four

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Illyria sat on the leather chair with her knees pulled into her chest, a mug filled with luke warm coffee resting in her hand as she wiped the sleep from her eyes. It was 6.04 a.m. and the pack house was beginning to stir, yet here she sat in Alpha Nick's office sighing as she tried to argue a case for herself. "I think this is ridiculous Nick, it's unnecessary and it's uncomfortable. You know how much I hate the spotlight." Nick was sighing too, hunched over his desk as he tried to persuade Illyria that he had done the right thing, "Illyria, this is more for the Pack's sake, we need to socialise with the other Alpha's. We need to reestablish some of our alliances and I can't think of a better way of doing that than inviting them to this. It was Claire's idea anyway,"

"You're kidding?" Illyria asked, her eyebrows raised as she glared at Alpha Nick. "Nick, I'd prefer for you not to throw a party for me to find my mate, I'd prefer meeting him the way a normal person would, I'd prefer-" Nick groaned, cutting her off. "Illyria, this is why I didn't want to tell you, I know what you'd prefer but in this case your preferances will be ignored, it's already organised, and many of the Alpha's will be arriving today. We can't cancel it now,"

"I realise that Nick but this is ridiculous, I really, really don't want to go along with this,"

"And Tristyn doesn't want you to go along with this either, too bad for both of you; it's happening." Illyria groaned and ran one of her hands through her hair, which hung to her waist in loose curls. She raised her tired eyes and glared at Alpha Nick, his eyes already trained on her, waiting for an explosion of anger, or something else. She wasn't the best when bad news was sprung on her, she had a habit of becoming violent, volatile and often even the Alpha couldn't control her. Their gazes were ripped to the door as a quiet knock went through the room and the large door cracked open to reveal Jess, standing timidly behind. "You called for me Alpha?"

"Jessah, we are throwing a party for Illyria's birthday tomorrow night. Will you please go shopping with her to find a dress," Alpha Nick's commanding voice left no room for argument, and despite Illyria's piercing glare, all Jess could do was gulp and nod. Illyria groaned as she turned back to Alpha Nick. "Tomorrow night?"

"Tomorrow night." Alpha Nick confirmed.

Jess watched from the door way as Illyria placed her coffee mug on the Alpha's desk and began to lazily walk towards the door; exhaustion weighing down her legs as she moved across the thick persian rug. "Breakfast?" Jess asked, eyeing Illyria as though she might drop at any moment, "please." The two girls walked to the still empty kitchen in silence, their footsteps soft as they moved over the marble tiles. Illyria sat down on one of the bar stools, almost collapsing as she rested, and Jess moved to start a fresh pot of coffee, and then grab ingrediants for their breakfast; toast with avocado, baby spinach, feta and salmon.

"What's going on Il?" Jess says, finally resting as she waited for the toast to pop. "Nick wants to throw me a party to find my mate tomorrow night, but Tristyn and I aren't keen." Jess sucks in a deep breath as she realises where this conversation is going; mates. "Do you know why he's doing it?"

"He says it's mostly for pack relations and that my birthday is just a convenient excuse but fuck, it sucks. He's invited just about all the Alpha's, Lycan's included and some of the Lone wolves, like the Rogue Warrior." Jess sighs, recognising all the important people that are coming; for some reason however Jess's heart beats faster at the thought of the Rogue Warrior, but she brushes away her thoughts and brings her attention back to Illyria. "Okay, well if that's the excuse just make an appearance and then you can go hideaway in an alcove somewhere, besides, you might actually find your mate, aren't you excited?" Jess tried to bring some excitement to her voice when in reality the conversation brought a dead weight to settle in her gut.

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