At that moment, all eyes were fixed on me, and I glanced at my siblings, desperately hoping that I had misunderstood. The expressions on their faces confirmed my worst fears. Luna Natalie mouthed an apology, and I wished I could disappear. Percy, my mate, had chosen Ralyn over me. He had made a choice. Couldn’t he have waited just five more months until my 16th birthday? Was it too much to ask for him to wait until I was ready to mate?

Anger surged within my wolf, a primal desire for bloodshed, but I remained frozen in shock. The full weight of my emotions hit me later, as I returned home. In that meeting hall, I was too stunned to react. My sister, Josey, tried to speak to me, but I couldn’t find my voice. I looked at Percy and saw him kissing Ralyn—a simple peck, but he was my mate. My possessive wolf saw red, longing to tear Ralyn apart, but I was paralyzed. To add insult to injury, Ralyn smiled at me. The audacity! She smiled, fully aware that Percy was meant to be mine.

Everyone in the pack knew Percy was destined for me.

When I turned 13, I experienced my first shift, meeting my wolf for the first time. At the stroke of midnight on my birthday, I underwent the painful transformation, a moment eagerly awaited by all. Typically, the alpha hosts a shift party for new wolves, but my father deemed my wolf too extraordinary to be revealed just yet. Instead, I had my first shift at our lakeside manor in human territory, witnessed only by my family. My wolf, a pure white beauty, prompted my father’s belief that my purple irises were a special blessing from the moon goddess.

My sister was also a white wolf, but with green eyes. A few days after my shift, I returned home, and upon seeing me, Percy growled, declaring me as his. Everyone present witnessed it, which explained why all eyes were on me now. My irises vanished, replaced by black orbs, signifying the presence of Athena, my wolf. My brother sensed the urgency and swiftly carried me away, cradling me in his arms, back home, where I was confined to the basement until I could regain control. It took two days to soothe Athena, but during that time, Percy never visited.

When I finally emerged from my seclusion, there were no messages or calls from Percy. He had vanished. We weren’t even officially a couple, yet he had abandoned me. My heart shattered into countless fragments. He hadn’t even made an effort to explain himself or reach out to me. He simply left me, alone and cold, with unfulfilled promises hanging in the air. My mate now belonged to someone else, and there was nothing I could do about it.

A week had passed, and I had locked myself in my room, neglecting food, hygiene, and fresh clothes. I remained in the same desolate state, thankful that we had our family home instead of the pack house. As I dwelled on the memories of the meeting hall, exhaustion overwhelmed me, plunging me into a deep slumber.

In my dream, I found myself in a sunlit field, encompassed by familiar sadness and lethargy. I welcomed these sensations, even knowing it was a mere dream. A presence lingered behind me, emanating a powerful aura that compelled me to turn around and reach out. I was drawn to that energy, and as I faced the source, I saw my mother, gazing back at me with a sad smile. “Hello, my little moon,” she called me, using her tender nickname.

I was taken aback. “Mother? How is this possible? Where am I? You look the same,” I exclaimed, struggling to comprehend the surreal encounter.

“Oh, my little moon, you are dreaming, my precious girl. Your subconscious sought solace and summoned me. You possess great strength to conjure a place like this,” my mother explained, awe evident in her eyes.

“So, I’m dreaming of my departed mother,” I scoffed, unable to find comfort in a spectral presence.

“I am here in spirit, just as you are, my little moon. Can you not feel the power coursing through your veins? Has your wolf taught you nothing?” My mother’s words resonated within me.

“Athena is a fierce and bloodthirsty wolf. I do my best to keep her in check. Besides, Daddy said my white wolf should remain hidden since no one in the pack has ever seen one,” I replied sadly.

“My dear, it is time to reveal Athena to the world. Let her guide and heal you. Do not waste away in your room, burdened by a false sense of shame. Your mate has not rejected you; he is still rightfully yours. However, I advise you to keep your distance from him,” my mother advised, her voice commanding.

“How can I stay away from him when all I want is to be with him? I’m not even angry at him. I still love him, and it weakens me,” I cried, torn between conflicting emotions.

