To Hate Love

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Chapter 35

“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”

-Sonia Ricotti

I jerk my body away instantly, recoiling from those slender fingers as they outstretch towards me and stagger a step back.

“What are you doing!” I hiss, maintaining the distance between us and he narrows his eyes.

“Mae, come on, just trust me and I promise everything will be alright,” he says, his hand still outstretched.

“I don’t trust anyone anymore,” I answer, biting back a sob as the words croak from my mouth.

Hurt flashes across his face and he drops his hand. “Mae please, don’t do this. I am the same man that you married. You put your faith in me then and I need you to do the same now, we haven’t got much time,” he pleads and I see that same Ollie I knew, the compassionate caring man who would hold me in his arms at night and whisper that things would be alright but there is a taint there now, a taint I didn’t notice before.

“You are a hunter,” Is my only response and his hand clenches into a fist next to his body.

“And I have to live with that every second of my life. I didn’t want you to have to live with it too. Trust me Mae, at first I opposed them too, told my father and family to go to hell and scrapped the cause for all the suffering and pain it caused but look where that led us. I let go of my duty and the world turned to shit, I let go and then they took you, Mae. They took the only person I have ever truly loved and if that isn’t a reminder enough then I don’t know what is,” he says and I feel the impact of his words laying heavy on my heart.

“I am not the centre of the universe, Ollie. My part in this world is so much smaller than what you or the hunters might think but I won’t be able to contribute anything if I am dead or cowering away in a corner,” I say and his brows furrow.

“The rebels are planning to revolt, we have the means to take back our freedom. You don’t need to do anything more than leaving that man to come with me so that we can live in peace, just you and me,” he says and that dreamed reality of him and I growing old together free from the burden of the modern world, raising a family and being happy runs through my mind tauntingly.

“Then what of the wolves?” I ask and his demeanour fractures further.

“That isn’t our problem, Mae. The wellbeing of everyone isn’t our problem,” he says and I stand firm in my ground.

“It is if me leaving plays a part in the extinction and suffering of their kind,” I reply.

“What about the extinction and suffering of ours? What about all the humans who have no freedoms?” He exclaims.

“I’m working towards fixing that, all the wolf leaders and humans with a morsel of power are working to change that with the least suffering we can,” I explain and his face hardens further.

“We? Maeve they don’t care about humans. The only way we can truly safeguard our future in this world is by taking back our power,” he says and I shake my head.

“You don’t understand, Oliver. These reforms are different than that.”

He pauses for a moments, before letting a loose breath escape his body, “How?” He asks with disbelief.

“Because they are for the long term, they are made in such a way that will benefit the wolves so they don’t have a reason to object them and to benefit humans all the same. It’s also why I can’t go with you right now, not when everything good I have worked for is finally coming into practice,” I say and he staggers back a little.

“Maeve don’t. Don’t do this. Don’t chose them over us, him over me,” he says and the words cause my heart to stammer in my chest.

“Its not about that,” I retort, “I want the same thing you do, just without the unnecessary death of an entire population of people based on the merit that they are different. It’s the same reason they thought we should be oppressed and if we do what the hunters suggest then we are not only proving them right, we are being just as bad.”

I let out a shaky sigh, “You need to go Ollie. Now is not the time to think about ourselves. Maybe in a couple months, a year, a couple years when the world is settled we can think about us. But not now. Not when I’m so close to bringing about change,” I say and his pain morphs into anger.

“He’s done his to you,” he says, a wave of heated vengeance rolling off his body as his demeanour twists further.

I furrow my brows, “No, he hasn’t. Roman is just a stepping stone to achieving the greater goal at play here. I am not for one moment being fooled by that man. My sight hasn’t changed, the methods of achieving it have,” I say and he almost gives me a look of sympathy.

“The more you stay with him the harder it will be to leave, he is using that bond against you and playing you for a fool,” he says firmly.

“I’m not sure what exactly it is that you suggest I do then. Unless you have a way out of this bond, a way to break it, then I’m stuck here anyway so I may as well make the most of it.” From the darkened expression that passes over his forrest green eyes I gather his mind went somewhere much different.

“And what happens when he makes the most of it and you end up pregnant with his child? Will you be able to leave so easily then?” He presses and my nose scrunches up in disgust.

“That won’t happen,” I say but he shakes his head.

“Please, Mae. Come with me, we don’t have enough time to talk here we have to go, please,” he begs and his eyes dart to the forrest behind us.

“There has to be a better option, you and I could work together, bridge the tensions between hunter and wolf and get them on board with the reforms. Think about it Ollie, if violence erupts then it won’t be the wolves who suffer the most, not in the long term,” I say and he steps towards me again but I match his movement, walking back as well.

