I stayed away from Denny the rest of the day. This was his birthday and I felt that I had already put too much strain on his special day. Joey tried to coax me into going to the party, but I told him I just wanted to go for a walk. He of course fought me a bit on it, but in the end he went to the party as I walked off towards the tree line. I thought this was the safe thing to do, that I could diminish my aura and go for a run unnoticed. I went in the opposite direction of the party. I didn’t think that I would run into anyone, but yet again… I was wrong.
“I told you there is nothing between us.”
I knew that voice. Were they still arguing about us? And why, oh why were they in the woods here? The party was on the other side by the pavilions.
“Of course, I am insecure. Clover lives in the same house as you. Your father accepts her, and you took favor upon her making her your delta.”
I stood there thinking, ‘oh that bi.tch, I had earned my right to be delta. I had worked my ass off and –‘ when I heard Denny’s voice again, “I already explained to you why I did that.” “I already explained to you why I did that.”
Wait… what? What was he saying?
Denny went on, “I made her the delta so she could move into the packhouse. It was the best way to keep an eye on her. That’s why my father accepted her as my delta. It is why my dad has no problems with her being an officer. Clover is someone we need to watch closely. You know this.”
My stomach was in knots. Why was I being watched? Was this really the only reason I was made the delta? No, I shook my head, no, I know I was good enough. But I guess even being good enough, he didn’t have to choose me, a female, which was way out of the ordinary.
“But why were you holding her?” Andrea sobbed.
“I need her to trust me. We need her loyal to our pack. You know it is only you — You are the only one I want.”
Wow, and to think I thought the rejection was hard on him. It was all an act. It was all for show. I felt numb. My mind was screaming at me; I told you so as the tears threatened to emerge again. No. I wasn’t going to cry. I didn’t understand anything, but it was clear there was more to the pack taking me in than I was aware of, and I needed to find out what. I watched as they began necking hardcore again, and this was when I slowly crept away. I didn’t want to be caught again.
I can’t even describe the emptiness I felt inside me while I wandered back to the packhouse. It was like an immeasurable pain that almost made you feel numb. My stomach was clenching as I struggled not to be sick. Was I being played here the whole time? Was this just something he was making up to appease Andrea? No, this had to be something that made sense to her. She accepted the answer too quickly. Which leaves me with my next question… who am I? Who am I that I was mistreated by the whole pack even as a child? I was shunned and avoided. I was teased and abused. But why? I used to think it was because of my pedigree, but I never thought about the other orphans; They weren’t treated like I was. So what was it about me?
I was right. I only did have myself. I couldn’t trust anyone. It was an incredibly lonely realization to know that it would always be like this. I stopped walking as I looked up at the packhouse. I wrapped my hands around my bare arms and shivered slightly, but it wasn’t from the cold.
“Do you think Jude will find anything?”
I looked up to see Taylor and another she-wolf walking out of the woods next to me.
“I told him he should have taken someone else. I hope he is okay.” Taylor frowned and glanced up, looking at me. “Oh, Clover! Everyone is at the party. There was the scent of other wolves out towards the riverside border so Jude went to check it out on his own.”
I sighed and looked off in the direction beyond the woods. “I can go and make sure he is okay.”
I nodded and left. I turned and began jogging through the woods. I would think more about what was going on later. But, for now, I needed to get to Jude. He shouldn’t have gone off on his own no matter what was going on. It was dangerous even for a gamma. You never knew how many rogues you could be dealing with. Jude would have a rough time regardless of how weak they were if there were more than three.
Rogue werewolves were those that abandoned their pack or didn’t have a pack for whatever reason. The rogues around us had started forming a pack of their own; we called them the Seekers. Since the dark war, Seekers began to band together and formed united packs of their own. Some of them were quite large and formidable. They were looking to claim more territory for themselves instead of living in the neutral land between other packs.
I was almost at the river border which divided our territory and neutral land. At this point, I should be smelling Jude’s scent. But I wasn’t. I felt a bit anxious about this.
Jude, where are you at? Are you in trouble? I’m almost at the river. I reached out to him through the mind link. This was the fastest way to communicate so I could get to him faster.
Clover, what the hell are you doing near the riverside border? Are you by yourself?!
I slowed down my jog as the river came into view and stopped. Damnit, Taylor.
Your girlfriend said you went to the riverbed to check out some scents of other wolves. There was a moment of silence on his end. He probably didn’t know what to say here because he had to protect Taylor. I went to turn around when I heard sounds. I looked around frantically. I couldn’t see them, but I knew they were there. I could even smell them… sort of. They were using a scent masking to hide their true scent. Damn. I was really in a situation here.
Come back so we can talk.
Jude… I’m not alone here. I felt my breathing pick up, knowing what was coming.
Wait, Clover, what is going on?
I didn’t respond to him as I watched several wolves crawl over the riverbed. Their predatory eyes were on me, and they obviously weren’t here to chat.
I’m cutting off the link. I’ve got to concentrate. I don’t know if anyone really cares what happens to me… but I’m in trouble.
