Chapter Twenty-One: Making Amends
I jerked awake, my body twisting painfully. I let out a breath as the stiffness in my joints screamed at me. I groaned and lifted my head, forcing my eyes open. At first, the sounds around me were dull and muffled, and then they came crashing in with a piercing clarity.
“Serena!” Seb was bent over me, his face was stained brown with a mixture of dirt, sweat and blood. His green eyes were excited and hopeful. He twisted around and shouted, “She’s up!” behind him.
I heard a rush of feet and then Cal and Rayne were hovering over me as well. Their faces were worried and relieved at the same time, leaving a very peculiar expression that was difficult to decipher.
“Serena, are you alright?” Rayne asked, she squeezed in between Seb and I and laid her hands on my arms. The worry on her face was that of a parent would have for their child. I blinked a few times and nodded, moving my jaw to make sure it still worked.
“Good, now that we know you’re okay, could you please answer one question? What in the Goddess’s name was that?”
I sat up and groaned as my head swayed. Seb placed a steadying hand on my shoulder; his other hand went to my lower back. I crumpled his shirt between my fingers gratefully as I clung to him for support.
“No idea,” I breathed, “Something to do with the Goddess taking over my body and me jumping through someone—I—” I swallowed hard as the contents in my stomach rose. Thinking about what had happened made my stomach churn.
“The Goddess?” Rain repeated, “What are you talking about?”
I looked at her and squinted, “I mean that the Goddess talked to me, while I was passed out. We talked for a while.”
“You were out for a few minutes at the most,” Cal informed me, a frown on his face.
“It seemed longer,” I told them meekly, “I was longer, where ever I was.”
Seb brushed my hair from my face and frowned, “What did she tell you?”
I blew out a long breath and closed my eyes, trying to recall our conversation. As I was attempting to jog my memory, another thought surfaced that made my eyes fly open. “The Black Luna! Is she alright? Did I—did I kill her?” I whispered the last part, the words were reluctant to come from my mouth.
Seb shook his head, “No, she’s not dead.”
“But the prophecy—”
Cal shrugged, “I think it was a play on words, when it said you were going to kill her, I think it meant the dark side of her.”
I looked around but couldn’t see due to the three people in front of me. “Is she alright?”
Seb nodded, “She’s perfectly fine, she’s with her family.”
“I mean, the prophecy may come true still if you grab the nearest knife and jam it in her chest,” Cal offered with a weak grin.
Rayne smacked his arm, “Why would you say something like that?”
Cal shrugged and raised his bruised hand up in defense, “It was a joke, babe.”
Tears suddenly welled up in Rayne’s eyes, “It’s not funny, you jerk. Do you have any idea what Serena has been through? What I’ve been through? I thought she was dead! And now you’re joking!” Tears splashed down her cheeks as she stomped off towards the forest.
Cal stared open mouthed after her and then turned to look at his brother, a look of utter confusion on his face. “What—”
Seb laughed, “I think she’s just a little stressed, maybe in shock a little as well. Go talk to her.” Cal nodded and trudged off after his mate. The little scene between the two of them made a laugh bubble from my lips.
Seb suddenly looked down at me, his eyes clear and bright. He lifted me up and planted me in his lap, his arms going around me protectively. I nestled my head just under his chin and sighed.
“She’s right you know,” Seb murmured. His voice was thick and low.
“About what?” I whispered back.
He drew in a long breath, “You almost died.” He said the words as if they were acid in his mouth. I looked up at him as he grimaced down at me, a few tears fell from his eyes. “I thought you were, for a moment, when she was choking you. You were completely still before you just exploded into light.”
“I was dying,” I said calmly, “I knew it too. I was thinking of you.” Seb stiffened and drew in a breath causing my cheeks to warm.
“I was in you’re dying thoughts?”
I nodded, not looking into his eyes. “Yes, you were.”
He looked down at me and smiled, “You’re in my every thought.” I blinked a few times, taken aback by his comment. I leaned up, ready to touch my lips to his when a loud snort broke us apart.
“So, Sebby, this is what you’re like when you two are alone? All romantic and sappy?” I looked up to see Cal grinning down at the two of us, his arms crossed over his chest.
Seb growled, “You can’t tease the King.”
Cal shrugged, “I’m not, I’m just teasing my little brother.”
I looked up at Cal and smiled, my head was still swimming from the sweetness of Seb’s words. “Where’s Rayne?”
“She’s coming, we ran into the King’s Guard while in the forest, they came when a scout saw Daryn’s pack moving in here about an hour ago. They’ve got the whole place surrounded.”
I wrenched myself out of Seb’s hold and gasped, “Daryn and their pack! Where are they?”
Seb stood and pulled me to my feet along with him, keeping me steady. “I think you’ll see that they are more than contained.” I looked up to see that the little girl—Ebony—was effortlessly pinning the entire pack to the ground with one hand like her mother had down an hour before.
I looked to the right of the young girl to where her parents stood, holding hands and leaning on one another. I walked away from Seb, aware of his protests but choosing to ignore them and made my way towards the Black Luna.
As soon as the two saw me approaching, they dropped into a bow and lowered their eyes. I felt my cheeks get hot and said, “You don’t have to do that.”
“I’m so sorry your majesty,” the Black Luna said, her eyes still glued to the ground. “I will understand if you are to punish me now. I just ask that you do not take out my actions on my mate and child.”
