The following morning, a parade of luxury vehicles came to a halt in front of the Sirius Bright packhouse. When Alpha Roman stepped out of his car he could not help but notice the fact that, for the first time in his long-standing alliance with this pack, no one was there to greet him. He had already anticipated that they would respond in this manner when he was summoned to retrieve his only daughter after she faced the repercussions for her indiscretions.
Alpha Roman was not the head of some backwater pack, much like Xavier, he controlled one of the top five when it came to wealth and size. This gave Alpha Roman a staunch sense of pride that allowed him to wear his apparent rage at the overall situation like a film that had been settled over his entire body. Upon entering the packhouse living room, he was greeted by the sight of the Elders and other prominent members of the Sirius Bright Pack that were in attendance to witness the ceremony.
Xavier had not even bothered to glance at a now anxious Alpha Roman, a man he once called uncle.
"Alpha Roman, please take your seat," Zander offered, in an attempt at maintaining some diplomacy. He worried that if Xavier opened his mouth now, he would spit nothing but venom.
"Thank you, but I'd prefer to stand," Alpha Roman stated solemnly. He had been caught up in a maelstrom of emotions since learning that Petra had been caught red-handed committing adultery. He merely wished to expediently conduct the embarrassing business he was there for. Then he fully intended to haul Petra back to his pack, so that he could ensure she was aware of all the humiliation and problems she had caused.
"That's fine too. It will just make it easier for you to take your daughter and leave as soon as the rejection ceremony is finished. I don't want so much as her shadow cast on my pack for a second longer than necessary." Xavier finally spoke, even though his words were filled with nothing but rancor it gave Alpha Roman a sliver of hope that the other Alpha might be open to communicating with him in the future.
“Alpha Xavier, I know that my daughter has seriously wronged you and the Moon Goddess. However, I hope that this will not affect the long-standing treaty between our two packs and that we will be able to remain friends. As you have requested, I will take her away with me. You will never have to see her treacherous face again. That much I can promise you.”
"I can appreciate your situation, but be that as it may, it is my reputation that has been destroyed here. Petra has made me a laughing stock. I am filled with nothing but stone-cold loathing for that she-wolf you call a daughter. If I let such a large slight against pass without consequence I will lose more than just standing with my pack and the werewolf community overall. You of all people know that. Therefore, the treaty must be adjusted to new terms,” Xavier declared.
“What are the new terms?” Alpha Roman asked with apprehension.
"I don't want to see a single member of the Blue Moon Pack for at least two years. They are not welcome in my pack or my sight during this time. The treaty that existed between our packs is suspended for the same amount of time. If our agreement is breached, whether it is knowingly or unknowingly, by any member of the Blue Moon Pack, they will be held accountable for their own misconduct. At that point, all ties between the two packs will be severed," Xavier announced, placing the finishing touches on his retribution on the Blue Moon Pack.
“Fuck!” Alpha Roman swore under his breath. Two years was a hell of a long time. Both he and his pack were wading in shit up to their necks thanks to the actions of his selfish daughter, but he had no other choice in the matter. He had to agree to Xavier's terms.
"Alpha Xavier, as it pertains to Petra’s indiscretions…" Roman had opted to begin the conversation about the elephant in the room only to lose his train of thought when he caught the familiar scent of his daughter. He watched as she was dragged into the living room by one of the guards.
Petra had been locked in a cell for the last nine hours. The moment after Xavier had left the Alpha suite following her rejection, she was unceremoniously placed in a prison cell. She had wept and pleaded, hoping to garner some shred of forgiveness. When that did not work, she resorted to screaming until she was left nothing but a shell of her former self. Petra had made multiple attempts to mind-link Xavier in an endeavor to persuade him to rethink his decision. However, she was promptly blocked by him during her first try, yet she still persisted in her pursuit only to fail at every turn.
Standing in the living room, Petra could feel the penetrating glare of every wolf in the room searing into her flesh. She was painfully aware of every piece of gossip murmured behind someone's hand, every hint of her name in a whisper, and every muffled curse sent in her direction. Her worst nightmare had come to pass. Though she could not see Xavier, she had already sensed him in the room, ready to finish the rejection so he could finally be rid of her.
The guard escorting her released her arm when they reached the center of the room. It was at that point that Petra recognized her father’s scent and lifted her gaze. He had come…but why? Why would he agree to attend her rejection ceremony? Anxiety flooded Petra’s system when she met her father’s rage-filled dark blue eyes that were focused solely on her.
