The whole island situation so far was one word; strange. Wolves were taught from a young age to avoid any situation or person that gave off that specific vibe... but I was revelling in this strangeness. I couldn’t help my overwhelming curiosity. Chase and Baden were older by 10 years on the island and I was wondering... about what they said. About how they had to sleep with me. For some reason, I was considering it. Maybe the Golden Claw didn’t just make me a target for Vampires, but maybe it made me reckless too. I didn’t know, but I shift to my human form and stand naked between Chase and Baden in our little clearing between trees.
“A kiss each,” I reaffirm sternly, looking between both of them, ”Then I will decide what to do next.”
As Chase’s eyes seem to flash with the victory, I turn to Baden instead.
Baden is hesitant as I look him over with careful eyes, trailing over his scars, “...if I ran away it’s probably because I don’t like being referred to as a bitch,” as Baden narrows his gaze, I shrug and step closer to him. I press my hands on his chest and wonder what has happened in their future, “So, what will happen if you mate me tonight... ophff..." I ask, right before the breath is knocked out of me by a body which has slammed into my back and pushed me into Baden’s front.
Chase locks me in between them and I glance over my shoulder to glare at him for his bold move, but not before Baden reaches up a hand and traces his thumb over my bottom lip.
“When you became... powerful with the Golden Claw, you couldn’t handle the responsibility,” Baden explains for me, “The happiest time of our relationship was when Chase and I supported you and helped you through that stage. But you... betrayed us one night. It was flippant, you were cursed to act on impulse and the Claw gave you a confidence you wanted to pursue. You would get jealous if Chase and I were... simply interacting, even just talking with one another, or otherwise... you turned into a bitch because you wanted to be the centre of attention.”
“I sound horrible,” I murmur, “What would make me turn into something so shallow?”
“We shouldn’t tell her anything else,” Chase growls a warning at Baden, “It could hinder the path we need her to choose.”
“We can’t say anything too specific,” Baden adds, “...Maia... you never...” his voice catches in his throat.
“You never surrendered to us,” Chase takes over, growling with irritation, “Not once. You never let your shields down. Especially when the danger amplified. It hindered our growth. We came back to... convince you to open to us and trust us.”
“Why wouldn’t I trust my mates?” I ask, in a whisper, looking between the two of them while trapped within their heat.
“We were immature wolves who didn’t let our guards down either,” Baden explains, “Fools. All of us.”
“Take the wisdom or leave it, but, Maia... you should use this moment to let go,” Chase whispers in my ear as Baden tilts his head and moves down to bring his lips closer to mine.
As he hovers over me, I hitch my excited breath and my lips part slightly.
“...one kiss...” I breathe out, reaching forward with my hand - I go to touch Baden’s torso and I feel...
...cold skin... as icy as a dead body.
I pull my head back in surprise.
When I look past Baden’s lips, into his mouth, I see white canines - not large and strong - but pointed, long and lethal.
“How easy,” I hear Chase’s voice behind me, turn from growly and deep... to lilting - like a rapid poison.
It hurt my ears the way the voice started to almost sound like metal scrapping against metal.
“It’s not real, Maia!” a cry in the distance.
“Illusions!" ...from my real mates.
The ones surrounding me were not just illusions.
The one impersonating Baden, is too quick for me to back up from, not only that, but the ‘Chase’ behind me keeps me still.
And within a few never-ending seconds, ‘Baden’ snarls forward and fangs pierce, ripping into my neck.
As I gasp out in surprise, the fangs are only penetrating my skin for a mere moment before the infiltrators are hauled off me.
I fall to my knees as blood spurts down over my skin and I grab my neck tightly, while a flurry of fur and screeching vampires get mauled to death... by my mates.
My real mates.
But I am confused as Chase’s werewolf teeth, rip away into one vampire’s throat and Baden snaps the neck of the other before tearing the head off with guttural snarls of rage.
I was so certain... I was so certain the figures were really them.
In fact, I still believed they were. Magic was fickle. If they had been here from the future - vampires could have easily manipulated and twisted the magic to suit their own dead, deprived souls. Vampires didn’t just suck blood, they could pass from their bodies into ghost forms. They could momentarily possess other beings, especially any with vulnerable weaknesses... such as a time traveller, who would be magically vulnerable for sure.
I try to keep my blood from spurting, but as I jerk my hand away from my neck to check how much is pouring - I feel sticky black scabs already forming.
I was healing - fast. Unnaturally so.
I scramble to my feet and watch as Chase and Baden shift after murdering the bodies that looked just like them.
My eyes are wide, my breathing uneven. Did they just kill themselves from the future?
My mates now stand, human, Chase has blood dripping down his neck and Baden has it all over his face. It’s sickening but they look proud for saving me. I force myself to step forward and observe the dead bodies.... which do not change, at all... nor do they mist away in a magical burst.
This was the worst case scenario.
