I rose onto my two feet, wobbly and unable to contain my feral instincts. Locking eyes with Nicolaus I took a shaky step, only to fall back to my knees in agony. I suppressed the scream that burned in my throat and threatened to bubble out. Nicolaus ripped me to my feet and growled low.
“You were supposed to stay in bed!” he said, screaming, tears welled up in his eyes, eyes that looked like mine. Filled with pain.
Gathering my strength and pride I shoved off of him and went to snap back at him but found I hadn’t the ability to talk yet, instead I just growled. I had spent sometime folded over in pain, without knowing how I even got on the ground, before I had slowly regained my ability to speak, Nicolaus hadn’t moved to touch me because of how unpredictable I have become. I slowly cast my eyes upward at him and spoke.
“We both know that it would have happened anyway,” I said as I rose to my feet and disappeared into the direction of the house. I wasn’t walking alone for long, however. Nicolaus quickly grabbed my arm as I struggled to make it back, I collapsed before I could make it. The miscarriage had fully begun, I was now starting to lose a lot of blood and the heavy exertion had only worsened my condition, the wolfsbane was preventing me from healing.
Nicolaus carried me to my old packhouse and placed me in the hands of the pack healer.
“Where’s my daughter?” I asked weakly. I have been feeling so weak lately that it left me with a bad taste in my mouth.
“She was sent to the council's domain until the battle was over.” He said hesitantly
“What’s wrong?” I said furrowing my eyebrows.
“They are refusing to give her back until we face trial.” He said slowly.
“Trial for what?”
“Herald is dead, someone killed him before the council could determine his fate.”
“I killed him,” I said deadpan and matter-of-factly.
“They know. Which is why you’re going on trial. They ordered him to stay alive until they could get there, so imagine their surprise when they arrived only to find bits of him and the guards refusing to say who did it. They pieced it together, however, when they viewed the security footage. There aren’t any light-colored wolves in this area. That and the way you commanded respect was away only and alpha could do. The guards would have stopped anyone else.”
“If they will not give me my daughter I will kill the lot of them!” I spat. Anger surging my wolf forward again.
“You would send us to war!” Nicolaus seethed.
“We were going to kill them anyway! The council is a farce! We’re wolves for fucks sake! We aren’t a democracy!” I roared.
“This isn’t the time for your pride.” He whispered before turning and leaving me to cool down.
The longer I sat in silence the more my resolve steeled. I am going to challenge the council and I was going to finally so what I feel I was born to do, become the queen. So when Nicolaus came back into my room I was calm but unmoving in my decision.
“I guess we’re going to war.” He sighed, looking at the determination that was clear on my face.
It took three days for me to fully heal from the miscarriage, three days longer than it should have but I had practically rubbed wolfsbane all over myself. Three days after the council had called for my head, I heard whisperings about the house that they thought me to be feral and wanted me to be put down.
When I finally stood it was wobbly but I regained my previous grace quickly, I stepped into the bath that had been drawn for me and tried real hard to keep my shit together. I’ll break down when I sit on the thrown, I kept telling myself. It had become my mantra in these last three days, my way of life. But this time I couldn’t, they put me in the wing of the house with the new mothers and all I could hear were crying babies, all day. The sound panging inside me like a silver bullet. I would rather have been shot
My breathing quickly became labored as I struggled to not have a panic attack, vaguely hearing someone telling me to breathe me screaming I can’t. Everything faded to a black fogginess and my chest became tight and tingly, like a thousand bees dancing beneath my skin.
“Just breathe, it’s okay.” When it was over I saw that Nicolaus had me firm against his chest.
“It’s not okay,” I whispered before picking myself up out of his arms, noting he was fully clothed in the bath with me.
“You scared me, it felt like you were dying in here.”
“I was,” I said, as I yanked the towel off the rack and dried myself completely, letting the numbness take over once again. “Let's go get our Ari.”
It took another day to fully reach the courthouse that the council took up residency, where they acted like judge, jury, and executioner. I have been here many times in my lifetime, the first being a little girl and having to watch my mother die for trying to stop my sister from being sold into a breeder program. They both died that night. My father didn’t love her and this isn’t a case of him going off the deep end because of her death, he was always a monster. I take great joy and pride knowing that I had killed him.
We rounded the last corner of the long dirt road that led to the estate.
“Are the men in position?” Nicolaus questioned his beta.
“Good, don’t let Tatiana be touched.
We pulled up to the house and got out, it was less impressive than I remembered. A plain white building with hardly any windows. We were greeted by the staff, who led us through into the courtroom where the five members sat.
“Tatiana it’s only been two months since the trial for the death of your father, and here you are again, being tried for the death of yet another alpha. How do you plead?”
To be continued...
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