”Come on children! Time to come inside. ”
”Awe do I have to? ” I love being outdoors, its more of a home to me than the foster home I live in.
”Yes, Lupin even you. ” Ms. Pennie calls from across the yard. I shove my pen in my pants pocket and fold up my paper and slip it in my other pocket. I am the last of the kids to enter the old orphanage. Ms. Pennie guides us to the dining hall so we can get supper before heading off to bed.
I get in line to get my food, pea soup and a single slice of buttered bread with a cup of water. I sit alone at the furthest table keeping my head low.
”Hey, Lupin, What you got there? ” Trevor points at my soup. He is the orphanage bully.
”Nothing, leave me alone. ”
”What did you say to me? ” Trevor smirks and looks at his odyguards.
”You heard me! ” I raise my voice a little louder.
”Or what? What you going to do little Lupin? Hit me? ” His bodyguards laugh and crack their knuckles.
”Leave him alone, ” a girls voice says, coming from behind Trevor, Maximus, and Aron. ”There are plenty of other kids to pick on, quit picking on Lupin. ”
”Oh, like you? ” Trevor turns on his heel. ”Maybe I will. ”
”Enough, ” Ms. Pennie growls as she comes closer. ”Trevor… ” she gives him a stern glare. ”Mr. Abbott wants you and your little band of orphan thugs to go to his office for s little chat. ” Mr. Abbott is the current headmaster at The Abbott Orphanage (its passed down from father to son). Trevor and his boys exchange glances and then bolt away, probably thinking that if they don hurry Mr. Abbott will pull out the cane. ”Thank you for trying to stop them, Emma. ” She gives the girl who was standing behind Trevor a small smile. She then turns to me, ”Lupin, come with me. Bring your dinner. ”
I pick up my tray and follow her to her office on the second floor next to my dormitory. She holds the door open and I enter her office; it is cozy. There are a couple of pictures on the wall of what I assume is her family; she has a desk placed directly in front of a window with one chair behind it and two smaller chairs in front of it. To the left of the window is a large mahogany wardrobe, on the right a set of old filing cabinets with the labels; A-K, L-S, and T-Z. It contains all the records of the current children, and all behaviors (rule breaking, attitude during classes, etc.).
”Have a seat, ” Ms. Pennie points to her desk.
”Am I in trouble? ” I ask while I make my way over to the desk.
”Not at all. However, a pen was reported missing. ” She glances at my pocket. ”Lupin, how do you feel about being adopted? ”
”Adopt? ” I repeat, ” but no one wants to adopt me! Im odd! ”
”Its not official yet. ” Ms. Pennie takes a seat in the spinning chair behind the desk. ”A woman told me she drives by almost every day and you have caught her attention, she wants to bring you to her house and possibly adopt you. ”
e lying. ” I try to come up with some reason to not believe her. ”Im way too skinny, my clothes are shabby. No one wants a kid like me! ”
e not worthless Lupin. ”
”I am! Don you hear what everyone thinks of me? Trevor bullies me because I don have nice things, all the others talk about me behind my back! ” Ms. Pennie opens her mouth to respond, but then changes her mind and closes it. ”Tell me this is all just a joke. ” Ive forgotten about my food now.
”Lupin… please, just give this woman a chance, she seems like a really nice person. ”
I look down at my food, she will probably get me in her vehicle and then turn around and say this is all a big mistake and Ill be back in the orphanage. ”Okay… ” I mutter. I finish my food in Ms. Pennies office and then go to my dorm and go to bed. I look out the window at the moon and the stars, I yearn to be out there under it. Next Thursday the moon will be full and Id really love to see it just once outside in the fresh air. I mean, I know Ill get to see it when I turn eighteen and they kick me out, but I would like to see it just once while Im still a kid.
My eleventh birthday will be on Thursday too, its a coincidence being adopted right before it. Just imagine the look on Trevors face I think to myself, he will be so mad that its me and not him. I chuckle quietly.
