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Her Viking Wolves(9)

By:Theodora Taylor

“Don’t you dare,” I hiss. “Don’t you dare reduce everything Iggle and I have achieved to some kind of sexual relationship. I’ve never lied to you about her. A: she’s way too young for me. And B: she’s my friend and lead programmer. That’s all. And C: why didn’t you tell me?”

“Tell you what?” Dad asks, not looking as sure in his “I’m the fucking Alpha here” stance as he did a few moments ago.

I fold my arms across my large chest and almost manage to speak clearly and look him in the eye as I ask, “If you were so sure I had something going with Iggle, why didn’t just you tell me about this plan of yours to get an heir for your throne through the magic of modern medicine?”

My father’s silence tells me everything I already suspected.

Of course he hadn’t planned on telling me. If I was a lesbian, he didn’t want to know. And if I wasn’t, he just wanted me to shut up and go along with the program anyway. In any case, they hadn’t wanted to risk me finding out.

“Wow, Dad,” I say. “I always thought you didn’t like me because I was too much like my mother. But now I see it’s because I just wasn’t a good enough pawn in your kingdom games. I’m glad I finally know how little you think of me.”

“Tiara…” Dad starts.

“No. Don’t Tiara me!” I answer angrily. “I might be a terrible princess, but I’ve been a good daughter. For years, I’ve squashed every anti-social instinct I have in order to attend pack parties and act like I’m remotely interested in being the Dark Wolf princess. I got the Dark Wolf mark. I even got engaged just like you wanted me to. But this…this thing you arranged behind my back with Clyde and Kyle and God knows who else? That isn’t something I can forgive. Like ever, Dad.”#p#分页标题#e#

“Tee,” he says, like I’m a child blowing everything out of proportion. “Don’t be so—”

“Don’t call me dramatic!” I nearly scream.

Because Dad’s right about a lot of things: my weirdness, my undateability, a lot of things. But he is dead wrong about this.

And maybe he gets that a little, because he says, “Look, I’ll go downstairs and tell everybody you got a headache or something. I’ll let you sleep on it. Kyle’s a good prince. And he’s willing to put up with…” Dad seems to struggle for the right word and settles for, “…you. You’ll see that in the morning.”

It feels like a command. My Alpha King telling me to go to sleep and get my head right with marrying a gay wolf, just like he told me to make sure my face stayed fixed when I got the Dark Wolf brand burned into my back.

My mother hadn’t cried. Evelyn hadn’t cried. Neither his sister nor his brother cried. Clyde hadn’t cried. Dad expected the same of me. To be a good Greenwolf. To put my feelings aside and fall in line. Even for a gay fiancé.

Then, as if to prove how far he’s got me shoved under his thumb, he doesn’t bother to wait for my answer. Just leaves out my rooms. Sure as shit that I’ll do exactly what he wants just like I always have. From getting the Dark Wolf brand to accepting Kyle’s proposal.

In fact, I remember how that proposal went down with new eyes as I watch Dad walk out of my rooms. Dad drawing me aside at Thanksgiving and informing me that Kyle asked him for my hand in marriage. Me saying “For real?” because Kyle and I had had fun on our dates, and we’d enjoyed playing my video games together, but our relationship had not felt like much more than that.

“Yeah, for real,” he’d answered. “And I expect you to say yes.”

So I had with a mixture of bafflement and “okay, I guess this is happening.”

What an idiot I’d been. What. A. Freaking. Idiot.

The door closes behind my father with a final click.

And for a moment, everything in my life feels as dark as a Game Over screen, lit only by the larger than life image of the red-haired Viking surrounded by dragons on my LED screen.

But then…something in me reboots. A hard reset unlike anything I’ve ever known, with three simple words flashing inside my mind: “Not this time.”

* * *

Soooo…my Alaska cousins probably weren’t expecting to see me for their annual Christmas party. For one thing, none of the Detroit royals have ever attended any of their annual Christmas parties. Or even gone to Alaska, as long as we’re on that subject. We always make them come to us in Detroit where, “Ain’t nobody gonna get ate up by a bear,” as Dad puts it.