Chapter 9 ~~Learning to be Luna ~~
The next morning, Kia woke up alone in bed and Tia whimpered. Kia looked around the room and then noticed a note on the table by the bed. She quickly picked it up and read
“I have Alpha duties to attend to but will be back before lunch. Go have some breakfast and talk to my mom. She will be able to best guide you on your Luna duties. Love, Ethan. XOXO”
Kia smiled at the x’s and o’s he had signed at the bottom of the note. “Don’t worry, Tia, he hasn’t left for good. Just taking care of his responsibilities to the pack. Let’s go get a shower and something to eat. Then we will talk to Angela about being the Luna he deserves.”
Kia pushed off of the bed and went to take a shower. She brushed out her hair and braided it then found a pair of the new jeans and a t-shirt. She pulled on the new sneakers and decided not to bother with make up today. She had to admit that it felt great to have on all new clothes and that they fit her the way they should.
She took a few minutes to put all of her old clothes in one of the shopping bags and sat it next to the dresser. She would ask Ethan if they could drop them off at the group home the next time they went to town.
Thinking about the group home made her realize that she needed to contact Ms. Kay and tell her about what had happened. She wanted to make sure that Doug and Sally were never allowed to foster any more kids, especially girls.
Kia found her cell phone but realized that her minutes had run out and she had forgotten to refill them. Now she would have to wait until she got to a store so that she could buy a card.
“Damn! I wonder if they have land lines here?” Kia thought to herself. She plugged her cell phone back in and then left the bedroom.
She wasn’t sure where she should go but her stomach was begging for food so she headed in the only direction she knew, to the dining room.
“Good morning, Luna!” Everyone greeted her, the men standing up when she entered the room. Sitting around the dining room table, finishing breakfast were Angela, Marcus, Lily, Chris and Josh.
“Good morning everyone. Please sit down guys. Where did Ethan go?” Kia asked the first thing on her mind.
“He and Jared are taking care of an issue at the border. They should be back in an hour or so.” Lily responded. She did not add that they had taken about 20 other wolves with them but Tia picked up on the nervous tone of her voice.
“Something’s wrong.” Tia told her.
“Is there a problem at the border?” Kia asked.
“Nothing they can’t handle. Don’t worry. So, are you ready to begin learning about being a Luna?” Angela asked.
Kia wondered if she could hear what they were thinking but when she tried, she couldn’t hear anything. “Apparently it’s something we will have to practice.”
“Yes, I’m very eager to learn. I have a question?” Kia asked.
“Ask away.” Angela said.
“Do Luna’s make rules for the pack?” Kia asked.
“With the Alpha’s approval, yes.” Angela replied.
“Does the pack house have landlines?” Kia asked next.
“Yes, there’s several around the house. Your office has one on the desk.” Angela said.
“I have an office?” Kia asked in surprise.
“Yes. Enjoy your breakfast and then I’ll take you around and show you where things are and begin explaining your duties as Luna.” Angela said.
“Great. Thank you!” Kia said as she sat down at the table with her now full plate of food. She had opted for bacon, eggs, french toast and lots of fruit this morning.
They all sat around enjoying the meal but Kia couldn’t help but worry about Ethan and the others. She wondered what it was that had Lily so nervous. She was barely eating and spent more time pushing her food around on her plate and barely joined in the conversation at all. Kia wanted to mind link with her but wasn’t confident enough to try it since she wasn’t sure she could just keep it between the two of them, especially since there were so many others around.
As she finished eating, Kia told Angela, “I need to make a call before we begin. I need to contact Ms. Kay at the placement agency and let her know I’m OK before she sends out the police to look for me.”
“Sure. Come on. I’ll take you to your office. I have a couple of things I need to do as well.” Angela told her.
They left the dining room and Angela showed her not only where her office was, which was right next to Ethan’s, both of which were on the third floor.
“How big is this house?” Kia asked as they walked down the hallway to her office.
“Well, the main house is four stories. There are 6 master suites on the second floor. One for you and Ethan, one for me and Marcus, one for Jared and Lily and one for Chris and hopefully one day his mate. The last two rooms on the second floor are currently used as guest rooms. Jared and Lily have their own house on the grounds but since she's been pregnant, they have been staying here again.
The third floor is offices and servants quarters for Edith and her mate, Jacob, who is the gardener and the men’s butler for want of a better word. He makes sure their clothes are taken care of and their personal needs are attended to. Also other household staff stay up there. A girl will be assigned to you today.
