I kept reading the page over and over again, just to make sure that what I see is correct. The book pridefully describes how the war ended with the brutal killing of the Whitemane Alpha and his mate, bringing victory to the Midnight Pack and its allies. The Whitemane pack members were either executed or assimilated by other surrounding packs, based on their wishes. However, despite the victory, the Mad King did not find the peace that he was looking for.
At this point, Accalia is raging deep within my soul. I can feel myself, angry and sorrowful, yearning for revenge on what happened years ago. For a brief moment, me and Accalia speak to each other, wanting the same thing:
“How should we kill them?”
While the lingering question fuels Accalia’s rage, it makes me take a step back and think critically about what needs to be done. On the one hand, I could let Accalia run loose and murder everyone who decided to attack my parents. On the other, Edward might be helpful if he knew what pack was attacked that fateful day. He’s going to help me, right? A thought scratches the back of my mind. What if Edward knew all along? Maybe he figured it out before I did, when I told him about the memories I regained. He knew my parents were both Alphas and the same fact is brought up in this very book, an Alpha male and female pair. Everyone knows how rare of an occurence that is.
Alright, I need to see this through without Edward’s help and recent events are a good enough indicator that I can handle it myself. I’ll need to devise a plan to lure Andrew and Lance out, get them to confess to what actually transpired in those days, then deal with them. It will be good for the pack and if Edward doesn’t see that, then he will never understand my feelings.
The location and pretext are simple enough to figure out. Under the guise of checking out the smell at the used campfire, me and the elders will go there to see if we can track anything beyond Michael’s capabilities. There, Accalia shall swiftly kill them, after which I will take responsibility for my deeds. The people should be able to judge me after they hear my story.
Telling anyone my feelings right now would make them dissuade me from this course of action. I need to act normal, maybe mention casually to Edward my “idea”.
Leaving the book on the table, I exit the library, resolved to lie to my mate in order to avenge my parents. Upon entering the living room, I am left speechless. The room is dimly lit by candles, rose petals are scattered all over the floor, and a well-dressed Edward is waiting for me at the dinner table. He rises from the chair and comes to accompany me to my seat. Grabbing my hand gently, he says:
“So, that second date you were mentioning… I hope I didn’t overdo it.”
His words melt away my anger, my knees become weak for a second, but I manage to catch myself and reply softly:
“Not at all. I’m glad you remembered.”
We kiss as we take our seats, then continue making out for a while. Edward pulls back and says:
“I would do this all day, but I’m afraid the food is getting cold at this rate.”
Right, the food. In my stupor, I failed to notice an entire bouffet prepared for us, with all kinds of steaming vegetables, roasted wild boar with sauce, rabbit stew, some cold cuts as well. We start digging in, but a sudden lump in my throat stops me. This is not right. I came here for a purpose.
“Something wrong with the food, is it not to your liking?”, asks Edward, noticing my hesitation to eat.
I think everything over so that I can muster a reply. I need to lie to him so that I can avenge my family. After a few seconds of pondering, I start speaking:
“No, the food is great. Actually, an idea just came to me. I’d like to inspect the campfire myself, together with the elders. Since they have been around for a while, maybe they can identify the smell.”
Edward becomes wide-eyed at my request, but he regains his composure, smiles, then assures me:
“That sounds like a good plan. At first, I was shaken by your proposal and to be honest, the elders might not agree. I’ll speak to them, maybe I can get through to them better, but you know that the older we are, the worse our smell gets. In any case, was that everything? Shall we continue our meal?”
Damn it. My guilt is too much to bear. He’s being so honest and caring right now. Here I am, scheming and angrily trying to get revenge without a care in the world. I need at least some confirmation. I cannot be the villain, just like they were years ago.
My sorrow returns, as tears begin to fall. Edward looks worried, but before he can speak up, I ask him:
“Did you know? Your elders decided that it was my parents’ pack that killed your mother, and this led to the war that killed them.”
His expression turns, as sadness overcomes him. His response is quiet:
“I suspected it when you told me about them, yes. The time frame seemed to match and the fact that they were both Alphas made it more obvio-” he stops himself for a few seconds, then continues. “I’m truly sorry, Emily. I know what it’s like to lose your parents, that feeling of loss, of emptiness. We are victims of the war just as much as they were. To be honest, somewhere deep inside I knew you’d find out one day about what happened. I planned on telling you myself, but the timing of everything was just off. I understand now why you asked to go to the campfire with Andrew and Lance. Michael has already started an investigation into how they run things in the shadows. He has found enough evidence on their betrayal, but I wanted him to unearth even more. However, I am on board with your plan. As I said before, I shall convince them to meet you in the forest, under the pretense of tracking the smell at the campfire. No matter what happens there, I shall be nearby. Mind-link me in case of emergency. We’re both in this, together.”
