To Hate Love

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Chapter 20

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“Be careful when trying to fix a broken person for you may cut yourself on their shattered pieces”


Roman didn’t run after me as I trudged angrily through the sand or as I stormed all the way up to my room and slammed the door closed, letting its thud resonate through the empty chateau without a care for the consequence. He didn’t kick the door down or plead for me to listen to his explanation either and instead let me tear the soaked fabric that stuck like a second skin on my body and shower in peace.

I don’t know why every time I step under the steamy running water I think that it will magically possess healing abilities that will end my self loathing. Showers don’t fix broken hearts. Sure, the warmth that wraps around me momentarily makes me feel good, and the way it washes away the salty water is comforting but it doesn’t fix anything. The moment I step back out onto the cool tiles that memory of what happened in that water is still there, along with the amount of pleasure I felt.

I think the fact that I wanted it, that I enjoyed it makes me feel worse than anything else because my mind won’t stop showing me Oliver, as if to punish me, torment me for my actions. And rightly so. I need restraint, I need to be able to stop myself from seeking comfort from Roman and look at him through the lens of a co leader, not a Luna because a Luna is built to love an Alpha. It’s a shitty thing to know that my genetic makeup or spiritual soul or whatever has been constructed to be attracted to Roman in a way that I can’t say I’ve ever felt with Oliver but its true. And I can’t deny it.

I walk into the bedroom, scrunching my towel into my hair and stop dead in my tracks when my eyes land on a tray of food in the centre of the room. A tray with a silver dome overtop to protect whatever is underneath. My heart thunders in my chest at a million miles an hour and I take a step away from it, biting down into my lip to stop the quiver that threatens to escape.

My back collides with the wall, the impact startling me, making my hand jut out to steady my shaking body on the jagged wallpaper. I try not to notice the wind blowing in from the night sky, ruffling the thin white curtains and making it flow like a wave in the stiff room but I can’t ignore it. Someone was in here and whatever is under there… I push myself towards the door, inching slowly as to not provoke whatever demon is lurking about, ready to end my life and try to regain whatever slither of strength is lift in my body.

The door to the room bursts open and the scream I tried so heavily to conceal under the fake cloak of my perseverance dissolves like powder in water. I don’t waste a second and run towards the lamp post on the bedside table, heaving it up and swinging it over my shoulder, ready to knock it straight into the assailants face when Romans suited body comes into view.

“Maeve? Maeve what’s wrong, I sensed your panic is everything alright?” He asks, his brows furrowed and my breathing regulates somewhat but my heart continues to thunder. I don’t give him a response and merely nod my head towards the silver domed tray sat on the bed to which he stills.

He walks over to it steadily, that lethal clam taking over his senses once more and I pull at his arm with my free hand. “Don’t,” I whisper, not ready to face the remnants of someone I love.

He doesn’t listen to me and pulls free from my grip with ease, lifting the lid off in one swift motion to which I drop the lamp and clench my eyes tightly. The smash of the ornament echos in the room as shards of pale white cascade across the hardwood floor.

“Maeve, Maeve it’s fine, there is nothing there just look, there’s nothing there,” he says and I bring my hands up to my cliched eyes, adding another layer of protection. I feel the heat of his body as he approaches and take a step back, a wince of pain shooting out through my clenched teeth as a shard pierces my bare foot.

My eyes shoot open from the sheer pain and as they do every muscle in my body tenses as if in slow motion, the chords the shelter my heart, wrapping around each other and twisting tightly only to be let loose in one gush. Croissants. No head, no dismembered body parts of those that I love, no necklaces, no threats, no poison. Just croissants.

I blink and in a flash there isn’t food there anymore and Teo’s head sits on the bed, blood oozing out of the bullet hole in between his brows and blue veins protruding from his cold dead skin. I close my eyes yet again and stagger back only to be caught by Roman who picks me up bridal style as I shake my head.

