“Margo!” Caddy’s voice called for me from the other room. I sat up from my position on the floor where I was watching the wings of the fan on the ceiling spin around in boredom. “Come here, I need your help!” He called again.
I walked to the adjoining room to find him with his paintbrushes in his hand. “What are you painting?” I wondered; the canvas was blank.
He shrugged his shoulders and turned around towards me. “I don’t know yet. My uncle asked me to paint something as a gift to the new Enforcer when he visits in two days, but I don’t have a clue what to paint.” His uncle, whom the rest of us now called Alpha, was a strict man, but was nowhere as intimidating as the new Enforcer.
The canvas was large, about seven feet wide by five feet tall; he would never be able to finish the work in two days. I told Caddy this and he glowered at me.
“If I start right now, I can finish it,” he groaned. “But I have no idea what to paint. It has to be good; this is a peace offering. We all know very well that Dorian isn’t always the best with other leaders.”
“What do you need help with? You know I can’t even draw a flower, I’m not sure what you want me to do,” I said carefully, not wanting to anger him in his anxious state.
“I know you aren’t a painter, but you are the more creative one out of the two of us. Tell me what to paint. I can do paint, but my mind is going in ten different directions,” he pleaded. His hazel eyes looked sad and scared instead of his usual cheeky manner.
“I can try,” I sighed. His smile grew tenfold. “You’ll have to give me a few minutes to think of something. I need to plan.”
He nodded and left me alone.
I sank to the ground, resuming the same position I had before, and closed my eyes. “Pick up the brush,” I ordered. I could hear his hands grasp the tool. “So, from the left corner start with a deep purple.”
His fingers began to paint, not fully understanding where I was guiding him, but trusting me enough not to question it. I didn’t look at the canvas, just stayed on the ground with my eyes closed for the next several hours. We took a small break to get food from the kitchen on the first level of the pack house. He accompanied me so the others wouldn’t cause me trouble like they did sometimes.
It was difficult being the only human in a pack full of werewolf shifters, but Caddy did his best to make things seem normal for me. After my parents were killed, I was kept to be Caddy’s companion since he had few friends. His parents did not want him playing with a lot of other children in fear it would corrupt him when he was older, and it was time for him to take the Alpha position. His parents didn’t think a small, human girl would have much influence over him, and allowed me to stay.
Caddy’s father was killed a few years after my parent’s murder in a rogue attack. His brother, Dorian, was handed the Alpha title when Caddy was fourteen and I was twelve, although Caddy would take over for him one day.
Although I was raised alongside Caddy, I held onto my human qualities as best I could. I taught Caddy art and literature from the books in my parent’s apartment, and in return, he kept me safe from the other wolves who wanted nothing more than to rip me apart. He had a steady hand which made painting easy for him. I was not blessed with an artistic hand, so I usually posed for him, set up his scenes, or described things for him to paint.
The canvas took us seventeen hours to complete, and another six hours for it to dry. Caddy’s uncle seemed pleased with our work and sent it to be framed for his guest who would arrive in less than ten hours.
Caddy thanked me, hugged me closely, and then sent me to my room to rest before the festivities. My room was plain, like many others in the pack house. My room had slate stone walls, a medium sized window on the far wall, a small bed covered in afghans I found in a storage room, and a desk-which I had built from a slab of wood and metal poles. It wasn’t much, my comfort was never a priority for the pack, but I was thankful they even allowed me to stay.
Caddy shook me from my sleep in the morning, looking excited. I grumbled at him.
“Get up, you have to get yourself ready. Mom says we all need to be dressed nicely for the Enforcer when he gets here in an hour so get yourself up and tame your mane,” he chuckled, ruffling my curly hair.
I sat up, stretched, and wandered over to my desk where I had a small mirror and some hand-me-down makeup Caddy’s mother gave me. My hair was kinky, curly, and thick. Caddy called me a lion when we were little because the volume of my hair used to dwarf my tiny body. I had managed to tame it as I got older and parted it to the right of my head which framed my face nicely. I didn’t wear much makeup on my face usually, simply did my lashes and put on a bit of blush, but this was a pack event which meant I needed to do a bit more. I finished quickly, despite the effort, and went to my small cedar chest to pull out a dress.
