1 One

The full moon was close. it was around a week away, and I was pretty sure that everyone in Arcadia was feeling it. Not me They were about to go into the initiation into the pack and were already picking mates. Me, I wasn't. I was always looking around without any hope, wishing to be found. but year after year, I was skipped. year after year i...

You know what, let's forget it.

As the sun set in the horizon, I walked to the window and looked outside into compound. Two campfires were lit. one for the elders, the fire for storytelling and just good old innocent fun. Then there was the other camp fire, the one where the youth came to have fun, spread rumors and everything. A few yards from it, was the lake. There, everyone with a mate once chilled. Without a mate, you can't touch it's waters, unless you old enough to swim alone. Like me.

Then eerily looking at it all was the Omega house on its left. The house I am supposed to be living in, but there was no way in hell I was going to. On the right was the complete polar opposite of the Omega house, the Beta house. Full of life and inviting, not like the Omega house, that spooked. But I would admit, the Omega house held its own mysterious pull. But not enough to attract, it spooked.  

The pack was crowded around both fires and I honestly knew that stories were being told. Once in a while I could hear laughter and I felt my heart churn with desire at the sound of it all. I wanted to join them. Felt like joining them, but the knowledge that I might not be like them was disheartening.

I wanted to hear the pack stories, but as the prodigal Omega, I couldn't. Plus, I wasn't just an omega, I truly a lone wolf. Maybe I wasn't one, which I why I couldn't hear any of them. I mean, this was the pack I was born into. True. But I was almost twenty-four, which meant by this time I should be able to turn at will. But I couldn't. I haven't even had my first transformation yet. Thanks to somebody!

I stared at them. But even as I tried to listen my ears couldn't pick even a single word from the nearest fire. I skipped around the room took a hoodie and walked downstairs to the camp fires. At first I know I joined the elders and tried to listen to their stories from the old times, but I quickly felt out of place. especially with eyes trained on me, and being the only one in their twenties around thirteen-year-olds and well hundred-year-olds? then I walked to the other campfire to maybe hear what was new and maybe or not keep my eyes on Kevin, phew! man, that guy is hot! A really eye candy. But he was taken, by Mitchell. Which made me feel rather sad. But hey, she was a catch, for Michael's twin-sister. 

But I definitely don't know how I ended up here. In front of the most forbidden cabin of all in the pack compound. The most spookiest cabin in the entire pack compound. The cabin of the last Omega here.  The Omega house.

from what I heard, the omega, his wife and kid, all died a few months after I was born, and the house was put on total lockdown, never to be opened again.

But here I was, desiring to go in there. to search for something. but the fear of the omega's blood that stained it was repelling.

'Wanna go in?' Carey said appearing next to me.

'No.' I said quickly turned to move away. She pulled my hand and held it. Her hand felt warm, reassuring. she smiled sadly and pulled me close, preventing me from going away.

'You know,' she said looking at the cabin with saddest eyes I've ever seen her with ever since she walked me out of that closet five years ago. 'they were a lovely bunch. they were the kindest people in this pack. they were helpful and.... if you ever needed a thing. or felt afraid of anything, they were the ones you could turn to.' she smiled sadly and I felt her sadness ripping right through me. her smile in itself couldn't conceal the pain she felt at loosing  the Omegas. 

Something inside of me urged to know more. To know why the cabin had white flowers all year around all around it. I finally knew the answer to why everyone six years older than me, shed tears when they came to this place. but why some ran with fear upon coming to close proximity to this place was still unanswered. Or why I occasionally came upset minded to this place. I wanted to know but I was afraid.

She turned to face me and I quickly bowed my head. I was an Omega, looking at the future lunar and the present day top huntress wasn't something I could do. she chuckled and held me even closer to her. hugged me if all is well.

'you know, I'm not gonna eat you.' she said looking rather amused amiss the sadness she felt. 'you can say what is on your mind. they wouldn't like it if you just kept it to yourself. neither do I like it. I just want you to feel home. the same way they made everyone home.'

'were they....' the question I had on my head vanished. maybe I was just afraid to ask it.

'that kind?' she filled in my question though I'm sure that it wasn't the question I wanted to ask. 'Yeah, when your mom gave birth to you, they used to fight over who was to babysit you. most things you had when you were young was from them. there was a time when you thought of them as your parents instead of your actual parents. maybe its why even now you use the name Allison, instead of Ramsey.'

Ramsey? thoughts started spinning. I've heard of that name. my mother in her sleep used to cry out that name. Used to beg for that Ramsey to be saved in her dreams. I hated that name. Always jealous of it. It always felt like whoever Ramsey was, had my mother's heart. Not me. I still remembered my mother's last prayer, not to the moon goddess but the Guardian God, whoever he was to protect Ramsey, not me. But it was me all along?

It was me? I felt a sob form at the back of my throat and swallowed it. I wiped the tears I had on my eyes already and looked at Carey.

She smiled at some memory and stole a look at me once more before chuckling. 'Allison. Noble one. that's what they named you. or was it honest, or some glorified word in the odd language they spoke sometimes in. was it 'light'? I kind of forgot but I know that they took one look at you and that is what they agreed on. Mine was Carty.'

