"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 swallow. "Is it bad? Is something wrong?"
Grandmother sits back and clasps her hands together, resting them on her lap. "It is about the moon goddess."
"What—what about her?"
I shakily set the rest of my sandwich down and focus entirely on my grandmother's next words.
"Darling, I know about you, I know what you can do," she abruptly shoves me under the harsh spotlight and abandons me on the grand stage, forcing me to stand alone.
"What are you talking about?"
She sighs. "I have it too, dear. I've always been able to communicate with—"
"What?" I interrupt her, not having the patience to wait for a second longer. "Y-You what?"
I fall back against the chair and look directly at nothing specific. My head is going to burst, my head is going to burst and I do not think I can stop it this time. My eyes stay staring wildly at something as my head attempts to process her statement. 'I have it too, dear,' she makes it sound so expected—so utterly normal when it is definitely not. I have lived with my grandmother for a decade, an entire decade and she has managed to keep this from me. "Why?" I ask dramatically, finally gaining back the ability to form words. "Why, why didn't you—"
"Your mother did not want you to know, dear. For a long time, your mother has been pushing herself away from me, not wanting me to influence your life and such. Well, she got desperate and sent you here, I was over the moon—but her one condition was that I wouldn't tell you that we share this, this gift and such. If you knew about me, well then your mother would expect you to embrace it more. She never wanted this you know, she tried so very hard to keep you from it."
"How can she keep me from it if it consumes my life? It's a part of me, not some habit," I say to her, frustrated by my mother's past thinking.
"I know, dear. I had tried explaining it to her many times in the past when she was around your age, but she refuses to listen. I love her, but your mother is stubborn, so very set in her ways."
I take a deep breath and sit up straight. My eyes wander out the window beside us, searching for Henry, but he is nowhere in sight. He must have walked far.
"So, you see her? You talk to her?" I ask slowly as if I must test the waters.
My grandmother nods. "For as long as I can remember."
"Do you know why we can, I mean, how can we do it?"
She shifts in her spot. "Well, I suppose it runs in the family. My mother had it, but her mother did not, nor did her grandmother, but possibly her great-grandmother—"
"So it skips around, so it skipped over my mother?"
"Well," she ponders, "I suppose that could be. I am not sure how long it has been in the family, darling, but I am assuming for a long time. How it all began, now that is a good question I cannot answer."
"So, why did you tell me now, after all this time? Because I've found my mate?"
"It's seemed about time. You've left the nest, found your mate, and no longer need me."
"Oh, Grandma," I exaggerate. "Of course I still need you. You don't have to stay out here alone. I'm sure you can come join the pack with—"
She waves her hand, cutting me short before pouring herself a glass of water and taking a sip. She sets the cup back down on the table and gazes out the window. "You know I like it out here. No one can control me out here. I do what I please, your grandfather and I always have."
I sigh, accepting her refusal. "Well, will you tell me what you and Sebastian talked about, why you made me leave?"
"Oh, he just asked me if I would like to join. The two of you already think alike."
My brows scrunch together. "Why did I have to leave then?"
"He didn't want you influencing my decision."
We continue to talk as I munch on the sandwiches. I tell the story behind my head wound, and she is not impressed, especially after discovering the two men were no good. Talking to her about it makes me feel less upset over the ordeal, giving me a chance to rid myself of the pesky what-if thoughts.
Being back home has given my muscles a chance to relax, and again everything is at a slower pace. The last few days have been hectic from sleeping in an intolerable cell, finding my mate, injuring myself, and now discovering my grandmother shares the gift, as she put it. My Grandmother did cause me to tense at the mentioning of my mother, though, as it has become a sensitive topic along with my father. Whenever I think of them, my mind shoots to times of unworthiness and isolation. A lot of memories have dug their way to the surface recently.
Not only does my mind have a break from the constant eruptions of sudden commotion, but I have caught myself thinking clearly of my mate, my thoughts no longer purified by our inevitable connection. When my grandmother rambles on about the winter season approaching, I stray to the idea of my Mate being a bad person, a killer disguised by the animalistic side of me. A good chunk of my mind knows that he does what he does to protect his pack, and I understand I may not know what the sense of safety costs. Death has never clouded my thoughts, and I do not think they cloud Sebastian's either. Maybe one day I will grow used to the concept of killing those who threaten to kill you, but I am not entirely sure if I should believe in such ideas in general.
Half of my upbringing was spent in an attic, so I am not one to judge others of theirs, but Sebastian's actions must have been a result of watching his father. Assuming the father was Alpha before him, his father could have taught him how to act and react to certain situations.
