Author's Notes: Honestly, I think I had given up this story for lost. It stayed with me, though, and I thought about it wistfully from time to time. I love werewolf stories and here I was writing a great one that remained unfinished. Real life interfered, as it so often does in the case of us undisciplined writers, and I literally did not do a single piece of creative writing for three years. Now, I changed jobs, got out of a not-right relationship, and finally feel more myself than I have in years. Add in an obsession with Stargate Atlantis and the incredibly hot Jason Momoa, and whaddya know, I was writing fan fiction again. Still, it had been five years since I looked at Aspect, and my memories of the show were hazy at best. So I thought, maybe I should just start again at the beginning. I make no promises, no guarantees, but here's hoping I can finally finish SOMETHING. Feedback if you liked it, feedback if you hated it, I feel like I'm feeling my way through the dark here. And, thank you, to everyone who ever reviewed, to everyone who wrote to ask me to come back. This is for you.
It starts in a small town called Wolf Lake. The town is nestled in a heavily forested area, with night skies holding a million stars, and the days draped in sunlight filtered through the trees. There was a lake near the center of the town that acted as an unofficial boundary line. The north side of the lake lived the descendents of the town's founders, refugees from Europe long ago. On the south shore lived the relative newcomers, people who were drawn here, seeking a place to hide. Regardless of the geography, all the residents had one thing in common.
They were Skinwalkers, the residents of Wolf Lake, their genes giving them the power to change from human to wolf. The town was established by those European immigrants as a sanctuary, a place where Skinwalkers could be safe, could live somewhat normal lives. The town was run entirely by Skinwalkers. The government & civil service positions were held by Skinwalkers, law enforcement was Skinwalkers, and so on. The only permissible areas for humans to trespass was a small diner near the interstate on the outskirts of town and the high school.
In the time before charter and private schools, it was decided that the public school would be built, to divert suspicion and to allow the town to take advantage of the state's educational funds. The one drawback to the free money was the need to include human children from the other surrounding small towns. The school's administration was largely dominated by Skinwalkers, however, so they made it work, segregating the two populations as much as they could. They found, though, that human teenagers tended to avoid the local kids, warned by ancient instinct that predators walked in their midst. It worked out for Wolf Lake, and it also provided an out for the few unfortunate souls who never managed to make the Change.
Sophia was one of those, a half-breed past the normal age of Change. Daughter of the town Sheriff and his deceased human wife, she was trapped in limbo between two worlds. At the age of 16, she began to plan for college, to study the stars, to go to Italy. She would leave Wolf Lake and make a life for herself in the human world. Yet fate had other ideas and so did Luke. Luke was pure Skinwalker, son of the deceased alpha male and the current alpha female, and long-viewed as the heir to the throne.
The attraction between Luke and Sophia seemed to spring suddenly into life one day, brought into life by a chance meeting of their eyes. Chocolate brown met crystal green and a current of electricity ran between them. They both felt themselves reaching for the other, even though neither of them moved. Yet she was still human, still unaffected by the Change, and he was wolf, someone her father warned her away from. So she dropped her eyes and kept walking down the hall, knowing that he watched her go. Both were startled, perhaps a little intrigued, by these new feelings.
However, wiser ones than they knew that the feelings they shared weren't new. Before the onset of puberty, before Sophia's mother died, the children of Wolf Lake were all equal. There was no division yet between wolf and human. Sophia and Luke were usually in the same class, always paired together on group assignments. They were friends, as much as little boys and girls can be. They were comfortable together and, in their absence, they were missed. Yet as the possibility of the Change grew closer, a rift began to form between them. Luke was guaranteed to Change, there was no question of that, but Sophia might never Change. She might never be a true member of the Pack.
So their feelings were forgotten, lost in that hazy cloud which envelopes childhood as we get older. However, they never truly disappeared, just laid dormant beneath the surface, waiting for the right moment to reappear. When it finally happened, there was no turning back. Sophia and Luke found themselves continually drawn to each other, only the fact that she was still human barring their path.
It seemed that they would end up star-crossed lovers, yearning but not meant, when it begun. Sophia began to Change.