The bond flared alive as jolts of electric energy pulsed through her veins and the familiar warmth enveloped her entire, making her sigh in content. Their bond was complete again. Happy tears sprang free as she was once again in the arms of her loving mate.
With the vile witch and the enemies defeated once again peace spread across the supernatural realm. Abram and Nate ran to Alexa and Lucian, engulfing them in a hug as one happy family.
“We need to leave this place,” Meira suggested, her voice shy.
“Take us back to the Lycan’s castle, my love.” Lucian’s voice floated through her mind.
Alexa nodded with a smile as everyone held their hands together and she transported them to the Lycan’s castle.
Dominick watched as the injured Lycans collected the bodies of the fallen. They won the war. They had lost twenty Lycans from their side and most were injured.
The healing chambers were flooded with injured men while the women busied themselves with helping the healer. While a few busied themselves in powdering the herbal ingredients, the other women cleaned the wounds and applied the herbal mix.
Antonio and Giselle helped the injured and consoled the families who lost their mates, fathers, and sons. The joy came from the victory was short-lived as the guards lay down the bodies of fallen men.
Pain and sorrow weighed down their shoulders as they mourned for their brethren. Antonio went to each of their families as he spoke comforting words to them. Giselle watched in awe at the new change within Antonio, he never did this before.
Dominick and Dimitri were the last to return from the battlefield. Dimitri leaned on Dominick for support, the injury in his right thigh making it harder for him to walk. Dominick had multiple gashes along his body though he was not bleeding anymore the wounds looked raw. It will take at least a day or two for him to heal with his advanced healing ability.
Dimitri’s injuries appeared worse. Elves healed at a slower rate when compared to the Lycans. Giselle hurried to support her brother. She hugged him as a huge relief washed over her lithe frame. “Oh my brother, I am so glad to see you,” she cried.
“Hello, sister. It’s good to see you too.” Dimitri returned her hug with a difficulty.
Antonio was by her side in a moment supporting Dimitri to the nearest bed as the healer rushed towards them to nurse his wounds.
“I am proud of you brother,” Antonio patted Dominick’s shoulder.
“Dominick, I am glad to see you too.” Giselle hugged him, making him go stiff.
He gave her an awkward smile, patting her back. “I am sorry for creating trouble all those years ago. If it was not for me Lucian would have grown up with you.” He apologized with a sincere expression and Giselle gave him an understanding smile.
“Everything happens for a reason. If it isn’t for you my Lucian would have grown up to be a heartless monster,” Giselle whispered.
“Forgive me too, brother. I was too headstrong to listen to you when father offered me the throne. I failed to see your side, and it was because of me, you went through all the hardships.” Antonio apologized making Giselle’s eyes go wide like saucers. He never apologized before.
Giselle whipped around to see Lucian arrive with his mate and her brothers. The Lycans cheered at the sight of Lucian.
Giselle ran towards her son embracing him and Alexa as tears soaked her cheeks. “You are together again.”
Antonio shifted on his feet not knowing how to apologize to his son. It was easy to apologize to Dominick but what he did to his own son was not a forgivable offense. Though it was Raymond, who took him to the witch and Audriana went behind their backs, he felt responsible for everything.
“I forgive you,” Alexa replied as if reading his thoughts. Antonio’s eyes grew wide as she continued. “I was angry and wanted revenge, but confronting Gretchen has opened my eyes. It showed me what would happen if I embraced the hatred that burned within me. I want to leave the past behind me and move on.” Her eyes glistened with unshed tears. Lucian pulled to his chest and rubbed her back.
“That’s wonderful. What you did back there,” he whispered, kissing her temple.
Antonio let out an exhausted sigh. “I feared you would grow old and die like the other mortals, leaving my son behind. I understand now what it is to live without a bond.” He swallowed as he eyed Giselle. “Lucian, my son, please forgive me for what I have done.”
Lucian looked at Alexa who encouraged him with a smile. “I forgive you, father. Like my mate said, I don’t want to embrace the hatred either.”
“Thank you. Alexa, we are fortunate to have you as our future Queen. Welcome to the family.” Antonio grinned.
Dimitri who watched their exchange with a beaming expression tensed when his eyes found a shy she-elf standing behind a male elf. Her hands clutched his shirt in a tight grip as she watched the crowd.
“Who are you?” He was before the she-elf in a blink of the eye.
“Her name is Meira, and that’s her twin brother Myrin. They were locked in Gretchen’s dungeons for centuries,” Alexa informed.
“Dimitri, are you thinking what I am thinking?” Giselle exclaimed with wide eyes as she approached him.
He pulled out the medallion from his pocket. It was her. The she-elf he fell in love with over the centuries. “It’s really you,” he whispered showing the medallion to Meira’s confusion.
“We used to be the keeper of secrets before taken by Gretchen,” Myrin replied.
Dimitri nodded as his heart, beat thousand per mile. Alexa and Giselle shared an understanding look as Meira blushed under Dimitri’s gaze.
“Introductions later, Dimitri. We know you like her already. Now, sit. Let the healer treat you,” Giselle ordered making both blush crimson.
A scream tore through the castle which had Antonio and Lucian, sprinting towards the direction with the others following close behind. The screams led them to the healing room Audriana was admitted in. At the sound of another agonizing scream, Lucian barged in to see Abram and Nate holding her legs and arms.
