Two weeks ago, Thea had no idea that she would be back here again; on trial in front of an entire pack and all the leading wolves in the werewolf world but most importantly, the only human in sight.
Now, well, she didn’t know what to expect next.
One difference between now and then was that during the first trial, the Apo to Chaos pack had been cheering regarding the result but now, they had all been roaring and growling but protest until the council had demanded peace and quiet. Now, they just looked up at their Alpha and Luna pair in immense anger, not sure exactly what was going on between them.
Regardless of it all, she doubted that they would stand by her side even after knowing the trust – despite knowing the truth. Even though she was their Luna, their loyalty lied with their Alpha and she was no stranger to that notion.
“Alpha Orpheus Vladimir.” Malachi turned to greet the Alpha wolf who was currently stood directly in front of her, just a sit was during the first trial.
The only difference was that this time, both his wrists and ankles were restrained with silver chains that he wouldn’t be able to break through even with all the power and strength in the world. The simple fact of the matter was that he was a werewolf and to werewolves, silver was their kryptonite and so much more.
“Yes?” He cleared his throat in question, almost as if scared about what they all knew was going to come next.
“You have been guilty of first-degree rape on two occasions that we know of, as well as domestic abuse and forcible mating of your mate, Thea Petrovna. How do you plead?”
Even though the answer was clear to Thea and she had absolutely no sense of hesitation in her answer as it was nothing short of crystal clear to her,
“Guilty.” Orpheus whispered in a broken voice, his eyes and face downcast as he stared down at the ground, unable to look her in the eyes after everything that they had done to her. Almost as if he was ashamed of his actions but Thea refused to believe that.
She had spent enough time with Orpheus, her mate, to know that he wasn’t one to apologise and if he did, he certainly didn’t mean it.
While a few gasps sounded aloud from the pack while all the Alpha’s and Luna’s continued watching with neutral, stoic faces, most of them were rendered speechless, having never suspected anything to be out of the ordinary, much less to such extremes.
“Thea?” Malachi questioned as he turned to face her. “Have you got anything to say?”
“Regarding the allegations?” She asked in a firm, loud voice, refusing to take a step down. Not when this was the first time forever that she had the upper hand and actually had a say of what was going to happen.
It was just unfortunate that she had to go through what she did for it to come to this.
“Yes.” The head of the council confirmed with a firm, definite nod of his head.
“Then, no.” Thea chuckled and shook her head, still staring at Orpheus even though he still refused to meet her eyes. “But I do have something to say to Alpha Orpheus, if you don’t mind.”
A few more murmurs sounded aloud as everyone wondered what she could possibly have to say to him after everything he had done to her, even the council members sharing a few questioning words with each other,
“Sure, go ahead.” Malachi prompted her in a quiet, doubtful voice, not sure what he was getting himself into.
As that was all she needed to hear, she returned her attention back to the pitiful man standing in front of her. One which she had come to refer to as her mate.
“Could you look at me?” Thea all but demanded, not bothering with any pleasantries.
When Orpheus lifted his head to glance at her with a questioning look in his eyes and a shameful expression on his face, she knew that it was either now or never. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and she knew that if she didn’t tell him how she felt now, then she would be forced to keep it to herself for the rest of her life.
The fact that she could do it in front of all these people, in front of his own pack, just sweetened the deal.
“There’s so many things that I have to say to you, that I could say to you but for both of our sakes, I think it’s best if we keep this as short as possible.” Thea stated with a firm nod of her head, mentally preparing herself for all the emotional baggage that she was about to unload on him.
With her eyes not once wavering from him, she opened her mouth to spill her guts, picturing it as just the two of them. That way, she wouldn’t be able to hold anything back.
“You raped me six years ago, and as if that wasn’t enough, you raped me again two days ago.” Thea stated in a shaky voice, only pausing to clear her throat, refusing to show anymore weakness. Not now, and not ever again from this day onward.
“My life has never been the same since that very first day you raped me in the alleyway but the thing is, you broke me all those years ago but you also gave me Malik. My little boy, my pride and joy, and the love of my life. You broke me, but I had him to get me through this. And as if once wasn’t enough, you had to do it all over again except this time, you also nearly killed me. You nearly killed me emotionally the first time but the second time, it was all physical.”
Thea was forced to pause and take a breath, needing to calm down before she continued as right now, her heart was racing so fast she feared that it would jump out of her chest.
“I will never forgive you for what you did to me, to your own mate, to the one person in the world that you’re supposed to unconditionally love and take care of, but you couldn’t even do that, could you?”
“As far as I’m concerned, you deserve a fate worse than death.” Just to round things up nicely, she cocked her head back and spat on his face, her lips curling it up as it landed in the middle of his forehead and slid down. She refused to feel disgusted by the action as he deserved that and so much more, but the fact that he couldn’t even move his hands to wipe it away just made everything all that much better.
