Unlikely Mates Chapter 2


It’s dark outside as I leave out the front door. My father hasn’t returned from the bar yet, so I don’t have to worry about sneaking out. I left a note and stuck it to the fridge, and I hope he sees it before he gets too worried, but I know it will take him a couple of days to realize I’m gone. By that time, it won’t matter. The moment I turn eighteen, I’m seen as an adult member of the pack and therefore allowed to make my own decisions. No one, not even the alpha, can force me to return to this pack.

I make my way through the darkness, glad there is no moon in the sky tonight. The darkness gives me more cover to remain unseen. My senses are heightened because of my panther. I don’t need the light of the moon to see where I’m going. I can see as well as if the sun were shining.

With my backpack slung over my shoulder, I leave our little mountain town and venture into the Zwartberg Forest. The moment I exit the town boundaries, a sigh of relief leaves me. I don’t know what I was expecting. Maybe a line of people trying to stop me? I have no idea, but knowing that I’m finally free has me smiling widely as I make my way through the trees.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen you smile.”

The voice startles me. Automatically, I fall into a crouch and assume my fighting stance, ready to take on anyone who would try to hurt me.

“Whoa. Relax, woman.” Rowan chuckles.

Fvck. It couldn’t be anyone else, could it? It has to be him. Standing back to my full five-foot-four, I wait for him to emerge from the trees.

“What do you want?” I ask.

I have never spoken to him or anyone else this way. I have never even spoken to him for that matter. It must be the small taste of freedom coursing through my veins that has me being this bold.

He emerges from the trees, bare-chested in only a pair of running shorts. He really is an attractive male. Well-toned muscles, tanned skin, broad shoulders. Rowan has always had a way of clouding my senses. Since I can remember, I have been in love with him. But that doesn’t matter because I have no future here. I shake my head to clear my thoughts and instead focus my gaze on his.

“Where are you headed?” he asks.

“It doesn’t matter,” I say before turning and walking away.

“Kira!” he calls after me.

But I don’t look back at the alpha. He isn’t my alpha anymore. Instead, I speed up and weave my way through the trees, heading straight toward my freedom.


Five Years Later

“Fvcking hell!” I roar.

Odette stares at me with defiance in her gaze.

“What do you want from me?” I ask her.

“I want you to mate me!” Odette screams in return. “I want you to stop fvcking any female that gives you a second of attention. I want the pack to respect me as your woman.”

“But you’re not my woman,” I say, venom dripping from my words. “You’re just a woman. You’re not my fated mate and because of that, I won’t be mating you. I will not accept a mating of convenience.”

Tears fill her gaze. How easily she flips the switch from defiant to sad. A master of manipulation. I know she wants more from me, but I can’t give her more. I refuse to join into a mating of convenience. Whether I have to wait a day or a lifetime, I won’t mate with someone who isn’t my fated mate—simple as that. If she can’t manage that, then it’s her problem, not mine.

“But—” Odette whines.

“No!” I cut her off harshly. “There is nothing else. I told you when we started sleeping together years ago what the situation was. I’m not going to change my mind.”

Instead of allowing her to continue her rambling and crying, I walk away. I head straight out of the main house and through town until I reach the forest. I don’t stop to talk to any pack members who call out to me; I continue walking. I need to get out of town, away from the pack and all the noise.

Being the alpha isn’t easy. People are constantly depending on me, wanting something from me, expecting me to have all the answers. The problem is, even five years later, I’m still learning how to be the alpha my father was. The alpha my pack deserves.

My mind wanders as I walk among the trees. Lying on my desk is a list the length of my arm of all the things I need to give attention to. I just can’t be bothered. I need a break. No, what I need is a partner, my mate. I need someone who can help me run the Zwart Pack. Odette isn’t that person. She only wants to be mated to me to elevate her status.

I always knew it would come down to this. Since the moment I became Alpha, Odette has been angling for the position of my mate. To make matters worse, her brother is my beta, so she feels like she deserves the position by default. But I want more. I want what my parents had, and she and I are not destined for that.

Turning, I make my way back through the forest to the town. Back to all my problems and responsibilities. I hope Odette won’t still be waiting at my house when I get there.

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