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“Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter,”
“I can explain, I can,” her eyes looked completely shattered and I can see the many cracks she’s tried so hard to conceal.
“You don’t have to Keira I get it,”
“No, no I didn’t mean to do that just then, well I did, I just- it feels really good you know? Like really good and I wanted to feel good just for a little bit,” she blubbers out and I gulp understanding fully what she means. The thought of kissing Roman, of doing anything further drives me wild and its a thought that I constantly work to subdue. The feeling of Roman’s lips on mine is like nothing that I’ve ever felt before and so when I say that I understand her I truly mean it.
“It’s okay, we all slip up sometimes what matters is that you were consensual about it, you were weren’t you?” I ask and she nods grimly, her face scrunched in disgust at herself.
“He didn’t make me- he hasn’t made me do anything I don’t want and I know that it’s confusing for him, I’m really messing him up but I don’t know myself what I want. If I could have the perks of the bond without having to continue being tied down next to him then maybe I’d want to but even then it’s just...” she lets out a sigh and slumps down the side of the wall, blinking away tears of frustration.
“It just sucks. I think he feels the same way, honestly and we’re both just using each other and it’s so fucked up but I don’t know... even if I could leave I know some part of me would miss him and I hate it because I don’t want to be dependent on anyone for anything or have some entity chose for me who I’m supposed to be with. But I would, deep down I know that I’d get lonely like I always do and the only person in the entire world who can tolerate me, heck even love me is him,” she rants, closing her eyes softly as her head tilts back.
“You probably think I’m crazy now, just like everyone else. Crazy Keira, always loosing her shit and everyone that matters to her,” she lets out a dry laugh and I place a hand on her shoulder. “And a hypocrite, I shame Noah for fucking a wolf when I’m so close to doing it myself. Probably because it helps me pretend I’m not but also because I’m just a complete bitch. Harper is probably the only celibate one out of us all but then again who knows? Her mate is so damn touchy feely that it wouldn’t surprise me. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t be unloading on you like this, your not a shrink, sorry,” she reiterates and I offer her a sad smile.
“Its fine, I don’t mind. I get what you’re going through and I know its not east to navigate because I haven’t myself yet but I’ve also experienced true love. It’s not my place to say what you and Blake may or may not have but if he isn’t for you then there is someone else out there that will love you, I know it and if you find love with your mate you’re not betraying me or your species or yourself.” She shoots me a firm glare followed by a scowl.
“If he didn’t work with them, treat me like I’m his, like I’m a belonging then maybe...” she stands up off the ground and sniffles before wiping away the last of her tears, “let’s just forget this ever happened, Harper is probably getting anxious inside and she no doubt needs us to swoop in and save her from her overbearing mate.” And just like that, the sass returns with a roaring fervour as she turns to the door handle and opens it up into what appears to be an entertainment area, strutting ahead of me and leaving all her worries heaped up on the floor behind her.
Upon entering the room I instantly notice Harper sat in her mates lap on a love seat couch as he grips onto her small waist and whispers things into her ear that earns a slight smile to which he beams. She doesn’t look comfortable but she doesn’t look uncomfortable either, not that that stops Keira from walking right in front of them and purposely face planting onto the ground with a loud ompf.
“What the hell Gabe? Why would you do that?” She exclaims, looking up at Harpers mate with vengeance twinkling in her eyes. Gabe’s moment of shock provides Harper with the perfect opportunity to slide off his lap and lean down to help Keira who dramatically clutches onto her ankle.
“I didn’t touch you!” He growls, his hand moving out to touch his mate again who strategically slides her body away to get a closer look at Keira’s injury.
“Maybe if you didn’t stick your big bulking legs all over the walkway then this wouldn’t be a problem,” she snaps and I swear he nearly transforms into a wolf right then and there.
“Maybe if you weren’t such a-”
“What’s going on? What happened?” Noah walks out of a small adjoining room with Jenna, his hand removing itself from her waist as he walks over towards Keira and leans down.
“Oh wouldn’t you just love to know traitor,” she groans out, still grabbing her ankle. Noah’s face is struck by the blow for a millisecond before he quickly recovers and his eyes dart to me.
“Maeve, can we have a little help?” He rushes out, looking at me like he used to when something went wrong with those wide, frantic eyes. I glance over at Jenna who stands with a hand resting over a slight bump on her stomach and look away quickly, focusing my attention on Keira.
“What did you do?” Jenna mutters harshly to her twin who raises his hands and whispers back his defence, the two of them internally battling one another.
“Let me take a look,” I place my hands around Keira’s ankle and remove her shoe delicately, assessing her ankle with narrow eyes, “Tell me if you feel any pain,” I say and begin to press lightly in different spots until she lets out a string of curse words.
