F O R T Y - O N E
I turned towards the married couple “Can you guys find out everything you can about Selene and Endymion. I think that’s a key piece in figuring this out”
They nodded and went to the computers hidden away in the corner of the library
I turned toward Matt, Mia, and the Twins
“Matt, Mia, can you tell me about the Wolf Moon?”
“We would like to” Mia said “But we don’t really know anything about it. We didn’t hear the voice like Ever and Shawn did”
I turned toward Matt “Can you get them for me?”
He nodded and left the room
I then turned toward Mia “Can you start researching about the Wolf Moon? I know it’s a long shot but maybe something will turn up”
I then turned toward the turns, whose jaws were set and had their arms crossed stubbornly
“You two will tell me about this Wolf Moon”
“No we won’t” they replied
“Yes, you will” I replied “Because if you love me and want to save me from death’s door then you will tell me what I need to know”
“Dammit” Taylor cursed, unfolding her arms
“She didn’t even have to use her Jedi mind powers” Ethan muttered
I grinned “When the other two get here, we’re going to compare notes”
I then turned to my brother, who was awkwardly standing in the corner
“Can you do me a favor?” I asked gently, quietly
“Can you go through Mom’s journal?”
He looked surprised “Me?”
“I’m pretty sure you already know what I suspect of our mother” I said “Plus, it will give you a chance to see a fraction of what she’s like”
I handed him the journal and he took it from me gently, stroking the worn leather softly.
When I looked at his face, I saw a vulnerable look in his eyes, a look that was often reflected in my eyes whenever I let my walls down and looked in the mirror.
He hadn’t told me his story yet but I knew deep down that he longed for the chance to meet our parents.
A chance that was stolen from him the moment he was born
“Take good care of it” I smiled “And just know that the journal doesn’t do her justice. She’s so much more”
He smiled back and went to a different corner in the library, a more quieter and peaceful corner.
“You rang?” Everly said as soon as she entered the library
Shawn followed closely behind her
“Can you two tell me about the Wolf Moon?”
“I don’t think the Alpha would...” Shawn started
“I know your Alpha doesn’t like to talk about it” I said softly “But we need to in order to prevent whatever is going to happen”
They looked at each other and sighed “What do you want to know?”
I nodded to Ethan and Taylor “I want the four of you to tell me everything you know about the Wolf Moon”
“We don’t know much” Everly said “Just bits and pieces”
“Yeah, us too” Taylor replied “Just glimpses of things”
“Okay” I said “Start there. What did you guys see?”
“Blood” Ethan whispered “Lots and Lots of Blood”
“And you were crying” Taylor added in “Sobbing actually”
“We saw something different” Shawn said quietly
“What did you see?” Taylor asked
They didn’t answer
“I don’t think we’re going to like this answer” Ethan muttered
I braced myself
“We saw you on some type of table” Everly whispered “Bleeding, pale, and...”
“And?” I encouraged
“And lifeless” Shawn finished
There was sniffling and I turned to watch as Ethan comforted his crying sister
“A voice” Everly muttered, scooting closer to Shawn “A voice repeating the same thing over and over again”
“What was it saying?”
“It was muffled” Shawn hugged Everly “But it kept saying that the Wolf Moon would be the end of you”
I swallowed back the tears “That’s just freaking great”
Suddenly the whole room became quiet and I felt smothered by all there stares
“Well...uh” I cleared my throat “I think I’ll just go analyze this”
I left the room, trying to keep the tears at bay.
I mean, yeah, knowing that we’re all going to die one day is one thing but actually hearing that you’re going to die pretty soon, that’s an entirely different thing.
I wanted to be strong, God knows how I wanted to be strong, but for once in my life, I was sick and tired of putting up a front.
I was tired of acting like everything was okay when it wasn’t.
I was tired of being strong
I just wanted my mom
I pulled my phone from my pocket and dialed her number
“You have reached the number of ...”
“Ugh!!” I hung up as I exited the House
I dialed her again and still no answer.
I don’t know if it was from the frustration of knowing that I’m going to die soon or from the stress of the last couple of days or the lack of sleep but now I could no longer hold back my tears.
I ventured out farther into the forest, away from the House, before breaking down and crying.
I leaned against a tree and huddled my face into my knees before bursting out in sobs.
I probably sat there for a good hour just crying and thinking.
I would cry and then calm myself down enough just to cry again whenever I thought about what my friends just told me.
A wet nose touched my hand and I jumped back in fear, knocking my head against the bark of the tree.
“Son of a Bi...” I cursed and I rubbed the throbbing spot.
