Chapter Twenty One (Pilots)
THE dimly lit room made Ava squint her eyes to see, coughing at the amount of dust settled on the surfaces. Her arms were outstretched in an attempt to find the light switch.
"Found it!" Called Connor as the single light bulb turned on.
It was a whole month since Miss Lillian passed away. Lucas was still working hard on finding Veronica and the traitor in the pack. He seemed better after the night Ava was awoken by his cries. She listened to how he was feeling and was there for him and vice versa. They helped each other grieve for the woman they loved so dearly.
It was all so surreal. Ava thought she'd wake from the nightmare any second and then go downstairs to see Miss Lillian making her breakfast with a smile on her face. But, it wasn't a dream and the thought was only just starting to set in.
She hadn't been going to school and neither had Lucas. The teachers understood and told them to take as long as they wanted to be ready to come back to school. Thought, Ava suspected that her alpha mate commanded them to be ok with it.
To keep herself occupied while Lucas was working, she had decided to go up to the attic and clean it up a little. They had gotten rid of most of Miss Lillian's things by donating it to charities, but Ava wanted to see if they missed anything out in the attic.
Orders from Lucas meant she wasn't supposed to go anywhere alone so Connor was helping her. He was worried about Veronica and what her plan was next. It was all too confusing for Ava so when it did occupy her mind, she'd wonder who and why they'd do such a thing to the pack, killing the Lucas' mother and Miss Lillian.
"Ava? You ok?" Connor asked when he noticed her staring off into space. She shook her head of the thoughts and smiled at him.
"Yep! Let's get started." She said and went to a corner where a pile of boxes sat. Blowing the dust off, she coughed, mentally thanking that she didn't have asthma.
They searched through the boxes in silence, occasionally showing the other something interesting they found.
"Have you found your mate?" Ava decided to ask, filling the silence. It was a question she had wondered about everyone in the pack. She found it amazing to have someone be your soulmate and wanted everyone else to experience it too.
Connor dropped whatever he was holding with a clatter as it hit the ground. She saw him freeze and then clear his throat, before smiling weakly at her. Curiously, she sat watching him as she waited for him to talk.
"Erm. Y-yeah. I have."
Ava's jaw dropped and her eyes widened in shock. She hadn't seen Connor with a girlfriend nor a boyfriend but then again, she spent most of her time with Lucas. She excitedly clapped her hands, eager for more details.
"Really?! I'm so happy for you! When?" The smile didn't leave her face as she talked, making her cheeks ache.
"About two years ago? Yeah two years." He chuckled humourlessly and shook his head at the ground as if he couldn't believe it had been that long.
Ava's excitement died down as she noticed the sad expression on his face. Her eyebrows creased together as she quietly asked, "where is she?"
"I don't know. She was kidnapped the same day I met her." Ava tried to stop the gasp but it escaped her lips anyway. He ignored it and kept his eyes away from hers, focusing on the box of old clothes in front of him. Sniffling a little, he continued, "Sabrina was perfect. Everything I could've wanted in a mate and I fell in love with her as soon I saw her."
She listened as he spoke with adoration for his mate, whispering her name as if he wasn't worthy. Ava could tell her worshipped her like she was a goddess and he was a mere peasant.
"We spent the whole day together. I showed her around because she was new, you know? And she wanted to visit the local places, visit the woods and park. I even let her brother tag along because she had promised to spend the day with him. Of course, I didn't want to be apart and I couldn't get on her brothers bad side. Big guy would've snapped me in half."
Ava giggled as a smile slipped on his face from the memory. But as soon as it appeared, it was replaced with a scowl.
"So we were on a run in the park. Sabrina was competitive so she wanted to race. I was in wolf form and she was in human. She said she could beat me anyway. Her brother was at the finish line so yeah, we raced. Bearing in mind this was the first day of meeting and I wanted to make a good impression. I didn't know how she'd react if I beat her so I slowed down and let her win. She was a fast one anyway."
He paused. Connor's breathing grew shaky and his hands trembled. Ava was almost to scared to listen to the next bit. Her eyes were already glassy, heart clenching at what she knew was about to come.
