Ancient Wolves - Prophecy of the Ruins

All Rights Reserved ©

Chapter 14

I stared after him, surprised he really left. After what he said, I almost expected him to stay close for the rest of the night, but that would probably catch too much attention. Besides, I was sure everyone waited for him to return to the festival.

The wind picked up, making me shiver even with Gunnar’s jacket, and I stepped inside, closing the door behind me and locking it.

I dropped his jacket over the chair in the dining area and moved to the bathroom, finally taking the chance to look at myself. Maybe Gunnar was overreacting about what he said.

“Oh no,” I whispered, staring at my face. Besides the dirt on my skin, the flower crown which was falling apart, and the bruises on my face, my eyes stood out the most. My white eye color always seemed odd, but now with the two different colors, I stood out like a sore thumb.

I broke out in a cold sweat, seeing the amber color of my left eye, and my stomach turned when I remembered the times when my life hadn’t gone down the drain yet. Seeing my original eye color almost made me cry. Was there hope I could get back the part of my life I had lost? Could I get part of myself back? I didn’t want to get my hopes up, though. If I wouldn’t be able to get my wolf back, it would be even more devastating if I was believing in it now.

With one last look, I tore my gaze away and took a quick shower, finally getting rid of the dirt on my skin. I wish it wouldn’t have ended the way it did. I had a lot of fun, and it was interesting to learn about their traditions. It felt like I reconnected to a culture I was never part of, but I wished I was. If I had known how exciting and fulfilling it would be, I would have fought against my parent’s decisions and asked more questions. But back then, I didn’t care.

I remember it was always a reason for discussion between my parents and grandparents. They used to have a good relationship until it all changed, and they never saw eye to eye ever again. But keeping traditions alive was something my grandparents always demanded, while my parents didn’t want to hear about it. At the time, old traditions sounded boring, so I sided with my parents. But after experiencing it myself, I would love to grow old with it and see my children enjoying it, too.

My children. Instinctively, I placed my hands on my stomach, protecting what wasn’t even there. I leaned my head against the shower wall and let the water flow over my body for a moment.

I should contact George and explain things the best I could. We are a team, and we need to be on the same page. The sour feeling after he assumed the worst of me never left me. My heart clenched as tears pricked in the corner of my eyes. I had always been loyal to him. No one else ever mattered, and I only had eyes for him. My gaze was set on the future with him, yet he was quick to doubt and judge me.

I stopped the water and wrapped a towel around me. I didn’t want to think too badly about this behavior, because I understood where George was coming from. The situation must have appeared weird. But it was hard to accept his outburst earlier, anyway. I might have acted suspicious, but was that a reason to jump to conclusions? And then wanting to drag me to his parent’s house, even though he knew they hated me.

He never asked if I was hurt, either.

Thinking about his parents made my pulse speed up. I knew they would never approve of us, and it hurt me more than I wanted to admit. My wish for George was to have a peaceful life with his family because I didn’t want him to go through what I had - losing his family. But their open hostility made it hard for me to hold on to that wish.

I grabbed my phone and dialed his number, wanting to clear the air, but he wouldn’t pick up. The ten following calls didn’t get answered either. I sent him a bunch of text messages, to which I didn’t receive an answer to. Eventually, I gave up and went to bed. He couldn’t avoid me forever.

The next morning, I woke up and felt like I hadn’t been sleeping at all. The incident with my pack ran on rewind in my brain, making me wake up covered in sweat and with a racing heart.

I slowly dragged myself to the bathroom and stared into the mirror. Still the same as last night, but with dark circles under my eyes.

After freshening up, I checked my phone, hoping George finally responded, but nothing. His phone was switched off now, and an uneasy feeling settled in my stomach. What if something happened to him? But someone surely would have called me if he was in the hospital, right?

I put on some comfy clothes and prepared a hot cup of tea. It was the only thing I could think of without feeling nauseous. Even the smell of bread made me gag. I settled down on the sofa, looking outside and admiring the excellent view I had. They offered me a bungalow in the area with the most trees. Living like this, with the trees surrounding me, made me feel at peace.

I was about to grab a book to distract myself from my racing thoughts when I heard a soft knock on the front door. I rushed towards it, hoping it might be George.

“Hey,” Tyra said.

My shoulders slumped, and a frown spread over my face.

She patted my shoulder. “Sorry, I’m probably not the one you expected to see.”

“Don’t apologize. I’m glad you came to visit me. Do you want to come in?” She was a welcome distraction, even if she wasn’t George. I opened the door wider and let her enter.

She looked around the room once before sitting down on the sofa with a huff.

“Would you like to drink something?”

She glanced at the cup on the table and nodded. “Whatever you have, it smells nice.”

We remained silent while I prepared her tea. Today, she had her curls pulled up in a messy bun, a few strands of hair framing her face. She looked beautiful and seemed completely out of place in my tiny living room.

I handed her the cup and settled down next to her. “What brings you here?”

She blew into the cup and smiled. “I wanted to check up on you.”

“Nothing changed,” I said, and took a sip of my tea.

“Looks like it. Did you sleep well?”

I looked at her blankly and pointed at the dark circles under my eyes.

She laughed. “I take that as a no.”

Compared to her husband, she appeared a lot more relaxed about this situation. He made it seem as if I was a ticking time bomb.

I leaned back on the sofa, pulling a blanket over me. “I didn’t expect you to be so light-hearted after what happened yesterday.”

She smiled. “I don’t see a reason to panic for now. Gunnar tends to be overprotective and worries too much. He had been like this since we were small.”

“Oh, so you have been close since you were children?”

