To Love

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Chapter 19

PLS PRESS THE LIL HEART <3 (not that one the one at the bottom-just to clarify-in case... I'll go now...)

“In the midst of chaos, there is also opportunity.”

-Sun Tzu

My rap my knuckles on the dark door plastered with punk rock posters and it swings open to reveal Dr Lynn who smiles at sight of me. I furrow my brows, looking past her to try find Avery.

“Lynn, I didn’t expect to see you here,” I comment and she stands back, letting me enter the room to see Avery writing down on a desk full of messy papers, Ellie-Mae sat next to her doing the same thing but with crayons.

“I’ve been working with Ave on that hunter thing you asked her to do, I hope that’s okay-when she asked for his blood results we got to talking and I offered to help,” she explains and Ellie-Mae’s head snaps up, her brown eyes lighting up when she sees me. She wiggles off her chair and runs around, tackling my leg in a hug and reaching her arms out for me to pick her up which I do.

“Hey there,” I say with a grin and she looks to the door.

“Where’s Alpha?” She asks, a slight pout on her face and it makes me smile.

“He is at work unfortunately, but he said to say hi,” I say, a white lie. Roman doesn’t even know that I’m here, the both of us haven’t had the chance to even talk much in the midst of all the work. But she smiles nonetheless, happy with my response.

“Hey Mae,” Avery mumbles, her eyes staying trained on the piece of paper she’s currently scribbling all over.

“Mommy and I are working,” she tells me and I raise my brows taking her back to her chair.

“That’s great,” I comment and she smiles before picking up her crayon, continuing to draw lines onto her piece of paper with a concentrated stare.

“I only just got your message, I’ve been stuck in a meeting so I’m sorry if I’m a little late,” I say and she furrows her brows.

“It’s seven in the morning,” she says and I nod.

“I know, it’s been a rough night,” I say and that’s the honest truth. I didn’t get any sleep, much to Roman’s displeasure, but neither did he. Both of us have been up all night working with the military to try and resolve the issue and they only just came to an agreement about an hour ago. I didn’t stick around for Carters final interview, being there would only add to my stress and Avery messed me like the world was about to crash down if I didn’t report straight here.

“Chris has been home for about ten minutes over the last three days, I can only imagine how hard you’ve been working,” she says, rising from her chair before turning to her daughter. “Mommy is going to go talk over there for a little bit, you keep working on your design, its coming along,” she instructs and Ellie-Mae nods happily, continuing to draw.

Avery nods her head to the sitting area around the corner of her stacked shelves and the three of us move there. I suck in a harsh breath and my eyes go wide when I see boards full of calculations, designs of genetics and the human body plastered all around the area.

“It seems you’ve both been working hard too,” I say, turning to Avery.

“It’s been a fun challenge actually, Lynn’s help has been great and honestly…” she says, letting out a deep breath. “We’ve found some pretty interesting stuff.”

I gulp, thinking about Carter sat in the interview room right now and Noah, both of them with little to no information about who exactly they are. This is big, this isn’t just important for them but finding out if you can exist as someone with hunter blood without turning fully could change a lot of things. And that’s not even talking about trying to get rid of the curse.

“What’s the verdict?” I ask and Avery takes a seat, the two of us following suit soon after.

“Everything matches up to what Roman told you about hunters. I was given samples of a known hunter and I analysed them against both Carters results and that of a full human and wolf. His match human qualities fully but they contain an element that is susceptible to switch. It’s almost like his system is susceptible to a disease but only the disease it wants. Scientifically, it doesn’t really add up but consider gin they were made by witches its unsurprising,” she says and Dr Lynn nods next to her.

“So he’s not a hunter?” I ask and Lynn nods.

“No. He isn’t but he still could be,” she says letting out a huff. “And so could Noah, despite being mated.”

Her information makes my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. The thought of Noah driven by a curse to kill those he loves around him… to kill Celina.

“But he’d never kill someone,” I say and Avery gulps grimly.

“That’s not what we are worried about. We know Noah wouldn’t kill someone intentionally but accidents happen, the rules that trigger the curse are vague enough that if he got into a car accident or made some kind of mistake then…” she starts, not wanting to finish her point.

Then he’d likely try to kill the people that he loves. And in the event he did trigger the curse and he could be removed from his family…

I turn to Avery. “When you and Christopher weren’t talking, you said it hurt Ellie-Mae, right?” I ask and she nods, making me let out a deep sigh, the beginnings of a headache forming in my skull.

“And there is nothing we can do to stop it?” I ask the both of them and the pained look Lynn gives me is an answer in and of itself.

“Not that we’ve found yet but we have only just began looking into this. My best bet is that science won’t help much on its own, we will need to do research beyond that, find out what we can about the curse. If there is some ancient way to reverse it and we can link that to a medicinal remedy then maybe…” she ponders, the cogs of her mind whirring and turning.