What are you—
I cut the link there. I didn’t have time to go through the conspiracy train. For all I know, this was something they were all part of. As the wolves got closer, I shifted as well. Sheena was giving me the cold shoulder, but she wasn’t about to leave me defenseless. The color of my silver fur flashed in the evening sky as I came to form. If they wanted a fight, I would give them one. I was a female, but I was strong. I looked at the six wolves that stopped in an arch formation in front of me. And that was when I recognized them. They tried to mask their scent, but they were morons. I knew their wolves. I sparred with them on a regular basis. They were pack members.
Stay away from our alpha! The dark brown wolf in the center barked at me as he bared his fangs.
What the hell did I ever do to any of you?! I growled back angrily, baring my teeth at them.
Just stay the hell away from our alpha. He belongs to Andrea.
Now where the hell was all of this coming from? Did someone overhear Andrea complaining about the fake hug I got from Denny? This just didn’t make any sense. And what exactly was I going to do to the alpha? I wanted to say something back, but they didn’t give me a chance. Instead, they launched a simultaneous attack.
Teeth gnashed. Claws scratched. Fur flew. Blood poured. They were all over me. One on one, I could take them. But this was six wolves attacking as a well-trained unit, and the irony? It was a unit I had personally trained. To hell with them! Attacking a pack member…
And that is when it really hit me. No, they weren’t. I was never a member of the Sulfur pack… at least not to them. They were attacking an alien who invaded their pack. For whatever reason, I was deemed dangerous.
I wouldn’t go down easy. I might not win this fight, but I would give them scars to remember me by. My teeth sank into the back of a wolf’s neck. I clenched down hard, making his high pitch yelps fill the air. I then flung his body yards away, where he landed against a large tree. Then reared up and dragged my claws into another wolf. I knew what I was doing. I was going after their stronger wolves first. And I knew just which ones they were.
I felt fangs sink into my shoulder, and my silver fur shined with crimson liquid. I turned my head towards him. It was the brown wolf talking to me earlier; he was the one leading them. Perfect. He was the one I wanted. I swiped my paw at his face and then lunged at his throat, taking a chunk of fur and skin with my attack. His blood oozed through my mouth, and my fangs were covered in red. He immediately retreated in fear, making the other three wolves step back anxiously.
They had to know that I knew who they were, even with their scent masking. That part wasn’t for me. It was supposed to be for those who found my body. They planned to kill me. This wasn’t a session to scare me. It was to eliminate me. I bared my fangs at them angrily at this realization. My blood pooled around me, creating a muddy mixture under my paws.
Their ears suddenly perked up, and they abruptly retreated. They all dived into the river vanishing from sight. I stood there panting heavily. Blood was dripping from all over me. It leaked into my saliva and covered my tongue. Some was theirs, and some was mine. I heard the sound of heavy paws crashing in my direction. I turned prepared for another wave of attacks. I bared my bloody fangs and let out a low growl.
Three familiar wolves came through the trees and looked in complete shock seeing me. Was it the shock of seeing me alive? When Denny’s gray wolf stepped toward me, I growled a warning at him. I didn’t know their intentions. I didn’t know anyone’s intentions. And for the first time tonight, I wasn’t just an outcast but an enemy. I really thought I was about to be killed. This was now hitting me hard.
Joey shifted back into his human self and walked toward me. He was trying to show me everything was alright. Denny and Jude also shifted to humans. We were considered modern werewolves now and no longer had to worry about losing our clothes when we shifted. Some sort of pill had been developed to make this possible over the years. We only had to take it once, and the magic stayed with us. Though it was rumored to be made of troll toenail clippings. I’m sure that was just a made-up story, though. In either case, this was nice because there were no weird nudity situations anymore.
Joey came all the way up to me, showing me that he trusted me. At least to him, it didn’t seem like I was dangerous. But I didn’t know anymore. I felt like I didn’t know anything. I shifted back to my human form as well. Sheena was healing me as fast as possible, but blood still soaked my human body. I just had six wolves on me trying to kill me. I was lucky to be alive.
“Dear gods… Clover.” Joey reached his hand out, placing it on my shoulder.
“Who did this to you?” Denny asked as he walked up to me.
I see Jude failed to mention the person who sent me out here. My eyes darted towards him, and I could see him desperately pleading, not to mention her name. Here I am shredded to pieces, and he wants to protect the one who set me up. I couldn’t take it anymore. So much had happened to me today. I found my fated mate and lost him all at once. I lost my future family. I was set up and almost killed by my pack members. I rarely cried. But I don’t care how strong you are, in this situation you would cry too.
I didn’t know who I could trust. I just needed someone right now. So, I stepped into Joey’s chest, buried my head, and began to sob. I felt his arms come around me delicately as he tried not to touch my wounds. I could feel Denny staring at me, but I didn’t care. After what I heard him say to Andrea… I didn’t know what to think of him anymore.
I know they were shocked to see me crying like this. I was always the tough one, not the crier. But I was broken. I promised myself I would never break and that I would never show them they got to me, but they tried to kill me tonight. I never thought… as much as they disliked me, I never thought it was to this level. So much pain was radiating through me. Externally and internally. It was too much, and it was now overflowing through my tears. I guess I had a lot of built-up pain because I couldn’t stop crying.
Everything hurt too much.