Logan—the Black Luna’s mate—started to protest this but she cut him off, “Logan, stop. It’s my fault. Not yours.”
I shrugged, “It wasn’t you doing those things, I saw what came out of you. That black smoke—I believe that was what was controlling you, right?”
The Black Luna blushed. Her skin didn’t look greyish any longer and her hair was a pale gold colour that went with her green eyes well. “I let that side of me take me over. I thought the Black Luna part of myself could get my daughter back better than I could.”
I looked over to Ebony and grimaced, “I know what it’s like to lose someone you love, I would do anything to get my Dad back. Even if it meant I had to be inhabited by hundreds of dark souls.”
The Black Luna smiled, “Love drives us all crazy doesn’t it?”
I looked back at Seb and smiled, “It does.”
“I wanted to thank you,” the Black Luna said, startling me.
“For what?” I asked.
“For saving my life, you were the one who defeated that dark side of me. I can’t thank you enough for that. You’ve given me my life back, you’ve given me another chance.”
I smiled wryly, “That was more the Goddess than me. But in behalf of her, you’re welcome.
“You will be a great Queen,” Logan said. He looked past me to Seb, “Just as he will be a good King.”
I blushed, “Thank you.”
“We’ll be sure to tell everyone of your strength,” the Black Luna told me. “I didn’t much get along with the last set of royals, but you’re different.”
I smiled graciously, “You’re too kind. I hope you enjoy your life with your daughter.”
The Black Luna looked to her daughter with a bittersweet expression. A tear slide down her cheek, disappearing under her chin. I took that as my cue to leave and turned around to walk back to Seb just as dozens of wolves poured through the tree line. Snapping and growling at the pack that was pinned to the ground.
Thankful for the break, Ebony released her hold on the Black Luna pack and slumped her shoulders forward. Immediately, the King’s Guard had the pack detained. The Golden Man sauntered forward, there was a large cut on his head from when he had been thrown by Daryn Reynolds.
“Your majesty,” he bowed to me and then to Seb in turn. “I am to escort you back to the palace.”
Cal groaned, “We are not getting back into that carriage. It is bad luck. We need a car, maybe some sort of truck.”
I turned to the Golden Man and said, “Make sure Alpha Evers, his mate and child all return to their home safely. I want immediate and secure transport as soon as possible.”
The Golden Man inclined his head, “Yes, your majesty.”
“And, I want Daryn Reynolds brought to the palace dungeons where he can spend the next hundred eyes underground, thinking about his crimes and ways to repay them.”
Goldstein nodded, “Very well.” He turned and left, barking out my orders to his men.
I turned to look at Seb who was looking at me closely, “I don’t think it’s possible for me to love you anymore than I do right now. That was so royal like that I feel like a mere commoner in your presence.”
I laughed and rolled my eyes, “You’re an idiot.”
Seb shrugged, “I am an idiot, but at least I’m an idiot who gets to kiss you.” He leaned forward and crashed his lips to mine, taking full advantage of the short time we had before we left for the palace.
I put my hands on his chest and pushed slightly moving him back an inch. “You’re lips taste gross.”
He opened one eyes and cocked an eyebrow, “Excuse me?” He feigned hurt as he spoke.
I shrugged, “They taste like dirt.”
“I was struggling against the very restricting hold of the most powerful werewolf of all time to get to you.”
“I was the one who kicked ass in the end though,” I told him nonchalantly. “You were the damsel in distress, all held up against your will and such.”
Seb truly did look taken aback now, “I am not a damsel in distress. I’m the King of all wolves.”
“Yeah, well I’m the Queen. And I’m a kickass Queen.”
Seb smirked at me, “I like it when you say that.”
“That you’re the Queen,” he said, “It makes me feel proud.”
I laughed, “I’m the Queen!” I shouted. “I’m the Queen, I’m the Queen, I’m the Queen!” Seb laughed and tucked my bangs behind my ear, his eyes growing serious.
“You know, when I first saw you, standing by yourself with your back to me on the dance floor I couldn’t help but think, ‘Damn, I wish she would look at me.’”
I raised an eyebrow, “Really?”
He nodded, “Really, really. And then when I actually saw your face, I couldn’t move—or breathe. You hadn’t seen me yet, but I knew that you were special. Out of the ordinary.”
I blushed and smacked his chest, “If you’re just saying this to get another kiss, then don’t waste your breathe. You’re not getting any more kisses until you wash your face.”
He didn’t smile, he just remained serious. “I’m not kidding, I knew it. And that’s why I was such a screw up, because I knew you were too special to lose and I was so afraid I was going to mess it up with you that that’s all I did.”
“Well it’s lucky for you that I thought you were special as well,” I told him.
He seemed surprised, “Really?”
“Of course. As much of an asshole as you were, I had hope for you. I had hope that you could turn into the man you are now.”
Seb grinned at me, “I’m glad I met your expectations.”
I shook my head, “Actually you didn’t.”
Seb’s face fell, “What?”
“You exceeded them.” I dragged his face to mine, ignoring the taste of dirt and kissed him like I had never kissed anyone before. I was totally in love with him and didn’t care that Cal was making jokes or that Rayne was whining for us to get going. Because in that one moment all that mattered to me was him.
I was the Prince’s Mate, and I couldn’t have been happier.