The Beginning of The End
The first time Gemma Lockhart knew anything was wrong was when she could hear the faint sounds of her father shouting. Her young five-year old body turned around to look towards the two-story house that was behind her while she played in the compact garden.
She loved playing here. Her daddy had built a small doll house and a tree house for her. Gemma loved the plastic doll house by a children’s toy company; complete with her own easy bake oven and a tea set. It even has a little area for her to use as a reading space and where Mr Shuddles, the grey stuffed elephant; sat and kept her company with her tea parties where cheese sandwich’s and orange juice were a plenty. It’s pink interiors made her feel like a princess, and she often leaned out of her small purple open window to wave at her mother who she saw standing in the kitchen window, baking or washing up.
Her little doll house was surrounded by yellow daffodils she had helped her mother plant last year and loved any excuse to get dirty in the soil. She wanted flowers in her other princess house but that one was high up on the tree and her mummy said they couldn’t plant flower’s there.
Gemma could hear raised voice’s again and just as she frowned at hearing her daddy’s voice, her mother’s slim frame came running out of the kitchen, towards Gemma and picked her up. Gemma found herself being held tight as her mother’s body shook and her long wavy black hair came undone from her messy bun and fell over Gemma’s face. Gemma looked up to her mother's sun kissed, heart shaped face and reached up with her small fingers to caress the smooth skin that always smelled like strawberries.
Lily Lockhart looked down into her daughter’s deep blue eyes; so like her own, and stood with Gemma in her arms. She turned round to go into the house where her husband Peter stood while scanning the garden with frantic eyes. His blue eye’s taking in information quickly while he pulled out his mobile phone and made a call.
“Jon, the sensors have started going off. All over the place!. There about 15 minutes away” peter said as his wife rushed into the house and though to the living room.
Peter locked the back door as he pushed a concealed button under the counter. Within seconds, silver bar’s came over the windows and door, covering all entry and glass. A slight smell of wolf bane permitted the air as the protective gear slotted into place. He turned around and entered the living room and walked to the brick wall fireplace and moved the big family portrait out of the way to press the next concealed button. More sounds could be heard as further security bars slotted into place and the lower level started going into lockdown.
He could hear further sounds coming from upstairs and realized his wife had also locked and secured the second floor of their house. The slight smell of wolf bane became stronger as the whole house was on complete lockdown. Peter’s eyes moved frantically between the two tall glass windows of the main living room where he could look out into the driveway and forest area. He could sense his wife and daughter coming down the stairs behind him, but he was unable to look away from the windows.
“Daddy” Gemma called out. He turned round to look at his daughter who was standing with her mother and had her arms stretched out towards him.
He walked towards her, bent down to pick her up and hug her to him as he gazed at her petite frame and took in her black wavy hair tied up in a ponytail. He inhaled her sweet baby fragrance and held her that bit tighter. Gemma squeaked in discomfort as her fathers cuddle became too tight.
“Sorry pumpkin” he said as he let her go and settled her back down beside her mother. He caressed her right, baby soft cheek lovingly as his eyes melted.
“Are we playing the hide-and-seek game now daddy” Gemma asked in her soft voice.
Peter straightened up and looked at his wife whose eyes showed her concern. Her beautiful smile was tense and pinched as she looked lovingly at her husband and took her daughters small hand in hers. He looked back to his daughter and tried to smile, his right-hand brushing against his short light brown hair.
“Yes pumpkin we are and its really important that you do what we practiced, remember?” he said as he searched her eyes for understanding.
Gemma seemed to be a gifted child. She could read and write at a younger age and understood situation when children her age didn’t. Of course this might be because the family lived and were part of The Red Moon Pack. A pack of werewolves.
The Beginning of The End — When It Started
When Peter was eighteen and at university down in London UK, he meet and became friends with Jon Snider, Liam Henderson and at that time, Carrie James. For three years the friends became close and studied together in the same engineering building until Peter meet and fell in love with Lily James.
Peter had hurt himself when working on a prototype model which had sharp parts sticking out and it resulted in a nasty cut. His friends rushed him to the Health and Safety office where a training nurse by the name of Lily James was working as part of her community experience, and she turned to look at the three imposing figure and the human who entered the room.
“Hi, I’m Lily, how can I help you?” she said with a smile as her eyes looked at each person in the group.
