Copyright © 2020 by J. M. Johnson
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or used in any manner without written permission of the copyright owner except for the use of quotations in a book review
First book - You Wouldn't Dare
Second book - I Dare You
Third book - Our Final Dare
Continuing the saga:
The Alpha's Beta Mate
Whilst this book is at its best when you go into it blind, with no knowledge of whats to come, I understand that this isn't for everyone, and I don't want to trigger anybody.
Potential spoilers, but triggers include:
- Abuse: physical, mental, emotional and sexual
- Mentions of rape
- Toxic relationships
- child abuse
Please understand that whilst I've done my best to include all possible triggers, I don't know what affects you on an individual basis. If you see something and it has triggered you, let me know and I can add it to this list to warn other people. However please understand that I cannot possibly list everything, as that will ruin the story for some people.
I hope you can understand and you enjoy the story I'm telling - not every character is good, and I don't always agree or condone their actions. But these people exist. Also remember that whilst they are human, they are led by an animal that can often be brutal.
Run Violet! My Wolf urged, the adrenaline surging through our body with the clear danger closing the distance behind us.
I had been an idiot to go running in these woods, I should have staked it out long before now and made sure it was safe!
I pushed myself harder, my thighs burning with the strain. The Wolf behind us roared out his annoyance and I sent a warning growl back, letting him know that despite my Wolf being small we were still more than capable of defending ourselves.
We had to be. I came from a long line of Alphas, the power and dominance oozed off me. Wolves would take advantage of that the minute they realised I was without a pack. Or so they thought.
The only way I had been able to prevent myself from going rogue and losing my sanity was to become not just a mother, but an Alpha to my young son. It was unorthodox but Eros and I had made it work well enough for the past 6 years.
Thoughts of Eros had me remembering why it was so important to ensure safety before I took on a run like this. As much as I had wanted to let my Wolf run free, I couldn't afford to take risks like this!
I understood her need to be in the forest though. Ever since we had lost our mate, she would spend hours roaming the woods, remembering all the times we spent with him and how close it had brought us.
Another howl behind me had me snapping back into reality. I was fast losing momentum and if I wasn't careful, this Wolf behind me would easily catch me and then goddess help Eros if anything were to happen to me.
I decided to change tactics, remembering all Khaos and my brother had taught me about disguising my scent and hiding in plain sight.
It took me mere minutes to form a trail that should confuse the thing chasing me and I hid in the thick bushes my heart beating wildly as I waited. The leaves constricting my view as I waited for them to pass but I didn't dare poke out any further, the little view I had was sufficient enough to enable me to determine whether I was to run from them or if I was capable of attacking-and more importantly winning!
As the minutes passed, my nerves began to grow. Where were they and why could I no longer hear their approach? I strained my ears as I desperately tried to pick up any sound but only the sounds of nature living in the forest came back to me.
The safest option would be to wait it out. I had infinite patience, having a 6-year-old will do that to a person. Yet it was the same 6-year old that prevented me from staying too long. If I didn't return soon he would come looking for me. As much as I scolded him for leaving the house without me he was inquisitive by nature and it wouldn't be long until the forest called to him.
My mind made up, I slowly poked my nose out of the bush, careful to keep my belly low to the ground and my tail tucked in.
I didn't see anything, couldn't smell anything. Almost believing I was completely safe and had managed to outrun him, I left the safety of my hiding place and quickly scanned the forest before heading back to my house. I wanted to run through the forest but knew that if I were to make too much noise I would easily be detected again.
I hadn't gone more than a few metres when it became clear I had made a mistake. I heard him before I saw him, his victorious yelp as he jumped on my back knocked the air out of my lungs as I hit the ground with a loud thump.
Before he could secure me to the ground with his body, I flipped underneath him so I was laying on my back, my stomach protected by his body so that he couldn't strike it and went to use my claws on his face. I couldn't fight, but I had been enough girlish scraps as a teenager to know that I could scratch and pull hair with the best of them.
Claws drawn, I went for his face.
That's when the smell hit me.
No! It wasn't possible!
My Wolf went giddy, unable to hold back her elation at smelling the one scent that was forever imprinted on her soul. Well, on both of us really.
