Chapter 15: Houston We Have A Problem
It has been a little over two months since I first moved in with Hecate and things have been going really well. The royals don’t suspect anything.
‘Doesn’t mean we can let our guards down though.’ Artemis reminded me.
‘I know, I know.’ I nodded as I folded my laundry and listened to my music off of my phone. ‘I never said I was going too.’
‘I just wanted to remind you.’ Artemis said.
‘Thank you.’ I smiled.
I love having Artemis as my wolf. She was honestly my best friend and I couldn’t have asked for anyone else. I don’t know what I would do without her.
My phone buzzed and I took it out of my pocket.
Hecate: Either you are ignoring me or listening to music. Open up haha.
I chuckled and took the earbud out of my ear and opened my door.
“Hi dear.” Hecate laughed. “What are you up too?”
“Putting away clothes.” I said as I opened my drawer and put the socks inside. “What can I do for you?”
“This late?” Hecate laughed as she looked at the time.
“I kind of forgot about it.” I said nervously.
Hecate tsked at me with a smirk.
“Hey!” I yelled with my mouth open. “You are the one who distracted me with Mario Kart!”
Hecate shrugged. “If you fold as good as you play, well then, I feel bad for your laundry.”
“That’s harsh.” I said with a glare. “I want a rematch.”
She winked at me and laughed. “Might need to practice more.”
“You’re going down.”
“Bring it deary.” Hecate teased. “Anyway. I’m off.”
“Ooh.” I drawled out. “Someone got a hot date?”
With the way she was dressed, I would say so.
Hecate blushed slightly. “Maybe. But that is none of your concern!”
I laughed as I ran after Hecate.
“What’s his name? What does he do for a living? Where did you guys meet? How old is he?” I asked firing questions. “Actually. How can you date? Aren’t you like, a lot older than everyone else?”
Hecate gasped and glared at me as I busted up. “I’m only two hundred years old for your information!”
I held my hands up and laughed. “But seriously. Who is the guy?”
“His name is Travis, he’s a mechanic over at the shop in the city, I met him when I was grocery shopping two weeks ago, and he is forty-three years old. Any more questions?”
“Actually yes.” I said nodding.
Hecate groaned. “What now?”
“Any priors? Was he married before? Does he have children?”
She was about to answer, but a door closing made her stop.
“I’ll be back.” Hecate laughed as she hugged me and kissed my forehead.
“Oh no, no, no.” I chuckled as I walked passed her.
“Athena. What are you doing?” Hecate asked worriedly.
I heard his footsteps come up the sidewalk and right as he was about to grab the door handle, I flung the door open.
“Oh.” He said surprised.
“Hi there.” I smiled innocently.
Okay, I’ll admit. He was very nice to look at. He was tall and well built. Probably from working on cars all the time. He had short black hair with a couple of gray hairs, not a lot though. He had deep brown eyes that looked very warm and welcoming.
‘They remind me of Hecate’s.’ Artemis pointed out.
“Hi.” He said with a deep chuckle. “You must be Athena.”
I looked at him surprised and turned around to see Hecate standing there with a small smile.
I turned back around and stuck my hand out to Travis. “Yes I am.”
“Nice to meet you.” Travis smiled as he shook my hand. “Hecate has told me so much about you.”
“Good things I hope.” I joked as I stepped out of the way. “You may come in.”
“Thank you.” He bowed slightly as she walked in.
He stopped right in front of Hecate and his eyes got big.
Hecate nervously put a strand of hair behind her ear.
I crossed my arms and cleared my throat.
‘Good lord. Take her out to dinner first.’ Artemis growled.
“Y-You look lovely.” Travis smiled with a blush.
Hecate’s face turned a slight shade of red.
“Where are you taking her?” I asked, breaking the silence.
“We are going to go watch a movie and then there is a nice seafood restaurant that’s a couple of blocks down from where I work.” Travis explained.
“The Nun.” Travis said. “Hecate told me that she loves horror movies.”
“I approve.” I nodded.
“She also told me that you like horror movies too.” Travis laughed.
I nodded again. “I do. But if you think you are going to sweet talk me, you got another thing coming. I don’t approve just yet.”
“Oh no.” Hecate groaned.
Travis laughed and nodded with a smile. “Fair enough. I know I have to earn your trust and approval.”
“Good. But I did hear that shrimp does help.”
“Oh it does now, does it?” Travis smirked.
“Yes, it does.”
“I think I can bring you back some shrimp.”
“You are one step closer. Congratulations.”
“Let’s go before Athena scares you away.” Hecate teased grabbing his arm.
“I want her back before midnight!” I called out to them.
“You got it!” Travis laughed.
I smiled as I watched him open the truck door for Hecate.
‘He might be a winner.’ Artemis said as I shut the door.
‘I think you’re right. Travis does seem very nice. I like him.’ I agreed. ‘Now back to laundry.’
It’s been a little over an hour and I walked back down the stairs to put another load of laundry in.
I decided to do Hecate’s laundry as well. I mean, it’s the least I can do for everything she’s done for me.
