Chris comes up behind me to help me zip up the dress all the way. When his fingers brush against my back, I jump as the electricity courses through my body making my heart beat erratically. He grabs onto my shoulder tightly and roughly turns me around to face him. “Perfect.” He mumbles as he scans my body with lust in his eyes.
He had me put on a skin tight black dress that seems to be better suited for an escort rather than the quiet, virgin 18 year old that I am. The hem of the dress barely reaches the middle of my thighs. If I were to bend over, I was sure to give everyone a show. Mental note, don’t bend over.
Chris lifts one finger beckoning me to follow him. I do as I’m told and as I follow him out the door of my cell and towards the stairs, I can’t help but tug at the hem of my dress, making any attempt to make it longer. He glances at me and notices what I’m doing and let’s out a warning growl and I immediately quit my assault on the dress and let my hands hang by my sides.
After we walk up the stairs, Chris holds open the basement door for me and I quickly make my way through. I look around the house and notice how small it really is. It looks like a hunting lodge, completely made of wood, a world of difference from the concrete walls I now get to call home. Not for long, I hope.
The house has an open concept, from my angle near the basement door you can see all the house has to offer. The basement door is located near the refrigerator in the kitchen and on the other side of the small roll away island, is a sitting area which has a fireplace and a long brown leather sofa. This tiny house has potiental, but none of the things that make it a home. No photos on the walls, no trinkets on a bookshelf against the wall, just nothing. It meets the minimal needs of a person.
Besides my basement door and the front door directly in front of it, there are only two other doors in the entire house. Chris slams the basement door shut, making me jump and stop my inspection. I slowly turn to face him keeping my head tilted towards the floor, he walks to the kitchen counter on the other side of the refrigerator and snatches up a pair of 3 inch scarlet red high heels and tosses them on the floor in front of me.
“Put them on.” He says in an annoyed toners he scowls at me. I’m surprised his face isn’t permanently like that.
I reached down and slipped them on as quickly as possible so I didn’t give Chris a show with my ass hanging out of the dress. As soon as I finish readjusting to feel of shoes on my feet, there is a frantic knock on the front door.
Chris jogs to open it and immediately bares his neck in respect to the person on the other side. The man that knocked walks through the threshold and I feel the raw power radiating off of him. His build is larger, and more bulky than Chris’. He has sandy, blonde hair a crooked nose and eyes so dark they almost look black. Simply wearing a T-shirt and jeans, he looks more confident than my mate ever thought of being. As if that’s possible. He flickers his gaze toward me and I quickly avert my eyes and bow my head.
“Alpha Richard, this is my mate, Amelia.” Chris says the word with so much distaste and hatred, that you can honestly tell how little they think of women here. Damn, they are just cruel and sexist creatures. I think and mentally eye roll at the lack of female equality.
The Alpha approaches me and grabs my chin between his thumb and forefinger and makes me look up to him. It’s almost as if he is inspecting me like one would inspect a product they were interested in buying. When he released my chin from his grasp, I let my gaze go back to my feet.
The Alpha let out a little chuckle and smirked at Chris. “She will do, but we have much more pressing matters to deal with now.”
“What is it, Alpha?” Chris said, suddenly on edge. Or more on edge.
“We have a visitor tonight for the mating ceremony. Alpha Everett and a few others from the Shallow Lake pack in the U.S. are coming to observe. He says he is thinking of adding the tradition back to his pack culture.” The way he said U.S. was definitely in the most friendly of ways. First women, and now an entire country? What’s wrong with these people?
Shallow Lake... all I know is that they are one of the most feared packs in the United States. Not large, but fierce in every sense of the word. Thankfully, dad has a treaty with them. I mentally wipe the sweat off my brow.
Chris walks up to me and tilts my head up to meet his eyes. Once again I’m met with dead, cold eyes. He whispers menacingly, “If you think about trying anything at the ceremony, I won’t hesitate to kill that boy you’ve made friends with tonight.”
Charlie. I search his eyes for a hint of a lie, but they are as sincere as they come. Not a single trace of dishonesty. Dammit. How does he know Charlie even spoke to me in the basement? He can’t know we spoke, and if he does... how much did he hear? Chris wouldn’t hurt a child would he? Wait, I’m his mate and he’s treating both of us like slaves, so I wouldn’t put anything passed him now.
I narrowed my eyes at him and said, “I won’t.” He roughly released my face and I instinctively looked down at the floor. I will just have to find another way out of here, I can’t risk anyone for me. I have to do this alone. Alone. That word rang out in my mind.
After forcing a smile on my face and having Chris deem it fit for an audience and his Alpha long gone, we made our way out of the house.
As we exited the front door, I surveyed my surroundings once more. Nothing but forest in all directions. Throughout the tall, towering evergreens you can see similar homes to the one Chris resides. They are quite a distance apart and as we head North towards what I am assuming as the pack house, I notice that there are a lot of houses. Which means a lot of pack members.