The nose nudged me again and I had to squint my eyes hard enough to make out the features of what was touching me.
In front of me stood a very very large Wolf. It’s fur was jet black (the reason why I didn’t see it in the first place) and had bright glowing grey eyes.
I wiped the rest of the tears off my face and scrutinized the Wolf.
“Rhys?” I asked
The Wolf licked my face twice and I laughed before wiping the slobber off my face.
One minute, a giant Wolf stood in front of me and the next, a naked Rhys knelt next to me.
I squeaked out a word and covered my eyes quickly, blushing when I realized my eyes lingered too long on his broad and sculpted chest.
“Sorry” he sounded amused “Okay, were all good”
“Are you sure?” I asked, eyes still covered
“I’m pretty sure”
I removed my hands but my eyes still remained shut
“Uh...Kassi, why are your eyes still closed?”
“I don’t know” I said, flustered by his presence
He touched my eyelids and my eyes opened
“There they are” I watched him smile “Those pretty eyes”
“What are you doing out here? By yourself?”
“I needed a break”
He sat next to me “What happened?”
I pushed my cheek against my knee and looked at him “It’s kind of depressing hearing the way you’re going to die”
He remained quiet for a moment before standing up and offering me his hand
I looked at him in confusion
“Come on” he said helping me up “I want to show you something”
“What is it?” He asked in confusion “Was it something I said?”
“Yes” I laughed “Your whole sentence was the most cliche thing I’ve ever heard”
He laughed too
“Yeah, it did sound kind of cheesy didn’t it?”
“But seriously” he said after his laughter died “I want to show you something”
“Okay” I said, dusting myself off “Which way are we headed?”
“If I may” he grabbed my hands gently before placing them over my eyes “I’ll shift and take you to where we have to go”
I blushed and nodded, firmly covering my eyes
There was the shifting of clothes and leaves, bones cracking, and a soft whine before Rhys nudged my leg.
I uncovered my eyes and patted his head
“Okay” I nodded “Lead the way”
One minute I was standing on my own two feet and the next, a giant wolf head was tucked in my stomach, depositing me on his back
“Well how far are we going?”
Rhys barked twice before taking off, dashing between trees like a madman
“Is there any chance we could, you know, Slow down!” I felt my stomach turn “Please?”He ran a little faster and turned right before slowing down as we approached an old abandoned watermill.
He nodded for me to climb down and I did, dropping to my knees and kissing the ground.
“Never thought I would get car sick on a Wolf”
A deep laugh rumbled through the quiet night
“Who would have thought the Mate of an Alpha would ever hear that”
“Yeah yeah, laugh it up” I glared at him “One day I’ll figure out your weakness and exploit it everyday for the rest of our lives”
His face brightened, looking like he won the lottery
I was confused by his expression until I realized what I just said.
I looked away and sat on the gravely and sandy ground “Where did you bring me?”
He sat next to me and grabbed a rock before skimming it across the pond
“When I was a child, I would come out here to explore” he smiled “I used to dash in and out of the trees, loving the wind between my fur and the crunching of the leaves under my feet. I would chase animals just to chase them and see of I could keep up with them and used to jump of cliffs to see what I could do”
I gaped at him “Weren’t you ever worried about getting hurt?”
He smiled at me and threw another stone “Nah, not really”
“I would have” I grumbled
“Anyways” he sobered up “When I was about eight or nine, I remember this one particular night in which I came here and, being the stupid kid I was, decided to climb on the wheel over there”
He pointed to one of the two rusty wheels
“I mean, I’ve done it before so I had nothing to worry about” he grimaced “What I didn’t know however, was that two vampires stumbled across my special spot and chose it as a hideout away from a Vampire Hunter”
My eyes widened
“Yeah” he threw a third stone “So, when I decided to climb on that wheel they decided to get rid of the local Alpha’s son”
“Yeah” he said “As soon as I climbed on top, the wheels started turning”
“Didn’t you try to jump off?”
“I did” he threw, yet again, another rock “But my shorts got caught”
“How in the hell did that happened?”
“The Pack keeps clothes tucked away in every nook and cranny of the forest. After I shifted back into my human form, I grabbed a random set of clothes” he laughed ” A size that was way to big for my small frame at the time”
I smiled “So at one point in your life you were average size like the rest of us?”
He laughed too “Yeah, in fact, I was smaller than Ares at his age”
“Is that normal?” I asked
“Yeah” he said “It’s pretty normal for male Wolves to be significantly smaller than female wolves”
“Yeah” he said “When people say that girls mature faster then boys both physically and mentally, they aren’t lying”
“Awesome” I said “So... does that mean Ares will actually grow like normal kids now?”
