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Esmeray (by Kimberly French)

Prologue


“I reject you as my mate.”

Everything happened so fast and I was hit hard with every emotion known to man and beast. Tears streamed down my face and I couldn’t breathe. Looking into the eyes of the person who was supposed to love me for the rest of my life, I couldn’t help but wonder what was so wrong with me. Mates, short for soulmates, were people who the Moon Goddess chose for each werewolf. Unfortunately, mine had just rejected me and also, unfortunately, rejections were extremely rare.

Growing up, every pup learns of the first rejection. They are so rare, that the person who was rejected has been praised for their determination to move on from the heartbreak. This person had risen to power and found love again, but ever since then there had only been around five rejections recorded in our history logs. The last known rejection was around twenty or so years ago, no one really knows what happened to those wolves or if they had another mate out there. Honestly, not many people pay attention to this part of our history classes. I’m sure we get a short lesson every year, just as a reminder, but it’s like a traumatic event in your life. You never believe or imagine that it will happen to you. But it did. To me.

Ever since that day, my life has been filled with twists and turns. The words that were spoken out of that beautiful mouth, made me want to rip my heart out of my chest. The pain was unbearable and I had no idea what to do next. Is this how everyone feels? Is this what it feels like for your mate to not want you? I knew the last question wasn’t true. She said so much herself that she wanted me. She wanted a mate. I had backed her into a corner and practically forced her to reject me. I told her I loved someone else, she had even shown me her bruises from where I had cheated on her after we had met. But I didn’t want to let her go. She was mine and no one would be allowed to take her from me.

I looked over and saw her on her knees. The impact of our broken bond had hurt her as much as it did me, but she no longer had tears in her eyes. As soon as the pain subsided enough, she stood tall and proud. “I’m sorry, Alpha, but you gave me no choice. I hope you find true happiness and love with her,” she didn’t even spare me a second look before she turned and began to walk away.

“No one can know.”

“Excuse me?”

“No one finds out about this. You continue to say that you have not found your mate, until you do. I will do the same. This does not go in any recording and you cannot tell anyone.”

I hated using my Alpha command, but I couldn’t let anyone know that I had been rejected. Me, an Alpha. HA! It was laughable and everyone I knew would try to poke fun at the strong and powerful Alpha who was rejected by his mate. I couldn’t let it happen.

“Of course, Alpha,” as she continued to walk away. Suddenly she stopped and turned back around, “I do have one question for you.”

“What is that?”

“What’s so special about her? I mean I get that she’s in your pack and that she’s the Beta’s daughter, but other than that, what? You refuse to get to know me and love me, your mate, so that you can be with someone who hasn’t even found theirs yet. Why?”

I was taken back. I didn’t know how to answer her questions. How could I tell her that I had already fallen in love with her when we had only just met a few days ago? We were only fifteen, most don’t meet their mates until much later. I looked into her eyes and gave her a sad smile. I could see the tears beginning to fall again and I couldn’t help but rush to her and wipe them away.

“We are young. We don’t know if this is even real. You’ll find someone else, I promise. They will make you much happier than me.”

“You don’t know that. This,” she motioned between us, “is real. Don’t you feel the sparks? Don’t you feel the pull?”

I did, but I wanted to deny them so bad and go back to the girl I had left in my bed. But I couldn’t leave this gorgeous creature here, crying over my mistakes. I wiped a few more of her stray tears and then removed my hands, “you should go. Go home and never speak of this to anyone. You will survive. You’re the one who rejected me, May. If anything, you’re much stronger than people give you credit for.”

“Goodbye, Blake.”

I watched her sea green eyes close and then slowly open again before she turned around. She left without another word and I instantly missed everything about her. Her long russet brown hair, her slender frame, her beautiful smile. She lit up the room as soon as I walked into her father’s office three days before. I was an idiot for not running to her then and there and claiming her. But then again, I was young and stupid. I wanted nothing more than to play around with whomever I could find.