“I think I better go and get Blake,” Gabe announces, standing up from his seat.
“That won’t be necessary, some ice and rest should do the trick. What she needs is a little less stress,” I say pointedly and his face firms with my implication but I can sense the underlying urge to comply with my demands. Sometimes I forget what I am to these people.
“Fine. Harper, let’s go,” he quips, annoyance lining his face. Harpers face drops slightly and she sits completely still for a second before hesitantly moving to get up. My hand reaches out and grips her arm, effectively stopping her.
“No, I need help here. She stays,” I order and he scrunches his brows.
“I hate to break it to ya but nobody wants you here Gabe so just do us all a favour and piss off,” Keira exclaims and the glare he gives her is enough to make the bravest of men waiver in their boots. She scoffs.
“I’m not leaving her here alone,” he rebuts, anger quickly encompassing his face.
“She’s not alone,” I say dealthy calm and his hand moves to her other arm, holding onto it like she is some toy to be yanked around.
Oh that’s it, this arrogant piece of shit- “Gabe she’ll be fine. We have to attend a training session in five anyway and she is in capable hands.” Literally. I can see the conflict that rages within his eyes but he lets out a breath and removes his hands from her pale skin.
On her own accord, Harper stands up from next to Keira and moulds herself into her mates hold, his large arms engulfing her completely. She mumbles words into his chest that his hearing picks up on and his face softens completely, a love sick look flowing over him once more as he nods contently. It seems Harper has learnt a few tricks after all.
“I’ll be back in two hours, three tops. If anything happens make sure you tell the guards who you are and who I am and I’ll be right there. I love you,” he recites, his hands resting on either side of her face and his eyes searching hers with intent. After seeing how he reacts I am so pleased with past me for not exploding into a blubbering puddle of tears every time something went south with Roman, he’s bad enough as it is.
“Okay,” she mumbles before flinching at the rejection flashing through his eyes. He doesn’t make a deal to of it though, like this has occurred too many times before for him to be affected.
“Luna,” he acknowledges with a bow of his head before stalking from the room with his pregnant twin rushing after him. Keira’s moans of pain don’t stop until a minute after the door has been shut when they turn into a fit of giggles and she jumps up from the floor victoriously.
“What’s that now? Keira seven, Gabe zero? Someone so damn gullible really shouldn’t be lined up to be our next leader,” she proclaims and Noah scowls, his hands pushing up from his knees so he can stand which only provokes Keira to cackle more.
“It’s not funny, one of these days you’re going to hurt yourself for real and no ones going to believe you,”
She doubles over in laughter, clutching her stomach and through breaths stumbles out, “I’d be the.... I’d be the girl who cried wolf!” I can’t stop the corner of my mouth from tilting up.
“You think it’s funny now but you won’t when one actually answers your call,” he mumbles and the both of us make awkward eye contact which he breaks almost immediately.
“Noah,” I say, the words rolling off as a whisper on my tongue. His eyes land on mine and soften before they land on the mark that sits on my neck, still covered in gauze and healing in its own time, “Can we talk?” I ask tentatively and he shifts on his feet before nodding solemnly.
“We’re just gonna go over here...” Keira buds in, breaking through our moment with an awkward shuffle to the other side of the room where she and Harper break off into a conversation I don’t bother listening in on.
“I heard about what happened. At your dance.” He says, his voice clipped. I open my mouth to explain myself but I see something inside his eyes break before I get the chance. “You promised me Mae,” his words crack and my heart follows suit.
“You promised that you weren’t going to leave me, that you weren’t going anywhere and you lied,” he say dejectedly and I reach out to touch him but he flinches away.
“I had to try and get out, Noah, Roman and I... we, we don’t get along like you and your mate, things are different between us. I couldn’t just leave Ollie like that, forget about him so quickly as if what we shared meant nothing.” At the mention of his brother his face changes drastically.
“Do you know where he is? How he is?” He asks rapidly and I nod my head, blinking back tears.
“He got out. That night, he got out and I didn’t and now he’s on his way to safety. I couldn’t let him rot away in a cell to be used as another piece in Roman’s game, have his life threatened every time I made clear I didn’t want our relationship,” Noah’s eyes cast downwards in shame.
“Do you know what he is? What he’s always been?” I ask and the shame quickly morphs into confusion.
“What do you mean?” He questions hesitantly but I hold my ground.
“That he’s a hunter. Have you always known that he’s a hunter,” I spell out and his face goes stark white, his lips moving but no words flowing out.
“How do you know about that?” He questions and my stomach drops just a little more.
“Are you a hunter?” My words come out cracked, disbelief seeping through the small crevices as I avoid his question.
“No, the first born of our line is the only one to inherit the title, the responsibility.” So Oliver and I’s first born would’ve... no, I can’t think like that, I won’t.
