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Bound By Fate

Updated: Oct 30, 2022

Chapter 1 - Katrina

"Whoa, take it easy, sister!" André grunted as I knocked to the mat harder than I probably should have.

"We're only sparring. Stop showing off, or I'll start showing off too." He pouted, appearing to be in pain.

"Big talk from the heir on his ass." I scoffed, offering my brother a hand.

Scoff as much as I want, but it doesn't change the credibility of his threat. He is the one that got the wolf three years ago. If André put in more effort or let his wolf out, I would need Zio Damon or my cousin Alexander to heal me. So if he weren't holding back, I would be the one on their ass.

"Want to talk about it?" André arched his brow as he popped up from the ground without my help.

Ugh, of course, the drama queen would make me feel bad pretending to be hurt. Just another example of how I got the short end of the stick. He got the wolf and will be Alpha someday. Meanwhile, I got screwed over. I not only didn't get a wolf, but I didn't get magic either.

What a disappointment I turned out to be. Papa, of course, would never say it to my face, but his wolf isn't shy about giving me disappointed looks. Honestly, he isn't any better than Bisnonna, who has always looked at me with disappointment. She's been disappointed since I was conceived.

"Zoe and Alexander went to look for mates this morning." I sighed, leaning against the training room wall.

"Ahh, that explains it. You always get this way when our cousins try to find mates." He nodded, a rare solemn expression on his face.

He may have gotten a wolf, but being gay, his chances of having a mate aren't very high. At least he has a chance. I'm human and a human being fated to a werewolf is one in a million. In this way, we both are getting fucked over. Being mostly positive that we don't have mates opens the dating pool.

"I know I shouldn't let it bother me. But each time anyone finds a mate, it reminds me of what I'll never have." I shrugged.

"Don't think like that. There must be some gorgeous men for us—a straight one for you and a gay one for me. Maybe they'll be twins." André winked, nudging me with his hip.

"But we won't find them if we give up. I say we visit Bisnonna. Witches can pinpoint the location of a mate as long as they are alive and of age. And if any ole witch in her coven can do it, the powerful Crone must be pro. She can tell us where to look." He encouraged getting worked up about the plan.

"Right, 'cause she'll finally tell us? We've only been asking her for three years." I grumbled. I hate to burst his bubble, but one of us needs to be rational. Bisnonna is a cunt; blood or not, she will always hold who our Papa is against us.

"We can wear her down. She is our Bisnonna. I say we put our combined D'Amore charm and that you're a blue-eyed red streaked clone of mamma to use and make her talk. Pull out all the guilt trip stops till she caves like Zio Damon when Zia Izzy asks him for anything."André grinned.

Oh, my darling twin brother and his infinite optimism and over-estimation of his charms. I don't share his point of view. At least not when the Crone is involved. But I'll admit there is no harm in trying.

"Fine, but I'm driving," I smirked as André blanched.

"Goddess, help me." he mocked, forming a cross as he sashayed across the training hall.

I rolled my eyes as he tossed a wink at Piero, distracting the poor guy and making him get knocked down by his sparring partner. "That looks like it hurt, Piero. I'll have to swing by and play nurse tonight." André blew him a kiss as we left.

"Seriously? You want to ask Bisnonna about a mate yet make plans with one of your fuck boys before we leave?" I asked as we got into the car.

"Always have a backup plan, Kat. Piero may not be my mate, but he is a good lay and not bad at giving blow jobs." André shrugged nonchalantly.

"Right, he is the one that can get almost deep throat." I nodded, remembering this random fact.

"Yes, it is tragic. I do hope my mate will lack a gag reflex. I would love to get a blow job and really get into it without constantly worrying I'm too much for him." André lamented.

"Mhm. May whomever, of anyone, the Goddess sees fit to mate a D'Amore be able to keep up with our sexual appetites." I smiled.

"Amen." He laughed, gripping the door handle as I started to go faster on the open road.

The drive to Bisnonna's cottage was quick and mostly just André talking about his hopes for his mate's personality and appearance. Some things like their personality I am doubtful about as mates should balance each other, and what he was hoping for sounded more like his own personality. I hope he gets some of what he wants in a mate.

We had barely exited the car when the door to the cottage opened, and Bisnonna stepped out. I get that she's pushing ninety but still, I've seen raisins and prunes with fewer wrinkles. I look more like a Berardi than a D'Amore, but I hope I age more gracefully than the Crone.

"No." She greeted us with a narrowed, unamused look.

"Hello to you too, you old cunt." I scoffed.

"Bisnonna, in a bad mood already? Does someone need to get laid? Shouldn't there be a winter solstice orgy coming up? Please don’t assume that it is our fault you don't get laid more. Don't take your sexual frustrations out on your great-grandchildren. You're the man-hater." André taunted her with a grin.

"Yes, not our fault you hate men yet enjoy dick but can't get dick because you hate men. Oh, and because you look like a prune." I rolled my eyes.

"You are not pleading your case. And the answer is no. I won't tell you where to find your mates." She dismissed with that ever-present look of disappointment when she looked at me.

"And why is that? Because you're a spiteful, petty cunt who believes the sins of the father fall to the children? Even when they are her last living relatives. You get that if neither of us finds someone, it isn't only the D'Amore bloodline that ends." I folded my arms.

"We get you don't like Papa. Well, not get in the aspect of understanding why. Mamma loved him, and he loved her. Nothing can control that," André sighed.

"You should want us to be happy. And you already gave away that we have mates out there. What kind of cruel person would deny their family happiness?" André pouted.

"If you won't tell us, we can and will go to another witch. Your coven takes money from werewolves seeking their mates after years of looking." I shrugged, ready to go elsewhere.

"No one in the coven would answer you at my command." She smugly replied.

"Do you hate Papa that much? Do you hate us this much? You claim to have loved mamma, but how you treat us says otherwise. She must watch from beyond as you act heartlessly to her children." André implored.

"Do not bring my granddaughter into this." She pointed her index finger at him.

I glared and moved to stand in front of my brother. "Lower that finger, NOW! Do not point your boney witchy finger at my brother."

"You would dare get in my way? Or suggest I would curse my great-grandson?" She had the nerve to pretend to look offended.

"I will always get in the way of anyone who dares threaten my brother. And you have made it clear our relation to you means nothing. You would doom us to lives without loving knowing that soulmates are out there for us. Doesn't sound like a very Bisnonna thing to do." I snorted, folding my arms.

She glared at me in a silence that felt like it stretched on forever. Then finally, she spoke. "The D'Amores must travel to Nebrodi, les Hurleurs Sanctifiés, and Bloodmoon." With that said, she turned and went back inside.

I turned in disbelief to look at my brother. A grin was already spreading across his lips. "You heard the Crone. The D'Amore family needs to visit three packs. Three packs, three D'Amore." André waggled his eyebrows. "Let’s get Papa and make the arrangements.”

“I wonder who’s going to find their mate where. Can you imagine Papa with a French woman or an American?” I chuckled, having a hard time picturing that.

It’s not that Papa would probably care, but I know he’s not a fan of the French. He never explained beyond bad memories. I can only assume it’s something to do with his parents and those scars that cover his body.

“It doesn’t matter where our mates are from. The Goddess knows what she’s doing. We must trust the destiny she has for us and find our way to it.” André shrugged. Sometimes he’s wise, and it’s scary.

I was mentally going over how we could bring this up to Papa on the drive home. All my careful planning of easing Papa into this news went out the window when my brother walked into the villa.

“PAPA! GREAT NEWS! THE CRONE HAS FINALLY TOLD US WHERE ALL THREE OF US CAN FIND OUR MATES! SO PACK YOUR BAGS AND MAKE SOME CALLS!” André shouted as he walked to the far side of the villa, throwing the doors to Chesed’s darkroom open without remorse that he knew Chesed was in there dominating some stupid bitch.

I rolled my eyes as I followed behind him. I was at least smart and fast enough to cover my eyes before I heard the shriek of that manipulative slut Beatrice. She’s been trying to get in Papa’s good graces since her mate died four years ago. She was always a power-hungry bitch and disappointed that her mate was a scout, not someone of rank. Only a fool would think they could become Luna when they weren’t born to it. If Papa wanted a chosen Luna, he’d have marked my mamma.

“You need to control your bastards better!” She exclaimed. Maybe if she hadn’t just insulted me and ever didn’t go out of her way to make me hate her guts, I’d feel an ounce of sympathy for her. But I didn’t, so I didn’t flinch as I heard a smack followed by something just about her size hitting the wall.

“Get out of my home! If you disrespect my children again, they will be the last words you speak.” Chesed snarled. I lowered my hand as I moved to let her stumble out of the darkroom. Her pleather lingerie was torn, and a bruise across her face, blood dripping from her lip as she sneered at me.

“Now, what nonsense are you spouting as you interrupt my fun?” Chesed questioned, at least having the decency to zip his pants.

I don’t need to see my Papa like that. Given how little Beatrice was wearing vs. Chesed was still fully dressed, you’d think we just interrupted. But that’s not always the case as Chesed doesn’t undress unless shifting to and from wolf form. Neither he nor Papa likes to put their scars on display.

“André told you.” I rolled my eyes. I know his hearing is perfect, so he heard what my brother shouted.

“The Crone finally told us where to find our mates.” I outlined, ensuring the beast knew his presence was not required or desired. “We, meaning Papa and us, you can take a backseat in his head, must make arrangements to visit Nebrodi, les Hurleurs Sanctifiés, and Bloodmoon. So make the calls to their Alphas we’ll pack.”

Chesed started to snarl at my disrespect. He may have everyone else in this pack and maybe the world terrified of him, but not me. So I didn’t think twice when I slapped him hard. I’m sure they'd be killed on the spot if anyone but me or Zia Izzy dared to hit Chesed. There are benefits to being the Princess, even if I’m human.

“Snarl at me again, wolf, and I won’t care that you’re my Papa’s wolf, and it’s his body, and I’ll castrate you. Learn your damn place. So help me, Goddess, if you cause Papa’s mate to reject him, there will be hell to pay.” I warned with my index finger in his face.

Chesed wanted to attack me, but as he started to step closer, Papa fought for control. I watched the war wage in his eyes as they fluctuated between yellow and blue. Finally, they stayed blue. “Katrina, you shouldn’t rile him up like that.” Papa sighed.

“He should learn his place. He is your wolf, Papa. You rely on him too much. I know some of the dirty and darker sides of being Alpha you would rather let him handle.” I sighed. I know the trauma of his past makes specific tasks difficult for him. Even if he doesn’t give us details of his childhood, we know it was terrible.

“But we are talking about mates. And he cannot treat a mate like he does the whores that come into this room. Your mate will be our Luna, and she should be treated with dignity, respect, and above all, love.” I advised before wrapping him in a hug. “So, please, Papa, don’t let Chesed ruin your chance to have a mate and be whole finally.”

“I will do my best to keep him under control. He doesn’t want to lose our mate, so don’t doubt him too much, my Princess.” Papa sighed, hugging me back.

“I want hugs too!” André exclaimed as suddenly I was squished as he wrapped his arms to embrace Papa and me. “Okay, mushy family time over. Papa, make the calls so we can get this party started.” He laughed, letting us go.

It took two weeks for Papa to get everything in place and to ensure that Zio Damon could handle things in the pack in his absence. I felt terrible that we were heading out to find our mates yet our cousins Zoe and Alexander returned from their trip empty-handed. Our first stop was going to be our neighboring pack, Nebrodi.

Chapter 2 - Alec

Chesed may not be thrilled with the interruption of my children, but I certainly was. I don’t even care what their reasoning for intruding was so long as it meant not having sex with Beatrice. I don’t care that she is a widow, so my conscience about her mate should be clear. I don’t care for the woman. She isn’t my type at all.

So the plus side of my children bursting into the darkroom, I didn’t have to have sex with that piece of trash. Another plus, Chiara, the bane of my existence and winner of the worst Bisnonna award nineteen years running, finally did a good deed. It only took her three years to decide to tell my children where their mates were located.

To my surprise, my children make it sound like Chiara has revealed the location of my mate. That sounds impossible. Mainly because Chiara hates me with the fire of a thousand burning suns. She will die hating me and probably find a way to haunt me out of sheer spite for even daring to look at her granddaughter, let alone get her pregnant. But also because I doubt there is any truth to it.

I’m nearly fifty and have found my mate, granted I haven’t been looking for the last twenty years but still not the point. My father told me I was cursed, never to know the peace, love, and happiness of having a mate. The elders of the monastery agreed with him. They beat me enough to try and remind me that even if I am an Alpha, it does not mean I will be blessed with a mate. My soul was too black, or Chesed’s soul is too black, by their standards.

‘Fuck Ciriaco and those asshole elders. Ciriaco got what he deserved, and honestly, if you hadn’t insisted I let it end with your parents, I’d have gone to the Monastery of Destinies and wiped out the elder population.’ Chesed snorted.

That was the minus in everything my children just told me. One of the locations we are supposed to go to is Les Hurleurs Sanctifiés. That pack is home to the monastery. I can only hope that I do not find my mate there. I’d rather skip going there altogether. I find it’s best to keep Chesed away from places, people, and situations in general that will send him on a murder spree.

The last thing I need is Chesed going on a murder spree. Getting Alphas Silvano, Sylvester, and Logan to approve our passage into their territories was hard enough. If Chesed loses control and hurts anyone, it will ruin everything. I’ve waited decades for my mate, and I don’t want to risk losing this chance. I also don’t want to risk my children’s chances at mates.

“André, do you need three suitcases? And what is in the garment bag?” I questioned, loading his luggage into the SUV trunk we would be driving to Nebrodi and then to Les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.

“Of course, Papa. One must always be prepared—weather, lighting, and mood, to name a few factors. And I’m meeting my mate, and I need to look my best. I also packed some toys and condoms. And no, I’m not sharing my toys with either of you, but if needed, you can take some of the condoms.” He rolled his eyes like this was obvious.

“Your sister and I only have one bag each.” I sighed, shaking my head. I do not know how my son ended up being so high maintenance. It’s a good thing that when we take a jet from Paris to Oregon, it’s a private jet, so we aren’t paying extra for his obscene amount of luggage.

I’m not sure how this trip is going to go. Even this first stop has me on edge. I haven’t seen Silvano Pini since we were boys training at the monastery. No heir was safe from the harsh discipline of the elders, but I always got it worse. And yes, I held some resentment toward the other heirs because none of them dared even speak against the elders’ obvious excessive force used against me.

