It called to me. How could I possibly ignore it? Something so strong that it moved my body on its own. I couldn’t fight, I didn’t want to fight the insistent pull. So I kept walking through the woods my instincts guiding me through the eerie darkness as if I knew exactly where I was going. I was floating through the haze as some unspoken voice pulled me along an unseen path. Sensations rolled through me in powerful waves, alighting my nerves with sparks. It was like the eyes watching me were touching every part of my being. I needed to find them. They were somewhere in the woods, calling so strongly my entire body was no longer my own. Nothing filtered through my mind except the silent call. Come find me. I’m calling you. It said over and over and over. The litany repeated until it was the only thing that existed. I’m coming. I hear you. Where—
“-am I?” I looked around completely lost. How in hell had I ended up here? Where was here? Oh moose farts, I was in the woods. I scrambled to remember how I’d ended up in the woods. When had I left the den? “Think Ira, use your big ugly noggin.” I had been in the den with Zora. I’d been trying to piece things together in my mind. When had I left the dens? Panting I looked around the still space for any clue as to how I’d ended up here. I was deep in the forest surrounded by tall trees and shrouded moonlight. Was sleepwalking a pregnancy thing? If so I’d tell Zora it wasn’t technically my fault— the pups made me do it. That was definitely a solid argument. I needed to get back to the dens, then I needed to start tying my legs while I sleep apparently because I now sleepwalk. “Moose farts, Zora is going to be—”
Something moved between the trees. My mouth went dry and my hackles rose a warning rumbled out of me. What the hell was that? My eyes darted after the creature, it’s silhouette the only thing I could see in the darkness. It stayed between the trees far enough away I couldn’t make out what I saw, but I could tell it wasn’t anything I’d seen before. What I was looking at was bigger than me. My breathing became labored and my stomach churned painfully. “Who are you?”
“Such a pretty omega.” A voice floated from the woods its words a slow taunting drawl. It was deep, the words growled out from deep within the creature's throat.
A shiver raced up my spine igniting the flames of fear in my gut like nothing else. How had I ended up in the woods? I could taste the beginnings of panic as my eyes scanned for the best way to escape my current spot.
“Oh… but you are...broken.” The words slowly rumbled out as the creatures dark shadow moved languidly around the area staying well within the trees.
“I asked you who you are.” I snarled. Should I howl? Would that be the smartest thing to do? My heart pounded in my chest to a stoic rhythm painfully in beat with my terror.
“Hmmm...broken, broken, you don’t even know what you are.” The massive beast moved slightly closer, but didn’t exit the shadows. “How pathetic…”
What was this thing? What did it know about me? Its voice sounded distant and emotionless, but definitely male. “I know what I am.” Didn’t I? Of course I did! I was a wolf, albeit a bit ‘broken’ but I was a wolf. “What are you?”
The shadow slinked around the trees circling in closer as it moved. “No… you have no idea…” It made an odd sound that something between a bark and a growl. Was it laughing? “Such a pretty omega...such a shame its seed is already inside of you…”
The way it spoke caused my stomach to turn violently. ‘Its seed’ could only mean my alpha. This creature, whatever it was saw my pups as an abomination. It had killed my pack members. I growled as I looked again for the best way to get out of the trap that it was beginning to set. As we spoke it was closing in on me, like prey. I was the prey. “I asked you a question, tell me what the hell you are!” I barked as I backed up towards the nearest tree. I would be safer if I kept it in my line of—
A vicious noise from behind made me spin around almost falling in my quick turn. Another large shadow lurked in the trees, and another, and another. Oh mother no, there was a pack. An entire pack of creatures bigger than I was. Panting I tried to think of anything, any idea of how to get out of this situation. How had I even ended up here? This was obviously a trap, and I’d stepped into without even remember the walk that brought me there. Zora had been right. I didn’t know what I was doing. I was risking not my life, but my pups and my mates lives as well. I’ve always been the scariest thing in my life, but here right now I wasn’t the scariest thing. I was the scared while they were the predators tracking me down.
“So wild and beautiful… I’ve been watching you… leaving... presents.” The voice rumbled with long pauses between each word. It completely ignoring the other creatures that now surrounded me in the darkness. To it we were the only ones there. Whatever this thing was it was freaking moose cake balls to the walls psycho.
“Presents?” My nostrils flared, a tremble in my voice as I remembered the squirrels surrounding the dead bodies earlier today. I was terrified, there was no doubt. I wanted my alpha so much it was physically painful, but I would not howl for him. I would not lead him to this trap, no matter what happened to me I couldn’t let these creatures murder the one wolf I loved.
“Yes...those wolves...so weak. Must shave away the…lessor wolves. Take that one she wolf...hmmmm...she’d been so scared...her blood so rich.”
I shivered. Comira. It was talking about Comira. There was obvious excitement in its voice as it re-lived the gruesome murder. If Comira’s demise had been anything like Cantro, Fel and Gres’s I could not imagine the absolute terror she had felt in her last moments of life. Well, that wasn’t true was it? I felt her terror, right now as I watched the dark silhouettes circle closer and closer choking the noose on my trap even tighter. “What do you want from me? Why are you doing this?” My eyes shifted wildly between the trees. There had to be a way out, I had to find it, I could not die here. I wouldn’t die here.
A gruff rumble emitted from all around me as the creatures laughed in unison as if my question had been the dumbest thing I could have asked. “Omega...you are mine… you came when I called...so beautiful.” Murmurs from the other shadows sounded like agreement.
