To Love

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Chapter 11

PLS VOTE GUYS and excuse the typos aha

“Action expresses priority”

-Mahatma Gandhi

I rub my palm against my left eye as I walk groggily from the bed. The curtains are still drawn but I can see small slithers of light peaking through the gaps. I glance to the small clock situated on the dresser beside my bed and a curse slips from my mouth.

I mustn’t have set the alarm. Or maybe I did, and I turned it off in a fit of exhaustion. Either way, I should be well into a days work right now and instead I am in my pyjamas rushing to get ready. I flick through clothes in the closet and slide on some casual clothes before taking a hairbrush to my hair to tame the matted mess.

I don’t even notice as the door opens and a large figure slips into the closet, resting on the frame until he coughs. My head snaps over to find Roman leaning casually in his suit and my hand pauses, the brush still focused on a knot.

He looks down to his watch and then back up to me with a smirk. “I went to the hospital to try find you for lunch but I suppose we’ll be eating breakfast,” he says smugly and I continue brushing my hair trying to conceal the smile that creeps on my face.

“I’ve already lost the entire morning, I’m afraid I am going to have to give this one a miss,” I say, tying my hair in a messy bun.

“You have to eat something,” he says, a tinge of concern finding its way to his words as per usual.

“No can do,” I reply, picking to a pair of shoes and sliding them onto my feet.

“At least let me make you a sandwich before you leave, if nothing else,” he offers and my stomach tightens, craving the food especially when made by his hands.

“Okay, fine, one sandwich but then I really have to get going,” I say, moving past him.

He follows me towards the door, falling instep next to me. “I was meaning to go through some things with you anyway, so we are really just killing two birds with one stone,” he says and I glance at him, a furrow forming on my brow.

I don’t know why it is, but every time he says he has news to share I always presume the worst. “What?” I ask.

“Well first and foremost the King left early this morning, I only talked with him briefly but it seems his trip won’t last any longer than two weeks,” he replies.

“He’s gone already?” I ask and he nods, “that’s a relief,” I mutter and I notice Roman tense but he doesn’t reprimand me.

“Hopefully he will be able to resolve the issue on his travels but in the case that he can’t we will continue on our end with preparations. However this morning after he left, there did appear to be more friction on our southern border.”

“What kind of friction?” We begin walking down the stairs towards the kitchen and he shrugs.

“Nothing major, no conflict so to speak but there were a few sightings of wolves coming close to the border and it put our military on alert. Nicholas is planning something, that much is for sure and the extent he is working with the hunters we will have to figure out,” he says as we walk into the kitchen.

I take a seat on the island bench and he opens up a cupboard, pulling out items. “Of course once your brother wakes up we might be able to make sense of some of it. It all depends on how much he knows, a young man like that might only be in the lower rankings,” he says as he takes out two pieces of bread.

I remain silent as he walks into the cupboard, his head poking out a moment later. “Jam good?” He asks, shuffling around and I swallow the tightness that formed in my throat.

“Yeah,” I reply, beginning to fidget with my fingers.

“Which is why I am sure the interview process won’t take too long for him so you don’t have to worry. He is more than welcome to stay here afterwards as well, once we have sorted everything out,” he says, a genuine offer and when I don’t respond his blue eyes flick up from their concentrated stare on the bread and I no, gulping.

“That’s reassuring,” I reply but my shaky voice doesn’t back my words and his gaze doesn’t drop back to the bread.

His brows furrow and my heart beat stammers. “Is everything alright, Mae?” He asks and I hate that he can tell, even despite my pathetic pretending he still knows me too well to be fooled by a fake attitude. Ever since our bond clicked in place, fully clicked in place, its like he understands my emotions on a cosmic level.

“It’s just…” I start and the sweet sensation of relief that floods through my veins at the glimmer of a confession comes to a painful halt the second I bite my tongue.

“What?” He asks causally, which I am thankful for. I think he can see that being persistent right now won’t do me any favours despite how much I can tell he wants to know.

He slices casually through the sandwich and puts it on a plate before sliding it over. “You can tell me,” he says softly and I don’t make a move to pick up the sandwich, fearful that he’ll notice my shaking hands.

“I just… I think things are going to be more complicated with Carter than you realise,” I say that tight feeling returning with the lack of real substance from my words.

But despite the guilt that eats away at my heart for not telling him, that pressing urge to protect Carter remains.

