you never met your Mate before now? I know if it was me, I would have went crazy"

"Oh trust me, I did. I wondered everyday why this freaky thing happened to me. I went to go talk the Pack Elders but they didn't understand it either" I got in fighting position "Now are we gonna talk or are we gonna fight?"

Kaden smirked before attacking me.

I blocked his attack and his smirk widened before I felt a sting in my rib cage. I looked down and saw yet another blood stain.

I glared at him before at lifting up my shirt and watching the slice disappear before my eyes. What remained was a pink puckered line.

Kaden attacked me again "So what does being Mated to a Royal mean?"

I countered his attack before lunging for him "I don't know"

"She has the ability to control all the wolves in the world" Kaden said "You must be able to do something"

I shrugged and blocked "I don't know and I really don't care if I can do anything special. All I want is my Mate. Powers be damned"

Kaden laughed and moved quickly toward me. I barely had time to raise my weapons and block his attack.

"You know how many Wolves would kill to have her as a Mate?"

I growled and raised my weapons to strike.

He smirked and sliced my side again.

"Focus Pup" He said sternly "When you fight, one of the dirtiest things an opponent could do is mention your Mate. You have to be able to block him out and focus on the fight at hand, or else you'll get a sword to the Heart"

I growled and used both weapons to strike.

He blocked both my attacks with his sword and a claw.

For the umpteenth time, he smirked.

"Well, you suck at weapons training. Want to do hand-to-hand?"

I grinned and dropped my weapon "Hell yeah! About time"

I went for his legs, specifically the weaker leg with the long scar. He went down with a huge 'Thump' and I grinned wider.

Now this, I was definitely the best at. I may have sucked royally at Weapons defense but I excelled in Hand-to-hand combat.

My Grandpa made sure that I knew all the tricks and trades of combat before he died.

"It doesn't take skill to stab or shoot someone. Anyone could do it. However, it does takes brains to diffuse a situation without resorting to a casualty" he used to say whenever I whined about not being able to use the swords or shotguns.

Now, I understand what he means and I silently thank him for everything he taught me.

I twisted Kaden's leg until I heard a pop and a muffled "Ugh"

He kicked out and I had to release him to avoid a boot to the face.

He took that opportunity to grab my arm into an arm-bar.

"So, how are you gonna convince your Mate she's a Wolf"

I gritted my teeth at the pain "Uh...I don't really know. Have any suggestions?"

He frowned and put more pressure on my arm "Tell her the truth"

I intentionally dislocated my shoulder and used the momentum to through him off me. The move caught him off guard and he scrambled to get up.

I popped my shoulder back in as I got up and we started circling each other.

He was breathing heavily and I smirked "What's wrong old Man? Too much Cardio for your old heart?"

He glared and we continued to circle each other.

Footsteps approached and we stopped our circling.

"This isn't over" he warned

I yawned "Yeah, just come and find me whenever you feel like losing. I should be available to kick your a..."

"Kaden!" Luna Matthews burst threw the trees "They're up! All of them!"

"What?" We straightened "How do you know?"

"Your mother called me" She looked at him before turning her attention to you "I was there when your Pack Members opened their eyes. They're asking for you"

I thanked her before making my way back to the Pack House. When I reached the infirmary, I saw a sight I never thought I would see.

Everly crying.

"Ever?" I stepped forward "What's wrong?"

Shawn looked at me in concern. He was incredibly pale and there were huge dark circles under his eyes but other than that, he looked somewhat okay

"Rhys" Shawn said "We have a problem"

Everly sobbed harder

"What is it?"

"I need you to round up all of the Protectors" he said seriously "Quickly"

"What? Why?" I asked in shock because he couldn't possibly know about the Protectors since he was in a coma.

"She's gonna die" Everly sobbed "She's gonna die"

My blood ran cold "What did you say?"

"Rhys" Shawn had tears in his eyes "We need the last two Protectors here ASAP"

"Why!" I demanded "What's going on"

"Kassi's going to die" he grimaced "During the Wolf Moon"

"What!" I exclaimed

"And there's nothing we can do about it"

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