Chapter 43

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Stepping outside, the Alpha was completely broken by what his mate did. Although, a large part of him wasn't surprised. By rejecting his first mate, he set into action  a series of events that led him to where he was. 

"So, now what?" David asked. 

"For the first time, I have no idea." 

"Alpha Morris!" 

That voice. That familiar female voice jump-started his heart. Turning toward the source, there she was, looking radiant as ever. The irreconcilable mistake he made was burning in his heart all the brighter now. "Your Majesty, what can I do for you?" 

"Why don't you and your men stay here tonight? You've traveled a long way, it would be silly to start back now." 

"I don't think the King--"

"The King already said you could stay. You've suffered enough today, why don't you and the others take some rest, and start back tomorrow?"

Sighing, he nodded his head a few times, clearly, speaking through the link to his warriors. "Very well, we accept." 

Side-stepping, she looked to her Beta. "Quill, please show the men the way. I'd like a word in private with the Alpha."

"But, My Lady--"

"I'll deal with it later," she said more firmly. "Just....please." 

'You best scream if he does something to you,' Quill said, through the link. 

'I swear,' she smiled at him.

Going their separate ways, the Alpha followed the Queen to the library. 

Closing the door behind them, Daemon's gaze was out the window. "Is there something you want to say to me?"

"No, I just want to know how you are."

Scoffing harshly, he turned. "How I am? You want to know how I am? You're unbelievable, you know that? Un-fucking-real." 

Aylin just stood there and let him get his frustration out; the exact reason she didn't want him near his pack members. "It's a valid question, don't you think?" 

"Jesus Christ! Listen to you! After what I did?! Get angry! Throw something! Hit me! Something, anything!! Tell me you hate me!!  I don't deserve your kindness! I don't deserve to live!!" 

Watching the Alpha have a complete mental breakdown pulled at her heart, but she didn't think doing any of those things would soften the blow of what he had gone through. Mistakes were made, lives ruined. It was enough to have that happen. Adding insult to injury was not something Aylin was willing to do. 

Collapsing onto his knees, Daemon's red, swollen eyes looked up at his rejected mate. "I'm so, so sorry, Aylin!" Burying his face in his hands, he sobbed.

She always thought that seeing him this way, the man who rejected her, would make her happy. Seeing him in the state he was in only made her sad. Wanting to tell him that everything would be okay, but it wouldn't be. His actions were the catalyst that made her life a living hell for far too long. But watching him be reduced to tears only made her feel sadness. Feeling terrible for a man who has no right to warrant her sympathy. 

Stepping up to him, Aylin started to gently stroke his hair, hoping it would offer some sort of consolation. The action seemed to only make him cry harder, but she continued. When his hands came up to her hips, his head still remained down, tears hitting the floor.

Suddenly, the door opened behind her, and low growl resonated off the stone walls. Craning her neck, Ezekiel went from angry to softened at record speed. It was hard for him to see his mate that way, but she was trying to comfort a person who had lost so much. That was something he could sympathize with. 

'I didn't want him to lose it on front of his subordinates.'

'I understand.' His tone was entirely more sympathetic than she had ever heard it before. 'He needs to get some rest.'

With the sobs dying down, she took her chance. "Daemon, come on. You need to get some sleep." Helping him to his feet, he wiped his eyes. "As we said, you're free to do with her as you please. Take your time to think about it." 

"She stays. I trust the King will be more fitting to punish her than I ever could." He followed Quill out without another word. 

Sighing deeply, Aylin felt relief with the closure she so desperately needed. Ezekiel did not look pleased with her, but she could see he wasn't angry either. It was something in between. "What is it, Zeke? You have this far away look in your eye." 

"When this is over, do you want to go back with Daemon?" 

The question prompted those old feelings of self worth again. "Do-do you not love me anymore?" 

Her eyes welling with tears, made him spring into action. Taking her in his arms, the King stroked her hair, calming her down. "That's not what I meant. Of course, I love you. But, seeing you with him, he still cares about you--"

"The bond is broken. I don't want anyone else." 

Instantly, the squeezing pain in his chest was lifted. "Sshhh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean anything. No one is taking you from me, I promise." 

After all the excitement of the day, the two retired to their bedroom as the sun was setting. Everything that happened seemed to surreal, but it was a harsh reality. One, that slapped all of them in the face. 

Gazing out to the orange sunset, Aylin wondered what the next move would be. Now that Ophelia confessed to her crimes, they seemed to be no closer to finding Zagan than they were before. She, as well as everyone else, felt like they were spinning their wheels for answers. 

Strong arms wrapped themselves around her waist, and the familiar scent invaded her nostrils. "This may be a stupid question, but what's wrong?" 

Chuckling a little, her small arms wrapped around his. "Well, it does seem like a silly question, but now that you ask: It doesn't feel like we've gotten anywhere. What more can we do without risking lives? Our options seemed limited at this point."

"We'll figure it out," Ezekiel replied, attempting to be comforting. "We just have to figure out his weaknesses--"

"Maybe we should start with where he is," she snapped. Realizing her tone, she apologized. 

"Should we ask Morris to help us?"

"Is that such a good idea? With everything that's happened?" 

"Personally, to face the thing that destroyed his pack and his life; it would be justice."

Thinking about it, the reasoning made sense. Finally, he could get the closure he needed. "We can ask him tomorrow."

Taking his Queen's hand, Ezekiel led her to the bed. Sitting down on the edge, his hands slid down to her backside, squeezing it. Taken by surprise, she groaned, falling forward onto him. "I guess it's been too long," he teased. 

His hot breath on her ear, made her quiver. Rather than show it, Aylin decided it was her turn to tease. Sliding her hand down his chest, further and further until the look of surprise made her smirk. 

"You're not the only one who can play dirty," she whispered in his ear, licking along the edge. 

"Oh, you're in trouble now."

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