I looked over at my mirror image with wide eyes. He simply tilted his head back and stared up at the night sky.
"You knew?" I asked, somehow not surprised.
"Yeah," he said, finally glancing at me with a rueful grin.
I scoffed, shaking my head. "Of course you knew," I muttered.
My identical twin, Adam, chuckled, laying all the way down on his back in the thick field of grass we were currently lounging in. We were in a clearing surrounded by big pine trees, just hanging out in the forest near our house. I was leaning back on my forearms, while Adam folded his arms beneath the back of his head, resuming his earlier scrutiny of the sky.
Rolling onto my stomach, I folded my arms and rested the side of my head on them, looking over at Adam.
"Does it bother you?" I asked him.
"Zeke," he said, his voice quiet, no sound in the clearing save for the crickets and the occasional soft breeze. "You're my brother. My twin. Half of me. The only thing that bothers me is you haven't gotten laid yet."
I laughed, grinning at him as he rolled onto his side, facing me. Reaching out, he began to fiddle with my long brown hair, brushing it out of my face. Suddenly tugging on it, I winced as he pulled a few strands free, holding his hand up in the air and letting the strands float away on a soft breeze.
"Bastard," I muttered, rubbing the spot were my hair had become detached.
"But you love me," he said with a smirk.
Scoffing, I buried my face in my arms, making everything go black.
I heard a sudden whooshing noise, and I glanced back up, coming face-to-face with a magnificent, snowy white wolf. Amber eyes locked onto mine, and I could practically see the grin on the wolf's muzzle.
:Come on, Zeke. Let's run.:
Grinning at the voice in my head, I closed my eyes, calling upon something deep and primal within me. Feeling fire course through my veins, I quickly initiated the change, my body reforming into a completely different form.
Opening my now amber colored eyes, I glanced at the white wolf, baring my fangs at him playfully. He yipped, dancing lightly on his over-sized paws, then quickly turned and ran, his white coat flashing in the moonlight.
Dashing after him, my own midnight black coat flashed with mixes of shiny hues of green and blue, like only true black can do. Quickly catching up to him, I began to keep pace with him as we entered the thick copse of forest, bounding easily over fallen trees and other brush.
:To the river.: I sent to Adam, his answering howl excited.
We flew. We ran. We jumped and lept through the air, our paws never touching the ground but for a few milliseconds to give us a propelling push, sending us back to soaring through the night. Faster than any human could ever wish to travel, we reached the side of the river, the roar as it crashed over the rapids thundering and powerful.
Adam paced a few seconds on the river bank, then suddenly ran off with a sudden burst of speed, running along the bank and occasionally snapping at the splashes of water. Laughing in a breathy snort, I followed him, nipping at his tail.
He suddenly came to a screeching halt, causing me to crash right into him and bowl him over. We crashed to the ground in a tangled heap, quickly scrambling back to our feet.
Growling at him, I snapped at his ear, biting hard enough to make him yelp.
:Why the hell did you stop?: I sent, feeling annoyed.
:Humans.: he sent back.
I froze, lifting my snout and sniffing the air. I felt my blood turn cold as the scent of the humans reached me.
:What are they doing so close to our territory?: I sent Adam, worried.
:I don't know. Let's go check it out.:
I whined, not liking this. My brother was always the impulsive one, and I was more the rational, think things through, type. Every hair on my body was telling me to turn tail and run, but I couldn't leave my brother. No matter what, I'll always have his back.
We silently edged back into the cover of the forest trees, then followed the scent back to the source.
A cabin. The lights were on, and I could hear voices coming from inside it. Perking my ears, I heard angry shouts, then the slam of a door, and everything went quiet.
:We should tell father about this.: I sent to Adam, pulling my ears back defensively.
Ignoring me, Adam silently loped forward, slinking around the side of the cabin and stopping beneath a window. I followed, my eyes constantly moving and my fur on end. Without warning, Adam bounced up on his front paws, placing them on the outer window sill as he peeked inside the cabin.
I growled quietly, not liking this one bit. :Let's go!:
:Shut up!: he growled. :Look at this.:
With an annoyed huff, I hopped up beside him, peering into the room beyond. Boxes were everywhere, strewn about on the floor and the few pieces of furniture. A female human was clutching her head with one hand, the other on her hip, as she paced in what we could see of the kitchen.
A man suddenly walked into our line of sight, gently placing his hand on her shoulder. She turned to him and buried her face in his chest, her arms going around him.
I felt a little envious. I wanted someone I could hold like that. Someone to comfort. Someone to love.
Adam gave a little whine, bumping his snout against my shoulder. :You have me.:
I touched my nose to his, brushing my cheek against his. :Yes, I do. But I want something...I don't know...more.:
Adam was silent for a moment, then I heard his mental sigh. :Yeah, I know what you mean.:
:Come on.: I sent. :We should tell father about this.:
Stepping away from the window, we began heading back towards the safety of the forest. I was just about to follow Adam as he began running, when I suddenly got the urge to glance back.
I froze as I spotted someone watching me from the second story window. A human. A young boy.
Tensing, I watched him closely as his eyes widened, his hands scrabbling at the window to unlatch it and throw it open. I was finally able to get a clear view of him, and I felt my heart stop as I focused on his face.
His eyes. Oh, God, his eyes! I couldn't look away. I was trapped. Mesmerized.
The purple irises locked with mine, flashing iridescently when he blinked. I absently felt myself turn and take a step back towards the cabin before I realized what I was doing.
He leaned out the window, his mouth parting with surprise. Taking another step towards him, I saw him grin, his blunt human teeth flashing in the moonlight.
