I ran up to two of the pack elders, Milo and Baden, my best friend Seth not far behind. Even though he was a year older and the son of the alpha, I was still faster.
“Milo, Milo, Milo can you and Baden tell us a story please.” I begged sitting down in front of the two former warriors. They were brothers and had both held high ranking in the pack. My father the beta, and Seth’s father the alpha trusted them enough that they were our main educators in our youth.
Baden raised an eyebrow at me, his salt and pepper colored hair waving in the wind. “Will Seth and Julian be joining you today Grace? Or do you continue to leave the Alpha’s two younger sons in the dust?” He teased.
“No, Julian was spending the day with our mother, so we were hoping you could tell us a cool scary story today.” Seth grinned, finally catching up to me and sitting down beside me.
The two brother looked at each other. “A cool scary story you say?” Milo repeated, chewing on the inside of his cheek in thought, he and Baden looked at each other for a moment before Baden looked up and smiled at something past us.
Turning around I saw another boy a year older than Seth and two years older than me running toward us. Xiren was his name, and he was still young enough to be considered a pup, although he boasted and challenged the other pups as though he was a juvenile. He was my other best friend aside from Seth, and he was the grandson of Baden.
“Hello Xiren, have you managed to keep your temper in check today?” Milo teased, while Xiren just rolled his eyes and sat next to me.
“Hey Xi.” I whispered, watching his duo colored eyes light up at my nickname for him. One eye was blue while the other was green, giving him a sort of mixed up look. His dark brown hair was always shaggy and falling in front of his eyes.
He took my hand and gave it a slight squeeze. “Hey Clumsy.” He grinned back. Xiren called me clumsy because he always said that I would never live up to my name. Truth be told, the first time I had met him I had run into him while running away from Seth.
That was three years ago, and I was only seven then. Now I’m ten, and in three years I’ll be considered a juvenile.
“Xiren, do you have any ides for a scary cool story.” Baden chuckled, mocking Seth’s use of words.
A wicked light glimmered briefly across Xiren’s eyes, and he grinned at Baden. “Tell us about the Hatirien Mark and The Ha’Ti.”
Milo’s eyes grew wary as he regarded my friend with cold eyes. “Where did you hear such a thing? You are a mere pup?” He growled.
“My father, he talks about the Ha’Ti all the time. Mostly when he comes back from the dusk patrols.” Xiren shrugged.
Even I knew that Xiren’s father was a crazy drunk that had only been allowed to keep his post as a commander after his mate had died because the alpha had taken pity on him. Yet, I had never heard Xiren bad talk his father, he would always defend his father. It didn’t matter who the insult came from or how strong or old they were, Xiren would make sure they knew not to insult his father.
Slowly, Milo nodded. “I suppose all three of you are old enough to know about the Ha’Ti.” He sighed, looking to Baden who looked at the three of us calmly.
“The Ha’Ti are werewolves, who gain an extra wolf. They shift into their normal wolf prematurely. The second wolf, is the problem. For the second wolf is a demonic creature with black fur and empty eyes, claws as longer as rulers, and then, the fangs. The demon wolf has a mouth closer in nature to that of shark than that of a wolf, and in the mouth are hundreds of blade sharp fangs.” Baden said, watching all three of us look up at him in shock.
“So what if this second wolf looks like a demon, isn’t it an advantage in battle? What’s so bad about them?” Xiren asked, tilting his head to the side.
Milo sighed and shook his head. “Being demonic, the second wolf, or Ha’Ti, have an uncontrollable bloodlust. And when they have their sights set on their prey, they will not stop until they have had a successful hunt. For that reason, almost all pups that are discovered to have Ha’Ti are killed or driven away from the packs.”
I could tell Xiren was about to ask another question, but an alarm howl sounded close by, causing me to freeze and look to Baden and Milo in horror. The two former warriors were standing and looking in the direction of the howl with cold eyes.
Seth looked at me with fear. “My father and mother.” He whispered.
“Don’t worry pups, you will stay here with us until someone can come here to claim you.” Baden smiled down at us.
As if on cue, Seth’s older brother Zared came running up to us. Zared was the eldest son of the Alpha and 13 years old, having just been named a juvenile this year.
“Seth and Grace I’m here to take you two to the pack house. Xiren, stay here, your father will be around to claim you in a moment.” Zared said calmly, and I could see the faint smile the Baden and Milo shared. They were thinking about how much of alpha Zared already was.
