I Dare You (#2) *COMPLETE*

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Chapter 13

Chapter 13

Violet's POV

I squeezed my eyes shut tightly as my mother's pack began to loom on the horizon - I knew this trail like the back of my hand. Many times over the years I had headed this way, wanted to reconnect with my brother but also wanting to come face to face with my parents, the people who had killed my mate for nothing more than vanity and pride.

Khaos had never harmed them, even though he had the opportunity to - that alone should have been enough proof they needed that the rumours about him did not hold enough merit to be true. The Khaos that people used to whisper about would have slit their throats at the earliest opportunity and not shown an ounce of remorse about it. Yes, he had burned down some of the pack in a display of power but no one had been harmed who hadn't harmed one of his men first. He had come to collect me and The Atlantis pack had been the ones to strike first, all Khaos had done was protect his men whilst looking for his mate. I don't know a werewolf out there that wouldn't have done the same thing

I knew Khaos was not perfect, he had done some cruel and despicable things in his time but he was not a stone-cold killer and did not deserve to be murdered as such. It amazed me that my parents could not see the hypocrisy in their words. Not that I should have been surprised really, my mother would have done anything to protect her perfect image and it didn't matter how true rumours were, reputation was everything to her.

She lived her life with her head in the sand. My father should never have indulged her so much for nothing lasts forever, certainly not the eternal beauty she prided herself on. Eventually, she would lose that too and then where would she be?

"You're doing it again," Khaos told me in a low voice

"Doing what?"

"Grinding your teeth. What's going on in that pretty little head of yours?"

"I think it's pretty obvious. I can't believe you're so calm considering where we're pulling up to"

"Let's hope the shock of seeing me alive sends them both to an early grave and save me a job" he laughed, pulling the car to a stop outside of the packhouse

"You're not funny." I scowled, swallowing down the lump in my throat. "Maybe we should have called first?"

"What, and give them time to sharpen their knives and pitchforks? I like our odds better this way. Come on, let's go and knock."

He climbed out of the car and opened the door for Eros to jump out. I was pleased to note that Eros immediately grabbed hold of Khaos hand and held it tight as he tried to hide behind his legs with nerves. During the car ride here we had explained to him that we were visiting some old family of mine and that he was about to meet my brother and his uncle. We hated lying to him and so as much as possible we tried to tell him the truth and hope that he would one day appreciate we had been as honest as possible whilst still trying to protect him. We knew that eventually, he would find out our exact reasons for being here and who Khaos was but for now, we wanted to keep his word as innocent and pure as possible.

I took a deep, calming breath and joined them on the driveway, walking up to the door that haunted my nightmares as I remembered my last few hours with Khaos.

"Violet?" came a voice from behind us. "Is that you?" We all spun around, watching the handsome man approach us. Junior ran to me and picked me up, spinning me around in his arms in undisguised surprise and pleasure. "I can't believe after all these years you are here!"

"It's not through a personal choice, Junior, but I think you already know that." He looked haunted by my choice words but nodded his head in agreement. We had both been victims that night and Junior's handsome face still bore the scars of the savage beating that he had endured to free me from the dungeons.

Khaos cleared his throat behind us and I watched with a sort of wry amusement as Juniors face paled more than I ever thought was possible and his hands began to shake. "Is that...? It cant be..." he breathed, never taking his eyes off Khaos as he extended his hand to him

"It is and he is. It's a long story, one that I would rather not discuss in front of little ears" I murmured, discreetly nodding my head in the direction of my child. I laughed out loud as I saw Juniors eyes widen even further.

"I would know who you are a mile away!" he smiled, crouching down to become eye level with Eros. "You're far too like your daddy to mistake you."

This wasn't true. The only resemblance Eros held to his father was his dark hair and eyes, otherwise, his features were all my own. I had often been thankful for this moment over the years, not wanting to see a miniature Khaos wandering around, but I was never more thankful than in this moment. Our lives would have been increasingly more difficult if Khaos and Eros were to look alike. The situation made my own head hurt, I couldn't imagine what this would do to a child.