The fourth floor is unmated female pack members quarters who are untrained household staff and there are 12 smaller bedrooms up there.
In the basement there is a work out gym, a theater media room, a games room as well as where the laundry room is located. The main floor is, as you have seen, the living room, dining room, kitchen and what you have not seen yet are the library, meeting rooms and the ballroom where we will hold the Luna ball.
The Luna ball will be one of the things we will need to work on in the next few days but for now, go make your phone call and I will be back soon to show you around some more. OK?” Angela explained as they reached her office. Angela opened the door for her and Kia couldn’t help the gasp that left her, then her mouth just hung open.
“Lily is normally your assistant, as she is the Beta female of our pack, but being that it is getting close to time for her to give birth, I’m taking her place for now. Normally it would be Chris’s mate but since he hasn’t found her yet, we’re not left with many options.”
“Thank you, Angela! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate all you are doing for me.” Kia said.
“I’ll be back shortly. Go ahead and make yourself at home here. This is your office now. You will probably spend a lot of time here.” Angela said with a smile as she closed the door behind her.
Kia walked across the expensive looking rug to her very impressive desk. It was cherry wood and ornately carved on the front with a large lotus flower in the center surrounded by large leaf vines curling around it and the sides.
The desktop was clean and orderly with a multi line phone on one side and a large screen monitor on the other. She sat down on the very comfy executive chair and couldn’t resist spinning around in it with a big smile on her face.
She got herself under control and looked at the phone. She wondered if she needed to dial anything to get an outside line and wanted to run after Angela to ask but realized that she needed to at least try first.
She picked up the receiver and hit a button on the bottom row of buttons and heard a dial tone. She quickly punched in Ms. Kay’s phone number and was relieved when she heard it begin to ring. After a couple of rings, Ms. Kay answered “Endwright.”
“Ms. Kay. It’s Kia Sheridan.” Kia said.
“Oh, Kia. I got your message and I’ve been so worried about you. Where are you?” Ms. Kay asked and Kia could tell by the tone of her voice that she had been truly concerned about her.
“It’s a long story but I’m good. I explained in my message about Doug trying to rape me and I ran.” Kia explained all that had happened over the weekend, leaving out the part about her and Ethan being wolves and mating and Ms. Kay seemed satisfied with her explanation.
“Well, we are pressing charges against Douglas Cooper and I want to apologize for putting you in that home. His profile was clean when we checked him and his wife out but apparently they were hiding a lot from us.
I need your contact information so that I can contact you when it’s time to talk to the lawyers and to go to trial. We do not take what he tried to do lightly and will be prosecuting him to the full extent of the law.”
“Oh wow. I didn’t realize it would go to that extreme since he didn’t actually succeed but I’m grateful that he will be punished for what he tried to do. Scum like that needs to be kept away from children.” Kia said.
“Exactly. Now, I see by your records that you turn 18 today. Happy Birthday!” Ms. Kay said.
“Thank you! I’m hoping that now that I’m legal, you can help me find out more about my birth parents?” Kia asked hopefully.
“I’ll do whatever I can to help. I have copies of the police report of the night they were killed in your file. If you can stop by the office one day this week, I’ll make copies for you. Hopefully the police will be able to help you backtrack on information in there that will help you find out who they were.” Ms. Kay said.
“Thank you Ms. Kay. I really appreciate that. I will be graduating next Tuesday. I do hope you will come see me walk the line?”
“You can count on it.” Ms. Kay said. She had always liked Kia. She was polite and kind and had natural good manners, even when she had gone through her rebellious stage. She had never been rude or mouthy the way some of the kids she had to deal with were.
“So do you have somewhere safe to stay until graduation?” Ms. Kay asked. She had thought long and hard about it and had spoken to her husband who had agreed that if Kia needed to, she could come stay with them until she got on her feet. Kia didn’t know that and Ms. Kay wouldn’t tell her unless she said no.
“Oh yes. I’ve found a forever home with Ethan and his family. They have been so good to me. They have given me not only a place to stay but a job. I’m actually talking to you from my very own, very impressive office.” Kia smiled as her eyes wandered around the room.
“That is wonderful, Kia. I’m so happy for you. Well, you just let me know when you come into town and I’ll have those copies ready for you. I really do wish you all the best, Kia. It’s been a pleasure knowing you and I do hope you will keep in touch.” Ms Kay said with feeling.
