Alice walked through the wasteland, a faded red cloak around her shoulders, the hood pulled up to help protect her face from the relentless wind that kicked up sand and debris. She was heading for the river, her satchel thrown over her shoulder that was holding her notebook of canvas paper, her cup she used for water and her paints and brushes. She was relieved when she finally made it to the river and stepped into the clump of trees that the water fed. There was hardly any wind in the shelter of the trees and she pulled her hood back then opened her bag and pulled out the little cup. She dipped it in the water, filling it half way then went and found a comfortable place to sit. She pulled out her notebook, paint, and brushes. Today she decided on water colors since they were easier to transport and dried faster. She wasn’t going to be gone for long, but wanted some time outside the city walls to herself. She flipped open her paint container and grabbed a brush, dipping it in the water then rubbing it in the paint.
David could smell her inside the trees and climbed up into the branches of the one she sat under. He didn’t understand how she could just go wondering around in the wasteland by herself and not think of the possible dangers. Her name was Alice, he had learned that after seeing her signature on her paintings. It fit her so well, a beautiful name for a beautiful young woman. He sat in the tree, just watching her paint, loving the way her hand moved the brush with such expertise. He wanted to get closer and found himself leaning down to get a better look at her. His foot slipped and his loosened grip didn’t save him. He fell out of the tree and landed in front of her, making her let out a yelp of surprise. He lay there for a moment, the air knocked out of his lungs, his head tipped back and looking at her surprised face.
“Uh, hello.” Was all he could say, knowing it sounded stupid, but also knowing he had been caught in the act.
“Hi…um…can I help you?” She was still staring at him, her notebook held tightly to her chest, her paintbrush on the ground, and her cup of water knocked over. She had paint on her face from where the brush had hit her when she brought the notebook to her chest.
He rolled over, pushing himself up onto his knees and dusting himself off. “No, sorry for startling you. I uh kind of followed you I guess.”
“Oh so you’re the one, my shadow. Do you want something from me?”
“No, nothing, I just like watching you…paint.” He added at the end so he wouldn’t seem like some sort of creepy stalker.
Alice smiled “I was wondering why you followed me so much. Maybe next time I could bring paintings I’ve done at home for you to see”
“I’d really like that. I’m David by the way, nice to meet you”
“Nice to meet you I’m Alice” David almost said i know but held it back, knowing it would sound weird even if he explained how he knew. “why do you come out here alone? It’s dangerous” He asked. “I can take care of myself and I’m observant. I’ve known for along time you’ve been following me but I wasn’t worried. You didn’t seem menacing” David tussled his hair nervously as Alice asked “why do you stay out here? You must live here to follow me every time”
“I’m half werewolf so I’m not welcome in the city” She frowned “that isn’t right”
“It is what it is.”
“aren’t you lonely?”
“No, I have my siblings.”
“How old are they? In fact, how old are you?”
“I’m 24, My brother is 14 and my sister is 13. How old are you?”
“You look…younger than that.”
She laughed. “I get that all the time, but I’m definitely twenty-one. So, is it just you and your siblings?”
“Yeah, it has been for awhile. I guess you can say I kind of raised them. Both of our parents were taken by slavers about a year after Elizabeth was born.”
“I’m so sorry.”
“It’s okay, we do just fine. It was hard at first, but we managed.”
“You couldn’t have been much older than twelve. That’s so sad.”
He moved a little closer to her and gave her a warm smile. “Please don’t be sad for us, my siblings grew up strong, they’re real survivors and they both had plenty of time to be kids. I made sure of that.”
“But your childhood was taken away.”
He waved his hand as if brushing her worries aside. “Twelve years of being a kid was good enough, I enjoyed it and I didn’t mind raising my siblings. Daniel and Elizabeth are both amazing kids.” He picked up her cup, tipping the rest of the water out of it before setting it down beside her. “So do you have any family?”
“Yeah, I have my mom, dad, and little sister. Amy, my sister, worries about me when I come out here. She always thinks something horrible will happen and honestly if she saw me hanging out with a half werewolf, she’d probably worry more. She seems to think everything that lives out here is dangerous.”
“I am dangerous, just not to you.”
She blushed. “Well that’s good too hear.”
“You have paint on your face, sorry about that.” He grabbed the edge of his shirt and lifted it to wipe her face, exposing his abdomen and the four long scars that went from just under his left ribs across to his right hip.
“What happened to your stomach.”
“I got on the wrong side of a saber tooth when I was sixteen. Just me being an idiotic teen.”
“You say that like it’s normal”
“it’s normal out here. It’s dangerous not to live inside a city”
“You shouldnt be forced out here..”
“You’ve said that and it’s ok. I like it out here. I can be all wolf whenever I want”
“can you show me what you look like when you turn?”
“Of course” His bones starting popping and before she knew it a beautiful wolf stood before her” She knelled next to him and began rubbing his fur. David loved her touch so was going to stay in this form as long as she would pet him.
“You’re so beautiful.” He huffed and she giggled then he licked her cheek. “And sweet.” She scratched him behind his ear and he laid his head in her lap. “I wish I could shift shape.” She just sat there, stroking her fingers through his fur, loving how soft and warm he was. After awhile she said, “Well, I better get home.”
