The Millennium Wolves Series Book One Chapter: 9
When I got home, my mother was beaming. “Selene told me you made a little visit to the Pack House today to see somebody special.”
Yeah, he certainly was special. A special kind of repulsive. If only she knew what an arrogant asshole Aiden was.
“You shouldn’t believe everything Selene says,” I replied, making a break for my room, but I wasn’t quick enough.
“What’s that on your neck?” my mom called out.
Shit, I had completely forgotten to cover up before coming home. “I…uh…’
“Oh, come on, honey. I’m your mother. I know everything.” She laughed.
“Michelle opened her fat mouth, didn’t she?” I sighed.
“Don’t blame Michelle. I would’ve rather heard it from my own daughter, but someone is so secretive these days,” she scolded. “Anything else you’d like to share?”
I glanced at my mother, hating myself a little
She just wanted to be close with me, to know what was happening in my world. It was in her blood to be open about everything, Selene had inherited that 100 percent.
But me? As I was adopted, I had a few traits that were completely and totally my own.
This included my red hair, my keeping of secrets, and, of course, my not-so-subtle sway over people.
When I thought about these differences between my mother and me, my heart ached a little bit.
Who had made me this way? My mystery parents were out there somewhere.
I wondered if they were similarly red-headed. Were they also secretive? Most importantly, were they, like me, uniquely powerful?
“There’s nothing to share,” I lied, putting aside all these scattered thoughts.
I was not about to spill the beans that I was Aiden Norwood’s “challenge” for the Season
Besides, enough people had seen me barge into the Pack House half-shifted that she probably had a good idea of what had gone
“Why are you so grumpy? You should be beaming. Not just anybody gets marked by the Alpha, let alone has a chance to, well, you know,” she said, winking.
“Ew, gross,” I spat out.
“Sienna, I don’t understand. He’s unbelievably gorgeous. What’s the matter?”
“So why don’t you go have sex with him?” I retorted, pushing past her and slamming the front door behind me.
I needed to get away from everyone before I exploded. They only knew the Aiden Norwood from their fantasies, the one they saw from a distance.
None of them knew him like I did. The self-absorbed Alpha who marked girls for the fun of it.
Not to mention this stupid Haze that made me melt whenever he came close.
I wanted to turn back time and never go to that dumb dinner. My life had been so much easier, my secret so much safer.
In times like these I would retreat to the river to clear my head, but that was one more place that Aiden had ruined for me.
I had only one refuge left to turn to: the little art gallery uptown that I’d discovered with Emily during one of our walks.
The outside was nothing more than an old metal door with flaky blue paint. You’d pass right by if you weren’t looking for it.
I ran there as fast as my legs could carry me.
I collapsed on the gallery’s red leather bench, exhausted. My chest heaved as I tried to catch my breath. I’d started to take off my coat when my pocket vibrated.
Michelle hey! are u okay?
ur mom says u ran out of the house upset
Sienna Yeah, I’m fine
Michelle are u though? u were moody at brunch
Michelle there’s something ur not telling me
Michelle it’s about aiden isn’t it?
Sienna I told you don’t want to talk about it
Sienna My mom was asking me all these questions
Sienna I needed to get out of there
si, what’s really going on?
Michelle u can tell me
Sienna I’ll be better tomorrow promise
Sienna Just need to clear my head
Sienna I went for a walk uptown
Michelle lets meet up and talk
Sienna I kind of want to be alone right
Michelle txt me when u get home, k?
Michelle I’m here for u, bitch xoxo
Michelle meant well, but she was too boy-crazed to understand. That was why I’d always liked having Emily to turn to.
I could tell her anything, and she would just. listen. I never felt like I was being judged when I talked to her.
The art on the wall was an assortment of mixed media collages. Some were cityscapes while others were abstract portraits of everyday people.
One in particular perfectly encapsulated my current emotions. It was a lithograph of a young girl in her Sunday best.
She had a far-off look in her eyes that spoke to me, and a mess of trash and found objects, which the artist had glued to the canvas, spewed from her head.
The door opened behind me, and I felt a cool rush of air hit my skin. The hair on the nape of my neck stood up.
“What a hidden gem,” said a familiar voice.
I turned to see Jocelyn, still as radiant as she’d been at the Pack House dinner. She had swapped her gown and heels for jeans and a chic winter coat.
I wondered if she’d been wearing that when I burst in to confront Aiden. I’d been too enraged to notice.
Her wavy brown hair cascaded down her shoulders, and the crisp autumn air tinted her strong cheeks a subtle pink that accented her cherry lips.
“Don’t look so surprised,” she said, taking a seat next to me on the bench. “Tracking down wolves is part of my job.”
“You were looking for me?” I asked, not sure what anyone like Jocelyn would want with someone like me.
“I wouldn’t be a very good Healer if I didn’t think you needed someone to talk to after what just happened.”
