Gavin's Curse

I'm not your normal guy; I actually am weird in more than one way. I'm a loner; not much of a people person, just a huge trust issue. I don't care about looks; normally I wake up, brush my fingers through my hair and I'm out the door. I don't fall all over women, just not my thing; I mean why should I act like a blundering idiot for their show? Also I let my brain think more than my dick, I like to really understand things, guess I got it from my dad. The weirdest thing about me though is I'm cursed; I don't mean that whole 'bad luck' curse. I'm cursed with the mark of the beast; in lamest terms, I'm a werewolf.

That's not the only thing, I live with a pack of these creatures. They're disgusting, absolutely unbearable, even the females are horrid. They always bring back humans from their little day trips into cities and play with them for awhile then tear them to pieces. I haven't eaten human flesh yet; I feed on deer and small animals, but I do admit that the hunger for it is hard to contain at times.

Dominance is another annoying thing about the group; the males are always trying to show off and the females don't like to lose an argument. I never participate in these shows of strength which is why they consider me the weakling of the group.

The alpha male of the group is named Spike, not his real name of course but quite fitting since he wears a spiked collar, he's mean but fair. The alpha female is Shiba and she's a real bitch, she also feeds a lot. Flame is the other male along with Bolt, they love to cause havoc, can't make them stand still, they're like puppies. Then there is Lily the only other female, she's nicer than Shiba, but she eats a lot more, she lures men at least three times a week and devours them in the same day.

Then there's me; I go by my real name, Gavin. I don't talk to them much unless I'm forced, normally I stay in my own little world in my mind. When we go town to town I go to the book stores and sit there for hours reading. I honestly think the only reason they have me is they enjoy picking on me; the only reason I stay is because my family is dead.

Thing is my family was killed by the werewolf that cursed me; we were out camping and he came into the campsite while we were sleeping. He ate my mom and dad and then killed my two little sisters just for the hell of it. Then when he got to me he just bit me then I heard a howling in the distance and he ran off leaving me with the bloody remains of my family and a curse. I was 19; it's been 20 years since then and it looks as if I haven't aged a day.

All I've been doing is existing in this pack, barely doing anything at all. Well at least that was true until Bolt brought back this beautiful woman to play with. She was beyond anything I've ever seen before; auburn hair, warm, soft, hazel eyes, fare skin with some freckles on her cheeks. Bolt convinced her to come with him by saying that he was interested in giving her a scholarship into the college she wanted into; since her family had practically no money she put her blind trust into him.

This time our place of stay was a cave, so when the woman came to the base of the hill she realized her mistake. She screamed and struggled against his grip trying her hardest to wrench free. Bolt brought her to the mouth of the cave as she tried with all her might to pull from his arms.

Bending closer to her he said, "If you keep this up I'll kill you now." She stiffened and bent to his will for the rest of the day as he fondled and played with her all while she was crying. It disgusted me as I watched this poor girl not much younger than me when I was cursed to become a beast.

Night fell and Bolt began to push himself past just touching her; it was sickening me, watching her cry as he tried to pull off her clothes. For some reason the loved to rape their poor prey before eating them.

I felt the anger bubble deep in my heart as she started to fight back again. Couldn't he at least let her keep the last shred of dignity she had.

"Stop!"

Was that really my voice? Everyone in the cave looked over at me even the woman.

"What's wrong Gavin? Have a problem with me making my way with this woman?" Bolt asked with a smirk and he started to rip the front of her shirt a little.

"I said stop dammit!" that just made him laugh harder.

"Want to fight for her little wolf? Think you can take me on?" he smiled baring his fangs.

I looked over at the defenseless woman who looked nothing more than a frightened little girl. Why am I fighting this time? It's never bothered me when they did this before. I didn't answer immediately and he started kissing her collarbone as she pushed against him to no avail. The anger made my vision turn red.

"I'll fight you," I could barely believe myself.

Picking up the woman he threw her at Lily impatiently, "Watch her, I'll claim her soon enough," is all he said as he walked out the cave entrance with me close behind and the rest of the pack trailing.

We began to take off our clothes as to not rip them apart. I looked over at the woman in Lily's grip, she was shivering and tears still stained her face. She watched with a bit of curiosity probably confused on why we were stripping.

"Do you two know the rules of fighting?" Spike stepped between us looking more at me than Bolt. Bolt nodded eagerly but I was lost.

When I didn't answer he explained, "Everything is game, claws, teeth, whatever," he then looked at Bolt, "After your jaws reach his neck you may not go for the kill. It is a fight to earn the girl not a death match." Spike walked away taking his place next to Shiba and the squatted Flame.

I glanced over at the woman again reduced to a shivering little girl, I wanted to comfort her, tell her I was there for her…

"Now Gavin don't be looking at her, she's still mine and what a tasty morsel she'll make," to emphasize the point he licked his lips.

"Not if I have anything to say about it," I retorted growing more confident by the second.

"Say all you want, I'm more interested in what you're gonna do," and he looked over at the woman, "Don't worry baby you'll be in my arms soon enough."

"Are you just going to talk all night?" I snapped and began to morph.

"A little touchy?" he growled as his nose took the shape of a muzzle. The woman screamed not knowing why the men before her were turning into monsters.

For the next ten seconds all that was heard was the sounds of the bones reshaping and the sight of fur growing all over our bodies. A cacophonous howl escaped him before he lunged at me. I couldn't react in time as his furry blonde body hit me with enough force to take down and elephant. I pinned and writhing, it took all my strength to keep his snapping jaws from my neck.

Suddenly I felt him lift off me, he grinned bearing all his teeth in some grotesque smile. He was still covering me, his firm grip on my shoulders. He was also far enough back for me to kick him off and I pumped my legs out throwing him about ten feet from me.

He flipped in midair still facing me. Growling he lunged at me again and quickly rolled out of the way forcing him to land on his hands and he propelled himself further by flipping onto his feet. Before I could admire his acrobatics he running full force at me and I got on all fours running at him. At the last second I veered off to the left but he read my movements just as fast and kicked out with his right foot making me fly until I hit a boulder 30 feet away.

I tried getting back up and my head spun I stumbled then felt something tug on my ears painfully. Yelping I reached up clawing at the offending hands, looking up blearily I saw Bolt's gargoyle face. His eyes danced with joy as he slammed me against the rock holding my shoulder he went in for the kill.

My right hand flew up in defiance and I heard a loud yelp as I struck what I guessed was his face.

Using this moment of confusion I jumped back a few times then sat back on my legs in a crouch. Shaking my head I got the last of my vision and awareness back. Looking over at me he growled menacingly a large scratch covering the left side of his face, blood pouring out of his eye turning his blonde fur a sickly red. Turning he looked up at the girl which was only about 50 feet away from him, 70 feet away from me.

He began to run at her and Lily kept her firm grip as the girl began to struggle, she screamed at the top of her lungs to have Lily cover her mouth. I ran with all my strength, my heart pumping harder and harder. Fresh tears ran down her dirty cheeks. Jumping at her, his arms stretched out, he was only about a foot away…

A resounding thud echoed through the forest as I rammed into him throwing him off to the side. Before I could even get back up he was upon me clawing and snarling as I tried with all my might to get on two legs. He pushed and pushed snapping at my face as I held him at bay. I flexed my leg muscles getting one knee of the ground I used that leg to push Bolt further from me. He grabbed my forearms digging his nails into my muscled flesh. I felt a hard lump in my throat as I swallowed a yelp.

My other knee shook with the effort to get it an inch off the forest floor. I roared as my knee came up and my foot flexed pushing Bolt further back. We were hand-in-hand pushing at each other neither one giving up any ground. My muscles were bulging as if they were going to burst through my skin.

He kicked out at me and it hit me; falling back he came on me, but not completely. Thrusting my legs up I kept him over me and while still in the motion of falling back I kicked out causing him to fly right over top of me and I rolled onto all fours. Turning quickly I ran for him lunging atop him holding out his arms and opening my jaws right over top his neck.

