3. A Decision
Once back home, everywhere I look I see him, see the life we built together here. Crippling pain consumes me at what I’m leaving behind, but I won’t allow him to take more from me.
I won’t let him hurt the life growing inside me. These babies are as much mine as they are his and I will do my best for them.
I begin packing, taking only the bare essentials, and dumping them into a suitcase. The quicker I am out of here, the better.
I write a quick note to Emma, thanking her for her services.
Picking up the divorce agreement, I sit down at the dining table. The silence in the house is deafening.
Emma must have finished her work by now and left. With shaking hands, I sign the papers and close the file and with it, the door to that chapter of my life.
Plucking up my phone, I stare at my mother’s number. I haven’t called her in a while… Although she and my father are separated, she too had been against me marrying Sebastian.
However, I know she’ll understand me better than anyone… After all, my father left her for none other than Annalise’s mother.
My parents were destined mates, but my father had an affair with another woman, hence Annalise was born, mere days apart from me.
My stepmother didn’t only take away my Mom’s mate, she took my dad from me too.
When I was little, we were close, but my stepmother didn’t like it and always instigated him against me and tried to cause a rift between us. In the end, she succeeded.
Even though I was raised with luxuries and given the best education, our relationship simply became a formality to him. A responsibility he no longer wanted.
As I grew up, my father kept in contact. Of course, he’d even drop by on my birthdays, but the moment I refused to give up Sebastian for Annalise, he had disowned me too.
I will go to Mom’s home and ask if I can stay there for a few days. Just long enough for me to sort things out with myself.
Tears trek down my face as I slip my wedding band from my finger and place it on top of the divorce file. Grabbing the handle of my suitcase, I pull it along,telling Ethan to bring the car.
With a last, lingering glance down the hall, I take my leave.
His betrayal from last night still echoes in my ears. The anger in his voice still haunts me. The memory of him and Annalise in the office still stings.
I thought this pregnancy might save our bond, but I was a fool to think so. I should have known he would never believe me over her, when once again he accused me of lying to him.
Stepping outside, I see the rain has stopped, a rainbow spreads across the sky, welcoming me with open arms, but I can’t appreciate its beauty, not today. The weight on my shoulders is heavy, the pain already beginning to claw at my insides.
A sharp pang in my chest almost brings me to my knees, my vision blurring. A soft whimper escapes my lips before I can contain it.
The sound of a car door banging shut makes me look up.
“Luna! Are you alright?”
I nod, trying to remain strong. “Yes. Please take me to my Mother’s home.”
“Yes, of course, come Luna…” He assists me into the car, placing my suitcase in the bag and gets in the driver’s seat.
“She lives on Oak Mill Drive.” I say weakly. I’m no longer able to hold back my tears as I stare at my home that now disappears from view.
“Yes, Luna, I will take you there immediately.” He murmurs, his tone surprisingly gentle. His eyes meet mine in the rear-view mirror, filled with a concern that is foreign to me.
I rest my head on the window as we drive through town, the passing cars and people a blur.
We reach my Mother’s street after a good twenty-minute drive and I point out her pale green door. The paint is peeling, and it looks more worn than I remember it, but it brings back a surge of nostalgia from my childhood.
When was the last time I visited her here?
It’s been far too long.
Ethan opens the door for me, before he quickly goes to grab my suitcase and carries it to the front door for me. When he places my suitcase down, I pass him an envelope. He looks at me, surprised.
“What is this, Ma’am?”
“Just a token of my gratitude for all you have done.”
“Goodbye, Ethan.” I say. He hesitates but nods and takes his leave.
I see the curtains twitch in a few of the windows. In this small winding street, everyone is always curious when an unfamiliar face shows up, especially when it’s in a luxury car which doesn’t fit here.
I wait for him to drive away before taking a deep breath and knock on the door.
My nerves are playing up and I’m beginning to doubt my decision. Maybe I should just check into a hotel. I shouldn’t have come here.
