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Chapter 45

It was easy to agree with Nimue.

...She has been through so much; I cannot even contemplate how she has suffered through this frightful situation.

Although as I walk out towards the entrance, I can’t help but feel worried.

Not only for her but the idea of keeping this from Atreus doesn’t sit too well with me! Who she is, and after what she has been through, I could only agree to her wishes. How could I refuse her? I could also see the logic in her request...

It was almost instant and so natural, once I had stepped foot inside the cave, I had felt a connection. I didn’t realize it was to her until she had awoken from her slumber and we touched.

These markings connected us on some deeper level. I guess we are sisters in a way, though she had called my mother her sister also, maybe she is more like an aunt than a sister. I suppose that is something we will work through, in the future...

I had watched and waited until I knew Nimue was fast asleep. She told me how she had gone into a state similar to hibernation and the dripping waters had kept her in that state and alive until I had released her from the shackles of that silver knife.

That bitch the Paramount had caused all this pain and suffering for power. Why does it always come down to things like money and power.

Why do people have to suffer for others greed and others power hungry agendas? It makes me sick to think about.

As I walked closer to the exit, I could feel the spray of the waterfall, it had covered the door again but as I stepped closer, it pulled back.

My heart leapt thinking how amazing this was while I walked under and through, out to see the beauty of the Goddess Temple Garden in all its glory,

It was some site to see! The moonlit lake glistening in the warm twilight, still full of life.

The burning of my markings had now long passed. I know they lead me to her, though I hope now that she is found they will return to the former state. Otherwise, I will be like a flare lighting up my position to all in sundry and that won’t bode well for anyone, me, Nimue or Atreus.

Goddess Atreus, the moment he comes to mind my heart is filled with love.

I have spent so much of my life without love and he has given it to me freely. I feel so frightened and elated at the same time.

Nathaniel, I had loved and though we were together the longer I am with Atreus the more I realize how one sided our relationship and love was. I was blinded by whatever bond we had.

That whole thing messes with my head still.

How is it possible to have two living mates?

Though I know Nathaniel’s bond was somehow created or manufactured.

...I can remember all the times as I look back it seems so clear to me now. There was a weakness there, in the bond between us. I had always played it off, but when I remember it now know it must have been because it was a false bond.

The times when his scent was less soothing, like it wasn’t even there. I never thought too deeply about it. Probably down to my own insecurities, the fact he never was keen to complete the bond did affect me. At the time, I just would never admit it. Not just to others but to myself as well. What werewolf would!

Finding your mate, you soulmate the other half to yourself was the biggest and most important thing to our kind. The instant bond the Goddess blessed us with. The unconditional love that was given to each other.

How could I admit fault in it?

And even though this had all happened, Nathaniel having hurt me deeply I can still thank him for one thing… Without his interference in my life, without that false bond that was created I may never have met Atreus.

My lips curve up into a smile thinking about the humor of the situation. One day I will face him again and my smile will be ear to ear, knowing that I was no longer connected to the devious man but was joined together with the most amazing Alpha. Ha!

A little giggle slips through my lips thinking about that day, I can rub it into him, just as he had done with me when he spent that night with Caroline.

Petty much! Who cares! He deserves it, ha!

I hopped over the steppingstones on to the edge of the lake taking a quick look back to see the waters again returned to their original state.

No sight nor sign of the entrance and my heart was lifted knowing that Nimue was once again safely secure behind the waters, protected from all.

Dropping all my belongings on the water shore I quickly undressed and shifted, grabbing the backpack in my jaws and trotted through the long overgrowth speeding up once I hit the tree line.

Returning didn’t take me too long, to get to the edge of the gardens, now that I knew the way it was much easier. No more wandering for me even when I quite enjoyed it.

It was time to return to my man, I can’t wait to be wrapped in the comfort of his arms once again, unblocking my mind to him and the pack.

Having jammed everything out earlier, after Atreus scolding when we first became acquainted, I had worked on this very thing.

...He had said how my weakness would affect my mate, at the time that was Nathaniel but now with Atreus as my mate I really didn’t want to let him down.

So, over the past days I had practiced and got better every time. We had such a easy connection through the mind-link right from the start. He could read my thoughts and feeling. It terrified me in the beginning but now it was such a beautiful part of our bond that I loved it.

Whether it was the distance, or the power held within the gardens I still couldn’t feel Atreus through the mind-link. Brushing it off, I returned to human form in the privacy of the bushes on the edge of the garden. Hoping once again to sneak out without anyone witnessing me exit.

I threw my backpack back on and crouched down peeking through the brush of leaves to analyze and exit strategy. Though once I scanned the area, I could see it was all but chaos the crowds of people running through the street.

