“We need to get to Dustin! But I can’t shift,” Ivy chokes out, while nodding toward the treeline, and I look up at the steep incline when I am suddenly tackled. I scream when Kade sinks his teeth into my neck, re-marking me and reinforcing their bond. Wolves burst from the trees and across the road, coming out from behind the service station, racing toward us. He rips his teeth from my neck and turns toward his men.
“You can’t touch the girl!” Kade screams at them while pointing at Ivy before turning his attention back to me. He grips my shoulders, slamming me onto the ground. My head bounces off the ground and I see the stars above, blurring as they twinkled back at me.
“Submit!” Kade screams at me. My body seizes at his command and I blink dazed at him.
I shake my head, trying to fight it off, and Ivy falls on the ground beside me trying to shove him off.
My eyes go wide when I see wolves rushing straight at us, snapping their teeth and snarling at us. I close my eyes, waiting for my death and I reach out and grip Ivy’s fingers, as my head rolls to the side to look at her.
“More than my life,” I whisper, tears filling my eyes as my lips quiver.
“More than my life,” Ivy murmur, closing her eyes and I do the same waiting for death. Together we wait for death, like we had before. Their paws on the earth grow closer when I hear a feral snarl rip through the air, bouncing off the trees, and i hear the wolves’ claws digging into the soft ground as they skid around us.
My eyes fly open to find Dustin stepping over the top of us in his Lycan form. Dustin kicks Kade in the face as he tries to stand. Blood drenched him as he moved to block them from us. Dustin growls, but it comes out with more of a roar. The wolves jump back, and Kade gets to his feet and staggers backward.
*Kill him,” Ivy murmurs to Dustin. My eyes flicker as I fight to remain conscious.
“If I do, it may kill Abbie,” he growls, and I look at Ivy, tears glistening in her eyes.
“Reject her now!” Dustin tells Kade speaking through gritted teeth. However, there was no command behind it. Rolling on my side, Ivy grabs Dustin’s leg, and his hand reaches down, gripping her arm to pull her upright.
“Order him!” Ivy choked out with a gasp as I tried to get up.
“I can’t.” Dustin grinds out, and I look at him, not understanding.
“You’re Lycan” Ivy whispers to him.
“i’m under oath. Being a royal guard, I can’t break a mate bond. It is the law and pact sworn to be upheld. I am bound by that oath, Azalea!” he snarls.
Kade laughs, getting to his feet and I glance at him, my entire body trembling.
“Come here Abbie.” Kade orders, and I feel the command as my eyes glaze over. My body obeys and forces me to my feet and I take a step toward him, though I wanted to run from him. My heart skips a beat as I dazedly start walking around Ivy toward my mate, tears prick my eyes, a whimper escaping me unable to fight the command. Dustin grabs my arm, and Kade clicks his tongue.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” Kade says to him, as his pack of wolves start circling around us. We are severely outnumbered. Dustin glances around nervously. Lycans are lethal, but against 50 plus wolves, I am not sure how we would fare when Dustin was the only one that was shifted.
“You are aware of the repercussions, Dustin! Don’t be foolish!” Kade snarls. Dustin’s grip on my arm is unwavering, preventing me from going to Kade despite the pain the command was causing me. And his other hand holding Ivy against him when she moves behind him her hand locks around my arm.
Ivy rips me backward and away from Kade. Gripping my arms, she shakes me but my fresh mark seemed to have done something because couldn’t break the urge to go to him.
*Abbie, reject him!” Ivy murmurs, shaking me.
Kade laughs and steps forward, which makes Dustin growl threateningly.
*You can’t touch me! I am just collecting my mate. I haven’t injured your Queen, only tried to hold her. Though by law I could! Considering she tried to take my mate from me by force.” Kade says cockily. “You do anything, and I have a lot of witnesses.” Kade says, motioning around to his pack. Dustin moves in front of us, but even I knew if he attacked Kade, the rest of those wolves would rip us apart.
“Abbie, reject him!” Ivy begs and I try to fight off his command.
Kade laughs louder and claps his hands. “She really doesn’t know, and she is expected to be our Queen? Pathetic! Foolish girl. You would expect the King to have more sense to pick a mate more suited to the position and keep his whore on the side! She can’t run a pack. Noble blood or not, she isn’t fit for the title,” Kade chuckles.
“Hold your tongue, mutt! You do not know what you speak of!” Dustin snaps at him.
“No? Your oblivious Queen isn’t aware of the law. Should I educate her simple mind?” Kade mocks.
Ivy glances at him over her shoulder. “For Abbie to reject me, I have to accept it. Which I won’t. She will never leave with me.”
“No! She rejects you, she can come home,” Ivy tells him.
