Well here it is...the first installment of updated chapters...as you may have noticed this is along chapteer i though you deserved it after beng so paitent with me :) hopefully the remainder of the story will slowly begin to progress from here on out...
Just to make a few thing clear this is an ALTERNATE WOLFLAKE hense the name!...Sophia did not grow up in Wolflake her mum having left while pregnant to protect Sophia from the pack and Matt from turning down the Alpha possision. As you will guess he still turns it down and most everything else in Wolflake continues on the same timeline. Ruby and John are together i just could split them up i'm too much of a romantic.
You may notice that Sophia is a little ...different. thats because her upbringing was totally changed from what we see and infer from the show. SHe's had to look after herself and so she's alot tougher then the Sophia we all know. She's just as smart which is always a good thing...but she is much more sarcatic and confrontational. I hope you all enjoy this updated version and the characters i've created...i have tried to keep it the same as the original just updated spelling and some bits that did't quite feel right. Next chapter will be up by next friday can't wait to hear what everyone think...:)
PLEASE REVIEW...i'm not omnipitant i don't know what you like or don't like so TELL me otherwise your just going to have to learn to deal with it!
thanks again to everyone who has been so paitent with me...LONG LIVE WOLFLAKE...hehehehe
Priviously on Alternate Wolf Lake...
She stood by the grave just letting the rain pour freely across her face, soaking her right through to the bone. She shouldn't be here, she wasn't meant to get her stitches wet and they already stung painfully. She welcomed the pain however; it meant she could feel something besides this aching numbness. The sky had long since turned dark yet she didn't move. To leave would mean she would be leaving her alone; there was no-one else but her. She didn't deserve to be alone.
Marie Anderson, beloved mother.
Those words etched into the tombstone. She let her fingers trace over them, trying to block out there true meaning. Her mother was dead; those words dug into her very soul yet failed to penetrate the protective numbness that surrounded her mind. Sophia merely stood, standing guard over her mother's grave.
They would find her eventually, she had slipped out of the hospital when they had coldly informed her that her mother had been buried-alone, without anyone there to make sure everything was okay. That had always been Sophia's job her mother had never been emotionally strong, leaning on Sophia's strength had been their way of life. It was as though she had used up all the strength she had in leaving her father so long ago.
Her father, Matthew Donner she knew little about him except her mother's fears he would find them. And now he would be coming for her, would take her away from her friends, her home and all because her mother hadn't been able to lie. It was there in black and white on her birth certificate. Not that she would even go by his last name, her mother had never gone that far. And so she stood just waiting, for what she didn't know.
It was near dawn when she finally left to walk home, her bones ached and her skin was long past the point of shivering. She stumbled inside and had to catch herself of the door frame; she felt some of the stitches give and hissed under her breath, cursing once more the driver who had destroyed her life.
She remember little of that day, just the sudden sound of steel hitting flesh the numbing crack as she watched her mother fall back onto the curb, that had ended her life. Followed by the agony of heartache and the pain of slamming face first through the windshield of the car. She'd seen them both in that car, their eyes cold and empty as though the events had had been planned. After that the world was swallowed in a haze of blood, until she had woken in the cold white hospital bed.
Carefully she closed and locked the door then made her way up to her bedroom. She knew that there wouldn't be much time before Donner was informed, they couldn't just let a minor wander around without supervision. When the time did come for him to claim her she was to be as prepared as she could, not wanting to spend a moment longer in this empty house then she had to.
In her room she stripped her heavy water-logged clothing off, taking notice of the blood that had stained them a dull brown. Making her way to the bathroom she turned on the shower as hot as it could go before stepping in. Hissing through the pain she tilted her head down letting the warmth flow down her back. She watched as the pink-tinted water drain away for a long time before climbing out.
She fell into bed and the oblivion of sleep not long after, too exhausted to dress her wounds again. Her tears stained the pillow even in her dreams she would relive these past few days for the rest of her life.
Matt Donner felt the blood flow from his head as the voice on the other end of the phone spoke to him; he sat down in the nearest chair as he acknowledged with a sinking dread the truth. The mansion was quite at this time of day, Vivian shouldn't be up yet and Lucas never woke this early.
He had only been Alpha for six months now, having been voted in to replace Willard after his tragic death, a position that should have been his sixteen years ago if it hadn't been for Marie. He had moved into the mansion less then two months ago having finally given into Vivian's requests and the attraction that had been there for over sixteen years. They would have mated if not for Marie, instead she had married Willard Cates had his son. Luke was still fighting his own inner daemons, his outer ones as well which included Matt whom he saw as 'taking' his mother. And now this.
He finished the phone call before placing the phone down on its handset, letting his head drop down into his hands feeling the sorrow sweep through him. Unaware that he was broadcasting aloud. He felt soft hand rest against his shoulders and looked up to meet Vivian's gaze. Her eyes reflected his pain while offering comfort.
