Fearing the worst, I throw caution out the window and race towards the pack house, Tylen running after me and begging me to rethink this.
I, however, burst through the gates and don’t stop until I reach the crowd, snarling at the wolves to step aside. Whimpering with fright, the wolves jump out of my way, revealing a black mass of tentacle like things holding a bleeding man hostage. I recognize him as Christian, Talia’s ex and I snarl instinctively at him. There are cuts and bruises all over his body and a mass of torn tissue hangs between his legs.
Jeez, that thing was small, Grayson squints at the mess of flesh. I think a shrimp would have been bigger.
The sound of a pained growl draws my attention to a man fighting against his own shadow. His teeth are bared at Christian and he thrashes violently against his invisible restraints until his face and neck are bright red with rage.
“How could you!?” the man snarls. “Your own mother, you ungrateful bastard! How could you do this to me? How could you kill her? Answer me, you sick f**k!”
Christian only sobs and shakes his head. “I needed my mate…” he whimpers.
His reply only seems to enrage the man and Talia scolds him to pipe down. Her melodic voice makes my heart skip a beat as I see her standing beside her sister, the fierceness in her stance making my spine tingle.
“Christian Hart, in front of your entire pack, you have openly admitted to the murder of Luna Kay Hart, the murder of Beta Derek Mitchel, and the murder of countless omegas over the past four years. In accordance with Silver Crest Law, piece by piece, you will lose that which is most precious to you,” Talia snarls, Grayson howling with pleasure.
I watch in awe as black mist pours from my mate’s chest, forming two black tentacles that pry Christian’s mouth open and snake inside. The tentacles wrap around each of Christian’s canines and in a swift motion, pull them out as Christian screams.
I’m putting a pup in her when we get to the hotel, Grayson purrs, his tail wagging with excitement. On second thought I’m putting several pups inside her tonight. She’ll need a wheelchair by the time I’m done with her!
I can’t even argue with him, unable to take my eyes off our sexy mate as she takes Christian’s Alpha power.
“Without your venom, you are nothing more than a waste of space,” Talia sneers.
Grayson’s purring must be incredibly loud because the entire crowd turns to look at us, including our mate.
A small smile curls on her lips when she sees us and her cheeks become flushed as Grayson wags his tail proudly. Turning on her heel, she slowly approaches us and from the corner of my eye, I see the delicious look of horror on Christian’s face when she murmurs, “Mate,” under her breath.
“Natalia!” Christian calls after her in desperation as she wraps her arms around Grayson’s neck. “Tiny, you can’t… I-I’m your mate!”
Talia ignores his pleas, cupping Grayson’s face in her hands. “You came back to me,” she whispers, tears filling her eyes as leans her forehead against his. “You came back.”
Needing to feel her in my arms, I shift into my human form, my hands wrapping around her waist and pulling her into me.
“I-1 had to,” I whisper in her ear. “W-we have a we-wedding to plan, remember?”
Talia giggles against my neck, her hot breath making my stomach do somersaults. In front of everyone, she stands on the tips of her toes, tilts my chin down, and k!sses me. Pain and fear melt away with her lips, my mate claiming me with such confidence before her former pack, her sister, and her ex mate.
“I’m sorry,” She whispers as she pulls away. “I had to play into Jack’s delusion in order to-”
“I-It’s already forgotten,” I reply, pressing my lips against hers for a second k!ss, this one softer and gentler.
Behind her, I hear Christian lose his mind, berating Talia and insulting her for loving me instead of him.
“My father was right. You are a f**king who*e!” he snarls, Grayson taking control and storming towards the useless wolf.
He wraps my hand around Christian’s throat, Christian gasping for air as he crushes his windpipe.
“Wanna run that by me again!?” Grayson snarls in a menacing hiss.
Christian only trembles in my hand, the look of fear in his eyes satisfying my wolf.
He knows who the true Alpha is, Grayson smirks.
