Episode 1: Aurora

"Aurora!" Mom shouted from downstairs. "I don't want you sneaking out tonight while your father and I are gone."

I pulled Tony's Sanguine Wilds sweatshirt, which I'd stolen from him, over my head to mask my scent and opened my bedroom window. "I know!" I said.

She'd told me that every night this week, and I definitely hadn't left the house once---or so she thought. As far as she knew, I was the perfect little girl who she had been shaping for years to take her place when she stepped down as alpha; the girl who trained relentlessly during the day by herself because her mom didn't allow her to train with the bigger wolves; the girl who just sat in her room all night, studying textbook after textbook about the most successful alphas in history. Their strengths. Their weaknesses. Their every move.

"I'm being serious, A," she said, her voice stern and powerful. "Don't leave this house."

I gazed at my cat, Ruffles, who stopped mid-lick to give me a sassy eye roll from her side of my bed while I crawled out of the window, hanging on to the wooden windowsill with just my upper body. "I won't!"

Moonlight flooded in through my window, illuminating Ruffles's gray fur. I blew her a kiss and let go of the window, falling two stories to the ground. With a thud, I landed in a pile of blue blow-up rafts from the lake, which I'd strategically placed right under my window for this exact reason.

Mom knew I was training to become alpha, but she didn't know that a woman like me had needs. And those needs required me to be at the lake every night at eleven p.m. to meet Tony for our midnight swim.

I brushed off some dirt and lifted my nose to the air, inhaling a whiff of ash, charcoal, and marshmallows from the house next door. All I wanted to do was sink my teeth into a s'more and---

The front door to the pack house opened, and I ducked behind the bushes in the front yard.

Mom and Dad walked out of the house to attend some urgent meeting they were hosting with the other packs in the area. And apparently, I wasn't invited. I watched them impatiently, tugging some berries off the bush and popping them into my mouth.

With brows furrowed up in fear, Mom grasped Dad's hand tightly. "Ares is coming," she whispered.

I rolled my eyes.

Ares is coming. Ares is coming. Ares is coming. That was all they'd been whispering about the entire week.

The oh-so-great alpha of the east was burning up the lands, slaughtering the innocent, taking the weakest packs, and creating an empire for himself.

And we were next.

Supposedly.

Dad closed the front door. "What are you planning to do when he comes?" he asked.

I sighed to myself, wishing he'd grow a backbone. I loved Dad more than anything, but sometimes, he couldn't think for himself.

Since my brother Jeremy had died---I frowned at the mere thought of him---he hadn't been the same. He'd lost his purpose to lead this pack with Mom, and he let her run this pack however she wanted---even if her decisions weren't always the most informed.

If she listened to me, I'd tell her not to worry about anything. Alphas like Ares were easy to get rid of as long as we had the right resources---beautiful women, a night he wouldn't ever forget, and a few drinks spiked with wolfsbane.

"He's slaughtered every pack in his wake," Mom said, her voice hushed. "We're not as strong as we used to be, and"---she looked toward my window, and I ducked out of the way, so she wouldn't see me---"Aurora can't fight."

I broke a branch off the bush and clenched it in my fist, a wave of shame washing over me.

"Aurora can't fight."

Her words hit me hard, struck me right through the damn heart.

"Aurora can't fight."

I'd heard those words my entire life. Everyone in our pack had heard those words, too, and they all knew it to be true. A misfit like me couldn't fight, not after Jeremy had been murdered in cold blood by those feral rogues.

"Aurora can't fight."

Dad hushed Mom and opened the door to their white sedan for her. After ushering her into the car, he backed out of the driveway and sped down the street. I stood back up, throwing the stick to the ground, and hurried through the lush green forest with my arms wrapped around myself.

Damn her. I tried so hard to make her happy, to be strong for our pack, to be someone they could be proud of, but ... I would never live up to their reputation. I wouldn't be the first female alpha to grace these lands, like Mom was, and I didn't possess any of the qualities of the adored and honored warriors of Dad's family who had won the War of the Lycans centuries ago.

