lt;pgt;I tilted my canvas to the left as I tried to get my paint brush at the perfect angle for my now fully
developed yellow flower.
lt;pgt;Anytime I needed to think, relax or just be at peace, I just grabbed my supplies and made art. A bird
chirped beside me as the cool evening breeze from the meadow whipped my hair all over in messy
curls. I frowned as I ran my hand through it, seeing it as yet another reminder that Niall wasn't here.
lt;pgt;Since we've lived together, he had always combed my hair for me, simply because I could never tame
the coily waves myself. However, since I had to go to bed alone last night, I didn't get my usual braids
or twists, courtesy of my lovely mate.
lt;pgt;But he didn't come home, and he still hasn't.
lt;pgt;Sighing deeply, I tried to remember what Asia had said about him being able to take care of himself,
which was further backed by his mom later that night at dinner. That didn't mean that I didn't miss him
though, and I couldn't hide the hurt I felt knowing that he just left me without telling me anything.
lt;pgt;I'm his mate. He knew damn well that I'd be worried sick and missing him. Whatever he had to do so
urgently better be important.
lt;pgt;I sighed, feeling defeated as I made the final stroke on my painting of the meadow. It was beautifully
painted--maybe one of my best, but it didn't give me the same satisfaction I normally felt whenever I
finish a painting. I knew that it was because of the immense frustration I was feeling, but I didn't even
try and hide it.
lt;pgt;This morning when I woke up, I laid in our bed, hugging his pillow for two hours straight. I then went
down for breakfast, which I had no appetite for, so I grabbed my supplies and came here. So far I've
painted a single green tree standing in the midst of a gray background, a bird, and finally the whole
lt;pgt;Niall's room can't hold anymore of my paintings, so I concluded on just gifting them to his parents or
leaving them in storage.
lt;pgt;I leaned against my tree with my legs pulled to my chest, and my chin on top of my knees as I gazed
into nothingness. I tried not to think about him too much, but I ensured to keep my link wide open so
that if he just happens to step within linking range, I'd know immediately.
lt;pgt;I let my thoughts drift as I allowed my eyes to flutter closed. I pushed my wolf forward in my head in
order to connect to nature more, just to appreciate the brush of the wind, the quiet hums of animals and
the melancholy sound of the stream flowing. Luka always helped me with this technique growing up
even without my wolf. He always said that once my wolf comes alive, I'd connect better.
lt;pgt;And he was right.
lt;pgt;Within seconds I was one with my surroundings, just appreciating everything about the moment.
Though my frustration was still on edge, it was now bathed in tranquility as I let myself go. I slowly filled
my lungs with air momentarily, before letting it out again. I made a mental note to thank Luka for this as
I felt myself drifting away. It wouldn't be the first time I fell asleep here, and no one else knows about
the place so I was safe.
lt;pgt;However, as if the universe couldn't give me a break, I suddenly got alert when I sensed a foreign
presence near. I perked my ears and focused on the scent that was distant but strong nonetheless. I
straightened my back as my eyes shifted to my wolf's amber ones, a sign that she has taken control. A
growl rumbled from my chest as I looked through my wolf eyes around the area, just waiting for my
intruder to appear.
lt;pgt;I knew the smarter thing to do was run back for help, but there was a strong primitive instinct in me that
glued me to my spot in order to protect the pack. And though I haven't had much fighting practice inlt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;wolf form, Luka and Beta Caleb ensured that I learnt how to fight. So if it should come to that, I'd be
lt;pgt;However, the closer the intruder got, the more familiar the scent became until I realized that my wolf
stepped back completely, leaving me defenseless as she relaxed. I mini panicked, forcing her to get
back up, confused at her behaviour.
lt;pgt;I knew she was hurt about mate leaving but isn't dying just a tad extreme? But in time I noticed that she
wasn't sad or lonely, she was just calm.
lt;pgt;Our wolves act mainly on instincts. It's what kept us alive all these years. So I trusted mine and let my
guard down just to try and focus on the scent. But as the wolf got closer, I realized why the scent was
so familiar. My eyes scanned the trees as I waited for her appearance, and I couldn't help but wonder
how she managed to find me all the way out here.
lt;pgt;If she was dangerous, I'd be in real danger. The first time I saw her was at Victoria's house back in
Brightwater Pack territory. Now I'm miles upon miles away and yet she managed to find me. She
obviously has something worthwhile to tell me, since it seemed like she has been tracking me a while.
