Chapter Nineteen: Run Away
“Are you packed yet?” Seb asked from the doorway. I turned and looked at him, leaving my position at the window. I had been staring down at the long drive in front of the castle, remembering the battle that was fought there only a week ago.
“No,” I croaked, “I haven’t even started.”
Seb’s eyes darkened, “Serena I told you not to fight me on this.”
“I’m not,” I told him, “I just needed a little bit of time to think.”
Seb’s face relaxed, I could tell he was relieved. “Oh, what about?” I turned and looked out of the window again, remembering what it was like to see my sister after so long apart.
“Rayne,” I said shortly.
“What about her?” Seb asked.
I sighed, “We talked, what she said struck home. I’m stupid for thinking that I can take her on. She’s the Black Luna. She’s a legend. Stories of her are told to children. I’m just me. I can’t fight her, I haven’t even shifted. I’m barely a werewolf at all.”
Seb frowned, “You’re special, Serena. You’re just not a fighter.” I turned and walked over to him, placing my hand on his cheek.
“You’re sweet,” I said with a smile, “But there is nothing special about me.” I dropped my hand and went to the closet. I sat back on my heels and let my eyes rake through my clothes, deciding what I wanted to bring with me.
“Maybe you can’t fight her,” Seb said, “But you’ll always be special because you’re mine.”
I pulled out a blue sweater and held it up against my chest, “Is it cold in Switzerland?”
“You may as well bring clothing for all seasons, I told you that you will be moving a lot.”
“That reminds me,” I said, “Are you coming with me?”
Seb nodded, his eyes serious. “For the first flight, yes. I’m going to make sure you’re comfortable before I head out with the guard to look for Daryn Reynolds.”
“What about Rayne and Cal?”
“Rayne and Cal are coming as well, but Cal is leaving with me. Rayne wanted to come with us too, to help look for Daryn. But I told her that she should stay with you. It wouldn’t be fair to not let you risk your life while she goes out and risks hers.”
I folded the blue sweater and packed a few pairs of jeans. “Well, thank you for that. I don’t want her going after Daryn Reynolds anymore than she wants me facing the Black Luna.”
Seb frowned, “My mother isn’t happy that we’re running.”
“I didn’t think she would be,” I told him.
“She wants you to stay and face the prophecy; I told her she was crazy.” There was a certain sadness to his voice that made my heart ache.
“She’s just set in her ways, she believes that we have to follow everything the Goddess tells us to. I disagree.” I smiled at him and he returned that smile with a shaky one of his own. He helped me pack for the rest of the afternoon and when we were done he looked around the room and let out a low whistle.
“It’s like no one lives here.” I looked around the room as well and frowned, he was right. The room we had shared for months was nearly empty. The clothes were missing from the closet, pictures were off of the dresser, even a few pillows had been packed away.
“Am I missing anything?” I asked him lightly. He looked around the room and stopped when something caught his eye. He reached out and grabbed the crown that was meant for me. It sat on its own pillow that was on a small white stand. He grabbed it and rubbed his thumb over the blue stone in the middle affectionately.
“Will you take this with you?” he asked.
I bit my lip and looked down, “I don’t know—I wouldn’t feel right if—”
“It’s yours,” he told me. There was a proud smile on his face, as if he saw me as a great Queen already—even though I hadn’t done anything yet.
“I don’t know, what your mother said about me—”
“Don’t listen to my mother,” Seb cut in.
I rolled my eyes, “Can I finish?”
He threw me a sheepish grin, “Go on.”
“Anyways, like your mother said, we haven’t even mated. So technically I’m not the Queen.”
Seb laughed and looked down, his hair obscured my view of his eyes. “Don’t you get it? Whether we mate fully or not, you’re mine and I’m yours. I’m never going to want—or need—anyone else for as long as I live. You’re my Queen. Just as you will always be my mate. The crown is yours, Serena. It could never belong to anyone else just as my heart cannot.”
I groaned as my stomach turned to mush, I was a sucker for Seb’s sappy side. I threw my arms around him and pulled myself to him. Eagerly, I closed the distance between our mouths and kissed him with everything I had in me. He responded immediately, smiling against my lips.
“You are just too good at that romantic talk,” I told him with a smile on my face.
He smirked at me, “It’s a talent.” I kissed him again lightly and sighed, leaning my face against his chest.
“Is it terrible that I’m already tired before we’ve even set out on this next journey?”
Seb laughed, “I’ve been tired since the crown was placed on my head. Now I know why Cal was trying so hard to save me from it, I feel older already.”
“Well, you didn’t have me before. But now you do. We’ll share the burden together, for the rest of our lives.”
