Chapter 10- A daring move
I hurried back to my room, glad there wasn’t still a crowd at the top of the stairs. They’d listened when Sebastian ordered them to scatter. I tiptoed around the broken door, looking for Caspian.
He was slouched into the armchair, staring at nothing in particular. He jumped up as he noticed me. “Are you okay? I wasn’t sure if you wanted me to wait for you,” he said.
“I’m glad you did and I’m fine. I’m sorry about what happened, Casp. I shouldn’t have brought you up here.”
He sighed. “Things are never going to be the same with us, are they?”
“I don’t think so,” I admitted.
His shoulders fell. “So, what now? Am I being exiled from the festivities?”
I quickly shook my head. “No, you can stay. In fact, Seb says you can even stay here with the pack or in the second pack house. Whatever you prefer.”
He snorted. “Seb?”
“Just stop. We knew if we found our mates things would change.”
“Yeah, but I didn’t think I’d lose you as a friend, Lyla.”
“We’ll always be friends,” I said, needing it to be true.
“How did you manage to get him to let me stay?”
I looked around sheepishly. “I agreed to stay in his room.”
Caspian full out laughed. “He’s good. I’ll give him that.”
I ignored his statement and directed the conversation towards his mate. “About your mate,” I started.
His eyes snapped towards mine, waiting for me to continue.
“I think I know why we can’t find her.”
“Because I imagined her? Goddess, I knew it. I’ve gone crazy,” he said, throwing up his hands.
I took a deep breath. He wouldn’t reject his mate because of her breeding. I knew that but her background would make things difficult for them. “I think she may be a rogue,” I said, only giving half of the information.
At that, he straightened a bit. “Part of the group that supposedly infiltrated pack lands?”
“Yeah, and I think she’s a half-breed.”
“Did she smell different to you?”
He shook his head.
I didn’t allow that to derail my theory. There were ways of masking a scent and this rogue pack probably knew how.
“Lyla, we need to find her before your mate kills her,” he said grabbing hold of my forearms.
I shook myself out of his arms. “He’s not going to kill her, Casp.”
“You don’t know do you.”
I stared up at him, confused. “What do you mean? What don’t I know?”
“The way his parents died. It’s all everyone has been talking about since the rumors of half-breeds on pack land began.”
“When did you even hear about it? You’ve been cooped up in the pack room all night.”
He looked as if I should already know.
“You know how gossipy the older wolves from our pack are. Well, your former pack. They wouldn’t shut up about it until father made them. He didn’t want to be caught speaking of things we didn’t know, especially by Sebastian.”
“Well, get on with it. How did they die?” I asked.
I’d already heard from Tiberius that half-breeds and their creator were responsible for the death of his parents but maybe Caspian had heard something else. I wasn’t above finding out information any way I could get it.
“They said the one creating half-breeds left and right is Sebastian’s best friend. He got tired of waiting to find his mate, so he bit as many humans as he could in hopes of finding his one true pairing. It worked. He eventually found her. They said that after he found his mate he stopped biting humans. No one knows how many he bit but the guess is in the hundreds.”
I was about to ask a question when he shook his head. He wanted to finish without interruption.
“I got the rest of the story from some of the attendants that were servicing the room.”
I’d need to find those attendants and give them a piece of my mind for gossiping about the pack to outsiders.
He continued, “They said he was supposedly happy. He had a mate and a pack. Until Sebastian’s fathers attacked him for creating abominations and breaking wolf law. His mate was killed and he sort of went crazy after. He killed Sebastian’s parents in retaliation.”
I gasped. I shook my head, trying to understand it all. “But how does any of that mean Sebastian is going to try and kill your mate?”
“He wants them all dead, Lyla. At least that’s what I heard from Magnolia.”
My head snapped up. “How do you know Magnolia?”
“She caught me and the attendants speaking about it in the hall. She filled in what they didn’t know.”
“Magnolia,” I sneered, disgusted with the she-wolf.
