Chapter 37 - Training
My last class is science and half an hour before it ends, I manage to break a beaker because Caia didn’t clean up the water she had spilled on the floor. After class, I make my way to the office so that I can pay for the damage made.
I walk out of school after my work in the office is done, stopping short when I see Vulcan leaning against the hood of his car, I gulp at the knowing look he sends my way when he sees that my science teacher is right beside me. He can probably hear how my teacher is telling me to be careful next time.
Vulcan walks over to us and wraps an arm around my waist, pressing a kiss to my temple before facing Mr. Braxton, who pales at the sight of him. Beads of sweat start forming on his forehead which he wipes away with a white handkerchief before bowing his head slightly and tilting it to the side to expose his neck. No...freaking...way.
″K-King Romanov, w-what are you doing here?″
″I’m just here to pick up my mate, Noel.″ He smiles kindly, easing the tension.
I turn to my teacher who stares back at me in shock. ″You’re a werewolf too, Mr. Braxton?″
He nods, distracted by Vulcan’s intimidating figure. ″I uh...I had not heard that you found your mate, my King. Congratulations to both of you!″
“Thank you, Noel.” Vulcan’s gaze wanders to the crowds of students whispering to one another and staring at us. I try pulling away, uncomfortable by the looks but am immediately pulled flush against his side with a stern look. “We better head home now.”
“Oh yes, of course! See you in tomorrow’s class, Luna Aurora.” Mr Braxton says and walks off before I can tell him to just call me by my name.
Vulcan looks at the students one last time before pulling me to the car. Seating myself, I frown at Vulcan as he starts the engine and pulls out of the space, heading towards the school gates.
″How many people here are werewolves?″
″More than half of the students in your school. Five are teachers, Braxton included.″ He explains, looking out the window before turning.
I breathe out in shock, watching some of my classmates walk down the road, heading back home. Who could be a werewolf out of them? I wonder as I stare at their retreating backs. Leaning back in my seat, I pull at my hair tie and ruffle my hair, which I had straightened today but became fed up with it sticking to my lip gloss.
″So,″ I start, softly. ″Were you in town before?″
″Can I not pick up my mate from school some days?″ He glances at me, amusement flickering in his green eyes.
″No – Crap! I mean, yeah why not?″ I mumble, looking down at my hands in embarrassment as I feel my cheeks warm up.
He stops at a red light before leaning over and tilting my chin up, pecking my cheek. When he pulls away to drive again, I smile at him shyly before directing my gaze to the window. We drive for a while with me watching the trees and shrubs blur into a mass of green and the birds flying free up above in the cloudy, grey sky.
I shoot forward in my seat when Vulcan pulls into a fast food restaurant’s parking lot. Squealing excitedly, I grin at him to which he only chuckles in reply. Hopping out of the jeep, I round it to meet Vulcan at the front and wrap an arm around his waist.
″This better not be a first date or I’ll dump you faster that you can say fudge monkeys.″ I tease, looking up at him with a smile.
″Oh, well this is all I came up with for a first date, I thought you liked this place so...″ He trails off seriously, a frown on his face when I push him away, my jaw dropping.
I stare up at him, sighing in relief when he starts chuckling a second later, assuring me that he’s only joking. Rolling my eyes, I walk ahead of him and pull open the door. He comes up behind me and joins the queue, his hand slipping into the back pocket of my jeans. I look up at him with a raised brow to which he winks in reply before leaning down to peck my lips once more.
He has been doing that a lot lately. Ever since he found out that I have a tendency to turn into a tomato at anything intimate, he has started to tease me every day. Not that I mind, I like the sudden affection from the once serious man. Shaking my head, I come back down to Earth and step forward, waiting for the boys in front to order.
″Tell me what you want and I’ll get it while you find a table.″
I frown up at the menu ahead whilst taking out my purse. I choose what I want, holding the money out to him, only for him to look down at me unimpressed before stuffing it back into my purse.
″Go find a table.″
I’m cut off when he leans down to murmur in my ear. ″I have more than enough to provide for you. You’re crazy if you think I’ll let my mate pay.″
Gulping nervously at our closeness, I watch him pull away and nod in the direction where people sit at tables, digging into their food. Sighing, I nod before walking away to find a table. It’s always packed after school so it’s a miracle when I find one with window seats. Placing my purse and phone on the table, I smile at the kid staring at me from his high chair.
I make funny faces at him whenever his parents look away, chuckling when he giggles and claps his hands. Vulcan returns with a tray of food just as I stick my tongue out at the baby and focus both my eyes on my nose, my surroundings blurring before I grin at the brown-eyed baby cheekily.
I turn back to see Vulcan staring at me with a soft smile that I rarely see, an unreadable expression on his face. He shakes his head when I mouth ‘what?’ and places my food in front of me. My mouth waters as the aroma wafts up my nose. Opening the box, I dig in to the heaven that is also known as a burger.
