At my grandmother's house, everything is cozy and relaxed, while here, I am scared that if I touch something, it will break, shatter, and get me in trouble. It is a lovely house, but far too frangible, too fragile for me.
"Henry?" I call out to him as we make our way down the same hallway, the one that leads to the Alphas office. "I need a favor."
He peeks back at me, looking rather curious. "What?"
"When I was in the cells, there was a girl in the same one as me. She needs to be let free."
He lets out a hum, telling me that he is thinking, then he turns back to the hallway. When we come up to the familiar, gray doors, my heart starts to pick up pace and my nerves spike. The intoxicating scent of my mate fills my nose. Henry lightly knocks on the door, and I come back to reality. A low, familiar "come in" prods at my ears. Slowly, the door opens, and I am almost too anxious to see him again.
I enter the room, but Henry does not. He shuts the door behind me as if to trap me in. I glance up and see the Alpha sitting at his desk, as before he looks powerful and intimidating. I begin to feel extremely nervous. Something about this man has me begging on my knees and hiding behind my hands at the same time. He makes me feel desired without saying a word.
The Alpha stands up and slowly walks over to me. My breath hitches when he reaches only a few steps away, but he comes closer until he is right in front of me. His scent makes my mind go foggy.
"I see you found my robe." His voice is smooth, like music to my ears. He rolls the very soft fabric in between his fingers, a spot right beside my neck.
I can hardly speak, and I am sure if I tried any words would come out as a squeak. I no longer have dirt smeared my face and dusty clothes, but my hair is damp and possibly tangled—and here I am again, worried about my appearance.
"The g-girl in the cell—she needs to be set free," I say with the last of my courage.
"Making demands so soon?" His hand gently scoops up my own, his touch soft on my skin, and I only begin to want more. The feeling of him, it is something so new, so addictive, so good.
"I love the way you react to my touch," he chants in my ear, causing my mind to run blank, erasing all things I had planned on saying. A blush floods my cheeks, and I look away, not wanting him to see me as a gushing fool. I have never been in a relationship before, let alone kissed a boy. Obviously, at eight years old I was not running around kissing every boy I saw, for obvious reasons. With grandmother, I did not think about boys at all, as there were none around.
"Look at me," he says.
"I'm sorry, but I don't know anything about packs and hardly anything about mates. I barely remember my old pack." I gaze up at him and look him right in his emerald eyes. "I have to get back to my grandmother."
His handsome face hardens. "Why are you not part of a pack?"
"I don't—I don't know." Truthfully, I think I know, but I do not see the need for him to know. My grandmother chose life this way, so I obey. My time in a pack was not great anyway, and now I have no desire to be in one.
"What do you mean you do not know? Have you always been rogue?"
"What's rogue?" I question, confused.
He looks at me, almost like he cannot believe what I am saying. "Where do you live?"
"With my grandmother, across the stream," I answer him while gently pushing out of his grasp, though I already miss the feel of him. "I have to get back to her. She doesn't know where I am." Suddenly a man comes through the office doors, and he seems startled. The Alpha immediately looks at him with hard eyes. "Alpha, we found two rogues on the border, so we brought them to the cells. What should we do?" The man asks for orders.
"Get rid of them."
Get rid of them? The rogues? I do not understand, Andrew called me a rogue, so why did they not get rid of me? "What are you going to do with them, lock them up?" I question.
"I don't have time for this, Ryker, just do as I say." My mate grumbles and crosses his arms over his chest. My eyes stay fixed on his bulging muscles, like a fourteen-year-old girl. I quickly snap myself out of my trance and cross my arms over my chest in response. He does not have time for what, my question?
The man, Ryker, leaves the office in a hurry and I attempt to follow him out the door, but of course, it is not that easy. My mate grabs my shoulders and turns me back around, back facing him. The tingles from his touch slowly spread throughout my body, instantly relaxing me.
"I don't think so," he says.
"I have to go make sure my grandmother is okay. At least let me check on her, make sure she is at home and safe."
He sighs. "Alright, but you are not going alone."
"I don't want to take you away from your work," I protest.
His expression softens. "Evangeline, I don't want to risk your safety, and I cannot trust anyone else right now."
I lightly nod, agreeing to his offer. I tighten the string of the robe, preparing for the crisp autumn weather to hit me roughly when I step outside. Following him out the door, my attention drifts as my eyes watch the tall grass by the tree line. The long blades softly sway in the breeze, making me feel as if I have entered some sort of dream land.
