I groaned as I hauled myself into my apartment, pulling off my thick black coat and gloves. I laid my bag down onto a nearby kitchen counter and groaned at its weight. Just thinking about the paperwork I had to fill out was stressing me out.
“Are you sure you aren’t gonna come home this week? I miss you,” my sister, Zaina, said through the phone that I had squeezed between my shoulder and my ear, I smiled as I switched on the lights in my kitchen and reached for a bottle of wine.
“You know I can’t, I just finished my hours at the pet clinic which means I have to stay here to make sure that everything works out well with my little patients and our new apartment business. Plus, I haven’t finished everything on your stupid checklist. Seriously, why do I have to buy your clothes? I’m not your assistant Zaina,” I said as I poured myself a glass of wine before walking over to my windows. Snow b to fall this evening, littering the ground with specks of glittery fragments of ice. I took a sip of my wine before setting it down on a nearby table and sliding the windows open.
“But you live in the city and know it by heart... and I mean, you know, you could take over for me,” Zaina said and I rolled my eyes.
“Not if I was the last woman on Earth.” In a figure-hugging grey sweater and jeans, I savored the cold against my skin and enjoyed the city.
“Not woman, she-wolf,” Zaina corrected.
“Half-wolf. There’s a reason I’m living a human life, Zaina. And we both know you just want to be the pampered princess you are,” I countered as I leaned against the railings and peered down on the streets, savoring the serenity and calm of winter... Before I heard what sounded like a wince... A dog’s wince.
“Hey, mom and dad called me Princess for a reason...” she trailed off and I paused, straining to hear more of whatever was happening.
“Um, Zaina, I’m gonna have to drop this call. I’ll call you later.” I didn’t give her a chance to speak as I hung up on her.
Followed by a loud thud to my left.
I turned my head, the balconies were divided by a panel of thick concrete walls. So I see nothing... but that sound had come from next door. And I was sure no one lived there. I paused for a moment before I heard another thud, followed by another, a muffled shout, and then a crash... and... I do believe I heard a growl. Shit.
I went back into my apartment, slid the door to my balcony closed and walked over to the kitchen counter before opening the cabinet below the sink. I pulled out a silver pistol and checked the magazine - fifteen rounds. Okay... Maybe you’re overreacting... I thought to myself but I shook my head. Either way, someone might need medical attention and I was the closest person here.
I took the gun in my hands and closed the sink before I placed my ear against the left wall of my apartment. I heard movement, a kind of dragging noise... But no voices - which meant either that someone was passed out. Then again... maybe an unexpected new neighbor got drunk and a friend was taking care of them.
Either way, I was gonna check. I tucked the gun in the waistband of my jeans and pulled on a loose black jacket before leaving my apartment and knocking on the next door. I knocked three times, paused, and then knocked harder.
“Hi! I live next door and I couldn’t help but hear some trouble going on... Is everything okay?” I asked loudly before following it up with three loud knocks.
I heard it again. The sound of something whimpering followed by what seemed to me like muffled sobs... My doubts began to increase. I placed my right hand on my back, resting my palm on the gun’s handle as I heard thudding footsteps come toward me. The door soon opened with a golden chain dangling between me and a man, who looked about thirty.
“Sorry, my friend’s dog is getting a bit out of hand. A friend of ours just moved here and we were just gonna check it out-”
“Oh, well, I’m a vet, I can help you if you’d like.”
“I don’t think that’s a good idea,” he said. He wanted me to leave.
“Listen, whatever is wrong with your dog, I can fix. Trust me,” I said and he shook his head before pausing.
“Okay, give me a moment.” He shut the door and I waited. I heard muffled noises that sort of sounded like “Behave” and “Shut up” and, it was as if the guy thought I was deaf. It took a while before the door opened again.
The door opened soon enough and the man moved aside as I went in. The apartment looked like an absolute mess, the walls were torn up with scratches, the furniture torn to bits and well... it looked like someone ransacked and tore the place up... I almost cursed. That and there was blood on the floor leading to a door and then I heard the wincing and panting. I heard the door close followed by the soft muted sound of something clicking - safety lever.
