☾ I ☽
School starts in just a couple days. I thought Christmas break was going to be stress free but it was anything but that. Just about three weeks of stress and planning. Ty's brothers are home trying to help with the mess that's happening, although Ty says Channing would like it if they leave. They are at risk of shifting as well, which would be terrible since they already started with their lives.
With the weather getting colder, the boys get sick more frequently. I was barely able to see Ty in his human form. He'd come by now and again, but it seems like he's losing himself more and more. Maybe it's a winter thing.
I hope that one day he won't be controlled by his instincts anymore.
For now, I'll stay by him.
Conrod is still being a nuisance, but surprisingly not as bad as he was at the beginning of the school year. As much as I believed I would have to be a problem child again, I really didn't. The construction halted. But that's just it, it's on pause, not completely stopped. Conrod will fight to continue his project because the money he will gain will be much more than how much he has to spend on lawyers fighting our city. I have a feeling that something bad is going to happen in the next couple of weeks.
I sat outside in my backyard, thinking about how quiet these past few weeks were despite being on high alert. There was a lot to think about. School's important. I have to take the SAT's in the next month. I have to apply to college next year. There's just a lot to deal with, and that's just the normal stuff. I can't forget that my boyfriend keeps going missing because he's part wolf. I can't forget that there is a very slim chance that he will be able to leave this town. I don't want to leave him, but I know what he'll say if I tell him I don't mind going to a community college. I don't like staying deep in my thoughts, but I couldn't help it. Things aren't getting any better.
Brendan, the second oldest of the eight brothers, sat next to me. He watched three more wolves that played around in my backyard. The fourth one, the wolf with black fur, sat quietly and remained that way as the other three had their fun rolling around in the snow.
“Can you explain this to me again?” I asked after a bit of silence between me and Brendan.
“No.” Brendan said bitterly, frowning.
Apparently he has a thing for my dad. Apparently it's a rare thing for shifters to experience an unbreakable bond with whoever, and it is always a random connection. But two brothers in the same family has the misfortune of dealing with feelings so powerful that they can't stop it. One was gradual, the other, Brendan's situation, just sparked.
I feel bad for him.
He is constantly here, every day and night, and he stays outside in his wolf form to peacefully guard the house. At first, I found it weird that Brendan would find himself here all the time. Why would he want to be here? That’s the question I constantly asked. Brendan is miserable. It’s like he really has no control over what happens now.
And it’s not because of me.
He has a thing for my dad. I know it's not some romantic urge, but I still tease him about it. Brendan has this strong protective nature in him, something that Ty has in him, too. Brendan will just stay outside the house and do nothing else. As a pet, he would get so happy once my dad steps out of the house.
I didn't want to laugh, but I did. It was sort of cute...in a weird supernatural this-isn't-normal kind of way.
“I think it’s funny that you like my dad-”
“Stop.” Brendan glared at me.
“It’s not my fault, okay.” He continued when I mashed my lips together to keep from laughing. “This sucks.” he muttered. “Channing doesn’t go through this shit.” He spat out.
I thought Channing would. He’s been with his girlfriend for some time now. However, he doesn’t describe his love for her the way Brendan describes his unbearable need to be right outside my house.
“It’s not that big a deal.” I told him to make him feel better. “If it’s a wolf thing, then it’s a wolf thing.” I shrugged. “And if it comes down to it, I’m sure you could get my mom to leave-”
“If Channing weren’t here, I’d fight you.” He said abruptly.
Channing was staring right at Brendan, watching with a serious look in his cold blue eyes. I would take him more seriously if he didn’t have a collar around his neck; his girlfriend just wants to make this bearable and fun.
This is the family I deal with every day.
The twins and Leo were still having their fun, rolling around in the snow and chasing each other.
Ty got sick today, so did Jackie and Cina.
Channing and Brendan thought some space would be a good idea since everyone has been getting sick more recently. They also wanted to get away from their older brothers. I was more concerned about Ty and how he was doing.
He did always have the hardest time.
They say he's unstable. Not violent, but...easily triggered. He has less control than his brothers. He gets sick easier. His urges take over much faster.
“How’s Ty?” I asked.
Brendan sighed as he looked down, shaking his head. "He's...hanging in there." he said slowly. "It's not easy when two halves fight to stay conscious."
I can only imagine.
“But..." Brendan started, though he was contemplating if he wanted to tell me. He had this concern on his face. "I think there's something wrong."
I'm guessing Channing doesn't think so.
"With the way we've been getting sick, I don't think it's just the weather."
"What else could it be?"
"I don't know." There wasn't an answer to the question. "I have that same feeling like when all this shit started."
He thinks something will happen.
It's like their bodies are preparing for it.
I don't know if I can add to that, so I didn't.
Brendan suddenly straightened up, his hand moving to his chest, clutching his black leather jacket. He groaned in pain as he clenched his teeth down. When he blinked, his eyes turned ice blue, the same vibrant color as when he’s a wolf.
He’s gotten that urge three times today. He’s really trying to not turn into a wolf but every time, the demand gets worse and worse.
