Crow

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Howl of Anger

“Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you. You have the power today to reset your boundaries, restore your image, start fresh with renewed values and rebuild what has happened to you in the past.“- Shannon L. Alder

Raven hustled out of the room, afraid she was about to break. Other pack members began to file out of the room, leaving the disgraced female to fend for herself. Cinderella.

She sucked in a breath, swallowing down that sob that wanted to escape. She knew her way through the pack house. But she wasn’t going back to her room. Her wolf needed an escape from this mess, deserved it.

She picked up her pace, finally spying the front door in the distance. She burst through the door and began clambering down the steps of the porch, her wolf ready and willing to burst through her skin.

Her face came into contact with a hard chest, and warm hands gripped her shoulders to steady her, holding her back from their body. Raven tilted her head back and her eyes met those deep blue eyes of Dmitri.

“Hello, Raven.” He smiled warmly down at her, sensing that she was in distress.

“Not now, Dmitri. I just. . . I need some time alone.” Surprisingly, her voice sounded strong to her ears. Dmitri did a double take on her appearance, now noting her red-rimmed eyes. He nodded and let go of her shoulders.

Raven brushed past him, half walking and half jogging towards the treeline. The trees seemed to beckon to her, calling her wolf, promising comfort and closure.

Dmitri half turned to watch her go, concern clouding his face. He stood watching her as she disappeared into the thick cover of the trees. He was half tempted to follow and help her with whatever she was dealing with, but was distracted by another pair of feet coming down the porch steps.

Dmitri turned and recognized Ezekiel. “Hello, brother.” Dmitri spoke coolly, looking up at his older brother. Ezekiel snorted in reply. “What’s wrong with her?”

“Gracie.” Was all Ezekiel replied, and that was all it took for his brother to understand. A rumble of a sigh left Dmitri, as both brothers watched her fade away into the trees.

She was well aware that Dmitri and her mate had watched her go, and she was confident neither would follow her. Raven shed herself of her clothing, ditching it behind a familiar tree.

She continued her walk, naked, through the trees. Giving herself a chance to calm both herself and her wolf before she allowed her other side to take control of them.

The sun hung lazily off in the distance, beginning to hide behind those far off mountains. The last rays of light casting beautiful hues of pink and purple on the leftover clouds that cluttered the sky. As she walked, she watched as the sun eventually sank behind the mountains and the clouds returned to their blank gray.

Raven took a deep breath in, filling her lungs with the fresh scent of earth. She was ready to shift now.

Raven submitted herself to the beast inside of her, calling her to the front, offering her an escape. The shift came quickly, her wolf eager to come to the surface. Raven couldn’t help but to cry out in pain as her bones snapped themselves in half, individually breaking and reforming. Her skin stretching and being replaced with thick black fur.

Normally a shift wouldn’t take as long or hurt as much as it did for Raven, but she hadn’t shifted in a long while, making the transition terribly painful. She shook herself out and sat back on her haunches, taking the world in through her other eyes.

Raven sat in the back of her mind, watching through her wolf’s eyes like it was a movie. This was her time. Raven had been selfish recently, not giving in to her wolf side more often.

Everything smelled so much stronger, the colors of the trees and random plants so much stronger. Her ears flicking forward and swiveling around, listening to the wind whistling through the leaves above her head.

And suddenly they were off.

Dirt was flung behind her, leaving a trail of upturned earth as their claws sunk into the soil and propelled her forward. Once she got enough motion, she retracted her claws, no longer needing them.

Her black fur easily blended in with the quickly darkening forest. Trees whipped past her eyesight, leaves scattering as she zoomed past them.

She could feel the softness of moss and grass on her paw pads as she sped through the forest, spending her pent up energy. She continued to run for a long time until she was too exhausted to be upset anymore.

A clearing came into view, one they were both familiar with. A small pond decorated the empty space that was void of trees. She slowly walked into the clearing and collapsed heavily onto the soft grass.

They rolled around in the soft, wet grass, dampening her coat and making it slick with moisture. She snorted a few times, laying on her side and just pleasuring herself with the feeling of the outside air.

A chill had settled over the forest, trying to seep into her thick fur. Sudden movement across the pond caught her attention and she quickly rolled up into a crouching position, ready to strike at any given moment.

With the dark settling in, it became a little harder to see. But they could still faintly see the form of a very large creature coming to settle just in front of the water, their eyes flicking up towards hers. She stiffened, her muscles freezing as those eyes pierced through hers.

Whoever this was, they certainly had a dominant aura.

