I woke up feeling groggy. My head was pounding with each beat of my heart. I imagined this must be what a hangover felt like. The memories of everything that had happened flooded through me. The rogue attack on Dalton and his warriors. Did they survive? I blacked out before their return. Did anything happen to them?
With the adrenaline of fear now flowing through my veins I was able to pull my body from my pile of blankets before stumbling up the stairs. Rushing into the kitchen I stumbled seeing Lord Edmon and Dalton talking quietly. A rush of relief filled me at seeing Dalton’s face.
Once the pair notice my presence, they both immediately stood facing me lowering their gaze. That was odd. I rushed to Dalton grabbing his arms and pulling him towards me. I frantically searched his body looking for anything amiss. When I saw no offence to his person, I stepped back somewhat embarrassed at how forthright I was. Dalton just smiled at me kindly.
“I’m alright Artie. Everyone made it back ok.” I released the breath I didn’t know I was holding.
“And the rogues,” I asked, my voice barely above a whisper. The question caused Dalton’s face to become more serious.
“Escaped again. Although Lord Edmon might have an idea-“
“Dalton.” Lord Edmon silenced him just by calling his name. Dalton turned to Lord Edmon tilting his head in question. “Dalton why don’t you go and find a fresh outfit for Artemis. In the mean time, the two of us can chat.” Dalton looked sternly at the Lord obviously not happy with the errand he was being sent on. When Dalton did not move Lord Edmon spoke again. “That’s and order Dalton.” Dalton’s body tensed at the command. He furrowed his brow for a moment before taking a step towards leaving the kitchen. As he walked by, I could hear him grumbling under his breath.
“Of all the people here, you had to be the Beta-“ Dalton continued to grumble as he went toward the door that led to the basement and my room. Once his hand touched the door knob a growl was ripped form my throat. Dalton stopped to look at me in shock at my reaction. Once I realized what I had done I clamped both hands over my mouth afraid of what sound I might come out next.
“Maybe look in the laundry facilities Dalton,” Lord Elton clarified. “Remember what we discussed earlier in regard to entering the den?” Understanding came over Dalton’s face along with another emotion. Disappointment maybe? Before I could identify it, Dalton nodded his head and walked towards the other kitchen exit in to the main packhouse.
Now that I was alone with Lord Edmon my nerves start to get the better part of me. What did he want to discuss with me? Was there something I did that offended him. Our conversation near the chicken coop came to mind. I was definitely in trouble.
Looking back at Lord Edmon my body slowly began to back away. Lord Edmon’s face was forlorn as he looked back.
“You can run away if you would like dear Artemis, but eventually we are going to have to talk. Better to get it over with.” He was right. I could run from him now but eventually he would track me down and force me to listen to whatever he said.
Accepting of my fate I went to the breakfast bar and took the seat farthest from him. Lord Edmond smiled at my choice of seating and then began walking around the kitchen grabbing a few things out of the cupboard before filling a glass of water and returning to the breakfast bar. Walking to me, he placed a glass of water and a pair of pills next to it. I looked to him in question of the pills.
“For the headache,” was all he said. Eyeing him closely I took the pills in my hand and tossed them in my mouth before drowning it in water. Once I had swallowed it all Lord Edmond walked to the other end of the breakfast bar and sat.
“Now,” he said softly. “Where to begin.”
Over the next 20 minutes Lord Edmon explain to me the events that had happened until in the rogue attack immediately after I collapsed. He also explained that he was able to call forth my wolf and upon such confirmed what he was already suspicious of. I was an ancient. An old race of werewolves that linked all the way up to the goddess itself, and because I was an ancient, I had to leave my home for the capital.
“But why do I have to go? Why can’t I stay here?” Those whole conversation was overwhelming but the thought of leaving my home was unbearable.
“Because you need a safe environment in which to learn to control your wolf and to discover your abilities.”
“Abilities? What abilities?”
“Every ancient is given a gift from the goddess that sets them apart from other wolves. Something that helps us in our lives. It’s different for each individual. Through training and practice we can learn what your ability is and learn how to use it properly.” My thoughts turned to all the times I could sense the rogues entering pack lands. How I was able to sense them and tell Dalton where to look to find them. I never could explain how I knew before. Maybe it was a gift from the goddess after all.
“What is your ability?” I asked Lord Edmon. Lord Edmon smiled at me.
“I was given the gift of honesty.”
“What you can’t lie? That doesn’t sound like a great gift.” Lord Edmon chuckled at my remarks
“No not quite like that. I could lie if I really wanted but I more like a living lie detector. I can tell if what someone speaks is the truth or not. Comes in handy when investigating pack records and such” My eyes widened, and I thought back to the many conversation we had together and tried to figure out if there was anything I said that could have been a lie. Lord Edmon must have figured out my dilemma and wanted to put me out of my misery.
“No Artemis. You have never lied to me. Not truly.” That was a relief to hear. I made a mental note never to do so in front of Lord Edmon in the future. That was going to be hard considering I now had to leave with him for who knows how long. I grew sad again at the thought of leaving. Dalton was going to flip out when I tell him. That brought me to a whole new low.
“Penny for your thoughts.” Lord Edmon called. I shrugged my shoulders.
“I just don’t know how I’m going to explain this to Dalton and the others.”
“I’ll explain it to Alpha Langston who will explain it to the pack. Dalton on the other hand has volunteered to come a long and I have graciously agreed to it.” Dalton is coming? Relief floods through me as now I knew I had one friend to lean on through this whole ideal. I was grateful for Lord Edmon’s kindness.
“Thank you, my lord. You have no idea how much that means to me.” Lord Edmon smiled at my gratitude.
“Oh, I don’t really have a choice in the matter. Even if I forbade him to go the little thorn in my side would follow us anyways. Just makes it simpler to let him come along.”
“Still I am still grateful.” Lord Edmon bowed his head at me to respond.
“It is my honor my lady.” I was taken back by the formal title. Why was he addressing me so? Was it because I was an ancient? Before I could come is a concrete answer we were interrupted by more visitors.