No one could truly trace the exact year the existence of Lantern Falls came to be except that it was many centuries ago. The founding families left transcripts in the old language but many over the generations had thought the past to be a danger and refused to translate it. Those that knew the old language, passed away and those that continued to thrive did not bother to retain the old language; instead they learned modern speech and refused to teach their offspring. They believed that if the transcripts were to be translated, then it could be used against them. So with the old language gone—even if the transcripts remained hidden collecting dust—it could never, and would never, be used against them. All that mattered to them was the fact that everyone that ever lived in Lantern Falls knew what they were to each other. There was never a case whenever a new family moved in without the approval of the main heads of the founding families: Puckerman, Fabray, Chang, and Pierce. But there was only one family who rose above all the founding families because it was that family that had been the first to find that land and make it habitual. Only the main head of that family could overwrite the other founding families in an approving or disapproving manner and it was very rare for that person to do so. Only twice, in all the centuries since Lantern Falls had come into existence, did that person use such power over the other families.
The first was during the time when fear ran among the people, lies burned through the truth and people pointed fingers at others when they saw the opportunity to get even for a spite that took the lives of many by burning or hanging under the pretense of witchcraft. What they did not know was that even though they were accusing falsely, there were sorcerers and sorceresses living amongst them. And so, seeing that their kind were hunted, they packed their belongings and left with their loved ones. Two families, Berry and Anderson, banded together and made a safe haven for other people that were suffering the same fate. They traveled for days that turned to weeks, melting into months, which then turned into years. Just when they thought they would be damned to forever walk aimlessly and see no end in sight, except for the old to die and the young to starve to death, they caught sight of Lantern Falls. Desperately seeking food and shelter, both heads of the Berry and Anderson families fell to their knees—begging to the people that resided there. Four heads of the founding families denied them hospitality, while the fifth—which happened to be the head of the first founding family overruled their vote and welcomed the Berry and Anderson families and anyone else that had been with them.
"How can we ever repay you, Mr.…?" Andre Berry asked, looking at the man standing in front of him, the one who had agreed to let them stay.
"My name is Sebastian Evans," he smiled at them warmly. "You can repay me by swearing your fidelity to me." Sebastian held out his hand.
"Then it is done," Andre answered, without a second thought and shook his hand.
"I swear," Blaise Anderson said once Sebastian turned to him and shook his hand.
The deal was done; a bond was made and Lantern Falls expanded once more. The second time would be years from now and it would be their future generations to make the decision.
"Do I have to be here?" Sam Evans asked, completely bored out of his mind. His eyes scanned the empty room that would be filled with the heads of the founding families and their first born in a matter of moments. He twined his fingers behind his head and had his feet propped on the table.
"You know you have to be here with you being next in line." Dwight Evans looked at his son, not amused. "And you know what your mother says about feet on the table."
Sam sighed as he took his feet off table. "I don't take your place for another century."
"You used to not complain about these meetings. I remember how you used to love coming to them when you were smaller."
"Dad, I was a small boy back then and you hadn't told me about the whole living for five centuries thing either."
"You know I couldn't until the first stage of the transformation hit on your thirteenth birthday," Dwight said through clenched teeth as he glared at the table.
Sam knew how much the whole transformation thing irked his dad. Everyone that was born with the werewolf gene, inherited by either parents or in some cases both, had to go through it on their thirteenth birthday. The transformation was a painful process and there were two stages. Sam could still vividly remember how his body burned and his bones broke as they changed shape and form.
Three Years Ago
The whole day he had been bedridden and chained to his bed, the only relief he was able to have was screaming at the top of his lungs but even that failed him before nightfall. No one could be there to comfort him; he faced it alone and there were multiple times he thought he'd go insane with the never ending pain, and the constant growling in his mind.
Before he lost all sense of consciousness, an image of a girl with dark chocolate hair and caramel eyes filled his mind. A girl he knew since he could remember and was always there for him no matter what. He opened his eyes weakly and looked at his window to see her standing outside his window in the dark staring at him with tearful eyes. "Rachel." The name echoed in his mind like a soothing caress as his eyes closed once more before it was replaced by a viscous growl. "Mine!"
