T E N
I looked through the glass doors and sighed. Adrien was standing outside by the pool with his arms crossed. I guess it was his calm space too.
I slowly opened the door and walked out to him, “I want to be alone Valerie,” he said with his back facing me and I pressed my lips into a thin line.
“That’s kind of hard since I live here too.” I decided to joke to lighten up the mood. I walked up behind him and placed my hand on his back. I felt his muscles tense but he didn’t move away. It was like every time we touched there was this electrifying and addicting feeling coursing through my body.
“It’s not the time for your sassiness,” he said before taking a few steps further from me making me frown and walk closer to him.
“What did I even do? I’m only trying to help,” I said and he scoffed before turning to face me.
“Trying to help,” he repeated with a laugh. “You know, I never wanted any of this. None of it.” He pointed at me then at himself.
“But it happened and I can’t do anything about it. The need to protect you is an instinct in me. But you just keep on doing stupid things and putting your life on the line. You keep testing me.”
“You can reject me, I told you to.” I huffed and crossed my arms.
“We’re not going there again,” he said and I rolled my eyes.
“Lennon is a warrior. Do you think if he didn’t want you to escape you’d still be standing here? You’d still be with him. Just because you managed to get away doesn’t mean you’re stronger than him. He’s one of our best, he let you slip away when he could have easily stopped you, and now you think you’re superior.” There was no heat in his voice as if he was calm. But I knew he wasn’t, he was doing his best to keep himself together.
“I don’t think I’m superior. I can help so that’s what I’m doing. I’m not only helping you with your job but also my father and Mason,” I said.
“We don’t need your help.” He scoffed and stared at me intently with his piercing blue eyes as the wind brushed past us. “Lennon is not dumb. He won’t believe that you’ll go to him alone. I killed his mate for you. I don’t know what makes you or your brother think that Lennon will believe that none of us are with you. That I’m not there.”
“I never told you to kill her for me,” I whispered. If he was going to hold that against me for the rest of my life then I’d be damned.
“Fucking hell Valerie.” He snapped. “You didn’t. It’s the mate in me that cares for you that did. You think I would let someone that wants you dead walk around and be a threat to you?” He yelled and I took a step back. At that point, I think the words were spilling out of him. I don’t know if he meant to say that he cared or if it was an accident but it sent shivers throughout my body. He was fighting for me. There was a moment of silence between us and I just watched him run his fingers through his hair repeatedly with my lips parted, not knowing what to say.
“Adrien,” I began to say but he cut me off.
“You just don’t see it. None of you do. He wanted this. This was all part of his plan and you’re falling for it. Mason as your brother more than anything should know that. But he’s too blind to see. If it was any of their mates in your position they would never agree to that stupid plan,” he snarled and pointed at the door leading inside, where the others were.
“We don’t know how many traitors we have. Your closest friend could be one for all you know. We could have the whole pack watching over you but any one of them could be a rat, and I can’t afford to let that happen.” He shook his head and pressed his lips together as I stared into his eyes.
“Stella is not a traitor. I can take care of myself.”
“Go inside Valerie.”
“I’m not going inside, I’m staying here,” I said and stood rooted in my spot.
“You’re so stubborn. I’ll go.” He shook his head once again and began walking away but I grabbed his hand to stop him, ignoring the butterflies in my stomach. Despite how he treated me or how cold he can be towards me, I always got an amazing feeling when I was close to him or when we touched even slightly. It was a strange calmness from someone that shouldn’t make me feel calm.
“Adrien, why are you acting like this?” I asked and gave his hand a gentle squeeze. He looked down at me with a strange emotion in his eyes, a glint of sadness I’ve never seen before. Something always triggered him but I didn’t know what.
“You just seem to enjoy putting me on edge and keeping me worried. I’m going inside, you stay here if you want,” he said and slipped his hand from mine before he walked away. “And don’t leave this house alone when there are a bunch of traitors that want you dead.” He turned to say before disappearing completely from my view.
I turned around and stared at the pool as the cold wind brushed past me and I shuddered. Things were moving way too fast and it was all happening at once. I knew what Adrien said was right. The plan to bait Lennon could go wrong but I wanted to try and be useful for once.
That all happened because of Sienna. If she knew to keep her mouth shut and not spread lies to her sister none of it would have happened. I wanted to ask her why. What was the point of her doing what she did? Lennon, on the other hand. He was just a certified psychopath. Who wants two mates at once? I didn’t even know if that’s possible.
