“Look, I don't want any trouble,” the guy said, looking very uneasy.
“Then quit being a fag. Two guys together is fucked up,” Felix spat back.
“Yeah, it's just a waste of the packs resources to look after you,” Mitchell threw in.
“I'm not even part of your pack, so why do you care?” the stranger yelled back, his hands curling into fists.
“It don't matter. Something like you benefits no one. You're not worthy of being something as majestic as a wolf,” Travis half-growled. He stepped forward and before the strange could reply, hit him with a right hook. He cried out as blood sprayed from his nose. I gripped the bark of the tree, my eyes growing wide. He fell to his knees, covering his face and wincing.
“That your best?” he said, wiping blood from his chin.
“Nah,” Travis replied happily, before kicking him under the chin. The man sprawled backward, landing painfully on the dry earth. “My boys ain't even got involved yet,” he smirked. He stepped away and nodded. It was as a silent signal had been triggered. I looked away and covered my ears, unable to listen to the sounds as the four beat on him. I was used to seeing fights in wolf form. It was a normal activity, though never to the death. I'd never watched werewolves fight in human form. Hell that wasn't even fighting. I could hear the strangers grunts despite my best efforts to ignore it all. The background on it where volatile insults and coarse laughter. I could feel my body shaking with it. Eventually the sound stopped.
“Come on, I'm hungry. I think we made ourselves clear to the freak of nature,” Travis called. I shook from the safety of the tree, glad they didn't walk past me on the way back. I was terrified what they might do to me. What if they could somehow sense what I myself had only just worked out. I lowered my hands from my ears and peered round. There was no sign of the five men. The stranger as curled into the fetal position, groaning. I edged towards him slwoly, pushing back bile as I took in his blue and black state.
“Can you shift?” I asked, kneeling next to him. His eyes shot open at the sound of my voice. He shut them again and with pained effort, pushing himself into a sitting position.
“Yeah,” he murmured. “I heard the rumours, but-” he cut himself off, wincing as he stood with the help of a tree.
“Who were they?” I asked.
“Peterborough pack. They're ruthless,” he replied.
“Why did they beat you up for being gay?” I asked, my confusion still there. He let out a harsh laugh, wiping blood that still dripped from his nose.
“'Cause some people are just that full of hate I guess. Some people don't like what they don't understand. Just the way of life,” he shrugged. “Step back,” he asked. I did as he asked and watched as he shifted. When he shifted back his clothes were torn up, but truthfully the beating hadn't left them in a good state anyway.
“What's your name kid?” he asked, walking a little steadier.
“Luca,” I replied. “Lowell pack,” I added.
“Ah, Davis is a good man,” he murmured, wiping sweat from his brow. “You better get going Luca.” I hesitated, looking around the trees, still unable to see a path.
“I'm actually lost. I haven't changed yet,” I explained.
“Oh, okay. I should be able to help you find your family. C'mon,” he said. He winced as he stepped but refused any help I offered. My dad's mouth dropped open when I turned up with him. I shooed back to Bryan and Penny while he and Peter took the stranger away. I later learned his name was Robert. It turned out he wasn't affiliated with any pack. He'd been kicked out after he came out. He had been a lone wolf since but had come to the blue moon in hopes of spending time with his own kind. I don't know what happened to him. Bryan told me he probably left for his own protection. I waited by the back door as evening dawned and waited but Riley never turned up.