David didn’t want her to leave, but understood that she had people who would worry about her if she didn’t return. He shifted back to his human for and she gasped and covered her eyes, a blush reddening her cheeks. He hadn’t realized he had wiggled his way out of his clothes. “Sorry.” He quickly pulled them back on. “Okay, it’s safe.” She dropped her hands and he gave her an apologetic smile.
“It’s okay, I was just surprised.”
“I’ll be more careful. So uh will you come back and see me again?”
“Sure, I’d love too and maybe you can introduce me to your siblings.”
“Why don’t you just stay with me tonight, we can stargaze and I can show you so many amazing things.”
She cupped his cheek and he leaned into her touch. “I don’t want to worry my family. I live alone, but my sister comes by to visit every day and would get my father out here looking for me. He’s very protective.”
“Maybe tomorrow night then? I promise to be good.”
She sighed, wanting to spend more time with him even though she just barely met him. “Alright, tomorrow you can introduce me to your siblings and then I’ll stay the night and stargaze.”
“Could I kiss you on the cheek and walk with you most the way back?”
“sure” He gave her a small kiss that made both their hearts skip. He had never been more grateful to fall in his life. David walked with her until they got to the point he might be seen “be safe, I’ll be waiting for you”
“I can’t wait, it all sounds like so much fun”
“I’l make sure its the best night of your life” David said softly, causing Alice to blush again. They parted, fighting the urge to stay together. David couldn’t believe things went so well. He had expected to scare her if he approached so her reaction was pleasantly surprising.
He walked happily across the desert, a smile pasted on his face as he thought of getting to spend a whole night with Alice. “Where have you been?” Elizabeth asked when he walked into the cave they shared.
“I was taking a walk, did you get worried?”
“Of course I did. What if a human saw you and shot you or captured you?”
He tussled her hair. “You know I’m too fast for that.”
Daniel sniffed the air and said, “You have an odd scent on you, like perfume. Were you following that girl again? It’s not polite to stalk people.”
“If you must know little brother, I actually spoke to her today and she knew I was following her the whole time.”
“How is that possible?” Elizabeth asked.
“She’s very observant I guess, she’s an artist so she pays attention to her surroundings. I’m also bringing her here tomorrow so you two need to be on your best behavior.”
Daniel and Elizabeth exchanged worried glances. “Are you sure that’s wise, what if someone comes looking for her and finds her with a bunch of wolves?” Daniel asked.
“She’s an adult and really nice and I’m sure she would be able to explain why she’s with us and not get us killed. Just trust me.”
Elizabeth hugged him. “We always trust you.”
“You should. No matter what happens I will never let anything or anyone hurt you two.”
“what’s for dinner?” Daniel asked. “what do you kiddos want?”
“anything, we’re just starving”
“How about some southwestern calico corn?”
“yummy!” they both exclaimed and followed him into their kitchen. They all prepared it together then enjoyed a meal, Alice never leaving his mind. He wondered what he would cook for her. He had no idea what she liked or what she might be allergic to. He decided not to fret over it. She coudl just tell him what she wanted tomorrow and he hoped he would be able to make whatever it was she wanted.
Alice smiled when she saw Amy sitting on her front porch and her little sister came to her feet, a relieved expression on her face. “You were out in the wasteland again weren’t you?”
“Amy, I told you not to worry.”
“How can I not, there are so many dangerous things out there. Saber tooth tigers, venomous snakes, and werewolves. You get killed.”
Alice rolled her eyes and fished her key out of her pocket then unlocked and pushed open her door. “Werewolves aren’t that bad.” She put her drawing things on her kitchen counter and Amy huffed.
“What are you talking about, they’re dangerous. They could easily rip you to shreds.”
She didn’t want to tell Amy about David and his siblings because she was afraid she might tell their father. Their mother wouldn’t care. She shared the same views as Alice, that just because you didn’t understand something didn’t mean it was evil or dangerous. Their father on the other hand was very protective of his daughters. None of the boys in the city stood a chance when it came to dating them. “Amy, I’m perfectly fine and I know my way around.”
“Dad doesn’t like when you wander around out there.”
“That’s because he worries to much. He needs to calm down before he worried himself to death. I know he loves me, but I just wish he’d see things the way I see them, through the eyes of an artist. I mean don’t you ever want to see a new creature or make friends with someone different? You have to take chances or life will always remain the same. Mom took a chance with dad, even though she didn’t know if he would love her or if she would love him and they’re the happiest couple I know. I believe in taking chances and not being afraid of the unknown.”
Amy sighed “We just love you”
“I know, I’m glad you and dad care but I’ll be fine. Tomorrow I wont be coming home and as my sister could you please not tell our parents. Remember that secret I’m still keeping for you? I’d like the favor returned”
“Fine, just try to check in with me as soon as possible so I know you’re alright”
“I will, thank you” They hungout for a short time then Amy left so Alice could rest. She got ready for bed then relaxed into her covers so she coudl stay up as late as possible tomorrow. She knew it was going to be exciting and end far sooner than she wanted.
The next morning she woke excited and quickly jumped out of bed and went into the bathroom. She hummed as she washed herself and got out and dried. She went into her room and pulled on a baby blue knee length dress with a bow in the back. She pulled on some matching tights and then her shoes. She did her hair next then went ahead and grabbed her art supplies then a blanket. Her heart beat out a happy rhythm as she exited her home, smiling at the people she passed.