“You don’t get to be angry with me, Jack,” Talia snaps as she stands beside me. She places her hand over my own and I slowly release the bastard from my grasp. “You divorced me. You rejected me. After everything I did for this pack, all of you turned your back on me!” She huffs, her chest rising and falling defiantly as she glares at her former pack. “I moved on. You should have done that too instead of becoming this monster living inside a fantasy. Own up to what you did, Jack. You killed your own mother, your pack members, your Beta-“
“I did it all for you!” he snarls. “Because I love you-”
Jack’s eyes suddenly widen and a small gasp escapes his lips as he lowers his gaze to his stomach where we see a gaping hole pouring blood onto his pale skin. Turning to his shadow, we see Vanessa’s silhouette impale her fist in his abdomen.
“That was love?” Vanessa whimpers, gently pulling her hand from his shadow. “You call what you did to my baby love?” she snarls.
Curious to know what exactly went on in my absence, I let his demented thoughts slowly flood my mind and I quickly realize Jack has locked away his human, the wolf now in complete control of Christian.
Rage fills my body when the first memory I see is that of him beating Vanessa, the memory projecting out on the pavement for all to see. Her pleas haunt me as they beg Jack to let her baby live. Beside me, Talia watches in silent horror as the man she once loved kicks her sister and slams her against the floor in front of our son.
The memory switches to Dakota sobbing in the car, my heart shattering as he calls out for his mommy and daddy to save him. I was supposed to be his hero, and I failed to rescue him. My fists clench at my side as Jack relentlessly beats Kota with a belt, leaving Kota’s little legs bruised and swollen.
Talia’s low snarl startles me and the look of pure anguish and rage in her eyes both terrifies and amazes me.
Before I can tear Jack apart, Talia shifts into her wolf, Devina pouncing on Jack and tearing out his throat. Vanessa quickly joins her, shifting into a much smaller brown wolf and burying her canines into his arm before ripping it clean off. The two wolves almost fight over Jack, tearing him limb from limb as the entire pack watches. Some pack members even jump in to avenge the deaths of their beloved omegas until all that’s left is a mangled mass of flesh in their wake.
As Devina steps out from the bloodbath, I admire her beauty, her gorgeous gray fur stained with the blood of the demon that once haunted her. Her fiery blue eyes resemble sparkling sapphires and her cute black nostrils flare as she pants with fury. The beautiful wolf quietly approaches me, everyone behind me stepping back in fear.
My silence seems to worry my mate and Devina becomes timid, her blue eyes staring at her own paws and her tail hanging low between her legs. Knowing she must think I fear her too, I tiptoe towards the pretty wolf and gently rest my hand on her snout.
Devina leans into my touch and I k!ss her furry face until her tail wags violently with joy.
“Y-you are so perfect, D-Devi,” I murmur, petting her fur. “And I can’t wait to sp-spend the rest of m-my life with y-you.”
Devina shifts in my arms and Talia once again takes control, burying her face in my chest and inhaling my scent to calm herself down.
We take a moment to enjoy each other’s presence but there are still several matters we must take care of. Having killed Jack and Christian together, Talia and Vanessa are now the rightful Alphas of Silver Crest.
Talia tries to step out of my arms to address the terrified crowd of wolves watching us, but I do not want her to address the pack in the n*de and instead search for some of the tattered remains of her clothes and wrap the scraps of a shirt around her breasts and waist.
She chuckles as I work, her eyes scanning my own n#deness.
“Ooh,” I mutter, my hands quickly covering my dangling member.
“Thank you,” she whispers, standing on the tips of her toes to k!ss my cheek before stepping around me to address the pack. “I have no desire to be your Alpha,” she announces to the pack. “And as you, Christopher, love to remind me at every given opportunity.” Talia laughs coldly at the man named Christopher. “A human cannot lead a pack. My son is half human so I hereby forfeit his claim to the title on his behalf.”
“I too, forfeit my claim to Silver Crest,” Vanessa whispers, her eyes glued to her hands. “After tonight, I never wish to set foot in this place again.”
Whispers and murmurs of concern erupt among the crowd, the future of Silver Crest uncertain.
“You cannot leave us without an Alpha!” Christopher snarls, Talia laughing in response.
“Well given that the previous Alpha is dead and my sister and I refuse to take on that role, it seems as though the position falls back to you,” Talia smiles. “I’ve requested the presence of every pack member and the elders to make this transition of power easier. Decide amongst yourselves who deserves to be your next Alpha. My mate and I are going home to our pup.”
“You can’t do that! You don’t get to just walk away from your mess!” Christopher growls, lunging forward at Talia.
