Chapter 4

"Take the antibiotics, change the bandage, and you should be fully healed in about a week," the doctor says and starts to collect his things, and I watch him as he does so.

My mate stayed by my side the entire time, which made me quite nervous, as he has an intense aroma that makes my heart beat a bit faster than usual.

Speaking of heads, you almost killed us!

It was not wholly my fault, I argue back. It was a complicated situation.

Suddenly, my mate's brother, Henry, walks into the room and observes the doctor, most likely confused by his presence. "What happened here, Sebastian?" Henry's eyes turn to my bandaged head.

Sebastian. My mate's name is Sebastian. I could go on and on about how perfect it sounds. Through all this time I never thought to ask my mate his name, which seems very odd by now. I suppose his name could be anything that my imagination can shove together and I would still find it utterly flawless.

My mate, now known to me as Sebastian, lets out a low grumble. "Henry, not right now."

"Hey! Don't be in a bad mood. You've finally found your mate—who has a bandage on her head." Henry trails off and looks at me funny. "What happened to her head?"

Sebastian rolls his eyes and sighs. "I will tell you later, just please give her some space."

"You're here?"

"Because she's my mate."

"Okay, okay, I'll go." Henry backs out of the room and disappears further into the house.

I wonder what it is like to have a sibling, someone to bicker with and laugh with. Sebastian and Henry seem to understand each other in some way that I will never be able to wrap my head around, and it fascinates me. The moon goddess has been with me for as long as I can remember, but I cannot relate her to a sibling. "Excuse me," I pipe up and catch Sebastian's attention. "Can I see my grandmother now?"

"I'll have her brought here. I don't want you moving around too much and passing out," he says, giving me nothing to argue over. "Henry, please command the guards to collect Evangeline's grandmother, she lives past the small stream north of the territory," he calls into the house.

Without warning, Sebastian grabs onto my hand, immediately sending soothing sensations through me. "Does that help with the pain?"

I bite the inside of my cheek as they begin to heat up, showing colors that I cannot imagine. It is too difficult to answer his question, so I blurt out something unrelated. "How is it so easy for you to kill people?"

"I knew you would not let that go," he mutters. "Did you know that you scared me to death when you almost got yourself killed?"

"You didn't answer my question." I stare into his emerald eyes, trying to take my mind away from his hand which still holds my own.

"Every decision I make is for the good of my pack," Sebastian explains. "It's my job to keep everyone safe, and I will not risk their safety on a couple of rogues."

I nod, though I do not understand how it feels to be in charge of so many people. What an immense amount of responsibility, and it all rests on his shoulders.

"You didn't answer my question," he says.

It does not take me long to answer him back. "I wanted to help those people, though I did not plan on getting hurt. Did I upset you?" I ask him, sounding oblivious to the entire situation.

"Your life is precious, but you put yourself on the line without thinking."

"Me and those men, we are not equals are we? We can't be because I'm an Alpha's mate and that places me above them, right? It is frightening how I could have been in their place, the gun could have been pointing at my head, but it wasn't because we're mates. I may not understand what the Alpha has to do, but I don't think a title should place me above them. I was called a rogue, and I'm sure it was because I am one just like those people. My life is not more precious than theirs, if anything, two lives should be worth more than one. Either way, the gun still pointed at me eventually."

Sebastian slowly stands up and looks down at me with amusement, pride, shame, or is it guilt? I am too distracted by his body towering over me and his hand that is held out for my use. I reluctantly place my hand in his before standing up myself. He leans towards my ear, and I expect him to whisper to me, but instead, he softly places a kiss on my cheek. The brief action sets my cheek aflame. I am speechless, forgetting that he is still a stranger to me.

"Your grandmother should be arriving soon." He says, not letting go of my hand as he leads me through the house and towards his office.

"Why are we going back to the office?" I ask him as he continues towards the two grand, gray doors at the end of the hall.

He swiftly opens them up, and lets go of my hand when we get inside. I watch him as he searches through the drawers of the large desk. "What are you looking for?" I question and sit down on one of the chairs facing his desk as if an appointment has been made.

Sebastian answers briefly, "papers."

"For what?" I ask him nosily as he pulls a thin stack of white papers out of a drawer and places them on the surface of the desk.

"For you to join my pack."

"Join your pack?" I repeat him as if his statement is now my question.

He glances up at me, and I feel his eyes study my body, seeming to do everything so smoothly like it is natural.

"Where's the restroom?" I ask quickly and rush out of the room after Sebastian tells me it is just down the hall. I close the door behind me and suck in a deep breath, needing to talk to someone in particular.

I turn the faucet on and cup the cooling water in my hands before drenching my warm face. My eyes peer up into the mirror, causing me to step back when I find myself peering back at me. I should have expected this—joining my mates' pack—as I am supposedly the Luna. Could this all be happening too quickly? I have not spoken to my grandmother yet, what if she says no? Does she have the authority to stop me from joining this pack? Probably not.

