“You can ask whatever you want to ask Berry.” My mate said when he noticed my not so subtle glances towards him. We came out of our room in the evening. Yes, our room. It sounds so right.
We were in the garden, enjoying the sunset but I couldn’t help but feel annoyed about one thing my mate did.
“Fine. Why were you sniffing Charlie? I know he is cute and all but he is Ryder’s mate. You are not supposed to sniff him.” I babbled. What the hell Berry, why are you jealous of Charlie?
My mate was grinning as if he won a trophy. I narrowed my eyes at him.
“No need to be jealous mate, I have my eyes only for you.” And ladies and gentlemen, just by a single sentence, my mate turned me into a tomato.
“I just sniffed his hair. Ryder’s scent was all over him. I was just checking. I didn’t sniff his neck, Ryder would’ve killed me if I did that. I don’t even want to sniff his neck so, don’t be jealous. Charlie is my brother’s mate so, that makes him my brother too. And yes, he is cute and fragile, that makes me want to protect him.”
“If he is so cute then just go to him.” I snapped.
“Hey! Don’t sulk Berry. I told you that he is like my brother.” I looked at him and he was trying his best to control his laughter. I punched his chest lightly and he burst out laughing.
“You are so cute when you are jealous.” He said after he caught his breath after all the laughing that he did.
“Let’s see how cute you are when you get jealous.” The smile disappeared from his face and he growled.
“Don’t you dare.” He captured me in a bear hug.
“I didn’t even do anything and you are already annoyed.” I snickered. My face buried in his chest.
“Okay, fine. No more making each other jealous.” He grumbled and I just smiled in his embrace.
“I think you should go and check on Ryder and Charlie.” My mate said after a few minutes.
“You won’t come with me?”
“I don’t think Ryder would appreciate any male near his mate at the moment.” I looked at him confused. Why would he mind my mate’s presence? They are brothers.
My mate noticed my confusion and smiled at me.
“This is how we are Berry. This is our nature. Ryder will be on high alert for a few days. He won’t tolerate any male near Charlie no matter whoever he is.”
“But- you were not like that.” I said and instantly regretted it. I shouldn’t have brought this up.
“I was worse than this, my mate. I couldn’t control my rage. I gave that sorry excuse of a Lycan a painful death. When Ryder picked you up that night, it took everything in me not to beat him up. After I killed Xavier, I couldn’t control myself. I wanted to see you so, I snuck into your room the next night. You were having a nightmare. You calmed down when I held you. I slept with you in my arms that night.”
Yes, I clearly remember that. That night I had the nightmare about getting lost in a forest. In the morning his scent was everywhere in my room.
“I am possessive over you, my mate. Will you be able to handle that?” he asked while caressing my cheek.
“Gladly.” I answered. He chuckled and kissed my forehead.
“Go check on those two.” My mate gently pushed me to go inside the castle. I laughed and left to check on my brother and his newly found mate.
“Hey Ryder, come on, open up!” I shout. I’ve been knocking on his door for ten minutes now. What the hell is he doing?
“Jeez Berry, calm down.” He says after opening the door while rubbing his ear, acting as if he can’t take the noise.
“What were you doing? Don’t tell me you ate your mate alive!” I said and pushed him aside to enter his room. I saw Charlie peacefully sleeping on the bed, wrapped up under the covers.
“Nah, not yet.” He said with a mischievous smile on his face that resulted in him getting punched on the shoulder by me. He just laughed it off.
“How is he? Did he tell you anything?” I asked, his face turned serious.
“He’s coping. I didn’t ask anything yet. His health is more important. I’ll ask when he will heal. I don’t want to stress him more.” I nodded in understanding.
“Berry, Ryder, we need to talk.” My mate called from outside the room. Ryder growled and stood in front of his sleeping mate, hiding him from mine. My mate just rolled his eyes and ignored his brother’s behavior and entered the room.
“Chill Brother. I have my own mate, I don’t need yours.” Ryder huffed at my mate’s words. Charlie didn’t wake up even after so much noise, he was really worn out.
“I think we should go outside and talk and let him sleep.” Both of them agreed and followed me out. Ryder closed the door and punched in the code to lock it.
“Won’t he freak out if he finds the door locked?” I asked, amused by his actions.
“I don’t think he will wake up before tomorrow. He is drained out physically and emotionally.” He answered, clenching his fists. My mate patted his back and he relaxed. We went to my mate’s room, I mean our room, to talk.
“What is it?” asked Ryder.
“Ethan contacted me.” my eyes widened. My brother contacted him? Why?
“Why? What happened? Is everything alright? Does he want to talk to me? What?” I asked worriedly.
“Calm down Berry, everything is fine. He is asking for Charlie.”
