My Surprise Mate Part 2: Chapter 28
I blinked my eyes as the morning rays illuminated our bedroom. Today was the day. We would leave to head to the palace and begin our new journey together. Emotions swirled within me; excitement, sadness, doubt, fear, uncertainty-they all seemed to mesh together into one. I felt Blaze’s arm tighten around me from behind, “Everything is going to be okay,” he said softly, his voice husky from sleep. I sighed, hoping he was right.
After laying silently for a few minutes, I decided it was time to get up and begin preparing. I still needed to pack our belongings, or at least the clothes we would want to take with us, and we were still supposed to meet with our families before leaving. I really didn’t want to leave this house behind. Blaze built it for me..for us. Pushing down my emotions the best I could, I leaned down, k!ssing his arm, before sliding from the warmth of the bed and making my way to the closet.
I pulled on a plain black t-shirt and a pair of dark grey workout p*nts before pulling my hair up into a messy bun. I didn’t feel like getting dressed up today and didn’t think it was necessary anyway. l looked around the closet, trying to decide what I wanted to take with me, as a loud knock on the front door echoed through the house. Before I could move from my spot, I heard Blaze’s footsteps as he went to see who it was.
I shook my head, smiling; it was probably our mothers. Of course, they would wait until the day we leave to decide to knock instead of letting themselves in. I decided packing could wait as I headed down the hallway. The silence in the house alerted me that it must not have been them. I would have been able to hear them all the way to my room. As I walked into the living room, I saw Blaze standing shirtless on the front porch. His broad shoulders and bulging muscles on perfect display for me.
His sweatp*nts hung low on his h!ps, causing my mouth to water and memories from last night to flash in my mind.I clenched my legs together as the heat began to pool between my legs.
Shaking my head to clear my thoughts, I headed out the front door. Blaze quickly wrapped an arm around my wa!st and pulled me close to his side. The man and woman he had been talking to bowed deeply. “Queen.” They both greeted in unison.
Royal guards. I still felt odd being addressed as Queen and having people bow to me. Not sure if I will ever get used to that.
“Morning,” I smiled as I greeted them, looking around. There were more guards stationed around the house and in the trees. I had become somewhat used to having some of them around, but this was at least double the average amount. “This is Faye Meadows and Layton Mercer,” Blaze introduced the two, his arm never moving from my wa!st.
“It’s an honor to serve you,” the woman Faye spoke first, keeping her head and eyes down in respect. She was about my size, with toned muscles. I could sense she was a warrior by heart and took her position seriously. Her long black hair was pulled up in a tight ponytail, and she was fitted with battle attire.
I noted how young she seemed. I couldn’t help but notice how she seemed to be fidgeting in place quite a bit as if she was uncomfortable or nervous. The man, Layton, kept glancing at her as if he noticed it too. “You don’t need to be nervous,” I reached out, resting a hand on her shoulder.
Layton cleared his throat, “We have been chosen to protect the two of y’all. We will be escorting you both to the palace when you are ready. I’m the lead commander of your protection detail, and Faye here is my second. And as Faye said, it is a great honor to serve you.” He glanced at Faye again, who seemed to be getting more restless the longer they stood there. The disapproval was clear on Layton’s face, but I could tell this behavior was out of the ordinary for her.
“Faye, would you like to come inside with me? We can let Blaze and Layton talk out here while you and l get to know each other inside over some coffee,” I asked her. Something was wrong, and I wanted to find out what it was. Maybe she would be more comfortable opening up to me if it was just the two of us. “
Yes, that would be good” Blaze leaned down, k!ssing the top of my head, before opening the door for us to walk through.
Faye quietly followed me, “Do you like your coffee black or sugar…”l questioned as I poured two steaming cups. “Black is fine. Thank you.” | studied her as she took the cup from me. Her eyes were still trained on the floor.
“Are you okay, Faye?” I said bluntly.
