My little moment with Luna Amanda quickly passed, and the kitchen resumed its busyness. Once breakfast was over, Luna Amanda came back into the kitchen. I resigned myself to receive the beating that was overdue, but once again, she surprised me. “I know that perhaps I have not been the easiest Luna to work under. I didn’t understand how valuable you were. So, from now on, your other duties will be reassigned, and you will be considered the Head Cook for the pack. You will oversee cooking all meals for the pack and when we have guests coming.” I raised an eyebrow at her. She was literally handing my dream job to me. There had to be a catch. To say that I didn’t trust her would have been an understatement. She must have sensed my hesitation because she grinned evilly at me. “In three days, Night Sky will be hosting the annual Mates Gathering. We are expecting over 2000 wolves to be in attendance. I expect you to have a menu prepared for all three meals for the duration of the Gathering. You may ask other Omegas for help, and I will also assign anyone not currently working to you.” There it was; the coup de grâce. I would be expected to feed 2000+ wolves three full meals a day without repeating the menu (except at breakfast). And I would have a staff of minimally trained workers to maybe help me out. Goddess help me now. But I would be damned if I let Luna know how daunting I found this new task. She was watching me closely, waiting for me to protest so she could give me my daily beating. I would NOT give her that satisfaction.
“It would be my honor, Luna. May I have permission to take stock of what we have and then go shopping if additional supplies are needed?” I asked, keeping my voice neutral. I could not afford to give her any reason to rescind her offer or to resume my beatings. Her eyes widened at my response. I would guess that she was expecting me to make a fuss, but I was not about to spoil my chance at escape. The annual Mates’ Gathering was held during the three days of the second full moon of the year. It was a gathering for several packs in Oklahoma, Northern Texas, and Arkansas for the unmated to have a chance to find their mates. The pack that hosted the Gathering was expected to provide food and lodging for all those in attendance. The first two days all sorts of tournaments were held: strength, stamina, endurance, and others. Then on the final day, a grand ball was held. The ball started around 6 in the evening and would run till midnight or later. That was where the majority of the unmated found their mates. Attendance was mandatory for unmated wolves who were of age. I wondered for a moment if the Luna had remembered that this year, Omega or not, I would be required to attend. I wasn’t about to remind her of that though if she didn’t remember on her own. During the ball would be my chance to escape the nightmare with my sister. Attention would be on those attending the actual ball, and I could easily slip away.
I glanced up to see my sister standing in the hall, eyes wide in shock. I put my finger to my lips in the classic sign of be quiet. She nodded, and we waited. Once the Luna was gone, I motioned for her to join me in the kitchen. I noticed that she was still walking without her cane. This was very good. It meant that my blood was finally taking hold in her system. She sat down on one of the barstools and quietly watched me work. I quickly and efficiently took stock. I noted down what would be needed to feed the massive amounts of people coming in the next few days. Surprisingly, the kitchen was well stocked, and I wouldn’t need much. This worked in my favor. It would give me more time to plan our escape.
Once I was finished, I turned to her and motioned for her to follow me. We went back up to her room where I knew we would some semblance of privacy. “Alright, Jax, what in the world is going on? You’ve never accepted something like that so meekly before.” She demanded with her hands on her hips.
“Lex, I need you to listen to me, very carefully, ok?” I replied while making eye contact with her. She relented and nodded. “Saturday night, during the ball, we’re going to run away.” Her eyes got wide, and I quickly placed my hand over her mouth before she could make any noise.
She pulled my hand off her mouth, “Jax, you can’t be serious?” She whisper-yelled.
“Lex. I’ve never been more serious. Saturday night will be the perfect opportunity. The rules say that I have to attend the ball; it doesn’t say anything about the length of time that I have to be there. Besides, when I go shopping for supplies later today, I can use that opportunity to get stuff for us too. Even if I have an escort, it won’t take much convincing that I’m shopping for the Gathering.”