She had the urge to tuck her tail between her legs and bow her head, but she refused to. Raven was quickly coming closer to the surface in case she was needed. She wouldn’t push her way through yet, she wanted to give her wolf some time.

The creature rumbled softly, adding to their already dominant aroma. Her wolf gave a low growl back, challenging this stranger. Her wolf still believed herself to be superior, and she was certainly growing into it.

The stranger lowered them self all the way down, posturing they meant no threat. Their ears flicked back, tail low. A small draft blew by, coming from their direction over to her. She lifted her snout and inhaled deeply, hoping to catch a scent of this stranger.

Mate.

Raven and her wolf had the same realization at the same time. Her wolf began to purr, satisfied at her mate’s beastly side. She began to saunter over to him, her movements delicately slow to show herself off. He simply sat back up and watched with amusement, and something else sparkling in his eyes.

Her wolf must be in a teasing mood, because before she reached him, she abruptly sat down a few feet away from his, a glint in her eyes.

He grunted but stood, accepting his defeat as curiosity took the better of him. His wolf towered over hers, but she sat proud and tall. This was her mate. She would not cower to him.

His wet nose traveled the length of her neck, taking her scent in. He growled his approval of her, and she returned the sniff to his own neck. Even Raven was intoxicated by his smell, clouding her judgement and any rational thoughts.

She rubbed her cheek on his neck, imprinting her smell on him. He returned the favor, rubbing his cheek over her body, and she allowed him to. She rolled over and submitted her stomach, something very forward of her.

She whimpered and looked up at him, offering herself to him.

Raven began to force her way through. This was getting out of hand, and memories of Gracie were coming back to her. Her wolf fought her back, wanting more time with her mate.

She ran back into the protection of the treeline, half limping as she was already shifting back to her human form. She held her breath, a soft squeal slipping out as she transformed back. Raven reached out and clutched at the dirt and sticks, writhing in agony.

A deep howl of anger bellowed out somewhere behind her. No doubt he was already searching for his mate, but she would be long gone before then. She was already sprinting away, trying to keep her footing.

An angered wolf was not easy to escape, especially a mate. This had Raven sprinting faster, pushing her body more than she was used to. She hadn’t been able to work out like she had been wanting to recently, and she was about to break.

She knew where she was going.

Her childhood was spent in these trees. Her teen years, when she had friends. And now here she was, naked and running from a desperate mate.

She broke through the trees again, forgetting to go back to her clothes. Fuck the clothes, I will get them some other time.

She ran across the Lonely Tree field, finally the pack house was coming into view. Raven glanced behind her, checking if she was still being followed. The sight that greeted her had her pushing her legs to go faster.

She stumbled up the steps of the pack house and quickly slammed the door. Low growls of anger came from outside the door, as she backwards-crawled away from it.

Raven collapsed on the floor and caught her breath. She didn’t care that she was nude. The whole pack had seen everything she has by now.

Her chest was still heaving hard, and her eyes were blurry from the sweat that had dripped into them. She blinked a few times and rolled her head to the side, and met the eyes of Dmitri once again.

“Did you have a nice run?” He chuckled down at her, and offered her a hand to help her back up.

She took his hand and he pulled on it, helping her to her feet. She was still panting, bending over a little bit. “It. Was. Something.” She panted out between breaths.

He took her in, assessing her. It wasn’t sexual, or at least Raven didn’t think it was. Either way, she didn’t mind. She was comfortable in her skin, even with the gaze of a male looking over it.

“Are you okay?” His gaze went to her back, noticing that a few scabs were broken open and bleeding.

The wolf inside of her bristled, not liking the attention from a male that wasn’t her mate. “I’m fine.”

Dmitri’s brow raised, but he said nothing more. With an abrupt turn, he left the room and allowed her some space. Raven slowly caught her breath, the fire that had been in her lungs now slowly fading. The air felt much thicker in the pack house, making it almost insufferable to breathe in.

Silently she prayed Dmitri was the only one in the pack house out and about, and slowly made her way up the stairs. The tile felt cool underneath her bare feet, chilling her.

Once inside her room, she sighed heavily and relaxed on her bed, almost right away falling in to a deep slumber.

However, the quiet knocking at her door woke her. “One moment,” Raven called out. She sighed, annoyed now, and dressed herself in a simple outfit that consisted of shorts and a tank-top.

Before she could even open the door, it was opened, forcing her to squint at the light that streamed in from the hallway. The light illuminated the shape of a burly man, one that she easily recognized. “Colton. Can I help you?”

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