He is not the one!
Rey bolted out of the house so fast, even the fastest runner in the world would turn green with envy. The usually steady rhythm of her heart replaced by a frantic beating she could feel all the way up to her ears.
If what S was saying was the truth ...
She didn’t even want to think about that possibility.
He was still so young, maybe he misread the signs.
Lost in her head in a desperate attempt to reassure herself, she failed to recognize the presence of another being until they collided.
The collision took a breath out of her, the partially healed wound of her back reminding of its presence, but she was still able to hear Lia say: “Pack your things. We are leaving!”
“What do you mean, we are leaving?” Rey hissed in pain.
“Pack your things!” Lia yelled again. “Please, just ... .” Her voice cracked in the middle and by the end, her words were a jumbled mess of desperate pleading.
Lia in front of her wasn’t the same confident girl that threatened to kick S’s ass a couple of minutes ago. Instead, this new version of her reminded Rey of an animal waiting for its turn to be slaughtered. Her eyes wide, frantic, lips trembling, tears threatening to fall.
Another voice cut through the air: “Please, wait for a bit.”
Lia, being taller than her, prevented her from seeing how he looked like and Rey was too much of a coward to lean a bit, but the voice belonged to a guy. No doubt about that.
“I just want to talk to you,” he pleaded.
Rey didn’t recognize his voice, and it filled her veins with at least a little bit of relief. No matter how forgiving her treacherous heart was, Rey knew she would have a hard time accepting someone from her old pack as Lia’s mate.
Being the oldest one of them, it took Brynn a little more time to catch up with them, but as she did, she asked: “Is it true?”
There was no point in denying it, Lia’s terrified state already confirmed everything, so Rey whispered: “Yeah. Yes, it is.”
Despite not being there to witness their conversation, Lia knew what they were talking about and she flinched as she heard Rey’s words. But she wasn’t ready to admit it just yet: “No. It’s not. You are wrong. He is not my mate!”
“Are we?” Brynn asked again.
Lia’s yes came at the same time as the guys resolute no.
“Which is it then?” S’s voice chirped through, the excitement still present.
“I am your mate. You know I am. Please stop denying it. It’s hurting both of us,” the guy pleaded with Lia again. Rey’s curiosity got the best out of her, and she leaned over Lia to take a good look at him.
Two things were sure. She definitely never met him before, and he was handsome as hell. He would be even more, had it not been for the pained expression on his face.
Not caring a bit, Lia pushed the imaginary knife even deeper inside him: “Even if you were, I don’t care. We are leaving this place. Right now!”
“Pumpkin,” Brynn addressed her, “we can’t. You know, we can’t.”
They really couldn’t. If a mating bond was created between two people, no werewolf had the right to come between them. It was their highest law.
The couple itself had the free will to decide, whether they would be happier together or apart, but since there were no such things as second chance mates, it was usually obligatory for them to spend a chunk of time together after the bond was formed.
“To hell with it! To hell with all of it! You can’t make me spend time with him.”
“Why?” Brynn asked. And honestly, Rey could only think of one reason as an answer to her question.
“Why?” Lia’s mate demanded to know as well, and Rey’s heart was breaking for him. “We barely even got the chance to meet each other, I couldn’t possibly do anything to make you hate me in such a short time, could I?”
Rey knew she had to beat Lia before she would say something long-term damaging: “I am so very sorry for this mess, but I am sure it’s nothing you have done. I have a strong suspicion
I know why she is acting like this and I promise I will fix it soon.”
She grabbed Lia’s hand and ordered: “Follow me!”
Lia wanted to protest, but Rey had enough at this point. Dragging an entire werewolf towards their house was definitely not the easiest thing she had ever done, but if it would take her until the morning to drag Lia inside, she would do it.
Thankfully, Lia gave up the fight pretty quickly. Probably to spare Rey of any more humiliation or just to get away from the guy and his haunted eyes.
As Rey realised Lia was walking through the porch willingly, she shouted: “Everyone else stays outside!” And she shut the door behind them.
Whether she wanted to or not, it was time to tell Lia the truth.