The Prince's Mate

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Chapter Four: Venting Anger

I felt someone playing with my hair; they were twirling it around their fingers and tugging on it gently. I blinked a few times and stared at the white ceiling before turning my attention to Sebastian who had his hands in my hair.

“You’re awake,” Seb said. He blinked a few times, his green eyes sparked and widened.

I nodded numbly and sat up; his hands fell from my hair. “Why are you here?” I had been expecting to wake up alone.

Sebastian smiled at me, “I wanted to make sure you were alright, now eat.” He pushed a tray of food towards me and watched me expectantly.

I looked at the food and frowned, “I’m not hungry.”

Seb narrowed his eyes slightly, “Serena, you haven’t eaten for the last few days. I will not have my mate dying of starvation right under my nose. Eat.” With a heavy sigh I reached forward and grabbed a buttered roll of off the tray. I ripped off a small piece and shoved it into my mouth.

“Happy?” I asked sarcastically.

“Do you have anything that needs to be brought here from your old home?” Seb asked, he reached forward and stared to play with my long, blonde hair again. A part of me wanted to move away from him but I knew that would only make him angrier.

“My sister,” I said flatly, “Actually scratch that, I just want to go home—to my family, to my pack.”

Seb stopped playing with my hair and glared, “I thought we moved past this issue Serena, you are mine. This castle is your home now, everything you need is here. I am here.”

I threw the roll back down on the tray, it hit the bowl of soup—tomato went everywhere. “I don’t want you! I want to go home!” I pushed the blankets off of me and jumped off of the bed, intent on walking out through the door.

“Serena!” He yelled. In a few seconds I was pinned up against the door, his large hands wrapped around my frail wrists so tight I knew there were going to be bruises.

“Let go!” I screamed at him.

He growled and pushed me harder into the door, “You will respect me.”

I spat on his face out of pure impulse. My wolf whimpered under his hot gaze, he was fuming. “No.”

Sebastian snapped and threw me to the ground, I whimpered knowing that my hip was going to bruise as well. “I am your Prince, I am your mate, I am above you in every way. I not only deserve your respect but I demand it,” he snarled at me.

I pushed myself up and cringed slightly, my foot was aching from me falling on top of it. I hadn’t yet shifted, I don’t know why—maybe it was because I had been malnourished for years or maybe it was because I wasn’t happy but I hadn’t had my first shift yet. So, my healing was half that of a regular wolf.

“Respect is earned,” I said harshly, “You have earned nothing but my hatred.” Seb took two large steps forward and was about to strike my face when he froze and instead of hitting me, he cupped my cheek.

“I’m sorry Serena,” he breathed. And then he was gone. I realised that I was shaking slightly and moved to sit on the bed. I dragged my knees to my chest and placed my head between them to try and fight the dizzy spell that had swooped over me.

After a few more minutes I got up and walked to the window, pushing open the heavy curtains. The sun was shining and I wanted to go outside and get some fresh air. I looked down and noticed that I was wearing the same thing as yesterday so I headed over to the large wardrobe and pulled out a pair of light wash, ripped jeans and a thick, beige sweater since it was most likely cold outside—I was in Alaska after all.

I dug around the closet and tugged on a pair of brown leather ankle boots and wrapped a blue scarf around my neck. I just pulled my hair into a sloppy ponytail and left everything else as it was. With a heavy sigh I looked around the room before a small smile appeared on my face.

I walked over to Sebastian’s desk and picked up a heavy glass paperweight that was encrusted with tiny diamonds. I cocked my head to the side and gazed at it thoughtfully before picking it up and tossing it from hand to hand.

“For taking me away from my family,” I yelled. As hard as I could, I threw the glass paperweight at the wall. It shattered into a million tiny pieces making my smile stretch even wider.

I crossed the room a picked up a picture of Seb and an older woman I took to be his mother. I placed it on the ground and screamed, “For choosing me!” I smashed my heel into it, the expensive looking frame cracked and the glass smashed.

I looked around and found the suit he wore to the Grooming; it was embroidered with gold snitching and had many medals and tassels hanging off of it. I walked into the bathroom and threw it into the marble bathtub.

“This is for keeping me locked up like an animal,” I snarled. I poured soap and shampoo onto the expensive material and turned the water on full blast. I would leave the tap running to ruin the nice hardwood floors.

I looked around and found exactly the right thing to destroy next. I looked around and saw a golden crown sitting in a glass case in the corner of the room. It had a heavy lock on it so I grabbed the chair from the vanity and smashed the case open, glass rained down on the cream carpet.

I laughed and picked up the crown, cradling it in my arms. I set it on the ground and walked into the closet, behind a dry cleaning bag was a baseball bat that looked pretty old and used. I grabbed it and started beating the golden crown with it, every hit unleashed anger I felt towards Sebastian.

After many hits the grown was just a lump of deformed gold I picked it up and spat on it before running over to the window and pushing it open. With another peel of laughter I threw it out of the window and watched as it tumbled down five stories and stuck itself in the mud.

“And finally, this is for hitting me today.” I continued to mess up his entire room—nothing was left untouched. Messing up his personal things brought great pleasure to me and helped to relief a fraction of the frustration that was boiling just below the surface.

