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Chapter 24

The next day, after school, Aaron, Jared and Ava went to get party supplies. They didn't want me to go with, since it was also going to be for my birthday. I sat out on the front porch, watching the kids coming home from school. Some of them from last night waved as they walked to their houses. I smiled and waved back.
"Mind if I sit here with you?" The old man sat down in the white rocker next to mine, after I nodded.
"Fred is it?" The man laughed.
"Yep, that would be me. Old man Fred." He pulled a cigar out of his shirt pocket and lit it up. He closed his eyes, enjoying the cigar. When he opened them, he looked around.
"Don't tell anyone about this. Especially the warden." I looked at him confused.
"Who's the warden?"
"The luna, of course. That woman just loves to be a buzz kill." I smiled and raised my brows.
"So I've noticed." He sat back and puffed on the cigar. Relaxing as he rocked back and forth.
"Ah, she isn't as bad as she first gives off. Once she let's you in, she's not that bad. She cares alot about this pack. Even us old asses." I laughed at that. Fred was pretty cool to be around.
"My wife, when she was alive, used to be a warden like Izzy. Rough and mean around the edges. But deep down, they are nothing but a softy."
"Frederick Alan Hatright! You better put that damn thing out right this instant!" We both jumped at the Luna's declaration. Fred jumped up, threw his cigar over the banister and grabbed his cane.
"Shit, she got me! Run for the hills! Ol' little bitty ain't getting me!" He hopped slash ran around the wrap around porch. The Luna stood there at the door with her arms over her chest, shaking her head.
"Don't think I won't get you later, old man!" I laughed as I watched him hobble down the yard. I looked over at Aaron's mom when I could feel her staring at me. She looked at me with disgust.
"I didn't know that you would be out here. Can't go anywhere anymore without her around." She spoke that last part to herself, but I still heard her. I stood up and put my hands in Aaron's hoodie pockets. That way she wouldn't down at them. I walked slowly passed her, going to go in the house. I stopped at the door when I heard her crying. I took a deep breath and slowly walked over to her, standing beside her. I looked out the yard. Fred was hobbling around with an older looking nurse chasing him down. Fred was definitely a funny character.
"Look, I'm sorry you got hurt all those years ago. Losing someone isn't always easy." She looked over at me.
"What do you know about losing someone?" I just shrugged my shoulders and looked her in the eyes.
"I just do." I looked at her flowers. She was pulling out the dead leaves.
"Can I ask you something?" She looked up at me.
"Do you know of a warlock named Roland?" I was surprised that she said my father's name. I didn't show her any reaction. One of the many tricks I was taught.
"I've heard of him. Part werewolf?" She nodded her head. I could see her hands starting to shake.
"Do you know if he's still alive? Did your coven ever run into him before?" I looked at her shaking form.
"Do you really want to know?" She closed her eyes and nodded her head.
"I need to know." She asked as she opened them and looked at me. The tears continued to fall down her cheeks.
"Yes. As far as I know he is." She looked out the yard and sobbed louder. I didn't know if I should console her or not.
"Look, I'm sorry if I upset you even more by me being here. Not all witches or warlocks are bad. There are some good."
"What's going on here?" I jumped and turned around. Aaron's dad stood near the door, arms crossed across his chest.
"We were just talking." Aaron's mom turned to face her husband.
"Making you upset. I can feel it through the bond." He walked over and embraced his mate.
"She's fine." She said into her husband's chest.
"I think I'm just going...to...go for...a walk. Sorry." I walked quickly down the porch and across the lawn. I could feel the alpha's gaze following me as I went.
I walked towards the playground a block down. I remembered passing by it with Aaron the other night, when we took a walk. I sat down on the bench and blew out the breath I seemed to have been holding in. Everything seemed to be just getting worse. So, my own father is the reason Aaron's mom is the way she is. Makes me feel even worse. I'm glad I don't resemble him or she would've recognized it right away.
I stared off at the kids playing. How I wish my life wasn't so fucked up. How can I stay when he will come for me? He won't just let me go. Anyone else who tried leaving the coven got hunted.
I was sent on numerous hunts. I didnt like it one bit. They were punished by death. The heads brought back as proof. The faces of those who just wanted a better life, forever imprinted in my mind. My hands are not clean. My father made me take those lives. He started sending me out on those hunts when I was just ten years old. My first victim an older woman. She just wanted to live out the last of her days in peace.
I closed my eyes and layed my head back against the bench.
"Aisha." My breath caught in my throat, my skin turned cold. I opened my eyes to stare into dark brown swirling ones. His smile not friendly in the least.
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