He Feels The Same
I’ve been stuck in the peace river pack grounds for over a week now. Kaya, one of the housekeepers had suggested I ask around to find out if I could tag along on a hunting trip. I’ve left the packhouse area a few times to check on the building project, and each time I went there were more men, building materials and machines.
The humans wouldn’t be done anytime soon. A sigh left my lips as I thought about it. As humans kept expanding in words on wildlife there was less and less ground to hide in. I remember having to move up the mountain with my pack when I was younger because humans were becoming a regular sight at the mountain’s foot.
“Will you be having dinner with us?” I stood up straight a bit taken aback by the voice of a lady speaking to me. My shoulders relaxed when I noted who she was. She was one of the omegas that had household duties — Kaya, Ahote’s close friend.
“Yes,” I answered before looking away from her to stare back into the garden in front. I was standing at the small balcony attached to the living room upstairs. A handful of people were in the garden, and some of them were in their wolf forms helping to dig holes and move logs. Ahote was squatting beside some plants in the distance. The young wolf that usually tagged along with him was squatting beside him and holding on to Ahote’s kid as the child played with the wilting wildflower in his hands. I couldn’t help noticing how the teen’s eyes gleamed as Ahote spoke to him. I looked away, feeling uncomfortable.
“Len adores Ahote.” I frowned, looking to my side to find the lady from before hadn’t left. She smiled at me, grabbing on to the railings before looking down at the gardens as well. “He keeps going on about asking Ahote to be with him.” The woman laughed, letting me catch a glimpse of her gap tooth. “He’s just sixteen he’ll find a mate and forget everything about his crush,” Kaya went on even though I didn’t contribute to the conversation.
Ah. I thought, looking back at Ahote and Len again. It makes sense. I thought as I locked eyes with Len and he immediately frowned before looking away. If Ahote meant that much to him, A confused mateless wolf that was attracted to Ahote would annoy him, no doubt.
“You too.” My brow went up in confusion. I turned my head to look at Kaya and she just smiled on at me, her short hair moving to the side as she cocked her head at me.
“You adore him too,” she said, making me nod, and look away. I finally understood what she meant. Yes, I did like Ahote — not that I could really explain why. I just knew I did. I immediately gravitated towards him when I walked into a room. I liked talking to him. Though timid he knew when to put his foot down. I saw this in his interactions with other wolves. High and low ranking alike.
He has been avoiding me for a while, and it was frustrating. He had guessed Ahote was worried about his heat, but that had passed a few days ago. Or maybe Ahote was just overwhelmed and shy. He wasn’t blind. If everyone else in the pack could tell Alex had his eyes set on Ahote, Ahote could too.
“Are you still going to join the hunters for their trip later this week?” Kaya asked me, making me look away from the group in the garden. She kept reminding me that the hunting group was taking a trip into town across later in the week. It didn’t bother me, and I did want to go. I’d need some things from the town across, and it was a good thing to get familiar with other wolves in the pack. It seems like I’d be staying here for a while. Weeks, months, maybe even a whole year if the humans were slow about their business in the construction site.
I nodded, watching as the lady smiled, saying something I couldn’t catch under her breath before walking away. I smiled as I watched her leave before looking back at the garden when she was out of sight.
Ahote was in a whole different area of the garden now. He was squatting beside a bush and clawing at it with his gloved hands and Len helped him place plants into the holes. I wanted to be down there as well, but I don’t think Ahote wanted me there at all. It wasn’t wise to corner him and make him uncomfortable.
A sigh left my lips as I let go of the iron rails before stepping back and tucking my hands into the pocket of my jeans. I looked out beyond the garden — into the middle of nowhere. I didn’t have a passport or anything. I was traveling like an animal, sneaking into boats and walking for miles on end. Even if I wanted to turn back now it wouldn’t be an option. I’ve found something that’s caught my interest. My gaze moved back to Ahote and the rest before I looked away again. I started to wonder about his nameless mate. I just knew he had one and said mate had rejected him although they had a child.
