For a year now, Jo-anne had been Mated to the future Alpha of the Eclipsed Moon Pack. She had tried for a year to learn about him, do the things that he liked, was being taught by his own mother how to be the Luna of the pack, for when the time came.
It didn’t matter to Westley how much she tried, he didn’t care, never asked her anything. He hated being Mated to her. No matter how many times he demanded to know why she did this to him, Jo-anne could not answer him. She did not know anymore than he did, about their Marking and Mating.
She had woken up in a bed next to him, Marked and Mated by him, she had been the first to wake up. Her body had ached all over, and there was considerable pain between her thighs, had stumbled out of the bed after shoving an arm off of her, she’d had bruising to both her wrists and her inner thighs and there were bite marks all over her body.
That was all she knew about it. When she had looked at the man in the bed her heart had, damned near stopped beating, Westley Carlton, the future Alpha of her pack’s sleeping body on the bed. Had been more than horrified. She had no memory of what happened to her.
Her father, Heath, had come bursting into the hotel room, looking frantic and worried, had likely been looking for her. She could see it was daylight outside, must have been missing all night. He had taken one look at her bruised state and started yelling at Westley. He’d woken up with the bang of the room door, her father was demanding answers as to why he would Mark and Mate his daughter
Westley, who had been staring at the man quite taken aback, had turned and looked around the room, landed his green eyes on her, looked more than shocked to see her standing there desperately trying to pull her clothes on, gotten out of the bed as he’d touched his neck his eyes had widened and then he’d yelled at her “What did you do to me?”
Jo-anne had burst into tears. She didn’t know what had happened. This couldn’t be her fault, she’d never even had a boyfriend. She had just woken up like he had.
Her father was still ranting and West, who yelled at him to shut the hell up, as he’d found his pants and yanked them on. To West’s shock and hers, her father had not shut up, he’d pointed a finger right at West, right in his face and snapped at the future Alpha of their pack.
“You’re in the wrong here. I will see to it you are made to honour what you have done to my daughter.”
West had punched him right in the face, to Jo-anne’s horror, and stormed off out of the room. Leaving her father lying on the ground bleeding from his nose. She had run over to him and helped him up. “Dad, are you okay?” she’d asked.
“Don’t worry Jo-anne. Alpha Damien will make this right. I assure you.” He’d taken her right to the Alpha’s office. Alpha Damien had looked at Jo-anne, the state of her. The Mark on her neck, he could smell his son Westley on her and asked her to sit down and explain what had happened.
Sitting had been very uncomfortable and she’d nearly cried in pain. Damien had noted it, called for the packs doctor. He’d already heard West’s side, the man was standing in the room glaring at her the whole time, uncaring for her pain, it seemed. Jo-anne had told her Alpha she didn’t know, woke up like this in a bed with West, that she had no memory of what had happened or how she had gotten there.
she had been informed she'd been missing feared kidnapped
“Honey, you been missing for days.”
“That’s true.” Alpha Damien had told her “four days, in fact, we have had search parties out looking for you. West and Terrence even out there looking for you.”
“Well, now we know why he never found her.” her father had grated out angrily.
“I did not take her,” West had yelled.
Alpha Damien quietened them down, and sighed again. Her father had stood and told Alpha Damien that West was now responsible for her. He had to take her as his Mate whether he liked it or not. Or he would report the boy's actions to the Alpha Council himself, so the boy could be punished to the full extent of the wolfen laws.
Her father was not much in this pack, a simple border patrol man, but he had stood his ground on his daughter's behalf, the law on his side. West had yelled that it was ridiculous to make him stay Mated to the girl seeing as neither of them knew how it had happened.
At that point, her stepmother, Karen, had come running into the office with the pack doctor following her, looked at her state, gasped and tears had spilled down her face. Surprised Jo-anne quite a bit, they had not really gotten along since she was like 12, not hatred or anything just didn’t get along. “Who did what to my little girl?” she demanded to know hugging her gently and then told her it was all going to be okay.
There had been a lot of yelling while the pack doctor had checked her over in the Alphas private bathroom, he’d sighed apologised for her current state, wasn’t even his fault, she’d nearly cried, not even West had apologised. He’d given her some pain killers and told her though her wolf was young she would be able to heal her up good as new in a few days.
Alpha Damien had come to the decision that Westley must honour what he had done. Regardless that it seemed neither of them could explain it, she’d been moved into his room that afternoon as his Mate, not that he had been happy about it.