‘If there weren’t a mate for us or one of the kids in Nebrodi, I’d rather never even catch a whiff of Silvano’s scent.’ Chesed grumbled.

‘Will you stop being a whiny pup. You’re too old to be holding grudges. It isn’t Silvano or any of the heirs’ faults from back then. They couldn’t do anything about it.’ I rolled my eyes.

‘As long as no one in any of these packs we visit don’t do anything to piss me off, I’ll be fine. One disrespectful comment about the kids and heads will roll.’ He growled before finally shutting up.

“Papa, I love you, and I can occasionally enjoy opera. But…” André sighed, reaching for the radio controls, switching the BlueTooth from my phone to his. The car speakers changed from the soft melody of All I Ask Of You from the Phantom of the Opera to Queen’s We Will Rock You.

I arched my eyebrow as my son started clapping and stomping to the beat, singing along. I was waiting for Katrina to speak out, but as André looked to the back seat, still clapping and stamping in beat encouraging his twin, instead of telling him to knock it off, she joined in. And the moment she sided with him, I knew I’d lost the war for the radio. While typically, the driver picks the music as a rule, but when outvoted, that’s it.

So the entire two-hour drive was spent listening to the eclectic playlist that is my son’s Spotify. A two-hour car ride is bad enough, especially with your children, even if they are adults. Let’s compound that by having André in the seat next to me, singing and dancing with every song that came on.

As we pulled up to the Nebrodi, I popped an aspirin hoping to help the headache. I’ve suffered physical and mental abuse and think I could take any form of torture at this point in my life. But I don’t think I could stand another minute of my son controlling the radio. I wasn’t surprised that Silvano was already coming out the doors as we got out of the car.

“Alpha Alec, welcome to Nebrodi. I wasn’t sure you’d be attending with your heirs.” Silvano greeted politely.

His blue eyes glanced at my children as they climbed out of the car. I can tell he’s more than a little taken back by them. More so by my son. Other than the red streaks in her dark hair that she had styled in a side braid, Katrina looked the part of a pack Princess in a red collared wrap dress.

André was a completely different story. He stepped out in black chinos with a rainbow strip on the outer seams and a bright blue dress shirt with his signature phrase ‘always fabulous’ in sparkles on the back. And if his outfit didn’t get enough attention, the bright blue mohawk did.

“Alpha Silvano, meet my children. Princess Katrina and my heir André.” I introduced the twins. “Per the suggestion of the Crone, we are here searching for mates.”

“Thank you for hosting us on such short notice, Alpha Silvano.” Katrina bowed her head politely. That’s my girl.

“Yes. We appreciate it. Not to be rude, but do you know how many unmated gay males are in your pack?” I watched Silvano waiting to see how he handles my son and his sexuality, as André jumped right into it.

“Um. I couldn’t tell you.” Silvano’s brow furrowed, thrown off guard by my son. “We don’t ask or track the sexual preferences of pack members. But I’ll let your guides know you are both looking for unmated males.”

“Speaking of, your guides should be waiting inside. If you’ll follow me.” Silvano gestured for us to follow as he returned to his pack house.

I always found this an odd tradition that the Alpha family lives in the same building that hosts events and visiting guests. I much prefer my way. I have my villa, so my home is separate from the business of running a pack. My office is in the town hall where events and visiting guests if we ever have them, are hosted. But their packhouse is nice with a welcoming foyer.

In some ways, it felt more like a hotel than a place a family lives. But it wasn’t the decor that had my attention. The delicious scent of tiramisu invaded my nose and had Chesed on his feet and pushing forward.

“My Beta and Delta heirs Crista and Tiberius should be here.” Silvano furrowed his brow, but I wasn’t paying attention.

I was starting to follow the intoxicating scent of my mate. I’m somewhat surprised that after thirty years, I would find her so quickly after arriving in Nebrodi. “You wait for the heirs. I smell my mate.” I waved dismissively at my children, walking away. I don’t care that I was rude to Silvano by not saying anything to him.

The scent led me through the packhouse to the back side of the building. I stopped when I saw a man close to my age yanking a girl who couldn’t be older than Katrina to the door.

“Let me go. I have duties to attend to, and you are starting to hurt me.” The girl demanded sternly as she tried to pull away.

‘That’s our mate! He is manhandling our mate! Kill him,’ Chesed snarled, shoving forward.

Usually, I would opt for a rational and diplomatic route. But today, I agree with Chesed. A rare moment indeed. I let Chesed forward, calling on his power as the shadows eagerly obeyed our command. The man’s shadow turned against him, pulling him away from my mate and pinning him to the wall. “My mate said to let her go.” I snarled, getting between the man and my mate.

Chapter 3 - Tiberius

“Welcome to Nebrodi, Princess Katrina, and Alpha Heir André.” I frowned, not liking that delivery, as I looked back at the papers in my hand that gave me what details we could dig up on the Incubi heirs.

I don’t generally deal with welcoming visitors. This was more Luna Sylvia’s area of expertise. But because the visitors are young heirs seeking their mates, Alpha Silvano felt it would be best to have Crista and me show them around and introduce them to the unmated members of the pack.

Crista seemed just as nervous as me about this. Our pack doesn’t generally deal with Incubi. They like to keep to themselves, and if rumors are to be taken with more than a grain of salt, it’s probably for the best. I can’t even think of a time someone from Incubi came here to seek a mate or vice versa.

The rumor mill is that their Alpha, the dad to the two heirs coming today, came into power after murdering his parents. That’s some cold shit to murder your parents. It takes a certain kind of asshole to stoop that low. Maybe if people had anything bad to say about the previous Incubi Alpha and Luna, I could get it. But I’ve never heard anything bad about them, so why off them?

‘Stop thinking about rumors. You are about to greet the Incubi heirs. You shouldn’t go into this meeting with judgments based on rumors.’ August scolded me.

“Crista…” Christopher called out, poking his head, looking somewhat frazzled. I wonder what’s got him in a tizzy.

“Did you need something, papa? Tie, and I are supposed to go greet the Incubi Alpha heirs.” Crista asked, giving her dad a concerned look. I don’t blame her. Something is off as Beta Christopher is not the kind to get flighty. That’s my mom’s vibe, and okay, mine. Beta Christopher is a damn rock.

“I know, but first, I need you for something. It’ll be fast. Don’t worry. I’m sure Tiberius can manage if you are a little late.” Christopher assured, waving for her to follow him.

“I got you covered, Crista,” I assured her as she reluctantly went with her dad.

I know she saw this as an opportunity to build an alliance with the future Alpha of Incubi. She’d have been over the moon if she managed to build enough rapport with the heirs to secure a future alliance even before Thales has returned from his training and any of us officially take our roles in the pack. I can smooth talk with the best of them. And one of these heirs is a girl, I have to turn on the Bellomo charm, and I’ll have that princess eating out of the palm of my hand.

‘Tiberius, Crista, report now. We are waiting.’ Alpha Silvano called through the link.

‘On my way, Alpha. Beta Christopher needed Crista, but she should be there soon.’ I answered, hurrying down the stairs.

I skidded to a stop at the top of the stairs, the smell of fresh peanut butter chocolate chip cookies overloading my senses. These aren’t my mamma’s cookies. This smell is something out of this world. I started sniffing the air letting my nose track the scent. My eyes looked down at the foyer and the source of the smell.

A knockout in a red wrap dress accenting her braid’s red streaks and highlighted beautiful blue eyes walked in with two others. I didn’t give a damn about the other two. They disappeared entirely from my vision as August was on his feet, pushing forward.

‘MATE!’ He exclaimed. I was so busy staring at my mate and trying to keep August from taking over entirely that as I started to come down the stairs, I tripped on my own feet. Yeah, not graceful as I tumbled down all twenty-four steps on the curved staircase.

“Oh, Goddess! Are you alright?” A sweet voice asked as I felt my head being carefully moved into a lap. I knew it was my mate because her smell was more potent, and when she touched me, I felt the spark of the bond course through my body.

“Holy shit…” She exclaimed, dropping me. I winced as my neck hurt, but I probably shouldn’t complain. My head is in her lap, and damn, her thighs are comfy.

“Tiberius Salvatore Bellomo, what fool antics is this?” Alpha Silvano shocked me out of my bliss. My eyes shot open, looking up at the beautiful face of my mate. I smiled until the shadow of my Alpha loomed over her shoulder, eyes narrowing at me with annoyance.

“Oh… I’m sorry, Alpha. I … well, I know it was eons ago, but you gotta remember what it was like when you first met Luna Sylvia.” I attempted to apologize, realizing as he growled that I probably was also digging a hole with the eons comment.

“Mate!? Are you kidding me! We just walked in, and you and papa have already found your mates!?” A male bemoaned dramatically, throwing his hands in the air. “Why did the Crone give us three stops if she knew one of them contained mates for two of our family.” He pouted.

“Mate or not, get off the ground, Tiberius, and properly introduce you to our guests.” Alpha Silvano commanded.

“Yes, Alpha.” I quickly jumped my feet, spinning around to offer my hand to my mate. “If my Alpha scolding me didn’t give it away, I’m Tiberius Bellomo, Delta heir of Nebrodi. And it is an absolute pleasure to meet you, mate.” I grinned.

She chuckled softly, shaking her head as she took my hand. Fuck, those sparks are no joke. It’s like I’m on a sugar high, and all I’m doing is holding her hand. The only thing I found odd was that she didn’t realize we were mates till we touched. What’s up with that?

‘She’s a hybrid idiot. She doesn’t have a wolf.’ August rolled his eyes as he again tried to shove forward, wanting a better look at her.

“Nice to meet you. I’m Katrina D’Amore, Princess of Incubi. The one pouting is my twin brother André, Alpha heir of Incubi. Our papa, alpha Alec went off searching for his mate, having picked up her scent as soon as we walked in.” She introduced herself and her brother, letting her hand adjust to hold mine.

A shriek from the other side of the pack house caught everyone’s attention. “That’s Crista!” I exclaimed, knowing her shrieks anywhere. Her sister Persephone torments her enough, so I would know it blindfolded. I forgot I was still holding Katrina’s hand as I started running to see why Crista was screaming. Thankfully, Katrina was keeping up even in her heels. Her brother and Alpha Silvano were right behind us.

I have no words for what we walked into. Beta Christopher was growling, pinned to the wall by a shadow, while a man that looked about Alpha Silvano’s age was snarling at him with one arm keeping Crista back. Or maybe he was trying to get her to stop hitting him.

“LET MY PAPA GO, ASSHOLE! I DON’T CARE IF YOU ARE MY MATE! HURTING MY PAPA IS NOT THE HOW TO GET ON MY GOOD SIDE!” Crista was shouting, beating both fists against the man’s back.

“Alpha Alec, I would kindly ask you to release my Beta. You are here as a guest, and attacking him could be considered an act of war against Nebrodi.” Alpha Silvano commanded.

A pair of angry yellow eyes glared over his shoulder at Silvano. “Your Beta needs to learn manners, especially in how you treat a daughter.” A sinister voice snarled. An aura radiated off this Alpha that was very different from Alpha Silvano or any Alpha I’ve crossed paths with. This is the Incubi Alpha? My mate’s father? I gulped and held her hand tighter.

I blinked as she pulled from my hand. She took the papers I had been holding, rolling them up as she confidently marched up to her very angry-looking father and twacked him across the nose. “Bad wolf!” She snorted.

“Get back where you belong, Chesed. You are upsetting my papa’s mate and making enemies with her pack. Not to mention hurting her papa. I warned you what I’d do if you cost my papa his mate and our pack their Luna.” Katrina glared, holding the papers up again, ready for another swing.

I think the only person not startled by my mate’s bold scolding was her brother. He was laughing next to me. “I hope you like being dominated, Tiberius. Because a D’Amore is a born Dom.”

I wanted to pull my mate back but was ashamed to admit I was rooted in place in fear as Alpha Alec raised his hand. ‘If he hits our mate, I don’t care if he’s an Alpha. I’m taking over and biting him.’ August growled.

To my relief, that didn’t happen. Alpha Alec’s eyes changed from yellow to blue, looking sad and apologetic. As he lowered his hand, the shadow holding Beta Christopher disappeared, and he dropped to one knee, coughing as he tried to catch his breath. It looks like rumors aren’t all that inaccurate.

Chapter 4 - Crista

I can’t fathom what is going through Papa’s head. He knows that I was given a direct order from Alpha Silvano. So I can’t imagine what he needs that could supersede an Alpha order. As the Beta heir, I have to greet the Incubi Alpha heirs and show them around Nebrodi as they seek their mates.

I’m also unsure if I want to leave this all to Tie. I love him like a brother and know he’s a great guy and will become an amazing Delta when Thales returns and we all assume our new roles. But well, he’s not the most focused. Not to mention he is most likely to say something he shouldn’t. I don’t want him to make a bad impression.

Incubi is one of the three packs of Sicily and the only one we don’t have a treaty with. This is our chance to ensure at the least peace between our packs and, at best, a permanent alliance. I’ve heard all the same rumors as everyone else about the current Incubi Alpha, Alec D’Amore. But his son is the pack’s future, and if we can make a good impression with his heir, things could change when he comes to power.

The Alpha heirs are a significant variable in my plans. We don’t know much about them beyond their names and ages. But I want to think of that as a good thing. No rumors are going around about the D’Amore twins, so perhaps they aren’t like their father. It would be easier to broker peace with an heir who’s not a ruthless cold blooded killer like his father.

“Papa, you are being ridiculous at this point. There is nothing that you need me for. And Alpha Silvano is expecting me with Tie. You know as well as I do that the Alpha’s orders always outweigh any others.” I sighed, having had enough of this.

“Silvano will understand. We need to go. You must trust me, Crista. It’s for your own good.” Papa assured me as he tugged my arm rougher than before as he tried to drag me out the back doors.

“Let me go.” I’ve had enough of this, and nothing my Papa is doing makes any sense. “I have duties to attend to, and you are starting to hurt me,” I demanded sternly as I tried to pull away.

Papa didn’t get a chance to reply to me. I blinked in shock as a shadow pulled my Papa away and pinned him roughly to the wall. My breath caught in my throat as I was torn between fear for my Papa’s safety and the alluring scent of rose petals and blood oranges but with a slight ashy undertone—all the aroma of my favorite wine, Fattorie Romeo del Castello Vigo Etna Rosso.