For the past few days, I’ve had a lot of questions floating around in my head. Like why was Lupa so high ranking, and Ahote so low ranking? Why was religion so important here? Why did Ahote’s mate vanish out of nowhere? Kia, the omega that attended to me in my room was very talkative. I didn’t have to ask her anything for her to talk about information she thought I would be interested in. She had answered my first question in one of her rambling spells, telling me that Ahote was a recessive Omega. That made sense, two omega genes equaled an omega. One omega gene and one Kappa gene in Lupa’s case equaled a Kappa. No matter how much Kia rambled on about every and anything she never really dived into the details of Ahote’s mate. I knew nothing about him. I didn’t know his age his rank or what he was doing with his life now that he had cut connections with the pack.
I left the balcony, retreating to my room with the questions running through my head. Later in the evening, I was called out for dinner. The living room and kitchen were packed as usual. The same for the front porch and the picnic tables right outside. It seemed everyone was eating in the main house today.
“Is something going on?” I asked in a low tone when Kaya handed me a plate of food. She frowned a bit, probably not hearing me before her eyes went wide and she muttered a small ‘oh.’
“Ah, someone’s back today!” she said with a grin before walking away and leaving me to stare on at her in confusion. When she disappeared out of sight I sighed as my shoulders sagged. I really didn’t like how noisy the place was, especially since I was the odd one out, as always. Making my way out of the kitchen and into the living room, I squinted, trying to see if I could find Ahote in the crowd. I couldn’t, it was most mostly mid to high ranking wolves that occupied the area. A frown formed on my face when I felt a little shiver run down my spine, and it was then I noticed someone was staring at me. I turned, looking away immediately when I saw who it was.
I tried my best to blend in, but that didn’t fool him. Soon I had a strong painful grip on my shoulder as words were whispered against my ear.
“Follow me.” It wasn’t a request. It was a demand — a command. With some hesitance, I follow him out of the living room and out into the patio. I immediately sensed that everyone sitting outside was a hunter or watcher. The laughter seemed to die when Lupa walked out with me. The sound of our feet on the wooden flooring resounded through the evening, competing with the sound of the crickets and croaking toads. The air was chilly still, I could see my breath in the wind, and I tried to look at anything but the other wolves.
I heard footsteps in the background, and soon they stopped. “I heard you’re following us out into town later this week, are you?” I heard Lupa’s voice say. I looked up, staring straight at him before I gave him a brief nod. He had his guard up like he was ready to pick a fight, and it seemed like everyone sitting around the porch could tell too.
The porch was silent again, and I thought that was the end of it until Lupa spoke up again.
“Do you have any hunting experience?“′ Lupa asked, his tone coming off a little condensing. I found myself clenching my jaw at his attitude. He was being a little bit overbearing, didn’t he think so?
“Yes, I was the headhunter in my pack,” I said, watching as the man’s eyes seemed to dim. It didn’t look like he was expecting that. I was a rouge now, but people could guess I was of some mid to high ranking from my stature and stench alone, but often leaders weren’t cast out. I hadn’t been. I left on my own.
“Well then,” Lupa said with a fake smile plastered on his face. He’d made a shaky blow trying to probe me, and he knew it.
“What’s your deal with my brother?” the question was blunt, and so straight to the point that it took me off guard a bit. “Well, what is it? Are you trying to sleep with him?”
“Leave me alone!” the man groaned, dismissing the call from one of the other men. He turned his attention back to me before walking over and stopping right in front of me. Lupa was tall, but not as tall as me. I have a feeling he was just noticing this because I saw the brief expression of worry before his eyes were fueled with suspicion again.
“What do you think it is?” I asked, and I seemed to only anger him more while surprising everyone else on the porch. It looked like he was going to pounce on me, but he backed away, cursing under his breath before he turned and stomped away. He was calling out to his brother as he disappeared out of sight, and that was the only thing that bothered me about the exchange. If I cared about what anyone thought, it was Ahote.
For the rest of the night, I wandered about the house feeling tense and worried. I couldn’t find Ahote anywhere, and a part of me pushed me to stop looking for him. When the dining room, living room, and porch cleared out I retreated to my room, trying to think about the interaction I had with Lupa. I sighed, resting my head against the pillow on my bed as I looked up at the wall.
