I wake up to extreme pain, it feels like my body is being ripped in half. As if all my bones are being broken. I scream out in pain but a hand reaches to cover my mouth before a noise can be heard. “Shh. it’s going to be ok love.” I hear a voice tell me in the dark, a voice that is very familiar to me, I just can’t place it. I’m sweating all over and my body begins to fold in on itself. I want to cry out again in anguish but the hand on my mouth still is there and then I’m being lifted and carried from what I assume is a hospital room.
I’m in such unbearable pain I don’t notice much of anything. I don’t know who has me or where they’re taking me. I only hope they help stop this pain that is consuming me. The hand is removed from my mouth and then I’m crying out in pain and put onto the cold wet ground. My body goes into the fetal position hoping to stop the pain but again I’m in more pain. At this point I have saliva pooling in my mouth, tears streaming down my face and as nasty as it sounds, snot as well coursing its way down my face too.
“The moon is almost at its apex, it won’t be much longer love. All the pain will disappear shortly. Just hang on, don’t let the pain take you, go with the pain don’t fight it, otherwise, you might not survive.” That soothing familiar voice tells me, pleads with me. I try to listen to him, I try to breathe through the pain and just let whatever is happening to happen. What I’m guessing is the longest ten minutes of my life passes and even more pain consumes me, it all vanishes. As if it never existed and it was some horrible nightmare.
I look around and see the big trees, a huge full white moon in a mass of inky darkness with bright stars. It looks so beautiful. Our Goddess Luna is gorgeous, I agree, says a deep female voice. I hop up and spin around looking for the owner of the voice, however, there are no women around though, no one is around for that matter. I finally notice that even though I am standing up, I’m not as tall as I normally am. I look down at my feet and see that there are no feet at all but snow-white paws. All I can see is trees, shrubs, prey..wait for prey? I mean rabbits. But they’re so deathly quiet you wouldn’t be able to tell they were around. I crouch down and start forward, hunting the prey that knows the predator is near but that is too scared to leave. By the time the poor rabbit gets the courage to run it’s too late and I’m upon it sinking my fangs and teeth into its neck-snapping it quickly. After feeding myself a delicious meal.
I fell asleep sometime after eating during the night and woke to find myself naked in a field. I can see the sun rising between the trees. I sit up and try to think of what I’m going to do. Naked and alone in the woods is not a good combination, not to mention I was attacked… how long ago was it? I wasn’t even sure. But I’m pretty sure I was in a horrible state and now I’m in the woods lost. “What happened to me?” I question myself aloud. Prepare yourself love the voice from last night says to me.
I hear the crunching of tires nearby, followed by an engine being turned off and car doors closing. After some minutes Darius and Dominic appear through the trees. “Turn around and keep watch,” Darius says to Dominic as he continues his way to me with a bag I hadn’t noticed right away. “How do you feel?” He inquires once he is within a couple of feet of me. Keeping eye contact, not allowing his eyes to stray to my nakedness. “I don’t know how I feel. The only thing I can think of is confusion.”
He nods his head, “that makes sense, I can explain once we get you dressed and in the car. Here let me help you up, you might be weak today.” he holds his hand out, hoping to help me up. I shake my head, “I’d like to put on a shirt first at least please.” I tell him. His eyes go big as if he almost forgot about the bag in his own hand. He opens it up and looks through it and deciding to just take off his shirt and give me that one. To be honest I’m happier he did. Not just because of his sexy abs but because now I can smell him all over me. I take the shirt and slip it on quickly before taking his outstretched hand. When I get to my feet I notice there are no white paws and I’m my normal height and all is right. But it’s not, not really.
“What happened? I don’t understand. Did I not get attacked in the woods after all? I didn’t turn into a...a...a wolf?” embarrassed to admit and ask all these things, least I make him think I’m crazy. “No love all that happened. A shifter named Andrew Deville attacked you, why? I don’t know yet. As for you turning into a wolf, that happened as well. Andrew triggered your transition earlier than it was meant to be. No knows your missing from the hospital, a friend who traveled with us is working at the hospital and is your doctor right now, but your mother will be there soon. We must get you back immediately.”
