Chapter 12: Driving
“Remember what I told you. Just focus on the road and you’ll be good.” Hecate smiled as she looked me in the eyes.
I nodded. “I passed the written part of the exam with flying color. I will be okay Hecate.”
“Oh! And make sure you’re paying attention to your surroundings.”
I nodded again with a laugh. “I will. Don’t worry.”
“And check your mirrors. And make sure you use your seatbelt. And make su-”
“Hecate!” I groaned cutting her off. “Mr. Smith is waiting for me by the car.”
“Okay, okay. I’m sorry.” She sighed. “I’m just nervous.”
“I will be okay.” I smiled giving her a hug. “I’ll see you in a little bit.”
“Alright.” She smiled. “I’ll be in the waiting room when you are done.”
I let her go and with a smile, I walked over to the car.
“Are you ready?” Mr. Smith asked.
I nodded. “Yes, I am.”
“Your mom seems like such a kind lady.” Mr. Smith commented as he closed his door.
“She is.” I agreed as I buckled up my seatbelt.
“Let’s begin.” Mr. Smith smiled as he held up his clipboard.
I have been driving for about thirty minutes now and we are on our way back to the DMV.
It’s going good so far. Besides this one jerk who cut me off and gave me the middle finger. Damn was Artemis mad.
‘You should have let me at him. I could have gotten him to apologize.’ She piped up.
I rolled my eyes at her and chuckled to myself. ‘I’m just glad he didn’t count anything against me.’
I brought the car to a stop as the stop light in front of us turned red.
My thumbs tapped to the rhythm of the radio, but my eyes went wide as I saw Apollo and Janus coming out of a store on Main Street.
‘Well, shit.’ I mumbled as I noticed that they had a couple more wolves with them.
‘Royals.’ Artemis mentioned. ‘Although I’m guessing warriors.’
I think she was right. The three other men were fairly big, muscle and height wise, but not as big as Apollo and Janus.
As if they knew I could see them, Apollo turned his head my way.
I quickly turned my head away from his and used my hand to block my face so he couldn’t see me through the window.
‘Smooth. Real smooth.’ Artemis teased.
The light turned green and I let my foot off the break and hit the gas.
‘Do you think he saw me?’ I asked worriedly.
‘No. I’m pretty sure he couldn’t see your giant head behind your tiny hand.’
‘I hate you. I really do.’
“Just take a right here.” Mr. Smith pointed. “Then take another right and we will be back.”
I nodded and turned on my blinker as I started to slow down.
After the two turns, I put the car in park once I reached the parking spot.
“That was very good.” Mr. Smith smiled as he looked through his papers once we exited the car. “You got a passing grade and in about a week, your license will be ready for you.”
“Yes!” I yelled as I started to dance.
‘Not the time.’ Artemis spoke up.
I stopped dancing and cleared my throat.
“Thank you for giving me this opportunity.” I smiled politely as I stuck my hand out.
He nodded and shook my hand. “We can take your picture for your license and get all your information.”
We got inside and once Hecate saw us walk through the door, she jumped out of her seat.
She gave me a look and I gave her a thumbs up.
“Hell yeah!” She screamed as she fist pumped the air but suddenly stopped and looked around the room with a red face.
I laughed as I shook my head. Good lord.
“Just go over to the lady behind the counter and she’ll get all your information.” Mr. Smith smiled as he pointed over to the blonde haired lady.
“Thank you so much.” I smiled. He nodded and walked away.
“So what now?” Hecate asked as she came over to me.
“I just have to give the lady my information and she’ll take my picture. Mr. Smith said that my license should be here in about a week.” I explained as we walked over to the counter.
“Hi. How can I help you today?” The lady asked with a warm smile.
I told her what Mr. Smith told me and she nodded.
“If you come this way please.” She instructed as she walked away from the counter and over to another computer. “Just stand in front of the backdrop and smile. This will be your picture for your driver’s license.”
I stood in front of the backdrop and gave her a big smile.