Abram and Nate who wandered off during the conversations found Audriana and gave her some of their attention.
“What are you doing?” Alexa asked between the pants as she noticed who it was.
“Oh, it’s nothing, sister. We are returning something we owed her.” Abram shrugged nonchalantly.
Audriana was unrecognizable with bruises all over her body, her arms and legs twisted in opposite directions.
“No, we didn’t do all of this damage,” Abram defended when Alexa stared at him with disbelief.
“When we came in her bones were facing the odd angles so we fixed something ourselves,” Nate quickly explained before Abram snapped her twisted palm earning another blood-curdling scream from her.
Antonio sighed. “When Lucian’s beast crushed her that day, most of her bones were broken and by the time we got her to the healer, her bones already healed at odd angles. The healer breaks one bone at a time before resetting it,” he explained with an odd look. Breaking bones, even to a Lycan is painful.
“Huh! That’s what you get for plunging a sword deep into my sister’s chest,” Abram said and before anyone could respond, he hit her knee with such a force it broke once again.
“Abram, stop!” Alexa rushed towards her brother unable to withstand Audriana’s pain any longer. Audriana’s eyes begged her as a fresh set of tears stained her cheeks. “Just because she was cruel doesn’t mean we have to do the same to her,” she said as another scream erupted from Audriana.
Nate gave her an innocent puppy look as he released her arm he was holding. “What?”
“He broke three bones while I got to break only two, that’s unfair,” he argued as others looked at him with disbelief.
Alexa sighed before pulling the boys out of the room. Audriana got what she deserved. Breaking the bones and resetting it was no ordinary process, and it hurt like hell. “Stay! That’s an order.” She told the boys who huffed and crossed their hands across their chest.
Going in again, she went to Audriana. “I forgive you,” she whispered.
Audriana gave her a small nod as her face twisted in agony. Lucian had a hurtful expression on his face when he looked at the damage he made. Though his beast argued that she deserved it, his human side said it was wrong of him to have hurt a girl.
“I am sorry, Audriana,” he apologized. When he met Alexa’s gaze again, his eyes filled with guilt.
Alexa sighed before taking Audriana’s hands, enclosing it in hers. The girl lost her father and her mother was mourning the loss of her mate. Her brother was locked in the dungeon for treason. She didn’t think Audriana needed any more pain than she already had.
She closed her eyes and concentrated on the familiar surge of power she felt within as a faint glow lit her hands. Lucian’s face lit up and he placed his hands over hers concentrating on his healing powers. The faint glow passed from their hands to Audriana, spreading across her body as she relaxed on the bed. When they finished, Audriana appeared more relaxed, her bruises gone.
“The healer will still have to break the bones and reset it, but you will not feel the pain,” Alexa said with a kind smile.
“T-thank you,” Audriana’s voice cracked. She couldn’t believe the same girl whom she tried to kill now saved her from the agonizing pain. Her heart swelled with gratitude and she felt ashamed of her past actions.
Alexa placed a hand over hers and squeezed gently before exiting the room with Lucian.
It has been two days since the war and they were all settling in.
The injured Lycans were almost healed, and they held a funeral for the fallen. Alexa’s heart clenched looking at the sorrow of their families. What would she do? It was against the laws of nature to bring someone from the dead and she knew they were in better places.
Lucian pulled her closer, and she leaned towards him, taking all the comfort he offered.
Dominick sent Quentin to fetch Mirunalini once the war was over. Alexa didn’t miss the secret glances Dominick tossed at the dark witch who gave him a shy smile as she hid behind Giselle. She could already smell a brewing romance in the air.
Once the ceremony was over, it was time for them to leave.
“You don’t have to leave,” Antonio pleaded that evening.
“Dad, it’s not like I am leaving forever. I want to lead a normal life. I will come here whenever I can.”
“We just got you back,” Giselle sniffled.
“Why don’t you come with us then?” Alexa piped in. She could tell Antonio was tempted by the idea as he looked at Giselle.
“I would like that,” he whispered, taking Giselle’s hand who looked shocked as others in the room. “I have missed thirteen years of my son’s life. I will go with you if it meant I can spend more time with you,” he said in an emotional voice filled with love and Lucian beamed.
“Cool! We are sure you will enjoy staying with us. How do you even stay here, anyway? There is no internet, electricity, popcorn, ice cream, pizza–” Abram was cut off by Alexa’s glare.
“What are those?” Antonio asked enthusiastically.
“We will show you everything and it will be so much fun,” Nate beamed beside Abram who shared his enthusiasm.
“Sure, I would love to.” Antonio smiled and Giselle’s jaw dropped at his casual answer.
This was definitely not the same old Antonio. The new one laughed a lot and told her ‘I love you’ every single day.
Later that night, they were all ready to leave. Mirunalini hugged Giselle and Alexa, giving them a teary goodbye. Antonio caught Dominick’s eyes who nodded with a smile.
“I am happy for you, brother,” Dominick hugged Antonio and patted on his shoulder with a smile. His brother now had a choice to lead the life just the way he wanted. He could see the childhood carefree Antonio surfacing once again.
“You are a better King than me,” Antonio praised. “Take care.”
Dimitri hugged them all promising to visit them often, and the pack watched as Mirunalini teleported them back to their human world.