I also watch my Mate.
I am not sure what Alphas do, all I know is that they are the leader of the pack. One of the many things prodding me in the back of the head is the title, Luna. She is the queen to the Alphas king. Will I become Luna? The girl that was locked in an attic then hidden at her grandmother's house, the girl who speaks to a person no one else can see. I do not sound like the person for the job. Not only am I clueless about Alphas, but Luna's also, which seems obvious. How can one know about the Luna and not the Alpha, and the other way around?
"Listen, we aren't trying to cause you any trouble."
My head turns in the direction of the voice.
Off to the right, in the direction of the building, I see three men, one of them being Ryker. The other two look to be standing against the wall, their backs to the dull bricks. "What's going on over there?"
"Nothing, now keep walking," my mate says uneventfully, though there seems to be something going on. As I look closer and think harder, I realize that those two men must be the rogues Ryker was talking about.
My feet begin to lead me in that direction, driving me away from my grandmother's house.
"You are not going over there," my mate grabs my arm. "Just a minute ago you were begging to see your grandmother, so that is what we are going to do."
"What's happening over there?" I question while pulling my arm from his grasp. "Those are the rogues, what are they doing?" My mate says nothing but gives me a certain look. "I want to go over there."
"You are not going over there."
Suddenly, I spin around and quickly walk in the direction my feet are dying to take me in. I can feel my mate behind me. Surprisingly, I notice an object in Ryker's hand, but I cannot see it clear enough to tell what it exactly is.
"I said—" he begins, and I interrupt.
"What is he holding? Is that a... Is that a gun?" Immediately, I start to move faster. "He has a gun," I glance back at shout at my mate, who oddly, does not seem as surprised as I am.
That man, Ryker, he is going to hurt those people, he is going to shoot them.
"You have to stop him!"
"Evangeline, stop," my mate says harshly. "Don't make me force you."
His threat only makes me move faster, and soon enough the three notice me hurrying towards them. "I see your gun!" I yell to Ryker as I stomp accusingly up to him. "How could you do something like this?"
He peers behind me, at the Alpha, looking right past me as if he did not hear me. "We are leaving," my mate tells me, not giving me any options by the tone of his voice.
Without thinking, I snatch the weapon from Rykers grasp and hold it to my chest.
"Evangeline, let go of the gun," he says carefully and reaches his hand out, expecting me to give it to him.
I ignore my Mate and glare at Ryker. "You were going to kill these people."
"Yes, as my Alpha ordered me to."
My brow furrows together before I look back to him. "You ordered these people to be killed?" I ask with the gun still in my hand.
My mate suddenly steps forward lunging for the weapon, but I move away and hold the gun up out of fear. The nozzle points directly at his chest. "Give me the gun," his voice grows more tense, more unforgiving.
"You were going to kill me—you called me a rogue!"
"Why would I kill you?" He steps closer. "Why would I kill my own mate?"
My hand begins to shake. "I-I... All I want is to see my grandmother."
"We can do that."
"And I want these people let go, a-along with the girl that was in my cell," I order, the gun still pointing at him. Obviously, I am not going to shoot anything, but they do not need to know that.
"I can't do that," he says.
I straighten my arm, emphasizing that there is indeed a gun pointing at his chest.
"I know you aren't going to shoot me. You can't." His eyes gaze steadily into mine, making me clench my free hand into a fist. "Now give me the gun, so you don't hurt yourself, and we can go see your grandmother."
"No, I want them let free. You called me a rogue and all I did was accidentally step on your land."
"Yes," one of the men against the building calls out. "We did not know this was claimed land, Alpha, or we would have stayed far away."
My mate does not engage with the man, but instead, he attempts to grab the gun again, this time gripping my arm, holding me in place. Knowing that if he gets it, these people will die, I do the only thing that I know will make him listen to me.
I quickly hold the gun up to my head.
My mate lets go immediately.
"Let them go," I repeat, and this time I see the fear in his eyes. "I'll do it."
"Evangeline, please. Move the gun."
"After they are let go."
He runs his hand through his hair. "Fine, let them go, I don't care. Now give me the gun."
"And the girl in my cell."
Ryker cuts in, "This is ridiculous Alpha. She's just a little girl, take the gun from her."
"I am not a—"
Ryker abruptly lungs towards me and grabs onto the arm holding the gun, pulling it down. The weapon almost slips from my grasp, and I fight to hang onto it. Then a shot rings in my ears.
