Autumn was nearing its end, only a few defiant brown leaves remained on branches of nearby trees, but the sun was shining brightly and warming up the cold day.
My children were playing happily in the grass near me, Argo leading the game, while I sat on the back porch of grandma’s house, silently watching them. Soon the old woman came out as well carrying cups of hot chocolate for all the children. They took them greedily, the sight made me smile.
She then pushed a different cup into my hand, it wasn’t filled with chocolate. I sniffed the contents, it was a putrid smelling tea. I was trying to give it back to her but she nudged it closer to my lips. “Drink it if you don’t want to get pregnant Meg.”
I drank it without any more hassle. She kept her promise the previous night and waited until I returned here, with horrible bruises on my inner thighs. She held me while I broke down and cried my heart out.
But when my tears finally dried and I entered our den full of sleeping little bundles I felt my resolve strengthen and was eventually able to fall asleep, holding sweet Sabah in my arms.
Only the pain in my abdomen was now a reminder of the horrors of my night, “I wouldn’t want to carry his child even if he didn’t force himself on me,” the children had gone back to playing their game, grandma sat down next to me.
“I have a feeling, while not realising it, that is one of his intentions as well, you showed how capable you are while fighting, and how good of a mother you’d be to your own children, which had naturally drawn his animal to you. You two could have a very powerful offspring and his bear can sense it, deep down he wants children of his own, after all he’s old enough to think about such things.”
“How old is he grandma?”
“That stupid boy didn’t even tell you his age? He’s thirty-two and behaving like a fifteen year-old.”
My eyes widened at her answer, “He’s so much older than me.”
“Oh well, thank the Goddess we age much slower than humans. You know, my husband and mate was almost sixteen years my senior and we had a great life together.”
“He must have been far better than this horrible alpha of yours.” Grandma just chuckled, there was a distant look in her eyes, she was thinking of her mate and the love of her life.
I was hoping to find him one day too.
"You’re a beautiful woman Megara, it brings dangers of a completely different kind as you can see. ..” before she could finish, Haken ran up to us and demanded we join their games, grandma was able to talk herself out but I wasn’t so lucky and so I spent the next few hours playing hide and seek in the nearby forest.
I was hiding behind a massive oak on the edge of the forest with Morrigan in my hands when I heard heavy footsteps approaching us accompanied by a few lighter ones. I peeked out from behind my hiding spot and saw the alpha along with Hadden, Sabah and Haken who were running after him and glaring at him profusely.
I quickly stepped in front of him, “Did this man hurt you?” I asked towards them, but they shook their heads, I looked at them confused.
“We heard you crying at night when you came back from visiting the alpha and didn’t want him to hurt you anymore,” Sabah spoke towards me while holding the alphas curious gaze.
My sweet little protectors were much more observant than I thought.
“He didn’t hurt me, you don’t need to worry, I was simply missing home.”
Hadden took my hand, “We miss home too Meg, but we can make this into our new home, as long as you are with us we’ll be safe.”
That brought a genuine smile to my face, I meant just as much to them as they did to me.
The bear was watching our exchange silently, his eyes locked onto my smile, which soon after disappeared.
“Go find grandma, I believe she wanted help with preparing lunch, and take Morrigan with you, she’s almost fallen asleep while we were hiding,” she might had been falling asleep before but once the alpha approached she started stirring and voicing her uneasiness.
Sabah took Morrigan, they started hesitantly retreating towards the house, occasionally glancing back at us, I smiled at them every time to reassure them that I’d be all right.
The bear spoke as soon as the back door closed behind them, “You were crying even when you came back here, huh? One would have thought you to reconcile with your situation a little faster.”
He really was incredibly dumb, “You are a disgusting pig and it’s none of your business what I do in my spare time while I’m not laying beneath you or bent against your furniture.”
He didn’t even flinch, just smiled slyly, “I’ve been called worse than a disgusting pig.”
“A little longer and I’ll come up with much better insults bear.”
“You know, your defiance just turns me on even more. I’ll be waiting for you tonight, just like yesterday, but I’m in no mood for your stupid games. So no running this time.”
I had to look away from him.
Were animals this cruel to each other too? Or was this trait inherited from our human side?
It must had been the humans, animals had no place in heart for monstrosity, if they attacked it was out of fear and if they killed it was for food.
Then why do we call vicious people animals?
Monsters is more suitable, as in the monsters lurking in your child’s worst dreams.
This man was a monster, and he was waiting for me in my nightmares.
I had spent the rest of the day helping grandma with tasks around the house, it was hard for her to clean some parts of it and I gladly helped. She had done so much for us and I had no other way of thanking her for it.
She told me she would take the children outside tomorrow into the village so that they’d get to know the local children and asked if I wanted to go with them, I told her that I’d think about it.
I probably wouldn’t go, the looks some of these wolves were giving me were more than unsettling, however I was all for the children getting to know their peers. Children could be very forgiving and welcoming, they either liked you or didn’t and they would tell you right away.
After we finished eating a delicious dinner, grandma started telling a story about a girl who could turn into an eagle and fly freely wherever she wished. She fell in love with a young shepherd who later broke her heart. He left her for his sheep, hoping they’d bring him great fortune. The story ended tragically with the death of the eagle girl.
I could see tears in girls' eyes, while the boys started gloating about how they’d never do such thing.
“You never know what you’re going to do for love. Love is love, even the love for money, my sweetlings,” grandma finished and the kids quieted down, perhaps not quite understanding what she meant.
"Well, it's time to go to bed now," and just like that the kitchen erupted in 'noooos' and 'I don't wannas', but I started herding them towards our bedroom anyways.
Little Rem secured his arms around my neck while I was bent down, his short legs dangling underneath him, my hair almost covered him like a curtain as it fell around us.
"Mommy don't go to awpha's house tonai, sweep here with us."
I could almost hear my heart cracking. One day I'd told them and they'd understand.
But for now I would lie.
"I just have to tell him something, I'll be back before you notice Remmy."
That seemed to persuade them and they put up no more fight while we tucked them in and wished them good night.