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Rhydian’s POV.

I would rather be anywhere but here right now. I’m sat at my desk with Selena sat opposite me, glaring at me. The she-wolf just doesn’t fucking listen. She was told plenty of times not to rile Amaris up or to be disrespectful to her, and what does she do? Exactly the opposite of what she was told.

After Amaris first attacked her I was beyond shocked. She wasn’t at all like I expected, Alpha Eric spoke very highly of her. But when I met her, she didn’t seem at all like him. He described her as loving and caring, that is not how I would have described Amaris when I first met her.

But I was wrong about her, so very wrong. It’s obvious now, she attacked Selena cause she knew I was her mate. I knew something was going on, I did feel something for her but I thought it was a purely physical attraction. Imagine my shock when I picked up her scent in the forest, everything finally made sense. But, then I was frustrated with Amaris. I didn’t understand why she was hiding from me or why she didn’t just acknowledge me. After learning about her past, I understand and I’d probably react exactly how she did.

I owe Alpha Eric a lot and keeping Amaris safe is how I will do it. He was an amazing Alpha. I only saw him in action for a few months but the love and respect he had for his pack was clear. They loved and respected him back. If I can be half the Alpha he was, I’d be content with life.

She’ll never have to be afraid again, not with us here.′ My wolf, Ryder growled. I hummed in response, I will make sure no one ever hurts her again.

“Why are you so protective of Amaris," Selena questioned, snarling Amaris’ name. I rolled my eyes and leaned back in my chair. “Selena, this is her rightful pack.” I reminded her.

I want Amaris to lead this pack with me, I want her at my side as she should be. Hell, she can be the Alpha, I will take the Luna position if need be. Whatever it takes just to have her by my side, it will take time for her to trust me, but I am going to gain her trust.

“Yes, but you took the blood oath for this pack.” She stated, ”You’re the Alpha." She drawled. I rolled my eyes. “I’m-” I started to speak but she cut me off, “When are we having the Luna ceremony?” She questioned, fluttering her eyelashes at me.

I blinked at her in shock. “What ceremony?” I demanded, glaring at her. She rolled her eyes playfully then leaned forward causing her shirt to show her cleavage. I rolled my eyes and scoffed, I don’t know what she’s trying to do but I don’t find it very flattering at all.

“My Luna ceremony, silly.” She giggled. I folded my arms over my chest, “I wasn’t aware you were my mate, Selena.” I countered. She stuck her bottom lip out and sighed. “You were supposed to take me as a chosen mate.” She whined.

What?!′ Ryder growled loud, causing me to jump.

Calm down. I’m not.′ I reassured him.

“Selena, I’m not taking you as a chosen mate.” I pointed out. “I never made that deal.” I rolled my eyes. “But you agreed.” She whined.

You did what?!′ Ryder snarled, it felt like he was pacing back and forth in my head. My head started pounding and I could feel him close to shifting.

Not exactly... listen.′ I tried getting him to listen so I could hold him back. I didn’t want him shifting and ripping her head off... Not yet at least.

She’s never going to trust us.′ He exploded.

“No, I agreed to take a Luna when I was 25... Not a mate,” I said through gritted teeth. “And that was back at our pack.” I exhaled harshly. She sat up straight, looked me in the eyes and smirked, “You’re 25...”

“And found my mate,” I countered as I rose from my seat. “Wai- what?” She spluttered as I went over to the filing cabinet. “No, she died.” She spat harshly. I clenched my fists together, letting out a low growl.

“I have found my mate,” I repeated. I pulled open the drawer, flickering through the folders until I reached the one I wanted. I took out the file and went back to my desk.

“Who is she?” Selena demanded, folding her arms. “None of your concern.” I rolled my eyes. “It’s that bitch, isn’t it?” Selena snapped. That was all it took, Ryder pushed himself forward and I was bracing myself for the shift.

Only it didn’t happen. I couldn’t move my arms, it was like I was watching myself through a camera. Ryder was in control. He growled at her, gripping the edge of the desk. She shrunk back in her seat, glaring at the ground. She peered up through her eyelashes, “Hi Ryder.” She flirted.

“Don’t forget who you’re talking too.” Ryder snarled, tightening his grip on the desk causing it to splinter down the middle.

Ryder, let me out.′ I groaned.

It’s been years since Ryder took over. After we found that body, it destroyed him. For ages he didn’t speak to me, he hated that I was with Malia. When we first shifted, Malia went to pet him and he shifted back to our human form without any warning, it was excruciating. Every time Malia was near, he’d retreat further into my mind.

It got to the point he was never there. We would shift once a day to go for a run, but he would never take the lead and never spoke to me. My dad said once he accepted that his mate was gone, he’d grow to accept Malia. I think part of the reason I couldn’t mark Malia was because of him. I’m glad he was a stubborn wolf and never accepted his mate was gone.

Ryder let me out. Nothing is going to get sorted if I stay in here.′ I sighed exasperatedly.

“You will never be my Luna and if I had my way, you would be exiled.” He hissed. “Don’t forget where your place is.”

I felt pressure in my head and neck, it was like having whiplash. The next thing I know, Ryder is securely back in my mind and I’m in control. I flexed my fingers and rotated my wrists letting out a satisfying groan.

I glared at her, “So, you have two options...” I started, she was sat quietly, staring at the floor. Ryder had scared her, you could see it on her face. “You stay out of Amaris’s way. You see her walking towards you, you go the opposite way. She enters a room you’re in, you get the fuck out,” I warned. “If you have to speak to her, you use your fucking manners.” I snapped. “You were brought up, Selena, not dragged up,” I growled.

She timidly nodded her head. “Or you leave. I have your transfer papers here. All it needs is my signature and you’re gone.” I deadpanned, tapping the file in front of me. Her head shot up, she stared at me with tears forming in her eyes. If she was any other wolf, I would have felt bad.

She shook her head and cast her eyes to the floor. “I would like to stay, Alpha.” She muttered. I picked up her file and dropped it in the file tidy on my desk. “Very well.” I nodded. “Leave,” I ordered.

She quickly stood up and scurried towards the door. “Before you go, you have Amaris to thank for this,” I mentioned. “I would have preferred you to leave. You upset my mate and I will not tolerate that.” I scoffed, watching her face react to me admitting Amaris was my mate. She gave me a quick nod of her head before she pretty much ran out of my office. I sighed and fell back against my chair.

Can we go see Amaris?′ Ryder asked.

Can you not take control like that again? You could have ruined what Amaris wanted,′ I rolled my eyes, scolding him.

She needed to remember her place. She was forgetting who the Alpha is.′ He snapped.

Amaris is busy tonight, so we can’t.′ I explained.

Too busy for us?′ He whined.

No probably not. But, we don’t want to overwhelm her. She’s not actually accepted us yet.′ I remarked.

She’s not going to reject us, is she?′ He panicked pacing around in my mind.

I took a deep breath, closing my eyes.

Rhydian?! She’s not is she?′ He asked again.

I don’t know, Ry.′ I answered with a whisper.

I wish I could reassure him and say everything will be ok. She’s not going to reject us, we’ll live happily ever after.

But this isn’t a fairy tale and happily ever after’s don’t always exist.

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