The twelve Originals swiftly gained legendary status for various reasons. However, none more so than Jackson Wolfsbane. Whilst he had died before the twelve Packs had even begun, he was considered the hybrid that brought an end to the Wars. Finally, vampires and werewolves had something to unite them, a common cause. Their mutual loathing for the Hybrid newcomers.
Stronger in every way to their root races, they grew quickly, eventually forming Twelve Packs, mirroring a normal wolfpack in their hierarchy; One Alpha pack; which acted as a sort of governing body and was originally lead by William the Peacemaker. A Beta Pack, which aided the Alphas. They went down after that, the Third pack, originally headed by Clara and bore a great number of exceptionally gifted healers. The Fourth Pack, on and on to the Omegas. They were considered the weakest of the Packs, usually providing a wealth of intelligent workers. Rather than providing the political or warrior prowess that was prized in the Alphas, these wolves built the incredible technology that became invaluable to the Packs as a whole. Whilst they were still considered weak by the Packs as a whole, Greywolf brought them into the fold, aided by his sister and their leader Rose. Quickly, attitudes in the Packs grew to accept them as an invaluable support.
In these years of building and repairing the scars left by the War, the Hybrids grew. The Originals eventually passed into legend as heroes, martyrs or passing away as their mates were killed by Hunters sent by the races. It seemed that as they lost their mates, they lost their will to live. Soon, a couple of generations passed through the Alpha positions as younger and stronger Hybrids took their places. With their extended life, the Hybrids enjoyed an accelerated development over the other races and they swiftly began to hold off Hunters, humans and the demons that began to plague them; drawn by their hugely advanced technologies and exceptional vitality. The Hybrids entered a golden age, where legends seemed like a bad dream and everything seemed to be going well for them. It was into this age that two pups were born-a world apart.
In the Alpha pack, the old Storyteller, Greywolf, presided over the birth of a new Alpha pup. With dark sandy coat and brilliant green eyes, Greywolf was struck by the resemblance to the Original Jackson Wolfsbane.
"This pup is the exact image of Jackson Wolfsbane." He murmured, half to himself. "Your line has been looked on kindly. I think that he would be more than worthy of the name."
The parents, understandably proud to have such a compliment laid on their young pup, quickly agreed and he became Jackson Wolfsbane II. He grew and fulfilled every hope that a young Alpha could be expected to fill. Strength and intelligence burned strong in his eyes, his fierce temper curbed by compassion. He was well-loved in the Alpha pack and once he became old enough, he expanded his supporters into the wider Packs. He was often seen in the company of Greywolf. As Storyteller in the pack, he often acted as a mentor to the young Alphas. Normally, such an old wolf would have been left behind by a Pack, but Greywolf was respected for his strength-surprising for one so old- his compassion (apparently infinite) and his vast experience; not only of the Packs and their histories, but of the world as a whole. His origins were lost in time to the Packs as a whole, as he resisted talk about himself but his mate, Phoenix, was still by his side. They shared a close bond together, as though they had weathered infinite time together without their love even wavering.
As Jackson II neared his prime, he was seen more and more with the couple, learning everything that he could about becoming Alpha. Shortly, as was expected of him, he took over the Alpha position, however, in an exceptional way as he released the Alpha, his father, immediately, allowing him to take a lower position in the Alpha pack as opposed to chasing him away-as was the tradition. He was celebrated, hailed as a great leader. For a good many years, he held to this, ruling with strength and compassion. He still spent a lot of time with Greywolf and Phoenix and their calming influence showed in him. It was on one of their walks in the woods that they were ambushed.
Greywolf and Phoenix had pulled ahead a little from Jackson as he scouted around the area. In wolf form, he covered a vast area and was just cresting the hill that overlooked their path when he saw the ambush that lay in wait for them. He howled, racing towards them, but his warning reached them too late as he watched, in agonising slow motion, as the first demon rose from its hiding place and take aim at Greywolf. Phoenix sprang up to intercept the crossbow bolt that would have otherwise killed her mate. Greywolf let out an agonised howl, shifting into a magnificent silver wolf, towering over both Jackson-arriving fractionally too late- and the demons that now appeared from everywhere. Together, they made short work of the stinking horde.
