tagNonHumanIn The Shadow of The Moon Ch. 04

In The Shadow of The Moon Ch. 04

bysilentlysilly©

So here is Chapter 4. I am already working on chapter 5 and its still about half way along. I hope you enjoy chapter 4 its giving some great background. I do apologize to everyone who I left waiting for this next chapter, but I am back at school and I was waiting on my editors. So the chapters may get shorter but I promise to keep posting. Enjoy and comments are always welcome.

-silent


*******************

Intricate lines were being drawn on her thigh. Swirls and swoops cascading from the side of her hip to the side of her knee. Everything that had happened was present in her mind. With a slow breath, she opened her eyes and stared at the strong, smooth, brown hand next to her face. She wasn't quite ready to look at him. Victoria was afraid of what her face might show and afraid of what she might see in his. For the moment she didn't fight the rush of emotions she felt. She let the excitement and content flood her mind. She didn't really know how to process the information anyway. Part of her was still fighting this, but it was muffled now. There was a crack in her defensive wall and through that crack, her subconscious voice was screaming loudly.

The lines on her leg were sending slow waves through her body; a shivery tingly heat. She turned her head and looked up.

He smirked.

Her nerves got the best of her. She slipped out of the bed and flashed her robe to cover her body. She didn't really know what to say, so she rushed to the shower. Her stomach twisted at running away, but... She couldn't explain it even to herself. She leaned back against the door of the bathroom. His aroma clung to her skin; she didn't smell like herself anymore. Her body didn't feel like it belonged to her anymore. She could feel the bond to the man in the other room. Her wolf's total satisfaction at that churned her stomach up even more. She could feel him come and touch the door then walk out of the room. She sighed and turned on the shower. Her brain drifted.

The warm water of the shower was wonderful. With her body feeling a little tight and her mind hectic, it felt amazing. Water came from all sides of the shower, raining from the top and misting from the sides. She never wanted to leave. The thoughts that were pulling at her mind, she swatted them away. This shower felt too good to be marred by tumultuous emotions.

Before she knew it the water had run cold. She stepped out and dried off; she had always loved the lighter than air feeling she felt after showers. Even the hell her father put her through couldn't ruin that feeling. When the steam of the shower kept her skin warm. It was sanctuary. The few peaceable moments in her life. It was the perfect metaphor for her life. She had been living in a warm bubble then the cold rush of air when the door was opened was the madness of her father.

She moved to wipe the mirror, but it was pointless; the steam would move to cover it again. Her face was cloudy. In that cloud, she saw her past. When she was little, her father had been everything. To say that he was her world would be saying too little. He was more than that. Her mother and her father were perfection in her eyes. She had never known what it was that had driven him mad, but she would always remember the first time she recognized it. She was 10 years 35 days year old. She had gotten so tired of people telling her when she was grown up and when she wasn't. At 13 wolves aging slowed, but Victoria had known at 10 that she was all grown up. She had been redecorating her room. Taking away the pink lemonade color scheme she had chosen when she was 7 and moving on to the grown up lavender one.

There was screaming coming from the living room of their suites. Then she heard the unfamiliar sound of skin slapping skin. Her whole body shuddered at the sound. She heard her mother cry. When she hesitantly walked into the living room, her mother was on the floor, blood trickling out of the side of her mouth. Her father was a seething pillar of rage standing over her. The shadow that he cast over her wasn't enough to cover the tears seeping from her eyes. She moved to help her mother and her father lashed out. He grabbed her by the collar and lifted her off the ground. She had never felt so much fear, then or since. Her hands drifted to her neck, she could remember how hard it had been to breath. The look on her father's face was so different from the face she had known before.

There was no happiness to be found.

The steam-blurred image of her in the mirror grew more indistinct as tears came to her eyes.

He had thrown her into her room and locked the door afterward. She could do nothing but huddle in the corner. That was when the cold wind blew in. He had left her alone in the room for three days. At first she was terrified. She had ameliorated herself with finishing her room. It was already painted. A large gray tree with delicate lavender blossoms covered the branches. Loose petals seemed to be drifting in a breeze to the floor of her room. Her mother had told her it was a very grown up room for a 10 year old, but seeing as her mind was closer to 13, it fit just perfect.