He turned his head against one hand her palm turning to cup his cheek.
"What is it Matt?" She kept her voice low not wanting to wake Luke.
"It's Marie, she's...she's dead V." He let his eyes close against the grief; he had always loved Marie even though she hadn't been able to except what he was. V understood that, he cared for Vivian, but in a different way.
"I'm sorry Matt; I know how much this hurts you." His eyes met hers the hurt still there but a hidden fury burned beneath.
"It's not just that V, she had a daughter- we had a daughter- and she never told me. How could she have done something like that?" Shock flashed across her eyes before she leaned forward folding her arms across his chest resting her head on his shoulder.
He leaned into her warmth.
"What am I going to do?" he whispered.
"Marie was an orphan wasn't she? So the girl has no-one else. You need to go to her Matt. You need to bring her home." He nodded briefly in agreement.
"Her name is Sophia."
She hadn't turned a light on in days, the curtains drawn tightly through the day and night allowing little of the outside world to enter what had once felt like her home. Her things where packed, her room empty he would be here soon. She'd listened to the messages on the answer phone enough times to have memorised his voice. The storage truck had long since left taking everything to big to carry away, when she got the chance she'd have it moved to…wherever she was headed.
She was still numb; it had been this alone though that had allowed her to carefully sort through her mothers things. To select what she wanted to keep and what needed to be thrown away. She hadn't eaten in a while, her stomach protested but she couldn't force herself to go back into the kitchen. She simply sat in the living room her things piled around the door, her stuffed toy wolf she had owned all her life, clutched tightly to her chest.
Her eyes unfocused, mind blank not allowing anything to penetrate deeply enough to cause further pain. She could feel the stitches on her face especially those above and below her eye, they itched like hell but she couldn't seem to put the effort into following through with the impulse.
The knock on the door startled her even though she had heard the approaching car and its occupant's footsteps. Slowly rising to her feet she left Wolf on the sofa before moving to open the door. It opened easily enough revealing the face of the man who was her father.
His eyes widened in shock to absorb every detail before him. He was strong, dark hair and light blue eyes almost icy, assessed her carefully. A hesitant smile formed on his well shaped lips. He wore a checked shirt and jeans that did an admirable job of hiding who and what he really was from any who bothered to take notice.
She stepped to the side allowing him entrance and watched the precise way he moved, too graceful for a man yet not for the predator that lurked beneath the surface. She had to make sure he didn't find out what she knew.
The second the door opened Matt felt like he'd been thrown back in time, a sixteen year old Marie appraised him through the doorway. He looked closer and could see the subtle differences that marked this girl as his.
He held his breath as a passing car illuminated her face and caused her golden brown eyes to reflect molten gold into his own, his heritage ran in this girl's veins. It took him moments to notice the sharp line of stitches running down her face intersected by her eye, along with the bruise' cut's and scrapes that covered her exposed skin.
She didn't speak; in fact she seemed to barely register his existence except for the flash of fury that had first filled her eyes. She seemed too neutral, cut off from her emotions. He stepped inside the house and inhaled sharply, Marie flooded his senses. Her scent soaked into the very walls. He took in the various bag's waiting by the doorway as he passed and turned to watch the girl – Sophia – close the door.
She turned to face him before making her way into the living room. She sat, picking up the toy wolf and hugged it close. He inhaled sharply in shock, he had given it to Marie as a girt along time ago, he was glad it had given some comfort to his daughter even if he had not.
He sat down opposite watching carefully for any outwards signs of grief. There where none – that he could see – but then he couldn't look inside her head.
"I'm sorry Sophia, I had no idea -"
"Save it. I don't want to hear any sympathy or pity from you. I have no where else to go, so for the next year or so I have to stay with you that is all."
"Look, neither of us has asked for this, I would have liked to find out I have a daughter some other way. But we have to deal with the hand we've been dealt. I know you loved your mother but this wouldn't be happening if she had just let me know earlier. You might not care but I here for you – no matter what – from this point on. I loved your mother very much and I would never even attempt to take that away from you."
Her eyes clashed with his blazing with fury.
"Now that the speech is over do you think we could leave? I don't want to stay here any longer."
Letting out a sigh of frustration he stood, moving to the door. He picked up two of the bags facing her once again.
"You can't hate me for not being here. I never knew I wish to God I had because I would never have let you go."
With that he turned to the door, opening it he went to the car placing the bags in the trunk. He didn't see the tear that fell from her eye, or Sophia hastily brushing it away, or the brief struggle in her eyes as she desperately tried to believe him.
They arrived in Wolf Lake the following evening not long after sunset. Matt pointed out the various places as they passed through the town. Sophia stared resolutely out the window taking in the scenery; she noticed the diner as they passed and how crowded it was for this time of night. They passed it by and headed on out the other side of town towards the lake.
