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Chapter 5

Warning: Trigger scene

Viktoria woke up early in the morning, and it was still dark outside. She was the first one to wake up and the last one to go to sleep. Turning to her side, she realized she was alone once more, and her thoughts went back to her brief conversation a few days earlier with her pack healer.

“Unmated wolves can barely survive heats without mating,”

Her heat could happen at any time it wanted, and she would need to choose someone. She didn’t have to complete a mate bond; mating can also be intimacy. Sex would be enough to make her heat go away. But surely she could survive it without it. Right? She didn’t want to risk it and have that choice taken from her. Picking up her phone, she wondered if she should call Koden. She dreamed about him often and wondered if giving in to her lust would help them go away.

“He is unmated too, and he’s an Alpha.” Her wolf linked her.

Reminding herself and her wolf Koden and his pack can’t be trusted, she brushed her thoughts off and headed towards the bathroom to shower and get ready. She would patrol and then meet with the pack around noon.

She flinched against the wet tiles of her shower cubicle at the sound of a loud knock at her door.

“One moment!” she groaned in frustration, switching off the water. Tugging at the dressing gown hanging on the wall’s hook, she wrapped it around her dripping skin and dragged herself out of the bathroom. “Come in,” she mumbled.

Her blank expressions turned into a grimace when Tyler opened the door. “Good morning, breakfast for the princess is here.” He was carrying a tray with a cup of coffee, toast, eggs, and fried sausages.

Viktoria rolled her eyes internally. “What’s this about?”

“I thought...” His words broke off as he leered at the exposed stretch of her wet legs. “I thought I should bring my future mate breakfast. I can do it every morning if you want it, princess.”

“Thank you, but no, Tyler,” Viktoria retorted raspily, peering into his lustful gaze.

“Can you just please have a few bites and try? I made this for you, and I don’t cook. Ever.”

“Fair enough.”

Tyler sat down on her bed, occupying most of it. He watched as she started to take a few bites from it.

“Viktoria, it’s been months. I haven’t seen you even try to find a mate. I know it will be hard at the beginning. But we can eventually grow to love each other.”

“It’s Luna to you, dick.” Her wolf barked at him.

“You aren’t going to be my mate - ever.” Her reply was bitter enough to wipe the sweet smile Tyler had put on. His masculinity felt threatened. He could only be patient for so long, he snapped.

Sliding out of bed, he confronted her, grabbing her arms. He was not the staidest wolf around.

“You will be mine! And once you are, I’ll shut that big mouth of yours forever, making sure you never talk down to me like that ever again.”

“You can try, asshole.”

“Randal couldn’t get you pregnant – he didn’t try hard enough.” He announced, emphasizing the word ‘hard.’ Before she could protest, he ripped the belt of her gown, picked her up, and forcefully threw her onto the bed.

“NO! TYLER STOP!” Viktoria screamed in panic. She knew the pack was sleeping, and no one was out and about at this hour.

“I said, no!” She slashed her fingernails, clawing at his hands and scratching his jaws, but his grip was stronger. She fought back with everything she had, horrified that he was about to force himself on her.

“I’ll have you even if I have to strap you myself!”

“Somebody help!”

“No one is coming, princess.” He held her down with one hand, unbuckling his belt with the other.

He was taller and seemingly invincible. Pinning her arms above her head, he yanked her robe off and hurled it aside. “You are... quite the looker princess.” An evil grin simmered on his lips as his eyes combed over her curves and wet core.

Just as he pushed her legs apart to thrust his member into her, she bit a chunk of his arm and spat it at his eyes. She pushed him away with force, and he winced at the sting and fell to the floor. In that split-instant, she managed to break free and run for it.

With panic spilling into her veins, the she-beast took over in a rush, her lungs belting out a wild howl. Using the force of its wrath, she sprang out of the door and headed to the woods.

She sensed the hostile wolf pursuing her.

“You better run as fast as you can.”

* * *

Viktoria’s wolf tore through a forest, her limbs sprinting as fast as they could. She ran so fast was past the pack’s borders by now. She’d entered a territory known for rogue wolves, but at this point, she couldn’t care less.

Tyler’s wolf was inching nearer, his shadow eclipsing hers. The horny sweat soaking his fur suffocated her, the fiery breath from his nostrils burning her skin. In a few moments, he’d eventually catch up with her and finish what he started. She thought to change her course and flee to Koden’s house, but she was hesitant about trusting him and his pack.

Eventually, she collapsed onto the floor, every ounce of strength in her dithering limbs spent. Tyler’s wolf rumbled in delight as he charged towards her. Just as he was about to mount her from behind, a loud snarl crackled in the air.

Tyler’s wolf glared up and found a menacing beast pummel at him from the bushes.

Viktoria crept back - as far as her tremoring limbs could carry her body away from Tyler’s - and turned around to two male wolves engaged in a violent fight. For a moment, she imagined – almost wished – that the other wolf was Koden. But as both werewolves shifted back to their human forms, it became evident that the man challenging Tyler was a stranger. The stranger pinned him down forcefully, and they both shifted back to human form.

“What the fuck! Who do you think you are?” Tyler spat, his lust clouding his senses while his hot blood streamed out of his nose.

The other man – taller and younger - shoved him afar so that he wouldn’t be anywhere near the she-wolf. “No, what the fuck is wrong with you treating a lady like that? Get lost! NOW!”

Tyler pointed at Viktoria, the white of his eyes bloodshot. “That’s my future Luna, you dickhead! Back the fuck off or-” The stranger let out a low laugh. “Or... what? Loose against me in a fight again?” He clapped his palm against his chest, beckoning his rival. “Challenge accepted.”