I let out a bloodcurdling scream and drop the gun to the grass. My hands spring up to my head, and I examine them, seeing small amounts of blood stained on my palm. The sight of the red liquid sends my head into an inevitable spin, as the sight of blood has always made my stomach rise. This blood though, this blood is my own and caused by my own frantic actions. I swallow and try to steady myself.
Unexpectedly, a comforting feeling comes over me as two arms wrap around my swaying body, stopping me from tumbling to the dirt. This soothing feeling is like no other; this feeling has my nerves in a frenzy. Oddly, my mind is taken from the frightening wetness on my hand.
When I was little, I thought I would die of old age. I thought one day I would just naturally not wake up. It was a peaceful idea, yet unrealistic. Though dying from plainly being wrinkled and weak was likely not going to come true, never did I think I would die because of my own accidental, panic-stricken actions. Not only have I managed to kill myself, but I also am not sure if those people are going to be released. Please, do not let me die without a purpose.
I swear if we die because of your idiotic choices I'm going to kill you—again, my wolf hisses at me in pain.
"Find out what the rogues did, and see if we can let them go," he commands Ryker while holding onto me for dear life. My hand again lightly pats the back of my head, sending a horrific, sharp pain to strike me harshly. I wince and drop my hand to my side.
"What were you thinking?"
I do not notice that I am crying until he wipes the salty tears from my flushed cheeks. The softness of his touch eases the throbbing of my unintentional wound. Will I die in this stranger's arms as if we have known each other for decades? My mate's touch, though new, makes me feel like we have been together for many years, like I know him better than I know myself. It is a funny feeling, the mate bond.
My eyes drift to the field, almost in the direction of grandmas house. If I am correct, if I am dying at this moment, I will never get to say goodbye, and she may never know what happened to me. To her, I just disappeared one day and never came back.
"I have to get a doctor," my mates voice comes to me again.
I want to say something back, but my lips stay shut. My body is too focused on the pain and the bond. Oh my poor mate, though he seems rather dark and ruthless he has lost his mate so soon. Somehow I have managed to do something selfless and selfish at the same time.
He lifts me up the porch steps, as my legs are not much help, and he brings me inside. Reality no longer feels real, everything around me is fuzzy and dream-like. I lay down on the couch and stare up at the ceiling, thinking about all the time in my life that I have wasted, how I could have done more to prepare myself for the end. Should I have never told my parents about the Moon Goddess? Should I have listened to Grandma when she said not to climb that tree? Should I have crossed the stream? How much can more blood pour out of me? Surely my blurry surroundings must be a sign that my body is running low.
"Marina, call the doctor now," he calls.
It does not take long for her to come scurrying into the room with the phone in her grasp. "I just called him, what's the matter?"
"There was an accident. A bullet skimmed the back of her head." I could tell by the sound of his voice that he hated to say it. It is unusual to have a stranger care for me so strongly.
The bullet skimmed me. That does not sound as severe as I thought my injury would be. Is it possible that I could survive, that I could live just a little longer before I play goddess once again? My dizzy head makes my stomach rise and threatens to spill all it is holding. Maybe this is all a dream; maybe I will wake up in my cozy bed. The sun will shine on my cheeks and blind me slightly when I open them at first. I will roll over, avoiding the intense rays, only for grandma to peek inside and tell me that she has made breakfast. Oh, she makes the yummiest hash browns.
"How could this happen?" Marina asks and hurries closer. "I'll get bandages and whatnot until they arrive."
My eyes slowly open and close, tempted to stay shut and pull me into a much-wanted slumber. A sudden squeeze of my hand sends a jolt through my body, ridding my tired bones of the encumbering exhaustion. My mate tugs me forward and places a pillow in my place, forcing me to sit up, making it harder to float away to dreamland. "Am I going to die?" I mumble while fighting myself to stay awake.
"I don't think so," my mate murmurs.
"If I do... Those people—the girl. My grandma needs to know." I do not say anything else.
He squeezes my hand again.