“Miss! What on earth are you doing!?” The maid cried. I paused just as I was ripped open a feather pillow with a fork.

“Oh, hello,” I breathed. I dropped the pillow and stood up, brushing off my sweater.

The maid looked like she was about to have a heart attack, “Oh my God! I have to clean all of this up before the Prince sees!” she cried. She immediately started to pick things up off the floor.

“No! Just leave it,” I ordered softly.

The maid’s eyes widened, “You will get in trouble Miss Serena,” she warned.

I shrugged, “That’s alright, I don’t want you cleaning up this mess, I want him to.”

The maid nodded, “Okay then Miss, if you are sure. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

I smiled, “Actually yes, I want to go outside, can you lead me there?”

The maid bowed her head, “Of course.” She led me throughout the palace expertly, she knew exactly where she was going and I envied her for it. Finally we were out in a well manicured garden.

“I’m sorry, but is there any way I can get out of this garden? It’s beautiful but I want to go out into the woods—the real outdoors.”

The maid sighed, “The garden belongs to Queen Marie, she tends to it every day. And yes Miss, I can get you out there. But if you are trying to run, you won’t get far. After a certain distance there is a fence that is guarded with wolves.”

“I’m not trying to run; I just want some air—some space. How long do I have before the fence.”

The maid shrugged, “It’s about an hour’s run to the perimeter. Maybe ten miles, maybe less. There’s a lot of space up here Miss, I’m sure this will suffice.” I followed her through the garden past large sculptures and pots of flowers.

Finally, we came to a large black iron fence and two large doors. I looked past them and saw exactly what I craved—the woods. The trees were large and patches of snow littered the ground, but in places grass poked through. The mountains were large and intimidating in the background and I could almost smell the fresh water river that was running close by.

“Thank you,” I said with a smile.

The maid bowed her head again, “I’m here to help you in any way you need Miss, it is my duty.” We both froze as he heard a deafening scream followed by a loud growl—obviously Sebastian had found his room in a state.

“Oh Miss! You’d better go! If I were you, I wouldn’t come back for hours; I don’t want him to hurt you again.” I noticed that she was looking down at my wrists which were black and blue and I had predicted they’d be. I flashed a wry smile and pulled my sleeves down.

“Thanks again!” I called over my shoulder as I pushed the gates open. I hurried into the forest and didn’t stop running for about five minutes. When I was deep enough I paused and closed my eyes, inhaling the pure air.

Up here in Alaska, everything was fresher. I thought the air couldn’t get any cleaner than how it was back home, but I had been wrong. I looked around and smiled, everything was wonderful so untouched by humans, so wild and free.

I walked around the forest, touching the ancient trunks of old trees and enjoying the crunch of dead leaves under my boots. I felt my wolf stir in my chest just as I always did when I was in the forest but it was nothing close to a shift.

I sighed and ripped a leaf off of a tree, running it between my fingers as I walked. The fresh air seemed to clear my head a little, everything lately had been so drastic as it seemed to be constantly attacking my thoughts. I just needed time to think.

The roar of water filled my ears and I almost ran to the stream that was a few feet in front of me. Down the river was a small waterfall that I had seen when I first got here. I kneeled down and cupped my hands together to scoop up some water.

It was freezing but clean so I allowed myself a tiny sip. Half of me was wild animal so I knew I wouldn’t get sick from the water, my body was made to consume these things. I wiped my hands on my jeans and tugged off my boots and peeled off my socks, lying them neatly beside me.

I dipped my feet into the river gasping at how cold it was before my body temperature adjusted. I felt my eyes slip close as I relaxed to the sounds of the forest and the cool water that was running over my feet. Everything was so serene out here, nothing like inside the Palace.

I heard a rustling of leaves and pulled my feet from the water, they grew colder as the wind hit them. I pulled my knees to my chest and watched the forest with wide eyes. Two tall men walked out from the cover of the trees and looked at me with sour faces.

“Miss, the Prince wants you to be back at the Palace,” one announced. Immediately a frown appeared on my face, I was having a nice time, enjoying my solitude. I didn’t want to go back yet.

“I don’t want to,” I said quietly, turning back to the river. I heard them step closer but didn’t move as I watched the waterfall.

“The Prince said to take you by force if you did not comply, he wants you to meet the King and Queen,” the other said.

I sighed, “Give me another hour,” I requested. Suddenly two hands clamped down on the tops of my arms and I was yanked into the air, my feet dangling.

“The Prince told us not to take no for an answer, you’re coming back to the palace.”

I wriggled in their hold, “Let me go! I can walk just fine thank you very much!” They dropped me to the ground, my knees buckled painfully. I picked up my shoes and socks and pulled them onto my feet before following the guards, my feet seemed to get heavier with every step I took.

After a lot of walking, we were back inside the palace—or what I considered to be my prison. A maid rushed up to me and started to tug me towards my room upstairs.

“Why am I going upstairs? Aren’t I meeting the King and Queen?” I questioned.

She stopped and stared at me, “You want to wear that?”

