#Chapter 86 You Knew You Were Pregnant?
The cafe is closed on Mondays, but when Bastien and I arrive the lights are already on and the scent of roasting meat is emanating from the kitchen. My stomach rumbles in reply, and I look up at my mate in confusion, “you gave someone my keys?”
His lip quirks, “Just Donavon.”
I should have guessed. Donavon has always been a wonderful chef, and he takes every opportunity he can get to invent new dishes and recipes.
“Oh,” I relax, calling out a hello to the Beta.
A disembodied voice returns my greeting, and then Donavon’s head pops around the corner, his shoulder-length salt and pepper hair-pulled into a ponytail. “Dinner is just about ready – ten more minutes and I’ll be out of your hair.”
I from, feeling uncomfortable that the older man should be waiting on us. Bastien reads my expression and chuckles,” don’t worry, he volunteered.” He assures me, “And it’s not just for us, he’s packing up boxes to take to the apartment.”
“Oh good,” I relax a little, looking around the familiar space. All of the tables are bare save one. A cozy booth in the corner is set with a pristine white table cloth and gleaming silver flatware. Tealights glow at its center, and a bottle of red wine awaits with two empty glasses.
Bastien tugs me over to the booth, waiting for me to slide in before taking a seat on the opposite bench. My eyes widen with surprise when I realize he means to sit across from me. Bastien never lets me out of arm’s reach if he can help it. Even before all this happened, he preferred to keep me close – touching me more often than not. I used to think it was a show of possession or protection, now I understand that he simply does it because he wants to.
Anxiety skitters in my veins, my heart beating a little louder.
I don’t like this. Luna says.
I don’t either. I admit shakily.
*Don’t look so alarmed, baby.” Bastien purrs, pouring the wine and offering me a glass. “This is simply to make sure we don’t get distracted.”
well, let’s just
That’s fair I suppose. My heat can strike at the most inconvenient times, and if he’s touching me when it happens say we won’t be getting any talking done.
Just then the kitchen door swings open, and Donavon appears carrying two steaming plates. The food looks incredible when he sets it down in front of us and even though I’m starving, I’m so nervous I’m not sure I’ll be able to keep anything down.
Bastien is frowning deeply, I think the scent of my fear is agitating him. I know he’s furious with me, but I doubt he wants me frightened. I imagine it feels something like when I have to discipline Lila for being naughty. I know it’s the right thing to do, but seeing her suffer the consequences fills me with terrible guilt. I would be horrified if I thought she was afraid of me.
When Donovan retreats, Bastien raises his silverware, asking me something innocuous about my day and throwing me off completely. Later I realized he did it to help me relax and put some food in my stomach, because for the next hour or so we had a perfectly pleasant dinner.
It wasn’t until afterwards, when a second bottle of wine came out and we were both pleasantly sated, that he struck.
“So,” Bastien begins, leaning back in his seat and eyeing me with lethal intent. “Where do you want to begin?
I freeze with my wine glass halfway to my lips, “What do you mean?”
He’s all predator now, all Alpha. “Well, you have quite a few options to choose from, Selene.” He rumbles, “There’s the fact that you failed to tell me Drake kissed you. There’s the fact that you willingly walked into Martin’s trap without telling anyone where you were going or what was happening.” He sets his own glass down before his tight grip can smash it. “And then there’s the fact that you told me I wasn’t Lila’s father.”
Oh Goddess, I thought this was just about Lila’s paternity, I completely forgot about Drake’s attempted kiss and the ransom note. In hindsight it makes perfect sense that Bastien would disapprove of those things, but I never considered his reaction in the
#Chapter 86 You Knew You Were Pregnant?
Gulping, I broach, “Drake didn’t actually kiss me.” I wait for him to contradict or question me, but he simply sits there watching me with that same intense stare. “He tried, but I deflected him.”
Bastien’s chin dips, his silver eyes hard. “Alright. I’ll amend that. You failed to tell me another Alpha came onto you.”
“Because nothing happened.” i insist, “You’re my mate, I picked you. And telling you would only have made things between you and Drake worse.”
Bastien sighs, and I can see him fighting for patience. “Selene, I know you were never taught about these things, but did you consider what my mark signifies?”
I shrug, confused about why we’re suddenly discussing marks. “That we’re mates.”
