To Hate Love

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Chapter 36

“Never be ashamed about being broken, because strength is nothing but pain that’s been repaired,”

Trent Shelton

Three long weeks had passed since Roman and I returned to the New Moon territory. Three weeks of meetings and events and work that quite nearly drained me of all energy I had. But I needed it though. I needed the constant distraction offered by sifting through piles of paper work and putting on a false smile for crowds of people. I needed to pretend. If only for a short while until I went to my daily meetings with the same woman I met in France where I would unload everything for an hour and then after crumbling, I’d compose myself again and walk back out with that false face.

The only other time that I could drop the facade was at night when Roman and I were both alone in the silence of our room. It was almost ironic how the only person I could be myself around, aside from a professional, was Roman considering he was largely the reason I needed to pretend at all. But it helped, at least. There was a sense of normality within returning each day to that room and I found myself yearning for it.

Olivers name was never brought up between us, neither one of us willing to go there with that conversation because it was easier not to. Roman understood why I went when I did, he understood that there was nothing that he could do to stop the relationship between Oliver and I, that some part of me would always belong to the man I married. But that doesn’t mean he wanted to be reminded of it.

For him it was easier to just ignore it and instead of trying to convince me that I shouldn’t feel anything towards anyone but himself, he would hold me closer to him at night. He had me in his arms and for now at least, that was enough.

I didn’t dispute it, not when the feel of his body pressed against mine soothed me in a way that I couldn’t achieve from my sessions alone. I was so far beyond feeling guilt for it, in all honesty I just didn’t care anymore. I didn’t care because it felt good and if I want to feel good through the use of my body then I will. If Oliver was angered by that then let him be. I wasn’t sleeping with Roman like that, in fact we had done nothing romantic at all and if that were the case then let guilt be poured over my body in the bucket loads.

I would pour over my work and responsibilities at day and then engage in idle talk at night, free from burden or stress with Roman. The threat of war wasn’t deescalating but my involvement on key issues was kept at a bare minimum under orders from the King himself. I wasn’t to be informed of any strategic moves or have access to knowledge on bases or infantry which was understandable. After breaking the small amount of trust I had formed with the King it wasn’t entirely out of the ordinary.

The only contact I maintained with the King was in certain meetings and through the array of reading materials he sent me. More archaic relics that required Roman’s translations. We would read through them together at night and he’d try to teach me what some of the markings meant yet I still wasn’t catching on.

Certain books were simply fables. Tales of a time before the Kings father himself was born when the goddess planted the first seed on the Earth and from it grew her children. Some stories were more… specific. Stories about how the lands were plagued by foreign threats and how the species of wolves were fighting with every last breath they had to avoid imminent extinction. Those stories detailed the beginnings of the mating bond, emphasising on the importance of procreation to ensure safety and survival of the werewolf race.

It wasn’t as explicit as that. The King surely knew better than to send me a book about how it was my sloe duty to be a puppy vessel after everything that went down in Asia. The stories talked of not only the need for children but the love that they brought the families, the gift that they were for a mated couple as not just a symbol of survival but of the bond between the two. The pure pleasure one received when making the child was explained as nothing short of other worldly, an experience so great and thrilling that could only ever be found by the person you were bonded too in heart and soul.

I didn’t ask Roman to stop reading the stories as they came up no matter how awkward things became between us and I think he was just waiting for me to shut him down. He would read the words like he was treading on thin ice yet hold enough certainty to try and convince me I guess. Or maybe I was reading into it, I seem to have a habit of doing that now, after I discovered nearly everything in my life holds a symbolic connotation.

I’d learnt more about the hunters too, mainly their abilities and what allowed them access to powers beyond what their curse gave them. Teleportation or emitting, as it was referred to in most books, could only be achieved if the hunter had a specific pendant in their possession, a pendant that was extremely hard to come by but effective in moving over longer lengths of ground faster.

Hunters themselves I’d learned triggered the curse through killing a wolf which struck me greater than any passage on mates having sex. I knew Oliver had killed before, I knew because I would hold him at night when he sobbed over what he’d done. Only ever rarely but the pain he expressed, the remorse of having to end another life never made me probe deeper. I just thought that he killed human enemies, not wolves.

But throughout all the books and all the markings on ancient rituals and mates not one shred of information came up on ending the bond aside from the one concerning dual mates. And I didn’t know how that made me feel. I’d been trying a lot lately to try and decipher that, my feelings.

