Madelyn Ch. 01byFaireSansa©
Thank you for being so patient with me, below you will find an updated version of Chapter 1 of Madelyn. I have expanded it, as I'm reworking the chapters, to make them longer, with additional information. Also, I've moved the location from Oregon to Northern California, along the border between Oregon and California. I felt this to be better for me, since I am from California.
I hope you will enjoy what I've done with the story. More chapters to come very soon, as I'm out of school for a short time and can concentrate on a few things I find enjoyable, such as writing.
Two days later, Madelyn stood in line at Henry's, a mom-n-pop grocery store in the little town not far from where her house was, her cart filled with fresh fruit and vegetables, cereal, a bag of steel cut oats and other miscellaneous items. She was looking over the meat section, amazed at the low prices of her favorite cuts. San Francisco prices were unimaginably high as compared to here and she picked out a few steaks and chops to eat over the next week.
As she reached for a tri-tip roast, her hand bumped into someone else's and she gasped then turned to stammer out apologies.
"I'm so sorry..." her words cut off as she looked up into the face of the man beside her. Annoyance on his face was plain as day but as their eyes met, his features softened.
"No, please don't worry about it, miss...?"
"Oh, um, Madelyn," she blushed as she introduced herself to the handsome man in front of her. "Madelyn Randell."
"Randell?" he responded. "There used to be a family that lived not far from here with that name."
"Yes," Madelyn smiled as she reached down and picked up the roast she'd been reaching for and held it out to him. "That was my parents and I. I've just returned from the city."
"The city, eh?" he said, smiling as the blush on her cheeks deepened slightly. "Why would a young woman like you move from the excitement and glamour of the city to a back country town like this?"
"I..." she started, faltering as butterflies fluttered through her stomach. "Um. After my parents died, I went to live in San Francisco until their estate came out of probate. I received news the other day that it had been settled and I could return home."
She wasn't certain why she was telling this complete stranger all of this, but it seemed right to her. Their fingers touched as the man grasped the package. He looked at it for a moment then back at her, a soft smile playing at the corners of his mouth.
"You take this one, Miss Randell," he said gently, releasing it and reaching for another. "There are plenty here and I do believe you'd reached for that one first." Pausing, he looked back up at her and into her eyes. "I'm glad you've come home, Madelyn."
"Thank you, it's good to be home finally," Madelyn said as she placed the roast in her cart, puzzled by his behavior, but too polite to question it. He was already walking away as she realized she'd introduced herself to him, but had been too flustered to ask his name. 'How impolite he must think me!' she thought to herself as she started after him, only to find he'd disappeared. Shaking her head, she continued her shopping, wondering what other surprises her return home might bring for her.
He watched as she loaded the cargo space of the small car with her groceries. Picking up his cell phone, he searched through the contacts then called one.
"She's back," he said excitedly as his call was answered.
"What? Who's back?" the man responded, clearly confused.
"Oh." There was silence on the other end of the line for a moment before the other man continued, "Do not approach her, let her be, we'll have a meeting with everyone and we'll figure out how to handle the matter, ok?"
"Um, well..." he stumbled over his words as he confessed that he'd already approached her, but quite by accident. "We were both reaching for the same tri-tip roast. I was rather annoyed when someone else was trying to take the cut of meat I wanted, but when I turned to deal with whoever it was, it turned out to be her." He went silent for a moment, remembering her rare and beautiful violet eyes, and he could still smell the scent of lavender and vanilla surrounding her.
"Ok," the man responded, interrupting him from his reverie. "Just do not approach her again until the Council has a chance to meet and we can decide how to proceed from here."
The command was met with silence as the first man watched Madelyn climb into her Scion xA and leave the parking lot.
"Connor!" the second man said sharply. "Are you hearing me? Leave her alone, don't do anything, stay away from her completely. There are things you don't know yet that we've learned. The Council will meet and we'll let you know when you may approach her again, do you understand?"