The moon was high in the sky and painted the forest an intriguing shade of silver. They pulled up outside the mansion, whose light blazed out into the night momentarily blinding her as she adjusted to the sudden glare. Matt had explained about the house, how it belonged to the manager of Wolf Lake brewery. A position he had just been elected to oversee.
He lived with the previous manager's wife and son. She suspected that there was more going on then he was letting her know but refused to push the issue. The engine stopped and he turned to meet her gaze.
"Are you alright?" She could feel the concern in his voice, it wasn't something that she was used to, and she nodded in return before reaching for the door. Once out she reached into the back seat, grabbing Wolf and her backpack.
Her eyes met Matt's again as he picked up two of her bags and gestured for her to follow him. Hugging Wolf tightly she followed, allowing the scents of the forest to calm her mind. The door was opened to reveal one of the most beautiful women she had ever seen. She watched as the woman gaze met Matt's before travelling on to appraise her. She watched with an inner satisfaction as her eyes widened in shock, before returned to normal.
"Hello, I'm Vivian I hope your trip wasn't too difficult."
She may have been speaking to Sophia but her eyes never once left Matt. Sophia smirked to herself as she recognised the look she was using, quickly hiding my reaction when her head turned back to me. Nodding briefly as she ushered us in, Vivian led the way upstairs to Sophia's new room. Pointing out where everyone else slept, it was the furthest from her son's room and had a brief cause to wonder why.
The room was bigger then her old room and she hadn't including the walk-in wardrobe or on-suit bathroom. It took a while to ferry all of her cases in from the car but once they where all inside she was left on her own to 'settle' in. As soon as the other had left she found her eyes being drawn to the French doors that led to the balcony.
Opening the heavy glass panelled doors, she stepping out into the night, letting the cool breeze and dark silence wash over her troubled thoughts. Sophia sank down to the floor, pressing her back against the wall, while she hugged Wolf tightly to her chest as she stared out into the darkness
In the kitchen at the other end of the house Vivian made them both a cup of coffee before sitting down across from him, on the stools surrounding the breakfast table.
"How close is she Matt?"
She kept her voice low intentionally.
"I don't know V, God this is such a mess. She doesn't know – I don't know how to tell her – she's the image of her mother, yet different."
V's eyes, met his across the table.
"She's stronger then Marie could ever be Matt. She needs to go see Sherman; he can check her injuries and find out just how close to the change she really is."
"She hates me."
"No Matt, she doesn't. Didn't you see the way she looked at you? I only saw her for a moment but its there - she's terrified – she's lost everything that ever meant anything to her, you all she's got left and she's afraid to lose you too."
Her hand touched his across the table.
"It must be a female thing, we male's never notice those kind of things. I don't want to let her down V, she's already shut herself off I can feel it. She left the hospital the day of the funeral, she's been alone n that house since then. When I got there, there was nothing left to do. There wasn't anything left of Marie in that house. She shouldn't have had to deal with that on her own."
Her fingers squeezed his briefly
"She's not alone now Matt, she will never be alone. She's pack, she might not know it yet but she will; her family will always be here for her. We just need to help her see it."
Luke stopped short at the forests edge, it was after 4 am yet he noticed the figure leaning on the east balcony. The clouds hid the light from the moon casting shadows that obscured his view; he inhaled deeply, snorting in reaction to the cigarette smoke that drifted on the air. He could just make out the rising smoke from the figure and he growled mentally for such an intrusion into his home.
The clouds shifted and the figure was thrown into sharp relief, turned away from him staring off into the night. It was female, he thought puzzled, his mother having mentioned that they would have a guest, but hadn't gone into details. He took a step forward still in wolf form, he must have made some kind of noise although he hadn't noticed it, for her head turned to look in his direction.
He froze – literally – her eyes shone gold in the moon light and he felt the unfamiliar touch of her otherness. She was Wolven – close to her first change – he watched as she took a final drag on the cigarette before pressing the tip into the palm of her right hand. Once extinguished she flicked it out into the night; where it hit a tree only to join the others already present. She hadn't spotted him yet and perversely he wanted her to.
He wanted a clear view of her face and it was with this in mind that he stepped forward deliberately snapping a twig. The resounding 'snap' echoed in the night catching her attention just as the moon slid back into full view. His mind stilled, she was beautiful something inside her called to him in a way he had never experienced before, a quiet inner strength that rivalled any he had ever seen. He took in the soft features, generous lips and shoulder length dark hair.
There was something familiar in the way she held herself but he couldn't place it. She smiled briefly on spotting him and it caused his heart to beat faster. He felt the unconscious brush of her mind against his and had to consciously force his mind into typical wolf patterns. She knew nothing of her heritage, she thought him to be a wolf and as such she it meant her barriers where down, he had unlimited access to her mind.
She had unconsciously given him the key he would need to make her his – and she would be his – there was no question in his mind over that fact. With that last thought he turned and padded back into the forest, he would need to approach the house from the opposite side away from her view. His wolf form smiled into the night he would need to form a plan.
