Sage struggles with what she is when she meets a stranger who is just as deadly.
This is not yet edited, There are soe typos and punctuation errors, if you review please don't focus on telling me every line that is missing a comma.
He gasped for breath, fighting the transformation with every step he took through the blackness of the forest. Beneath him, the ground was soft and blanketed in moss that stung the soles of his feet as his senses heightened. His body followed the scent that drifted toward him on the night air. Power surged through him as he crashed through the forest, ripping and tearing at the flesh that felt suddenly too tight, and awkward. Above, the moon was a dull roar in his ears as it ascended in the sky, shrouding the land around in shades of silver and gray. Dark fur rippled over his body where skin had resided, and white-hot pain stopped him in his tracks. The Wolf slammed a clawed fist through the bark of a tree nearby, His hands pulling away the skin at his chest as a feral growl erupted from his throat. A cry pierced the night as his clothing ripped away from his body, and his bones twisted and contorted. His head pounded as it shifted and elongated, and his teeth grew to razor sharp points. His mind swam as he felt the last shreds of humanity slipping away from him, and his hands, now massive paws came up, claws ripping at the skin of his face, the beast threw back its head as a loud roar escaped his snapping jaws.
Sage, paused, her body tensing, the blade of her weapon growing suddenly so warm the heat caressed her face in the cool night. Until this moment she hadn’t been certain what she’d been chasing, but now…
“What is it?” Sage held her hand up for silence, reaching with her senses pin-pointing the positon of her prey. “Where is he, Sage?” Her ears picked up the sound of the creatures erratic breathing.
“Follow me.” She sprinted into the low underbrush, unheeding of whether or not the others could keep up with her fast pace. Her heart was pounding, her mind racing with anticipation of the coming meeting. The scent of the Werewolves moist fur was on the air, heavy and she let it lead her, certain that none but her had picked it up. The branches of the surrounding trees tore at her dark sweater, pulling the dark locks of her hair loose around her face. But Sage pressed on, the wolf was an animal just as capable of killing her as she was of destroying it.She gritted her teeth against the pain that came along with the loss of energy she suffered while maintaining her human form. Sage pushed a wet strand of her hair back off her forehead, as a dark shadow moved over her and the shrill yell of one of her teammates ripped the night.
Turning quickly, her eyes locked with those of the beast that tore into the throat of her second in command. emptiness greeted her there. The wolf was young, untried on the hunt. Wild. A few of her men fled into the darkness, leaving her alone with the wolf, as he turned toward her with a jerk of its massive head. His lips were curled back exposing sharp, vicious teeth stained crimson. A thin smile curled her lips as she watched through narrowed eyes. Seeing in his eyes the hunger she knew so well.
Sage glanced up at the moonlight, hidden discreetly behind a thin cloud, before she turned, pressing on through the forest. Her legs pumping wildly sweat pouring over her face, her body shimmering, in between forms as the moon revealed itself before ducking once more behind a cloud. Behind her, the wolf could be heard as it burst through the dense wood after her, its massive claws tearing through the trees and foliage that slowed her down.
She sped on, wetting her lips as the wind picked up around her, and her power surged beneath the surface of her skin. Her hair spilled down over her shoulders, now a solid chestnut tint. She stopped abruptly, gathering the last of her energy, lunging toward the nearest tree scrambling up the ragged bark. Her muscles clenched and tightened allowing her to leap from one branch to the next, then on to the next tree, moving through the woods just as easily as any primate. Her nails were razor sharp talons and she gripped each tree tightly, keeping up enough speed to survive for as long as she needed to. Behind her was the sound of her hunter breaking through the thick canopy in a rain of leaves and wood. His growls were feral rippling through the silence of the chase.
Closing her eyes she braced herself as her body folded around her contorting and twisting, and a predators wings broke from the tight muscles of her back. She gave two powerful strokes, hearing the twisting of her pursuer’s bones as he too took on the bird shape. Her wings beat at the air in smooth, rolling strokes, as she dove back into the canopy, squinting as the ground came toward her at high speed. Sage twisted, her body lengthening, her muscles elongating, becoming those that belonged to her true form. The panther’s fur rippled over her body, as she charged forward, stopped when the bird of prey collided with her, and her prey took on his canine form, His teeth bared and drenched in blood and gore. She faced him in human form, unashamed of her nakedness.
