Chapter 8 - The mate bond

Damius smiled then took a sip of wine from his goblet.

"There is nothing special to know about mate bonds, which you already don't know, Vasilios," 

Vasilios looked at his goblet and glanced back at his tutor.

"Perhaps, I was not specific, I understand the concept of soul mates and it's strengths, I want to know why most Alphas shun it, specifically with humans?"

Damuis kept his drink on the table and stared at his wife's portrait.

"Let me tell you a story, it was long ago, I was around your age. One day I went to a nearby village for the summer festival of Venus, oh ! what fun it was, they don't do festivals like that anymore," he paused," anyway, there she was dancing in the ring, I was mesmerized, it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. My wolf was uncontrollable, that was it, I had found my mate." 

He stopped a silly smile played on his lips as he remembered that day, which occurred centuries ago.

Vasilios smiled along.

"She was a human, but that didn't deter me from pursuing her, it was easier for me as I was a Beta, we mated and she was turned. We spent some of the best years together. She was my soulmate, my other half, she made me complete. I was never the same after she died, I lost half my strength. It was hard to go on without her. Then I request the king, your grandfather to relieve me of my Beta duties, and I became a full-time scholar."

Vasilios had to maintain a proper appearance. "I can't possibly imagine what it's like for you. We all grew up hearing the horror stories of people who had lost their soul-mate."

"I heard them too when I was a child," Damius admitted. 

"When I bonded with Eva, I thought nothing of those stories. Nobody had a clue how beautiful and how wonderful that bond was. But now I know better..."

"Do you regret it?" Vasilios asked delicately.

"Never!" Damius replied quickly. He took a deep breath. "Never," he repeated softly. "It's still the most amazing experience in the entire world. I can't even describe it to you. No, I would never trade that experience for anything."

Vasilios was quiet for a moment. He now understood why Alphas shunned mate bonds. Though it was a wonderful thing it came with a weakness. In case their mate died they would lose a part of their soul. Many wolves didnt survive their mate's loss and slowly died due to grief. 

For an Alpha, being this vulnerable not only endanger their lives but also jeopardized their packs. Most Alphas didnt want to take such a risk and preferred a political marriage that would strengthen their positions and status.

But they were missing out on the strength and the wholeness which they would receive from a mate bond. It was a catch 22 situation.

"I understand now, Alphas assume that losing a mate would make them weak so they avoid it."

Damius nodded.

"It's much more than that, you see we are humans, at least part of us is a human. As a human, we are prone to emotions like greed, thirst for power. Alphas don't want to lose their power hence they are avoiding mate bonds with humans."

Vasilios agreed with Damius.

"I was going through the Legislature for the royal family, there is no law which prevents an Alpha from getting a human mate. So why is forbidden? Who made this rule?"

Damius chuckled.

"It's just a practice which has come upon because some stuck up Alphas consider themselves better than humans and wanted to maintain so-called pure blood. Technically, there is nothing wrong in getting a human mate, they are stronger than us when turned, my Eva could take on 10 wolves at a time," Damius said fondly.

"This has gone to such an extent that around 19 years ago, Alpha Cedric banished his sister for mating with a human."

Vasilios narrowed his eyes.

 "Cedric had a sister?"

Damius nodded, "Oh yes! She was lovely, she left Arcadia for her mate, and hasn't been heard from again."

This was a piece of new information for Vasilios.

"Thanks, sir, I think I have got my answers."

While Vasilios was about to leave Damius said to him," remember son, if she is the one then she is worth it," and winked at him.

Vasilios smiled and left the mansion.


Rhiannon was feeling much better the next day, and fortunately, she did not get any fever due to being soaked in the water. She was still confined to her room though.

A sudden commotion outside her room alerted her. The door burst open and Catherine walked in followed by a maid.

She wrinkled her nose as if trying to dispel a stench of God knows what, Rhiannon kept her room pretty neat.

"Well, the prince has insisted that you join us for the masquerade banquet tonight, because of all the troubles you went through. How clumsy of you," Catherine announced. 

She looked displeased.

"Now, since you are engaged it would be improper if you went unescorted. So the count will also be present of course. Make sure you behave and be nice to your future husband."

Rhiannon winced at the word husband, she would rather die than take the count as a husband.

"I am warning you, don't try any of your theatrics, otherwise, I would have you flogged," Catherine warned.

Rhiannon quickly nodded. She knew Catherine meant it.

"I will do as you say, mam," Rhiannon said.

Catherine left with a swish of her skirts.

The annual hunt and the harvest was the time of gaiety in the country. Several festivals, dances and banquet used to be held in all Shires and the royal court.

This was the time when maiden used to be introduced hoping to attract a prospective partner.

As Prince Matthew was 23 and of marriageable age, naturally he was the most sought after bachelor in the country.

Catherine was hoping Margaret would be able to ensnare the prince. 

The court of Allendale was full of guests from near and far.

King William had a plan, he wasn't sure if Duke of Allendale would agree to it but he was aware of the fact that he had little love for his bastard daughter.

So convincing him was not difficult. 

"The envoys from Arcadia have arrived, your grace, they have been positioned in the guest house.

An attendant announced.

" Very well, " William replied. 

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