Rating: M. Cause, yeah, the perv inside me won't be able to resist writing the dirty parts.
Genre: Romance. Angst. Humor. The humor is coming, I promise! Misunderstandings and oblivious were-boys and girls abound.
Summary: Adelaide Ryan: her pack's weakest link. A pocket-sized werewolf who suffers from shifter performance issues…Basically, she's stuck in her lowly human form and is about as scary as a bunny rabbit. Rafe Greywood: the Big, Bad Alpha who won't give her the time of day. But that's okay, 'cause she's totally not in love with him. Nope. No Way.
Prologue: Just Give Me Back My Pieces
Just give me back my pieces
Just give them back to me please
Just give me back my pieces
And let me hold my broken parts
- Ingrid Michaelson, Be OK
"You don't want to be a monster, do you? We can help you..."
"Let us help you…"
Adelaide Ryan was only four-years-old when she was taken by the humans. They called her the monster, but they were the ones who took her away from her family — her pack. They were the ones who tortured her. Hurt her. Over and over again.
They ignored her cries. Always looking so pleased with themselves. Especially when she was in pain. "We can fix you, little one," they'd said. "You don't have to be a monster..."
"You can be like us…"
She didn't want to be like them. She wanted to go home. Wanted her pack; wanted to cuddle up to the soft fur of her momma's belly. Wanted to race around with her packmates and chase after the squirrels and birds again. Wanted to get scolded for eating the fresh green grass, because she was a naughty werebaby, no matter how many times her momma told her that grass wasn't for eating.
But she didn't get to go home. They kept her. Kept her until she thought she'd be there forever. Poked, prodded, and experimented on her until the pain was all that she knew.
Time dragged on. Eventually, the humans brought in more werewolves. Her alpha and his mate. They experimented on them too, for a short time.
They appeared unhappy with the results.
"It's just as we thought," they'd told Adelaide, daring to sound remorseful. "We can't fix them."
And so the humans took her alpha and his mate away, and Adelaide never saw them again.
She wished she'd been taken away with them. Wished for it all to stop.
Everything after that felt like dying. Felt like dying and hanging onto life by only the barest thread. Like she was a ghost in her own body, and her body was the hateful thing that was stopping her escape. She died and died and died. But never properly. Never peacefully.
It was the werecub at the window that changed everything. The humans were gone…doing whatever it was they did when they weren't down in their dark, cold cellar, playing with her — their favorite toy.
The small wolf was covered in black fur and not much older than she was. Pack, her mind whispered, sparking some life back into her. At first, she thought she was imagining things. The humans usually left the tiny widow in the corner of the cellar bordered up. But the weather had loosened their boards, and the little wolf was peering in at her through the cracks.
Adelaide started making high pitched whining noises in her throat. She tried to go to him, but the heavy chains around her sore, bruised, tiny wrists and ankles stopped her.
And then, it didn't matter, because the boy was gone.
It was as she'd first thought. The boy hadn't been real.
Her pack wasn't coming for her. Wasn't coming to save her, to free her. The humans had already done something unthinkable to her alpha, and he was supposed to be the strongest of them all. The bravest, the most powerful…the alpha was supposed to be undefeatable.
She hated the boy. Hated him for making her want the impossible.
Adelaide had long since run out of tears to shed, but that night she cried herself to sleep, the way she'd used to when the humans had first captured her. She howled long, agonizing cries. Cries for her pack, her momma, her papa, her lost alpha and his mate. She even howled for the boy…
But, as always, the humans were the only ones to hear her.
Once upon a time, she would have smelled the intruders before she'd heard them, but she'd long since lost her sense of smell. There was shouting, crashing,— sounds of distress coming from above the cellar.
The humans weren't the only ones in the house anymore.
It should have scared her, but in Adelaide's mind, there was nothing worse than what she'd already been through.
More yelling, crying, the pounding footfalls of running…of fleeing. And then quiet. A chilling, eerie silence.
The cellar door shot open with a bang.
The young black werecub came barreling down the stairs towards Adelaide so fast he looked like a tiny dark blur. She immediately wrapped her arms around him and buried her wet, dirt stained face into his fur. Crying. She was crying again. Was he real this time? Was anything real? He felt so soft and warm. He felt real, so real, please be real.
