You can read ahead on Patreon. Use this link to find out more: patreon.com/littletroublemaker_
My beeping alarm pulled me out of my sleepy state. Groaning, I rolled over to the side and slammed my finger on my alarm, turning it off. Rays of the sun filtered through my blinds, bringing a new day.
Rubbing my eyes, I slowly sat up and massaged my temples. Pain erupted from my head. Not only that but I felt like I was going to be sick. I was experiencing a nasty hangover.
As soon as I stood up, I started gagging.
My feet surged to my bathroom, my knees unbuckling as I reached the toilet in the nick of time. I spent quite a while with my face in the toilet, wishing for death to overcome me. I did feel better after puking though.
Surprisingly, my mother was cooking in the kitchen. The smell of bacon hit my nose and made my stomach growl. Thankfully, I didn’t gag at the smell of it.
She spun around on the balls of her feet at the sound of my arrival, “I thought a bacon sandwich might help you.”
I smiled weakly and collapsed into the dining chair. I probably looked like a wreck right now. I had never had so much to drink before. When I tried to remember what happened, my mind went blank. Everything was foggy. I could remember playing beer pong with Marianne and dancing. That was it. Everything else after that was lost.
In my gut, I felt like something pivotal happened.
“Here’s some Advil,” Mom dropped a box of it on the table in front of me, along with a glass of water. I took it, gratefully. “You got back late last night. I’m guessing the party was good?”
I nodded my head, too embarrassed to tell her I couldn’t remember most of it. She would send me a look of disapproval.
Mom didn’t mind me partying, as long as my top priority was school. She understands what it’s like to be a teenager, she was young and wild once too. I wanted her to believe I was normal and carefree still even though I wasn’t. The scarred man had changed me. He controlled so much of my life and I still couldn’t do anything about it. I was useless, pathetic.
“I remember going partying with your father,” It wasn’t very often my mom talked about my dad. She still missed him a lot. They were basically soul mates. “He asked me out at a party.”
There was a wistful expression on her aging face.
I wanted to hear more. I didn’t have many memories of my father—the accident had taken him away too soon. I could recall the smell of smoke on his lips, his long-tanned fingers that flipped through pages of my storybooks, and the wrinkles around his eyes that were always present. My dad liked to laugh a lot.
“Can you tell me more?” I asked, eagerly.
She pursed her lips and flipped the bacon. A distant look entered her eyes. She had the same eyes as me but different hair color. I got my hair from my dad.
“Your dad was the best man I had ever met and I’m not just saying that because I loved him,” She eventually said, the love in her voice undeniable. “He was so smart and kind. He loved reading to you. When he did, he would always act out all of the characters. You loved story time with him.”
I remembered, fondly. “He made me laugh so hard it hurt.”
She smiled softly and took the now done bacon out of the frying pan. She had already prepared a roll for me.
“He loved you so much, Celeste. You were his world,” She claimed, honestly, practically reading my mind.
There were times I felt insecure about my dad’s love. I wondered why he was taken from us. Was it because of me? Was I not good enough? My fears only increased after the scarred man made an appearance.
I sniffled, not realizing until now that I was crying. Mom noticed and rushed over to me, a pained look filling her blue eyes.
“Oh, my baby,” She whispered into my hair, stroking it. I buried my face into her chest, wanting her comfort. I hadn’t cried about my father for a long time. “We both love you so much. You are the light of my life.”
I clung to her with so much need.
“Your poor bacon is probably stone cold by now,” Mom joked lightly, pulling away from me. I chuckled and wiped my eyes. The headache I had was still present but was dulling. She walked over to the kitchen counter and brought the plate over to me.
She was right, the bacon was cold by the time I ate it. I didn’t mind though. Her affection made it worth it.
We spent the rest of the Saturday indoors, together. We did a comedy movie marathon and baked cookies together. I hadn’t spent so much time with my mother in a while. She was always so busy with work. She reassured me she still cared about me; didn’t see me as some duty or burden.
Late that evening, after showering into a plain tank top and some shorts, I sat on the pillow by my open window and gazed into my garden. Beyond our garden was a path leading to the woods. It was so dark I could barely see anything.
I pulled out the book beside me and started reading.