As Edward went on, I fought hard to keep my tears back. I realize now that I can fully trust him. He tried to protect me in his own way, and I do not blame him for that. He’s even agreed to help me avenge my parents, despite the fact that they could be behind his mother’s murder. I pull him into a hug and whisper softly, so as not to lose control over my tears:
“Thank you. I’m sorry for trying to lie to you. Whatever happens in the forest, I’ll take full responsibility and let the people judge me for my deeds. No more cover ups. That time is behind us.”
Edward does not miss a beat, quickly saying:
“No, Emily. As King and Queen, we both will take responsibility. Do not worry, I have enough evidence that the people will be able to fairly judge the situation. If they disagree with the outcome, then they are free to leave or take it up with us.”
My heart beats faster at his words of encouragement. I simply can’t resist him anymore. I pull his head toward me and kiss him. Edward returns the kiss passionately and we make out on the way to our bedroom, stumbling on the stairs. I pull off his shirt, throwing it somewhere on the ground, revealing his rock-hard abs which only makes me crave for him more. He again returns the favor, undressing me and wasting no time in caressing my breasts. With no inhibitions, we fall onto the bed and fully undress each other. We take a second to admire the other’s body and its curves, exploring them with our fingertips. Every touch gave me tingles and felt incredible, as there was no need for words between us. We unleash our primal urges and begin doing everything we held back from all this time. We did it over and over again, it must have been hours, until I gave in first, exhausted and sleepy. Edward laid next to me, fixing a few stray hairs, and kissed me on the forehead one more time before whispering:
“I love you so much, Emily.”
“I love you too…” I manage to reply, before letting out a huge yawn that I couldn’t stifle anymore. I think I also heard him tell me good night but my drowsiness did not allow me to respond before falling asleep.
The next morning, I wake up later than usual, only to see that Edward is gone. I quickly freshen up and get dressed, then run to his office. Entering, I see him talking with Andrew and Lance, but he stops when he notices me.
“Oh, you’re here, great timing! We were just speaking about this idea to have you three go to the campfire in order to further investigate the mysterious smell.”
Seeing the elders’ faces disgusts me and Accalia begins growling, but I push her back and try to act surprised by the plan:
“I see. Indeed, it might help, I suppose. Is Michael going to show us the way?”
“I already gave the location to Andrew and Lance here, so as soon as everyone is ready, you can go investigate.”
The elders reply in unison:
“We’re ready whenever you are, Luna.”
“I’m ready as well. Then please lead the way.” I reply. As they leave the room, I notice Edward sneakily winking at me. The plan is now in action.
The walk to the forest is deafeningly silent, as no words are exchanged between either three of us. But it is better this way. It keeps me focused on the plan. I already hate them enough as it is. Edward must be behind me, so there is nothing to be afraid of. After a couple of minutes, we reach the burned remains of a campfire, and Andrew exclaims:
“We have arrived. Now, let us see if we can pick up any distinctive scent.”
Both of the elders get closer to the ashes and begin sniffing around. I need to get the smelling over with so that me and Accalia can squeeze the truth out of them. Getting closer, I can hear Lance mumbling:
“Hmm, nothing I recognize.”, then Andrew also agrees:
“Yes, there is a smell, but I have not encountered the wolf it is from.”
Approaching just enough to get the smell, I notice in my peripheral vision glimmers in the forest. Shifting my focus, I can see more clearly: it’s pairs of eyes and toothy grins. We’re getting ambushed. Was this part of their pl-
I decide to leave about 10 minutes after they do. That must give them plenty of time to sniff around the campfire and allow Emily her privacy to let them know her piece of mind, without jeopardizing my hidden presence. However, as I make my way peacefully on their tracks, Arthur suddenly becomes restless and pushes for control. Just before I get to ask him what was wrong, I can feel the mate bond wavering and weakening by the second. In that moment, I get mind-linked by Lance:
“We have been ambushed at the campfire. They took Emily. We’re fighting, but we need back-up! Our wounds are- AARGH”.
Then the mind-link is severed. I shift instantly and we begin running desperately toward the campfire with bated breath.