My body quivers now, turning cold as the draft wafting in through the open air collides with my wet hair, making the trickling droplets feel like ice down my shirt. It wasn’t real. Teo’s gone but his body isn’t in France, we are in France, what’s left of him is in America. It was a hallucination. It wasn’t real.

But it looked real. It looked as real as that night underneath the stars when I was already trying to scrub one death from my memory. A shudder runs through my body and I push myself closer to the warmth of Romans suit, trying to ignore the pain searing from my foot and focus solely on leaching whatever calm I can from the bond.

I feel my body placed down on a cushioned surface and a strand of my wet hair is tucked behind my ear by his calloused hands. “Maeve we are in a different room, you can open your eyes now,” he says softly and I nod my head, my eyes remaining shut.

Exposing my vulnerability to him hurts more than my foot, acting like a complete wreck over croissants being delivered to my room for me to eat carries more shame than any action I undertook in the ocean. It feels like my mind has betrayed me, the one thing I latch onto for comfort in times of solitude and wisdom in times of need has dug a dagger deep into my back. Its like that poison that I drank hasn’t left my system but simply manifested into something new, something to torment me with every time I’m at a low point and it’s scary. It’s scarier than any demon, any werewolf, any lethal attack on my life.

I let out a shaky breath and pry my eyes open, my mouth gaping at the state of my foot propped on a white towel, now soaked red with my blood. Roman walks out of the bathroom with a first aid kit and a hand towel that has been drenched in water and sits down next to my foot, lifting it to give me a clear view of the shard protruding out.

“Let me look,” I say, the pain off-putting but my medical history more driving. I bend my knee and try to reach down to take the shard out carefully but my body is still laden with fear, the stiffness has yet to evade.

“Your healing abilities should be able to take care of this within a day,” he says and I remember the effects of his bite as he does.

I gulp before nodding, “Fine, but we have less near twenty minutes to get into the meeting so if you don’t mind just taking that shard out. Do it quick, I can handle it and apply pressure with that towel you have straight after,” I instruct and he looks at me through soft eyes but I ignore it, holding my front until he lets out a small sigh and takes my foot in his large hands.

He takes the shard out in one clean motion and I let out a low wince as the wet towel connects with my foot. “Just hold it there for a minute and apply a little more pressure than that, I know you’re capable of it,” I say and his grip tightens, making me clench my teeth.

“Do you want to talk about what happened back there?” He says softly, his blue eyes still tried on my bloody foot.

“Not particularly,” I respond, downplaying a traumatic experience to near base zero. He looks up at me and the wince that escapes my mouth is driven both by the pain radiating from my wound and the sympathy covering his face.

“Maeve,” he says softly and I break eye contact.

“There’s nothing to talk about. I just thought that something was there that wasn’t and I’m fine now so just drop it,” my words match my harsh tone but I don’t bother to sugar coat it because the last thing I want right now is pity.

“I know… look, I get you don’t want to talk with me but if you ever want to see someone and talk to them about it then that can be organised. All you have to do is ask,” he says and I purse my lips, fiddling with my nails before staring back at him.

“Okay,” I mumble and he gives me a tight lipped smile in response. “You can wrap it up now, tightly,” I instruct and he continues applying pressure with one hand, using the other to fetch a bandage.

“I am sorry about what happened today. It wasn’t my intention to use the bond to take advantage of you and I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings by it either,” he says as he wraps the bandage around it tightly and I let out a low sigh.

“You don’t have to keep apologising, Roman. We took advantage of each other which might seem completely fine to you but that’s because your not betraying anyone by doing so,” I say and he stills for a second before continuing to wrap my foot.

“I get it,” he mumbles and I debate slapping him to get the real Roman out but instead I just look at him like he has grown a second head. “What?” He says, chuckling slightly, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

I swipe the dumbfounded expression of my face in a split second. “Nothing, you’ve just changed is all,” I comment and his smile falters before vanishing all together.

“There you go,” he says, before standing up, not a drop of blood standing his suit. He picks up the bloody towel and the rest of the first aid equipment, walking over into the bathroom and placing it down before returning. “I’ll have the staff made sure to not leave your food like that in the future,” he says and I nod my head, pushing off the mattress to swing my legs over the beds edge.

