Don't forget to read the previous chapter. 🤩
“What!!!” I screamed out.
Could this be the truth?
Was Atreus fighting for Caroline right now?
Did it only take a few hours apart to stick a massive wedge between us?
My eyes went wide on the revelation that General Ignis had spat at me. I wondered if it was payback for how I had treated him since we met. Would the man go this far to try and hurt me, but what good would that do if it weren’t true!
I looked up into his eyes searching them for any sign of a lie and when he looked me back, I could feel the honesty in his words.
Had it all been a dream?
This mate bond between me and Atreus. Did I just conjure it up in my fucked-up head, had Nathaniel fucked with me that much that I could create a reality that didn’t exist?
My heart ached; I swung my head away from General Ignis trying to hide my shame.
And there it was again that Omega part of me that wanted to crawl under the nearest rock and hide but I pushed it down. I could not allow other people to ruin what was between us. I could not allow my own weaknesses to lose a man that I cherished.
Finally, I turned back to this towering General and bowed my head in respect.
“Thank you for the information. I won’t be keeping you any longer I need to go and support my mate in whatever endeavor he might be doing.” I wanted to sound strong and sincere in what I was saying, though I doubt I came across that way. He nodded and let me go.
Yes, I needed to get the hell out of here and back to my mate! My mate! Mine!
I was tempted to look back, tempted to see if it was all a lie. That his expression would show some weakness to his words but pushed the thoughts away. Only Atreus could tell me the truth and that’s where I was heading and right now, I would like to see anyone stop me. The urgency to see him again was so intense I think I was racing through the city like a blur…
It is strange when your distracted, how times passes differently. One minute you’re speaking with your mates father the next you are standing in front of the building that could make or break you. Could a girl survive two mates betraying her for the same woman.
I was already jumping to conclusions, and I could slap myself for it.
Atreus wouldn’t betray our bond I know it!
I climbed the steps of the building stepping inside to the large foyer that sat at the front. There was a faint hum from the crowded arena up ahead and I walked slowly to the main doors… I couldn’t decipher what was being said.
Taking off my backpack I threw it to the side. I pulled out a water bottle and took a sip gulping down the now lukewarm water, it tasted like bitterness to me. But perhaps that was just my own fearful heart. Discarding the bottle, I put my hand on the door. It was now - or never.
My hands slightly trembled as I pushed the heavy door open. The room was filled to capacity though it was almost dead quiet as the creak and squeak of the door alerted people to my entrance, many turning their heads in my direction.
Resentment, anger, fear, curiosity was all present in the emotions that were rolling off the people that surrounded me. I pushed the choking emotions away and looked up ahead to see a panel of Elders sitting in their throne like seats. They sat upon an elevated platform on the stage of the arena.
The Paramount front and center, Elder Tsuki to her right and fourteen other elders, whose names evade me span out either side.
The tension in the room feels suffocating and as much as I would like to flee the stench, I take a few steps forward.
That is when my view gets graced by Caroline, beaten and broken. Lying in shackles on the ground just below the Paramount. Her body is nothing like its former strength. Covered in blood, with burn markings and bruises dotted from head to toe.
My hands begin to tremble with the awful sight. I don’t know if she’s even breathing at this point, she doesn’t look too good. It is a far cry from the sassy bitch who lorded over me…
I could say I was never happier, a part of me did feel a little satisfaction. Though it would be a lie to say I was happy about this. Yes! I hate Caroline. I despise what she stood for. What she has done to me. How she repeatedly wants to come between me and my mates. But I would never want to see this! And I would never wish to lower myself to that level of depravity to enjoy the suffering of another being.
You should pay for the crimes you commit!
Should she die because Nathaniel my so called first mate cheated with her. No! He was the one in the wrong there. She is a bitch there is no doubts there, a shitty human being. Would I like to give her a few slaps for myself and all the other women she no doubt has wronged, hell yes!
It’s just not in me to want to see others being tortured or witnessing the aftermath and If she is guilty of a crime she should unquestionably suffer the consequences.
I kept walking a little further up the aisle, still searching for Atreus, however I hear him before I see him.
“Elders, we are now in great crisis. The enemy has made their move as of this afternoon. Half of the packs that live in this country have been infiltrated. This move is precise, it is extremely well planned and if I was to guess has been many decades in the making.” Atreus voice boomed with authority across the arena, the silence and respect showed to him was staggering, though I ached inside to know he has been going through all this without me by his side. His father was correct a good Luna would be beside their Alpha in times of crisis. In this department I felt as though I was failing, though knew as well that having discovered the Patria Luna was a massive breakthrough.
With her we could win against the Enemy I now knew to be called the Tenebris. She could guide me through adjusting to the power within my markings and help me to understand my origins. With all this we could oust the Paramount get her to pay for her crimes. I watched with bated breath as he continued on.