David ran happily across the desert, feeling nervous but excited. He never thought he would get to spend time with Alice. The first day he had caught her scent and followed her, he had been intrigued and had almost revealed himself on many occasions. He had been afraid of what she would do since most people were terrified of his kind. He was relieved she had been so accepting of his true self and not fled, screaming across the desert and rousing every predator in the vicinity. The city came into view and he came to a stop, finding a place to sit and keeping his senses open for Alice. He spotted her a few minutes later moving out of the city and came to his feet, letting out a loud howl and make her look his way. She waved at him and moved quickly over the warm sand.
“I’m so glad you were waiting for me.” She said when she was closer.
“I really wanted to see you and didn’t want you waiting all day in that grove. Here let me carry your bag.”
She took it off her shoulder and he slung it over his. “Thank you.”
“Would you like me to carry your blanket too?”
“No, I have it, but thank you. So what are we going to do today?”
“I can show you some pretty awesome caves or I can take you up to this cliff that looks over the wasteland, you’ll have to ride on my back though since the climb is steep. Daniel and Elizabeth love it up there.”
“Lets do both.” He smiled happily and she giggled, knowing if he had been in wolf form his tail would have been wagging.
“Then let climb the cliff first. The caves will be the same no matter the time of day we go to them. I want to introduce you to my siblings before we head out if that’s ok.”
“I’d love to meet them” Alice followed David with a huge smile on her face, wondering what his siblings were like. The two were waiting right by the entrance of their home when david brought her. They exchanged names and talked briefly before David said “lets leave your blanket here”
“Ok” Alice set her blanket down then told Elizabeth and Daniel bye before leaving with David. Elizabeth and Daniel felt better about their brother hanging out with her now that they had met Alice but they still worried. If they lost him they’d have nobody left but eachother and that was a future neither wanted. Not having their parents was bad enough even though Daniel had been a great brother and dad.
When they made it to the base of the mountain Alice became nervous. It was a long way up. David shifted her bag so the strap rested across his chest then squatted down. “Hop on and hold on tight.” She climbed onto his back, her arms wrapped around his neck and her legs around his waist. He started climbing and the higher he got, tighter she held on. “It’s okay, I won’t let anything happen to you.” Wind started to tussle her hair as they neared the top and he had to jump up to grab onto the ledge. He hauled himself over the edge and she climbed off his back.
“That was terrifying, but fun.”
“Well that’s good I suppose.” He chuckled and sat there catching his breath. “So, what do you think?”
Alice looked out over the wasteland, her breath taken away by the beauty of it all. She could see some many groups of trees along the river and far off in the distance the silhouette of mountains. She wondered what could be over in that part of the world. “This is so amazing. Can I have my bag please?”
“Of course.” He pulled it off and handed it to her and scooted close to watch her paint. She filled her little cup from a canteen she had packed then pulled out her paints, brushes, and art pad. He watched as she brought the wasteland to life on paper, admiring her talent. “That’s amazing.” He finally said and she blushed and smiled.
“Thank you. My mother got me into art. She paints and draws and creates things out of clay. She’s truly amazing.”
“So are you, I mean I’ve never see paintings like yours.”
Alice smiled “thanks, I wish I could take you into town to see an art gallery”
“I dont want you in trouble for my sake. I dont need to see anybody art but yours. I’m glad I can get a close up view now”
“You could have sooner but I understand your apprehension. Most would have tried to kill you”
“Yeah” When Alice was done with her painting they talked for the brief amount of time it would take her paint to dry. Once it was done Alice cleaned everything and stored it in her bag again. “want to enjoy the view a little longer or should we head to the caves?”
“are you getting hungry for lunch?”
“On the way we’ll pass where a friend of mine lives. He’ll let us eat with him if you want to go ahead and go”
“Lets go then” David took her bag again then she climbed on his back so he could get the two of them down. Alice clung tightly to David again as she buried her face in his shoulder. At the bottom they paused to let David catch his breath then walked on to his friends house. “how long have you known this friend?”
“a few years.”
“what is he?”
“full werewolf, about the same age as us if you’re wondering”
“Does he like company?”
“We dont get it but I’m sure he will. I’ve talked to him about…your paintings before” Alice smiled “I’ll have to show him what I just did on the cliff.”
“he’d like that”
Abram was sitting outside his cave stringing beads onto a bit of leather when they walked up. He came to his feet and sat the partially done bracelet down on the chair he had been occupying. “Might this be Alice?” He asked, his voice surprisingly deep for a man of his build.
“How do you know my name?” Alice asked perplexed.
“David told me, said he read your signature on your art. I have to say, it is very nice to put a face to your name.” He held out his hand and she took it. “I am Abram.”
She smiled. “It’s very nice to meet you. We were wondering if we could have lunch with you.”
Abram chuckled. “No doubt this mutt decided for both of you.”
David huffed. “I might be a mutt, but I can out track you in a heartbeat.”
“Careful pup, respect your elders.”
“You’ve only got four years on me, that’s not that old.”
Alice laughed, the sound light and musical, warming David’d heart. Abram opened his door. “Well come on then, I’ll see what I can rustle up.”
“Thank you Abram.” Alice replied and he smiled at her.
David leaned against Abrams counter while Alice just stood, admiring his home. “How about stir fry? I have plenty of vegetables and fresh meat I only just obtained a few days ago.”
“sounds delicious” Alice answered so Abram got to work. “need any help chopping?”
“Nope, just relax and tell me about yourself.”