A cloud of black mist instantly blocks his path to my mate, large black spears sprouting from within and pointing towards him.
“It was never my mess to begin with,” Talia says calmly. “And if I were you, I would be more concerned with funeral arrangements and finding your Luna’s body than with your son’s ex-wife.”
Oh, what I would do to bend her over right now, Grayson howls.
I ignore him and take my mate’s hand, pulling her into a hug. She, however, steps away and turns to her sister who seems nervous.
“Do you have anywhere to stay?” Talia asks.
“Oh, don’t worry about me,” Vanessa replies quietly with a forced smile. “I’ll figure something out.”
Talia hums to herself as she tries to decide what to do before taking her sister’s hand and bringing her to me.
“Vanessa, this is my mate. Zane, this is Vanessa, my sister. She’ll need a room for the night,” Talia explains.
I hardly have time to process her request when Tylen, who had been very quiet during this entire ordeal, answers for me. “I’ll have my father arrange it, Alpha.”
I feel my body freeze and I want to beat Tylen over the head for letting my title slip. Of course, I plan to explain it all to Talia soon, but not while she’s dealing with her sister. Luckily, it doesn’t appear Talia hears Tylen’s mistake.
“Nat, it’s fine,” Vanessa begins to protest but Talia hears none of it.
“It’s just a room, Ness. I’m not ready to forgive you just yet. I’m still healing as it is,” Talia explains, Vanessa nodding quietly. “But, Kota deserves a proper goodbye from his friend before we leave.”
Having no other options, Vanessa reluctantly accepts the room and the four of us make our way to a cabin so Vanessa can grab the few belongings she has left and her purse before we head back to the inn. To our surprise and relief, Toran has already made sleeping arrangements for everyone and our flights have already been booked for the following day.
I video call Agnes to let her know we all made it out safe and collect Kota from Rionna’s and Toran’s room while I wait for Talia to finish showering. The poor pup is so exhausted, he doesn’t even stir when I pick him up, his little snores continuing as I carry him to our room. His little wolf is stuffed safely in my bag and I bring it to him, Kota curling up with it in his sleep.
I lay down beside my sleeping pup, my mind wandering to my mate. I have so many questions about her wolf and her powers but they can all wait until morning. Right now, I just need her and our pup safe in my arms.
It’s not long before Talia finally steps out of the shower dressed in one of my t-shirts and my boxers and in the moonlight, her beauty rivals that of a goddess.
“Zane, we need to talk,” she says timidly, standing at the foot of the bed as she twists my shirt around in her fingers.
I don’t know what we did, but I swear it wasn’t me, Grayson replies defensively. I blame the hooman. He took the title. It was him. I told him not to but he wouldn’t listen.
Seriously? I mutter.
My wolf only shrugs in response and my palms become a little sweaty as I sit up to face Talia.
“D-did I do something wrong?” I ask, Talia softening her tone as she speaks.
“Not necessarily,” she laughs. “But… I heard what Tylen said. You took the Ravenstone Alpha title, didn’t you?”
I feel my heart rate rise and stumble through a response.
“I- I was going to te-tell y-you but l-I … I didn’t-”
Talia settles down on my lap, k!ssing my cheek to calm me down. “I’m not angry with you,” she whispers, cupping my face in her hands. “I just wanted to know what the title of my baby’s father is.”
“1-1 know y-you don’t like the idea of being Luna again but I-I’d give it all up if it means I get to sp-spend the rest of my life with y-you,” I reply quickly. “Nothing is worth losing y-you.”
“I’m not asking you to give up anything for me,” Talia smiles, twirling a tuft of my hair between her fingers. “But I do wonder where our baby is going to live?”
“I-I’m sorry. I hadn’t realized this was a big move for K-Kota,” I sigh, trying to come up with a solution. “I-I know K-Kota loves River Moon so perhaps we can talk to Her Majesty about an alliance.
I go off on a tangent explaining possible alternatives to a big move in Ravenstone, Talia smiling like a fool at me and twirling my hair.
“W-what is it?” I ask.
“Nothing,” She giggles. “I’m just… not sure an island is a good place to raise a baby,” she sighs.
