Even so, I kept my eyes open for as long as I could, staring at the beautiful visage of my alpha’s face while he slept. The man's face was strong hard lines a square jaw, shaded with stubble. I wanted to brush my hand over that collection of hair along his throat, but I’m sure that would get me either bit or thrown on out on my ass. I don’t know if a no-touching-clause was built into this arrangement for the night, but I was willing to bet that it would get me into a load of trouble.
So instead I just watched Zora sleep, wondering what it would take to make this man trust me without pause. I would make it my goal to be the best pack member possible, even if it meant scaling death defying cliffs and facing bitchy females. Although that last part kinda made my balls shrivel up in terror. An enraged female was always the worst, whether by their devious nature or because of their relentless screeching. As far as females went I was positive after this whole debacle I had made a very big enemy of the alpha bitch Naga, and that only had my balls looking for the nearest exit strategy.
Dropping that thought like the deadly snake it was, I went back to looking over the alphas naked form. All of his soft skin filled my vision and made my mouth dry. I had never really looked at another in a sexual way before. I understood the concepts as well as any adult being, but I had never crossed paths with another that made me want to tie. Maybe some part of me didn’t really think that was a possibility being stuck between both forms as I was, but when I looked at this man I wanted it to be a possibility. Was it so far fetched that I could be with the alpha? That idea almost made me gasp audibly. I wanted his approval more than anything up to this point of my life, but did I want his affection too?
It took me a moment to find the answer inside myself, but I did and it surprised me. I wanted to be worthy of this wolf, I wanted him to see me as a suitable mate. A life partner he could trust with his pack and his personal affairs.
Staring at the handsome face before me I started to cultivate my plan. I would win the alpha in my favor, that was what I thought as his shape blurred and I felt my eyes close.
The smell of earth and bark lingered in my dreams. I was running through the forest, chasing after a dark figure while a sense of joy encompassed my every thought. It was a good dream and my only upset was that it ended before I could catch the figure running in front of me. Waking I found myself sprawled out among not only the white furs I had fallen asleep on, but also the dark brown furs that Zora had been laying on last night.
Currently I was the only one among the pelts, my nose buried deep into the black velvet trying to leech every whiff of the alpha’s scent from his bed. It made sense now why I had scented earth and bark in my sleep, and a part of me didn’t want to pull back. Another part of me thought I should probably move quickly before I got bit for invading another wolf's sleeping space. Then again I really was enjoying rolling in the lingering scent of the alpha and I wanted to preserve this moment for the upcoming struggle.
“It’d probably be in your best interest to vacate Naga’s furs before the sun fully rises.” A wolf approaches me from one of the farthest walls of the cave. It was male, and it’s fur as ebony as my own, but it’s size was what was so defining about him. He was bigger than the alpha, Hell, he was bigger than any wolf I had ever seen. Definitely the muscle of the pack, because the guy had muscles stacked on his muscles. He’s the size of a fucking pony!
Gaping I lay prone on the furs staring for a few seconds before what he said finally broke through the small mass I used as a brain. Quickly, and not so gracefully, I lurched to my hulking 7.2 perch and looked down at the massive wolf with a sheepish expression that I’m sure highlighted my embarrassment.
“Ha, you’re about a clumsy as a newborn fawn!” The male laughed, baring his fangs in a pant like jovial expression. My ears flattened in further embarrassment, it wasn’t like I had really thought about the rest of the wolves in the cavern when I’d rolled onto the alpha’s furs like a bitch in heat. “Anyway, if you were smart you’d avoid Naga. She shouldn’t do anything after Zora’s verdict yesterday, but she is a little...intense sometimes.” He said.
I cringe when I hear the alpha bitches name. I could figure she wouldn’t be to happy with me sleeping in her spot last night and a part of me wondered why Zora had given me this boon. A part must have been a punishment to the she wolf - for what I’m not sure - and the other a reward, maybe for doing a good job? I couldn’t help the dopey grin that pulled at my maw, baring my teeth in a hilarious display of pleasure. “What’s your name?” I finally ask after the daze of pleasure wears off. It would be good to start making new acquaintances and this wolf would surely not be offended by my size, seeing that he was pretty massive himself.
The black wolf snorted and without any warning shifted in a smooth transfer of fur to skin. The shift was like a soft wave of contortions that only took seconds. Fur melting into supple flesh and limbs rearranging in practiced assemblage. I always envied this shift from four to two, I always wished I could be something that wasn’t a confusing mess of the both. When he finished the change he stood with pitch black skin and hard golden eyes. It was his height that surprised me, although very muscular he was only six feet tall and not much larger than the alpha in his two form.