"Enough!" Spike boomed but I didn't let up on my position and he went on, "Gavin is the winner here and his prize is this woman, now that he has won you can't challenge him again Bolt." Bolt's chest rose and fell deeply as he hunched on all fours his eye still bleeding. "As the rules of our pack go: One wolf can only challenge him once, everyone here can try, but if he wins than you may not bother him. Tonight is done, Lily give him the woman when he dresses." Everyone walked back off to the cave including Bolt who snarled as he walked by me.

I threw on my clothes as fast as I could and walked over to Lily when Spike walked towards me.

"She can't leave you know, it isn't just my law, all packs have it as to not have humans run off and tell the world about us," he looked at her with a bit of disgust in his eyes, and maybe some sadness? "Their kind can't understand us and never will. So now you can eat her or keep her as a pet. But if you let her go we'll kill you and the girl." After all was said he walked back off into the cave Lily in tow.

Looking over at the woman I saw she was still shivering, "Are you cold?" I asked and she shook her head, "That was Spike who was just talking he's the leader of the group, he's not as bad as the others. The woman holding you was Lily, she's better than Shiba who is the alpha female. Bolt was the guy I fought and Flame is his good buddy, they're both a handful. And as you already know I'm Gavin… Although I doubt you care much." I blushed at my stupidity, "Could I get your name?"

She stayed silent just staring at me; it was almost as if she was too scared to breathe. "I guess that's a no… I understand, you don't trust any of us and what you've just seen you probably don't trust yourself," I sounded like a blathering idiot. Still she didn't acknowledge me, "Well let's head in." I nudged her gently in the middle of her back and she began to walk towards the cave as if she was walking the plank.

When we got to the cave Bolt looked up and growled as we walked by making the woman jump, I snarled back and he turned his back to us. Moving to a corner in the back of the cave I laid out my few blankets for her to lie on and kept one to myself. She lay down and I curled up a couple of feet in front of her, kind of like her guard dog. I almost laughed out loud at that thought.

I fell into a deep dreamless sleep exhausted from that day's excitement.

Waking up I stretched flexing my sore muscles. Looking around my eyes still blurry from sleep I saw she wasn't in her bed. Suddenly fully awake I jumped up already rushing to the door to find her treading quietly to the mouth of the cave. She reached it and I was already right behind her. She visibly jumped as I put the palm of my hand on her back and directed her off to the side.

"If you think you can escape you're horribly wrong," I whispered as we walked further from the cave, "They will track you down and kill you no matter what you do or where you hide." I looked at her trying to convey how sorry I was, "I would let you go if I could, but I can't." Tears welled in her eyes and I stopped to face her. Wiping away her tears I smiled, "Please stop crying, I'm not going to eat you and you're not my slave. Think of me as your caretaker because from this day on I'll help you survive in this pack, I'll make myself stronger just so I can assure your safety."

Looking up at me she sighed heavily she then looked away, "My name is Amber," it was all she said; regardless it made me feel like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders.

"Well Amber by now I'm sure you're starving, I can go out and hunt for you then we can cook it on a fire. I haven't had a cooked meal in about… 20 years. Thing is I'm going to have to take you with me I don't trust those guys with you. That fine by you?" she nodded, "Well let's head out."

We headed out going into the woods, as soon as we were under the cover of trees I grabbed her arm.

"I don't like to freak you out or anything but I need to morph into a wolf if I'm to hunt," I explained to her, she just looked at me funny not understanding, "I'm telling you I'm transforming so you don't freak ok?" She nodded seeming pleased I asked first. "You have nothing to fear, I don't eat like the rest of the pack."

I changed feeling he tingling as the fur grew and the pleasure in the pain as my bones took a different shape. Growling a little I shook myself to help with the feeling of the new shape. Regardless of how many times you turn into a wolf it still feels like its not your skin.

Like a hound I sniffed the air my ears erratically going in all directions, trying to find any scent or hear any little noise. I trotted around still smelling the air and listening for footsteps of an animal, Amber followed at a distance still wary of me in my new form.

Her scent was intoxicating; if I hadn't practiced eating animal flesh for so long I would've already torn into her supple frame. I shivered at the though, I hated my wolf self, disgusted with my primal urges.

Finally a new scent broke through the haze, deer, not to far from here. I looked back at her and tried to smile, it made her cringe. The cringe felt like a slap to the face, never had I hated my wolf self so much. Morphing back I stretched flexing the muscles I wish were human.

"There's some deer ahead," I said solemnly, I had to try guarding myself or lose myself in self-loathing, "You can either stay here or come watch."

She nodded and I took the form of my hated wolf counterpart. Treading quietly I got to the field with the deer, there were five of them, two doe, a fawn, two bucks fighting each other. Creeping around just outside of the field I was able to get completely down wind of deer without them seeing me.

My stomach dragged the ground as I snuck up on them, I was so close I could taste their smell. Suddenly three birds took off in flight right in front of me startling the deer causing them to bolt. I was in full pursuit, the fawn began to fall behind, I would rather starve than eat the poor thing, one of the bucks thought different. As I got closer to the fawn the larger of the two bucks ran at me antlers down.

I stood grabbing the antlers and throwing down the buck biting its throat before its body even hit the ground. The buck kicked its legs and I bit down harder crushing its windpipe, the kicking stopped instantly. Looking up I saw the deer at the other end of the large field watching and I felt a twinge of guilt. It was unnatural for a buck to throw itself in the path of a predator for a fawn.

I threw the buck on my back holding the antlers and walked back to where I last left Amber. When I was sure I was at the right spot I dropped the buck and looked around, she was nowhere to be seen. Panicking I fell to the ground sniffing whatever I could trying to find her scent. Finally picking it up I followed in a rush, she couldn't have gone far and we were a long ways from town.

Running as if the devil was on my heels I quickly found her and while sprinting to her I turned back into my human self. Proving that I wasn't human even though I looked it I easily outran her doubling back to catch her as she tripped on the roots of a tree.

"Let me go!" she screamed beating my back, "You're a monster! All of you are!" The pain that assaulted my humanity bubbled in me.

"I know I am…" I whispered as I held her firmly in my arms until she tired, "I am a monster, but you know as well as I do that you're better off with me than you are with any one of them." Walking back I felt the hot anger cloud my senses. Why did whatever entity have to be cruel enough to curse me to be an immortal beast. Creatures so menacing people don't even try to understand it.

If I was so much a monster than why do I feel like a human? If I'm turned into a beast shouldn't I feel as one too? Why must I feel hurt, sadness, anger? I'm never happy so why bother feeling?

Amber… you are my last connection to humanity, I can't let you die. If I let you die my dreams would come true, I would become a monster.

We were back to the deer and I picked it up by the antlers dragging it to a clearing I passed earlier. I let her down gently against a tree and saw the tears that streaked her face. There was nothing I could say to change those tears. How does a monster comfort a human?

Taking the buck off to the side I turned into a wolf to tear some meat off of it. I came back into the clearing human and tried my best to start a fire. When I failed multiple times I felt gentle hands take the sticks from me. Looking up in surprise I watched her brows furrow as she vigorously tried to create enough friction to start a fire.

Small lines of smoke snaked through the clean air and I blew on the tiny pile of leaves in the middle of the logs. Soon fire was crackling in the pit and I stuck some of the meat on sticks and jabbed those into the ground. I sat on the other side of the clearing glaring darkly at the fire. The smell of cooked meat assaulted my heightened senses and I watched as the fat dripped off the pieces and into the fire.

When the food was ready we ate in silence not even acknowledging each others existence. The sun was high in the sky as we finished the last piece and I stood walking over to the fire. Kicking dirt into it I turned to leave the clearing and heard Amber's footsteps hurry to follow behind.

We go to the cave both in a bad mood and Bolt didn't help.

"Hey pretty lady," Bolt purred as we crossed paths he reached out his hand to grab her and I snatched it before he reached her. He looked up at me angrily the jagged scar on his left eye hadn't healed.

"Don't touch her," I snarled as I pushed her behind me.

"What are you going to do about it?" he growled as he began to sit up flexing his fingers.

"Nothing, exactly the same as what you're going to do," Spike walked back into the cave, "Come on Bolt let's go find you something else to play with." And Bolt followed Spike out towards the town looking back at me fury glowing in his gold eyes.

"Thank you Gavin," Amber whispered giving a small smile as she said it.