“Of course!” She stared at me with wide eyes, almost like she couldn’t believe I had asked. “He is my brother, after all.”

I nearly dropped my cup of tea. “What?!”

“Did you think he was my husband? Oh, no. I wouldn’t be able to deal with him like that.” She dramatically rolled her eyes.

“But the children,” I stammered. I didn’t want to ask the obvious questions: If he isn’t the father, who is? And where is he?

Her warm eyes turned sad for a moment, but a smile remained on her lips. “Aloysius, unfortunately, died three years ago.”

I gasped. “I’m so sorry.”

I assumed so many things about her and Gunnar, and even asked bold questions about her children. I felt horrible.

“It’s okay, don’t worry! He wouldn’t want me to dwell in sadness forever, but it’s hard not to when he is missing every step on the way.”

I wanted to lean forward and pull her into a hug, but I didn’t feel comfortable doing so. I didn’t know her so well after all. And so we sat together in silence, lost in our thoughts.

“He got shot by a hunter,” she said.

A shock ran through my body. “A human?”

This was a tragic death. When a wolf wasn’t careful enough, caused too much damage, and then got shot by a hunter. But I doubt her husband had been careless. There must be more to it.

“Yes, sadly. He was involved in a fight with another alpha. They had severely overstepped our borders and wouldn’t leave our territory. He constantly tried to push us out of our home, and as the alpha, it was Aloysius’ task to get rid of them.”

My mouth went dry listening to her story. She took a deep breath and ran a finger over the rim of the cup.

“It escalated, and in their rage, they didn’t realize how close they had gotten to human territory. Both of them got shot, but only Aloysious died from his wounds a few hours later.” Her voice broke, and her hands gripped the cup so tightly that I was worried she might crush it.

“Gunnar wanted revenge and wiped out plenty of wolves from the pack until they surrendered and disappeared. Their alpha was already long gone by then. He had left his betas in charge of the fight, bringing himself to safety.”

Leaving his pack behind to deal with an alpha fight was not only disrespectful but also the most cowardly thing a wolf could do. I already despised him, and I didn’t even know who he was.

“We let the case rest afterward. We didn’t want to lose anyone else, and Gunnar had to take over the role of the alpha, as the strongest wolf in the pack. He and Aloysious were very close, and his loss hit him hard. Ever since, he had been very protective of every ancient wolf. He didn’t want to lose another wolf to a stupid gunshot. That’s the reason he wants to protect you. If you go rogue, your chance of getting killed is much higher,” she said. “And when you are a lone wolf, you are also a threat to others.”

I understood what she meant. Lone wolves can stir trouble between packs, or even work for one pack to help destroy another.

“I get that. But I’m not a wolf anymore.”

She sighed. “When will you stop saying that? You are a wolf. Even the weakest omega could feel it now. Your wolf is so close to the surface, it might as well burst out of you.”

“That’s not what it feels like.”

“Because you are in denial. But believe me, there is nothing I would gain from lying to you. I want you to be safe because I like you, and I want to learn so much more about you. You are fierce and strong. I would hate to lose you because you didn’t want to face the truth.”

Her honesty warmed my heart. I never had many friends, at least not close ones. I always pulled up barriers between myself and everyone else. Except for George.

“I have a life here, though. I have a fiancé,” I said.

“I know. And I know you love and care about him. I also understand that you want to start a family with him and grow old together. But please believe me when I say it’s impossible. Your wolf won’t let it happen, not with a full human.”

I stared into my cup, lost for words. Gunnar told me the same, but it was easier to ignore his words. But when Tyra is telling me the same, they both might be right after all.

“I know you are trying your best, but even if you put all your effort into it, it won’t work out. You can’t go against nature, not in this case. You might be able to accept that, but will he? If he wants children, is it fair to let his hopes up for something he won’t ever get from you? Without even knowing the reason.”

A pang in my chest made me gasp. I didn’t want to answer the question, because I knew I was being selfish. I had my doubts when it never worked out, but I never wanted to admit it. The only future I could imagine was one with us together. There was no future without him. But do I love him if I can’t let him go because of my selfish reasons? Would I be willing to sacrifice his wish just so I can continue to live the life I’m hoping for?

“Think about what I said and don’t lie to yourself. You don’t have to answer or explain yourself to me. This is your life, but I would rather see you in a place you belong than see you live in a fake fantasy. You belong in a pack of wolves.”

“Why are you going this far for me? You don’t know me.”

By now, I felt like a broken record, repeating the same thing over and over again. I simply didn’t understand why strangers were so invested in my life.

“Because sometimes you don’t have to know someone for a long time to know they are a good person. And we see you struggle. Not to mention that you live in our territory. We have to deal with you one way or another. The issue got more urgent with your current state. But I would like to see this end well and on a friendly note, instead of ending in a fight.”

So it was mainly because I was a lone wolf in their territory, after all.

“I can move away from here. That would solve the problem for you, right?”

“Don’t be ridiculous and stop filtering my words. You only listen to what you want to hear. We like you, and we want to get to know you and your wolf. So, think this through. You can stay at our house for a while until your transformation is completed, and you gain control over your wolf again. We will protect and help you.” She stood up. “Don’t lie to yourself and hope for a future that won’t happen. Not for you and not for him. Thank you for the tea.”

With those words, she left my bungalow, not letting me answer. Leaving me alone, confused, and overwhelmed.

Continue Reading Next Chapter

About Us

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered publisher, providing a platform to discover hidden talents and turn them into globally successful authors. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books our readers love most on our sister app, GALATEA and other formats.