The Council Ch. 17


"Cedar, you're okay?" Alexei's voice was a mere whisper, fear lacing it as his eyes searched hers anxiously.

She smiled the smile of a very satisfied woman, moving sensually against him and raising her head to kiss him lightly on the lips. "I feel perfect," she breathed softly. "So amazing. That was the most beautiful experience of my life, Alexei."

His heart began to calm down, his expression lightening as he confirmed that she was fine and it started to sink in that they were now fully mated. Smug male satisfaction lined his face as he smiled down at his wolf. She was his forever now, nothing could separate them.

"We're truly mated now," he sighed deeply. He couldn't contain the joy he felt at being joined completely with her. It was all he wanted. Now he could give her what she craved, the babies she so yearned for. He kissed her softly and whispered that against her lips, promising her that they would have as many babies as she wanted.

Cedar had to laugh at his words kissing him deeply to take the sting of her laughter away when he was being so heartfelt about it. "This sudden need to become an instant father? This has nothing to do with Andrei getting one up on you and already being on the way to fatherhood?"

He frowned darkly at her, opening his mouth to refute her words and then closing it again sheepishly and giving her a rueful smile. "Maybe a little," he admitted. "He's going to spend the next thousand years crowing about how he became a father first. He's never forgiven me for being born three minutes earlier than he was. Always thinks he should have been the eldest."

He settled down beside her, cuddling her close and stroking her soft skin as he smiled into her hair. His need to be a father was partly because of Andrei but it was mostly because of his woman. He wanted to have children with her. He wanted that bond of family that he could only vaguely remember he'd shared with his mother and his twin all those centuries ago.

What he did remember was they had been good times, full of love and happiness before things had changed and he and Andrei had become what they now were. It was another lifetime ago but now he had the chance for it again and he wanted that chance with everything inside him.

A sudden thought struck him and he stared into Cedar's eyes intently. "Jared ordered you not to do this," he said quietly, frowning a little as he spoke. "You've gone against your Alpha. Does that mean he'll try and punish you because I swear if he does I'm going to have to kick his ass, sweetheart."

Cedar stopped breathing, staring wide eyed at Alexei as the full import of his words sank in. She shouldn't have been able to mate with him. She had never once disobeyed Jared, not even when he didn't use his Command on her. She searched deep within her and went completely white, shock ripping through her.

Alexei was on his knees instantly, pulling her up and wrapping his arms around her. He had been half joking about kicking Jared's ass but the expression on her face chilled him to the bone. If the Alpha tried to hurt her he would kill him. "What?" he growled fiercely. "What will he do?"

She was shaking her head, trying to speak but fear crippling her vocal chords. She swallowed hard, almost choked on her fear and then swallowed again. "Not that," she managed to say, her eyes full of anguish. "My bond to Jared is gone, Alexei! He's not my Alpha anymore! Someone else had taken over the bond!"

The low rumbling growl from Alexei turned into a wild, ferocious sound. "Who?" he demanded, his voice hard. "Who thinks they can take my mate from me?" When he found out he'd kill the wolf dead on the spot.

"I don't know," Cedar moaned softly, holding onto him tightly. "I'll know as soon as I see him but at the moment, I couldn't tell you who my new Alpha is."

Alexei cursed loudly, holding her trembling body tightly as her cell phone began to ring. He cursed louder and reached for it, seeing Loretta's name and putting it on speaker so they could both hear it. Cedar wasn't letting him go anyway to take the call.

"Cedar!" Loretta's tone was almost shrill, panic invading it. Andrei could be heard growling loudly in the background. "I can't feel Jared," Loretta cried. "He's gone!"

"I know," Cedar said swallowing loudly and sitting up a little bit straighter. "We have a new Alpha, Loretta. I can feel the new bond in place but I can't tell who it is. Can you?"

The sound of Cedar's voice seemed to calm Loretta and she took a deep breath, whispering quietly to Andrei to try and calm him down before turning her attention back to the call. "I don't know who it is but he feels familiar," she finally answered, the panic leaving her voice. "I feel 'reassured' by the bond, not frightened of it."

"Oh my God!" Cedar all but squealed as her brain started working now the initial shock had begun to wear off. "Loretta, you don't think it's.....?" she couldn't finish, her stunned brain trying to process it all. For this change to have happened then he would have had to accept that he was an Alpha. She couldn't believe that he had finally done so, not after all this time.

Loretta's stunned gasp could be heard as she came to the same conclusion. The instant she considered the possibility she knew they were right. She started to laugh softly, amazement in her voice. "I think you're right, Cedar," she laughed. " Our new Alpha is...."

"Rafe!" they both said at the same time.

To be continued...

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