"Take the antibiotics, change the bandage, and you should be fully healed in about a week," the doctor says and starts to collect his things, and I watch him as he does so.My mate stayed by my side the entire time, which made me quite nervous, as he has an intense aroma that makes my heart beat a bit faster than usual.Speaking of heads, you almost killed us!It was not wholly my fault, I argue back.It was a complicated situation.Suddenly, my mate's brother, Henry, walks into the room and observes the doctor, most likely confused by his presence. "What happened here, Sebastian?" Henry's eyes turn to my bandaged head.Sebastian. My mate's name is&nbs
Sebastian spoke with my grandmother alone for about ten minutes. They asked me to leave the room for the short moment, so I wandered the halls of the gigantic house. My mind cannot help but continue to drift to their conversation, though. What are they talking about and why can I not hear it? I feel like a punished child, and my parents have yet to come up with the punishment.I begin to hear footsteps behind me as I walk down a random hallway, and when I turn to see what is causing the sounds, I spot the dog from earlier, Bruiser. A smile spreads across my face from ear to ear, and I hurry to the chubby pup. He seems to be comfortable with me as my hand lightly strokes his smooth back. Bruiser rolls over so I will rub his tummy, and I let out a small laugh."Evangeline!" Someone calls for me, and I stand up straight.
"Come in, dear. I've made snacks." My grandmother rushes me through the door, and I look back at Henry, but he is already gone. He told me that he was going to go for a walk while I am with my grandmother. I insisted that he come inside, but he wanted to give us time alone. I'll meet her next time, he said."We have much to talk about." Grandmother sits me down in the chair across from her. A platter of small sandwiches and a pitcher of water takes the over the surface of the coffee table, and I smile. My stomach has been begging for something whipped up by her."Are you in a hurry to get rid of me?""No, no, I just need you to hear this."I bite into a sandwich and glance up at her, not knowing what she is going to say. Quickly, I sw
I can't just barge in, they are talking, and I was not invited.But you are the Luna now, my wolf tries to convince me.Hardly, I mutter,I've only been here for a few days. The position can't just be mine.It is simple, and he explained it too. Once the Alpha finds his mate, she is the Luna, his equal.It can't be that sim—"Evangeline?"My eyes gaze steadily upwards and land on my mate, as he is standing in the doorway and I can see Andrew just behind him. Though I feel it, there is no time to be embarrassed. "Did they find Henry?"
The trees are tightly knit, and I weave through them while reaching out and feeling the coarse bark underneath my palms. The moss is soft and damp yet leaves my hands dry when I pull them away and rub my fingers together. Rays of light cascade down through the trees creating intricate designs on the forest floor, and when I step onto the patterns, the light shines on my feet. During it all, the dense scent of rainfall tickles my nose.Two guards follow behind me, and I continuously glance behind to check if they are still there. The two wait obediently outside while I climb the steps and knock on my grandmother's door. She answers in a matter of seconds, and I hurry inside. "You're okay, has anything happened? Have you seen anyone in the forest or—""Evangeline, what are you talking about," she quiets me down. "Why are you asking
I am cold, extremely cold. The wind blows against my skin harshly, sharp to the touch. My eyes open abruptly. All they see is the inky, vast night sky above. The array of tiny lights scattered about the black canvas seem to come closer as if the sea of unknown is going to swallow me up. I look to the side and I see the foundations of the large, endless trees, and they are too thick to reach my arms completely around. Standing up is tough, as the ground cannot stop moving. It feels like a giant water balloon is under my feet."Evangeline," someone calls, their voice growing closer with each second. "Evangeline."My legs move in a sprint, but I do not seem to be going anywhere."Evangeline."My heart pounds li
Though I have not seen my mother in a decade, we now have something in common. Paranoia. The constant feeling of eyes on me is driving me to near madness. I am now doing things differently than I naturally would, reacting in other ways because the intense fear that he is watching me is always on my mind. Before I make a decision, something as simple as taking a sip of water, he pops into my head. Do I want to drink this in front of him?Marina has noticed this in the morning. She stares at me as I reluctantly eat breakfast. My eyes will glance out the window every few minutes before I take another slow bite. She has asked me if something is wrong, but I tell her no. The only places that I can find privacy are in rooms with no windows, or if the curtains or pulled closed. I can no longer fall asleep with the windows open either, even with Sebastian beside me. I worry that he will slip thr
My time in the attic was difficult. Not only was I very young, but I did not understand why I had to be hidden away. All I knew was that my ability held me back in some ways. It held me back from making friends with the other children, it held me back from learning with others, it held my mind back and caused me stress. Communicating with the moon goddess was a shoulder for me to lean on when I shouted that I could not go any further. When the desert sun boiled my back, and the climb seemed too hard, she gave me a drink of water and threw me a rope. I counted on her, and for the most part, she answered my calls.I remember some days more clearly than others. The winter months blend together, mix into one long day, while the summer months are chopped up by the hour. I watched the snow from my attic window, the rain, the leaves falling from the trees—I would watch the children dance