“You’re kidding me,” I mumbled before turning my neck, hearing it click. Before the man could open his mouth, I turned around pulled my gun out, and aimed it at the man. He gave me a look of surprise.
“Where’s the dog?” I asked and he simply gave me a stare. I rolled my eyes before taking a step forward the man placed his finger on the trigger.
“Four people live on this floor. No one lives to the right- but three people live within a close enough radius to hear your shitty pistol fire,” I explained.
“They can hear you too,” he said and I smiled. “You know this isn’t any of your business.”
“Yeah, well like I said, I’m a fucking vet,” I said, not breaking my smile before my hands moved, I aimed at his right knee and shot, earning a scream before I aimed at his left shoulder and shot again, earning a satisfying and rather agonized scream out of him.
“Everyone... would’ve heard... that,” he said in between pants as he fell to the ground, bleeding profusely on the floor. There goes another chunk of the budget... I thought to myself.
“Yeah, well, I was trying to scare you,” I said as I patiently stood, took hold of the barrel of my gun, and swung hard at his head. He fell with a thud and though I didn’t exactly end him, he’d bleed out soon. I tucked the gun back into my waistband and ran towards the sound of the whining, not failing to notice the trail of blood on the floor, which led me into a tiny hallway and to a closed door.
I opened it up and sighed as I saw a large wolf breathing loosely. It looked at me and whined - realizing that I wasn’t a threat.
“Hey, hey, stay with me,” I said. I got up and turned on the lights. “Listen, I need you to stay like this, do not shift, no matter how bad it is,” I said as I examined her, she was large, black and brown, with blood soaking the fur on her lower body.
I heard a vibrating noise from outside and watched as the wolf in front of me let out a soft whine. I got up and made my way out, searching for the phone and finding it in the pocket of a pair of torn-up jeans - probably torn from shifting unexpectedly. I looked at it and saw the caller ID - which was labeled with just the letter “L,” I didn’t take the time to process that as I slid my finger across the screen.
“Where the hell are you?!” A man growled and I could feel the strength of that tone - Alpha... That and I felt a shudder run through me.
Mate. For a brief moment, that was all my brain registered until I shook myself out of it. Not fucking now... not ever.
“I’m sorry. Um, my name is Auden, I’m a... pack doctor and I found um, the girl, um yeah anyways - she’s in an apartment and she’s bleeding and losing consciousness. I need help getting her out of here safely and into the closest safe space you have,” I said calmly.
“What? What the fuck happened?! How is she?!” He shouted, making me pull back the phone from my ear. Looks like he didn’t notice.
“She’s breathing, I’m trying to keep her conscious. I’m sorry, but I want to make sure that you’re a person I can trust, I found some lunatic with a gun here before I got to her,” I said and I heard a low mumbled curse come through the speaker.
“Put me on speaker,” he said, but I hesitated. “I’m her brother. You can trust me, I swear. Our packhouse is far, but if you can help her- I can have someone come and bring her back safely by morning.” I pressed speaker on the phone.
“Lana! We’ll bring you home soon. Stay calm. Xander will come get you,” the Alpha’s voice said. The wolf’s eyes glossed over, forming tears, and I took that as a sign that I could trust him.
“I’ll tell you the address,” I said. Once I was done, I immediately switched into work mode.
“Okay, your brother is sending help, I’m gonna go get my medical kit in my apartment, whatever you do, just... Keep breathing, okay?” The wolf looked at me and whined weakly before I sprinted to my apartment. I picked up a toolkit and a medical bag before running back towards her, ignoring the body in the hallway.
