E L E V E N
Damian had spent almost an entire month making me work my ass off and train my wolf, Aurora, for Goddess knows what. He refused to tell me what the elders were planning. All he said was that he was preparing me for it which is why I came to the conclusion that it was something physical.
I was nervous. We were supposed to meet them in a few hours so I went to my kid’s training center to try and take my mind off the elders for a bit.
“If he comes back I’ll kick his balls,” Celeste grumbled as she wiped her hands with a towel. I laughed and shook my head as I began rolling the mats.
“Think about Luca. I’m doing this for the kids, I don’t care about his father if he doesn’t think I’m fit to be Luna. If he thought I was so weak, Luca wouldn’t be attending my classes,” I said and heard her smack something. I did care. I hated the fact that every day Luca’s father came to pick him up he would tell me how much of a disgrace I was and that I wasn’t his Luna, but I couldn’t really do anything about it. I didn’t want Luca missing the classes because of his asshole of a father.
“You’re too nice, next time he comes you better bite back-” She suddenly paused and I turned to look at her. “There’s your Alpha.” She smirked and nodded towards the door.
I followed her gaze and found Damian leaning on the door frame with a scowl on his face. As soon as his eyes met mine a soft smile took over and I felt all the air get sucked out of me. “Don’t tell him about Luca’s father,” I whispered to Celeste before getting up on my feet and rushing to Damian.
He walked over to me and pulled me into a tight hug, “Are you done?” He asked and I nodded. He grumbled and cupped my face, examining it before slamming his lips on mine, surprising me with the sudden attack.
He had been doing a lot of that for the past weeks. Our relationship was getting somewhere and he would steal kisses every chance he got. But we never took it further than that. I didn’t think I was ready and I didn’t think it was fair to him. But the more time I spent with him, the harder it got not to jump him.
“Yuck.” I heard Celeste say, making both of us laugh as I pushed him back slightly.
“I need to shower before we go, I stink.”
My heart was beating so fast, I felt like it would come out. I mentally cursed Damian for not telling me what the meeting was about because I was so scared I could shit myself.
“Remember, don’t give them a reaction, okay?” Damian asked as we stood in front of the door. I gulped, feeling uneasy and like I was about to throw up despite him assuring me they weren’t going to do any harm.
“Mia, you’ll be fine. Don’t you trust me?” He asked and cupped my cheeks. I sighed and leaned into his touch, trying to calm myself because I knew I was worrying about nothing.
“I do,” I mumbled and looked up at him through my lashes. He smiled and bent down, giving me one long kiss before taking my hand in his and opening the door.
I looked around me and felt like I was in a movie. They all looked so serious sitting on their chairs around the huge mahogany desk with their arms crossed before they stood up in respect for Damian.
There were about six men there. I sighed, feeling myself tremble as I scanned the dull room when my eyes landed on the last person I’d expect to see there. I almost gasped and quickly looked up at Damian, wondering what he was feeling or what was going through his mind but he held no emotions on his face.
He squeezed my hand and shook his head slightly, only for me to see. I bit my lip and looked back at her, wondering how I hadn’t noticed her when we first walked in and what on earth she was doing there. She had a disgusting smile on her face and I just couldn’t fathom how she could be so cruel to her son. Her own blood.
“Alpha Damian.” One of the men nodded with a straight face before taking a seat.
Damian slightly nodded his head back, asking them all to sit down before he walked me towards the empty chairs. The sound of the chair being pulled out echoed through the silent and tense room, making me nauseous as I sat down. If Damian had just told me their plan, I wouldn’t be so close to shitting myself in front of everyone.
“Remember,” Damian whispered, his lips brushing against my ear before he took a seat beside me and held my hand under the table as if to calm me. But something told me it was more for himself than it was for me. He needed me.
“Mia,” his mom broke the silence with an evil smirk. “It’s nice to see you again.”
“Can’t say the same about you,” I mumbled under my breath and saw her eyes go wide as Damian let out a cough and squeezed my hand. “Nice to see you too.” I smiled and turned away from her burning eyes.
“This isn’t a sweet little gathering, I have important things to get to, so please do speak,” Damian snarled and stared at one of the men whom I assumed was the leader or something.
