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The Billionaire's Werewolf Bride

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Love has a way of bringing together two souls that aren’t meant to be… Lyla, a spirited young woman, and Rike, a powerful heir, are bound by a marriage neither desires. Suspicion clouds their union as Lyla suspects Rike's family business of sinister deeds. She plans to use the arranged marriage for her advantage by taking the empire down from within. A twist of fate awakens Lyla's hidden werewolf abilities, drawing her closer to Ryke. As they navigate this newfound connection, love blossoms. But when an old flame returns carrying Rike's child, their love faces a severe test. Together, they embark on a mission to unveil a child trafficking ring, exposing dark secrets within the powerful Benlor empire. Meanwhile, a prophecy links their marriage to a superior breed of werewolves, attracting the attention of a rival pack that plans to use Ryke’s half-brother as a mate for Lyla. As danger mounts and hidden agendas emerge, a rogue werewolf threatens to reveal their kind to the world. Lyla and Rike must confront this peril to protect their love and their future. Does love really conquer all?

Chapter 1

Lyla suddenly discovered herself standing in a pool of blood that she had unintentionally spilled, her pulse pounding. Her goal had been to discover the truth, but it now seemed to have gotten her into even more trouble. She understood that even if she was married into the richest family in the city, she was still subject to the repercussions of her choices. As she realized that she had killed a man, even if it had been in self-defense, the frigid air clung to her like a veil. How in the world could she justify this? And all of her carefully made plans fell apart when she considered what may happen to her parents if she ended herself in jail.

She wasn't alone in this nightmare situation, which made things worse. It was impossible to commit a crime in a crowded metropolis without an audience, and she was aware that when a dead corpse was found in an alley, people often began to gossip.

Through her agitation, a chilly and disagreeable voice was heard. It asked, "What did you do?"

Lyla stumbled, her voice shaking, "I-I..." "I had no idea... He was approaching me. I became anxious and I...

The speaker commanded, "Let me see your hands." She was all too familiar with the voice, which she had grown to hate.

"Ryke?"

Yes, it was convenient that Ryke Taylor, the man she had been ordered to marry, had shown up there. Did he pursue her? Could it be that he is the brain behind everything?

"I said let me see your hands," he repeated, extending his hands towards hers.

"What do you want with my hands?"

"We don't have time for this," he urged, his tone growing urgent. "Give me your hands now!"

Lyla stood there, unable to go past her initial disbelief. She hesitantly reached out to him with shaky palms. After all, he had already caught her in this unsavory circumstance.

Ryke said, "There's still time; we have to go.

Lyla was still perplexed. He asked them to go even with a dead man lying on the ground next to them with the murder weapon close at hand. What the heck was he trying to play at?

She questioned with increasing confusion, "Time for what?"

He pulled her by the hand, "Come with me now, questions later."

She said haltingly, "The pole... my fingerprints," as he yanked her away.

"Forget it, we don't have much time."

What could be more terrible than murdering a man? What was Ryke's agenda? All he had to do to get rid of her was to contact the police. Lyla was more frightened and suspicious as she remarked, "I'm not going anywhere with you until you tell me what's going on."

He gave her a quick, furious gaze in return. As he removed her hands, the worry that had been imprinted on his features changed into rage. He shouted out, "You want to stay here, fine by me! But when the cops get here, you explain the rest to them." after stopping slightly.

Lyla struggled to make sense of the flurry of events as her thoughts raced. Her thoughts were racing to keep up with everything that was happening so quickly, including his words and deeds. She had just murdered a man, and Ryke could have simply contacted the police if he had wanted to. They would be swarming the crime site in under five minutes. Even while her thoughts were racing with worries, one nagging notion persisted: what could possibly be worse than murder?

Lyla, whose legs were trembling like jelly, let Ryke lead her out of the alley because she felt she had nothing to lose. Without turning back, Ryke warned her, "You're going to need to do better at comporting yourself," as they continued to walk.

"Where are we going?" she inquired, desperate for some clarity.

He remained silent. The rain began to drizzle, and with each passing second, the likelihood of someone discovering the lifeless man and alerting the police grew. Lyla couldn't help but think Ryke should have let her carry the pole stained with blood. Just as they reached the street corner, they spotted a police car approaching rapidly in their direction, sending Lyla's already panicked heart into a frenzy.