I raise an eyebrow at her in confusion. “T-there’s plenty of pups on the i-island,” I explain. “K-Kota wouldn’t be in any more danger than he would at River Moon.”
Talia heaves a heavy sigh, a big hopeless smile still on her face.
“P-perhaps we s-should wait to speak with Her Majesty about this,” I suggest, patting the space beside me so she can climb off of me. “W-we can talk more in the m-morning,” I add, pulling back the covers and turning on my side to sleep.
I feel her stare on the back of my head as she remains standing and I roll over to face her again.
“D-did y-you want to sleep on this side?” I ask, wondering why she hasn’t climbed into bed yet.
She slaps her forehead with her palm, her shoulders moving up and down as she holds in her laughter. Giving up on whatever it is she’s trying to say, she climbs into bed, pulling Kota to her chest.
Do you know what she’s trying to say? I ask my wolf, hoping Grayson can shed some light on the subject.
The thing about she-wolves is… they make no sense, Grayson explains. Just smile and nod. Everything will be okay.
For my sake, I hope you’re right, I sigh.
He’s kind of an i***t, Devina purrs. And I’m sure the wolf is no better.
You’re right, I sigh contently as I finally get to hold my pup in my arms. But they are our idiots.
Settling into bed, I let myself plan potential pregnancy reveals untill exhaust myself and fall asleep.
It’s still dark out when I feel Kota suddenly sit up in bed and I open my eyes to watch him as he wipes his tired eyes and climbs out of bed. Curious to see where the pup goes, I pretend to be asleep and listen to the sound of his tiny footsteps until I hear him open the door. Afraid he may be confused and get lost, I hurry to the door and peer out into the hall where I see him waddle his way to Vanessa’s door to knock.
How did he know that was her room? I wonder, watching as Vanessa opens the door, her face fully made up and her bag slung over her shoulder.
“Where are you going, Nanessa?” Kota asks, looking up at his aunty innocently.
“It’s time for me to go, Kota,” She murmurs, crouching down on her knees to hug him goodbye.
“Can I come with you?” he asks, wrapping his arms around her neck.
“No, Kota,” she whispers back. “You have to stay here and take care of your Mommy. She’s going to need you. She’s growing a baby in her belly.”
“A baby?” he asks in confusion. “Can I grow a baby too for my wolfie to play with?”
She bursts into a light laugh and shakes her head at him before pulling him into a tight hug. “I’m going to miss you, Kota.”
“I’m gonna miss you too, Nanessa,” he sighs. “When are you coming back?”
“I don’t know,” she shrugs. “I have to find something first.”
“A dragon?” Kota asks.
“Yes,” she whispers, tucking Kota’s hair behind his ear.. “I have to save a princess from a dragon.”
“Be careful,” Kota gasps. “Aunty Gwen says dragons are sneaky.”
“I will be,” Vanessa replies. “Go back to bed Kota.”
“So are you leaving without saying goodbye?” I ask, stepping out into the hallway.
Vanessa rises to her feet with a gasp, Kota running over to me and raising his hands above his head to be lifted.
“Mommy, is there a baby in your belly?” Kota asks. “Can I have a baby?”
I glance over at my sister who shifts nervously on her feet.
“I’ll see myself out,” She whispers, closing the door to her room and picking up her bag.
“Vanessa, wait,” I call out, Vanessa freezing in place as I walk over to her. She lowers her gaze to her feet, and I notice the tremor in her hand as she holds her bag. “I hope you find peace, Ness. I really do,” I murmur, wrapping my arm around her neck in a hug.
At first, she seems hesitant to hug me back but seeing that I genuinely wish her well, she returns the hug with a tight squeeze.
“Congratulations, Nat,” she whispers in my ear. “You have a beautiful family.”
“Thank you,” I reply, my ears perking up when I hear a door open behind me.
I turn around to see Toran fully dressed and ready to go and I give him a questioning look.
“He offered to take me to the airport,” Vanessa says as she walks towards him.
Toran nods in my direction before disappearing down the hall, Vanessa lingering back a little longer. She waves goodbye and I wish with all my heart that she has a safe journey as she silently walks away.
“I’m gonna miss her,” Kota yawns as I carry him back to our room.
“We’ll see her again someday,” I whisper, k!ssing his cheek. “Come on. Let’s go back to bed.”