Luke couldn't help following her with his eyes as she walked to her seat. Sofia made a show of ignoring him and turned up her nose as she passed. He waited until she sat to turn and smile at her as he said… "Ms. Donner, I'm going to have so much fun with you this year". This was turning out to be the best day of his life.
However that's where the excitement ended. This should have been a fantastic school year but it wasn't. Instead of Sofia pouting and pretending to push him like all the other girls he tormented. She ignored him. No mater what he did, what he said to her all she did was turn up her little nose and walk away.
It was all so frustrating. He wanted; no needed her attention so badly that he was forced to hatch a plan in order to get it. After a lot of thought on the subject he realized he needed to become single mined in his pursuit. He couldn't spend his time torturing all the girls in class. Even though the girls would miss his attention he had to concentrate all of his energy on Sofia. In the end he would get his way. She would cry uncle and kiss him.
Days passed, then two weeks of the worst tortures he could devise. He stole her homework! Ate her lunch! Told Sean Hooks she liked him! Pushed her into a mud puddle and ruined her red and white Strawberry pattered dress! Her favorite dress! And nothing he did would make her pay attention to him.
Finally in desperation he told the teacher he heard her say a cuss word. He hoped she would be punished and get mad at him for lying. But did she get into trouble? No, the teacher didn't believe him. The ungulate woman (his mother's pet name for his third grade teacher, "After all""… She would always say …"what else but disrespect can you except from a human teacher'') had the nerve to call him, The Alfa's Son a liar and punish him. And did Sofia pay attention to him while he was in trouble? No, she barely looked at him, didn't even smirk when he was made to stand in the corner.
As he stood in the corner and thought over the last two weeks he was forced to admit that his plan wasn't working. Obviously, he needed to rethink his strategy. He thought over all his options and finally admitted to himself that fear was the only idea he had that might work. With a sigh he decided he would have to scare her into paying attention to him. It wouldn't be hard. After all is father always said …"fear is the best motivator" and Luke had already taken his advice to heart. All the boys in his grade and even those in a grade or two higher already feared him. For a very simply reason, he had hit them until they did. But hitting Sofia would never work.
Pushing a girl or pulling their hair was just plain fun, but hitting, never! His father would (he shuddered at the thought) skin him alive. Besides he didn't really want to hurt Sofia. If he did, he wouldn't have turned her homework into the teacher along with his. Or gave her half of his sandwich when she realized hers was gone. Or popped Sean in the eye when he teased her about liking him at recess. Or let her borrow his coat to cover her ruined dressed. He just needed to scare her into playing with him the way he wanted her to. And with very little thought he came up with the perfect way to do it.
The plan – Three months earlier
The plan was simple. Everyone knew Sofia was terrified of wolves. Three months ago their teacher showed the class a wildlife documentary. The wolves scared her so badly she started crying and couldn't stop. She had to go to the nurse's office and lie down until her father came to get her. At dinner that evening Luke mentioned what happened in class. His father became so angry he started shaking and had to leave the dinner table. A few minutes later Luke heard his dad start shouting at some on the phone. He couldn't make out all of what was being said but heard enough to know that his dad was talking to Matthew Donner.
Luke knew two things for sure. Their people were Wolven. They were taught to embrace their other nature's power and strength and that Sofia's reaction had been extremely unusual. More importantly it was never good to have your parents called over your behavior at school. He was terrified that Sofia was in trouble with the packs Alfa. And he was the one that tattled on her, even if it was unintentionally. Later that night as his dad tucked him in he worked up the nerve to ask…" Dad is Sofia in trouble? "
His dad's answer relieved his fear…"No, why would you think she is?"…Luke shrugged his shoulders acting as nonchalantly as possible…"I heard you yelling at the sheriff and thought you might be angry at her for being scared of wolves."
His dad sighed, before explaining the situation …"I'm not angry at her, Luke. She didn't do anything wrong. I'm angry at her dad. It's a complicated, adult thing but I think you are old enough to understand. Every parent is scared that their child may not survive the flip, some more then others. Sofia's dad is so scared that she won't be strong enough and is trying to scare her into fighting her wolf, fighting her, our true nature. He wants to believe she is fully human when she is not. I think what he is doing is wrong but all I can do is give him a piece of my mind. Even a Pack's Alfa has limits to their power and I can't interfere with how a parent chooses to raise their child. "
Luke's fear shifted. He was no longer concerned that she was in trouble but anxious that her father was right. His father saw his question before he had time to ask it and reassured him… "Don't worry Luke. Sherman and I have talked about Sofia and he believes she is as strong as you and both of you will be fine when you change for the first time."…The next day at school, Luke felt so bad for Sofia and about what her dad was doing that he made sure no one made fun of her. But now he was going to use her biggest fear against her.
Back to the present
It was mean but it would work. Luke couldn't help smiling. Finally he had a plan that would work. All he would need to do is dress up like a wolf, sneak up behind her and growl. He knew it would not be hard to convince his parents to let him dress up like one. He was pretty sure his mom would (much to his annoyance) find him playing The Big Bad Wolf adorable. The hardest part would be waiting patiently for Halloween and the chase to begin.
His smile got even bigger when he noticed Presley glaring at him from across the room. She was jealous of all the time he spent with Sophia and still hadn't forgiven him at him for not allowing anyone to tease her about being zoo bate for the wolves. Yep, today was turning out better then he thought it would.
Execution of the plan
One week later – All Hallows Eve
It had worked and Luke was ecstatic. Sofia barely saw him in his very scary wolf costume before she took off running. He ran after her growling. The feeling was amazing. Finally, after all this time, he was chasing her and just when he was about to catch her. His world went black.
To this day Luke doesn't know if the most humiliating, painful and wonderful moment of his childhood was caused by his very scary wolf mask sliding down over his eyes (which is what he prefers to believe and tells everyone). Or if he ran into the tetherball poll because in his excitement he stupidly forgot to pay attention to where he was going. But what he does know for sure is that when he woke up his head was cradle in Sofia's lap and she was smiling down at him. Even more exciting, she was running her fingers through his hair like his mother did (something that would have mortified him, had it been anyone but Sofia) when he was a little.
He was so caught up in Sofia surrounding him and what he was feeling it took him a second to realize Sofia was talking, soothing him. He tried to make out what she was saying but before he could he tasted the tangy flavor of blood and felt the most excruciating pain he had ever felt in his life. He tried to stop the tears before they stared to flow. Tried to move to hide his face before any one would see but couldn't. He felt his humiliation grow but it stopped when he felt Sofia wipe away his tears. He heard her say… "Luke lay back down; no one will know you're in pain. I won't let them see."
He did what she asked and let her take care of him. He let her voice drown out his pain. Listened to her explain that their teacher thought his nose was broken and had went to call an ambulance. He let her hold him until the paramedics came. Right before help reach him he heard her whisper… "Don't worry your still the big bad wolf."