To Hate Love

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Chapter 3

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"For better or for worse."

Flashback...

"Ollie!" I squeal as he twirls around, laughing mischievously, my view of his back spinning with his movement "Ollie I mean it out me down," I say through laughs and he responds by smacking my butt cheek and making me gasp in horror.

"You wanna be put down hey?" He asks in a sultry voice and the next thing I know my body is flying down onto the soft mattress with a bounce, Oliver's cheeky grin looks down at me from the end of the bed.

I watch laughing as he pulls off his shirt in one fell swoop, discarding it onto the ground next to him to display his corded abdominal muscles. He climbs down overtop of me and runs his hand up the side of my leg before his lips come crashing down onto mine. I run my hands over his stomach and let them rest behind his neck as I draw him closer to me.

The blare of his phone goes off from his pocket and I pull back a little despite Olivers grunt of disapproval. "Baby just leave it," he mumbles into my mouth and so we continue where we left off only for the phone to go off again. He pulls back from me and lets out an annoyed sigh before reaching into his pocket and cursing.

"Baby can you just hang on for like five minutes? I will be right back, this is important," I nod and he crawls off of me although it is obvious he seriously doesn't want to. His finger swipes across the screen before he lifts the object up to his ear, "Dad? I'm kinda in the middle of something, this better be important... what, when?" he says harshly into the phone before walking to the balcony off our room and continuing his conversation over the busy street.

I sigh and slump back down onto the hotel bed, reaching over to the bedside table and picking up my own phone.

Hey Mae I'm not gonna be able to make it tonight... plane got canceled smh

Have fun without me, don't do anything too wild!

All good Ave, see u soon :)

I reply, slightly saddened that she won't make it to Las Vegas in time to go clubbing. We had planned to hit the casinos tonight with Avery and her new beau, go out on the town and have an absolute blast. This is my first time in the city and the second I felt its electric air, the buzz of excitement it left tingling on my skin, I knew that this trip would be unforgettable.

"Sorry about that," I shut my phone off, putting it back on the table and looking at Ollie who closes the door to the balcony.

"Is everything okay?" I ask and he finishes off a text and puts the phone away.

"Yeah, it's all good don't worry," his words come out gravelly as they do when he is telling a mistruth but I decide to ignore it and flash him a toothy grin.

"Avery texted, she and her man aren't going to be here until tomorrow now so its just you and I," I say with a huff and he smirks at me, still half naked.

"Even better," he closes the thin sheath of the curtain, concealing the sunset but allowing the hues to float in and light up the room before climbing back into bed and picking up where he left off.

-

"This isn't too much?" I look at my body in the tall mirror of our bathroom and take in the shimmer that it lets off. Avery decided that she was going to pack my bags tonight, hence why I look a lot more risqué than usual. Oliver walks into the bathroom with a toothbrush hanging in his mouth and dramatically spits out the content of his mouth before letting out a low wolf whistle.

"Damn Mae," he looks me up and down again and licks his lips, the smile stretched on his face showing how much he enjoys making me squirm. I blush furiously, folding my arms to conceal my body but perfecting the method of making certain areas of myself more noticeable.

"Seriously though, is it not too much?" I say and he smiles before walking up and embracing me, his minty breath mixing in with his cologne.

"Well I am going to spend a large portion of tonight death glaring a lot of men but if you're happy then it's worth it," he leans down and gives me a peck and I look at the time on my phone.

"It's too late to change now, let's just go have some fun," I say enthusiastically and he smiles broadly before taking my hand in his and pulling us out from the room.

"Our ride should get here any minute now, have you got a jacket in case it gets cold out?" He asks and I hold my finger in the air, my eyes widening before running into the closet and taking a denim jacket off its hook. Running back out I smile at Oliver who chuckles at my forgetfulness and he checks his wallet, pulling out a slim black card and waving it in the air with a smirk.

"Let's go have some fun, shall we?"

