A/N: First off, an apology for posting this later than I meant to. I was really ill the past couple of days, but it's here now. Secondly, and most importantly...the WARNINGS. Character death, violence and gore. You have been so warned.
Angela and I watched as our old friends caught on that something was happening, their nervousness was a heady aroma in the air, but we both knew that their fear would be even more so. Nervousness leads to panic, and all the delicious and appetising emotions in between.
They stood, looking around at the pack. Jessica and Lauren were pushed behind Mike and Conner. It was interesting, watching the males protecting the females. Kind of pathetic too, really. In the face of something unusual and dangerous, Jessica and Lauren had fallen into stereotypical roles that women had spent decades trying to erase. I leaned back against the wall, just watching and relaxing, feeling the magic begin its work inside me, letting it flow freely. It was moving slowly, the heat rising gradually, it was easy to imagine it slowly infusing each and every cell. It hadn't been too long since my bite, I still had a little while in this form, neither mine nor Angela's change would come as quickly as the other's. Seth, however, was on his hands and knees already, his breath coming out in deep pants, edged with growls that were becoming more and more distinct. His back bowed, the sounds of bones breaking and reforming echoed and filled the cabins interior. I was in rapt attention at the sight.
"What the fuck?" Mike asked, as he pushed Jessica towards the stairs. I sighed, why is it always the stairs?
"Did you know that this weekend was special for us, Mikey boy?" Sam asked as he stood. I licked my lips as I saw his body begin its phase. "It's Seth's first time," his voice distorted towards the end and he just seemed to get bigger, his shape blurring. The change an already practiced ritual for him, coming easier. Faster. A sudden phase, rather than a gradual shifting.
Mike, Jess, and the other's were at the foot of the stairs now. Tyler was nearer to Angela and I. He looked as if he couldn't make up his mind to join his friends or to try and drag us with him. His eyes darted all over the place, over every person, and seconds later his decision was made.
"Fuck this, Mike get the car started," Tyler shouted and ran over to Angela and I. "Come the fuck on!" He grabbed our arms, trying to drag us away from the wall.
We let him. It was all in the spirit of the fun to be had tonight.
Jessica screamed, loud and clear and I looked to see that Jake was standing in front of the door, his eyes glowing and teeth elongating before their eyes. I looked over my shoulder at my mate, my imprint, my Paul. He was with Seth, on the floor, his back arched and muscles that shouldn't be on a human standing proud as he raised his head to look at me. His eyes were all wolf, his form shuddering and blurring, just as Sam's was, growing to accommodate the monster that he held hidden inside him.
"Upstairs, now!" Conner bellowed after seeing that the route to the backdoor was also blocked, and Angela and I were dragged right on up there with them.
We were all pushed into a bedroom, Mike's by the scent of it and the clothes that were strewn all over the place. Lauren and Jessica huddled in the corner, tears dripping down their faces, whimpering and clutching at each other. In other words, being completely useless and doing exactly what I would have expected from them. The boys were busy moving furniture in front of the door. Barring it with the heavy dresser and wardrobe, even dragging the bed over to help bolster it against the coming onslaught. Angela and I stayed back and simply watched, breathed in and out, slow and calm, tasting the treats as they marinated in their own hormones.
"Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God," Lauren kept repeating, over and over again, shrieking when there was a bang against the door. Her and Jessica scrambling up and further away, I don't think they even realised that they were standing with their backs to a large window.
"What the fuck was that?" Mike asked, both hands in his hair, his eyes far too wide to be healthy. "I mean they were changing, right? You all saw that shit, right? I mean...what the fuck?"
"It has to be a joke...some practical joke or something. It has to be. Some David Blaine shit or something," Conner started ranting, jumping back when another bang sounded out, the door beginning to splinter. "Fuck, man, they're gonna get through."
"We need to get out of here," Mike said, his head whipping around as he searched his room, "Please tell me that I left my phone in here."
I knew he hadn't. It had been on the table downstairs in the main room when we were eating dinner. It was next to Jessica's, so I knew she didn't have hers either. Lauren always kept her's in her purse, Conner...I didn't know about him. Tyler solved the cell phone dilemma and slid his out of his pocket. I had to wonder who the hell he thought they should call. The army perhaps?
"Who the fuck am I supposed to call? Animal control?" he asked.
