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Chapter Thirteen - Texting
The next day, Eileen didn't see him. Someone from his pack showed up and announced Gray was busy and this new guy was supposed to spar with her for the day. They were both cautious of each other, and that made for a rather awkward training session.
When the sun finally sank low enough and Eileen could politely dismiss herself, she did. Ducking inside the house, she rifled through the fridge, looking for a quick snack before she decided what she wanted to do. Brood in her room? Sneak over to see her brothers? The second option sounded more appealing since she hadn't heard from them.
Gray came storming from his office, head down and looking like a man on a mission. Eileen quickly stepped out of his path but he stopped when he saw her. "Oh, there you are. I was looking for you."
"Where were you?" she asked in confusion. Last time he'd had Alpha stuff to deal with in his office he'd just told her so and practices had been canceled. Was he pretending to be sick or something just to take a day off?
"I was here," he said, waving the room away. "I want to test the theory on my allergic reaction again. Are you willing?"
Willing to wander back into the shed and watch as he struggled to keep himself from shifting and ripping her to shreds? It wasn't high on her to-do list. Crossing her arms, she said, "We already know my presence doesn't really affect you. You were going to change no matter how much I talked."
He looked around, checking they were alone. "But when you kissed me it stopped the change."
"Probably because it was a one-time shock thing," Eileen said with a sigh, not buying it. "And it's not like I can kiss you all the time."
What an awkward thing to say.
"Are you in or out?" Gray said, heading for the back door. Eileen looked around, debating with herself. She'd had a wonderful evening almost planned—she might even be able to try and reason with her father about the situation—and she should just throw it all away for him?
"Ugh, in," Eileen growled, following him. "I hate you," she muttered under her breath.
And then they were back inside the shed, except this time he closed the doors. "Is this what you do for fun?" Eileen asked. "Just come in here and inject yourself with things?"
"I only inject with silver," he said coolly. "And no."
Tracing patterns in the table, Eileen asked, "Does the rest of your pack know about this?"
He set down whatever he was holding and leveled his gaze with hers. "Very few people know about my allergy. Mostly only within my looser family, since they had to assist in training me and there was no way to hide it. I'd appreciate it if you didn't just offer the information up to people."
Who did he think she was? She wasn't going to tell anyone.
Unless he pissed her off.
"Are you ready?" he asked, holding out his arm.
"Whoa," Eileen said, stepping back. "Shouldn't you give me a better idea of the plan? Am I supposed to do something? Are you using a different formula? You think things are going to change but you're not telling me how."
The needle rested against his tan skin. "You'll try to stop the shifting process much like before. We'll see how it plays out from there."
Why did Eileen feel like she was in the dark for this one? Suddenly it felt like Gray had trapped her in here to kill her, and she eyed the closed doors warily. Had he taken the day off from training to go plot her death?
The needle disappeared underneath his skin quickly, and Eileen looked away again. Gray set it beside him on the table before turning and resting against the same surface.
Keeping her distance, Eileen watched his reactions uncertainly. His skin jumping and tightening was the first sign. She didn't understand why he kept putting himself through this when he reacted so violently so quickly.
Even though he'd said it would go a lot like last time, Eileen couldn't find it within her to hold a conversation with him. Before she knew it his eyes were glowing a light blue, and she figured he was past the point of conversation anyway. Sighing, Eileen moved from her spot, lifting her hands up in an "easy there" motion.
"The injection will pass through quickly," she informed him. "Until then, you just have to hang on. You can manage that."
If he thought she was going to kiss him again, he was wrong. She'd meant it when she said she couldn't be kissing him all the time. In the middle of a fight with hunters, she could just imagine saying, "Wait!" and leaning over to kiss him so he could keep fighting.
Of course, she had no other tricks up her sleeve. She watched as his head snapped around, testing its range of motion. It was an eerie thing.
And very slowly, he began to shift.
"Shit," Eileen said, jumping back. "Shit, no, stop that." He didn't heed her words and Eileen looked over her shoulder at the closed doors. He hadn't told her to run if it came down to it, and he'd closed the doors. Did that mean she was supposed to stay? Did he want to fight her or something?
Grabbing the empty syringe, Eileen tossed it at him, wondering if the hit would jolt him enough to bring him out. The answer was no, he didn't notice it. His head was bowed now, and Eileen had a feeling things were about to happen very fast and he would be shifting very soon. Looking around, Eileen wondered if she could hide.
A final crack sounded, and Eileen stilled.
When she turned, there was no Gray. Instead a dark gray wolf stood in his place, glowing blue eyes watching her without blinking. That was a predatory move, which meant she was the prey. Crap.
"How do you feel?" she asked, appealing to any humanity that remained in him. He didn't respond, but his skin was jumping, which meant the silver was still in his system for the moment. "Please don't eat me," Eileen murmured.
