Tahlia’s povI took a deep breath as I looked into the mirror. Today is the day Andy is coming home. It had been just over a year since he left. As one of the top warriors he had to go away for specialized training. Just like Ray did for his alpha training. All the high ranking members that will take over for their parents have to go through it. Well at least any packs that want to be run well enough to succeed.
I looked at myself in the mirror and smiled. I was wearing a mid length dress that came just to my knees. It was a light blue with a low v-neck, the a-line design of the dress fit quite nicely, it was plain but it flowed in the wind. Which was nice since it was at the end of July. My birthday was last week and I am now nineteen. Andy had left a couple of days before I had turned eighteen, so we never got to officially know if we were mates or not.
In all honesty every suspected we could be, there was always that pull between us. We had been dating on and off for the last four years, I had gotten a few letters from him but that was it. I smoothed my hand over my dress and then ran my fingers through my straight dark brown hair and quickly braided it so that it hung over my right shoulder. “Tahlia, hurry up! We need to go, They are going to be back soon!” I heard my mother call from downstairs. I could hear how tense she was, but that didn’t mean anything, she was always tense.
“Coming!” I shouted back. I took one look back at the mirror, soon I would know if we were mates or not. I walked over to the mirror and grabbed the necklace he had gotten me. It was beautiful, it was a blue sapphire with a stainless steel wire wrapping around the outside of it. The best part of this necklace was that it was enchanted to shift with the moon.
I looked at it and smiled, it currently glowed like a full moon, the same moon that would be showing tonight. I quickly put it around my neck, it popped against my tanned skin. I heard footsteps behind me and saw my father appear in the doorway. I looked at him through the mirror. “Let’s go, the plane will be landing soon.” He growled.
I bowed my head to him and he turned and walked away from me. A shiver of fear ran up my spine, my father was always harsh. Lately though he has gotten worse, last night we fought over who my mate could be. He wants me to be mated to an alpha. I told him I didn’t care what the rank was, as long as he treated me right. He told me that no matter what I would be with an alpha, even if he had to choose him himself. My wolf has been on edge ever since.
I turned and grabbed my bag and slipped on a pair of tan flats before running out of the door and down the stairs. As I neared the bottom I could see my father opening the door for my mother. She walked out and he followed suit, I bounced out of the door and pulled it closed behind me. It clicked shut and I watched as my mother and father climbed into the back of the limousine. We always used one when we had special things going on.
As soon as I got in I was struck with nerves. I didn’t know if I was more excited to see my brother, Apollo, or Andy. I fiddled with the hem of my dress as the driver pulled onto the tarmac. I saw that our Alpha, Raylan McCoy, was already there. My best friend, and daughter of the Gamma, was there too.
As soon as the car stopped I unbuckled my seatbelt and jumped out. I ran over to Andria and wrapped my arm around hers. “Where have you been?” She asked me quietly.
I sighed, “getting ready, I didn’t know which dress to pick.” I told her. She smiled at me and grabbed my hand. She turned and looked at me curiously.
“Do you think Andy is your mate?” She asked me.
“I don’t know, but I hope he is. What about you? Do you think Raylan is yours? Now that you’re both eighteen you will find out.” I told her. Her and I both shook with excitement as we watched the door open to the plane. my stomach twisted with knots as the people started to climb down.
First it was Raylan McCoy Jr., followed by his brother Jonathan, Andria’s brother Travis, my brother Apollo, then I saw him. He looked even better than before he left. His dark hair was messy on his head, his tanned skin glowed in the July sun. I could see the outline of his muscles through his shirt. He was wearing sunglasses as he stepped onto the stairs, he looked around and his gaze landed on me. I could feel the electricity from here.
Andria and I both gasped as they started to walk towards us. Raylan ran towards Andria and Andy ran towards me. The instant we touched it was like sparks were all over my body. I leaned into his touch and sighed in content. “Finally, you’re home.” I whispered to him.
He squeezed me tighter, “finally, you’re my mate.” He replied, I could feel his smile against the top of my head.
“What about me? Where is a hug for your brother?” Apollo said. I moved my arm, motioning for him to go away. He laughed and I heard footsteps as he walked away.
I snuggled into his chest, allowing his scent of forest to calm me. I felt like it was just the two of us in this world together. I was pulled away from that world when a large hand grasped me around the arm and yanked me away from him.
Andy growled and all eyes were on us. I looked up to see my father, I could tell he was seething. “Get in the car.” He growled at me. He then turned to Andy. “You are to stay away from my daughter and my family.” Andy took a step towards us and I tried to break away from my fathers grasp.
“Dad, what are you doing?” Apollo asked, obviously confused by my father’s actions towards Andy.
“I am protecting this family’s reputation. Now get in the car, we are going home.” His grasp tightened on my arm and I yelped in pain.
Andy Launched at my father but the Alpha stepped between the two of them. He pushed Andy backwards then rounded on my father. “Beta Anthony, release your daughter,” my father eyed the alpha down, “now.” He growled in his alpha tone.