“Yes, my Queen. Thank you.” She still wouldn’t look up, and by this point, I knew it wasn’t just out of respect.
“Are you sure? You seem a little on edge. I want you to know you can talk to me. If there is a problem, I will fix it.”
She finally looked up at me, her eyes flashing, showing her wolf was close to the surface, “Evidently, my mate is here…in this pack. I’m sorry; I will get her under control. It won’t be a problem.” Surprise and excitement flowed through me, “Really?!
“I squealed. “did you see him already? Who is it?” She giggled as she shook her head, “No, ma’am, I haven’t seen him, but his scent is all around your house.” My brain spun with the revelation:
“Okay, so first thing, I will not stop you, nor do I expect you to ignore this. In fact, I would love to help you figure out who it is. Second, never apologize to anyone, even me or Blaze, for finding your mate. That is a gift from the goddess,” I stepped around the counter and grabbed her hand. I led her to the couch in the living room and plopped down, motioning for her to sit as well. “Okay, so when did you first catch his scent? At the packhouse?” I was determined to find out who her mate was before we left, even if I had to line up all the unmated males to find him.
“l actually never went to the packhouse; Layton did. I came straight here. I first caught the scent as I entered the path leading here. It’s not strong, though, just lingering. As if whoever it is hasn’t been here for a while.” She began wringing her hands together nervously, and I knew there was something she wasn’t telling me, “And.”I prodded. She cleared her throat as she sighed, “I know you are gifted, so I won’t even try to lie,” she replied silently. She had my full attention at that, “I can scent him even here, inside your house.”
My eyes widened, “Very, very few people have been allowed here” I told her as a smile grew across my face. I know who it is.
Come to my house now I mind-linked quickly.
I didn’t get a response back, but I knew he had heard me and he would be here soon. “I do apologize,” Faye started again before I quickly cut her off. “No. Remember? Don’t apologize for finding your mate. Speaking off.” l watched as Zayne rushed through the front door, Blaze and Layton hot on his heels. “Kyra!” Blaze shouted behind him. Zayne’s whole body stiffened as he froze in place. Yup! I clapped my hands excitedly as I stood up.
They both stared at each other in shock; Blaze cleared his throat as he walked behind me and wrapped his arms around me.
Zayne walked up to her, his eyes never straying, “I’m Zayne.”
He introduced himself as he stuck his hands in his pockets. I had never seen my brother look so nervous before like he wasn’t sure what to do. “Faye Meadows,” she replied, blushing deeply.
Aww, they were too cute. “So this is what was wrong?” Layton asked. Faye turned more red at his question, and I couldn’t stop the glare I threw at him. “Yes, and I’m happy for her,” I told him, urging him to shut his damn mouth. They were having a moment, and he ruined it. He got my point as he directed his gaze to the floor, not saying another word. “How about the two of y’all spend some time together while we get packed. We can meet at mom and dad’s for lunch?” I offered.
“Oh yeah, they said to tell you to meet them at the packhouse in two hours. There is something they want to give you,” Zayne told me while still staring at Faye. He cleared his throat as he reached his hand out, “Wanna go for a walk?” he asked her shyly. She looked at Layton nervously, “I really wish l could, but I.” I stopped her there again, “I know what you are about to say, and thank you for your concern, but I am perfectly safe here. Go.”
“Your very kind, my Queen, but Faye must stay with you. It’s her job,” Layton narrowed his eyes at the girl. Before I could respond, Zayne had him pinned to the wall, growling, “It would be best for you if you never looked at my mate that way again and watch your tone when speaking to my sister.” Blaze tightened his hold on me when I tried to make my way over to the two men. Let him handle this , Blaze whispered in my mind.
Letting Zayne handle this went against everything in me. My wolf was close to the surface, wanting to put Layton in his place, but the logical side of me understood why I needed to stay out of this. It was Zayne’s instinct to protect his mate and his sister.
