THE SOUND OF SOMEONE calling out to Aida DeLuca made her gasp in fright. Her eyes swiveled around the room for the sultry Italian voice she had moments ago, but the only thing that met her eyes was her peers listening to their psychology teachers, Mrs. Barnes. The small hairs on the back of Aida’s neck stood on end, but she shook off the feeling and turned her attention back to the 50 page packet—turned at a 45 degree angle in front of her. “I’m Amity.”
“Miss DeLuca,” Mrs. Barnes, whose eyes had been circling the classroom looking for students who were paying attention, called on the young adult female, “are you alright? You look a little pale.”
All eyes turned and looked at Aida and she felt her face flush with embarrassment. “Could I get some water?” Her eyes fleeted down for a moment and she caught sight of her black Starbucks trumblr water bottle. “My tumblr is empty.”
Mrs. Barnes, who rarely let students leave her classroom, nodded without hesitation. She had a soft spot for the 21 year old girl, just like all the teachers in this school.
Aida was a sweet girl, loved by everyone—despite the fact that she didn’t have any friends. She was the kind of person who would help you study before a test, drive you home if you needed, and tell you to keep your chin up if she saw you crying in the girls bathroom. She was the picture perfect person; amazing grades, soccer and ice hockey year around, charity work and of course, insanely rich parents who quite literally ran the Western half of the world. Quickly Aida stood up and ran to the door, only to fall short when the world started to spin. “Oh fuck,” she whispered, “not this again,” and then hit the ground like a stack of potatoes.
A low groan escaped Aida’s mouth as she slowly moved her head from side to side. Her eyes flew open as her head began to throb in pain. Images of a dark wolf with piercing silver eyes and a jagged scar down the left side of its face flooded through her eyes and she gasped. What was that? Outside the nurses office, she could hear the annoying typing of the front desk people and two floors up in the janitor closet she could hear a fellow senior Cynthia Bernsaid shouting for her principal Robbie Winger, “to go faster.” A new and louder sound, pushed through her eardrums, it was the sound of heels clicking on the floor. How can I hear all of that?
“It’s because of me.”
Who are you?
“I’m Verity, your wolf,” Aida’s head spun with confusion. Another image of the black wolf flashed through her mind. “Mate.” Verity said excitedly, her pink tongue falling out of her mouth.
Mate? I’m mated to a wolf?
“No, you’re mated to a Lycan silly!”
“Aida?” It was her mom who called out to her this time, not the weird voice in her head who claimed to be a wolf.
A soft sigh of relief escaped her mother’s lips. “Give me your keys.” Her mom had been at work when the school called about her daughter’s fainting incident. The cab she had taken from her workplace reeked of smoke, but it got her where she needed to be and that was most important. Fishing the keys to her Cadillac XT4 out of her backpack Aida placed them gently in her mom’s hand. “Let’s get you home.” The young adult nodded and shuffled along with her head down behind her mom.
The car ride home was quiet, both the mother and daughter thinking about recent events. Blaise knew it was time to tell Aida the truth, but she wanted to shelter her daughter for as long as she could.
Aida on the other hand was wondering why she kept fainting, and why the voice inside her head claimed to be a wolf. With a sigh she followed her mother inside their house, her light green colored backpack slung carelessly over one shoulder.
“Sit,” her mom gestured to the bar stools at their kitchen island. Blaise didn’t say anything else as she prepared two hamburgers and chips for her daughter, her mind swirling with thoughts. “Eat,” the plate was pushed across the black marble counter towards Aida. “Your father will be home soon.” Aida nodded, her mouth too full of burger to say anything. “How was school?”
The teenager shrugged and then swallowed. “I got a 85 on my history grade,” she muttered.
Her mother smiled softly, “that’s a perfectly acceptable grade, Aida.”
Aida frowned and casted her eyes on the black marble counter. She was only eight when she was diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Although most people never believed her, due to a popular belief that to have OCD you have to like things straight and in order. For her, it revolved around the thought that she wasn’t good enough, often leading her to repeatedly checking her online gradebook or even continuing to work out until she’s on the verge of passing out. Her parents and therapist had been working with her for ten years to ensure she knew that nobody was perfect, and the process was a slow and painful one, but she was getting there. “How was work?” She asked, trying to change the subject.
“It was good. I have a lot of dresses I want Alessia to model for me,” her mother wiggling her eyebrows up and down as she said it. “And I have a couple for you as well, not for modeling purposes, just ones you can keep.“Alessia was the second oldest of Blaise and Luciano’s children and seemed to only get along with their mother.
