Chapter 10

Chapter 10

A Chapter by thegirlthatwrites

There was a lot of silence following the arrival of the pack, broken only by a few bouts of small talk between Iniqua and the members of the pack. From what I gathered, the pack only consisted of six people, four of which were siblings in their late twenties and early thirties and all had the same bright blue eyes and names that began with the same letter. Kira, Katherine, Kenny, and Kyle. The oldest, who moved with spry reflexes despite the wrinkles on her face, was named Margaret, but everyone in her pack referred to her as Peggy. Felix's father was the Alpha, but I never learned what his name was. Once a Lupo became an Alpha, they shed their name and were only referred to as "Alpha" from thereon out. It was considered disrespectful and degrading to refer to an Alpha by the name they used prior to becoming leader of the pack.

Iniqua prepared dinner, with the help of Lowell, and Charmeine insisted that we have salad when she found out that Iniqua was making a pasta with fattening sauce. As much as I wanted to not have an appetite, my growling stomach gave away just how hungry I was, and it made me feel even more vulnerable as I sat in the living room with the entire pack of Lupos sitting anywhere but next to me. It was as if I had some disease, and coming within a few feet of me would make them susceptible to it. Did I have a bad scent? I had not showered that long ago.

"Felix is my son," Alpha suddenly broke through the silence.

"I gathered," was my knee-jerk response, and in the next second my heart skipped, expecting him or one of his Lupos to come after me for talking back. I had promised Charmeine before she went into the kitchen that I would not be rude to the Lupos, and they had agreed to respect me.

"I know you know, but I want to explain more. He was your brother, after all, and you deserve to know just as much about him as he deserves to know. Lupos understand surrogate families better than almost anyone."

I looked at him for a few moments, unable to tell if he was going to try to pull the wool over my eyes, or if he was actually being honest. I wanted to believe that when it came to Felix, he would be truthful, but I had just met the man, and his first reaction had been to attack me. I gave a slight nod anyway, preferring not to verbally express my lack of trust and belief just yet. He could prove me wrong, maybe.

"When I was thirty, I married a woman, a human, that I met in Dubai while visiting my family there," Alpha began as the members of his pack all turned their attention to him. Did they not know this story either? Were they as in the dark as I was? "She gave birth to a baby boy that we named Felix. We knew exactly when he would be born, as we had been able to calculate it. You see, Lupos are born so that on the night of their eighteenth birthday, it will be a new moon. She knew what I was, and she knew that whether she had a son or daughter, the child would be a Lupo as well. And she was prepared to take care of him. We even planned for the event that I should die, and she would be the one that would have to help him through his first transformation. We never planned for Gloria. I had never met that woman, but I had heard rumors about her. A dark witch with bad intentions, as those of her kind tended to have. She appeared so unassuming when she applied to be our cleaning lady, we did not even know she was a witch. She had taken a potion to hide the scent from me. One day I went to work, and when I returned, I found..." Alpha cleared his throat a bit, his eyes bloodshot and watery but shameless as his emotions slipped into his once stoic demeanor. "Felix had been taken. I found out only after the fact that it was Gloria, and she had cast a spell that created a scent illusion, so that I was unable to track either her or Felix. And my wife...Gloria had summoned a Heart to our house. It killed her, and made her into one of...them."

There was silence in the room once again, but it was not the awkward, tense kind from before. It was heavy with pain and empathy, and the members of Alpha's pack all reached their hands out to place them on his arms or shoulders to show them his support. They had never heard this before, then. I was unsure what to think. If Alpha had a hatred of dark witches and warlocks and of Hearts, it was entirely understandable. My opinion of Gloria had already been shattered when she left Felix and me alone that night in our home, but now, after hearing about what she had done to his family, the thought of even her name made my blood boil and my hands began to shake with anger.

"You thought I was her," I suddenly realized. "The hair, the dark witch scent...She was younger when you saw her."

