My walk to my room is long and cold. My throat is throbbing and it is becoming hard to breath. I bring a hand to my neck, rubbing over the swollen bruises. Alex was going to kill me for this. I needed to hide it, to make him believe that nothing happened in the first place. I never used my powers, I needed him to believe that they never even existed. If the demon wasn't completely lying, that shouldn't be a hard feat, but of course, Simon said it himself, you can never trust a demon. I had no idea what to do with myself. I needed to find a way out of the contract. No matter how much I hate Stephanie, I would never stoop that low and murder somebody.
Stumbling up the old wooden steps leading to my room, I sigh in defeat.
'How did our life turn to shit so quickly?'
'Our life isn't shit Claire. We still have mate.' my wolf scolds.
'Oh, yes of course, The same mate that just tried to throw us in the dungeon.' I roll my eyes.
'He was defending himself!' she snaps, 'You scared mate.'
'Defending himself? He didn't defend himself at all!' I screech.
'Of course he did. Mate would never hurt us willingly. His wolf wouldn't allow him to.' my wolf spits, 'We will not speak anymore about this. Mate did nothing.'
A scoff slips past my lips and I harshly throw open the door to my room, momentarily forgetting about Sebastian, who was sleeping inside. A wave of panic washes over me and I lunge for the door knob before it could smack into the wall behind it. I end up making the noise even worse. I stumble into the room, the door slamming into the wall, with my body tumbling onto the floor after it. Sebastian bolts up in bed and stares down at me with wide eyes. He looks better, much better. His hair is no longer standing up in awkward directions and he doesn't have the deep bags under his eyes anymore. He looks at peace. Which is strange for someone who just lost their mate. I smile sheepishly up at him and he looks down at me with an annoyed look.
"Sorry..." I trail off, standing up.
"What are you doing?" he sighs.
"I opened the door too fast, it was about to hit the wall, so I tried to catch it. I didn't want to disturb you." I huff, walking over to the bed and sitting down.
"So you threw your body at the door, thinking you would stop it.." he furrows his eyebrows.
"No! Okay, you're not getting the point. Never mind." I shrug, leaning back on the head board.
He lets out a loud laugh, shaking his head. Moving to the end of the bed, he cocks his head to the side and scrutinizes my face. His eyes trail down to my neck and a look of horror and surprise appears.
"What the hell happened?" he exclaims, jumping towards me.
"It's nothing." I sigh, looking away.
"Yes it is! It is something! It looks like somebody strangled you!" he nearly screams, bringing a hand up to the injury.
I flinch away from his touch. He had pressed too hard on the bruises and caused a spark of pain to run through my spine.
"Fine. Okay..." I mutter, looking over at my closet.
I gasp when the closet door is pushed back and Simon steps through. He gives me a look of death and raises his eyebrows.
"What?" Sebastian panics, "What is it?"
He turns around looking at Simon. I expect him to get up and fight, but he looks back at me with a confused expression on his face.
"There isn't anything there, Claire." he says, furrowing his eyebrows.
My eyes dart back to Simon, who is now wearing a cheeky expression. I gape, my mouth opening and closing. I attempt to form words, but my voice betrays me.
"Claire! What the hell happened?!" he yells, grabbing my chin and yanking it towards him.
I wince slightly at the strain on my neck.
"Okay, fine." I huff, moving out of his grasp.
Looking back over at Simon, he gives me a look that could kill, until I finally mutter, "Alex sent me to the dungeon. He found out about my powers. This was only half of my punishment."
"He sent you to the dungeon?!" Sebastian shouts, standing from the bed, his jaw on the floor.
I solemnly nod my head, bringing my lip into my mouth.
"Why the hell did he do that?!" he yells, running a hand through his hair.
"Like I said before, he found out about my powers." I mumble, looking at the ground.
"That doesn't give him the right to send you to the dungeon!" he roars, "He's supposed to support you! Not punish you!"
I shrug, letting out a loud sigh. Looking over at the closet again, I take note that Simon is still in the room, even though I didn't need to see him to know that. The temperature dropped twenty degrees the second I stepped through the door. I cannot move my eyes from him and in less than a second, I can no longer hear the sounds around me. Sebastian is still ranting in the corner of the room, but I am glued to the bed. I want to run, to get away from this. An invisible hand wraps around my throat and steals my breath from me. My throat is closing in on itself. I am unable to move my lips or even try to breath in, not that I would succeed in doing so. Out of the corner of my eye, I see Sebastian start to pace. He doesn't pay me any attention and I can tell that he is lost in his ranting. An unknown liquid begins to leak from my nose. I can only guess that it is blood. At the same time, I catch a glimpse of something sliding smoothly down the wall. Turning my head sharply, I see what I can only imagine to be blood rolling in waves down the wall. A sickening laugh echoes throughout the room and just as quickly as it had started, it stops. The invisible hand disappears from my throat and I gasp for air. The blood on the wall disappears and my nose no longer leaks. Simon sends me one last grin before slipping back through the closet doors. The temperature in the room remains the same, reminding me that he is just a step away from ending everything that I've ever known. Closing my eyes, I let out a ragged breath and zone back in to what Sebastian is saying.
