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Bound By Fate Part 2

Updated: Jan 28, 2023

Chapter 13 - Alec

I love my children, but sometimes I want to rip their throats out. The car drive to Palecrest included them discussing a lot of my past, or at least what they are aware of. There was still a lot they didn’t know, and for that, I was thankful. Despite how close I may be with my children, I still keep things from them. But none of the things they told Crista during the drive could overshadow my son throwing me a box of condoms.

‘Don’t be angry with him. He at least came prepared. You went looking for our mate without even one condom, a box, or a bag of toys.’ Chesed scoffed.

‘And if he hadn’t provided us with those condoms, what would you do while we shared a bed with her?’ He questioned.

‘Chesed do me a favor. Shut the fuck up.’ I growled, ignoring him in favor of paying attention to Crista, who looked terrified and intrigued as we walked into our room.

“Crista…” I softly spoke her name, placing my hand on her shoulder. She nearly jumped out of her skin, and I felt terrible for it.

“I can tell Francesco to get me a different room and let you stay here. Or I can take the floor. I told you nothing has to happen till you are ready.” I offered.

‘What the hell are you doing!?’ Chesed snarled as he started to push forward.

“Thank you, Alec. I appreciate that. I don’t want to make you sleep on the floor.” Crista shook her head, unaware that Chesed was forcing me back.

“Damn right, I’m not sleeping on the floor. You’re our mate; we will share a bed and do what mates are supposed to do.” Chesed growled his stern possessive words.

“How dare you.” Crista blinked, pulling away from my touch as she turned to face Chesed. I don’t think she even thought before she reacted, or if she did, I’d have to say she’s a brave woman as her hand slapped me hard.

Liliana was the only woman I’d slept with who would stand up to Chesed. Any other woman Chesed has bedded were all eager to submit to him and far too timid to dare speak out of turn, let alone hit him. It appears the Goddess does know what she’s doing when she chooses mates. She knew mine would have to be able to put Chesed in his place.

Chesed growled, and despite my trying to pull him back, he clung to control of my body. “You’ll be punished for the first. I think five solid spanks to your ass will do you some good. I know I’ll enjoy it. And you might not admit it, but you’ll enjoy it too.” Chesed smiled.

‘I do not think she appreciates your innuendo.’ I winced because her eyes started to glow, and I knew he had just said the wrong thing.

‘Oh, don’t be a prude. You enjoy this stuff as much as me.’ he scoffed.

‘Not with anyone that wasn’t Liliana.’ I grumbled.

‘You’ll enjoy it again when we show our mate how fun it can be.’ He rolled his eyes.

Crista glared back at him. All her timid virgin attitude went out the window as I thought her wolf was starting to come out. “You bastard!”She raised her hand to slap him again, but this time Chesed stopped her.

“I like it rough. So unless you’re goal is to turn me on and have me rip your clothes off and throw you on that bed and fuck you till my name is the only one you remember, knock it off,” he threatened.

I saw how the threat sunk in, and some of that fight backed off but didn’t entirely go away. “Now then, I will sleep in that bed with you. Make no mistake about that.” Chesed instructed, pointing to the bed as he let her go.

“I’m going to go take a shower. If I have to share a bed with Alec, he better be in control of his body when I return. If he isn’t, you may sleep outside like the dog you are.” Crista snorted as she shoved past him, stopping to grab some things from her bag before slamming the bathroom door closed.

‘Can’t you be nice to her? She is our mate. Our Luna. She should be treated with love and respect.’ I grumbled as I tried to regain control.

‘Oh, shut up. Crista enjoyed that back and forth and especially my threat. You smelled her arousal the same as I did. She’s just too young and innocent to realize what she wants. I say we show her.’ Chesed protested as I finally forced him back.

‘Not here and not now. We move at Crista’s pace or not at all.’ I said firmly, getting my bag to find my pajamas.

I sighed as I started to undress. I had just begun unbuttoning my trousers, my shirt already off, when I heard a gasp behind me. I froze, realizing Crista was behind me and I was shirtless. I was not ready for her to see my scars. They tend to scare women more than Chesed picking up a whip in his darkroom. But it’s too late now.

“Alec, what…”Crista gasped as I felt her coming closer.

My shoulders tensed as she touched me, slowly relaxing from the bond as she gently traced one of the deepest marks. “Who … who did this to you? W… why would someone do this?” She questioned, her voice filled with emotion. I didn’t dare look back at her as I didn’t want to see her reaction.

“My father. Ciriaco D’Amore was a tyrant and an all-around piece of shit. At least behind closed doors. To the pack, he was their perfect Alpha. He protected them and led them with kindness and compassion. Two things he never had for me.” I answered, trying to fight back the bitter memories.

“Ho… How could a father do this? How could any parents do this? Did your mother not try to stop him? What purpose was served in doing this? You were his heir. He should have been grooming you to be a strong leader.” Crista questioned in disbelief.

“My mother never attempted to stop him. She’s part of why he did it. Most mothers love their children and would kill for and die for them. Mine wanted nothing to do with me.” I admitted.

“Nowadays, they call it postpartum depression. Back then, it wasn’t a common term. My mother didn’t want me when the doctor told Liviana she was pregnant.” I hung my head as I talked about her. “She only didn’t get rid of me because, as Luna, she was expected to produce an heir.”

“It’s okay if they disgust you,” I whispered. The only woman that didn’t look at my scars with disgust was Liliana. She’s been silent for so long that I was starting to worry.

“Of course they do.” She snorted.

I cringed, my shoulders bunching as I stepped away from her touch. “It’s okay. They turn away more people than Chesed’s sexual appetite.” I frowned.

“Alec … I don’t mean you or your scars. I mean your parents. Your parents disgust me.” Crista assured me as she stepped closer and wrapped her arms around me. “I’m not scared or disgusted by your scars,” She promised, placing a kiss on the deepest scar across my back.

Crista was hugging me and kissing my scars. I sucked in a sharp breath as I felt her soft lips press a kiss to the deepest scar across my back from when Ciriaco got particularly angry because I growled at him. I froze, not sure how to even react.

‘I have a few ideas.’ Chesed smirked.

I rolled my eyes at him, placing my hands over hers. “Crista … I …” I don’t even know what I wanted to say. I hoped she could look past the scars. But I learned long ago not to place much trust in hopes.

“It’s okay, Alec,” Crista whispered, kissing my scars softly. I suppose I could blame the bond, but I believed her. Deep in my heart, I believed her words.

“You don’t have to tell me anymore if you don’t want to,” Crista assured me.

“I don’t want to. But I need to.” I sighed, squeezing her hands gently as I took them off me.

Pushing down the worry of the look in her eyes, I turned to face her. She was crying. My mate was crying for me. For what my parents had done for me. The last person to cry for me like this was Liliana. She was crying, standing there in underwear and her blouse. She must have realized she’d forgotten something when she went into the bathroom.

“Please don’t cry, cara mia.” I sighed, wiping her tears away with my thumbs.

“Some things cannot be helped. What they did was an atrocity. No child should endure such a thing least of all from their parents.” Crista sniffled softly, blinking, trying to stop her tears.

“No, they shouldn’t. And it is why I take any abuse in my pack very seriously.” I nodded. On this, Chesed and I have always agreed. We would not suffer abusers to live in our pack.

“You may not know this answer, but why? Why did this do this to you?” Crista questioned.

“I’m not sure. It started when I was very young. Initially, it was for what my parents called bad behavior, like I didn’t put something away or didn’t do what I was told quickly enough.” I sighed.

“Not a reason to beat a child.” Crista’s lips flattened into a thin line.

“Well, to them, it was. Liviana always found fault in me. But for her, I think she had unaddressed mental issues. I have never known a she-wolf to reject their pup as strongly as she rejected me. I could almost have understood if I was sickly or something. But I was perfectly healthy.” I shrugged.

“And your father?” Crista’s lips turned into a frown.

“He blamed me for my mother’s depression. When he beat me, he said that I was so unlovable that even my mother rejected me. That she had known from the womb I was unworthy of love. He told me that I would never have a mate, and without a mate, I would always be weak and never become Alpha.” I admitted.

“Then he shipped me to the Monastery under the guise of Alpha training when I was twelve. It was the youngest they would take an heir. And when I was there, the beating didn’t end. They saw something… evil in me. They said there was a darkness in me, and they needed to drive out.” I sighed.

“Your father was wrong. The elders were wrong. You are strong. A weak person could not have survived what he did to you. You became Alpha, an Alpha that has ensured his pack is safe and prosperous.” Her eyes were trained on mine as she spoke with such sincerity.

“And I’m standing right here. So you’re not cursed to be without a mate. I’m sorry that you had to wait so long for me. But I’m not going anywhere. Your scars don’t scare me. And neither does Chesed.” A small smile spread across her lips as she pulled me closer.

Our lips were nearly touching, and I was trying to resist the urge to kiss her. ‘I say we fuck her.’ Chesed growled.

And before I knew it, my lips were on hers. I swallowed Crista’s gasp, wrapping an arm around her to pull her tighter to me. My other hand held the back of her head. Tilting her head to the angle I wanted, my tongue dipped into her mouth to explore. I groaned, savoring her taste and the sparks of the bond as her hands trailed down from my face.

She wrapped one of her arms around my neck. Her other slid down my chest to rest over my heart. I’m sure she can feel how fast it’s beating. Just as clearly, she can feel the scars and bulge forming in my pants.

Unconsciously I backed her into the wall near the bathroom door, my arm around her moving as I unbuttoned her blouse.

‘No one can interrupt this time.’ Chesed smirked. He was right. No one would dare walk into this room.

