Last chapter.

That was the breaking point of my patience. At that moment, I was blinded by a five-course serving of rage that tasted bitter, yet surprisingly satisfying. I reached out. I went to punch him in the face. When my fist came in contact he fell to the ground wailing in pain, as I tried to shake the bars.

My mother walked not but five minutes later seeing her warrior on the floor, my twins at her side. Jax and Harlow both with worry clear on their faces, I could smell it on them, they worried for me and their mother. I snarled at the woman who has loved me through everything, the woman who gave me life. "I will never forgive you if anything happens to my wife. I should have been at her side not locked behind these forsaken bars," my eyes bore into hers, mine a vivid ruby red and her's more burgundy having waited to feed.

She just sighed, she looked so torn and tired as she held my children's hands coming closer. "I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. Cheyenne was my daughter in every way, and her love the never-ending river it was wanted her babies safe. But the man she truly loved as safe as she could get him, Kael. She begged me too do this, no I didn't fight it either because I understand her," every word was spoken with wisdom and love but right now I wanted to rip her head off.

Harlow moved fast her small arms coming through the bars and wrapping around my waist, her small sobs echoed as I hold her moving to my knees to better reach my little girl. "Everything is going to be okay, somehow, in the end, everything is going to be okay. Harlow please my little one-stop crying, it breaks my heart," my fingers trailing in her long curly hair when her brother joined us. Both needing comfort, "Let my children in, I will not try and escape. They need me," but the way I spoke hurt her, my mother did it though.

Time moved as I held them, each whispering and voicing their fears. "I am scared too, all men are when it comes to the women we love. But right now we have to have faith in your mother that she knows what she is doing," but something was wrong, I was on edge as they just refused to leave me sitting here alone.

It was night now, my internal always knew the day from the night. I smell and hear many, and knew my mother was coming. "Chloe is here, I smell Chloe," Harlow was up bouncing around. I smiled picking her up as Jax just held my hand as we moved to be let out.

I smiled, "I can't wait to see your mother, and I know you two cubs are foaming at the mouth to see her," we smiled and laughed as the door at the very top of the castle dungeon opened. Four people Chloe, my mother, my sister, and Ares at least Cheyenne send us a ride instead of making us walk home.

The thought was funny, but I smelled her blood, and by the look on their faces they arrive with bad news, she was hurt, my eyes turn cold as I stare at my sister and mother. Chloe just looked at her face so devoid, "She killed him, she saved us all, but mostly me. His right hand was about to kill me and.." her words already broken and filled with pain, but now it was hysterical her tears falling like rain.

Ares held her up, I could smell she was with child. "Calm Chloe, I can smell the baby," I offered in a gentle tone.

Ares gave me a small nod but his voice shook, he was massive but right now he shook. "She…Cheyenne gave her life for Chloe. We tried to save her, but we failed her and her family,"

It was like a ripple of anger, I couldn't tell if it was Harlow, Jax, or myself that are shaking so bad. I had to put her down, the rage was building and if I hurt our kids.

"I AM GOING TO LOSE IT, GET MY CHILDREN OUT OF THIS CAGE," every word said with hate and venom, not at Chloe or Ares, but my family they caged my like a beast when I could have saved her.

Ares rushed in, His arms locking around me, Chloe held the twins. "I am sorry, Kael. I failed you both, take it out on me," he whispered, Ares and Setter took me here, but my anger was not at them.

"I love you, Ares. You're my brother, now move before I hurt you," I tried to lightly shove him, but the rage was like blood rushing through me and he went sailing into the far wall. I was once again locked in and for now, it was what was best, she was gone and I wasn't even there to say goodbye to her.

Time was my enemy now, I was done with this life once they reached a good age. They had such a good family and I was done with this life, I was slumped to the floor days later drained. "Here eat, you need to get home she needs to be laid to rest," it was mother and Sara.

I did, "Let me out, now,"

They did, standing back.

I turned with a harsh cold glare. "You and the coven may come and pay your respects. But we're done, you caged me like a beast while she gave her life, I never had my goodbye with her. Sara, you could have released me knowing this was wrong. I denounce my right to rule and hand it to Sara on a golden fucking platter," leaving my family behind, in favor of the others.