"When I got to the finish line... the pond... she- she wasn't there. Neither of them were. I- I was so confused. I searched but they weren't in the woods. L-Lucas helped get some pack members together to look. We looked for them for weeks until some people started to give up, saying I imagined them as no one had seen them yet."
Tears spilled from his eyes so Ava sat up to hug his torso. He immediately appreciated the comfort, weeping into her blonde hair.
"R-remember that year long trip I took? I spent the year searching for her, traveling everywhere to ask people whether they had seen or heard of Sabrina. It was useless. I had to come home."
Ava's own tears followed his as they cried together, in sadness for Connor's lost mate. She didn't know how she'd react if Lucas was ever kidnapped. I'd probably die! She felt so much sympathy and pity for Connor and she knew he didn't want it. That was probably reason why she didn't know.
When her cries died down, she croaked out, "how'd you know she's kidnapped?"
Connor stiffened and pulled away from her hug to wipe his eyes, before going back to the stuffy boxes. "I just know. It's a gut feeling."
After Connor's confession, Ava just felt awkward. She didn't know whether to talk about Lucas anymore. She felt terrible for him and didn't understand how he could be around her whenever she talked about her mate. She didn't understand how strong he was.
Ava felt guilty when she let out a breath of relief as Lucas came up the creaky ladder to swap with Connor. She gave him a hug goodbye and stood on her tip toes to pat him on his head.
"So what have you been doing?" Lucas asked as he wrapped his arms around her waist, nuzzling his head into her neck.
"J-just going through boxes. Miss Lillian saved a lot of photo albums." She struggled to speak when he peppered kisses on her skin, teeth grazing certain spots.
He hummed and asked accusingly, "you saw my baby pictures didn't you?"
Lucas groaned and pulled back to peck her on the lips, smiling against them afterwards. "Well let's get back to work so I can hide them before anyone else sees."
She giggled and ran to her little section in the attic where she had already sorted most of the boxes. Her smile widened at the shoe box in her hands. It was full of photo albums and after flipping through the first one briefly, Ava realised they were full of Miss Lillian.
"She was really pretty when she was younger." Ava whispered, touching a photo of a younger Miss Lillian.
Lucas came closer and put her onto his lap so they could see together. "She aged really well." He commented, looking at the other photo albums in the box.
She saw a photo in a frame. Miss Lillian was smiling widely at the camera as a man stood next to her, his arm around her as he looked at her lovingly. Ava noticed a little bit of a bump on Miss Lillian underneath the pretty dress she wore, old fashioned but still amazing.
"Oh. That's Arthur." Lucas said, pointing to the young looking man in the photo. His hair was slicked back with gel and his body clad in a clean cut suit, not a crease in sight. "She's showing in this." He gestured to the small but noticeable bump.
"He must've died not long after this then." Ava said sadly.
"Unfortunately." He replied, rubbing his thump in circles on Ava's tummy.
She placed the photo frame gently on the ground, finding it too special to be tossed aside without care. There were plenty more photos and they both took time to look at each and every one of them.
Ava got to the bottom of the box so Lucas was about to take it away when she noticed a small folded up picture at the bottom. The dirty white blended in with the box and it was flattened to the point she had to peel the sides off.
Both looked at the photo with great interest when it showed a group photo. It looked like a pack event as there were many people in it. Miss Lillian wasn't in the photo so she assumed that she was the one taking it.
"That's my mother and father. I think it was when they announced she was pregnant. I've seen so many pictures of this event."
Ava looked closely at the blurry image to see a younger version of John. He looked at his mate the way Arthur looked at Miss Lillian. Ava only hoped this was how Lucas looked at her.
"She's beautiful. She looks just like you." She said, looking up at Lucas to study his features.
"Thank you, baby. She is very beautiful. As are you." He kissed her palm when she cupped his cheek.
Blushing, Ava looked back at the picture, scanning the photo for anyone else she recognised when suddenly, her eyes focused on someone who looked very familiar.