She smiled a beautiful, breathtaking smile that immediately put me at ease. She wasn’t here to judge me. She was here to listen.
“What did he tell you?” I asked, too embarrassed to look her in the eyes.
“Aiden didn’t tell me anything. Even if he had, it would only be his version.”
She paused, waiting for me to say something, but I wasn’t sure if I was ready to
trust her completely.
After all, she was Aiden’s former lover and still one of his trusted advisors.
“You’re leading him by a leash, something no woman has ever succeeded in doing.”
I blinked. “A leash?”
Her chuckle intensified. “You don’t know, do
I paused. “Know what?”
She grinned mischievously now, which was out of place on her usually compassionate
“Everyone is talking about you,” she went on. “You’re the first woman to challenge the Alpha’s Haze.”
What did she mean by “the first”? Surely, if someone like me could get him worked up, he must have been going insane with a woman like Jocelyn.
“Isn’t everyone Hazed in the Season?” I asked. “How could this be his first time?”
Jocelyn’s grin widened. “Most werewolf rules don’t apply to alphas. I’ve healed a few
over the years, and I can tell you…during the Season? Alphas tend to be unaffected by the Haze. They have an iron grip on it, and even if they didn’t, the women they mark almost usually relieve their Haze before it gets critical... Usually.”
“So, what you’re saying is I’m the first woman to deny him and now he’s feeling… frustrated?”
“Exactly.” She nodded. “You’ve become a bit of a legend among the inner circle. After that performance in his office? Josh and the rest of the leadership can’t wait to meet you properly. But,” she continued, her face sobering, “you can’t avoid Aiden’s bed forever.”
– “Why not?” I asked.
“Because his Haze will eventually reach a point where he can no longer control it, and when his grip slips, well…”
She didn’t need to elaborate. Aiden would hunt me down until he got his release.
I shuddered at the realization that I had lost all agency over my body the second that bastard sank his teeth into my neck.
“He shouldn’t have marked me,” I said irately. “He should’ve gotten to know me
first and asked for my consent.”
“Honestly, he usually does get to know his partners first,” replied Jocelyn. “But you must have really done a number on his senses.”
“Really?” My eyes widened with disbelief. “So why was this season the exception? Was he bored of women rolling over for him whenever he pleased?”
I saw a tinge of hurt in Jocelyn’s eyes and immediately regretted what I’d said. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean it like that. I’m just… ”
“That’s all right. I know you didn’t mean it as an insult. Being with the Alpha is a lot to handle, especially now. Aiden hasn’t been himself for the past few months. I’m sure you’ve heard about it,” Jocelyn said.
“Yeah, my mom is the town gossip,” I said, rolling my eyes.
“The Alpha has a lot on his plate. And until he’s mated, his strength, and our pack’s strength, will continue to falter.”
“But Aiden and I aren’t mates,” I retorted.
“Maybe, but he still has a Haze that needs to be tempered. It’s fun to watch him squirm, I know, but think of the Pack.”
“Is that really my responsibility?” I asked, skeptical
“I had to ask myself the same question, Sienna. That’s for you to decide. I can tell you this. I love my Alpha, and I only want what’s good for him. He’s a good man. You’ll see it if you give him a chance to prove it.’
This conversation hadn’t gone the way I expected, but I could tell that Jocelyn was sincere in her concern for Aiden.
Still, it didn’t excuse his attitude and what he’d said to me in his office.
“I’ll consider it, but he has to meet me halfway. He has to respect me.”
“Let me talk to him,” answered Jocelyn. “He’ll shape up if he knows what’s good for him. I have a feeling that you’re different, Sienna.
And before I knew it, Jocelyn had her arms wrapped around me in a reassuring embrace.
“I’ll see you around,” she said, getting to her feet.
“Yes, I’m sure.”
When Jocelyn left, I still felt warm inside. Her healing touch really did do wonders.
If a woman like that could be Aiden’s lover, he couldn’t be all bad.
I wasn’t going to forgive him, not yet, but I did understand the reality of my situation, and if I had to go through with it, I might G well make an effort to get to know him.
My phone vibrated again. This time it was my mother.
Sienna, you need to come home right now! It’s an emergency.
Sienna What happened? Is dad okay?
Mom Dad’s fine, but get home quick
Sienna Okay, I’m uptown
Mom See you soon!
My mom didn’t call something an emergency unless it was serious. So I decided to cab home.
As we pulled up to my house, I noticed a black Audi parked outside. I had never seen it before and wondered who it might belong
My heart was racing as I ran to the front door and threw it open. “Mom? Mom? I’m home. Where are you?”
“We’re in here!” she called from the living room, quite calm and pleasant.
Something wasn’t right. I sniffed the air, and a woodsy musk pierced my nostrils, making a heat flare between my legs.
I turned the corner and, sure enough, sitting on the couch enjoying a cup of tea was none other than Aiden Norwood.