This chapter is not completely edited. I edit in the morning. Once again, thank you for your patience as my family and I slowly get back to normal! THANK YOU!
Charlie laid writhing in agony with clenched teeth as his body ached at every joint and bone. The pack doctor burst through the door, with his tux jacket half way off of his shoulders, and made his way over to Charlie to examine him.
“Why is this happening so early, Doctor?” I asked as a chill ran through my body at how young Charlie was.
“The first shift typically doesn’t happen until the child goes through puberty, but with the stress that Charlie has endured throughout his life, it could have triggered the shift earlier.” He said solemnly and let out an awkward cough.
"Either way, he is going to need a lot of love and support from you two tonight." He added, with a tight smile.
"Thank you, Alberts." Everett said with a curt nod.
Dr. Alberts nodded and said, "No problem at all, Alpha." Just as he let out the last word, Charlie let out a loud groan, as tears fell out of his tightly clenched eyelids. "I will stop by your house periodically through the night to check up on him." He said, looking pained as he heard Charlie's pain.
As the doctor made his exit, Everett came over to where I sat on the bed next to Charlie. He kissed the top of my head as I smoothed Charlie's hair back in a soothing manner.
"We better get him home, my moon." Everett said. When I turned my head to face him, I noticed the strained expression on his face that held the same amount of pain that I know mine held.
"Okay. Let's go." I said, as I stood up.
Everett bent over and slowly picked up Charlie in his arms, as if he was made of glass. He held him firmly against his chest as we slowly made our way out of the pack house and towards our home.
As we walked into the front door, I mentioned to Everett, "Maybe after you lay him down, you should go and address the pack and let them know what is going on. I know everyone must be worried."
He didn't answer immediately as he laid Charlie down onto the couch, and slowly turned towards me with a sigh. "I don't want to leave him, but I know you are right. I know our parents are especially worried about him."
He walked over slowly, throwing one last glance back at Charlie and he gave me a lingering kiss on the lips. Before he made his way out, he rested his forehead onto mine and stared deeply into my eyes and said, "I love you so much."
"I love you too. Now, go." I said with a quick head tilt towards the door.
He let out a defeated sigh and made his way out of the house. As soon as the front door clicked shut, I walked over to the couch where Charlie was softly groaning. I sat down beside him and felt his forehead and the burning heat radiated into my hand.
I quickly and gently pulled off Charlie's small suit that he was wearing at the wedding. Leaving him in just his underwear, I ran over to the linen closet underneath the staircase and grabbed a sheet. When I returned to the living room, Charlie's eyes snapped open and murmured under his breathe, "Amelia?"
I walked briskly back over to him and quietly shushed him. "Everything is going to be alright, buddy. Don't worry." I said in a soothing voice.
Sweat coated his entire body as I draped the dark gray sheet over his body and sat on the couch beside him. I gently pulled his head into my lap and stroked his hair out of his eyes and used the pad of my thumb to attempt to soothe him further.
Charlie's beautiful gray eyes stared blankly up at me, they shown more like a storm on the horizon against his flushed, hot skin. His body shuttered in pain and he closed his eyes tightly, and let out a heavy moan.
"It's okay, buddy. Everything is okay. Scream and let it all out if you need to." I said, not sure if I was trying to soothe him or myself.
Upon hearing my words, Charlie allowed himself to let out a blood curdling scream. His wailing caused my heart to break for him making me remember my first shift. It was very unpleasant, but I was fourteen years old which doesn't even compare to six year old Charlie's pain. No child his age should ever have to go through their first shift at such a young age.
All of a sudden, his body went limb in my lap making me glance down at him. He was still breathing, which probably meant that he had passed out from the pain. Worry settled into my mind, just as Everett burst through the door.
"Amy, what happened? I heard him scream, so I ran as fast I could." He said through heavy breaths with worry spread all over his face.
"I th-hink h-he passed out." I stuttered, as the tears poured out of my eyes. Everett rushed over to me and looked him over, and sighed in relief as he noticed he was still breathing.
"It's okay, my moon. He is fine. The pain is just too much for someone his age. Alberts will be back in an hour to check up on him. He is fine." He said reassuringly.
I sighed in relief and my face softened as the tears slowly began to stop. Everett kneeled down and ran his hand soothingly over one of Charlie's arms. "You should go and change out of your dress and throw on something more comfortable." He whispered softly, still looking down at Charlie as his head was still rested in my lap.
Even though he couldn't see it, I nodded my head and slowly tried to ease Charlie back onto the couch. "I'll be right back." I whispered weakly.
I made my way upstairs and into our bedroom. I slid the zipper down on the beautiful gown and stepped out of it. I quickly picked it up from the floor and hung it in the back of the closet. I opened the drawers and pulled out a T-shirt and some tight, black boy-shorts. When I was finished dressing, I went into the bathroom and let my hair down, shaking it out. I found a hair tie in one of the drawers and quickly threw my hair back up into a messy top-knot.
When I was completely comfortable, I made my way back down the stairs to see a heartwarming sight. Everett held Charlie in his lap, and was lightly humming to him as he soothingly stroked his hair. As I finished my descent of the staircase, my heart warmed even more as I saw Everett kiss Charlie's forehead tenderly.
I walked closer towards them and sat down beside Everett on the couch. "You should go-" I began, but was interrupted by a pained growl. Just as our heads snapped down to look at Charlie, Dr. Alberts walked through the door.
"Everything okay?" He asked in a hushed tone.
"He just... He just growled?" I said baffled, still staring down at Charlie's unmoving face. Everett gently made his way up and gestured for me to take his spot. I rested Charlie's head onto my lap. It's only been about an hour and a half since his symptoms started, how is he already growling? It normally takes around 12 hours to complete.
Everett made his way over to Dr. Alberts and they began discussing everything that has happened in the short amount of time. "He passed out from the pain about 30 minutes ago, and has been out ever since. Just now, he let out a growl. Why is it happening so fast?"
Never taking my eyes off of Charlie, I continued to listen in on the conversation. Dr. Alberts replied, "When the first shift is caused by stress, the shift can be unpredictable. Everything about it could be escalated for it could take a lot longer than the normal 11 to 14 hours."
"Thank you, Alberts." Everett murmured. I heard their foot steps head towards us, and Dr. Alberts began examining Charlie. He sat down his medical bag that I didn't know he had brought with him and he pulled out a temporal thermometer. He checked his temperature and wrote it down on his notepad that he also pulled out. After he completed his assessment, he stood and gathered his instruments.
"It seems as if he is about seventy-five percent through the process, so he shouldn't be much longer." He said confidently.
I sighed in relief, thankful that he wouldn't have to endure the pain much longer. "Thank you, Dr. Alberts." I whispered, gratefully.
Everett shook his hand and led him back to the door. I looked back down at Charlie as the door shut and Everett began walking back to the couch.
Charlie looked so peaceful in this moment, even if he was going through one of the toughest experiences any wolf could go through. I ran a hand through his hair as his face began to distort in pain once again.
His eyes still clenched tight, he softly moaned in discomfort. I could hear the grinding of his teeth as he locked his jaw and began whispering soothingly into his ear. "Shhh... It's okay, buddy. We are here for you. We are here."
Everett was sitting beside me and grabbed my free hand tightly. I glanced up at him and gave him a tight smile. Everett looked back down at Charlie's pain-stricken features and his eyes widened.
I glanced down and my eyes locked with the small, once beautiful gray eyes, but they were now a bright, vivid green. It's happening now. He's shifting.