"What's going on?" Lucy asked when Riven continued to study her.
"Nothing that concerns you right now," Riven responded, moving to it again. He faced Lucy, sighed, and then started talking. "Now let me tell you a little about yourself, Lucy. There have been werewolves since the dawn of time. We roamed freely with the human race for millennia before one of our ancestors went rogue. He attacked a young girl in a fit of rage. He hated humans because he felt persecuted by them. After the savage murder of the girl, humans went into hysterics and began hunting us. At first, it was a means of protection, but then they hunted us for sport.
"It was a devastating time for our race. We were forced to hide in places we used to roam freely. We were unable to hunt without fear of losing our lives. This isolation led an alpha of a distant pack to try and talk with humans. He went to a mayor of a town he lived to explain werewolves didn't want to kill and eat them as they believed. They loved them like brothers and saw everyone as equal.
"The mayor seemed agreeable. The next morning, as the alpha was returning home, he was shot and killed. This death started a war between the werewolves and humans. The war was one no one was truly prepared to fight, but was fueled by revenge and growing hatred. As a result, werewolves lost. It diminished our ranks and we returned to hiding. We became creatures of legends used to scare little children."
Lucy sat quietly absorbing the information as Riven continued to talk solemnly about werewolf history. Part of her was still wondering about the phone call, but it must not have been that important. She pushed her mind to focus solely on Riven.
"As you can see, we are still in hiding, but stories have some truth to them. We feel a strong pull from the moon, but we aren't forced to change. We can change at will, but sometimes our animals take over when a strong emotion prompts it. Mainly it happens with anger, but other emotions can trigger the change."
"How did werewolves come to exist?" Lucy asked. She was still skeptical she belonged to this race of beasts, but she was finding the history of the creatures to be fascinating. If werewolves were indeed real, she could only imagine what other types of creatures were out there.
"I'm not sure of that actually," Riven answered truthfully with humor. "I've just been told we've existed as long as humans, maybe even longer."
"What makes you think I'm a werewolf?" Lucy asked, slightly disappointed with his answer. She wanted more information than that. This was some serious stuff he was trying to sell her. She thought it would be kind of cool to be a werewolf, but another part feared what that would mean for her life. It already changed drastically with finding out Riven was her uncle and that her mother had lied to her.
"You're a werewolf because both your parents were werewolves. We went over this last night. I'm your uncle. I am your mother's twin and heard of your father." Riven turned toward the door as it opened and Jaiden stepped through. He was followed by a stern looking Raice. Lucy's eyes remained locked on Jaiden's, trying not to look at Raice.
"I'm here," Jaiden said, chuckling at his obvious statement. He walked over and sat down right next to Lucy. She smiled at him. His bubbly personality was making her feel much better about being captive. He patted Lucy's leg and scooted closer.
Lucy couldn't help glancing at Raice as a growl filled the air. Jaiden smiled at Raice but remained close to Lucy. Lucy glared at him and mouthed for him to back off. Raice glared right back and growled again.
"Stop this nonsense right now. Jaiden is a kid, Raice." Riven shook his head and focused on Lucy once more. "Lucy, are you ready to see proof of werewolves?"
"You can show me proof? Right now?" she asked, her curiosity instantly peaked. She felt an inkling of fear, but pushed it to the back of her mind. She didn't believe them, but she couldn't wait to see their faces when their proof failed. He couldn't prove something that didn't exist and she would be proven right all along.
"Jaiden, will you do the honors?" Raice asked quietly. Jaiden nodded and got to his feet.
"Whatever happens, don't run. If you run, my instincts will insist that I chase after you. Please stay put," Jaiden cautioned with a glint of laughter in his eyes. Lucy nodded, not really listening to what he was saying.
Jaiden took his shirt off and then his pants. He was standing in only his boxers when Raice stood and crossed his arms over his chest. He stared at Lucy, daring her to look as Jaiden took off his last article of clothing. Lucy huffed and kept her eyes on the back of Jaiden's head.
"Lucy, also keep in mind that this is Jaiden, even if he looks different. He's still the same person, just in a different form," Riven told her. Lucy nodded, not really caring. Her attention was glued to Jaiden.