"-he just can't do that! That's all I'm trying to say!" he finishes, breathing heavily, before he faces me with an expression of anger.
"It's fine, Seb. I'm here now. I'm okay." I try to assure him.
His expression turns to one of worry, "Claire, your nose is bleeding."
I quickly reach up and wipe the stray blood away, wincing when the crimson blood almost glows compared to my pale skin.
"It's nothing. I'm okay." I shrug, "It's always happened.....since I was I kid!"
His face twists and for a second I think that he doesn't believe me, but then he smiles slightly. Walking back to the bedside, he grabs a tissue and wipes the excess blood from my upper lip.
"I guess I should probably explain shouldn't I?" he asks, cocking his head to the side.
"Explain what?" I ask, my eyebrows furrowing.
"Why he put you in the dungeon...." he trails off.
I don't know what to say, so I say nothing at all. I slightly nod my head, almost coaxing him to begin.
"How much do you know about our family?" he starts.
I shrug my shoulders, "Just what is common to know about the Westwoods."
"Okay then, this might take longer than I thought...." he trails off before letting out a breath of air, "So I guess to start, our family never had the best luck when it came to demons. My mom's name was Mia and she was, obviously, my father's mate. Before he met her, he was a lot like Alex, cold, cut off, a major man-whore. But when he met her, it all stopped. He started to get happier, although he never showed it to his men. He was King, he couldn't show any human emotion. After that, they had a pretty normal relationship and then she got pregnant. Still pretty normal, until the demons tried attacking. After she had the baby, they vowed to not have anymore kids. The more kids they had, the bigger target they had on their backs. Somehow throughout the next few years, they were able to fend them off long enough for them to find the time to go back on their vow and have two more children, Alex and myself. The firstborn was our brother Adam, but he's an Alpha from a different pack now. After that, everything just kind of went down hill. The kingdom survived for about five or six years after that. Adam was 12, Alex was 5, and I was 4. I didn't know what was happening, nor did I think that my mother was never going to come home again. But that was reality and I didn't get all the information until quite a few years later. Our mother was in the garden the day it happened. She didn't see them coming, but the demons snuck behind her and slit her throat. It all happened so fast, nobody could do anything to help her. My father, Adam, Alex, and I were the only ones that got out that day. The demons were hellbent on destroying the royals. And for the most part, they succeeded, for a while. That day, the castle was destroyed and every single person under that roof, except for the four of us, died. We moved and created another pack, but decided to lay low. We no longer proclaimed ourselves as royalty and we lived in a more modern house. It stayed that way for nearly 10 years. Father took many mistresses in that time and happened to impregnate most of them. This continued, until he found his second mate. The moon goddess must have given him a second chance. He loved my mother, he always would, but we all think that he loved Allison, his second mate, more. They had an interesting relationship and it wasn't long until they had a child together. Her name is Joanne. Actually, you may have seen her, she's part of the pack."
I nod my head, agreeing with him and begging for him to continue.
"They were happy, that is until my father had a glorious idea. Apparently, he thought it would be a good idea to pick a fight with the demons again. My father took no one with him and he ran head first into absolute suicide. He was too cocky. He thought he could beat them all himself. But they obliterated him and later returned to attempt obliterate us as well. They failed. Alex was grown by that time and Adam had long ago found his mate and became a part of the girl's pack. She was a Luna and he claimed the title as Alpha. Alex has trained for war for most of his life, so when the demons attacked, he was able to destroy most them by himself. We won the war, but that was not before the demons stole the only family that we had left. They murdered my father's mistresses, as well as their children. His second mate died that day, as well. The only ones left standing were Alex, Joanne, and myself. With of course, Adam in the other pack. Later, Joanne discovered she was mated to Simon and they had a little girl named Allison, named after Jo's mother. So that's why Alex got so disturbed about the whole demon thing. They killed basically our entire family." he finishes with a deep breath.
My jaw is on the ground and an unexplainable dread has washed over me.
"I'm so sorry, Seb." I whisper.
"Don't be. You didn't kill them. That is something that Alex needs to learn. You didn't do anything wrong." Sebastian continues.
We are silent for a moment. The gears in my head are turning and my mouth opens to ask a question I would soon regret.
"Can I ask you something?" I mumble.
"Oh course." he chirps, sitting down on the bed again.
"Why do you live in the den?" I mutter, picking at a stray string on the comforter.
"Ahh, the dreaded question." he chuckles, "I don't mind it actually. it could be worse, but after Alex was forced to claim power, he felt the need to punish somebody. And he chose me. He placed me out in the den and forced me to live there, by this time I was close to 16 and I didn't mind it much. I got my privacy, that is until, he stopped feeding me. Then, it was hell. I couldn't eat, bathe. I couldn't do anything. I was simply stuck in my den, but that's changed since then. While, I'm still under my brother's control and I still live in the shack. I can find my way around things. I can get food, a bath, water when I need it. It isn't that much of a problem anymore."
