To Hate Love

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Chapter 18

"We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them or build with them,"

-William Arthur Ward


Walking with over ten guards flanking my sides is a feeling I won’t ever quite get used to. Especially considering these ones seem much more highly trained than the Umbra I had before, their builds are larger yet more agile, slicker yet more lethal. Warriors from a place I don’t think I ever want to visit.

We all turn a corner unanimously and I see the muscles of the wolf in front of me visibly tense right before Keira skids around the corner, running for her life. “Move wolfies!” She yells but there are too many of them blockading her way, making a swift exit impossible. Her eyes land on me and she makes a move to frantically enter the circle of wolves only to be dried entry yet again.

“Maeve! Help, quick you gotta let me in,” she rushes out and I nod to the wolf who looks to me for permission, letting her burst through just as an angry Blake rounds the corner huffing and puffing.

“Ah, shit,” she says as his eyes narrow into slits, staring straight through the circle of guards. I go to interrogate Keira about what the hell is going on when I notice the neon blue highlights that have appeared in Blakes hair along with a bottle of what looks like shampoo.

“Keira, get out of there,” he growls lowly and she turns to me with a face that tells me she knows she has made a complete mistake.

“Look, honey, baby, love muffin, let’s all just calm down okay? There’s no need to be rash,” She says sweetly, her body angled slightly behind mine. I don’t miss the wince as he lets out a low growl.

“Keira I am not going to ask again. We are going home, you have taken this too far,” he says and I turn to Keira and then look back at Blake.

“I think Keira’s right, let’s all just calm down and go inside, I’m sure there is some misunderstanding,” I announce, moving out from my surrounding guards who don’t object and let me walk out to Blake whose anger has somewhat subsidised in the presence of his leader.

“I thought you’d like it, blue really makes your eyes pop you know,” Keira pipes in from behind me and her mates scowl deepens.

“Keira…” I try to fight the smile that works its way onto my face but the second Gabe walks out of a door down the hall with bright pink hair I can’t stop, “what have you done?” I say, semi seriously to her and she looks to the ground.

“It was just a harmless little prank, it’ll wash out,” she explains and Gabe joins Blake, his face full of anger.

“My father is going to kill me if I return home with pink hair, you have got to do something about this,” he says angrily and I watch as Harper emerges from another door and her hand flies to her face to stifle a laugh.

“I know, Keira we are going home, go pack your bags and get ready to leave,” Blake says firmly and she breaks out in laugher, causing Harper to also erupt in giggles, Gabe’s head turning towards the sound like it’s a melody.

“I’m sorry, it’s just really hard to take you seriously when you look like that,” she says through laughs and Harper doubles over, finding it too much to bear.

“Look, there is no need to stress, I am sure you can go to a salon somewhere Gabe if its that big of a deal and otherwise it is always wash off. No biggie,” I announce and the two give up their angered feat, Gabe more so than Blake who has been pushed but probably not nearly as far as his friend.

“We are still leaving today Keira, I’m serious,” he says firmly and turns on his heels, storming off down the hall. Gabe walks over to Harper who smiles up at him and he wraps his arms around her waist, shaking his head with a small smile playing on his lips.

She ruffles his hair with her hands and laughs again, leaning into his chest as she fails to contain how humorous she finds the situation. It seems they’ve grown rather close in the last week.

“Maeve? Shit Gabe why on earth did you do that to your hair?” Noah asks, exiting a room hand in hand with Jenna whose baby bump is now even more prominent.

“Don’t ask,” he says, turning back to Harper who tries to reign in her giggles.

“Maeve, where have you been? And who are all these guys?” Noah asks, pointing at the gathering of wolves behind me, “Did you try…” he begins and I shake my head.

“No, but I need to talk to you,” I answer and the mood shifts, “Both of you,” I add, looking at Jenna and she smiles.

“Of course, come on in,” she says and I turn back to my guards, giving them a glance that says to wait outside. I doubt Noah and a pregnant woman are going to try murder me and if they do well then maybe I deserve it.

I walk into their room and take a seat on the couch set up near a tv in the corner, the only other things in the room being a large bed and windows overlooking what appears to be training fields. The two of them sit across from me and seriousness takes over Noahs face.

