I stared at Albert and I asked him “Why do you say it?”
“So, it is true then?” He said back with a smirk.
“No, I did not say so.” I challenged him.
“But you haven’t refused.” He countered back.
I sat in silence contemplating my answers. “It is complicated.” I said with a sigh.
Albert did not answer back, and we sat in silence.
“How is Maureen?” I asked him.
“She is fine.”
“Is she...” I stopped for a minute not knowing how to ask. “Is she still having problem to sleep?”
Albert looked at me sharply. I continued as if I had not noticed him.
“When you were in hospital, Maureen stayed with me. She had difficulties to sleep alone.”
His face became hard at this statement.
“I am sorry. I will stop if you don’t want to talk about it.” I said softly.
He looked at me and shook his head.
“It’s not that. If you want to really know, I have to say from the start.”
“Do you know we have two flap like things at the sides of our head?”
He looked at me with confusion. “What?”
“The flap like things.” Saying that I touched my ears.
Still not clear about my intention, he looked at me with confusion.
“It is called ears and is used to hear. So if you want to talk about your complicated story, I have two ears to hear.”
Understanding dawned on his face and he smiled at me.
“My mate’s name was Ivory.”
I looked up to see him. He was not looking at me but his clasped hands.
“Ours is a small pack. She and I were very close from our childhood. Our joy knew no bounds when we found that we were mates. Both our families were happy and we had a beautiful mating ceremony. Life was so beautiful and peaceful. After Maureen, our love grew more and more for each other and our daughter. It was a pack barbecue and I was busy with cooking for the pack. Ivory and Maureen were with our friends and families. The barbecue started happily. Hearing shrieks and shouts I ran out to find the reason. I saw our pack is ambushed by rogues.”
He stopped for a moment reliving the pain.
“I saw my Alpha and Luna were slaughtered in front of my whole pack. The rogues were killing my packs without any reservation. I could not find my family amidst the chaos. When I found, I saw a rogue was about to kill me daughter. I ran fast to save her, but...”
He cleared his throat as words got caught.
“Ivory came in between the rouge and Maureen, saving her. But she died the instant. The blow was very heavy. I became blind with rage and killed the rogue that instant. By the time most of our pack is killed and remaining of us were captured by the rogues. We were taken by them as slaves. Anyone useful to the camp is kept alive. My cooking skills made me and Maureen to survive there. I was able to safeguard Maureen from the torture so far.”
I could not utter a word in shock.
“One day, a rogue try to hit Maureen and I stopped him. Fight erupted and I hit him badly. Hearing this, the rogue leader ordered to kill Maureen to teach a lesson to me. With a help of other slaves, I took Maureen and escaped from there. We were on run for the past two months. We were almost captured by them again and by that time we were near this pack. And rest you know.”
Even though he said without any emotions, I could understand it should have been hell. But how many days had they faced it?
“How old was Maureen when you were captured?” I asked him.
Albert looked at me. “Five.” He said in a whisper.
Five? That means Maureen had faced the struggles for five years. My heart bled for the small girl. But mostly for the male sitting in front of me. I could now understand his harsh and crude behavior. But, if Maureen still had the innocence of a child, it meant that he had saved her from all the struggles and tortures in the camp.
“You are a good father.” I whispered at him. Albert did not answer.
I looked at him with a sudden thought.
“Why were you so angry at me? You looked very defensive on all my actions?” I asked him.
He did not answer for a long time and looked at me. “Spending in a rogue camp for five years, teaches you a hard lesson. That you can believe people whom are harsh and angry, but to be careful with whom are sweet and nice. I thought in such way at first. But…”
“But?” I prompted him.
“I know you are genuinely good with people. I am sorry for my initial behavior. And thank you for taking care of Maureen.”
I nodded at him.
“So, what is the complicated story you are talking about?” Albert asked me.
“It’s quite a long story and I don’t know if you want to hear it.” I said to him.
Albert looked at me with a smile.
“Do you know we have two flap like things at the sides of our head?”
I laughed at his attempt. I shook my head and looked at him. It was fair, since he had said about his mate, let me also tell about mine. So I gave an outline of my past to him.
“So, Drake does not know that, you are his mate. Why don’t you tell him?”
“What if he does not believe me? Or worst, he would think that I am trying to use him to climb the social ladder?” I asked him back.
“Anyone with brain will not think in that way.” He said softly.
I shook my head. “I don’t want to take a risk.”
After couple of minutes Albert stood up to leave. When he is about to leave the door step, I called him.
“How did you find out Drake is my mate?”
Albert did not turn back but answered. “You saw him the same way Ivory sees me. But in your eyes, I could sense the same pain I feel whenever I think of her.”
“But no one had mentioned this from the time I have come to this pack.” I said in a confusion.
His back stiffened at my statement. “Maybe, No one had seen you in the same way as I do.”
Afraid that he might say something else, he rushed to his home and closed the door with further word.
What did he meant by that??
Later I took a shower and changed to some comfy clothes. I dialed Alice.
“Hi Rosie. How are you? Why have you not called me?”
“Hi Alice. Sorry, I took some time to settle in the pack.”
“How is the new pack?”
“Everyone are good. I am slowly settling.”
“I have a news.”
“I found my mate.”
I sat up straight at her words. My face broke into a smile.
“That’s great Alice. I am happy for you. Congratulations.”
After hearing some more about her mate and life, I disconnected the call. Then I dialed Diana’s number.
“Hi Rose darling. How are you doing?”
“Diana. I am good. How are you?”
“I am sensing some happiness in your voice.”
That’s Diana. She knew me in and out.
“Yes Diana. I called for that.”
“What is it darling?”
“I found Drake.”
“What? This is good. Did you ask him why he did not contact you?”
“That’s the problem. He does not recognize me.”
“What?” I caught the confusion in Diana’s voice.
After I explained the whole situation, I could hear Diana sigh.
“Oh Rose. What are you going to do?”
My eyes stung with tears at her voice.
“I don’t know Diana. I don’t know what to do? I don’t know why the Moon Goddess is playing in my life.”
“Rose dear. My mate used to say one thing, whenever we are in trouble. I will tell that to you. Every human have their quota of troubles and problems. If you are facing problems at young age, then you are exhausting your quota of problems soon. Which means you will have a problem free life later. The difficulties you are facing will be over soon and your life will be filled only with happiness after.”
Her words soothed my wounded heart.
“Diana, you always know what to say whenever I need you. Thank you.” I whispered back.
After talking for some more time, I bade good night and slipped into my sleep.