Chapter Twenty Five
AVA fiddled with the top corner of the page, staring at the words in her book. She wasn't reading it though and found herself having to re-read sentences after zoning out.
Her mind was on Lucas, as it was most of the time, but this was different. She worried for his safety. It was nearing ten o'clock and he wasn't back yet nor did she receive any text messages from him. Ava assumed the trip was successful and he found them but she doubted it would take the whole day.
None of the pack members had heard from them so that was worrying. She only hoped they were ok but couldn't help wanting to find out for sure. She was getting restless and had a bad feeling in her gut. Last time that happened Miss Lillian had died.
Letting out a loud sigh, she checked her phone again only for no new messages to pop up on the screen. Ava slammed her phone face down, annoyed and frustrated. I can't take it anymore! She threw her book on the bed and quickly walked out of her room, determined to find a pack member.
Jess was the first person she saw when she went into the living room. She was flipping through the channels absentmindedly. "J-Jess?" Ava stuttered as she timidly made her presence known.
"Oh. Hello Luna." Jess smiled kindly at the sweet girl in Bambi pyjamas.
"Ava is fine." She said, still not used to being called Luna. "I was wondering whether you've gotten anything from the guys yet. Could you mind link Lucas asking when he is going to be home please?"
A worried expression was on Jess' face and she said regretfully, "I've not heard anything and nobody is responding." There was a pause where panicked thoughts overtook both of them. "Do you think they're in trouble? Do we need to do something?" Jess asked with glassy eyes.
Ava knew her mate was one of the warriors Lucas had put together so Jess naturally got emotional over the thought of her mate being hurt. Not wanting her to worry further, she calmly reassured her. "I'm sure they're fine. They're probably on their way back now."
"Yeah. I guess you're right." She agreed though not looking like she was convinced.
"Get some sleep Jess. They'll be back by morning." Ava said in her most soothing voice possible.
She nodded, wishing the Luna a goodnight and then walking upstairs to her room. Once Ava knew she was out of sight, she ran to the gun room and retrieved her gun, hoping there was ammo still in there. There was no time to be searching for more weapons.
The next stop was Lucas' office. Luckily, it was left unlocked so she made her way inside easily. As expected, all the papers were in a mess on his desk, making Ava sigh exasperatedly. She mumbled grumpily, complaining about the mess as she searched for the address of the place Lucas was supposed to be. It was difficult but finally, a small piece of paper with an address was held tightly in her grasp.
She mentally danced in her head and then speed walked out of the house, only to run back in to retrieve her phone.
"So let me get this straight. Lucas went on an unexpected camping trip but has forgotten his tent so we have to go and give it him?" Jackson recited back to her.
Ava chewed on her lip and nodded, staring out of the car window to avoid eye contact with him. She called him to ask for a favour, hoping he wasn't already asleep but it was only around ten so she doubted it. She was desperate and had no other friends to ask. As she didn't know how to drive, Jackson was the only option. Lucas could be in trouble for all she knew so she had to do something to save her mate.
"Right..." he drawled in an unconvinced tone. "And we're doing this with you in Bambi pyjamas?"
Ava's face flushed a bright red and curled into a little ball in the seat with gun she hid under her shirt pressing into her stomach. She was in a hurry and didn't even realise she was still in her cute Bambi pyjamas until she got a strange look from Jackson when he picked her up at the pack house. Once again, Ava gave him a little nod to confirm.
"So where's the tent?" He looked at her with a smug smile, like he caught her out on the lie.
"Erm... Er... Did I say tent? I meant pen...t?" Ava cringed at the poor cover story.
"Yes! Pent. It's his code word for... me! It's code for me. He forgot me." She faked a sad look and even added a sniffle.
There was a pause but then he finally scoffed. "Such an idiot. How can he forget his own girlfriend?!" Jackson face palmed but kept one hand safely on the wheel. Ava hummed, quite stunned that she got away with the pathetic lie and a little miffed he called her mate an idiot. "I'm not even going to ask about that gun you're hiding though."
Shoot! Ava thought she hid it well enough since he hadn't asked about it. Obviously her pyjama pants weren't tight enough for the gun to be kept there so her only choice was to carry it under her top. It looked as if she was cradling her stomach. "It's a water gun!" Ava said in one breath.
"Ooo. Really? Can I try?" Jackson asked excitedly as she took the gun out. There was no point concealing it now that he already knew.
"It doesn't have any water in it." She stated.
"Next time then." He said disappointedly.
They sat in silence until Ava yawned loudly. "You should sleep. I'll wake you up when we get there." Jackson said, glancing over at her with a concerned look.
"No. It's ok. We need to stay alert." She said but rested her head tiredly on the car door with her legs tucked into her chest. It was hard to get comfortable on the seat but she felt terrible for Jackson since she made him drive her to an unknown place late at night. She was so grateful for him.
"Bears. Big big bears." Ava mumbled, her eyes getting heavier by the second. She didn't know why she was so tired. She didn't even do anything all day. Before she knew it, Jackson's voice was just a quiet sound as she fell into a deep sleep.
"Princess, wake up." A voice sang softly in her ear, making her turn away from the sound, but then he suddenly yelled, "wake up!"
She woke with a start and banged her head on the window painfully. "Oww." Ava pouted as she tried to open her eyes fully, still exhausted.
Jackson rubbed her head sympathetically, before unbuckling his seat belt and getting out of the car. Ava followed his lead and looked around.
"Wait. No no no no no." This wasn't the warehouse Lucas had talked about. Instead she looked forward to see the cabin she was kidnapped in. It's the wrong place!
"This isn't the place!" Ava was close to ripping her hair out. She wanted to help and couldn't even get to the right place. She felt utterly useless.