"Hey it's no problem, you can always trust me to protect you," I replied still solemn as I led her back to the bundle of blankets so she could get more rest. Lying back on my one blanket I retreated into my thoughts. Tonight I'll have to start working on my strength as to make sure I stay in top form so even if Spike challenges me I'll be able to win. I doubted she truly understood how much better it is to be with me than Bolt, at least I haven't eaten her, or raped her.

It made me angry, how could she think I'm a monster when I fought for her. How can I be a monster when all I've done is protect her? Turning over I fumed angrily, feeling a growl surface in my throat I swallowed it.

I jumped I felt something tap my shoulder, sitting up I turned towards Amber looking confused. She opened her mouth then closed it her eyes shifting from my eyes to the ground as her wringed her hands. Raising my eyebrow I watched as she did this several more times.

"I'm sorry…" she whispered and the anger I just felt simmered down as I looked at her sad eyes.

"For what?" I asked my eyebrow still raised.

"For calling you a monster," she glanced at me and I felt the anger boil again.

"No need to feel sorry for the truth," I growled my anger reaching its breaking point.

"N-no… Gavin I am sorry," she grabbed my hand as I tried to move away, "Please forgive me, I-I just hate it here…"

"And how do you think I feel about it here?!" my emotions were going crazy, "Do you think I like waking up every morning craving for human flesh?!" She flinched but my anger rose higher. "I am a monster! I am the creature under your bed, I am everything you dread. I am your worst nightmare made flesh and blood!" My vision turned red and I blinked rubbing my temples.

It was silent for a long time but she never let go of my arm, "…I-I…" she squeezed my arm, "It must be hard… it must be hard to know that you can never be human, that you can never be completely honest to a human." She looked at my hand tracing shapes in the palm and I looked down to watch. I felt my anger begin to fade. "I want… I want to help you Gavin," she looked up with tears in her eyes, "I'm so sorry for the mean things I said I didn't mean them; please I want to be your friend." Raiding my hand I wiped the tears from her eyes as gently as I could.

"C-Could you really be friends with a monster like me?" I asked still holding my hands on her face. She grabbed my wrists and held them firmly.

"Gavin you are the farthest thing from a monster," she smiled her eyes still watery, "You are the very essence of a wolf."

"What do you mean by that?" I asked utterly lost, my hands dropped from her face but she still held them tracing small circles in the palms.

"You're strong, agile, majestic," she whispered quietly as a lump in my throat choked small tears from my eyes, "You're pure, beautiful."

My vision blurred as tears flowed freely. I heard her shift and felt the weight of her head on my chest as her arms wrapped around my neck.

"Amber…" I sighed into her hair as I held her against me. I smiled… it was the first smile of happiness I've had in 20 years.

We sat there holding each other until I could cry no more, until my cheeks hurt so much that I felt my face would be stuck that way forever. She smiled at me as I stretched out in front of her finally ready to nap.

I fell asleep long after Amber, my thoughts racing. As I fell silently into my dreamless slumber I felt the overwhelming happiness about to burst from my chest.

Waking up I looked around blearily, it felt as if I just fell asleep. Trying to find the source of the disturbance that awoke me I heard the sounds of the pack coming back and realized what was to happen soon. Getting up I turned over to Amber who was still sleeping; trying not to wake her I picked her up, cradling her in my arms as I walked out past everyone. Each and every one of them had a human with them and each human looked drunk out of their minds.

Quietly as I could I rushed Amber out to the fire pit we made earlier and laid her on a soft patch of grass. I grabbed to sticks and imitated what Amber did earlier. Soon there was a crackling fire in the pit and the area around was warm. Hearing a groan I looked around to see Amber sitting up and rubbing her eyes.

"Where are we?" she asked groggily as she moved closer to me.

"The same spot we were earlier," I answered smiling at her. She groaned and stretched raising her arms in the air and pointing out the tips of her toes. Beautiful was an insult to this woman, there were no words for her perfection. Why was I so entranced by her? We barely knew each other. I always told myself I would never get into a relationship now that I'm cursed, I didn't want anyone to die by my hand. But this girl makes me feel as if I can love, that I can be loved.

"Gavin did you here me?" I snapped to attention, suddenly I realized I was staring at her and I began to blush, "Something on my face?"

"Oh, n-no, I didn't hear you, sorry," my face turned hot.

"I asked you why we're here," she said smiling warmly at me.

"Ah, that's because the pack came back with some… uh, friends," I glanced nervously at her.

"OK; what do you want to do?" she smiled, such innocence even in such a corrupt place.

"Well I'm sure you're hungry again so I'll stay in the immediate area and hunt you some food," getting up I moved off to the side of the clearing, "I'll be close so you don't have to worry." She nodded and I disappeared in the darkness transforming as soon as I stripped from my clothes.

Sniffing the air I smelled nothing other than Amber's delicious scent on the wind. Quietly I stalked around the area looking for some small prey to catch. Putting my wet nose to the ground I quickly picked up on a fresh scent. Soon after finding the trail I caught two rabbits. As I was trotting back a scream tore through the air. Dropping the rabbits I sprinted back to the campsite where I found Flame moving closer to Amber, quickly I transformed back.

"Don't you dare!" I snarled not even caring that I was completely naked, "You'll have to go through me first."

"Awww c'mon Gavin I just wanna taste," he said as drool began to trickle from his lip, he was obviously drunk, "She just looks so delicious; can't I just have a finger? Or a hand?" He reached for her hand and she slapped him, "You little bitch!" he growled then moved to smack her and I grabbed his arm pulling him away.

"You have no right," I seethed standing in front of Amber blocking him from her.

"Well then I'll just have to fight for it wont I?" he grinned wickedly, "I'm much stronger than Bolt, I'll be able to make quick work of you."

"You're also much drunker than he was," he glared at me, "Besides, I will kill you if you harm a hair on her head." I began to transform my breaths turning into growls.

"Oh I'll harm more than her hair, I'll tear her up piece by piece, drink her blood, and devour her flesh," spittle flew from his mouth as it elongated and chestnut fur grew all over his body straining against his clothes..

Looking back at Amber I gave her a reassuring smile, awkward since I had a muzzle. She stroked one hand down my fur covered back causing me to shiver with pleasure. I howled loudly, almost like a battle cry, and then went in low at Flame's torso.

His hand came flying up and hit me hard on the side of my head throwing me off to the side and making my whole world spin. Growling he came up to me and grabbed me by the scruff of the neck throwing me up against the closest tree and then charged full on toward me. Dodging at the last moment caused him to ram head first into the tree and that's when I grabbed his tail with both hands and threw him off to the side. He yelped loudly and landed with a clash into the tree on the other side of the clearing causing an avalanche of branches to fall on his head.

Roaring he came up fast and hit me hard in the stomach throwing me onto the ground and knocking the breath out of me. Drool trickled all over my hands as I pushed his muzzle away from my neck. His breath reeked of alcohol, it was overwhelming and made my stomach do back flips. Sharp pains shot through my arms and chest as he began to claw me all over; he then smacked my face and dug his nails in deep. Whimpering I struggled with all my might against his strong grip.

"Kick his ass Gavin!" Amber cheered me on and the sudden noise made Flame look over at her.

My fist came flying up with a strong uppercut making Flame stumble back and then steadying myself with my arms I brought my legs up and kicked out with all that I had landing a hit right in the middle of his chest. He sputtered as he fell back and I rushed at him but he came in with a low kick causing me to trip. I landed face first into to the dirt he then straddled my back and grabbed my wrists pulling them behind me. One hand held my arms while the other one rubbed my face into the dirt.

Using my upper body I began to push myself up until I could sit on one knee. Then I wrenched my wrists free and grabbed his hands and bent throwing him over my head and onto his back. He groaned and was barely moving; as quick as I could I pinned him and put my jaws to his throat applying a small amount of pressure. His fur receded and his bones shaped back into his human form.

"No, don't, I give," he begged as my fangs began to dig into his neck growling angrily.

"Bravo Gavin," Spike came into view clapping slowly, "Seems we all underestimated your power, once again you've been able to protect her." I got off of Flame, transformed back, and picked up my clothes. "Flame you know the rules, you are now not allowed to challenge him for this woman." Flame shoved past Spike and out of the clearing, Spike followed after him.