“My mate said to let her go.” A man snarled, getting between Papa and me.

‘MATE!’ Emilia exclaimed, tail wagging with excitement.

Meanwhile, I was in utter shock that my mate was here, and he was the one that was currently pinning my Papa to a wall. My mouth was probably hanging open as I looked at the imposing man standing with his back to me. I only caught a glimpse of his profile but whoa. Dark, near-black hair with just a touch of gray at the temples was neatly combed to the side with a stronger jawline and a fairer complexion dressed in all black. Black dress shoes, slacks, and a black shirt stretched deliciously across muscular shoulders.

Did I describe the fit of his shirt as delicious?

‘Bet your ass you did. Cause it is. Damn, he’s hot! And he’s already claiming us. I like a man who knows what he wants and goes for it.’ Emilia was practically bouncing with excitement.

“L…let…me… go… Alpha Alec.” Papa struggled to speak as the shadow squeezed the air out of him.

My heart stopped as it all clicked. No. Oh, Goddess, no. The Mad Alpha of the Incubi pack is my mate!? My mate is the most ruthless and bloodthirsty Alpha of Sicily, Italy, Europe, and probably the world! This can’t be happening. And to make matters worse, he’s hurting my Papa.

I have to do something. I may be his mate, but I don’t know if that means anything to him, least of all enough to get him to stop hurting my Papa. So I screamed, hoping to get anyone else to come and help stop him.


I was relieved when I smelled others, specifically Alpha Silvano. Finally reinforcements!

“Alpha Alec, I would kindly ask you to release my Beta. You are here as a guest, and attacking him could be considered an act of war against Nebrodi.” Alpha Silvano commanded.

A pair of angry yellow eyes glared over his shoulder at Silvano. Even Emilia froze at the sight. Such a handsome face but such cold and sinister eyes. How was I supposed to spend a life with this beast? Goddess, what were you thinking? My life would’ve been simpler and better if you’d intended me for Thales.

“Your Beta needs to learn manners, especially in how you treat a daughter.” A sinister voice snarled. This must be his wolf! His aura was intense and unlike any Alpha, I’ve met. This certainly explains why he’s feared.

I blinked, startled as a woman that didn’t look much older than me marched up to him with a rolled-up piece of paper and hit him! She thwacked him like a disobedient pet! Is she insane?

“Bad wolf!” She snorted. “Get back where you belong, Chesed. You are upsetting my Papa’s mate and making enemies with her pack. Not to mention hurting her Papa. I warned you what I’d do if you cost my Papa his mate and our pack their Luna.” The woman glared, holding the papers up again, ready for another swing.

Alpha Alec’s eyes changed from yellow to the most beautiful and expressive sapphire blue, looking sad and apologetic. As he lowered his hand, the shadow holding papa disappeared, and he dropped to one knee, coughing as he tried to catch his breath. I pushed past my mate and the woman who’d brought him to heel and knelt by my Papa.

“Papa, are you okay?” I asked while I checked him for bruises.

“I’ll be fine, pumpkin.” He assured me, yet didn’t look at me. His eyes were focused behind me on Alpha Alec. “Now you see why you had to leave. I needed you to leave before he found you.” Papa explained, taking pained breaths between his words.

“What?” I questioned, leaning away. “But that… that implies….” I shook my head. I didn’t want to believe this.

“That he somehow knew I was your mate.” Alpha Alec stated, stepping closer. I didn’t have to look back to know he was closer. I could feel him. I could feel this invisible pull to him like he was the sun, and I was trying to fight his gravity.

“How would he know that? Even you didn’t know your mate would for sure be here. The Crone didn’t tell us who’s mate would be in which pack.” The male with the blue mohawk questioned, stepping forward.

I furrowed my brow as he leaned down to eye level with my Papa. Judging by his face, he was Alpha Alec’s son and heir, André D’Amore. He’s very handsome, but he takes after his father with a bolder style.

“How about you save us the trouble of forcing it out of you? How did you know your daughter was my Papa’s mate? Who told you this? And how long ago did they tell you?” He questioned.

“I don’t have to answer you. An alpha heir or not, you cannot compel anything from me.” Papa stubbornly narrowed his eyes.

“Bad choice, old man.” André tisked, holding his index finger up as it started to spark.

“Don’t you dare!” I exclaimed, reaching to yank his hand away so he couldn’t hurt my Papa.

This, of course, was probably not well thought out as instead of Papa, I was the one with whom his sparking finger would come in contact. Yet before he could make contact, I was suddenly swept out of the way, and a very annoyed Alpha Alec held his finger.

“André Marcus D’Amore….” He growled, unfazed by whatever power his son processed. Maybe his son shut it down fast enough.

“Sorry, Papa. I was shutting it down. I wasn’t going to hurt my new matrigna.” André apologized with a smile and a wink. “I was only looking to scare Nonno here into telling the truth.”

“No one asked for you to interfere.” Alpha Alec sighed. “Go stand over there.” He pointed to the far wall.

“But…” André started to protest.

“Get over here. You are making a fool of yourself.” The girl, who I now realize must be Princess Katrina, rolled her eyes, yanking her brother away by his ear to stand by Tie.

“Now then. I think everyone is at fault for letting emotions get the better of them. Beta Christopher…” Alpha Alec turned his attention to my Papa as he grabbed his hand and yanked him back to his feet.

“I may not be your Alpha, but I am an Alpha, and you will explain your actions. What right do you have to try and hide my mate from me? I don’t care that she’s your daughter. I have a daughter myself and wouldn’t dare to interfere in the destiny the Goddess has laid out for her. This brings me to another point. How would you know we were mates when we didn’t?” He questioned, folding his arms.

“Papa… how did you know he was my mate? I won’t ask why you’d want to keep me from him. I know his reputation as well as you do.” I frowned, glancing at Alpha Alec, who looked put out as I brought up his reputation.

‘Stop hurting our mate’s feelings! We don’t know him, so we can’t judge him.’ Emilia shouted at me.

‘He tried to choke the life out of my papa!’ I shouted back.

‘And he was trying to sneak us away before we could find our mate. Your Papa was trying to keep us from our mate. What is with that? What gives him that right? He doesn’t know our mate any better than we do. The Goddess wouldn’t mate us to someone bad.’ Emilia scoffed.

“Answer her, Christopher. Alec and I may not always be on the best terms, but he is an Alpha and a guest in our pack. Your actions go against the will of the Goddess, and if he wanted, could be grounds to start a war as you were knowingly trying to keep the Incubi pack from having a Luna.” Alpha Silvano insisted.

“NOW!” He added an Alpha command when it looked like Papa was going to stall.

“Gwen and I have known since Crista shifted. The Crone came to us and said that our daughter was special, not that we didn’t know after seeing her wolf. She said that she had a great destiny ahead, but it would be at the side of the Incubi Alpha Alec.” Papa sighed.

“Bisnonna straight up told you that shit!? Wait, how old are you, Crista?” André exclaimed before having his mouth covered by his sister.

“Ignore the peanut gallery.” She sighed.

“I’m seventeen. So you’ve known for a year? But if you knew I was meant for this, why would you try to hide me from him?” I furrowed my brow, trying to find reason in my Papa’s actions.

“Because three hours ago, the Crone came again. This time with a warning. If you were to meet your mate when he arrived with his children, there would be a great catastrophe. She said that your mating would bring an era of death and destruction.” Papa frowned. “I had to protect you from that.”

Chapter 5 - André

I wasn’t going to fry Beta Christopher extra crispy. I wouldn’t do that, as it would make a poor first impression of a visiting Alpha heir. Not to mention he’s the Papa to my Papa’s mate. I can’t hurt my family.

‘The only thing that you just said that you meant was extra crispy. You planned to shock Beta Christopher so he’d talk.’ Duilio scoffed, calling me out.

‘Whatever. He was being a stubborn ass. How dare he try to hide Papa’s mate from him. He’s waited decades for her. I’ll not let anyone, even her Papa, stand in the way of my Papa’s happiness.’ I snorted.

‘And look where that got you.’ Duilio scoffed as I rubbed my sore ear.

You’d think finding her mate and having the stud fall head over heels down a flight of stairs for her would make her less violent. Maybe she’ll be in a better mood after they fuck and mark each other. How does that work? I don’t think the fables of human and werewolf mates ever discussed how they mark each other.

Is it like how other supernatural creatures mark humans? Do humans bear their mark but not vice versa? Would that mean my sister will have an incomplete mate bond? I’m not too fond of that idea. I want her to get the whole experience. If the Goddess saw fit to at least give her this, she better have a way for my sister to enjoy the mutual connection a completed bond offers properly.

I was pulled from my musing when Nonno Christopher claimed Bisnonna came here three hours ago to say his daughter mating with my Papa would be apocalyptic.

“That doesn’t make any sense. Sure Bisnonna hates Papa more than vampires hate the sun. But if she told you they were mates and told us to come here, she wouldn’t then tell you to hide Crista from Papa.” I didn’t think I just spoke.

Of course, now all eyes turned to me. Papa and Katrina at least understood my line of thinking and probably agreed with me. The Nebrodi, however, were looking at me like I had three heads. Nothing about what he said makes sense. So why are they looking at me like that?

“What? Why are you looking at me like that? I know my Bisnonna. Hate Papa as much as she likes. She wouldn’t go against the will of the Goddess.” I pouted, folding my arms.

“Did you say, Bisnonna? Like are you saying that The Crone is your Bisnonna?” Tiberius asked, obviously unaware of our maternal family tree. The boy better learn fast now that he’s joining the family.

“Well, duh, why else would I call her that.” I rolled my eyes.

“Chiara, or The Crone as she is best known, is the grandmother to my late lover,” Papa explained, doing his best not to look at his mate. I can tell it’s a struggle for him. He wants nothing more than to stare at her until she finds it creepy and smacks him.

“So, you’re half witch?” Tiberius’ brow furrowed as he looked at Katrina.

“No, I mean technically. I have no magic, and neither did mamma. Kind of the black mark on the Berardi name.” Katrina shrugged, but I could tell her hackles were up. It’s a touchy subject for her. I frowned, wrapping my arm around my twin and hugging her.

“You were born just as the Goddess intended. Bisnonna can suck a lemon if she thinks having magic is the only thing that could make you special. You are a fucking badass.” I encouraged her.

“Okay. Can we go back to the part about the Crone? Why would the Crone first hate Alpha Alec that much? Second, tell my parents we were mates to turn around and say being mates would be a catastrophe?” Crista questioned.

“Oh, well, because of mamma. She wasn’t his mate since you are. Bisnonna holds a grude hardcore. She’s hated him since he started seeing mamma, and I think she also blames him for her death, which is not his fault. Honestly, it’s our fault if she wanted to blame someone since delivery was hard on her.” I rolled my eyes.

‘André, could you please stop? The more emphasis you put on your mother, my mate gets more uncomfortable.’ Papa requested through the link.

Oh crap. I sighed. “I’m not trying to make you uncomfortable, Luna. I was trying to… doesn’t matter. I’m sorry.” I frowned. “Anyways, moving away from that subject. Bisnonna would never interfere with the will of the Goddess. So there is no way she showed up before us to tell your Papa to hide you.”

“Um, apology accepted?” Crista still looked uncomfortable as she was inching closer to her Papa.

Shit, that’s not the direction she should be going. Crista should be moving closer to my Papa. “But my Papa says she was here, and he wouldn’t lie. Maybe she decided to interfere if she knew the mating the Goddess had in mind this time shouldn’t be.”

I frowned because I saw the hurt in Papa’s eyes, even through his poker face. “I think it’s bullshit. And if your Papa is saying she was here, you bet your ass I think he’s a liar. He doesn’t want to see his daughter mated to my Papa.” I folded my arms, narrowing my eyes at Christopher.

“I may not want my daughter to be mated to a murderous bastard like Alpha Alec, but I am not lying. The Crone came and told me their mating would result in a great catastrophe.” Christopher growled.

“What did you just call our papa?” Katrina stepped forward, holding that rolled-up paper again. “Who do you think you are to insult our Papa? You know nothing about him and stand here judging his worth based on rumors and bullshit.” She snorted, turning her gaze to Alpha Silvano.

“Is this the sort of disrespect you perpetuate in this pack? Is this the Nebrodi way? To pass judgment on people based on rumors?” She questioned before looking at her newly found mate. “Is that what you think of my Papa? Of my family?”

I think all the color just left Tiberius’ face. Alpha Silvano looks a bit pale too. See, my sister doesn’t need a wolf or magic to be terrifying. She has the presence of an Alpha, and only by sheer chance of having a wolf am I the Alpha heir.

“I… that’s….” Tiberius was struggling to find words. I’m sure he had assumptions about our Papa and probably our family. Everyone does.

“ENOUGH!” Papa snarled. “Katrina, stand down. I love and appreciate that you are always willing to jump to defend me but do not create an unnecessary fight with you, mate.” He sighed. “There is a straightforward way to resolve this. André, call the Crone. She’ll answer if it’s you.”

“As you wish, papa.” Katrina sighed, shoulders sinking, moving to stand next to me. I felt terrible for Tiberius, who looked like a lost puppy standing by his Alpha, painfully aware of the space between him and her.

“That’s what I was about to suggest. We’ll weed out the liar right now. I’ll even facetime the bitch.” I grinned while pulling out my phone. She took three damn rings but soon, her wrinkled face greeted me.

“You know I do not like this form of communication. What is it that you so desperately needed to see my face? And if you tell me you just missed my face, I will hex you with a limp dick for the rest of your trip.” Bisnonna threatened, narrowing her eyes at me.

“First, harsh. You sent me to find my mate. I need a functioning dick for that.” I grimaced, unconsciously covering my dick with my free hand. “Second, show me where you are, and then I’ll explain.” I insisted.

“Fine, pain in my ass.” She grumbled, turning her phone to pan around her surroundings. “Feel better? I’ve been preparing for the winter solstice at the ceremonial grounds since dawn. What is so important you had to make me do this facetime bullshit?”

“We have arrived in Nebrodi, and I’m sure you know that means Papa and Katrina found their mates. The issue is, beyond that, you told Beta Christopher LAST YEAR that his daughter is Papa’s mate. He was trying to sneak her out the back so they wouldn’t meet. And guess what? He says you were here three hours ago, telling him if his daughter gets with Papa, there will be some apocalypse.” I arched my eyebrow before turning the phone to show her everyone. “Want to explain?”