Lily’s bright blue eyes widened when she looked at Peter with wonder. Peter in turn looked at her and forgot all about the blood that was dripping steadily from his left middle fingers and gaped at lily in awe. Jon had to clear his throat twice before Lily moved her eyes to his face and her eye’s widened further.
“Alpha” she nodded as she bowed her head slightly in respect.
Peter finally came out of daze and looked over at one of his best friends in confusion. Alpha? No, his name is Jon, why did she say that? Peter thought. He looked between the two and noticed that the surrounding air seemed to be filled with tension.
“He’s my best friend and has cut himself. Can you look at it here?” asked Jon, his smooth voice carrying authority. He puffed out his chest as he looked at Lily with a raised eyebrow.
Lily nodded and walked towards Peter. As she touched his hand, they both took in a strong deep breath and looked at each other in awe again before Lily guided him to a day bed to sit on, so she could look at his injury. She spoke softly as she told Peter what she was doing and took information from him regarding the cut while she used some water in a cup and some wool to clean off the blood. As she tended to his wound and the water turned red, Liam turned his head to Jon and brushed his sable brown hair away from his eyes. His stocky body turned away from the scene in front of him as he addressed Jon in a quiet voice.
“She’s a wolf. I never thought I would see the day that a human would be a mate to a wolf but my eyes cant deceive me Jon. Mates!” he hissed quietly. From the corner of his eye’s he saw Lily stiffen slightly but continue working on their friend as if nothing untoward happened. Yet they knew she heard him. Peter didn’t because he was human, but Lily did because like them, she too was a werewolf.
Jon nodded and ran his hand over his face and frowned in confusion. He kept his eyes focused on the couple in front while he mind-linked his Beta. “Liam, I need to know why we didn’t smell her before we entered the room. All wolves carry a scent, and she didn’t have any. Find out what is going on. I’ll stay here with him”
Jon looked over at their other friend Carrie who stood stock still, her eye’s wide in shock and her athletic body lax as if her body shut down. Jon had never seen her like this and looked at his friend thoughtfully while Liam left the room to make inquires. Jon knew Liam would get the answers. He always did. How; he never questioned. No doubt due to his extra special ability to persuade people to give out information. Jon mind-linked Carried who, with great difficulty turned her eyes to her Alpha but suddenly her body was poised as if ready for an attack.
Jon opened up his senses to see if there was any impending danger but nothing within a mile indicated the reason Carrie was suddenly ready to fight. Her athletic body stiff and straight but her blood coursing with energy. Carrie and Liam were both from his pack. The three friend had applied for and got accepted into the same university. Liam and Jon both went into engineering while Carrie went into bio-medicine.
Carrie had just turned eighteen on the day they were meant to drive down to London to move into the university campus when Liam took one sniff of her and declared her his mate. Scenting mates were very rarely wrong and once mated; would only break if one died. Even then, almost every time; the other mate would follow soon after, as living without one’s mate was near impossible. Of course there were exceptions such as caring for a child, an Alpha who had to train another to take their place or if they were a rouge.
Carrie’s parents joined the Red Rock Pack when her grandparents travelled from Austria and came to Scotland. Jon remembered his grandfather once asking them what made them move, and they said that they felt a calling to come to Scotland and that the voice became louder as they approached the Scottish Borders. When they tried to leave the area, they couldn't, and so they asked for sanctuary which his grandfather and alpha at the time; accepted. His grandmother had gotten a good feeling about them and without much ado, his grandfather gave them a place in the pack based on what his Luna; or rather Alpha-Female said.
At that time, Carrie’s mother and her brother Chris were only four year old twins and were assimilated into the pack easily. A few years later at sixteen, Chris had gotten wanderlust and felt the need to leave but not without having choice words with his parents. All Jon could remember was the day he went up to their house to pick them both up for football practice, a lot of shouting and angry words were being spoken. As he was about to knock on the door, Chris ripped open the door and stormed out; his sister running behind him. Carrie stood by her brother and convinced her parents to let him leave even though they told her it would require a great sacrifice from her.
