Dillon's POV: The Explosion

Updated: Mar 28

“I’m dreading this,” Rhett says, but only Caden agrees with him.

We’re all in the kitchen waiting for Lottie to come down from her shower, and the smug vampires—well, River and Warren—are doing an excellent job at riling up the tense Alphas. Wyatt’s surprisingly not taking part, and he’s doing his best to keep Rhett calm.

Noah and I firmly believe she should get to go and experience some of the good in our world. Alpha ceremonies are powerful, and I truly think she could benefit from being there. Yes, there is a risk, but that risk is there every time she leaves the pack. A Luna is always the first target for any kind of attack on a pack.

Her stalker might be sending her weird gifts, but he’s not got physical with her. I don’t see any harm in it.

Last night was amazing. It was more than just good sex; our connection was profound. Even with Caden there, the level of intimacy between Lottie and I was intense. My wolf was more involved, more primal.

The next twenty-four hours are going to suck because she’s going to be gone, but I don’t think I’m going to hate the goodbye sex before she goes.

“What’s got you in such a good mood?” Caden demands, glaring at me. His black eyes make me school my face because it’s not Caden that’s pissed but his wolf. I’m more than willing to go up against Caden, but as a Gamma, I’m never going to go up against the Alpha’s wolf.

“Where’s he gone?” Elijah asks, frowning. Who?

“Probably to get in more time with our mate,” Rhett says, pouting.

I really lucked out by getting to stay back with this bunch of whiney brats. Fucking hell. Luckily I can keep myself busy with work throughout the day, but tonight’s going to be hell.

We all tune in when we hear footsteps, eager to see Lottie.

I gasp when she enters the room, but before anyone can say anything, Warren speaks.

“No being nice,” Warren warns. What? “You can call her an ugly monster, and that’s it.”

“What?” Caden asks, echoing all our thoughts.

Lottie looks absolutely gorgeous. She’s wearing a short pink dress with diamonds on it that glisten in the light with matching jewellery. Her heels add a good few inches to her height, and even with how amazing last night was… I still want to ask for a re-do with the requirement that those heels need to be in attendance.

Her outfit only adds to her usual feminine grace. Still, it’s the confidence she carries that ties the whole thing together. Lottie looks happy and excited, and the look in her eyes is something that’s been missing for a little while.

Every gift her stalker sends has had her getting more and more worried, and it’s been horrible. We’re no closer to finding the guy.

But right now… none of that panic or worry is there. She’s looking forward to going to Midnight Summit to see her friend.

I can deal with missing her for a night. I glance at Caden and Rhett, who are both looking as dazed as I am. We can deal with missing her for one night if it means she comes back this relaxed, this confident.

My mate is beautiful, and right now, she looks exactly like a Luna should.

“I can’t cry, or it will ruin my makeup,” she explains, a little hesitantly. “I worked hard on this.”

“Well, you look gorgeous,” Noah says. “Are you sure you want to go?”

Maybe Noah isn’t on my side.

Lottie’s eyebrow raises, and she gives a slow nod. “I’m sorry, but I want to go. Charles is going to be an Alpha as of today. We’re his friends, and we should go support that.”

“I mean, none of us are friends with him,” Caden mutters, and I roll my eyes. “I don’t care who runs their pack.”

“Don’t be an ass,” she says, groaning. “Babe, I’ll be gone one night. Just one. I’ll have Wyatt, Warren, Elijah, River, and Theo with me.”

“I hate that we’re being left behind,” Rhett snarls, slamming his fist down. Yep, it’s going to be fun to be stuck with them.

“We can’t all leave the pack at the same time,” she reminds us, her gaze flitting between each of us. I give her a reassuring smile when her bright green eyes settle on me, and it helps relax her. “Not with everything going on.”

“I know,” Rhett sighs. “But why can’t one of us come too?”

“One of who?” she asks, and I cringe at the tone of voice. “Because I’m taking five of us with me.”

“He means an Alpha,” River says, and I can feel the subtle shift in his wolf. I’m the least dominant wolf here, something I never forget, because when tensions rise, so does the urge within me to help. My job is to help Lottie, but I’ve assisted the Alphas and River for years, which is a habit my wolf is still in. “Because obviously, they’re so much better than us regular wolves.”

“Yeah, and considering one of the ‘regular wolves’ is a guardian, it’s kind of rude,” I say, getting a grin from Theo. Theo’s been an interesting addition to the group, and I try to get to know him, but he’s only got eyes for my mate. Until they solidify their bond and he becomes one of us… it’s going to be complicated.

