The Pride of the Lalune

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Chapit Vennsenk

*Eva POV*

"Come again?!" I almost surprised myself as the words were yelled from my mouth. "You mean to tell me that I'm being sent on an international wild goose chase, when the person who is supposed to be helping us already knows who the bad guy is and it's her FREAKING TWIN BROTHER?!" I expected fear and confusion to be the emotions that hit me first, but instead it was anger, betrayal and resentment. I was fuming at this point and did not even bother to contain my feelings.

Misye Ipolit sat behind his huge wooden desk, leaning back in the chair, causing the wood to whine and creak under his weight. "I know it might be extremely difficult to see this any other way, but from a prophetic standpoint, her hands were tied."

As my anger rose, so did my voice. "I don't give a rat's ass about her hands being tied. Had we have known that it was her brother from the beginning, we could have done something about it when they attacked the first time!" Ethan held my hand and pulled me back down into my seat as I began to rise up with each word.

Misye Ipolit, although still extremely calm, lightly began to rub the bridge of his nose. "Princess, I know this prophecy forwards and backwards. You and I both know that had you have been there when they attacked, your father would have been killed and none of the positives that have transpired since you left the kingdom would have happened." He pointed his hand between Ethan and I. Even though he was right, it still hurt in a way to know that some of our questions already had answers that we didn't know.

Noticing that I longer wanting to speak, Ethan took over the conversation. "Ok sir, so the bokor is named Fabio and he is the evil twin brother of Fabienne, the vodouisant. Now you also mentioned that he kidnapped your pregnant mate. So that would be your connection to all of this?" The four of us looked at him tentatively, waiting to hear his story.

The anguish on his face could not be missed as he leaned forward onto the desk. "As I'm sure you already know, I was once a member of the Lalune pack. I was and still am very loyal to the kingdom, as well as your parents." I gave him a look asking fora reason as to why he left the pack with no ties. He smiled before continuing. "We'll get to that part later. But, I grew up with your parents, Marcelin, Delphine and Beta David. Growing up Fabienne was always a staple in the pack for us, even though she's not a wolf. She would consult whenever we asked, share her visions and findings and perform any necessary spells or rituals. She'd share prophecies and help come up with the best solutions to see that they either came to fruition or were altered in our best interest. One day she came to me and told me that I would find my mate soon and after searching for so long, I was elated. But with the joy of that statement also came extreme sadness. I would find my mate and of our union would come two children, but I would never be able to meet the second child." He glanced around to make sure that we were still following. "Too excited about the prospect of finding my mate, I let the rest of her words fly over my head."

"Roseline was my everything. I knew the instant I scented her I would do any and everything to lay the world at her feet. She was kind, beautiful, loving and strong and she made me a better man from the moment I knew she was mine. She came from the old Solèy Leve pack, but she melded into the Lalune so quickly you would have thought she was a part of it her whole life." He paused, smiling at the memory. "About a year after we mated our daughter, Romi, was born and life was amazing! Nothing could have brought me down from my continuous high, until it did. Fabienne came back around to warn me again that I wouldn't meet my second child and I still kind of brushed it off because we weren't planning on having another pup anytime soon." He wiped away a tear that seemed to escape, but the room remained in total silence as we willed him to go on with the story. "Every morning my Rosie would take her wolf out for a run, but this particular morning something was different. She had already left the house when I picked up the change in her scent. Her usual coconut smell was now laced with hints of fresh rainwater and the only other time her scent changed was when she was pregnant with Romi. When I realized what was happening, I tore out of the house in search of her as Fabienne's words looped through my head. I searched everywhere. No one knew were she went. Hours turned to days, those days became weeks. After months of searching without a trace I finally picked up her scent again. I shifted into my wolf to get to her as fast as I could, only to be stopped by your fathers at the pack border. I fought them as hard as I could because I could not understand why they wouldn't let me see my mate. When I finally broke through, I understood why. There she was, my sweet Rosie, beaten, broken, lifeless. I dropped to my knees and lifted her body, only to realize she had been completely gutted. In all of that time I was so worried about getting my mate back that I had forgotten the she was newly pregnant with a pup when she disappeared." He noticed that Lena and I were crying and he pulled some tissue from the box on his desk before handing it off to us.

