"Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible"
I wake up to my phone buzzing on the hardwood desk of Dr Lynns, my eyes opening sluggishly. I wipe away the hair that has stuck to my face just as the phone stops only to start up again moments later.
I try to blink myself awake as I groggily pick up the phone, the side of my face pressed with the mark of a calculator. "Hello?" I answer, not bothering to check who is even calling. My voice comes out as a husky rasp and I wonder just how long I've been out for.
"Maeve? It's Dr Lynn, I'm just calling to inform you that Carter has woken up, I am on my way now to see him but I think it'd be best if you came as soon as you could," she says and her words act like an electric shock, my slumped posture straightening almost instantly.
"No!" I blurt into the phone, scrambling from my seat. "I'll be right there, don't let anyone in, I don't want to startle him again," I command.
"But Luna..." she starts, forgetting her use of the honorific.
"Please," I beg, images of what happened last time flashing in my head. That petrified look that marred his soft features.
"I need to check on his vitals, ensure that he is okay. It won't take me long, I know what I am doing. Please just let me check on him, I'm sure everything will be fine," she repeats and I think for a moment about her safety. I know Carter is secured to the bed, barely an inch of wiggle room afforded to him, but still- who knows what things the curse may give him.
"Fine, I'll be there soon, just make sure he is okay," I reply, grabbing my coat from the hanger near the door and discarding my phone onto the sofa, walking towards Carters room at a fervent pace.
No one stops to question me in the halls as I near run to the wing that Carter is staying in. I've memorised the route like I was born to take it, the countless times I'd walked this exact way-down a small flight of stairs, past a lobby then through the emergency ward into the rooms that lay mostly vacant. The section reserved for people to be alone.
And he was. Every room was empty in the lead up to his. Even those that previously held patients now lay completely vacant. The only people in view were the five large guards positioned outside Carters room, all of whom stiffened notably at my arrival.
"Luna, the Dr is inside with the patient currently. May we assist you with anything?" A woman asks me, her body clad in back clothing like the rest of them, a small silver moon emblem on the right of her chest. By the way she positions her body slightly, cutting off my main access to the hospital room, I can tell she wasn't anticipating my arrival.
"I am going in to talk with him," I answer firmly and she seems hesitant to let me, the apprehension clear in her eyes. I understand her dilemma, I truly do, letting your Luna into a room with someone who tried to kill your Alpha would be concerning for a wolf.
"Very well," she responds, inclining her head towards me slightly. I wonder if she's under any orders, I wonder if Roman has commanded her to do anything and if it matters. From the way she conceded without much of a fight I don't think that she'd deny me regardless.
The second she moves aside I push though the door and the heads of Carter and Lynn snap towards me. There isn't a trace of a smile on Carters face, no lines of happiness overtaking his features, nothing. But his void eyes do widen at my arrival, like it takes him a moment to figure out who I am.
The second it clicks, his hand pulls at the restraint on his forearm. Lynn clutches at her clipboard tighter.
"I'll leave the two of you alone," she says, removing herself from the room so it is just me and Carter together.
The second the door to the room clicks Carter tugs at the restraints again, concern filling his face. "Mae, help me get these off, get this stuff out of me," he says, glancing down at the drip still attached to his arm.
"I can't," I reply, moving closer towards him, noting how his brows furrow intently.
He stops pulling at the restraints. "Why?" He asks, "Mae cmon please."
"After last time... they won't let me see you if you aren't like this. There's nothing I can do about it-hell I'm lucky I am even in here alone," I say and he gives me a pained look, one of understanding.
"After I..." he starts, recounting the events on his own.
I nod. "They thought you might be dangerous to me because of what you did to him. They think that," I correct, trying to avoid looking at the leather straps that bind him.
Seeing him, tied up like that so vulnerable to whatever the wolves here decide to do to him makes my gut twist. He's locked up in every sense of the word, confined to not even an inch of room and completely helpless because of it.
"I wouldn't hurt you," he says, hurt even at the suggestion. "That's not why I came... I came to help you, to help..." he starts up again but he stops himself short.
