"I love Drake,” she says, once we’re alone. “And he loves me.”

I look up, her words are like a slap to the face.

"What?" I ask.

She laughs, a slow, mean sound. "I love Drake and he loves me,” she repeats the words I can’t fully understand.

A deep heat starts to curl from my stomach, moving into my limbs. I can feel my nails growing slightly into claws, the skin around my mouth tightening.

"I've loved him since before he even knew you existed,” Mallory says.

The heat rises up my throat to my cheeks now. I can feel my eyes turning yellow.

"You don't know anything about me or Drake,” I snarl.

"I know everything I need to know." Her eyes glitter, her mouth stretches into a wide, vicious smile. "I know you're trying to steal him away from me."

"I'm not trying to steal him away from anyone,” I insist.

"You don't have to try," she spits the words at me. "You're already doing it.”

She laughs again, the same mean laugh.

The heat rises up my neck now, searing my face. I can feel my mouth stretching into an animal grimace, my tongue stretching out to the edge of my jaws. I can't control it, can't stop it. I am going to shift, and there is nothing I can do about it.

"Drake loves me," Mallory says. "He always has. And I'm never going to let him go. And you…you’re just pathetic. And I’m going to make sure he knows it."

A howl rips from my throat, and I lunge at her. I don't think; I just act.

I have my hands on her throat before she has time to react. I can't hear anything but the sound of my own screams, can't see anything but the yellow of her eyes.

I am on top of her, slamming my fist into her face again and again.

I have her hands pinned down on either side of her head.

I have my claws at her throat.

"Stop!" someone yells. "Sasha, stop!”

Then I hear a howl, and my hands are yanked off of her.

Someone pulls me back.

I get myself under control, just barely. Both Mallory and I are breathing heavily, and I see a shift in her eyes.

Mallory looks at me and smiles.

"I'm going to get my revenge when you aren't looking," she says. "Watch your back. I'm going to get the Alpha to hate you and banish you for good."

Mallory turns and storms off.

I watch her go, ashamed I have let my rage get the best of me.

I can’t get Mallory's words out of my mind. What if Mallory is serious? What if she really does get the Alpha to hate me?

What if she really does get me banished from the pack?

Suddenly, everything seems so uncertain. A world without the pack is too scary to think about. Without the pack, I will be alone. Without the pack, I will be nothing.

I shiver, unsure of what to do.

But before I can think it through, I hear a snap in the woods.

Followed by another.

And another.

They come on hard and fast, an avalanche of branches breaking, and I sense that a war has arrived at our doorstep.

“Ambush!” I shout.

I am the first of our pack to break into action.

I turn and see a huge pack of rogues streaming from the woods, and I am already in motion, racing to meet them.

I growl at them, my eyes glowing yellow. They look stunned for a second, but then they run at me.

I leap at the pack, slashing my claws at their throats one by one. The rogues fall around me, dead.

Soon, the rest of my pack is there. But more and more rogues leap out of the woods.

I slash left and right, fighting for my life.

I am breathing heavily. I’ve killed so many rogues.

But there is no end in sight.

My Alpha leaps high into the air, dodging to the side of the rogues, then landing with a punch that sends one rogue flying back into the trees.

But many more rogues surround him.

It’s a hard fight, and no one is winning. I can’t believe it. He always defeats others easily. What is going on?

I kill as many as I can, but at the same time, I cannot help noticing that my friends are dropping left and right. Somehow, these rogues are killing off my pack.

The rogues fight my Alpha and the other wolves with a beautiful and brutal ferocity. They kill them savagely, ripping their throats with sharp claws and gnashing their teeth with murderous intent.

Something is not right. Is magic fueling them?

I shiver as I notice the powerful, rogue Alpha. He leaps into the air again, and in one move, lands on top of my Alpha.

With a howl, he tears off his head.

I stare at the body of my Alpha, slowly dying and bleeding out on the ground, until there is nothing left of him but a shell of a corpse.

My Alpha is dead.

The rogues killed him.

The rogues killed my entire pack.

I can hardly breathe.

I hear a growl and turn.

Their Alpha faces me. He is big and muscular. His eyes are yellow, his face covered in scars. He looks furious.

He stops and holds his hands out to his sides. He smiles and says, "Come on, little girl. Let's play with you a bit."

I growl and crouch down, ready to strike.

The rogue laughs and starts to close in on me. I tense, ready to spring.

"I've got something for you," he says.

He reaches into his pocket and pulls out something small. He holds it up in front of him with one hand and laughs again.

I leap into the air, ready to kill.

Suddenly, I hear a spraying noise and feel my body seize up mid-leap.

I fall to the ground, paralyzed.

I look up at the Alpha in confusion.

He grins and holds up a vial of wolfsbane gas.

He laughs.

"You are mine now,” he declares.

My vision grows hazy, and my head feels heavy. I try to focus on the man's face, but it blurs in and out.

A wave of dizziness overcomes me.

I know I am dying. I can feel the gas going down my throat. It is choking me.

I can feel my heart beating.

It is beating, beating, beating.

Then, I feel a beat that is different.

I feel it and know that nothing will ever be the same, as slowly, to the sound of a cruel laugh, blackness envelops me.

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