“I assume you remember our last meeting and the agreement we had, right?” He asked and clasped his hands in front of him. “Now since the agreement had already been made before you met her-”
“Mia,” Damian cut in and I was almost sure he was going to rip him apart if he had the chance.
“Right. Before you met Mia.” He coughed, “What I was saying is that the agreement was already made. I and the rest of the elders came together to realize that what is best for the pack, and for you is to settle this fairly is to have them prove they deserve the role,” he said and I almost choked on my own spit as my stomach twisted.
Prove? Prove that I deserved my own role as Luna?
“I’m sorry, what?” I asked before Damian could say anything.
“In order to end this. We ask you and Katrina to go on a hunt. A hunt that will settle this. Whoever comes back first, or with the best hunt, gets the role,” he said with a gentle smile as if what he was saying was the smartest idea to ever exist.
I turned to look at Damian all while trying to keep my jaw from falling to the floor. I’d never heard of something more absurd but Damian didn’t even look slightly affected.
“And when is this?” I asked, still trying to process his words.
“In a week,” one of them answered and I just sat there, rooted in my spot trying my best to make sense out of it all.
“I’m afraid I also have to ask this,” another one said and cleared his throat. “Have you two . . . Is she mated?” He asked and I could swear my eyeballs almost fell out. They just kept saying more unbelievable things the longer we stayed there. I wanted out.
“Excuse me?” Damian growled, saying something for the first time since we sat down, “you do not talk to me or her that way and you are in no place to be asking such questions.”
“Damian darling, you know we want what’s best-” His mother began to say but was cut off by a loud bang of Damian’s fist slamming against the table. Everyone including me jumped back slightly and froze. I had never seen him so angry.
“Don’t- Don’t fucking darling me and don’t try and pretend you care about what is best for me,” he yelled and pushed his chair back to stand up.
I quickly stood up and held his chair, stopping it from hitting the ground and watching in horror as his eyes turned fully black and his veins popped out. One thing I knew for sure at that moment was that I was never pissing him off ever.
“If you cared, you wouldn’t be here. Why are you even here hm?” He asked and walked closer to her so that he was directly on the opposite side of where she was sitting.
“Keep acting like this and you’ll end up like your father,” she spat out and leaned back on her chair. My eyes widened when I saw the way he was literally trembling with rage.
I knew Damian’s father was killed and his mother and their previous beta were in charge before Damian turned eighteen and took over. But other than that, I knew nothing of his father and it’s been more than six years since his passing.
“Don’t even try to bring dad into this. I am the Alpha, I am not your son so don’t think I’ll ever go easy on you. Fucking test me one more time,” he said in a much calmer tone and walked over to me.
“Are we done here?” He asked and they all mumbled yes without looking into his eyes. “Good. Because you’ve just ruined your lives. When Mia wins, you’ll pray you get to see the sun again,” he said and pulled me towards the door without saying any other word.
I stayed silent the entire way home and kept stealing a few glances at him. Everything would have been great had his mother not been there. My mind was so jumbled up. I had no idea if I should be worrying about him or about the fact that I’d be on a hunt fighting for my own position and for Damian’s future in a week.
As soon as we made it into the house he walked ahead of me and threw his keys on the kitchen counter. I bit my lip and cringed at the sound of the keys sliding off and hitting the wooden floors.
“Damian,” I whispered but he shook his head and headed up the stairs to his room.
I followed him, not wanting to leave him alone in such a state but he barely acknowledged me and I didn’t blame him.
“Never in my life had I met someone worse than her,” he snapped out of nowhere and yanked his closet door open. I pursed my lips and watched him rummage through his clothes without saying a word. He needed to let it out without me pressuring him.
“I’m not surprised. I did not expect it but I am not surprised. But for her to bring my father into this.” He shook his head. “He died such a painful death and I knew she never felt any remorse because she has no feelings. It’s been years but how can she not even feel an ounce of pain for what happened?” He asked as he pulled out a sweatshirt and began changing his shirt right in front of me in all his glory. I mentally slapped myself for checking him out during such a situation but I couldn’t help myself.
