I got dressed and went downstairs to start my normal morning routine. After eating a quick breakfast, I made Ryker's and I coffee to go. Court was in an hour and he would be coming down soon. I couldn't help but notice to butterflies in my stomache at the thought of seeing him. I actually didn't mind them. I picked up the coffee cups and almost ran smack into Ms. Diana.
"Oh! Sorry Ms. Diana." I said as she held her hands up. "Its not your fault dear. I should of annouced I was in here. Your looking really refreashed today." She said as she gave me a small smile. She strikes me as the motherly type. She wasn't really a fan of me at first. I don't think I could blame her. I didn't really have the best attitude a month ago. I sent a small smile back. "I was able to rest yesterday."
"I'm glad honey. I know Alpha can be an handful sometimes. I have enough stories to last a lifetime when I was his nanny." she said. "I'd love to hear some one day." I said. She nooded her head and I started walking away. "Oh and dearie, you should smile more often. You have a beautiful smile." She said with a wave. I said a thank you and walked to the door. Ryker was coming down the stairs as I reached the door.
"Good moring Alpha." I said as I handed him his coffee with a smile. He returned it and took the cup from me. "Good morning Aspen. You sleep well?" he asked as he took a sip and let out a refreashing sigh. "I did." I replied as he opened the door for me and let me go out first. "You ready for this shit show of a day?" He asked as we walked to the waiting car. He opened the car door for me and I slid in.
"Not really. But, we just have to go through it." I said as I took a sip of my coffee and the driver took off to the court house. "Yeah. I fucking hate court." he said out loud."But at least the last one brought me to my beautiful mate." he linked me. I looked over to him and gave a sweet smile. " So whats on the agenda today?" He asked out loud. I ran down to him all his meetings after court and we had a small simple conversation after. We would sometimes get quiet and link each other when it came to mate topics.
After 30 minutes, the driver pulled into the court house. Ryker slid out first and I followed after. We walked into the court house and memories of a month ago came flashing to my mind. I thought I was going to die a month ago. I thought my life was going to be over. But Selene had other plans. Ryker went to go sit in his seat and I sat next to Jace and across from Nile. Nile gave me a simple nod and a small smile. I nodded back and adjusted myself in my seat. I looked over at Ryker who wore an annoyed looked for a split second but quickly changed it. "Alright. Let's begin." Ryker ordered and court began.
Court had been going on for the past three hours and I'm understanding why Ryker hates court. This shit is boring. It was all pretty much petty crimes that he just assigned community service to. I hope this ends soon. I tuned myself out and got lost in my own thoughts. It wasn't until I smelt a familar scent that my attetion turned back to court. My body started to shake as my anger started to rise. My breathing became harsh and I tried hard to keep my compsure. The doors hadn't even opeaned yet, but I knew exsactly who was on the other side.
I felt Ryker trying to connect with me but I was so focused on controlling myself that I denied it. The doors finally opened and I saw him. His hair was natted eveywhere. He was dirty as if he'd been sleeping in the mud and he was alot skinner than the last time I saw him. I didn't feel and ounce of sympathy for him. His eyes automatically laid on me. Even though they were baggy and souless, he looked shocked to see me.
"Inmate 72839. Charged with assecory muder of a Alpha gaurd." Nile stated. I could tell he was looking at me but my eyes stayed connected with Eric. My anger started to rise even more and I grabbed the wood rail. I started hearing the wood creak as I applied pressure. The wood started to split and the rail broke in my hands as my breathing became erratic. Nile popped up in my vision.
“Calm down. Alpha told me to put you in an interrogation room.” He said as he grabbed me to move but I didn’t budge. My eyes still stayed on Eric who looked like he was scared shitless. “Aspen, go now.” I heard Ryker say in his Alpha tone. It was the only thing that made me move but I still never let my eyes off of Eric. Nile walked me to the back rooms. The last thing I heard was Ryker asking for the file.
As soon as Nile closed the door behind me, I let all my rage come out. I screamed and yelled until my throat burned. Rebel gained control and threw the chair across the room; breaking it as crashed into the wall. She punched dents in the table then kicked it over. She then let me have control back.
I could just kill Eric. “Lets. He deserves death for his betrayal. “ Rebel spoke up as she bared her teeth towards the door. A smirk came to my lips as I realized we were both pacing back and forth. Rebel is the more rational one out of both of us. But her temper and blood lust are both way more aggressive than mine. Betrayal and lying are two things she doesn’t take too kindly. Every once and a while I have to be the one to calm her down.
