At first I wasn't sure what Axel meant when he told me to pack my things. Our pairing bond is straining I could feel it which meant he could too.
It has been difficult being a part of a world that I don't fully understand but Axel doesn't understand mine either and his family even though they are wonderful people are often times extremely overbearing.
"Don't worry about my family Storm they'll eventually come around they always do. They're just protective of each other. Reign had been rambling while we were walking back to Axel after speaking with the King and Queen. I think she was just trying to fill the awkward silence more than comfort me if I'm honest.
Then when Axel said we were leaving I was so happy and excited. Reign had said I was always welcome in the family as Axel's mate but a part of me wondered if it was only because I am Axel's mate that I was welcome.
There have been times where they certainly have not hidden their dislike for me, I still had a couple of scars to prove it. I waited excitedly for Axel to get back to the house, whatever he was saying to his family was his business.
When he said I could decide where to go I had the perfect place in mind so I opened a portal there immediately.
"Wow this place is beautiful! Where are we?" Axel took in our surroundings as I tilted my face up to the warm Mediterranean sun. "An island off the coast of Greece" I answered closing my eyes letting my skin soak up all of the heat "My family and I would come here on vacation from our travels. It would be the only time we got to spend properly as a family uninterrupted, the only people on this island are the locals"
I led the way to a simple little cottage located off of the beaten track, my parents had bought this cottage many years ago when I was a little girl. We would stay here every summer for a month or two and just enjoy each others company. I spent a lot of my childhood here, the pain of the memories got caught in my throat and it was a lot to swallow back as we walked through the little gate and up the solitary path towards the front door.
I hadn't been here since my parents were killed, couldn't bring myself to be, the pain it was too fresh. Axel clutched my shoulder squeezing it gently, he could feel my anguish.
The cottage was looked after by a couple of the locals while we were away; the walls were a crisp white freshly repainted with blue trimming on the edges and windows the front door matching the windows. The interior was simple in design one big open plan room comprising of a kitchen, dining and living area with two rooms off of it and a bathroom.
"It's nice here. Peaceful" Axel looked around taking it all in. "It's not much" I started "but it's home"
"It's lovely" Axel insisted setting his bags down he began to wander through the cottage checking everything out. While Axel wandered around I took a few minutes to allow the memories to overwhelm me momentarily. My parents being gone will always leave a void inside of me that will be difficult to fill but hopefully Axel and I can make new memories here with a family of our own.
"So what do you want to do now?" Axel flopped onto the couch with an elegant grace his arms stretched out along the back, he smiled at me wiggling his eyebrows. I smiled softly back and shrugged my shoulders "I dunno what do you want to do?"
"You?" he winked at me he clutched my hand and pulled me towards him gently until I rested in his lap. I giggled playfully "Sure that sounds fun" I snuggled into his chest breathing in deeply. His scent was intoxicating, it made me feel safe and secure.
This is what we needed.
Time away from people. Everyone.
He wrapped his strong arms around me clutching me close to him, he kissed the top of my head then rested his cheek on it. I hummed in appreciation and snuggled in closer to him.
"I'm sorry about everything that's happened with my family Storm. I do love you though" his voice was quiet and hoarse, the emotion was pretty raw "It's alright Axel it's not your fault. I love you too"
Truth was I really did and not because of our mating bond but because he was a kind soul and he cared for others. He knew what he wanted for his life even if it went against what his world was telling him to do.
"What was Reign talking to you about?" he stroked my arm gently looking down at me "Nothing really just telling me that your family will come around they always do. I find it hard to believe if I'm honest. Seems like your family is always willing to have a problem with me" I shrugged tracing circles on his chest.
"Well there is no excuse for my families behavior, Reign really shouldn't have said anything" He sounded annoyed at her "She really should've kept her nose out of it. My family is always in each others business and I hadn't really paid much attention to it until I saw how they were treating you"
My heart swelled at the protectiveness in his tone. "We don't have go to back until you're ready Storm even if that is never. I'm happy wherever you are"
"Won't that make you rogue? Isn't it bad for wolves to leave their packs?" I didn't really understand all of the ins and outs of the pack life having obviously lived that life before.
He shrugged "Not really no. Rogues are wolves who have been banished from their packs, I chose to leave. They will always be my pack and my family, someday I will return to them but I am in no rush"
I nodded taking it all in. Pack life seemed complicated that's for sure, I didn't know how long we would be away for but I was excited for our next adventure.
Here's to fresh beginnings.