“You can use my phone if that helps,”
Talia suggests, pulling out her phone from her pocket and unlocking it for me.
Beads of sweat gather at my temple as I stare blankly at the Notepad app.
She’s not asking for much, Grayson mutters.
Did you miss the part where she’s been married to a perfect Alpha? I snap at him.
What do you think will go through her head when she realizes she’s mated to a freak? You are being dramatic, Grayson groans.
He wasn’t THAT perfect.
He cheated on her! WITH HER SISTER! That’s not the point! The point is my own father refused to recognize meas his son! \retort.
When Talia realizes how truly worthless I am, she’ll reject me like everyone else has.
Do you not trust our mate will treat us fairly? Grayson asks.
I look up at my mate, her smile faltering with my everlasting silence.
She deserves the truth…
And so do we.
We won’t know how she truly feels about us if all we show her is a lie.
The phone trembles in my hand, my fingers unwilling to type out a message.
Minutes crawl by before Talia finally loses her patience.
“Okay, I think this date is over,”
Talia laughs dryly, my heart sinking as a few tears cling to her eyes.
She wipes at them angrily and starts to get up, disappointed by my lack of response.
“I honestly don’t even know what I was expecting,” she mutters, shaking her head at herself.
“This was such a f*g mistake and I can’t even be mad at you because I did this to myself,” she huffs, rolling her eyes.
“I should have just kept my mouth shut.”
She presses the palms of her hands against her eyes to stop the tears from flowing down her cheeks.
“Please take me home,” she whimpers.
“I don’t want to be here anymore.”
My mind goes into a panic when I hear the hurt in her voice.I open my mouth to explain but it feels as though the wind has been knocked out of me and all that comes out is a gasp.
Come on! I snap at myself.
Say something! But the harder I try to utter a word, the drier my mouth feels and the heavier my tongue becomes.
All the memories of my father screaming at me to speak come flooding back and the words get caught in my throat, unable to escape.
She deserves the truth, I remind myself, taking a few deep breaths and rising to my feet shoulders and turn her towards me, embracing her in my arms.
I try to hold her to my chest but Talia only shakes her head in anger at me.
“No,” she cries.
“You don’t get to just hug this all away.I told you my story.I shared my pain with you,” she hiccups.
“Why can’t you do the same for me?”
Knowing she is right, I urge her to sit back down, patting the space beside me as my eyes plead with her to sit.
Reluctantly, she settles down, hugging her knees to her chest.
Her brown eyes watch me carefully, scrutinizing my every move.
I pull the phone from my pocket and after she unlocks it, I type out my plan.
“I can’t tell you my story, but I can show you,” She reads aloud.
“Close your eyes.”
She gives me a confused look but I just smile and place my hand over my own eyes to show her what I need from her.
Very hesitantly, she places both hands over her eyes, sighing deeply in annoyance.
Taking a deep breath, I close my own eyes and concentrate, letting down my walls and accepting the river of thoughts coming from my mate.
“This is silly,” her voice echoes in my head.
I whisper, Talia suddenly jumping up and looking around frantically.
“What was that? Did you hear something?” she asks, her eyes opening and scanning the surrounding area.
I laugh a little and gesture for her to close her eyes again.
I scan the darkness behind my eyelids when suddenly a little white light appears in the black abyss of my mind.
The faint voice of a woman echoes from the light, singing a sweet lullaby of sorts, and I freeze.
“Where is that voice coming from?” I wonder, looking around the emptiness but only seeing the white light.
Realizing I am alone with my thoughts, I decide to follow the voice towards the light, approaching it cautiously.
Just as abruptly as it surfaced, the white light envelopes me, temporarily blinding me for a few moments before settling back and revealing a room.
The room is large and spacious with a high ceiling, the decor mimicking a forest.
Two tree-like structures stand on opposite sides of the room, a treehouse sitting on the tree on the left and a slide wrapping around the tree on the right.
A rope bridge connects the two trees.
Just below the bridge, there is a large bed with forest covers and pillows.
On the opposite side of the room there is what appears to be a small kitchenette equipped with a sink, a toaster oven, a mini fridge, and cabinets which I assume contain food.
A small table with two chairs sits beside the the left wall and hundreds of books and index cards stored on countless shelves.
Despite this appearing to be a child’s room, there are very few toys, only a small stuffed gray wolf sitting on the desk.
To my surprise, there are no windows in the room, an air vent the only means of fresh air, providing ventilation and cool air.
I can make out a bathroom near the entrance of the room, which appears to be bolted shut with a myriad of locks and chains dangling on the door.
This is no child’s room, I realize.
This is a prison.