“Beta Christopher requires medical attention. I have not left the coven in days. You know the winter solstice is very important to our coven. It must be perfect, and it takes days to prepare.” Bisnonna scoffed.

“But it was you, Crone. I know your face well. Even if you disguise your scent, I know it was you.” Christopher challenged, holding his daughter closer. “I won’t allow my daughter to enter a mating that will endanger her, let alone the world.”

“Silence, wolf. It wasn't me if I didn’t smell the same as when I came to you last year. Your species rely on scent so much, yet you ignore it when you see a reason to keep your daughter from her destiny. The only person that could have come to you and looked like me…” her voice trailed off.

I was about to turn the phone around to ask her who it could be, but Papa snatched the phone from my hands, Chesed entirely in command as his yellow eyes burned bright with rage. “SPEAK CLEARLY AND QUICKLY, CUNT.” He snarled.

“Watch your tone with me, Chesed. If you weren’t of importance, I’d have killed you the minute you even looked at my granddaughter.” Bisnonna snarled right back.

“Okay, time out. Family drama later.” I exclaimed, taking my phone back before Chesed could break it. “Who could have come to Beta Christopher?”

“She should be dead. I swore I killed her decades ago. But the only person who could present herself as me and call this mating a catastrophe is my identical twin sister Melania.” Bisnonna sighed.

“But why would you have tried to kill her? And why would she want to prevent our mating?” Crista spoke up.

“Because, child, my sister and I saw a prophecy not long before Alec was born. You and Alec are the center of the prophecy of a great change. I saw the prophecy as a good change, while my sister saw it as the apocalypse, so we fought about it. She wanted to prevent it by killing Alec. I stopped her and thought it was over, but she is trickier than I ever imagined.” She sighed.

“Wait… you mean you saved papa?” I exclaimed, genuinely shocked.

“He was a baby. I might have sided with my sister if I had known he’d grow up to seduce my granddaughter.” She scoffed.

“If we can maybe ignore the whole issues you have about your granddaughter. What prophecy?” Crista asked, stepping further from her father to take my phone to speak directly to my Bisnonna.

“I’d like to know that as well. This is the first I’ve heard of it.” Papa nodded back in control as the yellow of his eyes was barely visible.

Crista looked startled and then embarrassed as she realized he was standing right behind her, looking at the phone over her shoulder. They are so cute together. My future siblings are going to be gorgeous.

Chapter 6 - Alec

I would say I’m surprised Chiara would withhold valuable information from me out of spite, but I’m not. She was always a spiteful and petty woman. It doesn’t stop me from wanting to unleash Chesed’s full powers and kill her. If she weren’t my children’s Bisnonna, I would’ve let him kill her years ago.

Right now, it is a struggle to control Chesed. Okay, so it is often a struggle for me. But I’m as angry as he is because her petty grudge against me hurts Crista this time. I’ve not formally met her, but I already feel protective of her. Even if she is scared of me, which hurts, I want to protect her. And more than anything, be closer to her.

And it’s that pull of the bond and deep-rooted need to be closer to her that has me standing millimeters behind her. It was taking more self-control than I even knew I had not to touch her. My body was buzzing just from standing so close, her scent overwhelming my senses. I wondered for a moment if she was as affected as me but seeing how pink her face turned in the camera window as she realized I was behind her told me everything.

“Again, one of those incidents where I didn’t feel like telling you something.” Chiara snorted.

“You’re very petty for a leader. It has always been my understanding that the leader of any society, be it the Alpha of a werewolf pack, the Ductus of a vampire clan, or the Crone of a witch coven, must put aside their issues for the good of others. It sounds like you have failed in this key requirement of leadership.” Crista shook her head, calling Chiara out.

“Oh, burn.” André snickered while Chiara glared at my mate through the phone.

“You should learn how to respect your elders and how to speak to someone you want information from.” Chiara scoffed.

“Save your false self-righteous bullshit. You are speaking to the next Luna of Incubi. Do not forget whose territory you live in or by whose mercy your coven knows peace.” I growled, knowing my voice overlapped with Chesed as he started to try and come forward.

“Why don’t you both table your resentments? Crone, you’ve known since before Alpha Alec was born about this prophecy. That was a long time before he would have fathered his children. So the excuse of your granddaughter doesn’t hold water. Perhaps if you’d told him, for example, after he came of age to awaken his wolf, things would have been different for him and your granddaughter.” Crista nervously pointed out.

This young woman was made to be a Luna. So while I say nervously because I can pick up the subtle cues from her scent and posture, her voice held firm, and she showed nothing of how nervous she was as she spoke so frankly to Chiara.

‘She was made to be our Luna. Not just any Luna. She was made to be ours, and I look forward to getting her in private to test just how made for us she is.’ Chesed pointed out.

I rolled my eyes, opting to ignore him. We have other things to focus on, and he’s thinking of sex. I don’t care that he’s had to abstain from sex since my children told us that our mate was in one of the three packs Chiara instructed us to travel. He can survive without sex as long as deemed necessary. We barely know Crista, but I can already gather she’s a virgin. I’ll not have him scaring her off with his hedonism.

“I could have, but he was not mentally prepared to hear the prophecy. Rumors say much of the ruthless actions of his wolf. And in the case of how his parents met their end, rumors are facts. That is not someone who invokes confidence.” Chiara countered.

“Watch it, Crone. You know nothing about that night or the lifetime of nights that predated it.” I growled, clenching my fists.

“Bisnonna, do us a fucking favor and get to the point. Stop trying to piss my papa off, or we make a side trip to the coven, and I kick your wrinkled ass.” Katrina threatened.

“Yes, please spare us the song and dance, Bisnonna. I don’t want to delay searching for my mate just because my sister and papa want to rip you apart.” André sighed. “So just tell us the prophecy, and you can return to your solstice event.”

“Fine. The sooner I don’t have to look at his face, the better.” Chiara scoffed, glaring at me.

“Darkness and Light cannot be without each other. A balance found deep within can only be sparked when two hearts beat as one. Generations of balance undone. Born under the crescent moon, a new Darkness will seek its balance. Thirty years without Light blinds the heart to love. When Darkness and Light find each other, the Bloodmoon brings strength. The failings of generations past burned to the ground. Darkness and Light reclaim their power. The Sun and Moon. Nightmares and Dreams. Yin and Yang. Finally whole. A new beginning sparks.” Chiara recited, obviously having it memorized.

“Good luck with your mates.” She rolled her eyes as the call ended. Of course, the woman would give us the prophecy and then disconnect, not letting us ask any questions.

“Well, that was… something.” André sighed, taking his phone back.

“Who are Darkness and Light? And she said Bloodmoon, right? Is that why she told us to go to that pack?” Katrina furrowed her brow. As she let out a heavy sigh, most likely overthinking every word Chiara said, the boy from Nebrodi inched closer and cautiously put his arm around her.

“There’s enough of us here. If we put our heads together, we can figure out what the prophecy means.” He suggested with a smile.

“I can tell you that I’m the new Darkness.” I sighed.

“Beyond that, this is about us. How can you be certain that the Darkness the Crone mentioned is you? Maybe it’s me?” Crista arched her brow, turning to look up at me. This is probably the most she’s looked directly at me, let alone spoken to me.

“Were you born under a crescent moon?” I asked. She shook her head slightly, lips starting to part to speak, but I interrupted her. “And have you waited over thirty years to find the other half of your soul?” I countered, unable to resist touching her lips.

Oh, the sparks from that slight touch. Crista had my heart racing in a way no woman has ever could. I smiled ever so slightly as she gasped. Her blue eyes widened as she felt the same sparks as I did. The bond drew us closer. Everyone around us faded away, just like the space between us. But before our lips could touch, her father had to be that guy and coughed.

I narrowed my eyes as I turned to look at Beta Christopher. Is he serious right now? I have a daughter and wouldn’t pull that shit. Sure, I’d rip any male’s head off if he so much as thought something wrong about my daughter. But I wouldn’t hurt her mate unless he hurt her. The moment, of course, was gone, and Crista quickly moved away from me.

‘If he pulls that shit again, I’m ripping his head off.’ Chesed growled, shoving forward. I managed to pull him back in time, but I’m sure my eyes changed, and his aura came out in force because Christopher took two steps back.

‘Damn right, he better be scared.’ Chesed snarled, still pissed that I pulled him back.

‘You can’t just attack Christopher. Beyond the fact that he’s the Beta of a pack, we are guests. He is our mate’s father. Pretty sure she would frown on us killing or even maiming him.’ I sighed.

“I think we could use refreshments and food to ease the tension and maybe get the mind recharged to think on this prophecy,” Silvano suggested.

“Given the change in circumstances, I will need new hosts to show André around in case his mate is also here. Christopher, go home and fetch your daughters Persephone and Delilah. As the remaining heirs currently in the pack, this duty goes to them.” He instructed.

“But Alpha…” Christopher started to object, but Silvano held his hand up.

“Not another word, Christopher. You not only withheld important information about your daughter’s mate from her, but you withheld it from your Alpha. We will discuss that later. For the moment, it feels prudent that we allow Crista and Tiberius some privacy to know their mates.” Silvano cut him off.

“I’m all for some privacy.” Tiberius, I’ve learned the name of my daughter’s mate, grinned, arm around her waist.

I arched an eyebrow at him, and he paled.

“Um, if that’s okay with you, Alpha Alec, sir.” He practically squeaked.

“Why the hell would I care? If you’re her mate, you’re her problem.” I scoffed.

“Yeah, if you’re going to worry about any D’Amore kicking your ass, it’s the one whose waist you have an arm around.” André laughed. “So Nonno Christopher, where are my little Zias? I’d like to see if I can sniff out my mate among your unmated gay males.”He grinned.

Christopher did not look thrilled when my son called him ‘Nonno.’ Maybe it’s inappropriate, but that’s just how my son is. He might also be using the title to piss him off. I love my son, but I know he’s an antagonistic little shit. Either way, I’m amused and looking forward to getting Crista alone.

“As you wish, Alpha.” Christopher reluctantly bowed. “Please, follow me, Alpha heir André.” He gestured for my son to follow him. I saw his eyes glaze, and then Crista’s did the same he was telling her something, and whatever it was, embarrassed her as she turned pink.

“Touch my daughter, Alec, and I’ll have your balls.” He whispered as he passed me.

I couldn’t stop him. Chesed pushed forward and took complete control, grabbing Christopher by the collar so he couldn’t leave. I’m impressed he did this in a fashion that didn’t directly come off as violent.

“The only Fayte who will be coming in contact with my testicles is Crista, and unless you want illicit details on how I suggest you remember whom you’re talking to,” Chesed whispered with a smile before letting him go.

“Have a good time, André. Best of luck in finding your mate.” He smiled at my son as André tugged Christopher away, eager to search for his mate. I managed to get Chesed pushed back before turning my attention to Crista.

“Shall we discuss the prophecy and be better acquainted, cara mia? Perhaps somewhere that doesn’t include my daughter and her mate,” I smiled, offering my hand to Crista.

“Sounds like a plan to me, papa. Have fun, well, not too much. Remember, we promised André no marking till every D’Amore has a mate, and we have returned home.” Katrina chuckled, taking her mate’s hand and walking away.

“I’ll… um, leave you two alone.” Silvano awkwardly made his exit leaving us with me still waiting for her to accept my hand.

It took her a moment, but she accepted my hand. “Um… yes, we should discuss that prophecy.” She nodded. “Please follow me. I know a place where we can have an uninterrupted conversation.”

“I would follow you anywhere, cara mia.” I smiled, enjoying how she blushed and bit her bottom lip before leading me away.

Chapter 7 - Katrina

As intrigued as I am about this prophecy, I’m more interested in getting Tiberius alone. I get alone time with him, papa gets alone time with Crista, and André can go on the prowl for his mate. Though I doubt my brother will find his mate here. It just wouldn’t make sense for all three of our mates to be in Nebrodi and yet Bisnonna to have told us to travel to three packs.

It’s surprising enough that papa and I found our mates here. I bet André’s mate will be in les Hurleurs Sanctifiés since I think our trip to Bloodmoon is more about the prophecy and the conniving old witch trying to set things in motion. This whole trip is her setting things in motion. Sneaky bitch. Though I have to admit, her having an evil twin may be trouble. Because she sounded legit surprised, and if something surprised her, it can’t be good news.

“So, where are you taking me, pasticcino? Because right now we’re headed to the fitness center.” Tiberius smirked, pulling me to a stop.

“Pasticcino? And I don’t know. This isn’t my pack. I just knew we should leave and get some privacy of our own while giving Papa and Crista privacy too.” I shrugged.

“Fair, I’m all for privacy, but I can think of better locations for that.” A glimmer in his eyes told me they were places intended for intimate physical privacy wherever he had in mind. “And yes, pasticcino is going to be my nickname for you. It fits as you smell like my favorite cookie, peanut butter chocolate chip but better.”

“I smell like a cookie? I suppose that’s fitting given I do a lot of cooking, especially desserts back home.” I sighed. “So why are we just standing here? Aren’t you going to lead the way to these better locations?”

“You don’t have to ask me twice. And if you ever need a taste tester for your cooking, I’m your man.” He winked, taking my hand and leading me back to the foyer. “My room is upstairs. No one will bother us there.”

I rolled my eyes but smiled as I followed him up the winding staircase. Of course, his first idea was to take me to his room. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d gone to a bedroom with a guy I had just met. But given he’s my mate, it will be the last.

When we reached his room, I stopped him before he could open the door. I started to warn him. “Before we go into your room, I want to clarify something.”

“You only want to talk and get to know me?” Tiberius arched an eyebrow. “I can be okay with that. We’re mates, so it’s not like we’d never get to having sex.” He shrugged.

“While I’d like to get to know you, I also have a lifetime to do that. I’m very much down to fuck.” I chuckled, shaking my head. “What I wanted to say is if you were expecting some virgin mate, you’re shit out of luck. I’m nineteen, and when I didn’t get my wolf, I said fuck it as a human only get a mate in fairytales.”

“Oooo. Yeah, finding a virgin mate was never a top priority to me. So long as you’re cool with me not being a virgin, all good, Kat.” He assured me as he opened the door to his room.

“As long as your old flames don’t think to still make passes at you, we’ll be fine.” I nodded, letting him lead me inside.

His room was about what you’d expect from a male. Other than lacking the pops of color, it wasn’t all that different from my brother’s. Meaning it was a mess. Clothes were scattered around the room, especially by the closet, like he’d been agonizing over what to wear today—a total André thing to do.