Hearing rustling behind me, Adam suddenly howled, his tone angry as he called me to him. Feeling my body tremble with the want to stay, but the need to obey the call, I took a few wavering steps towards the boy, before another howl broke out, older and more powerful than Adams.
Growling, I gave the boy one last look, before I turned on my paw and fled to the cover of the trees, quickly disappearing from the boy's sight. Following a small animal trail, I made it back to the river, then followed it until I caught up with Adam back in the clearing.
I gulped when I saw father there, his hands on his hips and a harried expression on his face. Quickly changing back to my human form, I gulped, tugging on the collar of my shirt.
My father was an imposing figure to behold, and the air of authority made it no stretch to believe the was the Alpha of our pack. He always seemed tightly coiled, ready to attack at the least provocation, but he has to be one of the most calm people I've ever met.
He hardly ever yells, but when he does, you listen. When he speaks, people automatically find themselves obeying or agreeing with him before they can even think. Even though he can be tough on people, he's always fair, and no one in the pack dislikes him.
"Uh, hey, Dad," I said nervously. "Did, uh, Adam tell you what we found?"
"Yes," he said, his expression thoughtful. "I seem to recall hearing something about a new family moving to town when I recently visited the grocery store. I wasn't sure if I should believe the gossip, but it seems to be true."
"So, what are we gonna do?" Adam asked eagerly.
Dad glanced at him, raising an eyebrow. "We'll leave them be. As long as they do no harm to us, we have no reason to run them off."
"But they're in our territory," Adam whined.
I narrowed my eyes, the young boy's violet eyes flashing through my mind. "Come on, Adam. You can't expect the humans will always leave us alone. We don't own all this land. We can't stop them from living on it. We just have to adapt to them now."
"But―" Adam started.
"Your brother's right," Dad cut in, quickly silencing Adam. "Times are changing. We can't live constantly undisturbed. Human numbers are growing, and places for them to live are dwindling. We must change with the times and adapt if we want to continue to survive unnoticed. We own enough land to keep our secret. There's no need to be greedy."
Adam sighed, but he wasn't stupid. He knew we were right.
Even if he didn't like it.
"Now," Dad continued. "Go home. Zeke, you've got chores in the morning. Adam, you're coming with me tomorrow when I go visit the Greenwood pack. We've still got to settle the Beel Lake issue with them."
Nodding, Adam and I left the clearing and headed towards the small nearby grass path that I'd parked my Jeep on. Hopping in, I started the vehicle, waited for Adam to join me, then turned around and headed back home.
Driving up the steep hill, a trail of dust followed us as I drove along the narrow, single lane dirt road. Cresting the hill, we went down the slope a little ways and into a small valley. Sitting in the apex between two ridges was an old three story mansion.
Parking next to four other various vehicles, Adam and I got out of the jeep and headed up the steps and to the entrance. Opening one of the heavy oak double-doors with ease, Adam and I slipped silently into the house, shutting the door behind us.
Massive, wide stairs were directly across from the door, heading up to the landing on the second floor, then splitting and curving around, continuing to the third floor. The left wing of the first floor of the house held the family room, music room, and a few other rooms, and the kitchen was in the right wing. Everything was renovated and returned to the mansion's former glory, but breakable statues and other various curios were noticeably absent.
Heading into the kitchen, I absently took in the old dark wood furnishings and cabinets, the new stainless steel appliances, and the pots and pans hanging from a rack above the large island in the middle of the room. Heading over to the fridge, I grabbed some soda pop, then sat on one of the bar stools and stared off into space.
I glanced at Adam, hearing his serious tone. "Yeah?"
"Those humans...I have a bad feeling about them."
I rolled my eyes at him. "Adam, you haven't even met them. You don't know them. You can't just judge them like that."
Adam sighed, shaking his head. "I know, but...It's just...Having humans on our territory...I don't like it."
Setting my pop down, I leaned towards Adam and wrapped my arms around him, hugging him to me. Pulling back, I looked him in his now-brown eyes.
"We've been through worst things, Adam," I said quietly. "These humans mean us no harm. You saw them. They're just an innocent family. They aren't Hunters. You'll be okay. We'll be okay. I promise."
Closing his eyes, Adam exhaled, letting his head lean forward and rest against me, forehead to forehead. "Okay," he whispered. "I trust you."
We stayed like that, leaning against each other and taking comfort from one another, until we both heard someone enter the kitchen.
"Hey, boys," a feminine voice asked, concern tingeing her words. "What going on?"
"Nothing, Auntie Am," I said. "Dad'll tell ya later."
I looked over at the small, petite woman. She had graying auburn hair, and was rather, er, rotund, but she had a kind face that gave no doubt she was a good person. She was our aunt from our mother's side, and lived with us ever since our mom―our mom...
I felt the familiar sting, quickly shoving the thought away. Grabbing my pop can, I stood up, patted Adam's shoulder, then headed to my room on the second floor via a hidden staircase, shutting the door behind me. Opening the widow, I let a nice breeze enter the room, then plopped down in front of my computer and turned it on.
Checking all my various accounts, I surfed around for a bit, then paused, thinking. Purple eyes…
Going to Google, I typed 'purple eyes' into the search engine, but nothing really helpful turned up. Frowning, I looked at a few pictures, but none of them could capture the exact color of the boys' eyes.
Sighing, I logged off, then flopped onto my bed, staring up at the ceiling. The room was dark right now, with only the small amount of moonlight trickling in to light the room. Closing my eyes, I contemplated my options.
I was going to see the boy again, there was no doubt about that. I can't stop thinking about him. His eyes are just so...intriguing. And, plus, I want to know more about that family. They're gonna be living on our territory, so I need to discover all I can about them.
I just had to make sure they didn't see me.