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We spent the rest of breakfast chatting with everyone. The things I have been feeling were creeping up on me but before they started to get worse, I focused on anything else. I found there were 25 apples in the basket on the table and I lost count on how many members were in here.

After we had finished eating, a man entered the hall. He was scanning his eyes around the hall, he stopped when his eyes landed on Cory who was sat playing with Rhydian. His eyes lit up and he smiled at us. As he got closer to us, I recognised him. He stopped walking and stared at me. “Amaris?” He questioned, shocked. I nodded and chuckled.

“I didn’t know you were back.” He gasped. I stood up and went over to him, “How did you not know?” I laughed, “I’ve been back for a while now. I came back for the funeral.” I muttered. He smiled sadly at me. “It’s good to see you. You look really good.” He announced. “You too, Drake.” I smiled.

Drake was in our friend group in school, we were all close. He moved away not long after Alex died and we barely heard from him. I knew he met his mate but I didn’t know he had a pup. Everyone’s growing up and making something of their lives. Then there’s me who daren’t do anything that involves other people.

Drake was waving his hand near my face trying to get my attention, I shook my head before the negative thoughts could consume me. “Sorry, did you say something?” I asked, awkwardly. I could hear Rhydian and Cory chuckle behind me. Drake chuckled and nodded, “I see you’ve met Cory.” He smiled. I nodded and grinned, “I have. He’s a sweetheart. He’s so polite and well behaved. You’ve done well with him.” I praised him. His whole face lit up and he nodded, “Thank you.” He replied.

He started shifting awkwardly on his feet, looking at the ground. I raised my brow at him, watching him. “I know when you want to say something.” I chuckled. He took a deep breath then sighed. “Cory is his middle name,” He started. I looked at him puzzled, “We decided we would use his middle name because we were coming back here.” He murmured. “Why?” I questioned, a little confused.

“His name is...” He hesitated, “Alexander Cory Olson.”

I sucked in a breathe then started starting coughing. “You named him after Alex?” I choked. Tears were blurring my vision. “No, shit. I didn’t want to upset you.” He spluttered. I shook my head as the tears ran down my face. Rhydian was behind me in seconds, wrapping his arms around me, bringing me into his chest. Everyone gasped and began whispering.

Welp, the cats out of the bag.

“Daddy, why is Amaris crying over my name?” Cory asked innocently. I quickly wiped my eyes and turned around. Drake kneeled in front of Cory and took hold of his hands. “Do you remember I told you about my friend, the one you’re named after?” He asked. Cory nodded his little head and smiled. “Well, this is his sister.” He declared, glancing up at me. Fear was written all over his face. He knew about my wolf, he knew how temperamental I could be.

I smiled at him and bent down to their level. “You have a beautiful name,” I exclaimed, ruffling his hair. He chuckled and wrapped his arms around my neck. “My daddy told me all about your Alex. I want to be as brave as he was.” He whispered to me. I took a deep breath and squeezed him carefully.

“Cory, would you like to come and find your mum with me?” Rhydian asked as Cory unwrapped himself from me. Cory looked at his dad who nodded. ”Let me know if you need me, I’ll come running," Rhydian spoke through the link. I smiled and nodded.

“You not angry?” He cautiously asked. I shook my head as we both stood up. Rhydian had left us with Cory following after him. “No, I’m honoured that you named him after Alex.” I expressed. “I know Alex would be happy with it. Actually, he would have been over the moon.” I chuckled. He nodded and laughed with me.

We headed towards the hall door, he turned to me and stopped me. “Is Alpha Rhydian your mate?” He whispered. I nodded my head and gave him a tight smile. “Like your real mate?” He urged. I chuckled and nodded again. “Yes, I believe he is,” I admitted. “So, where have you been?” I asked as we left the hall. “The Luna Pack, I was training some of their warriors.” He announced. “With the recent rogue attacks, they asked for our help.” He muttered. I sighed heavily then took a deep breath. “So, you’re a warrior now?” I asked as we entered the kitchen.

He nodded before going over to his mate and pup. “It was really good to see you, Amaris.” He claimed, “I hope you don’t leave it as long next time.” He chuckled. I saw Rhydian go rigid and frown at me. “I’m staying,” I replied, smiling. “You’re going to be our Luna?” He questioned looking a little shocked. Rhydian’s eyes went wide, his breath caught in his throat causing him to cough violently. “Are you ok Alpha? Do you need some water?” The woman asked, I should really ask her name.

He shook his head while he caught his breath. “No, I’m ok.” He croaked. Why did the thought of me being his Luna make him react like that? Isn’t that what was going to happen? We can’t have two Alpha’s and I don’t want to be the Alpha anyway. I’d be content with being his Luna, doesn’t look like he would be though.

“I’ll see you later,” I muttered and left the kitchen. I felt Rhydian behind me, he grabbed my arm spinning me around. “What’s wrong?” He asked, searching my face. “Nothing,” I replied, keeping my tone neutral. “I’m just going home.” I shrugged. His grip on my arm tightened and he was breathing shakily. “Is this because of what just happened?” He questioned, looking panicked. I shook my head, “I just need some space. I’ll come to find you later.” I said before walking away.

I reached my house, opened the door and went straight to the kitchen. I started pulling open drawers looking for paper and pens. When I eventually found some, I pulled out the stool and sat at the kitchen island. I took a deep breath then started writing.

After I’d finished writing, I stared down at the paper, my hands shaking. It had tear stains where my tears had fallen. I nervously folded it and placed it inside an envelope. I left my house and made my way over to the packhouse. I’m going to leave it in his office for him to read then it’s up to him. I took a deep breath as I stopped at the foot of the stairs. I went into the house and straight up the stairs to his office.

His office door was ajar, I pushed it all the way open and the sight of Rhydian caused me to gasp. He was sat at his desk with his elbows resting on the desk, holding his head in his hands. His head snapped up and he stared at me. “Amaris, what-” He started but I quickly walked over to the desk. “Please, don’t say anything. Just read this.” I dropped the envelope on his desk before bolting out of his office.

I was shaking, this was it. This would determine if I really was broken and damaged. I legged it towards the forest.

Rory, I need you.

Within seconds, we shifted. Fur spurted out of my body, my bones snapping and twisting in what seemed like slow motion but it was anything but. Once we completed the transformation, Aurora sprinted off into further the woods.

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