After a tense moment my father released my arm. I tried to run towards Andy but Alpha Raylan grabbed me around the waist. Andy and I were inches apart. “Are you okay?” Andy asked me. I nodded my head as I rubbed my arm. I looked down and could see a bruise in the shape of a perfect handprint forming.
“Tahlia, you need to wait so that we can figure this situation out. Okay?” He asked me softly. I nodded my head and reluctantly walked back towards my father. “Beta, take your family home. I will be there later to have a discussion.” He said firmly. My father went to grab me, “do not touch her.” The alpha growled in a low voice.
My father put his hand down and my mother ran over and wrapped her arms around me. I looked at Andy and could see the pain in his eyes. He wanted to be the one to comfort me, and I wanted him to be the one to comfort me too.
I caught a glimpse of Andria being held back by Ray. The look on her face told me how upset she was. Ray even looked like he was angry about the entire thing too. We wanted to have the chance at happiness, and this would have meant that we could stay together too. It was perfect, our mates were here and we could raise our kids together with a great support system.
I glared at my father, “don’t you dare look at me like that.” He growled, “you are to be mated to an alpha, nothing less than that.” He growled.
“You’re not an alpha, why does it matter?” I shouted at him.
“I am of alpha blood, I was the second born and the only reason I am a beta is because your mother was the only child of the betas here! Otherwise I would be nothing but a backup.” He growled.
“I don’t care! I am proud to be mated to a very skilled warrior!” I shouted at him.
He leaned forward, “we will finish this conversation when we get home.” I could see the rage in his eyes.
I looked at my mother, “you can’t be serious! You can’t allow him to marry me off to someone else. I have a mate, a goddess given mate!” I shouted at her. My father leaned forward and slapped me across the face. I looked at him and my mother.
She didn’t look at me, she kept her eyes straight forward and acted as though I didn’t exist. I felt someone touch my hand and turned to see Apollo. Tears slipped from my eyes as I leaned onto my brother. I was so excited for today, now it has turned into a nightmare. I put my hand on my cheek, it was hot and stung when I touched it. He has never struck me like that before. Why is he suddenly acting this way?
I sighed as my brother pulled me closer to him. It wasn’t long before we were home, I marched into the house and straight up the stairs. “Get back here now!” My father growled.
“No!” I shouted over my shoulder.
I heard him growl, I slammed my door. I didn’t even get to my bed before the door was smashed open. I turned around in shock to see my father standing there, my door splintered all around him. “You will not disobey me.” He yelled so loud that the windows rattled.
I looked at him, “what the hell did you do that for?” I shouted.
“You will be marrying the alpha I chose for you. End of discussion!” He yelled. I looked behind him and saw my mother’s head dip and my brother looked furious.
“I will not marry whoever it is you chose. I will marry Andy, my mate.” I growled at him. My wolf coming forward. I stopped and thought about what he said, “chose? You already picked someone?” I yelled.
He snarled at me, “yes, and you will be mated to them before fall.” He growled.
Anger coursed through me, “I WILL NOT!” I shouted.
He was quick and grabbed me around the throat, he lifted me up and whispered into my ear. “You will marry who I chose, unless you want Andy dead.”
Fear rippled down my spine as he dropped me to the ground. “I am done talking about this.” He growled and stormed out of my room as I grabbed my own throat. Apollo ran over to me but I couldn’t hear what he was saying. All I could hear were the words of him threatening my mate.
I watched as their car pulled away, my wolf whimpered. I looked at the alpha and he looked at me apologetically. “I will do my best to fix this situation. You both will be okay.” He said as he placed his hand on my shoulder. I nodded in understanding.
He walked past me and over to Ray and Andria, “I would say congratulations is in order.” He said in an uplifted voice. I watched as Ray and Andria smiled and held each other.
Jonathan walked over to me, “I am sure my father will figure something out. It wasn’t exactly news that you two are mates. It’s just now official. I am sure her father will come around at some point. Just give it some time.” I nodded my head and he also clapped me on the shoulder.
I sighed and picked up my bag. I headed over to my mother, she smiled and I bent down so she could give me a big hug. “I am so proud of you! The way you handled that situation, you’re going to be an amazing lead warrior.” She said from her wheelchair.
My mother was a warrior like me, during an awful attack when I was ten she had part of her spine ripped out. Thankfully she didn’t die, but I think she wishes she would have. That was the same attack that we had lost my father. We didn’t even have a body to burn. “Come on Mom, I think it’s time to go home.” She nodded her head with a huge smile on her face.
Once we were home I helped her into the house, we lived in the pack house since it’s just my mom and I. I wheeled her to her room and she opened the door. She threw her purse on the bed and turned around to look at me. “I would like you to come with me, I have someone I would like you to, um, meet.” She said with a smile.
I smiled at her, it’s been years since I had seen her this excited. “Okay, lead the way.” I said. She quickly pushed herself out and down the hall. I followed her into the kitchen and stopped when I saw someone I thought I would never see again.
“Dad?” I said quietly.
He turned and smiled at me, “hi son.” His voice was softer than I remember and it cracked as he spoke. He was very thin and he had lost a lot of his muscle mass.
