Ryley Halliwell had to learn how to survive in a human city after her pack and family were killed by someone whom she had trusted. She had nothing to her name and when she found out she was pregnant by the person who betrayed her, she knew she had to raise her child to be better than their father. Ryley had become a lone wolf and stayed in the city to raise her son. But now, seventeen years later, she is working as a forensic accountant. She's always been good with money and helped her father run their pack before being attacked. Now, her boss had asked her to relocate to a pack for the summer. She had undercovered a thief in the most powerful and wealthiest pack. And now he wanted her to look through all of their finances. Being a Luna wolf, she refused to submit to any alpha. Not after the man who she believed loved her, betrayed her. But when Ryley's past surfaces and her fated mate wants her back, what will happen to her simple city life with her son?
My heart was pounding in my chest and my lungs burned as I ran through the forest that surrounded my pack. I could hear my father’s beta yelling at me, telling me to keep going. Fear explodes through my body as growls from enemy wolves become closer. My father’s beta’s voice became more distant and I knew he had stopped running with me. He stopped to slow down the wolves who were chasing us.
My heart twisted painfully at the thought of our pack being attacked by someone who we trusted. Who I trusted. I was stupid to think he ever cared about me. My family and pack died from my stupidity. And I knew if I got away, my life would never be the same.
As soon as the warriors guarding the north informed my father of the invading army, he commanded his beta to take me to safety. I pleaded with him to let me stay, to fight along his side but he knew I wouldn’t stand a chance. I wasn’t even old enough to shift yet.
My father’s beta carried me, kicking and screaming as he ran away from my family and his. His son was old enough to shift and fight. And he promised to protect my family. I knew it was a lost cause when my father ordered me to run. He knew he was going to die and he didn’t want to see me die or worse.
Goosebumps covered my body as howls became closer. I ran with everything I had to get to the river. If I didn’t make it, I would surely die. I know these wolves would show no mercy. With every step I took, the river became louder. The fast current of the water drowned out the howls of the wolves that were quickly closing in on me.
A loud growl behind me caused me to lose my footing and I rolled off the cliff. Looking up, I saw the eyes of the wolf who had betrayed me. Before my body could hit the icy water below, I shook awake.
“It was only a nightmare.” I breathed out, trying to catch my breath. No matter how hard I try, that day will forever haunt my dreams.
Looking at the clock beside my bed, I groaned. I was due to get up in half an hour. With no chance of going back to sleep, I threw off my blanket and climbed out of bed. My body was stiff and sore from the tension of my dream but I needed to work off this anxious energy. Before dressing for my morning run, I left my room and walked down the hallway to peek into my son’s room. I let out a silent sigh of relief when I found he was still asleep. He was safe and that’s all that mattered.
I quietly went back to my room to get changed for my early morning run. When I was dressed, I put in my earbuds and started my music before pocketing my phone. Leaving the house, I made sure to lock the door. I had my wolf to protect me but my son wasn’t old enough to shift yet.
I had run a lap around the neighborhood before Channing, my son, joined me. We did this every morning before he went to school and I went to work. I was still so lost in my nightmare of last night. The run did nothing to ease my anxiety.
“Couldn’t sleep?” He asked when I removed one of the earbuds.
“I woke up early and decided to get an extra lap in,” I told him. He gave me a nod and we ran in comfortable silence. We didn’t need to speak to enjoy each other’s company.
Unlike most parents, I don’t keep secrets from him. He knows about his father and why he isn’t in our lives. His father is also my fated mate. And even though I was only seventeen and unmarked, I still got pregnant. It was my first time. And it was only after I had run did I found out I was pregnant. That’s when I knew he was my fated mate.
He was also only seventeen at the time and wouldn’t have known I was his fated. He probably still doesn’t. The last I heard was he had found his Luna a few months after the attack and they have a son. Not that his life has anything to do with mine. I may despise my mate but I love my son with everything I have. Even though life in a human city hasn’t been easy, keeping him was the best decision I ever made.
“Mom, are you sure everything is okay?” Channing asked me as I handed him a bottle of water. We had finished a lap together before heading home to get ready for our day.
“I’m okay, sweetie. And it’s my job to worry about you,” I scolded with a smirk.
“I’m a seventeen-year-old high school student, what’s there to worry about?” He chuckled.
“One, if you don’t start getting ready, you’ll be late for school.”
He cursed when he looked at the clock on the stove. He took off upstairs, leaving me in the kitchen, chuckling and shaking my head. I quickly followed his lead, I needed to get ready so I could drop him at school before I headed to the office.
It never takes me long to get ready. I keep it work formal but I would rather work from home in my pajamas. After I showered, I styled my shoulder-length blonde hair, letting it dry in waves. Applying very little makeup, I didn’t go to work to impress anyone, I was there to make sure my son had everything he needed and more. I do enjoy my job and I’ve worked hard to be where I’m at but it wasn’t my life.
When I was ready, Channing was waiting at the front door for me. The school year only had a few more weeks and then it would be just us for the summer. I was planning on taking some time off before his last year of high school and his hockey season started. Life was always busy for us so I needed to slow down and enjoy the time I had left before he went off to college.
“Ready?” He asked, handing me my bags.
“Yep, let’s go.”