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Once Rejected, Twice Denied.

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Blurb

Life for Tessa in the Full Moon Pack is not all peaches and cream. Not only has her wolf not emerged, but her life is in shambles as the pack mock her for being the weakest link in the territory. Tessa is almost eighteen, lower than the Omega wolves, orphaned and unpopular. The only hope that lives inside of her is that on her eighteenth birthday, she will find her mate and perhaps he will help her leave the pack and start a new and happy life away from the pack. All of these hopes turn to dread as her mate rejects her and banishes her from the pack, leaving her alone and helpless against rogues in the no-man territory.

Alpha Brett of the Moon Shadow is a mysterious alpha who is known for his brilliant mind and incredible strength, but after losing his mate in a freak attack on his pack, he has become too burdened with guilt and anger to show his face. What will happen when one day and completely unexpectantly, he finds a second-chance at happiness as fates collide and the rogue merchant drops off Tessa?

Read this to follow a journey of over coming difficult pasts, processing and self-discovery for both Tessa and Brett as they navigate their love story.

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Chapter One
TESSA POV: "Hurry up, little runt!" Miss Willow snaps her fingers at me as she rushes off with pots and pans towards the kitchen. I have to close my eyes a little and take a few deep and long breaths. Today is supposed to be the most exciting day in the pack, but I have never felt more irritated. The Alpha is turning fifty-five and the Luna has organized a whole bash to celebrate. My nostrils inhale the mouthwatering scents of juicy lamb, fillet steaks and pork that have been slowly roasting on the barbeque for the past while and I see the trays of salads and breads spread across the table. Something like three-hundred people are going to be here tonight. Some giggling distracts me from the staircase up ahead and I see it's Xanthi and her friends. Xanthi is the daughter of our Alpha and she is also the pack's princess. Everybody worships the ground she walks on, but not me. She always pushes me around and makes me feel terrible about myself. "My dad says that Alpha Henderson is bringing his son, Damon, to the party tonight!" The girls squeal at what Xanthi says. She throws her raven hair back and lets out a dramatic sigh. "Too bad his older brother won't be coming. Brett may be the future alpha of the biggest pack in the world, but he seems to be a mystery to all of us." Xanthi shrugs her shoulders and I stare on in a daze. How does she know so much about everyone? I look back at the table seating arrangements and sigh. Low-life pack members like me don't get an invite to things like this. You see, I am a nobody in this pack. Perhaps I am even worse than a nobody. Everyone sees me as the weakest link because I am the only member that does not have a wolf. I have no idea why or how it came to be, but on my sixteenth birthday she never arrived. I always wished that someday I would wake up and shift, but the older I get, the more I realize that I will never have her. Full Moon Pack humiliates me daily because of that and, to make matters even worse, my mother left me to fend for myself when I never shifted. So, now I am the responsibility of the Alpha and this isn't something that bodes well with him. "Just standing around, runt?" I didn't even notice Xanthi standing right in front of me until now. I blink a few times. "I'm so-" "Oh, shut it. First you take up space in the packhouse with your pathetic existence. Next, you eat the packs food and drink the packs water for free. You even go to school and get an education out of the kindness of MY father's money, yet here you are just standing around and doing nothing on his most important day? You truly are ridiculous, runt. To make matters worse, you have no wolf. You waste space in this pack!" She sniggers and her friends laugh from the staircase. I see the one girl, Stacy, smiling awkwardly and looking down. She is about the nicest friend that Xanthi has and always comes to check up on me to make sure I am fine after these verbal attacks. It's nice of her, but she doesn't ever stop the abuse, so she is as bad as them. "What is going on here?" A deep growl booms from the door and I drop the rag that was in my hand. Piercing, green eyes bore into me and I feel my skin lifting. Is it fear or attraction? I open my mouth to speak, but his presence starts to consume the air around me. Keith takes a few steps towards his sister and I find myself staring at his broad chest and sweaty abs. He is the alpha's son, so nothing is lacking when it comes to his physique. It looks like he has been working out based on the way his muscles are twitching. I feel myself starting to buzz, but the moment doesn't last long as I look up into his angry eyes. Xanthi bursts into laughter and Keith and I look at her. "Goddess, Keith, it looks like the runt has the hots for you! Seriously, you should take a picture of my brother. It will last longer!" Keith's jaw twitches and he pulls his nose up into a scrunch, as if completely grossed out. Xanthi is still in stitches and I am standing now with my eyes starting to water in embarrassment. Yes, I find Keith hot, but then so does every other girl in the pack. I know I could never stand a chance with him and besides, Keith is horrible to me! "I never, um, I never meant to-" I try to say, but Xanthi walks away, leaving me with Keith. She waves and calls me a loser along the way. My eyes find Keith's now and he looks at me with an expression I cannot read. A blade could but the tension in the room, but hey, I would rather have that then the hurtful comments. I look down now at the rag on the floor and bend down to reach it, but Keith gets to it first. When he lifts it, our fingers brush and I feel a cool shiver run down my spine as if he has ignited a current of electricity inside me. I suck in a breath again and feel butterflies fluttering inside of me. "What was that?" I ask nobody and when I look at Keith now, he is staring at me with