“Know her?” he asked.
“I’ll tell you about it later. Right now, I’m going to find Sebastian.”
“Okay. Well, I’ll probably stay here with the pack so let me know if you hear anything else.”
I nodded. Of course I would.
I left Caspian with Beta Alexander, whose stank face was still aimed at me. He must have heard what happened between Sebastian and Caspian since apparently no one had anything else to do but gossip.
I called Teresa to check in but it went straight to voicemail. No doubt she was with Reece. Hopefully, I got to meet him before the ball. I groaned just thinking about the ball. All wolves who’d found their mate had to attend. I knew some of the details that came with mating but apparently, it would be different for Sebastian and I since we were the Alpha and Luna hosting the accords.
I’d ask Sebastian about the details later in the evening when we’d be alone.
I found myself back at the training field watching a shirtless Sebastian training the juvenile wolves. The way they fought was brutal yet beautiful. His lean frame and muscles were tantalizing to watch as they glistened under the noon sun. I wasn’t the only one watching him but I ignored their prying eyes.
The juveniles worked hard for their Alpha’s approval and took his words of advice to heart. I sat beneath one of the outer trees and enjoyed the shade while I waited for Sebastian. I didn’t know what was expected of me at this point in time so I’d wait until I discussed it further with Sebastian.
I watched him train for hours and I didn’t find myself getting bored with staring at him. Every so often he’d wave or smile devilishly in my direction and it would set fire to my already heated skin. He’d offered to spend the afternoon with me but I hadn’t wanted to deter him from his training with the teens. I could tell they enjoyed the attention he gave them. It was a small group of four and they were all able to receive one on one time with him.
I must have fallen asleep because the next thing I knew I was being carried into the pack house, cradled against Sebastian’s bare chest. Tentatively, I lifted my hand and ran my fingers over his chest. A low rumble reverberated against my body. He kicked the door closed behind him and laid me gently onto his bed. I sat up a bit, leaning onto my elbows. He stood watching me through lust filled eyes from the foot of his bed. A minute passed before he groaned and walked to the restroom, slamming the door behind him.
I exhaled. It was getting difficult to not jump him. I let myself fall onto my back. The air conditioner licked the heat and sweat from my skin. It had been hot outside and my proximity to Sebastian had not helped. I jumped out of bed and shuffled through Sebastian’s dresser and closet, looking for my clothes. Apparently, he had someone move my things into his room. Once again, I really hoped it wasn’t Matthew.
I grabbed underclothes, a pair of shorts, a t-shirt, and quickly left the room. I would have gone and showered in my old room but the door was still broken and the restroom didn’t have locks. So instead, I hurried to Teresa’s room. I was hoping she was out since it was nearly seven and there was bound to be a party for her and Reece to attend.
I counted the doors, remembering Teresa’s door was the fourth on the left. I quickly tested the doorknob and thankfully it opened. The room was dark and soft music played in the background. Teresa must have left the radio on. It was a habit I was unsuccessfully trying to rid her of. I felt around the wall to my right, trying to find the light switch.
I flicked it on as soon as my fingers found the small plastic knobs.
My eyes widened at the sight in front of me. Teresa and who I assumed was Reece were tangled in a compromising position. I knew his face but couldn’t quite place it. Their smell hit me like a ton of bricks, assaulting my nostrils.
Teresa cursed and Reece floundered around looking for a blanket. It was as if I had been frozen in time. I couldn’t move my body. My eyelids seemed to be glued open, unable to look away. I saw everything and I mean everything.
“Lyla, what the hell? Look away,” Teresa yelled.
It was what I needed to get my body moving. I turned away and ran straight into the closed door. I silently cursed and worked frantically to open the door. I kept pushing but it wouldn’t budge.
“For Goddess sake, pull, Lyla,” she shouted.
I scrambled out of the room and ran straight into Sebastian. “What are you doing here?” I asked.
