Ancient Wolves - Prophecy of the Ruins

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Chapter 74

Gunnar helped me down the stairs, and halfway down, the smell of freshly baked cookies made my mouth water.

I stopped and looked over my shoulder at Gunnar. “Is Tyra baking?”

He grinned and nodded. “She baked a lot lately. I guess it helps to relieve stress, but it doesn’t help with my weight.”

I laughed. “As if you have to watch out for your figure.”

“Mia?! Is that you?” Tyra called, and only seconds later she was up the stairs and pulled me into a long, tight hug.

I patted her back, gasping for air. “Tyra, I can’t breathe.”

“I was so worried. I’m so glad you are awake again,” she whispered, letting me go. “You also look relatively good for someone who had been asleep for days.”

I chuckled. “Thanks. I’m glad to see you are fine, too. I was worried when I saw you fighting with Vincent.”

She grimaced. “He is such a weird dude. Not sure what is going on with him, but it’s scary.”

“I’m curious, too, but I also hope I never have to see him again.”

She nodded, a smile spreading over her face. “I baked some cookies. Do you want some?”

“I would love to.”

She grabbed my hand and helped me down the rest of the stairs, leading me to the kitchen and the free spot on the bench. She placed still steaming chocolate cookies in front of me and a glass of milk next to it.

“Eat them while they are still warm.”

I devoured one without dipping into the milk, the chocolate melting in my mouth softly. It was a mixture of milk and dark chocolate, creating a blissful mix of sweetness and bitterness. Groaning, I pushed another into my mouth. Only the third one received a quick dip into the milk before landing in my mouth. “Tyra, you truly have a talent for baking.”

She chuckled. “My, thank you. It’s the reaction of other people I enjoy the most about it.”

I wiped the crumbs off my mouth and patted my stomach after I cleared my plate. “Thanks for the treat.”

“Do you have enough energy to face George now?”

My stomach dropped, and the cookies felt too heavy now. I wasn’t sure if I was ready for him, but I knew it had to be done sooner rather than later. “He deserves to know the truth.”

She nodded. “You are right. Then up you go, so it won’t be too late when you return. Three pups are eagerly waiting for you to play with them again.”

“Svea! Is she fine?”

Tyra smiled. “Yes, don’t worry. She stayed where you left her, and we got to her unharmed.” She reached over the table and grabbed my hands. “Thank you for protecting her.”

I shook my head; the heaviness growing even more. “If it wasn’t for me, she wouldn’t have been in such danger in the first place.”

Tyra tightened her grip around my hands. “We all knew that it was only a matter of time before they would get to you. I should have watched out for her more, but it was because of my neglect that I didn’t see her leave. I feel like I’ll never forgive myself.”

“Tyra, please, you are a wonderful mother, and you are allowed to make mistakes. She is fine now, and we all learned our lessons from it.”

She nodded, releasing my hands. “It will take some time before I can see it that way. But now, leave!”

I stood up, my muscles aching. Gunnar helped me exit the house and enter the car, even securing the seatbelt for me as if I couldn’t do anything alone anymore, but I didn’t complain. He looked happy to be of help to me.

“We have to drive for a while,” he said when he entered the car, too.

I nodded, fiddling with the radio to find good music.

We didn’t say much the entire ride, and I took the chance to take a quick nap. You would think after sleeping for such a long time, you would have felt awake and energized, but I felt like I hadn’t slept a wink in several days. I only woke up again when Gunnar softly shook me, telling me we had arrived.

I stretched and yawned before leaving the car, leaning onto Gunnar the entire way to the entrance. When the distinctive hospital smell hit me, nausea hit me like a truck. All the memories from the time after my accident rushed back to me in a flash. I stopped, taking deep breaths.

Gunnar ran his hand over my back. “It’s okay, you are fine.”

I nodded, but I couldn’t stop my hands from shaking.

“Do you want to sit down for a while?”

“No, let’s see George and get out of here quickly.”

Gunnar held me tighter to his side, and we moved to the elevator, not even asking for his room number. Gunnar probably knew where to go already.

I didn’t expect to feel this burdened by entering a hospital still. It had been so many years, but the scent was throwing me off.

It felt as if we walked for hours when we finally stopped in front of a white door. I shrieked when it opened, and Cedric walked outside.

“Oh! Amalia, look at you. It’s good to see you. How are you?”

I stared at him. “What are you doing here?”

He smiled. “I’m acting as a doctor, you could say, but don’t tell anyone.”

“What do you mean?”

“I treat George with my medicine to help him get better more quickly. The medicine the humans produce is complete garbage. My medicine might not have the full effect on him, but it’s still better than all this toxic waste the human hospital wants to push down his throat.”

“And you can just give medicine to him? Does the hospital know about it?”

He arched his brow. “Of course not! But ignorance is bliss, isn’t it?”

