A/N: Got into another werewolf mood, this is purely for fun. Nonetheless, all ideas and characters are mine! Please respect that. Enjoy!
Also, Amélie is pronounced Am-ell-lee.
Chapter 1 - Rogue
Every single bone in my body was aching. My heart felt seriously close to beating right out of my chest, but my mind wouldn't allow me even a moment's respite.
Keep going. Just a bit longer. I repeated this mantra in my head, the same one I had been repeating for the past two hours. But now, at least, it was nearing truth. Although my senses were no better than the average human's, one scent that could not escape my notice was the territory marker not too far from my current location. I would normally do whatever possible to avoid trespassing onto a foreign pack's territory, but at the moment, the risk of getting caught trespassing was not nearly as dangerous as the fate I was currently running from.
I jumped deftly over the small stream serving as the pack's border, ignoring the sharp pain in my left ankle as I did so. It wasn't until I was safely within the cover of the woods that I chanced shifting back to my human form. My mind protested – just two hours ago had I had the chance to shift to my wolf form for the first time in two years, and I wasn't ready to give it up so soon. I felt safer as a wolf, as my human form was naturally weaker – more than for an ordinary werewolf. Nonetheless, in my human form, it would be easier for me to assess the extent of the damages I'd picked up in my little escape plan earlier.
The swelling on my ankle had increased dramatically, the sprain no doubt worsened by my constant running. The various scrapes along my body were not too worrying, except for a particularly nasty gash above my right hip. My escape had nearly been impeded with that one, sustained from an encounter with a rather knife-handy guard. The wound was still bleeding steadily and as long as this damned chain was still stuck on my neck I couldn't summon even the slightest bit of magic to heal myself.
I was a hybrid, you see. Half werewolf, half sorceress. Not a common combination, in fact, I've yet to meet anyone else like me on the planet. There are some mutually exclusive perks: I'm immune to silver and I can use magic. But for the most part, my mixed blood was a curse rather than a blessing. I was nowhere near as magical as even the weakest sorcerers, and I didn't possess the superhuman strength that werewolves did. The chain on my neck, the same one that I'd been trapped with for the past two years, could have easily been snapped with a wolf's strength, but I was powerless, and so it served to inhibit any and all magic running within my veins.
After two years of not having felt so much as a simple pulse of my power, I could scarcely remember what it had once been like.
I bet I certainly didn't feel as weak as I did now. But at least I could still shift, I figured. On that note, I shifted back. Feeling much more comfortable in that form, without having my nude body exposed in the open.
I wasn't fond of eating raw meat, in wolf form or not, but I needed the sustenance. With the last reserves of energy I had, I secured myself a medium-sized rabbit. Burying my scraps, in the hopes of hiding the evidence from any possible night patrols, I choose to settle down for the night against a large oak.
The temperature had cooled considerably, but seeing as how I hadn't had a haircut since my capture two years ago, I had plenty of fur to warm me. Curling in on myself, I let my eyes drift shut.
For the first time in a very, very long time, I felt peace.
I had no idea where my pack was, I had no idea where I was, and I had no idea what I was going to do in the morning. But for now, there was no cruel guard to taunt me from outside my cell. There was no promise of torture when I awoke. There was no one to cower before and fear.
I was free. Free.
The state I awoke in stood in stark contrast to the one from last night.
I startled awake, the sound of intense growling coming from my left, and before I could even lift my head from the floor, a clawed paw was pressing my neck into the dirt.
Whining, I tried to get up but I simply wasn't strong enough.
"Shift," a human voice commanded. It was soft, quiet, and yet undoubtedly male.
I growled lowly, unwilling to place myself in such a vulnerable position (i.e., both naked and human) in front of these strangers.
The paw on my neck quickly turned into a hand, and I was suddenly seized by the scruff of my neck. I felt myself being lurched, as if about to be thrown, when the hand brushed the chain on my neck.
I took advantage of my captor's momentary distraction to whirl around. Two men stood before me, in all their naked glory.
They were handsome, I noticed with a grimace, of course they were.
One of them, the one who'd grabbed me, was tall and brown-skinned. He was currently staring at his hand, his face twisted into a grimace, thick black hair down to his shoulders. His partner looked the complete opposite: short and lean, with cropped blonde hair, and a rounded, almost angelic looking face, complete with baby blue eyes.