-

"Shots! Shots! Shots!" People have gathered around the craps table and watch as I down another shot of tequila, letting out a loud whoop after. Everyone cheers and I stumble backwards, my back meeting a solid warm heater. A pair of hands settle on my hips and I double take, whipping around lethargically to see Oliver stood with a goofy grin.

"Ollie!" I laugh and he laughs back at me, both of us just as tipsy as the other. We somehow found our way into a casino night club and just recently won a round of a game I don't understand at all. I just threw some dice on a table a few times and joined in when everyone cheered crazily.

"Let's get going, I heard that there is a twenty four hour pizza joint around the corner and I'm hungry," he mumbles into my ear, his words blurring at points. I begin to nod but stop myself short when the music in the club stops and a voice sounds over the microphone.

"Couples! Come on down to the dance floor for your chance to win five hundred dollars in cold hard cash!" I look to Oliver, a smile creeping onto my face and his own smile drops, his face turning ghostly white as he begins to shake his head.

"Mae! No no no no," he objects verbally but doesn't put up a fight as I grab his hand and drag the two of us to the chequered dance floor just as the competition starts.

"Oliver! Come on you know the routine," I tell him and he looks like he wants to be buried alive in that exact moment. 'The routine' is a dance that we both created-after a few wines sure- but it became ritual to do whenever we were home alone and had the music blaring. It may seem extremely weird but behind closed doors I am an ah-mazing dancer. Or at least that is what alcohol tells me.

Groove in the heart by Deee-Lite begins to play and I start jigging from side to side, Oliver following my lead, a pink blush covering his cheeks.

I let loose, my body moving to the beat of the music as I let the tequila guide me and eventually Oliver beings to smile, moving more loosely and getting into the dance maybe even more than me. He grabs both my hands and we cross our arms, spinning around before shimming to the beat, loosing the competition and focusing on one another.

Our bodies move in sync in what has to be-hands down-the greatest dance of all time and we laugh and soak up each others crazed energy. As soon as the song ends he pulls me in and crashes his lips against mine and people from the club cheer loudly at the performance of the couples.

"Well ladies and gentlemen I think we have ourselves a winning couple! To the young pair at the back!" The light shines on Oliver and I and I break from the kiss, letting out a squeal of excitement as the host walks down from a stage with two half dressed women. They hand Oliver a giant wad of cash and place two plastic crowns on our head to which I gasp at, bewildered. Olivers smile widens dramatically now that he holds our winnings and we laugh with each other before walking off the dance floor.

"TO THE PIZZA PARLOUR!" I bellow and he laughs again, pulling me into his side and kissing my head.

"To the pizza parlour," he repeats between laughs and we move out onto the bustling street, heading down the concrete pavement aimlessly, Oliver trying to use his phone and navigate a way to get us food. We wander for about thirty minutes and he stops, turning to me with wide eyes but focusing on a street vendor behind us, selling trinkets.

"Wait there a second," he says and moves to the stall, buying something from the vendor before moving back to me and smiling profusely.

"Baby?"

"Hmmm?" I say back cheekily and he gets down to the ground on one knee, pulling out a pink plastic ring to which I laugh uncontrollably.

"Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?" He asks, his words almost as slurred as mine, his body shaking to one side as he nearly loses balance.

I let out another stream of giggles and give him my hand, finding the situation more hilarious than anything else. Without hesitating he slides the ring onto my finger and rises, kissing me passionately under the street lamp in front of a murky side corner stall. Once he breaks the kiss, his emerald eyes sparkling, he turns the both of us around and points to behind the venue at a large white church in the distance, a neon street sign flashing the words 'Chapel Of Love!' Next to a picture of Elvis Presely.

"Are you sure you wanna do this?" I say a little more softly and he holds out the wad of cash in his hands.