Before drawing any conclusions in my head, I should ask more about packs and how they function. Since I am supposedly a Luna now, it can only do me right to educate myself on such things.
"Grandma?" I grab her attention. "I know that I'll have to tell Sebastian about the moon goddess and what not eventually, but it has me a little worried. Now that I know you've been through similar issues, how did you tell Grandpa? How did he react?"
"It is hard to disapprove of someone you are linked to in such a distinctive and powerful way, dear. When I told your grandfather he was a little confused at first but after a few more times of explaining he saw it as another part of me. People change each other, but some parts you just have to either accept or acknowledge and move on."
My eyes shift to the window, examining the nearby trees and brush for any sign of Henry.
"Don't worry yourself too much. Tell him and know that he can either accept this part of you or realize it is there and get on with life," my grandmother tells me.
I look back to her. "What about my parents. What kind of reaction did they have?"
"They did not react, they had an instinct to protect you."
"But that's what I don't understand. What are they protecting me from?"
She sighs and faces her neatly placed hands as they rest on her knee. "The attack—"
"I know, I know, the attack. If it were only because of an attack, they would have brought me back after things settled down. Instead, they left me here and didn't tell me why."
"You were only eight years old, Evangeline. How could they have told you, explained all the reasons why you are safest he—"
I sit up straight. "Alright, so what is stopping you from telling me now?"
"Next time," she stands up and grabs the empty platter from the coffee table. "I'm sure your mate is waiting for you, so we will talk about it next time."
Somewhat frustrated, I take a deep breath and get up from my seat. "Okay, I'll be back tomorrow."
"You know, I need time to think about things too, dear. Why don't you bond with your mate, spend time with him, and visit in a few days? In a few days, I can explain why your parents did what they did. Process what you've learned today, give yourself time."
Our goodbyes are short, as I am expecting to see her very soon. After grabbing some clothes, I head out of the house to track down Henry. Presuming him to be close by, I call his name towards the trees and wait for a reply, but none comes.
"Henry?" I call out again, but the only response is that of a flock of birds abandoning a near tree.
Did he go back? Maybe I took longer than he initially thought, so he went back to the house.
I make my way back to the borders and track down one of the guards we saw when first heading over. He sees me and walks over. "Didn't you leave with Henry, the Alphas brother?" The guard asks.
"I was just about to see if he came back without me," I explain. "I called for him, but he didn't answer."
The guard hurries to another close by, and I watch as he tells him something. The guard with the new information then shifts into a large, chestnut wolf before sprinting off in the direction I came from. The guard I first spoke to returns. "If he does not come back with Henry in twenty minutes we will inform the Alpha. Did he say if he was going anywhere?"
"Well, for a walk, but it was over an hour."
I return to the house and hesitantly step inside. It is odd not having anyone to lead me to a particular room or take me to a specific person. Not knowing what to do, I take my bag of clothing, enough to last me until my next visit to grandmothers, and I climb up to the bedroom I laid in last night. I refer to the act as 'laid' since not much sleep came to me.
There was an array of tossing and turning, flipping the pillow, throwing the blanket on and off of my body, and trying to take my mind off of my Mate. It is as if my body now needs him to function properly.
I change out of Fiona's clothes and into my own. Hopefully, Marina has been thanking her until I get the opportunity to do so myself.
My eyes turn to the small clock resting on the bedside table, one I am very familiar with from last night, as we constantly stared at each other, and I wonder if it has been twenty minutes.
When Sebastian enters the house, I hurry towards him. "Did they find Henry? Is he okay?"
"They haven't found him, not yet," he mutters and sits down on one of the couches in the living room. His head rests tiredly in his hands, and I watch him closely, feeling slightly guilty.
"I-I told him to come inside, but he insisted on going for a walk. Maybe he just needs some time alone or—"
"This is not your fault."
I close my rambling lips after his brief, dull comment. Is he worried, or scared, or panicked? How am I supposed to tell how he is feeling if he continues to talk so flatly, words consisting of no emotion whatsoever.
"I'm sorry this has happened," I tell him, "you must be so worried."
"He must have gone far," he murmurs, almost to himself. "Evangeline, did you notice anything near your grandmother's house ever—anything that may seem odd, or suspicious?"
"Well, maybe. I told your brother that I used to feel like something was watching me. I always thought I was paranoid, or maybe that it was an animal, like a deer... You know what, it was probably nothing. It stopped a few months ago anyway," I take back my words, not wanting to make a big deal out of nothing.
