1 Legend of Apollo
“Alright, kids, that’s all for today. Return the books on the shelves, pack your stuff, and don’t forget to show your parents the note that I posted on your notebooks,” I instructed my adorable students as I cleared the board and materials on my desk.
“Yes, Miss Lily.”
The children giggled as they answered with excitement. They’re ready to go home.
I’d been teaching preschool in our pack for a year now, and I could say that I loved my job, and it kept me going. And my students were just adorable. Sometimes I wanted to take them all home.
“Alright. Children, please line up and follow me.”
I gathered my things, walking out of the classroom. The children followed closely behind as they ran around and giggled. I led them to the waiting area and handed them over to Rosa, the elderly who looked after the children while they waited for their guardians.
As I passed by, I waved the children goodbye and told Rosa that I would leave early. I usually waited with her, but today was the day. I walked out of the building and headed straight to my car when a familiar face greeting me with a bright smile.
“Lilianna, dear. How are you?” Greta smiled brightly at me. Her brown eyes stared at me tenderly, as a mother would do.
“I’m good. Thank you for always asking, Greta.” She was one of my mother’s friends, a thoughtful, selfless woman who took me in during my darkest days.
“It’s good to hear that, dear. Are you going there today?” She asked with a hint of sadness.
“Yes, I am.” I smiled, trying to contain my emotions.
“I see you went to pick up Clara’s school records,” I said, noticing the envelope that she was holding. Clara was her granddaughter.
“Yes, and she’s not happy about the transfer,” she answered, placing her hands on her hips and rolling her eyes.
“Well, I’m sure she’ll come around once she makes new friends,” I assured her with a smile. Greta’s son recently moved to his mate’s pack so they could care for his ailing mother-in-law.
“I just hope she doesn’t get into trouble. She is one pain in the behind kid, just like her dad,” she laughed. I laughed at her remark.
“Oh, she’s not that bad! She’s just clever and too adventurous,” I laughed.
“Give them my regards. I’m sure your parents are so proud of you, dear, just like I am.” She gazed at me lovingly.
“Thank you for saying that. It means a lot to me, and it’s all thanks to you and Gary,” I whispered, feeling sentimental as grueling memories resurfaced.
“Oh, don’t say that. You are family, and we’d do anything for our family. I’m sure your parents would have done the same for me,” she said, her voice was laced with sadness. We embraced each other before saying our goodbyes.
I stepped inside my car, feeling the pain, anger, and darkness that clouded my heart as the memories came flooding my mind once again.
Ten years ago.
It was a lovely Sunday afternoon on the picnic grounds. The birds were singing, the sky was blue and bright. The trees were rustling as the wind blew the fresh air, carrying the earthly nature scent as it grazed my tender skin. It was peaceful indeed.
My parents and the other families sat on a picnic blanket as they engaged in a delightful grown-up conversation. I played near the lake with the kids my age, feeling the cold water on our feet as we splashed and giggled, holding our Sunday dresses up.
As I stepped away from the water, I ran my hands over my dress, smoothing it.
“Don’t go too near the lake, sweetie! We’ll attend the pack gathering later,” she reminded as she waved her hand.
I smiled awkwardly and gave her a thumbs-up, knowing I already messed up the gorgeous yellow dress that she recently bought.
I went back to the lake, messing up my dress even more. Then suddenly, the laughter had died down, the birds were startled, dispersing from the trees, the ground began shaking, and the lake was disturbed. The peaceful silence was replaced by deafening screams. It was chaos; hell broke loose. Everyone was scampering, terrified, as they ran for their lives. The men began ripping their clothes off, shifting into their wolves, snarling as they charged to the unknown group that disturbed the tranquility and brought havoc.
Distraught and terrified, I froze in my spot—shocked by what was happening right before my eyes. I wanted to scream, but I could not. I tried to run, but I could not. I just stood to where I was, watching everything unfold.
Thankfully, my dad rushed to me, scooping me in his arms, and ran towards my mom, steering us away from the bloody scene.
“Take her and go! I’ll find you later. I love you both,” Dad said with uncertainty. He cupped my mother’s face and kissed my forehead before he turned around and left.
“Be safe, dear!” Mother said frantically as my dad shifted into his wolf and disappeared into the woods.
My heart pounded as we ran, hearing growls and screams that resonated throughout our lands. Everyone who could fight stayed behind to subdue the intruders—rogues.
