Song for the Chapter:
Surrender by Natalie Taylor
It has been a week since my encounter with Ace, and it has been horrible for us both.
Every time I crossed him, he always looked so pained, and his eyes were practically pleading with me to talk to him, but I couldn't.
All my life I've been through training, building up a pack that was broken, sleepless nights wondering how having a mom felt, but nothing I did was ever this hard.
I was glad for the long training hours. Even though I did nothing but 'observe', it really got my mind off things. When I was back at the house, I would either talk to Lilly, or watch movies till I fall asleep.
Today was meant to be my training day again, and I couldn't hide how relieved I was. I desperately needed to punch someone. Aiden had already woken me up, which was a habit of his, so I was currently getting ready.
I finished earlier than usual, so I went to my balcony to get some fresh air.
The six a.m wind hit me immediately, calming my senses instantly. I leaned against the bar as I watched sun rise from behind the trees.
It filled the sky with mighty colours of red and splashed the clouds with endless rays of pink. It was bright and mesmerising as it invited me to stare deep into the horizon.
A delightful sigh escaped my lips as I got lost in it's relishing beauty.
"Beautiful, isn't it? "
I yelped in surprise as the voice startled me back to reality. I spun around, being faced by my one and only mate, Ace. I didn't say anything, just stared at him. He sighed, stepping futher onto the balcony.
"I'm sorry I scared you, it's just that I was passing by, when Aiden asked me to call you. But I was knocking for a while and I didn't hear you so I thought you were hurt or something." I nodded in understanding after he explained himself, but now I was lost for words as I gazed at him.
I haven't heard him talk to me in a whole week, it had my heart racing and my wolf howling, after being pissed at me for days.
"I'll be right out" I said as I turned back to face the sunrise.
He didn't leave though, instead he joined me at the end of the balcony, leaning against the bar. He didn't try to initiate conversation, so I just stayed silent, enjoying the few minutes I had in his presence.
"You really like the sunrise, don't you? " He asked, looking at me with an admirable smile on his face.
"I really do, and sunsets too. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful? "
"I can think of something" He took a step closer to me, gazing at me with love-struck eyes. " Or someone" He whispered, moving a loose strand of hair from my face.
Once dormant butterflies erupted in my belly, as I involuntarily leaned into his touch. His eyes glistened with hope, as mine widen in realization.
I cleared my throat and stepped back abruptly, leaving his face once again broken. Before I could stop myself, my mouth got the best of me.
"I really am sorry for constantly hurting you like this, but I can't"
I ran out of the room before he could get a hold of me.
I ran down the stairs, stopping dead in my tracks at the sight in front of me. Everyone was sitting in the living room, watching TV, even Aiden.
Not that anything was wrong with that, but it was 6 in the morning. Don't they have stuff to do? Like sleeping!
"Hey sis. Zack had some emergency family matter, so he said we can come down to the training grounds by eight"
I simply nodded at Aiden as I slowly sat beside them, glancing at the stairs to see if Ace was following. Luckily he wasn't, so I relaxed into Aiden to get invested in what ever they were watching.
After a few minutes, I noticed they weren't really interested in the TV show that was on, so I was about to ask why they were up, but then a middle aged woman with a cute baby girl entered suddenly.
Calum and Lilly immediately shot up, running to them open armed. Aiden and I watched curiously, as Scott and Ryan stood with happy looks on their faces.
"Hey mom. Back with our little trouble maker already?" Calum teased as he kissed both their cheeks.
"Oh shut up Caleb, you know you missed her. He wouldn't stop whining about how he missed his baby girl" Lilly said as she took the baby, showering her with kisses.
Aiden and I eyes widened in surprise as we put it together. That was Calum and Lilly's baby.
I stood up immediately and rushed to her, holding out my hands as I gazed at the cutie with amazement. I didn't even know she had a baby.
Well I couldn't blame them for not mentioning it. I talked to them, but not much. Lilly and I hung out, but we never talked bout personal things.
"Can I hold her? " I asked softly. She smiled and gently placed the baby in my hands.
The cutie giggled as I tickled her side, and I knew from that moment that she stole my heart.
"Her name is Asia" Lilly informed with a proud but loving look on her face. "She just turned one last week"
"Hey Asia" I cooed in a baby voice. "That's such a pretty name for a pretty baby." Asia giggled even louder as I played with her little hand.
She had the cutest laugh and face ever. Her hair was red, almost like Lilly's and her eyes held the same colour and life like Calum's. I could just nibble her little face off.
"I'm your aunty Roxy" I added without thinking. Everyone's face turned even happier at my statement, no doubt having seen how I've been treating Ace for the past week.
A flash of guilt ran through me, knowing I was hurting them too. By right I was suppose to be their Luna, but I haven't been either a mate or Luna to anyone.
The lady which I now learnt was Calum's mom smiled brightly at me, stretching out her hand for me to take it.
"You must be Ace's mate. It's a pleasure finally meeting you. My mate and I couldn't wait to meet you. Ace is like a son to us" I smiled warmly at her as I shook her hand, except, inside I felt terrible.