"Bella, call your dad. Tell him that we're under attack from rabid beasts or something," Conner pleaded, grabbing Tyler's phone and throwing it to me.
I just let it crash to the floor without even twitching to catch it. "Oops."
"Bella, what the fuck?" Mike shouted, earning a loud and monstrous growl from outside the door.
I smirked, ducking my head and shaking it in amusement, they were playing with the humans and these guys didn't even know it. They were waiting, planning, letting Seth have first kill.
"I'm not calling my dad, Mike. You think I want to bring him into this?" I scoffed. It was true, I didn't want my dad here.
I also knew that he was at Billy's waiting for my call when all of this was over. He and Billy had been friends for a long time, after all. Billy shared the secret years ago, after Renee had left him with me in tow, in fact. To be honest, I'd always wondered why my dad had seemingly aged so well; the wonders of the werewolf within, he hadn't really aged at all. It turned out that Billy was a whole lot older than I thought; he'd aged once he stopped phasing after his wife's death, only to start up again alongside my dad. When Paul had shared that with me, it became clear that I was destined for this, even without the imprint.
A crash, glass shattering, and the distinctive sound of claws through skin.
Time stopped, it seemed, as we looked to the window. Now gaping open, wood and glass hanging there, dripping with deep crimson. Angela and I both licked our lips, the scent pushing our own change just that little bit closer. Lauren, however, was staring in shock at the spot where her best friend had stood just seconds before. She was spattered in Jessica's blood, her blonde tresses dripping and caked with it. Jessica, for her part, had lost part of her leg. Her knee having caught on the punctured window frame and whoever had caught her not having the patience to do anything more than drag and force, and it dangled on a jagged piece of wood. Hanging on a tendon or a ligament, or maybe a bit of stripped muscle. It looked comical, just hanging there, still dripping as if there were some phantom pulse forcing the blood to flow.
One thing was clear though.
Seth had tasted his first blood.
Then all hell broke loose.
"Jessica!" Mike screamed, legging it forward and jumping out the window. All thought and sense having left him.
I snorted behind my hand, wondering just what he thought he was going to do for her? Piece her back together with super glue maybe? Duct Tape? Was he going to go all 'Shaun of the Dead' and use what remained of her leg to fight the big bad werewolves?
Unsurprisingly, it was none of the above. He was caught midflight. A brown blur of giant wolflike proportions shot across in front of him and took his head off with it; the rest of him was intercepted and finished off by black fur and moonlit claws. Both Mike and Jessica were together now. Literally.
I fell to my knees just as chaos ensued; panic consumed those remaining as they fought over what to do and where to go. I saw Conner trying to move the furniture away from the wall on his own as my back cracked and arched, a scream forced from my lips. They paused at the sound, gathering together and staring at me. I looked up to find Tyler staring at me, and I smiled, feeling my teeth begin to grow and sharpen and another scream morphing into a growl slipping past them as another wave hit me. Oh God, the power.
"Bella?" Lauren asked her voice thick with confusion and fear, and barely above a breath.
I cocked my head to the side, falling forward onto all fours, lifting myself from my knees to the balls of my feet and stalking her even before my phase completed. I watched through predators eyes as she was dragged sideways, a chair placed in front of her and Tyler hurriedly lifted her up towards Conner's reaching arms as he leant down from the attic. I started forward, only to be stopped another wave of heat washed through me, changing me, making me stagger from the force of it. I screeched as my hands and feet morphed, claws, teeth, muscle and sinew. Strength. Hunger.
Angela stepped up to the cause, grabbing the bed and throwing it sideways towards the chair, the legs screeching against the floor as it skimmed fast across it. It collided with the chair and knocked it right out from under Lauren's feet, and subsequently sent Tyler flying into the corner.
"CONNER! Oh God, pull me up, PULL ME UP!" Lauren screamed from where she dangled from his hand. She was panicking, flailing, there was no way he would be able to pull her up with her legs flying about like that, I could already see that he was losing his grip.
Another rush, and I felt my whole body change, shift completely. Skin became fur, human limbs became lupine and speech became snarling growls. All I saw was heated blood, life and prey. I sprinted forward, vaguely aware of Angela falling groaning to the floor as I did so, my jaws wide and huge and clamping down on Lauren's leg.
So fucking juicy.