“My name is Alloy.” His deep baritone rumbled out, just as effective as when he was on four legs.
“Thanks for the warning, Alloy. My names Ira, just incase you didn’t know or wanted to.” I said my voice more imposing than I would have liked, but even when I talked in low tones I couldn’t avoid the growl like quality. It was frustrating, but I guess unavoidable.
He nodded but said nothing in response only turning away and leaving the conversation as quickly as he had started it. I stared after him with disbelief. Was it that people didn’t want to talk to me or they just didn’t know how? Sighing, I ran a hand over my head and between my ears, the gesture soothing some of my insecurities. At least I hadn’t been caught in Naga’s bed furs, she would have likely torn me apart in my sleep. That was a wolf I could see bathing in my blood for the pure joy of it.
Stepping out of the den and into the early morning sun I took a moment to look around the clearing at the wolves in all forms doing their tasks. Pups ran about in the clearing jumping on each other and playing games. I had always loved little ones, but their abject fear of me had made it impossible to get close. I was a monster in the adults eyes, but in theirs I was a boogeyman. Still I loved to watch them from afar and make sure no harm came to them, if anything I could protect them if they ever needed. While I stood there I thought about the transgressions of the day before. Zora had been upset with Naga, but I couldn’t figure out what for. Had her sending me alone on a mission he deemed to important been what angered him? Or had it been the fact she had taken liberties that were only his? I rubbed at my sore side trying to dispel some of the pain from my fall the other day. That prayer wasn’t really doing me much good at the moment, but I guess I couldn’t be too picky since I didn’t break anything but my ass and ego. My mind wandered some more, the little ones continued rolling in the grass yipping and nipping at each others fur. I remembered my feelings the night before as I watched the Alpha sleep, all of his tawny skin exposed for me to soak up. I wanted to please the male, wanted him to look at me as if...what did I want? Looking down at myself I frown in contempt. I couldn’t possibly think the alpha would want me...like he would a she wolf?
I gasped at my own inner yearnings. Did I want the alpha to want me like he would want a female? My heart speed up at the thought and I could hear my own breaths wheezing out in astonishment - and excitement. I wanted the alpha like a female would? At this point panic and joy all bounce around in my gut making me almost giddy. I knew what I was thinking was true, but I also kind of wanted it to be false since it was a very unlikely scenario that the alpha would ever look at me as a possible mate. I mean let's be honest I’m male, and that goes against the whole purpose of mating, and - to add blood to the already bloody corpse - I was a mutant who couldn’t change out of this half form. So the likelihood I would have my heart shattered and spit on was very very high. Also I would hate to have to watch the alpha bitch get the last laugh in. That would probably make it all unbearable. Now that I knew exactly what I wanted it only made me more nervous. How would I ever make the Alpha see me as a suitor. Especially since he already had a mate. My eyes caught the flash of gold hair approaching me and knew Naga had it out for me. Throwing my shoulders back and standing to my full seven foot two inch frame, I awaited the approaching female with dread. She came on me only to pass with a low growl and furious amber eyes. I watched her bare back disappear into the den and couldn’t believe she hadn’t spoken a word to me. After what had happened last night I figured she would take it out of my hide. Did she really take Zora’s command to seriously that she would not speak to me? I turned and caught the dark eyes of the alpha wolf watching me from a distance. He was in his four shape just standing out of the tree line, eyes watching intently. My heart thumped in my chest at his searching gaze, but when Naga exited the den and sneered at me as she passed, I realized he wasn’t watching me, he was watching her.
She shifted and loped over to his position and dipped her head in under his chin in a submissive gesture of apology. He licked her maw in acceptance and broke the contact by disappearing into the trees, she followed close behind while a few other wolves followed suit.
A sour taste filled my mouth. The whole encounter between them left me hollow and aching for something I wasn’t sure I could ever have. But it wasn’t in my nature not to try. I would do everything in my power to prove to the alpha that I was the best mate candidate. I just had to figure out where to start.
Two weeks and I still hadn’t made any progress. I say this with a very heavy heart, and a lake worth of frustration. Don’t get me wrong I had been trying. All it seemed to get me was a sore body and the humor of the pack. I’d dug out more dens in the past fourteen days than I had in a year with my old pack. Lifted all the heavy objects that would have required five shifted wolves, got things off tall tree branches for the shorter females, kept an eye on the pups whenever they strayed, I even got more flowers from the ledge - and proceeded to fall again. Regardless of all of these things I wasn’t taken seriously, more like the bubbling giant who did all the menial chores.