I snorted, “I’m not changing if that’s what you mean—I’m not wearing a ball gown to meet two people.” The maid regarded me for a moment before changing her course. We walked throughout the castle, our footsteps echoed off of the marble floors.

I had no idea how I was going to learn my way around here, I’d have to ask one of the maids to draw me a map. I was never good with directions. After a solid five minutes we stood outside large gold doors that were engrave with vines.

I heard heavy footsteps and turned to see Sebastian walking over to me with a tight smile on his face, “That will be all Belinda, thank you for escorting her,” he boomed. Sebastian held onto my arm and the maid bowed before scurrying away.

“Hey Seb, how’s it going?” I asked lightly. Sebastian’s smile dropped and he spun me around to face him full on, his eyes burned into mine.

“Do you think what you did today was wise Serena?” he asked, his tone was full of acid and bite.

I smiled cheekily, “No, but it was fun.” Sebastian’s green eyes turned black, he hated when I did this.

“What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want a miserable life here?”

I narrowed my own eyes, “I don’t want a life here.”

“I need you,” Seb pleaded, surprising me. “I need you Serena.” I felt my heart beating savagely in my chest.

“You need me?” I asked clumsily, my tongue was slow and awkward in my mouth, “Why?”

“Because you’re my mate,” his voice had a vulnerable edge that perplexed me. I could feel myself losing my control so I forced myself to retaliate.

“I still hate you,” I breathed.

Seb grabbed my bruised wrist, making me whimper. “God dammit, you have no right! No right at all! You can’t disrespect me! What makes you think you can roam the grounds by yourself? Who gave you the power to trash my room? Destroy my crown! If you weren’t my mate you would be trialed—killed even.”

I faked a pout, “Don’t play unfair Sebastian, kill me. No one likes it when the teacher plays favourites.” Slap.

I was on the ground when the golden doors opened revealing two older people. The woman looked from me to Seb and her face turned red. The man had similar reactions.

“Sebastian!” The woman barked, “Pick her up and get inside!” Seb’s eyes cooled and returned to their green colour, he reached for me but I flinched and backed up before getting myself up. The couple had already disappeared into the room.

Seb took half a step towards me, “Serena,” he breathed, “I’m so sorry.”

I glared at him, “Don’t apologize, don’t even talk to me.” I brushed past him and walked into the room, following the couple. They walked and sat on one side of a rather large table. I noticed then that the couple both had small crowns on top of their heads.

“Sebastian, sit,” The King commanded. Sebastian sat obediently, I followed his actions. I noticed that both the King and the Queen were dressed up, both clad in outfits fit for a royal ball.

“Welcome Serena,” The Queen said warmly, “I’m sorry about my son, he has a temper.”

“I’ve noticed,” I grumbled.

The King eyed me, “We realise coming here is difficult, is there anything we can do to make this easier for you?” I immediately perked up.

“My sister, bring her here.” I wanted more than Rayne, I wanted my entire pack—my family. But I would settle with her.

The Queen looked at her husband, a frown etching onto her face. “That cannot be done.”

I squeezed my hands into fists, “Why not? You are the King and Queen of the whole Werewolf community! You can do whatever you want!”

“We cannot have a commoner living in the Palace, the only ones allowed to stay here are the staff who were bred here and the Royal family,” The King said.

I frowned, “But since I’m Seb’s mate aren’t I apart of that family, and if Rayne is my sister by blood—isn’t she too?”

The Queen narrowed her eyes, “No, she is not. She cannot be brought here—end of story.”

“This is complete bullshit!” I screamed, Seb’s hands tightened on his chair. “This is not fair, and it’s not right. I should not be forced to stay here, what happened to free will?”

The King narrowed his eyes, “Hasn’t Sebastian told you? We need you Serena.” I felt my heart drop, was this what he was talking about before?

“What do you mean?” I asked through gritted teeth.

“The Moon Goddess made a prophecy about you Serena; we need you to stay here. You are supposed to be the saviour of our kingdom. One among us is going to turn into a force that cannot be stopped—only you can.”

I felt my blood run cold, “What are you talking about?”

The King sighed, “You are going to be the one to save this kingdom from the Black Luna, it’s your destiny.”

Everything inside me started to scream. I knew of the Black Luna. The pack that worshipped her image was the one to tear my father apart. They were setting me up for slaughter.

“You’re crazy!” I yelled, “I haven’t even shifted yet, it’s not my job to save everyone! No one even needs saving!”

The Queen frowned sympathetically, “Not yet, she has not risen to power yet. We are forbidden to do anything, we were set to take her out but the Moon Goddess prevented us from doing so—she told us that this was your path. It was the path of Sebastian’s mate and our future Queen.”

I turned and stared at Sebastian, aware that tears were running down my cheeks. I was shaking with fear. “Is this what you meant when you said that you needed me?”

Sebastian removed his eyes from mine and stared at the floor, guilt was written all over his face. “Yes.”

I felt like screaming, “I cannot believe this!” I got up, my chair flying backwards. I stomped to the door and paused before turning around, “Thanks for volunteering me for the slaughter.” And then I turned and ran away.

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