I felt a scream building in my lungs, but I quenched it down as I ran towards the tall, strong oak that stood to my left. I climbed as if my life depended in it, which – in my mind – it did. My bag slipped off of my shoulder and fell to the damp earth below. I swore under my breath. Damn bag. I made it as high as my shaking limbs would allow me and clung to a sturdy brow branch for dear life. I had never been one for heights, but hell, I'd rather climb the Ifle tower than be down here with that man eating… thing. I watched as the beast stepped closer to my tree, a wolfish grin pulling at the corners of its mouth. I shivered in terror. Great, now we're stuck in a tree for all eternity. Jerry sighed in my head. I pursed my lips and replied, well, it's better than being down there. Anyway, he has to eat sometime, right? A smile slowly started to curve its way onto my lips at my flawless thinking, but any trace vanished as Jerry said, yeah, and so do we. By the gods, he was right. Ugh, I hate it when he's right. The sound of scuttling footfalls reached my ears and I glanced down. Well… more like paw falls. Surrounding my poor dear tree was at least eight werewolves, all gazing at me with the same huger filled eyes as the ext. This is going to be a long night.

Tears fell down my face as I screamed, pleaded for him to stop, but my pleas fell to silenced ears as his roaming hands continued. I felt bile rise to the back of my throat and I tried to hold it in, Hades knows that would only make things worse for me. With every sweet nothing he spoke, his fingers drifted further as the water pooled in my eyes like tsunami waves. I heard the screams of my parents I the next room, the sound of tearing flesh far too loud over the gleeful cries of Jokers pack. I just wanted it to be over, finished, done. I wanted to leave with my parents to a world where everything would be alright, but it should have been obvious by that point, someone didn't think I deserved that. I felt claws digging, scratching a path down my stomach, slowly, painfully. I could see the lust clouding his eyes. This has to be a nightmare I thought to myself, saying, thinking anything that could calm my heart ad wake me from this punishment. I reached my hand over and pinched my arm. Only a dream, only a dream… I chanted, but the sharp pain gave no comfort as I opened my eyes to Jokers Cheshire grin. No… I breathed. His smile grew as his canines became apparent. I knew then that there was no way out. The fates had chosen my path and I was now living it, living the hell that innocent people call life. The cries of my family had long since been quieted by their death, I had no such hope. I knew I would never see the world the same after this night, but that never stopped my fight. Every move I made, his claws dug deeper beneath the flesh, making me want to cry out in pain, but I held it in. I had lost my innocence, in every sense of the word, but I promised myself that I would never give up, and I won't. I felt his tongue trail across my skin as his hands loosened their vice grip. Taking the chance, I pushed away from Joker and started my break for the door, unfortunately, he was faster, but what do can you expect from an alpha wolf. I felt his hands turn my body around and his talons dig along my face, deep enough to leave one of many visibly permanent scares. I was thrown across the room and felt bones break at the impact of the wall. My blurry vision watched as he stalked toward me. The sound that sent a sudden calm came to me by the voices of sirens. Joker's eyes snapped away from mine, toward the sound. He exchanged silent words with his pack and I watched as they scampered through every exit. Joker glanced back at me and grinned. "Don't worry baby, I'll come back for you." With that, he left me, broken ad bleeding o the floor, drifting into unconsciousness at the sound of police's footfalls.

This time, I screamed aloud as I woke, nearly falling from my branch that kept me safe. My nails clung like a panthers. I looked down, realizing something.

There was a reason they were clinging like panther. My nails had grown into claws, fur starting to spout from the surface of my hand. Black panther, hmm? I thought to myself with a small smile. Well… that could be useful. I looked down to see if the wolves were still stalking me, of course, they were. There was curiosity in their eyes, probably wondering why I had screamed, but I wasn't going to relive that memory any more than necessary. A small wolf stood behind all the rest, lurking in the shadows. He was different from the rest, which was obvious. His eyes displayed compassion, understanding, worry- none of those emotions where ones I had ever seen in a werewolf before. I felt the urge to smile at him, show him that I was okay, and I did just that. The timid curve of my lips help for only seconds, though, as I heard a tear from below me. I looked down to see three wolves had pulled my bag apart and was now rifling through the contents. A small, mustard colored wolf pulled out a pair of black underwear and looked up at me, an evil glint in his eyes.

I shivered in fear and disgust ad looked around for the wolf I had seen before. The wolf who looked like he could help me out of here, but he was nowhere in sight. A sigh escaped my lips before I could stop it. I'm hungry. Jerry stated in my mind, I almost laughed aloud. How in the world can you be hungry? You're a figment of my imagination, you don't even eat. He growled in reply. Yes well, a girl can dream. I did laugh aloud at that, I couldn't help it. Jerry, you're a guy. Jerry laughed, so you think… His mysterious voice responded. I could almost feel him winking.

As long as I had Jerry… I was okay. At least I had someone.

(*Ivan's POV*)

I felt horrible that I hadn't gone to Lucian earlier. The girl looked tormented. She was scared shitless, it made me feel dreadful. She had to be around seventeen years old, ad here she was, deep within the territory of our pack, stuck in a tree with no food, water of shelter. She'd be dead for sure if she came down from that tree. Well… unless the guys… wanted her.

