Ancient Wolves - Prophecy of the Ruins

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Chapter 39

Gunnar didn’t push me further about joining the pack, and I appreciated that. He knew I wouldn’t be able to decide on anything right now, and he respected my boundaries. Which is a very wonderful trait.

We were resting next to each other, enjoying the silence. I liked I could enjoy his company without needing to fill an awkward silence. It felt comfortable to be in his presence without saying a word. I also felt relieved that George didn’t come up. That would have been my breaking point. It was all too fresh to be talking about him. Even if I know it’s not a topic, I couldn’t avoid for long. At some point, I had to face my feelings and reflect on the relationship I had with him, and if it was only to avoid repeating the same things in the future.

Gunnar left me when the sun was about to set. He had fallen asleep next to me, and I had watched out for him, even when my eyes felt heavy, too. But I remembered what Tyra told me, and that he counted on me to protect him. I didn’t want to abuse his trust and put us both in a vulnerable situation. When he left, he took the calming warmth with him, and I wished he would have stayed, as selfish as that is. He still had a life to take care of, a pack to rule over. Gunnar couldn’t babysit me all day long.

It took until morning again to get back into my human form. The entire night, I have been thinking about the Vindictoria pack, keeping me tossing and turning. Now that I had been talking about the past, it all felt too close again. Potential danger was breathing down my neck, keeping me on my toes. I was convinced that they wouldn’t want me to be alive, especially if I was the reason, they couldn’t take over the ruins. They had another reason to find me now.

They must have thought about potential reasons no one could claim the territory. Maybe it even crossed their minds already that I might have survived, but they weren’t able to find me.

A shiver went down my spine, remembering that Bertram’s brother used to be in touch with them, even seeing them as some sort of role model. What if his brother had contacts with them, too, and couldn’t wait to fill them in? How much longer do I have until they found me here?

All questions I didn’t have answers to.

I walked towards their house, hurrying through the rain, and rang the doorbell. I hoped I wouldn’t wake them up. It seemed like it was still rather early in the morning.

Tyra opened the door, wearing an apron again, a splash of orange paint on her face. A smile spread over her face as she waved me inside. “Good morning, Amalia. How are you doing this fine morning?”

I smiled. “Fine, considering I was stuck sleeping on a barn floor again. And you? It seems you are already busy working.”

She chuckled and closed the door behind me. “You know no one forces you to sleep in a barn. That’s just your stubborn way of thinking. And yes, indeed. The kids are back at school, so I finally have more time to work in the morning.”

From the corner of my eye, I saw Svea stumbling down the stairs, step by step. When she saw me, she froze, and stared at me with wide eyes, before barking once. I smiled and picked her up, holding her close to me.

She licked my neck, and I chuckled. “I’m glad to see you, too.”

“I felt like she was a bit frustrated you could turn back, and she was still stuck. But I guess she is over it now,” Tyra said.

“It seems that way. But eventually, it will be as easy as breathing for Svea, too. Some things just need a while.”

Svea wiggled in my arms, and I set her down, seeing her dash towards the living room.

Tyra rolled her eyes. “It’s time for that TV show she is addicted to. Something with fairies and magic. Kids these days, I used to play outside all the time.”

I laughed. “You sound like a grandma! It’s raining outside, too. Cut her some slack.”

She winked. “I will turn on the TV for her. Would you like to have breakfast with me?”

I nodded, my stomach grumbling. “That would be nice.”

She disappeared after Svea, and I moved to the kitchen, starting to set the table.

“What are you doing?” Tyra asked when she entered.

“Preparing breakfast?”

She took the plates out of my hands and stirred me to the chair to sit down. “Nonsense! You are our guest. There is no need to help.”

I wanted to protest, but she glared at me. I shrugged and made myself comfortable, watching her dashing through the kitchen and filling the table.

After I couldn’t even see one empty space on the table anymore, she sat down across from me, moving the strains of hair out of her face, which had loosened.

“Did you invite an entire football team, or who is supposed to eat all of this?”

She smiled. “Eat as much as you can!”

I shook my head, as a smile spread over my face, too. She was such a mother hen. I put together a sandwich and shoveled scrambled eggs on my plate, while Tyra simply watched me, sipping on her coffee.

“I would love for you to stay here. You feel like a sister to me, and I think your presence would be good for Gunnar, too.”

