Note: This is basically a rewrite and continuance of a story I started years ago that never left me. I plan to change a lot of things in later chapters that I don't believe go where I originally wanted to go with the story. Please bear with me while I try to sort this out and meld two very different writing styles.

1

I should start by saying that I hate life. Why do I hate life? Aside from the average nightmarish teen problems, look what it's given me. My mother is a werewolf. That's right, she runs with a pack up in West Virginia. I hate my mother. I know all teenagers are supposed to feel this way, but unlike them I have a great reason-- It's her fault I was born. If she hadn't tricked my dad into thinking she was normal I wouldn't be here. Of course, he freaked when he found out soon after I was born that his sexy young wife was a werewolf. Why she had to mate with a human I'll never guess. She probably just liked the power she had over him. Sixteen years later I'm stuck being some kind of half human, half werewolf freak of nature.

...My mom and dad got divorced soon after he found out about her. I can't say I blame him. They're brutal even to their own. My dad always looks at me like he's afraid I'll start changing some day. I know that's impossible- werewolves change from birth, but there's still that doubt in his eyes...

Autumn put this in a coffee can and dropped a match on it, watching her words burn. She couldn't risk anyone seeing that. Especially not her dad. She looked out her window as the moon set. She finally felt the pull of night release her from its grip. She figured this was one of the few side effects of her mother's background. She crawled wearily into bed to get some sleep before school. The room was colder than a winter night- just the way she liked it. She pulled the fluffy comforter closer to her body and slipped off to sleep. She woke to the sound of her alarm clock going off for the sixth or seventh time. She got up and quickly showered.

She stepped into her thrift store jeans and pulled a tight camouflaged t-shirt over her head. She'd grown a lot since last year, and her clothes had ceased to be comfortably oversized. She brushed her long blonde hair out carefully and looked in the mirror again. She liked to think she looked like a teenager from hell. Her brown eyes looked almost black as they stared out from dark circles set in a stranger's face. Her long black fingernails completed the "leave me alone or I'll kill you" picture that kept most people at a comfortable difference. She added her black lip liner- the only makeup she wore- and knew no one would mess with her. Guys had been giving her creepy looks lately, but she figured they'd soon get the picture, or at least assume that she was a closet lesbian. She grabbed her beat-up backpack and headed downstairs. Her father had already left, as usual, and she grabbed some pop tarts. She made sure she put some in for lunch too so she didn't have to sit by herself in the crowded cafeteria.

She began her walk to school in her normal daze. As she was hopping up the wall near the neighboring apartment complex, she noticed a male presence behind her. She didn't hear him but she smelled him. She whirled around and there was Paul, a young male from her mother's pack. She didn't know why he was here, but she'd been seeing an unwelcome amount of him lately

"What do you want?" she demanded icily, carefully threading her feet through each other so she didn't fall the four feet to the concrete below.

"Is that any way to greet a friend?" he asked pretending to be hurt.

"You are not my friend." She stated loud enough for some other pedestrians across the street to look quizzically at them.

He continued following, chattering lightly in a way that required only nods and grunts in response. Finally, she walked past him through the gates of her school. Taylor, a guy with blue hair looked like he might approach her, but she gave him a cold, forbidding glare and he backed off. This was no a good day. She walked through the doors just as the bell rang. She walked at her normal pace ignoring those behind her wanting to go faster. What did she care about them? She could easily get away with being late for Mrs. Ogilvie's creative writing class. She thought Autumn was just a tormented writer who needed to express herself better, preferably with pretty, emotive words. Well, at least she got the tormented part right. Autumn got in at least five minutes after the bell, but the young teacher just smiled. She began talking about writing techniques, so Autumn got out some paper and began to sketch. She didn't even realize what she drew, but she soon noticed Mrs. Ogilvie standing behind her watching. Autumn looked at the picture and was shocked at what she'd drawn. It was a roughly-drawn pack of wolves attacking her mercilessly with her father's pale, slanted eyes in the background watching her. Mrs. Ogilvie wouldn't know that of course, but she hadn't meant to draw this. She stopped suddenly and wrote something down about writing. She suddenly had to get out of the classroom. She waited until the teacher moved on and grabbed her bag, heading for the exit.

"Leaving so soon, dear?" the teacher asked concerned.

"I don't feel too great," she lied, " think I need to see the nurse."

"Alright then," She said and went back to teaching her bored class.

Autumn hid in the bathroom for the next two periods staring at her hand as if it didn't belong to her. Sleep deprivation. Simple, subtle sleep deprivation. The thought did little to still the shaking, however. She only came out when it was time for lunch. Eating in a school bathroom was a little outside of her comfort zone. She sat in the courtyard and ate one of her pop tarts. She'd save the other for a little sugar rush later. She read and watched the people around her. She caught some of the freaks and Goths looking at her and gave them an icy glare. Gossips. They quickly looked away. She wished she were back in her room. Her room was like her life: gray and full of her secrets. She pushed the pale strands of hair out of her face. She'd wanted to dye her hair blue or something she considered more fitting for someone who cultivated a menacing 'don't you dare fuck with me' attitude, but her father had, probably for the first time in her life, put his foot down "You'll look like a freak." He'd shouted. She'd raised her eyebrows "Even more of a freak!" he'd exclaimed crossly.

It warming into mid- April-- almost time for the summer break. She dreaded summer. Her mom, Kristi, had custody in the summer. She'd have to go live with the pack soon. There was only one girl in the pack close to her age--Violet-- and Autumn remembered her as being too self-centered to bear. She had shoulder- length brown hair and a typical werewolf physique-- voluptuous and tall. Their kind could be very intimidating to a mere human. Or half human, or whatever the hell she was.

Autumn felt sick now. She did whenever she thought of her mom and what she'd done to her daughter and husband. She hated her mom for the pain in her father's eyes when he saw her, for all the times she cried herself to sleep because her dad couldn't stand to look at her, for not being a good mother, and most of all for allowing herself to fall in love with a human and have a child. She suddenly realized everyone was filing back into the building. The bell must have rung while she was thinking. She got up and joined the crowd flowing into the school.

The rest of the day went normally, if slowly. She opened the door to her house expecting the normal stale coffee and dust mite smell, but was struck by something different. She smelled Kristi's scent strongly. The basest parts of her mind almost screamed 'mother,' but it didn't have the comforting connotations that humans immerse it in. There were also other scents-- males on high alert, tense, waiting.

She set her face into a cold frown as she entered the kitchen and asked coolly, "What's going on here?"