The Rejected Luna’s Prince Chapter 37
Our parents let us sleep in, and it was almost noon when I managed to peel myself from Caspien’s warm embrace. Sleep still clouded my mind, but I felt better than I had in weeks.
This all felt so normal, and I was craving normal.
Our parents were all there with us at his place; he had more than enough space for us all. I didn’t have to try to impress them. I didn’t feel on edge. I could breathe with his parents, and they got along so well with mine despite their vastly different upbringings.
Caspien stiffened for a second where he was sitting next to me on the couch before leaning down to whisper in my ear, “Rachel wants to meet with us,”
I sighed. I didn’t want to deal with whatever it was she was going to say, but I wanted to put her behind us for good.
“Me too?” I had to make sure I was hearing him right, “Did she actually ask to meet with me?” I didn’t want to be dragged along if she only wanted to talk to him.
“Yes,” he kissed the side of my cheek and pulled me up, excusing us.
He wrapped his arms around me as we stood behind his desk, waiting. The phone rang, and Caspien grabbed it, frowning.
“Alpha Dracos,” He pushed a button to put it on speaker.
“Ah, hello, Alpha Dracos. This is Alpha Jasper.” Caspien tensed and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath through his nose.
“Are there more problems at the border,” His eyes looked like chips of ice as he slipped completely into Alpha mode, “On your end,” He added.
The line was silent for a moment, “Why do you always think I’m calling with bad news?”
“Because you always are. Not bad news necessarily, but something to add to my plate, something you messed up.”
“My men messed up, you mean.”
“I know what I said. Your warriors are an extension of you.” Caspien replied coldly.
“I didn’t know you were so diplomatic. Maybe your child has softened you.”
I looked toward Caspien, confusion evident on my face. I didn’t understand what he was getting at. Caspien’s hand clenched, but that was the only sign that he even heard Alpha Jasper. His eyes clouded over for a few long moments.
“A congratulation is in order, Alpha.” Alpha Jasper continued, “I didn’t know that you had a child, even though you kept them well hidden.”
“We haven’t kept him hidden; there hasn’t been a formal announcement yet.”
“A blessed wolf as well. You would be right to keep him hidden, keep him protected.” Caspien’s jaw tensed and my stomach tightened as I looked over at him.
Was what he was saying true? I was only worried about protecting him from himself, from the power he would possess. It hadn’t crossed my mind that others might seek him out, try to use him, or hurt him. My heart started beating erratically and each breath became hard thinking of my sweet boy and what the world would see him as, try to do to him.
I won’t let anything happen to our son Caspien’s voice was sharp in my mind, and I tried to nod, but I wasn’t sure I did.
Holden, Griffen, and Cali came in on silent feet. Griffen came to stand next to Caspien’s side, and Holden and Cali took a seat across from the desk. Holden looked serious, something that made me even more nervous.
“Alpha Dracos?” That voice I started to hate came again, “Is everything alright on your end?” If a wicked smile had a sound, this was it.
“I was just trying to figure out how you found out about my son when it hasn’t been announced.”
“Do they now?” Caspien’s voice was laced with hard anger.
“Apparently, I just wanted to congratulate you on such a powerful heir, I truly hope you can protect him so he can take your crown.”
“The thought of his protection has never crossed my mind,” Caspien responded immediately, “There will be no problems with the future prince’s security. No one would be stupid enough to test my wrath.” There was no room for question there.
“Well, I hope that is the case then,” Alpha Jasper mused, “I just wanted to reach out to extend my congratulations for your hidden heir.”
“You mentioned that already, and I appreciate the sentiment. Next time you want to send your well wishes, send an email. This line is for business only.” Caspien hung up so fast I jumped. He almost broke his phone.
“How the hell did Alpha Jasper discover about Emmett being a blessed wolf?” He growled, his entire office shook, and hot anger rolled off of him. Everyone, even Cali, cowered.