A moment of silence passed, no one daring to make a sound until the head of the council decided to get a move on with the trial. It was a good thing that he was pressing forward because by this point, Thea was gearing herself up for a whole lot more – barely able to bottle her anger and fury now that she had uncapped it – even though she knew that would be nothing short of a mistake.
She had already gotten what she needed to say off her chest. There was no need for anything more as he simply didn’t deserve anything more. Not from her.
“Well, thank you for that, Thea.” Malachi pursed his lips. “Now that we have that all cleared up, let’s proceed.”
“As you are Alpha Orpheus’ mate and the one he has committed these grave crimes against you, it’s only customary for you to decide the punishment.”
Thea nodded in understanding, her lips curling up slightly until finally, there was a huge grin on her face. Just as Marcellus had mention yesterday, Thea would get to decide the punishment and since she now knew the worst way for a werewolf to die or be killed by, she had no doubt in her mind what she would choose for him.
“That sounds like music to my ears.” She chuckled, turning her head back to glance at the Alpha wolf in question.
Much to her surprise, she was met with nothing but sadness, the apology evident on his face but it was far too late for that now.
Once a rapist, always a rapist. The perfect saying to sum up Orpheus Vladimir.
While he was all but begging her to spare him now, she couldn’t help but think that he hadn’t taken mercy on her, not even for a second. He deserved this and so much more, and he had no one else but himself to thank for that as all of this was nothing short of self-inflicted.
He truly was a masochist in every sense of the word.
“Death by silver.” Thea stated without a whisper of doubt in her voice, holding her head high and firm as she turned to glance at the crowd, daring anyone and everyone to disagree with her.
Even though they weren’t fully mated – not for lack of trying on his part – she was still the Luna of the pack and to go against her wishes on such a matter was treason. Things could have played out differently if Orpheus’ crimes weren’t so severe and extreme but having confessed to everything himself, he really hadn’t done himself any favours.
Though Thea couldn’t bring herself to care as for the first time since he had stormed his way into her life, things were finally starting to work out in her favour. As they should.
Not needing for her to repeat himself, Malachi took a step back as the executioner took a step forward. Careful with his hand placement, he forcefully pulled the Alpha wolf back before reaching for his gloves.
Everyone watched in silence as he reached down for some more chains to restrict the wolf, both to get the job done quicker as well as keep him in place and tied up when the silver scorched his body each time.
“Thea, please!” Orpheus pleaded with a wild look in his eyes, begging and pleading with her like his life depended on it.
Except, it did. How ironic.
Completely satisfied and sated with the way the tables had turned and played to work out in her favour, even if she had to go through Hell twice for this to happen, Thea crossed her arms over her chest, mentally preparing herself to get ready to watch
“Please, Thea, my little light!” He called out for her again but before his senseless and pathetic begging could continue, the executioner tied a gag around his mouth so they wouldn’t have to suffer through having to hear him beg for his life.
Almost as if this was a trigger for many of the wolves watching, an uproar started as the Apo to Chaos pack couldn’t stand to see their beloved Alpha disrespected in such a way.
A wolf that she had seen a few times before but never spoke to, took a step forward to jump to her defence, though she was sure that it was not out of his own free will. The fact his cloudy eyes were trained on Orpheus just made her even more sure of that thought.
“Thea Petrovna is our Luna and to go against her like this, to go against her decision of condemning the Alpha for all of his crimes would be akin to treason!” The wolf declared loudly and judging by the power, tone and familiarity in his tone as he spoke to the pack, she could only assume that he was the Beta of the Apo to Chaos pack. “If anyone has anything has anything to say, feel free to take a step forward and share the Alpha in his fate.”
While a few wolves from the Apo to Chaos pack died down, their voices now silence and non-existent as they didn’t wish to suffer the same fate as their Alpha wolf, death by silver being the worst deaths of all for a werewolf, there were still a few that were voicing aloud their concerns.
That was when Beta Clayton turned to her.
“Luna Thea.” He greeted her along with a respectful bow of his head, essentially showing submission and his allegiance to her. However, she was sure that it was upon the insistence of his Alpha as she noted the conflicting look in his eyes, almost as if he was currently in a battle with his wolf.
“The Alpha has one last thing he would like to say, if you allow it.”
Mulling over the thought for a second, Thea sighed and nodded head, sincerely hoping that she would come to regret this soon.
“I’ll allow it. Let him, speak.” Thea pursed her lips as she glanced at him, not bothering to hide just how much she loathed the fact that she was forced to give him this one moment.
