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5 - Zachary

“So I’m Ryan by the way,” the Beta said after we’d gotten to the end of my pack’s lands.

“I’m Tyra, but I guess you already know all about me,” I said, staring out the window.

“I do know a lot ... didn’t know about the pink hair though. And in all the pictures we have I didn’t see any tats or piercings, so Zach’s gonna be pissed,” he said, laughing himself into a frenzy.

“It’s my body,” I said, plainly.

I had on a sort of t-shirt, it was sleeveless and cut low in the back, showing off some of my colored skin.

“Sure sweetie, for what, another three days until you get your wolf,” he said, grinning.

I didn’t reply, just kept my head turned, even though I’d felt his eyes on me constantly. It was quiet for about an hour, just the low radio on. I felt myself just drifting off to sleep when he suddenly decided to be talkative.

“I’ve known Zach my whole life. I’m only about three months older than him. He’s my brother in every way, I’d do anything for him. I’m sure you don’t remember but I was there, the day of your oath. We got to have dinner with your father, he was so proud of you. I’ve never seen a father more in awe of a pup. You meant the world to him,” he said.

I wanted to punch him, but I realized he thought he was being endearing. I kept still.

“Zach is just … already completely in love with you, I mean I think he always has been. You were his first kiss, that day. He still talks about your beauty, how soft your hands were, all that. He’s a really good guy. He'll be an incredible Alpha. I really hope you give him a chance,” he said, and I could tell he was being sincere.

I shuddered. I did kiss Zachary that day. After dinner we were sitting together, talking and he was so nice. He kissed me just lightly on the lips and I did like it. But come on, I was 10 and I had just been forced into an arranged mate! I didn't exactly know what the hell was going on. Not to mention I believed he was my mate, since that's what dad told me.

“If he really cared about me, he’d let me find my fated mate,” I said, balling my hands into fists and pushing my nails into the palms of my hands.

“What if he actually is,” he said, joking. But probably not joking. I couldn’t tell with this guy. One minute he was stone faced Mr. Serious and the next he was laughing like a weirdo.

“I’m quite sure he isn’t,” I said, firmly.

“But you never know. I swear he really is a decent guy, and trust me when I say he’s had a lot of temptation. He’s had she-wolves throwing themselves at him constantly since he got his wolf. But he only talks about you, he only wants you. I guess I might as well tell you this too but he’s had offers,” he said. I involuntarily turned to look at him, I couldn’t help myself.

“What offers like for a mate,” I said, raising my eyebrow.

“No sweetie,” he laughed.

“What do you mean then,” I said, crossing my arms over my chest.

“He’s had offers for you. Shit, the daughter of Alpha Gunner? There’s a ton of guys that want you. He even had one Alpha offer him half a million dollars and 200 acres of hunting grounds. Trust me, that is a damn hard offer for anyone to turn down. But Zach, didn’t even flinch, he told the guy to fuck off,” Ryan said, totally serious.

My mouth dropped open and I suddenly realized what a bubble I’d been living in for the past few years. I really didn’t know much about the world outside of my pack. Was it possible Zachary was the best choice of the worst choices? Fuck, what if he had traded me?! I never even thought of that as a possibility. I rested my head on my chin and looked back out the window. 

The ride seemed to take forever, and we only stopped once to get something for lunch and to get gas. We’d now been on a dirt road for nearly 45 minutes and I thought I was going to pass out. 

I’d exhausted myself with every possible thought, everything all cramming for attention in my head at once. I tried talking to my wolf, Reba, but she was asleep or something, I don’t know. I had to wonder if she’d be this selective about talking to me once I shifted. I explained to her a few times what was going to happen and she wasn’t happy about it. She wanted our fated mate and didn’t give a damn about any blood oath.

“Don’t be nervous,” Ryan said, taking me out of my daze.

I turned to look at him, giving him my best ‘are you serious’ face.

“How much longer,” I said, finally seeing a couple of stray cabins through the woods. 

“We’re here now, the outlaying lands anyhow. We’ll be at the packhouse in about five minutes. Zach lives there right now but you guys will have your own house once you mate,” he said, grinning.

Great, can’t hardly wait for that.

Before I knew it we were pulling up to a large three story house that dwarfed the size of my old pack house, but I knew the Long Tooth pack was three or four times the size of Pale Moon.

“Home sweet home Luna,” he said, taking off his belt. 

I cringed and instantly saw Zachary walking toward the SUV. He looked exactly as I remembered, only way taller and way bigger. His face was exactly the same. He looked a lot like Ryan. Dark brown hair and eyes, broad shoulders and large arms, short hair, only a few inches long.

He was absolutely gorgeous, and I had to remember this guy was not my mate. If he was any kind of decent man he’d let me go find my fated mate. But he wasn’t, he was going to see this through no matter what. All Alphas want strong pups, and I was of an Alpha’s bloodline, daughter of Alpha Gunner no less. One of the most feared Alphas of all time. 

Within seconds he was opening my door, and extending his hand to me. 

“My beautiful Luna,” he said, helping me out of the car. 

I reluctantly accepted his help. His hand was warm, and I felt a slight jolt of electricity transfer from his hand to mine. I met his eyes, not wanting to bow to him or show any ounce of acceptance. I was here, but that didn’t mean I was complying, it didn’t mean I would just roll over and bare my neck to him.

“Zachary,” I said, with a small nod. He didn’t release my hand.

He didn’t flinch at all while taking in my appearance, and I got the sneaking suspicion that when Ryan was in range he probably mind-linked Zachary to tell him so he’d be prepared.

“Just Zach baby, but my full name does sound awfully good rolling off your tongue,” he said, touching my cheek. 

I let him do it but then quickly tried to step away from him. Of course, he tightened his grip on my hand and pulled me closer. 

“What kind of man would I be if I didn’t carry my bride over the threshold? This isn’t our forever home, but still,” he said, quickly scooping me up before I had a chance to know what was happening. I prided myself on being quick, but he was pretty damn fast. Not that I probably could have protested.

I didn’t give him the satisfaction of a reaction but being carried like this forced me to put my arms around his neck, and I was sure that was what he was going for at any rate.

“Now, that’s better,” he said, our faces only inches apart. 

Damn it … he smelled really good. He smelled like a river, that cool smell of fresh water rippling over rocks … that was the best I could describe it anyhow. No ... I don’t want to like anything about him. I’m supposed to hate him!

*He’s NOT our mate is he,* I asked Reba. 

She was totally silent, damn it! I mean I was days from my first shift, surely I would know, wouldn’t I? What were the fucking odds that Zach was actually my mate?? No, I couldn't think about it. 

The warmth from his hands and arms surrounded my body as he carried me and suddenly, I heard Reba purr in the back of my mind. 

*Is he our mate,* I demanded. 

Again, she said nothing. Asshole.

Saree

What do you think so far? Should she give Zach a chance?

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Comments (2)
goodnovel comment avatar
Liz T
I am very torn on this. But I am really thinking that he is not her fated mate. It definitely has to be the blood oath that is doing something. I wish she would have contacted Tyson before this! He would have taken care of that!
goodnovel comment avatar
Glennice Johnson
Hmm I’m thinking the blood oath may be playing tricks. She should give it a shot but her true mate has to come and his also. Ugh I’m a little torn here. ...‍♀️
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