"No, not quite." He shook his head as he wiped at the side of his eye, the puffiness already beginning to fade. "I didn't see her the night I came to your house, but I did finally catch her real scent. I knew you weren't her. Shortly before the night of his first transformation, Felix developed a Lupo scent. I had gotten a tip-off from someone about an approximation of where Gloria lived, but it was a fifty mile radius at the very least. Once we got the slightest scent of another Lupo, we went after it. When we realized it was similar to mine, I knew it had to be Felix. I spent eighteen years crossing the country trying to find Gloria or the Heart that killed Aanya. When you stopped me, I thought you were on Gloria's side. I thought you knew what Felix was. I thought he knew. I'm sorry."

I nodded again, just as slight this time as the last. It did sound somewhat plausible, considering how much had come to light lately about the woman that had tried to call herself our mother, but it was difficult for me to trust Alpha. I had known him for too short of a time, and I did not know enough about him outside of this story to tell if he could be trusted by anyone, including myself.

"Gloria was a terrible woman, whatever she did to you both-"

I stood up then without a word and walked from the room, realizing with a small start that Lowell, Iniqua, and Charmeine had all appeared in the doorway at some point. Behind me, I heard a low growl, very aware that it was coming from Alpha. "Down, boy," I heard Lowell's dry voice say faintly as I walked farther down the hallway, coming out to the kitchen and adjoining large dining room that was laid out with what appeared to be a feast. Iniqua had charmed the candles so that they hovered above the table like a chandelier, and the flames danced in unison. I raised my hand up, muttering, "Colomuta," under my breath as I focused my mind on a mental image of a color wheel. The color of the flames began to change after that, constantly changing and fading between all the colors able to be seen by the human eye.

"Interesting."

I turned to see that Iniqua had spoken after entering the room, his eyes on the candles. I quickly closed my fist and crossed my arms, a part of me wanting to hide my abilities from him. He had seen me use telekinesis and vision bend, two things that were characteristic of dark witches, people like me. He hated me. Or rather, he hated what I was. I could tell from the way he looked at me, from his insistence on being a bad host despite how affectionate he seemed toward Lowell and Charmie. He was even worse than Lowell about my magical abilities.

"Oh, pretty!" Charmeine said as she walked into the room, giving a little skip of joy and clapping her hands slightly. "Did you do that, Rae? I love it."

"Perhaps she can do it to the lights in your car," Iniqua said nonchalantly as he drained a large pot of pasta in the sink. "She is not staying in my home tonight."

"Alpha and his pack are, though. Lowell and I are. Why not her?"

"I do not feel safe with her under my roof."

"I guess light witches also don't have the specialty of tact," I mumbled under my breath, and Charmeine reached out to try to squeeze my hand reassuringly just a moment later. Did she not realize she was ten and not fifty?

"She is staying, Iniqua," Charmeine commanded in a firm voice, her lips barely moving.

I watched Iniqua's body freeze with his back turned to us, and he remained that way for nearly a whole minute as we watched him before he continued on with preparing the meal. Charmeine's smile returned easily, and she soon gathered everyone to eat. She made us all sit down while she and Lowell served us, though Lowell seemed less than thrilled to be helping his sister play waitress. I was seated at the foot of the table, with Charmeine to my right and Peggy on my left. Once the food was served to everyone, I tried my best to keep my head down and my mouth busy eating, but Charmeine kept trying to pull me into conversation between herself and Lowell. Peggy was silent, while the four siblings, Alpha, and Iniqua began exchanging jokes, easily ignoring me.

Thankfully, the Lupos ate fast, and all but Peggy soon excused themselves, and Iniqua vanished with them to show them to their rooms. Charmeine and Lowell started to clear the table, but when I stood to help them, Peggy reached out to place a calloused hand on my wrist. I looked over at her, slowly sinking down into my seat again. My bewilderment was clearly showing on my face, because she seemed somewhat amused.

"I won't harm you," she told me with a roll of her eyes. "I wanted to speak to you. Charmie says you're a bit of a bookworm."

For a second, my mouth moved and nothing came out, until I cleared my throat and answered her. "Yes, I love to read." In fact, when I had looked in my backpack earlier, I realized I had probably thrown more books in it than clothes. "Why?"

"You know a great deal about Lupos, then?"