At this point I just let Darius take me back to the hospital, he’s telling the person I wanted some fresh air so he took me for a walk. All the while getting reprimanded for taking me out since I was in a medically induced coma just 48 hours ago. “I’m not a doctor, how was I supposed to know she couldn’t get up.” he would tell them. Once we get to my room a doctor comes in and talks to Darius, I’m in shock and trying to process what I went through last night let alone the attack I suffered.
I feel a hand on my hand and I look up to see my mother standing there with tears in her eyes and a sloppy sad smile on her face. “Oh! My baby! My baby!! I thought I was going to lose you!” she cries as she squeezes my hand. I squeeze back, “But I didn’t mom, I’m good, I’m right here completely alive. Just banged up some.” she shakes her head, “No Claire, you’re not just banged up, you’ve been here healing for almost a month in a medically induced coma. The animal that attacked you thankfully didn’t hit any major arteries otherwise you would be dead. You’re lucky to be alive.”
I was in a coma for almost a month. Okay, so that beast tore me apart. But why? I recall the conversation before he turned into a wolf. Oh, yeah he transformed into a wolf with a blink of an eye! “Where is Bradley? Has he been to see me?” I ask my mother who has just been staring at me. Like she can’t believe I’m alive. I don’t know the extent of my injuries yet, but based on how I feel, I don’t think I have anything wrong with me anymore. “Yes, he has. He will be by again tonight.” I nod my head and tell her I’m going to go to sleep for a little while.
At 5 o’clock, Bradley shows up and my mom tells us good night. “Hey cuz, how are you feeling?” Bradley asks as he finds a seat.
“I feel like I just woke up from a month-long coma,” I say with a shrug trying to keep my anger in check. I look at him, waiting to see how he will react and respond. He looks sad, “Do you know anything about my attack?”
“Kind of. There was a note left with you. I was the one who found you. I had come looking for you to apologize when I heard your screams. When I found you the beast was already gone.” He explains the events to me.
“Well, an Andrew Deville found me in the woods before the animal appeared. He said that you stole something from him, and he wants it back. I was attacked because you stole something from someone?! My anger rising.
“Relax Claire, I didn’t mean for him to come after you. I honestly didn’t think he would come after anyone besides me. I will handle him, I am so so sorry cousin!” He tells me earnestly, I shake my head, disgusted with my cousin. He doesn’t even know that him stealing from this Andrew person caused my life to change forever, for me to be changed forever. Never to be the girl I was before, no longer can I live freely, now I will forever wonder if anyone will discover my new secret, try to kill me or worse experiment on me. He doesn’t know that I have a new living creature inside me. But him not knowing doesn’t change the fact his actions ruined my life, and I had no knowledge of what he had been up to.
“You should leave Bradley.” I turn over, giving him my back. Deciding to go to sleep for the night rather than lay and wallow. I hear my cousin get out of his seat and head for the door. “I am sorry Claire, I never meant for you to get hurt. I love you.” and he leaves the room. Just as I am about to fall into a dark abyss of sleep, I hear someone enter my room. I peer through my eyelashes at the person who entered my room, but with the lights off at the door, all I can see is a big silhouette. MATE! Luz yells at me.
“Who is there?” I ask, slightly frightened. What if it’s that Andrew guy coming to finish the job? He wanted to kill me in the woods as a message for my cousin, and although he received it loud and clear it doesn’t mean that he won’t want to clean up his mess survivor means eye witness. It’s not, it’s our mate! She tells me again. Confusing me further.
“It’s only me, love,” says Darius as he walks further into my room and sits his large farm down in the chair that Bradley occupied only a short while ago. His eyes look dark with bags under them as if he hasn’t had a good night’s rest in a while. He sits at the edge of his seat and takes my hand. The feeling should be foreign and new but instead, it feels right, as if it was always meant to be this way. I remove my hand from him because that just confused me even more.
“What are you doing here Darius? And why do keep calling me love? We don’t even know each other.” Perhaps I should be nicer, but at this point, I can’t find it in myself, I’m exhausted and just want this crazy dream to end. Yes, I still am having trouble wrapping my head around the fact that I turned into a wolf.
