I rose from the bed and walked to the door.
“Are you going to try and run?”
“Not yet,” I smirked. “Thank you for telling me the truth. It’s given me a lot to think about,” I added more seriously.
“I hope that you do take what I said under consideration. It’s not easy to find a woman like you Millie.”
I left the room and returned to my own room with much on my mind. Was I really as special as he thought I was? As I left I reflected on what I’d seen and my mind returned to that moment when he had turned into a wolf. Looking back on it now I wasn’t as scared as I thought I would be. In a way I was enchanted by him. There was more to the world than I had ever imagined. There were secret clans of werewolves living among us, and it showed me that I had lacked perspective before. I thought back through my life and wondered if I had ever met a werewolf before without knowing it, or if I had met anyone else with a strange, magical secret. I found myself wanting to know more.
That evening at dinner I wasn’t just brought food on a tray, I was led out of my room by Logan to the dinner table where there was a place set for me. Jackson wasn’t there, for he was still too ill to move properly and was resting, but Logan assured me he would be back on his feet as soon as possible. There was a slight edge to Logan’s voice, which I assumed came from earlier when he had caught me with Jamie, and Jamie was his usual self, although he seemed more confident when he looked at me now; he looked away less.
We had some meat, vegetables, and potatoes. It was a basic meal, but filling, and it was cooked well, with a few herbs mixed in to give it some flavor.
“I assume you’re used to living off the land and cooking for yourselves?” I asked. “Jackson told me everything. Everything,” I said, making it clear that I knew their secret. I assumed Jackson had told them anyway, but I wanted to ensure there was no doubt between us.
“Cooking, sometimes, but we’re more used to hunting, although we didn’t think you’d appreciate us bringing back a carcass,” Logan said. “Besides, we’ve been trying to not shift too much in case it draws undue attention.”
I was reminded of what had happened to their family and I felt sorrow swell up inside me.
“I’m sorry for what happened, for what Ishmael did.”
“Thank you, but it’s okay. We live to fight another day at least,” Logan said.
I looked at him as I chewed on some meat. “You’re different from when we first met. I had you pegged as the happy go lucky sort, the kind of guy that nothing could bring down. Was that just an act?”
He gave me a weak and weary smile. “No, that is me, but time does take its toll. I just want this all to be over and, well, frankly I don’t agree with how we’ve treated you. Jackson explained it and he claimed it was the only way and when he explains things they usually make sense, but something about it never felt right and, well, I’m glad things have turned out the way they have I suppose. I just wish we weren’t driven to doing this in the first place.”
“I can imagine it was hard for you all, but yes there were other avenues you could have explored. Jackson seems to be carrying a lot of burdens around with him.”
“As is natural,” Logan said, glancing at Jamie. “We all are.”
“Yes. I’m…I’ve never been part of a clan or anything like that so I don’t know what it must have been like to lose everyone you ever loved. I’ve never had anyone love me.”
“What about your family?” Jamie asked, with all the innocence of youth
, as though he couldn’t comprehend that a family might not be filled with love like it was supposed to be.
I laughed grimly and exhaled deeply. “Well, you know Jamie, I suppose since you’ve all revealed your secrets I should tell you mine. The fact of the matter is that I was never wanted as a child. My parents had me when they weren’t ready, and when I came along I guess they just assumed they would be able to handle it, but they couldn’t. I heard them scream at each other, I had to endure them screaming at me, and I knew that I could do nothing right. They didn’t have the patience to teach me and they blamed me for ruining their lives. They split up and as soon as I could I left, not wanting anything to do with them again, but the sad thing is that they both have other families now. My Dad is with another woman who already had a son, and my Mom met a man who also had a son, but she has a little girl with him as well. I’ve seen them together. She looks just like I did at that age, and I can’t help thinking that she’s living the life I was supposed to have.”
The two of them looked at me blankly and I looked down at my plate. I hadn’t meant to reveal so much about my past, but once I began talking the emotions poured out and my words flowed like wine.
“Then we all know what it’s like to be alone,” Logan said.
“At least you have each other,” my voice cracked with emotion.
“You have us too, if you so choose. I’m sure Jackson made his proposal clear.”
“He did, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. I know he’s desperate, but what he asks is…I mean, I barely know each of you.”
“It appears you have nothing but time,” Logan replied with a smirk. “Did he tell you why he chose you?”
“He mentioned something about me having the spirit of a wolf,” I said. Logan snorted, although Jamie remained silent.
“I see he didn’t tell you all his secrets. When you see him next ask him about Lilah.”
I filed the name away for later and continued eating. “So, do you think Ishmael will come and find you here to end what he began?”