When neither of them responded she nodded approvingly and then began. “I, Perizada of the High Fae, ambassador to the wolves, teacher of the healers, do herby acknowledge this bond between true mates, created only for each other by the Great Luna. Nothing in life or death shall separate them.” She looked at Vasile then. “Vasile Lupei, Alpha of the Eastern Romania pack, son, brother, and now mate, you have found your true mate and she has accepted your claim. Show her what it means to be loved, cherished, and honored by an Alpha, a wolf, and a mate. Serve her in the most humbling of ways by washing her feet; in doing so you lower yourself in submission, you make yourself vulnerable for attack and give her the precious gift of trust, something that most Alphas will never give anyone.” Then her eyes landed on Alina and they softened a little. “Alina, you will respond with the response of the female’s binding words that stir the pack magic. Once this is done I will leave you to finish with words that should only be shared with one another.”
Vasile took Alina’s hand and led her over to the edge of the river. Two towels and wash cloths had been laid out and a chair sat beside them. He helped her sit and then knelt before her. She bit her lip to hold back the tears as she watched a man who had only a day ago destroyed mercilessly. She watched his hands gently raise her dress, hands that had ripped limbs from a man. He took the cloth and dipped it in the river and then took one foot in his hand. She shivered at the contact and the cool water that flowed over her skin.
He looked up at her, his blue eyes glowing with passion as he spoke. “On this day I kneel before you, as a servant to my mate, to ask if you will make me whole. Will you give yourself to me? Finally calming the beast inside, bringing order to chaos, and shining light where there has been only darkness? Will you bind your life to mine, your fate to mine, and your soul to mine and, in doing so, complete the mate bond?”
The tears could no longer be contained as she nodded and then added the words that would complete the magic that bonded true mates. "I will bind my life to yours, my fate to yours, and my soul to yours and complete our mate bond. I will take you for my own, my mate and my Alpha.”
His dazzling smile caused her chest to clench tightly around the heart he had claimed. She was his and there was nowhere else that she would rather be than by his side.
He finished washing and drying her feet. And as the both stood he leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips. “I love you.”
She never got tired of hearing him say those words. Alina did not notice the fae leave, her attention was only for her mate.
“I am yours, Mina, and you are mine, and I am so honored to be the one to claim you and be claimed by you. I promise to you that I will try to be a mate worthy of you. I will not get it right all of the time, but when I get it wrong I will do everything in my power to fix it. I never want to be parted from you again. I want to wake up with you by my side. I want to lie down with you in my arms. I want to share every experience, good or bad, with you and only ever you.”
Alina shook with emotion. How could she not when the man she loves declares such devotion to her? She let out a deep breath attempting to compose herself so she could say her vows. “I was terrified to be your mate. I was convinced that there was no way that I could ever be enough for you. But then life tore us apart and I realized that you would always be what I needed, which could only mean that I would always be what you needed. I realized how incomplete I am without you. When you are with me everything comes into focus, and even when things are a mess, I can bear it because we are together. I love you, my wolf adores you, and my soul longs for you and only you.”
That night in the quiet of the castle behind the doors of their room, Vasile wrapped his love around her. He poured every ounce of energy he had into making sure she felt beautiful, desirable, pleasurable, and complete. Every touch was to not only seduce her but to bind her even tighter to him. Every kiss, every taste, every whispered word of devotion and passion were to ensure that she would remember just how much he would always want her and need her.
“I thought this night would never come,” he admitted as his fingertips caressed her bare shoulder. He could not stop touching her. Whether it was his hand in her hair or running it up her leg or tracing the markings on her back, he needed to touch her.
“Was it worth the wait?” she asked and then bit her bottom lip, still slightly embarrassed even after making love.
“I would wait an eternity for one night like tonight with you,” he told her honestly. “It truly has been the best night of my life.”
Another coy look appeared on her beautiful face. “The night is not over yet, lover.”
That was all the encouragement he needed to push her onto her back and cover her soft body with his. Vasile loved that she was so shy because her skin flushed a beautiful red. He loved even more how she gradually opened to him, trusting him with her vulnerability. And then as she gained confidence from his attention, she grew bolder in her response to him. It was a night of beginnings, of firsts, of memories, and love. Entwined in one another, completely submersed in each other’s attention, they began their journey together, an Alpha pair who had endured so much and grown into two people capable of loving each other and their pack. Their selfless and unconditional love for one another would set an example to the wolves under their care. They would show them that in order to lead you must first learn to serve. To be great, to accomplish things that would change the world for the better, then you had to first learn to be faithful to the one person who deserved your greatness bestowed upon them—your mate.
“Do you think our lives will be any easier from here on out?” Alina asked her mate as they lie in bed hours later, worn out and yet utterly satisfied. The soft light from the few candles still burning brought a warm glow to the otherwise dark chamber.
“I would be a fool to think such a thing, beloved.”
“Do you think we will have many adventures?” She grinned up at him with her chin propped up on his chest. Her face was still flushed and she look thoroughly well loved.
He chuckled and ran his fingers through her bed mused hair. “I hope that we do. I hope that we are a force for good in this world. I hope that we lead a pack that will always stand for what is right and never back away when others will not fight.”
“We will,” Alina said confidently.