“What’s up Mae?” He asks and I let out a breath.

“This is the last time I’ll get to see you before I go and I wanted to say goodbye and check to see if Avery has found anything else out about the baby,” I tell them, trying not to focus to hard on the fact that Avery was the person to leak my whereabouts on the night of the ball and concentrate on Noah for now.

“Because I was never initiated into the hunters circle my gene wasn’t activated, I thought it might come down to that and I’m thankful that it has. Now that I have the mark of a wolf that trait won’t pass down onto my child and so it apparently won’t affect them either. Why do you have to say goodbye so soon anyway? And why has nobody been able to find you for the past week, are you alright?” He asks, concern lacing his tone.

“There were a few minor complications after the ceremony and I had to take some time to myself but I’m okay now and I’m going to France with Roman on a trip he’s planned,” I lie, well sort of because I am going on a trip Romans plant and technically being in a coma counts as opening time alone but he doesn’t need to know that.

“Minor complications?” He presses, seriousness taking over his face fully, “Like what?” He asks and my curiosity also spikes.

“An incident occurred a night after the trials and I needed to take a little time to myself, as if trail itself wasn’t bad enough,” I say and his face goes a shade whiter and I watch as he gulps.

“The night after the ceremony?” He asks and my suspicion only grows ten fold.

“Why? Did something happen?” I press and he looks at Jenna who nods slowly. Noah gets up from the couch and walks over to his bedside drawer before pulling out a wooden pendant tied to a black leather string and returning to the couch.

“What is that?” I ask as I get a close look, noting the intricate swirls that look like they’ve been carefully burned into thin object.

“I found it on my pillow, the night after the ceremony. We went out to have dinner with the pack and then hang out with everyone else and when we came back it was sitting on my pillow,” he explains and I furrow my brows, looking to Jenna.

“What does it mean?” I ask her, considering she’s the wolf in the room and when it comes to deciphering moon objects she’d be the best at it.

Noah twirls the object in his fingers. “It’s a gift given to newborns in my family. Oliver had one, so did Carter and so did I but we gave all of ours up when the new world began, buried them somewhere out in the woods. I think-” he lets out a shaky breath before looking back at me intently, “I think my father left it for me.” My stomach sinks at his words.

“Your father?” I ask in complete disbelief. Oliver’s dad was always a touchy subject with him, he said he worked with him in the army from time to time and always complained about how annoying the guy would get bossing him around. I never met him, every time I’d plan with Oliver to go to a family Christmas or invite him out for dinner there was always some kind of excuse.

“Yeah, my father. I haven’t seen him since I was a kid but he would always tell me stories about hunters and what they did to protect the people of the earth and I idolised him for it. But one day, he disappeared, became too engrossed in his work and the only person he would talk to out of our family was Oliver out of sheer paranoia,” My heart beat becomes more erratic in my chest as I try to make heads or tails of what he means. High ranking officer, Roman said something about Oliver being a high ranking officer.

“Why would he give you that?” I ask, the dread only growing stronger and more painful s the conversation draws out.

“I don’t know, I can’t figure out if it was a gift of separation on good terms or a threat,” he says and I purse my lips in thought before pulling out my phone.

“I’m going to give you my number and if anything even slightly out of the ordinary occurs then contact me straight away,” I instruct, handing over my phone for him to add in his number, “has anyone else been in your room that you are aware of?” I ask and they both shake their heads.

“We don’t hang out with the others in our private rooms, Noah’s still not on the greatest terms with Keira and Harper so aside from the two of us it’d just be room service,” Jenna answers.

“Okay,” I nod, memorising each and every ounce of information they give me.

“What does this mean now?” Noah asks, looking to me for guidance.

“Nothing that you have to worry about too much. I’ll talk with Beta Elijah and see to it that extra security patrols cover your quarters and have him look more into the break in. The pendant has to stay between us though, at least for now,” I tell them and they both glance at each other, Jenna’s hand sliding protectively over her bump.

“We’ll both keep an eye out and if anything happens we’ll let you know,” Jenna answers for the both of them and I look to the small pendant in Noahs hand like it contains poison.

