This is dangerous. This is dangerous and stupid.
The reason why I decided to do this is primarily related to the lack of entertainment I get from the forest. Also, my incessant curiosity won’t let me live this opportunity down.
My body strength from climbing trees all day allows me to heave my body weight onto the concrete structure, my feet coming under me, so I’m crouching.
I won’t make the mistake of standing up; the shadows will only conceal me so much.
Today, I’ve decided to take Commander Burke’s delivered note from the alpha into consideration. Am I going to act on it past a certain point? Probably not.
Alpha Rylan promised that my sister and I would no longer be pursued by his guards, if I met him one last time.
This isn’t something I actually believe, however, I’m interested in what he might have to say.
It’s been a year since I last saw him, and I want to know how he managed to keep his prized soldiers coming after me.
I’ve climbed this wall plenty of times. The concrete under my fingers is a familiar, rough feeling which I bask in for a moment. If this goes wrong, this might be the last time I do this.
You’re here for a look, and a look only.
The purity pack stretches out in front of me, glittering lights and street noises invading my senses.
This place is nothing like the forest that shrouds the outer walls, stopped only by the man-made structure meant to keep religion in, and sin out.
Their alpha protects them well, from outlaws such as myself. He hates the fact that I can climb his precious wall and taint his precious people.
I step cautiously across the wide ridge. Rylan had cruel thick steel rods sharpened at the end installed to deter me from making it over, but it never has worked. I have no other choice.
Food for my sister can only be found in this pack.
The alpha stated he would meet me by the wall at midnight, near the market place that wakes only at night. It’s time has passed though; it’s early morning at this point.
Everyone would have gone home to wake up tomorrow at dawn for their daily events. They praise the moon only at midnight, which has long passed.
The market is neutral ground. Not his estate. Not my forest.
I make it a few meters before I stop again. I’m on the border of the abandoned marketplace. All the stalls have been pushed against the wide wall that surrounds it.
No one has to worry about locking anything up; people don’t steal here.
He is here somewhere. Waiting.
Grinding my back teeth out of habit, I keep my slow-crouch-walk going, hoping the street lamps’ cones of light don’t have the kind of range to reveal my position.
The night that shrouds me is my only shield of protection against Alpha Rylan. If I had the resources, I would have an entire arsenal with me.
Instead, I’m stuck with a thick sharpened piece of wood tucked into the back of my pants.
I don’t know how this will go. Rylan surely will have brought his guards with him.
The marketplace shows itself as I walk only a few steps more. It is broad, having the ability to hold many people. I had expected to see Rylan right in the middle, waiting patiently for me.
Instead, I see nothing. My eyebrows furrow.
The thing about Rylan is that I can’t predict him. Not once have I understood his ability to do the unexpected so often.
Usually, I have an uncanny knack at figuring people out, yet Rylan still remains under a haze of mystery.
Sure, he sends his guards to find me pretty often, yet he somehow manages to always figure out where I am.
I hate being off guard. I should always have a plan ahead of time. Rylan offers me no space to create one.
I sit on top of the wall for at least five minutes.
The debate circling in my mind is a good one. My body tells me to turn and run, while my mind wants to lure me down there, to get a better look.
For all I know, he could be around a dark corner I can’t see from here. That, or his guards might be.
“I hate myself,” I murmur, my whisper being caught by the soft breeze’s clutches.
Turning my body around, I carefully maneuver myself until I am hanging with my stomach against the wall; my fingers clutching the edge are all that keep me from falling.
Not that it would matter, since it’s the only choice I have. When I let go, I land on my feet, but not without the jarring jolt of pain that spikes through my ankles and to my knees.
Every day I do that.
The sound of my fall echoes, giving this place an even eerier feeling. I’m not scared of the darkness though. I’m scared of what might possibly be lurking in it.
I walk forward, the moonlight lighting everything in front of me. Rylan surely is the master of anticipation. I’ve set myself up on a platter for him.
If he decides to swoop in and capture me, then so be it. If he thinks that will make me yield to him like a mate would, then he is utterly mistaken.
The cold crawls up my arms as I wait. I’m not going to announce anything. If he is here, then he knows.
He decides to show himself only seconds later.
I forgot how beautiful he is.
The moment he steps from the shadows, I have to exhale all the pent up anxiety in order to actually stay on my feet. I’ve decided it’s his eyes that I can’t ever get used to.
A beautiful shade lighter than the average blue color. As he gets closer, I realize that it’s a silver ring on the outside that captures the shade of unimaginable blue within.
He’s different from what I remember. He wasn’t as... tall. Well built. Mouth water-
What am I thinking?
Instinctively, I straighten my shoulders and hold my ground. My confidence is all I have right now, however, this man is my mate. My knees weaken at the sight of him.
The last time I saw him, his hair was slicked back, he was slightly shorter and his muscles less defined. Now, he is a completely different person.
He still dresses elegantly, with his dark trousers and pressed button down shirt. The rest of him is mussed and raw. His dark eyebrows disappear beneath a ruffled fringe of hair, framing his eyes.
I want to know what happened to the man I was running from. Who is this?
“Dawn,” he whispers.