I collapsed exhausted and hurt, "Gavin are you alright?" Amber fretted over all my scratches.

"Yeah… I'll be… fine… don't worry," I panted heavily. Then she coaxed my head onto her lap and I fell asleep as soon as it hit her leg.

Waking up later I found Amber asleep against the tree she was shivering visibly. Quietly I got up and took off my clothes then morphed and as gently as I could I laid her out with one arm under her head and the other across her body to keep her warm. She stopped shivering almost immediately and a smile tugged at her lips as she snuggled closer into me.

I laid there for awhile listening to her breathe and smelling her hair; it smelled of warm honey even though she hasn't bathed in a couple of days. Tomorrow I would have to take her to the creek so she could wash and I should probably do so as well.

She shifted and turned on to her side facing me; she began to nuzzle into my chest and curled her fingers into my fur. I was too worried to put my arm over her again and put it on my side; as I began to doze I felt a sudden tug on my arm. I resisted without thinking then opened my eyes; she was pulling my arm but her eyes were still closed. Chuckling quietly I let her pull my arm over top of her; she then snuggled into me again and fell back into her rhythmic breathing.

I hope that every night can be like this, curled up in one another's arms; she looks so at peace even though she's curled up with a monster like me. Heh, beauty and the beast at it's finest; always seems to be like that with couples anyhow, just more literal this time. Taking in a deep breath I relaxed myself again and let myself drift off to dreams that seem to becoming more and more real.

"Gaaaaaaaavin, wakey wakey, eggs and bakey," as I opened my blurry eyes Amber popped up right in my face, "Well not eggs and bacon, but I did find some edible berries to snack on, I thought maybe you could catch us some breakfast." She blushed a little as if she was asking too much. I laughed, or barked really, and stretched out shaking my body in the process. I almost forgot I was still in my wolf form.

Nodding at her I trotted out of the clearing to find those rabbits I caught the night before and when I reached them I skinned and gutted them with my claws. After I licked my fingers clean I strolled back to the fire pit and set up the rabbits on sticks over the fire.

"Thanks I'll cook them while you get dressed," she smiled so radiantly. I wagged my tail making her laugh and headed over to my pile of clothes.

As I walked by her she pulled my tail and I jumped at the unexpected action, she giggled like crazy. Getting on all fours I nudged her onto her back and nipped ever so lightly at her stomach, arms, and hands. She began laughing hysterically and pushing at my muzzle as I tickled her. I've never been so happy and carefree, even when I was human. Jumping off her I moved towards my clothes again and this time she didn't stop me.

"Gavin you're such a puppy," she snickered, looking back at her I growled playfully and wagged my tail.

Picking up my clothes I walked behind a tree for a bit of privacy. Amber seems to have cheered up a lot; I wonder why she's been like this.

"I only act like a puppy 'cause you act like a kid," she giggled and then looked at me then her eyes got wide, "What something on my face?" I asked feeling my face.

"No, its just your were all scratched up last night and there's not even a scar today," she responded getting up and to get a closer look, "How did you do that?"

I turned hot at the closeness and blushed, "As a werewolf I heal faster than people do."

"Oh, I guess that makes sense," she sat back down and turned the rabbits over. I watched her back, watched as she moved, as her legs flexed. She looked back and smiled, "Should be done soon."

"Amber, can I ask you something?"

"Sure what's up?"

"Why have you began to trust me so much, I mean it must be hard to trust anyone here; not only that you're trapped here, how can you even smile?" I held my breath waiting for her answer.

She fiddled with her shorts for a few seconds, "Well…. I don't know, I've always been able to trek through any hardship in my life by looking at the glass half full. My dad was an abusive pig that would beat my mom and cheat on her and if that wasn't enough when I was about eight years old he began to throw me around. I just remembered my mom loved me and that as long as she was there to protect me I would never be alone. She left him and we began to have problems with money so food was hard to come by in the house. I learned how to hunt with a gun and even how to skin and gut animals so I could help my mom. Sometimes we would even go to a soup kitchen to eat.

"I always got high marks in school, not high enough for scholarships though so I couldn't go to college which broke my mom's heart. All she's ever wanted was to see me smile so everyday despite what happened I smiled. Recently though she came down with Alzheimer's and has trouble remembering my name. I've been taking care of her by myself, but the state thought me too young and took her away and put her in a nursing home. So when Bolt came along offering me a scholarship I was happy and was too blind to see his lie. He disgusted me, I cried not just because he was touching me but because I finally gave up.

"Then you spoke up on my behalf, fought for me, no one but my mom has ever done that. I was worried that you might've been worse than Bolt but realized that you couldn't have been if you were against him having his way with me. You tried to make me feel comfortable; giving me most of the blankets, hunting for me, swearing to protect me. I have nothing to live for back in that town," she looked at me, tears welled in her eyes, "Gavin, you have given me the most happiness I have experienced in a long time, once again I have someone I can trust. I know I've only known you for a few days, but I feel so connected with you."

I got on my knees and moved closer to her bringing her into my arms and holding her tight as she wiped her tears on my shirt. Rubbing her back I whispered, "I'll always be here for you Amber even if I have to fight the whole world to keep you at my side. No one will ever be able to harm you again; I promise you that even on my dying breath I'll protect you from harm."

"Gavin," she sighed into my neck as she dug her fingers into my hair, "Thank you." I kissed her forehead and pulled away smiling.

"Well then that grub should be ready," I said reaching for the sticks and handing her one, "We'll head over to the creek so me and you can wash up." She raised one of her eyebrows, "At different times of course." I blushed scarlet and she giggled.

"Sounds good to me; although I would enjoy it more at the same time," I choked on my rabbit and she fell back she was laughing so hard.

"Jeez kill me why don't you," I wheezed as I tried to catch my breath.

"Naw, I'm going to be merciful and spare you," she smirked, "Besides I know I could totally have you eating out of the palm of my hand."

"Highly doubtful," I furrowed my brow, "I'm not easy."

"Is that a challenge?" she asked, "Because buddy you're so going to lose."

"Pft as if," I grinned, "Your words have no effect on me!"

"Whatever, all I suggested was us bathing together and I had you choking on your food."

"No I was just eating too fast," I retorted indignantly.

"Suuuuuuuuuuure," she laughed as I got all mock huffy.

When we finished our food we headed over to the creek and I stepped behind a tree to stand guard and give her privacy. Too bad I had no soap to at least help her feel a bit cleaner, maybe I'll steal some in the next town.

"Gavin could you come here a second?" Amber called.

"Are you decent?" I asked before I walked from behind the tree.

"Decent enough don't worry," she answered.

I came out from behind the tree and saw her partly submerged in the deepest part of the creek. She was still visible enough to see her body covered in nothing but her bra and panties. The breath left my lungs so fast it made my head spin and she didn't stop there. Coming out of the water she walked up to me and I gawked as she put her hand on my chest.

"Its just so cold in there, I was wondering if you would join me and help keep me warm," she said in a low voice.

My lips moved but no noise came out, I screamed in my head, 'Speak dammit!' I squeaked and gave up on trying to talk and just nodded. She smiled and grabbed my hand and started pulling me towards the creek I followed limply. At the last minute her grip tightened and she threw me in and I landed with a great splash. Resurfacing I saw her laughing and holding her sides.

"Eating out of the palm of my hand," she grinned wickedly as she held up her hands.

I started moving toward the bank my own plans in mind, "Yeah, yeah, you got me," I sighed and then grabbed her ankle pulling her into the water with me.

She screamed then laughed as I began to tickle and splash her. We both stopped and our laughter faded, I blushed when I realized I was only a few inches from her face and began to turn away when she put her arms around my neck. I looked deeply into those warm, hazel eyes and brought her closer to me; taking in a deep breath I leaned in to kiss her.

"Hello girls and boys," Shiba walked out into the open, "Oh did I interrupt something?"

"Yes, you can leave now," Amber said with more than a little venom in her voice.

"Ooooo, Gavin you better watch that little girl of yours, with a tongue like that I'm likely to eat it," Shiba smirked licking her lips.

