In a small dark room in the attic of the Thurman pack’s Alpha’s mansion, a blind girl was seated on her bed, lost in thought.
If someone asked Ciara what she was thinking, she probably wouldn’t be able to tell them because her mind was wandering. Like it always did whenever she was bored.
And most times, she always found herself in this state because she was almost always locked up in her room, and only allowed to go out on certain occasions.
With a sigh, Ciara lay on her bed, trying to will herself back to sleep.
Hopefully, by the time she woke up, it would be a good day. She wouldn’t get forgotten again and Vanessa would come to visit her with food, help her turn on the hot water so she could bathe with warm water, and talk to her for a while before leaving.
With that thought, Ciara felt much better.
But she couldn’t help cupping her hands in prayer like Alpha Donovan had taught her, praying that the prince charming in Alpha Donovan’s stories would come to save her like Rapunzel locked up in a tower.
Thinking of Rapunzel’s long hair and whether not having long hair would make her prince charming unhappy, Ciara finally fell asleep.
Ciara was half-awake when Vanessa walked into her room.
“Ciara! Get up!” As usual, she pinched Ciara’s arm to get her to wake up.
“Can you let me sleep a little longer?” Ciara muttered, swiping away Vanessa’s pinching fingers, groggily.
“No, I can’t. I need to make sure you’re presentable and then get ready myself. If we delay for an extra second, we’re going to be late for the Coming-of-Age party,” Vanessa said as she pulled the blanket away from Ciara’s body.
“We’re going out?!” Ciara sat up immediately and all signs of sleep vanished at the prospect of leaving her room.
It was truly a good idea to ask Alpha Donovan, in their last meeting, for a chance to leave her room.
“Yes, we are. The Alpha said I should let you get a little fresh air at his son’s Coming of Age party since it’s going to be a private pack meeting with few pack guests. I’m sure you won’t be allowed to go if it was a public meeting like a mating ceremony,” Vanessa said, as she sat on Ciara’s bed, sighing dreamily as she folded Ciara’s blanket.
“What’s a mating ceremony?” Ciara asked as she scratched her itching scalp.
“A mating ceremony is...it’s like a public ceremony for two people or mates to get officially mated. Kind of like a human wedding, I guess,” Vanessa replied.
“What are mates?” Ciara asked, because she didn’t know what it meant. This was the first time she was hearing about mates and people getting mated.
Vanessa snorted. “You know, just because you’re blind doesn’t mean that you have to be so stupid.”
Ciara went quiet, but she didn’t get offended at Vanessa’s statement because, even though she didn’t think Vanessa was right, she was used to Vanessa talking down to her all the time.
“Anyway, mates are supposed to be soul mates...they are like a person’s other half.” Vanessa continued.
“What other half?”
Vanessa released a long, exasperated sigh. “Alright, let me break it down for you, dummy. When the goddess created every supernatural including werewolves, that’s people like me, he made two people from one particular lump of clay in a way that even though they were made as separate people, without each other’s heart, they were just halves.”
Vanessa paused for a moment and then added, “Well, that’s what the pack history teacher said true mates were back in the days. Nowadays, werewolf blood is already so diluted with human blood that werewolves hardly find their true mates. So right now, werewolves just choose their own mates.”
Although Ciara didn’t totally understand what Vanessa had just explained, she knew that if she asked again, Vanessa would get angry, so she stopped asking.
“So that means that you have a mate, too?” Ciara could hear the excitement in Vanessa’s voice as she explained about mates.
Since Vanessa was never patient enough to explain things to her, Ciara knew that explaining what mates meant was probably an opportunity for Vanessa to gloat about something. But Ciara didn’t mind so much. After all, although Vanessa usually said hurtful things, she hardly ever hit her like Aunt Mackenzie.
“Yes, of course...” Vanessa replied with a happy sigh that surprised Ciara because Vanessa was always moody whenever she came to take care of her, or give her food. Many times, she would even hurl insults at Ciara when she was in really foul moods.
“So...you’re happy because you found your mate?” Ciara asked, happy to talk with Vanessa any time, any day.
“Yes, and he’s going to claim me soon enough. You may meet him today, but don’t you dare say anything, okay?” Vanessa ordered.
Ciara nodded rapidly, like a chicken pecking at rice on the ground, before asking. “Vanessa? Why shouldn’t I say anything?”
“Because my mate is the Alpha’s son and he’ll soon be the Alpha of the pack. He is way too important to talk to a good-for-nothing like you who just leeches off pack resources all day long,” Vanessa replied with another happy sigh. “I’ll soon be the Luna of this pack and then I won’t have to take care of you anymore.”
“Vanessa? What’s a Luna?” Ciara asked, unable to keep her curiosity at bay.
“Don’t you dare ask, stupid!” Vanessa snapped in an irritated tone.
Even though Ciara couldn’t see her glare, she could hear the annoyance in her voice and was smart enough to stop asking questions immediately.
“I wonder if I have a mate,” Ciara murmured as she undressed.
Even though she spoke quietly, Vanessa’s advanced werewolf hearing caught it, and she snorted in an unladylike manner. “Don’t be silly. You’re not even a werewolf. I don’t think humans have mates. Besides, I doubt the fates would be so cruel as to give a good-for-nothing person like you an able-bodied mate. Your mate will probably be a blind, deaf, or dumb human. ”
Then she heard Vanessa chuckle as she returned to the bathroom to turn off the tap.
Ignoring the hurt she felt because of Vanessa’s words, Ciara tried to think of anything other than the thought of never finding her mate and being stuck in this room all her life. She consoled herself with the thought that the goddess wouldn’t have brought her to earth just to let her live and die in one room.
She was still lost in thought when Vanessa walked out of the bathroom. “Take your bath quickly. I’ll get your food now.”
When she heard the door closing behind Vanessa, Ciara cupped her palms and prayed that, regardless of whether or not her mate had disabilities, he would find her and help her leave her room.