Chapter 5 - Far from Any Road
(Him - Ryder) - Now...
It has been a week since we got the news of Hope’s death and it still seems unreal. My wolf is totally in denial.
“I’m not the only one!” My wolf scoffs at me.
Not so wrong but at the time I can stop thinking that if she was really dead I would have felt it. Even before 16, I knew Hope was my mate. That she was the only one for me. And when it was confirmed on my 16th birthday, I made sure everyone knows who she belonged to. Unfortunately she never really acknowledged me as her mate. Except 3 times and the first one doesn’t count as it was when she had “noted ″ my rejection. Lot of pack’s members were questioning her ability to be a good Luna as she was too shy and introverted. She never made any friends at school or outside school. She was always alone, pushing everyone away, even her own brother. But I knew better, she was not shy or introverted. . She was just hiding herself behind a mask. I just wished I knew why she was acting like that. She was feisty, smart, observant and kindhearted and sexy.
Her body is so fucking hot! Thinking about her luscious curbs is giving me a hard one. I can’t even count the number of times I came imagining her riding my cock or me dominating her like I know she wants me. Damn I need to pass by my room before my Friday evening’s meeting. Good thing I still have time.
Every Friday’s evening, Sam, Ethan and Leyla - Ethan’s mate and I are eating together. Leyla is the pack doctor’s daughter. She’s one year older than us and waited for Ethan to be 16 to acknowledge him as her mate. She is one of our teachers and this is not so involved in the Beta duties. Sam is more involved in the management of the pack. She’s my third in command even if it’s not official.
We lost our Gamma, Bryce, 4 years ago. His mate was the heist for the Gamma’s position in her pack and her sister is the Luna so she didn’t leave. Bryce asks us if he could be released from his position to move with her. The Gamma’s main function is to protect his Luna and as I don’t have one and don’t plan on having any soon I agreed to letting him go. But if one day, I need a Gamma I will offer the position to Sam. Sam and Leyla are best friends even if Sam is 3 years younger than Leyla. Leyla and Ethan have a boy, Seth, who is almost 5 years old and I can see my parents dreaming about having their own grandkids. Hopefully, Avery, who found her mate 4 years ago, will give them up soon. Avery is mated with the Beta of our neighbor pack, the green valley pack.
“Finally you’re here! We have a lot of things to speak about tonight!” Sam says when she sees me.
“Hello to you too.” I reply sarcastically.
“Hey Ryder, she’s right. We discovered something in Hope’s old boxes.” Leyla adds.
“And what did you find?” Ethan asks, curious.
“A personal diary.” Leyla replies.
“Hope had a personal diary?” I ask, surprised. I’ve never imagined her writing her thoughts in a diary.
“No. Dad’s grandmother’s diary, Evelyn.”
“What is so special about her?” Ethan asks but I know. It’s with her that our grudge against werecats, especially tigers, started.
“She was kidnapped and killed by a werecat, a tiger. This is why we hate them and when my great grandfather, Tanner, swore to kill every one of them who dared come too close from our pack.” I explain but I can see Leyla jumping on her feet. She wants to say something.
“It was not a kidnapping. She left with the werecat willingly!” She says.
Sam nods: “And he surely didn’t kill her. It was a mate.”
“What?! I didn’t know Tanner and Evelyn weren’t true mates!” I say.
“She was an Alpha’s daughter and her mating was decided before they were even 5. They were not happy and Tanner kept his real mate as his mistress. Once he had his heist, they didn’t even share the same room. His mistress was mistreating her and he let it happen. So when her mate asked her to follow him, she accepted. She wanted to leave with Aaron - our grandfather, but Tanner and her father forbade her.” Sam explains.
“On the last page of the dairy, it’s a letter for your Grandfather. She explained how sorry she’s and how she wished this could end differently. That she loved him.” Leyla adds.
“Do you think your father and your grandfather know?” Ethan asks.
“I don’t know...” I mutter.
“I don’t think so if they knew they wouldn’t have been proud of killing a tiger shifter and kept his skin and part of his bones as a trophy, making jewelry with his claws.” Sam says.
“Do you think this is why Hope stole it? For justice?” Leyla asks.
“Knowing her, absolutely! To offer this poor tiger the rest he deserved.” I reply smiling.
“Why not just reveal the truth?” Sam asks.
“I don’t know but she was secretive so I’m not surprised she kept that diary for herself.” Ethan says.
“How was she? I was hoping to grow close to her but she never let me in.” Leyla asks, curious about the sister in law she never really knew.
“She never let anyone in. That was the problem with Hope.” Sam deadpans.
“Actually, Everything changed when she was 5 and she didn’t receive a wolf. My parents and I didn’t care and didn’t change anything for us… But she did care and put boundaries with everyone, starting by us. I remember my mother’s sadness and my father finding excuses for her. Which annoyed my mother and they used to fight about that.” Ethan explains.
Nobody in the pack cared about the fact she was a non shifter and everyone accepted her as she was. Lot knew she was a miracle for her parents and that what mattered. Her grandfather used to joke about the fact that as long as she doesn’t shift in a cat it was okay.
We spent the rest of the evening speaking about Hope and our families’ history. Ethan confessed that the Tiger skin in my father’s office always made him feel uneasy, even sad sometimes. He admitted that he gave the Beta’s ring and Beta female’s earrings - both made with the tiger’s claws - to Hope and he was relieved to not have to wear it. Thankfully, nobody asked about my Alpha’s ring.
I went back to my room with a lot in my mind and a new book to read: my great grandmother’s dairy. I’m curious to read it and maybe to understand why Hope stole the tiger bones, skins and claws, when she knew how it would cost her, to us. Finally I might have the beginning of an answer.