Carrie being the gentler of the two, readily agreed without listening to what the sacrifice would be. Jon had helped calm the situation down, but he remembered that before leaving their house, Carrie’s father had looked at him with turbulent emotion in his eye’s before grabbing his left shoulder with respect and bowed while tears shimmered but didn’t fall. Within day’s Chris had everything gathered and without saying much to his parents; left the pack and flew from London to his first destination, Lisbon in Europe. One night, a few months after Chris had gone; Jon and Liam went to pickup Carrie for the cinema.
When she had opened the door to them, a pale faced Carrie looked at them with hollow eyes. It was like she had seen a ghost and couldn’t quiet believe it. Liam had taken her hand to bring her out of the look only for her to say she couldn’t go out that day and that life was going to change. With that cryptic remark, she closed the door and asked them to leave her alone for a few days. After that Carrie had changed. She became more somber and less carefree. When asked why, she would only reply by saying “I have to fulfill my duties” which never made any sense to them and when they asked; she said one day she would tell them but that now wasn’t the right time.
Carrie started training with the rest of the warriors of the pack even though it was something she hated to talk about, never mind participating in. She became almost as strong as Liam and often sparred with them. Sometimes there would be a spark in Carrie when they were practicing their combat skills where it looked like Carrie would win over Liam; but then almost like she becomes aware of being watched, seemed to pull in her skills and let herself be beaten. But before that time, she would get this intense look in eye’s that said she was focused and locked in on her target and wouldn’t be letting them go anytime soon without doing some damage.
It’s been a long time since Jon saw that look, but he was seeing that now. Her stance and her concentration was just as intense. Her whole being been so focused on Lily that she barely acknowledge her alpha. Jon pushed harder through their mind-link to gain her attention “Carrie, what is going on? Why are you so tense?”
Carrie shook her head and turned her eye’s back to the couple in front of her. Jon frowned harder and pushed for an answer through the mind-link “Carrie, I demand an answer as your alpha!!” he insisted, using his alpha voice for the first time on her.
“You need to take these painkillers every four hours and keep from wetting the bandages. The cut looked worse than it was and luckily didn’t need stitches. If it gets any worse, then you need to go to a hospital.” Lily said as she helped guide Peter to his friends side.
She looked at Jon with a tilt of her head to show him respect as an alpha yet there was no fear on her face or in her eyes. Peter looked at Jon and then Lily; confusion on his face as he couldn’t understand the silent communication that was going on. Jon saw how Peter looked at him, and he stopped looking at Lily and instead smiled at his friend.
“Come on pal, let’s get you home so you can rest” Jon said in a teasing note before flicking his eyes back to Lily “I’m sure we have taken enough of Lily’s time” he said as he helped his friend leave the room. He looked up in enough time to catch her flashing golden wolf eyes as she took offense to what he said.
“Not at all. That’s what I’m here for. Peter you can come in anytime if you need anything” Lily said as she smiled at Peter. Her blue eyes flashing at Jon as if in a challenge; yet her eyes melted into a soft look of love as she looked at Peter who smiled brilliantly at her. Lily had given Peter some medication to help with the pain as she had dealt with the cut with butterfly stitches as well as her special ability which she didn’t want to disclose to the alpha.
“Well if you can, why don’t you check up on him when he is at home.” Jon said with authority. “He lives with us at Marliee student housing. If it not too much bother for you?” He challenged. But Lily knew what it was. It was a command from the alpha to present herself to him. To tell him who she was and why he couldn’t smell or work out what pack she was from. Lily turned her head up in defiance and flashed her amber wolf eyes at him before slowly smiling at the group and calming her wolf down.
“I’d love to. If I could have the details?”
Jon nodded in confirmation and looked to Carrie with resolution. “Carrie could give that to you. Say about 7pm tomorrow” with that order, he helped Peter out of the room who was smiling and thanking Lily for her help with a promise to seeing her the next day.
Lily blew out a puff of air at the encounter; not believing that after hiding in plain sight for twelve years, the second she met her mate; she blew her cover. But to be fair, once a wolf like her found it’s mate, the cloak she had around herself would disappear, and he would be able to smell her, recognize her and only be able to cloak herself either when he wasn’t beside her or once the mating had been completed, and he knew her cloaking scent too which only a mate could detect.
What she didn’t expect was for her mate to be accompanied by a pack; with a powerful alpha at that or for her mate to be able to detect the mating pheromones she released. Especially as he was human, and they were as clueless as a baby about other beings in this world.