“They were possessed... and you murdered yourselves,” I murmur, glaring up between both of them as they look on at me with utter confusion written across their features, “You murdered each other! From the future!”
“What?” Baden and Chase ask me at the same time, still lost.
“Look!” I scream as I point at parts of the naked dead bodies, that have the same features as my mates, “You idiots! You killed yourselves from the future!"
Baden storms off to inspect the head he just ripped off and he stares at it for quite some time while Chase glances down to his own murdered body, wincing at what he sees.
“I thought they were shape shifting vampires?” Chase whispers.
“No,” I shake my head, “If they were that...”
“...they would have changed to their original forms once dead,” Baden growls loudly, ”Fuck!"
“What the fuck just happened?” I ask, no one in particular. Half-heartedly covering my naked breasts as I cross my arms over my chest, “What the actual fuck is wrong with this island?”
“Time travel is an art,” Chase blurts out, raising his head, he tries to regain his composure, “It can be done... but it doesn’t matter, if we ripped one another apart, then... we know not to come here in the future. Right?”
“I don’t know how time travel works, I didn’t study it in our college,” I whisper, “And isn’t that a speciality for mages anyway? Where the hell were you both anyway if I saw you swim out of the water?”
“The water is deadly and the spell Poppy swore to sing seemed to falter half way across, we both passed out in the water, we woke up floating and swam here a minute ago,” Chase mentions.
“I saw you both leave the water,” I murmur, “It confirms there were two of you here.”
“The vampires that possessed the bodies didn’t do a good job at finishing you off, Maia, neither did they do a good job at detecting us approach,” Baden adds for good measure, “We were baited into doing this.”
“Into what...” Chase snarls in irritation, “Ki-... killing ourselves? What is this, Suicide Island?”
“No, a spider told me it’s the island of past and future,” I murmur, “Poppy said we would mate on the island. Our souls would become one. Maybe she meant time travel. The crossing over of souls, into one time, one moment - on this island. Right?”
“I hear you. And not to completely dismiss our purpose to brutally fuck on the island’s cursed dirt, Maia,” Chase adds, frustrated, “But I do believe mating is the last thing on all our minds, not just yours.”
“We should get off this island,” Baden catches my eye as I turn to him and see him looking mortified, “But we can’t until the mages sing the spell to allow us passage at dawn.”
“Let’s stay close to one another and stay protected, we’re safe now,” I try to talk reassuringly, “That’s all that matters. Right?”
“Sure,” Chase is not convinced as he glances at the murdered body, as does Baden to his own violent end.
“As surreal as this is,” I add, quietly, “I don’t think we are in anymore danger. I think the vampire ghosts possessed your future bodies but that was the only threat. This claw,” I raise my human hand that doesn’t show the item, but I know it’s there, somewhere, even if it only appears on my wolf form as a glowing claw, “This bloody claw is the problem. We’re targets. We’re set to hunt vampires. At least I am. Poppy said you’re both my protectors and slaves so... I guess that makes us a vampire hunting party. I bet when I put this on, it sent out a warning. Magic always has two sides. I was given power. We’re in even more trouble when we get off this island.”
“No shit,” Baden kicks a tree root and punches the bark next, “...I’m so done with the mages... what tricks they are up to... it’s anybodies guess.”
“I still think they’re allies -” I try to interject.
“You’re an idiot if you think they’re your friends,” Chase adds, raising a brow, “Everyone has their own agenda. Mages will look after their ‘pack’ and we will look after each other. As our own pack. The three of us. Come on, we can’t let this situation tear us apart by being divided in any sense. We don’t even know how we work yet...” Chase trails off and glances from Baden’s glare... to my pointed chin and sour lips after I notice a flash in his eyes.
Don’t ask it, Chase.
Don’t mention it.
“...what in the Moon were you doing with ourselves from the future anyway?” Chase whispers this, first almost jealous - but then he is intrigued... and finally, as reality sinks in, he is amused, “Little shewolf? Were you seducing us?”
“Nope,” I answer too quickly, “I mean-”
“Let’s sit by the shore,” Baden interjects, saving me the humiliation. I am surprised but I turn to Baden and reach out for his hand.
“Agreed,” I whisper, turning to Chase I hold out my other hand, “Here’s an idea. Shake my hands on this deal, right now. We stick together. We promise it. We must not break it. We stick together as a pack from now until we die.”
I think about what their future selves admitted to me.
I hope this intense moment will secure us some minor protection if we all agree not to abandon one another in times of stress - or give up on one another.
Chase reaches out a hand and clasps my palm, the same time as Baden reaches for my other palm and holds it just as firmly.
As they hold my hands, I grip their fingers before they slip out of my touch and I pull them with me.
“United we’ll be stronger,” I try to be reassuring, “Perhaps we can light a fire on the lake shore if we’re lucky...”
Chase and Baden watch me wearily, confused about what I’m suggesting.
“Sure thing... Maia,” Chase responds suspiciously.
