The grim of the sky was starting to open into briny blue. The smell of the woods infolds the air I breathed as the first wind of the day from the hills blew towards me. I was fascinated with the cries I heard. The cries of the new hatched birds, cries of the new born creatures. Animals were waking while different chirps were playing in sync. Leaves and twigs were brushing together making sounds of friction as the wind blew harder.
Overwhelmed by the sense of the woods, I sprinted off the rock I was sitting on. As I stand, I tied my disheveled auburn hair in a tight bun. I then fixed the arrows I carried at my back and took the bow that was laid on the rock besides me.
The bow was a bit old, but strong. It was made out of a wood called Xiera - a strong wood found only in the forest of the unknown. Carved on it was the name of my mom 'Annabeth', my sister 'Aleah', my brother 'Andrew' and mine. This was given to me by my dad before he died, attacked by giant wolves. A painful memory.
I remember everything that happened that day. How my family died in my eyes.
I tried my hardest to stop myself from reminiscing the past, because tears were threatening to fall from my dull grey eyes, but my hardest wasn't enough.
I witnessed it all. I heard their cries of agony. I saw how they tortured Andrew to death. How the demons shifted and raped Aleah and my mom. How they laughed as they molested my 15 years old sissy. How my father chose to rather die and follow his dead mate.
Yet, I had done nothing. I just stood in that small compartment, frozen at the sight. I felt so useless, so helpless. After all I was just eight when all these happened.
I felt hot liquid on my chick. I brushed it off, but more of it kept on cascading, falling from my eyes. I wanted it to stop. I wanted to stop feeling the numb pain in my chest. So I did what I do every time I cried. I thought of him.
"Enough of the memories. It's time to work," I uttered to myself.
Shrugging of the memories the bow brought me, I knelled on my right and picked a stone as big as a hen's egg from the ground. Stretching my left arm, I held the bow and pointed its direction to the gigantic gong hanged at the right side of the gate of our town. I placed the stone at the center of the string of the bow and pulled it together until the string reached its limit.
I mustered a deep breath as I closed my eyes and waited for the sign. My breathing was even as I focused. The cold breeze touched my bare skin, but I fought myself not to shiver. I felt strands of hair in my face so I blew it off.
I concentrated more and patiently waited. I was welcomed by a deafening silence from the woods. It's as if creatures were empathizing with my concentration. I knew they were waiting for the same sign as well. It was every morning animal's instinct to wait for the last sign.
For a moment the forest was silent. Until then the last sign came.
The second wind of the day with the bite of the sun blew. Sounds from the woods again erupted. This was the sign we were waiting. Opening my eyes I focused my strength on both my arms. My right arm was pulling more of the string's length while my left hand gripped the bow harder. When the heated breeze touched me, I released the stone from my hold together with the string.
Like a lightning the stone hit the gong's center. Like a thunder it produced sound that resonates through the whole town. It sounded like a bell but a cracked one. If I were to describe it more, the sound was more like a bell and a cymbal combined.
"One," I counted.
I hastily picked another stone and got back with my stance and shot. The gong produced the same sound.
"...two, one last stone," I proudly said, picking my last stone for the last signal.
The gong resonates another sound for the last time. The difference was... I did not cause that last signal. I'm still holding the stone I picked on my hand.
"Three," a familiar male voice spoke from my behind. It's him.
I turned my head back and looked at the owner of the voice. Behind me was a six-foot, three-inched man with dark brown hair. Plastered on his face was a smirk that wrote victory in it. His brown eyes were filled with arrogance that pissed me off. In his hand was a slingshot. It really is him.
"What the hell Ed!" I hissed, controlling myself not to shout.
"What Ad? I can't let you have all the fun," he countered mockingly.
"Well that's the only fun this whole patrolling thing gives me, and you ruin it!" I shouted, losing my control and pointed my finger towards him. "You and your slingshot!" I said through gritted teeth.
"Whoa! Hold on there. Why so feisty? Do you have your period?" he asked awkwardly. He looked down and pinched the bridge of his nose at his last question. He always does that every time his uncomfortable with the conversation.
"Whatever Ed," I just shrugged-off his question, dropped the stone and stood. Composing myself, I brushed the dirt off my right knee and hanged the bow on my left shoulder. I was about to leave but he stopped me by pulling my right hand.
