PROLOGUE

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ELLIE

        “Jayson?” Blake and I both said at the same time but he didn’t move. He just stood inside the door where we could both see him, silent and still.

        I couldn’t believe that he was here. He had been gone for over a year now, Mollie had killed herself four months’ ago because she didn’t want to live without Jayson anymore and Jonah had effectively lost control of the pack almost seven months’ ago.

        To look at him now you wouldn’t know that he had once been the Alpha of the most powerful pack in the country. He had bags under his eyes, premature wrinkles covering most of his face and he looked like he hadn’t stayed in one place for longer than couple of days.

        “Halloween was three months’ ago mate,” Blake joked when Jayson didn’t speak but I really wasn’t seeing the funny side of this.

        “Not helping,” I muttered to Blake.

        “Yo, Blake, Ell—“ but Jackson stopped his sentence short when his eyes landed on Jayson. He looked just as shocked as Blake and I were to see him here. “Jayson?”

        “Where have you been?” I asked him as I walked towards him. He flinched slightly when I raised my hand to his cheek, but he didn’t move away from me or force my hand away from his face.

        “I couldn’t do it anymore Ellie. I just, it was too much, I didn’t want that life,” Jayson whispered as his eyes found mine and I could see the sadness in them, like he was trying to stop himself from crying because he didn’t want us to see his pain.

        “Leave us,” I used my Alpha tone with Jackson and Blake for the first time ever. I had never used it with them before but I had a feeling Jayson wasn’t going to talk to me unless they were gone from the room.

        “El—“

        “I said, leave,” I told them again. I turned around to look at the both of them and neither of them could believe what I was doing. I would apologise to them later and I would tell them what happened, but I needed Jayson to speak and that wasn’t going to happen with either of those in the room with us.

        “Alpha,” Jackson bowed his head in respect and headed back upstairs without another word.

        “Ellie. You—“

        “Blake. Please,” I said gently but he continued to look at me like he hated me for sending him away and I didn’t want him to feel like that. I wasn’t doing it to be cruel, I was doing it because I needed to know what had happened to Jayson and I also wanted to know why the hell he had turned up in my pack covered in blood which clearly wasn’t his own.

        I will tell you later. Just let me speak to him. I told him through the mate link with a slight smile on my face, just to reassure him that I wasn’t lying and I had every intention of filling him in whatever Jayson told me. Please.

        “I love you El,” he replied.

        “And I love you too Blake,” I smiled back at him and then he walked into the kitchen, calling out Luca’s name as he disappeared and not a second later the both of them reappeared, walking out the door in deep conversation with each other about something.

        “I need help Ellie,” Jayson muttered once the door closed and I led him over to the sofa, sitting down beside him with his hand in my own.

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