Here we go. The very last chapter.
(I updated a day early because I will be busy tomorrow)
"How was my funeral?" I asked, struggling to reach over and grab my other sock. I grunted and continued to try and stretch my arm, but the damnable piece of clothing wouldn't come any closer. The Pack's resident doctor, Jinx, had warned me against moving around a lot or else I'd pull the stitches keeping my knife wound together, but it wasn't exactly like I had any other way of grabbing things. Groaning, I lifted my leg and tried to use the cast to pull it closer.
Jack sighed and snatched it off the bed before throwing it in my face, "I would've thought you'd learn to ask for help by now. I guess not."
I grinned at him.
He was still in his suit, which was an odd sight in itself. Black jacket over a black shirt and a black tie. He looked like an undertaker rather than a Hunter, but it had been a special occasion.
My funeral. Or rather, my headstone ceremony. You can't really have a funeral without a coffin or a body so it wasn't exactly much. When you're listed as Missing in Action, you take what you can get.
Jack leaned against the wall, sunglasses hiding gray eyes as he took in my small room, "They kept it small. Your parents and sister, Trysta, me, and Leon. Sad enough to be believable, but your mother did cry a lot."
"You told her what was going on, right?" Geez, the last thing I needed was for my mom to believe I was actually dead.
Jack nodded, "Yeah, I told her before the funeral. She tried to hit me and accused me of corrupting her first born child and ruining your life."
Both my parents hated him.
"Did they give my mom a flag?" I asked.
"No. You didn't get that kind of burial."
"Why the hell not? I served them as a government official. That means they should have given me a police burial," I argued as I tried to wiggle my non-casted foot into my shoe.
"The government is trying to cover up your entire existence. If you had been an actual officer then you would have gotten your damn flag," Jack growled. I bit my cheek, knowing he was glaring at me from behind the glasses.
"Still pissed at the whole almost-dying thing?" Two weeks and he hadn't cooled off yet.
He lifted an eyebrow in class shut-up-viola fashion, "What do you think? If Aki hadn't teleported to get you, you'd be dead. Not Vampire-dead. Permanent-dead. I overhead you when you were talking to Thanatos."
I winced. Dad had come by the day after I woke up. He hadn't been happy and I hadn't exactly acted like a ball of joy either. Turns out that he was right, I was a Mirror. It was an ability some Vampires had, the ability to reverse a spell or power and send it back to its creator. Then he also explained that it could have gone horribly wrong and not only could it have killed me, it would have been incredibly painful and agonizing. You either mastered it or it killed you. I had gotten lucky.
If I died, there were three possibilities. One, I'd actually die. Two, the Change would hit and I wouldn't survive it. Or three, I'd survive the Change and be turned into whatever the hell Aki and Dante were. There was no good solution for me and no possible way to predict what would happen. The Change was a complex process.
It didn't help that I was supposed to stay hidden until Jack could erase my contract and record and until Thanatos deemed it safe to come out. In a month, he'd divorce my mom and announce himself to the High Court with Aki and Dante. I was being left out.
At least until I hit my Change.
"Yeah, well I'm not dead. I'm here, breathing, staring you in the face," I retorted.
"It was reckless and stupid on so many levels. I can't believe-" Jack started only to be cut off by the door opening.
Jinx walked in, glaring at me first and ignoring my mentor entirely, "Don't you start packing up yet. I have to check over some things before you go." She peaked at Jack out of the corner of her eye and he pushed off the wall, heading for the door. When he was too close, she shuffled away from him.
"I'll wait for you out in the truck. I moved what I could to my place, but we're going to have to get you more clothes later. I couldn't take it all without it looking suspicious," muttering, Jack gave me one last look and left the room.
Silence filled the small room as we waited for the tension to ease out of Jinx's body. She was skittish around humans, especially Jack. Scars ran across her arms, legs, and face; they looked like claw marks, but had been done by humans with silver. I wondered if her fears of them would ever ease, however, it didn't appear like that would be any time soon.
I wondered what the turning point was for people like her, like Tera. Why does one turn into a psychopath and the other, a scared little mouse? Would Jinx be like her one day? That thought frightened me. Would I be like her?
"Not all humans are bad, Jinx," I whispered, staring at the closed door.
The doctor chewed her lip and stared down at her clipboard, glasses resting on her nose, "I know."