“what do you want to know?”
“Anything you wish to tell me” She first told him of her family then about her art pieces and how her mother inspires her. She was still talking about her mother when their lunch was ready so she just kept talking between swallows. David and Abram just listened intently.When she was done Alice said ‘sorry, wow I got winded” Abram laughed “No, it was good to hear of you. I’ve heard plenty about you before from David so it’s nice to learn more”
“He talks about my art?”
“sure” Abram said with a smile so David kicked him under the table. Abrams smile widened but made no sign that David had kicked him. “tell me about you guys? What sort of things do you two normally do together?” David answered “Mock fight, talk, explore, get into mischief.”
“Maybe I could join you two in all but mock fighting.”
“anytime” Abram added. “I’m going to wash dishes since you cooked.” Alice said and Abram protested “no, you wont”
“I will unless you want to be a mean host” Abram shook his head and David said “I’ll dry and Abram can put away. We can all do it together”
“I guess I can settle for that” Alice said then started collecting dishes from the table. Between the three of them it didn’t take long for Abrams kitchen to be clean. “thanks for the help guys” Abram said “thanks for the delicious meal” Alice answered before hugging him. With goodbyes exchanged David and Alice left, Alice soon realizing she never showed him her new painting. “I forgot to show him my painting I got so wrapped up in talking”
“you can show him another time. We’re all friends now”
“True, I enjoyed our conversation. Thanks for introducing me”
“So, to the caves then or are you done exploring for today?”
“I’m never done exploring.”
He lead her across the desert, taking her a couple of hours from his home where one of his favorite places was. He reached out and grabbed her hand, making her blush as he pulled her into the darkness of the cave. “I wouldn’t want to lose you in here. I would be able to find you again, but depending on how turned around you got it could take time.”
She gripped tighter to his hand, her heart rate spiking the further they went. A silence like none she had ever heard pressed in on them and for a few moments she felt suffocated. She swallowed, her other hand holding onto his shirt. “Where are we going?” She asked, her voice trembling.
“You’ve never been in a cave before have you?”
“No, only in the wasteland.”
David stopped and lifted her in his arms. “There, now there’s no way we can get separated.” She held her bag to her chest, shaking.
“It’s not that, it’s the darkness and silence. I can’t see or hear anything other than us. It’s disorienting and I feel like the whole cave will come crashing down on us.”
He smiled though she couldn’t see it. “I promise to keep you safe. Just take a deep breath and relax, we’ll be out of this part soon.” She inhaled deeply then let the air out of her lungs and settled her head on his chest. His heart beat steadily in her ear, the sound soothing her and giving her something else to focus on.
David held Alice tightly against him, hoping she was more comfortable. He walked quickly, wanting this part to be over with as fast as possible for her. He slowed only when there was a bright light ahead of them. Alice looked up, happy she could finally see Davids face again. She got lost in staring at him until he set her down. They could now see perfectly so Alice’s eyes traveled the cave. “it’s nice” she said and he chuckled “what i want to show you is just a bit further. I just figured you might want to walk on your own now that you can see. I’d like to hold your hand though, just in case”
“then please do” she said sweetly. Another one of those warm smiles appearing on her face that drove David wild with happiness. His inner wolf was yipping and wagging its tail happily due to the look she was giving him. He would take her anywhere in the world if it earned him that stupefying smile.
“Where are you taking me?”
“I can’t tell you or it will ruin the surprise.”
He took down a tunnel, this one shorter than the last. Bright light filtered in ahead of them and the tunnel opened up into a large cave. A waterfall fell from above and into a clear pool of water, the mist from it wetting their skin. Tree roots dangled down the hole where bats roosted since it was still day. “This is amazing.”
“I thought you might want something new to paint.”
She hugged him, making his heart stutter in his chest. “Thank you so much, it’s just wonderful.”
“Come on, lets find you a dry place to paint.” He lifted her up and hopped across the slick rocks until he found a place untouched by the mist. She pulled out her stuff and he filled her cup for her. She smiled warmly at him and he sat there watching her as she painted the cave and waterfall. “I love the look you get on your face when you paint.”
She blushed. “What do you mean?”
“You just look so focused, almost serious and you stick your tongue out the side of your mouth. It’s adorable.”
She blushed a little more “I didn’t even notice that” Davids smile widened “well, I love watching you paint. I’ll get to watch you paint every time you come out here now right?”
“Of course” Alice finished her painting then signed it as she always did. “do you have more places like this to show me?”
“Many, they’ll have to wait for another day though” It would indeed be late by the time they were out of the cave but David also didn’t want to give up all his reasons to make her come to him. He couldn’t come into town so he needed her to keep coming back to him. When her painting was dry David took Alice into his arms and carried her out of the cave. He kept his hold of her until they were under the orange sky. The sun was begging to set so he said “lets go get that blanket and make ourselves comfortable under the stars”
David unabashedly took Alice’s hand and tugged her a little to keep her close. If any predators attacked he wanted to make sure he could shield her if need be. Alice’s legs grew sore as they walked back to Davids home but she made no complaints. He had walked much more than her today and he didn’t seem tired in the least.
