It was some half an hour later that Hunter's body had been cleared, taken away to feed the wolves. Maria was carried to another room by Aiden and shortly after she was woken up. Aiden looked after her once Damien and Orion had taken off with Elle and Neeyah.
Strangely enough, Maria didn't react to Hunter's death as was expected when someone's mate died. A mate bond ran rather deeper than any other kind of emotional bond. And for Maria to not react at all? Something must've been wrong.
"Water, My Lady?" Aiden asked her. She looked at him with blank eyes, no light in them whatsoever. Mayhap the lady was in shock? She accepted the glass of water that Aiden offered and drank all of it down.
She seemed to be in a trance as Damien and Orion entered the room to take her away. Maria didn't cry, didn't question anyone, didn't ask for Hunter or anything like that. Through her mate bond she must have felt that he was no more, but was calm as a stone.
"Should we leave? Lady Maria?" Orion was cautious as he approached her, not knowing how to react or what to expect from her. She hadn't uttered a single word since she had woken up.
She looked up at him and nodded her head as she stood up. Damien turned around and the rest followed them behind. Orion had already contacted the wolves the moment he had entered the manor, asking them to arrive by the Fae border if they wanted to have their Goddess back. They all sat in a carriage and left for their destination, Neeyah sitting on Orion's lap as usual with Maria beside him.
Ellie sat beside Damien, he was holding her hand in his lap still. How strange was it that here she sat with Damien all happy to have him in her life, and here sat her aunt who had lost someone of just as much importance in her life? One would expect her to be a wailing mess, screaming obscenities at Damien, by Hunter's side still trying to wake him up or to see him for one last time.
But then again, one can shed a million tears and not an ounce of guilt of sadness.
And maybe she had no sadness to shed at all?
How pitiful was it to actually be with someone as his mate and to not really have any emotions for him at all?
A shiver went down his spine at that thought.
"Where exactly are we headed to?" Ellie asked no one in particular. Maria looked up at her with empty, soulless eyes. For the love of the God Ellie couldn't find her old aunt Freya in her.
"The amethyst cave. We have called the wolves over there. Neeyah says that their real Goddess somewhere in the cave." Orion spoke up, only for uncomfortable silence to again engulf the carriage again.
No one spoke again, no one willing to strike a conversation in Maria's presence, not really knowing what was to be said. Ellie regretted what Damien had done, all for nothing at all. He knew damn well that Hunter was Maria's mate, so how could he do something like that? Regardless, she felt she was to blame for Maria's current state, as if she could've stopped him. She would forever feel guilty over it, especially since she still knew nothing about her aunt, about how she had fared. She wanted to reconnect with her, pour her heart out to her about everything that she had been through.
But things had turned dire before that could actually happen.
It was a slow journey, even the whether seemed to share their mood, it was gloomy with dark clouds hanging around everywhere. When they finally reached their destination, the same as where they had come before to identify the Fae prince, Ellie could feel the shadows more than she admired the sparkling dome that protected the Fae territory. Although it's beauty still remained intact, she was more focused on the wayward wind that made the centuries old trees tremble and wail, the sound of their agony accompanied by the cries of birds.
In the near distance, she could hear the sound of wolf paws running wild on the ground, their intensity making the land vibrate. She turned to the source of the sound, wary of the fate that was yet to follow. She knew not how things would unfold with the wolves, their last meeting had ended with a torn shoulder on her part.
Heaving a sigh she turned back to her companions, her eyes stopping on Maria. She wanted to confront her about the whole facade, wanted to console her. But all she could do at the moment was watch her walk with them as a living wraith, lost in her own thoughts. She didn't reek of agony or hurt, no pain marred her face, she was simply.......blank. Processing her thoughts more than her emotions mayhap.
She felt a large, familiar palm on the small of her back. Damien steered her to where they needed to go, a little deeper and closer to the border waited the Wolf elders. Damien and his party were late, but who could blame them? They all had been through a lot in a really short time.
Damien still kept his arm wounded around her waist as they finally neared the elders. All of those oldies gathered in one place, what joy! Not to mention their centuries old mentality and their evident admiration of Elleora. He wouldn't really mind having them dead.
As they took steps towards them, their animalistic smell in the air made Ellie scrunch her nose. They all smelled like wild dogs, but then gain, they were exactly that. Mutts of the Woods who had very bright ideas about society and Deities.
Elle also noticed how they wore nothing but large tunics that reached their knees. They must've made their way on foot here, that ought to explain their lack of clothing.
But their lack of clothing were absolutely not mean a lack of manners, at least when it came to their 'Goddess'. For them, Elle was their vibrant one, their chosen one, the incarnation of moon goddess on the mortal land. And so they greeted her the way a goddess is to be greeted, on their knees with their heads bowed.
She stood their as dumbfounded as she had been the very first time. She still didn't know how to address them, and considering that she indeed wasn't their Goddess, she wouldn't really need to deal with them leave for today. Thank the Lord heavens above for that.
She looked up at Damien, a low growl was captured at the base of his throat. She moved her hand to his arm and held on tightly, making her claws scratch his skin.
"We do not need a fight here. Stay calm." she whisper yelled at him. He looked at those bent down figures, their glare fixed on Damien through their hooded eyelids. It was pretty obvious by the tension that hung in the air that the hostility was mutual. From Damien's side because they still wanted to take Ellie away, from the wolve's side because they could smell Damien all over their Goddess.
No one had as yet uttered a single word, the wolves waited on their bent knee for their supposed Goddess to make them rise, waiting for her command. And as they did not stand up when a heartbeat or two of silence had passed, Ellie knew she had to participate if things had to go smoothly.
She also knew that the moment the wolves were given permission to rise, they would eagerly make their thoughts known to the gathered Vamps. And not in a friendly manner, mind you. No, they would be all loud growls and angry words spitting at Damien. Demanding answers that Damien and Elle were themselves eager to give but which would seem unacceptable to the wolves.
She could hear the mutts low vibrating growls, saw their clenched hands and by their tense bodies, she knew well that they though the vampires had tainted her. Sullied her, abused her...........because for their ignorant, power and war hungry selves, that was the only plausible explanation so to why their Goddess had a Vampire's scent all over her and why she bore his mark on her throat the way a wolf marks their other half. It took no genius to reach the conclusion mutts would reach. They would think that Damien discovered their Goddess and to keep her strength by his side, he forcibly mated her. That was what they had accused Damien of the last time they had met.
Elle took a dep breath to prepare herself, for all of what was to come, not knowing what to prepare herself for apart from a very fierce argument.
Blowing out her breath, she opened her closed eyes and said came them the permission they need to get up.
"Rise" she commanded.
They heeded her command, all of them standing and glaring at Damien. Their hateful words waiting on the tip of their tongues. And then it all went down the way Ellie had though it would. The mutts went wild, staying true to their nature, they started barking and launching themselves at Lord Damien like animals