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His Mate, Her Fate

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LILA KING is somewhat notorious in her old wolfpack - as a child she led a rebel crew of delinquents who caused havoc in the reserve and fought vampires. She was one of the best fighters in the pack, but following her best friend's death at 18 she left the pack to live with humans. For her 25th birthday, she finally returns, but only to introduce her werewolf family to a human fiance. What no one expects, though, is that at the party her family throws...she will encounter her destined mate. He is no other than DARIUS CARTER - the new alpha of the biggest wolf-pack in the region, holding a bad rep for killing the former alpha to assume his righteous position. But there is much more to him than just a pretty face and a fabulous six-pack... Can Lila fight destiny? Does she even want to? And why are those vampires starting to appear again with her return?

Chapter 1

As we parked in my family's driveway, I noticed Ian fidgeting with distress. "Babe, is everything okay?" I caressed his thigh."Just a tad nervous," he admits. He knows everything about my family, so it seems only fitting for him to be anxious. Well, not everything, but the most outrageous thing - that we can shift into wolves. "Just don't let them see you're blond, that really triggers their werewolf gene."He looks at me both shocked and confused. "What? How can I not show my hair? You should've told me earlier to bring a hat or -" he stops when he notices me smiling. We both burst into laughter."You..." he messes with my nose, shaking his head. Ian is a really great guy. We met at college and started dating in our second year. We've been inseparable ever since. He's so easygoing and uncomplicated. I always know where I stand with him. We're each other's support system and best friends. I am so lucky to have married my best friend.I lay a gentle kiss against his lips and we left our Prius. As soon as we approach the porch, the door opens and three crazy boys run into me, hugging, tugging, and lifting me! Of course, they're my brothers. "Hey!" I shouted, laughing. "Showing off, huh? Don't let me shift, you know I can eat all three of you for breakfast!""Oh, yeah?" Jamie says, amused, tickling me and trying to tackle me.That's when Dad comes out of the house. "Chill out you wannabe beasts," he shrugs them off with love in his words, and they back off immediately, still laughing."What a pleasant welcome!" I said honestly, walking towards my father. "I hadn't realized how badly I'd missed you guys until now." Dad met me half-way and we shared a strong, loving hug. Even though he says nothing, I can feel his eyes piercing through Ian."Dad, I'd like you to meet Ian," I said as we parted and I motioned for him to approach."Good morning," Ian held his hand out. "It's a pleasure to finally meet you."My dad shakes hands with him, openly checking him out. I bet he is confused with his gelled hair and perfectly groomed suit styling.The werewolf men and women are all dark haired and tan. Most of them have dark eyes, deep brown, and some have green in them, like me. But none of them look like Ian - light tanned with blue eyes and golden hair. "Where did you find this lady?" he finally speaks."Dad!" I shouted, shocked at his words. My brothers are dying out of laughter, on the other hand."Oh, chill out, Lily. I'm only messing with you. Come on in!""I'm so sorry," I mouthed to Ian as our dad gestured us into the house.* * *We spent the entire day talking, laughing, and eating. My brothers seem to like Ian a lot. They think he's great fun. I do, too.My dad, on the other hand, barely spoke a few words to him. I will pin it on him missing me very much, so he is paying me his full attention. Even though deep down I knew he was hoping I would find somebody else. From the pack, preferably. I suddenly feel like it's time to announce my engagement."Dad, there's something I want to tell you," I began cautiously, and looked at Ian. I now have the attention of my brothers as well. "Ian and I..." I nodded, "we're getting married."My dad drops his fork and they all stare at me. Ian took my hand into his and smiled. "We would very much like to have your blessing."My dad is still staring at me, and I notice his eyes are welling up. I can't tell the reason behind it, though, but my psychology skills tell me it isn't pure happiness. "Well," he looks at his plate and picks his fork up, "you have it." Then he continues eating.The awkward silence entails