“First one back home has to wash the dishes for a week!” My brother started running ahead of me as we were walking home on our way back from our hike.
“I’m too old for racing Adam, I mean you would probably beat me now, you’re – huge.” I glanced up at him. He was already 6’5, almost as tall as our father. With Alpha blood running through our veins we were built stronger and bigger. However, I looked more like my mother. Petite, but witty. I would rather use my brain then brute strength anyways.
“Come on sis, you’re going to be mated soon, you might as well enjoy our time together before you have to play games with – what’s his name again?” Adam jokingly replied.
I gave a hard tap to his big arm while we continued walking. This was our favourite way back home, through the trails along the river. It was so quiet and scenic. It also gave Adam a lot of opportunities to get the inside scoop on all the single she-wolves from me.
“Screw off, I don’t even want a mate.” I sighed as he mentioned the word mate. There was so much in the world I wanted to see, why did I have to settle for a man?
“If you get any older no werewolf will want you!” Even know I was annoyed he was speaking the truth. I needed to settle down if I wanted to have a family one day. I was already 21, and usually she-wolves would be mated on their eighteenth birthday. I managed to convince my father that I needed to focus on studying before I even made a decision. I’ve been approached by a lot of potential suitors but my father always let me have the final call. He just wanted me to be happy. When our mother died from cancer he focused on me and my brother.
One day Adam would take over our pack and I knew he would be a kick ass Alpha. My fate was undetermined and I sort of liked it that way. All my friends from our old school were already mothers, and I was still reading books in the library on my free time.
“Let me ask you something Diana,” Adam said as he put his arm around me. “Is it because of her?”
“What do you mean?” I acted confused but I knew deep down what he meant by asking. My mother Greta. I missed her so much, maybe this is why I didn’t want to settle down. The fear of losing my family by moving away.
“It’s ok Diana.” He squeezed me in tighter as we kept walking. It was already autumn and the trees were changing colours. We both looked around as we kept our silence. As wolves, we were most connected to the forests. Our ancestral hunting grounds were still prevalent in our modern society, but only a handful still liked to hunt shifted in their wolves. The world was changing and so were the wolves.
I heard leaves crunching in the distant tree line but didn’t see anything. Adam heard it too and we were both looking around. We paused briefly to listen again.
“Who’s there?! Show yourself.” Adam loudly stated to what looked like nothing, then suddenly a familiar young man appeared from the bushes. It was Aaron. He was Adam’s stupid goof friend that always annoyed the hell out of me with his jokes.
“Christ! You scared me!” Adam said as he started walking towards him with open arms.
“The soon to be Alpha is scared of a lil’ol wolf like me!” Aaron jokingly said. I rolled my eyes as they both did their lame handshake that they always did when they saw each other.
I really worry for the future of this pack with these two loonies at the top. I knew he would make Aaron his Beta one day. They were friends since childhood and they were inseparable.
To top it off Aaron had a big crush on me and it was obvious. Adam always hinted it to me but I told him I only saw Aaron as a brother, or as Adam would call it, “friend-zoned.” He actually looked just like Adam, but a few inches shorter of course. He had more a tall slim build while Adam was tall and very bulky.
“Hey Diana, how are you? I’m glad I ran into you, did you hear the news?” Aaron finally noticed I was standing there the whole time while they did their lame hand shake.
“No-what news?” I curiously asked. Usually my father would always keep us in the loop of anything going on with pack related events.
“Alpha Holden is visiting-“Adam interrupted him with a gasp.
“Wait what?! Since when? What business does he have coming to our small community? Doesn’t he have bigger fish to fry? I mean his pack in the biggest in the country. What interest does he have here?” Adam spoke so fast it was hard to follow him. I could tell his was excited to have such a prominent Alpha visit us.
“Whoa, slow down there Alpha Adam.” Aaron playfully replied. “I have no clue, but I just found out. It’s all what everyone is talking about today. Everyone is getting prepared for his arrival.”
“I need to get to father, I need to find out. I can’t believe I’m finding out through you! – I mean no offence Aaron.” Aaron lifted his arms out in surrender of his insult. I giggled at their exchange, they were acting like boys being kissed for the first time. So immature.
While the two goons were talking to each other about Alpha Holden possibly bringing single-she wolves my attention was sparked at the sound coming from the distance in the forests.
“Guys you hear-“I tried speaking but they were still talking and ignoring me.
“GUYS, SHUT UP!” They immediately turned their attention to me. “You hear that?”
“What the hell?” Adam sniffed the air trying to figure out what the smell was. It was unfamiliar to the area.