”Ang! Weve talked about this a hundred times! ”
”Ive been watching the boy! He shows every trait! ”
”A lot of people do Angie, but you can just go around adopting rouge wolves, our alpha will kick us out if he finds out! ”
”How would you feel if you had been alone the first time you changed?! They won understand him, they will think he is a monster baby! ”
”You have a point. ” Echo sighs, ”but Fred will be pissed. ”
”Baby, Ill deal with the alpha, but if Im correct we need to get that boy out of there and before he turns and accidentally hurts someone. ”
”You are one crazy wolf baby. ” Echo kisses Angie on the forehead. ”Are you sure you can handle him alone? ”
”Hes my brother, I have no doubts that I can. ”
Angie and her mate, Echo go to bed in agreement that tomorrow will be a very interesting day.
Angie is the first to wake up, she jumps in the shower then quickly pulls on tight ripped jeans, a blood red v-neck, and her leather jacket.
”You going somewhere, sis? ” Fred asks as she emerges at the top of a staircase.
”I have a meeting. ”
”On a Saturday? ”
Angie rolls her eyes. ”Ill only be an hour or two, then we can talk all about it. ”
”Fine. ” Fred crosses his arms and glares. ”While you are out, get me a pack of cigarettes. ”
”Whats the magic word? ”
”Good Morning beautiful. ” Echo wraps his arms around Angie and kisses her neck. Fred growls. ”Sorry Fred, good morning to you too. ” (Fredrick is Overprotective of Angie and doesn care much for Echo, but there is little he can do about it since he knows they are mates.)
”Anyways, I want a word when you return Ang. ” Fred glares at Echo then turns and marches out the door.
”Did you tell him? ”
”I will… when I get back.. ” Angie looks at the clock. ”Shit! Baby Ive got to go, I told the lady that Id be there by nine to collect him. ” Angie runs down the stairs and puts on her combat boots as quick as possible then runs out the door.
”Shes late. ” Ms. Pennie looks at the clock.
”Maybe she isn coming, ” I say, then realize how upset that makes me feel.
”Shes probably just… ”
”Ms. Pennie this lady ask me to… ” Trevor stares at me. ”What are you doing in here. ”
”Im going to adopt him. ”
Trevors face falls, he glares at me for a second before storming off down the hall.
”Sorry, Im late! ” The woman walks into the room and closes the door behind her.
”Its fine, all good, ” Ms. Pennie says cheerfully. ”Lupin, this is Angie. ” I look at her and she winks back with a big grin on her face. ”Let me get his records out so you can read over them… ”
”No need. All I want is the form that will let me bring Lupin home. ”
” Ms. Pennie looks at her puzzled.
”Well, to gloss it over, Lupin was brought to us by the fire department, told us everyone else in that area was burnt to death, very tragic.
” She sits at her desk and starts rummaging through piles of paper.
”Ive watched over him since he was brought here, a bit of a loner, which Is quite normal, very good in classes well behaved, however, he does steal pens a lot. Hes an artist.
” She smiles at me.
”Youll have to show her you
e art sometime. ”
”You said they found him in a burnt area? Did they say where? ”
”Didn ask, I felt bad for the boy. Ah! Here it is. ” She pulls out a paper from her many piles and places it on the desk. ”Just sign here. ” She points. ”Oh and Ill need some form of identification please. ”
Angie signs then show her ID. She puts a hand on my shoulder and grins at me. ”Later on Ill start the adoption paperwork. ” She winks again. There is something odd about her, I can sense something in her that Ive never got from anyone else before.
”Im sorry… ” I speak up. ”Have I seen you before? ”
”I doubt it. ” She answers.
”Alright Angie Red, Ill take this up to Mr. Abbott and then Ill come back here to let you know if he gives his consent or not. ” Ms. Pennie takes the form and leaves the room.
”Consent or not my ass, ” Angie sits on the desk. Her formal attitude is replaced with a rebellious one. ”Im getting you out of here, even if I have to throw you out a window. ”
”Thats not how it works here, they have an officer on duty at all times. ”
”Well look at you, Mr know-it-all. ” She laughs. ”I know a thing or two about kicking ass, but I doubt Ill have to do much of that. ” The doorknob turns and Angie slides off the desk.
”Todays your lucky day Lupin. He said yes. ”
”Go get your stuff, Ill meet you at the front door. ”
”I don have anything. ”
”Well lets go then. ” I stand up and follow Angie out the door, we go down the stairs, but at the bottom, we are greeted by Trevor.
”So that is it?
” Trevor is angry.
”You get to go but I don ? You
e lucky you are leaving. ” Trevor waves a mop around.