Blood rushed into my mouth, over my fur, and I heard the voices of my bothers' in my head. Heard their encouragements, heard my mate, heard his pride, heard his longing. I needed him too. I tore and bit, bones breaking beneath my teeth, tender flesh swallowed down with hot blood. I shook my head, tearing the limb away, there was nothing left of it. I went for the stomach, more blood, more flesh. Her chest torn away, her arms and her face. Her skull crushed and popped between my teeth, brains leaking. I lapped them up and stared down at her ruined form.
Then I lifted my head up and howled into the night.
"Tyler, man, come on!" I lowered my head, turning it to see Conner motioning to Tyler, tears tracking a salty trail down his face. Watching them fall onto Lauren's decimated skull, they looked crystalline every time the moon light shone through them, and I was fascinated for few moments. Tyler was edging around the remains of Lauren, his eyes locked to mine, the movement snapped my attention back to the task at hand. I didn't move though, I knew that Paul wanted him for himself. A bite for every look, a chunk for every comment, he told me in his mind. Conner, however, well...he was Angela's. And it was simply beautiful when she struck.
Seemed they'd both forgotten about her, and when her newly brindle fur covered self jumped forward, Conner didn't stand a chance as she dragged him from the loft by his hand. He careened down, somersaulting forwards with a scream and landing hard on his back. The hand that had been offering escape to Tyler thrown away in Angela's haste for her kill. Once again, couples were rejoined in death as Conner's hand landed in the middle of what had once been Lauren's stomach. I breathed in deep, instinct telling me to keep Tyler in my sights even though escape was impossible for him. His scent was bitter, defeat tainting the sweetness of his fear. He'd given up. Resigned himself to his fate.
"Bella, I love you," he pleaded, likely trying to help me find some mercy for him.
Thing was, it really was the wrong thing to say with my mate just outside. In a show of how truly futile their blocking of the door had been, Paul came through it in an explosion of splinters and snarls. Tyler didn't last very long after that.
Instructions were given through the mind link shared while in our wolf forms and our bodies changed back. I was sitting naked as the day I was born and just as covered in blood and gore. Surrounded by my old friends, and the remnants of my old life, I looked up at Paul. I felt nothing but love and acceptance, there was no remorse, no guilt or grief. I just felt full, satisfied, at home. He gave me his hand and pulled me up to him, crashing his mouth to mine. I could taste Tyler and I lapped at his lips, sucked on his mouth, trying to get more. Our hands gripped and grasped at each other, bodies connecting violently. Right there, he took me, our skin slapping together as we slid in the blood and remains of our kills.
He claimed me, and I claimed him.
Soon our sense came back to us, and we lay there staring at each other, our bodies calming as we did so. We dressed before the others joined us, and it was more than obvious that Jake and Angela had enjoyed the same post-dinner entertainment that Paul and I had.
Seth was grinning ear to ear, gaining back slaps from each of the guys and brief hugs from me and Angela. Everyone gathered at the riverside, stripping and jumping in for an impromptu and much needed cleaning. Angela and I were welcomed in one big puppy pile, each of us held by our imprints as they rest huddled around us. Soon, though, it became time to sort out the mess that we had left.
"Don't worry about that, Bells," Sam said when I asked what the cleanup plans were. "Your dad's already got a plan in place. And it's gonna be a fucklot easier to pull off with you and Angie in the know now."
So we had a plan worked out, me and Angela drove my truck back to my house and waited there till the morning. When we left, we made sure to talk to the neighbours, sending out 'good mornings' left and right. We had to make sure that we had witnesses to us being there. We put all of this into action after the guys left. We had one stop to make before we made our way back to the cabin.
"Good morning, girls. I thought you two were out at the cabin this weekend?" Mr Roberts said from behind the counter in the local grocery store.
"We were, but me and Ange went back to my house last night when Angela started to feel ill," I explained, picking bits and pieces up for the bonfire we had planned for later.
"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that, how are you feeling now, Angela?" he asked politely.
I glanced at Angela as she smiled as if she hadn't just ripped a lifelong friend apart and eaten him, "Much better now, thank you, Mr Roberts. I think it was just something I'd eaten."
He laughed good naturedly. "That is a relief to hear, wouldn't want your whole weekend ruined. I remember what it was like being granted freedom from High School. I take it you're on your way back there now then?" he asked as he rang through our purchases.