I couldn’t wrap my mind around it; we just found out yesterday, and as far as I knew, none of us left. We were all in the packhouse still. Our parents stayed at Caspien’s, and Cali and Holden were at his place. Even if there was someone that talked, it would have been someone that we trusted completely.
I looked at Caspien, and I could tell he was trying to piece it together too, but he was feeling more anger and pure rage I didn’t think he had the ability to think straight.
I don’t understand. I couldn’t bring myself to think that someone I trusted so completely would do this. I couldn’t go through that again, the broken trust, I thought I was past that with all of these people.
“I think that might be my fault, actually,” Rachel walked in with her eyes downcast, but even with that, she didn’t look anything less than confident, anything less like she belonged in any room she stepped in.
“What?!” Caspien roared at her. His anger was red hot, and his eyes flashed black. I was worried he would shift right there and tear her apart.
“It was a mistake,” She averted her eyes, Capien’s aura made it hard to speak, “I swear, I didn’t know,” Her voice trailed off.
“Tell us everything,” I said, putting my hand in front of Caspien’s chest. His breathing was erratic, and he was shaking, I knew his wolf wasn’t as intense as he was, but he was still an Alpha wolf and protective of his own.
She nodded and took a tentative step forward, wringing her hands.
“I accidentally, well, I went out last night, and I guess I kind of vented to someone who ended up being the Beta of Black Stone,” Her eyes met mine, and she seemed scared and remorseful, but I didn’t know her. All I knew was that she had put my baby in danger.
“And then what?” Caspien asked; icy rage coated his words.
“I don’t remember it all, I swear,” She shook her head furiously, “I didn’t mean to, I didn’t know-” Her voice cracked, and she looked down.
“You’re telling me that you let slip that my son is a blessed wolf to someone that you didn’t know was the Beta of Black Stone?” Caspien took a step towards her. I grabbed his arm to stop him from going further, trying to calm him down a bit to think rationally.
“Yes,” She met his eyes, “That is what I’m saying. He didn’t introduce himself with his title; I only found out this morning when I woke up in their packhouse.”
“You slept with him?” Holden asked.
“Yes,” Rachel turned her gaze to Holden, “I thought I was just venting to someone, I didn’t know that it would turn into this.”
“Was it good?” Cali asked, and I swear Rachel smiled for a moment before shaking her head once.
“Gives a new definition to sleeping with the enemy,” Holden snorted.
“I think that actually is the definition,” Griffen corrected, “Also, technically, he isn’t our enemy. We have an alliance.”
“You’re not telling me that Alpha Jasper is on our side.” Holden gave Griffen a blank stare.
“On paper, he is,” Griffen retorted, “That’s all that legally matters, for now.”
“How did you even find out about my son?” I asked Rachel, re-directing the conversation, “That he was a blessed wolf?”
Her deep brown eyes focused on mine, “Grace mentioned it last night. I swear it wasn’t even a huge thing; I didn’t make a big deal about it. I just said it in passing; I was venting to someone over drinks that I didn’t think I would see again.”
“Are you planning on seeing him again?” Griffen asked.
She shook her head, “He was nice, he was what I needed for the night. But the sneaking off to tell his Alpha some news about a kid first thing in the morning doesn’t really sit well with me,” She offered a whisper of a smile.
I nodded once. I think I believed her, especially because she volunteered the information instead of us finding out elsewhere.
“What else does he know?” Caspien cut in. She blinked and shook her head.
“I-I honestly don’t know.” She shut her eyes, “I can’t really remember,”
“I don’t care if it was an accident. You put him at risk,” Caspien growled.
“Get out,” He was shaking again.
“Caspien,” I walked closer to him and squeezed his arm gently, “I don’t like this position either, but from what you have all said about Alpha Jasper and his pack, he doesn’t have enough warriors to protect his borders, let along pose a threat.”
“Still,” he shook his head.
“And as you said,” I looked up at him, but he didn’t meet my stare, “Everyone was going to find out eventually,” I raised an eyebrow, “I don’t like this either, I can forgive her for a mistake, even if I’m p.issed at the outcome.” I looked back at her, hoping to convey some of my anger.
