My knuckles turned white as I gripped the steering wheel of the car.
Jade let out a heavy, shaky breath.
“Galina only told Luke enough so he had no other choice but to banish Virion. Ever since that day, she stayed close to me, keeping Virion’s posse at bay. Only she knows absolutely everything, and now you do too. Everyone else just knows about the beatings, and they think that’s why Virion was banished.” she said, rubbing her hands.
I glanced over at her.
She caught me, and gave me a pained smile.
“So that’s my shitty baggage. Ready to run yet?” she said, releasing a nervous laugh. She was joking to mask her pain.
I was furious, not at her, but at that fucking asshole, Virion.
“No.” I replied, gritting my teeth.
“Are you sure? I don’t think I could handle if you suddenly realize I’m not worth the effort, and left. If you’re going to leave, I think it would better now then later.” she said frowning.
I grabbed her hand and brought it to my lips, kissing it as I squeezed her fingers. “Never! You’re worth everything” I growled, turning to meet her gaze.
She looked relieved and a little lighter then before.
“I’m grateful that you told me, that you trust me enough and feel safe enough to open up and tell me your worst. You don’t know how much that means to me, kitten. There’s nothing you can say, or do, that would make me run. Sorry babe, you’re stuck with me.” I said, giving her a cheeky grin.
She chuckled, before turning to look out the window, letting out a heavy breath.
“I am going to kill him.” I said quietly.
She turned her head back to me. “I know” she replied, leaning her head on the window.
“How do you feel about that?” I asked, even though I knew I would kill him for what he’d done to her, no matter what her response was.
“An eye for an eye, will leave the whole world blind” she said, staring out the window again.
She had a point, but this fucker would not stop until he was dead.
“But in this case, I don’t think there is another way. I will never be free until he is gone from this world.” she continued.
We drove in silence for a while. The sun was slowly climbing higher on the sky.
I hadn’t heard from anyone so I assumed everything had gone according to plan last night. This time tomorrow it would all be over, and I could take Jade home to my pack.
No, our pack.
I wondered how life there would change with her by my side. She made me want to be better, kinder, more patient.
I snuck a glance at her.
Her brows were furrowed and her brown eyes looked worried. She was twirling a curl around her finger, and gnawing the inside of her cheek.
I reached my hand over and laced my fingers with hers. She turned to me and smiled. That beautiful smile made my heart swell ten times.
What did I ever do to deserve her.
How did the Goddess decide I was worthy of her, of being her destined mate.
She was so good, so pure.
My hands were dirty. The Bloody Alpha was not known for being kind.
When we arrived at the New Moon pack, I parked the truck outside her house and walked her to the door.
“Thank you for an amazing date” she said, trying to hold back a blush. She was definitely not succeeding.
“No, thank you for letting me take you out, Kitten” I replied, smirking.
“You should get ready and head over to Galina’s as soon as possible. I’ll come by after the debrief.” I said, before kissing her warm cheek.
“OK, and if anything comes up, let me know, so I don’t panic?” she mumbled quietly.
I smiled wholeheartedly, and pulled her in to a tight hug. “I will, I swear on my life. I don’t ever want to do that to you again.” I replied, still feeling guilty that I’d let it happen in the first place.
I tilted her head up and kissed her slowly, pouring all my love into the kiss. She whimpered and wrapped her arms around my neck.
“I’ll see you later kitten” I said as I let go of her and walked back to my truck.
Back at the pack house, everyone was gathered in the conference room. Marcelo recapped what they had discovered last night.
It was a large, old concrete building with barred windows. There had been one guard by each of the three entrances, and three wolves had been patrolling the area. During the night, the guards and patrols were swapped once, at midnight. They hadn’t seen anyone else enter or exit the building.
I smiled to myself as I packed an overnight bag to bring to Galina’s. I had some clothes there already, but since Alaric was coming over, I wanted to bring something nicer than old sweats to wear.
Even though he had already marked me, I still feared he would wake up and realize I was too weak, bland and boring, not worthy of being his mate.
