I push myself harder as I go deeper into the forest that covered my territory. After checking to make sure both Ellie and Zea were still in the house, my wolf pushed me to go for a run and I agreed immediately with him.
I needed to clear my head and think over the information that had been presented to me. I kept running that day seven years ago in my head, trying to come up with just one name. Any enemies I had back then that would go after my mate in this way, but I kept coming up empty.
I had just started to take over the Alpha title from my father at the time. My father had made many enemies as all alphas do, but I had not made any as of yet. I could not think of any rogues or packs that hated mine that would go after Ellie’s and my bond this way. Most enemies would attack head on, not fight in the shadows.
Well, we need to think of someone, Knox growled, We need somewhere to start and I need someone to kill for this.
I’m trying, but I don’t know who would want Ellie dead.
My conversation with my wolf quieted as we heard rustling in the bush near us. I let out a growl as I lowered myself, preparing to attack.
Relax Alpha. It is just me, a copper brown wolf exited the trees and entered the clearing with me.
Walker, what are you doing out here? I asked him.
He puts his snout up, What do you think? Ellie is back and thinks you rejected her. I figured you could use a friend.
How did you know where I was? I asked him.
I’ve known you for years, Axton. This is always where you come to clear your head, I shook my head as I smirk crosses his face. He knew me too well, So, is she yours?
I look at him for a second before answering, I don’t know.
Well did you ask her? Walker said in a matter of fact tone.
Of course I asked her, I scoffed, She said I didn’t believe her before, why would I now.
That’s not exactly an answer, he said.
That’s actually not the question that needs answering though, he says.
Which one? I ask him. I didn’t know which question needed an answer. There had been so many swarming in my head since Ellie arrived that I couldn’t even list all the questions I needed answers to at this moment.
If Zea is your daughter, what are you going to do about it? He questions.
You have been thrown in a loop of first losing your mate and then her reappearing only to have a perfect little girl calling her mom with her. You’ve always wanted kids, Axton, and now you all of a sudden have a six year old daughter. So, what are you going to do about it? He asks again.
I hadn’t really thought about it to be honest.
What is there to think about? Knox questions in my head, She is our pup!
Ellie and Zea are everything I have ever wanted. The family I always wanted. I have to find a way to make them stay,
Now that’s the answer I wanted, he said, causing both of us to give wolfish laughs.
Has word gotten out that Ellie is back? I asked him after I caught my breath.
The entire pack has already heard, he says as he lets out a wolfy laugh, I know Reid told us some of the things that happened but has she told you what happened? Have you talked to her yet?
No, you guys saw. All she did was yell at me to stay away from her, I whisper, She left because she believed I had rejected her, I tell him, And I don’t know how to prove to her that it wasn’t me.
It doesn’t make sense. You loved her. You would never have done that, she should have known that. She is way too smart to have believed that you didn’t want her or that you would threaten to kill her, he pushes.
I growl slightly at his instigation.
He pulls his ears back and lowers his head slightly in submission, I’m just saying. Something had to have happened for her to think that way.
Something did, I tell him, She saw me but it wasn’t me.
How could that have happened? Even if someone was pretending to be you, the mate bond would have still been intact.
What are you saying? The mate bond is still there, I asked him, completely confused on where he was going with this.
In order for Ellie to actually believe that it was you, the mate bond would have had to been broken, or at least felt like it had broken, he tells me.
I think this revelation over and come to only one conclusion, A witch or warlock. There were warlocks that helped in the attack on Blue Moon.
He nods his head, It makes sense. For her to see you, it had to be a spell.
But for it to work for such a long time, it had to have been a large spell. I only know of a few witches and none of them have the ability to break a mate bond. It is one of the strongest magical bonds in the world, I argued.
Maybe it was just one that hid the mate bond so she couldn’t feel it. It would hold for long enough that the mate bond would start to fade as you guys stayed away from each other. If Ellie couldn’t feel your guys bond, she wouldn’t know the truth, Walker reasoned.
I have to talk to her, I tell him as I start to race off in the direction of the pack house.
Good luck. It seems like you are going to need it, he calls out to me as I leave him in the clearing.
I crept up the stairs as quiet as I could. I tiptoed towards the bedroom door sitting across from mine. I could smell both my mate’s and Zea’s scent sitting right on the other side of this door.
I stared at the white wood, trying to get the courage to open it. I needed to see them, but I also know that Ellie does not trust me right now. I needed to find a way to convince her that it wasn’t me.
I raised my fist up and made a move to knock, but a small voice stopped my movements.
“Mom?” a soft voice questioned.
It was Zea.
“What is it, sweetie?” Ellie asked her.
Eager to her the sweet jingle of my mate’s voice and nosing to hear what Zea needed, I tipped my head towards the door and waited to hear the conversation.
“When are we going home?” she asks.
You are home! Knox calls out in my head, trying to push me to barge in the room and make Ellie understand that she and Zea are not going anywhere.
“I don’t know if we can, Zea,” Ellie answers her, “At least not for a while.”
I hear Ellie release a deep breathe before answering her, “Do you remember the rogues that came to the pack?” I assume she nodded her head, “Well because of them, I don’t think we can go back to Blue Moon.”
“What about Uncle Madden and Aunt Layla? What will they do?”
“They are going to be fine. You see, they are going to go home and make sure all the rogues are gone so the rest of the pack can go back home.”
“Did Aunt Layla leave already?”
“She did,” Ellie answered her, “Your Uncle Madden called her to come home.”
“Are we going to stay here?” she asks.
Please say yes, I beg in my mind.
“Do you want to stay here, Zea?”
“I like it here, but I don’t know if you do.”
“I used to, sweetheart. A long time ago.”
“What happened?” Zea asked.
“Well I found out that I was going to have you,” I could picture her gentle smile in my mind as she looked down at Zea.
“Is this where you met my Dad?” I perked up at this question. Will Ellie admit that Zea is mine?
“Yes it is. He was tall and kind and very handsome. When I first met him, it was love at first sight,” she sighed.
“When do I get to meet him?” she asked.
“I don’t know, sweetie. I don’t know if he is the same man anymore. Why don’t you get some sleep and we can talk more in the morning?”
“Okay. Love you, mommy,” Zea yawned as I heard the ruffling of sheets.
“Good night my baby girl.”
I waited a few more minutes as I listened to the calming sounds of their breathing signaling that sleep was over taking them. I was about to back off into my own room when I heard the soft voice, “Are you the same man, Axton? I truly hope you are.”