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Chapter 7: Savior

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The Beta holds the backdoor open for me and Lily as we enter my parent's house. With everyone outside, he takes us into the living room and motions for us to sit. Lily does so readily, but I wait near the coffee table with my arms crossed.

"Please sit, Celeste."

I give Lily a grim look.

"The Alpha is coming. You can't be disrespectful," she warns.

I clench my jaw and drop beside her just as Alpha Rowan sets foot in our quaint living room alone. He first acknowledges his Beta—silent yet discerned—and then faces Lily and me. I adjust on my cushion, always having felt apprehensive about such a scenario. As children, when we behaved badly, Mom used to threaten us with meetings similar to this.

"So, Celeste, I hear Alpha Draven is your mate," the Alpha starts.

I want to counter that he isn't just my mate, he's my Alpha now, not you, but I avert my attention to my lap.

The Beta says, "This will go a lot smoother if you're willing to clarify what's true."

"Just say whatever it is you want to say about it because I have to go. People are waiting for me," I tell them.

Alpha Rowan says, "Regarding your safety, I believe you would be better off if you didn't return to Draven territory, and I say this with your well-being in mind. Alpha Draven is not someone I recommend involving yourself with."

"But I have to go back."

"No, you don't," Lily protests. "You need to listen to the Alpha and stay."

"Lily, I—"

"Alpha?"

I turn and see my parents entering the living room. Caught off guard, I stand from the couch.

"Has something happened?" Mom asks with a kinder voice than usual. "If one of my girls did anything to—"

"I requested your presence because it came to my attention that your daughter Celeste is mated to Alpha Draven."

Mom's head snaps to me with a blinkless stare. "She's what? Celeste, is that true?"

I open my mouth yet nothing comes out.

"It's true," Lily says. "She told me earlier, and now the Alpha thinks she shouldn't return to him, but Celeste isn't listening. He's dangerous."

"Then she'll stay," Mom tells Alpha Rowan.

"What? No," I reject.

"Excuse her, Alpha. She's not thinking clearly. Obviously, the mate bond is skewing her ability to be rational about this."

"That's not—"

"What do you think, Dear?" Mom asks Dad. "She can't be with someone like that. Shouldn't she remain here as the Alpha says?"

Dad clears his throat and then mutters, "As the Alpha says, yes. Draven is a threat to us. She can't be near him."

I move around the table in front of me and head for the hall.

"Celeste, where are you going?"

"To the washroom," I grumble and shut the bathroom door a touch too hard behind me.

With a wall to isolate me, I let my frustrations teeter into upset. I bury my face in my hands and run them up over my head, smoothing my hair.

"Come on," I mutter under my breath. "Come on, Celeste."

There's a window on the top half of the wall above the toilet. I drop the seat cover and climb onto it to open the pane and contemplate heaving myself out, but when I slide the glass open, I catch sight of a guard wolf patrolling the perimeter of the house; they're here with the Alpha.

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