Sage faced the animal squarely, her lips turned up in a mocking grin, her breathing even and still, while his was labored. The sound of his pounding heart echoed in her mind, he was tired. She rushed forward, barely swayed when the sting of his nails found the softness of her stomach. She spat a short stream of blood, wiping at her mouth, her dark eyes studying his intently, wiling him to once more take on his own human form. Leaping high over his head as he charged at her, she lighted gracefully on his shoulders, wrapping her arms tightly around his throat, glancing up at the moon once more as it slipped behind a thicker cloud. She struggled, as her teeth came alive with her mouth, and hunger beat at her unmercifully. Sage cried out, burying her teeth in the thick fur, undone when the warm heavy liquid poured into her mouth, filling her. She felt his energy ebb and flow from his veins, as his legs folded helplessly beneath him, and he sunk to ground, drained. The woman pulled away, her heart pounding for the first time that night, her hunger and thirst sated for the moment. She pressed her foot into the crook of the wolf’s neck, putting her weight on until the loud snap sounded in the stillness of the night.
Sage leapt away from the body as a thin white smoke began to curl upward into the night sky, dancing on the wind, to be carried away. Crimson flames rose up from the carcass, and at her back she heard a noise.
"What is it?" She knew before she turned who it would be, who it always was, appearing at the scene conveniently too late. She made no effort to hide her nudity, there was nothing she had that the humans of her team hadn't already seen. With a thought she could have been fully clothed again, she didn't give a damn.
"You were to bring that body back to the lab for observation." The captains voice was deep, his words hollow, like his heart. She turned slowly to meet his dark eyes, her own blazing furiously at the man who had the audacity to tell her how to save her own life, and the lives of her men.They'd been good men whose lives had just been forfeited.
"Forgive me for saying so sir, but bullshit! The animal was out of control, it killed three of my men, and I was forced to bring it down." Behind her, the body snapped and crackled, as the skin rolled away; the skin of the man within whom the beast had resided. The Captain came slowly forward, his eyes trained on her in the darkness.
“Where are your men?" his eyes were suspicious, bearing into her soul, she held her ground returning his glare.
"They scattered, by my orders, there were six of us, I pursued the Wolf directly while they surrounded it, and three are dead now." Sage bit back the words gathered at the tip of her tongue, the words that would put him in his place, that would let him know how she felt about his lack of care for his men, the people who put their lives on the line each night for him. He stayed behind scenes all the time under the pretense of researching their targets. But the truth was, he was nothing but a coward. She knew it; the others knew it just as well.
Sometimes, immortality sucked. This thought kept creeping to the front of Aidan's mind. He slammed his fist into the punching bag one last time forcing it to swing in a violent circle. His pale blue gaze slipped once more over to the corner where is younger sister Elana had drifted into what was looking like a pretty peaceful slumber, he'd worked her into the ground. Her being half human, she was not immortal not as strong and... Able to sleep when she liked. He didn't need sleep, or rather he couldn't sleep but when he saw her slip away so peacefully like she was now he resented the life that had been chosen for him. Peace in his world was not an option. Aidan pushed his hands through his sweat drenched hair, and fought the smile playing at the corner of his lips at the sight of her. Ever since their Father had been slain Elana had been his responsibility, their father had kept her secret, and now with him gone, and Elana's human mother grieving, this had turned out to be the best option. He'd never understood how his father had managed for twenty eight years to keep the secret, but he had and Aidan was damned if he'd be the one to spill it. His own mother had been an immortal though not the same as his father; she had died giving birth to him.
His father hadn't grieved for long, at least not by their standards and when Aidan had reached eighteen human years he'd left home. He'd never gotten along with his step mother and he wasn't up for putting on a show for her. He didn’t want to hide, he wanted to live, and in his opinion that wasn't what his father had been doing. A low growl started in his throat at the thought, he'd hated the way his father had lowered himself to please the human woman, the way she brought him low, made him into her personal slave, his father had been blind to everything about her that was bad, in his eyes she could do no wrong. He'd allowed his father to have his secrets, but in the end he wasn’t able to stay.
