The Pride of the Lalune

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Chapit Vennsét

*Eva POV*

As soon as the plane landed it was as if we entered an alternate universe. The blue skies that we experienced overhead have now been replaced with dark, gloomy dread. I cringe at the sense of foreboding as the car drove us closer to the kingdom. There’s no doubt in my mind that this will all end today. I can only hope for minimal bloodshed and that Romilis is able to talk some sense into his son, either way, this is it.

I cling on to Ethan as we exit the car with Michel and Romi, and giggle as I see our fathers nudging each other like school boys. Even with looming terror, they still have made room to be excited about their children finding their mates. I feel as if my smile is going to split my face in two as I lead Ethan to my parents.

“Papa, Manman, sa se Ethan, my mate.” He held his hand out to them and they immediately yanked him into a hug, accepting him into the family without asking any questions. I joined in the embrace as well, ecstatic to be back home with my parents, even though it had only been a few days since I left. So many things had changed since then. I left Ethan with my parents as I greeted the other warriors before turning to witness the interaction between Fabienne and Romilis.

He emerged from the car and it seemed as if time stood still for a moment. My parents, Beta David and the rest of us who had come to know their history froze in place as the two stepped towards one another. Fabienne reached forth her hand towards him and traced a symbol on his forehead before he pulled her into a tight clasp, spinning the two of them around. The silence we shared was broken by their melodic laughter which spread through us like waves, begging for us to join in with them. Two old friends that shared a rocky history were finally back together again.

No sooner had the joyous occasion begun, it was abruptly ended as we rushed into the conference room to share our plan on how we would proceed in case we were to be attack.

“Princess, since you have been gone we increased our guard presence and sent out our best trackers to find where these wolves and the bokor are hiding out. Even with the assistance of Fabienne we have not been able to locate them. Apparently they are using very powerful cloaking magic.” Beta David explained his findings as he wore a troubled expression while he surveyed the map. “Because of this, we have no clue what we are up against. We know that they are capable of raising up a full army of zombies, but we do not know how many wolves are in his pack or how organized they are. Unfortunately, we do not have the upper hand in this situation and therefore we have no choice but to be on the defense at all times.”

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about this, but from there first attack and disappearance I always knew that this could be a possibility. I looked to Fabienne who didn’t seem to have an inkling of fear or doubt coursing through her. “After meeting with Romilis and finding out the truth about the rogue wolf, we’ve devised a plan for Fabienne and Romi to occupy the bokor while we and all of the warriors ward off any wolves or zombies that may attack. While we are handling this we hope to give Romilis the chance to convince his son of the truth.”

“And what if this plan does not work?” My father who rarely questioned my tactics spoke up. “Let’s not forget that you are the main focus of the attack. I know you want to be on the front lines of any battle, but Eva if you are captured and claimed by this rogue all of this will be for naught.”

I opened my mouth to speak, but Fabienne beat me to it. “Well lucky for us we have information that my brother and his wolves do not. Princess Eva has already been claimed by her mate, Alpha Ethan.” I found myself blushing and gripping Ethan’s hand under the table. Even though my parents knew that I had found my mate, they did not know that we had already claimed each other.

The looks of shock and confusion soon turned to pride and then anxiousness as my parents processed this new information. “King Marcelin and Queen Delphine, I am going to protect Eva with my life. I’ve seen her fight and I know she can handle her own, but rest assured I will have her back at any sign of danger.” Ethan straightened his back and puffed out his chest in a manner to show my parents that he was serious about the words that he spoke.

“Thank you for that Ethan. We know without a shadow of doubt that you will do everything in your power to insure her safety.” The smile faded from my father’s face as he turned his attention back to Fabienne. “Because she has already been claimed that makes us even more vulnerable. When he finds out that she has a mate, his focus will turn to killing the both of us to overthrow the kingdom.”

“Do not worry Marcelin. We will not allow it to get that far. I believe that the plan that they have put together will work. Just leave it up to Romi and I to handle my brother and everything will fall into place.” Fabienne placed her small hand on my father’s shoulder and he instantly seemed to calm down. “In the meantime, I need everyone to close their eyes. I am going to perform an enchantment that will allow each of us to be connected through mindlink. Do not hesitate to use it.” We followed her instructions as she whispered and chanted, tapping each of us on the shoulder as she made her way through the room. When she had spoken the last word it felt as if a door burst open in my mind and I could hear everyone clearly. “Now with the link, we are able to send a message to everyone all at once, but you are also able to direct a message to a smaller group or individual.”