"Did you...?" she started, her voice quaking.

"You're going to have to kiss me," Ryke interrupted, his tone serious.

"What?" Lyla's eyes widened.

"Look around," he insisted, glancing at their deserted surroundings. "We're the only ones here. I doubt you can talk your way out of this if they stop us and ask what we're doing out this late."

It was clear that Lyla was confused. "How does kissing you solve anything?"

"It's a public show of affection," Ryke explained tersely. "People tend to look away, even the cops."

Lyla's cheeks flushed with embarrassment and frustration. First, Ryke had whisked her away from the crime scene, and now he was proposing this unusual solution. "Look," she began hesitantly, "I'm not thrilled about it either, but it's either this or jail."

Lyla managed to steal a glimpse of Ryke's deep blue eyes as they locked onto hers. He was deadly serious, almost too much so. The approaching police car was closing in fast, and panic coursed through her veins. In an instant, she felt a gentle but firm tug on her waist, and before she knew it, she was cradled in Ryke's arms. His warm breath danced on her skin as his face drew nearer to hers. It was an unexpectedly intimate moment, the closest they had ever been since their forced marriage.

Ryke leaned in for a kiss, his eyes never straying from hers. Lyla felt a surge of conflicting emotions. What choice did she have? As their lips brushed against each other, his tongue grazed hers, sending shivers down her spine. She found herself momentarily lost in the sensation, but quickly snapped back to reality. This was not the time for longing or desire; they had far more pressing matters at hand.

The approaching police car wailed its siren as it sped past the seemingly amorous couple, and Lyla's heart raced. The ruse seemed to have worked. As soon as the police car was out of sight, Ryke pulled away abruptly.

"Let me see your hands," he demanded once more.

Lyla couldn't help but voice her frustration. "What is it with you and my hands?"

He pulled her hands out to examine them briefly, then cast a long gaze at the full moon hanging in the night sky. "You certainly know how to pick your timing," he remarked cryptically.

"What's going on?" Lyla pleaded for answers.

He didn't offer any immediate explanations; instead, he firmly grasped her hand and led her towards a parked car not far from where they stood. "Get in!" he ordered, his tone leaving no room for argument.

"I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what's going on," she insisted.

Ryke wasted no time in pushing her into the car before she could protest further. Once inside, he addressed the driver, "To the house, and step on it!"

Lyla's mind was a swirling storm of confusion. If only she had stayed home, she might have been in bed right now. But she had always been one to chase after leads, especially if they could help her break free from the man sitting next to her. Earlier that evening, an anonymous source had sent her an email tip about a potential shipment of children from The Sun orphanage downtown. Yet, the burning question remained: why was Ryke with her? Was he tailing her? The pieces of the puzzle just didn't seem to fit together that night.

The entire car ride was cloaked in silence, with Ryke sitting beside her as if he hadn't just witnessed her commit a grave crime. Finally, they arrived at the mansion, although it felt like an eternity had passed. Lyla's heart raced faster than ever, and she couldn't help but feel a growing sense of unease as Ryke's eyes turned colder.

"I'm not moving another inch until you tell me what's going on," she declared, coming to a halt. "If you want to call the cops, just call them already!" She was done with his games. Somewhere in the city laid a lifeless man with her fingerprints all over the crime scene. The more she thought about it, the more she dreaded the prospect of prison. She had strength, but she wasn't sure she had the kind of strength needed to survive behind bars.

"Please, tell me what's happening," her voice began to tremble as if she were on the brink of losing her sanity.

Ryke, however, persisted. "Let me see your hands..."

"If you ask for my hands one more time, I'm going to use them to kill you!" Lyla shot back, her frustration boiling over. He moved closer, his grip on her hands firm, revealing a mysterious mark she hadn't noticed before. "What's that?" she inquired, her fear growing.

"We made it just in time," his voice remained chillingly calm.

Already bewildered by the night's bizarre turn of events, Lyla's anger and confusion surged. "Time for what?"

Suddenly, as if a sledgehammer had struck her, she let out a painful cry. Her body convulsed as intense pain coursed through her. It felt as though her bones were shifting and realigning, and her vision blurred, causing her to stumble backward. Unable to endure the agony, she knelt on the floor, her hands covering her face. "What's happening? What did you do to me?" Her anger and confusion grew as she tried to make sense of the situation and looked up at Ryke.

