I waited outside the room, in where, Doctor Richard was treating Rose. Derek, Olivia, Alpha Jackson, Luna Allison, Albert with his daughter were waiting along with me. No one questioned me anything yet. And I was not in a position to answer any questions. I was still digesting all the events happened so far. Especially I wanted to know that Rose was safe.
My wolf was still restless on the fact that, his mate was struggling for life. And to the top of it, the fact that we were the reason for her situation was eating me and my wolf alive. In my peripheral vision I saw Jacob approaching Derek and whispering something to him. Derek and Alpha Jackson stood up to leave the hospital. Derek came to me, just slapped my shoulder and left the place. Nothing was creating a meaning to me as if I was not physically present there.
Richard came out. Both I and Albert stood in front of him before others in fast strides. Jealousy bubbled up at his actions.
“How is she?” I asked Richard.
“Rose is stable. We have removed the bullet. But she had lost too much of blood. She will take some time to recover. She is not up yet, with the sedatives we have given to operate the bullet, she will be awake only after 6 to 8 hours. We are shifting her to the ward. You can see her there.” He said and clasped his hand on my shoulder and left the place.
I slumped slightly in relief that Rose is fine. Only then I realized my surroundings. I looked around to see Olivia and Allison standing with relief in their faces. When I was about to open my mouth, Olivia talked.
“You are now needed in the ceremony venue. I will let you know once Rose wakes up.”
I guessed at what could have happened, but asked, still “Why?”
Olivia let out a breath and said, “It is better for you to learn by going there. I will make sure Rose is safe. Please go.”
I nodded, but did not leave the place before seeing Rose once again. I saw Rose getting wheeled out of the private room and went along. I saw Albert and Maureen getting settled in chairs outside Rose’s room, waiting for Rose to wake up. I felt uneasy leaving Rose with him, but I could not deny the Alpha’s command. With a sigh, I left to the venue.
I could sense the havoc happened in the place, but whatever I guessed, did not come close to the scene in front of me. I saw both Aubrey and Leon dead on the floor. Aubrey was shot dead on her heart and Leon had killed himself with a bullet shot on his temple. I looked up when I sensed a hand on my shoulder. It was Jacob.
“Alpha Derek and Jackson are now with Alpha Reol. We don’t want him to go beast on all of us. Also Drake wants to know, how much Alpha Reol was involved in this.” I asked about their whereabouts and left there.
I knocked and entered Derek’s office. A wave of anger raised in me when I saw Alpha Reol, but I tried my best to control it. His face showed all the emotions from shock, anger till grief.
“What is this Alpha Reol? Why did your sister play with me? Did she take advantage of my situation? How much were you involved in that?” I said in a voice with a calm that would be before a storm.
Drake interrupted “Drake, How is Rose?”
“She is fine now.” Alpha Reol’s eyes glinted at my answer and my stance changed immediately seeing that.
Sensing the sudden change in room, both Derek and Alpha Jackson became stiff. Any wrong move would result in disaster. Of course Alpha Reol would not have a chance between two Alphas and myself. And slowly the story unwound.
Aubrey was not happy that Leon had been just a pack member. After being the Alpha’s sister, and involved in pack administration, she did not want to be treated a mere pack member in Leon’s pack. She had expressed her discontent often to her brother. When she first heard that I was suffering from amnesia she never commented on that. After that Aubrey visited Alpha Reol, without Leon. When asked, she had mentioned that Leon had travelled to other pack for some alliances.
And suddenly one day she came crying to him stating that she lost her mate. Which we now understood that she had rejected him. Drake called Leon’s pack and confirmed the news. And we assumed that she would have thought that by mating with me she would have gotten an upper hand in the pack and lived the life she wanted.
I could not believe it. Aubrey did not seem like such a character. Even before or now. But that’s what had happened. Since Alpha Reol was not responsible for Aubrey’s actions, we could not take any action anything to him. Also harming him would create a war between packs. Any ways the relation between his and my pack would not be the same going forward.
Derek had instructed Alpha Reol to leave with both his sister’s and her mate’s body. In the mean time we got mind linked my Olivia stating that Rose is awake. With just a nod to the three in the room I rushed to the hospital. I did not stop till I reached Rose’s room. When I opened the door slightly I heard Rose’s soft voice saying that she was afraid. I stood still listening to her.
“Drake remembers everything now. What is this? Third chance for me? I was small when I lost mom and dad. Since then, I knew the pain of losing our loved ones. I felt the same pain, when Drake left me the moment he knew I was his mate. Even then I gambled my love when he asked for a chance and what happened? I lost. When I saw him again here I was happy. I laughed at my luck when I understood that he forgot me. I bet on my love again and lost when he decided to mate with Aubrey.”
“But Aubrey is not in the picture now.” Olivia’s voice rang with concern.
“Why? What happened?” Rose asked back.
“Aubrey’s mate killed her and himself.”
“Oh..” I could imagine the way Rose’s face changed when she was at a loss of words.
“So there is nothing to be afraid of.” Olivia said.
“No Oli. This is not about Aubrey, this is about Drake’s love for me. When he first said that he was confused whether he loves me or was is just his wolf wants me. I am now having the same doubt. If he loved me for me, he would never choose Aubrey again. Now I will have this doubt whether he loves me or he is with me just for the sake of the mate bond.” My heart twisted painfully hearing her sobs.
