I was so confused on this mate thing. Like how does this work? Am I just supposed to fall in love with him because the moon goddess said so? Why does it have to be him? How does she know we are meant to be? But the question on my mind the most is can Ryker really want me? He’s the Alpha. Why would he want an orphan wolf from The Fret Lands? Granted, I’m an Alpha myself, but he doesn’t know that.
Before I could allow myself to feel overwhelmed , Ms. Diana popped up in front of me. “Snap out of it dear. I need all hands on deck.” She smiled to me. “Sorry.” I said as I gave her a small smile and continued to mix the pasta. Shrimp and sausage Alfredo and bread sticks was the dish for today. “Looks wonderful honey.” She said as she came behind me. She took over and instructed me to grab plates, silverware and trays.
As we plated the food, Omegas would come and pick up a tray to deliver to the rooms. I linked Ryker to see where he was to deliver his food. “Your dinner is ready Alpha. Where are you?” I linked me. “In my room. Bring your dinner with you. Eat with me. You still owe me a drink.” He demanded in his Alpha tone. I dropped the spoon in the pot as shock and excitment consumed me. I stood there frozen as my vision strated to swirl.
Rebel was over joyed and I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't somewhat happy about it, but also a little nervous. "Whats wrong honey?" I heard Diana walk up behind me. "Um.." I stumbled on my words as I continued to finish plating his food. "Its nothing really. Alpha just requested to .. um have me join him for dinner. “ I said trying to sound nonchalant. But by the way I saw her smile, I could tell I failed miserably.
She came over and took the pot from me. “Go freshen up dear. I’ll finish and have your plates brought up.” She said as she took the pot and spoon from me. She gave me a wink and shooed me on my way. I bet my last $5 she knows we are mates. I gave her a small nod and went up to my room. I took a quick shower making sure not to wet my hair. I put on my robe and went to my closet.
As I stared at my clothes, nothing seemed to look good enough for me. Good enough for him to see me in. I started shaking my head and huffed out in frustration. Why am I acting like a school girl again? Rebel popped into my vision. I could practically see a smirk on her face. “You like him.” She said teasing me. “Oh shut up Reb!” I said to her. “Im just poking. But he’s our mate. We already love him.” She said as she sat down on her hind legs. “No. You and Aries love each other. Ryker and I are a completely different story.” I said as I grabbed a pair distress black jeans.
Its just dinner in his room. Its not like we’re at a restaurant. “Not really. But I’ll let you think what you want.” She said as she laid down. I frowned my brows as I put on a chocolate brown crop top. “Why aren’t you fighting me on this?” I asked her. “Because no matter what both of you do, we are mates. Aries and I have already claimed and acknowledge each other as mates. And now that Ryker has too it’s inevitable. We’re just waiting on you.” She said as she laid her head down.
“So that’s why I’ve been so mushy around him.” I said as I laid my hair down. “No. You’ve been mushy around him because you actually like him. Your just scared to admit it out loud.” Rebel said as I looked in the mirror. I slid on some shoes and ignored what Rebel said. I know she’s right. But I’m not ready to open myself up. I decided to block Rebel out of my mind as I walked out my room. I walked to Ryker's door and the smell of him caused butterflies to fly in my stomach. I got stuck and almost turned around.
"Come in Aspen." Ryker said as he opened the door. The sight of him almost made me want to latch on to him, but I ket my composure and walked in. This was the first time I was actually in his room. "Have a seat." he said as he motioned for me to sit at the table he had set up in the middle of the room. It wasn't too romantic but it still had at touch. There was a single yellow rose in a vase in the middle. He pulled out my seat for me to sit and he uncovered my food. "I have pop, juice, water and wine. What would you like?" he asked as he walked to his mini fridge.