I shifted immediately, no longer caring that as a human I would be more vulnerable. I had to see this for myself. The Wolf got off me and gave me the same goofy Wolf grin that I had pictured for so many years, his tongue flopping out of the side of his mouth as his head cocked to the left.
I scrambled backwards, not stopping until my I hit against a tree. The Wolf watched me with amusement sparkling in his eyes and then gracefully shifted into the man of my dreams.
I rushed to my feet, holding on to the tree for support, fearing my shaking legs wouldn't be able to support me.
"Hello, little one" he murmured in that same voice that had my toes curling all those years ago. Feeling like a teenager again, I stood mesmerized as he closed the distance between us and wrapped me up in his arms.
"Khaos" I breathed. "How is this possible? How are you here?" I said, stroking the face of the man I had thought I had lost forever
He turned his face into my hand and planted kisses along my palm. "Violet, how could I possibly leave you forever?"
It broke me. I immediately began sobbing, clinging to his shoulders as I tried to press myself against him as close as possible.
"I've missed you so much!" I cried into his neck, my head spinning.
"I've missed you too, little one, but listen to me" he gently pushed me back and looked deep into my eyes. "Nothing is as it seems and no one can be trusted. Remember that always and keep our son safe."
"I don't understand! How can we not be safe now that you're back?"
He smiled sadly and shook his head at me, planting a kiss to my forehead before he opened his mouth to reply.
What? No, that wasn't right. I looked at Khaos and saw him fading away, my body rocking from side to side as though I were at sea. I tried to reach out for him but my hands grabbed into thin air, Khaos shimmering away into a fine mist
"Mummmyyyyyy!" Another hard shake and I was pulled from my dream. I often dreamt of Khaos but this one had felt different, almost real. I knew the warning he gave me would linger with me for the rest of the day.
I opened my eyes to find my young son shaking me, a huge grin on his face as he readied himself to start his day. "Come on mummy! You promised to take me hunting today, you promised!"
I gave a big yawn and stretched out under the covers. I patted the space next to me and that was all the encouragement Eros needed to climb in with me and snuggle close to my side. "When I said we'dgo hunting today, Eros, I meant more like lunchtime," I glanced at the clock on the bedside table, "not 5 am!"
"Tomayto, tomahto" he replied cheekily, giving me his toothy grin. "Let's go!" He jumped off the bed and ran out the door at speed, spinning back round straight away to run back to me and hurled himself into my arms.
"I love you, mummy. You look really beautiful today!"
I laughed as I ruffled his hair. "You are your father's son. Go on, get the breakfast bowls ready and I'll be there in a moment." Eros always started the day with a hug. It has been just the two of us for so long that we had a well established routine. It scared me sometimes, thinking that I was isolating him from the world. Wolves were very sociable creatures and a child his she should have dozens of friends to play with and surrounded by people who love him. I squeezed him that little bit tighter, savouring every moment of his short childhood, and sent off to get ready.
With a happy shout, he raced back of the room and straight to the kitchen. I shook my head as I climbed out of my bed, I had no idea where the boy got his energy from.
With my dream still lingering over me like a huge black cloud, I jumped in the shower and prepared my son for his big day, wishing more than anything that Khaos was here to do this with me
"Amazing!" I called out, clapping my hands as Eros came back with his first catch. He beamed a Wolf smile back at me, dropping the rabbit at my feet and sat back thumping his tail. "You'll be a better hunter than me before we know it! Although this rabbit won't feed the both of us..."
He spun around, racing back into the woods behind our property as he accepted my challenge. I had spent all morning showing him how to stalk and hunt and was now sat back as he put the lessons into action.
Waiting for him to return, I glanced at my surroundings, thinking how lucky we were to have found this place. The house was nothing special, just a simple little cottage that wouldn't draw any attention, but to me and Eros it may as well have been a castle for all the love we poured into it to make it our own forever home. In its own way it reminded me of the cabin I had shared with Khaos and that had been the first thing that drew me to it. The estate agent had seen my eyes glow when I took in the wooden porch, the slightly sagging stairs and the little potted plants on the window sills and knew she had made a sale. The keys were signed over to us within days and I hadn't regretted a moment.