I allowed Zared to take my hand, as he quickly led Seth and I toward the pack house. We had to go through the woods to reach them, and I could swear that every single cracking of a branch was an enemy wolf coming to attack us.
We were almost at the pack house when Zared froze up and look into the trees leading away from the pack house. A black wolf like creature was making it’s way toward us. I tried to find it’s eyes, but all that was there was emptiness.
“Demon, do not take a step closer.” Zared growled, pushing Seth and behind him. Seth grabbed onto Zared’s arm, even with my not yet fully developed wolf senses, I could smell the fear coming from my best friend.
The creature kept moving toward us, stopping when Zared spoke and it was maybe twelve feet away from us. Then it laughed, and I saw the rows upon rows of shark like fangs inside the jaw that extended farther back into the face of the creature than an average wolf.
“You call me demon, look into your own soul, boy. You know what you are.” It screeched at Zared, giving him a grin and showing all of his rows of jagged fangs.
Without warning, Zared turned and grabbed Seth and I.
I barely needed to hear the word before I grabbed Seth’s hand and took off running. Making our way toward the already visible pack house, when another creature jumped in front of us.
“Pretty little puppies, why don’t you stay to play.” It cooed, the voice more feminine sounding this time.
We were frozen in place, unable to do anything, even when she lunged at us.
I closed my eyes and heard Zared run toward us, before something happened and a small yelp made me open my eyes.
The creature in front of us now had her jaws around the neck of a small dark grey and white wolf, no doubt Zared. I saw the Alpha as he charged toward us, freezing in shock when he realized that it was Zared in wolf form. Curled up with his eyes wide in terror, hanging from the jaws of a demonic she-wolf.
“Let him go you bitch.” Alpha growled, the mind-link going to every wolf in a ten mile radius. His own wolf identical to Zared’s stalked forward, but for every step he took, the tighter the she-wolf gripped Zared. Tight enough that blood stared dripping down his fur.
“We will be taking this pup, you won’t want him.” The original male demon wolf growled, walking up toward us.
Alpha growled savagely. “What the fuck are you talking about you bastard.” He responded.
The female laughed and dropped Zared. I could now see, that it was blood staining his fur, but in fact the fur itself was turning black. Alpha just watched with wide eyes as his transformed into something not of this world.
Zared’s muzzle grew in length and I could hear the extra fangs growing in his mouth. I only got the slightest glimpse of empty eyes before Alpha shifted back, and grabbed Seth and I. He ran us to the pack house.
Once leaving us with the Luna and Xiren who was already there, he left. I could see the devastation on his face.
Xiren and I sat alone, Seth and his younger brother Julian had been taken away by the Luna when my parents had come to take Xiren and I away. Neither of us could understand what was happening, or why Xiren’s father didn’t just come himself.
I got my answer when we sat in a seat in a large auditorium, Alpha was standing on the stage with Luna crying beside him. This was a trial, but who was it for? Surely no wolf had just betrayed our pack like that?
Alpha sighed and silenced us all after a few moment. “We are here tonight to decide the fate of Zared Scotia.” He said strongly, and my blood ran cold.
Then Zared was forced onto the stage by two guards, he was in human form, but he was different. While before, he had bright green eyes, they were now a pale green color, blood stained his shirt, and there was a dull look on his face.
“Zared, you are being charged with murder or five packmates, Milo, Garth, Jane, Nick and Laurens. Do you plead guilty?” Alpha said slowly, and I felt Xiren go weak beside me. Laurens was his father, and the last family he had left. Aside from his grandfather Baden of course.
And Milo, was gone.
With scared eyes Zared looked up at his father. “I did it Dad, but please, you have to help me, it took control of me, what did it do to me?” Zared begged, looking at Alpha with tears in his eyes.
Alpha swallowed hard and looked away. “Enough has been said, Zared, from this moment forward, you are no longer a member of the Winter Moon Pack. Therefore being stripped of your right to one day become alpha, and your right to consider any wolf in this territory a packmate. Only because I once called you son, are you not receiving the death sentence. A guard will escort you out of the territory, if we ever see you here again, you will be killed.” Alpha growled, looking down at Zared with hatred.
Zared looked down, but when he looked back up, his eyes were cold as ice. “So be it, but do know Alpha Scotia, that you will never be forgiven for this.” he growled as a few guards grabbed his chained hands and harshly dragged him out of the room.
We never saw him again.