A loud knocking woke her the next morning; she pressed the LED readout on her watch and suppressed a groan at the flashing 10 am. She hadn't gotten to sleep till after 6am nothing unusual there she seemed to need little sleep lately but the intrusion annoyed her especially as it was a Saturday.
She groaned and answer from under the bed.
Under the bed?
She moved suddenly and knocked her head against the frame. The load noise had obviously been a signal for who ever had woken her to enter the room.
It was Matt, carefully so as not to hit her head again she slid out enough to see him; her quilt was tangled around her lower body. She saw the surprise in his eyes as it was then replaced by humour.
"I just wanted to let you know that breakfast is ready. I want to take you to the doctor's today so he can check your stitches."
She frowned at him not wanting to have anything to do with doctors any time soon.
"I know you don't want to go, but humour me O.K?"
With that he softly closed the door, leaving her to pull her self free from under the bed and the quilt. Grabbing some clean cloths she headed towards the bathroom, her stomach growling at the thought of food.
She got ready in record time, before grabbing her glasses; she paused as she tucked them behind her ears then made her way down stairs.
Matt entered the kitchen shaking his head a smile on his lips, he met Vivian's gaze from across the room as she carried plates to the table.
She asked as she set them down.
"Under the bed – God it brings back memories."
And he was glad to have something happy to look back on, if only for the moment. Luke entered the kitchen and sat down, not speaking as he piled his plate with waffles, bacon and sausage and all kinds of unhealthy foods.
Not that the adults said anything they too had similar piles on their own plates it was considered normal among their kind to eat plenty of protein.
"So…Who's the girl?"
Luke asked between bites. Matt's eyes caught V's briefly.
"It wasn't my place to say Matt."
He nodded in acceptance.
"Her name is Sophia, and she's my daughter."
He watched the various reactions chase their way across Luke's face
"She knows nothing of the pack Luke and I don't want her to find out just yet, give her time to adjust to being here first. She's just lost her mother so I expect you to take that into account in dealing with her."
Luke held his gaze before nodding in understanding, he returned to his meal just as Sophia entered the room. She was wearing glasses today that she hadn't the day before, they hid the odd gold shade of her eyes and for that he was grateful.
She looked around the table meeting his eyes before sitting, he watched covertly as she piled her own plate with food, and then proceeded to eat it. Her appetite was a match for even Luke's in its own way.
"When do I have to go see this...Doctor?"
Her question dripped with derision but Matt held his tongue she had been through enough.
"I'll take you after breakfast, he's expecting us."
She merely continued to eat in silence. It was V, who broke it,
"You didn't get the chance to meet my son yesterday Sophia – this is Luke." She made the introduction.
Sophia looked at Luke properly for the first time, something about him caused the hair on the back of her neck to stand on end, his assessing eyes seemed to look right into the very heart of her, for some unknown reason he felt like a threat to her peace of mind… Not that she had much left anyway."
God – what a poser!
His smile mocked her and she had to look away or punch it clear off his face. She snorted unconsciously at him before turning back to her food. She missed the troubled look that passed between Matt and Vivian.
The rest of the breakfast passed in silence, until she finished and excused herself before heading outside. Luke too stormed off upstairs in his case, leaving Matt and Vivian to share an odd smile.
Sophia stood at the edge of the forest breathing the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs. She needed a drink – it wasn't even 11 am yet and this situation had her thinking about alcohol. She laughed quietly to her self and continued to stare off into the forest. She wanted to run, maybe she would after seeing this Sherman guy, although what kind of doctor went by the name of Sherman she didn't want to know.
She was so engrossed in her own thoughts she didn't hear Matt approach until he was less the two meters away. She spun around to face him only to be confronted by a frown over the cigarette still in her hand.
"I don't approve of smoking in my home."
It was more a command then anything else but she didn't let it bother her.
"I won't smoke inside then, if that's what you're worried about."
She took a final drag and went to stub it out the way she usually did, before quickly dropping it to the floor and grinding it out with her foot.
"How long have you been doing that?"
Matt asked, she shrugged at his question but he just went on looking at her.
"A year…or three."
She added when she noticed how he looked on with disbelief. He sighed loudly before turning away.
She followed reluctantly to the car and got in. she sat hunched against the door as far from him as possible. He even attempted to calm her somewhat by turning the radio on. It didn't work she was anxious over seeing the doctor but hopeful he would say some of the stitches could be taken out.
They pulled up outside Sherman's home some time later and got out. She spotted the Native American as he opened the door, his jovial expression and greying hair helped put her mind at ease.
"Ah… the prodigal returns. Nice to meet you Sophia, come inside and I'll take a look at you, see how your doing."
