Cool air winnows through my White fur as we race down the woods towards the Misty river that separates Blue Blood and Blacktooth Guardians. Jex races alongside me in his grey wolf and communicates to me through the mind link that we should continue down the river and drink some water. We slope down to the river, the grass under my paws getting wetter and colder the nearer we get.
Looking up at the sky, the full moon shines relentlessly in the deep grey skin dotted with many stars. On this day of the initiation, Jex and I are among the lucky people who shifted into our new wolves. I am so excited and giddy as hell like a cat that just ate the canary. This has been the longest awaited time of my life and I am very ready to go wild tonight.
I look on the opposite side of the river, in the territory of the Blacktooth Guardians. When you just judge from here, the is no difference between the Blue Blood pack and the Blacktooth Guardians pack. The trees, the grass, and everything else look the same, but what lies beyond it is what defines the difference. The Blacktooth Guardians pack is way more powerful than us but my brother is much more lovable than Alpha Logan. Everyone in the land fears him because of his ruthlessness and violence, though it has enabled him to build a very large empire around himself. Despite everything, the Blue Blood pack has got something they desire and can never own; gold.
"A hare!" Jex screams through the mind link. My eyes dart to the furry animals on the opposite side of the river. My wolf instincts to dash to it start acting. Though I am still new in this body, I can still control it somehow. I take two steps back and watch the animal more intensely. It munches on some grass without taking notice of our presence. On normal occasions, I would have just cried about how cute it looks but all my wolf wants is to feed. I bend lower to the ground, ready to pounce over the small river.
"Don't!" Jex warms me. "It is not right to hunt from another pack's territory. It's a law!"
I know that very well. As the daughter of the late Alpha, I have been raised well aware of the rules, but I want to feed my wolf for the first time. I want to hunt and catch my very first prey.
Ignoring his warning, I jump over and fail to make it to the other side. I dive with a big loud splash into the cold water.
"Arya!" I can hear Jex screaming angrily at me and then jumping into the water after me. I am sure I don't need to save. I know how to swim. But you don't tell the overprotective Jex about that shit!
We swim to the bank dripping with the cold water which makes the fur stick to our bodies. I try to shake the water off and look at Jex who is just starring at me.
"What the hell were you thinking?" he is practically fuming. I look around us and realize the hare is not there. Damn it! We must have scared it off with the splashing in the water. I curse myself for having no proper sprint to jump the river.
"It's gone. We scared it off," I murmur.
"Good! Let's go back now before we get into trouble," he says, turning to look back to where we have come from.
"Come on, Jex! Don't be a scaredy-cat. Let's look around for another. Surely there is more than one around. I want to hunt," I tell him.
"I am not scared. I am trying to be sensible here. Let's go hunt from our territory. There are also hares and probably many more other animals we can hunt," he says.
"But we are already here, let's just do it here. I promise not to go far. I doubt if we shall get into any trouble if we don't go far," I try to convince him though deep in my mind, I know it's not right. Hell! Life is full of risks. Living itself is a god-damned risk!
Jex is my friend and my protector and has been since I was born. I know I am very stubborn and sometimes I get on his nerves, more often than I intend, but he is very nice and patient with me. That's why we have been together and so close for this long.
"Please, Jex. I promise we'll get back immediately," I tell him and he looks resignedly. Yes! Now I know I have won. I know how much he treasures my happiness much more than his own. I used to think it was too much until I got used to it.
"Okay, but please don't go far," he begs.
"Sure," I tell him and sneak into the partially dark woods. Thanks to the full moon we can spot another hare. I take my time to calculate my steps and when I catch it, I become so excited that I almost let go of it. Jex keeps closely behind watching me as I devour my prize.
As we walk back towards the river, Jex turns towards me and I immediately try to smile. That's when I realize that I am now in my wolf form and I can't smile. How the hell am I supposed to display my emotions?
"Be careful this time not to dive into the water," Jex warms me. I mentally roll my eyes at his brooding nature. "The water is too cold for you to get into again."
At that moment, we hear movements and we stop dead in our tracks. The movements get closer and my heart hammers in its cage. Are we in trouble?
"Jump! Now!" Jex commands me. As I jump, I am caught in something. I watch with fear as Jex manages to make it to the bank on the other side. My vision is blurred by threads networked, and that's when I realize that I have been caught in a net. There are murmurs around me. I try to turn in my trap but I can't. I see a pair of big black boots and then feel a sharp piercing pain on my side. My world spins and spins. I look into Jex's scared eyes, my eyelids become heavy and my vision blurs. The last thing I see is Jex jumping from the bank and everything around me turns black.
I try to open my eyes my eyelids weigh a fucking tonne. My head is swimming and I feel like I am sinking. I hear fainting sounds that keep getting clearer. I manage to open my eyes and all I can see is a stone wall. I try to think, to remember what happened. The first thing that comes to my mind is Jex jumping to save me. Jex! Where is he? Is he alright? Where the hell am I and what happened to me?
A door creaks open and the same black boots I saw before blacking out appear in front of me.
"It's clear that she is from the Blue Blood pack. We caught her in our territory, hunting," I heavy manly voice says. I try to get up from where I am but I can even lift my head. Did they drug me? I wish to shift but I will be naked if I do, and I don't want that.
"Alpha Logan is interested in seeing what we've got. Seems the Blue Blood pack has surely forgotten the terms of peace we put amongst us, and Alpha won't hesitate to remind them," he adds with a scornful laugh. My stomach churns with fear at the sound of 'Alpha Logan'. This is total shit! I hate to admit that I should have listened to Jex, but it is too late to regret that now.
"You should shift right now," a different male voice says. I now gather up the strength to look up at the two of them. One is a bearded heavy man in the black boots and another a skinny man with no beard at all. Quite an odd pair I should say.
I hope don't expect me to shift in front of them. That would be too much and quite disrespectful even though I am their captive.
A young woman with coffee-brown hair walks into the room with a neat pile of clothes in her hands.
"We shall now leave you to shift and use these clothes if you want," says the skinny man. I mentally roll my eyes at the last statement, finding it so unnecessary to add. Is he giving me the option to stay naked when I shift?