I gave her a small smile. Jinx took care of the Pack when the injuries were too serious for Jasmine. Petite, she was a bit taller than me with straight chestnut hair that ran down in long waves. A Werecheetah, but she couldn't shift. While Ethan was stuck in animal form, she was stuck in human form. Leon had called her in when everyone decided that was I going to go "missing" and couldn't go to the hospital.
Unfortunately, I was going to be staying with Jack in the middle of nowhere with nothing to do.
Jinx prodded my cast and checked the bandages over my heart, "With how fast you're healing, the stitches will be able to come out in a few days and the cast in about a month."
"A month?" I groaned, running a hand through my cropped hair.
Nodding, she chewed on her lip some more before spitting out, "And I'm not going to allow you to use the sleeping pills any more. I know they are to keep the dreams away, but there are better ways to block him out."
"Shielding doesn't work. He gets around them too easily," I snapped, standing up.
Jinx cringed, "Then…why don't you just talk to him? Edward-"
I interrupted, "Edward needs to stay the hell away from me. As long as he keeps his promise to keep my existence under wraps, then I don't need to speak to him ever again."
She sighed and unconsciously touched the scar on her cheek, brown eyes downcast. Edward had tried to contact me more than a few times, but the boys kept him away. When that failed, he started to try and enter my dreams. I didn't want to hear it though, didn't want to hear his excuses and pleas. I didn't need them.
This was going to be a new life and great lengths had gone into ensuring that I be kept a secret. Edward and Leon both gave their word that their people would be bound into silence. All I had to do was stay out of the limelight.
Not too hard.
After checking a few more things, warning me not to shift or train for the next month, then smacking me when I tried to scratch my stab wound, Jinx cleared me to go home- err, Jack's home. I was starting to fear what I would find there. Jack was like James Bond, cool on the outside but a mess in the inside. Plus he was a man. Men are messy. I myself am rather messy. We were going to live in a very messy house.
I slipped my wrist holster on and hobbled out of the room. The clinic rooms were located on the first floor of the Pack house in the back, behind the staircase. It felt like I was all the way in ass-crack Egypt to me. I had refused crutches like the genius I was and trying to find balance when a heavy cast is dragging behind you is like killing a dinosaur with a toothpick. It wasn't as if I had the best balance to begin with.
Jinx bit back a laugh as I hugged the staircase wall to keep from toppling over, "You sure you don't need-"
"Nope! I will do this by myself!" I declared before running straight into a hall lamp.
Cursing, I growled and maneuvered around it before smacking my nose into Leon's chest. He grabbed my flailing arms as I started falling backwards and rolled his eyes, "Five minutes back into the world and you can't keep yourself from getting injured."
Pouting, I pulled a hand away and rubbed my poor nose, "I was doing fine until you got in my way!"
Jinx giggled seconds before confetti poured over my head, small pieces of shiny papers covering me completely. They hadn't thrown it in the air like normal people would have done, choosing to dump an entire bucket on top of me like water. Brilliant. I blinked up through the glitter and stared blankly into the faces of the Sentries peaking over the stair rail.
"You guys are jackasses," I grumbled, Leon holding onto me as I shook whatever I could off my head. Ethan managed to shove his massive body between his Alpha and the wall, letting out a giant sneeze as the confetti rained all over him.
"I told you I would get you back!" Cameron yelled triumphantly as he hopped over the rail and landed beside me. The rest of the Sentries made their way down the regular way, Tony rubbing away the new footprint on the railing.
"Whatever! I won that game fair and square, unlike you!" I argued.
Leon looked between us questioningly before Angelo filled him in quietly, "Uno. He cheated, but she won."
Jasmine walked the rest of the way down the stairs and stared at all the confetti with a frown, "Cameron, I swear, you better clean this up. You always make the most mess and then I have to pick up after you."
The wolf groaned and glared as Vero ruffled his hair.
It'd been an interesting stay at the Pack house. All of them had been more than a little worried about me, which was a surprise. I was practically a stranger, but they had stayed with me every moment I was stuck in bed. Cameron and Angelo would play card games, one cheating and the other quiet. Koda would entertain me with Jasmine clucking over me like a mother hen. Tony made sure to keep me updated on what was happening in the outside world and Ethan would lie on my bed beside me while Vero and I watched cartoons.
Leon watched me carefully, a thoughtful expression on his face as a smile lifted his lips, "You know what this means, right?"
I looked away from the squabbling Sentries and quirked an eyebrow, "What? Me getting confetti all over me?"
He shook his head and put an arm around my shoulder, hugging me to him, "Yes and no. This means that you have officially been initiated into the Pack, though mine wasn't exactly with a bunch of confetti."
