Caught in traffic on the way to the council chambers, I tried to ring Everly repeatedly. Her anger was all-consuming, and I was now worried she would do something reckless. The traffic backed up only added to my anxiety. When her fury became too much through the bond, I found myself becoming angered by it.
Honking my horn, I tried to see around the cars ahead to see what was holding up traffic. Only then do I notice the police lights flashing and realize it was a damn accident. How, it is a straight stretch of road? How did someone take out the only damn traffic light pole on the center median strip? I shake my head, annoyed.
Drumming my fingers impatiently on the steering wheel, I try to call her again, but no answer. Yet her anger slowly simmered down as I felt her start to become overwhelmed. Her emotions all over the place made me feel manic. I had been waiting for ten minutes, and we hadn’t moved an inch. However, when I felt through the bond she was moving further away, my heart raced, wondering where she was going? Her anger had returned full force, maybe even angrier, and my heart raced and thumped wildly in my chest as panic set in.
Sticking my head out the window, I see the tow truck start hauling the wrecked vehicle away. Surprisingly, the buffoon driver survived but was clearly intoxicated as he stumbled over his feet when I noticed Officer Derrick dragging him into his wagon’s back. Yes! He is one of my guys!
Sticking my fingers in my mouth, I whistled to grab his attention. He looks up the line of cars backed up, and I open the mind-link.
“Clear the other side of the road. I need to get my mate,” I tell him. He nods, jumping in his car before turning the sirens on and pushing into the oncoming traffic while workers tried to remove the busted light pole. Leaving his sirens on, I pulled into oncoming traffic that had moved to the shoulder of the road before coming up behind him.
Following behind his car as he forced the traffic to move. Once I was on a clear stretch, he moved over so I could overtake him, and I pressed my foot down on the gas headed for the council chambers, yet the closer I got, the more I felt the need to keep going. Passing the council chambers, I do not see her truck parked and curse, knowing where she went. There was only one pack in the direction I felt the tether forcing me too, and that was Shadow Pack, her father’s pack.
This woman would be the death of me. She was going to give me a damn heart attack, I thought as I raced to get to her. Coming to the gated community, I slowed down when I noticed the guards weren’t posted like usual, and the boom gate was smashed all over the ground, splintered wood in chunks littered the road. Fuck!
Shaking my head, I head toward the packhouse. After a few more minutes of me tearing up the streets I come to Alpha John’s street to find people lining the streets and all looking toward the packhouse. I soon find out why as people jump out of the way of my car before pulling up out front to find Everly, Ava, and John having a confrontation.
Border patrol shifted instantly, chasing after my car. I don’t stop. Instead, I navigated around the suburb I hadn’t been through in years. I ended up driving past my old street, which was a cul-de-sac. “Shit!”I cursed. Slamming my foot down on the brake, my truck came to a screeching halt before shoving it in reverse, making the border patrols chasing me skid along the road and scatter out of my way as I reversed back before spinning the wheel and flooring it again.
Howl’s rang out loudly, alerting pack members to the intruder, yet I was not an intruder but by birthright their true Alpha. Driving up the street, I begin to slow as deja-vu hits me. The street looked the same, the houses precisely the same as I pulled into the driveway and hit the brakes before smashing in the ass end of my father’s black Mustang parked in the driveway.
My old beasty would have destroyed it, in some ways I wouldn’t have minded seeing my bullbar imprinted in its backend. My father’s warriors circle around the car, growling and snarling, but I pay them no mind as I toss the door open and hop out.
I was furious, murderous even. Never in my life have I been so damn angry before. No one, not even Valen, had pulled anger out of me like this. It briefly came to mind that maybe it was years of pent-up anger, and my father was the tipping point that opened the floodgates up, also unleashing something else, my aura!
Slamming my door, I silently apologize to my beloved car for mistreating it. Wolves had circled my car but I was furious and not in the mood. Recognizing me or maybe recognizing my mate’s pack scent, scratch that, my pack scent, I was their Luna now, making them also mine. They backed up as I stalked around my car toward the front door. Their eyes tracked my every move. Stepping onto the lawn, the front door bursts open, and my mother steps out, her shock dominating her features as she cupped her mouth with her hands.
