Hello, beautiful people, it's Peytona! So sorry for the delay. Yesterday for away from me. I hope you're doing well. I'm doing alright myself. Looking forward to the weekend.
Okay here's the next chapter of The Mutates. Enjoy!
...A Walk Down The "Not So Memorable" Lane...
When I did find it, I froze. This was the house that I ran away from two years ago. The house where I lived with Jacob and Tyler. This was… “Home,” I whispered. I startled myself with that statement. I hadn’t had this strong reaction when we had gone after the kids. Was it because I had already seen Tyler? Because I knew I would be after Jacob now? I had a faint recollection of this house. I knew it somehow. I stood there dumbly for a while before I got my bearings and headed towards the side. Finding the electrical panel was an easy task and cutting the power was even easier. Before long, I was entering the house. There were some things that were familiar to me. I vaguely remembered the layout of the family room and kitchen. I assumed the things I couldn’t remember where new additions. I was stunned by the photo I saw on the fridge. It was me, younger and pregnant with Tyler, and Jacob with a hand on my belly. I knew it was him the moment I saw him. Those blue eyes and that dark hair. He loved polos. Somehow I remembered that. And that smile… I knew that smile. This was my husband. The picture was in my hands before I knew what I was doing. I couldn’t stop staring at this man. “Jacob,” I breathed.
“Who’s there?” a gruff voice asked.
I gasped as I realized that I had been discovered. I was so engrossed with the picture I hadn’t noticed that he came down. It was Jacob. His hair was ruffled from sleep, but his eyes were alert. Those eyes looked exactly the same as they did in the photo. He had a white tank top and plaid pajama pants. Time had peppered his dark hair with grey and aged his features. A baseball bat was in one hand and a flashlight in the other.
The moment he saw my face, he paled. The flashlight dropped, spooking us both. He recovered and grabbed it, pointing it back at me. “… Impossible,” he finally said, though his voice was barely above a whisper. He shifted closer and stared intently at my face. “… Elana?”
“Hello, Jacob,” I whispered back. My heart was racing.
This time, the bat fell from his hand. He was shaking. “… Elana?” he choked, tears brimming his eyes.
I cleared my throat. “Yes, it’s me.” I sounded more confident than I felt. The way he was looking at me… why was I blushing?
He came closer, raising a trembling hand. Very slowly, he touched my cheek. The tears finally spilled over as his palm touched me. The flashlight slipped from his hand again. “H-how?” he gasped.
I reached down to grab the light and placed it on the island so that it illuminated the room better. “It doesn’t matter how,” I said, looking away from his face. The way he looked at me… “I didn’t come here to chat.”
His confusion was evident in his voice. “What?” He sounded so breathless.
“You’re coming with me,” I said, pulling out the tranquilizer gun.
He backed away instantly. “Elana?”
“I need you to come with me. Please, cooperate.” I wasn’t one to ask my target to comply, but… the way he looked at me… Jacob…
“What are you talking about? What’s going on, Elana?” he asked, his eyes going back and forth between my face and the gun.
“I don’t have much time,” I sighed, peeking at my phone. It was already close to midnight. “Come with me now.”
“Will you please just explain what’s going on?” he insisted.
I was starting to lose my patience now. “If I explain everything, will you come quietly?” I asked, trying to keep my voice even. He nodded, glancing at the gun. I sighed heavily and placed the weapon on the island, though my hand never left it. “After the car accident, I was rescued by my employer. I’ve been working for him ever since. He’s asked me to collect you and bring you to him. He has business with Tyler and…”
“Tyler?” he repeated. “Our son?” Pain etched his features. “He’s missing.”
I started feeling like my old self again as I remembered hunting him and those brats. I smiled coldly, “Yes, he was with us for a time.”
Jacob’s eyes widened. “You… you were with him?”
“My employer was interested in him and his friends. I brought them to him.”
Realization dawned on him slowly. “You kidnapped your own son?”
The hurt in his voice was piercing me. I didn’t expect to be so affected by his pain. My old self was fading. “There is nothing to worry about,” I explained unconvincingly. My voice sounded weak. “We took care of them.”
“You took him away for four months. Who is this employer? Why did you stay with him after the accident? Why is he so interested in our kid?” Jacob was starting to get suspicious. There was an edge to his questions. His eyes were tightening around the edges with skepticism. There was still that look in his eyes. … I was blushing again.
“His name is Dr. Randall Herman. I…” I took a deep breath, “… I lost my memory from that accident. He saved me. He gave me my life back.” The thought of him tightened my grip on the gun.
“Your life back?” Jacob repeated. “Why didn’t you come home?”
I grit my teeth and aimed the gun back at him. “I was home,” I answered.
He moved away, looking warily at the gun. “What are you talking about?”
“I’m not who you think I am, Jacob,” I said. “I really need to wrap this up.” “I’ve worked for him long before I met you. I was his spy. I married you and had that brat just to please him. I got tired of this life and so I faked my own death. He rescued me and brought me home. I had no reason to come back here until he ordered me to bring those kids to him. This was never my life. This…”
“Stop!” he cried. He looked like he was going to collapse. “That’s a lie. You never worked for this man. You worked for the local newspaper as an editor. You loved writing! You loved Tyler! You loved me!”
I wavered at his outburst. Was that true? Why did that sound right? Back at the facility, I would write when I had free time. It was relaxing. I… I loved it. “N-no,” I protested as my mind warred against itself. “Randall…” I cocked the gun and steadied my aim, “… Randall would never lie to me. He’s my Alpha.” I started at that word. I used it again without thinking. “Yes, that’s right,” I thought. “He is my Alpha. He saved me from this life.”
“Alpha? Do you hear yourself? What has this man done to you?” There was anger now on Jacob’s face, in his voice.
“He saved me,” I seethed. “I’ve answered enough of your questions. Come quietly now.”
“Elana, this isn’t you. I know you,” he insisted, cautiously approaching. His eyes softened and gazed into mine. “I have loved you since high school. We grew up in this town. Whatever that guy said to you, it’s not true. Your home is here with me, with Tyler. Don’t you remember anything?”
I should’ve pulled the trigger. That’s what I was supposed to. I wasn’t supposed to be having a conversation with my long forgotten spouse. I was on a mission. So why couldn’t I pull the trigger? Why couldn’t I just silence him and take him away? Why did I want to believe him? There was a rattling sound. “Where is that coming from?” I wondered. I looked down at my hand. It was shaking the gun and causing it to rattle. I looked up at Jacob. There was that face again. There was so much love in that face. Love for me. Joy for me. Longing… for me.
“Elana,” he said, easing his way closer to me, “let me help you remember.”
It wasn’t just my hand that shook now. I felt like jelly. “Shoot him. Just shoot him,” I kept telling myself, but my body refused to listen. I was shaking too much. We were a foot a part now. The gun was nearly touching his chest.
“Let me help you,” he pleaded, reaching slowly for the gun.
I really was succumbing. I was going to fail this mission.
Imagine how disappointed he’d be. The words rang like a bell through my system.
“Randall…” The muted bang of the gun sounded between us.
Jacob stumbled backwards, tripping over the bat and falling over. He pulled out the dart from his chest and then looked back at me. “Elana…” he sighed as the tranquilizer started taking effect. He was out a second later.