"No, no," he grabs my hand and sets me down beside him. The small action makes my heart clench for a second. "What did you think it was, really?"
"I don't think this will help."
"If not to help Henry, then tell me because I am interested," Sebastian says. "When did you feel like someone was watching you?"
"Well, when I would go outside and walk around, just enjoying the scenery I guess. Sometimes I would hear a quiet rustle or footsteps—but really, it could have been an animal."
It could have been the moon goddess for all I know. Why would any rogues be interested in me?
"It only happened when I was not shifted," I add on.
"If you were shifted you would've been able to track them, uncover them," Sebastian glances to the side and I quickly pull my hand out of his grasp, grabbing his attention.
"It was months ago. Really, you shouldn't think too deeply about it. Knowing myself, it was likely a deer."
His lovely eyes look directly into mine, and I want to look away, but something inside of me is holding on. Both sides of me know how handsome he is, how quickly he can make my knees weak and send my heart fluttering miles away. These thoughts are so new to me, so fresh, something only Sebastian can cause me to think. He has control over me, and half of the time I love it. Half of the time I want to please him. The other half fears of being taken over and the other half knows it is coming.
"Lay with me tonight," he says smoothly without a knot in his voice.
I breathe out, "what if I say no?"
"You do not want to say no, Evangeline. I can see it in your eyes."
Immediately I look away, but he grips my jaw firmly, nothing painful, and connects our eyes once again.
"Until you say what you're thinking, your eyes are the only way I can tell how you feel," Sebastian says. "You are nervous, anxious—"
I close my eyes, blocking him from reading me any longer.
Expecting him to let go of my jaw, I become confused when he does not. Before I can open my mouth once again, I feel his lips on my hot, colored cheek. I flinch. The sensation surprises me, as I never thought an action so simple could affect me so much. My head spins and a delightful tingling feeling erupts on my skin. He takes his lips off of me, yet I still feel his warm breath fanning my cheek.
The warmth leaves me, and I open my eyes. The once filled space in front of me is now empty, along with the room.
My cheeks fill with shades of pink and red, even more than before. What a kissing bandit.
In my gushing fool of a state, my eyes widen when the front door opens, and Andrew comes rushing inside. He notices me, nods, and continues on his way down the hallway, and I'm assuming to Sebastian's office. That must be where the bandit ran to. Darn him for leaving me looking like such a red-faced klutz.
Though, taking my mind away from my embarrassing appearance, is there a reason Andrew hurried in? Does he do this often or has something happened? If something happened why-why Henry!
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
It is unique, the feeling of a kiss. Sebastian's lips caress mine, sending an unforgettable sensation throughout my body. There is an ignition inside of me, and I have the opportunity to back away, to push myself off of him, but I cannot. Half of me is gripped on tight, not willing to put an end to the pleasant feeling on my lips and in the pit of my stomach. His hand rests on the side of my face, holding back any stray hairs from slipping down and interrupting. It is a gentle kiss, no force, just pure instinct. When it does come to an end, I find myself wanting more.There are no words spoken between us. Sebastian pulls me into his hold and continues to embrace me through the night. No nightmare or terror comes to me, but a dream instead. A dream about my mate, about our kiss and so much more. My mind will not let go of the feeling. When we connected, it felt overwhelmingly right.
The house is empty. My grandmother is gone. Two guards wait outside as I roam through the vacant space. Everything is still here, the furniture, some clothes, food, it is like she just disappeared. Right when I came through the door and called through the house, realizing that she is not here, I panicked almost to the point of an attack. Immediately, I blame it on the Alpha, as my mind cannot conjure up any other guilty man.After shouting at the guards to search the area for her, I scavenge for a note, possibly saying that she has gone away. Once I find none, tears spring to my eyes and my heart squeezes tightly in my chest, the pounding shielding any other sounds from slipping in. What if he took her? What if he killed her? The thoughts rush as if the dam holding them back finally broke.The house is silent besides the frantic s
"Please, tell me you've found something," I ask the guard as they return from the latest, and most likely the last search. The guard tells me the usual, and my shoulders fall, disappointed and weighed down by worry. I could take this information two ways; the first is that she could still be alive, and the second is that she could be high above us. As always, it is easier to visualize the second."Are you sure you found nothing? How far out did you go?"The guard looks down at me, pitying my desperation. "We went out farther than the last time and saw nothing but forest. I'm sorry, Luna.""Where is Sebastian?"Heading in the guard's direction, I find my mate close by talking with Andrew. He notices me, most likely seeing the depressio