Forty One : Nightmares
I have come to terms with being pregnant.
Although I am still quite iffy on the topic, I don’t feel as panicked as I did in the beginning. In a weird way, I was accustomed to the thought now. The more time passed, the calmer I became.
Because I knew what I was getting into when I mated with Eros. I mean how can I not?
I was given plenty of warnings, and I have mulled over it more than once because of my tendency to overthink. Yet, I did what my heart felt was right.
And, oddly enough, I don’t regret it. In fact, nothing that Eros and I have done is regretful. How can I regret meeting and loving someone like him?
He’s everything that I could ever want in a man. If it wasn’t for Eros, I don’t think I would have even gotten married.
I was so shelled up inside of my protective barrier that I wasn’t willing to risk it for any relationship.
If I hadn’t been dragged out of my comfort zone, I never would have met an amazing man like him.
In a way, I was thankful for all the things that have happened, thankful to be able to have kids with Eros, thankful for the opportunity to create a family of our own. There are many people in this world who aren’t able to have kids and have to adopt instead, so for me to complain about having so many kids and what not is just ungrateful and immature.
God gifted me with them, so no matter how many, I will love them all. I will love them and cherish them the way I wasn’t.
“Congratulations, Alpha Female,” a familiar pack member stated out of the blue. I stiffly halted in the halls, glancing in the younger female’s direction while trying to calm my jumping heart.
Everything startles me nowadays.
And, by the looks of it, I don’t think I will get a pregnancy announcement or a gender reveal. Everyone already knows that I am pregnant without me saying a word, and they probably know the gender even if they don’t see the ‘pups’.
There goes my human sentiments, straight into an abyss. But, I guess this is what happens when you live with wolves.
They know everything that you are doing.
“Thank you,” I replied with a small rigid smile, noting how everyone’s attention gathered onto my awkward form.
Their noses twitched. I could tell that they were all smelling me.
Without Eros at my side, they didn’t keep as much of a distance as they usually do. Instead, they openly stared at me and didn’t have as much resignation as when they were in his presence.
From their gazes, I could see the sparkle of excitement in each set of eyes. They weren’t really looking at me. If you know what I mean.
Their eyes were settled onto my stomach half of the time, and I can’t help but feel slightly weirded out.
Was I just a walking womb to them or something?
But, then again, what did I expect?
They were all waiting for this moment ever since Eros and I mated. Every time I saw the pack members, they always looked at me with this expectant look in their eyes, waiting for the moment I was impregnated, like a kid waiting for candy.
Heaving a sigh, I hurriedly crossed the halls after thanking everyone who congratulated me in hopes of running from their hungry gazes. It was starting to become too awkward.
From the dining room, I noticed Rora talking to Brandy when I approached.
They were too engrossed in their conversation to notice me.
“If he loves you then he will come back, Brandy. And if he doesn’t, then he’s not worth it.” Rora tried to comfort Brandy, patting her on the hand with this wise look on her usually smiling face.
“Yeah, but how could he? We’ve done everything together! And he suddenly thinks that I’m not good enough? I’m sure my vagina can do a lot better than that cun—” Brandy looked absolutely vexed at this point.
“Hi.” I cleared my throat and managed to cut her off right in the nick of time. Glancing nervously at Rora, I noticed that she seemed mildly unaffected by Brandy’s crude language.
I can’t help but wonder if this is suitable for someone like Rora to hear?
I mean—I don’t know.
This werewolf age thing is so confusing.
“Emi! Congratulations!” Rora greeted with a big wide smile on her face. She turned so fast that I thought she would get whiplash. Which makes me wonder if werewolves even get that.
I don’t know.
It’s sad that there are still quite a lot of things that I don’t know about werewolves.
“I can tell that you and Alpha Eros have been super busy lately. Congratulations, by the way.” Brandy sent this teasing wink my way.
My ears were starting to get hot with embarrassment.
“Thanks,” I reply, shuffling myself into the group and taking a seat across from them at the dining table.
Lately, Brandy and Rora have been keeping me company, chatting me up whenever Eros wasn’t around. It was nice to get to know them better and to keep myself occupied. There wasn’t much to do around here because I couldn’t leave the packhouse due to all of the kidnapping incidents.
Even if Eros let me roam around, I don’t have the guts to.
“How long were you guys even together?” I asked out of genuine curiosity. From what I have heard so far, Brandy’s ex-boyfriend must have cheated on her with someone else.
Rora sent a slight glance at Brandy.
“2 months, 12 days, 149 minutes and 13 seconds.” Her reply was prompt. “It still doesn’t give him the right to disrespect me like that.”
Does anyone else count down to that kind of detail?
It seems too mentally exhausting to be so anal about it. Why spend that time counting the seconds or minutes when you can just enjoy it while it lasts?
“What about that crush of yours? The Alpha?” Rora nudged Brandy with her elbow. I curiously glanced at the both of them.
Brandy blushed and said, “He doesn’t even know I exist...and he’s already mated.”
“Ooh. That’s a tough situation,” I remarked, wondering if Brandy will ever catch a break. “Wait. Do I know him?”
Thinking for another second, an image of Jared’s constipated face came to mind.
“It’s not Jared is it?” I gave her a bewildered look. I’m not one to judge, but he’s quite a hard character to like. He didn’t give me a very good impression since the first time I met him. And I would rather not have to see him ever again.
I don’t even know how he found someone willing to be his mate.
He probably kidnapped her.
“No no! Not that asshole,” Brandy replied curtly with a grossed out expression on her face. “I’ll tell you the next time we talk.”
My eyebrows furrowed in response when Rora started pointing behind me. Even if I don’t look, I am sure that Eros was behind me.