“Burn black heart and lonely was her name. The pavement he found her, writhing in pain. Kept her breathing. Breathing!” I sang out loud as Drift by Eva Under Fire blared from my phone.
I continued to sing and dance along as I set some clothes in the washing machine.
After dumping in the soap, I closed the lid.
‘Did you hear that?’ Artemis asked.
‘Hear what?’ I asked as I turned the music off on my phone and put it in my back pocket.
‘I didn’t hear anything.’ I said as I carefully listened for any noises. ‘It was probably just the washing machine when I put the lid down.’
‘Maybe.’ Artemis said quietly. ‘Just. Go take another potion. Just in case.’
I laughed but nodded as I walked into the kitchen.
I jumped as I heard a thud, but it seemed a little farther away.
‘Well, I definitely heard that one.’ I gulped nervously.
‘See!’ Artemis shouted. ‘I knew I wasn’t crazy!’
I quietly closed the cabinet and walked over to the door. I carefully opened it and listened.
I could faintly hear the sound of paws hitting the ground and the smell of garbage was there. It was far, but it was there.
‘Rogues!’ Artemis growled. ‘And it sounds like they are coming straight for the house.’
‘We have to get out of here.’
‘Are you crazy?’ Artemis yelled. ‘You can get killed.’
‘Well it’s better than just standing here and waiting for them to show up.’ I growled. ‘This way we at least have a chance. And maybe they will follow me and stay away from the house.’
I closed the door and darted towards the jeep.
I felt around my pockets and cursed as I didn’t feel my keys.
‘We need to run. It’s too late to turn back now.’ Artemis pointed out.
With a growl, I darted off towards the forest.
I could tell they were coming closer and I could hear an echo from the paws.
‘Maybe three?’ I said unsurely.
‘I think so.’ Artemis agreed. ‘Wait. I smell something else.’
As I was running, I put my nose in the air.
It was as if all my nightmares were coming true.
I’m a goner.
‘What are we going to do?’ I asked scared as I pushed my legs faster.
‘I-I don’t know!’ Artemis whimpered.
I grabbed my phone and dialed Hecate’s number.
“Hello?” Hecate asked.
“Hecate!” I yelled as tears were starting to form.
“Athena?” Hecate asked. “W-What’s wrong?”
“Rogues! T-They were running towards the house and I-I had to get out of there so they wouldn’t f-find me. B-But they are being c-chased by royals!” I tried to explain through my hiccups.
“No.” Hecate whispered. “I-I’m on my way. Keep running Athena. Don’t look back. Fight until you can’t fight anymore. I’m coming.”
With that, she hung up.
I grasped my phone harder and continued to run.
‘Athena.’ Artemis said worriedly. ‘The potion is starting to wear off.’
I let another tear fall and I pushed myself harder.
What felt like hours, I came into a small clearing.
“Shit.” I said looking around.
I heard a growl and I stiffened.
“Who are you?” A man asked.
I turned around and saw a man and two wolves.
I gulped. “Umm. I-I.”
“You need to leave!” The man said as he waved his hands in another direction. “The royals are co-”
A large wolf tackled him before he could finish.
I screamed and watched the other two rogues growl.
‘Shift!’ Artemis screamed. ‘That way if we need to run, it’ll be a lot easier.’
I quickly shifted into my wolf, not caring about my clothes.
I let out a small gasp as I saw Janus walk out of the woods. It looks like he just shifted back because he only had a pair of shorts on and he was pretty sweaty.
I ducked down towards the ground hoping they wouldn’t see me. Maybe the potion will last just long enough for me to get out of here.
But that hope was soon shattered as I saw a royal warrior put his nose in the air and sniff.
He looked a little confused as he looked around.
“What do you smell Jason?” Janus asked.
Jason, I’m guessing, shifted back to his human form and I closed my eyes.
That is not something I wanted to see.
“I don’t know. I think I smell a rouge.” Jason said confused as he continued to look around.
I opened one eye and saw the three rogues were dead. I whimpered and pressed myself closer to the ground. I’m so glad it’s dark out.
“Wait.” Janus said as he too sniffed the air. “I think I smell it.”
“I just don’t know where the scent is coming from. It seems faint, but I can’t be sure.”
“Come out rogue!” Janus yelled with a growl. “Show yourself! We are going to find you!”
I stayed silent and hoped for the best.
“Wait.” Jason said as he stopped walking and turned in my direction.
No. No. No. This can’t be happening.
“It’s getting stronger.” He said as he walked my way. “This way.”
‘You’re going to have to fight.’ Artemis said.
Yep. I’m going to die.
But pushing that thought in the back of my mind, I growled and jumped out of my hiding spot.
“Well, well, well.” Janus smirked. “Royal meets rogue.”
I growled as he took another step.
He laughed. “Give it up girl. The alpha is on his way and we don’t like rogues on our territory.”
I let out another growl and he sighed.
“Fine. We’ll do this the hard way.” He said pissed. “You’re going down.”