It had been a long time since I'd been around werewolves, and I'd nearly forgotten just how physically intimidating they could be. The sight of these two palpably virile males served to be a pretty loud wake up call.
"Jesus fucking Christ! Shit," the darker one cursed. "She's wearing fucking silver!"
"No way, Tomas. She's not burned at all." As if to prove it himself, the blonde reached out for me, and I impulsively flinched, but he still grasped the necklace.
He too recoiled away, clutching his hand and muttering a colorful variety of words under his breath that I found really didn't suit the "mama's boy" look he had going on.
I decided not to tell them that silver only hurt pure-blooded werewolves. Let them think I possessed some weird case of immunity, they would only think me stronger than I actually I am.
Deciding to ignore his burned palm, the darker one, Tomas apparently, faced me once again. "I said shift, rogue. Now. I have no qualms about killing you."
I weighed my options. I was undernourished, injured, and magic-less. Even in my wolf form, and even with their burned hands, I was no match for these men. I'd just finally freed myself, and it would all be a waste if I were to die now. So I shifted.
Without the protection of my fur, my body was bared nude. Normally, nudity was not a big deal within wolf communities, but the evidence of the last two years of my captivity were plainly evident on my underfed, scarred body, and I felt inadvertently…embarrassed. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that these were the most attractive men I had seen in over two years, or maybe it was simply because I didn't want them to see the signs of my half-blooded weakness all over my body. Werewolves didn't scar like this, it wouldn't make sense to them. If they found out I was part sorceress...I didn't want to think about what would happen. It was no secret that the two kinds were natural enemies.
The blondie gasped, while Tomas took the time to roll me onto my back with a swift kick to the ribs. I coughed harshly, while attempting to keep my privates covered with my hands.
"Tomas, fuck off. Look at her, she's just a kid."
I took offense to that, despite his defense of me. I had just had my nineteenth birthday. I had taken care of myself under extreme conditions since I was sixteen. I was no "kid".
Tomas seemed to agree, somewhat. "Doesn't matter. She's still a God damn rogue. No wonder she's so skinny, doesn't have a constant food source. And I can't smell any pack on her. She's gotta be a rogue." Of course I wouldn't smell like a pack. I would smell like the holding cell I'd been kept in during my captivity.
"We are not killing her, Tomas."
"Well, that's not really up to us to decide, is it?" Tomas was grinning now, as if he'd just been played the perfect hand in poker. "It's Levi's decision."
This Levi, I assumed, was their alpha, and judging by Blondie's reaction, it seemed pretty likely that Levi would, in fact, decide to kill me.
"Come on, bitch. Get up." Tomas commanded, toeing the side of my head.
I moaned, too tired to move, my ribs still throbbing painfully, and was rewarded with a swift kick to the face for my hesitation. Ow.
"Now," he snarled again, pulling me up by the hair.
"Enough! I'll take her, you go on ahead."
I was terrified at the mere idea of getting close to either of these guys – I didn't know them, and I certainly didn't have any inclination to trust them – but I could barely move my body was sore. And then, with only a weak cry from me as protest, Blondie was leaning down, scooping my bare, broken body into his arms.
Part of me was shaking in fear at the thought of what these wolves might to do to me, and the fact that this man and I were both equally naked was doing nothing to squelch that fear. In spite of my circumstances, I found myself blushing, looking anywhere but at Blondie's face.
He noticed, of course, and with a smile of all things, starting teasing me, "Surprised you have enough blood left in you to turn so red."
It was then that I noticed his eyes. They were dark brown, and when he smiled, they absolutely melted. Those were warm eyes, the kind you could trust, the kind that wouldn't look at you with disdain or cruelty. I couldn't help it, I relaxed.
He must've noticed the change in my body, how I no longer held myself stiffly in his embrace, for his smile only grew wider.
I looked away immediately when I realized I was staring. I couldn't help myself really; no one had treated me with even the slightest degree of kindness in a very long time.
"My name is Penn," the man offered, when it seemed evident I was not going to respond to his earlier comment. "And you are?"
I didn't want to tell him, but looking into those puppy dog eyes of his, it kind of just slipped out.
