Since birth, Landon and Alexa have been told they will be together as true mates. There is no fighting destiny in the pack.
But they hate each other. As kids, they couldn’t stand each other, but later, when the time comes for their mating, the pack wants them to finally come together. For three years, they ignore one another, never acting on nature’s gift. When one of Landon’s friends attacks Alexa, their alpha has no choice but to impose a punishment. They are to be bound together until they realize they are mates. Forced to live side by side, they are denied privacy from the other.
The only problem is that they don’t truly hate each other. Spending time as a couple isn’t a punishment. Constantly being together, they can’t fight their needs. They want to mate, to love. They want it all. But is it too late to finally take each other?
“What do you want?” Alexa asked.
“You think you’re so good, don’t you? Everyone loves sweet, freaky, fat Alexa.” The sneer on Cheryl’s face was disgusting. She hated Alexa with a passion, and Landon could certainly see that now more than ever.
“Wow, okay, I don’t know exactly what this is, but I don’t need to stay and listen to you be this person, so I’m going to go.” Alexa had already wrapped a towel around her body, but Cheryl stepped in front of her.
“You’re not going anywhere.” Cheryl shoved Alexa back.
“Don’t do that.” Alexa held one hand out and kept her focus on Cheryl. “I’m warning you.”
“You don’t get to warn me anymore.” Cheryl took a step toward Alexa.
He watched Alexa move back. Her strength terrified her.
Landon had been with his father when her parents came to see him. He’d heard the pain in her voice, the fear, begging his father to tell her what was happening. Marcel couldn’t give her a reason, but he said she was a special woman and would be one hell of a pack female.
But Landon knew differently. Alexa was suffering because of … him. Just as he was suffering because of her. Their inability to get past their hatred was causing them both untold difficulty. What Marcel hadn’t told the pack was that where Alexa was getting stronger, Landon was gradually growing weaker.
They had been warned that denying themselves each other would have consequences, and he couldn’t hide what was happening to him forever.
“Landon is mine,” Cheryl said.
Alexa rolled her eyes. “Are you for real right now? Is that what this is about? You want your boyfriend? In case you can’t see, Landon and I are not a couple. We can’t even be in the same room with each other without causing trouble. Trust me, nothing’s going on with us.”
Cheryl snorted. “Please, I see the way he looks at you, and you think I haven’t watched you? I know what you’re trying to do. You’re trying to steal him away from me.”
“I’m not trying to do anything. I don’t know what the hell has gotten into you, Cheryl. Landon and I are nothing.” She held her hands out and smiled. “He is all yours.”
But he wasn’t.
It was time to end this.
Landon moved from his spot and caught Alexa’s attention as he joined the two women.
“What are you doing here?” Alexa asked.
Cheryl spun around and burst out laughing. “Of course, you’d be here. Why wouldn’t you be? You like to pretend that you have no feelings for her, but we all know that’s not true. You just can’t help yourself. Sneaking little glances her way again?”
He gritted his teeth. Landon thought he’d hidden his stalking a lot better.
“Don’t you see, Alexa? He’s always watching you.”
“I think it’s time for you to go,” Landon said. “You know the alpha wouldn’t like you interfering with Alexa’s lessons.”
“Oh, please. My sister is a crybaby. She doesn’t need lessons. Just throw her in the lake and make her fight for life. That’s what will work.” Cheryl turned to Alexa. “You’re lucky he’s here, otherwise, I’d have knocked you the fuck out.”
Cheryl turned on her heel and ran.
“What are you doing here?” Alexa asked.
“I was … walking on by.”
“Walking by? In the woods?”
“It happens.” The lies fell easily from his lips.
“Damn it, Landon. I do not want to get into an altercation with your girlfriend. Not now. I don’t know if I’ll be able to … well … you get the problem here. Keep her away from me.”
“Cheryl’s not my girlfriend,” he said. It was the first time he’d been honest with her.
Alexa jerked back. “Yeah, she is. Everyone knows it.”
“No, I’ve never … Cheryl and I, I mean, we’re not a couple.” This wasn’t exactly going how he’d hoped, not that he’d thought this far ahead.
“I don’t care. Your problems with Cheryl are between the two of you. I don’t want any part of it.” She grabbed her clothes from the ground and stormed past him.
The urge to reach out and grab her was strong, but he didn’t do it. He didn’t know why.
Did Alexa feel this as well?
Did she fight it?
Opening and closing his hand, he turned back and followed Alexa out of the woods. He kept his distance, not wanting to scare her, and when she was at her home, he turned off and headed to his parents’ house.
The yard was a complete mess as his mother was attempting to remodel the front lawn. Every couple of years she tried to do this, but Gertie was not green fingered. Most of the time, the plants died under her care. He would have to fix the mess she made.
Landon closed the door behind him and made his way into the kitchen, where his mother was at the stove, stirring some kind of sauce.
Just another failed day of trying to stay away from Alexa.