"...so, he only came over to offer to help against Tyler?” Shane had asked, making no effort to mask his disbelief.
"He knows how I’m feeling; he’s going through something similar. Besides, he didn’t know that you were here to protect me.”, said Viktoria.
Koden’s stomach turned as his heart skipped a beat. Even though he knew the truth behind her words, he couldn’t help but feel jealousy.
Koden imagined Shane wrapping his arms around her, and his wolf hadn’t stopped growling throughout the conversation. The Alpha wished to be the one beside her, holding her, comforting her. But instead, he was hiding next to her house, after she’d sent him away. Shane was the one comforting her; even if she was pretending, it maddened him. He shouldn’t even be in the same room as her or get to hold her.
"And I’ll always be here to protect you. I’ll make sure that no other man never gets to touch you again. Tyler will never try to hurt you again. I’ll protect you with my life.”
"T-thank you, Shane. I don’t even want to imagine what would have happened if you wouldn’t have stopped Tyler as he wanted to...as he almost...”
“He won’t ever get close to doing that again.”
At some point, neither of them was saying anything anymore. His stomach turned as his heart skipped several furious beats. Koden was in shock as he suddenly realized what they meant. Had Tyler tried to force himself on her? The dark pools of his eyes mirrored red with rage, reflecting the fury in his veins. From one second to the other, he went from slightly hurt and jealous to absolutely furious. How could Tyler still live amongst them after he’d done such terrible things? This showed how weak Shane was. He would rip every chunk of his body and force it down his throat.
Koden suddenly disappeared next to Viktoria’s house, and Nicky snuck up to him.
“Alpha, what is it?”
She jumped slightly as she saw his glowing, crimson eyes warning her to walk away. As she got back to his car to grab her things, she saw her angered Alpha run towards the woods.
The next morning Koden’s back was slumped against the seat, oblivious to the thick dawn fog misting the windows of his car. The scruff on his knuckles oscillated between pink and white as he gripped the steering wheel on and off. It took him about an hour last night for his open wounds to fully heal. Now all that was left are scars and bruises of what he’d done. The conversation between Viktoria and Shane that he’d overheard through the window wouldn’t stop whirling in his head.
He fell asleep for a few minutes and suddenly jumped up from his seat as someone knocked on his door. His head felt very heavy as he shook his head. He hadn’t slept all night. As he finally got back to his senses, he saw a perplexed and angered woman next to his car.
Quickly, Koden rolled down the car window. Fortunately, his quick nap had healed most of his wounds.
“Good morning.“, whispered the Alpha as he rubbed his eyes. Even in the morning, Viktoria looked perfectly styled and beautiful. A slight smirk escaped his lips, exposing his swollen lip even more.
“Morning...what are you still doing here, Koden? Didn’t I tell you to go home?” the Luna crossed her arms over her chest.
“She looks so hot when she’s angry.”, said Koden’s wolf; he was as dazed and sleepy as Koden.
“I’m waiting for Nicky. She found her mate here in your pack.”
“Yes, Falcon mind-linked me last night asking if she could stay, but he never mentioned you were staying.”
She noticed his torn clothes. An almost healed up claw mark could be visible on his triceps.
“You look. almost naked..” She had a quick look at his bruises and had a wary expression on her brows that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Why is there blood all over you? What on Earth happened, Koden?” asked the Luna in serious concern. This finally ripped the Alpha out of his state of confusion.
“It’s nothing important.”
“Come inside. You can use my shower. I’ll get you some of Randal’s clothes I have left from his closet.”
Koden followed her inside.
“Nice place...” Koden followed Viktoria as part of a mini-tour of the home that she was taking him on. They got into talking and lost track of time, and bout half-an-hour later, she took him to her room.
“This is your room?”
“Yes.” Viktoria went into the closet, and he sat on a chair while he waited.
“Oh... that’s from Tyler. He’s tried to bribe me with flowers and presents after... behavior issues.”
Koden’s jaw tautened. He knew what she meant but didn’t want her to know. “Some men simply don’t know when to stop. You should throw them both out. I’d be happy to do it for you and show him his place.”
Viktoria came out and shrugged, sitting on the edge of her bed, and gave him a bag to put his clothes in. “I know. But being a Luna without an Alpha is hard. I’m not used to being ‘mean’ and it’s tough enough running it all alone. I know how to keep the pack together – meeting task deadlines, completing the finances and the paperwork, planning common activities, buying presents, coordinate training, giving out rewards. What I cannot seem to do is tell my members off and scold them when they’re wrong. I’m sure they’ll start considering me unfit to be their Luna.”
Koden’s wolf was already thinking about them leading his pack in unison – he the leader, she the carer. “I don’t think that’s true. I think you’re a great leader. It’s funny, for me, it’s the other way round. I know how to keep everyone in line. Be the protector and guide.” He took his place beside her. “But I don’t know how to mentor them with care and warmth... we’d make a good team.”
