Chapter 21 - Thou Shalt Not Lie To Your Mate(s)
There have been moments over the last few months where I felt lost, alone, afraid. Then there have been moments recently where I’ve felt loved, cherished, all that mushy stuff. And now, this is the moment that I’m completely and utterly perplexed.
All I can think of is... Shit! What do I do, what do I say. Fuck, fuck, fuck!!!! Those words are circling in my head.
“Don’t worry too much. Like I said, you and I have met before, when you were a pup. Too bad I didn’t have these two with, they might have recognized you from your mom. Maybe not though, they likely wouldn’t have paid much attention.” He smirks at his sons then. “I knew your father very well, at least I did, years ago. After your ‘death’ he retreated from most circles as any grieving parent would. I know that your brother has taken over now, which allows your parents do a bit of traveling. I actually saw him not too long ago.” He says everything like this is no big deal.
“Someone want to explain what’s going on?” Ian looks so confused. So does Damien. I can’t blame them either. “I thought your parents left you?”
I couldn’t say anything. I wasn’t prepared for this to happen now. I had been thinking about it and trying to figure out exactly how to bring it up, but I thought I would have more time. Right now I’m too tired, my mind is a mess, and shit, I wasn’t prepared for this!
Their dad is looking at me, like he’s trying to solve a puzzle. I can see by the look in his eyes that he had figured out why I was stunned speechless.
“Ah, I get it now. You haven’t gotten around to explaining have you? Naughty girl...” He winks at me like this was some game. Nope not a game! “Boys, your mate is the supposedly long deceased Illyria Havenson.”
I look at Ian and Damien. I can see Ian is mulling that comment over, trying to understand what the hell that was supposed to mean. I don’t know if it’s unfortunate or fortunate, but Damien didn’t need any more hints or time to connect the dots.
“Wait, you’re the dead ‘moon baby’? Why didn’t you tell us? We need to up border patrol. You shouldn’t go anywhere without one of us. Shit Irie, this isn’t something you keep a secret.” It’s official now. I broke Ian in the bedroom and Damien in his office. I broke them both in completely different ways.
Damien continues rambling and just outright freaking out. I had tried a few time to interject and calm him down, but nope, he was going way over the top. He started with border patrols, then moved on to round the clock guards. Oh, and now he’s on to me not really leaving the pack house.
Don’t worry, there was a freak out about how Tori and I have been wandering around the pack. Without guards or security. How dangerous that was...
All of it my worst fears were coming forward. Thanks to my childhood, which was not my parents’ fault, and Alpha Mark’s continuous warnings, I had constantly had fears about anyone finding out about who I was. Fears that ranged from me being trapped in a tower, unable to escape to all the people around me getting hurt.
My mind was spiraling and it was only getting worse. Damien went on and on, talking about what they needed to do to prepare for attacks and strategizing. It was like he had lost his Goddess damned mind. I don’t know how many times I tried to stop him nicely, but he wasn’t listening.
Finally I couldn’t take it anymore and outright yelled at him. “This! This is why I didn’t say anything! Illyria died a little girl. Irie, a completely different person, got to live a somewhat normal life. Maybe not a perfect life but at least I wasn’t attacked every day. And the moment someone finds out who I am, ‘Oh! Let’s lock her away!’ How about no thank you!”
I didn’t even bother to wait for whatever reply he had waiting for me. I ran out of the room. I didn’t want to go find Tori, and I won’t bother the Omegas. So I ran to my room. I felt like a child all over again. Being hidden from danger.
The feeling wasn’t helped with the fact that I had just run away from my mates either. I knew I was being childish to a degree, but I was mad. I didn’t want to say anything that I couldn’t take back. Already losing my cool was making me feel bad, I wasn’t too sure how much worse it could get if I didn’t rein it in.
They had all obviously ran after me, Damien strolling in with Ian and their father following them. Just great. That wasn’t going to help me cool down and I prayed to the Goddess for patience.
“Sweetheart, you can’t just run away for us, from this. This is important and you should have told us right away. So many things could have happened and we wouldn’t have been prepared. We’re your mates!” I couldn’t tell if Ian was scared or angry, but he was raising his voice regardless. It may be hypocritical here, considering my little explosion, but I didn’t like it.
“My past has caused nothing but trouble! That little girl died. The only people who knew who I was wouldn’t tell a soul. I’d known nothing in my life but fear from attacks and then paranoia about letting anyone know who I really was.” I was getting more and more upset and I knew it. “I just wanted to be normal for a while! It didn’t take more than 2 seconds for you to start wanting to treat me differently. To do all the things that I am afraid of.”
