KING

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35.

Elena

'Calm down, baby. She's speaking out of anger. She's facing the people who killed her mate,' I said to Mikael over our bond.

'She's alive because she saved our son,' he growled in return. I definitely agreed on that reason. If it was in an entirely different situation, her head will be on a stake by now. "Why don't we take this meeting inside," I said stepping forward keeping my eyes on Mia.

"Wish to kill us in private?" she spat.

"Mia! I'm so sorry your majesties. I will admit we are a bit anxious to know our fates after the attack upon the kingdom. It has been rather rough on us," Chelsea said stepping between my mate and her sister.

"I understand. Let's find a better-suited place right after we see our family off. My father and stepmother are leaving in a few along with Jakobe and his men," I said glancing at my mate. Mikael was ready to pounce on the woman for her disrespect. Dante and himself have been quite testy this morning and it has been taking a toll on me, to keep them both calm. Not to mention the pup inside of me decided that morning sickness was the way to welcome me to motherhood.

"No problem. Thank you, your majesty," Chelsea said pushing her sister away from Mikael.

"Before we go, this is Alpha Jonathon, head of Verans. Commander of our Hybrid Army, "I introduced. Jonathon offered his hand to the ladies and only Chelsea acknowledged him.

"Shall we?"

The walk back to the Alpha house was quite uncomfortable. Three guards took the ladies on a tour of the main floor of the house while Mikael, Jonathon and I met my father in the office alongside Helen.

I was given the seat behind the desk as my mate stood on my right. Jonathon stood by the garden doors while Jakobe stood on my left. Helen's eyes moved with every movement. I know she was still processing everything on top of losing her daughter.

"I wish you will let us try one more time," I began.

For the first time since we've been in each other's presence, she gave me a genuine smile.

"When you give birth to your own child, maybe even now, you will know how a mother's bond feel. Elias told me of your pregnancy. Congratulations. I pray you never have to feel this pain. That beast down there isn't my Rachel. I just wished I did things differently with her, with you."

I gave her a nod of acceptance, returning her smile.

My father took her hand and squeezed it gently. "Are you sure with the plans?" he asked still apprehensive to what Mikael and I spoke of.

"I don't mind and neither does Mikael," I replied.

We both decided to move to Monroe house, making it the Alpha house. the house was big enough for Connor to have his own room and for Mikael and me to have our privacy. My father built the house for that purpose, to have his family under one roof yet have their own space. I thought it grand. To have our sons raised in a family home and for Mikael to have his new family near.

I gave Helen my house, it's the least I can do. She will need the quiet to go through the grieving process and be near her business. I don't think she will have the strength to start her whole life over. She will be soon a divorced woman with a missing child back in Chrysallis. Though her actions against me were bad, I can't hold that as a grudge against her.

"Alright. I guess we'll get going. Jonathon, I'll see you soon old friend," dad said pulling the man into a brotherly hug. Mikael and Jakobe helped me out of my chair like fine china before allowing me to walk over to Helen. "My friend is at the house packing away my personal things. If it's too much for you to return to Monroe House then you can go to the other if you wish," I said sitting in my father's vacated chair.

"You never needed a mother. I think all you needed was a friend. I'm sorry for everything I put you through. My jealousy and anger took over me. I wanted my Racheal to have the same fatherly love as you did with Elias but I guess we both went about it the wrong way," she said patting my hand gently. I couldn't say a word, what was there to say. The last few years I've tried to be welcoming and open to them as new members to my family but it never worked out.

I nodded in acceptance before she left the room, entirely. My father came and slowly knelt before me. He said nothing at first. He quietly took in my features with this tearful smile on his face.

"Hurry home, my little angel," he whispered.

"I can't wait to be back and please don't redesign till we get home. I want Connor to see the house as is before he gets settled in," I said patting his stubbled cheek gently.

"As you wish, angel," he returned. This time, Rage surfaced and pulled me into a tight hug. Between my father and Rage, the wolf was very protective, always questioning the freedom gave me as I grew up and me being away from home. When Mikael and I mentioned moving back home, he was elated. I know he will be happy with the pups that will roam the house in the future.

With a kiss on my head, he got to his feet and bid the guys goodbye. Jakobe was the only one left, Jonathon walked out with my father, giving us some privacy.