“YOU ARE NOT WEAK!” My mother’s voice resounded with unwavering determination.

“You come from a sacred bloodline, a force to be reckoned with. Rise from your bed and put an end to this pity party. I did not give birth to you so you could waste your life on a boy who is beneath you!” Her rage filled the room.

In all my memories, my mother had always been the calm, rational one, while my father was the one with a fiery temperament.

“WAKE UP NOW! DON’T WASTE ANOTHER SECOND!! SABRINA KIMBERLEY TRENT, WAKE UP NOW!” Startled, I jolted out of bed, nearly knocking my sister over.

“Easy there, Sab. Can’t you see what I’m wearing? I can’t let you ruin this dress!” Josie exclaimed.

“I’m sorry, Josie. I… I had a nightmare,” I stammered.

“I know. We all felt your power in the kitchen. The alpha and Percy are on their way to speak with Dad, pack business. I was asked to tell you to calm down,” Josie explained.

“Athena’s power surfaced?” I asked, seeking confirmation.

“It was more than that. It felt as if you weren’t alone. You were mumbling and crying in your sleep,” Josie said, embracing me.

“I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Father is furious, and Remi has been trying to calm him down, but he won’t listen. He scolded the young alpha for disrespecting the moon goddess and rejecting his true mate, who is alive and aware,” Josie said, conveying the family’s frustration.

“Daddy raised us to believe that mates are sacred. So, it doesn’t surprise me, Josie,” I pointed out.

“Sab, you need to get out of bed. Percy can’t see you like this. He hurt you, I understand, but resist the bond, big sis. Go to your closet, get dressed. Show him what he’s missing,” Josie urged. “Remi is waiting outside to talk with you again, to remind you that you can find love once more. Please, get out of bed.”

During my time in the basement, after the emotionally draining pack meeting, Remi would make regular visits to see me. She acted as my guiding light, unchaining me from the restraints, providing me with nourishment, and tending to my needs. Unlike regular wolves, silver didn’t cause us harm. Although it momentarily stung our skin, we quickly healed. Josie and I were exceptions, resembling Lycans in this regard—vulnerable to silver but far from powerless. Whenever my brother chained me, Athena, my inner wolf, refrained from fighting him or the rest of our family. While she desired Ralyn, my family’s safety was of utmost importance, and I didn’t want to harm them.

Remi had once shared a heart-wrenching story about her true mate. Growing up, I believed he had perished, but he was alive and held the position of alpha in the Crescent Red Moon Pack, our neighboring pack. Alpha Thomas was a reserved man known to us all. Remi first met him at a mating ball when they were both 17 years old. Alpha Thomas’s father had organized the event, hoping his son would find a mate before passing on the alpha position.

Thomas introduced Remi to his father, who joyfully announced his intention to step down now that Thomas had become alpha and found a Luna. However, just as the welcoming ceremony for the new alpha took place, Thomas shattered Remi’s heart by rejecting her. He confessed his love for Sheila, a she-wolf seer, and claimed he was saving himself for her, with no intention of mating with Remi. Crushed by the rejection, Remi returned home, seeking solace from her parents. It was during this time that she met my father, and together we formed a blissful family.

Two months later, a devastating tragedy struck Alpha Thomas’s family. His father, mother, four sisters, and Sheila all perished. It was believed that Sheila, a practitioner of dark magic, had attempted to kill Thomas’s family but ultimately took her own life. Consumed by rage, Thomas banished all seers from his pack and ordered the execution of those involved in dark magic. Since then, he has remained mateless and without an heir, leading a respected yet solitary existence.

“You and Remi are right, but I can’t seem to control my emotions. When you meet your mate, my dear little sister, you’ll understand. It hurts to know that he chose her over me, the girl chosen by the moon goddess herself. It’s painful to realize that he is saving himself for her, and the pack will call her Luna when that title rightfully belongs to me. I know it shouldn’t hurt, but it does. He picked an omega over me, someone I considered a sister. It hurts, Josie. And I’m left wondering how all of this happened,” I cried, my emotions overwhelming me.