“All this time, all these years and the three of you decided that I wasn’t trustworthy enough to be let in on that? Were you ever planning on telling me?” My mind flicks back to my many arguments with Roman, to the times he has withheld information from me for his own advantage and the subconscious link pulls at my heart strings. I don’t want to compare them but how can I not?
“It was for your own good, bringing you into that would’ve only unfolded too many issues, too many problems. It didn’t matter at that point anyway, when Oliver married you he discarded any links to our father, to our people. They wouldn’t have taken him in even if we could get there and neither Carter nor I wanted to take up his role,”
“Why would marrying me make any difference?” The conversation behind us has dwindled down at this point but I don’t peer over my shoulder to confirm my suspicions regarding the prying ears.
“Hunters need to marry a woman with hunter blood running through her veins, a week after our father told Oliver of his betrothed he was married to you.” I wait for the punchline, the joke, the but only to be met with a grim look. So my marriage was doomed right from the get go. If I could grab fate’s neck in my hands and squeeze until it stopped trying to push me and the man I love apart I would.
“What about you? Your child? How can the blood of a wolf and a hunter mix together in one child without combusting?”
“I don’t know,” he answers with vulnerability, the consternation compounding in his eyes hitting me at full force, “that’s why I came here to begin with, to find Avery and see if she could find that very thing out.”
The flow of punk rock could be heard before we even entered the hallway. The same hallway I sprinted down weeks ago with a pack of wolves hot on my heels. The music nearly blasts the black door from its hinges and I lift my hand up to rap on the door, not confident at all that Avery will be able to hear me through the music.
“I respect the choice of music but damn is your friend deaf?” Keira asks and I turn around to see Harper with her hands clad over her ears, all three of the Shadow moon packs human mates cringing at the noise level. They’d get along with my old neighbours.
I lift my hand up to knock again, retracting my hand back further to pack more of a punch but just as my fist moves to collide with the wood, the door swings open and the music lowers down. Christophers face comes into view and a scowl covers it quickly when he sees me stood with my entourage. I don’t know what it is about door frames but they manage to act as some kind of magnifying glass for any wolf, making the man stood in a Ramones t-shirt and jeans seem that much more imposing.
“Can I help you, Luna?” His clipped voice doesn’t go over my head but before I can respond his nose tilts up in detection and he peers out into the hallway, looking at the two warrior wolves who followed us here.
“Gamma Cross,” the woman acknowledges, “our Luna wishes to see her friend, the Alpha Superior holds no objections to this.” In that instant, the door swings out wider to reveal Avery, her lips stretching into a smile the second she sees me.
“Maeve, what’s up, come in, come in,” she motions to the work lab behind her, rushing over to the couch to pick up stacks of loose papers and discard them on the floor. I turn around to the guards to inform them that I won’t be too long but they are already stood with their backs facing me like they’d wait all night if they had too.
I turn back to the room to see Keira walking around in amazement her eyes flicking over different sketches and algorithms before she looks at Avery with a raised brow. “So you’re like some kind of genius then,” Avery smiles in response to which Keira lets out a huh, “Don’t suppose you could get this ugly hunk off my neck, could you?” She asks which earns a low growl from Christopher, making her grin even wider.
Two buns poke up from behind a counter at the noise and I look to see Ellie Mae sats cross legged on a table, her ears covered in fluffy muffs as she plays with a piece of metal equipment in her hands, her eyes glimpsing at her father. The second she notices me stood near the door she runs over to me, her mouth ajar and I pick her up, engulfing her in my arms.
She bursts into a chorus of giggles and my eyes flick over to Noah whose attention is focused solely on the small child sitting on my hip.
“What brings you all here?” Avery asks and Ellie Mae wriggles out of my hold, running back off to her spot on the stool to transfix back on her object.
“We needed to talk to you about some things,” I glance at the burly wolf, Romans loyal follower and look back to Avery, “privately,” I add.
Christophers eyes narrow and he moves his arm around Avery’s waist, glaring at me. “If there is nothing to hide then you won’t mind talking of it in front of me,” he says through squinted eyes.
“if you really must know pal we need some expert advice on how to have were/human babies, a subject you- no offence- wouldn’t fully understand,” Keira pipes in, her hand patting over her stomach as if to insinuate she’s with child.
His eyes dart over to mine and I avert my gaze quickly. “I’d be happy to help give you any advice you need, Luna, I am the father of a healthy pup after all,” he says and Avery jabs his side with her elbow.
“You’ll do no such thing. Take Ellie Mae and leave us to talk,” he stills for a moment before grumbling something under his breath and moving to go and pick up his little girl who rests her head on his chest, her hands still playing around with an object.