After we have eaten and exited the restaurant, we are back on the road again, on the way home. I’m too busy trying to beat my high score in a game so naturally, I ignore Vulcan calling my name until he pokes me in the side. Shrieking in surprise, I whirl around to glare at him, holding my phone in his face when he stops at a red light to show him that I have died. He rolls his eyes before accelerating when the traffic light switches to green.
“I can’t talk to you all the time, you know? The gaming world needs me and I intend to not disappoint.” I smirk cheekily when he scoffs, shaking his head.
“I wanted to tell you that we will be training more intensely from now on, every single day and no breaks like we’ve been taking.” He replies, eyes hardening with a scowl appearing on his lips.
I make a noise of confusion, shooting him a questioning gaze. “Is something wrong?”
He sighs and takes my hand, intertwining our fingers. I caress the calloused skin of his hand, knowing he is close to losing his temper at the moment.
“A war is coming. Some vampires still want me to rule over them and Julius being crowned as their new king did nothing but anger them more.”
A feeling of dread spreads through me. A war. A fight is going to occur in the near future and Vulcan will be in the midst of it. That knowledge does not sit right with me. Why can’t those vampires just accept Julius as their king; he is the rightful heir after all. They’re acting like spoiled brats who won’t take no for an answer and it’s seriously starting to piss me off. Because of them, Vulcan can end up hurt.
“Doesn’t Julius have power over them? Can’t he command them or something?” I mumble, squeezing his hand for comfort. “You are a hybrid leading the Lycan kingdom, why would they want you to rule over them when you’re only part vampire?”
He sighs, turning into the path that will lead to the center of the territory. “The ones that are threatening a fight are troublesome vampires who have been banished for some time now. Even if Julius did command them to stand down, it’s in their nature to disobey. And when my vampire, Vladimir, lost control he was merciless. His rule as a king is something that most vampires enjoyed because of how many wars we won, how we gained control over almost everyone and everything; the Vampire Kingdom was prospering. But now it’s not, people are not adapting to Julius’ reign well and the new rules and regulations.”
“Can’t both sides work it out through negotiations? It would be better for everyone overall rather than shedding blood and losing countless people.”
“I tried to talk with them today but they are set on wanting me back, Роза.” He mumbles, parking the car and killing the engine. (Rose.)
We sit there in silence, processing the conversation that has just occurred. My heart aches painfully at the thought of something happening to Vulcan, even if it is the slightest scratch. I know deep down that we are going to lose pack members if this issue is not resolved. But the thought of losing Vulcan makes it hurt much more.
I want to think that it’s our mate bond making me feel this way but I know I’m wrong. Vulcan means a lot more to me than just somebody I’m in a relationship with. I know if anything happens to him out on that battlefield, I won’t survive without him.
The knowledge of a war coming makes it feel like the people you know are either going to end up severely hurt or worse, dead. I pray with all my heart that it’s the other side that loses its members. That may paint me in a bad light but, I don’t really care. Those vampires have done nothing to receive kindness from me. This pack is mine, these people are mine and it is for them I will wish good for.
I’m brought out of my thoughts when I feel the feather-like caress of his touch, his fingertips leaving a path of fire on my skin. “You won’t lose me, Aurora.”
“Then why do I feel like I will?” I croak, shaking my head before hopping out of the car.
I hold my backpack and start making my way towards the house, hearing his footsteps behind me. Before I can open the doors and walk in, I’m turned around by my elbow. I blink away the building tears, looking away when I catch sight of his intense gaze.
He steps forward and bends down, cupping my face with both hands so we are staring directly into each other’s eyes. I watch the green darken considerably as his gaze wanders from my eyes to my lips and back. And then he speaks, in such a determined tone, it has me believing him wholeheartedly.
"You. Will. Not. Lose. Me." Pressing his lips to my skin, he kisses away the trail of tears and holds me tightly.
“What if something happens to you?” My voice comes out scratchy and hoarse, making me clear it.
He chuckles from behind, causing his chest to vibrate against my back. “You forget that your mate is a hybrid, Моя дорогая.” (My darling.)
“And you forget that you are not invincible.” I argue, crossing my arms.
He sighs and turns me so that I’m facing him. Tilting my chin upwards, he gazes into my eyes for the longest time; as if he’s searching for something yet it’s proving to be difficult. Eventually, he leans down and presses his lips to mine.
Immediately, I whimper and wrap my arms around his neck, trying to pull him closer to me if it’s possible. A guttural groan escapes him when I open my lips, without the need for him to coax me. Our tongues battle for dominance and after fighting for some time, I let him take over and guide the kiss from slow and passionate to rough and frenzied.
