A Wolf's Tail Ch. 02byShadowsung©
Been a while coming, I know. This chapter has been hard to write for me as a large amount of time passes before the real story begins.
I have included a pack hierarchy, as I have moved away from the conventional/common three tier system.
Alpha- leaders, 1 male 1 female, each over sees their gender and pack in general
Betalpha- Heir, future alpha (normally male), generally the alpha pair's offspring
Beta- lieutenants, leaders below alphas- oversee the rest of the pack on a daily basis
Gamma- Warriors and protectors of the pack
Delta- a majority of the pack- most jobs are done by this level.
Omega- lowest rung, pack members under the age of 16, the weakest in the pack, punishment place.
I'm still building the storyline and characters, so no sexyfuntime yet... But I promise the wait will be well worth it! ^_~
Hope you enjoy!
Everything moved in a blur once Annalise and her escort hit the compound. There was evidence of fighting everywhere. He uncle told her silently about the two pronged attack on the pack and her party. A giant brown wolf came bounding up to them, almost a blur in its blinding speed. The wolf leaped high of the ground as the air around him shimmered while he shifted. Alexander landed in human form in front of his brother and daughter. To his horror his little girl was covered in blood. He caught her up in his arms as his hands searched for injury.
I'm fine, papa. They didn't find me, Anna told her father sadly. She projected the entire event to him, showing her mother's death and her killer's marred face. Tears pouring down his face, Alexander howled his misery while he clutched his daughter tight. The howl was picked up and carried by the pack, all marking their sorrow at the loss of a leader.
Alexander lost no time forming a description of the man and sent it along with the funeral summons to the packs surrounding his territory. Three days later, the local alphas met with the funeral procession, as marked by ancient tradition. Amidst it all, Annalise stood proud beside her father, staring down the alphas who sought to treat her as a child. Many of the Alphas present were humbled by the petite, yet fierce child who haunting resembled the lost alpha. True they had all sought more land by snipping at the weaker pack's borders but none would have ever dreamed of harming the poor man's family. Who could do such a thing? They whispered to each other.
Annalise watched silently as four of their best betas carried her mother on a stretcher covered in a pearly silk cloth. They laid her on top of the funeral pyre and everyone present filed past, leaving a procession of flowers, leaves and mementos around her silk-clad form. Andrea had been a fearless leader and adored by all and everyone was deeply saddened at her premature demise. During it all, Alexander watched his young daughter closely, proud of how strong she was, as she laid down a single white lily on her mother's chest.
Before the funeral pyre was lit, Anna stood up on the stage and called the gathering to quieten down. She looked at her pack, and their guests, the lights glinting in her eyes, "My mamma was a brave and proud lady. She did everything she could to be fair and just, may she be at peace in Luna's heart until she returns to us."
"Until she returns," murmured the gathering.
She waited for the intoned response before continuing, "I will miss her everyday until then. But I want her death to mean something. She died because someone was greedy and wanted more. I should have died too."
Gasps of shock radiated through the crowd, how could anyone break their ancient laws and harm child?
I want to grow up in a world that is not fuelled by constant battles. I want this to be the day when we hold hands in peace and help each other through tough times, rather than taking advantage of our neighbours."
The little girl stood there, in front of her mother's pyre staring defiantly at the alphas that surrounded her. They stared back at her in awe; such a young one, yet she already had the makings of a fine alpha.
That day, all of packs surrounding their borders all signed a treaty, marking the end of border battles and skirmishes.
Three years past quietly as Alexander slowly fought his illnesses and won. Anna grew into a fine 11 year old who was still the apple of his eye. They both missed Andrea terribly and the females of the pack had no alpha to keep them in line. With this in mind, he started looking for a new mate, as much as it pained his heart to do so.
Then he met Kitanya, a delta who was a hand maiden to Andrea. He caught a whiff of her one day in the common rooms. He fell head over heels for her and it didn't take him long to mate with her.
Their bonding ceremony was small, and she moved into his house and quarters. With her came her two children, fraternal twins Nancy and Georgia. Nancy had always been a pretty and popular girl, while Georgia was a quiet, smart girl with her nose in a book. Nancy was a horrible child, and was often accused of bullying, but she was too clever because there was never any proof. When the twins moved in, they demanded Anna's room as it was the largest, and they wanted to share. Alexander was forced to talk Anna into moving into the smaller one across the hall by telling her it was the room her mother had grown up in.
The room in question was very small and unused; it took her a long time to clean it out with the help of some deltas. Sitting on her bed quietly, her most beloved doll in hand, Anna listened miserably to her two new step sisters destroying her old room in their attempt to make it their own. Swiping the tears away from her eyes, Anna began to unpack more of her clothes into the wardrobe. Moving a dusty box out, she found a little door knob in the wall. Curious she opened what turned out to be a door. It led up a ramp to a small room in the attic she had never known about. In here was a little cubby built by her mother when she was a child. There were pictures all over the walls and a blanket in the corner that still smelled of her. Anna closed her eyes and cuddled the blanket until she fell asleep.
Anna spent most of her time in the attic, being comforted by her mother's old possessions. Alexander revelled in his new mate and grown family so much, Anna didn't have the heart to show him just how mean the new parts of their family could be, and just how miserable it made her.
Alexander slowly became sick once again. His health slipped and kept slipping, with the pack's healers at a loss of what was going wrong; much less how to help him. Werewolves were naturally healthy with strong immune systems and even faster Healing abilities.
He fell into a coma when Anna was 12, much to the dismay of the pack. Less than a month later, Kitanya had the healers pull the plug and let him slip into Luna's embrace.
