«The nights are starting to get cold again,» I thought as I lay awake in bed.
The room looked like a tornado had hit it. Clothes, books, drawings, and who-knows-what-else were stacked over almost every possible inch - leaving just a narrow, treacherous path to the bed.
The bed itself was no better. It was turned at a funny angle with the foot of the bed facing the large, picture windows. There was no doubt about it, my housekeeping is not what it used to be.
I stared out at the moon as it peeked up over the run-down buildings, and I felt the cold as it leaked in around the drafty, old windows. It chilled my cheeks and nose.
The dim light glinted off of a small object at the foot of the bed and I gave it a little shove from under the covers. It toppled to the floor and quiet, tinny music crept out from under the bed. I closed my eyes and listened. The batteries were weak. "Mary had a little lamb, little lamb…" I smiled.
A hot arm wrapped itself around my chest and Shadow started to growl in her sleep. I wondered if she was dreaming about running with the pack or chasing a rabbit. It sounded like one of her happy growls.
Shadow put her teeth to my skin and gave me a little nip in her sleep. I jumped only a little.
"Careful with the fangs, sweety," I whispered to her and she released me, the bite becoming a series of soft licks.
I stared some more at the moon and savored the quiet from the nursery. I knew that Shadow would leave in a bit when the moon's pull got too strong. She'd run and scrap with the pack for hours, but for the moment she belonged here.
Living with a werewolf turned out to be easier than anyone ever expected. The elders had really given us very little grief when I told them I intended to marry Shadow. In fact, they just smiled.
Perhaps they were happy for her, happy that she had found love. Perhaps they were surprised by my bravery or foolishness, but after attacking Jack with my magick, neither of those should have been in doubt. Perhaps they figured that I would just leave on my own when I realized how hard it is to keep what I was taking.
I didn't find it that hard at all. Sure, Shadow gets pretty moody when the moon is full, and the cubs can be a handful, but that's to be expected.
The cubs are really great. We picked out Kyle and Samantha as names, but everyone calls them DarkFang and Trixi.
The little nipper, Fang, really takes after his mom. He loves to roughhouse with his Uncle Jack and the rest of the pack. Trix is a real sweety and she loves her brother dearly. I'd like to say that she takes after me (the refrigerator is covered with artwork in crayon), but I can see a lot of both of us in both of them. Trix has Jack and Teacher of Cubs wrapped around her little fingers and I swear that Fang can tell when I'm lying.
Will they someday learn to do magick? Will they sprout fur and grow claws? I don't know. They do love to howl at the moon with their uncles. Actually, Trix loves to howl at the moon. Fang likes to howl at anything.
My family turned out to be more trouble than hers. Mom was quite pissed when she found out I got married. She wouldn't talk to me for a month until it finally drove her nuts enough to call. I could see that both my folks were pretty uncomfortable with Shadow and not the least bit pleased with how young she is, but they do love being grandparents.
They won't come over to the house to visit (the neighborhood makes them jumpy), but they make me bring the kids over all the time. They spoil them silly and get them all wired-up on sugar.
Samantha likes to follow her grandma around and talk to her stuffed dog named Kitten. Kyle likes to roughhouse with grandpa even though grandpa will only pretend he's a wolf and not turn into one like his imaginary friend, Jack. God help me if grandpa ever meets Jack.
Rent goes a lot farther in this part of town - which is a good thing since the kids inherited their mom's appetite. I suppose it's not the best place in the world to raise kids, but no one ever messes with my family.
We did have one break-in when the cubs were infants. Fortunately for the burglar, Jack was crashed out on the couch when he snuck in. Apparently, Jack just dropped him back out the window he had crept in without ever waking either of us up.
I suppose Jack's understated way of dealing with things that are not really threats may have made some impact on him. I know I would have given him a lesson he wouldn't have forgotten so quickly, and I don't even want to think about what Shadow would have done to him if she had woken up.
Jack turned out to be a much more decent guy than I ever would have guessed. He's not as rough with Shadow anymore, even when she's being stubborn. Violence between the Garou is something that I don't like, but you do learn to accept it. They have to let it vent some and they control it much better than I would have guessed. A broken arm to them is like a spanking to a child.
Needless to say, discipline in our family works a little differently from how it does in a pack.
Shadow's life is a dangerous one, so we live each day like it might be her last.
She makes a good mom though, despite the fact that she tells a different version of "The Three Little Pigs" and "Little Red Riding Hood" than the ones I heard when I was growing up.