The second the gag was removed from his mouth; Orpheus wasted no time to give his pack one more command.
“I take full responsibility of all the crimes and allegations against me. If anyone has any issues with this, then just as Beta Clayton has mentioned, feel free to share this fate with me but for the rest of you, as my one last action as Alpha, I command you to treat Luna Thea Petrovna of the Apo to Chaos pack with the utmost respect, just as you would treat me, especially now that she is all that you have.”
When she nodded, the executioner was quick to place the gag over his mouth again, essentially silencing him forever.
Without needing to be prompted, he resumed his preparation which now, had become a much simpler task as everyone had now quietened down. Even if they didn’t agree, they had been commanded by their Alpha to shut up and respect this decision.
While she didn’t agree with his method, it was proving to be working fruitfully in her favour so she couldn’t bring herself to complain.
The whole time, her mind had been running back and forth between what she should do; whether she should tell the truth and get justice for herself, or tell a lie to save him as well as all of the children that would still be getting trafficked regardless if he was still alive or not.
For the first time in all of this, she realised that just like her, he was a pawn in all of this but the only difference being that he had chosen this for himself while she had been forced into it by him.
The fact that he had done this to her, to his mate – to anyone, for that matter – made her blood boil and even though she hated him in a way that she had never hated anyone before, Thea knew what she had to do.
“He didn’t rape me.” Thea whispered just as the first silver coil was raised, only a few inches from Orpheus’ bare chest, but being surrounded by werewolves from all angles, she knew that they had all heard her.
She pushed past to ignore all of the shocked gasps, whispers and murmurs of every wolf watching and instead, focused on the one sound that mattered and meant the most to her – the hitch in Orpheus’s breath as he momentarily forgot to breathe.
More than anyone, it was the way that he looked at her that got to her the most. Even after everything he had done to her and put her through, Alpha Orpheus Vladimir was her mate and unfortunately, there was nothing that she could do to change that fact.
And right now, killing him off wasn’t doing her any favours even though she had initially thought that this was what she wanted.
Now, it appeared that she was wrong.
“What?” Malachi called out to her in question, speaking up for all of the wolves in the near vicinity. “Thea, what did you just say?”
“I said, Orpheus didn’t rape me.” She stated firmly without any sense of fear or hesitation in her voice, all the while refusing to look at the only wolf that would be able to break her resolve right now.
“I don’t quite understand.” The head of the werewolf council shook his head while staring at her. “Can you please repeat yourself?”
“I don’t understand what there isn’t to understand.” She scoffed and rolled her eyes even though her body wanted to reject what she was pushing herself to say and do. “Alpha Orpheus Vladimir is my mate and he didn’t rape me.”
“Then why did you say he did?”
“I lied.” She shrugged and pursed her lips.
Maverick took a step forward to look at her with a wild, questioning look in his eyes.
“Thea, do you understand what you’re saying right now?” Maverick questioned her. “Do you understand just how serious all of this is?”
“Yes.” She nodded her head. “I must have confused rough sex with rape.”
“What?” Thea repeated in a mocking tone, needing sarcasm to get her through this.
“I don’t think you understand the severity of the situation.” Harriet frowned lightly, shaking her head in disapproval. “You can’t just take back an allegation as big and serious as rape and attempted murder.”
“Well, I just have.” She scoffed and shrugged her shoulders. “So, if you could release him and we could get along with the rest of our day, I would very much appreciate it, as would Orpheus, I’m sure.”
“You do know that this could possibly result in being punished for filing all these false claims that you made but now have revoked?”
“Yes.” Thea held her head high as she confirmed even though her very being tried to fight her on this matter. However, as much as she hated the fact that she was having to do this, she knew it was for the greater good.
Harriet looked like she wanted to protest further but when her mate, Paulo reached out and placed a hand on her shoulder, she sighed and turned her head to face him; a tormented expression on her face.
When their eyes clouded over, Thea, as well as everyone else knew that they were mind linking and in no time, the rest of the council joined them. A few moments passed and just like her, everyone watching held their breath as they waited for the werewolf council to make a decision as to what they should do next and make of the situation as Thea had just taken everything back.
“Alpha Orpheus.” Malachi broke the silence as he finally turned to the Alpha wolf who was still restrained in silver, his gag having been removed now.
“Yes?” He hummed in question, his eyes not once wavering from Thea.
“Would you like to press charges against Thea Petrovna for defamation of character and for filing false allegations against you?”
“No.” He stated simply and shook his head, without even an ounce of hesitation in his voice or general demeanour. “My mate and I will solve out our issues in private. There’s no need for anyone to press any charges for another trial to be held.”
Finally turning her head lock eyes with him, her lip turned up at the corners.
“I couldn’t have said it better myself, mate.”
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