Chapter Forty.

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"Don't be worried about me."

Dalton's deep voice whispers into my ear from behind me where I stand outside of the hidden cave entrance to Utonapol Alas, the mysteriously beautiful settlement in the Netherlands.

The other leaders all departed from Croatia at the same time as us and then my family and I headed here. Fallon and her brother were finally able to meet back up with us and having her at my side again has helped to relax me a little, but seeing her brother only makes me think more about Pedro. I know they had a little something going on and I only pray somehow we can save Pedro and give him another chance at love.

The members Dalton, Lance, and Dad recruited for this intensely important mission met us here a few hours ago and after only an hour long meeting and strategy planning, they are ready to move out. Ten men, my dad, Lance, and Dalton included, and two lean and strong women whose names I can't remember but I'm told they are incredibly fast and some of the most skilled fighters. My faith has to be in these twelve people. This is my first real move as queen and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared shitless.

Dalton wraps his arms around me from behind and leans in to kiss my cheek. "Earth to Rose." He smiles into my neck.

I turn around to face him, noticing my mom and dad a few yards away, the two in an embrace while daddy whispers things I can't hear to mom.

"How are you not nervous?" I groan, looking up into his honey brown eyes, not trying to let the thought that this could very easily be the last time I ever do it get to me. "My hands won't stop shaking and my head's a mess."

"Hey," he reaches down to loop a finger under my chin and tilt my head back, not letting me avoid his gaze. "This is going to work." He nods once. "That's why I'm not nervous. I know the plan, I've got faith in it, and I've got one really good reason to make sure it goes smoothly."

"And that is?" I finally smile.

His hand slides around to the back side of my neck, pulling me forward until our lips meet. "I've got you to come back to."

"Yes." I grab his face. "You do, so you better."

"I promi-."

I put a finger to his lips. "Don't make promises you can't keep." I insist, but he shakes his head and pulls my hand down.

"I'm not," he assures me, putting my hand against his strong chest that's barely being confined in his tight black t shirt. "I promise to come back to you, no matter what."

I grab ahold of him, squeezing him to me tightly and he kisses the top of my head. "I love you Dalton." I tell him. "I've never loved anyone until you."

"Neither have I, and I won't ever again."

I'm slightly shocked by the admission. Sure I feel that way too, but to put it out on the table like that. Just laying his feelings out for me. It sounds like he's promising a future with me and it doesn't scare me at all. I reach up and grab his face, kissing him hard.

"Good luck." I kiss him once more and he squeezes my hand before turning away and going to join the others on the bus waiting up the gravel path. He doesn't look back, and I'm glad because I don't want him to see the fear on my face.

"Rosie," I turn to my father now, noticing Mom turn and walk swiftly into the cave behind us. I sweep the stray tear away from my cheek and crash my head into the center of Dad's chest, letting him hold me in a bear hug. "I love you." He laughs, squeezing even harder until I giggle. "Look after your mom, you know she gets nervous. And make sure you take Malcom's advisement. He's a pain in the ass but he's smart as hell. Also,"

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