Chapter 2

1565 Words
Lydia I wish I could get Avery Hale out of my brain. He called me weak, and his face said, "I don't like you," yet I can't get that stupid boy out of my daydreams. With that handsome face and ripped body, he will make some girl very lucky to be with him. But it's not his appearance that was the real show-stopper. Not at all. Avery also seemed to shelter storms in his eyes. It made me wonder what his story is—what left him with such an expression? There is more to him than meets the eye, but I shouldn't get invested in my own alpha. He would never pick me as his mate during his claiming ball. Never. Avery probably deems me too old. He is eighteen, and I'm twenty-one, meaning we are miles apart in our young adult years. Not to mention that I'm the omega, and he is the alpha. He also has magic abilities, as displayed inside the supermarket. He read my mind and must be some sort of hybrid. Vampires have magic, not werewolves... I sigh heavily. I'm sitting at the kitchen table, reading. I might be a college student, but I don't have a job to pay rent, and in werewolf culture, it's normal to live at home until you're twenty-five. At least when you're the omega like me... My mom is washing our plates. "Lydia, you know I've been dating this mysterious guy for quite some time now, right?" I snort at her question and flash her a smirk. "How could I miss that when you barely sleep at home anymore? You're gone every other day, mom. So yes, I've noticed." My dad, Erwin, my mom's true mate, passed away three years ago. We have a little altar built for him in the hallway with his photograph, where we keep candles. He died protecting our grounds from a lycan attack. Back then, Avery's father was the alpha, and he honored my dad's sacrifice by gifting him a medal for his service to the pack. It's placed in the middle of the candles. I kiss the top of my fingers and touch the medal every morning. I miss my dad, but I'm happy that my mom has found someone new who also lost someone. Not their true mate but their wife. "Well, the mysterious guy is about to make an appearance. My relationship will no longer be kept a secret, and things will change in this household." I lift an eyebrow, thrilled that my mom seems excited. She is my best friend, and I like seeing her smile. "Oh yeah?" I ask. "Things will change?" "Yes, honey. You will meet the mystery guy soon because he can no longer be kept in the shadows. And I have some other big news to share with you!" "Is that so?" I'm trying to smile, but I can already sense some big revelation is about to happen. I'm sitting on pins and needles, waiting for the catchphrase. My gut is telling me the big news will be shocking. "Uh-huh!" my mom turns around, holding up her hand and laughing when my eyes widen to the diamond ring around her finger. "Because we are getting married!" "Oh-my-god!" I stand up and wave my hands excitedly in the air. This is fantastic news. I'm so happy for my mom! "When? And with who? Mom, you haven't even told me the lucky man's name!" "I know, honey, but the man I've been dating is someone of a high ranking! I didn't want to say anything before I knew it was serious. And then he just proposed!" "I'm so happy for you!" I'm beaming at her. "Who is it?" She is smiling so hard that her lips strain. "John Hale!" Her answers make me pause while my mom claps her hands and seems on top of the world. "Isn't it great, honey?" She asks me, but it's not really a question. "The former alpha is going to become my husband! After our wedding, we will move into his mansion! Money will no longer be an issue—John has agreed to pay for all of your essentials!" I blink, dazzled by her wedding announcement. "But... But I'm the omega of the pack..." "And John doesn't care! He will pay for everything and take you into the family with open arms! I've talked with him, and you might even get to train with his son to get a higher ranking!" My head is spinning. I gawk at my mom, unable to form words, as reality finally sinks into my brain. Holy s**t. My mom is marrying John Hale. That means Avery Hale is going to become my stepbrother! We will be step-siblings. We might live under the same freaking roof. I'm unsure whether to feel happy or sad. Avery doesn't like me, but maybe we can become friends? Either way, I have to show my mom support! "Again, I'm so happy for you, mom!" "I'm so happy too! John is a nice man, and although I know it's sudden, we are getting married soon! Maybe even tomorrow? If the weather is nice!" "Wait, what? Tomorrow?!" How fast are these two progressing? I just learned the man's name, and they are getting married tomorrow?! Boy, my head is spinning again... "Yes! Or maybe next week. Either way, it will be a beautiful ceremony with only the most essential members of the pack coming! It will be you, John's son, and the woman betrothed to him. I'm sure you know John's son is the alpha... Anyway, it will be those two and Owen. Who you are dating—" "No, mom..." I take a deep breath. Suddenly I don't feel like smiling anymore, but I'm trying. "Owen and I broke up. Today..." Her eyes flicker to mine, and her excitement immediately shifts into confusion. "Wait, you and Owen broke up? Is that why he didn't show up for our taco Friday?" I'm trying to hold back the tears and nod at her. There is a burning sensation behind my eyelids right now. My chest feels heavy, and my shattered heart makes a comeback. It hurts. I want to cry and not talk about Owen. But my mom is staring at me, blinking, and she deserves to know what happened today at the supermarket. "Owen and I... We were at the market and buying Oreos for the cake I baked," I nod at the cake, and suddenly there is no stopping the ocean of hurt from overwhelming me. I'm sobbing. "Owen found his mate." Would I still be dating Owen if we went to a different store? Probably. He used to join my mom and me for taco Friday. I keep telling myself love wasn't involved, yet it hurts. "Oh, honey!" My lips tremble, and I sob. "Don't 'oh, honey' me, or I'm going to bawl my eyes out!" "That's okay..." My mom embraces me, and I cry into her cardigan while she strokes my back. "The mate-bond is very mysterious, and I believe the moon goddess makes the right decisions... Everything happens for a reason. I know it sucks, but... Remember that you also have a mate somewhere, Lydia." My eyes are all puffy when I mutter. "I bet mine got run over by a bus or something..." My mom breathes a laugh, kissing my head. "No, you just haven't met them yet. You're young, but when you meet your mate, the world will stop and stay for a minute." "Really?" "Yes, the mate-bond changes the game. I would still be with your dad if he were in the picture. John is amazing, but there is nothing like the mate-bond. It's sacred and tells you who would never leave your side if you gave them a chance and opened up your heart. That's what the mate-bond is. A promise of who got your back if you accept them." I meet her eyes, whispering. "And yet there are people who reject their mates..." "Because they are scared, honey," my mom smiles. "Love isn't easy. It's an overwhelming emotion. The strongest one out of them all. And it takes courage to embrace it and let another person into your heart. For when they are gone, it breaks you." Tears are stinging my eyes again. "I miss dad..." My mom hugs me, sighing. "I miss him too, but... We got to make the best of the situation." "I know... I'm happy you found John." I can hear the smile in her voice. "Me too, honey, me too... And I think our life will only change for the better. I have a good feeling about this new journey that awaits us." I close my eyes, hoping she is right. I'm terrified of losing people. First my dad, and now Owen... Everyone keeps leaving me. Will my mom do that too when she marries John? What if he doesn't like me? I fear saying it out loud, but I'm terrified of what the future holds. I thought it would be my mom and me forever, but it seems there will be more people in the picture now. I'm unsure if that is a good thing. The thought of becoming my alpha's step-sister leaves me with both excitement and fear. Avery really seemed to dislike me. But maybe we could become friends?
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