Crista moaned into my mouth, fingers digging into my hair, as the fabric of her blouse fell open, and my hand found its way to massage her breast through the lacy fabric of her bra. We both pulled back from the kiss needing air, eyes opening to look at each other. Crista’s eyes were dark with desire, and the scent of her arousal started to perfume the air.

“Tell me if you want me to stop,” I whispered as I kissed below her ear and started to trail kisses down her neck.

This may be an odd beginning to an intimate moment, but I don’t care. Crista’s the first person to see these scars and cry and be angry on my behalf in a long time. Even if this is as far as we go, I’m glad she’s not afraid of my scars.

Chapter 14 - Crista

I hadn’t planned for any of this to happen. I’d started to undress to shower when I realized I’d left the shorts to my pajamas in my bag. I had two choices: walk back out there and get them now or risk going out in a towel. So I took my chances, thinking I could sneak out quickly.

Walking out to see him shirtless stopped me dead in my tracks. And I don’t just mean because he was shirtless. While Alec shirtless was a sight on its own, his back was covered in scars. My heart broke as he explained his scars. A werewolf wouldn’t scar like that unless someone used silver or wolfsbane against them to ensure they wouldn’t heal.

I’d learned much about him from his children on the drive here, but I don’t think they know all this. Yet he’s sharing such private information with me. He’s being vulnerable with me. It is a rare thing for any male to be vulnerable, even less when you are dealing with an Alpha. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Alpha Silvano or my papa show weakness, show their pain. Maybe they have expressed that in private with their mates. I’m just surprised Alec would let himself be exposed and vulnerable like this.

‘We are his mate. Half of his soul, it is not weakness to share pain and hardship.’ Emilia insisted. ‘It’s a damn good thing his parents are dead and that we aren’t going near that miserable monastery. I’d kill them all for what they have done to him.’ She growled.

‘Agreed. I don’t even care how they died. If the rumors that he did it are true, they fucking deserved it, and I hope they suffered and still suffer in the afterlife.’ I agreed.

Every horrible rumor I’ve ever heard of him was banished from my mind. Knowing what he has suffered at the hands of people that should have loved him, people that were supposed to guide him on the path to being an Alpha, any suffering he has brought to others must have been deserved. Hell, based on the story of how he saved his Beta female from this very pack we are in, says everything about the man who stands before me, heart on his sleeve, scared of my reaction.

The moment I kissed him yesterday in the library, I knew I’d never be able to reject him. And that decision was solidified as I stood before him, promising and assuring him that I was not afraid of him and that his papa and all of them were wrong about him. I wasn’t sure what to expect after my proclamation, but I probably should have been more prepared for his reaction.

Kissing him is so intoxicating. His lips taste like his scent, and I’m getting drunk on them. He has so much more experience than I do regarding this. Not that it would take much, as yesterday was my first kiss. But knowing he is experienced worries me. Every cell in my body was buzzing, eager for his touch sending jolts of pleasure to my pussy, making it clench with a need I was unaccustomed to.

‘Shut. Up. Stop thinking about his past. It’s the past. He is OURS now and forever. Live in this moment and let this man ravage you! Use the whole box of condoms his son gave him!’ Emilia encouraged.

I wanted to make a retort, something witty, but I don’t think I could form sentences as his lips trailed down my neck, sucking at where his mark would go as his hand tugged my bra down to torment my nipple in the best way possible. My fingers dug into his thick hair as I arched into his touch, leaning my head to give him more access to my neck.

“Please…” I moaned.

“Please what, cara mia….” Alec’s voice was huskier as he whispered against my skin, kissing along my collarbone.

I licked my lips, trying to think of what I was trying to say. Alec’s touch was driving me crazy. How can he expect me to think when he’s touching me? How is he able to think? Maybe I’m doing something wrong if he’s not as distracted as me.

‘Stop second guessing yourself and tell him not to stop.’ Emilia growled.

“Don’t stop….” I managed to moan just before his mouth found my breast, his tongue swirling around my nipple, making my eyes roll back with a moan.

“Cara mia… so damn perfect… so delicious…” He murmured against my breast as he skilfully unsnapped my bra.

I brought my arms down to wiggle free of my blouse and bra, letting them fall to the floor without a care. My hands explored Alec’s chest, carefully memorizing the scars with my fingers making a mental note of the trails I wanted to take with my lips. He growled, nipping at my breast as my hands found his open trousers reaching inside to grasp his hard cock.

Holy shit! We are into seriously uncharted territory for me. But rather than risking another lecture from Emilia, I followed instincts and basic knowledge between sex ed, books, and movies and started stroking his dick. I smiled as his kisses became less focused. So I do affect him. That makes me feel less like I’m a naive virgin who won’t satisfy him.

I gasped as Alec growled, his hands sliding under my ass as he lifted me. I pouted to have my hand removed so unceremoniously from his pants. I was finding my rhythm.

“Don’t pout, kitten.” A deeper voice greeted me, biting at my bottom lip.

I blinked, looking to see Alec’s eyes were almost entirely yellow. Great, his stupid wolf was coming out. “Give Alec back control,” I demanded, leaning away or as far as I could in his arms. “Because if he isn’t in control, this ends, and I kick you out of this room,” I added to be sure he knew I meant business. Horny as I am, I will not have my first time to be with his wolf. It doesn’t feel right; even if it’s Alec’s body, it feels gross to think about.

I only relaxed when I saw the blue return to Alec’s eyes. “Excuse him if you can. He’s far too used to being the one in control during sex. But that was with women I didn’t want to be with.” Alec apologized before wincing. “And I should shut up about the past before the mood is completely ruined.”

Alec is right about not wanting to ruin this moment. It made me feel better, knowing his seedy past of sleeping around wasn’t his choice. It was his wolf being a horn dog. It makes me angry at his wolf for using Alec’s body like that. He’s as bad as Alec’s parents in how he abused Alec’s body. I’ll put Chesed in his place later.

“It’s okay….” I assured him as I kissed him deeply, wanting to return to the intoxicating feeling of his touch.

I was relieved that he returned the kiss, his tongue greeting mine in a hungry dance as he carried me to the bed. I moaned as he laid me on the bed. His hands roamed across my body as he kissed down my naked torso. I bit my bottom lip nervously as he reached my underwear.

I didn’t try to stop him, raising my hips as he slid them off his mouth, following them down my legs, then working their way slowly back up. My legs opened wider on their own as he settled between them. I watched, intrigued, unsure what he would do next, only knowing that whatever he did, I would like it. I moaned, arching against him as he licked my entrance with a growl.

“Oh fuck….” I moaned, gripping his hair as he brought my legs over his shoulders and set to devouring me like I was his first meal in days. I’ve read about cunnilingus and seen it in movies, but I don’t think either prepared me for how good this would feel, even more so as he added his fingers.

“A… ALEC…” I moaned on a full-body shutter as a wave of pleasure washed over me.

“We are not done yet, cara mia.” Alec’s delicious promise sent a shiver through me as he kissed my thighs before kneeling between my legs.

Breathing heavily, I raised my head to look at him. Scars and all, this man is sinfully gorgeous and sweet Goddess. I licked my lips, gulping as I watched as he moved off the bed and removed his trousers and boxers. Whoa, I knew he was endowed when I had my hand barely wrapped around his dick but feeling it is very different from seeing it.

“Do you still want to continue?” He offered the choice to me as he took a condom from the box André had given him. He’s giving me an out after giving me a mind-blowing orgasm with his tongue and fingers.

‘I will never speak to you again if you tell him to stop.’ Emilia growled. ‘He can’t mark us yet but do not take this away from us.’

“I don’t want to stop,” I assured him as I crooked my finger, calling him back to me.

I saw the relief in his eyes as he climbed back onto the bed. His lips were back on mine in a hungry kiss, distracting me from what was coming next. I groaned into the kiss as I felt him thrust inside of me. My body had to adapt to accommodate his size, my hips arching against him as we slowly found a rhythm.

My nails dug into his back as he found the right spot to send me over the edge. I thought the orgasm before was intense. This beat that orgasm, hands down. I don’t want to think about how many people may have heard me calling his name. At least none would have heard him growling mine into my neck as he found release. I don’t remember much after that, just his warmth next to me in bed as I fell asleep.

Chapter 15 - Katrina

“I probably don’t want to know or ask this, but I’m going to anyway.” Tiberius sighed, leaning against the bathroom wall as the tub filled up.

Whatever he asks might spoil the mood, but I’ll let him ask. And he had such a great idea of taking a bath together before bed. And I wasn’t about to say no to that. Luckily Palecrest put us in rooms meant to host Alphas, so the bathroom has a lovely garden tub that can fit us.

“Hmm?” I arched my eyebrow, looking at him in the mirror as I took out my earrings.

“Your father isn’t going to… never mind. I don’t want to ruin the mood. Forget I brought it up.” He shook his head.

“My Papa will not make Crista do anything she doesn’t want to. He may have a history of enjoying BDSM and having a long list of lovers….” I started to explain, sighing as Tiberius growled.

If we weren’t mates, I’d be jealous that he’s so protective of her. But we are mates, and I won’t get jealous of Crista. He has known her his whole life, and she was going to be his Beta, so he has a connection with her. So getting mad that he’s protective of her would be like him getting angry that I’m just as protective of my cousin Alexander.

“The lovers were all his asshole wolf. My Papa is an honorable man who has only ever loved my mamma, and even then, it wasn’t the love he reserved for the mate he could only dream would come.” I assured him as I turned to face him.

