The Key to the Shift
We had been training for hours and Archer still hadn't completed his first transformation on his own. Something was blocking him or he was refusing to acknowledge his wolf. Either way, It was stopping him from shifting.
Maybe it wasn't so weird after all. Archer had been taught that wolves were a bad thing his whole life. Maybe he didn't want to believe that he had become one of us and the transformation would only confirm what he didn't want.
Days passed and I was starting to give up. I had almost emptied my head of ideas and neither Everly nor Harvey seemed to have any contribution either.
Shay was sitting in his usual corner of the garden, guarding us. Or rather, making sure that Archer didn't try anything funny like the last time.
"I'm sorry, Rieka, " Archer apologised. "I'm not really sure what I'm doing wrong. Should it really be this difficult? Maybe it's time to stop?"
I turned around with the speed of light and walked extremely close to him. I could feel Shay tighten. It almost made him get up. Right now, he wasn't much of a concern to me. He hadn't done anything to help so far so he didn't deserve my attention at all.
"Will you stop it, Archer, " I said and pointed a finger at him so close that it almost touched his nose. "I am not giving up on you! Icarus bit you and we have no idea of how you are going to be affected when he returns. You have to learn control, even if it kills me! He already has my mother! I can't lose you too!" I shouted.
Everyone was quiet as I caught my breath. I turned around and walked back to where I was before. "Again!" I shouted and crossed my arms.
"Rieka... I..." Archer tried but I didn't want to hear it. I was already suppressing my tears so talking wasn't one of the things I felt like doing right now. "Again!"
Time passed too fast once again and it was already sunset. My head was empty and my body was tired for the day and I was sure that I wasn't the only one.
Another day without any results... This was getting harder every day and I still had no idea of what could be blocking him or how to fix it.
I was about to call it a day when Shay had appeared behind me. "You're really a loser, Archer," he teased. "Shay!" I said and turned around to give him a lesson on how to behave.
Archer was already going through a lot. He didn't need Shay's hurtful words added to his pile.
But he put a finger on my lips and shushed me. "First, you couldn't hold on to the girl, " he continued and walked passed me. If Shay had planned to get Archer's attention, it was definitely working. I could see that he was clenching his fists and his jaw had tightened up too.
"Then, you can't even get close enough to hurt her... " What the hell was his game? "Then, you come back begging for forgiveness because you can't handle the loss just to find out that the person you despise the most has already claimed her as his own... Repeatedly." "Shay!" I tried again. My face was already red as can be and I didn't like that he was using me like that. But he turned me away again.
"That I can touch her places, make her feel good like you never could," he whispered close to Archer's ear and smirked.
Archer turned his head to face Shay. His eyes were not his anymore. They were partly golden, partly blood red. Shay wasn't just doing this to be an ass. He was trying to provoke Archer enough to let his wolf out. Though, he did seem to enjoy it more than he probably should.
"I marked her, Archer. In more ways than you will ever be able to, " he continued but took a step back. "And what are you now? Some petty past hunter who a killer has turned into a wolf. Not even a good one. A wolf who's not even able to shift. The most basic part of being a wolf and not even that are you able to manage. It wouldn't surprise me if Icarus actually just casts you aside if he ever returns."
He walked closer to Archer again. "How do you expect to get the girl when you can't even protect her?"
That last sentence triggered something in Archer. He fell to his knees and his body started making odd twists. He was finally turning.
Once again, we were all facing the large golden wolf with curious eyes and he was snarling at Shay. Not that it bothered him at all. He was still just standing there with his arms crossed and with a satisfied grin on his face.
"Remember that feeling, hunter, " he bragged and walked back to his chair in the corner. Was that really all it took? Making him angry? We had spent days trying to force him to change and Shay had had the answer all along...
I could feel an anger building up inside me but I shook it off. We had to focus and I could not let Shay get to me as easy as he usually did.
"... Alright, " I said and broke the awkward silence. "Now we can really get to work. First, we'll teach you about the ways of the wolf. How to be one."
I shifted in seconds and felt my white fur surrounding me for the first time since that horrific day.
It felt good. Almost freeing. Archer was large for a wolf but I was still an Alpha and as a female alpha, I wasn't as large as Shay but still bigger than the ordinary male wolf. Archer seemed a bit intimidated by it but he was going to get used to it.
"First, you'll have to take your first steps," I said through the mindlink. "It is very different from walking with two legs, so let's take it slowly. Don't think, just do."
Archer didn't seem startled by the fact that I was talking to him through his mind but I guessed that he knew a fair amount about werewolves from his life as a hunter.
He took one step. A very shaky step but had hadn't yet fallen. Then another and another one. This was something that he got the hang of fairly quickly and he was able to walk fine after just a short while.
So now, it was time for his first run.