I decided that I liked the way I look. It was almost natural, just enhanced, her words, not mine. But I have to say I agreed with her. Allie put on a pair of heels and we headed down stairs. Zeke was in the kitchen. When he heard us coming down the stairs he stopped what he was doing. He smiled at us. “Wow, look at my beautiful girls.” He came over and gave us both a kiss on the top of the head. He lead us both out to the tables where there was already a crowd gathered. “Eat up you two. I gotta tend the grill. Baby girl, after everyone is about done eating, I’ll make your introduction.”
Zeke left me standing with Allie, but we were quickly joined by Matt and Nate. “Heard the super sluts were giving you shit today.” I was pretty sure it was Matt that spoke. “Not too much. Allie made them go away.” Nate laughed, at least I think it was Nate. “I’m sure she did. Cass don’t take shit from anyone, okay. You’re one of us, we got your back no matter what.” Matt nodded his agreement. I smiled to the twins and thanked them. They were soon pulled away by friends of theirs as they began wrestling around.
Two long strong arms wrapped around me from behind. I knew it was Will. He picked me up and planted a kiss on my cheek. “You look beautiful. You too Al.” I was wearing, gasp, a dress. I never really wore dresses for sake of appearances, you know, gotta be tough in the orphanage. But I don’t have to be tough anymore. Why not try something new, right? Allie and I found it and we both knew it would be perfect. When I tried it on, it looked even better than I hoped. It was a soft maroon color with spaghetti straps. The neckline was tasteful and so was the length, falling just to my knees. We paired it with my new strappy sandals. “Thank you, Will.” He loaded a plate and went off to where the twins were.
“He’s right, you do look beautiful.” Allie said next to me. “You too.” She wore a light gray dress with navy blue pin stripes. Her hair was down with wavy curls. “There are so many people here. Do you know them all?” She looked around. “Of course. Don’t worry you’ll learn who everyone is eventually. This isn’t the entire pack. Just family and close friends. Oh I should give you a heads up. Vanessa is the Alpha’s niece, so she might show up. Hopefully not, but she thinks she’s entitled to every party. And of course she can’t go anywhere without her lackey.
I looked around to all the people. There were a lot. I saw Alpha. He had his arm resting over a woman’s shoulders with a beer in his other hand. He noticed me, smiled and saluted with the bottle. I waved, like an idiot. At least I knew someone. I felt someone staring at me. I looked around until I locked eyes on a man I had never seen before. He was tall and intimidating. He looked like he was studying me. I didn’t know him, but I nodded to be polite. He leaned against a tree and drank his beer. Weird. He made me uncomfortable. I went to Zeke to ask about him. He was manning the grill. “That’s my cousin Vincent.” I looked at him again and noticed a black cord around his neck, just like mine. His charm was a Crescent Moon made out of wood. His eyes kept following me.
“Old man, is he a rogue too?” Zeke looked up at his cousin. “Vince, get over here.” Vince walked up to me and smiled. “Vince this is Cass. Quit staring at her, you’re freaking her out.” Vince held his hand out to me, I shook it. “I’m sorry, I’m not meaning to stare. You just really remind me of someone I knew a long time ago. She was very beautiful too.” I smiled at his compliment. “Thank you. You have a necklace like mine. Does that mean you’re a rogue too?” He chuckled. “I’ve been a part of this pack for a long time, but I didn’t start out in it. Happy birthday and welcome to the family.” Vince nodded, grabbed a rib and went back to his tree. I guess Vince wasn’t so bad after all. “Baby girl, eat something, would ya.” Zeke was always looking out for me.
I made myself a plate. Everything looked delicious and smelled even better. Zeke went all out with ribs, chicken, kebabs, and burgers. There was also grilled corn on the cob, different salads, and sides to go with it. I grabbed my utensil and turned around into a wall… again. This time he caught me on the way down. “We really need to stop meeting like this.” He told me.
