"Ivo!" a familiar voice called and I sighed a little and made my way through the forest to find the owner of the call. I came to a small clearing and saw who I'd been searching for, my brother Chet. "I'm surprised you haven't moved out here with how much time you spend in the forest." my older brother said, his arms crossed but his lips were quirked In amusement. I just snorted a little and carried on walking, him falling in step beside me as we made our way back home.
"You excited for today?" he inquired and I looked up at him with a quirked eyebrow, he'd asked me that question more times than I can count, and every time I'd given him the same answer. "Let me guess." he tapped his chin with a finger in fake thought. "'My wolf's excited but I'm indifferent'. That's usually what you say isn't it?" he repeated the sentence I had said many a time and I rolled my eyes.
We got back to the house and I shifted into my human form and pulled on the shorts I'd left by the back door, following my brother into the house. I smiled at mum as I saw her making breakfast in the kitchen. "Morning mum." I greeted her.
"Morning birthday boy!" she beamed back and father chuckled from his seat at the kitchen table, nursing a steaming cup of coffee and reading the newspaper.
"Find anything interesting on your morning run?" dad asked and I stopped my ascent of the stairs, hand still on the rail and I turned back to look at him.
"Not really, same rouge smell, seems whoever it is, is sticking around." I told him. The same rogue had been lurking just outside our territory for weeks, we've never seen them but their scent was still strong in the air and I'd found traces of them; gouges in the dirt, hairs pulled out by the bark on some trees and excrement and urine, all with the same scent. Dad just harrumphed and went back to his paper. I resumed climbing the stairs and headed to the bathroom for a shower.
We couldn't do anything about the rogue unless they attacked us or stepped on our land, not that we'd want to, but their actions were troubling and concerning. What were their motives? Why were they so close to pack land but we'd never seen head or tail of them?
I just sighed at my thoughts and shut the door of the bathroom, tugging off my shorts and turning on the shower, stepping into the spray. I quickly washed the dirt and sweat off of my skin and out of my hair, humming quietly as I did so. I always went for a run in the morning, patrolling the edge of pack boarders, I didn't have to but I enjoyed it, so it became my responsibility. I liked the forest in the early morning, just as the sun was rising, hearing the birds tweeting and other animals waking up from their slumber whilst others were going to sleep. It was peaceful.
I turned off the water and stepped out of the shower, wrapping a towel around my waist and I left the bathroom, taking my shorts with me and chucking them in the wash basket by my bedroom door as I walked in.
Our small family was a part of a large pack but we lived on the very outskirts of pack territory and there wasn't anyone around for many miles. We were the first defence if an attack occurred from this side of the pack territory, we were the defender wolves. Our family had always been fast runners, we were to send warning of an impending attack, one of us running to the centre of the pack lands to warn the others and the rest holding the intruders back until reinforcements arrived.
I'd never actually been to the pack house and hardly ever seen any other wolves from our pack, we were a great distance away and none of them had reason to come out here. We got attacked often but nothing that needed warrior wolves to be called, not for years, I've fought them off from a young age along with my family. According to dad the other defenders stationed on other parts of the boarders called the warrior wolves a few times a year. The last time our family had called them I was a baby, so I don't remember it but apparently it had been pretty bad, a whole pack of ferals had tried to breach the border, about 20 wolves in total.
I've fought of ferals, rogues (werewolves without a pack or lands to live on), other pack wolves, witches, vampires and other supernatural creatures that dared to threat the pack. Ferals were the worst to encounter though, they killed whomever they saw, they had lost touch with their human side, they had no humanity left. We all had a part of the god Fenrir inside of us, his power allowed us to have our wolves, if they break free of the bindings inside of us they go crazy, expressing Fenrir's rage an anger at the gods, destroying everything in their path like Fenrir wishes to do. Our human sides are supposed to tame our animal sides, they are the reason, the patience and understanding in all of us, the animal, the wolf was our instincts, our anger, our primal desires and needs.