Something that stood out to me, though, was how easily Zayne was able to pin Layton. He was a royal guard, after all. He should have been able to at least hold his own against my brother. I would like to say he didn’t because he knew that Zayne was my brother, but they had not been introduced yet, so that’s not the case. I would need to bring this up later with Blaze; something just didn’t feel right about that.
I watched as Faye slowly walked over, resting her hand on my brother’s arm. He turned his head, locking eyes with her, and loosened his grip on Layton. “It’s okay” she whispered to him.
He turned his attention back to the man, “Consider this your warning,” he growled out before taking Faye’s hand and leading her to the front door. “We’ll see you later” he hollered over his shoulder before shutting the door. Layton stood straight, his eyes trained on the floor, Blaze finally releasing his hold on me. I wanted to wait and talk to Blaze about my concerns with Layton, but I couldn’t do it.
I walked over to Layton, “How was he able to pin you?” I questioned as I stood in front of him. I watched as his body tensed; Blaze moved to stand beside me. “I believe you were asked a question,” Blaze spoke after Layton didn’t respond.
“I’m sorry, I guess l’m not as young as I once was. I served your grandfather from the time he took the throne,” he couldn’t hide the embarrassment he felt though I know he tried. “If you know you cannot protect her, then why come? Why not take another position or retire?” Blaze was very blunt, agitation clear in his tone. Layton sighed; he suddenly looked exhausted, “I do apologize. I..I…pride, I suppose. I have dedicated my life to being a warrior, working my way up the ranks over the years.
I know I should have retired long ago. But with no mate and no pups, this is all l know. Please forgive me and try to understand that I only wanted to serve the two of y’all the way I did, King Apollo. I’m sorry if l put you in any danger.” I watched as a stray tear rolled down his cheek. He was being completely honest right now, and I’m sure that was very hard for him. It was only now that I noticed just how old he really was. I had been so worried about Faye that I didn’t pay too much attention to him, though his age alone wouldn’t have been a red flag.
“We do understand, and neither of us was in any danger. I think this is something we should discuss once we arrive at the palace, though,” Blaze’s tone had softened. Layton nodded his head in understanding, “Yes, sir. I’ll be outside should you need me.” With that, he turned and walked out the door. We stood in silence for a moment, just processing everything that had just happened, then the excitement began to flow back through my veins. “Oh, my goddess! I can’t believe that Zayne found his mate! This is great!” I beamed as I slipped my hand into Blaze’s.
“It is great, babe. But will Faye move here with him? She is a royal guard and has a pretty high rank.” Though it was the truth, I really didn’t want to think about that right now. Zayne would take over as Alpha when dad was ready to retire and felt that his son was ready for the responsibility. We all knew it wouldn’t be anytime soon, though; Dad was still just as able as ever. I wasn’t sure how it would work, but we would figure it out. We walked down the hall hand in hand, ready to pack our shoes and clothes, though everyone tried to convince me l wouldn’t need them. We worked silently, Blaze placing the clothes neatly in the bags as I threw the ones I wanted to take onto the bed. “Okay, I think that’s good,” I sighed as I looked around the closet one more time. “I would have to agree,” Blaze laughed as he set the sixth bag near the bedroom door. “Ready to go eat lunch with our parents?” he wrapped his arms around my wa!st. “l guess I can’t put it off any longer.. “I tilted my head up as his l!ps gently met mine, reassuring me we were in this together.
“I wonder why we need to meet them at the packhouse?” I questioned out loud as we began walking, the guards following closely around us with Layton in front. Blaze shrugged his shoulders in response, “Who knows with them,” he joked. We would be leaving soon, and I was already starting to feel emotional again. The smell of wood burning and the sound of chattering filled my senses before we rounded the corner bringing the packhouse into view.
