4

Mia

As soon as the breakfast ended, Beta Daniel had announced that it was time to commence the Pack Bond Ceremony to connect Bloodmoon Pack to Silver Lining pack and Alpha Alessio. Everyone had gathered in the packed field.

Beta Daniel was almost the same height as Liam. With his dark skin, light stubble, military-cut hair he looked like someone very serious but that constant amused smile on his face betrayed his appearance and showed his playful side quite openly instead. With the heat down on us in the ground, even though it was still a bit chilly, he wore a black west and black cargo pants with white sports shoes. 

Most of the pack members stood on the sidelines, Beta Daniel stood on the stage. I was standing on the other side of the ground, leaning against a pillar, away from everyone. There were eyes on me, and whispers, but I kept my eyes on the ground and remained silent. 

I could see the excitement and nervousness on their faces, anticipating the process of pack binding. The air in the place was thick with it. The scent of it made my stomach turn.

For a brief second my eyes slid to Liam who was standing behind everyone, alone, emotionless. He had come to stand next to me when I had come to the ground but I had moved away immediately. After what had happened yesterday, I absolutely did not want to face him at all. I already had had enough of crappy days within the past forty-eight hours, maybe half a lifetime of pain, tragedy and traumas had been inflicted on my mind in these past few hours. I did not have the strength to fight or argue or even spare a glance at anyone.

“Attention. Alpha is here.” Beta Daniel announced at the stage as Alpha Alessio crossed the main door and came to stand in front of everyone, on the high stage. From where I stood, I could see him clearly and if he turned his face to the left, he would see me at first glance.

I shivered, my palms tightening on my arms self consciously.

I hadn’t seen him since our last encounter. The way he had looked at me yesterday, his words rang inside my head constantly, making it practically impossible for me to get any sleep at all. He hated me, it was clear as day from his words and his eyes. He despised me and felt disgusted by me. 

Even though he had rejected me so cruelly, I still could not help but stare at him. His face was set in a grim expression. Aloof, but arrogant. For someone taking over a very large pack without any bloodshed at all, he looked quite unhappy by the look on his face.

I wondered if he also felt something like me in his heart right now. This hollow, sad feeling making me think that I might never feel happiness again. Never feel what love is ever again.

His eyes were staring straight ahead at the crowd. I knew he would have already sensed my presence by my scent but he was not looking at me on purpose. I dropped my gaze back to the ground.

Two omegas were right behind alpha. One was bringing a small table made of copper. The other omega was bringing an empty grail made of gold in his hand. Once they reached the middle of the ground, they placed the table there and then the grail on the top of it. Then they fished out a similar gold dagger out of a box and placed it beside the grail. The table was high enough to reach Alpha Alessio’s waist.

“Let’s begin.” Alpha announced in his gruff voice, “with this ceremony I will be binding all of you to myself as your alpha and my pack, Silver Lining. We will be one big pack, and hopefully, live a peaceful life without any crisis.”

The first person stepped in front of Alessio.

“Lift up your hand, palm up.” Beta Daniel instructed. 

The girl did as he asked. Alpha Alessio grabbed her wrist, a sharp jolt of anger surfacing inside me out of nowhere the moment their skin touched. I forced myself to stay put and watch silently as he made a small cut on her hand, and dripped a few drops of her blood into the grail.

“Done. Next.”

One by one, all of the pack members stepped forward, offering Alpha Alessio their hand for the blood binding. 

They finished the ceremony. After Olivia, all the pack members were quick and smooth until… it was Liam’s turn.

Liam’s face was emotionless, cold in fact, lacking any sign of respect or fear or happiness at all when he started to walk towards the stage. Right before he could climb on the stairs, alpha Alessio snatched the grail off the table, his other hand holding the dagger, and stormed off in Liam’s direction with a dangerous stance. The look in his eyes sent shivers down my spine.

My heart was racing. Even though Liam had crossed a line yesterday, I didn’t want Alpha to hurt him!

The air grew thick with tension, the atmosphere intense.

Alpha came to stand in front of Liam, grabbed his palm by his wrist, and swiped his palm with the dagger.

The blood gushed out, a big, gaping wound appeared on Liam’s palm. I gasped, my hand shooting up to cover my mouth as my eyes stared at Liam’s hand in horror.

Liam was clearly furious, and in pain. His sharp teeth were clenched tightly together, the muscles in his jaw clenched so tightly it was a wonder they didn’t crack. 