dark eyes. "Let me get one thing straight with you, Tessa. YOU WILL NEVER stand a chance with me." He turns quicker than I can say anything and before I know it, his angry arms are blasting through the door. Well, at least he didn't call me runt! I smiled at this and then moved on to help the others with the workload ahead. We still needed to finish cleaning the kitchen after making the thousands of liters of homemade vanilla ice-cream, we needed to mop the floors and then shine the cutlery. All while doing this, I never spoke to anyone and kept my head down all the time. Even amongst the Omega's I am trash. Yes, my official ranking is Omega, but the others have wolves, making me vermin amongst them. "Alright ladies, off you go to get dressed in your best white skirts for the evening. Remember, no make-up or nonsense! You are all here to work this evening and the alpha wants no funny business between servers and guests." Miss Willow barks her orders at everyone. I hung up my apron and get ready to leave along with everyone else. "Make yourself invisible tonight, runt. You aren't serving and you aren't a guest. You might live in the packhouse, but you are a ghost tonight. Do you understand?" Miss Willow grabs my arm to make a point and I wince at the grip she has on my skin. "Yes, Miss Willow. I won't leave my room." She smiles at this, then lets me go. I quickly rush off, holding my wrist which is now in pain. I reach the small door to my room, which is just a mattress and dresser under the staircase. It is gross and dusty, even with all my cleaning, but it is my little space of peace and the only place I know I can come to when I do not want to be bothered. I quickly turn on my oil lamp and grab my pajamas and a towel. I have exactly an hour to go before everyone will arrive, so I know I need to be quick to clean up before I need to make myself invisible. I peep out the door and see nobody in sight, so I run out the front doors and run down the little pathway past all the barbeque stands and into the lush forest. I only breathe a sigh of relief once I am deep enough through the trees to no longer see the packhouse, which is pretty huge and fancy. My steps slow down as I hum a little tune and walk down the isolated path towards my most favorite spot. Unfortunately, I have no place to properly bathe or wash myself in the house, so I need to be creative. At first I thought this was unfair, but then I discovered a hidden gem. I turn a corner and enter through a part of the woods that has no path. I smile at the pile of rocks up ahead and begin my climb over them and only when I reach the very top, do I look down into the most magnificent natural pool of water below. It isn't big, but it is my own little piece of paradise. I quickly slide a little down the rocks and pull my dress off at the same time. The cool water on my toes mixed with the humid air around me makes my skin shiver with anticipation. With a final push, I lower myself into the water and allow my naked body to float. I smile as I look up into the rustling rooftops of the forest tree's and I feel my mind wondering off to earlier in the day. For some odd reason, it's Keith's dark eyes that occupy my mind. That and the way his touch sent shivers down my spine. I imagine him touching me again and the same sizzling feeling starts to buzz in my core. I keep my eyes closed and suck in a breath as my fingers slide over my pebbled n*****s. Why are those dark eyes having such a heated effect on me? My tummy jolts as my hot fingers trail lower and lower, until I find them touching the base of my core and I moan. A burning desire takes over now, but so does the feeling of being watched and when I snap open my eyes, I am met with the same dark ones from before. Keith is watching me from on top of the rocks, his eyes stormy and questioning and his breath heavy. I quickly move to the other end of the water, my heart thundering in my chest as he slides down until he is also in the water. "Touching yourself, Tessa?" I open my mouth but nothing comes out. "What do you think about when you're feeling hot, hmm?" "I..." "You?" My cheeks feel like they are on fire and this makes Keith smirk at me. The pool could easily fit around ten people, but somehow it feels so much smaller with him in it. This was supposed to be my secret place, so how did he find me? Also, why would he care to be here with me? "I can see your mind running at a million miles an hour." I look at him again now. He is even closer, his gaze raking over me and his breathing unsteady. He comes so close now, that I can feel his breath fanning against my neck. "What are you doing?" He inhales at my neck and I feel myself curling my toes at the sensation. A small moan escapes me as his lips gently graze against the soft skin above my collar bone and now I am feeling more turned on than ever. When I look up into his eyes, he almost looks turned on himself. Since when did Keith ever notice me? I have been nothing but a runt to him since before I could remember. I frown now and this is enough to snap him out of the moment. "You should put clothes on, Tessa. It is disgusting to think that there are Omega's swimming around naked on pack grounds." His words hurt more than they should. "I wouldn't need to swim naked here if I had somewhere to shower in the packhouse." I regret the words as soon as they come out. I feel shocked that I spoke back to him in that tone and I can see he looks shocked too, as his jaw twitches. "Do you forget that you are NOTHING? Who are you to speak to me like that?" "I'm sorry, Keith." "It is ALPHA Keith, to you, runt!" His words are harsh and I look down now into the pool below. I don't bother to reply and I can hear him climbing out of the water. I don't need to see him in order to know he is pissed off with me and has now climbed up the rocks. Only when I hear him running away, do I remember to breathe. What the hell just happened? I look up at my surroundings and everything is back to normal. It was as if Keith was never here. The only thing to remind me is the tingling feeling on my neck where he almost kissed my skin. I frown again. "What in Goddesses name is going on?"

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