“Your former Beta heir is perfectly safe sharing a room with him. If she wished for it, he would demand a separate room to be prepared so she could feel comfortable.” I stepped closer, wrapping my arms around his neck.

“Now, if you are done expressing unfounded concerns about your friend’s safety and virginity….” I smiled, running my fingers into his hair.

“I think that tub is full, and we are both wearing far too many clothes. So how about we help each other out of these pesky garments?” I suggested bringing one hand down his chest and reaching for his belt.

“Fuuuck, yes.” He groaned as his lips crashed into mine.

Things got a little crazy after that. My outfit ended up shredded on the floor. I guess that’s the hazard of a werewolf mate when he’s super horny. I can’t explain what I did to his clothes. But they turned to ash. I’d make a mental note to call Bisnonna, but honestly, by the time we made it to bed, I was lucky I remembered my name.

I will say this. Mate sex is the fucking best. I can’t wait till after we can mark each other. However, that works for a human and werewolf, when it will be even better. I am glad, mark or not, I know I’ll always be falling asleep in his arms. I fit perfectly in his arms, making falling asleep so easy. I couldn’t wait for tomorrow when we would head to our next stop, and hopefully, my brother will find his mate.

A muffled cry of pain startled me awake. I sat up, looking around in confusion. I wasn’t in the bedroom in Palecrest where I’d fallen asleep. “Tiberius?” I called out, getting to my feet. “Where am I? Why was I on the floor?” I frowned, looking around the bare-bones bedroom.

The muffled cry drew my attention, and I pushed open the door, following the cry despite my better judgment. Logic said I should be figuring out how I got here, but common sense wasn’t on the menu as I did the stupid thing that gets people killed in horror movies, the thing I yell at people for doing in a film, and followed the sounds of pain. Whoever was in pain, I couldn’t ignore them.

If I look around, I can figure out where I am and how I got here. Tiberius must be freaking out that I’m gone. And once he’s realized I’m not in bed with him, he will alert Papa and André. Which, in theory, is a good thing but, in practice, could be terrible. Tell my Papa and twin brother I went missing from our bed and will have Tiberius under suspicion and Palecrest in total lockdown with two angry Alpha wolves on edge looking for me.

“Hello?” I called out, following the sounds starting to pick up a familiar sound of a whip hitting flesh.

Where the fuck am I? Does Palecrest have some secret sex dungeon or just torture people? Either way, my Papa will have Francesco’s head for having me abducted and brought here.

“STOP! Stop it! You’re going too far!” A masculine voice shouted an air of authority in his voice.

I carefully crept to an open doorway, seeing the light and shadows of people inside. What the hell is going on? I furrowed my brow, holding my breath as I peered around the corner. I gasped, quickly covering my mouth for fear of being seen. Yet even as one of the hooded figures looked in my direction, it was like I wasn’t there.

In the room were five hooded figures. At the center was a young man chained to the floor with his back bleeding from whip marks. Standing between the victim and his abuser was a blonde man with his arms spread wide to shield the young man. I narrowed my eyes, thinking of my Papa and his scars as I looked from the abused man to the hooded figure holding the whip.

“How dare you interfere in justly deserved punishment.” One of the old men growled, his hood falling back to show his withered face. “Does anyone else believe that Marcellius doesn’t deserve to be punished?” He questioned, gesturing around the room.

I felt a growl building up in my throat as I clutched the doorway. I went wide-eyed as I realized there was a room full of young males ages thirteen to maybe eighteen. None dared to speak out, shaking their heads and refusing to speak out against this atrocity. Worthless, cowardly bastards! How dare they be complacent in such abuse.

“I don’t care if no one else backs me. This is wrong.” The blonde glared as he looked around the room. He paused, blue eyes as bright and clear as the Mediterranean stopped at me. Can he see me? How can he see me when the others don’t? He blinked, head cocking slightly before shaking his head to look around the rest of the room.

“He called his mother, who is deathly ill. That doesn’t deserve this kind of punishment. It’s insane of you to expect us all to cut contact with our families except for the full moon of our sixteenth birthday when you let one family member come to witness our shift.” The man declared.

“If you feel so strongly about it, take his place.” The man holding the whip scoffed.

“Fine. Set Marcellius free and to the infirmary before those wounds become permanent. And I’ll take his remaining lashings.” The blonde nodded, folding his arms across his chest.

I don’t get it. Not the part where he stood up for someone else. I get that. It’s a noble thing to do. I didn’t get that my heart was hammering in my chest, and my pussy was wet with desire as I looked at this man. I’ve found my one and only mate, so why am I getting hot and bothered by this guy? Is it because we haven’t marked each other?

I looked away as the blonde removed his shirt, watching two hooded men cart the young man away. I didn’t want to see him shirtless, and I certainly didn’t want to watch him be whipped. Just as I heard the whip start to crack, I was taken away from that place and found myself in familiar surroundings, but still not the bedroom with Tiberius.

At least I know this place. It’s the garden at Papa’s villa. “Why am I here?” I frowned as I started to walk around. I stopped when I saw a woman sitting at a table gently petting a black wolf with red streaks on its flanks and the Berardi crest on its chest.

“Who the fuck are you? What are you doing in my Papa’s garden? Hell, why am I even here? I should be in bed with my mate.” I demanded with my hands on my hips as I glared at the woman and the wolf.

All my anger fizzled out as the woman’s head turned to me, and she smiled. I know that face! “Mamma?” I blinked in disbelief.

“My sweet stellina.” She smiled, getting to her feet. “I’ve been waiting for you. I’m thrilled to hear you’ve found your mate. That explains why you are here. Your magic has unlocked.” She explained.

“If she’s found our mate and her magic is unlocked, why am I still here?” The wolf demanded.

“None of this is making any sense.” I furrowed my brow. “And you can’t be my mamma. She died giving birth to me. I swear if this is some stupid trick from Bisnonna, I will kill her. So let’s drop the act and tell me who you are and why you took the form of my dead mamma.”

Chapter 16 - Katrina

“I’m Liliana Berardi, your mother. None of what you see is from Nonna Chiara’s magic. This… Well, it’s my magic.” She sighed. “How can I prove it to you?”

“There isn’t a way you can prove it. It isn’t like there are memories I shared with my mamma to call on. She died when I was born.” I shook my head, not wanting to remember the details I’d heard over the years of her death. “Giving birth to twin Alpha hybrids was too much of a strain, and complications arose.”

“That isn’t how I died, mia stellina.” She sighed, stepping closer. “Giving birth to you and your brother was difficult, but there were no complications, at least not from the delivery itself.”

“What? What bullshit are you trying to give me? I still don’t buy that you’re my mamma.” I scoffed, even if a part of me did believe her.

“I understand why you don’t believe me, but listen to me. I don’t know how long my magic will let me speak to you. So I have to tell you the truth, all of it. You must be prepared for the dangers that lay ahead.” She pleaded.

“Now then. As far as my death goes, the only complication is that Silvano intentionally gave me a cocktail of drugs through an IV. They are what caused my heart to fail, not childbirth. Silvano hated me from the moment he met me.” She explained.

That son of a bitch. How dare he endanger her! How dare he kill her! He could have also killed André and me! If any of this is real, I will rip his head off as soon as I return home.

“Most of the pack hated me when they learned I was pregnant. If I’d been a werewolf, they’d have accepted your Papa having a chosen mate, but I was a witch or, as they saw me, a human and not his intended. More than once, your Papa offered to mark me as his chosen to shut them all up. But I refused. I wasn’t his mate, and I couldn’t take that from the girl he was made for.” She sighed with genuine tears slipping down her cheeks.

“Didn’t you love him? Given the prophecy and all that I know, it’s for the best that he was single when he met Crista. But why wouldn’t you have wanted to be his mate if you loved him?” I asked, forgetting I should take every word she said with a grain of salt.

“I loved him, in a way. But a Berardi witch never finds true love with a man.” She sighed, wiping her tears.

I protested. “But you weren’t a witch. To this day, Bisnonna still bitches about how she couldn’t understand why the magic of the Berardi line died with your mother.”

“Nonna Chiara never understood what was right in front of her. I always had magic. It was locked away. My mamma did the same thing to me that I’m sorry, but I did to you.” She frowned.

“What does that mean? What did you do to me? What did Nonna Concetta do to you?” I demanded.

“Before I was born, my mamma knew I would be powerful. In our family, our magic only grows stronger with the next generation. Mamma knew that Nonna Chiara would want to push me into magic and use my power for the coven. Mamma wanted me to live a life free of her demands. So she locked away my magic until I knew true unconditional love.” She explained.

“But you just said you loved Papa but not truly. So how did you get magic to do whatever you did to me and create this?” I questioned, gesturing to the recreation of the villa’s garden we stood in.

“That’s true. While I loved Alec, it wasn’t unconditional. It could never be, as he was always meant for another. I knew unconditional love the first time I felt you and your brother move.” She smiled softly, placing a hand over her stomach.

“It was like a flutter of butterfly wings, a sensation that shot straight into my heart, and I knew I loved you both more than life itself. I would move heaven and earth to protect you and ensure your happiness. You and André are my true loves.” She explained, her voice cracking with emotions.

Shit, now I’m crying. And I’m more than starting to believe this is mamma. There is no way this could be Bisnonna. That bitch isn’t a good actress, and I don’t think she even has emotions, so she can’t fake them.

“But…based on what you’ve said. That means you locked away my magic?” I furrowed my brow, trying to understand.

“And me. Your wolf.” The wolf huffed.

Why would she repeat the cycle with me? What if I never met Tiberius? I was looked down on my whole life for not having magic and not having a wolf, yet I could’ve had both this entire time.