I glanced at myself in the mirror as I walked over to my wardrobe to get some clothes out for today. I wasn't big for a werewolf, nor was I small, I was on the leaner side but slightly taller than average, made for running my dad said. If there was ever a large attack again I'd be the one to warn the pack, all of my family said I was as fast as lightning in both forms and had stamina better than most wolves. My brother sometimes called me lightning as an annoying nickname, he knew I hated it, it just made him want to call me it more. I understood the nickname but it didn't mean that I liked it. For some reason I had black/blue fur in wolf form and the same colour on my head in human. My eyes were a stark golden yellow and as I'd mentioned before I was fast.
I pulled on a dark grey, long sleeved fitted jumper and some black skinny's along with my combat boots. I ran my fingers through my unruly curls and put the towel in the wash basket before taking it back downstairs with me. I put my dirty clothes in the laundry room and then took it back upstairs and brushed my teeth and brought my bag down with me this time. I placed it by the door before going back to the kitchen and sitting down at the table just as mum was dishing up breakfast.
She placed a chocolate muffin with a single lit candle in front of me and I raised an eyebrow. "We're not going to see you for the rest of the day." she complained and then began to sing happy birthday, she glared at dad and Chet and they begrudgingly joined in, their deep baritones and monotone voices a stark contrast from mums high and lyrical voice.
"You look like a kitty, AND YOU SMELL LIKE ONE TOO!" Chet yelled at the end and earned a death stare from mum whereas dad just chuckled and shook his head. I blew out the candle and everyone cheered.
"Here you go dear." mum said and handed me a heavy stack of books secured together with a thick blue ribbon and a card which was placed on top. I smiled at her gratefully and kissed her on the cheek.
"Thank you." I thanked my parents for the books. I really loved books. I set the books down gently beside my chair and opened the card, smiling at the contents happily. I repeated my previous words and Chet handed me a small gift box and winked at me. Take it I wasn't supposed to open it in front of our parents then. I set that aside and mum switched my plate for my actual breakfast and we all ate our first meal of the day.
After I carried up the stack of books and mysterious box Chet had given me and I put them in my room. I peeked inside the box and groaned as its contents, did he think I was planning on having a sex party or something?! I just sighed and closed the lid of the box, pushing the box far underneath my bed before undoing the ribbon around the books and placing them on my already overflowing bookshelf, I'd have the get another one at this rate.
I went back downstairs and said goodbye to everybody before picking up my bag that I had left at the door and walking out, heading back into the forest. I trudged along the familiar path that would take me into town and to the college I was just starting my third year at. I breathed in the fresh autumn air and took the lightening leaves of the trees and felt the slight chill that had crept into the air. I must admit that autumn was my favourite season, the change of the forest goes through and Halloween, that was my favourite holiday by far.
Our house was quite far from the town so I had a long walk ahead of me, but I'd walked this path so many times and I enjoyed it, so I didn't mind. About 45 minutes later I began to hear the buzz of human life; the sound of engines, the trains, people talking and just general sounds of human life.
Eventually I made it out of the forest and the dirt underneath my boots turned to concrete and I walked down the street in the direction of the campus. I could of done sports, specifically track but it would be too easy and I'd rather stay under the radar. So I chose veterinary biology, anatomy and physiology, and mythology, weird combination I know, but they could all come in handy.
I made it to campus right on time, same as usual and headed to my first class. Thankfully most humans were oblivious to the supernatural world and discounted my slightly strange appearance for my fashion tastes. Hair died a very dark blue with yellow contacts in, other than the occasional look they didn't think anything of it. Since there were very few supernaturals in this town I didn't have change my appearance to keep what I a secret. A few towns over was where most of the pack went for education or necessities, they had to wear contacts when they were around humans, bunch of freaky eyed people tends to bring up unanswerable questions. Most of them had normal hair though, unlike me. That's what my parents told me anyway, they do go to the pack house occasionally, my dad to make reports on activity in our area and for any important pack meetings. And my mum was a midwife or sorts, a werewolf one so she was constantly backing and forthing if any of the pack females were pregnant, which they usually were. They had a pack doctor at the pack house but he just specialised in normal medicine, not bringing new life into the world. Chet had only been there once or twice, the first when he turned eighteen, and I would get my look at the place later since I was eighteen today, to see if my mate was in the pack.
Chet hadn't found his mate yet but other packs often visited for some gathering or another and we were invited to attend those in the hopes of finding a mate after out eighteenth birthday.