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03 A Clearer Picture

~Tamia~

I went on a run in the morning, and when I returned, the people looked at me strangely.

I did not need magic to know that news of the Alpha finding his fated had travelled.

Leo did not try to hide the attraction between him and Amanda. I wonder if the pack members were happy that their Alpha would be stronger now that he had found his fated mate.

I wondered if they were concerned for me, for the pain I would endure, which might drive me insane eventually.

I honestly wondered whose side they would be on.

I jogged past the pack members and returned to my house.

Leo was having breakfast. I had not spoken to him and did not plan to, because I had nothing to say.

I went to the bedroom to shower and dress up for the day; we had a meeting to attend together.

As much as I would rather sit it out, I had promised Luna Avery I would be there.

She was the closest I had to a friend, and I suspected my life would be like hers soon.

Avery's husband, Alpha Max, found his fate three years ago, and they have lived together ever since.

Although she had never opened up to me about what was happening in her home, I knew she was broken. He always attended parties with his fated and left Avery on her own.

She had found a way to cope. She was faring better than Linda, who was in the same shoes as Avery, but I dreaded I would be able to manage.

I showered in a hurry. For the first time, I did not spend time in the mirror in the toilet to dry my hair.

I did not feel like making an effort.

Even though Leo did not like make-up and revealing clothes, I tried to look nice under those circumstances, but I wasn't feeling like it anymore. Amanda was pretty. There was no way I could compete with her because they were fated.

She could be the most unattractive being on earth, and he would still want her. Fated love was fucked up that way.

The moment I walked into the room after taking my shower, I saw Leo sitting on the couch. I ignored him and went to look for something simple to wear in the closet.

He came to me and wrapped his arms around me, then kissed his mark on my neck. I pushed him off me.

"Don't touch me after what you did last night," I said through gritted teeth. I was mad.

He had utterly embarrassed me and showed zero self-control.

"We did not go all the way, Tamia. I broke it. I held back. As much as my body and wolf wanted to, I held back," He said.

"Held back, as in you didn't put your cock in her, but you did everything else," I said, explaining his meaning of holding back, and he was silent.

"Get dressed. We have a meeting to attend," I told him, and he held onto me.

"It has been shifted to this evening. Please let me apologise to you, Tamia. I am sorry," He said, and I smiled and looked at him.

"Do not use that word carelessly, Leo. Sorry means you won't do it again, and I know you will, so don't bother," I told him, and he held me tighter. I could feel his frustration.

"Please, Tamia. This isn't easy on me, either. " He said with tears welling up in his eyes, "I felt like a fool last night. I was ashamed. People looked at me with disgust, and I couldn't blame them. I left my luna alone and went to make out with a stranger, just because fate willed it. I did not have the intention of touching her. I wanted to tell her it wouldn't work. I wanted to risk being weak and reject her. Yes, it will cost me a lot, but I will still have you. I was okay with you being my strength, Tamia, but I couldn't. I couldn't do it, and I still can't. I woke up this morning thinking I would go to the Whitewood pack and reject her, but I can't. I cannot explain why because the feeling is alien to me, but I can't, Tamia. Please help me out." He said and went to his knees and hugged my legs while he wept.

"I don't know what to do, my love. I am confused. We should have just stayed home as you insisted, but I had to honour Casper's invite," he said and continued to weep.

For the years I had known Leo, I had never seen him cry or show this amount of vulnerability and weakness. He was perplexed. Fate had messed up our lives.

Against my better judgment, I ran my finger's through his hair to calm him down, but I doubted my touch would ever be enough again. He looked up at me and stood up. He held me to his chest.

"I will find a way, Tamia. I will fight it. I will stay away from her. Please, Tamia," he said, making promises that I knew he wouldn't be able to keep. I hugged him, knowing my blissful life with him was over.

Like the stories of other lunas this had happened to, I had to find a way to make it work. I have to prepare my mind to share him with her. There was no way his wolf would want to stay away or reject her.

As willing as I was to try, I could never let him touch me again because I knew he would do it out of duty and not love. In that case, I would rather be without his touch than for him to touch me out of pity.

"Do not give up on me, Tamia, please," He pleaded with me sensing my resolve.

"How can I when fate has already given up on us?" I said, looking at him.

"I won't make you share like the other Alphas, Tamia. I will fight it," he said, and I nodded.

Of course, I did not believe him, but I could not dispute the fact that he meant what he was saying.

We attended the security meeting in the evening, and I dreaded having discussions with the lunas in attendance.

