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Two months earlier
My feet crunched against the gravel path. The grass either side of the path swished to the soft breeze. The gorgeous sun glowed down onto the lake ahead of me. It was a beautiful sight.
To my right was an endless forest I had ventured through many times. I had been here multiple times with my family and close friends.
I knew this was a dream though. This dream had occurred several times. I always looked forward to it for one particular reason.
When I saw her long brown hair, dancing in the breeze, my heart stopped. She was wearing a gorgeous yellow sundress, the color glowing against her tanned skin.
There she was, as expected, swaying to the wind. I could imagine a smile on her face. A face I hadn’t seen before.
She giggled, the noise sounding so angelic and sweet. I had heard it so many times in this dream; yet, I never grew tired of it. I couldn’t. It was the sound I longed to hear in real life.
“Mi amore,” I said, speeding up. I knew I wouldn’t reach her in time, I knew we wouldn’t touch but it didn’t stop me from trying. I still had hope that I would see her face.
The girl started walking away from me, still laughing.
My fingers were inches from her back. I was so close. But she vanished into thin air, once again leaving me alone.
Every time she disappears, it hurts so much.
I collapsed onto the grass, staring at the spot she was in. I could smell her delicious vanilla scent. My wolf whined in my head, missing his mate.
She was gone. Again.
I awoke, startled.
Sweat dribbled down my forehead and clung to my nightclothes. I was panting from the dream, still half asleep. I could recall everything perfectly. The dream happened so often I could remember everything.
Sliding to the edge of my bed, I swung my legs over and rubbed my face, wiping away the remnants of the dream.
Recently, I had been having the dream more.
It all started one hundred years ago when I was still so young and stupid. I had fooled around with girls and killed anybody who crossed me. I was a mess. The first night I had the dream, I was confused. Though I couldn’t see the girl’s face, I bet she was gorgeous.
After the third time, I realized she was my mate. Dreaming about her gave me hope that I could find her.
I traveled the world for a while, hoping to find her. I never did. And then one night, when I was feeling hopeless and lonely, I got drunk and picked a fight with the wrong people. I remembered following them after the fight and then…killing.
Since then, I stopped searching and hoping. I would only get to experience my mate in my dreams. I would never be able to hold her, love her. She would always be inches from my grasp.
The only thing I wished for was to see her face. I had only ever seen her back. I had only heard her giggle. I didn’t know what she sounded like. I didn’t know if she had an accent if she spoke in a different language.
I wanted to know the color of her eyes, every contour of her face.
The sound of knocking disrupted me from my thoughts. From the scent that filtered through the door, I could deduce it was Layton, my older brother.
He stepped in, his green eyes immediately locking onto mine.
“Brother, I need you to go, Maine, they are having a small rogue problem,” He ordered, leaning against the doorway.
I sighed and nodded my head,” Of course. I’ll take Dexter and Marianne with me.”
They were my close friends. Aside from my family, they were the only people I trusted.
“Whilst you are there, can you stop by Leah’s? She hasn’t been checking in as often recently.” Layton informed me, earning a raised eyebrow from me. Leah left our pack shortly after her mate died. She wanted to be alone.
The town she was in was small. There wasn’t a werewolf pack close by, but she didn’t mind—or at least, that was what she told us on the phone. Since she was a Princess, she had to check in regularly.
“Of course, I’m sure she’d love to accommodate us,” I replied, sarcastically.
Layton snorted, crossing his arms over his chest.
“I will leave tomorrow,” I told him, standing up.
Layton looked pleased and glad. On closer observation, I realized he was stressed. Being King was tough—it was starting to take its toll on him. I felt bad for my older brother, he never wanted to be king.
Stress lines were visible on his face. There were heavy bags under his eyes. I wondered how well he was sleeping.
Luckily, he had his mate to help him. Alison was a lifesaver—she was his balance. Without her, he would spiral.
“Is there anything else I can do to help?” I asked, concerned.
He shook his head, loosening a breath. The suit he was wearing fitted him tightly, too tightly. “Unless you want to sit in several meetings today then no.”