"You knew my daddy?" Eros beamed, immediately becoming friends with my brother now that he had found out that they had something in common.

"Not well, but we met once or twice."

"Do you know how he died?" All three of us fell into a stunned silence the moment the words fell from my son's lips. I jumped in, stumbling over my words. "You know how he died, baby. I told you, remember?"

"You told me he died before I was born and that he was attacked by rogues, but that's not what Grandad said"

Khaos looked absolutely strikes, Junior looked confused and I was just fighting back to hold back my tears. "What did Granddad tell you?" I asked, cupping his face in my hands

"He said that your mum and dad killed him because they hated him." Talk about being dumbstruck. I genuinely had no idea how to answer that question and the panic must have been evident in my eyes as Junior jumped to my rescue.

"That's a very grown-up question and it deserves a very grown-up answer, how about we all go inside and get comfortable and maybe I can get one of the omegas to bring you some cake and ice cream as a special treat, how does that sound?"

"Then you'll tell me about my daddy?"

"I'm sure when the time is right, your mummy will tell you everything - although we need to remember that it is a very sad subject and sometimes mummy might find it difficult to talk about. Hey, I forgot to tell you" he said, a smile breaking across his face. "I have a little boy almost the same age as you, how about I bring him in to share cake and ice cream whilst me and your mum catch up? How does that sound? Just think, as the oldest one you're going to be the one in charge, a little mini alpha, how fun will that be?"

I mouthed a silent "thank you" to my brother as Eros gave a shout of delight and stood up straighter, puffing out his chest the way he saw Grey do when he was trying to be dominant. Junior inclined his head to me in acknowledgement and called to his mate over their bond to bring their son over whilst leading us towards the house and into the main sitting room.

"Kyle will be here soon," Junior told Eros once he came back from the kitchen with the promised snack and settled him in the far corner that was stuffed with toys but still in my eyesight. I think Junior knew that there wasn't a chance in Hell I was about to let Eros go roaming anywhere in these pack lands without me nearby.

"Right you two," Junior ordered, his voice low enough for Eros not to hear but also displaying an Alpha tone that I hadn't been expecting. "I think its time you both explained what the fuck is going on here and why I have a dead man sitting on my sofa?"

