As I took deep breaths as being coached by my wolf, Alpha Theo snuck up beside me. I had been so focused on my breathing I hadn't even heard him. He grabbed my arm roughly, pulling me to his side.
"Stop fidgeting!" He hissed.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
I felt so out of sorts, I didn't even stop to consider my words or the disrespectful tone in which I said them.
Alpha Theo narrowed his eyes at me. The hand at his side twitched like he wanted to strike me.
"Since you have no father here, it is my...duty to walk you down the aisle and give you away. Don't misinterpret this though, I take absolutely no pleasure in touching you."
Uhm, what? Why did it sound like he was insinuating something?
"You mean, you take no pleasure in touching me when it's not violent." I deadpanned.
Aya, who had been pacing in my head, stopped in her tracks. I could feel the shock coming from her. I was shocked too. I'd never spoken to the Alpha like that before, with such confidence. Where the hell had that come from?
The Alpha seemed more shocked than either of us however. His face was comical. At least it was until his eyes turned black and a low growl came through his teeth.
Before Alpha Theo could hit me, or worse, kill me on the spot, the doors in front of us began to open...
He released his hold on my arm instantly and I winced as the blood flow began again. He linked his arm with mine instead, turning me towards the hall.
I had no maid of honour, no bridesmaids. Not that anyone would have agreed if I had asked.
As we entered the hall, I was hit in the face with the most amazing scent. It was a mix of lavender and chocolate, with a hint of an almost musky, woodsy smell. It almost knocked me off my feet. It filled the hall and I found myself looking around, searching for the source. Aya was practically jumping in my head, wanting to come out.
"Mate! MATE!" She screamed.
"Where?" I asked.
I saw him then. My eyes zeroed in on the most amazingly breathtaking man I'd ever witnessed.
He was taller than Alpha Theo, at least 6'7, a giant, and all muscle. His tuxedo strained against his muscles in a way that had my mouth watering. I could see the hint of a tattoo peaking out front under the shirt collar on his neck. I was less than five feet away now, close enough to see his hair had a slight wave to it, and it was pitch black. My fingers itched to run through it. He had a chiseled jaw, with a five o'clock shadow. Full lips under a straight, long nose, and his eyes. They gazed into mine and held me captive. They were a warm honey gold with flecks of brown.
I had forgotten where I was; the reason, the time, the place.
"This is our mate?" I asked Aya.
I couldn't quite believe someone so... he was my mate.
"Yes!" I could feel her connecting with our mate's wolf. She was purring with joy and happiness.
A loud throat clearing sounded next to me, and I unwillingly cast my gaze away from my mate in annoyance.
Alpha Theo was glaring at me, his arm still linked with mine. It was only then that I'd realized we'd come to a stop. The entire hall was buzzing with hushed whispers, everyone staring at me. I blushed slightly and looked down.
"Alpha Theo." His voice was deep, husky. It sent a shiver down my spine. "I'll take her from here."
My head shot up.
Wait... I was marrying him? My mate?
"Who did you think? He's the only one up here other than the old guy!" Snarked Aya.
Truthfully I hadn't even noticed anyone else, but she was right. Only the Elder who was blessing the marriage stood at the alter with my mate.
I glanced around him.
Didn't he have groomsmen? Friends? Family?
"What are you waiting for?! Go!" hissed Alpha Theo. He released my arm with a not too subtle shove.
A growl erupted from my mate's chest at the action, and I peeked up in time to see Alpha Theo's face go pale. He bowed his head in apology and went to take his seat next to his Luna.
I spotted Evelyn seated next to her mother, but I didn't understand her expression. Truthfully, the second I realized whom I was marrying, I could only imagine how jealous Evelyn would be. I mean, this man was a God! But she looked.... smug. She had a wicked little smile on her face, laughter in her eyes. Her expression had anxiety pooling in my stomach.
I jerked my attention back to the man in front of me. He was glaring at me now, annoyance clear on his face.
"I'd like to get started, if you're willing to pay attention now?" He grumbled.
Without waiting for an answer, he signaled to the Elder to begin the ceremony.
"Ladies and gentleman, it is my honor to be here at Snow Moon today to bless the union of these two Children of the Moon Goddess. Shall we?"
He looked my mate. He nodded once.
The Elder looked to me with a soft smile, which I returned.
"Do you Lily..." He stumbled for a second and I blushed a deep red.
Traditionally, he would use my full name, but since I had no memory of my past, I didn't know my last name. Or even if I had a middle name. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw my mate raise his eyebrows in confusion.
The Elder cleared his throat and started again. "Do you, Lily of the Snow Moon Pack, accept this marriage and my Blessing of it?"
"I do." I replied quietly.
"And do you acknowledge and accept that henceforth, you will no longer be a member of the Snow Moon Pack?"
"Yes." I replied a little more eagerly.
"Then as an Elder of the Werewolf Sitting Council, I hereby strip you of any ties to the Snow Moon Pack. Alpha Theo?" The Elder gestured to my Alpha who stood up.
"I accept." He said.
I felt a tearing through my chest and I gasped. Everyone in the hall save the Elder and my groom gasped and clutched their chests along with me. Losing a pack member was painful for everyone, but I took the pain with a smile, knowing I was officially no longer a member of this horrid pack. I felt an intense wave of freedom not to be tied to them anymore.
When everyone was quiet again, the Elder turned to my mate.
"Do you, Alpha Demitri Varlos accept Lily, former member of the Snow Moon Pack, as your wife and mate, and therefore Luna of the Blood Moon Pack?"
My breathing hitched to a stop.
"Alpha? Varlos? As in, the cold-blooded killer Alpha Varlos?" I asked Aya.
"I guess so. But his wolf..."
"I don't care about his wolf Aya! I can't accept this! He's a MURDERER!"
I was shaking as the reality of my situation started to sink in. They were marrying me off to the cruelest, most viscous Alpha on this side of the world! And to make matters worse, he was my mate. What kind of sick sense of humor did the Moon Goddess have? I hadn't suffered enough, she thought she'd toss me to the merciless Alpha?
I felt the mate bond intensify. I ground my teeth together, and kept my eyes downcast, avoiding eye contact with Alpha Varlos.
"Lily, former member of the Snow Moon Pack, do you accept Alpha Demitri Varlos of the Blood Moon Pack to be your husband and your mate, thereby accepting your title as his Luna?"
I didn't. I didn't want to go with him. These were my options then? Stay here and be a slave and get beat, go with the murdering Alpha who, or go rogue and have nobody. Tears welled in my eyes at my situation.
"Please don't reject him." Aya whimpered.
"Aya... we can't accept him. He's-"
"I know!" She cut me off. "But you need to remember that you wouldn't be the only one losing a mate!" She snapped.
Closing my eyes, I sighed quietly.
When I opened them, I looked into my Alphas eyes. He was staring at me with such anger, I actually took a step back.
"Please?" Whispered Aya.
"Lily?" The Elder stepped forward.
I heard a snicker I'd know anywhere behind me. Now I know why Evelyn was so smug earlier.
Taking a deep breath, I looked away from Alpha Varlos and down at my shoes.
"I do." I whispered.
The mate bond intensified again with my words. I blinked away unshed tears as I sealed my fate. The Elder stepped back, giving me a short look of something close to sympathy.
"It is my great joy to pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss-"
"That won't be necessary." Alpha Varlos cut across him. He turned to me. "Come."
Dragging my feet, I turned to follow my new husband.