“Everly?” she murmurs as I move toward her, her warriors following at my heels, ready to protect their Luna if needed. My father’s stomping footsteps could be heard from outside as he stomped through the house. The creak of the screen door opens, and it bangs hard against the wall on the porch.
“What is the meaning of this, Everly? My border patrol said you smashed through my barriers?”
“No, hello, father?” I ask, stopping at the bottom steps as he stomped down them to stop in front of me.
“You have no business being here, Everly,” he boomed.
“I wouldn’t be here except you signed my rejection letter for the fucking petition I handed in yesterday!” I yell back at him just as the door opens, and I see Ava step out.
Oh, was she a defiant piece of work, give him hell sis! Ava waves her fingers at me, and I smirk as she strolls down the steps, slapping my mother’s hands away as she tries to stop her. Ava smirks like she had been waiting for this showdown all her life and wanted a front-row seat.
“Get inside. Ava!” my father snaps at her as she walks past him to lean on the hood of my father’s car. He growls at her when she doesn’t listen.
“Sign the petition, dad,” I tell him, diverting his attention away from her. He turns his head to glare at me and takes a step forward. The shock on his face when I didn’t move made his eyebrows rise and almost disappear into his hairline.
Ava laughs, falling into fits of giggles holding her stomach, and my father snarls at her before nodding to one of his men. When I felt the strange tingling sensation rushing over me, he tried to use his aura on me, and it had no effect whatsoever.
One of dad’s warriors, Lance, shifts back to grab Ava and drag her inside. Her shriek had me turning my head from my father to look at him.
“Do not touch my sister,” I warned him. When I see his hand reach for her arm, he freezes, glancing at my father, who waves him off.
“We can discuss this inside,” he says to me before turning his back on me and heading for the steps.
“No, here will do, Alpha John,” I tell him, and he stops.
He turned slowly on the step, and my mother looked terrified behind him as he turned to face me. He glances around the cul-de-sac, and I turn to see what he is looking at. Pack members flooded the footpaths as they came out of their houses to see the commotion. I shake my head.
Same shit all over again. All he cared about was his reputation and how he looked to others. “This is a family matter, Everly. We will talk inside. No need to air our dirty laundry for the world to see,” he growls, his eyes flickering black.
I laugh and shake my head. “What now I am family? Funny, last I checked, you shunned me and banished me from the pack along with your grandson, the blood Alpha’s son!” I tell him.
My father growls, his eyes darting around to his pack members who watched on. “Inside!” he spat through gritted teeth.
“No, you won’t save face this time. Now do the right thing and sign off on the petition,” I tell him.
“This debate will not be settled in front of my pack!” he snarls, stomping back down the steps.
“You mean MY pack? I am the rightful heir to YOUR pack!” I tell him, and murmurs break out around us at the challenge.
“Sign the petition, John, or you leave me no choice,” I tell him. Despite my blistering hot rage at him, I was surprised at how cold and calm my voice came out.
Ava laughs, and my mother’s mouth opens and closes like a fish as she looks nervously between us. The sound of screeching tires and the roar of an engine tearing through the streets could be heard easily as the car drifted through the streets. I knew it was Valen. I could feel him getting closer to me through the bond, his panicked voice flitting through my head, wanting to know what was going on and if I was alright, yet I couldn’t answer without becoming distracted.
My father laughs. “You dare come here and threaten me,” he growls.
“It’s not a threat, Alpha. Threats mean you can back out, and mere words, not actions. I intend to do what I say. Words are no use to me. Actions are. So final warning,” I tell him.
He laughs and shakes his head, stepping down the last step. Now he was pissed off. I wouldn’t back down, not this time. I wasn’t a little girl anymore. I wasn’t a child, and one thing being on my own for so long showed me is I didn’t need a pack to fight for me. I could stand on my own two feet and still succeed.
He scoffs, folding his arms across his chest. “Think Everly, just because you have Alpha Valen behind you now doesn’t mean I will submit. Your mate doesn’t scare me.”
“I don’t need him to challenge you, and I would never ask him to, but as the rightful heir to this pack, I have every right to challenge you for MY title. Now sign the damn petition. This isn’t about me, or you. It is the right thing to do!”