“Well you know I’m always here if you need me.” I reminded him.
“I must go now brother; I’ll see you at dinner tonight.” He said and sped out of the room.
After showering and changing, I made my way to the dining room, where breakfast had been set up. Dexter was the only person present. Everybody else had probably already eaten.
“Mornin’,” Dexter greeted me, stuffing his face with toast.
I grimaced, averting my eyes to the table. “Layton needs us to travel to Maine tomorrow.”
Dexter swallowed the food in his mouth and wiped his mouth with a napkin. His brown eyes bored into mine. We had known each other for just under a hundred years. He was my closest friend and ally.
“What’s going on in Maine? You bother another poor girl?” He joked.
I sent him a playful glare. We both knew I hadn’t looked at another girl in a long time. The days of chasing other girls were gone. I wanted to wait for my beautiful mate. Even though I believed I would never meet her, I still held hope. I used that hope to help me wait for her.
“The pack there are having a small rogue problem. We need to sort it out for them.” I said, nonchalantly. “After we sorted it out, we can visit Leah. Layton’s starting to worry about her.”
Dexter chewed on his bottom lip. “We’re all worried about her. She’s not the same anymore.”
Silence fell between us after that. I thought about my beloved older sister, who had tragically lost her mate a week after meeting him. Most mates couldn’t survive losing their other half, they usually died. Leah and Preston met at a ball his family was hosting in England. They spent the week together, getting to know each other.
He was murdered at his home one night when Leah was out. She came back to his apartment to find him lying in his own blood. We never found out who killed him, but we knew it had to do with our status. Mates were sacred to every wolf, especially to us. If you killed our mates, we were weakened.
Leah spent seven months holed up in her room, avoiding the outside world. Our stubborn mother was the person who forced her to get back into the real world.
Leah decided to live somewhere quiet. She moved to Stowe in Vermont. It was a small town surrounded by a forest. Since there was only a small pack there who were loyal to the crown, it was a good place for her to live. The pack accepted her; allowed her to have the freedom she wanted to live a normal, mundane life.
The last time we spoke was three years ago. There was an incident in the library she worked at—a young girl was attacked by a rogue. She saved her.
“If you see Marianne, tell her to pack for a few months. I don’t know how long this mission will be,” I ordered him.
He pursed his lips, “Hopefully not too long. I don’t want to be forgotten.”
I rolled my eyes at my best friends’ antics. He could be such a drama queen.
Later that evening, we all crowded around the large dining table. Layton sat at the head of the table, with Alison sitting opposite him. I sat beside Layton, opposite my father. Dexter, Marianne, and to my utter displeasure, Raegan joined us. The staff had prepared a three-course meal as a farewell gift. They always did it whenever one of us left for an indefinite period of time.
We were laughing at something my mother had said to Dexter. The two of them got along very well.
Unfortunately, Raegan was sat beside me. Her hand kept wandering to my leg. The number of times I had to swat her away was unfathomable. And we hadn’t even started the main course yet!
Marianne, the observant, saw my distress and attempted to distract her younger sister. They didn’t get along very well. After their mother and brother died, they drifted apart.
“I want to give you a going-away present,” Raegan’s sultry voice startled me. She was leaning in so close to me, I could feel her body pressed up against my own. It made me feel so uncomfortable. I wanted to push her away and snap at her. But doing that here would not be a good idea. This was a formal meal with my family. So instead, I gritted my teeth until it was painful and glowered at her.
“Raegan, I have told you plenty of times, it’s never going to happen again. I don’t want you,” I hissed, keeping my voice low. I glanced out of the corner of my eye, making sure my family isn’t paying attention to me.
Raegan pouted. “You do though. I know you do.” She still didn’t register my words clearly.
Raegan has been obsessed with me for years. Decades in fact. I never realized how deep her infatuation ran until it was too late. She’d like to think we dated but we didn’t. It was merely a friends with benefits type of thing. I used her.
If I could turn back time, I would have never given her hope.
“Raegan,” I sneered, yanking my arms free from her claws. Thankfully, my parents were having a deep conversation with Layton. “You need to leave me alone. I mean it. I don’t want you. I will never want you again. The only person I want is my mate.”