I stared at his hand that was tightly gripping mine, forbidding me to leave. Then I quickly looked at his face. I can't help admire his physiques. He has a well-defined jawline. His lips were full, perfect enough for a male lips. Its red color shouted kiss me. Then my sight traveled on his perfect nose. God everything about this man shouted perfect. I look at his perfect sculptured body then back to his perfect brown eyes.
"Done checking me out?" Well I guess no one is really perfect. He do have his flaws, his attitude. Him being his cocky arrogant-self again. His smirk said it all. He wants to play then let us play.
"Sorry for checking you out. It's just that you gain so much weight," I lied with my very sweet voice while pointing my finger at his godlike body.
"What weight?" His face paled. An epic reaction for a man that knows no fear. One thing I know about this man was his body conscious. He loved his features so much. I smirked inwardly. Talking 'bout male EGO.
I enjoyed this game so I continued.
"Is that a pimple on your face?" I moved forward and narrowed my eyes as if I'm concentrating more. I tried to reach his face but he moved back.
"No!" he overreacted. "Maybe it's just a bite from a mosquito. Yes, that's right it's just a mosquito bite. I must check this when I get back home," he reasoned out, while he covered his face with both hands. Although he spoke his last statement on a whisper it didn't escaped my sense of hearing.
I chuckled. He seemed to be so embarrassed. He even freed my hand from his grip.
"I was just joking you know," I said grinning. Happy that I got my easy comeback. I was happy but I'm so tired to celebrate.
"You little -" I wanted to rest now so I cut him off.
"What do you want Edgar?" I asked. Exhaustion was evident in my voice. He calmed himself down. He knows I'm now serious because I called him with his real name. What I didn't expect was he smiled and moved forward. Closing more of the distance between us, he hugged me and whispered.
"Happy birthday Adrianna.”
A smile was encrypted in my face as I laid my body at the grassy ground. My bow and arrows were neatly placed beside me. The cool breeze of fresh air was so soothing. Exhaustion was taking over my body. The patrol was too tiring. The routines changed as well as the schedules. We were forced to patrol earlier every night and have to stay awake at the same time.
These was due to the warning sent by the council. The Nocturnal Demons were starting an army and was threatening the werewolf council to attack pack by pack. We have to put our guards up and watch our borderline carefully.
They attack every night because that's their nature. They easily lose energy with the sun. That information urged us to stay alert when the evening come.
The pack has been using all resources they could get to protect our territory. They were even sending non-shifters - humans - or those who haven't shifted yet, like me, both male and female to patrols every night.
Every morning the gong served as a signal. A signal that tells if it's safe for residents to come out of their houses. One of my task was to make that signal from my post, located at the opening of the woods, fifty or so meters away from the town's gate.
Our town were populated with both humans and werewolves. Human needed us for protection. We needed human for shelter, resources and mainly because some werewolves were mated to human like our Alpha. Alpha Shelton was mated to Luna Helen, a human. This was only a small town, once a 'happy small town' until that dreadful night came.
Slaughter, killing, burned houses, growls, cries and dead bodies were everywhere. That same night Edgar's mom, Luna Helen, died. That same night my family died.
The happy small town was now a scared, scarred town. Things then were not the same.
"You're crying. Not again," Edgar's whiny voice interrupted my thought.
Not catching his sentiment I asked, "What?"
I opened my eyes and was welcomed by his worried face. He was now on top of me. He was kneeling while he sat on my lap. I found both of his hand on his hips while he pouted. It looks like he was scolding me for something. He looked cute, though.
"What?" I asked again.
He then bowed down. He used both of his elbow to support his weight from the ground. We were face to face. Our position was kind of awkward. It looks like I was under a dog or a wolf in our case. He then used his thumb to brush something from my face.
"You're crying again. I told you not to, right?" His voice were filled with worry.
I turned my face away from him and brushed the tears myself. I didn't even realize I was crying. I was actually smiling lately. Damn that stupid memory.
"Sorry, I didn't know I was crying," I defended myself.
"You promise not to, right? But it's okay," he said. He then smiled at me. He got off my lap and laid his self besides me.
"Are you shifting today?" he asked.
"Unfortunately," I answered.
I didn't want to talk about it so I just looked at the sky. This was a beautiful day. The sun was up with all his glory. The clouds were white as snow, showing no sign of rain.
“The weather is good you know," I said out of nowhere.
"Don't change the subject Adrianna. You know this is important," he scolded. That put me on the edge.
"I have escaped the shifting process for 3 years now. What makes you think I wanted to shift? I don't want to become one of them Ed. You know it! I don't want to become a murderer like those monsters who killed my family and your mother in your case!" I spoke every word with venom. Yet, he gave me an understanding look.
