To Love

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Chapter 10

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“She was like the moon… part of her was always hidden”

His face is soft, unscathed by any bruises as he lies in a state of peace, swept away in another world behind those closed lids. It’s been a week. A week and no sign of any hostility from the hunters. No word from South America. Nothing.

Just mountains of files containing information to review, process and sign off. A large workload that I have been quite thankful for in all honesty, most of it in Dr Matthews office scattered around. It keeps my mind preoccupied, gives me something else to focus on rather than everything else.

Roman hasn’t been around much either, though he does check in on me every so often and the nights that aren’t spent in the hospital we spend together. But he is just as busy as I am, if not more. Preparing for a war, dealing with the hunters has been his dilemma ever since we returned.

I was just glad that he didn’t expect me to work on that too. I was having a hard enough time concealing the truth about Arthur from him, something that bore heavily on my mind constantly. But I needed to wait for Carter, I couldn’t not. They know the man who was at the meeting is Carter’s father. It is a fact that both the King and Roman are completely aware of. Finding out his father is Arthur… there’s no telling what the King will do.

He could murder him in cold blood. It wouldn’t honestly surprise me if he killed me too, just for having been associated with relatives of his arch enemy, let alone married to his son.

“Luna?” I whip my head around to find Dr Lynn at the door, a clipboard in her hands.

“Hey,” I reply, a warm smile on my face.

“There was a message for you in the office,” she says, moving into the room. “The Alpha wants you to meet him in your quarters for dinner in about an hour.”

Her announcement startled me for a split moment, I’d forgotten just how long I’d been sat in here. Time seemed to pass by much faster nowadays, every second mingling together. “Any signs of improvement? Responsiveness?” She asks me, walking around to the opposite side of the bed to check the monitor.

“No,” I mummer, glancing down at his smooth face once more. She said a couple of days and he’d be fine, awake and ready to recover.

“Well he is still completely stable. The wound he suffered was quite large so this was a possibility but I’m sure it won’t be long until he is awake,” she reassures but the grim look doesn’t wipe from my face.

“And you checked the bullet again for any poisons?” I ask and she nods.

“There is no sign of anything irregular in the reports,” she says and it makes me less relieved if anything. I want for there to be a known problem so that a known solution might be found.

“Thanks anyway,” I say standing up from my seat. “Did you end up finishing that book I lent you?” I ask and her eyes light up.

“Yes, I did actually. It was very good, I haven’t had the chance to check out the pack library since getting here but I’ll have to go and visit there sometime,” she answers and I stand up from my chair, smoothing out the crinkles in my shirt.

“You are more than welcome to visit mine. It is just on the east side of my quarters and it is open all of the time,” I say and her eyes widen with a delighted shock.

“That’d be lovely, thank you Luna,” she replies and I wave my hand in the air dismissively.

“It really isn’t an issue. And you can call me Maeve, the formalities get on my nerves when they are required,” I tell her and she looks slightly nervous at the proposal.

“But…” she starts and I nod, understanding her plight.

“When it’s just you and me,” I counter offer and she smiles letting out a deep breath.

“Okay Lun-” she looks up at me sheepishly. “Maeve,” she finishes and I smile broadly.

“I guess this means I can also exclude the doctor from your name too,” I comment and she laughs lightly.

“That’s no problem at all,” she says, the smile still lingering.

“Did anything else arrive for me in the office with the message? I sent back those drafts not long ago and I’m still waiting on their return,” I ask and she shakes her head.

“Nothing else arrived, you can probably take the rest of the night off. I mean you’ve been working tirelessly everyday this entire week,” she says and I take her words into consideration.

“I like the work, it keeps my mind off things,” I answer with a casual shrug and we both move from the room.

“You shouldn’t tire yourself out, if you keep using this to distract yourself you’ll eventually burn out,” she says, giving me a tired smile. “Have you thought of speaking to anyone about it rather than just ignore whatever it is you want a distraction from? I wouldn’t personally know but I’m sure your mate will be able to help you if you want to talk it out,” she offers and I appreciate the gesture, truly. She is one of the first people-probably the first now that I think about it-to actually inquire about my mental health since arriving here.

It takes me aback slightly considering it’s so wayward from the washed out ‘just accept the bond’ speech everyone seems to fall back on if they see me sulking around in misery.

“I’ve actually already got a person who I go and speak with regularly and that helps a lot. As of late I think I’ve just been putting it off so I should probably schedule to see her again,” I say and she nods.

“I can organise all that for you if you want, that way you can just go have the next hour to yourself,” she offers and I nod.

“That’d be really nice, thank you,” I say and she holds her clipboard closer to her chest.

