Mate- chapter 44
Night of the winter moon festival~
Fixing my hair one last time I made sure there was little to no evidence of what had just occurred within my chambers. Everything had been perfect and I've never felt so refreshed yet drained at the same time, more than anything I wanted nothing more than to stay in bed with evony for the rest of the night but as alpha, I had duties to attend to and appearances to uphold, especially when in the presence of another alpha.
I've only been away for a few minutes but the picture of Evony lying naked under me, with all the small noises she made, was burned into my memory. She was beautiful. I would tell her tonight what we are, she's already shown her interest in me so knowing we were mates couldn't hurt, could it?
Walking into my office I was met with both Ethan and Darin waiting for me. Confused, I stepped into the office and sat down in my chair. "What's wrong now? I could really go without any bad news." They both glanced at each other unsure.
"We think we know what kade's planning."
Intrigued I listened to what they both had to say and contemplated my choices.
This was bad.
Running the brush through my hair one last time I looked at myself in the mirror, I was wearing the shoulder-less black dress I had picked out while shopping. The scars had faded considerably and I felt comfortable in my own skin now.
A dull ache between my legs continued to remind me of what just occurred between me and Axton. The thought of it caused my cheeks to heat up into a red blush. Gods, what am I going to tell Leiah? She'll probably hound me one she catches on to why I smell like him. I can already imagine how the pack might react, they would think of me as a manipulative she-wolf just like my father.
I started at the brush in my hands, despite the backlash we might get, I dont feel nervous at all. Why should I feel ashamed for falling in love? Our kind does it all the time, not every wolf has a mate so falling in love with someone is the next best thing, the only thing causing a problem in this situation would be his title of alpha. Being with Axton has given me some form of fulfillment in my heart, like a hole, had been filled. I wouldn't change what happened today for the world. But perhaps covering my scent would be a good idea. Spraying some of the heat masking spray onto my body I finished getting ready.
Standing to my feet I admired the dress I wore one last time in the mirror, before leaving the room and heading outside. Everyone was busy preparing for the party, a huge bonfire was set up surrounded by tables and chairs, some of which were lined with a variety of foods. There were even some people starting to play instruments and others who conversed or danced.
Walking around, I tried looking for Axton but had no luck locating him in the crowd, what I did see though was a bit suspicious.
Alpha Nathaniel was speaking to leiahs mother who had a surprised look, that turned into a sad smile. What could they possibly be talking about? Leiah was with them and once she noticed me she rushed over.
"Evony it's about time I was wondering when you'd finish getting ready, and wow you look great in a dress, I've never seen so much skin- hey what's that smell?" Getting closer she sniffed me and her eyes widened.
"Did you-!" I quickly placed my hand over her mouth and shushed her, I didnt want the entire pack to know about what just happend, I really didnt want to make a scene tonight.
"Please keep it down... " my cheeks flooded with heat, I knew this was unavoidable but it was still embarrassing.
She started at me stunned for a moment before regaining her own composure and nodding. She was dressed in a loose top and jeans, something much more casual than my dress.
In an attempt to change the subject I gave her a small smile. "Guessing dresses aren't your thing?" Looking down at herself she shrugged.
"Eh, not really, besides this is a lot more comfortable." Classic Leiah. Looking past her I noticed her mother and the alpha finish talking and part going separate ways. He must have noticed me staring because he suddenly looked my way, giving me an uneasy feeling.
He lingered and watched us for a moment before walking away, into the woods. Leiah glanced in his direction before looking back at me. "You ok?"
Nodding I gave her my full attention. "What were they talking about?" She shrugged and we went over to one of the tables to sit down. "Something about him knowing my aunt, I didnt pay much attention to it the guys too depressing... If losing your mate is going to end up making you like him, wouldn't you rather just end your own suffering? It doesn't seem worth it to me...he deserves peace but refuses to let go."
Listening to leiahs words my heart sank for the alpha, he never got his happy life with the one person he loved, did he ever even meet her? Or did he suddenly just feel the bond break making him little more than an empty shell of a man. I can't imagine the amount of pain and suffering be had to go through. His haunted gaze bothered me in a different way now.
"It's rare for someone to survive after losing their mates, they usually get sick and die, those who dont kill themselves... I can't imagine what it's like for him." I looked out into the forest where the alpha had disappeared to. Was it his alpha blood that kept him sane, or the grief...
After the sun had set everyone got into a partying mood, music was playing while people either talked, danced, or drank to their heart's content. Leiah even convinced me to try a few drinks, most tasted horrible and the fruity ones were hardly fruity enough for me to really enjoy so I just watched amused as she got herself drunk. I noticed Axton walking around and once he noticed us, his eyes locked onto me and a smile appeared on his face. I smiled back as he approached, and my heart fluttered within my chest.
He came over just as one song ended and another began. He offered his hand and motioned towards the crowd of dancing people. I glanced at him confused, didnt he want to keep up the appearance of me being his pet? "But..."
He cut me off knowing what I was about to say. "Forget about that tonight. It doesn't matter."
Leiah hiccuped before waving me off. "Go dance with him I need a few minutes to sober up anyways!"
I smiled and took his hand, getting to my feet, following him into the crowd of dancing bodies. Forgetting all our worries, we did a traditional dance with a few others, around the bonfire, I started to enjoy myself more and more as we continued, passing each other every so often. I caught the huge smile on his face as we danced with the music.
I found myself in his arms by the end of the song and couldn't help but giggle at how light I felt, how free. Everyone who had been watching cheered and clapped. He seemed shocked and looked down at me like some kind of treasured jewel. After a moment I calmed my burst of joy and wiped the tears from my eyes as a smile seemed to permanently make itself known on my face. Looking up at him I noticed the strange gaze and tilted my head to the side. "What? Why are you looking at me like that?"
