Forgotten Wolf

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13 Figure It Out

The night was restless and the following day pointless; I wasn’t ready to deal with the attack and whatever the rez people are yet. Not knowing who Grandmother is sending only makes it worse.

I decide to make a fancier dinner than I should have only to keep me busy and distracted. I did all the prep work on the double baked loaded potatoes, stuffed mushrooms, and set the steak to marinate.

I showered up and got dressed, trying to calm my nerves. I opted for comfort clothes, flowy yoga pants with a green scoop-neck top. I kept my hair simple with an off the shoulder braid. A vehicle pulling in brings me out of my thoughts and I head out to see who’s here.

My breath catches as Xavier exits the driver’s seat of the red charger, but immediately I relax as he circles to the passenger side to open the door for Claire. She smiles at him, taking his hand as she gets out. The way he handles and looks at her is like she is the most precious thing in the world to him. I realize the only times I’ve really ever seen any sort of emotion from him has only been in her presence; the rest of the time he plays the strong, silent type.

His eyes land on me and he steps in front of Claire, shielding her from me. “Relax dear, you’re not going to hurt me, are you Jess?” She calmly states, reassuring him as she snakes her arm around him and slides beside him. I nod, embarrassed.

He wraps his big arm around her shoulders, drawing her tightly to his side, and resting his face in the crook of her neck for a moment. That simple action instantly calms him before he returns his attention to me. I turn and head to the patio set, taking a seat on the far side. They take a seat, side by side across from me, and the silence is awkward even for me.

“I wasn’t sure who she would send,” I admit.

“Yeah I was a bit surprised when she approached us,” she laughs, tucking her hair behind her ears. “But given the circumstances it made sense,” she shrugs. Xavier just keeps a close eye on me, clearly not trusting me.

“You have some questions I imagine,” he finally says. I nod. “We will answer any we can,” he trails off. “I actually have a few for you afterwards.” That earns him a jab from Claire and an angry side eye glare.

“Beer? I feel like I’m gonna need a drink or two by the time we are done,” I say with a nervous laugh. He nods. I turn to Claire, she’ll take what I’m having.

I return a moment later with a beer for him and a couple whiskey mixed drinks for us. I also set some veggies and dip out, putting the spicy one in front of Xavier.

“I don’t even know how to start,” I admit.

“How about at the beginning?” Claire suggests, eyes soft, locked on mine. I nod sheepishly. “Just keep in mind, what we are doesn’t change who we are.” She pauses, letting her words sink in.

“We are normal people with an extraordinary gift, our wolves.” I feel a little like a child listening to a bedtime story. “I won’t overwhelm you with all the history, but I will tell you all I can about our pack.”

I subconsciously scrunch my face at the last part.

“You and the rest of the outside world looks at our community as a private reservation, but it’s actually a large stretch of territory owned and protected by our pack. There are many throughout the world, some border populated areas like ours, but most prefer more remote locations.”

Suddenly a question pops into my mind, “Am I going to turn?” I feel stupid asking, but raise my forearm to show the bite.

It’s Xavier’s turn to chuckle. “That’s not how any of this works, try not to believe everything you see in the movies. We don’t lose control on the full moon and turn into senseless killing machines. We don’t hunt humans or feed on them.”

Claire makes a face at that.

“Stop, you’re going to make things worse you ox,” she scolds. “You’re either a werewolf or not, there’s no turning, and it’s not like the movies, it’s not monstrosities like that. We all have a wolf spirit with us, as a child it’s your first friend and your biggest confidant.”

I nod for her to continue.

This all sounds like something out of a movie, but it’s hard to dispute what you’ve seen with your own eyes.

“Every child is raised among wolves, they see their parents’ wolves early on, all to prepare them for meeting their own.” Claire watches me closely, making sure she doesn’t lose me.

I frown, not understanding that last part. “Wait, the wolves are separate and you meet them later on?”

“No, no, they are always there but some make themselves known sooner than others. One day when they are ready, they just start talking to us,” she says as she taps her temple.

