N I N E
The next day Laurie showed me the backyard which I instantly fell in love with. I knew that would be my calm space. It had a pool with a built-in waterfall that made a calming sound as the water spilled into the pool. I could also see the trees that surrounded the house which made it even better. It felt like a little escape from reality. It was surreal I felt like I was in my own lagoon.
I was sitting with my feet in the water watching the ripples form around it with every movement when my phone rang with an office number. I furrowed my brows and picked up.
“Hello?” I said and waited for a reply.
“Evening. You are needed at the office,” Sienna said.
“Oh okay,” I mumbled and she hung up without saying anything. Adrien gave me the day off so it was kinda fishy why he would want me there. Or why he wasn’t the one calling. I didn’t think much of it and got ready to go to work. On my day OFF.
I was walking on the sidewalk a few minutes away from the office when Lennon came up from out of the blue, just like always.
“Hey! Valerie,” he said.
“Hi? You headed where I’m heading?” I asked and he chuckled.
“Depends, you going to work?” he asked and I nodded.
“I’m not going there, I have things to take care of,” he said and cleared his throat making me look at him with a raised eyebrow.
“So, how are things going on with you and your mate?” He asked after a moment of silence and my heart began racing and I was sure he could hear it. How did he know I had a mate when I wasn’t marked?
“Sorry? My mate?” I asked with a nervous laugh.
He smirked and pulled me into a little ally between two buildings and I held back from yelling. My heart was beating faster than it ever had before and I felt my chest turn cold. Bad vibes were radiating off him and surrounding me.
“How dumb do you think I am Valerie?” he asked. I couldn’t even turn and run. I was blocked by him in front of me and the wall behind me. I was helpless.
“Lennon what are you doing? I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
“Adrien Grey. Does that ring a bell?” He asked and I just gulped.
“My boss, yeah?”
“And you happen to kiss all your bosses?” He asked and my eyes went as wide as saucers. “I saw you on that day. You know I thought I found someone I could make mine. Someone I could walk around the pack freely with but you suddenly canceled on me. So of course I followed you that morning. It was a very heated training session with your boss. I wanted you to be my chosen mate, you were the perfect candidate. You’re naive and gullible,” he said and I felt anger overtake any fear I had in me. I was tired of people calling me naive and I was tired of people underestimating me.
I knew I wasn’t crazy when I heard shuffling behind the tress that day. I was actually being watched by that lunatic in front of me. “I don’t understand.”
“Now he’s a man that never settled, so I assumed you were just one of his sluts. I didn’t care what you did but that was until Grace. That’s when I knew who he was to you,” He said and I saw his eyes darken, sending cold shivers down my spine.
“Grace?” I asked.
“Grace Hayes. My mate. Now you see,” he said as he inched closer to me making my back hit the wall behind me as I tried to move as far away from his as I could, “Grace felt threatened by you. Her sister happened to snitch on me hanging around you and Grace didn’t like that. She gave your home a few visits.”
I immediately knew where all of that was going. That rogue was his mate. That rogue Adrien killed was Lennon’s mate. We were all officially screwed.
“Your mate decided to then kill her. Adrien Grey killed my mate.” He growled and pushed me flat against the wall. “He ruined all our plans. You know my boss won’t be too happy. You pack and every other pack will face an attack none of you can handle. You always underestimated rogues, now you’ll see what they could do. You killed the wrong wolf, Valerie Hale,” he said in a controlled voice and wrapped his dirty fingers around my throat.
“She wanted to kill me,” I hissed and tried to pry his fingers off but he was too strong. He added more pressure to his hold, most likely leaving a bruise.
I had no idea what he was saying, what plans? I knew nothing about what he was talking about. I knew about rogues attacking us but I never knew it was bigger than that. I never knew they were led by pack traitors. It all made sense why my dad was always up all night trying to figure out why the warriors were always outnumbered by rogues. Lennon was telling them everything.
“I know she did. But you’re a nobody. Not even your mate wants to mark you. Grace, Grace was somebody, she was my informant and I was hers. Do you know the chaos your mate caused by killing her?” He said and brushed his gritty thumb of his other hand on the base of my neck, where marks usually are and I almost shivered because of his disgusting touch.
“You’re the one that told Sienna to call me didn’t you?” I asked with a scoff and he gave me an evil smile. The whole situation wasn’t a coincidence.