Mostly for my psychiatrist but also for myself, to better heal and understand myself. But what I am finding is that the deeper I question how I am, the worse I become. There are wounds within me that I didn’t even know existed let alone needed healing. My emotions are so mingled, so controlled by a labyrinth of events that knocked me miles off course that discerning them is one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Ever.

I’m not naturally strong willed, I wish I could say that for all the surviving I had to do as a child that I gre into someone who could fight armies and take the world by its throat but I’d be lying. I sheltered myself in libraries and bolted at the first sign of an altercation. I latched so heavily onto anyone that could give me a fleeting moment of stability even if they were no good for me. I wasn’t ‘tough’. Going through tough situations doesn’t always make you tough, sometimes it just wears you down and breaks you. I know that isn’t great to say, but its the hard truth and so many people have to live hiding that behind these fallacies because when you detail your hardships it is expected that you are as hard as the ‘strong’ majority.

There isn’t a one size fits all mould for trauma. Or for really any kind of suffering or misgiving. Pain is relative. But although that may be the case, my pain, my wellbeing isn’t as important as those of the masses right now. It’s a pretty self deprecating thing to say, I know, and I understand that fully but part of helping me cope is realising that if I do, ordinary people will benefit.

Today had passed in a blur, between meetings with some of the highest profiting factory owners and chairpeople from some of the top news services, I had hardly a minute to eat. It was times like now, where I trudged down the stairs, comfy in my cotton sweatpants and a loose shirt after a long shower that I thanked Romans insistence on us eating a meal together once a day. Whoever made up the expression old habits die hard would have a run for their money if they met the primal Alpha male waiting in the dining hall. Figuring out his ties to traditions is honestly more difficult than my own wreck of a mind.
Admittedly though, he’d been better. I don’t know how to really explain it but I feel like ever since he started making an effort to go and speak with someone that confusion that always lurks beneath his ocean blue eyes has dissipated somewhat. Not to say he’s suddenly a saint, not at all, but at least he is trying.

I walk into the kitchen and Roman turns around instantly, a smile erupting onto his face before he turns back around to the pan in front of him. His back muscles flex with the movement as he stirs whatever concoction he is whipping up.

We’d been doing this a lot lately, making food for ourselves and cleaning it up after. It made me feel less of a Luna, less waited on like some overlord queen that everyone had to bow down to. Plus, the food Roman made tasted better to me than anything a five star chef could make.

“So what’s on the menu tonight?” I ask, picking up a glass of water he’d left arranged for me and taking a sip.

“I am making burritos actually,” he says and I look at the array of vegetables cut up on the island bench, all prepared and ready for assembly, “The mince is nearly ready,”

“Smells good,” I comment and he turns his head a little to the right, almost to shoe me his smile of appreciation.

I take another sip of my water. “So how did that meeting with the King go today anyway?” I ask and he turns around with the pan in his hands, placing it onto a slab of wood.

“It went fine. Our borders have tightened to a point where a breach is near impossible so threats from Alpha Nicholas on us isn’t a main issue. The King himself holds minor concerns to more remote communities in other parts of the world, sacred places that could be under threat but there isn’t anything too large to be concerned about,” he explains, a rounded answer for a rounded question. I had given up on asking anything to blunt because then I wouldn’t get any response at all.

“How hungry are you?” He asks and on cue, a thunderstorm ignites in my stomach and I laugh as his brows furrow.

“Are you sure that question doesn’t have some bond roll on effect? I swear every time you ask me my body just reacts on its own,” I say and it makes his concern turn into a smile.

“Probably,” he says, taking out some plates from a cupboard, “your body is telling me that I have to provide. Letting me know that my mate is hungry and in need of sustenance,” he says and I raise a brow.

“All that from a stomach grumble?” I ask and he laughs, shrugging.

“Well if we reversed this scenario to the days of hunting for food in forrest then a male wolf would most definitely take that as a sign they needed to bring home more game. We wolves are all about looking after our mates, not being able to provide for your mate is a sign of weakness and shame still to this day,” he says and I nearly roll my eyes at the prime example of his strange affiliation to certain primal urges.

“Well then you better make my burrito quick, wouldn’t want anyone to find out your precious mate felt a little peckish for too long,” I joke and he lets out a playful growl, glaring at me jokingly.

Still though, he gets to work, putting different condiments and vegetables into a warm tortilla and wrapping it for me.