A howl interrupted my reading, its noise calling me to the woods. I squinted my eyes, trying to find the creature. It had to be a wolf, not a dog.
After my horrible encounter with the wolf on my date with Jamie, I was quite scared of them. Hearing one close to my house was alarming. I knew I was safe and that it was unlikely it would come here but that didn’t mean I wasn’t paranoid.
My heart was hammering in my chest.
It’s not coming after you, Celeste. You are safe.
A soft breeze tickled my skin, causing goosebumps to appear on my bare skin. It was then a pair of glowing green eyes emerged from the forest, far away. I could barely make out the two dots, but I knew they were the same eyes I had seen a few weeks ago in Georgia’s house.
It was the same wolf.
Oddly, I wasn’t afraid of this one. It was as if my heart already knew this wolf wouldn’t hurt me.
I was mesmerized by it, even though I could only see its eyes. The eyes were the only reason I knew what it was.
Time drifted away as we stared at each other. My soul hummed happily whilst my body tingled. I was so confused.
Once again, when I fell asleep, I saw the wolf.
By the time Monday came about, I still couldn’t remember what happened Friday night. I spent the majority of Sunday trying to work out what happened.
I decided to ask Marianne when I saw her. She was the last person I could recall.
As soon as I stepped into school, I felt something off. I could faintly hear yelling. I ran down the hallway, pushing people out of my way.
I spotted Georgia first. She was wearing a matching designer outfit. Her blonde hair was tied up in a neat ponytail; flowed down her back wavily. Her hazel eyes were trained on somebody taller, with platinum blonde hair.
She was smirking at Georgia, amused.
What was going on? Why were they arguing? What did I miss?
I shoved my way through the rest of the crowd and placed myself next to Georgia.
“I am going to ruin you, you Barbie wannabe,” Georgia seethed, her fingers curling into a fist. Despite being shorter than her, she looked quite intimidating.
Raegan crossed her hands over her chest, arching a light eyebrow. Her smirk only grew. It made me hate her even more if that was possible. She was too cocky. “What are you going to do, Georgia? Put green dye in my shampoo? Trip me over in the hallway?”
Georgia clenched her jaw, forcing herself to listen to Raegan speak. I knew a confrontation in front of the whole school was not something she wanted. She needed to stay on top, no matter what. If she lost this, she could lose her status.
“The only thing you will do is ‘embarrass’ me. Because apparently that’s how you show your dominance. But let me tell you something Georgie,” She snarled the friendly nickname I used for her, stepping closer to Georgia. I swear, I saw Georgia wince slightly. It was so quick and barely noticeable that people further away wouldn’t have spotted it. I wasn’t even sure it actually happened. “You need to be afraid of me. I can do so much more damage to you. I can destroy your daddy’s precious empire. I can expose your ’oh-so-lovely mother. Or, I can destroy your friendship with poor little Celeste.”
My heart jolted in my chest. She had threatened Georgia in so many ways and instead of biting back—chewing Raegan’s face-off—she said nothing. It was so unlike Georgia, I started to worry.
I nudged Georgia, trying to knock her out of her shocked state.
Raegan harrumphed triumphantly. She knew she had Georgia.
“Leave her alone, Raegan,” The words flew out of my mouth before I could even comprehend it.
Raegan’s crystal blue eyes met mine, stunned. She thought I was just going to let her say those things to my best friend. Once she got over her shock, she grinned, manically. For a moment, I truly feared her.
“Oh wow, the poor, weak and helpless Celeste steps in to rescue her insecure best friend,” She cooed. I glanced at Georgia to see her lost in thought. Fear was painted in her eyes. “What are you going to say, Celeste? Are you going to warn me to stay away from Georgia and Matt? Or are you going to warn me away from Lazarus?”
She had verbally hit me in the chest.
I gritted my teeth together, “Why are you doing this? What do you have to gain from causing drama?”
Raegan held her hands up defensively. “I wasn’t doing anything wrong. She was only jealous of me hanging out with Matt at the party. She started it.”
Her words made her sound like a five-year-old.
So, Matt was with Raegan again. Georgia was p*ssed at him. Oh, Matt, what are you doing?
“I thought you were trying to get back with Lazarus,” We had already had this conversation. She said she was using Matt to make Lazarus jealous.