“I’ll meet you back home later tonight, its movie night so don’t be too late,” he says, giving her a peck on the lips before walking out of the room and leaving all of us stood around Avery.
“So,” she says with a huff, “what’s up?”
“Look, I can give it a shot but I can’t make any promises. You need to get me blood samples for a start and whomever your mate is Noah, she needs to be under monitor. I have access to some areas of the hospital wing so I’m sure we can complete the regular check ups then but a pregnancy of this kind could have serious detrimental effects,”
“Shit,” I breath out, my knots weaving in my shoulders already.
“Seriously though, didn’t anyone ever tell you to wrap it before you tap it?” Keira doesn’t snigger at Avery’s question, none of us do because Noah really, really should’ve thought through what he did before he did it.
“Does she know about your lineage?” I ask him and the look on his face is all the answer I need. At least I now have something in common with the girl.
“I’ll tell her, I will,” he affirms, more to himself than to me but I can tell that it won’t be easy for him. Whatever pact he made with his people, Ollies people, runs deeper than I thought.
“Before, when I asked about getting the mark off...” Keira starts and Avery looks at her dejectedly.
“I’ve tried, believe me I have but the only way to get through this is to try and figure out if your mate is worth living for.” A sad truth. So much more than a sad truth because that’s really it isn’t it? We either accept it or we die, which ever one seems more bearable.
“Are there any drugs in here? Nothing hard core but I could really use a little something right now. Booze, even,” Keira adds and Harper tenses, sensing the world of trouble her only friend threatens to pull her into.
“Count me out,” she says and I agree with her whole heartedly.
“No, that’s only going to last you so long and then you’ll regret it, trust me. Besides, your mate can’t be all that bad can he? More often than not there’s a reason the two of you are paired,” she says and it strikes me the wrong way.
I feel each of them look at me individually, like I am the elephant in the room when it comes to getting an unfortunate mate. “I’m sorry, I can’t imagine...” Keira begins, looking at me but I shake my head.
“Don’t worry about it,” I say putting a lid back on those can of worms before they explode any further.
“You know what might do us all some good? Food.” Keira says before jumping up from the couch and letting all of us follow suit.
Going back into the industrial kitchens shouldn’t have rattled me as much as it did but one glance at that spot on the floor, the spot where Teo was discarded unconscious set me off, let alone the small entry way to the human kitchens. The staff were pleasantly surprised to see me down there and they made putting us together a large hamper of food their top priority. That made Keira somewhat peeved as she apparently waited an hour for a damn sandwich yesterday. Needless to say my stomach is full to the brim, my hand glides over it and I let out a sigh as I push myself further into the living room couch, exhausted from a day of travelling around the palace and working.
I let my hand stay where is rests and I close my eyes, my breathing becoming deeper with each passing moment. I teeter on the edge of consciousness when a light flicks on and Roman’s bulky frame walks into the room, stopping short in front of me. My body spins to sit up, my hand moving to shield my eyes from the bright light as I let out a groan.
“Sorry, sorry I didn’t mean to wake you,” he says his tone lighter than usual.
“Its,” annoying “fine.” I push myself off the couch, certain this was a bed time call for me to relocate back to my little room.
“There’s something I’d like to show you, that is of you weren’t busy or anything- I just, yeah,” he stumbles out and I look at him likes he’s grown a second head. Nerves. Visible nerves shine though his eyes and his expression and his words. The guy looks like he’s going to propose and it fills me with dread.
“Um, I mean sure?” I reply and he smiles broadly, taking my small hand in his large one and guiding me out of the room.
“I’ve been working on this a while, maybe a year actually, when I get time here and there,” he says and I gulp.
“Right,” I say and he tugs me up the stairs, my feet having to move quickly to keep up with his powerful strides.
“Its just around here, you know, not too far away, safe distance from the stairs,” he lists out and I furrow my brows even further. We soon approach a door, the closet room to his actually and he takes a deep breath before moving in front of me, our hands disconnecting. The nerves in his face reappear but his smile still lingers.
“Close your eyes.” The darkness that greets me from under my eyelid is a weird sort of comforting, like it is better than what I’m going to see if I peel them open. I hear the sound of a door handle twisting and Roman guides me into the room, my eyes still closed.
“Open,” he says and I do, the baby room in front of me making my heart plummet into my guts.
It saddens me to write this but I am going to reduce the amount of chapters I release to one weekly chapter which will come out on Sunday’s as of next week. So no chapter this Sunday. Before the comments even get thought up in your mind please understand that if I could write all day everyday I would but I am at a point where I need to focus on my studies.
Not to mention some of the comments/ reviews have been slightly insensitive and if I am being completely honest, hurtful. I said in the last authors note that I’m a complete sook and its true so just please please please think before you write. If you have constructive criticism then just be nice about it.