Part 8: The Pack

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When we arrived at Evan's place, it took several trips to haul everything to my room. Noelle helped me unpack, talking casually about the shopping and how much fun it had been. Once everything was hung and organized, she went back to her own place to get ready for the party that night. Before she left, I apologized.

"Noelle, I'm sorry about today. I didn't mean to pry into your head that way. I can't control it. I'm so sorry I made you remember that day and made you sad."

She looked at me in astonishment and drew me into a firm hug, "You stop being silly right now. I was already thinking of that day. You didn't cause it, seeing that man who looked like my brother did. There's no need to apologize. Now, try to relax and get some rest before the party."

I could feel her absolute sincerity and it help put me at ease. Noelle really was an extraordinary person. I nodded in agreement, but after she was gone I drew myself a hot bath and climbed in for a soak.

I was floating lazily in the tub, making little swirls with the bubbles, when Evan came in. I raised my eyebrows at him and forced myself a little deeper into the tub. He may have seen it all before, but I wasn't ready to repeat the experience. He sat on the raised platform of the tub, far enough away to avoid my inadvertent splashes and puddles.

"Noelle's right, you know. You shouldn't apologize. It's not like you can control what you see or deliberately pry into people's heads."

"I know, but it still feels like an invasion of their privacy."

He nodded, "It is, to some extent. But at the same time, I think you can only do it when they are remembering something that's affected them deeply on some level. For Noelle, it was the day she sacrificed her family to save herself. For Dr. Cummings, he tried to save his family and suffered the loss of it instead. Both of those events were life-changing for them. It helps you understand them better and I think it's helping you come to terms with your own recent changes. It's not easy for anyone and now you know you have people who understand, that and can help you with it when you're having a hard time."

I nodded, Evan had given me another very astute way to look at it. I just hoped with time, I would be able to control it to some extent. "True, but it could become pretty inconvenient if people think I'm going to see something private whenever I touch them. I just hope that I can learn to control or block it somehow. It's not nice to pry into people's memories without their permission."

Evan smiled his crooked, wry smile. "Indeed. We'll keep it quiet for now. Then it won't be an issue, okay?"

"It's a deal. Do I have time for a nap before the pack shows up?"

"Yes, they won't be here until late. Wolves are night owls, we like it when the sky is dark and the moon is out. It's been a busy day, go ahead and rest."

After Evan left, I crawled into bed and fell asleep. Thankfully, there were no terrors and I got some much needed rest. The alarm beeping woke me up around eight. A quick look in the mirror confirmed a horrid case of bed hair, so I grabbed a quick shower to take care of it. I thought about putting it up, but since I had a habit of braiding my hair most of the time I decided to leave it down. It still amazed me how different it was. Not only the color, which was startling with my early twenties face, but how soft and silky it was. When I had it just the way I wanted it, I started on my make up.

It was fun to putter in the bathroom with pretty paints and brushes I had purchased myself. I didn't like to wear it everyday, but I was girly enough that putting on make up for special occasions was fun. Tonight qualified in my opinion. I took a little extra care with it because I wanted to make a good impression on Evan's pack.

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