"It's what was on the paper you gave me." He said defensively.
"I gave you the wrong address." She groaned and rubbed her hand down her face. Lucas often did the same thing when he was annoyed and the thought of him made her smile slightly.
Ava glared at her mean friend and stomped back to the car only for Jackson to grab her wrist. "Hey now let's not throw a tantrum. Let's have a look in the cabin and see if he's there. Maybe it is the right address. And anyway, I'm sick of that car so I need a break."
He pulled her along to the cabin with Ava dragging her feet. She assured him that they weren't in the cabin but Jackson ignored her and carried on anyway. The cabin was as she last saw it. It was even creepier now that it was dark and she didn't have Lucas with her.
Ava clung tightly to Jackson's muscled arm, shivering in the cold air. "They're not here. Can we go yet?" She whispered as they walked around the empty rooms. "Please." The scared girl pleaded when Jackson didn't respond.
"Yeah. There's nothing here." They turned back towards the front door. "Don't be scared." He added.
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes at the useless command. The sound of wood creaking stopped her from making a sarcastic comment. Both froze at the eerie sound.
"Hello?" Ava called out, her voice wavering with fear.
"Don't invite it for a conversation!" Jackson hissed. His eyes were wide as he spun his head in every direction, trying to find the source of the sound.
"Do you even know what it is?" She whispered in response.
Ava looked at him with a bewildered expression but her mouth opened in a gasp when she saw a figure in Jackson's direction. A scream ripped through her throat as her nails dug into his skin from clutching him so tightly.
Quickly, Jackson turned around and let out his own girlish scream at the shadow. "Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. It's a ghost!"
"I'm not a ghost." The figure deadpanned.
The male next to her suddenly fell to the ground, making Ava stumble as she let go of his arm. She winced at the small red hand prints she accidentally created on his arm. "Jackson?" He didn't respond and looked unconscious. "Did you faint?" She whispered to him.
"Such a weak man. I'm questioning your choice in friends Ava." The figure said from the shadows.
Her attention turned back to the man but glanced back at Jackson worriedly. "How do you know my name stranger? Show yourself!" She tried to order him in her most commanding voice but ended up squeaking at the end.
"I should hope you remember me." He said and then stepped out of the shadows, unveiling his face in the moonlight.
"Man who kidnapped me but gave me yummy sandwiches and let me watch Beauty and the Beast!" She yelled accusingly, pointing her finger at him.
He frowned. "I was hoping you'd remember me as your dad."
"Ava. I'm your father." This random guy said in a voice that told her he expected her to jump with glee and embrace him in a hug.
"There's no time. You need to come with me before she comes." He said, holding a hand out to her.
Ava looked at the hand in slight disgust. "You left me." She whispered, the hurt in her voice clear.
"I had to! I had no choice. Me and your mother, we planned to come back for you. We always did." He explained desperately.
"You left me in a tree!!" Ava yelled at the man who claimed to be her father.
"It was only supposed to be an hour or so. We needed to lead them away and we wanted to keep you safe. I only wanted what was best for you. I never even wanted to be part of the plan. I wanted to come back for you I promise. I promise sweetheart. That woman drugged us before we could!" The man didn't even look like he was sane. The stress overtook his features and left him with a crazy eye twitch and tired bags under his eyes. Ava felt pity for the man but felt so confused by what he told her.
"I don't understand! Lead who away? What plan? Who is this woman?!" She was so frustrated it hurt her head with the amount of questions floating in it.
The man ignored her and continued. "Your mother. Your mother, she forgave her straight away and wanted to help with the crazy plan. I didn't want to sweetheart. But, she said I needed to otherwise I wouldn't see you ever again. She's dangerous sweetheart. A werewolf. You know about those. She's one of them. An animal. You need to come with me before there's no other chance to get you away from all this. We need to go!" He clutched both her arms tightly and stared her in the eyes.
She saw the urgency in the blue orbs, a similar colour to her own. Ava felt tears roll down her cheeks as she looked back at her father. The man who left her. She always imagined him to have a better life without her on a beach some where. She imagined that her parents would have new perfect children that they didn't abandon and possibly a dog too. What she didn't imagine was a tired man that missed her and never wanted to give her up in the first place.
Ava actually considered going with him but knew she couldn't leave her mate. "B-but, my friends." She whispered.
"By friends I'm assuming you mean that boy Lucas. He kidnapped you Ava! He stole my daughter away from me! If he hadn't taken you from that tree, maybe I could've gotten you back!" He shouted, shaking Ava as if he was trying to wake her up.
"No! Don't blame him! You said that woman drugged you. You wouldn't have gotten me anyway. Without him, I would've been there for weeks! He didn't kidnap me! He saved me!" She yelled.
"They brainwashed you Ava. They kill their own kind. They're animals! I've seen what they do! You're own mother is brainwashed by that woman. We'll help her but we need to get you away from this place first." Her father nodded as if agreeing with himself.
She didn't even get a chance to object before she was yanked to the front door. He pushed her forward so she opened the front door, finally able to escape the creepy cabin. Only this time, she was leaving with her father and not with Jackson, who still laid unconscious on the floor.
Ava expected to see the woods and the night sky on the opposite side of the wooden door but it was all blocked by a woman. It was the very woman she had wished to meet for so long. It was the woman that caused her and so many people pain and misery. It was the woman that made her father whisper, "oh sh*t."
It was her mother.
The woman smirked and sneered, "Hello dear." Ava's head was then pushed into the door aggressively, causing her to, like Jackson, collapse on the wooden floors unconscious.
Thank you for reading!
What's with all these people fainting?! I'm running out of ways to describe blacking out. Smh.
WORD COUNT: 2506
Much love <3