Chapter 1

2550 Words
"You look very different from the last time I saw you" I looked to my side at my sister as she drove the car. I did notice her throwing me weird glances since I saw her at the airport today. To be honest, I was disappointed to see her there. I was actually hoping to see my mother. "Should I take that as a compliment?" I asked her in a flat tone. She chuckled as if I had cracked a joke, "Yeah, I did mean that in a good way." She assured me, "Mom is really excited to see you. She has been babbling about you nonstop since you told her you were going to come home, " She added, glancing my way again. A small smile tugged at the corners of my lips."That is understandable." I sighed, "She is the only person who truly cares about me," I said, turning my face to the front again. My sister cleared her throat uncomfortably, "Oh, don't be like that, Cora." She shook her head, "I care about you too" I wanted to scoff at that. "Not when all of your friends made fun of me," I shrugged. If she thinks I forgot what I have gone through while I was here and pretended that everything was fine and dandy, then she was wrong. There is a c***k in our relationship, and no amount of glue is going to fix that. "That was like ten years ago, Cora." She cried out, "I am a better person now. It is not my fault that I got my wolf and you didn't. They didn't want to -" "This is not about me getting the wolf." I shook my head, looking at her again, "You never called me even once since I left. Not even a quick text. That itself shows how much you care about me, Mera. " I smiled at her and watched her look away, unable to handle my accusing gaze. A few seconds passed and she didn't say anything but just when I was about to look away from her, I thought I saw her part her lips to say something, "Let's not continue talking and make this awkward more than it already is" I quickly said, not wanting to resume our conversation. She muttered something under her breath, but I didn't care. I gave up on her a very long time ago. I turned my gaze to the side, hoping that would make me feel better. It looked like a lot of have changed since the last time I was here. I wonder if I can still get around here like I used to. The town isn't the same anymore. Whoever planned the infrastructure of this town while I was away should be applauded for what they have achieved. That was impressive. Only it would be more excellent if people in this town had changed for the better as well. Just when I thought I won't get surprised after this, my sister pulled the car stop at a different driveway. I frowned and looked at her questioningly, "What? We moved into a bigger house two years ago. " She shrugged before killing the engine and getting out of the car. I sighed and glanced at the house. It does look bigger than the house we used to live in. I quietly got out of the car and took my bag from the boot before stepping into the house, and immediately, my nostrils were hit with the familiar scent of home. "CORA!" I grinned, turning to look at my mother, who was running toward me excitedly. She tackled me into a big warm hug, knocking out all of my breath momentarily as she squeezed me in her arms. I dropped the bag on the floor to hug her back, inhaling into the crook of her neck. I missed her so much, "It is good to see you too, mom." I mumbled into her shoulder and felt another presence behind her, "Dad" I greeted, letting go of my mother to give him a side hug. My father and I are not that close, but I do know that he loves me."We've missed you so much, dear." He said, hugging me back, "You look absolutely stunning. The little girl is not little anymore, " He sang, pulling away to get a good look at me. I couldn't help but blush at that, "Thanks, I guess." I scratched the back of my neck uncomfortably. "Still not comfortable with getting complimented," He noted, and I chuckled softly, nodding my head in agreement, "Alright, I guess I will see you all at dinner. Pack matters, " my father added, glancing at his watch, "I'll catch up with you soon, kiddo, " He said before rushing out of the house. I smiled at his retreating figure, "Well, that hasn't changed," I said, glancing at my mother. My mother grinned at me, "Ah, you must be tired." She said, "Let's get to your room. Give it to me, I can carry them for you, " She offered when I bent down to get my bag, I shook my head at her, "That's okay, mom." I said, "They don't weigh that much." I shrugged at her. She smiled at me, "That hasn't changed as well," She said. She gave me a quick tour around the house and showed me the room I am going to stay in until I go back to London for my graduation. I wasn't a picky person, so the room was more than enough for me. I actually kind of liked it. "Nice house," I commented, "I was actually surprised when Mera said you guys moved" "Well, you must have been busy with your examinations and assignments that you forgot I told you about that" My mother shook her head at me, "Rest," She said, gesturing at the bed, "Join us for dinner later. It will be our first dinner together in many years" I nodded my head at her, and she left me to settle in the room. I took my sweet time and looked around the room again before letting out a deep breath. I didn't know what I imagined when I decided to come back home, but a new house is certainly not what I expected. I decided to unpack my belongings first. It took me less than twenty minutes to neatly fold my clothes and hang them in the wardrobe as I didn't bring that many items of clothing from my campus. Besides, I am here only for a month. I am planning to move to London permanently after my stay here. I am happier there anyway. Time flew by as I made myself comfortable in my new room and before I know it, Mera was knocking on my room door with a sour face, asking me to come down to join them for dinner. Half-heartedly, that is. I knew she wouldn't like it if I came back here. That's why I stayed away from home all these years. It is rather a foreign feeling to be seated with my family after a very long time. It made me awkward. Clumsy, even. I couldn't help but feel a little insecure, which is ridiculous, considering they are my family. The people that I should be the most comfortable with. "So how was life abroad?" My father started when the silence got too overbearing. "Must have been nice judging the way she looks right now," Mera scoffed under her breath, earning a glare from my father. I swallowed the spoonful of lasagne I was munching before answering, "It was peaceful. No one judged