the table, so my brothers hurry to stuff their mouths as well. Jamie is the only one smiling. "Congratulations, Lily!" He stands up and goes around the table to squeeze me into a tight hug. "Thank you, Jamie," I kissed his cheek. "Congratulations," my two other brothers say as well, although not as enthusiastically as they noticed my father's dissent. "I wish you all luck," Jason adds, giving me a half smile."I think we should stop eating, because the party's gonna begin in two hours from now, and I don't want to be too full for the feast," Jake wanted to."More eating?" Ian asks, shocked, and we all burst into laughter."It's a werewolf thing," I explained, patting him lightly on his shoulder.We leave our rooms to prepare for the party. I am very excited about seeing all of my friends. It's been so long since I last saw them. After having showered and brushed my teeth, I put on simple attire - tight black leather pants, a black silk blouse, and red heels. I finish off with some mascara, subtle eyeliner, and bright red lipstick.At 8 o'clock, Simone's the first guest to arrive, along with her partner, Beta of Carter Pack. They look magnificent together. He is pretty tall and masculine, while she is petite and feminine. Although I agree with my father's statement about them not really being mates. I've seen how mates around each other and these two simply can't measure up."Lila!" she rushes to hug me. "Simone, it's been so long!" I held her tightly. "You look amazing!""It's love that makes me look this good," she laughs and motions toward her plus one. "This is Derek. He is Darius' Beta.""So I've heard," I held my hand out and shook hands with Derek. He has a firm handshake as expected. "I'm Lila. It is nice to meet you.""Derek.""Congratulations on snatching the best gal in our pack," I say warmly, and I mean it."I thought you left your pack," he says.He makes it sound like treason. "Yes, I now live in the city," I say as politely as I can. "And this is my fiancé Ian," I take his hand and pull gently over."Oh my God!" Simone screamed excitedly. "You're engaged!"Derek and Ian shake hands and the Beta narrows his eyes, seemingly displeased. "You're not one of us.""No," I lay a protective hand over my fiancé. "Ian is fully human.""Does he know?" he asks in a code."Yes, he does." I answered confidently, not trying to sound polite anymore. If he were to be rude, I might just enjoy ripping his head off his neck. Maybe I'm being too protective over here, but I hate Ian feeling uncomfortable in my own home."That's wonderful!" Simone says, amazed. "It's like a movie love story!" She tries to subtly hit Derek and let him know he should stop being rude, but I still notice. That is a nice gesture of her anyway.Other guests arrived soon as well. My three best childhood friends - Rachel, Helena, and Campton - missing one. The closest one I've had - Dione. But he's gone now. He's been gone for 8 years. All because of me.My friends' families have come with them, my father's friends and their families, my brothers' friends and their families, the Alpha and Gamma of our pack - Jorah and Graham - and a lot of people from the Carter pack. I guess now that Simone is linked to their Beta, the packs have become tight knit. A small group - consisting of my father, Alpha Jorah, Graham, Derek, Simone, and myself - gathers around the buffet and we start talking wolf stuff while sipping wine."How's Jamie's training going, Patrick?" Jorah asked my father.Dad waved his hand off. "He is still learning.""Jake and Jason improved," Graham comments. "I saw their progress yesterday on the field. Jacob has fast reflexes... Jason's got a strong grip."My father nods. "They did improve. But they have a long way to go." Jorah's eyes shifted to me, suddenly. "This one never had to train hard, though. She is a natural. We have all seen it since she was only a kid."Dad laughed to himself. "I've got three sons, gentlemen, and it's this lovely lady that steals the show every time. Go figure," he cheers.The crowd laughs."It's a real shame we lost a fighter like you, Lila," Jorah tells me.My dad nods absentmindedly. "Her wolf has always been the strongest of my kids'. Well, she's the strongest in human form as well. She's always been the rock of this family."My eyes well up without notice. I never knew my father felt that way. "Are you trying to make me change my mind and stay?" I jokingly said, caressing his hand. "Oh no, I know that boat has sailed off long ago," he says and throws a glance at Ian behind, as if blaming him for my absence. I leave to greet