Chapter 1: Red-riding wolves

Fear. It only has four letters and yet it seems to be the center of all demise, what a silly thing fear is and yet everyone has some fear it could be something small or something big but everyone has fear.

I had only one and it was completely unrealistic.

Currently I was riding my bicycle on the bumpy dirt trail a basket hanging from my arm. I could smell the various sweet aromas coming from the basket the smell of freshly baked goodies filling my senses.

After what seemed like hours I reached my destination.

I carefully stepped up the old creaking steps of the old style Victorian home. I knocked on the door politely standing on their porch.

A young girl opened the door and shrieked with delight I smiled at her and handed her the basket.

She dropped the coins into my hand and said thank you I sighed and mounted the bicycle once again began to take off down the dirt road.

Nighttime was my favorite it was always so peaceful with the sounds of the night that scared so many children to me they were very calming I really was a strange child.

I never fit in any where not with other girls because all they wanted to talk about were clothes and how they would make such great wives one day and why it got boring after a while. Boys all thought I was incapable because I was a girl.

I had no friends but that didn't really bother me I had dreams that were more than getting married to a prince or some nonsense like that, I wanted to travel see the world and I will admit falling in love wouldn't bethat bad.

I sighed and kept riding I yelped in surprise and pain when I suddenly fell over. I tried to stand up but my knees buckled under my weight.

I scoffed and began to examine my legs trying to figure out what was wrong with my legs they didn't hurt and I couldn't really tell what was going on.

"Just a perfect way to end the perfect day" I said sarcastically.

Seeing a huge gash in my left leg luckily, I had a strong stomach most girls would have screamed and fainted… hell most boys would have. Instead, I pressed my hand to the wound to stop the bleeding, took a thick black cloth from my pocket, and wrapped it around my leg.

Carefully this time I tried to get up again succeeding I lifted my bicycle and got back on I smirked victoriously and began to ride.

When I reached my house, I got off the bike, walked up the steps, and entered the very welcoming old home.

"Grandma?" I called removing the red cloak and hanging it up carefully.

"Yes, dear?" she called from the kitchen I walked in to see her working heavily over the baking oven.

"Grandma, it's time for bed we can bake tomorrow" I said carefully walking over and escorting her to her bedroom.

"Here Grandma, take this" I said giving her a cup of honey tea to help her sleep.

"No! it tastes awful," She said dismissing them she was the best baker anyone had ever seen people came from all over to taste her treats but sadly, she was very ill the doctor believes it may be cancer and if she would just quit being so stubborn she might recover at least a little bit.

"Grandma it's not that bad you need to drink this" I said thrusting the cup at her again we went through this every night.

"I know I know, Oh my goodness Red what happened to your leg?" She exclaimed gulping down her tea.

"Oh this is nothing just fell down you know how it goes" I said dismissing it as nothing.

"Mhmm" She grunted giving me a knowing look.

"What are you going to do you are getting out of school in a couple days" She changed the subject.

"Yeah I guess" I shrugged school ending wouldn't change anything I just would have more of the day to myself.

"Well off to bed" I waved her into her bed.

"Good night grandma"

"Good night Red"

I sighed and shut the door. I walked back to my room and smiled when I hit my bed. We lived in a very nice home with very nice things we even had mirrors!

I fell asleep easily, dreaming of the woods.

The sun creaked through my window and I bolted up and out of the bed, grabbing my silver brush and brushing my hair thoroughly.

"Grandma time to get up!" I yelled at her and looked at my reflection.

I was very happy with what I was wearing just a red corset and a short skirt that even showed my knees. I dressed very different from everyone and pretty much everyone in the village thought I was strange for wearing the things that I did.

I ran down the road and to the market place.

"Hello Red, would you be buying anything today" One of the many vendors called.

"No, not right know I am off to school" I answered.

Ever since my parents died, about two weeks ago had been receiving many looks of pity or suspension. I wasn't even fazed by their deaths they might be my parents but that's really all they were my mother practically disowned my when I was four years old because I hated dresses and all other girly stuff my father disowned me because he was positive he would never marry me off.

My grandmother the only person I really considered family took me in and I was much more content living with her.