"Are you sure you don't need me?" he asked looking between Mikael and me.

"It's safe now, brother. Your mate is waiting for you."

I nodded to reaffirm my mate's statement. We know how loyal Jakobe was to us and now that our family is growing, I know he will do even more so till his last breath.

"Okay. I'll see you two in a few days," he finally said. Enveloping us in huge hugs he made his way out. Mikael slipped into the large office chair and released a tired sigh. The day wasn't over and we haven't completely finished our tasks as king and queen. I know we can do this. After our interrogation with the witches, we have the last hound to execute.

It must be done.

"Are you ready?" I asked moving to his side.

"One minute," he said softly. Pulling me down onto his lap, I wrapped my arms around his neck and accepted the love and comfort he conveyed over our bond to me. "You stayed," he said against my hair.

"Of course, I did. I promised," I returned.

"Finding you during this ordeal was truly a blessing. In more than six months, I've found you, protected our people and gained a family. Not once did you back down Lena. You stood your ground and fought alongside me. You're something special. I love you so much," he said gently kissing my head. I felt his hand below my blouse, caressing my tummy lovingly. Placing my hand over his, I sent a prayer silently to the Goddess, thanking her for sending Mikael my way.

"I love you too, Mikael."



Dimitri

Holding her in my arms, I relaxed my body and slowly caressed her in soothing motions. Dante and I felt her tiredness, even saw her fight to stay by our side instead of giving in to her early bouts of being pregnant. Our mate never wants to be counted as weak. No one will ever think so but she second guesses herself. I will always show her that she's nothing like that.

'She's asleep,' Dante said to me. Looking down in my arms, I smiled just as she burrowed closer to me, pulling her knees to her chest to get much more comfortable. I didn't want her away from me, so I decided to place her on the chaise lounge in the corner of the office to be more comfortable.

Creating a shield as to not disturb her, I notified the men guarding the witches to escort the youngest one to the office. I was standing over Lena, watching her sleep when the knock came.

"Come in," I called out.

The door opened only to reveal one of my guards walking in with the young witch.

"Mischa? I thought you left for home," I said confused at first. Then I saw the pride and adoration in his eyes as he placed his eyes on a now blushing Chelsea. Mischa is currently one of my strongest warriors and held the position as Captain for his own division under my army. He was one of the few I sent to go along with Jakobe for the retrieval of the witches.

"Ah!" was all I said.

I turned to the witch, "Do you understand what's going on, tiny?" I asked. Dante and I sensed the purity in this one. Her gifts are strong as a high priestess which were currently untapped. She needs extensive training and I know she will benefit greatly.

"I've read of cross-species mating but I've never thought I will have one. I know my sister had Shia but I crossed that off as her not fully being a witch," she answered.

"Understood. I wish to speak to you about your time under Shia's revolt. Do you wish to do this with your mate present?"

Immediately, her body became tense and the joy died in her eyes. Mischa pulled her into his arms and she quickly relaxed but only to go into heartwrenching sobs. Chelsea shook her head and shakily stepped out of her mate's hold.

"Give her time. It's all still fresh in her mind," I said to him after seeing the hurt look on his face. Nodding his head, he placed a kiss on her cheek before leaving both of us.

She stood by the door, noticing Lena in the corner asleep. "The past few days have been a toll on her," I said to her, offering her one of the seats. She took one while I took the other. We stayed silent for a while, only so she can gather herself.

"I won't ask you any intrusive questions. Just enough to ease my misunderstandings and curiosity. Understood?"

"Yes, your majesty."

"Where did you live?" I began.

"Vermont."

Her first answer had myself and Dante alert. Bryce's home state was Vermont. Can this be a coincidence?

"Which town in Vermont?"

"Morrisville."

"Were you aware of a Bryce Williams abduction?" I asked.

"No. I-I was taken from my home five years today," she said. I cursed lowly coming to the realization just as to how long Shia has been doing this.

"Was it Shia who took you from your home?"

"An older man who looked like him. Shia was dating my sister for a few months when it happened. He will either take her away on weekends or visit our house. I thought it weird for her to be so caught up with this stranger but when she told me that he was her mate, I let it be. Shia took her away that weekend I was taken," she explained.

