I was hyperventilating. There was only about fifteen minutes left before my wedding was due to start and Tyler still was not there. I knew where he was; everyone in his family knew where he was. Today, of all days, was the day Devlin called him out. They were fighting, probably in the woods, over me. At least that was what Devlin had said when he'd climbed in my window early that morning.
"Get out!" I had yelled, pulling the blankets tightly around myself.
He had walked purposefully to my side and got down on one knee. "Look, I know you don't like me. I get that. And I also get that you don't that I have to challenge your fiancé for control of his pack, which is my birthright. But I've been thinking a lot since our little encounter," he looked at me pointedly and continued, "and I want you to know I'm no longer fighting for revenge. I want you."
My mouth dropped open in shock. "You can't want me. You don't know me."
He smirked. "I don't need to. I can smell it on you; we are meant to be together. Just think about it. I'm calling him out today. One of us will be waiting for you by that preacher. Will you agree to marry whoever wins?"
I looked away from him, dread clouding my heart. Then I shook my head. "If it's not Tyler, I'm not getting married. Ever." I looked up at him and locked gazes with him.
The determination and hope in his eyes dimmed into hate and pain. "Fine. I'll do what I have to to change your mind later." He got up gruffly and kissed me harshly on the lips. Then he was out the window and gone in the early morning darkness.
Now, I was scared stupid, almost throwing up in my nervousness. I wanted it to be Tyler. I needed it to be Tyler. But I couldn't shake the feeling that something bad would happen.
I heard the music starting and Denise took one last look back at me. That meant the groom was here. She walked over and squeezed my arm gently. "It'll be fine, sweetheart. Have faith." Then she took the arm of the usher who was walking her to her seat. My mom went next, tears in her eyes, as she gave me a quick hug and followed Denise's lead.
Karen hugged me close to her. "You're so beautiful. He's so lucky!"
She had no idea that Tyler might not be up there waiting for me. Another deep breath and my dad was at my side, taking my arm and leading me toward the grassy area where everyone was waiting. I closed my eyes as we walked.
Here goes nothing, I thought as I opened my eyes, hoping for the best but expecting the worst.
I spun around under the canopy, laughing lightly. Tyler smiled down at me, pulling me tightly to him. He nuzzled into my hair, his warm breath exciting me.
"God, you were beautiful walking toward me today," he murmured.
"I was so relieved that it was you up there. I was so scared it was going to be Devlin." I squeezed him tighter.
Tyler's face darkened slightly. "No faith?"
I giggled at his best evil look. "I had faith, but I've always been a worrier. Get used to it." I ran my fingers through his hair, leaning my forehead against his. "Are our kids going to be?"
Tyler nodded. "More than likely just the boys. It tends to be a guy thing." He shrugged. "We'll be okay."
"And hope for girls," I whispered, sticking out my tongue. The duel had scared me more than I let on and I really didn't want to see my sons fighting for leadership of the pack.
"They won't fight, Madeline. They'll grow up knowing the oldest will get the role of Alpha. And if for some reason the oldest doesn't want it, then the next oldest will get it. We'll be okay."
I smiled at him. "Okay." My smile faded as I remembered Devlin's face that morning as he declared his love for me. "He told me he loved me."
Tyler nodded. "He told me too. For what it's worth, I think in his own sick twisted way, he did love you. He just wanted to hurt me more."
"Was it quick?" I ran my finger over the light scar by his eye. I knew it was from the fight and it had healed quickly; Tyler had told me earlier that werewolves heal quickly, so at least he was semi-respectable looking for the wedding.
Tyler sighed, twirling me around. "As quick as can be expected. But then again, I had a previous engagement."
My smile returned as I nuzzled into his neck. "Good." I kissed him softly. We danced in slow circles for several more moments. "Are we going to live happily ever after now?"
Tyler laughed, the hunger for me growing in his eyes. "I hope so."
Outside in the shadows, I saw movement. It looked to be the size of a dog, and it was staring in the window. I furrowed my eyes to get a better look, but it was gone as soon as it had appeared. I shook my head, thinking I had imagined it. I also believed myself to be imagining the lone wolf's howl in the distance over the music; after all, the truth would probably just ruin my wedding reception.
A/N: The end! Maybe I'll write a sequel. I'm sorry if this seems rushed. I really wanted to finish it because I'm considering writing a book and I wanted you guys to get the end of your story before I got into all of that. For what it's worth, I didn't rush, I just didn't think it was appropriate to have Maddie at the fight; Tyler wouldn't want her there seeing all the carnage.