“You are so dumb. Sienna Hayes. Sound familiar?” He asked and I felt my soul leave my body. Sienna and Grace were sisters? So Sienna was basically watching me the entire time. Sienna looked harmless to me, she was just the girl at the front desk that happened to sleep with my mate and every man in front of her.
“If you had a mate, what would you want from me? Why would you try and get me?” I asked and he tightened his hold on my neck making me gasp. I was fueling his anger but it was one way to distract him as I plan an escape.
“I could have two women. One inside the pack and one out,” he casually said and I gasped. “Your mate failed to mark you. So I will. You had my mate killed so this is only fair,” he said and leaned in. I quickly spat on him making him flinch.
Adrien didn’t mark me but that didn’t mean I was going to let any random person mark me. Especially not Lennon. I’d be damned if that happened. I’d rather sell my soul to the devil.
“You’re disgusting,” I yelled and leaned my head back before smashing it forward on his head. I caught him off guard and he looked baffled so I took that chance to lift my knees up and kick him where the sun doesn’t shine, earning a groan from him.
“You bitch,” he said as his hands flew to automatically cup his family jewels and I saw that as a moment to run back to the house. Screw going to work. Sienna was there and she was with him. It was all a setup and they didn’t need me at work.
I ran all the way back and felt my head throbbing because of the hit. Running made it worse and I felt like my head was going to explode but I wasn’t about to let that lunatic mark me. Every time my foot came in contact with the ground I felt the pressure build up in my head but I needed to get back and take a hot burning shower.
As soon as I made it through the gates I jumped over a bush and ran to the door. Adrien’s car was there along with other cars. He was home. I ran through the front door and slammed it shut so hard I thought it was going to break.
I stopped to take a deep breath and to give me legs a break as my heart pounded in my chest before I swung open Adrien’s office door where I heard voices. I knew I wasn’t allowed to step a foot in there or breathe the air there but I didn’t care.
Four men were staring at me like they saw a ghost. “Valerie you’re not supposed to-” Adrien began to say but I cut him off.
“It’s his mate!” I said through my panting. I locked eyes with Mason who looked bewildered before Adrien spoke again.
“What are you talking about? Who?” He asked.
“That rogue-” I began to say when he held my arm and pulled me out of the office. Closing the door behind him.
“Lennon,” he mumbled and my eyes widened. Did he know and not tell me?
I couldn’t even talk because of my uneven breathing. I just stared at him and nodded. “You knew?” I asked and he shook his head. “I can smell his scent on you.”
His nose had some superpowers. He always caught scents other people didn’t.
“What happened? What did he do?” He asked as he walked me over to the kitchen and sat me on the kitchen island as my chest was rising and falling rapidly.
“He’s her mate. He’s mad that you killed her,” I said and took the cup of water he handed me. “There is this… I don’t know what he was talking about but the rogues will attack us soon.”
“And Sienna,” I said and he paused. “She’s-” I stopped to catch my breath again. “Sienna is Grace’s sister.”
“What the fuck,” he said and stared at me like I was speaking gibberish.
“What were you doing with Lennon?”
“Sienna called saying I was needed at work. It was all Lennon’s plan. Before I got to the building he pulled me into an ally.”
“Were you running home?” He asked. He lifted his hands up and brushed the hair that was stuck on my sweaty face back and I felt all worry wash away as a strange fluttery feeling exploded in my stomach. He was trying to calm me down.
Home. That place was not even close to being called a home at that time. My cabin, on the other hand, was a home.
I nodded and began telling him everything which only fueled his anger more. I told him everything from Lennon knowing we were mates to him having a deal with Grace in sharing information. Adrien growled and rubbed his face as he cursed under his breath and I quietly watched him.
“He also wanted to mark me,” I whispered low enough for him not to hear but he still heard me.
“What?” He turned around and held my shoulders. His eyes scanned my neck like he was looking for a mark as he used his thumb to rub the base of my neck. “I’m going to kill that bastard.”
“I kicked his balls before he could do that though,” I said and saw the corners of his lips lift as he shook his head. Suddenly I remembered the way I smashed my head on Lennons all the pain from before came back making me lift my hand to rub my head.
“What happened?” He asked with furrowed brows.
“I head-butted him,” I whispered and he frowned.