Dante growled in anger. My father's Beta was even more cunning than we thought. I never really asked Shia about his weekend trips and as Royal Beta to my father, Shia's father have been known for trips to help secure the pack. They were both playing us. With the knowledge of our day to day goings and having our trust, they used it to their advantage.

"Did anyone in Morrisville knew of your true self?"

She shook her head no but her shoulders slumped in either defeat or sorrow. "My sister told him," she whispered, "It was to be our secret no matter what. After what happened to our mother, we made a promise to keep our lineage a secret."

"What happened if I may ask?"

"A woman killed her after she refused to manipulate another woman's husband to her liking. Apparently, she was obsessed with the man and wanted him, no matter the cost," she replied, trying her best to keep the tears at bay.

"I'm truly sorry. The loss of a parent in such brutal circumstances can never be easy on one's mind," I offered. She nodded and stood up, probably restless.

"For days, I was worried more for my sister, than myself thinking they will get her next but when I saw her come visit me in that cell I felt so betrayed. At first, I didn't link the older man and Shia together but when they came with a smiling Mia, everything just died in me. She said they were protecting us from a world beyond our small town life. She began saying all these nonsense of a hunt being out for witches and that I needed an environment to expand my power. They had her under their thumb. Her visits became shorter after I began questioning our whereabouts and why was I being kept as a prisoner then the threats came. The abuse, lack of food or clothes, it was all coming at me as one big ball of bad luck. I was taken on these trips blindfolded and given the order to cloak the area from human and supernatural eyes. They always gave me the distance. This was done numerous times, sometimes I was ordered to create potions to subdue wolves. This went on for maybe a year or two then I was moved. Shia told me that I had to create enchantments to protect my sister in a new house he built for her. I didn't believe him but I did it anyway to stay alive. I did everything to stay alive sometimes I wished the hounds killed me when he used me as a blood bag for them."

I stayed quiet throughout her entire retelling. Shia and his father put this girl through hell and possibly manipulated Mia for years. "Did he give you anything when he asked you to search for me or keep me away?" I asked. In order to search for me or deflect any tracker or protection spells made by myself, the witch will need something extremely personal to me. Something that had my residue on it.

She hurriedly searched her pockets in frantic movements, she exclaimed in delight when she found whatever she was searching for.

Opening her hand in which she recently clutched whatever she found in her pocket. Looking at the object in her hand, I reached for it with trembling hands. "I believe this is yours. I kept it safe. It was your father's, wasn't it?"

I couldn't answer her. Anger and sorrow ran through my body as I took the gold ring from her palm. The last time I saw this ring, it was on the right hand of my father. The royal crest circled my rubies peered up at me, bringing forth so many memories.

"You're free to live yourself with your mate, Chelsea. You're free to go," I said to her softly with my focus on the heirloom in my hand. She was innocent in this, after all, she didn't deserve my anger.

"Thank you, your majesty," she said softly before rushing out the office.

Dante was fighting to be released. This was all too much for both of us. Without thinking of where I currently was, he was given full permission to come free. The ring dropped to our feet, the memory of my younger self dropping it to the floor after sneaking a peak of it in my father's room came to mind. He caught me showing it Jakobe and Shia as I tell them the story behind the ring. My father didn't get angry. He simply told us all the story while I held it tightly in my hand.

The first wolf king fashioned the ring for his eldest son after his other sons began to question his choice for being the next king. A spell was cast on the ring, only the firstborn son of the sitting king can wear the ring. The title will automatically pass to the new king along with the Moon Goddess' blessings. It was also made to show the people in the human world that he was their king and they were safe. The ring became a family heirloom and was passed down for generations. I was looking forward to accepting my duty as king and the ceremony of my father placing the ring and his crown on my person. We both planned to have my inauguration at the castle in Russia with my mate by my side and him next to me with pride in his eyes.

Dante began to howl, conveying our sadness, our loss of our father, everything that was killing us inside. I don't know how Shia got this but I'm glad he was now charred remains.
Whining after our series of howls and receiving our peoples' comfort, Dante and I were restless. We needed a run. We needed to get away from here for a while. Making our way to the garden doors, we looked at our sleeping mate who was now fretting in her sleep. We couldn't let her take on our breakdown in her state. She has done so much for us, in such a little time. Taking down the shield, I bolted out the garden doors and headed for the forest. I needed nature for this.

I needed to give my father the burial he deserved.


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