"Yeah, figured we could stock up on food and make up for last night," I said as Angela and I bagged up the food.
"Good, good. Well, I'll be seeing you then, girls."
"Good bye, Mr Roberts," we both called out as we left.
Alibis are important after all.
Angela and I left everything in the truck and entered through the now ruined front door, courtesy of Quil. We climbed the stairs calmly and once we'd climbed through the remains of Mike's bedroom door, we both fell on the floor. On purpose of course. We slipped and slid about in the not quite dried blood, laughing as we did so, but making sure that it looked as though we'd done so by accident. Thus giving us a reason for the blood that covered each of us, we wanted to make a good impression on whoever found us. We took a moment, just a small moment, to stare at the people that we'd grown up with.
"It's weird. I don't feel bad for any of this. It's like they're apart from us, like that's what they were there for," Angela said, her head cocked as she looked over the room.
"I know exactly what you mean," I replied, taking hold of her hand and smiling at her. "I'm so glad that Jake imprinted on you."
Angela laughed, nodding her head, her eyes showing relief. "Me too, I wouldn't want to be like this sorry mess."
And that was that.
We left the way we had come in, both of us setting off sprinting, our hands still encased in each others. We ran screaming through the woods, and out onto the road into town. We ran, making sure to be as obvious as possible, until a car drove by, spotting us and stopped.
"PLEASE!" Angela screamed as the driver ran out of his car towards us, falling to her knees and weeping, her head down to hide the lack of tears.
I stumbled forward, grabbing the guy's jacket as I faked falling to my knees. "They're dead, they're all dead!"
Even with our over-dramatisation, things moved forward quickly after that. The driver, who as it turned out, was Mr Newton, Mike's father. He took us straight to the police station, breaking all sorts of traffic laws. Of course, that was understandable, after we told him that some of the blood we were covered in was his son's. My dad played his part well; his surprise and worry for me and Angela, his stoic police fierceness firmly and believably in place. The other parents were called as my dad and his deputies rushed to the scene. Angela and I sat wrapped in grey blankets, the material scratching our newly sensitised skin. We were now squeaky clean after we had been granted permission to shower. We stayed quiet while others were near, accepted offers of sweet hot chocolate and hugs of comfort from my father's secretary. We gave our shaky apologies and condolences to those that were feeling the loss of their children, and accepted tear and grief filled hugs in return. All the while waiting to be picked up and taken home.
Our guys came to pick us up, solemnly escorting us from the station and taking us back to their homes. Angela to Jake and Billy's, while I went to the house Paul lived in by himself. I knew that my dad would be bringing my things by later. This would be our home now.
"Why didn't the other imprints join us?" I asked as we lay in the bath together, the hot water steaming up the bathroom and scenting it with a mixture of the two of us.
"They found their own feast," he answered, skimming a soaped up sponge over my breasts. "A group of ramblers were camping not far from us, they encountered them on their way to the cabin. Those that didn't get a bite at the cabin joined them as well."
"Nice," I said, groaning pleasurably as I stretched my head back to lay a kiss on his neck.
The pack met at our house later that day. Angela and I were properly introduced to the other imprints. Emily, as Sam's, Kim as Jared's, Leah as Embry's and little Claire as Quil's. Claire would be properly inducted when she was old enough, she was far too young to control the change as yet. She was one of the cutest little girls I had ever met, and spent a lot of the day bouncing on my lap. I was intrigued by how the imprint worked, showing us our mates, but working around ages all at the same time. Quil was currently the best brother Clair could hope for, and as she grows, his roll in her life would change through the years until she was of age and ready to accept him fully. We all worked as one unit, both in the home and out in the community.
We protected the tribe on one hand and ran it with the other.
It was explained to us that Jake would take over as Alpha once the full moon after he turned eighteen, then the Elder's would step down and allow new blood to run the council. We would stand by and with our men, as equals, and work to preserve and better the tribe.
It was only during the full moon that our hunger was present, the mythical forces on those nights working to strengthen the magic that ran through each of us to epic proportions, leaving us slaves to instinct. The phase could not be denied, nor could the call for living blood and flesh. I always thought it fitting that our friends, those we had grown with and learnt with, had baptised us into our new life; into our true lives. While I didn't morn them, I was grateful for their sacrifice, and never forgot how good that first mouthful of Lauren had tasted, nor how good the aftertaste of Tyler was on my man's tongue and teeth.