"I know. I know you don't want to, but the town needs shifters. I know you don't want the idea of shifting, but I also know you don't want to lose what's left to us. This town is the only thing that was left to both of us. Yes my father is alive, but for me he died along with my mom ten years ago. He's not the same since then.
"The town is what's left to me Ad and same goes to you. You understand me? The town needs us," he said with so much influence in his voice. I knew his right. He was always right.
"You think I didn't know that?" I countered.
"Then what are you doing here moping yourself out!" he shouted.
"Tired girl needs her rest Edgar. I already accepted the fact that I can't run from shifting today. I already had prolonged the process," I scoffed. "Imagine how I managed to escape those three years. I could have shifted but I refused to and have my way out of it. And then here I am now, waiting and accepting the reality that I can't go away from it any longer. Imagine what kind of a monster will I be." My thoughts were shuffling. I didn't even know or care what I was saying.
"You're no monster Ad. We are not monsters. It just so happen that there's good and bad. You have hated your own kind for ten years now. Ten years is enough," he lectured again.
"You're just saying that because you're human. You may have an alpha blood in you but you're still human. You can't shift and you will never be a monster I will become today," I mocked. He's a human. I don't know why but he couldn't shift. I haven't heard of any alpha kid who can't shift except him.
"Now that's where you went wrong."
"What do you mean wrong?" I faced him asking the question. I sat up to make a proper conversation. He didn't answer so I asked him again, "What do you mean wrong?"
"I am a werewolf. I can shift like you. I'm just waiting for you, because I wanted us to shift together." He sat up and looked straight in my eyes. I found myself drowned at that stare.
"I waited for you to accept reality. I waited for that hatred to subside!" he said sternly pointing his finger at my chest. I was dumbfounded. Was I hearing him correctly? He's a werewolf like me?
Then it hit me.
How dare him! How dare he lie to me? He was my only friend, yet he lied to me. I never was befriended by anyone because either human would flee away from me because I'm a monster or I flee away from my co-monsters. I don't want to be close to any werewolf because I loathed my kind. I only managed to be near to human, yet human teens feared me because of my kin. Here I thought 'The Great Edgar' was human. I knew he have alpha blood in him but he said his human.
"You lied to me!" I uttered and crawled backward. I didn't want to be near him.
He said his human. That he can't shift. God, I am so gullible. He must be laughing at me. He must be happy because he fooled me. Why did I fell for that? His face soften, pleading. One thing was on my mind, I won't let anyone fool me again.
"Adrianna let me explain," he pleaded.
"No! I don't need your explanation. Don't bother, because I will never ask for any of your explanation!" I stood and ran deeper in the woods, forgetting the bow and arrows from where I putted them.
I heard Edgar called out my name but he didn't went after me. Good choice, maybe not.
The wind gushed through my skin as I ran faster and deeper to the forest. Both my feet were aching, while the exhaustion I felt was much worse. My lack of sleep and rest was now affecting my eye sight. I didn't know which part of the woods I was in now. I can't even distinguish the path I was taking. I just ran and ran.
My mind were blurred with different thoughts and memories, happy and bad.
I thought of Edgar. I thought of my family. I thought of me. I was thinking of me becoming a monster like those rogues that killed my family. I was thinking of my life. How messed-up my goddamn life was.
I was so imprisoned to my own anxieties. My past has become my own cell of bars, my own jail, and my own cage. I isolated myself and blocked others. The only person that I let in was Edgar. That lying bastard was the only one I trust, yet what? He goddamn lied.
We used to comfort each other. We grew up together. He told me stories of happy ending. He let me believe that there was a fate written for me. A drawn fate that will lead me to happiness. He spoke of sweet words that deeply touched my heart. Words that serves as stitches to the cuts I have in my being. He made me smile when I'm sad. He was the only one that kept me sane.
Why did he lie? He could have told me but he didn't. How fool of me to ask that question after telling him that I don't need his explanation.
Am I doing the right thing? Is running the right thing?
Sh*t! I guess I was wrong when I said he didn't went after me.
"Adrianna, not there. Don't go there!" he shouted, but all I can hear was muffled sounds.
I pushed my own limit and ran faster and farther.
I passed trees and dodged logs after logs. Trunks became thicker and thicker. I thought I was in the middle of the woods. I guessed I was in the deepest part of it but I was wrong. I was at the end of it.
