Waiting in Darkness

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Five | Terrin

My mind was swimming with thoughts of Heidi. Her tinkering laugh like soft fairy bells, her soft smiles, the feel of her hand on my skin that left a burning trail from her silk touch. She took over my whole being. Even Cleo's lecturing was lost on me, going through one ear and out the other.

I felt no guilt in having missed a pack dinner opposed to spending the whole day with Heidi. There would always be more dinners, there was only one Heidi, and I didn't want to miss a single minute with her. She was mine and I would not lose her to another male.

"...being a part of the pack means joining in on our bonding moments. Do you know how hard it is to get everyone together? All I ask is for a few hours once a week! One day a week Terrin, and you still couldn't even show up? What could possibly have been more important? What was so urgent you couldn't stand to put off for a few hours or push to another day? I can't believe you would --"

"I think I'm in love," I blurted out, moving my gaze from the wall I had blankly been staring at to meet the eyes of my alpha female.

The words died in her throat and she blinked at me her mouth half open. "P-pardon?" She stuttered out.

Standing up from the couch Cleo had found me lounging on and cornered me for her lecture, I started to pace the room. "I'm in love Cleo," I told her as I walked around the back of the couch before spinning around, bracing my hands on the back of the furniture and meeting her flabbergasted expression with one of finality and joy. "I found my mate, I can't believe I was so blind before, thinking I could be happy with one of those other females."

Instead of finding mirrored happiness at the news, I saw her expression shift to one of wariness. "Who Terrin?" she questioned. "Who do you speak of?"

There was hesitance, uncertainty in her wavering voice.

It was then that I snapped back up. "What do you mean who? It's--" I broke off as I realized that I had completely forgotten she had yet to meet my mate. Striding around the couch I swept Cleo up, lifting her and spinning her in a circle.

"Terrin!" She squealed, grabbing onto my forearms in surprise.

I laughed and set her down, "Her name is Heidi," I told her excitedly, too wrapped up in my own joy to notice a shadow fall across her face of dejection and devastation. "She is the most wonderful girl you will ever meet," I exclaimed. "Oh Cleo, I have to introduce her to you, to the pack! I'm sure the pups, Cahatta and Sasha, will love her. Even grouchy Sitka won't be able to resist liking her!"

Cleo held out a hand, trying to stop my rambling, "Hold on, wait a moment."

"When should I bring her?" I demanded, "The pack dinner? She told me she's always wanted to meet Roshan. Did you know that he's a known Oracle throughout the Old Kingdom? Apparently before Hakota found him the old Kings had him locked away to use for--"

"Slow down, Terrin, I need you to answer some--"

"And she'd also love to meet Frayah," I cut her off, the words tumbling out of my mouth without pause. "She--"

"For the love of Lune, Terrin, shut up!" Cleo shouted causing me to halt in my prattling. I closed my mouth with a snap. Massaging her temples in a telltale sign that she was annoyed and stressed she took a moment to gather her thoughts before meeting me eyes, "Terrin what is all this talk about Heidi? Who is she? When did you meet her?"

"Heidi is my mate, I met her the other day. I lost track of time, that's why I missed the pack dinner."

"Terrin," She started but I grabbed her hands in my own.

"Cleo, I promised you'll love her."

With a sad sigh Cleo pulled her hands away and lay a hand on my cheek. "Terrin, does Syn know?"

His name put a bad taste in my mouth and dampened my mood. "What does he have to do with anything?" I asked, my tone dropping several degrees.

Giving me a disappointed look, Cleo shook her head, "Come on Terrin. You know why, and you also know that he deserves to know."

I scoffed, "It's my life, I never invited him to be part of it, so why should I inform him of my personal going ons?"

"Stop being such a child Terrin," Cleo snapped, startling me with the bite in her words. Cleo never used this tone with me. Usually it was reserved for her mate or insubordinate werewolves.

Of course she would use this tone when it was about Syn. As always, that stupid lycan was ruining my life and relationships. Cleo may be his friend, but she was my family, my sister I liked to think. Now it seemed he had turned her against me. The thought only filled me with more reservation and anger, "Why do I have to be with him?" I snarled, "Why do I have to sacrifice my entire life to be with a lycan that I'll never love?"