Ryke knelt beside her, his hand gently resting on her shoulder. "The next few moments are going to be intense, but you have to let it happen."

Lyla was consumed by questions. What was she supposed to let happen? Why couldn't Ryke just tell her what was going on? Just then, another man entered the room. She couldn't see his face, but she recognized the voice as Derrick, the butler.

"Shall I bring the chains, Master Ryke?" Derrick asked.

Chains? What chains? Panic welled up inside her as her thoughts spiraled out of control. What had she gotten herself into?

"No," Ryke replied to Derrick, his tone unwavering. "I'll handle this. Make sure all the doors are securely locked, and close all the windows." With that, Derrick exited the room, leaving Lyla feeling even more trapped and bewildered.

"This is what happens when you try to do the right thing," Lyla muttered, her emotions breaking through. "Ryke, I killed that man. He was coming at me with a knife, and I... I didn't know what to do."

"Don't worry about that now," Ryke reassured her, his voice steady. "Just listen to me."

Lyla's voice trembled as she continued, "You don't understand, I can't go to jail. My parents..."

"...will be fine," Ryke interrupted, attempting to soothe her mounting fears.

Lyla's hands started to tremble on her face as her fingers spread out and changed into claw-like extensions. Her hands began to tremble, and it swiftly extended to the rest of her body. She could feel the hairs extending from every pore beneath her jacket, replacing her human skin with a thick covering of fur. Her jacket tore apart at the seams with a loud, guttural noise, shattering to the ground. As her senses sharpened, she could hear Ryke's steady heartbeat as well as the crickets tucked away in the walls.

Tears welled up in her eyes as she struggled to comprehend the bizarre transformation she was undergoing. "What's happening to me?" she cried out, her voice quivering. "It hurts... it hurts so much."

Ryke's voice remained steady and reassuring. "I'm going to need you to be calm; it's the only way to stop the pain."

"Why is this happening to me?" Lyla asked, her fear and confusion growing.

Ryke began to answer, but Derrick's interruption cut him short.

"Every entrance has been sealed," Derrick announced.

Ryke nodded, his earlier mention of chains now rendered moot. "Seems like we won't be needing the chains after all."

"Will that be all, Master Ryke?" Derrick inquired.

"Prepare a bed for Mrs. Taylor, preferably one close to my room; we don't want to leave anything to chance."

"Yes, sir," Derrick acknowledged before leaving the room once more.

Lyla's breathing gradually slowed as she focused on Ryke's heartbeat, finding solace in the steady rhythm. Something in his presence managed to soothe her. Her vision slowly began to return, and the tingling in her body subsided. The claws retracted, bringing relief from the intense pain she had endured. Ryke gently lifted her from the floor, cradling her like a baby as he ascended the stairs. She was too exhausted and weakened to protest or say anything. Her hand found its way around him, and she rested her head on his chest as they moved.

After he placed her on the bed, it didn't take long for her to succumb to sleep. The transformation had taken a toll on her body. Ryke closed the iron door behind him, securing it with a key.

"Check on her every hour, and let me know if anything changes," he instructed Derrick, who had met him at the room's entrance.

"Yes, sir," Derrick replied.

"Master Thomas is around; he's waiting for you in the study," Derrick added.

"Thank you," Ryke acknowledged.

With that, Ryke left to join Thomas, knowing they had a murder to address.

Chapter 2

“...victim is an African American man said to be in his thirties. The police haven’t released an official statement yet but some of the residents say it’s gang-related…” A female voice came from the television.

Her hands supported her upper body as he dragged herself to sit up. What happened? She didn’t remember going to bed in her pajamas, she didn’t remember going to bed at all. Her entire body felt sore. After a while, it started to come back to her, the alley, Ryke, whatever that was yesterday at the house. She picked up the remote quickly, turning the volume to the TV up.

“Reporting live from Leimert Park, Los Angeles, I’m Kate Nelson, BBC News. Back to you James…”

“No no no!!” Lyla panicked, “This can’t be happening…” Her mind swirled with thoughts but they were interrupted by a knock on the door. She lifted herself off the bed and walked open the door, her legs still shaking from a night she couldn’t really remember.

“Mrs. Taylor, Ma

Heroes

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