He didn't say anything else but she felt his sympathy and acceptance both of which she hadn't expected. She followed him inside Matt just behind her; it looked cosy the furniture worn but well maintained. The door closed and Sherman turned to face her, a smile spread wide across his face.
"Why don't you go into the other room and get changed? I'll be in, in a minute."
She nodded in agreement before moving further inside to the door he had indicated, stepping inside she took a quick look around before closing the door behind her. She stripped her top off leaving just her cami, and then careful of the various scraps on her legs she pealed away her jeans till she was left in just her briefs.
She caught a glimpse of herself in the mirror and sighed in disgust, she looked pathetic. Taking off her glasses she gentle massaged her temples in an effort to relieve the ache that had taken residence even before the accident. So she sat - her eyes careful to avoid another look at herself - and waited.
Sherman turned to Matt the smile still in place.
"Doesn't talk much that one. I've had her files for a while now Matt and I still don't know how she managed to survive let alone get up and leave hospital."
"Just make sure she's ok Sherman, try not to be too…mystic on her either, she doesn't know yet."
"She's going to find out Matt and I'd say pretty soon."
He watched Matt's reaction to this carefully.
"You can tell just from looking at her?"
"It's the only explanation I've been able to come up with for how she lived."
So said he turned and walked to the other door, knocking before he entered. He closed the door behind him hiding his shock carefully before turning back to face her.
"You look like a jumbled up train set."
His smile firmly back in place, he caught the golden glimmer in her eyes as she forced a weak smile.
"I feel like one most of the time."
She was beautiful or at least she would be when she was completely healed.
"Alright let's take a look at you – see if we can't detangle you a bit."
He went to the cupboard with the medical supplies and retrieved what he needed. She stood now turned away from him giving him her back and the majority of the injuries. Carefully he lifted her cami exposing some of the worst marks.
"I'm glad I'm not you, some of these need to come out already, you must be a fast healer."
He went to work humming as he snipped and pulled. In total he was at it for nearly half an hour, by which time Sophia's very skin burned. She didn't say anything though.
"That should so for now. That nasty one across your eye need to stay in longer and so do the dozen or so-on you back. Come and see me on Wednesday, they should be ready to come out by then."
As he spoke he carefully removed the last of the stitches on her right hand, she didn't even bother to try and hide the burn marks on her palm, and he tutted under his breath before telling her she could go. He left the room a small frown marring his usual cheerful expression.
Matt saw this and came to attention instantly.
"What – what is it."
"I'm not sure, physically she's fine. She's to come back on Wednesday to have the rest of her stitches removed. "
"Come on Sherman, don't placate me like that."
Matt was all Alpha at this point and Sherman had to grin.
"She needs – special handling. Smokes, doesn't she-"
At Matt's nod he continued.
"-Try and keep an eye on her when she does, ok."
Matt frowned, was till frowning when the door opened and a be-speckled Sophia appeared. She looked mildly better with some of the stitches gone, but her face was still marred by the deep slice across her eye, not to mention the bruises.
"I don't know when you'll be starting school, but I'll see you there – as well as Wednesday."
Her brief smile met his as she walked past; Matt grabbed his coat as he followed his daughter.
Sherman watched through the window as father and daughter departed a secret smile on his face. Fate had stepped in, in the past to change what should have been, it was finally righting itself once more. Matt had some learning to do about being a father; in fact the entire pack was going to be in for a shocking surprise.
They drove back to the mansion in silence, neither willing to broach a new topic of conversation. When the car pulled to a stop Sophia finally turned to matt
"When will I be starting school?"
The question was almost too neutral.
"When you're ready."
"Fine I'll go on Monday."
She got out of the car and started to walk away. The forest caught her attention though and she stopped.
"I'm going for a walk; do I need to be back for anything else?"
"Dinner will be ready at about 2pm."
She nodded before turning away to melt into the forest. Matt stood watching her, heard the faint sound of a lighter and sighed. They would need to talk soon, he turned towards the house and walked inside where Vivian waiting for his return.
"She's close … a week two at the most. You know what Sherman's like V he actually seemed more concerned about her smoking the anything else, said to keep an eye on her."
"According to Luke she's been using her hand as an ashtray – his words not mine. Seems he was coming home last night and caught her on the balcony."
"It's a good job she didn't see him."
"She did – he was in wolf form Matt, she thought he was just another wolf." Frowning at the thought he moved passed Vivian to his study, he had work to do.
Sophia took a final drag on the cigarette before putting it out, she kept walking – more then anything she wanted to run but the pain in her back and limbs was too great keeping her strolling through the forest. The mist off the lake had drifted up into the surrounding woodlands with the rise of the sun. It hovered across the forest floor sheltered by the heavy canopy of leaves above, there was an eerie silence punctuated only by the occasional persistent bird call.
She felt her heart being captured by the magic that seemed to exist here. Breath deeply she glanced at her watch, she had over an hour left to explore, setting out to see as much as she could. The utter silence soothing the raw ache which had been inside her for as long as she could remember.
