For as long as I can remember I have had the same nightmare every time I fall to sleep. Every morning I wake up tangled in my bed sheets and drenched in sweat with a lingering feeling that I had forgotten something really important. The worst part of all of this is knowing that my nightmare isn’t a nightmare at all but a memory.
The nightmare always starts with my mom reading me a bedtime story while my dad is watching us from the doorway. I can’t be much older than four years old at this time in my life and my parents look at me with so much love. That was how my life used to be, loved and adored by both of my parents.
The story that my mom is telling is almost over. The characters are past their struggles and only moments away from their happy endings. All of a sudden my mom stops reading. She was in the middle of a sentence, the story can’t be over. I am about to say something when I hear the noises coming from outside.
My mom and dad look at each other for a moment before springing into action. My dad pulled a backpack out of my closet and started stuffing my clothes and belongings into it frantically. My mom pulled me out of bed and started to help me get dressed.
I could tell from her movements and her breathing that she was panicking. She is usually so calm and her panic is frightening me. I start to cry. My mom didn’t have time to worry about my tears, she continued to dress me without making any attempt to comfort me.
Moments later she was holding me in her arms while we were running down the corridors towards the small secondary staircase at the back of the building. My dad was slightly ahead of us. He was on high alert. His head was moving around constantly as he tried to predict anything that could be a threat. When his beta Christian ran around the corner towards us he reacted purely on instinct.
My dad grabbed Christian and threw him sideways. Pinning Christian with his back against the wall so that my dad’s left arm was across Christian’s throat before any of us knew what was happening. Christian’s wife Kerry inhaled sharply and hid her son behind her.
“I am sorry.” My dad said.
He let go of Christian and looked around nervously. When he was sure that we were safe, at least for a few moments he turned his attention back to Christian.
“What is happening?” My dad asked.
“Some of our pack have joined forces with the Thorne and Grove packs to attack us. Our fighters are trying to hold them back but at this point it is just a matter of time till they break through.” Christian said.
“We need to get out of here.” My mom said. She was trying to calm me down by stroking my hair but her anxiety was evident in her voice.
“Everyone, follow me.” My dad said. He was using his alpha tone to make him sound confident and cover for the fact that he was just as worried as the rest of us.
We started moving again. Through the last corridor and down the stairs This took us to a small utility area next to the kitchen. My dad left us huddled together in this room so he could check if the coast was clear. He was back moments later and I knew it was bad news before he even opened his mouth.
“Looks like they predicted we might come out this way. There are about ten of them out there. They are waiting for us just beyond the tree line.” He said.
“Is there any way we can get past them without being seen?” Kerry asked.
“No. They have the entrance covered.” My dad replied. He looked truly worried for the first time.
“Not all of us can but if we created a distraction some of us could get out unseen.” My mom said, everyone turned their attention towards her.
“If we go out and draw their attention Christian and Kerry can sneak the children out while they are distracted.” My mom continued.
“It is risky but it might work.” Christian said.
“There is a cottage that we own about fifty kilometres away from our territory. Do you know the one I mean?” My dad asked.
“Yes.” Christian replied.
“I want you to head there. We will meet you there in a few days once we can be sure that nobody is following us.” My dad said.
Everyone agreed to the plan. My parents gave me a hug and then started heading towards the back door. I was silently sobbing as I watched them walking away. I was scared and all I wanted was for things to go back to normal again.
I wasn’t tall enough to see what was happening through the utility room window but I could hear it. At first I heard my parents shouting for them to stay away from their daughter. Then there was more shouting that I couldn’t quite make out and eventually growling and whimpering.
I wanted to know my parents were ok. I tried to get away so I could go to them but Christian stopped me. He picked me up with one hand and held me to his chest as we made our escape. We moved quickly but silently through the house into the dinning room. Christian looked out of the window, once he was happy that it was safe he hopped out closely followed by Kerry who was holding their son.
