David broke down after those words. He didn't cry but physically collapsed. Maram caught him before he fell to the ground and laid him back onto Gili's bed. He kissed his lover on the forehead and left, to our shock.
It was better that way. David, as well as Maram would not have been able to steer clear of one another if Maram had stayed as much as a minute longer. Now, after getting the why out of the ever willing gossip, yet caring mother and respected queen, Gili, I understood why Maram had to leave.
It took us a few hours to calm David down and put him to sleep. He refused to say anything and tried to dull us out every second of every minute in each hour we stayed by his side. We had to get Lou, David's favourite sister, to lie down with him and let him rub her swollen belly to calm him down enough so he could sink into a fitful slumber.
The day after was easier. He still dulled his senses out but he was able to get on his feet and helped out in his room as we packed for our trip.
The day of our departure came and we got out into the front driveway. As the guards piled into the cars that would escort us to the airport, David stood waiting, staring up at the front doors. I knew he was waiting for Maram to come through the doors and bid him farewell and it hurt to drag him away, knowing that it wouldn't happen. He struggled a bit at first, but I was relieved when he gave in and let me seat him in one of the cars before getting in after him and signalling for departure.
The ride to the airport was a torturous one. I saw as David faded away more and more as we distanced ourselves from the 'palace', sinking lower and lower into the abyss that ruled his heart. I tried to hug him but he just pushed me away and curled up in the corner, turning even more into himself.
His behaviour turned completely the next morning, as he surprised me by waking me up with a smile on his face. I looked at the clock to see it was nearly five in the morning and looked at him in confusion.
"I can't mope for the duration of the whole trip now can I?" he asked, trying to hide the sadness in his voice and gave me another terse smile. I shook my head lightly and dragged him down cradling his head, laying him beside me.
He huffed out and pouted his lips but let me hold him anyways. "He left me Sam." That was my cue to scoff at him and shove his head lightly. He snorted at my reaction but it was not enough to make him forget. "He just... up and left..." he turned to look me in the eyes and I saw his pain.
"You know he did not 'just' leave. You've been fighting for god knows how long about this. It was time..." he got up, furious, paced around the room and turned back to me. "Yeah, maybe it was!" he said angrily before doing a full 360° turn and closing his eyes. "Sorry..." he said, a lot calmer, before opening his eyes again.
"We should prepare ourselves for our first meeting, the sun is rising." He said, closing his eyes once again, and he looked more tired than ever before.
Our meeting with the first alpha turned out to be 'quite' boring and I dreaded having to spend a full week at his place. He was polite, and his son was well mannered, but they were the epitome of strictness and had nothing to offer in regards to entertainment.
The alpha made his son show us around his property and to our quarters. I was a little astonished when those 'quarters' turned out to be a tiny 12yd² room furnished with a bed, a desk and a chair, located on the top floor of an old building, the pack 'house'.
"At least we each get one, right." David joked when we were left alone. I threw him a weary glare before stepping inside and shutting the door in his face, embracing my personal prison cell for the coming week.
After unpacking and resting for a bit, I got up and went to explore the property some more. I passed by David's room and dragged him along when I saw he was depressingly staring at his phone.
From the outside, the building had looked like a desolate 70's apartment building however, upon closer inspection, they had actually done a decent job in renovating and refurbishing the interior. While the front had seemed old-fashioned and run-down, walking through the central hallway, I noticed the back had been remodelled into a modern park with a pool and tennis court, surrounded by forest that reached far beyond. The sun was setting but still warmed my skin as I walked by the large windows. I was suddenly hungry and was reminded of the fact that we had not eaten in hours. I looked back to David who was trailing behind.
"Are you hungry yet?" I asked and he looked up then nodded as his stomach made a growling sound.
I trained my senses to find the kitchen, it took only a second, and headed off.
A bout of pain shot through my temples and I stumbled as everything went black before my eyes. My ears rang loudly for a minute but before I knew it, it was gone again. As I came back to my senses, I noticed David's hands gripping both my sides tightly. I must have stumbled way more than I thought. I straightened and continued on my way to the kitchen.
Meat, meat... there was meat everywhere, and I nearly gagged at the stench.
I tried to locate some other form of nutrition, a loaf of bread, some vegetables, fruit, nothing.
An elderly woman came in behind us, wearing a dirty apron and glared when she noticed us standing in the kitchen.
"Get out you thieving mongrels," she shouted reaching for David's suit jacket with one of her greasy meat hooks and I quickly intercepted the movement, knocking the hook out of her hand. She glared at me then, out of nowhere, jumped at me. Luckily I had excellent reflexes and was able to sidestep her movements. She stumbled forward then, too late I noticed the canister filled with dirty/greasy water, she grabbed the first thing in front of her, the canister, and emptied it in our general direction. All I could do was close my eyes and mouth in hopes of not taking any of it in and get contaminated by who knows what...
As the splash ended I opened my eyes and threw the woman what I knew to be an angry glare.
She only smirked at what she'd accomplished, jutting her chin out.
"That'll teach y'oll thieves to stay outta my meat!" she exclaimed. I grimaced at her shrill voice but composed myself. I was not one to lash out to people and I would not start now.
"Madam, we are not thieves, we are not from around, and we are here to visit with the alpha." I stressed the last words in hopes of making her back down somewhat, however, it did not seem to have worked.
She spit on the floor before me and was about to retort when the door creaked and a tall butcher-like man entered.
"Mart, tell them to get outta my house." The woman shouted at the newcomer. David flinched back when the man came to stand right in front of him and realised at what point the man was large. Though I was tall, taller than David, this man stood at at least 6ft 10 and had dark features that further accentuated his rough demeanour.
He lifted one of his calloused hands in the air and, bodyguard mode immediately kicking in, I moved to stand in front of David. The man's hand stopped mid-air, on its way down and 'Mart' frowned at me before shrugging and gently patting my head.
I felt utterly stupid.
Mart gave us both an apologetic smile and turned to the woman.
"Vivi, these are Quinten's guests, you'd do well to treat them right!" the man had the softest of voices and I had a hard time not to let a smile slip onto my face. The woman scoffed before turning around and busying herself at one of the stoves. "Guests, guests, they're still scum, running through my house..." I heard her mumble under her breath and frowned.
"I apologise for Velvet, she thinks this kitchen is her house and everyone not on the staff is a thief... I see you've already met with her wrath, she seems to have been pretty mild still... I'm Mart by the way, I cook."