"Surpries me." I told him. He nodded his head and opened his fridge. I stared at him for a while. His grey v neck shirt hugged his torso and his black jeans fit his look well. He poured us wine and after he sat we ate. We talked lightly at first. Just him asking how I was feeling about court. "So have you decided what to do about your friend?" he asked as we finished our food. "Haven't really had time to sit and think about it. Its a big decsion." I said. Ryker's door opened and an omega came and took our empty dishes. I sipped a little bit of my wine. "It is but its yours. Think hard." He said as he got up and went to sit on his couch. "Join me."
He beckoned me and I got up. "Why are you leaving this choice to me?" I asked him bluntly. "Because. Its your revenge. It may just be the mate bond but I secure in my decision on letting you handle those who wronged you." He replied back with the same bluntness. "The mate bond huh? So your open to it now?" I asked him. He went stiff for a second. A look of confusion took over his face. He finally relaxed and leaned back.
"I was never fully against being mated to you. But I wasn't exactly fully open about it either. Honestly the whole reason I think I'm more intrested in you is because I just can't fight what I feel towards you. So why not get to know you?" he said.
"Its hard to keep myself contained around you." He said as he backed up from me and I let go of the breathe I was holding. "Your scent sends me into a war within myself. I'm not use to this. It messes with my Alpha mentality. But it could be from me being use to not having anyone that’s just for me.” He said and I narrowed my eyes at him.
“Why did you bring me here Ryker?” I asked him. “I told you. To get to know you. “ he answered. “You can’t get to know me in one night.” I replied back folding my arms. “But I can start. Starting with the truth.” He said as he stood up and scooted the ottoman closer to me. He looked me square in my face and spoke to me. “Tell me who are Aspen. Who you really are. I want to know about your life before the war.” He said to me. I stared at him and just stayed quiet.
Its not that my past is a huge secret or I’m still living in The Fret. But I wasn’t too sure about opening myself up to him.
I thought for a second longer. “I’m going to need that drink I owe you.” I said. He gave me a small smile. “I have a full bar in my home office. Would you like to talk in there?” He asked and I nodded. He grabbed my hand and lead me towards the door. He stopped at the table and picked up the yellow flower. He turned to give it to me and placed a soft kiss on my head. I played with the flower in my other hand as I allowed him to lead me to his home office.
Once inside, I took a seat in one of the office chairs. “What’s your poison?” He asked me. “Scotch.” I said and he smiled at me. “Do we like all the same-things?” He asked. “Possibly.” I answered him giving him a small smile. He licked his lips and poured us each a glass. “You never seem to not surprise me.” He said as he sat my glass in front of me. We both took a sip and allowed to first sip to burn a path for the rest. “Is that something new to you?” I asked him.
“Well yeah. Most she wolves do whatever it takes to please me. Even changing things about themselves.” He said as he sat in chair behind his desk. “But not you. I cant quite figure you out.” He said. “So that’s why you asked for my life story.” I said as I leaned back into my chair.
I looked at him with a blank face. He purposely put the emphasis on Alpha for a reason. He’s figured it out. “Your temperament. The way you don’t budge at my Alpha energy. The way you carry yourself. The size of your wolf.” He said as he kept eye contact with me. We stayed quiet. He already knew the truth. He just wanted confirmation. “Your an Alpha aren’t you?” He finally asked.
I swallowed the spit that got caught and my throat and started to take a sip of my drink when something caught my eye. I looked to my right and saw the painting Emily made. The copy of all the Alphas at the bar. I stared at my father’s face. Tears started dancing on my eyelids. Ryker’s eyes followed mine and I saw him look back at me. “Your father is in that picture isn’t he?” He asked sounding a bit sorry.
“He’s sitting next to your dad.” I said as i swallowed my tears and downed the rest of my drink. Ryker got up and grabbed the scotch bottle. He poured me another drink and sat the bottle down. He sat back down and we both stared at the picture. I could tell that this was actually the first time in a while, he has been able to look at a picture of his father.
A small smile crept on my face. The scotch was kicking in so it was becoming easier to keep my emotions in check. “Yeah. I was always my dads child. The pack would say I was the spitting image of my mother with the same mindset as my father. “ I said as memories starting coming to me. I took another drink to stop the memories from making me emotional. “But he was Alpha of The Northern Pack. If I’m not mistaken. Alpha…” he started but I finished. “Alpha Austin Amery.” I finished.