“Little Woman, Little Woman.” I cut my eyes to Ethan, enjoying the fact that I could hear him so clearly my mind. “I can get used to this.”

“So can I.” I figured that once we mated we would automatically have a direct line to one another, but it never dawned on me to actually check. We’ve spent so much time together we just didn’t bother. Hearing his voice caress my mind in a way that no one else could makes me want the feeling to never end. “Hopefully this meeting will be over soon and I can show you around the house and grounds.”

“I’d like that.” And it was as if the universe heard my silent plea, because no sooner had he responded Fabienne wrapped up her instructions and dismissed us with no further questions.

Before anyone could stop us, I grabbed Ethan’s arm and ran from the conference room on a mission to introduce him to my home. “Unlike you, I’m actually going to give you a tour of the place.” We both laughed thinking back to the night we met and how quickly he rattled off the areas of his pack house before we scurried off to his quarters.

As I guided him through the house, showing him the warrior quarters and the different amenities that the house had to offer, I couldn’t dismiss the warm feeling that was slowly overtaking me. Having my mate in my space was bringing up a lot of feelings and thoughts that I was not expecting. Losing myself to those thoughts, I wasn’t even aware that I had aimlessly led Ethan out into my private courtyard and most favorite place to spend time alone.

“Eva, you ok?” A hint of worry graced his beautiful face as his eyes attempted to read my soul for where my mind has just gone.

“I’m ok.” I gave a half smile as I pulled him towards the cute stone path that led to my greenhouse reading nook. The joy that I felt at the beginning of this walk was now becoming plagued with a fear of the unknown.

I stepped into the space, opened my arms and gave him a twirl. ”This is my favorite place to be!” I watched shyly as he walked around running his fingers across the different books, taking in the many plants and even stopping to smell some of the flowers that have recently started to spring up.

He grabbed my hand as he sat on my bench, bringing me down into his lap. “It’s beautiful and I can definitely see why you love it so much. It’s peaceful and centering.” He placed a soft kiss against my temple and I melted into his strong form, allowing the calming scents of my lavender plants and his musk to wash over me.

Wrapping his arms securely around my waist, he nestled his face into the crook of my neck, slowly breathing me in. “Now are you going to tell me what’s on your mind babe?”

I inhaled deeply, realizing that my sudden change in spirits was alarming him. Turning my body so that I can wrap my arms around his neck, I gaze into his eyes and begin to open up to him.

“These last few days have been a surprising whirlwind—”

“Oh Goddess! Eva! You marked me!! Are you about to reject me?!” The distraught look on his face caused me to snort with laughter as I gently palmed his face.

“Babe, no! Why would you think I was about to reject you?”

He visibly relaxed, releasing a breath he had been holding. “I don’t know. I panicked. You were super happy and then all of a sudden you seem down. I thought maybe being back home was causing you to second guess us.”

I grabbed his face and crushed my lips against his in a kiss that hopefully told him that I would never second guess anything between us. As I pulled back to speak, he deepened the kiss causing me to release a moan from the depths of my core. I breathlessly leaned out of the kiss, bracing myself against his strong chest.

“You are my mate, Ethan. Even though it’s only been a few days I know that my life is so much better with you in it. In a short amount of time we’ve been through more things than most couples will ever go through in a lifetime.” I chuckled at the boyish grin splattered across his gorgeous face. “I will never second guess anything about us. It’s just that being back home has brought up a lot of thoughts and questions for me.” I found myself aimlessly tracing his jawline as the unknown future loomed nearby. “I’ve been questioning how we will work as a couple and still perform our duties as alpha and princess, but I know that no matter what I’m with you 100 percent and I’ll willingly follow you to the end of the earth if need be. I’m falling too hard and too fast to have it any other way.” Even though I whispered the last part, his sudden change in demeanor let me know that he heard me loud and clear.

“Eva, I—”

His words were left hanging in the balance as the mindlink connecting us to everyone suddenly opened up, demanding our immediate call to action.

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