Chapter 24: The verdict
My wolf was pacing in my head while I did the same in the small waiting room they had put us in. We had to wait here for the verdict of the Elders and Alpha King. The Elders were there to advice and give their opinion, but the Alpha King would ultimately decide what would happen.
I couldn't believe it, I was still trying to wrap my head around everything. Not only did I find my second chance mate, which was pretty rare, but I also found out what those dickheads had done to her. To make it worse, she doesn't have her wolf. That would explain why she seemed pretty unfazed by the pull. For a second I thought she felt it too. When she was looking into my eyes, I was in some kind of trance. I couldn't look away and neither could she. But what she was telling me was just so heartbreaking and unnerving. I had to look away, I had to control my wolf or I would have transformed right there and ripped the heads of those bastards. Not that I would mind doing that, they deserved it. But then the King would have me arrested and stripped of my Alpha title. It was against the law to use violence within the courtroom.
But damn, it had been hard to control. Almost impossible, especially when her wounds opened up. A growl had escaped my lips. I just wanted to go to her, hold her and protect her from the cruel world. But I couldn't. Instead I had to watch how she was taken away by the King's Beta.
My shoes were pretty much garbage by now. If the scraping from my claws didn't ruïn them, all this pacing will. The tables and chairs we sat on will probably need replacement too. I gripped them so tight that I can still feel some of the splinters in my hands.
"Will you tell me what you are thinking about?" My beta's voice pulled me out of my thoughts. "I know this is more than just the fact they falsly accused you"
"No, it's just ... you know being an Alp-"
"And don't give me that! She isn't your packmember so the 'need to protect the pack' isn't an excuse for your lack of control in there ... or here. I've never seen you like this" he spoke again. He was my beta but also my best friend. I knew I had to tell him, but how would he react?
"You are right. I want to tell you, but you have to promise me that this stays between the two of us. Just for the time being"
He looked at me intently, like he was searching something. Eventually he gave me a stiff nod and I knew he would keep his promise.
"Your cousin, she ... according to my wolf ... she ... She is my second chance" I didn't look at him. I couldn't. What if he was disappointed. No way in hell would he want his cousin to be mated to someone like me, an overprotective, possesive Alpha male.
"Well ... I didn't expect that... And you think she knows?" he asked after a moment of silence.
"I don't know. I don't think so. She said she doesn't have her wolf so maybe ... I don't know" I let my body fall on a chair in the room and hold my head in my hands. What am I supposed to do.
"Don't tell her" Will said in low voice. When I looked up he was staring at a painting. I don't think he was looking at it as so much as just being lost in his own thoughts. "She had it rough the last year. I'm not saying you can't be together, because honestly, I could picture it in my mind. Even before you told me. But if you tell her, she'd feel pressured. I don't want that. I want her to feel safe" When he said those last words he turned to look at me. He really meant what he said, and he was right. I can't pressure her, maybe she'd run if she knew.
My wolf started howling at the thought of our mate running from him.
"You can still be with her. Just take it slow, win her trust, go on a date ...Maybe if she felt safe, her wolf comes back and she'll feel the effect herself"
It made sense. Her wolf left when she rejected that useless Beta. Maybe if she felt more at ease, her wolf would come out. Maybe my wolf's presence could lure her out.
The door to the courtroom swung open, revealing one of the elders. The man didn't say anything. He just turned and waved for us to follow him into the courtroom.
Will and I straightened up and follow the Elder to our assigned seat. To my surprise the chairs and table looked fine, like they magically were resorted while we were away. We sat down and patiently waited for the king and the other elders to arrive. On the other side of the room I could see that Alpha Nick and Beta Tobias arrived. The beta seemed sad, his head was hanging low and his shoulders were slumped. The Alpha on the other hand, tried to look confident. He took determend strides to his chair, but I could see how nervous he really was. He kept looking around, like he was searching for an exit.
"All rise for the King" A voice spoke, and we listened. This was it. The King would appear from those doors and tell us what the verdict and punishment was.
The Alpha King emerged from the double doors behind his throne, followed by the Elders. They all went to their seat, but only the King sat down. The rest of us had to stand, unless told otherwise.
"We have come to an unanimous decision between me and the Elders. Like you all know they advise me, but the ultimate decision is mine to make.
Alpha Alexander, after listening to the case, we have decided you are ... not guilty"
A wave of relief washed over me. Justice was sweet. Now that everyone knew I had nothing to do with these assholes, I could focus on my mate and what I would do with the morons who had hurt her.
The King turned to face Alpha Nick and Beta Tobias, who were almost shivering in fear. "Now for the two of you ..."