But it’s still a maybe. All of this rests on a maybe. Cures aren’t just found overnight-especially not those concerned with medicine and dark fucking magic.

“I’ll have to take to a general, a Beta.. someone,” I say, gulping, “If I can get someone with a background on safety to put in a temporary plan for Noah to minimise any potential risks from occurring then that could help,” I suggest and Lynn nods.

“It would. Like you said, Noah would never kill anyone and I personally don’t see this being a pressing issue but it still can’t be ignored. It’s better to start on it now than leave it to the future,” she says and I look at her quizzically.

“Don’t you have to be at the hospital right now?” I ask, surprised that she had the time to stay with Avery over the last three days with all the duties running a hospital entails.

“No, actually. Dr Matthews has returned to his posting and so now I am working as his second, gaining more experience in fields I haven’t done before. They were going to send me back to my pack but I decided to stay after meeting Avery, help with this and work at the hospital at the same time,” she says and I feel bad, guilt wrapping around my mind like a foggy haze.

“You don’t have to dedicate your free time working on this,” I say, “I don’t expect you too.”

She shakes her head furiously. “No! Honestly I am actually really enjoying it, its interesting to me and if I can help the other hunters that are cursed too… Maybe that will help to fix a lot of the things going on right now, I’d like to help out any way I can to end the suffering of someone born with a curse out of their hands,” she explains nothing but pure truth to her words. And it honestly stuns me.

Not the fact that she wants to help people- I know well enough now that she cares about all people. But every time she acts kindly towards hunters, the people she is supposed to hate as a default-it offers me a shred of hope.

“Don’t try convince her out of it,” Avery says to me with a smirk. “Dr Lynn here is about the first wolf I have allowed to enter this place aside from Ellie-Mae,” she says and I furrow my brows.

“And Christopher,” I add and she laughs.

Allowed. There was no stopping that bulking mate of mine from entering unannounced no matter how many empty threats I threw at him. So it’s been nice- to have some company that I enjoy,” she says and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t hurt me slightly but I know that’s not what she meant.

We’d barely spent any time together since me being here anyway. The only times we were together were in brief moments or times of crisis and I knew months ago that our relationship wouldn’t ever be the same anyway. I’m happy that she has the opportunity to enjoy the company of a friend again.

“We made this for you actually,” Lynn says, handing me a thick folder with a laugh. “Its a lot, I know, but it pretty much sums up what we’ve learnt and our advice, I guess, on how to handle things with Carter from a scientific side,” she says and I open the folding, my eyes skimming over the first page.

“And how should I handle him as of right now?” I ask, beating the time crunch of having to find out for myself.

“Put him in isolation. Christopher told me that you were planning on taking him to a prison so put him in isolation there. If not for the safety of other inmates then for his safety at least. Prisons are slowly filling with rouges from what Chris tells me as a part of all the reforms and whilst I have hope that it will help them reintegrate into pack life, I don’t even think a regular wolf will take kindly to Carters presence,” Avery tells me and it makes complete sense. Prison might be safe for him away from the King but there is a whole new threat there as well.

He is likely the first hunter to actually be admitted into a prison facility.

“I’m sure the Gamma’s already have something along those lines in mind if it was Christopher who told you. But I’ll bring this up regardless,” I say and before Lynn can make a comment the phone in my back pocket starts ringing loudly.

“Sorry, I’ll be one second,” I tell them as I pull out the sleek black object, holding it to my ear, already knowing who it’s going to be without having to look. “Hello?”

“Maeve,” Roman’s voice says through the object, “We’ve just finished up with all the interviews,” he says and my chest tightens, nerves beginning to wrack my body once more.

“How did it go? Did you want me to come back? Is it all alright?” I ask, the questions firing out of me like rounds of bullets from a gun.

“If you could come back now that would be helpful, we are just finishing a few things up. It all went well,” he says with relief and I know exactly why. Worse than the guilt he may have felt, I know the last thing Roman wanted was to have to explain bad news to me.

“Did you get the location of the base?” I ask.

“He told us everything,” Roman says with a large huff and relief floods my body, letting my shoulders slump. “We know where the base is, the entry points, numbers of hunters, humans. He explained it all as best he could and our team are currently further investigating the information, from what I can tell it is starting to match up but they’ve only just began looking,” he says and I nod.

“Is Carter okay?” I ask, “What made him tell you?”

I hate that my mind jumps to the conclusion that it was forced from him but the wolves made it abundantly clear that it was an option they had no problem choosing.

“We struck the deal you suggested, obviously I had to negotiate on the terms with him, which was as expected,” he says and I furrow my brows.

