Prologue

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Dedicated to those who have ever been betrayed, by the closest people

"Funny how we hold on tight

to those people

who hurt us the most"

***

"Mother can you please tell us the story again." A girl named Kathryn asked. She had, along with all of her siblings, gathered next to the fireplace. The flames kept them warm despite it being the middle of the winter. This specific winter was the coldest one in about a hundred years.

"Again?" A beautiful woman with red hair laughed. She was extraordinarily beautiful for a human. Green eyes and some light freckles.

"Please!" The children begged.

"If you promise that you don't get nightmares from it." All of the five eager children smiled eagerly and screamed their approval.

The woman looked at her children and smiled. 

"Many many years ago there was a war." The children gasped and the woman continued. "The war was to decide which kingdom would rule them all. The leaders of all the kingdoms were ruthless, but there was one who made the others seem almost kind and gentle.

His name was Eskor Deàsun."

"There was a rumor that Eskor's mate was the most beautiful she-wolf that had ever lived. All the other leaders were jealous of him for gaining her heart. Eskor and his mate were ecstatically waiting for their second child to come into this world. And their biggest wish was to see their children someday and watch as him and his brother brother rule all the Kingdoms. Or that was what they thought. Eskor's former mistress was so jealous of the she-wolf, Abigail, who was Eskor's soulmate that she decided to kill her out of jealousy.

The night when Eskor and his soldiers won the war, the Mistress decided to put her plan to action. She attacked the Queen and cut her throat. She died almost immediately along with her unborn child.

Rumors tell that the second she died, Eskor collapsed to the ground. Half of his soul was gone with the wind. His wolf took control of him in a moment of weakness. It wanted to make sure that his mate was alive so he ran to the castle. The castle that held the body of his beloved Queen and unborn child.

When Eskor reached there, he found his dead love. The world collapsed around him as the reason for his living was gone. Soon he found the Mistress and skinned her alive before throwing her to the wild dogs, rogues."

The children around her looked terrified and the woman hugged them all.

"Some even say that if you listen carefully, you can hear her screaming and apologizing to the King, begging for mercy that wouldn't be bestowed. She had not spared the Queen when she had been begging.

After his mate's death, Eskor became even more ruthless and merciless. His past self was almost like a fraction of a fraction of what he had become. Everything was different. Now that his mate wasn't there to stop him, his wolf had completely taken over."

"What happened then, Mother?" Kathryn's brother Noah asked.

All the children were excited about the story. All of them except one. Her name was Maeve and she was the youngest.

"I think that is a story for tomorrow night," Alison said while kissing his forehead.

All the children except Maeve mumbled something and went to their beds that were located in the living room. The cottage that they lived in was so small that all of them had to sleep in shared beds.

"What happened to the firstborn?" Maeve asked quietly when her mother came to braid her hair for the night.

Alison smiled. The most innocent of her children was the only one who really paid attention to all the details.

"The firstborn was a boy. After Eskor's death a few years later the boy did not have anyone who could have loved him. He did grow but without love and so his heart turned as hard as a stone and as cold as a glacier. Some predict that the boy will be the cruelest person to have ever walked on this ground.  And most of it is because he has never had someone to love him as much one should. I don't think that he has ever even heard about the concept of love."

"But how mother?" she inquired. Wasn't love the most powerful thing in the world? Her mother had taught her that and her mother was never wrong.

"I know darling, I know. No one ever taught him what love was. That is why he doesn't know about it." Maeve felt tears running on her cheeks.

"Why are you crying, my love?" Alison said as she softly brushed the tears away.

"I feel bad for him. He must have been so alone and sad."

Maeve's mother smiled and lifted the five-year-old in her arms. "Maybe someday someone can change that."

"Really?" The girl's eyes brightened immediately. "Who is going to do that mama?"

"Only time will tell us that my love, but hopefully someone will do it. And it is someone he would have never expected to find."

"I hope that he finds the love of his life."

"I hope that as well. It's starting to get late go to sleep. Tomorrow is another beautiful day."

"Good night Mother," Maeve said as she hugged her mother.

"Good night Maeve."

After that, the little girl ran to her bed that she shared with her sister, Sophie. Alison went outside to grab some firewood to the fireplace. The forest outside the small cabin was filled with pure white snow and trees looked beautiful with snow on top of them. After she had collected enough of firewood, she kept walking towards a small meadow where she found the love of her life.

Like ten years ago, the children's father was standing there. He had a fur cape around his shoulders and a rough look on his face.

"Oliver" The woman yelled and drop the firewood to the ground as she ran to the man with tears in he eyes.

"Oh, Alison."

No words could describe how much he had missed his mate. The couple embraced each other for so long that they did not know if they had been there for minutes or for hours.

"How are they, my love? Are they fine? You know it kills me to not see them."

"I know Oliver. They are fine and happy-" She stopped.

"What are you hiding from me? And don't say 'nothing' I know you better than that."

"I told them the story again," Alison admitted.

"Why did you tell our children that? You know that when he finds her she will be gone forever and we won't even know if she's alive. You know that and yet-" Anger took control of his face.

"I do know that my love. It's just that Kathryn wanted to hear that story again and you know that I don't have the heart to refuse her."

Oliver was thinking, Alison could tell that because whenever he was be thinking, his left brow would arch. "Did anything else happen?"

"I don't know if this means anything" Alison shrugged, "but Maeve kept asking about him."

Oliver froze.

"Please tell me that it was just out of curiosity and nothing more. He cannot ever find out about her."

"I don't know Oliver. Maybe the bond has started to do its magic already."

"No, that cannot be possible Alison and you ought to know that. They haven't even ever met and maybe the Oracle was wrong."

"Your wish is as good as mine, my dearest."

"We need to protect her even if it means us losing our lives doing it." 

"I agree." Alison embraced him for a short while and kissed him for the last time before returning to the cottage. They could only hope that fate was on their side. But they both knew that mates always found each other no matter what. The only thing left to do was wish her youngest child the best of luck.


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