Chapter 45: Mourning
E V E R E T T
"Everett," she whispers, my heart cracking at the exact time. I can't even breathe another, the mate bond waning like it had before, and my heart going with it. "I'll be okay. I love you." I love you too, little one. And I'll save you. I promised I would protect you and I will. It's not over. I can still protect you. Please.
When I see the blankness wash over her eyes and our bond smash to pieces once again, my rage takes over. Over everything, my sense of duty, of faith, of composure. This uncontrollable rage that makes me shift faster than ever before. I thrash through enemy wolves, not caring who it is as long as they are one of the wolves who played a part in killing my beautiful innocent Luna. My Aurora.
I can't lose her. I can't. I love her too much that everything hurts now that she's not here. I can't live without her.
Wolf after wolf after wolf. I can't stop myself. Slashing and clawing and biting and tearing their fur and their necks. All in justice for my mate. My dead mate. My little Aurora. My warrior wolves join in, tearing at enemy wolves left and right, along with our allied packs.
"Alpha!" Ace yells, but I completely ignore him, blinded by my anger and need for vengeance. "Alpha, I don't think Rory's dead!" he shouts across to me. And my rage eases slightly at the mention of my mate and the fact he thinks she's not dead. But the bond has broken. That's how I know she's dead. When she died before, it broke like this, it shattered.
I growl at Ace for even giving me the slightest hope and continue, trying to get to my mate's executioner, Luna Victoria. And of course, Alpha Nickolas. I promised Aurora I would protect her from them, I would keep her safe. I told her she would be by my side, safe, that they wouldn't dare hurt her with me. But they did. And they didn't just hurt her, they killed her. My Aurora.
I pounce on Alpha Nickolas, ready to tear his throat out, until Ace yells once again.
"Alpha! Stop! She's-" Before he can even finish, a tiny almost inaudible gasp arises from the once lifeless body of my mate. And a connection is reestablished, again. And I feel her. I feel her soul again, interlocking with mine. I hear her little heart beat. And then a scream. A piercing scream before she passes out.
And everyone else heard it too. And they stop. They're stunned into shock, as am I. I drop Alpha Nickolas on the ground and rush to her. Her chest rising and falling now, little breaths escaping her, her pulse healthy and regular. And I can't find a wound. I can't find the stab wound. I saw Luna Victoria do it. We all did. She stabbed her. So where is the wound? How can my little mate be alive? How did Ace know? How is any of this possible?
I lift her into my arms, hugging her petite body towards me and storm off, needing to protect her properly this time. I get in my car and drive. Back to the pack, back where we're safe. Or safer. The pack members in the clearing all mind-link me, informing me that they're coming back too, along with the Alphas and pack members of our seven ally packs.
Constantly, throughout the entire drive, my eyes flicker to her, still trying to make sure she's real and that she's really alive. Once we get her, I ignore all the staring and horrified faces of the pack, most probably told by Ace or Lucius what has happened, and the fact they felt their ties to their Luna break. I just focus on my exhausted mate in my arms. I dash up to our room and lay her down on the bed, feeling her temperature and pulse and listening out for her breathing. But she seems fine. Completely fine, after dying.
I don't understand any of this. But why did Ace know? He knew at the hospital when she was hit by that car. He knew something. He knew that she would live. How did he know? What did he actually know?
And at that, Ace and Lucius come barreling into the room with concerned and shocked expressions plastered over their faces. I march over to Ace, grabbing his neck and shoving him back against the wall.
"What the fuck do you know that I don't?" I growl, searching his face for answers even.
"Alpha, I didn't know anything. It was just a feeling," he struggles to say, trying to breathe. I drop him so he can speak and he just sighs, taking a seat in the armchair in the corner. "Alpha... she... something happened that time we were out in rogue territory. And it was strange. She... she's not a very good liar. In fact, for a girl who has told many lies since she's been here, she's quite awful at it."
"Stop insulting my mate and tell me what you know," I grunt, restraining myself from just torturing it out of him. He may be my Gamma but he knows something about my Luna that he's kept from me.
"When we were out there, I don't really know what happened. I rationalized it as falling asleep and dreaming it up, and Rory lied and supported that. I thought it couldn't possibly be real because I was shot, by a hunter, with a wolfsbane bullet, which is why I thought it was a dream."
"You'd be dead if that happened," I say.
"Yes, I would. But I think my dream actually happened. When I got shot, Rory helped me get away and we went further into rogue territory. Then we ran into a group of rogues. I thought she and I needed protection, but something happened. She... took control. They didn't want to hurt her, and she knew that too. She knew they wouldn't hurt her, even though they wanted to tear me apart. And they told her the direction back to the pack. And she helped me to try and get there. And we were talking. But I was dying and I couldn't go on much further and I think I almost died. But she somehow saved me. She might be a witch or something. I don't have a wound and I should have died. But I didn't. Then I woke up, and saw Rory passed out and I thought maybe we had just taken a break, although I thought that would be incredibly thoughtless of me, to sleep out in rogue territory. But Rory agreed. But then she repeated something I said in the dream, something I remembered telling her, and I knew something was strange. I don't know what she is, but she's been lying to you. I don't think she really knows either. But that's why I was following her before, not because I had a crush on her, but because she's a mystery. Your human, perhaps, clumsy, maybe fake, mate."
"Why didn't you tell me if this is true?"
"Because I didn't know whether it was true. But she got run over and the doctor said she would be paralyzed. But, a few days, her legs are just broken. I still didn't know."
"Aurora isn't faking being clumsy, it's not even possible to fake being that clumsy," I state.
"Exactly, how can anyone be that clumsy?" he questions skeptically.
"She's bad at lying. She's not a fake."
"Maybe she's faking being bad at lying," Lucius pitches in. I walk back over to my innocent little mate and stroke her cheek. When they find their mates, they'll know why Aurora can't be a fake. I just know. I know her. We're bonded.
"She's my mate and your Luna and she is not a fake," I state adamantly. "Even if I didn't know that to be true, it's incredibly hard to fake being that level of innocent and sweet. And she doesn't force anything."
"You're right. I was watching her and she was as pure as anyone could be. She could easily slip up when she thought no one was watching. And yet, she was still clumsy and cute. But I'm not sure what she is."
"She's not a what," I growl. "And whoever she is, she's still the Luna of this pack and you all will protect her."
I knew she was keeping something from me. I just didn't know it was this big. But I love her, despite anything that happens or has happened. And I know her. I know what's in her heart. She's strong and brave and innocent and benevolent. She's an amazing Luna, even if she is human and not as physically strong as everyone else in the pack. But dying and coming back to life? That's definitely not a weak trait. I'm not sure what any of this means but I know that I will always love her.
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