Chapter 31 - A Lost Pack
“Where are the men?” I ask them. I’ve been wondering where Caspian’s disappeared to.
“They’re with Lord Archer in the conference room. Your cousins are in there too,” answers Penny.
“My cousins? You mean...”
“Yeah, Jorden and Jonah are here,” says Genesis. “Jonah came with us from California. Jorden came back here to the hotel with us last night. Both of them were worried about you.”
Worried about me? I was worried about them. I haven’t seen Jonah in a while and I miss him. I’m glad to know that both brothers are here.
“So, what’s happening today?” I ask them.
“Today we’re going back to Loup Noir Pack,” answers Penny grimly and the two other girls nod in confirmation.
“You don’t have to go back there if you don’t want to. We’d understand,” says Serena, placing her hand on top of mine. “It must be hard for you.”
“No, I want to be there,” I tell her.
“Then we’ll go as soon as the men are ready and we finish our breakfast,” says Penny, stealing yet more fries from my plate.
“Are you okay?” asks Genesis after a while. I realize then that I’ve been pushing what remains of my breakfast around in my plate.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I answer quickly. Am I really? I pause for a while before I say, “Actually, I’m not sure. I’m feeling fine but I feel bad for feeling fine...does that make sense?”
“What do you mean?” asks Serena.
Genesis is watching me with those big hazel eyes of hers with her head tilted to one side, analyzing me and before I can say anything, she says, “You’re waiting for the guilt to consume you because you just mutilated and killed a man so brutally. But then the guilt never comes and you feel just fine. Now you feel bad for not feeling bad.”
“Wow, yeah, that’s basically it.” I’m surprised at how spot-on Genesis is. Almost like she can see inside my head. “I mean, normally I would have freaked out. Yesterday wasn’t...pretty.” It was downright gory. “But I had to do it. It’s like a compulsion.”
“It was a compulsion. Your lycan demanded justice. It would not rest until it’s done,” informs Serena.
“It’s like having an itch you couldn’t scratch,” I say.
“Like having a pebble in your shoe that you couldn’t get rid of,” adds Genesis with a nod.
“Like having a fly constantly buzzing around your head,” agrees Serena and we all nod.
“Like the nuts of an annoying jerk you couldn’t kick,” says Penny. Wait. What? “Cause he’s human, so if you kicked him there, he’s gonna end up barren and dead, which is awesome but you couldn’t...so you give him the finger instead. Totally not as satisfying.” She shakes her head, looking all pissy.
I give Genesis a wide-eyed look while Serena covers her mouth with a cloth napkin with a cough that sounds suspiciously like a muffled laugh. Uh..okay.
“So, yes,” says Serena, clearing her throat after a few seconds of silence. “That’s why we had to sit back and let you do it yourself yesterday, even though we were itching to do it ourselves. An eye for an eye. You need to get justice for your Nana, otherwise, your lycan wouldn’t rest.”
“Yeah, it took a lot of control on Caspian's part not to let his lycan take over and let you kill the man yourself,” adds Genesis.
“Seriously, I’m surprised he didn’t tear the man into tiny pieces the moment he was wheeled in, I could barely hold myself together,” Penny announces.
“Now that your lycan is appeased, even that feeble attempt at marking you by Mr. Maddox doesn’t bother you or Caspian anymore,” explains Genesis and I touch the fading scar on my neck. “This is how you are now, Quincy. Our moral compass is different from that of a human or even a werewolf. Even though we don’t kill just for the fun of it, we get pleasure in killing those we deem deserving.”
Pleasure from killing? “Oh god," I groan. "I’m a monster now.”
“If you think we’re monsters, then I guess we are.” Genesis shrugs her shoulders casually. “Do you really want to feel bad about killing the man who killed your Nana and tried to forcefully mark and mate with you?”
“You know you’re not a full lycan yet,” says Penny. The others stare at her warily.
I lean forward and place my fork down carefully on my plate. “No?” I ask, waiting for her to go on.
“It’s not too late if you don’t want to be a “monster” like us. It can still be reversed,” continues Penny, despite the looks she’s getting from Genesis and Serena. “Right now you can’t phase into a lycan at will. It only happens when you’re angry or in danger or in pain.
"Just don't let Caspian mark you and distance yourself from him... and from us. You’ll turn back to normal, eventually.”
“Is that what you really want?” asks Genesis, looking anxious.
Is that what I want? Is it? All I wanted to be was normal. Marry a normal human, have a normal human family. But now that the lycan part of me is awakened, it doesn’t want to be buried again and disappear into oblivion and eventually forgotten.
