The tapping on my door is incessant and driving me crazy. Smoothing the material hanging around my thighs one more time, I turn towards the door and throw it open.
"I swear to the goddess, Sebastian." I growl, pushing him back into the hall.
"The party started almost thirty minutes ago!" he yelps, grabbing onto my elbow.
"So?! I really don't care! You could have went down!" I snap, stalking towards the stairs.
"And what kind of entrance is that?" he mutters, grabbing my hand and lacing his fingers with mine.
Looking down at our fingers, I raise an eyebrow at him.
"What?" he grins, "We're teaching them a lesson aren't we?"
I let out a loud sigh and pull him to a stop.
"I don't know about this...." I trail off, biting my lip.
"The pool party? Or holding my hand?" he chuckles, raising our interlocked fingers.
"Neither, Seb. I'm serious. I don't feel right about making you do this. Especially after....Katherine." I admit, pulling my hand away.
"If anything, I deserve to go to the party. I deserve a laugh and a really really strong drink. Cause I'm never going to see her again and I have plenty of time to mourn over her later." he rants, clutching my hand and starting down the stairs.
"But, Seb. I shouldn't make you do this. You don't deserve to have to put up with all of this drama. Maybe I should try to do this by myself tonight." I suggest, "I can find someone else.."
"No one's going to do anything with you." he huffs, "It has to be me. Alex has ordered everyone else to stay away from you. Hell, he ordered me too, but obviously.....that doesn't mean anything."
I let out a harsh breath of air, "Seb, please. Just don't do this. I can find some other way."
"No, Claire. I'm going to do this. And Alex is going to regret everything that he has ever done to you. I'll be fine. You don't have worry about me. I can do this. We can do this. Let's go teach that bitch a lesson." he says, with a light smile.
Biting my lip in uncertainty, I look away down the stairs. I can already see people milling about and having an amazing time.
"I don't want you to do this for me."
"CLAIRE!" he shouts, "For the last fucking time, I deserve to have one last night of happiness. Everything will go down tomorrow and I'm going to remember what happened. Just give me one last night where I don't have to worry about the love of my life being torn to pieces by a demon. Do you know how crazy that makes me sound? My mate was torn to pieces by a demon because of you. I don't hate you for it and frankly I don't think it's entirely your fault, but I'm going to have to go through this for the rest of my life. Please, Claire, just give me one last night to forget."
A single tear leaks from his eye and trails down his cheek.
"I'm sorry, Sebastian." I mumble, weaving my arms around his neck and pulling him close.
He winds his arms around my waist and we are both silent for a moment.
"You know...for what it's worth, I think Alex made a horrible mistake in not waiting for you." he mumbles, pushing a piece of hair out of my face.
Pulling away, I look up at him with a shy smile, "Thanks for that."
"I would have waited for you." he whispers, leaning in closer.
I am lost in his eyes, but a deep cough snaps me from my daze. Ripping myself away from him, I turn my head, my eyes connecting with Alex's deep brown orbs. His jaw is clenched and he is gritting his teeth, his hands poised to strike.
"Get away from her." Alex growls deeply, his eyes narrowing to slits.
"You can't tell me what to do, brother." Sebastian snickers, pulling me into his side.
"I am your Alpha. I have every right to tell you what to do." Alex spits, stepping forward.
"Yes, you do. But I choose not to listen." Sebastian smirks.
"Then I choose to punish you. No one disobeys me." Alex threatens, his eyes flashing black.
"You may punish me all you want." Sebastian hums, pushing me behind him, "But I have something that you will never get."
"She is my mate. She's already mine." Alex snaps.
"That may be true, but I wasn't talking about owning your mate." he grins, "I was talking about having her respect. That is something you will never receive."
"She respects me!" Alex spats, once again stepping closer to me.
Sebastian lets out a laugh and turns around to look at me, cocking his head to the side.
"Do you have respect for him?" Sebastian snickers.
Biting my lip, I look over at Alex. A look of surprise flickers across his face and he crosses his arms over his chest.
Breathing in one final deep breath, I shake my head, "No."
Alex lets out a near lethal growl and Sebastian lets out a guffaw.
"Why don't you have respect for me?" Alex demands, glaring harshly at me.
"I think that, that speaks for itself." I mutter, turning towards the stairs.
His hand strikes out, latching onto my elbow. His hand tightens slightly and I am sure that it will leave a bruise.
"What more do you want from me? I apologized to you, which I never do. How much more is this going to take?" he snaps, his eyes flashing.
"You think it's that easy? You apologize and we move on. We act like it did bother you that you sent me to the dungeon? Because you didn't! You didn't even bat an eyelash, Alpha. That is why I have no respect for you. Prove to me that you deserve it and maybe, just maybe that will change." I inform him, before spinning on my heel and nearly sprinting down the stairs.