“Alessia doesn’t even live here,” Aida pointed out, “what are you doing to do, mail it to her?” Blaise nodded. The security system beeped and alerted the two women that the garage door had been opened.
“Honey?” A wide grin broke out across Blaise’s face as she heard her husband walk into the main part of the house. They had been married almost thirty years and each day they seemed to fall more and more in love with each other.
“Kitchen!” The thud of his briefcase falling echoed throughout the foyer, followed by heavy footsteps. “Hi,” Aida watched as her mother greeted her father with a slow but appropriate kiss on the lips.
“Hey princess,” Luciano slung an arm around Aida’s broad shoulders, a physical trait she had inherited from her father and dropped a kiss on the top of her head.
“Hi papa,” it was a whisper that escaped her mouth.
“Keep eating,” Luciano commented, “your mother and I are going to talk to you about something.” She nodded, shoving some potato chips in her mouth. Luciano took a deep breath, looked to his wife and then began. “There were some complications when you were born.”
“What kind of complications?”
“Don’t chew with your mouth open, Aida,” her mom’s tone was hard but her eyes were soft.
Aida muttered a quick apology under her breath.
“You were surviving completely off of oxygen tanks and IV fluids. They ran every single possible test, but each one came back as negative. Doctor Rolland came to us with an absurd proposition, but we took it nonetheless. He told us to pray.”
The room went silent and then Aida burst out laughing. “I’m-I’m sorry,” she hiccuped in between words, “he told you to pray?” Her parents nodded, “and you actually did it?” Again, they nodded. “Why?”
“We couldn’t lose another child,” her mother whispered, tears in her eyes. “I got pregnant a few months after your father and I got together. I thought I was just coming down with a cold so I didn’t mention anything to Luciano, but one of our missions went wrong and I got beat up, badly.”
Aida’s eyes flickered over to her dad, his jaw clenched and knuckles turning white.
“I was in a coma for a week,” Blaise’s hand slid up her husband’s back and rested on top of his tense shoulder, the gesture seeming to alleviate all the stress in his body. “I lost our baby.”
“I’m sorry,” the daughter’s voice was quiet and broken up but it was sincere.
Her father chuckled dryly, “You have no need to be sorry princess, it was my fault.” He paused and then jumped back into the original story, “we prayed every night for two months we prayed until one day we got a response. Your mother and I had just walked into the house after visiting you and there was a woman sitting in our living. Her skin was pale like someone who doesn’t get enough sun. Her hair was jet black, darker than the darkest point in the night, and her dress was stark contrast to her hair, white lace dress, like a wedding dress. I drew my gun hoping to intimidate her in some way but she just laughed, introduced herself as Selene and then said she had heard us praying.”
“So she was a Goddess or something?”
“The Moon Goddess, yes.” Aida stared at her parents, her mind drifting back to the Greek Mythology classes her parents had thrown her in since the age of four. She remembered learning about the Moon Goddess, daughter of Hyperion and Theia, both Titans. Selene was the first one to pull the moon across the sky, later connecting to Artemis and Hecate. “Do you remember the story about her?”
Aida nodded, “according to Greek Mythology, Selene got lonely at night, driving her silver chariot across the skies with no children to look after, so she made creatures; werewolves, lycans, and vampires. Werewolves were thought to be more animal than human, lycans more human than animal and vampires were neither animal nor human, they’re demons of sorts.” The young adult paused, raking her mind for more information about these three mythological creatures. “At first people thought that werewolves and lycans were the same, but they have their differences. Werewolves can only shift during the full moon, and they can only be mated to other werewolves. Lycanthropes on the other hand can shift whenever they please, and their mates can be any creature, other than a werewolf of course.”
“Glad our thousands of dollars to have you study Mythology paid off. But yes, the story with werewolves and lycans and vampires is true. After she introduced herself to us, she came up with an idea to keep you alive—tying your soul to that of another.”
“I don’t understand.”
“Aida, you’re not human, you never were.” Her mother stopped swallowing the lump in her throat, “she put a spell on you, locking your wolf away until the time came, that’s why you’ve been fainting. Her spell is wearing off. The reason we pushed you so hard in school, forcing you to take higher level classes is because we knew that when the time came you would need to leave and we wanted you to leave with at least your high school diploma.”
“The Royal Silver Moon Pack.”