It wasn't until the next morning his bedroom door flew open as his mother rushed over to him. The tears she had been holding back streamed down her face as soon as she caught sight of him before engulfing him in a hug. He looked over his mom's shoulder to see his dad was also holding back tears. It was then he knew something wasn't right. His dad had to explain to him that not everyone survived the first stage. Amongst the pain, they surrendered to their wolf's inner-self and let it take over them in order to escape the pain. By the time the transformation was over, they'd lose themselves and only a viscous wolf would remain in their human form. There were some cases where the teenager returned to their normal human self. But they were not rare; when they are not able to revert to the human self, they'd become a danger to the others and must be put into eternal slumber.
When his mother left to prepare them breakfast, Sam told his dad what he experienced and felt. His dad listened to him patiently and carefully unchaining him, not wanting to hurt his undoubtedly sore muscles before congratulating him afterward. Upon seeing his son's frown, Dwight knew something was wrong and questioned him. Sam, at first, was reluctant to answer him but the moment he opened his mouth, he let it slip about seeing Rachel and what the viscous growl in his mind had said. He watched as his father looked at him with a knowing smile.
Dwight had seen when Rachel ran back to her house next door and knew that she had wanted to see Sam—even though he had given orders that no one was to visit until the following day. One thing that Dwight had learned while watching his eldest son grow up with that girl was that they could never truly be separated. They always found ways to see each other and risk the consequences. It was no surprise to him that Sam's mate would be her; if anything he welcomed it wholeheartedly, even though the other families wouldn't, knowing that she would take care of his son.
"Remember that story I told you that I knew how your mom was the one?" Dwight asked his son calmly as he sat on his bed.
"Yeah." Sam looked at him, confused for a moment before it dawned what his father was saying. "She can't be…when you saw Mom—you knew. You heard it," he shook his head, not wanting to believe it. "I've known her most of my whole life—"
"You're whole life," Dwight finished not missing a beat. "Even if you don't remember your infant years, she was there. Mary would make play dates with Shelby so the both of you could know each other."
"That's beside the point, Dad! Why didn't I hear it before?"
"That's because when I met your mom, I had already been through both my stages of transformation. So the wolf within me was able to recognize her as my own."
"But shouldn't I have felt something before this?" Sam asked, confused.
"You have got to be kidding me." Dwight looked at his son in disbelief.
"I thought you already had feelings for her," Dwight sighed when Sam continued to look at him confused. "You two are always together. Puck teases you about it. Quinn practically hates the girl for it."
"Quinn doesn't hate her." When his father raised an eyebrow at him, he cleared his throat. "I would say she dislikes Rachel—not as much as hate."
"Even if you try sugarcoating it that doesn't change the fact that Quinn has something against the girl because you pay more attention to her."
"That's not true!" Sam snapped. "I spend time with Quinn, Puck and Mike."
"Only when she makes time with Blaine," Dwight smirked.
"Which is practically most of the whole week," Sam muttered darkly as he crossed his arms over his chest.
Dwight shook his head, amused. "Even at a young age, you two were stuck together like glue."
"No, we weren't."
"Yes, you were. When both your moms stopped doing play dates for you two, either you would knock on her door and ask Shelby if you can play with Rachel or she would knock on our door and ask me for permission to play with you," Dwight chuckled, remembering the little girl who would meet his gaze bravely and muster all her courage to ask him permission. The little girl had unknowingly crawled into his heart and made a soft spot just for her. "Then Puck joined the fray; you began to play less with her and I couldn't understand why," he grinned at his son. "I remember you once fought with him in front of Rachel and when you were done, she went toward Puck. I had to hold you back from tearing into that boy's throat."
"Now you're just exaggerating. We were six-years-old," Sam frowned. "It was Puck's fault…he was always trying to get her attention. And when he would, he'd smile at me…as if…as if he won a prize or something!" He growled, losing his cool. "She's not a prize."
