Page 18 of Her Three Wolves

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“I hope not. I’ve already almost died once because of him and I’m in no hurry to do it again. But if he does at least we’ll be ready this time. At least we can defend ourselves, or flee, if we need to,” he said the last few words bitterly. I realized how much it must have hurt their pride to leave the clan to die, knowing that there was nothing they could do to prevent the deaths of the people they loved. For all that they had done to me my heart still went out to them. Nobody deserved having to live through that, and as I looked at them I saw the sorrow and the pain in their eyes. I had cut away all my connections to the world, so I knew that I could never feel what they had felt about their clan, but in a way I felt as though I was the one who had lost everything because at least they had their memories. The only memories I had were of leaving people behind, of wondering how different my life would have been if we had all just cared, and they were like memories of ice.

“Given all you’ve been through, do you wish that you had lived a different life, do you wish that you had been alone?” I asked.

“No,” Logan said immediately. “The clan taught me so many lessons that I never would have learned otherwise, and I hope that we can bring about a new clan because I want to pass those lessons on. We wolves have a proud heritage and our traditions are important to us.”

“I can see that.”

“Do you wish you had lived a different life?”

“Sometimes I think so, other times I don’t, but I suppose on the whole it would be nice to feel like I’m actually wanted in this world, like I’m actually good for something and care about other people.”

“What about Mel?” Jamie asked. “Don’t you care about her?”

“Well, yes, I guess, I mean, she’s a friend. But I came to rescue her because I had a chance to prevent her from being in danger at the bar and I didn’t do my best to stop her. Of course, I didn’t know at the time that she was just bait. But there’s something else I need to ask you about. There was another girl, Amy, who said that she was attacked by you. What happened with her?”

Logan and Jamie glanced at each other. “When we first fled to the city we were desperate and angry. Jackson saw Amy and he thought we had to spread our seed as quickly as possible in case Ishmael came back. That’s the backup plan really, to continue the clan by any means necessary, spreading our seed as far and wide as possible so that a new generation of werewolves will be born even though we wouldn’t be able to teach them ourselves, but at least they would be out there and our blood would continue to flow through the world. But when the time came Jackson found that he couldn’t do it. So he scared the poor girl away and we came up with another plan.”

“Which was me.”

“Yes,” Logan said. “And so far that plan is…well, still to be decided I suppose.”

“And how would you have handled things if you were in charge?”

His eyes twinkled a moment as he took a sip of his drink. “I hope you’re not trying to look for any kind of divide between my brothers and me because you won’t find any. There is never anything that’s going to come between us. We’ve been through too much for that. But, in all honesty, I would have handled things differently, even though we are under the pressure of time.”

“And what would you have done?”

“Taken my time, tried to charm you, and when the time came I would have told you the truth and hoped that you’d accept it. I don’t think this kind of thing should be taken with brute force. I tried to think how we would have explained it to the children and I couldn’t think of a way to make them see us in a positive light. Please know that Jackson never truly wanted this either, he just wanted us to do something in case Ishmael came back. Do you think that may have worked?”

“Perhaps,” I said. “So where did your clan live? Did you have lives in the city or did you spend all your time out here in these forests?” I decided to change tack as I didn’t want them to go on about the family all the time. It was in the back of my mind, niggling away, and I still wasn’t sure how I felt about it. All I could think about was what my parents were like, and I was so afraid that if I ever had any children I would be exactly like them.

“We ventured to the city occasionally but our clan was one that preferred to stay in the shadows, trying to live as our ancestors did. The city is…complicated. There are many moving parts and it is difficult to find a way to belong. Other wolves have managed it, but we preferred the freedom of being able to shift whenever we liked. Ishmael’s people live in the city, and I mean no offence, but I fear that humanity has rubbed off on him. He’s petty, holding onto a long grudge, and seeks to conquer all that stands in his way, whereas we would prefer to live in peace. All we want is to be left alone. That’s all most wolves have ever wanted.”

“It sounds as though your parents did a good job in raising you, although I’m surprised your clan didn’t try to live in the city and build a base where you could defend yourselves,” I said.

“They never thought they would need one. We knew about the blood feud of course, but we didn’t think Ishmael would still take it so seriously. We heard some rumblings, some rumors, but our parents and our elders didn’t think there was anything to worry about. They were sure that so much time had passed that it didn’t matter. We were all living our lives, and then one day out of nowhere Ishmael comes rampaging through the forest and attacks us before we even have a chance to prepare.”

At this moment Jamie pushed his chair out and strode out of the room. His fork hung on the edge of the table and then fell to the floor. Logan sighed, his shoulders slumped, and he placed his head in his hands.

“Jamie has taken it harder than either of us. He can’t handle even the slightest mention of the clan or our parents.”

“I can see that. He seems to be a little more sensitive than the two of you.”

“Perhaps he is, for he has not had as much experience to temper his feelings. Jamie had the strongest bond with our parents. They did not think they would have another child after I was born, and then Jamie came along. They used to call him their little miracle, and if you ask me they were kinder to him than they were to either myself or Jackson. I think he’s still young enough that he was convinced nothing like this could happen to us. But that’s the thing about Ishmael; he didn’t just take away our family, he took away our futures as well. He took away the paths are lives were on.”

“What was Jamie’s path?”

“It might surprise you, but Jamie was on his way to becoming a spiritual leader. He was always interested in books, always the studious one. He’s not typical for a wolf in that he doesn’t like fighting, but he does like the stories of old and our ties to the moon. He was being mentored by one of the elders, and sadly they were taken early in the attack. Jamie wasn’t able to learn all he wanted to learn and now he’s wondering what path his life is going to take.”

“Aren’t we all,” I replied dryly. “What path do you think yours is going to take?”

“I have no idea, and that’s just the way I like it. It’s been different for me you know. Jackson was always meant for greatness. That was his role as the eldest of course, and Jamie had the freedom to cho

ose his own path, but I was stuck in the middle. I’ve always been something of an understudy for Jackson, so I’ve never really had the chance to forge my own path. I suppose I’ve always been following in his wake, and even now I don’t know what I’ll do aside from help bring back our clan.”

“I suppose that’s just as noble a purpose as any. It’s not as though I’ve ever had any purpose like that. I’ve always been drifting, always thinking that at some point I’d figure out what I’d do with my life, but then that time never comes and I keep going on as I’ve always been going on.”

“Then maybe it’s time for you to find your purpose now,” he said. His words lingered in my mind as I finished my food. Part of me deep down had always wanted a family, and yet I never imagined it could happen like this. I had immediately dismissed the idea when Jackson had explained it to me, and I was still prone to dismissing it. I wanted to get back to my own life. It wasn’t much of a life, granted, and I doubted anyone would have been envious of me for living the way I did, but it was still the life I had forged for myself. It was mine, and nobody could take that away from me.

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