He would get his revenge. The rage that clouded his mind, heated his entire body as he ran. His beast pushing harder than it ever had before, paws pounding against the dry earth as he ran through the trees.
The boy would make that man pay if it was the last thing he ever did. He would have to get stronger; it still angered his soul that he had to run away instead of stay and fight. The young boy, cloaked in his beastly wolf form, threw his head back and let out a sorrowful howl into the night air. The sound rang through the trees, the solemn hymn covered with white wisps in the unforgiving winter air.
He kept running, breaking into no-mans land territory. He didn’t have to run for very long before he smelt it- blood, gas and the scent of peeled tires.
His curiosity got the better of him, as he followed the scent trail. There was only one road around here, it led into a small human town called Willsden Brooke- the place was relatively hidden away and there wasn’t much there so it was rare to find anyone using the road at all.
As he approached, the road was empty- long, dark, tire marks swerved off the road where the driver had tried to perhaps avoid hitting something. The boy- Seth- followed the marks to where the now lay, on its side with punctured tires and shattered windows.
The first thing he could smell, was death, cloaking the front of the vehicle like a blanket; had he been in his human form, he may have gagged. There was something else too, he could smell something stale in the air. He put his nose to the ground as he tried to sniff out the strange smell but he could not decipher it’s contents- the unrelenting scent of the dead had already clogged the air and muddled the scents.
Seth was about to leave, he had been sure that he had seen all that he could have from the tragic scene, but something stopped him in his tracks. The small sound of whimpering, so quiet but like a scream in the silent forest air.
The wolf trotted closer, caution coiling in every muscle as he took small steps towards the wreck. He was certain that he could smell death so what creature could still be alive, and whimpering for help?
As he inched closer the whimpering grew louder, the thing beginning to cry. He peered into the back portion of the car where the sound originated. He found her there, bloodied among the shattered glass and warped metal; a small girl.
Her large brown doe eyes turned to him, tears trailing down her cheeks. She was a tiny thing, he guessed that she couldn’t be much older than 5. She had dark chestnut skin, hazel eyes that shone citrine in the light of the setting sun but the most striking feature was her hair. A thick, curly, afro; the back was jet black, but the front half was the colour of snow.
He took her in mesmerised, she looked so innocent he wanted nothing more than to protect her. With night approaching, if he did not help her she would surely freeze to death. It was then, Seth made his decision.
For the first two years, Seth had cared for her in his wolf form. He didn’t want to scar the girl by having her see him shift, or having her see a naked male who was 12 years her senior. He had found a small cave, big enough for his wolf and the girl to stay in, though he supposed it wouldn’t last them more than a few years. The cave was quite small and humans grew rapidly.
Seth tried very much to protect her; he did as much as he could for her in his wolf form. However it wasn’t enough. So, each night after the girl had gone to sleep, he would leave the cave to find wood for firewood, he would hunt and cook the meat so she would not go hungry, and he would even use the animal skins to make clothes for her as she began to grow out of her old ones.
The girl was much smarter than she seemed and by the age of 7, she had figured out there was a lot more to her wolf protector.
She knew that there had to be someone- a human, or perhaps a fairy- who would bring the firewood, and cook the food over the fire whilst she slept. Her wolf could not do it, he had no hands and she was certain that she was not doing it. So each night she would stay awake to try and see the mysterious caretaker.
For the first few times, she was unsuccessful. Cuddled against the warm fur of her wolf, she would fall right to sleep. It was on her fourth attempt that she reached her goal; she pretended to fall asleep, just like every other night, then her wolf got up and trotted right out the front of the cave!
She followed him on tippy toes, peaking out the front of the cave to watch. He sat under the moon, soft tremors shaking his body until his fur began to change, paws and claws shrunk and his maw vanished- revealing underneath skin, fingers, toes and a human face! He pulled on a pair of shorts, they looked old- kind of like her old clothes, before venturing into the dark woods.
She wasn’t frightened, just confused. She crawled back beside the fire, as the cold nipped her from the mouth of the cave and there she waited. Before long the man- who before had been her wolf- came back, firewood in one of his arms, and a few small dead rabbits in the other.
He looked over to her, wanting to make sure she was asleep, though was taken aback when she was in fact staring at him. Those fierce, hazel orbs, peering curiously at him in the same way they had two years ago when he found her in her parents wrecked car.
