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Chapter Twenty-Four ~ Man Up


I was a wreck. It's been two weeks since my dad's death. I've tried to keep it together in front of my pack, in front of Tatum.

She can sense I'm hurting. We've been going strong but I still find it hard to open up to her. I'm meant to protect her and here I was hiding in my office siping booze and weeping. I was a poor excuse of an Alpha King. Let alone a mate.

I was pathetic.

I grab my glass and down the rest of it.

Asher slams open the door not bothering to knock.

"Look. I know you're sad, but you're a wreak! Your mate is struggling as well, you do realise that shielding your feelings away is affecting her. You do see that right?" He asks me, clearly irritated.

"Get off your ass and do something!" Asher yells at me before leaving. Slamming the door behind him.

My wolf threatens to surface, wanting to show him whose boss. I push him back down away from the front of my mind.

"He's right you know," I say in my head to my wolf.

"Doesn't give him the right to disrespect his King," my wolf growls back to me. I block him out, not wanting to hear anymore of him.

"Your mate is struggling as well" Ashers voice repeats in my head.

He's right. He's always right. It was time to straighten up and take responsibility around here.

I was a king and my people needed their king. My mate needed her mate.

I was being extremely selfish, pushing my feelings onto her so it didn't hurt me as much.

I should just talk to her. After all, if anyone could help me get myself back together, it would be Tatum.


I waited until I was completely sober to talk to her. There was no way I could mess this up.

I put my hand on the door knob and find myself hesitating.

"What are you waiting for?" My wolf asks me getting agitated, he was mad at me. He wanted to see his mate.

What was I waiting for?

I open the door and look around. The room was empty, where could she be?

The shower turning off catches my attention. Tatum.

I close the door behind me and sit on the bed, fiddling with the mattress beneath my fingertips.

What was I going to say? How was I going to start? I break out of my thoughts when I see Tatum come out of the bathroom in her pyjamas. She hasn't seemed to notice me yet as she dries her hair.

She looks up and screams causing me to flinch. Safe to say I was not expecting that.

"Holy hell Odysseus," she says clutching her heart as she chucks the towel back into the bathroom.

"Why'd you have to scare me?" She asks, looking me in the eyes.

"I'm sorry... can I talk to you?" I ask her, nervously scratching the back of my neck awkwardly.

"Sure, what's up?" she asks walking over and sitting next to me, placing one of her knees over mine.

"I just wanted to say that I'm sorry. I'm sorry I kept my feelings from you. It was wrong of me and I know you just want to help me... but I'm stubborn and I grew up thinking the pack comes first and I've been pushing down my feelings and I was unaware of how it was affecting you, so I'm sorry," I say, grabbing her small hands in mine.

"Odysseus... it's ok. I'm here for you whenever you are ready to talk," she says before placing a kiss on my cheek.

"Well, if you want... I'm ready to talk now," I say lightly. Silently letting her know it's ok if she doesn't feel like talking about it right now.

"I'm listening," she says giving me a light smile.

What did I do to earn such a perfect mate?

"So I know that I keep telling you I'm fine... but I'm not. I'm not alright and the longer I try to hide it the worse I feel. I just didn't want you to see me so weak," I say defeatedly.

"Look. You could cry for days, for years even and I still wouldn't think any differently of you. You are still my fierce, strong, protector and no tears or feelings are gonna change that... and at some point if you feel like I think you're weak. Just remember that I said you are the strongest person I know, and I don't lie. I could never lie to you, so please from now on tell me how you are feeling. I want to help, not be a burden to you." She says causing my heart to sink.

"You could never be a burden to me," I say truthfully to her.

"And when will you learn that the same goes?" She jokes gently, giving me heartfelt smile.

"You're perfect. You know that?" I ask her.

"I know, you tell me everyday," she smiles.

This girl was my everything.
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