As we are walking, Chris holds my hand and smiles at me affectionately and my heart can’t help but flutter at his actions. Even though my mind knows it’s all an act. An act for the guests that are observing the ceremony tonight.
He doesn’t care about me. I’m just a pup-making machine for him.
For the sake of Charlie, I am smiling back at him with determination. I have to look as happy as I can and if I don’t who knows what could possibly happen to that innocent boy.
We approach the pack house just as it starts to rain. Running as quickly as I can in the firm grasp of Chris’ hand, I narrowly make it to the awning of the wide wrap around porch without being soaked completely to the bone.
Chris holds open the door for me, like the gentleman he is. Me, being me and playing my part, turn and smile a dazzling smile at him and hold my hand back out expectantly for him to take after he closes the door shut.
He takes my hand and kisses my cheek and as if on cue I feel the butterflies in my stomach start a frenzy. We make our way through the crowd of pack members, who are all staring openly and smiling their sick and twisted smiles at us. If I didn’t know better, it would look like we were happy with each other, maybe even love each other. Oh, how I wish that were true.
Not oddly enough, most of the pack members are males with only the occasional female is in attendance. Probably the more docile of them, the ones that are too frightened to act out. We follow a few groups of people to the large, formal dining room.
As soon as we enter I can’t help but gasp. It’s really beautiful, a rarity amongst such a cruel, sexist pack. There is a chandelier in the middle of the large room. It’s filled with chairs and tables, there is even champagne floating around the room. There is a large vacant area in the middle of the room, presumably where the ceremony will take place. Not to mention everyone is dressed in what I assume is their Sunday’s best.
Decorations and floral arrangements are in abundance as we make our way through the crowds to the small stage. There is a a long table that stretches from each end of the stage. Considering we are heading for it, it must be for the high ranking officials of the pack.
We climb up the 3 steps onto the stage and are greeted by my lovely mates Alpha. “Hello, Beta Chris and Amelia.”
“Hello, Alpha.” We both say at the same time. Which makes Chris look down at me and smile sweetly, like we are one of those cute couples who have the same thoughts and finish each other’s sentences. Little does anyone know that he is squeezing my hand so tightly that I am sure his knuckles are turning white. Without wincing, I smile back and grit my teeth to numb the pain.
“Come and have a seat, you love birds.” Alpha Richard says as he motions for us to take our seats at the long table. I nod and begin walking, with Chris leading the way. He stops in front of a chair and pulls it out for me and I take my seat.
I finally allow myself to let out the breath I had been holding since we entered the large building. So far, so good. As if sensing my thoughts, Chris takes his seat beside me and leans towards me and whispers in my ear, “Very good, mate.” I simply smile back at him as sweet as I can and nod shyly.
Running a hand through my hair to smooth out the damage the rain caused, I chance a glance back towards the Alpha and notice a new face. As he shakes the hand of the Alpha, I can’t help but notice how handsome he is. He has dark brown hair, it almost looks black, just a single shade lighter than mine and beautiful emerald green eyes. He’s wearing a pristine, black Armani suit, perfectly tailored to fit his tall, muscular body. He can’t be more than 24 years old, but he radiates authority.
As he smiles at the Alpha and releases his hand, he glances into my eyes. At that moment, I am no longer a slave, I am free. I’m not Chris’ mate anymore. I gasp at the all too familiar feeling. Without breaking eye contact with me, he makes his way towards the table. He stopped when he reaches me and holds his hand out for me to shake. I politely stand and instinctively so does Chris.
Chris grabs the mans hand before I can shake it. All too soon, the man removed his eyes from mine and looks at Chris. “Hello, you must be Beta Chris. My name is Everett, Alpha of the Shallow Lake pack in California. It’s a pleasure to meet you.” Chris holds his gaze and simply states, “Likewise.”
I immediately look down at my shoes like they are the most interesting thing in the world. I take a subtle deep breath and breathe in Everett’s intoxicating scent. Lavender and fresh water. Like home.
“And you are?” Asks Alpha Everett as I reluctantly look back up at him, breaking my trance. Chris and Everett are standing side by side now, and I glance at Chris quickly, waiting for him to speak for me, because I’m unsure if he wants me to. “Her name is Amelia, and she is my beautiful mate. We met at the Summit just a few days ago actually.” He replies without missing a beat. Alright, no talking. Fine by me.
Chris smiles at me with as much adoration as he can muster. Everett, on the other hand, looks into my eyes and I see nothing but regret as he says his next statement. “Oh, is that so? My pack was under attack by some local rogues so I was unable to attend. I normally attend every year, considering I haven’t yet found my mate.” The way he says that word makes my heart skip a beat while I draw in and hold a breath.
He once again holds out his hand for me to shake, which I take quickly and as overcome by the electric shocks radiating up my arm. How can this be? Chris is my mate. I’ve only ever heard of wolves having a second mate... it was supposed to be a myth, a bed time story for pups. Little did I know, anything is possible and Luna answered my prayers.