I felt his hardness pressed up against me after I told him I didn’t have the money yet, and a hit to my nose caused my glasses to crack and fly from my face. He’s going to punish me right here in a back alley, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it, half-blind and in mile-high heels.
I slammed my eyes shut, knowing what would come next and hoped it would be over quickly so I could get back inside the bar and continue my shift. This is humiliating. I fucking hate this. As tears stream down my face, I wonder what I’ve ever done wrong to deserve everything that has been handed to me.
A sudden growl snaps me out of my haze of self-pity, and the scent of smokey bergamot and mint causes me to perk up. I feel a splash of warm liquid on my back, and when I turn around, a sense of terror overtakes me but quickly dissipates when I see his familiar face.
As bad as my eyesight is, I will never forget his scent.
“Nikolai?” I whisper incredulously, my heart hammering at the sight of my mate. He’s still as handsome as the first time I saw him, but something feels different. “Why… why are you-”
Without another word or looking my way, he turns around and walks away from me. The anger is palpable in his scent and nearly causes me to fall at his feet in submission, but I pull down my skirt and run after him, grabbing him by his forearm.
The words shrivel up in my mouth when he looks up at me with angry, silver eyes. He turns and looks at the scattered parts of Will to the side, then lets out a growl.
“How can you allow yourself to be reduced to this?” he snarls, then looks at me again. The look in his eyes made my heart drop with shame. “I’m passing through the area, only to find my mate bent over in an alley.”
I trip over my words, feeling the need to explain myself but getting nowhere. “That’s not… That isn’t-”
He scoffs. “What, it isn’t what it looks like? Cut the crap, Nova; anyone walking through that fucking door could see what was happening.” He says, ripping his hand out of my grasp and crossing his arms over his chest.
Anger, mixed with shame, bubbles in my chest when he says this. “What’s it to you, anyway?” I sob, not wanting to appear weak in front of my mate but failing. “You have some nerve to say that to me after ignoring me for four fucking years, Nikolai!” I spit out, then shake my head and turn away from him.
Stupid me felt a little happy seeing my mate here, thinking he had been willingly protecting me.
“Who was he?” Nikolai suddenly says, causing me to stop in my steps.
I breathe out a sigh and feel my shoulders sag. “He was my boyfriend and a pack warrior under Alpha Cain.”
“FUCK!” I hear him cry out, and when I turn around, I see him pull out his cell phone and put it to his ear. “Kai-” he starts, then launches into a completely different language. Was that Russian? German?
Not knowing what else to do, I continue my walk towards the scattered parts of Will. /“Alpha,”/ I call Alpha Cain over the link, my headache starting since he’s not close by.
/“Nova, this is unexpected. Is everything okay?”/ He asks, and I let out a sigh. I hardly ever call him for anything over the link, so this must be odd to him.
“Not yet,” Nikolai suddenly says, holding up a hand but continuing to talk over the phone. Wait, how the fuck did he know I was speaking to my Alpha?
“Okay,” Nikolai says, kills the call, then puts the phone to his ear again. “Alpha Cain,” he says, and my eyes widen. “Yes, there has been an unfortunate… incident.”
As he says this, he pins me with a blue-eyed stare, and when I catch his scent, I immediately feel a sense of calm coming over me. I know that he’s probably scenting me so I can calm down, but right now, all I feel is myself drowning in this delicious smokey bergamot.
“Yes, I’m positive, but I do think Nova would be the best person to speak to about it. Yes, I understand; thank you.” I catch the tail end of the conversation before he pockets the cell phone again.
He stares at me for a moment, then starts. “Your Alpha knows about this,” he says, but as he does, I hear Alpha Cain over the mind link telling me that I should close up the bar and that he and I need to have a long talk. Yeah, I think that long conversation is long overdue.
“Thank you. I’ll be going, then.” I nod, then turn around and walk away from him again; Nikolai may be here, but that doesn’t mean that I have to accept him again. I’ve waited long enough; it’s time for me to move on. So I cross my arms against my shivering body and walk towards the concrete steps leading into the bar.
“Nova,” I hear him call my name as I reach the back door and nearly whine at the sound of his voice.