“Thank you, I’ll be in touch. Stay safe,” I stand up and give them both a warm embrace, my hug lingering longer on Noah before I exit the room with yet another piece to the puzzle.

-

“Are you ready to go?” Roman asks, walking out of the closet in casual attire. I glance over at him and put down the paperwork I was reading through before glancing back at it.

“Yeah, just a minute,” I say, continuing to read through the last segment. I asked Beta Elijah to find out which of the human servers had been assigned to Noah and Jenna’s room on the day of my assignation attempt and unfortunately for me, there were various suspects that had to be questioned. I have to hand it to the hunters for their efficiency, I mean choosing the one day where a full rotation of cleaning was undertaken was a clever move, even if it was just pure luck.

It still doesn’t rule South America out of the question however, it makes their case a tad better but whose to say that they weren’t working with the hunters or didn’t put the poison on my drink themselves? I can’t seem to accept that Oliver would allow my life to be put in jeopardy let alone agree with a blatant attack on it. That tells me that he is either not at the rebel base yet or doesn’t have a say on big decisions. Both of which are a relief.

“You can keep reading that on the plane if you’d like but we have to get going soon,” Roman says, looking at his watch and then back at me. I let out a huff and close the file, sliding it into a carry bag and zipping it up before rubbing my temples.

“Okay,” I say, pushing off my knees to stand up and face Roman who holds a singular carry bag. “Is that all you’re bringing?” I ask, looking over to the two large suitcases that were packed for me when I arrived.

Roman lets out a chuckle, “No, I already have some clothes over there,” he answers and slings the bag over his shoulder, nodding his head towards the door.

“I’m coming,” I huff out, pure exhaustion rimming my words. I secure my backpack over my shoulders and walk up to the door just as Roman opens it up to let me through. “Where are all our guards?” I ask, turning to him to find a fake look of hurt.

“I’m with you and trust me Mae, I’m worth ten times what those guards can offer,” he says cockily, a smirk plastered on his face.

“Then why aren’t you my personal security?” I ask and he lets out a dry laugh.

“You really want me to hang out with you all day, everyday, twenty four seven,” he asks sarcastically and I scrunch my nose up and then proceed to fake gag. My humour doesn’t resonate with him however because it takes him less than a second to throw his bag onto the ground and look at me with sheer panic covering his face.

I wipe my disgusted faced off my face and his frown disappears when he realises it was just a cruel joke. “Too soon?” I say, grimacing with a slight smile and he picks up his bag again with minimal effort.

“Way too soon,” he replies and I can’t help the laugh that surpasses my sealed lips. I don’t miss the twinkle that shines through his blue orbs, or the way they soften at the sound of my happiness but I don’t feed into it either.

“How long is the flight over there going to take anyway?” I ask as he guides us through a hallway I didn’t even know existed, further installing the fact that I have no where near as much of an idea about the layout of this place as I should.

“I’d say around ten hours. We are flying on a plane that is taking cargo to the air base near where we are staying because there isn’t much point taking an entirely separate one but the benefits are there won’t be any stops,” he explains and I shrug, that’s logic I can’t really argue with, in fact I probably would’ve made a fuss if he’d tried to make me go on a private jet.

“Do you even know French?” I ask, mainly because I can only say about three things and his smirk reappears.

“I know many languages and French happens to be one of them yes. What kind of Alpha would I be if I couldn’t speak the tongue of my people in outer territories?” He asks rhetorically and we turn down a narrow hallway, so dimly lit I feel goosebumps beginning to arise.

Roman carries on as if the change doesn’t bother him and I narrow it down to his supernatural eyesight, shrugging it off until the hallway becomes a dark depending stair case. I stop in my tracks and instinctively my hand grips Roman’s biceps, telling him too as well before I rip my self away from him and take a wary step back.

“Where are we going?” I ask, my eyes narrowed dubiously and his shadowed face hardens. Is this some kind of play for him to drag me into an underground cell so that I can’t escape or be killed? Or maybe he has found some way to kill off the bond and he is going to murder me out of spite, which in all honesty would be a likely outcome in that scenario.