I was just Aurora, the nineteen-year-old girl sneaking out of her parents' pack house to fuck Tony at the lake.

Sanguine Wilds Forest stretched for thousands of miles across this continent. And while Mom only owned about twenty miles in each direction, warriors prowled through the thick brush for miles, looking for rogues. There were more guards in the forest compared to the last few nights, which meant one thing.

Mom expected Alpha Ares to be here soon.

I sighed and took the hidden route to the lake. I shimmied through a deserted cave, climbed down a slight cliff, and walked right off the property without anyone seeing.

Nobody knew about the secret pathway, except me.

After a few moments of surveying the area to make sure nobody was following me, I walked around one of the larger mountains that Jeremy used to always take me to and headed straight toward the lake. The air smelled fresh tonight, a sweet yet unfamiliar scent drifting through the woods.

My fingers brushed against the gnarled tree bark as I walked out from the forest and toward the small opening of the lake. The moon glimmered off the water, lightning bugs floating above it. I frowned. I guessed Tony was late.

I sat down on some rocks and dipped my feet into the water, splashing them around and creating ripples. All I had been craving for the past twenty-four hours was Tony playfully pushing me into the lake with all of my clothes still on, watching me get soaked through the tiny pink tank top that I had worn for him, pulling off his shirt and showing me all that thick muscle underneath.

My breathing hitched, and I closed my eyes, heat gathering in my core. Goddess, I couldn't wait for him to tug on my nipples. I drew a finger against them, making them hard. To pull my hair. I inhaled the sweet air and pushed my knees together. To thrust into me until I begged him to stop.

My phone buzzed in my pocket, and Tony's name flashed on the screen.

Tony: Sorry. Dad dragged me to the meeting with your parents tonight. Won't be able to make it until later.

I stared down at my phone, gripping it until my fingertips turned white. Why was he only telling me this now, and why the hell hadn't I been invited? It was almost as if he'd waited until now because he didn't want me to know about him attending the meeting without me---the soon-to-be alpha.

I hummed at the thought of Mom inviting Tony to this meeting instead of her own daughter. My phone buzzed again, and I knew it was Mom nagging me about something important. The mind link didn't work at this distance, and she never contacted me for just anything.

Mom: The Ironmane Pack was spotted ten miles away from our borders. You'd better be at home.

There it was again. The Ironmane Pack. Alpha Ares.

Get back home now, Aurora. You know you can't fight. They'll rip you in half, limb by limb. You'll die, like the way Jeremy did---in the hands of a monster.

I put my phone back into my pocket and stared out at the water. Not many people had ever seen Ares up close, and I couldn't find any pictures of him when I searched this morning. Legend was that he killed so many and so quickly that people didn't have a chance to even catch a glimpse of him. But the ones who had survived his brutality said he looked like a god with a back sculpted by the Moon Goddess herself, black tattoos that crawled up his forearms, and thick, tousled brown hair.

But I thought that was bullshit. No alpha ever looked that goo---

A twig snapped close behind me in the woods. I sat up taller and tensed. Someone had found my little hideout in the Sanguine Wilds, and I really didn't want to deal with whoever it was.

"Tony?" I asked, knowing for damn sure it wasn't him. I sniffed the air but couldn't catch any familiar scent anywhere. "I'm not in the mood for one of your games right now. You know I'm here for one thing," I said, standing up and trying to calm my racing heart.

It definitely wasn't Tony, but his name was the only damn thing that could calm my nerves right now. He might've been the most aggravating man sometimes, but at least he answered me when I called for him.

Almost instinctively, my eyes closed, and I breathed in the most captivating scent that I had ever smelled---hazelnut.

"And what are you here for?" someone asked in my ear, his voice impeccably smooth and deep.

I hopped up, my heart racing in my chest, and gazed at a naked man I had never seen before. The moonlight glistened off his rippling muscles, his hair was a wild mess on his head, and his deep brown eyes were nearly glowing when they gazed into mine.

