THE EMPTY HEART TOLD ME TO TELL YOU THAT IT IS FEELIN KINDA EMPTY AND WOULD APPRECIATE SOME LOVE THANK YOU AND BYE
"Tell me, how many times have you lost your voice to someone who isn't even listening?"
Roman's reaction didn't surprise me, I honestly expected him to be angrier if anything. He is growing more and more frustrated with me as the days continue on and I know that soon I'll push a wrong button and then hell will rain down. Lord only knows what punishment I will have to face but that was the cost and I knew that going into this whole thing. My life isn't ambiguous but my soul definitely is and I garner he won't hesitate to taint me if it means pulling me into line.
I don't know how to respond to his idea on what the mark actually is. I don't know much of anything anymore. The only way for anyone to overcome an enemy- truly overcome an enemy- is to acquire information; and considering every piece of knowledge that I soak in is protested by one person or another, there is no saying what the truth is. Regardless of the fact that being bitten in the neck apparently won't push me to sleep with Roman it is no more appealing. In a way, I can understand why he is going to do it, if me not being by his side will corrupt the precious system he has created and kill both of us then it is a choice he doesn't have.
If I were in his shoes then I can't truthfully say I wouldn't do the same. Maybe if I hadn't attempted to run away then I could convince him out of it, prevent him with false promises that I'd never try to leave. But the 'what if's' of the past have no place in my present, I have dug out my grave and now it's time to lie down and meet the grim reaper. My options are extremely limited and as far as I can tell, I need to get out of here without dying in the process and there is an inkling in me that says Roman isn't telling me the full truth.
There has to be some way to get rid of this bond and the only way to find that is through getting my hands on as much information as I can. If I can find some way to get rid of Roman then I can escape without him being able to track me down and move myself far out of his reach. Getting back his trust now isn't going to be easy, he said himself that he doesn't care anymore so firstly I need to reinstall whatever sliver of love he had for me in the first place. This bond that we have could help me to achieve that but only time will tell.
The door creaks open and in walks the same stylist group from yesterday along with maids and two of the new guards stationed outside.
"Is it already time to get ready?" I ask quizzically but am met with silence, not a single one of the workers daring to even make eye contact with me. This must be a new precaution of Roman's after I planned an entire escape with the last maid I was in contact with. None of the workers are dressed in grey for a start, letting me know where their allegiances lay straight off the bat.
I don't even bother putting up a fight, once they have set up their stations and created a popup dressing room for me to be fitted without the male wolves in the room getting a peep show they simply nod for me to get up off the ground and sit in the plush chair. They poke and prod, stroke and rub different formulas into my face whilst my hair gets braided from behind me. Luckily, they stick to the same natural look that I argued yesterday, catering to my wants in the slightest of ways.
Once I have been painted, the purple bags under my eyes concealed and the dead tinge to my skin completely covered, they usher me into the pop up closet change. I look at the dress and nearly let out a dry laugh. There, before me, sits the gown they had fitted to me, ready in the hands of two women that hold each detachable part. It's not exactly very helpful now, nor do I believe I will be needing the detachable aspect later tonight with Roman. I slide into each part and stand stiff as a board whilst they secure it in different places and sew last minute altercations.
From the mirror they have set up I can see that it fits me beautifully, the seamstress who made this knew exactly what she was doing. Last nights gown was gorgeous but this... it looks amazing, jaw droopingly beautiful and I can't help but feel shame that its glory is being wasted on the likes of me. It's familiarity to a wedding dress unnerves me still but I suppose this ceremony is what that is to wolves. An event where two people- generally in love- meet before their friends and family- their pack- and bind their love together with an agreement that can't be altered. I wish I were signing a piece of paper instead of being subject to a viscous dog attack that will bind me to my number one enemy for life.
They don't lay any jewellery onto my neck, no diamonds or emeralds or shimmering crystals because there is no need for it. Tonight my bare neck is like a jewel all on its own and I'd wager that people will be staring at it regardless.
They leave after an hour, maybe two, taking every item out the door with them, down to the last bobby pin on the ground. It doesn't offend me that they blatantly ignored me as much as it probably should, I am used to wolves not acknowledging my existence and it usually being a good thing. Now it's just a waiting game. There are no windows in this new room, the watch that once sat upon my skin was confiscated along with many of my other goods so telling the time is a complete guessing game. It disorients me, if I am being honest, maybe its like some wolf torture method that I wasn't aware of.