"That's not what it looked like to them, too Roman," I say and the moment his name falls from my lips Carter's stare becomes different.
"Is he listening to this?" He asks, more wary than defensive. "If he is making you come in here Mae you just say," he continues, giving me a look. He thinks this is a set up, he thinks I am being forced here by Roman.
"He isn't anywhere near here. It is just us," I reply, convection in my words.
"Mae I know he's done... I know he's hurt you. But it's not going to last, I'm gonna get us out of here, get us someplace safe," he says and I shake my head slowly.
'He doesn't hurt me, Carter. He's... difficult sometimes, but he doesn't hurt me, I am completely fine," a slight lie considering the trillion thoughts that command over my mind consistently but sometimes it is easier to cut the truth a little than explain.
Carters brows furrow and he looks to the door again, convinced that someone is listening on every word outside of it. "If he is making you come here just leave. Let them hurt me Mae, I can't see you like this, being used," he says and I furrow my brows.
"I can handle myself, I told Ollie that, I told him that everything was fine here Carter. It is fine." He doesn't reply, instead he just thinks over my words, like he is piecing together a puzzle of his own. "I am trying to fix things for humans, help both sides without causing damage to either. Not all of them are evil, most of them are helping me, Carter. The rebels, the packs, they both want the same thing and it can be achieved, I am seeing it be achieved before my very eyes," I inform him, nothing but pure honesty in my voice.
"Do you see him as evil? Or..." he questions and he doesn't have the strength to finish it off, to put power to the truth he so badly wants to see as a lie.
"He isn't fantastic. Nothing about my situation is ideal but he is helping me too, without him I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing," I confess.
"But do you like him?" He starts, staring at me through wary eyes. "Do you love-"
"No." There isn't room for him to interject as I stare at him with as much conviction as I can muster. "It's not like that," I continue.
"Mae you are a prisoner here, he is imprisoning you. Hell he's imprisoning me," he says, looking down to the restraints. "This is no way to live. Oliver, he is concerned about you, every damn day, all day the only thing he does is work on a way to get you out. It's what he is fighting for, it's what we are all fighting for. Freedom," he says and I think back to the night I saw Oliver last, the hurt and pain in his eyes at my choice to stay.
But it was my choice and I wasn't deluded when I made it. Just as I am not deluded now. There is hope for both species to exist in harmony and I'm not going to abandon that hope. I leave here and either humans or wolves are going to pay the price and in all honesty, my money is on humans suffering the most.
Oliver told me that the hunters had the means to revolt, he sounded certain about it too. But if humans in New Moon revolt, they are revolting against all the wolves in the words united. I don't think they stand a chance.
"The hunters are fighting for the end of all werewolves. They won't stop until each and every one is dead and that bracket includes my mate which subsequently includes me. It includes Noah and his child and every other human tied to their species," I confess and his brows knit together.
"His child?" He asks, entirely perplexed. I stare at him just as stunned.
"He didn't tell you? Neither of them told you?" I ask and slowly, the pieces become clearer. I expected Carter to be out of the loop but this. It seems that I'm not the only one being kept out of the loop.
"That Noah has a kid?" He asks, entirely shocked. I nod and a harrowed look overcomes his face. "I didn't know..." he starts and I think back to how Oliver didn't either. Both of them were fooled by their father.
"Your dad knew, he met Noah and he tried to have her killed," I inform him and he shakes his head.
"That's... he said he couldn't get to him. He wouldn't hurt-" he starts but stops with a slight wince like the bullet wound in his body was reminding him that it existed.
"Do you even know who your father is?" I ask and he glances to the sheets on his bed an answer in and of itself. It makes an anger bubble up inside me. "And you've known this whole time-all of you have known this whole time and none of you ever thought to tell me?" I ask and shame overcomes his features.
"It was best that way. I knew he was a hunter, he taught us since birth about who we were and what that meant. Oliver tried to get us away from it our Mom-" he starts but his voice constricts with a sort of pain. "Mom tried to take us away from it as best she could but even she was under his spell, every story about wolves, beasts with teeth that'd tear your throat out and eat your organs whilst you lived- she was scared too. The things that wolves have done-" he looks at me again, like I fit into the bracket of their treacheries to him.