"And Puck learned his lesson," Dwight chuckled. "But that time Rachel had gone to make sure Puck was okay before she went to ask you. Even as a little girl, she was smart. Rachel knew that you had hurt Puck far more than he was able to hurt you."
"And if I recall, she didn't come to check on me."
"Yes, she did." Dwight gave him a stern look. "But you were being awfully mean. She had tried to go into your room, but you locked the door. Do you remember what you told her? Do you remember what happened?"
Sam sat up in his bed as the memory began to play in his head. He did remember. Rachel had tried talking to him, she had wanted to see him but he refused to open the door and let her in. He refused to let go of his anger and all the mixed emotions, instead he took it out on her. He yelled that he didn't want her near him or to see her ever again. An eerie silence had swept between them afterward. A moment later it was broken by her tearful apology before the sound of rapid footsteps—indicated her departure. As the sound became faint, fear gripped him as the thought of her leaving finally hit him. Then the thought of never seeing her had him scrambling off his bed and pulling the door open. "Rachel!" he yelled at the top of his lungs. He barely reached the top of the stairs when she was at the bottom, running toward the front door. "Rachel!" he yelled again as she opened the door and ran out. Without taking his eyes off her, he began to run down the stairs, not noticing where he was stepping. His eyes only watched her retreating form. He slipped on one the steps, taking a nasty fall, but all he could think and hear through the pain was her tearful apology.
When he woke up again, he noticed a white flower in a vase by his bedside and remembered only she would bring him white flowers. He eyes searched the room frantically, wanting to see her until they landed on her still form standing by the foot of his bed. She was biting her lower lip to keep from crying. "I'm sorry," she whispered before the tears began sliding down her face. "I'm so sorry." Sam shook his head, holding out his hand to her. He didn't even have to say a word, knowing that she knew what he wanted and when she grabbed his hand, he pulled her closer to him. "Don't be," he whispered weakly to her. "I'm sorry for saying those ugly things to you." He cursed himself when her body shook with sobs. "I want to see you…always…I don't want you…to leave my side…ever." When she tried to pull her hand away to use both her hands to wipe her tears away Sam held it tighter within his grasp. "Stay with me." He made space for her on his bed. "Okay," she smiled weakly as she climbed on his bed and settled beside him. Their intertwined hands resting between them as if never wanting to let go. The sight of her smiling was the last thing he saw before falling asleep.
"I remember," Sam said, coming back to the present and realizing just what his father meant. Those words he told her seven years ago, he knew he meant them, but never how much until now. He had meant them with his whole existence, without her there is no him. He would never be complete, she was his other half. "What do I do?" He looked at his dad helplessly. "She is not bound by our rules."
"You make her see," Dwight smiled at him encouragingly. "Tell her."
"What if she doesn't feel the same way?" Sam asked, feeling nervous. "What if there's another?"
"You best pray there isn't," Dwight said seriously. A mated werewolf was a dangerous one. If he or she hadn't yet bonded with their mate and their mate was with another, the consequences were not pretty. He knew how far a wolf would go to get their mate; it was not above killing the other person that was with his or her mate. "The sooner you tell her—the better."
"Why?" Sam asked nervously. "Is there something more?"
"You need to at least form a bond with her before your eighteenth birthday, when you enter your second transformation and claim her."
"Claim her…second transformation?"
"You make her yours." Dwight met his son's gaze. "You noticed that in this transformation, you didn't shift into your wolf form."
"I kind of noticed. I thought I was supposed to especially since my muscles were completely rearranging themselves."
"It was all in your mind. The first transformation consists of you and the wolf bonding mentally. If you succeed, you will remain in your human form the entire night. All the pain you seemed to have felt was all mental, so when the transformation does happen—it will be as easy as breathing."
"Mental…" Sam tried to take in what his father just told him. He moved his shoulder only for pain to pierce him. It did not just feel mental but then again the mind was a powerful tool.
"The second transformation will be physical and will release all the power you have in your disposal."
"I thought I would gain power already."
"You do, but only a certain portion. As the years go by, more power will be granted to you—to adjust to your body—but it's not until your eighteenth birthday that it will reach its peak."
