I gathered the flowers in my arm and walked towards the pack. Today is a special day, for my mate and also for me. Alpha wanted to organize the Throne ceremony a month ago but the master priest didn't find a good day to complete so it's delayed for so many days. But a week ago the master priest said today is the best day, today there will be a pink moon night which is a fortunate one.
Smiling brightly I walk towards the door. Everyone in the pack is busy decorating to celebrate the ceremony. Starting from man to woman even including the kids. I couldn't express how happy I am today. After my mate gets the alpha title officially he will choose his Luna to rule the pack by his side and as his mate I have to prepare myself for it. It has been two years that I found my mate but still not everyone in the pack knows about it. Why? Because my mate wanted it to be kept a secret so he could give a surprise to everyone on the throne ceremony day. It's sad that I can't tell anyone about it. I have to watch him silently from a distance before everyone but all my waiting will come to an end today. Because today he will tell this whole world that we are mates.
A roar of laughter reached my ear and I turned to look at the group of girls standing by the stairs. One of them was the most skilled woman in the pack who loves to taunt me in every way possible.
"Shyla? Where are you coming from? Oh....so you again went to grab those bells?" She laughed. There was a mockery flashing in her eyes as she smiled brightly.
"Come on Tina, don't you know she wants to impress the young alpha with that?" Another girl who was standing at the side said.
"Yeah, yeah" Tina smiled "but you should know young Alpha is not someone who will be impressed by those tiny little bells. You should think of bigger plan if you are planning to jump into his bed"
Again there was another series of laughter. It's not uncommon for me because they are always like this. Mocking me to death leaving no chance to slip.
"Come on Tina, don't trouble the poor girl. You know even if she plans to seduce young alpha she couldn't. She has already passed her shifting age and couldn't even awaken her wolf, such a poor little girl, how can our Alpha desire her?"
My fingers around the flowers clenched tightly. So what if I couldn't shift? Don't I have heart? Don't I have good looks? Just because I couldn't awaken my wolf inside me doesn't mean I am worse. I still belong to the wolf family. But I never had the courage to retort it. What I could do was curse inside but my voice never went out to stop them to defend myself.
They laughed like there's some joke they are cracking. They were about to say again when another voice stopped them "what are you all doing there?"
I looked up to see Ben, the young beta of the pack, stepped in "go and perform your job instead of fooling around" his cold voice stopped all those mouths before they retreated.
"Are you okay?" He asked as he came towards me.
I smiled "I am good, don't worry. It's nothing unusual anyway"
He frowned "you should have complained about it to alpha or young alpha so that they can stop abusing you like this. This is going too much" he shook his head.
Ben knows the truth so he always appears to help me. I always find his behaviour so warm and protective. Besides my mate's parents and my family Ben also knows that Avan, the young alpha is my mate.
"Don't worry, after the ceremony no one will be able to mock me again. He said he will tell everyone about us tonight" I replied.
"He did?" Ben looked surprised.
I nodded "yeah, oh, I have to decorate these flowers for tonight so I need to leave" I suddenly remembered my flowers.
He looked at the flowers then smiled "you went to the valley to pluck these bells again?"
I laughed "it's his favourite one" I rubbed the flowers gently. The bells they refer to are the Lily-of-the-valley flowers which grow beautifully at the river side of our Bright Shine Pack. It's also the symbol of our pack. When people saw these flowers they knew it's our pack.
"Fine then see you tonight." He nodded and jogged away.
I looked up and found the sun was about to set. So I ran inside the pack house. The ceremony will be starting shortly. And before that I needed to clean myself then get ready. I can't help my smile like an idiot. After tonight I will be able to call him my mate before everyone without any hesitation. I was passing through the rooms when I suddenly heard someone moaning. It's quite loud which made me stop on my track. I frowned and looked around. At the corner side there was a room where the door was opened a bit. And the sound was coming from there.
Tightening my fingers around the flowers I walk towards it. The sounds started to become louder and wilder. Then I can hear the sounds of skin slapping which made my face turn red completely. I should not be doing this. But I don't know why my heart is urging me to go and see. Calming down myself I slowly reached towards the door and tilting my head I peeked inside.
The bed inside the room was violently shaking as two people entangled with each other totally naked. The man above pushed so hard that the girl moaned even loudly. Shaking my head I turned my head to leave. Why did I come here to see this? I wanted to slap myself for this. Gosh, cursing I was about to leave when I heard the girl shouted a familiar name.
"Ah ..oh god Avan I am coming...ah.."
My heartbeat stopped for a second and I stood there rooted on the ground. Avan? How.....
"Yes baby cum for me...cum for your Alpha" then the man's voice echoed in my ear.
No....how can this be? Why..... I couldn't help but barge inside the room, stopping the couple in their movement. They turned around and their eyes widened with shock.