I looked up into his honey eyes. I forgot how to breathe, how to speak. Hell, I even forgot my name. He smiled and pulled me upright. He didn’t let go though. Instead he pulled me in closer. My hands went from his forearms slowly up to his solid shoulders. One of his hands cupped my neck while the other was at the small of my back. He had a strong jaw and soft lips that I wanted to feel with my own. He leaned his face to my neck. His soft brown hair tickled my ear. He inhaled as he brought his nose from the base of my neck to just under my ear. I closed my eyes and just let him “Ah, you smell amazing. Like cherry blossoms.” I nestled my head into his firm chest. “Mmmm. You smell like bergamot, and mint.” My hands traveled southward so they were resting on his chest.
I didn’t want to, but I pulled my head back from his chest. I looked into his eyes again. They shifted in color. They were more if a golden honey now. I bit my bottom lip. He grunted. His thumb pulled my lip away from my teeth. “It would be wise not to do that in public. I might lose control of myself.” I smiled.
Someone cleared their throat behind me. The wall looked up and I realized we were indeed still in public. A solid bear paw landed on my shoulder. The wall growled. I looked behind me. Zeke was standing there staring straight at the wall. Allie was beside him, she gave the introductions “Cass, this is Derek. And I’m guessing your mate.” My mate. Huh. I looked back at him and smiled. “Derek. It’s nice to see you again.” He chuckled. “Sorry about your food. Please, allow me. Cass.” He spoke my name with a purr.
He took my hand in his and brought me back to the table. He loaded a plate for me and himself. We sat down very close to each other and began eating. Allie sat across from us and Will joined us with another plate of food. “Cass, do you need a drink?” Nate asked from the cooler. “Dr. Pepper, isn’t it, Cass" Derek answered for me. “You remember.” I smiled at him. “Of course. It’s not every day you knock a beautiful girl on her very nice ass and get to buy her a drink.” I laughed. “Well, you have done it twice now. Let’s not forget.” He laughed. “I did catch you the second time.”
Zeke whistled, causing everyone to look our way. He was standing behind me. “Baby girl, stand up for me please.” I got to my feet next to him. He wrapped an arm around my shoulder and kissed the top of my head. Derek gave a quiet growl. I rolled my eyes at him. Alpha stood next to us “Alright, everyone. I am proud to finally introduce you to the newest addition of our pack. Casydi Williams.” Applause surrounded me. I looked around to all the smiling faces. Except one. “Mother fucking son of a bitch.” Vincent growled before slamming his fist into the tree. I could hear the bones in his hand breaking, he hit it so hard. He turned around and stormed off. “Zeke.” Alpha commanded. “Already on it.” Zeke went after his cousin.
“What was that about?” Allie stood beside me. “I have no idea. He’s been staring at me all night. He said I look like someone he used to know. He was polite to me earlier.” Alpha was standing with us still, his eyes unfocused. “Derek, grab Will and Dean. Meet in my office now.” Derek nodded once. “Yes, sir.” Alpha and Derek took off leaving Allie and me.
“I’m so happy for you!” Allie hugged me. “Priscilla is going to be pissed when she finds out she’s not going to be Luna. Haha, wench.” I scrunched my eyebrows in confusion. “What?” Allie smiled. “Derek is Alpha Ruben’s son. He’s the next Alpha. You’re his mate. When Alpha Ruben retires, which is probably going to be soon, you’ll be the new Luna.” My mouth gaped open. “Come on, I’ll introduce you to her.”
The Luna was beautiful and classy. She wore a very tasteful pant suit, not like Georgina. Hers was a smooth creamed colored material with a pink silky top underneath the open jacket. She had long necklaces to polish off her look even more. Like I said class. “Luna Sabrina, may I introduce you to Cass?” The Luna extended her hand to me. “It my pleasure to finally meet you. I was a little disappointed that you won’t be staying at our place. I was looking forward to getting to know you.” She told me with a smile. “Ruben and Zeke speak very highly of you.” Allie nodded her agreement. “Thank you. It’s an honor to meet you as well.”