I've been sat on the end of the bed for about thirty minutes, biting my nails to the cuticle and tapping my foot against the ground. There has to be someone else in this castle that holds links to the rebels. Wren's capture, along with many other main contenders means that Roman is no doubt launching a full blown investigation amongst his staff right now. Even if he manages to find them all and kill each individual traitor to his cause then I still have faith that others will be open to change if it's presented to them in the right way. People can be killed easily but an idea cannot.
Take Teo for example-Teo- I didn't even think about how he must be faring right now, how any of the Umbra are. They all failed their one mission miserably and if the aftermath of the Rugby game shows anything at all about the kind of retribution they will face then I am extremely scared. Teo was their leader and even if Sam tattled about his true intentions Roman would know who to blame already. He faked receiving a message and sent most of the group off on a wild goose chase to Roman who- upon hearing that their leader got an imaginary request from him- would have been furious.
There is nothing that I can do for him until Roman trusts me again but to falsify that once more will do more damage to me than it will him. Pretending to be domesticated by the one person who seeks to tear down every inch of your personal strength isn't great for the soul.
The door opens and I stand up, the muscles in my stomach twisting as if they are trying to wring out my nervous energy or warn me that I should have it. I see Roman's black head of hair but the grey tinges in it take me off guard as Marcus-not Roman-walks through the door with a malicious smile.
"Don't tell me you're here to walk me down the aisle," I quip and his smile turns into a scowl quickly.
"You are quite testy aren't you? I knew since the moment I met you that you would be trouble but you have managed to exceed my expectations," he sneers and I glare back at him through squinted eyelids.
"I've already received a lecture from your son and I don't feel like another," I spit back and he shakes his head in disbelief.
"My son seems to think that you are capable of being a leader and he is very misguided in thinking so,"
"Have you come to knock me off? Is that it? Because if so, please hurry up with it, there's no need for any of this chatter," I intervene and he clenches his jaw.
"Unfortunately for me, that isn't an option. What I came here to do is tell you that I am not buying your little game. You may have Roman fooled but I am well aware of your loyalties and I will not allow you to ruin this pack." It becomes evident to me that this man was once a leader, the strength alone in his voice is formidable much less his loyalty to the pack.
"I'm not trying to ruin any pack, all I want is my freedom and if that isn't what you want also then do me a favour and leave," I respond.
"I couldn't care less about your want for freedom," he lets out a manic laugh, "that is the most foolish thing I have ever heard of. You think that you want freedom but once you've walked out that door, away from the protection, the food, the luxury and face the real world... you'll come crawling back," his words send a shiver down my spine, the raucous tone not ceasing to scare me.
"I want you to step down as Luna and give the role to someone who deserves it, someone who can lead this pack alongside Roman. However, my son won't listen to my words of advice and that's where you come in. I need you to convince him to let you live your life away from being Luna, before you ask how this could benefit you, believe me; it does. You would get to live in riches and receive all the perks of being mated to someone as powerful as Roman without having to lift a finger,"
"It'd take more than lifting a finger to provide this pack with an heir which I suppose is your next term. I get that I am just breeding stock to you but if I am going to have to suffer through a life I in no way want, then I am going to help prevent it from happening to as many other people as I can,"
Once again the unwavering ability many wolves have to undermine me fails to work. I know that just because I decide to step down from being the Luna doesn't mean Roman would a- let me, or b- stop annoying me. His visits to my temporary room won't cease and it's only a matter of time before he moves me back to be next to him. Even last night I slept uncomfortably, the dark, tainted part of my physical being craving to be next to him. If he is dealing the same way as I am then there is no doubt he will want me back with him so he can function properly during the day. I know that he would still push for our time to be spent together, like he had said before, any free time he gets is to be spent with me.
"I am going to warn you now and warn you once, don't cross me little lady, I am the last person you want to make an enemy out of," he glares at me but I don't let a flicker of emotion pass over my poker face.
"It seems to me that you already are my enemy, old man," I snap back and he lets out a low growl but thankfully doesn't decide to pounce on me and eat me up as his next snack.
"You have just made a terrible mistake," he says and I laugh.