I raised a brow, and took a bite from the sandwich, taking my time to chew and thinking about what she said.

“Why would I be good for Gunnar? Since meeting me, I only made things difficult for him.”

She chuckled. “You always look at the negative things. You challenge him in a way no other female dares to, except me, of course. But that isn’t the same. I’m his big sister. It’s my role to be a pain in the butt for him. You aren’t afraid of him, and I think he would appreciate a strong wolf by his side. He had been alone for so long.”

I almost choked on the piece of bread and quickly gulped it down with hot tea, which set my esophagus on fire. Tears shot to my eyes as she stared at me with wide eyes. “You want me to be together with him? Like a relationship?”

She shrugged. “Not yet, of course. I know your heart is still not over the human man, but I could see you two working out so well.”

I crossed my arms. “The human man has a name: George.”

“George, right. You were with him for years, and I understand you can’t just move on as if nothing happened. But maybe at some point that might change,” she said.

I knew she didn’t mean to sound ignorant or hurtful on purpose. But I still disliked that they only see George as a human, like he is less worthy than ancient wolves.

Letting out a deep breath, I picked up my sandwich again and took a bite. I knew I acted a bit too sensitive as well. “I get that, but I don’t think Gunnar and I would be a good match.”

She raised a brow. “I wonder why you would think so, but it doesn’t have to be Gunnar. I would like to have you around because I like you.”

Warmth spread through my body. I always wished for a friend I could confide in, and with whom I could share all my thoughts. But I never had the chance to do so with my human friends. “I also like you, and I appreciate everything you did for me. My home isn’t far away from here, we can always meet again. But I hope you can understand that I have to go home and see what has happened in the past years.”

She nodded, placing down the cup and reaching over the table to grab my free hand. “I’m worried about you. What if the Vindictoria pack finds you and won’t leave you alone? We want to protect you, and if you aren’t in reach, we can’t.”

I clenched my hand into a fist. “Let’s say they do want to hurt me, and I remain here. Do you think I want to bring this entire pack into danger? Then Bertram would have been right all along. I would be dangerous. The longer I stay here, the more dangerous it is for you and everyone else.”

She tightened her grip around my hand. “Forget about Bertram, he only wanted to stir you up. He is the only one against you.”

I shook my head and pulled my hand away. “Openly against me. You said, usually, the pack members would hang around your property, but since I arrived, I haven’t seen a single one around. I also see how they look at me. They find me suspicious, and I can’t blame them.”

“That’s only because you are a stranger to them. When they get to know you, they will warm up to you in a heartbeat.”

“The alpha recognized me as an ally and friend, and yet they don’t trust his judgment. Their fear towards me is stronger than their trust. Don’t tell me otherwise.”

She sighed, brushing through her hair. “This is just a unique situation, and they need a little more time to get used to it.”

“Until I’m the target of the Vindictoria pack. I’m certain they won’t end this peacefully, and I won’t be the only one going down. I don’t want that, and I won’t stay here until I’m certain there is no danger being around me. Please don’t push this further.”

Tyra stared at me for a moment, the atmosphere so tense it made it hard to breathe. She leaned back in her chair and sighed. “Fine, I won’t try to persuade you anymore. But don’t be a stranger. When I said I want to have you around, I mean it. I want to be of help to you.”

“Thank you, Tyra, I really appreciate that.”

“And don’t hesitate to ask for help with the house! I would love to help you paint and decorate it.”

I smiled. “I would love that.”

“But you can only leave when you don’t jump into wolf mode the moment you feel threatened,” she said with a wink.

I laughed. “I will wait until then.”

She clapped her hands, her eyes sparkling. “I’m so excited! I don’t know what your house looks like, but I promise you, I will make it shine with color.”

I imagined the paintings she could paint for the house, and how it would look, but I had a hard time visualizing the house. It had been too long.

The doorbell rang, startling me.

“I wonder who that could be,” Tyra said, and left the kitchen to answer the door. “Oh! I didn’t expect you to come here. Come on in. We are in the kitchen.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t announce myself beforehand,” a familiar voice said.

I whipped my head towards the door, seeing Jelto enter, his hair wet from the rain.

“Jelto!” I jumped up and pulled him into a hug.

He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me tighter to his chest. “Hello there Mia. Long time no see.”

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