She’s fighting it, he’s just content being close, and it has the group on edge. I want to sit down and talk to him properly about the other world about the ancestral realm, but he’s not made time so far.

“That’s not how I intended it, but that’s what I said,” Rhett sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. At least he’s acknowledging his behaviour without Wyatt’s intervention. “Love, you have a stalker. One who has been surprisingly silent recently but is linked to two different deaths. I’m scared about having you leave pack territory with only five mates to accompany you.”

“I know,” she whispers, getting a guarded expression on her face. A moment ago, she was confident and sassy, but now, now she’s back to being scared. I hate the scent of her fear. “But if I don’t live my life, then he wins. If I sit cowered away at home, he wins. Going out whilst being as safe as possible helps me fight back.”

“Fuck’s sake,” Rhett groans. “Why do you always make sense?”

“I have to,” she teases. “I’m the only one with any sense around here.”

“Well, I get why you’re going, but do you need to look that good?” Caden asks.


I watch them joke and laugh as the spark comes back to her. Theo’s watching her just like I am, and when I meet his eyes, he gives me a subtle nod. He’s got her back. Nothing will happen—besides potentially rude pack members of Charles, but she can handle that. But if something serious were to go down, I know he’ll keep her safe.

“Backseat car sex?” River asks hopefully, and I roll my eyes. I missed the first part, but she’s grinning, so it can’t be too insulting.

“No.” She turns to look at Elijah, who has been silently arguing with Warren. “What’s wrong?”

He wanted to be on the road an hour ago before rush hour. Rush hour. There’s not a city around for miles; it’s just packs. Who the fuck does he think he’s going to run into?

When I tried to explain this, he bit my head off, so I’ve left him to his moping. But that’s meant for the last hour and a half he’s been whining about how long Lottie’s taking.

“Nothing,” Elijah says. “Ready to go?”

“Nearly,” she tells him. “Can you grab my bag?” He nods, pressing a kiss to her forehead before disappearing.

“We’ll go ready the car,” River says, and Warren, Theo, and Wyatt follow him outside. It’s nice of them to give us some time alone, to say goodbye.

I can feel my heart rate increasing now that it’s really time for her to go, and I hate it. I don’t want to be in the club with Caden and Rhett, where I beg her to leave. I know my place, in this pack and in this group. She needs me to be her eyes and ears here whilst she’s gone so that she’s not missing anything.

“I’m going to head off too,” I say, stepping closer. I don’t want to drag this out. “Be safe, baby, and have a good day and night. I love you.”

“I love you too.”

I press a gentle kiss to her forehead, ignoring my anxiety. How the fuck does she look even prettier this close up?

I walk out of the room, not sparing any of them a glance, and I immediately shift. My wolf is not happy with his mate going, and since I can’t stop it, we need to run it off.

Why do I get the feeling this is only the start of something?

* * *

“They’re going for food now,” Rhett says, glaring at the lasagne in front of him.

The others have been great at sharing updates throughout the day, including the shitty ass warning she got. That message was passed over to Caden instead of me, which is slightly annoying since I’ve got the most experience with the ancestral realm, even if I’ll never get to visit there until I die.

We’ve got an extensive library with so many tales that I believe are the truth. From other creatures to powers we could one day obtain. I’ve made it one of my personal goals to read through what we have and help update our archives.

So far, it’s not come in very handy, but now that my mate spends her free time playing with the dead, I want to learn everything I can to help her. My job, my purpose, is to aid my Luna, and when I met her and it turned out she was also my mate… I didn’t realise how lucky I was.

My job is something I love doing with the woman I love. Home life is great, work life is great, and pack life is great. Minus the stalker threat, I’ve never been happier.

My plan is to make sure the Alpha’s eat something since apparently their mate being gone means they need to starve themselves. I missed that announcement, and without Lottie here to dryly point out how ridiculous they’re being, it falls to me.

Babysitting the moody Alphas is usually the Betas job, and I now realise I’ve never given River enough credit.

“Eat,” I command, getting up to wash my own plate. “I want to head over to the library to research on this voice, but I can’t do that until you eat.”

“Why?” Noah asks, and I roll my eyes.

“You’re acting like children.”

“Our mate left us,” Caden whines.

“With you of all people,” Rhett adds.

“What is wrong with—” I start but get cut off when the bond inside me screams in pain. My wolf is on instant alert as the Alpha’s jump up.

Our mate in danger.

