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Chapter 23: Valerian

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I sit through the rest of the meeting listening partially but finding myself distracted by the strangeness of Theo's, Alpha Rowan's, and Alpha Belrose's dynamics.

Belrose was at war with Draven in the past, yet Theo wants Alpha Belrose's help. Rowan is taking great risks to earn Belrose's favor, but what's so promising about Belrose? He seems to be in the same heirless position as both Theo and Alpha Rowan.

His Luna died—he has no choice but to seek another—but what if Theo or Alpha Rowan can't produce a son either? Would they be forced to choose between their mates and another woman who can provide what their pack needs?

I stare at Theo from the corner of my eye. I want children eventually, but what if I don't have a son? What if I can't have children at all?

My mother's spoken about barren women like the greatest tragedy possible, and it's no secret that Rowan's Luna is struggling. At her age, and with our current packs' conflicts, Rowan's pack members must be questioning their Alpha's next move.

If I'm barren, what would Theo do?

My attention snaps into place when chairs start sliding outwards and people head for the door. Theo talks privately with Corbin, and Dan gets up to join their separate conference.

"Luna," One man says, acknowledging me before he leaves, and those after him do the same.

I nod, smile, and say, "Goodbye. Bye. It's nice to meet you all," until the meeting room is empty of everyone but the four of us.

Theo stands. "I have to get to the cells. Celeste, are you coming with me, or would you rather go home?"

I follow suit, pushing in my chair. "I want to come."

He steps around me to hold the door open. I tell Dan and Corbin, "I'll see you guys later," and they give their brief goodbyes in exchange.

Theo shuts the door behind us. "That wasn't too boring, was it?"

"I think I just got a little distracted towards the end."

"With what?"

"Well, we know Belrose can find someone else to be his Luna, to produce his heir, but what about Alpha Rowan? He has his Luna, but they can't seem to have a son, so what is he supposed to do?"

Theo clenches his jaw, taking longer to respond. Finally, he says, "It's a complex situation."

"What would you do if you were him?"

"I don't know. I thank the Goddess I'm not."

"But..." I gaze off into the trees. "What if we couldn't—"

"You're thinking too far ahead—don't worry yourself."

"Would you find someone else who could give you a son?"

Theo stops walking, so I turn.

"Where is this coming from?" he asks.

I shrug, regretting my question. The words sprung out before my conscience could catch them.

"Whatever Rowan or Belrose are going through, I don't want you to agonize about us being the same—we aren't."

I nod.

Theo inhales, and then he says, "I wouldn't find someone else. I don't want anyone else, and I stand by the Goddess."

"Okay." I gesture at the oncoming path, ashamed for doubting our bond. "I don't want to make you late for..."

"There's a rogue I have to deal with."

"Then I don't want to make you late for that."

He reluctantly carries on. "Let's go."

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