“I’ll light the fire,” Baden adds, “I’ll use some basic survivor skills I’ve learnt in my lectures.”
I nod at both of them and then I let their hands go and turn around, slinking out of the forest to find my clothes. I desperately hope the shore of the island isn’t as violent as what went down in the forest.
I have my clothes on, my knees to my chest as I stare into the fire Baden has successfully prepared. Chase reclines next to me, on his side, resting on an elbow while his head hangs back and his long thin brown hair brushes against my waist. Baden is next to me sitting with one leg stretched out, his hand innocently laying on top of mine in the sand of the lake shore.
We’re all silently looking into the fire, wondering whatever was on our minds. Such as, what the consequences of that fight were... and other things... our 3 souls were meant to mate on this island tonight. Yet, none of us were in the mood.
I’m sure blood lust ignited sexual desire in some wolves, but all three of us were simply trying to push the nausea away.
“...as an Alpha, I thought...” Baden murmurs out of the thick silence, shocking me - and Chase. I say nothing, and Chase remains equally as silent as we curiously wait to hear what Baden will continue to say, since he is so quiet all the damn time, “I thought I would know the answer to anything if I was faced with a life and death situation. But in 2 days, I’ve been set up to burn on a pyre... and I just murdered my future self on an island, in the middle of a deadly lake I can’t leave until dawn. For the first son of a Prime Alpha, I must be the dumbest Alpha to have ever roamed this land.”
“Are you joking or being serious?” I ask, carefully, “Because you shouldn’t be so harsh on yourself if you’re being serious.”
“I just... always dreamed that being an Alpha would be so... easy,” Baden even snorts at this own admission, “I was so stupid. Still am, apparently. All my interest has been on art and trying to solve the meaning of difficult poems. How am I meant to win future pack wars, figure out tricks from mages and my own fucking family... if I’m delving into poems about Wolvenshire.”
“Shut the fuck up, Baden,” Chase carelessly interrupts, “You’re only sombre when you’re in denial about something.”
“Like what?” Baden asks.
“You’re scared,” Chase says, “Just like Maia... just like me.”
“I see how it is. Great,” I try to lighten the mood, “I guess I will take charge then, as the leading Shewolf, I’ve already worked out how to fix this. I’m going to figure out, as soon as possible, how to remove this cursed claw before it brings us any other misfortune - and then we can pretend the mages never chose us. We can move on and let some blood thirsty wolves take the responsibility of hunting down the Vampire Lords of Cave City. A quick end to that adventure.”
“Life isn’t that simple, cutie,” Chase leans over and bites my hip playfully.
I jerk away a little too hard, as it tickles and I fall into Baden’s side.
Baden simply wraps an arm around my neck and pulls me into his lap.
“Stay, Maia,” Baden glances down at me, putting on a more dramatic, deep tone, “I like you below me,” Baden is trying to mock the tone of his other form that he overhead, “In fact, I should turn you around. I like my Shewolves... doggy style.”
As Chase bursts out laughing and a giggle slips past my lips, I feel my ankles suddenly clasped in Chase’s human hands. He lifts up my legs and my hips to shuffle his way forward. His jeans brush my leggings as he pops my ankles on his shoulders.
“You got the mouth hole, I got her down here, Baden,” Chase also puts on a deep growl, for show, “Maia. Will. Be. Our. Little. Bitch!” Chase pretends to thrust and I go red in the face.
Baden simply holds me down while I feel two distinct and growing bumps.
One from behind my head as I rest in Baden’s lap, my cheek pressed against his abs as I struggle while laughing all the breaths out of my poor weak lungs.
“Stop it! This is... r-ridiculous!" I wheeze it out as I can feel Chase getting an actual hard on.
He stops thrusting proper fast and slowly smirks.
“Just practicing how to share you,” Chase winks and pulls away, leaning in for a very quick and cunning kiss... over my leggings - right between my spread thighs.
I yelp out in surprise and snap my legs shut as Chase releases me, pulling back.
“Sneaky horny bastard,” Baden growls at Chase, just as he leans down to my face - and Baden steals a kiss on my surprised lips.
It’s just a peck, but Baden smiles into my mouth as he does it.
When I’m finally free, I pull away, shuffling over the sand of the lake shore until I’m on my knees, just out of their reach. I am still laughing but also bright red in the face as my hand flies over my mouth and I try to contain my laughter, changing it to mere giggles... and then normal breaths.
I grin behind my hand as Baden and Chase watch me with the slightest of smirks on their full Alpha mouths... those lush lips... made for kissing any shewolf off their weak knees. And they were destined to be mine.
I slowly lower my hand from my mouth, onto my knee, and simply purse my lips before looking up to the moon so I don’t have to bask in too much intensity from the... funny situation that arose.
As I look up at the midnight sky, I think how behind Chase and Baden’s shared smiles, their eyes danced with other hidden thoughts they were yet to share.
It was all games for now.
But love always started in the forms of such meaningless things, didn’t it?