I stood trying to listen to what Vince was saying to my father but my mind was more focused on Cass, my mate. I have a mate. Finally. And she’s so beautiful. Her eyes are so amazing, I could get lost in her eyes. I thought there was something about her the first time I met her. I was surprised to see her necklace, but I knew immediately she was a welcomed rogue to our pack. Now I know why.
“Derek. Care to join us?” Father’s reprimand made me snap back to reality. “I’m sorry father. I was thinking about Cass. She’s my mate.” All the men in the room looked at me. Zeke growled with his arms crossed over his chest. “That girl is like a second daughter to me. Do not hurt her.” I nodded. “Understood. I have no intention of the sort.” Father began speaking, drawing Zeke’s attention from me. “Derek. Since she is your mate, I suggest you pay attention. Cass may be in danger.” My head snapped to attention. “What do you mean?”
Father gave a single nod to Vincent. He was rubbing his right hand as it slowly healed. “Cass is my mate’s daughter. I’m sure of it.” With a look of confusion on my face I voiced what I’m sure everyone was thinking. “I was unaware you had a mate.” He closed his eyes and shook his head. “I never got the chance to claim her. My old Alpha was a piece of shit, still is. He likes to rape the pretty and powerful girls in his pack. The day before they turn 18 and get their wolf he pounces. He claims that those loyal to him owe him and it’s a gift for him to bed them. If he especially likes them he’ll keep them around longer as a pet.” Rage was building in side me. It was building in all of us. We could feel it thick in the room. “The sick fucker,” Keith, Father’s enforcer spat.
Vince continued speaking. “There’s more to it. If the girls have a mate and he knocks them up, he kills her mate. He already had 3 kids that way before I left. My mate and I kept our mating secret, she wanted to protect me. I knew she was my mate since I got my wolf. She was 14. I was his Beta. When she was 16, Hank was already lusting after her. The day before her 18th birthday I didn’t see her. All day. Then her birthday came and I still didn’t see her. I was on morning patrol that day. His enforcer, Marcus, was with me. He told me that Hank had fun the day before and was not to be bothered. Shortly after daybreak, Hank came out of his house raging. He couldn’t find his new pet. My Aayla. I never saw her again. That’s when I left.“
I looked around the room. The men were all as mad as me. Raping and killing innocents. Those are things you don’t do. And to your own pack. Abominable. The Fucking bastard. Then messing with fated mates just pushes it over the top. Zeke looked ready to kill. I was right there with him.
“So she’s the daughter of an Alpha. That explains a lot.” Zeke was mulling almost to his self. “She’s feisty and tough as hell. She’s not afraid to look ya in the eye. Dominant. She doesn’t back down from a challenge. She doesn’t let things get to her easily. Also explains how she’s your mate.” Zeke nodded my way. He was right. Lunas are usually Alpha daughters.
“That’s a hell of a story. But why does that put Cass in danger?” Will asked. Vince looked me square in the eye. “If he finds out about her, he’ll do anything and everything to get her. To him she’ll be nothing but his property and he doesn’t exactly share.” My father spoke to me. “You should get her marked as soon as possible.” He looked to Zeke, “is there any way she would change her name?” Zeke thought for a minute. “She’s a hopeless romantic. A mating ceremony would do. She was raised human. She’ll probably want a traditional wedding-like deal. But since you and Derek made your little pact. You two would need to work that out.”
Father looked at me with his arms folded not speaking. I didn’t turn from his gaze. I held my head high and strong. I thought about Cass. She’s my life now. But the pack over 2800 members strong? Their lives in my hands was a daunting thought. I can handle it. I was taught by the best. I’m strong, I know how to protect them and be fair, like my father. He’s well respected, not just in our pack, but throughout North America. In that moment I realized I was ready. I would not run away. I am the next Alpha. Father finally broke the silence. “Its time. Derek, I appoint you as heir of the Battle Mountain Crescent Ridge Pack.” I felt a pressure in my chest, but didn’t move until it released. I exhaled and looked to Vince. “Who is this bastard Alpha?” Vince raised his eyebrow. “Jones.”
*End of Derek’s POV*