Fuck this thing, I might be terrified, but I only belonged to my alpha and I wouldn’t lay on my back with my feet in the air because this damn thing told me to. “I belong to my alpha and you aren’t my alpha. You and your pack need to leave my pack alone or I swear you will regret it.”
“Oh a sweet one...breaking you will be….soooo sensual. The last omega who refused me was such a waste.” The silhouette moved closer not far from the nearest beam of moonlight penetrating the forest floor.
“What are you?” I asked again, afraid to see and hear the affirmation. Somehow I knew what it was. I knew what ‘he’ was. Oh mother please, make me be wro— A large hand tipped in talons slipped into the moonlight followed by a massive brown muzzle and blood red eyes. Its full body came into the light revealing a massive creature who was an identical replica of my own form except much bigger. The reek of blood clung to its fur as if it had become a permanent part of its scent. Dark brown fur covered its body along with scars big enough to be fatal to anything other than a monster. This was one of the blood wolves, the nightmare of the woods was like me. Like me, but so much worse. “W-what are you?” What am I? Because if there was a pack of wolves like me, I wasn’t an accident. Breathing labored I shuffled backwards only to collide with another large half formed wolf with blood red eyes. Yelping I jumped back to my spot in the center of my trap as more and more of them came into my line of vision. There was at least five of them standing in a tight circle around me.
“We are luperci.” The massive brown wolf stalked closer to me, his red eyes burning my skin as he got close enough to touch.
“Don’t touch me.” I kept still, but I’d retaliate if the monster touched me. Suddenly I could understand how the wolves in the pack felt afraid of me. I was terrified of this luperci.
“Stupid Omega...you cannot avoid me. When I called you came so easily you were coming to your true al— .” He paused. Without warning he grabbed my jaw, holding me in a painfully tight grasp as he stared me down with those blood red eyes. A weak sound escaped me as I tried to pull away from the restraint his claws dug deep into my maw. Instinctively my arms hovered protectively over my belly. What would this insane beast do to me? Why had I ever thought I could take this on myself? Those red eyes tracked over my neck to the side of my shoulder. I whined pitifully when the creature shoved its nose into the crook of my shoulder forcefully inhaling my scent with deep drags. Viciously he tossed me to the side and I hit the floor taking the fall against my shoulder with a loud moan. He hovered over me, white teeth bared. “Interesting….you don’t even know….it seems we will play our game a little longer.” A deep rumble came out of him and more followed from the others. “Let’s see how many we devour before he comes willingly.”
What did he mean? What didn’t I know? Panting I stared at the monster in front of me, hate seeping from my soul. I may look like these beasts but I was nothing like them. Nothing! “Leave my pack alone.”
A derisive snort escaped the male. “Such a hopeful omega.”
I shivered repulsively as he dragged a big hand over my the side of my face almost gently. The reek of old and new blood flooded my senses making my gut churn even worse. I was going to be sick. I turned away from the touch, rejecting it as much as I was rejecting everything this creature said. Everything about these beasts was an insult to who I was.
“Look for my presents.” He rumbled darkly.
I clenched my jaw tight as the beasts began to melt back into the woods, their alpha stayed a little longer. He watched me with his eerie red eyes before he shifted into a big brown wolf and loped off into the darkness.
Relief. All I felt was absolute relief. My body sagged against the nearest tree as I slipped down to the ground on weak legs. How could this be happening? All my life there had never been anyone who’d seen anything like me, but now— Now I was being hunted by my own kind? I wasn’t like the others? I wasn’t just an abnormality? A strangled whine built in my throat as I held back the desperate howl I wanted to make so badly. I couldn’t howl. If I did I would put the entire pack in danger. These woods were not safe for any of them. It wasn’t safe for me. I needed to pull myself together, I couldn’t afford to break down here in the middle of the woods.
I got up slowly and began walking back towards the dens.
It took me awhile before I could figure out where I was but once I got my sense of direction I was able to make my way back. Every sound made the fur on my spine stand up, the crack of a twig, the rustle of a bush. My mind was racing with so many questions that I didn’t have the answers to. How had they found me? Why were they hunting the pack? Why did he want me? How many more of them were there? What didn’t I know? That last one, that one bothered me the most. Something pulled at my mind telling me over and over this was important this was what I needed to know.
It felt like hours before I was passing familiar trees that lead up to the dens. I had to assume no one knew I was gone and I wanted to keep it that way. I wasn’t ready to tell anyone about what I knew. How could I? If the pack knew what the blood wolves were they would blame me, fear me even more than they already did. Maybe even blame their alpha for taking me in. How could this work out without everyone suffering? Without me losing the best thing I’d ever had in my life? As I got closer to the dens I felt more secure in my decision. I had to keep this from the pack, I’d have to find another way to warn them of the danger, because even if I told them the truth would they listen?
A soft breeze through the trees ruffling my fur, cooling my hot skin and carrying a familiar scent. I turned around surprised to see Dey standing just within the tree line leading to the dens. Her usual bright smile absent from her face as she watched me. There was something completely different about her in that moment that I was truly panicked. Did she know? Was she going to tell the pack that I was the reason the blood wolves were here? “Dey?”
“I need to talk to you.” Her ears lay flat on her skull and a small whine built in her throat. “I need to tell you the truth about my last pack.”