14 - Rehab
3 years ago.
Luna Vashti's screams echoed through the walls of the packhouse as her husband's fists came flying down on her son's face.
"Release him this instant, Darren!" She shouted at him and tugged at his arm.
"I will not tolerate this behavior, mate. He is a disgrace to our family's name!"
Another blow struck Lester's face making his lips bleed. He could barely throw a punch back at his father. His eye was swollen and he had no will left in him.
Luna Vashti started weeping. She knew she could not do anything more to protect him.
Her three other sons stood stiffly across them, watching their older brother get beaten. She had begged them earlier to interfere but they declined not because of fear from their father's wrath, but because their brother had deserved it.
"Rule number one, the pack goes above all else! If Donovan had not been that forgiving, this territory would have already burned to the ground!" Darren gripped the hems of his shirt and shook him, "What the fuck is wrong with you, boy?"
"I love her."
The sound of Vashti's hand meeting his cheek sliced into the air.
She gasped, not believing what she just did. She loved him deeply that it felt so unnatural to slap him like that. It was pure instinct.
"How could you?" His mother whispered.Lester gave her a bitter laugh.
"How could I not? She was everything I nee--"
His eyes widened as she gave him another slap. This time, she knew she wanted to do it.
"You are indeed a disgrace. I have never been so disappointed," she stated with tears in her eyes.
Her words felt like daggers. He never expected that his good and calm-natured mom could say something so hurtful to him.
"You have a mate out there who is waiting for you. And while you may not love her as much as that girl, she's out there expecting you to be the one she needed. You're undeserving of her."
Lester sensed his mom step back in thought. She was blaming herself of what was happening.
Did she lack in mothering her child? She taught him everything he needed to know. She had disciplined him and nurtured him to be a fine young man. Where did she go wrong?
"Mom, I'm sorry. Please I--" He held out his hand to her but she shook her head and ran to her room, crying.
"Look what you've done now, boy," his father growled at him and shoved him to the side.
"I didn't mean to upset her like that."
"But you did. Have you ever thought about anyone else but yourself, boy?"
He stood there, silent. He knew how selfish he acted. It was no use answering his father. It would only start another argument.
"I have loved your mother more than anyone else but you don't see me neglecting the pack," he eyed him, "You need to practice self-control and discipline."
His head hung low and he averted his father and brothers' gazes. He felt incompetent and undeserving to be alpha. His actions were immature and reckless.
"I understand. I'll accept you revoking my title as alpha. I'm sure one of my brothers will suit it better."
"Father, we could never take it from him."
"Silence," their wolves submitted at the alpha tone their father used, "Revoking his title will be temporary."
Lester's head snapped up to him. Disbelief written across his face.
What was his father talking about? What did he mean? Just a few hours ago, he threatened banishing him and disowning him.
"Thank the Goddess the alpha summit is coming up. You'll spend a month there with no contact from us. Think of it as a rehab period," his father smirked.
"And for the love of Goddess, don't come back 'til you've cured your ignorance and immaturity. I don't want to ever see your face with another girl again. I'll give you an hour to leave before I banish you for good."
In that given hour, Lester managed to pack everything he thought he needed for the journey. He didn't have the time to go against his father's choice or doubt it. His mother was right. As of the moment, he was a disappointment but that will soon change. He'll have to prove it to her once he comes back.
He was done sulking and withering away. Once the van was ready to take him, he quickly boarded it. His father didn't give him the chance to say goodbye to his mother. His brothers simply nodded at him and wished him luck.
"I'll leave it all to you, Matt."
"I got you. Reserve a girlie for me, will you?"
"It's a summit, not a mating ceremony. Idiot," he chuckled and shut the door of the car close.
The van arrived at the airport shortly. The designated driver dropped off his belongings and he started rolling them towards the main entrance.
The summit was an 18-hour flight away from the country. It was somewhere in the eastern part of the world, in a secluded island held only once a year for a whole month. Alphas from all over the world would meet to be trained by elders. It seemed like luck was on his side since it would start out in three days.
He got to the front desk, bought a ticket and strode towards the waiting area. It was not long when his flight was called.
When he found his seat, he automatically leaned his head back and tried to get comfortable. He needed as much rest as he can get knowing his wolf would act uneasy trapped in such a small space for a long amount of time.
His week has been hell. Everything didn't seem okay at all but he was determined to return home worthy of his title.
