Chapter Twenty-One: Parents

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Chapter twenty-one:

     The rest of the coronation went smoothly. All I had to do was recite a couple laws that I had to swear to abide by. My shyness never really left, and I found myself second guessing myself often. Was the crowd just trying to be nice when they cheered?

     After the ceremony, there was an after party. There was tables of roof everywhere and music boomed through large speakers as everyone danced. I was surprised at how many wolves were there, I would've thought they'd get sick of this and go home, not wanting to see my ugly face around.

     The sun was beginning to set, and the small group that was dancing grew twicefold and soon, almost everybody was in one big mob as the music cranked up. An unintelligible drum solo blasted me backwards, and the raspy voice of a talking man erupted, his words a mile a minute. That's not what I'd call quality music, but I'd never admit that to anyone in fear of offending them. They all seemed to enjoy it.

     I stood on the outer edge, tentatively grabbing a food called strawberries every few seconds. I had never cooked with them, so I had no idea what they were, but they tasted amazing. I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop myself, so I made sure I limited myself to ten. I was on number seven.

     "Calla?" I heard Percyus said from a few yards behind me.

     I turned around sheepishly, hurrying to swallow the bit of strawberry in my mouth. I saw him give me a tight smile. I suddenly felt guilty for eating the strawberries, as he didn't have a nice expression on his face as he strode up to me. My heart fell and I quickly threw the rest of the berry in the trash can. As he stopped in front of me I folded my hands in front of me and put my head down.

     I couldn't believe I had let myself eat this food. It obviously was for the other pack members, not me. As if his expression didn't show that enough. I didn't dare speak, knowing it would only drive me deeper into the hole I've dug for myself.

     "Calla look at me." He snapped.

     I quickly looked up and met eyes with him, shocking myself at how easily I had evaded all of the times Master had screamed at me to never look someone in the eyes. I was about to drop my gaze when he held up my chin, "Don't."

     "Sorry." I whispered, wringing my fingers harshly.

     "You can stop thinking I'm mad at you for eating. That's not what I'm upset about." He spoke, dropping his hands to run them over his face in frustration.

     I immediately relaxed, the weight in my stomach easing up a fraction. "What are you upset about? Did I do something?"

     "No, no... it wasn't you." He sighed. "By law, my parents, the former rulers of the land, have to meet every inducted pack member to determine their worthiness." He seemed so anxious, I wondered why.

     "Am I not going to be worthy enough?" I whispered, suddenly worried. What if they decided I wasn't fit to be in this pack and threw me back to my old pack or in the dungeons?

     "Of course you are worthy enough, it's just-" he squeezed his eyes shut. "My dad used to beat me, when I was growing up, and he was always rude to my mother and I, and I just don't want him to meet you, because he is horrible to everyone. Guards have had to hold him back while he's had this talk with new pack members because he was so violent."

     I didn't miss the shake in his voice, or the face that his hands were trembling at his sides. I slowly reached down and took his massive hands into mine, not knowing how he would react. He seemed to calm down a bit, his shoulders sagging, He this hands hadn't stopped shaking. "I just don't want him to say mean things to you, and scare you."

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