Andover's Quest: Part Seven
Moran sighed. He wished Lex would come home. He had no idea
how much he'd hurt her by leaving. If only he'd known. The Lupe laid down and
rubbed his aching head with his aching paws. He grimaced at Monica, who smiled
"What happened to you?" she asked, coming over
to look at the huge gash in his side. He smiled at her.
"That son of yours is one heck of a fighter,"
he commented, wincing slightly.
"Andover did this to you?" she asked, horrified.
Her big blue eyes widened, making him smile even more.
"Not intentionally, no. But yeah, I guess he
Monica sat down and took a long hard look at
him. He stared right back, unflinching under her hard glare.
"What happened to you all those years? Where
did you go for six years? And why was Andover trying to kill you? You have a
lot of explaining to do," she sighed.
"I know I do. And I will. I promise I'll explain
it all soon enough."
Just then Lex and Andover came into the dimly
lit cave, arguing heatedly.
"I don't care what you say, you are not going
to make me say anything -" Kit stopped suddenly at the sight of her father.
She turned tail to leave but Andover stood in front of the exit.
"Move, Andover," she snapped. "I don't want
to be in here with him."
"Make me," the Lupe replied, his electric fur
Lex glared at him. "I will," she threatened.
"Try me," he snarled angrily. "I dare you."
"I wouldn't, Lex," Monica warned her. Lex threw
a glare and a devilish grin over her shoulder.
"Lex, I don't wanna hurt you," Andover said
seriously. Lex's grin faltered.
"I can take you," she said confidently.
"Don't be so sure, Lexi," Moran insisted.
"Don't talk to me," Lex growled through gritted
teeth. She crouched down. I can take Andover. He's all talk and no action
- just like him. This thought made her angrier.
"Lex, seriously, I don't want to hurt you. But
you aren't going anywhere until you talk to our father. He kept his promise,
just like me," Andover snarled. "Just like me," he murmured to himself. He had
never really realized the similarities between his father and him.
"You can't even catch a wild Snowbunny. How
are you supposed to fight me?" Lex scoffed.
"Oh, he's better than you think," Moran said.
"I know, I know, don't talk to you," he added upon seeing his daughter's face.
He rolled his eyes. "Spoiled little brat," he added under his breath. Andover
grinned at him.
"Move, Andover!" Lex growled. She lunged at
him and he easily blocked her, knocking her back onto the ground. She gasped
in shock. He really could fight!
She lunged again and again, trying desperately
to escape the small confines of their cave but every time she tried something,
Andover blocked it or countered it without so much as a twitch of the tail!
Where had he learned this?
Finally she gave up and sat down out of breath.
"When did you learn all that?" she asked, trying to catch her breath. He grinned.
"Just now," he admitted. "I made it all up."
"What? You made those moves up?" Lex's eyes
bulged in surprise? "But how?"
Andover shrugged. "We can talk about that later,"
he insisted. Lex's face clouded over.
"I am not taking to him," she snapped.
"Lexi," Moran said pleadingly. "Just listen
to me, will you?"
"Don't call me Lexi! No one's called me that
"Since I left?" he offered. "Lexi, just listen
to what I have to say. You don't have to talk to me."
Lex sighed and turned around. "Go ahead," she
said, glaring at him. He swallowed.
"Look, I never wanted to leave you for that
long. I was foolish to leave at all and I sincerely apologize for it. But I
paid my dues on Mystery Island. I've made too many mistakes in my life since
I left here and I don't want that to happen again. I was too caught up in myself
and Daedrin was convinced that you'd all still be here when I got back in a
few months so I agreed. But plans changed. Our boat overturned and I lost my
… never mind. Anyway, our boat overturned and I had to swim all the way to Mystery
Island from somewhere near the Lost Desert. I was confused. I didn't know what
to do with myself. I got angry at myself for not being smarter and I tried to
make myself perfect. And then I tried to make the Lupes around me perfect as
"I realize now what I did was wrong. Extremely
wrong. I shouldn't have done any of it. I should have gotten on the nearest
boat home right away. Don't think I don't regret what I did because I do. But
I can't change what happened. And neither can you, or Andover, or your mother.
