Twenty Nine: Closure
“Thank you, sir,” Selena uttered, looking to her lap.
Selena sat beside him and he pushed her chair in. She smiles at him, only for her to blush and retreat.
It seemed like her willingness to show respect had caused him to vehemently sigh. Though she couldn’t help it. If things were different, she wouldn’t resort to formalities.
She wouldn’t be calling him sir or Alpha, only his name or maybe something else.
She shuddered at the idea and immediately threw it away.
“Would you like a cup of chamomile tea?” He cocks his head. “Or perhaps some biscuits? I can also have someone bring us bread.”
“Biscuits and tea would be lovely.” She says.
“Okay.” He mutters, smiling slightly as he types on his phone.
It was a couple of minutes later when a wolf carrying a silver platter, bringing her a cup of tea, as well as a plate of biscuits that looked refined, expensive, was the right words.
She’d only seen biscuits like these in stores that sold them one by one and each of them was priced considerably steep. If she remembered correctly, it was a hundred dollars every dozen and ten dollars per biscuit. And based on the number of biscuits on the medium-sized plate, she concluded that she was looking at a plate of biscuits worth about three hundred dollars. Not including the plates, teacup, and saucers that looked utterly expensive as well.
“Selena?” He calls her name, snapping her awake.
Why was she even pondering the prices of objects? She licked her lower lip and shakily lifted the cup and brought it to her mouth.
She knew why she was distracting herself with the minutia of everything. The truth of the matter was, she was not ready or maybe just too scared to utter the wrong words and give him a false impression.
“Thank you for this.” She says.
He smiles, glancing away from her.
He sat there, eyes opened with serenity as he gazed down on his wolves on the front lawn. She felt like he was admiring them. Happy, full families, unaware of everything. It was in this moment of solitude that Selena let herself feel the trickle of her overflowing emotions. His knife-edged nose that she oddly wanted to reach for and fell the tip of it. And his lips, luscious and thick. She already felt them against her forehead, remembering how soft they were on her skin. Selena hated how much she wanted him to glance her way and to know what he thought of her.
He must have thought of her as nothing, someone useless.
Someone beneath him.
Someone undeserving of his kindness and attention.
He even pushed her away when she was about to mark him.
Selena filled her mind with thoughts of hate and disdain, hoping that things she imagined would unbuckle her urge for his validation. She felt wicked doing it. But to relinquish her feelings for him, she needed to let herself bleed and be hurt. And if left her a scar then she would have something to remind that Nathaniel Morris was truly nothing to her.
The wind brushes her hair towards him and Selena watched as he smiled but not in her direction, but to the family in the yard.
“Looks like Greta was accepted to her dream college.” He murmured.
Selena widened her eyes.
“You know their name?” She asks.
“I know everyone living in the packhouse. I check on them once a week if they need any aid financially or need some other things.”
“That’s incredible.” She looks at him.
He only shrugs, eyes still pinned to the family on the ground.
“It’s actually not. It’s my job and I love doing it. Knowing their names and gaining their trust is my mission and I want them to know that they can trust me and that I can protect them.”
His commitment was admirable. There was something in him, in his words that made her want to know more. She didn’t want to doom him by letting him just be an enigma in her eyes.
There were so many questions she had for him. Questions she knew were impossible to be answered.
“But don’t get me wrong. I know what I am, I’m just a wolf doing their job. I’m forgettable, just another Alpha wolf passing through time.”
She took a sip at her tea.
“I think the great Stormwind is hardly forgettable.”
“I’ve always abhorred that title ever since it was bestowed upon me. The Alphas and Lunas from the other packs thought it was an honor but I and my father would like to disagree.”
“Don’t you want to be remembered?”
His gray orbs eyes with sadness. He took a heavy breath and turned to her.
“My father told me that an Alpha’s job is not to seek fame and infamy. My job is to delegate tasks, look after my wolves, and do everything that pertains to how to be a good person. But that ship has since sailed and after all the shit I put the packs through, I’d rather die and be forgotten or be held as a harsh reminder for future Alphas. A guide, I guess. For them to know what not to do.”