Strong hands were wrapped firmly around my waist. The noise of my heavy breathing and the pounding of my heart was mixed with the raging sound of the raging river below. Eastern wind were blowing towards us, blowing my auburn hair with it.
Behind me was Edgar. His head was rested on my shoulder while his breathing was matching mine. In front of me was space.
We were at the edge of the cliff. One move forward and we will fall and will be drag along with strong current of the river below us. We'll be dead.
Different emotions were contrasting in my system. I was shocked as hell and scared like a crap. My mind was still evaluating the scene. I can't find my strength to move, I can't even utter a word.
Edgar lifted me from the back, away from the cliff. I felt the pounding of his heart. They were like bombs exploding from time to time. His was even stronger than mine. He put me down. He loosen his wrap around me, but I quickly fell back. I can't stand my feet was numb. I tried to stand, but only to no avail.
Edgar decided to pull me more towards him. He was still not talking. He dragged me to the nearest tree and guided me to sit underneath its shade. My mind can't register everything. For the duration I was paralyzed, but I quickly gain my senses when I felt a tingling pain on my right cheek.
Horror, anger and disbelief was written all over Edgar's face. His tanned face was red. His eyes were now deep black, that I can't find any sign of white in it. I noticed some fur sprouting around his neck. His canines were visible. Yet, I hadn't felt any fear in me towards him. Instead I was awed by the sight. I find it amazing and beautiful. He looks so beautiful.
I felt the same tingling pain, when Edgar slapped me for the second time. This time I fell to the ground.
"Are you planning to kill yourself?" I flinched at the sound of his voice that boomed in the forest. He picked me up once again and slapped me for the third time, and this time stronger.
I managed to sit up and looked at him. Droplet of tears were falling from his eyes. Gone was the anger from his expression, replaced was vulnerability. I had never seen Edgar this weak. He was a strong wielded man. I didn't even saw him cry for his mother's death. Looking at him now, I saw a lost boy.
With all the strength I could muster, I wrapped my hands around him. I gave the rest of my strength on that hug. I felt obligated to comfort him. I felt lost for him. Sobs were escaping from his mouth. It took him time before he hugged me back. His hug was so tight that I find it hard to breath. It was like a message that tells me he'll never let me live him.
"I'm sorry." Together we said those words causing both of us to chuckle. How bipolar, isn't it? But that's how werewolves were. We were known for our sudden change of emotion and expression. We were a very emotional creature.
He then broke the hug and putted both his hands on both my cheeks. I closed my eyes and savoured the feeling of his heated palms.
"Look at me," he ordered sweetly. Being the stubborn me I dismissed his order.
"Okay, just listen. Please here me out," he started. "I lied..." I flinched when I heard the word 'lied' so he stopped. But continued.
"I lied because that's the only way for me to get near you. You hated our kin. You hated our ability. You hated our lives. You hated yourself because your one. I can't figure a way to get near, talk and be able to be friends with you 'cause you push werewolves away. Now tell me Adrianna will you let me in if I didn't tell you I was human?" He was right. I would probably kill him with my arrows if he forced himself to be a friend of mine knowing his a monster. So I kept my silence.
"I lied because I love you..." I was dumbfounded by his confession, but dumbfounded was an understatement to what he did next. "... and I lied because of this."
I opened my eyes and saw his face an inch away from mine. His eyes were closed and the sprouting of fur was gone. I can't move back because he was holding my face firmly. A second later his lips were crushed into mine. Then a second later I felt fireworks in my being. Another second passed the tingling sensation burst into millions of volts. As his lips moved I was brought to the cloudiest of nine. My hands found his hair while his left arm found my waist and deepen the kiss.
The inner me was jumping and was longing for more. A voice from my mind repeatedly chanted Mate, Mate, Mate.
Then it dawned into me like a giant block. His my mate. My soul mate, the one who was destined for me. He was my drawn fate. The one that will love me no matter what. He was the happiness I was looking and waiting for. All anger that was stored in me was gone.
"I lied because of that."
This fool, how can I get angry with my mate? How can I hate the one for me?
"Why do you think I would get angry or hate you? And how long did you know?"
"You hated our kind much more than you think Adrianna. Much more than you know. You know what the pack was thinking of you? A freak and a monster like those rogues. Why? Rogues hated themselves, they were insane. They wanted to kill their own kind because they lost someone they love. They hated themselves because they were one of us."
He's words were like knives that cut deep through my soul.