"What exactly happens?" Sam asked curiously, watching his father shift uncomfortably.
"That entire day it will be painful because the power will burn through you; trying to root itself and in the night, you will spend exerting your energy."
"As in running?"
"If only it were that easy." Dwight gave his son a tight smile. "Mark my words, son, make sure you form a bond with her because if you don't, and she doesn't know what she is to you, you just might end up forcing yourself on her. And I can't have that happening. I will chain you up in the basement myself."
"You have got to be kidding me," Sam gulped. "I would…do it with her…I…she…we haven't even kissed!"
"Then it's a good thing you have five years to change all that."
"We're only…" Sam trailed off when something moving to his right caught his attention. It was then that he noticed his eyes had become keener as he looked out his window and straight into Rachel Berry's room. The movement in the corner of his eye had been her. Sam sucked in air through gritted teeth as her hands reached for the end of her nightshirt and pulled it off, tossing it on the floor. He let out a low growl as he took in the sight of her almost nude body. He felt the blood coursing through his veins heat up considerably as his mouth went dry and his heart began pounding rapidly in his chest. Sam knew he should look away, but couldn't as his eyes continued to roam her body—trying to engrave it in his mind. "Mine!" The viscous growl echoed in his mind again, followed by a whine when the curtains on his window closed and Sam met his father's glare.
"You will do this right, Sam."
"I know…" Sam shifted uncomfortably on his bed, discreetly trying to hide from his dad the new problem that had formed by bending a knee under the covers. "Well, she was the one changing in front of an open window."
"And you should have been the gentleman by looking away."
The sound of someone knocking on the door brought back Sam from his musings and reminded him what was going to take place for the next few hours. The door opened as Anne Puckerman stepped in followed by her son Noah Puckerman. Upon seeing his best friend, Sam greeted him a smirk as he stood up. "Glad to see I'm not the only one going through this."
"Mom practically forced me," Puck knuckle touched with him. "She said this meeting was freaking important."
"So I've heard." Sam glanced at his dad to see him talking with Mrs. Puckerman in hushed tones that not even his enhanced hearing could pick up on. It could only mean that something very important was about to take place. "So are the others coming?"
"Mike said he was. Quinn is in on it. Santana is trying to see if she can skip out on it. Brittany is thinking about it. Tina is not answering her phone, but Mike said he was going to drag her here." Puck looked at Sam curiously. "How about Rachel and Blaine?"
"I haven't spoken with Rachel since she arrived from Cali." Sam took a seat again, glaring at the table.
"Are you still mad that she left?" Puck asked amused, taking the seat beside him.
"She knew I didn't want her to go."
"Well, in her defense, you didn't say anything."
"My body language did, though."
"And that's a very convincing argument."
"Shut up," Sam growled, just before the door opened and Blaine walked in with his father Alistair Anderson. Alistair nodded at the boys in greeting before going off to join Anna and Dwight in their conversation. Blaine walked over to them. "Hey, guys," he greeted with a friendly smile.
"'Sup, Blaine," Puck smirked at him, while Sam gave him a polite smile. "Have you seen Rachel?"
"I saw her for a little while yesterday night but I was only able to call her today. The poor girl didn't know there was a meeting today between the families. Shelby hadn't told her because she planned for her to sleep in," Blaine frowned. "Now I feel bad because she did seem awfully tired."
"Even so," Sam spoke for the first time since Blaine's arrival. "We know how stubborn she can be."
Blaine chuckled. "True that."
The door opened again as Quinn Fabray walked in and her father Russel Fabray stormed straight to Dwight and the others. Quinn made her way to Sam and the others, frowning. "Do you guys have any idea what's going on?" She asked, glancing over her shoulder, nervously watching as her father glared at Dwight and Alistair, while Anne stood between them—trying to calm the situation.
"I have no idea," Blaine whispered, his eyes narrowing on Russel, who shoved his father.
"Don't you dare." Quinn grabbed Blaine's arm but the usual warning and glare was gone; instead, slight fear crept into her gaze.