The wolf didn't respond at all to her words. Experimentally she snapped her fingers, and his right ear followed the sound but his facial expression didn't change.
She didn't think he could understand her.
"You're an ass," she said quietly, testing the theory.
A slight ear flick, but nothing more. Nothing to prove he was laughing or angry with her at all. She didn't think Gray was in there anymore, and that was very weird considering that the wolf was… well, him.
She took a step back and he watched. So far he hadn't even growled at her, so maybe he didn't mind her? She was having a hard time reading him since she was used to more expressive werewolves not affected by silver.
One massive paw in front of the other, he advanced on her until she retreated in earnest. At that moment he patiently sat down and resumed staring at her.
"I don't know what's going on here," Eileen whined.
She was honestly pretty scared. Gray said he could rip her guts out, and she tried to take his threats seriously when they concerned wolf things. Yet here they were, in the same room with the doors closed, and he was acting quite calm.
Crouching down, she extended her palm but he made no move to sniff it. Kicking herself, she scolded that he wasn't a dog and didn't care about this stuff.
"Are you planning on chasing or killing me?" Eileen asked even though she knew the wolf wouldn't respond. "I don't want to play a game of cat and mouse in this shed, so if you're going to kill me, feel free."
Still, he sat patiently.
A long time ago, a different wolf had sat in front of her similarly. Her thoughts drifted back, though she watched him for any sign of movement.
She'd been young, and it was dark. At that age she hadn't hung out with Gray as much; she just liked the area by the stream that always stayed calm and quiet. She was over there spinning around, amusing herself as only a child could, and she grew very thirsty. Naturally she went to the water and dipped her hands in.
When she looked up with a handful of water, she immediately dropped it. Across from her was a large, dark wolf. The lighting was dim and made him look pitch black. His eyes glowed sharply in comparison, and Eileen had gasped.
Eyes narrowed, he brought both of his front paws into the stream.
At her age, Eileen hadn't understood that gave him the right to chase her. All she knew was that the stream was neutral territory and he looked scary. His teeth were covered in blood.
Just as she was about to scream, the wolf lowered himself into the stream bed and sat down, much like Gray was doing in front of her now. The wolf in the past had just stared, studying Eileen's young form. It didn't react if she approached, but when she attempted to leave it didn't seem to understand.
Of course, it was just a wolf.
Eileen had been terrified. Eventually she'd mustered the courage to turn around and run for the house. She'd made it and told no one what happened. She was lucky the wolf hadn't attacked her immediately.
Later, through overheard conversations, she found out the wolf couldn't be identified by the Moore pack and was thought to be dangerous: it had killed three men for no apparent reason. Eileen's little mind hadn't known what to make of it, and even now, Eileen still didn't know what to think. Maybe he just hadn't been hungry.
Testing the theory from long ago, Eileen approached. The wolf didn't move. When she took steps away, his body tensed.
What was going on here?
Maybe it was just "wild" wolf behavior. Yes, that made logical sense.
"What am I supposed to do?" she asked him desperately. As expected, no answer. He'd left her alone and in the dark once before, and here he was doing it again. Did she wait the injection out? Approach him? She wasn't kissing him in wolf form: she drew the line there.
Sliding one foot forward, Eileen approached him, waiting for any sign he was unsure of her. None, and so she took another step forward. The way his glowing eyes watched her every move was creepy, but in the end he was a predator and she couldn't forget that. When she was close enough that he could lunge and bite her she stopped.
She couldn't find the motivation to go farther.
He blinked, slowly.
Eileen looked over her shoulder, wondering if it was some kind of trick. When she turned back around, she met his eyes and blinked slowly, too. Was it some kind of code? Either he was accepting her or she'd just pissed him off by meeting his gaze and copying him.
Again, he blinked slowly.
Eileen had a feeling it was in acceptance. Holding her breath, Eileen stretched a hand out, trying to avoid his mouth and just touch his cheek instead. He kept very still.
When she made contact with his fur, she thought he might have leaned into her touch. She couldn't be sure, though, because in the next second he was exploding into a man underneath her watch and she let out a sharp shriek and scrabbled back.
"Ugh," Eileen said, collapsing onto her back when she saw Gray had managed to shift on his own after all. She threw an arm over her eyes and realized she was exhausted.
"What happened?" he asked. Eileen could sense him looking around.
Snorting, Eileen said, "Don't play with me. You tell me what happened."
"I injected myself, and you were quiet. You said something after that, and I shifted. And after that, there was… nothing." Confusion was evident in his tone, and Eileen sat upright, rubbing her eyes tiredly and staring at the fluorescent lights on the ceiling.
He didn't remember anything. "You're serious right now?" she clarified.
He nodded, watching her, worried. "Did I hurt you?" Looking beyond her, to the doors, he frowned. "You didn't run. And I'm still in here."
