I put the album back up, but keep the picture of Marcus and Dad out. While Logan is gone, I take the broken pieces of the coffee table and break them down enough to shove them in the trash can, because there’s no saving it now. Then, I vacuum up the smallest pieces of glass from it, but there is nothing I can do for the crack on the wall. I’ll have to come up with something to tell Mom. By the time I get done with everything, Logan has already made it back.
“Hey,” she says, walking through the front door. “Did you find the picture?”
“Yeah, come look at it.” She shuts the door and comes sits beside me on the couch. I hand her the picture and her eyes widen as she looks at it.
“Is this . .?”
“Yep. That’s Marcus. I knew I recognized him. He and Dad knew each other. That also explains why he keeps calling Mom ‘Holland.’
She continues to gape at it, taking in every detail. “So . . do you think this has something to do with what he said earlier?”
“I’m not sure. I think it may be part of it, but there’s definitely something else he was wanting us to look for.”
We both stare at the picture for another moment before Logan asks, “Do you think we should take this to Mom? We’re going up there anyway, we might as well take it and see what she knows about him.”
“That’s a good idea,” I say. “Why don’t we just go now, anyway? We’re ready.”
“Might as well. But brush your hair first, it looks like a bird’s nest.”
“You know, Luke talked to me today when I went to school,” Logan says as we walk along the sidewalk. I don’t think either of us really want to be in a car right now, or at least, I don’t. Logan may have just wanted to walk.
“He did? What did he say?” I’m already pretty sure he was just apologizing, but I ask so that I can keep my mind off of everything. I don’t want to end up running around in the rain hysterical again, and it seems like it’s just been one event after another since the full moon.
“He was apologizing and offering help again. His family have that gun collection and there are actual silver bullets that he can use. He could be a big help if–if we need it. So I told him yes on my part, but said that he’d need your agreement to.”
Silver bullets? That seems a little extreme. I mean, it could protect us, sure, but it could also injure us. I don’t want anyone to get killed, accident or not. Plus, I don’t plan on letting things get so far that we’ll need his help. However, having a backup plan could be good.
I sigh. “I’ll think about it. As if right now, I want to see if I can handle things on my own. But maybe I’ll talk to him about it later.”
She nods. “Okay.”
We continue to walk to the hospital, and I soon have to shove my hands in my pocket to protect them from the coolness in the air. I keep replaying the events in my head, trying to make sense of them, but all I can think about is Logan. The gun she had, her in the woods, in the hospital. At home saying she deserved to die. She needs help. I need to help her, but . . how? I can’t make her not depressed, not hate herself. I can’t make her be happy.
“Logan, um, are you sure you’re okay? I mean, do you want to talk about anything?” I ask, hoping that there is something I can do.
“Well, I’m not good, but I’m not not okay.” She stares at the ground as she walks, not looking at me. “ I still feel awful, but I know there’s nothing I can do now. Marcus is right, I shouldn’t get away with it, but it’s not like I can turn myself in. They’d just think I was joking and send me on my way.” She pauses, running her fingers through her hair. “But anyway, I’ll be fine. Eventually.”
I nod. “That’s good. Just remember that it’ll take time. You won’t get better within a few days. Do–” I stop when a feeling begins to rise in my chest. What is that? Guilt. That’s what it is. But why? I’ve already been feeling that a little, but it’s not like this. This doesn’t feel . . feel like me. It’s different, stronger. I stop and look around, thinking maybe something is setting me on edge, but there’s nothing. Not anyone or anything that could be making me feel this way. So what is it?
Logan notices I’ve stopped walking and turns around. “What is it?”
“I–I don’t know,” I say, my eyes still darting around. “I just feel . . weird. I’m not sure how to explain it, but it just . . washed over me. I wasn’t even thinking about anything to make me feel this way. “ As weird as it is, it almost feels . . familiar. I feel like this has happened before. When has this happened before?
Suddenly, it hits me and I’m about to blurt it aloud, but Logan beats me to it. “Does it feels like what happened when we were younger?”