My face had moved from being warm to hot and tears had built on my face once more as I heard her voice crack. it hurt me to see her in pain. even though I had my own pain, hers was everything to me.

I mean I loved her. respected her and I was eternally grateful for her saving me. and to see her hurt, hurt me way more, especially with her pretending not to be hurt. I can pretend, she can't.

I hugged her and buried my face in her hair. 'I'm sorry, i...' my voice almost cracked.

'It's okay,' I whispered back. she held me tighter and for the first time in weeks, I felt a bit safer. The nudging in my chest grew easier. I remembered my mother, as weak as she got after my dad passed away, each day withering but holding herself on just to see me grow a little bit old. I remembered the nights she cried holding my father's photos. I've tried to comfort her but she was inconsolable. I remembered her and Ruby hiding me inside the closet just to protect me and seeing her being torn apart through the cracks of the closet by that black thing.

And I missed them. Terribly. Missed them so much it hurt.

'Carey,' I whispered, 'thank you for being there for me.'

'I... ' she locked eyes with me and even in the twilight, I saw concealed pain beneath her teary eyes and love too. The pain I've seen way too many times in her eyes. The pain that looked deeper than she was letting on. 'it's what a lunar does.' she said confidently, trying to make her eyes gleam. 

'"it's okay."its what you are supposed to say, maybe, 'it's no sweat.' or something along those lines.' I said without breaking the hug.

'oh, look at you learning how to speak.' she said caressing my hair before breaking the hug and walking off.

Sometimes, I wondered what she would be like if she wasn't a tomboy and always trying to be cool no matter the situation. How beautiful she would look like if she wore her hair long, not two inches like an American marine? Or when she actually wore a dress and makeup. Not khaki shorts and T-shirts,or hoods like she did. Or wore jeans that weren't oversize.

True, I loved her freckles. Her brown hazel eyes and cute dimples that showed every time she smiled, but I felt like she could try to be even more beautiful to her mate, Nate; the future alpha.

So says the person without a mate.

I started to follow her but I felt my heart tug, and eyes trained on me. I turned to the direction I felt the eyes from, but I couldn't see a thing, except for trees.  must be the border watchers. I thought.

I turned to go but my heart felt uneasy. it wasn't scared, or afraid. I knew those emotions way too well. it was tugging and like it had wings, it wanted to fly off in the direction of whoever was staring at me.

I took a breath and I caught it. The scent of moist earth. The smell of garden soil. Black garden soil. I think. At a whiff of it, my heart leapt. Even though the scent was but a pinch in the air, the faintest of all traces, it drove me nuts. it made me feel oddly warm within and safe, angry, mad and it made my heart dance. it made my heart ache. it made me think of Mr Ruffy. my favourite pale brown stuffed rabbit I had when I was young that I never washed. 

it made me miss him. it smelled like him, even though it was only a flyspeck, before somebody washed him and he started smelling like washing powder.

I wanted to walk towards the source of the scent. I died to have that scent right on my face. Died to be shrouded by that scent.

slowly I walked towards the forest. the scent was still a flyspeck. but as I got a step closer and closer to the edge of the forest, my stomach screamed. I grew worried, not for me but for him. my anger grew searingly hot and I knew whether he was hurt or not, I was going to kill him. whether I missed and loved him, I was going to tear him apart like loincloth. I knew if I was going to catch him, I was going to punish him for all the pain I have felt. 

I felt my body become hot. like something inside of me was boiling. I felt a hot wave form over my back and my spine ached along its length.

the wind changed direction and I lost the scent. the only thing I could pick up was but green plants. I stopped, my heart broke. the warmth I had within me, dissipated. the funny, yet nice and rejuvenating feeling in my stomach dissipated too. my heart that was racing became calm again, besides feeling abandoned and let go, became nothing but empty. Sad.

'Hey, ain't you coming?'  

'what?'

'aren't you coming?'

'oh I'll be there.'

As we approached the fire of the elders, we were greeted by laughter. I sat at the back and watched as Abigail, the Theta said with her smile on her face. "now, in the old days, that's how we did it. you boys, you girls, hmm, its all over the place." as she spoke, she didn't act like an old woman she was but like a fit twenty something old.

her expressions were priceless. those that laughed wrapped up as she sat back in her seat.

I looked across the pack and caught the sight of Kevin smiling so handsomely, my heart almost leapt, if he didn't turn to look at Mitchell and kiss her.

 I quickly turned to look away. though I knew again that he wasn't my mate, and reminded myself a lot, I couldn't help but feel bad about it.

"does anyone have a good story to tell?" Cavric asked adding coal dust to the fire. the dying fire caught blaze and sent sparks flying up into the night sky. silence dawned as the pubs looked around for a new storyteller. when none of the four elders who were present showed no sign of a story, he added, "even spooky ones?"

"well, I do have one." Old man Skylar stood up. a silent boo went across the side of the pubs. Maybe they know something I don't, but that shouldn't happen.

"should they do that?" I asked the girl next to me.