My mother abruptly stopped running as soon as we heard gunshots, followed by agonizing whimpers and howls. She looked back as her face turned pale, alarmed by what we heard. She held me tight and began running to catch up with the others, and her dear friend, aunt Greta.
“Greta, take her! I have to go back,” she said, trembling in fear as she handed me to Greta. Back then, I thought she was terrified of rogues, but I was wrong. She feared for my father’s life.
“What?! No! Gary called. We’re being attacked on all sides of the border. We need to stick together!” Greta said, her voice cracked. Fear was written on her face.
“Please, I need to know if James is alright,” Mother pleaded in tears. She was determined to go back to father no matter what. Greta was torn, but eventually gave in.
“I got her, don’t worry, but please be careful, Rose,” she said, hugging her friend as she took my hand.
“Go with aunt Greta, Lily. I have to go back. I love you, sweetheart. I will see you later.” She cried, embracing me one last time.
“I love you too, mommy. Please be safe with daddy,” I said, not truly knowing the severity of the situation, thinking that they would be back before I knew it.
She smiled lovingly in tears. “I will, sweetie. I promise, now go!” She said before shedding into her beautiful wolf and ran in the opposite direction; disappeared into the woods—gone forever.
And that was the last time I saw them alive.
I waited night and day, even after aunt Greta told me they tragically passed, explaining that my parents went to heaven. But I still waited for them. They promised me they would return. And so I waited.
I was only ten when the nightmare that ruined my life happened, taking the colorful dreams I once had and turning them into a gray shade of emptiness. After that, Greta became my guardian, as I had no one. Orphaned by the tragedy that claimed my parents and my will to live.
I was an only child, and so was my father. Grandpa died before he was born. Nana had raised him alone. My father always described her as a strong and independent woman. She lived with us until she caught a terrible illness that ate her life away.
We fell ill, contrary to the myths and legends that were written about our kind. We fall sick, fall in love, get hurt, and sometimes die a horrible death.
We were strong, but not invincible.
When my mother was young, her family migrated to another pack, but they were ambushed by rogues on the way and got her separated from them. Another pack found her wandering into their woods. Since then, they took her in as their own. As time passed, she had slowly forgotten their names and faces, but not the horrific incident.
What are the odds of suffering the same fate years later?
When my father found her, they married and happily started a new life in my dad’s pack, Moonbay. Mother proudly said that they were lucky, finding each other in this big messed-up world.
Some of our kind weren’t as lucky as my parents. They might have lived a brief life together, but it was true and blissful. And more importantly, they found one another. Some miserably failed to find their mates and married their chosen, but some clung to faith, hoping that one day the goddess would show them mercy and meet their fated mate and live happily ever after.
I supposed dying beside the one you love was less tragic than living, only to be swallowed by grief and suffering.
We have choices. And I choose not to dwell on things that I have no control over.
After centuries of hiding, our kind finally decided that it was enough; no more hiding in fear. It was time to keep up in the new world amongst humans, and so they did. The High Council was then established, run by each pack representative, implementing order and law, starting a new era of wolves.
At sixteen, we could find our mates if luck was on our side. But like me, not everyone was lucky.
Everyone who turns sixteen must attend the pack gatherings, hoping to find their mate within the pack. And I did, but I never saw him. He was not from our pack.
So once a year, single or unmated wolves would visit one pack to another in search of their mates. I only attended once, and that was enough. I lost interest in life itself, so I never looked for him. Ten years ago, I lost interest in almost everything in my life.
Most of our kind gave up hope, and just cherished what was in front of them, not wanting to chase the ghost of their mates, like Greta and her husband, Gary.
Greta found and lost her mate at a young age, while Gary never found his. When Greta returned to her home pack, she reunited with her childhood friend Gary. And after some time, the two hit it off and got married and were blessed with two children and, years later, a granddaughter. And proved to everyone once again that happiness was a choice.
At one point, we all search for that state of euphoria that true love provides. One would never truly experience love if one would not let yourself love or be loved. The choice was always there.
If you don’t try, you’ll never know. If you don’t go after it, you’ll never get it. And if you never ask—the answer will always be no.
You can’t put your life on hold for someone you have never met. Gary told me once. And he was right. Truth be said, he was the living proof — still happily married two and a half decades later.
Today, some of our kind still patiently waited for the day that might never seem to come and held onto whatever ounce of hope was left in them. And some had chosen love over the uncertainty of life.
Living a lonely life was far worse than death; the agony of surviving, knowing everyone you loved was dead. It never truly felt like I survived at all.
