A/N: Linda ^^^

Chapter 1

            Knock! Knock! Knock! I look up at the incessant knocking and quickly put away my sketchbook. Standing quickly, I scurry over to the door and pull it open. My stepmother Linda greets me, looking a little worse for wear. Upon closer inspection, I see that she has a light bruise forming under her left eye. Father must be in an unusually bad mood.

            "He wants to see me," I state to which she nods, "Okay. If you put ice on it now, it'll stop the swelling and the discoloration, then you can cover it with makeup," I instruct as I come out of my room, closing the door behind me, "At least until it heals over," she doesn't respond, but heads in the direction of the kitchen to do what I just said. I walk quickly through the fairly empty pack house. Many of the adult wolves are out, and the teenage wolves are away training. So, I don't pass many pack members, but the few I do pass ensure that they slip in a few "whores" and "bitches". They never fail to remind of my regrets. But, I don't even blink an eye anymore, I learned what those words were a long time ago. And I also learned to ignore them. Though I won't lie, sometimes in those rare moments when I actually let my wall down, it still hurts. The taunting, the abuse. All of it still hurts me after eighteen years.

            The moment I make it to my father's study, I hear a loud vase go crashing against the wall. This isn't going to end well. I think to myself. Even after almost eighteen years of dealing with my father, and his temper, he is still the only one who manages to invoke this level of fear in me. I don't have to knock because he heard me outside and pulls open the door. The moment he opens the door, I just get a glimpse of his beet red face and his destroyed office, before he grabs me by the hair and drags me into the room. I latch onto my hair by the roots, and try to alleviate some of the pain. He throws me against the wall, and I hit it with a sickening thud. I doubt this anger is even my fault. I'm just the person he goes to when he needs to let off steam. Lucky me.

            "Check the borders, and make sure they don't escape," he snaps out to Woodson, his beta. Woodson nods quickly and makes to leave the room, being sure to push me out of his way as he does so. If my head keeps hitting the wall like this, I'm going to get a concussion. It won't be the first time, but it isn't an experience I'd like to repeat.

             Now that we are the only ones in the room, I feel the fear and dread sink in. My head is throbbing, and I will probably have a bruise on my shoulder. Right now, the only thing I want to do is go lay down until the pain passes, "You know what just happened?" He snaps. I don't answer, thinking it is a rhetorical question, but that seems to anger him more. His open palm swings back, and the next thing I know, I'm on the ground gripping my stinging cheek, "ANSWER ME!!" I suppress the whimper begging to be let out. If I cry or show any weakness, that will just urge him on.

            "No father," I say forcing my voice to sound calm. He begins to pace up and down the carpeted office. I keep my head down, and clasp my hands in my lap.

            "A group of rogues were caught on our territory," he says, "And you know what one of my men heard them talking about?" This time, I guess, it was a rhetorical question because he keeps going without my input, "You! They mentioned you by name," he clips out his breathing coming out ragged and uneven. I feel confusion and a level a fear ripple through me as I hear that rogues were talking about me. Rogues are vicious and ruthless werewolves, usually criminals of the Werewolf Community. They don't typically travel in packs because they have an intense dislike for authority. So, just the fact that he said 'group' is cause for concern. He stops in front of me, bends down and grips me roughly by the chin, forcing me to raise my eyes to his.

            "What. Did. You. Do?" The question comes out as an accusatory growl. I didn't do anything. I don't know why these rogues are looking for me, but he would never believe me. I can see it in his stone-cold gray eyes—he has already made up his mind that I am at fault.

            "I didn't do anything, father," I respond, he pushes me away in disgust, making me fall to the floor. My head connects with the hard wood floor and I start to see stars forming in the corners of my vision. I can take only so much more of my skull hitting hard surfaces before I loose consciousness. And based off of the wooziness I am feeling, I'm getting very close.

            "Get out of my office," he replies coldly, "GET OUT!!" He screams when I don't move fast enough. I scramble to my feet, and try to make my way out of there even though my vision is blurring and I'm swaying on my feet. The second I close the door, I hear something smash against it and shatter to the floor. I put my hands on the walls for support and try to carefully, but steadily make it back to the attic.

            Even though I hate him, and even though he shouldn't have treated me the way he did, I can understand his anger. Rogues are trouble, plain and simple. They have nothing to loose, and they are reckless and crazy. The fact that a group of them was on our territory could easily evolve into an all-out war. And our pack simply isn't prepared for a war of any kind. Especially not one with opponents who are so unpredictable. I don't know why they came looking for me, but it's scaring me. I'm an easy target, and if my dad suddenly decides to hand me over to them, there will be nothing I can do. And I know if it's between me and war, or even just me and conflict, I'll be in the hands of the rouges before I can say 'no.' I just have to hope that they can hold off for another four weeks. Then, I'll be eighteen and I can leave and I won't have to worry about my father anymore.

            When I finally reach the attic, my vision has cleared, and I feel less nauseous, which is a good sign. Though all of that has now been replaced with a splitting headache. Groaning, I step into my room, closing and locking the door behind me. I walk over to the small oak dresser pushed against the right corner of my room, and pull out a bottle of Advil from the top drawer. I don't even bother to hunt down any water, and instead I just pop the pill in my mouth and swallow it dry. It's after eight o'clock, so I don't have anymore responsibilities, which means I can sketch some more. I climb onto my bed and reach under my pillow, pulling my sketchbook out from where I had stashed it.

            When I flip to the page I left off on, I am shocked at what I have drawn. Before me, is a bloody scene of battle. Scattered along the battle field, in between wolves and men fighting, is one dead body after another. There are wolves and men, women and children. It's all in black and white, but it looks as if the scene takes place on the snow. It's vivid, and grotesque, but the weird thing is that there are no faces on the bodies. In place of facial features are light smudges. At the very center of the scene is a large darkly colored wolf, ripping into a well-built man. Who these two are I don't know. I shake my head and close my sketchbook, suddenly no longer in the mood to draw.

            I'm used to all of my cryptic scenes by now. My sketchbook is full of them. From the time I was a little girl, I started drawing in that book. It's like I'm...possessed when I draw. I don't know what I'm drawing, what it is until I finish. Then it's like coming out of a trance. The drawings never have the faces filled in for some reason. I guess I just don't like drawing faces.

            I decide to get some extra sleep, since this is one of those rare opportunities where I can. As I drift off, I can't help but think about the scene I drew. Question after question drifts through my mind. Finally, my mind shut off all thoughts, but that night I dream of dying werewolves and torn bodies.

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Hey there! [uses creepy pedophile voice] What did you think? It's short yes, but everything is just getting started. It picks up a little later. What about those drawings huh? Weird right? We'll have to see where those lead.......

Don't forget to VCF!

            ~Me


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