Our pack disgusts me. They used anyone and everyone who allowed it, sometimes even the ones that didn't.

The girl in the tree though… she was gorgeous, she really was. The dark, almost black hair hung in loose curls down her back, spiraling in every different direction from the unwanted nightmares. Her sky blue eyes were the most captivating eyes I had ever seen in my life. They made it feel like you were drowning in a deep, Caribbean waters, with no way up, but I never wanted to leave. I could drown in those eyes. At least I would die happy, more than happy.

I ran as fast as my four legs would carry me, pushing through shrub, running into tangled vines, but never stopping. I had to get to Lucian, and fast. He was the girl's only hope.

By the time I reached Lucian's mansion, I was breathing heavily, trying to get oxygen into my lungs. I wasn't exactly 'unfit'. In fact, I was one of the fittest men in the whole pack, but I had never run that fast for such a long distance before. For the girl, though, I would never give up.

I ran into the house, sniffing the air and opening a mind link with Lucian to find where he was. Where are you man? I asked him through our link. He took only a second to reply. Ivan? What do you want, I'm busy.

I need your help man, there's this girl and the pack, and she's in a tree and... And they... The packs there and- He cut me off before I could continue

You really are making no sense right now, Ivan. Just stay where you are, I'll be right down.

I sighed in relief. Lucian may be harsh but he knows how to take care of people. He would do almost anything to save the life of an innocent. Lucian knew what his pack did, and god knows he punishes them for it, but they were the kind of people that never listened, never learned. Some of those guys used to be high in the pack. Rick was beta before he raped a woman in her early twenties. Lucian found out not too long after, though it happened years ago, to this day, Lucian has never stopped punishing Rick for his crimes.

I watched impatiently as Lucian walked down the grand staircase that led to his office. His eyes met mine, and at the sight of the fear in them, he jogged the rest of the way down until he was looming over me.

"What is it, Ivan?" I was now Lucian's second in command, also his best friend. We had been friends since childhood, but we had a small falling out over his sister, Lillian. He learned of my feelings toward his sister, and didn't particularly appreciate it. We had sorted out problems not too long after my confession though, when Lillian found her mate.

"We have to go, now. They're at the oak. She… She's freaking out. We have to hurry, the pack won't listen to me, and who knows what they would have done to her by now." My voice rose as the sentence continued, and Lucian looked at me with a raised brow, a smirk lifting the corner of his mouth. "Now!" I yelled turning and stalking out of the open doorway, confident that he would follow.

We ran towards her tree, me lagging behind. There was no way, even at my peak, with all the adrenalin rushing through my system, that I would ever be faster than Lucian, at anything.

He reached the tree in record time; I was lagging behind by about a kilometer. My legs pushed forward. I heard screams coming from ahead, none of them where from the girl in the tree. By the time I reached my destination, my heart stopped at the sight in front of me.

Lucian was literally tearing the pack members apart, biting at them, taking his anger out like he never had before. When he used physical punishments, he would usually beat them till they could no longer stand, but now, here, today, he kept going when they lay on the ground. When they pleaded for mercy, he growled his warning. I stood by and watched, smiling slightly. They deserved this. They deserved everything that Lucian was giving them.

I glanced up at the girl in the tree. She was looking down at the scene with wide eyes, but she didn't look frightened like I thought she would, she looked… curious. It was strange seeing such a young girl that looked so sweet to be so… fearless.

She turned her gaze toward me and grinned, waving. My moth popped open in surprise. Who was this girl! I had never seen anyone act the way she did. It's like… she'd seen this so many times, it's like she was used to it.

I sighed and shook my head.

I heard Lucian's voice, so I turned my attention towards him. "You ever come near her again, I will kill you. Literally tear you apart. Don't. Test. Me."

My eyes felt as if they were going to fall out of their sockets. WHAT?!

(*Fharra's POV*)

He was… perfect.

The second I saw his wolf burst through the trees, it took my breath away. His forest green eyes met mine the second I came into view, we stared into each other's eyes until he looked around at the pack, to the wolves that had surrounded my tree.

I had never seen anything like it. His black wolf was so fast; I could barely follow a single movement. I know after my experience, I should have shied away, cringed at the sight of the torture he bore down on those wolves, but I couldn't.

The sight of it sent shivers of pleasure down my spine. I loved the feeling, I loved the look, I loved everything that was him.

A million questions were running through my mind in those moments, what was his name? What did he look like? Sound like? What was his smile like? His lips, his eyes? I wanted to know every detail about him. It was like I couldn't control myself anymore. He was enticing, irresistible.

Who was this guy?

He beat the wolves till they were down, and kept on going, never stopping until they were unconscious. Then he looked up at me, stared into my eyes. It was then that he turned into his human form, and holy Hera! He was everything anyone could want and more, I stared, hypnotized until suddenly, myself conscious side came out. I felt his eyes trailing the scare that stretched from my eyebrow to my cheek. It was the scare Joker had given me when I tried to get away, and it was the exact reason I was scared of people looking at me, they could see the scare, and I knew they would judge me, everyone judged me.

My eyes drifter to my lap as the smile that had stretched across my lips fell. In its place, a frown formed, creasing my face. My past really did come back to haunt me, always.