What Wanders Gets Lost
It was a slow day in the Jade Pack. Inside the alpha’s son’s room sat three teenagers. The television was on and the entertainment channel was playing. But none of them was looking at the TV. “So you’re telling me,” Brandon, the oldest said slowly, in a dangerous voice, “that our sister killed our mom’s brother to protect you?”
Naomi looked scared. She knew her brother was really, really angry. And she hated to be at the end of his questioning. Ben, her other brother was looking at her in shock. “Whoa, wait!” He nearly shouted. “Our uncle put his filthy paws on you?”
“H-he was t-t-trying and I-I was fighting him off, I s-s-swear! But th-then I wasn’t able to and b-big sis smelled my distress.” Naomi stuttered. The boys’ eyes widened. “She s-saw what happened and g-g-got so an-angry, goddess.” She exclaimed, not wanting to recall how terrifying Danielle had looked when she had attacked. “Sh-she ripped him apart instantly. She took b-barely five seconds.”
Brandon grunted with frustration. He pulled at his hair, growling angrily. “What took you so long?” He strained to keep his voice low. His wolf was telling him to go choke his sister.
“I was scared!” She yelled. “Dad, mom, granddad... everyone was going after her! I thought... if I said something, they would shut me up. You know how much they hate her! They just need an excuse to go after her, and if I ruined it, I would probably be sent away somewhere remote.”
“She is running for her life, Naomi,” Ben held Brandon back from attacking her. “We don’t know if she is dead or alive. And let alone the fact that she’s the sister we have looked up to all our lives, she saved you from possibly being raped. At least for that, you should have let go of your selfishness.”
Naomi collapsed on the ground, sobbing. “I’m sorry, I was so scared.”
Ben sighed. He put an arm around her and pulled her into a hug. But Brandon couldn’t care less. His mind was constantly thinking of where she might be and how he could help her.
“...queen and the king finally reached the palace earlier today. You can see on the screen that the mate bond has begun working already! How cute the couple looks! We have more pictures coming in of His and Her Majesty.”
“Shut that crap up!” Brandon growled loudly. He instinctively swung to look at the TV set when all three of them fell silent.
On the screen was their king walking with their sister.
“Inside sources tell us that although protocol demanded not calling her by her title before the coronation, His Majesty insisted that she be accorded every respect as a coronated queen. Well, folks, looks like this is a done deal!”
“Oh, my god,” Naomi whispered.
“You got that right,” Ben said in a whisper.
“Shut up, I have to think.” Brandon frowned. His elder sister. The one he had adored and hero-worshipped all his life. She was the queen. He felt rather complicated about it.
For one thing, she was going to be so far away. For another, he believed that that was where she belonged. She had been reinstated in her rightful place. He only hoped that His Majesty treated her well. Otherwise, he didn’t mind rebelling against the crown.
“Bran? What do we do now?” Ben mock-whispered. Brandon looked at his siblings.
“We,” he said, “are going to the palace.”
Goddess. She was everywhere. Her face was plastered on every known website and every TV channel. The royal telephone was constantly buzzing asking for interviews and sound bites from her. On one level, she could understand that people were excited about getting a queen after a hundred and fifty years. On another level, this experience was completely surreal. She couldn’t believe that people were so interested in knowing things about her.
She was a private person, so she asked McCall, who was now helping her out too, to decline all offers.
“So famous. At least tell them my name, Dani. Don’t be evil and keep me hidden.” Lupa spoke in her mind. Danielle thought about it for a while and decided to do one interview. She called McCall and told him about it.
“Your Majesty, I would advise against it before the coronation. At least then you will have legitimacy in their eyes.” McCall said pointedly. She winced. The truth hurt. “Might I suggest, Your Majesty, that we put up a profile of yours on the website of the crown?”
She hesitated. “Let me talk to the king about this.” She had self-knowledge and knew that these things were not something she had any experience in. So she walked quickly to his study but suddenly stopped outside the door. She didn’t know whether she should disturb him. What if he was doing something important?
She hovered in that spot indecisively for about ten minutes, when suddenly the door opened. Alex came out of the room looking amused. “Darling, what are you doing outside my door? For ten minutes at that.”
For the first time in a long time, Danielle’s face flushed red. She was so embarrassed that she wished the ground would swallow her as a whole. Alex stifled a laugh. He extended his hand and she took it. He pulled her into his study.
There were many files, papers and documents strewn across the table. Dani looked around curiously. She had never been to his study. There was a huge cabinet for keeping his books. It was like a mini-library. There was a cabinet for alcohol too. Then there was a huge painting of a man who looked so much like her mate. Except he had a French beard and was wearing the crown.
“Your father?” She murmured. He looked at the painting and nodded. “How...?”
His face sank and his eyes darkened. It seemed like Lycan, his wolf, was very close to the surface. She was taken aback. This question provoked such an extreme reaction? She let Lupa come to the fore. Lupa took over her body completely and walked towards her mate.
“Mate,” She hissed, seeing her other half for the first time. She ran her hand up and down his chest, calming the other wolf down. But Lycan didn’t retreat. Lupa cupped his face in her hands and pulled him close to meet her lips with his. The moment their lips met, Lupa attacked ferociously, fighting for dominance in their kiss. An excited Lycan reciprocated. When Lupa held his tongue between her teeth lightly, she slowly drew back.
"Tell your human to go on a run, soon,” she ordered. Lycan kissed her one last time before both gave up control.
Danielle didn’t forget what just happened. She raised a brow at Alex. “Well? What was that all about?”
Alex looked contrite and apologetic. “I’m sorry. I was already in a bad mood and was looking through some reports about Wanderers attacking packs. My father,” he paused looking at her, “was killed by a large group of wanderers. It was a planned assassination. So it comes as no surprise that they are no better than filth to me.”
Danielle flinched at the venom in his voice. Her heart skipped a beat. Her hands trembled. She looked at her mate staring at his father’s portrait. “Alex,” she said slowly, ”I am a Wanderer.”