His empty laughter caused her to panic. How could he easily say that without shaking? And to top it all off, he was smiling. Selena stared at the sky, perplexed and afraid. She wanted so badly to change his decision and alter the way he was thinking.
“But anyway, enough of my blabbering. Is there something you wanted to tell me?” He cleared his throat.
Nathaniel sets his cup back to its saucer and turned his seat to her.
Selena felt disappointed that he wouldn’t say more. Mostly because the more he spoke, the more she learned about him and the way he looks at things.
‘How weak am I?’ She thought. She didn’t understand why this could be happening now.
She came here to convince herself that she felt nothing for him but that was not was happening. The urge to get to know him more was unquenchable.
But sacrifices were needed and she had already thrown the possibility of being his mate a long time ago. She hardened her shell and faced reality.
“I wish to speak about my cousin.”
“I was expecting you to broach this topic. What is it?”
“I’m aware that he planned on assassinating you and then a lot of things happened. He shot you and intended to leave you in cold blood but I have reasons to believe that being falsely accused of crimes that he didn’t commit.”
He wore a blank expression.
“That’s because he’s innocent.” He says.
Selena’s heart thumb, shook by his very nonchalant answer.
“What?” She exclaimed. “Then why is he there, chained, beaten, and treated like a criminal?”
“Because he attempted to slay an Alpha which is a grievous crime. So he is not completely innocent, I’m afraid. But if you’ll ask me then I’ll overlook it.”
“Your Beta has pummeled his face. Did you give her the orders to do so?” She looked at him.
He shook his head.
“I apologize for my Beta. She is overzealous and very protective of me. Especially when I lost my wolf. I ordered her to assess Guilderoy but she took it upon herself to extract information from him. Though again, I take accountability. She’s impatient because I chose to keep her in the dark about some things and it’s the first time I’ve ever hidden some things from her.”
She was confused about what to feel. If he knew about Francis’s innocence then the chance of Francis leaving just skyrocketed. But on the other hand, she feared that if Nathaniel was even hiding something from his Beta then the situation was truly severe.
“Who is this witness and why are you so intent in shielding them?”
She sensed his contemplation. The way his gray eyes flickered with doubt caused her to stop breathing. But to her surprise, he relinquishes.
“A wolf from pack Remmington is currently housed in our packhouse.”
“Housed?” She whispered, breathless by her discovery. “Why are they in the packhouse housed and not detained?”
“Because he seeks asylum.”
A surge of anger run through Selena’s veins.
“If you may allow me the liberty of my choice of words, Alpha Morris,” Selena breathed in and gulped her continuing. “You know that a Remmington seeking asylum is bullshit!”
Selena’s anger was unfathomable. It was worse when all she could see in his eyes were dread. It made her think that he too was not willing to the decision. But she couldn’t control her anger and right now her feelings were jumbled, coiled, and tied up.
“I know that.” He answers.
“Is he a member of their family?” She asked.
“I can’t tell you yet.” He looks away.
“Is he Alpha Remmington?”
The silence that followed her question rendered her deaf. Silence often meant yes but based on his reaction, the true answer was palpable.
What was going on inside his mind?
Why is he now only reduced to being completely quiet?
Selena begged and hoped for him to answer her truthfully. But his mouth was shut and his jaw squared tight.
“Can I see him?”
He doesn’t answer.
Nothing changed. His lack of words still hurt like a slash in the heart.
That was the moment that Selena realized she was stick in a loop. First, she doubts her feelings only for them to be crushed and grained, molded into a truth of her own. Her truth was bent out of shape, demented, and for the most of it wrong.
She knew that she was poisoning herself with all of these ideas but no one was stopping her and the only one that could break the seal, the man in front of her, chose to keep his mouth shut.
“Alpha Morris, for once did you ever see me as someone you could love?”
It was a low blow for her to ask him that. And it was the hardest question she could ever ask for him to answer. But it was already out and she was breaking to pieces.
