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CHAPTER 9

Nickoli hasn't left his room in days, leaving us missing his bubbly presence.

But as I rounded the corner for the kitchen of the pack house, I jumped, seeing his face that I was almost beginning to forget.

Well not really, I'm just being dramatic.

"Nick!" I gasped and flung my arms around him in a hug.

He let out a huff as I hit him, knocking him back.

Raffi grinned from the breakfast counter. "I know right! He's finally appeared!"

He smiled weakly and shrugged. "Aiden said he needed to talk to us."

"He does?" I asked.

"He does." Aiden announced. He walked into the room, wearing dark jeans and a long sleeved blue shirt that matched his eyes, with his parent behind him. "It's about the Vampires."

"Have you decided what you're going to do?" Raffi asked, leaning in, suddenly serious.

He sat down at the kitchen table and spread out a map. Raffi, Nick, Edmund and his mother all sat down around him. But I hung back. I'd only just joined the pack- I didn't have any right to help lead the pack. I didn't feel as included as the others, even though they'd left me a space beside Aiden.

"Jamie, are you going to sit down?" Edmund asked, breaking my thoughts. "This is my wife, Lucy."

She smiled a little, but it was a sad smile. "Hello, Jamie. It's nice to finally meet you."

I fiddled with my grey shirt sleeve nervously. "You too, Mrs Willows."

"Call me Lucy," She waved dismissively.

I sat down and looked at the map. It showed the territory of the pack and the territories around it.

"So this is our territory. " Aiden pointed at a large chunk of land. "This is the territory of the vampires." He pointed at another chunk of land that was about two or three territories. "Between these are the Orion Territory, the Lowsworth Territory and the Days Territory. " He pointed to all of them. Edmund nodded and Lucy looked serious.

"Raffi what do we know about these territories?" Aiden prompted.

Raffieti straightened up and looked at the map.

"Yeah, tell us Gir-Raffi." Nick smiled a little.

"Well, Lowsworth and Days are both werewolf territories, and both our allies. " She said, her lips drawn in to a thin, straight line.

Aiden nodded. "And, Nick what do we know about Orion?"

We all turned to look at Nickoli, who smirked a bit, and joked, "it's a star constellation?"

Aiden shot him a look.

"They're vampires. " He stated. Lucy flinched at the word and drew back in her seat.

She shot a look at Aiden and snarled, "You're not going to-"

Aiden stopped her with a gesture. "Ma, we have to."

"Aiden, are you sure?" His father asked, frowning. Aiden nodded. "Ok then, we'll support you."

"Thanks da, "he smiled. "So, Orion- a territory of vampires and the closest to our enemies in Faulkner-" he looked at us all. "We need allies to beat them."

Lucy slammed a hand down on the table. "Our enemies are vampires!"

Edmund placed a comforting hand on her shoulder and she visibly relaxed at her mate's touch. "But some vampires are good."

"No they're not!" she spat. "They are all monsters! They killed my daughter!"

Aiden growled. "Mother- she wasn't killed! She died!" there were tears in his eyes as he stood up to her. "You can't blame the Bennetts for what happened-"

"I don't, I blame him!" She cried. Her dark brown eyes flickered in anger and sadness.

"Mother!" Aiden roared. I was frozen in the tension and watched on. "I run this pack now! This is my decision to make, not yours and not dads! We need allies and they're our last hope."

Lucy's face was grim as she spoke coolly and steely. "Fine. But don't lose your blood over it." She got up with shaky legs and left the room.

No one made eye contact; it was if no one dared breathe.

Then suddenly, Raffi broke the pregnant silence. "How will you suggest the treaty?"

Aiden sat down again. "I've already spoken to them- they have agreed to sign the treaty because they too have been attacked by Faulkner Clan. The next step is to meet with them."

Nick and Raffi nodded- they must've done this loads of times before.

"So, we'll form a small patrol and go and visit them- it's a formal thing- so I have to be there in person." He explained. "Raffi you will stay and look after the pack- dad can help."

"What about me?" Nick asked.

"You'll be part of the patrol. As will you, Jamie and some warrior wolves. "

"Me?!" I squeaked.

Aiden nodded. "Of course, as my mate you're part of the Alpha pair and I definitely won't be leaving you behind." He smirked.

I rolled my eyes.

"When do you leave?" Raffi asked.

"And what about Chase?" I asked, nervous to leave him alone without Will or myself.

"We leave at the end of the week and Jamie, Chase will be fine here, Raffi can look after him." Aiden said. He placed a hand on my thigh gently, sending a jolt to my chest.

"He told me he's got a babysitting job." Raffi smiled. "He's looking after Dr Julien's 5 year old daughter. I think she's got a little crush on him."

I laughed. "He was always a charmer. "

"I hope Julien doesn't find out- he'd barbeque him." Nick giggled.

"He's always been protective." Edmund smiled.

Brushing away his brown hair, Aiden's dark blue eyes tinkled. "So, it's settled then. We leave at the end of the week."


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