“Because he is a hunter?” Roman asks and I think before biting down onto my cheek.

I nod softly, “Yes,” I start, the admission lying on my tongue ready to pounce out.

“We have dealt with hunters before and whilst some can be… difficult, our people are very well trained in their fields. I don’t see him posing a threat, truly. Especially not when he is related to you,” he says and I feel a sweat coming on, the room instantly feeling humid despite the chilly weather.

“But I don’t…” I loose a breath and slump further into my chair. “What if he’s not compliant?” I ask a wince appearing with the words.

Roman’s brows furrow further. “Do you not think he’ll be?” He questions and I close my eyes for a moment longer than necessary.

“What determines that? You said some are difficult, why?” I ask, dreading the answer.

He cocks his head to the side in thought. “It depends. Sometimes it’s just down to a factor of loyalty to the cause other times they could just be triggered in a certain way with the curse,” he replies before leaning forward. “Mae, why are you so worried?” He asks, concern filling his tone.

“It’s his dad,” I blurt, somehow not regretting it.

“His dad?” He asks, even more confused. But at the look on my face he remains as serious as ever. “What does it have to do with his dad?”

“Because…” I start, inhaling a shaky breath. “Because…” I can’t seem to say it, the words becoming chocked up in my throat each time I try to get them out.

“Because what, Mae?” He asks and I look down at the jam sandwich, my stomach so full of knots the thought of eating makes me sick.

I glance up and meet his piercing blue eyes, noting the steely Alpha glare that lurks beneath the concern he holds for me. “You have to promise me he won’t get hurt,” I say, stronger than I anticipated.

“Of course he won’t be Mae, I’ve already said this-”

“Promise me,” I cut in, firmer.

He purses his lips and gives me a pointed look. “I promise.”

“Its who his dad is,” I say, taking a deep breath.

“And who is his dad?” Roman asks, becoming slightly agitated at my inability to give him an answer.

I glance down at the table and my heart races. I have to do this, I can’t… I can’t keep it for him to find out himself. Carter’s not waking up and if anyone else figures it out before he wakes up then god only knows what is going to happen.

If I tell Roman, I have the control. I can make some kind of a plan with him, see where it goes. But the risk of him doing something unpredictable still sits like a monster lurking beneath a calm sea.

“Mae, I promise you, no harm will come to him,” he says and I clench my teeth before looking at him, connecting our eyes once more.

He looks imposing stood in the kitchen as he is, muscles rippling as his palms lay flat on the marble bench top. Its a a sight that doesn’t ease my tension. But just as his strength could bring my family pain it could also protect him.

“His father is Arthur Hunt. Sir Arthur Hunt.” The silence that follows is deafening, Roman stills like he is trying to figure out if I am joking, if those words really crossed my lips. And when I don’t move to correct myself I swear his face pales a few notable shades.

“Mae…” he says, his voice low in warning as if he is testing me to not play games with this kind of thing. And again, when the harrowed look on my face remains he sucks in a harsh breath.

“I-” I start, but swallow my words when I realise there is nothing I can say to back this one up. Nothing at all.

“How long have you known?” He asks, movings into Alpha mode in a matter of seconds. I can tell he is trying to tread carefully with me but that burning desire to hold information is well beyond ignited.

I gulp. “Since the meeting,” A flash of hurt crosses over his face but the steely front soon washes over like he was never affected at all. “I didn’t want… I didn’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. He’s not… he’s not like that, he’s good and kind I just-” I let out a skas breath and I taste the tears on my lips.

Roman is around the bench in moments his arms wrapped soundly around my waist. His palm pulls my head into his chest and I let out a sob.

“You can’t hurt him, please,” I say, pulling from his embrace, regaining strength in my words.

His blue eyes scan over my face, conflicted between hurt for me and hurt for the opinion he no doubt holds.

“He won’t be hurt,” he assures me, though his words come out strained. “This… this changes things however.”

He walks away from me, moving over to the side of the island bench forest his arms again in frustrated thought. “I really didn’t expect this,” he mutters, almost displeased with himself for not figuring it out sooner. From what I’ve seen he’s not used to this, he has never had to become accustomed to having a person withhold things from him. But I seem to have changed that significantly in my time here.

“I’m sorry,” I say truthfully and he whips his head towards me in slight shock, noting the sincerity on any face.

“Don’t be, I’m glad you chose to tell me,” he says honestly but his face remains drawn, exhausted at the mere idea of figuring this one out. “I’ll need to tell the Betas, immediately,” he says and I rise from my stool.

