I am on my hands and knees, crawling like my life depends on it.Behind me, I can hear the heaving breathing of the wolves.They are close behind me.I move through the cave system.I can tell I am going deeper underground.The stones are damp and grimey.I crawl on.They are close behind.I can smell them.I can hear their claws scraping against the damp stone.Then finally, I emerge into a cavern.It is lit by lanterns and the walls extend as far as I can see.The floor beneath me is dry.People are living down here!Suddenly, humans and wolves come through the myriad of different corridors. From all directions. I am surrounded.I grab onto the luna voice inside me."What do I do?" I ask the ancestral power."Trust yourself," it tells me."Hey, look," I hear a rough voice say, "what have we got here?" A wolf steps forward. "What are you then?" he asks, as he shifts into human form.There are humans and wolves on either side of me, spreading out in a formation aro
All the air leaves me in a rush.I sink to my knees.I have no words.THIS is what Patrick meant when he said there were things it was better for me not to know. He is not only aligned with these rogues… he is leading them. Suddenly, it all makes sense.I am a luna - to Patrick, not Hunter. Being with Patrick would fulfill my luna destiny after all. If only I had known!I would not have been so torn.I would not have dragged my heels.Why didn’t he just tell me the truth…?Patrick stares down at me.It is definitely him.He is real.I am not dreaming.This is real.He is real.I stare up at him.His face is devoid of emotion."Patrick?" I breathe his name aloud.The crowd falls silent. The atmosphere in the room is tense as we stare at each other.Patrick's lips curl.“Please, Patrick,” I say.He does not acknowledge me.He acts like I am a stranger.I think of Val’s letter and it all comes crashing down on me.She knew.She must have.She leads the gamma
PATRICKI stare at her. Rylie. But it is not her. She has changed. Her scent. Her aura. Everything is wrong.She keeps telling me she loves me and I want to believe her. I so want to believe her. But this is not my mate. Not my Rylie.A sorceress in disguise, maybe. Sent by her pack to fool me.It would be so easy to give in.And though it pains him terribly to do so, I must be strong for the sake of my rogues."Take her to a cell," I say."No!" she screams. "Patrick, please! Don't do this!"There is a look of utter terror on her face.I cannot let my feelings cloud my judgment.I cannot let her hurt those I care about.I must be strong.For them, I must be strong.I watch my rogues walk Rylie away. They drag her by her arms.She is still fighting with them.She is still calling for me.She is begging for me to believe her.But I've seen what I've seen.She is no longer my mate.She is not my Rylie.I look away.My stomach turns.I feel nauseated.I can hear
RYLIEI am thrown into a cell.I stumble, landing on the floor with a thud."Good luck, traitor," one of the wolves says over me.The other rogue kicks me in the stomach as I try to rise to my feet.I collapse back to the floor, winded."I'm sorry," I whisper as he slams the door shut.I am left in total darkness again.I wonder how far underground I am. The cave mouth was near the mountains. Perhaps I am now many many feet below.It is dank in the cell. So cold I start shivering.I shift into wolf form so my layer of fur can keep me warm. The comforting feel of my luna powers spreads through me.My powers. All this time I thought they were bound up with Hunter. That by choosing Patrick I was turning my back on some kind of pre-determined destiny within my pack. But all along my powers were linked to Patrick, the alpha of the rogue. It is Patrick who's the luna to my alpha. It is the rogues I am destined to lead over.Except I have stuffed it all up, and now I am stuck he
PATRICKThe sun rises on the execution day.My stomach is a ball of knots.I have barely slept.I don't want to witness the execution. Even if she is just a sorceress, she looks like my mate. My love. My Rylie.But I must prove that I'm strong enough to overcome this.I can’t lead otherwise.There's a knock at the door.It's Robin.He pokes his head around. "Ah. You're awake. Good."He seems disconcertingly chipper."Shall we go?" he finishes.We head down to the dungeons.The guard unlocks the door.The room is dark.The cold stone walls make me shiver.I have a feeling I'm not going to like this.I move forward into the gloom.Now I can see her.My breath catches in my throat.She is sitting on the ground, leaning against the wall in her human form. Her hands are bound in silver ropes. Her eyes are downcast.She's been crying.I feel my heart wrenching in my chest.Robin takes a few steps towards her.The sorceress whimpers.She looks so much like Rylie.H
RYLIEPatrick begins to untie the silver ropes around my wrists.I feel a wave of relief just being near him."Rylie," he mutters, his voice full of emotion."Patrick," I whisper.I can't believe it.Is this really happening?I'm so happy."You're okay now," he says. "I'm here. I won't leave you."The burning silver ropes loosen, and I fall forward into his arms.Patrick pulls me in close to him. He crushes his lips against mine.It's like fireworks are going off in my body.It feels like a million years of separation have been overcome, at last."Rylie, my beautiful Rylie, I thought I'd never see you again," he whispers.I cling onto him. I can't believe that Patrick is real. That he's really here in front of me. I can't believe he loves me and has come to save me."I love you," I say. "I love you so much.""I love you more than life itself," he replies.I pull back with a sudden memory. "The letter! The things I said. Patrick, that wasn't me."He shakes his head.
PATRICKMy heart is racing.Rylie is being so brave.I'm standing here watching her, thinking, this is the girl who I love.She is fierce. She knows what needs to be done, and she is doing it.One rogue is arguing with her, complaining that she is the one who killed his girlfriend. But Rylie is calm and collected in the face of his anger."I'm sorry," she says. "And I know it doesn't make up for it, but I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that you and the rest of the rogues are safe. I'm going to protect you.""I don't trust you!" he shouts. "And I don't trust him," he points at me, "either."And Rylie says, "I know. But we need to work together. We need to stand together. And we need to fight back."She is a natural leader and doing a wonderful job as our luna. I have never been so proud. I feel like I can do anything with her at my side. Even defeat Hunter's army.Rylie, Robin and I get the rogues organized."Are you ready?" she asks.The atmosphere