Alexis, I realize you have no idea how hard this is on me, but I'm sorry. I'm
sorry I left, I'm sorry, I disappeared, I'm sorry I brainwashed and manipulated
Lupes into thinking they're perfect, I'm sorry I didn't come home right away,
but most of all, I'm sorry I hurt you so much, Lexi. I never wanted to. And
I hope you understand that, even if you won't forgive me." And without further
ado, the red Lupe nodded at his daughter and swept out of the cave, his tail
and head hanging low.
Lex sat there a second, still reeling from his
long speech. She hated it when grown-ups made her felt guilty like that. "Lex,
quit trying to find more reasons to hate him and go forgive your father," Monica
said gently. Lex sighed.
"Daddy!" she called out, racing after him. He
stopped in his tracks and looked back.
"Wh-what did you call me?" he asked uncertainly.
Lex smiled at him. "Daddy. I forgive you," she
said. "And I'm sorry too. For not trusting you."
Moran grinned at her. "You don't have to be
sorry, Lexi. I wouldn't have trusted me either."
Lex shook her head. "You're awfully funny, Dad,"
she said. "And I wouldn't have it any other way," she murmured.
The two of them were joined by Monica and Andover
and the four of them all walked up to Gammot's cave together. The old silver-haired
Lupe greeted them.
"Come, come, there are quite a few in here who
would love to hear three sides of a long tale," he said, ushering them inside.
In the cave, Coron, Jennica, Shaylee, Kit, Daedrin,
and various other Lupes were all seated around a small fire, waiting. Andover
seated himself between Shaylee and Coron, earning himself an admiring smile
from Coron's mother, Jennica and a soft grin from Shaylee.
"Well, enough waiting, I'm sure we're all very
eager to hear your stories," Gammot said. "But first, I think you have, Andover,
something that belongs to your father."
Andover cast a confused glance at Moran, who
nodded toward his chest. Andover looked down to see two leather drawstring pouches
still hanging faithfully from his neck.
"Rrrright," Andover answered. He took off the
empty pouch and laid it on the ground in front of him. He opened his own pouch
and took out an extremely old piece of paper with a very messy drawing on it
and a blinding white gem and dropped them both into the pouch. He handed it
to his father who slipped the strings around his neck and sat back down, satisfied.
"And now, let's hear the beginning of this tale,
where it all started - with two reckless young Lupes named Daedrin and Moran,"
Moran started, and all the Lupes around the fire became quiet.
"It all started when we were about Andover's
age. We wanted to get away from the plains for a while. So we set off on a journey…"
"Hey! That's not fair!" the small white Lupe
screeched happily. He scampered over to where his mother was talking with his
father and sat between her front paws and stuck his tongue out at the little
starry Lupe chasing him.
"Moran, what have we told you about fighting?"
Shaylee chided. The white Lupe pup looked up at his mother.
"Uh…To not do it?" he guessed. Andover let out
a bark of laughter and ruffled his son's head.
"Good job, champ," he said, grinning. Shaylee
shook her head fondly and nudged him back toward his friend.
"Hey, Devon, wait for me!" he cried, running
The starry Lupe skidded to a stop and waited.
Then the two of them took off toward the stream.
Andover sat back and watched them, wondering
what it was like to be so carefree. He glanced toward where his sister was lounging
in the shade under a big tree, chatting nonchalantly with Kit, the both of them
keeping an eye on some of the other pups running around. How he wished he was
still carefree like they were, not having to worry about anything but his son.
Ever since Gammot had passed on he'd been swamped with nothing but responsibilities.
And not to mention that whiny new pack leader Jeremiah who was at least three
years younger than him. All he did was complain. The hunters come back without
meat, there's Jeremiah whining in his face. One of the pups eats some of his
supper, there's Jeremiah whining again. It was getting tiresome.
"What's wrong, Andover?" Shaylee asked, gazing
at him with unbelievably blue eyes.
"Nothing," he sighed. "Nothing at all." He smiled
at her. "Everything is perfect."
"Andover! Tell your son to keep out of my personal
belongings!" someone yelled.
Andover grinned at loped over to where Moran
was standing, gazing up innocently at his grandfather. "I didn't do anything,
Dad, honest," he said, blinking his eyes.
The electric Lupe grinned at his own father
and picked up his son by the scruff. "We'll just see what your mother has to
say about that."