"Madelyn,” Connor said in calm, quiet voice via their new mate-link after the two watched her for several minutes. ”It is time for you to come meet your new Pack and our Alpha.”
Awkwardly, Madelyn walked over to them, settling herself close to Connor, who shifted so he could speak to both her and Ulric at the same time.
“Madelyn, meet the Alpha of the Pack, Ulric.” He looked to Madelyn and urged her forward, whispering into her ear, “It is time to learn your place in the pack, my love...go to him and roll onto your back, baring both your neck and belly to him.” She looked at Connor quizzically, but did as she was told.
Ulric’s head lowered to sniff her before gently taking her neck between his teeth. She trembled softly as he did so, unknowing his intentions. When he released her neck, she thought she saw a smile on his lips as he instructed her to do the same with every other wolf present. She started uneasily when she noticed the circle of wolves sitting around them.
Looking to Connor, she saw him nod gently and whisper to her, “Go on, my love, it’s ok. You’ll be fine.”
She moved from wolf to wolf, crouching low as she approached each one. By the time she’d approached all of the members of the Pack, the fur on her neck was soaked from the saliva of the wolves who’d accepted her into the Pack.
As she approached her new mate, she realized she hadn’t done this with him, and though he’d not instructed her to, she did so anyway. Crouching low, she approached him, rolling onto her back, moving her head so that her neck was exposed to him. Gently, he took her neck between his jaws, biting down ever so softly, then released her and licked her muzzle.
Regaining her feet, she moved beside him as the pack gathered round. Ulric howled, his voice deep and...joyful? Madelyn listened in awe as she heard emotion in the wolf’s howl. One by one, other wolves took up the happy sound, until every wolf present was howling in celebration of the new addition to the Pack. It was only a moment before she succumbed to the urge to howl, as well.
One by one, the wolves began to shift to their human forms, starting with Ulric. They came over to the couple, offering wishes of happiness to them. A few of the females looked at Madelyn almost jealously, but the majority seemed genuinely happy for them, and a couple even offered to help her adjust to her new life. She laid there quietly, still in wolf form, her golden fur shining in the midday sun.
Connor had already shifted, so he went to talk with a few of the other males. They were clapping him on the back good-naturedly, congratulating him on his new mating. Before long, though, he started feeling something he hadn’t a moment before. Fear.
Turning, he noticed Madelyn remained in the same spot she’d been. Softly cursing himself for leaving her there, he returned to her side. She hadn’t yet shifted back to her human form. As he pressed close, he felt what nobody else could see. She was trembling softly. Her head moved toward him and he was sure he heard a faint whine.
“Madelyn?” he said softly. “What’s wrong, my love?”
Her eyes opened and she looked up at him. Connor blinked and looked into her eyes, surprised they’d remained violet. He hadn’t noticed that until now. Her golden fur and violet eyes would make her stand out among the other pack members, whose fur ranged from jet black all the way down to tawny and blue.
She didn’t say a word, but he heard her nonetheless. “What has happened to me, Connor?”
He smiled softly to her, stroking her fur gently. He was again surprised as his hand ran down the back of her neck. The texture of her fur wasn’t coarse and almost rough like his and the rest of the pack’s. It was soft, almost silky, to the touch. Shaking his head almost imperceptibly, he resolved to ask Vela about this. Madelyn was an oddity, for certain, but that didn’t matter to him. What mattered was he loved her and she was finally his, after all his years of waiting for her to appear and mature.
“Don’t be afraid, my love,” he said in her head. She jumped as she heard his voice, but his lips didn’t move, and he smiled soothingly to her. “It’s ok, love. This is one way mates can communicate. You can also do this with other wolves in the Pack, but not all wolves. Just me and those in the Pack.” He felt her relax slightly at his words, apparently reassured by his words.
“How do I get back?” she asked him, laying her head in his lap.
“Think of a happy moment in your life, my love,” he told her silently. “Now, grab onto that thought, remember what it felt like to be human during that moment.”
With Connor’s patient coaching, she finally shifted back to human form. The other Garou of the pack already shifted hours before she did, and most had left the area, eager to return home. They were all aroused from having watched the mating and while matings were usually very public, most of the Pack was somewhat private about their sex life, though nobody thought twice if they came upon mates enjoying one another in full sight.
Madelyn’s return to her human form was much more difficult than most. It hadn’t helped her that she didn’t know how she’d shifted to begin with. To her mind, it’d simply happened, but she didn’t know how it happened. It was also a surprise to everyone that she changed during the mating, but nobody wanted to alarm her, so nobody had said anything. When she finally changed back, she was exhausted and slipped into a deep sleep as she lay with Connor in the yard. He carried her inside and laid her in what had once been her parents’ bed.