The Wolf Cult

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Adapting

Jaelynn sat at the kitchen table, feeling null of all emotion. She didn’t think about being brainwashed or running away. All she thought to herself was werewolves are real. Sometimes she would have the occasional mental battle. No, they aren’t real! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Werewolves are real. Werewolves are real!

Chasity stood in the kitchen pouring hot water into cups of tea. She set the cups near Kelsey, who was combing Jaelynn’s wet hair and putting it into a lovely braid. Chasity left the room with one mug still in her hand. There was a burley grumble of a male voice, and then moments later Chasity returned empty-handed with tears pricking her eyes.

The girls did not talk to Jaelynn. They only spoke to each other when it was about something necessary.

Daren and the other men stood just outside the door that led to the outside. Their voices rumbled through the walls, but no words could be made out. All Jaelynn knew was that it was a serious conversation.

“Here, Jaelynn, drink this. It will help you sleep.” Chasity said, pushing the cup closer to her and then squeezing her hand for a quick sign of comfort. The little comfort she gave Jaelynn did not last long. The door to the outside swung open, and Daren’s large boots clunked, bringing bits of dust inside.

Even with a scowl on his face, Jaelynn could admire his feature. Perhaps even more with his scowl. She thought of how his soft lips had touched hers as they swayed on the dance floor, how she laughed with him and how happy they both were. Why did she have to ruin the night? His scowl was because of her. This was her fault.

She looked up, pleading with him. She heard his boots make noise on the floor as he steadily moved towards her. She didn’t cringe when he was so close to her she could smell his scent-pine needles and mouthwash. Jaelynn found comfort in it as she thought about how tired she was and how she just wanted to close her eyes. He slowly leaned down and kissed the top of her head.

He said nothing to her. Instead, he looked toward Kelsey and Chasity. “I’m going to shower. Move her to my room and get some rest.” Then he walked off.

The girls sat with Jaelynn as she finished her tea. When no one was around, their hands would find hers and give a tight squeeze of strength. Then they guided Jaelynn to the opposite side of the house. Away from her room where she was kept prisoner.

They pulled back the sheets to the bed that smelled like a pine tree. Jaelynn crawled in, hissing to herself in pain. The sheets were cold. She shivered, and she settled in. Chasity stood at the door, waiting for Kelsey to follow. Kelsey looked into Jaelynn’s eyes, depleted of life. “Get some rest.” Then both girls walked out the door.

The room was big and vacant, aside from the nightstand on the other side of the bed with a book laid across it. Jaelynn couldn’t read the title from where she was, and she didn’t want to move her aching body.

It felt weird to be alone. She could hear Daren getting out of the bathroom and talking to someone. It sounded like Marshal.

The door swung open, and she pulled the covers close to her body. Daren’s heavy gaze landed on her before moving to the dresser to fish out some boxers. He wore only a towel around his waist.

She studied the tattoos on his body. A much larger paw print symbol was on his chest edged with zigzag patterns that eased into a cloud like wisps, then turned into a moon hidden behind the clouds. Below was sketched a wolf on his rib cage just under his armpit. It looked up at the moon near his shoulder blade, howling. The tattooed was so detailed it probably took a few sessions before it was finished, especially the way it blended, but this wasn’t what had Jaelynn’s attention. It was the undeniable bite marks that scared his skin. They were definitely from an animal and patches of scars marred his back as if he had been scratched in a fight. A werewolf fight.

Marshall followed along with an IV And the stand.

“How are you feeling, Jaelynn?” He asked solemnly. Everyone acted as if she had betrayed them. She felt guilty. She had betrayed them.

“I’m fine. I don’t want that.” She said timidly as she pointed at the bag, knowing it would make her head hazy again.

“Jaelynn.” Daren’s stern voice snapped, warning her not to put up a fight.

She nibbled her lip, nervous as she obediently stuck out her arm. Marshal gently inserted the needle and set her drip up. Jaelynn didn’t even feel the slight sting.

“There. You should sleep like a baby tonight. You two have a goodnight.” He said, making his way to the door.

“Thank you,” Daren said, headed to his side of the bed. Jaelynn shyly waved Marshal goodbye, before daring more looks at Daren’s marred skin. The bed dipped as it took in the weight of Daren. He scooted close to Jaelynn and wrapped his arms around her. He took in her scent and let out a wolffish growl, “Promise me... Promise me you will never do that again.”

Jaelynn whispered a soft “I promise,” her words were not retaliated with the whip or growls of anger because this time, she meant it.


A few days later...

The bed shook as Jaelynn thrashed around. The front door opened with a bang, then the door to Darren’s room burst open with the same fierceness. “Jaelynn!” his unmistakable, calming voice shouted through the room. “Wake up,” he commanded as he was suddenly by her side.

Jaelynn’s eyes shot open as she heaved for air.

“Breathe, it was just a bad dream,” Darren spoke as he patted her bed hair down.

Jaelynn searched the room. Noting that she was still in his room, as she had every night since the integration ceremony. Her head flopped down on her pillow, breathing in his scent.

“You alright?” he asked her while his gaze bore holes into her. As if he was waiting for her to crack.

“Yes,” she nodded her head, but she knew she was far from okay.

She replayed her nightmare in her mind, even though it was more like a memory. She was running in the dark, running away from an alarm going off in the distance. She heard a howl near her, then it all turned dark. She was just about to be whipped when Darren’s voice came ripping her from the dream and waking her up.

The first thought that came to her mind was how she needed to get out of here, but then she stared into his eyes, feeling the same fear she felt from the first time he spoke to her, and then she felt a wave of comfort, knowing that if she gives herself to him, he will protect her from his wrath and that of the pack. He was her only sense of safety. She quickly pushed all thoughts of running away.