“Three…two…one.” She counted down before I heard a ‘click’. “Perfect. Come look.”
I walked over to her and she moved the computer screen so I could see it.
“Looks good.” I commented.
She smiled and moved the screen back before clicking some buttons. “Now that the picture is done, all we need is just some of your information.”
I followed her back to the counter and watched as she opened a drawer. She pulled out a piece of paper and gave me a pen. “If you would please fill this out.”
The form asked for the basic information. Birthday, weight and height, eye and hair color, along with my address, and some other stuff.
After I filled it out, I walked back up to the lady and handed it to her.
“Thank you very much.” She smiled. “I hope you have a nice day.”
“Thank you. You too!” I smiled back as Hecate and I left.
“I’m guessing it well really well.” She smiled as turned her jeep on.
“It went amazingly!” I exclaimed laughing. “I was a little nervous to start out with but after a little bit, it wasn’t that bad. I think driving with you helped out a lot.”
“Good. I’m glad.” Hecate smiled as she pulled out of the parking lot. “While we are in town, I need to get an oil change for the jeep.”
“Well, I was wondering if I could go to the library real quick?” I asked quietly.
“Sure.” She smiled. “You don’t have to sound so unsure when you ask me a question. It’s okay dear.”
“Are you sure?”
“Of course.” She laughed as she stopped at a stop sign. “Athena. I want you to feel safe. I know everything at your old pack wasn’t the greatest and I’ve noticed that you walk around on eggshells still. I don’t want you to think you have to do that anymore. You don’t. You have the freedom of speech.”
“Thank you, Hecate.” I replied softly. “I just didn’t want you to get mad.”
“Mad? I would never.” She smiled as she placed her hand on top of mine. “As I said, I want you to feel safe. I want you to feel like this is your home and that you have no worries.”
“You’re the best.” I smiled.
“I know.” She winked. “We are here. The oil change should take about an hour, maybe a less.”
“Sounds good.” I smiled as I unbuckled my seatbelt.
“Oh wait.” She said quickly as she grabbed her wallet. “The librarian is a close friend of mine. She’ll let you use my library card. Just in case you wanted to check out any books.”
“Thank you.” I smiled as I took her card.
“And she’ll help you get your own too. She can speed up the process for you.”
“You truly are the best.”
“I try.” Hecate teased as she flipped her hair over her shoulder.
I rolled my eyes and hopped out of the car.
I waved bye to her and watched her drive off.
‘Now let’s find this hunter.’ I told myself as I walked up the steps.
I opened the big oak doors and made my way inside.
There weren’t a lot of people which I was pretty happy about. Not much of a people person.
“Hi there.” A voice spoke behind me.
I jumped and quickly turned around to see an older lady. She had a little bit of gray hair peeking through, but it was mostly platinum blonde hair.
“Uh hi.” I smiled.
“Are you new?” She asked fixing her glasses. “I don’t think I’ve seen you before.”
I nodded. “Yes. I moved here not that long ago.”
“Wait a minute.” She smiled. “Athena, right?”
Should I be concerned?
“Yes. How did you know?” I asked carefully.
Is she working with the hunter? Does she know Apollo and Janus? Oh no. What if they caught on to me?
“I’m Lilly. Hecate’s friend.” She explained.
“Oh!” I smiled as I mentally smacked my forehead. I’m an idiot.
She gave a small chuckle. “I’ve heard about you.”
“Good things I hope.”
“Definitely.” She nodded. “Well, I will let you be. The computers don’t need any sort of login and if you want to check out a book, just bring it up to my desk.”
I smiled and thank you and walked over to the computers.
‘How exactly are you going to find this hunter?’ Artemis asked skeptically.
‘Umm. I was hoping you would know.’
‘Well I mean, maybe I can find any articles about killings of wolves?’ I asked unsurely.
‘Try that.’ Artemis said. ‘It actually might work.’
I opened Google Chrome and started typing in the search bar.
