Chapter Twenty Three
LUCAS' art room was just an empty spare bedroom. Whenever he'd have time, he would paint, finding it really relaxing. After each painting, he'd show Ava first - her being the only one to ever see his work and the only one with an opinion that mattered to him.
As Ava sat on the comfy little sofa, she looked at the one displayed on the wall. It was a painting of her, sitting on their tree, reading a book. She didn't understand why he always painted her but she loved the paintings nevertheless. If he wanted, he could be a professional but Lucas felt his work was more of a private thing.
It was peaceful in the room so she stayed in there. She and Lucas had gone to back to school as they, she more than him, wanted normality back in their lives. Jackson asked many questions and most were answered with lies. No matter how much she wanted to tell the truth, she wasn't allowed to tell him about werewolves.
School wasn't any trouble now. Ruby left her alone and so did her little group. Some of them even apologised to Ava. Maybe feeling guilty or afraid of her mate, she didn't know but appreciated it anyway. Some tried to make conversation with her too but she was too shy to actually hold a proper one.
Apart from the boring routine of school, when she was home, Ava found herself doing absolutely nothing. She did read the diary over and over again, wondering what it meant but it didn't give her any answers. Ava questioned whether her mother and Veronica was actually the same person. She was completely human apparently and this Veronica was a werewolf. Maybe I'm wrong.
Lucas didn't want her going into the attic anymore since he didn't like that she was working herself up over this. He said it was his job to worry and to solve the big mystery.
Sighing with boredom, she pushed herself of the sofa and walked to the kitchen. The little baker hadn't made anything in there since Miss Lillian had died. It reminded her too much of the woman who taught her most of what she knew. But, now with nothing better to do, she willed herself to make some chocolate chip cookies.
It wasn't long before she put several trays of the treat in the massive oven. Her mate always kept the kitchen stocked with ingredients and had it upgraded to a kitchen that any baker would dream of. He knew how much she loved to bake. There was several dozen cookies for the hard working pack warriors Lucas was talking to. They loved her baked goods and she also felt a little sorry for them as they had to deal with a more than inpatient Alpha.
She set the cute chicken shaped timer for two hours when suddenly, Ava had a flashback of something she couldn't remember.
Ava was torn into consciousness when an angry voice was heard.
Not having the effort to move, Ava stayed still on the soft surface and tried her best to stay awake. "Yes Veronica!... I just want my daughter back!...Ok I'm sorry... Bye." It was a mans voice and it held no regret in the apology. She couldn't hear the replies so Ava assumed he was on the phone.
The same man shouted again, though Ava was feeling sleepier by the second and hardly registered the sudden sound. "They're already there. We're leaving before she gets rescued. It's a two hour drive."
She gasped loudly as the flashback ended and sprinted to Lucas' meeting room. Her frantic knocking on the locked door received an annoyed, "what?!" from Lucas.
"Don't talk to me like that!" Ava yelled, scowling at the door.
The door immediately swung open and Lucas was seen smiling awkwardly. "Sorry my darling, my girlfriend, my one and only. I looove you." He said, pecking her lips gently as she continued to frown at him.
"Yeah yeah. Whatever. I need to talk to you." She walked inside quickly, shyly waving to the many people watching them. They looked wide eyed at their Alpha's sudden mood change but greeted their Luna happily.
Lucas took her hand and pulled them to his large chair at the end of the long table. Of course, he sat her on his lap and kissed her neck several times. Ava suspected he wanted to show them that she was his as Mason told her male wolves tended to feel possessive over their mates.
"In a minute baby." He said and then turned scarily serious when he looked at everyone else in the room. "Ok. Back to the meeting."
Ava waited for the discussion to stop as they kept interrupting her whenever she wanted to say her news. It was annoying and she was growing increasingly frustrated.
However, she still listened to what Lucas said. "The rogues aren't that strong but with them knowing our patrol schedule, they are easily getting past. With numbers and the surprise, they can do some serious damage to pack members and the humans in this town. We need to be stronger and have more people on patrol. We also need to make sure that when patrols change shifts, they are quick so there is less time that the town is unprotected thus making less time for the rogues to attack."
She watched in awe of her mate. Everyone in the room hung on his every word, looking at him with great pride. She knew he was Alpha because his father was but she also knew he deserved the title just from the way people looked up to him. It almost made her forget why she was there in the first place but them got her head straight and realised the urgency of what she needed to say. Only, as soon as she was about to open her mouth, someone spoke first.
"How are we going to do that?" The man asked Lucas.
"Better and longer training for each pack member that is over 17 and any volunteers under that. This will be training in wolf and human form. The entire perimeter will be covered as well." He explained, rubbing Ava's thigh up and down.
Another man looked at Lucas with shock and protested. "We can't do that though! There's not enough time to increase training!"
Lucas growled at him and shouted, "we will have to make time! Miss school days! Miss work! It doesn't matter as long as we keep everyone safe!"
"You mean keep your mate safe." He muttered.
"What did you say?!" Snapped Lucas. His eyes were dark with anger as he picked Ava off his lap and stood her next to him. Then he stood up, glaring at the stupid man.
"N-nothing Alpha." Clearly, he realising his mistake. Ava noticed how scared he looked at stifled a small laugh as he quivered in his seat.
