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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 

Spirit Wolves - 1. Chapter 1

Time to get the gears in motion...

Reilly had to admit he was shaken. He and Kellan had known since they were fifteen that Reilly was destined to be mated to an Alpha. His first and only shift had revealed that he was a Kappa, which had not only shocked them, but Reilly’s family as well. His father was Alpha of his and Kellan’s pack and was furious when he found out. Alpha-Kappa pairings were extremely rare, but as far as anyone could remember they had always been male-female pairings. It was well known that Kappas could only be mated to an Alpha and Alphas were always male. Peter Nichols had correctly deduced that Reilly was gay. Reilly had known since he was about twelve, but had kept it to himself as he knew that his father was a huge homophobe, as well as his brothers. What happened when they found out, was the reason he hadn’t shifted in eight years. His wolf had retreated somewhere deep inside of Reilly and refused to come out. Reilly rarely even sensed him any more. Fucking coward.

Kellan and Reilly had been best friends their whole lives. Kellan was only a month older than Reilly. His father had turned down an enforcer position in the pack and somehow had accomplished it in such a way that it wasn’t seen as an insult by Reilly’s father. He had argued that his knowledge of financial assets would be better utilized by managing and investing the pack’s income to provide financial stability. Jack Porter had his finger on the pulse of the pack’s finances and had kept the pack solvent when Reilly’s father would have squandered their income. Jack was also the reason that Reilly and Kellan had been able to remain hidden for so long. If Peter Nichols were to ever find out that some of the pack’s money had been diverted to a hidden account for them, Kellan’s family would be killed and he and Reilly would be on the run again for sure.

Now they had a whole other issue to contend with. Being a Kappa, Reilly knew that someday his path would cross with his Alpha. It was a fated destiny. That day was here and he had mixed feelings about it. It was obvious that Sebastian thought he was female. How would he react in two days when he found out otherwise? Reilly was worried that he might be rejected. To be a rejected wolf was definitely not something any shifter wanted. The two wolves could move on, but neither would ever truly be happy. Reilly had already battled the depression and anxiety that came from being rejected by his family. He wasn’t sure he could handle being rejected by his mate.

He thought about Kellan too. Kellan was Reilly’s Lambda, another rare occurrence. The primary objective of a Lambda was to keep his Kappa safe. Kellan could read his moods like no one else, and was dedicated to protecting his best friend. He was the only reason Reilly was not dead already, having nursed him back to health and kept him safe when they first went on the run. He made sure they always had a roof over their head and food on the table. The money that his father filtered to them was there for emergencies, not for day to day expenses. Kellan was good with his hands and worked as an electrician. It was a skill he could take anywhere and it paid pretty well. Reilly was great at organization. He currently worked as an administrative assistant to a CEO of a local marketing firm. He liked the guy and felt bad that he was about to leave him in a bind, but it couldn’t be helped.

Kellan interrupted his thoughts, “Hey Ry, talk to me, I can see the wheels spinning from here. You know I’ve got your back and won’t let anything bad happen right?”

Reilly sighed and replied, “I know. I guess I’m just being a wuss. He thinks I’m a girl. I’m a little afraid of what’s going to happen when he finds out I’m not. He’s fucking huge!”

Reilly was right. From what little he saw Sebastian had to be around 6’7” and outweighed him by at least a hundred pounds. Reilly was tall for a girl, but on the shorter side for a guy at 5’8”. He topped out at just over 135 pounds and considered himself too skinny. Normally he would have bulked out somewhat after his first shift, but because his wolf had gone into hiding and refused to come out, he had retained his thin, wiry, teenaged frame. It worked to his advantage while disguised as a girl, but made him look tiny compared to the huge Alpha.

Kellan tried to placate him. “Look Ry, it won’t matter that you’re a guy. You’re his fated mate. He has to accept you. Who knows? Maybe he’s really gay and was surprised to see a girl. "We can’t do anything about it right now, so let’s figure out what we need to do tomorrow. I looked and his address is way out in West Buttfuck, Maryland. It’s going to take us at least three hours to get there.”

Sure enough, when Reilly looked at Google Maps on his phone, the address that Sebastian gave them looked like it was adjacent to Garrett State Park all the way out on the West Virginia border. Great, the middle of absolutely nowhere. They had been hiding in large cities for the better part of the past eight years. Wolf shifters tended to shy away from cities. They preferred sparsely populated areas so they could easily shift to let their wolves run and hunt.