"Am—" My voice was gratingly hoarse, so I tried again, "My name is Amélie."
"Well, Amélie," he smiled again, and I decided I very much liked his smile, "as soon as we get to the pack house, we'll get you all stitched up, okay?"
I found myself nodding, tentatively smiling back at him, before realizing that he was probably lying. Probably trying to make me feel less scared, to distract me from the fact that his alpha was probably going to end my life within the next hour. The smile vanished just as quickly as it appeared, and I grew tense once again.
As if reading my mind, Tomas' voice carried from a few feet in front of us.
"What? You planning on getting her all shined up before Levi has a go at her?" He clucked his tongue. "He's been in a shit mood lately."
Penn seemed to consider this, then said, "We'll take her to Rohan first. He can heal her."
"You did quite a number on her face. She's bruising something awful." The curiosity was clear in Penn's voice, and I gladly confirmed that they hadn't realized what I was.
I suppose, given the dim lighting under the canopy of trees, Penn could hardly distinguish my eyes. The most distinguishable mark of the sorcerer was their eyes. Sorcerers typically had purple irises. Being a hybrid, my eyes were much lighter, closer in color to periwinkle flowers. Still, they were odd enough to raise suspicion among most wolves.
The fact that I was bruising, however, was probably going to ruin my cover before my eyes ever did. For a normal werewolf, a kick like the one Tomas gave me shouldn't have done any permanent damage. I tried to remind myself of this, and feel less hostile towards him than I did currently. My attempts failed, however, with his next words.
"That kick was child's play compared to what Levi'll do if he's in a bad mood."
I considered this. It had been a while since I had lived within a pack dynamic, but I don't remember my alpha being so cruel. We certainly punished rogues who trespassed, not to mention hunted, on our territory, but I was a small scrap of a nineteen year old girl after all, would this Levi character really be so awful?
I meant to ask about why, exactly, they thought I was a threat in the first place, when suddenly, we broke the tree line.
It was still early enough that the sky wasn't too bright, keeping my body relatively unexposed and keeping all the pack members within their homes.
From my vantage point in Penn's arms, I could see houses in the distance. And there, straight in front of us, looking more like a castle than a house, was our destination.
Calling the pack house a "house" was putting it rather lightly. It reminded me oddly of a castle.
Penn carried me inside, saying something that I suppose was supposed to be reassuring, but I missed all of it. I was too busy gaping at my surroundings.
If I had to be put to death anywhere, I'm glad it would at least be in such a beautiful place. We had entered through the front doors, to what was apparently a grand foyer. Two winding staircases on either side of the hall met upstairs in the middle. A brilliant chandelier the size of a small car hung from the ceiling. Dark mahogany floors complimented eggplant-colored walls, from which numerous paintings hung on.
Gazing quizzically at a watercolor on the wall that looked suspiciously like a real Monet, I nearly protested when Penn quickly ushered us into a side hall and up a less ornate flight of stairs.
I was once again caught off-guard by the miraculous-ness of werewolf strength as Penn didn't even breathe extra heavily while he carried me up the stairs, two at a time. To be fair, I didn't weigh all that much, but it was still an impressive feat in the perspective of a half-were like me.
Penn was barely paying attention to me at this point, for which I was glad as it gave me an excuse to hide my eyes from him. Unfortunately, as I wasn't looking at him, I didn't expect the change in position as I was suddenly being placed on a cold leather sofa. I immediately scrambled for the afghan thrown on the side of the couch, not caring who it belonged to, and covered up my body.
We were inside what looked like an office room. Bookshelves covered the entire north wall, there was a coffee table across from me with some files strewn on top of it, and directly in front of me stood a large oak desk, at which was seated a very, very angry looking man.
Instinctively, I cowered into the edge of the sofa.
Earlier, in the woods, I had felt a little threatened but not too overwhelmed. The woods were familiar, the dark comforting. But here, under the gleam of the fluorescent lighting and on the receiving ends of two harsh glares and one pitiful glance, I felt uncomfortable, vulnerable, and scared.
Idly, I noticed that the man's anger did nothing to diminish his attractiveness. In fact, I think it added to it. He was brown-skinned, a bit darker than Tomas, but with more of a golden tint to his complexion. His short black hair matched his beard, and his full lips were set into a frown. Briefly, I wondered if two of me could stand side to side and attempt to match the breadth of his shoulders. Probably not.
