Once I regained my composure, I continued talking. "After I ran out on Ryder I escaped into the forest. I didn't know what was happening between us so I watched as he frantically searched for me. It was like he couldn't pick up my scent or feel me near him. I stayed there for hours before he finally gave up looking for me. I continued walking through the forest until I ran into a witch. She hid me from Ryder for the next month. We got very close and she confessed to me that she wasn't a big fan of him or his father and that she knew why I didn't feel the same way about him as I did previously. She heard about a warlock who cast a love spell on me for Ryder because he knew who I really was. He knew that I was a special and if he "mated" me he would be more powerful than anyone. Everyone knew he wasn't a good Alpha so the only way he could achieve greatness was to cheat his way to it. I just so happened to be the target. Mom, dad, he planned the whole thing for years. His father told him to trick me with the spell. They made me look like a fool for thinking he was my mate."
"Anna. I am so sorry you had to go through that. If we would have known they would have done this we would have left with you the day you showed up at our pack." My mom said as she choked between sobs.
"Anna, if he cast a spell on you, why did it fail? I mean I thought spells were for life?" Asked Val.
"Karina explained to me that the spell would only last if he had completed the mating process and marked me. But since I was only 16 and it was permitted that I be marked until I turned 18, the spell was broken. He didn't listen to the warlocks warning and instead made him cast the spell the day he knew I would be at the bbq. Honestly, I'm glad it happened like that because I might still be there, just as miserable as I was before." I looked at my parents who were looking so guilty about what happened but I knew I had to finish telling them about my wolf. "After Karina saved me, I made her promise to never tell anyone what happened and asked her to get me away from there. I also asked that she protect you guys at all cost so she placed a protection spell on your pack which would be broken only after Ryder and all his pack and heirs were dead. Then she helped me escape to Colorado where her family would be able to continue watching over me. I left for Colorado and started over. I started college and soon had graduated in architecture securing a job with a very important firm in town. Last month I was promoted to partner of their new Virginia office and that's when Val and I moved. I have lived the last 6 years as a human." My parents gave me a concerned look but I kept talking "You see there was another part of the spell that I didn't know about. It confused my wolf and once it was broken so was she. She was hurting. She couldn't believe that her mate would do what he did. She didn't understand we were tricked so she left. I lost my wolf and I don't know if she will ever come back." I burst into tears and my mom pulled me into her hugging me tightly. She rocked me as I wept, trying to calm me with her loving embrace.
After a while I had finally calmed down but was feeling completely exhausted. My parents retreated back to their room as Val and I went to mine. She gave me tight hug and we went to bed. That night I dreamt of my younger days as a pup running around town without a care in the world. I dreamt about training with my dad and no matter how hard I tried I could never beat him. I dreamt of how amazing it felt to run in the clearing letting my wolf be free and letting her take charge. She was always so beautiful, strong and fast. Back then I could spar with anyone and beat them which is why I wanted to train for the guard. But everything changed when I met Ryder.
The next morning I was awoken to the delicious smell of food. I hopped out of bed and noticed Val was gone. When I got downstairs she was sitting at the table talking and laughing with my mom. I sat down next to them and soon we were all cackling like old friends.
My dad came inside just as we were serving ourselves some breakfast. He sat down with a huge smile and said "So Anna, you think you might want to spar a few rounds on the mats with your ole dad today?"
My eyes filled with tears as I said "I don't think so dad. It's been so long since I've done it. I don't think I can."
He gave me a sympathetic smile grabbing my hand and said "It's just like riding a bike. When you fall down you get right back up and try again. How about we take it easy and get back to the basics? Plus I really just want to spend some time with you."
I squeezed his hand and said "I would really like that. Thanks dad."
The rest of the morning was full of my mom and I catching up on everything that was going on. About how all my old friends had found their mates and started families. She was hesitant to tell me at first but I assured her it was ok to talk about. I would be lying if I said it didn't hurt a little but I chose to run away. I chose to quit believing in mates. I chose to keep pretending this life didn't exist.