Now she sat on the balcony railing eating her breakfast, a piece of fruit, alone as always,
Today, though she would not be going to her Luna lesson, she no longer saw a point to it. She had asked him to reject her just yesterday. It was the 3rd time she’d asked this year. He’d gone to his father on the matter as she had requested it. He could not and apparently neither could she. His father had said ‘no’ because if the council were informed, and Alpha Damien believed her father would go to them and tell them. West could not only be stripped of his title, he could be punished severely, or if they saw fit to make an example out of him, being that he was Alpha-blooded, could execute him. West had not rejected her on the account of saving his own ass.
West had Alpha ordered her a week ago to tell him what happened that day, why she’d done this to him. Once again she’d not been able to tell him.
Jo-anne had focused on her studies from then on, it hurt her every time he alpha ordered her, and it had not been the first time. once she got permission, she could stay on campus. West wouldn’t care at all, would be glad she was gone for a few years. Probably find some she-wolf to f**k while she was away and the minute he did she could reject him, that was her out and she wanted it. Kinda hoping somewhere deep down that’s what was going to happen, as much as she would feel it and be in severe pain. It would get her out of this Mate Bond.
He had not cared when she stopped attending her Luna lessons, didn’t even question her about why. Never brought it up.
6 MONTHS LATER
West stormed into their room fully ticked off about something and glared right at her. His Alpha aura had rolled right off of him so strong as he stared down at her, she’d bared her neck to him instantly, had no choice but to. But it had not been enough for him. “Why’d you do this to me?” he’d yelled at her, forcing more of his Alpha aura down onto her.
Jo-anne had been forced down onto her knees, blinding pain ripping through her body. She wasn’t even trying to fight it, knew better by now, but it didn’t matter, it still hurt, even her wolf Clova was now whimpering in pain.
“I...I didn’t.” she gasped out pain in her voice for all to hear.
“You did.” he roared at her “I order you to tell me, why you did this to me.” his Alpha aura was being pushed over her in waves one after the other.
Jo-anne found herself all the way down on the floor, head bowed touching the actual floor, as submissive as one could get, there were tears pouring out of her, blinding pain was ripping inside her head, Clova was howling in pain curled into a tight ball. Pain was pulling at her entire body. “West, I didn’t do this to you.” she answered him he’d used everything he had to compel her to answer him, she couldn’t lie to him, had never lied to him about it.
Sadly, this was not the first time he had Alpha ordered her to tell him what had happened that day, but this was the first time she felt like it was going to actually kill her. She could smell her own blood, see it on the floor, feel it dripping out of her nose as she lay there bowed so low to him under the force of his will.
T.J had come bursting into the room yelling at him to look at what he was doing. Reminded him, that she was his Mate, that she couldn’t physically take it. West had not seemed to care at all. It had taken T.J telling him it was going to kill her, if he didn’t stop. Only then had he let go of her and stalked out of their room, slamming the door behind him.
She’d just lay there on the floor sagged down and sobbed, so much pain wracking her body, she was unable to move. It had been to much this time. T.J always came to her rescue. He was West’s Beta, but had been her friend all her life, couldn’t recall a time he wasn’t there to help her. Always seemed to know when she was in trouble and came running.
He’d picked her up off the floor and cradled her in his arms in his lap. “He doesn’t mean it, Jo-Jo. He’s just very confused,” he tried to tell her.
But West was not confused. How many times would it take him doing this to believe her, even under the weight of his Alpha order, she could not answer his question.
That had been the day, the last time she had spoken to West. He’d not apologised to her, never had, not once. He wanted answers and she couldn’t give them to him. Jo-anne had buried herself in her studies and had already applied to the university she wanted, was just waiting for her letter of acceptance or rejection. She had stayed away from him when and where ever she could. Couldn’t really hate him, he’d never physically laid a hand on her, their situation, neither of them wanted, but were forced to be in, due to the wolfen laws that would see him stripped of his title.
She’d woken up one morning a month after he’d order her so low she thought she was going to die, to find him close to her. It was a little odd, he never slept next to her and since that day she had, stayed well on her side of the bed, on the edge, as far away from him as she could get.
3 MONTHS TO HER 18TH BIRTHDAY
Jo-anne did not get involved in the planning of her 18th birthday party. She hadn’t even talked to a single soul in 4 weeks, she knew people were starting to look at her, but enough was enough. When would it all end?
She was lying in their bed, had gotten out of the bed and she was just lying there staring out the window.
“What’s wrong with you Jo-anne?” he’d asked, seemed annoyed with her.
She’d not replied, he would likely know she was not going to, had yet to say a single word to him since the day he had last Alpha ordered her. Why would today be any different?
Saw his pack card drop on the bed next to her face, her eyes moved to it briefly, before returning to the window, she could see birds flying about freely, they looked so happy.
