I had no clue what to do. I wanted to run and scream, but I couldn’t move. Would it be better or worse to catch them in the act?
I wanted to hear his explanation of how he could do this to me.
I wanted him to feel the guilt to help diminish my anger. I wanted him to feel the regret, to calm my betrayal. I wanted an explanation to wash away the shock and pain.
Before I could make up my mind, he turned around to pull up his pants and saw me.
They both did.
He froze and called my name; she gave me a lazy grin.
And I ran.
- - - - -
“Willa, d.amnit, Willa.”
He chased after me as I slammed the door behind me to our bedroom and dove under the covers.
“Willa.” He burst open the door, as my tears fell.
I couldn’t think, couldn’t process. I just felt. And everything I felt was wrong.
The bed dipped as he sat next to me and placed a hand on my back.
“I-I,” he started, “I don’t know what to say.”
I waited for him to go on. As much as I wanted to yell and scream, I wanted him to be the one that was begging for my forgiveness. I needed his explanation to make it okay.
The heavy warmth of his hand left me completely after a few silent moments.
“I’ll talk to you when you calm down.” He sighed, and I felt the bed shift again.
He wasn’t going to leave? Was he?
The sound of the door opening and closing was my answer.
The hole in my chest ripped wider, and I couldn’t breathe.
But he didn’t come back.
_ _ _ _ _
I don’t know when I fell asleep, but when I woke up, he was next to me in bed. I felt a rush of relief, but I wasn’t sure why. I just cuddled into the back of his broad back and let his strong warmth ease me back into the abyss.
_ _ _ _ _
He was up before I was. The dull thudding in my chest was threatening to rip open again. But he came back. For me.
I jumped into a shower and pulled a brush through my hair; my light green eyes seemed even brighter compared to how red-rimmed they were. I grimaced at my reflection, there was no hiding what I spent all yesterday and last night doing.
I followed the sounds of muted chatter to the breakfast room. I paused at the door, and my stomach dropped. I hurried past the open door hoping no one would notice me.
“Willa, honey?” I stopped in my tracks, trying to loosen my clenched fists.
I lingered in the doorway; there was so way in h.ell I was sitting with that b.itch.
Luna Natalie, and Camilla were looking the picture of relaxed. It was just the two of them sitting for breakfast.
“Sorry, I can’t join you.” I f.orced a smile, hoping it seemed genuine, “I have-”
“Oh, your appointment, yes.” Luna Natalia smiled at me.
Oh, I actually forgot I had that doctor's appointment.
I nodded and turned, not sparing a glance toward Camilla. I knew it would be my undoing. Rage crept through me, the audacity of her sitting here in my house after what she did with my mate.
I couldn’t focus on anything but my anger as I headed towards the pack clinic.
Two large hands wrapped around me, stunning me for a moment before his familiar scent enveloped me.
“Come here.” He pulled me into an empty room, locking the door behind us.
I couldn’t stop shaking. Hot tears sprung into my eyes.
“Why?” I demanded of him before he could speak.
I shook my head, and the tears streamed down my face. I didn’t wipe them away; I wanted him to see what he did.
“I, uh.” He rubbed the back of his neck; he was rarely at a loss for words. “It shouldn’t have happened like that. It shouldn’t have. I am so sorry. You don’t deserve that.” He pinned me to the spot with his chocolate-brown eyes.
My stomach doing a flip despite myself. “I want her gone,” I demanded.
“Willa,” he breathed, “I can’t.”
“You can. She can attend your party, but she is not permitted to stay here.” I mustered up the Luna voice I’d been practicing. I was assuming that’s why she was here this morning; she was staying in a guest room at the pack house.
“Okay.” He hung his head before lowering his mouth to mine.
He stopped when his lips almost met mine. My breath caught, and I was charged with desire. His kiss was reserved yet hungry, and he pulled me to him. I was enveloped in the sparks and warmth of the mate bond. I felt loose in his arms. I couldn't remember the last time he kissed me like this outside of when we were intimate, if ever.
He pulled back, and I put a hand to my swollen lips. The effect he still had on me made me dizzy.
“Now what?” I breathed.
He ran a hand through his dark hair. “I am sorry, I don’t even know. All of this everything that is happening, I guess I don’t feel like myself.”
Not really an explanation, but I wanted to believe him.
Willa, are you still coming to your appointment? - The doctor's voice came through my mind through the mind link.
“I have to go.” I paused, studying him. “To an appointment. We can talk later.”
He nodded, tucking a piece of my hair behind my ear, and I melted into his touch.
“I’m sorry, that wasn’t fair to you,” he whispered, and I nodded, fighting the tears that sprung again.
“I forgive you.”
The words felt wrong coming out. I didn’t know if he even asked for my forgiveness. I wanted more groveling, but even more than that, I didn’t want to lose him.
My lifetime love, that was fated to me.