"So have you,"
He doesn't bother responding to my attitude and whips around, storming up the door to knock it on it three times before it is swiftly opened and he stalks out of the room. What a complete dick. Maybe this is where Roman gets his attitude problem from, I can't imagine having to grow up with a father like that.
I knew before he decided to fill me in what his plans were so thanks to my little adventure yesterday I now appear much smarter than I actually am. I don't want another enemy in this place, I have enough as it is, but something tells me that he won't be letting me slip away so easily. He was a fool to think that he could promise me luxuries and a life of relaxation in turn for my freedom and the fight to help improve the lives of millions. I'm all for people shooting their shot but if this were shark tank he'd be kicked out the door before he even walked in.
I look back at the white door and just to humour myself, I stalk up and knock three times to be let out, dishing out pettiness to whoever stands watch outside the door. To my complete astonishment, the door actually swings open and I jump back nearly three feet, looking up at Roman who stares down at me with annoyance. He enters the room and the door closes behind him and I stand stiffly, watching his jaw clench as he looks me up and down, assessing every inch of my body.
I see the lust that swirls in his eyes but I don't count on him calling me beautiful or whispering sweet nothings into my ear this time round. I look over his outfit as well, it is much like yesterday's suit except much more regal, everything-down to the stitching-is utterly immaculate. I take in the way the fabric wraps around his large arms, the corded muscles might be concealed but the suit doesn't shy away from the strength underneath. His broad shoulders and washboard stomach make his beauty that much more dangerous, no matter how ertheral he may appear there is the underlying threat of what can be achieved with it.
"What did my father want?" He breaks the silence between us and I notice how his hand clenches at the mention of his dad.
"Nothing," he shoots me a look, "he just told me that he thinks I should renounce my duties as Luna to someone more fitting and that being a glorified trophy wife is my calling in life," I answer monotonously and his jaw ticks as he lets out a deep sigh through his nose.
"I'll have the guards know he isn't allowed in here and speak with him at the next opportunity about boundaries... sorry," he adds but his voice remains steely like the rest of himself. The air is filled with the awkward tension left behind from our argument and he unclenches his fist, motioning to me with it.
"You look nice," he says and I blink long and hard to register if I actually heard him correctly and when he doesn't speak further- awaiting my response I blubber out.
"T-thanks," I drop my head to look at my hands but the second I do I regret it because he seized the opportunity and walks closer to me. He reaches his hand into the pocket of his pants and pulls out a small silver bracelet. I feel myself deflate a little more, I don't want another sorry present from him.
"This is for you," he holds it out with both of his hands and I have no choice but to stick out my own and watch as he fastens it around my wrist. I notice that there is a small locket attached, circular and smooth.
"Why?" I ask and he removes my fingers that glide over the small trinket, unclasping the locket to reveal a golden compass in the middle.
"It's been laced with my blood so that wherever I go, you'll always know where I am. See," he picks up my hand and subsequently the bracelet and true to his word the little arrow points directly at him, "you're right that it's unfair for me to always have knowledge of where you are and for me to remain hidden so now... you know," he finishes and takes a step back, I didn't realise I liked the warmth his body exuded until that point.
"I didn't get you anything," I admit and he tries to fight off a small smile but I can see the corner of his lip raise just slightly.
"You are enough," he responds and just like that the sour taste returns to my mouth. He's right, I shouldn't give him a gift if he's already decided to take my entire self for his own use.
"I'm confused, you said that I was going to be punished and now you are gifting me things? What happened to hating me?" I query.
"Your punishment for betraying me will come in due time and I don't hate you. I could never hate you Mae. Am I mad at you? Extremely. But despite your feelings for me I still have faith that one day you'll at least tolerate me," he says absently and I turn around to sit on the bed.
"If things were different then maybe that would be a possibility but the truth is they aren't. You say you don't want me to lie to you but you don't want me to be honest either," I respond and he just purses his lips.
"What I want is for you to love me the way that I love you, endlessly and unconditionally. That is what I want and I know you'll never feel that way," my heart stops in my chest, he is right, scarily so. He knows that I am never going to love him, or anyone else for that matter, not the same.
"Loving me is a stupid idea," I snap my attention up to him but from the pity in his eyes laced with guilt I know he see's it more of a reflection of my own inability. Love leaves someone vulnerable, it makes you do stupid, unreasonable things and in the end when the person you love leaves you are left feeling the pain doubly so.