Lucy wasn't sure what she was expecting, but what happened next blew her mind. Jaiden's body started writhing and his bones started popping. She gasped and jumped to her feet.
"What's happening to him? Help him!" she screamed at Riven. Both he and Raice continued to watch without a movement.
Jaiden's arms and legs sprouted fur and his teeth grew longer. His bones snapped and popped, his arms twisting in the opposite direction. His back arched in the air as the change continued to rule over him. The air was tense with a strange energy spreading throughout the room. She could smell a distinct odor, but she couldn't place it. She closed her eyes, the scene becoming too gruesome to watch.
After what felt like five minutes, but was actually thirty seconds, Jaiden was no longer a human. In his place was a small, lean, tan wolf. He shook his coat out and then let out a howl.
Lucy's eyes snapped open and she scrambled backwards, tripping over the edge of a chair and sprawling on the floor. She shuffled backwards on her butt and kept her eyes focused on the wolf coming toward her. Her breath came unnaturally fast and she felt panicky.
"Remember Lucy, this is Jaiden. He won't hurt you. Get up slowly and reach your hand to him," Riven commanded. Lucy looked over at Riven like he was crazy. Did he not realize that this was a living breathing, ferocious creature?
"You're crazy," she mumbled, staying on the ground and breathing hard.
"Lucy, do as he says," Raice chimed in. "Jaiden won't hurt you."
Lucy shook her head. "I can't do it."
"You can. Just get to your feet, close your eyes and stretch out your hand," Riven coaxed. Lucy shook her head again, but climbed to her feet.
She closed her eyes and held her body still. She couldn't reach out her hand. She didn't trust the wolf. This couldn't be Jaiden. It was a trick of the light. Jaiden would probably walk out of some secret chamber and laugh at her.
She opened her eyes, angry that they would try to trick her. "He's not real is he? This is just an illusion. Where's Jaiden?" she asked, searching the room.
Raice stared at her incredulously. "You just watched him change. That is Jaiden."
"No it's not, this is just a picture. You're using lights and some kind of camera to portray his image. Watch," Lucy said. She stuck her hand out and reached for the wolf. Instead of her hand passing through thin air, she felt fur beneath her fingers. She gasped and jerked her hand back.
"This isn't possible," she said, walking backwards. It was too much for her. Despite their warnings she turned and ran. She heard a growl and then footsteps following behind her.
Raice watched the emotions pass over Lucy's face as she realized Jaiden actually was the wolf. He could smell her fear, but he didn't move. She rejected him earlier. He was pissed and hurt by her actions. She was confusing him. One second she was willing and the next she was pushing him away and acting like he was disgusting. It made him want to punch something, hard.
When Lucy started backing up, he sensed her actions, but was unable to stop her. Jaiden warned her not to run, but now she sprinted down the hall, the chase was on. If Jaiden caught up to her, which was very likely, he was sure to tackle and scare her more. Jaiden wouldn't harm her, but his instincts would demand she submit and Lucy didn't know what that meant.
"Shit," he cursed, chasing after his crazy mate. Even if he was mad at her, he wouldn't let anything happen to her. He could hear Jaiden in front of him and Lucy still managed to stay out of his grasp. He pushed himself faster, glad that a panther was his other half. Cats were sleeker and faster than wolves. He would catch up to them, but he wasn't sure if it would be in time.
He heard a door slam up ahead and concluded that Lucy was now outside. There was a moment of silence and then a loud crash as a window shattered. Raice growled, knowing Riven would probably take this out of his hide. He should have been closer to Lucy. This was his fault. But his mate was a handful.
Riven shook his head as he watched Raice chase after Lucy. That man had his hands full with his niece. Lucy was turning out to be more difficult than he thought. Why couldn't she accept the fact werewolves existed and she was one of them? He had offered her proof and she had denied it until she felt the fur against her fingers.
"What am I going to do with her?" he asked, rubbing his eyes and sinking down onto the couch. He was too tired to chase after Lucy and knew Raice would bring her back and keep her safe. Jaiden wouldn't hurt Lucy, but his animal instincts would expect her to submit. She would probably come away with a couple scratches and nips, but hopefully nothing serious. Jaiden was young, and not nearly as big as what he or Trent was in wolf form.