You see that is my problem I am not happy nor can I ever remember being happy I was always told do this walk like that talk like that I never did anything people told me too I was always in my own world and I had my own opinions that appalled most people.

When I arrived at school, I was greeted the same way as always with odd looks. The girls snorted and glared the boys had given up courting me because they all wanted obedient wives even if I was the so called fairest of them all I was strange and there for off limits.

I pressed my back against the rock wall and stood there until the teacher arrived I followed the children into the school.

School was over quickly and I was walking back home now.

"Hey! You what are you doing out here in the woods this late a little girl like yourself could get hurt" An angry deep masculine voice called.

I turned I thought I was done talking to people but apparently not I briefly looked at the sky it was dark and had stars threatening to come out. It's not like I had any plans to do anything today so I took the long way so what?

"I'm fine" I huffed annoyed.

"No you need to go," He said firmly.

"Why?" I yelled stamping my foot like a child I did not like being told what to do and this man was going to learn that very quickly.

"Because I said so," He said very irritated finally coming into the light. He was about thirty probably and he looked rough his hair was short barely growing out of his head and was very dark black he was very handsome with finely tuned features.

"There is no law that says I am not allowed to be here," I said stubbornly.

"No… but the woods can be a very dangerous place for little girls like you, sweet, defenseless, naïve, little girls it would be such a shame to see a girl as beautiful as you hurt or disfigured" He said stepping closer.

Little girl? Little girl? Did that man just call me a little girl?

"I. Am. Not .A .little. girl." I said with as much venom as I could muster.

"Oh really? How old are you then?" He asked an amused twinkle appeared in his eye.

"Sixteen" I said.

I rolled my eyes and began to continue down the road, only to be stopped by him grabbing my wrist.

"You're not going anywhere." He growled.

"If you don't want to lose that hand I suggest you remove it," I growled back baring my teeth at him.

"You think you can fight me girl?" He asked chuckling humorlessly.

"You think you can fight me?" I asked bluffing really I was quite terrified.

"Well you are a feisty one," He said observing me.

"Good observation" I said sarcastically.

"You need to leave" He repeated.

"You said that already"

"I mean it"

"Oh, good job what do you want a cookie?"

"Ha-ha funny leave"

"Or what"

"Just do what I say"

"Make me"

"I think I will"

"Good luck with that"

"Why do you have to be so frustrating?"

"Why do you have to be so bossy" I retorted smirking at his frustrated expression.

"You want to get killed by roaming around the forest at night go ahead I won't stop you"

"Thank you" I said trying to continue down the road.

His hand was still on my wrist I sighed mentally this person must be nuts so I gave up.

"Well I best be on my way don't want to keep grandma waiting" I said casually.

"Yes that would be a good idea," he said removing his hand.

I walked back to the house very slowly just to show that I wasn't afraid of him.

I heard chuckling behind me but I kept going moving at the same painfully slow speed.

"Red?" I turned it had been about three weeks since the encounter with the man in the woods but I was still a little on edge.

I looked at the boy in front of me he was one of the many boys that tried to court me in the past. I belive his name was John but I wasn't sure.

"Yes," I sighed he was so in sync with everyone else I was bored of people like him I wanted to meet someone who had the courage to stand out.

"I was wondering maybe you would like to um… well-doyouwanttogoonadatewithme?"

"Why do you want to date me?"

"You are really pretty," he answered confidently.

"That's it?"

"What else is there?"

"No I would not like to go on a date with you" I said and walked back to the bookstore.

"Hello Red, what would you be buying today?" Mr. Foreglump asked.

I smiled warmly at the man he was very sweet and didn't mind that I was strange he served me as he would any other customer.

"I would like to buy a book about a love story" I said smiling I decided just because I didn't have a love story didn't mean I couldn't read about people with th rilling ones.

"Really? Hm… that's new I thought it would be something like math" He said very excited that he was selling a book.

"Yeah, well you know"

"This is my favorite it is also only one pound"

I handed him the coins and took the leather bound book "Thank you"

"Come back anytime you are always welcome"

I walked down the path completely immerged in the fascinating novel.

I didn't even notice when I arrived at the house.

I walked up the steps only subconsciously and sat down on my bed.

Lighting the candle I began to read again.

Hours had passed and I finished the novel.

