A Leader Must Rise

Chapter 1: Nightmares


Quick, grab a knife, Sapphire said.

Whatever for?

So, we can remove her tongue.

Don tempt me, Aria said as Kara strutted over to him. Aria glanced at her before admiring his chiselled jawline and his baby blue eyes. They narrowed at the nickname, but his expression was carefully blank.

Aria, get ready for school, Chase said.

But she needs to do the dishes, Chasey, Kara complained.

This is from my parents, Kara, Aria cannot be late anymore. Some of the human teachers are getting suspicious, theyve already called them with concerns and have threatened to call child services if there isn any improvement.

But she was late for kitchen duty, she needs a punishment, Kara pouted and pawed his chest. Bowing her head, Aria missed how Chase tensed.

Then she goes without breakfast, he said and turned towards Aria. You
e still here? She released an embarrassing squeak at being spoken too, and she was quick to leave. She tried sneaking the apple out, but Chase grabbed it before she could. Their fingers grazed before the barest of seconds, but it was enough. Tingles spread across her fingertips, a white noise filled her eyes, and for a split second, it was only them two. The moment shattered as Chase snatched the fruit away and Kara pushed her from behind.

You heard him. Now, get a move on before I break something, Kara said. Arias lip twitched into a snarl, her hands clenching with fury. She managed to duck her head in time but not before sneaking a glance at Chase. His look of indifference haunted her as she ran to her room, not even noticing Andrew as she rushed passed.

Why didn he do anything? I know the touch was brief, but surely he knows we were mates? Aria asked. She frowned when she didn receive a reply. She waited until she reached the safety of her room, mentally nudging her wolf into the present.

Saph, did you hear me?

I heard you, Aria frowned at Sapphires sad and fearful tone.

Whats wrong?

Chase and Levi are our mates; Levi knew when they turned seventeen.

Then why aren you happy? This is what we wanted. Wait, Levi knew when they were seventeen? Why didn they stop the abuse if they knew?!

Chase doesn know; he still doesn know. Levi has kept us a secret from his human.

Goddess, why? Does he not want us?

No, quite the opposite. Levis afraid of what Chase would do with the information, Sapphire said. It took a while for Aria to respond to this bit of information.

Hes scared hell reject us?

…I don know. The touch was so brief, I only got a mess of confused emotions, but that might be the most logical answer, Sapphire replied. Aria slid down the door, tears threatening to spill over. At least it won be an official rejection.

I don think I would call that a comforting thought, Aria mumbled. Official rejections are slightly different from a standard rejection. The phrasing of each was similar, only the word official was added, and while both will break a mating bond, the official loses all chance of reviving it in the future. The only way to restore a mating bond from an official rejection was to seek a royal or ask a priest to seek the Moon Goddess approval. The only drawback with an official rejection, both human and the animal must agree. If they don , they
e physically incapable of uttering the rejection.

Maybe not, but at least Levi wants us. That has to count for something, right?

Despite the situation, warmth bloomed in Arias chest and on her cheeks. A small smile graced her lips, nodding as those five words bounced around in her head.

He wants us, she whispered in her exhilaration but tensed as a stray through hit her, and an ill feeling building in her chest. Sapphire whimpered at what the implication of it meant.

But what happens when Chase realises who we are to him? What happens to us if he rejects us? Aria added mentally.

I-I guess we leave. We only stayed around because we hung on the hope that Chase was our mate. If he does reject us, we no longer have a reason to stay, and Andrew wouldn let us leave without him.

Someone knocked at her door. Aria waited for a moment, and another two knocks came in quick session. She sighed and moved away to let Andrew in. He locked the door behind him before pulling Aria into his arms. She hid into the crook of his neck, tears rolling down her cheeks. Andrew hugged her tighter, picking her up and making themselves comfortable on her bed. He placed the brown paper bag down to gently drag Aria away to see her correctly, moving a lock of hair behind her ear.

What happened, A? You
e not usually late, even if someone turned your alarm off, Andrew asked.

Nightmare, Aria whispered. She shivered when she felt James react to her words, hearing him growled and rub against Sapphire in comfort. Andrew smiled sadly, offering comforting as well by squeezing her arms.

Did anything else happen? You don cry from a nightmare.