Jaiden had only recently changed for the first time. With guys the change normally hit around thirteen to fifteen. It depended on the male and their parents. Riven had been lying in bed when he felt his wolf stirring under the surface. He didn't know what was wrong at first, but he could feel the electricity in the air. Trusting his wolf, Riven decided to walk around and check on everyone. He got out of bed and walked around until he came to Jaiden's door and heard the kid whimpering in his sleep. He could smell the changes in the boy and knew it was soon. He waited until he heard the first bone pop before hurrying to Jaiden's side and helping him through the change.
Lucy was going to be a different story and he was glad her mate would be around to help. When females changed their first time, the pack's dynamics would be chaotic. Mass fighting would ensue and he would have a bigger headache. When a female changed it set off their first heat, causing males to go crazy with lust. He wouldn't be affected because she was his niece, but he would feel some of the affects.
If Lucy hadn't picked a mate by then, there would be challenges and possibly some deaths to see who would mate with her. He sent Trent to bring her to his pack because he wanted to give her time to meet the males and get used to the idea. He had no idea she would take it this hard.
A crash echoed through the house and he sighed. Jaiden must've broken a window to get to Lucy. This girl was trouble with a capital "T" and he smiled. She was too much like his sister.
Lucy gasped as she was tackled from behind. Her chest hit the dirt hard and the air rushed out of her lungs. She tried to turn over, but claws in her back held her still. She whimpered and remained still.
"Jaiden? Can you hear me?" she asked, feeling retarded for talking to the beast. She heard a growl and then something wet touched the back of her neck. She froze, fearing the worst.
"Lucy, don't move," Raice called from somewhere nearby. Lucy tried to see where he was, but a growl from Jaiden stopped her movements.
"Raice, help me," Lucy cried, feeling tears prick her eyes. She was scared and didn't know what to do.
"Jaiden, if you hurt her, I'll kill you," Raice growled, moving slowly toward the scene. Lucy watched him out the corner of her eye, trying not to move. Jaiden growled at Raice and pushed his claws deeper into her skin. His muzzle came level with her face and he growled, baring his teeth.
"What does he want? Why won't he leave me alone?" Lucy asked, terror making her voice shake in places. "You said he wouldn't hurt me."
"He wants you to submit. Listen closely and do exactly as I say," Raice murmured. Keeping his eyes on Jaiden, Raice began to explain what Lucy needed to do. "Slowly move your hair away from your neck and tilt your head. Make sure your neck is showing. Close your eyes and wait for him to either nip your neck or lick it. Once he does he should get off of you."
Lucy hesitantly did what Raice said, moving her hair off her neck and to the side. She tilted her head, baring her throat though everything was telling her she was signing her death certificate. She felt defenseless and a hidden part of her didn't like it. She wanted to growl, but she lay perfectly still.
Jaiden growled once before leaning down again and licking her throat. He stepped off her and shook out his coat. Then he sat on his haunches and let his tongue loll out of his mouth. If Lucy wasn't still terrified, she would have laughed at the scene.
"You can get up now," Raice whispered, grabbing Lucy's hand in his own and helping her to her feet. She snapped her hand back and dusted off her clothes. She was a bit embarrassed for making a big deal out of everything, but this was all new to her. She could barely wrap her mind around the fact that werewolves existed, and now she had to wrap her mind around being a werewolf herself even though she still wasn't sure about that. It was ridiculous and she wasn't sure she was up for the task.
"What is with you?" Raice snapped at her. He had his hands stuffed in his pockets and he was glaring at Lucy. Her eyebrows shot up at his question.
"What is with me? Is that what you want to know?" she asked, poking him angrily in the chest. He didn't flinch and kept his eyes on hers. "I just found out that werewolves exist and that I am a werewolf and will be changing into one of those furry beasts. My whole life has been a lie and I'm going crazy with emotions I've never experienced before. That is what is with me! Just leave me alone. All the men are crazy around here. One kidnaps me, another almost rapes me, his twin slaps my ass, and you are all over me. I need my space people! Damn it!"