Luke had caught her scent the second she had entered the forest but had kept his distance while she smoked; it wasn't until she started to move off that he made his decision. Stripping silently he pushed his body into the change before following her into the forest. He stayed at a distance keeping her in sight, watching in fascination as she observed the forest – that had always been a part of his life – for the first time.
As she relaxed he felt her mind reach out unawares of what she was doing, as it brushed past him it stopped. Turning quickly to face him square on he noticed the raw marks left from some of her removed stitches, a gentle smile played across her lips as he padded nearer, she wasn't afraid – and she should be. Folding down onto the damp floor she allowed him to approach, he did so carefully, so as not to give the game away he stopped at arms length, knowing that she would be the one who made the final move of acceptance.
His mind – joined to hers as it was – frowned, her senses had been distorted by the cigarette smoke and in some ways it was a good thing, she couldn't smell him. He stood watching her as her mind warred with her instincts, until finally her instincts won and a trembling hand reached out to him palm up. He notices the fresh burns along with the much older ones latticing her palm, all of which puzzled him. When it was finally close enough to stroke him he turned his head into it letting his tongue sooth the burn before turning again giving her his neck and head – a show of trust among their kind, which even subconsciously she recognised and responded to.
Time passed he wasn't sure how much; he could smell the scent of the cigarette fading and knew he had t leave. His reluctance must have transferred to Sophia, because she caught sight of her watch and sighed, she was late. Giving a silent apology she stood and he turned and left, racing back to his cloths he changed back into human form and quickly dressed. Entering the house he smelt the strong scent of food and raced up the stair's to shower, he wasn't taking any chances.
Sophia moved quickly again through the forest, automatically lighting a new cigarette, inhaling its smoke into her lungs, she got back to the garden just as she finished and silently stubbed it out. Turning she caught sight of Matt in the kitchen window frowning out at her, a sigh of resignation escaped her, as she made her way inside.
She finger combed her hair back from her face and turned towards the kitchen when a hand caught at her wrist. She stopped short turning to meet Matt's gaze, which in that instant blazed golden fire, he turned her hand over exposing her right palm.
His voice seemed odd almost as though he was choking on the words causing her to look away in apprehension; she shrugged her shoulders not knowing how to explain even if she had wanted to.
"How many of these three years have you been doing this – or do I need to ask?"
His gaze seemed to see right through her and something inside her reacted; she pulled her hand away abruptly.
"You wouldn't understand."
Her eyes clashed with his sparking off each other in a battle of wills that no other member of the pack would dare. Vivian walked in during the stare off, neither turned to acknowledge her presence, the mixture of anger and resentment from both caused the hairs on the back of her neck to stand on end.
Luke, drawn by these same emotions made his way down the stairs prompting Vivian to act
"Now isn't the time for this, dinner is ready and we're expecting guests. You can both resume hostilities in private later"
Neither responded nor moved; if not for the doorbell both may have continued to stare each other down all day.
Luke slipped past to open the door and was instantly enfolded in a hug from Ruby. The tension broken Matt spoke again
"I want to talk to you in my office after – don't go away."
So said he turned to greet the new arrivals Ruby and John, the newly- weds eyed Sophia speculatively, she snorted in dismissal before turning to slip past Vivian, moving swiftly towards the kitchen, leaving the family to greet each other.
"Okay so that wasn't the welcome I expected."
Ruby quipped at the sight of the retreating back.
"Yeah well there are a lot of things that we should talk about. Come in, both of you dinners ready and I take it that's one of the main reasons you're here."
Matt forced humour into his voice.
"Well you know we can't cook."
John added as they made their way through to the dinning room. Sophia was already sat down eating; she didn't look up as the rest took their places around the table. As soon as she had finished eating she excused herself and left the table, all eyes following her out of the room. They waited until they heard the heavy slam of a bedroom door before speaking.
"What's going on Matt?"
Ruby asked, her voice low, she had felt the tension between her Alpha and the new girl; it had unsettled her slightly to see her Alpha challenged by a child. Life had only just started to settle back down into some kind of normalcy; it had come as a shock to everyone when John had flipped for the first time not long after, what the pack had come to call the 'Van Halen' incident, and the accidental transfusion that took place.
In some ways she could thank that nutcase for giving her the one thing she had wanted more then anything, to have John as her husband. They where mated now, there was no way to reverse the process and there was nothing that Tyler or any of the others could say, she had the full support of her Alpha in marrying John.
"The retreating form your on about Ruby happens to be my daughter."
She couldn't hide the shock and felt John's as well through their private mental link.
"Yes- Marie, she… well she was killed. I was contacted after the fact and asked rather coldly to come and collect my daughter, she arrived yesterday."
"She was challenging you, Matt."
"Not really, she doesn't know about us – she will – just not yet."