Eventually, we pull away for breath. Leaning his forehead against mine, he too closes his eyes and tries to catch his breath. When our heart rates even out, he looks back up at me and smiles slightly.
“I just got you. Nothing on Earth can take you away from me, not even you and you think those vampires have a chance? Not even in their wildest dreams.” He pecks my lips again, tangling his hands into my hair and tugging slightly to capture my attention. “I will always come back to you, and I won’t break my promise angel.”
We venture inside but as soon as I reach the staircase, a woman emerges from the kitchen wearing all black and chunky heeled boots. She has very sharp features, smooth and blemish-free dark skin, mesmerizing silver eyes but, that’s not what I’m amazed by. In fact, I’m in awe of her lavender colored hair that falls around her shoulders in waves, shining in the light whenever she moves.
She makes a soft noise of exclamation when she notices me, walking over to where I stand in a graceful manner. I almost straighten from my slouching after seeing someone so perfect.
“Your hair is really pretty.” I blurt when she nears, staring at the dyed strands.
Her pink colored lips quirk before blooming into a smile as she looks at me. I hear Vulcan chuckle from behind, his hand stroking my lower back affectionately. I watch as she walks closer, it’s as if she’s gliding and there is no need for the floor.
Frowning, I look at her in confusion before it dawns on me. “You’re the witch, Jezebel right?”
A soft laugh escapes her as I stare right back, the idea of witches being evil and dark not at all what I’m seeing right now. “Yes and you’re the very talked about Luna of this King.”
I grin back at her, feeling flattered by the compliment. She pulls me out of his grasp, much to Vulcan’s displeasure, and pushes me upstairs. “You need to change into some workout clothes because we’re going to start your advanced training ASAP. Okay?”
I nod, watching as she disappears down the stairs again and leaves me in the hallway. Hurriedly, so as to not keep them all waiting, I throw on a sky blue sports bra with black leggings and black trainers. Lacing my shoes, I pull my hair up into a ponytail before walking out.
As soon as I reach the training yard, a loud growl cuts through the air and a very angry Alpha storms up to me. His eyes are dark as he pulls me to the side, hiding me from everyone’s view.
“Go back and change.” He orders, crossing his arms.
“No. What’s wrong with this?” I ask, frowning up at him in confusion.
He pulls me closer, his hand gripping the back of my neck. “You’re showing too much skin. That’s for my eyes only.”
I roll my eyes before pushing him away, talking him into letting me wear these. After trying to calm him down, he’s finally satisfied when I go back and put on my hoodie. I let him grab my hand and pull me to the training grounds where his siblings and Beta, Damon, Sophia and Jezebel stand. I walk over to the mat and tighten my pony tail before looking at them expectantly.
“Okay,” Damon starts making me focus my attention on him. “First you’re going to learn the basic moves of fighting with the intention to kill. Kind of like self-defense moves and boxing but techniques that won’t get you killed by a supernatural.”
"Great. I feel so much more confident right now.” I deadpan, shaking my head. “And I don’t want to kill anyone!”
I feel a muscled arm wrap around my mid-section and pull me back into a chest, Vulcan’s lips pressing to the top of my head. “I need to go check on the warriors, I’ll be back for you.”
Nodding, I watch as he heads off in the direction of the nearby warehouse, where pack members are training. My gaze slides back to Damon when he moves onto the black mat soundlessly and proceeds to walk up to me and wrap my knuckles. After he has done that, he takes a step back and rolls his shoulders making me grimace when he cracks his fingers. He then taps his ribs and nods at me.
“You don’t have to tell me twice.” I shrug before thrusting my fist out towards his shoulder in mock fashion whilst my other fist meets his ribs.
He chuckles, complimenting me on my hit. “Good start. This time, I want you to focus on that strength you have in you. Focus on it, focus on what you think I’m going to do, then hit with the intention crack my ribs.”
I nod as we circle each other, watching his moves closely while focusing on what I can do to come out of this victorious. I glance at a good spot to land my next hit before looking away to other spots on his body, acting as if I’m thinking of where to hit, knowing he’s analyzing me just as much as I’m analyzing him.
When I see an opportunity, I take it and punch his jaw, my knuckles stinging at the impact. I hear him shout out “legs” making me kick his feet out from underneath him. Just as I’m about to land another hit, he tackles me to the ground making me shriek in surprise.
He pins my wrists to the ground when I struggle to get up, a crooked smile on his lips. “Supernatural creatures have speed so if you land us on the ground we immediately get up, unless the opponent has exhausted us to a high extent. Back away quickly after you hit otherwise you’re as good as dead.”
I huff, nodding as he holds out a hand, which I take, before pulling me up. Just as I’m up, he knocks me back to the ground again with a punch to the side making me groan as I hit the not so soft mat. I rub my wrist as I sit up, my weight had landed on it when I fell. I look back just in time to see a kick coming my way, rolling away quickly and getting to my feet. Damon lunges for me and at the same time motions for Jezebel to get onto the mat, who takes off her leather jacket.
