The Beta’s Daughter

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Chapter Four

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Bria’s POV.

I take a deep breath and force a smile.

‘Sure, come on up.’

I find myself oddly aroused by watching him climb up. His actions are so fluid and graceful. He’s so agile, confident in his own body to make the right jump at the right angle.

For someone so bulky and muscular, he sure can move stealthily.

He seats himself next to me, our clothed arms brush against each other. Funnily enough, he’s holding his own, unspilled drink.

I lift my cup up for him to tap his against.

‘Cheers,’ he says and we both take swigs.

‘I might have to report you, you know,’ he says teasingly.

I frown at him, not understanding the joke.

‘For what?’

He looks at me and smirks. ‘For stealing my thinking spot. I found this years ago, Blossom.’

I don’t know what’s more annoying, that he is trying to claim my spot as his own, or that he mentioned my surname. Everyone knows I hate my surname.

Bria Bethany Blossom.

What the hell were my parents thinking?

I narrow my eyes at him.

‘You got that wrong, Tiercel. This is my rock,’ I reply and he chuckles.

He holds his hands up in surrender.

‘Alright, let’s call it our rock,’ he says, nudging me playfully.

Our rock.

Goddess, get over yourself Bria.

‘How come you came out here?’ I ask him, taking another gulp of my drink.

Damn, it’s almost gone.

‘I was looking for you actually,’ he replies.

I glance at him, but he’s staring off into the distance in thought.

‘Why?’

‘You didn’t come back, I wondered if something was wrong,’ he says.

I feel touched that he noticed and cared enough to look for me.

‘Won’t Mona be missing you?’ I internally reprimand myself for saying those words, I sound like a jealous cow.

Rhett snorts as if I’ve said something funny.

‘No, she won’t. It’s not like that with us. Like I said before, it’s casual.’

I sense my chance, and I take it.

‘Casual, huh? Is that because you’re waiting for your mate?’ I ask, trying to sound as chilled and casual as possible.

I peek at him in my peripherals. His jaw clenches.

‘Isn’t everyone over the age of eighteen waiting for their mate?’ He deflects. ‘Aren’t you?’

Sensing another opportunity, I smile. ‘Of course I am, it’s all I think about, really.’

His eyes turn sad and he looks away.

Goddess, please don’t let him want to reject his...

‘Yeah, me too,’ he says so quietly, I almost think I’ve misheard it.

‘Didn’t you once joke that you were going to reject your mate?’ I probe and he frowns at me.

‘Where did you hear that?’ He demands to know, sounding angry.

‘Don’t be mad. I thought you said it once before, did you?’

His face softens and he runs his hand down it tiredly.

‘I probably did say that. I want to meet her, but I don’t at the same time.’ He sighs and looks up at the sky. ‘I’ve been screwed over by so many people in my life. I’ve been hated by even more. My mate is just another person who can hurt me, ditch me. I guess I’m worried she’ll reject me.’

My heart feels like it’s breaking at his words. I want to tell him, to scream at him that I will never reject him, that I want to be with him.

I open my mouth to tell him, but someone interrupts us.

‘Rhett!’

We both look down to see Lorenzo and Jordan standing below.

‘Lance is giving it big licks again, bragging about how he put you in hospital,’ Jordan says and I scoff.

What an idiot, he was in the hospital too!

‘Fucking wanker,’ Rhett curses under his breath.

He jumps down from the rocks and lands perfectly next to the boys. ‘Come on, let’s put this fucker in the hospital again.’

I’m left alone with an empty drink on my think rock.

At least he didn’t outright say he wanted to reject his mate.

Rhett’s threat sinks in and I realise that my mate is off to fight someone. Worried for him, I climb down from the rock and run after them.

Apparently, a lot went down in the two minutes it took for me to catch up.

Lance is on his back, with Rhett on his chest. It’s like a flashback to the fight that got Rhett kicked out of the pack.

Rhett’s beating his face bloody, but my eyes are on the black eye forming on his own face. Lance obviously got at least one shot in. Rhett seems to be pissed about it.

