"Radar is our Papi. Every pack has a mentor who's mature. He's older than all of us, mid-thirties. He went to war as part of the Luna's guard. That scar on his face, he got by protecting her with his life, and it almost ended him. God damn silver and wolfsbane, I shudder to think. He's always been a slave to Sierra and never mated because his heart lies with her, devoted, and loyal. It's kinda sad, to be that crushed on someone that even in her absence you still pine them." Meadow is hushed, but the torn tone of real empathy drags through her voice, a hint of real pain for her pack mate.
"They had an affair?" I gasp, my head spinning on that point alone, and I can't help but staring back at Radar in the people before us, seeing him in a whole new light. He's not exactly ugly or unattractive. That scar is obviously a major, but he has a nice face despite it, and a strong, tall build, like Colton. The white eye I guess kind of makes him a little bad ass. In that rugged, hero type, way
"No, you know the laws on adultery with a mate bonded wolf. Radar is straight down the line, not a rule breaker. He never told her, she never knew, never even had the courage to look her in the face all those years because he was completely submissive in the hierarchy to her. It's forbidden for the guards to look upon the alpha's mate and make eye contact. The Luna had many guards, and he just blended in, I guess. He was the only one of her guard to make it back alive though, probably because he was so badly wounded and recovering. that he was taken down and missed the last battle they ever fought. The Luna's guard were all massacred in that last fight, then everyone came home, and she was gone before he recovered enough to regain his duties." Meadow shrugs, retelling what she knows, and I inhale heavily as pieces click in place and it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.
Juan probably had them all slain too because they would have been loyal to their charge. Their Queen. She was their focus, not Juan, and Radar escaped only down to being almost dead. Which means he missed what happened with my mother and knows nothing of what Juan did. He would be dead too if he'd been there, and it removes any shadow of doubt that he was ever involved. He didn't even get the chance to save her from being sent away. I think if he had been, he would have died to rescue her all over again.
The adultery thing though, highlights how much Colton doesn't respect or care about me if he expects me to throw aside the laws and have an affair with him anyway. We all know the shame it carries, and I could be completely exiled from this pack if we went through with it. His alpha role would be dissolved, and he too could be dethroned to live in shame. He's an asshole of the highest order if he thinks that's a solution to him marking that Puta. He can't have his cake and eat it.
I blink in Radar's direction, trying so hard to get my head around this new information as we sweep into the brightly lit grand foyer of a huge entranceway of this so-called homestead. I mean Colton grew up in a manor that was more of a castle and housed hundreds…. this is small by that standard, but still a freaking castle in its own right. It's amazing, and huge. Prehistoric, and the décor is definitely old-world witch, but I don't doubt it can house a vast amount.
The hub bub of the crowded hall, and wave of bodies moving up and down the stairs, and around in general, as word spreads, they have their long-lost Luna back, makes this place feel pretty overwhelming. It's not enough to distract me from watching Radar follow the group though, stopping when they get so far, as Colton and the doc wheel Sierra's bed in the direction of a narrow hall to the left.
"I should go with them." I nod after them as more of the group of helpers drop off, leaving a bare minimal body count to turn her bed into a door. Mainly Colton, the doctor, and a couple of femmes who are helping with the cabinet and her machines.
"Yeah, you should. We're all going to go back out on patrol of the borders to watch for your tail, we have to keep this place safe. Tell Colton to link me when he wants me back to take care of you, and to find you some decent clothes. I'm sure for right now, Sierra is his priority." She clasps my hand tightly, squeezes it, and leans in kissing me on the forehead, before nodding towards the door that Colton and his skeleton crew went through.
"Meadow…. I'm so glad to be back." I answer honestly, in afterthought, as she goes to move away, warmed by the tearful smile she gives me, and that little rub of my shoulder that it's all going to be okay. Despite everything, even finding out that I could survive out there alone, I really have missed her and being around people. Being in a place that's warm, and safe, and I don't have to hunt for my meals anymore, it reminds me what a pack can be like. I can do it alone; I just prefer this…. not out there. Being here reinforces it. I don't want to go back out and disappear anymore. Everything's different and I don't want to leave again.
"We are all happy to see you back. I made a mistake in letting you leave… Colton is still trying to forgive me. Don't do it again." She half laughs, but there's a serious edge to her tone and a look that hints at a real warning.
"I'm not planning on it. All of this is bigger than us now. Priorities have changed." I point out and she exhales with another nod.
"Good, because he'll strap your ass to him and put guard duty on you twenty-four seven if he even gets a hint you might take off again. That boy is not playing no more, Chica!" That head wobble and finger point that always makes me smile at her, but I 'hmmm' then gesture I should go. I don't care right now what Colton thinks, or wants. I need to see what's going on and then sit. I only dozed in the truck for a short time and I'm physically exhausted and could do with a little moment to get used to this buzzing house. After weeks of nature and solitude, this human chaos is a bit much to get my head around. This whole thing is mentally overwhelming, and sleep is all I want, even though I'm not going to get it for a while.