“You’re my mate, and you lied to me. You told me you were married.”

“I showed you my wedding ring. I didn’t tell you a damn thing.”

He snorted at the distinction. “You meant for me to think you were married so I’d leave you alone. Why? Didn’t like the universe pairing you with a commoner?” There. He’d told her the truth.

“It wouldn’t have made any difference to me if you were a homeless bum or the prince of a European country. I just want to be left alone.”

Yeah. Like she would’ve turned her cute little nose up at a prince. He didn’t believe her for one second. But he couldn’t come right out and call her a liar. That would kill any shot they had of getting together. He’d waited his entire life to find her. As much as she irritated him, he still hoped they would find a way to make some sort of relationship work. “Fine. But if you wanted me to leave you alone, you should’ve had the decency to tell me to my face. If your ring meant half as much as it should, you wouldn’t be hiding behind it. And you most certainly shouldn’t use the memory of your dead husband to lie to people.”

She glared at him, and her body trembled. “You have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Yeah. That’s what happens when you go around lying to people.”

“Okay. You want to know the truth?” Her eyes snapped with anger, but her scent held a sweet undertone of pleasure. She enjoyed arguing with him.

“Please.”

“My husband died two years ago from cancer. My pack did nothing to help him. They could’ve, but they chose not to. So no, I don’t give a shit if the heavens open up and the stars align to spell out, ‘he’s the one.’ My pack turned their back on me, so I’ve turned my back on their traditions.”

“You’re going to punish me for what they did. Or what they didn’t do as the case may be?”

Her eyes glittered with unshed tears. “Collateral damage.”

“But that’s not—”

“Life’s not fair.” She slammed the door in his face.

Most would consider their little spat a complete loss, lick their wounds, and be on their way. But he wasn’t like most people. If anything, their fight had convinced him the stars were right. She might not like the universe meddling in her life, but he was what she needed. And she was what he wanted.