Heir of the Alpha

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Chapter 4 - A Lot Like Brooklyn

Oliver slowly trudged down the stairs, still rubbing sleep out of his eyes despite having already dressed for the day as the delicious scent of pancakes hit him. Once he got to the kitchen, he noticed his mother had prepared him a plate, a stack of them piled high in the center.

“Morning, Mom,” he greeted her as he walked over and gave her a peck on the cheek.

Elizabeth smiled over at him as he sat down.

“Morning, hun,” she said, taking off her apron and joining him, “Did you sleep well?”

He shrugged and grabbed for the bottle of Mrs. Butterworth’s.

“Not really. I had the weirdest dream,” he replied while dark, gooey liquid squirted out onto the fluffy cakes in front of him.

After he was done, he set it back on the table and looked over at his mom, waiting a beat before he spoke.

“Mom, do you know anything about wolves?”

His mother, who was just about to take a bite of her food, glanced up at him, startled. Ever so slowly, she lowered her fork before looking Oliver in the eye hesitantly.

“Sweetie, why are you suddenly interested in wolves?” she asked.

“...I don’t know. I just thought...” Oliver trailed off then, feeling foolish. He’d never put that much emphasis on dreams before so why start now? “It’s nothing. Never mind.”

“Honey, it’s probably just stress. Moving to a new place, having to make new friends, and not knowing anyone - all of that together can put a lot of stress on you,”

An idea hit Oliver then and he couldn’t help the small smile that tugged at the corners of his lips, “I think I know what might take my mind off it, though,”

Elizabeth arched one eyebrow suspiciously, “And what would that be?”

He bit his lip, pretending to contemplate a moment before venturing, “Exploring the city?”

His mother’s eyes widened, slight surprise evident in her posture.

“Well, what brought this sudden interest on? I thought you hated it here,”

Oliver shrugged in response, moving around a piece of pancake on his plate that had been impaled on the tines of his fork.

“I don’t hate it, it’s just not-”

“-not Brooklyn.” his mother finished for him.

He glanced up then, meeting his mother’s eyes. She looked sad - maybe even a little regretful even. But nevertheless, after a moment, she began to nod.

“Maybe...maybe that would do you some good. You’ve been cooped up in the house these past two weeks. I guess you do deserve a little break,”

Oliver grinned and bent down to his mother’s level then, completely leaving behind his half-eaten pancakes as he pecked her on the cheek.

“Thanks, mom.” he said and hurriedly walked over to the closet by the door.

Quickly throwing on his denim jacket, he was out the door, not heeding the calls of his mother after him of being home before dark.

Before Oliver even saw the city, he heard the music. A melodic blend of cajun zydeco music and the kind of jazz that New Orleans was so famous for filled his ears as he walked down the crowded street sidewalks. The brightly-painted signs on the buildings surrounding him shone in the noon-day sun as he passed by: Live Jazz, Homemade Jumbalaya, MaRdI GrAs bEaDs... He smiled at a live band as he walked.

Suddenly, he realized that maybe it wouldn’t be so bad living here. Just like his mother had said: the music was great, the food was amazing, and the people weren’t drab and boring but unique and colorful. In fact, in a lot of ways - it was a lot like Brooklyn. A lot like home.

Oliver was so lost in his own thoughts then that he barely noticed the store he had stopped in front of. It was run-down, clearly one of the older buildings in the district. Narrowing his eyes as he read the sign, he realized exactly what it was - a voodoo shop. Or more specifically ’Madame Babé‘s Mystic Voodoo’. Well...it couldn’t hurt to just look, right? His mother had wanted him to explore.

Before he could change his mind, Oliver reached for the handle and pushed open the door, stepping into the cool building.

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