“I was wondering if you wanted to start up training again,” he says as I take a bite of the heavenly food in my hands, “I know you have a busy schedule but if you wanted to do something once or twice a week it can be arranged,”

“Is there really much point?” I ask and he scrunches his brows in confusion.

“What do you mean? Of course there is,”

I swallow a gulp of water and shrug. “Well it just seems kind of irrelevant. If I have to engage in hand to hand combat, chances are they are either a supernatural creature or a highly skilled human who has already managed to get past a legion of guards protecting me,” I explain and he thinks over this for a couple seconds.

“It couldn’t hurt. I’m going to do everything in my power to keep you safe, you know that. But in the event that my power isn’t enough, it’d be good if you were trained,” he counters and I shrug.

“Maybe,” I answer, though there isn’t any certainty to my tone. But that’s how we do it, shift the conversation when the conversation needs shifting. It’s easier that way.

Roman swallows the mouthful of burrito he has and gives me his full attention. “There is something we have to talk about,” he says and I don’t reply, allowing him to continue, “I didn’t want to bring it up during our time out of the office but I couldn’t meet with you today and it is quite important. Our visits to the packs scheduled for next month has been pushed forward to next week.” Which is in two days.

“Why?”

“Scheduling. Plus with the talk of war it’s important for us to show a united front to the nation and there are meetings that need to take place between the Alphas and us,” he explains and I raise a brow.

“Us?” He contemplates for a moment.

“If the Alphas underneath us can know about our national affairs, the Luna should as well. The King can raise the issue if he really wants but until then I’d rather you have the bare minimum knowledge on what is going on with out enemies.”

I take another bite of my burrito, like the news of getting actual information again doesn’t majorly affect me even though my body is thrumming inside. “Okay,” I mumble and he continues staring at me.

“We will be visiting your old pack first then follow a loop around the country until we make it back here. There may be a news segments covering our trip just so you’re aware but nothing major,” he explains and I nod.

“Did you want to watch a movie tonight?” I ask and he smiles at this.

“Another horror?” He asks and my cheeks heat up in embarrassment.

“No,” I say and his smile widens.

“I was thinking more along the lines of a rom com,” I say instead and his smile wipes away.

“Not again. What about an action? I have some of the latest and they are apparently really good,”

I jump down from my stool. “First one to get the remote chooses,” I blurt and bolt into the living room to retrieve the remote I’d hidden at the end of our last awful horror movie experience.

-

The plane comes to a land on the large airstrip and I glance out the oval window onto the forrest, a tight feeling growing in my stomach. The sun was just setting over the horizon, the pink and orange hues in the sky fading into darkness. The green of the woodlands was a mesmerising sight from above, one that I never savoured before today but now that I am nearly amongst it…

Its been months since I last breathed in the cool morning air of the woods as it drifted through the thin walls of my home. It was a different time and I was a different person.

“Are you ready to go?” Roman asks, walking out from the cockpit in his dark black suit.

“Yeah,” I mumble, smoothing out the creases on my sweater and clutching the cotton bag full of books and paperwork before meeting him near the planes door.

“There are some photographers waiting to document our arrival along with some news stations, I can have them leave if it makes you uncomfortable,” he says, his hand resting on the handle.

I laugh dryly, “I think censorship makes me even more uncomfortable,”

Roman shoots me a look but proceeds to open the door.

It seemed less dark outside when I was looking at the landscape from the lens of the plane window but now that I am stood in the open air and can feel that cool wind ripple through me, the darkness of night seems ever creeping.

Especially when there is a group of about forty people in vans or with cameras or microphones flashing their bright lights in your direction.

Romans hand glides into mine and I squeeze back tightly, silently wishing he’d actually sent them all away. We descend the steps, Roman leading the way in front of me and I try to wipe the shock off my face and regain that regal composure that is expected of me. It’s almost ironic just how different the person I present now, returning to this land is to the woman who fled.

I was scared, petrified even, that night when I was being hunted down, fleeing for my life but I had some strength. I had the willpower to continue running out of here like my very being depended on it rather than concede to the man I now clutch tightly. It’s almost as if I’m being shown off, even if that isn’t Romans intention.

“Alpha! Luna!” Different people shout from behind their cameras all at once as soon as we reach the ground. They line a makeshift passageway lined with guards and all peer their lenses over and around the men to get a better shot. I thought that wolves were supposed to respect their leaders… it seems that rule doesn’t apply to the press however.

