A rogue wolf who enters pack territory is asking for a death sentence. Packs do not like us and we are not supposed to like them. We are rogue because we want to be free and independent. At least, that is what I keep telling myself.
Rogue wolves get a bad rep because they like to attack pack members and pillage their lands. But some of us are not like that. Of course, those who are not do not tend to last long in the wild.
Standing on the outskirts of Blood Moone Pack territory, I wait in the tree line at the edge of town for a patrol member to pass. Biting my nails to steady my shaking hands, I glance over my shoulder to make sure I have not been followed. My pulse calms down when the area behind me is clear, but it skips a beat when I catch the scent of someone approaching. I hope the guard is in man form and not wolf, unfortunately, today is not my day. He snarls in my direction.
“Please, sir,” I say to the patrol wolf. “This is a matter of life and death. I need to speak with your Alpha.”
The wolf in front of me paces back and forth, twitching his tail with enough force to kick up a breeze. I stay calm, forcing myself to remember my peculiar situation.
After a few moments, a man steps out of the shadows and puts a hand on the wolf’s back.
“Follow me, miss.”
Walking through the streets of this small, quaint town I catch a few scents that are all too familiar. A rush of butterflies swirls in the pit of my stomach and I grab my head to combat a dizzy spell that threatens to knock me off balance. Taking another whiff, I find the scents to be faint, but recognizable all the same. A smile plays at the edges of my lips and I blink back tears that struggle to escape. The scents stir memories from the past -both sweet and painful- of my childhood best friend, Dylan. The memories still haunt me to this day, and I grit my teeth, hoping I do not cross paths with him today.
Nearing what I assume to be the Pack House, the familiar scents I smelled in town become stronger, causing my nose to twitch in irritation. Taking a deep breath, I climb the steps of the porch and say a silent prayer that only the Alpha is home.
“Hey Lux,” a familiar voice ring in my ears as I cross the threshold of the Pack House. My heartbeat quickens as my eyes dart around the room, looking for him-Dylan. So much for prayers.
I know Dylan well, he was once like a brother to me, and by the sound of his voice, I know he has a sly grin smeared across his face. My eyes find his, and he flinches as my scent fills the room, declaring my presence.
My eyes darken and swirl black when I notice a girl with dark hair sitting on his lap. It is interesting how I always find him in these situations. Trembling with rage, the other half of my soul-my wolf-wants to rip Dylan’s throat out, for the past offenses he has committed. But the only satisfaction my wolf will receive will be found after I shred that dark haired female on his lap to pieces.
My hands ball into tight fists as I fight back the urges as best I can. He is nothing, no one. I chant to myself. Closing my eyes, I take a deep breath to calm my nerves.
An intoxicating aroma swirls in my nostrils, one composed of scents both familiar and foreign. Both are woodsy and masculine, but Dylan’s scent is sweeter. Notes of cumin and fresh cut grass drift through the air, stirring up the most painful memories, that also causes a swirl of butterflies in my stomach.
This new scent has spicy undertones and something else, I suspect bergamot. Inhaling again, the woodsy, citrusy notes confirm my suspicion. Opening my eyes, I focus on Dylan. Watching his hands firmly grab the hips of the dark haired girl, my lips curl in a silent snarl.
“Alpha, this,” my escort points to me, “is the rogue who asked to speak with you.”
Tearing my eyes off the couch, I become aware of a powerful presence across the room. A tall man; by the looks of him, I guess he is in his mid-twenties. He is leaning against the doorway to the next room with his arms folded over his bare chest. A well sculptured chest with washboard abs do not go unnoticed, and my heart flutters. His blond hair is damp and his bright blue eyes pierce me with a scrutinizing gaze.
Power surges through the room and sends shivers rippling down my body, stirring a part of me that was long ago dead. His dominant Alpha calls to me. Diverting my eyes to the ground, a warmth rushes to my cheeks and speeds through my body.
The sound of soft moans and lip smacking brings my thoughts from the gutter and back to reality. Looking at Dylan, the dark haired female is nibbling on his ear and kissing his neck.
Dylan’s presence makes it hard to focus, if he is here, I cannot stay here another minute. I need to get control of my wolf.
“Never mind, I’m done here,” I say through a clenched jaw.
“Oh come on, Lux, you just got here,” Dylan whines, meeting my glare.
The citusy-spicy scent fills the room, calming my nerves. My shoulders relax, as the bergamot scent wraps around me like a security blanket. I take a deep breath and continue to glare at Dylan.
“You may have learned to control your temper, but you’re not fooling anyone. I can smell...her...she wants out. You can’t lock her up forever,” Dylan says, laughing as he pulls the girl on his lap closer to him, crushing his lips against hers. A moan escapes the couple and a low growl escapes from my throat. The man standing next to me startles, but he regains his composure before anyone notices.
In our years apart, he has not changed. He is baiting me into a fight, forcing me away, I am always the one to walk away.
“Won’t you ever grow up?” I say through gritted teeth, pounding my hands downward through the air.
“Lux! Learn to live a little and have fun,” Dylan says, moaning as the girl touches and caresses his body.
With that, I turn to storm out the door. But I am stopped by the Alpha, who is now standing in front of me blocking my path. I catch a whiff of that wonderful spicy scent again, that bergamot. My eyes widen at the man in front of me-it is the Alpha who is tantalizing my senses.
“Rogues don’t wander unescorted in my territory,” he says with a rich, husky voice. I look deep into his never-ending blue eyes, silently pleading for help. I need to get away before I lose control and she, my wolf, escapes. My imploring eyes will him to understand.
“It was a mistake coming here,” I whisper. Diverting my gaze to the ground, I break eye contact. “May I pass through your territory?”
“Let’s go,” he says. Taking my hand, he pulls me down the porch. We walk toward the tree line and to my surprise no one follows. Looking around, I expect wolves to emerge from all directions, ready to attack. But no one does. Is this when he will kill me? It is a standard pack rule-Alphas do not like rogues. We threaten their authority.
“You can run it off,” he says, furrowing his brow. I stare at him skeptically through narrow eyes. “With me,” he adds. “I am in need of a good run myself.”
“But since we won’t be able to communicate, stay by my side,” he orders, looking at me cautiously. “Can I trust you not to run?” I nod. “Good, let’s go.”
Before he is able to finish his sentence, I begin to shift. My clothes shred to pieces as they fall from my changing body onto the forest floor. My muscles constrict as my fangs tear through my mouth. Every bone in my body shatters under the intense pressure. My arms and legs contort into four muscular legs built for running. My torso and head are last, the vital organs being the most delicate part of the transformation.
Every facet of my body is broken and reconstructed. For the young, old, or weak, it can be a long and painful process. I am none of those things, so my transformation is quick and effortless.
Living alone in the wild for so long I am constantly looking over my shoulder, worrying if I will live to see the next morning. My rogue lifestyle demands that transforming into my wolf be second nature, so my shift happens within the blink of an eye.
I glance at the Alpha and notice a slight smirk on his lips before he shifts into a striking white wolf. Standing in amazement, I admire his massive size. I always thought that I was a decent size, especially for a female. But standing next to him, my solid black wolf is dwarfed, and I feel like a mere pup.
He motions for me to follow as we walk deeper into the forest. It is a peaceful wood, full of oak trees and evergreens. Our pace quickens until we are running at full speed. I stay next to him as we run, careful to follow his lead. The only noise heard are birds chirping from above and squirrels scurrying through the forest floor.