My breathing became rapid as worry sank its teeth into me. Why did It feel so ominous in here all of a sudden. The thought of Caroline made me shiver like someone just walked over my grave.
The thing with Caroline is.... that- I can't read her! I can feel her hatred towards me, I can sense the disgust and distaste she feels towards me. Her enjoyment of my anguish and pain but beyond that I can not read her!! And it frustrates me so much!
She hates me, yes!
Because of Nathaniel?
Each second drags, my irritation levels are peeked and I've never felt so impatient in all my days. The sound of the grandfather clock that sits by the entrance grates on me, ticking away my patience, ticking and tearing down my walls, ticking away at my resolve until I feel frantic, almost crazy with worry and fear.
What could be taking so long?
Each tick is like a countdown to a explosive, I am the bomb my thoughts are the kindling and apparently Caroline is the ignition.
Or is it the other way around, I know I feel like I could explode right now but I also have a dark feeling creeping into me with every tick of that dammed Grandfather clock, and the explosion that going to really do damage is Caroline...
That clock!! Its taunting me...
Tick, times running out, tick, you are too weak, tick tick, you are unworthy, tick tick tick, your such an idiot, tick tick tick, stop fooling yourself.
My weaknesses were clawing at my mind, rearing their ugly head. I know I'm not the worst, I've always had some confidence in myself. Not overly more like just scaping by but now...
Add in an abusive cheating mate, who dropped you like a hot potatoe and yes I can say my self confidence took a major hit. Who's wouldn't, especially given the fact we were mated, naturally drawn to each other. That bond and its pull wasn't even strong enough to keep him happy, to make him desire and care for me. That kind of rejection hit hard and deeply to my inner confidence.
I hate the fact that Atreus is with her now. I hate it more than I did when I knew she was fucking Nathaniel.
They have a past, and what does that mean? Atreus and I haven't discussed that yet, if we ever would.
Gods thats an ugly side creeping in...
The green eyed monster...
Me? Yes I am, memories of them fucking are like a hateful tarnish in my brain that I can't seem to clean out.
They have a past, everyone does but the history of her swiping my mate away, runs through me like ice cold water. I cannot forget it, it almost stopped my heart if not for Atreus I would still be drowning in the pitiful aftermath of my failed relationship.
He brought sunshine back into my life, colour in my world and flavour returned to me, but most of all he gave me hope.
Hope for a future not lost, hope that there is still good in a world filled with so much evil and the thought of her tarnishing that again, is driving me insane.
I hop out my seat and pace the room. Over and back, like a crazed bitch! All my years of meditation training gone, I couldn't even try. I needed a distraction to keep myself sane. I pick up a book and scan the pages. The words means nothing they don't even register, I read the same paragraph five times and still have no clue what it said.
Just as I was scanning the words for the sixth time, I was grabbed by the shoulders and simultaneously shouted at...
"WHERE IS THE WHORE!" The old book fell from my hands, having lost grip of it with the fright.
Turning around I slapped and bit back. "QUINN!! Your going to give me a heart attack one of these days." I leant into her and took a deep breath.
"YOU TWO!" A little old lady came scurring over. "OUT! Get out of here now, this is a place of quiet reflection an learning not one of those cattle marts that you young uns like to gather in. Make your way out now before I call on the city guards, be gone with ye." She begins swatting the air.
"Look lady this goes beyond that, were in search of a criminal don't get in the way of an Alpha-"
Distracted by the old librarian myself and Quinn hadn't noticed Atreus arrival.
"Quinn, Paloma follow me." He called out from the hall. I quickly made eye contact but he held my gaze for all of a second and turned pulling Caroline along with him.
I watched as they marched away and that dark feeling grew in the pit of my stomach. He didn't look for me again as he stepped outside and the group of warriors that had joined him here followed him out the door.
Even Quinn was half way out before she noticed how I had been stuck frozen to the spot.
"Paloma come on, don't let her get to you. She'll get what is coming to her. Now move your ass or I will!" Ever the diplomat Quinn pulled me out of my daze.
I ran up to her and grabbed her arm for support. Just as we we're about to head outside one of the warriors returns and tells us to head to the clan headquarters, it is the building the conference was being held at.
Atreues went ahead?
Tick. The clock in my mind went, like it had picked up where the grandfather clock left off.
I need answers and fast...
We shifted and ran like the wind, all the time I had spent enjoying the city was put behind me and we got there in no time at all.