“I can’t believe you’re serious,” she said again.
“Lex, I’m tired. Tired of getting beaten, tired of the abuse, tired of being treated like trash. You and me, we’re meant for bigger things that this,” I gestured to her small room, and my cabinet next to her room and the rags we were both currently dressed in. “But mostly, Lex, I’m tired of pretending. It’s exhausting.” I knelt down in front of her and took her small hands in mine. Her hazel eyes met my brown eyes, and she acquiesced. “You look better this morning. Are you feeling better?”
“Yes, amazingly enough. There’s hardly any pain, and I walked without my cane this morning,” she replied happily. I smiled at her happiness, but my smile didn’t last long. I was going to have to tell her what I had been doing, and for the next few days, I was going to have to make her drink more of my blood to give her a fighting chance to survive outside the pack house. She noticed my reticence and her smile faded. “What’s wrong Jax?”
“Lex, there’s something I have to tell you, and you’re not going to like it,” I said nervously. It was her turn to take my hands in hers.
“Whatever you say, I’m still your sister,” she said lovingly.
I took a deep breath and slowly released it. “Lexia, I’ve been giving you small drops of my blood every day for the last month or so.”
“YOU’VE BEEN DOING WHAT?” She exclaimed. I quickly shushed her and prayed no one heard her. I extended my hearing and then gave thanks that no one was coming up the stairs.
“My blood has healing properties, Lex. I’ve been putting a few drops in your morning tea every day for about a month. I’ve been planning our escape for a while, and the only way we can escape if you’re healed enough to survive.”
“How…what?” She struggled for her words.
“Haven’t you ever wondered why I never seem hurt after getting beat?” She nodded. “It’s because I have super healing abilities. Beyond what normal werewolves have. Yes, I get hurt, but my healing speed is almost ten times faster than normal werewolves. I still feel pain though, and if the wound is done with wolfsbane or silver, it will leave a mark for a bit. But eventually, even those wounds heal and don’t leave a scar. I discovered that I can pass my healing ability on to others. But…there’s a catch. The person I’m trying to heal has to ingest the blood.” Her eyes widened in shock and her mouth formed a little “o”.
“Is that why for the last couple of days, I’ve been feeling better?” She asked softly. I nodded
“I’ve learned that the more blood they drink the faster they heal. But even tiny amounts, like what I’ve been doing for you, help.”
“Why do I get the feeling that you are about to tell me something I’m really not going to like?”
“In order for us to make good our escape, I’m going to need to feed you more blood.”
She gagged and turned a slight shade of green. “How much?” she asked shakily.
“As much as you can stand, and at least two or three times a day,” I responded as she retched. Fortunately, I had been expecting that and had a bucket ready. I got up and got her a warm, wet cloth to wipe her mouth and forehead.
“When do we start?” she said stoically once she stopped throwing up her breakfast.
“Now,” I said as I pulled a small knife that I had kept hidden in my boot. Her eyes grew wide once again, but she nodded. I drew the knife quickly down my wrist in a vertical motion, knowing that would be the most effective way to get her my blood before I healed. Once the wound was open and before I could start spurting all over her room, I pressed the wound to her mouth and told her to drink as much as she could. Her mouth pressed to my wrist felt decidedly odd, but she drank what was given to her. After about thirty seconds, I could feel the wound begin to close so I withdrew my wrist from her mouth. Then I quickly wiped her mouth of the small trail of blood that dripped from her lips.
“That was the most horrendous thing I had ever done in my life,” she said around her gags.
“I know,” I said as I patted her comfortingly.
“But I can already feel it working,” she said in wonderment.
“Good. Now, I’ve got to go. If I can get away at lunch, I will be back to do this again. In the meantime, try to sleep if you can. It will help,” I said as I tucked her back in bed. Her eyes drooped as I closed the door. I glanced at my watch and was thankful that only a few minutes had passed. The next few days were going to be horrible, but I would survive, if only for her sake.