The Mournful Howl

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Chapter 5

Staring at her, Gabriel couldn't believe the words that had come out of her mouth...

'Cut a bitch?' he thought, finding it irritating to be called a female, and amusing at the use of human slang.

Without another word, Jayne turned on her heel and entered her cabin, slamming and locking the door behind her.

Gripping her side, she slid down the wood surface and bit her knuckle to keep from screaming out in pain.

This wasn't the usual pain she longed for and welcomed, this was the pain of an entirely different sort.

Even out in the middle of nowhere, at the furthest outpost she could get assigned to for this study, she'd met another werewolf. And just like all of the others she'd known in her life, he tried to bully her because she didn't have a wolf of her own.

Coming to her senses, Jayne pushed herself up and wiped the lone tear that had escaped from her eyes. It had been years since anyone from her pack had made her cry, and she refused to let one rogue take that victory away from her.

Dusting off her hands, she reached for her ear buds to listen to music, but only the case with its lid broken open, the little black speakers missing.

"Fuck," she screamed, throwing the useless piece of crap across the room, feeling a bit of joy listening to it shatter against the wall.

Pulling herself together, she slipped on her mask of happiness and started unpacking boxes as she tried to ignore the sound of Gabriel working on the generator outside.

One by one she managed to emptied all of her research supplies. After that, she moved on to her personal affects.

Hanging up her clothes in the small closet, Jayne's attention was caught by a folded piece of paper that fluttered out of a box of sweaters.

Reaching for it, she sat on the edge of her bed and read:

Jayne,

I know you have felt out of place in the pack since your sixteenth birthday when we realized you had no wolf to guide you, but please know that your father, brothers and sister, and I love you very much.

With or without a wolf, you will always be a member of our family and this pack Jayne.

I hope you find what you're looking for on the journey and come back to us with ready to begin your life as a member of the pack.

Love you,

Mom

Jayne read the letter again and again trying to decide if she was reading too much into her mother's words.

'Come back and begin my life as a member of the pack?' she asked herself.

Shaking her head, she crumpled the letter and through it away.

"Fuck you mom," she hissed quietly.

She was never going back to the pack. Since she'd failed to receive a wolf from the Goddess Selene, her once happy life had begun to spiral downhill.

In school, her friends began to drift away one and two at a time as they all celebrated their own birthdays and got their wolves.

Her longtime boyfriend, Allen, hadn't even waited a week after her failure to shift to break it off with her and move on to date one of her best friends.

Soon enough, Jayne found herself friendless and the victim of ceaseless bullying.

Where once she'd been happy and confident in her future, by the end of her senior year she was a nervous wreck, flinching at the smallest sound, fearing one of the other students was about to descend on her and begin their endless torture.

The teachers were no help, they looked down on her as much as the students.

Her parents and siblings told her to just suck it up and ignore the others, she was almost done with school and she could go to one of the many colleges that the werewolf community had established across the country, but she'd told them now way.

It was shortly before graduation that she'd attended a seminar about human colleges and career fields. There she'd met a professor of biology and had fell in love with the idea of studying wolves in the wild.

Despite not have a wolf spirit of her own, Jayne felt enraptured with the idea of studying wolves in the wild that had been reintroduced to their natural habitat.

So, she'd left the pack and gotten her bachelors degree as a wolf biologist. After months of applying for grants, she'd finally received enough funding to pay for her to move into a remote cabin high in the Cascade Mountains far away from any werewolves.

She would be alone and surrounded by nature which suited her just fine, but fuck her life she thought.

Instead of feeling the freedom she'd yearned for, there was a male werewolf living in a cabin not a mile from her.

Sighing at the Goddesses twisted sense of humor, Jayne retrieved the letter and pressed it as flat as she could before slipping it into the pages of one of her research books.

Deciding she really needed a cigarette before tackling anything else, she grabbed her pack of smokes and stepped out onto the front porch.

Closing her eyes, she enjoyed the first drag on the tobacco as it burned its way into her lungs.


Gabriel had finally managed to figure out what was wrong with the generator and needed to make sure that nothing in the cabin overloaded when he turned it on.
Heading towards the front door, he caught a whiff of cigarette smoke making his nose twitch.
Rounding the corner, he saw Jayne sitting one the porch steps blowing out grey smoke.
Shaking his head at her stupidity, he wiped his hands on his rag and continued towards her.
'Need to check house before turning on generator,' he wrote, handing her the sheet of paper.
"Help yourself," she breathed, blowing smoke away from him. "I don't care."
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