"who wouldn't? he has spent months here gloating, as if the gloating of one measly old man isn't enough once a week, he wants to do it again tonight." she responded without even whispering and turned back to the fire.

"oh."

"in the darkness, some say he stands, alone his eyes bloodshot, his fangs dripping blood." silence ran as a voice, almost a whisper started. from Avery, was it? I looked at the source. yep he was. the most recent member of the pack and a refugee from the mountain pack that disappeared potentially wiped out a month ago. As he spoke, he didn't move but stood like a statue. his face as grim as the tone of the story he was about to tell. "his clothes, torn and reduced to nothing but strands, various wolf fur clogged in his bloody fangs and claws, told a story of their own. spirits of his beloved, they say, loomed around him.Whispering..."

"shh!" mike added in a whisper. earning a lot of eyes as he himself stole looks around. tree leaves rusting came into mind with this effect.

"the stench of the blood of his beloved maddening with each second, a silent growl...' Avery continued and mike added the growl.

"breaks the silence of his wait. Patience running out, as deep hunger for revenge of his beloved boils the very skin he has. As he approaches, his stench..." Avery took a deep breath, and an aura of hate, sadness, rage all formed around him. he clenched his teeth and spoke through them. " reeks of nothing but fear. Around him, silence dwells as the beast approaches. the wind dies, everything that moves stops and hides. babies stop crying and in their own defenselessness tries to hide beneath the covers. 

As  he approaches, the packs feel it. cold sweats trail down their bodies. they feel the need to hide, but their feet, on the ground stay glued, refusing to move. shivers...."

he trailed off as I started hyperventilating. remembering the stench that hurt my nose. remembering stuck in that closet, but still feeling exposed. remembering the painful howls of my mother as she tried to fend off the beast from me and Ruby. 

remembering the last look Ruby gave me before she was pulled from the closet by that thing. remembering the feel of her warm blood as it splatted on me. the rumbling and pounding sound it made as it tore her apart. the chills of her shriek as the beast ate her.

Her loud cries for help as she was torn apart.

Her voice filled with heart breaking pain as she called for her dead parents.

I wanted to scream. to cry to shout for help, but I couldn't. my tongue was stuck to my mouth and wouldn't move.

remembering as it approached me. the nauseating feeling I had in my stomach, the desire to not even breath as its snout when into the closet and sniffed me. its claws pierced my chest and tore it open. Rolls of searing heat and pain boiling right through me. Everyone's screams soon becoming mine. 

everyone's pain, became mine.

the excruciating pain of my bones breaking.

the fire engulfing my body and burning it.

I felt my insides tear and my body ache all over.

felt the need to scream out to my mother to save me.

remembered being in the dark and crying for mom to heal me.

but no matter how hard I called she didn't come to heal me.

no matter how long I cried she didn't come to get me.

no matter how hard I slept, the pain didn't leave me.

I was there, unable to move or cry, thirsty and hungry, cold and paining, but she didn't come or anyone else. I covered myself sat in the closet, afraid to move like she said. afraid to make noise, like she said, and listened. prayed and hoped that I would hear her voice saying that it was okay that I cried earlier. hoping I will see her telling me that it was okay, she and ruby and everyone were all okay it was only just a bad dream. I wanted to tell her that I'm sorry but I missed her. that I want her to feed me. I wanted her to sing for me as she put me in bed. I wanted her to... 

"it's okay. shh. sleep." I heard her say.

"what's wrong with her?" I heard Carey ask someone wherever I was.

"nothing is wrong with her." Abigail responded in her old but youthful voice.

"she transformed and...!"

"shh, you'll wake her up."

"she transformed but its not the full moon yet." she whispered.

"right wording, she nearly transformed, she only assumed her wolf size."

"wolf size? Abi, did you see her?"

"I do look old, but my eyes are okay. I saw it too."

"what about her eyes... wait why are you calm?"

"what?"

"shouldn't you be dancing right now? didn't you like... wait for her to transform before you made her the official omega and...?"

"you are right, why am I calm? I should be..." she paused.

"What?" Carey asked. no response. a few moments later, the question flew  again before Abigail responded with, "I think we should take this outside." Then, they left. I think.

My heart ached. Like something inside of me was missing. Like something inside of me was torn apart. I tried to sleep. To silently cry the pain away but I couldn't. All i could do was stay in the bed with my body feeling weak. Like every time i woke up after oversleeping.

I thought of everything that happened today as i tried to sleep again. The day care was closed, so tomorrow morning I didn't have anything to do. I wasn't in charge of breakfast anymore. So what was I supposed to do? Ca…

I remembered that dream. I remembered the day I lost my pack. The nightmare, I've long had a long time ago. I thought I've long overcame it. I got up from the bed even though my body felt like lead.

I walked into the forest and headed straight to the little meadow as I thought of the dream I had at the Theta compound. They said I had turned but what stopped me from fully turning? Why don't I remember being a wolf? why I don't I hear my wolf? I wondered. A lot.

I took the blanket I kept wrapped on the tree and laid it on the ground. I slept on it as I watched the night's sky slowly turn to daybreak.

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