October in Tennessee is beautiful, the colors of Autumn, the cool breeze, football, bonfires, what is not to love? Astrid had moved to the beautiful small town of Townsend, Tennessee when she was 25, about 10 years ago, with her family and childhood best friend. Her husband (Kilian) and her three daughters, Helga (17), Ingrid (15), and Freya (14) are her world. Gunther or Gunny made the decision to move with them. He and Astrid had been best friends since kindergarten. She lived a quiet life, Kilian a contractor and Astrid owned a metaphysical store.
Astrid met Sylvi when she arrived in town and they were instantly best friends. Sylvi and Gunny were also quick friends, that thrilled Astrid. Kilian was never a fan of Gunther; he was always trying to undermine his marriage and convince Astrid to leave him. Kilian would never dream of forcing her to choose between such a long-time friend and their marriage, but he didn’t have to like him.
6 months ago, once the winter weather broke, Sylvi and Astrid had decided to go for a hike in the Smokey Mountains State Park. Astrid was one of the most powerful witches around, Sylvi had grown accustomed to caring for her friend. If Astrid were to not ‘recharge’ often enough, it caused extreme mood swings, physical pain, and fatigue. Astrid always enjoyed being close with nature and Sylvi knew after the hard winter, that was exactly what Astrid needed.
They had just reached the top of the mountain when Sylvi caught the scent of the attacker. Her best friend didn’t know, but she is a werewolf. After her family was killed 15 years ago, Sylvi had moved to Townsend to start over. The only two wolves in the town were here and her husband Luke.
“Why don’t you enjoy the view while I find a place to squat.” Sylvi said with a wink.
“You could just say your going to pee.” Astrid responded with a giggle.
Once under the cover of the forest, Sylvi shifted into a beautiful light brown wolf with crystal blue eyes. Her wolf was larger than other females, her father was a top warrior, and she was his daughter in every way. She had doubled-back and came up behind the wolf that was following them. He was still in human form; she had the advantage.
She pounced ass the stalker caught her scent. No one would expect her to be in wolf form in the middle of the day. Werewolves were larger than average wolves and humans tended to notice. The man laid flat on his back, both her paws on his chest, pushing him into the wet ground. Her snarl echoed down the mountain as the saliva dripped down from her snout onto his face.
He shoved Sylvi off, she recovered quickly on her feet. As he began to shift, she used all her strength from her hind legs and lunged at him. She latched her jaw on his arm and tore it off, tossing it aside as she landed. The man tried to get back on his feet while he screamed in agony.
She pushed her paws against his pack, pushing him face first into the ground, whimpering. Sylvi took the chance to shift into her human form. She restrained the arm he still had behind his back, lifting his head up by his hair.
“Why are you following me? What do you want?” She said not willing to ask again.
He released a bone chilling laugh that turned into a blood-filled cough. “What do you mean following you? You are nothing, he doesn’t want you.” He continued to laugh.
“He will get her, just you wait and see.” He continued to laugh and whimper at his injuries.
Sylvi moved her hand from his hair to the back of his neck, pushing his face back into the ground as she heard his neck snap. “Yeah, well, you won’t be around to find out.” She said to the corpse laying on the ground.
Sylvi looked around then down at herself before releasing a sigh. There was no way she could go back to Astrid covered in blood. She quickly shifted and ran to the water to rinse off. She made it back to her clothes and quickly got dressed before sitting beside Astrid.
“Constipated?” Astrid said with a smile as she laid on her back with her eyes closed.
“Very funny, you know me, I saw one thing and it led to another, sorry.” Sylvi shrugged.
That night when she was at her diner, she was approached by a wolf. She caught his scent immediately and he took a seat at a table in the corner. Not wanting her staff to be involved with werewolf activities, she told the waitress she would take care of the table. She approached the table ready to be firm but before she had the chance to say hello, he began talking.
“I need your help to protect her, I saw what you did today.” He said his eyes tough.
“I don’t know who you are or what you are talking about. Would you like something to eat? I am aware this is unclaimed territory; I don’t need any trouble in my business.” She replied flatly.
“You do know what I am talking about, Astrid needs to be protected, I will explain everything to you and your husband. For now, I just need you to trust me and protect her. There will be more wolves coming.” His alpha tone was undeniable.
“Do I at least get your name? You seem to know a lot about my sister. If it is so important meet me at my house at 10:00 PM. I will make sure Luke is ready to listen as well.” Sylvi said forcefully.
“Alexander. Do not tell the princess... I mean Astrid, anything for now. You will understand later.” He replied before standing and walking out.
That day started a chain of events that would wreak havoc in the small town. Sylvi and her husband Luke had met with Alexander that night, he gave her as much information as he had. She was slightly shocked but her best friend had always been special. At the end of the conversation, Alexander had offered Sylvi and Luke to join his pack. They knew they needed to stay together if they were going to have any chance at succeeding.
Sylvi had asked the name of the person trying to find her best friend. Alexander didn’t have any helpful information, this name had gone under so many names, there was no way to know what was real. For the next 6 months she would just focus on keeping her best friend safe.
Back to now…
Astrid Sat on her porch swing starring up into the sky, lost in the stars. She was trying to shake the feeling that something in her life was missing. She had a sense of emptiness that she was not able to fill. She opened her own metaphysical store about 7 years ago, she loved her work.
Lost in her thoughts Astrid remembered Helga being born, she was only 18, believed her life to be over. Astrid loved Helga more than anything, she couldn’t imagine her life being without her or the other two girls. Being a young single mom was stressful to say the least. Astrid had amazing friends who loved and supported her, she was completely focused on being a mother and giving Helga the life, she deserved.
She met Kilian when Helga was around 18 months old. They were the couple that met, and never parted. Helga took to Kilian instantly, who wouldn’t, he was good-looking, kind, always did anything and everything to help Astrid. A few months after they met, they were expecting Ingrid. After she was born, he proposed, they were married 3 months later.
8 months after the wedding Freya was born. There were complications with Astrid’s pregnancy and the delivery. The doctors were amazed that we both survived but Astrid knew it was not just the medical equipment that saved their lives. It took almost a year for her to accept she could no longer have children.
The past few years Astrid had felt Kilian pulling away from her. She didn’t think he was cheating; she could sense he was unhappy. He was always distracted and working as much as possible. She was growing tired of the added stress it was causing her body. She could feel he still loved her, but that love had changed.
She went about her evening with her daughters as usual. Kilian was working late again, she was never sure when he would be back, their communication had dissipated. When she finally had free time, she took her candles and blanket outside.
Enjoying the peaceful energy of the approaching full moon gave Astrid a sense of calm. She lit the candle placing it to the corner of the blanket before laying back with her knees up.