"Oh." I said before I managed to stop myself.
Our gaze broke off as Liza burst out laughing from beside me, turning my burning face to her as embarrassment grabbed a hold of me.
She pointed a finger at me and laughed, "I told you so!"
I brushed her aside and cleared my throat, taking a sip of my orange juice to pretend I wasn't shocked silly by Axil's fresh appearance.
My body became highly aware as he further entered the kitchen and approached us.
Liza pointed at the plate next to mine, "that's your breakfast, Ax. Eat up!"
I tensed slightly as he came to sit down on the stool next to me. I glanced across and watched as he ignored the fork and took up the eggs with his hand, eating them.
I frowned, "do you not know how to use silverware?" I asked.
Liza glanced at what I was looking at, "I already showed him how to use them last night when I made dinner."
Axil cleared his throat and sent an apologetic look my way, "I'm sorry if it bothers you, I'm still getting accustomed to all of this."
I shook my head as pity tugged at my heartstrings. This must be really hard for him to adjust to. There were so many things that've changed since his time. He's literally surrounded by all things unknown, it must have been frustrating for him. He doesn't show it at all though.
"It's alright. Take your time, no one is rushing you." I reassured.
I looked back at my almost empty plate, deciding that I didn't want anymore, I pushed it aside and laid my chin in the palm of my hand, turning my gaze to Liza and Axil as they both ate.
"So Liza has work tomorrow and I'm sure she'll be busy for most of the week as well. Why don't we all head back to the garden today to inspect those stone people?"
Axil looked over at Liza curiously, "what's your work?"
"I'm an assistant teacher at high school. I specialize in history," she answered.
Axil nodded in understanding then asked, "why do you work?"
I snorted at that and couldn't help it as I butted in, "the one thing that you should know is that money is life. You can't live without it because everything costs money. This house, our food, none of it is free."
Axil turned his heated gaze to me and I avoided it as usual, "so what's your job?"
I shifted on my stool uncomfortably and muttered, "I don't have one."
Liza snorted, "she haven't bothered to look for one since we settled down here. She's basically living off of the inheritance she got from her previous parents... not that I blame her, that money could last her entire life."
I shrugged off what Liza said sheepishly, embarrassed to admit to Axil that I was basically living off of my parents' trust fund. An image of a woman with dark brown eyes appeared before my eyes as she gave my younger self a hard card and asked me to keep it safe. I shook the memory away and turned my attention back to the two.
"Back to the people that we're supposed to be saving..." I mumbled.
Liza raised a brow at me, "don't ask me. I'm the human, you're the one with the ability to break them out."
I pursed my lips, "right."
Then a thought hit me.
"So what if we break them out? There's like hundreds of them out there and if they're as clueless as Axil is then where are they all going to go? This house can't hold that much people."
They both frowned.
"I hadn't considered that," Liza muttered absentmindedly, lost in thought.
I'm just glad that I considered it. Imagine turning our poor three bedroom house into a pack house for a bunch of wolves. This place wouldn't even have space to move. I was literally horrified at the thought.
I immediately gave an idea, "Why don't we get Axil settled into our town first? We introduce him to the people, get him a job that pays well and he starts saving up to buy a big plot of land to build a house and hold his people?"
Liza contemplated my idea for a while then nodded, "that does make more sense. If we simply rush into this without any place to put these people, it might spell disaster. I hate the idea of leaving them trapped when we know they're suffering but it's literally all we could do right now," she turned to Axil hesitantly, "I hope this is ok?"
Axil frowned as he contemplated what he wanted. I waited for his answer with baited breath, hoping he'd see why we're putting off freeing his people.
He sighed and ran a hand down his face in frustration, "they've waited for so many years... a few more won't hurt but I'll be sure to rebuild our home as quickly as possible," he turned his determined eyes to me, "show me what I have to do."
My tummy felt funny as I glanced away from him, a smile tilting up my lips.
Liza pushed her plate away and clapped, "Alright then, that settles it! We'll show Axil around town first so that he can familiarize himself with the place. Then we'll look for a job for him. We leave in half an hour kids so get ready."
I nodded and took up my plate, dumping the leftovers in the garbage before placing it inside the dishwasher.
I turned to Axil and gestured at his plate, "are you done?"
He passed his plate to me and I grabbed a hold of it, my hand grazing his as I did so. I wasn't sure if it was my imagination or not but I swear to god I saw his eyes darken slightly.
