A feminine gasp to my left threatened to pull my attention away from him…away from my mate. Just hearing the words in my head, seeing them unravel in the way he smiled—it was all so surreal, so idyllic.
I should’ve listened to the girl, maybe then I would’ve been better prepared. The fact that I tuned into their hushed conversations seconds too late would forever weigh on my mind.
“Hael’s back early?”
“Something must’ve happened between him and Mykelle…”
“Can you believe it?”
“Does that mean he’s finally single?”
Voices both male and female overlapped one another, growing steadily with excitement while my own seemed to falter and plummet.
Cold realization took its place.
I’d already caught his scent in the lunchroom, when his friend heckled me for eating a cupcake. It reminded me of salty waves, of the earth after a long, harsh rain.
Before I could question why our bond hadn’t snapped into place back in the lunchroom, the guy I had eyes on moved to the side to let my worst nightmare through.
No, this can’t be happening. Not him, not here of all places.
His eyes were two shards of blackened coal, even darker than the unruly mop of tousled black hair that hung over his forehead. Every single person in the hall grew quiet, talking in hushed tones that were all too easy to pick apart. Tall, dark, and most certainly not handsome didn’t seem to notice them. No, he was scanning the crowd, running his eyes over the tops of their heads as he searched for something…for someone.
Even as I clung to my disbelief, to the lie that sang itself into oblivion in my head, widening my eyes until the attraction that curled my toes faded into nothingness—I knew it was me he was searching for.
As the bottomless pits that sufficed as his eyes fell on my face, I was battered with the scent of sage and pine, laced with something spicy and purely male. There was no cologne clinging to the expensive fibers of his midnight Henley and torn jeans.
The mouthwatering scent belonged to him, and him alone.
Upon whispering his name in the deepest depths of my thoughts, his head tilted, and eyes narrowed. The sandy haired guy beside him, whose face was morphed into a supercilious smile, was oblivious to the exchange between his friend and me.
What felt like hours lasted only seconds, and as his attention slid down the curve of my cheek to the visible scar slashed across my neck, a look of absolute murder caressed his face.
Just like that the spell was broken, shattered as I felt the rage he directed towards me.
I couldn’t tell if it were the bond between us trembling or my legs, nor could I tell if the sheen on his leather jacket were from the fluorescent lights or the tears stinging the backs of my eyes.
Only when he turned away to murmur something to his sprightly friend was I able to free myself.
Everything I learned about the University vanished as I turned on my heel and stumbled over the clunky platform of the ridiculous Mary Jane’s Sylvia forced onto my feet, hearing the vindictive laughter of students trickle from behind.
Five heartbeats later I found myself sitting—or rather hiding, inside of a stall within one of the many women’s bathrooms. The breathing exercises Dr. Maslin taught me, which felt ridiculous at the time, were the only thing keeping me under control.
Sylvia’s driver was most likely outside waiting for me, but there was no chance in hell I’d leave this stall anytime soon. These four walls were the only thing protecting me from the asshole I now had as a mate.
As if things here weren’t stressful enough…
Why did it have to be the asshole and not the boy I locked eyes within the dining hall?
I was thankful for the surplus of space within each stall and the illusion of privacy the doors gave. There was no gap between the bottom and the floor, yet I could hear the she-wolves that entered with painstaking clarity.
“…can’t believe Luna Sylvia had that beast for a son.” One tittered, her voice nasal and preening. The sound of rummaging could be heard, along with the ‘pop’ of a cap as it was pried off a tube of lipstick. “It’s just a shame he’s never here. Bet you he’ll still graduate with honors though.”
When the second girl replied I noticed a twinge of nervousness in her voice. “I’m sure he’s crazy busy with Alpha’s new marriage and learning how to take over the pack.”
“Oh, please. We all know this vacation the untouchables are on is just a ruse. They’re out on business, and none of us are important enough to know what that business is.” A third sniffed indignantly, clearly unhappy with being in the dark.
“They call him the scarred prince for a reason…who knows what he’s out there doing.” The second girl whispered, and I swore I heard the sound of her teeth clattering together. “Goddess…I hope he gets back tomorrow.”
I chose that moment to open the stall door, wincing when the toilet flushed loudly behind me.
All three she-wolves, each one painfully beautiful—a masterpiece in plaid skirts and luxury makeup, watched in silence.
I washed my hands, which was more for show than anything else, when the one with the nasal voice leaned forward and demolished any semblance of personal space.
The bleached strands of her hair grazed my shoulder, pale in comparison to her dark eyebrows.
“Doesn’t matter what they call him…” She sneered; her cinnamon-colored eyes narrowed on my face. “…he’s an untouchable and he knows it.”
The three of them left shortly after, swishing their hips in tandem while the hidden meaning in the blonde’s words swam in my head. I listened to the delicate tap of their heels, like a chisel and hammer against stone, gripping the porcelain sink with both hands.
I opened my eyes once the sound of their chatter faded and stared at the pale-faced girl until she began to look familiar again.
