The Monsters We Hide

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Chapter 23

I woke up, literally tangled in the sheets. I tried to get out, because I really had to pee, but ended up rolling on the floor beside the bed. I grunted and Logan shot up in a sitting position, looking around in alarm.

"Shyanne?" God his morning voice was even more sexy than his velvety soft one. I swallowed and said "I'm okay." He leaned over to look down at me from the bed. He started laughing when he saw me still trapped in the sheets on the floor. I finally managed to twist my way out of it and stood up.

His laughter died down after his eyes scanned over my naked body and I smirked. Someone knocked on the door and told us it was time for breakfast. Logan looked back at me, his eyes pleading as a wolfish grin spread across his face.

"Time for a quickie?"

My smirk grew and I shook my head. "Nope. I need to pee. Also, you shouldn't have laughed at me." His hopeful expression fell and I walked into the bathroom with a smug smile and shut the door behind me to do my business and slowly got dressed when I stepped out, knowing that Logan's eyes never left me as I did so.

"You know this is pure torture right," he said from the bed, which he had not even attempted to get up from. I smiled and nodded. "That's exactly why I'm doing it," I said. I zipped up my pants and threw a shirt over my torso and ran out of the door when he stood up and took a step towards me.

I was lightly panting when I got to the dining room and everyone was staring at me when I came in. There were many more people than we had met last night. I cleared my throat and dipped my head.

"Um… Good morning everyone," I said. Most of them mumbled back but some of them stayed quiet and stared at me, which was just plain rude, but I ignored it and sat in the middle of a set of three empty chairs that was across from Lukas. He gave me a friendly smile which I returned.

A few moments later, Logan came down, looking calm and collected, but the glance he threw at me said that we had unfinished business and I smiled. He took a seat next to me and all the seats were filled except for the one on the other side of me. I looked around, searching to see if I noticed anyone was missing. Not anyone that I knew of, as far as I could tell.

I scanned the people seated at the table again and one man caught my eye. He seemed to be about my age, his dirty blonde, shaggy hair reminded me of Gage. He was staring blankly at the table, not looking around, but I could see his strange eyes.

They were glazed over. Like they had a milky film over it and it seemed to be so this that you couldn't see his pupils or iris. I figured maybe he was blind but suddenly his head snapped up, causing him to look directly at me. I didn't turn away though. I wasn't ashamed or embarrassed to be caught staring. His lips turned up at one corner in a smirk.

I only turned away when I heard someone say my name. I looked over to Logan, who was looking at me intensely. He didn't say anything else. We just stared at each other.

Hunter spoke to a woman beside him, and I figured she was the Luna because she was the same woman from the painting. "Genevieve, where the hell is Xavier?" The woman shrugged her shoulders. "I don't know dear. If he wants to come down then he knows when breakfast starts," the woman, Genevieve, answered.

As if on cue, we heard footsteps coming down the stairway. A moment later, a man, whom I'm guessing to be Xavier, walked in. It was the other man from the painting, the one that I thought had looked familiar. He paused for a second and his eyes scanned the table. His eyes stopped on me and his mouth parted slightly. He looked surprised, mixed with something else but, as always, I couldn't tell what it was because I was trash when it came to reading emotions.

"Have a seat son," Hunter said. Xavier glanced at his father before turning it back to me. He trudged over to the only other empty seat and sat down. I pulled my gaze away when I felt a hand on my leg. I looked over and smiled at Logan. His hand slowly travelled up and he smirked when I tensed.

Hunter started speaking and I turned to look at him on the other end of the table, trying to ignore Logan's wandering hand. I found that Xavier was still staring at me and I felt slightly uncomfortable as his deep blue eyes bore into my similar ones.

"Before we eat, I would like to thank Shyanne for coming all this way to save our pack. It's not often that a Casterwolf graces us with their presence and I am thankful for it," Hunter said. He gave me a friendly wink and I smiled. Xavier's attention snapped back to me, but I ignored him.

A few people came out with the food, and I wasn't surprised that they had servants. A lot of packs did, except ours. They didn't need servants because they had me, but our pack was also a lot smaller. It felt kind of wrong to me though, to be the one getting served, I wasn't used to it.

Before Logan's hand could travel any further, I grabbed it in mine and squeezed it while giving him a stern warning look. He smiled innocently and I rolled my eyes.

Once our plates were served, we all began to eat in a strange awkward silence. The guy with the milky eyes spoke up. "Why is it so quiet? You guys are acting like you don't associate with other packs on a normal basis. I'm blind, but I can already see that you guys feel awkward around miss Caster wolf stare a lot over here," he said, pointing to me with his fork.