Deciding to take pity on his lack of memory, Eileen started explaining. "You didn't attack me: at all. But you couldn't understand me, either. We played some weird blinking game and right when I got the courage to touch you, you shifted back."
"You're the key," he said softly, almost in awe.
"I am not the key to freaking anything," she spat. "The first time I shocked you back, and this time the injection ran out. I felt it." She hadn't, but she liked the lie better than what he was saying so she stuck with it.
Taking a deep breath, he said, "You're right. I shouldn't jump to conclusions. I mean, it's only been twice."
"And you seriously don't remember anything?" Eileen asked curiously. "I've never heard of that happening." Granted, she'd also never heard of someone having as bad of an allergy to silver as he did. There was probably a bunch more she didn't know about, too.
"Nothing," he murmured, watching his fingers clench and unclench.
Despite the fact that he hadn't had lasting damage from the injection, an air of worry hung around him. Finally, Eileen decided it didn't hurt to ask questions, and he kind of owed her. "Why were you so worried for me?" Eileen asked. "Is it because you don't remember anything? I promise, you were never threatening: you just sat there."
His gaze turned distant. "I shifted at a very young age," he said softly. "I thought that meant I would be strong and have perfect control over shifting, like my parents, but I was wrong. The silver allergy made shifting unpredictable."
"But surely you weren't attacked so young," Eileen said, horrified.
"My parents died from hunters," Gray said, looking up at her. "Yes, hunters and the threat of silver were around. There were also pack members—once friends—who knew and would find ways to set me off." Eileen had a feeling they'd been kicked out of the pack quickly. "Every single time, I haven't remembered anything. And every single time except for when we've been in this shed, I've woken up covered in blood."
Eileen looked around the shed, wondering if maybe there was silver in here and it kept him grounded. "Do you know..?"
"To this day, I have no idea what—or who—I've killed in total."
Processing the information, Eileen placing her hands on the floor. "Do you know what this is made of?" she asked, smacking a hand down.
"Not silver," he said, reading her thoughts. "I think just wood, maybe concrete."
They both fell silent, Eileen's thoughts moving away. Even though his emotions were in turmoil, the two of them weren't fighting: that was good. Eileen wondered how long they'd been in here together and what they were supposed to do next.
Eileen guessed it was up to Gray.
Very quietly, to the point that Eileen almost couldn't hear, Gray started speaking again. "I didn't tell you the whole truth. When I shift back I do remember something, and that's what worries me. Whenever I shift back, I see you. It used to be you as a child, before we really knew each other, and now I see you as you are now."
"What does that mean?"
"I don't know. That's why it concerns me. I always thought I was out to kill you, in truth. I couldn't think of any other reason to have your image so strongly embedded in my mind." Taking a deep breath and giving her a weak smile, he said, "Obviously I was wrong."
Eileen's feelings were mixed. On one hand, she wasn't dead. On the other hand, Gray had very valid points for her not needing to be anywhere near him when he shifted against his will, and he'd brought her in here. If he'd been right in his prediction, she wouldn't be here right now. A frown formed on her face.
A low buzzing startled both of them, and Eileen pulled her phone out of her back pocket. She'd forgotten she even had it. Flipping open the screen, she noted with disgust her battery was down again and read the text she'd just received from Evan.
You need to escape.
Looking around, Eileen wondered why and how Evan even knew where she was. Still, she didn't doubt the twin she'd grown up with, and she racked her brain for a quick way out.
"Everything okay?" Gray asked, watching her.
Evan was probably trying to save her from Gray. It was possible Eileen had gotten lucky and the injection had caught Gray right before he was going to bite her hand off. Especially with what he had said about seeing her image after shifting, Eileen didn't think she wanted to be around him as a wolf.
"Fine," she lied, standing up and stretching. Her eyes landed on the table where, sure enough, he'd brought a spare syringe.
She pretended to just be studying something else before she gripped it in her hand, turned, and stabbed it into his shoulder. She winced and saw him jump, and her entire body ached from the imagined impact as the syringe automatically delivered the liquid. She wanted to apologize, but he probably didn't want to hear it. Dropping the syringe, Eileen rushed for the door.
The silver would keep him busy long enough for her to "escape" as Evan had requested. She heard bones cracking, and she made it through the doors before he actually shifted, thankfully.
Now where was Evan? He'd said to escape, and she had. If he was just messing with her and this fell through, she was going to be in such deep shit. If she was going down, he was going down too; she'd make sure of it. She took a few cautious steps into the darkness of the woods before a hand caught her around the middle and another hand clamped over her mouth, pulling her away.
AN: I didn't realize I never finished uploading Legacy on here! It's up on Wattpad, and I'll be adding everything on here hopefully soon. Please note Legacy was released as an ebook for a short time (edited, polished, pretty)... and that is NOT this file. This is the original. If the pretty one is ever re-released, I'll let y'all know.