David was keeping such a look out for danger he didn’t notice her fatigue. When they arrived back at Davids home his siblings weren’t there. It didn’t worry him though. Somtimes they liked to stay out late and he knew they could keep themselves safe. David was about to walk out again when Alice said “I really need to sit a moment. I’m so tired”
“I can carry you” David said, loving an excuse to hold her again. “I dont want to do that to you”
“I like having you close…let me carry you” Alice’s whole face turned beet red. “alright” she took the blanket from him and he scooped her up. “I’m a werewolf, I have more energy than you. Never hesitate to ask me to carry you” Alice rested her head on his chest again. He carried her out to a nice open area then set her down before taking the blanket and laying it out. David smiled, a little shyness in it which she thought gave him a handsome look, not that he wasn’t handsome to begin with.
They laid down together, David wanting her head on his chest but not bold enough to ask her. They talked of how beautiful the sky was and how much fun their day had been. Alice’s voice became more of a yawn as they spoke. David chuckled and ventured to say “You might sleep better out here if you use my chest as a pillow”
‘Thank you” she said then laid her head on his chest.
“I hope you will come and see me again.” David said as he ran his fingers gently up and down her arm.
“I will, I promise.”
“I really enjoy your company, you make me feel…liberated. I spent so much time being a father to my siblings that I never actually had any freedom. I love my siblings don’t get me wrong.”
She smiled sleepily. “There is no doubt in my mind that you have been an amazing big brother and father figure to your brother and sister. They seem so happy and love you very much. It must have been hard on you.”
“Yeah, but it was worth it.”
Alice yawned and rubbed her cheek against his chest, making his heart skip a beat. “Thank you for getting me to come back. Today was amazing.” Her voice faded away and her body relaxed against his. He stayed as still as possible, making sure she was completely asleep before getting brave enough to brush a kiss onto her forehead. He stared up at the night sky, a smile on his face as he held her close to him. It was a warm enough night that it would be okay for them to sleep where they were. He would stay awake and make sure nothing could harm Alice while she slept.
The next morning Alice woke with a start. Her eyes flew open and her heart jumped in her chest when she realized she was laying outside wrapped in David’s arms. “Good morning beautiful.” He said softly and she looked up at him.
“How did you know I was awake?”
“Your heart beat changed.”
“Oh.” She blushed as she slowly sat up. “So we stayed out here all night?”
“Yeah, I didn’t want to risk waking you.”
She smiled. “Well you could have you know, I wouldn’t have been angry or anything.” He sat up and she stretched, making a little moaning sound that made his heart speed up. He cleared his throat and got to his feet then pulled her to hers.
“Let me make you breakfast.” He offered.
“Sounds good, but then I have to head home.”
He frowned. “When will you come back?”
“I don’t know, tomorrow maybe.” He brushed his thumbs over the backs of her hands. “David, I have a family. You understand that don’t you?”
He sighed. “Yeah, I understand.”
“please don’t look so heartbroken. I’m going to come here a lot”
“Is that a promise?” He asked hopefully. “Yes it is. Even if my dad finds out and has a heat attack I’ll still come. I’m an adult and can go where I please”
“I hope he doesn’t. I don’t want you fighting with him over me” They walked back to Davids home where Daniel and Elizabeth were already making breakfast. “thanks guys” David said and Elizabeth turned “we knew you two would be back this morning. Sit, we can finish this” David and Alice sat at the table and waited patiently for breakfast. When it was done Daniel started asking questions about their day yesterday. Alice was excited to answer, her tone showing how much fun she had. At the end of breakfast she hugged Daniel and Elizabeth bye then walked out with David to go home.
When they got to the point he had to stop they stood a long time in a tight embrace. It took massive amounts of self control to actually let her go so she could return to the city. “tomorrow David and if I dont show don’t worry. I’ll come the next day. I never know when I’ll be caught up in family things. My parents come on surprise visits to my home”
“Ok, be safe the rest of the way in. I’ll be right here watching as long as I can see you”
“always” Alice walked at a fast pace until she was in the city. Upon arriving home her sister was sitting on the porch. Alice laughed :worry wart”
“I can’t help it. If something happens to you and our parents find out I knew I’ll be in for it. I still live at home you know”
“I know, thank you for not telling”
“I owe you, big time. I’ll keep it as long as you need me to but you have to tell our parents eventually. They are going to find out about this Alice. It’s not like my itty bitty secret that we can just shuffle away. You are leaving town and you stayed out all night. It’ll go over better if you tell them instead of them finding out. Dad will be more willing to listen if you go to him first”
Alice sighed. “Amy, I’m an adult, I’m not a little girl anymore. I can stay out all night if I want to and I shouldn’t still be having to let dad know about my every action. Mom, she’s a free spirit and won’t care as long as I’m careful.”
“Please, at least consider it. They always ask me how you’ve been and I hate telling them you’re safe when I don’t know if you are. I mean what were you doing last night?”
“Just stargazing.” It was the truth, though not the whole truth.
“You could do that from the roof.”
“The lights block out most of them so it’s not nearly as beautiful. Look, I’ll stay in town for a couple of days okay and I promise to consider telling mom and dad. I hate burdening you.”
“It’s okay, I’m not mad.” They hugged and gave each other a warm smile. “You should come over for dinner tonight though, mom and dad miss you.”
“I will, I promise.” Amy left and Alice sat down at the couch, feeling sad she wouldn’t be leaving town for a couple of days. She knew David would worry, but she never went back on her word. The rest of the day zoomed by and she left a few minutes before dinner to go to her parents home. Throughout dinner Amy kept nudging her foot and she just shot her a look that said not right now which made her sister frown. After dinner she told her parents she loved them and headed home then fell into bed and clung tightly to her pillow as she thought of David.