"Yes," he sighed as he responded reluctantly. "I understand." The line went dead and he sat there a moment, upset he could not speak with her again until the Council told him he could. But perhaps there was something he could do. Nodding to himself, he turned the key in the ignition to his old truck and started formulating his plan as he drove home.
*** Madelyn awoke with a start. She looked around her, not knowing for a moment where she was. It all came back to her then, and she smiled faintly. She was home.
It had taken her nearly two weeks to finish all the papers she'd already agreed to proof, pack, clean the house she'd occupied for the last couple years and find a car that got good gas mileage for the trip to Northern California. Her first impulse had been to just fly up, but she changed her mind over the course of those two weeks. She knew she'd need a car but didn't want or need a large one. When she saw the little xA, she knew that was the car for her. A compact car with four doors and a hatchback, it was neither too big nor too small for her. After loading the car, she'd left the city for good two days ago and arrived at the house just yesterday evening.
When she arrived, she found her room as she had left it. The white furniture stood out in a lovely contrast to the lavender-painted walls. The hardwood floor was covered with her custom rug, white with lavender flowers woven into the pattern. She had explored the entire house, finding everything as it had been left, except the kitchen and the laundry room. As Brian had told her over the phone, the kitchen had been emptied of all food, and the laundry that had been left in the hampers in the bedrooms and bathrooms of the house had been washed, dried and placed on the beds.
She got out of bed, put her robe on, and went to the kitchen to make herself some breakfast. As she passed her parents' room, she sighed sadly, but kept moving. That was the only room in the house she hadn't yet explored since she'd returned. It was still just too painful to go in there. She would, eventually, and perhaps one day she'd feel comfortable enough to move into that room. But for now, she was content to occupy the room that had always been hers.
Pushing the thought of her parents and every other thought other than satiating her growling stomach from her mind, she got busy preparing herself a hearty breakfast, then sat down to eat. Eggs, sausage, and oatmeal disappeared in no time, and she cleaned up then ran to her room to change into shorts and a tank top. Pulling on her running shoes, she grabbed the backpack she prepared earlier then left the house to take a run through the woods.
A smile spread across her face as she moved through the trees. The forest was always one of her favorite things about this place. Her parents had owned several hundred acres up here, with the house being secluded enough that it was hidden from all roads, though it wasn't far from the Western-most boundary of the property. It was all hers now and she loved that she could run through her woods, without another person for miles. She ran for 30 minutes solid before coming to one of her favorite places, a small opening in the trees, with a tiny grassy meadow, and a stream running through the center. She'd have arrived there sooner but chose a more circuitous route today.
The call of the wilderness was one she'd felt for too long. Impossible to ignore, she'd done her best to get into wilderness areas during her time in the city, but it was difficult. Her little house on 18th had been almost in the center of the concrete jungle. While Madelyn knew she had forever and a day to explore her woods again, it was hard to resist staying out here for hours. Pulling off her shoes, she sat down on the pebbly shore of the stream and put her feet in the cool water.
She sat there, listening to the sounds of the forest, for quite a while before hearing a twig break behind her. With a start and a low gasp, she froze, her heart beating faster. She waited there, mouth open slightly, hardly daring to breathe as she listened for sounds of movement behind her. Taking a deep breath, she whipped herself around and came face to face with the largest wolf she'd ever seen. Terror gripped her, and before she could get a grip on her mind and senses, she fainted.
She woke with a start. Her whole body tingled. She sat up abruptly and looked around her. The wolf she was sure she'd seen was nowhere to be found. Getting to her feet, she realized she wasn't in the same place where she was certain she fainted. It'd been over at the stream, and now, she was at the wood's edge.
A chill ran through her body as it remembered a touch between her legs, even if she wasn't conscious of it. As she suddenly found herself strangely aroused, she gasped. Her pussy hadn't been this wet in a very long time. It scared her, yet piqued her curiosity.
Why on earth would her body be reacting like this immediately after having awoken from fainting after seeing that wolf?
