Reece cursed, “Shit!” When he went to look at the pitch-black sky that was illuminated by a full moon he hurried back to my side. He put a hand on my forehead, “I can’t believe this shit is happening now. Fuck this.” He paced for a bit while he gathered his thoughts. “First-time shifters aren’t supposed to shift on a night like this unless…” He trailed off and stopped to look at me, with wide eyes as if he had a moment of apprehension. “You’re the blood wolf.”
It was true that tonight there was a full moon. I had heard rumors about it at school and that’s why there was a party being held tonight. It was not only celebrating everyone that came back to Royale Academy, whether freshman, junior or senior, but also to celebrate a natural phenomenon that this generation would witness.
I declined Carter’s offer countless times at lunch. ‘Parties and I just don’t mix’ is what I told her. I thought it was just one of those special moons that wouldn’t appear for another century. Now, I know it’s not just any moon. It was one that was as red as blood, the blood moon. And Reece and I both knew that this was it. My first shift...
“Argh!” I growled from the excruciating pain, the salty still sweat dripping from forehead. Wherever the sweat spilled down my skin in beads, it was cool. Then again, the heat my body generated was as hot as a thousand red suns. Reece dragged me up by the shoulder and hauled me into his arms. My elbows snapped in the most unbelievable position and I grunted, the tears falling from my eyes like a cascade. It was worse than anything I’ve ever felt.
Reece took the door inside the garage and then then everything went even more blurry. My heart raced, a thousand beats per minute, I think. Reece ran to the basement and chained me up. The walls were a dark pale grey.
Immediately, he got to work and I watched him clamp the chains shut around my leg. The speed he moved at spoke urgency. It was evident that I hadn’t been the first to be in here. The claw marks that ran down the wall in angry slashes gave me an idea of why I was being chained. My wrist broke harshly and the burning sensation in my chest became known.
No longer was my beast inside nudging me to say she wanted out. Right now, she was scraping and scratching and clawing aggressively by force. My loins felt weak. My limbs ached; the claw marks on the walls of the cold dark room told me not-so subtly the kind of people it was built to contain. People like me. As my ribs broke, I became aware of every single one of them, I yelped, I cried and then I begged.
“Reece, make it stop. Please, help me.” He knelt down and caressed my jawline and I leaned into his palm. His palm felt like a bag of cold peas against a muscle injury, except his hands were rough yet it had something gentle about it. I looked into his eyes, and he into mine and between the two of us, we talked. We had a conversation.
There were no words but his eyes said it all. I saw the pain, the worry the sadness and something else, something that resembled fear and affection. I could see through his eyes and into his soul that Reece cared. His touch lasted for a bit more than it should have before he pulled away and with it our soulful exchange. He cleared his throat, “You’re burning up. We need to get you cooled down.” He got up and spoke quietly, “I’ll be back, just keep hanging in there.”
In a time like this, I don’t know how but my sense of humor was still intact, “I’m always hot.” I giggled slightly and Reece’s eyes widened but not before my knee cap cracked and my leg twisted in the opposite direction. “I’ll be back,” he repeated, “and do me a favor and save those jokes for when you’re better.” He was going to leave me, to go through this by myself? I needed someone at my side at all times, I wanted comfort. I just needed his presence.
“No, don’t leave me here alone.” I pleaded. I looked around at the dark grey room and it almost felt like it was closing up on me, if it weren’t for the door that Reece left open, I would have suffocated.
“Calm down and don’t fight it.” He kneeled down to face me, he gripped the back of my neck and pulled me closer to him, our foreheads touching as he gazed into each mine eyes. “Let it consume you. This is who you are and you know it, so please, Sam, don’t fight it.” He pleaded and I had no other choice but to nod. As soon as he said it, he stood to his feet and ran out the door. He left no margin for me to reply. He locked the door and the light that illuminated the room was lost. My bones cracked again and again, my head spun, my brain hammered against my skull intensely, and my heart fought pugnaciously in my chest.
It was now that I wished someone would kill me. The metal door was pulled open and light flooded into the dungeon onto the pale walls… My eyes were taking a while to adjust. Two people rushed in and my body became cool. I turned my head away as the icy cold water enveloped me. In the corner of my eye, I had come across a looming prospect of blood that had splattered across the wall. Palm prints of blood all over the wall that I hadn’t noticed before but the thought became absent from my mind when a coolness washed over me. I was soaking wet, from my head to toe and I was thankful for the icy cold blast that pulled the heat from my skin.