Nathaniel looks at her. His lips were ajar and his stormy eyes narrowed to her.
“Of course.” He answers without any hesitations. “I never once stopped loving you the day I saw you in the snow.”
Her heart stopped beating and she was speechless. She didn’t find any lies in him. He could be telling the truth or he could be too good at telling lies.
“Can I be someone you can trust?” She quivered.
“I trust you with my life.”
“Then why can’t you say anything to me? Why am I just someone to you?”
“Because I am bound by my words, promises.” He looks away. “I value agreements, Selena and this is hard for me to do. It hurts to keep doing this to you. But I’m doing this for the good of my pack.”
“Promises?” She scoffed.
Promises just like he made to Katie.
Maybe this is the Moon’s sick way of saying that Selena was doomed to remain alone?
She couldn’t blame him. It was just his character. A man with a strong resolve, so ready to foolishly sacrifice everything for the good of everyone.
Selena wondered if she too was a sacrifice. He let her go just like she did to him.
“Yes,” he held a strong expression, one that purposely hid his emotions. “This man has valuable information about the Remmingtons and knows who sent the orders to kill my wolves and in return, he asks an audience with Francis. That’s all I can tell you.”
Selena seceded despite not liking the idea of Francis speaking to whoever this person was. Was it Harrick or Alpha Remmington? Or another relative that Selena didn’t know about.
There were too many possibilities.
She nods at him and pushed her chair away from the table.
“I want my cousin out of here. Because if anything happens to him, I don’t want my nephew to be robbed of his real father.”
She clutched her heart, denying him of any glance before she left him there.
He was simply immovable and his will was his.
A few steps down the hall and she was starting to regret her decision to speak to him more. Every step caused a crack to her reality, her lies that she told herself started to seep out of her mind, and it almost brought her to her knees.
Selena was astonished by how fickle she was.
So quick to change with her thoughts that she didn’t understand what to follow or much more, what to feel. It was causing her to go insane.
With the corner coming, she breathed a little deeper, her heart exhausted from the whirlwind of emotions from the day before and now. Just as she was turning, a pair of strong arms grab her and her back was pressed to his chest.
“I love you, I love you a lot, I love you so much, and I’m not as strong as I want to be when it comes to you.”
Nathaniel held her there, in the middle of the hall they stand and Selena grasped his arms for support.
It felt so warm to be standing where she was. In the arms of the man who made her always want more. He turns her around, his strong grip keeping her balance. Nathaniel looks down at her, his gray eyes staring at her and while her hand rests on top of his chest, feeling his heart going crazy, she wanted to relive the feeling of her hand touching his naked chest.
Gentle as he was, his breathing heavy and long. So many things run through her mind but the glimmer of his eyes, the hope, and the pain in them were front and center.
Their foreheads connect and Selena could feel her wolf, sparking a storm in her body. Her wolf may have been weak, but around him, it was alive.
“Alpha Morris,” she murmured. “Why are you hurting me?”
He shook his head.
“Do you want me to let you go?”
Her chest constricted at the thought.
“No. Please hold me a little longer.”
Selena reveled in his words. He loved her, but she didn’t understand why and how she could love her.
“I’m sorry for not choosing you again. I never once wanted to hurt you but if I did, I would do everything humanly possible to stop you from feeling that pain. But I’m about to hurt you again.”
That’s right. His wolves were much more important than her. What was her life compared to hundreds of his soldiers?
“Why did you push me away when I was about to mark you?” She sobbed, looking down to her feet. “Do I disgust you?”
“No,” he answers breathlessly as he lowered his face, coaxing her to meet his gaze. “At that time, I thought I finally found and felt death. But it was a death well worth because I had the chance to see you again and you marking me would have been fatal for the both of us.”
“But you could have lived.” She answers.
She was greeted by his tight-lipped smile.
“And then what? You’re going to live a life full of misery with me. I can’t have that. I can’t choke the life out of you little by little. I don’t want anyone to feel that way.”
