T H I R T Y - T H R E E
My "brother" and I just stared at each other as we stood in the kitchen.
He took a sip of his coffee before setting it down on the counter top.
I raised an eyebrow and waited for him to speak.
When he continued to just stare at me, I started to get annoyed and instead of saying anything, I began to search for some cereal.
"Don't you want to know?"
"Wanna know what?" I asked in annoyance, continuing with my search.
"Want to know what I know?"
"I'm not going to beg for the information if that's what you're asking" I looked at him dead in the eye "If you were going to tell me, you would have done so already as soon as I stepped through that door instead of assessing me"
His lips twitched but otherwise, his faced remained stoic.
"Now if you'll excuse me, I need to find some breakfast before I visit my brother" he winced at the brother part.
"Gramps was right about you" he said "You're smarter than you let on"
"Where I'm from, you have to be" I said before finally locating the cereal.
Now only if I could find a bowl and spoon.
Why in the hell did Rhys family have to have such a huge and complicated kitchen arrangement?
I was one second away from saying "Screw it" and skip breakfast.
"And where are you from exactly?"
"All over" I replied vaguely "My Mom is an Freelance artist that likes to travel for inspiration. Before she dropped us off here, we lived in a neighborhood in New York"
"Was it nice?"
I snorted "It was comfortable"
"Ah ha!" I muttered in triumph when I found both the bowl and the spoon.
"You must be somewhat curious" he said after a moment
I raised an eyebrow "Oh I definitely am. Do not mistake that. I don't think anyone who found out that their dog was actually their long lost brother who happened to be trapped by some weird looking collar and living with their long lost grandfather in a creepy looking house wouldn't be curious to know how that came to be"
"Than, why aren't you asking me to tell you?" he raised an eyebrow
"Because I'm not that person" I sighed, suddenly not hungry anymore "You'll either tell me or you won't. I can't make that decision for you and neither can anyone else, but if you're asking me to beg to hear what you have to say, I won't. I'm just not that type of person"
He stared at me
"Anyways" I turned around and waved "See you later"
"Wait!" he gripped my arm
"What?" I turned in surprise
"We have a lot to discuss" he said firmly before tugging me to the dining room table
I stopped in my tracks and he gave me a confused look
"I agree" I nodded "But first, I need to help my brother"
His eyes, which were eerily similar to mine, soften "What is wrong with our brother?"
I flinched at "Our", not used to hearing it. "He hasn't finished the shifting process yet"
Orion tilted his head to the side, much like he did when he was a dog "The lady did not speak to him?"
"What lady?" I asked in confusion
"The woman who guides you through the process" he tilted his head even more
I just stared at him
"RHYS" I yelled, knowing that he was listening in on our conversation
He walked in the kitchen with a guilty look on his face "I'm sorry"
I waved him off and pointed to Orion "He said something about a woman guiding someone through the process"
Rhys just stared at me "What woman?"
I looked at Orion "Who guided you through your shifting process?"
"I don't know" he answered "But when I shifted for the first time, a woman's voice popped in my head and told me what to do"
Rhys and I looked at each other
"Start from the beginning" Rhys asked "When did you shift?"
"When I was twelve" Orion answered "Right in front of Grams. In our Kitchen"
I stared at him in surprise "Grams?"
Orion gave me a sad look "She died when I was fifteen"
"And how old are you now?"
"Nineteen" he nodded at Rhys "Same age as him"
I looked at Rhys and he continued questioning Orion
"And what happened when you shifted?"
"I felt this horrible burning pain in my stomach and when I went to tell Grams, I passed out. The next thing I remember is waking up in Gramps workshop"
I flinched, remembering the poor stuffed animals on the wall
"Then what happened?"
"Gramps explained to me what was happening"
Rhys raised an eyebrow "You didn't know what you were before hand?"
Orion shook his head
"And what did your Grandfather tell you? About being a Wolf or Shifting?"
"He told me who my father was and why this strange thing was happening to me"
"And your mother? Did he tell you what they were?"
Orion glanced at me and I was staring at Rhys, wondering why he was asking about my mother.
"Yes..." Orion answered slowly "But I suspect you already know the answer to that"
"What are you two talking about?" I looked between the two, not liking one bit that they knew something I didn't.
Rhys shot me a "Tell you Later" Look and I glared.
"Fine..." I stated firmly, looking between the two "I will be asking both of you questions later. Right now, we need to figure out who got you through the shifting process"
They both nodded their heads, looking like little puppies.
It was comical and I would have laughed if my baby brother's life wasn't in danger.
"What happened with your shifting process?" I asked
"After Gramps told me what happened and who I was, I continued to shift. Just as I was about to give up hope on ever being normal again, a calm voice sounded in my ear and guided me through the process. When I finished doing what she said, her voice disappeared and I was no longer in pain, or shifting"
"What did she say to do?"