Kia hung up with tears in her eyes. Ms. Kay had never been overly affectionate towards her but she had always treated her kindly and with compassion. Kia promised herself that she would buy a nice gift for Ms. Kay before she went to pick up the papers that hopefully would help her find her birth parents.
Kia sat and looked around the room that was now her office and began taking in all of the details. One wall was all beautiful leaded glass windows that went from floor to ceiling with pointed arches at the top of each one. Part of the design in the glass was stained glass of lotus blossoms in a pale purple with dark green leaves surrounded by pale yellow to really make the flowers pop. It was beautiful.
The wall opposite that was lined with bookshelves with neatly arranged books mixed with some beautiful figurines. Some were wood carvings of wood, others porcelain.
The wall behind the desk had two doors separated by a large painting of Ethan with his parents in their wolf forms. It must have been done when Ethan was just a half grown pup in front of the moon goddess fountain in the garden. Ethan’s wolf definitely took after his fathers because they were both jet black with bright blue eyes.
Ethan had explained that normally wolves changed at an earlier age than Kia had but because she had been away from other wolves most of her life, the moon goddess must have slowed down her transition until she became an adult.
Kia stood up and walked to the door to the left of the painting and found a very nicely appointed bathroom. She turned and walked over to the other door and found a lounge with a daybed, a comfortable chair and a small table.
It wasn’t a big room but Kia figured Angela might have used it for quick naps. She wondered why it was so small since there was such a large space between it and the bathroom.
Angela found her coming out of the room a minute later. “Ah, you found my nap room. When I was carrying Ethan, I would get awful headaches so Marcus set that room up for me so that I could lay down and rest without having to go back upstairs.” Angela informed her.
“Oh so this was your office?” Kia asked. She had suspected that had been the case and suddenly she felt like she was intruding on Angela's space.
“Yes and while you are training, I will use the table over there so you go ahead and arrange things like you want them.” Angela said pointing to a long cherry wood conference table that sat in front of the bookshelves.
Just say the word if you would rather have different furniture or if you want to change anything. I decorated this office to suit my own taste and it won’t offend me in the least if you want to redecorate it to suit yourself. Oh and before I forget....” Angela walked over to the large painting between the two doors and ran her hand along the right side of it. Suddenly the large portrait moved and swung away from the wall.
“This room is in case of an attack on the pack house. Which has only happened once in the four generations that have lived in this house. It’s a safe room and once inside, you can lock it so that it can only be opened from the inside. The lock out here will no longer work and anyone who moves the painting will just see a blank wall. Behind that wall is two inches of solid steel so that no one can hack through it even if they were to see you enter and close the door. At the back of the room is a trap door to a stairway that leads to a tunnel that will lead you to a safe bunker where we hide all of the untrained women and children and elderly in case of an attack.
There are several of these rooms throughout the house and you will need to know where they are and how to open them. Since you are to be the Luna of the pack, it will be your responsibility to make sure that everyone in the house who needs to go to the safe bunker is in one of these rooms and on their way before you enter yourself, unless of course you are pregnant. Then you are to be the number one priority. Everyone else will have to fend for themselves as the security of you and your unborn pup is of the utmost importance. Understand?”
“I think so. But who would attack the house and why?” Kia asked.
“Rogues are the main threat. But they would rarely ever get inside the house and would be handled by the guards before they ever got close. Enemy packs are another threat but with the exception of one or maybe two, we don’t have any enemies close by. We are one of the largest packs in this region and have a good alliance with almost all of the packs around here.” Angela told her.
“Wow. I had no idea. I’m beginning to feel like I’ve joined the military.” Kia tried to joke to relieve the tension that was building up inside of her.
“I’m not telling you this to scare you, Kia but being the Luna of a pack as large as this one has a lot of responsibilities attached to it and you need to be ready for anything that comes.”
“Are there rogues in our area? What are rogues exactly?” Kia asked.
“Let’s walk around the house. I can show you where the safe rooms are, how to open them while I explain things. OK?” Angela said as she pushed the portrait closed.
For the rest of the morning, Angela showed Kia where all of the safety doorways were and how to open them as she tried to explain about rogues.
She also showed Kia where the medical facility was and introduced her to the staff doctor and nurses. It was a building that was built on as a separate wing to the house that wasn’t visible from the front of the house.
Kia also learned that there were two other wings of unmated pack members quarters, one for males and one for newly mated couples who have not built homes for themselves yet. Most of the mated couples had their own houses dotted around the over 5000 acres that were Silver Forest pack land.
