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Her Unwelcome Mate
Ran shook her head. 'You act really well,' she grumbled brusquely. 'Too well.'
'You too,' he said and smiled indulgently for good measure. 'If you keep making such advances, I'll be seduced for real.'
The Beta of Eridanus leaned away from him and frowned.
'Just reminding you that I will consider every interaction between us a part of our arrangement. Don't get involved with me. I don't like men like you.'
Caph examined the serious expression on her face and fell into the endless depths of her dark gaze.
He reached out one hand to tuck a strand of black hair behind her ear.
Where his fingers touched her skin, it burned.
She leaned as far back as she could.
'Aren't you the one who's getting confused?'
After losing both her parents in an attack by rogue wolves, Ran's uncle, Acamar, took over the pack as Regent Alpha until she is of age to succeed her parents. Since the attack, Ran became reserved and ambitious, rising up to the rank of Beta on her own, fiercely protective of her father's legacy. Acamar gives her an ultimatum as Regent: marry a capable man and hand over the position of Alpha to him or give him the right to be Alpha before her 21st birthday. Ran had already decided to be Alpha of Eridanus by herself, but forced to submit under her uncle's authority for now, she chooses to have an arranged marriage with the son of an Alpha. Her uncle selects the fourth son of the Alpha of the once-great, now-collapsing Cassiopeia pack, Caph, whose father wants him to 'settle down' and 'take responsibility' for ruining what's left of his pack's reputation with his casanova lifestyle. Privately, she proposes to Caph that they fake the courtship in order to placate the elders and stall for time while pursuing their personal goals. He agrees to it, thinking it would give him an extra year of freedom to search for his elusive bonded mate and a life of carefree happiness. But things get complicated and plans are ruined when they realise they are bonded to each other as mates...