Sam watched at as electricity sparked in Alistair's gaze as he looked at Russel emotionlessly. He had no doubt in his mind that if the rules hadn't kept Alistair from attacking another person that lived in the town, he would have fried Russel to a crisp in a blink of an eye. Dwight placed his hand on Alistair's shoulder; the electricity left his gaze instantly as he glanced at Dwight and gave him an apologetic look. Sam had heard multiple times that the Anderson and Berry family had sworn fidelity to the Evans family, but had never witnessed with his own eyes an event that reflected it until now. Without having to say a word, his father had asked Alistair to step down and he did, without putting up a fight—trusting him.
Puck stood up from his seat and went to stand next to Quinn, slightly to the front of her as in protection. Everyone knew that it was almost impossible for a fight to break out because none wanted to risk explosion but there was always a first for everything.
Sam looked at Puck curiously when he heard him growl. He could never truly understand their relationship, only that they had a hate relationship that borderlined to love in his opinion. They always had that between them but the past three years, it has worsened between them, and Sam noticed that Quinn actually backed off in her affections toward him after the first stage of her transformation three years ago. She still cared for him, Sam would be lying if he said he didn't care for Quinn, but it was nothing more than friendship. However, that still didn't stop Puck from occasionally glaring at Sam when Quinn was standing too close to him or just talked to him in private. Sam couldn't hold it against the guy, since he did just the same when it came to Rachel. It also didn't take a genius to see that Quinn was Puck's mate and he was hers. Sam envied them; they both knew what they were to each other, even though they were fighting it. He may have told Rachel but she had no idea what it truly meant.
The tension was thick in the air as Mike and Tina, along with their respective parent, walked in. Mike Chang Sr. and Alec Cohen-Chang glanced at each other warily before joining Dwight and the others. Tina's eyes went completely pitch black, reflecting that of her father's as he met Russel's angry glare, while Mike grabbed her hand to distract her. A second later, the black receded and returned to her normal brown eyes before smiling at her boyfriend—showing that she was okay now.
"Do I even want to know?" Mike asked, carefully seeing the adults.
"It's not like we have an answer to begin with," Puck said irritated for being left in the dark.
The door slammed open with a pissed off Santana, her pupils expanded through her eyes and enveloping them in pitch black. The sight itself would have sent a chill down a normal person's spine but with the room being filled with supernatural beings, the sight was a normal occurrence and it barely caused anyone to bat an eye at her. Behind her came a nervous looking Brittany before Miguel Lopez stormed in behind her with Gabriel Pierce hot on his heels as they entered the circle the adults had made.
Brittany began to pull Santana toward Sam and the others before the Latina tried to join in with the adults.
"What happened?" Sam asked, concerned when Santana remained glaring at Russel.
"Alec had sent a distress signal to Miguel, and Santana felt it. She feels pissed that a werewolf would bare his teeth toward a brethren of hers." Brittany looked at him nervously. "Nothing will come of this, right? They won't start attacking each other?"
"My father won't allow for it." Sam looked back at the adults. "But it's never looked this bad before." He clenched his fists, not noticing the door opening again. "Protect what's mine. Kill any who threaten her life." The wolf growled within him and Sam didn't hesitate on agreeing as the familiar scent of strawberries wafted toward him. His eyes instantly went to the door to see Shelby standing in front of Rachel protectively as everyone turned their eyes on them.
Rachel peered over her mom's shoulder nervously as she too felt the tension the room and through the slight panic, her eyes searched for him. The moment her gaze met Sam's, she felt like she could breathe knowing that he would protect her. Her death grip on her mother's sleeve loosened instantly and she walked toward him, ignoring the gazes directed on her and the danger that could at any moment explode if no one was careful. She knew that they'd talk, it would ruin everything they tried to keep hidden but at the moment she did not care. For the past two months, she had missed him and wanted nothing more than to touch him, and know that he was real. Rachel knew that she should be angry at him for not bothering to keep contact; ignoring her calls and not coming to see her last night like Blaine had when she arrived. She had been angry but upon seeing him, her anger slipped away and longing took its place.
