A week had passed since the Ryder incident, her wolf constantly pulling her to meet him, but she needed to focus, she didn’t have time for him to be jealous. She agreed to meet him in the unclaimed land between their packs, Ari would stay within a close distance but would give her privacy. She didn’t bother changing out of her workout clothes, all she did recently was eat, sleep and breath war tactics. When he stepped out of the tree line she had to fight her wolf for control, pushing her wolf down, she needed to be in control.
“I missed you.” He came up to hug her but she stepped back.
“Do you have amnesia?” She laughed.
“Common hug me. I missed you.” He went in to hug her again, which she side stepped.
“Do you not remember that I had to physically choke you into submission? You lost control of your wolf Ryder.”
“Well it’s hard when I only see you once a week. My wolf was antsy, and there you were touching that other male. I see how he looks at you.” He growled.
“Watch you tone Ryder. I may be a female, but I am as much an Alpha as you are.”
“Once you join my pack you’ll be Luna.” He smiled. She scoffed and rolled her eyes.
“And give up my pack? Give up my title?” She laughed at his audacity.
“Once our mate bond is complete its only natural baby.”
“Ugh—don’t call me that.” She shuddered.
“You act like you don’t like me. But I know you love when I touch you. When I kiss you.”
“That was my stupid horny lovesick wolf.” She grumbled.
“Give me a chance Senna, we were made for each other. Come meet my pack. Let me meet yours. Go on a date with me” he pleaded.
She agreed, why? She had no clue. She was pacing her office when Arman came in, he sat silently waiting for her to turn to him but she saw that he had an amused expression his face.
“What?” she grumbled, pulling at her hair she pleaded internally for her wolf to shut up, her head was screaming in agony.
“Why don’t you give the boy a chance Senna?” He questioned softly.
“Did you not hear what I did last week?! He was so out of line I literally had to choke him till he passed out. We’re not meant for each other.”
“You keep fighting the bond, issues will arise. If you just give in, maybe even let him mark you, you will feel better, your wolf will calm down, and he will calm down. A mate is a wonderful blessing Senna, you know how much I wish I had mine back.” Her heart softened, remembering his mate was lost in the battle all those years ago, she was in the process of joining our pack when everything was destroyed.
“Do you trust me?” Arman stopped her pacing by holding her hand in his.
“Yes, of course.”
“Complete the mating process, and I promise it’ll be worth it.” She sighed, nodding her head. He passed her a cup of his signature tea, making the process easier, her worries and internal battle slipped off her shoulders. Arman was right, complete the process it’ll be easier for everyone.
Today she was supposed to meet Ryder’s pack... she groaned internally, she hated meeting people. That was one thing she hated about being alpha, schmoozing and having to be political, mingling with people. That’s one reason Arman is her front person while she observes from the background. Her wolf was all but dancing inside her; she couldn’t wait to see Ryder again.
She went to her private quarters searching for an outfit that was “date” worthy; she rolled her eyes at herself. Ninety percent of her clothes were workout clothes, she doesn’t date, she doesn’t dress “sexy”, but she knew if they were to eventually take this “mate” thing further she would need to make a good first impression with his pack. Dragging her feet, she linked to one of her few female members she trusted I need your help, do you have any dresses that are first date appropriate? She pulled at her hair in agony over needing help for a simple outfit, but this was new for her. She was alpha; she was a fighter, not a silly girl that gets dress for dates.
ooooh Ryder... her friend Talia giggled as she linked back to her give me five minutes and I will bring you some options. To her benefit they were similarly sized, and wore the same shoe size so if this was going to be a common occurrence in the future, she wouldn’t look out of place in the clothes.
The knock on her door made her heart stop for a second as realization hit her, she was going to wear a dress...and go on a “date”. Seeing her friend with long fiery curls with her arms over flowing in dresses, jewelry and shoes.
“I said a dress not the entire mall” she grumbled letting her in. Talia had brought 3 outfits, with shoes and accessories. One was a tight black body con dress, fire red pumps and gold jewelry, the next was a bright yellow sundress, nude wedges, and silver bracelets, and the last one that seemed the most like her was a dark maroon midi dress. It seemed the most like her, until she was it was almost backless, what would be her bare skin was covered by nude lace, giving just a hint of sexiness, finished off with two gold stud earrings, and necklace that had a gold moon on it.
“I like this one,” pointing to the maroon, “the other one is way too sexy to meet his pack, the other is way to girly and bright.” Talia groaned, giving her the dress and accessories. The last dress she had probably worn was her nightgown on that fateful night.
“Make sure you wear a thong! And pushup bra!” Talia hollered as she closed the door, she stopped... peaking her head back out sheepishly.