Another oversight of her urge to save his life. But the thing is, would she really end up being miserable with him? That was a future filled with uncertainty.
“You could have marked me the first time we saw each other.”
She tried to dig in deeper, wanting to know his reasons now that he was unrestrained with his words.
A fleeting glimpse of pain shot through his eyes and Selena felt a pang of guilt striking through her core.
“Because you said no and I wanted my mate to have the same heart as I did.”
“But Katie…” She trailed her thoughts after seeing the immense frown Katie’s name brought him.
“Like I said before. I would have chosen you in a heartbeat.”
“But you chose to reject me.”
She could feel his body trembling as he braced himself.
“I thought you didn’t want me to mark you because maybe you didn’t think I was enough that I was unfitting and you would have been much happier with a mate of your choosing.”
But those were her thoughts. Those same fears and insecurities. She paled, stricken by his revelation. He was just as afraid as she was and she let her emotions consume her that she wasn’t able to see his pain too.
Though how could she? He was the one who said he pushed her away, but not too far away apparently.
Perhaps he did what he did to spare her from more heartache and that night when she saw him sit in front of the campfire, the tears she believed to be crocodile tears may have been real after all.
“So I drove you to Katie.” Her face fell into a horrible reaction. “It’s my fault that you chose her.”
“Actually, no. I could have never loved Katie. I sent wedding invitations for a wedding I had no plans on making.”
“Then what? You know the packs pulling away from you was going to happen and yet you still did it. What was going inside of your head?”
“A punishment, I guess.” He closes his eyes. “I took the coward’s route and pushed you away instead of telling what I felt. I had no chance and I wasn’t thinking straight. I even forgot about Katie when I decided to bring you home.”
She shook her head, still not wanting to believe him.
“But you loved her. Why else would you ask her hand in marriage?”
“My mother encouraged Katie. She gave her the wedding ring and the funds for everything and I didn’t have the heart to say no. Her weak nature could have devoured her there and ended her life.”
“You said yes to someone who was going to choke you over time.”
He shakes his head again.
“I had it all mapped out in my head. I knew pack Morris was going to lose allies and I knew Alpha Highcliff would come and have a few choice words with me then you would leave, never to see me again. But I didn’t take into account that Alpha Highcliff and Katie would be mates. But if they weren’t, I doubt Katie would still want me. Though I would have still been her friends with her until she finds her mate.”
Selena pulls away from him, brows meeting in confusion.
“Alpha Morris, that’s stupid.” She says. “Why would you choose a fate like that?”
What was he going to do? Was he just going to stay alone until Katie finds herself a mate? Subjecting himself to an eternal doom was an odd decision to make.
“If I didn’t have you, I’d rather have no one.”
Nathaniel was on the verge of tears and yet, Selena tried to push herself further away from him, disengaging his words from her heart.
“But I’m replaceable. There are lots of women more eager to know you and they are far more beautiful and older than me. What is it exactly about me that would drive you to take such outrageous actions?”
“You still don’t understand do you?” He smiles lopsidedly. “Comparisons are easily done when you’ve seen and felt what perfection is.”
The sides of her face nervously shook as her eyes blinked away her tears. Nathaniel lifts her chin and lowers his face. He was so close that she could feel his breath fanning her cheeks.
Her eyes close shut as he moved in closer. A shock pulls her out from under the rug of her doubts and she was suddenly placed in her safe world. His lips brushed against hers, gently. It hurt to open her eyes that he pulled away.
“For me, you are the epitome of everything that I could ever wish to gaze at. I want to get to know you better but I’m not going to lie to myself. I know we can never be together.”
The pain in his voice pushed Selena to reach for him. She could tell that he was taken aback but after their lips touched again, that was when everything made sense, even if it was just a passing emotion, she grab hold of it and lavished the taste of his lips. Nathaniel pushed her to him, lifting her leg.