"Shyla..?" Avan got up and immediately wrapped a towel around his waist.
"Why are you here?" He asked. But my eyes were not on him but on the woman who was pulling the sheet on her body.
"Why?" This was the only thing I could utter. Looking at the two people before me my eyes brimmed with tears...
Why is it like this? One is my mate and the other one is my sister?
"Look, this is not what it looks like" Avan tried to explain.
It's not what it looks like? If not then what is it?
"Shyla please don't misunderstand it's just .." Reese, who was on bed, pulled a shirt and quickly wore it and I believe it was Avan's shirt she was wearing.
"What happened?" The door behind me flung open suddenly and I didn't need to look back to see who they were.
"Avan you..." I heard Alpha Deven's voice behind me.
"Dad, please listen to me first. Please close the door" Avan replied calmly. Everyone is calm in this room except me who is burning with pain and betrayal.
"What's happening here?" Alpha asked again.
"Avan you slept with Reese?" I heard Luna gasping.
"Mom please hear me out first, I can explain" Avan walk towards me "Shyla I am sorry, I was distracted and couldn't think clearly into the seduction but there's nothing to be worried about it"
I looked at him closely, my heart is burning yet he is saying there's nothing to be worried about? He said it so casually that he was talking about a normal matter like he didn't feel any guilt of cheating behind my back.
"Shyla, I am sorry but please don't be mad at Avan. We were a little distracted at that time but we are not guilty because we love each other" Reese's voice rang in my ear but it only added oil in the fire burning inside me.
"Love?" I looked at her pitiful teary face then to Avan who was still looking so calm "you love her?"
Avan looked at her, who was crying silently, then said to me "Shyla please try to understand the situation, it's true that I love her. And whatever happened was our own willingness but you-"
"So you were keeping me in secret because you are with her?" My voice broke "but she is not your mate" I almost screamed.
He looked sad "I know that. I also know that you are my destined mate and of course I will take care of you like a mate do"
Take care? Should I feel happy after hearing that? Take care? Is he joking with me?
"Avan are you even in sense? What are you talking about?" Alpha asked his son "you are the next alpha of our pack even if you mingle with other women you couldn't neglect your mate. You should know that only your real mate can give you strength and power"
Is he scolding his son or reminding him about me? For him a mate is just a source of strength and power and she means nothing else? Just like that.
"Shyla..." I turned to mom who was looking worried.
"Why is she having an affair with my mate even after knowing the truth, mom? As my sister she should be the one supporting me but look how she is cheating behind with someone else's mate" I pointed towards Resse who was weeping.
"Shyla calm down dear. After all she is your sister. Be a little open minded" mom said then looked at Reese.
My mouth wide opened as I looked at her. Is she my real mother? Be open minded? Does being open minded mean I need to accept my mate having sex with another woman and specially if that woman is my sister?
"Mom I am also your daughter, how could you be so partial towards me? I have obeyed everything you said all these years but still she is the only one you can see?" I couldn't believe it. What's happening around me?I feel like they are not even my family. They feel like strangers to me now.
"Shyla, how could you talk like that to your mother?" Dad walked forward angrily "for raising you all these years you are giving us such an attitude?" Suddenly a hard slap landed on my cheek and I fell to the ground.
I held my cheek and looked at him tearfully "dad...."
"Don't call me that. We have been raising you all these years, giving you everything you need but you are still not satisfied?" Dad rebuked angrily.
"Was I wrong dad? I was just asking for justice for myself. Reese had-"
"Shut up. What qualifications do you have to accuse Reese? If we had not picked you up and brought you back here you would have died long ago" dad shouted at me. His eyes are dark showing how angry he is.
"Honey stop, what are you talking about?" Mom held his arm.
Picked me up? I...am not their daughter? I was adopted? So finally I can understand why they are so partial even if I was true, they are siding their own daughter and who I am? An adopted one?
"Shyla dear, don't take your dad's word seriously. He is just angry and concerned about your sister" mom said immediately. Oh no, my adoptive mom in truth.
Am I just an orphan? Then what right do I have to middle in? They are showing me my value and my right here.
"Dad please don't scold her" Reese stepped forward and squatted down before me "she is my sister after all" then she leaned towards me "do you think a man like him will ever take a woman like you as his mate? You should know your place and don't fool yourself more. Besides let me tell you the real truth....you never had his heart, not as a woman...nor as a mate" she whispered in my ear then moved away.
"Dad please don't be angry we are at fault today. She is just a victim here" Reese stood up and wept again.
"This matter is serious but Avan even if you love Reese, Shyla is your mate" Alpha said again.
Mate? I wanted to laugh so loudly until my stomach hurts. I am just a mate that he needed to fulfill his bond. I turned to look at my mate.
