Leilyn got the shock of her life when Dell’s mere presence made her Were come out to play. Plus, she had Byron hint that Dell might be her mate.
This week Dell confronts his mate with some truths…and throws her world on its head:
Leilyn shifted too fast for Dell to have a chance to explain further. When he managed to change back to human, she already had her clothes back on. Her features were pale, drawn, and she’d refused to say a word to Olive or Byron, although she did accept Byron’s comforting hug.
Dell did his best not to growl his displeasure at the action. Considering Leilyn only knew half the truth, and Byron wasn’t showing any possession or protective instincts, Dell managed to keep his frustration under wraps.
He threw on the trousers Olive had thrown his way. Before Byron could ask the question he’d opened his mouth for, Dell cut him off. “Get out. Both of you. Out.” He put the full force of Alpha magic behind the command, something he rarely, if ever, did to Olive. This was too important.
Leilyn sank to the bed when Byron obeyed immediately. She rubbed her hands along her thighs, and Dell’s own hands twitched under his urge to go comfort her.
The moment the room was clear, Leilyn whispered, “I don’t understand.”
Dell grabbed a chair and spun it around. He straddled the seat and leaned on the back. “Have you been able to disobey a command?”
“Always. It wasn’t easy, but if I really set my mind to it, yes. Even my uncle, and he’s Alpha.”
“He’s not your Alpha. He’s not your uncle, either.”
“Yes. My parents were killed in the war, my mom…she was his sister.”
Dell gritted his teeth against the lie. “What year?”
“Where are you from, Leilyn?” Dell rose when she shook her head. This time he wouldn’t let her skirt around the question. He stepped closer, putting force behind his words when he asked again, “Where are you from?”
Her nose wrinkled like she might get sick, and she stretched her neck against what he knew was an intense need to answer him. She fought the order hard, but in the end fairly vomited the words, “West Virginia.”
“The pack, they are weak, yes? They’re becoming more wolf than man, mongrel, their fur is patchy, their shifts painful.”
Even though her eyes fluttered shut, she wasn’t able to stop the tear that slipped along her cheek. “Not all of them.”
“They are the pack that attacked ours in sixty-three. They killed many Were’s and human’s alike. They took a young girl.” He sat beside her when she shook her head vehemently. With a gentle touch, he set his hand on hers. “Until my father reminded me, I’d forgotten. Pushed it out of my head because it was traumatic for me as well. We’d thought they’d killed you.”
“Yes. You. We called you Megan. Your mother was pack, your father an Indian human.” He lifted her hand and pulled it close. “I saw you fall. When your body went missing my father assumed it was wildlife.”
“Not me, not me, not me.” Her hand shook before she grasped his.
“They stole you from us, from me.”
“I was treated well. Like a princess. They sent me to town in all sort of weather to be sure I was learned.” Her eyes fluttered open and she turned toward him. “I’m so confused. Why? Why would he do this?”
“Because their pack has bred together too much, they needed fresh blood.”
“He won’t let me go. I tried to reduce my risk by swimming to lessen how much scent I left behind, but he will come for me. I need to go. I have to.”
“No. You must stay.”
“Dell.” She trembled and leaned closer, her lashes curtained over her intense green eyes. “Don’t do that.”
“I’m not doing anything.” His heart rate picked up when she set her hand on his chest to physically push away from him. She didn’t get far since he still held her hand.
She stared at their clasped hands. “What did you mean, when you said he took me—from you?”
“Not now.” No matter how much he wanted to claim her, he could sense her growing distress. In one day she’d gone from runaway to learning her whole life was a lie. That was a lot of surprises for one day, one more might tip her over the edge. “You need time to adjust.”
“What if I already know?”
“Then you can tell me tomorrow.”
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