The Sirius Bright Pack's massive four-storey packhouse stood in stark relief against the shadows of the night, as if the Moon Goddess herself wished to bless them with her presence. When the Goddess rose full and bright in the dark sky, she called to their wilder natures, urging her wolves to come out to play and hunt. They were the nights that were looked forward to by those that were too young to shift and those that could alike.
That was why it did not seem strange for two wolves to be missing from the festivities that evening. Neither was the pack able to hear the erotic noises the couple was making from the fourth floor bedroom that night.
“No one will return before morning, Petra. Scream my name!” the man demanded.
“Ohhh… Orion,” the woman moaned louder.
The couple were vigorously attempting to assail themselves of lust in the king-sized bed, purposefully scorning their basic instincts when faced with palpable need. They had become so lost in each other that they had failed to notice when the door to the room had become slightly ajar, allowing moonlight to filter into the room.
A man cast in shadow by the moonlight stood in the doorway watching his very world fall apart. A long forgotten bouquet now lay in a puddle of petals and stems on the floor being sprinkled with blood from Alpha Xavier’s clenched fist.
“Harder!! YESS…” Petra cried.
Having been mated for three years, Xavier had never considered that he would face the ultimate betrayal that night. His imposing body stood silhouetted in the doorway, his gaze unwavering on the writhing bodies lost to their animal instincts on his bed.
Xavier was well acquainted with Petra’s cries of pleasure, he had drawn them from her many times but this time the story was different. Every muscle in Xavier’s body tensed as every cell of his body swelled in rage while he watched his Beta screwing his fated mate. Xavier kept trying to convince himself that it had to be a lie, a nightmare, a prank, something anything but what it truly was.
"Give me a pup, Orion. Make a baby with me," Petra followed her plea with a loud seductive moan, causing the male servicing her to go wild. The very ground beneath Xavier’s feet shifted the moment that he heard Petra’s request from Orion.
“She wants a child?” Xavier murmured under his breath.
Three years earlier, Xavier had discovered that the Moon Goddess had blessed him with one of his best friends as his fated mate. The entire experience had seemed surreal to him as was learning that Petra was already head over heels in love with him. In the time since he had learned that the Goddess had paired them, there had never been a time that his love for Petra had wavered. All it had taken on Petra’s part was a mere suggestion and Xavier would lay the very world at her feet if it made her smile.
He had continued to worship and adore her through the tragic loss of her ability to conceive due to an unforeseen accident that had led to a miscarriage. In order to avoid opening old wounds, Xavier never mentioned his longing to have a child. Especially given her behavior, even knowing that he had no intention of rejecting her, she would cry, repent, and plead with him just to stay the center of his attention.
“She never lost the ability to conceive,” Xavier realized. The blinders had finally been pulled from Xavier's eyes, exposing the web of lies that Petra had been feeding him since she had the miscarriage.
Xavier knew that the erotic scene playing out in front of him was not something that had been drawn from one of his worst nightmares, the pain in his chest grounded him to the present. It caused a kaleidoscope of emotions to vie for dominance in his hunter-green eyes as he watched his mate moan in pleasure under his best friend and Beta. A Beta that was now doing everything physically possible to pleasure his Luna.
“I require your undivided attention, satisfaction, and every inch of your delicious body, Petra,” Orian left a series of love bites on her neck.
“Don’t bite my neck. If they don't disappear before Xavier gets home, then I will be in serious trouble,” Petra warned.
The position the lovers were in on the bed was rather embarrassing for the other two pairs of eyes standing behind Xavier, Zander, Xavier's twin brother, and Kaiden, Xavier's Gamma, to witness. They had been with Xavier since his return to the pack. The pair had been doing their best to block out the sounds of pleasure as their Luna ardently committed adultery before their very eyes. Zander’s green eyes scanned his twin’s face, accessing the damage of Xavier’s broken heart.
“You know that Xavier won’t be home for at least three days,” Orion grinned.
Zander was flooded with guilt and regret that clearly shone in his eyes. Xavier had left for a business trip to Germany but had returned to the pack upon his twin’s request after being away for only a day.
“If you trust me, return to the pack quietly without question.” Zander had not disclosed his true intentions to Xavier at the time. Zander had always suspected Petra’s fidelity. Zander was well aware of his twin’s feelings towards his mate, hence he could not accuse her without undeniable proof. Consequently, this had led Zander to request his brother return home on an urgent matter that he could inform no one of.
Initially, Zander was convinced of the righteousness of his actions. That exposing Petra’s infidelity would remove the blinders that had been placed on Xavier by the bond, laying her crimes bare for the world to see. However, the taste of sweet victory over Petra soon turned to bitter ash on Zander’s tongue the moment that he realized the amount of pain his actions had caused his twin. He would never be able to wipe the look of pain and utter betrayal on Xaveir’s face from his memory.