”And I see you have cleaning duty, better not get caught not working. ” We walk around Trevor and through the front door. I breathe in the air, hopefully, I will never have to see this place again. We walk over to a beat up, two-door Chevy, I climb into the passenger while I wait for Angie to get in. She is talking to two men, I try to listen in but they are talking too quietly. When the two men walk off and get into a car and drive away, Angie gets in and we head off in the opposite direction.
”Yeah? ” She answers as she turns the radio down.
”Who were you talking to? ” I see her tense up.
”No one important. ”
I don ask any more questions, we listen to rock the whole drive. Soon the road turns to dirt and up ahead I can see a small town, there is a gate and electric fence surrounding. Angie rolls down her window as we get closer to the fence and a tall, blonde haired man steps into view.
”Hiya baby! ” He says when Angie pulls to a stop inches from the gate.
”We are back baby. ” She leans out the window and kisses him. ”Lupin, this is my…. ”
”Boyfriend. ” He leans over so I can see him better. ”Nice to meet you, Im Echo. ” He whispers something to her and she nods. Echo flips a switch and the gate slides open and we enter.
”Ready to meet my brother? ” She asks me as she parks in front of a big house.
I nod my head, I don care about meeting people Im more interested in looking around.
”Okay. So just to let you know, don touch anything and don say anything. Got it? ”
”Got it. ” I follow her through the front door.
”Freddie! Im home! ” She yells. A grunt comes from the kitchen. ”Wait here. ” I stay put while she walks into the kitchen. I look around, this is the sitting room, theres a large TV hanging on the wall and under a large glass window is a teal couch, and a glass coffee table. A bookshelf is snug in the corner, teal curtains are drawn open on both ends of the window, the carpet is white with stains in it.
There is a tree on the wall weaving around a staircase that leads up to a hallway that runs out of sight with several closed doors. The tree is painted on the wall and it has names of people on it they all have the last name Red. It is a large tree, with faces and names everywhere. I spot Angies up at the top next to a boy named Frederick Red.
All I can see of the kitchen from where I am standing is a large table that has twelve seats around it. All of a sudden I can hear shouting.
”YOU DID WHAT?! ” A mans voice yells. ”You should have come to me first! I am the Alpha! ” What the heck is an Alpha I think to myself?
”Please brother, just give him a chance I have a good feeling about him! ”
”Fine, but he can leave the house without you or your mate and he is your responsibility. Where is he anyway? ”
”In the living room. ”
I stare towards the kitchen when Angie walks out with her brother. He eyes me up and down, I can feel something about him like I do with Angie.
”Im Frederick, but everyone just calls me Fred. ” He holds a hand out for me to shake. Great, I think to myself, another Trevor. I take his hand and shake it, Fred grips my hand tightly and stares me directly in the eye. ”How old are you? ”
”Im going to be eleven next Thursday, ” I say, Angie and Fred exchange glances.
”Show him to his room Ang, ” Fred says then without another look at me, walks out the door slamming it behind him.
”Hes just a little mad, don let it bother you alright, ” Angie says as she walks up the stairs. The hall at the top of the landing is fairly empty, in total there are fourteen doors lining the hall. Angie guides me to the very last one and opens the door.
”Everythings a bit dusty, we haven used this room in years. Its Freds old bedroom, he took our parents when they died. ” I walk into the room, hardwood floors, midnight blue walls, and what I assume are stars and clouds are hand painted on the ceiling. A white curtain hangs over the window and a wooden desk that is severely scratched up and very used looking. A twin bed is crammed in the corner, with a white pillow and a neatly folded, extremely soft looking, violet-blue blanket. There is a glass cabinet shelf that is completely empty standing next to a dark wood dresser with a huge mirror on top.
”Its perfect. ” I smile and look at the ceiling. ”Its like being outside almost. ”
”Later on Ill have Echo take you out to get more clothes. You can wear those rags forever. ” Angie takes a good look around the room. ”Make yourself comfy and, welcome to the Red family house. If you need me, Ill be in the kitchen making lunch. I hope grilled cheese is good till dinner. ”
I wait till Angie closes the door to really take a look around. I really like this room, but Im worried about Fred kicking me out… he doesn seem to like me much. I notice a door that I didn see before so I walk over and open it, an empty closet. Having nothing with me I don have to unpack so I sit on the bed, it slumps under my weight. I run my fingers over the blanket for a bit and stare at the ceiling. This house is super nice for two siblings sharing it.