"First, I had to meet with my Wolf" Orion scratched his neck "I didn't know he was mine at that time. She just said to meet with a Wolf and talk to him"
"What did the Wolf do?" I asked in glee, knowing that I was right regarding the Shifting process and the story my dad told me.
"He just sat there" Orion smiled "And watched me like an idiot as I talked to him"
"Did he say anything?" I asked and immediately, Rhys and Orion began to chuckle "What? What happened?"
"Our Wolves don't talk" Rhys snickered "They're just like regular wolves"
"Then how do you communicate with each other?"
"Since we are connected, we feel what one another feels or wants"
"And how do you communicate with other wolves?"
"In our Wolf forms, by non-verbal and verbal communication" Rhys smiled "Howling, yipping, and body language"
"How about in your human forms?"
"By mind-links" Rhys smiled "The Alpha is connected to everyone in his Pack. If he wants to talk to anyone or if anyone wants to talk to him, all then have to do is unlock their mind block"
"Sometimes, if we're in situation and need to send our location to those of our Packs, we are able to send fragments of our memory to them"
Light bulb moment
"How far back are you able to send these fragments of memories to other wolves?" I asked
Orion stared at me "About as far as we can remember, I guess"
"Why?" Rhys asked
"Because she's trying to get me to send my shifting memory to Ares" Orion asked
"Will it work?" I asked eagerly
"I don't know" Orion asked
"It will only work if you're in the same Pack"
"Well aren't we in the same Pack?" I asked "We are siblings, aren't we?"
Orion's eyes brightened
"Technically yes" Rhys answered slowly
"Technically?" I questioned "What the Hell does that mean?"
"Well, considering that you two grew-up apart and not knowing what or who you were until recently, you technically aren't apart of a Pack" he said slowly "As of right now"
"What does that mean?" Orion and I asked at the same time
"You aren't apart of a Pack if the Alpha hasn't blessed and accepted you in the Pack through a traditional Welcoming Ceremony"
"What?" Orion and I said at the same time "There's a Ceremony?"
"So what are we then? Lone Wolves?"
Rhys winced "Right now, you're technically considered Rogues"
"Aren't Rogues supposed to be evil?" I asked in disbelief "Like with red eyes or gangling looking?"
"Rogues are considered any Wolf who doesn't have a Pack" Rhys stated "It doesn't matter their appearance"
"But I'm not a Wolf"
Both men stared at me
"It's just a matter of time Kassi" Rhys said "Do you know who your father was?"
"Of course I knew who he was!" I snapped "I just didn't know he was an important Alpha"
"No Kassi," Rhys said slowly "I don't think you understand. You only knew your father as your father. You didn't know him the way the rest of us knew him"
"He wasn't a regular Alpha" Orion said quietly
"What?" I looked at Rhys "But I thought you said... What about those freaky Jedi mind powers?"
"Your father was an Alpha Kassi" Rhys winced "But he wasn't just an Alpha of his Pack"
"Then what was he?"
Just as Rhys was about to answer, Matt ran in the Kitchen with wide eyes "Uh...Alpha, we have a problem"
"What is it?"
Matt looked at me quickly before looking back at his Alpha "I think it would be better if we talk privately"
"What is it?" Rhys asked "Just say it"
Matt looked at me again "But Alpha..."
"What's wrong?" I asked Matt
Matt pursed his lips, hesitating
"Tell us" Rhys sighed "She's your Alpha Female and can make you tell her whether I like it or not"
"Your Uncle's in the Basement" Matt blurted "With Ares"
Rhys' eyes widened and he cursed
I calmed down a little, knowing that Ares wasn't in immediate danger "What's wrong with that? Ares is in his room and your Uncle is just passing through right? He's a wolf, he'd know what to do if something happened"
Both Matt and Rhys winced
"What?" I said once I caught their distressed looks "What is it?"
"My Uncle's not a Wolf" Rhys said before making his way to the basement "He's a Vampire"
My eyes widened "WHAT!!"
I chased after him "First of all, why is your Uncle a Vampire, and WHAT IS HE DOING IN THE SAME ROOM AS MY BROTHER!!"
Rhys winced "Yelling won't help"
"Oh yes it certainly does" I snapped "And so would a good punch in the face"
Orion chuckled from behind us
"My Uncle's not really my Uncle" Rhys explained as we continued our way down the millions of stairs "He's my Godfather. He saved me from drowning when I was little and has practically been part of the family after that"
"Don't they hate Wolves?"
"Most do" Rhys admitted "But not my Uncle"
We finally managed to reach the basement and I pushed Rhys out of the way to check on my brother.
I heaved a sigh of relief when I saw he was sleeping, curled up in a little ball.
"Well isn't this a pleasant surprise" A smooth voice said from my left.
I jumped and whipped my head to the side to see a man sitting in a dark corner by himself, drinking something out of a cup.
When our eyes met, his stoic face took on look of actual surprise "Thea?