Second Chances - #2 of "The Lottery Mate"

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Chapter 5

Alpha Darren’s POV

I was fuming!

How in the goddess name, did I get played – TWICE! – by a freaking teenager?!

Darren! My mate’s sweet voice entered my mind. You need to calm down! You’re scaring them both!

I wasn’t necessarily angry, but my ego felt like it had been put though a meat grinder! How could someone as sweet and innocent looking as Luna Lesley be such a devil?! It was downright embarrassing how easily she had manipulated me into doing everything she wanted…

Good! I sneered, not taking my eyes off the strange girl. Perhaps I can put that arrogant---

I bit down the word “bitch”, when I met Izzy’s eyes. Yeah, the teen might have me by the throat, but my mate could take me by the balls within a second.

Mate wins…

Girl, I grinded at last and a wry grin flashed across Izzy’s face. I took a deep breath trying to calm myself. Now was not the time to let my ego get in the way of my judgement. No matter how sore it might be…

Darren, have you considered that she might be afraid of her mate, Izzy continued, reminding me of the responsibility we had as alpha’s. We are talking about The Slayer and this is his second chance mate. He might not be…

Keeping her here will only put us at risk, I argued back. Although my wolf didn’t like neglecting his duties – no matter how annoying they might be! – we liked to keep out pack alive and our family safe first and foremost.

Then talk to him!, she urged, giving me a look I knew all too well. She was not letting this go! You have a good sense of character, otherwise you wouldn’t bring a total stranger into our home!

I sighed, glancing over at the girl. Yeah, my mate was right about that. Sure, the girl had secrets, but she was harmless. In fact, I bet she’d make a great Luna. She had a caring and gentle nature about her that just drew people in, but she also possessed a strength to her that was more than just physical. This girl didn’t put up with shit and to be honest, she’s probably be the only mate that could ever tame The Slayer.

If he’s forcing her into something she doesn’t want, we also have an obligation to help her, my mate reminded me. I honestly wanted to tell her, I’d gladly send the annoying brat to hell, if it meant avoiding a conflict with The Slayer himself.

But that would make me a mateless wolf before the night was over…

I’ll go talk to him, I hissed annoyed and got up. You can keep her company in the meantime…

“I’ll be right back,” I said out loud. Instantly I noticed the girl tense up. She was afraid… “Don’t worry, Luna Lesley,” I calmed her. “I said you can be my guest and I intend to keep my promise.” Then I turned back to my mate and daughter. “I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

I kissed Bella and Izzy, before I headed downstairs and out the door. I met with my beta, Torin, outside and as we shifted, he quickly informed me, that Alpha Cedrick was currently alone. But by the looks of it, he was ready to take down a village.

I frowned. Of course, allowing a Luna to stay, would bring her mate around. Especially if he didn’t know where she’d gone or if she ran away.

I really should have though of that before I made that stupid promise!

But unfortunately, Izzy is the one with foresight – I only provide insight…

Alpha Cedrick was a sight to behold. He was taller than the average alpha and with a broad build he looked like the kind of man, that ate boulders for breakfast. I could easily imagine him overpowering Lesley. She was so thin and skinny, he could break her bones with his pinky alone.

I shifted and grabbed a pair of shorts, seeing that my men had already given alpha Cedrick the same treatment.

“Alpha Cedrick,” I said and carefully approached the man in question. He looked like a volcano ready to erupt. I’d had my fair share of dealings with alphas’ before, so I knew what I was getting into--- then again, most of them had a mate or some family around to keep them calm and able to hold them back from doing anything rash. This time---

“Where is my mate?” he growled, his voice already deep, indicating that his wolf was fighting for control.

Yeah! This time the wolf though I was keeping him away from his mate…

“She’s having dinner with my mate,” I replied, knowing it would be futile to argue with him. Hell, he probably smelled her all over me. Thank the goddess I was mated otherwise he would have killed me already…

“I want her back,” he demanded – like he lost his car-keys!

