The Beta’s Daughter

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Chapter Two

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Bria’s POV.

Without thinking too much about it, I run over to my purse and pull out all the cash I have on me.

I’m not thinking straight, I act on pure instinct.

I hurry down the stairs and across the green. I go to almost the edge of the territory, to Molly’s cottage.

Molly is our local witch. She’s allowed to live on the pack territory for safety and in return, we can come to her for spells. She can’t do silly things, like make love potions or make someone rich. But she can do some very important things.

I knock on her door, hoping that she’s home.

A moment later, the door swings open.

Molly is in her sixties. She has laugh lines in the corners of her eyes and a smile that could cheer you up just by seeing it.

‘Come in, child. What’s wrong?’ She asks and steps aside.

I enter her cottage, breathing in the smell of cinnamon and lavender. Herbs and dried flowers hang from the rafters.

‘I need a spell please, Molly. I hope this is enough,’ I tell her and place the money on the table.

We both sit down, opposite each other. She eyes the money, then her sharp eyes land on me.

‘What is it you need?’ She asks warily.

‘I-I met my mate, it’s Rhett Tiercel.’ My eyes tear up. ‘Please, don’t tell anyone.’

Her eyes soften and she squeezes my hand.

‘Ah, child. I’m so sorry. But you know the Moon Goddess paired you for a reason. She obviously believes you two will be good together.’

I sniff and wipe away a stray tear.

‘I know that she doesn’t make mistakes, but I need some time to get my head around this. I fear that he will reject me, he has spoken about rejecting his mate before. I don’t want to go through that pain and lose him.’

I take a deep breath, knowing what I need Molly to do.

‘Please, could you numb the bond to him? I don’t want him to know we’re mates yet, I need to have some time to think about everything. I don’t want him to recognise my scent, or if we accidentally touch.’

Molly considers this for a moment.

‘I can do this child, but the spell will only last till the next full moon. And it won’t numb the bond fully, he will still be drawn to you, but he won’t know why.’

I nod quickly. ‘That’s fine, I only need a week or so, this is all such a shock.’

‘Then I will do this. You can break the spell at any time, all you have to do is say his full name and the spell will be broken.’

It takes almost half an hour, but Molly brews a potion using her herbs. She takes a small cutting of my hair and places it in a dish in front of us.

‘Drink this, hold my hand and close your eyes.’

I drink the potion, whilst she tightly holds my left hand. She sets fire to the lock of my hair, the stench of burning hair fills the room. I close my eyes and listen to her chant softly.

She tells me to open my eyes. Once I’ve finished the potion and the hair has burned away, she finishes chanting.

‘It is done, child. He will not recognise you are his mate until you break the spell or it fades. Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.’

‘Thank you, Molly.’

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I don’t know how I feel when I wake up the next morning.

Rhett is my mate and he wants to reject his mate.

I’m scared of seeing him.

What if the spell didn’t work?

What if he rejects me?

I’m not sure I’ll survive the pain.

Sage and Annie come to my room shortly after I wake up. I make up some excuse of having stomach pain, that’s why I didn’t go to the party.

They seem to buy it, and they invite me out for lunch with them.

I meet with the Alpha at ten o’clock. We discuss plans for the fall festival, a gathering we have each year at the end of summer. The whole pack will be invited, we’re going to need a lot of food.

I get ready for lunch with the girls, picking out some jeans and a cute top. I touch up my make-up and straighten my hair.

Sage texts me the name of the restaurant in town. I drive there, arriving five minutes before we agreed to meet.

I can see Sage and Annie through the window, I go inside and walk over to their booth.

‘Hey, girls,’ I greet them and sit down.

They tell me about the party last night. It’s a shame, seems like I missed out on a good time.

I consider telling them about Rhett, but a loud roaring interrupts our conversation. We glance out of the window.

A guy on a black motorbike pulls up in front of the restaurant and a truck parks up next to it. Lorenzo and the guy I haven’t met yet, jump out of the truck.

My heart starts racing when the third guy gets off the motorbike and takes off his helmet.

Rhett.

‘What are they doing here?’ I hiss and Sage chuckles nervously.