A little boy appears at the desk, hunching over several sheets of paper.He can’t be more than 5 or 6 years old.
I come closer to him and to my horror, find that his left eye is completely swollen shut, dark bruises littering the entirety of his face and arms.
He’s crying, furiously wiping at his tears with his sleeve as he scribbles “My name is Zane” over and over again on a sheet of paper.
Beside him, there is a pile of sheets repeating the same sentence.
These must be Zane’s memories, I whisper.
The locks on the door begin to jingle, the little boy stiffening up in fear.
Finally, after several of the locks are undone, the door swings open, a beautiful woman walking in.
Her kind eyes and warm smile resemble Zane’s whenever he looks at Kota.
They must be related, \take note, watching as Zane climbs out of his chair to greet the woman with a hug.
“Hello, my beautiful boy,” she giggles as she lifts him into her arms, Zane resting his head on her shoulder pushing in a small cart with food.
He is quite handsome, his piercing blue eyes like the ocean, and he is fit but not bulky.
Zane wiggles out of his mother’s arms and rushes to the desk, pulling out a small card with a crudely drawn wolf on the front.
He very timidly pokes the man’s arm who is busy setting up the food on the table.
The man looks down at little Zane and grins.
“That for me kid?” He asks, taking the card and reading the words out loud.
“Happy Father’s Day, Wyatt.You smell very nice and you’re not mean.I like you.” he says, his face softening a little.
“Thanks, I’m glad I don’t smell,” he chuckles.
“But I’m not a father yet.”
“Your wife is due any minute now,” the woman laughs, Zane nodding in agreement.
“Zane, sweetie, do you have a card for your Dad?”
Zane’s smile falters slightly but he nods anyway and fishes out another card, this one darker and with no picture on it.
He hands it to the woman who reads it out loud.
“Happy Father’s Day, Dad.I promise to be good now,” she says, her voice cracking a little as she reads before she kneels down and pulls Zane to her.
“You are already a very good boy, my love,” she sighs, trying very hard not to let her tears fall.
“Daddy is just….” she pauses, searching for the right words.
“He loves you, baby.He loves you very much.Just in his own way.” see in her eyes that even she doesn’t believe her own words.
“Why don’t you and I have our lunch, okay?” she forces a smile, little Zane nodding his head.
The woman dismisses Wyatt, the two of them enjoying their meal together.
Zane is very quiet as he eats, careful not to chew loudly or make a mess.
The woman does most of the talking, explaining to him the many birds she saw on her run earlier that day.
The door suddenly bursts open, a tall man storming in.
He stands at about 6ft 4, his bulging muscles and broad shoulders barely contained within his dark suit.
There is a scar just below his ear.
His dark hair is combed back and his eyes are almost black with anger.
“Care to explain why you called me in here, Ellie?” he snaps at the woman.
“I’m due for a meeting in 15 minutes.”
“Our son has a gift for you,” she replies cooly.
She’s his mother?I wonder.
But what about Agnes? The man turns to look at Zane who is trembling in his seat.
“Go on, Zane,”
Ellie nudges him by the arm.
“Show Daddy what you made for him on his special day.”
Zane looks at his father in fear but does not disobey his mother, climbing out of his seat and timidly holding out the card to his father.
The man towers over Zane, glaring at him with flared nostrils keeps his head down, his hand shaking violently as he holds out the card.
“You will look me in the eye when addressing me, boy,” the man spits, Zane remaining frozen in place.
The man then raises his arm and strikes Zane in the face, Zane falling over on the ground with a small cry.
Ellie is on her feet in an instant, screaming at the man.
“Sebastian, you animal!” she snarls, shoving him though he does not budge.
“He was just showing you his card!”
“He did not look me in the eye!” Sebastian retorts.
“A real man looks another man in the eye when he’s talking to him.”
“He’s just a boy!”
Ellie argues, helping Zane to his feet.
“A boy that will one day lead this pack, Elenore,”
Sebastian roars, curling his finger at Zane to come forward.
“And I will not leave behind a weak Alpha to take my place.Understand?”
The little boy straightens himself out as he once again approaches his father.He holds his head high, his freshly split lip quivering slightly as he holds the card out to the tall man.
Tears cling to his eyes but little Zane remains strong, holding them back with all of his might so as not to enrage his father any further.
He breathes heavily, swallowing back the sobs I know he wants to let out.
Despite his shaking legs and tear-stained cheeks, Zane faces his father, my heart swelling with pride at his sheer strength and courage at the card with mild disgust.
“If he can’t say the words, then he doesn’t deserve to call me father,” Sebastian snarls.
The memory fades into the abyss, leaving me all alone in the pitch black with my heart shattering to pieces at what I just witnessed.