“A claiming mark is an announcement to every wolf you meet, that you are already spoken for. It protects you from unwanted advances from males and decides your status among the pack females.” He explains evenly, “To proposition any marked she wolf is a serious offense. It disrespects her choice and challenges her mate’s claim, but you’re not just any she-wolf.” An edge of
steel enters his deep voice. “You were marked by an Alpha.”
Understanding clicks in my head, “So if he challenges your claim on me…”
Bastien nods, challenging an Alpha is challenging an Alpha – it doesn’t matter the motive. If he and I were to truly fight – no Beta’ s or back up, no interfering little mates trying to be noble” he teases, reminding me of their last fight, in which I nearly got myself killed. “- the winner would claim the loser’s pack.”
“Then,” I think aloud, “It’s a good thing I didn’t tell you, because you would have been forced to meet his challenge and then you’d have been stuck with the Eros pack.”
I swear the corner of his mouth twitches like he wants to smile, “Maybe, but that’s not why you kept it a secret.”
“I knew you would fight and I didn’t want any more violence.” I reason, “Is that so wrong?”
“Of course not, but I need you to understand that it isn’t nothing if someone comes onto you.” Bastien lectures. It’s a very big deal, and it’s very important that you tell me if and when it happens. Not only because it’s an offense against me, but because it may very well mean you’re in danger. Anyone willing to challenge an Alpha for their mate isn’t going to be very concerned with your consent.”
“Okay.” I agree sheepishly.
“And speaking of danger,” he transitions cryptically, “why don’t you tell me about Martin’s note.”
“I won’t apologize for that.” I counter, straightening my spine. “It might have been a trap, but I would rather someone hurt me than Lila, and I would rather be in trouble with her, than leave her in trouble alone.”
Bastien’s molten gaze bores into me, and I can see the thoughts flickering through his mind. “This isn’t about a mother’s instincts to protect her pup.” He finally asserts. “If it were just a matter of protecting Lila, there’s no doubt you did the right thing. The problem is how you did it.”
“The note said not to tell anyone.” I remind him. “I couldn’t risk it.”
Again he pins me with a long, assessing stare, clearly trying to find the right words. “Sweetheart, have you considered what would have happened if Martin hadn’t been the tipster?”
Actually I’ve been trying very hard not to think about that. I would still rather it be me than her.”
“But it wouldn’t have been you instead, it would have been both of you!” Bastien exclaims, his temper slipping. Pausing to take it a deep breath, he clenches and unclenches his fist, finally setting it on the table. “Do you realize that until Martin’s phone call came in, we didn’t have the first clue where you were? We didn’t have a trail to follow and we were nowhere near finding you?”
“If he’d called a real seller instead of us, Lila would be dead from the Starlight.” Bastien states grimly, “If he’d handed you over to the Calypso pack, Blaise wouldn’t have agreed to kill just one of you. Not telling us what was going on didn’t just endanger you, it endangered Lila.”
His words slice into me like a knife, and now I really do think I might be sick. “I’m not saying any of this to make you feel badly.” Bastien grimaces sympathetically, “but Blaise is still out there and if – Goddess forbid – something like this happens again, the
#Chapter 86 You Knew You Were Pregnant?
most important thing you can do is maximize our odds of us finding her. We have to have as much information as humanly possible.”
But the note”
“A dead hostage isn’t worth anything to a kidnapper, ” Bastien softens his tone when he realizes how harsh he sounded, “And while they might be able to hurt her and still collect, at least then she’d be alive – which she wouldn’t be Blaise got his hands on her.”
I nod. “I’m sorry,” I croak, despite my earlier words. “You’re right.”
My mate looks ready to end this horrible conversation, and for a moment I think the guilt might just win out. However after a moment Bastien seems to push through it, a resolute expression coming over his face.
“Listen, I know Arabella terrified you so much you were too afraid to come back to Elysium when you found out you were pregnant,” Bastien begins. “Actually I already knew.” 1 correct him before I can consider the wisdom of doing so.
His eyes flash dangerously. “Excuse me?”.
“I knew.” I repeat meekly, already regretting my honesty. “I knew I was pregnant before I left Elysium.”
For a moment Bastien just stares at me, breathing heavily and looking furious. Then, without another word, he stands from the table, and storms out of the cafe.