Chapter 21: Elizabeth
Elizabeth sat on the couch in the living room with her arms crossed over her chest. Her long hair had been pulled into a tight ponytail, her blue eyes hard. She was wearing one of Michael’s t-shirts and a pair of jeans. Michael sat beside her in a black muscle shirt with black basketball shorts, his arms splayed out across the couch behind her. Elizabeth felt the rage that was flowing out of her brother. Damn twin bond, she thought. Grayson’s face was contorted with rage and concern. His blonde hair was disheveled by him constantly raking his hands through it. He was wearing a white muscle shirt with a pair of jeans. Grayson’s emotions sharpened the outline of his muscles as he restrained himself from reacting. He was pissed.
“I’ll rip Matthew apart for sending that bloodhound after my sister,” Grayson seethed through gritted teeth.
“You’re not the only one who feels that way,” Vincent growled from the chair that he was sitting in. His brown hair was pulled into a tight ponytail like Elizabeth’s, a red t-shirt and black basketball shorts contrasting Michael’s dark wardrobe. Two pissed off Alphas and a pissed off Beta was automatically dangerous, but when all three of them cared about the wolf that was attacked to this extent? She would not be surprised if they all hunted Matthew down today and dealt with the fall out of his murder with the Council later.
Elizbeth sighed and rubbed a hand over her face. She had been present when Michael announced her to Mountain. He had initially wanted to address the pack alone, but she had argued that this was something that they needed to do together. His pack was furious for his deception for so long, but they accepted her. Vincent had come over to offer additional credibility about how it was possible that she was Michael’s true mate. She could say that she was the Oceanside Beta’s sister until she was blue in the face, but they would need additional confirmation to make her claims a reality. Grayson was present as well, but they were not identical twins, just fraternal twins. After Vincent clarified Elizabeth’s status further, Mountain seemed to calm down.
Michael had been enraged that his pack doubted him, but Elizabeth reminded him that their doubt was justified. He had lied to his pack about who she really was; why would his pack believe what he says now? It had been so long since an Alpha found a mate, yet the logic behind the true mate of an Alpha was not forgotten; the mate had to be as powerful and worthy to rule as the Alpha himself. Since Michael had lied so egregiously about her background, he had needed Vincent’s help to begin to repair the trust that he had broken in his pack.
Elizabeth was furious with Matthew for sending the rogue after her, but the more that she thought of the reason, the more she could not deny the understanding. There was a part of her that did truly believe that this was Matthew’s revenge against her, but there was also a part of her that believed that he meant what he had told Michael. He was not going to be the first Alpha to harbor doubts about Michael’s claim, and he wanted the truth. He just went to more extreme measures to extract the truth than most.
“Gracie, calm down,” Elizabeth said. “You aren’t helping anything.”
“I seem to be the only one actually processing that my sister was attacked!” Grayson snapped. Michael growled darkly and it reverberated through the room. Elizabeth sighed and rested her hand on Michael’s knee. He instantly relaxed under her touch. “Don’t think that my lack of stomping my feet like a child means that I’m not furious,” Michael barked.
“The fuck did you just call me?” Grayson shot back.
“Think like the goddamned Beta that I made you,” Vincent snarled.
Grayson turned around slowly to face his Alpha. Elizabeth’s eyes were wide with surprise. Vincent had never spoken to either of them that way. “We are all ready to tear Matthew apart for sending the bloodhound after someone that we care about,” Vincent continued. “But the bigger issue is that he sent a rogue after another wolf.”
“We do not issue threats or assassins to other packs. We are above that,” Michael said.
“I’m sorry. How many Betas have you killed?” Grayson asked as he faced Michael.
“My own Betas,” Michael growled through clenched teeth. “As satisfying as it would be to slit your throat right now and add you to my Beta pile, you are not my Beta to deal with.”
“If you continue to act like a child, and not my Beta, you can leave,” Vincent said. Elizabeth squeezed Michael’s knee instinctively; next to never raising his voice to the twins, he had never doubted them, either. Michael placed his free hand on top of hers and stroked it gently with his thumb. Grayson sighed but nodded. He walked over to the fireplace and leaned against the wall beside it. “I apologize,” Grayson said as he crossed his arms over his chest. “With the twin bond, I felt something last night. I didn’t know what it was but knowing that it was my sister being attacked and I didn’t try to find her…” his voice trailed off.
“Gracie, you cannot run every time our twin bond activates,” Elizabeth smiled. “Just like I don’t with you. It’s okay. I’m fine.”