me. " I shrugged at him, "I can be who I am without feeling left out, " I added, gazing at my sister meaningfully. Mera rolled her eyes and looked away. Seriously, how old does she think she is? My mother cleared her throat uncomfortably, "How's the food?" She asked, changing the subject easily, "I made it, especially for you," She added when I averted my eyes from her. I smiled at her and gave her an approving nod, "It is delicious, mom" I said, glancing down at my plate, "I would be lying if I said I didn't miss your cooking" I went on and watched the smile on her face widen. "Cora," my father said suddenly, and the tone of his voice instantly suggested to me that whatever he was going to say next would be serious. I looked at him and held my breath, waiting for him to continue, "You have to meet the Alpha. It is customary to meet the Alpha upon returning back home after many years abroad" Yeah, I forgot about that."Won't Alpha Chris let me pass?" I asked him, "I mean, he knows who I am, right? He knows I don't hold a threat to the pack because..." I trailed, knowing my father would understand what I was implying. Because I am a human and not a wolf. What can a weak human do to the entire pack? My mother and father exchanged a meaningful glance before my father spoke up, "Chris is not our Alpha anymore" My father shook his head, "Our pack fought in a battle a few years ago and lost Chris" He said with a forlorn expression on his face. My eyes nearly bulged out from their sockets, "Wh-what?" I asked, shocked. My father opened his mouth to say something, but Mera beat him to it, "Yeah, you were not here." She sighed, "You were busy having the best time of your life" I frowned at my only sister, "What can I possibly do even if I was here?" I asked her, "I can't save anyone. I can't save myself for God's sake. I am not a wolf. " I shook my head, "Sometimes, you talk like you have no brain, Mera. " I shook my head at her, disappointed. She couldn't say anything in return for that. "Back to what we were talking about," My father said quickly, sensing how the air around us thickened with tension in a matter of seconds, "We have merged with another neighboring pack and now their Alpha is our Alpha" He stated. I thought about it for a second, "Alpha Chris had a son, right? Why isn't he the Alpha?" I asked him, remembering one of the bullies I endured in high school. My father actually looked surprised, "Jax was incapable of looking after the pack. He also lost in the duel when he challenged Alpha Noah, " He explained. "Alpha Noah," I tested the name on my tongue. The name itself rang with an amount of power that I can not explain, "When should I meet him?" I asked my father coolly despite the fact I hated that. "Tomorrow would be fine." My father nodded. I let out a sigh and nodded at him. It is okay, I just have to meet him once. Then, I will be free to live in my room for the rest of the month. "Can I come as well?" Mera asked eagerly. I gave her a look. Why was she suddenly interested in coming to accompany me? "No," my father said coldly, "How many times should I remind you that Alpha Noah doesn't like she-wolves giving him extra attention, Mera?" He rubbed his face tiredly, "Please have some dignity" I watched both of them in confusion as Mera spoke up again, "Well, there is no harm in trying, right?" She asked, "He is young, strong, and handsome. Any she-wolf will be interested in him when an Alpha like him is still single. " She made it sound like that was the most obvious thing on earth. Ah, I see. Now I get why she wants to meet the Alpha. My father shook his head at her and looked at me, "I'll accompany you. Be sure to be ready by nine in the morning. " He smiled at me, and I nodded again, having no other choice. Why should I follow their customs when I am not one of them? I was dying to ask that question to my father, but I bit down my tongue, not wanting to hurt his feelings. Dinner went quietly after that. I helped my mother to tidy up the kitchen before spending some time with her in the living area. "Why are you looking at me like that, Mom?" I asked her when she kept staring at me with a strange emotion in her eyes. She sighed, "I just can't believe that you're here. It feels nice. " She smiled at me, "Thank you for coming. I know you're here only because of me" She said, leaning forward to put her palm against my cheek, "Sometimes I feel it is my fault that you don't feel comfortable here" She trailed, her eyes getting misty. "Don't be like that." I shook my head, placing my hand against hers, "Nothing is your fault" "If I hadn't married your father, you would have a normal life." She sighed, "You're suffering because of me. If I am a wolf, then you would have been one too" I gave her a look, "Are you ashamed of being a human?" I asked her. Her eyes grew wide before she started shaking her head frantically, "Of course, not. I am just sad that you don't fit in well around here, " She explained. I turned my body to face my mother fully, "Mom," I started, "I am grateful that you gave birth to me, and I am happy with how I am. Not even at any moment of my life, I felt disappointed for not inheriting my werewolf genes, " I reassured her. "Wise words for someone so young, Cora," my mother said, smiling at me again. For some reason, I felt my cheeks heat up at that, "I am not that young, mom. I am graduating in a month, " I reminded her, "Then I will start a full job, " I continued without thinking much. "You're going to work somewhere here, right?" She asked me, and her eyes were hopeful. Dang. I was hoping she wouldn't ask me that until the end of my stay here. I shook my head at her, watching her face fall, "I was going to tell you this later, but -" I took a deep breath, "No, mom. I am planning to work in London. I have already sent out my resume to various companies there and even got accepted into some" A few seconds passed by in silence until she let out a sigh, "You're not going to come back here, then," She said, not hiding her disappointment. "I will," I said, and she raised her eyebrows at me, "Just not frequently," I added with a sheepish smile. She was quiet again for a few seconds, "I guess whatever makes you happy should make me happy as well" She finally said, "I am not going to hold you back from what you desire" I smiled and hugged her, "Thank you for understanding, mom," I said, "No matter where I am, I will always love you" She hugged me back tightly, "I love you more than you can imagine, Cora"
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