My heart pounds in my chest as I ride up to the large gates that are the only way into the pack that I know of. I pull my horse’s reins, slowing him down as we get a good distance away, and River stops at my side with his horse. Alpha, Letric and Alaric are on the other side of this door, and I have to see them again after they broke my heart. I don’t know how I’m going to feel when I see them, but I have put it off for far too long. River looks down at me, and I know if I changed my mind, rode back to the castle and hid there forever, he would be at my side. Though a deep part of me itches to see the Alpha Brothers again, to hear each of their voices, even if I know it is going to hurt. I nod once at River, my mouth too dry to force actual words to leave my lips.
“Open the gates!” River shouts, his voice echoing as the wind carries it. A few silent moments pass before the gates swing open, and I squeeze my legs around the horse, urging it on. We ride through the gates, and I stop the horse the moment I see Alpha standing completely alone in the middle of the path. His long black hair whips around in the wind, caressing his bare chest and the top of his low trousers. His dark eyes fix on me, just as I stare right back, and my wolf growls low.
“Lodie?” a small voice questions, and I suddenly notice Annie at Alpha’s side, holding his hand. He wasn’t lying, dammit.
“Hello, Annie,” I manage to say, glancing back at Alpha who moves to stand behind Annie, placing his hands on her shoulders, and she looks scared. With how Alpha is silently moving, the dark, evil look in his eyes, I would be too in her position. She is just a child, but to Alpha? She is a tool to get me to do what he wants, and he knows it.
“Come with me, Elodie. Now,” Alpha demands. I miss his voice the moment he stops speaking, and I know it will haunt my dreams for a long time more. They each have this effect on me, but Alpha is the worst. His damaged, broken soul calls to me because we both are the same in a messed up way. We both want to destroy each other and rebuild the broken pieces afterwards. This time, I can’t do that with him, and he knows it. My heart is already broken, and what pieces I can fix will go to loving my baby. That’s the hard part of this all, that even if the Alpha Brothers aren’t in my life, I will have a part of them with me. Always.
“No,” I reply. I need to see how he reacts, how he cares. I look around for Letric, Alaric and even Misty, but there is no one else here.
“Don’t you want Annie safe?” he asks.
“You won’t hurt her,” I reply. I know it deep in my soul that he won’t, and I also know this is not how I want us to have our first real talk. It has to be on my terms. I’m too angry, in too much pain to just walk to him and let him control the world again.
“Are you really brave enough to call my bluff?” he asks. “Sweet Elodie, you know I’ve killed worse than this child to get what I wanted.” I don’t reply or even react to his taunt, because that is all it is. A taunt, a threat, but it’s not real. I know the real darkness in Alpha, and the look in his eyes isn’t that right now. See, they all made a mistake keeping me so close, making me fall in love with every part of each of them, because I learnt too much. I know them, and that makes me more dangerous than Alpha could ever know. This isn’t a game he is going to win. The stakes have changed, and I am no longer a pawn. I’m a queen.