Raegan threw her head back and laughed, “Oh you are so oblivious. You really are so helpless. You can’t even see what’s in front of you.”
Why was she being so cryptic?
“What am I missing?” I questioned.
Raegan stepped closer, narrowing her eyes on my form. Her mood suddenly darkened considerably. A malicious look flashed in her eyes. “It’s because of you I can’t have him ever again. I lost him to you.”
She slapped me.
Right on the cheek.
Pain exploded in me. My cheek stung.
I forgot about the crowd watching. People gasped in shock and horror. Thunderous footsteps barrelled towards us. Lazarus appeared next to us, his usual green eyes black. He glowered at Raegan with so much hatred. He looked murderous.
Marianne and Dexter popped up beside Lazarus. I guess they were for moral support.
“Leave now!” Lazarus commanded the crowd. None of them moved at first. When he repeated it, louder and angrier, they all scampered away. Marianne, Dexter, Lazarus, Raegan, Georgia, and I were the only people left.
Georgia had now snapped out of her state and was our exchange with passive eyes. She was building walls around herself, defending herself.
“I have had enough of this, Raegan,” Lazarus growled. He actually growled. It was so inhumane. “You have caused enough trouble here. I want you to leave. Now.”
The walls vibrated from the power behind his voice. I should have been frightened too. He was so terrifying; I should have been shaking like a leaf. I had never seen this side of Lazarus before. I didn’t even know if he was capable of it. Yet, instead, of running for the hills, I was entranced by Lazarus. Deep down, I knew he would never hurt me.
To my shock, Raegan was petrified. Her body shook with terror; her eyes were as wide as saucers.
“B—But…” She stammered, pleading with Lazarus.
Lazarus snarled, furiously. “You have been trying to get in between me and my mate for too long. I know why you are here, and I’ve told you plenty of times it will never happen. I will not have you ruin this for me. So, go.”
Raegan shifted her gaze to her sister, hoping she would help her out. Marianne only pinched her lips and averted her eyes. That must have hurt.
Outnumbered, Raegan collected all of the anger in her and used it. She put on a mask, hiding her fear and used the anger. “Fine,” She snapped, angrily. “I’ll leave this pathetic town. I’ll leave your pathetic mate along for now.” At this, Lazarus growled again, louder. Raegan ignored it. “But you should know Celeste they are hiding something massive from you. And when you find out, you are going to wish you listened to me. They are not who you think the—”
“That’s enough,” Lazarus shouted, grabbing onto her forearm in a vice-like grip. I’m sure it didn’t hurt her though because there was no evidence of pain on her face. “Go.”
Huffing, Raegan stormed away, going between Dexter and Marianne, making sure to knock shoulders with them as she left.
Lazarus sighed, exasperated, and turned to me. His black eyes turned back to forest green so quickly. There was no way they could have actually been black, right? That wasn’t possible. It had to be a trick of the light.
“I’m sorry about that Celeste,” He apologized, his tone so soft and gentle. It was almost as if he was treading carefully. “You must not believe a word she said. She’s a compulsive liar.”
Was she though? She was cryptic, sure but I couldn’t tell if she was lying.
I didn’t know what to say.
Thankfully, the bell came to my rescue. I sent him a smile that probably came out as a grimace and started walking away. When I realized Georgia was still stuck in her place, I stepped back and tugged her arm away. I could feel Lazarus’s eyes boring into my back as I walked away.
What had just occurred remained on my mind for the rest of the day. The pain in my cheek was gone. The only evidence left was the red mark.
Lazarus spoke to me during our English lesson and to keep up appearances, I went to our piano lesson at lunch. But I’m sure even he noticed I wasn’t entirely there. My mind was still reeling from what I had seen that morning.
They had said some confusing things. What were mates? What was this secret Raegan was talking about? I knew they were all hiding something but was it that big?
My hunger for the truth only increased.
I vowed to myself when I got home that I would discover the secret. If even it meant I would regret it later.
How did you find this chapter??
So I’m not sure when my next update will be. I’m going on holiday with my friends and we have a very busy schedule. I will try and update next week but if I don’t, the next chapter will probably be out on the 13th of September. Because of this, I posted two new chapters on Patreon.