Junior let out a huge breath when we finished telling our story and looked at us with suspicion - I can't say that I blamed him, it sounded ridiculous to my own ears and I was living it! He looked towards the two boys that were playing together on the other side of the room and his eyes misted over for a brief moment before he brought a barrier down on his face and stared at us with a blank expression.
"I cannot explain how sorry I am for what happened that night. Jenny and I... we were close to leaving this pack for good, it took a long time before I was able to stand being in the same room as our parents again." His mate held his hand and smiled sadly at us, with a small infant cradled in her arms. I could sense the wolf in him ready to come to life, meaning he must be close to his first birthday. My brother had been busy in my absence and I was slightly hurt that I had not been informed about the birth of my two nephews, even though I knew it was ridiculous to feel this way.
Jenny had brought Kyle in just as we began our story and had screamed the moment she saw us, looking as though she had seen a ghost, which I suppose in a way she had. She managed to disguise this off as excitement when Kyle became scared and wrapped me in a huge hug but she had yet to touch Khaos in any way, not even to shake his hand and I knew this hurt him though he would never admit it.
Kyle and Eros had hit things off immediately and I envied them. Children were so simple with their friendships and so easy and truthful with their feelings, there were no lies and manipulation.
"Speaking of our parents, where are they?" I asked, praying that they were not due back any time soon.
"Wow. You really did disown them didn't you?" Junior asked, shaking his head sadly. "Don't get me wrong, I don't blame you. I would have done the same thing but it takes a seriously pissed off wolf to sever a family bond to the extent that you have. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you but dad passed away a few years ago. You probably won't believe me but he was eaten away by guilt by what he had done to you both, especially losing you, Violet. You know you were always the apple of his eye. He was haunted by his dreams for years until one day he couldn't handle it any more and he killed himself."
My heart lurched at his words and I hated myself that I still cared enough to be even slightly affected by my father's death. I had spent years wishing for him to be killed in the same brutal way he had murdered Khaos but actually hearing he was no longer here hurt me in a way that I hadn't expected.
I cleared my throat to disguise what I was feeling and offered Junior a small smile. "I guess congratulations are in order, alpha Chris." In other packs, a strong Luna would rule on her own if she was to lose her Alpha mate and her eldest son would step up to the mark once she passed away or gave up the role to him, but I already knew this would not be the case in this pack. My mother wouldn't have wanted to have ruled alone - she was a trophy mate, not someone who could be relied upon to be at all efficient or capable.
"Thank you" he beamed, his chest puffing with pride.
"Where is she?" I didn't have to say who I was referring to, the way I spat my words was enough for him to know.
"Mother is... She's... I don't know how to explain her. You need to see for yourself. I can take you both to her rooms if you like?" He saw me glance at Eros. "You don't have to worry about him, Violet. Not now that I'm alpha. He'll be safe with Kyle and the nanny, I promise you. You don't want him to see mother the way she is right now."
He didn't say another word as he gestured for us to stand up and follow him, leading us down the familiar corridors towards the same rooms my mother had always occupied.
He threw open the doors and my mouth fell open when I saw what she had become.
Her platinum blonde hair that had always been her shining glory, her pride and joy was now dyed yellow and looked dry and awful as strands stuck out all over her head. She sat at her dressing table talking to herself as she applied her lipstick, getting it all over her teeth and chin as she discussed her plans for the day with whoever it was she was imagining she was with.
"My Chris is taking me out today, can you believe it? nearly 100 years we have been mated, though he constantly tells me I don't look any older than a human 21-year-old. Oh, he does flatter me, but don't I look particularly youthful today? Haven't I manage to capture what eludes most people? Am I not radiating youth and beauty?" she grinned at herself in the mirror and I had to clamp a hand over my mouth to stop me for gasping out loud
"She's mad," I whispered to Khaos, knowing that I sounded as horrified as I felt. Junior crossed the room, shouting out to our mother as he went.
"Mother, you look as radiant as always and you know it!" he planted a kiss on each of her cheeks as she blossomed at his words.
"Oooh, you! A charmer just like your father! I wish your sister would visit more often! She's always trying to run away from me, that one!"
Junior paused for a brief second. I had the feeling my mother wasn't half as mad as she was pretending to be as her face tensed at his hesitation, her eyes glowing with her anger and frustration for second before Junior recovered and played his part in her stupid game. "You know Violet, she'll come and visit when she's ready."
"Actually, I'm right here," I replied in a cold tone. "Sorry, I'm late mother. My mate and I were otherwise engaged." I grasped Khaos' hand and crossed the carpet towards her.
Her eyes flew open wide, her hands pressing against her cheeks so tightly that her lips were pursed as spit began to form and drip down her chin. She let out a noise that was impossible to disguise, almost sounding like an animal in distress, moments away from death. She shook her head, her air flailing wildly.
"No!" she shot out, her fingers digging into her cheeks and pulling down the skin until the whites of her eyes were exposed. She looked at Khaos and let out a sound of pure horror and terror and quickly looked my way again, all the while just repeating that one word: No, no, no.
"Aren't you happy to see us, mother?" I asked, knowing that I was pushing her buttons and being borderline cruel when clearly she was in a distressed state but no longer caring.
"This isn't happening, this isn't happening." she rocked backwards and forwards, covering her ears with her hands. I grabbed hold of her arms and pulled her hands away, forcing her to listen to what I had to say.
"What's the matter, you were just asking after me after all were you not? Or is it my mate that is having this effect on you - I can understand why, considering you watched your own mate kill him"
She burst free from my grasp, looking around the room in panic. A woman who I hadn't noticed until now, but recognised her as the pack Healer due to her uniform, rose from her seat in the corner and came over to try and calm my mother down.
My mother was too far gone to listen to reason. "They here!" she screamed to no one in particular. "They're here to finish what we started, I knew it, I knew it. I did! Come to kill me, they have. The devil has sent them to punish me, I know he has, just like he took Chris, I know it, I know it, I know it!"
When she began to harm herself, this is when we knew that we had to sedate her somehow. She clawed at her face, slicing open the skin under her sharp nails. Junior managed to drag her hand away but she simply grabbed a fistful of her own hair and pulled huge chunks out, straight from the root. The Healer and junior struggled to control her arms and Khaos took a step forward to try and help but my mother noticed his actions instantly and became even more wild and frantic as she thrashed to get away from them.
"Don't do this, junior! Please, don't let him take me. I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Please!" she sobbed, her voice cracking. Her strength seemed to zap away as her knees buckled from underneath her.
The Healer and Junior helped her cross the room to her bed and Khaos ushered me out of the room, muttering that perhaps we had done more harm here than good. I saw his point. My mother was clearly not well and I had no right to taunt her the way that I had done.