Caddy’s mother had given me most of her old things, from before she birthed Caddy, which was nice of her. Aside from her son, she was one of the only people that looked after me.
I dressed in a lilac colored frock with thick straps and a classic neckline. It flowed to my knees and I slipped on a pair of white sandals as Caddy returned to my room. We walked down the three flights of stairs and joined the rest of the pack in front of the house. There was a large crowd, the entire pack was required to attend the gathering and many of them were excited to see the newest Enforcer.
Caddy grabbed my hand as we pushed our way through the crowd. He was required to stand next to his family, several feet in front of the pack, to greet the guests. I stood close to the front, tucked in between a few of the taller wolves.
A series of cars approached, large SUV’s that came in a stream of black. The atmosphere shifted, and everyone became quiet. The vehicles stopped short of fifteen feet away and there was a moment before the doors opened simultaneously.
Each man was dressed similarly in a black suit, white shirt, and black tie. They were muscular, tall, and showed no emotion on their faces. Finally, they gathered around one car, in the middle, and opened the door.
A man stepped out, buttoned his suit, and scanned the scene. He was dressed in a navy suit with a white shirt and walnut colored shoes. He stood taller than the rest of the men, his presence seemed to fill the entire area. I kept my head down after looking at the men. It was disrespectful for a human to make eye contact with wolves of power.
“Dorian,” The Enforcer greeted loudly as he walked closer to clasp arms with the Alpha. It was a common greeting, and as the sound of arms meeting rang through the air, the pack relaxed visibly.
“Theo, I see you’re settling in the role well,” Dorian commended.
“Yes, well, someone has to keep order,” he responded vaguely and halfway grinned.
“Caddy,” Dorian called. “Fetch the offering.”
Caddy stepped back, glanced at me, and gathered the painting from another member of the pack who stood behind him.
“My nephew has a gift for art,” Dorian boasted. “We hope that you will accept our offering. We wish you the best in your future.” Caddy stood behind his work, looking wearily at the Enforcer who showed little emotion on his face.
“You certainly do have a talent for this.” The Enforcer nodded. “I thank you, truly.”
Caddy smiled and turned his head to look at me once again.
“Why do you keep turning your head to look back?” The Enforcer asked. A cold chill settled over my spine despite the mild air outside. My hands shook; I prayed he wouldn’t notice me. I knew he was aware there was a human, wolves could sense those things immediately.
Caddy cleared his throat and lowered his head. “I meant nothing by it,” he offered. The Enforcer wasn’t satisfied with his answer and scanned the crowd accusingly.
“Theo,” Dorian tried to reign in his guest, wanting to be in control of the situation like most Alpha’s do.
“Quiet,” The Enforcer commanded. We were all shocked that he spoke that way to someone with Dorian’s status, but the Enforcer position was high above any Alpha and he had the right to speak as he wished.
I rang my hands together, using my hair to shield my face from his view.
“Who are you looking at, boy?” The Enforcer turned back to Caddy.
“Sir,” Caddy said softly. He didn’t like the tone in his voice, I could tell by the way his neck strained despite his softer tone.
“Who?” The Enforcer growled.
“No one,” Caddy denied, shaking his head adamantly. The Enforcer growled again and stepped closer to Caddy.
“Margo,” Dorian shot out. I stopped breathing. No, you could have said any other wolf’s name.
“Margo?” The Enforcer looked between Dorian and Caddy whose face was red and angry. Dorian gave one nod of his head. I closed my eyes and squeezed. “Margo, join us, won’t you,” The Enforcer Called loudly. I looked up slowly and glanced at the two wolves standing next to me who gave me the same stern look they always did.
“Margo!” He said again, looking around. “I don’t like waiting.”