“Easy girl.” I spoke to her as I sent calming vibes her way. “We’ll get our chance. Im sure Ryker will make sure he’ll pay.” I said to her. “No! I want to be the one who does it.” She said as she continued to pace. There was no getting through to her so I just slid on the floor with my back against the wall. How can I calm Rebel down when my own temper is up?
A few minutes past and then the door opened. I didn’t bother to look up. I could smell Ryker down the hallway. I thought he was going to scowl me for breaking everything I broke but I just heard an amused chuckle come from him. I looked up at him as he squatted down in front of me. He place a gentle grip on my chin to keep eye contact with me.
“Are you okay?” He asked me sincerely. “I’m pissed. But I’m trying to cool off so Rebel doesn’t do more damage. “ I said. Ryker lifted his brow. “That was all her?” He asked. “Well the railing out there was me but all this was her.” I admitted. He looked amused. He helped me stand up and walked me out the room. We walked down the hall and into another room.
Through the glass I could see Eric sitting there lifeless. A deep growl come from me as I fought the feelings of my canines extending. I felt Ryker touch my arm with his hand at first. He then came around me and held me from behind and placed small kisses on my neck and shoulder. It instantly started calming me down. Even though Rebel was still angry, she still couldn’t resist the electric feelings of our mate’s touch. So she finally gave in and calmed down.
I let go of a breath that I didn’t know I was holding when Ryker let me go. “Why’d you bring me here?” I asked still looking at Eric. “He was found guilty on all charges. Everyone out there thinks he is dead right now.” He paused as I turned to look at him. He reached down and tucked a loose curl behind my ear. “I said that once I found the two who betrayed you, I would let only you decide their fate. If you want him dead, I’ll execute him myself. Or you can if you want it to be personal. Or..” he trailed off.
“Or what?” I asked curious. I turned my body to fully face him. “I have a friend over seas. He could join his pack over there if he promises to never come back.” He said simply. My brows went up as I went into shock. “Why would you spare him?” I asked. He shrugged his shoulder and leaned against the wall. “I wouldn’t personally. I would only do it if you wanted to.” He said as he folded his arms across his chest. I quickly turned my attention away from him and back to Eric. I couldn’t have my hormones distracting me.
I feel like he knew why I turned my head but I ignored it. As much as I want him dead, Eric was a decent friend of mine. A small piece of me did care about him. And its not like he was the one who actually framed me. “He was apart of the betrayal and that’s enough for me.” Rebel spoke up.
“I never said he was innocent. He’s guilty of somethings. But he’s not a bad guy.” I linked her. She let out a huff and turned to walk back in my mind. “He’s your friend not mine. I say kill him. Its all left up to you. “ she said before she disappeared. Before I could say something back to her, Ryker spoke to me. “I know he was a good friend of yours.” He said.
“He was decent.” I said with a shrug as I kept eyes on Eric. His head was on the table now. Its not hard to tell he was crying. “I heard you two were pretty close.” Ryker said to me. I looked back at him as he wore a torn look on his face. “You asked about me?” I asked him while placing a hand on my hip. He shrugged his shoulders again. “Is that a problem?”
I truly didn’t care what dirt he found on me. You have to get your hands dirty a few times living in the Wolfs Den. “Do you know I slept with him? A few times actually.” I asked Ryker. The pained look on his face and the growl he released tore me up inside for a second. He took a deep breath. “It wasn’t hard to figure out. But its the same as my situation. Like you told me with Rose; You assumed you didn’t have a mate.” He said and a silence fell over us. I turned back to the window.
“Do you love him?” Ryker asked. I could tell he was holding his breath. He hoped his mate didn’t have feelings for another. “A small part of me cares about him but I never really trusted him enough to want to love him.” I said and I heard him sign in relief. “I want to talk to him.” I said and Ryker nodded his head.
I followed him out into the hall and walked in after Ryker. The feeling on despair and grief filled the room. I heard Eric sniffing as he looked up. “Penny?” He voice sounded horse from crying. “Hello Eric.” I said as calmly as I could. I had to block Rebel out my mind before she took over control. “How are you alive? I thought he.. I shouldn’t have..” He stuttered before he put his hands over his face. “Im sorry Penny.”
“Can you forgive me?” He asked as he reached out for me. Ryker let out a territorial growl from another man reaching for his mate. I rubbed his shoulder on instinct to calm him. I walked past him and sat across from Eric. I stared at this shamble of a man sitting in front of me. He looked a mess. I started to feel pity for him.