Mate!

My wolf jumped around inside of me, doing flips in my stomach, acting giddy, like she did under every full moon. But I wasn't feeling giddy at all. From that small scar running diagonally through his left eyebrow to that captivating stare, I was terrified by how easily he had crept up on me.

"You're not Tony," I said, my voice smaller than I wanted it to be.

But of course, he wasn't Tony. Tony was off at the damn meeting and probably would be all night.

Something about him told me to run and to run fast, but an alpha didn't run from just anyone, especially when he wasn't a threat ... yet. He eyed me, his eyes flickering between his brown human color and his wolf's gold, canines lengthening from his mouth and then disappearing almost as quickly. A torn expression crossed his face, but then he clenched his jaw and stepped toward me.

"No, I'm not. But I'm curious why this Tony was planning to meet you here."

He took another step closer, and I sucked in a breath. His scent was driving my wolf wild. All she wanted to do was jump the man, get down on all fours, and let him take us, do whatever he asked.

He stood inches from me, and I scolded my wolf for all the dirty thoughts running through my mind because ... Goddess ... they were starting to drive me wild. I pressed my thighs together, so he couldn't smell me.

"Was Tony planning on taking what is mine tonight?" He towered over me, his large frame making mine feel so small, and then he grasped my chin between his fingers and forced me to gaze up into his dark eyes. His touch sent tingles throughout my entire body, making me feel things that I shouldn't feel for a stranger. "Because if he was, I'm going to have to take care of him. Aren't I?" he asked, fingers digging into my chin. So dominant, so chillingly dominant.

I gathered all my senses, cocked a brow, and pushed his hand away. "Aren't you what?" I asked, looking him up and down. "Going to act all ruthless and merciless just because I'm your mate and you're some"---sexy---"egotistical asshole who thinks he owns me?"

When he growled, his eyes flashing a breathtaking wolf gold, I forced myself to look away. Dad had told me never to settle for someone who thought they owned me. I had alpha blood and soon I would be the alpha of the Darkmoon Pack; I deserved more than that.

"Not interested," I said, but as soon as the words left my mouth, my heart started thrashing in my chest.

Maybe it was the way he stared at me, like he wanted to devour me, or the way I wanted to let him, but he made me nervous. More nervous than I had ever been. My gaze landed on the lake again, and I tried to admire the rippling reflection of the moon.

He snatched my jaw in his hand this time and stepped closer until he pressed himself into my side. I could feel every muscle of his front. Every muscle. And I inhaled deeply, pushing my thighs closer together.

He caressed my cheek with his thumb. He was a daunting gentle, the kind that told me that though he wasn't thrusting himself upon me like any alpha would at the first sight of his mate he controlled this conversation, the kind that told me he could snap at any moment, the kind that made me wet.

"Cute," he said against my ear, voice husky. His hand slipped from my jaw to my throat. "Look at you ..." He drew his nose up the side of my neck. "My mate acting like she hasn't been turned on since the moment she laid her eyes on me."

I gulped and stared up at him, my wolf purring at his touch. He lightly trailed his fingers down my forearm until he reached the front of my thighs. Heat warmed my core as they lingered right over the front of my pants.

He brushed his thumb over my pussy. "Acting like she's not wet for me," he said.

I clamped down harder and cursed the Moon Goddess for my innate attraction to him.

He pressed his hardness against my thigh and let me feel every inch of him. "Acting like my possessiveness isn't making her clench right now."

I gathered all the strength I had left in me and firmly pushed my hands into his taut chest. "You know what? I am horny. My pussy is wet. And your possessiveness is over-the-top aggressive alpha right now." I dug my fingers into his muscle, devouring his wolf's golden eyes with my own. Then, I tilted my head to the side and sneered at him. "But you're not going to do a damn thing about it."

He chuckled and grabbed my wrists, stepping closer, a strand of his dark hair curling onto his forehead. "Oh, I'm not?"