‘I can’t do this, Lacey.’ Even in my head, my voice was quiet.
Her refusal was instant, along with the red-hot flash of anger that lit my brain like a bundle of fireworks. ‘You’re really going to let that arrogant asshole chase us out of this pack?’ When I remained silent, staring into the pale eyes that plagued many of my nightmares as a child, she had no choice but to continue. ‘…and where will we go, Violet? What will we do? Who will we be?’
They were all good questions, ones I didn’t have an answer for.
I slipped from the bathroom, instantly registering the eerie silence that had taken over the corridor. Even with sunlight streaming through the lancet windows, painting the gothic architecture in shades of muted gold, there was an unsettling chill that hung in the air.
My feet made no sound as I padded down the length of the hall, stifling my breathing so that even the faintest of exhales was untraceable. I’d done this a thousand times, and not once had I been caught—not until now, anyway.
He slammed into me with enough force to make me open my mouth, a cry of outrage on the tip of my tongue. Before the venomous words could split and burn his skin like acid, a large hand was clamped over my mouth.
‘Who the hell does this asshole think he is?’ Lacey snarled; hackles raised even though neither of us could follow through on the threat.
Instinctively I shoved against his hold, snarling beneath his hand as I glared into those uncaring soulless eyes. He puffed his chest and began to force me back, staring down at me the entire time. I stumbled over my two feet but managed to keep from falling over.
Only when my back hit the cold metal lockers did he raise a single finger to his lips and hold it there.
The messy strands of his hair hung precariously low, only inches from my face. A light shampoo scent clung to them but did nothing to overpower the aura of dominance and ferocity that flowed from his pores. With his finger against his lips, he tilted his head in question.
Not a chance in hell would I lose myself to the sparks lapping against my lips, pouring down my neck and shoulders in what could easily be described as pure bliss. His face was expressionless, his eyes void of the alluring sensations I knew we both felt.
I nodded ever so slightly, answering the silent question he posed.
Slowly, he lowered his hand from my mouth—and boy did I plan on making him regret it…just not today, it seemed.
“You—you have no clue who you’re messing with.” I stammered, my throat constricting as his pupils widened, swallowing his iris whole.
Before I could force out the remainder of my threat, a muscle deep in his jaw twitched and he asked, “Is that so?”
I swallowed heavily as he leaned in, towering over me with the height of a giant. The stubble that coated his jaw was thick and dark, nearly identical to the booming voice that emerged past his plush lips. “And who exactly am I messing with?”
The nonchalance in which he asked made me feel as though I were a bunny rabbit threatening a big, bad wolf.
“I’m staying with Luna Sylvia, and she will hear about this if you don’t let me go.” I choked out, my resolve slipping when the barest amount of interest flashed within the sultry depths of those eyes.
It didn’t matter that my body was engulfed in sparks, that within the deepest parts of my twisted and tangled soul I knew this stranger wouldn’t hurt me.
None of it mattered because I knew who he was. I’d met countless men just like him.
That’s what they all were. Hovering over anyone weaker than them, using their height and mass to intimidate and demean.
“From what I’ve heard, she won’t be Luna for much longer.” He divulged, using the same hand that had been clasped over my mouth to snare one of my pale curls. With a soft but menacing voice he asked, “Who will protect you then? “
Fear tried it’s best to sink into my skin, searching frantically for something—anything to latch onto.
“Just reject me and get it over with.” I breathed, my eyes falling shut as the instinct to shield myself tore through my nervous system.
“Run little rabbit,” was all he said.
When I finally gained the courage to open my eyes, he was gone.