No matter how badly I want to look away, I keep my gaze sharp on him. His height is what has thrown me off-guard right away, along with his change in his appearance.
He has to be able to look at me and see the same girl he saw years ago. Well, a forest-born version of me.
“Alpha Rylan,” I say carefully, my quivering voice sounding strange as it dances along the concrete walls around us.
He shakes his head at me, looking at me from under his hairline. “I told you not to call me alpha.”
I’m not like him or anyone in his pack.
Born in the desire pack, I lived a life of freedom and excitement all through my teenage years, with the ability to make my own decisions, what with my parents working full time.
Then we had to move to the purity pack, after my mother read an article about the moon goddess and decided she wanted to believe in her.
I tried to obey. But turns out I’m not very good at it.
They wanted me to go to a boarding school which was targeted around religious studies for those who had just moved into this pack.
It’s not that I don’t believe in the moon goddess, it’s the fact that I cannot handle everything that comes with it. The rules. Rules don’t sit well with me, I have learned.
So, my sister and I ran away, narrowly missing being sent away for four years of our life.
That was when I met Rylan.
“That’s all you are to me,” I say softly, the bite in my words not there. Despite enjoying the distance from my mate, I found him passing through my mind every day. I never told my sister though.
There was no point in worrying her.
In her wild little mind, she thinks I’m sick from having this space apart from him. I feel fine.
“I missed you,” he whispers, the light from the streetlamps shimmering through his hair, giving it a lustrous golden tinge. I only really notice the little things about him.
Swallowing, I run my hands back across my thighs. “That’s not what I am here to talk about.”
Rylan looked sad for a moment, and my heart attacked itself.
It hasn’t been my intention to purposefully hurt him. It isn’t my fault he doesn’t understand, no matter how many times I try to tell him.
His life is made up of rules and religion, whereas mine is of freedom and choice. As much as he wants to make decisions for me, it’s a deal breaker. My life isn’t ready to be pinned down.
That is why I am here. To finally end this feud between us. He needs to let me go….
“Of course,” he murmurs. “I suppose you’re seriously considering leaving after this. I suppose you didn’t need to think about it either.”
My eyes automatically narrow on my mate in front of me. Perhaps he hasn’t changed. He still looks at me in the same way; like some creature he doesn’t understand. How could he?
I’m a complete lunatic to someone as proper as him. His looks have changed, and so has his demeanor. Yet he still acts like I need a cage around me.
I hate that.
“Alpha, this is me you’re talking to. You don’t know much about me, but you do know I can’t live your life. We are from separate worlds-”
“I’m willing to change,” he says quickly, stepping farther forward into the light. I match his step backwards, nervous of his approach. “Will you please think about it?
“I can’t be without you for another second.”
His words are desperate, coming out rushed and forced. Another step forward. Another step back.
I begin to panic. What is his plan? Is he going to keep coming at me until I’m pressed against the wall back there?
If so, I’m going to have to make a run for it, but first, I need to make sure he will stop sending men after me.
The crazy male has an obsession for pursuit, and I don’t think I could handle another year of enduring it.
“I have thought about it,” I tell him warily.
“You’re not well. I look at you, and I see how malnourished you are. Will you not let me take care of you?”
I shake my head. “No, Rylan... Alpha, I mean. I can’t do it, I won’t let you ship me off to one of your sick boarding schools. I’m done trying to be convinced.”
Turning my back on him, I walk towards the massive wall I plan to scale over. Actually, I plan to have Rylan turn me around and agree to this deal. That’s in a perfect world though.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t in one of them.
Turning around, Rylan is staring at me. His eyes have darkened to a point where he looks like a member of the vengeance pack; cruel, merciless, and cold.
The man of high morals is gone, and the same man who relentlessly sent those guards after me is there. I watch his jaw clench.
“I knew you would do this. I knew my stubborn girl wouldn’t change,” he murmurs, jarring my heart to a stop.
“Neither have you. That’s why I’m leaving.”
He shakes his head, and a flicker of guilt graces his eyes for a moment. That's how I knew things weren’t going to end very well for me.
“It’s dangerous out there, Dawn. No place for my mate,” he says carefully.
I glance around, seeing guards emerge from the shadows. Each of them armed aptly, each wearing a set of armour that glints under the splinters of silver moonlight glaring down from the sky.
All of their faces are hooded, as if they are in great danger of being seen by me. Am I really that terrifying in their eyes?
“I hate you,” I growl, turning back to Rylan. He has blocked all my possible exits with his guards.
Guilt creeps into his expression now. “I had to, you’re my mate.”
“I hate you.”
Two guards grab my arms, and I don’t bother fighting back. What would be the point? I know for a fact that I don’t have a possible escape in mind, so I am forced to be captured by him.
But not without letting him know how I feel.
“I hate you,” I repeat viciously.
I see the conflict there, but as the guard snaps the cuffs on my wrists, I cringe. The cool metal digs against my skin, but it’s not that that hurts me.
It’s the feeling of finality that consumes me ... the feeling of being trapped.
“You have to understand. Baby, please,” Rylan almost begs.
He stops talking as he sees the heat in my glare, the tears growing in my eyes. The betrayal.
“I hate you.”
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