Nothing in the world could describe how I was feeling right now, at this very moment, as the connection between my pack and I suddenly blossomed. Thousands of voices collided within my mind as I felt the bombardment of many different emotions. From confusion to happiness to relief then anger. I felt it all. What was once one of my biggest source of annoyance in the past turned into my absolute enjoyment as I allowed the link between my people to strengthen and grow.
I cradled Mira in my arms as I stared out at the sea of people before me.
And the one person who stood before them all, my brother Abel.
“Brother,” I reached out to him mentally, probing for that familiar channel that I’ve been desperately reaching out to for the past few days.
It embraced me with open arms.
"Axil,” came my brother’s relieved response, “you took your dear goddam time, you idiot. I almost died of old age waiting for you.”
I chuckled, “I appreciate the warm welcome.”
Abel huffed in response as he shook his head, reverting back into his human form.
Liza gasped as she took in my brother in all his masculine glory.
“I’m not really a fan of muscular men but God damn,” she whistled, sliding her eyes down Abel’s body, “you’ve got muscles in all the right areas,” she winked.
I shook my head at her antics, not the least bit surprised and gestured towards my brother, “Liza, this is my twin brother Abel and Abel, this is Liza, the human that took me in after I broke free from that cursed stone.”
Abel nodded his head then shifted his gaze to the person laying in my arms. I could feel him trying to probe into my mind for answers and I pulled down my barrier to let him through, allowing him to see my memories from the moment I was free till now, “so she’s a witch,” he stated.
I looked down at the sleeping beauty residing in my arms and felt my lips tilting up slightly, “yes, this is the witch that freed me.”
I winced as my mind was bombarded with questions after questions as many people began questioning what was going on. There were many familiar wolves in the crowd as well as many unfamiliar ones. The unfamiliar ones most likely being the newer generation that came after our pack fell. I could feel their confusion, their agitation from turning into a wolf for the first time in their lives..... or was it really their first time? As much as they couldn’t quite understand the situation though, they knew that I was the one with the answers they seek and patiently waited for me to address them.
I quickly blocked them out of my mind and focused back on Abel, who stood with pure confidence, despite being butt naked.
“Do you remember everything?” I asked him.
Abel locked eyes with me as he frowned, “every single detail from the moment our pack fell to the moment we were brainwashed and suppressed. I remember everything up to this point. It felt as if my memories were altered and locked away into the deep recesses of my mind. I lived as a human for all these years, feeling like something was missing but never knowing what it was. If I thought too deeply on it I would gain a headache and if I questioned it my entire body would ache. I couldn’t even question why the people in our village was aging so slowly, it’s like I’ve been living in an illusion for years. Then a few minutes ago that wall that I’ve been desperately scratching at for years came down and I immediately remembered who I was and why I felt lost. The images of our past was broadcasted amongst everyone here, even those who weren’t involved in it.”
I hummed in acknowledgement as I contemplated how to resolve all of our problems, turning towards the crowd, preparing myself for the heavy burden that was about to befall me.
I spoke aloud, my voice booming over the entire area, “I know that many of you have questions. I know that you’re confused and scared and lost because everything you’ve known up to this point, everything you’ve been through and suffered, everything has shifted. I’m not going to stand here and pretend that I understand what you’re feeling but I just want to let you know that I feel for you, as my family and my pack. So please, bare with me as we try to get through what happened and what caused us to be here, at this very moment, questioning our existence. I will happily explain it all to you, but first, we have bigger problems to take care of.”
I shifted my gaze among each individual wolf, my heart beating irregularly at the anger that festered and took root. I had to get my revenge.
I continued speaking, “we can’t fully rest until our enemies have been taken care of. Can all the wolves who’ve been alive when our previous Alpha and Luna died step forward? All those who are familiar with me and understand our current situation, I want you to step forward.”
Shuffling was heard throughout the area as a few wolves began stepping forward. If I had to count it all out, it would be a couple hundreds of them. Less than when our pack got cursed.
I recognized many of them and felt my heart weaken as memories of my youth flashed before my eyes. Look at how far we’ve come.
I cleared my throat and got straight to the point, “I want the elders to round up the new generation and get them somewhere safe until I say otherwise,” I scanned my eyes across the crowd and spotted a familiar wolf, “I want Ronnie to lead a few wolves into the museum and collect Tiana’s unconscious body before she awakens. The rest of us will be heading towards the mayor’s office to capture my uncle,” I looked down at Mira as she snuggled into my chest then looked back out at the crowd, “is there a pack healer around?”
There was a brief silence before a light grey female wolf stepped forward and began shaking her head. Her body began convulsing as she strained herself to shift back into her human form. A whine escaped her muzzle.
“Is he having a seizure?” Liza asked.
“Calm down,” I muttered, guiding her gently, “don’t force it, embrace it. Take deep breaths and imagine yourself turning back into your human form, don’t tense up.”
The female stopped and did what I said, allowing herself to successfully transform back into her human form.
She stood on unsteady legs as she tried to adjust to standing back on twos. She looked at me warily and muttered, “I’m not sure what you mean by pack healer... but I’m a regular doctor that works at the Hospital a few blocks from here,” she said, covering her exposed lady parts with her hands and standing there awkwardly.
I maintained eye contact with her to ease her mind and requested, “Can you take a look at her for me? She’s hurt,” I turned to Liza and gestured towards Mira, “Can you stay with her at the hospital until I’ve finished cleaning up this mess?”
Liza snorted, “you don’t even have to ask.”
I smiled gratefully at her.
Then out of nowhere, a wave of pain slammed straight into my chest and caused me to stumble back in surprise. I tightened my hold on Mira and immediately blocked out the shockwave, my eyes widening in surprise.
Abel who was hit just as harshly as I was spoke aloud, his expression grave, “the members who were trapped under stone have woken up but most of them were severely injured before turning.”
Which meant their wounds never got a chance to heal... and now that they were free they’re suffering and bleeding out terribly.
Abel immediately shifted back into his wolf and ran in their direction without hesitation.
I acted immediately, “if you think you’re capable enough to carry injured bodies, I want you to go with Abel to help the wolves that are in the forest. Immediately bring them to the hospital for treatment, NOW!”
I didn’t expect Mira to release the stone wolves that quickly. This was all just chaos.
Meanwhile... back at the garden.
A woman blinked her eyes as the stone and debris around her crumbled. She coughed and sputtered as she took in fresh air for what felt like the first time in forever. How long has it been?
The cries of an infant sounded and the woman quickly looked down at the baby in her arms, her eyes watering with relief.
“Oh my baby,” she sobbed, wrapping her arms tightly around the child and sprinkling kisses all over her child’s face. Despite her entire body aching she felt relief that she survived this, that her baby survived being trapped under stone for what was probably years now.
It was torture for her, being aware of what was going on around her but not being able to move and speak, just trapped there for years, all alone.
She looked around at all the crumbling stone figures as many wolves and humans alike began emerging from underneath.
The entire clearing was in chaos as the injured ones cried out because of their wounds. There were even a few who collapsed and died instantly after being freed, wounded or not wounded. Their bodies probably couldn’t handle the pressure of being cursed for years and had long since given out while they were beneath the stone. She could feel their pain, their suffering but as much as she felt for them, she couldn’t help but feel happy because her baby was one who survived.
She closed her eyes as she sat their in the chaotic clearing, laying her forehead against her child’s as an image of that woman flashed before her. The woman she saw for years while buried beneath that stone, probably the only thing that kept her sane.
Was it that woman that saved them?
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