“You didn’t happen to bring a bra did you? I only have sports bras”. Talia laughed and dug through her bottomless purse handing her what looked like a bra but no straps or back.
“What the hell is this?”
“A bra dumby, you stick it on, then tighten the laces in the front and it pushes your girls up, while being able to show your back” she wiggled her eyebrows.
Changing into the dress she couldn’t help but feel sexy. Which was a whole new experience for her. She looked in the mirror; the dress cinched in at the smallest point of her waist, but still clung to her body until it reached past her knees. The dress had no sleeves, leaving her toned arms on show, the bra really did seem to give her a chest, she didn’t realized she actually had boobs since they were always flattened by a sports bra. She turned to see her back, the lace was a nice detail, still covered but sexy. You could see the faint shadow of her tattoo that extended from her left hip extending to her right shoulder blade. She walked out and did a small spin for Talia who was squealing.
“You need to let me do your hair and makeup.” she dragged her to the bathroom sat her on the covered toilet seat and started curling her short hair, she ended up pinning on side behind her ear with small pins that had gold jewels on the end, her makeup was simply, light foundation and blush, soft shimmery gold eye shadow, thin black eyeliner, and a lipstick that matched the dress perfectly.
" I feel like I have clown makeup on.” she looked at herself in the mirror.
“No you look like a hot model.” she clapped her hands. “There’s no way Ryder won’t mark you the second he sees you.”
“What’s a mark?” She looked at her confused.
“Have you really been so busy with being alpha that no one ever taught you what a mate was? Haven’t you noticed when people all of a sudden are head over heels for one another right after they turn 18?”
She shrugged her shoulders “its none of my business what their love lives are like.”
“Oh honey, I think maybe you should ask Ryder.” she gave her a quick hug as she walked her to the entrance, her brother Ari was going to drive her, thank god since she would break and ankle walking through the forest in heels. He dropped her at the entrance and not leaving until he saw Ryder at her side, he watched them enter before turning around.
When he saw her, he thought it was going to have a heart attack right there on the spot. He couldn’t even form words. The dress hugged every curve of her body, and her lips looked so delicious he almost lost control of his wolf.
His gaze traveled from her nude heels, up her toned legs to the curve of her hips, to where he rested on her face; she looked so out of her element. When he saw her training she was confident, and now she looks like a deer in headlights.
“Hi baby,” he murmured as he kissed her cheek, taking her hand, he could feel her palms were slightly clammy, “don’t be nervous, I am only going to introduce you to my top tier members, we won’t worry about the entire pack till we are officially mated.” he squeezed her hand. There’s that word again she thought, “mate”, he was her “mate” but they still needed to “mate”. She followed his lead, his hand pulling her into his territory. There were no walls on his land, not like hers, so buildings were flush against the natural forest landscape.
“This is the pack house, ” he looked back at her briefly, “my penthouse is on the 10th floor, I have the whole floor to myself. But we’ll stop on the ninth and meet my beta and gamma, before I hide you away in my penthouse alone.” he smirked.
Alone. Her wolf purred inside her while her stomach twisted in knots. She gazed around as he pulled her through the pack house, it was early in the evening, there were couples lounging, people playing games, cooking, as they stepped onto the elevator he turned to her. Complete the mating process, and it’ll be worth it. Arman’s words echoed in her mind, he had never steered her wrong before. She trusted him, so she would do what she needed, for the greater good of her pack.
“We have about thirty seconds until we hit the ninth floor” he said huskily, before bending to kiss her neck, underneath her jaw, her earlobe. He pulled away, smirking; he could hear her hammering heart, kissed her hand then lead her out. Her feet stumbling a little made him glance back and chuckle softly. He liked seeing how his kisses affected her.
Without knocking he let himself into his Beta’s living space, Dax was hosting a small get together with the higher ranking pack members, few were mated, most were single and invited other potential suitors. He thought it would be good to break the ice, let her socialize, in a non-formal alpha meeting, relax, eat some snacks, drink some alcohol and enjoy the beginning to their evening.
“Senna, I would like you to meet my beta Dax,” she looked up to him and gave a small smile, he was extremely tall, and managed a lean body.
“So you’re the girl that has Mr. Serious all soft now?” he chuckled, hitting Ryder lightly on the shoulder.
“I wouldn’t joke about a weak Alpha.” she said bluntly, his smile faded, he looked to Ryder.
“Senna, it’s a joke,” he whispered to her. She looked at him like he was crazy.
“No one in my pack jokes about the Alpha. Your alpha is not your friend, they are your leader, and protector,” she said matter-of-factly.
“Just relax,” he breathed into her ear softly, “no one is negotiating, we’re here to relax, and have fun.” She was really out of her element, he realized.