“It’s all good, I’ll see you tomorrow Lu- Maeve,” she replies and I give her a small wave before walking out the hospital ward.

An hour of free time. I really should spend it with Carter, waiting for him to wake up, maybe call Noah again and fill him in on all the latest details. But I haven’t had this much time to spare for a week and honestly, I don’t think I’m going to get this chance again any time soon.

So I let my feet guide me all the way to the library. It is the exact same as it was, as it has always been. Untouched and unscathed by anyone.

I trace my fingers over the spines of the books, resting them over a thin book, the spine old and worn with golden letters engraved on the edge. I glance over to the small sofa overlooking the gardens and smile to myself, pulling my glasses out of my pocket and letting my body slump into the cushion, ready to emerge myself in an entirely different world for the small pocket of freedom an hour will allow me.

-

“What are you reading?” I jump up from the sofa, my head whipping around to Roman who stands only inches away, my heart stammering in my chest.

“You scared me,” I say breathlessly, closing the book in my hand.

The corner of his lip turns up in an amused smile and his hands fins my waist, pulling me closer to him. “Sorry,” he says, though I can tell he doesn’t mean it.

“Has it been an hour already?” I ask and his smile widens as he cocks his head to the side in thought.

“An hour and a half,” he says casually. “I thought you were standing me up,” he jokes and I smile.

“Oh so it was a date? I wasn’t aware,” I reply with a raised brow.

“Don’t you like surprises?” He asks and I roll my eyes playfully, moving back from his hold.

“A surprise or a trick to get me there?” I retort, holding my book closer to my chest.

“Both,” he says, resting his palm on the small of my back. “We can head out this way if you want, it’ll be quicker.”

“Okay,” I mummer and we walk together to the French doors and outside into the garden, our footsteps matching in pace.

“I haven’t seen you reading in a while,” he comments and I hold the book a little tighter.

“I haven’t seen you read at all,” I reply and he smiles at my wit, shaking his head.

“I suppose things are just a little too hectic at the moment to do the things we want. I figured turning dinner into something more tonight would be a better change, hopefully one that becomes more frequent,” he says and I do feel excited for a break in the norm.

“Isn’t it always going to be like this? I wouldn’t think there is much time for rest in a job like this,” I respond, thinking back to our mate moon in France. A ‘holiday’ filled to the brim with work.

“Not forever, our predecessors did have it mildly easier though,” he responds, “Once the threat of this war is over and we have finalised most of the solutions to the human issues I expect we will have more free time,” he says and the thought both comforts and scares me.

At least I have an entire library of books to occupy myself with.

“And is there anything more on the war? I wasn’t informed of any changes today,” I point out as we round another corner made of vines, the green tangled weed growing over a stone pillar.

“The King is set to leave tomorrow morning actually. I don’t know if he will pay a visit to say goodbye but his flight has been scheduled,” he comments and I furrow my brows.

“Leave? Where too?” I ask.

“He is going to Europe to meet with one of the councils of elders and then from there I believe he is going to be doing something similar but in Africa. There are customs he must appeal to before engaging in a pack war, many protocols and ceremonies to go through. It’s a tedious process but necessary nonetheless,” he says and I can’t help but feel relieved. The King’s absence makes my life a whole lot less stressed.

“Is he coming back?” I ask and he laughs.

“Grown attached, have we?” He asks and I poke him in the ribs, the action not affecting him in the slightest. Damn his stupid muscled body.

“Ha, ha,” I reply and he chuckles.

“He will most likely come back, yes. He will be missing out on the eclipse ceremony here though, so the night should be a lot more fun,” hse comments and I nod, completely agreeing.

“Hopefully Carter wakes up before he comes back,” I say without thinking and Roman furrows his brows.

“Why?” He asks and I fumble for an answer, my gut twisting with guilt or fear I’m not sure. Probably both.

“I can’t imagine he’ll want to party with a hunter, if Carter even is one,” I comment and his arm moves to my waist, pulling me closer to him subconsciously.

“It’s a possibility, especially if he’s been at a base with them. But considering the curse wasn’t triggered in Noah the same could be said for him,” he says reassuringly and I nod. One can only hope after all.

“How does the curse become triggered?” I ask and he stills for a moment.

“By killing a wolf.”

I gulp thickly and open my mouth to respond with something, anything, but we round a corner and in there is a small picnic table that has been decorated with rose petals. White rose petals.

I stop for a moment and my mind goes back, back to the last time I sat down and had a dinner with Roman in the garden. Teo’s head served up to me for a main course and my body convulsing in pain as I nearly died.

As if sensing my thoughts, Roman takes his hand from my back and gives me a soft look. “We can eat somewhere else if you’d like,” he offers and I shake my head.

