He dismissed the group and claimed that he had urgent matters that required his attention, leaving Ivan and Marion to deal with any inconvenient questions.
It was done. He was Alpha and now everyone knew, including his former Alpha who no doubt felt the intent of the power he drew from him. His steps echoed on the stone floors of the castle as he walked towards his office in his castle and towards a future that promised power. And it was power that he would reach out and grab with both hands. His rule was just beginning and as the high continued to grow at the realization of his destiny finally being fulfilled, he knew that he would do anything in order to keep that rule.
“What are we going to do?” Alina asked walking beside her parents as they returned from the pack meeting that had just changed their entire world. For the first time in a very long time someone from outside of their pack had become Alpha.
“Vasile told you that for now he just needed to lay low did he not?” her father asked.
Alina nodded. She had woken up that morning after having heard from Vasile and told her parents everything.
“Then we will do the same. We will continue on with our day-to-day lives. You said Vasile was concerned that Emilian might target you if he thought that you were Vasile’s mate. So in order to make sure that he has no reason to believe such a thing, you need to look as uninterested in the changes as you can. We get up, we work, we go to sleep, and then we do it all over again.”
“For how long?” she asked fearing she already knew the answer.
“For as long as it takes,” Petre answered.
“Vasile?” She reached out to him needing to hear his voice and his response was instant.
“I am here.”
“Emilian gathered the entire pack today to inform them that he was the new Alpha and to make sure they all knew about your parents.”
“How did they respond?” he asked.
“No one spoke out against him or challenged him, but that does not mean everyone agrees with what has happened.” Alina pictured the meeting in her mind so that Vasile could see exactly what had taken place. “My father says we just need to continue on about our lives as though nothing has changed.”
“He is right, beloved; that is the best way not to draw attention to yourselves.”
“That is what he said,” she responded somewhat disgruntledly. She heard his chuckle and felt his amusement at her irritation.
“I know you want to do something, Mina. That is the dominant in you―the need to take action when a wrong had been committed. That is what will make you an amazing Alpha female one day.”
He was right; she did want to do something. Sitting by while her mate was having to fight for his life and her pack was being taken over by a tyrant did not sit well with her or her wolf. But she understood that sometimes inaction was the best course of action. “Are you safe?” she finally asked, not wanting to talk about how she could not help any longer.
“We are safe but I do not want to tell you where I am. It will be better just in case you are ever asked if you know my whereabouts that you are able to tell the truth and tell them no. I love you; please stay safe.”
“I will,” she told him knowing he needed to hear it. “I love you too.” She did not say more because she knew that he could see in her mind everything she wanted to say but could not. She knew that her emotions were flowing freely from her like a raging river straight into him; no words were necessary.
The next morning Alina woke, dressed, and went about her daily chores as if her heart was not breaking at the separation or worry for her mate. She spoke with her neighbors, met with Sisily at their spot next to the river, and sat around the fire in the evening with her parents. Late at night while she lay in her bed she talked to Vasile through their bond. He reassured her that he was safe and she told him about her day. He listened as though what she said was the most fascinating thing he had ever heard, and before he told her goodnight, he asked if any of Emilian’s wolves had come into the village. She did the same thing the next day and the next. So it was with her life from then on. Day in and day out she pasted on a smile when all she really wanted to do was fight. She wanted to fight for her mate and fight for those in their village who would not fight for themselves. Some days the only thing that kept her from doing just that was Vasile reassuring her that their time would come, evil would not win, and he would not give up. And because she was determined to be his equal, to be a mate he was proud to call his own, she would be patient and not give up either. She trusted him to keep his word. He would come back, and when he did, nothing would be able to protect those who had taken what was his from the wrath he would unleash.
“Your world is changing,” Perizada told Vasile as they stood looking out into the forest in the human realm just beyond the veil. It had been several weeks since they had requested her help in hiding from their enemies. He felt like her statement was putting it mildly. His world had been flipped upside down and then flipped again.
“It is,” he agreed. “You know as well as I do, ancient one, that there is only one thing I can do.”
She nodded. “Adapt or die.”
“I cannot stay here much longer. Emilian’s men will not give up until I am dead or I kill them. I do not wish to ask for help because I do not want to drag anyone else into a battle that could turn very deadly for any involved.”
“You know that I would offer you more assistance if I could, but the council is adamant that we stay out of the human realm. They are tired of the fighting.” Peri’s lips tightened as she spoke. “I do not agree with their decision, but for now I must abide by it. I have a feeling that there may one day come a time when I have to challenge them. But for now you will have to handle this one on your own.”
“I will be victorious, Perizada of the fae. I have to be, because the alternative is too terrible to even imagine.” He felt the heavy weight of the task ahead of him settle squarely on his shoulders. The time of peace was over. The effects of his father’s madness was worse than he could have ever imagined, and yet having found his true mate, he understood why his father had done what he did. After losing his true mate so very young, all Stefan could see was a future full of darkness and loneliness. Vasile had never truly understood how frightening that was until he had laid eyes on Alina. The light she brought to his life was something he had never experienced. He knew if he lost her, he never would see that light again.