Chapter 1

"Hurry up Hank, you know Buffy won't go to sleep unless you read her a bedtime story!" Joyce called from where she leaned out the doorway

"Just a second" Hank muttered absently in reply, relaying instructions down the line of his cell phone to an unknown person. Joyce sighed, giving it up as a lost cause. Her husband had always been business minded, never spending enough time with their family for her tastes, on the phone with his associates if not at the office building in person. He was hardly ever home anymore and though she loved him dearly, Joyce didn't even think she knew who the handsome boy she had met in collage had become. She had tried, time and time again to make it work but finally she had been forced to admit that hanks priorities didn't lie with his family. She had thought perhaps if they took a family vacation... but it was not to be. They had rented a cabin in Los Angeles national forest, a surprisingly large preserve considering that it was so close to the great city they had found, for a camping trip. Joyce had intended it to be a time away from work, completely isolated from the concept of it even, but naturally once again hank could not be pulled away from his ever so beloved law firm. Turning away from the dark figure of her husband against the evening sky, Joyce wandered back inside their modest cabin to finish the dinner preparations. She had finally made a decision. If nothing changed by the end of the vacation, she would ask Hank for a divorce. It saddened her that it had come to this. Despite how distant he was to her, Buffy loved her father and a divorce might just tear her apart. Joyce could only console herself with the fact that Buffy was only two years old. She would adjust, and at least at this age she would heal quickly from the separation. Having already put Buffy to bed and having finished her dinner, Joyce quickly wrapped Hank's plate with plastic wrap, leaving it on the table to find when he finally finished with his call, and headed to bed. Hopefully she would be asleep before he joined her.

The wolves snarled and snapped among themselves playfully, relishing in the light of the full moon. It was on this night every month that they shed their human trapping to reveal the wolves inside and they were joyful in their liberty, howling at the glorious silver orb in the sky that granted them freedom. Living in Los Angeles national park, unbeknownst to most if not all, was a pack of werewolves. And werewolves they were. Unlike those tamed mutts that lived in the city, walking amongst humans, caging themselves away from the light of their silver goddess, the Los Angeles pack accepted the wolf inside them, becoming one with their beast, a perfect blend of animal and man. What those that rejected the wolf inside them, and indeed most of anyone, did not know, was that through intensive self control, will power and oneness with their beastial spirit, the animal could be controlled and even conquered. If one was powerful enough, the beast could even be controlled to the point that one could shift into their animal state regardless of hour or time of month. Shifting at will, much less holding the mind of the beast in tight control, however, was merely stuff of legend now, though there were some that could shift hours before or after the full moon. It wasn't that the feat was impossible, but simply that it would take an inhuman strength of will, not to mention a decent amount of power. Regardless that there were none in the pack that could manage this task, they did fine, letting their beasts roam free during the full moons to hunt, all according to the natural order. It was this which was happening right now. As the full moon rose in the sky the pack gathered, socializing amongst themselves until finally everyone had arrived. As soon as the last wolf appeared they set out, loping as a group into the forest where they began to weave through the trees familiarly. Leading this hunt was the alpha as per was usual, although every so often he would allow a young male to lead the hunt for practice. Usually they would catch a stag, perhaps a bear if they were in luck but this time they could scent that a much more delectable prey was in the area. Humans. Every so often they would come camping and though most of the time they were safe, if their visit coincided with that of the full moon god spare them. The alpha broke into an easy jog. Nose in the air, he began to lead the pack towards the outer edges of the woods, from where the scent originated. Soon enough they could see a dim light peaking through the trees. There was a cabin. Foolish humans. As if such flimsy wooden walls could keep a true predator out. Just outside the wooden den there was a human male pacing, mumbling what sounded like gibberish to their animalistic senses into a small plastic device. Stomachs rumbled as his scent travelled downwind to them along with that of a woman and succulent young flesh. They watched for a moment, content that the idiot male had no idea he and his pack were surrounded by predators, some of them barely more than cubs, breaking twigs left and right as they stumbled over their overly large paws. The alpha gave the signal and in nary a second it was over. The male pinned to the ground under sharp claws as he was, had time only to give a high pitched shriek before his throat was torn out by a young wolfs cruelly sharpened fangs. The youngster panted triumphantly before abandoning his prey to join the rest of the pack who were readying themselves to take on the next two. Without the male, and even with, the two were vulnerable and things would move along quickly after this. The female was up and moving no doubt alerted by her mates scream of terror. She was calling his name, fearfully when she didn't get an answer and they could hear the fast patter of her feet move further into the cabin, likely seeking to protect her young. Before she had the presence of mind to do something as inconvenient as alert the authorities the cabin door was in splinters. With a loud bang the house was flooded with werewolves, slashing and growling at anything that moved. It didn't take long before the furniture was shredded along with the mangled chunk of meat that had once been Joyce Summers. The wolves tore into their feast with relish, taking greedy mouthfuls both from the body of Joyce and Hank outside. Finally the moon once again began to dip down below the horizon to make the way for dawn. By this time the pack was satisfied, full from the hunt, lying in the wreckage of the rented cabin licking the blood from each others fur. As the dawn approached, more and more of the pack was regaining a semblance of their human minds, sluggishly drawing their humanity back into themselves and a few even began to make the shift back to their human counterparts. It was at this time that a wail rose up among them. Wincing at the noise a young wolf soon went to investigate, dragging back with him a small toddler a few scant seconds later. Having slept through the night, seemingly against all odds Buffy cried the screeching moan of a hungry child before silencing, looking around at the ruined surroundings and the hungry amber eyes with curiosity. The wolves in turn looked at her in disgust, turning their noses from the sour scent of humanity in their midst. By this time all of the werewolves had once again regained their human forms, the sun just having peaked over the horizon. They debated amongst themselves for a moment on what to do with her. Some said to keep her until the next hunt, still more voted to abandon her to the wreckage of her former life to starve to death and the majority voted to simply snapped her neck. A particularly foolhardy younger wolf lunged at her to do exactly this, but to the surprise of the others he quickly found himself pinned beneath the alpha's foot. The child was released into his arms with a silent gesture and the pack watched in confusion as he sniffed the child thoroughly, from head to foot.

"We will keep her" the alpha stated in a rasping growl, his eyes daring his pack members to disagree with him judgement. They muttered amongst themselves for a full minute before a young woman finally stepped forward

"May we ask why you chose to take this child in alpha?" She asked, pushing her chestnut hair away from her face nervously, fidgeting under his gleaming yellow eyes. He paused for a moment before deigning to answer, clearly indicating that he did so at his own pleasure.

"This is no ordinary human. Whatever she is she smells of vast power. She may not be one of us, nor born into the pack, but we will take her in and once she reaches her majority the issue of her species will be remedied. We will add her power, and the power of her offspring to our own." The werewolves mumbled their assent to the idea and once more the she-wolf spoke

"What shall we call her?" The wolves thought for a moment, various members suggesting different names while the alpha looked on stoically until one of the older pack members, who had been quietly inspecting her up until now, caught a gleam of silver under her sleeve.

Pushing the length of the arms material up to her elbow, revealed before the pack was a dainty chain connected by a swirling cursive which read 'Buffy'.

"I suppose Buffy it is then" one of the wolves said as those who had been eagerly passing names back and forth groaned in disappointment at the name. Luckily the bracelet was made of heavily diluted silver, enough so that they could gently snap the chain off of her wrist without burning their skin. By this point Buffy was sleeping, held securely within the arms of one of the pack mothers. She didn't wake in time to see her old life disappear behind her. From this time on, Buffy would be a member of the Los Angeles pack.