They were going to kill me. They were going to hunt me down and pull out all my innards. That’s what Grandpa said. But Grandpa was like that. Kinda blunt and always to the point. Well, a point he wanted to make. Other times he was pretty vague. He had been a big influence on me when I was careening into my teenage years.
He wasn’t really my grandpa, though. He was just some old man who had lived down the road but he had been a wolf shifter too, just like me, and he told me that was what they did to shifters without a pack. They killed them. I didn’t have a pack. But it wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t like I was kicked out or chose to go it alone or anything. My parents adopted me and I never really even knew I was a shifter until I was eleven. And until the old man told me, I never knew I was supposed to even have a pack.
But man, shifting? I thought I was going crazy that summer. I know I was acting a little weird too because I heard Mom whisper to one of her friends I was going through some major hormones. Yeah, right! Fuck! “Horror-moans,” more like. That first time I shifted totally through me for a loop. I ran as far into the woods as I could get, thanking God we actually lived in the country at the time, following some crazy need to be away from people. And I shifted. I had no clue what was happening to me, my body contorting and changing. It didn’t exactly hurt or anything, it just felt incredibly strange, like…letting loose, letting go. Once I was shifted fully into my wolf form, I felt free for the first time in my life. It felt so good! I ran for hours. I killed for the first time too, a small rabbit. I saw it and I chased it and I caught and killed it. I drank its blood and then I ate it.
Then I threw it up.
I never killed again.
But even so, I was kind of proud.
The shifting part? I didn’t understand it. But I loved it. I spent a lot of time in the woods that summer. I think my mom thought I was probably “discovering myself” in a far different way then I really was. No, I was learning how awesome it was to simply run.
That was when I met the old
He had just made a kill himself and was muzzle deep when I ran right into him. I knocked him over and we both rolled. He came up snarling and snapping, blood and goo hanging from his fangs. Scared the hell out of me. I ran so fucking fast I had burn marks on my face from the crap I must have plowed through on my way out of the woods. I know he chased me but I ran far faster.
No one was as surprised as I was when later that same night he showed up, in human form, at my front door. Oh, I knew immediately it was him. I could smell him. He told me later he tracked me right to my house. He seemed to think I was stupid or something to allow for that.
He introduced himself to my mother, said he was a neighbor and simply decided to “get to know us.” Turned out he lived just down the road. He eyed me a few times, almost feral-like, until my mother told me to get my ass into the kitchen and introduce myself. Fuck, I was scared! I didn’t know anyone else could do what I could do and suddenly here was another human who was also a wolf? How much fucking sense did that make?
Of course, it didn’t make any sense I could do it either, but two of us? It made it that much more believable that I wasn’t insane and it may sound crazy but I wasn’t sure which was worse. Being insane and hoping I would grow out of it someday or really truly being able to turn into a wolf.
Being eleven, I felt like the world just shouldn’t be that complicated.
Mom invited him to dinner a whole lot after that, said she felt sorry for him. Besides, he told some pretty tall tales. She said he reminded her of her dad, my real grandpa, who died before I was adopted, so I just sort of started calling the old man ‘Grandpa.’ He never once corrected me.
And he told me about being a shifter. Nope, we were not the only ones. There were plenty of “us” out there. He told me all kinds of things, even about shifter ranks and rules and shit. A lot of it I forgot, but some stuck with me, like the “they will kill you if you don’t have a pack” thing. He said it was why he rarely shifted anymore. Seems other wolves can smell you and track you. You have to be careful. Yeah. I get that now.
“But why kill a wolf without a pack?” I asked once.
“Because the alpha will look at a lone wolf as being competition for leadership. Alphas are fucking crazy that way.”
“So why wouldn’t they just make me a part of the pack?”
“Still could be a threat.”
I laughed. Yeah, me, a threat. I had been tiny back then. Even now, I stood all of five foot six, weighed maybe hundred ten on a good day under my mop of platinum hair and I’ve seen my wolf. Although I think I am a very pretty color, one I don’t think is normal for a wolf, I’m the same kind of “totally not impressive” there too. He asked me about it once, my wolf’s color, right after we met.
“What the fuck color are you, boy?”
“I…I don’t know…white, I guess.”
“White my ass. You’re…like a blue silver…or a black silver. Shimmery, like a ghost. I’ve never seen that before.”
“Probably. Color like that’s intimidating. Alpha would probably kill you just because of that.”
Fuck. I wanted to ask more but I was already feeling anxious about the no pack thing, already starting to look over my shoulder, vowing I would never shift again.