"I would tear you apart before you could even touch her," I growled clenching and unclenching my fists.

"You really think so wolf boy?" Shiba asked laughing maniacally, "Hmm, maybe we should test this theory of yours. I challenge you for the woman and just because I'm a female doesn't mean I'm not strong." Jumping out of the water I stripped off my clothes and threw them to the side.

"I know that, but it also doesn't mean you're stronger than me," I growled as I began to change.

"That's what you think but I'll prove you wrong soon enough arrogant child," she retorted as she started morphing.

A harmony of cracking bones sounded off as we shifted into our wolf forms. She jumped at me and I crouched while running at her. When her body was over my head I grabbed her legs and threw her on her back with all my might. She huffed and coughed, then I was upon her snapping at her neck, but she held me at bay pushing at my chest and muzzle. I couldn't pull her hands off me so I jumped off hoping to find a new position that would favor me.

She bared her fangs growling at me as we circled one another. I charged at her and she went down low kicking my legs out from under me. Turning myself in midair I landed on my back so I would be able to use my arms and legs to keep her away, but she didn't jump on me. I got up as quickly as I could and saw her running at Amber.

I jumped up in the nearest tree and launched myself from branch to branch, I was right above her when she lunged at Amber. Flying from the tree I aimed for Amber and shielded her with my body. I grunted with pain as Shiba hit me hard in the back and clawed from my shoulders to my tail. Whimpering a little I turned still keeping myself in front of Amber and I snarled at Shiba.

She tried clawing me again so I grabbed her hands and started moving her away from Amber. Then I took her and threw her against the nearest tree; before I could pin her she kicked up hitting me right in the crotch. I yelped loudly and fell forward onto my hands and knees. She stood up and kicked me in the head causing me to fly onto my back. Grabbing my tail she dragged me for a little bit then threw me against a tree and I heard something crack. Pain began to course through my body making me whimper and whine every time I moved.

Thinking she won she began to walk over to Amber growling menacingly as she went. I looked at Amber and saw her face masked in fear and whined loudly. Trying to get up I fell as my back seared with pain.

"Gavin help me!" Amber called out to me and Shiba looked back at me grinning as she licked her chops. Turning back around Shiba took her time getting to Amber as if to torture me.

Biting my tongue I struggled up, the pain was agonizing but Shiba was only a few feet away from Amber. Remembering my promise I jumped up on the nearest branch as quietly as I could, then onto the tree closest to them. My anger fueled my ability to keep silent and moving as I targeted myself over top of Shiba. Flying off the branch I landed on her back with my jaws on the back of her neck.

"Now I'm impressed Gavin," Spike was sitting on a nearby tree branch. "Shiba I expected better of you, but hey I guess you gotta lose some time." He smirked as Shiba shot him a glare, "Well you know the rules; we should probably head back to the cave." He waited for Shiba to get up and walk past him.

I whimpered and whined as my back pain came back in full. Amber came running over as I began to morph, but the pain was too much, I couldn't go through with it. The realization hit me, I can't transform back into my human self. I looked over at her and whined, trying to tell her since I couldn't speak.

"Gavin are you ok?" she asked as she reached my body and I shook my head and pointed at my back as I writhed in pain, "Your back hurts?" I nodded, "Can you change back?" I shook my head and whimpered. "Well we won't be going anywhere anytime soon," she got up and started clearing out a small spot of twigs and leaves, "We'll camp here till you feel better." The rest of the day she moved around the spot, going in and out of my sight, getting branches and twigs to make a fire with.

That night there was a roaring fire in the pit and when Amber was done fussing about everything she laid down next to me. Putting her head on my shoulder she looked up at the sky through the break in the trees.

"It always is so much more beautiful in the woods," she commented as the stars and moon shined down on us. I nodded and looked over at her; her eyes reflected the stars above making her even more breathtaking.

She stretched then turned to me draping her arm over my chest; as she gazed at me I noticed how tired she really looked. I nuzzled her neck and closed my eyes, I then felt a tug at my ear and when I turned with it I felt a quick touch on my nose and realized she had kissed it. I smiled and fell asleep as her hot breath rustled the fur on the back of my neck.

The next morning I was extremely stiff and sore, I growled as I opened my eyes, now I have a headache. I tried moving and soon realized my back has still not healed. Whimpering I looked around for Amber. She was at the side of the clearing talking to Spike? Forcing myself up I slowly walked over to them and he looked over at me.

"You should be resting Gavin," he said. Turning around Amber hurried over to me, "I'll leave you two now." He left without even a glance back and disappeared through the brush.

I looked at Amber with my head cocked to one side, "He was telling me the pack is leaving tonight and we'll be murdered if we don't come, you know the same old stuff." I gave her a worried glance, she just ignored it and laid me back down, "We'll go and you'll be fine; just use me as your crutch and I'm sure we'll make it. I just need you to rest for now, he says it might be a long trip." Nodding I curled up to restless to sleep, so I thought for awhile.

Amber and I are so much closer now; she even slept on me as I was a wolf. She kissed my nose too, I smiled at that thought. We were so close to a real kiss yesterday, damn Shiba had to ruin it all. Finally I fell asleep thinking of how Amber's kiss would feel.

Later I awoke to a gentle voice in my ear and a slight nudge on my shoulder. "C'mon Gavin its time to get up," Amber looked down at me smiling; looking past her I saw the dark sky. "Its night now, Lily came and said they're leaving in a few," she said as she helped me get up.

Leaning on her helped me move a lot easier, but we were still quite slow. When we reached the cave the whole pack was outside and waiting; Shiba grinned maliciously when she saw that I was still hurt.

"So nice you could make it Gavin," Flame growled as he looked over at Amber, "You should just eat that girl and be done with it, besides it'll heal you quicker. Human flesh has that effect on werewolves." He made a move as if to bite Amber and I punched him in the face making my back spasm. Whining I fell to my knees and as he got back up to attack me Spike moved between us. "Outta my way," Flame snarled trying to push past Spike.

"You know the rules Flame," Spike said calmly as he held his ground.

"The fucker punched me!" Flame exclaimed still struggling with Spike.

"I didn't see anything; besides what satisfaction would you get from beating an already hurt person?" Spike started to walk away.

"To watch him die!" Flame lunged at me, but before he even left the ground Spike was on him.

"One more outburst like that and you'll be kicked from the pack!" Spike roared, getting up he picked Flame up by the scruff of his shirt and threw him away. Flame looked at Spike in surprise, turning around he stormed off his fists clenched at his sides. Everyone in the pack stared at Spike, "He'll be back," is all he said and he walked off the pack following after him.

Dawn threatened to break before we stopped to make camp, which was unusual to do so soon, normally we wouldn't stop till we got to the destination. Everyone was aware of Spike's odd behavior.

Shiba was the first to speak up, "Spike why are we resting? We never rested before."

"One of our pack is hurt and we don't need him permanently injuring himself," he answered easily.

"He's gone soft," Flame walked out of the shadows, "He's grown a liking to Gavin, you've all seen it, it's pathetic. Before he would've left any one of us for dead if we were hurt, we all have seen him do it before." The whole pack held their breath wondering what Spike was going to do next.

"You question me Flame?" he asked calmly.

"Flame don't, you know how strong he is," Bolt whispered to him.

Ignoring him Flame went on, "Don't you all see? Our so called leader is putting our pack in danger by just having this girl around. I say we take matters into our own hands and kill the girl." I held Amber tighter trying to reassure her. I wouldn't let any of them touch her even if it cost my life.

"Tell me Flame, what has she done to put our pack in danger?" Spike asked staring at him intensely. Flame fidgeted a little under the heat of Spike's gaze.

"She'll escape I know it," Flame answered looking at Amber anger burning in his eyes.

"She's nowhere near her home," Spike sat against a tree and stretched hinting the end of the conversation.

"That doesn't stop her from escaping to humans that would hunt us," Flame retorted.

"They would think her a mad woman," and before Flame could say anything else Spike looked up at him, "If you have a problem with how I work things than leave." He then laid on his side and fell asleep. Flame glared at him with pure loathing and then stomped off jumping into a tree and that was the last any of us saw of him that night.