“They are rogues for a reason, Everly, you can’t expect us to suddenly grant them back their rights for their misdoings,” he states, and everyone murmurs in agreement as whispers break out from the crowd we have gathered. Turning, I see most of them are in agreement with my father, which just makes this even more disgusting. They were sheep, all of them.
“Misdoings? They are rogue for having a fucking child, the same as all of you here. The only difference is they were banished for who fathered them, their children then forced to live in poverty and with the weight of their parent’s so-called misdeed on their shoulders, labeling them for something that shouldn’t be shameful,” I tell them.
“How can you say that? They are home-wreckers, whores.” Comes Amber’s voice from somewhere in the crowd gathered. I turned to look for her, and she stepped out from behind my father’s Beta, who was also his neighbor and her father.
“So, what does that make Micah?” I ask her.
“You dare label my friend because your mate stuck his dick someone that wasn’t you? Sorry to tell you, Amber, clearly you aren’t aware how a child is made, you seem to have it stuck in your head that Micah tripped and fell into her vagina.” my crude words earned some whispers and a couple of laughs but I was done being slut shamed, done hearing the term Rogue Whore.
“She should know better,” Amber screams, her face turning red.
“And so should he. They had sex, and she got pregnant. Yet she is punished for it. How is that fair? How is any of it fair?” I ask. Fools, the lot of them. It makes me laugh.
“I could call out,” I look around at all the staring faces. “Easily 10 men here I know that fathered an illegitimate child?” I yell and I glance around to see some of the men stiffen.
“You call us whores for raising the children you turned your backs on, yet we are the deadbeats, the scum of the city? The ones labeled, so where are all your labels, huh? Punishing your own children for something they had no part in, they never asked to exist that was the decision of two consenting adults that had sex, yet you shame them too for who their mother is,”
“They made that mistake. They brought it on themselves. We are all taught the same thing to save ourselves for our mates! I did the right thing, yet your friend has a child with my mate!” Amber screams at me.
“No, amber she had sex and got pregnant! Don’t stand here and make yourself out to be better than her, just because no one here is willing to talk about the fact that the Beta’s daughter was also the school bike, doesn’t make you any better just because you didn’t get knocked up!”
“How dare you, I am the Beta’s-”
“A whore? Half the football team ran through you from what I remember of school, but let’s not mention that,” I tell her.
“And let’s not forget half the school. Daddy must be so proud,” Ava chimes in behind me. Woah, clearly, these two weren’t friends anymore.
“Ava, stay out of it,” my father snapped at her. Seconds later, Valen’s car screeched and drifted around the corner down the end of the street. Everyone on the road jumped out of his way as his car screeched to a stop out the front of my father’s house.
He jumps out of his car and growls, and everyone jumps back as my mate gets out, stalking toward us only to stop when Ava keeps arguing with my father…
“Why, it’s the truth? What Everly says is the truth! You all shunned my sister, your future Alpha, because she had a kid. Well, jokes on you, isn’t it because it turns out she wasn’t a rogue whore and mates to the most notorious Alpha in the city, the very man who fathered her child.” Ava says, pushing off the car to stand beside me as I confront the pack that should have been mine and my father.
“But you knew that? Didn’t you, father. I knew it. We all knew it. Only one bloodline has those eyes,” Ava continues, making me suck in a breath as I turn to face my father.
I glance at my mother, who looks away, confirming her words.
“Can’t have that, can we, dad. Daddy’s little girl sleeping with her father’s rival? So instead, you shun her, sweep her disgrace under the rug,” Ava says. I press my lips in a line. Her words stung. What I wasn’t expecting was for him to admit it, especially in front of Valen.
“Of course, I fucking knew! Do you think I didn’t check hotel security cameras when neither of you returned home? I knew exactly where you were and whose room you were in. Who do you think had the security cameras wiped?”‘ he bellowed. My father points at an angry shaking finger at me.
“You ruined everything. You had one job, Everly, and you fucking disobeyed me.” He yells, “You nearly cost me my pack!” My brows furrow at his words, which made no sense to me whatsoever. Me having a child was the downfall of his pack? It made no sense. However upon hearing my father’s words, Valen growled before taking a step forward and swinging at my father. My father, blinded by his rage, didn’t see it coming or by the time he did, he had no chance to block it as Valen’s fist connected with his face.