"Probably, but as much as I want your love I don't need it. I need you, in more ways than one, to make my life complete. You don't see it know, and perhaps you never will, but you could achieve greatness alongside me. When it comes to ruling we are equals, you and I, after this ceremony I won't place a law without your jurisdiction and vice versa,"
"We will never be equals, Roman." The fact was patently unfair and he nodded causally in understanding of my concern.
"In some ways no, we won't. But after tomorrow we need to put aside our differences. During the working day, you and I will rule together and attend meetings as a united front or else the ideas you want implemented won't be taken as seriously. Any personal arguments can be left until we are in the privacy of our quarters," There isn't a soft edge to his tone, what he speaks is simply a fact, not up for argument or negotiation and I know better than to try. He takes my hand and guides me up off the bed so I am stood too close for comfort next to him.
"We have to go now," he states and I jerk my hand back from his, noticing the way his eyes harden disapprovingly at my reaction, "Maeve," his tone drops considerably and it doesn't help to ease my nerves.
"Will it hurt?" The second he realises my retaliation stems from my fear his expression softens and he places a hand on my face, there is something daunting about the action in itself. If he truly decided to, at any given moment he could crack my skull with a gentle squeeze.
"A little bit," he says softly. He doesn't bother to sugar coat it and that relieves me but frightens me all the same.
"How much?" I push and he takes his hand away from my cheek, his thumb brushing over the smooth skin as he does.
"It will sting a little but the pain will wash away." There isn't room for a response as he takes my hand and pulls us both towards the door, my gut wrenching with every step we take closer to my demise.
I tittered. "I don't have to bite you back do I?" I blurt out, trying relentlessly to stretch the distance between here and there as much as humanly possible. He doesn't feed into my fallacious humour and knocks on the door.
"No." He pauses for a minute in thought, "The only other thing of mention, besides remaining composed, is to let me slice your palm and adjoin it with a cut of my own. It is basic pack initiation," he adds listlessly but I halt, watching as his head curls around in annoyance to assess my new stubborn act of defiance.
"That is very dangerous. You can't expect me to mix blood with you, I'm not a wolf. It's dangerous," I reiterate and his lip raises in the beginnings of a snarl.
"I'm not going to do anything that will put you in danger. We are bonded, Mae, my blood won't hurt you-in fact- it will speed up the heal of your cut and you'll be good as new,"
"What are the side effects of this?" I query and he runs a hand down the length of his face.
"Nothing, Mae. For regular wolves it binds us, establishes rank and power so that they and their wolves submit. It doesn't make a difference for you because-as I said before-you are of equal status to me," he caters to my vulnerability, filling me in although the words don't provide much of anything besides a few extra seconds of freedom.
"Please don't make me do this," I blubber out and his eyes hold anger but his face shows pain at my obstinate attitude towards being mated to him.
"It isn't up to me," he grits out venomously, his eyes narrowing- daring me to continue my futile begging, "what is about to happen has been written by fate and I want you to understand that, I do, but once again wants and needs are two different things,"
I gulp thickly, saliva coating my throat like treacle as I peer up into his blue eyes, blinking back tears. There is no changing what happens after I step out of this door and I don't know why my body treats the one threshold as the difference between freedom and servitude. Either way-right now-I am trapped, my fate as Roman so bluntly put it, has been decided. I just can't help but feel that once I move from my spot and step beside Roman I am going to embark on an interminable journey and an irrevocable one at that.
"Maeve, it will be fine." His words of assurance aren't what encourage me to move forward but from the relaxed look of relief I can tell its what he thinks. Too much is riding on me not going through with this and as insalubrious as it will be I will go through with it and I will survive. Just like I always do.
So yes, it is 11:00 pm on a Saturday night not a Sunday and although I am really trying to stick to the schedule I thought "what the heck"
Considering once school kicks in (which starts tomorrow omg wish me luck) and it's my last year of high school, things will prolly get a little hectic. Meaning updates could be like 11:59 on a Sunday night instead of 12:00 am Sunday morning.
Alsooo, just recently I reached 100 followers on Instagram!! I'm so happy you guys are supporting me there and would like to know what you want to see more of in that platform :)
stay absolutely dope and have a fantastical week and I'll see you Thursday!
Ps: the next few chaps are going to be hecticccccc