A Gift from the Goddess Book Two – Chapter 24

What are you doing back here?” Kieran asked. “Did you get lost?”

I took a small breath and tried to think on my words, but there wasn’t really any way around this. It was pretty obvious what I was doing.

“Your uh… Your uncle asked for a drink,” I said, holding it up a little to show him. “I was looking for the kitchen.”

“And he asked you to get it for him?”

“…Yes.”

Silence.

I tapped my nails against the glass in my hand as I awkwardly stood there, unsure if I was about to get another lecture about something I was never told about. A reoccurring situation that was becoming more frustrating.

“Raven… that’s not your job. Especially not as my… guest. We have attendants to help with that which he should already know.”

“Ok… but I didn’t know that and you weren’t there,” I snapped back.
“I was trying to be polite. In a human city, it’s not that uncommon for someone to ask this. Especially for people who are important.”

Countless times in my life had I fetched influential men drinks in order to gain favour. Some people just expected it. How was I meant to know it would be met with this much pushback here? It was just a freaking drink.

“I’m sorry. I’ll try and stay by your side more,” he said. “And don’t worry about the drink or about Sterling. I’ll speak to him about pulling that sort of thing again.”

He went to walk past me to the hallway door, but it was then that my frustration finally came to a boil.

…I’d had enough.

“That’s not the issue here, Kieran,” I said, stopping him. “You can’t be with me twenty-four seven. That’s just… unrealistic. The problem is that I don’t understand.”

He turned back to look at me and his eyes quickly softened.

“…You’re right. That’s my bad. I should explain the culture here to you more,” he said. “The last thing I want is for you to feel uncomfortable. We can do lessons or—.”

“No.”

I placed the glass down on a side table and took a step toward him.

“No, what I don’t understand is… me. Where do I fit into all of this? Where I fit into your life and this town. You say that I’m here as a guest and yet that seems to have unspoken social rules I’ve never heard of.”

“It’s… complicated,” was all he said.

“Complicated in the same way this thing between us is?” I asked, thinking back to what he’d once told me. “Because you never explained that to me either. Just left it as ‘a complicated question’. But these sparks… these abrupt feelings… the connection… It’s all so intense. I need to know if this is just a part of my sickness or… if this is real.”

At that, he instantly moved back over to my side, his hands grabbing mine. I could feel the warmth and sparks spread through the contact, trying to calm me, but my uncertainty inside prevailed.

“It’s real,” he said quietly. “Of course it’s real.”

“Then why won’t you tell me what this is? Or tell anyone else for that matter? Are you hiding it from people because you think this is temporary? Or casual? I’m confused about what you want from me.”

“You’ve got it wrong,” he said quickly, seemingly shocked by what I was saying. “I’m not hiding anything. I don’t need to tell people anything… because everyone already knows, Raven. Everyone knows because you’re my….”

“… ‘Guest’?” I offered when his words trailed off, raising a brow at him.

But he then took a deep breath, rubbing a hand against his eyes. Almost as if he was having an argument with himself inside. One he seemed to leave feeling defeated.

“Because you’re my… mate,” he said reluctantly.

I stared at him blankly, not understanding what that meant. Clearly, this was something he’d been hesitant to tell me and yet his answer provided no new insight into my concerns.

“… Mate’? I don’t… I don’t know what that is,” I said, a crease forming between my brows.

“It’s—.”

But before Kieran could elaborate further, an attendant then walked through the hallway with a tray full of glasses in hand. He spared us a quick curious glance as he passed by but didn’t pause, promptly continuing through to the dining area.

“Come on,” Kieran said, tugging on my hand to follow. “We should talk in private.”

I allowed him to lead me for a minute until we came upon a room. It looked to be a small, contained suite; complete with both a bedroom and lounge area.

He took several feet inside but I quickly crossed my arms, growing impatient. “Tell me,” I said.

And he looked at me with conflicted eyes, as though he really didn’t want to have the conversation. But it was now past the point of hiding this. I needed to know. I needed answers.

Only, I could have never anticipated the way the conversation started.

“Do you believe in Gods?” he asked randomly.

The question took me by surprise but I answered it honestly. “No more than the average guy on the street, I guess. It’s not like someone can prove their existence.”

It was difficult to believe in a divine power after experiencing the things I had, after seeing the things I’d seen.

“What if I was to tell you that there lived a Goddess who created and oversaw our kind? A Great Mother who we refer to as the Moon Goddess, Selene?”

“…Am I being indoctrinated into a cult right now?”

Whilst I’d been warned of his sister’s strong faith, I hadn’t expected Kieran to bring it up like this now of all times. Especially since faith was something personal, not something to be shoved upon another by force.

