Kind and perceptive Lilac never could say no to her headstrong and free-spirited identical twin sister, Violet.
The domineering and possessive Alpha Dominic has been betrothed to Violet since they were pups.
When Dominic is wounded in battle and Violet is ordered to his side, she convinces the timid Lilac to take her place.
But impulse is treacherous, and blood oaths aren’t made to be broken. They should have known that playing with fire would burn everyone…
Age Rating: 18+ (Offscreen Rape)
Impulsivity could be treacherous. It involved irrational thinking, manipulation, and incitement. Manipulated by my identical twin sister, I’d agreed to take her place with her betrothed.
A mission impossible.
And now I was in a black SUV with tinted windows, heading toward the Blackwood residence.
The manor appeared when we turned a street corner. The residence covered the entire block, and the concrete walls were twelve feet high, giving privacy and protection.
As we approached the main gates, I tightly gripped the book I was reading.
The air suddenly became tight around me. Even in my comfortable white floral smocked mini dress, I felt hot and claustrophobic.
The feeling that I would hyperventilate crawled up my body, and I began heaving.
I chanted the words in my head until I got my breathing under control.
I could do this.
There was no need for me to feel overwhelmed. This wasn’t real.
Dominic Blackwood was not my mate.
I was only here to replace Violet temporarily.
She would be back in a few months to save me.
Nobody would know.
The mansion came into view as we rounded the large, curved driveway.
At the entrance, several servants stood waiting for me, and one ran to open my door.
He bowed and greeted me. “Good afternoon, Luna.”
At first, I didn’t realize he was greeting me. When I remembered, I turned back to him, clutching my book to my chest.
“Good afternoon.” My voice came out a small whisper, but the servant’s wolf ears heard it clearly.
I stepped around him and watched another man bound down the steps with a grateful smile on his face.
He was tall, with dark-brown curls spilling over his forehead and down his nape, like a surfer. Dimples appeared on his cheeks when he smiled.
“Luna, it is good to see you finally here.” He sounded relieved. “I know this must be too soon for you. I realize you have a couple more years before the mating ceremony—”
“It’s fine.” My voice was hoarse. I cleared it before repeating myself.
A warm smile appeared on his face before he bowed.
“My name is Peyton, beta of the Blackwood Pack. On behalf of the Blackwood Pack, I would like to thank you for accepting our special requests and circumstances.”
Like I had a choice…
He straightened to look at me with a smile still on his face, then gestured for me to walk ahead of him. I took a step forward, and he followed closely behind.
Inside the mansion, I gaped in awe at how beautiful it was.
High ceilings with beautiful glass chandeliers, beautiful paintings hanging on the walls, and flowers decorated the foyer. Two spiral staircases led to the second floor.
“This residence is filled with twenty servants to assist the alpha and the luna of the pack. The rest of the pack resides around this residence. My home is right next door,” Beta Peyton explained.
He directed me to a sitting room, where I sat on an expensive couch. He waved for a nearby servant to serve tea and then sat opposite me.
“The pack guards take rotating shifts for the alpha residence. You will always have twenty-four-hour protection.”
He turned in his seat and pointed out the window at the pack guards walking alongside the walls of the residence.
He turned back to me. His smile had disappeared, and in its place was a sad expression.
“I have doubled the guards since the attack in our territory and the unfortunate situation with our alpha. I wanted to make sure he would be safe.”
The beta paused, looking thoughtful. “The alpha has been a fairly difficult patient,” he finally went on.
“This is why we need you. He has thrown out every nurse we’ve brought in to care for him. His ill temper and scorn can be felt and heard from a mile away.”
I nodded in understanding. I was not excited at all to meet Dominic, but I tried to soothe Beta Peyton’s worries. “I’ll do the best I can,” I vowed.
His smile reappeared. “That would be very much appreciated, Luna. I know he will be hard on you, but don’t take his words to heart. He’s still upset over the loss of his eyesight.”
“Did you tell him I was coming?” I asked.
I eyed the top landing nervously. I didn’t know if this would work, but I was a determined person and would help the alpha in any way I could, even if he didn’t want me there.
I was, after all, his betrothed’s sister.
I groaned internally. I had a feeling this would come back and bite me in the butt. I shouldn’t have allowed Violet to talk me into coming.
A crash and a roar came from one of the upstairs bedrooms, and Beta Peyton shifted uncomfortably in his seat when a loud, authoritative voice rang through the mansion.
Peyton sighed and rubbed his temple. Weariness rolled off the beta. His eyes had dark circles under them, and his shoulders sagged in exhaustion.
“I’ll go see him,” I declared, and the beta’s eyes snapped up.
“I’m not sure if this will be a great time.”
“You told me not to take his words to heart. If this is what his mood is every day, then tomorrow won’t be any different,” I pointed out.
Beta Peyton looked torn but eventually nodded.
I made my way up the stairs, following the crashes and slamming that became louder with each step I took.
I followed the noise until I reached the door where all the yelling was coming from.
“Peyton!” Dominic’s voice roared again. “Get your ass up here now!”
I debated whether I should knock or just open the door. I decided against knocking in case he decided to throw something at my head, but before I could do so, the door whipped open.
Standing before me was the angry Alpha Blackwood.
“Who are you?” he sneered. “You don’t smell like a pack member.”
“V-violet,” I stammered.
He was a beautiful man. Anger burned brightly in his ocean-blue eyes. It was like a stormy cold sea that brought me shivers. His dark, midnight curls fell over his forehead.
I could almost taste his addicting masculine scent. It wasn’t anything extravagant—it smelled natural, like a long walk in the woods or a morning rain.
The slight bump in his nose told me he had broken it at least once in the past. A scar over his upper bottom lip told me he had split that lip open more times than he should.
Then something happened that I didn’t think could…
My heart fluttered.
My stomach clenched with arousal.
“Violet?” His face scrunched up as he tried recalling the name.
The instant it registered, his beautiful face changed. Anger flowed from him, and the scar on his lip turned white as he pressed his lips into a fine line.
“Get out!” he roared.
He took a domineering step forward, and I stumbled back and cowered underneath his heated eyes and his aura that forced me to comply with his alpha command.
Be brave, Lilac. You are supposed to be brave.
I inhaled deeply before exhaling. I managed to squeak out, “No.”
His eyes grew thunderous at my response. “Then I’ll have you tossed out! Anybody that disobeys will die by my hands.”
“I won’t leave. If you want to kill someone, you can kill me.”
Did I really just say that?
His irises changed color slightly, and in that split second, I saw emotions he was trying to hide. I saw the pain and shame in those angry eyes.
I straightened my shoulders and gathered the tiny amount of courage I had left before speaking again.
“I’m not going anywhere, Dominic. I’m your mate, and I will be here for you.”