Sylas turned three shades of red. His eyes darkened significantly and his nostrils flared.
With a wounded ego, a ruined evening, and a thirst for revenge, he left.
Lukas bit back a laugh when the boy rushed off. He felt so elevated, so much more superior than this sad excuse of a man.
“Um... alpha,” a sweet voice whispered.
Lukas turned and faced his date. All the humor plastered on his face and the satisfaction swelling his chest faded. Reality was standing before him. He was in the beautiful mansion not to terrorize his competition, but to bring back to life the hatred he had for Zena. That was the mission.
He shouldn’t have cared that Sylas touched Zena’s waist and she wasn’t repelled. He shouldn’t have batted an eye when she smiled at him. But he did. It bothered him terribly, horribly, dangerously. Zena’s smile had contaminated his thoughts for days and when he finally sees it again, it was directed at another male, not him. When he touched her, his heart pounded with a purpose, flushing blood to his muscles. The muscles he wanted to use to re-decorate Sylas’ face.
Lukas growled viciously, alerting Ophelia who gasped and took a frightful step back.
Her reaction fed his fury. It was all wrong. She was all wrong! Her skin was too tanned, her hair too long, her attitude too calm. If he were to growl at Zena, she would’ve glared, stuck her nose in the air arrogantly, and replied something that would make his blood ignite.
Ophelia wore heels instead of vans.
She was a wallflower.
“I’ll be back. Wait for me here,” he barked out before rushing outside, rudely pushing past the crowd.
The cool night air stroked his heated skin but failed to alleviate the fiery anger in his gut. He walked around the house and leaned against a wall. He stood here accompanied by only silence and the dark.
Lukas shoved his hands in his pockets and retrieved a pack of cigarettes. He rarely smoked but cigarettes did a great job at calming his jumpy nerves.
He retrieved the lighter and lit his salvation. If he didn’t lose the stress that weighed his shoulders down, he would go on a violent rampage.
He hated feeling so conflicted. He thrived on control. He was a level-headed man who always had answers.
If Zena remained the Alpha of Red River and their packs merged, he would lose the control he had. He would have to share his power and take into consideration her opinions and decisions.
He couldn’t have that. It would go against his dominant nature. He was still a firm believer that Lunas belonged in kitchens, not in offices. Yes, Zena was a skilled woman. She was talented with computers, she was independent to the point that she reached the brink of death but never whimpered for help, she was brave and spoke up when she disagreed; but he just couldn’t see her as his equal.
Ruling beside her would equate admitting defeat. Losing to a woman... he just couldn’t take that blow.
But for the love of the goddess, he would rather eat silver than see her with Sylas. He didn’t like it when she smiled at him and he didn’t like it when they touched.
The doctor’s words echoed in his mind and he shook his head to chase the memory away. “Lukas Clark” and “crush” didn’t belong in the same sentence.
He lusted, he fucked, but he didn’t throw googly-eyes at any woman. He wasn’t a soft bitch. He was a full-fledged man.
No. It’s just the mate bond fucking with you.
He took a deep draw of the cigarette, effectively clouding his lungs but unfortunately not his mind.
Part of him wanted Zena far from any man. The other swore to the heavens and earth that he felt nothing for her and the mate bond was responsible for his irrational behavior.
Did he like her? He couldn’t. How would that even be possible? She was incredibly argumentative and Lukas valued obedience over anything.
Even if he did, the only way he would have a shot with her would be by merging packs and allowing her to remain Alpha of Red River. And that just wasn’t an option.
But if he didn’t do this, Sylas or another man would eventually steal her away.
Fuck. When did this become so complicated?
“You’re a smoker? That’s disgusting,” the cause of his distress huffed, appearing out of nowhere.
Lukas wanted to be alone. Zena sat on the top of the list of people that he didn’t want to see. She was the sole reason why he was having a mental breakdown. She was who brought disorder to his life.
Lukas didn’t want to change. Changing would mean that something was broken or malfunctioning. He hated being wrong.
“Not in the mood. Get lost,” he exhaled a cloud of smoke and kept his eyes on the moon. He glared at the bitch. The moon goddess was an asshole. Maybe a bigger one than him.
“I don’t give a fuck about what mood you’re in. Are you showing up to the council meeting or what? Why didn’t you show up in the first place?” she barked menacingly.
The disrespect in her tone overthrew the peace the cigarette was inducing and welcomed back his fury. He shifted his eyes from the moon to Zena.
She stood with her hands cupping her feminine hips, button nose in the air, and threatening eyes glowering at him. He tried to picture Ophelia in that position and failed. She lacked the backbone the crazy female alpha had. Zena was a warrior. Ophelia was a gentle soul.
She was closer than he expected. He could smell the lavender soap she used on her milky skin. Skin that was pouring out of that tight blue dress she wore.
He kept her gaze for multiple seconds, not responding. Then, he made the mistake of moving his eyes off her face. He found himself hating his height because it both blessed and cursed him with the sight of her tight cleavage.
He growled a second time when the cigarette he was gripping burned his flesh. He flicked it to the ground and stomped on it with a vengeance.
He needed to go. The air was too thin, his body too tense, and his dick too hard.
He sidestepped Zena, interested in the entrance. He had nothing to say to her.
Zena, not happy with his dismissal, reached out and gripped his broad forearm. Lukas retaliated by grabbing her wrist. Once sparks went off, Lukas released her as if she burnt him worse than the cigarette.
His hands itched not from the tingles, but from wondering what her breasts would feel like. His thoughts were dangerous and her chest was too close to his.
He took a wide step toward the entrance, pulling his arm out of her grasp. Before he could take another step toward his escape, a thought crossed him. If he could see those luxurious swells, then other men could too.
He hastily shook his jacket off his shoulders and launched it at her. Zena caught it with anger and confusion thick on her face.
“Put that on,” he snarked.
Then, he walked away.