I couldn't sleep I was so tired but too tired to rest.

I heard the clashing of glass.

I sat completely still in my bed to terrified to make any movements.

I heard a loud growling but still didn't flinch.

My grandmothers shriek I didn't move.

Then I heard the loud and clumsy footsteps I couldn't see anything through the tears threatening in my eyes.

Then my door swung open a giant wolf was on the other side growling and baring it's teeth at me.

I am going to die these are the last moments I will spend on earth I will spend my last breath being torn apart by a wolf, I thought

It approached me its black fur reflecting the moonlight peaking thorough the open window.

It's footsteps got closer and more gracefully this time and I almost forgot that this was the creature that had probably destroyed my home and murdered my grandmother.

It lunged for me but I was just barely faster and moved my midsection just barely out of the way so the wolfs head was on my lap.

It lunged again I moved out of the way I was now standing on my feet the wolf gave what might be a… grin…?

It circled around me and I watched it the faster it ran the dizzier I started to become.

When in lunged again I didn't move fast enough it tackled me and it's overbearing weight was now on top of me crushing my lungs.

With one final growl of victory, it bit into my arm.

With my blood spilling and the wolf tearing into me with my last breath I finally did something right, with my only working arm I grabbed the shard of glass laying on the ground I gripped it tightly and thrust it into the wolf.

I heard a howl of pain in the distance I smirked and then gave into the darkness.

When I woke up there was an unbearable pain in my right arm I looked at it and yelled.

There was a giant hole in me arm it looked similar to a bite mark…

The memories came rushing back in a flash I looked up around franticly I was outside but I didn't know where it was cold and dark and the familiar scent of pine was strong in the air.

"Are you okay?" A voice asked in a tone full of pain and restlessness.

"Do I look okay to you?" I said kind of funny that even in my deathbed I was forever sarcastic.

"Seriously does it hurt?" I was beginning to recognize the voice as male but I couldn't see anyone.

"Nope it feels good even," I said rolling my eyes trying to get up.

"Great well than I'll just be going" He said trying to rival my own sarcasm.

"What are you just going to leave an injured lady here all by herself isn't that against your beliefs my oh so noble knight?" I scoffed.

"You are hardly a lady" I heard him murmur.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"Well first I have heard rumors about a girl who doesn't follow common standards and by your… clothing choice… I am guessing that it is you not to mention you haven't cried or whined once about your arm"

"Nice observation so you going to tell me why you are creeping in the shadows like a crazy stalker?"

"I am not creeping," He protested.

I chuckled at his childish reaction "Score one for Red" I murmured.

"What's your name anyway I am Red"

"Red what an… odd name I am Belltor"

"And I have the odd name"

"I hope you don't go around falling off cliffs very often you could get yourself killed" He said once again I couldn't see him and it was starting to get on my nerves.

I processed what he said and I almost gasped did he really think that I fell off a cliff?

"Fell off a cliff? I was attacked by a giant wolf and my house and my grandma- Oh no oh no oh no oh no is my grandma okay?" I sobbed.

Finally he came into the light, I was too shocked to say anything he was beautiful not handsome or cute but beautiful the way his black hair was ruffled and his crystal blue eyes his features were etched perfectly he was a like a piece of art but his features were displaying shock and disbelief. He looked about sixteen or seventeen.

"You remember?" he whispered hoarsely.

"Yes…" I drawled.

"Your grandmother is fine but we need to go the bite was further progressed than I thought, I will explain everything later" He said pulling me up.

When his skin touched mine I felt an electric shock go thorough me I looked at him to see if he felt it too it didn't look like it.

It was at that moment when his crystal blue eyes met mine that I reconsidered my entire life and I analyzed the feeling going through me at the moment I made a spur of the moment decision that I desperately hoped I wouldn't regret.

"Will I ever come back here?" I asked even though I knew the answer already.

"Probably not for a while" he said regretfully.

"Let's go"

He looked at me shocked but after a second, he recovered and led me away.

Three hours later I discovered I was a werewolf.

I was an actual werewolf a child of the night and I loved every moment it.

With Belltor running next to me, I felt unstoppable as if nothing could ever stop me.

For the first time in my life, I was truly happy and from the looks of things it would stay that way for at least a little while.