“Amery. I remember that last name.” I turned my attention to him. “Aspen, there is something I want to share with you.” He said as he turned back to me. “The second time I saw your father, I was seven and you were turning three. We met before. I remember that I always wanted to play with you. I always wanted to be near you. Im embarrassed to say it but I even cried when you left.” I let out a little chuckle. “Don’t tell anyone that. But my mom later on explained to me that you were a special friend to me and that one day I would find out why. “
“You think our parents knew we were mates?” I asked him. He nodded his head. “When my parents heard that your pack was destroyed, they assumed the whole pack got killed. Including you. But because I didn’t remember you, I think they just wanted to spare my feelings.” He said as he drunk his first drink down and poured him another. I took a sip of mine before I decided to tell my story.
“I remember that day. Human soilders came marching up to the pack grounds. They surrounded us. My father went out to talk with them. Out of fear, a solider fired the shot that pierced through my dads heart. He was a 19 year old boy who was scared shitless of the monsters humans painted us to be.” I drunk the rest of my drink as I let the tears fall. “I watched my father get shot. It was as if I watched him fall down in slow motion.”
“All hell broke loose as I was snatched away by my mother. She was leading me to an escape route that a few members managed to escape through. All I remember is hearing screams, roars, bullets. But no matter what I couldn’t snap out of the shock from watching my father lay on the ground dead.” I paused as I walked up to the painting.
I studied my father’s warm toned skin, his piercing green eyes, his bald head I use to love climbing on. My father was Cuban American and my mother was African American. I touched his face and traced his smile. “I blocked out the memory of when I last saw my parents. I didn’t want to remember them like that.” I said. “What happened to your mom?” He asked me. I took a breath and went and sat back down. I poured me a half a glass and drunk half of it.
“Soldiers had managed to follow us as we were escaping. My mom pushed me to the omegas and did her Luna duty. She shifted and fought as many as she could for us to get away. I haven’t seen her since.” I said as I drunk the last of my drink. “She might still be out there.” Ryker said trying to give me hope.
Ryker sat quietly for a moment. He drunk the rest of his drink, poured another and drunk half of it. “How are you not full of hate?” He asked me. “What do you mean?” I asked him as I looked at him. “You lost your pack because of a war my father started. You lost your father because of a scared human. You lost your life. How are you not filled with hate?” He asked me.
I could tell he wasn’t asking out of curiosity. He was asking out of his own pain. Our situations are different but fairly similar. I took a deep breath and walked over to him. Chop it up to the mate bond but we both needed comfort. I turned his chair to the side and sat down on his lap.
“When I was younger I was filled with hate. I lashed out at everyone. Its how I built my reputation. But one day it hit me how alone I was. And my anger wasn’t fueled from the war or the loss of my parents. My anger was from my fear of loving again. I get life is never what it seems. Your father could of been faced with a decision that no matter what, it would of been a catastrophe. I don’t know what he was faced with. I can’t hold anger towards someone when I don’t know the full story. And honestly I didn’t have time to be angry about past decisions. I had to survive.”
Ryker’s grasp got tighter on me. “I could of found you years ago. Had I just went with him to The Fret. I could of found you before all this.” He said. I lifted up his head so he could look at me.
He stayed quiet as he thought. “I’m not sure about the Luna part. You are an Alpha but I don’t really know much about you to see you as my Luna.” He said honestly. My feelings were hurt a little by his words.
“I can’t answer the Luna part yet. But I do know that I have no problem accepting you for who you are. I have no problem with accepting the things you had to do to survive. I’m not the perfect ideal mate either. But I need to find out who you are first.” He said as his hands went from my face down to my hips.
My arms wrapped around his waist as his lips came closer to mine. The moment they touched, I felt it. I felt myself opening up to the mate bond with him. I felt his emotions, I swear I even heard parts of his thoughts.
“I acknowledge you as my mate.”