"What the hell is this?" he demanded, his voice low and gravelly.
I shuddered. Was this Levi, the alpha? He certainly had quite a large office to himself, it would make sense.
"Relax, Rohan, we found her in the woods," Penn supplied, answering the man's spoken question and my own silent one.
The man, Rohan, stood up and stalked over to me, his eyes staring unflinchingly into my own while I tried to control the tremble in my hands.
"She's a rogue. She trespassed, and hunted on our grounds. We thought we'd ask Levi how to handle her." Tomas trailed off rather uncertainly at the end, as Rohan's expression didn't seem to lighten up even with his explanation.
"Levi?" Rohan laughed, although there was no humor in the sound. "Levi is not getting anywhere near this girl."
Tomas looked disgruntled, the ass. "Why the hell not?"
Rohan looked incredulous and exasperated as he gestured wildly at me. "Are you guys fucking idiots? Look at her!"
Oh no. Oh no, oh no, oh no. He knew. I suspected the moment he looked me in the eyes, but now it was more evident than ever. This man – whoever he was – he knew I was, at least in part, a sorceress.
"You thought it would be wise to let Levi deal with her?" Rohan fumed, turning around to stare his inferiors down. "Levi, deal with her? A sorceress?"
Tomas blinked. Penn gasped. And I promptly passed out.
I came to just half an hour later, and – much to my own shock – I was lying sideways across Rohan's lap, now dressed in a bit-too-large white sundress. Looking down, I could already see spots of blood leaking through the fabric near my hip.
It took me a few seconds to gather my bearings, and once I had, I was immediately trying to scramble away from the large man. A gentle but strong hand on my arm kept me firmly in place, and as I squirmed worriedly, Rohan hushed me softly. It seemed all traces of his anger were gone now, as he soothingly stroked my cheek. A cheek, I realized with a start, that was no longer in pain.
He seemed to understand my confusion, and explained, "I loaded you up on morphine. I'm the beta of this pack, as well as its primary physician."
I only then noticed the IV hooked up to my arm, connected to a bag of fluids hung on a portable stand.
The likelihood that these people – or Penn and Rohan, at least – were a threat to me was growing far and far smaller. Why would they bother to try and heal me before killing me? My confusion only grew as I added my tumultuous feelings to the mix.
Part of me wanted to get as far away from this strange, physically overbearing man as possible. If the past two years of my life had taught me anything, it was to not trust easily. But it had been so long since I'd been around any other werewolves. We were, by nature, pack creatures. We craved companionship. My inner wolf had missed this feeling.
"How did you… How did you know?" I asked, finding it hard to find my voice. It had been a long time since I could talk to someone so casually. If by casual you meant being able to speak without having been directly commanded to.
"Your eyes are a dead giveaway, honey. The two that found you, unfortunately, has not lived as long as I have. They have not witnessed enough sorcerers to be able to readily distinguish between them. Realizing you were a hybrid was not too difficult after hearing that they saw you shift from wolf form."
I gaped, he seemed so complacent with the idea, not at all shocked or horrified or disgusted.
"Hybrids are not too rare around these parts. I myself possess a bit of mixed blood as well." He let out a small chuckle at the astonished look on my face, before elaborating. "My mother was a hybrid: half human, half wolf. But my father was all wolf. I guess I'm a fourth of one. So you and I have a bit in common," he added with a wink.
I blushed at that, and looked away awkwardly. It was just a teasing compliment I knew, but I couldn't help myself. Even before I was taken, while I was living with my pack, I'd never been on the receiving end of such singular male attention. And then, suddenly, I wondered who put this dress on me. I figured it was Rohan, since the two who had brought me here were nowhere to be found. The thought made me grow slightly uncomfortable again, but I rationalized that he was a doctor, and he was probably completely impartial to the sight of my battered, twig-like frame.
"We don't have any particular problem with hybrids over here. We are a fairly diverse group, as you may have noticed. Penn is a Californian, born and raised, Tomas is Chilean, and I myself hail from India. We are the highest ranked within the pack – diversity is widely embraced here." And then he frowned, "Sorcery, however, is not."