My nightmare always ends with Christian carrying me into the forest and me straining to catch sight of my parents. Hoping desperately than none of the whimpering I can hear is coming from them. The worst part is I will never really know the answer. It is almost fourteen years later so by now it is safe to assume that my parents died that night. It still hurts not to have any closure over the events of that night.
We waited at that cottage for ten years. Christian and Kerry worked in the human town nearby and I attended school with their son Ryker but eventually this life became too lonely for us. Being the only werewolves and having to keep part of ourselves a secret from everyone around us was stressful and isolating. We started searching for a pack that we could join but as it turns out this was a task that was easier said than done.
Without a pack we were technically lone wolves but most pack wolves don’t see any difference between lone wolves and rogues. This made most packs unwilling to even talk to us as there isn’t a pack in the world that would accept a rogue into their pack. We tried all of the packs within a hundred kilometres of the cottage but none of them would give us a chance so we had to start looking further afield.
Eventually we found a pack. The alpha of this pack had recently taken over a neighbouring pack. There had been some kind of disagreement and the other alpha had challenged him. After the other alpha lost the fight he had to give up his pack and land. Unfortunately this meant that our new alpha’s pack doubled in size overnight and the losing alpha was now a rogue carrying a grudge. As a result they wanted to boost their defences.
As Christian was a strong fighter they agreed to let us join the pack as long as Christian agreed to provide training for the pack. He also helped them to bolster their defences using the techniques my parents taught him.
We have moved on with our lives now but I still have so many questions about my past that I know I will never have answers to. I don’t know why they were attacking us. I know it was something to do with my mothers wolf and that when I turn eighteen in a few days time I will find out if I have the same trait.
I don’t know what that trait is but I am scared. I want more than anything to be a normal werewolf. That way I can do all the things that the other werewolves my age do like finding my mate and going to college.
I opened my eyes. The room was still dark so I knew it must still be early. I picked up my phone from the bedside table and looked at the screen, it was 5am. There was still two hours before I needed to set off for school.
I tried to close my eyes but the memories from my dream were still too painful. There was no way that I was going to be able to get back to sleep again. I may as well get up. I reluctantly sat up in bed. I spent a few minutes mindlessly scrolling through social media before finally dragging myself out of bed.
I took a quick shower and got changed into some black skinny jeans with a studded belt, a black band t-shirt and my leather jacket. As you have probably guessed I am a bit of a rock chick. I spent a lot of time and effort trying to hide anything that might make me stand out when I first moved to this pack. Dressing and acting like the popular kids in the fruitless hope that they would accept me. I was so desperate to fit in and make friends that I almost forgot who I really was but it didn’t matter. No matter how hard I tried they still treated me like an outcast.
I even went through a stage of trying to fade into the background by wearing huge baggy clothes to hide my curves and slouching so that my height was less noticeable. If anything that seemed to make the rest of the pack bully me more.
That was when I came to the realisation that I wasn’t the problem. There was nothing that I could do that would make them like me so I should stop living my life on their terms. From that day on I have dressed exactly how I wanted to and I don’t care what they think of that.
I would finish my look with dark makeup and jewellery after breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, I was starting to feel very hungry. I headed downstairs and started preparing coffee, bacon and scrambled eggs for me and Ryker.
Our house was a lot smaller than the mansion I was born in but it was bigger than the cosy three bedroom cottage that we had all lived in for ten years. Downstairs there was a comfortable living room, a large kitchen with a large dining table and a formal dining room which Christian used as his office most of the time. Upstairs there were three large double bedrooms and two bathrooms. It may not have been the most lavish home but it was comfortable and I love it here.
“Oh my god. Diana, this smells amazing.” Ryker said, causing my heart to skip a beat.
I may have grown up with Ryker and been living with him for most of our lives but we were not related in any way. I haven’t admitted this to anyone but over the last couple of years I have developed a huge crush on him. I can’t help it, he is 6th3 with a muscular build, long blond hair, blue eyes and the kind of face that could break hearts with a single smile.
