Chapter 20: Let Her Go
Chapter 20: Let Her Go (X’s POV)
“Mate” The word floats through the room like a virus. I look to Xand first. He looks as though all of the light in the world has died. Then to V. She looks worse. Finally to Conner. I can’t say I like the look in his eyes. It looks almost creepy happy.
The other Alphas all stand behind Conner in support. They look worried as if we will try to keep his mate from him. That is V’s choice.
I look back at V and she opens her mouth to speak. Nothing comes out. She tries again and looks towards Xand. He breaks the silence as tears roll down her face.
“Don’t.” He commands. His voice is not loud but it is ice cold and filled with more power than I have ever felt from an Alpha.
This time Conner speaks. “What is going on?”
Xander turns and faces V’s mate. “Promise to take care of her.”
Conner looks taken aback, “Of course I will take care of her. She is my mate.”
“Are you man enough to also take care of her pup?” Xander is deadpan series as he asks. His eyes bore deep into Conners.
“She has a pup?” Conner runs a hand through his hair. He looks older than I originally would have guessed. He is probably nearing his thirties. “When can I meet him... Her?”
“In about five months,” Xander replies his eyes now on the floor.
“Will the father cause any issues,” Conner says looking at V now.
“No. It’s her pup. A gift from a friend.” Xander moves towards the door. He is careful to walk around V so they do not touch. Then he’s gone.
I want to run after him. I want to shake him. I want him to beg V to stay. This will break him. There is no other outcome because it is breaking me. V will be leaving with her mate. V can’t leave. She is part of this family.
Jordan pokes his head into the room. “Everything alright. Xand just looked as if someone died.” You can tell the moment he takes in my expression. I must look bad. I try to school my face into a more acceptable look. A look that an Alpha would wear, but all I can really do is hope for the best.
I clear my throat and respond since no one else says anything. “This is V’s mate Conner.”
Jordan’s normal smiley face is gone. He looks confused. I’m sure his expression is still better than mine. “Oh.” That’s my little brother for you. He has such a way with words.
“Can you get Lexi for me? I’d like her here for when V says goodbye.” I can barely say the words, but I need my mate so bad right now.
“Goodbye?” The words are spoken so quietly from V that had I not been looking at her I may have missed it.
Conner now moves towards V. Her head is bowed, eyes closed, and she is just barely inside the office. Conner places two fingers under her chin and she gasps at his touch. The first touch from your mate can be a jolt to your whole system. She looks up and into his eyes. Tears continue to fall down her face.
“Will you leave with me, little one?” Conner asks in a gentle voice.
I will her to say no, but I don’t think she can. I’m not sure what all was behind the single word that Xander spoke to her, but it felt monumental. V nods her head as a yes.
Lexi comes in behind them and V steps to the side so Lexi has room to enter. Conner follows her movement. Jordan must have told Lexi what was going on and she steps forward and embraces me without saying a word. Lexi and V have never been friends, but Lex knows the impact this will have.
“Are your parents near so we can let them know,” Conner asks V off in the corner.
“I don’t have parents.” V squeaks out.
“We are V’s family. She was brought in by my mother.” I say these words proudly, but each word breaks my heart even more. I pull Lexi closer to me. She is my lifeline, my strength right now. “I’ll gather my siblings and a few others. We can have your things packed in a few hours.”
“I don’t want any of it.” Her voice is calm but angry.
“We can get you new stuff pumpkin,” Conner says while still holding her gaze. She nods back.
I link Jordan to have him gather up our family. “I want to leave. Now.” V’s voice rings strong, but you can tell she is fighting to hold it together.
“V, you don’t have to do this.” I finally break my facade. Lexi works her hand under the back of my shirt, so her skin is touching mine.
V looks towards the door as if she hopes that my brother will return. She turns back to me as Conner steps around her and encircles his arms around her waist from behind. “Yes, I do. The choice was already made for me.”
“Then we can have you all on your way within the hour.” The other Alphas all mutter in agreement. We may or may not make deals with them in the future, but as for now, all negotiations are on hold. Finding your mate is more important.
I link Jordan again to have him set up the jet to take the Alphas and V home. Just that thought nearly squeezes the breath out of me.
V’s voice takes over the room in the next instant. “Lexi.” V steps out of her mate’s embrace and towards my mate. Lexi leaves me to join V in the middle of the office. V grabs her and pulls her into a tight embrace. “I need you to take care of them. Both of them. They will need you now more than ever.”
“I promise. I will.” Lexi says back. She has tears rolling silently down her face now too.
“I know you will. I wouldn’t entrust them to anyone else.” When V pulls back she gives Lexi a small smile before returning to her mate. She buries her face in his chest so I can’t see if she is happy or not. I hope he can make her happy.
The next hour is filled with a lot more tears. My four sisters all cry their eyes out while they say their goodbyes. Jordy asks Conner if it’s okay to hug her goodbye. He explains first that she is as much his sister as his sisters are. Conner gives him a quick nod, and Jordi gives her a quick hug knowing better than to linger. He is crying silent tears. My sisters engulf him into their support circle of hugs.