"Is she settled?" I asked, rising off the sofa when my brother came back down the stairs.
He nodded at me, shooting me a pained look. "She's sedated. Not every day is like this, she has good ones and bad ones - clearly today was a bad one. The Healer has no idea what is wrong with her, she's had every test known to us. She seems to live in the past but also in the present. She sees herself as the same beautiful wolf she always did, although we can all see she's no longer the same. She knows her age, she knows what year it is, but somehow she still thinks our father is alive, still pictures you and I years younger than we actually are. I've tried everything to help her but there's no getting through to her.
"You've just confirmed what I have been thinking for a while though - she's escaping into fantasy and living her pretend life. She clearly isn't seeing dad, you two have just confirmed that if she was to see a real ghost she would lose what little grip she still has left on sanity."
"Is there no way to snap her out of it?" Khaos asked in a low tone
"Who knows?" Junior shrugged. "maybe she's fooling us all, maybe she truly has some mental health issues. She's stumped our healers and doctors, the only thing we can do is medicate her on her more erratic days and try and make her as comfortable as possible. I know its probably not what you want to hear, I know how much the two of you hate her but I can't throw her out, not when she's like this. Despite what she did, I'm not that cruel, I won't repeat her mistakes."
"I understand, that's what will make you the best Alpha this pack could hope for." Khaos excused himself and left the room. I gave Junior a quick apology and followed after him, knowing that he was hurting.
I caught up with him on the driveway. "Hey you, talk to me, what's going on in that pretty little head of yours?" I smiled, repeating his earlier words as I linked my arm in his
"You know what this means for us, right? This was a wasted journey. If there's no way for me to confront the people that murdered me, there's no way for our plan to work."
I looked at the floor sadly. The same thought had already occurred to me.
"So where do we go from here?" I asked, feeling the same hopelessness tightening my heart once more.
"We leave. There's no point staying here any longer, your mother is already living a life of Hell in her own mind. I'm not going to cause her any more distress, I'm not a monster."
"And after we leave?"
"We go back to Grey. He holds more answers than he's letting on. It's our only hope. I'll let you say goodbye to your brother, I'm going to go and get Eros." He walked away from me and back into the house to make our goodbyes.
I wrapped my arms around myself and looked at the house I hoped never to see again. In the top window, I caught a glimpse of my mother as she stared out at me. I shivered, feeling unnerved by her. She nodded her head at me, a crazed look in her eyes. She spooked me, the way she remained so still and calm after the earlier episode I had witnessed. I turned my back on her and headed for the car to wait for Khaos to return, feeling her eyes burn into me the entire time.
As I got to the car, I couldn't help my eyes from wandering back up to her and I shivered once more. As ridiculous as it was, I got the feeling that she had seen the exact way this would all end and we were playing the game exactly as we should be. I felt the ghosts of the past stir the air around me, growing more frightened with every passing second. This pack held too many painful memories, was haunted by too many lies and deceit
I never thought I would say this, but the sooner we were out of her and back at the Blood Moon pack, the better.
I just hoped Plan B was more successful than this one, time was running out.
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