I fell back for the second time today. Pax leaped out of the portal before it closed behind him, leaving behind a crackling sound. I sat there for a while with my heart racing in my chest while my mind tried to process everything that had happened till now. Pax was licking me cleaning meanwhile, he was rubbing himself all over me because he was finally happy to be back with me.
When everything finally registered to my brain and I came back to my senses, I threw my hands around Pax and hugged him tightly while letting the tears out. I’d missed him so much. I’d been worried sick for him. I was glad my leopard was alright but I didn’t like how things turned out between me and Ezekiel.
I didn’t like him a bit… not at all. Even my wolf had an odd feeling about him. To start with, he was different than me. His kind was superior to mine and they reigned much more brutally. I was aware of how the women were treated in his regime. It was a dangerous place for them. Well, after meeting Ezekiel personally, I understood everything now. It all made sense.
But there was something called the mating bond which wouldn’t let me stop thinking about the kiss and the things that followed after it. My heart was still fluttering in my chest like a caged bird. I licked my lips remembering how he tasted and how his lips felt against mine. Just thinking about it made me feel so hot but then I remembered his words.
He said he didn’t want me. He didn’t want to make me his queen. He talked as if he didn’t want a mate at all… as if he didn’t want me as his mate at all. I tried to stop thinking about it but my mind was already running a thousand miles per hour, conjuring every possible reason behind this kind of rejection.
Was it because I was a she-wolf? Was it because I didn’t look like a typical woman? Was it because of my different features? Was it because I was taller and physically built different than the other wolves around me?
The more these kinds of questions popped into my head, the more I was feeling self-conscious. I wish he could’ve simply rejected me instead of putting me through this. It was worse than rejection. He left me hanging here, to see me suffer while he’d have fun seeing me like this.
Before I knew I was blinking tears. Pax was already doing his best to comfort me by purring and licking me with his rough tongue. I hugged him again and buried my face in his soft and silky fur. I breathed in his familiar scent. It calmed me to some extent but the storm was already raging inside me, threatening to destroy everything that’d come its way.
A gasp made me snap out of my train of thoughts. I found my mother standing at the door of my wing with her eyes on Pax. She instantly rushed by its side to hug the snow leopard and my leopard mirrored her expression and actions. I watched her shower him with kisses and hug him again and gain while Pax busied himself by licking her and rubbing himself all over her.
“Where did you find him?” She asked me happily but the happiness drained out of her face instantly when she saw my red eyes. I tried to hide them but it was too late. She’d seen them and I knew she wasn’t going to leave me alone until I tell her what happened.
“What happened, baby?” She asked me instantly as I wiped them away. I felt the urge to tell her everything- starting from how I met Ezekiel and how I found Pax but again, as I opened my mouth, nothing came out of it. I squeezed my eyes shut and swallowed the lump building in my throat.
I now knew why I wasn’t able to speak about it. Ezekiel had put me under some spells which prohibited me from talking about him or us being mates. I thought I couldn’t hate him anymore but he was giving me new reasons.
“I’m happy Pax is back,” I told her, sniffing. I was happy for Pax coming back but my tears were for a different reason. I didn’t want to cry over him because I knew he didn’t deserve my tears but the mate bond, it was pulling the strings. I felt a stabbing pain in my heart but I couldn’t ask for help.
My mother stared at me for a second longer. I knew she could see it written on my face that something was wrong with me but how was I supposed to tell her? And I didn’t want Pax to be sacrificed in his this. If keeping my mouth shut meant that Pax was going to be safe then I was going to keep my mouth shut no matter how much pain it’d bring me.
“What is it, baby? Tell me… and where did you find him?” She asked me with a lot of concern. I tried to think of something in my head. I’d never lied to my mother. I just couldn’t because she always had a way to find out but this time, I knew that she wouldn’t be able to find out any of it.
The only thing she could do now was to see me suffer. There was no help for this.
“He fell into a well,” I lied to her, wiping my tears and getting up on my feet. The look that decorated her face told me that she didn’t buy what I said.
“Which well?” She asked me pointedly.
“One of those wells around the abandoned villages. I’m hungry. Can I have dinner early tonight?” I asked her while I headed towards the kitchen.
“There’s another Royal dinner tonight. Ezekiel is still here,” My mother told me as she followed me into the kitchen.
“I don’t feel like going there tonight. I’m just very tired. Can I please stay in my wing and have dinner here… with Pax?” I asked her. She still had the strange look decorating her face. She knew that something was wrong with me.
“Yeah… I think you should rest. You’d been searching for him since morning but baby, if something’s bothering you then why don’t you tell me?” She cooed at me as if I was still a toddler. I’d have rolled my eyes or cringed in another situation but this made me sadder.
I wanted to tell her everything but all I could do then was throw my arms around her and sob while she held me. It was the first time when even my mother wasn’t able to comfort me.
“It’s okay. You can take your time but please tell me what’s bothering you… I know you’re not crying because of Pax,” she spoke as she ran her hand over my back, trying to comfort me. I pulled back from the hug, sniffing while Pax rubbed himself against my legs and purred to comfort me his way.
“I’m okay, mum,” I told her before going to my bedroom to cry myself to sleep.
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