Lucas strode over to him and put a hand on the mans shoulder. The white in his knuckles and the wince the man did told Ava that it wasn't a friendly gesture.
"I am keeping my mate, your Luna, safe. If you have a problem with this... please speak up." He spoke with a mock smile at the end, daring the man to say something.
Ava didn't want any violence and needed to tell him about what she remembered. So, she made her way to him and tugged on the back of his t-shirt, hoping to get his attention. When it didn't work, she tentatively put her hand under the shirt and rubbed his tense back. "Lu Lu." She said quietly.
He relaxed and broke his eye contact with the man. "Yes my love?"
"I remember something about when I was kidnapped!" Ava said excitedly, knowing that after wishing she could do something to help, she finally had information that could be of use.
Everyone sat straighter, showing that they were all interested in what she had to say. All eyes were on her and it made her a little nervous.
"That's great, baby." He said when she didn't speak for a while. Lucas wrapped an arm around her waist to sit them on the chair like before.
"Erm. A man... erm... he said something about his daughter? And... erm... they left before you rescued me. Well, you know that. He said that it was a..." she bit her lip nervously and squirmed on Lucas' lap as she tried to remember how long the drive was. "It's a... a..."
"It's ok if you don't re- "
"It's a two hour drive!" She yelled, finally remembering it all.
Lucas had hope in his eyes but tried to conceal it, obviously not wanting to be disappointed. "You sure?"
She nodded her head frantically in return. "Without a doubt, absolutely, 100% positive."
He looked thoughtfully at table without saying anything. Ava wondered whether her information was actually useless and she just made a fool out of herself. But then, he ordered, "I want pack members out and searching everywhere within a two hour radius of the cabin Ava was kept in. I'm sending you all the address now. Any building or evidence of the rogues being there, I want to be notified immediately and nobody will go in or approach them. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes Alpha!" They all shouted monotonously, before they started to shuffle as they collected their papers and left the room.
Lucas turned his attention back to Ava and kissed her all over her face, making her giggle. He had a large smile when he said, "this is amazing, baby girl. It could really help. How did you remember?!"
She smiled bashfully. "I was still half asleep from the chloroform. I remembered when I set the timer to two hours for my cookies." It took a few minutes before Ava jumped up from his lap and shouted, "my cookies!!"
"What if you don't find anything?" Ava asked quietly.
Usually before the couple would go to sleep, they'd spend sometime to talk about anything. It may be about their day at school or an unusual fact one has learnt. This time, they were discussing the search for the rogues and Veronica.
Ava had her back to Lucas' chest as he nuzzled his head into her neck. She felt so safe and protected, enveloped in his arms. It was cosy and warm so she didn't want to move a muscle, even if she was craving some ice cream.
"We'll just have to keep looking but I have a feeling we will." He replied. His hand was under her shirt, rubbing her tummy soothingly.
"But what will this do? If you find them and attack, you could die! They'll kill people so we might as well wait for them to come to us." She said, knowing it was a terrible idea but she couldn't stand the thought of Lucas or anyone else from the pack getting hurt.
"Don't worry. I don't suspect many rogues are there as we have already... captured some when they got in the territory. Plus, they're much weaker than our wolves and we'll have the element of surprise too." He reassured her, kissing her shoulder.
"I guess." She reluctantly muttered.
Ava closed her eyes in content of feeling her mate close to her. Ever since they had confessed their romantic feelings to each other, her feelings towards him grew stronger than she thought was possible. The tingles intensified and the butterflies turned into elephants. She was so in love with him it felt like she was floating all the time.
"I'm in love with you, baby girl." He whispered, as if reading her mind.
Spinning around in his arms to face him, she replied with as much sincerity as he did. "I'm in love with you too, honey pot."
He instantly bursted out laughing at the nickname. "Honey pot? Really? You ruined the moment." He pressed his pointer finger to her nose, booping it, causing her to scrunch it up cutely.
"What? You always give me nicknames." Ava pouted.
"Yeah but not terrible ones." He pressed a loving kiss to her cheek, still smiling in laughter.
"What do you want to be called then, Mr Picky?"
"How about..." he drawled. "Stud muffin. Or better yet... sexy." Lucas wiggled his eyebrows at her.
She giggled and pressed a light kiss to his lips. "But you're so cute though."
He rolled his eyes jokingly and mock sighed in exasperation. "But that's not manly." He whined with a pout.
Ava just laughed at how silly he was, making Lucas frown before pulling her into a kiss to shut her up.
However, someone knocked urgently on their bedroom door, making her break the kiss. "Alpha? Luna?"
It sounded like Ryan but Lucas just ignored them and placed kisses on her neck, sucking the skin lightly. The knocking grew louder as did the shouts so Ava tried to unwrap his arms from around her body.
"Lu Lu. Someone's at the door." She said.
"No." Came his stubborn reply.
Sighing, Ava pushed him away and went to open the door. But, her possessive mate pushed her back on the bed and covered her with blankets as he answered the door instead.
"WHAT?!" He snarled.
"We found them."
Thank you for reading!
I got to #5 in Werewolf's What's Hot!
That's so amazing! Thank you!
AND! I finished my exams!
Most, if not all, got the riddle in the last chapter.
And here I thought it was a hard one. *sighs*
I'm in the middle of Prison Break (omg it's so good!)
WORD COUNT: 2294
Much love <3