Siberian Wolf

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Letters From Honon

AHOTE

It’s been two nights since the hunting team left. I’ve progressed from worrying about Alex to simply believing things were going well. The hunters would be back before dusk, and I could see Alek and analysis the situation myself.

Hunters aside, something more interesting was going on in the pack grounds. No, not regarding the elders finally getting an appeal at the local court regarding the government’s decision to move the reserve. It was something much more mundane

Our mail was here.

Every month someone went into town and collected things our mail from the post office. Outsiders weren’t allowed to come too close to the reserve, so it wasn’t like a postman or delivery man could just waltz into the compound.

I sat by the kitchen island with a cup of tea in my hands as I watched people head in and out to show the other pack members what they had received. The wolves that lived outside our pack were very much still members. Writing someone off as being packless was something the pack elders rarely decided to do, and that meant that sometimes members chose to live outside the pack, or they chose to attend formal schooling out of state. Schooling here was out of the question since we weren’t allowed to mix with the people within our little town in order to protect ourselves. They’d be nothing worse than a witch hunt happening over one of the cubs mentioning something strange if they went to school.

“What is that?” I asked when I say Aponi walk into the kitchen with a grin on her face. She was looking at something she had hidden behind the envelope wrapping.

She looked up with wide eyes, shaking her head before looking back at what she had in her hands. A lot of the older omega women that worked side by side with me had children in university, and the younger ones like Aponi who was just thirty usually had their mates decide to work out of town to save up for their future children. It was a new craze — sending young wolves off to college that is.

“Come on, tell me,” I insisted when Aponi didn’t answer me. I got up from my stool before walking up behind her. She turned her head just enough to see me, and I smiled at her.

“He sent me pictures,” she simply said, referring to her mate who was working out of town. He left maybe a year ago, but he made sure to call Aponi through the main landline and send pictures through the mail from time to time. Aponi turned her focus back to the pictures in her hand. Her mate was a chubby man in his early forties. He wasn’t a looker, but Aponi adored him, and he adored her.

“He looks great,” I commented, holding Aponi’s shoulders and she just nodded in agreement before putting the pictures back in the envelope after one last look through.

“You’re not going to check if you got anything?” Aponi asked when I let go of her shoulders. She stuffed the envelope in the pocket of her dress before moving toward the kitchen counter to make a cup of tea for herself as well.

“It’s not like anyone would send me anything,” I muttered, watching her turn to look at me. She was giving me a look of pity, and I hated it because I knew what she was thinking about, and it gave me a nauseous feeling.

“Honon sent his sister a letter,” she said after a while of just being silent.

“Good for her,” I said, but you could hear the shake in my voice. It was always like this. Honon would send a letter and a handful of pictures to a sibling or parent and everyone would start insisting I should read the letters and keep some of the pictures. It wasn’t for me, so why should I want to see it? I wasn’t desperate to have any piece of Honon I could get my hands on. Maybe a long time ago I was, but now you could say I’ve pushed him to the back of my mind.

I have Alek now. The thought made me shiver and flush. It was a nice feeling, but it was also worrying. I was confident that I was able to distinguish between liking him and falling back on him as a rebound. I really liked him. It wasn’t a rebound, and it’s been over five years since Honon left, I deserved to move on.

“Alright then,” Aponi said with a shrug before turning back to the kitchen counter. The room was silent now apart from the occasional opening of the kitchen door. The sound of Aponi turning her spoon in the ceramic mug filled the room. I took a seat at the kitchen island again and focused my gaze on the open window. The sun was setting now, and the hunters would be within smelling distance any time from now.

“Ahote.” Aponi’s voice pierced the silence, making me clench my hands on my lap. Her voice was firm, yet calm. It was the tone she used when she was about to give me a piece of her mind. I wasn’t looking forward to it.

“Do you really think Alek is going to stay here forever?” she asked. I didn’t say anything in response, I just stared out into the room, nibbling my bottom lip as I clenched the material of my trousers.

Why was she asking me this? She knew it was something I had only started to consider. Of course, there was a small chance that he would stay here with me, but there was no harm in thinking about the small probability that he would, right?