Surrendering herself, she drowned in Nathaniel’s affection. Her desperate hands roamed around his chest and back. Her left hand grabbed a fistful of his hair while the other fondled his sinuous shoulder.
She wasn’t certain if all kisses felt like this. Like nothing mattered for as long as the kiss continued. And at that moment, Selena wanted to believe him.
The memory of Dorran kissing her flashed through her mind but the unsettled feelings she felt at that time failed to deter her beating her from calling out Nathaniel’s name.
He was right. Comparisons are easily done when you’ve had the taste of perfection.
She was hungry and needful, fighting to keep the kiss longer. It was a high she never wanted to go down from. And she was scared that when the moment it was over, he would betray her again.
Nathaniel heaves a heavy breath and cupped her cheeks, pressing her against the wall.
“Selena…” He breaths.
“I know, I know.” Selena sobs. “I’m sorry.”
“Please don’t be.” He kisses her again. “Even after all that I’ve done to you, you have the heart to do that. You really are better than me, princess.”
“I’m confused and hurt and I don’t know what I want or what to do.” She buried her face on the crook of his shoulder.
She felt his hand gently caress her back, soothing her sobs.
“Follow what you think is right.” He says.
Now the path she thought was clear became foggy with more doubts. Even she didn’t know what road to follow and choices to take.
There was too much between them now and resting her heart on his hands wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
Selena didn’t want Nathaniel to become a backup plan for her. She wanted him to be happy too.
And despite her wishes to be on his side, that can never happen.
Even if she felt happiest nestled against his body, his proximity adding a new feeling of safety, and just everything about him, she could never be happy until she exacts revenge on the Remmingtons.
“I realized I hurt you too. Will you be willing to accept my apology?” She murmured on his skin.
“My sins to you are immeasurable, Selena and if it weren’t for you I probably wouldn’t have my wolf back.”
She raises her gaze and stares at him, waiting for him to speak more.
“Yesterday when I was losing a lot of blood and after I pushed you away, something in me clicked. I didn’t want to die because I still wanted to fight for you. You’re the reason why I’m alive.”
Looking at him now, he was devoid of any scars or bruises. Even his gun wound was affecting his movements.
Her knees weakened, unable to control the bitter-sweet emotions clogging her veins.
“Selena, trust me. Your cousin will be freed once I honor my agreement with that wolf. It’s for the good of my people. I owe them so much after them. I know what I’m doing.”
“You’re protecting your pack, I understand.”
Nathaniel smiles at her, though the steady sheen of tears in his gaze caused her to believe that he wanted to say something. She places her hand on the side of his neck and mustered a straight smile, trying to coax him.
He relents and drops his shoulders.
“If you ever change your mind, come find me in hell and rescue me. It’s where I belong.”
Selena stayed strong and didn’t say a word. She only pecks his cheek one last time before spending another minute of just being near him. She had exhausted her emotions and resorted to basking in the limelight of his attention.
She didn’t want it to end.
There was so much more she wanted to say to him.
That she had different feelings eating each other up.
That she was afraid to be alone.
Terrified to where her actions might take her.
She already decided to seek blood and not having him was a result of that.
Selena pulls away, leaning down to pick up her crutches and after she did, Lively arrived seemingly out of nowhere and rushed to help her. Their eyes connected and suddenly, Lively wore a scowl and glared at Nathaniel.
“Nathaniel, you dumb idiot. You made her cry again.”
Nathaniel keeps himself quiet, only looking at Selena while Lively whisks her away from him. With her back facing him, she felt his lingering gaze watch over her until they turn into a corner.
What happened was not closure. It left her with more questions than what was answered. But for now, she needed to hold the reigns of her brain and get a hold of herself.
“You’re in luck, honey. I got Blake to cover my shifts for tomorrow and the day after. Which means I can take you to Winston’s house. I have someone there you’d probably like to see again.”
Lively excitedly chuckles as Selena feigned a smile.
Hey everyone! What did you think of the chapter?
And in the end, it looks like a Remmington’s blood spilling will be the only thing that will make Selena happy. :-/
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