Alex is not far behind me and I can hear his pounding footsteps. Once we reach the end of the steps, he latches his hand around my elbow again. Without a word, he tugs me down the long hallway that leads to his office. I struggle against his hold the entire way there and Sebastian protests a few steps behind me. Once we reach his office door, Alex turns to look at his brother.
"Please, brother. I am sorry for all that I have done. Give me a moment with her, please." Alex pleads.
It wasn't a demand, it was a plea. Surprise fills my veins and flashes across Sebastian's face. With a nod, Sebastian backs out of the room and closes the door behind him.
"Please, Claire, sit." he begs, "And stay here. Please, I will be back in a moment."
Alex slips out the door and as much as I don't want to, I lower myself into a nearby chair. In the next few minutes I am alone with myself. I think of the previous conversation and feel regret slightly. I wish I had not said that I didn't respect him, because I did, I do. As much as I hate it, I cannot deny he has made an effect on me. I do respect him, partially, but he truly does need to prove to me that he deserves it. The door to Alex's office clicks open and in flaunts Stephanie, her happy expression turns to one of disgust as soon as she notices my presence. I feel a grin appear on my face as I notice the white splint that is around her nose. Alex stumbles in behind her and a look of relief crosses his face once he sees me.
"Sit, Stephanie." Alex orders in a cold tone.
My eyebrows furrow and Stephanie slumps into the chair across from his. Jealousy stirs to life in my stomach as I notice his glances towards her.
"We have some things we need to talk about and I'm not one to beat around the bush, so I'm just going to get straight to the point." he says.
A scoff leaves my mouth, "This is about her nose isn't it. Forced me in here to punish me?"
"So you were the one who broke her nose." he smirks.
"You didn't know?" I laugh, "But, yes, she got in my way."
"This isn't about her nose." he snickers, "I actually have to say I'm impressed."
A small smile slips onto my lips at his words, "Don't underestimate me, Mr. Westwood."
He smiles back at me, but as he glances back towards Stephanie, his face falls.
"Like I said, I'm getting straight to the point." he grits his teeth, "You have over stepped your right here."
"What are you talking about baby?" Stephanie's nasally voice whines.
"Do not call me that. I am not your baby. From now on you no longer have the right to call me Alex either. You call me Alpha." he orders.
My eyes brows have long ago disappeared into my hairline.
"Why?" she cries, sitting on the edge of her seat.
"Stephanie, I was young when I married you and I soon found that to be a mistake. The only reason I did was for a heir and to secure my right as Alpha. I never dreamed of meeting my mate. For the longest time, I believed that she would do nothing but run when she discovered me, but she's still here now. I have given her multiple chances to leave, but yet she has stayed. I no longer have any interest in being your husband. To be completely honest, I never had any interest in being your husband. If it isn't more than obvious already I would like a divorce and this isn't a negotiable subject. It is an order." he pauses.
"But baby, I love you!" Stephanie yelps, standing from her seated position.
A grin slips onto his face, "Do you think nothing of me? You would have to believe that I am nothing but a fool if you think for even a second that I didn't know about your unfaithfulness."
"W-What? I have never been unfaithful!" she protests, leaning over his desk.
"In your short time of being here, you have slept with more than half of my guard." he smirks, "And not to mention after every occurrence you taunted my mate. You wore my shirts and acted as if you slept with me to get under her skin. You tried to pull one over on me, to make my mate leave and I will never allow that to happen. If she leaves it is her own decision, not yours."
My jaw is on the floor and I whisper, "You never slept with her?"
His harsh gaze shifts to me and his eyes soften, "No."
"Not at all?" I question.
"Before you came yes, but after that it only happened once." he explains.
Tears well in my eyes. I cannot believe my ears.
"So Stephanie, you will sign these papers." he sighs, sliding the pen and paper across the desk to her, "Now."
She lets out a pitiful whimper and picks the pen up in her hand. She takes one last look at him, before sloppily scribbling her name onto the sheet. Slamming the pen onto the desk, she turns in her place giving me a harsh glare.
"You will regret this Claire." she vows, "I will make you pay."
Alex stands from his seat, his chair spiraling back into the wall with a loud bang, "You will not threaten my mate. Now pack your bags and get off of my property. My lawyer will be in touch about Wren."
A sickening laugh spills from her lips at his words, "You actually think that I would even consider letting you see our child anymore? I signed the papers Alex. I'm not your wife anymore and she's not your daughter anymore either."
"It doesn't work that way and you know it." he snaps, slamming his fist into his desk.
