THEY KNOW. DEAR GOD, HOW DO I EXPLAIN THIS?

It was a normal dinner. Well, as normal as it can be with Kit (my dad), Whitney (my dad's girlfriend), Jason, and my great-aunt Tempe. Yup. My great-aunt is the world renowned anthropologist, Dr. Temperance Brennan, working with the FBI. Did I forget to mention her partner, Special Agent Seeley Booth of the FBI, was there too? Well, he was. And then there was me. I'm Tory Brennan, living with my dad after my mom was killed in a car crash caused by a drunk driver. Anyway, we were in the middle of dinner, eating our salad and chicken parmesan when my best friends, Hi (Hiram), Ben, and Shelton burst through the door. Booth, who didn't know what to think, was half-way out of his seat when Coop, my wolf-dog pup, came tearing into the room like a fur covered missile. He slammed into the guys and they fell in a pile at my side.

"What is it?" I demanded, secretly pleased. Them coming in, cut Whitney off, who was about to nag/harass me some more about the cotillion/debutante ball thing. I think.

"Tory, it's Short!" they panted-yelled together. Jinx.

I paled. I didn't want to think he escaped just to find and kill us. Just over some treasure, which, I'm pretty sure, was my a-couple-of-great's grandmothers, Anne Bonny.

"What's short", Booth demanded. I was about to reply when another person ran through the front door, which had been standing conveniently open from when my friends had so gracefully and dramatically thrown it open and entered. What is with people and running into my house?

"So great to see you Miss Brennan", the person said coldly, glaring daggers at me. I stared stonily back.

Booth was reaching for his gun when the unnamed person grabbed Jason, making Booth freeze. Apparently, he has a soft spot for kids. He must have one then. I made a mental note to ask him later.

"Dr. Short," I replied, my tone even frostier than his. He flinched slightly but shook it off.

"You have something of mine," Short said, his eyes daring me to contradict him. "I would like it now."

"Sorry, but no can do. It turns out those pages were from the Irish Book of Kells from the Abbey of Kells. We sold it back and set up a trust fund. The pages are now at the Trinity College in Dublin." I retorted/snapped/replied, enjoying his shocked glance. My enjoyment soon turned to horror as he flicked the safety off on the gun I hadn't realized he was holding.

"Well then, I guess you won't be needing this." Short pushed the gun against Jason's head.

Short stared at me and I started feeling desperate. I closed my eyes.

Jason was going to die.

And it was all my fault.

SNAP.

I doubled over, though the change was painless now. Something snapped in my mind and body; primal instincts flowed through/in my subconscious; anger and primeval/primal instincts flowed through my veins, my pounding heart; my senses opened up – I saw the room in perfect clarity, I heard thet fluttering of nervous and scared hearts, I smelt the tension-filled air: it was full of anxiety and fear. In my mind I felt the fiery ropes connecting me to my pack. Hi, Shelton, and Ben tensed. Coop growled, hackles raised. My message was blunt, clear, and straight-to-the-point.

Flare! Now!

Hi gasped. Shelton twitched and flinched. Ben doubled over.

I opened my eyes. Short flinched back at the color. Pure, glowing gold. Gold that was glowing extremely bright. I was an alpha. I was THE Alpha. And NOBODY would or could hurt my pack or my friends or my family. Everything was stronger. It was a full moon tonight. I turned, grinning wolfishly at my pack. They flanked me and stood at the ready, coiled and tensed to and for attack. I lifted my head toward the sky. Since when did we get outside? And where did those 5 guys come from?

'Whatever' my mind thought. I opened my mouth and howled, challenging the men to come closer. It was full of authority and power. And urgency.

I opened my mind up to the wolves around us.

Come, help your brothers and sisters. Help us defend our pack mates and family against the attackers.

I turned back toward Short and Jason who were staring at us, eyes comically wide in shock. Short shook his head sharply as if to clear it. He opened his mouth, presumably to give his goons the order(s) to attack when the wolves arrived. They leapt out of the trees and shadows around us. Whisper was there with her mate and their other pup. They gravitated toward Cooper. It seemed about five other packs were here.

Thank you, brothers and sisters.

My tone was humble. They all muttered welcomes through my head.

A new scent was dispensed through the air. I took a deep breath and analyzed it. The new smell was fear, coming in waves off of Short and his 'merry band of idiots.'

"You really might want to rethink your threat." I grinned again, showing off my canines. The wolves around us were circling and growling. "It seems we now have the upper hand."

He sneered back at me, attempting a fake bravado. It didn't work; I mentally scoffed, then laughed at him with the rest of my pack and the wolves. His hand swung around, the one with the gun, probably to shoot me or my pack or my family or my friends or the wolves. But before he could aim and pull the trigger, I jumped into action.

With my speed and strength I jumped over the still-circling wolves in front of me and swung at his solar plexus. My fist connected with his chest and he doubled over, winded. He straightened up rather quickly aimed a punch at me. Somehow, I saw his fist move before it did. He swung at me, but he was too slow. I dodged and he stumbled slightly overbalanced from his punch. That was all I needed. I lunged forward and grabbed the gun from him and swung it 'round toward his face. He fell forward, unconscious.

I turned to my pack, looking to see if I was needed. They looked to be doing just fine so I turned to Aunt Tempe, Booth, Kit, Whitney, and Jason to make sure they were okay. I was still flaring and most flinched back. I decided to talk to them later.

The wolves looked extremely pleased with themselves – you could tell by the smug expressions on wolf-y faces and muzzles and their mumblings in my head - because I'm pretty sure they took out three of the five men. I have to tell you it wasn't a pretty sight. I thanked the wolves for their help and they slunk back into the shadows.

SNUP.

I slumped to the ground, exhausted. The others' flares had gone out before me. That seemed to shake everyone out of their trances or stupors or whatever. Coop nudged me and licked my hand. I patted his ear.

"I'm fine," I told him softly. "Overdid it, a bit."

Slowly picking myself up, I dragged my feet inside and fell of the couch. Booth was pacing back and forth. Suddenly he stopped and turned to face me.

"What the hell just happened?" he demanded. He looked like he was standing at attention. I looked to my pac-friends, asking permission to tell them. Their eyes conveyed their answers. Yes.

"We're Virals."