“Have a hard time choosing what to wear?” I arched my brow, nodding to the clothes by the open closet doors.

“Oh, shit…hold on.” His cheeks pinked slightly as he hurried to shove his clothes into the closet and shut the door. “I may not have known I’d meet my mate today, but I wanted to make a good impression since I was meeting another pack’s Alpha heirs. And one was female, so…” He shrugged.

“So you wanted to look good.” I laughed softly as I let my eyes travel over his body. His dark blue dress shirt with a few top buttons left undone gave a formal look, while the dark wash jeans walked the line between formal and casual. Either way, his ass looks great in those jeans, and I can see enough definition of muscles under that shirt. I was looking forward to getting him naked.

“You succeeded. Though I think the outfit will look better on the floor.” I smirked, crooking my finger as I beckoned him closer.

“I was just about to say the same about yours.” He smiled, and before I could blink, the distance between us was gone, and my back was against the bedroom door.

“Hi.” I licked my lips, enjoying being this close. His lips centimeters from mine were tempting. Forget impulse control. I closed the short distance and kissed him.

I moaned into the kiss. Oh yes, Tiberius is so made for me. The moment my lips parted, his tongue slipped into my mouth. Holy shit, I’ve had friends tell me how different everything feels when with your mate. But hearing them saying and experiencing it for myself is a whole new world. I swear I saw a galaxy of red swirls and felt fire in my veins.

I don’t know if this is normal, and I don’t care. We both moaned into the kiss as I unbuttoned Tiberius’ top, needing and wanting to touch more of him. He groaned as I dragged my fingers down his chest to untuck the shirt from his jeans. Every touch sent delicious sparks through my body, making me crave more.

“Fuck, Katrina…” Tiberius groaned as he kissed away from my lips to my neck. “You taste as good as you smell.”

My breath hitched as he sucked at the hollow of my neck. “Remember…oh fuck… no marking yet.” I reminded him while I tried to keep some control, but I was spiraling at how good having him touch me felt.

“I know, but I’m still going to leave a mark.” His hot breath teased my skin as he licked the spot.

I moaned as he started sucking on my neck, his hands making quick work of unwrapping my dress, leaving his hanging open with my matching red lace front closing bra and thongs on display. My brother would call this business on the outside and a sexy party on the inside.

I only packed sexy underwear, I may be traveling with my papa and brother, but we are traveling to find mates. Given the way Tiberius’ eyes darkened as a bit of gold started to blend with his melted chocolate eyes, he and his wolf appreciated my underwear choice.

“Fuck, you are so damn hot.” He groaned as his lips kissed a trail over my collarbone down to my breasts.

“I feel hot,” I admitted meaning it in more than just the feeling of being sexy. The more Tiberius touches me, the stronger this sensation of fire in my veins felt. I felt like I was on fire, but that must be the mate bond.

“So perfect…” He groaned, using his teeth to unclip the bra.

I moaned, arching into his touch as his lips peppered one breast with searing kisses while his hand tormented the other, teasing my nipple. I’ve had plenty of sex, from bland vanilla to kinky as fuck, and never has just kissing or a man touching my breasts gotten me this hot and bothered.

I’m already squeezing my thighs, aware that my thongs are getting wet. I blame the mate bond, and I suddenly feel sorry for every human out there that will never know what it’s like to be with their soulmate. The Goddess is genuinely kind to her werewolves by giving them such a connection.

“Oh, Tiberius….” I moaned as his free hand slipped into my thongs.

“Fuck, so wet already.” He groaned, dipping two fingers into my pussy. “I need to taste.” He moaned as he playfully nipped at my breast.

I had no time to respond as he went to his knees and peeled my thongs off my body. The sight of him on his knees, shirt open, jeans not exactly hiding what he’s got waiting for me, and lust in his eyes was hot as fuck. I could get used to this view. And I get to see it for the rest of my life.

“Time to see if you taste as good as you smell everywhere,” Tiberius smirked as he put one of my legs over his shoulder before burying his face between my legs.

I moaned, rolling my hips into his touch as he growled low and deep, sending a wave of pleasure through me. Oh yes, he’s good at this, and I don’t care how many women he practiced on before this because I’m his last. And as great as him devouring me felt, I need more. “I want more.”

“Then more you’ll get.” I hadn’t even realized I’d said that aloud but who cares as long as I get more of him? Tiberius promised as he bit my inner thigh.

I resisted the urge to pout as he lowered my leg from his shoulder. I was going to get something better than his talented tongue and fingers, so it was worth it. I licked my lips, eager for more, as he kissed his way up my body. I didn’t think twice when I pulled his lips to mine in a needy kiss. Eager for more, I reached between us, unfastening his jeans to reach inside. Well fuck me - literally, please - he is going commando.

He smirked, pleased with my reaction to finding one less layer between us. “Laundry day…” He started to explain, but his words faded into a moan as I wrapped my hand around his cock and stroked it. “Fuck… that’s good.” He licked his lips, eyes closing as he reveled in the pleasure of my touch.

“It’ll be even better when you’re inside me.” I taunted, not once breaking my rhythm. He groaned, hurrying to get his jeans off, kicking off his shoes and then his jeans before shrugging out of his shirt. Hot damn, my mate has ink. I enjoy a man with tattoos, and Tiberius had some well-done tribal on both arms.

His eyes were a nearly perfect mix of brown and gold as he growled, taking my hand off his cock and moving it to his shoulder instead. I couldn’t bemoan the loss because his hands were on my hips, lifting me against the door before lowering me onto his cock. We moaned in unison at the sensation as we worked to find a rhythm that suited our needs.

I couldn’t place what it was, but as we reached our climax, this orgasm was more intense and different from any I’d had. I don’t know if this is the mate bond or what. But each thrust felt like something inside me was being unlocked, and I don’t mean an orgasm. Though his cock was undoubtedly bringing me closer and closer to that too. This was something else.

As I dug my nails into his shoulders for support calling his name, I saw those red swirls again, and maybe it was because he was holding me up, but I felt like we were floating.

“Um… Pasticcino… Katrina… why are we floating? What’s the red glow about?” Tiberius nervously questioned, holding me tighter.

I blinked and looked around, realizing we were both off the ground, surrounded by a red glow. “Oh shit!” I exclaimed, and the light was gone, and we dropped to the floor. I winced as he whimpered. Not exactly a soft landing for either of us, and add in the fact that he was still inside me. Private areas were hurting in ways they shouldn’t.

“Ow…does that happen every time you cum?” He asked through shallow breaths trying to control his pain.

“No…I’m so sorry. That’s never happened.” I assured, moving off him.

“I see… um, maybe we should move to the bed, where it’s more comfortable, and figure this out.” He suggested, wincing as he got up. I nodded and silently went to bed with him, shrugging off my dress and bra so we would both be naked.

“So this isn’t the post orgasm cuddle I was hoping for. But I’ll take it. Now let’s recover and figure out what the hell just happened.” I sighed as he wrapped me in his arms.

I can’t begin to fathom what caused that red glow or us to float like that. I’ve heard a lot about the mate bond. But even during the marking, no one has ever described anything similar to this. So what happened?

Chapter 8 - Crista

I don’t even know where to begin. What should I be focused on? My parents have known for a year not simply where my mate is but who he is, yet they never told me. The Crone has an evil twin that told Papa that being mated with Alpha Alec would bring an apocalypse. I’m part of some prophecy that is so serious it causes the Crone and her twin to fight to what was supposed to be the death.

‘Why don’t we focus on the fact our mate is hot, and he called us his darling? Oh, and that we are supposed to be leading him somewhere private. I vote for a bedroom upstairs with a lock.’ Emilia unhelpfully suggested.

I blushed at her suggestion and opted to ignore her. There is no way I am going to a bedroom with this man. I know he’s my mate and I am intensely attracted to him, but we just met. If you could call Papa trying to drag me out of the pack house and him intervening as a meeting.

‘I think it’ll make a good story to tell your kids. You met their Papa while their Nonno tried hiding you from him.’ Emilia snickered.

“Are you alright, Crista? You’ve turned pink and now white. What exactly is your wolf saying to cause such a drastic change in your pigment?” Alec’s deep voice startled me.

And like the foolish virgin I am, I blushed again. Not just because he startled me but because he’s him. His voice sent a shiver through my body, which wasn’t an unpleasant shiver. Then he squeezed my hand, reminding me he was there and was the source of those sensations that kept bursting through my veins. Not like I could have forgotten he was holding my hand, waiting for me to lead him somewhere.

“Nothing to worry about. Just being an annoying wolf.” I assured him with a tense smile.

“Are you certain, cara mia?” He cocked his head, and it was so damn cute and made sexy with how he called me cara mia. Can’t he understand that he’s having this strange effect on me and my wolf?

‘Oh, don’t rope me into this. Alec’s not having a strange effect on me. I know he’s sexy, and I want to meet his wolf and be marked before morning. I’m a wolf. This is perfectly normal to me. You’re the one being strange.’ Emilia scoffed.

‘Oh, that is not happening. No way am I going to be marked by tomorrow. I am not ready for that. I don’t even know him. I know the rumors about him and that he’s older than my Papa.’ I shook my head.

“I’m fine, Alpha Alec. Follow me. We can speak in the library.” I suggested letting his hand go, knowing that if I didn’t break the connection, his touch would drive me crazy. “And please don’t call me that. It is too forward to use a name so familiar as that.” I requested, pushing down my nerves but knowing my voice broke a little as I turned away from him.

“Would you prefer if we call you kitten?” A deeper seedy voice whispered near my ear. This time the shivers I felt weren’t the good kind. That voice had a level of danger that made my heart skip in fear.

“I would rather be called by my name or title,” I answered once I felt I had better control over my voice. I gulped, starting to walk, wanting space between myself and the Mad Alpha wolf.

“Please, excuse my wolf. He’s accustomed to being in control.” Alec apologized. “And if that is what you wish. I will call you Luna Crista, or do you prefer simply Luna?”

My breath hitched. “I… I’m Beta heir Crista.” I reminded him and myself as I pushed open the door to the library in the packhouse.

As I suspected, it’s empty. Not many of the pack come here unless they have an assignment that requires research. I may be the only person other than Delilah that comes here for the pleasure of reading. Persephone comes here sometimes, but she spends more time researching things online or tinkering with tech on her own.

‘I suggest we take him to a bedroom, and you bring him to a library. Goddess, you are going to bore him to death.’ Emilia grumbled.

“You were Beta heir Crista. As my mate, you are Luna Crista. It would be incorrect to call you anything else if you wish me to use a title.” Alec pointed out, following me as I led him to a set of chairs by the fireplace.

“I guess this isn’t an argument I’ll win. Fine, then call me Crista.” I sighed as I sat down, fixing my skirt as I crossed my ankles. I’m glad I wore the collared sleeveless navy dress with a matching short jacket. I wanted to look nice for our guests, not thinking one would be my mate. “We should probably discuss the prophecy. I doubt there would be any books here that would help us better understand this Darkness and Light part.” I suggested.

“Then you will need to call me Alec. Don’t think I haven’t noticed you only refer to me by my title. Formalities are not meant to be between mates.” He countered, slipping into the chair opposite me, the fabric of his clothes stretching and moving with him. Everything about his movement screamed danger.

‘And sex appeal!’ Everything about this man screams sex appeal. ‘Don’t forget the sex appeal!’ Emilia licked her chops. I blushed because I won’t say it, but I agreed with her.

“As for the prophecy, you would be correct. No book in a library of Nebrodi, even a nice one like this, will hold the key. Based on what Chiara said in the prophecy, Darkness and Light sounds like old folklore my Nonna Katrina told me about as a boy.” He explained, stroking his jaw as he contemplated.

“What do you remember of the folklore? Is there a book in Incubi that speaks of it?” I asked, eager to get to the bottom of this prophecy.

‘There are more important, fun, and, dare I say, pressing matters than the prophecy.’ Emilia sighed.

‘What could be more important and pressing than this prophecy? You heard what the Crone said. This is serious business.’ I reminded her.

‘Climbing into his lap and seeing if he tastes as good as he smells.’ Emilia snickered. ‘It would be much more fun than your plan to sit here and talk.’

“Crista, are you sure this is what you want to discuss? Or at least that your wolf will let you focus? I don’t wish to be rude, but I can tell you two are talking because you keep blushing. And I have a feeling it’s about me.” Alec furrowed his brow, mostly looking concerned if not for that slight upturn to his lips that told me he was fighting a smile.

“No, it’s fine. I want to discuss the prophecy. It’s something important. Don’t worry about my wolf. She’ll…” I started to assure him, but Emilia pushed forward.

We’ve not had a power conflict in the year that she’s been awake, and now he comes into my life, and suddenly she’s this talkative, horny bitch that will shove me out of her way. I don’t like what finding my mate has done to her. We are supposed to be on the same page, and it doesn’t feel like we are even in the same book.

“She’ll just take control and voice her thoughts,” Emilia smirked, speaking through me.

Alec arched his brow, that smile he was trying to hide peeking out further. “I see. And what are your thoughts, little wolf?”

“My thoughts are straightforward. I think we can discuss the prophecy later, like when we are in Incubi, where we may find any details about it. And instead should be focused on strengthening our mate bond.” Emilia licked her lips or my lips since she was still in control.

‘Emilia, knock it off.’ I grumbled, trying to pull her back so I could take control.

“I can understand that point of view… I’m afraid I don’t know your name yet, little wolf.” Alec nodded. Ugh, of course, he agrees with her. As the rumors go, his bed is rarely empty. Which is another reason I’m not looking to get physically close to him.

“Emilia. My name is Emilia.” She introduced herself.

“Well, Emilia, I agree that strengthening the mate bond is more important than figuring out a fifty-year-old prophecy. But we will stick to what Crista is comfortable with.” Alec sighed, leaning forward in the chair.

“Now, I promise there will be time that you may get to know me and more so my wolf Chesed. But till then, please give Crista back control.” He encouraged Emilia as he gently took my hand.

“I’ll hold you to that, mate.” Emilia sighed but stepped back, letting me have control again.

“I’m sorry about her. She’s usually not like that. In the last year since she awakened, we’ve never had an issue over control.” I apologized, looking at our joined hands instead of his face.

“Cara mia, I understand perfectly.” He assured me as his other hand lightly touched my chin, tilting my face. I blinked, startled at being eye to eye with him, every fiber of my being acutely aware of the mere centimeters that separated our faces.