Mason sat us all down to think of a plan. Adrien was silent throughout the whole thing, making sure he played no part in it. I was to send Lennon texts asking to meet. Get him to trust me and then my dad will deal with him as the Alpha and try and get information out of him on who leads the traitors. If death wasn’t his sentence after they were done with him, then he would rot in a cell for the rest of his life.
‘Hey. I’m willing to negotiate something with you. Let’s meet and we can talk.’ I typed and sent it to Lennon.
‘How do I know that?’ He asked and I pressed my lips into a straight line. He can’t.
‘You just have to trust me I guess. You know that I can give you the information you need.’ I said.
‘Fine. come alone. Tomorrow at the green hedges.’
‘Come alone or you won’t like what happens.’ He repeated once again and I’m sure I felt a hint of fear and doubt take over.
Mason and the others read the texts with me. That was step one over. Tomorrow everything would go down and we’ll have Lennon. Hopefully.
I wore a black spaghetti strap crop top that showed a little cleavage along with beige pants. Apparently showing skin would distract Lennon much to my dismay. Adrien hadn’t seen me yet and I knew he would go ballistic when he did. But so far he was giving me the silent treatment.
I got into my car and drove to where I was supposed to meet Lennon. Mason and the others gathered more men and were already there, hiding somewhere where they could see but couldn’t be seen. I parked my car a good distance from where I was meeting Lennon and began walking. The plan was to bait him and then they'd get me out of there once they get him.
The green hedges. It was just a fancy name for the woods. I walked up a small grass hill that leads to the tree arch I was supposed to meet Lennon at. It was a sketchy place and not a place to talk with someone without a fight. No wonder why Adrien hated the fact that Lennon chose the place. But on the brighter side, it was a good place with many hiding spots for them to hide in as they watch.
I finally got to the arch. It was beautiful. A couple of tree branches were tangled together forming an arch that looked like a portal to another realm. If I wasn’t here to meet that psychopath I would walk around and take in the beauty and magic of the place.
“Make this fast,” I heard Lennon’s voice from behind me. I quickly turned around to face him and focused on calming my heartrate. If it beat too fast he would know. I have no idea how I didn’t hear him come up to me but I didn’t question it.
“Hey.” I smiled and saw his gaze immediately travel to my exposed skin which made me feel really uncomfortable. He didn’t even smile back and just glared at me like he was about to jump me.
“So. I gave your talk a little thought that day,” I began to say and felt my hands shaking slightly so I balled them up as I took a deep breath. I couldn’t ruin the plan by my nervousness.
“Stop stalling,” he blurted out with a growl.
“So you see, I’m Adrien’s PA. I know things you don’t and I guess as compensation for what happened, I could give you the information you need.” That was a big lie. I don’t know a thing since Adrien kept it all from me. It is only when he wanted me to attend meetings with him that I gathered a tiny bit of information a normal pack member wouldn’t know.
“And you’re doing this for what?” He asked.
Before I could answer I heard leaves rustling not far away from where we were standing. That couldn’t be one of the men watching over me, they were too careful to accidentally make a noise. I furrowed my brows and we both turned to see what it was but saw was nothing. “I guess it hit me when you told me Adrien won’t mark me.” I shrugged.
“I have one question for you.” He inched closer and pressed his lips into a thin line making me gulp.
“I’ll ask you one more time. How dumb do you think I am?” He asked.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I said and shifted on my feet. Just like last time, the man wasn’t dumb. Another thing Adrien said but none of us cared.
“Racing heart. Shaking hands. Sweaty palms. Biting your lip,” he said and paused, “you’re nervous. Do you think I don’t know what you’re doing?” He asked.
“Do you think I didn’t come prepared? You’re not that smart and I know you’re not here alone. Your little guards could have done a better job in covering their scents and tracks.” He inched closer and I took a step back almost falling over a huge root.
“There is no one with me,” I said through gritted teeth and looked around me at the trees. I couldn’t spot anyone.
“Why are you here Valerie? Hm?” He said and kept inching closer until I was pressed against a tree.
“You get my mate killed. You ruin all the rogue’s attack plans by doing that and then you ask to meet. What. Do. You. Want.” He said carefully and I tried to keep my calm and seem normal.
“I already told you what I want. I want to work with you. You can give me something, and I can give you something back. It’s fair,” I said as I wiped my palms on my pants.
“And what is it you want?” he asked.
“Something neither of us has. A mate.” I said that almost too confidently and it scared me. What I was doing was way out of my comfort zone. I looked straight into his eyes so he wouldn’t be able to tell that I’m lying. We stared at each other for a while before he turned around and I let out a breath I had no idea I was holding. I’d be damned if that psychopath was my mate.