I chuckled, shaking my head. “Be careful not to get caught. However you managed to go under the radar for so long, anyway.”

“I’m going to be fine. But you are here to see George, aren’t you? He had been waiting for you.”

My heart dropped. “Did he ask about me?”

Cedric nodded, a frown on his face. “Every day. He wants to know why you aren’t in the hospital like he is because you were clearly hurt. It’s good you can finally give him some clearance.”

I swallowed hard. “Yes, I suppose so.”

He smiled and grabbed my shoulder, squeezing it softly. “Don’t worry, everything will be okay.”

Before I had a chance to say anything more or simply run away from the conversation with George, Cedric turned around, knocked on the door, and pushed it open. “Good luck.”

Flabbergasted, I stared at the open door, not ready at all.

“Hello?” George called from the inside.

My ears started ringing, and my hands got sweaty.

Gunnar kissed the top of my head. “I’m right here. If you can’t handle it anymore, just come back to me.”

I nodded, wiping my hands on my jeans. With one deep breath, I entered the room, closing the door behind me. I held my breath until George came into view.

The tension fell off of me when I saw him lying in bed comfortably. He had a broken leg, and a broken arm, but otherwise, he looked a lot better than I expected. His nose was still slightly swollen, and one eye was blue, but he got thrown off the ruins. For that, he looked good.

Tears pricked in the corner of my eyes when he looked up at me, his eyes widening. “Mia.”

I smiled. “Hi.”

He sat up straighter, not dropping his gaze off of me.

I pointed at the chair next to his bed. “Would you mind if I sat down?”

“Go ahead,” he said, his voice guarded.

We sat together in awkward silence for a moment, his stare burning holes into my body.

I sighed, wringing my hands. “I’m so sorry this happened to you. You were never supposed to be involved.”

“It’s not your fault,” he said, his voice cold. It didn’t sound like it was the truth.

My heart clenched. He had every right to be angry, but now that he actually was, it made it even harder to come up with the right words. “If you hadn’t been involved with me, they wouldn’t have targeted you.”

He cleared his throat, fumbling with his blanket. “Are you part of some sort of criminal organization?”

My mouth fell open. Was it possible that he didn’t know he was around wolves that day?

“No, I’m not part of a criminal organization or anything illegal.”

“What did they want from you then, and why did it seem like they were involved with you for a long time already? How could you hide that from me?”

The pain in his voice made it hard to breathe. I knew I always risked George’s safety by being around him, but only now do I realize just how much unknown danger I put him in. I clenched my hands into fists, trying to think of what to say, but I felt like nothing I could say would make this situation better.

“George, there is something about me I never told you. But I never thought I had to because I thought I would never get back to that part of the world.”

He turned to me, anger raging in his eyes. “But what world? I thought you weren’t part of a criminal organization?”

I sighed. “Because I’m not.”

“What is it, then?!”

“George, what I tell you now, I will only tell you because you won’t be able to remember it. I’m not human, not really anyway.”

His eyes grew so wide that they almost bulged out of his head. “What in the world are you spouting? That’s complete nonsense.”

“I knew you wouldn’t believe me, and I don’t blame you. It sounds crazy. But in reality, I’m an ancient wolf and lived with my parents and pack before they got killed by a different pack. I was the only one to survive. That’s why you never met anyone from my family, either. During the attack, I got pushed off a cliff, losing my wolf in the process. That’s why I could live as a human for all these years. That’s also how you got to know me, as a human, and I intended to live like that forever. But things changed.”

His mouth fell open, and he didn’t utter a single word. I took the chance to continue and to finally let go of all the secrets I couldn’t say to him before.

“I’m the most honest I could be right now. This is the raw truth. When you met me, I had this unnatural white eye color. I got them when I lost my wolf, but when she slowly returned to me, my eyes changed, too. And as you can see, they are back to their amber color now. I told you they were contact lenses, but this is the real me.”

George fell back onto the cushion, running through his hair with his healthy hand.

“The people who kidnapped you, they are from the pack that killed my family, George. They took you because they wanted to get to me.”

He glanced at me from the side, his face pale and mouth tightened into a thin line.

“They were ready to kill you and me. That’s also why they threw you off the cliff without a second thought. If it weren’t for the ancient mages, you would be dead now. And if it weren’t for Gunnar and his pack, I would be dead, too.”

“So that Gunnar person is like you, too,” he said.

I nodded. “Yes, he is.”

“That explains a lot.”

“Because I’m an ancient wolf. It also never worked out with babies. It wasn’t you, George, it was always me. I thought it wouldn’t cause an issue, because I lost my wolf, but it was. Male humans and female wolves can’t reproduce.”

His chin trembled as he looked at me from the side, tears welling in his eyes. “Let’s say it’s the truth. Why did you never tell me? How could you keep that from me?”

My chest tightened as cold sweat broke out all over my body. “I really thought it wouldn’t stand in our way. I left that part of my life behind me, and I never intended to look back, ready to live a fully human life with you. Besides, I didn’t expect you to believe me, even if I told you.”

