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At some point in the night, we shifted. So I’m no longer feeling the warmth of being settled inside my wolf. My teeth were chattering together, I pulled my knees up to my chest, trying to get warm.

Maybe we should go back.′ Aurora whined.

No, they aren’t safe.′ I whimpered.

You’re going to get ill, Amaris.′ She scolded.

I yawned and sat up. A branch snapped in the distance and I froze. Since I have no idea where I am, it could be anyone.

I slowly and quietly tiptoed out of the cave. I scanned the area but couldn’t see anyone. Since I still have my necklace, no one can sense me. I sniffed the air and caught a very familiar scent.

I froze, not knowing what to do. I can’t let him see me. I stepped back towards the cave, I’ll be safe in there. I spun around and listened for any movement. I edged towards the cave when I heard a voice I haven’t heard in 4 years...

“Amaris, is that you?” The man spoke, knocking the wind out of me. I didn’t turn around, I stayed rooted to the spot.

"Help." I managed to pathetically voice through the link, hoping someone would receive it.

"Goddess Amaris, where are you?" Tristan linked back.

"I don’t know." I whimpered.

“Please, Amaris. I’m not going to hurt you.” The man spoke again. I took a deep breath and turned slowly to face him. My breath caught in my throat as I stared into the eyes of the man who destroyed me.

“Don’t... You think... You hurt me... Enough.” I stuttered. He brought all the memories, the pain, the humiliation back. I had reverted back to the vulnerable Amaris. The one who was scared.

"I need you to try and figure out where you are, sweetheart." Tristan urged through the link.

I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t do anything. I was petrified.

“I never meant to hurt you. I didn’t have a choice.” He responded, regretful.

“You made the choice to drug me into thinking I was your mate,” I whispered. “You took everything from me.” I whimpered.

“I’m so sorry. I didn't want to” He whispered.

“Sorry?” I shrieked. ” Sorry doesn’t give me back my innocence. You took something from me, that wasn’t yours to take!” I growled.

"I need you to take your necklace off," Rhydian spoke softly through the link.

"I can’t," I whispered.

“I know what I did was wrong and if I could take it back I would, but I can’t.” He whimpered.

He took a deep breath and sighed. “I saw you yesterday,” He hesitated, “I recognised Aurora.”

A deep, threatening growl vibrated from my chest and he cowered away. The anger was beginning to rise and I could feel my control slipping.

Dammit! Just take the damn necklace off.” Rhydian growled through the link.

"I can’t." I shrilled.

But he’ll find us.′ Aurora snarled.

“Look, I came to speak to you, to warn you.” He sighed. “Amaris... they’re back.” He shuddered.

My vision became blurry, I was shaking and frightened.

“Why now?” I whimpered.

“They have figured out a new way to use Matebane, I don’t know how. They’re sending someone called Dax, he’s the one they're going to try and fool you with.” He ranted.

"Amaris, the only way we will be able to find you, is for you to take your necklace off." Lucas groaned through the link.

“How do I know you aren’t lying?” I asked him quickly. I took a deep breath trying to calm myself.

“I have everything to lose by telling you this. I have nothing to do with my family anymore but I still keep my ear to the ground. When I heard you were back, I had to get the message to you.” He spoke, fast. Panting out of breath.

“When I leave you’ll never see me again. And we both know, if I’m lying you can easily track me down.” He chuckled darkly.

If no one has been sent yet, that means Rhydian...

Rhydian could be my true mate.

I yanked the necklace off and smashed it on the ground. He looked at me puzzled before catching a whiff of my scent.

“They want your wolf.” He announced. My head was spinning with everything he was saying.

"Good girl. We’re on our way." Tristan whispered through the link.

“When Dax shows up, he’s not who you think he is. Amaris, he’s y-” He stopped speaking and fell to the ground, a knife pierced through his heart, killing him instantly.

I screamed then slapped my hand over my mouth as 3 wolves emerged from the trees. I welcomed the anger in and felt myself changing. The wolves lunged at me, snapping their jaws. I jumped back, alarmed. Why was I still in control?

The wolves backed up and began pacing side to side. I needed to get all my emotions in overdrive and I knew exactly how to do it. I need to hold them off as long as I can. I rolled my eyes and waited for them to attack.

One of the wolves lunged at me, I crouched down, making him fly over me. He landed with a thud but quickly redeemed himself. The smaller wolf of the 3, sprinted towards me. As he leapt towards me, I grabbed his front paw, making him topple onto the ground.

We did this a few times, the wolves would each lunge. I would either knock them off me or dodge them. I could tell they weren’t very skilled and they weren’t riling me up as I hoped. I couldn’t take a minute to let myself overthink, like I usually do, without one of them attacking.

They changed their tactics and I knew it was going to hurt, but I needed it. The 2 larger wolves, ran at me from either side. I had to pick which one I was going to throw off.

I opted for the smaller one of the two. As they leapt, I ducked out of the way, gripped onto the wolf's tail as hard as I could and swung him around, taking out the other one.

The third wolf used this to his advantage, sprinting at me. I stood still letting him get to me. He clawed at my stomach, leaving a gaping hole spewing with blood. I coiled over, holding my stomach, struggling to breathe.

Whilst the wolves were circling me, thinking I was done. I knew what was happening... My eyes started to burn, my body was on fire and I screamed as the pain seared through me.

"We have your scent. We’re coming. Hold on, Amaris." Tristan shouted through the link and that was the last thing I heard before blacking out.

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