“How?” I asked him, excitement growing in my chest.
He smiled, “well it’s a long story.”
“Give me the short version!” I said, unable to contain my excitement anymore.
He smiled and acted like he didn’t want to say anything, then blurted out everything as fast as he possibly could. “Well Alpha McCoy had learned of a rogue pack staying not too far from here. Then he learned that there was a plan to attack this pack, so he launched an attack first. It was the same rogue pack that had attacked us when you were ten.” He said softly, “they had taken me hostage and hoped that I would give them what they needed. I was forced to train them in fighting, but I never gave any of the information to this pack.”
I walked over and wrapped my arms around him, “I am just so glad to see you!” I said as tears brimmed my eyes.
“Now, I want to learn a little bit more about Tahlia, your mother says you two are quite smitten.” He said with a wide grin.
I smiled and started telling him everything about her, how we hated each other when we were kids and then our fighting eventually turned into us flirting as we got older. The normal kid and teenage stuff. When I told him what her father did he grew angry. He grabbed my mom's hand and rubbed his thumb over her knuckles. It was obvious that he was very upset by what the beta was doing.
“It’s fine, the alpha said he was going to deal with it. He will be going there later today to talk to him. Hopefully he can talk some sense into him.” I said, he took a drink of water and set his cup back down on the counter.
“Maybe I should go with him, it’s not acceptable to try and take someone’s goddess given mate away. He has no reason to do that.” He said, anger in his voice.
I put my hands up, “now hold on, you don’t need to go running to fight my battles. I am old enough and trained now to fight my own. Plus I don’t want you to get hurt, we just got you back. I will go and talk with the alpha, okay?” He nodded his head and grabbed mom’s hand again. “I will be back later.” I leaned down and kissed mom on the cheek, then stood up and hugged my father, “go rest.” I said to him, “Maybe eat a steak, or ten.”
He smiled and laughed before slapping me on the arm. “Go get your mate.” I smiled and turned on my heel and walked out of the kitchen.
I could smell the alpha’s scent, so I followed it to his office. I knocked on the door and entered when he said to come in. He looked up and sighed, “did you go over there yet?”
“I did, he is a stubborn person, which is why he is the beta. However, I don’t trust him when he is like this.” I looked at him shocked.
“I don’t mean to be rude or over step, but why is he the beta then?” I asked. “Aren’t beta’s supposed to be the number one person you can trust beside your mate?”
“Because he is a stubborn man that is great at the job. He isn’t great with his family, especially his daughter. He can be a bit, um, harsh with her. Also yes, you are right, a beta should be the one person I trust more than anyone else.” He said as he looked me dead in the eyes.
I held his gaze, searching for a hidden meaning to the first words he spoke. “What do you mean?” I asked as I averted my gaze, his alpha power too strong.
He sighed, “I fear he may do something drastic. He thinks that she should marry someone of alpha title. He tried to convince me to have Raylan marry her.” He rubbed his eyes with his hands and sighed, “I hope Raylan will be ready for the alpha title soon, I don’t want to have to retire Anthony early. I fear what he may do.”
“What do you suggest?” I asked, shocked that he is revealing so much to me.
He leaned forward and placed his elbows on his chest, “I suggest that you take her, and mark her immediately, without his knowledge if you must.”
My jaw dropped, “what?”
He stood up and walked over to me, “do you want your mate?” He asked.
I nodded my head, “of course I do, I have known for a while that she would be my mate.”
He grabbed me by the shoulders, “then you need to take her away, mark her, wait a while and come back. He is not a good man, I made a mistake making him my beta.” He said in a quiet tone, “I don’t know what is wrong with him, but these last few months I have watched him change in a bad way.”
“Where should we go?” I asked.
“Far away, very far away. At least for a little bit.” He ran over behind his desk and pulled out a book from the bookshelf. “Here, you’re going to need this.” He said as he thrusted the book into my hands.
“What is this?” I asked as I opened the book. Inside the book the pages were cut to make a space to hide something. Hidden was a lot of money, and some paperwork.
“I have already filled that all out, they just need the new pack name and a signature, and there is roughly one hundred thousand dollars. That should get you through for a little bit. Everything should be in order, give this to any alpha and they will know what to do.” He said quietly.
“How long have you known about this?” I asked him.
He looked at me and I could see the sadness in his eyes. “A few months ago he got really drunk. He told me he would never allow that sad excuse for a daughter to be with anyone other than an alpha. He said if worse came to worse, he would kill her before that happened.”
I looked at him shocked, fear coursed through me. “Why would he even say that? She is his daughter!” I asked, bewildered that someone would be that cruel.
He shook his head, “she isn’t his daughter, Lois is her mother but her father was a warrior from this pack. It has caused a lot of problems between the two of them. In order to keep him from rejecting her she swore that her daughter would mate with an alpha of his choosing.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Why would he care? She isn’t his child.”
He shook his head, “I don’t understand it either, he has been very uptight lately, especially where she is concerned.” I nodded my head and turned to leave. “One more thing, I would wait until late tonight if I were you.” I nodded my head and hurried down the stairs to talk to my parents.