The Price To Pay
A small sign swings back and forth at the entrance of the territory. We turn on to a rough gravel road where tire tracks are only placed to determine where the road is. The entranceway is hidden on a county road that barely anyone drives down. A few ranches use the road to herd their cattles on to transport to other ranches. The sign that welcomes me home had replaced the old iron sign. Cattail Crossing is spelled over a new iron sign with a picture of cattails below the wording. I groan outward still dreading being here.
My brother drove the pack's truck down a bumpy road. I could see a new twelve car garage off the side of the road. Sam pulled into an open spot in the garage. I hopped out of the truck I had stuck in for three hours. That didn't even count the two airports we flew out of. Kate and I flew into a big airport with bustling people going in every direction. We caught a small plane out of the airport that only had one runway. The landscape is mountains in every direction, open meadows, and clumps of trees in various areas. The people live up here usually love nature, what to be left alone, or are ranchers. My family falls under the first two.
"When did they build this garage, " I asked eyeing all the trucks and SUV parked in the garage. All vehicles had to be able to function off-roading or on rough terrain. I saw a few four-wheelers on the other end of the garage. Only for supply run are the four-wheelers use. A lot of folks around here travel on foot.
I walked around to the back truck and open the truck bed. I heard the luggage digging back and forth for three hours. I fear the fragile things I had stored in the luggage. I grew irritated at my brother not allowing me into the truck. He to many tools, hunting gear, and random stuff on the back seat. He had shove most of it to one side to make room for Kate in the back seat. I grabbed the luggage with my fragile things and unzipped it. I pray nothing is broken. I look inside at all my things, but nothing looked damage. I wrapped a lot my clothes around the fragile items. All thank you, I worried about the handmade pottery mug my first roommate made for me. "What is all that junk?" asked Sam looking over my shoulder.
"Don't call it junk? What you have in the back of the truck is junk. Why didn't you clean it out before you picked us up," I asked.
"I didn't think you would bring back so much with you," he explained. Kate came around and grabbed her book bag filled with only clothes and toiletries.
"I'm moving back home. I do have to move my stuff with me. I have stuff being mailed to the nearest town next week. Who do I have to talk to get a vehicle to get myself when it comes in," I asked zipping back my luggage and hauling heavy thing out the truck bed. My brother eyes me as I struggle with the two pieces of luggage.
"Talk to dad, but don't hold your breath. We can only run to town when we need supplies. Supplies usually take home whole space in the truck. How much room will you need to get the stuff," he asked.
"A whole vehicle because like I said I moving home and I have all my belongings being shipped," I retorted.
"Good luck with that. Dad doesn't like wasting money on gas when doesn't suit the whole pack. What's with a lack of strength here? Don't you run anymore? You're practically a stick. Here let me carry them," said Sam throwing both pieces of luggage over both shoulders. Kate asked me the same thing when we were moving boxes from the dorm to the van and postal office. Did they forget I don't have their strength?
"Human, "I uttered pointing to myself. Both looked me up and down. The light bulb went off. My short stature compares to their tall athletic bodies should explain it. They eye each other and back at me.
"Still no luck in the wolf department," Sam asked. Kate already knew the answer. She stopped asking four years ago if I had shifted.
"Nothing is ever gonna change Sam. I'm human and that's all I'll ever be. I accepted a long time ago," I answered.
"Yeah, you're right. Good for you looking for the bright side of things," he said.
"Dad knows we're here and he wants to see you," he announced.
"Let's go. I'm dying to see him. We walked out of the garage and I pulled the garage door shut. Electricity usage around here is used sparingly. The garage door has to open and shut by hand. The door had been left open when Sam left this morning.
We headed up the stone path up the hill. I could see the roof of my house already poking up from behind the hill. The lavish bricks outward interior blended in with spruce trees surrounded. A mix of large to small nicely kept wooden cabins spread around the house. Families live in the larger ones. The smaller cabins for childless couples or authority members. Two large wooden buildings sat off to the side of the house. The buildings must the new recreational and food center Kate had been describing to me. The territory looked widely different when I had left. Much of the buildings and land were in rough shape. Dad had remodeled most all the cabins outward interiors or completely rebuilt old pack common areas. It all looked fresh and new.
"Is dad in the manor," I asked Sam knowing he one of the few who can directly link to dad. Linking is when my pack talked to each other through the pack link inside our minds. Mutual families could link with each other or a few authority members like Micak could link to the alpha.
"Yeah, but Spence," he urged. I didn't care to hear the rest. I took off sprinting up the hill to the house. The stone brick path leads the way. I ran up the porch stairs and ran inside. Saw a few surprise faces in the main room. The room is huge with a fireplace that runs up the eighteen-foot tall ceilings. Leather couches laid around with expensive end tables.
Only the finest decorations were allowed in this room. I surprise see people here because only high ranking folks are allowed in here or if its special event. I didn't care why they were there and took off down the hall knowing exactly where my dad's office is. The path I ran down many times as a child. I wanted to follow in his footsteps. Micak stood in front of the large wooden door I fast approach and stalled. If he stood in front of the door, it meant dad is in an important meeting. I came to a halt and my stomach dropped. Micak can only be described as a tall hippie without a loving personality. He's like a second dad to me. He had dark messy shoulder-length hair with a mustache to match. Under his chest, he has several mythological animals he use to make up stories to distract me from bothering dad.
Whoever is in there would be more important than me right now. Dad never wanted a meeting interrupted. My dad stood on the other side the door and it had been two years since I've seen him. I had hoped he would have been there to welcome me home with open arms. No, it like every dam day. He's too busy with the pack even too busy to see his daughter.
Micak said nothing and gave me a friendly smile. He didn't speak because quiet is a must for all dad's meeting. If I could link, I could talk to Micak. I gave a thumbs ups and slowly turned around. Dad wanted to see me when I got here, Sam said. It could be a few minutes or hours before he comes out of the office. I gave heavy breath and head down the hallway to go I don't know where. Dad is the whole reason I even concerned about coming back. In the end, the Alpha can be disturbed not even by his daughter.