A day went by and David missed Alice more than anything. He sat outside most of the time just staring off into space and wondering how she was doing. Sometimes he would go and see if she was outside the city limits. He knew it was stupid to worry, but he really wanted her back. “David, it’s lunch time.” Daniel said on the second day and David sighed as he got to his feet and went inside.
“I thought she would be back by now, but I haven’t even seen her leave the city.” He sat down at the table and ate the sandwich his siblings had prepared for him. “I miss her, I’m like some lovesick teen.” He chewed slowly, his mind drifting to Alice, her beautiful smile and wonderful smell. He had a sudden thought, one that was dangerous, but that grabbed a hold of him and wouldn’t let go. “I’m going to sneak into the city.”
“What?” Daniel said and Elizabeth got wide eyed.
“When the sun goes down, I’m going to go see Alice. I’m stealthy enough and I can easily find her scent.”
“That’s insane, what if you get caught or killed?”
David sighed. “I’ve never felt this way before Daniel, never in my life. She makes my heart race, she takes my breath away and my whole being quake. I feel possessive and jealous and I need her, really need her. It’s stupid, I know, but it’s the truth.”
Daniel sighed “Just please be careful. You are all we have”
“You know I will be. I love you two too much to leave you without me. Just know that you two are tough and smart. If in some crazy realty I was gone i know you two could carry on. As i said though, nothing can take me from you guys” He played around with his siblings until dinner time. Wanting them in high spirits before he left to go to Alice. He hoped she wouldn’t mind him just showing up but he needed her too much to stay away.
David knew he would go crazy if he had to spend too much more time without her. He packed a small bag of clothes while his siblings made dinner again. Their worry was deep on their faces but he just coulnd’t wait any longer for Alice. he ate slowly, giving them a little more time before he put himself in danger for the woman he loved. When his plate was clean he helped them wash dishes then hugged them each “I’ll be back. I promise you two”
He moved quickly across the wasteland, his heart beating out an excited and nervous rhythm. He wanted to howl his joy, but kept silent, not wanting to alert anyone once he drew closer to the outskirts of the city. He slowed when the lights glowing in house windows could be seem, moving as silent as possible. There was a wall surrounding the city meant to keep predators out and he easily scaled it and hauled himself over then dropped down behind a house. He inhaled the night air as he walked, smiling when he found Alice’s scent. He stayed completely alert as he slipped from alleyway to alleyway. His heart beat faster as her scent grew stronger and he found himself standing behind a little house with ivy growing up one wall. He sneaked around to the front and knocked on the door. When no one answered he decided took a seat in the corner of the porch, his back resting against the railing.
The conversation with Alice’s parents had gone as she had expected. Her father had reprimanded her and her mother had calmed him and defended her. She was exhausted from the night and wanted to relax at home. She walked up her front steps and slipped her key into the lock. As she opened her door she felt someone behind her and a hand clamped over her mouth and she was pushed inside. “Alice, it’s me.” The familiar voice whispered and she spun around.
“David, what are you doing here?”
“I missed you.”
“I’d walk through the fires of hell if it meant seeing your face just one more time.”
“I was coming tomorrow. I just promised to stay in town a few days”
“Even if I had known that I would have come. I couldn’t take being away from you any longer. I..I missed you so much. I had to see you smile and hear that gorgeous voice. I’ve never felt more attached, protective and needy of someone.” Alice’s heart fluttered and her cheeks tinted. “really?”
“Yes, I need you Alice. I think I may love you though that a lame way to tell someone you love them. I’ve just never loved anyone before my family so this type of love is new to me” Feeling deeply touched she hugged David, feeling bad about the way she greeted him but she was still a little shocked from him grabbing her like that when she first arrived home. Needing her lips David gently took Alice’s face in his hands and kissed her. Alice instantly kissed back, not caring if her parents happened by, came in and saw this. She wanted him every bit as much as he wanted her.
When their lips parted both their hearts were racing. “I love you” David whispered. “I love you too”
“Could I stay here tonight? I’ll just hold you, nothing more. I can’t be without you” Alice’s blush returned. “Ok” David wanted to strip to his boxers but didn’t want to make Alice uncomfortable so he just took off his shoes. When they were in bed he pulled her tightly against him and gave a contented sigh, his warm breath giving her goosebumps. David smiled “I could hold you like this every night”
“I would like that very much, but…” She found herself choking up, her heart feeling squeezed.
“We’ll find a way Alice, I won’t stop coming back until we do.”
“But you could get hurt.”
“It hurts worse to be apart.” She swallowed the lump in her throat and he scooted down so they were face to face. “I need you more than I need the air I breathe or the food I eat, you fill me with so much joy that I feel I may burst at the seams, without you I feel like only half a man.” He rubbed his nose against hers. “I want to be wrapped in your scent so every wolf out there knows I am yours.”
She smiled, making his heart speed up. “Are all male wolves this possessive?” She asked.
He shrugged. “I don’t know, but my father always doted over my mother, always wanted to do everything for her. He was a very devoted and loving mate to her and he never made her cry or physically abused her. I want to be like him, love you with that much passion. I won’t let any other male have you.”
She giggled. “I don’t want anyone else David, only you will do.”