“What? Why? Why is he asking for my mate?” Ryder asked. I could see hesitation in my mate’s eyes. What is going on? It must be something serious otherwise my mate would not hesitate to tell Ryder anything.
“Speak up, Alex!” Ryder yelled impatiently. My mate took a deep breath before speaking.
“Charlie’s parents know about you being his mate.”
“So?” Ryder asked confused. Well, you pushed there son away in front of their eyes so maybe they don’t like you and want their son back, idiot! I internally screamed at him.
“So, they know you kind of rejected him and they arranged his mating with someone who has been courting him for some years. That man’s mate died at a young age so he doesn’t have a mate. That man told Charlie’s parents about the Royal guards taking him away. I think that man is the one who did that to Charlie.”
Ryder remained still after my mate finished speaking. I couldn’t tell what he was thinking.
“HE IS MINE!” he snarled making me jump in surprise. My mate was not affected as if he expected this reaction from Ryder.
“How dare they arrange his mating with someone else? He is my mate! I will kill them all!” he yelled. After that everything happened in a blur.
One moment he was yelling and the next moment he was at the door but couldn’t step out as my mate pinned him down with brute force.
“Let me go Alex! I’ll kill them!” he was struggling violently. His claws were out and his eyes turned golden.
My mate slammed his head on the floor and I cringed.
“Calm down Ryder!” my mate said through gritted teeth. Ryder stopped struggling after a minute or two. I just stood there, shocked. What the hell is happening over here?
They both stood up and my mate looked at Ryder angrily.
“You cannot blame them Ryder. You would’ve done the same thing if you were at their place. You just threw their son aside after mating with him, of course they want Charlie to forget you. You said you’ll kill him right in front of their eyes, what do you expect? Charlie was in so much pain because of you. Do you know he tried to kill himself?” all the anger was gone from my mate’s eyes when he said this.
WHAT? HE TRIED TO KILL HIMSELF?
I was shocked to the core.
A sob tore through Ryder and he cried. My mate hugged him and held him while he cried his eyes out. I just watched these two with tears flowing from my eyes too.
They both separated after a few minutes.
“I will not let him go. I will grovel at his feet forever if that’s what it takes for him to forgive me. He is mine and no one is taking him away from me.” Ryder’s voice was thick with emotions. I could sense the sincerity in his voice and I knew that he will take care of Charlie forever.
He left for his room and my mate turned around and hugged me tight, startling me. I returned his hug just as tight.
“Thank God, you never tried to do such thing.” He whispered, more to himself and kissed my head over and over again. My heart felt heavy. I was so touched by his words. He was scared for me. I closed my eyes and lost myself in the comforting arms of my mate.
“I think we should go to Harmony pack to sort everything out.”
“You don’t need to come with us Berry. Ryder and I will settle everything.”
I narrowed my eyes at my mate.
We were at the rooftop of the castle talking about the issue at hand and how to take care of it.
“I want to go with you. I need to talk to my family, please understand.” I said in a pleading voice.
“I understand you completely but you also try to understand that it is not safe for you to go outside the Royal territory.”
“Why is it not safe? You will be there, Ryder will be there, all the security will be there and we are going at my pack, no one will harm me there.” I tried to persuade him.
“I will take you some other time. We are going to solve this mate issue and things might get out of control there. Just stay here this time, please understand.”
“I said I want to go means I want to go, that’s it!” I yelled, feeling agitated.
“Berenice!” my mate roared at I jumped back, away from him. I was scared. I don’t want him to hurt me again. My eyes welled up with tears instantly and I looked down not wanting to look at my angry mate.
I was engulfed in a warm hug by my mate and he wiped the tears that already managed to fall down from my eyes. I looked at him and he was already looking at me a guilty expression.
“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have yelled. Please understand Berry why I can’t take you there with me. Those creatures have been very active recently, we have had many sightings of them these past few days. To go to your pack, we have to cross an area which is not my territory. I know I can protect you but I don’t want to take the risk.
You are my mate and they will definitely try to harm you and I can’t let that happen. Please listen to me Berry. Don’t be stubborn.” He said to me while cupping my cheeks with his hands.
“You also try to understand, I need to see my family. I have not seen them from so long, I even missed my parents’ funeral. Please don’t do this to me, please let see them, I beg you.” I held onto his hands that were on my cheeks and cried.
He sighed and hugged me again.
“Don’t cry Berry. I can’t take it. Fine, I’ll take you with me. Just, don’t cry” he cooed into my ears and swayed from side to side. I lightly pecked his clothed chest as my thank you and he stilled. Then his embrace tightened on me. He kept on sniffing my hair after that.
“Let’s go back. We have to pack.” I muttered into his chest after some time. He held my hand and headed back to the room where we packed our stuff for our trip to my pack tomorrow.
