Snippet #2694662

located in Seattle, Washington, a part of Wolves Reign: Blood Moon, one of the many universes on RPG.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is not it's vibrant Capitol Hill or Space Needle attraction; it's dark, uninviting, and cold in more ways than one... Crime and danger lurk around every corner in this werewolf populated metropolis.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lauren Silverstein Character Portrait: Jackson Kastner
Tag Characters » Add to Arc »

Footnotes

Add Footnote »

0.00 INK

β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
β•‘
L A U R E N

XXXXXXXXImage

XXXXXXXX

Image

XXXXXXXX

Image

XXXXXXXX

J A C K S O N
Clothes, bedding, dishes, pictures, and other personal belongings... Lauren went through the mental checklist in her head of what needed to be packed. Then she went down the other list of things to do: pay her last month of rent, map out where they were headed to next (she always had a list of at least three locations to run to in case of emergencies), research where they were going to live (some place where they accepted rent in cash, with no renter background checks, and preferably a place with a basement or attic for full moons), and write a letter to Jared where they were going. The 90's Frankensteined Nissan that she drove creaked to a stop in the driveway and she gathered up the dinner of a burger and fries she brought home for Jackson from the diner; noting as she got out that she saw no lights on in the front windows. She came into the house first going into the kitchen and turning on a light and setting down the bag of food on the table.

"Jackson, sweetheart!" she called out, shirking off her jacket and hanging it on the coat stand beside the door. Nothing. Maybe he was in his bedroom. "Jackson, there's dinner!" she called out in a more coaxing voice. When he did not respond to that she became a little curiouser as to where her son was at, as he was not one to miss an invitation for dinner. She went to go upstairs, pausing when she heard a noise eminate from the kitchen. She stepped into the dark room, head cocked to the side.

"Jackson, what are you doing sitting in the dark?"

Immediately all the humor was sapped out of the room as she flicked on the light and looked at her son sitting at the table disconsolate, papers spread out in front of him.

"What's all this...?" Lauren asked -- knowing of course exactly what the papers were, but not wanting to immediately incriminate herself. It was hard to look at her whole correspondence with her oldest son over the past 18 years spread out before her that she had kept hidden away like some dirty secret in a box in a dark corner of every place they lived. They were so many that they consumed the entire surface of the formica table and spilled onto the floor. She couldn't help but stoop down to pick up the few that had fallen. Jackson had never had any physical proof to substantiate or challenge what little she told him. Lauren might as well have been born out of a void, walking out bearing scars that she pretended she had no idea where they came from. She left the details of the past scarce and let him fill in the blanks as he pleased, as they were surely better than the truth anyways. Probably nowhere in the patched together made-up story that he had in his mind did he have a sibling though...

Jackson wore a startlingly electric expression. It was wide awake and glittering, a match struck just behind his eyes. It was not his usual mien. This expression moved in a way that his face had always been capable of, surely, but never been asked to.

"I don’t really know. It appears to be letters between you and a sibling I didn’t know I had…but you tell me?" He asked, his voice unsteady, a mixture of hurt and anger rolling generously through the vowels causing it to shake.

It was difficult to come to terms with the reality of the situation, and even more so with the fact that she still seemed to be searching for her out, guarding her lies. He could see secrets dart between her glances and it infuriated him. He had righteously anticipated an immediate confession, or at the very least a reflection of guilt but this? Did she even possess the ability to be honest without avoidance? Even when confronted with inscrutable evidence? She had had eighteen years of opportunities to break this to him, she had been given chance after chance to best figure a way to reveal the news. He was old enough now, difficult truths should have only become easier to unload. He didn’t even know who she was and by proxy, who even he himself was. Jackson saw before him a smash-cut slideshow of memories that didn’t gel and lies that didn’t stick. The schism between his manufactured past and reality had begun to narrow.

"SAY SOMETHING." He demanded.

Lauren inhaled sharply at his tone, for a moment needing to look away as to not show the pained expression in her eyes and think. She filled the momentary silence with setting the paper sack with his dinner inside on the kitchen counter before turning back to him. She leaned against one of the back of the kitchen chairs with both hands, her nails trimmed and filed into docile ovals drumming anxiously against the wooden frame while her face remained unmoved. After another moment she stopped the incessant tapping having finally come to terms there was no other way out then to tell the truth. It had stood tacit on her tongue for so long that it did not come naturally for her to speak it and she began with much hesitancy.

