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I sat up, gripping hold of Rhydian’s shirt and dragged him up. I wrapped my arms around him, bringing him against me. “He was unconscious most of the time I was with him. When he was conscious, he kept asking for his sister. I asked for her name but he never told me. He just kept saying she was safe.”

My heart was beating faster every second he was telling his story. It sounded so familiar but yet so different. Like a different side to the story. My breath was caught in my throat, tears were streaming down my face and I made no attempt to wipe them. This was bringing back awful memories, ones I haven’t thought about for years. He glanced up and looked at me. His eyes went wide, he used his thumb to wipe the falling tears that kept falling. “Amaris.” He whispered quietly. I shook my head, letting out the breath I was holding in. “Plea... Please carry on.” I managed to speak. He nodded, bringing me against his chest.

I crawled onto his lap, wrapping my arms around his back, holding onto him tight. All the fear faded away the longer I sat with him. I stayed where I was and took a deep breath inhaling his scent. “I was with him for a whole 2 hours, before we were found. I heard the footsteps, there was so much blood in the air, I couldn’t make out who was coming. I had hoped it was help, but it wasn’t.” He sniffled.

“A woman and a wolf came out from the trees. I froze not knowing what to do. The boy was too injured, I couldn’t move him and I didn’t wanna leave him. So I stood in between the boy and them. When they didn’t make any attempt to come forward, the boy pulled himself up and limped next to me.” His hold tightened around me and I wrapped my arms tighter.

“The boy bargained with them, he gave up his life to save me.” He whimpered. “I tried telling him, no but he said he was dying anyway, he wasn’t going to make it.” I was sobbing now, clutching onto Rhydian. “He turned to me, giving me a weak smile. Thanked me for showing him kindness, said I reminded him of his sister and then stepped towards the woman and wolf. The wolf was getting ready to pounce.” He was shaking now, his body convulsing making his voice come out in vibrations.

“All I wanted to do was grab him and run, but I hadn’t shifted yet. I knew I wouldn’t get far but I had to try. So, I grabbed him and ran until he couldn’t move anymore. I laid him down and covered him the best I could. I knelt beside him, talking to him. He told me his name, said we would have been great friends in another life.” He sobbed.

“2 wolves emerged from the trees and I knew we wouldn’t get out of here now. He told me to run and leave him there. I didn’t want to, I swear, I didn’t want to leave him. But I couldn’t fight them on my own.” He cried, sobbing into my shoulder.

“He was barely breathing when I slowly stood up, the wolves just watched. They made no attempt to run after me, I ran until I reached home.” He took a deep breath, “He sacrificed himself to save me.” He sniffled, wiping his tears. “Do you want to stop?” I asked, placing my hand on his cheek. He shook his head, setting his hand over mine. “When I arrived home, everything was in chaos. I saw my dad stood over a wolf laid on the floor, I ran over to him and flung myself at him. He took me back to the packhouse, he said they had retreated. The building they were staying in, had caught on fire.” He took a deep breath before he carried on.

“The girl eventually told us her name and said she was forced to do what she did. We took pity on her and gave her a safe place to stay. Once the fire was out and my dad had cleared the building for any survivors, he allowed me to go with him. I wanted to find my mate, her scent was still strong on the walk to the building.” He pushed me off him a little bit, keeping me in front of him and stared at me. “When I entered the building, the smell was awful. I could still scent her faintly but it wasn’t strong. The smell of burnt flesh and death was stuck in the air.” He cringed but kept his eyes on me.

I took a deep breath, his gaze was making me uncomfortable... but not a bad uncomfortable if that makes any sense. “There were so many bodies. In one of the rooms, her scent lingered stronger. On the bed was laid a body.” He shuddered and closed his eyes for a second. When he opened them, his eyes were black, showing his wolf was present. “Her scent was all over the body. It destroyed me, my mate was dead.” He whispered. I bit my tongue, holding myself back.

“Anyway, after a few years Lucy and I got close.” He said, watching me intensely. I frowned at him, then quickly covered it up... “Whose Lucy?” I asked, shrugging. “The girl who tried to used the potion on me,” He whispered, awkwardly. My jaw dropped, how could he even think about her like that after what she tried to do?! I know I could never trust someone that wanted to do that, I know what that potion can do. “Why the fuck did you let her get close?” I shrieked.

He sat back, startled at my outburst. “I thought my mate was dead, what was I supposed to do?” He retorted. I flung my arms up in front of me and huffed. “Maybe not trust someone that could do that to you,” I argued back. “That potion can destroy everything.” I hissed. I took a deep breath and counted to 10, calming myself down. “Sorry, carry on.” I nodded, “I won’t interrupt again.” He furrowed his brows at me then nodded.

“Fast forward 3 years, Lucy and I were happy. She wanted me to mark her but it didn’t feel right and I couldn’t.” He said, cautiously. I took a deep breath and held it. If he had marked her, I wouldn’t feel the bond now. Wolves can’t mark another wolf and then take another as their mate. If their mate dies after being marked, they’re alone forever. There are no second chances, which is heartbreaking. I let the breath out and relaxed.

“The day before my 19th birthday, she came to me and...” He hesitated, “She told me she was pregnant.”

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