“I don’t know, maybe you think it won’t hurt as much as it did with Honon if Alek leaves, and on some level, you’re right,” she went on saying even though my body language and refusal to reply to her told her that I didn’t want to have this discussion. “But if you fall in love with him it’s going to hurt. It’s going to hurt a lot,” she said, and I could hear her bare feet shuffle on the wooden floor. The sound of a cup being dropped on the kitchen island made me tense. She was sitting to my side now, but I still didn’t want to look at her.

“Do you love him already?” she asked when I didn’t react to her words. I held out, refusing to say anything, but I had a feeling my emotions were written plainly on my face because I soon felt her hand on my shoulder.

“Oh,” she simply said, and I just licked my lips, still staring out the window and watching the day descend into darkness.

“I won’t poke you on that,” Aponi said, and I felt a wave of relief run through me. “Though, I wanted to ask, when are you going to tell Honon that he has a son—”

“Enough with the questions, please,” I said in a firm tone and I felt Aponi’s hand on my shoulder stiffen before she let go. I felt bad, but I didn’t apologize. I had a right to my personal space and thoughts. I didn’t have to tell her everything, and why did she choose now of all times to question me about that? Honon didn’t have to know. There were one million things that could go wrong if I told him. He would feel bad and think it was his responsibility to be here. He might even leave the woman he’s with and try to work things out with me. It was strange, a ticket to getting Honon to return to me has been here for ages, but I didn’t want him to choose me just because he felt he had to raise a child, and I didn’t want to feel like I was second to my child.

If he was in love with the woman he was seeing, so be it. I didn’t want to be a ‘homewrecker’ so to speak.

The kitchen went back to its former silence, but that thankfully didn’t last long because we heard clapping and giggling from outside.

The hunters were back. With a small smile, I got up from my seat before heading over to the open window. It was dark, but I could see clearly enough, wolves didn’t really need much assistance while navigating in the dark. The kids had come out to the main compound to meet up with the hunters. It was understandable, a lot of the hunters had families, and going on a hunting trip meant being away from them for days at a time.

As people ran up to their husbands, wives, and children I scanned the compound for Alek. I could smell him out, and my chest felt tight from my wolf urging me to go out and find him, but I didn’t want to seem too needy, and I was still a bit self-conscious with flaunting our relationship with members of my pack. He was still a stranger, and until I helped him fully integrate everyone would still carry a level of wariness about him.

My eyes continued to scan the crowd and soon my eyes locked with his. I almost stepped away from the window since my breathing hiked and I felt lightheaded out of nowhere. It wasn’t a bad feeling, it felt more like I was being soaked in adrenaline.

“You look great.” I blinked, my eyes widening when I noticed that Alek had walked up to me while I was in my daze. “I missed you.” His voice was soft, and the edge of his lips were curved slightly in a smile. I loved it. I love him.

Huh? I narrowed my eyes at him, trying to figure out what I had just said in my head.

“You were right about Lapu, he’s not so bad,” Alek said before moving to discuss the hunting trip. I wanted to listen to him, but I was having a hard time following the discussion. My eyes were focused on his mannerisms, his hair—the way the features of his face shifted and change— his lips. My body was heating up. I guess on some level I acknowledge that my feels for him were strong, but I’ve never really admitted to loving him to myself. So many emotions were coursing through me; fear, confusion—lust.

I licked my lips, looking down at my hands as Alek continued to speak. His voice halted, and I assumed he noticed that my mind wasn’t here at the moment. Between Alek trying to tell me about how he got along with my brother to the talking crowd that had formed in the front yard my mind just seemed to shut down as my eyes drank in the fact that Alek was right in front of me and within touching distance.

“Are you alright?” Alek asked me as he tried to crouch by the window in a way that he didn’t step on the plants in the flower bed just below. He reached out to touch my shoulder as he cocked his head so that he could get a better look at me. I nodded, moving to hold on to the hand he had on my shoulder. My heart was beating, and I couldn’t trust myself to speak in full sentences without messing something up.

That joke Kaya made about Alek putting a baby in me was starting to seem desirable.

Oh my gosh.

I do want him to put a baby in me.

My face was hot and Alek pressing his forehead against mine didn’t help matters. I swallowed down the spit that had built up at the back of my throat before speaking.

“Hey,” I whispered, letting my brown eyes lock with Alek’s icy blue ones. “Do you want to go inside?”

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