I groan and lean against the bathroom wall. How am I supposed to be a Luna when I have no clue what a Luna does? How am I supposed to be apart of a pack when I cannot remember how they work? Did I ever know how they work? I was trapped in an attic for most of my childhood, a time when many children learned these types of things "What am I supposed to do?" I mumble into the empty space in front of me.

"Calm down. This should not be a difficult process."

Beside me in the mirror is the moon goddess, and she is glowing more than ever. "Are you not happy?" She asks, not understanding why I feel this way.

I let out a short sigh and turn to face her. "I guess, I mean something about him just, just—all of this is happening so quickly. In another second I'll be part of a pack again and—"

"It is not the same, Evangeline."

I look away from her, not believing her words. "It is history repeating itself, or at least it will be. I can keep this from my grandmother, but my Mate, from what I know, it should be a million times more difficult. I couldn't keep it from my mother and look what happened."

"I speak the truth when I tell you it is not similar. There is no reason why you should believe he will react in like ways."

"There are a ton of reasons why I should believe it," I argue back. "No sane person would believe me. He'll think I'm crazy just like everyone else."

She pulls away. "Come, your grandmother will arrive any second." I do not enjoy when we argue, as my insecurities always seem to start it. The Moon Goddess is usually right, but this time it is hard for me to trust her. My mate, Sebastian, does not seem like the type of person who would believe my nonsense. How am I expected to move on if he does indeed find me unstable and crazy? He might as well be wishing for a different mate, someone who could understand his life and his issues.

Mates are supposed to fit together, to connect, but I fear that we will never be able to all because of who I am. Sebastian is handsome, intimidating, an Alpha, and I worry that I am not enough. It is too early to tell now, but soon he will see that I am unworthy.

Opening the bathroom door, I come to a halt when I notice Ryker standing on the other side. He looks to be slightly uncomfortable, as he must feel guilty for what happened earlier. "Your grandmother is here."

He was given the orders; I understand that. I wish he knew that it was not his fault, as the shooting fiasco was primarily mine. I like to think for a good cause.

Ryker leads me back towards the living room, and the first person I notice is my grandmother with her arms crossed sitting on the couch. When she spots me, relief washes over her aged face.

"Oh thank Goddess," she breathes out and rushes towards me. Immediately, she reels me with a tight hug and many kisses on my cheeks. "My Evangeline, you're okay. What on earth did you get yourself into?" For a little, old lady, she can sure pull off a you-are-in-trouble glare. "What happened to your head? Did these men hurt you?"

"No, no, it was an accident—something happened, but everything is okay now."

"Alright," she says uneasily. "You have to come home with me right away, and you're dreaming if you think I'm letting you venture—"

"I can't." I swallow, dizzy feelings from earlier seem to be surfacing again. "I found my mate."

Her face shifts to a rather blank expression. "What?"

"I've found my mate here."

She sits back down, apparently needing a moment to process my words. "You're mate—he's here?" Her eyes look to Ryker.

"The Alpha had to step out for a moment, there was a small problem on the west border," Ryker explains, defusing any of her questioning thoughts.

"T-The Alpha? The Alpha is your mate?"

I grab onto her hand. "Yes, grandma."

"Oh dear, I must say that I am surprised. Well, you must stay now, I see that" she says, still trying to register my words. "W-Will you be alright here?"

My grip on her fragile hand tightens. I do not know if I will be alright here, but I want to tell her yes. I do not want her worrying about me any more than she already does. "I think I will be."

"Your mate, he is a good man?"

"I think he is, grandma."

She nods and gazes down at her lap. "I wonder what your parents would think of all this, you being mated to an Alpha. At least I know you will be safe."

I wonder what they would think. Sadly, they may never know, but I cannot hold onto that thought forever. I would like to believe that they would be happy for me, not because he is an Alpha but because I have found my mate overall. Did they ever think that I would find my mate? They sent me off to my grandmothers, a secluded house in what seemed to be the middle of nowhere, so was that expected to be the end for me?

"I'll come see you, make sure you're doing okay," I tell her while fighting back threatening tears. I do not want to say goodbye. My Grandmother took care of me when my parents could not, she loved me when my parents could not—even if she is kept from the truth—and she is all I have left family wise. "I don't want you worrying about me because I'll be okay."

Ryker has left the room, giving us the privacy I need.

"Don't you worry too much about me either, darling. I'm happy where I am, and I've got your grandfather looking after me. Now tell me, what is this Alpha's name?"

"Sebastian Tate," I say.

Her eyes stray away to something behind me. Glancing back, I see my mate standing in the doorway, and my heart skips a beat as my nerves shoot up.

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