My feelings were out of control. I couldn’t stop myself from feeling something for him and I hated it. I wanted to hate him. I wanted to despise him. Hell, I wanted him to hurt twice as much as he hurt me, but I couldn’t. There was something inside me that kept me from hating him. Something that kept me from wanting to break him. Anything that made Alex hurt, hurt me too and there wasn’t anything that I could do about it. It was the mate pull. Over time, it was growing stronger. Soon, it would be strong enough to hurt us both, unless he rejected me.
I regretted kissing Sebastian. I shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. I felt wrong, like a cheater. I was a cheater. I did the one thing that everyone always told me I should never do. I cheated on my mate. I didn’t deserve him, but he didn’t deserve me either. He cheated on me much more than I had ever thought about doing. He was married for God’s sake!
I couldn’t think of this anymore. I was hopeless. It had been a few days since, I was introduced to Alex’s wife. None of them had been spent with him. In fact, I hadn’t heard or seen him since then. He was back to avoiding me, ignoring me, but I didn’t mind too much. I needed time and space from everyone and he unintentionally gave me that.
The days had been spent with Sebastian. He was my shoulder to cry on. He was the one thing that was keeping me sane at the moment. I knew he was interested in me, but I made sure it was clear what happened that night was to never occur again. I never even wanted to talk about it. He was a good friend though, the only one I had. He knew what I was going through, I found out a few hours after the whole thing with Alex that the same thing had happened with him. He had met his mate and she rejected him to go off and live with a rich Alpha. He was crushed and chose to help me through this as therapy.
My eyes are closed as I lay in my messy unmade bed. The maids had tried to clean in here. I wouldn’t let them. I didn’t need rumors to swirl. I needed to be alone.
The guest room, my room, had since been redecorated and I was gifted with brand new furniture. If I was under any other situation, I would have thanked Alex, but I knew that he wouldn’t give me anything if he didn’t have to.
Sitting in silence, I open my eyes and stare up at the ceiling. A low grumble reaches my ears and I place a hand on my stomach. I was hungry. How long had it been since I was actually hungry?
Ever since I got to Westwood it had been something I couldn’t understand. I knew I was a werewolf, but before in my old pack, I was never fed. Even werewolves starved to death. The night I escaped was the first time that I had gotten any food in months. Yet, I was still strong and functioning. It didn’t make sense, I should have starved to death by now. Not to mention, I was perfectly capable of sprinting through the forest without any food in my body. I hadn’t even eaten, nor felt hungry, the entire time that I was here.
Getting up from my bed, I drag myself out of my room and down to the kitchen. Reaching the kitchen door, I push it open harshly and pause mid-step. She was here. His wife. She was standing in the middle of the kitchen, at an island, cutting some strawberries on a cutting board.
“Don’t leave on my account, Claire.” Stephanie says, never looking up from the knife in her hands.
My eyes widen as she calls my name. How did she know my name? I hold my breath as I scurry back into the kitchen.
“Have some strawberries,” she murmurs, pushing a bowl towards me, “You must be starving!”
Furrowing my eyebrows, I never take my eyes off of the knife in her hand. I didn’t need it to be in my back.
“Come on, Claire. I don’t bite.” she smiles, looking up at me for the first time.
I don’t move, still staring at the knife.
“Seriously, Claire. Take some strawberries.” she repeats in a slightly irritated tone.
I make no move to do as she says and I press myself against the counter.
“You know what!” she suddenly shouts making me jump.
“I’ve had enough!” she rants, stabbing the knife into the cutting board.
My mouth opens trying to find the words to say, but she is around the island and in my face before I can even blink.
“I try to be nice. Well let’s all be honest here. I pretend to be nice. Now, Omega, it has been brought to my attention
that you are Alex’s mate,” She growls, glaring daggers at me. “And I want you to know that you have no chance with him! He is mine! HE WANTS ME! NOW STAY AWAY FROM HIM!”
I gulp, closing my eyes, as she storms out of the kitchen slamming the door behind her.
A few hours later, I am sitting against the headboard in my room, with my knees pulled to my chest. All of this was overwhelming. I didn’t know what to think.
“He wants me!”
I couldn’t shake those words from my thoughts. He actually wanted her. He always had. This made everything so much more surreal. I was wasting my time. I had no business being here. I should leave. I need to talk to Alex.
Standing from the bed, I numbly stumble over to the door, prying it open.
“Claire?” Sebastian asks.
He had been standing at my door, poised to knock.
“Is everything okay?” he mumbles, brushing a stray hair out of my eyes.
Shaking my head, I push past him and start down the hallway.
“Claire! Where are you going?” he calls, as I hear his footsteps hitting the wood behind me.
I don’t answer him. He didn’t need to be involved in my problems.
“Claire! Wait a minute!” he yells, catching my wrist.
“What’s wrong?” he asks as soon as I’m facing him.
Pulling my arm from his hold, I walk down the stairs and the rest of the way to Alex’s office without any
interruptions. Stopping in front of the door, I hear a giggle from inside and clamp my eyes shut. She was in there. With him. Alone. Leaning against the wall, opposite, I breathe deeply before placing a hand on the door knob. I knock softly to alert them in case they were doing something I really didn't want to see.
"Come in." Alex snaps.
I push the door open softly and step through.
"Can I talk to you?" I whisper, looking over at Stephanie, "Alone?"
"Yes." Alex says, gesturing for Stephanie to leave.
Stephanie rises from the chair in front of the desk and prances around it to where he is sitting, placing a kiss on his cheek. She turns after that sending a devilish smirk my way. I have to resist the urge to rub my heart in an attempt to numb the hurt. She barely makes it two steps, before Alex's hand strikes out and latches around her wrist.
"You may be my wife, but stop trying to make Claire jealous." he says calmly, as he lets go of her wrist.
My face flushes scarlet and Stephanie turns sending me a vicious glare before leaving the room.
"What did you want to talk to me about?" Alex huffs as soon as the door slams closed.
"I would like to leave." I say quietly, lowering myself into the chair opposite him.
His eyes grow dark.
"You want to leave me?" he barks, gripping his desk hard enough to break it in two.
"Yes," I mumble, "It doesn't seem like you need me around."
"You're not going anywhere. You are staying here." he demands,
"Why?" I ask hopelessly, "Why do I have to stay here when you have Stephanie?"
"We aren't talking about Stephanie." he growls, narrowing his eyes at me.
"Alex," I sigh, "You have a wife. You don't need a mate. Just reject me please. Let me go."
"I won't do that." he snaps, rising from his chair.
"Why? Do you enjoy torturing me?" I exclaim, throwing my hands up.
"We are not talking about this any longer. You are not going anywhere. You are staying here." he spits.
"Just reject me." I plead, "Please."
"NO!" he booms in such a powerful voice the door rattles slightly.
Silence follows. Helpless tears leak from my eyes and I stare down at the ground. I raise my head and open my mouth to speak, but I am interrupted when the door is thrown open.
“Daddy!” A little girl squeals, running into the room and launching herself into Alex’s arms.
He catches her easily and smiles down at the little girl. Stephanie steps into the room, standing in the doorway. Looking up at me, his smile slowly slips away and an unknown expression fills his face, but his eyes remain cold. Stephanie moves to stand next to him, placing a hand on his arm and smirking over at me.
“Claire.” Alex says, speaking for the first time, “Meet my daughter, Wren.”