For three years, we went back and forth with common pleasantries as if nothing had happened between us. Her younger brother found his mate and was to become the next Alpha of their pack as soon as he turned nineteen. I had to play nice since our packs were neighbors, but I didn’t want to be reminded of the biggest mistake of my life. For over a year, I had felt the pain of betrayal nearly every day. I had never accepted her rejection, but she assumed I had. Maybe she found a boyfriend who loved her, maybe not.

The day of her eighteenth birthday, though, I had had enough. I no longer wanted to hate myself for hurting her. I no longer wanted to wait for the next time I would be able to get a glimpse of her. I needed her. I didn’t care if she wanted to be with me or not. She was mine and I was tired of someone else having her. I was sick of the pain in my abdomen and in my chest. I had to see her and claim her. In front of everyone.

“Wait! So, Daddy, you forced your mark on Momma?”

“Haha. No, son, I did not. If you listen, I’ll tell you the rest of the story. You want to hear the rest?”

My little Marcus nodded his head vigorously and waited with wide eyes for me to finish the story of how his mother and I had met. He looked exactly like her, like my May. Dark green eyes and russet brown hair. He was only four, but I could tell that he would try to learn from my mistakes. My Beta’s daughter was the light of my son’s life and all the little boys in his friend group as well. They all acted as her protectors and would never let her do anything on her own for fear that she would get hurt. I could tell that Marcus loved her more than a sister and that scared me. If she ended up being his mate, he would hurt her and there would be no turning back.

I looked into his eyes and sighed as I continued my story, “I wasn’t originally invited to her birthday party. I was someone that she didn’t want to see, but again nobody knew of our past. So your Uncle Lucas was able to get me in to see your mother. As soon as I walked in I could smell her intoxicating scent. It was everywhere and I couldn’t help but relax as I breathed her in. I searched the entire room and as I soon I saw her, I knew I couldn’t wait anymore. I made my way towards her and everything else fell away. The world stood still as I reached to where she stood and as soon as our eyes met, I smiled at her. She did not smile back at me though, instead she began to cry.”

“Why, Daddy?”

“Well, son, I had hurt her and she had rejected me. She still didn’t realize that I hadn’t accepted it and she thought that I was there to torture her emotions.”

“But you weren’t?”

“No I wasn’t. Now do you want to hear the rest or are you going to continue interrupting, peanut?”

“I’m sorry, sir.”

“It’s ok, buddy. Now where was I? Ah, yes. I was in a trance, hypnotized by my lovely mate, but then I saw another wolf put his arms around her waist and kiss her neck. It was over for me. My wolf came out and I had no control over what was going to happen to the boy. Thankful she was there and pushed him out of the way and as soon as she touched my face, I was back in control. She was beautiful in her green dress with her hair falling around her shoulders in waves. Once I felt the tingles, I knew that I couldn’t let her go again. I grabbed her by the waist and pulled her close. Putting my nose against her neck, I breathed in every part of her and I didn’t want to let her go.

“Mine.”

“No.”

“Yes, you are mine and I am never letting you go. I do not accept your rejection, sweetheart. You are stuck with me now and forever.”

I pulled back and smiled as smug as I could, but what I found was not fear or anger. In fact, she was smiling. Her tears, forgotten. Her boyfriend, forgotten. It was only the two of us in the world. She leaned in close to my ear and whispered to me, “good.” When I looked back at her in shock, she had a hint of mischief in her eyes and I knew that she was mine. She knew I was hers and there was no going back. We were married two years after that day and then we got pregnant with you, my little peanut. When your mother was pregnant, she had a vision and the person in it told her about a prophecy, but that is a story for another night. Now go to sleep before your mother comes in here and we’re both in trouble.

“Yes, Daddy,” I kissed Marcus on the forehead as he wiggled his way under the sheets. Looking back up to me, he said the one thing that could break my heart right then, “I will never hurt Laura. She’s my mate and I will never reject her. Right, Daddy?”

“Ok, son. I hope that is true.”



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