Seb smiled at me, “The rest of our lives sounds good.” Seb took my hands and wrapped them in his before bringing our hands to his cheek and gazing down at me. His stare caused my face to heat up.
“When we mate—” I blushed, finding myself embarrassed before I asked the question. “Will I become pregnant like the mates to Alphas do?”
Seb shook his head, “No, you won’t. You see with Alpha’s it’s important that they have a heir right away so someone can lead their pack if they die early. Their heir acts as a stand in until the next Alpha is born and old enough to lead. But for royals it’s different. Because of our slow aging and protection, we don’t need to have our young right away. There is no danger. We can rule for fifty years before we even think about pups.”
I smiled, “I must say, that’s a load off. I mean I thought I was going to have to raise a bunch of kids and your mom wanted grandchildren.”
Seb nearly choked as his eyes grew wide, “She what? When did she tell you she wanted grandchildren?”
I laughed, “A few weeks ago she pulled me aside and told me that we’d better hurry up.”
Seb’s whole face went red, even his ears. “I’m so sorry,” he said, his eyes closed in embarrassment. “She’s so blunt it’s embarrassing.”
I smiled, “It was sweet in a way.”
Seb winced, “I can only imagine how awkward that whole conversation was.”
“You have no idea.”
We zipped up the duffel bags and put them at the front door before crawling back into bed. We were set to leave in the morning so it was important to get a good night’s rest. I snuggled up against Seb, enjoying the proximity.
Part of me knew that after the next few days, I wouldn’t see him for a long time. I stared at the wall, thinking this over. It was possible I would go months without seeing Seb. After everything we had been through and overcame it seemed unfair that we had to be separated.
“Are you asleep?” I whispered to Seb.
He groaned and blinked a few times, looking down at me with one eye open. “No.”
“Do you have to go after Daryn?”
He nodded, “Yeah, I do.” Seb noticed my silence and sat up, looking at me in the dark.
“I just—I don’t want to be separated from you.” When he didn’t answer I added hastily, “I’m sorry that sounded pathetic.”
“I don’t want to be away from you either,” he told me, “But it won’t be for long.” I frowned and laid my head on his chest again. “We should go to sleep, we’ve got a lot of travelling to do.”
For some reason, I couldn’t sleep that night. No matter how hard I tried, sleep would not come to me. Instead I stared into the darkness, thinking about what was to come.
“Let’s go love birds!” I heard Cal shout from the doorway. I opened my eyes and groaned as I rolled onto my back. I had not slept a wink last night.
“Give us five,” Seb begged.
Cal laughed, “Come on, Rayne and I are already dressed. You two can at least open your eyes!”
Seb growled, “Does me being King mean nothing to you?”
“Nope, not when I’m your big brother,” Cal answered. Seb groaned again and pressed a pillow to his face. I rolled out of bed and stretched, mumbling unintelligible gibberish.
“We’re leaving in half an hour!” Rayne announced as she walked into the room. Seb made a sound and rolled over, pulling the covers tighter around his frame.
Cal raised an eyebrow, “Is he okay?”
I shrugged, “Tired I guess, I’ll wake him up.” Rayne tugged on Cal’s arm and the two of them left the room leaving me and Seb alone. I picked up a pillow off of the ground and threw it at Seb’s hand.
He sat up and threw the pillow back at me, making me shriek as I took cover in the bathroom. I showered quickly and dressed; when I came out of the bathroom Seb was fully dressed and waiting for me.
“Took you long enough,” Seb joked. I laughed and grabbed my bag before throwing at grin at him.
“Ready?” He nodded and shoved his hands in his pockets.
“I’ll catch up with you downstairs,” Seb said. I nodded and left the room. I started towards the stairs and stopped. Instead of heading to the front room I peaked through the crack of the door and watched Seb.
He moved towards the desk in the corner and pulled out the top drawer. He picked up a picture frame and stared down at it before popping out the back and pulling out the photo inside. I caught a glimpse of Morgan’s face and looked down. He tucked the photo of his sister into his front pocket and headed towards the door.
I scrambled backwards and rushed down the stairs. I hurried into the front room to see Rayne sitting on top of her luggage in the middle of a thumb war with Cal. Rayne cried out in victory as she pinned Cal’s thumb and caught my eye.
“I told you half an hour, it’s been forty-five minutes,” she said.
I smiled sheepishly, “Sorry, I took a long shower.”
“I told her to hurry,” Seb said, coming to stand behind me. The Golden Man entered the palace and surveyed us all.
“Time to go my King,” he said to Seb. Cal and Rayne headed out and just as Seb and I were about to follow we were called back by the Seb’s parents.