‘Rhett, man, he’s had enough,’ Lorenzo says and tries to pull him off.

Without thinking, much like two years ago, I approach the two. I put my hand on Rhett’s shoulder and he tenses up. He pauses in his punches.

‘Stop, Rhett, you’re gonna get in trouble again,’ I say softly, so only he can hear.

His brown eyes soften as they look deeply into mine. His lips set in a firm line and he nods grimly. He stands up and glares down at the beaten Lance.

‘Keep your fucking mouth shut in the future,’ he spits venomously and storms off.

I let out a sigh of relief and the crowd clears. Lorenzo looks at me, confusion all over his face.

‘How did you get him to stop?’ He asks.

Instead of replying, I simply shrug.

The party is pretty much over after that and I don’t see anymore of Rhett. I ask Sage if we can have breakfast together tomorrow and she readily agrees.

I return to my room, once again struggling to fall asleep. I replay my conversation with Rhett over and over again in my head, trying to make a decision on when and how to tell him.

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Sage and I sit in the diner, pancakes and maple syrup in front of us.

A week today, the spell will wear off and I’ll have no choice in how I tell Rhett that we’re mates.

‘So, what is it you wanted to talk about?’

I proceed to tell the full story to my best friend. I tell her about Rhett, the witch and the spell. Her eyes widen as the story goes on, by the time I’m finished, I’m surprised they’re not popping out of her skull.

‘Holy mother of Moon Goddess, Bria,’ she breathes. ‘This is crazy.’

‘I know. I’ve dug a massive hole for myself, but I panicked. I’m still not entirely sure he won’t reject me.’

Sage looks at me with sympathy. ‘I’m so sorry Bri, I can talk to him as well if you want, try and feel out where his head is at?’

I’m so grateful for her. ‘Please, that would be great. I’m really torn here.’

‘Well, at least you still have a week to decide.’

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It doesn’t help that I don’t see Rhett for two days. Sage sees him on Wednesday and tries to get him to talk about mates, but he blows her off, saying he’ll deal with it when the time comes.

Funnily enough, that reaction doesn’t exactly instil confidence in me about our bond.

On Wednesday, I go out for dinner with the group. My heart flutters at the sight of seeing Rhett again.

He looks fucking hot.

He’s wearing black jeans that hug every inch of his thick thighs that I want to be wrapped between. His white t-shirt accentuates his olive skin and shows off the dark shapes of the multitude of tattoos beneath it. His piercings wink at me, teasing me.

He purposefully sits next to me at the restaurant, making my day. He’s a bit more flirty than usual, but I blame that on the four beers he consumed at dinner.

We talk and laugh and, at the mention of a party on Friday, I decide that is when I will tell him.

I’ll wear a killer outfit, say his full name so that the spell breaks and let him catch my scent for the first time.

After our meal, we all walk out to the car park. Rhett catches me looking at his bike and he smirks.

‘Want a ride?’

The good and bad thing about drinking as a shifter is, you get drunk but not for long. Despite what he drank at dinner, Rhett is now fully sober and capable of driving.

I hesitate, but decide to live a little, as he said to me once.

‘Go on then,’ I respond and he grins at me, obviously not expecting that answer.

Lorenzo grabs one of the spare helmets he keeps in his truck. I think that shows just how much time they spend together.

Rhett helps me clip it on, making my breath catch in my throat. His hands make me feel tingly. I know he’ll feel them too, only a minimised version because of the spell.

He climbs onto the bike and kicks away the kickstand.

‘Hop on, princess,’ he orders.

I swing my leg over the bike and straddle it. The angle of the seat means I slide down it, until I’m firmly pressed up to his back.

‘Arms around me, hold on tight and lean when I lean, got it?’ He says.

‘Yep!’

He pulls down his visor and starts the engine, it roars to life beneath us. I grip hold of him tightly, squeezing his legs with my thighs.

Fuck me, this is terrifying.

I’m going to die and my mate is going to be the reason for my death.

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