I grab Lyssa and motion for Vladimir to join me to the dungeons where the former Luna is being kept. I already warned Lyssa that given her pregnancy, she will not be allowed near her mother until we know she is mentally stable.
We reach the area and I motion for the guards to make way. I have Max and my Beta Nate with me just in case we need to subdue her quickly.
“Anastasia? Zhena love?” I hear Vladimir trying to speak to her.
She looks up at Vlad, but doesn’t move. I see Lyssa try to go towards her, but I grab her waist, letting her know that this is as close as she gets.
Time passes before I see a flicker in her eyes. I instinctively push Lyssa behind me in case she makes a move.
“Lyssa?” I hear her speaking as I feel Lyssa’s emotions through the bond.
“My Zhena, what happened to you?” Vlad tries to get closer. I nod that it’s okay as the guard tries to hold him back.
I see the former Luna slowly get up, looking between Lyssa and Vlad before she starts to cry.
“I’m so sorry for attacking you my love. I...I...didn’t know who you were. I tasted your blood and all these emotions and memories flooded back and I didn’t know who to trust anymore. Please forgive me..”
Vlad tries to step towards her, but Anastasia takes a step back, fear gripping at her.
“I don’t want to hurt you…” But Vlad goes in to embrace her as she hugs him and starts crying on his shoulder.
I slowly let Lyssa step to my side, but hold her from going any closer, growling at her to know I’m serious.
“Mama, what happened to you?”
Anastasia pauses, before she continues, “I had an accident. I was in the car trying to get groceries and another car hit me. My car was engulfed in flames and I felt another wolf pick me up and brought me to another pack. I smelled a familiar scent, but my memory was a bit of a mess. Victor confused me that he was my mate. So we lived together for about a year in that time. He was nice, Vlad, truly. He didn’t abuse me. Little did I know he had other plans…”
“But the bond! I felt a searing pain when the ring was brought to me! I thought you died Zhena..” Vladimir asks her.
Anastasia sniffles slightly, “yes he made me drink something. Said it was to help me heal. I felt a burning sensation, but didn’t recognize it for what it was until I tasted your blood and everything came back to me.”
“So is the mate bond between you broke?” I ask in confusion. I didn’t even think such a thing was possible.
“No” Anastasia replies. “It’s a plant-created burn that will cause pain to you and your beloved. It’s actually not as bad as the real pain you feel when your mate actually dies, but considering Vladimir’s state of mind in combination with the presentation of the ring, it was believable enough.”
I look up at her perplexed, before she answers my unspoken question, “I was a pack nurse. I didn’t know at the time when I drank the elixir...but again, with my memories flooding back, I recognized it immediately when I remembered what happened”
I nod. She then takes the time to look at me after I questioned her, and sees Lyssa by my side as Lyssa puts herself more in her view.
“Oh Lyssa honey. You look beautiful. And I gather this gentleman is your mate?” Lyssa nods, holding her belly before her mother’s eyes widen. “Oh and you’re with pup! Congratulations you two”
Lyssa looks at me, questioning if she can approach. I walk with her to her mother while I eye Anastasia, “slowly” I speak, as her mother gently grabs her daughter in a warm embrace.
“I am so sorry for the pain I have caused you both. But Vlad, thank you for saving my life, my memories, my everything.”
She walks over to him and hugs him, before she gently pushes him away with worry..”Vlad I sense you are unwell. What happened?”
I am bursting with joy at finally being able to see my mama and know that she is alive! She immediately recognizes my father’s frailing health so we take the time to explain what happened, how Damien was brought in to take over the pack, our plan with Max, and how Alexei will now be the new leader. She’s overjoyed at the transition before she begins to speak again.
“Vladimir. I can get you better you know. Having your mate near will help with your health. And I still remember the recipe to a concoction that requires my blood which will heal you. I’m sorry this is coming in late now that the pack will already have a new Alpha…”
She looks sadly at my papa, but he quickly responds back “My Zhena, Alexei will make a fine leader. I’m old and should be retired anyway. And gaining you back is the biggest, most important gain of my life. I’m not losing the pack, I’m simply transitioning it over. It is time.”
I smile, looking up to Damien as I grab his hand and bring him over to mama.
“Mama, this is Damien. The love of my life”
I see Damien shake her hand, but my mama pulls him in for a hug and I can’t help, but smile at the reunion of my family.
We bring mama out of the dungeons and have her properly looked at by a medic while she explains the ingredients she needs for my papa.
She lets me know that he should be at somewhat full health within the next few days or so. I bring Mara and Alexei over to see her as well and they are both overjoyed with seeing their former Luna again.
I leave my mama and papa together while I announce to everyone that the ceremony for Alpha transition will take place tomorrow. I assign a few of the pack members different roles to make sure the preparation will be taken care of before I grab Damien’s hand and lead him to our cabin.
“Princess...don’t you want to help with the ceremony?”
I smile at him as I grab his hand and lead him up the stairs. “I do my Alpha. But first, my wifely duties call” I smirk at him as I notice his eyes widen as he notices the lust in my eyes.