I gulped. I figured as much. I'd heard of half human wolves before, not too much of a huge deal. It wasn't unheard of for wolves to find their mates in humans, and even more wolves had entered casual relationships with humans. But it defied the very nature of our beings for sorcerers and wolves to exist peacefully amongst each other. It was part of the reason why I – and most of my pack members – constantly questioned the circumstances of my birth to a sorcerer father and a were mother. It was also the reason why I was so weak, so cursed. My biology was literally at war with itself.
As such, Rohan's words were no surprise. "Cute as you are, I'm afraid I will have to leave your fate up to our alpha. And he's not a big fan of sorcerers."
"Like that's the only reason he'd kill me?" I was angry now, that they'd all been toying with me. "This whole time Tomas made it very clear your alpha would kill me anyways, before he even knew I was a sorceress."
Rohan's lips turned down ever so slightly, and he smoothed my hair in a gesture of comfort.
"Well that was just Tomas trying to psych you out, honey. If you were pure, I know without a doubt that Levi wouldn't have harmed a hair on your head. He's quite the sucker for the ladies. And, no offense, but you are so exceptionally tiny, it would simply be cruel to hurt you."
"Didn't seem to stop Tomas," I mumbled, and then cringed, cursing my big mouth. Sass like that would've earned me a significant amount of punishment back where I'd escaped from.
But Rohan didn't even bat an eye at my words. "Tomas is just an asshole, but really, he didn't think you were actually getting hurt."
Speak of the devil. "I'll take that as a compliment, Rohan."
I looked to the door where Tomas and Penn had reentered, both wearing sweatpants, and Penn with a t-shirt on as well. The room felt crowded once again, and I felt my discomfort start to settle back in. While alone with a surprisingly gentle Rohan, my panic had dissipated slightly, but Penn's next words did nothing to help stop my mounting fear.
"Levi's back," he announced, a strange look on his face.
"I told you not to call him here, Tomas," Rohan snarled, his grip on me suddenly tightening. Tomas noticed.
"When did greasy-haired and malnourished suddenly become your type, Ro? Chill out."
"Shut the fuck up, you dick," Rohan said, and offered me an apologetic smile.
I knew there was some truth to Tomas' statement. My raven-black hair was a mess. It hadn't been cut nor brushed with anything but my hands since I was sixteen. Showers were a pretty rare occurrence for me as well. I couldn't remember the last time I'd been able to wash the wavy locks that reached down to my hip. I was also painfully aware of how my bones stuck out in the borrowed dress I'd been wearing.
Nonetheless, Rohan had pulled me tightly to him while climbing to his feet, and even Penn came to stand rather protectively in front of me. It didn't make sense. None of it did. Even if Rohan was – for some bizarre, unfathomable reason – attracted to me, he wouldn't ever defy his alpha over that. Why would they, both werewolves, even think about protecting me from their alpha? Come to think of it, there was an even more pressing question on my mind.
"Why is it that you don't seem to have a problem with me being part sorceress?" I inquired towards Penn and Rohan, just as the thought came to mind, "Whereas your alpha does?"
The men exchanged a look, so quick I almost didn't notice it. But before anyone could answer me, a deep, angry voice came from down the hall.
"Rohan, please enlighten me as to why the fuck I'm coming home straight from business in Decatur to have to deal with a rogue of all things? Could you really not handle this yourself? Really?"
At the sheer sound of that voice, something happened to me. Goose bumps erupted all over my skin. The sound was low and rumbling and seemed to affect something deep within me. My heartbeat unwittingly picked up, and for some reason I started breathing harder. I couldn't explain this feeling; it was like adrenaline...but intensified, with some sort of added supernatural significance. I didn't understand how a voice alone could cause such a reaction in me.
Rohan seemed to notice something was up, for he was staring at me, his head cocked slightly, rather than answering his alpha.
Tomas responded instead, talking about "unusual circumstances", but I could barely pay attention even if I wanted to. My entire mind was concentrated on that voice, I needed to see its source. Had to.
I didn't have to wait long.