“No” he grinned and I deflated “He’ll grow much much faster now”
I glared at him but it didn’t last long when my smile started to show
“So how did you manage to save yourself?”
“My Uncle save me actually” he smiled “He was the Vampire Hunter”
“Him?” I asked in surprise “But he doesn’t even look that old”
“Trust me” Rhys grinned “He’s that old and then some”
“Really?” I asked
“Yeah” he said “He’s so old that he killed Jack the Ripper”
“No way!” I sat up and looked at him “Really? How?”
He waved me off “Another story for another time”
“I’ll hold you to that” I said “So how did you escape? Why did he help you?”
He gave me a look “How else do you kill a Vampire?”
“Right” I said “Stake to the heart”
He nodded “And as for why he saved me, I just don’t know”
“You never asked him?”
He shook his head “I did but he said not to worry about things that had already passed. After that, he became apart of the family”
“Really?” I asked in surprise “And your parents never...second guessed their decisions?”
“Nope” he said “They were really grateful that he saved me. They thought that anyone who was willing to help someone that wasn’t one their kind was someone truly unique and special and worth putting our differences aside”
“And he was okay with that?”
“My Uncle’s a very unique Vampire” he said “He embraces what he is but was never really given a choice in who became”
“He doesn’t seem so bad to me”
“He’s not” Rhys answered “But he’s had centuries to convince himself otherwise”
“That sucks” I said, picking up a rock and throwing it at the pond, trying to mimic how he threw
“Do you not know how to skim rocks?” he asked, his voice on the brink of laughter
“Shut up” I punched him “You don’t get a lot of practice in when you constantly move from one big city to the next”
“Still” he laughed “You must have gone camping at least once in your life”
“I did” I whined “But I was to busy swimming in the lakes or jumping off the rocks or toasting marshmallows to worry about throwing stupid rocks”
“Here” he stood up and helped me to my feet “Let me show you”
“Yeah, show me” I said “Don’t try to do that thing where you stand behind me and grab my hand and we shuck the rock together”
He laughed “Okay, well there goes that plan”
I slapped his stomach and he laughed harder
“Angle your hand like this” he demonstrated “Bend you knee like this and then throw. Now remember, you don’t want to throw to hard and you don’t want to throw to soft. You want to throw just right”
I picked up a rock “What the hell does that mean? Throw just right?”
“Just throw” he smirked “You’ll get the hang of it...eventually”
“Ooh...” I glared “Now you’re asking for it”
I threw the rock and it sunk
Rhys chuckled under his breath when attempt number two ended up the same way.
“I give up” I exclaimed, stomping my foot “Take me back to the house”
“Whatever you say Princess” he snickered before shifting into his Wolf.
About 20 minutes later, we were back at the house.
“Aren’t you going to shift back?” I questioned Rhys when he remained in his Wolf form
He shook his massive head and nodded to the porch.
On the porch stood Matt, awkwardly shifting on his feet as he held a set of clothes and a stack of paper work.
“Ah” I said in understanding “I see”
“Well, in that case, goodnight Rhys. Thank you for taking me to your spot”
Rhys barked and I made my way past a not-so-subtle grinning Matt.
When he saw I was rushing, he raised an eyebrow
“Oh, shut up”
He snickered and I all but ran back to the library.
When I opened it and saw it was empty, I checked if I had the right room.
“Uh...is anyone still here?”
Orion poked his head up from a couch “I am”
“What happened to everybody?”
“Sky and Kaden had to go and take care of their kids” He said “The Twins called it a night, Matt had some business with Rhys and Mia decided to continuing looking at stuff from her room”
I sat in the recliner next to the fireplace “And you didn’t decide to leave yet?”
“No, I’m fine right here” he nodded toward the tea “Would you like some? I just made it”
“Sure” I said before grabbing some and a cookie
I took a sip and it tasted really floral with a small bitterness at the end
“Do you like it?” he asked
I nodded “What is it?”
“A blend of Jasmine and Aconite”
I was about to tell him that it tasted really good when I suddenly got light headed
I put my cup of tea down and rubbed my temples
“Are you okay?” Orion asked really slowly
Well, he could have been asking it at regular speed but my brain was having a hard time processing things right now.
“I’m okay” My words sounded slow and slurred “But I think I need a nap”
I stood and everything started to spin
Orion caught me “I’m sorry”
I looked at his worried eyes, focusing on the color that resembled mine “What did you do?”
“It needed to be done” he closed his eyes “To save you and our family”
I blacked out after that.