“I’m so sorry Sam.” We didn’t expect it to come this early.” That was Bryan. He apologized as if it were his fault I was going through the shift so early. “We’ll get through this together.” When words are put a certain way, they are supposed to console and comfort you, but you see, it isn’t all about the words. The words draw you in and the tone makes you believe. The way Bryan’s voice cracked and came out shakily showed me the uncertainty, the fear and oddly the unspoken love he had towards me, the love of a brother even though we had no relation.
Chris was busy trying to get me cold. He was working like my life depended on it and I guess it did. Chris filled bucket after bucket and pouring it on me from head to toe. He was breathing heavily while he did so, I thought he was just getting into the rhythm of work but then I began to wonder if his panting was really his disguise of crying. The ice did nothing to simmer the heat within my skin.
Maybe it fuelled it more because the more ice water poured over my body, the more the heat thrashed and fought like boils under infected skin. My skin seared like hot iron into a freshly torn wound. The plethora of discomfort in my gut cramped me; I gripped my knees to my chest. The cracks, the aches, the pain, the breaks, snaps and tears rejoiced while I crumbled under the supernatural process.
This was much worse than any sports injury, much worse than falling from a cliff during a hike. This pain, this heat, it was everywhere at the same time, consuming my human body hungrily like flames on dry land. I heard Reece faintly outside the dungeon-like room. I could tell he was on the phone. The conversation I heard was one-sided and too serious to be false. His words quickened as they left his lips, fumbling out like his brain had become scattered.
I could tell he didn’t know what to do. I noticed the pauses when he got too worked up; the person at the other end might have tried to calm him down because after the first five minutes of non-sense, he came more clear and I was able to understand what all the jumbled words that he spoke meant before. He hung up and rushed into the room barking orders for the two young wolves to follow, "Seal the other entrances to the room. Leave the one out front. Bryan, call everyone now and stand guard the open entrance. Let her brothers know what is going on now.” He took a minute to catch his breath, “I’ve already contacted Devon.” They nodded. Reece’s voiced dropped really low, it was just an octave louder than a whisper. “I also called Iglesia too.” A snarl erupted from Chris’ chest.
“What the fuck did you say you did?” Chris got loud quickly. He hadn’t a problem before now so why was he getting worked up over someone named Iglesia. Bryan heard and froze for a second, if I hadn’t been paying attention, I would have missed it but then he left the room to handle the task he was given. “Why the hell would you do that?” Chris’ body shook with anger as he looked at Reece. It was a look that said ‘I can’t believe you!’
“It’s not about you! It’s about Sam, now get your bloody act together the past is the damn past and you better learn how to live with it young pup.” Reece snarled at Chris, his fangs elongated as a warning. He didn’t like Chris raising his voice at him nor did he like to be challenged.
“Young pup? At least I’m not a murderer. That’s why we don’t mix with your kind. Your blood is cold but that heart of yours is even colder. You will never understand the real use of it.” As Chris mentioned that Reece glanced at me quickly as if I was an invasion and this was way too sacred to be spoken about so openly. Even in my condition, I started to wonder about Reece being a murderer.
Reece’s fists were folded tightly, so much that his knuckles were white. Chris was heaving out of control. His body was shaking violently. He was angry and if he didn’t calm soon then a fight would break out so easily like a rash on a hot summer’s day. “You know what, you don’t have a heart. No one can look an innocent someone in the eye like you do and still hurt them. “The words that Chris spat at him, that held little meaning to me had a nerve in Reece. I saw how it burnt the depths Reece’s soul and the look in his eyes changed.
In a flash, Reece moved so swiftly and punched Chris on the face. You could hear the loud crack. It sounded as if it were my own bones. I grimaced at the cracking of my frame as there was no rest period in between the snaps. Chris stumbled back a bit then he faced Reece, a stream of blood ran from his nose and a gnarl erupted from Chris’ chest. This was the last thing I needed. I wanted to stop their spat before it got out of hand but I, merely a limp and helpless form in a corner of the room, leaned against the dark, pale and bloody wall, trying to catch my breath while a gory and horrific scene unfolded itself before me.
