The two of them were alone.

”What are you doing here? ” Ash asked, angry that her presence drove his beautiful make-out partner away.

”I- I don know, ” she answered truthfully. The tales her father told her said she would find him through his scent. What she didn understand was why that scent led her to him of all people.

She must be looking for who to mess with since Mother and Cassandra aren here to put her in her place, he said to himself.

No, its not that, Kendrick said.

Really! Then what would it be?

I can sense it. Her wolf has awoken. I can feel the connection clearly now, Kendrick said excitedly.

You can be serious, Ash said in a panicked tone but his wolfs excitement only served to increase his panic.

What are you doing, Ava?! Rylee yelled in her head. This scum can be our mate.

But he is, My lady, Ava replied in a confused tone. The connection is there and the scent led us here.

It can ! His father killed mine. There is no way I would let myself be mated with the son of my fathers killer. Never! Rylee screamed.

Ash walked toward her and she took a step back. He stopped just far enough from her.

”I, Ashford, reject you as my mate, ” he said solemnly.

The only thing that kept her from smiling was the way he looked down on her as he said it. She was about to walk away when she felt a sharp pain in her heart. It was blinding, it was hurtful. There was nothing else she could feel. Ash left her as she crumbled to the ground in a heap.

Well, thats that. I can finally go on and do better things, Ash said to himself. There was no response. That was strange. Kendrick was fond of responding to everything.

For some reason, Ashford couldn feel him there at all. Maybe hes just messing around. Hell be back soon, he told himself as he went down the hallways of his home.


The rough ground picked at her skin. She opened her eyes but they didn welcome the blinding sunlight she forced them to let in. She sat up to see that she was in the back of the courtyard. Suddenly, the memory of the events came running through her mind, giving her a headache. Adjusting to the light, Rylee got up and made her way back into the house. Cassandra and her mother would be back soon if they weren already. The girl simply prepared herself for the worst.

Thinking back to what happened, she was glad he rejected her. At least that freed her from another form of bondage she wasn ready to subject herself to. She wondered what that blinding pain she felt earlier was all about.

What do you think, Ava? she asked her wolf. Only silence greeted her. Rylee wondered what could be wrong. She felt funny. For some reason, she couldn feel her wolfs presence. It scared her. Maybe Im just overthinking things. After all, Im still new to the whole thing of having my wolf around me. She should be back soon, she said to herself.

She passed the party hall on her way to her closet.

”Hey, you! ” she heard the Alphas son call her.

What does he want now? Or maybe he simply wants to taunt me, she thought to herself. Why else would the person she hated the most in the whole family of her fathers enemy send for her? And he never spoke to her so it only confirmed her suspicion.

She entered the hall, looking around as she approached him. He was with one of his girls as usual. There was something she felt in her. It felt — no, sounded— like a growl.

”Yes, Your Highness, ” she answered.

”That isn how my mother taught you to answer your superiors, ” Ash sneered.

You are not my superior, she yelled in her head.

”Well, sir, what would you have me do? ” she retorted, glancing at the lady that was with him. Sure, she was the only reason he was doing his best to get the cruelest version of himself.

”You will kneel, ” he ordered with flashing eyes.

Rylee reluctantly obeyed him but not before throwing him a loud hiss. The lady gasped and frowned before leaving them. Ashford gritted his teeth. ”I don know what you think you
e doing but don you ever forget that you are my sisters serving girl and nothing more, ” he whispered roughly to her.

”Yes, sir, ” she said with a smirk.

”Now, I want you and the other wretched over there to prepare this place for my inheritance ceremony. Do you understand? ” he ordered, pulling her ear.

”Yes, I do. And what about the decorations? ” she asked him without showing the faintest bit of pain.

”In the boxes, ” he said before storming out after his girl.

Half an hour later, the girls were working in silence when the luna stormed in with her daughter close behind her. ”You! ” she screeched as she pointed at Rylee.

What did I now? she wondered to herself.

”Get down here! ” the luna yelled.

”These people yell too much like the animals they are, ” she muttered. At first, she ignored them but the luna sent someone to push the ladder she was standing on, making her fall but she landed on her feet. Sighing, she approached the luna.

”Yes, Your Highness. What can I do for you? ” she asked with annoyance. She wished she could finish a chore for once without being interrupted.

”Kneel, ” Luna Sophia commanded.

”No. ”

No sooner had the word come out of her mouth than the lunas hand landed on her cheek with a heavy thud. ”I said kneel, child, ” she said.

Rylee looked into her face with contempt. ”And I said no, ” she said and spat on the floor. She got what she expected. A slap and another one and more kept coming.

”Stop this! ” someone interrupted.

The last thing Rylee felt before she passed out was a man catching her in his arms.

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