“Hey.” I saw Olivia sat next to her and hugged her. Rose snaked her hands around Olivia and laid her head on her shoulder.
“Even though I always don’t get close with people in general, I always longed for a family. A mate, who will be the world for me and who will see his world in me. But now with Drake I will always be in doubt. How can I be happy with doubt and more than that, how can I keep Drake happy with this doubt? How long can we last together? Will our relationship be healthy?”
I could feel the pain, disbelief and longing in her voice. I came out without hearing anything more. I understood her. But I would not give up on her. I sat on the bench outside for God knows how long. I came back to my senses when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I looked up to see Derek.
“What are you doing here? Haven’t you gone in to see Rose?”
I shook my head. “Rose is talking with Olivia. I don’t want to interrupt their conversation.”
Derek sighed. “Come, let’s go.” With that he clutched my hand before I say anything and dragged me to her room.
Once inside I saw Rose and Olivia looked up to see us. Rose was still hugging Olivia. Derek simply inquired to Rose and left with Olivia to give us some privacy.
I sat in the chair next to the bed.
“Hi.” I said softly.
“Hey. Are you OK?” She asked me. I chuckled at her.
“Only you could ask such thing. You are in hospital and inquiring about my wellbeing.”
She smiled at my answer. She then shifted her eyes from mine. With her head lower she whispered “I was asking if you are OK, after hearing about Aubrey’s death.”
I closed my eyes as I could not see the way her body slumped in defeat.
“I am sorry that she is dead.” Rose’s hand clutched the sheets tightly and I continued “But I am sorry for her death since I know her but, nothing more.”
Rose whipped her eyes at me. Her eyes narrowed a moment as if she was trying to find lies in my eyes.
“But, you were about to mate with her for life.” Her voice was a bit strong and I knew it was because of anger.
“Yes” I sighed. “Rose, how can I explain to you?”
“In a way that I can understand.” She said without laughing.
“It will be a long explanation. You need to rest. Do you want to talk about this now?” I asked softly. I did not want her to think I wanted time to cook up some story. At the same time, I did not want her to exhaust herself. But I guessed what her answer would be and she nodded her head.
“Seeing my parents, I always dreamed for a mate. My mom and dad were the best example for mates. Their love for each other had no bounds. Even after their death, my longing for a mate never subsided. When I did not find a mate even after travelling across the packs, my hopes started diminishing. So I decided to have chosen mate and love her till my end of life. When Aubrey joined this pack for her studies, I was first impressed by her capabilities. And during our interactions I saw that some of our tastes were similar and I decided to choose her as my mate.”
I stopped for a minute and looked out the window. I reminiscence my days with Rose for a minute. As if she read my thoughts, a small smile played on her lips too.
“When I met you for the first time, I was in a depression that my only choice of mate is gone. Then I got confused about my feelings towards you. Hence I asked you for us to start as friends. In a week I was clear on my feelings towards you. And I have talked to Diana about the same.”
“In a week?” Rose interrupted in a confused voice.
I nodded. “But I decided to wait. And when we were about to reach out one month mark, I could not wait and confessed my feelings to you. But fate played again and I met with an accident and lost my memories. When I was about to accept the fate, you came here.”
I took Rose’s hand in mine and she never withdrew it. I felt a small hope sprouted in me. “My agitation grew whenever I saw you and I could not pinpoint the meaning for the feelings. I became irritated first and got intrigued then. When you offered to be friends I took the offer eagerly.” I chuckled now at how Rose used the same situation again.
“I got frustrated at my feelings towards you and I could not pin point the exact reason. When Aubrey came, I decided to use that as an opportunity to escape from those feelings. In fact that was the main reason why I decided to mate with Aubrey.”
I could feel Rose stiffened at this, but never withdrew her hand. My hope grew a bit more.
“When you said that we are mates, I was happy but angry at the same time. I was confused as didn’t you revealed that before my decision?”
When Rose tried to say something, I shushed her.
“I know now, but I let me explain. Yes, I was angry. But when you were saying to Olivia that you want to leave the pack, I understood my feelings towards you. When I heard that Albert was you date for the ceremony, I could not control the anger sprouted in me. That’s when I understood my feelings towards you and understood my love towards you.”
Rose was now shocked. “No” She said.
“Why?” I asked.
“If... If...” She stammered. She then took a deep breath and asked “If you understood your feelings then why did you went through the mating ceremony?”
“I understood that I was too late in realizing my feelings and you know the rest.” I said in a guilty whisper. We were now silent again. Rose was still processing at what I said.
“What now?” she asked me.
“Now? I know this is big for you to process. For now, you need to take rest to recover. After that we can decide. I know I am not in a position to ask, but can you reconsider your decision to move out. Can you give me another chance? I know I am exhausting all my chances, but considering my foolishness can you give me one more?” I asked her.
Rose was quiet for long time and as seconds passed, my anxiety grew.
“You are right. I am too exhausted and I need rest.”
I understood that she did not want to talk about it now. But, I did not want to give up.
“Rose, whatever is you decision, I will respect that. But please have in mind that going forward I am going to fight for you till my last breath. You have fought enough for us and now it is my turn.”
I thought for a moment to kiss her forehead, but realized it would be too soon and left the room giving her the time and space for now.