“This is not the right time for this. Put aside whatever this is between you.” I tried persuading them but they ignored me. It was as if I didn’t exist. “I can’t bear this much longer.” Calmly, Chris held on to his nose and set it back into its rightful place. He wiped the blood from his hand onto his dark blue jeans and I watched as Reece struck him again, only this time, Chris grabbed his fist. He pushed him back with much more force than I had anticipated and Chris leaped at Reece, his inner wolf ripping through his clothes and landing heavily, hovering over Reece.
Chris bit at Reece and missed but the second that Reece got out of the way, Chris went at him again and this time, he lodged his sharp canines firmly into Reece’s arm and from it, his crimson red blood spilled, gracing the floor in red splatters. The pain was now intolerable and agonizing so I begged for the only one true remedy of relief, death. “Please, kill me.” The tears were heavy in my eyes, “Just take my life, I’m tired. I can’t take it anymore.” I begged but they disregarded my pleas. “Just fucking kill me already!” I cried out but they were too engaged in conflict to notice my suffering, my anguish, plea of liberation through death.
Chris was much larger than an actual wolf. His dark blonde coat was a thick blanket and as he threw his head from side to side viciously, biting and clawing at Reece, I began to panic, more so than I was before. The deep harsh growls and roars between the two got more intense and I became conscious of the fact that they were about to tear each other a part. Yet, I was amazed for even though I was a wolf, I had never witnessed a shift.
Not my brothers, nor Devon, nor any O’Brien’. I realized only then that they were truly guarded. I guess they didn’t like shifting in front of non-shifters, to them I was an outsider; it was either that or they weren’t ready to show me what I really was and I was glad they hadn’t showed me earlier. Then Jacob’s words flooded into my mind again and self-doubt returned ten folds.
“You won’t survive your first shift.” I wounded me the more I thought about it and in this moment, I wanted to die now more than ever now. Maybe Jacob was right; I wouldn’t survive, but if I did and was anything like Chris, then that would mean I had it in me to do the unthinkable. If I survived then Jacob was wrong and I would have no reason to doubt my abilities or how strong I was. I had the lifeblood of a killer running through my veins.
I wondered how many lives these people, who are my family have taken and I, I was terrified. Not for myself but the people I could easily hurt, get away with it and not care about. I understood that after tonight my life would forever change and there would no longer be any smooth sailing. I would never have normal teenage life. I recognized that this entire time, I was holding back still pushing my beast away. I hadn’t accepted who I was, which was why this shift was taking so long. I knew one thing for sure, I hadn’t shed innocent blood yet and I wasn’t planning to.
My skin was on fire, my breathing quite shallow and then everything a haze. I screamed when I let the entire ache and pain overwhelmed me, all at once and then my form changed. I morphed and my beast took control. She heaved heavily, angry that the transformation had taken so long. She was also mad that her presence hadn’t been acknowledged by the two that were still fighting. My hind leg that was chained made her feel like a prisoner and she liked it not one bit.
I knew not where my beast had found her strength but she howled and bounded into the air with great strength. This had caught Reece’s and Chris’ attention because in the middle of the fight, they stopped and turned the attention to me. She once again bounded into the air and this time she broke the chains that held us captive. Then she lost control, she wanted to roam free, she needed to. Neither of us liked this dungeon of a place. My beast bared her sharp tines at the two and they blocked the doorway.
And then Reece broke the silence, “We can’t let you leave, love.” His stance told me I had to be prepared for a fight and Chris’ said the same. They had just been fighting each to the death and chose to ignore me when I begged them to stop. I was no longer in control, I didn’t want to be. I wanted out of here and there was nothing they could do to stop it. My beast pounced and bit into Reece’s shoulder before I flung him across the room. His blood on my tongue tasted bitter.
The way my canines sunk into his flesh gave me a feeling of bliss. He banged his head against the wall and went out like a light. I turned to Chris, in his human form he towered over me but now I was the superior specie. I looked down at him, and exposed his fangs to me in a threatening manner. My beast was having none of it. She was an alpha female and she growled at Chris and his wolf quivered under her penetrating gaze.
How dare he look straight into the eyes of an alpha? He turned away and whimpered while he showed to her his neck as a sign of submission. He didn’t seem to understand that she wasn’t asking. She was… No, we were hungry. We wanted blood. I ran past the pup that had his tail tucked as he moved out of my way. When I looked down and saw my paws, I marveled at my shiny black coat. Ecstasy flooded through my system in anticipation of the world outside.