my other friends and Ian follows me this time, along with my brother Jamie. He has been serving Ian as his personal guide slash encyclopedia tonight, and might I say I enjoy it greatly."That's Rachel," he whispers to Ian as we approach my friend. "And the girl next to her is Helena. She's super hot but already taken. She's one of few people that has a mate. Mates are complicated -""I know what it is, Lila explained," Ian says."Ah, she really does share everything. Well, probably not everything," Jamie winks at me, chuckling. I rolled my eyes with love. Little brothers..."Helena! Gosh, you've changed so much! I wouldn't have recognized you in the street.""Same goes for you, hot stuff. I already forgot how tall you were," she says, hugging me off the tip of her toes. Helena is a charming girl, reminding me of a seductive Latin. "It's the heels," I motioned to the skyscrapers that are my shoes. But I notice the look in her eyes - she still blames me for what happened. And I can't stand the appearance. "I heard you're getting married! That's wonderful. Have you set the date yet?" Rachel asks. But her eyes tell the same story. Dione's on all of our minds."Yes. It will be on December 20th, our five-year anniversary.""How lovely."All of a sudden, a weird feeling envelopes me. My body starts to sweat and my heart is racing like crazy, even though I have no idea why.I turned, scanning the room, as if looking for something. Then I noticed somebody. A muscular, tall man, somewhere in his late twenties... He's dark tanned, tattooed, slightly wavy hair falling to his buffed shoulders. One of his thick arched eyebrows is cut down the middle - probably something he earned himself in a fight. His lips are strong, yet sensually full. His nose is rough and masculine, his eyes... black copper, yet two shining daggers. And I can't stop watching him."Who is he?" I asked."Who?" Rachel followed my gaze. As if she could miss him. He's the biggest guy in the room."Oh, him?"I nodded, unable to speak for some reason."That's Darius Carter. The new Alpha of the Carter pack. You really have been absent from here for a long time," she laughs.I force a smile even though I feel like I am about to faint. "He's just arrived. Without a date, if I may notice," Helena adds. "He's the most desired bachelor in the area.""I think there's something wrong with him, though," Rachel said to Helena, but her words seemed too muffled for me to hear properly. "Isn't he acting weird?"My heartbeat accelerates so badly, that I put a hand over my heart, fearing it might jump out of my chest. Even though my lungs feel stuffed with air, I struggle to breathe. My hands are sweaty all of a sudden and my knees are too weak. I want to sit down, but am unable to move. Then our eyes met. "Lila?""Lila! Are you okay?"I hear the girls' voices somehow. Why are they whispering? And why is everyone in the room spinning? On the other side of the room, across from me, Darius is frowning, piercing me with his eyes. My stomach turns and tingles run down my spine, making me feel completely naked.Then he starts walking towards me determinedly, even though it looks like he's struggling to move.I see people touching him, asking something, concerned, but he ignores them completely. I hear people saying my name through the muffled sounds of my heartbeat banging in my ears. Then, suddenly, everyone in the room disappears and there are no voices. The only sound is that of his footsteps and the only scent is the most beautiful, sensual, masculine smell I have ever felt.Darius approaches me slowly at two feet away, but doesn't stop. As everything seems slow motioned, I try to step back to avoid collision, but my feet won't listen. Instead, I take a step forward and we meet only an inch apart. He is not frowning anymore. He looks at me so intensely, so passionately, that I feel devoured. Then he spoke in a low, rugged voice."Hello, mate."

Chapter 2

Mate Combat Even though I don't see anyone but Darius Carter, I feel all eyes are on us.As I stare at him in shock, I slowly realize what's going on here. Muffled sounds from the crowd echo in my ears."Oh my God!""That can't be...""Lila is Darius' mate.""Is that Patrick's daughter? The one who left to live with humans?""She's the one who always made trouble as a kid.""Dione's friend?""Yes. People say it was her who got him killed.""Is that why she left?""Must be."Shut up everyone! I have got to think. I have got to... do something. Anything! But my body doesn't listen - it's like I


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