Prologue

The young girl stood in the middle of a mass of her friends, all of them wagging their tails and panting, their huge jaws harmlessly open though if they wanted to they could crush her skull in moment. Their furry bodies around here was more than just comfort to her, it was everything she knew. From an even younger age she had learned how to grow up with werewolves, even though she was not one…even though she envied their ability.

From the mass of bodies came a smaller black figure that she recognized at once as Connor. He was her best and most loyal friend and was the one she looked to to keep her safe against all vampires and all others who might harm her and the pack.

As he drew close enough, she plunged her hands into his long, silky fur, just the feeling of it was enough to make her happier. She could not think of a life without the comfort of Connor's silky pelt.

"Full moon, Connor." She giggled into his velvet ear. "Are we going to going to go to our spot to play this time?"

The wolf looked up at her with his shining copper eyes and wagged his tail. With another giggle, the girl ran away, excited as a seven year old can be. Connor yipped and scampered to follow her but was stopped when the Alpha wolf's large paw pinned him down. The larger wolf's fierce, yellow glare reminded the pup that he was responsible for their human pet and friend. If they got in trouble and the pack could not get them out it was his fault, not the Alpha's.

Connor let out a low and understanding whine. Once the Alpha released him he bolted after his friend, faster than most normal wolves and bouncing in a puppyish manner that made the Alpha sigh and shake his head.

The girl was found in a leafy clearing, tracing their names, Megan and Connor, into the dirt and tracing a heart around them. Even at the age of seven, she was convinced she was going to marry her guard and friend and one day he would take her to be his Alphess, even though she was not a wolf. It never occurred to her that Connor was never going to be able to fulfill her deepest dream, simply because pack rules forbade it. However, she quickly learned never to bring it up around him or any of the pack. She was their pet, nothing more.

When she heard Connor's paws against the ground, Megan rushed to scrape out and cover up the forbidden dream, her blue eyes shining with innocence when the wolf scrambled before her, panting happily. She smiled at him and at once her fingers buried themselves into his fur, a sigh of happiness coming from her.

"You are my best and only friend Connor." She murmured into his fur as she drew him near. "It will stay like that and I will love you forever."

The boy and the canine gave a soft whimper and he ran his warm tingue and cold nose over her cheek, giving her a silent promise. At Megan's sigh, he wriggled around in her arms and pinned her to the ground, a playful growl tumbling from his throat. With a lick on the nose and a squeal from the girl a game was on and the two kids ran about the clearing, laughing at each other and attempting to stay skillfully away from the other's hands, nose, or paw.

At one point, Megan dived for Connor and brushed his shoulder, tagging him. He was about to pounce right back when a sent hit his nose and he froze, his nose to the air, his body alert and his eyes wide with panic.

Megan got to her knees and slung an arm over his body, laughing softly. "I think I won if you are giving up." A swift snarl and a baring of fangs made the girl just as quiet and as alert as the wolf, though her senses here far duller than his.

Laughter, deep and morbid came from the shadows and about five people stepped into the light of the full moon. Three of the beings were male; handsome, pale and faces shining under locks of glossy hair. The other two were female; bodies enough to make grown men want to die and faces that made even the most understanding wives clutch tighter to their husband's hand. All of them looked harmless in their twenties, but Connor could smell their decay. They were fresh vampires.

"Well, well." One of the woman vampires snickered, her voice an all but too sweet of hiss. "We have a little puppy and playmate a little too far from the pack."

"Such a cute little mutt." One of the men drawled, smiling so Connor could see the moon glint from the long fangs in his mouth.

"And the girl looks tasty and fresh." Another male crooned, stepping forward and brushing a white finger down the petrified Megan's cheek.

In the moment cold flesh touched warm, Connor let out a snarl that was fierce beyond his years.

