“Why did you kill your father?” I asked in half a breath.
Regret took over my body the moment the question exited my mouth. The pained expression he displayed is something I do not ever want to see again.
“I see. This explains Michael’s unusual behaviour.” says Edward, in a grave voice. His Then he gets up and makes his way towards the wall with pictures, stopping in front of his parents’.
“They really loved each other, you know. Until that damned war.”
I’m assuming he’s talking about the war that happened around the time I was found.
After a pause, he continues: “My mother… she is a war casualty. She died 8 years ago, trying to protect the Pack’s pups from invaders, basically doing her job as a pack Luna and Queen. My father was on the frontlines when he received the news, so I cannot say for certain what his reaction was. However, all I can tell you for certain is that the war did not only take my mother away from me, but my father too.”
Edward’s voice can only be described as miserable. Replaying this story in his head is obviously bringing him much sorrow. Accalia pushes me to stop this and hug him, but I control the impulse. We have come too far to stop now. I choose to silently listen to his story.
He takes a deep breath and goes on: “You see, he was never a loving or involved father, but he was strong and fair. I looked up to him just as a young child can look up to his father. However, what returned from the war can be described as purely his mortal body. Soulless. Emotionless. At first, everyone pitied him. As you know, losing your mate is excruciatingly painful and can lead to the death of your wolf. Imagine when all of that is doubled or tripled in intensity by your Alpha blood. He started locking himself up inside their room and not leave for weeks on end, leaving me and the pack in the care of Michael and the elders. After finally coming out of his room, just as we all sighed in relief, hell came upon us. He was not my father anymore. He would lose his patience with pack members and kill mercilessly left and right, sometimes for no reason whatsoever. He… his sanity deteriorated over the years, culminating in murdering an innocent child simply because he dared play in our backyard.” He paused, as if reliving the moment.
From my angle, Edward’s back is facing me. His fists open and close intermitently while he is telling me the story, and his back muscles tense. At this point of the story, he seems rather angry than sad.
“I killed my father because his judgement was not fit to rule a Pack, even less a county. You cannot expect to raise a proper generation when they live in fear.”
Then came a long pause. I found myself holding back tears, even though I was not sure what they were there for. Was it for a young Edward losing his parents? Was it for the poor child’s family? Or… was it for the pack? Nevertheless, something was still amiss. Hence, with a shaking voice, I asked: “But then… why’d you have to kill him in cold blood?”
Edward turned towards me with a confused voice. “What do you mean by cold blood?”
“I… I heard you used wolfsbane to poison him into weakness and stabbed his heart with a silver knife when he least expected it.”
His confused facial expression turned into disgust. “That is far from the truth. I have followed the succesion ritual and challenged my father to a fair fight. What you’ve heard sounds like a rumor spread by a faction inside the pack that is supporting my late father’s ways. Their goal is to damage my reputation and invite other strong Alpha’s to take a chance against me, in hopes that one shall even succeed.” and he huffed.
My hand instinctively covers my mouth as I realise the extent of the lies I’ve chosen to believe. The shame makes me avert my eyes and whisper: “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have brought it up.”
“There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. It’s not your fault.” he tries to console me, reverting to his old, sweet voice, but standing still. “However, since you’ve asked me one question, I find it only fair for me to be allowed one question, too.”
“Why did you feel the need to sneak in my office?” he asks, almost snickering. “You must have known that Arthur wouldn’t miss a shred of your smell.”
These miscalculations are going to be the death of me. I feel lucky we’re not making eye contact for he would notice the embarassment in my eyes. Anyhow, pink cheeks or not, I owe him a fair answer.
“Well, since nobody was telling me anything about the event from this morning, I took matters into my own hands to find out what exactly happened there. Beating up people first thing in the morning is a weird, disturbing hobby, if you ask me.”
He crosses his arms and raises an eyebrow thoughtfully. “Did you take matters into your own hands when you decided to eavesdrop on me earlier this night, too?”
This is beginning to sound more like an interogatory than a discussion, which makes me a bit uncomfortable and snappy. I finally get the courage to look at him back and say: “You only get one question. It’s my turn now.”
This makes him smile, almost letting out a giggle.
I interpret it as a signal to go on: “Is there anything going on between you and Rachel?”
He looks surprised by my question. This time, Edward chooses to come and sit next to me again, taking my hand into his. This action coming from him makes me blush to heavens and back. Then he says: “There’s nothing for you to worry about. Me and Rachel dated for a short period of time before I became Alpha King. My father and Rachel’s father thought that a mating between us would strenghten the genetics of our family. Due to this, Rachel seems to have been brought up to believe that the position of Luna of the Pack is meant for her. However, despite a physical relationship with her, neither me nor Arthur love her. We were always sure that our mate would surface.”
Hearing that they had a physical relationship broke Accalia’s heart, since mates are supposed to wait for each other. She started whimpering in my head and chose to distance herself from us. I feel anger for her, as his actions have hurt my wolf, so I retract my hand from his grasp.
“I see. I guess this curiosity was the reason for your eavesdropping.” he says, in a low voice. “I’m sorry, to both you and Accalia, but I cannot change the past. All I can do now is promise you that YOU are the only one me and Arthur will ever love. And for the pain I’ve caused you with these news, I’ll offer a free answer to your interest. The pack warriors from this morning were part of the faction supporting my late father’s ways that I was talking about earlier. They were called in my office because they refused to follow a few simple orders and once they arrived in front of me, they threw around some sympathetic phrases about my father and his actions, insulting me.”
I nod in understandment. However, my mind is filled with thoughts about him and Rachel, so I cannot focus on his confession. I suddenly become aware of her lingering smell around us, which doesn’t help my situation, serving to further hurt Accalia. I decide to finish the conversation and head towards my room. “I understand. Thank you for your time and for this conversation. I’d like to return to my room now.” I get up at once and go around the couch on my side, thus avoiding him altogether. I stomp towards the door, but he grabs my hand and turns me around in a hug, holding me tightly at his chest.
“Emily.” he begins, almost whispering in my ear, while caressing my head. “We’ve met a few days ago, yet I feel like we’ve known each other for forever. When I saw you for the first time, I found meaning to my life again. I don’t care if it’s just a mate bond or our wolves wreaking havoc in our souls, all my heart is yours: it belongs to you and only you, and with you it would remain even if the moon goddess were to say otherwise. I love you. And now you’re crying, so I’ll stop.”
Since I’ve never had the unconditional love of my parents around growing up, I gave up on the thought that I’ll ever fill that void. Edward’s words melted all my worries and the ice between us turned into tears. I was too sobby to talk, but I followed my body’s wishes. I stood on my tiptoes, grabbed his head with my hands and I kissed him.