“What do you mean I do not belong to Vasile?” she asked him the one question that truly bothered her. Had Vasile been denying she was his mate and if so to what end?
Serghei’s forehead wrinkled as he narrowed his eyes at her. “I mean you are not his mate as he claimed you to be. Are you really going to play dumb with me, Alina? You do not bear his markings. He is doing exactly what his father did, claiming someone who does not belong to him. And he had the nerve to threaten me for saying that I thought we were true mates. There is every much a possibility that you are mine as you being his.”
“I am not playing dumb, Serghei, and I am not a piece of property. I do not belong to anyone,” she snapped despite her earlier decision to stay calm. “Perhaps, I do not have the markings yet because….” She suddenly stopped talking as a thought occurred to her. Maybe Vasile did not want anyone to know he had found his mate. What if he thought she was in danger because she did not bear his markings yet. Now that his parents’ lies had come to light, the pack members would surely doubt the truth of his claim on her. Serghei waited for her to finish her thought. She shook her head as if to clear it and then finished with, “I am still not of age. Obviously, my future has not been made clear yet, and I should not have to explain myself to anyone.”
He shook his head after a few moments and let out a quick breath. “Regardless, I need you to come with me. I need you to see for yourself so that you will understand just how far the Lupeis will go to protect themselves instead of their pack.” He reached for her hand but she jerked it back sidestepping him when he would have attempted to get closer to her.
“I am not going anywhere with you, Serghei. My father and mother will be the ones to decide when and if I need to know what is going on, if there is anything in deed going on with the Alpha and his parents.” She tried to sound confident and final. As she turned to head back towards her home, she thought she just might have accomplished it until, once again, a hand was covering her mouth and her body was being drug against her will further into the woods.
“I am sorry that you feel that way. I would have rather you had come with me willingly, but if the only way I can get you to see that you belong to me is by force then I will do it.” Before he could completely lock her body against his, her wolf took over. She phased in mid leap and ran for her parent’s home. She did not hear his pursuit and assumed he would rather run like the coward he was than face her father’s wrath at his impudence.
Serghei backed away further into the darkness as he watched Alina flee. She would no doubt inform her parents of everything he had said, and now there would be no way they would let him near her. That was alright for now, as long as Vasile could not get anywhere near her either, and the pack would make sure of that. There was no way they would allow him to claim her until she bore his markings, and she would have to prove they were there by showing someone. He turned away from the direction of her home, stripped off his clothes, phased, and headed off at a run back towards the pack castle. He wanted to confront Vasile. He wanted to stir more doubt in the minds of his pack mates to ensure that Vasile would no longer be trusted. An Alpha who did not have the trust of his pack would not be able to control them, not unless he was an incredibly dominant and strong leader. Serghei did not see how anyone would be able to stay in control once they saw the unearthed bodies of their parents. He picked up his pace as he thought about the look on Vasile’s face when Emilian essentially dethroned him. Serghei would need to hide Alina before that happened. He could not run the risk of Vasile seeing her again. Even though Serghei did not believe that Vasile was Alina’s true mate, he was not stupid enough to tempt fate. If she was indeed his true mate and they were allowed to complete the bond, it would only strengthen him. If Serghei could ensure Vasile’s death before they bonded, then Alina would be free to be his. The young wolf grinned as he thought to himself not only did Vasile need to be dethroned but he needed to be taken out of this life all together.
Romanian Proverb #12
Adevãrul înainte de toate!
Speak the truth and shame the devil.
Emilian stood in the courtyard of the Eastern Romania pack castle surrounded by those who wanted an explanation. Some were yelling at him and some were yelling for their Alpha to show himself and speak up.
He turned to face the crowd and held his arms in the air gesturing to them to quiet down. “Your pack mates have called you here so that you may have the wool that has been cast over your eyes removed.” His voice boomed across the large area grabbing the attention of everyone present. “Your former Alphas were not honest with you. They lived a lie and because of that lie you all suffered the consequences. Though the changes to your villages were gradual, there effects were no less devastating than a tornado. Stefan left you to fend for yourselves while he dealt with the madness of living without his true mate.” Murmurs began to ripple across the group at his words, but still he pressed on. “I have heard from the mouth of my Alpha, who was told from the mouth of Vasile Lupei himself, that Stefan and Daciana Lupei were not true mates!
These Alphas went to great lengths to keep their lie a secret. Stefan went so far as tattooing his own skin to simulate the mate markings. And each of them planned their own suicide in the event that the other died, which is exactly what happened—Daciana took her own life rather than letting their deception be revealed!”
At this, the gathering began to murmur as one. Shouts of “Liar!” came from somewhere in the back of crowd.
“But please, don’t take my word for it, fellow wolves. I am not of your pack. I am the Beta of the Western pack. Why would you believe me? Come closer and see their fraud with your own eyes.”
Emilian motioned for Ivan and Marian to remove the lids of the two wooden boxes that he had strategically placed behind him, each flanking him on either side. Inside the boxes were the two coffins, the lids of which Ivan and Marian promptly removed and dramatically cast aside with their superhuman strength. Emilian stepped closer and tried not to smile as the wolves around him held their collective breath inching closer wanting to see inside. Most were hoping against hope that the coffins were empty or that they held someone other than their beloved Alphas. But a sinking feeling was working its way around the crowd, like a plague infecting a village―unstoppable, uncontrollable, spreading from wolf to wolf. They knew the terrible truth was about to confront them.