“So it’s like, split personality? Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?” I ask, furrowing my brow in disbelief.

This is crazy.

“No,” Xavier groans, palming his forehead and looking a little annoyed. “It’s more like your brother. It’s not known if the goddess pairs like minded wolves and people together, or if because we grow up together and we just blend as one,” he shrugs.

“The Moon Goddess is our ruling spiritual mother. We pray to her and she takes care of us, she pairs people with their wolves, and takes care of mates. Sometimes she visits us in dreams to help us through the darkest times in our lives, or to offer guidance.” She speaks with such love and reverence, it’s clear how important the goddess is to her.

“Have you seen her?” I can’t help but ask, the thought of a higher power you can actually get a response from is interesting.

She nods, smiling warmly. “Only once when I was a child. I truly felt blessed.” She looks deep in thought but doesn’t elaborate and I don’t push further.

“Generally speaking, we are very similar to humans, the same rules and principles apply. I think there were a couple things that stood out to you, but you were too polite to comment,” she teases. “But our wild side, our wolves crave a certain social structure. That’s one of the main reasons we live in the communities like we do.”

“Packs have a structure that satisfies our wild side. We are led by the strongest, the Alpha and Luna. Their job is the health and well being of the pack. A good Alpha can mean prosperity, and a bad one can bring ruin to even the strongest of packs. If he fails in his duty, the pack can revolt and overthrow him or he can be challenged and his position taken.” She pauses to take a sip of her drink and let her words sink in.

“The second in command is the Beta, if something happens to the Alpha he will fill in, and in dire situations he will assume the Alphas mantle.” She pauses, looking at me to gauge my reaction. I nod for her to continue.

“The Gamma is the third in command so to speak, but in addition to his pack position he is the Luna’s champion. Goddess forbid something happen between the Alpha couple, but the Gamma will go against his Alpha to save his Luna if need be.”

What kind of world do they live in where she would need her own champion!?

“The rest of the pack is broken into various classes; warrior class are all our defenders, regular class are your everyday wolf, the old and young, hospital staff, etc. or ones unable to fight. The lowest class are the omegas. Each pack deals with them differently, but they are usually the grunt labour and domestics. Some are just born that way and serve to help their pack in exchange for protection and inclusion since they are the weakest wolves. Others are made omegas as a punishment for a crime, sometimes temporarily other times permanently.”

Wait… crimes… punishments?!

“Severe crimes usually result in exile. Being kicked out of your pack is one of the most severe punishments a wolf can take. They are social creatures and crave the structure and love of a pack. Rogues can be ruthless and dangerous creatures, but not all rogues are criminals. Some have run away from their packs for whatever reason, others have no pack to go back to.”

I instantly feel bad for them.

If packs are that important and they have no one to call their own it must be so lonely...

“It was a rogue attack that happened that night,” Xavier takes over. “We had the odd rogue crossing the border for the past several weeks but one here and there is no big deal. The day you came, a small group had crossed the northern border. It would have been nothing and you would have never seen anything. But shortly after dispatching the Alpha and third, as well as a squad to reinforce the northern patrol, two more groups breached the western and eastern borders.”

“That’s when we got word to join in,” Claire pipes up. “We split the remaining warriors and took off to meet the new rogues. But the Alpha wasn’t getting back as fast as we thought he would, there were more than we expected, and they were drawing back toying with us.”

“It was a diversion,” Xavier grumbles. “The real goal was striking into the heart of our territory, where they stumbled across Ethan. That’s where you came in. I must admit a human against three adult rogues is poor odds.”

“Well I didn’t exactly do well, he was going to rip my throat out,” I scoff. The memory makes me shudder as I try and push it away.

“You’re kidding right?” Claire asks incredulously. “You killed one, incapacitated another and held off the third until reinforcements arrived. Three against one gives our trained junior warriors trouble.” Even Xavier reluctantly nods.

“They were too busy with Ethan to notice me, I hit the first one with all I could, I didn’t think I would get a second chance,” I shrug. “The rest was just reaction based instinct, that was my first and only fight with wolves.”