"Yes... that is your brother, my son, in those letters... We were separated during the revolution... He lives in a ghetto, in Seattle."

Jackson's mouth hung agape, his words staggering in his throat. It was so...blunt. So without preface or excuse. He waited, hoping there was more to be said, but she just stared back at him with this inscrutable physiognomy. His rows of teeth met one another in a grind as he refused to break eye contact, to waver. Calm down, breathe. Get your answers. Yesterday's argument had felt like a portent for this one, the one that would haunt his impression of his mother until the day he died.

"...and why is this the first I'm hearing of him?" He finally asked, words aimed like knives across the chair between them.

So much of what he felt right then was conveyed by his body. The thrust of his shoulders, the slant of his neck, the curvature of his arms into the dull traps of his hands. This wasn't right. Jackson was a happy, carefree kid. He didn't feel things like this, like betrayal.

"It wasn't safe for you to know him." she replied almost sharply, "...It's all very complicated Jackson. I wish there was some easy way to explain it. After the revolution being together as a family was simply out of the question." Outcasts. Traitors. Defectors. She swallowed, "-- We are both regretful of things done in the past. Me, especially. The path I chose has made it so I could never see my pack again, let alone your brother. You should not blame him for having not reached out... clearly, he has tried many times."

Getting the whole truth out of her was a fruitless effort. Even as the proverbial writer of her own life she seemed fuzzy on the details, the definition of an unreliable narrator; her story was marred, some pages ripped out, others burned, and no conclusions ever reached. There were no answers to give her son because she didn't have them either, namely why. Why had all this happened? Why to her? Why to Jared? Why had her mate done everything he did? And why if she was so justified in her own actions did she feel wrong?

She hadn't been able to much contemplate these questions in the midst of trying to survive. All she could do was manage what was suppressed in her psyche. She had taught herself to go to sleep without crying, to be able to stand her own reflection in the mirror, and to look at her son without thinking of him. Except now, as much as she had told herself over the years this was her son and not his, she could not deny as Jackson glowered at her as calm as the eye of a hurricane from across the table that at least in appearance he was his father's son.

"I don't blame him, I don't KNOW him, I blame you. There was a way to explain it, you just never even bothered to try!" He cried out in total and utter frustration. He was spinning, reeling, his calm lost in a snap of a moment. "You could have just said-" His voice broke. "Even if I believed you, which you've given me no reason to, that doesn't mean you couldn't have at least TOLD me. All this time...you lied to me."

Jackson Kastner, fighter of men, devil of a boy, didn't do things like cry but for some reason, in that moment, tears seemed to be stinging the back of his eyes. He'd be damned if he let them fall, though. His hands clenched and unfurled a few times at his waist. He finally broke eye contact with her, letting his gaze plummet to the floor. Jackson felt robbed, robbed of any choice that might have led him someplace happier, to some more populated or congenial life.

"Is there anything- anyONE else? No long lost uncles, cousins, or maybe sisters hiding in the woodwork somewhere?" His tone was scornful and sarcastic, but the question remained, what more could she been concealing behind that glassy stare?

"No, no family. Neither your father or I had any." Lauren replied deadpan. She thought about the pack she'd left behind, people like Coren, Lucas, and other friends that she was close to that she had once considered family; but there was no blood and she didn't know what had happened to most people she used to know. She hated to see her son hurting as he so obviously was; his bravado slipping slightly with tears stinging at the corner of his eyes. Yet it didn't move her enough to tell him everything, holding onto the back of the chair in silence like every last fiber of her calm composure.

The statement 'neither did I until recently' instantly came to mind but, it would do him no good to take jabs at her now when he was close to the truths he had been unwittingly searching for all these years. Jackson swallowed his ignominious comment and plowed on. "What...what happened back then? Why are things like this now?" If he just knew a few details, he could figure the rest. He just needed something to grab onto so verity could take root. He just desperately wanted to understand.


Lauren let go of the back of the chair and looked out the window above her son's head; seeming to search for her answer outside somewhere and looking back to places that she had long since left behind. She began with some trepidation but gathered momentum as she spoke, fueled by an undercurrent of ire that rose to the surface.

"Not everyone was for the revolution. I didn't want a war but your father... he desired it more than anything. More than anyone I might say. He cared about the revolution above any future we might have had or even his own life... I hated it. I resented what it brought out in him."