"But you know who he is," I reiterate and am again met with no answer. "You know that he isn't just some ordinary hunter, he is the hunter. Arthur Hunt," I explain and he shakes his head.
"I didn't know that," he says, quick to defend the slight innocence he has. "He never told us about any of that. I discovered it when I got to the base and I-" he starts but he stops himself short again.
"You what?" I press and he looks me dead in the eye. "After everything they'd done to you, to Ollie. To us. I thought it was a good thing, that he was a good man underneath it all but I guess..." he glances to his stomach where the shot would lays beneath the hospital sheets.
"Why did you lie?" I ask, despite already knowing the answer. I get he thought he was doing the right thing but to lie to me in that way, trap me in a field with his psychotic father... The flash of guilt that passes over his face tells me that he regrets it and I'm glad.
"They told me it was for the best and I believed them. I actually thought that they'd listen to your negotiations at the meeting, I never expected him to-" he stops again and I wonder if he'll ever be able to voice the sentence that his own father tried to kill him.
"And what do you believe now?" I ask and his eyes gloss over in a sort of affliction.
"I don't know," he mummers.
"And the curse..." I start, unsure of how to even approach such a topic. "Are you one of them?" I ask and my question makes his head nap towards me. There is and us and them and if he wasn't sure which side I stood on then he does now.
"A rebel?" He questions-an evasion.
He shakes his head slowly and a breath escapes my lips, but it doesn't fully quell the nerves inside me. "And are you a rebel?" I ask and again, silence befalls the room.
"Yes," he concludes, nodding as if to ensure himself that the answer is the correct choice. "Against tyranny, against suffering, against pain. Always."
I nod, a pained look overcoming my face. I expected the answer, in fact I am even pleased with it. The thought of Carter turning his back on a movement he thought was seeking to achieve all that I am trying to now isn't pleasant. But I just need to make him see that if he wants an end to those things then working with the hunters isn't the best choice.
"Is that bad for me?" He asks and I don't try to mask the truth with a smile.
"It's not great," I respond and he glances down in thought. "But it's not terrible. You could be a hunter."
He pulls at the restraints. "Are they going to hurt me?" He asks and I flinch not only at the implication but at the pain evident in his voice.
"No." My words are solid- a promise. "But they are going to ask you some questions and it is in your best interests to answer them."
Looking into Carter through a double-sided mirror felt strange. So off-putting that it makes me feel genuinely sick. Roman's arm wraps around my waist in comfort but it does nothing to settle my nerves. If anything, his presence here makes me feel worse.
I wonder if he knows I am stood behind here. He is sat behind a desk, precautionary cuffs holding him to the metal table and his eyes pierce through the glass, staring into the room. I know he can't see me but it doesn't feel that way. His eyes move as though they are in constant scrutiny.
I could try pass it off that I am here to watch over him, make sure that nothing happens to him that I wouldn't agree with. But the truth is, I am genuinely curious as to what his answers will be. I want to know the truth just as much as Roman. I need to figure out how to get us out of this mess-not only with the King but with the war as a whole still.
"You shouldn't feel bad," Roman says behind me and my instincts tell me to shush him, like we are supposed to be sneaky but I know Carter wouldn't be able to hear a person scream from behind here. So instead I just look at him with furrowed brows. "I can see the guilt on your face, Mae. You look so troubled I'm starting to feel it," he says with a little more concern, pulling me closer to him.
"Well I do," I reply, wrapping my hands around my own waist, my fingers gently brushing against his forearm.
"You've told him why. The King isn't a man to be crossed and for him, this might very well be a matter of life or death. He understands why he needs to cooperate and I am sure he will," he assures me but my worries don't ease.
"You are speaking very highly of a man who just tried to murder you," I grumble and a loose laugh escapes his lips, one that he bottles quickly. This isn't a time for humour.