He looked down at me and stopped shaking, but his face didn’t soften.
“Is that what you wanted to talk about, what you came here to say?” Caspien asked.
“I came to apologize for yesterday to you two,” Rachel went on, looking around the room, “I overheard a bit of your conversation and put that other part together just now,” She paused, looking at the others.
“We can leave,” Cali suggested, standing up.
“It was just getting good,” Holden complained as Cali tugged him up by his arm.
“I’ll be back after. I want you to go over everything Alpha Jasper said,” Griffen nodded to us, following them out Now that Nora was closer to her due date, Griffen was more protective and nervous than before, I barely saw him.
“Do you want to sit?” I asked, motioning to the chair across from us.
She smiled at me and took one of the chairs. Caspien gave me his chair, and he stood behind me, probably because he wanted to pace; every time something was going on, he couldn’t sit down.
“I’m Rachel,” She started.
I smiled at her, “I figured that much; I’m Willa.” Caspien sighed behind me, and I closed my eyes, fighting the urge to roll them at his antics.
“I didn’t want to get off on the wrong foot. I don’t know if Caspien mentioned anything about me, but I was upset by how I found out. I didn’t mean to leave without saying anything to you yesterday. It felt like a lot, and I didn’t want you to think I left because of you. I just wasn’t ready to have that conversation.”
“And now you are?” Caspien cut her off; his voice was still ice cold.
Rachel fixed her stare on him, “Obviously,” Her eyes narrowed slightly.
“If that’s all you have to say, and if you can’t think of any other useful information you might have let slip to the enemy, then we’re done here.”
“Caspien,” I looked behind me. He started pacing.
“I need to figure out who else knows and what they know.” His face was set, and his jaw tightened.
“Why do I always have to be the rational one?” I raised an eyebrow at him, “Men and their emotions, I swear.” He swallowed but fought a smile, meeting my eyes.
He took a breath and came to stand behind me again, placing a hand on my shoulder, “Rachel, I will forgive you eventually, but right now, I am not happy.” He paused, I could still feel his hot anger radiating off of him, “And that’s putting it lightly.”
“Okay,” She nodded, “That’s fair. Thank you, both.” She went stand, seeming relieved.
“I can walk you out,” I suggested, turning back to Caspien who was staring her down with an expressionless gaze.
When I got back here, it would be my turn to get angry, scared, and frustrated, but I would let it be his turn for a few more moments.
We left his office in silence. Caspien had nothing else to say to her.
“I have something to apologize for, too,” I spoke up; after a moment she paused, studying me, “I didn’t mean to interrupt you last night, well, I did,” I smiled and averted my gaze.
“No, it’s not,” I shook my head, “I trust Caspien, I just, I was worried, and I had to see for myself.” I trailed off, swallowing.
“Willa, I would never. No matter what happened between us in the past, I would never go after someone who was mated. I could never.” She shook her head ferociously; her honey waves moved slightly with the motion.
“Thank you, It’s nice to hear that.” I gave her a tight smile, “It’s just, I had a mate before,” Her eyes widened slightly.
“I found him f.ucking his ex over a desk. So it just brought up unpleasant memories and irrational fears. Even though Caspien is different, the situation was similar, and I panicked. I apologize for not letting you finish your conversation.” I shrugged or tried to.
She took a step back, her brows furrowed, “I- I’m sorry, I don’t-”
“I’m not looking for pity or trying to make you feel bad enough not to go after Caspien,” I gave her a genuine smile, “I just wanted to explain why I burst in.”
“Honestly, I would burst into every room I walked into if that happened,” She took her lower lip in her mouth, “I really am sorry, Willa. I can’t imagine that happening, especially with your mate.”
“Thank you. I mean, it turned out okay in the end, but it definitely changed me.” I swallowed thinking about those first few months, even years after.
