Mist’s chest throbbed from the voracious beating of her heart. Her tail trailed, stiff, at her back. The scarred meer faced her with his hackles raised. His brown gaze trained on her. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to startle you.” She said, feeling oddly detached. Was it only one season ago that her mother had vanished? One season ago that her mother had told her the truth about who her father was?
“He’s still alive. You’ll know him by a scar on his cheek.” Golden had told her that night. And then the next morning Mist woke up to find her gone. Vanished, every trace of her.
“Who are you?” The scarred meer growled.
That was a good question. What could she say? ‘I noticed the scar on your face and I’m pretty sure you’re my father’? Mist shook her head at how ridiculous it all sounded. Here she was, facing a strange meer. Father or not, she still had no idea who he was. And she had survived this long without a father, so why would she need one now?
She knew the answer to that. She needed to fill the void that her mother had left. Mist felt hollow, like a carcass picked clean from the inside out. Ever since her mother disappeared Mist hadn’t been able to rid herself of the looming sorrow. The sense that her life was worth nothing without another meer to share it with. She had no purpose. Since she was born, it had only been her and Golden. Now, it was just her. But maybe, just maybe, if this meer was who she thought he was then he could fill the emptiness.
Looking at his face, his expression full of distrust, Mist wasn’t sure she had made the right decision by searching for him. Maybe this was stupid, he might not even want a daughter. He already had a family to call his own, she could tell from their scents wafting off him. He might be too busy handling pups who actually needed him. What if he didn’t have space in his life for a grown daughter who he didn’t even know existed?
“Who are you?” He growled again, louder than before. He was still waiting for her answer. Mist shook herself. She hadn’t trekked across the desert for a full season to lose her nerve now.
“Are you Noble?” She asked.
His expression went from hostile to bewildered, though his eyes were still weary. He hadn’t exposed her to his family though, which was a good sign. “Yes,” he replied slowly, “do I know you?” “Not yet.” Mist showed her teeth in the beginnings of a smile. “My name is Mist. I’m your daughter.”