"I trust you to have explained the direness of the situation well enough. And regardless, he is from our enemies side despite his relationship to you. He must know that his freedom here is greatly limited," he explains and it makes me feel more irked. I don't want to look at Carter as my enemy.
"You're not helping," I grumble again and he decides not to press any further on it, understanding that my being testy isn't going to change anytime soon.
Carter is in his enemy territory, waiting to be questioned to give away information from his own people that may just save his life. I told him what needed to be done, the sort of things he had to say for the record. Basically, everything he told me needed to be recorded. Roman assured me it'd be best that way, to give the King records as well as our own statements.
Any kind of solid evidence that we could gather to paint Carter in the best possible light whilst doing our duty to the King and the pack was paramount according to him. We needed whatever information he had, it was vital considering the neurotic nature of our enemies.
"Relax," Roman whispers into my ear, his lips brushing against my skin. Like his words are a spell, my body falls under his trance and my heartbeat beats less rapidly.
"I just want him to be ok-" the door to the interview room opens and Beta Elijah walks in, his expression steely and void of any humour. He looks daunting, threatening almost. I'd never seen him like this, completely in his element. I wonder how many times he's walked into this room like that.
Another man walks in with him, a gGamma I have seen before who is notably shorter and holding a laptop tucked beneath his arm. The two fill the metal seats opposite Carter and his eyes follow their every move, keenly aware.
"I am Beta Elijah and this is Gamma Finn. We are here to ask you a few questions and as protocol demands, we will be recording anything you say from this point onwards into our system. We are not permitted to change or adapt your words once spoken, your actions from now on may be used against you under pack rulings. If you have a question you may address either of us using the formal names we have provided you, failure to adhere to this protocol will also be recorded. Do you understand?" Elijah looks straight on to Carter and his expression shown on the mirror to Carters back matches the tone of his voice. Steely and void of an ounce of emotion.
Unlike many I'm sure, Carter doesn't cower and instead simple inclines his head ever so slightly in acknowledgement. Anything he says. Anything he says may be used against him. It wouldn't surprise me if he only uttered a single word.
"Good. Now, we both want this to move smoothly so answer the questions as they come to the best of your ability, the longer it takes, the longer you are stuck in here. We will start simple. What is your name?" He asks, glancing down to his clipboard in front of him.
Carter clears his throat. "Carter Hunt." I think back to my married name, Wilson and I wonder if that too was a lie.
"How old are you?"
"Nineteen." Elijah nods.
"Have you ever committed a felony in the eyes of pack laws?" He asks and Carter shifts slightly.
"And what would these felonies be?" Elijah asks and I gulp.
"To my knowledge, I've assaulted two wolf guards, trespassed into a pack that was not assigned to me and assisted in the escape of the Luna," he says, calculated in his choice of words. "There could be more, wolf laws seem to change unexpectedly these days," he quips and Elijah's lip raises in a snarl but he doesn't reprimand his subject for the breach.
"Have you ever killed a wolf?" He asks and Carter moves his shoulders back, pulling at the cuffs that restrain him.
"Have you ever thought about killing a wolf?" Elijah asks, beginning to dig. Carter tenses.
"Yes," he answers solidly.
"And what urged you to possess this thought?"
Carter's face becomes stern. "He kidnapped my sister and keeps her trapped, abusing her rights and most likely abusing her too."
"So misguided vengeance?" Elijah retorts and Carter clenches his jaw. "And given the opportunity, would you act on this urge?"
My breathing becomes more rapid and I wish I could send a message to him, will him to not be stupid. "Yes," he replies cooly and Roman's grip on me tightens slightly with the threat. Elijah is baiting him, and he is doing a good job of it too.
"I thought this was supposed to help exonerate him," I mutter to Roman and his gaze remains on the interview room.
"The truth is the only thing that can exonerate him. It seems he knows that, too."
"Were you aware the message sent to Luna Maeve held the intent of causing her harm?" Elijah asks and Carter shakes his head before realising it's not enough of a response.
"So you weren't aware that it was your fathers plan to capture the Luna?" He continues and Carters jaw clenches again.