I’m thrown in the air, landing just near her feet so the only option I have is to kick at her legs. She moves so fast, I can’t keep up and as soon as I stand, she speeds up behind me and knocks me to the floor. Letting out a grunt of frustration, I swiftly turn and punch her in the side before swiping at her knees.
It only makes her stumble. I’m doomed.
During this, Sophia and Nikolai keep giving me tips and shouting at which places to aim and what to do in certain situations. It’s all going good and I think I have finally grasped it, but that’s before Nikolai sneaks up behind me and knocks me to the floor. I punch him in the abdomen, wincing when my knuckles ache yet there’s no expression of pain on his face.
“Keep alert to sneak attacks, fighting dirty is often involved in these battles.” Damon shouts, watching me block punches and kicks.
Soon, Caia has joined in and after that it’s a flurry of kicks, punches and almost flying through the air. I duck when Damon tries to swing at me, kicking at the back of his left knee, making him buckle before punching Caia in the jaw and pushing Nikolai off me.
Jezebel comes next, the only one using her speed and agility to her advantage as she runs around the training yard, landing punches and swift kicks before disappearing when I fail to hit her back.
I focus back on the other three, my body quickly growing tired and pain emerging from every sore spot that has been hit multiple times. The corners of my eyes black out a bit, so I don’t see the punch coming my way which soon hits my cheek, making me lose my balance.
I cry out in surprise when my body hits the ground, a deafening roar echoing throughout the territory as Vulcan yells for everyone to stop. Groaning, I roll onto my back and clench my eyes shut, feeling the metallic taste of blood on my tongue from where Jezebel and Caia have both managed to land a hit.
My whole body hurts. This is a thousand times worse than the freaking gym! I would rather sweat it out on the treadmill or lifting weights instead of this. Grunting when I move to sit up, I shake my head when Jezebel offers me a hand, fearing that she will land another hit before disappearing again.
Soon, Vulcan’s back is pressed up against mine as he turns me around, his onyx eyes taking in every bruise, cut and scrape, a reverberating growl escaping his lips when his thumb swipes away the dripping blood from my cut lip.
“What the fuck happened to basic moves?!” He yells at the group, holding me to his chest. “I leave to check on the others and this is what you do to my mate?!”
“Sorry, Vulcan.” Jezebel starts guiltily, tying her jacket at the waist. “As soon as she got better at blocking, we thought she could handle it since she’s been training for a while.”
I walk away with Indigo who guides me to the pack house infirmary, away from the yelling and explaining because my head is really starting to hurt. Gym over this any day of the week, I think to myself, holding my bleeding knuckles to my chest. I suddenly realize that the others have their healing abilities whereas I have to put up with the evidence of a real ass whooping.
As soon as we walk through the doors of the pack house, since the infirmary is at the end of the east wing, pack members gasp and rush up to us, the teens and elders immediately going into protective mode. I can hear them asking what had happened, where is Vulcan, who had done this and so many more questions. Their voices soon rise, anger evident in their tone which is silenced by their Alpha as he yells at them to quiet down from behind me.
I look back to see Vulcan standing by the doors with a hand held up, silencing the pack almost immediately. As soon as the loud buzzing dies down, I sigh in relief as the pounding in my temples lessens. He rushes forward and picks me up, carrying me bridal style to the infirmary. I have been there enough times to know the route and how it looks like, even guessing which Doctor will tend to me.
“Can I go to sleep? I’m...sleepy.” I yawn, cuddling further into the warmth his body provides.
“Just stay awake a little bit longer, Моя любовь .” He panics, walking faster towards the medical unit of the pack. (My love.)
“No, I don’t want to.” I pout, my eyes closing of their own accord.
“I’m so sorry for letting them hurt you.” He murmurs, his fingers tightening their grip on me.
I mumble incoherently in response, giving him a thumbs up whilst he lays me down on the pristine white sheets of the bed. He yells for the doctor who runs in, her face paling when she realizes that it’s me. I have come in here too many times so it would be a little shocking if she didn’t recognize me by now.
Dr Petrova hurries over to my side and immediately calls for a nurse, shouting out a list of supplies I cannot for the life of me remember. The blonde-haired nurse hurries over with a syringe and hands it to the doctor, who in return, injects me with the liquid. After a few minutes, I feel my body start to relax.
Turning to face Vulcan who sits beside me on a hospital chair, I drowsily ask him. “Can I go to sleep now?”
He nods and presses a firm kiss to my lips, telling me how I’m going to be alright when I wake up and how he’s going to take the pain away. I nuzzle my cheek into the pillow, taking him in until my eyelids flutter shut.