There was also a small village near the highway where the pack had several businesses that allowed members of the pack to sell the wares they created or grew on their land. There were several acres where they grew their own vegetables but a large part of the property was dedicated to raising sheep and cattle for pack consumption.
“If we keep growing the way we have been the past few years, we are going to have to purchase more land but that’s not easy to find around here.” Angela told her as they walked back to the main house. It was getting close to lunchtime and Kia hoped that Ethan would be back soon. She had been missing him all morning.
Angela could feel that Kia was missing Ethan so before she could ask, Angela changed the subject.
“How was your first shift?” Angela asked.
“It hurt like hell! But dang Tia is beautiful.” Kia said with a blush.
“I look forward to seeing her someday. I will not ask you to change now just so that I can see but you really do need to practice it. The more you do it, the less it will hurt.” Angela said then went quiet for a moment.
“I sure hope so because it hurt bad enough to make me not want to experience it again anytime soon.” Kia admitted.
“Ethan is back!” Angela said suddenly.
Kia quickened her pace as they crossed the yard. Angela smiled as she took off running for the kitchen door a second later.
Edith smiled and said “He’s upstairs” as Kia came in panting and looking for Ethan.
Kia ran upstairs to their room and found Ethan headed for the shower. He had a long angry scratch on his stomach and his shirt was in shreds and Kia almost screamed when she saw it.
“Ethan! What happened? Where have you been?” Kia ran towards him and threw her arms around him, hugging him tightly until she heard him grunt in pain.
“I’m OK. Just a scratch and may be a few bruised ribs but I’ll be alright. It will probably heal before I finish bathing. I was hoping to get a shower before you saw me.” Ethan said through gritted teeth when she eased up on her hug.
“How did it happen?” Kia said as she helped him into the bathroom. “Should I call for the doctor?”
“No. I don’t need the doctor. Just some help getting my clothes off. Care to join me for a shower?” Ethan grinned at her and she giggled.
“Oh you are insatiable. Come on. Let’s get you cleaned up.” Kia said as she helped him get undressed, her heart clutching every time he hissed with pain. She turned the shower on and adjusted the temperature then quickly shed her own clothes and helped him into the shower.
Unfortunately, Ethan was too injured to make love to her the way he wanted to, but Kia thoroughly enjoyed helping him to bathe. She used her hands instead of a rag or the nylon scrubbie, being careful of the scratches that were fading quickly as she washed every inch of his body. They were almost completely gone by the time they toweled dry but Kia sensed that the scratches were not nearly as important as his ribs and she insisted that he go see the doctor and have them xrayed as soon as they were out of the shower and dressed. “I’ll call your mother if you don’t.” She threatened.
“Ok, ok. I’ll go but I’m telling you, I will be mostly healed by the time we get there.” Ethan said, feeling so good that she cared enough about him to threaten him with calling his mother.
They walked over to the medical wing and sure enough, he had 2 cracked ribs. “Ethan, you know the drill. Just don’t take another blow to that side for a couple of days and you should be fine.” Dr. Anson told him.
“Thanks doc! That’s what I tried to tell Kia but”, Ethan started and Dr. Anson interrupted.
“She’s a new wolf and doesn’t know about how we heal yet. She will get used to things. Just give her time. I like our new Luna. Very good manners and she truly seems to care. She and your mother spent quite a bit of time here today. She made the effort to go around and introduce herself to everyone in here.” Dr. Anson said.
As they walked back to the house, Kia asked “So how did you end up hurt?”
“Ran into some rogues coming on to our land but we took care of it.” Ethan said.
“Ethan, we promised each other no secrets but I get the feeling that there is more to it than that. What aren’t you telling me?” Kia asked.
“I just don’t want you to stress over anything that you can’t do anything about.” Ethan said.
“If it affects you then it affects me and I want to know what is going on!” Kia said, getting angry that he was hiding something from her.
“I told you. We had some rogues come on to the land and we took care of it. They won’t be coming back.” Ethan said. He looked at her and his mind raced as she glared back at him. She knew without being told that he was holding back and they had promised each other no secrets. He would not start his life with her building walls between them. He had to treat her as his equal, nothing less.
“Look, I’m telling you this not because I want to scare you but you are right. We promised no secrets between us. We are equals and you have a right to know what is going on if you are to be prepared as the Luna of this pack. If it comes down to an attack, I will have to be able to depend on you to keep the elderly, the untrained and the children of the pack safe.” Ethan told her and then took a deep breath before continuing.