They were currently living in Baltimore in a high rise near the Inner Harbor. Reilly liked it. He was able to walk to his job and they both liked the variety of restaurants close by. In the summer they often took in an O’s game at Camden Yards. It was fun, even though the team lost more often than not. The season had just ended with them in the basement of the American League. Again. Reilly was hoping that next year will be better. It really couldn’t get much worse. There were plenty of state parks and less populated areas that were a short drive away so that Kellan could let his wolf out when he needed to. Sometimes Reilly was jealous. He had only one shift and it now seemed like a dream where the details were fuzzy. He didn’t even know what his wolf looked like.

Kellan grabbed a piece of paper and a pen and started their list. They needed to pack up their clothes and the few personal belongings they had. Reilly would donate all of his feminine clothes as it looked like he wasn’t going to need them anymore. That left him with a few pairs of jeans, t-shirts and sweatshirts, plus underwear and some shorts. That would have to do for now. He could always buy whatever else he needed provided there was at least a Target or something out in the middle of nowhere.

Their apartment had come furnished so they didn’t have to worry about packing any of that up. Kellan had a few pictures of his family. Reilly had no mementos from his former life. He had fled with the clothes on his back, and those hadn’t been in great shape. The only thing that he wished he could have brought with him was a piece of quartz that his Mom had given him before she died when he was nine. She said if he kept it by his bed it would keep the bad dreams away. His dad had probably thrown it away after he fled. Oh well.

Tomorrow was Halloween so they would have to pay for November’s rent and give a 30 day notice to vacate. Losing a month’s rent would hurt a little. The month to month lease was more expensive, but it was worth it. Calling their bosses to resign was added to the list. There were contingency plans for this already in place, a fictitious family emergency would suffice.

Reilly needed a haircut too. Kellan found a salon that donated cut locks to a charitable organization and called right before they closed and managed to get an appointment for the following afternoon. That would give them time to clean the apartment in the morning. Knowing they had a busy day they decided to retire for the night.

The next day saw both men up early. They used up their eggs and milk and made veggie filled omelets so they wouldn’t have to throw the vegetables in the trash. They were lucky it was the end of the week and they hadn’t been grocery shopping. Reilly packed up all of the unopened, non-perishable boxes and cans of food to be donated to the local food bank. He ended up with four cardboard boxes of stuff. He hated to throw away food but it couldn’t be helped. Luckily most of what was opened in the fridge was at least halfway used. Still, he thought it was such a waste as he emptied out the remaining contents of some salad dressing. He would have to make a couple of trips to the trash and recycle chutes at the end of their hallway. Kellan stripped their beds and gathered all the laundry. Once the sheets and blankets were clean they would go into the donate pile as well as their supply of towels. The local animal shelter was always accepting that sort of donation.

When Reilly was done cleaning out the kitchen he moved to their living room and Kellan took care of the bathroom they shared. By noon the trash and recycles had been removed and near the front door were several cardboard boxes and bags they would take to Goodwill, the animal shelter, and the food pantry when they left to go get Reilly’s haircut. They decided to hit up a drive-thru before doing the rest of their errands. Kellan went down to the office to turn in their notice and pay November’s rent. It wasn’t the first time they had lost money, but neither man felt comfortable skipping out. It was better to leave on good terms and not have it come back to haunt them later. On his way back he grabbed one of the large flatbed trolleys they lent out. That way they would only need to make one trip down the elevator with all their boxes.

It didn’t take long to haul the stuff they were donating down to the parking garage and into the little Toyota Tacoma that had served them well for the past six years. Kellan had picked it up already six years old and with close to a hundred-thousand miles on it. They made sure they kept up with regular maintenance, and the truck in turn hadn’t given them any major issues.

Pulling into the donation center they were greeted by a rather burly guy with a huge dragon tattoo that wrapped around his neck and disappeared under his t-shirt. He helped them unload the boxes and they declined his offer of a receipt. The food bank and animal shelter were only a few blocks down and they quickly made their donations. Next was a stop at McDonald’s. Reilly got the grilled chicken sandwich combo while Kellan opted for two spicy chicken sandwich combos. He had a much higher metabolism than Reilly and usually ate double the amount of food without contributing an ounce of fat to his muscular frame.

By the time they were done they had just enough time to make it to the salon for Reilly’s haircut. The girl who would be cutting his hair was cute, but rather chatty. Reilly made up a story about his younger cousin benefitting from a donated wig while she battled cancer. He told the girl that this was his way of supporting his cousin who had supposedly been in remission for a few years now. Reilly hated lying, but damn if this chick wouldn’t shut up. He watched as she sectioned his hair off and wrapped elastic bands around the long locks. He could have sworn his head felt ten pounds lighter when the scissors severed each long ponytail away from him. She held up roughly eighteen inches of thick, white-blond hair like a prize with every snip.