I had a taste of feeling powerful, invincible almost, and I don’t want it to go away. I guess that’s why lycans are so arrogant. So cocky. To feel all that power flowing through your body...it’s addictive.
I want to be around these lycans. I feel the bond with them even in such a short time. As crazy as they are, for the first time, I feel like I belonged.
Most importantly, my golden prince. I want to be with that annoying, cocky, obnoxious lycan. He’s become a big part of me. Without him, I’ll forever be broken.
“No. Not at all. I’m feeling good. I’m okay with being a monster."
I hear their collective sigh of relief.
“Okay, good,” says Serena. “That’s very good.”
“I know I like to mess with His Royal Highness, the bratty prince but I’m not ready to deal with the destruction he’s going to make if he lost you,” says Genesis. “Honestly, we don’t want to lose you either.”
“I don’t think that’s going to happen. You realize he’s not ever going to let you get away, right?” asks Penny. “So are we. If you run, we’re just going to have to drag you back by your hair and knock you unconscious and tie you to Caspian’s bedpost.” She smiles sweetly after she said it like she didn’t just threaten to keep me against my will and cause me bodily harm.
“Uh, we’re not going to do that,” denies Genesis, giving me an apologetic look.
“Sure we are,” insists Penny. “We talked about this the other day. She belongs with us now.”
“Uhhh...I don’t know what to say to that.” I quietly pick my fork back up from the plate. Should I be worried?
“When we talked about it, I was just kidding!” exclaims Genesis to Penny as if I didn’t say anything.
“Well, I wasn’t,” huffs Penny.
I think I should be searching for the nearest exit door.
“You know he’s going to be acting very possessive and all caveman-like on you until he’s got his mark on you, right?” Penny asks me a moment later. “Well, not like he’s going to act any better after mating and marking. I mean, they’re all like---”
“I think we scare her enough for one day, Penny,” says Serena gently but firmly, cutting her off mid-sentence.
I pull the turtleneck away from my skin. The room feels warm all of a sudden. “Thank you for taking care of me last night...and for the outfit, and everything else,” I say, trying to change the subject.
“Do you like your new clothes? I picked them,” says Penny. “We’re about the same size, so I get to pick. You look great in them.”
Penny and I are about the same size and height. Genesis and Serena are probably closer to 6 feet tall, two or three inches taller than we are.
I have no problem at all with Penny’s style. She has a great style. She looks like a model and she’s dressed very well. Sexy but very classy. Everything fits me perfectly and I think I look pretty good in them. They’re definitely the most expensive things I’ve ever worn. She beams when I say, “I love everything in the closet. Thank you.”
Actually, I have no problem with any of their style. Serena is very elegant even when she’s dressed casually.
Genesis’s style is fun and flirty but sometimes she adds a touch of unexpected cheekiness to her outfit like right now, she’s wearing dark jeans with ankle boots and an off shoulder deep red sweater. Everything seems normal but then she adds a cream colored scarf around her neck with hearts and kittens all over it. I don’t know if I can pull it off but it totally works for her.
I can’t believe just how stunningly beautiful these women are. If I was insecure, I’d feel like a moldy potato next to them. Since I have an insanely awesome, mind-blowing self-esteem, I just feel like a slightly bruised potato.
My heart flips and my stomach twists when Caspian comes strolling in with Constantine and Darius. The atmosphere is charged with electricity just by his presence. He’s stealing the air right out of my lungs, it’s hard to breathe. The pull between us is getting so strong that I have to grip the edge of my seat not to jump into his arms.
He looks like he just came out of the shower, freshly shaven with his shiny golden hair perfectly combed back. He’s wearing a cream colored shirt with a black striped tie and a russet vest under a black double-breasted peacoat along with a pair of black designer jeans, and dark brown leather boots. God, he’s breathtaking.
His eyes instantly locked onto me and he stalks across the room right toward me without hesitation.
He doesn’t even acknowledge anyone in the room with us like a privilege bratty prince that he is. He pulls a chair closer to me and folds himself on it, his long leg is pressing against mine. He pulls my hand into his and every nerve in my body is charged.
His eyes are the color of the fresh grass in a Spring morning. I get lost in his vivid green orbs every time he’s looking at me like this. Like he can’t take his eyes off me. Like nothing else is worth looking at except me and he doesn’t care what everybody else thinks about it. Like I’m the center of his universe.
