Lucy watched with bloodshot eyes as Nathan left Duskfall lands. It didn’t take her long to piece together that he had something to do with Titania going feral. Tears streaming mercilessly down the pale skin of her cheek. Unbashfully, she shot a dirty look to the other pack warriors, in particular, Angus who lead the majority of the pack to the side. Many grumbled with bared fangs. Tempers and wolves enraged at the show of the betrayal to their Alpha.
She strutted up at him, eyes blazing despite their tears and hissed, “What do you think you’re doing? Just letting him go? That bastard deserves a public execution!!”
“Lucy...” The head warrior turned towards the teenager, “You know just as well as I do, that that’s not what she wants.”
“And you know this how?!? Forgive me, head warrior but she’s running around fucking feral because of him!!” Angus sent her a meaningful look and ushered her out of ears way, elsewhere from passers-by. Her reputation was already that of madness, he didn’t want to make it worse for her.
“Stop speaking so loud. We’re not alone on packlands and you screaming about the Alpha’s personal business is not what Duskfall needs.”
She calmed at that statement but the resentment was still on a low burn within her eyes. Taking note of the clenched fists, deepened eyes and the sorrow that emanated from her being, he couldn’t help but feel for the girl. For she too relied heavily on their Alpha and it was clear that without Titania’s mentoring, the rejection was too much for Lucy to deal with.
In a hushed whisper, she pointed an accusational finger at the male’s chest, “Maybe so, but I, like every other member of Duskfall deserve justice for that mongrel’s mistakes! He does not just get to walk out while our Alpha is out there...alone... IN WINTER.”
Angus gulped, not wanting to scold the female when he too had the same thoughts. He just prayed that Eóghan knew what he was doing before Duskfall tore itself apart from the inside out. He sighed, having had enough of the conversation, “I know how you feel Lucy but right now, there’s nothing I can do.”
“Nothing you can do? NOTHING YOU CAN DO?” She huffed, “Go hunt down that mutts ass and let the pack deal with him the way we should’ve in the first place.”
“Beta’s orders, back down. But for now, we listen- so don’t go doing anything stupid.” He eyed the girl, “She was a big part of all our lives. Duskfall must move on.”
"Trust you to say that." She muttered as she watched his retreating back.
Angus left, leaving a sombre Lucy to stew in her mind. One which was becoming more and corrupted by the absence of her mentor. Minutes passed and she remained, deep breathing off her anger, the dark scent of chocolate filled her and goosebumps arose. The telltale signs moved her out her stupor and with a quick step, she avoided her mate, not wanting anything to do with the female at this current moment. Not like this, not when she was so...unstable. Too much too soon.
“Fuck him, I’ll find the Alpha myself.”
With newly found determination despite her aching heart, she ran off in the direction of the woodlands. Desperate to retrieve her Alpha.
The blue haired female was not hard to miss as she scoured the nippy temperatures of the rock pass. Tackling the southern territories first, the ones she had read extensively about; she kicked the slight anxiousness and stormed onwards, grumbling and cursing Nathan’s very existence. If anything, she had adopted her Alpha’s stubbornness and with desperation came the need to retrieve and save the one who had saved her.
Pushing through the harsh undergrowth she travelled miles, nothing deterring the hard-headed female. In the weeks of following Titania, she had learned a few ticks. From the bookworm she once used to be, to a newly trained juvenile warrior with specialisms in tracking; she was using the newly discovered skill to navigate the unfamiliar terrain.
With her wolf nose deep in the soil, she clumsily scented around for her Alpha before a voice she hadn’t heard in a long time, spoke out tentatively. “Lucy? Is that you?”
Frozen, her wolf eyes regarded those of her sisters. Pain, relief, and confusion coated her expression and although Lucy should’ve felt guilt towards the distance she had put between her family, she instead felt nothing but numbness. Her sister didn’t understand and knowing the charm Laura had despite her obsession with the cliffs, she knew she would never face that same fate as her.
Shifting and neutralizing her features she turned towards Laura.
“Where have you been? You know maw has been fretting over you since you left the cave.” Her eyes flittered up past her face, “And she’ll not be too happy with what you’ve done to your hair.” Catching the empty eyes of her sister regarding her blankly, she retracted her usual bubbly and snarky manner and replaced it with a deep worry for her younger sister.
