“There has to be some punishment. The pup nearly went insane and killed one of our own,” Vincent pushed, eyes narrowing dangerously on William. The fourth man, who up until had been quiet, nodded.
“If we let one get away with it, others will,” he murmured.
“Our kind don't walk around intending to go mad,” uncle Peter replied, glaring at the man. He glanced at me then, a look of concern on his face. I couldn't meet it, not without looking at dad as well.
“And yet he did,” Vincent said, jabbing a hand in my direction. “Why?” he asked. I froze, having no clue what to say.
“We had a disagreement,” dad said, surprising me. “That's as much as you have the right to know,” he finished. Vincent narrowed his eyes at the words. Dad ignored him and stood up. I couldn't ignore him when he walked towards me. “If you excuse me, I need to talk to my son,” he said, not even waiting for anyone's response. He just wrapped a hand round my arm and pulled me outside.
I admit part of me was reluctant, but another part was very hopeful. The moment the large doors shut, any conversation going on from within was cut off. I caught William glance at me before they shut and wondered what he was thinking. I looked at my dad and gulped. I tried to search for something to say as silence fell between us.
“Dad -” I began nervously.
“I'm sorry.” I blinked at the two words, confused. “I didn't think before. It wasn't until after that I realised how badly my wording could've been taken,” he sighed. I stared at him with slightly parted lips.
“So what did you mean before?” I asked, careful to keep my emotions from my face, in case I was going to experience more disappointment.
“After everything with Kathleen I wasn't sure what would happen at the blue moon. I wanted you away from it all for your own safety,” he explained, rubbing a hand over tired eyes. “Instead I caused you to almost-” he cut off, unable to say the words. He glanced away and I thought his eyes looked a little shiny. “I'd never do what Travis did Luca,” he murmured. “You're my son. I don't care who you love, as long as you're happy.”
I stared at him, trying to get a grip on my racing emotions. I could feel my eyes blurring a little, which was embarrassing as hell. Except I didn't really have the energy left to blush over it. Dad didn't say anything, he just pulled me forward, hugging me tightly. I didn't cry, just sniffed a little. After a few moment he pulled away, gripping both hands on my shoulders tightly, like I might disappear again. So not happening.
“Dad,” I whispered.
“Yes?” he asked.
“Can I come home?” I asked.
“Of course,” he replied, stifling a hoarse laugh and hugging me again. “I was wrong before, assuming the blue moon would be difficult.”
“It probably will be,” I agreed, pulling away and shrugging. I was waiting for dad to say something, but instead he was studying me curiously.
“It's your choice if you want to stay for the blue moon,” Dad said. My choice if I wanted to conceal everything, or let the other packs know.
“I'm not hiding anymore,” I said. Whether I'd regret those words, I didn't know. Dad nodded, understanding and respect in his eyes as he smiled. The doors opened behind us and William stormed out, looking far from happy. He didn't rush to drag me away, so I assumed I was allowed to live.
“It's a pointless demand Vincent, and I refuse to it,” he yelled over his shoulder before leaving the building. I blinked at his back, wondering what we'd just missed. Vincent glared at his back, those eyes moved to me. Dad shoved me aside and met it.
“What now Vincent?” he asked, his anger barely restrained.
“I was just suggesting your son should help William with the injury he caused,” Vincent muttered. I frowned at the words, why was William refusing that? I quickly remembered the run-in with Francis in the warehouse. That was why. I failed to fight a shudder. I found it unbelievable comforting to know William hated the idea.
“And he refused, so just forget the idea,” Uncle Peter muttered, walking out of the room, giving Vincent a wide berth. One of the women – June – walked out.
“Well I'm off, I have better things,” she said. As she passed me she sent me a warm smile and a wink. What did that mean? Did she know about me and William? I'd have to ask him later. I remembered her defending me, so maybe that was why.
“Clara, you cannot be okay with just allowing this to pass,” Vincent said as the second woman passed him. She narrowed dark blue eyes in his direction, her lips pursed in mild annoyance.
“I can allow what I please,” she murmured. “If you're so worried about the blue moon, insist some of our kind observe the event,” she said, pausing in her stride momentarily to shoot him a loaded glance. “I won't bother attending another meeting about it. Like June says, we have better things to do Vincent.” With that she left, not looking at any of us. I couldn't help a small amount of respect for her though. He huffed, the other man who'd been with him before looking equally unhappy. I saw no sign of Gregory and wondered why.
“Let's go home,” dad said. I'd never loved the words so much. Of course we had to detour to Diane's first to explain everything and get my stuff. Thankfully dad didn't ask about the new clothes.