“Excuse us a moment,” he nodded to Dax and led her to the front door.
“I can feel your nerves baby. What’s wrong?”
“Have you ever been to a party before?” he questioned gently.
“I have attended the annual holiday gatherings. But I do not party.”
“So, you don’t have friends that you have drinks with?”
“I have Talia, she helped me get dressed, but we don’t socialize together. She is who I prefer to workout with. I also have Hendrix we grew up together, he’s the only one I don’t have to be serious with.” He never saw her talk so robotic-ally, factually. Remembering she became Alpha at 13 he realized all normal social development, and parties were cast aside for duty for the pack. His wolf didn’t like the mention of Hendrix’s name but he would let it slide for tonight.
“That must be very lonely,” he caressed her cheek, “well tonight, we will hang out for an hour, meet them, eat, and if you want to drink you can, then we’ll leave ok? Is an hour too much?”
She stared at him, then back towards the mingling group, and nodded, “I can do an hour,” she breathed.
He lead her back to the small party of ten, introducing her to his Gamma Elias, she lost the names of the extra people, if they weren’t ranked in his pack it was unnecessary to memorize them at this point. Everyone was polite, and nice, but she could feel an unspoken tension between them. She snacked on crackers and cheese dip; Ryder was nursing a beer bottle joking with his beta.
“Want me to make you a drink?” Elias offered, smiling.
“I’ve never had alcohol before” she spoke softly, once she spoke you could hear a pin drop. She could feel everyone’s gaze on her.
“I’ll make you a mixed drink, but I will make it light, you won’t know it’s even in there. ” he smiled reassuringly. She watched the clock, she was getting antsy, and it felt like the longest hour of her life. She sipped the drink, he mixed vanilla coke with vanilla vodka, it had a bitter punch to the back of her throat, she didn’t like that it made her nerves tingle, so she sipped it slowly, acting like she liked it.
She made her way back to Ryder, she had been trying to keep conversation with the girls but failing because she only had an in depth knowledge in fighting, not the newest makeup trends or celebrities. Ryder put an arm over her shoulder, pulling her to his side.
“Well guys, I would love to stay, but I am going to steal her away for some private time.” As they were about to leave the door swung open, sending it whacking against the wall and bouncing back. There stood a girl shorter than her, blonde long hair, blue eyes, and a pissed off face. She stomped straight towards Senna, pushing them apart before turning her gaze to him.
“Who’s the slut Ryder?” She screamed, “You think you can just disappear, act like I’m not alive and then bring this skank around trying to show off!” Senna looked towards Ryder, expecting him to react to put her in her place. He was alpha. Her wolf was fuming. The pissed off elf turned back towards her.
“Who the hell do you think you are? That is my man! Why don’t you go find someone else to sleep with?” she growled. Senna lost it, her wolf taking control she grabbed the girls neck with one hand, lifting her up.
“You do not speak to your Alpha in that tone!” she roared, squeezing a little tighter, “you are not in a position to question him, to question me. Learn your place!” she couldn’t hear the others shouting at her, her purple eyes were narrowed in on her pulse, waiting for it to stop. “Ryder is mine, if I ever see you touch him again I will end you. ” she growled before dropping her to a breathless heap on the floor.
Ryder looked at the bleach blonde, but came to her side flustered. He told the rest of his pack to deal with her, while he took Senna to his floor. In the elevator he was rubbing his neck, like he was trying to figure out what to do.
She followed him to his room silently, her eyes still blazing purple. Her wolf will not back down. Not after that female touched her mate, not when she eluded to their relationship. He shuffled his feet behind her, noticing her wolf was still in control.
“Why do you let her speak to you that way?” she growled, pacing from the large window to the other side of the room. ” You are her Alpha! She has no right coming at you that way, unless she wants to challenge you for your spot. If that little bitch spoke to me that way in my pack there would be harsh consequences. She is lucky I am on your land,” she growled. He stood there silently, watching her pace. Oh man she was pissed more pissed than when her brothers interrupted them.
“Senna, I apologize for that, I never expected her to be like that. She was a fling from years ago, but she was rejected by her mate and came to me, but I rejected her, and now I have you. I have no feelings, or attraction for her”
She stared at him, sizing up his words, assessing if he looked as guilty as he sounded. Her wolf started to release control, she walked over to him.
“I don’t understand relationship stuff, but I do know that she was out of bounds speaking to you that way. Regardless of who she is.” she spoke, with her arms crossed.
“I wanted this to be a fun date, but I can tell you’re still tense. Let me make dinner and we can relax in private ok?” he cupped her cheek then walked to his kitchen.