She told me that I could call her Zorah, and that her mate would be here later when I return from training.
I didn't want to tell her no, but I didn't want to get their hopes up either. I knew Ace's dad died from what my dad told me, and I don't know about his mom, but this felt like meeting the parents and I wasn't ready for that.
"Can we talk? " Aiden shouted in my head. I groaned, then shut the mindlink off immediately.
I reluctantly gave Asia back to Lilly as I joined Aiden in the kitchen. I knew what he was about to say so I prepared myself to give him 'the face'.
"Roxy what's the biggest rule? " He asked me as if I was five. I rolled my eyes as I grabbed the cereal, deciding to eat before I leave.
"I know Aiden don't get attached" I repeated boredly, knowing I was already attached to Asia.
Babies were my weakness. From a tender age, I was always in love with them, and Aiden knew that. He was probably seeing this mission as a lost cause for me already. A mate, very nice people and now a baby. This thing gets harder by the day.
I sighed as I actually thought about it.
They all seemed so...nice. Calum and Lilly were building their lives, Ace was building his pack and I was here right under their noses, plotting to take that all away from them.
Dad said he recruited us because we were the strongest and most trusted that he could think of to send here, but I'm starting to believe that I wasn't cut out for this mission.
All I could think about for the next hour was how I'd probably be dooming Asia to a fate like mine, to grow up in a broken pack, and probably with one parent.
I thought about the possibility of Calum dying in the war, which was unlikely but not impossible. Do I want that for these people?
Nobody thought about your people when they were attacking your pack, my subconscious taunted. I sighed, not at all liking how all this turned out.
I was suppose to come here, live under their roof, hate them the whole time while pretending to like them, get whatever information we needed and attack. Not meet my mate, get my wolf against me, meet wonderful people and fall in love with a one year old.
I need some air.
I had about thirty minutes before Zack would be ready, so I decided to go do some extra warming up.
On my way I saw a lady picking some yellow buttercup flowers, my favourite.
I was about to go get one, when I heard Aiden shouting my name, running to catch me up. My attention was drawn to him, but I could see from the corner of my eye that the lady's attention was now on us.
"Hey wait up! " He called as he neared me. "Jeesh sis you move fast for someone less that 5'6" He joked, causing me to hit him on his shoulder.
"Ow! What was that for? " He whined.
"That's for making fun of my height!" I glared at him, which he simply just brushed off as if it was nothing. Brothers.
I noticed that the lady was now gone and half way up the trail, but I didn't miss the fresh bouquet of flowers she left in the place where she stood.
I carried them to the training grounds, carefully placing them in a corner where they wouldn't get trampled.
We trained for two hours straight this time, and we learnt that as we proceed, our breaks will get shorter. Not that it affected us though, but they thought it did.
Zack was having a hard time getting me on the floor, since I wouldn't let him. My ego was too big; I soaked up Aiden's when we were in the womb.
Aiden was fighting in his wolf form, since that consisted of part of his 'training'. I on the other hand, will only 'learn' in human form.
From the corner of my eyes, I saw Ace coming forward, which directed my focus slightly as Zack almost tackled me. I quickly reversed his trick, making him fall flat on his back instead. I smirked triumphantly at him as he stared at me in shock.
"How-how did you do that?" He asked as he stretched out his hand for me to help him up.
"I'm a fast lear-" I was cut off as he pulled my down, pushing himself up and on top of me, taking me completely off guard. It was his time to smirk.
I didn't miss the growl that came from Ace, as footsteps came closer to us.
"Not fast enough princess" Zack smirked, feeling as if he'd won.
I quickly kneed him in his stomach, taking the advantage of his crunched position to flip him over my shoulders, taking him by surprise once again.
By now Aiden had already shifted, wearing shorts as he came closer to us, screaming in our mind link to tone it down. I got up and was about to walk to him when Zack swept under my foot with his right leg, making me fall once again. Expect this time, I heard a crunching sound when I fell.
A cry of pain escaped my lips as I clenched my ankle which was throbbing in agonizing pain. Zack scurried to his feet, trying to help me, but a low warning growl from Ace stopped him in his movements.
By now both Aiden and Ace had made it to where we were. Ace threw a swing at Zack, punching him square in his face before he plummeted to the ground him once again. Aiden examined my ankle and the damage, but I was sure it was a sprain.
"What the hell Zack! You f**king hurt my mate! " Ace shouted with his Alpha tone in anger, something I have never heard since I got here.
Zack shook in fear, trying to move away from his wrath. Over the weeks, I've learnt that Ace was a stern but an approachable Alpha, so his pack wasn't scared of him. But now, he was really scary.
"I- I'm sorry. It was just a part of the training Alpha. I-I didn't mean to hurt her" He stuttered out as Ace's chest rose and fell in anger.
His apology didn't seem to calm Ace, but in that minute I wasn't up for the back and forth--or forth and forth rather, since Zack wouldn't dare speak back to his Alpha.
Aiden tested my joint movement, causing another rush of pain to run through me, and I cried out in agony once again. For a person who spent years training, trust me, I have very low tolerance for pain.
