Fornever (Book 2)

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Never Later

"The search party from the East reported back," Luke slid a clipboard of papers closer to Ezra.

"What's the status?" The Alpha swirled his glass of whiskey.


Ezra inhaled a puff of smoke from his cigarette and exhaled through his nostrils before crushing the cigarette butt on his mahogany desk.

"Where's dad?"

"I don't know. Do you want me to call him in?" Luke asked.

Ezra nodded and signed the papers before standing up from his chair. Luke tensed when his alpha staggered. He thought of helping him out but the Alpha had been in a sour mood for two weeks so he stopped himself.

Collecting the papers, Luke took his leave and mind-linked Ben on his way.

It took him less than an hour to reach his son. The office was dark, only a single dim lamp lit in the middle and lots of cigarette smoke. There were three bottles of alcohol on the coffee table accompanied by five broken glasses.

Ben sighed and turned a light bulb on. His son winced and scrunched his face, the light unpleasant to his eyes.

"Ezra," Ben pinched the bridge of his nose after taking a seat by his side. "This is not how you cope–"

"Dad." Ezra stopped his rant. "I need a favor from you."

His father seemed like he had a lot on his chest but changed his mind. "Yes. Anything."

Luke informed the pack to gather in front of the stadium outside the packhouse. They were present and curious when Ezra, Ben, Cole and Luke ascended the stage. Amelia seemed displeased although she was there to support her son and his decision.

"As you know, my son has been responsible for the well-being and welfare of this pack and had tried everything in his power to protect its dignity and honor. He, being an Alpha, has made a hard decision and hopes you will understand his current situation and accept it." Ben started and glanced at his son out of the corner of his eyes.

Ezra bit down on his bottom lip and clasped his hands behind his back. There were dark rings under his eyes, his hair reached his neck and he was sporting a stubble. The pack knew why and how was their Alpha so occupied and distracted.

"He has decided to pass on his legacy–" Ben clasped Cole's arm and pulled him to the forefront. "–and his duties to the current commander of this pack, Cole."

"What?" Cole's head jerked up, almosting kinking his neck.

Ben shared a long silent gaze with his son then nodded at Cole and announced, "From this day on, your new Alpha is Cole Genova."

Cole dragged Ezra to a corner and hissed, "What the fuck are you thinking?"

Ezra removed his hold on his arm and replied in a much lower and collected tone, "I need more time to find her...and me."

"Seriously? You can look for her as an Alpha. This is ridiculous."

"You know I was never eager to be an Alpha."

"That is no excuse."

"Cole," Ezra tilted his head, sounding tired and sleepy. "I don't think I can look after the pack at a time like this. The witches are still on the loose. The pack needs a responsible Alpha and that is not me."

"Why me, then? Why not Luke?"

"He suggested your name."

Cole raised a brow. "This was a game plan."

Ezra threw him a look.

Ben called their names and before Cole could protest, Ezra dragged him back to the front. Ben presented a bowl of water and Luke gave Ezra a knife.

"Think about it, Ez. There's still time," Cole tried one last time.

Ezra cut his hand and dipped it in the bowl. "I have made up my mind."

Cole had no other choice but to follow his actions. The pack was in a state of shock and awe. They all knew Cole and trusted him but they liked Ezra as an Alpha and that was about to change.

The ceremony was in full blast. Luke had arranged a small feast and Bella was introduced to the pack as Cole's mate but she insisted they keep her identity as a secrete because she didn't want to scare them off.

Ezra disappeared from the crowd and made his way to the barren land which was once a temple. He stood on the dirt path and stared at the center where once a statue of the moon goddess stood.

"She went from worshipping you to destroying you. I went from destroying her to worshipping her. We both fucked up didn't we?" He said to no one in particular.

Nearly five years, his Lillian whispered her secrets to the temple. She told every little detail of how her day went, what she ate, what she liked, what she wished for. Those pillars, this ground, the petals, the candles and the nightsky heard his Lillian speak. They witnessed her presence. They were lucky enough to ravel in her affection.

It was a reflection of her.

So now, it's my home.

Luke dropped by after a few hours and found him sitting on one of the broken pillar on the collapsed building, a bottle of bear in hand.

"Complete, original and signed." He gave him a file. "This land is now officially yours."

Ezra took the papers and skimmed through them. "Thank you."

Luke stalled, his feet shuffling in pursuit of something to say then decided against it and sat on a big chuck of black burnt rock. Ezra silently sipped from his bottle and immersed in his own thoughts.

A car stopped behind Luke's car and a seething Cole came out of it. Madeline and Gabe too exited from the car and strolled their way.

"You sold your house." Cole accused. "You gave up your title and you bought this land. What else are you hiding from me? Why do I feel like a damned stranger who doesn't know shit happening in your life?"

Gabe and Madeline sat beside Luke and chose staying out of their fued.

"I'm not hiding anything from you–"

Cole threw his hands up in the air. "Really? I think the fuck not."

"–I just didn't tell anyone."

"Even me." Cole emphasized pointing towards himself. "Who am I? No one. Fucking no one. "

Ezra rested his elbows on his knees and sucked in a breath to relieve the pressure in his chest.

"Cole... I have been busy and preoccupied. It slipped my mind."

Cole made a sour face and combed his hair back angrily then spit and marched up to him. He snatched the beer bottle from Ezra, took a swig then threw it as far as possible.

"Now tell me the hell you up to." He ploped down beside him.

Ezra shrugged. "I'm going to build a house and a temple."

"I don't think we need a new temple of the moon goddess. There's already one in the pack." Madeline reminded him.

Ezra quirked his lips. "No for the moon goddess. For my goddess."

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