“ROUGUES!” Aaron yelled as he was looking at the ragged red wolf appear from the clearing. Two smaller grey wolves appeared with him. They looked sick and hungry, maybe they wondered a little too far into our territory looking for food. Unusual to see rogues here though, they haven’t been sighted for years. Deep down I felt bad for them, they were only trying to survive but they were still extremely dangerous and unpredictable.
“Diana, get out of here NOW!” Adam yelled to me signaling me to leave, but I wasn’t going to leave them alone to fight them. I knew I could help in other ways then fighting.
“No!” I said, but my words were unheard as Adam and Aaron were already bolting towards them as they shifted quickly into their wolves. I know killing them would be no issue as they were trained as warriors. They knew how to handle themselves in these situations, but something seemed off by the large red wolf, and I didn’t want to leave them. No one could sense the smell but I could and it worried me.
It was only a matter of a few seconds when Aaron and Adam killed the two smaller grey wolves with a simple pounce and bite to their necks. They laid on the ground still has blood gushed out of their necks while their eyes remained opened. They died quickly, but the red one was still was left standing waiting to square off with both of them. He was un-phased by the killing of his comrades and stood their growling showing his canines dripping with saliva.
He was much stronger then he looked by the way he moved and I felt like Adam and Aaron underestimated his strength. In the same time it they took down the red wolf’s companions he took both Adam and Aaron down hard with his jaws. Both of them were left laying on the forest floor while I gasped from what just happened.
How could a rogue be so strong to take down both my brother and Aaron like that? I saw a large open gash going down Adam’s entire body. Blood was oozing out fast and started pooling around his limp body. His breathes were shallow and his eyes were closed while he wined in pain. He was loosing blood too fast to heal himself, so I knew his life was in danger.
When I looked over at Aaron only a few feet away he seemed fine with minor injuries. He yelped in pain, but I knew he would be able to heal himself.
I was the last one standing and the red wolf finally caught eyes with me. I wasn’t going to shift into my wolf because I knew I was no match to his size. I would have to try something different to get us out of this situation. I wasn’t sure if it wasn’t going to work, but we didn’t have any other options and Adam's life was hanging by a thread.
I decided I would try to connect with the red rogue, just like my mother would connect with us as kids. A gift she had that no one else knew about. She passed it onto me and told me never to reveal it. I’m not sure what scared her, but I promised her I would never use it. This was the only time I ever needed to use it and it was to save my brother.
I cautiously walked up to the wolf with my arms raised up to show I was unarmed. He stood there heavily breathing with blood dripping from his mouth. I kept staring into his eyes, wondering what he was thinking.
Suddenly, I felt a train of emotions that hit me like a ton of bricks. His pain, his suffering, his sacrifice and his fear. I felt overwhelmed by it, but kept walking, slowly but carefully. I was so close to him and I could feel his warm breathe on my skin. He was a few feet taller then me and he looked down at me confused but not threatened by me.
He didn’t move an inch, and allowed me to place my hand on his body. It was full of scars and patches of missing fur. He was grieving. Tears filled my eyes as I felt the pain of his grief. It felt similar the loss of my mother. Like a missing puzzle piece lost forever, incomplete and unfinished.
I closed my eyes and focused on mending the gaps in his soul that was causing his feral state. I opened my eyes to see his fur and skin healing, mending and turning into a fiery red colour. He was looking bigger and healthier, full of life. I could have kept mending but I knew I had to get back to Adam. I think I did enough for him that he could leave us alone.
As I took my hand off his body he immediately bolted to the forest. Not looking back. I sighed in relief, but I knew my job wasn’t finished.
"Adam!" I yelled.
I ran over to where he was still laying on the forest floor. More blood pooled around him and his wound was still not healed. He was unconscious, not responding to my screams. I had to do what I just did to the red wolf, which was to heal him.
I placed my hand on his dark grey fur just below the large wound that oozed with blood and focused my energy on closing it to stop the bleeding. Tears were still falling from my eyes, almost blinding me. I knew I had to be strong. Adam was my second half and I couldn’t lose him like this.
After a minute of focusing my energy I heard a familiar voice.
“Diana.” It was Adam, he was shifting back. He placed his hand on my face and smiled. He knew I just saved him. “Thank-you.” He smiled and sighed in relief.
I grabbed his hand cupping my face and smiled back with tears of joy. I was so happy he was alive.
“I didn’t know what I would do without you brother.” I said.
“Mom told me to not allow you to use you’re… -gift, but I broke my promise.” He said in a disappointed tone.
“I guess I broke my promise too.” I chuckled while tears fell from my face. We both looked at each other in content, happy to be alive.“A-hem,” Aaron was standing over us and it seemed like he was already back to his normal self. We both looked up at him as he stood there looking at me with a confused look.