This was just a mistake that we would get past. It would make us stronger and our love for each other more intense.
I could deal with the pain. There wasn’t an alternative.
- - - - -
“Well, Luna.” The middle-aged doctor, who always seemed bubbly and full of energy, sat across her desk. “Er, Willa, sorry.” She smiled at me.
I loved the title; it sent pride through me. To help protect the pack that I loved, that I grew up in alongside the man that I had always loved but never thought I could have.
The title felt binding in a way I didn't realize I needed... until yesterday.
“It’s okay, Dr. Lilian." I smiled at her. “I’ll have to get used to it soon.”
“Very soon.” She nodded, her eyes sparkling before she flipped over my charts, studying them.
Her eyes widened slightly before the smile returned to her face. “Very soon, you will be called something else.”
My brows furrowed, “What?”
“Congratulations, Luna. You’re going to be a mother.”
I was completely frozen in my seat as it sunk in.
I looked down at my stomach, letting out a laugh. I wanted this, we wanted this, and it was finally happening.
A baby, we were going to have a baby.
I rubbed my stomach. There was a baby in there.
Tears pricked my eyes for another reason now.
“Really?” I asked.
“Yes.” Her smile widened. “Only a few weeks along. I would say about five or six weeks; that's why it didn't show up yet when you were here last time; it must have happened days before," she mused, "I want you to come back next week, and we can do a proper scan, maybe with Nolan. Okay?”
I nodded; I couldn't stop my smile, even though it was starting to hurt my cheeks. “Thank you.” Joy flooded through me.
Everything was right again, better than right.
It was perfect.
- - - - -
Coming back from the clinic, I clutched the papers confirming my pregnancy close to my heart. I wanted nothing more than to tell him it would be the perfect birthday gift. Even though his birthday was tomorrow, the party was tonight, and I figured it was close enough.
Walking into the packhouse, the air was completely different from when I left. It felt charged, and people were running around. Omegas with vases and small bites of food rushed around without dropping anything.
I didn’t understand, everything was already set up, and decisions were made weeks ago.
Luna Natalie almost bumped into me, or maybe I almost bumped into her.
“Oh,” Her eyes were wide seeing me. I shoved the papers into my pocket. “We’ve had a change; I’m glad you’re here.”
That took me by surprise. She seemed to be happy to plan things herself, saying it took her far less time than when I was involved.
“What can I do?” My smile was genuine. I was happy that she needed my help.
“I’ve told the omega’s to re-do the table settings in the dining hall. They’re cleaning it again now, but I need you to oversee them, make sure that they are doing it correctly. Perfectly.” She handed me a clipboard and tapped on the color swatches attached.
“We’re changing everything?” I asked, looking down at the swatches that were completely different from what we finalized weeks ago.
“Yes, the prince is coming.” She waved a hand, dismissing me.
I held back my laugh. A prince?
“What do you mean?”
“Have you not been paying attention in your studies, Wilhelmina?” Her brown eyes slid to mine. I flinched internally at the use of my full name.
“I have, and the royal family stopped holding power a century ago,” I countered.
She sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose as if I was giving her a headache.
“They don’t hold power really, yes. But he is the leader of our territory; he speaks for us. They are still powerful, naturally so, and we respect them and the bloodline they come from,” She sighed. “Alpha Dracos, the prince, has informed us he will be attending this evening. I’ve only met him once. Of course, he's invited to all of our pack events, but he either declines or sends someone on his behalf.”
I nodded, still not understanding. If he didn’t hold power over us, why bother with all the changes and, oh Goddess, the fancy china that I definitely broke a few pieces of last time.
“If you have any questions, link me; this has to be perfect.” She turned and walked away, her heels clicking on the floor.
I sighed, looking over all the changes; at least I wouldn’t have to set out the silverware, and I could just direct it. This would keep my mind away from the memory of Camilla’s toned legs wrapped around my mate.
Anger flared again. That was in the past. The not-so-distant past, but I would focus on the future. I patted my pocket where I put the confirmation from the doctor and smiled at my flat stomach. The future, this baby, was the only thing that mattered now.
- - - - -
The afternoon both dragged on and was over before I knew it.
Dusk settled in past the tall windows of the dining room, and I yawned, cursing myself for not asking if I was allowed to drink coffee or not. I saw it a lot in movies, but I wasn’t sure how it affected us as wolves.
“Willa, what are you still doing here?” Luna Natalia slipped in, her hair and makeup perfect and done for this evening even though she had yet to change.
“I was just finishing here. We just have a few more centerpieces for the smaller tables,”
“I’ll do that; go get ready. It's going to start soon. She grabbed the clipboard from my hand, and I let her. If I left before it was done, I would have gotten in trouble. No matter what I did, it was wrong, and I’d accepted that.
I would be Luna in a few months, and I hoped the grip she had on me would lessen.