“I’m so sorry, Katrina. I know it wasn’t fair to lock away your wolf and magic. But I had to protect you from Nonna Chiara and Melania. I’d been having visions of Melania since my magic unlocked. If I did nothing, you’d have not only been taken from Alec, but your life would’ve been in danger.” She started to explain.

“Do you know what it’s been like growing up as a disappointment? The Incubi Princess with no wolf and no magic? Why couldn’t you have just let me keep my wolf? And who’d dare take me from Papa!?” I asked, rubbing my temples, trying to understand how she could have done this to me.

“I had to. Your magic was tied to your wolf. I couldn’t lock one without locking the other. And Nonna Chiara would have taken you away to raise you in the coven if you had magic, especially if you also had your wolf.” She sighed, running her hand through her hair, the expression on her face so similar to the one André makes when he’s getting worked up trying to explain something.

“As it stood, your power as a witch was greater than mine, making you three times stronger than Nonna Chiara. But a witch with a wolf doubles her strength. Do you see mia stellina? Do you see why I couldn’t let Nonna Chiara or Melania think you had power?” She had bridged the gap between us, squeezing my hands into hers. “I couldn’t let either of them use your power.”

“I… I should be so angry with you. You locked away my magic and, worse, my wolf. But you said that you did to me what your mamma did. So you bound them to true love? To my mate?” I furrowed my brow, still trying to wrap my head around everything.

“To your mate, yes. And since finding Tiberius, your magic has started to unlock. It would be best to let it out fully instead of these small bursts. Your wolf should have unlocked too. I’m not sure why she’s still locked away.” She frowned.

“This is just crazy. I have magic and a wolf, but my wolf is still locked up even though I found my mate.” I rubbed my temples. “Is my wolf still locked because he hasn’t marked me? Will marking me unlock her? Or does it just take time, like how my magic has only slowly been seeping out?” I asked.

“I can’t say for sure. But I know you’ll figure out how to unlock your wolf and control your powers. I’d expect nothing less of a D’Amore.” Mamma smiled sadly at me, reaching to touch my face.

“You turned out beautifully, mia stellina. I regret that I couldn’t have raised you, that I could only be given this brief moment to see you, and that I couldn’t see my darling boy André. Please tell him I love him. Tell Alec it’s okay to be happy and in love.” She sniffled as she started to become transparent.

“My magic is running out. I love you, Katrina.” Her words were soft as they faded along with the rest of her, and I was left in the garden sobbing, hugging myself.

“Wake up.” The wolf nudged me, but the voice sounded different.

I grumbled and tried to shoo her away, only to have the warm, familiar touch of Tiberius holding my face, wiping my tears. “Pasticcino… wake up. It’s okay. I don’t know what you were dreaming that made you cry, but you’re okay. I’m here.” Tiberius sweetly assured me as he wrapped me in his arms.

I blinked, opening my eyes as reality settled in. I’m in our room in Palecrest. We are both still very naked; it was just a dream. Or was it?

“What time is it? I need to talk to Papa and André.” I questioned as I pulled out of his embrace to search for clothes.

“Katrina, come back to bed. Come back to bed unless you want to wake them at three in the morning.” Tiberius sighed, reaching to hold my hand to keep me from going further from the bed.

I frowned and looked at the clock and saw that Tiberius was correct. It’s still very early. We have a long drive tomorrow, and what I have to say will take a heavy toll. And while I’m dying to tell my family what happened, I should let them rest.

“Okay… I’ll wait till morning.” I conceded, climbing back into bed and cuddling against him, hoping that if I slept again, I don’t dream of anything but a future with him.

Chapter 17 - André

Something was off about Katrina during our quick breakfast. I’d say something was off about Papa and Crista, but everyone staying in the Palecrest packhouse knew what happened between them. And that, my friends, is why the D’Amore villa has soundproofing. No one hears what happens in Papa’s darkroom or bedroom.

Given that my room is closest to his, I’m grateful for it. And now that I know Crista is a loud moaner, I’m even more thankful for soundproofing. That doesn’t mean I’m not jealous as fuck. Not that she’s fucking my Papa, ew, get your mind out of the insect gutter. I’m jealous of Katrina and Tiberius too. I’m still single on this mate triathlon. It’s a sad day when I spend my night jerking off alone.

I’d been trying to get Katrina to tell me what was up, but she said she wanted to wait till we were on the road and, therefore, no one else would overhear us. So whatever it is must be juicy. I was so eager to learn what it was that I even helped load our luggage again. But as we were about to pile into the SUV, I froze in terror as Katrina snatched the keys from Papa.

“Nope! Not getting in the car if she’s driving. No way.” I shook my head. I know how my sister drives, and it’s TERRIFYING.

“Is she that bad of a driver?” Crista furrowed her brow. “She seems like she’d be the control and responsible driver. I’d be terrified of you driving, given your personality.”

“Don’t judge a book by its cover, honey.” I winked. “Papa taught me how to drive. Chesed taught Katrina. She drives fast and loose.” I explained.

“Katrina, you are not driving. I want to get to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés without anyone puking.” Papa sighed, reaching for the keys.

“Oh, will you two knock it off? I’m not driving. Tiberius is.” Katrina rolled her eyes, passing the keys to her mate.

“I’m not sure if that’s better.” I arched my brow, looking to Crista for direction. I figure she ought to know her packmate’s driving style. “Crista?”

“I drive just fine, thank you very much.” Tiberius rolled his eyes.

“It’s true. Tie’s actually an excellent driver. But why are you driving, Tie?” Crista cocked her head.

“I don’t like being a passenger in my car.” Papa frowned.

“I know, but I have something very serious to talk to you about, and well, it’s better if none of us is driving. Tiberius already knows what I must tell you, so he won’t react and drive us off the road.” Katrina explained. “Now get in so we can start driving.”

“Oh, this is going to be good.” I rubbed my hands together as I climbed into the far back.

Papa didn’t look thrilled, but he climbed in beside her once Crista was settled in the back seat. And once Tiberius and Katrina were in the front, we were on our way, the GPS already programmed so we wouldn’t get lost.

“So what is so important I can’t be driving?” Papa questioned.

“I saw mama.” Katrina blurts out.

Holy fuck, sticks. Yeah, it’s a good thing Tiberius is driving. Papa looks like he is having a heart attack. He's gone pale, and I think I’m having heart palpitations myself.

“Katrina, I think you may want to be very specific in your words. I think Alec and André are having heart attacks or the werewolf equivalent.” Tiberius chuckled, glancing at the rearview.

“Okay, let me explain. So since meeting Tiberius, weird things have been happening. And by weird, I mean magic.” Katrina sighed.

“We fucking floated during sex. It was nuts.” Tiberius confirmed with a nod.

“But how is that possible? If you showed even a sliver of magic, Chiara would have fought me to the death to take you away.” Papa asked.

“Can we just go back to you seeing mamma?” I asked, leaning forward.

“Well, last night, I was first pulled to the Monastery of Destinies when we went to sleep. I don’t know if it was in real-time or even when I was shown the vision. But it was of the elders beating a boy for calling his mother. Another male stopped them and took their punishment. I looked away, and everything changed.” Katrina sighed.

“Wait, you didn’t tell me that part.” Tiberius frowned.

“Sorry, it was a lot to absorb. I didn’t cover everything.” Katrina sighed, turning in her seat to look back at Papa and me. “Are you two okay back here?”

“Finish explaining. We can discuss your vision of the assholes at the monastery and their methods of punishment later.” Papa nodded, clenching his jaw.

Crista leaned into him, holding his hand. She’s probably trying to help him relax. I wonder what else happened between them beyond the epic fucking she got last night. Hopefully, he opened up and told her more about his emotional and physical scars than he’s told us. Mates shouldn’t keep secrets, after all.

“I’m good. Get to the part about mamma. We can dissect your vision of whips and chains and old men abusing young men later.” I agreed.

Some of me wondered if she had magic. Maybe her vision is why we must go to les Hurleus Sanctifiés. Maybe one of those males is my mate. The one that stood up for the victim sounds like my kind of mate. And if it’s not that my mate is there, maybe we are being sent to put an end to the abuse.

Perhaps we are supposed to bring down the evil that is the elders who get off on beating boys. I enjoy some BDSM as much as anyone, maybe more, but that shit has to be consensual, but those elders are some sick fuckers.

“Well, after the vision of the monastery, I was in our garden at the villa. And there was mamma drinking tea with a black wolf with red flame-like markings on her flanks and the crest of the Berardi family on her chest.” Katrina described.

“A wolf with red markings and the Berardi crest?” I asked, leaning forward further only to be shoved back by Papa.

“Stay in your seat, André. There is not enough room in this row for three.” He sighed. “Are you sure it was Liliana? Maybe it was just a dream? Maybe my finding my mate triggered something in your mind? A yearning for your mother?” Papa asked.

“It was here, Papa. She was a witch, but apparently, her magic was bound by her mother to protect her from Bisnonna Chiara. She did the same thing to me, to protect me from her trying to take me from you and Melania if she showed up too.” Katrina sighed.

“Hold up. So mamma was a witch, but her magic was bound. But then, how could she have locked yours?” I furrowed my brow. It is too early for this much thinking.

“Her magic was bound to finding her true love,” Katrina explained. Mine and Crista’s eyes instantly went to Papa.

“Not Papa.” Katrina quickly assured. “She loved you, Papa. But it wasn’t true love. You both knew that.” Katrina sighed.

“Then who? Or how?” I frowned because if it weren’t Papa, I’d be mad to find out she had a lover or something.

