"There once was a prophecy told to us that no one quite believed in until 21 years ago. A story of twin girls, born of two different worlds. One dark, one light. It was said that these two girls were of one soul, but entirely opposite in destiny and character. One would be raised as a princess, trained to one day take over the throne on her 22nd birthday. The other, raised as a leader and champion warrior, would train and bond with her companions to one day take her rightful place as Guardian. Both would have responsibilities neither could ever imagine taking on, and both would be tested. One would turn to darkness, the other would thrive in the light. Both sisters, one dark and one light - Queen and Guardian. At the dawn of the end of war, two sides will be united as one."
Jonas sighed. It was almost as if it pained him to tell the story of this prophecy - which genuinely sounded ridiculous and vague and downright unnecessary to me, but the way his eyes glimmered as he recited the prophecy made me bite my tongue.
Smoke still filled the air in the kitchen, forcing us out on to the porch - Merith and my mother left alone to clean up the smoking remains of my family's photo. I had demanded answers, of course. No one was going to barge into my house and start blowing up my shit and not give me answers about why.
"So what does this have to do with me? And what does it have to do with Merith trying to set my house on fire?" I asked shortly, not placing the pieces of the puzzle together. "What does some prophecy that took place when I was like, not even a year old, have to do with me?" I asked, rolling my eyes. It all sounded like some pathetic children's story the Elders would tell their kids to scare them.
"Ray, the prophecy is about you." A familiar voice said softly, sending shivers down my spine. When had my father come home? He didn't think having Elders appear at our house was a big deal until they set our kitchen on fire, apparently. "You are the Guardian in the prophecy.. that's your destiny." He said roughly, sending waves of anger toward Jonas that I had never felt before.
"What the hell do you mean, it's about me? I'm literally an only child." I said, almost laughing at the idea that this messed up nursery rhyme could have anything to do with me. "Must have the wrong girl. You're all confused and now you tried to burn down my house for no reason." I said certainly toward Jonas. That must be it. They were confused or maybe this was a part of my training.
"Ray... your mom..." my dad started quietly, almost as if he didn't want anyone else to hear what he was going to say next. "She will always be your mom, but she's not your mother. Your mother is the Queen." He said slowly, as if he thought my head would explode next.
Maybe it would.
The current Queen, Meara, was more of a placeholder - born of Spiris - had been training her eldest daughter to take over the thrown on her next birthday. She apparently could already manifest 5 of the 7 Elements which was unheard of. This could only mean she was the next Queen and take over and put the High Wall back in order and restore balance in a chaotic kingdom. I only knew of all of this because the last Queen was a psycho who, from what I've been told, tried to kill the whole Guardian Community before taking off like some whacked out monster. It had become more of a cautionary tale that my father taught the pups on why we protect the Elders. Lorelei was her name and she once the Queen of the Elders. This woman was in charge of all things in the Council, the Pack, and all of our livelihood. The only way to become the Queen, you must have control of all 7 Elements:
Lorelei was once the most powerful Queen the Elders had ever seen. She was kind and cunning and overall dangerously gorgeous. Meara was her trainee, showing the most promise as the next Heir.
If I was Meara's daughter, what did that make me? Why was I here?
"This literally makes no sense." I said stubbornly, shaking my head with utter disbelief. I was not some pale elf with wild elemental powers and no idea how to take care of myself in a battle. "I need some air." I snapped suddenly, pain traveling hot and fast through my body. The stress of the situation was forcing my wolf to the surface, burning me from the inside out.
My father did not seem happy with my avoidance.
Before I could say anything further, I jumped off of the porch with a thud, bones crumpling and face extending into animalistic features. The shift I was used to, this was normal.
This part of me made sense.
I didn't know where I was going immediately, but my wolf did. She was on a mission to find answers - to find someone she could trust. I could hear the distinct noise of my father behind me, chasing after me with a sharp snap of his jaws.
I always thought it was strange that his commands as Alpha didn't phase me. I thought all these years, it was because I was strong willed. I thought maybe I was just stronger than my father due to my strange circumstances. Any other pup in our Pack would have been floored with pain by now if they went against him. It was one of the few things my father could control in his Pack.
But I was the wild card that he could never control - or connect with. We never saw eye to eye, he was always in control and cold and when I looked into his eyes, I knew he didn't see me. There was always disappointment there.
I ran until I couldn't hear him any longer, panting at the surge of adrenaline that coursed through my body and feeling as if my heart was going to explode. Not because I was exhausted from running - I could run for miles - but because everything in my life was a lie. I didn't know who or what I was.
If the prophecy was about me, why was my father not more concerned? Did this mean I had a sister out there someone who I had never met?
All I could see was red. I wanted to rip someone's throat out. A few yards in front of me, Cage looked up from his sparing partner, the color draining from his face. Somehow I knew they would send him away so they could spout off their nonsense to me. To try and make me believe something ridiculous and wrong.
I was a warrior. A wolf. And a damn strong one at that.
I watched Cage walk slowly toward me, as if I were a wild animal he had to fear. Like I could explode - or disappear - at any moment. If my ears weren't pounding so hard, I may have been able to make out what he was saying to me. His lips were moving, but it was as if I couldn't understand the noise that was coming out of his mouth.
I looked toward the woods at the edge of the clearing, silently urging him to follow me. I couldn't think with all of these people around.
I needed him.