Hurt crossed her crystal blue eyes. She avoided eye contact and stared at the table sadly. I should have felt guilty for acting so rude towards her, but I couldn’t. I had to tell her, bluntly apparently. She wouldn’t have backed down.
She jolted to her feet, causing quite the commotion. All eyes turned to her in curiosity.
“Raegan, what’s wrong?” My mother questioned Raegan in worry.
Raegan sniffled, her eyes watering. I’m sure everybody knew what was wrong with her. My mother would work it out quickly.
“I’m sorry, I’m not feeling very well. You’ll have to excuse me, your majesty,” She mumbled, refusing to meet any of our eyes. My mother—Liberty Ward—sent her a warm smile. She was always very fond of Raegan, even though she knew about Raegan’s obsession. She saw her as a niece.
“Oh, well I hope you get better sweetie,” She replied, kindly.
Raegan nodded her head and rushed out of the room, her platinum blonde hair bouncing on the back.
After that, the meal was tenser. I left earlier than usual, wanting to pack for my long trip tomorrow. Dexter and Marianne excused themselves as well, opting to join me for one drink together as a trio.
We all sat in my own lounge, a scotch in our hands.
“Mate, tapping that was the worst thing you ever did,” Dexter teased, earning an icy cold look from Marianne. She might not be favor Raegan, but she hated people talking about her in a demeaning way.
I sunk further into my couch, “How do I make her understand I don’t want her?”
“I think she will back off when you find your mate.” Marianne offered, flickering her similar blue eyes to me.
I snorted. Marianne underestimated her sister’s obsession. She thought my ‘relationship’ with her sister was like any other human one. She didn’t know how deep Raegan got.
“We all know I’m never going to find my mate,” I told them, not bothering to hide the misery in my voice.
Dexter was the first to protest, “Don’t say that, mate. All wolves have mates—even you. You will meet her,” He promised, sounding so sure I nearly believed him.
Nobody knew about the dreams. They would try to twist what I saw and convince me they weren’t real. I knew they were real. I knew the girl in my dreams was my mate. Nobody could take that away from me.
“After what I’ve done, no girl will ever want to be with me,” I spoke, revealing one of my insecurities.
Dexter wasn’t present through my dark times, but he had heard about them. Everybody knew about them.
I was a lethal weapon—a force to be reckoned with. I was a terrible person who slaughtered so many people just because I could.
“You’re not that person now, Lazarus,” Marianne assured me, softly. “Any girl would be lucky to be with you.”
We held eye contact.
“God, get a room,” Dexter joked, groaning.
Marianne, the closest to him, slapped him on the chest, earning a grunt from Dexter.
“Ouch,” He protested, weakly. “That hurt.”
Marianne shrugged her shoulders, leaning back into the couch. She didn’t look sorry at all. “That’s what you get for being a clown.”
Dexter rubbed his heart, pretending to be wounded. “A clown? Me? Please, I’m more like a comedian.”
Marianne rolled her eyes whilst I hid a laugh through a cough. The tension lightened, being replaced with something nicer. Dexter could always make things feel better. Most of the time he did it unintentionally, not aware of what he was doing.
“You might not wear the costume or make-up but at heart, you are a clown.” Marianne retorted, snottily.
Dexter narrowed his eyes. “Some friend you are.”
“Who said we were friends?”
Marianne was egging Dexter on. It was a shame Dexter couldn’t see it too.
“Dexter,” I warned, shuffling forwards. “She’s trying to get a reaction out of you. Control yourself, man.”
Dexter huffed and dashed to his feet. Instead of attacking Marianne, which we thought he was going to do, he moved towards the window instead and stared ahead at the grounds.
“You are one sly b*tch, Marianne,” Dexter eventually said. Marianne replied with a smirk.
“It must run in the family,” Marianne responded.
We all laughed at that. There was no denying that.
Thank you so much for reading! What do you think of this in in a different POV? I hope you enjoyed this chapter! My next update will probably be Sunday (when I get back from my holiday).