“Golden Eclipse, now,” Caden snarls, shifting mid-air. The four of us dart off, and even though the pack come out to see what’s going on, we don’t pause.

She’s hurt. I can feel her pain.

If she’s hurt… so are the others.

The run takes us ten minutes flat, a new record. It pissed off the Alphas that we were immediately flanked by enforcers once we got onto Golden Eclipse land.

“What’s going on?” Malcolm demands. “Ev’s furious. Why are you here?”

“Lottie,” I say, and he disconnects.

We come to a sudden halt at Everett’s house, and the disapproving expression on GRace’s face doesn’t make my wolf cower like it usually does.

“Explain yourselves,” Everett says, furious.

“Lottie’s hurt,” Noah says, panicked. “I can feel it through the bond. Something has happened. I’ve been trying on the run over to connect with her, but I can’t. She’s not accepting the connections.”

“Guys?” River says, forming a connection with our minds. I hear Everett saying something, but we’re not focused on him. “I need you to calm down and get over here. Someone has set off an explosion, and we’re trapped. Lottie’s not with us, which is a good thing because we’re under rubble. It’s not looking good. You need to get here. We need you. Lottie needs you.”

“River, what?” Caden asks.

“Please, get here.”

“Are you okay?” Noah asks, but the hybrid leaves the connection.

My hands are shaking, and as the four Alphas get pissed off, I fall to the ground, desperately holding onto myself. It’s going to be okay. She’s a wolf; she can heal herself. She’s going to be okay.

She’s not with River, but he said that was good.

She’s going to be okay. A little bit of pain, but that’ll go away. She’ll be fine.

“Dillon, mate, deep breaths,” Malcolm says, his hand is holding my shoulder, but I didn’t even feel him touch me.

It’s going to be okay. It’s got to be okay. She’s not alone; she’s surrounded by a pack.

Another pang of pain hits me, my wolf screaming in my head. He wants me to give up control. He wants me to let him take over so that he can find her. He wants his mate.

He needs his mate.

The door opens, and Lottie’s grandparents come out, and although I can hear them all talking, I can’t understand the words that are being said. I trust that they can come up with a plan.

I trust that they know what they’re doing.

I said it was okay for her to go. I said nothing would happen. I stayed behind because I felt I would be better here than there.

But then the people who went didn’t even stay with her.

There’s been a fucking explosion.

“There you go,” Malcolm says. “You’re breathing better.” He offers me his hand, and I take it, coming to my feet.

“There’s been an explosion,” I say, my voice hoarse. “We need to go there, and we need to be prepared.”

“We know, man, we know,” Rhett says.

Grace comes over, and she takes my hand, offering comfort. It’s not the Mason’s hands I want on mine, but it soothes my wolf a little.

“Okay. We’ve got the two packs covered,” Brett, her grandfather, says. “You boys go, now, and we can organise some support and call in reinforcements. We’ve not received word from the Alpha, but we’re not waiting around.”

“We’ve got buses,” Noah says. “We’ll need medics, enforcers, anyone that can help. I don’t know the situation we’re walking into, but they’re our allies, and they have my mate.”

“They have our Luna,” Rhett says, shaking his head. “There’s no pussyfooting around. There was an explosion, and our mate is there. Fuck being an ally. If they did this—”

“Wait, you think Brad did this?” my dad hisses. “No.”

“I don’t care if you’re friends,” Caden says. “We’re not blaming Charles or Brad, but they’ve got a large pack we’ve not vetted. Someone did this.”

I tune them out as they argue it out, focusing on the soothing energy from the Luna beside me. It’s keeping my wolf calm and in the moment.

I didn’t even get time to research the voice. I can’t feel her healing herself yet, I can feel how much pain she’s in, and I couldn’t even do the one thing she needed from me.

She needed this relaxing trip, and she trusted me to be her eyes and ears back here. I failed.

I failed her as a Gamma.

I failed her as a mate.

She needs me.

“Let’s go,” I say, cutting them all off. Caden raises an eyebrow at the commanding tone I used, but this isn’t the time. Right now, we’re on equal footing because our mate is hurt.

There’s no Alphas and Gammas. There’s just mates.

And we all want ours back.

“He’s right,” Rhett adds.

But before we can shift, a wave of energy hits me in my centre, where my bond is located. I can feel it changing, but I don’t understand.

It’s not until I hear the cry of my wolf that it makes sense.

The bond within me wasn’t changing.

The bond within me died.

My mate is dead.

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