"You knew that I was adopted?" I asked him.
"Shyla, I am sorry but you also know as an alpha I need a mate who can rule beside me. To take responsibility for the whole pack. But you already passed the shifting age and you couldn't help me in future. But even though you are weak you are still my mate and we have a special bond between us which can not be broken. So I hope you understand my problem too and cooperate with me. I promise I will give you everything that you need in your life and make you happy. But I can't give you the title of Luna. Reese will help me in ruling and since both of you are sisters I believe you can get along with each other" Avan said. He did not reply to my question but avoided using other words. So he knew all along. Isn't it?
What did he say to get along? Does he think I want to live my whole life in the shadows while watching them have a good life? Can he give me anything I need? Instead he already took everything from me.
"Shyla dear, I know you are hurt. Take time and think about it. After tonight Reese will be declared as Luna but only for name because you are Avan's real mate. So I think it will be good too besides we all can agree to this point. It will make everyone's life easier" I heard Alpha making a decision.
Am I a tool for them so that they can decide everything about my life? I am weak because I couldn't shift. I should be broad minded because my half sister and my mate love each other? I should help him because I am his mate and it's my responsibility? Suddenly my chest started to burn like something was rising inside me but I don't know what?
"Avan we should not have done that" Reese walked towards Avan and grabbed his arm.
"Don't worry, Shyla is matured. She will understand the situation and help us" Avan patted her shoulder gently.
Mate should make you feel warm and protected but I couldn't feel anything more than EMPTY inside me. Staring at the person in front of me holding another woman who accidentally happened to be my half sister? If this is being called as mate bond then I refuse to accept such mate bond. I would rather die without a mate than being a shadow in the dark.
I get up from the floor placing my hand over my chest. They don't have any feelings or concern for me but just wanted to use me as a tool for their benefits. But I am also a living being who wants to be free.
"Is that what you want me to do?" I asked Avan. He looked at me then smiled.
"I know you will understand me clearly. No one knows me better than you. Shyla I know you love me and I am so happy. I promise I will do everything for you"
To live as a substitute for my mate? This is not what I expected nor did I ever imagine. He wanted me to give him a mate bond while he enjoys the warmth of another woman in his arms. Is this what we call a mate? If yes, then I refuse to have such a mate.
"I never agreed with you," I replied with blank face.
The smile on Avan's face froze "what are you saying Shyla? If you don't agree then what will you do? Who will take care of you? Think about it again. I promised you, I will give you everything you need. Even after Reese become my Luna, you will not lose anything, you will also enjoy a life of luna in the backyard that's it"
I looked at Reese "have you ever thought what would happen when you find your real mate someday?" Reese looked startled.
"Shyla, what are you talking about? Say yes to the young Alpha" I heard my adoptive father say. But I am careless now. I don't even care about what he thinks or says. I am not related to him but all these years of helping me I wanted to be grateful but with the slap he gave me I have returned all the kindness to them.
"You are my mate but you are never satisfied with me yet you hooked up with my half sister because she can shift? And adding to that you want me to accept your proposal and become a shadow of your strength?" I asked.
"Shyla it's not like that, you-" Avan started.
"I don't need that. Save it for yourself"
"Shyla, it's not like that. Reese is your sister after all. You can get along and we will make peace for our pack" Mom smiled.
I threw a look at her then looked at Avan "I am not qualified enough to be your mate. It will be better if you find the qualified one for yourself"
I wanted him to be mine, he is my mate by all means but he never wanted me to be his mate just because I couldn't transform myself. Is it my fault?
"Look Shyla even though I love her but I will never abandon you. You are my mate and of course you have all right with me. I will take your responsibility and you don't have to worry about it" Avan smiled, still trying to show how reasonable his point is.
Responsibility? If I didn't know him better I would have believed his words. I shook my head. I lost everything today. Everything comes to light now. I am an outsider who doesn't have any right, who is weak and pathetic.
But if I have to choose between my mate and myself then I will choose me. Even if I am weak I won't let them ruin my life and decide my fate.
"I wanted your love but you never had any feelings for me. And now I don't want anything from you, not even the bond" I gritted my teeth. He cheated behind my back but he is not guilty at all.
"Shyla what are you-"
Since you don't want me, I won't bother you anymore. I looked at him closely and my heart only felt pain. There's no love anymore except coldness.
"I refuse to live under the same roof of a cheating couple. And this is why I Shyla Clarke reject you Avan Lowe as my mate forever. Our bond is over from now on"
I heard gasps from behind. Reese's eyes widened with shock.
"Shyla what did you-"
I didn't hear what they said as I gathered my will and ran away from there. I want to go so far away from this place. I did not look back as I ran. I could hear their voices calling my name.
But now I really don't care about anything. Not anymore.