It was at that exact moment in Xavier’s life that he realized that he had lost a vital part of himself, the ability to love and trust another person. A dagger forged of deception and betrayal had been plunged into Xavier’s heart then left to fester, leaving him incapable of congregating any emotion other than rage from the mangled organ.
Unaware of their audience, Petra and Orion found their climax together releasing loud moans of pleasure. Orion had satisfied Petra’s desire when he had shot his hot cum deep into her womb. Unlike that evening, the pair did not usually conduct their affair in Alpha’s suite instead they had trysts in the woods.
That night was an anomaly in another way as well. It was the first time Petra had asked her lover to impregnate her. Prior to this, they had been meticulous about both using protection, him wearing condoms and her being on the pill, that had all ended tonight. Orion smirked in delight at the thought that he might have succeeded in giving her a child.
The outside world was still forgotten in their forbidden cocoon brimming with the stench of sex and their heavy breathing. Orion allowed himself the luxury of settling his sated body on Petra. She gave him a dreamy, contented smile. She lay under her lover with her eyes closed as they caught their breath.
It was at that moment that her nose caught a familiar scent, one that had reminded her of summer for the last three years, fresh cut grass and lemonade. Her eyes snapped open in realization, followed a half second later by Orion when he picked up Xavier’s scent. The couple knew that the scent was too fresh to only be left over in the room. Air became lodged in Orion’s chest the second he registered the stark fear in Petra’s brown eyes, confirming their shared nightmare.
When Xavier finally decided to make his full presence known, it was with a bang as the door to the room slammed against the wall. He permitted tendrils of his cold malicious aura to seep out, coiling and choking the two that betrayed him. They lay there with wide eyes at being caught red-handed by the Alpha they had been cuckolding.
"Xavier!" Petra whispered, though she felt like screaming as she scrambled to cover herself. She realized that the problem was compounded by the fact that her mate had not made the discovery alone. She had been so absorbed in her hunting down her own sexual gratification that any signals from the mate bond were missed entirely. The moment she registered Xavier’s dark red eyes on her she was struck mute. At the same time, Orion’s eyes were popping out of his skull with the understanding that his death was imminent. Xavier resembled the Grim Reaper himself, prepared to reap Orion’s soul for his crimes as he stalked towards him to deliver judgment.
"Xavier... I..." Orion futilely scrambled away from him across the bed, yet there was no way of escaping the Alpha. He had no time to react or even defend himself. He had seriously miscalculated when he thought he would be allowed to explain the situation. Xavier was in no way willing to listen as it shrouded Orion’s face. His sharp claws sunk into the thin flesh, hitting bone. With a single flick of his wrist, Xavier could peel his face off. Orion’s agonized screams only magnified off of the bedroom walls when Xavier ripped him from the bed and slammed him to the floor, shattering his jaw. The others in the room could smell the terror oozing off Orion after the last blow from his Alpha.
“Aaah!” Petra screamed. Despite the fact that she only witnessed her lover being beaten, it felt as though she was experiencing each blow that was delivered. Her body shimmered in a sheen of cold sweat, the sheet that she used to cover herself now clutched in a white-knuckled grip. Even though Orion was a Beta, there was no way for him to stand against the might of an Alpha, nevermind one that was seeking revenge for a betrayal.
“You’re nothing but a traitor! Xavier roared in his face using his Alpha tone. Xavier had not needed to use it, however, as Orion’s wolf had already submitted to him. His wolf had been riddled with guilt over deceiving his Alpha, someone that had been his best friend since they were children.
The only daughter of the Blue Moon Pack’s Alpha, Petra had become friends with the high-ranked boys when they were children. Of all the boys, Petra had always been closest to Orion, but when she was old enough to find her fated mate, it turned out to be Xavier instead. After she and Xavier married, he became Alpha. Orion agreed to take on the position of Beta in order to remain close to her. During the course of their affair, Orion’s wolf was aware of his human’s betrayal, understanding that one day they would have to pay the price for their treachery.
After several particularly vicious blows to the face from Xavier, Orion began trying to protect himself using his arms as he wheezed out a garbled up plea. This only enraged Xavier further.
“How dare you have the audacity to beg for mercy?!” Suddenly, a shattered jaw and broken ribs were not enough to assail Xavier of his need for savage vindication.
Orion lay, a twitching, whimpering lump at Xavier’s feet. Xavier continued working his body over, utilizing both fist and claw as he specifically focused on permanently disfiguring Orion’s pretty boy face. Subconsciously, Xavier wanted Orion to be unrecognizable to those that knew him, just as he no longer recognized Orion as the man he once was.