The last time she was ushered away by Niall, but now I'll know for sure what she wants.
lt;pgt;I got up on my feet as I saw a shadow in the trees on the other side of the clearing. If my wolf wasn't so
calm around her, I would've been really freaked out about how mysterious she looked just standing
there. It almost gave me a creepy stalker vibe.
lt;pgt;"You've come all this way to find me. What is it that you want?" I shouted just loud enough where I
knew her wolf hearing would pick up.
lt;pgt;Instead of answering, she emerged more from the trees as she came closer to me. I kept my wolf on
edge just enough for if I will need to shift quickly. Even though she didn't seem like a threat, I still
couldn't avoid the fact that she's a complete stranger. It's only smart to stay on edge.lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;The closer she came, the better look I got at her face. She looked more at ease than the last time I saw
her, which made me feel slightly better knowing whatever she had to tell me wasn't bad.
lt;pgt;She was also very pretty. She had a latino complexion and dark waist length hair. Her eyes were big
and bright, and her lips held a small friendly simper. She had a scar running from her lower left eye to
her left ear, but it just gave her a tough but surprisingly sexy look.
lt;pgt;As she came closer, I saw that calling her a 'girl' would be slightly inappropriate, since she looked
around the age of Victoria and Luka. It was for sure that she was a rogue, but her clothes were bright
and clean, a sign that she wasn't the nomadic type of rogue.
lt;pgt;"I'm sorry our last meeting didn't go so well. What I need to say wouldn't sit well with your mate" She
said once she was a few feet away from me. My eyebrows scrunched in confusion as I felt my stomach
lt;pgt;If whatever she had to tell me wouldn't sit well with Niall, then it wouldn't sit well with me either. The
mere fact that she even knew who I was unsettled me.
lt;pgt;"Who are you? How do you know who I am?" I asked, just to get my mind clear enough.
lt;pgt;She smiled gently as she moved to sit in front of me with her legs crossed over each other. I mimicked
her pose as I readied myself to hear what she had to say. It was so odd that even though I was still on
alert, I felt so comfortable around her.
lt;pgt;"I know you because I knew your father" She stated, and I was up on my feet before I could even blink.
lt;pgt;"I knew it!" I knew her scent was too familiar to his for it to be a coincidence. It just puzzled me how
she's just finding me and why.lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;"Hey relax. I'll tell you everything" She gestured for me to sit back down, which I slowly did. My
excitement and anxiety was eating away at my mind. She offered me an encouraging smile while I
relaxed into the soft grass.
lt;pgt;"I was born of the Gamma family of The Roseum Pack, deep in the forests of the Amazon. I was stolen
by rogues from my family at age six, brought to the US to be exploited for my blood. You see, Zoey, we
are very special wolves, but at such a young age, I never understood." She met my eyes with an
encouraging smile as she fiddled with her hands before continuing.
lt;pgt;I was more than already invested in her story even though there wasn't much connection to us as yet.
lt;pgt;"Your father, Reagan, found me and rescued me from their evil hands before they could even imagine
doing their dirty deeds with me. He knew I was like him from the moment he caught my scent. But
since I was a child without a wolf, he didn't know for sure. I was old enough to tell him where I was
from, but I had no knowledge of English back then. So, he took me in and raised me as his own....By
the time I was proficient in English, I had already grown close to him and refused to go back home,
since being the daughter of the Gamma family never granted me as much affection as Reagan gave
me." She looked up to meet my eyes with sorrowful ones.
lt;pgt;"I'm sorry you didn't get to be raised by him. I knew he loved you very much"
lt;pgt;"Thank you. I can only imagine" I mumbled, feeling a rush of sadness sprinkled with an ounce of
jealousy for this woman. I had no ill feeling towards her though. I knew she was sincere.