The other wolves stood frozen, staring at Alpha and Liam in silence.

Both Liam and Alessio’s eyes were burning with an anger that seemed to consume them, glaring at each other with pure hatred. 

Alpha Alessio then brought the grail under Liam’s hand, letting a few drops of his blood drip down into the glass.

“Done.” he muttered, letting Liam’s hand drop nonchalantly.

Liam was raging, but swallowing everything, he took back a few steps, away from the alpha without turning around.

“And now the ceremony is completed.” Beta Daniel announced. His head turned in my direction briefly but quickly looked away. 

Wait?! They forgot me! 

 My gaze went to Beta Daniel in question. He just shrugged his shoulders with  ‘I am just as clueless as you’ look.

My heart was thudding so hard that I thought it was going to burst out of my chest. The only difference was that this time, I was angry out of my damn mind. I kept silent, my feet turning in the direction where alpha had disappeared from just now. I had taken one step, when a hand grabbed my shoulder, snatched me back harshly, and turned me around.

Olivia stood in front of me with a smug look on her face, 

“Aw… are you about to cry your eyes out in front of our alpha for your place in this pack, Mia?” she pushed my shoulder hard, making me stumble back a couple steps since compared to her, my frail, bony form was pretty weak, 

With my heart in my throat, my pride literally dangling in front of my eyes in rags, and my mind throbbing with the sound of insults, I walked out of the pack ground and entered the pack house.

Unless I am bound to alpha, I will not be counted as a pack member. This bonding ceremony was the most important for every werewolf. If we are not bonded to the pack, we are discarded as rogues. And Rogues don’t live long once they are separated from other wolves. They get hunted, they get captured and tortured and they lose their minds and become maniacs. None of the scenarios end up with a happy ending.

Alpha Alessio walking away without binding me is humiliating. I was burning with fury and shame. I had to make him bind me!

I saw his back as he was striding towards his office door from the main hall.

“Alpha!” I called out to him from behind.

No answer.

“Alpha! Please stop.” I shouted louder, he ignored me again.

I walked faster, almost running to catch up with him while calling him again and again from behind but he ignored each of my calls. He suddenly walked inside a room, I ran after him blindly.

I had not realized what I had done until I took a look around the room and halted in my steps in the middle of the room. We were in alpha’s office. The same room where I had murdered Alpha Wyatt just a day ago.

My whole body went into a cold shock, creeped out. I had not realized what I had done until I was standing in the same room where I had committed the murder.

A nightmare flashed in front of my eyes. I could still feel the coldness of the blade touching Alpha Wyatt’s chest. The smell of blood, the sound of blood oozing, my hand holding the handle, the taste of blood in my mouth, the feel of the handle against my skin. It was all so clear and yet I couldn’t stop it.

I had stopped breathing. Literally.

“Why are you following me?” A deep voice entered my consciousness, coming from far away.

I blinked hard, the sound of the voice grew louder. My gaze snapped up, my eyes colliding with Alpha Alessio who stood in front me, leaning against the head table with his arms folded over his chest.

It took a few good moments for me to come back to my senses and remember why I had followed alpha Alessio. I pushed back the overwhelming fear that had engulfed me, and then controlled my loudly beating heart, begging for it to calm down as I responded in a low voice, 

“The binding.”

“What?”

I cleared my throat, gaining more courage as the fear started to fade away, “The pack binding ceremony.” I said in clear words, staring at him with accusation-filled eyes, “why did you walk away without binding me to the pack?”

He raised his brows, “You have no right to question me.”

“Are you serious?!” I seethed, and then looked up at the ceiling for a brief second, but that anger was too overpowering for me to be able to suppress. I looked down again into his eyes and yelled, 

“I don’t have any right to question you? Why? Because you are just another jerk sitting on the fucking alpha position who can kick around omegas as he wishes?”

“Don’t judge someone you don’t know about.” His tone is dangerous, “You’ll be very surprised tomorrow if think I am that kind of alpha.”

I didn't flinch “I only ask the same from you! You might just kill me instead if you don’t bind with me. At least I’ll suffer less.”

“You dare to threaten me with your life?”

“Do you mean you care about my life?” I retorted back.

Suddenly he smiled and touched my face, then traced to my collarbone. I have goosebumps wherever his finger went. The  ghost of a smile coming on the corner of his lips, “What do you want?” 

I can barely breathe “The binding as I told you.”

