ON HIS WATCH

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Family Responsibility

After helping Aurelia in the bath, Alexzander also helped her to dress. He could tell she was getting a little irritated with him. When he picked her up to carry downstairs instead of letting her walk, she snapped.

“Alright! That’s enough, Alexzander! Put me down this instance!” When he hesitated she yelled. ’Now! I can walk, you know. I’m not some helpless invalid. I’m merely pregnant. PUT. ME. DOWN.” Alexzander looked into the eyes of his mate and watched them swirl with emotion. As she became angrier, her eyes became a golden color and her fingers elongated and become claws. Her jaw did similar, with her canine extending and becoming sharper. Realizing what was happening, he set her down quickly.

“Alright love, you’re down. I’m sorry. I just don’t want anything to happen to you. Calm down, love. Let your beast recede. You don’t want your first shift to be in the foyer on the stairs, do you? Come on, I apologize. Take me hand and we’ll walk together.” He remember reading somewhere that pregnant females were emotionally unstable at times due to the extra hormones in their bodies.

Entering the conference room where Aleister, Astri, Cassien and Gerald were waiting, they selected their seats and focused on the head of the table where their Alpha sat.

Clearing his throat, Aleister looked at his granddaughter, who looked just like her mother at that age. “Aurelia, this meeting is to help you understand your heritage and your immediate family background. Now, I need to know what you know about your parents.”

Aurelia swallowed trying to relieve the sudden dryness in her throat. “Well sir, I really don’t know as much as I thought I did.”

Astri smiled and replied, “It’s alright, child. Tell us what you know, then we can proceed from there.”

“I know that mom and dad met when they were in their late teens. He was 19 and mom was 17. He was in college and she was just graduating from high school.” Aurelia smiled so sweetly as she remembered her parents and their love for each other. “Mom said the minute she laid eyes on him that she knew he belonged to her. Dad told me pretty much the same thing. It was like they had this weird connection to each other. Which I now know that they did. I know they not only loved each other, but my brother and I as well. ”

“Any time I asked mom why we never saw any grandparents, she would get so sad. If dad heard the question, he would get very angry and start mumbling under his breath. Mom would hold dad and he would bury his nose in her neck. I now know he was using her scent to calm himself. But anyway, I remember one time I actually got mom and dad to answer that question. Dad would growl and stick his nose in mom’s neck all over again. Mom said that dad’s parents said that mom was not good enough for him and that if he married her they would disown him. It appears that they did. Mom tried to fill all of the voids left by dads lack of family. Between the three of us, I think we did a pretty good job. But still, every now and then, I would see dad staring off into the distance and a stray tear would run down his face. Mom would distract him and he would act like nothing was wrong.” Aurelia found it hard to talk about her family. Feeling a warm hand cover hers, she looked over at her grandfather, whose eyes were suspiciously watery looking.

“You mom, our daughter, loved your father very much. When they met, your father’s parents didn’t think that a daughter of the head of The Order was good enough for his son, his heir. He was supposed to be the next alpha of their pack. But when he met you mother, that changed. Your father’s dad had promised him to another powerful pack’s female heir. When he didn’t fall in line with the pack’s plans for him, he was beaten and whipped and then banished. When your brother was born, he tried to get in touch with his dad. He thought that maybe by providing his dad with a replacement heir that his dad would forgive him.” Astri was openly crying now as her mate stopped to comfort her before continuing. “His father laughed at him, and asked him what he thought he wanted with a weak little pup who was just as worthless as his father. That was the last time he tried to contact his pack. After that, they moved and stopped having anything to do with packs, altogether. They still changed, but they said that you kids would have the chance to choose your own path. If you wanted your mate, fine and if you wanted a human that was fine, as well.”

“The night of the accident, mom said that there was something very important to talk to us about. Dad said it would change how we viewed the world. I guess this is what he was talking about, isn’t?” At her grandfather’s nod, she continued. “They were both college professors, you know. Mom was a world renowned biochemist. Dad was the world’s leading authority on world mythology. But you knew that, didn’t you?”

Nodding, Aleister looked at her sadly. ’Yes, my dear. We watched over you and your family. When the wreck happened, we allowed your ‘aunt’ to raise you. We knew she wasn’t a real blood relative, but she was your mother’s closest friend and it’s what she would have wanted. Your mother made the decision to not have contact with any wolf community. So, we allowed you to be raised as human and kept watch from a distance.”