Putting feelers out to sense any danger nearby, all I could feel was the unrest and fear of the people that filled the streets.

What had happened to cause such a scene?

Creeping up slowly slipping under the covering of foliage, I managed to slip out into the chaos unseen thankful that no one had seen my exit.

My heart was racing still, I was so tempted to shift and flee the scene but held down the desire knowing it would only draw more attention to me.

Picking up my pace I walked with intensity and determination to get back to Atreus. Thankfully once I stepped off sacred grounds I could once again feel the mate’s bond through the mind-link and breathed a sigh of relief. Though seconds later I could feel his distress, anger and worry.

What was going on?

My thoughts had momentarily consumed me, and I found myself being pushed along by the crowd surrounding me. I swiftly turned and apologized and continued on my way.

I need to get to Atreus I could feel the unrest in the air and knew instinctively something had gone down today that I was unaware of.

I was tempted to ask someone to pull them over and see what they knew but continued ahead. Atreus was my destination and I needed to get to him now.

Holding the straps of my backpack I began to jog through the crowd slipping through the cracks here and there. Over the past days I had become more accustomed to running through the city’s crowded streets and was happy with the fast progress I was making.

I wanted to call out to Atreus and ask what was going on? Was he ok? And where should I meet him? But when I probed, I could feel that his mind was clogged with stress. Whatever he was doing right now, needed his full attention and I didn’t probe any further or bother him. I will find him and support him like a good Luna should.

Stuck in a large crowd of people I pushed through, I was about half way back to the barracks and up ahead I could see an opening through a ladder that was left leaning against a building.

Normally I would never walk under a ladder the superstition had stuck with me over the years. I can't explain why but I had this urgency gripping me, telling me I need to get to my mate ASAP!

So, with people avoiding the ladder like the plague it gave me an opening and I took it, running under the wooden rungs and through to a wide-open space. I instantly felt a little bit of sweet satisfaction having avoided the crowd until I was suddenly blocked by a towering block of muscle.

“Mmmh Miss Paloma, how is it that I find you here with a backpack on? Fleeing somewhere are we?” He interrogated, the bravado of the male voice shocking me to a halt. My bent over posture straightened upon recognizing the voice and a shudder of anxiety ran through me.

“General Ignis what can I do for you this fine evening?” I asked politely hoping that he didn’t notice the slight tremble in my voice. Masking my fear as best as I could.

Did he know?

Have I been caught red handed?

He smiled back at me and for a few minutes he just stared down at me. I couldn’t decipher the look in his eyes but the power he was emanating was rather suffocating and quite pungent.

What did he want?

It felt like hours those minutes between us locked in some kind of eye battle until he finally spoke.

“I am good this evening Lady Luna, though I would have thought you should be supporting your new mate?”

He raised his brows and looked at me with resentment. I was suddenly shocked by the harsh stare, what had I ever done to this man?

Though the memory of him standing with Vaughan and Angelina struck me and I figured they had obviously influenced his opinion. He then went on to say more.

“…After all, that I what a good Luna should do! Am I right or am I right?” He said with his haughty mouth and salaciously smiled down at me.

His words washed over me with dread and a hard truth. Everything that he said was true. As Luna I should be there for my other half…

What was my mate going through right now?

Had something serious happened in the past few hours?

I know he had that altercation with the Paramount outside the Goddess Temple Gardens, had it caused some kind of trouble for him?

“Of course, General, I couldn’t agree more.” I said and smiled up at him though it was forced and didn’t reach my eyes, all I could think of was Atreus. I could still sense his emotions through the bond and our mind-link.

Goddess Please let everything be ok, please let the man I love be oK!

General Ignis gave out a little grunt of a laugh and shook his head.

“You do, do you? Funny that you are here then and not with the man in question.”

“I am on my way back to the barracks now.” I said pulling my mouth into a tight line, this man’s attitude was grating on me so badly, I wanted to slap him out of my way so I could return to my mate and General Ignis was beginning to piss me off. He laughed sarcastically once I had finished speaking, annoying me even further.

“What?” I asked in a rude tone, I knew now he had knowledge about Atreus’ situation, something I didn’t and was just trying to rise me.

“What you say! I will tell you; your beloved is not at the barracks right now and you have just confirmed my earlier thoughts.” He said and looked down at me, literally! I could tell he was looking down at me, with deep seethed emotions.

“And what would they be pray tell?” I asked with pent up anger that had been brewing between us from the moment we met.

Why did he hate me so much?

Why does he disrespect me so?

