Hopefully something useful.
I followed Isabel through the halls. She then led me through a set of rooms. They all had high ceilings and plenty of space to walk around in, if one wished to.
We descended down a flight of stairs and onto the second floor. The second floor had a theater, an arcade room, a kitchen, dining room and living room, and a terrace with a view of the garden.
"Why so many rooms?" I asked.
"Pack members are free to use them, only the first and second floor and with a valid reason. Most of them live in the territory in their own homes inside the border." I nodded. I wondered how many of them lived here. Hundreds? Thousands? Maybe even more than that.
I was in awe. Each room I went through was beautifully decorated. I made a mental note to revisit the rooms I saw. That is if I did stick around to plan my revenge, I’d enjoy my time here—while it lasted. If I did stay I’d have to look for ways to escape if things did go south here which meant I’d have to go through the grounds and mansion a couple of times to remember everything and come up with a decent plan.
There were many people—werewolves—on the first floor eating and enjoying their time. They stared at Isabel and I—more like at me—as we passed by them. They didn't seem to hide the fact that they were staring at me.
I understood why they stared, or at least I think I did. There had probably never been a human inside their lands before. But I still didn't like the way their eyes swept through my entire body. Goosebumps coursed through my skin. I held my head high and continued walking, doing my best to ignore their stares.
"How did you guys get the money to build all of this?" I asked Isabel.
"We have different ways, mostly because of our connections with the government."
"The more you learn," I paused. "Where do you live?"
"I live about 20 yards away from here, just follow the dirt path behind the garden. You can always come visit whenever you'd like. I spend most of my time there," Isabel smiled.
We visited the garden. There was a fountain pool in the center. Stone tiles created a path around it and various ways through the garden. It was beautiful view. It had all kinds of plants: succulents, flowers, trees, and more. The colors screamed spring.
I was wary about everything they were providing me. Then again, I had been kidnapped by them and had gone through a horrible experience because of them. Maybe this was just another way of torturing me. They probably wanted to gain my trust before they throw me back in that room or worse.
"Is everything okay, Emma?" Isabel asked.
I looked at Isabel, "yeah.”
Isabel didn’t ask further and continued to guide me through the land. She showed me the pool, playground, and more. They even had a clinic. Dr. Wis was the head of it, she told me. He welcomed us and showed me around with Isabel along, allowing me to meet a few of the staff and patients there. I loved the environment. It reminded me of the times I used to volunteer.
"You are more than welcomed to visit us anytime Emma," Dr. Wis said. "We could use some extra hands around here."
I smiled but gave no promises. We said our goodbyes and continued the tour. Isabel and I entered her home. It was a two story house made of oak wood. Pine and oak trees created the path towards it. It wasn't big and luxurious, but it was comfortable and inviting. Isabel had a glass house in the back full of plants, mainly herbs. She said she used them for things like potions and remedies.
"Isabel..." I began. She hummed and turned to me.
"I never asked, but how do you know my parents? You talked as if you knew them." Isabel didn’t try to hide the slump of her shoulders.
"That's because I did know them. We were friends in high school. Your dad was actually my brother's best friend. That’s how we met. I had your mother in most of my classes. We got along and I introduced her to your father. Since then we would always hang out and of course that's how your parents fell in love," Isabel smiled to herself.
"How come they never told me about you? Did something happen?" I asked and Isabel sighed.
"A lot of things did..." She answered. I remained silent. I looked as if it was difficult for Isabel to talk about them. Her brows furrowed and the corners of her lips curled down.
A knock on her door stopped me from asking anything else. Isabel removed all signs of distress on her face and plastered a smile.
"Well let's get going. There’s somewhere we have to be," Isabel said as she stood up.