Thirty Three | Hakota
It had been a mistake to tell her all of that so soon. It was an error on my part to unload like that on her when she was already emotional. The build up had been negative emotion not positive and I had once again pushed her away from me with my thoughtlessness.
The worst part of it all was that when Cleo ran from me, trying her best not to let me see the tears glistening in her eyes, I knew better than to follow her but the werewolf did not. I watched helplessly as Cleo fled and Sebastian, offering me a pitying look, turning and following after her.
I stayed where I was, not having any idea how long it would take for Cleo to gather herself. For all I knew it could take a few minutes or several hours.
For all I knew.
Because I knew nothing.
I knew nothing about Cleo, about my own mate that I had spent several months with.
I knew things of Cleo. I knew a lot of things of her. I knew her father was Eric Farland, I knew she was a hunter like him, I knew that she grew up hating my race, thinking that we had butchered her mother in spite and revenge. I knew that her father raised her void of emotion, or a real family. Starved her for that connection and attention in attempts to make her as heartless as himself and eager to earn his approval and love.
Everything I knew was not about Cleo, they were facts she had no control over, none of those things were who she was. I didn't know anything about her person. I didn't know what her hobbies were, I didn't know what one of her happiest or saddest memories were, I didn't know what books she liked to read, if she like reading at all. I didn't know how she truly felt about her hunter family, how she felt about being the alpha of that pack. I didn't know what drove her, what her aspirations and goals in life were, what she dreamed about, or what gave her nightmares.
I had never bothered to ask her any of those questions, never thought I needed to be told because I had believed I already knew the answers. I thought I had known what her goals and aspirations were, what she wanted, what and who she hated.
And I had been wrong.
I had been wrong about all of it.
Cleo didn't want to be my mate so should could gain control over the lycans, she didn't live to see the last of the lycans eradicated and enact her revenge on me for killing her mother. She wasn't her father's lapdog, the weapon I believed her to be.
She was none of those things and so I was left knowing nothing.
I just knew the same facts as everyone else and I couldn't tell if the pang in my chest was crushing despair or rising anger.
Perhaps it was a bit of both.
I was filled with self loathing and bitter sorrow that I had turned out to be the male Eric Farland had painted me as in her eyes.
And to make matters worse, the more time I just had to sit and think I realized I also didn't know myself.
I knew everything about Hakota Blackwaters, the last alpha of the lycans. I knew that he would die to protect every last member of his pack. I knew he was crushed under the weight of responsibility for the continuation of his race, of the hard decisions that needed to be made. I knew his thirst for blood, his eagerness and joy to be on a battlefield and tear into others to make them feel his pain. How he enjoyed the way others trembled at his name, the fear and spite that followed him. How he was completely unstoppable.
But I didn't know a damn thing about Hakota Blackwaters, the male who was forced into a position of power, who had to watch as his race was slaughtered and reduced to a mere eight.
But now I was learning and I didn't like what I saw.
I hated all the feelings that threatened to drown me, how utterly hopeless and helpless I felt. I was a broken male with no concept of life beyond my pack. I hated how every time I closed my eyes I saw the monster everyone saw me as. I hated how I was plagued with the memories I thought I had banished to the deepest part of my mind.
Most of all I hated the self-pity.
I didn't deserve to pity myself because my own actions were what led me here.
Everything I hated about myself, I hated about life, were products of my decisions.
I longed to turn that handle back, to suck all of these emotions back into a sealed vault and let the alpha take over. I knew the alpha, I knew what to do when I was the alpha. I didn't know what to do with this wretch of a soul.
But I stopped myself every time before I could twist that handle to reverse what I had done to myself. I remembered why I needed this, remembered what I had promised myself.
If I wanted to be a better male, a better alpha, a better mate, I needed to balance myself out. I couldn't do that if I only knew one half of myself. I had learned to be the alpha in the extreme and now it was time to learn to be just a male in the extreme, no title or family, just a male left with the products of his mistakes.
Once I learned to deal with this extreme of myself I could then begin to meld the two halves of myself together.
Until then I would just have to persevere.
And for once in my life I wasn't sure if I would be able to keep fighting through it. I had always prided myself in being so sure that I would never lose, that I would never die like the entire universe seemed to wish.
And not knowing anything truly scared me.