The next day I was filled with anxiety. Once we got on the plane my mind started wandering. There were so many questions I needed answers to and I definitely didn't know how I would bring up any of Zel's revelations. Would my parents deny it or would they be so hurt that they would refuse to tell me about my real life? I knew Val would be there for support but I felt like my entire world was about to be turned upside down and I wouldn't know how to fix it. Would I be responsible for restoring the Royals back to their full glory or would the bloodline end with me? I closed my eyes and sighed. Val placed her hand on my arm and said "Everything will be ok, Anna. I got your back no matter what!" I smiled back at her. Thank God I had her.
Six hours later, we were landing in Oregon. I didn't tell my parents what time my flight was landing because I wanted to surprise them. Once we got our luggage we called an Uber for the 20 minute drive to the pack. Looking out the window I realized just how much had changed in our town. There were new buildings where the old cinema was, a 4 star restaurant was built over the old Shake Shack but the old high school had never changed. I shuttered as we passed by thinking back to the time I met Ryder. He was with his cousin at our annual end of summer bbq. He was four years older than me and he had just completed his Alpha training. Every future Alpha had to complete a mandatory 2 year rigorous program and since Oregon's Stanton Academy was the number 1 school in the U.S., that was why he was here. As soon as our eyes met we both knew instantly we were mates. Everyone thought I was crazy for thinking that, mainly because I was only 16, but I didn't listen to them. I was drawn to him, drawn to his soul like a moth to a flame. And so was he.
I closed my eyes and tried to block the memories from my mind. Soon we were driving onto Redbend Drive, the place that I called my home for most of my life and my eyes started filling with tears at the sight of my family home. I opened the door before the car came to a complete stop and bolted out hurriedly grabbing our bags. I walked onto the porch, while Val thanked the driver, and knocked on the door. My heart leapt out of my chest at the sight of my parents opening the door. I hurled myself into my moms arms and my dad enveloped us both.
My dad pulled back letting my moms embrace loosen then he placed his hands on either side of my face "Let me look at you! Oh my, Anna you have grown up so much. Come on in we have so much to catch up on."
I grabbed Val's hand and said "Mom, dad this is Val. She has been my best friend and roommate for the last 6 years."
"Val, it is so nice to meet you. I am Julie and this is Robert." Said my mom pulling her into a hug.
Val smiles big and says "It is nice to meet you, too."
"So Val where are you from?" Asked my dad quizzically.
"From New Mexico. I'm from the Navajo Pack. I moved to Colorado for college and that's where I met Anna."
My parents exchanged a curious look and Val gave me an apologetic stare.
I dropped my eyes to the ground and said "I think we have a lot to talk about."
My parents led us to the living room and soon my mom was bringing trays of food and lemonade and setting them down on the coffee table. Val and I made no subtle attempts at all and practically clawed at each other to get to the food. We were starving from the flight. After my parents finished telling Val all the stories from my childhood and we had filled our bellies full of delicious food, my mom brought us to my old room where we would be sleeping. I couldn't believe they had kept it exactly the same. All the old posters of boy bands and inspirational quotes hanging on the walls. The pictures of me and my friends sitting on my dresser. Even some of my old trophies from middle school we're still on the shelf where I had placed them. It felt like I had walked straight into the past where everything was perfect. Before I met Ryder. Before he ruined everything. Before I escaped to the other side of the world and abandoned my family. Before the thought of having a mate was bullshit. We washed up and laid in the twin beds that accompanies my room. Even my bedsheets hadn't changed. God, what had My parents thought when I ran away? Did they really think it was because of them or did they ever find out the real reason I left? Did they know how bad of a person Ryder truly was? And just like that, everything started flooding back. The the hate and anger I held onto for so long. I jumped up and ran down the hall to my parents room with tears streaming down my face. I burst into their room and screamed "Why didn't you tell me I wasn't your real child? Why did you lie to me all these years? Who are they?" I raised my voice, demanding again "Who are they?"
My mom looked to my dad for reassurance and he nodded at her. She turned back to me and said "Sit down, Anna. There is so much we need to discuss."