They called me Echo when I joined the pack, saying that was what I looked like, an echo. Maybe it's because no matter the form i took, I always had silver eyes and a silver pelt. A ghostly look alike. I stuck out like a thorn.
But my pack said it was a gift, that all of us were gifted no matter the form we take. I had found a place of acceptance with my pack. We shared the bonds of outcasts together. I had found a place of trust.
There were nine of us now. Five males and four females thanks to the newest addition of me. But I wasn't the youngest. We were all different ages, the oldest twenty-one, the youngest just thirteen. Two brother-sister pairs and a set of cousins gave us the tight family feel the pack needed. We lived hidden in plain sight in a small coastal town much like my home. They had rented a house just inside of the city limits, playing the young group of friends trying to make it on their own.
I had found a best friend in the girl named Willow, who had been on the run since she was just nine years old. She has a motherly way to her, a soft voice and a gentle touch. She was welcoming and kind, her smile bright and her eyes always sparkling with a sweet comfort.
Thinking back to the day I had come here, I don't even recognize myself. I had only been here for a little more than three months, but i had regained the humanity I had lost just two short years ago.
I had hidden the truth from everyone for as long as i could remember, my pale appearance raising questions as to whether I really was my parents' child. But I was, parternity tests had proved that. But the day I had snapped, a bully in my high school was saying my mother had an affair, that I wasn't my father's child. She had said that it must be true, seeing as how my parents were both dark haired with brown eyes. She had called my mother a whore, that even my mother couldn't name my father. My mother was no whore. I had been fighting those words for years. I was fed up.
Letting the anger take me, my muscle and bone shifted, my senses sharpened, and my body grew stronger. I leapt, my heavy silver paws landing on her chest, a growl deep in my throat. I could smell her fear, and the fear of others as they backed away. I could hear the dialing of phones and the click of cameras. It's not every day a hundred-pound, fifteen year old, girl bursts into a great silver, snarling tiger.
I had been ready to rip open her soft bare throat, but the Venatores, or the Hunters, would have been there soon. They were trained to face my kind.
Shifting forms, I had returned to my human form and scrambled to my feet and out the high school doors. They would have been looking for me by then, but a shifter is hard to track.
I disappeared into the trees just off school campus, heading for the beach. I could hide easier when they didn't know where I was headed. I would be safe traveling along the coast, at least until I found a place safe enough for me.
I had traveled down the west coast and across the southern United States. I had lived as an animal for my entire journey, moving as a wolf, fox, deer or a little house cat, depending on the area I visited. I had lost my humanity, I was truly an animal.
It was Jasper and Leo who found me just outside of Miami, Florida. They noticed right off the bat that I wasn't a normal animal, but one of them that had lost herself. In the form of a little, silver, tabby cat, it was easy for them to catch me and take me home.
Together, that rag tag family brought me back from the edge and restored my humanity. In two months I had changed so much. I was stronger, wiser and so much more sure of myself with my pack by my side.
My name wasn't just Echo; I was an echo, an echo of who I used to be.