“Did you have a good night, Your Highness?” asks Penny with a smirk.
“Very well, thank you, Beany,” he replies without taking his eyes off me.
“Not too well since I lost a bet,” mutters Constantine and I hear muffled laughter around us.
“Yeah? Sucks to be you. I’m sorry for your lose.” Caspian’s voice is dripping with sarcasm.
“What?” I whisper to him when he keeps staring.
“You are so beautiful,” he says, bringing my hand up to his lips.
“Pussywhipped!” Somebody coughs and I hear some snickers but he doesn’t react to it. Instead, his eyes light up with mischief and his lips curve up into a smile against the skin at the back of my hand.
He flips my hand and slowly drops a lingering kiss on the inside of my wrist and the heat shoots right to my toes. That strangely feels way too intimate. Then he leans in and whispers into my ear. “I had been waiting for someone to say that to me for a long time.” His nips on my earlobe playfully and my toes curl in my boots.
“Aren’t you going to have breakfast?” I ask him, trying to divert his attention to food.
“I am having breakfast, princess,” he murmurs as his lips trail kisses along the curve of my jawline. His fingers are brushing a few strands of my hair away from my neck.
My eyelids are fluttering close and I can feel myself being sucked into that Caspian induced haze. Before I get completely lost, I pull away. He tries to pull me back but I put a firm hand on his chest. “Breakfast?” I remind him.
He sighs, looking at me with hopeful eyes but I shake my head. “We’ve had some in the meeting room,” he answers, pouting.
I glance around. All the other lycans are not paying any attention to us now. Constantine and Genesis are to wrapped up in each other to notice everybody else. Penny, Darius, and Serena are discussing why us women weren’t invited to the meeting this morning.
I look back at my still dejected looking prince. He looks like a sullen like a little boy being denied a treat. So cute. I can imagine how he looked like when he’s a little boy, a future king, never being denied anything. I slide my hand suggestively across his thigh. Then I lean in and nuzzle my face into his neck like I want to before I press a kiss and give his smooth golden skin there a little bite. I can’t help but giving it a lick as well. What? The man tastes yummy! It’s a promise of more kisses and bites to come. His eye widened in surprise. It's satisfying to see that little red mark on his neck even though I know it will not last. I sit back, looking around as if nothing happened.
I hear their approaching footsteps clicking on the marble tiles and my nose catches their scent before Lazarus, Lord Archer, Jonah, Jorden, and another werewolf enter the breakfast area.
“Jonah!” I race up to Jonah and throw my arms around him. “You’re okay!”
“Hey, kid,” he says, awkwardly curving his arms around me. Well, at least he’s trying to hug me back. That means he’s happy to see me too, right?
Jorden playfully tugs my hair like he used to when we were little.
Ahhh..cousins. That makes me feel warm and gooey inside.
Then I pull back to pinch Jonah’s hard rock stomach. “Hey! What’s that for?” He jumps back. He clearly wasn’t expecting that.
“Where were you?” I ask, seething. “Do you know how worried I was about you? Do you? Huh? Do you? Do you?” I poke the spot where I pinched him with my index finger for a good measure. “I imagined the worse scenarios. God! Why do I even care? Why?”
“I told you not to worry,” he mutters quietly, almost meekly, rubbing his stomach where I just pinched and poked him.
That makes me pause for a second. I thought he was going to yell back at me. Hmm...I think, my tough cousin can’t handle angry women. This is the first time he seems to be compliant to me. It’s a good feeling. I’ll try not to get too drunk with the sense of power.
I hear Jorden laughs but his laughter swiftly turns into a coughing fit when Jonah glares at him. The others look like they’re trying not to laugh but wisely keep their trap shut.
“Now, don’t you ever do that to me again!” I tell him. He doesn’t answer me but he doesn’t seem upset with me either. Somehow I suspect that he’s secretly pleased that somebody is concerned about him. I wonder when was the last time anybody ever worried about him.
“Moya Printsessa, he’s fine. He’s here now, isn’t he?” Caspian wraps his arm around my shoulder. He’s smirking at Jonah who’s watching Caspian’s arm around me with narrowed eyes.
The werewolf who’s with them introduces himself as Agent Samuel Smith. Hmm...Agent Smith. God, I love that movie: The Matrix, but only the first one. I think I saw Agent Smith, this Agent Smith, not the one in the movie, in the cell with Lord Archer yesterday.