I don’t ask for permission to hug V goodbye. Conner lets out a stiff growl as I pull V into my arms but he can fuck off. This is my land we are standing on and this is my V, in my arms.
V doesn’t embrace me back, but she does whisper a message for Xand in my ear. “Tell him he could have stopped all of this.”
I nod in response as I let go of her. I don’t want to, but the choice is not mine. She’s right Xand could have stopped this, and he has let her go. I guess I will have to do the same.
The lot of them step onto the plane, and V doesn’t turn to take a look back. The sight of her disappearing into the plane is crushing. I’m going to miss her.
It takes me three days to find Xander, and I only find him because he walks into the Fury house. My first words to him are not very kind. “You stupid jackass.”
“Nice to see you too.” He responds back.
“Where the fuck have you been?” I ask relieved that he is at least still coherent.
“I really don’t know.” He gives me a shrug. “I ate a whole five-pound bag of gummies.”
“You what?” How is he even walking right now?
“The good news is that you can’t OD on cannabis. You can pass out in the orange groves and lose three days of your life.” He flops down on the couch as if nothing has happened. He is probably still high as fuck. “It’s okay though. It’s not like I have anything to miss. I’m going up to my room. Wake me when Lexi has your pup.”
“You don’t have to do this Xand.” I want to be there for him but I also want to shake him and beat his head into a wall.
“You don’t understand. You have a mate.” His happy-go-lucky look is gone. Maybe it was all just an act. “A mate that you keep at arm’s length for the dumbest fucking reason in the entire world.”
“Watch yourself,” I warn and add a growl to go along with it.
“No you want to question my choices, then you are going to listen little brother.” He stands up and presses himself into my space.
“Fuck it. Sit down. You have something on your chest get it off then. Blame me if you have to.” I sit in the recliner that’s behind me and he flops back onto the couch. I don’t want to push too much right now. He could still snap and I really don’t think I would win.
“You have a mate, that if you were to treat properly, she would love you. She would love you unconditionally. She would be the perfect Luna and give you a house full of pups. She would forgive you for all of the stupid shit you have put her through just as mom did with dad. As fucked up as things were with him the mate pull got them where they needed to be in the end. It took years, but they had fifteen years of pure love after that.” He is breathing hard, but his voice is cold as ice. Just as it was in my office the day V left.
“Okay, so I have a great mate. What does that have to do with not asking V to stay? You could have had her. She would have stayed for you.” My voice is not as calm as his sounds.
“It has to do with the fact that I can never take back what I did.” He leans back on the couch with his hands in his hair. “I don’t get to fix things. I don’t get to forgive her. I don’t get a second chance. The moment I sunk my claws into Cordelia’s chest I lost my right to everything.”
“I didn’t know you ever knew her name.” I know it’s beside the point, but I have never heard him speak this way. He has never talked about his mate much.
“V told me during one of our sessions. She spoke with Luna Rebecca about everything that happened that night.” How is he speaking about all this right now? I’m used to things like this landing him in a padded cell.
“So if you think you don’t deserve a second chance why did you get involved with V, to begin with.” I am drawn in now. Now that he is actually talking I need to know.
“I didn’t do any of this for me. I did this for her and I did it for you.” He looks at me as if this is the most sensible reason in all the world.
“What do you mean by you did this for me?” I can’t stop staring at him like he is a mental patient. Maybe because for so long he was.
“I did this for V because she has taken care of me. She has helped me so much. Without her, I would still be locked inside my own head. Same with you. You have been there for me. So when V came to me while Lexi was in heat I took a chance. V got her pup, and I left you an opening to stop being a dumbass with your mate.” He stands and slaps me on the shoulder as if he is leaving to go to his room.
I grab his wrist and stop him. Looking into his eyes, at this moment, I can see all the hurt in the world. Regret, sorrow, loss. It’s all there. It’s like he’s wearing it all on his shoulders and this time he is still standing.
“I don’t want you to carry the same weight that I do. I don’t want you to fuck up like dad did. My mate and I could have worked things out. We could have gone our separate ways. I left myself no choice but you are wavering in between. Just like dad did. Our Goddess took mom from him way too soon. Maybe because of what he did to her. Our Goddess hates me for what I did. That’s why she waited until I was happy to take V away. That’s why, as my penitence, I had to let her go. Let her be happy with her mate. The moral of my story, don’t piss off the Moon Goddess.” And with that, he leaves me.
With those parting words, I understand that my brother is a genius. Now I just have to make a decision. I need to stop wavering. I just don’t know what side of the sword to fall on. Xander is right Lexi would be the perfect mate and Luna. She has about a month left in her pregnancy. I send a silent prayer to the Moon Goddess. More than that I send a promise. That by the time our pup enters the world, I will have an answer. I know once I have my mind made up I won’t be able to hold it back. Lexi is in no condition to be rejected, but more importantly, she is in no condition to be marked either.