“You don’t need to apologize to me, least of all, for your wolf. I’m afraid if we apologize for our wolves, that would be the only thing we ever speak of.” He smiled softly as his thumb rubbed my chin. I clenched my jaw to stay in control and not like the sensations of the bond sway me. It was an uphill battle, and I was not sure I was strong enough to resist him.

“But you must admit your wolf is right. While important to our future, discussing the prophecy is difficult away from my library that may hold the answers.” He continued to speak as his thumb moved higher to rub across my lips. “The prophecy is nothing without us. And till our bond is complete, are we truly an us?”

Oh great, he’s asking philosophical questions while touching my lips and looking at me with what I’m sure a romance author would describe as bedroom eyes. How can I even think straight with him touching me? The sparks of the bond and this magnetic pull to him had me dizzy and wanting only one thing, him.

‘Give in. Come on, Crista. Live a little. He’s our mate! This is how it should be.’ Emilia encouraged me as the space between Alec and me got smaller.

It was like a magnetic force, a force I was utterly powerless to resist. And this time, there was no one to cough and interrupt us as our lips met. I moaned into his lips as they moved so expertly against mine. His hand moved, stroking my cheek before gently gripping my hair to bring me closer.

I couldn’t have stopped this. I’ve fallen prey to the pull of the bond, moving from my chair to straddle his lap just as Emilia had first suggested. I was sharing my first kiss in one of my favorite places in the pack with the man I was born to be with.

I gasped as he tugged at my hair, not too rough but enough that it hurt a little. I realized why he’d done that as his tongue took advantage of my parted lips to turn a toe-curling sweet kiss into a searing passionate kiss that left me feeling lightheaded and needy.

Chapter 9 - André

I’m happy for Papa and Katrina. Of course, I am, and how dare you suggest otherwise. They both deserve to have mates and live happily ever after. Just because I didn’t find mine upon walking in the door doesn’t mean he’s not out there. He may not be in this pack, but I will search anyway. I still have two more packs to explore after this.

Walking with Beta Christopher is as awkward as I expected. He is giving me the silent treatment and looks annoyed. He needs to suck it up and put on his big-boy underwear. His daughter has found her mate. And is on her path to fulfilling the destiny the Goddess has prepared for her.

“Grow up. You are too old to be around pouting and giving people the silent treatment like a child.” I scoffed, calling him out.

“Watch your tone. I am Beta of Nebrodi. I don’t care that you are an heir. The disrespect is worse because of your status as Alpha heir.” Christopher growled. “I can see why you didn’t go to the Monastery or, if you did, why they would have sent you back. You’re just like your father.”

I came to a sudden stop, rounding on him with a right hook. Okay, maybe it was overkill as he hit the ground hard, but he needed to wake up and smell the espresso. And sometimes, the best way to wake an asshole up is a good hit to the head. Christopher has awoken protective and aggressive André. I am usually chill and happy-go-lucky André, but no one talks shit about my family.

“You know absolutely nothing about my Papa or me. So don’t you dare stand here and say I am the disrespectful one. I’m not the one that was trying to hide a member of my family from their destiny. I’m not the one spitting in the eye of the Goddess on some unfounded bias.” I waved a finger at him, feeling Duilio coming closer in my mind, eager for blood.

“I know plenty about your father.” he scoffed, wiping the blood from his mouth. “Do not forget my Alpha attended the Monastery with him. Your father is the greatest shame of the elders. He was constantly in trouble and never graduated as he murdered his parents in cold blood after his first shift.”

“Oh, you think you know sooo much.” I scoffed. “The elders are abusive fuckwads that get off on beating boys and saying it is for their good. The only thing they teach is to accept abuse as a normal method to ‘educate.’” I rolled my eyes. “And you know nothing of my grandparents. You don’t know what they did to my Papa. They deserved what they got. As do any parent who would hurt their children.”

“Now stop being an asshole. This is what the Goddess has destined for your daughter. And don’t you dare tell me you know better than the Goddess.” I snorted, folding my arms.

Christopher grumbled but didn’t push further. It looks like he’s devoted enough to the Goddess not to question her choice verbally. At least it’s a step in the right direction. He should reconsider how he treated my Papa and his mating with Crista. If he keeps on like this, he will never meet his grandchildren. And I bet that would sting.

“Glad we cleared that up. Now show me the way to my new Zias. I want to look around your pack for my mate. And even if he’s not here, I want to get to know the pack my sister will be moving to and my new Zias.” I grinned, going back to my happy self.

Thankfully we weren’t too far from the Beta family home. If I had to suffer the silence of Nonno Christopher any further, I might tear my hair out. I smiled as I followed him inside, my eyes falling on his mate and two other daughters. One daughter was his spitting image except for her eyes, while the other was a mini version of her mother and Crista but with Christopher’s eyes.

“Christopher… I didn’t expect a visitor.” His mate gave me a confused borderline concerned look. It seems she can’t handle my style. I know it’s not something most can genuinely wrap their minds around to understand.

‘Or maybe it’s because you’re an Alpha heir and have an aura she’s picking up.’ Duilio rolled his eyes.

“Gwen, Persephone, Delilah, meet Alpha Heir André D’Amore of Incubi. He is here seeking his mate.” Christopher gestured to me. “Alpha heir, meet my mate, Beta Gwen, and our younger daughters, Persephone and Delilah.”

“Nonna Gwen,” I exclaimed as I moved forward, hugging her and kiss on the cheek. “You are as lovely as Crista.” I grinned before turning to her daughters, leaving Gwen in shock.

“Zia Persephone!” I pulled the startled blonde into a hug. “You’re going to be a heartbreaker in a few years.” I teased her as I let go.

Delilah looked at me with wide eyes knowing what was coming, and unable to stop. “Zia Delilah!” I laughed while picking her up, and I hugged her. “You are just the cutest.”

“Ch…Christopher… please explain.” Gwen nervously looked to her husband for answers.

“Oh, let’s not play coy, Nonna Gwen. You’ve known for a year that your daughter Crista was meant for my Papa. And the day has finally come as they have met. You see, she’s off with Papa getting to know each other, and my twin sister Katrina is off getting to know her mate, Tiberius. Which is why I am here.” I explained with a shit-eating grin as I waggled my eyebrows when I said they were getting to know each other.

I know my twin, and if Tiberius were my mate, I’d be balls deep in that ass. So there isn’t a doubt in my mind that my sister is off getting laid. Biblical is a way to get to know someone. And as long as she doesn’t let him mark her and break our promise, I say more power to her.

I doubt she could resist the D’Amore charm for long. It will depend on who’s running the show. If Chesed takes over, she might get bent over the closest piece of furniture and fucked. But if Papa remains in control, they may hold out on fucking. He would be more respectful and not leverage the pull of the bond to get his dick wet.

The look on Gwen’s face was priceless. I could see all the fear as it danced across her eyes. Her daughter is alone with my infamous Papa, and she can’t say or do a damn thing about it because he is her mate. Persephone and Delilah, however, had polar opposite reactions.

“Well, we didn’t know that!” Persephone scoffed, giving her parents a narrowed look for keeping secrets. I like her. She’s feisty.

“If you’re an Alpha heir, our sister will be a Luna!” Delilah squealed in delight and hugged me. I like this one even more. She’s so adorable.

I already love my new Zias. Not as much as I love Zia Izzy, but in a different way. Zia Izzy is my adult Zia while these two are my little Zias.

“Now that’s the right attitude. Crista will be Luna of Incubi, and I mean, look at my face. My Papa makes gorgeous babies and with your sister’s DNA.” I chuckled while making the ‘mwha’ hand gesture with my fingers. “Perfection.”

“But because Crista and Tiberius are busy with their mates, your Alpha has decided you can show me around while I look for a mate,” I explained since Christopher didn’t seem inclined to explain. He appeared to be locked in a silent argument with his mate.

“So why don’t you two show me to your unmated gay males while your parents have their fight about your sister’s destiny,” I suggested wrapping an arm around each girl.

“You’re gay?” Delilah blinked, causing Persephone to smack her hand to her forehead.

“Oh, my Goddess. Delilah, he had to announce that for you to get a clue. Look at him. I’ve never seen a guy scream gay louder in his looks.” Persephone rolled her eyes. “Now come on, we’ll show you around. I don’t want to be around them while they fight, even in their link.”

I chuckled as I left the house with the girls. “Why are they fighting?” Delilah frowned, glancing behind us as her home faded into the distance.

“I’m not sure. I know both don’t like my Papa or at least fear him. You do realize who my Papa is, right?” I arched my brow.

“Um… well, no.” Delilah shyly admitted.

“I do. He’s known as the Mad Alpha of Incubi.” Persephone chimed in.

“Correct, Persephone. That is what they call him. But it couldn’t be further from the truth. My Papa has lived through some shit in his life, compounded by waiting over thirty years for his mate. Let me dispel some rumors.” I sighed.

“Yes, my Papa killed his parents, but they were abusive cunts, and I feel they deserved it. He has reigned over Incubi, and our people have never known to suffer. Well, as long as they follow the laws. And our laws are not extreme. Our people are asked to treat each other with respect. And it is rare when someone breaks the law.” I started to explain.

“As for rumors of my Papa killing other Alphas, that has only happened once. And that Alpha deserved it. He was keeping slaves; worst of all, he was keeping my Zia Izzy as a slave, poisoning her with wolfsbane and silver to delay or outright stop her wolf from ever emerging. It took my Zio Damon, or pack Beta, much time to help her recover and bring her wolf out as her mate.” I gave a generalized tale of my Zia’s tragic origins and the start of her love story with my Zio.

“That horrid.” Delilah sniffed. “How could anyone keep another as a slave? Slavery is wrong.”

“Exactly, little one.” I smiled, booping her nose. “My father does not approve of such behavior and shut that Alpha down by taking his life and ensuring that pack was in better hands and would never face such treatment again.”

I boasted. “My father is harsh on rogues and especially on hunters. But I think those are situations that any Alpha should be harsh. His job is to keep our pack safe, and no one is safe when bloodthirsty rogues and trigger-happy hunters roam our lands. My Papa is why there hasn’t been a hunter in Sicily in years.”

“That doesn’t sound like a bad person at all.” Persephone nodded.

“Because he isn’t. I will advise that his wolf is more aggressive, but most Alpha wolves are, as they are built that way to protect the pack. And my Papa’s wolf takes his role as protector seriously. Especially when it comes to protecting my Papa.” I sighed.

“But now that my Papa has found your sister, I think his wolf will be easier to control. And with your sister at his side, they will fulfill their destiny in changing the world.” I grinned. “Now, I’m sure you have other questions, but I’d rather focus on finding my mate. So where are you taking me?”

“Okay, but we will circle back. If he’s going to be mates with our big sister, we want to know all about him.” Persephone conceded. “As for where we are going, this is where most of the unmated pack members hang out. If your mate is here, he’d be inside.” She gestured to a building. From the sounds of it, this was a club or similar. I can work with that.

“Where do you think you’re going?” A rude asshole scoffed, getting in our way of the door.

“Inside, duh Lorenzo.” Persephone rolled her eyes.

“No, you aren’t. This is for shifted pack only. So that rules all of you out. You two are too young, and he’s not pack. So get lost, pipsqueak.” Lorenzo growled and tried to make himself appear bigger and more intimidating.

Oh, I was not having that shit. “Who do you think you are to speak to them or me that way?” I stepped forward to stand toe to toe with the ingrate. And let Duilio come forward more as I snarled in his face, letting my Alpha aura out.

“ I am Alpha heir André D’Amore in Incubi, and on your Alpha’s orders, these girls are escorting me while I search for my mate.” I threatened. Okay, it wasn’t a threat. A D’Amore never threatens. We make promises. I'm knocking him out if he doesn’t move before I mentally count to three. “Now, get out of our way before I make you.”

Lorenzo gulped, leaning away, exposing his neck as he recognized my dominance. He opened his mouth, probably to apologize, but I didn’t want to hear it. “You hear him. Get out of the way.” Persephone scoffed, waving a dismissive hand. Oh yes, I’m going to get along with her just fine.

Sadly even after Lorenzo left and we went inside, I was disappointed. While there were plenty of attractive men, none of them were mine. So I left empty-handed. The Faytes were nice enough to walk me to the pack house and wished me luck as my journey for a mate would continue in the morning.

And as excited as I was to keep looking, I knew I would spend around eleven hours in the car with two couples before we’d stop for the night in Palecrest on our way to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.

Chapter 10 - Tiberius

‘Tiberius!’ My mamma’s voice shouted in my head.

I groaned, squinting as I opened my eyes. The smell of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies feline my nose made my stomach growl with hunger. In contrast, the warm buzz of a naked body in my arms made my dick wake up with a different kind of hunger. I grinned as I opened my eyes to see a dark brown braid with red streaks near my face.

My gorgeous mate was sleeping in my arms, and I was on cloud nine. The only thing that would make it better is if my mark was on her neck. But she promised her twin there would be no marking until all three D’Amore found their mates.

Plus, I don’t know how marking humans works. Maybe there is something about it in the library. I’ll have to look. I’ll have to figure out what it means when your mate has a red glow, and you float during orgasm. That’s not normal. And we fell asleep before we even figured that out.

‘TIBERIUS SALVATORE BELLOMO!!!’ Mamma screamed, her voice making me wince.

‘I’m up. What’s wrong, mamma?’ I asked, unsure why she was screaming at me unless I didn’t do a chore or Delta heir task I was supposed to.

‘Wrong? Oh, nothing except my ONLY son found his mate. And instead of bringing her to meet me he takes her to bed. And instead of coming downstairs to dinner after having someone knock on his door THREE times, I have to scold him through the link.’ She scolded me.

I cringed, sitting up just enough to see the clock past Katrina. Fuck we are twenty minutes late for supper. Luna Sylvia had a whole big meal planned to welcome our Incubi guests. And not only am I missing it as an heir, but I’m keeping one of those guests in my bed.

‘Fuck…’ I groaned and winced as I realized I said that in the link.

‘I will wash your mouth with soap. I don’t care how old you are. Do not use that kind of language, least of all with me. You and your mate have five minutes to get down here, or Alpha Alec is going up there to retrieve his daughter.’ Mamma warned, closing the link.

“Katrina… Pasticcino…” I gently nuzzled her neck. I smiled as she grumbled and tried to shrug away as I started to kiss her neck.

