Ok...I am going to have to eventually swear off the Graire fics. But alas, I just cant keep Graire bunnies from reproducing. This is of course M rated, full of AU goodness, and will more than likely have OC's and make no sense. So yes... and I both have wolf fics coming out. Her's is called Sotto Questa Luna. Read it. Review it. Love us in our awesome AU glory.

Now that I'm done ranting about random things in my trix high...enjoy.

I don't own HM



The woods themselves pulsed with the life of the night. I was aware of every insect, every mammal as I moved through the brush. I could smell the signs of human civilization nearby and slowed my pace. I was almost there. I could smell the faint scent of my grandfather in these woods, and knew he had taken this same trail.

It had been a good year since I had left this place, going with Grandfather to help our kinsmen in another village. He had returned back here after we had received word that some rogue Damned had been seen about the village. I was glad to be back home, knowing well the lands I had spent my time in as a pup.

Something had been calling me back home- long before we had gotten word of the intruders.

Our people were better suited for small villages and country towns such as this one. People tended to keep away from odd people, and our kinds were indeed rather odd.

I glared as a mouse ran in front of me, having half a mind to bat my large paw at it to remind it to stay out of my way. But before I could even flinch it had scurried into a pile of old leaves and pine straw. I let out a large yawn, bending down and stretching my front paws out before slowly stretching my body out so my back ones stretched.

It had been a very long time since I had traveled so far in this form so quickly. But Grandfather had insisted I come here right away. He said that he had a bad feeling our brethren here would need to e protected soon.

I lifted my head, my long snout taking in the new scents, the members of our pack, the humans…and then I stopped, sniffing again. A strange scent, human and yet not.

I growled some as I felt an unfamiliar urge, a pull to that scent. I felt a primal urge to head to it.

Mine.

The possessive emotion that pulsed through me had me changing direction, heading out near an open path where the scent was clearer. I was somewhat skeptical at the sudden attachment I felt to this scent, but I had learned enough of our history to know what this urge was.

To claim my mate.

The being this scent belonged to belonged, in turn, to me. My mate. And when I stepped out into the trail and sniffed the ground to better memorize that scent, I found my reddish gray fur standing on end and need and lust grip at my very core.

My mate was in heat.

I could smell it in her scent, and as I followed the colorful smell to a nearby tree she had no doubt rested against, I reaffirmed the fact that she was indeed at her most fertile point.

I stopped when I heard a shriek, my ears perking up as I determined the direction of the sound. I walked low the ground as I followed the sound, trying to pick up any new scents. And when I found one I barred my teeth at it, breaking into a run as I followed the scent of my mate.

A male.

Not just any male. Not human, and not an Ancient like me. But a Damned.

I stopped just short of breaking into the clearing, seeing a human woman trying to climb up a tree. She was kicking at a large brown wolf that was toying with her, nipping at her heels. I crouched down, getting into a better position to strike.

As I decided I was close enough, it was apparently perfect timing given that the branch the woman had clung to gave way under her weight. She collapsed to the ground and the brown wolf lunged towards her. He was so involved in playing with his prey that he hadn't even picked up my scent. I could hear her cries as I leapt over her, jumping on the other male. He was caught off guard but quickly got back up, snarling at me.

I returned the expression, and the fight ensued. This male couldn't be much younger than myself, and he had strength and agility on his side. He nipped me several times, and I returned the assault. I howled out when he bit at my neck, but his mouth wasn't able to get a locking grip. I however was, and I tore through his throat, releasing him the moment I registered he'd gone limp.

I pulled back from him, panting and glancing around. I saw no wolf, but when the wind picked up I snapped my head towards the woman that was trying to get up. The scent that called to me, that was my mate's, was hers. I felt my tail wag slightly at the sight of the woman a few yards away. I went to walk closer to her, to get a better look at her, and heard myself let out a small whimper when I limped.

"Oh…you poor thing. You're hurt."

