The news of the alpha’s baby being born spread around the village as fast as lightning. The following celebrations were ear-shattering and ground-shaking, but they didn’t last long. Rey and Lia barely had enough time to explain to Brynn everything about the mess, Rey got them into, when the news about Elaine’s condition worsening, reached them.
A week passed since then.
A week filled with hope and love, but also pain and fear because as the little girl grew stronger each day, her mother faded away.
Brynn refused to tell them about Elaine. She simply said to pray that they would never have to go through something like that and Rey felt way too guilty to visit her. How was she supposed to look her in the eye when she knew that all the while Elaine was bringing a new life into the world, Rey was fighting not to be marked by its father?
But it was getting worse.
Brynn used to spend only a couple hours a day at the alpha’s house to keep an eye on Elaine in the beginning. Those hours soon turned to a whole day, and Brynn wasn’t even sleeping at home anymore.
Heavier than Brynn’s absence, Rey bore S’s. It was like they switched places because it was no longer Rey who would leave for entire hours, it was the little boy. He spoke both to Rey and Lia, despite Lia’s fears of him hating her, but there was a visible divider between them now. One Rey caused and didn’t know how to destroy.
One of their temporary neighbours was kind enough to let them know that S spent most of his time with other villagers or even kids his age and while Rey missed him terribly, a part of her felt a tiny bit happy to see him let other people get close to him. Opening up to other people wasn’t something that came to him easily and Rey hoped he was doing it because he wanted to and not because of his desire to avoid them.
“This is ridiculous,” Lia burst out, while the two of them were trying to enjoy dinner together.
Rey had no appetite whatsoever, and no matter how alluring the food in front of her smelt, she had to force every bite inside her. But with Lia’s sudden outburst, the food was forgotten: “What do you mean?”
“It is ridiculous that they don’t even bother to tell us what the problem is, and yet they are holding her hostage over there.”
“No one is holding anyone hostage, Lia.” Rey sighed. “Brynn is trying her best to help.” She pushed the plate with uneaten food on the table.
“I know, but I...” Lia contemplated her words for a bit, her mind fighting an internal battle, but then she went for it: “Maybe we could help.”
“Oh,” Rey’s mouth flew open.
The whole situation was a mess and knowing these people brought more heartbreak to Rey than anything else, but the healer side of her still felt bad that there wasn’t anything she could do to help. She had no idea Lia felt the same way.
“Yeah. So we need a game plan and I already have one.” Rey’s stomach clenched. Whenever Lia had a plan, it was guaranteed to end in disaster.
“You, my friend, are going to go there.”
“As in, right now?” Rey asked, her hand doing some indescribable gesture.
“No, you moron. Next week.” Lia gifted her with a dumbfounded stare. “Of course, right now.”
“Yeah, well, I am not ready,” Rey protested.
Lia ignored her protests, her own plate abandoned as she pulled Rey onto her feet. “You are never going to be ready.”
Point taken. “But I ...,” Rey fished for something intelligent to say, but her mind displayed an internal error and that’s how she found herself standing in front of Talon’s house, hiding behind the trees like a total idiot.
She didn’t have a reason to look for it until now, but Rey wasn’t surprised to find out this was the place, he chose to live in. It was a beautiful one-storey building with huge windows and green ivy running all around them and the whole front. A place suited for the alpha of the pack to live in.
Her father was the sole reason why Rey didn’t grow up in this house. He wasn’t a fan of anything too fancy, so his former kingdom was a lot more ordinary. Rey loved it anyway.
Lia already sneaked inside to map out the territory. According to her, they first needed to eliminate all the threats, the main one being Brynn kicking both of them out.
Rey’s instructions were to stand outside and wait for a signal and as it turned out Lia’s fears were justified. It didn’t take long for her to get pushed out of the house and for Brynn’s furious face to appear as well. She pushed the younger woman all the way down the stairs that led to the house and continued pushing her away from it.
Rey only heard bits of their conversation as they passed her by, like Brynn’s “What the hell are you doing here.” and Lia’s “I want to help too.“, which was overshadowed by Brynn’s resolute: “Elaine needs absolute rest.”
Rey stopped listening after that because Lia waved her hand in a gesture that hopefully meant get inside and she decided to risk it all.
She flew over the stairs as swiftly as an eagle hunting his prey. This time she even managed to not knock anything over and soon she slipped behind the door unnoticed. Well, no one screamed back at her, so she guessed no one saw her or cared enough to stop her. After all, there were werewolves everywhere.
The first problem that Lia didn’t take into account when creating her master plan was the house itself. It had more rooms than Rey was willing to count and she had no idea where to start. She had the opportunity to visit the house, but that was ages ago and everything was probably different now. She made an estimated guess and headed upstairs. Their shared bedroom was most likely going to be there. If not, she would be running from an angry cook and her spatula.
She didn’t have to run from anyone in the end because there wasn’t a single soul upstairs. Brynn wasn’t kidding about the absolute rest. A pin could be heard in this place if someone dropped it. Rey wondered what they did to the baby to be this quiet, but there was always a possibility that it was sleeping.
To her luck or misfortune, it depended on how she looked at it. All the doors were opened, except one. It was always the damned one closed door at the end of the long corridor where nightmares came alive, wasn’t it?
Her heart nearly exploded with every door she passed, in fear of anyone jumping out on her, but the place stayed deadly quiet. She took a couple more steps and found herself in front of the infamous door. She didn’t give herself a lot of time to overthink it and pressed the handle.
She pulled the door open and as she took in the scene in front of her, her breath got knocked out of her: “Oh my god.”