I think it’s because my dad just got home. Brendan is the easiest way to tell now.
“Does it hurt?” I asked, although clearly he looked like he was in pain trying to fight his second nature.
He didn’t answer as he fought harder. His muscles tensed and strained. He closed his eyes again and did his best to breathe normally but the last time this happened, he almost lost it. Brendan wants to fight it more than anything. His hands clenched to fists, pressing down on his thighs before he gripped his legs.
I don’t think he’s going to make it this time.
When he opened his eyes again, they were normal, a dark brown color like always. But he blinked again, and they were bright blue, almost white.
He really wasn’t going to win this time.
I got up from the step to move away just in case Brendan lost the fight with his urges. I didn’t want to be caught up in his transformation. He didn’t want to change, and I know it hurts all of them, but out of everyone Brendan feels the most pain. Just fighting it wasn’t enough, compared to what it was going to be like when he actually begins to shift.
Channing just sat where he was by the tree, not doing anything as he watched Brendan begin to lose himself. The other three stopped playing, too.
Brendan had no choice but to shift.
His clothes ripped as his body changed forms. With him, I can see all the pain the boys go through. It's like Brendan deals with it the worst and it's slower. I could hear the snapping of his bones as he grew. He choked back a scream just before he curled up in the snow. The pain never gets easier to handle. They can never get used to the pain. I've seen their agony so many times; for the others, it's quicker, even if they fight, but for Brendan, it takes a little longer. I felt so bad for him because I know it hurts.
Yet, I can't do anything for him.
All I did was take a few steps back.
My heart raced while I heard Brendan try to breathe. I just hoped his body would give out so he wouldn't be in so much pain. Watching him want to scream, seeing the tears in his eyes because the change in his body was hurting him, it was sad to see.
I felt bad.
For all of them.
They have a great power, but I see why they call it a curse.
A pale pink wolf laid on the ground, sitting over ripped clothes from a few minutes ago. He was slow to rise to his legs, but once he did, he shook himself a bit, his fur ruffling, and he got used to his body immediately. This animal is not the same as the human he came from.
There was a calmness that came from him. When Brendan is like this, it's like he doesn't have a care in the world, and I could feel that energy from him. I wonder if he wants to feel like that when he's human.
The pale pink wolf took off to go run to the front of the house. Immediately, I had to go follow because I know why he left. My dad is not a dog person.
Brendan was going to brush up on my dad although he still hasn’t learned not to. It’s still the beginning stage of Brendan’s unbreakable bond and feelings, and he’s still trying to get the hang of it. When I got by the front porch, I saw Brendan circling around my dad, rubbing all over him, hoping to get a response. My dad only remained still.
My dad isn't a fan of animals. He doesn't want a pet, and he doesn't want me to have a pet. I could tell by the tired look on his face that not only did he have a stressful day, he didn't want to deal with an animal today.
“Can you make it stop?” He asked me.
I can’t. But he can.
“Tell him to sit. He’ll listen.” I said and smiled. My dad needs to release some stress. Animals are great for that. So I gestured for him to give it a try when he didn't take me seriously at first.
My dad put his hand up slowly in front of Brendan’s head, and Brendan backed down on to his hind legs to sit patiently and quietly. He let his tongue roll out of his mouth, and he breathed excitedly because this is the first time I didn’t have to try to distract him to get him away.
“Oh.” My dad finally realized he could get Brendan to be quiet and sit. “This one isn’t bad.” He said.
“You should keep him.” I suggested, knowing very well what that could mean.
“Stop playing with the wolves, Gabriel.” He looked at me sharply.
My dad had a lot of bad experiences with animals when he was a kid.
“They’re really nice-”
“I don’t care. Let them stay in the woods...”
Brendan brushed up against him, wanting to be petted like usual, and honestly it was just the cutest thing that made me want to keep all the wolves in the house. There’s no way my dad can resist that, but I’m always surprised when he can walk away without feeling a thing.
Brendan waits anyway. He waits every single day.
“Get rid of the wolves.” My dad said as he walked by me to go in the house.
“He’s warming up to you, don’t worry.” I told Brendan. “One day, he’ll probably sit outside with you.”
Brendan laid down in the snow and did nothing else. I guess he's going to stay.
The other wolves walked by me, sitting around Brendan, probably to comfort him. The family of wolves sat together, protecting one that was getting his heart broken. Well, I can't say my dad broke Brendan's heart. One day he'll get what he's looking for.
It was time for me to go inside.
I heard my parents talking about what's been going on in the news lately. Locally, there hasn't been much going on, but in the city there have been more reports of people going missing and turning up dead. It's a bad thing to say I'm not surprised. It's that time of year when things like that get worse. When my parents start talking about it, I know that it's gotten bad. Like a few missing kids are found.
It's a terrible thing to see.
A lot of people from the town don't necessarily move away, or move away to the city. It's quieter here. We'd know if something bad was happening. I've told myself I'd leave some day, maybe see the world and what it has to offer, but that's just a quiet thought I have. With everything that's been happening though, I think it's just safer to stay in one place.