Blinking, I stared at the grinning faces of the shifters around me, "I'm Pack?"
"Well, officially we deemed you an Ally of the Pack," Tony clarified, rest his elbow on Vero's head and smiling underneath his worn cowboy hat, "but unofficially, you're one of us, chickadee. Leon and I agreed that it was only right considering everything you did for us."
Koda let out a booming laugh and practically lifted me into the air as he hugged me, giant arms squeezing the life out of me. Jinx protested behind me, muttering about broken stitches until the Werebear finally put me down.
I knew what it was like to be bear-hugged.
Everyone congratulated me and gave me hugs, though a gentler than my first. It was strange to think about how far I'd come. A while back ago, I wouldn't have hesitated to fight any one of them. Now, they were practically family. Family. How odd…
Leon had to help me get outside after tugging me away from everyone. He was a bit quiet, arm wrapped around my waist as he patiently matched his pace to mine. There were things between us that needed to be talked about, but this wasn't the time. I hadn't heard anything about Chloe and we both knew the territory was in disarray. A lot of repairs were going to have to be done. But for the moment, we were friends and I was okay with that.
"You can stay here whenever you want. There are always extra rooms so don't bother asking," he commented quietly, holding the front door open and helping me through. The beat up Ranger was parked as close as possible with the engine running, Jack stepping down once we appeared in the doorway. The Jeep, or Tony's Jeep, was parked near the edge of the clearing. It looked clean and new, opposed to when I had it. The inside of it had had to be reupholstered to get rid of all my blood. Oops.
I stepped gingerly down the front step and glanced up at the Alpha wolf, "I'm sure I'll be over, seeing how I'm an Ally."
Leon nodded and laughed, "You don't even know what that means, do you?"
I chuckled hesitantly, "It…means I'm a…friend?"
"Not really," Leon untangled his arm from my waist and gently handed me off to his brother, "It means that you've got our backs and we have yours. You show up when we need you to and if you ever need us then we'll come running."
Shrugging, I gave him a grin, "Sounds good to me."
Jack leaned me up against the truck like a wooden blank and I watched with silent glee as the brothers man-hugged each other. Hell, it was progress. I was just happy they weren't biting each other's heads off.
A few minutes later we were on the road. I leaned out the window and rested my head on my arms, letting the sun bake my face.
Things were going to be different. Even if I wasn't exactly free, it was a step in the right direction. There would always be problems; there was no escaping that fact. Dad and I had a lot of issues to work out. Once he divorced Mom that would unleash a whole new can of worms. Then there was getting my cat under control and trying to understand what was going to happen to me. Yeah, the list seemed endless, but for the moment I was okay.
It was an odd feeling. No running for my life or worrying about what was going to kill me next. Just…peace.
"You okay?" Jack asked, glancing at me from the corner of his eye.
I peaked over my shoulder then laid my head back down, closing my eyes and smiling.
"I think I'm good."
Well, for now.
There you have it. Sweet Miseria is officially done.
Thank you everyone for reading and loving and ENJOYING this story. You guys are amazing and keep me going.
I can't express how awesome you all are.
Those that volunteered to help with the rewrite will be contacted shortly so we can get the ball rolling, but first, a few announcements.
Due to request, the official Viola Huntington website is up and running.
You can go to my profile and find the link there (FP is messing up)
It's almost complete so keep checking back!
Also, pretty soon, I'll be posting a compilation of short stories that take place from the end of this story to the beginning to the sequel.
It'll be updated even while the sequel is going on.
The first chapter of Chaos Reunition will be posted May 1st.
You have until then to vote on the poll regarding Edward's name (you guys are really going crazy on that thing)
For now, here's a preview:
I tried to swallow past my pulse and force myself to turn the damn doorknob. Why was I so nervous? It wasn't like I was about to face a psychotic Witch.
Already done that.
Wiping my palm on my pants, I gently skimmed my fingers across the holster hidden under my blouse and calmed myself down. Just suck it up and go in already.
I bit my lip and opened the door.
Music filled the room, a voice I recognized well singing an old upbeat number. A smile slipped onto my face and I closed the door behind me, watching as everyone kept their eyes on the singing figure by the piano. No one had noticed me yet.
Hazel eyes dancing with joy found mine and the song died off, everyone turning around to stare.
I smiled nervously and waved hesitantly, "Hi, Mom…"
Thank you so much everyone and I'll be seeing ya (kind of) soon!