I sit in the back of the charger on our way to 'headquarters' marking the route so I can remember the way back to Mitch's just in case. I can't help but to hear Tye and Vixa talking in the front seat, about me.
"I can't believe you chose to drag her along. I mean really Tye we could've just left her."
"Where? In the woods or at Mitch's? I really hope you mean Mitch's Vixa because if Gideon knew what you would have done he would be beyond disappointed," there is a pause and Vixa doesn't say anything surprisingly. "I'm even disappointed."
"Are you starting to side with the hunter already? You hardly know her name," she says it under her breath but even I can hear it. His face hides nothing, if she wasn't driving he would slap her.
"Does she look or act like a hunter to you! Did you see her reaction when she we told her what we were? What she was?" It's a harsh whisper and it's obvious to both of them I can hear them, but for some reason I feel like he wants me to hear.
"Yeah a little to calm and collected if you ask me," he looks at her and sighs.
"That just means she's strong minded. She doesn't need things sugarcoated."
"Oh so now she's the 'perfect werewolf' right?"
"I didn't say that-"
"Oh maybe not word for word, but it was implied!" She scolds. He huffs than looks out his window.
"We're here," we pull into a parking spot in a row of black Dodge Chargers.
Okay Haven, today is the day you meet your new pack. They may not be family but you have to make it work. Where else will you go? Everyone else is dead.
I get out of the car and look up at the building that's headquarters. On the outside it looks like a hotel office building, but who knows what it looks like on the inside. I see Vixa run in, full of excitement and all of a sudden I can't move. I'm frozen in place with fear. I feel a hand press against my lower back pushing me forward slightly and I'm able to take a step.
"Don't be scared, I'll make sure nothing happens to you," Tye's hand stays on the small of my back until we enter the threshold of the building. Not even a foot in a loud growl shakes the ground. I instinctively take a step closer to Tye, his proximity strangely comforting. "Remember what I said," I nod in response waiting for the growl to stop.
When it subsides a man emerges from the balcony above us. He's a tall burly man with dark sandy hair and a scar that runs from his hair line to chin on the left side of his face. He looks about thirty or thirty-five, but his actual age is revealed by the wisdom in his eyes. He can't be younger than eighty years old in my opinion.
"Tye, I see you've returned. With-" He takes a long whiff and his eyes widen, piercing mine.
"Gideon I can explain if given the chance-"
"Vixa!" The she wolf steps out from her hiding place glares at me then glances up at their alpha. "Did you have a part in this?"
"Well-I uh-" She obviously wasn't ready for that question. I can feel Tye tensing to say something else when another voice speaks instead.
"Oh come on dear, give the kid a chance to explain himself. What will it hurt? It's obviously too late to do any about it anyway," Her voice is angelic and immediately half of the tension in the room is eased.
"You see what I see don't you Clarys-"
"Yes my dear, but not to worry. You see what I see don't you?" A woman about half a foot shorter than Gideon strides up to him and puts a hand on his arm to calm him. Her hair flows like waterfalls of gold over her shoulders. She is the spitting image of an angel. Or at least if anyone asked for a description of an angel I'd describe her. I catch Gideon's gaze again and see it travel along an invisible line to Tye. He harrumphs and his anger seems to subside.
"So I do. Tye, my office. Ten minutes," Gideon turns without another word. Clarys smiles at me and follows right after him. When they disappear I let go of a breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding.
"That was intense," I breathe. Tye looks at me with a half smile.
"We were lucky."
"Got that right! You were lucky Clare showed up. I've never seen him like that before," Vixa shudders then walks off like nothing happened.
"What's that supposed to mean?" I question. He shrugs and looks up at where the alpha couple stood moments ago.
"We've got some time until we find out. I could give you a short tour," he looks at me with a look like I could break at any moment. He wasn't the first either. I am really starting to hate to be thought of as the weakling. But I soften, what does he know of it? He just met me. I must just look like a delicate flower to him.
"Sounds good to me," Tye leads me the opposite direction of Vixa and I am thankful. I'm tired of her constant provoking comments. "So where are we going first?"
"My favorite place," he keeps walking and I wait for something further, a description a name, anything to tell me where we are going.
"Well are you going to tell me what it is?"
"Humph," I continue to follow him, what else can I do. As we walk on, the place looks more and more like a hotel, but it gives off more of a homey feel. Pictures hang on the walls of groups of people, some are in multiple pictures. Others only appeared in one or two. I thought I spotted Tye in one, but it was taken in 1985 and that just didn't seem right. Then again do werewolves age? Technically I don't know anything about who or what I am anymore. I'm not even human!
