I came back from high school one night to find my parents sitting on the couch of our living room. I laid my backpack down and walked to them with a smile on my face.
I loved my parents. My father was the King of our pride of lions and my mother was his true mate. It was rare nowadays to find your true mate and most lions decided to settle down with a chosen mate. I hoped that I would find my true mate as well one day. It seemed too magical and too beautiful to my romantic heart to pass on it.
A mate was said to be chosen for you by the Moon Goddess, the Goddess revered by all shifters so she could rarely go wrong. You knew someone was your mate when their scent was stronger and addictive to you. You could also feel soft tingles from the bond that warmed your entire body. Or so I heard. I would not be able to find my mate before I turned 18.
I hugged my mom tight and smiled at my father as I reached the couch. They both looked grim but I did not mind. That was a natural look on my father's face and my mother... Let us say that she could be a bit overdramatic and she tended to do exactly like my father.
"Hi! What's going on? It looks like you were expecting me." I said.
"Sit down, Shannon." My father said.
I looked into my father's eyes quizzically but his emerald eyes told me nothing. I did as I was told because I knew that he would not say a word before I did and sat down between them. My father then continued.
"Alpha Arthur and I decided that it would be highly beneficial for our pride if you mated with his son Ares."
"Ares?" I repeated puzzled.
"Yes." My father nodded. "He's powerful and he'll become a great King if he has someone like you by his side."
"But we don't know if Ares is my mate." I frowned.
His words made no sense to me right now. He knew how much I wanted to find my true mate. I told him since I was a small kid how I envied what he had with mom and that I wanted the same, repeatedly, every time he would mention true mates. What was wrong with him?
"It doesn't matter. We want you both mated once you finish High School. That leaves you three years to get used to the idea." He said matter-of-fact.
"That's not fair! You have your mate but I have to take a chosen without even choosing him." I growled shooting up to my feet.
"Ares is the best choice. The decision is final, Shannon." He said and his eyes glowed with his lion's eyes. All King as he was, he hated that someone could talk back to him. I knew he would not listen to me so I looked into my mom's eyes, hoping that she would at least help me.
"And you agreed with him?" I said to her.
She looked uncomfortable but she steeled her hazel eyes same as mine to hold my gaze. She had made her decision or her mate made the decision for her and as a good Queen, she would follow. I hated that trait of her personality. She would always say amen to everything my father said. Even when that meant, forcing me to mate with someone I did not love.
"Ares will be a good mate and he's a white lion just like you. I agree that he was the best choice. He might even be your true mate." She said.
"But it doesn't matter to any of you if he isn't as long as he fucks me and I pop white lions." I said tartly.
"Shannon!" My father growled.
My father stood up from the couch and he radiated fury. He was the King and I was certainly not powerful enough to stand up to him. I lowered my gaze in submission even if it made me so furious that I was crying. He said his next words with a voice full of his power.
"Go back to your room and don't ever talk to your mother like this!"
"Fine my King." I said through gritted teeth.
He hated it when I called him by his title but he was not earning a "father" from me ever again. He had definitely lost that right.
I walked back to my room and I was still crying heavy tears of pure rage. I would never accept Ares. Over my dead body. They could do whatever they wanted without me. They could make the white cubs if they wanted them so much, I did not care. How could they do this to me?
Truthfully, I had no problem with Ares as a person. I thought he could be harsh on people sometimes but that was it. He was a pure dominant just like me but he had troubles to can it, especially around other lions. He was all you could expect from an Alpha male and a future King.
He was nice to me though and I was sure he would make his mate happy but I never thought that it would be me. He was too beautiful for little old me and older as he was 21 and I was only 16. He had no mate and I knew that every female in the pride tried to court him. I guess he had one now. If my father told me about our engagement, it must mean that the whole pride knew already. Making me the last to know about it.
I thought about Ares and his dirty blond hair that waved to his shoulders. He had icy blue eyes that were mesmerising. His shoulders were broad and his body muscular because he trained a lot.
He was our sports teacher at school too. The pride was managing our High School and trained the future members. Only members of the pride could attend this school as we tried to stay away from humans.
I also thought about our relationship so far and now... That would be difficult. I hated him. How could he be ok with this? Was he coerced by his father as well? Probably not. Maybe he thought just like them that it was the right choice. The white werelions' genes were more important than true love. Like hell. I wanted to find my true mate and I would hold on to that thought even if it was the last thing I did.