Author's note: Another story written for 15minuteficlets, for an old word. Probably one of my favorites of the 15minuteficlets drabbles. Hope you enjoy, reviews are like crack only without the damaging side effects. So they're even better than crack.

Disclaimer: I do not own this story, please do not sue me. Thank you.


It wasn't unusual for Lucian to sometimes go out, on his own, no definite place to find him, no definite time to expect him back. The lycans had long ago become accustomed to their Alpha's eccentricities, and there were no more instances of someone questioning the old lycan of where he was going. It usually didn't get any answer other than a low, barely audible growl and a dark glare anyway.

Raze had seen his leader leave plenty of times, silent but not sneaky, ignoring, but not unaware. He had once attempted to follow the older male, but he had been led all over the city of Paris until finally Lucian had gone into an alleyway and stopped, asking Raze why he hadn't given up following the Alpha. After the Alpha's trick, Raze had stopped trying to discover just what the male did when he went out on his own.

But there were many theories. Some were outlandish, speaking of a forbidden tryst of some kind, perhaps with a human, while others said he was merely going to meet with one of Kraven's men perhaps. Some thought he wished to hunt alone and let out his wolf, since it was so rare that he acted like a lycan around them.

The last theory had brought a faint smile to Lucian's face when Raze would relay the talks back to the Alpha after he returned. Most brought either that reaction, or a snort of derision, or even a chuckle. Sometimes an expression that showed he found the theory to be quite, stupid.

None had gotten the reaction the forbidden tryst theory had. None had even come close. Raze had told him of that one last, sensing it would either garner some anger or some mockery from the Alpha, but Lucian had reacted in a completely different fashion.

He had just, blinked. His eyes went cold, his expression became a void of emotion, his body tensed, and then, he blinked. After that, he remained silent, looked at the floor, closed his eyes, and let out a great, heavy sigh, his shoulders slumping as if he were burdened, and Raze had almost believed that this theory had been the correct one.

Lucian had quickly dismissed that thought though. With a wave of his hand and a tired voice, he had told the Beta that there were no more forbidden trysts, no more hidden affairs, nothing. His heart ached with a bitterness and a longing. And when he went out, he merely watched the lovers in the cities the pack stayed in, and envied them with all his soul.

Raze had quickly forced the lycans to give up that theory and never mention it again. The memory of the lycan Alpha's reaction and dismissal haunted him, because he had seen a ghost in his leader's eyes, and he had glimpsed his leader's own, haunted mind.