‘Oh, yeah, did I forget to mention they’re coming for lunch, too?’

I glare at her.

Fuck!

My palms are sweaty as the three guys approach our table. The guy I don’t know sits down on the other side of Annie. Lorenzo sits next to his mate, Sage.

I hold my breath in panic.

What if the spell didn’t work and he recognises me?

Rhett’s brown eyes look me up and down, his expression is unreadable. He sits down next to me.

I let out my breath. He doesn’t recognise my scent, the spell worked.

‘Bria, I don’t think you’ve met Jordan yet,’ Sage introduces me to the guy I didn’t know.

Whilst everyone starts chatting, I keep my focus on my menu. Rhett is sat right next to me. He might not be able to smell my scent, but I can smell him. He smells incredible, it’s making my mouth water.

I manage to calm my rapid heartbeat and, when our food arrives, my hands stop shaking long enough for me to eat.

I join the conversation, trying everything possible to distract myself from my mate, sat inches away from me.

Rhett makes sarcastic quips throughout the meal.

At first, I try to muffle my laughs, but I can’t help myself at the end. He gives me smug, half-smiles each time he makes me laugh. They’re annoyingly hot and my stomach flips with each one.

I know I’m going to have to let him know we are mates at some point. I have no intention of letting this last for another two weeks.

What I really need to know is if he will reject me. I’ll have to speak to Sage and see if she can talk to Rhett about mates again.

After the meal, the group decide to go to their bonfire spot in the woods for the rest of the day. I return to my room to put on some warmer clothes before joining them.

When I arrive, there’s only Sage, Lorenzo and Rhett sitting around the fire. It’s a small one, filling the clearing with the relaxing sounds of popping and crackling wood.

‘Hey Bri, come sit down,’ Sage says when I enter the clearing.

She and Lorenzo are sat on a short log, Rhett is on the other. Luckily, it’s quite long. There’s plenty of space for me. I sit down, leaving a suitable distance between us.

Rhett pulls a packet of cigarettes out of his jacket and places one into his mouth. I scrunch up my nose in disgust. He catches my expression as he lifts a lighter to the end.

‘What? It’s not like I can get cancer,’ he says with a shrug.

I narrow my eyes at him, but don’t say anything else. He takes a couple of drags, but keeps the cigarette in the hand furthest from me.

He chuckles and shakes his head.

‘Let me guess, the golden head girl has never had a fag?’ He teases and I run my tongue over my top teeth in irritation.

‘I have, actually. But I’m training to be a nurse and those things are just sticks of death,’ I snap and he laughs at me.

‘Come on, Bria, live a little,’ he replies and offers the cigarette to me.

‘I’m living just fine right now, thanks,’ I rebuke him and he shrugs.

‘Suit yourself, princess.’

I don’t let myself swoon over the nickname. He probably says it to all the girls.

‘Rhett, you seeing little miss bubblegum tonight?’ Sage asks him.

My stomach twists at the memory of him kissing the turquoise-haired girl last night. I bet that is who Sage is referring to.

Rhett shrugs next to me. ‘I don’t know, it’s casual between us. Mona’s not clingy.’

Mona.

Without saying anything, I reach over and take the smoke from Rhett’s hand. He looks at me in surprise as I take a long drag.

Fuck this.

I hand it back to him wordlessly. He whistles lowly and chuckles. Sage raises her eyebrow at me in a silent question. I shake my head at her, silently asking her to let it go.

The conversation moves on from Mona and I find myself relaxing again. Rhett and I even have a couple of our own conversations. He surprises me, we have more interests in common than I’d thought.

For example, he reads. I know it’s wrong to judge someone before you know them, but I didn’t peg him as the type who read. But he does, and he knows a lot of the titles I name. We argue over The Great Gatsby and bond over To Kill A Mockingbird.

Sage and Lorenzo left us to it at one point, leaving us uninterrupted during our heated conversation.

We like many of the same TV series and films too, which also surprised me. Thrillers and true crime series are our favourites.

The sun sets and it gets late. I say goodnight to the gang and return to my room.

I lie in bed, unable to sleep straight away.

Maybe I was wrong about Rhett, maybe we’re similar in more ways than I thought.

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