“Are you sure that’s a good idea?” I blurt with fervour, “You yourself barely trust them at the minute, what if they decide to just tell the King? I read the stories from the book he gave me, you read them,” I push. “Imagine what’ll he’ll do if he finds out.”

The wince that crosses over his face is answer enough that we are both on the same wavelength. “The King won’t know until we have figured out a way to deal with this, there is surely a way around it but we’d find a solution much faster if I had the help of my Betas. You pointed out to me that I needed to put the pettiness behind me and I have, they are born to be my trusted advisors,” he says and I gulp.

“But what if they betray you again? What if they use their combined power to veto your decision to leave their superior out of it?” I ask and his eyes darken a shade.

“The King may be above me but my Beta’s are still my friends, Mae. And if it really comes to that, if I have any inkling of suspicion that they might relay the news forward then I’ll Alpha command them to secrecy right then and there,” he rebuts and the relief that floods through me isn’t calming, it feels like a raging wave that rips through my senses and makes me doubt each and every moment of the last conversation.

He furrows has brows in thought and I wait with anticipation for his news. “So that means that your…” He doesn’t finish his words as he connects the dots and a new scowl appears on his face. If he couldn’t hate Oliver anymore, this certainly was the icing on the cake.

I nod grimly and a silence falls between us. “I don’t know the full story, I only know what I’ve told you. Hopefully when Carter wakes up everything will make more sense,” I conclude, meeting his gaze.

“Hopefully,” he repeats, though the confidence in his voice is lacking. “I need to get to work, try to figure this out. Are you going to come with me or will you be back at the hospital?” He asks with an edge of hesitancy and I can guess why. Within the hospital lies the son of his kinds most hated enemy, a man wired to kill and destroy packs as a career.

“I’ll come with you,” I decide, mainly because I want to be there for whatever discussion unfolds but also because Roman is right when he says this is a pressing issue.

He nods before looking down at the sandwich. “I’ll call the beta’s in for a meeting, you can finish your food and meet me there,” he says and I nod, despite the fact that my stomach aches at the thought.

A moment alone, if only fleeting, is what I need right now. Just a moment to let the inevitable feeling of betrayal settle in. Either way, I’d be hurting someone, I just hope to hell the only hurt this’ll cause him is emotional.

Roman walks back around the island bench and pulls me in close to him, loosing a breath and relaxing himself into my touch. He pulls back and places a kiss on my forehead. “I’ll see you there.”

He doesn’t await my response before walking out of the kitchen, his back tense and his movements stoic. I look back down to the plate with the perfect sandwich sat atop it and push the edge, a grimace now formed on my face.

-

“Have you already doubled the security around his room? Changed the guards to ones trained for an instant threat level warning?” Elijah asks, jumping straight into his view.

Roman explained the scenario to them both and I chimed in with any evidence I could provide here and there but no matter the amount of information we gave them, their grim faces didn’t ease. I could see it-the shock written into their expressions and that knowing look in their eyes that this wasn’t something fixed with kind words and a big hug.

“Threat level warning?” I ask incredulously, glancing at Roman. Never in my life would I have associated Carter, sweet, joking Carter with threat level warning.

“With all due respect, Luna, the threat posed in this scenario fits into our highest category of security measures. Whilst I understand you connection to him, this man may very well be a danger to both you and the Alpha,” he explains and I bite down on my lip.

“We aren’t going to exact those measures onto him,” Roman concludes, shooting Elijah a firm stare. “I agree that we need security measures in place but he is in a coma, his threat to us despite his lineage isn’t massively high. We need to take caution with this case, for many reasons. It’s not as simple as others have been in the past.” Roman’s explanation comforts me, but only slightly, especially when the Beta’s expressions don’t falter.

“A lot of caution,” Elijah begins. “There are pups here Alpha, the second he is out of that coma he needs to be transported to a holding facility that is secure and away from our people. I for one won’t have my mate and unborn child anywhere near a hunter and I am sure the rest of the pack feels similar to me,” he explains and I grimace at the weight of his words.

Carter wouldn’t hurt a child. He wouldn’t hurt anyone. The guy had a serious problem killing bugs up until the last moment I saw him and hunting with Oliver was quite arguably his least favourite thing to do.

