Act 1 is 10 chapters long and based on the past. Act 2 will be the present :)
Contains sexual content and violence.
August 1, 1998
Standing just by the windows edge, he stared into the home, warm light spewing from within.
It was a full moon; the atmosphere cold and abandoned, a distant long mournful breeze rustled his silver hair.
Soulless eyes gazed through the glass, tracking the couple which moved back and forth in the living room’s centre. The woman, most likely in her early thirties, swayed to the sound of faint Sinatra music that slipped from the slightly cracked open window. Her movements, slow and languid, hips easing from side to side as her hands rose into the air, twirling in satin grey pyjamas.
She turned then- just as the door opened and a man stepped in, a child no older than one year, swaddled in his arms. The shared an intimate moment of silence filled with burning adoration, desire to strong Xander could smell it.
His eyes hardly wavered, only flickering from the parents to the child in his arms, hidden from plain sight yet the faint sight of her black soft hair was within view.
Xander stepped forward, inching towards the light but stopping just short of it, conscious of the fact that the man would smell him- if not see him first. His head craned higher, craving just to see her face, a brief glimpse, to satisfy his curiosity and need.
When they began moving from room to room, he too followed suite, steadily and quietly ghosting over the earth, eyes glued to the child and nostrils flaring in an attempt to catch her scent.
His fingers itched, tips burning with the ghost sensation of her skin beneath; and when he shut his eyes, he wondered if she shared the same mark as him.
The wife giggled at something the husband said and leaning in a for a kiss; the child pressed between them cooed, chubby fingers reaching up and tugging her father’s beard. They laughed and climbed the steps. Xander knew it was her bedtime anyway. He had been around long enough to know their routine.
Placing his fingers beneath the partially shut window, he lifted it softly and eased himself into the house, ducking beneath a couch and moving whilst staring at the ceiling- following the sound of footsteps above.
Watching from the outside, Xander hadn’t much expectations on how their house would look like inside. Now within the walls of their house, his steps were silent, eyes listlessly moving from furniture to frames of the three hung on almost all walls, books strewn over the coffee table and dirty dishes from their recent dinner.
He was cautious, knowing not to touch anything lest his scent remain and the alpha to find.
Not only that, but he was dirty. Filthy even.
Climbing the steps, he paused at the sight of his reflection on a mirror lined against the wall- placed between two baby photos of his mate. Face stained with blood and mud, the swelling on his eye had reduced significantly leaving a purple mark just above his right cheek bone. His lip was split at the top, overgrown hair now reaching just beneath his jaw line. Copper green eyes stared back, sad and empty in the hollowed depths.
His only pieces of clothing; grey hoodie and washed out jeans, were haggard and withered, clinging to his frame.
The upper house was compact compared to downstairs, a long hallway with four doors on either side and at the end a simple table placed below a large glass window that overlooked the forest. One of the doors was open, faint light spilling with the soft murmurs of both parents and gurgling laughter of his own.
Xander found himself stepping forward towards the room, like a magnet, only to freeze as the door opened further- and slipped into a random room quickly, gently easing the door closed. He held his breath at the sounds.
“What will happen?” The lady whispered, voices approaching.
The man sighed, long and deep, haggardly rubbing at his face, “I don’t know Jen, we will be holding a council meeting tomorrow night to discuss territory claims.
“It’s not that bad though,” she was nervous, seeking comfort from her mate. “Right?”
“No, of course not...”
Peering through the space, he watched as their figures disappeared down the hall, turning to the steps. And only after he could hear them downstairs, did he step out from the bathroom and head for the child’s room.
Pushing it open, Xander slinked inside and shut the door, leaning against it as his eyes moved across the room. Blue walls decorated with cartoons and drawings, the ceiling was mapped with neon stars that glowed under the moonlight. At the center was the crib, faint sounds of baby gurgles calling him forward.
Rounding the crib, heart flattering within the walls of his rib cage, Xander peered down at the baby and froze-
Copper green eyes stared up at him with the same shocked expression, unfamiliarity set on the baby’s face as she gazed at the stranger.
They studied each other, cautious- hesitant, as though either of them were an extraterrestial specie yet to be labelled and placed accordingly.
She broke the ice with a wide toothless smile revealing soft pink gums, and reached her chubby arms for him, fingers clasping the air desperately. And she laughed, as only a baby can laugh a sweet sound unblemished by the hurts of life. Her little face glowed from a light a light within and Xander leaned away from her touch.
He crouched by her crib, fingertips brushing embedded words on the wooden foot. Unable to make out the words and unwilling to risk switching on her lights, he reached into his pocket and produced a red plastic lighter with faded ‘Bic’ words scrawled on the top. He had found it while rummaging through waste. Flicking it, the flame glowed over the words and he traced them- feeling them beneath.
At the age of fifteen, majority if not all of the youth, should have been able to read and write- yet he was one of the few percentage without the ability.
That was what Mrs Adams, one of the store keepers, had whispered about him behind his back.
Someone who could neither write nor read.
Was he ashamed of it?
Not really, yet he wished he could read whatever had been written on her crib. He felt as though the words were important. She was important, therefore, anything that came with her must have been important.
Standing, he crouched into the crib with lighter in hand and lowered it as the baby’s attention turned to the fire; excitement bubbling from within as she tried reaching for it, he lifted it.
“No,” Xander said softly and she paused briefly, eyes seeking his as though asking ‘why’.
In response, he released his finger on the spark wheel and the flame disappeared. The baby blinked in shock.
He pressed down the stone and the flame reappeared, a small smile lifting his mouth at the sight of her glee.
He did it numerous times. Flicking the lighter on and off, relishing in her reactions, warmth sparking the bond between them.
“Fire.” He whispered letting her grab the lighter from his hand. Instinctively, she lifted it to her mouth and sucked at the dirt stained plastic object, face twisting in disgust as the taste settled on her sensitive buds. She threw the plastic in response and he laughed softly heading to pick it.
Stooping down to pick his lighter unaware of the figure that stood by the door watching, Xander pocketed it and stood turning only to freeze at the sight of her father.
The alpha growled.