Petra was huddled in a sobbing lump on the mattress. She had long ago stopped feeling sympathy pains for the man being beaten worse than an animal on the floor. No, the full repercussions of her actions had enveloped her like a weighted blanket. Petra was snapped out of her pity party at the very distinct sound of a stack of potato chips being crushed. Her eyes widened when she realized what Xavier had done. He’d snapped Orion’s spine in two.
“AAAA!!” Orion’s gasp of pain could only be heard by the five in the room thanks to their advanced hearing. The injuries that he had sustained to his lunges, face, and spine made it impossible for him to even express his agony.
"Please... please... stop..." Petra pleaded. She could no longer endure witnessing her lover bearing the brunt of the punishment for their shared crimes. Xaver’s lifeless eyes were drawn to her duplicitous face by her emboldened plea. There were neither tears or remorse in her brown eyes nor cuckolding her mate. Petra had only been seized by terror in the beginning when she had looked to the future only to catch a glimpse of nothing but terrible uncertainty. Staring Petra down, Xavier proceeded to stomp on Orion’s manhood, crushing the appendage until it was useless and his rage had faded. All that Petra could do was watch as the dick that had brought her such pleasure moments ago was destroyed.
For those that knew Xavier, his silence had always been a mysterious thing, a hallmark for atrocities that had yet to come. Xavier loathed liars of any kind, be they swindlers or complete traitors. These individuals had no claim to his time, which in turn meant they had no place in his pack or life. In Xavier’s mind, their fates had been sealed long ago in the deepest pit of hell.
“Orion,” Petra called to him in an attempt to rouse him from death’s door. She trembled with emotion at the thought of losing him as his condition was so severe. Surveillance seemed impossible.
As if a switch had been flipped in Xavier’s mind, his focus moved to Petra. Xavier stalked toward her, a wolf after his prey, with no interest in concealing the fact that he intended harm.
"Xavier… I’m sorry, p…please…" her ability to speak was lost as she scrambled across the bed in an attempt to preserve her life.
“Zander… please help me!!” She turned pleasing brown eyes on Zander, the only one in the room with the power to offer aid for her plight. However, instead of finding an ally in Zander against his twin’s wrath, she found utter disgust.
Xavier grabbed her by the ankle and unceremoniously flung her to the floor. She lay on the floor groaning in pain, having realized that all of her possible options for help had been exhausted. This would only be the beginning of the physical pain. Her mate reached down, grabbing a fistful of her long blonde hair, then used it to drag her up onto her feet. Her scalp stung as her eyes watered.
"How long has this been going on?" The couple had been mated and married for three years and close friends for ten years prior to that, this betrayal ran deep. Faced with the truth, Xavier suspected that his mate’s affair had been going on for an extended period of time. Today just happened to be the day he uncovered her dirty little secret. Her response was incomprehensible gibberish that she gave while staring at the floor.
"I asked you how long your affair has been going on?!" he snarled in her face.
Instead of answering and owning to her mistakes she wept, incapable of conveying a truth that had defined her in secret. Xavier had reached the end of his patience when it came to her specific brand of bullshit and yanked her hair back harder, arching her neck at an uncomfortable angle.
"Answer me! Otherwise, I’ll rip your tongue out and tie it in a bow around your throat!" he barked, squeezing the delicate skin of her throat, leaving behind red fingerprints. She of all people was aware that hollow threats were not Xavier's way, he would happily follow through on it if she tested him.
"For... the last... four years," she admitted with great difficulty as the fingers of his hand squeezed her windpipe, depriving her of air. Zander and Kaiden exchanged surprised glances. She had even fooled them, pretending to be innocent, delicate, naive of … many things.
"You continued with your affair even though you had found your mate?" Xavier had no qualms with her having a relationship prior to their being mated. However, the problem arose when, despite the fact that she was mated but married and marked as well, she continued her affair with Orion while claiming to love Xavier.
“There is no way that your affair with Orion was a spur-of-the-moment decision. You have been planning it all along,” Zander accused. “You have taken advantage of Xavier’s trust and blind faith, Petra. You have utterly desecrated the sacred mate bond.”
“I take it that this is why you never accompanied me on business or pack trips? This is also why you enjoyed being in the packhouse all the time,” Xavier growled. All of the puzzle pieces were clicking together, putting a clear image on display.
Whenever Xavier had to leave the country, he would be struck with unbearable pain. Petra tried to convince him that Xavier’s wolf couldn't stay away from his mate since he was so madly in love with her and the anguish he had been experiencing was caused by their separation.
Xavier knew that it was complete and utter bullshit, but accepted it since he had no actual proof. Slowly, the pain he had been feeling faded away, leaving Xavier in awe. When he stopped experiencing those pains, he gradually forgot about them.