I get up and walk to the window, I pull the curtain over and look out. I can see Fred talking to a bunch of people, they act very respectfully towards him. This gated community is pretty much just one road with a bunch of wood cabin houses, but they are all nice and neatly kept. The people here take extremely good care of their homes, its almost heavenly compared to the orphanages dead brown grass and under watered trees.
I continue to watch Fred and plan what to say if he makes Angie take me back. Ill tell him Ill do anything to stay, polish boots, clean the whole house, anything as long as I don have to go back to the Orphanage. I pull the pen and the paper I hid in my pocket yesterday and set them on the desk. If Im going to work to stay here Id better start by dusting this room. I hear footsteps coming down the hall and then my room door swings open.
”Do you have a duster? ” I ask without looking at the door.
”Yeah, downstairs, ” Angie says stepping into the room. ”But you can do that later, lunch is ready. ”
I follow Angie down to the kitchen, she sits on the counter and eats her grilled cheese in silence.
”Echo should be almost off shift, then he can take you to get some new clothes. I have to attend a meeting or Id take you myself.
” She hops off the counter and places the plate in the sink then gets into a closet in the far end of the kitchen and pulls out a duster brush and a steam cleaner.
”For the floor. When you
e done put them back in here alright. ” She smiles at me when I nod my head.
”Got it. ” I finish my grilled cheese and put the plate in the sink then grab the duster and steam cleaner. I take them up to my room and begin to clean.
”Im off shift baby. ” Echo sneaks up on Angie.
”Good you can take Lupin to get new clothes now. ” Angie turns around to face Echo. ”I have a meeting, Fred wants to hold a council meeting about the boy… ”
”Of course he does baby. ” Echo kisses her. ”I hope your right about this or that boy will have to go back to that orphanage. ”
”If he is… he will be a rouge, but even still, at least here he will be taught how to control it unless Freddie kicks him out. ”
Freds head pokes in the door, ”Ang, the meeting is going to start, we need to go. ”
”Wouldn it be better for you to find your Luna? ”
Fred ignores Echo and stares at Angie. ”Hurry. ”
Angie kisses Echo and then walks out the door behind Fred. ”Hes got a point, Freddie, you do need to find her. ”
”Ive been running the pack just fine without one Ang. Ive looked, shes not in our pack, trust me I would know if she was. ”
Angie and Fred enter into an empty field were a couple other people are waiting.
”About time. ”
”Whats this meeting about? ”
”Are they coming back for more resources? ”
”Settle down everyone. Listen. ” Fred glares at Angie. ”My lovely sister… has brought an orphan into our territory with the belief that he is a rogue wolf. ” The people in the clearing gasp and some ask questions. ”The boy will be eleven on Thursday, if he is a wolf he will transform for the first time and then we will decide what to do with him. If he doesn , I will personally take him back to the orphanage myself. Until such time as he turns, please do not talk to him or tell him anything about this place. ”
”Any questions? ” Fred asks after a few moments of silence.
”Yes. Angie. ” The girl turns to face Angie. ”We know you can have a child, but still, thats no reason to bring a boy into the pack! What if he is a spy? ”
”Hes not Ive been watching him for months! ” Angie growls. ”He is an outcast in the orphanage I took him from! ”
”Oh, so you feel bad for him? ”
”I know the signs, Gina! ” She growls louder.
”Thats enough you two. ” But Gina turns into her wolf.
”Oh, you want to fight? ” Angie smirks then turns into her orange lava wolf. They walk in circles sizing each other up. Gina goes to prance, but in midair is struck down by another lava wolf (this one is darker and redder). Gina quickly shifts back and hangs her head. Fred shifts back and glares at the lava wolf.
”I said enough. ” He barks. ”I am the Alpha! ” Another member giggles.
”Yeah, but for how long can you remain Alpha, most of us prefer to follow your sister. ” Freds wolf gets angry but Fred remains calm.
”Angie, is not you
e Luna. ”
”Yeah, well shes as good as one, ” the member winks at Angies wolf.
”Well Jaxon, you may be my sisters childhood friend but that doesn change the fact that I am the leader! I am not afraid to banish you if I feel your loyalty sway again. ” Fred growls, making Jaxon bow his head. ”This meeting is over. ” Angie shifts back and smiles at Jaxon before following her angry brother.
