Days flew and we had the mating ceremony in two days. It was planned as a small event within the pack. Alpha Reol had already arrived with only handful of members from his pack. Since Drake’s wolf was dormant, Aubrey would alone be marking him. It was quite normal that only one of the mates alone marking other when they got a human mate.
Olivia said that Alpha Jackson and Allison were coming tomorrow for the ceremony. They were here to see their grandchild and to attend the function. Olivia told that she would talk with both the Alphas together, immediately after the ceremony, to process my transfer. I hope it would work out.
I sighed and cleared my desk to leave to my home. I was slowly taking my things from office to home. I should start packing my items. I could leave early and start today. With the thought I left the hospital and started walking home. My thoughts were all over the place and I slowly realized that my legs had taken me to the trail towards the lake. How did I not notice where I was going? Luckily I just entered the path and no one saw me. Taking a breath of relief and turned towards my home.
“Rose…” I stopped short when I heard him. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath. Can I face him now? Should I face him now? I stood, not turning back for minutes, contemplating in my thoughts.
Let me. If I saw him, I would get used to him with Aubrey and I would not react if I saw him in public. With that, I braced myself and turned towards him. But nothing prepared me when I saw those dark eyes.
“Hi…” My voice was a mere whisper.
“What are you doing here?” I was not surprised at his question. Of course he was very clear last time that he did not want to see me anymore.
“I am sorry. I was in my own thoughts and never noticed where I was going.”
We became silent again. I turned to see the trees to avoid his eyes.
“Do you want to join for coffee?”
“I don’t think it is a good idea.” I said in a tired voice.
“Please…” His voice was sincere. I could not identify the emotion underlined in that and nodded my head without thinking. He gestured me towards his cabin and walked forward. With a deep sigh, I followed him.
We sat on the island chairs with steamy mugs in hand. Both of us were toying with our cups and did not say a word.
“Why did you say that?” He asked me without preamble.
I know what he was referring to.
“You want to know?”
He shook his head.
“Yes and No.”
“What?” I looked at him with confusion.
“I want to know the real reason why you said. I am afraid to know if it is true or not. If it is true, why I did not feel it? Why should I lose my wolf and if you say is true, why should I lose my mate? I am scared of my feelings towards you. I was never afraid of anything before. Why did you not tell me before? Why did you say that, after I took a decision to mate with Aubrey?”
His voice was filled with anguish.
“I don’t know Drake. I don’t have the answers. May be it was the game of Moon Goddess.”
He fisted a thud on the table.
“My life is not a game to play with and my emotions are definitely not a game to play with.”
I urged to say that it was not only his life and emotions that are at stake, but mine too. But I simply stood and walked out.
“Will you be coming for the ceremony?” His voice followed me. I stood at the doorstep and said without turning back.
“Yes. I and my wolf want a complete closure on this. And it can be done only by witnessing your mating ceremony.”
When I was about to step out he spoke again.
“What do you want me to do?”
Surprisingly, I felt calm. And I knew what to say. I turned back and looked at his eyes.
“It is you who should decide.”
And I left.
Today Alpha Jackson and Allison were coming here. A small barbeque with dinner was arranged in the evening as an occasion for the mating ceremony tomorrow. I finally decided not to move back to my pack, but leaving with Allison and Jackson for a short break. After that I wanted to know if my wolf could bear up being next to Drake. If not, after my training with Richard, I would ask for an exchange. Since I would be leaving soon immediately after the ceremony, I decided to pack my things. Leaving the minimal wardrobe and accessories, I started to pack all my dresses. I stacked the photos in between the dresses so that I could transport without breaking the glasses.
I had brought a couple of cardboard boxes. Since I was going to travel by car, I think I could take everything with me. Of course the need for a flight journey was over now. I sighed at the thought. After clearing my closet, my attention drifted into the box at the top. After a moment, I realized the contents. It was the items Drake left out when he disappeared in thin air.
What would happen if I showed him the box? Would he believe me that I was his mate? Or would he think that I was still trying to trap him? Even if he believed that I was his mate, what would happen? Would he stop the mating ceremony? He loved Aubrey from first and he got his second chance now. Why should I destroy it?
My hands took out the box on its own command. It had mainly his clothes. The only thing in addition was a chain with a beautiful pendant. It had two wolves standing side by side and howling. The wolves were carved in a single piece but one colored in white and another in black. Like a total opposites, but could not be completed without another. The yin to the yang. Ah! That’s why the bracelet looked similar to me. I decided to give the box to Olivia while leaving. She would know what to do with that.
After spending half a day in packing, I decided to give a break and got ready for the evening. Not the entire pack would be present as they would be available tomorrow for the ceremony. Once dressed in a plain jeans and simple floral tops, I went to Olivia’s house. I could hear the sound at the backyard and went directly there. I saw Olivia holding Blake and sitting with Allison. None of the three Alphas, and to my relief, Drake was not found anywhere. Maybe they were in some meeting.
I walked towards Olivia and Allison. Allison looked up at me and stood up to hug me.
“Look at you Rose. You have grown more beautiful than last time. And it is as if I am seeing your mother.”
Allison always mentioned that, I looked like my mother. A surge of happiness spread again in me, like every time she said this.
“How are you Allison? Where is Alpha Jackson?” I asked, looking around.
“The Alphas. In meeting as usual. What is it I am hearing from Olivia? You want to come back with us.”
I sighed. I know what Olivia was planning for. Having Allison to convince Alpha Jackson and herself to convince Alpha Derek.
