Levi ate the meat off the bone of the hare I’d cooked viscously. I watched him with a faint smile, relieved above all else that he was finally eating. It turned out he was just a little picky and wouldn’t eat meat unless it was just a certain way, it took a few tries, but I’d figured it out.
“Here, eat more.” I say giving him my last portion.
You need to keep your strength up as well - Roger reminds me but I ignore him and focus on Levi. He looks at me hesitantly so I give him a reassuring smile. Jayson...
Him first Roger - I insist leaving no room for discussion.
“Go on.” I urge Levi.
With that last push, he grabs hold of the bone and quickly devours the remaining meat. I dust my hands off onto my shorts before standing to my feet, Levi’s large eyes follow my every movement as I poke at the small fire that had been dwindling to make our meal. I put it out, resting the wood I’d need for later nearby before reapproaching him.
“I think its about time me and you took a bath.” I say approaching him, he looked up to me with those big eyes that had finally seemed to run dry after the past week.
I shift before him and lie down, without complaint he quickly climbs onto my back, gripping my black fur as tight as always.
He didn’t say or do anything in response, only tucked his head into my neck. I didn’t push it, knowing he was dealing with a lot.
I had to admit he was doing much better than I could ever do if put in his situation. After all, no matter how much he was to me, to him, I was a stranger. In his position, I’d kick and scream no matter what, yet he made no complaints or gave no trouble.
He was perfectly behaved almost as if he was scared that if he didnt, I’d hurt him. I wished to know the version of him which trusted me enough to be himself.
I wished to know him
I make my way down the cliff carefully and slowly, scouting the area as I always did, but there was not much out here. We made it quickly and easily to the stream where I’d been getting our water every day, heating it before drinking.
I lower myself for Levi to climb off before sniffing around the area to make sure no wild animals were nearby. Once the coast was clear, I shifted back before taking us to a spot in the stream that was relatively shallow.
“Okay, are you ready?” I ask turning to his as I pulled my shirt off.
He didn’t make a move so I frown slightly.
“Don’t tell me you don’t like baths.” I say looking at him. When he doesn’t reply I sigh. “Please, we can’t be outside for too long.”
Levi stared at me for a moment before outstretching his hand to feel the water. The second his fingertips were numbed by the icy water he withdrew quickly and tracked back.
“It’ll warm up once we’re inside.” I tell him but he shakes his head profusely. “Please, Levi just this once.”
He stares at me unwaveringly.
“I’m really starting to hate Goddess.” I say rubbing my temples. Unfortunately for me, Levi seemed to dislike me disrespecting our Goddess and decided to throw the nearest thing to him at me.
They were rocks.
He threw multiple rocks at me.
“Levi stop.” I cry out, unable to withhold my laughter. “If you don’t stop, I’ll throw you in.”
Despite my warning he doesn’t stop, so I take my chances running towards him and lifting him high in my arms. I shake him about so the rocks fall from his tight grasp and he’s left giggling.
With a lot of squirming, fighting and laughing, I manage to get his shirt and pants off as well as my own before jumping into the stream with him in my hands.
The cold water splashes up, wetting us both, making him shriek out with a series of contagious giggles. I settle us down in the water, playing around for a while so we warm up before letting him enjoy splashing around.
I couldn’t help but smile at him. This was the first time I had the pleasure of seeing him smile, of seeing him anything but sad for once.
He was enjoying the water like a kid should, not mourning his home like I was.
I plastered on a smile, determined to stretch out his happiness for as long as I could and joined him, splashing the water around as we got in a little water war.
We stayed there longer than I’d originally planned, I only noticed how much time went by when the sun’s heat eased up against my skin. Looking around, I decide its about time for us to go, I didn’t want to be out of the cave when it got dark.
“Ready to head back?” I ask opening my arms, Levi nods with a small yawn and swims over to me. I pick him up and help him back onto land, I dry us as best as I could before masking our scents with some nearby plants. Once we were dressed once more, I let him climb onto my back and walked us back to the cave.
It was just as we left it, no signs of unwanted visitors to be found. Much to my surprise, Levi was already asleep on my back and seemed to be in a deep sleep at that.
I smile to myself, slowly and carefully sliding him around to my front to hold him properly. I prood the fire a little so that some heat could escape, before lying down with Levi in my arms.
I shift and he instantly cuddles into me, burying himself under my fur for warmth. I curl around him, allowing him to sleep in as much warmth as possible before I let myself doze off into a much needed sleep.
I liked the way the sunlight felt on my skin. It made me feel warm and alive.
I hated the snow and I liked this a lot more than the winter season that just ended.
Winter was mean.
“Jayson!” My father calls making me stand quickly as I rush towards him. “I thought I told you to get dressed.”
“Sorry dad.” I mumble before running past him and into our hut.
I rush through the rooms and get to mine and Alison’s, she was brushing her hair carefully, already dressed perfectly.
“Why didn’t you call me?” I whine as I strip and look for clean clothes.
“We may be twins but that does not make me your keeper.” She replies and I growl at her.
It doesn’t take me long to dress and Alison does my hair despite her complaints. Once we were done, we rushed outside to meet dad who was waiting with a smile.
He opened his arms, squatting down and we both crashed into them giggling. He squeezed us in one of his bear hugs and stood, keeping us easily on his hips.
Dad was a warrior, one of the best warriors in the entire pack. He was tall and strong, I think he was bigger than the Alpha but he said not to say that outloud.
