When I found out that Vampires and witches were real, and were in fact some of my neighbours, I had my pack to go back to. I'd sat up for hours on the phone with Jason as he tried to calm me down, telling me that if we didn't invite them into our house they couldn't attack me in my sleep and that there was a certain boundary that they can't cross with our kind. I'd felt so protected by the pack whenever there was a problem--they were my second family. But now, after everything that has happened in the span of twenty-four hours, I feel like the black sheep; unwanted and unaccepted.
When I finally got home, after running in my wolf form for nearly two hours, my room was my first destination. For some reason, the urge to call Sean and unload my grief and anger on him forces me to dial the number that he'd given me shortly before dropping me off this morning. I hang up the phone after briefly letting him know that I need to talk to someone, and now I am lying on my bed, facing my white ceiling and thinking through how much I should tell Sean.
I can't tell him that I'm a werewolf, obviously, since that's a pack rule. And I can't divulge too much about the meeting, since Jason would kill me and the others would--I stop the thought, reminding myself that I am no longer part of the pack. I am a lone wolf now, protected by no one. Alone.
My mind is heavy with the thought and my eyelids droop with the uneasiness that is growing in my stomach. Maybe I was too rash in my decision, after all, I've always been in a pack.
I take in a deep breath and lift my hand up, closing my eyes and letting my wolf senses take over. Instantly, I feel the electricity in my room, the anger that I brought in with me after my run. I can smell the scent of the few pack members that have been in my room when we had impromptu meetings, Alice's candy perfume and Jason's deodorant and body wash.
The sounds of my dad in the kitchen downstairs, busily chopping at what smells like garlic, my mom doing the same yoga routine that has helped her maintain control over the need to change for years, and my brother watching some kind of horror film fills the house. While this may seem like a normal household to most, I know that their keeping busy is a sign that they are all trying to deal with the death of my cousin. I know that they are thinking the same thoughts that crossed my mind this morning--there are no humans left in the Claire family.
I can smell the fresh snow outside and my eyes jolt open. I sit up in my bed, suddenly struggling for air. I am over by my window in seconds and I slide the glass open so forcefully that I hear it crack at the end. A shower of glass falls at my feet from where it has weakened from the crack and I ignore the pain as some scratch my hands. I lean on the remaining glass, breathing in the cold air. Feeling my pain and loneliness, I howl loudly, ending it in a soft whimper. I wait for what feels like an eternity before realizing that no one is going to howl back.
"Hey," I hear behind me and I turn instantly, putting a bare foot on a sharp piece of glass.
"Holy sh--" I yell out before hobbling over to my bed.
Sean rushes over to me and quietly inspects my foot. He makes a knowing snort and uses the ends of his right index finger and thumb to pluck the glass from my foot. A sharp pain shoots up and I kick him before I realize that he is simply a human. I let out a gasp as Sean flies back against my closet, the tape on the left top corner of the Taylor Lautner poster above his head coming loose. "Oh my god," I shriek, jumping towards him and softly grabbing his chin with my palms. I inspect him, waiting for a cry of pain as any other human would emit if they were to feel my true power like Sean just did. It's a miracle my closet didn't shatter. "I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to! I've just been through a lot of things and I guess my anger got the better of me!"
Sean groans and I prepare for his icy stare of fear, instead Sean smiles and starts gently laughing. "I can tell that your foot is already better, you heal faster than I thought." Instantly I drop his chin and he flinches.
"What did you just say?" I say, sitting back now that I know he's okay.
"You heard me," Sean says, but not in a mean way. "Don't tell me that you're one of those girls who hears things, but then pretends they didn't. Cause then that could be a problem."
I shake my head slowly and raise my eyebrows in surprise. "How did you know that I can heal quickly?"
"That's easy," he looks at me quizzically, "aren't all werewolves supposed to heal super fast?"
The sounds in my house vanish and the feel of the cold wind outside fails to phase me as my attention focuses solely on Sean. "What?" I scoff at his easy going face. "You're kidding right? Werewolves?"
He nods slowly, a grin stealing over his full lips. "Yes," he sits up, completely fine despite the now visible dent in my wooden closet door. "Don't worry MC," he says quietly, not breaking eye contact with me, "I have my own secret."
Minutes later we are outside of my house and I can smell my old pack several miles away. The thought sends shivers down my back. The moon is now out and the yellow light of our living room burns across the snow laden front yard. The skeletal branches of the trees in the woods line the sky and small, black birds soar noisily from one place to another. The roads are quiet and the pavement is barely visible under the thin layer of snow. Sean stands a few feet in front of me, facing me. His chest is rising and falling heavily as he regards me with a slightly tilted head and enthused eyes.
"Sean?" I say softly, the wind carrying my voice.
"I've finally met someone that can keep my secret and that I can trust fully," he says, his voice so low that if it weren't for my extrasensory hearing, I'd only see his lips moving. "I will help you find the man that killed your cousin, but you must help me restrain myself."
"Promise me," Sean says forcefully. "Can you do that?"
I'm too curious to assess his words, but I nod and wait to hear his answer. Instead, Sean removes his dark grey Hollister shirt, revealing the stomach and chest of a guy who either spends too much time at the gym or is something else altogether. Before I can ask him what he is doing, Sean looks directly at me and his eyes tell me to watch carefully.
Then he turns into a beautiful, green eyed Arctic Wolf.