“Mae…” he starts and I think back to the Kings firm response on negotiating with hunters,, wondering if the feeling is mutual.

“Noah has a child on the way,” I blurt and shock befalls his face, giving me more precious information, “that child is going to be half wolf and your father knew about that yet he still wants to proceed, if he, a hunter, knows and doesn’t care then I can bet whoever leads your group doesn’t care either,” I say and his expression cracks a little more.

“I didn’t know,” he mummers.

“They would kill that child and they’d kill me too, the second that bond was placed on me regardless of the bite, I became their enemy and if you stand with them then I guess that makes you mine,” I say and the truth proves a hard pill for him to swallow, his eyes calculating my statement with disbelief.

“I’m not your enemy. I’d rather die than harm you, Mae. The hunters… they wouldn’t kill Ollies child and I really do believe they won’t kill you.”

“They won’t get the chance to decide,” I say, my words coming out in a raspy croak.

His brows furrow before fear overcomes his face and he glances around us. “Mae, please. Come with me, I promise you…” But he can’t. He can’t offer me assured safety and it kills him.

“One day, Ollie, I’ll get out of here and when that day comes-if you still want me-I’m yours,” I say between a sob, “our future doesn’t end because of this, its just a little blip in the timeline and I will search the ends of this earth to find a way to get rid of this bond so I can be with you once more. But I can’t go with you now,”

“Don’t be so selfless, Mae. You hold no obligation to give up your life for these people,”

“What is a few years of my life in comparison to lifetimes of others?” I ask and he purses his lips, unable to give rebuke, “I’ll tell you what it is, Ollie. It is nothing. I can’t live out my years knowing I could have done something and chose not to for my own selfish reasons. Besides, this all sounds nice, it sounds perfect but it is resting on the gamble that even if we do get far away enough, he won’t eventually find me and bring me back,” I explain and I watch as that small shred of hope vanishes from his face.

“Mae please, on the chance that it does work just come with me and we can figure out the rest, together as it should be. It hurts my heart to hear you so resigned to that man, so trampled by whatever lies he has fed you. That you’ll accept the fact that your freedom is a cost that can’t be evaded because it isn’t true. Don’t let him value you like that, you are worth so, so much more than that.” His eyes are glossed over and my heart constructs as a tear rolls over his golden skin.

“He isn’t valuing me. I know my worth, Ollie and I know what it means to be able to use that to my advantage. I’m capable of holding my own as hard as that may be to hear and Roman, for all the bad he has done, recognises that too. I’m not resigned to him, to anyone. I’m resigned, however, with the fact that I can’t sit by and watch the world keep turning like this without doing something,”

He glances over behind him in a split second of motion and his face pales when he turns back to me, terror overriding his features. “Mae we have to go, I know you don’t trust me now but if you come with me I can explain it all when we get to safety,” he rushes and I shake my head with frustration.

“You aren’t listening to me Oliver. I. Can’t. Go. Not now,” I say and his fear turns quickly to frustration the dejected mood between us shifting simultaneously.

“Maeve please. To hell with the hunters I don’t care about them, we can go somewhere else, do anything else but just don’t stay here. Don’t stay with him,”

“You can’t escape your curse just like I can’t escape this bond. And so until we figure out how to solve that problem first there is no point in setting up some cruel hope for our future,” I say and he glances behind me, his eyes becoming more frantic.

“Maeve we have to go,” he says and jerks forward, so fast we almost come into contact but my body springs back, almost guided by the bond as it recoils from his touch.

“What are you doing? If you touch me he’ll know, he’ll find us-”

A low growl erupts from the distance behind me and my heart completely stops in my chest. The growl multiplies and Oliver stares at me through the eyes of a broken man.

“This is it Mae, me or them,” he says and I don’t hide the headache his ultimatum wrenches me through.

“Neither, Oliver-” he doesn’t say anything and merely nods, my answer seemingly enough for him.

“I love you, Mae. I will always love you and I’m not giving up on you, I’ll get you out if here. I promise,” he says and I move forward to continue our discussion, as rushed as it may have to become but he vanishes.

I blink rapidly. Where Oliver stood seconds ago nothing now stands in front of me, his entire body just not there anymore. Complete horror overcomes me and my chest tightens as breathing becomes an increasingly harder task. Did I just imagine him?

I must be going mad. I just had an entire conversation with someone who doesn’t exist. I’m going mad.

“Maeve.” I turn around to meet the low growl and come face to face with Romans angered face. I watch as his nostrils flare slightly and hatred morphs onto his face. The growls around us heighten and he moves towards me but I stagger back.