“Dad…” Petra did not have the chance to even properly greet her father before her head was jerked to the side. After having to withstand the fallout caused by her actions, Alpha Roman needed to unleash the full force of his rage before it was directed at the wrong person.
"Shame on you!" He condemned her with a booming roar.
"DAD,” Petra whimpered, placing a hand on her stinging cheek while she licked her split lip. Her entire life she had always been daddy's little princess. The Alpha had never verbally disciplined her, never mind raising a hand to her, yet today he had slapped her in front of a room full of people.
“Your deplorable actions have not only reflected poorly on you, but on me, our family, and our pack. Did you even consider that before committing this kind of grievous misconduct?! You should have been willing to die rather than cheat on your fated mate Petra!” Alpha Roman was fuming in his outrage. Petra did not respond, all she did was whimper and lower her head in submission. Alpha Roman could feel the irritated stares of the Elders’ at them as they watched her cry over a drama of her own making.
"Two years ago, I encouraged my grandson to set aside this she-wolf, but he loved and respected her," Stephen, one of the pack's most revered elders and Xavier's Grandpa, spoke out while pinning Petra with a glare. "However, the discovery of this female's evil actions has proven my intuitions correct. She pretended for years to be infertile while maintaining an extramarital affair with the pack’s Beta. She never loved Xavier. She only used our Alpha while willingly desecrating the mate bond!"
“Give me the divorce papers,” Xavier ordered. He just wanted all of this drama to be over with, it had already fundamentally changed him.
“No…please don't sign them.” Petra made a final attempt to persuade him but it was too late. Xavier tossed the signed divorce papers at her feet.
"Sign them," he growled. There was not a single individual in the room that did not notice the bitter edge of hatred that shone in Xavier’s eyes. Though they were unsure of what had caused it, all except for Zander.
His patience having come to an end, Alpha Roman handed his daughter a pen, forcing her to sign the divorce papers. Knowing that she had no other choice, she signed between sobs. Kaiden handed a signed copy of the papers to Alpha Roman’s Beta. The couple were legally divorced in a court of law, yet what remained of their feeble diseased mate bond needed to be severed for Xavier to be freed completely. One of the Elders stepped forward, joining Petra to conduct the rejection ceremony.
"This is the rejection ceremony for Alpha Xavier Lincoln and Luna Petra Lincoln." The Elder bowed his head out of respect for Alpha Xavier, waiting for consent before he continued. “Petra, while the Luna of the Sirius Bright Pack, you not only lied about being infertile, but you also committed adultery against your mate by having a long-term extramarital affair with your Beta. Do you accept responsibility for your actions?” the Elder asked frigidly, standing like a bastion of justice before her. The eyes of everyone in the room were drawn to Petra as they waited for her affirmative answer with bated breath.
Just as she had earlier, Petra remained mute, further enraging her father. In Petra’s mind, if she did not admit to her crimes, then the treaty between the two packs would become null and void. There would be a silent call for war over her treatment and that of her pack. This notion hinged on the fact that Petra was the Alpha’s daughter, Roman had been responsible for her upbringing. Therefore, any crime she had committed, such as adultery, would have direct repercussions for her father and his pack. Alpha Roman was in no way willing to suffer that kind of backlash.
"Accept your fucking sins!" Xavier roared as he rose to his feet. Petra screamed in terror, she fully expected him to treat her to an encore of what he had done to her the night before.
"I do," she managed to croak out between sobs. The entire room became quiet as the Elder proceeded on with the ritual. She was lucky that, despite her wretched behavior, Xavior had still managed to hold on to his convictions, he had never raised his hand to a woman. Even after three years together, she had never known that he could be as violent as he was last night. Despite everything that had happened last night, Xavier had still held firm to that conviction. He never hit her, she realized.
"Due to the fact that this woman cheated on me for years and was then rejected. She is not entitled to any of my property or company, whether it is here or overseas. I’m reclaiming the property and business shares that I transferred to her name when we were married," Xavier announced, leaving Petra stunned.
“How can you…” her jaw hung down low in shock. He was leaving her a beggar.
“She accepts,” Alpha Roman acknowledged Xavier’s decision on Petra’s behalf. Alpha Roman himself was a man of means. Xavier’s decision to rescind the gifts he had given Petra Roman felt was warranted given her inexcusable actions. He was just relieved to be collecting his daughter alive. If it had been any other Alpha, he was sure he would have been called to collect Petra in a body bag to return her to the back, if there was anything left to bury.
