| Kat |
I have a secret.
It’s kind of a big one.
During the day I have control of my wolf. But at night, my wolf takes over and I, Katalina, disappear. Wolfskin should enjoy shifting and I do, before eight at night. I’ve never told my family that my wolf and I aren’t in sync. An unchecked wolf is a danger wolf. The only person who knows is Louis. He tries his best to take care of her, but I know it’s a difficult job. She can be difficult.
An unchecked wolfskin can go insane. Overtime, my wolf could take over my body. Each day I feel her getting stronger. I’m an only child and so the only one that can take over for my parents when they die. If my wolf and I don’t find a way to get along, I fear she’ll destroy the pack. She cares about them. It’s programed into her. It’s only that she follows her wolf instincts to a T. Forget placing human emotion into the mix. It doesn’t compute.
It’s early the next morning.
The sun peaks over the pack house at just the right angle for it’s rays to nail my eyes. I’m in my wolf form, my tail tucked under my muzzle. I try to stand, but instantly regret it.
’What did you do last night?’ I ask my inner wolf. Of course she doesn’t bother a reply. Shifting, I find my body covered in dirt and grime. A splitting headache pounds it’s way into my skull. Rolling onto my back, I rub my eyes. It’s too early. Glancing to my right, I spot Louis, his gray wolf lounging deeper in the woods, sound asleep. He shifts as I do, blinking awake as I try to stand.
I can feel his eyes on my my naked body as I wander slowlyto the house, myself trying to regain balance in my legs. I tell myself it’s just because he’s looking out for me. A human body is a human body, nothing more.
Mom’s in the kitchen as I enter through the back door. Humming to herself, she cooks on the stove what smells like bacon. The fresh smelling coffee is what calls my name though.
After a shower.
“What on earth did you do last night?” Mom calls, making me freeze on the first step. Scratching my head, I pull out another leaf.
“It rained,” I say with a shrug. She shakes her head.
“I told you it wasn’t a good idea to shift.” All I can do is mumble a sorry to avoid a lecture.
Louis is downstairs eating mom’s cooking by the time I’m dressed. He’s taken a fresh shower himself, as from his wet hair. He studies me, a frown on his face as I pass on breakfast and go for the coffee pot. ”Are you okay?” He asks. My mom’s no where in site, so I turn back to him, forgetting my much needed coffee.
“What did she do last night?” I ask as a sneeze comes out of my mouth. Do I really look that shitty?
“She likes puddles.” He answers with a snap. I snort. Of course. “and chasing deer... She got one last night.” A proud moment, and a memory I expect her to share a second before she does, causing me to place a hand to my forehead
I’m running. The prey only feet from me. Louis follows close behind as per usual, chuckling. That boy irritates me sometimes. I nip the animal’s hind legs and it hops, turning left into the denser part of the woods. Leaping I ram into the animal’s side, biting deep and feeling blood gush into my mouth. However the wound, the animal continues to fight. I jump again, this time on its back, pulling it down and ripping into it’s hide. Louis gets close, his gray coat bristling. Is that pride on his face?
The animal is dead and so I back up. I can see a few of the pack members approaching slowly. I let them feast. If I’m to be Alpha, I must learn to share and provide for the pack. Louis nudges my side and I glance at him. Does he want to play?
“She showed you?” Louis asks. His question doesn’t garner a response. Instead I swipe a piece of toast off of Louis’s plate, take a bite and head for the front door. There’s no need to look back. He’s following.
“Morning Sunshine,” Louis says to Carissa as she wanders down the steps five minutes after us engrossed in her phone. He slides off the hood of my car as I open the driver’s side door.
“Who wants coffee?” I ask, driving through the gate. No one answers right away. As we near the school, Carissa looks up from her phone, finally.
“Medium Nonfat Iced Caramel Macchiato.” She says closing her phone. Louis snorts.
“Whip cream on that your highness?” He asks from the front passenger seat. ”Maybe some sprinkles?” We drive past the school and into town. A pack member owns a coffee shop in one of the small plazas. It’s small, quiet and smells like coffee and old books. Inside, Louis gets a black coffee, I get my usual Iced Latte and Carissa gets her Macchiato. We make back to the school and inside as the warning bell goes off.