“We need to get up. We have about five minutes before your papa busts my door down.” I tried to coax her awake, no longer whispering.

Her eyes shot open at the mention of her papa, and she was suddenly out of bed and getting dressed faster than I’d ever seen someone move. “Holy shit, are you that afraid of him?” I asked, starting to get up.

“You should be. The last man he found me in bed with was the only one he found me in bed with, and well, he pees through a tube.” Katrina explained as she got her dress on.

‘Get dressed now! We are not pissing through a tube!’ August shouted at me. As if I wasn’t already going to do that.

I’m sure I just turned ghost white and gathered clothes in record time. I haven’t ever crossed paths with an angry father, and while we are mates and her papa did say he didn’t care that I touched her, I’m not sure if that covers finding me naked in bed with her. I was still pulling my pants on as my bedroom door was flung open.

I think my life flashed before my eyes. Wait, no, that wasn’t my life flashing before my eyes. That was… that was a CAMERA FLASH! I blinked away the spots from my eyes, trying to focus on the sound of laughter in the hallway. I growled as my vision cleared, and holding a polaroid camera was Persephone Fayte and with her, shaking the polaroid, was a giggling André D’Amore.

“Persephone….” I growled, ready to charge the little pest. I’ve told her a million times to stay out of my room and to stop trying to take pictures of me naked, half-naked, or in compromising positions.

“André…” Katrina sounded just as pissed as me. And she may not have a wolf to growl with, but I noticed that red glow coming back.

“Run away, Zia Persephone!” André laughed as he threw Persephone over his shoulder and dashed away in a blur of blue.

“I think I shit myself. I thought it was going to be your dad.” I groaned, falling back on the bed.

“Thought who was going to be me? Your mother said you had five minutes. It has now been seven. Finish putting your damn clothes on.” Alpha Alec’s voice made me sit up.

I blinked to be sure it was him standing, looking annoyed. Unlike us, I’m guessing he and Crista didn’t spend their private time fucking. I bet he’d be in a better mood if they had.

“André and someone Tiberius called Persephone burst in and took a picture. Thankfully I was fully dressed.” Katrina explained as she fixed her hair, the red aura gone.

“How was your time with Crista? You seem on edge. I can see Chesed itching to come out. Why is he in a mood?” Katrina cocked her head as she interrogated her papa stepping into his personal space to look at him closer.

“It’s nothing you need to worry about, Katrina. And I’ll deal with your brother and Crista’s sister.” Alec sighed, avoiding answering her questions.

“Don’t worry about it, sir. Or at least about Persephone. Tragically it isn’t the first time she’s done that to me. But I assure you it will be the last.” I sighed as I finished getting dressed.

I was not going to mention that this has happened more than I want to count, mostly when I have had a woman in my room. But this is different. This is my mate’s privacy she invaded, not some random packmate. And Persephone is like a little sister to me, like all the Faytes, but I’m not going to let that shit slide.

“Well, if you are both presentable, they’ve been holding dinner for you.” Alpha Alec sighed, gesturing for his daughter to leave the room.

“Well, that’s new. They never wait for me.” I shrugged.

“I wasn’t talking to you. They were holding dinner for Katrina. After all, she is the Princess of Incubi till your mark is on her neck.” Alec shook his head, putting an arm around Katrina as he led her away.

I sighed, shut my door, and followed them to the formal dining room. As we entered, I glared at Persephone, attempting to look innocent in her seat between her mother and little sister, Delilah. As my parents approached us, I was pulled away from my glaring at her. Unceremoniously mamma pulled Katrina away from her father into one of her tight hugs.

“Oh, you are stunning! How did the Goddess think to pair a beautiful Princess like you with my goofball of a son?” She exclaimed, pulling back to look at Katrina.

“Love you too, mamma.” I rolled my eyes as I stepped next to Katrina, putting my arm around her to save her from more hugs.

“Claretta, my love, give the girl some breathing room.” Papa sighed.

“Ciao, Princess Katrina. I’m Livio, and this is my mate, Claretta. We would be Tiberius’ parents if you didn’t guess. And despite my mate’s teasing, she loves him, and we are both proud of the man he’s turning out to be.” Papa greeted her, offering his hand.

Usually, my parents leave people off-centered, especially if my mamma has hugged them. Granted, she’s never been that forward, but none of the women in my past was my mate, so why hug them? I give Katrina credit because she didn’t even look phased as she smiled warmly.

“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Deltas Livio and Claretta.” Katrina bowed her head politely while shaking my papa’s hand. “Delta Claretta, I’ve heard good things about your work in the NICU at your pack hospital. And of your work, Delta Livio, with a recent upgrade to all the security systems in the pack.”

“Oh, she’s good.” Papa chuckled. “And while I can take some credit for the security upgrade, most of it goes to Persephone Fayte. She’s young but a real wiz when it comes to technology. She designed the software we are using.” He explained, gesturing to Persephone, who went pink at being called out.

“Interesting.” Katrina arched her brow as she looked at the middle Fayte. “I look forward to learning more about this pack and your roles as Deltas now that I am Tiberius’ mate. Though after I return from my travels.”

“Your travels?” Mamma frowned as I led Katrina to a chair.

“Yes, I’ll continue traveling with my papa and brother to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés and then Bloodmoon.” Katrina outlined. “You’re welcome to join us, Tiberius. If you can be spared from the pack for that long.”

I blinked as all this was starting to sink in. Katrina still planned to go to the other packs. To other packs where other males would want to get close to her and try to fuck her because she doesn’t have my mark. Yeah, that is NOT happening.

“Alpha Silvano…” I turned my head to his chair at the head of the table. “May I travel with my mate? I don’t feel comfortable having her traveling alone, even if with her family.”

“I assumed you would be. Crista will be leaving tomorrow too, though her leaving is more permanent as she will move to Incubi to be their Luna.” Alpha Silvano nodded.

Oh, thank fuck he’s permitting me to go. I figured Crista would be going if Alec was, though I don’t think everyone is happy about that. At least not as I looked to where the Beta family was seated. Beta Christopher glared at Alpha Alec, while Beta Gwen looked like she might start crying. Crista was blushing at Alec’s side, keeping her head down to avoid eye contact with her parents. Shit, it must suck to have your parents be against your mate bond.

Chapter 11 - Alec

I wish we were back in the library where I had Crista in my lap, my hands roaming over her body, outside her clothes but still getting to touch her. It may not have been what Chesed wanted, and it may not have lasted as long as I wanted it to, but it sure beats sitting at this dining table getting glared at by Christopher. He hasn’t stopped glaring at me since he interrupted our making out, as my son called it.

‘No, André called it dry humping since that was basically what Crista was doing in our lap.’ Chesed chimed in. ‘And if Christopher hadn’t walked in, you might have at least gotten your hand up her skirt. So that cock blocking Beta better watch his ass. You can’t hold me back forever, and when I get out, he will suffer.’

‘Don’t even think about it. I am just as annoyed as you, but Christopher is her father and, therefore, untouchable. So unless you want Crista to reject us, keep your mouth shut and not harm Christopher Fayte.’ I warned, reminding him of how delicate this bond was.

Until Crista has my mark on her neck, she has the choice to reject me. And if she refuses me, I know I am not surviving it. And even after she has accepted me and we are fully mated, I couldn’t allow Chesed to kill Christopher. Not over something as minor as being a protective father. I’ve done worse than simply cock block or glare at one of Katrina’s lovers. Or rather, I allowed Chesed to do worse.

If Tiberius weren’t her mate, he’d probably have gotten hurt when I had to go upstairs and retrieve my daughter for dinner. If this were under other circumstances, I wouldn’t have bothered getting Katrina or waiting for her to start a meal. But we are guests, so it’s proper that we arrive on time for events. And I need more people on my side as I deal with Christopher and Gwen Fayte.

André had been somewhat of a distraction when he turned with the younger Fayte sisters. He may have been empty-handed regarding finding his mate, but he was smiling. It seems he had a good time with Persephone and Delilah. The girls certainly like him, though I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t eventually like my son. He has this larger-than-life personality that makes people want to be around him.

I know he didn’t get that from me. And while Liliana wasn’t an over-the-top extrovert like our son, she was more personable, and people just gravitated to her. I know I got caught in her gravity and never wanted to leave. I shouldn’t be thinking about that right now. Not with Crista right next to me. Liliana is my past, but Crista is my present and, as long as Chesed and I don’t fuck it up, my future.

I could see the anger in Christopher’s green eyes when Silvano announced Crista would be leaving with me tomorrow and not returning as a member of this pack. A future we would have whether her parents liked it or not. I’d have more empathy for him losing a daughter since I’m losing mine to this pack if he wasn’t such an asshole about it.

“I don’t think that will be necessary, Alpha. If Alpha Alec intends to continue traveling to the other packs with his children, there is no need to drag Crista along. She should stay with her family, allowing her time to decide if being Luna of Incubi is truly what she wants.” Christopher interjected.

The entire table went silent. The only sound that broke that silence was me growling as I struggled to keep Chesed back. All eyes turned to me, and the only two people that didn’t look wide-eyed in fear were my kids. It says a lot about my reputation that even Silvano looked like he might crap his pants.

“Papa…” Crista stressed the word as she looked at her father.

“Do not speak on my behalf.” Crista sat up straighter next to me as she reached, probably unconsciously, to hold my hand. I froze, not wanting to move, fearing her realizing what she’d done and suddenly pulling away.

“There is no time needed. There is no choice to make. I was born to be the Luna of Incubi and Alec’s mate. To suggest otherwise is to say the Goddess was wrong. To refuse my destiny would be to refuse half my soul.” Crista spoke confidently.

“So whether you and mamma like it, I will be leaving with Alec in the morning.” She held firm even as her father gave her a stern look and her mother gave her the guilt trip eyes. I know the guilt trip eyes, Nonna Katrina used them plenty, and I’ve also fallen prey to them with Isadora.

“It will give you time to get accustomed to me not being home. And it would help if you took this time to focus on Persephone. She is next in line to be Nebrodi Beta now that I’m leaving.” She rationalized with a smile at her middle sister.

Persephone looked pale as the realization hit her that she would be expected to step up as Beta heir now. “No… no way. I am so not Beta material.” Persephone shook her head profusely.

“You aren’t the Beta that Thales and I planned for, but we can make it work. “Tiberius chimed in with an easy grin. “Though Beta or not, you take pictures of me half naked in my bedroom, especially with my mate again, the job will go to Delilah because you’ll be dead.”

André grinned, holding up a polaroid. “But this is a precious memory. I will always treasure it as the last time I got to embarrass my twin catching her post fuck with a guy.” He dramatically pressed the picture to his chest.

“See… not my fault. He’s the Alpha heir. Was I supposed to tell him no?” Persephone snickered, gesturing to my son.

The conversation had now shifted as Gwen started scolding Persephone about invading the privacy of others. The rest of the table had followed suit, more focused on Persephone and André taking a candid snapshot of Katrina and Tiberius. Well, almost everyone. Christopher was still glaring daggers at me. I could care less about his opinion. He can take his glare and shove it. His daughter is mine, and she’s made that clear.

The rest of the meal was polite conversation, mostly the Bellomos asking my daughter a million questions to get to know her better. There were no attempts from Christopher or Gwen to start a conversation with me. They don’t want to get to know me better, which is fine. Their opinions don’t matter. Let them have their preconceived notions about me. The only Fayte I need and want to like me is the one who hadn’t let my hand go since she stood up to her father.

As dinner was winding down and dessert was served, a soft voice spoke my name, initiating conversation with me. “Alpha Alec…”, The youngest Fayte spoke up as plates of cannoli were set down with cups of espressos.

“Yes, Delilah?” I arched my brow, turning my attention to her, recalling her name despite not being properly introduced to her.

“Will we still be allowed to see Crista?” She innocently questioned. Christopher, Gwen, and Persephone all looked at me too.

It’s interesting to see the difference in how each of them looked at me. Christopher was still glaring at me. He had an expected answer, and he didn’t like it. Gwen looked worried, like she knew what I would say, and feared it. Persephone looked curious. At least her sisters don’t have a set opinion of me.

“Of course. Why wouldn’t you? She’ll only be living two hours away. And my daughter will be coming here as your next Delta female. So I’d be coming here to visit her. Finding a mate doesn’t mean never seeing your family again.” I assured her.

“See. It won’t be the end of the world.” Crista smiled. “You won’t see me every day. But this was eventually going to happen. It was unlikely all of us would find our mates within Nebrodi, so one or more of us leaving the pack was inevitable.”

“Okay.” Delilah nodded. “As long as we still see you again, I’m happy you found your mate. I think you’ll make a great Luna.” She smiled shyly.

“I think she will too.” I nodded as I brought our joined hands up and kissed Crista’s knuckles. Persephone made a joking gagging sound as Crista blushed and Christopher growled.

“Beta Christopher…” Silvano cleared his throat, standing. “I think it is time that you return to your home. We will meet again tomorrow after our guests have left. I don’t want you to leave your home until I call you to my office.” Silvano commanded.

Begrudgingly Christopher stood and bowed his head. “As you command, Alpha.”

Crista pulled her hand away from me, rising from her chair as she hurried around the table. I watched her throw her arms around her father in a tight embrace. “I love you, papa. I’ll see you when we return, and I hope by then you will have accepted my decision and destiny.” Crista sighed, giving him another squeeze before stepping away.

“I love you too, Crista. I only worry about you. He…” Christopher glanced at me. “Doesn’t have the best track record or history with women.”

“Is that your indirect way of saying our papa is a whore? Cause we can throw down, Nonno Christopher, if you want to slut shame.” André offered as he threw his napkin on his plate as he stood.

Katrina stood as well, a red glow starting to emanate around her. “Your call, Beta Christopher, because I guarantee it’s not a fight you want.” That is new.

Tiberius gulped, reaching for her hand, probably hoping to ground her and keep her from fighting his pack’s Beta. I can’t blame him with that red glow around her. Is anyone else seeing this? I’m going to be making a call to Chiara after this. My daughter has never shown signs of magic, yet I can see it starting to manifest here.

“Sit back down,” I commanded, holding a hand up, my voice overlapping with Chesed’s as he was getting annoyed, and I couldn’t keep him back. “There will be no throwing down. Christopher has his opinions, and he isn’t exactly wrong.”