The boy hadn't come alone. Two adults, a man and a woman, their clothes soaked; stained with red, followed him down into the cellar. They weren't humans, she knew. Their teeth were sharp like fangs, their nails like razors, and her mind whispered pack, but they still resembled the humans—the enemy—too much for her fragile mind. She clutched the werecub closer, as if she could hide and disappear into his fur.
She whimpered when the woman reached for her, but the woman didn't hurt her. She merely snapped the chains that had held her captive for so long. The chains fell away from her wrists and hit the ground as if in slow motion. Her limbs felt too light, the feeling unnatural after being tethered so long.
"Raphael found you, Adelaide. We found you," the woman soothed. "You're safe now."
The boy made small hurt noises in his throat as he rubbed his muzzle along her neck.
She remembered nothing after that. Just the boy and his soft fur.
You're safe now, Adelaide…
Yes, she was Adelaide. Her parents had called her that, a lifetime ago, when she was healthy and happy and whole.
But what was safe? The adults appeared to have freed her, but their human shaped faces and bodies scared her, kept her on high alert. What did they want with her?
Only the black wolf could be trusted. The boy was safe.
The boy was everything.
Chapter 1: These Are The Scars Deep In Your Heart;
This Is The Place You Were Born
Adelaide's pack had been annihilated.
Her own trauma merely a small piece of a much larger wound.
The jaguars, the natural enemy of the wolves—the natural enemy of every shifter—had used the humans as pawns, as a distraction.
The jaguars taught the small group of humans all about wolves. About their weaknesses. How to trap them. Kill them.
The Greywood pack was already hurting, having already suffered a great loss, and when the humans took the alpha, leaving the wolf pack vulnerable, the jaguars launched their attack. They kept on with their merry slaughter until there wasn't a single wolf left standing—on two feet, or four.
The Jaguars viewed themselves as the one superior species of shifter. They believed that all others were lowly abominations and wanted to wipe them off the face of the earth in order to claim the world for their own.
In truth, it was the jaguars that were the abominations. Something in their evolution had gone wrong, leaving them nothing but soulless, blood thirsty animals with human level IQs. Jaguars were even incapable of caring about their own mates or cubs.
Raphael Greywood, seven-year-old son to the wolf pack alpha, had disobeyed his father's second in command and had fled to the woods alone to go looking for his missing parents. It was this that saved his life, as he'd been long gone by the time the jaguars attacked.
While it had unfortunately been too late for his parents, his search did lead him to finding then five-year-old Adelaide.
The Pack thetas, Trina and David Starling, along with their five-year-old daughter, were the only other survivors of the attack, as they'd been out of town on pack business during the time of the massacre.
Trina and David, led by young Raphael Greywood, were the ones to save Adelaide from the humans and put a stop to them, once and for all.
When the ally wolf packs heard what the jaguars had done, they'd banded together to form an army of wolves, and had massacred the jaguars right back. Not all of them, unfortunately, just the Jaguar Pride responsible for the attack on Adelaide's pack.
Peace with the remaining jaguars was an almost non-existent thing, but the world of shifters wasn't ready for an all-out war yet.
By shifter law, a pack wasn't allowed to own territory, or even call themselves a pack without an alpha present. But the McCormick pack—the pack that owned the territory closest to the Greywoods—were longtime friends to the fallen alpha and his mate, and were willing to cut a deal with Trina and David Starling.
The Greywoods could keep their territory and standing as a pack: providing, of course, that Raphael Greywood presented as an alpha when he reached maturity. If Raphael presented as a beta, theta, or delta (or even the rarely heard of omega) then the McCormicks would take over their territory, and the surviving Greywood pack would be obligated by law to follow Conall McCormick as their new alpha. Failure to submit to his rule would result in them being branded as outlaws (AKA Mutts). Mutts were unprotected by any alpha, and therefore unprotected by pack law. There was no penalty for killing a mutt.
And so that was Adelaide's pack.
Raphael Greywood—who would possibly one day be her new alpha—her adoptive parents, Trina and David, and their daughter—Adelaide's adoptive sister, a young girl of Addi's own age.
The five of them were all that was left of the once healthy, flourishing Greywood pack.
They were damaged, hurting, and small in number, but they were family.