"Elana," His deep baritone filled the small concrete room full of exercise equipment, reverberating off the walls. It was the voice of a man of power and confidence. Thick dark lashes shuddered in the gloom he preferred and then he was staring into his sister’s startling pale eyes, something they had both inherited from their father, the only thing marking her blood as not human. He covered the space between them in two strides holding out an overly large hand to help her up. A weak smile played over her full lips, and he knew she'd been dreaming of her father again. She had grown so close to him and her mother.
"Sorry did I fall asleep?" Her eyes were huge, wide, staring up at him from her small height. She never said it but she was terrified of Aidan, naturally, she wasn't like him and she'd seen what he could do. When she had come to stay in the Den there had been no more hiding what he was, what everyone around her was. Aidan forced himself to smile. It hurt that she was afraid of him, but at the same time she was half human, and that made her weak. He pulled his hand free of her cold grip when she was steady on her feet again. She stood staring, unspeaking but he could read a question in her gaze.
“What is it?" He couldn't hide the annoyance in his voice; she'd been full of questions since the day she'd arrived. Her gaze faltered and she studied her feet. Delicate fingers tangled around each other, and her narrow shoulders rose with her deep breathing. Aidan waited, watching her dark hair slip over one pale shoulder exposed by her work out top.
"Can I do those things?" she asked haltingly. "Can I change, can I feed? Is there any difference between me and any other human at all?" What was that in her tone? Hope? Fear?
"I don’t know. I think you may have some ability, but you have to want to use them... and you don’t." Her dark head shot up, her eyes wider than ever.
"I do, I mean, I think I might, I want..." She let her words die, fading from her lips, they were empty words.
"You don’t, if you wanted it then it would happen, until you embrace that side of you, you will be like any other human." Her features hardened, and she slammed her palms into his heavily muscled chest.
"Liar,” she hissed the word through bared teeth. “I won’t ever be like others; other humans don’t live everyday with a pack of wolves. They don't see the things I see they don’t know you... you creatures exist!" Color rose high on her cheeks and her anger radiated from every pore on her body, assailing his senses, he breathed deep suppressing his other half which had begun to stir at the thought of an attack. “I don’t care anymore that I know, maybe I did but now, I just want to fit in SOMEWHERE, I don’t care where. If you tell me I can turn into these... things, then I will, if you tell me I need to drink from other people to be strong then so be it. But don’t you tell me I don’t want this." Aidan stepped back away from the fight that was arising. His sister's eyes watered, tears suspended in the cups of her eyelids, her entire body trembled, and he could smell her anger, potent anger. She was disappointed in herself he knew. It wasn't easy for her here, he put a lot of pressure on her and worked her hard, but he wasn't sure she'd reached her limits yet.
So many times after their father had died he'd fought with himself about bringing her back here, but in the end the thought of losing his other family, of leaving his brothers was enough to bring him to his knees. This was where he belonged and nowhere else and so this was where she would have to belong. Aidan stood unwavering over his sister’s small frame. So far he'd done everything in his power to keep her safe, to keep her away from those who meant her harm, he was starting to get the feeling it was nearly time to let her go. He allowed his body to relax expelling a weary sigh. He didn't want there to be any kind of rift between the two of them. There was no one left in the world for her but him, which was a trust he could not betray. Elana held her hands up in defeat her palms were sweaty, her hands trembling. Her eyes were haunted, and her face a mask of despair as she looked to her brother who had become her family.
"Tell me what I should do Aidan," her full lips trembled as she struggled to keep her composure. "When dad died, I thought I had lost it all, I thought I was going to be on my own, have to struggle to find my 'way. We lived a normal human life," Aidan fought back the grimace of disgust, "And then you show up, you bring me here, to this whole new life." She dropped her hands letting this fall against her lean muscled thighs, "how the hell do I deal with that? Where do I fit in?" Aidan struggled to face her, the sound of her despair beat at him, made him squirm inwardly. There was nothing he could do for her. With him, he had always known who he was, he'd never had to doubt his place in life, never had to wonder where he belonged. Aidan had had his life planned from the start.
"I don’t know what to tell you except this. You won’t ever have to have fear here, you don’t have to worry, these people, are our family. Our father trusted them, and so can you. So can I." Elana nodded, her shoulders dropping in defeat as she turned and sauntered from the gym.
