We are about an hour out of Blue Moon now. I was in a black oversized hoodie, some black Sweatpants, and some wool socks. The smallest boots they had were size 12 men and I’m a size 7 man, so too big for me. Derek carried me from the cabin to the truck we were taking. I was riding shotgun while Derek drove, and then Matt, a warrior/ medic, took the back seat.
They didn’t even have a hairbrush or hair ties, so when we passed a gas station, Matt ran in to find them. No brush, but he found a couple of hair ties.
We are in the middle of nowhere, after all. I could at least pull my hair back into a messy bun, so I looked a little better.
The closer we got to the pack border, the more anxious I became. My body was shaking, and I was trying hard not to throw up. You would think that after everything I went through, I would be excited to go home and to be free, but I feel even more trapped. Now, I had to explain to my aunt that the woman who helped raise her was alive and evil.
And then there’s Mason. I couldn’t figure out what was worse, him being there or him not even bothering to show up.
We were just outside the pack border when my panic turned into an attack. I was gasping and shaking and I couldn’t stop. Derek pulled the truck over to the side of the road and he took my cheeks in his hands so that I would look at him.
“Ashlyn, I need you to breathe. Look at me and breathe with me. In and out. That’s it, babygirl.” He coached me.
“I don’t think I can do this.” I told him through shallow breaths.
“You can. Matt and I will be right beside you and we won’t leave until you ask us to, Okay?” He leaned over and placed his forehead on mine. I closed my eyes and tried to focus on my breathing.
I gave him a nod. Derek sat back in his seat and buckled back up and after putting the truck in drive, he took my hand in his.
His touch was calming. I could breathe again, and we crossed the border. Derek slammed on the brakes when a big grey wolf came on to the road. It was River, my uncle’s wolf. I rolled down the window and waved my arm out at him. There was no way my body could lean out of the damn window.
River walked over to my side of the truck and placed his paws on the open window frame. I patted him on the head and he howled at the sky.
Many more wolves stepped out from the dense forest on either side of the road. River jumped down and walked towards the pack house. This road isn’t really used to enter or exit our pack. There’s not much in the direction that we were coming from. He turned back to look at us.
“He wants us to follow,” I told Derek: He started driving slowly, but soon River picked up his pace. I could see the wolves running parallel to our vehicle.
“Do you know the grey wolf?” Derek asked me.
“That’s my Uncle’s wolf, River.” I told them. “He’s a warrior.”
The pack house came into view and it surprised me at who I saw. I could see the Alpha’s and Alex, but Liam, Brandon and Mason were all standing with them. Donny was also there with a bunch of his warrior buddies, whom I knew, and my aunt was also there.
“Hey Boss, the Alpha King sent his son.” Matt pointed out.
“He’s my mate.” I whispered, and Derek squeezed my hand that he was still holding. Derek pulled the truck up in front of the pack house. The truck’s windows are darkly tinted, so we could see them but they couldn’t see us. Derek put the truck in park, shutting it off, and turned in his seat to look at me.
You ready, babygirl?” He asked me. I looked into his sea-green eyes and I didn’t want to leave him. I felt safe with him. There was no bullshit, nothing to explain, and he expected nothing. But I took a deep breath, and I nodded to him.
Derek opened his door and hopped out of the truck. Matt also exited the back, but he came out on my side so he could help me out of the lifted truck, which I was thankful for. It’s still going to take a few days or even a week for me to fully heal. The food and rest definitely helped, but I’m still in rough shape.
Matt helped me walk around the truck to where everyone was waiting. I over heard Derek greeting Mason. And Mason addressed Derek as Prince Derek.
I’m sorry, Prince Derek?” I asked, and before could even get an answer, my Aunt Grace wrapped me in a hug. She wrapped her arms around my neck and not around my waist, which I was grateful.
She was sobbing.
“Ashlyn, thank the goddess! Are you okay?
Where the hell have you been ?!?” She was asking so many questions at once between her sobs. She finally pulled away, and I led her away from the crowd so Il could speak to her. I needed to tell her about Susan McNeal, aka my grandmother. I mindlinked her, so I knew no one could hear our conversation.
“Aunt Grace, I have to tell you something?”
“Oh my goddess, they rapped you?!?”
“No, not that.”
“Oh, thank the goddess.”
“But this isn’t good news either.”
“Ashlyn, just tell me.”
“Susan McNeal is the one responsible.”
Smack I felt a hard blow on my cheek, forcing my head to the side. My eyes instinctively closed, and I shut the mindlink with my aunt. Everyone was silent around us except for a loud growl. It would have terrified me if I didn’t know it was Thor.
“Why the fvck would you say that? Your grandmother is dead. Is this some kind of sick joke?” She screamed at me. I turned my head back to look at her. She was furious. Noticing Mason walking towards us, I put my hand up to stop him. I honestly was speechless. I turned away from her and started walking into the pack house.
“Where the f**k are you going? I want explanation now, Ashlyn! You can’t accuse a dead woman and then walk away!” She yelled.
I walked through the pack house and into the backyard. I walked until I was far enough away that I wouldn’t hurt anyone. The pressure in my chest was building, and I wasn’t exactly sure what was going to happen when I released it.
I had so many emotions running through me, but the most prominent one was anger. When did my aunt become such a b!tch? Was she always like this and I never noticed? What the hell is actually happening in my life right now? I felt lost and alone.
“At least mate is here.” Tundra purred in my head. I forgot all about everyone else. Mason was ere, but I still didn’t know if he was here because the Alpha King ordered him or if he was here for me.
My life was so complicated and I just have had enough.
I closed my eyes and let my emotions build up in my chest. When it became too much for me to handle, I felt the winds pick up around me. Letting it out with a scream. I fell onto my hands and knees and just let the sobs take me over. I couldn’t even focus on the physical pain I was feeling. My heart was breaking, and I didn’t know how to make it stop.
I could hear movement around me, but I didn’t care. Honestly, if people were here to kill me, I would welcome it. If I were dead, that would solve all these problems. Susan wouldn’t be able to start a war and my aunt would never have had to raise me. Everyone would have been better off without me alive.