That will never happen again if you obey him. Loving him means no more reprimanding.

She stared into his eyes, allowing him to pet her all over.

The urgency to feel safe overcame her as she reached for the back of his neck and lightly pleaded for him to come closer. His smell was enough alone to make her body relax, but it was still not enough. Over the past couple of days, she had become addicted.

His lips were on hers like a clash of a storm. His thumb that was caressing her cheek now pulled at her chin, and his tongue found its way inside her. His warmth caused her to forget about the dream, but she needed more of him. She grabbed at the side of his stomach, searching for his skin. She needed as much contact as he would give her. Daren grabbed her wrist a bit too tightly with a reproving growl and pinned it next to her face.

“Wait.” That was all he said, but she understood.

She pouted at her grumpy mate but smiled on the inside as she saw he couldn’t conceal how much he liked and approved of her attention towards him.

“You didn’t come to bed last night,” Jaelynn whined, remembering how he had to leave for an emergency just as they were about to go to sleep.

“I-,”

“Is she okay?” Marshal’s voice interrupted as he peeped his head through the doorway.

Darren looked at Jaelynn thoughtfully. “I think she’s okay. Let’s get her some meds, though.” Jaelynn’s lips went to move but were frozen by his stern glare.

“Sure thing,” Marshall slipped away in a chipper mood.

“You should get up. You will waste the day away.” Darren kissed her on the head and dismissed himself as Marshall quickly returned with a syringe.

“Good morning, Jaelynn.”

Jaelynn gave him a scolding look like he should know and stuck out her arm. She no longer had the IV attached to her, but the shots distributed to her by Darren’s demands had caused the inner parts of her elbows to become purple.

After he distributed the drugs, she quickly ate and began her chores. Jaelynn always felt the most chipper right after Marshal gave her a shot. The pain in her body faded away, and any fearful voices in her head were silenced.

She hummed as she gathered the laundry in the garage, avoiding looking around too much in case someone was watching her be curious, and threw them in the wet, sudsy bucket out in the sun. She gave them a good swirl in the water to ensure they were completely submerged before letting them soak. Then, with a bit of skip to her step, she grabbed the basket of already washed clothes and hung them.

Jaelynn’s hum faltered as she noticed off in the distance that Chasity was farther out into the compound than what Darren had permitted.

Chasity wasn’t alone, though. She was timidly standing with her head slightly down towards the ground as a man hovered over her.

Jaelynn watched as his hands greedily touched Chasity. He nuzzled his head in her neck before turning to walk in the opposite direction. Jaelynn instantly recognized the man as Colton.

She tried not to stare as she was all too aware of Chasity returning to the grassy lawn and walked towards the porch. Before she turned on her heal, she turn to Jaelynn and called out, “Jaelynn, come inside when you’re done with hanging that basket. We need to talk to you.” Chasity stood in the door, half inside the trailer and half outside, sounding gravely disappointed.

“Alright!” Jaelynn said as she grabbed another flowery sheet from the basket and began clipping it to the clothesline. She felt suddenly curious about what Chasity would talk to her about. Her mind however, quickly lost its train of thought.

The sun was shining on her skin, but it wasn’t too warm yet. She enjoyed how it felt. How the birds would chirp and how the grass felt between her toes.

Daren would approve of her appreciation for nature. A woman, prepping for the change, needed to appreciate nature. So the wolf and her soul knew how to connect to each other.

A few minutes later, she carried the empty basket inside and sat with Kelsey and Chasity at the kitchen table.

“What’s up?” She asked, noting the way they sat.

They had nervous looks on their faces.

“Daren wanted us to be the ones to tell you…” Kelsey whispered.

“Tell me what?” She couldn’t help but feel a little hurt that her mate didn’t want to be the one to tell her something.

“You are scheduled for the change this moon,” Chasity spoke with her normal, serious voice, but it had a hint of some other emotion.

“What? But I thought I had to wait for three moons before the change?”

Kelsey looked to Chasity, wondering how much she should tell Jaelynn, “Daren and the pack have reasons to speed up your process.”

“But…” reasons what reasons?

“The full moon will happen in two weeks from now,” Kelsey said.

“There are still many preparations to do until then,” Chasity spoke as if she was listing them in her head.

“Like what?” She still hadn’t wrapped the idea around her mind that she was changing the next moon. A part of her was excited, but a part of her felt like this was wrong. She shoved her doubts out of her mind.

The two girls looked at each other again. “Normally, these preparations would be done throughout the three months and the most important ones a day before the ceremony, but since you don’t have that time, Daren wants you to start now.”

“Starting with your diet.” Kelsey chipped in.

“What about my diet?” I asked, feeling like they were applying my weight wasn’t acceptable for the change or my mate.

“When you first turn, there is a short amount of time where your wolf will reject any human food you may eat. To make the transition smoother, you will first need to fast until the night before the ceremony.” Kelsey continued to explain as she rubbed her hands against her dress.

“Your body most likely has a lot of cruds still from before you joined the compound. So, unfortunately, you will have to fast longer than Kelsey,” Chasity explained.

Jaelynn wasn’t sure how she felt about not eating for the next two weeks, but if it sped up the process so she could meet Daren at all levels and it would make him happy, she would do it.

“From here on out, you need to be outside as much as possible. You need to be able to bond with your wolf on a deeper level. The love of nature is the most important connection you can have with your wolf.”

“It won’t be easy, but we will walk you through it,” Kelsey assured.

Thank you so much for reading the eighth chapter of The Wolf Cult!

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Hope you enjoy the next chapter! <3

P.s. Grammar Nazis are welcome!

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