• ~He really cares about you, doesn’t he~, said Zane. It was not a question, more of a statement.
    “Yea. We were dating for about three years.” We lay there, silent for quite some time, both lost in our own thoughts. “Can I ask you something personal?”
    “Where’s your dad?” He tensed beside me. I resumed stroking his head to comfort him.
    ~My dad…. You know how I told you he sold me out to the Council?~ I nodded. ~He was never really a good father. He and my mom got into fights frequently and he usually took it out on me. I had to tell people that I was clumsy or got hurt playing outside. As mean as he was when he was mad, he was kind when he wasn’t. Too bad he was usually mad.~ He stopped, lost in his own thoughts.
    ~On my twelfth birthday, he took me to the Council. I didn’t know what was going on or why there were a bunch of guys in back robes talking about me. I was confused. ‘He’s not ready yet,’ they told my dad. We left and I soon forgot about it. I was going through that stage where I was a real mean kid. I was obsessed with this girl. Mary. She was a redhead with brown eyes. I knew she would only like me if I was nice but I never was.~ Zane stopped again.
    ~Two years later I got it through my stubborn head that I had to be nice and so I was really nice. I started getting good grades and became everyone’s friend. On the day I got up the courage to ask her out, September 13th, she was absent .It was weird because she always had perfect attendance, so I suspected she got the flu or something worse. I soon found out she was murdered.~ I didn’t know what this had to do with his dad, but I let him go on. Something told me that he had shared this with barely anyone. And plus, it was interesting. Are you not intrigued?
    ~I began to go back into my earlier faze of being the mean kid when my dad took me to see the Council again. This time I asked questions. But every time I did I was told to shut up. One of the men, Vern, was the one who turned me. Seven weeks of excruciating pain. And on that last day I finally became my father’s pride and joy. When I sprouted hair from places that weren’t even normal for puberty.~
    I laughed.
    ~At first I was unhappy with what I had become, but my dad started including me in the Pack. Harry and I had never really been friends, but he had been in the pack for a few months longer than I had. He helped me through the rough spots. We became like brothers. I knew my mom knew because that was a new reason for my parents to fight. She didn’t want me involved in all the Pack’s activities because she knew Hunters might come and I was inexperienced. Clyde and Joel came some months later. They didn’t come with their father. The Council had sent them to us because the old Keeper had retired. ~
    ~The Council called my dad and Harry’s dad a week later. Harry’s dad came back but was called in again the next day. We never saw them again. I never knew what happened to them. I think my mom knows and that’s why she won’t talk about it. That’s what I want. To find out why.~ His voice cracked on the last word. I hugged him.
    “I’ll help you,” I said. He just lay there quietly beside me.