Chapter 5

I look up to see Ryker staring down into my eyes with sadness. 

'There's more I need to explain to you, but it can wait till tomorrow,' he whispers. I nod and look at the clock. It's late! My father will kill me. I should have been home ages ago!

Pushing myself out of Ryker's arms, I bolt for the door to leave, impatiently turning the handle clockwise and counter-clockwise to no avail. 

'Where's the key?' I ask. 

'Astrid! You're not going anywhere yet, and you sure as hell aren't going back to that house!' Ryker argues.

'Ryker, you said you would unlock the door when I'm ready to leave! Please, you have to let me go. He will kill me if I'm late home,' I explain, trying to force the door open. 

'Astrid, I won't let him lay a finger on you again. Do you hear me?' Ryker says sternly.

'He will hunt me down, Ryker. If I don't go home, he will kill me. He will look for me here,' I argue. 

'Good. Let your Dad come. Because it's the last time he will ever see you,' Ryker says.

'What are you going to do to him? You can't. You can't kill him,' I say. 

'Why not? You will never have to fear him again if I kill him now.'  

'I know he has hurt me, Ryker, but my mother loved him. She died because of me. I don't want to be the reason the man she loved dies too!' I cry.

Ryker steadies my chin with his hand to make me look at him. 

'I think you should tell me what happened that day, the day your mother died,' he says. 

'The only person I told is Dad. I don't want to do it again.' I look away in shame. 

'Maybe in time, you'll tell me.' I give him a slight nod.

The phone at the diner rings. We look at each other, knowing it's my Dad asking why I'm not home yet. Ryker nods to Jim to answer it. 

'Yes, this is Jim's Diner. How may I help you?' Jim says. 

'Yes, Astrid is here. But, no, she won't be coming to the phone. And no, she won't be coming home,' he says. 'Let me repeat myself. I don't think you got the message clear enough. Astrid is not coming back to your house again.' And after a few moments of Jim just listening, 'oh really? After what you've done to Astrid, my friends and I look forward to your arrival.' He slams the phone down and looks at Ryker. I look away. I don't know how to feel. My feelings are mixed. I feel happy and safe knowing Jim just stood up against Dad for me. Nobody has ever stood up against Dad for me. The feeling is liberating and daunting.

'He says he is on his way with his shotgun to come and take her home.' I freeze at his words.

'Ryker, I don't want anyone to get hurt. Just let me go back with him,' I whisper. 

'No. If you go with your Dad, it will never end. I don't want you to get hurt again. Or worse, killed,' he says. 

'What happens to me isn't your problem, Ryker. I can look after myself,' I say. Ryker lets out an angry growl. 

'It is my problem because you're my mate!' He shouts. We glare at each other for a moment. 

'I know you're going to tell me tomorrow, but I want to know what a mate is right now because there is more to it than just being your girlfriend,' I say. Ryker sighs. 

'Promise you won't freak out.' 

'I'm not promising anything, Ryker.' 

'Maybe we should wait till tomorrow, then. You have enough on your mind to process at this stage,' Ryker says. I slam my fist on the table. 

'I want you to tell me now, Ryker!' I yell as I sit down on the chair opposite him.

Ryker looks away before inhaling and exhaling sharply. He sits down on the chair and looks into my eyes. his eyes convey a thousand untold stories. Maybe Ryker doesn't know where to begin. He stretches his arms out and opens his hands. 

'Give me your hands,' he says with a soft smile. 


'It will make it easier for me to explain what a mate is and the mate bond,' he says. 

'Okay...' I whisper as I place my hands in his. Subtle sparks of electricity ignite in our skin. It gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. He holds my hands and gently massages their backs with his thumbs, shooting electricity through my body.

'On our eighteenth birthday, when our wolf awakens, we can sense our mate when they're near. Sometimes we find our mates straight away and sometimes it takes years. Your mate will have the most amazing scent you've ever smelled. It will trigger your wolf in ways you can't hide, deny, or contain. Your wolf will want to follow the scent. Once you make eye contact with your mate, your wolf will announce that person is your mate. We develop an instant connection: it feels like magic and fireworks exploding when we touch each other. A need to be near each other at all times develops along with a sense of great desire for each other. We accept each other as mates by marking each other on the neck with our fangs. We bite each other, leaving our marks to show others we are mates. The bond intensifies. We can feel each other's emotions and can sense each other at all times. Your mate is your life partner, your soulmate, the one you will spend the rest of your life with and have pups with. It's recommended to consummate the mateship as soon as possible to avoid attracting all the unmated males in the area who will want to mate with you. Oh, and I'm the Alpha, and you're my mate, so that makes you the Luna of the pack,' Ryker finishes. My reaction unsettles him.

I feel like a stunned deer in headlights. My mouth is agape, and I'm staring straight at Ryker. My mind goes into shock, registering all this new information. Then, slowly, I stand, inhaling and exhaling. I look at the back door through the kitchen. I'm as calm and as quiet as a mouse. 

'Astrid? I--' he starts. I raise my index finger for him to be quiet. This is met with his confusion and a raised brow. All eyes are on me as I calmly walk toward the kitchen. I run like the wind as soon as I get to the back door.

He wants to bite me. Have sex with me. Make me carry his babies. Be his Luna. And stay with him forever? I only met him two days ago. This is not happening. They have all gone crazy! Or is it me going crazy? I don't even know anymore. If he thinks I'm going to go back home with him to be his lifelong mistress, he has another thing coming.

All these thoughts and questions envelop my mind as the pack chase after me. I run as fast as I can through the trees in the woods. But I don't get very far before being grabbed and pushed onto the ground by Ryker's quick arms.

He is as gentle as possible, but I'm in a lot of pain from the beatings. Ryker lets out a slight growl. 

'Why did you do that? Why did you run from me?' He asks.

'If you think for one second, I'm going back home with you to be your lifelong mistress and let you bite me and carry your pups. Maybe I'm better off back home, with my Dad,' I say. Ryker flinches at my words. 

'It's not like that at all. You'll understand it better when you turn eighteen,' Ryker explains.

'Get off me!' I yell. Ryker has pinned to the ground on my back, and his face and his breath are inches from mine. Our breath is misty in the cool night air. 

'Will you run if I get off you?' He asks. 

'Yes,' I mumble. Ryker lets out another low growl. The sound of a shotgun goes off in the diner's direction. Ryker stands and takes my hand to pull me up. Our skin-on-skin contact is magical. I never want to let go of his hand.

Comments (6)
goodnovel comment avatar
Theresa Durrett
great story so far. She better get out of her step father's house ASAP or he will kill her. Hope Ryker will take care of her.
goodnovel comment avatar
Debbie Proffer
Then stop running
goodnovel comment avatar
ha ha ha i would to if you wanted to bite me

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