“Of course. He will be securely transported to a holding cell until we can figure out his intent but it is imperative that we do just that. This is an opportunity for us to gain information, if he is the son of Arthur then chances are he knows a few things, things that he’ll hopefully be willing to share,” Roman says and Elijah gives him a look.

“And if he’s not?”

“He will be,” I cut in, a harsh defensiveness in my tone that makes him lower his head ever so slightly.

Jayce remains silent next to Elijah, his usual bubbly self consumed in a pale whirl of fear and an emotion I can’t quite place.

“We can’t base our operation on that,” he rebuts and I lean forward in my chair.

“I don’t care, he doesn’t get hurt, that’s the deal.” I hope my expression holds the same intensity as my voice because I simply won’t let harm come to him. If I could have it my way I wouldn’t let harm come to anyone.

“He’s not even your biological brother,” Jayce blurts and I whip my head to face him fully furrowing my brows.

“Excuse me?” I ask, clearly offended at the remark.

“He’s the brother of the man you married- a hunter. And not just any old hunter it seems,” he continues and I feel rage begin to simmer in the pit of my stomach.

“What does that have to do with it? I have lived with him as my brother in law for years. He is still my family.” The only one I really have. My adoptive, damaged, slightly fucked up family but my family nonetheless.

“You are our Luna, to us you are our family. You are the soul mate of Roman for the sake of the goddess and yet you act as though it means nothing to you, like our entire population doesn’t matter more than people who lied to you for years. We would expect you to care for your family, if that’s really how you see them, but don’t put the lives of our families, thousands of families, at risk to protect your own,” he says, his words ripping into me like a sharp blade, slicing me to ribbons.

I stay silent for a minute and I feel Roman still beside me. I don’t expect him to jump to my defence, not when everything his Beta has proclaimed is more or less true, at least to their perspective.

“Asking for a person I care about not to be tortured for information isn’t exactly over-stepping a line. Nor is it putting my family before the lives of others, if I were doing that, I never would have told you about Arthur in the first place,” I snap back and he lowers his gaze at the authority in my tone.

“This isn’t the time for this discussion,” Roman intercedes and the tension dissipates slightly. “When he wakes up, we will make a verdict. Not now,” he says with finality and all of us don’t press on the issue.

I expected them to have their own feelings towards me and I didn’t think they’d be all shiny and bright. In their eyes, I’ve fucked over their closest friend, completely ruined an experience they no doubt all talked over and dreamed about together. But I didn’t think they’d feel that strongly.
Do I have a bias towards my family? Perhaps. I know for certain when I first came here I did. Then, no one else mattered outside us because that was more or less how it was before coming here. When push came to shove we protected each other at all costs, we weren’t just a family. We were a pack of our own.

But to hold me to the same standard that I set when I first came here is unfair. After everything I have been through, everything that I have done. I’ve completed the damn bond with Roman, helped them out with fixing human rights, I pretend I am fine when I am about to explode inside. What more do they want from me?

“When Carter wakes up, we will follow the regular protocol and see what happens from there,” Elijah says and Jayce clenches his jaw.

“I know him, I helped raise the kid. There is more to this story, I just know it,” I say and they both nod but I am not convinced they believe me.

“We will begin on our drafts and have them to you within the next hour,” Jayce says, looking straight at Roman he nods at his Beta’s.

“Thank you,” he say and they lower their heads to the both of us before turning and leaving.

The second the door closes with a thud loose a breath I didn’t know I was holding. “That was horrible,” I confess and he gives me a pained look.

“It’s… hard for them to see where you are coming from. Jayce,” he sucks in a harsh breath. “When he was young he lost his mother to a hunter attack. It killed his father in a slow way- a way that no child should ever have to endure. It’s hard for him,” he says and I look down to the desk with guilt.

“I didn’t know,” I whisper and he shakes his head.

“It doesn’t matter, what he said was out of line regardless but I think he knows that. He’ll probably apologise,” he adds and I shake my head.

“He doesn’t have too, I get it,” I reply and he opens his mouth to say something just as his eyes cloud over.

I furrow my brows and wait, my stomach twisting and turning. And the second his blue orbs return his face tells me everything I need to know but his mouth opens anyway.

“He’s awake.”

authors note

I am writing this with fake nails and please just kill me ugh. So yes, the update is a day late, surprise surprise but its been hectic as hell. Currently, I am in the car on the way to my school and I have been working to get this out for you guys aha

So off I go now to partayyyy whoop!

See you next update!!

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