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Nine

Ava  

 I raised my eyebrows, unsure of what to say. Slowly, I began forming words. “To gain my trust, you must earn it. I’m not going to just… believe that I can confide in you with all honesty.”

          

     His face fell for just a moment before speaking, “Can I tell you a story?”

               I narrowed my eyes. “I guess.” I picked at my dark red nail polish, which had already begun to fall off from the constant habit of nail-biting that I had seemed to develop.

               He sighed. “There was this girl. Her name was Natalie, and she was the most gorgeous, breathtakingly beautiful, smartest, funniest, most cunning person in the entire world. She looked a lot like you. And I’m beginning to see even more similarities,” he said with a wink. “Anyway,” he continued, “I am, as you know, a werewolf.” I nodded. “I was born and raised a werewolf- never bitten, as the legends suggest. Natalie was also a born werewolf. She was the niece to our Alpha, Joseph. She was also the best candidate to be Alpha herself one day. However, this was not a common thing for women to be at this time. Not to mention the fact that our Alpha had a son.”

               “First of all, whatever happened to women’s rights? And was being a werewolf in general a ‘common thing for women to be’ at the time?” I interrupted.

               “She could never keep her mouth shut either. This, Ava, was a few centuries ago. So, what had happened to women’s rights? They hadn’t ever existed at this point,” he replied, somewhat calmly.

               I nodded, trying to keep up and understand what he was saying. It was just a bit hard to process what he’d started to tell me so far.

               “Natalie and I grew up in a little village together. We were betrothed, even as young children. My parents, who are now dead, and her parents, who are also dead, were good friends. Her mother and father trusted that my parents would do a good job of raising me. When Natalie was chosen to be Alpha, that really meant that I’d be Alpha, and she would be my Female Alpha.” I nodded, waving him on to continue. “Long story short, we ended up on the run. The day- It was very sudden. She was always very dangerous. She loved the adrenaline that came when she took risks. We used to do all kinds of crazy ****. She jumped out of a helicopter and grabbed on to the bottom, just for the fun of it. It- It’s hard to explain,” he said with a sad smile. He glanced up to the right, referring back to his memory. “Well, there was this one time. We were on a boat, and we wanted to sneak away, just for a few private moments. We were young and in love at the time, I suppose.”

    

           “Go on,” I whispered.

Roman

“It was a swim. Mind you, we didn’t have any bathing suits- we were on the run, after all,” I said, blushing at the memory. I fell deeper into the pit of my mind as I explained.

            

   Natalie’s gorgeous dark brown hair was whipping around her head. She looked like a dream with her pink dress. Her skin had become dark since the beginning of the summer last month, I recall. She stripped down to her underwear and leaned against the rail of the boat, tempting me. I growled before tearing off my shirt and pants. I put my arms around her, encircling her in my embrace.

       

        I kissed her cheek, feeling her blush rise up and meet my lips. The heat moved from her sweet skin to my mouth. She smelled of a mix of salt water and fish. She leaped into the water, her body forming an arch in the air. Her skin glowed against the yellow of the sunset.

          

     I heard a splash below me. “Natalie?” I called. “Natalie?” I jumped in after her. The water engulfed me, the dark blue ocean swallowing me whole.

          

     I felt a tight, cold grip on my ankle. I swam down, my eyes searching underwater. Natalie floated next to me. I glanced down at my ankle. A piece of seaweed had gotten caught on my foot. I swam down and pulled it off.

               The water was dark, which meant it was obviously deep. I swam back to the surface, where the light formed circular shapes on the blue face of the water.

               There she lay, looking paler than before. She floated on top of the water, her back steadily holding her. “Natalie?” I whispered. I took her hand in mine, but she was unresponsive.

               Worried now, I took her head in my hands. I came away with red liquid dripping off. I glanced up at the boat, ready to call for help. Just then, I noticed a figure.

               If he hadn’t moved, I never would’ve even noticed it.

               It was George- Joseph’s son. The one who was supposed to be Alpha.

               He’d spun around from the top of the boat, taking one last look at his crime scene. I recognized his face. The sun illuminated half of his face, which I was thankful for.

               I screamed in agony, emotions flooding through my body. I wanted to kill someone myself; claw their eyes out if I could.

               “And that’s my story,” I finished, wishing I still had tears to shed. I knew my pride wouldn’t let me cry in front of her, not when I was happy to be in her presence in the first place.

               I looked up into her beautiful blue eyes. “Oh, Roman, I’m sorry,” she whispered.

               I placed my hand over hers, sighing. “Thank you. I’ve never told anyone this before. It could potentially get my *** kicked out of the pack. People have been mourning George’s death for decades. If I were to speak poorly of him, if I even suggested we taint their memories, I’d be thrown out. No one would believe me. Only Jace knows.” After all, the only reason I wasn’t currently Alpha was because I refused to find another female to be my mate… until this wonderful girl came along. 

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