I looked up and noticed that the sun was low in the skies. Although it hadn’t felt like it, I’d been in the prison for almost a day. I’d been treated fairly for someone who’d trespassed. I got to sleep and eat before I was taken into questioning.
Unlike back home, where the prison was an unground basement beneath a storage house, this pack had their prison deep within the forest. Before I got out, I’d been blindfolded and was now standing at the edge of the tree line, looking at an astonishing and beautiful building, I suspected was the pack house.
“Wow,” I breathed, barely able to contain my surprise. It was a HUGE mansion--- No, scratch that! It was a fucking castle that seemed to go on forever in every direction. Wolves were everywhere, talking, walking or playing around. Houses in all sizes were gather around the main building and I could see families coming and going. There wasn’t any roads, like in Cedrick’s pack, but they still managed to have a vast amount of cars, reminding me of a small community.
Like werewolves’ packs were supposed to be…
“You’ll catch some nasty flies if you keep standing like that,” The Bear-Man – also known as Warden Allan – snickered behind me. He was in charge of the prison, if his title didn’t give that away, and one of the pack’s best warriors.
“Don’t ruin the moment, Big-Bear,” I huffed, gently hitting his shoulder – or at least that’s what I’m telling myself. I tried to put some muscles into it, but it was like trying to move a mountain…!
He laughed at the new title I’d given him, and a small grin even slipped across Alpha Darren’s features. Well what do you know, I mentally noted. These guys aren’t made of rocks and steel after all.
Suddenly there was a loud squealing noise, that instantly caught our attention. But to my surprise, we weren’t under attack – so to speak… A small girl, smiling from ear to ear, came running towards us. And judging by the huge grin that spread across Alpha Darren’s face, I’d say she was his daughter.
“Bella!” he exclaimed, bending down to take her into his arms. “How’s my baby girl?”
To my surprise, she replied in sigh-language. I couldn’t help but grin, as she eagerly told him of his day, moving her fingers so fast, I was sure they would get tangled. That’s until she suddenly realized I was there. Her eyes went big and she threw her arms around her father’s neck, seeking protection.
“Hey,” I warmly smiled at her and used sign-language to gain her trust. “What’s your name?”
For a split second, she seemed surprised, glancing between her father and me. I also noticed that Alpha Darren looked surprised when he noticed that I could sign. But Dick, my older brother, had been born mute and because of that, sign-language had been like a second tongue to me – so to speak…
Shyly she let go of her dad’s neck and spelled out her name.
“Oh, Isabella,” I read back the words, thankful that I hadn’t forgotten it all together in all the years I hadn’t used it. “That’s so pretty! I’m Lesley.”
“You can sign?” The Bear man asked, sounding a bit surprised.
“Yeah,” I nodded as we continued walking towards the main building. “My brother was mute too,” I told them. “He leaned to speak through the mind-link eventually, but the first many years he used sign-language…”
“The mind-link?” Alpha Darren cut me off, looking at me like I’d just grown another head.
“Yeah,” I shrugged. “All wolves have it; even the mute ones.” I frowned. “You didn’t know that?”
He didn’t reply, but I noticed a great deal of emotions flashing behind his pale eyes. Perhaps it was because I sounded so cocky or arrogant? Or did he honestly not know, that his daughter would be able to talk through the mind-link? It was one of the first things the doctor had told my parents when they found out that Dick was mute…
I’d opened my mouth to apologize, but Alpha Darren beat me to it…
“Come on,” he said, and resumed walking towards the huge building. “I’ll introduce you to my mate.”
To say that the atmosphere here was indefinitely different from that of the Silver Moon Pack, would be an understatement. Here people didn’t glance at me with a scrunched nose or a disgusting gleam in their eyes. They actually smiled, greeted and some even waved, as in hoping they were welcoming a new pack member.
But then again, they weren’t meeting their Luna while she reeked of another male…
I shivered from the memory.
I knew that most likely the Silver Moon pack members were good people. But it hurt that they were wo quick to judge me, before knowing the full story. I didn’t chose to be unfaithful – to be raped! And although they didn’t know that, shouldn’t there be some sort of compassion or enough empathy between them, that they at least could suspect that there had to be some mitigating circumstances?
They full out judged me based on half-truths and rumors. And worse of all, I think Cedrick believed them too… Or at least he did! He made a whole lot of assumptions about me in the beginning, but after I submitted to him, he seemed to have changed. I didn’t know if it was because I submitted or something else, but he seemed to mean it, when he said he wanted to move forward.
And in forward there was only room for me and him.
Why did Anja have to show up all of a sudden…?
Now that I though about it, is seemed sort of fishy. I come of my heat and she shows up. Did she plan that? Of course, she’d knew I’d been in heat and I’m pretty sure that she also knew that Cedrick hadn’t marked me.
But would she really go that far? To steal my mate…?