Sitting there, she noticed she wasn't where she thought she'd fainted. Cautiously, she arose and looked around. Everything was still. Birds were chirping and flies were buzzing all around. Nothing seemed amiss, yet as she walked to the place she remembered putting her feet in the water, she looked on the ground and saw the prints. Where the canine prints ended, human prints began.
Bending down, she examined the prints. The feet had been bare and they were large, like a man's. She followed them and was startled to discover they led to where she'd awoken. Even more disconcerting was not far away, canine prints appeared again.
What did it mean?
She had to get home, and go into her parents' study, perhaps into their room as well. She had to find out what kind of wolf that was, and ask Brian if he knew why her parents had chosen this particular place for their home. She also needed to see if she could find the man that had carried her from the water's edge.
Connor watched as the heat spread from her loins throughout her body. He could smell her arousal and smiled as best he could in wolf form. He had done that to her, by touching her where he instinctively knew nobody else but she herself had touched before.
She was his, already, but didn't even know it. He would be certain she remained that way, but wasn't yet sure how he would finally make her his, officially.
When she finally left the meadow, he followed her to be certain she made it home without incident, then took up watch on the house until sundown.
Before leaving, he raised his head to the sky and let out a long howl, announcing in it his intent to take the human woman for himself, and warning any other who might try to court her not to tread on what he was now claiming for himself.
In the safety of her home, a fire blazing in the fireplace, even though it wasn't exactly cold out, she curled up on the couch with a big mug of hot chocolate. She sat staring into the flames till well after she'd finished the chocolate.
She'd heard the howl at sunset, and knew it wasn't a coincidence. In the morning, her search of her parents' room would begin. The search of their study had led her just about nowhere. There were books on dogs, wolves, and coyotes. None of those showed her much of anything useful, even the books on wolves. But, in a turn of what some might call luck, she found one of her parents' notebooks in the study. It talked of larger than usual wolves. The notes said this wolf has no fear of humans, and is often aggressive toward them. It also mentioned that this particular type of wolf is a shape shifter. It went from human form to wolf, as well as forms in between which were unknown to any who researched this subject.
As she read this, the hair on the back of her neck rose. Not long after she'd began reading about this kind of wolf being a shape shifter, she heard that long howl. The sound spoke to even her. She didn't know how, but she knew this wolf wanted something. She did not know what he wanted, though. That fact scared her, but, to her surprise, she again found herself mysteriously aroused when she heard the eerie sound of that lone wolf's howl.
The flames seemed to take on the forms of wolves. The fire wolves scampered through the coals, playing with one another. Her eyes drooped sleepily and before they closed, she thought she saw a familiar wolf there in the flames. In her dreamlike state, she thought she watched the flame form approach slowly, then transform from flame to a solid body. Her brain didn't register it as being anything more than a dream, but it was more real that she realized, only he was never composed of flames. That is what he wanted her to see. As he approached, whispering soothing words, her eyelids closed and she drifted off to sleep.
He stood before her, slowly shifting from wolf to man, and took the sleeping form of his woman into his arms. He carried her through the house to her parents' bedroom, laying her gently on their bed. Moving to the window, he closed the window he'd entered the house through, and then laid down beside her and pulled her close.
"You are mine" he whispered to her before falling to sleep beside her, an arm holding her firmly against him.
Madelyn woke with a start. Her dreams had been filled with wolves, one in particular, who told her she was his. In her dreams, she slept in his arms and he held her tight before they made passionate love.
She sat up, looking around, surprised to find herself on her parents' bed. She didn't remember coming in here and lying down. Looking around, she saw it was much the same as she remembered it, only their smell was long gone. It saddened her that their smell no longer lingered here. After taking a moment to reminisce on stormy nights spent between them in that very bed, and watching them packing to leave for that last trip while she was perched on the corner of this bed, she started searching the room.