The only thing keeping my sanity intact was the children, giving my lonely life a little dose of hope and happiness.
I snapped out of my trance, droving off when the realization came that I’d been sitting inside the car for quite some time.
I arrived at Martha’s Flower Shop. And I was about to park when suddenly, a Black Rover cut me off, almost slamming against me, taking my damn spot.
“Shit!” I cursed, furiously gripping the steering wheel and parked on the other side.
I took a deep breath before I stepped out of my car and sent the driver a deathly glare that could dig a hole into the abyss. But the windshield was too dark. Not even a shadow could be seen from outside. I huffed, sending one last glare before I walked inside the shop.
“Hi, welcome. What can I help you with?” The clerk asked with enthusiasm.
“Hello, I came to pick up my order. It’s under Lilianna Carter, please,” I said, smiling at her. She nodded and smiled as she typed on the computer.
I curiously glanced through the glass panels, wanting to get a glimpse of the driver. I’m going to give whoever that is a piece of my mind! As I turned back to the young lady in front of me, I rolled my eyes.
“Is there a problem, ma’am?” She asked as she peeked out. Curiosity was evident in the tone of her voice.
“Well, that car just cut me off. What an ass!” I said, furrowed my brows, and glared once more. The driver then suddenly stepped out of the car after I said that. It was a man.
A very tall man with jet black hair and was headed inside. I averted my gaze as he stepped in.
He must have seen me giving him a heartwarming glare.
He walked to the counter, standing beside me, and cleared his throat. I unconsciously stared at him. Clouds of grey were the first thing that I noticed. His eyes sparkled like storm clouds, threatening to unleash a brewing thunderstorm. I was in awe.
He might as well be Apollo — a total Greek God. And I’m not even exaggerating.
I shamelessly ogled Apollo, studying every part of his godly anatomy. His shoulders were broad as daylight, and his lips were red, similar to an apple inviting you for a bite. I unconsciously bit my lips, taking in his devastatingly handsome features.
But then I snapped out of my dirty daydream when I finally realized who he was. I gasped in horror.
“Alpha,” I blurted, shocked and ashamed, while I forced a smile.
I just ogled our Alpha in front of him!! He nodded in return. I immediately lowered my gaze to the ground. And in hell, if possible. The deeper, the better. I was frantically screaming inside. I hope he didn’t hear me! Tell me you didn’t!!
“Miss, can you please hurry on my flowers? I really need to get going,” I smiled awkwardly at the clerk, who heard the whole thing.
Me calling our Alpha an ass!
“Yes, ma’am, they’re bringing it out as we speak,” she smiled as if nothing happened and continued assisting him.
There’s no way in hell that he heard that, right? He was inside his car. Well, even if he’s the Alpha, he’s still an ass for doing that. He just doesn’t need to know that I said it.
I unconsciously stared at him, not ogle as he talked to the clerk.
Noticing how perfectly toned his body was, a solid, hard wall of rock. He must have worked out a lot. His nose was also pointed, his jaw was perfectly chiseled, as if he was molded by the gods themselves.
The Alpha is indeed a very sexy man.
It was the first time that I’d seen him at a close distance. And as I inspected his heavenly body, my gaze fell on something—Oh my, what an excellent piece of ass you’ve got there, sir. I blushed at my dirty thought, staring at his blessed ass.
“Are you done checking me out?” he suddenly asked, holding his laugh. Horror was the only thing that could describe best what I was feeling. Winter has come.
Oh my god! That did not just happen! Angel of death, just take me now! I’m begging you! Save me from this horrible nightmare! I mentally screamed as I flushed in embarrassment. I bit my lips, calculating my next move.
“Um, I don’t know what you’re talking about, Alpha,” I denied, sparing him a passing glance before I faced the counter once again. My heart wanted to abandon my chest so badly. I heard him chuckled.
Finally, the clerk handed me the basket of flowers. I took it and thanked her. I walked gracefully to the exit with my head held high, dragging my wounded dignity away. And as I opened the glass door, he opened his mouth as well.
“And oh. I’m sorry for cutting you off. I didn’t mean to be an ass. It’s just a sudden phone conference came in,” he said, giving me an apologetic smile. I froze like a deer caught in the headlights.
Motherfucking werewolf hearing! He heard! Of course, heard me!
I mentally slapped myself, and I darted back to my car.
Shit! This is just my lucky day!
I started my car and drove off.