Roman’s hand moves up and I flinch just as a light switch is flicked and the staircase becomes illuminated in a bright neon light. “We are supposed to be acting inconspicuous, Maeve, and we are going into the garage. The airstrip is a short drive away,” he says bluntly and I feel like a complete fool.

“Right, yeah, I didn’t,” I cut myself off and let out a huff, moving past him and down the staircase, waiting near the door for him to come. The light flicks off once more and the only thing letting me see Roman’s bulking frame walk down the steps is the small illuminated key pad next to the door. I watch as he punches in a four digit code 2674, 2674.

Roman shoots me a glare that I can see well enough through the darkness. “It changes everyday,” he grumbles and pulls open the door, flicking another light.

The lights turn on consecutively, lighting up an insanely large garage lined with cars of all shapes and sizes, from old classics to top of the range moderns they’re all here. I try not to gape because really, it shouldn’t be surprising and Roman takes a set of keys off the wall and starts walking towards a car.

“God, I cannot even remember the last time I drove a car,” I say as we move through the array of vehicles and Roman clicks a button on a sleek black car, something fancy no doubt but nothing that shows off too greatly.

“Really?” He asks, not thinking through his question so much and he opens the cars boot, throwing his duffel bag in casually before closing it and turning to me with a slight smile on his face, “Well I’m a little tired anyway, fancy being a chauffeur?” He dangles the set of keys in his hand and a weird desire bursts up in my stomach. The desire to drive a car that is.

“Are you playing with me?” I ask and his shoulders drop deflated.

“No, I’m not playing with you, if you want to drive us to the air port then you can,” he says again but I can tell he mildly regrets the offer now.

“You’re not afraid I won’t drive us off a bridge?” I comment and he scowls ever so slightly.

“You’re not building your case up very well,” he mumbles before holding the keys up in the air again. “There are no bridges between here and the airport and if you don’t follow the navigator the car will automatically pull us in the right direction so no, I’m not afraid. You know what, I’ll just take it as a no,” he says and I rush over, faster than either of us anticipated and snatch the keys from his palm.

“I’ll drive.” His lips stretch out into a grin and he nods, raising his arms in surrender.

“You got it boss,” I don’t miss the wink he sends me and butterflies begin to flutter in my stomach, butterflies I quickly suppress.

I slide into the black leather seat and the inside of the car lights up, the roof turning a see through colour so the cement top of the garage shadows us. I let out a sigh of relief when I see pedals beneath my feet. This can’t be that hard then, it simply looks worse than it is.

Roman slides into the passenger seat and navigates the touch screen between us, setting out a location on a map for me to follow before looking over to me with a smile. He reaches up and presses a button that opens a smaller door leading and I start up the car.

The thrum of the engine reverberating through the steering wheel fills me with a sense of satisfaction that only adrenaline you avidly seek for could offer. I feel in control. For the first time in a long time actually and the power that it gives me makes me feel kinda nice. Theoretically, I could drive us straight into a wall, ram Romans side clean into concrete and though he’d survive and I’d never do something so stupid for fear of consequence. Just a thought.

I put the car in drive and move the car carefully out of the garage, moving my hand down to the screen and pressing a music icon. European rock music begins to blare through the speakers and I turn to Roman with a raised brow as I exit out of the garage into the starry night. Roman moves to turn the music down but I swat his hand away and turn the volume up on my steering wheel, laughing as he tries to fight of a smile.

I follow a road illuminated by lamp lights until we reach a large gate. I slow the car down and an armed guard holds his hand out for us making me come to a complete halt and turn the music down somewhat. I roll the window down and the shocked guard straightens his posture as soon as he sees who’s inside the suspicious car, nodding his head and waving for the gate to be lifted.

The second the gate lifts I slam my foot on the gas, putting pedal to the metal and laughing as the car takes off at an intense speed, making Roman’s hand shoot out to grip onto the cars door handle. There is no way I am not taking advantage of a fast car on an empty strip leading to a highway, no freaking way.

“Maeve,” Roman growls out at my recklessness but I can see the hint of a smile he tries to hide as I speed like an adrenaline junkie.