lt;pgt;"I lived as a rogue with him, and on many occasions I almost got him killed when he had to fight to
protect me. Sometimes when we were settled at a temporary home, he would tell me stories about
himself, but he was never straight forward with anything. Eventually, I put it all together and figured out
my own theory about his background, but up till this day, I am yet to learn everything" Her expression
changed from one of thought to one of moderate excitement.lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;"But when I turned 18 and initiated my first shift, I understood completely. Once I caught his scent and
realized how different it was from other rogues, I was able to understand why he fought for me, why he
saved me and why he raised me. Because we are bound by blood"
lt;pgt;My eyes widened in shock as the words stumbled from her lips. I mean, it would make sense why their
scents were familiar, but it still had a lot of loopholes.
lt;pgt;"Wait are you saying we're related?" I questioned as I rubbed my temples in frustration.
lt;pgt;"Not exactly, but there's an ancient story that will explain it all. I wish I could tell you, but I'm yet to learn
it all on my own. "
lt;pgt;"So why didn't you go home and find out why?" I asked as my head soared with questions. "And did
you say your first shift was on your 18th birthday?"
lt;pgt;She chuckled lightly as she held my hand in her small ones, but ignored my questions completely to
continue her story.
lt;pgt;"Reagan wasn't surprised when I didn't shift on my 16th birthday but he didn't tell me why. It was then
that I knew that he knew where I was from all along. Maybe it was my driving desire to stay with him, or
the father-daughter relationship that we had that made him adhere to my request to stay. But ultimately
I knew that he would try and send me back eventually. He always talked about how dangerous the
rogue life was"
lt;pgt;"That's what he said in the letter" I muttered mostly to myself.
lt;pgt;"And he did. Once I turned 18 and shifted for the first time, he wouldn't stop preaching about how much
easier I'd be to be tracked now that my wolf was awake in me. He tried to convince me that I'd be safer
at home, but after twelve years as a rogue, I didn't know to be anything else. I didn't even like mylt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;home. Things were always so...hard" She looked away from my intense gaze, and I could see her
discomfort. I didn't urge her to explain, since it looked like a touchy subject.
lt;pgt;"However, like any father would do, he didn't stop trying to get me home. So we had a falling out and I
ran away. I'm sure he looked for me, but he must've known that I learnt his strategies of staying hidden
and unnoticed. " Her eyes looked sad as she played with my fingers with hers, but a small smile formed
on her lips as she continued.
lt;pgt;"But then I realized that he stopped searching, and I tried not to be disappointed even though I didn't
know why." She met my eyes once again with nothing but admiration. "Then a companion we had up
north informed me that Reagan bore a child--a daughter. I couldn't be more happy for him, but I also
knew you'd be his main focus now. I knew he'd try and get you in a pack, and I'm terribly sorry about
the price he had to pay to do that"
lt;pgt;Her face fell, and I could see that she missed him probably even more than I did. She knew him for
twelve years after all, and I only knew him for three. It was my time to squeeze her hand in comfort,
encouraging her to continue.
lt;pgt;"I kept an eye on you, but I never intervened because we both were safer that way. I don't know why I
chose until now to approach you, but I just came with one goal" She said with a thoughtful expression.
lt;pgt;"And what's that?" I asked, still not knowing her motive for seeking me out just now.
lt;pgt;"Whatever you're looking for, you won't find it here. You must go to the Emerald Pack in England. There
you will learn all you need to"
lt;pgt;"But I've been to the Emerald Pack countless times as a child."I pointed out, even more confused than
lt;pgt;"You have, but you weren't seeking answers then. I know that you don't know me, and you have every
right to be skeptical. I'm a rogue who claimed to know your dad. But from the little he told me growing
up and what I concluded on my own, I know your answer is there" She smiled encouragingly and I tried
really hard to believe her.
lt;pgt;"Why Emerald Pack?" My heart raced as I thought about it all.
lt;pgt;I feared what she would say next, because deep down I knew that answer. I've always felt drawn to
Emerald Pack more than home, and Victoria always assumed that it was because of the freedom I was
granted whenever I visited Emma. Yet I knew it was deeper than that.
lt;pgt;"Because, my dearest baby sister, your father was from Emerald Pack."lt;/pgt;