Vow of a Mate

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Part 22

Rose’s POV:

My alarm woke me from my deep slumber. I woke with a feeling that I had to do something. I racked my brain for that. Ah! It’s Saturday. I promised to join Albert and Maureen on the shopping trip. I got up and moved to the bathroom for my morning routine. We borrowed Steve’s car and drove towards the city. We stopped for a short breakfast break and drove towards the mall. I already checked with Remi and got a good suggestion for this particular mall.

We first decided to buy a dress for Maureen. I initially thought it would be a piece of cake, but you should not underestimate a dad’s shopping for his little princess. Albert was not easily satisfied on the dresses. He looked for a comfortable dress but good to wear for a party. After browsing through many dresses, my eyes fell on an olive green long dress. It had a mild flair, with a layer of white net over the dress. It is not very sparkly, but was neat and cute. When I took out of the rack, Albert’s face brightened with a smile. And I saw that my judgement was not wrong after Maureen tried the dress on. We left the shop finally paying for the dress.

I next wanted to go to the jewelry shop. I was thinking of getting a locket chain for Maureen, with her mother’s photo in that. I already took Ivory’s picture in my mobile. I wanted it to be a surprise for both Albert and Maureen. So we parted ways deciding to meet in an hour.

I soon found the locket I was looking for. I mailed the photo to the jeweler. As he said it would be ready in 30 minutes, I decided to wait and started going through the shop. A bracelet caught my eyes. It was a plain chain with two wolves at the end. The wolves were the latch for the bracelet and once locked it was like a Yin and Yang symbol. As if neither wolf existed without the other. My hand traced the lines in the wolves with a smile. My brain racked back on why this design is stirring some emotions in me, but could not find it. I asked to bill this bracelet along with the locket.

“Wow, look at this bracelet dear. So unique and different.” My stomach dropped at the sound and I dreaded to turn.

“My apologies, ma’am. This is piece is sold out.” I turned at the voice of sales assistant and saw Drake and Aubrey were looking at the bracelet I had chosen.

“Do you have another piece?” Drake was asking the assistant who shook his head.

“No sir, this is a special edition of our jewels. Only one design each piece.”

“Who bought this?” Aubrey asked him and he pointed to me.

Both of them were shocked to see me. Drake’s eyes showed some remorse, but Aubrey eyes were calculating.

“Hey Rose.” Aubrey smiled at me, which did not reach her eyes.

I nodded at them.

“Beautiful bracelet this is” She said.

“Thank you.” I replied in plain voice.

“You see, I too want to buy it. But they have only one piece. Can you give it up for me? I love this piece.”

A laughter bubbled up which I smothered with a cough. I was fed up on giving up what was mine. No more of that. I shook my head.

“I am sorry Aubrey. I too love it and hence have purchased. I cannot give it up.”

Aubrey’s eyes sneered at me for a second, but she controlled the emotion in a flash. Such a snake she was.

“You see, I want to wear something special for our mating ceremony. This will suit my dress. So I want it.”

God! Such a spoiled one she is. When I was about to open my mouth Drake interrupted us.

“Aubrey, let’s look for something else.”

“But Drake, I really love it. And it looks more and more pretty as I see it” She said with a frown.

“May be, people don’t understand or appreciate the value of a thing till they miss it.” We all turned to see Albert standing nearby. Drake looked as if he was slapped.

The locket arrived meanwhile and I paid for both. We left the showroom with me and Albert on both sides of Maureen holding her both hands. I felt four pairs of eyes drilling a hold at the back of my head, till we left the shop.

***

Maureen’s birthday was a small party with limited members. Remi and Steve were the known faces in the gang. Maureen’s school friends along with Albert’s cooking team were present for the party. After cutting the cake we all handed over the gifts to Maureen.

When I presented her the locket with her mom’s picture, Maureen face was brighter with joy. Even Albert’s eyes shone with unshed tears. Maureen hugged me tight and then ran away to her friends to show her locket. I smiled at the little girl running across.