“Matthew needs to be dealt with,” Vincent said to change the topic. “Whether or not you neglected your Luna’s ascension, it was open that she is your mate. Willingly attacking another wolf’s mate cannot be tolerated, especially an Alpha’s mate.”
“I agree, and I intend to punish the rogue fully,” Michael growled.
“You know which rogue it was?” Vincent asked.
“No, but Matthew stated that it was one of the female rogues. Plus, Elizabeth bit her.”
“So, she’s marked,” Vincent nodded. “How did he convince a rogue to do this anyway?”
“The rogue is an ex of Michael’s that wants the throne,” Elizabeth said slowly. “Eliminating me is the perfect opportunity.”
“Michael has to track down a rogue that happens to be an ex? Manwhoring has caught up with you,” Grayson snorted.
“I would actually like your help, asshole,” Michael said. “I’m planning to leave for Matthew’s property tomorrow. I would ask Vincent to join me, but two packs should not be without an Alpha.”
“Does Matthew know?”
“So that he can hide the bitch that I intend to slaughter? No, he doesn’t know,” Michael snapped.
“Count me in,” Grayson grinned.
“I’m surprised that it’s a Mountain rogue, especially a female. It’s not like you hid your promiscuous nature,” Vincent stated. Elizabeth felt Michael tense beneath her grasp. She squeezed his knee gently. Vincent was not trying to be rude; he was stating fact. Michael was known for sleeping with damn near every she-wolf in his pack. “And, yet one bitch was dumb enough to think that I would take her back if she killed my mate,” Michael growled lowly. “With my history, the possible suspects are rather vast.”
“But she’s marked, which definitely helps,” Vincent added with a smirk. He nodded to Elizabeth. “Well done.” His gaze shifted to Michael. “What time are you leaving tomorrow?”
“Some time at night. I want to be there in the daytime to get straight to hunting,” Michael said.
Michael rose to his feet and pulled Elizabeth to stand with him, their fingers intertwined. “If you two don’t mind, I would like some time with my Luna.”
“Of course,” Vincent answered quickly. He stood up as well and Elizabeth noted a flicker of pain bounce through his eyes. I hope that he finds his Luna, too, she thought. Vincent embraced her in a hug. She heard Michael’s wolf growl lightly. She squeezed his hand sharply and his wolf was rendered silent. She understood the jealousy, but Vincent was a dear friend of hers. She hugged him back tightly. She had grown to consider him as a brother over the years. “I’m glad that you’re okay,” Vincent spoke softly. He pulled away slightly and looked into her eyes. “If you need anything, my door is always open.”
“Thank you, Vincent,” Elizabeth smiled. Vincent stepped aside as Grayson came over and pulled Elizabeth into his arms. She felt her brother inhale deeply at the assurance of her in his arms, and she smiled. “I love you, brother.”
“I love you, too, sis,” Grayson said as he released her. “Please be safe while we’re gone.”
“I’ll have Liam and Vincent, I’ll be fine,” Elizabeth said. Grayson placed a gentle kiss on Elizabeth’s forehead, then exited the house behind his Alpha.
Elizabeth squealed as Michael wrapped his arms around her and squeezed her ass. He promptly picked her up to look into her blue eyes, his gold eyes bright. “I’m sorry,” he whispered. His muscles swelled as he hugged her tighter to his chest.
“Michael, quit apologizing,” she whispered as she stroked her fingers down his cheek. “I am fine, I will be fine, which is more than I can say for that rogue or for Matthew.”
“I will not disappoint you, my Luna,” he purred. “I will not allow such discretions to happen to my mate and the woman that I love.”
Elizabeth’s heart blossomed and she bit her lip. “That’s the first time that we’ve said it.”
“After last night, I don’t want to not say it anymore. I want you to understand how much you mean to me. Just to clarify,” Michael added as he nipped at her lips. “That’s the first time that I have said it. You haven’t said it yet.”
“Of course, I love you. Someone has to,” she teased, and Michael growled at her playfully. “I love you, Michael,” she whispered as she cupped his face. “I want you to know that before you leave. Whether you find this rogue or not, that will never change.”
“I will find this rogue, I promise you that, my mate,” Michael said. His lips crashed against hers as he kissed her passionately.
Elizabeth moaned and wrapped her arms around his neck while she deepened the kiss. Michael grunted and spun them toward the couch. He gently lowered her on to the couch without permitting the release of their lips to each other. Elizabeth felt his erratic heartbeat and the weight of his love for her in his soft lips. She felt brief sorrows for the rest of her kind that would not experience a level of intimacy like this. How did I get lucky enough to experience it? She thought. I can’t live without him.