"Because of your hate, you were becoming like them. I don't want my mate to be like that. I tried to find my way in you. To make you understand but you were so stubborn and had already locked yourself up. I figure out that you're my mate when we were ten. The pack has been discouraging me and wanted me to find another mate because they needed their alpha. They need me now but I can't help them because I won't shift without you. I only want you Ad. I love you."
He was right. I was becoming like them. Because of my hate I learned to hate myself and the others. I never thought that by hating those monsters I came to hate my own family as well because their werewolves. I came to hate the ones I love because of the hate I have towards those rogues. I became my own killer.
"Adrianna don't waste the life your family defended. Because I am sure as hell that I won't lose you because of that hatred. I can't bring up the thought that my mate, the one that was supposed to love me would hate me because of our kin. You are not a monster Adrianna."
He then leaned forward and kissed me ones more.
"Adrianna, becoming a monster is a choice. Not because you were born a vicious creature you were born a murderer or a monster. Not because you were different makes you different at all. Remember that," he said then looked at me straight in the eyes. "But you know what? If you choose to become one? I'd rather be one as well that's how I love you."
"You fool what makes you think I'll love you if you become one?" I asked. Finally finding my voice.
"My looks," he answered while crawling forward. "My sexy body," he said once more and I crawled back. "My hot abs, my smile, my eyes, my lips," he said continuously. I tried to crawl back once again but I was trapped by the tree.
"You're so full of your-" He cut me off by his kiss and he then placed my right hand at his chest. I felt the beating of his heart while the fireworks started again.
"My love." I felt my heart sunk because of his word.
"I love you," I said. Those words were like a bomb to my being. I hadn't said those words for ten years now. It was like an automatic response to his action. I bit my lips and looked at his grinning face. His eyes were glistening with unexplainable gladness.
"Finally!" he shouted.
He looked back at the cliff and in an instant a scowl was written in his face. "You dimwit, don't ever try to run away from me. Don't you ever dare pull that stunt again. If you wanted kill yourself just say so, so I can kill myself first. You don't know how scared I was. I nearly shifted for god's sake."
I don't know what to say so I just nodded.
"You don't just nod, do something," he said, acting like a three years old kid.
"What will I do?" He pointed his lips then closed his eyes. This bastard thought he can have any? I scoffed. I still can't forget that he slapped me three times and then he lied to me. Though the thought of kissing him was so inviting, so I kissed him but just on his cheek.
"What? Just the cheek!" he whined like a baby.
"You slapped me you know? Three times," I informed him.
Suddenly my cheeks were showered with kisses. "I'm sorry," he said after every kisses but I just let him. It felt so good. "I'm so, so, so, sorry." I was taken aback because this time he kissed me on my lips. This cheating wolf.
"I love you," he said once more.
"I love you too," I responded with so much sincerity in it.
"Let's go back to town. We have a big announcement to make. We then have to shift and I will mark you in front of the pack. I will then mate you tonight."
"What mate? You perverted wolf."
"Hey! I've waited for such a long time. I don't want to die a virgin you know," he said while smirking like an idiot.
"Let just get out of here and do the shifting then mating process. I too have waited you know," I said, playing along with his game.
"Well, this will be long-long night then," he said cockily. I guessed I played a wrong game then.
He stood up and lend me his hand. I look at him with a smile on my face. We walk through the woods to the town happy together. "Let's walk faster. The town and the pack needs their Alpha and Luna."
If I know, he just can't wait for us to mate. Honestly speaking, I too can't wait. Stupid werewolf hormones.
The trees stood firm and strong as the wind blows its way into the town. Falling leaves danced and swayed as the wind guided them down. Every twirl and flip of the leaves was a perfect swift of motion. Perfect as it is, I saw the contrast and beauty in this scenery. I can't help but compare myself and my life to these two related but distinct objects.
Will I be the leaf that sways accordingly to how my fate guided me? Will I put color to the fate drawn for me?
Or will I be the tree that stands strong and firm? The tree that stands against fate and keeps hidden in the woods.
Will I do what fate says?
Fate says it's time for me to go. Fate says it's time for me to show. Fate says I have to.
I am Adrianna and I choose to follow my fate. I choose the path that was laid for me. To be a leader and not a monster. To be the good and not the bad. I choose the fate with my mate. Together we will make difference. Together we will rebuild what was destroyed. We will live without prohibition. We'll destroy every jail of my being. We will live with love and not hatred.
I am not a monster, but I am a Werewolf.