“We’ve had reports coming in from packs in the region about a pack of rogues that have been raiding their territories, killing their stock and some of their pack members. Jared, I and about 20 others went out and took care of some that were trying to come on to our land.”
“And?” Kia knew there was more.
“We think the ones we encountered are part of a larger pack. They have been traveling across the country gathering members as they go. They have already wiped out two smaller packs a few states over and seem to be headed this way.” Ethan told her.
If she was going to be his mate, she deserved to know it all, whether she was ready for it or not. She was going to have to learn fast as this threat was real and keeping her in the dark was not going to help her survive and her survival meant everything to him. Not knowing could be even more dangerous. She had to understand that being in the woods alone is always risky but with rogues roaming around, it could be deadly.
They returned to the pack house and Marcus asked for a meeting right away. He wanted a report on what they had found. He may no longer be Alpha of the pack, but Ethan respected him and took his counsel seriously.
Without asking, Ethan took Kia’s hand and followed his father to his office, much to his father’s surprise.
“Kia, you do not have to be here.” Marcus said.
“If I’m going to be a good Luna to this pack, then I need to know what is going on. I wasn’t brought up in a pack so I have a lot to learn and listening in will help me to at least know what might be coming our way.” Kia said and Ethan was proud of her. She was truly committed to being a full member of the pack. Marcus smiled and nodded as he closed the door behind them.
Ethan walked over to a large map on the wall that had an outline of land for not only the Silver Forests pack but all the packs around them. Ethan used a pointer to tell his father about where they had encountered and battled the rogues.
“There were only a dozen of them and most of them looked scrawny but one or two of them are in good health and strong as ox's. The biggest one stood at least as tall as Josh and was out for blood. He had a crazy look about his eyes and was sloppy in his attack.
The other one though is smart. He hid and then attacked me from the side when I had my head turned. He’s the reason for my cracked ribs. He and two others got away but we got the rest of them. One is in the holding cells.”
“Who is with him now?” Marcus asked.
“Josh and Chris and probably Dr. Anson by now. He was hurt and is seriously malnourished. He was definitely an Omega from birth.” Ethan said with a bitter face.
“Very good. Kia, did you get your phone call made?” Marcus asked, surprising Kia.
“Yes, sir. Ms. Kay is going to prosecute Doug for trying to rape me. She’s going to let me know when I will have to go talk to their lawyer and when it will be time to go to court to testify.” Kia told them.
“Very good. I understand Angela took you around and showed you all of the safety room doors. Soon you will recognize the people you will need to make sure to get to those doors safely in the event of an attack. Hopefully they will never need to be used but I feel better knowing that you know where they are.” Marcus said.
“I will do my best.” Kia said.
“Well, father, if there is nothing else, I would like to talk to Kia alone.” Ethan said.
“Of course. We need to start planning the Luna ball soon.” Marcus said as he stood up to leave.
As soon as Marcus was gone, Ethan pulled Kia into his arms and kissed her until she was weak in the knees. “Lord, I missed you today!” he said when he finally lifted his head to look down into her face. Her eyes were glazed and her lips were puffy from his kiss but she smiled back at him and his heart skipped a beat. “You are so beautiful.” he whispered and saw her cheeks turn pink.
“You are going to give me a big head.” Kia giggled.
“I don’t care. You are and I’m never going to let you forget it.” Ethan told her. “So what else did you and my mother get up to today?” He asked as he pulled her down onto the leather sofa.
Kia told him about Angela turning her office over to her and of what Ms. Kay had to say and then about going around the house and finding all of the safety doors. Then to the hospital. “We were just coming back to the house from there when your mom said you were home. I’m afraid I was kind of rude and just took off running for the house and left her to walk the rest of the way by herself. I was missing you and didn’t stop to think.” Kia admitted.
“Well, I need to have a meeting with Jared, Josh and Chris but after that I’m all yours. Any idea of what’s for dinner? I’m starving.” Ethan said and his stomach agreed with a loud growl.
“Hahahaha! Dinner is not for a while yet but how about I go beg Edith for a snack for you guys?” Kia said.
“Oh, I will love you to the moon and back!” Ethan said and then lifted her off of his lap and put her on her feet before pushing himself off of the sofa with some difficulty since he had gotten a hard on with her sitting on his lap. Kia blushed and Ethan grinned but just then someone knocked on the door.
Kia walked over and opened the door and let Jared, Chris and Josh enter. “I’m going for snacks but I’ll be right back.”
“Awesome. Thanks Luna.” Josh said with a smile.