“Oh there’s one more thing, regarding your man whore.” Petra’s eyes began to water at Xaveir’s mention of Orion. “Your personal fuck toy has been sentenced to death for his crimes. So, once you’ve returned to your father’s pack, you’ll need to find a replacement. But if you have trouble finding one, feel free to ask me, since we both know how much you enjoy screwing the men that surround me. I’ll be sure to find a replacement for you.”
Petra found the taunt particularly offensive as he had delivered it in front of every prominent member of the pack, her father and his men. In order to withstand the humiliation, she closed her eyes, clenched her jaw, and fisted her hands at her sides as she tried to breathe through the emotional pain. She hadn’t seen Orion since they had dragged Orion away the previous night, it was only now while standing among prying eyes that she learned of his execution.
Once Orion had been relieved of his head, Xavier dispatched his men to dispose of the other remains. Xavier had ordered the execution be carried out outside of Sirius Bright Pack territory, as he refused to allow that filthy wolf's blood to be spilled on his pack’s land.
"Now that you've accepted your crimes, you must also accept Alpha Xavier's rejection," the Elder urged.
"Please," Petra begged. "Believe me when I say that I love you. I'm your soulmate, Xavier. Orion was really just a lapse in judgment on my part," she tried to excuse her actions.
"Really Love? Mate? Please, I have no desire to puke!” Xavier reached out for her hand. Out of instinct, she allowed him to take it only to have him yank her wedding ring off her finger. In his zealousness to retrieve the symbol of the failed marriage, he had almost scraped off her finger.
“No, not my wedding ring,” Petra shrieked.
“Accept the rejection before I kill you in front of everyone here!" Xavier’s green eyes bore into hers, cautioning her that this would be the last time otherwise he could not be held responsible for his actions. Petra wept with the realization that it was the end of their story. It might have seemed weak to others, but she chose to live. This meant she elected to accept Xavier’s rejection.
“I, Petra Lincoln, accept your rejection, Xavier Lincoln,” she eventually forced herself to speak the words through trembling lips. This part of her life had come to an end. The loss of her mate, the bond, and all that it entailed had triggered a domino effect as her connection with every member of the pack was also severed simultaneously. For the first time in a very long time, Petra felt completely and utterly alone. “NO!” she sobbed, clutching her chest in anguish at the loss.
Her wolf had pushed to the surface seething with rage at her human over the fact that she was now a rejected wolf and despised by her fated mate. Even though the bond had been little more than a frail filthy string, experiencing any mate rejection was excruciating.
"Take her away!" Xavier curled his lip in disgust at Petra’s final attempt to gain attention before waving her father over. Alpha Roman grabbed his daughter by the arm, hauled her to her feet before practically dragging her out of the packhouse.
"Please take me back, Xavier. I love you," she professed, attempting to break away from her father’s grasp.
“You need to fucking stop this, Petra,” Alpha Roman's frustration was made abundantly clear by the bruising grip he had on her arm. He was mentally debating the merits of knocking her unconscious to stop Petra’s continuous screaming for Xavier, which was doing nothing to better her situation. Xavier had already exited the living room. Now that he had gotten what he desired, he planned to pretend that Petra no longer existed.
“Completing the rejection won’t change your feelings for me, Xavier!” Petra warned. “You can say whatever you want, but I know that you care about me. No matter how hard you try to wipe my existence from your life, I will always be the only one that is part of your heart and soul. You won’t be able to forget about me or what we meant to each other. I love you!” Xavier could not help but hear Petra’s tirade as he moved through the packhouse toward the Alpha suite. As he stood in the doorway he could not help but visualize the affair that he had unwittingly walked into on the previous night.
“You won't be able to live without a woman, Xavier. You need me. You need a mate!” Her parting words rang in his ears, causing his chest to constrict under a stifling sense of panic.
Xavier openly acknowledged that he would never be able to forget Petra. How could one forget someone that changed him on a fundamental level? However, that meant he needed to eradicate anything that might possibly remind him of her.
"Xavier!" Zander burst into the Alpha suite in a fit of panic. He had smelled smoke and gone to investigate, only to find smoke seeping from under his twin’s bedroom door. Upon opening the door, Zander discovered Xavier in what appeared to be a hellscape. His twin had set everything in the room from the bed to the bathroom ablaze, he was cleansing Petra from his life using fire.
Xavier stood amongst the flames as they licked at his skin, but he refused to leave without witnessing first hand everything turn to ash. Xavier kept perseverating on Petra’s parting words, that he would not be able to survive without a mate or woman. She had underestimated the sheer force of his will that there was no longer room in his life for women from that day forward.
He had come to despise them all.