“Us.” Katrina gave me a sappy smile with tears in her eyes. “When she felt us kick for the first time, it unlocked her magic. The true love of a mother for her children was the key.”

I sniffled. Well, shit, that hit me right in the feels. “We… we were mamma’s true loves? We unlocked her magic?” I was fanning my face because my eyeliner may be waterproof, but I don’t think it’s that waterproof.

Yes, I’m wearing eyeliner. I could meet my mate when we arrive in Paris, so I’m wearing a little makeup. I want to look my best and not like I only got a few hours of sleep thanks to some loud people getting laid while I didn’t.

“Exactly, and I cried too,” Katrina assured me. “After she unlocked her magic, she realized I would have magic too. And to protect me, she locked it the same way, tying it to finding love.” Katrina smiled softly as she glanced at Tiberius.

“I’ll be your key anytime,” Tiberius smirked, taking a chance to lean over and kiss her quickly before focusing on the road again.

Katrina smiled that stupid happy smile. “Anyway, she also had to lock my wolf to lock my magic. Nina, that’s what my wolf called herself. I don’t know why she hasn’t unlocked yet. Maybe it’s because we haven’t completed our bond, and when Tiberius marks me, she will wake up.” Katrina shrugged.

“YOUR WOLF! HOLY SHIT!” I exclaimed as I realized my sister was going to have a wolf. She has magic and a wolf! This is the best news ever!

“But that isn’t the only thing mamma had to tell me before her magic faded. So onto the bad news.” Katrina frowned.

“Um, Crista, you may want to hold Papa tighter. And André, no freaking out. Actually… Tiberius, pull over. I don't think this part will go well.” She instructed. Tiberius obediently pulled over to the shoulder.

“What is it, Katrina?” Papa questioned, his voice starting to overlap with Chesed’s voice.

‘Whatever your sister has to say, it can’t be good if she wanted to pull over.’ Duilio frowned.

“Mamma told me it wasn’t childbirth that killed her. Silvano… our Silvano not your Alpha…” Katrina interrupted to assure Tiberius and Crista she wasn’t talking about their Alpha. “He gave her a drug that caused her heart to fail. He killed her.”

Her words left me stunned. It was like an atomic bomb was being dropped on me in slow motion. Silvano is why I didn’t have my mamma. I felt my anger, and the electricity in my veins started to bubble over. I need to get out of here. If I don’t, I might hurt someone by accident. I shoved my way out of the SUV and ran into the woods along the stretch of road, Duilio taking control as I shifted and unleashed my pent-up power, lighting shooting out in all directions.

Chapter 18 - Alec

I knew that many members of my pack disapproved of my relationship with Liliana. I never thought any would be so STUPID to think they could hurt her, let alone get away with it. Not even having Crista holding my hand, her arms wrapped around mine could contain my snarl.

‘But he has or would have if not for Katrina learning the truth.’ Chesed unhelpfully reminded me as he inched closer, looking to take control.

He wanted to shift and run after Duilio and unleash all the sudden rage I felt. It was fine for my son to do that, to run away and express his anger and grief. I am an Alpha and need to hold myself to a higher standard. Plus, if I run off, I can’t have Silvano handled. I may be too far away to use my pack link, but cell service works fine.

“Papa?” Katrina turned in her seat to look at me with a worried gaze.

“Alec?” Crista softly said my name as she looked at me similarly.

“I’m fine. I’m murderous, but I’m fine. Katrina, find your brother. He needs you. I will handle Silvano.” I instructed, my nose wrinkling at the awful taste, saying his name left on my tongue.

“I… alright, Papa.” Katrina nodded as she got out of the car.

“I’ll come with you.” Tiberius quickly offered as he followed Katrina without waiting for her to say yes or no.

“Are you sure that you’re okay?” Crista asked. “You don’t need to hide or hold back how this makes you feel. I won’t be upset that it hurts you. Liliana was someone you loved. She’s the woman who gave you your children, and finding me doesn’t erase that.” She smiled softly as she gently rubbed my arm.

“I know. And I’m not holding back, at least not on your behalf. I’m holding back because I can’t simply rush back to the pack and rip Silvano to shreds.” I answered through clenched teeth.

“As much as I want to do that, I have made commitments to visit these packs. I committed to my children. Katrina has found her mate, but André hasn’t found his mate yet. And then these new revelations about Katrina having magic and a wolf. Not to mention that vision.” I shook my head.

“I cannot let my emotions overrule logic. I must be here for my children. Silvano can and will rot till my return.” I nodded as I took my phone out.

“That is very reasonable of you. And I’m assuming it is your Beta you are about to call. I’m sure he will gladly detain Silvano until our return.” Crista nodded in approval.

I didn’t answer as I was busy calling Damon. He answered on the first ring, good. I don’t think I’d have the patience for multiple rings or his voicemail.

“Alec, ciao. Congratulations to you and Katrina. André called when you were in Nebrodi to tell us that you both found your mates among their heirs.” Damon greeted.

Of course, my son already told them. I won’t get mad because I was too busy to inform the pack. “Thank you. But not why I am calling.” I explained.

“Is that Alec? Give me that phone.” Isadora demanded in the background. I could hear them arguing, and soon it wasn’t my Beta on the phone.

“I had to hear from André that my brother and niece found mates. I understand all too well how the mate bond can raddle a mind. But I had thought you’d still have the sense to call me.” Isadora scolded.

I grimaced, holding the phone away from my ear as she ranted. Crista giggled behind her hand. At least one of us is amused.

“Isadora, I apologize for not immediately calling you.” I apologized. “I had other matters that needed my attention.”

“What could be more important than telling me that you found your mate? That could be more important than the pack knowing we have a Luna coming?” She demanded, and I could already picture her furrowed brow, eyes narrowed, and hand on her hip in displeasure.

“Dealing with the fact my mate’s parents knew last year we were mates and tried to hide her. That Chiara knew we were mates and kept her wrinkled mouth shut. Oh, and we are part of some prophecy she and her TWIN saw when I was born. Oh, and apparently, the evil twin. I know the idea that Chiara is the good twin is laughable. The evil twin was supposed to be dead but isn’t and is running around plotting something.” I ranted. I don’t usually rant, but this was rant worthy.

“That bitch! I’m going to go turn that crone into a statue.” Isadora growled.

“I appreciate the sentiment, but don’t. As much as it pains me, we will need that old witch. It appears my daughter has magic after all and will need to learn to control it from someone. Plus, Chiara is our best defense against her sister.” I sighed.

“Katrina has MAGIC! That is… oh wow. That’s big news. How is that possible?” Isadora questioned as I heard rustling on the phone again and knew her mate had taken the phone back.

“What is going on, Alec? And what do you need us to handle on our end?” Damon questioned.

We are as good as brothers. He’s my only friend, so it’s good that he is my Beta. Our personalities go well together as he doesn’t fuss and gets off-subject like Isadora.

“Katrina’s magic uncovered new evidence in the death of Liliana. Silvano murdered her. He covered it up by making it look like heart failure from the delivery, but it was him. He put a drug in her IV that he knew would kill her. I want him in the dungeon. Feed him a slice of stale bread and a glass of water once a day until I return.” I outlined.

“I knew her death was off. I could never prove it, however. I’ll have him in silver within the hour. He will suffer for what he has done. I promise.” Damon growled.

Just another reason my Betas are closest to me. They never once questioned my relationship with Liliana or expressed any qualms about it. They were always kind to her, and if Damon hadn’t been away on a diplomatic mission, Silvano wouldn’t have had the chance to be in the same room as Liliana before, during, or after the birth.

“Good. I will keep in touch as much as I can. I need to go collect my children. André didn’t take the news of his mother’s murder well. I want to reassure them that Silvano will pay for it.” I sighed.

“Alec…” Crista tapped my arm, pointing out the door.

“Is everything okay?” Damon questioned.

I turned my head and looked at the tree line seeing a worn and naked André being held up by Katrina and Tiberius exiting. He doesn’t look hurt, just worn. André’s eyes were bloodshot, and in general, he looked fatigued. He’d used up much power with that lightning storm. He’ll likely sleep the rest of the way to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.

“As it can be. Take care of Silvano. We’ll talk soon.” I answered, hanging up as I climbed out of the car.

“André…” I sighed as I grabbed a blanket from the trunk. “I’ll take him from here,” I assured my daughter and her mate.

They hesitated but moved aside after I had my son wrapped in the blanket. He’s a bit big for this, but I still could carry him to the car. Crista had already gotten out and even folded down the middle row to make it easier for me to lay my son on the backseat.

“Are we going home?” André asked.

I’m unsure if André was asking because he wanted to go home and have justice against Silvano or if he was worried I’d cancel the trip for revenge and he’d be left without a mate. And I don’t know which I dislike more. I don’t want him to be consumed by vengeance. I know all too well the dark place that can lead. I don’t want my son to fall into such darkness. And I don’t want him to be depressed without his mate.

“Damon will handle Silvano till our return,” I promised as I settled him on the back seat. “I promised we would visit these packs until we all had mates. We cannot and will not return home till you have yours.”

“Thank you, papa.” André sighed, his eyes slowly closing as fatigue won.

“Get some rest. Dream of your mate, and may we find him in les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.” I sighed, stroking his blue mohawk that had flattened out despite the holding power the gel should have. It didn’t stand a chance against his shift and overuse of his power.

“Let’s get back on the road. We don’t want to be any later than necessary.” I nodded as I put the middle seat back up for Crista and me to sit.

“Papa…” Katrina stopped me, holding my arm as Crista got in first. “I told André in the forest mama’s message. It’s what brought him out of his rampage. So, I want to tell you the message she had for you.”

