The Rejected Luna’s Prince Chapter 31
That s.ex changed me. Completely and irrevocably.
Caspien knew it as he propped himself on his side.
“That was nice,” I shrugged, drawing circles in the cool sheets, “Someone promised me anything but-”
He flipped me over with a growl. I knew I wouldn’t get any sleep tonight, but I don’t think I had ever felt more awake or alive in my life.
My eyes felt like they weighed a thousand pounds, and I forced them open the following day. I was sprawled naked across the bed, and I reached for Caspien but where he was laying was cold. My eyes fluttered shut, but my brain was telling me to wake up.
I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Wait, he was with Caspien’s parents. I relaxed but the feeling of confusion didn’t leave me, I felt like I was missing something, that I had to be doing something.
What time was it anyway?
I groaned against the edges of a headache that formed around my mind. I don’t know what time we managed to fall asleep. We ended up talking for Goddess knew how long after a few rounds of him. My cheeks heated at the memories, and I pressed my legs together, trying to stop the swirl of tingles just from the memory of him.
I peeled myself out of bed and went to the bathroom I used off of Emmett’s room. I showered, but the warm water only made me more tired, so I changed it to cold to shock myself awake. It only barely helped.
Brushing my long hair took ages; it was tangled and knotted, and no matter what I did to my face, even applying a few coats of mascara, I looked at tired as I felt.
I tugged on a white sundress dress Caspien bought for me and pulled part of my hair back to the sides, not bothering to fully dry it.
Something hit me as I opened the door to Emmett’s room. I woke up and felt comfortable enough to get dressed and ready before making sure Emmett was okay. I knew he was okay no matter if he was with Caspien or his parents, which was huge for me.
I smiled to myself, leaving the room, thinking back at how even a few months ago, I was worried sick. I was confused and lost and had no idea how I would relocate alone, only not to have to do it alone.
As much as I wanted to figure out life for myself, finding Cali and Loreli, and then Caspien and his parents and friends, I realized I could still be independent and accomplished but didn’t have to carry the weight by myself.
I didn’t see anyone in the living room as I descended the stairs. The sound of laughter directed me to the kitchen. I leaned in the open doorway and saw a mop of brown hair and light red curls sitting at the kitchen island, watching Caspien’s back intently.
They were both giggling, and when he turned around, I choked on my laugh.
Caspien had a whipped cream mustache and strawberries over his eyes.
“I can’t find him, I’ve looked everywhere and I swear he was just here!” He exclaimed, actually exclaimed.
“He’s behind you,” Emmett and Loreli shouted, falling into a fit of laughter.
Caspien turned around, not noticing me, with strawberries covering his eyes. The next time he turned back to us, his mustache and eyes were gone.
“Did I miss something?-” He asked the kids before stopping when he saw me.
I waved a hand, “Go on,” I stepped into the kitchen, placing a kiss on Emmett’s head and squeezing Loreli’s shoulder, “Don’t let me intrude”
“Mr. Baker stole our strawberries, so Caspien is trying to get them back so that we can make waffles.”
“Color me intrigued,” I raised an eyebrow studying Caspien. If the man was capable of blushing, I think he might at this moment, “We need to solve this mystery.” I added seriously.
Loreli nodded, “We’re close.” She clapped her hands together.
“Mr. Baker was just here,” Emmett added.
“I saw him; I can vouch for that.” I tilted my head thoroughly, enjoying Caspien’s embarrassment.
Caspien swallowed, “Well, great then. If you saw him-”
“I did,” I confirmed with a smile, I loved seeing him embarrassed, I didn’t think this was an emotion that he was capable of.
“Well, then I guess we are on the right trail,” Caspien took a deep breath, not meeting my stare, and turned around.
A few moments later, he had the mustache and strawberry eyes back.
“There he is,” Emmett and Loreli pointed, I smiled, biting down on my laugh.
Caspien spun around, “I got him,”
“No, I got him.” He said back to himself.
This went on for a few more moments. Loreli and Emmett could hardly contain themselves until he turned back to us without a mustache holding up a handful of strawberries. He took a few steps to the kitchen island, pretending to be out of breath, and let the strawberries fall from his hands, rolling towards us.
A few seconds of silence passed until I started clapping slowly. Loreli and Emmett joined once they caught their breaths.
“An actor,” I commented, “Is there anything you cant do?” I picked up a strawberry and took a bite out of it; his eyes went to my lips.
“I told you there wasn’t.” His voice was serious, “Now, who wants to help make the batter?” His voice lightened as he turned his attention to the kids.
They bounced up and down and shouted ‘me’.