“No, it’s fine,” I reply, moving over to a chair and taking a seat.

It’s set up differently, it is in an entirely different part of the gardens but still, that event lingers in my mind like a bad nightmare you just can’t wash away. There are no coverings to the food, no silver domes to conceal the mutilated body parts of my friends and there isn’t a glass in sight. Just unopened bottles of water sat in an ice bucket.

“I didn’t get any wine, I hope you don’t mind. If you’d like some I can have it brought out,” he offers and I shake my head, taking a bottle in my hands and popping the seal, the sound of safety that comes with it comforting my taut nerves.

“Pancakes?” I ask, looking at the stacked breakfast meal Roman begins piling onto his plate.

“Best thing about being the Alpha is that you get to make all the rules,” he says, dousing a large amount of syrup onto his stack. I chuckle and shrug, getting some pancakes for myself.

“Okay then, pancakes it is,” I comment, amused at the ridiculousness of it.

“Is he getting any better?” Roman asks, a hidden edge that I can’t quite place lingering on his tone.

“Dr Lynn says so but he isn’t responsive yet so I don’t know,” I reply and he takes another bite of his food.

“We’ll have to have him answer some questions when he wakes up, when he is stable of course,” he says and my gut twists.

“What kind of questions?” I ask, slightly defensive.

“Just standard protocol. He has been living at a hunters base for months and he could have some useful information. I promise he won’t be hurt but we do expect compliance,” he says and the pancakes become less appetising. I get it, I can see from a leaders standpoint why it is necessary but that is my little brother, one that I didn’t know as well as I thought. How do you protect someone you barely know?

“Is that why there are guards outside his room? Why they’ll remain there even when he is well?” I ask, a bitterness I wish would go away tainting my tone.

Roman gives me a look and I gulp. “The entire thing was a facade, Mae. He tricked us both into thinking he was being mistreated to achieve the aim of the hunters. The guards will remain with him both for his safety and for the packs, yes. At least until we know his true intentions,” he says and I lower my gaze, thinking back to how he wiped away the bruises that tormented my dreams in one clean motion.

“He’s a good kid,” I mummer and Roman’s expression softens.

“I have no doubt in your judgement of him, Mae, but people sometimes aren’t what they seem,” he says and I nod. “There is probably a reasonable explanation to it all, anyway,” he says, waving a hand. Hopefully.

“Am I supposed to have done anything for this eclipse thingy that’s coming up? I’m still unsure of what, exactly, it is at this point,” I ask and he smiles at my lack of care. Once upon a time it would have bothered him how much disregard I held for the duties of Luna but now he is amused. How the tables have turned.

“The Beta females have it all under control, you and I just have to make an appearance and enjoy ourselves,” he says and I nod.

“Shouldn’t be too hard,” I mummer and he laughs. “What?” I ask.

“Nothing,” he says, caving at my stern look. “It’s just… don’t worry,” he says, shaking his head.

A smile plays at my lips and I try to maintain my firm look. “Tell me,” I press, and he shakes his head as more laughter bubbles from his mouth.

“I’m just imagining you trying to pretend again,” he says and my jaw drops with fake shock.

“And what’s so funny about that?” I ask and he laughs even harder.

“You are truly terrible at it,” he says honestly, “fake smiling over a completely disinterested face doesn’t make you seem enthusiastic at all.”

“It can’t be that bad,” I retort, leaning back in my chair. I take a sip of my water and he shrugs before pulling a face and the water snorts out of my mouth.

I can’t help the laugh that bubbles up through my coughing and Roman’s smile shines even brighter at the sight. “Surely you are exaggerating,” I say and he raises his hand in surrender.

“I’d never lie to you baby,” he says and I contain my laugh.

“So I’ve been walking around looking like a fool and nobody has thought to tell me?” I ask and he chuckles again.

“Okay, maybe I am exaggerating slightly,” he admits and I throw a flower petal in his face lightly, an annoyed smile playing on my lips.

“Did you want some brownies?” He asks, pointing to a plate with mushed up brown cake in a big tumbling mountain sat on top.

“Did you make that?” I ask my mouth watering with the question.

He chuckles. “What gave it away?” I laugh, inspecting the parts where burnt browned has clearly been scraped off.

“You must be trying to fatten me up,” I comment and he laughs.

“You’d look beautiful to me either way,” he says and I scoop some brownie onto my plate with a smile, eager to the sweet cake into my mouth.

“Don’t you want any?” I ask and he looks at the food with a slight grimace.

“I’m afraid mate magic won’t mask the true terrible taste of that for me,” he says and I pause, the forkful of brownie halfway to my mouth.

