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"When will she wake up?" I heard Rhydian whisper. I blinked my eyes a few times then glanced around the room. I was in an office, laid on a sofa.

"I don't know," Lucas whispered, sighing. I pulled myself up into a sitting position, slowly. I peered down at my clothes, my blood-splattered clothes. I gulped and jumped up.

Rhydian and Lucas spun around to face me as I removed the hoodie. "Goddess Amaris!" Lucas shrieked. I pulled my sweatpants down and stepped out of them.

I glanced up at them. Rhydian's eyes were wide, his tongue was practically hanging out. Lucas had his hands shielding his eyes. "I had to get out of those clothes," I said, shivering in disgust.

"Rhydian, give her your shirt or something, man," Lucas whined. I shook my head at Rhydian, "I don't want your shirt." I sighed as he pulled his shirt over his head, "Well, you need to wear something." He rolled his eyes, throwing his shirt at me.

I caught his shirt then pulled it over my head. It fell midway on my thighs. I had to fight the urge to lift his shirt and inhale. I could smell his scent and it was so fucking intoxicating. This damn mate bond, fake or not... It plays with your head.

I groaned, flopping down on the sofa. "Is it safe to look now?" Lucas inquired, still covering his eyes. Rhydian patted his back and chuckled.

"Yes, you can look, you drama queen," I said, rolling my eyes. Lucas sat on the only spare armchair facing the sofa. Rhydian looked nervous, as he sat down next to me.

Everything is confusing me. He's not acting how any of the others did. 'Maybe we reveal ourselves?' Aurora offered a solution.

'No. That is a stupid idea.' I rolled my eyes and blocked her. I needed answers.

I glanced between Lucas and Rhydian waiting for one of them to speak. When neither of them said anything, I grunted.

"Okay, so I'll start..." I crossed my arms over my chest, "How are you Alpha of this pack?" I questioned, staring at Rhydian.

Rhydian took a deep, shaky breath and started fiddling with his fingers. "I think it's best if I start from the beginning." He sighed.

"I was Alpha of The Crimson Pack." He announced. "I remember that pack, I once went there with my dad." I smiled, remembering the memory. Rhydian glanced at me in shock... "You did?" He asked. I nodded my head and kept quiet so he could continue.

"Well, we were attacked one night. They destroyed everything. I managed to get a call to your father's pack for help. They came but it was too late." He took another shaky breath. "You don't have to carry on," I whispered.

He shook his head and carried on, "I lost the majority of my pack, there was only a handful of us left. You dad took us all in and we merged our packs." He swiftly caught a tear leaving his eye.

I laid my hand over his and squeezed gently. He flipped his hand over and interlinked our fingers. I jumped a little but kept my hand in his.

"We were attacked again here. I found your dad..." He whispered. I stiffened and squeezed Rhydian's hand. He glanced down at our hands then at me. "He asked me to be a stand-in Alpha. Just until you were ready to take over." He said, circling his thumb against my knuckles, it was surprisingly calming.

"His exact words were: you're an Alpha with no pack to lead. My pack is going to be without an Alpha. My pack and my daughter, Amaris needs you." He took a deep breath.

He turned to look at me, "I'm here for whatever you need. If you want your pack back, it's yours. If you still need time to decide, it's still yours." He chuckled. "I'm here for you, whatever you decide." He smiled.

I smiled, " Thank you." I responded. Lucas coughed getting our attention, I glanced at him. He wiggled his brows at me and motioned his head towards our joined hands.

I quickly pulled my hand away and stood up abruptly, shocking them both. "I need some air." I blurted out and ran over to the door. I was stopped by Lucas grabbing my arm. "You aren't leaving again... are you?" He stammered, panic evident in his voice.

"No. I promise I'm staying for the funeral." I promised. "And after?" He asked, his voice full of hope. I stared at him then gave him a small smile before walking out the dear, shutting it behind me.

I leaned back against the door and sighed heavily. I pushed myself from the door and took one step when I heard them. They sounded like they were arguing in hushed voices. I listened carefully...

"You need to tell her, she deserves to know," Lucas whispered.

"I will eventually. She's going to hate me when she finds out." Rhydian said, lowly.

"You had no choice, Rhydian. She'll understand." Lucas sighed.

"No, she won't. It wasn't supposed to happen like this. I just hope she'll forgive me." Rhydian whimpered.

I growled and ran out of the packhouse. Heading straight for the forest. I ran through the forest, turning around trees and dodging fallen down branches.

'Maybe you were right.' Aurora whimpered.

'I'm sorry, I know you were hoping to find our mate.'

I can't believe Lucas is in on it. He's supposed to be my cousin! Why would he want to hurt me like this?! I growled and quickened my pace, I jumped over a fallen down tree and shifted.

Aurora sprinted off in the direction of the waterfall, that was far into the pack grounds but nowhere near the border to be in immediate danger. The waterfall is my favourite place in this whole pack.

We reached the waterfall, Aurora fell on the grass, panting. She rested her head on her paws as we gazed out at the lake.

'Go get a drink, Rory. It'll cool you down.'

Aurora stood up and stretched before making her way over to the lake. She leaned over the edge, enough so we could see her reflection in the water.

Aurora is stunning. She is black, with red on the tip of her tail and on the tip of each ear. Her eyes match mine, a deep, ocean blue with a speckle of green flickering around. Like me, when we get angry her eyes turn a fiery red.

Aurora stuck her snout in the water, she quickly lifted her head out and huffed as a squirt of water flew out her nose. I laughed at her which made her give me a playful growl.

A branch snapped behind us, Aurora spun around. She let out a warning growl. In front of us stood a large grey wolf. I couldn't tell who it was, I didn't recognize their scent either.

He sniffed the air then cocked his head to the side. Probably confused cause he couldn't catch my scent. He backed up a little then stopped and motioned towards a tree. He wants me to shift... Well, it's not going to do me any harm.

I backed up towards the tree and disappeared behind it. I shifted then took a deep breath.

I peered around the tree and saw a man emerging from the dark. It was still too dark to tell who he was. So I moved and strolled casually into the light.

"You!" We both exclaimed.

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