Astri looked at her granddaughter, so like their daughter. She had been done a great disservice. She was their heir and it was up to her to take over and lead The Order. It had originally been her mother’s inheritance. But when she had died, that responsibility had fallen to Aurelia.

“Aurelia.” Alexzander’s voice was so deep that it seemed to rumble from where she had laid her head on his chest. Looking up at him, she watched as he leaned down to kiss her. “Unfortunately sweetheart, there is more.” Turning to look at his Alpha and Luna he nodded, a signal for him to continue.

“You and your brother were supposed to come here when you both reached the age of 15, It was agreed that we, your pack, would show you what you were and how to be a wolf. As your mother’s heir, you both were to be trained in leadership. After all, you both would have been given the opportunity to lead us when we retire. I am old, Aurelia. I was one of the first, your grandmother was turned by me when she was a young lady of 22. How that pompous ass ever thought that our daughter was not good enough is beyond me.” Her grandfather growled.

“Hush Aleister. It’s time to tell our granddaughter her destiny.” Turning to Aurelia, she spoke more. “I’m sorry, dear child, that we abided by your parents wishes, and now you are struggling with who and what you are. Your change will come upon you and you will have someone to help you through, now. There are things that you still need to learn, and it will take years for you to be ready. Until then, we would like for you to stay here and be with us, your family.”

“What do you mean stay here and learn, take your place. What is this? What are you talking about?” Alexzander heard Aurelia’s heart rate increase. Acting quickly, he leaned down and gave her a powerful and possessive kiss. “That means that I will have to share you, not just with our children, but our entire world. Do you think you can do it? I know it’s a lot to take in, but it is after all, your destiny.”

“You knew about all of this, didn’t you? You knew that I was not just your mate, but the heir to The Order? Is that why you protected me. Is that why I was your ward? To protect me for my destiny?” Aurelia felt her anger and despair grow by the second.

’Aurelia, I love you. I have loved you since I laid eyes on you when you were 14. Even though I knew it was not right. I never told anyone you were my mate. I needed to watch over you. I couldn’t let someone else take care of you. Now, I need you to let me do it. Let me take care of you, sweetheart, while you think over your decision. You don’t have to make your mind up tonight. Take a few days and think it over. we’ll discuss the pros and cons together. What do you say?” Alexzander waited, desperately afraid of her answer. He knew a lot hung on it. If she decided she wanted no part of The Order, though it would hurt, but for her, e would do it.

“I’ll do what Zander suggests and think about it. How long are you willing to give me to make my decision?”

“Darling, you can take all the time you need. That’s one of the good things about being immortal. We have all the time in the world. Now, young lady, we would like to to eat. We have guests coming and I think that they will be very interested in meeting you.” Astri smiled. Her granddaughter was about to show the werewolf world just how good a match her parents were.

“How long do we have until dinner?” she asked.

“You have enough time to pamper yourself and get ready.” Astri looked at The Order’s beta and said, “Their are special clothes waiting for both of you upstairs. Make sure she is saturated in your scent today, Alexzander. I say this for a reason. Now run along and get ready.”

Aleister watched his second and his granddaughter leave the room, then he turned to his mate and spoke, ’Woman, you are playing a dangerous game.”

“It’ll serve the old fart right. When he sees how beautiful our granddaughter turned out, not to mention, powerful, he will ask for her forgiveness. I personally could care less, but she will need this. It will be the final push to get her to accept her role in The Order.”

“Astri, she has been through enough. We should allow her to make her own decisions. Alexzander will not be happy if he finds out what we are doing. If it were me, I would be livid.” Aleister told his mate.

“I know, my love. But, she needs to realize just how strong she really is. She is the equivalent to werewolf royalty. She is our princess, you are our king, I am our queen. That bastard needs to realize what he did to our family and to our pack and his. Besides,′ Astri smirked at him, “Can you imagine the look on his face when he realizes just who Aurelia is and what she represents. He rejected our daughter before even knowing who she was. He destroyed his own son and almost broke him. Only the love of our daughter saved him. Our granddaughter deserves this, so does our daughter.” Astri didn’t wait for her mate to comment. She simply turned and left to go get dressed.