“Get up and go and buy yourself a dress for yourself for the announcement.” he told her “Mother is harping at me about it.”
Why he thought she would take his card and spend his money was beyond her. She had a pack card of her own, given to her by him the week after she’d been moved in here. She’d never once used it. Had never once even worn the clothes his mother had purchased for her either. They all just hung in the walk-in, tags still on them. She didn’t want his money. Had never wanted this or his money.
‘ So free’ she thought as she watched the birds flying around, got up from the bed and pushed out onto the balcony to watch them.
“what are you doing?” West snapped at her, by the echo in his voice he was in the bathroom. He didn’t like it when she was outside naked for all to see.
Jo-anne didn’t care, she was going to be free, just like those birds. Put a hand on the railing, climbed up and stepped off without thinking, heard him scream her name, kind of sounded horrified, she thought absently as she flew to freedom. Closed her eyes. “Free.” she whispered. Could feel her wolf panic inside her mind and force shift her to try and take the blunt force of their impact to the ground. She was tougher and stronger and more likely to survive a 4-story fall to the hard ground below. Heard her wolf Clova howl in pain and then there was blessed oblivion.
Jo-anne woke up in the pack hospital broken and wolf-less it seemed. West was sitting next to her bed. She didn’t look at him, didn’t need to, to know it was him, could smell him, knew it was him. Why he was there? She didn’t know! Stared at the ceiling.
She spent a month in that hospital bed, peaceful, got to sleep all by herself every night. West visited every day, morning, afternoon and night. Not once did she look at him, not once did she speak to him. He didn’t try to touch her, just sat and, from what she could tell, just stared at her. She kept her eyes closed when he visited or just stared at the ceiling blankly. She liked the white ceiling was like a white blanket around her mind.
T.J visited every day too. He held her hand and talked to her, told her repeatedly that everything was going to be very different from now on. That things would be better. Sometimes begged her to talk to him. She did not, not even when he pleaded sadness, etching his every word. She did not talk to anyone.
Was returned to West’s room for continued bed rest when she was allowed to leave the hospital, really did not want to be there. But it seemed she had no choice. Was still his Mate.
The doors to his balcony were nailed shut, from what she could tell, all the windows too, there would be no repeat of her 4-story drop to the ground, it seemed, she was caged in now.
Found herself not only in bed with him, but with his body pressed up against hers and his arms around her every night. Could only have been Volt. West would never touch her like that. His wolf had loved Clova and he probably missed his Mate. West should have just rejected her and been done with it. At least he had not once tried to have s*x with her.
Woke up mid-morning the day before her official announcement as the future Luna to find what, under normal circumstances, would have been the most beautiful black mermaid style dress hanging on the walk-in door, crystals on the bodice, pretty like diamonds, she thought absently as she stared at them. Lots of ruffles and feathers, layers upon layers of them from the knee down. It was a strapless dress.
But looking at it, all she could think, was there is my funeral shroud to wear for the rest of my life, one I don’t want. One she knew West didn’t want either. It was hanging there the colour of that dress said it all, black, the colour of that dress represented nothing but the darkness that surrounded them both.
She had found a way out, or thought she had, only to survive it somehow.
No! she would not wear that dress, got up out of the bed where she had laid for the past two months, picked up the letter of acceptance where she was going to live on campus.
West had delivered it, brought it right to her, told her she had gotten into the university of her choice when she had not opened it, he had. Actually said something nice to her for the first time ever during their Mate Bond.
That had been the only time he’d said anything remotely nice to her. He’d told her, he was proud of her, that she had worked hard, and it had paid off. He’d been sitting on the bed next to her, her eyes had remained fixed on the other side of the room. Jo-anne had not cared to look at him for the past three months, felt nothing at all, not even anger, not sadness, just nothing.
Now as she stood there looking at that dress all dark and black, hated it. She would not wear it. Walked over to her walk-in and got dressed, in something other than pyjamas for the first time since leaving the hospital. Packed her one suitcase, the same one she came with. She would leave with just what she had come with, had never wanted anything from him, except maybe his heart. Maybe. But had never gotten that, couldn’t even get him to like her. He never would.
Stood staring at the dress, she didn’t know how long for, then just suddenly yanked it off the hanger, walked over to the fireplace and shoved it in there, and lit the thing on fire, stood and watched it burn. Then took her suitcase and put it in her car and drove away from the pack-house.
The packs gates were closed. She pulled up and looked at the guard. He looked at her a little more than shocked. No one had seen her in months. “Open the gate.” she told him. He couldn’t actually say no, she was Mated to the future Alpha and, as of tomorrow, was supposed to be the future Luna to this pack.
