✔️| The Gift of a Curse {1}

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I have never been one to enjoy massive crowds. It is not because I have a low self esteem or I fear the attention, but I just feel like people tend to suck the air in every room I am in. It is like they steal my oxygen.
God, you are so weird.
If I am weird, then so are you! We are technically the same person Accalia!
Do not remind me, you are a curse I have to live with.
She tries to sound series but I can tell that she is just trying to get on my nerves. Thus, I just ignore her.
For the past five hours that I have been in this room, I took a shower, wore the night clothes that were on the rocking chair next to the window and tried and failed to fall asleep. I just cannot stop thinking of how different things are here compared to my home. Still, I have a feeling that what I have seen so far is nothing to what I am about to see from the people who live here.
I know that Joshua along with the others, whoever they might be, are waiting for me downstairs. For some reason, I cannot bring myself to move away from the window, I stare at the endless trees outside the building like they will fix all the problems I face.
A part of me does not want to be in the same room as Alexander, something about him freaks me out. I am not afraid of him, but I feel like if I know how to look in his eyes the right away, I would be able to discover all his secrets, and that scares me to no end. Something tells me that solving the puzzle that is Alexander Cresswell will change me forever. I do not know if it would be a good or a bad thing.
If you do not get down there, I will take control and I will force you to walk down the stairs.
You are so annoying my dear wolf.
I mentally chuckle as I oblige and make my way out of the door.
So are you my dear human.
Normally, I would block her, but right now, I feel like I need her presence with me.
Accalia, can you please stay with me during this? I have a feeling that something bad is about to happen. My tone turns serious.
Of course, I am always here for you Shadow.
Thank you Accalia.

Despite the weird glances I am given, my attention is on a guy who is covered in many bandages; both of his arms and hands, his neck, and I can tell that his chest is covered as well. Accalia pointed out that he has to be the third in command, and I do not disagree; I can feel his strong aura, as well as his distrustful glances he gives me.
“So let us get on with the introductions.” Alexander says causing me to finally find the will to drift my eyesight away from the third in command. I give the alpha a nod silently telling him that I am listening.
“You already met Josh, Chance, Owen and myself.” The way he looks at me really makes me want to know what runs through his head even though I am almost certain that it would be a bad idea. If I keep a watchful eye on him and analyze his every move maybe I will understand him, but I am not sure if I am really prepared for that.
“As well as Laurenza.” Alexander points at Chance’s mate. I believe angry bird suits her better, but I choose to keep my thoughts to myself. I can tell that she is a possessive she wolf who has many insecurities, and I can also tell that she and I will not get along. Her glare at me as she wraps her arms around Chance’s chest says as much. However, I cannot understand why she has such intense insecurities; she is beautiful. She has brown eyes that perfectly match her really long wavy dark brown hair. Also, she has a broad nose and full pink lips. I do not think that looks are everything, but it seems like that is the source of her insecurities.
“This is Nolan, my third in command.” The notorious alpha points at the bandaged man who looks at me blankly. Despite his grumpy expression, he is actually really handsome. He has brown eyes, light brown hair, and it is obvious that he shaved before coming here.
I have a feeling that he does not like us very much.
I have the same feeling Accalia, it’s like he is expecting us to kill him in his sleep.

