I'm sitting in the classroom, reading over todays material. After Cole's announcement this morning I've been trying to avoid eye contact with everyone.
Several people have come to congratulate me, which is very sweet. I can see how happy they are for him. This pack is so different from mine, everyone seems more like a family. I'm excited to build a future here with Cole.
I look at my watch after finishing the materials. Sorsha is running late today. She seemed fine this morning but I'm worried.
"Good morning, everyone!" Janet the teaching assistant calls our attention to the front of the room.
"Something has come up and Luna Sorsha is unable to make it here today. We have emailed you the PowerPoint she was going to discuss, we will be combing today's lesson with tomorrow's. Enjoy a free day!"
Everyone gets up excitedly, I don't feel excited, there is a pit in my stomach. Something feels off.
"Are you alright?" I link Cole.
When he doesn't respond I rush toward his room in the packhouse, he's not there. Shit. Fear and doubt start to take ahold, gripping my heart. Did he leave again without telling me? He shouldn't be on a mission this soon, he still needs to heal completely.
I run the stairs two at a time, trying to get to Alpha Elijah's office.
I knock frantically on the door and Sorsha pulls it open. She looks pale and frightened. She didn't even look this bad when Cole was hurt.
"Luc?" I hear Cole's voice and my eyes prick with tears. He's still here, he didn't leave.
Sorsha takes my hand and pulls me into the room, closing the door behind me.
"Why are you crying?" He takes long strides toward me.
"I...I linked you and you didn't respond... they canceled class and I had a bad feeling...I thought that..."
"You thought I left without telling you, again." He sighs and pulls me into his chest.
A small sob from across the room draws my attention to Sorsha who is crying into the Alphas chest.
"Our daughter, Bea, was kidnapped. Her mate Leo is bringing their son here to be safe with Sorsha while we're going to find her," Alpha Elijah says lowly but I can hear the fear in his voice.
"I have a contact in California, a bounty hunter that hears a lot of street shit," Cole tells him, stepping behind me to pick his phone up from the table, "I called him, he's putting his ear to the ground and he'll call back if he hears anything."
"Thanks, Cole but that's as far as you go. You're not healed enough to come with me."
I sigh in relief as I feel Cole tense behind me.
Sorsha's eyes are wide and she gapes at Elijah.
"He has to go! He's your best guy! You, Cole and Leo, you guys will find her and bring her back, safe." Sorsha's voice is full of panic and fear.
"Baby, he was just seriously injured. He's not ready for another mission so soon."
"Fuck that!" Cole says angrily from behind me, "it's Bea! Of course I'm ready! Of course I'm going!"
"Cole!" Elijah shouts, "you died on the operating table, twice. You need time to fully heal... it's only been four days!"
"I'm healed! You have to bring me!"
"Elijah, this is for Bea! You have to," Sorsha begs him, clinging to his chest.
The room spins around me. I understand Sorsha's position, that's her daughter, but Cole is my mate and he's not at his best. He can't go...
I realize that no one has asked me what I think, I don't think they care. Cole has already made up his mind.
"You can't ground me, not on this one, it's too important!" Cole yells again.
"We're dealing with vampires, you need to be in peak shape, and you just...aren't, Cole!" Elijah slams his fist down on the desk, "you being there will be a liability, I can't have you weak out there fighting vampires, they're too fast."
"I'm fine! I'm healed! You need me! Bea needs me!"
I need you, I think quietly to myself, staring down at the floor.
"What about your mate?" Elijah growls.
Sorsha pulls her head from his chest and turns to me with wide eyes, like she forgot I was there or that I was his mate, at all. Apparently, that's an easy mistake to make.
"I have to go, Elijah," Cole pulls away and walks toward the door, "I'm going to pack my go-bag. We need to be ready as soon as Leo arrives."
As he pulls the door open my heart aches. He's walking away again, no discussion, no...anything. It's abundantly clear that what I feel isn't going to be taken into consideration here. He is going, case closed.
Sorsha sniffles, "I'm sorry Luc, I...I wasn't thinking. It's my little girl and I want the best team. I know he's hurt. Fuck. I'm sorry," she turns and sobs into Alpha Elijah's chest again.
"I understand, Luna," my voice barely reaches her. She's concerned about her daughter. He is my mate. He should care about me and my feelings, it's apparent he doesn't.
I turn and walk slowly from the office. I'm not sure where to go, I don't have a "thinking" place here, at this pack. I need to get out, I feel like I'm being suffocated.
I walk down the stairs and out into the street. Heavy drops of rain are falling, large puddles have already formed on the street and sidewalk. I inhale deep breaths, trying to calm myself down.
I walk slowly, listening to the quiet. The rain has picked up some, everything smells softer, the water washing away my tears and all evidence of scent.
I come to the gate and the guards look at me strangely but let me pass.
"Lucienne," he links me, "where the fuck are you?"
Hmm...so he noticed my absence, my presence was so forgettable I wasn't sure he would.
"Just go, Cole. Don't worry...I'll be in your bed when you get back. That's the only place you care about me being your mate..."
I need space. I just want to walk. I'm not running away, when I stop feeling restless, I'll go back. I'm not ready to face him yet.
"Where are you?" he growls, "I can't smell you here. Did you leave?"
I block the link. He doesn't get to care now. He walked out of that office and left me there. This wasn't just forgetting, like last time, I was right in front of him. He made a choice, and it wasn't me.
I don't know what I expected. He's a warrior, this is his job. I guess I just hoped he would care enough to include me, or that he would be reasonable enough to heal before going out again.
The wide open plains in front of me feel soothing somehow, like I'm as alone in the world as I feel.
Thunder rumbles across the sky and I smile. We get very loud thunderstorms during the summer in France. My brothers and I used to hide under our parents bed. I suddenly miss the carefree innocence of youth. I miss being a child, believing in the fairytale of happily ever after.
Real life is so much more complicated. For ten years I thought all I needed to do was find my mate but...even now nothing is easy.
When he gets home we'll talk. We need to figure out what our relationship will be. Does he was a mate or a fuck buddy?