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Chapter One

I stared ahead at the small rodent that lay among the foliage, nibbling at any morsel of food he could find. Little did he know that a predator was watching him. My muscles bunched as I prepared to pounce on the target of my desires, but the wind shifted, moving my scent towards it. And as soon as it did, it's little head shot up as it prepared to scurry away. But I didn't allow it the chance to escape, I launched myself out of my hiding spot, and wrapped my jaws around the rabbit. It squealed in terror, the squealing sound reminding me of the police cars that would speed by my home when I was younger. But with one quick movement of my jaw, I silenced its futile calls for help and killed it.

Without a moment to spare, I went about devouring my meal, it was nowhere near enough to sustain me but it would have to do. After not eating for three days, I couldn't afford to be picky unless I wanted to die. It was something I had quickly learned after being abandoned in the forest at the age of fourteen, the pack members had knocked me out and dumped me in the middle of nowhere with only the clothes on my back. They had thought that the fact that I couldn't shift would make people feel as though their pack was weak, but little did they know that the very next day after they had dumped me, I had shifted.

I was nothing special, but I wasn't the weakling they made me out to be, but no matter how much of a disgrace they viewed me, my parents stood by me every step of the way. They had done so much for me, only to have their son taken away and dumped like trash. But I couldn't dwell on the topic any longer, personally, I believed they were better off without such a burden.

So with one last swallow of rabbit, I stood up and began to trot to the nearby riverbank for a drink. And maybe even a bit of a bath, after all being covered in dirt wasn't a very pleasurable feeling at all. As I came closer, the sound of running water met my ears, I've always loved the sound of rivers running or rain pelting the leaves. It was as if nature was signing a soothing lullaby that I could never resist, it was what drew me here in the first place.

With a controlled grunt of pain, I shifted back into my human form and crouched near the river before cupping the water in my hands and bringing it up to my mouth to drink. But as I finished, I was greeted by the sight of my own distorted reflection, and for a moment I didn't even know it was looking back at me. For a moment, the seventeen-year-old, tanned freckled boy with the green eyes looking back at me was a stranger, or maybe a mirage that my mind had conjured up.

I never considered my reflection my own, I've always seen it as the thin boy with black hair that almost covered his eyes, eyes that held far too many tales of defeat and self-loathing. Yes, the boy staring boy was me, but I often tried to get away from that fact. Unwilling to stare at the reflection that has caused me so much grief, I began to walk back to my den. Uncaring if I was seen, I knew that nobody would find my body attractive or even worth looking at for a second. They would just see scarred skin from years of living in the wilderness, as well as very visible bones from lack of nutrition.

I took a deep breath, one that instantly faltered when I caught the scent of a deer, without I second thought I shifted in order to better follow the trail. My mouth was watering as I spotted a young doe, it was nibbling on the nearby grass, unaware that it would become dinner. My body coiled like a spring before exploding with pent-up tension as my body flew at the deer, who turned tailed to run. I went in pursuit of the animal, I was not going to allow such a prime piece of prey get away.

But in my haste, I failed to notice that I crossed into dangerous territory. And soon I found myself being tackled to the ground by a... Lion? I watched as the deer escaped, and my body sagged underneath the large carnivore as my meal made off unscathed. He shifted above me, while still managing to keep me pinned, his grey eyes bored into mine as his gruff voice assaulted my eyes.

"What's your business here dog?" he demanded. I debated whether I should or should not shift, but in the end, I knew that not shifting would only create more problems, so I allowed my body to undergo the change.

"I'm sorry I was only after the deer, I didn't mean to trespass onto your land" I answered as respectfully as possible, I didn't want to have to deal with this man any longer than I had to.

"Sure, we'll see what the Alpha has to say" and before I could protest, he punched me in the face, making my vision tilt on its axis before it went dark.

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