“Luna! Luna! Is is true that you had lover before finding your mate?” A voice yells and I feel a pang of horror strike my gut which is quickly quelled by Romans grip as he speeds his pace slightly.

“Alpha! What do you have to say to the rumours of an heir being secured? Should we be expecting a child anytime soon?” Another yells and the car parked at the end of the passageway looks so close, yet far away.

“How does it feel to be past your mate-moon stage?”

“Alpha!”

“Luna! Look over here!”

“What are you wearing? What are your plans for this upcoming event?”

“Should we be worried about the increasing threats of-”

Roman and I slide into the black car and a guard shuts the door behind us. I let out a heavy sigh.

“They are hectic, I’m sorry,” he says and I shake my head.

“It’s alright,” I reply, looking back out at the crowd of people whose cameras are now pointed to us even though they can’t see through the tinted window.

“We should arrive at the pack house shortly,” he tells me and I relax in my leather seat, leaning on the car door in exhaustion.

I stare out at the trees as they pass us by in the car until we reach township. The car doesn’t take a route that goes between the lower sectors, or maybe the set out of the pack has changed since the laws. I wouldn’t know. I never saw enough of the higher sectors to even know where it is that we travel through right now. And that fact alone is enough for me to tear my gaze away from the window and focus it on my lap.

Its only when the car rolls to a halt do I look outside the veiled windows once more to find us parked outside a large manor house. A mansion really, but much larger.

“Dinner should be ready inside unless you want to go straight to our room. You seem tired,” Roman says and I look over to him and shake my head.

“No, its okay. They’ve probably prepared a whole feast for us and to let it go to waste would be rude,” I advise and he nods firmly, that Alpha front returning as he does so before he exits the car.

My door is opened for me by a guard and I get out as well, thankful when there are no swarms of media teams anxiously waiting to take my picture or ask me intrusive questions.

Instead, my old Alpha and Luna stand at the steps of their manor, their small boy standing between them and their newborn child resting in the mothers arms.

I’m not sure what is better, actually.

“Alpha Superior, Luna Superior,” The Alpha says and they all incline their heads in slight submission, something that never fails to make me feel uncomfortable, “We are so glad you could join us, please, come inside. Dinner should be served any minute now,” he says and I give them a tight smile, looping my arm around Romans.

The Alphas eyes flick to the action briefly and his eyes sparkle with relief and knowing, almost? From the speed of his actions, it was difficult to discern.

“Of course,” Roman responds and we move behind them into the large manor, the interior outshining the exterior by a mile.

The second we enter however, my attention moves onto the people stood in the entry way, the packs other leading families. Noah.

I break from Romans grasp and move forward, to meet his advance and the two of us embrace in the hall, only briefly to stop the raging emotions of our mates from becoming too unbearable. “Noah,” I whisper and he smiles broadly, moving back to put is arm around the very large wait of his mate, Jenna. Jenna beams at me and my eyes widen at her stomach, the sheer size of it taking me aback.

“Its hardly been a month, you look like your about to burst,” I point out heartedly and her smile turns sheepish.

“It seems our child is developing at the regular wolf rate. He or she is due any day now,” she says and I feel the heat of Roman at my back and wonder if he knew this.

“Wow, that’s… crazy,” I say with a light laugh and I look to Noah, noticing the way he stares at Jenna with nothing but adoration. The mother of his child. A dad.

I suck in a harsh breath and lean back into Roman, taking my attention away from the woman belly, although it is hard when Romans own hand slides around my waist and rests so dangerously close to where a child of my own would potentially grow.

“There is going to be bloody babies everywhere.” My head whips around to Keira and Romans grip tightens on me. She smiles even brighter at this but her grin vanishes when she turns to find the glare of her mate, Blake.

“Oh shoot, sorry. I meant there is going to be bloody pups everywhere,” she says and then I watch, with slight horror as Blake mumbles words of annoyance before his hands slide around her from behind, resting on her stomach and pressing the fabric out to reveal a slight bump.

“I figured you would like to have dinner with your friends and family as well as us Luna,” my previous Alpha says and I put back on that mask I’d grown so used to.

“Thank you, that is very kind,” I say with a smile and Keira laughs.

“Who is ready for round two?”

authors note

There prolly won’t be a second chapter out today, next update is Thursday again guys.

Honestly, its just been a shit week and I hope it doesn’t become a shit fortnight so here’s to hoping *clink

Khalesi

Ps: I will hopefully be posting a new post onto my insta feed tomorrow as well :)

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