“I would like to thank everyone for coming at such short notice, for such a devasting event. Today, we say goodbye to the people who we loved, who made us the happiest we could be, and who bravely protected us with their lives. They will forever live on in each of our hearts as if they were standing directly next to us, keeping us in their company. They will now be protected by the Moon Goddess, and I have full faith that she will take good care of them,” Jax says dismally. He is dressed in a black suit with a black slim tie, complementing my fitted black dress that brushes against my knees. The pack has copied our clothing to pay their respects to people they once knew.
The service is being held in a flatland that has tombstones poking from the ground, deep in the woods. Jax, Axton, and I stand on a small hill, looking down at the pack. The only thing in between us and them is the coffins that lay in three rows. In total, we have lost thirty-one members, and some are still fighting for their lives in hospital as we speak.
Rain smacks against the ground as grey clouds coat the sky, making the atmosphere show how we all feel inside. I like to think the Moon Goddess is crying along with us. “As your Alpha, I would like to formally apologize for not completing my duties. My role as Alpha is to keep you all safe, and I failed. Lives were lost because of my actions, and I can’t express enough how guilty I feel,” Jax chokes, as tears slowly slide down his cheeks. My chest tightens at the sight of him crumbling in front of his pack. Alphas never share their emotions as they have to be seen as calm and collected, so to see Jax’s struggling to catch his breath as sobs rack his body, I know he is struggling.
Taking matters into my own hands, I step forward and place one of my hands on his back, rubbing it in smooth motions. I gently say, “Let me,” through the matebond as I now stand at the centre, with Jax and Axton at either side of me.
Suppressing my nerves, I take a large gulp of air and force my eyes up. Each face has despair plastered on it, whilst their eyes hold a hint of curiosity. I haven’t spoken officially spoken to the pack, so they must be wondering why I am doing so now. “I want to deeply apologize for the heartbreak I know you are all going through - I can feel it as well...What happened yesterday should not have happened. I beg you not to blame Jax, but instead, blame me. If I would never have come to this pack, you would still have your loved ones and you wouldn’t have to be suffering right now.” Mutters fill the air as their confusion grows. I hear Jax’s protests that it isn’t my fault, that it is his, but I don’t listen. He doesn’t like me taking all the blame, but the truth is, I am the reason, and it can’t be hidden anymore.
I take an uneven breath before I continue. “There is something I haven’t told you. Something that has now not only affected my life, but yours as well,” I say shakily. My palms begin to sweat, and I wiggle my toes around nervously. I can do this. They deserve to know, even if that means my happiness comes to an end. This must be done. “I’ll start from the beginning. My mother passed away whilst giving birth to me...and my father blames me for it. He caged me. Kept me in a cell and beat me until I couldn’t remember my name.” Small gasps are heard, but I carry on as if I didn’t hear them. “Long story short, I escaped. Ran away...and that’s when I found Jax. He helped me,” I say as I glance back at my mate to give him a small, sad smile.
Taking a deep breath, I prepare for the worst. “But you see, my father is the Alpha of Bloodnight Pack...and he wants me back. As you know, it is a crime to abuse someone within the same pack, and so he has been trying to get to me before anyone found out. He knew if anyone ever found out what he did to me that he would live in his own cell, much like I used to. And that’s why,” I choke, “That’s why rogues stormed our lands and killed members of this pack. My father ordered them to attack us. This is all my fault. I am so sorry.” I break down onto my knees, crying into my hands, ready to hear the yells and abuse I have been trying to avoid for so long. I deserve this. I didn’t deserve the abuse from my father, Jax made me realize that, but I caused these people pain and for that, I must face the consequences.
But nothing comes.
Pure silence. Nothing can be heard for miles except my screaming thoughts. I slowly lift my head when a gentle hand touches my back to see every member on one knee with their necks facing the sky. A sign of submission. What...
They’re not shouting at me or holding me at fault. My chest tightens as I feel a panic attack getting closer and closer by the second. I want them to shout at me, blame me for what has happened. I want to shake them and tell them to hold me accountable for losing their family.
I didn’t want to tell them that we had Rose’s phone so we should have been able to of known when the attack should have been as that would then put the blame onto Jax. Without me coming to Midnight Rose in the first place, there would have been no text. In the end, it all links back to me.
A female - with piercing blue eyes - who I know lost her son in the rogue attack, slowly gets to her feet, and speaks. “I don’t blame you. You never asked for this to happen. You may have your father’s blood but that doesn’t mean this is your fault. It’s his. I am proud to be able to say that I had a son who fought to protect his Luna and that he didn’t die in vain.” Tears stream down her face and the only thing I want to do is embrace her.
A few seconds later, a male with sharp grey hair, stands. “My mate lost her life yesterday and I know she would agree with me when I say that you cannot be blamed for your father’s actions. You have been through a traumatic experience over something you had no control over. It is unjustifiable what he did to you, but I don’t and can’t blame you for what happened here yesterday.”
More stand, agreeing with the female and male as I continue to wail and come to terms with the fact that they don’t blame me for the deaths of their loved ones.