Nursing Adelaide back to health was a long and delicate process.
At first, David and Trina borrowed the McCormick pack's physician to check Adelaide for any sustained injuries. Unfortunately, this only further traumatized her, as it felt too much like she was being experimented on again. Just by a new set of people. And it was worse, almost, because they were supposed to be her allies. Supposed to be her packmates, yet they still hurt her. Why did the still hurt her?
They immediately sent the physician away after she freaked out, but she couldn't stand them, regardless. Couldn't stand anything with a human face. A human touch. Even if they treated her kindly. Fed her and clothed her and didn't keep her in chains.
The memory of her captivity seemed less real by the day. Fading, like a nightmare or a hallucination. Like someone had gone into her brain and surgically cut the memories out, leaving only the barest pieces behind. The doc explained, before he'd gone, that it was a defense mechanism. Said forgetting was the thing keeping her sane.
Adelaide still didn't think she was sane, whatever that was. All she knew was that she needed to protect herself. Needed to stay guarded.
David and Trina gave her toys, a bed, a pretty pink room fit for a princess—all of it. They told her that they'd take care of her now, that she'd never be hurt again. Even still, she growled at them whenever they came near her room. Growled if she even heard them outside her doorway.
Trina tried shifting. Tried appearing to her as a pretty female wolf with fluffy brown fur. But Adelaide knew better. Knew what she was under her pelt. Enemy. Human.
She didn't trust them. She trusted only the boy.
Despite having her own bed, she snatched the covers up from her mattress and made a nest on the floor, underneath the bed. That's where she preferred to stay, to hide.
The boy would yip little barks for her to come out and play, but she wouldn't leave her blanket fortress. He brought her toys, even though David and Trina had given her plenty. Little twigs or acorns, rocks or leaves, things he'd found for her outside. Once, to the adults' immense horror, he'd even brought Adelaide a freshly killed bird. Still, she ignored him.
She didn't know why the boy tried so hard, but thought, maybe, something in him was broken too.
Eventually, he tried to crawl under the bed with her, his black tail wagging cautiously. She lashed out at him, snarling, baring her teeth. The boy flinched away and sat in front of the bed, whining and howling little broken wolfy howls.
That wasn't right, she thought. The boy shouldn't be crying. Safe, safe, the boy was her safe, and he should never cry, never be hurt.
And so Adelaide stopped snarling, and she went against her instincts, and she made space for the boy under the bed.
Immediately, he tucked in beside Adelaide, his howls turning to happy rumbles. When Addi didn't push him away, his rumbles grew louder and he started bumping his muzzle against her hands, begging for her attention. Guardedly, carefully, Adelaide gave him a few rubs between his ears, because affection was foreign to her now, and it felt out of place. Her wrists still looked so bare and strange without the shackles, unbruised and unblemished for what felt like the first time in her life.
Encouraged, the boy switched to rubbing his muzzle along her neck and over her hair. Adelaide knew what he was doing. Scent marking her. Her momma used to do it to her all the time, told her that it helped her smell like pack. Told her that the alpha did it too; scent marked every new born wolf cub on their day of birth.
She could barely remember her momma now. Barely remember her old alpha.
Who was her alpha now? Every wolf needed an alpha and she didn't like the man—David—and anyway, he was only a theta.
She wanted the boy to be her alpha. He was scent marking her, making her pack. And he was the only one she trusted. She understood little else, but she understood the feeling of pack. Of warmth, and belonging, and safe. Safe, so it had to be him.
She wrapped her arms around the boy, her alpha, her pack, cuddling into his fur the way she used to cuddle into her momma's, and finally, finally, she fell into a deep dreamless sleep.
It went on that way for weeks. With Addi staying hidden under the bed and only coming out for food and water. She wouldn't play with the boy, wouldn't run and jump, and hunt with him like he obviously wanted her to. But she'd brush her little fingers through his thick black fur from time to time, and they would sleep cuddled up like pack every night.
Trina and David continued to try and talk to her. They would come inside the room and talk at her for hours, but Adelaide didn't hear a word, she was too busy growling.
She hated it even more when they shifted, because they were liars, tricksters, and no, she wouldn't be fooled. Her snarling always reached its loudest whenever they tried to appear to her as wolves.