The closet still held much of their clothing. Daddy's suits were still within the garment bags. Mother's wedding dress, wrapped in blue tissue, sat in its' box on a shelf. Her shoes lined up along the floor of her side of the large walk-in closet. Daddy's were in the cabinet on his side of the closet. She mulled for a few minutes over the thought of packing some of this stuff away for the children she may have one day to see, and sending the rest away. Right now, though, she knew she could put that thought aside. She had more important things to do.
She searched the cabinets of the closet, finding only more clothing, some jewelry, and Mother's perfume bottle collection. Daddy's baseball cards remained in their boxes on the top shelf of his side.
Under the bed, she found several binders. One of them in particular was labeled "Werewolves of Northern California" and this one she took with her as she left the room.
As she settled with a cup of fresh coffee and a bowl of oatmeal, she thumbed through the pages of the binder. It contained clippings from newspapers detailing eyewitness accounts of the local wolves from the past century. It also contained stories the local Native Americans told of the wolves of these mountains. All mentioned larger than usual wolves, howls that spoke to them, and disappearances of humans that led people to believe the werewolves in the stories might be true, and that those humans were victims of the werewolves.
Putting down the binder, she retrieved the phone and dialed Brian's phone number.
"Hemming and Associates," a pleasant female voice answered on the other end.
"Hi. Cindy?" Madelyn said. "Is Brian there?"
"Um, no, Mr. Hemming is not here," the voice on the other end said hesitantly. "He has, um, gone to Northern California to visit friends for the week."
"Oh. Well, do you know where he went?" she asked the woman.
"No, he only said he was heading North, and that he'd be gone a week. May I take a message and have him call you when he returns?"
"Yes, please. Please tell him Madelyn Randell called to speak with him. It's about my property here and some questions I have about what my parents knew about the history of it." She hoped she hadn't said too much, but didn't want to be too cryptic to Brian.
"Of course, Miss Randell - I'll be certain he gets the message the minute he steps into the office."
"Oh, and Miss Randell, Mr. Hemming asked that if you called, I was to tell you he has three prospective buyers of your house in San Francisco. One is a couple who like the house, but are asking a $50,000 price reduction, so they may carpet the entire house. The second is a student, like you were, and she is asking to waive inspections so she can move in as soon as possible."
"Ok...and the third?"
"The third has an offer of $30,000 less than the asking price on the table. He has no demands, but the offer will expire the day Mr. Hemming returns to the office." The secretary paused. "Mr. Hemming was going to accept the third offer without consulting you, Miss Randell."
"That's fine. I trust Brian's judgment." Madelyn was sure she left the poor woman flabbergasted, but that's ok. "Thank you...goodbye," she said before hanging up the phone.
Brian was in Northern California?
'I wondered why he would come here and not say anything to me about taking a trip all this way,' she thought to herself.
Sighing, she took her bowl to the sink, cleaned up her mess, and went to get dressed for another run. There was no sense in holing herself up, when she had always known she was safe here. Perhaps they were why she was safe? She didn't know, but if they were going to harm her, she figured they'd be able to get inside the house to harm her, no matter what she did to keep them from gaining entry.
She pulled her tank top over her head as she came down the stairs, and stopped in the kitchen to grab a sport bottle then filled it with ice and water.
On the way out, she pulled the door closed, then took off down the path she knew so well. About halfway to her destination, she felt another presence, and she stopped running to stare into the woods around her.
"Come out and show yourself" she said loudly.
She watched the shadows closely, looking at each one as turned around.
"Look, I don't have all day, and I know you're there. I can hear you."
She looked around and listened before she began walking toward the house again.
'She can hear me?' Connor thought she must be trying to trick him into showing himself, which he wouldn't do.
He watched as she started walking. Her path took her past his current hiding place, but there wasn't any way for him to move, so he crouched down and remained perfectly still.
In the distance, he heard a wolf howl. Carefully, quietly, he lifted his head and sniffed the wind. It was someone from his pack. He hadn't paid very close attention to the voice, so he wasn't sure who exactly it was, but when he heard the howl again, he could tell they were coming closer.