“How and when?” I asked, motioning to them; I didn’t expect to see Loreli here.
He shrugged, turning around to gather ingredients, “I was up early and asked them to bring Emmett, I didn’t want to leave Loreli by herself so here we are.” He set the ingredients on the kitchen island and went back to grab mixing bowls.
“Good morning, ladies and gentlemen,” Holden’s voice sang from the front.
“I really shouldn’t have given him a key,” Caspien muttered.
Cali walked into the kitchen, stopping in her tracks when she saw Loreli.
She was wearing one of Holden’s white button-downs with her belt around it. Her hair was everywhere but it looked windswept somehow. She looked like she just walked out of a magazine shoot instead of like like she rolled out of bed.
“Baby girl,” She placed kisses on Loreli’s cheeks and head, “I missed you.” Loreli pushed her off and laughed. Cali ruffled Emmett’s hair and gave him a kiss on his head too.,
“What did I miss?” She asked, crossing her arms surveying the kitchen.
I opened my mouth to say something.
“Don’t.” Caspien pointed a spatula at me and I shut my mouth.
Cali was about to say something, but Holden came in behind her grabbing her from behind, he looked up and saw the kids and dropped his hands, backing up a few steps.
“Is that?” Holden pointed to the back of Loreli’s head.
Cali and I nodded.
Holden put a hand over his mouth, “Wow,” He breathed.
I looked at Cali and she rolled her eyes but couldn’t hide her smile.
“May I?” He looked to Cali, who snorted.
“She’s not a dog,” She shook her head, “You can talk to her. Or try,” She whispered.
Holden took a few steps up and around the side of the island.
“Hi Holden,” Emmett said, Holden gave him a bright smile and a wave.
“Hi,” Holden held out his hand to Loreli,” I looked at him and shook my head, and he moved his hand away.
“I’m Holden; I’m your mom and Willa’s friend.”
“Eh,” I butted in and he scowled at me.
“Not helping,” He muttered before turning to Loreli, “What kind of pancakes do you like?”
“We’re making waffles,” Emmett corrected him, and Holden paused.
“Okay then,” He took a deep breath closing his eyes, “What kind of waffles do you like?” He said a bit slower.
“Strawberry,” Loreli went on babbling about waffles and powdered sugar and summed up Mr. Baker and Caspien’s show leaving Holden and Cali completely confused.
“Well, that sounds absolutely amazing,” Holden smiled at her, he looked at Loreli with so much affection it warmed me. I looked at Cali and she gave me a slight shrug, but I could tell she was melting too.
“Can I get you some coffee?” Caspien asked Cali.
“A red eye,”
“Same please,” I added.
“What?” Caspien looked between us.
“A shot of espresso in a cup of coffee,” Cali pulled her hair back in a ponytail.
“You guys are tired?” Holden asked dragging his attention from Loreli for a second.
“Exhausted doesn’t even begin to cover it,” Cali responded.
“Cas, are you tired?” Holden looked to where Caspien was starting to make coffee at a machine that looked like something from Star Trek.
“I’ve never been more invigorated in my life, I woke up early,” He glanced at Holden with an almost playful smile.
“Same, I’ve never been more awake.”
I stared at them crossing my arms; Holden gave me a sly grin.
“But I guess if you guys are too tired,
“Maybe it’s because we were doing most of the work,” Cali raised an eyebrow at me.
“Not in front of the children,” Holden scolded.
“You started it,” I argued.
Caspien brought us our coffees, and after I drank mine in silence I felt almost awake.
We all ate breakfast together. Caspien made waffles with the help of Emmett and Loreli, and Cali helped squeeze juice as I set out the table.
Loreli climbed onto Holden’s lap by the end of the meal after he showed her how to make a cabin out of waffle pieces. Emmett was intrigued and we spent a while trying to make a volcano at his request.
“She looks just like me,” Holden held Loreli facing us. Her strawberry curls, blue eyes, and pale skin were a slight contrast against Holden’s golden skin and blonde hair.
“Um,” Cali tilted her head.
“You both are, um, human?” I said, “Oh wait,” I laughed, giving him a look, he glared at me.
“Can we keep him?” Loreli squished Holdens cheeks
“Can we?” Holden asked Cali a broad smile on his squished face.
“Let me think about it; he’s not house-trained yet,” Cali responded dryly with a cunning smile.
“That was low,” Holden scowled, Caspiens shoulders shook in a silent laugh.
“I can train him,” Loreli looked at Holden and squished her nose against his.
Cali insisted on helping me clear the plates.
