Chapter 45

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Mixed feelings plagued Aylin as she watched Daemon send away his pack members. None of them wanted to go, but they knew there would be no stopping him once he's made his decision. That's the way he always was. Part of her wanted to beg him to leave, never to turn back. Another part of her was glad he was there. Not because something tragic could happen to him, but because then he would have the self-worth he needed to be a good leader. 

Sighing, she went back inside. Something was stirring in her gut, her instincts telling her something was fast approaching. The air felt heavier, and the tension was building. An awful feeling was gnawing at her heart, and she wasn't sure what to do. 

Over and over again, she weighed options in her head. Each more daunting than the last. 

Something occurred to her that would most likely be the best, but cause the most damage. If she handed herself over to the demon, would he leave her pack alone? It was an idea she had considered briefly, but Ezekiel would instantly veto if he knew. Besides, there would be no telling what would or could happen to her. 

The minute Ezekiel would get wind of what she had done, there would be absolutely no stopping him. Too many would die. It wasn't worth the risk. 

"What are you thinking so hard about?" 

Jumping, she grabbed her chest in fright. "You scared me, Quill." 

"You were literally staring out into the forest. What are you so focused on?" 

"I'm, uh, I'm not focused on anything," she lied. 

Crossing his arms, and glaring, he leaned against the wall. "Anyone ever tell you that you are a terrible liar?"

Unable to stand his harsh stare, she broke down. "Fine, fine! I'm just worried about what's going to happen. We still don't know where the demon is, and we have no idea what his plans are. It's nerve wracking." 

"While I agree all those things are true, that's still not what you were thinking about." 

"Oh, goddamn it! Fine! Yes, you caught me mid thought of wanting to do something stupid. Satisfied now?"

"Heard that?" he asked, looking slightly over his shoulder. 

Absolute horror clutched Aylin's heart when she realized what trap she had fallen into. "You didn't, Quill?" 

The one person she was trying to keep all her inner most thoughts about what she wanted to plan, stepped around the corner. Looking entirely pissed off. "Oh, he did." Ezekiel narrowed his eyes at her. 

"Damn it," she muttered. 

"Come with me," the King growled. 

Following after him, Aylin worried that he was going to take all his anger out on her. She could tell that he was just as frustrated with the way things were going, but he seemingly, didn't have much of a reaction. Judging by how tightly his fists were clenched, she had a feeling the King was about to have a complete breakdown before her eyes. 

Walking into the office, Ezekiel slammed the door behind them. Desperately trying to keep his anger in check, his attempts were proving futile. All he could think about was Aylin walking into the woods, never to return. Leaving an empty hole where his heart started to beat again. His whole world collapsing, causing the dissolution of the pack. 

Whipping around quickly, Aylin put her hands in front. "Now, before you say anything, they were just thoughts. I obviously had not put them into action yet--"

"Yet?"

Realizing what she said, there was no backpedal fast enough before the king landed his fist into a stone wall. Recoiling, Aylin covered her face as fast as she could, turning away preventing any piece of the wall from hitting her. "So, if I'm understanding you correctly, there was a plan you intended on executing?" 

Still in shock from his punch, Aylin remained silent.

"Answer me!"

"Perhaps instead of flying off the handle, you listen to me." Only seeing the anger in his features deepen, she tried a different route. "I'm sorry, Zeke. I just...I don't know what to do anymore. I thought maybe if I attempted this the people of our pack would be spared." 

Only softening a minuscule amount, he posed a question she hadn't considered. "And do you know what would happen to this pack without it's queen? Without half of the leadership that helps it thrive? Do you have any idea what would happen to me if you went out there never to be seen again? Hmm, did you even consider that?"

Taking a step back, Aylin realized how selfish her actions were. She didn't stop to consider the overall consequences of her actions. Moving past him, she plopped on the black leather couch, dropping her head in into her hands. Shoulders shaking, Ezekiel could see small wet drops hit the floor.   Sitting next to her, he sighed. "I just want this over! I can't take it anymore!"

Seeing his mate breakdown, Ezekiel reached over, sitting her in his lap. "I know. I don't like it either. But we can't go making rash decisions. You're entitled to be frustrated. I am too. But right now, we need to think things through calmly, and rationally." 

"Okay," she hiccuped. 

****

In a different part of the castle, Ophelia was under the watchful eye of the warriors. Under strict instruction, no one was to speak to, or go near the prisoner. 

Sitting on the stone floor, Ophelia gazed around at her surroundings. It was a far cry from what she was used to, but none of it mattered. She did the right thing, in her mind. Punishing the person who took everything from her. Everything was all going according to plan, until she fell upon this place. Having known the stories, the former Luna hoped that if Aylin did wander this far North, she would be eliminated. 

She certainly never expected for her to accepted into this pack, and be made Queen. A slight miscalculation on her part. 

Thinking back, she wondered how she got here. Where did everything go wrong?



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