Aidan let his eyes watch the dark opening his sister had disappeared through. She had become more important to him than he had wanted her to be. Somewhere along the line he'd weakened, but that would have to stop. He had an entire pack depending on him; he didn't have the luxury of vulnerability or weakness.
Sage slipped through the door of her apartment building just as the sun began to rise over the horizon, casting her dusty blaze over glass, brick, and asphalt, the skin and bones of the city. She had felt the sun coming long before it had arrived, a burning in the back of her mind, her senses had immediately gone on high alert. She preferred to be indoors when the sun rose, and while she could walk in the light as a half breed, she didn't like the feeling of not being at full power, as she was when the night was caressing her, coaxing her power from her body like a lovers stroking. Now she was feeling the toll the previous night had taken on her body, when the sun was high in the sky, she felt as weak as any mortal woman.
The elevator crawled to its top floor destination the rusted gears and cables squeaking and grinding together, screaming in protest as if under great distress. The penthouse hadn't been her idea, but her ex's, he was no longer in the picture but that didn't mean she had to give up the house. Ralph had started noticing strange things about her last month, and that's when she'd known it was time to give him up. There hadn't been any hope of a future anyway. Not with a human, and she wasn't bitter. Ralph had been a distraction, something she'd taken up in an attempt to make her life feel a little more normal. Now though, she wasn't so sure her life was so bad. She'd let Ralph have his fun, let him believe for four years that he was a God in her eyes, they'd dated, made love, and moved in together. But she'd been fooling herself to think he wouldn't start to notice how she never came back till dawn, the cuts, and bruises that were definitely not the product of the boring job in sales she'd told him she had. He'd started to become frightened of her, unsure of their relationship. Night after night she would come home to find him waiting for her, his face a mask of disgust, and doubt. Sage stepped out of the elevator into the first floor of the massive penthouse apartment. It hadn't been fair to hold him to her, he was a human, and deserved a human life, but she missed the companionship sometimes, and as she sauntered over the black marble floors, her feet now bare and silent on the cool stone, she realized just how alone she was.
There was no one here to greet her, no one to ask her how she was to make sure she was okay. The heavy dark drapes were drawn over the floor to ceiling windows lining one side of the luxury apartment, blocking out the sun that was rising steadily over the slowly waking city. The room was large, the floor plan open, Dark black marble stretched on endlessly and she could see her reflection in the polished surface as she moved forward slowly, fatigue finally catching up with her. The only furniture in the living space was an L shaped sectional positioned before a wide flat screen TV. She never even watched TV it was another prop in her life, something else to make her feel more normal, just like the elaborate "modern" lamp standing in the corner, and brightly lit stainless steel kitchen off the side of the living space. The refrigerator was stocked with food she didn't eat; her sustenance came from the hunt. Sage climbed the spiraling glass staircase warily, feeling that it was maybe time for a change of scene to take her hunting elsewhere. She paused in the doorway to her room, azure eyes moving over the Spartan furnishings. A queen sized bed, low to the ground, covered in a plush white duvet, no head board, no foot board. A plain dresser in black stood near the en suite bathroom made with clean, straight, harsh lines, and a chaise lounge standing solitary before the bedroom window. The only luxury in the room was the sweeping white carpet; she stepped onto it now, sighing as she sank ankle deep into its softness. She pulled her plain black tee shirt over her head, and dropped it to the floor, her black cargo pants followed, and she stood naked in the chill before dropping onto the oversized bed, allowing the duvet to swallow her.
The air in the room was crisp and clean moving slowly over her body as she rested. She’d had a good night, had almost come away unscathed. Bringing a slim hand up and around her shoulder, she allowed her fingers to wonder over the throbbing bite mark on her shoulder, there were several cuts along her stomach as well, but like the rest they would heal.
Laying in the stillness of the night she allowed her mind to wonder. Her life had not always been this way. Had not always been this constant race. But after her father had abandoned her the real hell had begun. He’d left her like a piece of trash, in the dumpster behind the orphanage. As a young girl she could not believe what had happened, had believed that her father would never have done such a thing. It was easier to think she’d been taken and left there by a stranger. Surely only a stranger could do such a thing. As an adult she’d come to realize what a bastard she’d had for a father. A father who was hardly a man to abandon his only daughter in nothing but her night gown, and socks. He hadn’t been able to cope with what she was, not without his wife, her mother, who had been killed on the hunt.