"Its now or never baby," he says with a grin and so we take our earnings, running across the street in the middle of the night, hand in hand with stupidly happy faces into an Elvis wedding chapel. The rest of the night becomes a blur of tacky costumes, alcohol and a random group of drag queens we invited a split second before entering. But the second I said those two words underneath a mistletoe-for whatever reason-in a run down church in Las Vegas, I knew I had made the right decision.

PRESENT

The doors before us loom over me, their omnipotence sends shivers down my spine and makes my body break out in a nervous sweat. I failed. I failed miserably and now this is my price. A life spent attached to a person whom I despise and will have to-for reasons beyond my control-aid in fixing the unjust problems that he created.

Roman reaches out his hand and before he can hold mine I snatch it away with defiance, the longer I focus on what is about to happen the more my blood boils. My cradled hand is pulled from my stomach and into Roman's firm grip, the soothing elements of the bond kicking in instantly. I let it be known that I am not happy, clenching my jaw and staring at the doors to the outside world with vehemence.

"At least pretend you want to be here," Roman spits at me, displeased with me striving to repudiate all of his plans. I remove the scowl from my face, setting my lips in a firm line and extinguishing the fire in my eyes. If it is compliance he wants then I will give it to him; but like everything, it comes at a cost. You want a subservient little mate to appease a pack of wolves then don't expect a smile.

His grunt of disapproval falls on deaf ears and I feel a weight lift off my chest when he doesn't try and wrangle me into looking happy through threats or false promises. Maybe it was his plan to make me just as miserable as him all along, both of our faces stone cold and full of an unspoken mission. I guess some might look onto us with reverence, two strong leaders that are both united through their unwavering emotions instead of one giddy little girl and a big tough Alpha.

A symphony of drums sound from outside the door and then, without any warning, the doors swing open to the outside garden and the hundreds of wolves lined around the field. There aren't any cheers and from the deep, slow beats of the music I gather that even the lowest ranking wolves who have come to witness this historical moment know it is to be had solemnly. The stage is stretched out down the end of the aisle and I look upon the wolves who flank the sides of this walkway as they drop small white moon flowers onto the floor in front of us. On the stage a woman dressed in a ghostly gown- a priestess- stands with her arms outstretched like a celestial being, her large black head piece moving as she sways, her lips uttering out a stream of chants.

I wish I could turn to Roman and make a comment about how ridiculous this all was, how his insane little cult has taken bonkers to a whole new level but I don't. Partly because I don't want to deal with the wrath that would undoubtedly ensue but also because at this point I can't deny the magic that flows through the air. I notice that the wolves closer to the stage are graced with chairs although they too stand for our haunting walk down the aisle. At the very end stand the Alpha and Luna Superiors, as well as a belligerent Marcus next to April who dabs at her eye sockets with a handkerchief in joy.

My head snaps up to above the stage and I watch the moon in complete awe. The eclipse is in full swing, the moon illuminating the stage and watching over the event with keen eyes. Her beauty is unparalleled, the sun reflecting off its white surface and sending a cool array of saffrons and tuscany makes my soul tingle-a buzz that doesn't dissipate forming. The second my foot steps up onto the velvety surface of the stage the drums stop and the only sound I can hear is the howling of the distant wind and the beating thump of my heart. It takes everything I have to lift up my other leg and haul it onto the next step, my body shutting down at the thought of what is about to happen. We stop in front of the priestess and face each other.

Through Roman's steely gaze I can see the eager man that lurks beneath because as much as he will push this on the bond and the goddess herself, he wants this. It is so obvious that he truly has waited for this moment to come and nothing brings him greater joy that making sure I will never get to leave him again. What is about to occur will fulfil his duty to a pack, strengthen his rule and ruin my life.

The priestess starts to speak words in an archaic language that I cannot decipher, looking only to Roman who does nothing but stare at me with relief and earnest and the way his eyes flick over mine, as if they are reading some hidden message makes me shiver. At certain points of the chant the crowd would collectively say a word, Roman joining in and then she would continue. Everything about the event made me clammy, the ancient techniques sent ripples of fear through me as despite the fact that I am about to be named their ruler, I've never felt more distant from a group of people in my life.