I smiled at his statement. They probably were uncomfortable around me, and to be honest, I was uncomfortable with myself. Wait, if he was blind, how did he know I was staring at him? I pushed the question away and looked at everyone who seemed to be squirming in their seats.

I cleared my throat lightly and said "He's right. You shouldn't feel uncomfortable. I know that it's strange, but I feel that you should just go about your normal routine and pretend that I'm not even here. It feels wrong to be such a disturbance among your pack."

"Thank you," the blind guy said triumphantly. Hunter gazed at me with a look of pride on his face. Logan squeezed my hand and smiled at me. Lukas was eating like nothing was wrong.

"Ya know," Lukas said. "They are exactly right. Ole blindy over here seems to know what he's talking about," he said still chewing.

"Lukas," I scolded. He swallowed his food and smiled at me. "Shyanne," he threw back. I rolled my eyes and shook my head a little. "You're ridiculous," I muttered. He smiled and after that, conversation seemed to pick up a little after that.

After everyone finished their breakfast, Hunter stood up and addressed me. "We'd like to begin the training as soon as possible. Xavier and Braxton have experience with Caster wolves, so they are the most eligible to train you." He gestured towards Xavier and the blind guy. I nodded and stood up, following the two outside. Logan was going to follow us out, but Hunter stopped him.

"Logan, I would like for you to come help me with something. It's also best if Shyanne doesn't have any distractions while practicing."

I didn't turn back to look at them, but Logan must have agreed because he didn't continue to follow. I followed Xavier and Braxton through the backyard and we went down a trail that led into the woods.

It was cool how Braxton never tripped over anything, due to his blindness. It was like he could sense the things around him as easily as if he could see them. He maneuvered skillfully around the trees and fallen branches and I decided that he must have known the trail well.

A little further away, we moved into a clearing, similar to the one at home, used for Alpha challenges and training. The only difference was that theirs looked more utilized than ours did and there was a building on the other side.

"This is where we'll be training," Braxton said. Xavier remained quiet the entire time and I would catch him staring at me quite often. "Okay," I said hesitantly. "How exactly will we be training?" Braxton flashed me a smile. "You'll have to wait and see wolfie," he said. I smiled and then awaited further instruction.

"First, we'll start working on trying to get you to feel your power and summon it. After you master that, it should be a helluva a lot easier to use it," Braxton instructed.

Before we started, I wanted to know something. "How do you know so much about Caster wolves and how to train them?"

Braxton glanced at Xavier. "That is not really my story to tell. Yes, I know about them, but you wouldn't understand it without Xavier explaining the rest," Braxton said. I looked at Xavier expectantly. His mouth parted slightly, as though he were going to say something, but he closed it again.

I could see that he was reluctant to tell me, but my curiosity was burning like a flame inside of me and I had to know. I took a step closer and placed my hand on his arm. His eyes shot to me and I softened my expression. "Please," I asked with a small smile. I could see the numerous emotions running through his eyes. He stared at me for a few more seconds, his resolve wavering. Finally, he looked down and sighed, giving in.

"A long time ago, I fell in love with a beautiful woman. She was everything I had ever wanted. She looked exactly like you, which is insane, but that's why I've been staring, and I'm sorry about that, but she was a Caster wolf."

"She was the most extraordinary person I had ever met in my life, with all these cool powers and such a giving and caring personality. I met her after I met Braxton in Washington DC. I had taken some time away from my family and I found this mutt wandering by himself in the woods after he tried to kill me." I glanced at Braxton to see that he had a smile on his face, then listened to Xavier as he started speaking again.

"Anyways, she was there and once we realized we were in love, she taught me everything to know about Caster wolves, and I taught her about Lycans. We were both fascinated by each other's worlds and wanted to know more, always eager to learn aabout the other. Braxton was there for most of it, so we learned together. Him, my mate, and I were really good friends."

He stopped speaking with a wistful expression. I looked at Xavier again. "What was her name?" His mouth tilted up at the corner. "Lucille," he said simply and I smiled. It seemed like such a peaceful name.

I didn't want to ask this question, in fear of hurting him, but I had to. "What happened to her? If you don't mind my asking," I said quietly. His jaw locked and he closed his eyes for a second. "She had just given birth to our child. I was finishing up some business here with my family and when I returned, her whole pack had been slaughtered."

I felt tears sting my eyes but they never fell. It sounded like he had gone through hell. He lost his wife and child and his whole family all at once, and I couldn't help but think of how guilty he had most likely put on himself because he wasn't there to save them all. I swallowed past the lump in my throat.

I took a step back away from him and quickly changed the subject, trying to give the tense, painful moment a little more cheerful. "Should we start with the training?"