I frowned. Sure, wolves were primal animals and it did more often than not, cloud our judgment. But that was just downright rude…!

“She asked me if she could stay as my guest,” I explained in short. “And I granted her permission…”

“What?” he growled, taking a threatening step forward – completely ignoring my warriors. “She’s my mate!”

“She’s terrified,” I fired back, ready to do whatever was necessary to protect what was entrusted to me. “Mind explaining to me why?”

He inhaled sharply and I knew: something had happened that wasn’t supposed to happen! My wolf growled, wanting to come forward. Had he broken our most sacred law? The strong protect the weak?

But to my surprise, he actually took a step back. He lowered his eyes and looked frustrated, running a hand though his already messy hair.

“There…,” he started out with a growl, that he quickly bit down. “There was an accident. My wolf surged forward,” he confessed--- and I could hardly contain my surprise. Alphas’ didn’t like to admit to mistakes – so I was quite surprised that he did. “I think that scared her.”

“What kind of accident?” I asked, getting my wolf back under control.

“Personal,” he growled his eyes flashing black as his wolf surged forward. My warriors tensed and were ready to attack. I didn’t blame them. Even my wolf was affected by the power oozing off his wolf right now. I remembered my grandfather telling me, that a wolf’s power came from the number of enemies he’d killed. And the wolf in front of me, was powerful…

There really was a reason they called him The Slayer…

“Your mate wishes to stay here for now,” I continued, not wanting to rub salt into an obviously fresh wound. He instantly moved to protest, but I managed to cut him off. “She’ll stay, as my personal guest and I can guarantee that no harm will come to her,” I said, assuring him that I wasn’t trying to steal his mate or include her into my pack. “In three days’ time, you can come back for your mate and take her home.”

“Three days?” he echoed, his eyes slightly fogged over, indicating that he was battling with his wolf.

“Three days,” I repeated back to him, trying to the best of my abilities not to provoke his wolf. “That should give her enough time to have calmed down.”

He didn’t reply, but a low rumble was emitting from his chest. Most likely coming from his wolf rather than the man himself. Luckily, he seemed to be considering it. But what for? It was a good middle ground all things considering… And then I realized. “Unless she goes into heat?”, I asked, hoping I was wrong. But then again, a newly mated female’s heat was unpredictable at best…

But to my surprise, he shook his head.

“No, she won’t,” he replied, seeming very confident. I frowned slightly. She’d gone through her heat and he didn’t mark her?! Now THAT’S unusual! Izzy didn’t even get though the first hour of her heat, before I marked her…

At last he sighed, running his hand though his hair for the umpteenth time.

“Three days,” he said, and his thunderous eyes met mine again. “I’ll be back then.”

Coming from him, it sounded more like a threat than a promise…

I nodded, but before I managed to hold my hand out for his, he’d already taken off. His skin was replaced with fur and a huge, brown wolf disappeared between the trees.

I released a breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding.

Well, that’s not something you see every day…

*

Lesley’s POV

Once Alpha Darren left, there was an awkward and tense atmosphere left behind. Shit! Cedrick was going to have Alpha Darren for breakfast! What if a fight broke out and--- oh goddess, I couldn’t even…! The chair I was in felt like it was on fire, so when Izzy got up, I nearly jumped out of my seat.

“Listen,” I started off awkwardly, taking a step towards her. “I’m sorry for…,” I continued, but Luna Izzy quickly brushed it off.

“Don’t worry about it,” she kindly smiled at me, like a mom who was trying to calm her frightened child. “He may not look like it, but my mate is actually very intelligent. If anyone can calm your mate down, it’s Darren.”

