Bound by Duty

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She is a fugitive, running from a murder she committed. He is a king, searching for his mate. With all the baggage she comes with and all the love he pours, which side will win this royal tug-of-war? Danielle Ward is on the run. After killing her step-uncle, she is exiled by her pack and seeks refuge with one of her good friends. Her callous father, her jealous stepmother and her maternal pack want her blood. But fate has other plans for her. During a royal inspection, Danielle finds that her mate is none other than the king himself. She gets swept into a series of activities from then on to prove and establish herself as the rightful queen of wolves. But Danielle has secrets; secrets her mate finds disturbing and dangerous. What happens when he begins questioning her and pushes her boundaries? Will Danielle, who wants nothing but to be a good queen, decide cover up the truth, or release it, risking their chance to a lifetime of happiness?

Fantasy / Drama
The Crimson Quill
4.6 54 reviews
Age Rating:

Death is a New Beginning

Kill one man, and you are a murderer. Kill millions of men, and you are a conqueror. Kill them all, and you are a god. - Jean Rostand

A resounding slap landed on Naomi’s face. A crimson palm bloomed on her cheek. She staggered back, her hands trembling with disbelief. Was he really the kindly, amiable uncle who had never forgotten to bring her presents? “Why are you doing this? Stop, please! I won’t tell anyone!” she begged. Tears were already rolling down her cheeks — whether from fury or despair, only she would know. Seeing him closing in, she turned her head to the side as her uncle’s lips mistakenly fell on her cheek.

His attempt thwarted, Gerald was furious. “Shut up, you little tease,” He growled at her. Grabbing her shirt sleeve and with a tug, he ripped the shirt apart. Naomi let out a short scream. Her cheeks were now wet and her agonised screams echoed in the woods. They were in a remote cabin within the Jade Pack’s territory and not a single person could hear her cries. She fought with all her might but her uncle was a pack warrior. His strength naturally overpowered hers.

Without giving up, she continued to struggle against his hold when suddenly, she heard a loud snarl from outside and the sound of paws thumping on the ground as she ran towards them. From afar, she instinctively recognised the werewolf to be her half-sister, Danielle. Within seconds, the wooden door shattered and the ash-grey wolf lunged at Naomi’s molester. She clamped her jaws on his neck and relished the sickening crack when she twisted it.

In a matter of seconds, Gerald was beheaded. Naomi stared at the broken body of her perverted uncle, horrified. She collapsed on the ground in shock, her brain refusing to accept what had just happened. She felt cold to her bones. But slowly, warmth seeped in as a pair of hands enveloped her into their embrace.

“You’re going to be okay, you have to be strong,” Danielle whispered in her sister’s ear. The younger girl was shivering from shock and fright. She rubbed Naomi’s left hand. With her innate abilities, she induced a sense of calm into her. Immediately, the shivers stopped and Naomi’s breathing evened. She took huge shuddering breaths, coming back to reality.

“What... what’s going to happen now?” Naomi asked with an anxious frown on her face, looking from the mutilated body to her sister. She wasn’t naive enough to think that her sister would get away with killing Gerald scot-free. But she was too young to understand the actual implications of her sister’s actions.

Danielle gave her a small smile. “Mimi, go home quickly. Calm down from what happened and try to move past it. I won’t be there to remind you, but you must remember that it’s not your fault,” She stressed the words.

Naomi looked startled. “Wh-where will you be going?” The twelve-year-old asked, tugging at her sister’s arm with a sense of dependence.

“Very far away,” Danielle vaguely. “You know I can’t stay, Mimi. Not after what’s happened. Tell Bran or Ben about this when you’re ready, and tell them why I had to leave.”

Naomi nodded hesitantly. Danielle stood up to leave when she felt her sister grab her hand. “I won’t tell anyone else,” Naomi swore solemnly. Danielle smiled more genuinely.

“I know you won’t.”

At the Pack House - Jade Pack

“This is unfortunate,” Alpha Jacob Ward shook his head, looking away from his brother-in-law’s body. “I would never have thought that my daughter, of all people, the heir-apparent to the Jade Pack, could commit such an atrocity.”

He looked so remorseful as if it was him who had done the deed. They stood around the centre of the pack hall, him and the elders. At the very centre was a coffin inside which was Gerald’s mangled body. The elders clicked their tongues sympathetically. Danielle had been with them for only three years; they hadn’t watched her grow up. They didn’t know her well, but she was, after all, the alpha’s eldest child.

After returning to the pack eleven years after she went missing as a seven-year-old, she hadn’t said a word about what had transpired during those years. When people had doubted her ability to rule, she showed them that she was overqualified for the job. So they waited for her to make a mistake — and make it she did.

Killing her step-uncle? Jealousy could easily be the reason. A violent, perverse cry for attention. In fact, they had all concluded the same thing. She had just snapped and committed a heinous crime. They all knew how provocative Gerald could be.

“It really is a misfortune,” one of the elders said solemnly, trying to pretend that the decaying body didn’t affect him. “It’s a double loss for the pack — we lost a beta and an heir-apparent.”

Behind a pillar stood Naomi. She didn’t have the courage to look at her uncle’s body again. She would have to recall those horrible moments, then. When she heard what the elder said, she looked startled, only now realising why her half-sister ran. She glanced at her mother resentfully, knowing that things were exactly as she wished them to be. But before anyone realised any anomalies with her, she lowered her head and continued to pretend to be grieving.

Brandon, Naomi’s brother, looked at the coffin frowning hard. His eyes narrowed when he heard the elder’s words. “What do you mean, lost an heir-apparent? My sister is still the heir-apparent of the Jade Pack!”

The elder looked at the naive boy sympathetically. “Son, after what she has done, I don’t think that she deserves to be a part of the Jade Pack itself, let alone being heir-apparent.”

Brandon swung to the side, facing his father. He waved his hands around in an agitated manner. “Mom, dad! Tell me that’s not true! She’ll come back, she’ll just have to be punished a bit and that’s all, isn’t that right?”

“Shut up, Brandon! This is your uncle who’s dead!” Lydia Ward, Jacob’s mate, nearly screamed, her eyes red with grief. She took out her handkerchief and dabbed her eyes delicately with it. When one looked into her eyes, one would realise that she was someone who grabbed an opportunity when she saw one. She sobbed twice, with a touch of hiccupping.

“Besides,” Jacob added, “That’s no way for an heir-apparent to act, Brandon, losing your cool so quickly.”

Brandon looked at him quizzically. A second later, it hit him. His eyes went round with shock. Both Naomi and Benjamin stared at him from where they stood, daring him to accept the title.

“No,” he whispered, “no way. That can’t happen! I’m never taking her place!”

“You will because it was never hers, to begin with!” Lydia turned to Jacob and wailed, “Alpha! You need to give my family justice! My brother had always been loyal to you and the pack! You cannot let this be, you can’t let this go just because she is your daughter! You need to bring that... wretch back from wherever she fled to and put her on pack trial!”

Jacob wanted to close his ears at her wails. He preferred people hurling accusations at his eldest daughter in a civil manner, not like a fishwife. But he managed to tolerate his mate and nodded solemnly. “You’re right, Danielle has to be punished.” He was feeling rather gleeful with the knowledge that Danielle could never inherit the pack after this incident. “But we needn’t bring her back,” he looked at Lydia with a mysterious smile and said, “we’ll do something better.”

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