Classes go by normally. It isn’t until fourth period as I exit my math class that I stop in my tracks. It’s lunch period and so the school smells like greasy pizza. But that isn’t why I’ve stopped. There’s a scent that unfamiliar to me. It wraps itself around my body, engulfing my senses. Pine… and honey? It’s hard to decipher, especially as my nose has gotten increasingly stuffy in the last hour. I’m getting a cold. Great.
“Move Kat!” Lillian whines behind me as she runs into my back. Shaking my head slightly disoriented, I step to the side and allow the rest of the class to pile out. There’s a growl rising in my throat, involuntary and hard to keep back. I know what this smell is. Why it’s putting me on edge.
| Cameron |
It’s about ten in the morning when we arrive in Russell Springs. I understand why a pack would want to live here. It’s very rural, unlike Seattle, that's filled with thousands of people and skyscrapers. Lots of skyscrapers. Here, trees give the roads cover from the sun. The forest-like feel of this place is comforting. I can’t remember that last time I’d been around this much green.
I’m focused on the tree-line, my head pressed to the back glass window of Eric’s pickup truck, while simultaneously drifting in and out of sleep. I have no clue where exactly we’re going, only I expect that when we stop, we’ll be at the new house. But of course, Eric has other plans.
He’s taking me to school.
“I want you out of my hair for a few hours.” He answers without pause. I’ve never been to school. Never wanted to go. Eric, the pack Alpha hates me. I hate him. But he puts food on the table and keeps all eight of us safe.
I was born a wolf, but after the fire that killed my family and most of the pack, Eric decided the best solution would be to bring us into the human world. I was a pup when this happened, only five years old.
We traveled around the US mostly. Got into some scuffles with other packs who didn’t like us in their territory. But thankfully Eric found out that at one time our pack had resided in Russell Springs. Not only that but after doing some digging he discovered we actually owned property there. The place is probably in need of a major remodel but it’s a place we can call home.
Eric pulls up to the front of the large red building and puts it into park before turning to look at me. “Close your mouth. You’ll catch flies.” He snaps. Alaric, sitting in the front passenger seat, snorts.
“Do I really need to do this now?” I ask, trying my best not to whine. Eric narrows his eyes.
“Get out of the car. Do you what you need to do. If you need me. Call me.” That’s it. The best nonexistent pep-talk I’ll ever get from him. Sighing I open the car door with a click. He speeds off the second it shuts, leaving me on the sidewalk alone.
There’s a woman sitting at the front desk, with tight curly blond hair and rectangular glasses. She looks up at me as I enter and sighs, for some reason annoyed. “Do you need a pass?” I shake my head.
“I’m uh, new,” I say shoving my hands in my pockets. She studies me a minute, until its almost creepy and types something into her computer.
“Cameron...Alexander?” I nod once. Standing she walks to a back door and knocks. The smell of wolf wafts through the room. It makes me tense.
“Ms. Crowser will see you.” Giving her a small smile I walk past her into the office. Ms. Croswer stands. I realize immediately that she’s the wolf. She smiles as she stretches her hand out over the desk.
“Cameron, hi.” I give her the same smile I'd given the desk lady.
“Take a seat, please.” We both sit. Her dark brown hair is pulled up into a bun. With sharp angular features, I have a feeling she frightens a lot of kids here. I’m definitely uncomfortable.
“Is there a parent or guardian with you?”
“He told me to deal with it.” Honest. I prefer not to lie. It causes unnecessary problems. She grimaces.
“Normally they’re required for paperwork reasons,” She says shuffling through a pile of papers. “But I’m sure we can figure something out... do you have your school transfer information?” Oh gosh, she’s going to hate me.
“I’ve, uh, never gone to school.” She stares at me.
“Homeschool? Cyberschool?” I shake my head. With a humph, she types something into her computer. “I’ll take care of it. What was your last address?” I have to think.
“Seattle.” She continues to type.
“Eric Menson,” Phone number and new address. She stands and pulls out a stack of papers from a filing cabinet behind her.
“Math, English, Science, History.” She says laying each individual packet before me. “These tests will gauge your knowledge on the subjects and determine what classes you’re best suited for.” I guess Eric will get his wish today. I’ll be out of his hair for a while. Not that I’m complaining. If I’m away from Eric, I’m away from trouble.