The Stubborn Alpha's Challenger

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Chapter 4: The Dinner


A few knocks on the door.


I groan, peeling my head from the pillow. “Who is it?”

“It’s Brad!” His voice is faint as it carries from the front door to the bedroom.

I smile, remembering his friendly face from last night. “Hold on, I’ll get dressed and be there in a sec!”

I change my underwear then slip on a white robe before running down the stairs and opening the front door.

“I’m sorry I woke you up, Luna, but it’s eleven, and I thought I’d show you around since Alpha Erik is busy. I’ll also help you prepare for dinner with him.”

“First, call me Caelynn. Second, why do you need to prepare me?”

He chuckles, “Alright, Caelynn. I need to prepare you so Erik doesn’t rip your head off.”

Is he serious?

“Don’t worry. You’ll probably do fine. Just get dressed into something more presentable, and I’ll wait here.”

I nod and quickly brush my hair and teeth, then change into a simple white cotton t-shirt and black high-waisted shorts. I tie my hair in a ponytail and slip on some gym shoes.

I bound down the steps, Brad waiting patiently for me at the bottom.

“Alright, tour guide, let’s get this show on the road.”

Brad shows me around the property, which spans miles and miles, starting from Erik’s mansion, to the town square where headquarters is, to one of the training facilities, military barracks, schools, one of the hospitals, and a few of the various neighborhoods where pack members live.

He explains my duties as Luna, which are mostly domestic, meaning I’m in charge of making sure people are fed, settling domestic disputes, and improving the schools and housing. He says these duties are mostly already taken care of by community leaders and the Beta’s mate, so my position is mostly just for show. I am to steer clear of foreign matters and politics amongst other Alphas. My job is to smile and wave and be the pretty face next to the big bad Alpha.

“Well, that fucking sucks.”

“That’s just the way it is, I guess,” he replies with a shrug. “You can always try to change it, but most Alphas are set in their ways.”

We make our way back to the mansion, making small talk. We don’t dive super deep into anything. I can’t tell him about my father or my work with the Resistance, but I let him in on some of the details of my childhood.

I glance at the clock as we walk in, realizing it’s almost five and we have been out all day.

“Whatever talk you need to have with me about dinner with the Alpha needs to happen fast because I need to start getting ready soon,” I say as we approach the front door of Erik’s McMansion.

He stops walking and turns to face me, a serious look on his face for the first time since I’ve met him. “I only warn against provoking him. I know it’s not in human nature to be submissive, and I can see you have a feisty spirit. I think the Alpha will grow to like that, but you need to be careful, at least for the time being. Lots of werewolves aren’t in total control of their wolves and do things their human selves later regret.”

Last night his eyes were fighting between yellow and green; that must have been indicative of him and his wolf fighting.

“But how do I tolerate sitting and eating across from the man who forced me here, and not say anything?”

“Because you’re a survivor, and you’re going to do what it takes. I’m here to help you. I’m on your side, Luna. I don’t want the Alpha to kill you because I think you can be an asset to this pack, although he might not see it right now due to your humanity.”

“Why do you want me alive so badly? What does it matter to you?”

“Perhaps one day I’ll tell you, but right now, heed my advice. I’ve got to go, and you should get ready. I’ll see you sometime soon, Caelynn.”

He turns around and leaves, his cryptic warning drifting in and out of my thoughts as I get ready to eat with the Alpha.

We stare at each other across the mahogany dining table, separated by about eight feet of wood and an ocean of tension. I wordlessly eat the food he’s given me, looking down at my plate to end the awkward staring contest.

I don’t have anything to say to him, and it seems he doesn’t have anything to say either.

So, I’ll eat silently, better than forcing myself to talk to the wolf.

I smush the mashed potatoes with my fork some more. I’ve lost my appetite since being here, but I need to do something to pass the time.

“You shouldn’t play with your food. You’re not a child.”

I glare at the thing sitting across from me and retort, “It’s more stimulating than any conversation I could have with you.”

He smirks. “Ouch, that would almost hurt if I gave a shit about what you think.”

He’s more frigid today than he was yesterday. I wonder what changed? Perhaps I should heed Brad’s advice, but I don’t think I will.

