367 Let Them Flow
The royals of the Sirius empire returned two days after Katie vanished and when the rain had finally calmed down in its downpour. As it so happened, Cole was trying his best to distract himself from what had happened. When they left Lycaon, the newly crowned king had resorted to having a screen in front of his face when he wasn’t carrying out his duties, which was much more than he should have.
Jason and Caden were doing most of the work although no one was complaining. As it so happened, Kyle asked for a few days off. The king granted him his request and asked that Sandra keep an eye on him.
With entertainment as his closest companion, Cole would at least be able to keep the rain at bay for the royal jet to work for the day.
Crestfallen and drained of their contagious smiles, the family’s mood didn’t seem to be getting better during the flight back to the empire. Alpha Jackson awaited their arrival at the airport but was shocked by their moody air. It was not long after the plane had landed that the weather turned cloudy.
“Your majesties, did something happen?” the burly red-eyed man asked them.
“Yes, Jackson. A king was crowned,” the king replied, tapping his fingers on the dashboard.
Jackson noticed the bitterness behind his tone and the generally sombre mood surrounding the royals. Even Drake was showing a mood gloomier than it usually was on days he was reminded of being mateless, was in one of his own… if remaining completely silent could be considered foul.
Lina sent him a silent greeting before averting her gaze. Queen Martha gave him a tight-lipped smile that didn’t reach her eyes. Her usually jovial warm eyes only held one emotion… suppressed melancholy.
This wasn’t the first time he’d seen King Davin or Queen Martha like this but still didn’t know how to approach his king on the matter. ‘This has nothing to do with the coronation,’ curiosity was already working wonders, “Are you going to tell me what happened or not?”
After everyone had taken their places in the car, the queen spoke from the backseat, “The moon goddess took Katie… To heal her from her injuries…”
The beta alpha was rendered speechless by this information. It hadn’t even been three months since the girl had been returned to them and had already been taken away from them. The queen didn’t expect a reply and the car fell into a sombre silence as Alpha Jackson drove for the capital. How long… How long was he going to sit back and watch the war rip families apart? It wasn’t just the royal family, but other families as well within the capital.
Katie was one of the few werewolves that knew this all too well. One of the few that fought with so much vigour and ambition to put an end to it… and yet, she was the one that got taken out of it. She might have been gone, but something told Jackson that this was the beginning of something much bigger than they’d ever seen.
He found himself staring at one werewolf in particular through the driving mirror. Lina Sirius, who had taken a liking to the princess in the short time she was in Sirius. A shiver ran down Alpha Jackson’s spine… A feeling that could only be interpreted by his wolf. To his alter-ego, the werewolf they were staring at was going through a metamorphosis.
While it was premature, it was clear as day that something wasn’t the same in the innocent girl. Something was broken… if not, something had snapped into place, setting something else in motion. This observation was kept from the beta alpha and he was soon watching the road as he focused on getting the royal family back to the capital.
Lina stared at the passing trees, trying to deter her thoughts from the gloomy mood that plagued them, but to no success. Her emotions were an indecipherable storm that she couldn’t shake… or even make sense of. There were no tears falling down her cheeks, oddly. But she didn’t know how to let them through.
“Little Sister, you doing okay?” Drake’s caring tone brought her to reality.
“Yeah, I’ll be fine, Drake,” Lina gave him a thin smile, “What about you?”
Unlike the girl that was trying to seem strong in front of her family, Drake had no trouble revealing what was going on within his mind… and it was no clearer than what was happening in Lina’s, “Hmm, who knows?”
“That’s not an answer,” she chuckled.
“I know…” he paused, “Can you blame me though? We can just seek ways to cope with what’s happened, but there is no right way to feel right now… or, no easy way to feel,” Drake’s voice went down a few decimals as he tried to process his own thoughts. The glazed expression on his face sent chills down Lina’s spine. To her, she was witnessing an impossibility… Drake shouldn’t have been capable of vulnerability. That’s what she’d grown to know. What she witnessed now was proof that even he wasn’t made of stone.
“The best way to get through this is as a family. Like we’ve always been,” Queen Martha spoke up, “How about we have a meal to honour Katie today.”
“She’s not dead,” Lina replied.
“Yes, I know that, but how would you explain the mood in this car? We would have done it anyway. On the day that she would be officially leaving Sirius to take her place at Cole’s side in the Lycaon empire. She was always going to leave eventually. We just didn’t think it would be this soon,” the queen explained, “So how about it? To honour the few moments we had with her and her monstrous appetite.”
The mention of Katie’s appetite brought memories of the girl rushing through Lina’s mind. It was like rubbing salt into a wound that was already bleeding profusely. “Let’s do it then,” Drake answered. The rest of the people in the car silently agreed as well.
The car soon reached the palace and let them out. There was a pause as the Royal family stepped out of the car. The king asked Jackson to disperse the crowd that was inevitably gathering around the car. While this happened, Lina remained silently planted in her seat. Drake sighed heavily and squeezed her hand before stepping out as well.
When she was ready, the princess stepped out as well. As soon as she was out of the car, the princess was abruptly embraced by a girl in a yellow sun dress, nearly tackling her. If it hadn’t been for how oddly light the girl was, the two of them would have fallen to the ground, “Hey Honour, I missed… you too.” The hug, being one from someone Lina loved had an unexpected effect… An effect that made speech hard… Before she knew it, she couldn’t form words without sobbing, so she remained quiet and held onto her best friend. Crysta joined in with the two of them.
“What’s wrong, Lina? I can feel your heart bleeding,” Crysta asked the girl.
“I’ll tell you all about it when we get to my room,” Lina replied, wiping the tears that threatened to escape from her. Breaking from their embrace, she moved to the trunk and retrieved her pack. Crysta immediately yanked it from the girl’s hands, narrowing her eyes at her.
“Princesses don’t carry heavy stuff,” the delta huffed.
“And then they wonder why I have almost no muscle on me,” Lina sighed, “Where is Madeline?”
“Right here,” another feminine voice replied, walking over to them and hugging Lina, “How was the coronation, Lina?”
“Oh, the coronation. I almost forgot about that,” the girl replied.
“How come? It must have been the highlight of the entire trip,” Madeline exclaimed.
“Yeah, it was meant to be, wasn’t it? Let’s head up, already. I’ll tell all of you about it. I also meant to tell you that the queen is holding a feast tonight… in memory of my darling older sister,” the girl said to them, rushing ahead in an effort to hide the grief on her face, “That damned hero…” she muttered as she walked away. Her clenching fists did not go unnoticed.
The three girls behind her looked at each other with looks of concern. They followed her to her room where she waited until the door was locked.
They were alone… just the four of them. Lina’s closest friends. Silence filled the room as they awaited the girl’s speech. Instead of speaking though, Lina crawled into her bed and forced her face into one of the large soft pillows. The shivers that racked her body only moments later told the whole story, “Oh Lina…” Honour gasped rushing for her friend. The dam she’d been holding back had finally broken.