Sage had never gone into the Orphanage, she'd never wanted to be part of anything ever again.
Emma had found her.
Sage breathed deeply of the soft duvet enveloping her form. Bitterness was a sharp tang in the back of her throat, these memories took a hold of her, dragged her under. Her mother’s memory was something that usually gave her comfort. She had been a warrior through and though, her mother had been a fierce hunter and one of the most powerful shifters known. Every hunt she went on she thought of her mother, of her soft words, and kind hands, and also of her love and determination that her daughter become the best hunter she could be. It was her dream that Sage grow to hunt these Wolves. It was her dream that she be better than she herself had been, that sage would succeed where she had failed. Krithina had grown and nurtured her daughters’ hatred for the Lycan from the cradle, and by the time she was eleven it was full blown, another part of her. Hate for the wolves was as the blood in her veins. No more likely to leave her than the stars were to leave the sky.
So she enjoyed the kill, the hunt, it was the least she could do for the mother she was never there for. She had been called many things because of the way she felt, traitor, betrayer. The Society was centuries old, hunters of the lycan kind, dedicated to bringing the filth down; they hunted them relentlessly along with the vampire. A creature she was more indifferent to than anything else, one of her best friends was Vampire kind.
Sage sighed flipping over onto her back, and throwing a slender arm over her forehead. It wasn't often she allowed herself to think of the world she belonged to. It wasn't like in the books or movies, it wasn't sexy or glamorous. It was blood it was war and pain. Lycan against Shifters, Vampire against Sihers. People in the human world speculated and guessed at what they all thought to be fantasy, a myth, something made up but there was so much they did not know. Sage covered her face with her hands, unable to drift away into sleep as she usually did. She rolled on to her side and picked up the phone, dialing the number of her current best friend Roslyn. A Siher. They were a race unlike the others, immortals who could control the elements and see past, present and future, each of the Sihers held a different ability, some were skilled in healing, some could read minds, or control the minds of others. Roslyn was a young siher Sage had used to help her find a particular target that had been causing trouble in the city, she was exceptional at bending the elements and she could see the past, but only glimpses of the future.
"It's you again; need a shoulder to cry on?" The husky feminine voice drifted through the line, and Sage couldn't help the smile the spread across her face. She called Roslyn for everything these days. The woman knew things about her that no one should.
"Restless that's all. I've had a hard night." She muttered.
"A hard night." Roslyn couldn't hide the amusement in her voice. “I guess that means he actually had the chance to fight back. Sage would have laughed if she hadn't been so upset with the night's events. Talking about them only made the wounds fresh.
"Three of my men were killed. They were good men, had families." There was a long pause.
“Yeah, they were, they will be missed. Their wives already know, although they aren't admitting to themselves yet, they are in denial." Sage shuddered, she would never get used to Roslyn doing that, and it made her wonder what she knew about her. "Listen," she began again, “I’m glad that you called because there is something I need to tell you." Sage's blood ran cold at the urgent edge Roslyn's tone now had. Her heart raced behind her ribs, and she waited, a cold sweat making the duvet stick to her skin. "I haven't seen anything conclusive, it's all hazy. There are Lycan, a certain Pack. They aren't like the others they are close, like family, brothers, and sisters. Your destiny is bound to theirs Sage, I don’t know how, I don’t even know if they know you, but you have to be careful with the dark stranger."
Sage laughed nervously sitting up in the dark room. "What are you saying Ros. They know something about me?" There was silence again.
"I can't see that, I know you are connected somehow. I'm sorry." She sighed heavily, and Sage could feel her fatigue through the phone, and almost regretted calling her.
"Look Ros I’m sorry to stress you, but let me know if you see anything else." She settled back against the plush white pillows still unheeding of her nudity. She often sat around the house in absolutely nothing.
"Yeah sure, I’m sorry I can't tell you more. Look maybe we can meet up tonight at Dawn." Sage cringed at mention of the club. It was a known hotspot amongst the immortal community, and often a hotspot for trouble if the wrong groups mixed there. Problem was everyone was permitted, save humans, but that didn't mean they didn't get nosey. Sage owed her friend and she knew it, she didn't need to reveal her vision, and was in fact, not supposed to, so she agreed to meet her at midnight, and hung up the phone.