I turn around and raise an eyebrow at him as if to tell him to continue. He looks at a loss for words, and I can hear his heart beating as sporadic as mine. “Yes, Nikolai?” I ask, sounding like a lovesick puppy.
He maintains eye contact with me for a few seconds before shaking his head. “Keep safe,” is all he says before walking off and leaving me alone yet again. Gee, what exactly did I expect?
How long am I going to keep this up? Why can’t I just reject him and get it over with? It’s not like I want kids anyway. I’m sure this will benefit the both of us since he clearly doesn’t want me at all.
When I walk inside, Estie takes one look at me and tells me to go home and that she will close up. I nod, feeling thankful to at least have one understanding friend on my side and make my way to my apartment.
I step inside my sanctuary, yet as I breathe out a pent up sigh, a sob escapes my throat, and I slide to the floor. To say that I am strung out and lost is putting it lightly; I’m a fucking mess. Nikolai killed Will right in front of me and tore him into three different pieces as he had me bent over in the alley.
All this, and my so-called mate didn’t even ask me if I was okay. I’m sure he saw my bloody nose and bruised cheek. Does he honestly not care that much for me? We hadn’t seen one another for over four years, and the only thing he did was insult me. Fuck him.
I sniff and wipe my tears away, the sudden thought of being alone hits me hard, and I am not sure if I should be happy or terrified. Will took my mind off the thought of Nikolai, but he also abused me profusely. Am I truly free now? Can I live my life as I please?
No. Not until I take care of one last thing.
“I, Nova Lorelei, reject you-”
“Sure you wanna do that right now?” In the dark, a hoarse, angry voice gets my attention, and my heart drops. How was he here already?
Nova “Alpha Cain,” I say and get to my feet. The sight and angry scent of my Alpha immediately made me feel ashamed. He walks towards me with his arms crossed and breathes out a sigh. However, his features soften before he wraps his thick arms around me. “Nova,” he says my name and that dam finally cracks. Four years' worth of anger, shame and resentment come out as he rubs my back. This man trusted me, and I broke his trust by not coming to him for help, I know he will see it that way. No matter how I look at it, this is ultimately me not trusting in my Alpha. Fifteen minutes pass, and I finally pull away from him, wiping my tears away and sniffing. “I’m so sorry,” I say, peering up at him with half-blind eyes. “What exactly are you sorry for, little Nova? You’ve done nothing wrong.” He says, leading me over to my couch. “Will has been abusing me for the better part of a year, and I didn’t come to you with it. He’s fo
NikolaiI’ve been sitting on my motorcycle outside The Slip for the last twenty minutes, too terrified to walk inside. Kai is pissed off with me. I can smell the anger on his scent all the way out here, and it is close to knocking me out cold.I messed up tonight, I fucking know that, and now my older brother and Alpha will make me pay. He’s been going easy on me lately, but I have a feeling that this is the last straw. Not only that, but I came across as unfeeling and cold towards my mate. She was in shock and hurting, and I couldn’t even push my ego aside to ask her if she was okay. What the hell is wrong with me?!/“I know you’re out there, Nikolai,”/ Kai suddenly says through the mind link causing me to cringe internally. Fuck, I guess it’s now or never.Taking a huge ass gulp of air and bracing myself for a shitstorm, I tuck my helmet underneath my arm and make my way inside the club. When I
NovaWhat the hell is wrong with me? It’s been close to a month, and Nikolai has disappeared yet again. I keep setting myself up for this, but whenever I try to reject him, the words die in my mouth. My heart aches whenever I think about it, so much so that I feel breathless at times.I want Nikolai, and I want him to crave me as much as I do him, but I know he never will.Tonight it’s busier than usual in the bar, but I know the reason why; the full moon is tomorrow, and the unmated males are nearing their rut. Not a good thing for an unmated female like me, especially since I can feel my heat approaching./“Nova,”/ Alpha Cain calls me through the mind link at about 8 PM. /“Close up early and go home; I don’t want Nikolai Volkov killing anyone else in my territory because you’re nearing your heat.”/I blush beet red when he says this and relay the message to Estie a
