The Sigma's Reluctant Mate

The Sigma's Reluctant Mate

By:  Neener Beener  Ongoing
Language: English
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The crowd starts a countdown to midnight like New Year’s Eve. I close my eyes and smile, holding Liam’s hand tightly. Everyone yells “ONE!” and cheers. I open my eyes and see the iridescent liquid light of the full moon pouring out of the giant orb flowing down over us. People around us ooh and ahh at the beautiful sight.  When the first rays of moonlight cascade over my skin, I feel a heat inside me turn into a burning fire. I gasp and look up at Liam. He looks at me with wide, surprised eyes. “Mate,” he murmurs and squeezes my hand tighter. It isn’t a comforting feeling. There are no sparks like people describe when they touch their mate. Maybe it takes a few minutes to develop. I smile and try to admire Liam, but I don't want to say it back. Nothing feels different. I still love him, but he’s not the one. Liam is looking at me, but it isn’t a look of true love. It’s lustful and carnal. I feel a pit in my stomach. Liam isn’t my mate. How can this be? And how was he able to call me his mate if he’s not mine? “Zara,” a woman’s voice says in my head, “My name is Lavender. I’m your wolf and you’re in grave danger, my dear. You need to run. You need to run now. Your life depends on it.” “My… wolf?” With everything that happened the past couple of hours, I forgot she was waking up. “L-Lavender, what’s happening? What do you know?” Lavender repeats her order. “Zara, you need to run. I can explain later. I’m so sorry this is happening to you, sweet girl.”