I moved quickly, washing my hands in the kitchen sink and opening my bag, slipping my hands into gloves. I took out a sterile syringe and immediately got to numbing the wound. There was a deep wound, some kind of laceration, just above her left thigh that cut straight towards her stomach, which was probably why she was lying on her right side. Fortunately, wolves healed quickly, so it was no longer as deep as it probably was. But it still needed to stop bleeding - and to heal in the right form, otherwise, she’d lose too much blood and I doubt we would be able to get her off this floor alive. I began to numb the area with an injection, talking to her as I did this to make sure she was still conscious. I began to clean up the wound, washing it clean with what I had and moving the flesh around, making sure that most of the fur was out of the way. I cut parts of the skin, wincing as she screamed and moved about, making me apply more anesthesia. I sighed as I continued to work, I placed a gauze against the wound and cut up the edges, numbing it along the way and making sure I had enough light.
It didn’t take me too long- but I did finish with more than enough blood on my jeans, blood on the floor, blood on my hands, and enough blood to drown myself in. Okay, I’m exaggerating. But there was a lot even for a werewolf to bleed out from. Thankfully, my patient was still breathing, though she’d passed out a while ago. When I checked, the stitches I had placed had already started to pull everything together. All she needed now was to not shift until that healed up - because she could rip that whole thing apart and bleed to death if she shifted back into human form. Grotesque, but true.
I sighed in relief as I stood up and began cleaning. I took my stuff to a nearby bathroom and shoved all the bloody waste material into a trash bag. I checked on the wolf and smiled as she continued to breathe softly but in regular small pants. She would need to be on some meds to avoid infections - but until we got her to a better location, this would do. At least the bleeding stopped and her wounds were healing and all sutured up.
I was putting my tools back into my kit and sighed in relief as I let myself relax now that the job was done. The wolf had begun to breathe normally, her eyes slowly blinked awake, glazing over me as the anesthesia continued to numb her senses. I patted her head.
“You’ll be fine now... I’ll go grab you a blanket or something, okay?” I asked before I stood and grabbed my kit.
I made my way over to my apartment and made a few quick calls about clean up. Thankfully, werewolves were pretty good at cleaning up messes - and someone would come by to pick up the dead body rotting next door. I didn’t exactly check if he was a werewolf, but I guessed he was, capturing a werewolf, as a human, was no easy business. I shook my head. The guy was dead, any problems he made would be dealt with by the pack.
I decided to take a shower - to wash off all the grime and blood from my body. I looked at myself in the mirror and groaned. My dark brown hair that I had tied in a ponytail looked like a mess, whatever mascara I had from yesterday was beginning to crumble, my lips were chapped, and I could already see the dark bags forming beneath my deep brown eyes. I shook my head.
My clothes would have to be disposed of, there was no way I was gonna try and wash off this much blood... I grimaced as I peeled my jeans off my legs and jumped into my shower for a quick wash. I pulled on a simple navy blue long-sleeved dress that fell just at the middle of my thighs before grabbing a spare blanket I didn’t mind staining to give the wolf next door. Not that she would’ve needed it in terms of warmth, but I knew it would provide some comfort.
As I headed back into the room where the wolf was, I watched as she barked - well, attempted to bark anyways, but winced instead at my figure. I got close to her and placed the blanket on her.
“Okay, okay, I’m sure you’ll be fine here- I don’t think I can move you, so you’ll have to stay here for the night, I can stay here if-”
Before I could even finish speaking, the wolf started to move, slowly and weakly pulling herself up. I was about to admonish her, but she looked so determined... I eyed her stitches and they looked pretty stable. I sighed in defeat.
“Okay, I get it. Come,” I said as I walked over to her right side and helped lift her with what strength I had left. I wrapped the blanket over her as she stood and I helped her maintain her balance as she limped out of the apartment.
She paused for a moment in front of the corpse of the man that I had killed and she released a loud growl. I patted her head and sighed as she stumbled and limped forward and I guided her into my apartment. Eventually, she settled on a black carpet in the spacious apartment. I sighed as I lifted the blanket off of her back and covered her with it before I picked up my phone and finally called the front desk.
“Miss Breaux? Is there a problem-”
“I need you to run a check on all security cameras.”
“Yes, Miss Breaux.”
I hung up and sighed spotting my wine and grabbing it. I gulped it down and leaned against the wall as the wolf on my carpet fell asleep...
What the actual fuck was going on?