“That seems all good but this isn’t a fantasy land. Anyone could have found out and tried to take you. You should have trusted us with this knowledge before now!” Damien continues to ramble, and yell. How selfish I was being, how dangerous this situation was for everyone.
“Damien, I think that’s enough.” Their dad says, trying to calm him. I wasn’t very happy with him about letting my secret out, but I could also tell he was concerned about what was going on right now too.
“Ya dude, calm down.” Even Ian is jumping in against Damien. That makes me feel better. “I get it, why you’re upset. Yes, she was stupid, keeping this a secret, but we can’t fix it yelling.”
What. The. Fuck. That was the last straw. I was wavering after being called selfish, because to a degree, I was. I know that I was being a bit selfish but I at least thought, and had kind of proven, that I had a good reason in keeping my secret. But now, not only am I selfish, but stupid.
“You can both go fuck yourselves. Neither of you have seen any of the bullshit I have. The bloodshed, the panic, the fact that I lost my fucking childhood. Simply from people knowing who I was and thinking it fucking mattered. I was happy being just me, the person, not the stupid damned myth. I was happy being your mate, not a fucking bullshit legend that no one can even say holds real ‘value’. The truth doesn’t always bring happiness and this” I motion all around us, “is why I said nothing. Was I being selfish, maybe. The knowledge wasn’t going to do anyone any good though. But don’t ever fucking call me stupid. Fuck. You!”
Not having many places to go, I walked into the bathroom and locked the door. I stood for a moment, trying to decide what to do, and then walked into the shower and just sat in the corner. I had started to cry when Damien was yelling at me and I still was now. Pulling my knees to my chest, I rested my head on them and just cried until I fell asleep. This was not how this was supposed to play out.
This whole situation was pure shit.
While we were in the office, I had tried calming Ian down. He was panicked and reacting in the worst way. I didn’t say anything then because Irie was trying, and failing, to stop him. When she finally did I was happy. That was until she ran away from us.
Damien had rushed after her and I knew that letting him go alone was a bad idea. Dad followed me, probably thinking the same, and then we were all back at it.
I was listening and actually disagreeing with most of Damien’s rant. He had moved on from how to safeguard her to how he disapproved of her keeping this to herself. My attempt to calm everyone down had multiplied the shitstorm tenfold. And how we were standing in our bedroom, with our father, all of us silent. All of us listening as Irie cried, alone, in the bathroom.
Because we’re fucking pricks.
I don’t know if it’s because I work with a lot of females in training, many who are mated, but I’d like to think I’m a bit more knowledgeable about some things than Damien. One of those things that I know, and yes it is because said females have been very blunt with me, is that even after the lust part of a heat has ended, the sensitivity is still there. And that’s not just physical. It’s mental.
So not only was our mate barely out of a day and a half of little sleep and lots of extraneous activity, but she was probably still hypersensitive. Emotionally, she was more than likely straight wore out. And instead of carefully navigating anything, we throw fucking dynamite at her.
I wish that I had thought about that before opening my mouth. I wish I had thought about that when Damien was going off and stopped him or at least done a better job of defending her. I know from talking to others that it’s not just satisfying the physical needs of a female in heat that is important. The mental is just as necessary.
And we had done such a good job. Such good, stupid, fucking mates...
Damien tried the door several times. Knocked on it, jiggled the handle, I think he even tried whispering through it. Nothing was happening except more and louder sobs. The whole time, every damn sob was cracking at my heart. My wolf was biting at me because of it too.
The wolf part of us is normally fully in tune with our thoughts, but when we screw the pooch, our subconscious feels like it separates. The human and the wolf, and mine was giving off the feelings of utter embarrassment and anger. If he could have jumped out, bit me, and jumped back in, he would have. I mean, the headache I was getting from his thoughts was basically that. Hell, I wouldn’t blame him if he did all that and didn’t jump back in too.
After damn near an hour, the sobs stopped. We sat there for a while, wondering if she was going to come out. Spoiler, she didn’t. Dad pulled Damien back and pressed his ear to the door.
“She’s asleep, I think. I can hear the shallow breaths and no other movement.” He moved us away from the door, basically to the other side of the room.
In my life, I had seen my father pissed off maybe a handful of times. He was serious when it came to his duties, including training us. But he was also fun loving when it came to his family. I can say that those few times he was pissed, I didn’t want to be in his path. Now was one of those times. Full Alpha or not, I was not interested in being in the path of my father’s wrath.
“Are you two going to keep up this bullshit stance of yours?”
“What? Why are we in the wrong here? She’s the one that kept a life-threatening secret.” Damien was still freaking out and hadn’t pulled his head from his ass. You’d think listening to our mate cry would have pulled him back, but no. He was still panicked. I knew it was because he was scared to lose her, but I wasn’t saying shit. My foot was already so far in my mouth I was tasting my ankle. Let Damien dig his hole deeper.