I found a peace within myself that I had never felt before, a sense of belonging and completeness. I had people to not only care for, but to care for me, and there is nothing quite like a full moon hunt for a father/daughter bonding experience. He had joined us the first full moon after the cabin, and we had lured a couple of drifters into the woods to take part in the hunt. One might think it unusual for me to have fallen into this so easily, but there was no fight with the animal within. The sense of family was absolute, even if my dad hadn't been a part of it. It was soon clear that he had plans to bring me into the fold, regardless of an imprint, he couldn't see his baby girl grow old and die while he stayed young. And he couldn't see me end up as dinner during the full moon. We often laughed and joked over his monthly vacations and the excuses he had given me. Well, one excuse really. Fishing, always fishing.
The deaths at the cabin were blamed on rogue wolves, and put down to nothing more than tragic animal attacks. Memorials and funerals were held, Angela and I attended each one, said our goodbyes in front of everyone. Even shed a tear or two. But we never really went into Forks all that much after that, our place and home was on the Reservation. We even deferred college for a year, Angela transferring to the same one as me. We knew that we would be able to get away with the lengthy separation when one of our pack would be with us, not to mention that our men would make regular visits.
Angela and I were sitting at one of the cafes near campus that were frequented by mainly students, we were a few weeks into our first year and it was a week after the last full moon. We sat close together, speaking quietly so as not to be overheard, but also to enable us to be able to listen into the conversations going on around us as we sipped our Chi Lattes.
"I can't believe they're still talking about it," Angela muttered beside me, rolling her eyes.
"You're kidding, right? They're still talking about the cabin incident back in Forks. Our weekend gone wrong, or right for us," I laughed. "It is being passed down to the younger kids as a lesson to be learned."
"Yeah, but Forks is the size of a postage stamp. This is Seattle for fucks sake, don't they have other things to drone on about?"
I laughed loudly, catching the fleeting attention and scowls of other patrons. My glare sent their gazes scattering. "Three students mauled to death on a full moon is big news anywhere."
"True. Did you notice that some of them have started wearing silver jewellery?" I laughed along with Angela as she continued. "I saw one guy showing off this silver dagger that his dad had apparently got him."
I snorted, "Oh yeah, I saw that too. I swear it was nothing but a letter opener!"
"Do you mind if we sit here? All the other seats are taken."
We both looked up to see two girls holding steaming cups of coffee. I nodded amicably and waved my hands at the empty seats across from us. "Sure, go for it, we understand how busy this place gets."
"Thank you!" The one who hadn't spoken before said as she sat down, her blonde hair falling over her denim jacket as she leant forward to place her drink on the table. "We meant to get here earlier, but my mom came up to visit." She ended her explanation with the kind of eye roll that every teenager everywhere understood.
"Yeah, can you believe that they're blaming the attacks on regular wolves? We had to go the long way around to get here too, the murder sites still all taped up. Weird, if you ask me, I mean...what kind of wolves come onto a student campus?"
"Hungry ones?" I answered simply, trying not to wink at Angela.
The first speaker leaned forward conspiratorially. "I heard that there's a witness," she whispered, gaining Ange's and I's attention instantly. "Supposedly he's been ranting about giant wolves and werewolves, they've got him sedated and on lockdown at the hospital."
Well now, isn't that an interesting tidbit of information? I shared a look with Angela.
"No, that's one rumour that we actually haven't heard." I purposely made myself sound exasperated about the whole thing.
"I know, right? There's even some guy selling silver crosses and bullets, the whole college is talking about full moons and wolves, about how stupid those guys were for wandering around during one."
"Stupid?" I asked, this time unable to stop myself looking at Angela, and I was more referring to the people buying into the silver thing. Angela and I were both wearing silver jewellery, and we didn't real worry over the alleged rogue wolf attack victims.
Mostly…We'd just thought they were tasty.
E/N: I would REALLY like to know what everyone thought about this chapter and the fic as a whole. This was all new for me, and I revived half the amount of reviews for the 2nd chap than I did for the first. I'm paranoid. That and I REALLY, REALLY, REALLY want to know what everyone thought. lol.