“Why would you-” he paused. “I’m going to kill him and Sienna,” he growled and tried to walk away but I grabbed his hand making him growl again. “Don’t touch me right now,” he said and shut his eyes like he was trying to control himself.
Mason stomped out of the office and Adrien quickly pulled his hand away from me. Making me frown at the way he pulled it as if I burnt him. Just a minute ago he was brushing his fingers over my neck and brushing my hair back.
“What the hell is going on here?” Mason asked and I hopped off the counter. “And since when do you live together?”
“Since this colossal beast decided that my cabin wasn’t good enough,” I said and pointed at Adrien.
Mason held back a smirk and nodded, “it’s true. Your cabin is not safe. How did he even get you to leave?”
“I didn’t leave. He forced me to and took my things without my permission.” I said and looked at Adrien as I emphasized the word permission.
“We have more important stuff to talk about. Lennon is the guy we’re looking for,” Adrien cut in. He never talked about us or what we were and I noticed he always avoided it.
“Valerie, how did you come up with that?” Mason asked and before I could snap at him Adrien spoke. “She didn’t come up with that, he told her.”
“He’s one of the traitors. He is the one that has been passing information to the rogues because that rogue I killed is his fucking mate. That’s why it was so easy for him to betray us, and he tried to hurt Valerie. I’m not going to just stand here while he walks around. We trusted him with our plans and he gave it all away. He’s one of the traitors that are trying to take over our world,” Adrien began yelling out of nowhere making Kade and a man I knew was called Aramis walk out of his office too.
What? Take over our world? In just one day I found out too much. What was he even talking about? Since when was someone trying to take over the kingdom.
“What’s happening?” Kade asked as he stared at Adrien.
“How- Why is your PA here?” Aramis asked making Kade burst out laughing and I wanted to laugh with him. Adrien turned and glared at him like he was about to kill him.
“She’s his mate,” Kade said and Aramis gasped. “Your PA has been your mate this whole time?” He asked.
“We’re not here to talk about my relationship with her. We need to find Lennon and NOW,” Adrien said and I almost jumped. Funny how Mason was the Alpha-to-be but Adrien was acting more like it.
They all sat around the kitchen island and I stood there awkwardly not knowing where I stood in the conversation. It turned out their meetings were about that and since I knew they saw no point in hiding it. Instead, Mason told me more about it.
“I have an idea on how to get him,” Mason said slowly as he looked at Adrien.
“What is it?” Adrien asked.
“We use Valerie to bait him,” Mason said and Adrien shot up from the stool he was sitting on.
“You’ve lost your mind. We’re not using her as bait,” he roared and I looked at him in horror as he balled up his fists. I’d never heard his voice so loud, it made everyone go silent for a minute.
“He does have a point. Lennon wants you or Valerie. He obviously won’t go to you so we use Valerie. It’s not like we won’t be there watching his every move,” Kade said and Adrien growled.
“Kade if you don’t shut your mouth I will fucking punch you.”
“He’s like this and they aren’t even mated. Imagine they were,” Kade said as he leaned to Aramis’s side making him laugh. I held back from rolling my eyes. Adrien. Didn’t. Want. Me.
“I can do it,” I cut in an everyone looked at me.
“You don’t know what you’re talking about Valerie, it’s above you,” Adrien said as he shot daggers my way and I froze.
“Enough with this childishness!” Mason literally roared using his Alpha authoritative voice as he smashed his fist on the island top making everyone shut up and look down. It was a way to show respect to Alphas. Mason wasn’t one yet, but they respected him just the same.
“We will use Valerie. She will help us get him and we’ll all be there if anything goes wrong. You better not ruin anything Adrien if you want to see the light of day again.”
I almost gasped at what Mason said. He changed from his fun self that he walked into the kitchen as, and was throwing threats instead. I knew it meant nothing and he wasn’t actually going to hurt Adrien but it still shocked me.
Adrien nodded and pushed his stool towards the island harshly before he went to go walk off to Goddess knows where. I flinched when the stool banged against the island and felt the color drain from my face. Aramis and Kade sat quietly looking at the white marble island top as if it was the most mesmerizing thing ever and I stood there with my lips parted not knowing what just happened.
“I’m gonna umm... Go,” I mumbled as I pointed to where Adrien walked off to.
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