Waiting in Darkness

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Four | Syn

Moodily pushing my half eaten food around my plate, I found my eyes drifting to the empty chair on the other side of the table. With my cheek resting in my hand, my elbow propped up on the table, I started to smash my fork down on the potato watching the mush push through the times of my fork.

The noise around me might as well have been non existent, it was all inaudible to me anyways, white noise that faded into the background while my thoughts took the forefront of my mind.

Throughout this whole dinner, my stomach had been twisting itself in knots. I had absolutely no desire to eat, nausea consuming me. I was anxious and stressed.

The empty seat at the table belonged to none other than Terrin. As per usual, Cleo had a weekly dinner with the whole pack. No matter what, we were all supposed to attend, least we incur her wrath upon us. Even Sitka didn't dare miss a dinner. Terrin though, well he could care less. I had no doubt he'd get an earful from Cleo about it later but our alpha female had a soft spot for Terrin. She still thought of him as a little brother which pissed the werewolf off to no end. He hated when she treated him like a child, but honestly it was his fault she did so. Sometimes he did act like a pup, pouting and sulking, doing stupid unsafe things without thinking first.

Terrin did have his moments though when I could see just how much he really had grown up. He had suffered those two years along side Cleo, watching his only friend shut down and turn into a bitter shell of her former self. And again these last two years as we all waited to see if Hakota would come back. Cleo had been strong, she had made sure she was put together and could lead the pack. She took responsibility for removing our alpha and had done her best to fix the bonds that had been broken between my pack.

It was a good thing that Sasha and Cahtta came along when they did. Those pups had been a blessing to everyone, a ray of sun in the dark storm that had become our lives. Sani and Frayah loved each other more than ever, completely united in their efforts to raise their children. The twins, Keni and Denahi absolutely adored the second set of twins in our pack. They would teach the pups their sign language for hours, never getting bored. I don't think I'd ever seen the brothers smile as much as they had in these last two years. Innoko and Roshan had struggled. With the war having just finished and Hakota gone, Innoko and Roshan did not see eye to eye in matters pertaining to Cleo. Adding on to the fact that Innoko didn't want pups yet and Roshan did, well...let's just say Sitka had perfected the role of mitigator. Slowly, Innoko became a little more open-minded towards Cleo, seeing how hard she worked to keep the pack sane and together.

As for Sitka, he was the same as ever. I knew he was lost and heartbroken without Hakota but he put on his brave face and acted the same as he always had, unshaken, unperturbed, unbreakable. He worked every bit as hard as Cleo, working alongside her without complaint. Those two had overcome their differences and dare I say, now held admiration for each other. I would not be bold enough to call them friends, but perhaps in the years to come.

Now that Hakota was back and our alphas were trying hard to find a balance, everything should be perfect. And perhaps for the others it was. We were safe, we were together, we had gotten our kingdom back and we were at peace with the Hunters for the first time in ages. But still there was tension in our pack, a strain that pulled down on our hearts.

Hakota blamed himself, claiming he had broken our trust.

And maybe that was true but there was something more to it. We were united but divided somehow. Where there had once been brotherhood and one family now we were splitting off, separating into parenthood with more attention on mates than the pack. It wasn't necessarily bad, it was just...different.

It was natural of course now that we could actually have pups, now that we had achieved Hakota's goal and fulfilled the promise to our ancestors to survive, thrive and reclaim what was ours.

It was hard for us that did not have share that one strong special bond. Sitka and I were in the same boat, alone and yet not. Denahi and Keni, although not mates, had each other. Their bond might as well have been akin to a mate bond. I believed they shared the same soul, split into two different bodies. They had everyone wondering if they would have the same mate but only time would tell.

Time.

I felt like it was passing too slowly, that it was taking to long for us to fully recover and come back stronger.

And I felt like I was running out.

There was this urgency in me that dreaded each sunset that signaled the end of the day, that was bringing me closer to whatever this premonition was.

My eyes went back to the empty chair.

I was losing. No matter what I did, I was getting nowhere, Terrin wouldn't let me get anywhere. He wouldn't even give me a chance and it wasn't fair. He had made us enemies and never let me have a say. How could I show him what I felt, what I wanted to show him, when he stamped those feelings out and replaced them with a searing hurt and bitterness? He cut me with his words, spited me with his actions and all for what? Why wouldn't he let me chase after him, why did he deny me even a chance?

I understood he wanted a choice, I understood he wanted to keep his masculinity but I had never threatened to take that away from him. I tried and tried to explain but he refused to listen.

He always complained how unfair it was to him but did he ever think how unfair it was to me? At least he could walk away and find happiness, completeness in another. As a werewolf he had options. As a lycan I had none. Terrin was it for me. He had other mates out there, but I only had one. How unfair was it that Lune made my mate someone who couldn't stand the idea of being with another male, who couldn't stand me?

I was angry that Terrin whined about having his choices taken away from him when they weren't. He had the choice to accept me or leave me for another. I was the one without a choice. Terrin stole any chance that I had out of his own selfishness and pride. He was embarrassed to have a male mate, he was scared that next to me he might look like less of a man.

How unfair was it that I couldn't have my mate because of his stupid pride?!

I just wanted a chance! I wanted him to try, to give everything he had into a possible relationship, to enter it with an open mind so we could try. If he would try, give me time and one small chance to prove to him how right we were and things still didn't work out, if even after then he still wanted to leave me, then fine.

The fork in my hand started to bend.

But no, the selfish prick couldn't even give me that. He was taking away a lifetime of joy, fullness, and love from me and couldn't even give me a few months of his damn life.

I stood and stabbed the fork down at the plate in anger, feeling my body start to shake with white hot rage. I struggled to breathe, my breaths coming out in jagged pants.

This anger was so much like the one I had felt not two days ago. Years of bottled anger and hurt rising to the surface to manifest all at once, begging to be released.

"Syn?" Cleo's quiet voice pierced through my haze.

I blinked once, twice, and the red fog dissipated.

I looked around seeing that all conversation had stopped and everyone was watching me.

I looked down to see the fork still harshly gripped in my fist. The fork had broken through the plate, leaving it split into three large pieces, the tines of the fork impaled into the wood of the table.

I let the fork go as if it were a hot iron.

"Syn!" Cleo called out in alarm, rising from her chair as I stumbled back, knocking into my chair.

Quickly glancing around the table one more time, meeting the shocked and concerned faces of my packmates, I stuttered out an excuse, "Sorry, I have to go, I'm late for my appointment with Landon."

"Who's Landon? What appointment? Syn what's going on?" Cleo was taking steps towards me now.

I backpedaled, making my way towards the door, "He's uh...uh–my therapist!"

"You're seeing a therapist? Why?" Cleo was almost upon me now. "Syn does this have to do with why Terrin isn't here?"

"I'm sorry, Cleo. Dinner was great, but I'm late, I have to go. Sorry." The words kept tumbling from my mouth.

Just as she reached out a hand I jumped away before dashing out of the room, swallowing down the urge to vomit.

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