The rest of the pack picked out spots to sleep at and stretched themselves out. Amber laid me down gently and curled up next to me. Tangling her fingers in my fur she fell asleep and I lay awake feeling her heart beat with my own.

Warmth, happiness, love, things I thought I'd never have again when my family was killed. With Amber I feel I can have all of these things; I could have whatever I wanted, achieve any goal! As long as she was by my side; I wish I could tell her this, damned back. I fell asleep, with thoughts of the future roaming through my head.

I woke up the next day with Shiba's face right up next to mine making me jump. "Did I scare you wolf boy?" she asked smiling wickedly. I growled angrily and felt Amber shift next to me.

"Well I mean with that face and that breath who wouldn't be scared?" Amber said sleepily. I laughed as Shiba turned red and walked off angrily. Amber turned to me and smiled lazily, "Hey babe you feeling better?"

I was completely shocked for a moment; babe? She called me babe? A term of endearment! I was so happy I jumped up wagging my tail and chasing it. She laughed as I licked her face and hopped around.

"Well looks as if you made a full recovery Gavin," Spike said as he stepped up, "Guess it was a good idea to camp. Now we will keep going till we get there." He walked away to get the rest of the pack ready.

"So now you can change back right?" she asked; I almost forgot, I morphed almost as soon as the words left her mouth. No pain, my back was fine!

"Man it feels good to be back!" I exclaimed as soon as my mouth could form words.

"You might need these," Amber said, looking away she handed my clothes.

"Ah, yeah, that might help," I blushed and put on my clothes quickly. When I put it all on I picked Amber up in a big hug, she giggled.

"Its so nice to hear your voice again," she hugged me tighter.

"Tell me about it," I smiled, "I forgot how my voice sounded."

"I didn't" she said in a low voice as she put her arms around my neck and moved closer causing my face to grow hot. Moving onto the tips of her toes she inched closer to my lips.

"Time to move Gavin," Bolt walked out of the darkness and started laughing, "You should ditch him baby, I'll take you back if you apologize. I'm sure he would understand that you need a real man." He grinned wolfishly.

"Odd… you consider yourself more of a man yet you lost against him faster than Shiba," she retorted. He glared at her then stomped off in the direction he came.

We followed after and Amber was mumbling angrily, "Ummm, is something wrong?" I asked, we moved in right behind the group at this point. She sent death rays from her eyes at the backs of Bolt and Shiba.

"Yeah, every time I'm about to kiss you someone interrupts," she seethed my stomach did flips and then I did the most bold thing in my entire existence. I grabbed her arms, pulled her off to the side, and kissed her passionately. "Wow," she breathed when I let go of her several minutes later.

I grinned stupidly just as elated as her then realized I couldn't see the pack, "Damn we better hurry before they come back looking for us." We sprinted off in the direction we last saw them moving and soon caught up to them breathless, but happy.

The pack took a break at a creek in the late morning to eat, drink, and wash off the road's dirt. Soon we were back on the path and there were no more breaks so when Amber go tired I changed so she could ride on my back with my fur to keep her warm. We finally reached our destination in the early morning. It was the most beautiful place I've ever been, it took my breath away.

We were up on a lush green hill with a stretch of forest beneath us and a small town about two miles away. There was a small cave opening behind us in a large cliff and Spike led the pack in. Only one person could go in at a time, but as soon as you got through the opening the cave opened up.

It was huge! The room was circular, the ceiling was about 20 feet high, and the cave seemed to have a bit of a slope when you went in further; there was even a small waterfall and a pond in the corner! There were darker places along the sides; little nooks? No it wasn't nooks…

"Ahhh so nice to be home," Lily stretched and walked off towards the closest dark nook and disappeared. All the others did the same except for Spike.

"Home?" I asked completely lost.

"This is our home," Spike answered simply, "There are halls leading to separate smaller caves, those are our rooms."

"Why haven't I've ever been here?" I asked a bit indignantly feeling as if I was just let in a secret that I should've already knew, "I mean I've been in this pack for 15 years and you guys never came here or even mentioned it."

"A lot of complications happened last time we were here and we had to leave," he replied not looking me in the eye, "We haven't been here for over 100 years; great thing about caves is that they don't change much."

"Er, where's my room?" I looked around at all the dark entrances.

"Well there are only about two free rooms through there and there," he said pointing at the two hallways on either side of another hallway and then began walking to the one between the two.

I looked between the one and the other, "Which one do you want?"

"Either one will be fine as long as we can both fit," Amber answered and walked to the one on the right, "Wow!"

"What is it?" I moved behind her and looked through the entrance.

"Its pitch black, I can't see a thing," she squinted into the darkness.

"Really because I can see just fine," I said seeing no openings along the hallway.

"Well sorry I'm not part wolf," she said mock huffy making me laugh. She stepped aside and as I walked past her she grabbed my hand.

The cave went straight for a minute then curved right and straightened back out. The hall widened into a large room, it was a bit cooler in here. Looking around I noticed a small hole in the rock right below the ceiling, looking out of it I could see the starry sky.

"I can see much better now but it's a bit chilly," Amber said walking around the room and then looking out of the hole, "What a beautiful view."

"I know," I walked up next to her and put my arms around her. She yawned and stretched, "Well its time for bed; there doesn't seem to be any blankets and I left mine back at the last cave so I'll be your blanket."

"You're so sweet," she cuddled up closer into my arms, "Gavin?"

"Yeah?" I looked down at her holding her as gently but firmly as possible.

"I love you," she whispered leaning against me.

I smiled and held her tighter my heart skipping beats, "I love you too Amber."

That night I slept like a rock and I felt like one when I woke the next day. Bright light shone through the small hole, I stretched out trying not to wake Amber.

"Ow!" something stabbed into my back, well there went my master plan of keeping quiet.

"What? Where?" Amber jumped up on the alert. I sat up and picked up the thing that stabbed into me, "Wow what a pretty necklace."

"Yeah…" I moved in closer to look at it. It was circular and had a silver color, but it wasn't silver or it would have burned me, it was probably made of white gold or platinum. There were small scratches in the front and when I ran my finger over it some parts were raised.

"Look it's a moon with a wolf carved into it," she said pointing at some of the etches.

I brought it closer to my eyes and scrutinized the small details. Finally I saw it; this necklace must have been decades old to be so worn. I turned it over in my fingers and saw something printed onto the back, "Hmm seems to be some writing here…"

"Let me see," I gave her the necklace and she squinted looking hard at the back, "It says: To my love. How sad somebody must have lost this here."

"It's so old that I'm sure that whoever owned it isn't around anymore," I said unlatching the necklace and putting it on her, "You'll take good care of it I'm sure."

"Thank you so much hun," she kissed me then stood up, I think my heart hasn't beat normally since the first time we kissed, "Well I'm wide awake so lets go get something to eat."

"We should also go to town later, we need to get you a flashlight or some candles or something, and I sure wouldn't mind some type of padding for this floor," I got up and cracked my back.

We walked out of the cave and spent the morning hunting and the afternoon in town. We were able to snag a couple of candles, a lighter, a flashlight, and some batteries, but the blankets were impossible to get.

When we got back to the cave we took everything back to our room giggling almost the whole way. Then I noticed something in the corner; it was a bundle of blankets! I wonder who brought them; I don't remember anyone bringing anything along when we were on the move.

Shrugging it off we walked back out to the main cave and sat next to the waterfall. About an hour later the pack came back, but surprisingly with no extra people. Everyone separated and walked off to their rooms except for Flame, he sat there and stared at Amber.

"Where did you get that necklace?" he asked moving closer to her, his eyes held some guarded emotion in them.

"We found it in our room," I replied moving so she was partly behind me.

"Quite a unique necklace," Spike walked up getting a closer look. Flame glared at him with loathing in his eyes and Spike's shoulders slumped slightly under the stare. "Well I'm going to head off to bed. Night all."

"Guess I'll go to bed too," Flame and Spike left the room and I looked at Amber.

She was fiddling with the necklace and looking at it intently, "It really looks good on you."

Smiling she pecked me on the cheek, but I didn't let it drop there. I kissed her neck and lips then started nipping at her ears, something just came over me. "Jeez Gavin you're an animal," she breathed into my hair. I growled making her laugh a bit breathlessly. Picking her up, I took her off to our room laying her down on the blankets and lighting a few candles.

