We pulled away from the car park, I admired the scenery as we drove. I have to admit, I have missed this place.
“How is everyone... back home?” I asked apprehensively.
He kept his eyes fixated on the road. I noticed his knuckles turning white. I know this is a hard time for him too. I’m kicking myself for not being here when it happened. I wasn’t here for any of them.
“Everyone is as good as can be.” He stated.
“How’s Lucas?” I uttered. He exhaled heavily and shook his head. “He’s still angry with me isn’t he?” I asked, sadly.
“Yeah, he’s still a little angry.” He admitted. “I know, I just hoped he would eventually understand,” I hummed.
“He does understand why you had to leave. He just misses you is all.” He disclosed, “You missed some pretty big milestones in his life.” He added with a sad smile.
I gasped harshly. “I was there when he met his mate, remember?” I huffed, ”That was when I also met my mate. Well, one of them." I grumbled.
I held my head in my hands, bending forward. “Look I don’t want to argue with you. I understand why you left and your dad did too.” He returned sadly.
“Lucas got... married, Amaris.” He stammered. My head snapped up, I glared at him. “Why did no one tell me?” I shrilled. He shook his head, “Amaris, you were told. Ria and Drew said they messaged you in the group chat.” He remarked.
“No, no, no.” I panicked. “When was it?” I grunted.
“It was a year after they met” He confessed. I groaned and spun myself around in my seat, “But when exactly?” I exasperated.
“The anniversary of their meeting.” He whispered. I whimpered a little, I ignored everyone that weekend. If I looked at my phone without breaking it in a rage, I could have seen my best friend get married. A tear slipped down my face and I quickly caught it. I took a deep breath and gazed out of the window.
“He knew you wouldn’t come but he had hoped you would.” He smiled. “I would have been there if I had seen the message,” I whined. “I had just left the pack. I needed space to sort my head out.” I whimpered.
“I know. I understand it was too quick for you to come back.” He cautioned. “Lucas knows that too. He’s just stubborn like his mother.” He chuckled.
I started pulling the thread from my jeans. A habit I have when I’m nervous.
“Is my dad... Was my dad.” I hesitated, “Happy before it happened?”
“Amari, he loved you and all he wanted was for you to happy.” He smiled. I took a deep breath and gaped out the window, “I’m sorry I wasn’t there when it happened.” I mumbled.
He stopped the car and turned to me, “Have you actually said out loud what happened?” He wondered.
“No. Saying it out loud makes it real.” I sniffled. “I’m not ready for it to be real.” I whimpered.
Ever since I received that phone call, I’ve not said it out loud. I haven’t spoken to anyone about it. I feel guilty for not being there and for not speaking to him as much as I should have.
“Amaris, you need to accept that it happened before we get there.” He affirmed. I shook my head vigorously. “There’s a lot of people that are counting on you.” He declared. I sighed dramatically and rolled my eyes, “I’m coming back for the funeral that is all.” I claimed.
He rolled his eyes and started the car. “You need to take your place as Alpha, Amaris.” He sighed, keeping his eyes on the road. Nope, not happening. Panic was starting to set in. I can’t be Alpha. I can’t run a whole pack, I’m not trained for anything of this.
“Amaris, what’s wrong?” Uncle Tristan asked. I glanced at him, “Your eyes are red. Calm down” He said with panic in his voice.
“How long till we reach the pack?” I choked out. My whole body feels like it’s on fire, I think it’s because we’re so near the pack. I haven’t been near the pack in so long and the power emitting from it, I can feel it from over here.
“About an hour.” He replied. I shook my head firmly and continued doing it, “Stop the car.” I blurted out.
He slammed on the brakes, I promptly opened the door and stumbled out. Uncle Tristan hopped out after me and yelled, “Amaris! Wait! We still need to talk!” But I was already halfway across the field.
′Maybe we should go back.′ Aurora whined.
′No. We shift and run the rest of the way.′
I leapt over a fallen log, shifting mid-air. As soon as Aurora’s paws connected with the dirt, she stretched and let out a powerful howl. It’s been a while since we last shifted, she hasn’t been for a run for a good few weeks. I sat back and let Aurora take control.
′It’s on all you, Rory. Lead us home.′
We ran through the forest, even though Aurora had full control, I could still feel the sensations of running in our wolf form. The wind flowing through her fur and the feeling of her paws hitting the dirt.
I have definitely missed the feeling of running free and not having to worry about whose around. I’ve deprived Aurora of her freedom for too long. It may be time to stay home for good.
′Does this mean we’re going to join the pack again?′ Aurora barked happily.
′We are finally going to be an Alpha. We were born for this.′ Aurora howled excitedly.
′No, no Alpha. A normal pack member. I can’t draw attention to myself, you know this.′
′Your dad wanted you to take over as Alpha.′
I ignored her. She knows why I have to be careful after what happened before. I’ve been hurt, betrayed and used by the ones I never thought would. I can’t trust anyone with my secret and I can’t let anyone close.