"Were you aware of who your father, Sir Arthur Hunt was before the meeting that took place between you and the Luna?" Elijah questions with a hard stare.
"How long have you known of the fact that your father is a hunter?"
"Since I was a child."
"And have you been aware of the fact that your father has committed countless offences to the packs of this world and is a highly dangerous criminal to the world since you were a child?" He questions and Carter clenches his hands into fits on the table, an action Elijah doesn't miss.
"When was it that you found out of his past?"
"I knew he was a a hunter and what that entailed. I didn't know his ranking or his past until recently." I can tell the subject breaches a personal barrier within Carter. I can see it in the way he moves slightly in his seat, visibly bothered.
"Has your father ever shared information regarding the current rebel movement with you?" He asks and Carter nods again before shaking his head.
"Yes," he mutters out.
"What kind of information did your father share with you?" Elijah asks and I am surprised at the vagueness of the question. It gives Carter room, that's for sure.
"General stuff, tasks that I had to undertake, the reasons for our fight, plans on how we would win," he lists and Elijah nods.
"So you were aware-are aware-of your fathers plans?" Elijah asks.
"Some of them, yes," he replies.
"What dictated him informing you of the plans," Elijah continues and Carter shifts in his seat.
"My involvement, mostly. Sometimes I was just in the room," he answers and Elijah nods again.
"So he informed you of plans involving you yet you weren't aware of the plan to capture the Luna at your recent meeting?" Elijah presses and I tense, not liking the nature of the interview at all.
"I didn't know of his plans for that meeting," Carter reiterates, a bite to his words.
"So you didn't expect, have an inkling as to the aim of the meeting?"
"Well I wasn't expecting him to shoot me in the stomach but here we are," Carter snaps before clenching his jaw shut tight again. "I thought we were there to discuss peace and help Maeve. I was lied to," he answers through clenched teeth, his chest rising and falling in a steady manner to calm himself.
"Aside from the Alpha Superior, have you ever wished harm upon a member of the New Moon packs or any other packs for that matter?" Elijah asks, reverting from the subject of Arthur momentarily.
Carter ponders for a moment. "There have been some people who have pissed me off, sure," Carter responds.
"That doesn't answer my question. Have you ever wished harm upon a member of the New Moon packs or any other pack?" Elijah repeats.
"Have I wanted to punch a dude? Sure, have I wished karma on an asshole, definitely. But I've never wanted someone badly hurt without my reasons," he answers, another response I wish wasn't going on the record.
"In committing your offences listed before, did you ever work with any accomplices?" He asks and Carter tenses again, his muscles visibly taut.
"No," he says sternly.
"So when keeping the Luna from her mate and assisting in her escape you weren't working with a woman under the name of Alani Jones?" Elijah asks and Carters eyes turn hard with rage.
"Leave her out of this," Carter says in a dangerous tone, one that makes Elijah tense.
"I would advise you to refrain from using threats. For your own benefit," Elijah reprimands in a condensing manner, one that makes Carter tighten his fists further. "So again, were you aided by an Alani Jones in your crimes against the pack?"
Carter begins breathing heavily. "What does it matter? Why are you concerned about her?" Carter seethes out, struggling to reign in that anger.
I clutch onto Romans arm and turn to him. "Roman," I say lowly, really hoping he has some kind of response to all this.
"When asking a question you will address me as Beta," Elijah growls out. "Were. You. Aided. By. Another. Criminal. Named. Alani. Jo-"
Carter doesn't let him finish his question and stands up from the table, his arms pulling him down as he yells a stream of profanities, essentially telling Elijah to shove his questions up his arse and fuck off. Which he does, leaving a seething, non-compliant 'criminal' sat on the chair staring directly into the mirror with eyes hardened by utter anger.
I had a funny meme to share but I can't find it and my laptop is on 5% so hopefully if I remember I can put it on here next update!
In other news, I am super tired right now and honestly don't even know what I am writing lmao, so imma head off to bed. Please vote, comment, check out the ol insta rada rada
see ya Thursday (hopefully)
instead of a funny meme, here's a pretty picture;