I follow Tye through a door into another hallway slightly more chilled than the last. We follow this one until we reach a glass door leading to what looks like outside. We've got to be in the center of the building. It was so big outside we can't possibly be in the back already. We walk out and it seems I'm right. We enter a hexagon shaped garden with trees and all sorts of plants. Autumn birds sing in the trees and there are a couple benches here and there for anyone who wants to sit and enjoy the sun.
"I like to come here when everything gets crazy," he says taking in a deep breath. I walk up to the closest bench and sit and look up into the blue sky which is now scattered with clouds. "Are you okay? I mean really okay, you don't seem to have reacted much to anything at all," Tye stands in front of me with his arms crossed and eyes unreadable. I take a moment and really think about it. Am I okay? Yes? No?
"That is the million dollar question, because, to be honest, I really don't know. I actually don't know anything. I don't know who my dad is-was. I don't know who- what I am. My whole life was put on hold in a matter of minutes and I don't know what to do about it. The police have found my father by now and I'm probably presumed dead, which, who knows, that's probably a good thing," I shrug and sigh putting my head back and closing my eyes. "My old life is gone, friends, senior year, college. I have no idea what my future holds or if I even really have one."
"You have a future pup, you have a pack now," he says as if hurt by my comment. I know he's trying but I start to get really worked up and mad. I look up at him my eyes blazing.
"I know that means a lot to you, but I don't know what that means at all! I just found out warlocks and werewolves exist and I'm all of a sudden one of them! I don't know anything! I've been thrown into a world I know nothing about. I feel lost and confused and lonely and-" tears fill my eyes and I lose sight of Tye, he and the rest of the world melt into a blob of colors. Then I blink and he's right in front of me. He puts a hand on my knee and the other on my head.
"Hey, I'm here. And as long as I am here you will never be alone. I will always be by your side, always there for you. Don't you dare forget that," he wipes away a tear on my cheek and I believe him. I look straight into the eyes of the man, the wolf that bit me and whole heartedly believe him. A question starts to push at me as I look into his concern and guilt ridden eyes.
"Are you making that promise because you feel guilty?" He flinches but he doesn't move. I hold his gaze with my own, observing the wolf underneath the man. He knows he can't lie to me, I'd see it.
"Only partly," I can tell there is more, and I want to know why? What else is there that made you make the promise? Do you feel the same thing I do? Before I can ask he's standing and holding a hand out to me. "Come on, if we don't start moving now we're going to be late for our meeting," I follow reluctantly leaving my questions for another time.
We rush to Gideon's office and just barely make it in time. I hadn't realized how long we were in the garden. Luckily it hadn't taken us that long to get there so it didn't take us that long to get out. We walk into Gideon's office at the ten minute mark. Gideon is sitting behind a large oak desk with Clarys standing at his right. We are the only ones in the room.
"Please, close the door behind you," Clarys is the one to speak first. Gideon is sitting and writing something.
"So I send you off on a mission and you come home with a girl. A girl that you turned. Please, explain how this could happen," his accent is thick , but the challenge is apparent. Even though he is speaking to Tye the challenge is directed at me. He wants to see how I'll handle a business conversation of the night my father was killed. He's testing my resolve.
"Well," Tye glances at me, rightly worried about the question, I met his gaze and he seems to get the message. He looks forward and starts to talk like a deputy giving his sheriff the full report. "We stalked the target to his usual campsite. After he and his daughter had fallen asleep we started to move in, but he heard us. So did his daughter. When we attacked the girl got in the way and was bitten in the process. The target was successfully taken out after that," I stood completely still and kept eye-contact with Gideon as he watched me. I can almost pretend Tye isn't even talking about me when he put the story that way, but the actual pain of it is all too real to completely separate myself from the reality that I am the daughter that got in the way. Seeming pleased with my reaction Gideon looks at Tye.
"Very well. The actual mission was a success. I'll congratulate you on that. I won't punish you on the girl seeing as it was an accident and she seems to have adjusted nicely," he looks down at what has to be paperwork on me. "What time exactly did she change?" Change? Crap! What about all that full moon stuff, is that a myth? Tye fidgets and hesitates. Gideon looks at his subordinate and asks for a second time, "What time did she change Tye?"
"Gideon, she hasn't yet," Clarys gasps and Gideon looks at me sharply. What does that mean?