“Why weren’t you in school today?”
“How do you know I weren’t?”
“Because I went by to pick you up and someone told me that you hadn’t been in any of your lessons.”
“Yes, oh. Do you even have a reason, rubbish or otherwise?”
“Umm, I really didn’t want to?”
“Not good enough. The real reason, Tala.”
“She went to play with the other wolf children.” A quiet voice interrupted us and we turned to see Lucan and Vivien in the doorway. Jay blinked in surprise.
“Tala has found that her pack doesn’t only exist on four legs. She went with the pup of your Alpha, Jayred.”
I gaped at Vivien. How did she know that? Lucan noticed my expression and smiled.
“Vivien has a certain gift for the truth. It is fairly useful.”
I scowled slightly as Jayred turned back to me.
“You were with Peyt?”
“Yes. What’s wrong with that?”
“You can’t just skip out on your education because you’ve found a new playmate.”
“He knows how it feels though!! How difficult it is to hide everything from all your normal friends and how to deal with those stupid animal...urges?”
“Tala.” I flinched, realising what I had just said but Jay kept talking “I know it’s hard for you to deal with this sometimes. I know, you’re young, it’s a burden.”
“It’s a curse.”
“NO!” Once again, a voice interrupted us. Conan, Eva and Alaric joined Lucan and Vivien at the table. Conan walked over to Jay’s side.
“Tala, what you are is not a curse. Think about all the fantastic things that have happened to you. Would you have met Jayred if you hadn’t, would you have this beautiful home and your pack? Don’t even try to tell me that you don’t adore those nights, the wind rushing through your fur, the ground flying beneath your feet, the scents of the forest filling your nose and thoughts of your pack sharing your joy? Don’t you love being that noble wolf for those few nights?”
“You do love it Tala. You’ve told me so. You love to run under the moon.”
“But what if I want to be normal?”
“Who says you aren’t?? You’re smart, funny, kind, and helpful. For a few nights a month, you simply change into something different. You’re still you; did you ever think that you would be you if you didn’t have those other things?”
“Tala?” Alaric stood up from where he was lounging against the table. Conan jerked his head at Jay, motioning for him to step back.
“Will you listen to what I have to say without interrupting?”