“I was wondering where you ran off to and one of the pack wolves said they saw you coming this way and I figured you’d be in Teresa’s room. Is everything okay?” he asked.
“Yeah, I was going to shower in Teresa’s room but she has uhm some company. Let’s head back to your room,” I said hastily.
“Our room,” he corrected.
After a quick shower, I sat across from Sebastian. A small round table with two chairs was ensconced in a corner of the room.
“Are you sure you’re alright? You seem a bit off.”
“I’m good. Thanks,” I said, trying to get the image of a naked Teresa and Reece out of my head.
He narrowed his gaze but thankfully let the subject drop. “The Mates Gala is coming up in a few days and I thought it would be wise to discuss what is expected of us as Alpha and Luna. We hold a position that many covet and it’s wise that we don’t give any of them any room to take what is ours. The Wolf Council appointed the Royal Pack as head of the accords and because of that we are expected to mark each other in front of everyone,” he said eyeing me, waiting on my reaction.
It felt as if I’d been doused with a bucket of water. It snapped me out of the image of Teresa and Reece that had been playing on a constant loop in my mind. “What do you mean we need to mark each other in front of everybody?”
He fiddled with his fingers on the table. “It’s expected of us.”
“Well it’s fucking stupid,” I said bluntly. “It accomplishes nothing to have an audience.”
He sighed, leaning back into his chair. He rubbed the temples of his head with his right hand, clearly exasperated by my thoughts on the subject. “Nothing will ever be easy with you, will it?”
I scoffed. “If you want easy I can get Magnolia for you.”
The thought of them together made me want to break something but the words were out of my mouth before I had a chance to screen them.
“I’ve told you countless times that I don’t want her. I want you. Only you,” he breathed. “What about this worries you?” he asked as he grabbed my hand, caressing my palm with his thumb.
“The feelings that supposedly comes with being marked, the desire. I don’t want everyone to see me that way. I’m surprised that you do,” I said, withdrawing my hand from his.
I didn’t want to expose myself that side of myself to everyone. A lot of people wouldn’t mind, being that we’re wolves, but I was a bit of a prude when it came to things like that. I barely let my old pack see me in the nude when we shifted together. All that time with them never put me at ease.
“Don’t be ridiculous, of course I don’t,” he said taking hold of my hand again. “Will you trust me?”
His gaze pierced my own, waiting for an answer. There was no way we were going to get out of the stupid tradition and there was no way I was going to let him down, so it seemed I’d be getting claimed in front of everyone.
“Fine,” I huffed. “What else do we have to do?”
He smiled and I nearly lost my breath. I’d never seen that smile before. His whole face transformed from the one I was used to. No longer was his face stern or withheld, the corner of his eyes crinkled adorably as warmth poured into his ice blue eyes.
“We dance, mingle, I make a speech, but mostly we enjoy our night together. The Marking doesn’t happen until the end of the evening.”
I nodded, accepting what had to be done, although I sure as hell didn’t like it. I rolled my eyes just thinking of the agony of finding a dress. Teresa would love it. She had hers already. She had been so trusting, sure the Moon Goddess would give her a mate, and her trust proved to well placed.
“Now let’s talk about what happened in Teresa’s room,” Sebastian chuckled.
My eyes widened. How had he known about that?
As if reading my mind, he responded. “I could smell them on you. I still can,” he said wrinkling his nose.
I jumped up from my seat. “Gross. I’m taking a shower,” I said grabbing my clothes from where I’d discarded them.
“Want me to scrub your back?” Sebastian asked, eyes smoldering. A small smirk danced along his lips.
I gulped. “I’m more than capable of scrubbing my own back, thank you.”
He chuckled. “One day you’ll be asking me to join you.”
“Maybe.” I pulled off my shirt in a daring move as I walked towards the bath that was calling my name. “But that day isn’t today,” I said looking at him over my bare shoulder.
His open-mouthed shock gave me the satisfaction I wanted as I entered the other room.