I walk out the door, the cubs on my heels. I take off running towards the woods and shift just as I reach the treeline.
I pause thinking I'd just ruined a perfectly good pair of jeans and a hoodie.
I raise my nose to the air and inhale. I smell the animals in the woods; squirrel, deer, birds, and from behind me the smell of the pack's females cooking. I hear cars speeding by on an interstate farther away, and the birds chirping in the trees around me. I then look down at myself. I was a gray wolf, but all throughout my fur it was a tan color with a hint of a blonde.
Kaylee barks impatiently. I look down at the cubs. They're staring up at me expectantly, and their thoughts are drumming through my head. Just one word.
I wag my tail slightly then turn and sprint off thru the woods, planning to circle around then bring them back to Leah's. They follow along side me. I slow slightly, letting them think they're faster than me, then speed up to be slightly in front of them, letting them know I was in command here.
A breeze shifts through the trees, bringing forward a scent I hadn't caught before. Werewolf. And not one from our pack.
I stop abruptly, muscles locked, hackles raised.
The cubs stop when they notice I did and come back around to me, confusion on their faces. The leaves rustle in front of me and a wolf steps out of the darkness.
I snarl at the wolf before me and immediately put myself in between the cubs and the black wolf in front of me. He looks young, about my age.
His ears flatten against his head and he bares his teeth defensively. He doesn't want a fight, I realized. I tilt my head to the side in confusion.
What do you want? I send the thought towards him. His ears flick towards me, surprise on his face.
Could you take me to your alpha? I'd like to join your pack. His thoughts run through my head.
I hesitate, then nod.
Bringing a strange wolf back.. He wants to join our pack. I send the thought to every member of my pack.
I hear our alpha, Derrick's response in my head.
Where do I meet you?
I send an image to him of the edge of the woods near my brother's and Leah's house.
Walk in front of me, I think to the cubs. They start walking and I follow alongside the strange wolf. He travels slightly behind me.
Who are you? I ask. He glances at me.
My name's Jake. I'm sixteen.
I nod. My name's Amber. Fifteen.
We walk in silence.
Would you rather run? I ask.
He nods, which looks a little weird on a wolf. I start running. Finally we break out of the woods. The cubs run to Derrick, whose waiting in human form, looking tense.
"Amber, go to Leah's and shift back. Take the cubs and come back with clothes for this wolf," he says, then adds, "Cubs, Change when you reach the house."
The cubs and I walk to the house. I hesitate, then just scratch on the door and bark sharply in a message that meant 'Come' in wolf language.
The door opens and Leah stands there, staring down at us in surprise. The cubs rush in, Changing as soon as they hit the carpet in their living room. I slide past Leah and into the bathroom, where I immediately shift back into a human.
"Could I have some clothes, Leah," I call out, "I kind of destroyed mine."
The bathroom door opens a crack and a hand reaches in, holding jeans and a t-shirt.
"You need to start taking your clothes off before you shift," Leah says, laughing, then adds, "what's going on outside?"
"Well, I found a Were in the woods. He's joining our pack, if Derrick thinks it's okay," I say, pulling on the clothes she gave me, as I think of Jake. I wander what he'd look like as a human.
I open the door and see Leah standing there in front of it.
"Seriously?" she asks.
I laugh. "Seriously. Gotta go back out there. I'll tell you everything when I get back," I smirk, "Wait, could I get some of Josh's clothes for the new boy?"
She nods and walks off too her room, then comes back with a bundle of clothes in hand.
I flash her a smile and walk out the door. Their standing exactly where I'd left them. I hesitate, then sit the clothes in front of the black wolf.
"Uhm-," I start, "should I like…"
The black wolf looks at me and I hear this thoughts in my head, Watch or turn around. His wolf smirks and I immediately spin around so I don't see him.
"Alright. You can turn around now," Jake says.
I turn around to see a tall, tanned boy with dark eyes, looking in between me and Derrick.
"I wish to join your pack," Jake says looking at Derrick, then averting his eyes. He seems to be crouching slightly, trying to make himself smaller than Derrick.
"What pack did you belong to before?" Derrick asks.
"The Stone River pack," he replies. We are in the Forest Plains pack. We live in Illinois. His old pack was the largest in North America, owning most of it. We were on it's border.
Our alpha nods.
"You may join our pack. Amber, take him back to Leah's for dinner," Derrick says like he was just an old friend.
I beckon to Jake then turn and walk towards our house. I hear him following.
Just as I reach the door, Josh pulls in the driveway and jumps out of his car. He walks towards us, going straight for Jake.
"What are you-" he starts to ask. I step in front of Jake.
"He's new to our pack. He's gonna eat dinner at our house. Chill." I say.
Josh nods then turns and walks in the house.
"I can handle myself," Jake says with a glance at me.
I blush. We head inside the house.