The air was knocked out of her when she realised who it was. "Baby? What's the matter?" Lucas asked her when he saw her struggle to breathe. Her eyes were wide as she looked at the person in the photo.
A string of unintelligible words came out of her mouth. She was unable to speak properly as it grew difficult to breathe. Sweat shined on her forehead too.
Ava didn't even notice that Lucas had carried her to the bathroom until he splashed cold water on her face and filled a cup with some for her to drink. Normally she wouldn't drink from the tap, feeling it is unsafe, but she chugged the water down quickly, her dry throat feeling better. Her lovely boyfriend wet a face towel to dab at her skin while he also grew sweaty with nerves looking at his pale mate.
"Are you ok? You just suddenly panicked! I don't know what happened. You're face was all pale and you couldn't breathe! I was so scared." He said hysterically.
She waved his hand away from her head and held it in her own, her other hand gripping tightly onto the photo. "Lu Lu! L-look!" Ava thrusted the photo directly in his face.
Moving back to look at it, he squinted and frowned in confusion. "What? Weren't we just looking at this?"
"It's my mother!"
He took the photo out of her shaking hand and looked at the woman. Ava watched as he squinted his eyes at the picture. It wasn't hard to spot the angry woman in the midst of happy people. She stood out but blended in at the same time. They had similar features, blonde hair and blue eyes. They even had the same nose in Ava's opinion. "It couldn't be. You're not a wolf."
"N-no. It is my mother. She would've looked like this when she was younger. Not now, but when she was younger. I'm pretty sure that there were pictures of her when I lived with my parents. I promise!" Ava said, worried that he didn't believe her. She was nearly positive they were the same people. She believed it. They had to be the same person.
Lucas looked at her sympathetically. "No, baby. It isn't. You were very little when you were with them. You couldn't possible remember photos in your house when you can hardly remember memories."
"Y-you have to believe m-me. It l-looks e-exactly like her." She whimpered, tears of frustration building up in her eyes.
"I know a part of you wants to find your parents but this isn't them." He looked like it physically pained him to crush her hopes but she didn't care about how guilty he looked. He needed to believe her. He should believe her.
"P-please. I know it's h-her."
Sighing, Lucas nodded and hugged her, kissing the top of her head. "Let's go ask my father then."
"Why are you showing me a picture of this wretched creature?!" Ava stood behind Lucas as John shouted at him, frightened from the terrifying tone of voice.
She was thankful it was Lucas that showed him the picture because if she was on the receiving end, she feared she would've peed herself.
"Who is it?" Lucas asked, unaffected by his father.
"Veronica." John spat the name out, voice dripping with hatred for the woman.
"T-that's my mum." She said fearfully.
John looked at Ava and softened his eyes, guilty for scaring the girl. He shook his head. "No it isn't Ava. This is the woman that killed my precious Rosie."
She felt disappointed as she was so close to finding out more about the woman who abandoned her. Ava didn't want to admit that it wasn't her mother but she also didn't want to admit that she thought they could be the same person.
Luckily, Lucas was the one who always voiced his thoughts, no matter how dreadful. "What if they're the same person?"Ava listened to the hesitation in his voice, him also afraid of the answer. What if.
John's jaw tensed and his nostrils flared. "No it isn't. Stop bringing this woman up. I don't want to hear anymore about her and I don't want anymore questions!"
"But it is! It looks exactly like her!" Ava argued with the ex alpha.
"NO IT'S NOT!"
Lucas growled at him, hating that his father was yelling at his mate, but Ava wasn't scared. She was frustrated no one believed her.
"Yes it is!"
"No it's not Ava and I'm not going to argue with you any more." John said and started to walk away.
Ava grabbed his wrist. "But how can you be sure?"
"Because that woman is a werewolf and you are fully human."
Thank you for reading!
So, we learnt about Connor didn't we. Poor him. I promise I don't hate my characters. XD
This is a funny word I'd thought I'd share in case any wants it in there English essays. ;)
verb (used with object), bum·fuz·zled, bum·fuz·zling. Chiefly South Midland and Southern U.S.
to confuse or fluster.
WORD COUNT: 2633
Much love <3