She nodded in understanding, knowing to some extent what it felt like to loose a mother. A movement from the other end of the table caught her eye, Luke had scraped his plat by accident, and she could tell his attention was elsewhere. A smile slipped across her lips, her baby brother was hooked alright, he just didn't know how badly yet.
Luke sat eating, not really paying much attention to the conversation at the table. Instead his sense's where tuned in to Sophia stomping around on the balcony. His hearing zoned in on the hiss of a lighter as she lit another cigarette. He continued eating however, not wanting to play his hand too early.
For some reason his gaze caught on Ruby's and he recognised the smile she flashed at him, he smiled back briefly before continuing to listen to Sophia. Minutes went by until he was jolted by the light thud of feet hitting the ground. His head jerked upwards and his eyes met Matt's, the others had heard the soft sound also.
"What was that?"
Something in his eyes seemed to have already figured it out.
"That was Sophia jumping off the balcony."
Luke replied, Matt went to stand up but was stopped by Vivian's hand.
"She's already gone Matt, give her some time."
As she spoke her eyes rested on him
"I'll follow her – in wolf form."
At Matt's nod, he stood and left the table. He would follow his future mate; protect her – even if it was from herself.
Sophia ran, not from any thing or even too any place, she simply ran. Letting the wildness of the forest fill her and just kept going. She hadn't been able to run in a while and she felt just how out of shape she was after even such a short length of time.
Still she wasn't breathing heavily and she even managed to keep a steady pace as the forest passed her by. In the silence of the forest she felt more then heard her pursuer and increased her pace determined that she wasn't about to go back just yet, she needed to let off some steam. She'd seemed to have been trapped indoors since the accident and it was driving her insane. She needed the freedom, craved the empty open spaces the wind blowing through her hair taking with it the heavy weight of guilt and regret.
So she ran the uneven ground a help more then a hindrance to her random changes of directions. It was late afternoon by now and the light had started to dim, already the thick tree cover blocked out the sunlight, yet she still kept going. The cuts and bruises on her back where pulling something fierce, she felt as one or two stitches pulled free but she didn't care. She kept going until her lungs burned and her throat was so dry she had to stop or risk dehydration.
She had no idea where she was but she must have travelled miles from the mansion, yet she could still feel the presence of something watching her. As she sat down on a smooth rock next to a thin stream she scooped up a handful of clear water and took greedy gulps, letting the icy cool water trickle across her face. Minutes passed by in stillness not even the bird made any sound it was then she heard it, I steady beat of another heart close by.
Her head snapped upwards cocked to one side as she carefully pin-pointed the sound. Turning to face its source she saw the grey wolf stood not too far away. Recognising him instantly from the other night she felt the tension drain from her body. Knowing instinctively that he would never hurt her, he stepped forward and she waited as he came towards her, hesitant but still willing to approach.
When he was close enough she allowed her fingers to bury deep within his fur. She pressed into his neck as though it was the most natural thing in the world for her to do. Instinctive, seeking comfort on a primal level…a balm for all the emotional pains she had built up inside.
Sophia sat like this for how long she had no idea, simply allowing his warmth form this extraordinary animal soak into her chilled mind and heart, cracking the cleverly composed defences she had maintained all her life.
At some point, the chill of the night penetrated her mind and she looked around to see absolute darkness, her breath misting before her. The moon was out once more and casting its glow across the forest giving her some vague hope of finding the way back to the mansion.
Standing she looked down at the wolf, regret evident on her face. She was about to make a move when the wolf stepped in front of her. She turned to move a different way and he did it again. It took her a moment to realise that he was guiding her to where she needed to go. She smiled her first true smile since the accident.
"Alright, I get the picture – lead on Mr. Wolf." And she followed.
Matt waited on the balcony off Sophia's room, reading through the papers that had arrived just that afternoon. He sat in the deck chair, a single piece of paper in his hand re-reading that one line over and over
Sophia Donner-Anderson… His daughter.
It was there in black and white for the whole world to see, he couldn't help but smile. She was defiantly his alright; he'd watched the fire blaze across her eyes that afternoon. She had actually challenged him, unknowingly for certain, but still her intent had been the same.
She was doing it again at that very moment, running around in the forest. The pup better be doing his job, the though flashed across his mind, seconds before he heard the faint sound of footsteps approaching the house, along with the even softer padding of paws on the forest floor.
He remained still, waiting, calculating. She wouldn't use the front door, but rather climb back up the way she'd left. Only one set of footsteps continued to the house, almost silent – for a human – as they crossed the lawn.
The faint sound of swearing he heard as she muttered under her breath over how to get back up to the balcony made him smile briefly, before he leaned forward slightly in order to watch her approach. About ten feet away from the house she stopped, he watched as she carefully gathered herself before taking a brief running jump.
Her outstretched hand caught the hand rail surrounding the balcony and he couldn't prevent the gasp of air that escaped his lips. This was something Sherman needed to know about. She'd heard him, it was too late however to stop her upwards movement.