Naga hadn’t spoken to me since the Alpha had forbade it, but a part of me wondered if she knew of my yearning. Throughout all my chores I would preen for my Alpha, lifting the heaviest objects and digging the deepest dens, but he hadn’t spoken a word to me either. With every attempt to get his attention I would catch the alpha female watching me with a sneer and she would always show her affections and close statues with Zora when I was around, rubbing or licking his muzzle, petting his arm or kissing his jaw.
That sour taste I had had weeks ago was turning into a downright bitter tinge in my mouth that almost made me gag. I’d never felt this feeling of anger and desperation before, but when she touched him like that I wanted to rip her hair out and maybe pee on her bed furs, but I could control myself. Although peeing on her bed furs was sounding more like a good idea with each passing day.
Currently I sat down watching the pups from the edge of the dens. I still slept outside, but I had been able to get closer to the Alpha’s den. At night when it got cold I could feel the fur of a warm body press against my own. At first I had been so surprised but then hopeful that it was Zora, only to find out it was Alloy, the large ebony wolf that had warned me that morning in the den. He didn’t speak much, not like most of the wolves in the pack who talked all day long. He was silent mostly, a light comment here or there - always watching - in that he and the alpha were a lot alike. I didn’t say anything the nights he kept me warm, but a part of me broke each time he did it, realizing I did have one friend in my new pack - one member who cared if I was cold.
Dejectedly I pushed at a stone with my foot, just listening to the soothing sounds of the pups playing as the females gossiping not far away. I could hear their conversation going back and forth, and usually would tune them out, but the mention of Zora made my ears twitch in their direction. “I heard the alpha is ready to choose a life mate.” Comira said while baring white fangs in a pant like smile. The four females lay around in their four shapes basking in the evening sunlight while they bantered. I kept my eyes on the pups, but my ears kept to the females thirty feet besides me.
“Oh that’s surprising. I figured he would always figured he would settle with Naga.” Miram a dark silver she wolf said with a snort that sounded like contempt. Apparently she didn’t like Naga much either.
“Hmm well I mean we all know he settled on her as the alpha bitch, and Naga was the only choice at the time.” Teza said amicably.
“He must think something has changed, that the suitors will be what he’s looking for.” Miram murmured.
“When will the courting start?” Teza asked with a curious undertone.
“I think he’ll announce it tonight during the pack run. It’s the first one we’ve had since, you know who joined.” Comira said knowingly.
“Comira stop. He’s a good boy, strange and hideous to look at, but sweet as a peach.” Dey spoke up for the first time, an older she wolf with red highlights to her otherwise grey fur.
A few of them snorted. “He’s not right, Dey. Can you imagine what his mother thought when she had him come out of her womb?” Miram barked a little too loudly, making me cringe. I should have stopped listening, I mean who wants to keep putting salt into the festering wound, but a sense of self contempt made me keep listening and take their harsh words.
“I would have thrown that pup into the-” Comira was cut off by a loud menacing growl, that made me turn my head sharply to see what was happening.
Zora stood before the she wolves flanked by Alloy who was growling demonically at the four of them. Like always the alpha had a calm air of indifference about him. His dark eyes penetrating and knowing. I had found out in the past two weeks that Alloy was the alpha’s beta, the muscle and protection of the pack, whereas the alpha was the intelligence and the alpha bitch the nurturing. For the life of me I can’t see how Naga is nurturing, about as caring as a rattle snake.
“Such insults aren’t welcome Comira. They are least welcome when the one you insult can hear you.” The Alpha peered my way his all to knowing eyes boring into me. My ears dropped back and it took everything in me not to look away. I would not look ashamed in front of the one male I had done everything to impress.
Comira and the others sputtered but it was Teza who spoke up. “We meant no offense, Zora.” Her ears lay flat on her skull as she bowed her head low. Alloy had stopped growling and was now sitting beside his Alpha dwarfing him in this form, an imposing black beast behind him. It only made me all too aware how awkward I would look behind him since I was triple the size of Alloys four shape.
Zora narrowed his eyes before baring his teeth slightly, the females whimpered in agitation before baring their bellies. “You have no right to speak less of others who do more. Tonight you will remain here while the pack runs, now get up and make yourselves useful.” He murmured before turning away trotting off to his next location. I watched him leave only to catch Alloy’s eyes, the large ebony wolf watching me with a curious gaze before he followed Zora.
Looking away I smiled happily. The alpha was calling for suitors. Tonight would be my chance to make him see me as one, and I wouldn’t fail.