The next morning, our luggage was being loaded in the car and my mate was talking to Ryder secretly. Charlie was standing on my side looking nervous.
“Hey, everything is going to be alright, don’t worry.” I said softly to him and gave him a small smile. He nodded and smiled at me weakly. This kid was scared out of his mind, he couldn’t stop from biting his nails and moved from one foot to another.
My mate and Ryder approached us and motioned for us to get inside the Limo. Ryder and Charlie got in first. My mate stopped me by holding my arms when I was about to enter the Limo.
“I have a bad feeling about this.” my mate spoke up.
“Bad feeling about what?” I asked. I was really confused. What is he talking about? And why does he look so worried?
“I fear something bad is going to happen. Promise me you will stick to my side all the time.” He said in a desperate tone.
“Yes, I promise. I will be with you all the time.” I agreed, to ease his tension. He nodded and then left my arm. We settled properly and our drive began to my pack.
After a very long ride, the Limo stopped in front of the pack house. Charlie was already curled up in Ryder’s lap sleeping peacefully. He gently shook him to wake him up. He slowly opened his eyes, it took him a while to adjust to his surroundings and he started to push away Ryder when he noticed that he was on his lap but Ryder didn’t let him go. He held Charlie close to him so that he won’t hit his head on the roof.
My mate and I got out followed by Ryder and Charlie. The pack members were gathered in front of the pack house just like the first time when my mate came here. The pack children were jumping up and down and screamed my name when they saw me.
As soon as my mate turned towards them, they all went on their knees and bowed to him. He acknowledged their show of respect for their Alpha King and commanded them to get back on their feet. The aura around my mate was dominating, I could feel the surge of power radiating from him. He was the ultimate Alpha and everybody accepted him as such. He doesn’t need to prove his dominance over anyone.
Ethan and Jonathan were at the entrance of the pack house along with a middle-aged couple whom I assumed are Charlie’s parents as I can see the familiarity of their facial features and an unknown young man. That man looked like he is in his late twenties with a muscular built and tanned skin. He was near 6 feet tall.
Charlie cowered away and hid behind Ryder when he saw that man and started whimpering. Ryder noticed this and growled, a growl so powerful it made the ground shake. He was about to lunge on that man when my mate stopped him and gripped his arm. Ryder was beyond furious.
“Charlie needs you right now. Let us handle this matter with his parents first and then that man is all yours.” My mate whispered to him. Ryder gave a stiff nod.
Charlie’s parents ran towards us calling out his name and Charlie came up from behind Ryder and ran straight into their arms and started sobbing. His parents also had tears in their eyes and they nuzzled him and kissed his head over and over again.
The scene in front of me was so overwhelming. I could clearly see how scared they were about Charlie. How happy they are to see him again. It made me remember my parents and tears trickled down my eyes.
“Berry.” Ethan whispered in a painful voice and I ran straight towards my brothers and hugged them both. Ethan, Jonathan and I were in a tight embrace and we were ugly sobbing big time. All the pain of losing out Mother and Father came back, all the happy memories we shared rushed back and we cried in each-other’s arms.
It took us a while to pull ourselves together. We needed it. We needed to express our sorrow and pain to each-other. I needed my family and they needed me. Ethan kissed my temple, followed by Jon after we broke the hug.
“How are you Berry?” Jon asked, his voice hoarse with all the crying.
“I’m doing fine. How are you?”
“We’re holding up.” Ethan replied for Jon.
I looked here and there searching for my best friend but she was nowhere in sight.
“Sasha found her mate.” Jon said when he noticed me searching for her. He knew I was looking for her.
“What? When?” I was surprised. She didn’t even inform me!
Okay, she couldn’t even if she wanted to, stop overreacting Berry.
“A few days back. She left with him to his pack.”
“NO!” a scream got our attention before I could ask further questions.
Charlie was the one who screamed and Ryder was on his side in an instant and Charlie clung onto him.
“What did you say to my mate?” Ryder said in a low, dangerous voice.
Charlie’s parents’ face paled.
“We just asked Mark to greet Charlie, that’s all.” His father managed to mutter out pointing towards that unknown man from before. Oh, so his name is Mark. Disgusting pig!
He was eyeing Charlie like he was giving him a warning. As if he dared Charlie to refuse to his parent’s wishes and he will do something bad.
“A- and with all due respect sir, he-he is no-not your ma-mate. You said th-that yourself, sir.” His mother stammered.
“RYDER!” my mate and I shouted when he had Charlie’s mother up by her throat.
“WHAT DID YOU JUST SAY?” he roared and squeezed her throat drawing blood. She was thrashing wildly in mid air and Charlie was crying and hitting Ryder to free his mother from his grip.