I felt my shoulders sag in relief. Which instantly made me feel guilty as hell. I hadn’t had much time to think, but I did feel my wolf’s sadness. She missed her mate and here I was, happy to have bought myself more time away from him. Not to mention, that I had – because of my stupidity – put their entire pack at risk…

“Thanks,” I muttered, feeling all kinds of regret right about. “For everything, I really…” I tried to explain, only to trail off my words. Gratitude was hard to put in words--- and getting off high horses really hurt your ass…

“Don’t mention it,” Luna Izzy said again, giving my shoulder a gentle squeeze, and smiled. “It’s what we alphas do, right?”

I returned her smile and stepped in, helping her clean up after dinner. She really was kind and reminded be about my mom. Gentle, fun, caring… Nothing like Aunt Cathy! Not that Aunt Cathy was much of a Luna, but…

“How about I offer to babysit in return?” I quickly offered, before I was sent off to purgatory. Bella had latched herself to me ever since I first was introduced to her. I think she liked me – and my wolf had taken a liking to her as well. It would be a nice distraction from thinking about my mate…

That’s when I noticed the look from Luna Izzy. You know: “you may be nice, but I’m not going to trust you with my offspring”-look. I grinned.

“I’m 16, not incapable,” I said jokingly and picked up Bella, who was more than happy about the prospect of spending more time with me and was constantly interrupting our conversation. “And by the looks of it, you could do with a date-night before it becomes twice the workload.”

I nodded toward her big belly. She followed my gaze and grinned, out of instinct placing a hand over her swollen belly. I don’t know what was going through her mind, but she looked happy. And for a split second, my heart clenched.

I’d probably never have that with Cedrick!

The dark thought entered my mind. He didn’t want me, so we’d never have kids--- or I’d never have kids. He and Tanja might have some and considering that he loved her, he’d…

My wolf whined and I could feel her heart break. Or was that both our hearts? I didn’t know… All I knew was that he hadn’t broken the mate-bond and that he’d followed me here for some reason.

“I want you!”

I tried to shake off his alluring words. No! That was just because I was in heat. He wasn’t in control of his emotions and his wolf was taking over…

Yet, something inside me told me it was the truth. His eyes, his voice, his plea… I sighed. Or perhaps I just desperately wanted it to be the truth? All I wanted – ever since I was a little girl – was to be wanted by my mate. That he’d save me from the hell I’d been stuck in. But it was just a childish fantasy. Another one of my, “if I pretend it’s not there, it’s not real”- philosophies.

In the end, that’s all I really was: a child, with childish dreams…

Luna Izzy suddenly nodded and her eyes found mine again. That’s when I realized, that she’d been mind-linking her mate and that Bella had been jumping up and down in front of her, insisting that she got to play with me.

“We’ll be back before midnight,” she said, giving me an honest smile.

“Yeah, you hear that, Bella?” I said, picking up the girl, who happily was clapping her small hands. “It’s just you and me for the night. What would you like to do?”

Cookies? Was her instant reply. Luna Izzy grinned.

“But I warn you,” she said, caressing Bella’s chin. “You’ll have your hands full.”

“Nah, Mom’s just jealous because we get to eat all the cookies we’re going to make, right Bella?” I replied in a teasing tone, turning my attention to the small child on my hip. She laughed – loud and out of tune, that was just about the most adorable thing I’d ever heard! – and I sat her down on the table. That’s when I noticed that she was the spitting image of her father. Dirty blond hair and those white-blue eyes that seemed to be looking straight into your soul. The only thing she had from her mother, was her small nose and heart shaped face. Bella – beauty – was indeed a very proper name for her.

“What kind should we make?” I asked, after I got Mom out of the room and to her date. Alpha Darren shortly appeared in the doorway, before they were gone again.

Chocolate dip cookies, she replied, after a shirt thinking period.

“Chocolate dip cookies!” I exclaimed, pretending to be overly happy. “You have excellent taste, my lady!”

She smiled, so it was well worth it making a fool out of myself. We quickly got cooking, and before long – or rather the opposite actually, considering we were making cookies and it took us about 3 hours to finish – we leaned back in the sofa, enjoying cookies and milk.

