I let out a breath, kiss her, and then shut her behind the door. The old wood will not protect her for long, but it’s something.
I go to the bedroom door and open it. I know my eyes are no longer dark but have changed to red when the men outside holding guns take a step back and lift their weapons in fear.
“You and your mate are ordered by the king to come with us.”
I look at the man speaking and bare my teeth, watching as he swallows hard.
“The king only wishes to speak with you both,” another man says.
“Then tell him to come to us.” My voice vibrates with anger throughout the hall.
“The king of the wolves is here.”
That news is a surprise, but I don’t trust them. “And?”
“We won’t harm you or your mate, but you must come with us.”
I search for a lie in his words. When I don’t find one, I rumble, “Swear on all you hold dear that she will be safe.”
One man after another says the words before I close the door. I go to the closet and lift Isabel into my arms. I ignore her questions as I carefully carry her to the door and into the hall. When we reach Samuel’s chambers, I take her inside. I scan the men in the room—Samuel, Nual, Clemence, and three of Clemence’s men. I hear the door close behind us, but I don’t loosen my hold on Isabel.
“She’s safe with us,” Samuel states quietly, eyeing Isabel with her face buried against my neck. “I swear on my life that as long as I live no harm will come to her.”
I know that a vampire must always keep his promise, but I do not trust the other men in the room. I lock eyes with the king of the wolves.
“We will not harm her, not now, not ever,” Clemence rumbles.
I drag in a breath then place my lips to Isabel’s ear. “It’s okay, love.” She holds me tighter before slowly letting go and lifting her face from my throat. When she wiggles to get down, I reluctantly let her.
“It’s true. She’s pregnant, not only with one life but two,” Clemence says, and Isabel stiffens against my side.
“Twins?” Samuel’s disbelieving eyes come to Isabel and drop to her stomach.
“You can’t sense them?” Clemence questions the room, and I tense. “You can’t feel the two souls breathing life within her? She’s carrying the future of our kind.”
“My kind,” Samuel snaps with rage, glaring at the wolf, and I step in front of Isabel.
“Afraid not, my friend. She has wolf’s blood flowing through her veins, even if it’s been diminished over time.” Clemence looks at Isabel, his face going gentle. “She is one of mine.”
Isabel holds me tightly as her fingers weave into my shirt and into my skin. I want to call Clemence out, to roar that he’s lying, but I know he’s speaking truthfully. Some part of me knows he’s right. “What does this mean?”
“It’s time,” he says, looking at each person in the room. “It’s time for us to stop hiding in the dark. It’s time for us to step into the light.”
“You’re reckless.” Samuel takes a step closer to Clemence. “I won’t risk my people for your impossible dream.”
“She’s carrying the catalyst, so if you want it to or not, it’s destined to happen. You can’t tell me that you’re okay living a life constantly hiding who you are.”
“I’m happy living a life in which the people I care about are safe,” Samuel growls.
“Your majesty, I saw the scrolls,” Nual inserts, and Samuel’s gaze goes to him. “He’s right. It’s time. Cameron and Isabel are the first of three sets of souls to be reunited.”
Fuck, so this is a prophecy. “I won’t risk Isabel or my children,” I state. “I won’t allow her to be a pawn in your games, or your feud.”
“She won’t be a pawn or be put at risk. You have my promise,” Clemence swears, and I lift my chin at him then look at Samuel. I can tell he’s not happy, but I can also see he knows he doesn’t have a choice. Something bigger than any of us is at work.
When Isabel gives my hand a squeeze, I look at her, seeing relief in her gaze. “Does this mean it’s going to be okay?”
“Yes, love, it’s all going to be okay,” I assure, as I drop my forehead to hers. “You’re safe. Our babies are safe.”
“I love you.” She leans up, pressing her lips to mine.
I savor the kiss for a moment then pull my mouth from hers. I tuck her face against my chest and look at the men in the room. I tell them silently that I will help, that I will do whatever needs to be done to protect my family then I take Isabel back to our room. Once she’s asleep I get up and go to the door where Nual has been pacing for over an hour.