Next he felt himself swung around in the chair and his head was lowered to the deep sink where his neck rested against the area cut out just for that purpose. He had to admit that he rather enjoyed the gentle massage she gave his scalp. Once his now shorter hair was rinsed, he sat up and she rubbed his head with a towel to wick off the excess water. She kept him turned away from the mirror while she worked, chatting incessantly the whole time about a whole lot of nothing. Reilly, however, was polite and murmured nonsense back to her occasionally when she directed a question at him. The snipping of the scissors was constant as she sculpted his locks into a masculine style. She used clippers on the back of his head to shear the hair close. He heard her open a jar of some kind of styling gel then felt her fingers run themselves gently through the now short strands. A few swipes with the comb and a couple of snips at a stray hair or two and Reilly’s chair was swiveled around to face the mirror.

Holy Shit! He almost didn’t recognize himself. Reilly had a little bit of shapeshifter in his genetic makeup. That was what had allowed him to manipulate his features into the softer curves of a female and stay disguised for so long. He hadn’t really looked in the mirror since he had let go of that transformation yesterday and had morphed back into what was now his normal masculine looks. His jawline was now sharp and angular with just a hint of stubble as he had forgone shaving that morning. His eyes were bright blue and neatly framed by thick lashes and a strong eyebrow ridge. His Adam’s apple protruded slightly, he saw it bob as he swallowed. His hair was now cropped closely in the back and over his ears. The short locks on top held a soft wave without the weight that used to pull them down. There was a neat part on the right side and the longer strands styled so that they sort of feathered back slightly. Damn he looked hot.

He turned to Kellan, who looked up from the magazine he was reading.

“Fuckin’ A! Is that really you? Shit, you’re hot! Man, if I batted for your team I’d totally do you!”

Reilly laughed, “Shut the fuck up you ass. There’d probably be a riot if the girls found out you were off the market.”

Reilly followed his stylist to the register where he paid for his cut and added a decent tip. She did an amazing job even if she did talk too much. Thanking her again they headed out to the truck. Kellan had already called his boss and told him he wouldn’t be back due to a family emergency. Reilly pulled up his contacts as Kellan pulled out of the lot and called his own boss. The conversation was brief and Reilly felt bad. His boss had offered to put him on FMLA, but he declined, knowing there really was no chance of returning. It was too bad. He really liked this job and Baltimore was his favorite out of the six places they had lived in the past eight years.

On the drive back to the apartment, Reilly called and made arrangements for the electric and cable to stop. Once they were back at the apartment they finished what little cleaning up they had to do and then Reilly suggested walking over to the Inner Harbor. It would probably be the last chance they had and besides they would need to eat dinner and he had his heart set on crabcakes. Who knew when he would be able to indulge in those again? Kellan agreed and they slowly made their way over, slowed down somewhat by Reilly’s limp.

They wandered around the shops for a while and went over to watch the seals in the outdoor pool at the Baltimore Aquarium. They dodged families pushing strollers and chasing little kids. Kellan watched as one dad looked like he wanted to be anywhere other than standing next to his toddler, who was throwing a mother of a tantrum in the middle of the walkway. The shrieks were worse than a dog whistle to their sensitive ears.

“Don’t ever let me spawn Ry, I couldn’t deal with that. I’d end up in jail,” Kellan declared as they hurried away from the scene.

Reilly laughed, “At least now we know why some species eat their young.”

The two friends laughed and headed back toward the market area. The Inner Harbor had been redeveloped by the same company that had developed Boston’s Quincy Market. There was a slight feeling of similarity between the two. The sun had set and there were still remnants of blues and purples on the horizon.

Reilly’s knees were killing him so they decided to rest and have dinner. There were several seafood restaurants and they ended up at the Rusty Scupper. It was more expensive than what they normally spent when eating out, but this would be their last meal here, so they figured it was worth it. They both ordered beer and decided to skip the appetizer and save room for dessert. When their waiter returned with the cold brews, Reilly ordered the Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes without the mustard sauce. Kellan got his with it.

While they waited for the food to arrive, Reilly asked Kellan, “So what did he smell like?” Not only were Reilly’s knees fucked up, but he had no sense of smell. For a wolf shifter it was highly detrimental. Scenting was the primary way for them to assess their surroundings and was one of the reasons Kellan kept Reilly close whenever they ventured out.