Before I know it, Roman is being handed a sharp blade, the handle intricate and old. He slices his palm without so much as a flicker of pain, letting the blood drip down from his calloused palm as he holds his hand out to me. A stillness fills the air and everyone watches on to see my next move because my hand sits frozen beside me, unrelenting in its feat to stay put. Roman's icy blue eyes darken and my heart hammers against my chest, beating so furiously and rapidly that I don't doubt he can hear it pounding away.

I jerk my hand outwards and a tear slips from my eye as I give away my freedom. He doesn't waste a second to grab my hand firmly, gliding the dagger down my palm and creating an incision which the red liquid flows from instantly. Without warning, he clasps our hands together and my head throbs with dizziness, all of my senses warping and conforming into a new alignment. I blink hard and long, trying to shake the magic that rocks my body, running through me like my very marrow was made of the substance.

When I open my eyes again to look at Roman it is like I am seeing life through a different lens. The man before me is no longer my mate but someone of true, raw power. Power that I can sense floating off him in thick, strong waves. It makes me want to cower, to submit myself to him before he can inflict any damage upon me as if my body senses that he now has that control. I feel the sudden urge to embrace his power and his protection, to revere him and hold him with the utmost respect. It is like my natural instincts are being rewired to conform to the ways of the wolf pack and thus turn me into his subordinate.

I fight against every thought that I have, screaming to myself that I abhor this person, not love, that this isn't me and that I don't want it but the bond he has forged is greater. I want to lash out at him and scream in rage, spit out obscenities and damn him to the deepest, darkest pit in hell but I can't. My mouth won't open to let me but I know that he can see the torment in my eyes, see me battling to get out of my body with fear through the anguish that flicks through his own. The regret. Was this his plan all along? To force me into his control and make me suffer so greatly?

The dagger is returned to the shadowed woman and he moves closer to me, his hand-now fully healed- slides behind my neck and without realising I bear my neck to him fully, submitting to his mercy without wanting to. I breath out slowly and will myself to find some strength from somewhere, to muster whatever I have left and through strenuous effort I jerk my head back into place, fighting off it's movements to look directly at Roman. Shock befalls his face and I know that what I just did wasn't supposed to happen-not naturally-and for a moment I think I see pride shine through his orbs but it quickly dissipate when anger overtakes his features.

He steps closer to me and the heat of his front pressed up against mine burns through the fabric of my dress. It sears into my skin and my head snaps back to the side, my body giving up and this time Roman doesn't waste a second to prevent it from happening again, nestling his head in my neck. My body shudders violently when his teeth stretch into elongated canines, their sharp points resting over a spot on my neck that tingles dramatically.

I look back up at the moon and let the string of curse words that linger on the tip of my tongue disappear into my thoughts. I narrow my eyes and glare with as much animosity as I can, praying in the hopes that whatever goddess belongs up there receives my words of repugnance loud and clear. She is up there, looking down on me and the life that she has dammed me to- the man she has dammed me to. I used to stare up into the night sky when I was a little girl and admire the bright glowing orb in the sky, feeding off its wisdom and strength, pulling from the energy it sent to give me hope.

Now I feel nothing but contempt because all the help it offered me in times of hardship now seem like a price, as if I were taking part in an unknown deal by seeking guidance as a child. This is the part of the deal where I give back it seems, my soul signed away without my knowledge.

I try my hardest not to feel, not to give Roman the satisfaction of seeing me as anything more than the empty shell of a being he has transformed me into but nothing can stop my reaction as his long canines pierce my skin.

Authors Note

Hey guys! What did you think of the new chapter update??

I haven't really got much to say because I'm utterly exhausted right now but I hope you have had a wonderful week and see you all Sunday!

Love,

Khalesi

Ps don't forget to share/comment/like :)

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