Her voice was soft and slightly husky, like she had just woken up. A voice that made a man think of bedrooms and passion. Even though I couldn't make out her features, I could feel in my very being the urge to claim her then and there. I wondered just how husky her voice could get.

I could sense her apprehension as she knelt down to look at me. I swallowed my pride and managed to limp towards her without any whimpers. I can't believe that Damned wolf had hurt my leg so badly.

"Now be nice, okay? No biting, I'm going to look at your leg," she whispered gently, though I wasn't sure exactly what she could see in the dim light of the hidden moon. She slowly put her hand out to me, and I sniffed at it, licking her fingertips to show her I was friendly. I turned my head to the side as she giggled, her hand slipping behind my head to scratch behind my ear.

I took the moment to examine her for any wounds or signs that the Damned had bitten her. I was relieved to not find any signs of torn clothes and other than the blood of the dead Damned behind us, and my own, I didn't smell any more. I moved closer to her, nosing into her messy hair and inwardly grinning when she yelped at the feel of my nose against her neck.

"Well…" she finally sighed out, standing up and looking down at me. "I don't live far from here. Do you think you can make it to my place little guy? I'm not sure I'm strong enough to carry you."

I let out a small yip at the question, and if I had been in my human form I probably would have laughed. I was fairly sure that if I stood on my back legs that I was still larger than the tiny woman in front of me. She walked slowly down the path, and I was glad for that since I didn't have to worry about keeping up.

"You saved my life," she finally said softly, her fingers grazing over my fur. "And even though…you're a wild wolf…I don't feel afraid of you."

She could feel it too then, the feeling of security and trust that mates shared. It was a relief to know that.

I wasn't sure how many human mates there were. I had heard of it when I was younger, about how wolves were able to produce offspring with human mates. It was a relief to my kind, seeing as how we were dwindling in our abilities to produce healthy pups. There was also the dwindling number of females that were able to reproduce. But I couldn't for the life of me remember hearing about a human being a life mate to a wolf. Then again, our pack was small and rather secluded.

However there was no denying the feeling that I held for the woman. She was indeed my life mate.

The remaining walk was silent, and I nearly collapsed when we entered the house. I lied down, watching as she went to the fridge, getting out some lunch meat and then filling a bowel of water. She brought it over and put it in front of me, frowning when I looked away from it.

"Come on now. After that fight you need to build your strength back up."

I snorted at the words, opting instead to lick my paw. She sighed and shook her head, leaving me alone for a moment. I winced when she turned on a bright overhead light, the sudden brightness temporally blinding me. It was then that I sought out the woman, wanting to know what she looked like.

I rested my head on the floor as she stripped out of her fall jacket, revealing a petite frame, slender shoulders and long slim legs. Her curves didn't appear to be all that much, but the baggy clothes could easily be hiding them. Her waist length pale golden hair was mused and littered with leaves and twigs from her tussle with the male earlier. I let out a short growl at the thought of it, though when her head snapped to me I couldn't help but to stare at her. Her eyes were a pale gray color, her nose slanted slightly upward. Freckles sprinkled her ivory skin and wisps of hair fell around her heart shaped face.

She came over with a pan of warm water, some hydrogen peroxide and some bandage wrap. I heard myself groan as she cleaned my leg, my eyes shutting when she applied antiseptic.

"I know, baby, I know. I just hope you don't get rabies…" I moved my head towards her, licking her arm. She rubbed my side soothingly and then continued to wrap up my leg. I let out a sigh when she then began to clean the blood from my fur, watching her as she cared for me.

What kind of human was she to bring what she considered a wild animal into her home?

"You have such blue eyes for such a red wolf," she finally murmured, bringing me from my thoughts. I blinked at her, my head tilting to the side. She patted my head, staring at my eyes with a thoughtful smile. "Most wolves this color have brown eyes, or golden ones." I snorted at the words, taking them as an insult to my appearance. "Now don't pout you big baby," she chided, standing up and picking up what she had used to tend to me and placing it on her kitchen table.

