She collapses forward, and I gently pull my cock from her clenching pussy. My cum spills from it, so I push my hand back into her cunt and keep it there as she whimpers.
Leaning down, I lap at the wound on her throat. Her eyes are closed, and she has a blissful smile on her lips. “I love you forever, Althea.”
“I’ll love you until the end, Reve,” she whispers back, her voice hoarse from screaming for me. A smug smile curves my lips as I climb up onto the bed and pull her into my arms where she belongs.
We lie in a pool of our blood and cum, our limbs tangled and breathing heavy. We share a knowing, loving look, and I can’t help but grin as I reach over and push a sweaty, bloody tendril of hair from her face. “They will find us soon. I’m so glad we got this time with just us.”
“So am I,” she murmurs. “Hold me until they find us.” She snuggles into my arms, and I close my eyes, sending up thanks to my family and the gods for making this woman and bringing her to me.
For giving me my heart back.
“Ihave a surprise for you,” I tell Simon, covering his eyes as I nudge him forward. He’s moving in.
He’ll split his time between here and his mate’s pack, and although the court won’t handle it well, I’ll make sure they don’t exact their revenge on him. Part of me is so thrilled to have my best friend here, even though part of me worries what it will do to Zale, but he promised he can handle it.
While the party preparations have been taking place, I’ve been busy in here, making Simon’s rooms a home for him.
“You know I hate surprises,” he grumbles. “Like that time you convinced me you threw me a party, but I ended up tied to a tree in a field, covered in glitter.”
“Which is exactly how you would have ended up had we thrown a party.” I giggle, feeling like a teenager again. There’s something about being around Simon that makes me feel free, young, and happy without responsibilities or power. To him, I haven’t changed and I’m still me, Althea.
The girl who used to wake him when she had nightmares about clowns.
I lead him farther into the wing that, before now, was locked and abandoned. Nathair’s only stipulation was that he was placed far enough from our rooms so he couldn’t hear us having “raunchy, wicked sex,” which was a good point, so at the moment, Simon nearly has a full wing to himself.
I nudge the door open with my boot and lead him inside, only stopping once we are in the middle of the room. I quickly scan the space before relaxing my hands. “Welcome home, Simon,” I murmur as I drop them from his eyes. “Feel free to change anything, but I wanted you to have a home here, a safe space,” I babble. “It’s all been cleaned, and I did some decorating. Nathair says he can update anything you want.”
My heart thunders as I look around once more to see what he is seeing for the first time. The rooms here all have the same cosy gothic feeling I love, and I know Simon loves that too, so I only enhanced it. The black and gold chandelier was already here, so I left it. I placed a fur rug across the stone floor, and the four-poster bed now drips in red and black silk sheets and pillows, with a fur throw over it. To the left are matching black side tables with candles to throw off a cosy light. Above each nightstand is an ornate black mirror I found in the other rooms. To the left is a balcony that overlooks the grounds, with two chairs and a table out there for him and his mate. Through the archway to the left is a bathroom. It still needs a little updating, but the stone walls were perfect to hang plants and add lights. It has a huge bathtub, and I added a gold mirror. Through the second door is a sitting room and a dressing room. Both need to be updated, but for now, I managed to wrangle in a red Chesterfield sofa and matching chairs. Overall, there’s plenty of room to expand and add his own touches. I focused mainly on the bedroom and placed pictures of us on side tables.
Above the fire is a painting of a wolf howling at the moon—I couldn’t resist. Nervous energy fills me as I fidget and let him take in the room.
“Well?” I bite my lip, watching as he turns in place, looking around.
He turns back to me, his eyes filled with bloodied tears. “Thea,” is all he says before he wraps me in his arms, enveloping me in his safe embrace. I bury my head in his neck, and we just hold each other for a bit before he pulls back, grinning at me. “You didn’t have to do all this, but I love it.”
“Really?” I almost slump in relief. “Like I said, we can change anything. Nathair has contacts everywhere. But I wanted you to have a place where you are always welcome.” I bite my lip, and he frowns, tugging on my hand as he leads me to the bed. We sit side by side like we have so many times before.
“I didn’t need all this. I love it, but I didn’t need it to know I was welcome here, Thea.” He watches me carefully. “What’s going on?”
“What? Nothing.” I jerk.
“Althea, I have known you since you learned how to walk and talk. Something is wrong. Tell me, let me help. I might not be designed by the gods to save our race, but I’m a good listener, and I will do anything to make you happy and keep you safe. Tell me,” he implores, holding my hand tight.
I search his face, noticing he looks older.
Was it really that long ago when we sat like this in a different room and whispered our hopes and dreams to each other? Our world has changed so much, yet here he is, holding my hand, ready to help in any way he can.
I couldn’t love him more.
I chose my family, I chose him, and I always will. No matter where our lives lead us, Simon will always be with me. Even when I died, he was there. He’s right. I need to tell him. I didn’t know my own worries until they start to spill from my lips.
“I just didn’t want you to think I moved on without you and that there was no place for you in my life,” I admit. “Or in yours for me. I know you’re mated and will eventually move in with him and the wolves and probably won’t spend as much time with me or here, but—”
“Thea, you will always be my family. Being mated will not change that. Nothing can ever stay the same because we grow and change, but this bond between us never will. It will always remain and just adapt to the new circumstances.” He holds me closer. “We are family, aren’t we?”