Tyler spurted aside a pool of blood from his mouth and wiped his nose on his arm. With an arrogant frown, he paced towards Viktoria, but the tall stranger stepped in his way.

“Just wait and watch what happens to you.”

“Oh, I’ll be waiting.” The tall man curled his fist into a ball of knuckles.

Tyler turned to look at Viktoria. “I will be waiting when you get home.” He bared his teeth angrily before sprinting in the other direction.

The stranger went into the bushes and came out moments later, fully dressed. Then he approached Viktoria, one step at a time.

“Don’t worry. He’s gone.” She was coiled on the ground, quivering like an exposed pup, her fair skin riddled with scratches and bruises, her arms modestly enveloping her body.

He unhooked the buttons of his linen shirt and handed it over. “Here.”

She quickly slipped into his shirt and lifted her face to his.

“Come on,” he held his hand out to her.

She studied her savior with dark hair and darker eyes. Eventually, she offered him her palm and her trust, and he pulled her up. “Thanks for saving me.” She managed a tired smile.

The stranger shrugged. “Anyone with common sense would have intervened and stopped him from...”

Tears weighted her lashes down and ran through her cheeks. The man hesitated, but he slipped his arms over her back and held her close, his body embracing hers in comfort. “Hey, you’re okay now. It’s over. He won’t hurt you while I’m around.”

They stood in silence for a moment as she cried onto his shoulders. Many shed tears later, she wiped her cheeks dry, her face flushed. “I’m so sorry. You saved me. I’m crying on your shoulder, and I don’t even know your name.”

He responded with a lulling smile, flicking a bubbling teardrop off her lashes with his thumb. “I’m Shane.”

“I’m Viktoria.”

“Now that you know my name, you can use my shoulder anytime.”

“Thank you. Sorry, you had to deal with this.”

“Don’t be sorry. It’s not every day that I get to be called a savior.”

A nervous giggle stumbled out of her lips.

“Your legs are shaking. Come over here.” He led her to a big tree stump and waited for her to take a seat. “Tell me what happened.”

The Luna swallowed a deep breath.

She rubbed her face. “My mate, Randal, died a few months ago. He was the Alpha of my pack. Someone murdered him and our Beta.”

“Shit.” He brushed his hair, flustered. “I thought I had it rough... I’m sorry.”

Viktoria gaped at the earth beneath her feet blankly. “The pack’s former-Alpha, my mate’s father, wants his second son Tyler to become my mate and lead the pack.”

“Let me guess; that’s the asshole I just beat up.”

“Yes.” Her voice splintered as her grief stiffened the back of her throat. “I don’t know what to do. I don’t want my pack to see how weak I am against Tyler and Shilo. I’m not sure of their plan, but I’m sure what happened today is just the beginning.”

Shane knelt in front of her and grabbed her hands. “I’ll protect you, Viktoria. If it’s just the two of them, I can handle them.”

Disbelief tugged her brow up. “You would do that for someone you just met?”

“Of course,” he blinked. “I can’t leave you to fend for yourself after what I’ve just seen.”

“Why help me?” She asked, her head still scrambling for words.

Shane’s shoulders rose and fell in resignation. “Because you’ve been through a lot, and I know what it is to feel like you have no one to turn to. How deafening the silence of loneliness can be.”

“What pack are you from? Grayhide?”

“Well. Not exactly.” He looked her in the eyes and didn’t blink. “I don’t want to lie to you. I’m a rogue, to be precise, an unwanted pregnancy between a Duskfall Hunter and my lone wolf mother. I’m a nobody, but I hope you can find it in yourself to trust me.”

Viktoria could hear the pain seeping out of his words. She grabbed his jaw and lifted his face to hers, their lips hovering dangerously close. Shane watched her, trying to decipher her expressions while she tried to figure out her dilemmas.

“Well,” she licked her lips that’d dried up from the heat, “I can change that. Could I convince you to join my pack? You wouldn’t have to be a Rogue anymore.”

Shane stood up, cocking his head in confusion. “Why would you want that?”

“I assured my pack I’d find them an Alpha better than Tyler. You could be my alibi and pretend we’re together. You intimidate him. That’s a great start already.”

“Wait, wait, wait... hold on. Alpha?” He wiggled his brows playfully. “Are you asking me to act as I want you?”

Viktoria bit the inside of her cheeks. “In a way. Yes. Look, I don’t want to force you to do anything. But could you at least pretend to be with me? It would just be for a little while.”

“You wouldn’t be forcing me.” Shane chuckled. He ran a few fingers through his black hair.

Her face crimsoned. But she didn’t reply.

After a while, Viktoria broke the silence. “So, do we have a deal, Shane?”

“We have a deal.” He held his palm out to her, and she grabbed it with a smile.

“You should kiss him to seal the deal.” Her wolf demanded all of a sudden and pushed her closer to him.

“What are you doing, Wolf?” She mind-linked her wolf.

“Stop holding back.” Her wolf argued back. “Maybe Shane can wipe away our need and memories.” whining about its unmet primal needs. She was feeling unpaired and unloved after all this time.

“We just met him!”

Turning to look at Shane, Koden’s face flickered in front of her eyes. She broke out, starting to cough. Now Koden was pervading her thoughts. He had a habit of drifting into her dreams, but now, she was seeing him with her eyes wide open too? She couldn’t shake the feeling off.

“How about we get to know each other more?”

“Yes, I’d like that very much. We can share more about how we ended up with such dramatic life-stories.”

Hours passed by while they talked, and suddenly night fell. Then they both started to walk back hand in hand towards the Highcrest pack to begin their act.

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