“RYDER, PUT HER DOWN, NOW!” my mate roared. Ryder growled loudly and freed Charlie’s mother from his grip and threw her on the ground. Charlie tried to run to his mother but Ryder griped his waist and didn’t let him go.
A team of doctors came rushing towards us and took away Charlie’s mother in a stretcher. His father and Mark also left with them.
Charlie was sobbing and hitting Ryder’s chest repeatedly and was trying to get away from him but Ryder was crazily possessed at the moment. He didn’t let him go.
Then it hit me. Charlie has not spoken a word since we met at the castle. Oh My God! The poor boy is badly and seriously traumatized and Ryder is not helping the situation at all.
“Welcome to Harmony pack, your majesty.” Ethan bowed to my mate.
“Thank you, Alpha Ethan.” My mate replied back. Ethan didn’t seem to dislike my mate now. Did something happen during my parents’ funeral that I’m not aware about?
My mate entered first along with me and everyone followed us inside the packhouse. As soon as the front doors of the packhouse were shut, my mate turned around and glared at Ryder.
“You need to control yourself Ryder. You are pushing your mate away by doing all this. If something happened to his mother, he will never forgive you and you know that. Stop hurting your mate brother.” My mate said in a stern voice.
“She wanted to take my mate away from me.” Ryder growled angrily. My mate closed his eyes and pinched the bridge of his nose. He was getting frustrated with Ryder’s irrational behavior. I rubbed circles on his back to ease him out. He opened his eyes and gave me a small smile.
“We all are tired from the long journey. I think we should rest for today and we’ll discuss everything tomorrow.” I spoke up. We all needed a break from this drama. Everyone is frustrated right now and nothing can be resolved this way.
“You’re right Berry. You all need to rest. Jon, show Ryder and Charlie their room. Berry take your mate to your room, I’ll see if the food is ready or not. I will send it to your rooms.” Ethan said, bowed at my mate and Ryder and left.
“Come, I’ll show you your room.” Jon said to Ryder and walked ahead but stopped when he saw Charlie not moving from his place. He was just standing and looking at the floor, silently crying. My heart broke for this little guy. His mother is in the medical wing right now but he can’t be there for her. Ryder won’t allow him.
Ryder gently held his hand and tugged him towards the him but Charlie was not budging from his position and tried to free his hand from Ryder. Ryder let out a low growl and hauled Charlie over his shoulder earning a small squeak from him.
I was about to stop him when my mate put his hand on my shoulder and shook his head. I stopped but made a disapproving face at my mate.
“Why did you stop me? What Ryder is doing is wrong. Why is he behaving this way? What is wrong with him?” I asked when Jon, Ryder and a thrashing Charlie over Ryder’s shoulder left.
I was genuinely confused. Ryder has always been the sensible one between these two best friends so why is he behaving this way? He is not giving Charlie the space he needs. Ryder was the one who threw Charlie away. Now he can’t just show his right over Charlie, he should work for it and earn his forgiveness.
“I know what you are thinking Berry. Ryder is being this way because he is in a highly vulnerable position right now. He is scared of losing his mate. He knows he wronged his mate and now there is someone who is trying to claim his mate. He is not sure that his mate will forgive him or not, he knows there is a high chance that his mate will leave him and he can’t take it Berry.
We beasts are very possessive over our mates. All the logic and reasoning is thrown out of the window when it comes to our mates. He will destroy anyone who tries to take his mate away from him. He will work to earn his mate’s forgiveness. He will never force Charlie but he won’t let anybody take Charlie away from him.” my mate defended his friend.
“I will do the same if anyone tries to take you away from me. Don’t even think for a second that I will spare anyone who says You and I cannot be together.” my mate spoke up in a low voice in my ear and my whole body shivered because of the possessive tone of his voice. I nodded at him feeling dazed.
“Let’s go to your room.” He took a step back from me and motioned me to move. I lead him inside my room and closed the door behind me.
My bedroom was the same as I left it. I think Ethan got it cleaned before we arrived here. My bedroom was very small and cozy and I was afraid it might be uncomfortable for my mate. It was a grey themed room with three sketches of roses hung above my fluffy bed which was covered in grey sheets and grey, pink and cream colored pillows.
“I know my room is small, I hope you are not uncomfortable.” I said in small voice. my mate smiled at me and kissed my forehead.
“It’s beautiful, don’t worry.” It was enough for me to give a full-blown smile to him.
“You go and shower, I’ll go after you.” I said to him and he nodded. When he was in the bathroom, I was sitting on my fluffy bed thinking about Ryder and Charlie. I just hope everything gets better between these two. I can’t see Charlie suffering anymore. He deserves happiness and love.
Please Ryder, don’t screw up anymore. Make everything right and win your mate’s heart.