For as agonizing as it is for me right now, I recall memories that my body has locked away in order to protect myself. I remember where I came from, it was a nice and beautiful village, where people knew and loved me, my parents were important people. They loved me the most out of everyone.
That painful day started much like any other, as my mom and dad, despite being busy people, still made time to play with me. We visited a sort of festival, and they bought me ice cream. Sweet, vanilla flavor. Dad carried me on his shoulders. I could see the people, moving about their day, happily. Some of them would even come up to my parents and strike up a friendly conversation, which would be met with kindness and warmth.
This all changed, when one important-looking person came up to them and whispered something to my dad. Then he, in turn, whispered to my mom, and they both had a worried look on their face, especially when my mother’s eyes met my gaze.
“I understand” my father spoke sternly, a tone he’d use only in certain situations. “We’ll make preparations then.” he continued.
We hurriedly returned home, in a huge house, which now reminds me of Edward’s mansion. My parents then went into their office, but not before telling Martha, my personal maid, to spend the day with me. I could hear muffled talking, before getting on with the day. I thought nothing of this at the time, but they were clearly stressed by the earlier news. Martha did everything in her power to distract me, and it worked.
However, at one point, I got called into their office. Only my mom spoke, while dad kept a serious and sad face, looking mostly at the ground, sometimes stealing glances towards me. My mom sat me down on the soft couch and she explained to me that I’m old enough now to go outside the village, on a camping trip with Martha. I had never left the village before, so I was happy and excited. It didn’t occur to me at the time that the two events are related.
And so, Martha and I left toward the end of the day, just as the sun was setting. The fact that we left through the backyard, in secrecy, only made me more excited. My parents kissed me goodbye and assured me that we would see each other soon. It was fun at the time, camping with my maid, gathering firewood in order to fend off the winter cold, sleeping in caves and burrows, hunting small prey to cook. Even so, after two days, Martha’s attitude suddenly changed. She was silent and her face betrayed fear. She had no answers to any of my questions. In hindsight, she probably got bad news from home, where we couldn’t return anymore. For the following days, we did our best to survive in the wilderness, our trip becoming not-so-fun anymore.
One day, by the time I woke up, it had snowed. Both me and Martha were happy for this, but due to different reasons: for me, it was an opportunity to play and run around, and for Martha, it was an easy way to distract me and escape my peering questions. But my laughter and chuckling attracted unwanted attention, as a few rogues heard the noise and made an appearance. The next moments happened extremely fast and they’re still vague. I guess I disassociated then, as it was a bloody mess. Martha yelled at me to run, but my tiny feet managed to move only a couple of steps before the sounds of bones breaking and flesh being ripped reached my ears. What they did to her was beyond cruel. What Accalia did was way worse, however, when the rogues had began making their way towards me, with pieces of Martha stuck to their claws. I froze and… let go. At the end of it all, I was left in the forest, shifted back, covered in rogues’ blood. It took a lot of power to shift, especially at such a young age, so it only makes sense that my memories of the event were foggy. Accalia must’ve also locked them away to prevent a young kid from experiencing that kind of trauma. Next thing I could remember, which was for the longest time my first memory, is waking up in the Blood Moon pack’s infirmery, with no recollection of why I was covered in dried blood or where I came from.
Here I find myself again, slightly more mature, but with a pain ever so familiar. I need to wake up from my nightmare, but I cannot. I want to remember more, what my parents were like, what their names were, why they sent me away. Perhaps I’ll stay in this dream a bit more.
The hunt is an exciting ceremony for the members of the pack, so I let Arthur lead and ensure things are going smoothly. As for myself, I can’t stop thinking about the other night, about Emily. Who is she, really? How could she resist my command? Is this a threat to myself and to the pack, or is she an asset? I need to support her, but I have to keep my distance, for my own safety. I’m afraid that everything might be crumbling once again, but I’m also too ashamed to admit it to anybody. I hoped this hunt would let me think clearly about my position as the Alpha King, but being challenged like that makes me worried. Nevertheless, she did nothing wrong, I think, so I’d want for her to not have a guilty conscience. This is for me alone to figure out, but at the end of the day, she is my mate, so I need to protect her. I’ll talk to her when we get back, try to explain that I need some time, maybe some space, but tell her not to worry about it. I love her.
Lost in my own thoughts, I glossed over getting mind-linked, but it soon registers to me that it means trouble. Breaches in our territory are never to be taken lightly, especially since some of them snuck past the patrols. I immediately mind-link Michael:
“Tell everyone we had a breach, rogues are currently in our territory. Everyone should act carefully and remain in groups, heading back towards the village. Pack warriors are to remain and deal with the rogues. Please emphasise to everybody the importance of safety in this matter.”
After the longest two seconds, Michael replies:
“Accalia left our group awhile ago. We must find her.”Arthur says bluntly, after which he begins sniffing vigorously around the area, in order to catch a whiff of either Emily or Accalia. I wish for her safety and apparently Arthur is also as worried as me, because he begins smelling and running around, desperately trying to find even a trace.
A few minutes pass without getting a clue, when suddeny an immense pain hits my chest, coming through the mate bond. My heart is being broken in two, just as Arthur finally finds her scent. Despite also feeling a slice of the agony, he begins sprinting toward where he thinks she could be, when it begins raining, giving us another reason to worry. If we lose her now, it could spell disaster. I don’t even want to begin to imagine the reason she’s feeling this emotional ache. All I can think of is that we need to find her. FAST.
My fears get amplified by Michael’s worried words, which pop inside of my head:
“Edward, I need to inform you: unfortunately Andy came to me and the poor boy is a mess. Apparently, he felt his mate bond with Grace breaking just a few seconds ago. This means…”
“I know.” She’s dead. Emily could have been with her, that wouldn’t be unimaginable. Dammit! That would explain her feelings. As I think of this, Arthur lets out a howl, both to warn incoming rogues and to mourn the fallen. I mind-link Michael once again:
“There’s a possibility that Emily was with Grace. Groups larger than five are to look for her. NOW!”
I don’t even wait for a reply, as Arthur recklessly runs through the rain, having lost Emily’s scent. Unexpectedly, we run into a rogue. My urge to shift and interrogate him about Emily and Grace is cut short by Arthur goring him, tearing him limb from limb in mere seconds. Arthur is too desperate to listen to any reason, as he kills every rogue he encounters in our path.
Rain is hiding the smells and thunders are deafening our ears, but we still run around almost aimlessly in an attempt to find her. Finally, Michael mind-links us with some news:
“Edward, we’ve found her, she’s… alive. However, we need you to come here ASAP.”