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“It can wait a couple of days,” Rhydian said. I shook my head, “You need to know... then you’ll understand.” I stated. “Understand what?” He shrugged. I took a deep breath, “Me... You’ll understand me a little better.” I sighed. He nodded, I took a deep breath and swallowed hard. He gave me a reassuring smile and it set me at ease.

“Long story short, I caught someone’s scent the day after my 16th birthday. I had been told the smell of your mate is something you can’t ignore, so I knew I’d found him. I had no idea who he was, he introduced himself as Brett, said he was new.” I took a deep breath, “Someone drugged my food with Matebane in the canteen,” I whispered, Rhydian growled lowly. I glanced at him from the corner of my eye, his eyes were black. He closed his eyes and when he opened them they were normal again. “Sorry, I’ll rein him in.” He apologised.

“Anyway, I thought it was amazing. I’d found my mate and I couldn’t wait to get home and tell everyone. At the end of the school day, he was waiting outside for me. The scent I caught earlier was barely there and I was confused. He handed me a drink, saying he had got me my favourite drink for after school.” I explained.

“Looking back now, I should have realised he shouldn’t have known my favourite drink and the fact that when I had a sip, the scent hit me again.” I groaned. “But I didn’t know about Matebane and I was just so excited that I had a mate.” I continued. “I told my family I’d met him at school. They wanted to meet him so I said I’d bring him after school the next day. He was waiting for me again the next day after school with a drink again.” I breathed, “I didn’t think anything of it, I thought it was sweet.” I murmured.

“Meeting my family went great, apart from Lucas. Lucas didn’t like him, but he never gave me a valid reason just kept saying he had a feeling about him.” I mumbled. “I had left him in the kitchen when I went to get changed. When I came back in, I caught him pouring a blue liquid into my drink.” I huffed.

“He tried forcing me to take the drink, he started ranting and I couldn’t understand him. The only thing I heard him say was, the mate bond won’t work if she doesn’t drink it.” I hissed. “I asked him what he meant and he told me. He made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal, the potion had started to wear off and I could smell him, he was a rogue.” I grumbled. “I recognised the scent, the building Alex and I were held in smelled exactly like him,” I whispered, “He started taunting me, talking about Alex.” I shuddered.

“I got so angry. My body shook, my eyes burned and I was gasping for air. I remember screaming, a loud high pitch scream. I remember the look on his face, the look of terror.” I closed my eyes, digging my fingers into my legs. “Hey, look at me.” Rhydian grabbed my hands, “Focus on me.” He said, calmly. I glanced at him, “I killed him, Rhydian.” I whimpered. I hung my head low and let the tears flow freely.

“It was the first time the Dark Wolf took over.” I cried. He launched himself forward, caging me against him. “I know what he did but he didn’t deserve to die. Not like that.” I choked. I clung onto Rhydian’s shirt as my body writhed as I sobbed. “That wasn’t your fault. He knew what he was getting into, he must have known about your wolf to do what he did.” He claimed. “Also, he provoked you talking about Alex.”

“You’re not a monster, Amaris.” He lifted my chin and smiled at me. “You hear me, you are not a monster.” He repeated, nodding his head. I sniffled, wiping my eyes. “Thank you.” I thanked him. He smiled at me, lifting his hand to my face and touching his fingers along my cheek. “You never have to thank me,” I replied, he dropped his hand from my face and picked my hand up. He brought my hand to his lips and gently pressed his lips against my knuckles. I felt my cheeks heat up and my heart swell. He let my hand go, winked at me then sorted himself in his chair.

I stared out of the passenger window as we got back on the road. I feel so much better now I’ve told him. “Do you still want to tell the pack?” Rhydian asked, “We could always postpone it?” He offered. If we postpone it and I either lose control or the rogues come, the pack will be clueless. That can’t happen... “If I’m going to stay, they need to know.” I sighed.

“Does that mean you aren’t leaving?” He blurted, glancing at me. I couldn’t leave now, even if I wanted to. If I’m being honest with myself, I don’t want to leave... I don’t want to leave Rhydian. I’m not ready to jump into anything, I still need to sort my trust issues, well all my issues out. But I am willing to acknowledge the mate bond... I think.

Tell him!′ Aurora whined.

No, not yet. I still have to tell him about Noah... That could be a deal-breaker.

He won’t judge you for something you had no control over.′ She declared.

No, but-

Stop self-sabotaging! It’s not just your life, it’s mine too.′ She growled.

I’m sorry.′ She huffed at me and put her own block up. I sighed frustratedly, I really thought we were on the same wavelength. But we couldn’t be further apart. All Aurora sees is her mate, her other half. She wants security and love and I want that too, I do. I just see the worst in people, even when there isn’t anything bad to see. Everyone’s always got a hidden agenda even if they haven’t. I need to change my mindset, I need to start trusting again. I’m going to get nowhere if I keep people out.

I glanced at Rhydian, he’s looking at me with some much hope, his eyes pleading with me for me to stay...

“I’m staying.” I decided.

His eyes lit up, burned a little bluer and he had the most genuine heartfelt smile on his beautiful face. I’d do anything for him to look at me how he is right now.

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