“You should come out with me. Live with me and my siblings. You could always come back to the city when you want your family. If you dont want that I can keep taking the risk of entering the city”
“If its found out I live with you I’ll be considered a heathen and I wont be allowed to enter and see my family. Peoples racism is trying to make me choose between you and them.”
“I wont make you choose. I’m happy to take the risk of coming into this town.”
“I’m sorry, we’ll figure out somthing. Maybe we can talk sense into people. I’ve already told my parents about you. My moms supportive but my dad is worried. He’s very protective of Amy and I.”
“maybe if your mom meets me she can see that I’m good”
“Maybe, I worry about putting her in that position though. Its against the law to house a werewolf and she is just as accountable if she knows you’re here with me. She’s under obligation to tell if she sees you. My mom is a rebel though and might not but I…this is such a tough situation”
“Even if I get arrested, nothing can keep me from you, not a cell, not shackles, not even death.”
She teared up and pressed her face against his chest. “Don’t talk like that. I won’t let people hurt you.”
“Then lets tell your parents and get their support, lets change peoples minds one at a time until the number of people who support us outnumber the people who don’t.”
“Can I just sleep on it?”
“Sure and whatever you decide, I’ll be happy with.”
Alice’s thoughts were troubled as she drifted into sleep. She dreamed of him chained up somewhere and being used for experiments. Her heart raced and she jerked awake just before dawn covered in sweat. She sat up and pushed her hair out of her face. David slept peacefully next to her, a small smile pulling at his lips. She didn’t want him to get hurt, but she knew he was right. She hated sneaking around and she knew if they didn’t start changing people now then their hate for creatures like David and his family would go on and on until it resulted in massive amounts of bloodshed. She slipped slowly out of bed and went into the bathroom, needing a shower to wash the sweat from her skin.
David rolled over, his arm hitting Alice’s side of the bed and finding it empty. He opened his eyes and sat up, looking around. The sound of the shower caught his attention and he got to his feet, giving a long stretch before crossing the room and pushing the door open. “Alice, everything okay?” He asked and he heard her give a little yelp of surprise. “Sorry, just checking on you.”
“Yeah, I’m fine.” She was glad he couldn’t see her blushing, thankful for the shower curtain. “You know uh normally you wouldn’t just walk in the bathroom like that without knocking.”
“I’m not normal though.” He replied, a laugh in his voice. “Besides I can’t see you anyway and there’s no reason to be embarrassed around your mate.”
“Yeah, mate and wolves mate for life and I have an exceptionally long one.”
“Forever, hopefully after we talk to your family and get the support of others you’ll consider living forever with me.”
“I can live forever?’
“Yes, if i get my siblings and Abrams help”
“Abram knows more about it than me. I’ll have him explain. I’d hate to explain it wrong”
“I’ll live forever with you David. I don’t have to think about it” David nearly lept into the shower to hug and kiss Alice but knew she wasn’t ready for it. Her heart was beating such a nervous rhythm. “what’s there to eat?” He asked happily. “cereal”
“david walked out to let Alice finish washing. Soon he heard her call from the bathroom. He went to her and asked ‘yes beautiful?”
“Can you bring clothes in here and set them on the counter?’
“What do you want?”
“A skirt and a top that matches whatever skirt you pick out”
“alright” David quickly selected clothes for her then set them on the counter “do I have to go before you get out?” he asked “please..I’m not ready for you to see me naked”
“I’ll be right outside. I love you”
“Love you” David walked out and Alice dressed. Once dressed she ate breakfast too then said “lets go. Nobody can visibly see you’re a wolf”
“If you’re sure” David took Alice’s hand and they walk to her parents home. She knocked, hoping her dad wouldn’t freak out the second he realized who David was. Amy opened the door “Alice!” she exclaimed in a reprimanding tone that she brought David there. “Just let me in Amy” Amy sighed and moved so they could enter. They walked into the living room where Gillies and Keena were cuddling. They broke from eachother and stood, Keena looking worried while Gillies looked angry.
“What are you doing bringing him here?” Gillies asked.
“Daddy, just listen, please.” Alice said.
“You are entitled to your opinion of me sir and you can hate me if you want.” David said, unafraid of this human man. “I don’t expect you to like me or trust me or think I’m worth anything. To you I am a monster and honestly I am if I have to be, but I love your daughter more than anything.” He laced his fingers through hers and smiled adoringly at her. “She is and will always be my life. So I’m asking you to put aside your dislike and let us be together, to support us and defend us when no one else will.”
Keena grabbed her husband’s hand, making him look down at her, her eyes pleading for him to give David a chance. “And why should I trust you?”
“Because my parents were taken by human slavers and I still willingly came here. I don’t blame all of humanity for what happened to my parents, I don’t blame them for having to grow up and be a parent to my siblings. There are good and bad people everywhere, in every species, but neither of us is one of them. I trust you sir because you are Alice’s father and obviously a good man. If you weren’t, she wouldn’t be the way she is.”
“Gillies love, you were a military man, you served this city for years and have pull in may places. You can help start the process, please do this for Alice. I know she’s your baby, I know you don’t like seeing your girls grow up, but you have to let go this time.”
Gillies swallowed and Alice felt herself tear up. “I’ll always be your little girl papa bear.” She said and he sighed.
“Alright, fine, I’ll give David here a chance, but if he ever hurts you I’ll kill him without hesitation.”