Even more painful than the memory, however, is the realization that I have been unkind to a man who has grown up feeling unloved by someone who should have cherished him.
When I open my eyes, I find Zane staring blankly at the floor, his face devoid of all emotion.
I don’t even know what to say to help comfort him, my mind still reeling from all the information I got.
He was a prisoner in his own pack.
Agnes is not his mother.
He is an Alpha…And his father is a monster.
But there are still so many questions swirling in my head.
Where is his biological mother? Who is Agnes? Why is he a rogue now when he was the Heir to the title? Did his pack fall? As I look at Zane sitting in perfect silence, however, I realize that none of these questions matter.
All that matters is that he is willing to show me who he is and for now, that is more than enough.
In time, I will learn more about him.
Without saying a word, I crawl into his lap, Zane gasping as I settle into his arms.
I bury my face in the crook of his neck, wrapping my arms around his stomach.
He doesn’t say anything, sit in each other’s arms for several minutes, comforting each other with our presence.
Finally, I pull back and cup his cheeks, wanting him to understand that I meant this with every fiber in my being.
“You are the bravest man I’ve ever met” I murmur, leaning my forehead against his.
“I’m so sorry you went through that.”
At first, shock ripples across his face before he finally processes what I said and he bites his lower lip to contain his emotions.
Tears line his eyes but he blinks them away, doing his best to remain strong.But he doesn’t have to be strong anymore.
Not with me.
“Thank you for sharing your gift with me,” I whisper against his lips.
“I don’t fully understand what you did, but it was beautiful.”
An awkward smile stretches across his face and it becomes obvious he’s not used to this many compliments.
It’s adorable to see him so flustered with me but at the same time, my heart breaks knowing he has probably missed out on so many things that I have taken for granted my entire life.
Seeing that we are both being honest and vulnerable, I decide to break my own rule and push myself beyond my comfort zone.
“Can I meet your wolf?” I ask, doing my best to look enthusiastic despite the fire alarms going off in my head.
The last me before an elder.
But Zane has his own wolf, one who deserves a fair chance.
“I would like to thank him….” I add, forcing a smile.
“And you of course, for protecting Kota the other day.” Zane looks nervous, grabbing the phone and typing a question.
“Are you sure?” he types.
The timidness from his childhood still lingers in his eyes, reminding me that despite his incredible power and alpha blood, inside he is still that very shy little boy just wanting to be loved.
“Yes,” I murmur, stroking the side of his face.
“I want to see you.All of you.Even the parts that might scare me.”
Zane hesitates for a moment but when I gently peck his lips, he seems to be on board with my request.
“What is his name?” I ask, wanting to know who I would be speaking with.
“Grayson,” he types, his brows furrowing in a scowl.
“He’s an idiot.”
“I think l decide that for myself,” I chuckle, pecking him again.
I wait patiently as he closes his eyes and when he opens them again, they are no longer brown but gold, swirls of green and honey swimming in his irises.
It’s the most beautiful combination I’ve ever seen.
He very gently slides me off of his lap, rising to his feet and jogging off behind some trees.
I fiddle with my hair as I wait, suddenly very anxious to see Grayson in his wolf form and I stand up on my feet to fix my shirt.
My entire world stops, however, when a silver wolf emerges from the trees, his golden eyes focused only on me.
The wolf gracefully approaches me, my breath hitching in my throat.
I had seen many wolves during my time as Luna, but none compared to Grayson.
The beautiful wolf is covered head to toe with silver fur, each hair glittering with a metallic sheen under the moonlight.
His tail wags with every playful step he takes towards me and I find myself unable to move.
The wolf gently nuzzles his head against mine, his snout lightly brushing my cheek.
I can hear the giant wolf begin to purr, tugging at my shirt as if asking me to follow him.
He leads me to a tiny patch of grass, plopping down on his side to rest.
Unable to resist the temptation of curling up with a warm wolf, I settle in between his paws, gently stroking his head and scratching his ears.
Jack (Christian’s wolf) was very temperamental, always on edge and ready to establish dominance over others if they got too close to me.
I constantly found myself facing off with the dominant wolf to protect others from his wrath.
Grayson, on the other hand, seems very different.
Although he too possesses a dominant aura, he appears to be far more relaxed, completely content with just being in my presence.
puppy, Grayson groaning and barking at me.
Ultimately annoyed with my stubbornness, the large wolf rolls over onto his back and stares up at the stars.
Curling up beside him, I watch his chest rise and fall, wondering how on earth it was possible to feel this content with a wolf.
“Thank you for tonight.This has been the best first date ever, “
I whisper against his chest.
“I can’t wait for our second.”