"I love you so much Amber, never leave me," I whispered in her ear.

"I love you too and I swear I'll never leave," she breathed.

The candle light flickered turning our shadows alive. I brushed my lips against hers as her fingers twisted in my hair. We barely had done anything yet but we were both breathless. I bit at her neck again then kissed the sting away; it was surprisingly easy to keep myself from tearing into her throat. My blood felt like it was on fire as she traced my collarbone laying her palms out flat against my chest.

"Jeez… Gavin…" she started breathlessly, "Your skin is so hot… and your heart is beating faster than mine." I chuckled, or growled, I didn't know which, I was too caught up in her scent. As I kissed her cheeks, lips, and nose my mouth elongated a bit, pulling away immediately I sat on my knees.

"Something wrong?" she sounded a bit disappointed.

"I don't know…" I whispered touching my nose and lips. She sat up and kissed my stomach and chest while rubbing her hands up and down my back. My pores tingled as some of the fur grew. I jumped back onto my haunches.

"Is it me?" she asked in the saddest voice I ever heard.

"No, no, no," I moved closer to her caressing her cheek, "I-I've never been with a woman, not in my human life and not after I've been changed."

"I've never been with a man either," she looked at me with pleading eyes, "I was saving it for my one true love."

"And I am ever so thankful for that, its just I don't know if you want to suddenly find a big hairy animal on top of you the next time you open your eyes," I said laughing halfheartedly.

"Yes that could be a pain," she said smiling sympathetically at me, "Is it that you can't control it?"

"I-I don't know, it's the first time," I shrugged, "Maybe its because physical pleasure is along the lines of morphing pleasure…"

"It really feels good when you change?" she asked her eyes wide.

"Kinda, why?" I got back on my knees feeling safer now.

"It just looks so painful," she replied then smiled seductively, "So is the big bad wolf just going to hide behind a tree while little red riding hood skips by?"

I grinned brushing my lips gently on hers, "Hell no, the big bad wolf is gonna eat her all up."

"I thought the wolf ate her gran-" I cut her short with a passionate kiss as my now clawed fingers traced her neck and chin.

The night was spet in the same fashion until the candles melted to the end of their wicks.

The next morning I woke up and looked down at Amber lying on my chest. I smiled as all of last night came back to me and I kissed the top of her head gently. She shifted and looked up at me blearily.

"Morning sweetie, how are you feeling?" I asked kissing her cheek.

"Amazing," she smiled and sat up stretching out her arms she then patted her neck and started looking around.

"Something wrong?" I got up as she lifted the covers, sifting through all the folds.

"The necklace is gone," she said as her head and shoulders slumped in disappointment.

"Well it has to be in the room you were wearing it when we first came in here," I got up, put on my clothes, and picked up all the blankets individually shaking them to make sure the necklace wasn't caught up somewhere in the bundle.

"I feel horrible," she sniffed, "You trusted me to take care of the necklace and I couldn't even keep it."

"No babe it's not your fault," I kissed her forehead, "I'm sure it'll turn up somewhere, it couldn't have gone far."

"Yeah, I guess you're right," she cuddled up closer to me and I put my arms around her. Looking up at me she smiled and I kissed her grinning as she nibbled on my neck.

The rest of the morning was spent idly playing until our hunger forced us out of the room. Before we exited the hallway we heard loud voices coming from the main cave. Getting as close as we could without being seen we listened in.

"I don't want her here anymore!" Flame's voice echoed through the cave.

"Too damn bad!" Spike yelled.

"What the hell is going on," I peeked out slightly as Shiba walked into the room, "Why all the yelling?" The rest of the pack came out of the rooms including me and Amber.

"It's her fault," Flame pointed at Amber, "I can't stand her, I want her gone."

Amber shifted uncomfortably as everyone stared at her. "She's not going anywhere," I said putting her behind me.

"You can't protect her forever Gavin!" he roared and something silvery fell from the front of his shirt dangling from a chain.

"You! You took her necklace you thief!" I pointed at the moon necklace that he quickly grabbed.

"This isn't hers, its mine," his tone turned a bit softer, "I just lost it a long time ago." Amber squeezed my shoulder to try and calm me down. "I had to clean it vigorously, just the thought of that whore wearing it made me sick," I lunged at him but hit something before I reached him.

"Don't Gavin, it will do nothing but cause more hate," Spike said under his breath as he tried to restrain me.

"You're just mad because no woman would ever want a monster like you," I growled angrily as Flame turned to walk out of the cave.

"Gavin hush," Spike whispered.

"I wouldn't talk about things you don't know about pup," Flame turned and looked at me with eyes full of pure hate and anger, "Or you'll soon learn that all you speak is lies." He stormed out of the cave leaving everyone in a solemn mood.

"Gavin be careful what you say," Spike said to me when everyone else left the cave, "There's more behind Flame's behavior than you know." After saying that he left the cave and headed towards town.

Still pissed about what had just happened I left with Amber to go hunting for some food. We stayed out the whole day and when we came back to the cave Flame was nowhere to be seen. Taking it as a stroke of luck we hung around the main cave enjoying the size and beauty of the structure.

Flame walked through the opening soon after night had fallen and had a woman with him, they were both partly drunk and he led her off to his room while me and Amber left to our room. About an hour later horrific screaming that I've never heard before broke the silence of the caves. Pleas and cries for help rented the air, a cacophony of growls and howls followed soon after.

Amber buried her head into my chest while all of this went on and I held her close as she shuddered. Eventually we finally fell asleep as silence enveloped the cave once more.

I woke later in the night yawning I stretched out and curled up again. Almost immediately after I got into my new position I realized Amber was gone and jumped up. Sprinting out of my room I looked around and saw nothing. I ran outside to see if she just went to the bathroom and I couldn't see her anywhere. Quickly I ran back into the cave and into Spike's room.

"She's gone!" I panicked and Spike turned over looking at me wide-eyed.

"She escaped?" he asked angrily jumping up pulling off his blankets.

"No she wouldn't escape," I replied my heart beating faster. He ran past me and I followed on his heels. We went straight to Flame's room and he bounded in with me right behind. Flame wasn't in his room; all we could find was a bunch of empty beer bottles and a couple of dried blood stains.

"Do you smell her?" he asked looking at me intently and I shook my head, "OK go wake Lily I'll get Bolt and Shiba." I nodded and bolted out of the room almost falling I was running so fast.

"Lily you gotta get up," I shook her and she groaned, "Spike told me to wake you up."

"Why?" she asked groggily.

"Flame and Amber are missing!" she shot up and I was already running out of her room to the main cave where Spike, Bolt, and Shiba were waiting. Lily came out of her room soon after and we all looked at Spike.

"OK pack, we've got an emergency on our hands, Flame and Amber have gone missing," he said looking at everyone in turn.

"So what the bitch has left and Flame went to go take a piss, big deal," Shiba yawned, "Don't see why that's an emergency."

"Its an emergency because if Flame went to go piss he'd be back by now and-"

"Amber wouldn't leave I know her more than anyone here. Flame is drunk and angry and I bet you anything he has Amber," I said glaring at her.

"So we're going to find them," Spike walked to the entrance and we followed, "Shiba you try and sniff out Flame's scent around the town. Bolt you've got the east of the forest and Lily you've got the west of the forest. Gavin you will climb the cliff to see if you can't get a better look of everything. I'll be taking the north forest. When you find him howl OK?" Everyone nodded and walked off in their appointed directions.

I looked for a way to climb the cliff and found a small, rocky path on the side. Jogging up the slope I tried to move as fast as I could. Reaching the top I walked to the edge and looked down at the stretch of forest and the blinking lights of the town. I heard a shuffling noise behind me and turned around on my guard.

"Hello Gavin," Flame walked out of the darkness with Amber struggling in his arms. I howled immediately and he started laughing, "Go ahead call them, they're not going to save your precious girl." He threw her at me and backed us up till there was only a foot of the cliff left.

I was stuck even if I try to transform he could just push me off the cliff so easily and I couldn't put Amber behind me that would put her closer to the edge. Reaching out for her hand I held it tightly trying to let her know I wont let her fall.

