1. Exploring isn't always a good idea
May 19, Saturday, Nick
“I’m going to check out the forest!” I call loudly. I step out onto the porch and close the door swiftly behind me. Taking a moment to inhale the fresh air. The yelling of my mom and half-sister still audible behind the door.
They are really going at it today, huh? Good thing I don’t have to unpack anymore… Mostly. Anyways, the town is mostly condensed into this small area for two reasons.
The first and biggest being the two werewolf packs, which shouldn’t affect me too much hopeful. I could probably join one even if I wanted too. Not that mom would really appreciate me running away to be a full werewolf. Again.
I jump down instead of stepping down the first two stairs and immediately decide never to do that again. I start moving down the path leading to the middle of the town. Letting my mind get back on track.
The second is that most of the forest of Eevana are ruthless things that can grow as much as they want anywhere. Especially if you’re not strong enough to keep it at bay. Which is something I really love to research about sense from what I’ve found in the past, humans almost destroyed the world by cutting down all the forest among other things before Riva crashed into the world and all that.
Meaning that the trees and things growing today definitely is different from the old forest things. But that’s beside the point. Two werewolf packs mean there must be a rift nearby. Meaning that the forest here is extremely strong and full of growth.
I smile as I walk down the dirt road. Past the library to the right and the weird statue of a man standing between two wolves. What I’m assuming is the path to the school on the other side of the statue. I keep going straight to the path in front of me surrounded by the forest.
It should either lead to a werewolf pack or deeper into the forest. And if I might accidentally be trespassing I might as well go down the obviously open path and I might actually find cool plants along the path.... If I’m lucky.
I feel my hands go to my back pockets. My notebook and plant book in one pocket and my phone in the other. I don’t have to reach near my left ear to feel the pencil there. I haven’t moved it recently so it should be there
I start walking down the path, keeping my eyes on the trees and undergrowth but none of it looks new to me. Hmm. Maybe I need to go further down?
I keep walking at a moderate pace. Hopeful that something will catch my eye when I saw a flash of white from the forest. It wasn’t a plant. Definitely not if it was that big… A wolf probably? Maybe I did go too far then…
I keep walking anyway. I really want to see if I can find any plants that are color changing. They’re not as rare as they used to be but I’ve never actually seen one and if everything mom talked about is true, and there actually is a lot of magic in the area then there must be some rare plants here that I could add to my notebook.
The white I saw before was indeed a wolf. A large white wolf with gray spots on their snout and head. They don’t stay a wolf for long though.
Soon shifting into a tall guy around my age in large blue jeans, and a black t-shirt that shows of muscular arms. I don’t know whether to be annoyed or not that he’s blocking the path.
He takes a step closer as if he’s unsure of what to do. He’s probably a sentinel is this pack goes by things like that. He has short wavy black hair curling over his eyes and golden tan skin. Narrow wide green eyes that are staring me down now. Wait. When did he get so close?
“Do you know that you’re trespassing on Bloodroot territory?” He asks. Wow. That is a terrible name. Probably shouldn’t tell him that. I shrug.
“I didn’t. But the path was quite well maintained and open. I had guessed it led to the forest. Not your pack,”
“Well turn back then. The Alpha doesn’t like nosey intruders,” The guy says. He sounds like he’s trying to be intimidating but that just makes me want to walk past him and keep looking for plants.
“Rude. Is there anywhere I can look around? I’m trying to find rare plants that only grow in highly magical areas,” I explain. The guy just looks at me.
“Are you new?” Is all he asks. I shrug, unsure of how to respond to that exactly.
“Kinda? My mom and dad grew up here and moved away a long time ago but she thought it’d be good to get back to our roots, so. Yeah?” I say. I realize I’m rambling at the raised eyebrow he gives me.
“Sorry. Yeah. I just moved here like yesterday.” I explain. He nods but he has a slight amused expression on his face. Like he’s not extremely annoyed by my talking.
“Why do you smell like that then?” He asks. I frown as I sniff the air. I can’t exactly smell my own sent but I’m close enough to smell his.
I can’t tell if it’s cause he’s been in the woods for a while but he smells like trees and pine needles and something subtle and sweet. Like… Sunshine or something stupid like that.
“Like what?” I ask. He takes a step closer. Sniffing the air as the confusion on his face increases. His eyes creasing as his nose scrunches. He’s probably five steps away from our chest touching.
“Are you a werewolf?” He asks. The confusion still there. I notice the mild dark lines under his eyes. Along with the beauty marks? Or whatever they’re called. I know I have some too but they look more random and blend with my freckles a bit.
He has two on his face and three on his neck. One under his left eye and one kind close to his mouth but also kind under his right eye. The three on his neck kinda make a triangle though, one next to his adams apple and one just a bit under his chin, the other just above where his collar starts.
Which is what caught my attention really. He has a long neck and it’s probably why he’s like, two feet taller than me or whatever. I definitely wasn’t this short before. Focus idiot.
“Mifwa. I’m half mifwa half something else and half werewolf. I got a friend of mine to turn me fully werewolf but I don’t have a pack... My mom is also a witch. That might be why I smell strange,” I explain to make up for my dragged out silence. The guy looks amused again.
“So your new in town but not really and a pack-less werewolf, kinda, looking for really rare magic plants?” He asks mockingly. I smile and nod. Ignoring his disbelieving tone.
“Yup. Nothing wrong with having a hobby,”
“I think it’s called being a nerd,” He points out. I roll my eyes at that.
