Chapter 23 - A Place In Time
(Him - Ryder) Now….
Someone knocks at my door. It’s Ethan.
“Yes, bro. How are you?” I ask, coming sit in the seat in front of my office.
“Troubled.” I reply honestly.
“I know I can feel it. Do you want to speak about it?” He asks.
I decide to share everything with him. The memory I saw in Daniel’s mind and my choice to offer the position of Gammas to Enzo and Sam.
“I think you made the right decision.”
“I think so too. I just wish to know why Enzo told Hope it was better for me to be absent then to be dead.” I sigh.
“Yeah... I think there is a lot we don’t know about Hope. Dan is as secretive as she was and he’s only 5. This is not normal.” He replies.
“This is so frustrating!” I comment.
"I need to run!" My wolf inquires. Running always helps us to think clearly.
“I’m going for a run. Do you want to come?” I ask getting up.
When he nods I give him my hand to help him to get up. When I touch him, I see one of his memories.
“You really stole your parents’ emblems to give them to Hope! ”
“I've told you, you didn't believe me?"
"I was not sure... You always have been mommy’s little boy!"I joke.
He gives me a finger making me laugh. Then he says:"Wow, you saw that. How? I wasn’t even thinking about it. It just pops into my head. How did you do that?”
“I don’t know... I can’t believe you put the blame on her!”
“I didn’t! They concluded that by themselves and I just didn’t say anything! It was my goodbye gift. And to be honest, every time I saw them that made me feel mournful. I actually hated going to your father’s office because of that tiger’s skin. You have not idea how grateful I am that it’s not here anymore.” He defends himself.
“You’re weird sometimes.” I tease him.
While we were running, my mother mindlinked me asking to meet her. This is why even if I’m hungry, I’m going to meet her first in my office aka Dad’s former office. Everytime she comes here I can see nostalgia in her eyes. Will I feel the same when it will be the time to pass it on to my son? Maybe but I will also be so proud.
“I want to know what happened yesterday with your sister! What did you do?” Mom demands as soon as I close the door behind us.
I groan, putting my head in my hands: ” Mom stay out of this! I fixed it, no need for you to be involved.”
“How much did you mess up?” She asks.
I sigh in defeat, she will not give up.“A big time. But more with Daniel than Sam. I need to find a way to connect with him, to link somehow with him. It’s driving me crazy. I really need to have better control over my temper.”
“I know, it’s a difficult time but you will find a way to break the ice with Daniel, he’s your son. Soon he will need you.”
“I’m not so sure about it...” I mumble.
“He will.” She affirms touching my shoulders. Suddenly the decor is changing. Another memory is coming to mind.
“She will be here soon. How will we approach her, sweetheart?” Brett asks me.
“I don’t know… this girl is a mystery.” I sigh.
Someone is knocking at the door. At least she’s punctual!
“Hope, please come in.” Brett orders.
“Alpha Brett, Luna Claire, you wanted to see me?” Hope says, bowing her head.
“Yes, we wanted to speak about your future position, as our son’s mate but also as our future Luna.” Brett explains.
Hope nods and looks at our feet. Suddenly she turns white, her breath accelerates and she flatters almost falling.
“She has a panic attack!” I mindlink my mate.
“Hope? How are okay honey?” I ask as sweetly as I can.
She doesn’t reply, she’s lost in her own world again. When I touch her she jumps and retreats as if my hands burned her, as she was repulsed.
“No, I need to go.” She says running away.
When the door closes behind her. I turn toward Brett.
“So it went better than I thought.” Brett comments sarcastically.
“I know, there is a lot of training before she can be our Luna.” I say.
“But Ryder needs her.”
“I know. I don’t know what we’re going to do.” I sigh, defeat.
“When did this meeting take place?” I ask mom.
“How did you do this? How did you force that memory from me?” She asks in return.
“I don’t know but the same happened earlier with Ethan.”
“The meeting took place a week, maybe two, before she stole our emblem.” She replies to my question.
After a silence, she adds: ” Maybe it’s your thirst for truth. Your wolf and you want to understand why and you are looking for an explanation.”
“Yeah... Maybe but for now it doesn’t make any sense.” I mutter.
“We will ask your father, to see if he knows something. Let’s focus on finding a solution for Daniel until he returns.”
“I might have an idea but I need Enzo and Sam’s help.” I tell her.
“Explain to me and I will convince them to help you.” Mom proposes.
After lunch and Daniel’s nap. I met with him and Enzo into the woods close to the pack house.
“Alpha Ryder, Sam told me about your offer for the Gamma position. I’m honored but before I can accept it we need to speak about Hope.” Enzo tells me.
I nod: “Enzo, good because I also have questions about her. We can do it later. I asked you to come here because I would like to show something to Daniel.”
“Great, let do it later!” He agrees.
I wish I could be alone with Daniel because what I’m about to show him is personal but I know I need to win both of their trust.
I kneel in front of my son: ” This is my cabin. Well mine, your aunts Sam and Avery’s cabin to be honest. Are you okay if we are all going together inside.”
Daniel, who is hiding behind Enzo’s legs now, nods and they both follow me inside.
“Do you see that?” I point at a heart engraved in the wood with an H and a R inside.
When he doesn’t reply but looks at it, I add: ” I did it when I realized I was in love with your mother. I was around 11. And I prayed to the moon goddess every night until my 16 birthday for her to be my mate.”
I take out my old drawing book.
“I used to draw a lot. Here is the ring I imagined I would buy for your mother and as you can see I drew her often, everytime I get the chance actually.”
He takes the book in his small hands and looks at it.
He looks sad. ” I miss mommy!” He whispered.
“And I miss her too. I’m so upset with everyone because I always dreamed about our life together, the family we would build… And it was taking away from me. I’m lost, little man and I need your help. You’re the only piece left I have from her. I need you. I need to know you and for us to share stories about your mommy.” I plead.
He just nods and keeps looking at my draw. Then he looks at me:” Why did you draw this tiger?”
Enzo looks at my draw and seems surprised, like he just saw a ghost.
“I don’t know... Because I used to dream about her almost every night.” I explain.
"Her? How do you know it's Her?" Enzo asks.
"I don't know... By the grace she had when she walked." I shrug. I've never asked myself that question, it was just obvious.