I woke up in a state of panic. At first, I took a moment to orient myself to my surroundings. Tattered clothing and a gold ring next to them. On wobbly feet, I went to the ring and examined it carefully. A wave of sadness took over my body along with so much pain. Tara began to whimper, calling out to our mate. Closing my eyes, I tried to pinpoint his location but he was covering his tracks. Something happened, something was wrong. I needed to make sure he was alright and safe wherever he was.
'Mikael? Dante? Where are you?' I called out. This was done four times before tears clouded my vision. It pained me that he was shutting us out.
A long mournful howl pierced through the quiet afternoon. Listening carefully, I mapped the direction it came from, I need to get to him.
He was actually blocking me from every aspect. I tried once more over our link, my heart was beating so fast as I pushed onto the barrier he placed. I've never felt so hopeless and hurt in my life.
'Mikael. Please answer me. What's wrong? What happened?' I cried, still pushing.
Nothing once again.
I looked at the ring in my hand once more and immediately noticed the crest that was printed in so many werewolf history books. I've never seen him wore it. Heck, he never wore jewelry. It looked like a family heirloom for royal blood. So this must be.....
"Oh no," I said aloud falling to my knees and clutching the ring tightly in my palm. Tara stopped calling out to Dante at my realization. He will want to be alone, though I wanted to be there for him, I couldn't push.
Getting to my feet, I searched for my phone and made my way out of the office. As I walked passed guards and workers in the Alpha's house, I saw the sympathetic looks on their faces and smiles of assurance for me. Their empathy for their king solidify my plan but I must put things in place. Turning to go check on the kids, I saw two guards escorting Mia to the prisons. The trail at the back of the house was hidden by a privacy fence but one can see it from the kitchen and upstairs rooms.
Stepping onto the lush lawn, I called out to them.
"Your majesty," they greeted me with a respectful bow. I eyed Mia closely, she made no action to show respect to my position nor did she have a pleasing expression on her face.
"Aren't you suppose to know? You are the queen," she sneered.
"Trust me. I may look innocent but if it was up to my mate, solely, your fate will be the same as your mate's," I returned. That struck a chord within her. Her brown eyes filled with tears but her posture grew rigid with anger.
"My mate was trying to save you filthy mutts. Living in secret as common wolves, how pathetic. You beasts have all this power and with witches beside you all, your power is even greater. No human would have stood in our way. I would have been queen after we kill you two," she shouted.
"Power will always be the downfall of any civilization. He has truly manipulated you. Did he say sweet words to you to bring your sister, your own blood into this?" I asked calmly.
"Naive bitch. I freely told him she was a priestess. He was so happy and shared his plans with me. The methods were.... messy but the results were amazing. Our own army," she said dreamily, probably lost in a twisted memory.
"And Cerberus one, two and three? You freed them."
"Yeah, I did. For Shia's own good. He believed having them able to go back to human form was ideal but I saw it as an uprising waiting to happen. Letting them go was ideal. They will place fear in the humans and be executed by nearby Alphas. Shia was angry but I made him see clarity." By the end of her boasting, she was laughing to herself.
She was crazy as her mate or Shia got her good. I turned to a guard. "Solitary confinement until he returns, ma'am," he answered my initial question.
"Very well. Don't worry, Mia. You will see your mate soon," I said aloud before returning to the house. Following their scents, I found all three in the game room, doing their own thing. Connor's head shot up from the book he was reading before scampering to my side.
"How are you all today?" I asked as I wrapped my arms around a very affectionate Connor.
"It's getting easing to shift and Jonathon had us view a training session," Liza said with a small smile on her face.
"That's wonderful. Are you two, excited about the ceremony tomorrow night?" I asked following Connor's lead.
"We're a bit nervous. Jonathon's real son will be here tonight. What if he doesn't want us in his future pack?" Bryce asked, chewing on his fingers nervously.
"A good question but you must be brave in meeting him. As you three grow up, your true self may be accepted by some and may be feared by others. It's up to you how you adapt to your environment. If Jonathon, Mikael and I believe in you three, doesn't that count for something?" I stated.
The three silently thought over my words. Liza was surprisingly the one to answer.
"It does count. You three saved our lives when the law states that we are to be killed. We now have a life to live because you all believe in us," she answered shyly.
"Exactly. The people here at Verans are kind and welcoming, there will be some bad eggs but this is now your home. Don't let them run you out of it," I added. Relief was settled in their bodies instantly.
"And me?" Connor asked warily.