Lucy closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. She knew it wasn't Raice's fault, but he asked for it. She was so tired and her head was pounding. She needed to go take a nap.
It was at that moment her stomach chose to growl. Raice huffed and then sighed. Lucy put her hand over her stomach and looked at the ground to hide her embarrassment.
She watched Jaiden as he rolled around in the grass, acting like a young puppy. She wanted to laugh at the ridiculous scene it made, but she didn't want Raice to think everything was okay or she had lied to him just moments before.
"Let's get you some food," Raice said quietly. He started walking back to the house and put space between them. Part of Lucy was glad he was doing what she asked, but another part of her just wanted to be held. She felt lonely and didn't know who to trust. She wanted to go home. She hugged her arms around her, shivering a bit as a cold wind ruffled her hair.
So lost in her thoughts, Lucy didn't notice Raice stop until she ran into his back. She lost her balance and landed on her butt on the ground. "What's the big idea?" she asked angrily. She climbed back to her feet and dusted off her clothes. It was then she noticed that Raice was tense and his hands were clenched. "What's wrong?"
"Lucy, run," Raice whispered. He didn't move to face her, just kept his body angled in front of hers. When she didn't move he reached back and grabbed her arm, pushing her toward the back door. She turned to scold him when she saw three wolves slowly stalking out of the woods. She gasped and took off running toward the back door.
There was no way she was going to make it. The wolves were closer to the door than she was. She pushed her body as hard as she could and reached the back door just as growls sounded behind her. She threw the door open and pulled it quickly shut behind her.
"Riven, Trent!" she yelled. "Help! Someone help!" She ran down the halls, trying to find someone. One against three wasn't good odds and she didn't want Raice to get hurt.
"What's going on?" Michael asked, coming out of the kitchen in a hurry.
"There are three wolves outside and Raice is trying to hold them off! You have to help him!" she demanded, grabbing his arm and pulling him toward the back door. He immediately jumped to attention.
"Get Braiden and Trent," he called, pushing her aside and running down the hall. He flung the back door open and ripped his clothes off before she could respond. She shook her head as he jumped into the air and landed as a wolf.
Hunger totally forgotten, Lucy continued to run down the hall screaming for Trent and Braiden. It was eerily silent and she couldn't find anyone. Finally she spotted Trent coming up from what looked like a basement at a full run.
"What's wrong? Did you yell for me?" he asked, grabbing her by the shoulders and looking into her eyes. She was out of breath and it took her a second to get the words out.
"Michael, Raice, and three unknown wolves are fighting in the back yard. You have to help them," she managed. He tensed and then turned to yell back down the stairs at Braiden. Soon both men were running out the door.
Lucy leaned against the wall, wondering if she should follow them. She would be more of a distraction than a help. Shaking her head she decided to stay in the house where it was relatively safe. She'd had enough danger and excitement today to last a while.
Why were the wolves here? Were they there because of her? Did she bring this upon the pack? Her breath was labored and she felt her panic rising as she stood to attention.
"I've got to get my mind off of this," she murmured to herself. Lucy took several deep, calming breaths before she started walking down a hall.
She managed to find the empty living room. Sitting down on the couch she eyed the phone. Should she call her sister? Did she miss her? Would it do more bad than good to call her? A million questions flowed through her mind, and her head started throbbing. She rubbed her temples and closed her eyes. What was she going to tell her? Was she going to reveal this odd turn of events in her life or was she going to lie and say she was okay? Would her sister even believe her if she told the truth?
"I'm going to call her," she mumbled, climbing wearily to her feet. She had her hand on the phone and was about to pick it up when she heard someone clear their throat behind her. She froze and turned slowly around.
"Lucy, where is everyone?" Riven asked, yawning and brushing his hair out of his eyes.
"Didn't you hear me yelling?" she asked suspiciously.
"I was almost asleep. Sorry it took so long. I heard you subconsciously, but my mind didn't comprehend what you were saying. I came to check on things when I noticed how quiet and empty the house was." He sat down on the arm of the couch and watched her. His eyes drifted to the phone and he frowned. "Who were you going to call?"
