“I reject you.”
The words shattered my world, my heart exploded in my chest to rip apart my insides as I silently screamed in pain. I stared at the male that destroyed me, the friend I had known for years, the person who had supported me, the man who I loved before I came of age to know he was to be my mate. He knew everything about me but in those three little words, everything was gone, the trust, my hope, our lives as even friends.
“Look, I just don’t want a mate, let’s just be friends and go back to how things were.” I could hardly register his words. I wanted to cry, to scream, to beg him to reconsider, and I don’t know how but I smiled instead.
“I love you, and I hope you are happy one day.” I said no more, I walked away from him without looking back. I heard him call out my name, pain laced in his tone, but I didn’t care anymore. I never turned around, never looked back, and only when I got home behind closed doors, safe, did I finally fall apart.
My birthday had been on a Friday so thankfully I had no work to go too. We had graduated just a few months before, so for that weekend I stayed home, talked to my parents about it all the next day and they held me while I fell apart once more. By Sunday my father had called the Alpha and with his permission, I would be allowed to leave and go to my uncle’s pack to be away from the mate who had rejected me so I had a better chance to heal.
My job had been working at the packhouse kitchen with my mother so there was no need to give a two-weeks notice, and by Monday I was saying goodbye to my parents at the airport. I sat staring out the window of the plain, my earbuds playing rock music as I stared at the world bellow. I was so grateful to my pack for letting me leave, for understanding, for loving me enough to let me go and yet I felt empty.
The flight had been nearly six hours long and when we landed I was grateful when I caught sight of my uncle among two other wolves form the way they smelled I felt tears falling again. He and my father were twins and the only way you could tell them apart was for the fact my Uncle was a warrior and built like one, while my father was more of a diplomat. His dark brown curly hair matched my own though mine ran to the small of my back, our eyes were the same rich green, and while he was a good six feet four inches I was only five-ten. I rushed to my uncle who grabbed me up into his much larger arms and held me.
“It will get better M’Cher.” I bit back a soft sob as he kissed the top of my head. The other two men with him said nothing, just let us have the moment until my uncle hugged me. “Let us get you home and sorted out Riley.”
I nodded and we headed out. I had only brought my carry on bag with a few clothes, the rest of my things my parents had mailed leaving nothing behind. On the ride to my Uncle’s home the other two introduced themselves, they were actually my cousins, Oliver, and Lucas, another set of twins that were a spitting image of their father. I wished I had been born with siblings but sitting in the back of the car squished between the twins I finally felt like I did. We didn’t talk much, no one seemed to expect me too, but there was a sense of protection coming off of all of them that made me feel safe and cared for.
We passed into a small town and I felt the magic of the pack land pass over me so strong I was left blinking. We stopped and pulled into a small parking lot near the border where an older man stood waiting outside with about ten other wolves, both men, and women. “You’ll have to meet the Alphas, Betas, and our ruling council to be accepted into the pack, but they are expecting you.”
I nodded. My own Alpha had explained before I left that I would always be welcomed home, but while I dealt with all of this, and while I lived in another teritory I would need to leave my own pack and be accepted into another. We had not broken my old ties because they feared it would be too much if I lost that as well without something to take its place. We all climbed out of the car, the twins taking up positions on each side of me, the family connection had already seemed to click into place, and it made me smile slightly. The Alpha, you couldn’t doubt who it was from the power radiating off the man who looked to be in his late fifties, old for an active Alpha, but I could see why no one challenged him. I bowed my head low as we got closer, my cousins and uncle, doing the same. “Alpha Thomas, Luna Sandra, this is Riley.”
I bowed my head lower. “An honor to meet you both.”
Thomas nodded but it was Sandra that spoke. “We are sorry as to the cause that brought you here Riley but we are happy to have you. These are our Beta’s James and Tamie, and our Delta’s David and Amy. “
I gave a smile to them all though it did not reach my eyes. “Thank you all for having me.”
From the posture of the others, they had to be warriors so I gave them all eye contact after the ranking wolves and a nod. Thomas took a step forward. “Kneel.”
At the power in his voice, I sank to my knees head low without hesitation. He closed the distance between us and I felt his hand drop onto my head. “Riley Lillian Write I Alpha Thomas LeBlanc accept you into my pack.”
I felt magic pour into the power of his pack, and the wolves within it made my own look like a flee next to a fully grown wolf. It rushed over me until the connection with my old pack snapped and the new connection took over. It filled me as if I was an empty glass until I was overflowing with its strength. I felt the other members of the pack, the heartbeats in the back of my head like a song until it faded into me. I opened my eyes looking up in wonder to the Alpha before me. He smiled. “Welcome, Riley.”
My cousins rushed up and plucked me up off the ground causing me to squeal in shock as I was spun around. “We finally have a sister!”
When they spoke at once, the joy in their voice I found myself laughing and hugging both of them. “And I finally have brothers!”
Maybe my life would indeed be changing for the better.
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