"Your new home is a tad different from Verans. Most humans who live among us are unaware of us as supernaturals, so your hound side will only be introduced to the new royal pack. Full Moon Pack. We are fairly new as a pack and will love to have a new member. You three will be soon known as Alpha kids meaning a sign of authority and leadership. The position may be daunting but its one you will be holding. Please don't abuse the hierarchy. Alright?"
"Yes, ma'am. We promise," they all said. I didn't doubt them, I can hear and sense the honesty behind their words.
Dinner time was drawing near and still no contact from Mikael. Though I looked calm on the outside, Tara and I was scared and worried on the inside. Alpha Jonathon gave me worried glances but I simply returned a bright smile with a vague comment of him needing some time away.
I had no appetite but I ate anyway for my pup. Dinner conversation was a bit strained but we got through it. The rest of the night was spent with the kids, awaiting the arrival of the alpha's son.
'I know the pain from your father's death will be torturous but I want you to know, I'm here. I'm here and waiting,' I said to him over our bond. Being alone in our room, I took down the barriers I held, trying to be strong for everyone. There, I gave in to the emotions that were raging within my body and those of my mate which he was struggling to keep away from me. I hope the plan, that was now in motion will help him put his father's soul to rest.
It was late and my body couldn't go any further, I needed to rest. Sending my apologies to Jonathon, I took a warm bath and crawled into bed, still wide awake and waiting for Mikael to come back to me.
We were close. I can smell the remnants of my old home.
I didn't mean to leave her, I really didn't. Going home was the only thing on my mind. We can feel her pushing and hearing her messages to us but we didn't dare respond. We felt dependent on her. Dante and I knew we had to do this in order to move on. Our family was growing now but my past still stained my mind with nightmares. My father's soul needs to rest.
What I'm about to find, is a mystery to me. Using the stars as maps and my memory of the towns around my old home, I deducted us to be a few hours away. A day's travel from Verans, two days from Chrysallis.
'I need rest,' Dante huffed.
I've been in wolf form since we left Verans, along the way I've hunted wild game and rested for a few minutes. Finding the cover of trees, I sniffed the air for any territorial marks of werewolves and common wolves, along with humans. With the area clear, I returned to human form to give Dante a well-deserved rest. The moon above me was full and gave me great light to move along the forest. Looking for brush and sticks to make a small shelter, I took down the barriers from my people and my mate. All was well but their words of sympathy hit me like a brick, giving me a headache instantly. I reassured them then focused on my mate. She was hurt. Hurt that I was shutting her out yet worried about me losing myself in grief. Finding a log, I took a seat and allowed the tears to flow. My tears were of grief and guilt, I allowed my anger and need to take over me and left my mate behind without an explanation. My promise to her was to never hurt her and now, here I am doing so.
'Mikael? Where are you? Are you hurt? When are you coming back?' Her response was instantaneous and filled with extreme worry. The guilt formed deeper into my chest.
'I'm heading to my home pack,' I whispered, trying my best not to let her hear my cries.
'Then, I will come meet you there,' she replied. I chuckled lightly knowing she will do so in a heartbeat. No matter what she had my back.
'No, Lena. I need to do this on my own. For the past six months, you've been my rock. I will always lean on you or look to you for strength. I have to do this, my Lena,' I told her.
'I know. I hate feeling you so sad. I feel helpless not being able to help you as I really should.'
'You did a lot for me, angel. Since we found each other you did a lot for me. You gave me life. Love. Now a family. I need to close this chapter in order to be at peace in my new life. I'll be home soon. I promise.'
She didn't say anything for a while, having me think she disagrees with my impromptu trip.
'I love you.'
My heart ached in pride and genuine love for her even more, just by the mention of those three words, I considered sacred.
'And I love you,' I returned. Dante purred, making it known to me that he was talking to Tara.
'How are the boys? Please tell Connor I will see him soon.'
'They are fine. Connor is excited about this new life. I have dad clearing a room for him. I was thinking of a family trip to get him settled?' she returned. I can hear her smile in her words which was calming my tired mind.
'Definitely and Vincent's room to prepare,' I added. We both stayed quiet at the magnitude of everything. In three months, the gestation period for a purebred wolf, I will be holding my son. The thought of that scene had me tearing up.
'I'll handle things here before I make the trip back home,' she said softly.
'Thank you, Lena. I'll be home soon,' I reassured her.
'You're welcome. Your son is currently draining me. Sleep is needed,' she groaned.
'Good night my Lena,' I said softly.
'Good night, my Mikael,'she returned. I left the link open, listening on as her mind calmed for the night.
"Ready Dante?" I asked aloud.
'Extremely so. We have a family to go home to,' he said in a bit more cheerful mood.
Returning to wolf form, I took in the scents around us and took the safest path through the forest.
I'm ready to close this chapter.