I furrowed my brow and glanced at my son, wondering what message his mother had. Whatever it was, I am sure it eased his heart somehow. Even before they were born, Liliana had a way with our children. They were her true loves, while I was just the man who gave her them. I sighed and looked back at Katrina, unsure if I was emotionally prepared for what my lost love could say to me.

“Go ahead.” I nodded.

“She said it’s okay to be happy and to love.” Katrina smiled, not so subtly gesturing with her eyes to Crista.

I took a deep breath, slowly exhaling as I patted her arm. “Thank you, Princess. Now get in the car. We need to find your brother’s mate.”

Katrina smiled before hugging me tightly. “Yes, and find out what those bastard elders are doing at the Monastery of Destinies and make them pay before we make Silvano pay.” Her smile took on a Cheshire and dangerous turn as she spoke.

‘We should expect nothing less from our daughter. She’s a D’Amore, and bringing pain is something your bloodline is good at.’ Chesed commented.

He’s not wrong, but at least in the case of my children, I know the pain they bring is only reserved for those that deserve it. I may not want to return to the Monastery of Destinies, but given Katrina’s vision of the place, I’ll have to face my past.

‘It’s time for those old bastards to pay.’ Chesed sneered as I shut the door, and we continued to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.

Chapter 19 - Thales

I cannot stand it here. I’ve been here for two years, and I know I have one more, and I can go home, but I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know if I can stay here another year. How did my father stand it? How did my Oncle, for that matter? Nothing about how these ‘elders’ treat us is right.

What they do to us is criminal. If someone treated one of the young in my pack like this, my father would have their head. Yet I got shipped here when I was fifteen and have been told to toughen up and get through my required time here. I almost… big ALMOST… envy Ignazio for essentially flunking out in the first year. He at least got to go home.

It’s not just the abuse I take. I can handle the elders hitting me when I break some unspoken rule. I’m rarely in trouble because of my actions, like last night when I took that beating for one of the unshifted Alpha heirs. He just wanted to call his mother. She’s sick and dying, and these heartless bastards could care less. It's like they were lab created to be the ages they are now so they’d feel no attachment to loved ones.

I spent last night in the infirmary, slowly recovering from my injuries. Desmond has been on edge since I spoke out against the elders. I don’t know what was happening to him. He was talking nonsense. Something about a girl watching from the doorway, yet there was no girl. Not to mention the Monastery doesn’t accept, let alone acknowledge, female Alpha heirs.

Yet another reason to hate this place. They are sexist about who can and cannot be a ranked pack member. I can’t begin to count how many times they’ve reprimanded me because my Beta heir is a female. I’ve told them Crista would make an excellent Beta, even if part of me hopes she’ll be my Luna instead.

They’ve instructed me to take the title away from the Fayte line and pass it to my Gamma or Delta. I’ve also told them my father’s Beta only has daughters, so no matter what, I would have a female Beta. I don’t have a Gamma heir, to begin with, and I plan to make Tie my Gamma, moving the Bellomo line up in rank.

‘Those sexist elders can die in a fire. We will not take the Beta title from the Fayte line unless all three of the Fayte sisters find mates of rank in other packs or refuse it.’ Desmond snorted as we ran through the forest that divides the Monastery from my Oncle’s pack land.

The elders had reluctantly approved for me to go for a run in wolf form, despite my disobedience last night. They could sense the chill in the air from Desmond’s growing anger with them. So to try and appease my beast and prevent a summer ice storm, I’ve been allowed to take this much-needed run. It’s good to clear my head, and the exercise helps Desmond find his inner peace.

Desmond stopped suddenly, raising his nose and taking a deep breath.

‘What is it?’ I asked.

I groaned as I picked up the scent of a Sicilian espresso. Something you cannot get here outside of Paris, and I haven’t drunk or smelled it since I left home. That contrasting aroma is strong and delicate, robust and aromatic, and an intensely warm, enveloping fragrance. What I wouldn’t give for a cup right now. But why am I smelling it in the middle of a Parisian forest?

‘Mate….’ Desmond growled as he turned sharply, his claws leaving marks in the dirt as he took off as fast as he could, following the scent.

My heart felt like it was working double time. Mate?! Here? How? Who? Is she from my Oncle’s pack? I’m not supposed to seek out my mate till after I complete Alpha training. It’s strictly forbidden. Interactions with anyone outside the Monastery are prohibited. The only exception is our first shift when a family member, often our father, is allowed to visit.

Desmon growled as we drew closer to the scent, another scent mingling with hers. I could place the smell, but I know it’s not the scent of a wolf from Oncle Sylvester’s pack. It was that of a male. And knowing that our mate was with a male had Desmond ready for a fight as we rushed to catch up with them.

They were already across the border. If they get too close to the Monastery, they will be in trouble for trespassing. And while I could care less about what would happen to the male, I do care about what may happen to my mate. We must stop them before they get to one of the lookout points.

‘Demond, hurry. Cut to the right, and maybe we can head them off before they get too close.’ I instructed.

Desmond howled his agreement and pushed himself to go faster, leaving a trail of frost in our wake. We managed to get around them, preventing them from being noticed by the sentries. Desmond narrowed his eyes as the black wolf came into view, a girl with dark hair highlighted by red streaks on his back. The wolf skidded to a stop, yellow eyes narrowing right back at us.

The girl, my mate, rolled her eyes and tugged at the wolf’s fur, making him heel as she climbed off his back. Holy hell, she’s gorgeous in her cut-off shorts and floral tank top showing off her curvy body. It’s almost enough to distract me from her riding on another male’s wolf.

“Knock it off.” She commanded with her hands on her hips.

I blinked as her accent was Italian, but not just Italian. Her accent is Sicilian. She’s from Sicily! My mate is from Sicily! I don’t recognize her, however. So, she can’t be from Nebrodi. She could be from Madonie or, worst-case scenario, Incubi. She doesn’t seem to be reacting to me, to my scent. How is that possible?

The male she arrived with growled as if trying to emphasize that we should be backing off. “That goes for you too. Don’t think being my brother gets you a free pass. I get you’re upset you didn’t find your mate in les Hurleurs Sanctifiés. But it isn’t the end of the world. We still have one more pack to visit.” My mate rolled her eyes and bonked him on the head.

All jealousy faded from Desmond and me as she identified the male as her brother. Desmond’s posture changed as he relaxed, no longer feeling territorial because of the male. Now he was curious about our mate, stepping closer and sniffing at her. She was focused on her brother, so when Desmond’s nose touched her leg, she yelped and sent red sparks from her fingers while trying to slap us away.

It seems my mate is a witch! She must be a hybrid of werewolf and witch. Not all hybrids get a wolf, so perhaps she isn’t reacting to my scent because she lacks a wolf. She can’t smell it. Desmond whimpered, lowering his head as he backed away.

‘I don’t like that. I want my mate to know me. I want her to know I am hers.’ He grumbled like the scolded pup he was.

‘Then shift and let me speak to her. I can tell her who we are to her.’ I suggested. ‘And look at her eyes, the way she’s looking at us. You touching her leg must have triggered the bond. Perhaps she felt the spark of the mate bond.’ I pointed out.

Desmond sighed and begrudgingly walked to a tree where there should be spare clothes. I quickly shifted and threw on the track shorts, not finding any shirts, and only I didn’t care if she saw me half-naked. Hell, I wouldn’t have minded if I’d shifted in front of her, and she saw me fully naked. It would certainly make for an exciting story to tell our pups about how we met.

The girl gasped as I stepped back out and brought a hand to her face. “It’s…it’s you…” She blinked.

‘It’s here. I recognize her now. She is the one I said I saw last night.’ Desmond confirms.

“Who would have thought the girl my wolf sensed watching us last night would not only turn up but be my mate.” I smiled.

Her eyes went wide in shock as she started shaking her head. While her brother quickly shifted. “What the fuck did you just say to her?” He demanded and ran a frustrated hand through his blue hair.

“I know it’s probably a surprise. A witch with a werewolf mate, but it’s true.” I shrugged, my attention focused on my mate. “Your scent is how we found you. Desmond instantly picked it up on the wind and knew you were ours.” I explained, taking a step forward.

Instead of stepping closer, she stepped back, still shaking her head. “That’s not possible. Your wolf’s nose is on the fritz. You should get that shit checked.” Her brother scoffed.

“It most certainly is possible.” I dismissed her brother. “Desmond is in peak health. And knowing she is my mate and a witch, it makes even more sense how she could have been a voyeur to what happened last night, and only Desmond could sense her.”

“You felt it, didn’t you? When Desmond touched your leg? You may not be able to scent me, but you must have felt the spark of the bond at that touch.” I frowned, holding my hand out to my mate.

“Kat? It’s going to be okay. Ignore the crazy boy. You have a mate, so you shouldn’t fall for his blonde locks, those dazzling blue eyes, or that mouth-watering body.” her brother practically drooled as he described me, and suddenly, I wish I had found a shirt and am glad I have the shorts.

“Your creepy description aside. She is my mate. I am not crazy.” I protested.

“No, she isn’t. It’s not possible because she already has a mate, dumbass.” Her brother scoffed.

Now it was my turn to look at her with wide-eyed shock. How? How could this be? Maybe he is misusing the term. Perhaps he means she has a human lover. If she had a werewolf mate, she’d be marked. Desmond has wanted to mark her from the moment he scented her.

“Maybe you mean she has a human lover. One that she will have to tell off now that she’s met me.” I clung to the one shred of hope.