“That’s reassuring,” I mumble and he lets out a laugh as I put the food in my mouth, the brownie tasting just as heavenly as the one he made me in France.

-

By the time we walked back into our room it was completely dark outside but my eyes weren’t heavy with fatigue. It was a successful distraction from my problems, time off that I really needed. And it was fun, I enjoyed it.

He’d told me about how he had read the book I brought with me over three times, the murder mystery a favourite of his growing up. I ended up having to block my ears however to refrain from hearing any of his mindless spoilers. I was nearly finished the story and if he spoiled it for me-even accidentally-there is no telling what I’d do.

As soon as we enter the room my eyes widen at the large assortment of gifts arranged near the sofas. It wasn’t my birthday, was it…

“What’s all this?” I ask, staring at the presents with a confused face. I glance back at Roman as he shrugs off his suit jacket and begins unclipping his white shirt.

“These are the gifts from the ceremony, the ones that were salvaged after the bombing. They’ve been in holding for sometime and I guess they were just forgotten,” he comments.

“Huh,” I mummer, moving over to the wrapped boxes. “Did you get anything?” I ask, raising my voice as he walks into the closet despite his wolf abilities.

“Mine were all pretty unsalvageable, go figure,” he says and the thought of all his presents blown to pieces over mine is kinda funny in a cynical sort of way.

“What kind of gifts do people even give others for a ceremony?” I ask and I hear him shuffle about.

“All sorts of things, open some up and see for yourself,” he says and I do.

I reach for the first box, and unwrap the flowery paper with care. There is no note as to who its from but the set of diamond earrings inside suggest it would be someone with wealth. Diamond earrings for a gift? To a complete stranger?

I place them down carefully and reach for the next gift, a large rectangular box with an attached golden note. Luna Maeve, Congratulations of finding your mate, I hope you have a life of joy and prosperity. Astrid.

I wrap the golden paper and an off white box is revealed with a lid. Carefully, I lift up the lid and rummage through the pastel pink tissue paper pulling out a piece of golden clothing. I hold up the lacy piece of cloth in front of me, inspecting it and I blush just at the thought. Leave it to April to gift lingerie.

I glance over to the other boxes and wonder how many more gifts like this I am going to find.

“What is that?” I jump again, whipping my head around to see Roman shirtless in sweats leaning on the doorframe of the closet, his arms crossed over his chest. His muscles ripple with the action and I don’t miss the swirl of lust prominent in his heated gaze.

“A gift,” I reply and he saunters over, placing his palms on my shoulders. He leans in places a tender kiss to my neck.

“Maybe you should try it on,” he mummers into my skin, his husky voice sending vibrations through my mark, making me shudder.

“It doesn’t look my size,” I reply with a smile and he groans into my neck, continuing his kissing.

“Only one way to find out,” he retorts and I take his free hand, pulling him around the arm rest to stand in front of me.

I rise to stand in front of him, my body pushed flush against his. I trail my hands down his muscled abdomen, feeling the muscles tense underneath my touch, allowing me to outline the contour of his defined body.

I turn us around slowly and push him down onto the couch, an action he doesn’t stop me from doing. He smirks up at me and I lean down, kissing his lips and savouring the tingles that shoot through my body.

His hands glide to my backside and he pulls me onto him so that I a straddling his lap, my legs on either side of his. He pulls me closer to him, and bites down softly onto my lower lip, asking for entry which I grant, deepening the kiss.

I move against him slightly and he lets out a grunt of approval. He moves his lips back to my neck, kissing my mark once more and a moan slips from my mouth, making him become… excited. His hands move from my back and rest on the hem of my shirt and he begins to pull it up.

I draw his face into mine again, distracting him momentarily and give him a long kiss before removing myself from his lap in one quick movement, too fast for him to react.

His hands reach out subconsciously, trying to pull me back in but I dodge them and his brows furrow.

“Where are you going?” He asks, his hair disheveled.

I turn back to him and smirk. “To have a shower,” I reply casually. “And to check out myself in this thing of course,” I say and he rises from the couch as if to join me but before he can make it a step away from the couch I close the bathroom door and throw the flimsy scrap of fabric to the ground with a laugh.

authors note

There won’t be an update on Sunday, sorry guys :/ I have just got heaps of assignments to finish and hand in so I need to prioritise my time on them for now. Plus I have just been lacking motivation lately, I don’t really know why but I guess its just a slump.

So yeah, see you all next Thursday hopefully!

Alsooooo any history majors out there? Feel like reading a super duper interesting essay and helping a girl out? No promises for Roman/Mae cameos unfortunately but I need the help lol so pls slide into my dms if you feel up to it :)

Khalesi <3

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