Hope Springs

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Chapter 23

Today was the day. The day where Max and I would just attempt to act like normal people going on a date. There wouldn’t be any werewolf drama or any drama with Loup Chasseur. I hope. I finished braiding my hair and examined myself in the mirror. My gold-brown eyes were shining brightly and I had enhanced my lashes with mascara. Other than that and a little eyeliner I wasn’t wearing much makeup. I exited the bathroom and headed down to the kitchen where Rhea, Hadley, Josh and Anya were all gathered. Rhea grinned at me and Hadley bounded over to me, eyeing me.

“So you guys are going on a date then,” Hadley asked, bouncing on her feet and I nodded. “Yay! What are you guys doing?”

Clara’s, mini-golfing, coming here to watch a movie, and then having dinner here. It’s an all day date,” I explained, feeling excitement bubble up in me. “Why?”

“Can’t I want to know what my best friend is up to?” She asked and I grinned.

“So I’m your best friend then, Hadley?”

She nodded. Rhea pouted at her and was about to speak when the front door opened. A shirtless Max and a shirtless Alex walked into the room and I crossed my arms over my chest, trying to fight the urge to go over to Max and kiss him. Hadley leaned against the counter, not moving and Alex shook his head with a small smile on his face. He walked over and wrapped an arm around her waist, pulling her so she was resting against his side.

“What’s going on,” Rhea asked, eyes darting between Max and Alex.

“We questioned Finley again,” Max spoke, “He wasn’t very open to talking with us but we were able to get a few more pieces of information.”

“Like what?” Rhea inquired, “What did he tell you that he didn’t tell me?”

“He told us about his time with Loup Chasseur, how he was their spy. He told us that Loup Chasseur like to plan surprise attacks, but if you watch carefully then it won’t be a surprise attack. There are always carefully laid traps and signs, and so we’re going to go out and look for them,” Max explained, “He also told us that he wouldn’t ally with Loup Chasseur again, but he still isn't willing to join the pack.”

“What about our date,” I asked, my voice quiet and Max looked over at me. His face was surprised but then the surprised expression dropped and he looked a little sad.

“I’m sorry Trinity,” Max whispered, then he raised his voice, “Maybe another time? If we can figure out if Loup Chasseur is planning to attack us then we may have an advantage.”

I ducked my head, looking down at the ground. Today was supposed to be the day where it wouldn’t be about werewolves. It would be about us but that seemed unlikely now. I tried not to feel too hurt but it was hard. I should have know that things can unexpectedly crop up but I had been hoping that nothing would.

Trinity, I really am sorry. Max whispered, and I looked up my eyes meeting his. Maybe later today?

I shrugged, not giving an answer and he sighed. He crossed over the floor and stood in front of me. After a few moments his hands came to rest on my hips and he bent his head so our noses were touching.

I really am sorry Trinity. What can I do to make it up to you?

I don’t know. I was really looking forward to going on a date and being normal people. I answered, I just feel like every time we want to do something, something else will crop up.

This is the first time that we wanted to go on a date and something has cropped up. Every time will not be like this and we won’t ever be normal. We are werewolves, normality is nearly impossible. But I understand that you also want to do things the human way instead of jumping straight into a relationship. Max said, his grip on my hips tightened. I...I can give us two hours. Then I’ll have to be back to help search for clues on if Loup Chasseur is planning an attack.

I guess two hours is better than nothing, I answered slowly, letting a small smile slip onto my face.

Good. I’ll be out there for an hour and then after an hour I’ll come back and we can go on our date.

“Okay. Thank you,” I whispered and Max gave me a smile. I was glad that we would still be able to go on the date, even if our conversation might be plagued by Loup Chasseur.

“Ready to go Max?” Alex broke in and Max pulled away from me. My cheeks turned bright red when I realized that everyone had been watching the two of us and Hadley gave me a small smile.

“Yeah. I’ll just have to be back in an hour,” he glanced at me, “I have a date.”

"Ooh you do, do you?” Alex teased, “Well I guess we can make sure that you get back in time for your date. Let’s go.”

Max nodded and the two exited the house at a run. Josh sighed and said something about how he should keep an eye on them and left as well. Anya wrapped her arms around her waist and started tapping her foot on the floor. I stared at her for a few moments before turning my attention to Rhea and Hadley.

“So you guys still get to have your date then,” Hadley said and I nodded. “Good. You guys need to get away from the pack for a few hours. Hopefully-”

She broke off with a wince and I noticed that Rhea and Anya had winced as well. What was going on? Was it a pack thing? It must be, eve though Max had marked me I had still not yet joined the pack. We just hadn’t found time for it.

