I stared in shock as I watched the Luna connect the dots.
“Ryder.. as in..” she began, tears forming in her eyes.
“You know, I’m starving, Adara let’s grab our dinner,” I interrupted, pushing Adara to the kitchen.
“What the heck, Ryder?” Adara said as we grabbed our plates.
“It’s nothing...” I said, looking back to her mother who was still standing there, staring at me.
“That was certainly not nothing,” Adara replied with sarcasm.
“It’s one of those things I don’t want to talk about..” I responded and she finally took the hint.
“Fine..” she said, shaking her head with irritation.
That evening I walked back to my room and opened the door, the hairs on my neck standing up. I looked around the room and found the Luna sitting in the chair across from the bed. She stood and looked at me with tear-filled eyes.
“We thought you were dead...” she whispered.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I replied, my voice cold and even.
She stepped forward, “Ryder, you don’t remember me but your mom and I were best friends. I was there when you were born.”
“And where were you when my family was killed and my pack decimated?” I snapped, fighting the tears back that threatened to fill my eyes.
She lowered her head, “We didn’t know. When we received the call for help and made it there, the entire pack was already dead. We were too late. When we couldn’t find you after searching for over a week we assumed you had been killed somewhere in the forest. If I had known you were...”
I let out a low growl, “If you were best friends with my mother, why don’t I remember you?”
She shrugged, “After we both became Lunas of our own packs we didn’t make visits as much. I haven’t seen you since you were six. But we kept in contact. We would talk weekly,” she looked up at me with a smile, “She told me how strong you were becoming.”
I took in a deep breath, knowing my secret was no longer just mine, “What are you going to do?”
She stepped forward, “Well first, I’m going to hug you. Then, we’ll just have to figure that out.”
I stiffened as she embraced me tightly. She breathed deeply, “Ryder, I’m so glad you found us, and that you and Adara are mates. Your mom and I always dreamed you would end up together.”
I softened and found myself hugging her back. She was warm and oddly familiar. She pulled back after a few moments and wiped her tears away.
“Does Adara know?”
I shook my head, “She only knows I’m an Alpha, not about who I am.”
She nodded her head in understanding. “Do you want me to keep your secret? It’s going to come out sooner or later. My husband already suspects something. He will connect the dots soon.”
I let out a long exhale, “What will happen when he knows?”
She shook her head, “I’m not sure. Now that we know who you are, you have more right than anyone to be on that land. If you want, I can tell you everything I know about that night.”
I nodded my head, “I’d like that.”
We walked out of my room and into the Alpha apartment and sat on the couch in the living room.
“I don’t know how much you remember, but that night ten years ago, the rogues had somehow banded together and had become organized. They attacked your pack brutally and without warning. That’s how they were able to kill so many, so quickly. They were out for blood and nothing else. Your lands are still uninhabited, nobody wants to take over those lands after what had happened to your pack.”
I lowered my head, “So it wasn’t another pack, it was a group of rogues?”
“Not just a group, an army. Your pack was attacked by several hundred rogues.”
“What happened to them? They just killed my family and then left?” I asked, my anger pushing to the surface.
“When we arrived and found your pack destroyed, White Moon and the surrounding packs grouped together and wiped them off the face of the earth,” she replied, her tone dark.
“They’re all dead?” I asked quietly.
“Every single one of them,” she said before standing, “you are the only one left of Black Trail and the rightful alpha and protector of those lands. If you wish to return there, I have no issue with it.”
I looked up at her, her tired face showing kindness and regret. “Thank you. I lived alone for so long though, I’m not sure I want to go back to that. And I’m not sure Adara would let me…”
She laughed, “She’s strong willed, that one. But you should let her make that decision. She might surprise you.”
I shook my head, “I couldn’t take her away from her home to live alone in a big pack house by ourselves in an attempt to rebuild.”
“Yes, but if anyone can handle it, she could,” the Luna replied. “Tell her who you are, explain your past. I’ll talk with Mason. He’s going to be so angry at himself when he realizes how he treated you.”
I scowled, “He should be. But I also wasn’t very cooperative. He was just trying to protect his people.”
She nodded her head, “When those rogues attacked our borders, he panicked, thinking what had happened to your pack was happening again.”
I understood that. I would have done the same thing. I stood from the couch and offered a small smile, “Thank you, Luna.”
“Please, call me Kendra,” she offered before hugging me again.
We separated when we heard a cough from the apartment entry.
“Uhhh.. what’s going on?” Adara asked, curiosity written on her face.
“Adara, we need to talk...” I said hesitantly.