"Those eyes really suit you," she finally added, and I perked my head up as her hand slid to the hem of her shirt, pulling it effortlessly over her head. I felt my tongue come out and lick my nose as I forced myself to stay on the floor. I was pleasantly surprised to realize that her large shirt had hidden a very womanly figure, judging by the ample amount of bosom and the curve of her hips.

I groaned when her pants hit the ground and she stepped out of them, walking in her modest underwear set to the bathroom and turning on the shower.

Good Goddess this was torture.

It wasn't like the woman had any idea what she was doing to me, but for the love of the Goddess she could at least shut the door. Knowing she was my mate, knowing I wanted to claim her, that she was most fertile…

It was all I could do not to change back right then and make her mine.

I let my eyes watch her as she finished stripping down, and though she turned to get into the shower and thus took away my view of her front, I had a lovely view of her rear. Once she entered the shower, I decided to take the moment to shape shift and glance over my body.

Other than my forearm being gashed and several scratches on my back and arms, it didn't appear to be anything major. I quietly made my way to the fridge, stealing out something besides the meat she had tried to offer me. I didn't much care for roast beef.

I glanced at the door of the fridge and caught a glimpse of a letter, no doubt addressed to her, and I smiled as I whispered her name.

"Claire."

I ate a few pieces of ham before stealthily walking over to the open bathroom door. I groaned at the sight of the woman's silhouette, and I immediately shape shifted back to wolf form to stop myself from snatching that damn curtain open. I was about to turn to go back to the living room area, but the sound of the pipes creaking had curiosity getting the better of me.

I sat down on the floor, watching eagerly as she pulled the curtain back. If I was in human form I might have had the decency to blush at what I was doing, but that was one thing I liked more about wolf form- I didn't have to worry about such trivial things as modesty.

I followed her closely as she dressed for bed, brushing against her an uncharacteristically playful mood. She didn't try to stop me, and occasionally reached down to rub my back or pat my head.

She was such a sweet trusting woman.

When she shut out the lights and crawled into bed, I didn't hesitate to jump up and crawl in right behind her, nestling under her blankets and trying to get comfortable in her tiny bed.

"I don't think this is going to work," she muttered tiredly, turning over so she faced me. She reached up and stroked my face even as her eyes sleepily closed. "If you get restless you'll have to get on the floor."

I licked her arm in response, curling up around her and resting my head on top of her pillow above her own. Her fingers ran soothingly through my coat, and I let out a long breath. It was amazing how small she was. Even in wolf form…I could easily curl around her body.

Claire finally fell into a deep sleep, and I took the moment to shift back. I was never so happy to be an Ancient, gifted with the ability to change at will, silently and quickly. I brushed my hand over her face, smirking at the jolt I felt from the touch of my skin on hers.

Compared to my human form, she seemed even smaller, like I could easily crush her if I wasn't careful. The whole side of her face fit perfectly in the cupped palm of my hand, and I found it difficult to grasp why the Gods had made her like this to be my mate. She had to be at the least a foot or more shorter than myself, and probably weighing less than half of what I did.

I watched her sleep, and let out a soft chuckle when she snuggled closer to me, a soft moan filling my ears. She was human, she had no idea what I was, nor what I was to her. And I honestly had no idea how to tell her. I suppose I could ask Gramps the best way to tell a human…that you were a wolf. A shape shifter. Though I wasn't sure I would be able to explain to her…why she belonged to me.

The gods created you for me probably would only make her think I was utterly insane. Though that was the simplest way I could do it.

I would have to be patient with her, and wait for her to accept it. I only hoped that she was quick at doing it.

Because I don't think I could last through another fertile period. Especially when she first entered the cycle. I don't think I could control myself then. Right now she was coming to the end, and honestly it had taken all my self control not to take her tonight.

I shaped shifted back, nuzzling the top of Claire's head and closing my eyes. It would be nice when I was finally able to hold her as a man. Of course I could do it now, but I doubt she would understand why there was a naked man in her bed when she woke up.