“Thank you,” I say and I step down on my good foot, letting my injured one hover in the air. I don’t object as Roman slides his arm around my waist and I lean into the strength of his forearm, basically using it as a foot.

I try to put pressure onto the base of my foot and suck on my teeth, holding back the wince of pain that wants so badly to escape. “You said it’ll be healed by tomorrow?” I ask, trying to mask my pain.

“Should be good as new in the morning,” he comments and I nod, biting down hard on the inside of my cheek and providing only curt, short answers to any of Roman’s questions on the entire way to the office.

We enter the room, the desks still laden with papers, even more so than when we left actually and Roman helps me to hobble over to the large chair behind his desk. He moves to help me sit but I clutch onto the chairs arm rests and swat his hands away, determined to complete one insignificant action on my own despite it being redundant.

Roman retrieves the chair from behind my desk and his laptop and I glance at the old clock above the doorway. Five minutes left. I make the effort to push the stacks of paper away from our vicinity and he places the laptop between us, opening it up and clicking through icons whilst typing furiously.

“Does the Alpha King usually send emails for meetings out without any sort of briefing?” I ask and Roman shrugs.

“Sometimes, he acts on his own terms mostly but I’ll admit it is pretty dramatic,” he answers and I chuckle at that.

“The build up of suspense is pretty good though, you have to hand it to him,” I respond and just as I do the screen opens up to the Alpha Superiors and I clench my mouth shut, wiping whatever remnants of a smile off my face.

My eyes widen ever so slightly at the line up of Luna’s also attending the meeting, Beatrice, the European Luna of all people sits next to her mate in far too much glamour as opposed to me and mumbles to her mate soft words that I can’t decipher. The Australian Luna also attends, looking more casual but regal nonetheless and so does the Luna of Asia, holding perhaps the most grace and authority out of all the women attending.

“It seems you’ve kick started a new trend Luna Maeve,” the Alpha King announces, the beginnings of a smile playing on his face.

“Better late than never,” I remark and Roman touches my leg softly underneath the table in caution but the Kings smile just widens.

“Indeed. Well now that we are all here we better get started. I’m sure you are all curious as to what this meeting is about and I regret to inform you that the news isn’t exactly positive. The councils delegates have been trying to negotiate a peace treaty between Alpha Nicholas and the pack, to essentially try to bring him back under the rightful rule however the man has rejected any offers to compromise,” he explains, his voice serious and firm and I glance at Roman who listens to every word attentively.

“I believe it is of the packs best interests to send one of you in as a representative under crescent law to try and talk some sense into him before it is too late for his packs and people.”

The Alphas all begin to mummer and I see traces of fear line some of the Luna’s faces.

“He is an unpredictable treasonous ruler, what makes you think he has a shred of honour left in him to uphold the outlines of that law?” The Alpha of Antarctica asks, his frost white hair gleaming from out of the screen.

“I agree, I say we let Alpha Nicholas run his pack into the ground for the actions he has chosen to take,” The European Alpha adds and I glance again to Roman who stays deadly quiet, his blue eyes focusing intently, calculating.

“Alpha Nicholas may be unpredictable but to question his honour under the goddesses laws is quite an accusation,” The Asian Alpha rebuts and I focus my attention on the King who listens to his leaders intently.

“This is about more than one mans foolish decisions. An entire pack is in jeopardy of falling prey to complete weakness if he goes through with severing his ties to us. One of you must represent what we stand for as a united pack under the name of the goddess herself,” he says and the uproar of growls and disapproving mummers doesn’t quell.

“Who in their right mind is going to go into that pack?” The Australian Alpha asks and the others agree.

“I say that Alpha Roman should be the one to go, considering it was at his pack this entire problem began,” The Alpha of Antarctica states and the attention turns towards the man at my side.

“If I come within arms reach of that man I’ll kill him,” he growls out and it sparks yet another uproar within the meeting.