“The Alpha quarters are this way,” Alpha Darren instructed me and I followed, with a nervous feeling in my stomach. I was taken to their private quarters? Why? A million things – and none of them good – flashed before my mind. My heart started to beat faster and I curled my hands into tight fists, feeling my muscles ace from the tension…
If he wanted to hurt us, he probably wouldn’t take us to see his mate, suddenly sounded from my wolf. I inhaled sharply. This was the first time, I’d ever heart her trying to comfort me. I was surprised to hear her voice but found it surprisingly calm. I exhaled slowly and although my stomach still clenched, my wolf was right.
He led me to a huge set of double doors and with a slight push, he opened them.
“Izzy,” he called out, setting down the little girl. “We have a visitor.”
I gaped as I looked around. WOW! If I though the outside was impressive it paled in comparison to the inside. Sure, the downstairs and community halls were impressive, don’t get me wrong. But it didn’t hold a candle to the impressive design of their private quarters.
There was a huge open spaced kitchen with a kitchen island that looked like it was meant to feed an army. There was a big dining room table and in the far end of the room was a sunken down launch-like area. The floor-to-loft windows allowed a lot of natural light into the rooms, extending through the loft and into the upper levels, where I could only imagine the bedrooms and bathrooms were.
A feminine voice brought me out of my daze. I spun around and came face to face with a small, somewhat very pregnant blond, with a warm and welcoming smile.
“Oh, hi there! Welcome! I’m Luna Izzy. Well, Elisabeth, but Izzy for short,” she breathed in one sentence, holding her hand out for me to take.
“Lesley,” I replied, a bit overwhelmed by her kindness. I was not used to that! “I’m--- sort of, a Luna too. But right now, I’m just 16 and dead inside.”
“You’re a Luna?” she echoed, unable to hide her surprise. I mentally sighed. Ok, so it wasn’t just Cedrick that though I was incapable…
“Hmm your right,” I said with a grin, instead of sounding my disappointment. “It’s more like my mate is an alpha and I’m eye-candy.”
She grinned at the joke and invited me for dinner. Her mate shortly informed her, that I was a guest. But the glance between them told me, that he didn’t trust me. He wanted me close in case I turned out to be lying and slowly going rogue…
Unfortunately, what I though was distrust from Alpha Darren, actually was concern. He wanted to keep me closer to home, since the pack house mostly was inhabited by unmated warriors. In case I was telling the truth and went into heat, he was probably the only one who was able to keep me safe.
I finally got to use the restroom and got to sit with the family eating dinner.
“So,” Luna Izzy said, handing me the potatoes. “What brings you here?”
“Running for a long time in this general direction,” I replied truthfully. She eyed me with a whole lot of skepticism and a hit of amusement. I grinned and continued: “I had a bad argument with my mate and needed air, so I went for a run. I didn’t realize I crossed any territories until I ran into your border patrol.”
And that’s – ladies and gents – is how you tell the truth while you’re full of bullshit…
“What pack are you from?” Alpha Darren asked, when Izzy had to help Bella.
“The High Stone Pack,” I replied, without thinking. Hey, they given me permission to stay, so it didn’t matter if they found out who I was.
I glanced over at Isabella, who was making a ruckus because she didn’t want to eat. The parents tired every trick in the book, but she refused to eat any more. “Try to spice up the food a bit, then she’ll eat it.” I suggested, remembering how Dick would only eat foot, that would make mortal humans spit fire.
“What?” Alpha Darren asked, as if he was unable to believe what he heard.
“I don’t know if it’s a general thing, but my brother was mute too,” I explained. “He said that our food was tasteless to him and he liked the spices. That’s the only way mom and dad got any food into him.”
I grinned, remembering how he’d throw a fit, if mom forgot to buy barbecue-sauce. It and salty crackers were his favorite snack…
Without a second word, Alpha Darren – having had his fill of the rebelling toddler – got up and practically drowned her carbonara in sweet-chili-sauce.
I tried to bite down a grin – seeing how frustrated he’d been with the little devil. But like I suspected, Little Bella carefully licked the pasta--- and decided she had to eat it all at once. With both hands, she grabbed as much as she could and stuffed it into her mouth, causing an almost bigger ruckus than before.
I laughed, when I rushed over to help them clean up the new mess, while Bella remained the queen of the castle.
“Usually I have to tie her down just to get a spoonful into her,” Luna Izzy laughed, trying to instruct her daughter to eat with a fork.
“That was something we found out once my brother got older,” I explained, when things settled down again. “His name was Dick and he would only eat food that otherwise burned our throats…”
I was cut off, when Alpha Darren suddenly choked on his glass of vine. I hadn’t noticed that his eyes had turned silver gray, and he was communicating with someone outside the room. Now his attention was back on me--- and his glare was deadly!
“YOUR MATE IS THE ALPHA OF THE SILVER MOON PACK?!”