That’s exactly what I was thinking of. It happened quite a bit when were really small, though no one believed us. Sometimes we could feel what the other was feeling, if it was strong enough, and as it happened less and less as we got older, it kind of just left my mind. It hasn’t happened in so long that I got it in my head that we really were making it up. The last time I can remember it happening was when we were nine. Logan found out about our dad before me, but I knew something was wrong. Before anyone could tell me, I guessed it first, asking if something happened to Dad. I think that was the only time Mom believed us when we said that we knew what was going on with each other. Another moment I remember it happening was when I was in the car wreck and severed my spine. Logan knew something happened with me. But why is it starting again now?
“Yeah,” I say slowly. “How do you know?”
“Because it’s been happening to me, too.”
I stare at her, dumbfounded. “What? When?”
“It’s happened twice. The first was when you went to Elijah’s house, so I’m assuming that’s when you–you killed him, and the other was when Marcus came over. From the moment he threw you into the wall until you went to take your shower, I could feel everything you felt. That’s the longest it’s ever happened for us, isn’t it?” I guess that explains why she was so sure something happened when I came home yesterday. Besides me being so obvious about it, that is.
“Probably, yeah,” I say. “But . . why is happening again?” Logan gestures for me to keep walking, so I force my feet in front of me, one step at a time. It still amazes me that they work.
She continues talking as she walks. “I don’t know, but . . do you think it has something to do with us being werewolves? That’s when it started, right?”
“Wait a second,” I say, realizing something. “If you’re right, it didn’t start when you became a werewolf, it started when we both became one.”
“Do you think that means something?” Logan asks. I shrug my shoulders in reply. It seems like it could be important, but then again it’s happened before and we weren’t werewolves then.
We continue to walk along silently until we reach the hospital, Logan’s guilt and my stress mingling together. It’s not long until we find Mom’s room again. Upon walking up to it, I notice that the door is cracked open a tad, and a man’s voice comes wafting out. It sounds gruff, most likely an older man. I recognize it immediately. Marcus. I speed up, Logan doing the same by my side. I burst into the room to find that I was correct on the voice; Marcus is in the room. Not just in the room, but he’s sitting right next to her bed. They’re laughing and he’s holding her hand.
Oh, hell no.
I fly over and yank his hand away from Mom’s, glaring at him. “What are you doing here?”
“Julia,” Mom says, her voice scolding. “What are you doing?” I ignore the comment and continue staring Marcus down, his mouth eventually curving into a smile.
“Wow,” he says, looking me up and down. “You’ve really grown up.” He holds his hand out for me to shake and I just stare at it until he lowers it.
How is he gonna talk to me just an hour ago and then pretend we haven’t seen each other in years? Not to me he's not.
“Julia!” Mom exclaims. I can feel her eyes boring into me now.
“Outside. Now,” I hiss at Marcus. He smiles again, but when I walk out of the room he does follow me. Logan pauses, then decides to come with us.
As soon as the door shuts behind us, I turn on him, anger welling up inside me. He’s already messed up our house, attacked Logan and I, and threatened us. Mom is off-limits. My anger fuels my body as I step forward, poking his chest as I speak to him through gritted teeth.
“Stay away from my mom, and stay away from us,” I growl. “I want you to leave.” He looks down to my finger on his chest and I become aware of how much I’m pushing my limits. He grabs my wrist, but not tight enough to hurt it, just enough to be able to move it away from him. I notice for the first time that he has a wedding ring on. He lowers my hand away from his body before letting me go. I yank my hand back.
“I was just checking on her. I saw before she woke up and I wanted to actually talk to her. I feel bad that she got hurt in the wreck.”
“Well, you should. That was extremely stupid of you. But now that you see that she’s okay, I want you to stay away from her. She’s not involved in this.” He peers down at me curiously and I force myself to stand still and stare back. It takes all the willpower I have to not run away or attack him, a flight or fight instinct screaming at me to do something.
“Fine,” he says bluntly. “I’m leaving now. But like I told you earlier, I like to test my pack members, and that means you. So I might do it later today or tomorrow, just be prepared. Tell you mom I said goodbye.” He gets a few paces away before I call out to him.
“What about Logan?”
He doesn’t stop or even turn his head when he replies, just keeps on walking. “She’s already dead.”