"The almighty Gavin is stuck how rich," he laughed as I growled at him. Spike, Bolt, Shiba, and Lily came running up the slope.

"No Flame!" Spike yelled and came at him.

"Not another step or I'll push them both off the ledge," Flame snarled and Spike stopped in his tracks, "Good boy."

"You've lost it," Spike said looking at Flame with sadness in his eyes.

"No the only thing I have ever lost was what you took from me!" he roared, "I've lost the only thing I ever cared about because of you!" Flame looked over at me and Amber, his eyes were glazed as if he was not in control, a smile tugged at his lips, "Would you two like to here a story before you die? Its of the greatest person who ever lived and how this lowly snake stabbed her in the back leaving her for dead."

"Flame you know I didn't mean-"

"Shut up!" Flame turned to Spike, "I will not hear your lies!" He looked back at us, "109 years ago there lived the most beautiful, elegant, entrancing woman you would have ever met. Gorgeous from her head to her toes and not only that she was the sweetest thing ever, she wouldn't have hurt a fly. Believe it or not but this piece of perfection graced yours truly with her love, I was never happier.

"I was only ten years into being a werewolf when I met her," he paused closing his eyes as a tear rolled down his cheek, "She was new to the pack, just came in that day. She said she was bitten a month ago and had been alone since. The whole pack took a liking to her; she was always so helpful and caring to all of us. Even Shiba took a liking to her," he looked at Shiba and she looked away, her face wet, "She was the life of the pack; the whole reason none of us ate human flesh in those days. Her name was Angela, but we all called her Angel, how true that name was. I loved her more than I had loved anything in my life, my Angel.

"He took her away from me!" he pointed at Spike, "After five of the most wonderful years with Angel, Spike began to fool around with a woman from the town. He brought a woman that would never understand us into our home! Every day he would be with that woman and bring her here and one day he made a deadly decision.

"One night she saw him turn into a wolf," he looked at Spike with disgust, "He let her escape to the town and tell the others. Back in those days everyone was superstitious so they believed her and came as a large mob. Our so called leader didn't even warn us until the last moment. During that time my beloved was hunting, or so we thought. Really she was sleeping in one of the back caves and didn't know that any of this was going on.

"Spike ushered all of us out and when I reminded him of Angel he said she'll find us. We ran until we were a safe distance away and watched as the mob moved closer and closer to our cave. That's when we saw Angel emerging from the cave and I screamed for her," tears streaked his face, "They blocked all escapes so she ran up to this cliff. She stood in the same spot you now stand, cornered, death in front of her and death behind her.

"All Spike did was tell us we can't, we would all die, we would let people know we exist. He restrained me, stopped me from running to her, stopped me from saving her. My beautiful Angel wouldn't harm a human, not even if her life depended on it, when she was a human her life was good so she never held any grudges.

"Sh-she p-partly transformed," he was bawling now, "And howled, h-howled f-for her p-pack. Th-they pushed h-her off the c-cliff and I howled t-to her, she l-looked in my d-direction. As she fell she s-stretched her arms out to me and the whole pack w-watched her fall to her death. The person at the top of the cliff looking down was Spike's lover," he then laughed maniacally, "She was the first human flesh I ever tasted. It was like a drug; I would eat it and not feel anything, no sadness, no hopelessness, nothing."

"Flame I'm sorry," Spike's body shook, "I was only trying to think of the welfare of the pack."

"Then why didn't you stop the human?!" Flame roared, "Why didn't you warn us sooner?! Why didn't you wait for Angel?!"

"I thought the human loved me!" Spike wailed, "I thought she wouldn't tell the town."

"Why didn't you wait for Angel?" Flame repeated angrily.

"I was trying to think of the safety of the pack!" Spike cried.

"She was part of the pack!" Flame bellowed, "She was one of us!"

"I know!" Spike fell to his knees, "I know!"

"Now I will rid this pack of its scum by throwing the weak wolf and his disgusting human from the cliff," Flame ran at me and Amber. She screamed and I closed my eyes holding her tightly in my arms, but the impact didn't come. A sudden gasp made me open my eyes and I saw Spike tackling Flame; what happened after seemed to go in slow motion.

The momentum of Spike's tackle caused him and Flame to fly past me and Amber. He then hurtled off the cliff still struggling with Flame the entire way down. All of us watched as our leader fell holding the mad Flame in his strong grip. Then we could see him no more, we could hear no grunts or howls. The whole pack ran as fast as they could to the bottom of the cliff and we came upon one of the most horrific and sad scenes.

Flame, once a good man, was reduced to nothing more than a writhing, bloody pile of flesh. I walked towards him slowly and he looked up at me, whimpering. Getting on my knees before him I moved the hair out of his eyes and saw the pain and clarity gleaming in them.

"I'm sorry G-Gavin," he whispered, barely audible.

"Shh, Flame I know you were hurt," I held his bloody hand, "You weren't yourself; one person can only live so long with such pain."

"Yes, b-but that's n-no excuse," he shuddered violently, "Angel w-wouldn't have wanted th-this. I-I disappointed her."

"Now you get to go and apologize to her personally," he smiled and his eyes got distant.

"Yes, I get to see her again," he breathed in one more time then went still.

A sudden noise made me jump, looking around I saw Spike a couple of feet away and ran to him quickly. I kneeled beside him and the pack circled in around us. Getting closer I looked over all his wounds, he was scratched and bitten in several places but other than that he seemed fine. He coughed violently hacking up blood and that's when I realized all of his injuries are internal.

"Gavin," he spoke in a much louder voice than Flame and the whole pack got closer to hear their leader's last words, "Gavin, thank you."

"Why are you thanking me? I should be thanking you," I laughed a little trying not to cry.

"Because Gavin you helped me face my past this night," he smiled, "Now I'll be able to rest in peace knowing that my demons wont be chasing me anymore. I told Flame I was sorry and I have wanted to do that ever since that day 104 years ago, I was never able to because of the guilt. The worst part about it all is that when the pack fell asleep that night I ran back to the scene and killed a bunch of policeman that were standing around Angel just so I could get the body back and bury it properly.

"The pack would've been able to take on the mob of townspeople," his eyes began to water, "I was just trying to think of the well-being of the pack but I was doing it in the wrong manner. We should show unrelenting loyalty for one another and give our lives freely and happily to save one of our own from a horrible demise."

"You were just following the laws of the pack," I told him.

"No Gavin, to be a leader everyone will follow you must be willing to break the rules for your pack," his brow furrowed, "I was too stupid to ever do such a thing and my pack lost respect for me. I sacrificed my friend's love and sanity for some stupid rule; a true leader would've rushed in there and saved Angel.

"Shiba, Lily, Bolt," he looked at all of them in turn, "Thank you for staying loyal to me for so long, I'll never forget it. Every hard time we faced, we faced as a pack and would make it no more than a bump in the road." Looking up at me he smiled, "Take good care of them Gavin I leave them in your hands." He coughed again blood dribbling down his chin. "I hope I can apologize to Angel," he sighed deeply, "I wonder if there is heaven for a man like me."

"No one would deserve it more than you," I smiled as he chuckled quietly.

"If its not to much to ask I would like to be buried by Flame and Angel," his breath began to rattle, "Angel was buried down by the pond south of here under a large willow tree. You'll find a stone marked with her name."

"Of course Spike," my heart began to hurt.

"My name is Armand," his eyes became unfocused and he spoke no more.

That night the pack and I took Armand and Flame to the pond. Under the shelter of the willow's low hanging branches we buried them. While we were there we paid our respects to Angel, although I didn't know her I still said a prayer.

Funny isn't it? Beasts of the moon, creatures of the night, monsters that crave human flesh, praying to some God, any God. Regardless of how ironic it was we stood there and we prayed, we prayed for safe passage for our friends, for peace in the afterlife.

I'm not your normal guy, but I am still the same as you. I can be strong and I can be weak, I can be injured and I bleed red. I am in love with a beautiful woman and have many friends. I am a speaker, a listener, a thinker, a fighter, a lover, a believer, a friend, and a leader. I am many people and I am one person. I am Gavin, a leader of a pack, the love of another, and a fighter for all I believe in.