Once In A While Even The Elders Are Wrong
Elizabeth opened the door.
“What are you doing here?”
Layton ignored her question and swiftly pushed her aside walking into the motel room. Realizing she wouldn’t get an answer to that question, Elizabeth closed the door with an annoyed thud.
Layton observed around before turning to her: “Your bloodsucking boyfriend is not here?”
“Bloodsucker: maybe, I have never actually seen him drinking dark red liquid vital for human beings to be considered alive,” Elizabeth stated sarcastically before she crossed her arms.
“And he’s not my boyfriend. Regarding how complicated my life suddenly got, I don’t consider myself required for that additional problem.”
Layton observed her with an amused smirk.
Suddenly, his eyebrows furrowed with worry and in a few long strides, Layton minimized the distance between them.
Elizabeth was confused, “What are you…”
Layton gently but abruptly unfolded her arms and observed a dark stain on the left side of Elizabeth’s shirt.
“Yeah, it seems I didn’t get without a scratch out of that last…whatever.”
“It’s not a scratch!” Layton almost shouted which startled Elizabeth – she was surprised he might actually care.
“Sorry,” Layton apologized. “That still needs to be checked,” he said and looked her in the eyes.
Elizabeth seemed to hesitate for a moment, but how wouldn’t she: Layton’s face was just inches away from hers, making her feel certain ways she wasn’t sure she wanted to feel.
“I…I think there’s a first aid kit in the bathroom cabinet. I’ll be in a second,” Elizabeth said and disappeared behind a slim white door.
Layton went to the kitchen, to wash his hands. He was done when Elizabeth showed with a little pale green metal box with a red cross.
“Found it,” Elizabeth said trying to break the awkward tension that suddenly filled the air.
“Great…you can sit on the table…I mean, it will be easier for me to clean the wound and…” Layton seemed to be stricken with the awkwardness too.
“Yeah, sure.” Elizabeth agreed.
She sat on the table. Layton approached her and opened the kit, checking to see if everything was there. He was pleased once he realized it was intact.
“Okay, uhm, could you…”
“Oh! The shirt, sure,” Elizabeth exclaimed and shyly pulled her shirt upwards, to reveal her abdomen. The wound was on the left, right below her ribs. And Layton was right: it wasn’t a scratch, it was quite a wound, not too deep to cause severe damage, but deep enough to hurt and to bleed – quite a lot.
Layton first took off the old bandage that was soaked with blood. Then he proceeded with cleaning the wound. Which was the most painful part.
“Can you not wince too much?”
“I’m sorry, but it burns!” Elizabeth exclaimed annoyingly.
“Maybe we can talk: if I am too busy listening to you and speaking, then I might not cast too much attention to pain,” she suggested.
“Okay.” Layton agreed. “So, our favourite blood sipper is excluded from dating box – any unlucky human I should know of?”, he asked in the same amused tone from earlier, while working around her wound as if he has done it just about hundred times ‘till then.
“No, I’ve told you already: I don’t have time for that. And to be honest,” she sighed, “guys don’t pay that much attention to me anyways.”
“Well, that is for sure going to change soon.”
“What do you mean?” Elizabeth asked trying not to make Layton’s job too difficult by wincing.
“You have the potential to be a True Alpha,” Layton started with a small smirk. When he saw confused expression on Elizabeth’s face, he took it as a sign to continue.
“Not many Changed Ones have that in themselves. Especially not females,” they exchanged glances at the last part. “I can think of only two through entire history: in times when we still didn’t know of the ability to give…wolf…abilities through a bite…or less possible, a scratch, but when it was only known as certain death. Centuries ago, in times of first wolves, Alpha’s son, who was about to inherit his father’s status and pack, was supposed to get…married, before he could do so. His father was very old and wise, and he did all he could, dragging she-wolves from other tribes, but his son didn’t want to hear about it. There was a girl he loved and she was the only girl he would marry. But she was human.”
“And his father didn’t let him, so they escaped?” Elizabeth asked in a slightly mocking tone.
But Layton continued as if she didn’t say anything. “Alpha wouldn’t allow that, so he counselled with the Elders and then went to his son. Bite her: if she survives, I will allow you to marry her, and if she dies, you will do as I say, his father said. The young man went to his lover at dawn and told her his father’s order. I will do as he asks, the young woman said. But that will kill you, he tried to stop her. I will rather die trying than to just let you go, she answered. He bit her, and she fell down with a fever. Old women took the girl and tried to ease her pain with all kinds of herbs. And the man ran home, barely holding back his tears.”
Elizabeth watched and listened with astonishment as Layton went on with the story.
“The same night, old Alpha prepared everything for a mating ceremony between his son and a she-wolf he chose for him: he was assured the weak human girl was long gone. The young man was devastated, but he had to do as his father said. Right at the moment he was to promise himself to the unknown woman standing in front of him, a lady in white flowing dress appeared – his human lover, who not only survived but became a wolf herself. She emanated power, that everybody bowed to her, even the old Alpha. Once in a while even the elders are wrong,” he wrapped up with a smirk.”
“Did they marry?”
Layton hid small smile with an eye roll, “What else would a woman ask: of course they married, they were in love. And she was one of the most powerful not just she-wolves but wolves in history. Amaya, the first True Alpha of the Bitten Ones.” Layton finished the story and treatment of Elizabeth’s wound putting a new bandage on it.
“And she is not the only one,” Layton continued. “Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet is based on a real event. Romeo’s family, Montecchi’s were one of the most famous clans of wolves in Italy in the 16th century. And Juliet’s, the Capuletti’s, were a successful family of hunters. And for the ending of the drama, that wise-ass William literally recorded what happened: Juliet drank extracted wolf poison, which her family as hunters had in their treasury. Romeo found out and ran to find her before it is too late. He found her laying in her family’s tomb. Romeo was assured she was dead, and in agony, he drank the extract of wolf’s bane, which killed him. She woke up, a she-wolf. Seeing her lover’s lifeless body at her feet, she took a silver knife and stabbed herself in the heart.”
Elizabeth was speechless, “Wow, that’s…”
“Yeah. It is.” Layton said as if he knew what she thought, and went to sit on an old but clean sofa.
“And now you: a girl that wasn’t bitten and that didn’t drink extracted wolf poison, but a girl that was scratched and that was cured with wolf’s bane since that very moment, but with her inner wolf she still fights it all off. You are going to be such a True Alpha once your transformation is complete.”
Layton stared at her with his piercing glare, that one she was never able to put her finger on.
“You still didn’t explain what that has to do with guys,” Elizabeth stated: she would rather have him talk than to stare at her like that.
“The answer is kind of putting itself out: once you become a True Alpha many, many wolf males are going to come to look for… your hand.”
The way he put it made Elizabeth feel uncomfortable. Therefore, she decided to add a bit of humor to ease herself.
“You too?” she asked with a light laugh.
“Possible,” Layton answered dead serious.
Elizabeth was taken aback as she didn’t expect tables to turn that way. She looked around then back at Layton who was on the other side of the room.
And he was still looking at her the same unfathomable way.
Suddenly, he jumped to his feet. “Let’s go eat something, all this talk left me hungry.”
“But,” Elizabeth started.
“Don’t worry, we’ll come back before Alastair returns from wherever he went where he doesn’t feed with red liquid vital for human beings.” Layton was already waiting for her outside.
Elizabeth grabbed her phone and the room keys. “It was dark red,” she remarked for herself locking the door after she went to Layton’s bike.