He'll make his mother and father proud again. He'll come back stronger and wiser. Most importantly, he'll come back a changed man, someone who is worthy of his real mate.
When he makes his return, he won't just be Alpha Grey. He'll be the strongest Alpha Lester Grey of the powerful and wealthy Silver Pack.
"I can feel your wolf stirring," Xam held his hand, "What's wrong? Is it rogues?"
Her senses were fine despite having a dormant wolf but it was nothing compared to his mate's fully active one. Maybe he noticed something she couldn't.
She looked out on the window, searching for something unusual hiding in the forest alongside the road they were travelling on.
After having lunch, they were all set and ready to venture to the second pack house her mate had informed her about. She was fascinated at how the Greys managed their people and lands. It peaked her interests and fueled her excitement to travel and see it for herself.
"Nothing. We're safe, love. I was just thinking about my parents."
"Are you having second thoughts? We can always turn around," she offered and bit her lip.
"Babe, I'm a hundred percent sure about this."
"So what are you fretting about?"
She heard him sigh and shook his head. She didn't want to push him so she let him be.
A comfortable silence wrapped around them for a few more hours. Grey wasn't kidding when he told her it was a long journey to the pack house but it didn't bother her.
"Is it like our home?" She asked out of nowhere.
"You know, the second pack house? Is it like our house?" Her eyes twinkled with curiosity.
Grey couldn't help but smile at his little mate. She was settling in faster than he had expected. She was now calling his house their home.
"No. Pack houses are supposed to cater pack members. I renovated ours because I wanted some privacy when I find my mate and make pups," he wiggled his brows at her and smirked.
Xam squinted her eyes at him and frowned despite the blood rushing in her cheeks.
That explained why the other rooms were untouched.
Back at home, it always felt so lively. The maids and cooks were always busy. The children and adults always had something to chatter about. It seemed like everything and everyone around her were in constant motion.
Grey's house was different. It was empty and silent but it held peace and the calmness she yearned for. She wouldn't trade it for a busy pack house but she could not deny that she missed her former home too.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
"I was just thinking about Raven Black. The pack house always felt so busy, it's exhausting," she shared.
"But I can't help miss it."
Grey leaned over to her and planted a kiss on her lips.
"We'll have to plan a visit soon then."
Before she could reply, the car halted in front of enormous silver gates. Pack members who opened them were wearing thick gloves, very carefully pushing it. Guards stood blocking their path and only moving away after Grey rolled down his window.
"I didn't know it was actual silver!" She looked at him in shock.
"Do you like it? I was the one who suggested it. The gates back at home are just painted silver but here, they're real. Extra precaution since I don't really live here," he shrugged like it was nothing.
Her mate once again proved that he was filthy rich and wise too. The more she got to know him, the more perfect he proves himself to be. Who could've ever thought of having silver gates? What's next, copper to ward off the vampires? Black salt to ward off evil witches?
She internally cringed at that last thought.
"Fuck, this is it."
He looked at her dead in the eye and gripped her shoulders.
"Listen, my parents are very.... intense. They can be overwhelming but I promise you they're great. I just need to patch up our past issues and then we're good," he tried reassuring her but he could feel her fidgeting under his hold.
"What do you mean? Why bring me here when you have issues to solve? Why didn't you clear it up before we came here?"
The information made her feel dizzy and she tried leveling her breaths.
"I'm sorry, baby but I wanted them to meet you as soon as possible. Is it a crime to show off my mate to my family?"
His words calmed her nerves a little and made her smile. She was an idiot for his sweet talk. Someday, he might use it to his advantage and she'll gladly fall victim.
"Fine. Let's introduce ourselves, shall we?"
Grey kissed her once more and got out of the car, offering his hand for her to take. Xam gladly took it and stepped outside.Before they could even make their presence known, a thunderous growl erupted.
"You fucking bastard! What did I tell you about bringing a girl!?"
In seconds, Darren was in front of his son, landing a punch to his face.
Xam's body trembled as she took in the scene infront of her. Her mate was willingly taking punches from an older man who looked like him. His nose started bleeding and his lips were a few punches away from busting. An older woman who had the same hair as him was pulling them away from each other and three other boys who shared similar features ran towards them to help the woman.
The dizziness was back and she felt like she wanted to puke and cry and just have the earth swallow her alive.
Why were they hurting him? What the hell was going on?
She heard her mate's beautiful voice shout before she fell unconscious.