There had never been a point in their relationship in which she had been faithful to him. She had taken every available opportunity to be with Orion. Of course, the ideal time was always when Xavier was away on business. He was the eldest son. After all, the position came with all that entailed when one was the Alpha of the most prominent pack. The title and responsibility left her mate with mountains of obligations that he could simply not avoid.
Petra’s strategy had been well thought out if not simple. She would always gather all the information regarding her mate’s travel plans from an unsuspecting Xavier between displays of physical affection and blatant seduction. Since there were only a select few that were permitted access to the packhouse, nevermind the Alpha suite and those that were Petra had memorized their schedules ages ago. That meant she could fuck Orion to her heart's content, even in her own bed.
Xavier gradually released her throat. He grimaced as if it pained him to allow her to continue breathing, so that she could continue answering his questions. She collapsed to the floor in a fit of coughing as she struggled to regulate her breathing. She knew that she had been staring death in the face only a moment ago.
When the lovers were not ensconced in their own private cocoon, Petra treated Orion as if he were her brother. Due to their long-standing friendship, no one suspected a thing when they left the pack together for an errand only to end up checking into a hotel. Both Xavier and his wolf had questioned their mate's ability to successfully commit deceit, but they had never found a reason not to trust her. Xavier had never even gone so far as to question her.
"Xavier," Petra whimpered pitifully. She was terrified of what he had in store for her next. She knew that pride alone would demand that her presence in his life would be eliminated. That much was obvious from his cold expression. "Please listen to me," she reached out in an attempt to grab his hand, but was violently pushed back to the floor.
“Do you really intend to explain away each and every one of your filthy actions?” Xavier was appalled. “There is no reconciliation from this Petra! Just the thought of your face, voice, and scent makes me physically ill,” he declared, coming to the realization that it had not only been his mate that had deceived him but the Moon Goddess as well.
The Goddess had not blessed him with a perfect mate like he had been raised to believe, she had cursed him with the duplicitous Petra. Unsurprisingly, Petra was not the first female to deceive him. The first had been his mother.
"Women like you don't deserve the chance to hook your claws in me anymore. More importantly, you don't deserve a mate," Xavier snarled. Petra whimpered on the floor, terrified by this unrecognizably cold Xavier. One look at his cold demeanor told her everything she needed to know about what was coming next.
"Please don't reject me, Xavier. I beg you. Please…” She clung to his legs like they were a life preserver. "I love you. We adore each other. Please don't reject me. I’ll die without you," she wailed.
All of the good memories that Petra was trying to exploit in an attempt to influence Xavier had the opposite effect on her target. Xavier’s skin broke out in a sheen of cold sweat as his breathing became slightly labored at just the barest thought of those memories. He felt suffocated by the lies, the memories, and her.
"Don't touch me," he growled in warning. At every point on his body that she touched his body it felt like bugs crawling along it. The sensation made him want to burn everything that she had touched, that reminded him of her until there was nothing left but ash, even himself. Yet she continued to cling to him.
"Please, no. I wasn't in my right mind. I made a huge mistake. Please, give me one more chance. I love you, please." When she spoke those three words that are supposed to mean everything, an explosion went off inside Xavier.
"I said don't fucking touch me, you whore!" he roared, shoving her away. Xavier had completely lost control over his wolf. It was only at this moment that he had used derogatory language towards her. Prior to finding out about her infidelity, he had not so much as lifted a finger against her. However, that had changed.
Dean, Xavier's wolf, had decided to come forward to shoulder the burden. He could hear the sounds of pack members shuffling as they stood in the hallway. He knew that they would not come any closer to his suite, though he could smell the fear in the air as he began to recite the words.
"I, Xavier Lincoln, the Alpha of the Sirius Bright Pack, reject you, Petra Lincoln, as my mate and Luna."
Petra sat in cold stunned silence for a second before bursting into a fit of tears as the rejection worked its way through her soul like a poison.
“NO!!” She shrieked, clawing at her chest as the weak strings of the mate bond were served from Xavier's side. She crawled towards him, but he evaded her grasp.
"Call her father, inform his people that a rejection ceremony will be held tomorrow. Whether they are here or not, his daughter will be rejected and thrown out of this pack immediately following the ceremony!" Xavier ordered Kaiden.
“Yes, Alpha,” Kaiden nodded, then followed Xavier and Zander out of the room.
“XAVIER!!!” Petra continued to howl. She had been left alone in their bedroom, a pitiful mess as her wolf blamed her endlessly for their rejection.
No longer able to contain the unadulterated rage brewing inside him, Xavier burst out of the packhouse, his pack members quickly scattered out of their Alpha’s way. He did not slow until he reached the river and then it was only long enough to throw his wedding band into its swift current.
From that moment onward, he refused to trust, nevermind love someone. He had been utterly broken, even the word mate was something to be despised.