Sam knew he should look away and that he shouldn't walk toward her especially while they were being watched like hawks, but after not seeing her for two months or hearing her voice, broke through his resolve and common sense. "They will know. They will talk…And they will make it hell between us." Sam thought as he walked toward her. "Let them, I will protect her. They can't keep her from me." It took Sam a year after the wolf began speaking in his mind to realize what the wolf truly was. He had used to believe that it was a whole other being residing within him until his father explained that the wolf was his instinct. "Follow it always, Sam. It will not lead you astray." He remembered asking him that if there would ever be a time that the wolf would leave him and his dad had given him a sad smile, "Only when your mate dies will it leave you. Protect what's yours and you will never lose sight. For if you don't, Sam, you will crave for your death more than anything in life."
There were multiple ways this could end with her being mortal and he could spend most of his life wondering about the what ifs, but he didn't want to regret what he could have done with her and hadn't because he was a coward. Many of the families had a thing against different groups breeding but they were definitely against immortals breeding with mortals. The change between mortal and immortal was a risky one. It was rare when the person was able to survive the transition. Even though Mike's mate Tina was a demon, the town accepted them more than they would him and Rachel because of their lifetime expanding roughly to the same amount of centuries. While he would continue to live for centuries and Rachel would die before the century was done and that was if nothing else killed her. "She won't, I will protect her. I will turn her. She will survive." Sam pushed the thought away. He refused to think about it right now. If he risked turning her, there won't be a certainty she will survive. He would be putting her life in danger and may lose her sooner than later.
Sam stopped in front of her. His hands ached to reach for her. "Welcome home," he greeted her smiling, while his eyes softened only for her. "I missed you."
Rachel felt her heart beat faster when she saw the gentle look in his gaze and knew precisely what he was thinking without him voicing it. "I'm glad to be home." Her lips curved into a smile meant only for him as her eyes softened. "I missed you, too."
Sam caught himself just in time as his hand moved toward her and instantly pulled it back when someone cleared their throat. He turned to see his father looking at them amused. It was then he noticed Anne smiling; Alistair had a knowing smirk, while Russel looked peeved and Mike Sr. looked unsure of the whole thing. Alec seemed to shrug it off; Miguel seemed interested, while Gabriel seemed concerned about the new development, and Shelby was trying to contain her smile.
"Since everyone is here, we should begin the meeting."
Sam took a seat on Dwight right; while Anne occupied the seat next to him followed by Puck. Rachel took a seat on Dwight's left with Shelby sitting next to her, and Blaine and his father sat next to her. The reason they had this seating arrangement was since they were young Mike, Puck and Sam would mess around, and not bother to pay attention. This was very distracting to some of the other younger ones with their antics. But two things never changed: the Puckerman family always sat on the right side of the Evans family, symbolizing they were the right hand; while the Berry family would sit on the left, symbolizing the Evans family left hand. The two families' connection with the Evans family became far stronger than the relationships between the founding families—angering many of the heads.
Sam glanced at Rachel, seeing her mother place a hand on a glass of water, coating it in a thin layer of ice before passing it to Rachel and repeating the process. Rachel grabbed the glass; barely paying any attention and almost letting it drop instantly when the ice bit into her ice. He bit back a chuckle when she pouted at her mom. Sam knew he should be paying attention to what his father was discussing, but couldn't stop his eyes from wandering to her and thinking how adorable she looked. He felt someone jab at his right and glanced at Anne, fighting back a smile, knowing precisely what he was looking at before motioning for him to listen.
"Okay, I'm confused," Puck sighed, frustrated. "There's another group of families that wants in?"
"Yes," Dwight answered, looking at him patiently when Puck rubbed his head furiously.
"If that's the case then, why are each of you acting as if at any moment you might tear into each other's throats?" he growled. "We already have werewolves, demons, wit—" Alistair cleared his throat interrupting him, "sorcerers—" This time it was Shelby that cleared her throat, "and sorceresses. What new addition could have each of you on edge?"
"Vampires." The adults answered, causing a chill to go down Sam's and the others' spines.