“Alpha Roman has a point and sending in Alpha Nicholas’ worst enemy at this present time isn’t the greatest start to peaceful negotiations,” the King comments and the arguing doesn’t stop there.

“None of this would be an issue if the Luna of the New Moon packs didn’t try to force her agenda down the throat of Alpha Nicholas in lieu of his disagreement.” I can almost see the anger brewing behind the deep brown eyes of the African Alpha and its enough to make me shudder.

“Even without Luna Maeve’s pressing I myself would have soon made an intervention in the ways in which Alpha Nicholas ran his pack. The oppressive system he has installed far outstretches anything implemented in other nations and he needed to be pulled into line sooner or later. From where I sit, this was an inevitable turn of events right from the beginning of the takeover and I want this dealt with sooner rather than later. I don’t care which one of you decides to go and if no one can volunteer then I shall make that decision myself and inform the respective parties,” the king grinds out, his annoyance at the petty whims of world leaders something that resonates very much so within my mind.

I feel Roman shift ever so slightly in the chair, as if his body is in debate with itself and I place my hand on his thigh inconspicuously, giving him all the warning he needs not to offer himself as tribute. I’m not about to hand my source of power up to the grim reaper just yet.

“I’ll go,” all attention turns onto Alpha Akeno and I watch as lines of worry sink into the perfect skin of his mate but he doesn’t pay her any mind and looks directly into the camera. I know he’s staring at a small point on a screen but I feel the intensity of his stare boring into my skull nonetheless, like he is directing all his energy towards me specifically.

“Are you sure?” The Alpha King asks and I am surprised he didn’t fully jump at the opportunity to have someone on board.

“Alpha Nicholas and I have known each other for a long time and I see no threat in visiting him. I highly doubt that he will engage in foul play but should that be the case I am capable of handling myself and it will give my son a chance to rule the packs as an interim Alpha Superior,” he explains but my attention lies solely on his mate who purses her lips.

This might not have been the best of meetings for her to attend as a first look as to how it runs, especially considering not one of the females have decided to speak up, myself included. But I think Romans tactic of staying low unless spoken to isn’t a terrible idea at the moment because truthfully I am way out of my depth when it comes to this system. When we start talking about human rights then there is no amount of warning touches Roman can use to stop me from giving my two cents.

“Then it’s settled. Alpha Akeno will attend a scheduled visit to Alpha Nicholas’ pack and I will talk more on the matters to be discussed privately with you. I know it is late for some of you so I will try my best to keep the rest of this meeting short but there are still matters in which we must discuss. I have received numerous complaints regarding the economic welfare distribution act and numerous calls on this to be altered depending on gdp. I have looked into your concerns but most of those requesting change are doing so simply because of the debt you’ve acquired due to bad business deals. If you are in debt, you must pay those debts off accordingly through whatever arrangement you agreed to unless in the case of natural circumstance in which an assembly is to be organised with the council.

“These matters are negotiable but within reasonable grounds, if you wish for financial stability then perhaps train your heirs to better improve the economy within your pack. Or, perhaps shove some pride aside and listen when members like Alpha Roman and Alpha Tiketo are willing to offer their advice.” I look at Roman who seems slightly agitated by the topic but even still, he manages a small nod towards the Alpha of Africa, allowing me to associate the name with the man. Admittedly, I haven’t delved into the deep pit of economics unless it specifically regards to human’s livelihoods not being oppressed but if I am to truly lead then familiarising myself with matters of finance might have to be added to the agenda.

“I also have to inform you all of a breach made to the Caruigah, the temple was subject to an attempt of arson by a group of either human rebels or hunters. The elders have asked for the site to rest in solitude to allow the goddess time to mourn over the loss of her sacred landmark.