Her heart leapt a little as she remembered showing her father the picture she had drawn of her future room. A rough crayola drawing of a scraggly looking tree and uneven blocks where furniture should go. He had picked her up, swirling her through the air. He had called the picture beautiful. The first day alone in the room, she had hoped that once she had finished the room and he saw it, she would be happy again. She had rearranged her desk, filling it with pens and notebooks instead of coloring books and crayons. Frantically tried to finish it. She made her bed nice and neat with all the extra throw pillows. She had attempted to move the dresser; it wasn't in the right place, but she wasn't strong enough. Back then she had told herself it was because she didn't want to scratch her new black hard wood floors. She didn't want to do anything else to make him angry.

On the second day, when it was finally done, she had pounded on the door for hours. She tried her hardest to get anyone's attention. Her father needed to see the finish room so he would be happy again. Her poundings turned to sobs, the sobs to pleas, and the pleas to silent whimpers. On the third day, she curled up on the floor. She refused to touch anything; when her father finally did open the door, he would see the perfect room. Her hand was bruised from her beating of the door. Her voice was hoarse. The same terror that had taken hold of her within her father's grip had taken root again. They had forgotten her. Left her in the room, they would never come for her.

Late in the evening, one of the omegas that worked as her nanny came and got her. She held her and washed her. She put ice on her hand and fed her, but Victoria never said a word. She would talk when her father came and saw the room. She would ask him if it was as beautiful as the picture. It wasn't until Noreen, the omega, tried to put her in the bed that she said something. She screamed her little head off, refusing to touch the perfectly made bed. When Noreen had put her down, Victoria quickly went to fix the pillows. She straightened out every wrinkle in the comforter and took her place back on the floor. She waited for days, but she never saw but a glimpse of him. That was how her road to perfection began. As her father began to cultivate the perfect pack, she tried to be the perfect daughter. It started out with never misbehaving and she threw herself into her studies. When she was old enough, it was all about the physical.

She trained and worked out. Despite what humans believed, being too skinny was a sign of sickness. She never went above or below a size 10/12. When her father said she was weak, she learned every style of fighting imaginable. She took up dancing when her father told her she wasn't graceful enough for a woman. Called her an elephant, said she stomped around. She tried to find her happiness, she tried to find her friends, but time never allowed for it.

Victoria angrily swiped at the mirror and stared at the "perfection" she had created. She let the tears dry and tucked the towel around her. There was no point in crying; what was done was done. The memories had left her cold and dazed inside, the steam chilling her skin. Goose bumps broke out across her legs as a breeze blew in from under the bathroom door. When she stepped out of the bathroom, Antony was leaned against the wall. He had changed into clean clothes and by the smell of it, he had taken a shower too. The tension, however, could be read in every line of his body. That's what he got for dipping into her mind; it wasn't a nice place in there. She didn't have very many happy thoughts anymore.

Maybe if he dipped into her head often enough, he would realize that they would never work. She started to move towards her closet, but he snagged her hand and moved her to the bed. He grabbed a bottle of lotion from her dresser and started at her feet. She just sat there and let the dark memories swamp her. His hands moved up her body, rubbing in lotion. There was nothing but comfort in his gestures and she was not in the mood to fight him right now. When he brought out underwear and clothes, she did her part to help him get them on her. Though the skirt he chose was one she hadn't bought for herself and didn't intend on wearing, she didn't question any of it. She just quietly moved in the direction he pointed her.

The feel of the brush running through her hair was the perfect background to her mood. Slow and rhythmic, she sat in front of her mirror without seeing. Eventually she could feel herself kick start again. Her body started to awaken as she carefully cataloged and stuffed away the volatile emotions. She noticed the odd picture they must make, him brushing her hair and her sitting catatonic. She noticed his smirk in the mirror and couldn't help but smile back.

She is beautiful.

She jumped as she heard his stray thought.