Sure enough, when I turned my head to look behind my shoulders, Eros was standing like a Greek statue waiting for me to notice him.
I give him a wide smile and bid my farewells to Brandy and Rora.
The forest was entirely dark. Streams of light flickering through the leaves to illuminate the clearing. Everything seemed oddly silent and my skin was starting to crawl. I tried to move forward but found that I couldn’t.
I could tell that this was not my body.
With my terrible vision, I doubted that I could even see my hand in front of my face, but everything was clear and lucid. It was like I had night vision, and, obviously, I don’t.
The body I was in stood stalk still, waiting for its prey to approach. Not very long after that thought, a tall male with short curly hair suddenly jumped out at me. It was as if he was going to pounce with his claws ready to scratch my eyes out.
But before he could, this body’s long claw-like fingers easily penetrated the male’s flesh. Blood started oozing from the puncture holes in rivulets.
At first glance of the tapered wrist and long fingers, I realized whose body I was in.
I was in Eros’ body.
The younger male charged again after he managed to remove himself from Eros’ claws. Before I could react, Eros’ strong hands circled around the male’s neck and a deafening crack resounded.
Eros snapped his neck like a flimsy toothpick.
Then, the young male’s body became flaccid and he was tossed away like a discarded napkin.
My lips parted and a choked gasp of horror completely wakes me up from the terribly realistic nightmare. It completely held me in its grasp and I couldn’t get myself to stop thinking about it.
Taking short choppy intakes of breath, I tried to calm myself before I give myself a heart attack.
I’ve noticed that I’ve been having these rather vivid dreams—nightmares—lately. Most of them contained fairly morbid scenes of death and torture, while others contained random events that weren’t as graphic as the creepy death scenes.
From what I gathered so far, they all contained werewolves and...Eros. Most of it was from Eros’ point of view, meaning I was seeing everything through his eyes. It was an out of body experience because I could feel his every emotion as if they were my own.
I couldn’t figure out if they were just crazy dreams or reality. They felt too real to only be a figment of my crazy subconscious imagination.
Shakily, I glanced over at Eros’ side of the bed to note that he was already up. He stood several steps away when I pulled myself into a sitting position and let my legs dangle off the side of the bed.
There was a melancholic expression on his face as he gazes down at me, and I note that his eyes are glowing a beautiful shade of blue. Eros was trying to calm his emotions. I can tell because of that stiffness in his shoulders.
My mouth opens and closes several times as I try to find a way to speak without crying. But nothing comes out.
“You can ask me anything, Emira. I will always answer you truthfully,” Eros murmured, gradually moving closer to my trembling form on the bed. I swallowed down the urge to flinch when my eyes moved down to his long fingers.
“Even if you want my heart, I will take it from my chest and give it to you,” Eros said earnestly.
The truth in his words cannot be denied.
I swallowed the lump in my throat and looked away as tears started to burn my eyes.
His memories were flooding through my brain a hundred miles a minute. I felt sickened at the gruesome scenes that come and go in rapid succession.
Now I know why Zanthos kept calling Eros a ‘monster’.
“I’m not perfect, Emira. I’m just as prone to error as any man,” he softly said, kissing my knuckles delicately as he knelt on his knees before me. “I have done things that I am not proud of and I am doing my best to atone for them.”
“I know, Eros. I know,” I whispered out through a dry raspy throat that felt as if it had been pinched shut.
In his world, the strongest survive. You have to fight to be where you want to be because nothing is handed to you. And sadly for a wolf born more submissive, it took countless battles and never-ending challenges to stand where he was today.
From what I gathered from Eros’ memories, Eros wasn’t just born submissive, he was born an Omega. An Omega who was looked down upon for what he couldn’t control. How can someone choose what they were born with or without?
I am proud of him.
I am proud that he managed to overcome himself and show everyone that even an Omega could become an Alpha, that a follower could become a leader.
It took a lot of hard work to rise in ranks, to gain his father and the pack’s approval, and to one-up Zanthos.
Zanthos only had the opportunity to become Alpha first because he was born with more dominant genes, but that didn’t make him a good leader. The whole Lillith situation determined that.
And Eros didn’t choose to fight all of those werewolves who decided to challenge him. They did that to themselves.
Because Eros was able to rise in the ranks, many others followed tail, wanting to challenge him for his title as the Cardinal Alpha.
Some chose to submit and others...chose to die.
Those who challenged him knew what they were getting into. It was just hard to see Eros destroying them when they lost.
There are a lot of things that I see with a human sort of view, and it would be unfair of me to judge Eros based on my human morality when he is a werewolf. I keep forgetting that he’s not human and that underneath this beautiful humanoid shell is actually a bloodthirsty beast capable of much more than loving me. But, I can’t see him as anything other than my mate, my Eros.
I know I said that I was willing to accept all aspects of him, but it is very hard to digest all of this ‘information’.
"Oh Eros,” I breathed out when he kissed my temple and softly enveloped me in his embrace.
The warmth of his arms was enough to ease the discomfiting feelings in me.
Eros did what he had to, and that should be enough.
Why in the world am I so emotional and irrational like this?
This pregnancy is making me more melodramatic than I usually am. And I find myself crying like a baby when I don’t even know why.
I sniffled and rubbed my tears onto Eros shirt, unable to stop this emotional roller coaster that I was going through. Eros stayed quiet, letting me sort through my thoughts while comforting me with his hands rubbing soothingly against my back.
On a positive note, I found that Eros hadn’t lied to me.
After going through hundreds of years of his memories, I am able to confidently say that Eros had been celibate for 900 years.
How crazy is that?