A chill ran down my spine as I quickly put the plate in the dishwasher before leaving the room to get ready.
Half an hour later, Liza, Axil and I left the house and decided to walk our way to town instead of drive. It was a thirty minute drive so it would probably take us like an hour to get there but it was better that way as we explained the areas that we passed to Axil.
We walked silently on the corridor, my hand buried in the pockets of my sweats. I didn't bother to dress up today, it wasn't like the whole village didn't know how I looked already. I wore a simple red tee and some black sweatpants, a pair of black sneakers on my feet. My face was makeup less and my hair was pulled up into a puff.
Liza wore a white baby tee and distressed jeans with her white Jordan. Her shoulder length hair was left flowing as the wind lightly blew.
Axil wore a pair of blue jeans, that looked a little too tight for him if the uncomfortable look on his face wasn't proof enough, and a light gray t-shirt paired with Nike joggers. Liza didn't want to risk letting him wear sneakers and they ended up too tight so she opted for joggers instead, which was a good idea on her part because the size she bought was a little too big for him. She must've thought he had big feet.
As we walked pass houses and playgrounds, Liza who was leading the way chattered on about where they were and who lived there etc.
As we passed by an old wooden home with an old lady fixing up her garden out front, Liza waved and called out, "morning Mrs. Belvis!"
Axil turned his head and frowned as he stared at the old lady.
"What's wrong?" I asked him.
Axil shook his head, "nothing... for a quick second I thought I sensed a pack link between us," he furrowed his brows in confusion, "it's probably nothing."
I frowned and looked at Mrs. Belvis who turned her head in our direction, a lifeless and dull look in her eyes.
Pack link huh? I've read about that before. Once a wolf forms a pack, there's this special link that binds those pack members together. It stays like this for a lifetime unless the leader or his/her descendant decides to cut the wolf out of the pack.
I couldn't help but ask, "can you sense a wolf in her?"
Axil shook his head, "she appears human."
I hummed and continued staring at Mrs. Belvis, who simply watched us as if Liza didn't just call out her name. There was this strange look in her eyes... like she was looking but at the same time she couldn't see what she was looking at.
An unease sneaked its way into my heart as her strange behavior circled in my mind. Liza was oblivious to it however, as she continued walking ahead, unbothered at the lack of response she got.
It felt like I was being watched.
I watched as Axil tensed up beside me, confirming my suspicions and alerting me that this wasn't my paranoia.
"Do you feel that?" Axil asked, drawing Liza's attention as she looked back at us with furrowed eyes.
She looked at our tense figures and cautious eyes and asked, "what's wrong with you two? Feel what?"
"Just keep walking and act natural," I muttered as I picked up pace and tried to get out of view of Mrs. Belvis' gaze.
Liza's face was the definition of confused but she did as I said anyway, seeing the urgency in my eyes.
As we finally turned a corner and out of sight I felt my shoulders relax as the threat disappeared. I turned to Axil, "What was that?"
Axil's lips was pulled into a tight line as his grave and wary eyes took in our surroundings, his guard on high alert even if the threat was gone.
He opened his mouth to answer, "I don't know."
"What are you two talking about?" Liza asked.
"The malevolence we felt back there," I answered.
Liza threw me an exasperated look, "malevo what?"
I rolled my eyes, "dark energy, Liz."
Her eyes darkened in understanding, "oh... It was surrounding Mrs. Belvis, wasn't it?"
I glanced at her in surprise, "you felt it to?"
She shrugged, "not necessarily, but it didn't take a genius to figure out that she was acting strange. She usually waved back at me when I call out," Liza pouted.
"huh," I acknowledged her observation as I contemplated what the hell was going on. First Axil, now this... why oh why did I choose this town to settle into?
A miserable look crossed my face. I felt like stomping my foot on the floor like a little kid, ready to throw a tantrum.
A silver car drove pass us as we walked along the corridor, straying my attention from my thoughts as I watched the driver look out his window and stare blankly at us.
The feeling of being watched again was back and I tensed. My vision was blocked as Axil stepped in front of me as if to shield the driver's view of me. My heart rate increased slightly as my body heated.
"Thanks," I muttered, taking my hands out of my pockets and hugging myself.
Axil grunted and turned to Liza, "It's not safe out here, let's go back."
Liza took one glance at the both of us then nodded, "sure, but when we reach home I expect an explanation."
I nodded, "sure."