I can’t stop the laughter that pours out of my mouth like smooth honey and look over to see him also chuckling, albeit nervously. The car comes to a stop at the end of the drive and I turn out at a normal speed onto the main road, following the suggested speed limit that appears on a small screen in the dash. The radio switches over and an announcer comes on, making me turn the music down as a man and a woman begin to talk about the song that just played and the line up they have for the evening.

“I didn’t take you for such a speed demon,” Roman says, the smile still on his lips.

“I guess I’m full of surprises,” I comment, taking a turn off the highway and nearly loosing my mind as Velocity Girl by Primal Scream comes on. Not only because of the absolute irony but because it just happens to be one of my favourite songs ever.

“Here she comes again, with vodka in her veins, been playing with a spike, she couldn’t get it righttt,” I sing out the lyrics, moving my head to the song, ignoring Roman as I dance to the beat.

“I don’t need anyone to hurt me, no not anyone at all. Because my so-called friends have left me, and now I don’t care at all,”

“Leave me alone,” Roman pipes in, his voice a mere mumble and I look over to see him actually moving to the music as he stares outside.

“Leave me aloonneee,” I continue and he turns to me, flashing me a grin and I can’t help but reciprocate as I make a turn down another road.

“And now for our nightly dose of news with Kerri and Jo who has some interesting stories to tell us about our loved up leaders,” the announcer starts and Roman’s lip lifts in a snarl, his hand reaching out to turn it off but I swat it away again.

“I want to hear what they have to say,” I tell him, a small smile still lingering on my face. Let’s see what the world thinks about their leader.

“Well, Dan, I have some news indeed. An inside source tells me that the Luna herself has been staying away from the public eye, secluding herself from sight and not only that, but she has been spotted in hospital at various times this last week! We can’t say anything for certain but after such a grand marking ceremony it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone,” the girl, Kerri, I suppose, explains, her theory literally an entire story founded off the saying ‘grasping at loose straws’.

“Well, Kerri, with a mate like our Alpha Superior I think staying away would be almost impossible I mean,” the other girl says and I turn to Roman and wiggle my brows making his cheeks redden ever so slightly. It appears that even wolves are prone to the fan-girling that come with looking like adonis.

“And our Luna Superior is said to be changing the game! There is talk of her attending a world leaders conference and opening the platform up to our female voices! I say a big yes to the girl power,” Kerri chimes in again and it’s my turn to squirm under praise. At least they aren’t googling over my body.

Roman turns the stereo down and I’m about to scold him but I notice the lights up ahead and the approaching air strip. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his phone, typing away to someone and we approach a gate that opens automatically upon our arrival and a man in a floor vest directs us towards a large cargo plane that is being loaded with different crates.

I put the car in park near it and Roman gets out of the car, walking around to the back to retrieve his bag. The crisp air hits my face at full force and I suck in a breath before reaching into the back and pulling out my own bag. I look over to see Roman talking with the pilot near the planes entrance and I walk over to the both of them and when I do their conversation comes to a close.

“You ready to go?” Roman asks and I nod, placing my hand on the cool metal waiting and taking my first step up onto the cargo plane.

authors note

Hey guys! I’m getting back into the swing of updates finally!!! How is everyone?

Please listen to the song in the link because it is lit and I am convinced you’ll like it even if that may be untrue. Also just as a pre-warning, this book is pretty political already, it has some topics that open up discussions and it is that way for a reason but I simply ask that you all be kind and respectful to each other in the comments. People have differing opinions, religions, political affiliations and when discussing these types of things it can become sensitive so please converse in a constructive way that is purely out of love for the discussion aspect and not the hate. Try to use this as an opportunity to look at things from someone else’s perspective and have a more open mind :)

This book is only going to become more political and as its an open platform, I can’t stop people from putting their two cents out there along with it (which is also super cool and fine). But just know that I won’t tolerate blatant rudeness and if that occurs, let me know, I’ll look into it and won’t hesitate to block those in the wrong from this story or try help to resolve the issue. Even if it gets me in hot water lol.

As always, thanks for the support guys! Share, comment, vote and continue being awesome!

Love,

Khalesi

ps: unedited, a minor downside to more frequent updates lol

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