Prologue

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PROLOGUE

I stormed out of the house, feeling so mad I was ready to explode. So I did. In a split second I felt my clothes tear and rip into pieces as my body convulsed and expanded. My bones cracked and shifted, midnight black fur grew from my skin, my hands and feet became paws, my mouth a muzzle and I ran, letting my anger consume me as I slipped into the familiar comfort and security of the Change.

I was a shape-shifter.

A good two hours later of nothing but running, I decided it was time to come in; mum would probably be worried about me. I sighed and thought back, my anger now gone. It wasn't her fault. How on Earth could she have known that I was in a bad mood? I made my way back to my house, following my old scent over the rough forest terrain in the direction of the suburbs. The trees and greenery blurred past at a terrific rate, I loved to run hard and fast, the adrenaline rushing through my veins. I didn't know how normal humans coped, with their oh-so-boring and slow speeds. I had been able to morph since the day I turned 14 two and a half years ago and I still remember it clearly.

*FLASHBACK*

"Ivy! Come into the kitchen, your father and I have to talk to you." Huh. As if that low life scum bag of a step-dad would ever replace my father. I trudged into the kitchen sullenly and wondered what my step-dad thought I was doing wrong this time.

"You called?" I shot at my mother who was behind the counter with her husband.

"Darling, you may want to sit down, this might be hard to process."

"I think I'll stand." I said icily, crossing my arms. My mother just sighed and looked up at me with eyes full of regret.

"Ivy, we're moving." Suddenly the world came to a standstill as I tried to process her words.

"What?" Then the slimeball spoke up.

"Your mother and I have hit some financial problems so we have to move somewhere else. This is a serious matter for the adults so be a good little girl for us."

"How far do we have to move?!" I demanded. My eyes flickered from him to her, both were hesitating.

"Ivy-" My mother started but Glen (my step dad) cut her off.

"To ______. Its eight hours away." My whole world seemed to come to a stand still. My friends. My school. My home. I looked towards my mum with pleading eyes.

"Please don't do this to me..." My voice cracked. I would never be able to see any of my friends again. No way could I afford plane tickets. And I was friends with guys. It was always less awkward and more fun to spend time around them when they were all together, and it's not like they could all buy tickets to come to see me. She looked to me hopelessly and her gaze flickered to Glen. Then it clicked.

"This is because of him isn't it?" I pointed my finger in the slugs direction. My mother looked at me guiltily.

"Well darling the money-"

"This is him and his stupid gambling problems! I told you from the start this was a bad idea! What did you think you could just marry someone else to replace Dad?" My eyes were wet with tears as it all came pouring out. The grief and the anger. I hadn't cried for years. Not since Dad died when I was eight. "I hate him! I hate you! I wish Dad was here and we didn't have to move! I wish you would get out of my life!" I yelled, almost running to my room where I slammed the door shut and sank into a ball behind it, tears running down my cheeks. I sat there for a couple of seconds,

I just had to get away. I remember going into the forest, driven by some instinct to seek sanctuary in the dense foliage. It was there that the tremors started. I had watched myself in horror as my whole body seemed to shake, and it was then that my whole body seemed to explode. At first there was pain, as my bones cracked and moved, but only for a slipt second and I found myself on four paws, my clothes lying in pieces on the ground, black fur covering my body. There was no time to think, and the savage part of my mind I didn't even remember I had took over. What ever happened that day I will never know, for I woke up completely naked in the middle of a clearing, my mouth and hands covered in human blood. I feared the worst and crept back to the house slowly, loathing myself for the Change, for this monster I had turned into. I snuck into my room thorugh my window, sure none of the neighbours had seen me and hopped straight in my shower, washing the red stuff down the drain, hoping and praying this was all a dream that I would wake up from, preferably not covered in blood. No one could know about this. No one. If anyone found out, I would be hunted and killed for what I was. A savage girl who changes into a wolf? No, I wouldn't be allowed to live. So for the next two and a half years, I hid my secret, eventually getting the control to change at will, although there were still some times when my anger got out of control. I had never let my will slip again, not after the first time. My will weakened the most when I was angry, and it was hard not to succumb to the blood lust that boiled beneath the surface.

But I managed.

Most of the time.

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