Well, they sure missed that part of the information; him being friended with wolves and surrounded by a powerful pack and alpha she thought as she turned away toward her work station. I wonder what else they didn’t tell me Lily thought as she took a step towards her computer.
“I know who you are”
Lily froze mid-step and turned to look back and found herself staring at the she-wolf who hadn’t moved from her previous position or stance. How could I have forgotten that she hadn’t left Lily thought as she mentally told herself off.
“Well it’s not every day we meet our mate” Came Kiora’s voice. Lily mentally eye-rolled at her wolf who finally decided to speak up in a smug and happy voice. Lily mentally pulled back from her wolf as she stared at Carrie and smiled at her as she pretended she didn’t understand what Carrie was saying.
“I’m sorry, you must have me confused — “
“I know who you are” Carrie repeated tensely as she looked at Lily. Carrie walked towards Lily in slow, measured steps and stopped just a hair breath away from her.
Lily swallowed nervously as her eyes darted about before settling back on Carrie’s face. She took a couple of steps back and laughed as if she heard a not-so-funny joke and tried to speak again.
“I... I think you have me confused. We’ve never meet or —
“I...know...who...you...are” Carrie stressed each word to the nervous girl in front of her. Her eyes flashed in amber as her wolf came up to the surface. Kiora started whining in Lily’s head. Her wolf demanding that Lily back away, that she run from this new danger.
Lily involuntarily took another step back, her breath hitching slightly at this new perceived threat while questioning all her years of training. How could she have been found? Could Carrie really know who she was? Wasn’t it only elders who knew who she was? Carrie looked like she was her age so how could she possibly know her secret?
“Mask us!” Kiora said to Lily as she growled softly in her head. Lily finally was able to remember that now that her mate had found her, and he was no longer in the room, she was able to mask her scent back to being a human again. “Maybe she thinks she knows but doesn’t really” Lily said to her wolf. “Oh she knows!” her wolf replied; Her growls finally slipping out of Lily’s mouth.
Carrie looked at Lily with a small and for the first time, genuine smile on her face. Keeping her eyes on Lily’ concerned eyes and youthful face, she took small steps backwards while facing her until she reached close to the open door of the room. With a bigger smile on her face and a glint in her eyes Carrie intensified her gaze and flashed Lily an image of her second wolf before closing her eyes.
Lily paled and gasped in astonishment, her hands covering her mouth as it froze open. Her eyes flashed wide and kept changing between amber and blue with plum coloured flecks. She shook her head in denial as tear’s gathered in her eyes.
“I know who and what you are Kiora” Carrie addressed Lily’s wolf directly as she spoke softly but with conviction. She slowly opened her eyes and stared at Kiora. Her eyes now flashing a lavender color to let both Lily and Kiora know who she really was.
“I’m here now and won’t be leaving you anytime soon” Carrie promised. With that stubborn declaration as her head gave a small nod in Lily and Kiora’s direction, she turned around and walked out the door, her straight, light chocolate brown hair acting like a whip behind her.
Lily finally took a deep breath as Carrie and her aura of power left the room, before takings a few stumbling steps behind her to fall back into her chair. She couldn’t believe it! How was this possible? After all this time? Really?
“Finally” Kiora whispered softly yet in shock. “Yes but then this means —” Lily couldn’t finish off the thought as the implication was too great to process; her mind a jumble of thoughts, emotions and conflicting information.
“It’s all true, everything we were told...and every reason to hide. Our life, our future is at stake” Kiora finished for her softly; their heartbreaking together at the implication.
“I know who and what you are Kiora” Lily played back Carrie’s words as she recalled the look on her face, her second wolf and her powerful aura as she said those words that struck fear in her heart. A fear, cemented by the colour of her eyes. Eyes that shouldn’t exist anymore but do. Eyes that speak the truth with lies and ones that would destroy her very being. Eyes that have signed her mate’s death warrant and started the Prophecy that she wished had never come to pass.
And with this grave knowledge, Lily finally let slip the tears that had been welling up and held back from the moment she smelt her human mate and realized that he unknowingly had a pack and had started a chain of events that would come to pass many years later.
Lily sank to the wooden floor, her arms around her waist as she silently cried. Her heartbreaking with anguish as her wolf howelled sadly in her head; their tears now flowing freely, only to gather wetly on the cold, hard floor.