What makes it worse is I know that he feels the same way about me. If our situation was different I would have asked him out in a heartbeat but our current living arrangement would make any kind of relationship awkward. I hope that once I turn eighteen my wolf will recognise him as our mate and then we can be together without feeling guilty. Until then I guess we’ll just have to settle for silently pinning for each other.
“I know I do but what about the food?” I joked.
“That smells almost as tasty as you do.” He said, there was a slight husky growl in his voice.
I wished I hadn’t started flirting with him now, we weren’t meant to get this involved. Heck we weren’t even meant to acknowledge our feelings for each other. He walked towards me, he poured himself a cup of coffee and put some bread in the toaster. I was so busy focusing on the eggs that I didn’t notice how close Ryker was until he started to turn the bacon in the pan right next to me.
I was suddenly conscious of how close he was to me, I could even feel the heat coming off of his body. If I just leaned slightly my whole body would be pressing against his. I could just lean over slightly and kiss him, then I would know if he tastes as good as he smells.
This is bad, I need to put some distance between us before I do something that I will later regret. Ryker took two plates out of the cupboard next to me, I could feel his breath on me and I could see the smile crossing his face out of the corner of my eye. He knew exactly what he was doing to me and he was enjoying this. Damn him.
I backed away from him slowly and walked over to the jug of coffee. I picked my favourite gaming related mug out of the cupboard and poured myself some coffee. I breathed in. The moment the coffee hit my nostrils it was as though my body suddenly started to come back alive. I quietly moaned although it wasn’t quiet enough to escape Ryker’s notice, his eyes shot in my direction straight away. I could feel my cheeks heating up, apparently I was determined to make a fool out of myself today.
I walked over to the kitchen table and sat down so that he wouldn’t be able to see my face. I hope that he doesn’t notice. There are only a few things you can guarantee in life: death, taxes and that Ryker will take every opportunity to capitalise on my embarrassment.
“I don’t know how you can drink black coffee.” Ryker commented as he started to put our breakfast onto plates.
“It is like my soul.” I joked.
Ryker was laughing as he set the plate in front of me. Hopefully my dark humour is enough to break the tension between us and we can eat breakfast together like normal people.
I try to focus all my energy on the plate of food in front of me, something that I normally have no problem with. Today however, I find myself glancing in Ryker’s direction every so often. I even caught him doing the same thing more than once. The tension between us was so strong that I could hardly bear being in the same room as him. All I could think about was how much I wanted to kiss him.
Things aren’t usually this bad between us. A few weeks ago things were almost normal but then I broke up with my girlfriend Mary-Anne. Ever since then our feelings for each other have been growing stronger. It is starting to get to the point where neither of us can hide how we feel. I am so glad that my birthday is only a couple of days away.
I saw Ryker glance my way out of the corner of my eye. He looked me up and down while nibbling on his bottom lip. Ok, I need to get out of here right now. I stood up from the table and started walking towards the door.
“Where do you think you’re going?” He said, his voice was huskier than normal. I turned to look at him. He was still sitting at the table but he had turned his whole body so he could look at me.
“Just going to put some make-up on before school.” I said.
I was trying to sound nonchalant but I missed. My voice was a few octaves higher than it should be and my breathing and heart rate were a dead give away of the effect he was having on me.
“Someone as beautiful as you doesn’t need make-up but I could think of something else we could do with the next half an hour instead.” He said.
He stood up and started walking towards me, the look in his eyes was so intense that it made my heart skip a beat. I licked my lips. It wasn’t intentional but it was probably the worst thing that I could have done because I heard his heart rate instantly accelerate.
He took a step closer to me and raised his hand to touch me. His fingers were millimetres away from my cheek when I heard a door open upstairs. He looked up towards the noise so I took the chance to slip away before he could distract me again. I have never run up stairs even half as quickly as I did at that moment.
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