He smiled before embracing me into a hug. A bit confused, I only wrapped my arms around him in return as he kept his face hidden in my shoulder. "That's the first time I've ever heard you laugh..." His words shocked me and I stood there unsure. He was right...it just came so naturally to me that I didnt even realize. Tears pricked the corners of my eyes as I hugged him back even tighter.
This was it. This was the life I had always wanted, that I never had. I had friends and loved ones who cared about me, I was happy and carefree. This was who I really am.
We continued to embrace each other, not bothering to pull away. I could tell that this was a moment neither of us could ever forget. Once we separated we could only smile at each other, no words were needed to express what we felt because we both felt it. Love.
Our moment was interrupted as Leiah called us over to the table, both Ethan and Darin were standing beside her as she waved us over. Hand in hand we both walked over and joined them.
All of us enjoyed the night, drinking and telling funny or embarrassing stories about eachother, having a great time with no cares in the world. This night would be a memory I would never forget.
At some point during Darin's storytelling, Ethan pulled Axton to the side, and out of earshot, Leiah and Darin didn't seem to notice, they were too distracted by each other. Ethan had seemed a little off and I was starting to worry something was wrong. The partying was starting to die down, leaving most people to just sit around, drink, and chat with one another.
Getting up from my seat I made my way towards where Ethan and Axton had gone off to. As I got closer I could hear both of them arguing over something, and even heard my name being mentioned. Curious I stood by and eavesdropped on the conversation, hiding behind a tree. Ethan was obviously drunk and seemed very angry at Axton about something.
"You need to back off your drunk and dont know what you're talking about."
"Bullshit, drunk or not I know what's right or wrong, and you are very much in the wrong!! How long do you plan to keep this up?!"
"I said that's enough! We can talk about this when you're sober!"
"No! You dont get it!! Kade probably already knows what she is! This entire plan of yours failed! It's pointless to keep this a secret from evony any longer!"
Dread started to run through my body as I listened in more to their argument.
".... I planned to-"
"Planned to what?! You are just being a coward! Unless you want to lose her and end up like alpha Nathaniel you need to tell her! She deserves to know you're her mate!!!"
My heart stopped as my racing thoughts halted. what...
"That's enough!" Axton snarled at I stumbled back, out of my hiding spot looking at both of them.
I couldn't form words much less thoughts. I was in complete shock and could feel a tight pain in my chest. How was this possible?
Ethan noticed me first and his drunken anger turned to horror as he stared at me. Axton noticed his gaze and followed it until his eyes landed on me. He paled and didnt say a word as he looked at me.
My heart started to race as everything started to make sense now. Reality came crashing down on me as their stares felt like they were burning holes into my very soul. Shaking my head I turned away and ran.
Both of them called after me as I ran into the forest ignoring their cries. My vision became blurry as tears flooded my vision. How did this happen? How did I not notice ot sooner? When, when did he realize?
Memories of the first night we met in the cottage flooded my mind, he had acted strangely towards me that night. Had he known this entire time?....of course he did.
Rage started to bubble up inside of me as I continued to run further and further into the forest the only source of light was the moon. I was angry not at him but at myself, how could I have not noticed, the signs were all there. Every look, every word, every touch, every feeling I felt made it so painfully obvious but I was to blind to see it! How did I not see it?! Was it because I had no wolf? Was that why I never noticed the signs. My father... He was the one that did this to me. He beat me and my wolf into submission forcing us into such a deep hole that we couldn't see the light anymore, it was all darkness.
My running slowed to a jog before I collapsed to my knees. My dress was torn from twigs and branches catching on it and small scratches covered my arms and legs. Looking at my arm, I watched as the small scratches disappeared right before my eyes.
What now. What do I do? I couldn't conjure up any logical plan or action that I could take. How am I supposed to react?! Am I so broken that I don't even know what to do anymore?! Looking up I started at the full moon, shining through the clouds. I could see my breath in the cold, as a light breeze caused a shiver to run down my spine. Closing my eyes I focused on the cold, embracing it, feeling it as my mind started to clear.
Noticing something wet touching my skin I opened my eyes and looked down, there was nothing? I started for a moment longer, until something caught my eye. A small white speck floating down from the sky, landing on my skin before melting away.
The first snow of winter. I watched as more tiny white specks continued to fall before me melting away as soon as they touch the ground. It was peaceful.
The snap of a branch nearby drew my attention away, and I looked up just in time to see something flying right at me.
The thing hit me hard, knocking me back and pinning me to the ground. My skin started to burn from the contact and I cried out in pain, struggling to get it off of me. Opening my eyes I could see clearly, the silver-lined mesh of the net. A man dressed in gear with a rifle in hand stepped out of the treeline, heading straight for me. A hunter. I started to struggle more as the silver continued to burn my skin and weaken me. It felt like my body was on fire and I cried out again in pain.
The hunter lifted his rifle to take aim at me and I watched in horror. A snarl grabbed his attention as Axton jumped out of the bushes in wolf form biting down on the man's arm making him drop the weapon, a gunshot went off as the man screamed, the black beast tearing him apart. I cringed gritting my teeth, listening as my skin sizzled under the touch of silver.
Seconds later the net was pulled off of me and the cold night are chilled my burned skin as it started to heal.
Looking up my eyes met axtons golden ones and I could already tell it was his wolf who was in control. I stared at him in awe, as if seeing him for the first time, and he did the same. It felt as if we were meeting eachother for the first time.
A strange feeling washed over me as an unfamiliar voice spoke inside my head.
My heart stopped as another gunshot went off...