When Ashlyn entered the meeting room, a bright light consumed her. When it vanished, she was standing in her lace dress. But what made me gasp was the lace was no longer white but black. The rose gold in her hair was also black. I looked over at Derek and Sage. They both seemed to think the same thing I was.
After the meeting, to say the sh!t hit the fan would have been an understatement. Everyone was yelling, and it clearly divided the council about what Ashlyn was proposing. King Nathan, the Vampire kingdom and the Fae Kingdom seem in favor of our Queen’s plan.
“Why are you all so against our Queen?” The Fae Queen asked.
“We aren’t against her. We love her and we won’t let her die. She has almost died on multiple occasions already.” l answered her.
“No offense, Prince Mason, but if her mates and friends would stop hurting her, and start believing in her, maybe she would trust you.” She told us and I sighed.
I understand Ashlyn is hurting, and that this is all a fvcken mess. And I couldn’t even imagine the pain that she had to be in from thinking that Derek was having a child with someone else. Especially after losing ours. I just wish she would listen to us. Let us all explain what happened.
“She isn’t ready, and you are not training her son.” King Gregory spoke to his son.
“Father, I can and I will. She is my sister and you, her father, abandoned her. You could have brought her back to us after they killed her pack, but you didn’t.” He told his father.
“I understand why King Gregory did what he did. I don’t agree with it, but I understand.” The vampire king spoke.
“What do you mean?” l asked King Theo.
“My father told me the story about Ashlyn’s mom.
He loved her. It was almost an obsession. When her pack was killed, he was devastated, and he has never been the same. If he found out that she slept with King Gregory, sh!t would have hit the fan. He most likely would have gone to war with the Warlock King.” King Theo explained.
“So you knew that Ashlyn would have been your mate?” Derek asked him, and he nodded.
“My father told me the story. I don’t regret my decision to take a chosen mate.” He said, and I nodded.
“l agree with King Theo. It would have been a terrible situation if her mates found out about King Gregory and her mother,” King Jordan said.
“Father, you were one of her mates. How do you feel about this?” Derek asked his father.
“I would have been upset, of course. We all give her up because she wanted to just be with James, but I don’t think that justifies abandoning her after her parents “death.” Victor, the Dragon king spoke.
“Dad, you would have felt that Ashlyn was still alive. Why wouldn’t you have found her?” King Nathan asked.
“I thought she was safer where she was,” he answered.
“I would have taken her in, but I thought she was dead,” Victor commented, and Gregory sighed.
“I can’t change what I did, but she could at least let me explain,” he said.
“You called her a mistake, so of course she doesn’t want to hear you out.” Nathan told his father. And I was glad that he was standing up for his newly discovered sister.
“You called her a mistake?” Derek and his father growled.
“I didn’t mean it like that? I meant that what her mother and I did was a mistake.” He clarified.
“How did her father not feel her mother cheating? You said that he never knew, and how did she get pregnant outside her heat?” I asked.
“I’m her mate. She wasn’t cheating on the bond. And I gave her a spell to bring on her heat. Her heat would have started about 24 hours after the spell was cast. We were together before her heat started, but she still became pregnant with my child.” He explained.
“Are you boys really that dense?” The Fae Queen asked. And we were staring at her, confused.
“Could you even imagine how it would feel if she was to announce a pregnancy and neither of you were the father? That she didn’t even tell her family about her mates that she had marked? And then to have the people closest to her lie about something so life-changing?
She’s willing to die to protect us all, and you all made her feel worthless!” She scolded us.
“She is the most selfless person I have ever met. She had every right to take back her mates, and she didn’t, and she even made time to play with our daughter and bless her. You all should be ashamed of yourselves, especially you two!” she continued, pointing to me and Derek.
“Now, if this meeting is over, I’ll take my leave!” She huffed, before leaving the meeting.
“Well, I’d apologize for my mate’s outburst, but she’s right. You two had better fix this. If she’s as powerful as we believe she is, she could wipe out the whole mystical world.” The Fae King said before he followed his mate out.
“The Vampire Kingdom stands with our Queen.” King Theo told us before he and his mate left the room as well.
“I think we should all take time to think everything over before we make any further decisions. We have all hurt her, and we need to fix it, so hopefully she will return to her normal self.” I told them, getting up from the table to go back to our wing.
Sage, Derek, my father and I made it back to our wing, and all sat down in the living area. Matt, Brandon and Liam were all discussing something, but stopped when we walked in.
“What’s up?” I asked them. They all looked concerned, and now I was worried about what they had found out.
“I heard from Kyle. Chantel denies ever calling you or even claiming that she was pregnant with your child. And she’s also denying ever speaking with the king.” Matt told us.
“But you heard her voice on the phone, and the number was hers? And your father saw her. Had he met her before?” I asked Derek, confused.
“That was her number and her voice. And he has met her before,” Derek clarified.
“Someone must have used a cloaking spell and hacked into her phone.” Sage chimed in.
“Cloaking spell?” Derek asked her, all of us listening intently.
Sage stood up and her body glowed green. Her appearance slowly turned into Ashlyn’s and we all gasped.
“A cloaking spell.” She sounded just like Ashlyn. She turned back to herself and we were all stunned.
“Only powerful witches can perform that spell and hold it. We are dealing with someone powerful and we can not let our guard down. This person would have had to get close enough to Chantel to hear her voice. They clearly knew things about you, Derek. And they could have killed your father.” Sage told us.
“Now, how do we convince Ashlyn that it was all a lie? And how to we protect ourselves from this witch or warlock?” Liam asked.
“I’ll have my brother help with a spell of protection around us. They won’t be able to cloak those under the spell.” Sage answered Liam.
“You know yesterday her dress was gold with white lace?” I asked the three who hadn’t seen her at the meeting.
“Yes?” Brandon answered.
“Today, in the meeting room, the lace was black.
“And the pink gold in her hair had also turned to black,” Sage finished.
“So what does this all mean?” Liam asked.
“Someone is trying to break her down, maybe to manipulate her. I don’t know, but maybe the plan is to break her trust with all of us so they can pull her to their side. If she can break through their witch’s spells, she is far more powerful than they have. With her on their side, they wouldn’t lose.” Sage answered, and I had to agree with her.
Every step of the way, Ashlyn could never catch a break. Something is always coming up to test her trust in us. Derek having a baby with someone else was the last straw for her.
“They are trying to break us up and we can’t let them. We have to earn back her trust, which means we need to trust in her plan and go along with it.” I told them.
“And what is her plan?” Matt asked.
“In 72 hours she wants to portal to Emerald Lake.” I told them and they were stunned.
“You can not seriously be thinking of letting her do this?” Liam exclaimed.
“I don’t think we have a choice. She feels like we don’t believe in her, that we don’t respect her. If this is what we have to do to help rebuild the trust, I think we have to.” I told them with a sigh.
“I don’t like this,” Derek sighed.
“And you think I do? If anything happens to her, I’ll never forgive myself. But I can’t live like this. I need my mate, and so do you.” I told him and he nodded.
“Where is she?” Liam asked.
“She’s in the library with the Fae princess.” I answered him.
“Our Ashlyn isn’t gone yet. She still finds some joy in life, but we need to pull her back to us. We can not allow them to pull her any further away from us. When magic becomes corrupted, it’s hard to change it back.” Sage said.
“What did the others on the council say?” Brandon asked.
“They agree with Ashlyn. King Nathan also agreed to help train her.” I told them.
“To be fair, she is quite lovable, even pissed off” Liam shrugged.
I pulled out my phone to show them the picture I took of Ashlyn cuddled up with the little Fae princess.
“She isn’t gone yet. We will get her back.”