“I came to see how you were doing and to answer any questions you may have. I can see it on your face, you’re confused and scared and I want to help you in any way that I can. As for the nickname, that’s something I feel can wait for now.” He tells me as he leans back in his chair. “What is on your mind, Claire?” He asks.
“I have a million questions, but you can start by telling me how you knew to get me out of my room and into the woods. And how do you know about wolves?” I decide to go with something that will get me answers but also help me understand Darius a bit too. I sit up in my bed and get comfortable, it’s only then that I realize what a train wreck I must look like right now. Grabbing the hair tie out of my hair I redo my hair and wipe away the gunk from my eyes. Sadly that’s all I’m able to do. The stitches on the right side of my cheek stings as I wipe at my face and my fractured leg is throbbing. Deciding to not bear through all the pain I’m experiencing I press the nurses’ button.
“How about we wait on the nurse to come and get you your medicine before we dive into all that?” He asks nicely. I nod my head in agreement. It isn’t long before she comes in with meds for my pain. “This will make you sleepy, so I would try to get your visit over with soon, otherwise you might fall asleep on your boyfriend.” She tells me with a smile as she leaves. “He’s not-” but the door is already closed and she’s gone, so I don’t get to finish telling her he isn’t my boyfriend.
Darius laughs at my embarrassment. “Awe would it be so bad if she were right? Are you embarrassed by me, love?” I shake my head, trying to get the redness that is my cheeks to calm down. “Are you going to answer my questions or are you just going to embarrass me some more?” I ask, not letting him know how much I would love for that nurse to be right.
“Right, your goin to fall asleep soon. Okay, so simply put I am a shifter just as you are. It was to be a full moon and we knew you would transform for the first time that night. So we took you into the woods we inherited from my grandfather.” He explains. None of that is simple, well maybe the woods part, but he is a shifter too?
Yes, it is simple he is a wolf-like us Claire and he is our Mate. luz answers me. I roll my eyes at her. She’s not helping me at all. If anything she’s doing the opposite. ” what is she telling you?” Darius asks. My eyes snap up to his, taken aback about him knowing Luz is speaking to me.
“What do you mean?” I reply, feigning ignorance.
“Your counterpart. She’s probably telling you some things isn’t she?” he says, yeah, okay so he was right. She was talking to me and telling me he’s our mate. And if what I remember from the random information I heard from the discovery channel when my mom would watch it, is that a mate is an animal’s soulmate and they never change lovers. My mind comes to a halt. “Hold up hold up hold up… mate as in soulmate, as in ill never have another boyfriend or anything?” I ask Luz having a small meltdown on the inside. All I get from her is a nod, and I have no idea how I know that she nodded at me, just that she did.
I raise my hand up, ” okay, yes she is telling me things. None of which I want to discuss. “I tell him flippantly as if what she’s telling me doesn’t matter to me. “Okay, so you are a wolf too. Were you also attacked?” I ask him. He shakes his head with the same smile in place. “No, I was born a wolf. There are two types, those who are born and those who are bitten. You were bitten. When those who are bitten turn for the first time it is very painful, because your entire DNA make up is changing, and your body breaks and reassembles itself into something foreign. You no longer are a mere human but a shifter. When a born wolf changes it is only slightly discomforting because our bodies were already meant to transform. That’s why I took you in the middle of our woods, so when you did scream no one would hear you and discover you.” Says Darius. His explanation is so cut and dry there isn’t any reason to doubt anything he says. Like this is something he has had to say before, or at the very least heard it enough.
“Okay, so we were created differently but we still are the same species now. What does that mean for me? For my life?” I ask feeling sleepy, but still needing answers I try to push through it.
“Well for starters, you will need to move in on pack land, or the packhouse. We will need to help you train to control yourself around people. Your emotions can become unstable if provoked and that can be dangerous. Secondly, you will have to attend training in our pack. And third, you will attend a weekly class with the omega of our pack, to learn about our ways.” I nod my head agreeing with him, little did Darius notice that my eyes have completely shut and his voice has begun to fade away.
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