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204 chapters
Chapter 1
Zara’s POV “Mom doesn’t get home for another two hours and Dad won’t be back until tomorrow.” I giggle into the phone at my boyfriend Liam’s excitement. “What’s the surprise?” “If I tell you, it’s not a surprise, Z. I’ll be over in ten minutes.” He hangs up before I can press him further. I look at the phone for a second. My boyfriend will be here in nine minutes. I sprint upstairs, change my shirt, and pull my hair out of a ponytail, fluffing it out. I hastily apply my shiny lip gloss, then stand back and look at myself in the mirror.  The doorbell chimes, making me smile. Why does he bother? He knows I don’t lock it. “Zara, it’s me!” Liam’s voice is like honey on a biscuit. I can never get enough. After the Mating Gathering tomorrow night, I’ll hear it as often as I want. “Coming!” I check the mirror one last time before I run downstairs, but he’s already halfway up. He’s two stairs below me, so we are the same
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Chapter 2
When my best friend Sylvie turned eighteen, I took her to an amusement park with the tallest roller coaster in Oregon. She had a blast. I lost my voice, screaming in terror, but I did it for her. I made her promise to keep things low key for my birthday. She won’t tell me what she planned, but insists we need to do it the day before my birthday and promises I will love it. I try to stay as still as possible when I hear the door to my room creak open because I know what’s next. It’s the same every year. Three…… twwwoooo…... one…… “UMPH!” All my air gets pushed out when Sylvie pounces on my mountain of bedding. She laughs maniacally while she tries to tickle me through the blankets. “ZeeZee! I know you’re in there somewhere!” She squeals from outside my fortress. “We have so much to do today! GET UP!!” “Sylvie! Come on, you promised low key,” I groan from the bottom of the pile at her weight on top of me. The covers pull away and I’m uncomfortably close to Sylvie’s megawatt smile,
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Chapter 3
“What do you think your wolf will look like, Zara?” Sylvie turns around and asks, her brown eyes sparkling in the evening light. “Oh, I hadn’t even thought about it.” I put my finger to my lip, contemplating the idea. Mom’s wolf is dark russet brown and Dad’s wolf is a dark gray, “I guess she will be a dark color, but I’m not worried about that. I just want her to be nice.” “Don’t worry, Z. The Moon Goddess chooses the wolf that’s right for each of us.” Liam takes my hand and kisses it reassuringly. “Whatever she looks like, I’m sure she’ll be as beautiful as you.” My concerns about yesterday and this morning fade away as we get closer to Emerald Mountain pack territory. I can’t believe after six years of dating, we are finally on our way to our pack’s Mating Gathering to find out if we’re destined mates. There’s no way we’re not. I can’t imagine being with anyone other than Liam. “Z, in less than three hours, you’re gonna be eighteen. How does it fee
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Chapter 4
I look around, confused. Panic is building in my chest. People around us are finding their mates, smiling and laughing, but something seems off. The guys close to us put their noses in the air, then look toward Liam and I. There is an odd look on everyone’s faces as they hone in on me. “Mate,” Mark says from next to me. I turn and look at him, confused. He is looking at me with a mix of desire, anger, and confusion at his confession. “Mark, what are you talking about, babe? You’re my mate. Not Zara’s,” Sylvie tries to get his attention off of me, but he is staring me down, making me feel very self-conscious. I try to hide myself behind Liam. Next to Mark, several other guys look at us the same way. “Mate,” they murmur when they see me. All of them. The meadow grows quiet except for the sound of the male werewolves calling me their mate. I look beyond Liam and see that even Alpha Williams is calling me his mate. I shake my head, “No. What’s wrong with all of you?” Sylvie is tryin
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Chapter 5
Keller’s POV “Hey, Jensen. Ping my phone and send a car to my location. I think I got one with some potential.” I pull my car over and park. When I double check the rearview mirror, I can see the girl still sitting on the curb. “You sure?” Jensen asks with a sarcastic tone in his voice, making me roll my eyes. “Have I ever been wrong before?” I snarl into the phone at my oldest brother. “Hey, don’t get an attitude with me, you little shit." He snarls back. “I’m not sending out a car unless you’re sure.” “Send a car, asshole." I say, and hang up on him. I take a deep breath and frown internally. Now it’s time for the part I hate the most. It feels more slimy and disgusting every time. Secretly, I want to get out of the family business. I don’t know how I could even approach Dad with the subject. I step out of the Range Rover and smooth my clothes down before I approach the shabby-looking girl sitting on the curb. “Uh, hi. This is kinda a rough part of town. A-are you okay?” I sq
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Chapter 6
I pick up my phone and dial Dad. “Ah, Keller, my baby boy. Jensen said you hooked one already.” I can hear the pride in his voice when he picks up. “Two actually. They’re twins.” I correct him, feeling good about the acquisition. “Keep them together if you can. I sort of promised them.” “Twins!” He exclaims. “Haha! They’re way more valuable together than separate. Definitely keeping them together. Good job, son.” “Thanks, Dad.” I can’t help but smile at the rare compliment from my old man, even if I feel like a slimeball. “I’m putting a little extra in your account as we speak, and I want you to take the rest of the day off." He starts off happy, but his tone quickly changes. "But first, I have other things to discuss with you.” “What’s up, Dad?” There’s always a catch with my dad. “Mom and I have been talking. We decided it’s a good time for me to think about retirement.” He sounds serious now. “That means I’m most likely going to be handing the business over to Jensen if he ca
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Chapter 7
I stand up from the booth and walk toward her. “Guys, I-I’ll be right back.” Sam peeks over the top of the booth. “Oh man, is that chick okay?” Jasper says something too, but all I can hear is my heartbeat and Rocky losing his mind at the sight of our mate. The night manager, Lucy, is patting the girl’s hand, trying to comfort her. The girl’s eyes get wide with fear as I approach, and she tries to pull away. “No! Lucy, no! Don’t let him hurt me, please.” She backs away and sobs. I grab her by the upper arm before she can take off and lead her to the kitchen. “Let’s get you cleaned up,” I announce a little too loudly. “Lucy, can I take her to the back?” “Uh, y-yeah, that would probably be a good idea.” Lucy looks nervously at the other customers who are staring at the scene. “NO! PLEASE! DON’T HURT ME! PLEASE!” The girl claws my hand, trying to pull away. “I’ll pick up their tabs.” I point to the customers and drag the screaming girl into the kitchen. As I tow her along, I no
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Chapter 8
Fifteen minutes later, I pull up in front of a white house with blue shutters. There’s a silver car in the driveway as well as two sedans from the pack fleet. “Mom is here!” She sounds relieved and tries to open the door. “You stay in the car with Sam and Jasper for a minute, Zara.” I lock the doors before she can open it. “I need to have a word with your mom first.” I look in the rearview and watch Sam take a swig from a bottle of rum he found in the back seat and try to hand it to her. She shakes her head sadly at him and looks out the window at her house. I step out of the SUV and walk up to the house. I’ve never met a sigma who still has a family. How did they not know they were putting her in danger when they sent her to the Mating Gathering tonight? There are a couple of lights on even though it is after two-thirty a.m. I ring the doorbell and stand back. After a minute, a woman peeks her head through the skinny window beside the door, then cracks the door open an inch.
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Chapter 9
I pull into an empty shopping center parking lot so I can concentrate. “Ahh, I hate when he gets like this.” Jasper says into the back seat. “Give him a minute, Zara. He’ll have something brilliant to say soon.” I drum my fingers on the steering wheel, then get out of the car. I open the back door. “Zara, can I talk to you outside for a moment?” “Here?” She asks, looking around the empty parking lot. “What? Now you don’t trust me?” I put my hands on my hips. She tries to get out, but it’s a far drop to the ground for how little she is. Especially since she isn’t wearing shoes. “C-can you help me… Please?” “I could just put you in my pocket.” I smirk at her, holding out my hand. Sam, who usually laughs at my dumb jokes, is suspiciously quiet behind her. I look over and see him passed out, hugging the empty liquor bottle like a baby. Jasper is scrolling through his phone, pretending to ignore us. Zara slowly slips her hand into mine and lets me help her out of the car. “You don
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Chapter 10
When I get back into the thick trees, Zara is curled up in a ball, crying silently and rocking herself back and forth with her arms over her head. Rocky flashes an image of me giving her a comforting hug. I consider it for a moment, then I sigh heavily and roll my eyes when I realize he is trying to manipulate me just as much as she is. “No, Rocky. Just be happy I’m cutting this one loose and not in for processing.” I snarl at him. “Get up, Zara." I reach my hand out to her. “I want to teach you something before I leave.” At first she doesn’t answer, she just stops rocking and holds still in her crouched position, just like they all do. I stand patiently with my hand outstretched for at least ten minutes before she lifts her head up and looks at me with fat tears rolling down her cheeks. “Wh-what?” “I’m going to teach you how to shift.” I lean forward so she’ll take my hand to stand up. “You need to shift before the sun comes up so your wolf can get her full strength. Otherwise, y
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