“I am not used to asking. I command and it happens. That is what I know. And when it comes to you, I do not feel I should have to ask. I should, however, pay more attention to how my anger affects you,” he admitted.
“I am fine,” she answered curtly and started forward again.
Vasile pulled her gently to a halt and tugged her arm to get her to look at him. “I am sorry. I should be more careful of you.”
“I am not breakable, Vasile.”
He stepped up to her and took her face gently in his palm, being careful not to lean to close because he knew he would kiss her. “You do not have to be breakable to be damaged.” They stared at one another, lost in the connection that they shared only with each other. He could have stood there all day just to get to touch her, to be close to her, and have her undivided attention. He made himself step back and drop his hand. Turning them in the direction of her home once again he said, “I am calmer. Now, I will talk to your father.”
“Are you going to listen to what he has to say?”
Vasile huffed. “No. Being calmer does not mean I am more tolerant.”
Romanian Proverb # 7
Va rãsãri soarele si pe ulita noastrã.
Every dog has his day
“You have not been yourself since you returned home,” Eveline told her mate, Anghel, as they sat in the library of the Western Romania pack castle.
Anghel knew that sooner rather than later she would say something about his withdrawn behavior and the closed off areas in their bond. They respected each other enough to allow the other privacy until they were ready to discuss it, so he knew she had no idea what was upsetting him.
“Stefan and Daciana have passed on.” There was no emotion in his voice not because he did not hurt but because he knew she would need him to be strong. As his mate’s tears began to fall for the couple, and especially the woman who had been a dear friend, he pulled her into the shelter of his arms and let her weep. There were no words that would give her comfort, so instead he offered his strength and his love.
It was a long while until she finally was able to pull herself together from the shock of the news. She dried her tears and took several deep breaths. Anghel waited for the questions he knew would come but was not sure how he would answer. He and Eveline had been mated a long time, and they had never kept secrets. He was pretty sure he could not start now.
“How?” she asked her voice hoarse from crying.
“I was asked not to tell you the truth,” he began and her eyes snapped up to meet his. “However, we have never kept secrets because we have complete trust in each other. What I am going to tell you must never leave this room. If this information were to get in the wrong hands, it could cause an uprising in the Eastern pack and a challenge to Vasile’s ability to be Alpha.”
“They were my friends, Anghel. I would never do anything to hurt them in life or in death.”
“I know, my love. I simply need you to know that I am the only one you can discuss this with if you need to work through it.” Anghel proceeded to tell his mate everything that Vasile had. He left nothing out and spared her no details because she would see it in his mind anyways.
“Not true mates? How? What?” she breathed out after he was finished, attempting to process that one of their oldest friends had managed to keep something so significant from them for so long. Her face was filled with compassion when she met her mate’s eyes. “Daciana must have been so lonely. Even though she loved Stefan and he loved her, there would have been a hole in her that was never able to be filled. I wish she would have let me be there for her.”
Anghel stroked her cheek gently. His mate was an Alpha, but she was also very empathetic to those she loved and claimed as hers. To her, Daciana had been like a sister, and Eveline felt the loss as if she were one of their own pack.
“I am glad I told you,” he admitted. “It was a burden I could not have carried on my own.”
“That is why we have each other.” She smiled up at him through tear filled eyes. “As Alpha there are some things you cannot share with the pack―to keep them safe and to keep others safe. Others might not understand that, but I do. And even if I did not agree with you, I will always choose you.”
“Thank you, Luna. You honor me. Perhaps, you could honor our old friends as well and visit Vasile. I am sure he would welcome your presence. He has been visiting with his pack, making sure they feel secure and that there are none who wish to challenge him. But he should be home soon.”
“What has he been telling them?”
“A variation of the truth but very watered down. We are the only others people who know this secret and because of that he should be fine. They have no reason to question his leadership over the reason of his parent’s deaths.”
“And it will stay that way,” she agreed.
Emilian, Beta of the Western Romania pack, stood several feet away from the library door where his Alphas sat discussing some very interesting news. He just happened upon the conversation, lucky for him, and now he finally had the ammunition he needed to bring the Eastern Romania pack under new leadership. The Lupeis had been in control for far too long and he had been overlooked in his own pack for more years than he could count. He would never be able to take over his own pack. They were too loyal to Anghel. And until this information he would have never been able to take the Eastern pack either because of their loyalty to Stefan. There had been a few who had begun to wonder at Stefan’s sanity. He was an old, old wolf and sometimes, true mate or not, old wolves would begin to slip. There were grumblings over the state of the outer villages not being given the same financial help as the ones closer to the castle. In a pack it is the Alpha’s job to make sure everyone is getting what they need and that none are being overlooked. Hungry wolves, desperate wolves, or wolves not controlled are dangerous to everyone.
He smiled to himself as he considered his good fortune. He was no fool. He knew he could not beat Vasile in a challenge but with this information he would not have to. Vasile's pack would rise against him with males challenging him not just daily but hourly. No wolf, no matter how powerful, could withstand such an attack. Once Vasile was worn down and nearly broken, Emilian would finish him and the pack would be his.
It was early afternoon by the time Alina and Vasile made it to her home. She knew that while she and Vasile had been sitting by the river, her father would have headed home to check on Georgeta. Like most males he did not leave his mate alone for long. She was on edge, mostly because Vasile was on edge, and it was flowing down through their bond into her. She knew she had to stay calm. If her emotions got out of control, it would only feed Vasile’s already volatile state. She took slow breaths as they walked up to the door of her home and stepped inside.