He laughed dryly. “How would you expect me to believe it? Ancient wolves? That sounds crazy, but yet I’m inclined to believe you because it finally gives me a reason why things ended the way they did.”

Another silence stretched between us while I stared at the ugly painting on the wall in front of me. I’m sure Tyra could paint something that would make people feel happy. Instead, they have to look at something that looked like someone sneezed paint on a canvas.

I gulped and took another deep breath, pulling the last card I held up my sleeves to bring him closure. “Would you believe me if I showed you?”

He looked at me, nodding slowly.

I reached out to my wolf, making sure she was fine with my plan, but she was happy to help if it would bring me peace, too. I stood up and moved away from his bed, looking at him as I called my wolf to the surface. The switch was still painful, and I suppressed a howl leaving my throat. I stared at him with my clearer vision, seeing him sitting upright with wide eyes and mouth hanging open. I strolled over to him, not leaving him out of my sight, watching his every movement. Placing my head on the side of his bed, I waited for him to say or do something. It took a while before he hesitantly brushed over my head, a soft smile spreading over his face.

“I saw you before. You were back in the car, driving out of the park.”

I also still visibly remember his sad eyes and unkempt hair, how he was walking into the park as if the weight of the world was on his shoulders. I pressed my nose into his hand and sneezed. He laughed, wiping his hand on his blanket.

I stepped back again, turning back into my human form, and dropping onto the chair, pain rushing through my body as I got electrocuted. “I saw you, too.”

For the first time since I entered the room, his eyes softened, and the smile that was still on his face seemed genuine. “I can understand why you never told me. As surreal as it is, I only believe you because I saw it with my own eyes. But if you couldn’t do what you just did, I probably would have thought you had lost your mind.”

I leaned forward and took his hand in mine. “George, you are a good person. You have a big heart and I believe you deserve the best in this world. But I hope you understand now why I can’t be the one walking side by side with you, and why I had to leave you.”

He nodded, his small faltering. “I understand it, and I’m glad you told me. It finally makes sense now. I never understood what had changed, but I couldn’t believe it was simply a change of heart. This way, I can at least move on, knowing that you cared about us.”

I smiled. “Thank you for trying to protect me out there.”

“I wish I could have done more, but those people were crazy.”

I laughed, releasing his hand. “They sure are. I’m glad they didn’t achieve what they wanted to achieve.”

“So you won?”

“Yes. All is safe.”

He nodded. “I’m glad.”

I cleared my throat. “And as I said, you won’t be able to remember what I told you soon. You will get your memory wiped, and you will forget about us, the ancient wolves, or any other paranormal stuff that has happened to you. You can go back to your life as if nothing happened.”

“What? No! I don’t want that.”

I bit the inside of my cheeks. “I don’t think you have much of a choice. The ancient mages seem to take it seriously to separate humans and ancient wolf business.”

“I could keep it a secret. I would never tell a soul. Please, Mia, they can’t take what we had away from me. Those were the happiest times of my life!”

My heart clenched again, and I nodded. “If it makes you feel better, I will try to speak to them again.”

He leaned towards me, his eyes wild. “Will you forget about me, too?”

“No. I won’t forget about you.”

A deep sigh left his mouth, as a smile spread over his face again. “I love you. I really do.”

“I loved you, too. Thank you for everything you did for me. You saved me when I didn’t know how to move on, and I will forever carry that in my heart.”

“I’m sure this isn’t goodbye,” he said, a tear escaping his eyes. "It doesn’t feel like it is.”

I stood up and pressed a soft kiss on his cheek. “I wish you all the best in life.”

His shoulders slumped, but he didn’t stop me when I left his room, only looking back one more time, seeing him watching me with more tears running down his face.

“Stay safe,” I said, leaving his room and closing the door behind me firmly.

I leaned against the door, the tears I had tried to hold back running down my cheeks. I wouldn’t speak to the ancient mages. Deep inside me, I still believe this was for the best. George deserved to be able to move on, and he deserved a better life than what I could have offered him. He shouldn't have to carry the burden of the secrets I told him.

Gunnar pulled me into his arms, stroking my head. “How did it go?”

“He seemed upset about forgetting me,” I said.

“Understandably. But he has to move on, and he is much safer if he doesn’t know about the dangers of our world.”

I nodded and pulled away from him, looking up into his green eyes. He cupped my face and smiled. Was I selfish for being happy I could be with Gunnar, though? Was I a bad person for being in love with someone else while George was still heartbroken?

Maybe I was, but it was time for me to move on, too. I pulled Gunnar close to me, got on my tiptoes, and kissed him. He wrapped an arm around my waist and pulled me closer.

“Ready to leave?” He asked.


He took my hand, and we left the hospital.

Leaving the past behind us and starting a new chapter together.

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