Read Hybrid Aria by Jessica Hall Chapter 58
NEARLY 12 YEARS LATER
I watched as my sister chased after the kids. She was an excellent mother, a little overbearing at times and always so watchful of everything they did, including me. I couldn’t get anything past her. When she had her firstborn, a inlittle boy, they named him Ryker. I could tell her life was moving on for the better. When the twins came along, Arial and Lana, I was ten and decided to move back in with my father. Aria had enough on her plate with running the Pack and looking after the kids.
I often felt guilty about her being forced to raise me, but at the same time, I’m glad she did. I knew I never would have made it to adulthood without her. My father and I have now built a bond the way it should have been in the beginning, although I also class Reid as my father, giving me two.
When the twins were born, I felt a little out of place. Life moved on, yet I stayed the same, only growing older. My life has been thrown into chaos since my wolf and I never had a chance to bond, having been forced to shift so young.
For years Aria, my father, and Reid tried to help me learn how to control her, but nothing we did worked, and eventually, we gave up trying. When she had control, it was hard taking it back from her. My wolf was completely altered, and I don’t think I will ever be able to let her out willingly. She can’t be trusted.
I knew I was a danger to my nieces and nephew, so I made the decision to leave. It was safer that way. Aria and Reid tried to get me to stay, but I couldn’t put that burden and worry on them. Aria thinks she owes it to me to fix me, but she doesn’t realise she doesn’t actually owe me anything, if anything, I owe her for throwing her life away for me. For everything she has done. I still occasionally stay with them. Still see them almost daily, I just hate not being at home.
Most of the wolves of my father’s Pack house are older, and if I lose control, I know they can take me down if needed. I won’t risk that here with the kids present. I would never forgive myself if I hurt one of them.
As I walked through the clearing towards where Aria was playing on the swings with the kids, she looked up, a smile lighting up her face. I waved heading toward them.
Ryker, seeing me, jumped off the swing mid-air running towards me despite the panicked look his mother gave him. He was eleven now and looked so much like his father with his black hair and silver eyes. The girls had black curly hair, but their mother’s amber eyes. Ryker threw himself into my arms. Catching him, we tumbled backwards onto the grass.
“Aunty, Aunty,” he squealed. I hugged him tight, smelling his hair. He always smelt of cinnamon. Aria comes over, standing over the pair of us looking down at the pair of us on the grass.
“Ryker, what have I said about jumping off the swings like that? You could have hurt yourself.” Ryker rolled his eyes, and I smiled before giving him a wink. He was a wild child, always up to mischief. Maybe he gets that from me.
Aria held her hand out, and I grabbed it, letting her pull me to my feet. She embraced me in a hug before holding me at arm’s length, her judging eyes penetrating as she gave me the once over.
“You’ve been partying again. You know you need to stop this, you’re about to take over the Black Moon Pack. It’s time to grow up, Lily.”
I sighed the same lecture every f*****g time. Doesn’t she get sick of giving the same speech?
“Don’t roll your eyes, you know I’m right. You are about to meet the new Alpha of the Crescent Pack today, and you smell like a brewery,” she scolded.
“Fine, I will change, okay?” I left out the part that my father, Reid, and I had been in discussion already about me standing down. I don’t want the Alpha position. I know with my wolf, I can’t be Alpha. Aria doesn’t know this. I think she knows something is up. We have been waiting to let her know, deciding to come out at the meeting. I knew she would pitch a fit. But we have a plan, and today she will find out about it.
“I have already met Alpha Damien, and I don’t care what anyone thinks. My life, my body, I will do what I like, Aria,” I argued back. She went to say something, but I beat her to it.
“But if it makes you feel any better, I will change, okay?” She looked tired, the kids and I suppose the stress of me has caused her many sleepless nights. Yet she still looked the same, no different, never aging along with Reid. Even the other Pack members aged slower than most because of the link to her.
Aria having Vampire and Lycan blood had its advantages. My sister was a pure Hybrid. The second last of her kind, her father was born from an original Vampire and a Lycan, we only found all this out when her father came back into her life when I was six, when the Hunters attacked and destroyed everything including me.
As I walked back into the Blood Moon Pack house, I made my way upstairs to Aria’s room on the top floor. As I was walking up the stairs, I saw Amber, my best friend and accomplice, although I feel Zane sometimes wishes I weren’t such a bad influence on his daughter with my wild ways and partying.
“Lil, are you here for the meeting?” She called out to me.
“Yep, come upstairs with me, Aria wants me to change,” I said, rolling my eyes. She walked up the stairs a knowing smile on her face, she had also been scolded a few nights before for sneaking in late. Her father Zane and the Beta of the Blood Moon Pack gave us a stern talking to, then he rang my father like he was going to do anything. I only have to bat my lashes and dad was wrapped around my finger. I know he doesn’t like punishing me because of my childhood, so why not play on it.
“Where’s your father?” I asked nervously.
“Probably off with Wendy, doing something,,” she said.
Wendy and Zane both lost their mates in the war with the Hunters. A few years later we were shocked to find out they had been granted second chance mates. Our shock getting stronger when they announced they were getting married and were each other’s second chance Mates. Amber was upset at first, no one could replace her mother, but Wendy was a great stepmother and helped raise her, so eventually, she came to see it as a good thing.
When we got upstairs to Aria’s room, I walked in not expecting to see Reid getting dressed.
