Sitting in a study with a large double bed in the corner that looks completely out of place in an alcove, as though it's a new addition, with the sub pack in eerie quiet tension as they all absorb everything we showed them outside. Sat in minorly dazed moods as we all digest the truth of combined memories.

It's a small room with a bay window, a large couch and armchair nestled in front of a rustic fireplace cozily. A large handmade desk sits off to the side, just in the nook of the window space, facing in with a worn chair tucked behind. There's an entire wall lined with dark stained bookcases, crammed full of old leather-bound journals of varying shades of tan, brown, and black, with no titles on display and I wonder what exactly is contained within the aged pages for them to bear no mark. There are oddities, and bottles, of all kinds nestled among them, and facing that wall are three large closed cupboards in matching deep wood that narrow the space considerably. There isn't much floor to move around yet it has a snug quality rather than crowded.

The décor of dark autumn hues, golds, oranges, russet, browns, and rich in color, which only makes the room close in on us more so. Especially with the heavy drapes at the window in dark red velvet, blocking out what should be light, but it's almost the middle of the night already, so there's a wall of black in the windowpane. The lamps are dim, almost candle flickering in intensity, dotted sporadically around small side tables and shelves, and add to an eerie atmosphere as the pack all sit around nestled together. Some on them are perched on the arms of chairs, lounging, while Colton stands by the fireplace, and I'm laid down on the bed out of the way to finally get some rest. The bed's modern, I can tell by the comfiness and the new crisp bedding that this was put in here recently.

My body is weary and heavy, and it feels good to finally know what a comfy safe bed feels like again. It's been so long since I was in a room by choice, surrounded by people I care about in a safe space, and I can spread out and not have to be on high alert at all. Weeks of living with tension, and heightened senses, all coming to an end, and I realize how incredibly exhausted I am. It feels beyond amazing to not have one eye behind me, and one eye on my surroundings, worrying about my next meal, or where to set up a good camp.

Colton moved us in here once they'd seen everything they needed to see in our shared memories, and it was obvious they needed a little privacy to talk this out and calm down. We were making a spectacle out front, and even though other pack members dispersed, we caught many peeking at windows.

The reactions were varied to what the pack saw out there when we mind bonded, and I think they're all still reeling in shock, and sadness, at finding out they've been raised with so many lies, for so many years. That the man they trusted proved himself to be the villain in our own story. I can imagine, despite it not being their family, their parents, it's still their pack, their blood, and their alpha, that it has to cut deep. The Santo pack has always been a proud close-knit unit, even for its massive size. It's how it's lasted the test of generations.