Chapter Twenty - Torn

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I stood up immediately, crossing my arms across my chest, "What the hell are you doing here?" My eyes zeroed in on the prince. Connor was only in trouble by association. The real culprit was the man standing next to him.

He eyed my figure slowly, his eyes only narrowing slightly when they landed on my swollen lips. He gulped visibly and clenched his fists but his face remained, impressively, void of emotion. "We should talk, Alaska." His deep, accented voice sent a delicious chill down my spine.

"How did you even find me?" I demanded irately.

"You got rid of your mobile, he didn't." Jacobi glanced at Kyle briefly, his face slightly disgusted. "Bit too easy, don't you think, love?" He smirked, "Perhaps, you wanted to be found."

I scoffed, "Yeah, that's why I ran for the hills the moment I had the chance."

"We all do things we regret when we're angry." His voice was thick with implication. The gravity in his brown eyes only confirmed my suspicions. Was that some sort of a twisted apology? If it was, it was pathetic and I didn't accept.

Behind him, Connor shot me a mischievous grin, "Have to admit your escape plan was very well executed. I'm impressed."

Jacobi rolled his eyes but I was surprised by his rather chill attitude. I was sure he would be livid. "Can we talk, please?" Jacobi asked again.

I glanced at Kyle behind me who was watching Jacobi with a very sore look on his face. My father, on the other side of the room, observed with contained curiosity. When our eyes met he nodded and I realized he was pushing me to talk to my mate. I sighed in defeat, "Fine. Five minutes."

Jacobi's shoulders sagged in relief. He extended his hand for me to take but I ignored it, brushing past him towards the apartment door. The muted footsteps behind me were confirmation of the prince following me. I opened a door at the end of the hall and ended up in the vacant stairway. I had a feeling we'd have privacy here. People didn't tend to take the stairs up fifteen stories. I leaned against the wall and looked up at him. "Talk." I demanded.

He brushed his fingers through his hair to stall. His eyes slowly trailed up my figure before reaching my eyes, "I'm sorry."

"You need to elaborate."

"You're really not one to make things easy on a lad, are you?" He shook his head, "I'm sorry for losing my temper with you. I tend to forget that you weren't raised as a werewolf; mates couldn't ever mean the same thing to you as they do to us. Neither does the monarchy, for that matter. And to be honest, I don't want the monarchy to mean anything to you." He shifted his weight from one foot to another, apprehension in his voice, his gaze and even his stance. "I was a real arse. I don't want you to treat me like a prince. Ever. You are equal to me, Alaska."

I nodded, impressed by his control and ability to think reasonably. "And my relationship with Kyle?"

He took a deep breath, visibly calming himself, "I have no right to break you two up. Even if I think I do. You love him and you were with him first. I want you to be happy and if you'd rather be with him then I'll accept it."

The shock nearly floored me. "You'd do that?" I whispered in bewilderment.

He took a step forward, cautiously taking both of my hands in his. His thumb grazed the back of my knuckles in a slow swipe. He gazed at me intricately, "When I came home and realized you were gone I was terrified. I can't ever go through that again. I will do anything to keep you safe and happy. So if that means adjusting to my mate loving someone else then I'll do it. I'll let go."

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