“Then why are you so hell-bent on me living with you? If you don’t care, let me go.”

“I don’t care about what you think, but I do care about having you here.”

I chuckle, “Oh, I see. To you, a woman is just a trophy, not worth anything more than a womb to carry babies.”

He glares. “Don’t assume anything about me, especially things you don’t know.”

“You didn’t deny it.”

“Of course I deny it!” He rolls his eyes and sets his utensils down with a huff. “I’m just coming to terms with the fact that the mate the Moon Goddess gave me hates me and will most likely never come around. Looks like I’ll have to adapt my expectations of a relationship, I guess.”

“Or you could try to change my mind?”

He leans back in his seat. “Is that even possible?”

“I don’t know, maybe. I guess that depends on you.”

He smiles. “I’ll gladly try to court you. I can’t say my wolf has the same patience, though.”

“Oh God, don’t give me that,” I groan, rolling my eyes.

“What? What’s wrong with that?”

“Any time you dogs do something shitty, you’re just like “oh, sorry, it was the wolf, oopsie” instead of taking responsibility for your actions.”

He replies sternly, “That’s because we dogs, as you say it, have competing consciousnesses. That’s not something a human could understand.”

I answer, lacing venom in my voice, “Oh, I can understand it. It’s called denial and immaturity.”

I lean back in my chair, crossing my arms across my chest, when he slams his fists on the table. “You have no clue what you’re talking about!”

I glance at his fists then meet his eyes again, raising my eyebrow smugly. “Are you going to blame that childish outburst on your wolf?”

I smirk as his lips curl. He shakes his head. “Fucking hell, you are difficult.”

“Am I difficult because I won’t bend to your will?”

“I never said I didn’t like it.” He grins, somehow both sinisterly and charmingly.

“Oh, so you like your women stubborn?”

“Well, I like a challenge. I find confidence and assertiveness in a woman attractive.” He pauses, smirking at me. “Can’t say the same for my wolf, though. The things he wants from you are very different from what I want.”

“How so?” I ask, trying to keep my voice firm.

“Well, for example, right now, I want to let you go to bed, maybe try to convince you to stay with me in my bed. However, for the most part, I want you to get some rest and leave you alone so you can adjust better. I know this must be hard, and I know I’ve been cruel.”

I hold back the urge to accept his sudden half-apology, then ask, “And your wolf?”

“Well, do you want the PG or R version?”

I answer, leaning on the table, trying to make my breasts visible to him. If I’m going to execute my plan of killing him, he’ll have to trust me and like me. The quicker, the better. “I’m a big girl, I’ll take the R version.”

He matches my leaning, and I catch him as he stares at my breasts for a moment or two before meeting my eyes, which have a soft yellow glow around his green irises. “Well, he wants to grab you by your hair, drag you to the bedroom, bend you over and fuck you whether you like it or not. He’d almost rather you not like it. That way, it’d be a nice fight.”

My face drains of color. What a fucking animal! Why would his wolf want something like that? Why is he not mortified? What if his wolf takes control and goes through with that? Am I safe here?

He sighs, the glow fading quickly. “Don’t be afraid. Most wolves learn to control their animalistic instincts. I’ve gotten very good at it, which is what makes me a good Alpha. I have full dominance over my wolf, don’t worry.”

That’s not how Brad put it.

I furrow my eyebrows and ask, “What about the wolves in your pack who don’t have control? What do you do about them?”

“Well, most of the time, they’ll commit a crime against the pack, and we execute them, or they’ll become rogues.”

“And if they commit a crime against a vampire or human?”

“Is that a loaded question?”

“Depends on how you answer it.”

“Well, frankly, every pack handles it differently. It’s pretty universal that a violent crime against a fellow pack member is punished by death unless it was in self-defense. Violent crimes against other werewolves outside of the pack are punishable by death unless it is military-related or self-defense. That’s the general rule, but when it comes to other species, it depends. Here, we usually switch them to a different pack, or they choose to become rogues. Executing a werewolf for a crime against a non-werewolf would piss a lot of wolves off, all things considered.”