“I wanted to wish you good luck,” Seb’s father said to him. They shook hands and exchanged a stiff nod. Seb’s mother dragged him into a hug, tears spilling over her cheeks.
“When will we see you?”
“Not until we get Daryn Reynolds,” Seb told her. She dabbed at her eyes with a gold hancerchief.
“Come back to me safe, Sebastian. You and your brother.” Seb nodded and kissed his mother’s cheek before grabbing my hand. “Good luck to you as well, Serena.”
I bowed my head slightly, “Thank you.” We turned and left; Seb’s face looked as though it was carved out of stone. The four of us piled into the carriage with the Golden Man.
“It’s a long way to the nearest airport so we have some travelling to do,” Goldstein said. Rayne smiled and pulled out her iPod giving one earphone to Cal to stick in his ear. The two of them listened to Rayne’s music while Seb and I kept ourselves busy by playing tic tac toe on a napkin.
The carriage went over a bump that sent us all in the air. Cal laughed, finding humor in the unpredictable road. The carriage slowed before it came to a complete stop. “This carriage is just bad luck,” Cal joked.
Goldstein sighed and tapped the side of the carriage, “Gregory! Let’s go! We have a plane to catch!”
“I’m sorry, but your flight is delayed,” the door was yanked open and a man stuck his face in. Immediately, every nerve in my body went cold. I was frozen, unable to think or move. He had green eyes that were eerily bright and calm. His brown hair was slicked back, giving him a sharp refined look. He seemed to be in his mid twenties which meant he was older.
“Your Highness,” the man smiled, his teeth were large and bright, “It’s an honour.” The man’s eyes slid from Seb to me, “And look, it’s the girl who is supposed to kill my daughter.”
“Daryn Reynolds,” Seb hissed.
“Alpha Daryn Reynolds actually,” the man corrected coldly.
Rayne made a sound in her throat, “You lost that title when you became a murderer!” she screamed defiantly. The man looked to Rayne with amusement.
“I’d recognize that fire anywhere,” he said, “I think I killed your daddy.” Rayne’s face grew pale and her mouth snapped shut. The man looked at Goldstein and grabbed his face before throwing the Golden Man behind him. “We can’t have any boring bodyguards wrecking the fun now can we?”
Cal growled and reached for Daryn but the man was too fast, he grabbed Cal’s wrist and twisted. “My dear Prince, attacking me would be silly. Not when I have my whole pack behind me. And my secret weapon.”
Cal snarled at Daryn, “You deserve to die for your wrongdoings.”
Daryn laughed, “You think so?” He twisted Cal’s wrist all the way until it snapped. Cal howled in pain and Daryn laughed. “Everyone out,” he barked sharply.
Just as we were about to comply, Daryn was suddenly whipped backwards by an invisible force. Seb hopped out of the carriage and surveyed the scene in front of him. His back cut off my view of what was happening.
Rayne checked out Cal’s broken wrist before going to see what Seb was seeing. I heard snarls and sharp barks and felt my stomach tighten. There was a guttural scream and I felt as though I was made from stone.
I got up, unaware of what I was doing, and left the carriage. Seb caught my shoulders desperately and looked into my face. “You need to leave!” he screamed at me, “You need to run, and run as fast as you can.”
I stared at him blankly, not understanding, “Wha—”
“Go!” he screamed at me, “Go! Run! Now!” Suddenly, Seb was tackled from the side by a large grey wolf and my view was finally clear. In front of me stood the Black Luna pack, Daryn Reynolds, a small blonde girl and the Black Luna herself with her mate by her side.
Suddenly, I was brought back to reality and screamed as I watched Seb wrestle with the wolf on top of him. Rayne shifted and immediately tackled the wolf that was on top of Seb. For a moment, it looked as though Rayne was winning until the grey wolf pinned her.
The grey wolf flew into the air and I whipped around to see both the small blonde girl and the Black Luna with their hands raised. The Black Luna turned to look at the young blonde girl and dropped her hand. She stared at the young girl as if seeing the sun for the first time. It was her daughter.
A wolf leaped for my throat but was flicked aside casually by the Black Luna. Effortlessly, she parted a pathway to me. Everyone was pinned by an invisible force. Seb struggled so hard his nose bled as he tried to reach me. Rayne was still in wolf form, but even she was twisting and growling against the force that held her back.
I looked around to see Daryn unconscious to the side, he must have been the one who screamed. The Black Luna had even pinned down her mate who was struggling to break the bond that held him to the ground.
Slowly, the Black Luna and I turned to face each other.