She rolled lightly over the rail before loosing her balance and falling on her butt. He heard the connection of her head as it hit the bars along with the explosion of profanities that escaped through her clenched teeth.
He didn't stand, he just watched, it was time for Sophia to make her move.
He'd been waiting for her return; she should have expected this but at the time she'd been too wrapped up in the magic of the forest to give it much thought. Raising herself to her feet, she eyed him carefully across the distance that separated them, a wariness settled over her as she tried to come up with a plan of attack.
"Oh –It's you."
His mouth formed a humorous smile.
"You where expecting someone else?"
"You never know."
"In this case, I'd think you would have. Do you have any idea of what time it is?"
She shook her head, she didn't having purposely left her watch behind. Her eyes strayed to the moon, high in the sky before she grimaced as its meaning sunk it.
"Don't start that with me Sophia. You can't just walk off like that and not tell anyone. This isn't the middle of a town; we have wild animals that could take you unawares."
"I can take care of myself."
The words where ground out between her teeth, filled with venom giving away her true feelings.
"From what I've been reading you've had to do that for a very long time."
It was the first time she noticed the scattered files across the table, something deep inside her cringed at the thought of him knowing everything about her life.
"It has nothing to do with you."
"You see that's where you're wrong. It has everything to do with me. This -all of this should never have happened Sophia. I should have searched further, longer for your mother. She should never have left."
Something inside her broke free right then.
"She left to save you! To stop anything from happening to you! She gave you everything, then had to walk away, what do you think she had left then huh? To give me! Nothing! She may have physically left Wolf Lake, but she never left you. Don't you dare criticise her for anything you have no idea what it was like – none!"
She was breathing hard –panting, her eyes blazing so hot that they where almost white with fury. She felt him stand and move towards her, but she backed away, unwilling to come into unprotected contact with him. All ready his emotions where pushing in on her mind, fighting against her own, causing the anger to mix with a type of fear as she fought to keep them at bay.
"Explain it to me then, Sophia. Let me in. I don't want to take anything away from you – but we deserve this chance to know each other. You're so adamant about keeping these walls between us, willing to just move on and leave when the time comes. But then what? Do you want to live the rest of your life alone? Knowing you still had someone, somewhere willing to care."
He didn't raise his voice as she had, he didn't need to, the emotions with in his voice where enhanced in her mind fighting the battle for him, and he was winning.
"She was never really… there. I can't remember her being any different, she could talk to you; ask you things… but it was by rote –like programming. Her heart was just never in it; she could get up and go to work, forgetting about me completely. Leaving me alone for days, never remembering to shop for food, or pay the bills- her mind was always somewhere else. She never shouted or yelled, how could she? She didn't even know I was there most of the time, once I went away to camp for a week, she didn't even know I'd gone."
Her voice was soft, her body turned away from his looking out into the night –remembering. Her hands clutched the rail with in-human strength, leaving grip marks on the solid wood in an effort to stave off the mental anguish such memories brought.
"The only time she ever reacted to anything I did was the day she found me smoking. She went ballistic, screaming all kinds of stuff at me, mostly about how much you'd be disappointed with me. She caught me with the cigarette when she pulled it away. I almost cried - she actually cared about - or so I thought at the time."
A hand caught at her right wrist, prizing it away from the railing, turning it over. Here eyes met Matt's as his fingers brushed against her palm.
"So you do this – to remember."
She could only shrug the words too painful to speak. Using his strength against her he pulled her completely away fro the railing, enfolding her in his arms.
"You aren't alone anymore. You never have to be alone again. If I'd known, I would have moved heaven and earth to find you. You are my daughter. You always will be it's up to you now to decide what you want us to become. I'm not going anywhere; I'll be here when you've made up your mind no matter what the outcome."
He didn't give her a chance to answer. Instead he cupped her cheek in the palm of his hand, kissed her forehead briefly then turned and left. Taking the files with him along with the memories. They'd never be far behind
Sometime later he sat in his study, drinking himself into a stupor with a little help from the Irish Whisky. He heard the door open and managed a weak smile as Vivian entered.
"You heard I take it."
He said pouring himself another drink, she nodded. Thanks to the Skin-walker hearing she had heard the entire conversation, along with the pain emanating from both himself and Sophia; it would have been hard for her to miss. She closed the door behind her and walked over to him, taking the proffered glass and draining the content.
"My little girl –how could I let this happen, V?"
"It's not something you had control over Matt, you can hate yourself all you want, but it wont change what was. She need's you to be strong right now, she needs you to be …there, for when she's ready to except you."
"When she's ready to trust me you mean. How can she possibly trust me, when she doesn't even know what trust is?"
His eyes beseeched hers hoping that somehow she knew the answer.
"You teach her Matt, that's what parents do –teach them the things they need to know.