“What....happend to you Lucy?” Laura asked, not wanting but needing to know. “You’re not the same and don’t you dare lie to me. I gave you space, but there’s no, and I mean no excuse for you ignoring me like you have without explanation.”
Lucy sighed but relented, cursing that she had forgotten her sister patrolled the south side of the territory. “There’s nothing to worry about. The Alpha is, well was, training me. I was tired of not being able to contribute to the pack.”
“What are you talking about? Your knowledge got us investment from the coal stock you found and let’s not forget the stocks you advised the Alpha on, the security, the traditions and the teaching you have given to the pack. You, over years, learned the old language and have transcripted how many scripts and texts? Cut the crap, it’s not about that at all.”
Her empty eyes slashed through those of the female in front. Laura tried hard not to flinch but with the childish spark lost and an eternal winter now present in Lucy’s eyes, her eyes dropped from the showdown, her wolf whining at the unexpected and sudden change within the teenager.
“It’s none of your business, Laura. Leave it.”
As she turned to leave, Laura grabbed her arm and finally got a reaction out of Lucy. “I told you to leave it be, what do you not understand about that?” The darkness within was beginning its consumption of her. Her hollow eyes latched onto her sister as she outwardly recoiled at the hostility. Making her heart shrivel even more.
Tears openly fell from Lauras’ eyes and Lucy had had enough. She was on a mission and was frantic to find Titania, not that she had anything else left to lose.
“Don’t follow me, Laura. You just don’t get it.”
“Because you won’t let me try to understand. Tell me for god’s sake!” She cried. “I’m your sister!”
Lucy turned and walked away, her wolf snarling in response to her increasing anger levels. In the background, she could hear Laura calling out but it fell on deaf ears. The remaining patrol of Colton and Fredrick caught up to Laura and comforted her erratic tears but not before shooting Lucy a perplexed and bewildered look. This was not the Lucy they had grown up with, but rather a vacant shadow of her former self. They had heard the rumours but never believed. Now, they could see it with their own eyes.
Subconsciously, Lucy ran her fingers along the raised scars along her forearm. While werewolf healing meant that her arms were never raw for more than thirty minutes, it didn’t stop her from doing the simple act. It relieved her if only for a little period of time. With her wolf and mind deteriorating and the rejection warping her personality, it seemed that she did not have much longer before she was swallowed whole.
Six hours of fruitless searching to no avail. Lucy returned to the Alpha’s cabin, preferring the isolation to the pack house. Slumping on the couch set in the middle of the hut, eyes drifting around the room to her Alpha’s desk. Memories of Titania flittered throughout the lifeless room. Their training together where Titania would help Lucy build the mental walls needed to block out the negativity. Their bickering together when Titania was trying to work and Lucy would either help or distract, bringing her mentor out her spiralling thoughts. Or when Lucy would cook for them both; ensuring that despite the pairs suffering, they both stayed healthy.
Eóghan listened outside Titania’s cabin with a heavy heart. As he listened, his mood sunk lower at the sobbing from within. He knocked and it paused momentarily and as he opened the door, Lucy’s limp form became visible. She clutched at one of Titania’s training tops. Using the scent to pacify her wolf. At the turmoil within his own beast, he joined the teenager on the couch, no words said.
Knock after knock lead to Titania’s closest companions joining together in her oak cabin. Eóghan had built a fire while wolves sat around the room as the moon rose high in the night sky. A silence stretched as wolves mourned in peace, away from the other pack’s eyes, for Duskfall didn’t show weakness. And right now, the pack felt Titania’s loss and that was a weakness.
Angus, Eóghan, Garth, Athdara, Doctor Craig, Lucy and the majority of the pack, excluding border patrols, all sat together. Sprawled on the floor, seeking comfort from Titania’s scent within the structure. Their wolves could feel it: the lack of presence of their dominant Alpha. On edge, their wolves now lacked the feeling of security and this made them restless. Holding onto one another, many stared into the flames and used the solace with one another and the closeness of Titania’s scent to mourn properly.
Many of the children huddled together and shed tears, not understanding the situation fully. It was a bleak time for Duskfall but despite the overall feeling of defeat, it was Eóghan who stood up and said that he’d had enough. It was time to continue on and not let this be the end of Duskfall, not with so many enemies watching their pack through a magnifying glass.
Duskfall would rise from the ashes. If they thought that taking out their Alpha was going to stop them then they were all wrong. Eóghan was hell-bent to get his headstrong Alpha back. And get her back from the darkness he would.