The alpha walked in. He was tanned, tall – perhaps 6'4" – and lean yet still generously muscled. He was clothed in a white dress shirt with the first three buttons undone and gray slacks. His clothes were a bit rumpled, and there were bags under his eyes, indicating he'd just returned from his trip. He had a prominent jaw line which was currently sporting a pair of full lips set in a deep frown. Dark brown hair lay messily atop his head, not long enough to reach the thick brows resting above his eyes. His eyes, oh wow. They were a warm hazel, with flecks of gold, green, and brown. The second I met those eyes with my own, I thought my heart stopped. Literally. If only for a moment, but I swear it did.
Despite the fact that he was an alpha, and despite the fact that my life was in his hands, I could not look away. That was, usually, a sign of dominance – disrespect. One should never look an alpha in the eyes, not if they had any sense of self-preservation. Seeing as how I did not currently feel suicidal, I could not explain why I couldn't look away. I just couldn't.
My heart rate had to have doubled by now, my breaths came faster. I suddenly felt uncomfortable in Rohan's arms. He was too big, too brawny, too warm. I fidgeted, overcome by the sudden urge to stride across the room towards the tall man with beautiful eyes and sink my teeth into his smooth neck.
I gasped. Where the hell did that thought come from?
The noise I'd emitted seemed to shock everyone out of the silence that had descended when the alpha walked in.
I became aware of a few things almost subconsciously. I still couldn't tear my gaze from the man, but I noticed Rohan's fingers were now digging so hard into me my dress had bunched up slightly. Tomas was gaping, and Penn looked like he was…trying not to laugh, oddly enough. The man, the alpha – Levi, my mind reminded me – was staring at me just as intently as I was at him. He dragged his eyes from my own to trace around my face, down my body, lingering at the curves of my breasts, the slope of my legs, and the spots where Rohan's hands were gripping me.
And then he growled. It was low and angry and strangely arousing as it reverberated through the air. I should've been afraid. But with a shock, I realized he wasn't growling at me...but at Rohan. The beta didn't seem to grasp that though.
"Levi, listen. I know what her eyes are telling you. But she's only half a sorceress. She couldn't hurt a fly, wouldn't. Just calm down," he reasoned, his entire aura radiating tension. "I don't want to see her get hurt, so just—"
Rohan didn't get to finish that statement because, as he spoke, he decided to take a weary step back, prompting a loud, terrifying roar to erupt from the alpha's mouth. And then he attacked.
It all happened too quickly for my eyes to catch, but one moment I was cradled in Rohan's arms, and the next I was laying flat on my back on the couch. The alpha had Rohan pressed against the wall, one tanned bicep pressed up right against his jugular, a knee against his stomach. There was a dent in the wall behind Rohan's head, and bits of concrete crumbled to the floor as Levi smashed his head back against it once more.
I had enough intelligence to realize part of this had to do with me, and after how nice Rohan had been to me, I found it necessary to defend him. So I jumped up, wanting to do something but still unsure of myself. What I hadn't accounted for was the IV still stuck in my arm. My carelessness resulted in the needle being pulled roughly out of my arm. I let out a low cry, partly due to shock and only slightly to pain.
The alpha turned around immediately, his eyes locking on my bleeding arm. But Penn was there first, putting an arm around my shoulder. Again, faster than I could blink, the alpha had moved. With one arm he pushed me down to lie on the couch and with another he shoved Penn clear through the office wall.
And then suddenly, he was invading all of my senses. He was leaning over me, every inch of his hard body pressed against mine, his warm breath hitting the side of my neck.
After that rapid series of events, the deliberate slowness with which he lifted a large hand to brush the hair out of my face caught me off guard and I flinched. A furrow appeared in his brow at that, and his hand traveled down towards my neck.
"Safe," he whispered, so softly I couldn't be sure of what I heard, but then he said it again, "Safe."
Long fingers left a tingling, burning feeling in their wake as they circled the base of my throat. Despite the extremely vulnerable position I was in right now, I couldn't find it in me to react.
When he reached my chain, his expression grew furious. Later, I would realize that his anger was a reaction to the thought of the necklace hurting me. For someone to look so angry for my sake, it was rather touching. Without regard for the pain it caused him, he closed his fingers around the chain, testing its strength, before easily snapping it off.
I barely had time to relish in the feel of magic once again running through my veins due to what happened next. Without warning, my head was shoved back and the alpha growled out a low, guttural "Mine", before promptly sinking his teeth into my neck.
A/N: Please review and let me know what you think!
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