And then the day arrived when a little girl appeared outside her door. The girl was young, like Adelaide, and had long red hair and freckles splashed across her nose. Her big blue eyes were wide and anxious, and her heart was beating fast, like she was doing something she knew she shouldn't be doing.
"Mommy and daddy say I can't see you yet," the girl's voice came out in a nervous rush. "But I don't think that's fair. Raphael gets to see you and he's only two years older than me!"
"Besides," the girl stepped into the room like a decision had been made, "we're sisters now, and sisters don't hurt each other. And even if you do hurt me, I'll heal, 'cause werewolfs are like superheroes with fur. I asked mommy and she said so."
Addi growled in response. She didn't want the girl inside her room. The girl was something unknown, a threat.
The girl bit her lip and frowned. Her heartbeat kicked up another notch. "Please don't growl at me. That's rude."
Addi growled louder.
"Stop it!" The girl huffed and brought her hand out from behind her back, revealing a small, black stuffed wolf toy. "This is Puppy-Raphael. I got him for you because he looks just like Rafe, only smaller and less smelly. And he's better 'cause he doesn't kill my birds." She set the toy down in front of Addi, now standing uncomfortably close to her.
Addi's growling grew more frenzied. She didn't want to hurt the girl, because the girl was small like she was, and hadn't done anything to her. But the girl was also frightening her. She was invading Adelaide's den and her instincts were screaming at her to defend it.
The girl pet the stuffed wolf once on the head, and sat down on the floor, smiling at Addi, despite Addi's seriously less than friendly manner. "My name is Blossom, and we're going to be best friends, okay?"
This close, the girl smelled faintly of pack, of the boy, furthering Addi's resolve not to want to hurt the girl, but her need to defend herself was still slowly winning out. She switched from growling to crying, whining high in her throat. Crying out for help, crying out to be left alone.
Crying out for her alpha.
The boy burst into the room, his small body immediately taking on a protective stance in front of Adelaide's den. He snarled viciously, snapping his teeth at the redheaded girl, saliva oozing out from between his bared fangs.
Clutching her arm where the boy had bitten her, the girl immediately burst into tears and ran from the room. She knocked over the stuffed wolf as she fled, calling out her mother's name.
Shaking from the ordeal, Addi burrowed deeper into her den of blankets. The boy growled a couple of minutes longer, and even barked at the door a few times, as if warning the girl not to come back. Finally, he crawled under the blankets with Addi—presumably to calm her down—but it still took hours before her shaking stopped.
For some reason, the sight of the redheaded girl's tears had only upset her further.
Trina and David became angry at the boy.
Adelaide knew this because the man walked into the room, stony faced, and for once he didn't try and talk to Addi. Didn't try and coax her out from under the bed. He grabbed the boy by the scruff of his neck and forcibly took him from their den. The boy fought his hold, yelping horribly, trying to get back to Addi, but the man—David—was too strong.
Adelaide wanted to help, maybe bite the man's ankle, but she was too scared.
Days went by and the boy didn't return.
Addi cried out for the boy, over and over. For hours on end, until her throat hurt and ceased to make any sounds other than tired, gasping wails. She shredded her blankets and scratched at the walls. For once, hating that the door was closed, locked, because the boy was out there and she couldn't reach him.
Sometimes, she overheard the adults talking. Things like "—Not getting any better—" "What if we can't get through to her?" "She's turning rabid and she's bringing Raphael with her—" "You can't keep enabling her like this, Rafe, even if you think you're protecting her—"
Sometimes she even thought she heard the boy howl out for her too.
The day came when the boy did return.
But he wasn't the small black wolf that Adelaide knew.
He was an unkempt seven-year-old human child with messy, thick black hair and piercing green eyes. Eyes that were full of regret.
He still smelled like safe, and pack, and alpha, but he looked human and all Adelaide knew was betrayal.
AN: Guys. Guys! Okay. I am so nervous to be posting this right now. It's been years—years! —since I've written anything. Of course, when my muse finally comes back, it decides to make me write a highly clichéd werewolf fic, but whatever, I love my werewolves. Almost as much as I love peanut butter. :P
Anyway, let me know if you like this so far/if it's worth continuing.
Hope you guys enjoyed it, cause I had fun writing it!