“So,” he dragged out his next question, “that Shane guy. How close are you two?”
“He’s just a friend.”
A grin pulled his mouth askew. “Just a friend?”
He took off his shirt and kept his jeans on. Viktoria stared at him, and her eyes lingered across his chest and hard abs. Koden realized she was staring at him, and their gazes met. She lost herself for a moment by looking at those grey eyes changing color every time he looks at her. His face showed amusement, and she blushed, embarrassed.
“Yes, a friend. I will make you breakfast while you finish. Do you need anything else?”
Before Koden could say anything inappropriate, he bit his tongue and headed to take a shower. That would give him a few precious seconds to get his thoughts together. After taking a shower and getting dressed, he headed downstairs to have breakfast with Viktoria. He overheard her speaking with one of the hunters, telling her that Tyler was beaten badly. They suspected of an altercation with a pack member. As the hunter left, he came into the kitchen while Viktoria eyed him.
“Well, you clean up nicely.”
They sat down to have breakfast, and suddenly Nicky and Falcon came in. They all had breakfast together and told Viktoria and Koden that they wanted permission to visit each other’s packs more often as they were mates. Koden and Viktoria agreed. They also talked about their suspicions of some pack members, Dalton and Shane.
Nicky kneaded her fingers. “I remember when I went looking for Dalton that night, I saw him close to the border as well. I wasn’t concerned at first, and I didn’t think anything about it until now. It’s true. He must be behind all this.”
“We will come up with a plan and fill you guys in. For now, Nicky, you need to watch Dalton’s every move in the pack, and you Falcon need to watch Shane.” Koden ordered.
“Agreed.” Falcon and Nicky both nodded while they snuggled together.
“Can you both please wait for us outside for a minute?” Viktoria told Falcon and Nicky.
They both nodded. She stared at the way they held hands and showed each other affection. She was happy to see Falcon found his mate. She thought back to Randal and how he was with her, reminded of what she had lost. Nicky was lucky to have him; he was a very loyal person and treated women as they should be treated. She was happy for them and wondered if she’d ever be like that with someone else again.
She turned to Koden and gestured to go into her office.
“Koden. Tell me the truth. Why did you stay last night?”
“I told you I..”
“Was that the only thing you did? Wait for her all night?” She interrupted him.
“The truth Koden.”
“I overheard what you said when you were talking with Shane.”
He didn’t reply.
“Did you hurt Tyler?”
“That...was you?“, quickly, her voice had filled itself with surprise, but also admiration.
Koden gave her a slight smile. “Yes, it was me.”
“Koden, you can’t just-.”
“I did it for you.”
“For me?” She said in quite a shocked voice. But as the two looked at each other, the shock and anger quickly escaped her gaze.
“I needed to make the bastard pay for what he did to you. I almost killed him.” bitterness had quickly filled the Alpha’s voice.
“Look, I’m not sorry I did it. I won’t have any man treat you like that. Not while I’m around or have anything to do with it. There is also a bonus that I also needed to blow off some steam after finding out what Dalton did.”
“I-I don’t know what to say. But thanks.”
“You’re welcome.” pride had filled Koden’s chest.
“Don’t get ahead of yourself, lovesick idiot.”, his wolf scolded him.
“Listen, Koden; there are many things we both have to deal with. Why don’t we meet up in a few days? We could go into town and figure out a plan where we are not overheard.” suggested the Luna. It’s probably was best if they wouldn’t be seen together. Yet.
“Yes. How about next Thursday?” suggested Koden.
“Perfect.“, Koden opened the door and headed outside.
She was just about to leave but then turned around to him.
“One thing, Koden. Promise you will stay out of trouble until we come up with a plan.”
“I will promise... If you promise this time to call me.”
“This again?” She giggled, and he smiled at her. “I double promise then.”
“I am a man of my word.” He chuckled.
She smiled and turned around, walking back to her house. He watched Viktoria walking up to her door and turn around to look at them. Nicky said her goodbyes to Falcon and got in the truck.
"She’s watching. Let’s just hope you won’t screw it up this time.“, said Koden’s wolf while they both got in his car, heading back to Grayhide.
Nicky and Falcon saw each other often for the past few days and would visit each other’s packs. They both marked each other and consumed their mate bond right after. Koden used this to his advantage and had Nicky watch over Viktoria to report back to him. He needed to know she was safe, even though they talked on the phone now. Viktoria called him as she promised. They would talk every night the past week. He was relieved she believed him and that she finally trusted him. Koden couldn’t wait to see her again. She was the only thing helping him keep his wolf at bay from going after the Rogues or killing every single pack member that betrayed them.