"You don't know that!" Cleo interjected, "You would never know because you refuse to even give him a chance."

I gritted my teeth. It was always the same stupid discussion whether it was Cleo, Hakota or Syn himself. It was always my fault, because I never gave him a chance. We went in circles, time after time, again and again. "So I should just risk a lifetime of happiness on a what if?"

"Hakota and I have hurt and betrayed each other more times than I can count but we still--"

"This isn't your love story!" I shouted. I was so tired of Cleo comparing Syn and I to her own disaster of a mating. Her and Hakota's story was nothing to be proud of, hell I still believed Cleo should dump his sorry ass. "You know I hate Hakota and that I'd rather you'd have cut him off forever but that's your choice and I've let you make it. I grit my teeth and bare it because you're trying to be happy and so I'm trying to be happy for you. But I am sick and tired of everyone glaring at me and making me feel guilty about not accepting Syn as my mate. Why are his wants put over mine?" Was I simply irrelevant because I was just some werewolf? "Why do I have to sacrifice everything so that he can have what he wants?" Did everyone believe I owed it to the lycans to be mated to one because they had accepted me, a lowly werewolf into their elite pack? "What about what I want? This is my life! I am a person, not some toy to be given over to that lycan because Lune deemed us mates.

Cleo parted her lips to no doubt make a defensive statement but I didn't allow her the opportunity, "Well you know what? Lune gave me other mates, so if Syn was truly meant to be my happily ever after then maybe Lune should have made me gay. But I'm not okay?" And for some horrible reason I felt guilty about the fact. I felt bad that I was Syn's mate and I hated Lune for screwing us both over. She had made sure that if I didn't accept the lycan, I would lose my pack and my family. I wanted to make Cleo understand that it would never work out between Syn and I because I would never me able to love another male like that. Not in the way Syn seemed to believe we could. "I'm not gay, Cleo, why can't anyone understand that? I can barely tolerate Syn, let alone love him."

"I thought the same thing, but now look where I am. Lune resurrected Hakota after I killed him so I could rectify my mistake and see what was right in front of me."

I felt tears push at the back of my eyes. It was like she wasn't even listening to me. "Why don't you get it?" I choked out. I had thought for sure Cleo would understand, she was supposed to be on my side, she was supposed to support me. "You and Hakota were mates for a reason. You and him were mated so that Lune could keep her stupid lycan race alive. You served a purpose for her. You aren't a person in Lune's eyes, you are a tool, an object crafted solely for Hakota to wield. The sooner you open your eyes and see that you and Hakota aren't some fairytale the sooner you'll see that Hakota will never treat you like a mate. He only cares about you because without you he loses control. Without you, Coda would finish off the last of the lycans. You are nothing to him Cleo! Nothing but a trump card that he will hold onto because without it he will lose the game."

I saw the hurt on Cleo's face before she poorly disguised it with a cold look. Her voice wavered, betraying her vulnerability. I immediately felt bad about picking at her insecurities, feeling even worse about myself when her hand drifted up to clasp at the side of her neck. "Don't talk about him like that. You don't know anything."

I swallowed down my guilt, and returned icily, "Then likewise for you. Stop trying to tell me I'm making a mistake by rejecting him and I'll stop telling you that you are making a mistake by accepting him."

Cleo was silent for awhile before giving me a dejected look. "I'll see you at next week's dinner, and don't even think about skipping it this time, Terrin," she whispered and wrenched open the door only to freeze as she nearly crashed into the towering male at the door. "Syn," she breathed reaching out a hand to touch him but he jerked away. "Syn don't let this--"

Syn turned his head, his jaw working in furious circles before he let his head droop in defeat. Without even looking at me once, he walked away. Cleo whipped back to me her mouth opening to ask me if I was going to go after him but then she remembered it's be pointless in asking as she already knew what my answer would be. With a shake of her head and a disappointing frown aimed in my direction, she rushed out after Syn to try and console the heart of the lycan I had just broke.

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