“What happened?” I inquired and Rhea stared at me, her eyes sad. “Did something happen to Max?”

“No, nothing happened to Max, Trinity. You don’t need to worry about him, he’s okay.” Hadley assured me and I stared at the three of them.

“Then what happened?”

“Finley left,” Rhea said her voice monotone. “He left.”

My own eyes widened. “What? Finley left? Why?” I knew that he didn’t want to be part of a pack but I didn’t think that he would leave since his mate.

“Why do you think?” Rhea’s tone was clipped. “He didn’t want to be tied up with a pack, and I’m part of the pack so he doesn’t want me.”

“Maybe there’s another reason,” I forced myself to try to be hopeful and optimistic. I didn’t think that Finley would just leave Rhea, but I didn’t know Finley either. I didn’t know what he would do but I was hoping that there had to be another reason that he left. “Maybe he didn’t want to put you in danger with Loup Chasseur or something,” I suggested, “Maybe he left something behind.”

Rhea just shook her head. I huffed, crossing my arms. I understood that Finley had left and it had hurt her but what if he left something behind explaining himself? I sighed and walked out of the kitchen. I heard Anya ask Rhea and Hadley what I was doing but neither of them answered her. I had just reached the door when Hadley and Anya came up behind me.

“What are you doing Trinity,” Hadley asked and I opened the door.

“I think that Finley left something behind. I want to see if I’m right,” I explained and Hadley sighed.

“Trinity-” she started.

“Hadley,” Anya interrupted, “What if he did? We may not believe that he did but she does. I am not her friend but I am Rhea’s friend and if he did, I want to know why he would leave her.”

Hadley sighed but then muttered her agreement and the three of us headed to the infirmary. When we got to the infirmary Anya went to talk to Dr. Waters and see if Finley had said anything to him while Hadley and I searched the room that Finley had been in. After ten minutes of looking around the room and finding nothing I was ready to give up hope. We had to just be missing something.

Hadley searched through the bookshelf and I lifted up the cushions on the couch that was on the side of the room. Something rustled and I saw several pieces of paper, I grabbed them and turned to let Hadley know but she was already making her way to my side.

Dear Rhea,

I do not want to be a member of a pack, you know this. But I do not want to leave my mate, not when I have just found her. In my hours of being alone, I have thought about this quite a lot and I have decided that I will not leave the pack. Mates are special and-

Hadley ripped that letter away from me and I stared at her. “I feel like that is a private letter, something only Rhea should read. Is there anything else?”

I sifted through the various papers, seeing a few sketches and quotes but nothing really. I flipped the papers over and Hadley leaned on my shoulder to read what was written on the back of them.

Finley,

Your days are numbered. Come to us or we will kill you after we have killed your mate.

Hadley’s eyes widened and I stared in shock at that note before placing it on the cushion next to us. The next few pieces of paper was a letter from Finley.

Dear whoever finds this,

Trinity, I hope that you find this. You seem that you will be the most lenient and the one most willing to help me. I find that I have encountered a fair amount of trouble, and Rhea’s life may be in danger. I told you how I was a spy for Loup Chasseur, but I was also an assassin for them. I was their favorite werewolf (they have many wolves employed to them, but most are ignorant and do not realize that Loup Chasseur is the enemy) and they are not happy that I left them.

They want me back and have threatened me, if I do not come back into their fold. You need to warn your pack. An attack is being planned but I cannot tell you anymore. Look out for Rhea for me, make sure that she is okay. Be on your guard.

- Finley

“That was one of the most obscure things ever,” Hadley commented, “There is something going on that he can’t explicitly tell us.”

“I don’t know,” I shrugged, “We have to tell Max though.....Today isn’t turning out like it should.”

Today was supposed to be a day where all of our problems with Loup Chasseur and Finley’s mysteriousness would all disappear. Clearly, that seemed to not be the case. It seemed like the more I wanted everything to just be a little more normal, the more it went wrong.

Hadley contacted Max and Mr. Judge, with what he had found in Finley’s hospital room. Mr. Judge contacted the rest of the pack and had called a meeting to discuss what should be done. I couldn’t help but wonder if we could actually do anything. From Finley had written, it seemed like Loup Chasseur was stealthier and far more cunning than we had originally thought.

It was time to come up with a plan, and maybe take the offensive against Loup Chasseur.

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