“It’s almost nine, it’s time we should get going,” Lord Archer announces, flipping his pocket watch open. It’s a beautiful gadget made of gold with the letters GA intricately engraved on the lid. He catches me watching and a slow smile pull at his lips before he snaps the watch close and focuses his attention back to the others.
I find Lord Archer intriguing. I mean, who wears a pocket watch anymore? It looks good on him, though. He looks like a young man but behaves like an aristocrat from a long time ago. He’s exceedingly elegant and classy yet playful and flirtatious. He’s charismatic, wise, urbane, and handsome yet I sense wickedness in him.
Like my prince, he’s lethal, wild, and ruthless cloaked under the air of glamorous sophistication, stylish and cultured appearance.
We make our way back to Loup Noir Pack’s territory in three SUVs. The drive should have taken us half an hour but it only takes us fifteen minutes mainly because lycans drive like maniacs.
Caspian holds my hand, twining our fingers together, the whole way. Jorden who’s riding with us doesn’t say much but he looks apprehensive. I don’t have anybody else that I care about in the pack but I wonder if Jorden is worried about his family.
The whole place is eerily quiet when we arrive. It’s strange to see the guard post lonely and abandoned. There are no kids running around or grownups going about their business on the pack’s house front yard. There seems to be no activity at all going on in the pack house.
There are more cars and black SUVs parked out in the front. They stand out to me because pack members park their cars in their own parking lot on the other side of the house.
Six men come out of the pack house to meet us once we are parked. All of them are werewolves. They are all very respectful and most look as if they’re in awe of the presence of all the lycans, especially the Crown Prince and Lord Archer.
The first man to step up and introduces himself is Alpha Gordon. He’s the leader of the werewolf council and he seems to be familiar with Lord Archer. Then there are his second in command and his assistant and other Alphas and Betas from neighboring packs.
They lead us to Alpha Maddox’s office where there are several more men poring over documents and working on Alpha Maddox’s computer. There are boxes of files stacked on the floor and papers everywhere.
They stop working to look at us as soon as we enter the room. Alpha Gordon laughs. “I guess my men would like to be introduced to you since it’s not every day you get to meet Prince Caspian, Prince Constantine, and Lord Archer.”
Alpha Gordon does the introduction and by the look on their faces, it’s like they’re meeting rock stars or something.
After that, we move to another side of the office where they briefed us on their findings.
Apparently, after I passed out from exhaustion yesterday, Alpha Maddox, Beta St. Martin, Delta Roche, and several other werewolves from Loup Noir Pack were apprehended. Lord Archer had brought his men in for a full investigation and it opened a can full of worms...or rather a room full of skeletons.
There are a lot of misdealings, black markets, illegal involvements, including attacks on several small packs throughout the years dated all the way back when Old Mr. Maddox was still the Alpha.
They also opened up the steel door in the cell that I was curious about yesterday and made a gruesome discovery. There are skeletons and bodies of werewolves and even several humans. They suspect that these are the remains of the pack members who discovered their secrets or the people that they want to get rid of without any trace. They just locked those people down there to die slowly and to be forgotten. My heart weeps for them. What an agonizing way to die.
A lot of things seem to be happening all at once and my head is still reeling with all the information when Alpha Gordon leads us to the Pack’s Community Hall where most of Loup Noir Pack members are currently in.
Caspian grasps my shoulders and pulls me aside when we’re a few feet from the building. “All of you go ahead. We’ll be in soon,” he says to them.
When everybody’s gone, he places his hand to cup the back of my head while the thumb of his other hand strokes the top of my cheekbone down to the line of my jaw gently. “Your mother and a lot of people that you know and had tormented you are in there.” His hold on me tightened a little bit and he presses our foreheads together. The tips of our noses almost touching. “You know you can do whatever you want regarding them. Anything at all. Your wish is my command, Moya Printsessa. You don’t have to go in there if you don’t want to. You can decide their fate if you so wish.”
I put my hands on top of his. How can I not fall for this man? He makes me feel so weak yet so powerful at the same time. “I want to go in there.
"I don’t want to decide their fate but when you do, keep in mind that there are a lot of good people in there too.
“As for my “family”, I don’t care what they do or where they’re going. I just want Jorden with me wherever I’m going...but only if he wants to.”
*I still have a lot to work on this chapter but I figure I'd better post it now for those who are waiting for it. I don't want you to be too sleepy to function tomorrow morning♥
My next update will be on Tuesday (est.). Have a wonderful week! Oh, to answer your question, I do plan on writing a short story on Lord Archer as a bonus read sometime in the future. Just a short one, though♥