Cayden was as much of a wreck as I was, Angelina in a daze as the woman made every arrangement, I agreed with whatever they planned. Cayden and I, we will never be the same and we knew her pack wouldn't be either, for now, Angelina was taking over until the twins took over. I

Even with my hands firmly in the small hands of our twins, my eyes are only for her. She looks to be sleeping, I cried who cares who might see me. We gave the twins alone time before this with her, then the nieces and nephews, they needed to say goodbye in private. It was like a dagger in the heart for each. "I refuse to say goodbye, because I will see you very soon," turning and waiting.

"Go see your grandparents," I told the twins, Cheyenne's parents arrived with the coven. I just stand with the packs, the vampires, the outland wolfs, Lucian himself arrived to say goodbye. He bowed to me, he knew what she had done but he said he should have done it to his mate during the last great war, she died and he never forgave himself. His words echo back to me, "When you love someone more than yourself, you sacrifice all for them. Take their wrath, and Cheyenne she was unique she somehow made you her mate," somehow, and every day I was walking this earth, I would do right by her.

I never after that night spoke to my sister or mother, I did talk to Cheyenne's parents, my last connection to the coven. My mother was ill, my sister was begging me to come say goodbye, to forgive her to lie. I agreed, but it was a lie, the twins are everything Cheyenne wanted strong but caring, two packs now, I smile at them as they bicker. Jax was moving in with his mate and was taking over as Sheriff like his Grandfather and mother before him, Harlow was doing college, it was an hour drive but she be a doctor in four years. Each niece or nephew becoming something, but all in the packs and staying her in Lupine Ridge.

Harlow turned and it floored me daily, she looked so like her mother, her smile was the same. The small tug of the upper right corner and all, "Daddy, I am going to the store and will be back to fix us supper before Jax abandons us," I loved them, but I was too far gone now. I gave them all I had left, the two new packs a mix of cousins, and local teens that would have died too young.

They gave them a choice, die from illness or live and protect.

"Okay Princess, Jax can you go pick my order up from Calve" he sighed with such dramatics, another trait Cheyenne had. I watched them together one last time, I did it, Cheyenne, I did it all for you.

People can grow strong enough to whisper at the iron bars that hold them and see them bend out of their way, like the craziest magic. That's what love can do: fix souls, fix brains, cure us all. I wish I could have mastered that way, but it's hard when you've been starving for so long. You can sit and call for help. You can act like there is no cage, wear a mask of coping and normality. You can rage against the bars. Yet what love makes simple, no other thing can solve. There is another escape route, yet it is one into another great pain. It is possible to be so emotionally starved that you slip through the bars, no longer bound but with your soul crumbling. That was my way out. What followed was endless emotional marathons on bleeding knees. I learned how to hide the pain, how to look normal. I understand why some go cold inside to escape the pain of isolation, why they let their empathy wither and die: numbness over feeling, mental anesthesia. I refuse. The thing is, regardless of the pain, I believe that living with an incomplete soul is a form of death, and every day without my mate, my soul was already gone.

I walked from the house after setting two manila files on the table for the twins, heading to the underground cell that I built with Cayden, Ares, Mark, Setter, and Mason. I lied and said it was for anyone who tried to rise like Connor, but it was for me, for this day. I used the same metal woven by witches, I couldn't break them. So, I watched the fire raging around me, the flames welcomed even the pain was, I was friends with pain now.

I heard them, smelling them. Cayden was the first down, even he resembled his cousin. "GOD DAMN IT, KAEL. ARES!"

I reached out sending him flying back, "Get out, this is my life. And Cayden, I am done. I have lived a life and want the journey to end, I want to see her again. I can hear her now," it was like sunlight was filling my veins now, the pain was like blinding white-hot light pulsing through me as I crumpled to the floor. Ares was slamming himself against the bars as more and more howls come, her old pack.

Angelina, Nina, Tay, and last was Chloe rush down. "I can hear her," I whispered.

My eyes bulged and I was turning to ash, hearing their screams. "I can see her now,"

I was done now, I could rest seeing her face once again.

But it was not smiling, it was angry, but I take anger over nothing at all. Her arms are home as they wrap around me, "You stupid bloodsucker," she sobbed.