“Alright, listen here bucko. You can stay here, but my parents cannot know. So we have to figure it out, alright?”
What was she doing? She was literally talking to an animal. Somehow, it felt like the wolf had understood her. She smiled and petted him before standing up and walking to the kitchen.
“Come on, Leif, let’s eat!”
They ate together and when the sun set, they made their way up to her room. They watched TV together and Eve didn’t feel so lonely after a while. When the front door opened, she gently ushered the wolf under her bed.
Austin came in with a soft smile. “How was your day?”
“It was okay, daddy. How was yours?”
“It was okay darling.” He smiled and kissed his daughters cheek before exiting her room. When the coast was clear, she allowed the wolf back on her bed.
“Leif, you make this big world seem just a little tinier,” she smiled down at him.
On Sunday evening, her parents had reminded her that they would not be home until Monday evening. They left and Eve was alone with her pal. She sat in front of him to have a stern talk.
“I have school tomorrow...”
He looked at her as his ears flopped.
“I’ll be gone for most of the day. I won’t be back until three. Will you be okay?” Eve wanted to figure out if she should let Leif outside or keep him inside all day. She made the decision to keep the garage side door open so he could have shelter. She took him to the garage and showed him the door. “I’ll leave this open. I’ll keep food in here if you get hungry and I’ll come home as soon as I get off school.” She felt like a mother leaving her baby home for the first time. They both went outside one last time before heading to bed for the night.
The next morning, Eve got dressed and kissed her wolf goodbye before taking him down to the garage. She locked the door to her home, but kept the side garage door open. With a nervous glance back at Leif, she headed to her car and went to school.
June greeted her friend as soon as she walked into their English class. Almost immediately June could smell the hint of shifter on her friend. It was different from her scent, Adlaric’s, or Dimitri’s. June raised an eyebrow.
“Who have you been hanging out with this weekend?”
“Oh, just myself,” Eve had lied. June, besides the obvious scent, could hear the increase in Eve’s heartbeat. Her friend was lying to her and she didn’t know why.
When school was over, Eve all but raced to her locker to get her car keys.
“Hey Eve, do you want to hang out tonight?”
Eve pouted at June. She felt bad, but she had to get back to Leif. Eve missed her friend, though.
“Sure, June. I’ll see you at your house later. Text me.”
Eve was gone before June could even get a word out. June watched as her friend left.
Eve smiled as the little wolf ran to her. She opened the door to the house and let both of them in. The tiny wolf yipped and Eve smiled at him.
Eve soon realized Leif was the ultimate distraction from her homework. He would jump, playfully, on the kitchen table and beg her to pet him or play with him. Each time she gave in. Eventually, she gave up and spent her time with her pet. When the sun was setting she got a text from her mom saying they would both be home a day later than anticipated. Eve was relieved to say the least.
When Eve came out of the shower she had expected a wolf to be laying down on her bed. She was shocked to see a naked little boy instead. She yelled out surprised and gulped at the invader. The tiny body jumped and held her blanket to his chest.
“W-who are you?” Eve asked, walking into her room, holding the towel tightly against her chest.
The boy pouted, unknowing that he had shifted back. When he looked at his hands, he gasped and began to cry. This was all too much for his adolescent mind. Eve felt bad and instinctually went to him. Eve was still safe to him, so he snuggled into her embrace.
“M-my name is Eros Mcelvoy. I am from Pack Erikson.”
Eve furrowed her eyebrows. It sounded like he had rehearsed that line.
“Pack? Eros, you have to forgive me. I am very confused. What is going on? Where had that wolf gone?”
Eros looked up at Eve and wiped his tears before speaking.
“You’re human,” he stated.
“So are you, silly,” Eve responded. Eros shook his head.
“I am a shifter...My mother had told me that humans did not know about our kind...I don’t know...I don’t...Evey, I’m scared...”
Eve held the little boy to her chest and ran her hand through his curly hair. Her heart broke as sobs racked his body, but she was still beyond puzzled.
“Y-you’re saying you were Leif?”
Eros nodded and hopped off the bed. “My father said that humans only stay in their human form...people like me have this body and a wolf...I’m not quite sure why...I’m sorry...”
“Hey, it’s alright. How old are you, Eros?”
“I think I turned seven last month.”
“You think? Where are your parents, little one?”
Eros’s eyes glistened again with tears. “They killed them.”
“I-I don’t know...scoundrels. They came at night and...they took me somewhere and they hurt me...”
When he started sobbing again, Eve wiped his tears and laid him down in her bed. This was all too much for him. She was still impossibly confused, however, but he was a child. A child that had a wolf, so while under certain circumstances she would call her parents, she couldn’t. Eros was not human. He had no control over his emotions. And she had no idea what to do.
What she did know, however, was that Eros needed a checkup. He needed to have a doctors appointment. He needed therapy. He needed love. He needed security. He was not like her, but she still wanted nothing more than for him to be happy.
Unknowingly he had been there when she was lonely.
That evening, when Eros woke up from his nap, Eve smiled and kneeled beside her bed. He smiled at Eve.
“Let’s go get you a bath, yeah?”
Eros jumped out of her bed and held her hand as they walked to the bathroom. The bath was already filled with water and some bubbles. She helped him in and sat beside the tub as he played with the cup and water. They laughed together as Eros had put bubbles on his hands and onto Eve’s forehead.
“Eros may I ask a question?”
The little boy nodded, his hair stuck to the back of his neck.
“When you said shifter... you meant werewolf, right?”
“I think that’s what your kind call us... I don’t know I was rarely allowed to leave my pack.”
“My pack was my home. We lived in the woods with a few other shifters. Our pack was small, but strong. We had a warrior Alpha and a beautiful Luna. My mom had said that I would enter the human world when it was safe. I don’t know what that meant.”
Eve stayed quiet and watched him play some more before asking another question.
“Do you remember where you lived? Or someone who could help?”
“My pack is gone...My dad told me stories about our King. When the pack had troubles, the Alpha called the King. I waited for the King to help, but he never came. I don’t remember his name...I’m sorry...I-I don’t know.”
“It’s alright, Eros,” Eve promised. They continued to play for a little before Eve got a towel and lifted him out of the tub. Eve was confused and so worried. Werewolves existed. She was now responsible for a little boy who wasn’t a little boy. There was a King who could help but she had literally no idea who. She needed help, but from who?
She had given him an old shirt and shorts of hers before putting him to bed. She stayed up for the duration of the night, thinking about her plan.
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