I combed through my closet, trying to find something nice to wear, but came up short. I sighed, and settled for my usual pretty outfit, black tights and a navy tunic with a silver neckline. It was not at all flattering, but it was the best I could do without having to go shopping.
I took a quick shower and headed to Galina’s.
It was still sunny, but the wind had picked up. The thought of what could happen tonight, made me shiver. It didn’t matter that I knew Alaric was strong and a skilled fighter. I feared for his life, nonetheless.
Admitting to myself that I was in love with him made it even worse.
A gust of wind hit my face and I felt my wolf growl in the back of my mind. I discreetly sniffed the air while I kept walking at the same pace. I thought I noticed a slight scent of saltwater and rotten seaweed in the air, but as suddenly as it came, it was gone. I continued checking the air, but didn’t pick up anything unusual. I shook my head, thinking it was just my mind playing tricks.
Galina had spotted me coming up to her house, and came running out. She threw her arms around me, almost crushing me in a hug.
“How was the date, you have to tell me everything!” she screeched.
“You’re choking me!” I squeaked, still smiling. She let me go and practically dragged me inside the house.
We spent the next few hours drinking coffee and talking about the date.
“I’ve got the best girls night planned, Jade. Tons of snacks, homemade face masks, and they just released the latest season of Outlander on Netflix!” Galina said, excitedly clapping her hands.
“That sounds awesome! Hopefully it will keep our minds off of whats going down tonight.” I said, my joy quickly turning to worry.
“They’ll be fine, babe. We’re gonna enjoy this night together, just us girls. Who knows how many more we’ll get, now that you’ve found your mate.” she said with a sad smile.
The sound of the door opening ripped us out of our soppy moment.
“Jade?” Alaric called from the hall. I got up, and rushed to meet him.
“Alaric.” I sighed, my worry instantly evaporating. He was wearing all black. He looked so damn hot. I felt heat rush through my body, and by the look on his face, he noticed.
Galina came up behind me and I turned cherry red. I wondered if she noticed too.
“New mates” she sighed jokingly before walking over to Gregory, who I just then noticed was standing behind Alaric.
Crap, she did notice.
“When are you heading out?” Galina asked, changing the subject.
“In two hours. Right now I want some of your pot roast.” Gregory replied, before picking up Galina and walking into the kitchen. I took Alaric’s hand and dragged him after them.
We all sat down at the table and spent the next hour eating and laughing.
After dinner we moved over to the living room.
Galina sat down on the couch and put her feet in Gregory’s lap. He smiled and started rubbing them without a word.
I sat on the other couch. I felt a little unsure, but Alaric sat down close to me and put his arm over the back of the couch, like an open invitation, without pushing me.
His arm was stretched out so that his hand was close to my neck. While we all talked, he was gently toying with my hair and lightly caressing my neck. It felt incredibly intimate, making my heart beat pick up and the butterflies go nuts. I turned and smiled slyly at him. He gave me that heart-stopping grin that made me melt.
Time went by too fast and suddenly it was time for them to go. We all decided that a long heartfelt goodbye would feel a lot worse then a See you later. Just a quick kiss, and they would leave.
Galina and I spent a few hours drinking Mojitos and watching Outlander, trying our best not to think about the guys.
We might have been trying to hard, because it didn’t take long before we were both stumbling off to bed, quite intoxicated.
“Goodnight, sugar bum!” Galina screamed from her room.
“Good night Mama!” I hollered back.
We both giggled like teenagers, before passing out.
I was woken up by a loud roar and the loud crash of something breaking.
I stumbled out of bed and tried to tiptoe down the hall. The alcohol still had a rough hold on me. I wasn’t normally much of a drinker, which meant I was still quite drunk. The room spun, and I had to grip the banister to keep myself up.
Everything was suddenly quiet. All I could hear was my own shaky breath. I slowly pushed the door to the master bedroom open.
Galina was on the floor passed out, a broken lamp next to her. I was completely frozen, staring at the scene before me.
Did she fall out, or...
I moved closer, and saw blood pool around her head.
Her eyes flew open and she looked me straight in the eye before letting out an ear piercing scream.
Then everything went dark...