He stood her up and grabbed her face locking eyes with her.

"You are all broken up inside. You are incredibly loving and kind and beautiful. You are strong and powerful and courageous, but you are all messed up inside. That doesn't scare me away. You think you're dark and twisty? Well, sweetheart, we match. I have a dark past too. I won't claim it to be as dark as yours, but it still eats me up. Maybe if you opened yourself up to us a little more, you would catch as much from me as I catch from you."

She wanted to stop the tears, but there wasn't much she could do. He quickly wiped them away.

"Stop fighting us so much. Let your heart tell you that this is real and not that extremely confused brain of yours." His smile was gorgeous. "Why, thank you. Now if you don't mind, you were thinking about cooking lunch and my stomach does not like being teased with thoughts of lunch." He began to pull her towards the door.

"My sister is supposed to be arriving today. She is mated to an Alpha south of here, but they are both coming up for our mating. You should ask her to tell you her story. Then maybe you'll understand what I mean when I say dark inside. "

*******

Victoria moved the French toast around the pan nervously. She hated that, always being nervous around him. She would much rather be angry. After last night and this morning should just couldn't find the anger inside her. She flicked her eyes up to look at him. The wide plains of his back covered the view of the fridge. She could see red scratches where she had clung to him, but they were already fading. The disappointment she felt at that thought was equally as aggravating as her lack of anger.

He turned around with a bundle in his arms. He placed eggs, ham, tomatoes, cheese and hot sauce on the counter beside her. She thanked him meekly. Meekly? She rolled her eyes at herself. She was finding the anger, but it wasn't directed at him anymore. She flipped the last piece of French toast out of the pan and placed the plate in the oven. She moved to cut up tomatoes and ham and thought about what he had said.

Since she had been in the pack, she had learned very little about his family; that is his non-extended family. She knew his sister was mated to an Alpha, three packs southeast of here, somewhere in the Kansas area. He had two recluse twin brothers that lived on the property, but far back in the deep woods. They kept a cabin, but rarely walked on two legs. His parents were traveling through Europe. The idea made her smile. Normally a couple there age would look weird backpacking through Europe. Since wolves stopped aging and conceivably never died, they would be teens forever. She liked the thought. Deep inside her mind and at heart, she was a hopeless romantic. A significant portion of her life had been story time with her grandparents.

She let her thoughts wander to her Grand-mère and Grand-père as she moved the last of the tomatoes into a bowl and pulled out the ham. Her Louisianan-born grandmother and her Hawaiian-born grandfather, an odd couple in their day, grew up in the times of southern belles and old-fashioned gentlemen. When she had spent nights at their castle in the woods, they would whisper bedtime stories of stolen kisses, daring rescues from rude and persistent suitors, and a love as beautiful as the sunset. She smiled down at the slices of ham on the cutting board. This was one of the few perks to this whole mating business; they would be here tomorrow. She went back to chopping ham.

"They sound great. I can't wait to meet them."

"They are. They're the most amazing, loving people I know. The exception to the rule. I used to dream..." She scowled as she realized he had been in her mind again.

He put is hands up. "It wasn't me. You pushed the thoughts at me."

"Sure. Well, they are great, more than great.

"You'll have to tell me their story sometime."

She smiled down at the ham she had finished cutting. "They tell it best. I'll have them tell it when they get here."

She went back to cooking. She had gotten more and more comfortable in his presence. She had yet to leave the suite her mother and her shared. So, in her mind, she had blocked out the rest of the world and enjoyed the moment. She let her id roll around in the idea that she could live like this. Antony was funny and handsome. Also he was pushy, demanding, and persistent. Victoria was shocked to discover she liked that. She really liked cooking for him. His little moans of appreciation and pleasure as he nicked pieces of the food she was cooking. As she had grown up, she had rejected the idea, but she was a closet domestic goddess. She loved cooking, sewing, decorating. Those things weren't necessary in her father's pack. He had thrown her sewing machine out of a window. She grimaced at the thought and quickly checked the bacon and sausage that was cooking. She was happy though; this kitchen, with all its supplies, was one thing her mother had given back to her. The first night here, she had cried on the kitchen floor at 3 AM. She berated herself for being so ridiculous and crying over a kitchen. So she had pushed herself through a grueling workout and passed out on the couch. She just couldn't be nice to herself.