“I expect nothing less sir.” David said sincerely.
“what’re we to do now?” Kenna asked. “I will meet with a few people. I need to make some calls. Sit and let my wife get to know you” Gillies said then walked to grab their house phone. “he’s a very sweet man” Kenna said to David “As I said, if you weren’t good people I doubt Alice would be this amazing. I love her deeply, I swear it” Kenna asked him all the questions she could think of until Gillies came back in the room. “we’re having company for dinner tonight. You’ll help your mother cook Alice?’
“Until then, what do you think of him so far Kenna?”
“very sweet, charming and fun”
“Hm, sounds good. What’re your plans for my daughter?’
“For us to always be together. Thats what i have so far” Gillies smiled at his answer “good, you cant make plans for her. She does as she wants but is a good girl all the same.”
“Thats part of what i love about her. Does she have any paintings here i can see?”
“Of course” Gillies showed david every painting they had of Alice’s hanging in the house. He admired them all. “so much talent”
“You shoudl see my mothers work” Alice said and they began to show them Kennas works. “beautiful, both of you” When dinner time rolled around Alice, Amy and Kenna began cooking while David was left alone with Gillies. “How’d you meet your wife?” David asked “arranged marriage and best thing that ever happened to me. I love her more than is describable. We’ve had such a happy life together.”
“wow, I’m glad it ended well”
“So how did you meet my daughter?”
David rubbed the back of his neck. “I kind of followed her around when I saw her alone in the wasteland. She called me her shadow. I didn’t know she knew I was following her. I feel like such a stalker, but the truth is I was concerned at first and then I became intrigued.”
“Alice has always been extremely perceptive. How did you find out she knew you were following her?”
“I fell out of a tree she was sitting under. I like watching her paint, she’s just so good at it and…well…she looks really cute while she’s doing it. I don’t want you to think I would do anything bad to her or anything, I respect and love her.”
“It certainly seems that way and as long as it stays that way we won’t have a problem.”
“Thank you, sir.”
There was a knock on the door and Gillies got to his feet and went to answer it. David stood when four strangers entered the living room and smiled at them in a friendly manner. “Nice to meet you.” He said.
“This is the wolf you were talking about?” One of the men said. “He doesn’t look very threatening.”
“Be nice Lieger.” Kenna said from the kitchen. “He’s a very nice young man.”
“He’s also cute.” One of the women said.
“Uh, thank you?” David replied. The woman couldn’t be that much older than him and the face she thought he was cute was a little weird. “Alice.” He called, making everyone in the living room laugh. Alice came out of the kitchen and he immediately took her hand.
“Chelsea calls everyone cute, it just the way she is.”
He smiled, glad to have Alice with him in any case. When the meal was ready they all sat down to talk. They talked late into the night about what they could say and do to make the people of the town see not all life that’s different is dangerous. That there are good werewolves out in the wild that would make a wonderful part of their society. By the end of the night they decided to get together a town meeting and announce aswell as discuss David being a part of their community. David was actually excited, especially since he could be with Alice publicly even now without getting her in trouble.
When the company left Gillies said “I trust you’ll get my daughter home safely?”
“I will be calling as soon as we have a town meeting set. Stay by the phone and by all means hangout here”
“we will dad” Alice answered and hugged him tightly. A few days passed and they were dressing up for the town meeting. They had given the people warning before setting this up to make sure all or atleast most could be there. David held tightly to Alice, almost as if afraid they would jerk her from him when they found out what he was. Things seemed to be rocky at first but at the end David was welcomed by all but very few people and he was welcome to stay rather they liked it or not.
David was bursting with joy and couldn’t wait to tell his siblings. They had been incited to come to this but were understandably too afraid to attend. “lets go tell them tonight” he asked Alice and she looked atg her father “go on, we dont need you two any longer. You better protect her with your life out there” Gillies said seriously to David “of course” David answered. They left the city and went to his siblings “we can move in with Alice guys!” David said as he burst through the door.
“they are really letting us in?” Elizabeth asked in disbelief. “yep, just pack some clothes for now. We need to figure out whats going in her home. Its not very big and she already has things.”
“I could sell more of my art and my dad would be willing to loan me money to help me buy a bigger place”
“Dont you like your home?”
“Yeah but I want plenty of space for all of us. We’ll see about moving”
“If thats the case why dont Elizabeth and I stay here until then? That way you two get some more alone time first” Daniel suggested. “are you sure?” Alice asked and Daniel nodded “yeah, just come get us when you have a bigger house. We’ll be fine here” David hugged them “I love you two”
“we love you” they answered.David was a little worried about them being out there longer without him but he knew they were strong and tried not to. When Alice and David arrived back at her place they changed into pajamas then settled into bed. David gave her a long kiss “It means a lot you want to get a bigger house so they’ll be comfortable”
“If it were reversed I’d hope you’d do the same for my sister”
“I would, anything for you” David said before kissing her again. Alice smiled at him, her eyes sparkling “I’m so excited for our future. I’ve never been so excited”
“I’m going to spend my life making sure you are happy and excited about life all the time. We need to change you now so you can be mine forever. I dont want age to steal you from me”
“As soon as Abram is ready” Alice answered. No more words were exchanged as they relaxed in the bed. They were soaring too high with happiness to be speaking right now. David and Alice slowly fell asleep in their euphoric happiness. Both looking into the amazing future they would have together.
~ The End ~