“…Betas from the fallen Packs have overtaken the pack lands many taking advantage of their Alphas absence due to their being summoned here. Pack mates have been calling out through the mind-links that the Beta’s now claiming to have unimaginable power much greater than they ever had before. Eight Alpha’s have been murdered in cold blood, three of which had returned to their lands due to the distress they felt in their pack.
There is something very sinister and dark going on! Whatever has boosted the strength of these Beta’s and traitors is a power still unknown. I have instructed the archivists at the Lunar Lupis Liber to search the archives and ancient texts for any and all suggestions as to what the source of their power could be.
Five of the Alphas that had their Beta’s killed in recent years and had been made aware of my recent betrayal with my own Beta, have taken precautions and were found that three of the five were involved in this infiltration to our packs. Interrogations are still ongoing and I hope to here from asap.
This is war! And don’t be fooled they have declared it openly.
Many wolves who managed to escape the overrun packs are making their way here. The natural way, to return to our origins when we are in trouble. They are coming to seek sanctuary and hope for the future.
We must make preparation for their arrival. Many may be hurt and in need of medical care. I suggest a triage for medical assessment and treatment set up. If we could manage to house them within the walls of the city would be great but I realize that there may be too many and so I also suggest that supplies for the provision of provisional housing on the outer grounds also being set up with an outer temporary protective wall being erected also.
All suggestions and help towards this would be greatly appreciated.
The enemy is cleaver and very deceptive. The fact they have managed to infiltrate so many packs with enemy wolves is of great concern to all. It also raises the question that there may be some still infiltrating the inner sanctum of the city walls. If anyone has any suspicions, please come to me, Elder Tsuki and of course General Ignis, with any and all. No matter how small you might think the information, or suspicion it will not fall on deaf ears. Please come to us.
There is also the dilemma many of us face now whether or not to return to our pack lands. I have been informed that the pack lands that have been seized and any wolves left appear to be not harmed at this stage.
If we decide to call our brethren here, they may run into traps set up to catch them.
Today has been a very trying day for all our brothers and sisters. We need to band together and fight off this adversary with all that we have got.
I pledge my warriors to the cause.
I pledge my life to the freedom of our kind.
Who will stand with me, today, who will fight with me tomorrow?” He calls out and the crowd erupts it roars of agreement and a shiver of pride and admiration run down my spine.
War has been declared and I am left in both awe and wonder at my mate but also terrified for the future outcome. With every war comes casualties how many will it take for the Paramount and her crew to subdue their greed for power?
How many innocent lives will be taken in her selfish cause?
How many have already been lost?
As the crowd’s lull begins to lessen, I step closer to my mate. He is so caught up in the now I don’t think he has noticed me yet.
“Paramount, I would like to ask one favor of you. Today we watched as your witch allies used their ways to extract any and all information from the prisoner sat in front of you. As of now we all have agreed that she is innocent. For this very reason and as her…” He stalls for a moment then coughs to clear his throat.
“As her Alpha.” He continues. Did he just have to think what to say, was he going to say something else?
“I would like to ask you to return her to me. She is my responsibility after all. She has fought by my side for many years.”
“Not just that, I heard she spent many nights in your bed.” Someone heckled form the crowd.
My heart burned at those words, Atreus turned his head to see the culprit, but his eyes landed on my own and I could see the shock in them. Did he not want me to hear that, or was it that he didn’t want me to know he was actually fighting for Caroline? Fighting for her! Just as General Ignis had said…
He was surrounded and I couldn’t make it over to him, so I just stood there awaiting his reaction. His head turned back to the Elders and once again he went on. I looked to Caroline, to the Elders and then the Paramount.
“What do you say?” He asks with an authority that few could refuse his full Alpha strength emanating from him filling the room, murmurs of agreement filled the chamber.
“We need all that we have in the war that is to come allow the warrior her freedom.” Another voice yelled from the crowd. I thought how different a day can make. Was it not this same crowd only days ago calling for her head?
The Paramount looked to her left and then to the right asking for agreement form the Elders present, then stood up and walked towards Caroline’s body that was laying battered and broken on the floor. She pulled one bloodied arm up and then looked down to Atreus.
“Certainly, Alpha Atreus, come collect your warrior. Or should I call her something else, your mate maybe?” She said and a salacious smile painted that ugly face of hers. “After all I hear she has claimed the bond between you exists, yet I hear you have recently taken on another mate. I do hope you are not defiling the bond the Goddess gifted us with.”
A few gasps were heard from the crowd. My face scrunched up in annoyance. Nevertheless, I had to ask myself why they would be shocked! Everyone here knew Caroline claimed the mate bond, they were all here when he claimed me his mate, so why the theatrics.
Or is that what this is?
Authors Note: If you really want I will update next chapter tomorrow, let me know in the comments... 😍