5.

-HER-

“And I don’t let them slip easily who step foot on my land without my permission.” He growls. His warning hanging fresh in the air as it charges with tension.

Did I get myself in trouble?

Yes. I got myself in big trouble this time.

I want to run and never turn back. I want to disappear.

The way he spoke told me that he meant every word. Every single one of them.

“What are you going to do?” I find myself asking and instantly I regret opening my mouth. I am already deep in trouble and here I go digging myself a grave deeper than I could ever manage to crawl out of.

He lets out a short, chilling laugh before I see him tilting his head at a side as if studying me. I could feel his heated gaze on me which sends a shiver down my spine and for a moment I could swear that my blood stopped flowing.

The tension in the air buzzed like electricity and the flames in the torches dimmed even more, darkening the room. I instinctively step back, wanting to put as much distance as possible in between the hooded figure and me.

He takes a big step forward and I gulp. “Are you scared?” He asks, his voice regal, having no hint of warmth to it. It sounded cold. It sounded like the angry hushes of the wind that blows on stormy nights.

“N-no.” I lie stepping back. To say that I am scared would be an understatement. I was terrified. I am regretting coming here. If given a chance then I’d run and never come here, scratch that, I’d never look in the ruin’s direction.

Another chilly laugh echoes the hall and I see him step forward. I take three steps back instinctively. His strides were big and it would take him only four steps to reach me.

“Liar.” He growls, taking one more step forward while I take multiple steps back.

“And I hate liars.” He adds. My heart thumps against my rib cage and my stomach churns painfully. I am sweating really hard and my mind is not functioning properly to deduce an escape plan.

“It’ll be a shame to get rid of you so easily.” He said halting in front of me. “You’re so young, killing you in one go won’t be fun.” He adds and I gulp loudly. His words rake my insides and make it hard for me to breathe.

“I’ll give you three tasks. If you manage to complete them then ... I might forgive you.” He says tilting his hooded head at a side.

“And if you fail...” He trails off taking a step forward, standing right in front of me as he continues, “You’ll never see the sun again.” My breath hitched at his words.

Suddenly, the doors open with a loud creak and I see the flames disappear from the torches as well as his hooded figure leaving a thin trail of smoke lingering in the air. Everything seems as if nothing happened here.

Was I dreaming? I don’t know but whatever I saw and heard seemed real and... terrifying. I don’t want to be here again. In fact, I am not coming here again.

I do not take another moment and start running in the direction I entered the ruins. When I cross Arles’ statue, I stop and can’t help but look at it for a moment. I’ve been coming here as back as I could remember. For me, this place was safest and peaceful but not anymore.

I kept running and stopped only when I reached home- the place that I dreaded the most. I know that my mother is waiting for me to talk about last night. I want to go somewhere where I wouldn’t have to face mom or anyone but I have nowhere left now since the Ruins don’t seem safe anymore.

I took a deep breath before ringing the doorbell. I can’t always run from my problems. Sometimes, I have to face them.

My beloved twin sister, Grace opens the door and as soon as her eyes land on me, a scowl finds its way on her face.

“Good to see you too.” I say as I step in drop my bad on the floor before taking my jacket off.

“School ended two hours ago Nefret. Where were you at?” She asks crossing her arms on her chest, looking like a miniature version of my always-pissed-off mom.

“Just chilling.” I said shrugging while the pictures of that hooded figure started floating in my mind. It internally gave me chills but I shake them off. I don’t want to think about it. I am out of that place and that’s it. I’ll assume that I never went there and never saw anything.

“What’s up, folks?” Phoebe, my elder sister chooses this moment to grace us with her presence. I give her one of my sickly sweet smiles before picking up my bag and heading upstairs to my room.

“Mom wants to talk to you.” I hear Grace say behind me.

“I know,” I reply as I continue to climb the stairs. When I reach my room, I shut the door behind me, drop the bag on the floor and collapse on the bed. I feel so tired and exhausted. I decide to take a hot shower before going downstairs for dinner.

~

“Where were you last night?” Mom asks as soon as I join my whole family on the dining table. Mom looks pissed, as usual, Grace and Phoebe look serious too but the little glint of amusement in their eyes did not go unnoticed by me. They’re going to enjoy mom beating my ass off. I look at dad. He looks serious too, his face void of any emotion like always.

“I was home,” I say before stuffing my mouth with mashed potatoes. My mom growls lowly and I roll my eyes.

Shit’s about to hit the fan.

“Leave it. Let’s plan their birthday. Our twins will be turning 18 the next week.”

“Andrew, this is import-”

“We’ll talk about it later. Not now.” Dad says nonchalantly, saving me from mom. I mentally thank dad and see my sisters scowl because dad saved me.

I’ll be turning 18 in the next week. I should be excited about it but I am not. If given a chance then I’d freeze myself into this age. I want to be forever 17 and never age but it’s the law of nature to age and I can’t really do much against it.

18 is an exciting age for all the werewolves because our wolves reach the age of maturity along with us. This means that we could sense our wolves, connect to it and phase into it. But the most exciting part about turning 18 is that our wolves could sense our mates and our mates could sense us in case they are already mature.

Mate. Other halves. Soulmates or whatever you want to call them, made especially for you by the moon goddess.

It’s said that finding your other half is the best part because your mate completes you and vice versa. I See Grace’s face light up with excitement as soon as dad mentioned birthday party. I bet she’s already thinking about her mate but I feel like throwing up at the moment.

The whole pack will be invited so that when we turn 18, we could sense our mate in case they’re already 18 as well. It will be a really special night for us or more specifically, for Grace.

I’ll disappear on that day because it will be painful for me. I am already dreading that day. I don’t want that day to ever comer in my life. I could trade anything just to ... just to make that day disappear from the calendar, along with all the Mondays.

I see dad’s eyes flicker to me momentarily but soon he looks away and so does mom and I know why.

I don’t have any mate.

My parents know it.

I know it.

I wasn’t supposed to know it but since I am too good at the art of eavesdropping, I didn’t miss that hushed conversation that my parents had with a Witch one afternoon in my dad’s study, two years back. I remember the witch’s words clearly as if yesterday.

“She has no mate, Sire. She’ll never have a mate.”

“Why?” My mom asked.

“Either he died or she’s the odd-soul.”

“What’s an odd-soul?” Dad inquires.

“They are the lone souls, very rare. They are not anchored to any other soul and their lives are short.”

“That means...” I hear my dad trail off and it didn’t take me long to understand what it meant.

“Yes, she’ll die young...”

“I am so excited for the party!” I snap out of the old memory as soon as I hear Grace squeal excitedly. I let out a small grunt before stuffing my mouth with more mashed potatoes.

This will be really hard for me but I have to play along with Grace because my parents don’t know that I know about me not having any mate. Since I am going to die young; it really won’t matter much, right?

Right?

“I wish Seth turns out to be my mate!” She whispers to Phoebe excitedly and I can’t help but let out a grunt. I hear dad grunt as well because Seth is my dad’s Beta’s son and as far as I know he doesn’t like the idea of his youngest daughter hanging out or *coughs*mating*coughs* with his Beta’s son. Not a bit.

My sister has some really weird tastes, I guess.

“Aren’t you excited about the party?” Grace asks me sounding like a five-year-old-on-Christmas.

Not a bit. “Very.” I lie.

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