“I’m sorry,” I whispered and frowned. I felt bad for him and felt even worse because I couldn’t help.
“She’s never going to hurt you the way she hurt us,” he said and walked over to me to sit beside me on the edge of the bed.
“She was never there for us,” he said out of nowhere and took my hands in his huge ones. “You know Celeste shifted early because of her. She put us through so much pain. She used to beat me saying that she did it to make me tough. I never let her hit Celeste though. So she had to sit there and watch everything happen and not be able to help, which made her wolf come out.”
I bit my lip and felt my heart twist. I had never known and never even thought he might have gone through something like that. I was so selfish thinking that I was the only one that had a horrible past.
“She was too young. I still remember the way she screamed that day when she shifted. My dad wasn’t there to help and my mother just sat back as I tried to help her. She was barely ten and any child that shifts early was seen as a threat so we had to hide it. She wasn’t a threat, she was just trying to protect herself and her brother from their so-called mother, but no one would believe that right?” He whispered as he stared into nothing really.
I was picturing everything in my head and I felt a great pang grip my heart. Damian on the other hand, had a blank look on his face as if he was reliving the moment and I hated that. I wanted him to stop and I wanted him to at least show some emotions, but he didn’t. He was opening up to me like it was nothing.
“You know I didn’t hate her then. I didn’t realize how wrong it was at the time. My dad was mine and Celeste’s safe refuge even though it was seen as the opposite. Everyone thought he was a horrible Alpha that was too busy to care about his kids but in reality, she was the monster and the manipulator. She had no motherly instincts whatsoever. All she cared about was her image and her title. She wasn’t even his destined Luna, she forced herself into that position and she’s trying to do that with you and Katrina.”
“Goddess, I’m so sorry,” I breathed out and my eyes instantly prickled with tears as I squeezed his hand.
“When she asked me if she could meet you I still had that ounce of hope that she’d care for once. I don’t know why I thought she would. But she pretended to be all motherly and I made the mistake of falling for her lies. I’m so fucking sorry you had to sit there and listen to her talk shit about you,” he whispered and pulled me into his embrace.
“Damian I’m so sorry you had to go through all that,” I whispered and buried my head into his neck.
“It’s okay. Why are you sad? I’m fine,” he said and pulled my back to stare at my face with a sad smile as he massaged my cheeks with his thumb.
“Because,” I mumbled and sighed. “I’m sorry. I should be comforting you, not the opposite,” I said, making him chuckle.
“If it makes you feel better, telling you and being with you is all the comfort I need.” He smiled but I just continued looking at him with a frown.
“Lighten up Luna, you’ve got a hunt coming up,” he said and reached his hand down to my waist, surprising me with a tickle attack.
I shrieked and jerked back, letting out a laugh as I rolled over to the other side of the bed. “About that-” I began to say but was cut off by another laugh escaping me. “Stop,” I squirmed as he tickled my waist, a sweet grin spreading from within and expanding upon my face.
“No,” he said and continued his attack, making me genuinely laugh as I arched my body away from him.
“Damian,” I laughed and jumped off the bed. I breathed out and stared at him sitting with a big grin like he was innocent. “About that,” I said and tried to fix my now messy hair. “What if I don’t win?” I asked, ruining the mood completely.
“That’s why I didn’t tell you their plan. You always doubt yourself. I allowed this to happen because I trust you and I want to watch them go down painfully once we win.” He got off the bed and walked over to me. I watched him as he pulled me closer and wrapped his arms around my waist.
“You have Luna instincts because you are my real Luna. You’re going to be a natural. Besides, you trained so much over the past weeks. You’re ready,” he said and squeezed my hips. I gulped and looked into his eyes that held so much hope in them. I didn’t want to crush him.
“But she’s Katrina . . .” I mumbled and snuck my hands under his sweatshirt as I placed my head against his chest. I loved the warmth he managed to make me feel whenever I was close to him.
“And? You’re Mia,” he said, making me scowl and smack his chest. “She can’t do anything. It can’t go wrong. I have everything ready, she can’t cheat her way out of this.”
He was so confident and made me believe so too. Now, I wish he hadn’t . . .
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