My emotions are racing. Anger flows through my veins and I am nearly certain that my eyes are blood red.
"He put you in a shack because of something that you didn't cause?" I screech, standing from the bed.
"Claire, it's okay! Like I said, I don't mind it!" he insisted, waving a hand.
"It doesn't matter if you don't mind it! It shouldn't of happened! And if I am to be Luna, nothing like this will ever happen again." I vow, before turning and storming from my room.
I follow Alex's scent to his office, where I don't bother to knock and simply throw open the door.
"We need to talk." I demand, plopping down into the chair in front of the desk.
Alex's face is set in stone and if looks could kill I would be six feet under.
"You knock when you enter my office or you don't enter at all." he growls.
I roll my eyes and spit, "Why the hell would you make an innocent little boy sleep in a shack without any resources?"
"What are you talking about?" he asks, with confusion.
"Sebastian." I spat, "You forced him to live in a shack when he was only 16 because you felt the need punish someone."
He rolls his eyes and says, with a wave of his hand, "That was years ago. it doesn't matter."
"It doesn't matter?!" I screech, "OF COURSE IT MATTERS!"
"He's fine. I've never heard him complain." he shrugs, picking up a paper from his desk.
"He isn't fine, Alex. You don't have any right to abuse a child like that when he can't defend himself." I growl deeply, standing from the chair.
Alex doesn't make a move to answer. He simply continues to read the paper in front of him. Tired of him, I snatch the paper from his hands and rip it in half before throwing the scraps back in his face. A lethal growl rips from his lips as he stands. He launches himself over the desk and lands gracefully in front of me, before pinning my hips to the desk.
"If you think that is the worst that I have done. Then you are sadly mistaken." He booms, using his Alpha voice.
I narrow my eyes at him, "I never said that was the worst thing that you've done. He is your brother, Alex. He came from the same womb as you and for you to punish him for something that he couldn't even control himself, is disgusting."
"Someone needed to be punished." Alex shrugs, his eyes flashing black slightly before returning to their normal brown color.
"Not somebody that's innocent." I snap, "Sebastian never did anything and he's suffering, even today, because of something he didn't even have a part in."
Alex says nothing, his eyes bore a hole in my face. I refuse to look directly into his eyes and he takes advantage of that. Even without eye contact, he still manages to tint my cheeks scarlet.
"If I gift him a house will it make you happy?" he whispers, moving a stray hair away from my eyes.
Surprise washes over me and I softly shake my head, "Yes."
"Then it is done." he nods, "I shall meet with a builder tomorrow."
My mouth drops open, but no words come out.
"Now if you excuse me," he says softly, "I really do need to get back to work."
A small smile graces my lips at his words. Turning quickly without another thought, I stalk to the door of his office and take hold of the door knob. Before I can get any further, Alex's hand latches onto my elbow and spins me around.
"I'm sorry about your neck." he whispers, before leaning down and pressing a kiss to the bruised skin.
A gasp leaves my lips and I cannot contain my surprise at his words.
"I should never have sent you to the dungeon. I am sorry for that." he murmurs, before detaching himself from me and walking back across the room.
That bastard of a demon lied to me. Alex was not supposed to remember any of this....yet he did.
With one last gasp of air, I throw open the door and start down the hall. Once I reach my bedroom, the distinct sound of a turning doorknob draws my attention from my thoughts. Looking across the hall, I spot Stephanie slipping from Alex's room wearing nothing but a shirt, Alex's shirt.
"Oh, Claire!" she exclaims when she spots me, "I didn't see you there. Are you coming to the pool party?"
My face sets itself into a glare and when she opens her mouth speak again, I have had enough. I clench my fingers. My fist connects with her nose and as I feel the crunch of bone under my knuckles, all the anger melts away. With a startled cry, Stephanie falls to the floor, her perfectly manicured hands clutching at her broken bone. Turning swiftly, I enter the room, with a grin.
"What was that noise?" Sebastian immediately asks, before I can even close the door behind me.
"Stephanie may have broken a bone." I smirk.
His mouth drops open, "Claire, what did you do?"
"Me? Nothing." I giggle, walking to sit on the bed.
"You broke her nose, didn't you?" he sighs, massaging his temples.
"I may have." I snicker.
"What am I going to do with you?" he huffs, running a hand through his hair.
Laying back on the bed, a sudden thought comes to mind.
"What's the pool party?"
"It's a party around a pool?"
I let out a growl and sit up, "You know what I mean!"
He chuckles, "Sorry. Just trying to joke. Anyway, it's an monthly thing around Westwood."
"You have a pool party every month?" I gape.
"At Westwood?" I raise an eyebrow.
"Yes at Westwood." he laughs.
"Shocking, I thought you tortured for fun." I joke.
"Well we do." he replies, nodding his head, "But only on weekdays. On weekends we have pool parties."
I laugh slightly, shaking my head.
"So why are you asking?" he wonders.
"Because we're going."
"It's time that I teach that bitch a lesson, once and for all."