"There was nothing that we could do. She was already dead. I tried to avenge her. I searched high and low for the evil bastard that was capable of doing this, but I always came up empty handed. I searched for years, often time I ended up neglecting my duties to protect Romi while I was out chasing a ghost. Then, to make matters worse during that time, Fabienne came back with two new prophecies—the one you heard, and the one that says the rogue would be successful."

I finally broke my silence, still slightly confused by his story. "So, you think the bokor took your mate?"

"Cherie, I know he did. You see, the bokor needed a child in order for his prophecy to come to pass and we all know that mated wolves can only bear the children of their mates. I believe that this rogue wolf is no rogue at all, but in fact the son that was stolen from me."

To say we were shocked by this new revelation would be an understatement. "You think the rogue that wants to take over the kingdom is your son?!" He nodded his head in confirmation. Thinking for a while, I realized that we had only heard one prophecy. "What is the second prophecy?"

"Unfortunately, we were never quite sure what the other prophecy stated word for word. All we know is that it requires a wolf, we don't know why, but somehow my son plays a major role in this plan. If the prophecy comes to pass, it will grant Fabio more power than any man can handle—supernatural or not. He's a power hungry prick, hellbent on ruling as much of the world as possible. Trying to find him and the meaning of these prophesies is part of the reason I started this business. I've been searching for answers for thirty years and I believe now we finally have a fighting chance to get them."

Michel, who had been unusually silent, finally contributed to the conversation. "So what do we need to do with this information?"

"I think the next step is to go back to the kingdom. No doubt that once they learn you are back on Haitian soil they'll soon prepare for their next attack. We somehow need to get to my son and try and convince him to believe what we're telling him."

"So you want us to go back to Haiti, using me as bait, with the hopes of having a 'family moment' with a violent, determined wolf who's goal is to murder my father and claim me as his own to inherit the kingdom? And from doing this you're hoping that y'all can have a kumbaya powwow so that you can introduce yourself as long lost dad?" I looked at him in total disbelief. "And no offense, but it seems as if even though we have Fabienne on our side, Fabio's magic is a lot stronger and a lot more dangerous."

"Well lucky for us all, my daughter is an apprentice vodouisant and she and Fabienne combined should give us more than enough time to cause a distraction to keep the bokor busy and for me to try and convince my son to see and believe the truth."

Before any of us could ask more questions or offer a rebuttal, we heard the front door of the shop open and the voice of a woman speak out to Misye Ipolit. "Papa, why is the shop closed? Where are you?"

"In the office, Bél. We have important guests. Join us please."

As soon as he spoke we began to hear soft footsteps coming down the walkway. Simultaneously, Michel started to fidget uncontrollably to the point that he had to stand up from his chair. I don't recall ever seeing him act this way. Looking from me to Misye Ipolit and the doorway, I could see the beads of sweat gathering on his forehead.

"Papa, who are our guests?" A brown skinned woman wearing a black body con maxi dress under layers of flowing floral robes stepped into the door frame. A neatly wrapped headdress adorned her head, styled with cute loose, coily curls that framed her beautiful face perfectly, drawing attention to her captivating black eyes that seemed to be peppered with flecks of gold.

Her father's eyes lit up as he motioned for her to come closer. Bypassing his desk, her smile beamed brightly as she stood in front of Michel with her hand outstretched. With a nervous smile plastered across his face he took her hand in his, bringing it to his lips and placing a soft kiss on her knuckles. He allowed his lips to linger as he inhaled her scent for the first time.

Ethan nudged me gently in my side as we all began to recognize the formation of a new mate bond begin to flourish. The quiet and intimate moment was quickly interrupted as Michel and Romi started to cackle uncontrollably like a couple of hyenas, drawing confused looks from everyone else in the room.

"I'm starting to think that Fabienne may be the Moon Goddess herself," Romi was the first to speak. Having all had her predict our mates, we couldn't help but quickly agree.

Lena threw her hands in the air. "What the hell! This unmated-ness is for the birds! And while I think it's high time I speak to Madam Fabienne myself, we need to be planning our next move so all of y'all can live in mated bliss. So what's next?"

Looking at my mate, my beta and his newly found mate, my cousin and the father of my nemesis, I know that we now have all of the pieces needed to bring this to an end.

"We go home."
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