I flipped through all the articles to see if any stood out to me.
‘What about this one?’ I asked Artemis as I clicked on the link.
‘Local hunter snags record winning gray wolf in the Northern Rocky Mountains.’ It read. ‘Mr. Combs shot and killed this gray wolf at 4.5 ft. tall and it weighed 230 lbs.’
‘That’s just a regular wolf.’ Artemis sighed. ‘That’s way too small to be a werewolf.’
I groaned and exited out of the article to search some more.
After a couple more articles just like that one, I started to give up hope.
‘Wait!’ Artemis shouted out of the blue.
I jumped but quickly composed myself before looking around. I wanted to make sure no one saw me do that.
‘Can you like, oh I don’t know, maybe not scare the shit out of me.’ I growled.
‘Sorry.’ She responded sheepishly. ‘I saw a name that keeps popping up.’
‘What name?’ I asked as I scrolled through the pages.
‘Ares.’ Artemis said. ‘I’ve seen that name a couple times throughout these articles but didn’t think much of it. But that same name keeps popping up.’
‘Well if that name keeps popping up, we should definitely check it out.’ I said as I typed in the first name into the search bar. ‘Did you see a last name?’
‘No.’ Artemis sighed.
‘Okay. Well, we can just try a first name?’
I typed Ares into the search bar and pressed enter.
‘Artemis.’ I said annoyed. ‘All I’m getting is pictures of the Greek God Ares.’
’Well I,’m sorry I didn’t catch a last name.’ She growled at me.
I was about to respond, but the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and I smelt werewolf.
I gulped and kept my head down.
‘This city is crawling with them!’ I yelled.
‘Can you see anyone?’
‘No.’ I said as I carefully looked back and forth. ‘They must be behind me somewhere.’
I jumped as I felt my phone buzz in my pocket.
Hecate: Hey dear! The oil change got done a little early. If you are ready, I can pick you up?
I almost shouted with joy. She has perfect timing!
Me: Sounds good! I just got done.
Hecate: Okay. I’m almost there
I closed out of Google and scooted my chair back.
I looked up and instantly froze.
‘That was the same guy who was with Apollo when I saw them walk out of that store!’ I shouted to Artemis.
The man saw me, smiled, and continued to walk.
‘He’s a royal.’ Artemis growled. ‘We need to leave!’
I put my head down and fast-walked out of there.
“Athena.” Lilly called out to me before I got to the door.
Drats. I groaned and turned around to face her.
“I’m hoping you enjoyed the place.” She smiled.
“I did.” I nodded. “I’m definitely going to be coming back.”
“Good. Maybe next time we can get you your library card?”
“That would be wonderful.” I smiled. “I’ll see ya next time. Hecate is waiting for me outside.”
She nodded and waved bye to me.
‘Do you think she’s a witch too?’ Artemis asked as I opened the front door.
‘I really don’t know. I mean she is good friends with Hecate so there is always a possibility. But I’m not going to come right out and ask her.’
‘We could always ask Hecate.’ Artemis suggested.
‘I will.’ I said as I stood on the steps and looked around for the familiar jeep wrangler. ‘Do you think she knows about the royals?’
‘I don’t know.’
‘I feel like she would have told us if she knew.’
‘Like how she told us about the hunter.’ Artemis pointed out.
I sighed in defeat. ‘Good point.’
I looked up as I heard the sound of a horn and saw Hecate smiling and waving at me.
I smiled back and jogged down the steps.
“Hey there. Did you find everything you needed?” Hecate asked.
I shook my head. “A little bit, but not everything. I plan to go back soon though.”
“Did you meet Lilly?”
“Oh yeah.” I nodded. “She seems really nice.”
“She is. She’s a sweetheart.” Hecate agreed.
“Is she a witch too?” I asked once Hecate started to drive away.
She shook her head. “No. She doesn’t know anything about that side of the world. I met her when I first moved here twenty years ago.”
“Wow.” I smiled.
I wonder if I can find a friend like that.