2 - Lyla
“I know, Dad.” I say, “I just need to return these books to the library. Derrick is with me. Love you.”
I basically punched the hang up button on the way out of the school. Derrick is waiting at the flagpole for me as usual. He laughs at my irritation.
“Dad is so overbearing.” I complain, “He hates the fact that I need to return these books.”
I show my brother the book from the Maximum Ride Series I’ve been reading. One of my favorite authors, James Patterson.
“As long as you’re in and out, I’m sure he won’t be too mad.” Derrick smirks and turns on his car, “I need a book for a report I HAVE to write for English anyway.”
“I’ll be in the historic section upstairs.” My brother says and heads for the stairs, “I’m coming for you in fifteen minutes. Don’t be too long.”
I wave him off and stick my books in the return panel. The secretary smiles at me like she always does and directs me to the fiction section.
“We switched things up for the spring season.” She says, “It’s in the back of the library to the left.”
“Thank you.” I smile and follow her directions.
I run my hand over the big oak bookshelves that have a light layer of dust. The mountains of books bring a stuffy smell to the corner of the library.
I find the Maximum Ride series and groan at the fact of the next book not being there.
“Fine.” I scoff, “There’s plenty of books in here for me to read.”
I scour the shelves for something. Anything for me to read for the next day or two until that last book is returned.
The heat in this particular part of the library is starting to get to me. I can feel my teeth and ears start to elongate. A sweet smell comes over me.
“Lu, find anything?” Derrick appears beside. I yelp in surprise.
“Thanks for that.” I grit my teeth and hold my chest. That scare made my heart jump more than it normally would.
“Woah, you okay?” Derrick catches me just as my body convulses.
My head feels like it’s pounding a new concrete bed. My hands and feet are aching with my ribcage.
“Well, shit.” My brother scoops me into his arms and swiftly runs to the front desk, “I’m gonna borrow this one.”
The secretary nods and bags the book for my brother, “I hope she’s beautiful for you.”
“God freaking hell!” I growl loudly. My voice is animalistic as my mother pours a cold bucket of water over my body.
My family is circled around me in the backyard. I’ve been home for what seems like hours. My bones have been breaking since Derrick put me in his car.
“It’s not her birthday yet.” My mother says, “How can she be shifting so soon?”
“I don’t know, Flora.” My father puts his hand on my forehead and quickly pulls away, “But this isn’t a false alarm. Her wolf is going to be here by tonight.”
False alarms only happen to female wolves. It’s basically like labor for female humans, but much freaking worse. Males just have one painful shift and call it quits.
“There goes the ribcage.” Someone, I can’t be bothered to know who says.
I wince. The stories I’ve heard from my mother and older friends about their shift are horrifying.
One of my friends didn’t want to shift, so in retaliation her wolf forced it. The wolf is one of the smallest in our pack now. My friend also has a hard time walking so she’s homeschooled.
My mother’s wolf came in full swing as soon as she met my father. She was barely fifteen at the time and her body almost collapsed on her from the pain. The curses of being mated to an Alpha.
My wolf, on the other hand, isn’t making this hard for me. I feel as if she knows what I can take and won’t do any more than she needs.
“How long does this usually take?” I ask through cracks in my ribs. My blood flows to the areas most needed in order to help extend the bones and muscles.
“It depends on you and your wolf.” My father sits beside me on the ground. I scream loudly as my clothes begin to shrink around me.
“And off they come.” My mother cuts the clothes from my body with a pair of scissors. When did she have time to get those? A blanket is thrown over me.
“Derrick, shift into your wolf.” My mother warns, “Drax will be able to help better than my wolf or your father’s.”
I envy Derrick when he effortlessly shifts into his brilliant black wolf. Drax wines and lick my cheek softly.
“Let’s see..” My father looks over my body, “Feet..ribcage..hands..neck.. All you need for your shift is your spine and she’ll be here, Princess.”
I have to applaud my family for being so calm. Yes, it’s natural for us to shift, but parents always freak out whenever their children shift for the first time. My parents are just weirdos, I guess.
“Lucy, it’s important that you relax your spine.” My mother warns, “One wrong move, and your spine will shift out of place and paralyze you.”
“Jeez, thanks for the pep talk.” I groan.
I scream out loud curse words as my last spine vertebrae cracks and extends. I can already feel my tail tucked between my legs.
“How long have we been out here?” I ask. My canines make it hard to ask anything else.
“About eight hours.” My father smooths my hair back, “Some of the fastest shifting I’ve seen.”
By the look on Drax’s face, I know I look like some kind of deformed naked mole rat. He’s been here the entire time, just watching me.
My father and mother have been preparing food for when my wolf emerges. Her first instinct would be to supply her body and mine with nutrition from the energy lost while shifting.
My mouth waters at the scent of raw beef, pork and bloodied deer meat. I feel the hair sprouting out in layers over my arms and legs. My hands mold and shape into paws. My mouth becomes a snout.
My head rings with that name until it’s ingrained into my memories. My heart almost explodes from the love radiating through my wolf.
“Beautiful.” My father pets my wolf’s snout, “I’m surprised that you’re black and white just like your old man.”
Before anything else, hunger riddles my stomach and Lyla jolts into action. Her nose fills with the scent of the raw meat behind her in the grass.
I encourage her to eat it, but Lyla refuses. She wants a real hunt.
“Lucy.” My father warns, “This is all you get until I can teach you.”
My wolf flicks her ear in irritation but reluctantly digs her face in for our meal. Her white snout becomes red with blood.
“White body.” My mother inspects, “Black tail, eyes, and paws. Very cute, Lucy.”
My wolf wags her tail before finishing our meal. She turns to meet her new family. Drax is first to welcome her as he licks her bloodied snout.
Lyla rings with joy at her new brother and licks him back. Surprisingly, my wolf is almost the size of my brother’s. Normal females would be about ¾ of the size.
“Lucy.” My father smiles, “What a gorgeous, strong wolf. Our bloodline is such a strong one.”
Lyla bows in respect to her new parents. My mother and father phase in their wolves.
My father’s wolf, Damien, is fully black with white tipped ears. My mother wolf, Fiona, is plain brown with white dotted legs. Derrick’s wolf is the only one who is solid black.
Lyla sniffs and greets Damien and Flora as their new daughter. All of our wolves make sure to take time memorizing each other’s scents.
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