“Sure. But what are you doing out here? Guarding your pack? which if you haven’t noticed is named Bloodroot? Sounds like who even chose that wanted it to sound intimidating but not too scary or far from nature so they added root and went “Yup! This is it guys! we’ve done it! Geniuses of the century!” I say as I make my voice go deep and macho sounding.
The guy laughs at that. He covers his mouth with his hand but he can’t stop giggling even though he tries. He nods as he laughs like he’s kind of agreeing.
“I didn’t mean nerd as a bad thing, you know. Sorry if it sounded like that. But yeah, that’s probably what happened. Too bad I can’t change it,” he says with a small satisfied smile. I feel my ears start to burn and I mentally thank the stars my hair is fluffy enough to hide it.
“Anyway. Are you looking for a pack?” He asks smoothly. I blink, taken aback by his sudden question.
“I asked if you wanted to join our pack. It needs more people actually into the planet and not themselves and you seem to want to get into this forest pretty badly,” He says casually. I frown as I think about it.
“You can do that?”
“I’m the next in line to be Alpha. There are very few things I can’t do when it comes to this pack,” He says with a shrug. I feel my heart jump a little but ignore it. He’s not Alpha yet and it’s not like I insulted him by talking about the name of the pack like that.
“Is there any requirements that come with joining, like living there? or I don’t know, a blood sacrifice or something?” I ask. The guy laughs again. This time shorter but still genuine.
“No. You don’t have to live here, it’s uncommon, but not unheard of. We have pack members living as far as an entire town over. The only requirements are training with the Delta’s and loyalty to the pack. Which mean not messing with the Ashtree pack. We don’t get along and have been at “war” with them for a while but it’s on pause right now and when I’m alpha I plan on making an alliance anyway,” He says with a smirk.
When he said when I’m alpha it sounded like he planned on doing a lot more the just that. Like that small thing would just be a start. It didn’t sound terrible. The training might be questionable but that’s okay.
“Oh! Also, Pack diner is on every friday. We all have dinner together under the pavilion every friday as a pack bonding thing but we’re kinda small as a whole sometimes,” He says with a sad shrug.
I nod but decide I might as well. I’ll get to explore all of their forest areas and if he plans of making an alliance with the other pack eventually than I won’t be losing anything.
“Okay. How does it work?” I ask. Remembering what Miles told me about werewolf packs and they can work, I push the thought of him away before I can get sad about it. He made his choice.
“I bite you. I think,” He says with a wince. I stare at him for a long silent moment.
“Is?… Okay,” I say as I think about everything I already know. It makes sense. Werewolves take after wolves in the bearing the neck to superiors and stuff. They sometimes like to take up the pack rolls thing to make an order to what everyone does to help the pack too. And biting a half-wolf or human turns them into a werewolf and there’s no reversing it. So biting a werewolf makes them pack. Cool. Not kinky or weird at all.
“What? your still okay with it? Those must be some really special plants,”
“Eh, It’s not like I’ve never been bitten before,” I said with a shrug while unhooking one of my overall straps and tugging at my gray t-shirt to expose my shoulder. Miles always said the throat is more where the sent is strongest and where turning and marking as pack happens so might as well. He stares at me for a moment.
“What? Not use to biting the first cute boy you see?”
“No! Not that your not cute or anything but I realized we didn’t introduce ourselves yet and I feel a bit strange biting a stranger?” He says as his eyebrows furrow. It’s kind of adorable. I ignore the thought with a sigh and smile at him.
“I’m Nick Zenos. It’s nice to meet you,” I say with a raised eyebrow. He smiles back.
“Nice to meet you, Nick, I’m Lupin Bloodroot. Get the last name of the pack since I’m the Alpha,” He explains quickly. I nod as I glance at the sky and notice it’s getting later than I planned to be out.
I’m going to have to explain joining a werewolf pack so that I could have access to their forest while ignoring the fact their next in line Alpha is cute. Mom and Vivian will still most definitely kill me.
“So are you going to bite me now or-” I attempted to ask but the words catch in my throat as Lupin moves forward and bites between my neck and shoulder. Hard. Like strong enough to draw blood probably cause his wolf teeth are out. Lovely.
He’s gentle letting go. Maybe I’m just bad dealing with pain because there’s only a little blood and only slight teeth marks. Or my werewolf healing has evolved when it comes to small things considering how often I get hurt. I’m not gonna dwell on it either way.
“Thanks,” I say as I adjust my shirt and overalls. Lupin gives me a look of amused confusion.
“I just bit you. And you thanked me,”
“Yup. I want into your forest. Bonus is that I get a pack and the soon to be alpha’s a pretty attractive dude that had to bite me to get in. So like, three positives and a negative. It’s fine, see you at school hopefully,” I say with a wave as I walk back the way I came slowly. He frowns as I turn away.
“You’re the one getting the school tour tomorrow?” He asks. I turn back to him but keep walking.
“You’re giving it?” I ask. He nods but it looks hesitant.
“Me, the soon to be Luna of the other pack, and the student council president. We’re supposed to show the school and our cultural combinations of things or whatever,” Lupin explains loudly as I keep getting further.
“Cool! see you then!” I call before turning away. My face becoming warmer and probably redder as I walk. Stars I’m an impulsive idiot. At least I go through with my impulsive ideas.
“Seya latter!” Lupin calls back. Yup. This is fine.