His wolf was big and dark brown which was awesome, because that meant he was really, really strong. Usually, the darker the pelt, the stronger the wolf and their ranking. Unless they had white fur, that meant they were super strong.
Dad said wolves don’t think like that anymore, that strength and power was now determined by actions not features. But I think he was wrong, since most alphas had black fur and they were the strongest.
“I hope you both will be on your best behaviour, no fighting on this special day.” Dad warns as he glances between us.
He was walking to the pack house and so was everyone around us, all dressed in their best clothes as we were.
“Yes dad.” We say in unison.
“You know I love you both, more than your hearts can carry.” He says pressing a kiss to our cheeks.
“We love you too dad.” We promise, kissing his cheeks back.
“I’m so excited.” Alison cheers as we get closer to the growing crowd. “I hope I’m his mate and then I’ll be Luna.”
“You’d be the worst Luna.” I reply and she whacks me hard. I growl before stretching over days face to snack her back.
“What did I just say...” Dad says in one his low tones which were super scary.
“Sorry dad.” We say together and stay on our own sides of dad’s arms.
We didn’t say anything else as dad took his place on the stage besides the other ranking wolves and set us down on our feet. We each hugged one of his large legs tightly and stared at our small pack that was growing slowly.
We weren’t as big as other packs around the world, we were just big enough to have a ranking warrior but we weren’t big enough to have more than two elders and not a selsa.
But dad said that in a couple of years we might and that made me super excited. I wanted to make our pack bigger and better. I knew I could, I just had to get older and stronger, I could do that and I would. I couldn’t wait to get my wolf and shift.
Everyone became quiet as the beta went to the front of the stage.
“It has been a gruelling winter and it has not been easy for any of us.” He says looking around. “But each year we grow stronger and better, we lost no lives this year despite the harsh conditions.”
Everyone claps and cheers at the report but our family. Last winter we were the only ones to lose someone, we lost mom.
“As you have known, our Alpha and Luna have been with child for many months. The child was born prematurely during the winter and was not expected to make it. But he did.” He says with a large smile. He steps back as the door opens to the pack house.
I peep behind dad’s leg to see the Alpha and Luna walk out, standing closer than ever. They walk to the front of the stage with large smiles and the baby close to their chest.
Everyone cheered and so did I, but all I could think about was that nice smell that came outside with them.
“Thank you for all the support and care you’ve bestowed upon us for the last few months.” The Luna says gratefully. “We would not have made it any other way, Levi would not have made it.”
“This is our son, your future alpha, Levi.” Alpha booms, his eyes happy and filling with tears.
I try to go to the smell but dad holds be back with a firm grip. I look up to him and open my mouth to explain, but he sends me a warning glare that makes me shut my mouth.
They keep talking but I can’t keep listening. Not with the way my body begged me to go towards them. But dad wasn’t letting up and there was no way I could escape his grip on me.
When they finished talking they made their rounds across the stage greeting the highly ranked. I basically bounced on my toes and they came closer. I wanted to figure out what the smell was and why it was making me so giddy.
“Congratulations Mark, Catherine.” Dad says with a wide smile that the Alpha and Luna return. “I’m so happy for you and I thank Goddess above that he made it through this winter.”
“Thank you Anthony.” Alpha says with his heavy voice before looking down at us. “How are you bearing?”
“We’re doing fine.” Dad says but he didn’t sound fine.
“You are always welcomed back at the pack house, you don’t have t-”
“We’re fine, thank you Alpha.” Dad replied quickly and the alpha nodded.
“Can we see the baby?” Alison asks before they can walk away. The Luna laughs and kneels down to our level.
“This is Levi.” She says pulling back to the blankets around him so we can see. Alison and I draw close and leer over her lap to see.
The second my eyes met his everything else disappeared.
I held his eyes and he held mine and we stayed like that for a long time until Luna stood up.
The baby immediately started crying when he couldn’t see me anymore and my chest started hurting really bad. Luna frowned and started bouncing the baby a little to stop the crying but it continued.
I tugged at her dress and she looked down at me with a deeper frown.
“Mine.” I said tugging again. Dad pulled me away quickly and I hit against him with everything I had.
“I am so sorry Luna. He must be confused.” He says pulling me further away from the alpha’s light glare.
“Its okay, don’t worry.” She says swaying the crying baby. “Let’s get him back inside, he must be hungry.”
“Wait no!” I scream against dad but they ignore me. “Don’t take him away!”
The baby cried louder at my screams but nobody else seemed to see that. I hit against dad as he carried me further and further away from the baby.
He was angry but I was angrier. So I ignored his warning and everyone’s stares and cried and yelled for the baby.
Two days had passed before there was a knock on our front door. I didn’t rush to it as usual, I stayed put on the table and watched as Alison got to it.
She stepped back with a confused look as Alpha and Luna came inside with a crying baby.
“What’s going on?” Dad said as she quickly made his way to them.
Before they could answer, I ran to them and tried to see the baby. They looked at one another with unsure looks before Luna kneeled down and so that I could see the baby. When his eyes met mine he stopped crying and I smile happily, I put out my finger and his smaller ones gripped it tightly.
“We were right....” Luna said sounding relieved.
“I don’t believe this.” Alpha says as he walks up and down the room.
“What’s going on?” Dad asked again but more insistent this time.
“They’re Crescent Mates.”
What the fuck as Crescent Mates? Check out the Werewolf 101 section in Forever After Tales or just wait and see.