“So if a wolf murdered me-”

He cuts me off, “That wouldn’t happen; you’re my mate. You’re part of the pack now, human or otherwise. When you become their Luna, they have to accept you as such. If anyone comes close to hurting you, I’ll kill them.”

“So the only way you punish someone for committing a crime against someone other than a wolf is if there’s special treatment going on?”

“When you put it that way, it sounds bad, but yes. We protect our own.”

“But who protects the humans? Who stops them from being murdered and raped?”

“As I said, most wolves have their animalistic side under control.”

He stands and walks over to the seat beside me, and my heart races with each bit of distance he closes. I can’t tell why. Maybe it’s the mate bond?

“This seems personal. What’s the real reason you’re asking all of this?”

I shake my head nonchalantly. I need to keep the truth about my father concealed. “I’m just curious.”

He frowns, brushing my chin with his thumb, sending a tingling sensation across my whole body. “I know that’s a lie. The mate bond is strong. I can feel when you’re distressed, and you are.”

I explain, being half truthful, “I’m distressed because I’m mates with a man who leads a species of people who subjugate and abuse mine. I also don’t have a choice on whether or not we’re mates because you forced it on me. I can’t refuse, which is pretty fucked up.”

“Well, Caelynn, if you don’t want me, and I mean this, if you really hate me and hate it here, all you have to do is formally reject me as your mate. I will accept it.”

I arch my eyebrow, surprised by his reaction. “Are you seriously telling me you’ll let me leave if I want to?”

He bows his head. “As much as it would break my heart, quite literally, I don’t want to keep you here against your will.”

I lick my lips. This is an attractive offer. I don’t want to be here, it’s not like I chose this, and it’s not like I had another choice at the time. This certainly isn’t the life I would have chosen for myself.

On the other hand, this is an excellent opportunity for me to further the Resistance’s status. They’d hail me as a hero. I can put up with some suffering for the greater good.

And, on a third hand, he’s incredibly good looking.

In my experience, people can exploit werewolves by taking advantage of their animalistic qualities - sex and aggression. Hence why the Resistance’s strategy of creating territory wars is so successful.

I can easily trick Erik into thinking I love him as long as I keep him sexually satisfied. As much as I hate the idea of practically selling myself, I’ll do anything to end our subjugation. This isn’t only for me; it’s for all humans everywhere.

I swallow my pride and lean over to kiss him, and just like that, he’s falling for it.

His lips meld with mine, his hands already tangled in my hair as he pulls me in to deepen the kiss.

My heart momentarily flutters before I shut the feeling down. I can’t catch any feelings for him if I’m going to execute my plan.

Quite literally, execute.

Werewolves say the mate bond is strong, but I think it only seems strong because they convince themselves it is. Maybe it’ll be weaker for me since I’m not a werewolf? What kind of power does their Moon Goddess have over me? Humans don’t mate for life the way werewolves do.

I continue to kiss him, running my hand down his chest, so he thinks I’m enjoying it.

He bites my lip softly, and I can’t help but let out a stifled moan when he sucks softly on my bottom lip.

Damn, if he weren’t so fucking hot, it’d be easier not to enjoy this little make-out session. Fuck, why is he such a great kisser?

He pulls away, a stupid smile plastered on his stupid face. “Well, I guess that’s a no to rejecting me.”

I force a giggle and smile. “Yeah, I’d say that’s a fair statement.”

He cups my face in his hands, my heart racing as his eyes peer into my soul. I can’t stop the feeling of butterflies erupting in my stomach. His touch feels like heaven. “I hope you mean that. I know you humans give vows when you guys mate- I mean, marry. So, I guess I’ll do that now. I vow to protect you, respect you, be honest with you, and love you till the day I die.”

He pauses, a bit of blush forming at his cheeks as he looks to me for approval. “Was that good?”

I smile, feeling a slight pang of guilt but mostly satisfaction as I reply, “Perfect, except we usually say till death do us part.”

Except his death will be coming much sooner than he’s expecting.

He beams, nodding enthusiastically, unknowingly sealing his fate. “Till death do us part.”

A/N: They really went at each other! How do you feel about them as a couple? Do you think Erik might grow on Caelynn? Comment below!

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