“I agree with her by the way. I may have made fun of her a bit for holding onto that tidbit, but that was just to be playful fun. She just told you why she held back that info. And she. Was. Right. You two jumped right on the bandwagon of lock her up and don’t let her see sunlight. You’re no better than the rogues who wanted to steal her as a child. I remember all the attacks, taking to her parents, all of it. I distinctly remember explaining it to you two as well.” He stopped for a moment, hoping we’d remember.
I did. Well, kind of. I remember dad telling us years ago about a friend’s pack who had undergone an extreme number of rogue attacks. All just to try and get at his daughter. I remember, lightly, about him saying how sad it was that the little girl could barely go out and play because of the risk to her. I also remember my feelings. Thinking about how if I couldn’t run and play, how sad I would be.
We all stood in silence for a few more minutes. Then dad sighed. “Her parents faked her death so she could have a chance at a real life. They lost their daughter as sure as if she had been taken from them by rogues or really died. They sacrificed being able to watch her grow into that beautiful young woman so that she could do just that. Grow up. And do so without being in danger or having to be locked up. Exactly like you just threatened to do.”
Oh good, Damien looked like he was finally tasting his toenails and they didn’t taste good.
“I believe she would have told you eventually. In hindsight, I should have asked her privately versus making a spectacle out of it. At least then I maybe could have helped her tell you. Helped prevent this ordeal from happening.” Even dad looks ashamed about his role in this whole thing. He’s even looking at the door with guilt on his face.
“No. I...I shouldn’t have said any of it. I remember when she was declared dead. I remember mom talking about how she wouldn’t be able to handle it if that happened to one of us. As soon as you outed her the first thing that came to mind was the thought of losing her and I panicked. This is all my fault.” I’ve never liked seeing my brother truly sad, it’s a twin thing. We may be able to balance each other pretty well, but when one of us was down in the dumps, it was easy for the other to go there too.
“It’s not only your fault. I shouldn’t have said what I did either. Even if you led up to it, it wasn’t right.” I know I was wrong, but I only had one out of a handful of words here.
“Gee thanks asshole.” Damien stares me down like he wants to hit me. Okay, maybe I am an ass, but I’m still going to call him out on his part.
“Shut up you two. Fighting about who’s the bigger jackass isn’t going to help either of you.” Dad pulls our attention to him. His arms are crossed over his chest and he was staring us down at this point.
“You want my advice?” Of course we nod. “Learn how to beg. I’m not taking about some ‘please sweetie I’m sorry’ bull, I mean full boar, on your knees, pleading for your life, beg. Because that’s what you need to do. That woman, your mate, is worth it. And I’m not talking about who she is. I mean what she is. Again, your mate. A piece of your soul that you won’t want to be without. Keep up your behavior and that’s exactly what you’ll be. Without.”
Speech over, he walked out of the room. I’m sure he was going to tell mom all about how her two dumb ass sons made absolute fools of themselves. And then of course how he gave us advice and saved the day. Super Alpha to the rescue, or some stupid old man shit like that.
“So... what do you think we should do.” Damien asks. That says it all. He always values my opinion but he’s the planner. At least until recently. Now it seems like our roles have been reversed. I’m usually better on my toes and he knows it. What that means is that he has zero confidence that he knows how to fix this.
“Well. First we have to get her out of there. So, do we pick the lock and bring her out, or do we let her sit in there alone until she’s ready? Keep in mind too that besides us fucking up her emotional state, she’s not exactly coming out after a long and relaxing sleep.” Personally, I think making her do anything without her express consent would be a bad idea. Never poke a pissed off bear, or in this case, she-wolf that’s still experiencing the after-effects of heat. Fuck, never piss off a she-wolf in general. Scary shit.
“Wait. Until she wants to come out at least. But I’m not moving from the door until she does. I’ll sit on my knees and beg for days if I have to. Dad’s probably right, damn old man.” He walks to the door and legitimately gets down in his knees.
“I agree with you there. But I have another idea. I don’t know if Tori knows anything about her childhood, but she’s her best friend. At the very least maybe Irie will let her in. Then she can help determine how she’s doing and maybe get her to come out?” See, natural thinker...sometimes.
“Good idea, do you want to or...”
“Already on it.” And I am. As soon as he said good, I was reaching out to Tori. I was both happy as hell that she and Kota had marked and mated each other and scared as hell. We’d already experienced her mama-bear instincts when it came to her friend. This time, we were legitimately the ones that messed up. And we might have to pay the piper.
Tori? We fucked up. Bad.