ONE

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I accelerate down the twisting road, skidding in the turns, while the noise of the engine echoes against the mountain. I step on the gas enjoying the feeling of freedom, the wind power on my body and the powerful vibration between my legs. Finally, I get off the road close to the top with great care and park my bike at the lookout; I turn off the engine and I get off the bike with a quick movement, removing my black helmet at the same time. The warm wind plays with my short dark-brown locks of hair, a little wet due to the sweat of my forehead, while I take off my gloves exposing my tattooed hands. First of all, I look at my new baby: a Harley Davidson Street Rod in an electric blue colour, perfect to fight against the traffic of the city. I smile staring at its precious curves, the sporty design, the powerful engine, the elegant handlebars... To be honest, I didn't need another bike, or another helmet, or another black leather jacket... I have dozens. I sigh, tired of brooding over the past again... always thinking about the same. The only thing I've ever needed is the only one that fate has refused to give me for the past 12 years: my mate... I looked for her everywhere, I travelled throughout the country and I even travelled abroad; I cried, I yelled furious, I went through a depression, I had countless sleepless nights... till I gave up from sheer exhaustion. One day I just simply assumed that I'd be a lone wolf for the rest of my life and, since I didn't have a mate to love, I decided to do something different with my existence, something that any alpha has ever done before, something that keeps me busy working day and night to exhaustion so I try to forget the fact that I have to sleep in an empty bed.

I turn around slowly and walk towards the edge of the lookout not caring about the dust that covers my boots. Smiling, I stare proudly at my masterpiece like a mom would look her cubs: Wolfdale... my city. It's mine because I founded it, I helped build it with my own hands and I bled for it, I fought to pull it off. The first inhabitants trusted me to be their leader, to protect them and take care of them; I've kept my promise since then. I know every street, every back yard of every house, every park and fountain and it could be said that I personally meet every citizen... even if that's not possible now that the population has grown rapidly. Okay, I can't say that it's as big as New York but 100,000 inhabitants live down there and all of them are my family, they're connected to me, I feel their happiness and sadness like their feelings are mine and I know I have to take care of them like they're my sisters and brothers. 100,000 wolves... males, females, pups... living in perfect harmony being free to be themselves, not hidden their true nature. They don't need it because no human lives in my city.

Wolfdale valley is far from the main communication routes and no road crosses it to go anywhere important. Surrounded by hills and mountains covered in forests that form a nature reserve, not even hunters area allowed here... I mean human hunters, of course. Despite there's a high concentration of wolves here we take care of the environment and we never hunt more than the forest can afford. We only do it for fun since we don't need to go hunting for food. The city is placed over a meander of a river, surrounded by rich farmland and we have several factories: in fact, we're almost self-sufficient. No human comes here because they have no business in this place. Some wolves have transport companies and their truck drivers go elsewhere throughout the country to bring us the goods we can't produce here but they're only a few. My people live happy, protected and peacefully and they feel so safe in my city that they even walk through the centre in their wolves form without any fear.

Actually, Wolfdale came up by accident. My only ambition was to provide a safe refuge for nomads and wolves rejected by their packs as long as they hadn't committed any violent crime. I don't welcome murderers to my city but there're certain exceptions like the boy who killed his father with a baseball bat because that bastard was an abuser that was about to beat her mother to death; that's self-defence to my mind. I don't welcome thieves or drug traffickers either... I have a nose for those kinds of bad people so my city is a pretty safe place to live. Word started to spread soon across the country that people lived well in this city under the command of a righteous leader and more and more wolves began to arrive. For example some people was rejected by their pack because of their sexual orientation, there're some young boys that didn't want to follow the path imposed by their parents and now they're artists instead of business men, I know some 'Romeo and Juliet' couples... that's how we call those wolves that ended up being mates despite being raised in warring packs. But most of the people came to live here because the leaders of their former packs were too harsh and their rules were stifling.

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