“There is one way to tell if you’re lying,” he said as he turned, caging me between his arms and the tree.
“What are you doing?” I asked. My heart was pounding in my chest at that point and I couldn’t help it. I knew that if he tried anything I wouldn’t be able to escape. He was too strong.
“Let me try something,” he whispered into my ear and pulled back as cold shivers invaded my body. I saw his canines extend before he bent down to my neck. My eyes widened and I tried to push him off but he was way too strong, he didn’t even budge. I couldn’t let him mark me, I didn’t want him to mark me. The whole plan was going to go to waste if he did. It felt wrong. Him being that close to me felt wrong and disgusting.
“Lennon. Not now,” I whimpered as I struggled in his hold. I tried to lift my leg and knee his magic beans but he stopped me, “that’s an old trick don’t you think?”
I shut my eyes and leaned as far away as I could when I heard a deep growl and Lennon was yanked away from me and sent flying to the other side hitting a tree. It was Adrien.
“You’re a bad liar miss Hale,” Lennon said and shot me a smirk as he stood up and fixed his shirt. “But I told you, I came prepared.”
Adrien turned to face Lennon and stood in front of me. Protecting me. I peeked my head over Adrien’s shoulder and saw Lennon taking careful steps towards us. “You really thought I would believe you’d come here without him?” He asked and Adrien took a few steps closer to him and further away from me. “Can’t lie though. I believed you for a second.”
At that point, my heart was racing and I had no idea what was going on. I was just glad his body was off mine and I could finally breathe. Suddenly, all too fast I heard twigs snapping and howls coming from all around us. We were surrounded.
A strong gust of wind shook the place out of nowhere. The leaves rustled and began falling like raindrops as dust swirled everywhere. “Witchwind,” I mumbled to myself and squinted so that no dust would go into my eyes. They had witches with them. Lennon did not lie when he said he was prepared, Lennon was more than prepared.
It was bad. More than bad.
Both me and Adrien looked around us, they were everywhere. “Valerie get out. Leave.” Adrien yelled over the howls and I just froze. I’ve never been in a situation like that and I had no idea how to react. “VALERIE!” Adrien yelled again and I locked my eyes with him before I shook my head, “no.” I couldn’t just leave them alone. I’d been rooted in place, terrified into absolute immobility.
“Good luck. See if he’s any good now,” Lennon said with a smirk before I heard clothes ripping and watched him turn into a huge black wolf. Adrien pushed me back and I flinched.
Before Lennon could lunge at Adrien, two wolves appeared from nowhere and jumped down to tackle Lennon to the floor. Adrien turned to me and I looked at him, “Adrien we need to shift!” I yelled as I heard my heart pounding in my ears. He had to shift before things got worse.
“No. I need to get you out of here,” he said with his back facing me and I stood there trying not to flinch at any movement I saw at the corner of my eyes. Everything was blurry but I could see they were all clawing at each other. Pack members versus rogues and traitors. I was surprised I was untouched yet but that was because the pack members were fighting any rogue trying to get to me.
“Valerie!” I heard Adrien yell and run to me before I was pushed to the dirt-covered ground. I hit my head on the ground and felt twigs scratch my palms and heard a loud growl before I shut my eyes tightly as my heart pounded in my chest and I took cold deep breaths. Feeling a heavy weight on me I opened my eyes to find Adrien on top of me, looking at me with dark eyes. I looked up and saw an arrow deep into the tree I was standing against. “Who uses arrows?” I said and Adrien just growled at me and brushed my hair away from my face.
“We need to go. NOW! Kade and Aramis have Lennon,” he said before pulling my hand and running down the hill when we could barely see anything because of the dust. We ran, or more like he ran and dragged me with him as we tried to dodge more arrows that came our way. I tried to ignore the stinging and burning sensation the contact his hands caused to mine because of the cuts on it but it was hard.
“Get in the car,” Adrien growled as he pushed me to the passenger’s side of his car as soon as we made it out. I felt like my chest opened and I could finally breathe.
“But my car-” I began to say and he growled making me shut up and get in.
As soon as I sat and put on my seatbelt he did the same. He turned around and grabbed something from the backseat before I saw a hoodie thrown my way.
“Put it on,” he mumbled before he started the car and began driving like a maniac.
“You’re a madman,” I mumbled through deep breaths and saw him grip the steering wheel tighter. We just made it out and the first thing he does is make me cover up.