“It’s agonizing to think that they fell in love while he made promises to wait for me. It’s heart-wrenching to know that she might carry his pups, a gift bestowed upon me by the moon. I’m hurting, Josie. I don’t know how to make it stop,” I sobbed, my words punctuated by tearful gasps.

Unbeknownst to me, Remi had entered the room, and my father gently carried me into the bathroom. I remained disconnected, unaware of Josie and Remi undressing me, bathing me, and providing care. Even as Remi washed my hair, untangling the knots with gentle strokes, I felt distant. It wasn’t until they settled me in front of the mirror that awareness flooded back into my being. I looked at my sister and mother, and then, with trepidation, met my own reflection.

The image staring back at me reflected the rejected mate—humiliated, devastated, and feeling utterly undeserving of an explanation from Percy. He had ghosted me, publicly announcing his relationship with Ralyn on social media. In an instant, Remi’s interruption snapped me out of my self-pity. Holding up two outfits for me to choose from, she jolted me back to the present. I glanced at Josie, silently pleading for her guidance, but she shook her head gently.

They wanted me to dress impeccably, pretending that I didn’t care, that my mate was about to marry someone else.

With meticulous care, they applied makeup, dressed me in one of the chosen outfits, and even sprayed Carolina Herrera’s Good Girl perfume, its intoxicating scent enveloping me. Josie skillfully styled my hair, and when I finally met my own eyes in the mirror, I struggled to recognize the person before me. Unbeknownst to the pack, my mother’s secret fortune provided Josie and me with the means to acquire anything we desired.

“We’ll only greet them and then leave. I’ll explain that we’re going to visit our grandfather for the day and will return in a few days’ time,” Josie explained, outlining our plan.

“Chris has already submitted your exit permits with the elders, and they understand the predicament. It’s best for you to depart while your father investigates why Percy is behaving this way and how his father allowed the sacred laws to be disregarded,” Remi added, pulling me into a comforting embrace.

Overwhelmed by emotions, I struggled to find the words to express my gratitude. Instead, I simply nodded at Remi and Josie, once again retreating into my thoughts. I knew I had to gather myself before their arrival, but I was still trapped in a vortex of self-pity, oblivious to the sound of the doorbell or my father’s welcoming of the alpha and his son. I failed to register Josie’s attempts to shake me out of my stupor. But amidst the haze, I was abruptly yanked back to reality by a captivating scent—a blend of vanilla and forest. Alarmed, my eyes widened as I looked up at Remi, finding my voice at last.

“Remi, he’s here, and I don’t trust myself. My wolf wants to sprint to Percy and mark him as ours. I’m engaged in an internal battle, and I fear that Athena will prevail,” I exclaimed, my panic mounting.

Seeking solace in her motherly embrace, I allowed Remi to pull me closer, hoping it would calm me down. Yet, despite her best intentions, it failed to have the desired effect. I loved her; she was the one who raised me as a mother. But when only Percy’s scent was meant to bring me solace, how could she compare?

Amidst the ongoing struggle with Athena, the voice of my biological mother echoed in my head, urging me to overcome my despair and gather my strength. Her words grew louder until the pain intensified, causing me to pull away from Remi, clutching my head in agony as I knelt down. The torment lasted a mere ten seconds, yet it felt like an eternity. Strangely, it granted me a peculiar form of respite.

I composed myself, ready to face the man who had captured my heart and locked it away. In that moment, I understood the importance of obeying my mother’s command and confronting the situation head-on. I would save my tears for the privacy of my grandfather’s house. But for now, I had to meet my mate, even though my mother’s command caused Athena to forget about the bond.

I composed myself in preparation to meet the man who had stolen my heart and locked it away. In that moment, I realized I had to heed my mother’s command and confront the situation. I could reserve my tears for when I reached my grandfather’s house. At present, I had to face my mate. However, my mother’s command caused Athena to forget about the bond. Athena was determined to leave Percy at the door and never look back.

I turned my gaze towards Remi and Josie, just as Cj entered the room behind them.

“Father has summoned all of us to come and greet the Alpha family,” Cj announced, placing emphasis on the word “all” as he looked at me. I simply nodded my head, surprising them all, as I became the first to step out of my room and confront my mate.

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