The vampires laughed and the one that touched Megan bent down and smirked at the snarling puppy. "I wonder how innocence tastes." He whispered against the girl's skin. He opened this mouth and his fangs brushed over her, her arm going around her to help hold her in place. His other hand went to her mouth to keep her from screaming. With a laughing glance at the werewolf, the vampire slid his fangs into Megan's throat. Chaos exploded in the clearing the instant the girl let out a gasp of pained surprise. Connor unleashed a snarling howl as his wolf body meshed into a more lycanthrope form. A wolf on his hind legs and his deadly paws hanging from long arms stood where the adorable pup had trembled. Not even full grown, and the smiles on the vampires' faltered.

Megan's second gasp and whimper made the boy wolf lose control. Silently, he lunged at the feeding vamp and sank his fangs into the dead flesh. His inhuman rage caused him to forget everything but the need to get this thing away from his charge. He ripped the vampire away from Megan, forgetting the corpse's fangs and fingers were buried in her skin and with enough force to make pieces of the girl's face, shoulder, and throat come off along with the vampire.

There was a scream as the other vampires lunged to feed off the girl. A snarl and cracking noises filled the air as Connor tore the first vampire to pieces, even after the vamp started to disintegrate, blood and various body parts flying everywhere and getting on everyone. Once the vampire was thoroughly gone, the pup spun to attack more of them with no style at all and making a mess over everything.

Moments after he started tearing apart his second victim, the pack exploded into the clearing. The vampires were taken by surprise, and were torn apart in moments, their immortality doing nothing to counteract their 'youth' and egos. Connor's was the last one to dust and when it did, he turned to face his pack, mimicking them by returning to his human form.

Whimpering, he knelt at the Alpha's feet, barely able to keep the tears from falling. "I….I didn't hear them. I called you the moment I knew…"

His stuttering voice was cut off when the Alpha kicked him in the ribs. A yelp came from the and a whine from one in the but all was quickly quieted at the look of disgust on the Alpha's face.

"What is she boy?" The big man growled, human teeth bared.

"Dead." Connor choked, not able to look at the lifeless body of his closest friend and sickened by the thought of her blood running and matching the tones of her own hair.

"No!" Snarled the Alpha as he kicked poor Connor again. "She is Turned. She is one of them. Tomorrow she will be the very thing we fight to keep our place here. You turned our pet against us! She will bite the hand that fed her and drain the life from it without thinking. You destroyed her Connor."

"No! Maybe….maybe she won't be like that."

"You stupid naive creature. She will kill us all." Spitting at Connor, the man turned to the rest of his back, his growling voice filled with command. "We will have to leave her here and hope.."

"We can't just leave her!" Connor protested, horrified as he struggled to his feet. "I won't do it."

The Alpha spun on him and slapped him. "Then mate your choice. Stay with us or be left behind with her."

"No!" A woman's voice wailed from the pack. Connor looked up only to meet the sight of his mother struggling against his father in her attempts to help him.

The Alpha glanced back at her and sneered at Connor when he turned back. "Take your pick."

The eight year old boy looked at his mangled friend. Already the wounds were healing, proof he could not deny. Looking back at what was a second ago his family, the boy became a man and the pup grew into something fierce. Taking a deep breath, his copper eyes rose defiantly to the yellow of the other wolf.

"Years ago, you gave me the task to protect her with my life. I failed her once, I won't do it again."

"So be it." Said the Alpha. With a nod of his head, the rest of the pack moved on, three bodies stepping forward to restrain Connor's mother. Before he knew it. They were gone.

Fighting back tears, he moved Megan's body to a dense patch of trees, protecting her from the rising sun. There he sat; alone, naked, and helpless. Keeping watch over his charge.

When the sun fell and the moon flew again, Megan's body stirred and her blue-gray eyes opened. She saw Connor and relaxed.

"Connor! I got so cold! I was afraid I had died!"

Copper eyes filled with sorrow when he looked at her. It was al he could do to get out the two words.

"You did."