There was other shit too, like the alpha made all the rules and everyone in the pack had to submit. I was never any good at playing follow the leader. Pack initiation was another nightmare and I do mean that, literally. They all get to fuck you, he said. You come into a pack at the bottom rung and they all get to fuck you.
Now, I was only eleven, going on twelve, but I had pretty much already figured out I wasn’t into girls. I had a friend at school named Timmy and he and I hung out a lot. We used to sit up in his room and whack off to pictures in a magazine Timmy swiped from his old man’s bedroom; pictures of naked big-titted women, spreading their legs, looking kind of sleepy with their mouths all open and shit. Timmy used to be all bug-eyed turning those pages and rubbing himself through his pants until he took his dick out. He would usually stop at the centerfold and pull it out to full length. By that time, he was hard and dripping.
“Oh fuck, Trevor, isn’t that the most awesome sight?” That’s what he would say to me. Every time. Then he would get real busy, moving his hand up and down his thick dick, rubbing the shiny pre-cum over the tip and down the sides, just staring at those pictures. I had to agree it really was an awesome sight, but it wasn’t the picture I was looking at. No, I got off on watching Timmy’s dick. I liked hearing Timmy’s moans as he got close to spurting. I liked watching the way he would jerk his hips in time with his hard and fast strokes. He would reach down and play with his balls too. I remembered wondering what it would feel like if Timmy did that to me. Sometimes late at night I would jack off imagining it was Timmy’s hands on me instead of my own.
Nope, girls didn’t do it for me. Not that Timmy did either, it was just that I liked looking at dicks.
But even so, I wasn’t too keen on having a whole pack fucking me and to tell you the truth, I didn’t know at that time how they could. I was a guy. There was nowhere to stick it, is what I thought. I mean, those magazines were somewhat explicit and were pretty much the extent of my sex education. Girls had a hole. I still had no idea how any of it would fit and I wasn’t all that convinced I would want to be putting my cock up inside anyone like that anyway.
But then at that age, the horror-moans were just kicking in so not a lot of things really ever did make much sense. Still scared the crap out of me.
“So, Gramps, did you ever belong to a pack?”
“Yep,” he said, “once.” I remembered he had kind of a bitter smile on his face. But he wouldn’t talk about it. Something had to have happened to him. Maybe it was the “whole pack fucking you” thing. All he said was that was why he was living in “Middle of Fuck, Minnesota.” There were no packs out here, or at least, none he had ever run across and he had been there since, well, even he couldn’t recall.
Said he was older than dirt.
I believed him.
In fact, I believed everything he told me.
But life cracks you upside the head from time to time and I seemed to be a favorite target. The old man got real sick one day and he died. One day he was there and the next he was lying in a wood box looking pale and…wrong.
He smelled funny too.
He didn’t have much family, just a man who suddenly showed up who claimed to be a cousin by marriage. Seemed the old man’s long-dead wife was the sister to his mom or some stupid shit like that. All I knew was that fucker didn’t smell right either.
After the funeral he said he wanted to get into the house Grandpa lived in. I didn’t like his attitude but since he was family – sort of – I showed him where Grandpa had stayed. He was all business like, going through the old man’s stuff like he was searching for something, but treating everything like it was trash.
“What are you looking for?” I asked finally.
He searched through drawers and closets; he lifted the mattress off the bed. He even checked the floor boards by stomping his feet all over them. I think he was trying to figure out if they were loose or not. Yep, he was searching for nothing. My instant distrust of the guy was dead on.
When he happened across the box that had my name on it, he first shook it and, when it made no noise, he tried to open it.
“Hey!” I said. “That has my name on it. Grandpa wanted to give me that.”
He harrumphed and only brought it closer to his beady eyes to figure out how to open it. I reached for it but he batted my hands away. I had no idea what was inside the box but I sure as hell didn’t want this asshole to see it. Except he managed to unlatch it and open it anyway. “Huh. Empty,” he announced. He closed it, smirked at me, then latched it again. He threw it at me. “You can have it. It’s worthless.”
Somehow, I caught it, fearing it could break if it hit the floor. I looked at the opening mechanism and realized the idiot had not only latched it, he had locked it as well. “Hey! You jerk! You locked it! Now I can’t get it back open.”
He glared at me with a scowl which made the wolf in me cower. I almost whimpered. Fuck, that would have been embarrassing. But he seemed to lose interest in me at that point. Then, after making a total mess of Grandpa’s house, he left. Empty handed.
The County came in and went through Grandpa’s stuff too. They had a little more respect for it but not much. There was an auction Mom refused to let me go to and after the house was empty, they locked it up and a “for sale” sign went up on the ill-kept front lawn.
I cried all night.
Then, the next night, I broke in.