“Not because I’m domesticated or anything, but I want to hear the gossip.” She flipped her ponytail wiggling a brow, “Also what is that on your neck and how do I get one? Looks kinky,”
I blushed putting my hand to my neck where I held Caspien’s mark, smiling at the fresh memory of it.
“It’s binding, it’s forever. But-”
“You can get one right now,” Holden chimed in, I sighed closing my eyes.
“We also have really good hearing,” I explained, I don’t know why I was still whispering.
She narrowed her eyes, “You have a lot of explaining to do,” I looked away turning on the sink to rinse the dishes.
“Do you believe me?” I asked, worried about her answer.
She came up next to me and took the plates from me, loading the dishwasher, “I guess I have to, I saw my best friend turn into a wolf,” She shook her head.
“How do you feel?” I asked her lowering my voice, I heard Caspien strike up a conversation behind us and thankfully he started to usher them into the other room.
“Maybe we wash hands, you guys are cute, but the sticky thing, not sold on,” Holden said and I saw Cali almost laugh.
Once they were actually gone she leaned back on the sink, all pretenses of helping clean gone.
“I feel good. I know it sounds cheap, taking the easy way out but having some deity choose the perfect guy for me, honestly,” She shrugged, her hazel eyes met mine, “It makes it easy.”
“I know, but I mean, it’s what I’m used to.”
“Do you guys not date?”
I shrugged, “Depends; some people find their mates later, some of them as soon as they get their wolf at eighteen.”
“Okay, we’re going to park the whole get the wolf at eighteen thing for now and circle back later,” She eyed me, “You just found yours?”
“I’ll explain later,” I really didn’t want to get into all of it now, I wanted to share with her everything and I was glad I finally could, but we didn’t have the time.
“Hmm,” She turned back to grab some plates, thankfully letting it go for now.
We started loading the dishwasher in silence, and I waited for her to speak, not wanting to pressure her on anything at the moment, I knew that even if she accepted it, this would still be a lot.
“I don’t know; it’s nice to not have to wade through all the a.ss f.ucks to find one that is almost mediocre.” She put down the plate she was holding, looking far away, “I used to not mind so much, the people I was with, who they were or what they did, did to me. What I thought I wanted.” Her voice came out shaky.
“But, that was when it was just me, and it isn’t anymore. I can’t put myself on the line like that. I couldn’t risk anything happening to me, Loreli would have no one.” Her eyes misted over, and she snapped them shut, “It’s not about me anymore,” She looked at me, “If something happened to Loreli because of me, I mean,” She shook her head vigorously, scrubbing a plate we missed.
“It’s not about me,” She repeated firmer, “I can take care of myself. I could when I had nothing to lose, but now,” She gripped the side of the sink, “I have everything to lose.”
I swallowed, I understood, maybe not her past, but I understood how everything shifted because of them.
“Lorelei’s dad?” I left the question open, we never talked about it, and she never offered anything. I guess I didn’t mention much about Nolan to her.
Cali bit her lip and shook her head, “Doesn’t know she exists, it’s for the better. Part of the reason I dipped during high school and finished my GED later. I wanted people to think I ran away; I didn’t want him to know.”
I nodded, taking that in.
“But do you want this? It’s pretty permanent. I know he would take it at your pace, Caspien would make sure he would,” I added. I would, too, but I didn’t think it seemed as intense.
“I think I want this, Willa.” She looked at me, almost pleading, “I want someone that had been waiting for me, someone that won’t leave. And I mean the things he can do with his finger,” She looked at me with a raised eyebrow I hit her shoulder lightly.
“Seriously, Cali. This is a lot. I’m easing into it, and I’m from this world. I just want to make sure you’re happy. But I will say that Holden would make an incredible partner and an even better father. But, I have to say that I don’t know him too well.”
“Sure, get those disclaimers in now, in case he kills me and hides me in twelve dumpsters around the city. Clear your conscious” She raised an eyebrow but gave me a shadow of a smile.
“Twelve is very specific,”
She rolled her eyes, “This is what you dream of, right? The perfect prince that sees you once and knows your his. Love at first sight bullshit.”
“You make it sound so romantic,” I leaned closer to her, “But it does make it easier, there’s a beacon to your perfect person. It goes deeper than attraction, way deeper. They were made for you,” I thought of Caspien last night a smile crossed my face.
Goddess, the way that he looked at me. I wore his mark, and I touched the place where he marked me.
I was his officially, he was mine. We belonged to each other. I didn’t have time to process it yet. Thinking about it was surreal.
“And you guys are now, like, married?
“Yes,” The word slipped out, but it was true. I looked at her without anything but what I felt marring my features.
“Good,” She smiled a bit, studying me, “Good,” She nodded, turning back to the sink.