Hael – One Day Earlier“What the fuck did you just say to me?” I drawled, not bothering to lower my voice since most of the wolves here were too piss drunk to locate their cocks let alone eavesdrop on our conversation.Even if I had wanted to go unnoticed, it didn’t matter. Mykelle had a big mouth, and only a threat against her mate would shut her up. Too bad she knew I couldn’t follow through on them, even if I wanted to.“Stop looking so fucking miserable, Hael. Do you want your father to kick your ass when you get home?” She hissed, her lips peeling back to reveal straight white teeth.The liquor that rolled off her breath was pungent, bringing back urges I’d long suppressed. There was no time for a drink, not for me anyway. Now wasn’t the time for slip ups. These wasteful excuses for werewolves were intoxicated from the alcohol and nicotine, from the women that were ordered to faun over their every
Hael“Send him in. I’d like a word with my son.” My father’s voice sounded from his office, never failing to incite a flash of rage deep in my bones. It turned my skin to sandpaper, making it all too unbearable staying locked in this fleshy form.Fan-fucking-tastic“Hael, Alpha would like a word with you.” Macon, my father’s Beta appeared from around the corner.I held back a dry laugh as I always did when I heard the three-hundred-and-fifty-pound man call my father ‘Alpha.’Only Alpha Xavier could occupy the same office for twenty-three years and not have a single spec of personality within the bland egg-shell colored walls. There were no pictures, no awards, no plaques. Just a pristine office with crisp blinds and a desk that had never seen a single scratch or spec of dust. Sitting behind it, on the Givenchy leather chair my mother had gifted him four Christmases ago, was my father.&ld
Violet‘No, Lacey. Not a chance in hell. We’re trapped here, don’t you get that? You can’t have us storming out there and threatening the future alpha of this pack.’ I hissed, pacing the length of the insanely large pantry. In between my heated argument with Lacey, I wondered why anyone would need a room so large for a bunch of canned goods and miscellaneous snacks. ‘Goddess, I don’t get what his problem is with me?’I bit back a girlish scream when the doors were yanked open, and light poured in.Norma’s stern face morphed into one of exhaustion and sympathy.“You didn’t take a hint of my advice, did you child?” She sighed, her shoulders sagging beneath the dirty apron she still wore.Sinking my teeth into my lower lip I mumbled pitifully, “I tried. I really did. I don’t—I don’t know where I went wrong.”As sympathy shifted into worry
VioletOnly after the flashy blood-red Mercedes peeled out of the driveway, muddying the twilight watercolors that were blotted across the sky, was I able to finish helping Norma clean up.Six tries it took me, locking and unlocking the front door until I felt safe enough to stumble back to bed. I couldn’t remember how many times I lost count, seeing a pair of emotionless eyes peering at me through the dark rather than the number I was currently stuck on.What was worse, when I collapsed into the sea of frilly blankets and luxurious pillows, I couldn’t remember if I had left the door unlocked or not.I had my answer the next morning after slipping on my uniform and venturing downstairs. Rather than the knee-high socks set with two bold stripes above the kneecaps, I opted for a pair of dark pantyhose. I even made use of the haircare products stocked beneath the vanity in my bathroom, whose price tags were enough to make my head swim.As
VioletI’d seen Hael very little during school that Tuesday.What glimpses I managed were in the halls, but he always had someone hovering at his side. Most often it was Mykelle, with her deeply tanned skin and perfectly coiled hair, a glare ready to go regardless of the time.The other students had plenty to say to me, plenty of petty insults about the picture Mykelle leaked of me in the kitchen. Neither she nor Hael looked my way, though I had a sneaking suspicion he knew where I was at all times.It wasn’t until after school that he decided to grace me with his presence, without Mykelle at his side.I’d spent the last two hours scouring Olive’s Link profile, which sounds humiliating and excessive, but there was one specific bit of information I was searching for. There had been thousands of pictures posted by her, each one more different than the next.From the black and white candid’s, to the nature scenes t
VioletCome Wednesday morning the entire town was talking about the return of the rest of the untouchables. As the direct decedents of the Original Pack members, they were essentially royalty to the rest of the world.After a two weeklong vacation to some pack located along the west coast, they had finally returned.It was during their grand entrance that I discovered something about the girl I shared a lunch table with these past two days.They filed down the halls in pairs of two, with heads raised high and lips tilted in expressions that radiated superiority and confidence. Half weren’t even wearing their uniforms, and the ones that were wore them with buttons undone or with fashionably scuffed boots instead of the school-approved spit shined loafers.I counted five in total—five impeccably dressed, ethereal looking young adults that sauntered down the halls like they owned the place. It was thanks to the chattering of the other students that I learned a few of their names.The twi
VioletI should’ve realized something was wrong when that afternoon Sylvia’s driver wasn’t waiting at the pick-up area.Half an hour I stood there watching as students piled into cars worth more than the houses in my old pack. When I heard the curly-haired football player Kota mention something about a half a million-dollar sports car to a couple of his buddies, I nearly toppled over.Only when the students and staff dwindled into nothingness and the middle-aged crossing guard began to flash me glances of sympathy, I decided walking might be my only option.“Did your ride ditch you or something?” A disgruntled but very much feminine voice asked. When I turned around and saw that the owner of that voice belonged to Olive Chen, I wasn’t sure how to reply. Her slender lips, which were painted a deep shade of plum, twisted into a sour pout at my silence. “Oh, you’re too good for me now that you’ve spent a single lunch with Holden Cartier?”“I—no, of course not.” I interjected, smoothing o
VioletOther than that one time after school, there wasn’t another confrontation between Hael and me. Even Mykelle seemed content with ignoring my presence for those last two days, which I hadn’t minded in the slightest.I took that time to listen to every rumor floating around, to watch the two of them even when I knew I shouldn’t.It was frightening, the things the students and staff said about Alpha Xavier’s eldest son. The scarred Prince, the head of the untouchables. I hadn’t seen a single scar on his body, yet every single time I heard his nickname mentioned, it was always paired with that infuriating word.When I heard about his and Mykelle’s odd relationship, it hurt more than I anticipated—much, much more. Pain crackled across my chest, scalding my nerve endings much like I thought a blast of lightning would. I had known from watching the two of them that they were more than just friends, but fuckbuddies weren’t what I had in mind.Sure, she hovered at his side like the other