“You were the one talking with him?” I ask, I can’t even begin to imagine how that went.

“Yes,” Roman says, his tone hinting that it was just as I expected it would be. “He gave us all the information on the condition that we retrieve Alani Jones and no harm comes to her.”

“And she’s at the same base?” I ask and Roman sighs through the phone.

“He expects as much but there is a chance that they removed her from that location the second he was taken by us and I told him as such. If she is there, we will bring her back unharmed as we will with the others but she is of primary concern,” he says and I nod before realising he can’t see me.

“I’m basically finished here anyway, I’ll come over straight away. Are you with the Beta’s?” I ask.

“Yes we are in the military compound. How did things go on your end?” He asks and I look to the two women in conversation in front of me.

“They found out a few things which I’ll show you later on. Most of it still relies on what the pack already knows but there is room for scientific advancement,” I inform him and Lynn and Avery both look at me as I mention their studies.

“Right, I’ll see you soon then. Make sure to tell the guards accompanying you that you need to be in the main military compound, in case you get lost,” he says and it’d sound stupid if it weren’t for the fact that I still can’t remember how to get there, not with all the twists and turns.

“Will do, bye,” I say and he mummers a goodbye too before hanging up the phone, allowing me to slide it back into the pocket of my jeans.

“Gotta go?” Avery asks and I nod, a guilty look on my face.

“Yeah, I’m sorry I can’t stay longer, I really appreciate everything the two of you have done. It means so much,” I say and Avery waves her hand.

“Don’t mention it, you just go sort out what you need to sort out. There will be plenty of other times for the three of us to goof off in the future I’m sure,” she says with a smile and return her happiness.

“I hope so,” I reply and I give Ellie-Mae a hug on the way out, taking a picture of a wolf in the forrest the she drew after she made me pledge that I’d give it to her Alpha.

Getting to the military offices was a lot easier than I thought. Roman was right to ask me to get guidance from the guards. They took me down rotes that I’d never even stepped foot in and sure enough, we made it to the offices within ten minutes.

I clutched onto the folded piece of paper in my hand tightly as I entered the office, the flurry of people more anxious than they have been all week setting me on edge. I wish I still had the folder of information to clutch to my chest but when Avery offered to have it sent to my office I didn’t refuse. The last thing I need is to loose that amongst the stacks of files down here.

“Mae,” Roman says, walking out of the main meeting office in the centre of the room and heading straight for me. I notice Elijah stood near the entry way, likely following his leader and my eyes drift to the various other men and women that are crammed into the space.

“Hey,” I mummer and he pulls me into a hug, pecking my lips before setting his hand around my waist, the movements like a second nature to him.

“What’s that?” He asks, his eyes looking down to the paper folded in my hand.

I’m at a loss for words for a moment, having completely forgotten what I even had despite knowing the entire way down here. I hold it out to him. “Ellie-Mae drew it for you. You’ve got a fan base it seems,” I tell him and the corner of his lips turn up into a smile and he tucks the picture into his pocket after inspecting it.

He leans in close to me, his smile turning into a smirk. “Well so do you darling, I’d quite like to draw you sometime,” he mummers into my skin and my cheeks heat up at the insinuation.

I go to respond to him but Elijah coughs in front of us as we near the meeting room. “I hate to interrupt you both but there is a meeting to attend,” he says and Roman just nods his head, his smirk somewhat subdued but still lingering-like a promise to me almost that he is going to uphold his position as chairman, president and only member of the Maeve Evans fan club later.

“Luna, glad you could make it,” Jayce says as the both of us enter the room, taking our places standing at the end of the table. I give him a nod in acknowledgement.

“What’s the latest?” I ask and he turns too Roman, giving him the floor to answer.

“We’ve managed to verify that there is in fact a relatively large building where Carter described through aerial footage,” he says, pointing to what looks like an abandoned shed in the middle of a large forrest. “Through further analysis and his instructions, we have also confirmed sightings of what appear to be entrances and exits that lead into the underground bunker containing most of the weaponry they have. Our team has already begun planning the stages of attack and with Carters numbers we have been deciding the best way to go about it. Its a large compound, filled with wolf killing weapons and hunters that know how to wield them-a hard fight but not an impossible one,” he explains and I nod though my brows are furrowed.

“And where is Carter right now?” I ask.

“He is still being held here but his transport is getting ready to take him to the prison,” he says and I nod.

“Is there a designated place for hunters there?” I ask and the people around the table look somewhat shocked, like the question is utterly unfathomable.

“No-but he will be kept away from other inmates, both human and wolf for the time being,” Elijah says, the answer what I thought it would be which I’m glad for-it saves me time explaining.

I look towards Roman again. “And when is he going to leave?” I ask, my voice edged with an unspoken question. Will I get to see him?

