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I sat there shocked.

“She tried to get me to mark her, said it was only right we marked each other because we were having a pup. But I still couldn’t do it.” He sighed, “I didn’t know why I couldn’t mark her then...” He added.

He knew we were out there somewhere,′ Aurora chimed in.

I’m surprised you’ve only just spoken now,

I’m letting you two do this. You both need this.′ She added before retreating to the back of my mind.

“Anyway, long story short, she wasn’t pregnant. She wasn’t even who she said she was. Her name was Malia, she was related to the group of rogues somehow.” He shrugged. I cringed, that name... I know that name. “What’s wrong?” He asked. I shook my head. “Nothing. So, where does my dad fit into all this?” I asked, slightly confused.

“Malia told me most of the rogues had escaped and had been in touch with her. Malia said she wanted to go back to them, so we let her.” He sighed, “It was the wrong choice, but I couldn’t wait to be rid of her. I hadn’t seen her for 6 years until a couple of months ago when the rogues attacked us. Your dad and my dad were friends. I don’t know how they knew each other, neither of them would tell me.” He shrugged, “Your dad saved us, well the ones who survived.” He whispered, glancing down.

“When they attacked again here, Malia led them. When I found your dad, he had a note by him saying it was my fault because I didn’t mark her.” He whimpered. I stood up, knocking Rhydian back. “Malia had a brother, didn’t she?” I choked. He stood up and looked at me confused, “Yeah, how’d you know?” He questioned. I whimpered, wrapping my arms around myself. “Was he called Brett?” I whispered. “Yeah, but he died 7 years ago.” He answered.

I took a shaky breath and nodded my head “I know, I killed him.” I whispered, barely audible. I heard him gasp then stutter like he was trying to say something. I glanced up at him, expecting his face to show the emotion of disgust or judgement... But there wasn’t anything that I imagined. He looked worried or like he was trying to work something out. “7 years ago... You were 16? Why?” He asked, still not showing any judgement.

“I guess it’s time for my story.” I sighed. He stepped in front of me, lifting my chin up and looked me in the eyes. “Do you blame me for your dad’s death?” He whispered. I shook my head, I didn’t even need to think about it. It wasn’t his fault at all. “No, I don’t blame you,” I replied, quietly. Relief washed over his face, “Is that what you and Lucas were talking about in your office the other day?” I asked, I needed to hear him say it. That there wasn’t anything else he hasn’t told me.

“Of course you were listening.” He chuckled, rolling his eyes. “Yes, I was scared you’d blame me and I didn’t want that.” He admitted. I wrapped my arms around his back and stepped closer to him. “Thank you for being honest with me.” I sighed. “Before we have another serious talk, I could do with eating... what about you?” He asked, nuzzling his head into the crock of my neck. I sighed contentedly and heard him giggle.

He pulled away, keeping me at arm’s length. “I have just one question for you. If we are being honest...” He asked, staring at me. “Hmm, what?” I hummed in response. He took a deep breath before speaking, he looked nervous and it was actually cute, I had to hold back a giggle. Now wasn’t the time. “I’m your mate, aren’t I and you’re mine?” He asked, well sounded like he demanded.

“I’ll tell you what, ask me that after I’ve told you my story,” I suggested. He nodded, seeming happy with my suggestion. “So, where do you want to go?” He asked as we headed back into the forest. “There’s someplace I want to take you, there’s a small cafe there,” I said, shyly. “Then that’s where we’ll go.” He said, cheerily.

We reached the packhouse and was greeted by Ezra and Elijah. I glanced between them both and giggled. “Why didn’t I realise this sooner, you’re twins!” I said. They both laughed and nodded. “Well, it has been 3 years since I last saw you,” Elijah said, smiling. I nodded and giggled. “Although I don’t remember you being as childish as Ezra,” I smirked. Ezra crossed his arms over his chest and pouted. “Nah, I’m the more mature one.” Elijah winked. “Well, it looks like you gained another brother.” Ezra joked, patting Elijah on the back.

Elijah and Rhydian glanced at us both. “Inside joke, bro.” Ezra winked at Rhydian. “I gave up my window seat to this adorable little pup on the plane.” I cooed, squeezing Ezra’s cheek. He growled playfully at me which caused Rhydian to growl back. “Calm down, Alpha.” Ezra rolled his eyes and chuckled.

“Are you ready?” Rhydian asked, placing his hand at the small of my back. I don’t think I will ever get used to the shock of us touching. It’s soothing and makes me feel more alive than I have felt in ages. I nodded and leaned into Rhydian without realising what I was doing. “I’ll catch up with you later boys.” Rhydian nodded at them.

As we started walking away, Ezra called out, “Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.” I chuckled as Rhydian flipped his middle finger towards him. “How long have you known Ezra?” I asked, they seem really close. “Too long.” Rhydian snorted. I laughed, like a real laugh. It felt nice to laugh again.

We headed towards the garage on the other side of the packhouse. Rhydian dug around in his pocket until he pulled out a set of keys. He flipped a switch on one of his keyrings and the garage door opened. I peered into the garage at all of the cars.

There was one that really stood out to me... A black and red Audi R8. I admired the car until the lights flashed. I glanced up at Rhydian as he smirked at me. “Do you like what you see, love?” He said, flirty. I looked back at the car and walked over to it. I dragged my fingertips along the hood of the car, down to the side, glanced over at Rhydian and winked.

“More then you know,” I replied, huskily.

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