“S**t sorry Alpha,” I said as he was standing only in his black pants, hispants, his shirt still undone as he quickly buttoned it up.
“All good Lily, you know where her closet is,” he said, pointing to it in the corner of the room. Aria must have warned him I was on my way up.
“You’re not gonna scold me, too, are you? Because if you are, I will rock up like this,” I said cheekily. Reid smiled.
“No, I’m sure Aria will give you enough s**t. Are you ready for today?”
“Yep, just want to get it over with and then bail, you can deal with Aria.” I stated.
“She will come around eventually. What about meeting Alpha Damien? You haven’t seen him in twelve years, and I know your father had that falling out with him last year.”
“That’s dad’s business, not mine. I don’t care for this Alpha Damien. I will just be glad when I don’t have to keep going to all these Alpha meetings.”
He nodded. “Amber, get your father to meet me in the boardroom please,” he said, walking over and kissing my head in a fatherly way. Amber quickly left, obviously feeling awkward with Reid getting dressed in front of her. Not that nudity was a big thing with werewolves, and he had pants on so besides his masculine chest you couldn’t really see anything.
“Get ready, the other Alphas will be here soon. I know they won’t like it when they find out that my Pack will be bigger than theirs once you hand the Pack over to me, so prepare yourself.” He left the room, and I walked into the closet.
One thing I loved was Aria’s sense of style. I was always borrowing her clothes, it annoyed her sometimes. I rummaged through and grabbed out a pair of jeans and a shirt before throwing on one of her black leather jackets before putting my sneakers back on. Looking in the mirror, I felt I looked decent enough, and no way was I letting Aria dress me, she would have made me wear a dress. But looking in the mirror, I looked great. I was tall, not freakishly tall but taller than Aria, my long blonde hair falling in waves down my back to my waist, then there were the eyes which is what most people saw straight away, I had hoped they would go back to normal. I hated them, people always stared, not that they would ever say anything with my father’s presence. Yet, they made me self-conscious, you could tell there was something wrong with me, no matter how hard I try to pretend I am okay. I know what people call me.
Unhinged. They aren’t wrong, though. So, I have learnt to accept it. My half amber half sapphire eyes staring back at me are a constant reminder of what those sick B******s did to me.
“F**k what anyone thinks,” Layla, my wolf growled in my head. She really was a hard case to crack. One minute she almost seems normal, then others she is just a savage, primal and acts out of instinct, we still don’t know what’s wrong with her and our bond.
“Behave, please don’t embarrass me,” I whispered back to her.
“Behave? You embarrass yourself, got nothing to do with me. Besides, everything will change soon.” I wondered what she meant, and I could feel her pacing in the back of my mind. She never made any sense.
“Everything will make sense, make sense?” She rambled.
“What will?” I asked, annoyed.
“When we turn eighteen, yep eighteen.” Clearly, she didn’t know what she was talking about, so I gave up trying to get answers. I walked out heading back downstairs only to run back into Amber, who was trying to sneak off with her mate. She found her mate on her sixteenth birthday, I haven’t found mine. Layla and I don’t think we have one because of what happened years ago. I was often jealous that everyone else in our grade either found their mates already or had boyfriends. People steered clear of me. I’m the unhinged one, the dangerous one, keep your children away parents would say.
Even if we did have a mate, I would have to reject them. I am not mate material. No one wants a broken mate. Layla didn’t agree, she thinks reckonedour mate would accept us. She also said she will k**l me if I reject our mate. Like I said, she is unhinged, to k**l me; she also kills herself. My wolf one minute is lucid, the next batshit crazy. I shake my head at the memory. Amber holds a finger to her lips, and I smile as she and Shaun sneak out the back no doubt to let their wolves free in the forest surrounding the property.
I make my way down the stairs when I get hit with the most intoxicating scent. Mmm, someone must be baking chocolate cookies, my mouth instantly watering. I hear voices off to the side coming from the kitchen. I quickly duck around the corner and run for the board room. I can’t afford to be late; I open the door, and all eyes turn to me.
S**t, I am already late. My father has a lazy smirk on his face like he expected nothing less. Reid didn’t even look in my direction at all, he knew I was on my way down. Aria was glaring. I shrunk back under that gaze before realising I’m also an Alpha technically, so I hold my chin high and walk to my seat, ignoring her boring eyes. I notice the Alpha from the Forest Pack is already here, and the Alpha Thomas from the Red Moon Pack, but the Crescent Moon Alpha was also running late. I sat in my seat. I hated the Crescent Moon Alpha. I heard he was obnoxious and liked to sleep around. I met him when we were rescued from the Hunters and haven’t laid eyes on him since. Only heard the rumours about how he k****d his own father and took over the Pack; apparently, he is ruthless and merciless when it comes to his Pack, which is now the biggest Pack.
I knew he would be pissed when he found out mine and Reid’s Packs were merging, making ours the biggest and strongest in the country. I stared at the ceiling waiting for the last Alpha to arrive bored already. Only looking up when that intoxicating scent hit my nose again just before the door opened and in stepped the Crescent Moon Alpha.
I must admit he was hot as f**k. He froze, his eyes looking around the room before landing on mine. He looked shocked before he composed himself and walked into the room, taking the seat across from mine. My wolf was going crazy, trying to take control.
“Settle the f**k down, what’s gotten into you, Layla?” She didn’t answer and just kept pushing against my skin.