Seven | Cleo
Mere milliseconds passed before Sebastian hissed out, "Hakota's your mate?" He stomped down the last two steps and made his way towards us. Coda didn't look the least bit concerned while I was having a mental breakdown over the fact Sebastian had probably heard everything.
I leapt off the couch and hurried after him into the kitchen, leaving Coda in the living room where he seemed content to stay, lounging on the couch nonchalantly.
Standing on opposite sides the the island counter I threw a look over my shoulder at Coda who had picked up the book from the coffee table and was paging through it. Turning my attention back to the werewolf, I cocked my head and dug my nails around the edges of the countertop. "Why are you home?" I blurted out, because he told me this morning he wasn't going to be here which was why I took Coda here and not someplace else.
"How about we start with why Coda is here?" His arms were braced on the island, the veins in his arms building as he lowered his voice and harshly whispered, "You told me that siding against the lycans was suicide!"
"I'm not siding with anyone," I growled, "and the hunters are currently neutral."
"Well you would know that wouldn't you because apparently you're their alpha!" He practically shouted the last word and I gave him a look before glancing at Coda who was now walking about the small living room, touching my plant that hadn't been watered in a few days and caused a leaf to fall off. In a heated, lowered, tone Sebastian whispered, "Why in the name of Lune would you lie to me about that?"
"Because you didn't need to know!" I snapped, "that's not who I am anymore. It's all in the past and bringing up the past will only bring death and pain."
"I didn't need to know? I didn't need to know?" He snorted, running a hand through his hair frustratedly. "Unbelievable," he said, turning his back to me for just a second before twisting around and slamming his palms on the table. "I think it sounds logical and fair that I should have been informed you were Hakota's mate before I started sleeping with you!" He hissed.
I tilted my head and shifted my weight to the other foot, "Are you saying, that ha you known I was Hakota's mate, you would never have entered this relationship with me?" My narrowed eyes told him to watch his words carefully.
"Relationship? Since when has this ever been a relationship?"
"Oh come on Sebastian," I sighed, "you really want to get into this now?"
He held up a finger, his jaw clenched tight as he laughed bitterly, "Oh this has been a long time coming, Rala. I let you treat me like your call boy, at your every beck and call, here when you need me, gone when you don't want me, because I thought it was all some stage in your grieving and we'd eventually get past it. But as it turns out, your mate is very much alive and will probably hang me by my own intestines if he ever finds out about us!"
"Oh, he'll do a lot more than that," Coda scoffed as he took a seat on the barstool at the end of the island. "Get me a drink, will you?" He asked pointing towards the bottle of hard liquor on the top cabinet. As I went to retrieve the things he folded his hands and looked Sebastian in the eyes. "Hakota will probably cut off every limb you have until you are nothing but a torso and head. And after that he will cut off your ears, pluck out your eyes and chop out your tongue."
I rolled my eyes as I set a glass in front of Coda, poring myself a glass before handing off the bottle. "Let's not be dramatic shall we? One, Hakota showed how much he cares for me quite clearly when he slashed my throat," I flicked my eyes up and pinned Coda with a pointed look and pretended not to notice the way Sebastian's eyes darted to the scars littering my neck. I raised the glass to my lips, speaking over the rim. "And two, Hakota gets too impatient and would either behead him, cut his throat, break his neck, rip out his heart or tear out his spine." I lifted the glass and let the alcohol douse my tastebuds while shrugging, "Maybe suffocate him if he can hold that much patience," I added offhandedly.
Sebastian tossed his hands in the air, his hands slapping his legs when they dropped back down. "Well this is just great, absolutely fantastic."
"I wouldn't worry about it too much," Coda told Sebastian. They've been looking for Cleo for a while now and don't have a single lead. They won't find her as long as you keep your trap shut." There was a bite to his words, a clear threat that should Sebastian let anything slip, Coda would not be happy. "Even if they did find her, Hakota would be too absorbed in Cleo to even think about you."
Sebastian shot me a look, the clear accusation in his eyes for even lying about my name turning his amber eyes a shade darker. "So now what? We just keep pretending Rala is dead and let Hakota kill hundreds of people in his efforts to find her? If the hunters ally with the Lunars we can take the lycans down." It all sounded so simple when he said it. Just like what I had thought when my father told me I was to kill my mate. Everything sounded so easy, except nothing ever was. "They need you Rala," he said, "we all need you."
I blew out a breath pouring myself another shot. "Look Sebastian, getting me involved will only make things worse, not better." He opened his mouth, ready to object, but I shook my head. "Even if I did want to help the Lunars, then what? Am I supposed to kill him? I failed before and I will always fail."
Coda stared down into his glass, a far away look in his eyes. "When the lycans wars reached its climax, Eric and I went to the Red Zone to the sacred pool seeking answers. When we got there is wasn't Lune who spoke with us, but Fate. We asked if there was a way to end the wars and she told us that a child bred of enemies and conceived in hate would bring their downfall." A haunted look consumed him as he said, "A male child would rise against our enemies and bathe himself in blood, fighting until the very last of their kind fell before him. A female child would consume their minds, take over their hearts and they would all perish in her name." He ran his finger around the rim of the glass, a frown creasing his brow. "On our way back we were attacked. It was there that Eric found his mate. She was a lycan, an enemy, and from there the pieces just fell into place. Eric was obsessed with ending the war and killing the lycans. He used Irene for the children Fate spoke of."
