#Chapter 42 Reunion
Luna’s melodic bay rises to meet the call of Bastien’s wolf, sounds only we two can hear. I try with all my might to reign her back in. Luna, Igroan internally, cut it out!
I can’t help it! She exclaims. He‘s calling me.
Get it together. I snap. He‘s no good, and he can’t find out about Lila.
This is a disaster. I can’t believe Drake didn’t warn me when he called. I am not prepared to face Bastien, especially not when my wolf has lost her head at the mere sight of him,
Though she was still with me after I escaped Garrick, Luna had buried herself so deeply in my heart that our connection became completely blocked. Neither of us could feel the other, and my wolf never met our mate. Things might have been different if Bastien had ever marked me, but he hadn‘t wanted me without Luna, so she stayed hidden until our daughter was born.
Lila is the most precious gift I‘ve ever received, and bringing her into the world unlocked Luna‘s trapped spirit. Looking back, think she started to return the moment I conceived. My wolf senses began to resurface long before Lila actually arrived, but freeing Luna completely made it possible for me to love and appreciate my child as a mother should. My wolf healed my fractured soul, if not my broken heart.
Luna whines as I cross the garden, coming to stand in front of my ex–husband. Goddess I‘d forgotten how handsome he is; how tall. It doesn’t feel right to be so near him without our bodies touching, it takes all my strength not to reach out to him. “Hello Bastien.”
Whatever he was expecting, it clearly wasn‘t this. His silver eyes stop their hungry head–to–toe scan of my body, settling on my face and blinking in surprise. I can see the gears turning in his head, piecing together the puzzle of my presence here and replacing shock with confusion and anger. “Is that really all you have to say to me?”
I c**k my head to the side. “What would you have me say?”
“I thought you were dead!” He barks, making Luna tuck her tail between her legs.
Unlike my wolf, I have more than enough bad memories and regrets to withstand his ire. “Oh I’m sorry, did my funeral get in the way of your wedding plans?”
Bastien looks like he might explode. “What the hell are you talking about?”
“Oh I forgot,” I press my palm to my cheek. “Silly me, it can‘t have gotten in the way because you didn’t bother going.”
Just then, Aiden appears at our side. “Listen, I think we all appreciate that this is a very difficult and emotional situation, but I really don’t think you want to have this conversation in public.”
Bastien and I both look around, realizing we’ve gathered quite an audience. Reluctantly we pause our reunion to move into the pack house, heading for Drake‘s sound–proofed office.
“I’m sorry, are you really angry that I didn’t go to your fake funeral?” Bastien grumbles behind me as we ascend the stairs.
“I didn‘t set that fire Bastien, I didn’t do anything other than disappear. You assumed I was dead and you threw the funeral.” The bitterness I still carry prompts me to add, “Granted, I doubt you asked many questions. Having me out of the way had to have made your life easier.”
A huge hand catches my arm just above the elbow, pulling me to a halt while electricity zings through my nerve–endings. “I saw your body!” He growls, “The DNA matched yours.”
“What?” My face twists up in confusion. “That’s not possible.”
“I assure you it is.” He corrects me harshly. “Your barbecued mate is not a sight you forget.”
Bastien‘s warm, tingling skin leaves mine as we continue walking. This doesn‘t make any sense. “Why would someone rescue me and then go back to plant a fake body?” I question aloud.
“What do you mean, ‘someone rescued you‘? You said you just disappeared.” He counters.
“Yes, after I woke up in the forest outside Elysium half-dead from smoke-inhalation.” Bitterness coats my tongue. “Clearly someone cared about me more than you did, because they pulled me out of the fire just in time.”
“Selene, I didn‘t have my phone with me when you tried to call.” Bastien implores me to understand, “If I’d known you were in trouble I would have dropped everything.”
Like hell. There’s no way he let his phone out of his sight in the middle of a kidnapping situation. He ignored that call, just like he ignored my calls every other time I needed him. “It doesn‘t matter.” I wave off his excuses. “That‘s ancient history now.”
“It isn‘t.” Bastien insists, “I’ve lived in nothing but regret for three years. There‘s so much I have to explain, so much…” He trails off as the office doors close behind us. “Goddess I can‘t believe you‘re really alive.”
When Bastien moves forward like he’s about to hug me, I jump out of the way. “I’m not interested in excuses and lies. I don’t want to hear your explanations.” Crossing my arms over my chest, I shift to stand next to Drake, forming a united front against my ex. “Asphodel is my home now.
Bastien glowers at the Eros Alpha, “Was this your doing then? The rescue, the body?”
“I didn’t know Selene was alive until after the funeral.” Drake reveals, gesturing to me pointedly. “She walked for two weeks through rogue territories to get here. She came to the Eros Pack of her own free will, and she’s been under my protection since.”
A deep rumble vibrates in Bastien’s chest, and Luna quivers with desire. Seriously? I mutter in internal exasperation.
It’s not my fault. Luna counters defensively. He smells so good.
Bastien’s claws extend. She’s still my wife.”
“No,” I object immediately. “I rejected you.”
His molten gaze skewers me. “I never accepted.”
“But…” I sputter in confusion, the rejection was your idea in the first place! You remarried the second you were free!”
Bastien looks so bewildered I almost believe him when he turns on Drake. “What in the Goddess’s name have you been telling her?”
“Nothing that wasn’t common knowledge in Elysium.” Drake argues without remorse. “Everyone said you were going to marry Arabella before the month was out.”
My attention ping pongs back and forth between them. “You mean, you didn’t?”
The muscle in Bastian‘s angular jaw twitches. “Those rumors are three years old. I suppose you conveniently forgot to tell Selene when they didn‘t pan out?” He suggests gruffly. After all, it’s not like we haven‘t been in contact.”
For a moment I let myself be distracted, looking at Drake in hurt and uncertainty before regaining my senses. What‘s one omission compared to everything Bastian put me through. I give myself a little shake, “Stop it. It doesn‘t matter whether you remarried, or that you didn‘t agree to the rejection.” I remark firmly. “My life is here now, so if you came here to bring me home then I‘m sorry – I‘m not going anywhere.”
“That‘s not why I came.” His deep voice scrapes over my skin, sending a shiver down my spine, “I didn‘t know you were alive until I got here and smelled you.”
“Then why did you come?”
Something appears to click in his head, and his expression darkens even further. “Because I still have a shadow tip line for the Calypso pack‘s bounty on Volana wolves. You‘re not as safe here as you think. Someone reported you.”
“But you just said you didn‘t know I was here.” I remind him.
He cuts his eyes to Drake. “Are there any other Volanas in the pack?”
Panic lances through me – there is one other Volana wolf living in Asphodel, one I would do absolutely anything to protect. Along with Bastien‘s absence, realizing my baby inherited the Volana gene was the only cloud over the happiest day of my life.
Lila is still too little to understand what it means to be a Volana, or for any of her playmates to know she‘s different, but when I lay awake at night worrying as every mother does, this is the exact scenario which terrifies me most. The idea that Blaise might find
out about Lila, that anyone might hurt her for the blood I passed down to her, is my worst nightmare.
Being reported myself used to petrify me, but now I find myself praying that I was the one who was reported. Anything so long as it wasn’t Lila.
“No.” Drake lies smoothly, not even glancing my way. “There are no other Volanas in Asphodel.”
Bastien’s focus returns to me, a look of grim determination set on his face. “Then you were the she-wolf they reported, and you are also the only true Volana that has ever been reported to the line in more than three years.” He shares. “We have to assume you’re on the Calypsos’ radar, and we have to find out who called in the tip.”