23 - "Houston, We Got a Problem"
I laid in bed, waiting for time to pass. Titus had managed to fall back to sleep, and I could not help but watch him. My mind was still reeling from everything that had happened. I thought about the times I acted on emotions that were not my own; acted differently than the way I felt. Anna Beth’s heat was not the first time I felt someone else’s emotion I had concluded as I searched through my mind. I attempted to note the times that I was not acting of my own accord.
My nightmare came to the forefront of my mind. I tried to make sense of it and whether it had anything to do with my ability; I did not even know if there was a name for it.
My reflection screamed for help; pleaded for it. Why would my past be begging for help? The memory of her was in my mind, but I could not make out my age. It was obviously before I lost the weight. The state she was in had to mean something.
The Lechuza was another clue. She said the Lechuza could help, but how? I immediately thought of Selena and the day I saw the owl on the balcony before finding her beaten in her room. She shifts into an owl, which I already knew, but was she the same owl from the dream?
And there was the mark on my neck. It was completely healed when Titus had said it usually took a day. Could that also be an ability that I had not yet considered?
Lying in bed was not getting me anywhere. In fact, it was giving me more questions than answers. However, there was one thing I knew for certain. I needed to talk to Selena. She was my one clue from the nightmare that actually made some sort of sense. Trying to figure out what the rest of it meant, whether it was significant or not, would be ludicrous without speaking to her first.
I could care less what time it was; I did not want to look. That was a whole other rabbit hole I did not want to fall into.
Once I was dressed, I walked out of the room, leaving a naked Titus on the bed sleeping. I could only hope that Selena was already up, sitting at the table, and alone, and luckily that’s how I found her.
She was seated at the table enjoying a cup of coffee with an empty plate in front of her. I walked over to the kitchen island where there was a buffet of breakfast platters waiting for those of us who slept in. I took my seat across from her, unsure how to start our conversation. I could see that she was happy about something by the smile on her face, but now her happiness was replaced with concern. I rubbed my neck, a nervous habit of mine, I could feel her eyes on me before she asked what was wrong.
I decided to just start with my ability and lead up to the dream. Maybe she knew what it was. “Selena, if I tell you something, do you promise to keep it to yourself? At least for now.”
“Of course. But, what about Titus? Does he know?” She asked in a whisper.
“No,” I sighed. I felt guilty hiding it from him, but I did not want to worry him. Selena got up from the table and took the seat next to me. “I don’t know how to explain it. Yesterday, I could feel Anna Beth’s heat.” I began.
“What do you mean?” Her confusion was evident in her voice.
I started to list the times I had found myself acting on someone else’s emotion, starting with Titus and I’s first night in his room. Then I explained the night of Titus and I’s date and his anger towards Gabe was what made me say the things I did to him. There was no way I could be that cruel, even if he was out of line.
“Then yesterday, I felt hot at the same time as Anna Beth did; I could feel her heat comin’ on. I wanted to jump Titus not caring if anyone saw us. I did jump Titus, the moment the door closed.” I stated, with my hand having remained at my neck, scratching at it a bit. It had not occurred to me that it had been covering my mark until Selena grabbed my wrist and pulled it away from it.
“Ellie!” She screamed with half excitement and half shock. “You’re marked.”
“Yeah,” I said with a smirk. “But that’s what I’m sayin’. I was able to feel Anna Beth’s heat which led to us mating and Titus marking me.” I tried explaining what I meant.
“I’m confused. Did you not want to have sex and be marked by Titus?”
“I did, but the way it happened was because of the heat.” I answered her question.
“Okay, explain what you mean by heat. To be honest, I don’t know what it is and how everyone knew she was in heat.” Selena shook her head. I had forgotten that she would not know what heat was.
“How do I explain this? When a female werewolf goes into heat, it means that they are in prime time to mate. So, if one was trying to get pregnant during heat would be the best time to try.” I started my clarification of what heat was.
“Like dogs and cats?” Selena contorted her face at the thought.
