Login via

Shadows of the pack novel Chapter 79

The air was suffused with tension as Aria crossed the field heading in Shana's direction, her frustration palpable. Shana sat at a makeshift table, arrows laid out in front of her, her expression distant. The air was filled with the scent of wood shavings and the faint traces of anger.
"What is your problem, Shana?" Aria's voice cut through the still air, her eyes fixed firmly on her friend.
Shana's response was a mere glance in her direction, before her attention returned to the arrows she was sharpening.
"I'm talking to you," Aria pressed, her tone a mixture of irritation and anger.
With a heavy sigh, Shana finally set aside the arrow in her hand and turned to face Aria. "What ever did I do?"
Aria's hands went to her hips, frustration evident in her stance. "You know exactly what I'm talking about. The wooden cabin we constructed for Rebecca's pup. It was destroyed. And I have a pretty good idea that you're responsible."
Shana's eyes met Aria's, her expression impassive. "And why would I do that?"
Aria's eyes narrowed as she held up a splintered piece of wood. "Because Tyler saw you near it. He saw you shift into your wolf form.
Shana's gaze didn't waver, but a flicker of irritation crossed her features. "Maybe I went for a run. Doesn't mean I destroyed the cabin."
Aria's patience seemed to wear thin as she stepped closer, her voice firm. "Shana, I know you're having a hard time forgiving Rebecca. But there's a pup in the picture now. This isn't just about you and her. It's about giving that pup a chance, a fresh start."
Shana's jaw clenched, her frustration and guilt warring within her. "I don't need to be lectured about it."
Aria's eyes softened, her voice carrying a note of understanding. "I get that, Shana. I understand how hard it is for you. But you have to realize, this isn't just Rebecca's second chance. It's yours too, to mend bridges and find some sort of peace."
Shana's gaze dropped to her hands, her fingers gripping the edge of the table tightly. "You act like it's so easy."
Aria's hand reached out, gently covering Shana's clenched fist. "I know it's not. But it's not just about Rebecca and what she did. It's about letting go of the past for your own sake."
Shana's eyes lifted to meet Aria's, vulnerability shining in their depths. "You don't understand how much it hurts." She said her eyes reflected all the pain she carried from the past.
Aria's voice was soft, soothing. "I may not fully understand, Shana, but I'm here for you. And I know you, the real you, isn't someone who would take it out on an innocent pup."
Shana's sigh carried the weight of her inner turmoil as she gazed at Aria, her brow furrowed. "How is it so easy for you? After what Mel put you through, then your sister when she took the wolf you thought was your mate, and even Knox, he almost had you killed. How do you forgive so easily?"
Aria's expression turned thoughtful, her gaze fixed on a distant point. She folded her hands in her lap, a pensive silence lingering between them before she finally spoke. "It's not about forgiving easily, Shana. It's about choosing to heal, to move forward."
Shana's eyes flickered with a mixture of curiosity and skepticism. "And what about the anger, the pain?"
Aria's voice was soft, her words carrying a wisdom borne from experience. "They're still there, Shana. But holding onto them only keeps us trapped in the past. It doesn't undo what's been done."
Shana's fingers traced the grooves of the table, her mind a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. "But how do you let go of the anger, of the resentment?"
Aria's gaze met Shana's, her eyes steady. "It's a process, Shana. It starts with understanding that forgiveness isn't about condoning someone's actions. It's about freeing yourself from the burden of carrying that pain. It's about taking back control over your own emotions."
Shana's voice held a hint of frustration. "But it's not fair. They hurt you, Aria. They betrayed you."
Aria's smile was bittersweet, tinged with a depth of understanding. "Life isn't always fair, Shana. People make mistakes, even hurtful ones. But harboring anger won't change the past. It won't bring back what we've lost."
Shana's gaze dropped, her fingers stilling on the table. "It's just hard to let go."
Aria's tone was gentle, reassuring. "I know it is. It's hard for me too, at times. But I've learned that carrying that anger only taints our present and our future."
Shana's eyes lifted to meet Aria's, a mixture of uncertainty and longing in her gaze. "What if I'm not ready to let go?"
Aria's hand reached out, resting on top of Shana's, her touch a gesture of comfort. "Then take your time, Shana. Healing isn't a race. It's a journey, and you decide the pace."
Shana's shoulders relaxed slightly under Aria's touch, a semblance of peace beginning to settle within her. "And if I can't forgive?"
Aria's presence was a soothing balm as she adjusted her position, taking a seat beside Shana. She positioned herself so that they could both gaze across the field, where laughter drifted from Jackson's direction.
Shana's eyes remained closed, her voice barely a whisper. "I can't let go."
Aria's understanding was palpable, her voice soft yet persistent. "Are we still talking about Rebecca here?" She shifted her gaze to Jackson, his figure distant yet somehow close. "Or are we talking about Jackson?"
The question hung in the air, and Shana's silence stretched on. Aria's patience was unwavering as she continued to watch Jackson interact with the others, "What is he really doing here, he is the Alpha of a pack."
Finally, Shana's voice broke the stillness, barely audible. "Lunar Coven."
Aria blinked, taken aback by the unexpected response. "What?"
"I named the pack. It finally has a name," Shana whispered.
Aria's smile was gentle as she reached out, giving Shana's hand a small squeeze. "Lunar Coven. That's a fitting name. You would make a good leader, Shana."
Shana's gaze remained fixed on the field, her expression a mixture of wistfulness and uncertainty. Aria's presence was a steady comfort as she continued, "You can't hold on to the past forever. And Mathias is in the past."
A brief silence settled between them, a shared understanding passing unspoken between their linked hands. Aria's gaze shifted to where Jackson stood, his features illuminated by a rare smile. "Look at him."
Shana's eyes flickered to where Aria was looking, and her gaze collided with Jackson's in that serendipitous moment. Aria's voice brought her back to the present, warm with a hint of mischief. "He looks at you like you hung the moon."
Shana's lips twitched into a small smile, her heart fluttering with a mix of emotions. "He wants me to switch packs. What if—"
Aria gently cut her off, her voice filled with encouragement. "What if you end up happy?"
Aria's eyes drifted to her own growing tummy, a radiant smile gracing her lips. "What if happiness isn't so far away?"
As Shana opened her mouth to respond, a sudden commotion erupted from the pack's boundary. Pack members were already gathering, their voices hushed with concern. Without hesitation, Shana and Aria exchanged a quick glance before rushing over to see what was happening.
At the center of the gathering, a pure white wolf stood, its fur bristling, snarls escaping from its snout. The atmosphere was charged with tension as the wolf's eyes met Aria's, a moment of intense connection that sent a shiver down her spine.
Before their eyes, the white wolf's form began to shift, and the pack members took a step back. The transformation was mesmerizing as the wolf's sleek form gave way to the graceful curves of a human figure. White hair cascaded down her back, her eyes a striking blue that seemed to pierce through the air.
Suddenly a voice spoke, "Winter?"
Shana and Aria asked JB at the same time as he joined the commotion, "You know her?"
Winter's gaze, focused solely on Aria, held an intensity that seemed to freeze time itself. Aria's heart raced as she met those piercing blue eyes. In a voice that held both urgency and solemnity, Winter spoke, "I have a message to deliver."
The words hung in the air, tension coiling around them like a spring. Aria's grip on Shana's hand tightened as Winter's voice continued, carrying a weight of prophecy and fate. "You carry a pup that will hold the balance of the world in his hands. There are those that seek to destroy the child. And on the eve of the Celestial eclipse, you will take your final breath."


The readers' comments on the novel: Shadows of the pack