Jo-anne watched as the gate opened, saw the guard frown as he looked in the backseat and saw her one suitcase there. She said nothing. Pressed down on the accelerator the moment the gates were open for her to pass through, and drove out. Got only 20 feet when there were suddenly two guards running in front of her car.
Here it is, she knew this would happen, she’d not left that bedroom in two months, not spoken to anyone the whole time. Now she was driving her car with a suitcase in the back. They had mind-linked West to tell him she was leaving pack territory and he’d told them to stop her.
Well, she was old enough to be the future Luna and could finally do as she pleased, including reject him.
“Stop the car.” one of them was yelling at her. They were both standing with their hands on the hood. Now she had stopped, she didn’t want to injure them. Put the car in park, pulled the hand brake on and got out, left it running though. Leaned on her car and waited. It didn’t take long to hear his car coming or for him to get out and slam the door.
Angry. What else is new, it’s how he always was with her.
Couldn’t remember a single time he’d ever even once smiled at her. Probably was handsome, she wouldn’t know. He’d never looked at her with anything other than irritation or anger.
“Where are you going?” he demanded to know.
Jo-anne turned to look at him. This would be the first time she had turned her eyes on him in three months, not since she had stepped off his balcony. She looked at him, felt nothing as she looked into his dark green eyes, no regret, no love, no sadness, not even anger, just nothing. “I’m leaving West.” she told him calmly, they were the first words she had spoken to him in six months, since the last time he’d Alpha ordered her so bad, T.J had, had to stop him before it killed her.
“You’re leaving...6 hours before your officially the future Luna.”
“Yes,” she nodded, “I’m done West.” she was amazingly calm, she thought to herself. There was no animosity to her words, she wasn’t trying to hurt him. She was setting him free, as well as herself. “ You don’t love me. No matter how hard I tried to please you, you couldn’t even like me. You never will.”
“Jo-anne,” he sighed, seemed less angry with her, that was new.
“No West.” she shook her head slowly “It’s time and you know it. You told me, throughout our entire Mate Bond. It’s all my fault. I’m to blame. You…voiced this many times.” she reminded him calmly of all the things he’d ever told her. She was not looking for a fight, just laying it all out for him to see that she had heard him.
“Jo-anne please it’s..” almost sounded like he was pleading with her.
Unlikely, she dismissed it with a wave of her hand to cut him off. Not something she’d ever done before. “Don’t bother West, it’s just a lie.”
“Your party is all set. You’ll officially be announced as the Future Luna to this Pack. Tomorrow...and you’re choosing now to leave!” he was back to being angry again. Angry, she’d had the gall to cut him off likely.
“Yes.” she nodded.
“I won’t let you.”
She tilted her head ever so slightly to the right, he won’t let her. Pursed her lips for a moment and then a sad smile touched her lips, she couldn’t understand him. He didn’t want her, had never wanted her, not for a single second. For two whole years she’d been a burden to him, the person who had ruined his life.
Breathed a deep sigh and looked right at him “I, Jo-anne Morris, formally reject you Westley Carlton, as my Mate.” she stated calmly. It didn’t even hurt, she thought, I am really done. It was supposed to cause one pain. But nothing, she felt nothing.
Saw his green eyes fill with anger, and she could feel it coming off of him in waves. “I won’t accept it.” he snarled at her.
“Then that, is your problem, West. I am done. Accept it, don’t accept it.” she shrugged. “I am leaving, to get my degree and live, a normal life. Whether you choose to live in pain by not accepting this, is up to you.”
Jo-anne could already feel his Mark burning off of her neck, she had made her decision, and though he had yet to accept it, it appeared the goddess was on her side and releasing her whether he liked it or not.
Her rejection of him was what they both wanted realistically. West had only, never said the words, because his father had not allowed him to.
Jo-anne turned to get in her car.
“Wait, you can’t do this,” again almost sounded as though he was pleading with her, why was he even fighting her on this? It’s always what he has wanted.
“I have done it. Accept it and move on West. My birthday present to you. Your freedom. Go and find someone that can make you happy. Someone…” she sighed softly “you actually want. Neither of us are happy and you know that. Use my party to celebrate your freedom from me,”
“Jo-anne please, don’t do this.”
“Accept it West or live stuck to me, in pain forever. I do not care, anymore.”
“Fine.” he yelled at her, all angry again, “I Westley Carlton accept your rejection, Jo-anne Morris, you are no longer my Mate.” he was practically screaming at her at the end.
Jo-anne sighed and got into her car, she drove away, she had set them both free, they could both move on now. Both of them could now live their lives as they pleased, find happiness.