“Well… kinda, not the words I would’ve used.” I tried not to sound upset at the comparison. “Males can smell it, that’s why Titus, Joseph, and Lucas were able to tell that she was in heat. Hendrick could too, and being her mate reacted to it very strongly. So would unmarked male.”
“Okay, I think I get it. So you goin’ into heat would be normal, so it might not have been Anna’s heat you felt but your own.” Selena stated.
“I’m not in heat. Otherwise, I’d still be locked in my room. It lasts a week.” I was rewarded with Selena spitting out her drink all over the table. “But also,” I continued, “only marked females could go into heat, and being half-human I wouldn’t go into heat because I don’t have a wolf.”
“Ellie, are you telling me you’re an empath?” Selena spoke in a whisper after a moment of looking around the kitchen for anyone that may be listening to our conversation. When she said the word, it made sense. I do not know how I did not put that together. I was not a stranger to supernatural television shows and there were a few where they mentioned the ability.
“I guess so.” I quietly answered her question. Her eyebrows furrowed at the confirmation. She touched my forearm, and I felt her confusion and curiosity. She pulled me up from the table and placed her finger over her lips as she led me upstairs until we reached my office on the third floor.
“What am I feeling now?”
“Curious and confused,” I said then she concentrated on something and suddenly I felt fear. “What? Why are you suddenly scared?”
“Ellie, this is a big deal. Many empaths can heal and project their emotions to others. This is considered every rare gift and if anyone outside of your circle of trust finds out… it could be bad. Witches, vampires, and other werewolves will come after you.” Selena warned as she paced in front of me, rubbing her wrist and hands like a nervous tick.
“Are… So…” I could not form any question. Many thoughts were running through my mind, and I finally settled for one. “How?”
“I don’t know.” She said rubbing her chin with the back of her hand. “Are there witches on your dad’s side? Is there any history of wolves having powers?” She stopped and faced me throwing her hand towards me to answer.
“I don’t think so.” I said and thought back to my nightmare as she threw her hands up and walked towards the window. “Selena, there’s more.”
She turned around to meet my eyes. “What do you mean there’s more?”
“I had a dream last night… more like this morning. Is your owl an orange beige color with a diamond on the chest?” I asked and was answered with bulging eyes confirming my question. I went on to detail my dream, from following the owl, my reflection in the mirror, until I woke up reading eight twenty-three on the clock and seeing the reflection in the mirror.
“Your teenage reflection said ‘The Lechuza’ can help? How?” She asked with her arms crossed over her chest.
“She didn’t say. All she said was that you can help me.”
“Well, you being a teenager and seeing her even after you woke up is strange. But I don’t know how I can help you. I don’t even know how to interpret your dream, but it sounded terrifying. I wouldn’t know what the time meant either.” Selena took a seat on the couch as she thought about the information I had shared with her. “You need to tell Titus, Ellie. He might know something that I don’t. In the meantime, I’ll need to do some research.”
“Selena, should I be worried?” I asked her.
“I’m not going to lie. Yes. We need to know what is happening to you and what is trapped in you.” She said, placing her hand on my shoulder. “Ellie, are you sure you don’t have a wolf?”
“How could I? If I did, why hasn’t it emerged? And then why am I an empath?”
“Being half-human may have something to do with it.” She commented.
“It would be the first time I’ve heard of a wolf emerging late, even a hybrid gets their wolf at sixteen.” I answered her.
“Then, you have witches in your family line. Probably your dad’s side. Can’t you ask your Tia Maria or your Abuela?” She asked. I thought about the last time I spoke to them. I haven’t told them I returned to Titus’ pack or that Titus was my mate. They had been against my returning to Houston, but they still called me often. However, I knew they did not like my mom or the fact I had a relationship with my aunt and uncle. “I suppose I’ll have to. I haven’t told them about Titus.” I said, putting my hand on my forehead.
“Well, that makes two of us.” She said putting her elbow on her knee.
“So, what now?” I asked her.
“I don’t know.” She said to me.
“Seems like that’s our theme today.” I laughed. Selena laughed with me. It was not meant to be a funny situation, but out of pure frustration with the thought.
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