Chapter 53: Fated

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The silence rang so clear you could hear a pin drop.

Leanna was frozen to the spot, watching him with wide eyes as he walked forward a few feet. He looked awkward, of all things. Dressed in a plaid button down and jeans, with his hair short and tousled, he looked...normal. 

"You don't have to say anything if you don't want to but just hear me out, please," he cleared his throat, rubbing the back of his neck.

She nodded, waiting for him to continue.

Licking his lips, a nervous habit, he bounced from foot to foot, "I know I'm the last person you want to see. But I just have to say... I am so, so sorry. I know that doesn't count for anything, and it doesn't undo what I did, but, fuck, I am so sorry. I never should've taken you. I should've let you go back home. I should've just left you alone. But I knew you were my mate. And I couldn't bear to be around you, knowing I'd taken you from your family for selfish reasons. It wasn't the bond; it was because I knew who your father was, and I wanted to humiliate him. And when I came back, I thought it could be normal. But every time I saw you, all I could think about was who your father was. 

And when my daughter was born, or I guess, Rick's daughter who I thought was mine, I slowly started to realize where I went wrong. My pride and ego were too great for me to admit fault. So I ignored it."

Tears had gathered in his eyes, and Leanna was surprised to find that she felt nothing. No sympathy, no pity. 

"If it wasn't for all of that, I never would've met the people who mean the most to me today," she paused, her chest filling with warmth. "I forgive you, Vincent. This isn't something I want holding me down for the rest of my life, so I forgive you. Because I found my peace, and I only hope that you've found yours."

And she meant it.

She wasn't sure at what point she'd realized this but it was true. She didn't hold any resentment toward him. It wasn't hurting anyone but her and her life had too much good to focus on the tragedies of the past.

Vincent remained quiet, eyeing her with respect, "Thank you, Leanna."

Turning on his heel, he gave her one last look before walking out of the door he'd come in through. 

"You're a strong woman," Selene mused from beside her, and Leanna jumped in surprise.

"Thank you, Goddess," Leanna smiled, taking in a deep breath as she turned toward her. "So what now?"

Selene gave her a gentle smile, "What do you know about reincarnation?" 

Leanna's eyebrows furrowed in confusion, "Reincarnation? I didn't think it was possible."

"Mhm, very much indeed, yes," Selene mused, taking her earlier seat at the fountain. 

"Wait, am I going to be reincarnated?" Leanna's eyes widened to an impossible degree.

The Moon Goddess let out a hearty laugh, her eyes twinkling, "Oh no dear, you're simply coming back to life. Too much work to be done to let you die and wait who knows how long for you to come back. No, dear. Vincent, actually. I know, I know, very strange but as I said, he was truly remorseful and that is brownie points up there. There's no saying if he'll get it, but he's up for consideration."

Leanna blinked, not even remotely sure how to process that. So she moved on to the second most shocking thing.

"Uh, wait, so back to life? As in... back to life?"

Selene nodded, "Yes. It's a bit complicated."

Leanna frowned, growing confused, "Complicated how?"

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