I’m already grounded so I can’t go anywhere. It’s not like I go to the city that much.
I walked into the kitchen and stood next to my mom. Her arm moved around my shoulders so she could bring me towards her.
“Ready for school?” She asked.
“I’m not twelve anymore, Mom.” I said.
“Soon he’s going to be out of the house doing whatever it is he wants to do.” My dad just wants me out. He has good intentions, I know it. The way he says it though can easily be taken the wrong way.
“What do you want to do with your life?” Mom asked me.
I’ve never given it much thought.
“I’ll be a vet.” I said.
My dad erupted in laughter, not because it was funny, but because he knew he was right. I know that laugh anywhere. I wanted to get upset, but I didn't. “Why am I not surprised?”
"I like animals-"
I just proved his point.
“Whatever it is you do, you better finish. There’s no reason for you to drop out or get bad grades.” He warned me.
My mom fixed my hair for me before letting me go.
“Your father just wants you to be happy.” She said kindly.
I know he does. My dad has a weird way of showing it but I know he does. My mom always has to explain what he means.
"I am happy." I said to them. "I would be happier if I wasn't grounded-"
"You were just sitting outside with a bunch of animals." My dad scoffed.
"Can I at least get time to go to the library?" I asked, almost begging for them to release me from the house. My mom looked at my dad, but she didn't say anything, mostly because he wouldn't be happy if she did. "I have to study for the SAT's." I added as leverage.
"Fine." My dad grumbled.
I smiled widely. I know I'm still grounded but I just got my curfew pushed back. That's a start.
At night I heard a soft wolf howl.
My eyes opened and I stared up at my ceiling. When another howl erupted I sighed, throwing my blanket off me so I could get out of bed.
No matter how many times I tell them not to do that around midnight because of my parents, they do it anyway. I went to look out my window to see which one it was tonight. A white wolf was pacing around, stopping for only a few seconds before walking in the opposite direction.
Ty always finds himself around just like Brendan does.
He doesn’t think his bond with me is that strong considering how we got to know each other first, compared to Brendan who had a spontaneous outbreak of emotions.
I put a jacket on and went downstairs so I could meet Ty outside. It’s been a few days since I’ve seen him so I was glad to know that he was okay. I ran outside and opened my arms seconds before his entire body hit me and we fell on the ground. He laid on top of me peacefully, curling up on me so I couldn’t move.
“It’s just been a few days, no need to go wild.” I laughed but he still didn’t want me to leave. Ty stayed over me and he actually pressed me down on the cold ground so I wouldn't move. As much as his massive weight was crushing me, I didn’t try to push him off me.
“Are you still sick?” I asked.
A low grumble left his chest, and I thought he was telling me yes. It’s harder to stay human when he’s sick. This is the best solution for him at the moment.
I usually think about things like what if he can’t shift back, or what if his wolf side takes over. I’ve read books about that kind of thing happening. Ty doesn’t think it will but I want him to be careful.
“My parents asked me the million dollar question today.” I said as I buried my fingers in his fur. “What do I want to be when I grow up?” I asked quietly.
What do I really want to be?
“I’m seventeen so I don’t really know. Then again, I don’t think my dad has the patience for me to take four years to figure it out.” I laughed to myself.
There’s a lot of options. I don’t know what I want to do honestly. I said vet because I like animals, but I like other things too.
Ty shuffled on top of me but he never got up.
“I know you don’t like future talk, Ty. But it’s gonna have to happen.” I said because he seemed unsettled.
Ty has all these things to think about. He can’t go that far away because of his family ties. I don’t know how long he has to stay but I have a feeling he has to stay a while.
We haven’t had that talk about us yet. Should I leave and figure out what I want to do? Well I don’t want to leave him behind. I know he’s going to tell me not to limit myself just because of him, and I get that part, but I can still stay a year or two. Then I want to figure out ways to get Ty to break his tie to this place so he can come with me. But I always tell him not to pick me over his family. It’s actually a lot to think about and Ty doesn’t like it. He’s drawing out the conversation till the last possible moment, but we have to start applying to schools soon.
“You’re really big, Ty. You’re going to suffocate me.” I pushed up on his body to get him off me.
His body heat was already making me sweat. His fur was tickling my face, too. And I can’t breathe while he was just over me.
If this is his way of protecting me, it’s not a very good one.
Ty got up on his legs and walked around me before finding a place to sit. I moved to sit next to him. I wasn't dressed to be sitting out here, so I got up against him to feel the warmth of his body. There was a cold breeze that made me press into his fur more.
We usually just sit and stare up at the sky. The stars are nice tonight.
“We’re gonna have to talk about us, Ty. I hope you know you can’t avoid it forever.” I told him.
Another low grumble came from him.
“Your brothers are going to get involved, aren’t they?” I asked, looking towards him as I moved my hand in his fur.
His eyes closed and he made a softer sound. I felt a little reassured. Maybe he would keep his brothers out of his decisions to be with me. I just want to figure out what we want first before diving into the entire picture of everything.
There was a lot to think about.
We just have to take it one day at a time and see what happens.