I was so absorbed in my sketch that I almost did not hear the sound of paws on the forest floor. A wolf came behind me and I smiled at him. It was a sandy blond wolf that I recognised as my best friend Kyle. We grew up together in the pack even if I was only human.
I had a stag head looking towards a crescent moon tattooed on my arm and according to my father, it was the blessing from the Goddess. Thanks to this mark, I could mind-link and call to me all lycanthropes. Even those who were not wolves. How do I know that it works? Well, let us say that, as a baby, I did not have full control of it and some other lycanthropes would find themselves drawn to me. That occasioned many troubles for the border patrol but they forgave me. Mostly.
"What is it Kyle?" I asked the wolf behind me but still sketching.
Alpha Richard is asking for you. He has some big news.
I plunged my light green eyes into his yellow ones. This was unexpected. What did my dad want?
"What kind of news?" I asked curious.
He made me promise not to tell. Come on. Hop on my back. We'll be faster.
"Fine but you know I don't like it." I said frowning.
He chuckled-growled and lowered the front of his body so I could jump on his back. I hated to climb on their backs because it was harder to ride a wolf than a horse. They were not as well balanced. I held his neck for dear life as he ran through the woods.
He said that my mark was proof of the Goddess choosing me for some big purpose. Right. As if. Who would want a human as a mate?
Kyle stopped in front of our pack house. It was a huge house where the wolves could live but where you could also find the offices of the leaders as well as a huge kitchen we could all eat together if we wanted to.
I got down Kyle's back to enter the house. My step-brother and future Alpha Jacob greeted me at the door. He was the copy of our father and he always treated me like his real sister even if we were not blood related.
Kyle smiled at my brother as he too entered the house and put a hand on my shoulder earning himself a glare from Jacob. He hated it when Kyle touched me because he was very protective of me. He landed his hazel eyes on me as I walked to him and smiled a loving smile.
"Penny. Come on. Father is expecting us."
"Right Jake. Do you know what he wants?"
"Not really no."
He laughed and gave me one of his killer smiles. The one that had all the unmated she-wolves of the pack swooning.
"You know he hates it when you're sarcastic." He said.
"He knows that I can't help it." I shrugged.
"Right." He chuckled.
We entered the Alpha's office and there stood an older version of Jacob. My father was behind his wooden desk and I instantly felt happy. I always felt safe and good when he was around. Such was the power of the Alpha.
"Alpha King Sirius will be visiting us shortly."
I widened my eyes and so did Jake next to me. The Alpha King of the werewolf was actually a Lycan. They were bigger and stronger wolves with a form of half-beast half-man that the werewolves did not have. I knew that the Alpha King hated humans and saw it as a bad sign that my father took me in so the news made me uncomfortable for a moment.
"Don't worry Penelope. He’s not coming because of you." My father said reassuringly. "There has been some problem with the vampires around here and that's why I asked for his help."
"Should I… Stay away while he’s here?" I asked uncertain.
"Go to college as usual and don't change your plans. You're my daughter and this pack is your home."
I smiled at him and he smiled back. I knew he always had my back but I would still try to stay well away from the King. That would be best for everyone.
A week passed before the day of his arrival and I was walking home from college. I was alone tonight because Kyle was already home to greet the King. My father had organised a party for him, his Beta and some members of the Royal Pack. I hoped they would like it.
I was walking through the woods as I neared our territory. I could feel the leaves crunch under my feet. I liked that sound. I liked walking in the forest. Being raised by werewolves was definitely a plus for me. I hummed to myself as I passed the trees.
I was almost there when I felt a presence behind my back. Who could that be? I strained my ears to hear a sound but I could not hear a thing. That was no wolf because they would always make their presence known to me since I could not use my sense of smell like them.
I released my power that I used to "hear" them when they used the mind-link but the thing behind me was not a shifter.
I felt panic surge through me and I hasten my step. The border was marked by a sycamore and I just had to pass behind it to be safe. I could use my power to call for help but I did not want to do that unless I was in danger. It felt like calling lap dogs and I respected the wolves too much for this.
I wanted to run but that could incite the thing behind me to rush me. I breathed out until the presence was right behind me. I was too scared so I shot my power out and hoped Jake would hear me. I tried to run but the form caught me in a tight grip around my throat. Shit that hurt! He turned me to face him and I could see his eyes. He had no pupils. Vampire.
"What is a human like you doing here ? Don't you know that the big bad wolf lives just right there?"
He scrutinised my face and laughed as he recognised me. The sound was chilling me to the bone.
"Oh! I recognise you bloodbag. You're Alpha Richard's daughter. The little human he took in because she was abandonned in the woods. Well well… I will have fun with you."
I wanted to cry but I would not give him the satisfaction. I tried to kick him but that only made him chuckle. He brought my neck near his fangs then we heard a powerful roar.
"What the…" The vampire said.
The wolf jumped between us and acted protectively in front of me. The vampire made a run for it but the wolf did not give chase. He turned his golden gaze with a purple halo to me and kept growling.