“I am sorry for my part in this. I would never intentionally share anything I thought would be incriminating to Caspien, or your son.” She blinked a few times.
“I understand,” I placed my hand on her shoulder, “You don’t have to apologize anymore. I am terrified for my son. I honestly haven’t even fully begun to process what this might mean for him. But what I said back there was true. We weren’t intending to hide the fact that he potentially would be Caspien’s heir. The blessed wolf thing was bound to get out eventually. I just, I didn’t think about what that might mean for him, and it took me by surprise.”
“He will be protected always,” Rachel held my gaze. I wish I could share in her unwavering confidence.
“I know, but” I shook my head.
I never thought there would be a threat to my son; there had never been a reason for me to think that. But this wasn’t Blue Ridge; this wasn’t a small pack; Emmett was Caspien’s heir if he wanted it. I knew Caspien probably had some enemies, but I s.tupidly didn’t think about those implications when it came to myself or Emmett.
“It’s scary. I get it. Well, not exactly,” She offered a sad smile, “But I can empathize, sympathize, whichever.” She laughed once.
“I appreciate it, I honestly do. You are refreshing.” She tucked some hair behind her ear, meeting my gaze.
“Thanks, Willa. We might never be friends, but it was honestly nice meeting you.” I pressed the elevator button for her, scanning my finger.
“I can go out the other way. It’s fine,”
I raised an eyebrow, “We’re already here.”
“Willa,” She nodded her goodbye, stepping in.
“Rachel,” I offered a smile, which she returned.
As the elevator doors closed, I felt a weight lift. My worry for Emmett was still tugging at me, but knowing that Rachel wouldn’t pose a problem was huge. I assumed she would still see him as hers; they were together for Goddess knows how long, but if what she said was true, she seemed to respect the mate bond, and I respected her for that.
Things going back to normal was more than I could have dreamed of, more than I let myself hope for last week. I settled back into my routine and relished the familiarity of it.
Going to class without anxiously checking my phone for an update about Emmett, working a shift in the restaurant where I could actually focus on what I was doing. Even studying those monotonous terms reminded me just how lucky I was to be back to a level headspace and actually engaged in my daily tasks.
“I will never complain about polishing silverware ever again,” I told Cali.
“Well, in that case, you can take mine.” She gave me her wry smile.
“I’m not that desperate yet.”
“I know you’re probably fine with this, but I wanted to check,” She turned to me, “My afternoon class was canceled tomorrow, so Holden was going to come over and see my place.”
“Why would I have a problem with that?”
“Emmett would be there too while you were at class. I know they know each other but want to keep you in the loop.”
“Yeah, of course; I can see if Caspien can pick him up if you want some alone time.”
“No, not at all. Loreli will be there too. He’s just coming, so we can pretend that anything about this relationship is normal.”
“He hasn’t been to your place yet?” I tried to wade through my memories of the last few weeks, but it was all muddy.
“No,” She shrugged, “I didn’t want to bring him into my s.hit stained world, I liked staying in the fairytale, that is that glass apartment above the clouds.” She gave me a half smile.
“Has he asked you to move in?” Cali seemed to spend more time at the packhouse than I did.
“Yes, and I want to. I just,” She rubbed her mark.
“That’s not coming off, hate to break it to you, but this is forever.” I tried to smile, but I was slightly worried for Holden. I didn’t want her to change her mind, to back out of something she seemed so sure of when it started.
“I do know that,” Her brows tugged together slightly, “And I know what it means, but I feel so young to be practically married. I thought I would have a string of lovers and burn out at the ripe age of forty.” I laughed at that; I could see that too, “Now I feel like some young bride being forced down the altar because I got pregnant.”
“Hate to break it to you, but some of that ship has sailed.” I nudged her, and she scowled at me, “Do you want any other lovers?”
“Oh h.ell no, what that man can do,” She shuddered, “He’s it, he’s everything. A bit dorkier than I imagined but-,” She smiled widely, “He’s it.”
“So what’s the problem?”
