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“How are you feeling?” Tristan asked as we strolled leisurely together. “Really good, actually.” I admitted, “It’s like a weight has been lifted.” I took a deep breath and stopped walking. “I’ve done so much talking today.” I chuckled. “I’ve spoken about my past more today than I have ever done,” I blurted.

“I’m proud of you for letting someone in.” He commented. “I told Rhydian everything. All about my past, about Alex and my Dark Wolf.” I sighed. “I can’t believe you’re saying his name.” Tristan beamed brightly at me. “It’s really nice to hear.” He added.

“How much of Rhydian’s past do you know?” I asked. I wanted to tell him that he tried saving Alex. Tristan doted on Alex and me, Alex was always round at his house with Lucas. “Not a lot really.” He replied. “I know about the rogue attacks that happened at his pack, although I didn’t know they were the same ones that took you and Alex.” He explained sadly.

“Obviously it’s not my place to say.” I began, “But, I don’t think he would mind me telling you one thing.” I spoke softly. “He tried helping Alex. Alex gave up his life for me and for Rhydian.” I took a deep breath and gazed down at the floor. He lifted my chin to make me look at him, “Really?” He inquired, his eyes filled with grief. I nodded my head and breathed out. “It’s like they knew Rhydian was going to be my mate,” I whispered.

“What do you mean?” He asked, furrowing his brows. “I think they were going to try Matebane on him too,” I muttered. “He thought his mate had died...” I took a deep breath, “He thought I had died.” I whimpered. “Uncle Tristan, this means he is actually my mate... My true mate.” I whispered.

As much as I have been denying it, I know he is. I have probably known since the beginning when he didn't act like the others. I was in denial, or I just didn't want to see it. I have my wall up so high. I can't forget what happened, that it's near damn impossible to see anything other than what I've been through

“Oh, Amaris.” He breathed, “Of course he is. Not once did I ever think he was using Matebane.” He added. I quickly wiped my eyes before the tears could spill. “I did. I was bitter, frightened and confused.” I murmured. “I still don’t trust him completely. I want too, I just can’t get that he’s gonna turn out like Noah, out of my head.” I choked.

'You'll get there, Amaris.' Aurora assured.

He pulled me into him, closing his arms around me. He cradled my head against his chest as I grasped onto his shirt. “You need to tell him about Noah and Brett.” He whispered. I nodded my head, “I’ve told him about Brett.” I sniffled. “I can’t bring myself to tell him about Noah.” I sobbed.

He hugged me tighter until I had calmed down. “Maybe you don’t have to say it out loud.” He suggested, “Write it down. Let him read it.” He continued. I sniffled as my body shuddered. “What if it changes his mind about me?” I whimpered. “Amaris.” He pushed me back a little and kept me at arms-length. “He’s your mate. He’s going to be angry, but not with you. None of this was your fault, don’t ever think it was.” He stated. “What are you doing for the rest of the day?” He asked.

“I want to go to my dad’s place,” I whispered. “Are you sure? There’s no rush.” He replied. I took a deep breath, dried my eyes and smiled at him. “I’m sure.” I declared. He nodded and let out a breath. “Ok. I’ll join you.” He uttered. “You don’t have too, I asked Lucas to come.” I smiled.

He shook his head and started tugging me in the wrong direction. “Where are we going?” I questioned, glancing around confused. “Your dad didn’t stay in the packhouse anymore. He had his own little place.“He answered, peeping at me. “Oh.” Is all I managed to say. I didn’t even know where he was living, what kind of shitty daughter was I?! “Amaris.” Tristan scolded, stopping and turning to me. “What?” I shrugged. He glared at me and moved back a little. “Stop flashing your eyes at me, young lady.” He warned. I screwed my eyes shut then opened them slowly.

“Stop overthinking.” He commented before we continued walking. I took a deep breath and cleared my mind. I’m going to need a clear mind to do this. “I’ve told Lucas we’re heading to the house now. He’s going to meet us there.” He remarked. I hummed in response as we approached a small cottage.

“Is this where he lived?” I questioned, shocked. He chortled and turned to me. “Yes, he loved his little cottage.” He laughed. I giggled and looked up at the cottage. “I just can’t imagine dad living here.” I laughed. “It has a white picket fence.” I grinned, “What’s happening with this place?” I questioned, opening the gate. “Um, I’m not sure. Your dad had a will, I just don’t know where it is.” He replied.

I slowly trudged up the path to the front door. “I don’t have the key.” I stiffly spoke. He chuckled, leaning forward, opening the door. “Why isn’t the door locked?” I raised my brows at him, “Um, we don’t lock doors around here, remember?” He muttered, awkwardly. “Oh... yeah,” I whispered.

I stepped through the door and was hit by his scent. I breathed in deeply and a feeling of comfort washed over me. I can’t believe his scent is still so strong. I observed the living room. The walls were brown and cream, with dark wood laminate flooring. There was a leather coffee-coloured sofa to the right of me, with a small round table beside the sofa. On the other side stood a huge bookcase, filled with books of all shapes. On the wall to my left, there was a beautiful fireplace, a proper wood fireplace.

I could just picture my dad sat on the sofa, with a book in his hand and the fire blasting. It made my heart hurt. Above the fireplace hung a canvas of Alex and me when we were younger. I stepped closer to the fireplace to get a better look. My breath caught in my throat, I haven’t seen photos of him in years, I refused to look at them for so long.

“So, kiddo... What first?” Tristan asked, slapping his hands together. “Um... I don’t know.” I replied, fiddling with the bottom of my shirt. “How about downstairs?” Lucas suggested as he walked in. I smiled at him and nodded in agreement.

So we began packing up all my dad’s personal things. It was tough, it meant he really wasn’t coming back.

This was it, this is final.

This is goodbye.

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