My children frowned but sat down, folding their arms in annoyance. Crista frowned as she looked between her father and me. Sighing, she stepped away from her father and returned to my side. “His past is that, the past. I cannot and will not judge him for it.” She said, retaking my hand. “I hope you take the time to think and accept this while we are away. Goodbye, papa.”

“Safe travels, Crista. I hope the day doesn’t come when you see him for who he is.” Christopher sighed, leaving.

Gwen looked torn as she watched him leave. She hurried around the table, hugged Crista, and then looked at me. “Protect my daughter, and don’t ever cause her harm. I may not be the most powerful wolf, but I am handy with a blade and will castrate you if you hurt her.” She threatened before hurrying after her mate.

“Well, that was fun.” Persephone sighed. “Have fun traveling the world. Try not to get knocked up on your first time.” She taunted with a mock salute at her sister. “Come on, Delilah. We better follow them.”

Crista turned bright pink, and oddly so did Delilah. I suppose they both share a sense of decorum and innocence to be embarrassed by their sister’s blunt statement. “I… okay. Let’s go. Safe travels to you all.” Delilah bowed her head before hurrying out with her sister.

It was certainly one way to end the evening. Luna Sylvia awkwardly escorted us to our rooms. Katrina would be staying in Tiberius’ room. André was given his own room, and I was brought to a room for myself. Crista looked hesitant as we reached my room. “I’ll leave you two alone.” Sylvia nodded, walking briskly away.

“You don’t need to stay in my room tonight. I can see how nervous you are. You probably have your room in the packhouse. You may sleep there tonight and pack for our trip.” I suggested.

‘Are you out of your mind? She needs to stay with us. How else are we going to fuck her?’ Chesed demanded.

‘Shut up. This is her last night in Nebrodi. Let her have it in a room she is familiar with.’ I shoved him back.

“Are…are you sure?” Crista blinked.

“While I would gladly welcome you in my bed, even if we don’t get intimate, I want you to be comfortable. Would you be more comfortable in your own bed alone or in here with me?” I asked.

“I… Thank you. As much as my wolf and the bond want me to stay in your room, I don’t know if I’m ready for that.” She softly admitted looking down.

“Then sleep well, cara mia.” I smiled as I tilted her face up and pressed a soft kiss to her lips.

“I…um… Sleep well, Alec.” She shyly answered, blushing as she left me to return to her bedroom. I should have told her to stay, but I guess it’s jerking off thinking about her for me. I waited till she was out of sight before I shut my door and went to bed.

Chapter 12 - Crista

Staying in my Beta heir room last night was more complicated than I thought it would be. More than once, I started to head to Alec’s room. Emilia was very encouraging each time, but I would always stop myself before I could touch the door handle. I was terrified of what would happen if I went into that room. I couldn’t even manage to control myself when we were supposed to be talking in the library, and look how that ended.

‘With your dipshit papa interrupting us and making you feel guilt and shame for doing what is perfectly natural.’ Emilia scoffed.

She wasn’t sad that papa was not present to say goodbye this morning. I, however, was as I handed my bag to Alec to go into the trunk of his SUV. I was only taking two bags with me for the trip. Luna Sylvia assured me that the rest of my belongings would be shipped to Alec’s villa in Incubi while we were gone.

I don’t know how I will feel living so far from my family or being in another pack. I don’t know if my parents will ever forgive me and accept my mating. How can I live with myself if my parents disapprove of my mate?

“He’ll get over it.” Alec softly assured me, his warm hand touching my cheek pulled me from my thoughts.

“How did... I mean, what are you talking about?” I blinked, trying to cover up my thoughts about my parents’ absence as we prepared to leave. How did he even know that was where my mind was?

“You know well what I was talking about, Crista. You may try to fool yourself, but you can’t fool me.” He sighed, his thumb stroking my cheek. “I’m a father too. I can understand how he feels, to a point.”

I sighed, looking away from his eyes, which felt like they could look into the depths of my soul and know all my secrets. My eyes landed on his daughter, the next Delta female of Nebrodi, as she smiled, hugging Claretta and Livio goodbye and promising she would keep their son out of trouble on our journey. I want that.

Tie has his parents here smiling and being supportive of his mating. Alec approves or he would have spoken up and told Tie to stay here. Why can’t I have that? Why can’t my parents be the loving and supportive parents they have been before this?

“Cara mia…” Alec sighed as he gently turned my face to his. “They need time to come to terms with this change. They are your parents, and while not all parents’ love is unconditional, I have the feeling their love for you is.” He assured me by placing a chaste kiss on my forehead.

I sighed, closing my eyes, unconsciously melting into the simple touch. It’s crazy how kissing my forehead could make me feel so calm.

‘Mate bond, duh. Now imagine how good it would feel to have his lips somewhere else.’ Emilia snickered.

‘I know what it’s like to kiss him.’ I rolled my eyes at her.

‘Oh, I meant lower than that.’ Emilia laughed as I blushed.

“Do I dare ask what your wolf is saying to make you blush so beautifully?” Alec smiled, stroking my cheek for emphasis.

“No…” I squeaked. “It’s fine. We should get going. Right?” I wanted to change the subject and get my mind and hopefully Emilia’s mind of sexual acts and completing the bond with Alec.

“We have a long drive to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés. I wonder if we’ll have a chance to see Thales. He is currently attending the Monastery of Destinies near there.” I said. Thinking about Thales directed my brain, and even Emilia’s, away from inappropriate thoughts. That worked.

“I will assume he is Silvano’s son, as the monastery of dickbags only trains Alpha heirs,” Alec said though he grumbled the part as he insulted the monastery.

“Um, yes. Thales Pini is our Alpha heir. I take it you don’t like the monastery. Didn’t your son attend?” I asked as Alec’s hand settled on my pack as he guided me to the front passenger seat.

“Oh fuck no!” André loudly announced.

“Papa loves me too much to send me to deal with a bunch of old fucks that get off beating boys. The first one to think he could hit me would find himself knocked out, and if they tried after I got my wolf, they’d be extra crispy.” André scoffed as he climbed into the far back row.

“What? I’m lost. The elders do what?” I furrowed my brow, never having heard anything like that.

“Oh, your Alpha never told you how those dicks treat the Alpha heirs in their care?” Katrina arched an eyebrow.

“That is enough.” Alec practically growled, his eyes turning yellow as they narrowed on his children, his tone even changing.

“Chesed…” I barely whispered his wolf’s name as my spine went stiff and fear seized my throat.

Alec sighed, running his hand through his thick hair. He was back in control as his eyes returned to their sapphire color. He apologized to his child. “I’m sorry for taking that tone.”

“Let’s not discuss the elders or the monastery. We have no business going near that place. So when we reach les Hurleurs Sanctifiés, we must stay away from the monastery.” He suggested.

“Yes, papa.” His children answered in unison. Katrina gave Tie a reassuring smile as she climbed into the car, pulling him in behind her.

I was curious why Alec had such strong feelings about the elders and the monastery, but I didn’t want to push the issue. Not right now. So I quickly got into the car and were on our way.

“While we have a long drive to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés, we will be stopping in Palecrest for the night, so we aren’t making a nearly twenty-four-hour drive. Francesco has already assured me that there will be rooms ready for our arrival.” Alec explained as we drove away from my home.

“Oh, that does make sense.” I wanted a better understanding of the alliances Incubi may have. I know about Palecrest and that Alpha Francesco wasn’t always the Alpha but became Alpha after the death of the previous one, who left no heir. But that’s all I know about it. “Are you friends with Alpha Francesco?”

“Oh, papa and Franky, go WAY back.” André laughed from the back seat.

Alec sighed and glared at his son in the rearview mirror. “Francesco and I have a history dating back twenty-two years.” He stated.

I arched my eyebrow, silently waiting for more details. But Alec remained silent like that was supposed to be enough. I need to know more. I want to learn more.

“Papa, you should tell her. She’ll learn one way or the other as your Luna. Hard to avoid when she meets Zia Izzy.” Katrina sighed as she leaned into Tie, getting comfortable for the long drive.

“Yeah, share with the newbies. Crista and I don’t know all the stories. We may know some rumors but let’s hear them from the source.” Tie agreed with an easy smile.

“Please. I should know if there is bad blood with Palecrest as the future Incubi Luna.” I pointed out softly.

“Fine. Twenty-two years ago, I was in Palecrest for my last Alphas of Italy meeting. I have been unwelcomed ever since and could not care less that I was excluded.” Alec sighed. “Chesed was in a foul mood, which was and still isn’t all that uncommon. We were still without a mate, and it was before I met Liliana.” He frowned, keeping his eyes on the road, purposely avoiding looking at me when he brought up his lover and mother of his children.

“While there was a break in the monotony that was an Alpha meeting, Chesed heard the singing of what I could only describe as an angel. We followed the sound and came across a frail young woman in the kitchen dressed in rags. I could see the bruises on her body, which pissed me off.” He continued his story, gripping the wheel tighter.

“She’d been the first servant in the packhouse I’d seen.” If he clutches the wheel any tighter, he will rip it off. “Eusebio liked to treat his omegas as slaves and felt they were not to be seen or heard. The girl, Isadora DeLuca, turned when she realized I was there and freaked out. She begged me not to hurt her and not to tell Eusebio I’d seen, let alone heard her. The fear in her eyes and her whole body trembled, made my blood boil.”

“Eusebio found me talking to her and went off. He apologized to me that such scum would dare enter my sight, let alone speak, and tried to hit her. It… didn’t go well for him. I sent him out a second-story window, and it turned into an Alpha challenge where I killed him.” He sighed.

“By right, I could have taken over the pack. But I gave Francesco a chance to step up as Alpha and do better. I took Isadora and told him if I ever found out he mistreated any member of that pack, no matter their rank, I’d come for his head, and this time I’d take the pack.” Alec concluded.

“Oh…oh wow. I didn’t realize that was how it happened.” I blinked. “We were, of course, taught about other packs as heirs. So we knew that Alpha Francesco replaced Alpha Eusebio after his death but not the reason he died.”

“So what happened with Isadora? I assume she’s the person Kat was calling Zia Izzy.” Tia asked, leaning forward. I shoved his face back at the same time that Katrina tugged him back.

“When I returned with Isadora, some in the pack thought I’d found my mate. Of course, they were wrong.” Alec explained, reaching over to hold my hand as he assured me that he had never thought of this woman romantically. “She was and still is a beautiful woman, but my love for her was never romantic. The moment I brought her to my best healer, my Beta, and closest friend Damon, it was clear whom she was meant for.”

“Oh yeah. Zio Damon laid eyes on her and knew she was his mate. Too bad for him, she didn’t recognize him. That fucker Eusebio had been using silver and wolfsbane to keep her weak, so even at seventeen, she hadn’t turned.” André scoffed.

“Yes, but Zio Damon is a talented doctor, not just because of his wolf’s gift. He helped her recover and gain her wolf.” Katrina interjected.

“And the best part during the whole healing process is they stared as Phantom and Christine in the pack’s local Opera house’s performance of The Phantom of the Opera. No other performance could make you wish the Phantom and Christine ended up together.” She sighed with a smile.

“So the play was the thing to catch the girl’s heart?” Tie smiled, arching his eyebrow as he slipped his arm around Kat’s shoulders.

“Damon has his charming moments. He managed to earn her love, and when her wolf finally woke, she understood they were meant to be. Now they have three kids and are still sickenly sweet in love.” Alec sighed.

I chuckled softly, squeezing his hand. It’s nice to know he has such a great friendship with his Betas. I hope I’ll get along with them, especially with our age differences. I don’t want to upset the balance they have. I’ll work hard to earn their respect. I don’t want to walk into immediate disrespect due to my age.

The rest of the drive to Palecrest was uneventful. I was learning more about Alec and his family, primarily through his children, who were more forthcoming with details. It’s hard to believe the rumors spread about him could be true with all the sweet stories I heard on the long drive. As we pulled up to the packhouse of Palecrest, we were immediately greeted by Alpha Francesco and his mate Luna Gilda.

“Welcome, Alpha Alec. We have the three rooms you requested ready.” Alpha Francesco greeted, bowing deeply.

I didn’t think anything of him saying three rooms. For some reason, my mind thought I’d be sharing a room with Katrina or something as we gathered our bags and went inside. As I went to follow Katrina into her room, Tie pulled me back. “Um, where do you think you’re going? I’m sharing a room with Katrina.”

“This is so annoying, you are all going to go fuck your mates, and I’m going to be left jerking off despite having a bag full of toys.” André pouted, holding up one of his bags.

The realization of the sleeping arrangements hit me like a ton of bricks. I was going to share a room with Alec. I don’t even know how to feel about that. Is he going to expect us to have sex? Am I ready for that?

“Hey, got anything in that bag I can borrow or keep? As long as your sister is up for freaky shit, I’m in.” Tie chuckled, pointing to André’s bag.

Alec sighed and rubbed his temples. Is he upset that we will have to share a room? Or is it just having been driving the last eleven hours, and now Tie and his son are driving him crazy?

André clung to his bag. “No, these are my toys. My sex toys are mine. I shared enough with her growing up. But here...” He sighed as he dug into his bag and threw a box of condoms. “You can have those.”

“Thanks, bro.” Tie grinned, holding the box up as Katrina rolled her eyes.

“Let’s go, dumbass.” She sighed and yanked him into their room, shutting the door.

“Oh, and you’ll want those too, Papa.” André grinned, tossing a box at Alec, who caught them with a growl. “Unless you’re starting baby-making already,” he added with a wink dodging out of reach of my mate as he ducked into a bedroom.

“It’s okay, Crista. We don’t have to have sex, and I highly recommend ignoring my son.” Alec assured me as I was numbly led into our room.

‘Our room,’ I gulped, looking at the king-size bed.

‘Our room.’ Emilia purred.

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Snow White
Snow White
Oct 31, 2022

I would love to read a story about Isadora and Damon, there is something so so special about them ❤️❤️❤️

Jacqueline Herndon
Jacqueline Herndon
Oct 31, 2022
Replying to

i have thought that more than once


Half way to…Thales! Thales! Thales!


Donna Ward
Donna Ward
Oct 31, 2022

I hope Christa’s take no bs attitude gets to make an appearance. I really like that about her


Amanda Gerner
Amanda Gerner
Oct 30, 2022

Oh André and Katrina jumping in to tell stories then André distributing condoms. On my word. He is a handful for his papa. 😂


Talayna Pehrson
Talayna Pehrson
Oct 30, 2022

You get condoms!

You get condoms!

Everyone gets condoms!

Except for André 🥺

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