Chapter Nine - Excuses

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"Excuse me?" I was shocked. What in the world made him so entitled? Okay fine he was a prince but he wasn't my prince.

He crossed his arms firmly across his chest. "You aren't safe here and I belong there. You belong with me. You're coming home with me."

"I don't belong with you!"

"You. Do." He responded firmly, eyes narrowed. "We're mates."

"I'm not going anywhere with you." I was infuriated. Who did he think he was? Taking me from my home to be with him? Because I was 'unsafe' here? Bull. I glanced at Kyle who was clearly throwing mental daggers at Jacobi's head.

"Fine. Stay here but Maverick dies today." He decided.

"What? Why?"

"His presence is a danger to you. Even if it's out of his control, I can't stand for it. You either come with me where I can protect you or we get rid of the danger."

"Why can't they just send him back home?"

"He has marked you." Jacobi grimaced. "He wouldn't be able to stay away. Especially not when you live so close. You'll be safe with me."

"She's safe with me too, your highness." Kyle butted in bitterly.

Jacobi made a show of staring at my injuries. "Clearly."

"It wasn't Kyle's fault!" I defended him immediately. "I wasn't being careful."

"I. Don't. Care. Nobody is able to protect you better than I can and I don't think your boyfriend wants his precious cousin to die." Jacobi shot Kyle a knowing look.

Kyle stared at his lap, the inner conflict was visible on his face. I knew that Kyle hated Maverick but I also knew they were family. He wouldn't want his cousin to die. Especially not now that we knew he was sick. Besides, I didn't want him to die either. He clearly had mental issues.

"So," Jacobi spoke up again, "You either come with me, Alaska, or Maverick Dover dies today."

I screwed my eyes shut. This was all too much. I didn't want to leave home. Wasn't a mate supposed to care about you? Why was Jacobi making my life so difficult? I knew he had the power to have Maverick killed. His threat wasn't empty. "Why can't I just stay home?"

Beside me, Kyle brought my hand to his lips and pressed a kiss onto my knuckles.

I felt a hand on my opposite shoulder. "Alaska," Jacobi's irritated tone was gone, "I don't want to hurt you. I want to protect you. Just come with me for a while until we know Maverick is stable. I'll be able to sleep at night knowing you're safe. I really don't want to make you upset."

I saw nothing but sincerity in his gaze. Deep down, I knew he wanted what was best for me. But going with him would be too sudden.

On my other side, Kyle was glowering at his lap. "Kyle?" I spoke up. "What are you thinking?"

He looked up at me. "Go with him."

"Why?" I was stunned.

"He's right. He'll keep you safe and Maverick needs help. You've been marked and that means he can find you anytime when you live so close to one another. And I can't protect you the way he can." He seemed deeply disappointed. "I'd always try, babe, but it's not enough."

***

"Guys. Stop it, seriously. I'll be fine."

"Let me come in with you, we'll say I'm a friend or something..."

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