“I didn’t, I don’t,” I let out a shaky breath, gulping to ease my dry throat but to no avail, “I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” I say and a cry poses through my lips followed by a stream of sobs and Roman doesn’t wait to move forward and envelop me in a tight embrace, holding me flush to his bare chest.

The growls increase and Roman moves down to my ear, “I need you to faint okay? Just pretend too faint,” he says so rushed and frantic that I comply, going limp in his arms just as footsteps emerge into the clearing followed by a low, powerful growl.

“How the hell this happen?” The King’s voice booms and Roman’s grip clutches onto me.

“I don’t know, your majesty but my mate has gone into a state of shock. I need to get her to safety first and foremost and then we can continue our discussion,” Roman replies, his voice even and firm.

“Very well, I want the both of you in my office first thing tomorrow morning. This sort of thing mustn’t ever occur again do you understand me Alpha?” I feel Roman stiffen at the Kings underlying threat but he nods all the same, “there is far too much riding on her safety for this to occur again. I don’t care what level of trust you hold for her under my orders she is to be monitored and kept under observation of guards at all times.”

“Yes, Alpha,” Roman replies firmly and then before I know it he is carrying my body away, away from that spot and towards the confines of the estates walls. I don’t know when I begin to silently sob again, or when my body finally does fall limp from exhaustion but eventually, my eye lids become heavy and I slip out of consciousness.

-

When my eyes flutter open I stretch my hands out onto the bed beside me, still clad in my flowing evening gown that is now stiff and chinked at the edges. Like a wave, the events of last night run through my head, my delusions in conversing with Oliver and the decision that I made even in my confused state.

Something is terribly, terribly wrong with me. My eyes begin to gloss over and I clench them shut. Everything I am-everything that I was has faded away into oblivion like dust to the wind and my sanity, the last thing that I had to hold onto has followed suit. It’s a cruel twist of fate really, for my mind to relinquish control of my body and then giving up itself in tow. Like slowly, pieces of me are just being brought to the chopping block and there is not a single thing I can do to stop it.

I’m stuck. I’m stuck in this life, in this world and now in myself.

It all looked so real. Olivers emerald eyes and his smooth voice, pouring out in cohesive sentences and that tanned firm body, looking full and healthy like it was when we met. He wiped my tears, he spoke to me and yet with a blink his body was gone, and as it vanished it took a piece of me too.

“Maeve,” I open my eyes and stare at Roman who lingers at the edge of the bed. I can’t find the words inside me to respond to him so I simply avert my gaze.

“Maeve, we need to talk about last night,” he says softly, but there is a sharp edge to his words.

My lip begins to quiver but I lip my lips and stop it. “I don’t want to,” I croak, the emptiness of my voice surprising to my own ears.

“Maeve this isn’t something we can ignore. I don’t even…” he lets out a sigh of frustration, “What were you thinking?” He says and my throat bobs.

“I thought…” I can’t finish my sentence, can’t air the truth that I am loosing my mind.

“I thought we were getting somewhere. How many times do I have to tell you of the nature of this bond so you’ll understand what that means? I don’t want you to find out I’m right when its too damn late and I can’t help you-” His voice cracks, the anger gone and in its wake a shattered man stands.

I don’t respond and instead draw my knees up to my chest, hugging onto them and curling into a tight ball.

“Mae, please, please just talk to me,” he says but I can’t, “when I saw you there… when I scented him I-”

I uncurl slowly, my heart accelerating. “What?” I cut in and his brows furrow.

He exhales, “If I had’ve arrived mere moments later he could have taken you Mae, taken you right to those people who would’ve ended you life before I could get you.” There is no anger in his words, just pain but I ignore the way it makes my heart spin and sit up slowly.

“He was there?” I ask and his pain becomes tainted by frustration.

“Of course he was there- Is this some sort of joke for you?” He says in a growl, his eyes narrowing into slits as I let out a sigh of relief before even more confusion overcomes me.

“But-but he vanished, Roman. He just vanished into thin air,” I rush out and he registers my confusion.

“He emitted-teleported is an easier term to understand I suppose. Your husband was very much there last night but the question you should be asking is why were you?” He asks and my throat dries up, my mind still whirring with Oliver’s abilities. I guessed that the people cursed would have some kind of power to rival wolves but that? But he was there, he came and yet I still feel as fragmented as before.
When he reached out to touch me… I shake the thought from my head, not wanting to give it any fuel and stare at Roman.

“How did he get in? You told me no one could get in,” I say and his firm gaze doesn’t falter.

“He was masking his scent until right before the moment he emitted. They must have given him some kind of protection before he came,” he answers gruffly and I slide out from the bed to dangle my feet over the edge. “Why did you do it Maeve?” He asks again and I avert my gaze.