“I’m honestly happy that you’re mated to Holden, if you choose this, we can, you know, hang out forever,” I bumped her hip with mine, and she smiled.
“That would be the best part,” She smirked, “Also, getting like a surprise soulmate you don’t even have to date first.”
“That too,” I amended.
We went back to cleaning up, focusing on it this time before I heard my phone ring, but it sounded far away. I looked around, realizing I didn’t know where I put it last night.
“Here,” Caspien came into the kitchen, “It was on the dining room table,” He raised an eyebrow as if he had to remind me of last night.
“Thanks,” I grabbed it, and saw my mom was calling. I picked up. I needed to fill her in on a lot of things.
“Hi honey, how are you?” My mom’s voice immediately put me at ease.
“Good, really good,” I played with a strand of my hair as I walked around the kitchen.
“That’s great to hear; we were just checking, you know.”
“Why? Did you hear something?” I asked, there was no way they could have known I was mated again, could they? I internally kicked myself for not telling them sooner. I should have told them sooner.
“Nolan came by,” I stopped pacing; what did he want?
“We’re not sure. He came in and just sat there, really. I think he wanted us to say something but of course, we didn’t give anything away. I think that we just showed up here unannounced made him worried.”
“Oh,” I chewed my lip, “When did this happen?”
“This morning. He stopped by a few days ago, but we weren’t home. The neighbors told us,”
“I think I know what that was about,” I explained the letter I sent him and how he renounced paternity.
“Oh, I didn’t know you had to do that,”
“I didn’t either, but it’s over and done with so we don’t have to worry.”
“Then why would he come? He seemed nervous; maybe he was worried you had something up your sleeve.”
I laughed once, “He might, but that is ridiculous. He, well, you know what happened, it’s not his place to worry now.” I sighed, “He’s just being paranoid, and I find it absolutely ridiculous that he would think I would want anything to do with him or try to sabotage Goddess knows what.” I paced faster and knew I was sounding annoyed. Cali looked up at me.
“I know, honey, we know that. We just wanted to check in to see.”
“I know, thanks; I just, he doesn’t even matter; if he asks, you can tell him that.” I was pissed actually, the fact that he was worried about me crawling back or trying to take my revenge now, the f*****g nerve.
“Okay,” She didn’t sound sure.
“I actually found my second chance,” I wanted to change the subject.
The line was silent, and I felt Cali’s stare; I had a lot to fill her in on.
“What? A chosen mate or.”
“A second chance, mate, Mom, a real one.” I sighed.
I was a s**t daughter, we talked daily but I wanted to make sure that it was real before sharing it; I was worried it was too good to be true and I saw how much my rejection affected them; I couldn’t get their hopes up. I did plan to tell them, though, before we marked each other. Again, I wasn’t planning on that either, it just seemed right, and I didn’t want to spend another moment not officially belonging to him.
“Honestly, right after you left, I’ve been taking it slow because, you know,” I shrugged,” Emmett is involved this time.”
She let out a long breath, “Well, if this is what you want and he treats you right, then we are happy for you. I’m just worried that”
“Mom, don’t worry; I had all those same worries and more.”
“Okay, I trust you, honey. Are we going to get to meet him?”
“I would love that. We miss you.”
“We miss you too,”
“How is it over there?”
“Good, good. It’s like nothing happened, like we didn’t leave. It makes me feel weird, honestly. People dance around the subject like they are afraid to talk about it or ask us about you or where we were or any of it. It doesn’t feel the same.”
“I’m sorry,” I felt guilty even though I knew it wasn’t my fault. I wanted my parents to be comfortable at their home pack.
“It’s fine, it’s fine; what choice do we have?”
“Move to Crescent Moon,” I suggested, half joking.
“Your mate is from Crescent Moon? Well, of course, that would make sense.” She paused for a moment, “I’m not sure city life is for us, at that Alpha, that Prince, he is terrifying. I don’t think that I could live with him as The Alpha; I don’t think we would fit in there.”
“Mom,” I smiled, “They have a packhouse and cottages in the forest, too; you don’t have to live in the city. How about you come here and meet him, and then you decide? No pressure, it’s just an option.”
“Of course, I’ll talk to your dad about it.” She didn’t sound convinced, but I didn’t expect her to want to pack up and move to a new pack where everything she knew was at Blue Ridge.
I wasn’t sure if I should bring up that The Alpha was my mate, I figured I could ease her into it.
“Okay, I’ll set something up with him.”
“Are you happy?”
I paused. A smile tugged at my face.
“Yes, happier than I think I have ever been,” My hand went to my fresh mark.