“Wrong. There’s a minor flaw in the King’s law. Both parties must accept. And if one doesn’t, it is decided by the council. Only then is it forced. But until then, she is mine! And I would like to collect her, now!” Kade says, moving toward us. I peek at Dustin out of the corner of my eye, whose entire body tensed, and Ivy glances back at me. She shakes me furiously, her eyes flickering and glowing fluorescent and her teeth turn to points.
“Reject him!” she snaps at me.
“Abbie, reject him!” Ivy yells in my face, the words more of a roar and I am jolted by it. Something she said clicks, and I feel Kade’s command snap and straighten, blinking away the haze of his command, shaking my head.
“I don’t know how. It didn’t work,” I murmur, coming out of whatever stupor I was in.
“He is an Alpha, you have to reject him as your mate and as your Alpha. State your full name and reject him using his title,” Dustin murmurs, not taking his eyes off Kade. “But he is right, Azalea,” Dustin glances at me. “I can’t force him to accept it,” Dustin whispers.
“Reject him,” Ivy tells me, a spark of pure determination glistens in her eyes as she shakes me, her features twisting into a feral snarl of her rage. Kade just laughs evily. Stepping toward me, his hand goes to wrap around my arm.
“Come Abbie,” kade says, clicking his fingers at me when I pull away only to be resized by his command. Ivy swallows, when my body pushes past her and she grab both my arms, jerking back back to her, her grip tight.
Reject him!” Ivy growls, and much to my astonishment, I do, feeling her aura wash over me stronger than anything I have ever felt before. My body turned and looked at Kade, the words spilling from my lips clearly.
“1. Abbie Marie Barker, reject you, Alpha Kade, as my mate and Alpha!” I snap. Kade growls, clutching his chest while I shake my head and blink rapidly, the command falling off me.
“1. Alpha Kade, reject your rejection!” he snarls and I whimper, knowing it was of no use. Yet I feel Ivy begin to shake and she lets me go stepping past me. Her aura makes me cringe as it slips out powerful and strong.
“Accept it!” she roared, and it was like a burst erupted out of her. Her words didn’t feel like words, but something else entirely. All the surrounding wolves yelp and cry out. I feel the tingling sensation wash over my body and out of me as the command took hold of him and made him tense.
“1 Alpha Kade, accept your rejection, as my Luna and Mate!” Kade blurts out, unable to fight the command. I scream, clutching my chest and falling to her knees as it felt like my heart was ripped from my chest and burned to a crisp. Kade staggers backward, clutching his chest, looking dazed while I try to breathe through the pain.
Rattled by what happened, Kade shakes his head. “You stupid girl!” he snarls before lunging at Ivy. Dustin was quicker however, and punched him, sending him flying backward when all the wolves suddenly ran towards us menacingly.
“Run!” Dustin screams as he starts fighting them off and keeping them from us. The sound of flesh tearing mixes with the horrible sound of whimpers and broken bones as Dustin grabs any wolf that got too close. The sounds are savage, but as he got rid of one, another came in
My heart thuds painfully in my chest, and Ivy grabs my arm, pulling me to my feet. We run for the trees, and I hear Dustin fending them off. Wolves start dropping like flies as he takes them out. We start racing up the hill, only for one to slip past him, pouncing on us, and knock us down.
The moment we both hit the ground, Ivy’s weight crushing me when the weight lifts abruptly, and a furious growl rings through the air. His feet are next to my face and i gasp, looking up to see the King in his Lycan form. The wolf that attacked us was held off of us by his hand wrapped around its throat. He squeezes his hand, and I squeeze my eyes shut tight when I hear the sickening crunch of its neck breaking and he flung it away. The wolf hits a tree, the King tossing him aside like he weighed nothing.
The King glares down at Ivy, and I dropped my gaze back to the ground at the angry look on his face when he steps over us. Gannon is right behind him, and he grabs both me and Abbie, pulling us to our feet and away from the fighting.
*Thank Goddess” i hear him murmur, clutching us tightly in his arms. I look down toward Dustin, who is now fighting the wolves. Suddenly. Kyson’s aura slipped out, and his voice boomed around us, echoing through the night.
“Enough! Now, stop!” he bellows, and everyone freezes under his command. Dustin clutches his knees breathlessly. Kyson stomps past him and shoots him a glare as he makes his way to Kade.
Kade backs away from the King, his hands up in surrender. At this moment, he truly looked like the Lycan King. He towers over everyone, standing tall and intimidating. Power oozes off him and his aura feels deadly, suffocating the wolves pinned to the ground by it.
“I have done nothing wrong! I was merely getting my mate!” Kade chokes out before falling backward as the King’s massive Lycan form growls menacingly. stalking toward him with calculated steps.
“Wrong!” Kyson says with a deadly calm. Somehow, that made him even more sinister as I watch him approach Kade. Kade shakes his head, and the wolves all looked away from him, cowering and whimpering.
“I hereby sentence you to death for treason!” King Kyson tells him, stepping on Kade’s foot and making him fall on his ass.