I heard a noise to my left and turned towards it, a big grin on my face ready to congratulate my son on his hard work. Instead, I saw the last man on Earth I wanted trespassing on my lands. He stood tall and proud, a small dusting of white sprinkling through his hair being the only indicator that old age was setting in. His face was completely smooth, his eyes as sharp as a man half his age.
"Hello, Violet. Lovely day for a hunt, isn't it? Eros sure is enthusiastic with his kills, so like his father was"
"You dont have the slightest ides what Khaos was like. Where is my son, Grey?" I demanded through gritted teeth, my heart pounding as a million possibilities ran through my mind.
Grey dismissed my question with a swipe of his hand. "He's safe. Last I saw he was sat on the knee of one of my warriors, almost screaming with excitement as he was told of his new home and all the friends he was going to make in his new pack. In fact, I promised the little tyke I would be gone but a moment as I went to collect his mum, seeing as you and I are old friend, I felt it deserved a personal visit on my part."
"Fuck you!" I spat, my hatred rising with every word he spoke.
Grey's eyes darkened. "Think wisely before you open that smart mouth of yours. Remember it's your son I have in my possession, remember what I'm capable of. Now, are you coming or shall I tell Eros you're leaving his life in my hands?"
"What do you want with him? He's a child! He has nothing to offer to your pack! If you want me to bring him to visit, I'm sure we can work something out but we will not be living amongst you!" I was getting desperate, ready to do almost anything to get Eros back to my side. I didn't doubt for a moment that Grey was speaking the truth. He wouldn't be stood before me so calm and collected if he didn't know Eros' exact whereabouts
"That's where you're wrong. Eros has everything to offer! He will be the next Alpha of the BloodMoon pack, as is his birth right. You may have forgotten what it means to be in a pack but I certainly have not and neither will he, not anymore. Now, I won't ask again. Are you coming or staying? Eros leaves either way."
I knew I was defeated. There was no way I could risk any harm coming to my precious child. "Of course I'm coming"
"Sensible decision. You have 5 minutes, Violet. Pack up what you need and only the essentials. You shouldn't take any longer, you're a pro at running away! Why, you must have packed these bags at least a dozen times over the years." He smiled cruelly at me and held up his hand, his fingers spread out. "5 minutes. My beta will be waiting outside for you. Do not make me come back here looking for you. I've given you enough allowances already. Dont make me regret this." He turned on his heel and walked back into the forest, whistling happily to himself over his little victory.
I ran back into my house and frantically threw our clothes into suitcases, making sure Eros had his favourite teddy and comfort blanket or else we were in for a rough ride when he screamed himself to sleep. I doubted Grey would tolerate that for long. I held the small wolf teddy to my chest and inhaled deeply catching my son's scent so clear and strong. What was going to happen to us? I knew that the BloodMoon pack went against everything we stood for and I had tried so hard to raise Eros completely different to the values they instilled in every member. I knew there would come a time when I would have to leave Eros to live his own life and hope my lessons had been enough to keep him on the right track, but I had hoped for so many more years!
I sighed heavily as I heard the crunching of gravel indicating someone was marching down my driveway. This could only mean one thing! It was time to say goodbye to the home I loved so much and start the next chapter of my life.
I made my way back outside, reluctantly slamming the door behind me, keeping my eyes on the ground and refusing to look at the beta who would be my escort. I wasn't going to make this easy for him! I bit back a smile as a memory flashed through my mind of Khaos and I in a similar position. I had written "fuck you" on the window of the car and showed him exactly what it meant to be a brat.
"Here, give that to me." I knew that voice. My head shot up and my eyes widened as I took in the man in front of me.
Only he wasn't just any man - He was the beta to Alpha Grey, a fierce warrior and, more importantly, he was my mate. My breath hitched in my throat as I took in his figure, the mating mark I had given him still clear on his neck. He appeared unchanged, as though frozen in time, even down to the scar near his ear courtesy of his mother.
He raised his eyebrows at me as I continued to clutch my suitcase tightly. "Violet? The suitcase?" He demanded, clearly puzzled by my reaction to him
"Khaos?!" I gasped for the second time that day. "What the fuck is going on here?"