Suddenly I remember the hospital incident.

“Wait, who attacked me in the hospital?” They exchange looks, confused. “There was a man hovering over me when I first woke up, I kicked him before I fell.”

Xavier burst out laughing. “That was Jace.” I frown, not hiding my confusion. “He was watching you while everyone was talking in the hall. He thought he heard you wake up, so he got up to check and before he could say anything, you kicked him across the room.”

I blush, instantly feeling guilty. I could vaguely remember him telling me to calm down and that I was safe.

“Dr. Phillips called Chris Alpha, so he’s your leader?” I question, both nod yes. “Is he a good Alpha?”

“Very. He puts his people’s needs before his, always. He is the first to run into danger and even the lowest Omega can come to him with a concern and he always addresses it.” The pride is evident in his voice as he speaks about Chris.

From the little I had seen of him, he did seem very focused on everything and making sure things run smoothly. Jace had even mentioned on multiple occasions that Chris works too hard and needs to relax.

“You didn’t think he was?” Claire asks, earning me a glare from Xavier.

“No, no, I don’t know him at all if I’m being honest. Most of my interactions were with you or Jace. I find him intimidating and temperamental,” to that she laughs and Xavier relaxes.

“That’s an Alpha for you.” I frown at Claire’s words. “They are the strongest among us and have a lot of responsibility. Their wolves are stronger too, our wolves basically demand it as the survival of the pack depends on a strong Alpha.” She sighs before continuing. “Alpha’s are naturally intense people, but it doesn’t make him a bad person,” she frowns as she pauses, thinking how to explain.

“Everything is more for an Alpha. It drives him to be better, they are more possessive, they want to keep and protect what is theirs, be it their pack, it’s members, their territory, or their mate.”

“Mates, you’ve said that before. Xavier is your mate right?” I ask, looking between them.

She nods and he smiles at her, then kisses her hand. “Mates are the most precious things to wolves; the Moon Goddess pairs each person’s wolf with it’s perfect other half.”

“But what if they don’t like who the Goddess picks?” I question.

They laugh. “It’s not unheard of, but it’s very uncommon. At any rate, the mate bond can be a hard thing to fight, people do it sometimes but eventually their wolves usually win.”

“So who’s your Luna?” I ask and they frown.

“We don’t have one yet. Alpha Chris hasn’t met his mate yet.” The smallest part of me is relieved to hear this; time for a new subject.

“So who are the Beta and Gamma and all the other key wolves?”

“Jace is the Beta, and Xavier is the third,” she trails off.

“Not the Gamma?”

“Because of the relationship with the Luna, only she can appoint him as Gamma. If not he will become the Delta,” she finishes with a smile.

“He would get demoted? That doesn’t seem fair,” I complain, frowning.

“It’s complicated,” he laughs. “When our Luna is declared, I may not have the proper bond to be able to perform the Gamma duties properly,” he says with a shrug. “Delta is still a respectable position. I’d rather that than be a faulty Gamma.”

I nod, considering all the information they’ve given me.

“I don’t know about you, but I could use a refill,” Claire says, shaking her glass and flashing me a big smile.

“Sorry, I’m a crappy host. We should take a break for dinner before it’s completely dark.” I quickly turn on the BBQ and go to refill our drinks.

Before long dinner is ready and we are digging in chatting about normal things. “I see why Jace always wants to come eat here,” Xavier says.

“How much does he talk?! You’re the third one to say this,” I frown.

“Who was number two?” Claire teases.

I blush rubbing the back of my neck. “Chris,” I say quietly, earning a raised brow.

“And when was our Alpha here?” Xavier asks, clearly I just spilled some sort of secret.

“When Ethan took off, I called Jace to pick him up, but Chris showed up instead.” I shrug. “Was a week or two before we all went to the club.” They look at each other, expressions unreadable to me.

“So I’ve got a question,” Xavier finally speaks. “You said you find him intimidating, what else do you think of our Alpha?” He sits back, suddenly very interested in my answer. I take a big gulp of my drink as my mind races.

Shit.

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