The First Meeting
Ashlyn’s 15th birthday almost was here, but she wasn’t excited. Like her 14th and 13th, she would be spending her birthday at Park View house. Surrounded by strangers yet again, and hoping they wouldn’t touch her. Ashlyn had been admitted to park view at the tender age of 12, and a half, mustn’t forget the half, when her “forever family” Mark and Sandy couldn’t deal with Ashlyn’s nightmares or her visions. And they couldn’t stand the way she hated being touched by people or knew things about them that she shouldn’t.
Once, one of Mark’s best friends came round to help with some DIY around the house, Ashlyn brushed his hand when she handed him a drink, somehow she knew he was sick, really sick. She saw him crying in a doctors office and heard the doctor tell him that he had cancer. That they didn’t think there was a treatment that would help. Mark was not happy when Ashlyn asked if he was still sad and needed a hug. Sandy was down right pissed though when Ashlyn announced to her reading group that one of Sandy’s friends was pregnant and had been ‘doing rude things’ with another’s husband, and that a third was being beaten by her husband. Though Ashlyn didn’t really think that this was a bad thing to share with the group. She regularly seemed to know who was at the door or when the phone was going to ring. They had one friend, Dave, the things that man thought about and had done in his life. His memories overwhelmed Ashlyn couldn’t stand to be in the same room as him, she would run and hide in her wardrobe every time he was in the house, screaming if he came within arms length of her or she was forced to be in the same room as him. She could feel the pain of his victims just looking at him. No one ever believed her about him, though Mark and Sandy had to admit it was weird when he was arrested in the course of an investigation into a missing child, the police found millions of images and videos on his hard drives and phone, the most horrific child abuse imaginable. But the final straw for them was the time that Ashlyn’s dream, well nightmare came true, she dreamt that Sandy’s mother was going to die in a ball of fire. Two days later, she was on her way to visit them when she was involved in a huge traffic accident. 7 cars and a lorry, then a fuel tanker hit the back of the pile up. It all went up in a ball of fire. It took them 3 weeks to formally identify all the bodies involved. Shortly after the funeral, they had her admitted to park view and about 9 months after that they took in another foster child, they were no longer her carers and didn’t bother to visit any more.
It had taken her years to come to the realisation that if she just took the medications they wanted her too, or made it seem that way, they would relax and she would be able to… just not take them. Ashlyn hated the way the meds made her feel, the way she couldn’t think straight. Then she just had to fake it, fake being “normal” so that they would think she was fixed, then she could get out of this hell, where the answer to Ashlyn being overwhelmed by everyone’s emotions and their touch was to touch her more to restrain her and medicate her, unfortunately for Ashlyn the meds did numb some of the overwhelming feelings and without them she could and would melt down. She was regularly left with bruises after being restrained, particularly if Justin was involved. He got some kind of sadistic pleasure from causing pain for the patients. Justin was a mid 20’s, 6’0 tall man, built like a rugby player with large, hard, muscular arms and thighs, big round shoulders, a barrel like chest that was just as hard as the rest of him. His hair was buzzed, dark brown or black, it was hard to tell. He had cold brown eyes, a nose that looked like it had been broken several times and a thin mouth that never seemed to smile unless someone was hurting or in distress. Unfortunately for Ashlyn, he was part or her care team.
Ashlyn was out in the gardens about a week before her birthday. It was a glorious July day. The sun was bright and warm on her face as she curled up on the swing chair between two trees, far enough from the building to be peaceful, but close enough that the staff feel like she was sufficiently supervised, as always. Ashlyn loved to be outside, she found the breeze and the bird song and even the distant traffic noise calming. She loved to have her windows open, even in the middle of winter when it’s bouncing down with rain and hail, thunder and lightening or even snowing. She wished she could sit out in the storms but they wouldn’t let her. Ashlyn satisfied herself with going out on days like this, with her books or sketch pad. Today she was reading Harry Potter and the philosophers stone again, she didn’t have much choice in books now she didn’t get visitors to bring her any more, the ones that belonged to the hospital weren’t in good shape, a couple of staff members would occasionally buy her books. The only person who came anymore was her social worker, Glenn Morris. He was pretty useless for a social worker if she was honest but she was stuck with him. She had been sat in her usual spot lost in her book for about half an hour when it happened. The breeze brought a strange smell, minty, with hints of fresh book pages and the trees after a storm. She found it strangely relaxing even if she didn’t know what it was.
The scent was overrunning Ashlyn’s senses relentlessly, she even felt like she could taste it. She couldn’t concentrate on her book at all, and Ashlyn can read through anything, her eyes were heavy and he was starting to feel strangely heavy limbed. After about 10 minutes she stood up, stretching out, her top riding up a little over her waist revealing a strip of pale skin marked with a couple of random bruises. She intended to head into the hospital building, which looked reminiscent of the Downtown Abbey house, her legs however, seemed to have another plan. She found herself walking into the breeze, further into the garden, following the scent. It was as if her body had decided that she just had to know what is was.
At the other end of the large garden, Micah Ward was pacing up and down this stretch of fence, Zander, his wolf was howling in his head, begging Micah to just jump the fence or break it down, but it was clear that even with his alpha strength this fence was going no where. Micah thought he could jump it, but he could smell too many humans around to risk being seriously injured here. They would, despite the fact that he was easily 3 times the size, mistake him for a wild wolf and likely have him put down, ok well maybe ‘mistake’ is being too generous, humans are wilfully ignorant to the real world, to Micah’s world even when it slaps them in the face. That would not be acceptable, not now he knew that his mate was on the other side of this fence. Zander managed to seize control briefly and let out a fierce growl. Micah managed to take back control of their body, even though it was wearing Zander’s wolf form right now, many human sides couldn’t do this, their wolf side would have to give them control, but Micah had always been able to be in control if he wanted after their first shift, he thought it was something to do with him and Zander always being on the same page near enough.
Micah had been looking for his mate since he turned 17, the earliest he should, in theory feel the mate bond. He was 25 now, and he had found his mate finally, he would truly come into his Alpha powers. He would get a true alpha voice and be able to control the pack without his fathers help. He would always want his fathers advice, that was invaluable but it was different from having to rely on him. Micah had started to give up hope that he would ever find his mate, but it turns out she was being held behind this fence in the human territory neighbouring their land. Why was she behind this fence? What was this place anyway? Micah could smell that she wasn’t a human, shes not a wolf either Zander told him rather smugly. Micah wasn’t sure what she was, but she smelt like all his favourite fruits, strawberries and mango and pineapple. It was hard to find out much more of her scent with the wind blowing the wrong way now. He had to figure out a way to meet her, he had to at least see her, then he could go and make a plan. He would come back tomorrow with the whole pack if he needed too and burn this place to the ground to get his mate. She shouldn’t be trapped behind a fence, she should be with him. Micah just about managed to restrain himself from growling again. The questions tumbling around his head making it hard to think and hard to plan. He needed details, how big was the fence, did it seem to be dug deep in the ground, did the humans seem to be armed, well that one was easy Micah couldn’t smell any guns or oiled metal so it was unlikely.