On the other side of the manor house, Alexzander and Aurelia were enjoying each others touch in the aftermath of their lovemaking. Alexzander propped himself on his elbow and looked down at his beautiful mate. Taking a finger, he brushed a stray hair away from her face. “Do you know how beautiful you are and how much I love you? I will love you no matter what you decide, I will side with you. Whatever you decide I will honor. Now, we unfortunately, have to leave our bed and get dressed. Astri has sent my tux and I believe she has sent you a beautiful evening gown. One of the lower ranking females will be here shortly to help with your hair and make up. Come on, love.”

“There Miss, you look lovely. Your grandparents will be so proud. You look so much like your mother. Now, for your dress. Your mate will love it. Your grandmother picked a stunning dress.” The older wolf had not realized that Aurelia was sitting there stunned. Only when she turned with the dress, did she realize something was wrong. “Miss, what is it? Have I done something to upset you?”

“No, I just didn’t realize that you knew my mother.” She whispered.

“Child, I was your mother’s nanny. I must say, you are very like her. So stunningly beautiful. No wonder the second loves you. You have your mother’s heart as well. Don’t you worry child. Nights like tonight were bred into you. If you have doubts watch the Beta. He will guide you, as a good mate should. Now, let’s get you into this lovely gown. We can’t have you be late, now, can we?”

Alexzander watched as Cecilia helped his mate into her evening gown. He moved closer to offer to zip it up the back. Gently dismissing the omega, he kissed Aurelia’s shoulder, on her mark, causing her to shiver. “Down boy! If you start that, we’ll never make it out of here and Grandmother will be angry with both of us. Come, my hero, it’s time to do this “thing.” Grabbing his hand to hold because hers was shaking so bad, she smiled a genuine smile. Albeit, laced with a little anxiety.

Alexzander lifted Aurelia’s hand to his mouth and gently kissed it. “All will be well, my love. You’ll see. Now, shall we make our grand entrance?” Giggling and nodding, they descended the steps together, At the foot of the steps, Aurelia’s grandparents were waiting for her. Her grandfather reached out and took the hand that Alexzander was holding, while his mate took the other. Alexzander, as second and protector, led the way to the dining room.

Aurelia gasped. There were too many people here. All of them were beautiful. All of them were tall. And all of them were supernaturals. Feeling her anxiety and outright fear, Alexzander turned and took Aurelia’s hands in his. “Come love, these are our people. They will not harm you. You are their princess. They only wish to know you. Well, except for the man at the end of the table. Come on, don’t be shy. Let your grandparents introduce us and then we will sit and enjoy this lovely meal that Cook has prepared in your honor.” At her nod, they turned to stand behind Aleister and Astri.

“Ladies and gentlemen, honored guests, The Order would like to present to you our granddaughter and heir, Aurelia Cavan and her mate, our Beta, Alexzander Arthurson. They are newly mated, so please forgive them if they appear wrapped up in each other during dinner.” Aurelia watched with fascinated horror as the man seated at the end of the table seemingly choked on air and turned white, like he had seen a ghost.

“No! I cannot be. That’s impossible. She was just some random she-wolf that my son fell i love with.” The white-faced man exclaimed.

“On the contrary, John, she was our daughter, and very worthy to be your sons mate. Just think, John, in your foolish effort to try to gain more power, you gave up more power than you could have possibly imagined. Now, please, calm yourself. Aurelia is nervous enough and when she is nervous, Alexzander is on edge. Please, refrain from any comments until after dinner.” Aleister smirked as Aurelia’s other grandfather sputtered and then finally nodded his agreement.

After that, dinner passed relatively calmly. That is until her freshman year college dormmate showed up. “See, Ari! I told you it was like shifters, having a soulmate and all.”

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Hahahahaha! Bad writer, bad! Last cliffhanger for this book. Promise. Pinky-promise! The next chapter will be the last. I made this extra long to fill in all of the unanswered questions that everyone may have.

This chapter will not have a dedication to a specific reader. You guys are all great. Snkapp and Lore507 and all of my other faithful readers have really earned a place in my heart with their comments and support. Meganfall and presleysangel are two of my all time favorite authors and some of my best suppporters. Go Girls! Remember ladies, without your support, I wouldn’t be here. Thank you ALL!!!!

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