Multiple mates are basically unheard of. I’ve read of it happening, but it always ended in one male killing the other, as a male wolf will see the other as a rival rather than an equal. I don’t want to have that happen. I don’t want to have to kill whoever this other male is if he is a wolf. I wouldn’t say I like to take life needlessly, but I know Desmond would want to.

“No, that’s not what I meant. If I meant a lover, I’d have said a fucking lover. She already has a mate. The Delta heir of Nebrodi.” The male rolled his eyes.

And with that proclamation, my world crumbled. I held my heart, leaned forward, and took controlled breaths. My mate not only has another, but her other mate is Tiberius. MY best friend! I can’t handle this.

Growing up, I have shared many things with Tiberius, but a girl is not one of them. I don’t know if I could share a mate. And if she was to choose him over me, I don’t think I could have them in my pack as a constant reminder that my mate loved another.

Chapter 20 - Katrina

Our arrival at les Hurleurs Sanctifiés pack went smoothly. Alpha Sylvester and his mate Luna Rachelle welcomed us and already had all the eligible homosexual males gathered for a meet and greet with my brother. Of course, this excited André until we went to the ballroom the party was being held, and he didn’t find his mate. He found plenty of bed warmers, but he brushed them off.

I hated seeing him so sad and hurt. Papa and I have found our mates, and I know how much he hates being the odd one out. He is called that if someone’s being polite enough back home for being gay. We came on this trip to find our mates, and I didn’t want him to be disheartened. I can only assume his mate must be in Bloodmoon and that Bisnonna sent us here because of the vile elders at the Monastery of Destiny that borders les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.

I’d told Tiberius we wouldn’t be long and asked him to hang back. He reluctantly gave in since I would be with my brother. He wasn’t thrilled at the idea of me going anywhere without him. I am, after all, unmarked and my magic isn’t exactly under control. But he can stow his macho bullshit about me being unmarked. If any male tried to mess with me, he’d get his ass handed to him by me and then by my brother.

I thought if we went for a run and maybe scoped the border to the Monastery, it would clear my brother’s mind and get his mind off not finding his mate yet. If we weren’t sent to les Hurleurs Sanctifiés to find André’s mate, then we must be here to handle the elders. Their cruelty has gone unchecked for too long. And after that vision, I had I genuinely believe we were sent here to put a stop to their reign of terror.

Oh, how wrong I was. I have never been so wrong about something in my entire life. And I have to say, I don’t like it. I’m used to being right. Finding out I have magic and a wolf still to unlock had thrown me for a loop. But I’m handling it in stride. I didn’t let these discoveries throw me entirely off my game.

Yet as we got closer to the Monastery, I started to feel weird. Despite a warm summer night, I felt a chill in the air. The smell of snow in the air made no sense. It was disorienting, and I felt a clawing inside my head. I couldn’t understand what was causing this strange smell or why my brother didn’t seem to be reacting to it. He must smell it.

My answer appeared in the form of a large dark brown wolf that rushed out in front of us. That clawing in my head grew stronger, and my bones began to burn and ache. It took every ounce of strength not to let it show. I could only compare it to the story of how a wolf’s first transition would feel. I was trying to understand how Nina could be awakening.

I’m unmarked; she is bound to me finding my true love, and I already found Tiberius. I could faintly hear her growling mate as she clawed at the magic wall that separated us. It didn’t make sense. Tiberius is back at the packhouse, so what is she making this fuss over? And why hadn’t she done this before, you know, any time I’ve been with Tiberius?

When the unknown wolf touched me, I reacted against instinct. I felt the surge of the bond shoot through me, but instead of giving in to it, I pulled away. This wasn’t possible. It simply cannot be feasible as I’ve already found my mate. Tiberius is my mate. You don’t get two damn it. And to make matters worse, when he transformed, I recognized him. He was the male that took the abuse on behalf of another in my vision.

I have never been more grateful to have André with me than I am. While I had a nervous breakdown, he dealt with the male claiming to be my mate. I saw the look of surprise and horror when my brother told him my mate's name. I don’t think it was because I have a mate or he’s heard of Tiberius. Tiberius isn’t the sort to have a reputation for being feared. No, that look, it was a look of familiarity. He knows Tiberius!

‘LET ME OUT!’ Nina snarled as she tore through the magic that bound her.

I screamed in pain and doubled over on the ground. I squeezed my eyes almost as tightly as I clenched my jaw. I felt a tear fall down my cheek as I tried to contain the pain. I’m a fucking D’Amore. I am not going to be ruled by pain. I am a D’Amore, and we make pain our bitch.

“Katrina!” André shouted, rushing to my side.

Just as his hand was about to reach for me, I snapped at him. Literally, I almost bit my brother! Almost being key. I stopped myself, or rather Nina.

‘What the hell was that!? Don’t you dare bite my brother, you little bitch.’ I shouted in my head as I saw Nina.

Holy shit, I have a wolf in my head, and she looked pissed as she stalked closer.

‘Get out of my way. He’s out there waiting. He’s waiting for me, and you are in my way.’ She growled.

‘Tiberius is waiting for us at the packhouse. You waited till we were far from him to pull this shit.’ I shook my head, unwilling to give her control.

‘So unless you are doing this because he’s hurt, and we need to get to him back the fuck down. This is my first shit, and it’s not even a full moon.’ I narrowed my eyes.

This wolf will learn that being born in a D’Amore means dealing with an equally stubborn human half. And I’m more than just a human. I’m a witch. And if she thinks she’s getting past me, least of all with her attitude, she’s got another thing coming.

‘Not him. HIM!’ Nina growled, nodding past me to the blonde holding his chest like he was either having a heart attack or it was breaking.

‘Tiberius is my mate. You only get one.’ I shook my head.

‘You are a witch and a werewolf. Rules do not always apply.’ Nina scoffed.

‘If Tiberius and his wolf were my mate, I’d have been freed when your magic was. It was only HIS scent that called to me. It was only HIS touch that broke the chains.’ Nina growled as she leaped at me.

I never imagined I’d have to fight with my wolf. Is this how Papa feels every time Chesed forcefully takes control? I held my hands up. Even in my mind, my magic responded and created a forcefield. I didn’t realize it was also outside my mind. All that mattered was that I blocked Nina.

‘You cannot keep me from him. He is our mate, and you are hurting him by denying it.’ She growled as she landed on her side and quickly got to her feet.

I made the mistake of looking over my shoulder at the blonde. He looked to be in a great deal of pain. André was trying to help him stay standing, and I could faintly hear my brother asking him what was wrong and looking at me in surprise as he shouted something at me. I couldn’t hear him, and as I tried to focus on him, Nina knocked me aside and took control.

I screamed in pain as I felt my bones snap, but it was a howl rather than a scream that escaped my lips as I was forced to go through a shift. Why does it hurt so much? André didn’t say it hurt like this. No one said it has ever hurt like this.

‘Because you are fighting me!’ Nina snarled. ‘Stop fighting it. Once I shift, you’ll understand. And maybe you’ll stop causing our mate pain.’

Begrudgingly I let go, and the pain subsided. I am still not sold on this whole second mate thing. I don’t know how it would work. And no, I don’t mean literally how fucking two guys could work. Been there, done that. Only once, so don’t go shaming me for having a good time when I was single. What I mean is how this will work at the core.

Werewolves are not exactly known for being polyamorous and cool with sharing. Hell, the mate bond is designed to ensure cheating doesn’t happen or at least doesn’t go undetected. To touch another that isn’t your mate is to cause pain to your mate. So I don’t get how this could work.

Sure, if they are both my legitimate mate, the bond shouldn’t cause them pain if I kiss the other. But how can two males share a mate? Tiberius seems like a laid-back guy, but I don’t think he’s that laid-back. And this other one, he was at the Monastery, which means he’s an Alpha heir. He’s an Alpha, so what does that mean for Tiberius and me? Tiberius is a Delta of Nebrodi. No Alpha would SHARE a mate. And that’s another thing. Would we have to relocate to this guy’s pack?

“Holy shit! Kat, you shifted!!!” André clapped gleefully, dropping the guy he was trying to help stand upright.

Nina growled at my brother. She needs to knock that off. He’s my brother, and I will not tolerate her being rude to him, damn it. She pushed him out of the way and nuzzled the blonde, where he knelt on the ground. The touch sent a shock wave through me that was just as intense as when I touched Tiberius. This doesn’t make sense.

“Rude much…” André scoffed. “Hey… what do you think you’re doing, wolf? Kat has a mate. Don’t stir up trouble.” He scolded.

“I…told you…” The blonde sighed, putting an arm over Nina to brace himself. “I am her mate. I don’t know how or why Tie is too, but I am her mate.”

How the hell does he know Tiberius? One thought crossed my mind, and I’m unsure how I feel about it. He’s an Alpha heir that knows Tiberius. An Alpha heir with a Sicilian accent, and there are only three packs in Sicily. My brother is the heir to our pack. And I know this isn’t Icky Iggy. This means this is…

“THALES!?” Tiberius shouted in confusion, shock, and anger as he shifted to stand in the small clearing we were in.

Chapter 21 - Tiberius

I had gotten anxious the longer Katrina and André were gone. So less anxious that André was gone. He is a nice guy, but Katrina is my mate, and being so far from her, especially when she is unmarked, had August pacing in my head, adding to my nerves. So despite Alec and Crista telling me to stay and wait, I went looking for them.

And right now, I wish I had stayed, not just at les Hurleurs Sanctifiés but home in Nebrodi. MY mate just shifted for the first time and is nuzzling another man. And not just any other man. My mate is nuzzling my best friend and future Alpha!!! August was howling in anger and anguish, witnessing Katrina’s wolf being so affectionate with another.