“The site was of no connection to me and I believe if the goddess held such importance over it she would have contacted me and pushed for restoration but still, we must respect the wishes of the elders and the council. Whether or not you were planning on visiting isn’t of great concern to me, the public will mostly be affected and the council will issue a press release shortly to spread the story but the people behind the attack pose a threat,”

My heart sinks into my stomach and I feel under scrutiny. I don’t know if the details of my previous marriage to a hunter is common knowledge amongst the elite but the fact of me being human is. I’m technically a human rebel whose married into a family of high up werewolf hunters and yet I am in a meeting with those who would otherwise be my sworn enemies.

Roman didn’t need to touch my thigh for me to know not to open my mouth. “We have had reports of uprisings in out outer territories but there have been no obvious attacks to pack life for a few weeks now. There is reason to believe that the groups affecting us are a combination of hunter and human,” Alpha Damion of Europe pipes in and my mind returns to his discussion with Roman on the topic weeks ago.

“I agree, the two worked together in governance to eradicate our species before and the severed ties they feigned may just have been for show. If they worked together once then I wouldn’t put it past them to work together again,” Alpha Akeno adds and mummers of agreement sound.

“There have been no outbreaks of attacks in our regions obviously but my pack is more than willing to help supply temporary artillery to any of your packs if needed,” The Alpha of Antarctica adds and I make a note to try and familiarise myself with more of the leaders names, let alone the names of their actual packs.

“I think that there is a simple solution to all of this that you are all collectively failing to see.” I announce, pushing Romans hand gently off my thigh and attracting the attention of each individual leader.

“And what is that Luna Maeve?” The king asks, intrigue lining his face.

“Warfare isn’t the solution to stopping rebel attacks nor is it going to help any alliance between humans and hunters diminish, take it from someone who knows. If you show them violence they will retaliate with violence, if you give them fear they will aim relentlessly to end you. What Roman and I are trying to achieve in the policies that some of you have happily overturned will make way for a peaceful future of co existence. I understand that some of you were hurt by humans in the past but latching onto that hurt won’t help you heal for the future, if you want peace for your packs as you so claim then the oppression needs to stop,” I say and I notice the rise to Roman’s chest, his upper body swelling with pride.

“I can agree with this logic very much so, the treatment of humans in our pack was carried on from that of previous rulers as we thought this would be a simple transition but truthfully it is not enough. We have already focused on trying to make changes to the previous system in a way that it helps to build a bridge between us. We took out the upper class only to replace them with ourselves which was selfish and wrong and I personally encourage other Lunas to read over the basic drafts set out by the new moon pack,” I want to reach into the screen and embrace Luna Tsuki, something I never thought I’d want to do.

The woman seemed nothing more than a pretentious old cow stuck in the ways of male superiority but that assumption was clearly a flaw of my own. Again, I don’t know how it’s possible to detect but I see her head dip ever so slightly and I just know that it is meant for me. A commendation.

“I agree,” The Luna Beatrice adds and the Australian begins to nod her head, her deep brown eyes twinkling with the involvement.

“The foundations for peace are there, the how is probably a lot more complicated than us all holding hands and hugging it out but resorting to violence as a first measure won’t help anyone either,” she adds and I do something that I never expected to do in a room full of the leaders that I once despised.

I smile.

to help y’all :

{the continents obviously have pack names (new moon being Maeve & Romans) but to save confusion}

Antarctica: unknown, unknown

South America: Alpha Nicholas, unknown

Africa: Alpha Tiketo, unknown

Asia: Alpha Akeno, Luna Tsuki

North America: Alpha Roman, Luna Maeve

Europe: Alpha Damion, Luna Beatrice

Australia: unkown, unkown

authors note

Not much of a note today, its been a day of procrastination for me and I have honestly got THAT many things to do butttt oh well, oops. Im now going to pat my needy doggo and watch outer banks on Netflix.

(see what I mean?)

Also, (because is this really an authors note if I don’t sidetrack after a concluding sentence?) the quotes at the beginning of the chapters often times hold various meanings and I like to leave them open to the interpretation of the reader. Sometimes they just sound cool and have hardly and link to the chapter but most of the time there is a deeper meaning of some sort there.

til’ next time,

Khalesi <3

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