“I guess he smelled all Apha-y. Woodsy. He smelled like a forest.” Kellan supplied, shrugging his shoulders. “I sure as shit hope he doesn’t react badly when you smell completely different to him tomorrow.”

Reilly nodded and thought about it. He had been hiding his scent by ingesting an herbal tea every morning that masked his natural shifter odor. The tea contained a tiny amount of wolfsbane which was a natural repellant. His body had first reacted poorly and he suffered horrible headaches until they were able to figure out the right amount to blend. He liked using a Sweet Violet tea as the base because it helped with the chronic inflammation of his knees. He would then add the right amount of wolfsbane. Cinnamon helped with the flavor and also to combat the headaches that an incorrect amount of wolfsbane could cause. Kellan told him it made him smell like wet doggy BO. Whatever. It worked. To a normal shifter his scent would just be unpleasant. Like a human who hadn’t showered after a workout. Humans themselves couldn’t detect anything. An Alpha, however, would recognize that something wasn’t right and that’s exactly what Sebastian had done. Reilly just hoped he could get past it. He didn’t have any tea that morning and wasn’t planning on having any the following day either. By the time they reached their destination he should smell like he was supposed to, not that he would be able to tell.

Their food arrived and Reilly really wished he could smell the delicious goodness on the plate in front of him. He speared a forkful of succulent crab meat and let the flavor wash over his taste buds, which thankfully worked. Damn, that was good! Just the right amount of Old Bay seasoning. He savored every morsel of the two large crabcakes and devoured the fries and coleslaw that came with the meal. They both ordered another beer because crab and beer go together like peanut butter and jelly. Everyone knew that.

When the waiter came back they decided to order the Smith Island Cake to share. It was a heavenly blend of yellow cake, chocolate fudge icing, ice cream, whipped cream, cocoa powder and a fresh berry compote. Reilly thought his taste buds were having a field day.

When they were done their bank account took a bit of a hit when Kellan paid the bill with his debit card. It was easier for them to have just one account. Less chance of someone following an electronic trail. If they didn’t have the money in their account they didn’t spend it. No credit cards to rack up debt. They weren’t poor, but they did have a budget. Their emergency account was well disguised and so far, they hadn’t needed to touch it. Their checking account was linked to a savings account that prevented them from overdrafting and to give them a nice cushion should either of them need to be out of work for any reason. They had only tapped the savings once when the truck needed new tires and it had coincided with rent and electric being due. They both made decent money and it was enough to cover their living expenses and leave enough leftover for them to enjoy eating out a couple of times a week, going to baseball games and taking in an occasional movie.

They left the restaurant and slowly walked back to their building, Reilly’s limp more pronounced than it had been earlier. When they stepped back into the apartment Kellan ordered Reilly to sit down and put his legs up. He went and got two ice packs and placed them over the swollen knees. ‘Dammit,’ he thought to himself, Reilly never deserved this.

After icing his knees, Reilly took a few ibuprofens. Most shifters didn’t need drugs as their wolves were able to heal aches and pains relatively quickly, if not instantaneously. Reilly’s wolf was MIA and he needed the relief, however brief, the medicine would provide. There were days when he popped the pills like they were orange Tic Tacs. He grabbed a blanket they were taking with them and settled on the couch seeing how the beds had no linens on them. He was keeping his pillows too. He had become rather picky when it came to comfortable sleeping.

Kellan undressed and shifted, his wolf settling on the big oversized stuffed chair after turning around in circles several times. They could get the fur with a lint roller before they left. Kellan’s wolf was big and had really unusual coloring. He was a deep mahogany color and his legs tapered to dark silvery gray. His ears matched his lower legs in coloring. The tip of his tail was a blend of silver, black and white. On each side of his neck, the thick fur of his ruff sported some blond mixed in with the silver, adding to the unusualness. The two friends dropped off to sleep half anticipating and half dreading what the following day would bring.

Okay, so this is my first full-fledged attempt at the paranormal world. So any feedback is great. Thanks for giving it a shot!
Copyright © 2021 kbois; All Rights Reserved.
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Stories posted in this category are works of fiction. Names, places, characters, events, and incidents are created by the authors' imaginations or are used fictitiously. Any resemblances to actual persons (living or dead), organizations, companies, events, or locales are entirely coincidental.
Note: While authors are asked to place warnings on their stories for some moderated content, everyone has different thresholds, and it is your responsibility as a reader to avoid stories or stop reading if something bothers you. 
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