She oiled the bottom of a skillet and put it on the burner. After a minute, she placed the tomatoes and ham in the skilled and cracked a contingent of eggs into a bowl, poured a little milk and began to whisk. She was reminiscing too much. Her mind was flooded with too many memories of the past and the introspection was leaving her fired up and tense. She began to shut down the thoughts. While she dusted the top of the eggs with pepper and salt, she closed her mind to thoughts of her father, her old life, and any weakness on her part. She would not be weak. She could not be weak. She poured the eggs in the skillet with the ham and tomatoes. She watched as the eggs swallowed everything up, coating the tomatoes and ham in a yellow film, before beginning to bubble.

She looked up at Antony. He was staring intensely at her.

*********

Antony watched as she pulled up walls. Walls through which he could not find a way pass. She blocked them from herself and him. His connection to her was strong, but that wasn't the only reason he could hear her so clearly. Like her power to manipulate objects with her mind, no one could keep him out of their minds. He knew when any of his pack lied to him. He could see the paths that their minds took to a certain action. It helped him to judge fairly, but it also helped with healing.

After his rampage when he was seventeen, or at least close to it, the power had awakened in him. He was overwhelmed, but through the years, he had grown accustom to it. He knew how to manipulate it to get what he wanted. He had helped some of his pack members deal with death. Led their mind on a journey of self recovery, but with Victoria... Victoria could block him with little effort. He didn't know when she figured out how, but once she had, he noticed things he couldn't hear.

When she truly concentrated, he only felt her emotions. It wasn't until now that he realized she wasn't truly blocking him. She was blocking herself. Trying her hardest to separate herself from her past and all the emotions it brought up. Since she refused to let herself see it, neither could he. Very few people had that much self control.

"Hmm, I smell food. If I know, Antony that's where he is. Sorry to intrude on you, but my rude brother seems to have forgotten I was arriving today. Usually he meets me outside, but I guess it makes sense, he has other things to distract him. Sorry I forgot to introduce myself, I am Carlie."

"No that is quite alright, my name is Addyson; I'm Victoria's mother. You are the Alpha's sister, correct?"

"Yep, that's me. Wow, Addyson Parks. Do you know how exciting it is to meet a legend like you?"

The disembodied voice of his sister and soon to be mother-in-law got louder as they approached. He still held her eyes, trying to make some sort of head way. When she heard the voices, she had stiffened. Her mind took on a shimmery haze as she shifted slightly. It was like he was looking at her consciousness through a telescope. Her wolf slipped over just a little as she shifted her ears. Her felt her body relax as she heard her mother's voice. She moved to spoon eggs into a bowl then moved the food onto the table. He continued to stare at her as she grabbed plates. He heard the protest of grating plaster, like the sound of chalk being drug flat against a chalkboard, as she picked up the sound of Nicholas', Carlie's mate, plodding footsteps.

Her wolf slid in more over her mind. Trying to look into the haze hurt his eyes as they tried to focus the mental image. He blinked and pulled away as his sister walked into the room and promptly leapt into his arms. Only then did he finally pull his eyes away from Victoria. A smile broke across his face as his sister squeezed him. Her happiness was a golden bath that flooded his mind. As all big brothers are want to do, he spun her around and laughed.

"Well, look who finally made it home. My little broccoli."

She slid out of his arms and punched his chest hard. "You just had to bring that up. It's not as if you didn't go through the same humiliation that I had to go through. Why you insist on calling me that..." she growled, "is beyond me!"

"You wouldn't have it any other way and I was never anything as embarrassing as broccoli. Nick, whats up?"

"Nothing much. Just trying to keep that monster in line. How 'bout you?"

"All the usual..."

Addyson's voice raised above the commotion of the group. "Vicky where are you going? We have guest."

Antony turned around to see Victoria paused in the door way.

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