Uh… Aria scratched her neck nervously, glancing at everything but him. Andrew patiently waited for Aria to collect herself, but he stiffened when she spoke the words he never thought would go together.

Chase is my mate.

…Im sorry, what? Andrew had to shake his head and stared at his sister, wishing for her to take the words back. When she didn , he cursed and asked when she found out.

This morning, when he took my food.

If he rejects you, A, Andrew paused, his anger and hatred simmering to the surface, Im done. Ill leave the pack, and Im taking you with me. With all the abuse they put you through, that will be the last straw.

You mean that?

Yes, I…I can handle seeing you all skin and bones, and I can treat you like your invisible any longer, he frowned angrily then, growling his next words, and if they officially reject you, I swear Im going to kill him. Aria sighed and lowered her head until their foreheads touched.

They won .

How do you know that? Wait, if your mate is Chase, shouldn he have known on his seventeenth birthday?

Levi knew, but he didn tell Chase.

Goddess, why?

Hes scared of what Chase will do, Aria said. At Andrew displeased frown, she quickly added, Levi wants us, Sapphire said he does, but hes not sure how Chase will react. In his way, hes protected us from an early rejection.

Or he could have saved you from all this abuse.


All right, all right, he surrendered.

…Could you stay close today though? Ive got that feeling, Aria said hesitantly, and Andrew cursed, placing her on the mattress and handing her the paper bag. She began eating the banana as he started searching through her wardrobe.

What are you doing?

Packing. I don know how, but every time you get those feelings, something bad always happens. Maybe Im overly cautious, but if Chase does reject you, I rather leave the instant he does. Ah huh! Found ya.

Aria frowned as he pulled a green duffle bag from the top shelf and started throwing in clothes and other necessities.

What about you? she asked.

Ill pack as well. Chase and Justin left already thinking I left an assignment behind. Ill grab a map too, curtesy of Alpha Jack.


What? Hes not even here. The alpha and the Luna left on an errand this morning. Aria raised a brow at him before shaking her head, smiling wilfully.

And where are we going, Mr Thief?

White Warriors. Theyll be able to provide us with the training we need, and itll be the last place they expect us to go, Andrew said as he gestured to his warriors mark on his right shoulder. Aria briefly touched her shoulder. Warriors are a different breed of werewolf; they
e stronger, faster, and have more agility than regular wolves. They
e a formidable force, and they protect the race as a whole. They also provide aid and training to packs which need it against rogues, hunters or other supernatural races.

Chases baby blue eyes flashed behind her eyes and uncertainly entered her.

Do you think you can betray them for me?

Andrew paused to kneel in front of her, taking her hands in his and said, Aria, you are my alpha. My loyalty and devotion belong to you first and foremost. Aria smiled and nuzzled him. She released another squeak when he picked her up and marched her to the wardrobe.

Now, finish getting ready. Ill drive you, he said.

Theyll hurt you.

I don care.

I do. I don want them to hurt you, Aria said.

They wouldn dare.

You know thats bullshit.

I hate pretending that I don care about you,

I know, she whispered. Andrew was quiet for a moment before sighing, his sad expression turning into determination.

Aria sighed and said, Deal.

Promise me youll immediately tell me if he rejects you?

I promise.

Thank you. Get ready, meet me in the woods in five minutes, he said, and Aria nodded. Andrew left after that as Aria changed into clothing more suitable for her size and rushed outside. A few adults glared at her as she passed, but she ignored them until she was far out of their sight. It was a few minutes before his blue Honda Accord pulls up. She sneered at the ordinary exterior but hopped into the passenger seat. Both Aria and Andrew hated the car, instead of being into fancy sports models but Justin insisted safety over style.

They travelled in silence, both too deep in thought to banter as they usually would. Yet, when Aria and Andrew came close to the school grounds, Aria pointed to just ahead of them.

Drop me off here, she said. Andrew sighed as he pulled over.

Tell me when you get on campus, he said.

I will, she replied as she leaned over to kiss his cheek.

We love you, Ari, Andrew whispered.

We love you too, Aria replied. She waved him off until he was out of sight before she entered the woods. She arrived at the school gates a few minutes later, pausing at the edge of the tree line.

Ready? she asked.

Not a chance in hell, Sapphire replied.

Well, here goes nothing.

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