His lips hover behind my ear, whispering “And you shall have it.” 

The next thing I knew, his fangs had pierced my neck, biting me.

I don’t think I had ever experienced what pleasure felt like but in this moment, I knew. Like a sense of euphoria washing over me, I was submerged deeply, my heart throbbing, my mind blank and my eyes rolling to the back of my head… everything just faded away.

My shivering hands gripped the end of his t-shirt, my breathing quick and erratic and uneven as his lips kissed the side of my neck, his tongue rolling over the skin with soft strokes. 

I had never felt this way. My heart was racing, my lips moist and my skin tingling. I felt like I was about to explode. I didn’t know what was happening but it felt great. His fangs had retracted, but his mouth stayed on the reddened spot where a dark mark of a moon with fangs had appeared. His lips kissed the same spot again and again, my sensitive skin was bursting with small fireworks, and all I could do was cling on to him for my dear life as the relentless strokes of his tongue slipped up and down on the side of my throat hungrily.

“Ah…” a loud moan escaped my mouth when his teeth suddenly nipped at the spot below my ear, my toes curled, my body falling forward in his arms as my knees turned weak.

The feel of his chest against mine was like nothing like I had ever known. His body was like a steel wall, enclosing me in warmth, and protecting me from the cold. His hand in my waist was like a lifeline, and the other one gripping the back of my head was like a vice, keeping me from falling to the ground. His intoxicating scent had engulfed me entirely. He smelled like a mixture of rain and soil and something else I couldn’t place. 

My whole body was stock still while I shuddered, my heart had never beat as fast as it was beating now. My mouth had gone dry and the only thing I could think about was the touch of his tongue on my skin.

Slowly, softly, the strokes of his tongue and lips slipped from the side of my neck, up to my cheek and then his lips hovered above mine, softly touching but never going away. I could hear the sound of his heartbeat which was just as loud and fast as mine.

Alpha Alessio’s lips were stained with my blood and his gaze was stuck on my face like I was the most fascinating thing he had ever come across.

I could feel the blood rushing to my cheeks. His mouth was so close to mine that I could feel his breath on my skin.

I whispered, “Wh- what did you just do?”

He walked around me to go sit on the couch near the fireplace, facing me. His one leg resting over the other while he leaned back, and stared up at me with raised eyebrows in question.

“What did you just do?!” my voice was louder this time, more shrill, “didn’t you already reject me? What the hell is the meaning of this?”

He smirked, laughing, “Don’t flatter yourself, little omega. I did not mark you. I gave you the pack bonding mark, isn’t this what you had come here to get?”

I stared into his eyes blankly. Was he trying to say that I was the hypocrite and maniac one here?

“On my neck?” I questioned, “you marked me on my neck for pack bounding?”

I was about to lose my mind. He had marked me where my ‘mate’ is supposed to mark me as his soulmate. Right on that damn spot in my neck! He marked me where he is never, not in a million years is supposed to leave any impression of his binding to me. 

My face had turned red, my whole body shook with the need to smash his arrogant face with a brick for having the audacity to ridicule me after what he had just done.

“You are adamant on ruining my reputation, aren’t you, Alpha Alessio?” I spluttered through furious, raging breaths, unable to even form the words because my throat was choking, “you damn well know that this is the ONLY part of my body where you are not supposed to leave any mark of your companionship. You bit me where my mate’s mark is supposed to be!”

“You came to me, begging to finish your binding to the pack.” his gaze was arrogant, prideful, and cold, “And now you got it.”

“Are you fucking serious?!” I cried out, “this is the utmost sign of insult and degradation! You bit me on my fucking neck! Do you want me to walk around with this mark on my neck with people calling me your mistress or a slut my whole life?!”

He nonchalantly grabbed a magazine from the side table, flipping through its pages with a bored sigh.

I was furious, my anger was a hot flame, and I felt like I was going to explode. My teeth were clenched and I could not speak. I could not do anything but stand there, and stare at his cold face that had no sympathy, no feelings for what I was going through.

I marched forward until I was right in front of him, bent my head, and pierced his arm with my fangs, biting him.

“Fuck.” he hissed, his other hand shot out to grab my shoulder and pushed me back.

I moved back, my eyes seeing the blood dripping from his arm with a satisfied smirk on my face. My gaze lifted up to meet his eyes with a dangerous gleam in them, “Don’t mess with me, alpha. I know how to pay back.”

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