This caught Ace's attention as he quickly rushed to me, leaving a shivering Zack as he peered at my foot to assess the damage.
"I'll take you back to the house and call a doctor to come check on you" He said as he attempted to lift me, but Aiden had other plans.
"I'll take her, she's my sister" Aiden stopped him, giving him a stern look. Ace didn't appreciate this, as he growled low and threateningly at him.
"And she's my mate" He gritted out, staring equally deadly at him. This mate-brother feud was cute and all, but I had no time for this.
"Aiden it's okay, just get my flowers" I smiled reassuringly, knowing we wouldn't leave until Ace had me.
When a wolf's mate is hurt or in trouble, their first and only instinct is to deal with the threat and keep their mate safe. It didn't matter how much I pushed him away, he needed to know that I was safe, and to him and his wolf, that was only in his arms.
He gently scooped me up as if I would break, keeping my feet a few inches apart so they don't hit against each other.
"You're not doing anymore physical training" He said sternly as if it wasn't up for discussion. I scoffed.
"Yes I am, that's apart of my contract. Plus I only get one day a week to do the good stuff so you wont take that from me"
"The hell you are! You could've gotten much more hurt" He argued with his voice laced with hurt.
"But I didn't, and I'll be fully healed by tomorrow Ace." I soften my voice in attempt to sooth him, which worked since he sighed in defeat.
"Fine but I'll be here with you every Monday" He dismissed but I didn't answer. So much for keeping him away.
That didn't seem like a good idea. The more we spend time around each other, the less I'll be able to push him away and the less the chances of him hating me and moving on.
We didn't talk the rest of the way, leaving me completely to my thoughts.
He seemed to have already informed the doctor, since he was there when Ace carefully placed me on my bed.
He growled ever so often when the doctor would touch my foot, making me roll my eyes at his protectiveness. I was about to tell him to leave and let the doctor do his thing, but the he spoke before I could talk.
"It's just a slight fracture, but it should heal within a day or two, depends on how fast you heal. For now Luna, you should just stay off your feet" The doctor smiled warmly at me, which I returned with a thank you.
I tried to ignore the fact that he called me Luna, but it felt so right. My wolf felt proud at that, and the look on Ace's face told me that he was too.
He sat beside me on the bed, gently rubbing circles on my thigh, which I allowed him to. After a few minutes of silence he finally spoke.
"You know, when I turned sixteen, the first thing I wanted to do after I shifted was to find my mate" He started, while I suddenly got uncomfortable by the topic.
"When I saw you for the first time, I felt as if I could finally touch the sky" He let out a low chuckle, shaking his head. "But when I noticed something wasn't right, I vowed to make it better, find a way make you love me" My breath hitched as my eyes stung with tears.
Ace please don't do this.
"Every night I stay up late, thinking of ways to win you over. And I don't mind that you're distant, I will wait however long it takes to finally have you in my arms" He whispered, and a tear finally rolled down my cheek. "I'll wait for you Roxy, however long it takes" He kissed away the tear, making me shut my eyes tight.
My heart broke for the millionth time this week as a sob escaped my lips. He held me to his chest as I cried, not really saying much, just holding me.
All I could think about was how my heart felt. How I'll never be fully happy if I let him go. How I'll see that look on everyone's face if I chose Ace. All I could think about was how messed up my life felt right.
I heard Jane's voice in my head from that day telling me about the only way that I could possibly be free and set Ace free also.
I cried even harder as I decided what needed to be done--has to be done. I just wished it didn't have to be like this.
I pulled away from him and dried my eyes as I leaned against the bed head. I dared not to look into his face, knowing damn well I wouldn't make it if I did. More tears stung my eyes, but I managed to keep them at bay, yet my sniffles were still frequent.
I prepared myself, as I gathered the words to say.
Just do it fast, it'll hurt but it will make everything easier.
I closed my eyes as I pushed my wolf down, already getting a headache from her loud whimpering.
It's now or never.
"I Roxanna Gilbert" I started, looking up to his face which shut me up immediately.
My tears started to flow again, and he looked confused as he sat there quietly waiting. I didn't attempt to stop my crying, but I decided to start again.
"I, Roxanna Gilbert, reje-" His hand flew up and covered my mouth immediately as he picked up on what I was about to do.
His eyes started to glisten, and for the first time since I've met him, I saw fear on his face and in his eyes.
"No Roxy please don't do this. Whatever it is, we'll work through it, I promise just please" He pleaded, but I shook my head through the tears.
"Yes we can. We're mates Roxy, you're my gift from the moon and I got you for a reason. But Roxy please don't do this" A tear fell down his cheek as I watched the man that weakened me in pure hurt.
My heart felt heavy and my mind was all over the place, but in that moment while I stared at Ace's face, I knew that there was only one that was the right thing to do.
I removed his hand from, and leveled my sniffled as I gazed into his beautiful hazel eyes.
"I, Roxanna Gilbert" I started again, while he tried to cover my mouth again, but I held his hands put. "Accept you as my mate" I ended, leaving him in complete shock and relief as he looked at me lovingly.
"What? " He gently whispered, as a smile grew on his perfect face.
"I accept you Ace"