Roman opens his mouth to respond but a wolf, clad in their black uniform enters the office unannounced, drawing all of our attention to her. “Sorry to interrupt you, but the King has just landed and is in his vehicle headed here now. He has asked that you both are ready for him in your office Alpha,” she says formally and dread washes over me.

“Very well. Contact the relevant people and have his room arranged-with enough space for any accomplices he may choose to bring this time,” Roman replies and the young warrior nods before exiting the room, leaving us in a moment of silence.

“I want Carter out now. Get him from his cell and take him on a route that is directly opposite that of the Kings. Any one who came into contact with him I suggest you change your clothing or steer clear from where he resides in case things don’t go as planned,” Roman says and his words make my gut wrench. So he believes there to be a possibility in which the King would go on a killing rampage at scenting Carter?

As if sensing the pure fear that begins to take over my senses, Roman takes my hand in his, pulling me closer to him.

People begin to exit the room but before Elijah can leave I grab his forearm. “Say goodbye for me,” I say and his expression softens.

“I will,” he says before promptly turning from me and exiting the meeting room.

“Do we need to change too?” I ask as Roman begins to walk out as well, taking me with him.

“There’s no time. And we need to tell him, we can’t hold back on this,” he says and I nod, though I think that fear is ready to just consume me entirely.

“I can do the talking if you want,” he says, sensing the inner turmoil I am facing.

I shake my head and try to shake my emotions with it. “No. We’ll do this together, if it is my brother we are talking about then I should be the one to tell him,” I say and he grimaces at my words as we fall into a steady stride on the way to his office.

“I’d refrain from calling him as such. The King knows of your past and whilst he might tolerate it, I don’t think bringing up the fact that you aren’t invested in the bond is the best thing right now. For his sake, make him your friend,” he says pointedly and I nod my head, digesting his information.

As much as I don’t wish he were, he is right. The King has made clear what he thinks of my marriage and I know he partially blames that for the reason that an heir hasn’t been secured. We’ve got to focus our fight, we can’t go into all these battles at once.

Roman gives my hand a squeeze and looks to me with sincerity. “It’s going to be fine.”

-

Roman’s eyes cloud over and I exhale a shaky breath as his blue orbs come back into view, my palms shaking. “He’s gone,” he says and I close my eyes, my nerves dissipating slightly.

I move to respond just as the door to the office opens to reveal the King, suited with a grin on his face, the only indication that he doesn’t already know. “A standing ovation already? I much prefer bows but this is a nice change,” he says too Roman and I both stood still behind our desks.

Roman is the first to break from his stiff posture as he returns the Kings smile, his far more subdued. “We weren’t expecting you to arrive so early, I take it things have gone well?” Roman asks as he takes a seat and I follow suit, watching with cautious eyes as the King seats himself in front of us. I study his demeanour and try to avoid the shivers that travel down my spine at the aura of pure power he carries. We might be seated behind the desk but he holds all the cards here, that much is certain.

“On the contrary, there is much that we need to discuss. It appears that the threat we face is larger than anticipated and Alpha Nicholas has been scheming this for longer than we thought,” he says and it does nothing to ease my nerves. “He wants to become King. An ambitious move, I’ll give him that but one that we must eliminate before it evolves any further than it has to. I came here early because I thought you might need the help considering the first step of his plan is to take your pack and make it his own.”

My gut sinks and I can feel Roman’s rage rolling off him. “He must be suicidal then,” Roman replies but I think it over in my head.

Maybe he would be, if it weren’t for the odds currently in his favour. If he-as we knew him before all this-wanted to invade Roman would laugh in his face and I’d probably join him. But he has a larger army than we thought and the weaponry to match. He has humans fighting for him under the mask of the hunters who live scattered amongst our land, armed to the teeth if Carter’s retellings are anything to go off. People to attack from the outside and people to attack from the inside.

A threat. A threat so large it could crumble every move that has been made towards peace and kill god knows how many people in the process. Our people would die and if Nicholas believes that the rallied humans and hunters won’t turn on his one people in the end then he seriously must be suicidal. In the end of this, if our enemy wins- so does Sir Arthur Hunt. And I won’t let that happen.

I look at the King and our eyes connect for the first time during this meeting. “There is something I have to tell you.”

authors note

Okay so good news and bad news. Good news is-things are about to get superrrrr interesting and I can’t wait to share what’s coming with all of you. Bad news is that I’m probably not going to be able to update until next Sunday which is a bummer. I have got my last and final set of exams approaching and I think it is best I really try to focus on those for the time being but whenever I get the chance-I will write my little heart out.

Thanks for all the comments of love after my whiny little note last update- we all have moods lmao, mine are just very uncensored when I write these things in the middle of the night.

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