Nikolai I should have prepared for this and listened to Kai, but I upped and walked into enemy territory out of sheer fucking anger. Alder Grey, Gamma from the IronCrest Pack, has had it out for me the last few months, and by killing three of my bookies, he’s succeeded in luring me out of BloodCrest territory. And into his fucking hands. Surrounded by him and two of his pack warriors, I fought them off as best I could, but what I didn’t expect was to run into fucking hunters on my way out. Granted, Connecticut is Alpha Bastien lands, but now I have a feeling he’s aligned with hunters to keep enemies out. I tell Kai this over the mind link and hightail it out of there on my Ducati, needing to breach our own border. But a few blocks away from Hell’s Kitchen, the wheels slip on the slick tar, and I crash into a fucking store front. Kai won’t like this, I know he won’t, but right now, I can barely think as the wolfsbane makes its way into my system. I allow Knight to lead me to a s
Nova “Thank you again, Nova,” Alpha Kai says before leaving with Nikolai in tow. I couldn’t help but notice how pissed off Nikolai looked as soon as he saw his older brother. Did he not want Alpha Kai to know about his injuries or something? Oh, well, not my circus, not my monkeys. I’m about to lock the bar when I look up and see Nikolai’s grinning face on the other side of the door. “What are you still doing here?” I ask, confused. I’m pretty sure I saw him getting in Kai’s car earlier. He grins, then stretches out his hand. “Give me your cell phone; we haven’t exchanged numbers, and we’re supposed to be fated mates.” My eyes widen at this, and I can feel a blush coming on again, but I hand him my phone anyway. After inputting his number, he rings his cell as well and then hands mine back to me. “There, now you can give me your answer later,” he says, but as he hands me my phone, he grips my wrist and pulls me into his arms. “Hmmm, I can’t wait to make you mine finally.” He
Nova What a long ass week. I’ve been itching to get out of my damn apartment, and now that my heat has passed, I cannot wait to stretch my legs. Who knows, maybe it will be my last heat as an unclaimed mate. The thought made me smile like an idiot, and I shake my head as I unlock the door to my apartment. I’ve decided to go to one of my favourite coffee shops and enjoy myself for a change since I never think of myself. To say that Will’s death and Alpha Cain’s chat changed me is putting it lightly. I know my worth now, and I’ve grown somewhat of a backbone - none of the wolves who used to eye fuck me even dare to anymore. I needed this, needed the trauma and pain to realise that I’m not anyone’s doormat. Now I just need to get a bit tougher in the fighting department. “Hey, Nova. I haven’t seen you in ages!” One of the baristas, Owen, greets me when I walk in. I wave and give him a slight smile before taking a seat at the back of the cafe. I didn’t come here to chat with anyone,
Nikolai I need to calm down and not piss Nova off, but I also need to know who that fucking guy thought he was. I would have ripped his throat out if she wasn’t there, maimed him and made him cry for his mother while- “You can ask me, Nickybabe,” she suddenly says, calling me that nickname that makes my heart stutter and cutting through my violent thoughts. I look over at her in the passenger side of my black SUV. She’s smiling and shaking her head, then she turns to me again. “I know it’s killing you.” “Damn right it is,” I grumble, turning back to the road. “However, you’re allowed to have friends of your own, Nova and I won’t be the guy to keep you from that.” I can tell that this surprises her, but truth be told, I had no right to tell her who she can and can’t be friends with. I won’t be the abusive asshole who keeps her from living her life the way she wants to - I can’t be that guy. “Thank you,” I hear her saying softly before she sighs. “But he was only an old friend fro
Nova Whatever I expected was trumped by what Nikolai did today. I didn’t know this sweet, sensitive side to him existed, and from everything he’s shown me today, I can tell this is the real Nikolai. There was no faking, no cocky attitude, no over the top behaviour—just us talking about anything and everything under the sun. The fact that he’s been keeping his distance from me because of the ongoing war makes sense as well. But he could have told me about what he was doing instead of blatantly ignoring me for over four years. I would have understood his reasoning better and would not have walked into Will’s arms due to loneliness. But what’s past is past, and I have something even better to look forward to now. He’s claiming me on the next full moon, and to say I’m excited is an understatement. He wanted to take me out for dinner on our drive back, but I, unfortunately, had my shift at the bar tonight. Since we’ve been closed for about a week, I know tonight will be one of our bus