Unlikely Mates Chapter 13

Kira

Not this again. I thought we had moved past this, but Odette just can’t let well enough alone. Rowan is mated to me, and still, she tries to interfere.

“What are you doing, Odette?” Silas frowns at her. “I thought you and Mom went to visit some friends.”

“Shut it, Silas!” Odette glowers at her brother. “You are supposed to have my back and you let this happen. You let him pick her!”

“Odette,” Rowan grumbles beside me, clearly already pissed off at the situation.

“Let her speak, Rowan,” I say loudly, making sure everyone can hear me. “If she feels I tricked you into the mating, she has a right to dispute it. Correct, Mavis?”

“Yes,” Mavis says from where she is now standing beside me. “She has every right to challenge the mating, but she needs evidence.” She turns her attention to Odette. “Know this, Odette, if you challenge the mating of your alpha and fail, you will be excommunicated. Pack law stands.”

“Why don’t you just shut it too, old woman?” Odette yells. “I have all the proof I need.”

“Then continue,” I say calmly. “If she has a legitimate dispute, I would love to hear it.”

“This bitch,” Odette says, pointing a finger at me while turning in a circle to make sure she has everyone’s full attention.

Rowan tenses up beside me, but I gently squeeze his hand before smiling at him brightly.

Odette is quickly cut off by a low growl. “Keep it respectful,” Talia snarls. “I don’t care if I’m not part of this pack. If you speak to Kira that way again, I’ll rip your head off and shit down your throat.”

A gasp rings out through the crowd.

“This!” Odette exclaims. “This is what I’m talking about. She brings a mutt to our alpha’s mating ceremony.”

The crowd murmurs.

“But that isn’t my challenge. No, she is only mating Rowan to keep the capacity to bear children! Any panther that refuses their fated mate will lose the ability to have kids!”

Rowan laughs loudly beside me. “Do you think I didn’t know that?” he challenges. “Of course, I knew.”

“She took you away from the pack to seduce you!” Odette yells.

“No,” Rowan replies with a shake of his head. “I told Mavis to help me. To stop her from refusing me and ending our bond.” He smiles down at me before stepping toward Odette, and I know this isn’t going to end well.


Rowan

I knew that this would come back to bite me in the a*ss eventually, and if I had been smarter, I would have told Kira before today. But I didn’t, so now I have to face the music.

Striding toward Odette, I make sure everyone can hear me as I speak. I look directly at her. “I had Mavis lie to Kira. To tell her we had to spend the time alone before the mating bond could be severed. I needed time to show her that I had changed. To convince her that we as a pack had become better than she remembered.” I shake my head sadly. “We were wrong. How many of you humiliated or hurt Kira? How many years did she live as a doormat to this fvcking pack?” I yell out in frustration.

“She is a gemors,” Odette calls out.

Gripping her throat tightly, I lift her from the ground. Her hands try to pull my grip away.

“Understand this now. The word gemors is outlawed. I don’t care who says it, I will have your head if you use that word after today!” I say before pushing Odette away from me.

She lands on the ground with a huff as all the air leaves her lungs. Turning, I stride back toward Kira. My gaze finds Silas, and although he looks sad, he nods his head in approval, knowing that what I did was right.

Kira stands before me with unshed tears brimming in her gaze. I gently cup her face and k!ss her sweetly. I turn back toward the gathered pack.

“There are no false pretenses in our mating. Yes, I lied to get Kira to spend time alone with me. And if she feels that is grounds to end her bond with me, that is her right.” I take a deep breath before speaking my truth to the pack that reveres and trusts me. “But know this. I was willing to give up being an alpha, to leave this pack to be with my mate, and I still am. It is only by her grace that I am still your alpha.”

Gasps of shock ring out through the clearing as my pack stare at me.

“Rowan,” Kira says before taking my hand in hers. “The past is the past. We aren’t leaving.” Her bright smile calms my panther. Knowing that Odette hasn’t been able to rock our relationship with her shit relaxes me.

“Silas,” Kira says. “Would you like to see Odette’s home?”

Silas nods before hugging my mate. “Thank you for letting me do this. It’s going to be hard on my mother.”

“I’m so sorry.” Kira sniffles. “But she made her choice.”

Silas nods before walking toward his sister. Silas grabs her by the arm before dragging her out of the clearing, kicking and screaming.

“Now—” Mavis says, but I cut her off.

“No.” My voice travels through the clearing. “Kira and I are mated. We don’t need this ceremony to prove that, tradition be damned. Bow before your alpha and his queen. Accept what fate has already decided.”

As one, each pack member kneels before us, and I grip Kira behind the head and k!ss her deeply.

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