She kept his funeral was very small, with just the pack there to farewell their leader. She refused to let other pack's alphas come to the funeral, despite the ancient traditions. Speculations about the pack's future began to circulate, what would they do without a male alpha? Who would protect them all? Would Kitanya take a new mate, or would she wait until Anna was old enough to mate and hand over the pack to them?
Kitanya heard all of this, her nose high in the air. She would be the only alpha this pack needed to stay functioning; there was no way she was giving her power to anyone, let alone a snotty little brat like Annalise. Her years of planning had slowly transpired and she now had almost everything the way she wanted...
After her father's funeral, Anna kept a low profile. Despite the enormity of their pack and its well wishes, she found herself alone most of the time. Kitanya promoted her uncle to a diplomatic emissary for another pack, leaving Anna by herself. The loneliness seeped into her life, and deepened with each day. Her parents dead, all she had were her snide step sisters and negligent step mother.
Anna was constantly in trouble with her new alpha. No matter what she did, or how hard she tried, Kitanya was always furious with her, the screams and shouts echoing across the packs grounds.
Things from the house went missing, to be found in her room when a search was conducted. She would never take anything in her life. She knew it was her step sisters. She would always see them giggling behind their mother's back while she ranted about theft. But her step mother ignored her and brushed aside any accusations made against her little "angels".
Slowly Anna's image changed, and the pack had no time for her, believing she was acting the spoilt brat to get attention.
Everything escalated when Kitanya's family jewellery went missing. After a huge search it was found in Anna's bedroom, under her pillow.
Before the entire pack, Anna was demoted to an omega, the lowest rung of the pack ladder. She was kicked out of the alpha's house and left in a dorm with 5 other girls her age, who tormented her and stole the few possessions she had left to her name. It was the lowest point in her short life.
At 13 she was shipped off to a boarding school on the other side of the city, on another pack's territory. The new territory belonged to the Brannan Pack, which was larger than her own and much more powerful, with Curt Brannan as its alpha. Kitanya made sure the pack would ignore Anna completely and no one was to have any contact with her.
St Maria's was the fresh start Anna had needed. She was different compared to all the humans at the school, but she still fit in a lot better than she did with her pack at home. She had never had anything to do with humans, and quickly learnt how to blend in. She slowly developed friendships with a small group of human girls, who were outcasts from the mainstream. Her best friend Emma, who slept in the bed next to her, became her best friend. She was the same height as Anna; short. They were the same size which meant they could swap and share clothes. It felt like having a proper sister, which Anna had always secretly wished for.
At 16 she felt her change approaching. Her step mother had completely ignored her, and she had no pack to run with. Her first change had been a scary and lonely experience, as it was normally marked with celebrations and a pack run. She couldn't let her beast out any more than she possibly had to, for the risk of being seen was just too great. Being found out meant death to the finder and the were silly enough to get caught.
On full moons, when her beast demanded control, she would sneak out and run free in the forest surrounding the grounds, hunting and frolicking, finally carefree.
It was another full moon as Anna said good night to her dorm mates and friends, and waited for them to fall asleep. Once all of the breathing in the room had transformed to snores, Anna quietly got up and left the dorm.
Sneaking through the old buildings was always hard- the floor boards would squeak and creak under the lightest weight. She always made sure to keep to the wall and, thanks to her heightened senses, she could always see where she was going. She had always wanted to jump out of their second floor window, phase midair and lope off that way, but because the moon was so full and so bright, anyone could see her. It was just too much of a risk. Plus the window was a bitch to open...
A creaking floorboard from the hallway Anna had just passed through made her crouch in a defensive stance, a growl threatening to disrupt the deep silence of the dark house, her eyes glowing molten gold as her wolf responded to the threat. A door up the opposite end of the narrow hallway opened, spilling a harsh yellow light.
The head matron poked her head out, her hair mussed in their rolls, shadowed eyes like a hawk looking for anything out of place. After a moment of seeing nothing out of the ordinary, she grumbled about the old house and students before shutting the door.
Anna thanked Luna for all of the action movies she was forced to watch with her friends, as her four claws wedged against the narrow walls kept her flat against the ceiling. She loved that it had actually worked, but a shadow crossed her face as she remembered the event that had taught her the seemingly trivial lesson. She used her claws and the leverage to move along the ceiling, past the head matron's door, knowing that she would be listening carefully for any noises.
Past the hallways, Anna slowly climbed down the walls and continued outside. She had meant to look behind her as she walked out the front doors, but the pure moonlight shining down on her called to her wolf so strongly, the thought left her mind completely. If she had looked back, she would have seen the shadow, clinging to the walls, watching her carefully.
Out in the moonlight, her wolf cried aloud with happiness. She ran freely across the open fields towards the woods at her natural pace- fast. It was very fast; too fast for any human to match. She always hated having to run at human pace in her physical education lessons, her wolf wanted her to run properly, but she couldn't draw suspicion. She let out a deep sigh at how hard fitting in truly was.
She didn't slow until she reached the tree line and passed into their comforting shadows. She inhaled deeply, smiling pure joy at being truly home with herself and everything around her. She quickly stripped her nightclothes, folded them and stowed them in the trunk of her tree that she had marked.
Calling forth her beast, she felt the air around her hum with magic. On her hands and knees, her beast slid forward, shifting her body to its form. She shook out her pure white fur. It unusually long for her kind, but she refused to cut her long, blonde hair to shorten the pure white fur.
She leaped through the air and began to run, elated at leaving her human troubles behind.... Or so she thought, as the shadow followed her silently and unseen through the night.