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Chapter 31: skeleton in the closet


After I made sure that Maddy was fed and happy, we walked through the packhouse. Through the mindlink, I made sure that no one would interupt us, like my brother did. I know he still wasn't fully aboard with my plan. He kept nagging me to just tell Maddy she was my mate.

I shrugged I off while we neared my office. I had tried my best to show her everything. She should know this place like her own, because it was. But I also didn't want our time together to end, eventhought I knew I still had a stack of paperwork waiting for me behind the door in front of us.

"Uhm, don't mind the mess. I am not very good with uhm ... papers" I winced as I opened the door of my office.

Her eyes widened for a second and then a small smile appeared on her face as she shook her head. "You men are all the same" she said. "My brother's Gamma office looks just like this if I didn't help him out"

She looked around as we stepped inside. It had been worse. My desk was littered with papers, well actually every surface was, but the floors were clear of papers, which was an accomplishment on its own.

"You don't have someone to help you to organize this? No Luna or your previous Alpha" Maddy asked.

"Uhm, no. I uhm ... I have a complicated relationship with my parents" I croaked out. This got very personal, very quick.

"Oh I am sorry, I didn't mean to pry" she apologized and took a step back. Shit, I didn't want this space between us. My hands itched to grab her and pull her closer, but I couldn't.

Still, a part of me wanted to tell her everything about me. Through out the week, I had shared some basics like favorite foods and stuff like that, but never the deeper stuff that kept me up at night.

"You didn't. It's just ..." I sighed. Was I ready to share this? Was she even willing to listen? What if she knew my past? Would she scream and run?

"I am here you know, if you ... want to talk" Maddy said. She put her hand on my upper arm. A small touch, but it warmth my heart and all the doubts about sharing my history disappeared.

We took a seat on the couch, I shoved the papers aside, not caring if they were important or not.

My wolf was howling for me to take our mate in my arms while we talked, but I couldn't. I would let her take the initiative. I didn't want to waltz over her invisible walls but rather break it apart piece by piece. So I turned my body so I was facing her. She cuddled herself up with a pillow in her lap, so cute my little mate.

My eyes stared at a random patch of flooring, not able to look at her in case she would react... badly. I inhaled her scent, using it as an anchor while speaking of my past:

"I always wanted a mate. My parents were always so happy and in love, talking about how strong the matebond was. I wanted that, the support, the love, the happiness... all of it. But I turned 18 and didn't find my mate. I hoped I would find her in Alpha training, but nothing. I even traveled to other packs, but never picked up on anything.
And then I was 20, going on 21. Preparing to take over the pack, when there was a rogue attack. My father and I went to help out and there she was, my mate, one of the rogues. She stepped forward towards me ... and my father got the wrong idea. He killed her, to protect me, just a stupid misunderstanding. But it cost me my mate's life. I couldn't control my wolf and he challenged my father for killing her. I didn't even know her name untill we interviewed another rogue that had been with her. Th" I sighed and than I felt it. A warm touch on my arm. I looked up from the floor to see Maddy sitting closer, her small hand on my arm and an apologetic smile on her face, but no pity. I didn't want her pity.

Some sparks erupted from the touch and Maddy wanted to pull away, but I put my hand on hers, not wanted this to end.

"My father submitted and I took over the pack that instant. But I couldn't look him in the eye without seeing the blood. So I ordered him away. He could still live here, be a part of the pack, but ... I haven't seen him in 5 years. At first because I was too angry. Now it's more because of my own shame. I know they are okay, Olly visits them a few times every week. I just can't..." the words escape me as the shame I felt took over and my throat felt too dry to speak. My head hung low and I felt all those dark emotions welling up in me.

"Alex?" Her delicate voice spoke, so I looked up. A sad smile was on her face, but again, no pity.
I hadn't even realized that I tears had escaped my eyes, until I felt her warm hand wiping them away.

"I'm fine", I said. I didn't want to be broken. A part of me didn't want her to see me this way, this weak side. But my wolf kept howling for his mate, pushing me to tell more, let her know everything that I had ever felt.

"No, your not", she simply said and cocked her head slightly to the side, "but that's okay. It's okay to not be fine all the time. And when you're not, I am here"

For a second I threw out all my restrictions about holding back for Maddy. My arms wrapped around her and I pulled her to my chest. This soon-to-be-mate of mine was amazing. She wasn't judging, wasn't making empty promises like "you'll be fine" or "it'll pass eventually".
She was just there and for now that was all I needed.

My wolf was jumping around in the back of my mind. He was overjoyed that my mate was in my our arms, her body against mine. He urged me to mark her, claim her as mine ... so reluctantly I let her go and she sat back on the couch.

I needed to change topics, shift the spotlight on to something else.
"So do you have an answer on my riddle?"

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