”Freddie, Ive tried to tell you! If you don find a Luna the pack is going to shift its loyalty! ”
”Shut up. ”
”Fine, don come crying to me when you
e not the Alpha anymore. You have a year and a half left brother. ”
”And until then I am the Alpha. ”
”Gina only stopped her attack because you attacked her brother, your councils loyalty is faltering, I imagine the pack has too… they all know the rule. ”
”I know the damn rule! ” Fred growls and stops dead in his tracks. ”You will have to kill me before Ill willingly give it to you! ”
”I won kill you for it Fred, but the pack will leave if you don hand it over to me. ”
”And then what? ” Angies wolf is starting to get annoyed with Fred.
Fred angrily turns into his wolf, he stands his position growling at Angie. Angie shifts too, Angies wolf is bigger than Freds. They both walk in a circle growling and baring teeth. A crowd is now starting to form around the two, Fred lunges first, but Angie dodges out of the way and bites Freds tail making him yelp in pain. Other people shift into their wolves to prepare for things to get worse. Angie releases Freds trail and stands back growling defensively, Fred doesn get Angies message telling him to stop, his need to prove he is the true alpha is blinding him. He lunges again and misses because of Angies swift movement. Angie doesn want to hurt him, but she is running out of options. Before Fred can do anything else Angie goes for his throat, she bites it hard but he gets out of her grip and jumps on her, baring all his teeth again he bites into her back and rips out a chunk of fur. Now she is pissed. She doesn hold back. They fight all the way up the street countering and dodging the whole way. Angie is winning since her wolf is bigger and tougher than his. Neither wants to submit so they keep fighting, Angie is slowly backing Fred towards the border of the territory. If he steps even one paw out of it as a wolf he will become a rogue and Angie will become a true Luna. Angie howls, warning the others to back off. The other wolves are even smaller than her brother and hers. She doesn want them involved.
”Angie! ” Jaxon yells from the open gate, but she ignores him and lunges at Fred, pushing him closer to the gate. Then the unexpected happens, Fred, tail hanging between his legs bolts it out of the gate as fast as he can, his broken tail dragging along in the dirt leaving a trail of blood behind.
”And don come back, ” Angie yells as she shifts back. She has a large gash on her back that is bleeding into her blood red shirt making it darker. She has several cuts. ”Somebody get the doctor dammit! ” She limps to Jaxon. ”Jaxon, I appoint you as beta until my mate can choose someone. ”
The doctor breaks through the crowd shaking her head at Angie. ”You should have called me over before the fight! ” She eyes the wounds on Angie. ”If you had, you wouldn be bleeding so badly and for so long. ” The healer wolf places a hand over the worst wound and says something in a different language (Et ego in te leporem sanitatem locus noster Pack nova luna, lupus. ut in brevi tempore salus).
Jaxon helps Angie back to her house and makes her sit down. ”Ang you need to rest or those wounds won heal correctly! ”
”But Jax! ” She groans. ”I need to find Echo and Lupin! I have to tell Echo about what happened! ”
”Relax! You can tell them when they get back. I let them out the gate a few minutes before I saw you and Fred. ” Angie lays out on the couch and closes her eyes to rest.
”So whats your story? ” I ask Echo.
”Its not that interesting really, ” Echo shrugs his shoulders. ”I was out hunting for dinner and I ran into Ang. We became friends, though I admit she wasn too trustful with me in the beginning, and her brother was way too overprotective. He didn want to let me in but was forced to when they found out. ”
”Found out what? ” I ask curiously.
”What kind of music do you like? ” Echo abruptly changes the subject. ”Weve got classic rock, indie, pop… ”
”Anythings fine. I don much care for music. ” I say. Why did Echo change the subject? What the heck is an Alpha?
”Rock it is. ” Echo turns up the radio in the truck. (Its the red one Angie took earlier). ”This is my truck you know. Ang uses it too, the dirt road isn good for her motorcycle, ” he chuckles. ”Or so she says it is. I think shes just trying to keep it in new condition so she can show it off. ”
”Thats cool. ” I sigh. ”I want to see this motorcycle, Ive only heard about them from the kid, Trevor. ” I crinkle my nose at the thought of
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