My eyes widened as they began to burn with tears. Everyone was there; the whole pack, my uncle’s pack, and even Dominick stood next to my dad and grandfather. As soon as they spotted us, everyone cheered and clapped loudly. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I let go of Blaze’s hand as I picked up my pace, heading straight for my family first. Dad wrapped his arms around me, hugging me tightly before mom pushed her way in, scolding him for “hogging” me. I laughed at them as a few tears slipped down my cheeks. I couldn’t cry right now; I knew I would be doing plenty of that when the time came to actually say goodbye.
We talked with our family members and Dominick for a few minutes before making rounds and talking to as many pack members as possible. Everyone wanted to speak to us, even if it was just to say congratulations. My dad’s voice boomed over the crowd, drawing everyone’s attention to his makeshift stage,”We would like to thank everyone for coming today.” he started as my mother stood beside him with her arm around his wa!st, “
As you all know, my daughter and Beta Ash’s son, her mate, are the new Alpha King and Queen.” Everyone erupted into cheers around us, the sound defining. After a moment, dad raised his hand, silencing the pack once again, “we want y’all to know that we are all so proud of both of you and will support y’all one hundred percent now and in the future.” Everyone had formed a circle around us as dad’s eyes locked onto us. “Though you may be leaving this pack to go to the palace, remember this will always be y’all’s home. I speak for the whole pack when I say we are only a call away if we are ever needed.” As he finished, members again began rushing towards us, giving hugs and handshakes and declaring their loyalty. It was overwhelming but in a good way.
“We are needed in your dad’s office,” Blaze told me as he pulled me away from some of the older she-wolves. I looked around, “I haven’t seen Zayne or Faye since we’ve been here,” I realized. We walked into my dad’s office to find everyone there, Mom and Dad, Ash and Genesis, and Zayne and Faye. Silence fell over the room as we sat down. Dad cleared his throat, “How do I word this the right way…” he looked at me and then at Zayne.
“Would it be okay if I came to the palace with y’all?” Zayne blurted out. I was shocked, “How can you do that, Zayne? You are the next Alpha here. Dad needs you.” I looked around the room wide-eyed as our parents all chuckled at my response.
Princess, I know I’m not as young as you, but I still have many years left in me,” dad told me, laughing.
“That’s not what I meant, dad.”
“I know. Faye is needed at the palace still, and they need to be together. When the time comes for Zayne to take his position, they will move here. And plus, being at the palace will give him experience not many have.”
I sat there, letting dad’s words sink in as I thought about it. ” I would love for you to come with us!” I told Zayne happily, “as long as dad is sure he doesn’t need you here. Faye could always move here already if she needs to.”
“We’re fine, princess. Thanks for thinking of us, though,” mom told me with a small smile, “Not saying that Blaze can’t take care of you, but I would feel better knowing that your brother was with you, at least at the start of your new journey.” I understood what she meant.
“Okay, so it’s decided then,” Blaze spoke, clapping his hands together, “you are coming with us. Better go get packed; we will be leaving soon.” Zayne grinned, “already finished.” I realized then that this had already been completely planned out, but that was okay. Having Zayne go with us made me feel a little less sad.
We stood in the driveway, a parade of blacked-out SUVs waiting for us. “I love you so much,” my mom told me as she wiped her teary eyes and squeezed me tightly. “I love you too, mom.” She quickly stepped back before doing the same with Blaze and Zayne. She even pulled Faye in for a hug. Dad stepped up to me last, his familiar warmth and smell engulfing me as he pulled me in for a bear hug, “No matter what, you will always be my princess. I couldn’t be more proud of you. Never forget we are here anytime you need us” He k!ssed the top of my head, I love you too, dad” I told him, squeezing him back. I quickly slipped into the backseat of the car, not wanting anyone to see the tears streaming down my face, as Blaze shook dad’s hand.
Zayne and Faye slid into the car behind ours as Blaze climbed in next to me.
“It’s not goodbye, babe; it just sees you later,” he told me as he pulled me against him. “Now the journey begins, and I wouldn’t want anyone else beside me, “I told him, k!ssing him gently before watching our home fade away.