"My sister," Lucy answered honestly. She sighed and removed her hand. Walking toward the couch, Lucy watched Riven's eyes follow her movements. She waited for him to say something about her sister, but it never came.
"Where is everyone?" he repeated his question.
"There were three wolves outside. Raice told me to run. I found Michael, Braiden, and Trent and sent them to help." Lucy fidgeted under his intense gaze.
"They can handle themselves. They're strong wolves."
"You aren't going to check on them?" she asked, shock evident in her tone.
"They are good fighters and can handle themselves. I have faith in my pack members. They are good boys and would die for this pack. If they need me, I'll know," he replied.
Lucy wanted to ask about how he'd know, but her mind needed a break. She wanted to let the werewolf thing settle before asking about other possible supernatural elements.
"Are you ready to finish our conversation?" Riven asked. Lucy nodded, taking the seat furthest away from him. He smirked, but made no comment. Riven got comfortable before asking, "Now where were we?"
Lucy looked thoughtful before answering, "You were explaining how I was a werewolf."
"Oh, yes of course, you are a werewolf indeed," he replied. "Now let's move on to more important matters. Have you been experiencing changes in your body? Have you experienced mood swings? Maybe your body has been acting of its own accord?"
Lucy stared dumbstruck as Riven started naming off everything she had been experiencing the past few days. It was like he could read her mind. "You can't read minds can you?" she asked suspiciously. Riven laughed and shook his head.
"No I can't do that. I'm just naming off things that happen in order for you to change for the first time. You probably have noticed your body becomes easily aroused at touch and that any male could set you off," he stated calmly. Lucy blushed to her ears.
"What's this about?" she asked, wanting to move the conversation along.
"Lucy, your body is changing. You are going to be experiencing things you have never experienced before. I just want to prepare you. Soon you're going to start getting headaches. Then your body will begin to get warmer in temperature. After that your skin will get very sensitive and you will become aroused at the brush of skin on skin. Your eyes will change from your normal to black and then back again. You will become stronger and faster. The last stage of your change will be you coming into heat."
Lucy sat there, digesting everything he told her and getting more disgusted and horrified.
"What do you mean heat? Like when a dog comes into heat and all the male dogs get all horny and try to have sex with her?" Lucy asked in disgust. Was she going to be like that?
"It is similar, but also different," Riven answered patiently. This would be the hardest for him to explain so he took a moment to gather his thoughts.
"I've only been told this, so I'm going on hearsay. Your body will start to feel like it's on fire. Your breasts will ache and your core will throb. Anything against your skin will be extra sensitive. It's easier for you to just remain naked at that point. You will want relief. You will accept any male. Your mind will demand you find relief and you won't care at that point who it is. You can try masturbating, but it won't let you find the relief you need. You will need a male to be there with you. Once you mate, then you will have your first change.
"If you choose not to mate, then you will be in heat for at least 7 days and you will be miserable. The males will be able to smell you, so I doubt you'd be able to last. They'd be beating at your door. You will be in pain and their wolves won't accept that. I can protect you best I can and hold them off if you choose what you want to do, but after a few days it will become too strong for even me or the men to resist. This is a serious situation and that is why I chose to explain it to you first."
Lucy didn't say a word. She was horrified. She would lose all sense and would mate with anything that had two legs and a dick. What was the world coming to? What could she do? If she left, there would be other wolves out there who would find her. Riven said she would have a distinct smell that would set the males off.
"What am I going to do?" Lucy mumbled under her breath. She was sure Riven heard her, but he made no comment. This situation just kept getting worse and worse. She felt like she was living someone else's life. Maybe she was dreaming and needed to wake up. Either way, this didn't seem real.
"I'll give you time to digest that before I tell you or explain to you anything else. Let's get you something to eat, I know you're hungry," Riven called over his shoulder as he made his way to the kitchen.
Lucy's stomach growled again and she got to her feet. Following Riven, she thought about all he said and what this could mean for her future.
"How does eggs, bacon, and toast sound?" he asked.
"Right now, that sounds wonderful," she replied. She took a seat at the table to wait. Resting her head on her arms she closed her eyes and drifted to sleep.