"I think so. I mean, I thought so..."

She folded her hands, leaning back in her seat and looking at me with her eyes narrowed a bit. "Did Gloria ever teach you about Sansluna Lupos and Luna Lupos?"

"No. But, I've read those words before I haven't found out what the difference is. Yet."

"Sansluna Lupos are what most Lupos are, it's what Felix is. They're the ones with the strongest scent, so they're the easiest to find. We will find Felix. Tomorrow morning, when Iniqua scries, we'll find him." She let out a quiet laugh. "I'm too old to have the same amount of pride as Alpha."

A small smile spread on my lips, and I hoped that she could sense the gratefulness I was trying to convey to her. The reassurance was needed, and it carried more weight coming from her than it would have from Charmeine.

"So what is the difference?" I asked, unable to keep my curiosity from overpowering my desire to let that be the end of the conversation. "Between Sansluna and Luna?"

"Sansluna are the youngest breed of Lupos, technically. Youngest is a relative term when it comes to evolution. They're Lupos that undergo their first transformation during a new moon. Luna Lupos...they're direct descendants of the first Lupos. They're rare, and there aren't any packs or even Omegas in the Americas right now. They undergo their first transformation on the night of a full moon starting when they are thirteen, and they all have the strength of a Sansluna Alpha."

"So how strong are Luna Alphas?"

"Extremely. There's a bit of a myth that they have some magical abilities, as well. That if a Luna Alpha howls, they can summon any kind of Lupo on the continent. And they can release saliva that is capable of disintegrating anything, including a Heart's skin."

"So naturally they have to be extremely rare and their abilities are all partially myths."

Peggy let out an airy laugh with a small shrug. "Naturally. Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to steal Iniqua's finest wine and pour myself a glass of it and bring it upstairs to enjoy a bubble bath in my guest bathroom after a long day."

As she stood, Peggy reached out and gave my shoulder a slight squeeze before moving into the kitchen and beginning to look through the cupboards for a wine glass. I stood up, picking up the last of the dishes and bringing them over to where Lowell and Charmeine were beginning to wash them. As I held it out to Lowell, he reached out with his left hand, and his sleeve rod up enough for me to see the extension of his burn above his knuckles. He must have realized I had seen, and instead of trying to pull his left sleeve down, he rolled it up past his elbow, showing the burn scars that covered it. I had become so used to seeing him that I had gotten used to the scars that I saw on his hand and the side of his neck, but seeing so much more of the scars, I was taken a bit aback.

"How did it happen?" I asked, hopeful that he might answer my questions as honestly and as readily as Peggy had.

"No," was his blunt response before he turned away and dropped the plate into the sink.

"Rae," Charmeine cut in quietly, "you can probably take those bandages off now. Iniqua always charms his first-aid stuff to speed up healing."

I nodded and stepped out of the kitchen, going through the hallway and living room until I came to the empty bathroom. As I unwrapped the thick bandages, I could see where the blood had seeped through, but I felt no painful tug on my skin from dried blood sticking to the bandage. When the last of it slipped off my hand, it was in perfectly great condition, not even a trace of a scar from the class. I unwrapped the other hand and found it was healed just as much. In fact, my hands felt a bit smoother, as if they had been moisturized, too.

I held my hands up, a bit in awe over how well and how fast Iniqua's healing magic had worked. If he was not so against me, and I was a bit more willing to respect him, I could have asked him to give me some healing magic tips again. Then again, even if I asked, I would probably just get a response along the lines of, "Dark witches just aren't good at healing." It irritated me that I was not good at healing, but I could live with it, because everyone has their weaknesses. What sent me over the edge was the fact that I was considered "dark" because my strengths lay elsewhere. And now a few self-righteous a******s were going to give me a hard time about it. They hated Gloria. And they had their reasons for it, justified or not. But I was not Gloria.


© 2015 thegirlthatwrites


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Added on June 10, 2015
Last Updated on June 10, 2015
Tags: witch, magic, dark, light, werewolf, fantasy, family


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thegirlthatwrites
thegirlthatwrites

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I just really like to write, and there's not much else to it. more..

Writing