Braxton vigorously nodded his head, seemingly desperate to be distracted from the awkward situation.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

"So first, you have to feel for your power. Concentrate on it and let it take shape in your mind."

I blew a breath while nodding and then closed my eyes to concentrate like Braxton said. I took a deep breath and I felt something in my hands. It was a strange, tingly feeling and it traveled all the way to the tips of my toes.

"Now, let it flow through you and release that energy," Braxton instructed next. I slowly let out the breath that I had been holding and felt the most amazing feeling wash over me. I sighed and smiled in contentment. It felt like I was doing yoga.

"Shyanne? Open your eyes now." I did as Xavier told me to and I gasped in surprise. There was a giant flower rising rapidly from the ground directly in front of me. It's massive, rose pink petals bloomed out, spreading to release a giant rose that came up to my elbow, the bloom bigger than my head. Wait. Didn't roses grow on bushes?

I felt so happy and excited that I was able to do such a simple thing, but it was more than I had done yesterday. "Now," Xavier began. "Try to control it using your mind."

I glanced at him. "Control it how?"

"Just… control it. Make it into something. Anything."

I nodded once and closed my eyes. I tried to picture something else in my thoughts. When I opened them, the giant flower disappeared, but now there were pink roses floating down from the sky. There was no stem, only the flower itself, and they twirled as they fell to the ground. They were everywhere.

Xavier was smiling in approval while Braxton was holding one gently in his hand. I smiled and looked at the flower, watching as it slowly turned to a midnight purple. Braxtons eyebrows knitted together in confusion.

"What did you do? It changed, but what did you do to it," he asked me. An idea popped into my mind and I looked at Braxton's face. "Braxton," I began skeptically. "Do you- do you mind if I try something? I don't know if it's going to work or not, but may I?"

"Sure… take a shot at whatever it is."

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath, focusing my power on Braxton. I heard a sharp intake of breath and my eyes snapped open.

Braxton was looking around wildly and I noticed that the milky film was gone from his eyes, which made me smile in triumph. He smiled widely and looked up at me. "I can see," he exclaimed. "I can finally see!" He ran towards me and picked me up, spinning me in a circled and I laughed at his excitement.

"Thank you, thank you, thank you Shyanne!" He set me down and looked down at me with a small smirk on his lips. "Hey, you're actually kind of hot." I rolled my eyes at his ridiculous statement.

"It's only because I'm the first girl you've seen in forever," I teased. He smiled and then after a few moments of him enjoying he newly gained eyesight, we got back to training.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

We stayed in the clearing, practicing for hours. Finally, Xavier said that it was enough for today and I was glad because I was mentally drained. Braxton was still ecstatic that he had his sight back and he was checking out everything.

He had told me that he had not always been blind. He could see perfectly fine until about three decades ago. Apparently, his eyes just shut down and he wasn't able to see anymore. The pack's healer didn't know what caused it.

Braxton, as always, was still making sly comments and jokes, which had even Xavier chuckling a bit as we got back up to the house. Xavier opened the door for us and we walked in. Logan was standing against the counter, talking to Lukas. They both looked up as we walked in, their conversation cutting off.

Logan's eyes scanned over all of us before finally locking eyes with me. I smiled at him but he only lifted a corner of his mouth for me in his ghost smile, making me frown. I thought we had gotten past this already.

I walked over to them, wrapping my arms around Logan's torso. He looked down at me and thankfully his smile grew wider. "Hey," I said. He leaned down to peck me on the lips while resting his hands on my hips.

"Hello love. How'd it go?"

My smile grew even bigger as I said "It was amazing. I even gave Braxton his sight back and then I made this huge flower." He chuckled at my excitement and pushed away some hair that had fallen from my messy bun.

"Sounds like you did great. I'm proud love," he praised. I smiled gleefully. Then he leaned down to whisper in my ear. "Your mother wants to speak with you. It's very important and I think you should go see her. She's in our room." I gave him a quizzical look but nodded anyways.

After one last peck on the lips, I turned away and went upstairs, wondering what my mother would want to talk to me about. I timidly opened the door qnd stepped inside.

She was seated on the edge of the bed, her attention immediately turning to me. She gave me a small smile and I closed the door behind me and sat down beside her.

Before she could say anything, I asked "Why did you come?" She didn't seem surprised at my sudden question, which meant that she had been expecting the inquiry.

"I promised that I would protect you from all the dangers in the world. I meant it. This is where your mother would want me to be right now in your time of need. Also, it has something to do with why I need to talk to you," she said. I looked at her expectantly, waiting for her to continue.

"I know this pack. I've met them all before. This used to be your mother's pack, when she came here with her mate, your father. Your mother, Lucille, was trying to-" I instantly stood up.

"Lucille is my mother?" Xavier is my father?

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