“Fine, you caught me. There isn’t one. I think it’s just going so well; it’s making me uneasy. It’s too easy; he’s too perfect.”
I understood more than she knew, it seemed too good to be true, but this is what mates were supposed to be.
“I can help you create a problem if you’re bored,” I raised an eyebrow.
“Boys love an ultimatum,” She smiled wickedly, shaking her head, “Maybe I’ll force him down the altar, state that I can’t live with a man before marrying him.”
“Who knew you were so traditional,” I teased, “I won’t lie. Having you a few floors down would be incredible.”
“I’m curious how it will work with Loreli, growing up in a literal pack of werewolves.”
“She’s young enough, she will adapt, and if she chooses, she can change when she’s older.”
“If we, if we have more-” She left it open as a question.
I shrugged, “I’m not sure. I think each case is different depending. But if you changed, they would be fully werewolf pups.”
“Pups, that’s cute, ” She looked lost in thought.
“Would you ever change?”
“I thought about it, but the risks scare me. I can’t leave Loreli,” Her eyes snapped to mine, and I nodded. I don’t know what I would choose in her situation.
“Either way, if you have more kids, nothing would be wrong with them. There are a lot of hybrids in this world. I can’t guarantee which side they will take more after.”
She nodded, chewing her lip, “Don’t worry, I’m not pregnant or anything,” She smiled, “I do want to move in with him honestly, you’re right, I do want to do that; I’m getting in my own way. I don’t think my brain is capable of processing this much happiness,” She said mostly to herself, smiling and picking up some more silverware. I let her go back to her thoughts, and we worked in comfortable silence.
I needed to catch up on classes, and even though I was still going when Emmett was sick, I felt like I didn’t listen or pay attention. I was just scribbling mindless notes that barely made sense to me now. The end of the term was coming faster than I wanted to admit, and I wasn’t sure I would pass.
I texted Cali to let her know I was about to head out to pick up Emmett on the way to Caspiens. Grace and Rendell offered to watch him this afternoon while I drank strong coffee out of Caspien’s little espresso cups and tried to make sense of these notes and teach myself from my textbooks.
The redecoration was going to start this week, and Caspien would thankfully stay with me at my place during it. We didn’t spend nights apart anymore since Emmett got sick, and I wearing his mark made it incredibly hard to be separated from him.
I wanted to pack everything up at my place myself instead of having strangers in here. I was excited about our new life together, and that we would make a new home with the three of us. My excitement was still mixed with a bit of sadness at the short time Emmett and I had just the two of us.
I unlocked my door and slung my bag off. I needed to collect the rest of my books. I passed Emmett’s room. His door was ajar. I took a step back, as something caught my eye. I looked into his room again, his blanket was off his bed, and a few pieces of clothing were strewn around the floor.
I opened the door further, hesitating to take a step in.
I swore that he made his bed this morning, and he was always so good at putting his clothes in the hamper. I got a whiff of an unfamiliar scent, so subtle I wouldn’t have caught it if I wasn’t looking for something off.
My heart clenched, and the hair on the back of my neck stood up as I backed a few steps away. I listened for any sounds, any sign that I wasn’t alone there, but I didn’t hear anything.
I don’t sense anyone here – I could tell she was on edge
Can you tell what they are? They aren’t werewolves, but not human.
A hybrid maybe. That scent is, it’s strange.
I pulled out my phone to text Caspien, my heart thudding against my chest.
Someone has been in my apartment.
I’m sending warriors that are closer to you – I’ll be there as soon as I can. Leave and get into the car.
I swallowed, grabbed my bag, and walked out, worried someone or something would pop out of nowhere. I calmed down a bit when I saw the car already waiting for me to take me to pick up Emmett.
I didn’t even make it to my room or bother to look in the main areas. But someone was in his room, that much I knew for sure.
I pulled out my phone to dial Cali, just to make sure Emmett was safe. Her name popped up on my phone before I could unlock mine.
My heart dropped when I heard the panic in her voice.