There was something intoxicating about Camilla. Maybe it was because I was hopelessly in love with
her or maybe it was because she could do no wrong in my eyes. I loved being able to take my time
while exploring her body, I loved being able to hold her close right after and know that there was
nothing and no one urgently waiting to get our attention. I loved the pace. Growing up, my father had
always told me that a man was defined by what he did during times of war but I disagreed, I believed
that a man was defined by what he did when there was peace, how he treated the people around him
and how he handled his affairs.
I would never delude myself into believing that I was a good man but I treated my family with the
respect that they deserved and for me- that was everything. As I looked down at my mate who was
curled up by my side with her head lying gently on my chest, I chose to believe that maybe I had done
something right and maybe I wasn’t the worst of men.
I kissed her forehead softly and she mumbled a few words before continuing to snore softly. I should
have been sleeping as well considering how exhausted I was but sleep eluded me. It felt almost
impossible to close my eyes and achieve that peace but I was fine with just watching Camilla. If that
was all I did for the rest of my life then I would die a happy man.
I felt a nudge at the back of my mind. It was almost soft and hesitant as if the person was unsure. I
instantly pulled down my wall and I recognized the presence as belonging to Riley. I stayed silent not
wanting to push her because I knew my sister and I knew that if I pushed her, she would quickly shut
down and hide away.
“Are you busy?” she asked softly. “It’s fine if you
I just wanted to know if you were available so that I could talk to you for a while.” I started to speak but
she cut me off. “You know what, never mind, I should never have brought this up in the first place.
Forget that I even-”
“Riley,” I interrupted and she went silent. “Do you want me to
O come to your room?”
There was a pause. “Yes please, I just don’t know what to do anymore.”
“I’ll be there in a few minutes.”
I broke off the mind link immediately. I looked down at Camilla and while I didn’t want to leave her side,
I knew that Riley needed me. I had expected her to reach out to me but she was proud- maybe even
more so than me and I didn’t expect her to do it until she was out of options. I must have either
overestimated her pride or underestimated how well she thought of
1. I gently pulled myself out of bed and I let out a sigh of relief when Camilla didn’t stir. I pulled on my
clothes in record speed and rushed over to her room. Her door was open and the moment I saw
her, my heart cracked. I closed the door behind me but she didn’t look up from her spot at the edge
of the bed. I took the spot next to her and held out my hand but she didn’t take it, instead, she
placed her head on my shoulder. It reminded me of when she was younger and terrified of my
father. I would spend the night in her room and sit by the edge of the bed.
I suppose that was where my insomnia began because I was terrified that if I closed my eyes, he
would come in and hurt her so I would stay awake the entire night. It was taxing and stressful but
every time she hugged me and called me the best brother, it made things worth it.
“What do you
think I should do?” she asked after a moment of silence. “I trust you more than I trust anyone in the
world and I promise that I will do whatever you say.”
“I can’t tell you what to do,” I could feel her outrage. It wasn’t the answer she was looking for but it
was the only one I could give to her. “I’m sorry, Riley, but I can’t take your problems away with a
wave of my hand. I wish I could, I want to, I don’t think you deserve this at all but there is nothing I
can do about it.”
“You’re my brother, you’re supposed to give me advice.”
“I can give you advice but I cannot tell you what to do. Those aren’t the same things,” I explained
slowly. “I think you are an amazing woman and I know that a man who respects you will never
make you feel like an option. I know that you liked Damien from a young age and maybe some
part of you feels obligated to go on with it but the thing is, he was your first love, that doesn’t mean
he has to be your last.”
12:49 Mon, Feb 12 le
“What do you mean?”
A part of you will always love him, there is nothing you can do about it. I am not asking you to
leave him, I would never ask you to do that. I believe that you both might have the tendency to be
a good match sometime in the future but-”
She shot up from beside me. “You think Christine is better for him?”
“No, I think neither of you should give him the time of day,” I admitted and she stared at me with
wide eyes. “Damien is my best friend but even I can admit that he isn’t the most emotionally
mature person in the world. I think you all have a lot of growing up to do and perhaps you should
do it away from each other. Give it a while, Riley and then revisit it.”
“How long is a while?”
“I am afraid that only you can answer that.”
She let out a sigh of defeat. I wished I could tell her more but she was never going to grow if I
made all her choices for her. She was an adult now and she needed to get to the point in her life
where she was able to stand on her own and face life head on. I already knew what decision she
was going to take and the truth was that she knew it too. She just needed a little push in that
direction to help her figure it out.
“Do you think anyone will be upset if I travel for a while?” she asked and I shook my head. “I still
have a few packs in Europe that I have never seen before. Perhaps you and Camilla can help me
reach out to them for passage. You had a lot of reach as an Alpha, imagine what you will have as
I couldn’t help but smile. “I’ll see what I can do and I’ll talk to Camilla once she wakes up.”
Her eyes widened. “Were you asleep? I am so sorry that I woke you up. You should have told me
that you were busy. I would have never bothered you.”
“You didn’t bother,” I assured her as I stood to my feet. “I am always here for you, no matter what
She wrapped her arms around my torso. “Thank you, Ryker. I am so grateful to have you as my
brother. I know I don’t tell you always but I love you.”
“I love you too,” I placed a kiss in the center of her head.
“Can you do one more thing for me?” she asked and I hummed. ‘If Damien asks, please don’t tell
him where I’m going. I don’t want him to be able to contact me.”
“You can consider it done. Take as much time as you need. Everything will still be waiting for you
when you get back.”
I pulled back from her and gave her a small smile which she returned.
“You should go back before Camilla wakes up.” novelbin
We said our final goodbyes and I decided to take a detour to my office so I could put down a note
to check the territories that we had ties with for Riley to visit. I was going to make her trip as long
as possible because the longer she stayed away, the better for her. She needed the chance to
explore the world and see other things and people. She needed the chance to meet new people
and make her own mistakes.
After I had made the note, I decided to stop by the kitchen for some fruit slices. I had a feeling that
Camilla was going to be hungry when she woke up and I wanted to make sure that she had
something waiting for her when she did. I arranged an entire bowl for her and a small apple for
myself when I heard a crash from outside the kitchen. I immediately rushed out to check what had
happened but the hall was empty.
I knew something was up because the sound had to have come frem somewhere. I couldn’t smell
anyone around so it meant that either my ears were playing tricks on me or I genuinely heard
something and the person had disappeared. After checking for a while and realizing that no one
was there, I decided to return to the kitchen. Thankfully, everything was where I left it and I took a
bite out of my apple.
“Your majesty,” I turned sharply to the source of the voice and saw Alara standing there, “I didn’t
expect to see you here. Is there something you need?”
12:50 Mon, Feb 12 le
“No, why are you here?”.
working down the hall when I heard some footsteps. I even accidentally knocked down of the
shields from the suits of armor,” she chuckled awkwardly and I guess it was a good explanation for
the crash. “I can help you if you need something.”
“No thanks, I think I can handle myself.” I took a step forward when I felt the room spin. “Are you
alright, your majesty?”
“Yes I just need to-”
The spinning got worse and I felt her hands on me. “Let me help you.”