Sides heaving with effort, muzzle and bared teeth dripping with black, viscous blood, Greywolf turned to his mate. Jackson watched as he folded in on himself, shifting back into his human form and falling to his knees to hold her. Unable to bear the sight a moment longer, he turned and fled to the hilltops, where something inside him broke. He howled, agony and a lust for revenge blending in a sound that haunted all of the Packs, linked as they were through their telepathy. It was days before anyone saw the Alpha again, at the funeral.
Representatives from all of the Packs came to see one of their most beloved wolves off into the next life. Jackson stood aloof from it all, his compassion and mercy crystallised into bitter grief and anger. It seemed so pointless that in this time of peace, he couldn't protect one of the people he loved the most.
"Its not fair. Of all the people that they could have taken, why her?"
The soft female voice startled Jackson out of his dark thoughts. He spun round with a snarl, stopping short when he saw her. Black hair, flowing like ink past her shoulders, framed a delicate, almost oriental face. Her eyes were a deep shade of green that was almost black and they widened in shock. She dipped her head instantly.
"Forgive me, I thought I was alone."
He shook his head, shame pricking at him for his vicious response. "Its okay. What is your name."
"Aryelle Omegaswan, sir. I know who you are." She kept her eyes lowered, giving her a fragile appearance. Against his will, Jackson felt himself soften towards her.
"Please, Jackson. And you were right you know. Its not fair that they've taken her from us."
"Its just.. with everything improving.. it seems wrong that she of all people had to go."
Jackson nodded. "She was a good wolf."
She nodded her assent. "I should probably get going, I didn't mean to intrude... Jackson."
The way she said his name, so shyly, send an odd kind of shiver through him.
"Take care of yourself Aryelle."
She was gone almost as silently as she had appeared, leaving Jackson bewildered. However, it didn't take long for his old anger to resolve itself once he had thrown the incident out of his mind. The wound left by Phoenix's loss festered and soon the compassion with which he was so celebrated was replaced by a cold fury that won him the fear and respect of all of the Packs. He hunted the enemies of Hybrids ruthlessly and anything that could help in this was encouraged. Whispers grew that he had gone mad with grief, but these were kept quiet. Very quiet.
It was on a routine tour of one of the main Omega Pack areas that he saw her again. All of the time that had passed had not dulled the memory of her fragile beauty on that day and he had half wondered if she had been a dream. But she appeared again, head bowed, hurrying with a vast load across the street in front of him. Without a word to his entourage, he went to her.
"Allow me." he said, quietly, taking the load from her.
Her eyes widened in surprise but she allowed him to take the load, giving him a shy smile. He was surprised at the weight of it-it hadn't appeared to be much of a burden to her-but carried it as they spoke. Again, he felt the anger and pain that plagued him melt in her presence. It was with great reluctance that he left her at her door.
"May I see you again tomorrow?" He said, feeling uncommonly shy and awkward.
She smiled, sending a beautiful blush across her cheeks. "It would be an honour." She dipped her head slightly before disappearing into her home.
A strange elation filled him as he made his way to his quarters. This was short lived however, as a crowd of Betas and the Alphas of the Omega Pack greeted him with some derision.
"The company of an Omega is not for you." One of them said. "You should concern yourself with the Alphas."
Jackson snorted. "And what would Greywolf have made of that remark?"
With that, he left them, disgusted by their attitude since it reminded him so much of his own of late.
The next day was one of rare peace and calm for Jackson. Such was Aryelle's influence, he found himself truly smiling with her. She showed him a curiously wicked sense of humour and an incredible strength that far belied her looks. Jackson found himself opening up to someone for the first time, telling her things that even Greywolf hadn't known.
When the day came to a close, Jackson found the idea of parting with her unbearable. She filled the hole left by Phoenix's loss and a hole in his life that he hadn't even been aware of. She tamed the fury in him and made him altogether more bearable.
"Aryelle.. would you like to stay with me?" He said, once they reached her door again. Heart in mouth, he watched astonishment give way to cautious joy.
"H-how would I be of service to you?" She replied, hesitant now that her normal life was so close at hand.
"It would be my honour if you would become my mate."