“I fucking told you. I told you that would happen and none of you listened and now I’m the madman. Someone will die there today because of you guys. Those rogues and traitors are strong and they have arrows. They not only got silver arrows to a wolf fight but they have witches too. You just had to get involved. And when the Alpha finds out we’ll all be dead.” He yelled and smacked the steering wheel. I gasped and sunk further into my chair as the noise replayed in my head. I’ve never seen him that angry before and it was scary.
“Nothing happened though, I’m here alive and unmarked,” I mumbled the last part.
“You wouldn’t be if I was a second late. You never listen and now look. If you let us handle him alone none of this would have happened. What if I wasn’t there? You’re lucky we even got out.” He said and I held back from rolling my eyes. He was going to act like the hero that saved me from death.
“Goddess! It happened and it’s over so deal with it.”
“You weren’t ready for something like that. You froze Valerie. I’m not even supposed to be here, I am the reason Lennon is angry and I’m the one going to my home safely while there is an attack going on, I should be with them,” he said and turned to look at me with sadness in his eyes.
“Just stop talking,” he said and fixed his gaze on the road ahead.
He drove us back to the house silently with a scowl on his face. He was gripping the steering wheel so tight I thought it would break.
As soon as we made it through the gates I got out of the car, I couldn’t last a second longer with him or I was going to explode. I turned and saw another car and raised my eyebrow.
“ADRIEN!” I heard a screech and turned to find Sienna standing at the front door. I felt my heart drop and I turned back to Adrien.
“What is she doing here?” I asked as I walked over to his side and he pulled me behind him.
“Lennon is not the only one that was involved if I remember correctly,” he said without sparing me a glance and I gasped. What was he planning to do with her?
“No one is letting me in,” Sienna said as she swayed her hips walking to where we were.
“That’s because I don’t let people like you into my house… or anyone.”
She either was acting like I’m invisible or she was too focused on Adrien to realize I was there right next to him.
“What is she doing here?” Sienna said when I clicked my tongue and she noticed me standing behind him.
“She lives here. She can be here,” Adrien said while glaring at her and I hid my smirk.
“HER? This girl? You’re so funny Adrien, I mean look at her.” Sienna laughed and pointed at me. I was about to lunge at her but felt a hand grab me and hold me back. I was just dealing with that psychopath that tried to mark me and there was still an attack happening while I stood there doing nothing, I did not need freaking Sienna added to the mix. My day was horrible enough.
“He doesn’t even want to mark you,” she spat and Adrien tightened his hold on my arm. I was just seeing red and if he wasn’t holding me back I would have clawed her eyes out.
“Go inside. She’s doing this on purpose to tick you off,” Adrien said but I didn’t budge.
“For fucks sake Valerie you’ve done enough. For once do as I say. This isn’t your job, it’s mine.”
“What are you gonna do?” I asked and he just pushed me to the direction of the door. “Inside. NOW.”
“Adrien you can’t be judge, jury, and executioner,” I said.
“I won’t kill her. That’s for the Alpha to decide, now go,” he said and nudged me forward.
I shook my head and walked into the house awkwardly. I don’t think he realized how embarrassing it was for me. I didn’t even know what he wanted to do with her. I knew he wasn’t going to sleep with her, at least I hoped he wouldn’t.
I sat alone for the rest of the day before Laurie came. She was the best company anyone could have in his house. Adrien was out of the question, I barely saw that man in his own home.
“Adrien is not back yet?” I asked and she shook her head.
“Where did he go?” she asked.
“I don’t know, he doesn’t tell me anything,” I mumbled and fiddled with the food on my plate.
“Ah! He’ll come around don’t worry.” She smiled and I gave her a small smile back. He won’t. Whenever it felt like he was warming up to me something would come up and it’d be like one step forward and two steps back.
“How’s Amelia?” I asked so I wouldn’t be the subject of our conversation. Amelia was her 12-year-old daughter she told me about the last time we talked. Laurie was a single mom since she lost her mate a couple of years back. She was probably one of the strongest women I have ever seen. When a wolf loses its mate it’s like a part of them is ripped away from what I’ve heard. It’s a miracle Laurie stayed sane. She says it’s Amelia that kept her going.
“She’s catching a fever, I gave her some herbal medicines but it’s not doing much,” she said as she wiped her hands on a towel.
I frowned and put my fork down, “why don’t you take days off until she’s better. I’m here I can take care of things.”
“Are you sure? And will Adrien be okay with that?” She asked.
“Oh, it’s fine. Amelia needs you more.” I myself wanted to spend some time alone but I wasn’t going to tell her that.
Adrien would probably NOT be fine with me giving Laurie days off but she needed it. He would be a heartless man if he got angry, and I don’t think he is one no matter how much he tried to look like it.
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