Escaping the Pack

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Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve


The wildlife around here is stunning. Watching their peace, it’s settles something within me. Makes the fluttering in my chest quiet. The sound of the stream, the feel of the breeze, the smells. I will find a place like this after I leave. Quiet, secluded, full of life. Yes, this is what I will find for myself. I will grow my own fruits and vegetables. I will find my peace.
But for now, I have an alpha to meet.
I let my nose lead me to the gardens. My senses seem to be growing stronger here. Even from this far away, just from the slight breeze coming from that direction, I can tell that there are six people in the gardens. Julian, Maria, Clayton, Maurice, the Doctor and someone whose scent lingers on the edges of my memory. I have probably met them at some point during the last few days, but I just can’t seem to place them.
Only Julian is left when I arrive. He is sitting on a bench beneath a mango tree and he smiles when he sees me. He makes no move to come toward me, just stay still as I approach.
“Good morning,” he says, his lips curving and his eyes shining.
“You didn’t expect me to come,” I say in answer, recognising the notes of surprise in his scent.
“No. Or not this early, at least.”
I sit on the bench opposite him, absentmindedly swishing my fingers through the flower petals in the garden below me.
“What do I need to know?” I ask.
I’m more interested in this than I want to let on, but who wouldn’t be? I know what I am, but I have no idea about what I am. It’s both amazing and frustrating.
“Well, you know what you are, so that cuts down the part of the conversation where I have to get you to believe me. That can be a very long and distressing conversation for some,” he seems almost amused by the thought, though I don’t understand why.
“Contrary to popular belief, werewolves can only be born. Nothing within our biology is capable of creating other wolves. And we aren’t controlled by the lunar cycle either. Well, pure wolves aren’t. The Moon Called,” his eyes glow as he speaks their name. “They are controlled by the moon due to a little quirk in their biology that comes from the blending of their wolf and human genetics. No-one really knows what caused it, but it is the reason they harbor so much distain for us. They envy our ability to change at will and without pain.”
“It doesn’t cause you pain when you change forms? I can recall the screaming on the nights of the full moon. It used to cause me to feel sympathy for them. Now, I find myself wishing they were forced to change several times a day rather than once a month.”
“Yes, I find myself wishing the same thing. To answer your question, no. The first few times you change may feel uncomfortable and you could feel something akin to growing pains, but after that you will feel no pain. You will slip from one form to the other easier than changing clothes.”
“Tell me more.”
“You’ll already know about the enhanced senses and strength. You have lightning fast reflexes and when you are a wolf you’ll find that you also have incredible speed. We don’t need to hunt as a wolf, that is another myth. All these movies depicting us as rampaging hunters in the woods taking down deer and bear and campers. We could sustain ourselves that way, and there are some who choose to live as wolves rather than humans, but for the most part we eat as regular old humans do. The emotional issues, though exaggerated in Hollywood, are real. We feel things more deeply and violently than others. Simple anger can easily become rage, but at the same time, simple affection can become the deepest of loves. Our hearts are fierce.”

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