He downed the shot, the glass clinking when he set it down. "When you were born Eric still wasn't satisfied. He wanted a son to lead the hunters against the lycans. The second time Irene got pregnant she somehow knew it was a son and she constantly tried to kill herself before she could birth him but Eric had her watched closely. We never understood why she cherished you and hated the other. You were both supposed to destroy the lycans but apparently the lycans had a different prophecy from Lune and Irene believed you were not dangerous to the lycans. Hakota killed your mother before she could give birth to a son and that day he also discovered you were his mate. He tried to take you with him, he would have fought his way out if it had been just him, but his pack was with him and they talked him out of it and accepted the deal your father made. You for their escape."
Did you sleep with her after you knew about me? My words rang clear in my head from that day I'd confronted Hakota about Sky
I would have been practically a baby. A baby that was supposed to destroy them all and he found out I was supposed to be his mate and still wanted me.
"After that day, Eric manipulated you. We all knew you'd turn out to be a hunter but he forced the pack to keep quite and isolate you. He wanted you to be lonely and full of hate so that you would have the drive to kill your own mate. He wanted you to seek his approval so he never gave it to you. He wanted you to long for companionship and acceptance so he made everyone stay away. He taunted Hakota, waiting for him to come back and claim you so he could put his plan into action. After Hakota took you all we had to do was wait. We waited but you never made your move. Our informants told us about the multiple opportunities you had and didn't take. You father went into a rage, cursing Fate for lying to him." Coda finally met my eyes. "Fate didn't lie though. You are the only one who can kill Hakota. Not by bathing yourself in his blood like we thought, but by loving him. You were never supposed to be like the son as we thought. You and Hakota were supposed to fall in love, you weren't supposed to betray him, you were just a weapon to then use against him because he loved you. Hakota would do anything to protect you, he wouldn't think clearly when it came to matters pertaining to you, he would make mistakes. Your father tricked him though, he convinced Hakota that you were in on the plan the whole time. He broke the love between you and he lost the weapon. If Eric had threaten to kill you instead of lying about your betrayal, Hakota would have given up his life."
Pain stabbed through the emptiness that filled me. I clutched onto my chest in surprise. It had been months since I felt anything like this, anything but the mind numbing lack of feeling. My love had been used as a weapon. The gods played with my feelings, intended for me to become a weakness and weapon. I threw my glass at the wall in rage, shattering it into pieces that flew across the kitchen in every direction. "Everything my father said to me was a lie?" I could hardly get the words out through my clenched teeth. "That story he told me about him and my mother was all made up?"
Coda nodded grimly. "He groomed you to end Hakota your whole life, Cleo."
"Why didn't you ever tell me?" The emotions, the feelings, were gone again. A small spark immediately swallowed by darkness.
"Although I didn't agree with the way Eric was using you, I wanted the lycans gone just as badly." I couldn't say I was surprised by this, I couldn't even get angry over it. "Even though I wanted to tell you the truth, I could not disobey my alpha."
"So why do you not attack the lycans when they are weak?" I was trying to understand why he wasn't taking this opportunity to try and bring extinction to the lycans.
"You are my alpha, Cleo." I rolled my eyes in irritation, not believing we were going to go over this again. "I will follow your orders. And even if I wished they'd all just drop dead, I know they are important to you so I will not kill them."
"That's it?" I snapped. "Decades of hating and killing the lycans and now, just because Hakota is my mate, you'll leave them alone?"
"Yes." Coda replied like it was the most logical thing in the world.
I pinched the bridge of my nose and muttered incoherently under my breath.
"I don't need you to understand my choices, I just need you to understand the danger you are always in. Some part of Hakota recognizes how fatal you are to him. If he is to ever find you alive, he will not hesitate to kill you."
"Don't worry about me you old bastard, I have–"
A loud banging on the door drowned out the rest of my words. We all turned towards the noise, watching the handle moved up and down as it was rattled. The banging increased at a more urgent pace. Sebastian slowly made his way towards the door, holding out a hand behind him to signal for me and Coda to stay hidden.
The banging grew louder as Sebastian unlocked the door, his fingernails morphing into claws ready to slash should a threat present itself. He cracked the door open just a hair before the door was thrown open and a figure darted inside and slammed the door shut, pressing their back against it with an expression of terror and relief.
I rushed over the the male as his form crumbled in a heap on the floor. "By the moon!" I locked the door and crouched down beside him. "Terrin, what the hell?"
My friend was gasping for breath, his eyes wide. His face was slick with sweat and I could feel his thundering heartbeat as I searched him for injury. He suddenly snatched up my hand, looking at me with a wild and frantic gleam in his eyes.
"Someone tipped off the Lunars that I'm a lycan's mate and now they are hunting me to use me as leverage."