Chapter 35

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“I hope we didn’t bother you,” A man with thick black hair sat on the chair that was pulled out for him by Greta. The others were already seated and making themselves comfortable, eyes darting between Xerxes and I.

“It is quite early,” The man, Luke, continued. “But we wouldn’t have been able to meet on the date you asked. School is starting back for the young ones on that day and most of us are parents, so we’d be very busy.” His eyes looked up to Xerxes. “So this isn’t a problem, is it?” The last statement, or rather, question, was asked carefully.

Xerxes wanted to show that he truly did care about what the humans wanted and I had a feeling that if Xerxes would reply negatively, it would cause the persons inside the room to have a bad impression of him.

“No. Not at all.” There was an almost simultaneous exhale amongst the small gathering and I felt a smile on my lips.

“But I had intended to speak before everyone." Xerxes continued. Luke nodded, threading his fingers together.

“I know. But we sent out emails and they wrote out questions they wanted you to answer and speak about. You see, the twelve of us here,” Luke gestured around the room. “Are representing the persons who aren’t here.”

“A cup of tea anyone?” Greta’s voice was soft and polite, so unlike her usual tone and I almost broke my neck trying to look at her. I shook my head, a bubble of mirth forming in my throat; she never speaks to me the way she does to these strangers. I wonder if Xerxes had told her to be nice to these people.

She gave everyone tea but me, but not because she was trying to be her usual spiteful self, but instead I refused it, too eager to get into and listen to the conversation that was beginning to take place.

And as time passed, I noticed that most of the questions were directed towards Xerxes. I stayed in the background as they shot question after question, which was answered quickly or was debated for a while before an agreement occurred.

I noticed that most of these questions were centred around how werewolves treated humans, and specific details about how exactly Xerxes wanted to change that.

Inquiries about homes and wages were also tossed to Xerxes. They wanted another increase in pay and asked why most of the businesses were run by werewolves assigned by Xerxes.

“There needs to be some diversity,” A lady said, looking over to a man who nodded in agreement. “It’s always been the werewolves who are the supervisors. I’m sure that any human man or woman should be able to step up into that role.”

I eventually decided to leave the table, my eyes feeling heavy and burning. I had only slept for three hours and was in dire need of sleep. No one noticed that I slipped away to the living room.

I rested my head on one of the many cushions, turned on the television and watched commercials until I allowed sleep to take over.

And once again, I was awoken rudely from my slumber. Someone was prodding my shoulder roughly and I managed to open my eyes, scowling when I saw George’s smiling face. “You’re taking up most of the sofa.”

I tried speaking, but it came out garbled, so I cleared my throat. “They’re plenty of couches in here, George.” I could hear the voices of the people and it sounded like they were getting ready to leave.

I jerked up, uttering a soft ‘whoah’ when the room began to spin and waited a couple seconds. When I eventually stood, I headed to the hallway where I could see them. They smiled tightly at me and I frowned, watching as they left.

“It seems like you’ve charmed them.” I told Xerxes as we both stood in the doorway. Guards came up to escort them to the exit of the neighborhood and it was then that I closed the door.

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