Lucas has been cruel to Mabel for as long as she can remember. So discovering he’s her mate is the cruelest twist of fate. There’s no way she’ll mate with him. Instead, she runs away to the city, hoping never to bond with him.
When Lucas’s dad interferes as the Alpha and tries to reunite the two, she attempts to sever all ties with Lucas and deny him as her mate. As the leader’s son, Lucas knows every loophole and demands the chance for reconciliation. He wasn’t good to her, but he wants the chance to make it right. She’s his mate, and against all odds, they are destined to be together.
Mabel has no choice but to follow the rules, and Lucas is a changed man. As a boy, he was a bully. Now he’s a man intent on winning his mate, and it isn’t a game. He wants Mabel by his side for the rest of their lives. Even if it means breaking down the wall she’s built around her heart.
“I didn’t know you were out here.” She made to turn away, but he couldn’t have that.
“You can’t keep avoiding me forever.”
Mabel turned toward him. “And why not?”
“I’m not as big of an idiot as you think. You know the rules. To sever our mating, you have to give this a chance. Both of us do.”
She tucked some hair behind her ear. “And what if I am?”
“We both know you’re not, but after this year, if you haven’t given me a chance, then I can request a second year. I can keep on requesting until you give me the chance to earn back your trust.”
“That’s never going to happen,” she said.
“Damn it, Mabel, you think I don’t know how fucked up I was? What I’ve done?” he asked. “I do, in case you don’t know.”
“Don’t mock me.” She took a step toward him. “Do you even think for a second you’d be considering this if I wasn’t your mate? The years of name-calling, of your spiteful, bullshit attitude toward me. You expect me to believe that one change and you’re different?”
“I can’t take back what I did.”
“No, you can’t, but what you, the Alpha, and my parents are trying to do is tell me to get over it. Do you have any idea what it was like for me? Huh? You ever considered that?” She looked him up and down. “You with your muscles and your body that made girls want you and men envious. Even your pack friends. Ben and Rupert, I recall. Yeah, they were your buddies. Followed you around like little puppy dogs, willing to do whatever it was you enjoyed.”
She stopped and shook her head. “You had no idea what it was like. To have people laugh at you. To point. To be afraid to go to my locker for what I might find. You think I found it funny what you did? How humiliated I was.” Tears filled her eyes, and he hated seeing them.
“I … I don’t know what to say.”
“That’s just it, Lucas, there is nothing to say about this. You want me to forgive you so we can, what? Start mating? Having a family.” She took a step toward him, closing the distance between them. This close, he felt the pain in his core. “Three years ago, before the mating, that very fucking day, you couldn’t even stand to be near me. You despised me and made sure the entire cafeteria heard it. That night, we both turned, and you think one little action of oops, sorry, didn’t know you were my mate is going to cut it.”
She shook her head. “Believe it or not, I’m actually trying.” She wrapped her arms around herself and stepped back. “I’m going to bed.”
“I lied that day,” Lucas said.
“That day, I remember it. I think about it constantly. You were wearing a dress, very similar to the one you’re wearing now. I saw you come into school. I was struck dumb by what I saw.”
He ran a hand down his face. The memory was so vivid in his mind. “My friends were talking shit, but I watched you. You had your hair tied back at the nape of your neck. Some nerd approached you and you laughed. You wore a pair of boots because you couldn’t stand to wear heels, unlike so many other girls. You stood out and you looked … I hated how much I wanted you. At that moment, I wanted you all to myself. All morning, you walked around school, completely oblivious to me. I watched you and you didn’t even know. Yeah, I was an asshole because I was the most popular guy in school, but I fucking wanted you, and still, you didn’t see me.”
He started to laugh. “By the time lunch came, I was angry, but I needed … fuck, I don’t know what I needed, but I knew I wanted something, and that was you. To feel you against me, to know what it was like to have you in my arms.” He closed the distance between them. There shouldn’t be any space now.
Mabel tilted her head back. Even changed, she was so much smaller than him.
“So I waited for you. I planned it perfectly. The fall, the way you’d land on me. I made sure you didn’t have food and you were so distracted by the book you were reading you didn’t see it coming. I tripped you, wrapped my arm around your waist.” He did so now, drawing her close. “And I felt every inch of your body against mine. Your large tits, your body, and my dick got hard. But I wanted more. I always do. I made sure the fall had you collapsing on me. Your legs straddling either side of me, and I felt your pussy next to my cock. I hated being in school that day because I wanted you naked, but I knew without a doubt, that was all I was going to get.”