I allowed entrance and escorted Alpha Riley and his Beta into the territory. And based on the emotions flashing on both the Alphas’ faces, I knew this was going to be a messy meeting.
They didn’t want anyone with them at the office so Beta Dominic and I stayed behind at the entrance of the packhouse.
We were sitting by the steps just discussing anything at random. We met several years back when we were both attending training for New Betas. And we would occasionally bump into each other on neutral territory, so everything was cool between us as we refused to discuss anything about our Alphas.
‘Beta Paul?’ Andrea’s voice rang in my mind.
‘Yes? How are you?’
‘I’m okay. I can’t reach Caspian’s mind.’
‘He’s with Alpha Riley. I think he blocked off everyone.’
‘He’s here? Inside the territory? Oh, Goddess!’
My brow hiked up at her reaction. I thought she wanted to see him.
‘Are you busy? Can you come up here? I just needed to talk with someone.’
‘Are you crying?’ I asked. It didn’t escape my ears the way she was sniffling.
‘It’s not important. Please…’
“I’ll meet you at the library on the second floor…’
‘No. Come to my room. I don’t think I have the energy to move.
‘I’m not going inside your room, I have two Alphas here and both would slit my throat if…’
‘Please…’ And she started sobbing again.
I sent a mindlink to Gamma Carlos to come to the front of the packhouse and accompany Beta Dominic before I mind-linked a reply to Andrea.
‘I’m coming. Just hold on.’
The instant the Gamma came, I excused myself after asking the Gamma to send me a message once the Alphas stepped out of the room, and I immediately made my way to Andrea’s room on the third floor.
I knocked, but her door was already slightly open, so I just pushed it without waiting for her response.
She was sitting on the floor with her back leaning against the end of the bed, hugging her knees against her chest.
“May 1?” I pointed to the space beside her and sat down as soon as she nodded her head.
She wiped the tears from her face with the back of her hands before she looked at me, offering me a smile that didn’t reach her eyes.
“Why are you crying? Are you still hurting from the Alpha’s command?’
“I have a little head pain, but it’s nothing. I just feel lost right now, and I don’t know what to do. Riley is here, even after I told him not to come. He didn’t even give me time to explain everything to Caspian before he came here.”
“I still don’t understand. Are you not relieved that Alpha Riley i s here?”
She shook her head as another tear fell from her eyes. “Do you think he’ll come and take me away today?”
“I doubt Alpha Caspian will allow that.”
“But Caspian has been consistent in sending me away.”
I chuckled. If she only knew. I wished I could tell her how important she was to the Alpha. But the Alpha made me swear not to tell to a single soul what he felt for Andrea.
“He did it to protect you. Besides, you’re still under his care until you turn eighteen. Alpha Riley can’t just take you unless you want to.”
“Does it matter what I want? I’m always left with no choice, and sometimes I wonder what I did to piss off the Goddess and why she was punishing me.”
My brows furrowed at her words. Was I missing something?
“You’re talking in puzzles. If you don’t want to come with Riley, no one will push you. You’re more than welcome to stay here.”
“But I can’t. I have to go with Riley.” She sniffled and dropped her head to her knees.
And I was left baffled again. Females are fucking hard to understand
“Beta Paul, can I share something with you?” Her voice sounded a bit clearer now. “I just have no one to talk to, and I guess we care for the same person, so maybe you will understand me.”
She smiled as her eyes watered, and I just nodded my head. She was still confusing me, but I think I needed to listen to fully understand her.
“Pinky swear?” She raised her pinky finger and waited for me.
I snickered. “Only my sister Carrie made me do this when we were younger. I had no idea this still works.”
She smiled again as we crossed our pinky fingers together before her face turned serious.
“Anything I will tell you about Caspian should remain between us. But for all other things, you can tell him. Just in case I won’t be able to explain to him why if Riley took me away today.”
My breathing hitched at her words. Why would Riley take her i fshe didn’t want to go with him?
She rested her chin on her knees and started talking, “I’ve liked Caspian since we were kids. Maybe more than like. I was hoping I would end up with him, but it would be just a dream. My father made a terrible mistake… He entered into a blood pact with Alpha Melvin, Riley’s father, when I was twelve. I am to be betrothed to Riley as his Luna once I turn eighteen.”
I couldn’t keep the hiss from escaping my throat at her confession.
A blood pact is something that you never mess with. It requires mixing, drinking, and signing the document with the blood of both parties to seal the pact. And it could only be broken by another blood pact by the same people to destroy the previous one.
“Why did your father do that?” I couldn’t stop myself from asking
How could a father seal his daughter’s fate that way? What about her mate? What about her feelings?
