If I wasn’t already sitting down I might have fallen over.
“Wh-what did you say?” I flounder, somehow managing to get the question out.
She looks so confused, and I’m downright flabbergasted, and just…she hasn’t changed! She’s 21 for crying out loud! Our first change is around fifteen and, even if you could control your wolf in the beginning, it would eventually force itself out of you and do some serious damage as punishment when it did.
“What do you mean you have never changed?” I ask, finding my composure. “You mean you’ve never changed willingly? Or that you have never been a wolf?”
A little crinkle appears between her brows as she frowns at my question.
“I have never been wolf. You seem shocked by that.”
Yep. That is one way to put it. How the hell has she survived?
“Wolves usually change for the first time when we’re teenagers. Usually when you supress that urge to change the wolf just grows impatient and take the choice from you. Usually, whether voluntarily or not, you should definitely have changed by now,” I explain, waiting for her to admit that she had changed before…
“You keep saying ‘usually’, am I to assume that this is unusual?”
“What do you know of our kind?”
She seems to be in a very direct frame of mind, so I’ll simply ask what I want to know and maybe I’ll get different results.
“I know that I am one, I can feel her with me always, but I have never been or seen her. They tried to force her out of me using electricity and water, but we agreed not to give her to them. She is who they wanted. I had to protect her,” she says, looking straight ahead at a patch of yellow roses just like when we were little.
I know better than to express my own grief at her pain, she didn’t understand the sadness in Julian and Maria and I doubt she will understand it from me.
“They wanted your wolf?”
“Yes. She is very dominant. I once shouted at the man who was supposedly my father and his mouth shut immediately and he knelt on the ground. I was beaten after that by him and his enforcer. I understand now what I had done, I had given him an order and he was unable to refuse me, but I didn’t know at the time so I couldn’t stop them,” she states completely matter-of-factly. “I also know that our kind can’t fall pregnant unless we have changed. That is why they wanted my wolf. They were trying to breed me for my dominance. They did not think it through. My wolf and I are dominant, but we are also one. She knew it wasn’t safe to emerge, even though her only desire was to destroy those who were harming me, so she stayed dormant.”
I try hard, I really do, but I don’t think my expression remains completely neutral. I didn’t give into the near crippling nausea though, so I will take as a win in the area of self-control.
“Why didn’t you change before that? When you were a teenager?”
She shrugs…she fucking shrugs!
“I didn’t know I was supposed to. It’s a good thing now, don’t you think?”
“Yes. It’s a very good thing now. But you are going to have to let her run soon,” I say, at a loss as to how I should be responding to all this. She speaks as though it’s nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
“I think I’ll go inside now. I haven’t been free in months and I think I might need that.”
Without another word she stands and walks into the cottage and I wait until the locks click before I take off.
“What happened after we left,” demands Julian, adding plenty of his wolf to his command.
I’m standing in the kitchen, Julian and Maria sitting at the table and me with a hell of a drink in my hand.
“She’s never changed,” I blurt out.
They’re reaction is the same as mine was, just with an added side of parental panic.
“Her wolf is fine, and she definitely has one, but she and her wolf are thick as thieves apparently and her wolf was happy to let Wills drive.”
“She’s never changed? She’s so dominant and she growls and her eyes change and, and…” Maria takes a deep breath. “Why hasn’t she changed?”
“I didn’t ask that, but from what I can piece together her wolf wasn’t comfortable coming out under those circumstances. She tried later on, but Willow said that they wanted her wolf so she battled her down to protect her. She’s never changed because she didn’t need to at first, and then she couldn’t risk it.”
Maria is the first to catch on and I was so hoping neither of them would.
“Why couldn’t she change?”
I can see that she already knows, she knows and she wants me so bad to deny it, but I won’t lie.
“Why couldn’t she change, Clayton?!”
“We can’t get pregnant before our first change,” I barely choke the words out, but I have to keep going. “They wanted her wolf this whole time. She is so dominant, even as a baby we could all feel it. I imagine they caught wind of a child so dominant it could be felt before she could even walk, and the fact that she was the daughter of the most powerful alpha in history was just a bonus. She said-”
I stop when I see the tears on Julian’s cheeks. Maria looks green. They both know. I didn’t spell it out, I didn’t have to, but they’ll want to hear it. I know they’ll just command it from me if I don’t tell them more.
“She said that they wanted to breed her for her dominance. That she once shouted at the bastard pretending to be her father and he dropped to his knees before her. She said she didn’t know what she’d done so she couldn’t figure out how to stop them later when the alpha and his second beat her for it. She really doesn’t know much about what she is, they never taught her a thing,” I practically sprint through the words, wanting to speak them as fast as possible and never have to say them again.
“They raised by baby like she was nothing but an incubator! They violated and tortured her for what! REVENGE AGAINST US AND AN HEIR FOR THEMSELVES!”
Maria’s wolf explodes from her body, this time not in grief, but in rage.
Julian tackles her and whispers into her ear, calming her before she can rampage and get herself killed going after the moon called. The huge grey wolf struggles a little longer before licking her mates face and changing back.
“I want them dead,” she growls, her wolf barely contained.
“They will be,” Julian says, giving me the look that translates to: We’re going to war.