"It works any way I want it to because if you ever want to see our child again, you'll get rid of her." she growls, gesturing towards me.
"She is my mate." Alex roars, stalking towards Stephanie.
A spine chilling grin slips onto her face, "Then our daughters dead."
With a lethal growl, Alex launches himself towards Stephanie and his hands close around her throat. In a blink of an eye, her head is no longer attached and her blood is splayed on the ground. A scream echoes around the room and I shuffle back towards the other wall. Alex spins in his place, worry and regret swimming in his eyes.
"Baby, I'm sorry." he croaks, "She was threatening me and my daughter. I couldn't hold my wolf back."
His black boots scuff against the wooden floor as he steps closer, a whimper falls from my lips. Pain flashes into his eyes and he falls to his knees in front of me.
"I'm so sorry. I shouldn't have done that. Please, baby, forgive me. Don't be scared of me." he whimpers, grasping my knees with his hands.
I watch in shock as a thin stream of tears slide down his face.
"I know that doesn't do anything to help our situation and I know that I'll probably never get respect from you now, but you need to know that I had to do this. I am an Alpha, Claire. On top of that, I am also a King. My wolf is much stronger than the average Alpha and if you threaten me like Stephanie just did, I can't hold him back. You have to understand that Wren is my family. I can't lose her like I lost everybody else. I have to protect my kin. Please, Claire, don't me scared. Forgive me?" he sobs, wrapping his arms around my middle.
I stare down in shock and surprise at this strong burly man that came completely undone at the thought of my distress. Slowly, I raise my hand and gently place it on his back. The muscles under my hand contract, but they relax after a few seconds.
"Okay." I breathe, nodding slightly.
His head snaps up, "Really?"
"Yes. I'm sure that if I was in your position, I would have to do the same thing." I sniffle, a tear falling down my cheek.
He quickly raises a hand and wipes it away with a sigh.
"Claire," he huffs, "I'm so sorry."
"I already said I forgave you."
"Not just for this." he shakes his head, "For everything. I was stupid enough to marry somebody else because I thought I was never going to find you. Then, once I did, I was stupid enough to hide it from you, and then later flaunt it in front of you. I destroyed your room, threatened your friendship with my brother, and forced you stay here. Hell, I sent you to the fucking dungeons and I don't even know why. I am so unbelievably sorry for all the stupid shit I've done to you. I think that it's safe to say that I ruined your life."
Another sob racks his body and he nudges his head into my arms.
"No, Alex, you complete it. If it weren't for you and your pack, I'd probably be dead by now." I admit, reaching down and running a hand through his smooth brown hair.
"As I grew up, I was always told that I shouldn't show any emotion. I was told that I had to be strong for my men, for my country. I have never felt this way before and it frustrated me. My father had always taught that I was to despise everything, but then you came along and I couldn't help myself. You were too special. You are too special to me. You're in my mind 24/7 and I can hear your voice sometimes throughout the day scolding me about something that I shouldn't be doing. I can't get you out of my head and for a while that pissed me off, but now I wouldn't trade it for the world. I should never have married Stephanie and I sure as hell should never have killed her. You mean so much to me and the thought of you being scared of me makes me want to rip my hair out. I tried to hide it for a while, Claire. But now, I can't anymore. I want to be with you and I know that I have a shitty way of showing it, but I do. I really truly do. I'm not right for you and I'm definitely not what you deserve, but I can only hope that you feel the same way." he finishes, pulling away from me and beginning to pace.
I have no idea what to say. My wolf is ecstatic, jumping around in my mind and howling for joy. Tears have filled my eyes and I bite my lip to stop myself from sobbing. Walking over to him, I grasp his elbow, but he pulls away and continues to pace. Rolling my eyes, I try again, but he harshly rips his arm away.
"Alex." I breathe, gripping his elbow harder this time.
"What? I don't want your rejection. If you don't want me just leave. Don't say it." he demands, his once tearful expression changed to a cold look.
"You're a dick." I start, "And a bad person. You're a man whore and you're such a cruel bastard, but goddess I want you too. I shouldn't. I know I shouldn't. I should despise you for what you've done to me, but I don't. And maybe it's the mate pull or maybe I'm just weaker then I thought I was, but I want you to be mine so damn much that it hurts me."
His eyes are wide and a look of disbelief fills them.
"You have got to be kidding me?" he whispers.
I shake my head, "Of course, I'm not."
For a moment, he just stares at me, but then realization sets in and an earth shattering grin takes over his face. His hands find my cheeks and he pulls my face closer to his. Our eyes connect and we are both silent for a moment longer, but then he lowers his face and attaches his lips to mine.