“You are not good enough for Atreus and you should never have been mated to my son in the first place.” The venom in his words were spat out with precision. He cut me deep and got right to the epicenter of my fears. But one thing stung the most, he was Atreus father?

How did I not know this?

How come nobody told me that my mates’ father was general of the Bellator warriors?

My mouth gaped open, and I looked up at him with shock and awe.

His eyes cut into my own and there it was. The connection, I could see the resemblance when I looked. Actually looked!

Not grazed over his appearance I looked at that chiseled jawline that matched that of his sons, the flick of the cowlick that grazed their hairline. The powerful aura that emanated off of both of them. And even though their eye colour was different I could see the similarities in the shape and size.

Then I dropped my eyes to the floor and held my head in shame. From the moment this man had stepped into my world I had been nothing but curt and kind of rude, I could blame it on Vaughan and Angelina. I could blame it on the Paramount but ultimaitly it was me! I had misbehaved and acted out.

This! This was a lesson for me to learn in a slap to the face kind of way. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover, don’t judge others for the company they keep.

All the things this man before me had said were nothing bad really and I had been extremely disrespectful towards him. To my mates father! Oh my Goddess! Fuck!!

Maybe they don’t have a good relationship? Right now I don’t know. The truth is he is my mates father and I have shown all my bad side to him and given him nothing to appreciate or like.

This is my own fault I have ruined his first impression of me, and what do people say first impression last. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry though I knew one thing I had to do and I would do it right now…

“I apologize sir for my arrogant behavior towards you since meeting. I hope that one day you will forgive my unenlightened behavior. I would also like to say that in some ways I agree with you. I never thought that I was worthy of such a strong and powerful Alpha mate.

...But the Goddess has blessed us both with the bond and we have both accepted and embraced the bond, that she has bestowed. I hope that you can also accept me, and I hope that I will prove my worthiness in the future, if you will give me a chance?” I looked back up to him with hopeful eyes.

“I will give you the benefit of the doubt for now, but know this. I only give you this opportunity because I trust my son’s judgement. He is a very powerful and smart man who has so much going for him and I will not allow some little omega to ruin the future for my son.

If! And I repeat if! I find out that you have been the cause of any trouble or harm that may come to my son I will personally see to your demise. Do you understand little omega?” General Ignis vehemently spoke, and I nodded and took in every word with eager ears. He was going to give me a chance and that was all that I needed, though I was annoyed to be put in this situation in the first place.

Why hadn’t Atrues spoke of his father before?

And why didn’t he tell me that he was here?

That knowledge could have avoided me this awkward position!

My gaze turned to the crowd the chaos around us continued and I noticed how people were fleeing...

Mothers dragging their teenager’s home. Vendors packing up and shops shutting down. There seemed to be a rush to get indoors, and I wondered again what I had missed over the past few hours and where exactly was Atreus if he wasn’t at the barracks at this hour where exactly was he?

“Thank you, sir. If I could be bold enough to ask, would you mind telling me where Atreus is? I can feel his stress right now and don’t want to disturb him through the mind-link, your assistant would be greatly appreciated.” I said and smiled up at him giving the best doe eyes I could. Hoping that would be enough to convince him. He shook his head again and I could see the disapproval. I couldn’t help gulping down as I awaited his answer…

“He is at the convention center. You clearly haven’t been in contact with him for some hours. Are you that selfish that you would not be contacting him or returning to his side when you know he needs you?” He paused for a moment and scanned over me like he was searching for the answer then finally went on.

“…The ones who have been killing the Beta’s have finally made their move and it has been pandemonium in the city for hours.

What have you been doing that you didn’t know this?

Why is it that you are not by my son’s side right now?

I have been informed that you were brought into the city in chains. Were you trying to escape is that it?

Did you think you could use the opportunity to escape and leave my son to face the consequences of your actions…?”

He bombarded me with questions and my mind felt like it was on overload. I was really fucking up any chance to have a decent relationship with my mates father.

It hurt to know, thoughts of how Atreus would react to my interaction with his father began to invade my mind. The only hope I have is that when this is all over, when the Paramount has been seen too. When the General learns the full extent of my situation he may be more accepting, I hope so!

“Absolutely not sir! I love Atreus and he knows exactly where I was all day. I understand your anger and if it was my child, I would feel the same. But the bond between us is strong and true and he trusts me and knows exactly where I was. If you don’t believe me, you can ask him!”

“That maybe the case, and it will be one of the first questions I do ask. I would just like to let you in on a little tidbit….

You speak of your strong and true bond yet why is it that Caroline, one of his warriors from his pack also claimed to be his mate?

And why is it that he is in the convention center right now fighting for her freedom?"

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