The service had finished roughly an hour ago, but Jax and I spoke to each family that has lost a loved one and shared our condolences. I haven’t been able to stop crying from all the overwhelming support from everyone. Jax hasn’t left my side, thankfully, and continues to whisper comforting words in my ear every few seconds to calm me down. I don’t think it will settle in that the pack doesn’t hold me at fault for a long time, but I will prove to them that they will not regret having faith in me. I will try my absolute hardest to be the best Luna that ever lived.
Once all members had returned to their homes to grieve, Jax, Axton, and I walked to the hospital to see how Lily was doing. I saw her before the funeral service - she still hadn’t woken up, but Tom said that was normal as she is on a high dosage of painkillers, and as she is so small that they will make her feel drowsy.
I have Lily’s hand in mine as Tom fills us in on what we have missed while we were away for a few hours. “Her temperature started to peak so I put her on an antibiotic drip which has slightly helped. Other than that, nothing has changed, and she is still stable.” I give a small nod whilst Jax thanks him for his hard work.
Tom leaves the room, along with Axton, to give Jax and me a moment. Jax walks over and squeezes my shoulders in reassurance. “She will be okay, love.” I really hope he is right. I don’t know what I would do if she...
Wet padded thumbs slowly stroke my cheeks and that’s when I realize tears are streaming down my face. I don’t know how I am still able to cry, I thought I would have run out by now. I would like to be able to have at least five minutes of peace where I can convince myself that everything is going to be okay.
“I know you don’t blame me...but I have brought this mess into your life. No one would have died because of me and none of us would have to be living in fear. For once, I would like to live a normal life, with normal people, with no one trying to kill me,” I snort.
“They would never be able to get past me to be able to touch you, my love. And anyway, this will all be over shortly. Mateo will be here in a few hours, and we can live our normal life together. Like we were destined to.”
“That sounds amazing,” I whisper, thinking about the life that Jax and I are going to experience once all of this settles down.
I place my hands on Jax’s, letting the sparks soothe me, however, it doesn’t calm me for long as Axton runs through the door with wide eyes and says with sharp inhales, “Alpha Mason is here with warriors. He says he is here to ‘collect Hayley’ and won’t leave until he has her.”
That’s how I feel. My dad has come to take me back to my own personal hell. He walks onto mine and my mate’s land as if he owns it himself and expects I will willingly go back with him. Well, he has another thing coming.
I will never go back with him or Luke. I have created bonds with people I never thought would be possible. I now have a mate. And best friends, who he has tried to kill. I will make him regret ever hurting the people I care about. He can hurt me as much as he likes, but he will surely regret it when he touches the people I love. Even if that means I must kill him myself.
I start stalking out of Lily’s room, ready to have this whole ordeal once and for all finished but am yanked back by Jax. “You are going nowhere, Hayley. He wants you. He wants what’s mine. I won’t let him see you, or even touch you, ever again. He will never be so lucky as to hear you breathe. You are staying here,” Jax states, anger radiating off him.
“I am coming with you, Jax,” I say, completely ignoring him.
“No. You’re not. You are staying put and you will not leave this room until I know it’s safe for you.”
“Is that an order?” I ask, raising my brows.
“Hayley,” he sighs knowing I have caught him out. I am not a member he can boss about. I am his mate and his Luna which makes us equal. So far, he has treated me as such, now is not the time to act differently and demand me to do things.
“I am you Luna, which also means I have a right to protect this pack as much as you do. And so, I’m coming with you.” I start walking towards the door, but once again am stopped when I am pulled back by Jax.
“You’re right, you are my Luna, but I will not risk your safety.” Jax keeps his eyes trained on mine as he stands tall and threatens, “Axton, don’t let her leave this room. If you do, I swear to the Moon Goddess I will have your head. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Alpha,” Axton replies, bowing his head. Jax marches out of the room, and I try to quickly sneak out with him, but Axton blocks my path.
“Axton, let me through,” I say with gritted teeth.
“You know I can’t do that,” he exasperates.
I huff loudly as I try to find a way to escape. I walk over to Lily and brush away some loose strands from her face as an idea hits me. I wait a few heavy moments and give Lily a final look before I dart to the connected bathroom, slamming it behind me before Axton has even a small chance to keep it open. Fists pound the door and I hear splinters start to break from the impact. Axton repeats my name as I lock the door shut, giving me a few extra seconds. In packs, objects are purposefully made so they are not easy to break, otherwise, werewolves would destroy everything as our strength is too overpowering. But they are not invincible. I don’t have long before Axton will break his way in here. And with the force he is using, I only have a few breaths.
I scurry over to the window with panicked movements and open it as wide as it can go. Luckily, we are on the bottom floor, so there is only a small jump. As I manoeuvre my way so I am perched on the ledge, with my legs hanging out of the window, I hear Axton shout, “Open this damn door, Hayley.”
I do feel bad for him, he is trying to protect me, but by him doing that, he is stopping me from protecting everyone I care about. Without thinking twice, I leap out the window and land softly on the grass. I hear a blaring bang, which I assume is the door breaking, followed by a curse from Axton. My legs move before I even have time to register, and I let my senses guide me in the correct direction. I hear footsteps coming towards me, and know Axton isn’t far behind, but this time, nothing can stop me from getting the sweet revenge I so badly deserve on my father...
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