It was the first time she had ever spoken at length about what had happened 18 years ago. Some of it she realized would be quite contradictory to what she had already revealed to him. She had, believe it or not, never spoke ill of Adam. She had never led on one iota that she bore any resentment towards his late father and very carefully spoke about him, even constructing him in a positive light. Not out of any caring for Adam, but to give her son a father that even though he was dead he could at least look up to. This was easy to do because the dead were better than the living by virtue. They could never fail you. They could not hurt you. They could make no more mistakes.

Not like her. Not like she was about to do with Jackson.

"... So I decided to leave because I had you to think about; I could save you. But there was nothing I could do for your father. He had made his bed... He chose to fight, and died. Your brother tried to escape but did not make it out.."

She let out a heavy sigh as if she had just dropped a heavy load off her back and finally fixed her gaze back on her son to gauge his reaction as she finished.

"I feared going back after that, I had defected and knew I would not be welcomed back. I didn't want to raise you in a ghetto either... And that's it... That's what happened."

The floodgates had opened and Jackson just stood there numb in his shock, trying and failing to absorb her words. Nothing made sense. He didn't know if he was supposed to be consumed by despair or anger at this point. So he vacillated wildly between the two, occasionally burning himself out and feeling nothing at all. It wasn't until she uttered that last line that one of the warring emotions won out and completely obliterated the other.

Anger.

His feelings were an oil spill; he suddenly allowed them to overflow and now there wasn't a damn place in the ocean that wouldn't catch fire with the match Lauren had just struck. He hated her. Hated her for her lies, for her willingness to pollute the pure image of his late father that was all he had left to him, for her cowardice. He hated her in that moment because he had loved no one more than she, and love and hate were two sides of the same coin, after all. He directed this fury at her.

"Y-you mean to tell me...that you're the reason dad is dead." Jackson's whole body was a riot of shivers. "YOU ABANDONED MY FATHER, YOU ABANDONED YOUR SON! YOU ABANDONED OUR PEOPLE!" This felt like a heart attack that would never stop. He had believed he was prepared to hear the truth, but nothing in the world could have prepared him for this. He looked on her with disgust. "You don't leave your family behind, I would never have left you! I'd of stayed and DIED before I'd of given up on the people I love! You didn't deserve them...and you took my choice away from me." His mistakes weren't hers, and even if the traitor that she was wouldn't be welcomed back among her people, it didn't mean that he wouldn't be too. He couldn't stand to look at her for a second longer, he couldn't stand to remain in this house for a moment more. She had had everything and threw it all away.

She was the source of his loneliness.

"I hate you." Jackson shoved past her and made his escape up the stairs before violently slamming his bedroom door closed behind him. He couldn't think about the look on her face when he shouted those words at her, the pain in her expression was too raw and he could not afford to doubt his resolve now. His anger was all that protected him from this unbearable pain. He snatched his backpack off the ground and dumped it's contents on the floor before stuffing random articles of clothing lying about into it. He was leaving, and he was never coming back. He'd find his brother in Seattle and be welcomed into the pack. He'd meet those wolves that stood for something more than themselves, and fought to protect what was theirs. That was his true place in the world, he was his father's son after all-or the son of the father he imagined at any rate.

It would have been impossible to escape the house with tensions just having been so high. No matter how keyed up Jackson was and ready to leave, he couldn't fathom a successful way to get away with it in that moment. He'd had enough confrontation with Karen Kaster for one day, and wasn't eager to start yet another argument. The next bus didn't run until dawn at any rate, and he couldn't very well walk to Seattle. Though, if his determination was anything to go by, he probably could have made it half way across the globe in a night. He set his bag down beside his bed and buried his face in the pillow, unshed tears sealing themselves away.

Amidst the tangle of his bed sheets, Jackson drifted in and out of restless sleep that night, and his dreams for the most part were muddied with the same anxiety that bled into his waking hours. It was nearly an hour before dawn when he finally pulled himself from this restless state and scooped back up his backpack before he approached his bedroom window. When sneaking out, he had never previously used this particular window as an exit despite it being an obvious choice for it had been painted shut a long time ago, and wouldn't break away easily so he'd always made do with the front door. But now he dug his extending claws into the frame and wretched it open, paint chips scattering across the ground. He wouldn't be going back any further into that house, not even to make his escape. There was a sense of finality about this action that was strangely satisfying.