“Can I be alone with him for a second?” I asked Ryker without looking at him. “Are you sure thats what you want Aspen?” He asked as I felt him come closer. “Yes.” I said simply. “Okay. Just link me when your done.” He said as he placed a soft kiss on my head. I wondered why he was being real affectionate and acting like we’re actually mated. It wasn’t until I saw the cocky look he sent towards Eric. It was some testosterone gesture to show that I was his.
I rolled my eyes as Ryker walked out the door. I turned back to look at Eric. “The Alpha is your mate?” He asked me. “Thats none of your business.” I said with a little more venom in my voice then meant to. His tears had dried now. He let out a little chuckle. “Here I was killing myself with guilt about you and your shacked up in a mansion fucking the Alpha.” He said as he leaned back.
I let out a roar and lost my temper. I grabbed the back of his head and slammed it hard on the table. I fought hard to hold Rebel back. I felt my eyes change. “Let me free. I want to kill him.” Rebel said as she tried to push through. I got up and took a few deep breaths. I heard Eric take a breath as I gained back control. I turned and he was holding his nose; squinting from the pain he felt.
“Oof. Now thats the Aspen I know. Thought these fancy clothes changed you.” He said as he finally opened his eyes. “There my work clothes you idiot.” I said to him as I sat back down. “You work for your mate? Ha! Thats rich.” He said with a snicker. “Because of you bastards, I got sentence to community service.” I said. He laughed again. “That’s it? Im going to die and your pissed off about community service?”
“No. Im pissed because I got framed!” I yelled as I slammed on the table. Silence fell over us as we stared at each other. He eventually broke eye contact and stared down at his hands. “I’m really sorry about that. That wasn’t the plan. That wasn’t what Eli told me was going to happen.” He said low and sad. “And your fucking stupid for believing him.” I said as I sat back and folded my arms across my chest. “I know. I told myself that every day.” He said as he ran his hands down his face.
“Tell me everything.” I demanded. He looked at me for a second. “Fuck it. I’m dead anyways. Might as well go with a clear conscience. Well.. somewhat clear.” He said as he adjusted himself in the seat. “From what I know Eli is up to something. I don’t know what. He came to me with a bargain I couldn’t refuse. Do you know how much humans are willing to pay for something that went missing?” He asked.
“I’m sure alot.” I answered. “Bingo. Especially when its really unique. ” He said. “So what exactly did you trade me in for?” I asked. He immediately put his hands up. “I didn’t trade you for anything. The Alpha badge was supposed to get me into one of the headquarters so I can get in the evidence locker. “ he said. “Whatever. What was the deal?” I said growing impatient. “Eli said if I went into the headquarters and got something of his, he would give me the original Declaration of Independence that went missing in the war. I had a buyer in Florida who was going to give me $5 million.” He said.
“What did Eli want?” I asked. “I don’t know. He just told me I’d know it when I see it.” He said. “Your a real fucking genius. You know that?” I said sarcastically. He took a deep breath. “Looking back on it, it was pretty sketchy. But all I saw was the reward. I would have the money to get out of that dump forever.” He said as he rubbed his temple. We all dreamed of leaving The Fret. Hell if I was in his shoes, I’d probably be thinking about that too. So I sympathized with him, but I knew better than to believe anything Eli said.
“Finish telling me everything.” I said to him. “After I left your place, I went to Eli and told him about the setback. He just told me not to worry, he’ll get a friend of his to do him a favor and he’d meet us at the bar. That’s all I know. I swear to you in front of Selene herself.” He said as he held her hands up. I continued to stare at him. Even though I hated him still, I actually believed him. Eric has some smarts, but he’s not smart enough to pull off anything like this.
I took a deep breath as I pondered. I was growing tired. Honestly I just wanted to lay down making a decision like this was hurting my head. “Okay.” I said as I stood up and walked to the door. “Okay? Thats it? Your just leaving like that?” He asked. I turned to face him but didn’t have the heart to look at him. I grew slightly uncomfortable and before I could turn back around, Ryker opened the door.
“You okay?” He asked. “Yeah.” I whispered as I walked out of the room. I dared not to look back. Ryker immediately followed me. “What do you want to do with him?” He asked as he closed the door. “I don’t know.” I said simply. I didn’t want to talk much. I had so much going through my head. Ryker understood and simply just placed a hand on my back and lead me out the back to the car that he had waiting for us. At this point, I was more confused than ever.