“Thank you.” I looked up at Albert, who was also looking at Maureen.

“I wanted to do something for her.” I said back.

I broke the silence after a moment. “I am thinking of moving out to a different pack.”

“Why?” Albert asked me.

“You know why.”

He was silent for a moment.

“Can you reconsider the option? At least for Maureen. She’s finally happy after a long time.” Could I? I was silent.

***

Olivia and Derek named their son as Blake. She was discharged to her home in three days as she was an active female. Her face would become thoughtful every time her eyes fall on me. She never hinted about the conversation we had before her labor. I know she would not keep quiet for long.

After two weeks I was in Olivia’s home along with Juliana to check Olivia and Blake. After thorough checking and feeling satisfied about the health of mom and son, we decided to leave. But Olivia wanted me to stay back. I knew she wanted to talk to me. With her busy schedule as a new mom, I know it was very early for her to talk.

After Juliana left, Olivia turned to me.

“Is it Drake?” Always the same Olivia. No unwanted talks and just straight to the point. I knew the lies were not going to work.

“Yes” I nodded.

“Hmm…” She hummed for a moment and asked back.

“Did you tell him that you were his mate?”

“Not at first, but I did.”

“Then why...”

I stopped her from further talking.

“It is my fault. By the time I told him, it was too late.” I let a shaky sigh in pain.

Olivia held my hand. And I covered her hand with mine. Looking down the floor I continued.

“When I saw Drake again, I understood why he didn’t contact me. When I tried to hint about the past, his health worsened and I decided to leave it. But I had a tiny hope that he may fall in love with me again without the constraint of the mate bond. Because he did once. But he didn’t. When he informed his decision to mate with Aubrey once again, I uttered the secret, but he didn’t believe it. Maybe even the last time, he felt the compulsion to love me because of the mate bond. Hence why he could not fall in love with me again.”

“Rose...”

I shushed Olivia not to say anything.

“No Oli. I don’t want to talk about it. I am used to loss. I won’t lie stating I am OK. But I will be.” I smiled at her.

Olivia too smiled back, but it didn’t reach her eyes.

“Hey, don’t get too stressed. It is not good for the baby.” I chastised her.

Olivia shook her head at my words.

“Olivia can you promise me that you will not tell this to anyone? Saying anyone means ANYONE.” I stressed out.

She nodded her head. “Yes.” She sighed before talking again. “I am still not convinced that you are fine to lose your mate. I know the power of mate bond, since I have one.”

“I will be. Haven’t I last time?”

“But you had a hope that you will meet him again. Now?”

I knew this was the question I was avoiding myself. I could not avoid any more when Olivia asked me.

“I don’t know Olivia. I don’t know.” I was starting to break down as tears threatened to fall.

Olivia laid Blake in his crib and came to hug me.

“Let it out.” The magic words, made all the pain I had bottled, to burst out and I was crying on her shoulder. Olivia just hugged me till my cries reduced to sobs. I sat straight after some time.

“Thank you Oli.” My voice was raspy after the cry. She simply smiled at my words.

After a moment of silence, Olivia asked me with a worry.

“Their mating ceremony is in a week. Will you be OK? If you don’t want to be here, I can make arrangements.”

I shook my head.

“No Olivia. I want to be present. You see, my wolf still believes that she has a chance to be with her mate. If she sees that Drake had mated with another female, she will accept the truth. But…”

“But?” Olivia asked.

“I am thinking of moving to another pack. I cannot live to see my mate every day with another female. I cannot survive that.” I whispered.

Olivia gave a humorless smile. “I guessed. Do you have any pack in mind or do you want me to look for?”

“I want to go back to our pack. May be it is my destiny to work in the same hospital where my parents worked.”

Olivia sighed at my words.

“I will talk to Derek as well as Dad.”

“Can you talk about this after the ceremony? I still haven’t decided yet. Also, I don’t want anyone to come and talk to me on this.”

Olivia very well knew that I was referring to Drake. She nodded her head.

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