“How long until you follow?” Nicu asked.
Vasile ran his hand over his face and mentally noted that he needed to shave. He tried to think then of the last time he had taken a dip in the river and decided that the reason Alina was avoiding him was because of his lack of hygiene as of late. That reason was more tolerable than the truth. “A few more days and I will return,” he finally answered.
He watched as the two warriors phased and immediately headed off for home. Part of him truly wished he was going with them but not without his mate. He growled knowing that in a few days that is exactly what he would be doing. He had to mend what he had broken before then. Unfortunately, he did not have much, or any, experience in dealing with upset females.
“She still will not speak to you?” Petre asked as he walked over to the edge of the forest where Vasile stood.
“I do not really blame her. I did not consider her feelings when I started discussing her future with you. I was so concerned with you hearing what I had to say and submitting to me that I did not bother to hear what she had to say.”
Petre patted his back in a fatherly gesture, and Vasile swallowed down the pain at the reminder of the loss of his own father. “It will not be the first time you forget to consider her when you want so badly to protect her and keep her with you. The males of our race tend to have tunnel vision when it comes to our mates.”
“Do you have any advice?” Vasile asked with a desperation that he normally would not have shown to another male, but he could not hide it, not at this point. The chuckle that came from the other male did not incite a whole lot of confidence.
“Honestly, all you can do is apologize. Make sure she knows that you are sincere. They always know when you are just blowing smoke up their skirts.”
“Noted,” Vasile said with a slight smile. As Alina’s father walked away leaving him to his thoughts, he began to formulate a plan. It was a complete act of desperation. And if ever asked by any of his pack mates if it was true that he went crawling to his future mother-in-law to ask for help to get back in his mate’s good graces, he would deny it to his grave. It was probably a long shot anyway. He had a feeling that Alina inherited her stubbornness not just from her father.
Alina was struggling to stay away from him. Every time she saw him, even just out of the corner of her eye, she argued with her wolf not to run to him and tell him she was sorry for closing their bond. She had not done anything wrong, and yet she felt like she was the one being punished. She tried to just continue to go about her daily chores, though she did at times alter her route in order to avoid seeing him. The day before, she had met Sisily at their usual spot by the river and explained everything that had happened. It had made her mad all over again until Sisily started laughing over the lion-like roar that Vasile had let out. She told Alina that they actually heard it at her own house, which in turn made Alina laugh. It was much needed humor after several emotional days.
That morning she had a slight panic attack when she caught the two wolves that had been with Vasile leaving in their wolf forms heading back towards the main village and to the castle. From the side of the cottage, she had searched frantically for a sign of Vasile with the pair but then saw him standing with her father on the far edge of the forest. It was then that she realized there was no way she could let him leave without opening their bond back up. The separation already was like a knife in her chest with every breath. She could not continue on like this, and―even if she wanted to―her wolf was not going to put up with it much longer. She wanted the connection to their mate, and she was ready to make her human half submit to get it. It was the first time Alina could ever remember her wolf attempting to take control. Usually it was the other way around.
“How are you doing?” her mother asked as she joined her pulling down the dry clothes from the line.
She nearly laughed at the timing of the question. Just as she was about to cave, her mother comes to inquire of how she was holding out. Georgeta had actually agreed with Alina and told her that she needed to set the precedent now that she would not be dictated to and walked upon. Alphas were notorious for being over protective, especially of their mates. Her mom had explained that it was not that they meant to be disrespectful or thoughtless, they genuinely thought that whatever it was they were doing in order to protect their mate was the right thing, regardless of how their female felt.
“Honestly?” Alina asked.
“No, dear one, I would prefer you lie to me,” her mother retorted.
Alina grinned. “Perhaps you should spend time with Vasile so that he can see where I get my nerve from.”
“Oh believe me, I think he is well aware.”
“Okay, well if I am being honest then I am about two seconds from phasing to my wolf and rubbing myself all over his legs.” Alina’s face warmed with the heat of her blush as she spoke the words. They sounded so much worse out loud than they did in her head. Georgeta did not laugh, which helped lessen the embarrassment.
“Truthfully,” she stopped folding the shirt in her hand and met Alina’s eyes, “if you did not feel that way, I would be worried that something was wrong. True mates cannot stand separation of any kind for very long, whether it is the mental bond or physical separation. They are two halves of one soul and crave that closeness.”
Alina felt slightly better, but regardless of how the separation was hurting her, her pride was keeping her from admitting it to him.
Her mother must have seen something in her face because she added, “When something that starts out as a necessary action goes on for too long, it becomes a prison not only for the one the action is directed towards but also for the one who instigated it in the first place.”
“So you are saying I should talk to him,” Alina said with an exaggerated sigh.
“Stop acting like I am telling you to cut off your fingers and cook them in a pie,” Georgeta snorted. “He is just a man, honey. They make mistakes just like you and me.”
“Are you admitting that you have made mistakes, Mother?” Alina teased.
“I have no idea what you are talking about, daughter. Now go find that arrogant mate of yours and bring him to heel.”
Alina laughed. “Can I tell him you said that?”
“I think you will find him in your usual spot,” her mother answered before leaving her standing at the clothes line.