"No," I said, wrapping my fingers around his and inhaling the captivating scent of hazelnut, "you're not."

"Would you rather have Tony touch you like this then?" He released his grip on my wrists, dipped one hand between my legs, and rubbed his fingers against my pussy through my pants.

My eyes widened, my pussy aching.

When I didn't answer him, he clenched his jaw. "Huh? Is that what Tony is for? Making my mate come? Making my mate feel good?"

My heart pounded against my chest.

He stared down at me with golden embers in his brown eyes and ... laughed. I tensed and grabbed his wrist, my core pulsing.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. This wasn't what I was expecting.

"Go ahead, Kitten." He rubbed sweet, torturous circles around my clit through my pants. His canines brushed against my soft spot on my neck, and I nearly moaned. "Push me away," he mumbled against my ear. "I'll let you this time."

I squeezed his wrist in my hand, wanting to shove him back but not wanting him to stop. I really, really didn't want him to stop. Mom had been driving me crazy this past week, and all I wanted was a release.

"Stop me, or I'll really give you a reason to push me away."

I didn't know whether to moan, to nudge him away, or to do both. The pressure in my core rose with every moment. I needed something, anything. I stared him right in the eye, wanting to dare him. "What're you going to do? Throw me to the ground and tear me apart piece by piece," I said, sarcasm dripping from my voice. "Moon Goddess, I'm shaking in my bo---"

He growled lowly and plunged his hand into my underwear. Almost instantly, his fingers slipped into my wet pussy, thrusting in and out harshly. I gripped his broad shoulders, nails digging into the thick muscle.

Holy---

My pussy tightened on him, and I backed up until I hit the nearest tree, unable to hold myself together. The pressure in my core hadn't ever been this intense. He followed, never taking his fingers out of me once. The heel of his palm hit my sensitive clit over and over, sending a surge of pleasure through me.

"The things I want to do to you," he said into my ear, watching my body react to him. He curled a hand around my throat and squeezed lightly. "Bend you over my bed and fuck you until you can't stand. Push you to your knees and watch you suck my cock." He took my hand and placed it on his hardness. I clenched, slowly stroking it up and down. "Eat your wet pussy until you beg me to stop."

I drew my brows together, moaning softly. Another wave of ecstasy.

"I love the way your pussy pulses on my fingers," he said. "Imagine how tight you'd get with my cock inside of you.

Thrusting in and out. Filling this tight ... little ... pussy."

My fucking Moon Goddess.

"Eyes on me," he said, tightening his grip on my throat. I gazed at him, breaths quickening. "Only me."

He brushed his thumb against my clit, and my legs shook as I released myself on him, not breaking eye contact once.

Wave after wave of satisfaction rolled through me. My entire body tingled. I closed my eyes and moaned, my hips moving back and forth on his fingers, riding out my orgasm. Hell, I had known my mate for two whole minutes, and I was a mess.

Coming on his fingers. Aching for more.

Tony never even fucked me this well.

He continued to thrust his fingers into me, not stopping.

I wrapped my hand around his wrist, trying to pull it off of me. "I-I came. You-you-you can st-stop" My eyes rolled back, and I doubled over, resting my forehead on his bicep. Another surge of pleasure rushed through me.

"Is that what Tony does? Makes you come once and leaves?" He gave me an empty laugh. "I'm not finished with you. Not until you're begging."

I squeezed my eyes shut, the pressure in my core becoming harder to bear. My nails dug into his wrist, and I moaned out again as I released myself on him for the second time.

How was he even---

He smirked down at me. "How long do you think you'll last?" he asked. "Ten, fifteen times?"

My eyes widened, and I pushed his hand away. "Please, Moon Goddess, that was enough."

My mind was foggy with that hazelnut scent; my body was tingling in all the right places. He hadn't even touched the rest of me yet, but my body wanted more. My body was craving more.

Read on mobile web or download the iOS app to continue COME HERE, KITTEN!