Hearing Thales call himself her mate was like a silver blade to the heart. I have been told that when a mate cheats, even kissing another will cause unimaginable pain. Yet I’m not feeling literal pain. I’m just feeling confused, betrayed, angry, and confused as fuck.

Thales looked past André at me, and I knew his every expression. He may have grown taller and more muscular since he came for his Alpha training, but no training will let him hide his feelings from me. We’re best friends, after all. Or we were. Fuck I don’t know right now. How am I supposed to feel about this?

I’m not the only confused one. Thales looks just as lost and worried as I feel. The only one that didn’t seem all that concerned was Katrina, or rather her wolf Nina. August was growing up wanting to push forward, and it was taking all I had to keep him back.

“Would someone like to tell me what the fuck is going on?” I demanded.

“Nina, I see you have been freed. Not sure how and I honestly thought I would be happier to meet you. Can’t say I am, as you are being far too friendly with my best friend.” I narrowed my eyes at the wolf.

“Is Katrina…” I gulped cause shit I didn’t want to even think about it, let alone say it. “Is she rejecting me for him?”

“Whoa… Let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” André held his hands up.

“Nina, you do not get to make decisions for my sister. There is only room for one asshole wolf that thinks they run the show in this family. And that honor belongs to Chesed. And only I get to be a sassy bitch, so stay in your lane.” André wagged his finger at his twin’s wolf.

“I think we all need to calm down and discuss this. Something is going out that is unheard of. Tie, you and everyone claim she is your mate. Yet I know she is mine. Her scent tells me so, as does the spark of the bond from when we touched. And her wolf recognizes me as her mate.” Thales rationalized.

“I scented her back in Nebrodi, and we both felt the bond when we touched.” I countered.

“Then why is she unmarked?” Thales arched his brow.

“That would be my fault. Our family is traveling to find our mates. We agreed to wait until Papa, Katrina, and I found mates to mark. Basically, to avoid Papa’s mate and Katrina going into heat.” André explained before pouting. “And now I’m 0-2 for finding mine, yet my sister found two.”

“Kat doesn’t have two mates. That is an impossibility. No one can have two mates.” I shook my head.

“There must be an explanation.” Thales nodded in agreement.

Thales grunted, getting knocked onto his ass as Nina moved away. I watched as she went behind a tree and walked back out. Katrina was wearing some baggy clothes that I assume are kept around for pack members, or maybe given Thales is here, the clothes are kept for the Alpha trainees. Either way, I appreciate that she opted to shift back out of sight and put clothes on.

“Ka...” Thales and I both tried to speak simultaneously. However, our mouths were shut with a red zipper as Katrina held her index fingers up.

“The pair of you will be silent or else.” She commanded.

‘I want to be mad, but I like when our mate gets bossy.’ August sighed.

‘Oh, we are in full agreement there. Too bad we aren’t alone and the only one Katrina’s bossing around.’ I sighed, glancing at Thales, who didn’t look thrilled at how controlling Katrina could be.

“Brilliant. You are getting better at wielding your magic.” André laughed, applauding his sister. Yeah, no surprise there.

“So what are we, or rather you going to do with these heirs claiming you are theirs?” André arched his brow waiting for Katrina to make a decision.

Thales and I also looked at her waiting for her to say or do something. She needs to decide. Dual mates are the fantasy of horny teenagers looking to get away with multiple partners; it somehow does not break the mate bond.

“You two both need to take a chill pill.” Katrina frowned, folding her arms. “I’m just as confused as you. There is no doubt in my mind that Tiberius is my mate. I felt the bond the moment we touched, and my magic wouldn’t have unlocked if he wasn’t.”

I couldn’t help but feel vindicated by her words. I only felt bad because I saw the hurt on Thales’ face. He’s my best friend and my Alpha, so I don’t like seeing him hurt, even emotionally. Fuck, this is complicated.

“But I also can’t deny that Nina scented Thales, and when she sensed his pain when I denied we could be mates, it unbound her allowing me to shift.” Katrina frowned.

“It doesn’t make sense to me. I’ve read everything Incubi has regarding mates, and nothing has ever come up about multiple mates.” She shook her head.

“Yeah, but you’re different.” André smiled. “You’re a hybrid witch/werewolf. This…them…” he gestured to Thales and me. “Is the answer to why your magic unlocked while banging hottie number one.” He winked at me. “And why was your wolf unlocked when hottie number two was in pain.” He winked at Thales.

“There are two sides to you which means there needs to be a mate for each part of you.” He concluded like that made the situation easy to understand, let alone accept.

‘Are you okay, amici?’ Thales questioned through our pack link.

It was strange yet reassuring to hear him through the link for the first time in years. He left for training before his first shift, so this was the first time I’d heard him in the link. It sucks that it’s happening because we both claim to be the mate of the same woman.

‘I… I don’t know, Thales. This is seriously fucked up. You’re my best friend and all, but that’s my mate. I’m not giving her up, and I’m not fucking sharing. She’s not a toy or a sweater.’ I sighed, my eyes locked on Katrina despite having an unspoken conversation with Thales.

‘I get it. I didn’t expect my run to lead me to my mate. And I never expected she’d be yours too.’ Thales sounded as confused as me.

‘I agree this isn’t like a toy or article of clothing our mamas would scold us for not sharing growing up. So I understand you don’t want to share her. But, this is our mate. The Goddess had a reason for giving us to Katrina.’ Thales pointed out, and I hate that he’s making a valid point. Who the hell are we to think we know better than the Goddess?

‘Maybe her brother is right, and it’s because of her hybrid nature. Either way, it’s not for us to go against the Goddess or put Katrina in the middle of some tug of war.’ I conceded.

“Are you two done?” Katrina folded her arms, giving me and then Thales a stern look that made my back straighten. It reminded me of the way Alec looked at Christopher back in Nebrodi. Katrina is a witch and now has her wolf, so I don’t want to piss her off.

“Yes, share with the class boys. Unfair to use your pack link to exclude us.” André teased.

“Yes, we are done.” I nodded.

“We didn’t intend to exclude you, Katrina. We’re sorry for that.” Thales apologized but only to Katrina.

“And what, I’m chopped liver?” André scoffed, holding a hand to his heart. “Is that the training they give you at that monastery of fuckwads? To be rude to fellow Alpha heirs?” He sounded more serious than I’d ever heard, and for a moment, I wondered if he was truly offended.

“I didn’t… um….” Thales furrowed his brow, unsure how serious André and concerned he may have pissed off a fellow heir.

“He’s fucking with you.” Katrina rolled her eyes. “André, stop taunting them. They don’t know you well enough to see through your drama queen bullshit.” She scolded her brother, walking over to drag him back to where she’d been standing by the ear.

“OOOOWWWWW!” André dramatically cried as he bent to her will. “I’d say I’m telling Papa, but Goddess knows he’s too busy fucking Crista while trying not to mark her.”

“Crista?!” Thales blinked, focusing on the only part of the interaction he could.

“Yeah. I’m sure that hasn’t been brought up yet. A lot is going on.” I nodded, gesturing from myself to Thales and Katrina.

“Crista is their new stepmother and Luna of Incubi. Chris knew it would happen and had the balls to try and hide Crista. It was a shit show. We learned an evil witch wants to stop some prophecy about Alpha Alec and Crista.” I shrugged.

Thales back stiffened, and I noticed his head tilting just slightly. “You need to leave. All of you.” Thales insisted, shooing us.

“Excuse me? Rude much?” André scoffed.

“We’re having a conversation here, and some shit still needs to be discussed.” Katrina frowned. She is not a fan of being dismissed, I bet.

“You are in the Monastery of Destinies territory. There are stringent laws that must be obeyed.” Thales explained, looking tense and nervous. I hadn’t seen him this nervous since he broke that vase when he was ten, and he was sure his mom would find out and punish him.

“I’ve seen what they do when people don’t obey.” Katrina snorted. “I’m not impressed.”

“Oh, I’d LOVE to meet these elder pricks that hurt our papa during his time confined to their prison.” André cracked his knuckles. I could see the color draining from Thales face.

Katrina told me what happened in her dream, and now things are clicking in my head. The blonde she saw take the beating for another was probably Thales. It’s undoubtedly a Thales thing to do. So he’s probably worried about what they’d do to the three of us if we were found in their territory. The problem is he’s a nice guy, so he won’t just be outright rude to André, an Alpha heir who wouldn’t dream of being disrespectful to his mate.

“Alright, let’s pack it up. Your Papa will be worried along with Alpha Sylvester if we are gone much longer.” I gestured for Katrina and André to leave. “We don’t need to start a fight or get Thales in trouble.”

“Fine. We’ll be back tomorrow.” Katrina nodded.

“But…” André pouted.

“Do not start, André. We can formally return tomorrow with Papa. Nothing puts people on edge better than showing up with the Incubi Alpha.” Katrina pointed out with a devious glint in her eyes.

“Um…wait, that means you plan to stir up trouble?” Thales furrowed his brow.

“Thales, my friend. Allow me to let you in on something I’ve already learned. The D’Amore family was born trouble. Just roll with it.” I shrugged, patting his back.

“Uh huh… that’s still worrying. But I guess I’ll see you all tomorrow. Now hurry before patrol finds you.” Thales nodded, smiling at me as he looked at my hand on his shoulder.

“Are we good, amici?” He arched his brow.

“As good as we can be right now,” I assured him with a nod before shifting first. André reluctantly shifted after me, and after a moment of hesitation as she looked at Thales, Katrina shifted, and we hurried back toward les Hurleurs Sanctifiés.