The news had travelled by now that Leo was fated to Amanda, and they had hooked up.

Before the meeting, I heard pack members gossip about people seeing Leo with Amanda on the balcony making out.

I heard he tore the top of her dress. There was no way to hide an incident, especially when the woman had to leave the balcony looking ravaged.

"How are you handling it, Tamia?" luna Linda of the Brent Pack asked me, and I shook my head.

She was in the same predicament as Avery. She was living with her husband and his fated. Her husband, Kyle, refused to reject his fated because he knew it would weaken his wolf. He made Linda agree to it, and she has been a miserable drunk ever since.

"You need to be brave, Tamia. It won't get better. My bed went cold two years ago. Now they have pups, and it is almost as if I am not in the picture. This is all I am ever good for, meetings," She said and took a huge gulp of her wine.

"Sometimes I wished he was an ordinary pack member, not an Alpha. I would reject him and move on, but unfortunately for us, they have to reject us or someone stronger challenge them for our hand. Either way, we are fucked. They fear the weakness that comes with the rejection, so they won't do it, and since we are used goods, no one would deem us worthy of fighting for." She said, spelling out a truth I had known for a while.

"How do you manage?" I asked her, and she laughed.

"He claimed his fate, so neither of us feels pain when they are together again. I just make myself happy with flings and affairs. No one ever really sticks around, and even though they claim to love me, they never try to challenge the Alpha. So I just enjoy the affair and move on," She said and drank more wine.

"Does he know?" I asked, and she laughed.

"He doesn't care, Tamia. They stop caring and getting jealous once they claim their fated. I learned the hard way. I tried to make him jealous a couple of times, and even though he was offended, I didn't get the reaction I wanted. Think of it more like this," She said and gulped down the wine in her glass.

"Before his fated, he couldn't stand me being around anyone. He didn't want anyone to touch me and got jealous whenever he picked a foreign scent on me. Now he doesn't care what I do as long as I do not do it in public, and rumours don't spread; he is okay," Linda said, and I understood what she meant.

She filled up her glass and drank the wine again. Linda was a wreck; would this be me shortly?

The other women came around, and I noticed they were avoiding the elephant in the room, Leo and Amanda. I respected and thanked them for their control. I ended up giving them an opening to talk to me about it, and they felt sorry for me. Most of them genuinely hoped it was a phase, but others, like Avery and Linda, knew it was just the beginning of the end for me.

We soon joined our husbands.

I should have been with the men throughout the meeting because I was a warrior Luna, but I did not want to be next to Leo or render any assistance anymore.

I wasn't a fool. I planned on gradually stepping away from my duties to the pack. It was no use anymore.

I noticed the subtle exchange between Alpha Ramzey and my husband, and I did not need to guess why.

After the meeting, we headed to the car park, where Alpha Ramzey accosted us.

"Leaving so soon, Alpha Leo? We haven't finished our discussion yet," He said and looked at me with scorn.

"You can't keep him, you know." He said to me, and Leo tensed.

"Leave my wife out of this," Leo warned him, and he laughed.

"But she is in the middle of it, Leo. You might be the most powerful Alpha in this region, but we deserve respect. You defiled my daughter at that party and did not take her home. It is wrong," He said, and Leo growled at him.

"We made out. That was all. I did not sleep with her. I did not fuck her," He said, and Ramzey punched him. Honestly, I was glad for that punch. Something I wanted to do last night.

"I do not care, Leo. You lost control and ripped her dress. Now that is all everyone is talking about. You will do the honourable thing and come and get her from my pack." He demanded, and Leo refused.

"You think I wanted this for my Amanda? She went to medical school. I had plans for her. Being a mistress to an Alpha wasn't it," he said with a shakey voice. The man was hurting too.

"Luna Tamia is too valuable for you to reject her, and you will not want to lose some of your wolf strength by rejecting your chosen, so I know you will stick to her; I also know you won't reject your fated for the same reason. Come and get her from my pack and claim her. The three of you can figure it out from there. Next time, I won't ask nicely," He said and walked away.

I could not speak because Ramzey had given me the most precise picture of the situation.

I walked numbly to the car and fought my tears.

Comments (9)
goodnovel comment avatar
Rosaline Bucknor
I am crying ... it's hard how to cooperate
goodnovel comment avatar
Casey Brightwell
this is an interesting take on mates
goodnovel comment avatar
Connie Lee Plourde
I really hope she can be strong
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