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XI: older than some buildings

Hey, everyone! I totally just saw that I uploaded the wrong chapter eleven. Here's the right one! Sorry for any confusion I caused.

Willow woke up at the break of dawn. She had a lot of things to do, papers to sort out so that she could at least help make it better for Russel to transition. Part of the reason why Russel had second thoughts of accepting the position was because of his adopted kids—Ina and Fiona. Both witches whom captured his heart and filled the hole in his soul that was left after his mate died.

There wasn’t much that Willow knew about him besides his personality and the story of his tragic loss. They were good friends but not that good for them to spill everything to each other. However, Willow knew from the moment that Fiona, who was a fellow witch like Ina, ran up to him and his whole demeanor changed that he was much of a protective man and would care for his children even if they turn mature.

The last she could do was help him with everything. The news was going to be startling and abrupt for them, she knew that. Anything she could to help him, she would do.

As she sat up, rubbing her eyes, the tip of her toes connected with something other than the floor. Her brows furrowed as she gazed down at the Vampire King of a mate. He was sleeping on his side, facing the door with his hand tucked in between his face and the white pillow that belonged to her bed. From the way his brows were furrowed, she could see that he was uncomfortable with the position.

He wore the plain brown shirt and basketball shorts that she packed with her. There were some clothes that she kept after her parents died. It was like keeping a part of them like how people would keep a necklace that belonged to their mother or a watch that was previously owned by their father. With clothes, she felt that they were still with her.

Reaching down, she shook his shoulder lightly and he sat up in alert, almost hitting Willow at the nose with his forehead. He would have been successful if it weren’t for Willow seeing it at the last second. His dark eyes went to the door and then to her in alert.

“It’s fine,” Willow said softly, her grip on his shoulder tightening. It didn’t take long for Silas to relax under her touch and for Willow to feel the tingles from the touch. “What are you doing here? I thought I told you to sleep upstairs.”

The King yawned. “I couldn’t sleep knowing that you would be here alone. I had to stay with you.”

A small smile crept up to her face. She felt her heartstrings being tugged. It was unusual for her to feel that way for someone who was her mate. When it came to Jasper, all she felt was disdain and disgust and so did her wolf. Now, with Silas, she felt eerily calm. Her wolf was lying down, ears perked down and tail wagging.

“Silas,” those dark eyes made her almost forget what she was saying. He was handsome, even just by waking up and having his curly hair fall down to his face, reaching just the top of his brow. “It’s the Rouge Peace Pack and I’m strong. Nothing will happen to me here.”

“That may be true but I still worried. Now, I know why Adrik never let Sasha out of her sight,” he chuckled a little, taking the hand on his shoulder and grasping it in his. Willow noted that his hands were rough, calloused, and incredibly bigger than hers. “I guess leaving you without anyone watching out for you made me uncomfortable.”

She was ready to fight that she was stronger than he’d thought, to tell him off, but she was cut off by him again. “I know that you’re strong. You wouldn’t be the alpha at the age of nineteen of this pack. And I saw you move when I first saw you, you’re faster than vampires and that’s saying a lot given that we’re naturally faster than you werewolves. Point is, I know you can handle yourself but I’d feel content with being by your side.”

Any kind of retort that she had was gone. It felt nice to hear that he acknowledged that she could handle herself fine. Most of the members of her old pack always told her that she wasn’t good enough and though her wolf made her recognize that she was stronger than any of them, little droplets of insecurity always sunk into her skin.

It couldn’t be helped. Eight years of constant torture would damage any other werewolf.

“Okay,” she nodded, giving his hand a light squeeze which in turn made Silas smile. “It’s still pretty early. No one’s awake yet and I’ll have some paperwork to sort out for Russel. Do you want to continue to sleep? You can take the bed now since I’m wide awake.”

“No,” he shook his head. “I’ll stay awake with you. Do you need help?”

Her eyes wandered at the stack of papers on her desk. “Yeah, sure, why not? You hungry? I can pop into the clinic and get you some blood.”

“It’s alright. I’m not that hungry. I could use some coffee, if you have that.”

With another nod, they both stood up and Silas took a seat on the chair by the desk, opening up files and reading the papers filled with the pack’s business and requests while she prepared some coffee for the two of them. Afterwards, the two of them went over everything with Silas asking about how she ran everything. He didn’t give advice, didn’t tell her how she should have run things.

Willow felt pride when she was being praised by Silas, telling her that she did really well with everything. He just listened to her rumble everything about the pack that she loved so much. It was soothing for her to talk to it to someone. She never did when it came to the pack members, not even her Beta. She never felt comfortable to—not like how she felt when it came to him.

They continued talking different topics, trying to get to know one another as much as they could while looking over the files. To Willow, it felt like she was getting closer to him as they figured out what color they favor, their dislikes, their likes. She always thought that talking about these things were mundane but when it came to him, she felt excited to know.

The matebond that pulled them together became stronger. Both of them knew.

The sun had already reached its peak by the time that they were finished stacking the papers in different categories. Everybody was already outside and muttering their greeting to one another and then whispering about the meeting that will hold place in the noon.

“Thank you for helping me,” she gazed over to her mate who looked at her as if it was a privilege for him to be helping her. “Hungry?”

He shook his head.

Her brows furrowed. “Most vampires would already be thirsty.”

“I’m a royal, love,” he answered. “The top kings at that. We have more control over our thirst than other vampires. I could hold off for about a week, max. Your father, since he’s older, can hold of a week and a half.”

“Right, my father,” she drawled, still not used to calling them that. “The books said that he was a good friend of your mother, Queen Henrietta. That was how you two got close.”

“You like history, huh?”

She shrugged. “Couldn’t do anything but read back in my old pack.”

“Well, yes. My mère knew Adrik when he took the crown. He was eighteen at the time and needed a lot of encouragement and training. I’m sure you know that Adirk’s parents passed away before he was crowned?” Willow nodded, silently telling him to continue. “He had a lot of anger because of it and everyone that surrounded him prepared him for the crown but not how to handle his temper. Maman set him straight after he took the crown and that was it.”

“After Queen Henrietta died, he looked after you?”

He nodded. Willow never knew that. The book he read about him told her that he came to rise to his throne all on his own.

Granted, histories can be twisted. Just like how they twisted Sasha’s story.

“He saw me as his little brother,” he paused, humor in his eyes. “I guess we both shouldn’t see one another as brothers seeing as how my beloved is his daughter.”

Willow chuckled. “Yeah, well, life is weird.”

“That is the first time I have ever heard you talk like a teenager.”

“I’m nineteen.”

“Still close to a teen’s age.”

“Compared to you?” She joked, cocking a brow. “Of course, I’m a teen. You’re what? Three centuries old? Four? Did history twist that too to make you younger? You are older some buildings so I wonder…”

Silas stood up, his eyes narrowing at her playfully. “Okay, that’s it. Come here.”

Without wasting another second, Willow ran upstairs as he called out how unfair it was since she was faster than him. She only released a laughter, throwing her head back.

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