I had no idea why I did any of that.
I sat up when I heard the door to my room open, and frowned when I didn’t see anyone at first, but my eyes went wide when I noticed the child that wandered into my room. Elan looked at me and I looked at him. The four-year-old looked like he was caught red-handed doing something that he shouldn’t. I just had to figure out what.
“Are you looking for something?” I asked, and the child’s lips parted before he closed his mouth and shook his head. I rose a brow at him, watching as he stepped behind the door he had opened to hide behind it. He didn’t leave though, and I wondered if he thought I’d go to sleep or vanish into thin air if he waited a little bit longer.
The rate of heartbeat picked up at the sound of that voice. Ahote’s voice. The man came into view as he pulled his child against him. He was frowning, I rarely saw him upset. This was new. He knelt down, picking the child up before standing up again. It was when he was about to leave the room that he noticed I was there, just staring at them. I caught his gaze with mine, and he looked away quickly, standing there just like his son had just a few months ago. So still and quiet, like if he didn’t say anything I would just disappear.
“Your brother’s really rude,” I said, watching as the man looked over at me. I bit down on my bottom lip, humming as I tried to compose myself. My mind was a house of madness. I haven’t been this close to him in a while and it was driving me crazy.
“Well, usually it’s irritating, but you...” he trailed, looking away from me to the floor. His child just watched both of us, staying quiet as his father tried to find the words to say.
“I what?” I asked, gripping on the bedsheet the covered the mattress I was sitting on. I watched as Ahote chewed on his lip, probably trying to find the right words to say.
“You scare me,” he admitted, and my heart sank. I tried to force myself to smile, but I was sure I looked ridiculous. Ahote was now running a hand through his child’s hair. He was half inside and half outside the room I had been aside and was probably wondering if there was a way he could leave without seeming rude.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean to,” I sighed, hugging myself as I looked over at Ahote and his kid. “I can’t help it,” I added, watching as he nodded at me before looking down at the wooden floorboards again. I pushed back strands of my blond hair, watching him fidget at my door. He still had his hair down, his face covered with his hair that he had chosen to weave some beads into today. He looked great, but I probably couldn’t tell him that without coming off as creepy.
“This is embarrassing,” I muttered under my breath, examining my predicament. I was lusting after someone and everyone within two feet of me could tell from just observing me. “You must have had this happen to you a lot of times. People finding you attractive, that is. I’m not excusing my behavior, but just trying to explain...” I trailed. Ahote looked uncomfortable and a bit embarrassed. Maybe I shouldn’t have brought any of this up, but it was too late. “People must gawk for your attention a lot. Your Mate—”
“No, not really,” Ahote said, cutting me off. His words had been firm, and they seemed final. I could catch that he didn’t want to talk about this, and if I pushed any further he’d have nothing to do with me again.
“Sorry,” I mumbled, and the room went silent. Seconds, then a minute passed, and I wondered what the man was still doing at the door with his son. Wasn’t he desperate to leave? He had the chance to do that now.
“I’m sorry.” I looked him straight in the eye, frowning a bit as I wondered what he was apologizing for. “I’m sorry about my brother, I’m sorry about Elan coming here to bother you, and I’m sorry for being so cold to you lately. It’s just... All this is very strange and overwhelming.” I listened to him, trying to understand what he meant. I licked my lips, cocking my head to the side as I observed it.
“I’m not the only one feeling this way, am I?” I asked, and he looked over at me before looking away again. He didn’t deny or confirm it, but the red tint in his cheeks gave him away.
“Maybe not,” he whispered, looking at me with his deep brown eyes before stepping out of my room with his child and closing the door behind them. Immediately they left I lay back on my bed, looking up at the ceiling as I tried to process what had just happened.
He feels the same way? I asked myself, frowning as I tried to process it. Did he? Maybe mine was just more intense because it was the first time for me.
Is it possible that this isn’t one-sided, that I’m not imagining things? Thoughts kept swimming in my head as my chest tightened and relaxed as my wolf stirred and moved. The dream catcher at my room’s window rattled with the wind, and I spent the rest of my night arguing with myself in my head about whether this was a chance I should take or not.