“My father was just a victim. Alpha Melvin tricked him. And m y father regretted that night every day of his life until he died.”
She was keeping herself from sobbing, but she couldn’t hold it any longer. My heart was crushing for her while I kept listening. I had no intention of interrupting her this time.
“My father was just an ordinary warrior. The Alpha really never paid attention to him. And then one day, he got an invitation to dine with the Alpha along with three other warriors. He was so happy. He said, it’s not every day the Alpha will grace them with his presence, so he put on his best clothes.” She was crying now and I wanted to hug her, but I didn’t know if she would welcome it.
“He kept kissing my mother before he left that night, and I was giggling because he looked like a lunatic with that wide smile on his face. But he was so happy. And then he came home late. He was so drunk. My father never drank that much, and he’s a wolf. You can never get too drunk unless you have had too many or too much. But still, he was smiling and singing. He was happy, so my mother and I didn’t think of anything. It was the next day that I noticed a change in him. When he was alone, I would catch him lost in his own thoughts, and then he’d be back to his happy self around us.
And then my mother died. He requested to move out of the Silver Moon pack and be transferred here. It was granted. It was then that I found out what happened because Alpha
Melvin came to our house the day we were leaving. My father was forced to tell me the truth. He said that that night, they started with a full dinner. All the good food was there, and they were served wine as well.
By the time dinner was over, they were ushered to a room where more drinks were waiting. They kept drinking, and the Alpha was wonderful and nice, he said. Until he noticed it was only him and the Alpha that were left in the room. He didn’t worry because it was a privilege to drink with the Alpha.
Until the Alpha started talking about Riley and me, and how much Riley wanted me to be his Luna when I came of age. Pappa was proud. His daughter for a Luna. And before he knew it, they were doing the blood pact already. Everything just came crashing down on him the next day when he woke up. He asked me if I thought Riley would make a good mate, and I kept saying I didn’t want Riley.
So he tried to talk with the Alpha, but the Alpha never granted any request to speak with him. My mother died without knowing what he did, so he thought taking me away there was the best option. That may be because the Alpha was also drunk, he would eventually forget. But he didn’t. He came to remind him before we left his pack.
He wanted me back in his territory once I turned eighteen. I heard it with my own ears as my father begged him. He offered his life in exchange for mine, but the Alpha didn’t listen to his pleas. I knew that day, my life was sealed with Riley. And whether I like it or not, I have no way out. And I don’t want to
involve Caspian in this mess. But I can’t stop myself from wanting him. I swear I tried.
I tried to focus on Riley. But sometimes you can’t teach your heart. I was hoping Riley would grow out of his infatuation with me, but I think it just keeps getting stronger despite him knowing I don’t feel anything for him.”
She was a crying mess after she spoke, and I found my hands shaking in anger.
They trapped his father in this pact. But he was not here anymore to defend himself. And the council would deem it valid.
“Why didn’t you tell Caspian? Don’t you trust him?”
“I wanted to. But I don’t want him to think I was using him to get out of the blood pact.”
“No one should force you into that union, Andrea. It’s bullshit!
“Before I graduated, I thought maybe I’d be fine with Riley. Maybe I will learn to love him. And then Caspian came. And I just lost control…”
Her tears were breaking my heart. How could I tell her Caspian loved her without breaking her more?
“Have you been in love, Beta Paul? It’s a wonderful feeling until it lasts. I don’t want to hurt Caspian. I know you’re looking after him, and I’m glad you do because I wish
someone was looking after me too because I’m scared. I’m really scared.”
And then it hit me. She was pushing away Caspian, so he would never fall in love with her. But she was too late because the Alpha already had.
“Can I hug you?” I blinked back the tears as I adjusted my position.
She nodded her head, her tear-stricken face pleading with me, “Please…”
I wrapped an arm around her and pulled her small frame into my chest, letting her sob into my arms.
Why the fuck was she getting this kind of life? Even if she told me not to tell Caspian about her feelings for him, I would do everything in my power to help Caspian take her out of this fucking blood pact by hook or by crook.
‘Paul! Help!’ Gamma Carlos’ voice rang in my head.
‘The Alphas! Front of the packhouse now!’ His voice was urgent. Something was happening.
I pulled away from hugging Andrea and held her shoulders. “I need to go. Whatever happens, don’t come out of here. I will mindlink you once Riley is out of the territory! Promise me!”
She just nodded as I stood up from our position, casting her one more look before I headed out of her door and ran to the right wing of the third floor, where a balcony was situated overlooking the front of the packhouse.
My eyes widened at the sight below as I let out a low growl before stepping up on the baluster and leaping down to the ground.