I could hear an uproar coming from the auditorium and my heartrate beat even faster. Again we found shift dresses ready for us and changed rapidly. Some flats were left aswell but I just wanted to get to the auditorium and fled on foot. Even Quinn was trailing me this time as I pushed open the doors, the muffled sounds of outrage turned into load roars and growls.
Front and centre stage Atreus pulled Caroline to a secure chair, pushing her to sit.
Her arms were cuffed and she looked about nonchalantly, until she seen me and her smirk grew into an all out grin.
My stomach churned instantly.
She's got something up her sleeve...
"QUIET!! Atreus roared and everyone took note. Many taking there seats awaiting the show.
"Thank you all for joining me here this afternoon. I know your are anxious for answers and full of questions, as am I." Roars erupt again after Atreus introduction.
"Calm down, if we are to get to the truth we need order." He roars his Alpha command subduing the angry crowd.
As you are all aware of the disgusting attacks and killings on our Beta's throughout the nation. Many of you have suffered from this atrocity as have I. And as of today you have been informed about the infiltration of my pack, by my new Beta. His true identity is yet to be discovered but this is Caroline. Whom I believe to be in league with Nathaniel the mole." Atreus points to Caroline and gives the crowd a moment.
"Both Nathaniel and Caroline joined my pack from the same pack, though we now know that Nathaniel is NOT who he claimed to be. Caroline would have known that and yet she played along with the subterfuge allowing for Nathaniel to join my pack without any glitches." He stops and scans the crowd momentarily.
"It is clear she is an accomplice to the crimes of Nathaniel.
There was no question of his identity or suspicion about his character after stealing another's identity.
Thus giving him the chance to make his way up the pack hierarchy and find himself in a position of power.
They both fled on discovery and obviously had been informed." There was a constant hum of low pitched growls, the anger palpable in the room.
"Just now, with the help of this young lady who tracked her, we have managed to capture Caroline." All eyes were on me, I felt intimidated by the surrounding power but not afraid and kept my head in a low submissive position until they returned their glare to the stage.
"Nobody is above suspicion now." Atreus spits.
"If my clan was easily fooled so could any of yours." He pointed and gestured to the crowd.
"But what is more worrying is what I have discovered on Caroline's apprehension."
Tick tick... I knew she was up to something. That smug face she was pulling was way too obvious!
"As most of you know I lost my mate along with my Beta many years ago. I have remained unmated through all this, astonishingly Caroline has returned as my mate..."
And there you have it.... boom!
Her cackle of a laugh sends me into a rage and I clenched my fists my nails digging into my palms.
The crowd erupts in a rage just like myself. The thought of one of the greatest Alpha's alive being mated to a traitor was not taken kindly.
"Fuck no! This can't be right." Quinn says in my ear, I hadn't noticed her approach, she takes my hand in hers.
"Settle down! Do not panic, I am not a young pup! There is no way this woman is my mate." The smile on the harpies face drops, is she such a fool that she thinks she could trick a man such as Atreus. I take a deep breath thankful for this fact.
"I am your mate Atreus, you can't deny the pull we just experienced. The tingles and buttflies that erupted between our touch." She reaches out for him but he steps away and looks upon her with disgust and outrage.
"How can you be sure." Someone calls out from the audience and I can't help but agree, how does he know?
"It's obvious to me now, I have been in a dilemma over the past weeks. Nathaniel had brought his mate to join the Dark Orb of Knights a number of weeks ago.
There has been a disturbance since her arrival and as of today I couldn’t put the pieces in place." Oh lordy!
"Who is this mate, did you apprehend her aswell?" Shouts rang out from the crowd and Atreus points straight to me.
Oh Godess! Is he serious!
The crowds rage is directed at me now, thankfully Quinn holds me firm.
"Caroline has spent years in my pack, to my regret we have been more intimate than I can now stomach. A mate bond doesn't just magically appear, it is part of the person their body, their blood. Between myself and Caroline it is not possible.
Paloma Nathaniel's mate has also experienced something similar. Nathaniel has marked her twice and by the grace of the Godess her marks have vanished along with the bond they shared.
I will not go further into that story because it is not mine to tell but one thing became clear today...
Nathaniel and Caroline have been working to keep myself and Paloma apart." Atreus said fervently and for the first time since the library looked deep into my eyes like he could reach my soul and entwine it with his own.
"I know this now because I believe Paloma is...
She is my true mate, my second chance..."