But he laughed at my response and shook his head.“ No, I’m not. I’m just explaining our kind’s history. Unlike humans, we actually have reasonable evidence to support our deity’s existence. One of those things being… destined mates.”

“Destined mates?”

“A destined mate is… someone chosen by the Goddess to be your other half. A soul mate,” he explained.” The Moon Goddess saw to it that our kind never had to suffer alone.

So she created two halves of our souls. Upon finding the other half, we are instantly connected to them. It’s why you feel and experiences all the things you do around me. I feel them too.”

I’d already thought werewolves were something out of a fantasy book, but now there were soul mates? Someone, who was apparently irrefutably connected to you?

But if his deity had decreed this… thing… between us, why pretend like it didn’t exist?

“Why would you want to hide this from me?” I asked, my head still whirling with information.

“… Because I wanted you to have a choice,” he said.

And it was then that I started to understand his actions.

Kieran slowly walked over to me then and brushed a stray strand of hair away from my face. His eyes studied my features before finally meeting my gaze.

“Without any added pressure, I wanted you to have the freedom to decide if you didn’t want this,” he said. “If… you didn’t want me.”

My chest ached in pain over hearing him say that. Even in the short time we’d spent together, it was clear just how attached to him I already was. I was lying to myself in thinking that I could ever return to my normal life the same now.

That I could return to my father happily without any regrets. Kieran had a hold over me that was intoxicating, a light I’d craved for as long as I could remember. Being near him made it feel like I was able to breathe for the first time.

So if what he was saying was true, if he really was my’ mate’, then did that mean he really would stay by me? …Could I dare to hope that this was maybe permanent?

I reached my hands up and gently touched his face, his eyes immediately relaxing under my touch.

“Kieran… you saved me from a world of pain and abuse, one where I was blind to just how bad it really was,” I said, trying to keep my voice steady despite the overwhelming emotions churning inside. “How could you possibly think I wouldn’t want you?”

He averted his gaze then, looking across the room.

“Because it’s not that simple. There are… responsibilities with being involved with me. My role within this pack basically dictates the future of whoever I become mated with.”

“What do you mean?”

“An Alpha’s mate is referred to as a Luna and they’re seen as a mother figure. A symbol of kindness to everyone who resides here. Where an Alpha typically rules with strength, his Luna is meant to balance that.”

There was that term again. ‘Luna’. Doctor Chambers had expressed guilt when referring to it. So she had been referring to… me. To what she had inadvertently done to me.

“So it’s like a… queen?” I asked, trying to understand.

“Similar, yeah.”

That was… a lot to take in.

I wasn’t by any means a good person. I wasn’t a symbol of kindness nor a leader. In fact, I was so incredibly far from those things.

I’d done… terrible things in my life, controlled by a father I still couldn’t help but feel love for despite everything he’d done. Just what part of that said I was capable of being a ‘Luna’? Of having any sort of responsibility for other people?

It had to be some sort of mistake. This… Goddess, or whatever she was, had to have made an error. If she was even real.

After all, who would want a criminal as a queen?

“Hey… don’t stress,” he said, pulling me from my thoughts. “If you don’t want it then… I don’t know, maybe we can think of another option. Right now, all I care about is making sure you get better… and, though it may be wishful thinking, I’d like to not jeopardize what we have over something stupid like future titles.”

He was always so aware of me, so adept at reading me. I guess it made sense now why he was the only person I’d met who could do that.

He was my… another half. No, my better half.

It seemed almost too good to be true. But that didn’t mean I could be what he wanted me to be one day. All I could offer was myself. Myself and nothing more.

So was it okay for me to exploit this mistake, to want to be with him even though I didn’t want the additional responsibilities? Because I knew for a fact that I wasn’t fit for the role expected. I could never be….

And as I continued to think on it, my eyes then trailed from his, slowly moving down until I was staring at his lips; a small shudder coursing through me as I began to crave his touch once more. Like an addict needing their fix.

Well… I mean… surely it would be okay to reap the benefits a little? We could come to another solution, just as he had said.

And it was with that thought that I then made up my mind.

… I wanted to stay here. I didn’t want to go home yet.

I…

…I…

And as I looked back up to him, my next words held only conviction.

“…I want to be with you too,” I said, finishing the thought in my head.

It was with those last words of acceptance that he then moved in closer, leaning down towards me. A new drive ignited within his actions as he reached out, almost as if he were now unable to stop himself, and the color of his eyes quickly darkened.

And though I wasn’t an expert by any means, I was beginning to think that maybe I’d worked out just what that darkening meant.

…And a shiver of anticipation swept through me.

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