“Net-flix?” I spelled my way through the title of the streaming service that was integrated into the TV. “What the hell is that?”

Mom says it’s not nice to swear, Bella said, her small hands covered in crumbles.

“Well, then your mother is a hypocrite,” I muttered annoyed, while trying to get the hang of this stupid streaming service.

What’s that? Bella asked, looking serious. I choked on a lump of air and my eyes went wide, when I finally realized, what I’d said…

SHIT!

She’s a kid! Watch your language! My wolf snarled, mentally giving me a slap on the back of my head.

“It means she’s completely right,” I quickly covered up my mistake and smiled at her. “I shouldn’t be swearing!”

I sighed in relief when she bought the excuse. Luckily the streaming service was idiot-proof, and I soon found a good old classic cartoon to watch. I put it on before returning to the kitchen to clean up the mess and fill the dishwasher, before I joined Bella on the couch, eating chocolate dip cookies. It didn’t take long for the little girl to doze off, so I changed the movie and found something I thought was interesting. It was a movie about very unrealistic vampires and a girl, who fell in love with one of them. And yet I found myself liking it. They even had werewolves in it.

It was cute…

I must have dozed off myself, because the next thing I knew, I was hearing voices.

“They’re both sleeping,” Alpha Darren said somewhere far away. I made no attempt to rectify the assumption, and instead closed my eyes shut again.

“Take Bella upstairs, will you?” Luna Izzy asked in a low voice, careful not to wake her daughter.

“I can’t,” Alpha Darren replied, and I could have sworn there was a grin on his face. “Every time I try, Lesley will protect her.”

“I thought you said she was asleep,” Luna Izzy frowned.

“They are,” he replied and finally she caught on. I was protecting Bella in my sleep – like a mother or sibling would do, if the parents weren’t present.

“Cute,” she laughed and sighed. “It’s impossible not to love her.”

“Love?” Alpha Darren snorted.

“Oh, shut up,” Luna Izzy replied, and I heard her hit his arm. “Even you like her!”

“She had me at ‘babysit’,” he laughed, before suddenly I could feel his eyes burning into the side of my head. “Her brother…,” he suddenly continued, in a low, hopeful voice. “He learned to talk, through the mind-link.”

I could sense Luna Izzy’s surprise all the way over here.

“You-you mean…,” she stuttered, tears welling up in her eyes. “We get to hear our baby girl? We’ll get to hear her talk?!”

“I don’t know,” was his cautious reply, but I could sense he was smiling. “I didn’t ask much more, but yeah. It’s not impossible.”

“My goddess, Darren!” she explained happily. “Darren! Our baby girl! We get to hear our baby girl’s voice!”

I dozed off after that…

*

“Lesley!”

Someone shook my arm.

“I’m awake!”

I jumped up, instantly alert and ready to say “laying eggs” if necessary. But I wasn’t in school. Confused I looked around and realized that it was still nighttime. And about of a foot away or so, stood an amused Alpha Darren.

“Alpha Darren?” I slurped, trying to get up. And that’s when I noticed. Hmm, sex hair! Good to know I wasn’t going to listen to that all night then…

“I’m going to take Bella upstairs,” he informed me, trying to peel off my arm of his daughter. “Izzy will show you to your room.” I nodded and I tried to help--- but my arms were asleep.

“Sorry,” I muttered, trying to get life back into my arms. Oh, pins and needles! Pins and needles…!

“This way,” she said, leading a yawning me to the upstairs. “And thank you.”

“My pleasure,” I replied, barely able to keep my eyes open. I was beat… “We had fun.” She showed me into a decent size bedroom, with a single bed, a dresser and a separate bathroom.

“Good night, Lesley,” Luna Izzy said and closed the door behind her.

“Good night,” I mumbled back, throwing myself on the bed.

Soft, soft bed…

And I was out like a light!


The chapter is dedicated to @michelletorlot – Thanks 😉

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