Chapter 33

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Regardless of what his mate was, Ezekiel knew that losing his cool would get him nowhere. All the progress made with Aylin would be out the window, and it wasn't her fault in the first place. She barely remembered the attack. But for her to be able to catch a bullet flying at her, the King simply couldn't wrap his mind around it. 

"I know what you're thinking." Aylin interrupted his train of thought. "I don't know how either." Slumping her shoulders, her mind raced with the worst things imaginable. Of course, there was something wrong with her. Nothing could ever be easy. 

Sitting next to her, the King wrapped an arm around her shoulder, gently running his fingers through her hair. He wasn't sure what to say. There wasn't anything he could say in that moment that would make her feel better. No comfort he could offer her. And that bothered him. He was supposed to comfort his mate in times of stress, but having been closed off for so long, he felt inadequate.

"So, now what?" she whispered. 

"What do you mean?" Part of him knew what she was getting at. 

Sighing deeply, Aylin knew what she was about to say would make him angry, but she pressed forward. "It's not safe for me to be here. The pack could be in danger, and I think--"

A loud rumble emitted from Ezekiel's chest, and his eyes shifted. Readjusting his grip, Ezekiel whipped the girl around to his lap, their eyes locking. "You are not going anywhere. You hear me?" His low growl made Aylin tense, but his look was gentle. Nodding, she tipped her head down onto his shoulder, giving his neck a light kiss. Another rumble made Aylin shiver. "Don't do that unless you want to finish it."

There was a burning question that was eating away at the girl. "Do you think the pack members will dislike me now? They all saw what happened."

"We can only wait and see what happens."

A sturdy knock on the door, made them both jump. "Who is it?" Ezekiel called. 

"Quill." 

Sliding off his lap, Aylin answered the door. "Something wrong?" Ezekiel came to stand behind her. 

"We thought you'd want to see who the offender was," he said, rubbing the back of his neck uncomfortably. 

Raising an eyebrow, Ezekiel wasn't sure he wanted Aylin to see who it was, but something in his gut told him he knew exactly who. "You don't have to--"

"No, I'm the queen now. I have to tend to this just like any other business." Her tone was firm and strong, making the two males smirk. 

"Let's go then." 

Making their way outside, there were several warriors shifted waiting orders from the Beta. "We're going--"

"I'll stay with the Queen, she can't shift yet." Some of the wolves looked at each other, quizzical looks on their faces. "It's not too far." 

"Zeke, it'll take twice as long to get there." 

"Shift Zeke, don't worry about me." Smiling gently at him, he huffed a sigh. 

All wolves, save for Aylin, shifted, running through the forest to the cells. The wind whipped through her hair, and the pounding of paws rang in her ears. But, there was something eerie about where they were going. The closer they came to the cells, the denser the air felt. It was almost suffocating. 

Coming to a halt, Aylin could smell the stink of the demon chained inside. But there was another smell, a sickeningly sweet smell that she was familiar with. Rage poured through her. Clenching her fists, she pushed through the shifting werewolves, throwing the door to the cells open. 

Behind her, she could hear Ezekiel cursing, yelling at the men to grab her. Right before she entered the second door to the main hallway, large arms wrapped around her tightly. "Take it easy, Ay." Ezekiel's voice was in her ear. Struggling against him, the King only held her tighter. Making an about face, Ezekiel took Aylin up the stairs, and back outside. "All of you go inside. I need to speak to the Queen." 

Following their orders, all the warriors went down into the cells. 

Putting her down, Ezekiel needed to tread carefully. Truth be told, he was having trouble holding onto her while she struggled against him, which was concerning. "I had a feeling it was her, that's why I didn't want you to come. But you have as much right to know why as I do." 

Scoffing, she turned to him. "I know why," she said, angrily. "Because she was fucking you before I came along, and you made promises. She's lost all sense of fucking reason, and now she tried to kill me." For some reason, Aylin couldn't keep her anger in check. It was as though there was a fire burning in her chest, and she needed to release it. That was the first time she ever felt something so strong. 

Ezekiel was taken aback by her sudden outburst of anger; something he had never seen before. But, he couldn't dispute her words. However, something else in that moment drew his eye. The Queen's eyes were both red and golden. His first priority would be to calm her down. The gradual changes in her were taking their toll. "Maybe I did, I can't deny it. That time has long since gone, I swear it. You are the one I want now." Aylin's chest was still heaving in anger, so he continued. "You have every right to hate my past. I won't stop you, but we are here, in the present. You're my Queen; I chose you." 

Tucking her hair behind her ear, the color in her eyes changed back to the beautiful blue that he was used to. Tears clouded her eyes, the more they looked at each other. "I'm sorry. I don't know what came over me." 

Kissing the top of her head, Ezekiel was starting to become concerned with the changes in his mate. He didn't want to believe that demons were targeting her but this was the second incident that indicated it was true. "What did it feel like?" 

"It felt like there was a fire raging in my chest, and the angrier I became the more it wanted to burst out. It didn't even feel like it was me who was speaking, like some kind of alter ego."

Holding her to his chest, Ezekiel stroked her hair. "I'm here now. Don't worry." 

Taking a few minutes, the pair decided to go down into the cells. The overwhelming scent of demon made Aylin's head spin, but she managed to fake it through. All the warriors were standing ready by the cell, two by two against the wall. 

Coming up to it, the sound of searing flesh and silver permeated the air. Ana was screaming at the top of her lungs, to which no one responded. Upon seeing the King and Queen, a malicious smirk came over her face. "Come to see me? How nice?" she spat. Turning her attention toward her brother, he stood steadfast with the others. "And you? Betrayed by my own flesh and blood. Should've known. You're weak!"

"I didn't realize you hated the Queen so much, you'd go to your death," he retorted. Shooting a glance to Angus, she nodded slightly. "It's over, Sister. You knew full well I wouldn't go against the king." 

"What was your purpose in attacking the Queen?" Ezekiel's voice boomed over all the walls. 

"Stupid wolf. To kill her!"

"Did you have any accomplices?"

Silence. 

"Ana, does the name Zagan ring a bell?" Aylin stepped forward, wanting to ask a few questions herself. Both Ezekiel and Quill posted behind her. 

"Answer!" Quill bellowed. 

A venomous smirk came across her features. "Maybe."

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