“Because I had to see him. I had to know he was alright and I guess I thought…” I trail off and stand from the bed, attempting to push past him and enter the bathroom behind but he anticipates my move before I make it, blocking my entry off.

“Thought what, Mae?” He asks and suddenly it’s not just my heart that aches, it’s everything. It’s every single part of my soul.

“I thought that it would help. I thought that someway seeing him would mend a bridge I didn’t know was broken and that maybe, just maybe he’d help me and things would be better…” I sigh and this time when I push past him he doesn’t stop me.

“The King is expecting us.” Is the only response I get before Roman himself leaves the room in a swirl of frustration and hurt, leaving me more broken than I was before. I didn’t know if I would recognise Oliver after last night but I do. It is me that I don’t know anymore.

-

The King wasn’t happy. In fact, unhappy was an extremely mild understatement. He was livid. I listened to Romans advice of staying silent throughout the entire ordeal and let him do the talking, let him smooth things over. I wasn’t stupid enough to try and defend my reasoning, not in the presence of a man whose hatred for my husbands kind ran so deep it was embedded in his very moral roots.

The only thing I was to detail was the talking points of the meeting itself and I did-for fear of the Alpha command or lack of fight, I did. There was nothing that could give them any advantage anyway, Oliver didn’t lay out the rebels plan of attack or reveal the locations of their key bases. He proclaimed his love for me and tried to get me to go with him and I think the fact that I didn’t is the only reason I am not locked up in a cell.

Admittedly, the topic of my punishment did arise, for engaging with the enemy is clear treason against the pack but Roman managed to work me out of it. It was only when the King suggested imprisonment-threatened it-that I spoke up and told him to go right ahead. I told him that if nearly escaping is the reason they want to incarcerate me then I am obviously already imprisoned. Roman flinched at that but I didn’t let his reaction affect me. Remaining passive was paramount.

I was a prisoner, I was being punished every damn day by being forced to stay here and if it isn’t the direct fault of the King then it is the goddess he praises and the system he upholds.

Roman wasn’t pleased about my encounter either but he wasn’t angry. There was that distance of distrust between us still but he hadn’t brought it up. The air between us in the office was frazzled to say the least. He sat opposite me at a desk of his own, fully emerged in the papers in front of him, those blue eyes darting across the page as his pen flicked marks every so often. It was like I wasn’t sat in front of him, like by delving into his mountains of work he could forget that I was here and forget what I had done.

I look back down to my own work which has become like a hard pill to swallow. After yesterday… it wasn’t easy picking back up on reforms that were completely discarded by Olivers standards. I couldn’t help but think that he was right, that my work here wasn’t enough.

The first thing I did this morning was email the team of wolves and humans alike working back in the New Moon pack on these cases and tell them to search their data bases for humans that once held positions of elected power within their community. The operations that I am trying to turn from the page into a reality aren’t done solely by me and if that were the expected case, there is no way they’d be anywhere near good enough. My job is to oversee, to try and use the position I have to uphold the expertise of humans who want freedom implemented across the world.

“We will be heading back to New Moon within the next few days. I have declined the proposed welcoming event on our behalf, with everything that is going on the last thing we need to be concerned with is a party,” Roman announces, his tone gruff and firm.

I nod, “That’s fair,” I mumble and silence blankets over us again.

Roman purses his lips in thought, his calculating eyes locking onto mine like he is trying to dissect me.

“I don’t-” He purses his lips again and sighs, “what happened yesterday night… I just want you to think about your safety a little more. I get that you are emotionally connected to another, I understand that but things are only going to get worse if a war is coming and unfortunately, that means people are going to try and attack us any way they can,” I don’t answer him and he doesn’t expect me to either, looking back down to his work content that his little speech was the last word.

They are going to attack us anyway that they can. I nearly scoff. They aren’t going to attack us, they are going to attack me. The weak link of the pack, the feeble little human Luna who is so stupid and reckless and is always going to be the target because who wouldn’t target me? All I do is put my life in danger and put everyone else in danger by doing so. Maybe the King is right, maybe they should lock me up even more so than I am now.

But I suppose as long as I live in a gilded cage it doesn’t matter if my life is at threat anymore. I suppose that when the little love that I once had is now nearly completely and utterly gone maybe it is a mercy if someone manages to find me and put an end to it all.

authors note

Heres the update a day late! No cheering? Nobody? *slowly walks away

Do I have an excuse? Not really but I did manage to basically update as usual with exams and I got like 81% for my history and top of English (whatever the hell that was) and math…… yeah lets just forget about that. So morale of the story, not even “study” or “exams” will prevent me from writing this book lmao

See y’all on Thursday,

Khalesi

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