“tu es le loup” She spoke, for the first time in two years. The shock of it was enough, that Seth hardly noticed that she was speaking French! Her voice was hoarse, she had to clear her throat, evens she seemed surprised at the sound of her own voice.
Over the two years they had spent together, they had developed their own, silent language. Him being a wolf meant that they didn’t exactly have much time for conversation. In fact Seth wondered what he would sound like?
“Um..” He had done a little bit of French in secondary school, but considering he had been run out of his pack at 17, he didn’t exactly get to finish his schooling. That being said, when he had been at school he had been quite a good student. “parlez vous anglais?”
“Yes.” She nodded, “You’re the wolfy.”
He wondered about her, how at only 7 she was able to speak more than one language- he supposed her parents must have been bilingual. Her parents... Now that they could speak to each other, they would have to talk about all of those things. She was only 7, could he speak to her about something so traumatic?
He couldn’t focus on that just yet, he didn’t even know the girl’s name.
“Yes. I am the wolf.” Seth smiled, he hoped that it was not frightening to her. He had never really been good with kids. “What’s your name?”
Orion, her name was Orion.
“Hi Orion, I’m Seth.”
The years passed them by, and Seth and Orion grew to be great friends. He helped her to develop her speech, he taught her to hunt, navigate and to make and repair clothes. By the time the girl turned 16, she was just as sufficient, if not better than any wolf Seth had known in his pack.
The two had worked together to build a shelter in a small clearing, hidden away from the rest of the woods.
As she grew older, she also grew in beauty, something Seth tried to ignore. He would spend more time as a wolf, hunting or in the woods so he would not be around her; in his mind he had begun to despise himself for noticing that she was becoming more woman than girl.
Things only got worse when the girl received her first moons cycle; she was terrified and didn’t know or understand what was happening. Seth had tried to teach her about these things as much as he could when she had started puberty, but he wasn’t the best person to have coached her through the process. She had experienced painful cramps, and vile mood swings- it lasted roughly 5 nights, and they were both grateful when it was finally over.
But things had changed- her scent had changed, and Seth hated himself even more. Orion was confused when Seth put an emotional barrier between them; he was her best and only friend and after her moon cycle he had started to act differently.
He pulled away even more, until soon it begun to feel as if Orion was alone in the woods. She would try to ask him what was the matter when she saw him, but he would brush it off as nothing, not knowing how else to be around her anymore.
But what was he supposed to do? Sure, he had told her about werewolves as she grew up but how could he explain to her that the man she surely saw as an older brother, her protector- the one who had held her when was sick, and comforted her when she skinned her knee. How could he possibly explain to her that that man was now her soul mate?
Two more years went by in this awkward dance, until one day Orion could no longer take the distance. After a heated argument between the two, Orion left the cabin, running out into the wild not caring in that moment about the confusing man nor her own safety.
Before she could realise that she had interrupted a bears lunch it was too late. Seth had taught her what to do, but every muscle in her body froze, her mind going blank as the huge creature came closer. The only thing she could manage was to let out an ear piercing scream and hope to the universe that she didn’t die.
Seth heard her, and took off in a sprint, fur bursting from his skin as his beast forced its way forward. He was an idiot, he hated himself more for pushing her away- if she had gotten hurt, it would be his fault and he would never forgive himself.
He found her in a clearing, hiding under a bush- claw marks to her neck and stomach both bleeding profusely. Her hair had turned completely white, none of her black hair remained. Her dark brown skin, lifeless almost grey, her hazel orbs brimmed with tears. He could see it in her eyes; fear, so much fear.
For a moment he had a flash back to the first time he had found her; for the first time since the death of his father he prayed. He prayed that she would be okay, he promised that if she was he would treat her properly, be her mate the way he was meant to be.
Her blood was beginning to soak through her furs, it was everywhere. She was bleeding too much.
“Don’t you dare leave me, little star.” He heaved her up into his arms, “I haven’t even told you yet.”
“S-se-th.” Her eyes fluttered, and panic seized Seth.
“You’re not going to die, I’m not going to let you die.”
Fiery determination took over the man, he had been a fool and now he realised it. So what if she was 18, so what if he had looked after her, so what if she was human. She was his, the moon had given her to him.
He would never forget it again.
Without another thought, he welcomed the itching in his gums as his canines came down. Then before he could hesitate, he sunk them into her neck.
She was his. His little star.