“And lastly, this is Brook, she is Chance’s sister, she is studying to become a medical examiner.” Brook offers me her hand to shake and I accept it with a smile.
Alexander growls lowly for a reason unknown to me, as I retrieve my hand from Brook’s, but I choose to dismiss his bizarre behavior. I give the blonde female another smile before my attention focuses back on Nolan.
“I know we just met, so, me asking this can be quiet insensitive, but, your injuries, how did you get them?” He looks taken aback by my forwardness, but an idea is starting to form in my head. I roll my eyes when I hear Lorenza gasp dramatically at my question, I stay silent however when I hear both Alexander and Chance take a sharp breath. To be honest, I do not blame them; if Clay or Nick got injured this badly, I would probably have a meltdown.
“I do not see how that is relevant to the warriors who plan to eliminate our pack.” He seriously and coldly replies.
“That is because you do not know the full story.” I serve the same coldness he serves me.
“We do not like to talk about it.” Alexander sharply declares, I can tell that his wolf is fighting for control; his eyes are almost black. I look around the room to see everyone, even Joshua, glare at me as if daring me to say something. I then turn to Nolan and examine his bandages from my spot. It takes me a few moments, but at the top of his neck; right under his right ear, I can see that his skin is reforming. Therefore, it clicks.
“Someone tried to skin you alive.” It is not a question, it is a statement, and their expressions confirm my claim.
“How on earth are you still breathing? Everyone else who got attacked became unrecognized corpses. That means that Clay and I were right; the alphas have lost their minds, and Alexander is innocent. But who the hell would do this? And why would they…”
“Shadow what are you talking about?” Joshua puts his hands on my shoulders to snap me out of my thoughts. I take a glance at Alexander to see him looking at Joshua’s hands with a glare. A few seconds later, he senses my stare and looks at me with an unreadable expression.
“Werewolves of high ranks are being skinned alive all over the world. That is why the alphas sent the warriors; they believe that Alexander is the one behind the killings.” I explain.
“I cannot even step out of the territory, how on earth do they expect me to outsmart the barrier spell?” Alexander pushes his hair to the back with force.
“If you expect me to justify their actions, then you are wasting your time. I hate every single one of them with a passion.” I shrug.
“Well, what is the plan? And please tell me it includes killing these hypocrites.” Chance says with a dreamy smile on his face.
“Well, Nick was hoping that you would come up with something.” I tell Joshua when I notice him looking at me expectedly.
“He has always been a crazy bastard! How the fuck does he expect me to come up with a workable plan in such short notice?” Joshua screams causing the ground to shake a little. I watch the witch closely as he closes his eyes and takes some deep breaths to control his emotions, thus his magic.
“I am assuming Nick is the mutual acquaintance Xander told us about?” Nolan asks with a calculating tone. He is trying to soak up all the information that is being said.
I look at Joshua silently asking him if he wants them to know the full story. Although I do not see why he would not, these people are his family; or so he said.
“Hold on a second, are we talking about our Nick, as in your little brother?” Alexander looks at Joshua like a child that was told that Santa Claus is not real. Dare I say he looks adorable with his pouty lips. I mentally smile at my ridiculous thought.
“Yeah, that is why I immediately trusted Shadow when she showed me the necklace; it is his. As you all know, Nick is not an alarmist if he went so far as send someone here to warn us rather than simply send a letter, then it is much worse than we think; we are in real danger.” I can see Joshua’s love and respect for his brother through every word he says.
“Great, you know, Nick.” I mutter bitterly. I hope no one heard me but the look Joshua gives indicates that did.
“Of course we do he is our friend; our brother. We have known him since we were kids.” Chance mumbles as he tries to push Lorenza away from him as she tries to bury her face in his chest.
She is clingy.
“You seem betrayed.” Alexander points out.
“I am not betrayed. I trust that he must have had a good reason for not telling me about you guys. Also, finding out about Josh is the vital reason why I agreed to come here. Nick clearly wanted to keep this piece of information in confidence, so the fact that he shared it with me suggests how much it means to him. That does not mean I am not disappointed though.” I add some little lies in my words.
Despite feeling that my trust towards my witch friend is a little shaken, I still cannot let him down and that includes Clay. In addition, I cannot wait to see Stefan’s expression when he sees that I screwed up his plan.
Alexander is about to say something when a piece of paper magically appears in front of me. I grab it before it reaches the floor. I can sense everyone’s gaze on me as I open the folded paper.
“Speak of the devil.” I mumble under my breath when I see the handwriting.
“It is from Nick.” I announce before I start reading the contents of the letter loudly for everyone to hear. Part of me wants to scan the words really quick to see if he has any information on Clay; this is the longest we have ever been separated in years.

My dear Shadow,
I hope you are alright, and that my big brother welcomed you with a smile or I might have to come to the Open Wound territory and boil his blood. Anyway, I promised you that I would write to you as soon as I hear from Clay, and as you know I always keep my promises, especially to you. Clay and the other warriors are a few miles away from the east border of the Open Wound territory. According to Clay they are to attack in two days. Unfortunately, that is the one piece of information either of us can offer you at the moment.
Tell Xander that I am sorry I sent you without a plan, I am dealing with matters that are just as important, but it is not the time to talk about that now. I really wish I can be with you and help you. Alas, I cannot.
Clay will try and reach you as soon as he can before the attack; he is waiting for the right time to forsake his companions. He is alright, no one discovered that he is on our side, so do not worry about him.
Please send me a word when it is all done, and if you need anything, I will help in any way I can. Take care of yourself shadow, I miss you my friend.


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