I’m about to grab my suitcase and run, when the door is pulled open and I find myself staring into my Mom’s grey eyes.
“Zaia?” She replies, shocked. Her eyes fall on the suitcase before she looks searchingly into my eyes. “Is everything alright?”
I’m unable to reply, my eyes welling with tears. She picks up my suitcase, glances around the street and beckons me inside, closing the door on the prying eyes that may be watching us and pulls me into a comforting hug, and I finally break down. Sobbing my heart out at my broken marriage and the loss of my mate.
Ten minutes later, I am sitting on the worn-out settee in the small living room. Blowing my nose on a tissue as I sniffle.
“Does he know you are pregnant?” Mom asks as she rubs my back, her lips pursed, frowning deeply.
I shake my head, “No, there’s no point, Mom. He is completely smitten with Annalise now that she’s back. I don’t think I should use these babies to trap him in a marriage he clearly wants no part in.”
Mom sighs and nods her head.
“If you don’t want him to know, then we’ll keep it secret. Babies are never the way to keep a man. He once dropped Annalise for you, even if he remains with you temporarily because of the children. He will drop you one day, just as he has done now.”
“Mom, we were destined mates. You know how important that is. I did not think he’d do this.” I protest. It’s not like I stole anything that did not belong to me!
She sighs, patting my arm. “Yes dear, I do, but only relying on the mate bond is not enough to keep a couple together. You knew this, but you had fallen in love with him and chose to ignore that. But he clearly didn’t care enough.”
“I know…” I murmur, feeling saddened that she still thinks that, after all, Sebastian had treated me well… up until now, anyway.
“Has he rejected you yet? ” Mom asks when I’m a little calmer.
I shake my head. “Not yet, but I’m sure he will soon.”
“Will his rejection harm the babies?”
I shake my head. “No, I did ask Valerie, but she said I will probably not be able to have any more children after this.”
“Goddess! Zaia, we can’t let him reject you then. It will ruin your chances of being a mother!”
“Mom! I still have them, these two precious babies that are growing inside of me. They are more than enough. Besides, I don’t think I can ever love again.” I say quietly, placing a hand on my stomach. “I’ve made up my mind. I will let him go. I hope you can support this decision and keep it secret. ”
Reaching out, I hold her hand tightly in mine. Her hands are colder and feel more wrinkled than the last time I held them. I give them a squeeze, hoping she’ll understand.
“Very well… I don’t think you need him. Tomorrow go and be over and done with him. Then you can focus on yourself and your children. You are still young Zaia, you will find someone better.”
“Will I? Then tell me, Mom, why haven’t you moved on?”
She stands up, my words clearly upsetting her. “My situation was… different.”
“I’m sorry Mom.” I say getting up. She turns back to me and smiles sadly as she shakes her head.
“No Zaia, it’s alright, we’ll be ok.” She says before pulling me into a warm embrace, one that I truly need. “You have me, your children have me, we will move away from this pack, somewhere on the outskirts of the city or further away. Somewhere he will never be able to find you, or try to take your children. I promise you, I will keep you safe.”
I nod and Mom takes her leave, saying she’ll go prepare my bedroom for me, leaving me alone in that ornate living room.
After a few moments, as I listen to the floorboards creaking under her weight as she moves around upstairs, I take my phone from my bag.
Taking a deep steadying breath, I dial Sebastian’s number, it only rings once before he picks it up.
“I want to let you know that I’ve signed the papers, and I have left.” I say, trying to keep my voice steady.
He’s silent for a moment. “Good to know. We will hold the rejection tomorrow morning. Come to my office at 9 o’clock sharp.”
Like it’s just another business appointment.
“That’s fine, I will be at the pack hall on time.” I reply quietly.
I hang up, my heart pounding against my ribs, matching the rhythm of the clock that hangs ominously on the wall. He doesn’t even regret his decision, not even one bit.