“Treason? But I didn’t commit treason!” Kade stammers, his voice more of a petrified squeak.
“Wrong! You touched my Queen! Your pack just tried to kill her!” The King snarls, grabbing the front of his shirt and jerking him forward.
“And for that, I sentence you to death!” The King snaps before punching him square in the face. Or I thought he hit him until I heard Kade gasp and the sickening sound of flesh on flesh and a gross tearing noise. The wolves near him wail, writhing on the ground in what looked like pain. The King shoves him backward, letting him go.
His back is tense when he drops something on the ground, his breathing loud while the muscles of his back flex. Kyson looks around at the wolves as they all run for the trees when I notice a Cassandra standing out the front of the service station. I can’t make out her features with my blurry vision but seeing her for some reason made goosebumps rise all over me as she watched. She then simply turns and walks away, disappearing into the night.
I feel the bile rise in my throat when I realize what Kyson dropped was kade’s heart. Kyson then turns toward us, and his eyes go to Dustin. Ivy struggles in Gannon’s grip when I watch, horrified, as Kyson stalks toward Dustin like a predator hunting its prey.
Dustin doesn’t even move like he simply accepted the repercussions. Lycans burst from the treeline forming a circle around us, looking for any threat having caught up with their King. Damian is among them. I turned my attention back to Dustin, only to see Kyson punch him so hard it knocked him out cold. Dustin drops at Kyson’s feet and he just takes it. He doesn’t even fight back, just allows the King to hit him.
Ivy whimpers seeing her friend hurt, and the King’s head snaps in her direction. He snarls, his upper lip pulling back to reveal his razor-sharp teeth. He moves toward us, and Ivy presses closer to me, a sob tears out me seeing his anger at her. Would he hurt her for helping me? Gannon tries to soothe me whispering in my ear.
“Grab him!” Kyson snaps at Damian as he passes him on his way toward us. His eyes do not leave Ivy. Damian rushes to do his bidding and grabs Dustin, tossing him over his shoulder. Kyson nods to Gannon, and he lets Ivy go as the King approaches. His eyes look her over before he grabs her.
“You disobeyed me!” The King growls. “And now you’re injured!” he snaps at her. Ivy groans in pain and tries to defend herself, my hands raise to reach for her when Gannon pins my arms by my sides.
“But Abbie …” ivy tried to say before he cut her off.
“I don’t want to hear it!” he growls before his teeth sink into her neck. She grips his shoulders and chokes on a sob when his teeth sink into her neck and she struggles for a second before falling limp in his arms. I see red as she goes unresponsive, how could he! How could he hurt her when she was trying to help! And I push Gannon away before attacking the King for hurting her. My hands hit him as I try to stop him biting her.
“You f**cking asshole! You prick! You didn’t even let her explain! You just made her submit!” I screamed, punching into his side in a fit of rage. He looks at me as if I am merely a small child chucking a tantrum. Gannon grabs me around the waist, tugging me back but I thrash falling forward in his arms while flailing as he restrains my arms. I snarled angrily, leaning forward and biting the King’s arm like a damn savage before realizing what I just did as Gannon jerks me backward.
The King blinked down at me, where I was breathing heavily in my anger.
“I will f**cking kill you! You . You savage neanderthal!” I screamed, my face heating and I knew I was turning red-faced from my boiling anger.
Gannon growls before snapping at me, his voice below my ear as his arms hold me stronger. “He didn’t make her submit. Stop! Look!” Gannon snarled at me, pointing to where the king lifted Azalea’s shirt. Her wound was already healing, though the King’s hand was filled with her blood. The King shakes his head. “I’m sorry, my King. I will calm her down,” Gannon tells him, but i escape his strong embrace, turning to dead weight and slipping out of his arms. I move to check on Ivy. The King looks at me, a blank expression on his face while he took me in.
“See? He isn’t hurting her,” Gannon whispers, coming up behind me, and I worry my lip between my teeth before I let out a breath.
“You couldn’t have warned her first? Instead of just going all caveman and biting into her!” I ask him.
“Warn her, like you did me when you bit me?” The King growled and my face heats with embarrassment.
“I thought … Never mind. F**cking neanderthal men! Anyone would think you were raised by cavemen!” I snap, rubbing my temples when my eyes fall on the dead body behind him. Kade laid in the dirt, and I blinked at what became of my mate. Tears prick my eyes at another person lost to me. Someone who was supposed to be mine was taken away from me. I hated him! I hated him for what he did, but he was mine, and yet I couldn’t look past my hate to feel grief for him.
“Can we go home now?” I ask, my voice barely audible to my own ears, I sounded defeated and dead inside, and I was. I look at Gannon,
and he nods his head.
“My King, we have three cars here. They are on the top road.” Damian says, coming over to us with Dustin tossed limply over his shoulder. Gannon leads me away to where Damian said cars were waiting.