“Yes. I thought of having a break. But if you have any concerns…”
Allison did not allow me to finish.
“Nonsense, dear. I am always happy to have you back. But why the sudden decision? I thought you wanted to be with Olivia and hence moved here.”
Allison asked in a genuine surprise. But I could not give her the true answer.
“I thought I would be happy. But now I know that I want to be in my home pack.”
Allison did not answer, but looked at me for some time. She was even cleverer than Olivia and I know I could not hide from her forever. And I did not think I need forever. Only till tomorrow.
“Olivia, Allison, The alphas wants you to join them in the Alpha’s Office. It will take only a couple of minutes.” We all turned to see Drake is standing there. His face was void of emotion, but I know he was angry. The way his ear were red and his lips thinned showed his emotions. What was he angry for?
I offered to take care of Blake till they return and all three left me. I sat down with the sleeping Blake in hands. He was such a sweet boy who never disturbed his mama.
“Hey Rose. Want something to drink?” I looked at the voice and saw Albert standing with a smile. I smiled back and asked for some water alone. He left and brought back a bottle of chilled water. Taking it with a thanks, I gulped the contents. Sure, it was getting hotter. Albert sat next to me.
“How are things?” he asked.
“What have you decided?” Albert asked me.
I looked at him.
“Regarding moving out.” He said back.
I sighed. “I am not moving for good, but I am taking a break. I am going back to my home pack for a couple of months.”
“Regarding tomorrow, what is your plan?”
I looked at him sharp. What was he trying to say?
“Why are you asking that?”
He looked back in a surprise.
“I am asking, are you going with anyone?”
“Yes, Oh.” He laughed.
I smiled and said no one.
“Then do you want to come with me?”
I shot up an eyebrow at him. He raised his hands in surrender.
“I know, I am asking only as a friend.”
I thought for a minute. What was wrong in that?
“Ok. I will.” I said to him.
He nodded with a smile. After a moment he looked at me.
“Just for you to know. If you had decided to move out, I and Maureen would have been joining with you to move to the new pack.”
I looked at him with surprise. “Why?”
Albert was silent for a moment. The he looked at me.
“I know you are looking at me as a friend. But I secretly hope that our friendship may develop into a lot more in future. I don’t want to pressure you, but I don’t want to miss the chance in case.”
I looked at Albert with loss of words. And at the same time the Alphas, Lunas and Betas joined us. The barbeque started in a full swing. People were gathering and chatting with each other.
I could see Aubrey and Drake are standing together. Aubrey was holding Drake’s arms. I thought for a moment that she was just holding him so that he would not run away. I chastised myself at thinking such thoughts. I avoided the pair as much as much as possible.
I could see Drake eyes were searching the entire crowd here and then in between the talks. Was he searching for me? Get a grip Rose. You got too much of an imagination.
Olivia called me to her table where the Alphas and Lunas are seated along with Jacob, Remi and Steve. I went and greeted everyone over there.
“Rose, how are you child?” Alpha Jackson asked me in a fatherly tone.
“I am fine Alpha Jackson.” I smiled at him. And we were talking general things. Drake and Allison joined us at the table much to my torment. I could see Drake’s eyes falling on me often and Allison’s eyes are narrowing at me. She just took his hands in her and Drake did not oppose it. With that action she sent a smug look towards me. I neither acknowledged nor ignored them. Let them assume whatever they wanted.
After some time, I decided I had been present for enough time. After excusing from everyone I stood up to leave. Albert appeared from nowhere and told that he will pick me up tomorrow morning. Drake looked at me sharply at his words.
When Albert offered that he would drop me at home, I refused him stating that it is not needed. I needed to be alone now. I walked slowly back home. I very much needed this walk alone.
I changed into some comfy clothes and prepared myself a hot cup of coffee. I heard a sharp knock at the door. Wondering who it could be, I opened the door. I was shocked to see Drake is standing there.
“What are you doing here?”
“Can I come inside?”
I moved to let him in. He strolled casually and sat on the couch. I closed the door and came in. I asked him again without sitting.
“Can I get a cup of coffee?” He asked me.
Letting a huff of annoyance, I went in to bring another mug of hot coffee for him. After that I sat on the opposite couch.
“Why do you want to leave?”
I sipped at the hot coffee in surprise and coughed at the impact.
“Why do you want to know?”
“Why suddenly you want to move as soon as you come here?”
Did he think that I was moving out for good? Somehow I did not want to correct him.
“I don’t want to stay in the place where my mate had chosen another female.”
“God damn it.” He cursed and stood up and paced across the room. “Why are you so difficult?” He shouted.
I shook my head.
“Drake, you are the one, being difficult. You have to choose. If you don’t want me to go, accept that I am your mate. Else if you choose Aubrey and mate with her, let me go.” I said in a soft voice.
I could see the conflict arising in his eyes. I felt sorry for him. If he did not choose, his life would be hell. Since his wolf was not there to bind him with his mate with a mark, he needed to take a decision on his own.
He sat down on the couch again with a lost expression. After a moment he asked me again.
“Why is Albert picking you up tomorrow?”
“He is my date for your ceremony.”
“The hell he is. No, you cannot go. I will not allow it.”
I laughed once I heard his words.
“Are you serious? Are you saying that I should not go on a date? That too, for a ceremony where you will be binding yourself with a mate?” I shook my head at him.
Drake looked at me with angry eyes and left the place in a dash.