DAMN, this girl is fine. Connor Peterson allowed the skin of the woman brush over his as he brought his lips to her shoulder. What's the perfume? Candur? He kissed her shoulder lightly and traced his lips down to her collarbone. “Oh, Connor.” The words slid from her lips and it felt as if pure ecstasy had been filtered into Connor's blood. He smiled gently and traced down the girl's collarbone with his lips, running his tongue over the curves of the flesh. Flesh. The desire to devour the girl wrapped in his arms kick-started a primal, savage urge deep inside Connor, but he controlled it, instead letting a growl ripple from his lips as he followed the girl's collarbone to the base of her neck. He kissed up her neck and under her jaw, pressing his lips against the smooth base of her perfectly framed face. Slowly, reluctantly, he withdrew his lips and pulled back to look at the radiant beauty that he had with him now. She stared back at him and smiled. Weakly lifting her hand, she ran it through his jet black hair, pushing it out of his face. She stared at him with an intense passion and he felt the urge inside him buck again. He shot forwards and devoured the girl's lips, taking them between his as he used his tongue to explore; her lips, tongue, teeth, cheeks... He didn't leave one inch of her mouth untouched in his exploration, and then it was her turn. She forced his tongue back out and sent it retreating into his mouth as she began her exploration, slowly running her gentle tongue over his lips, flicking it against his teeth and giving him tasters of sweet sugar as their tongues collided in a taste of pure pleasure. A purr escaped her lips and Connor felt them run over his lips. His mouth arched into a half-smile and a growl rumbled from the base of his throat. How much longer can I survive this? This tease? This torment? The thoughts skipped through Connor's mind, but his mind was soon vacant once more, engulfed by the pleasure of this moment of perfection. The girl's hand traced down Connor's bare back, starting on his shoulders and tracing down, gently running over his shoulder blades and then his spine, as her warm fingers slid down his body. She ran her hands over his hips and along his arm which was wrapped around her. Prising his fingers free from her waist, the girl smiled and flicked her tongue over Connor's lips again, sending a bolt of pleasure through his body again. The primal urge to devour her kicked through him again, rearing for release, but he continued to fight it down, unleashing another growl against the girl's lips. Using her hand to guide his, the girl placed Connor's hand just beneath her bum cheek and let out a purr when he ran it up her leg and rested it there. Playing with the band of her panties between his fingers, Connor growled again, this time in annoyance. “Off,” he breathed. The single world sent a shiver through the girl's body and Connor felt it ripple through his body, which was pressed against hers. Slowly, her hand traced down her hips and joined with his, their fingers entwining together. With their entwined hands, they slowly slid the girl’s panties down her legs and off, tossing them aside. Pulling his hand free from hers, Connor slowly ran his hand up the inside of the girl's leg and was pleasantly surprised when she gently let them slide further apart. A smile tore through his lips and another growl released from his throat. Now, he thought. I'm going to devour you now. Pushing the girl down onto the bed, he rolled himself on top of her, pinning her beneath him. “I want you now,” he mumbled against her lips. Another purr released from her lips. Her hands fought their way to his waist, where they fumbled with the catch on his belt. Growing impatient, his hands joined hers and, collectively, they ripped the belt off of the jeans. The girl unzipped his jeans and slid both them and the boxers off him body. He was already hard for her, already ready for her; waiting for her to say the words. Teasing her, he rested himself just against her, slowly and gently pulsing against her. Tearing away from her lips, he kissed along her cheek until he found her ear. “Tell me you want it,” he whispered. A gentle growl slipped from the girl's lips and she dragged his lips back to hers.
“Do it,” she breathed, bringing his lips down on hers. His lips crushed against hers and the taste was pure heaven. He pushed forwards, plunging himself into her. Her head shot backwards as a violent moan ripped from her throat. Kissing along the base of her neck, Connor traced her collarbone with his lips as he thrusted deeply into the girl beneath him. He found the end of her collarbone and gave two kisses up. That was her spot. Right there. As he kissed the girl whom he was wildly thrusting in to, he became aware of a shooting sensation in his canines. “No,” he hissed. “No, no, no!” He pressed his teeth down against the girl's shoulder and drove himself deep into her. She arched backwards as the climax overcame her and his now-extended canines bit into her shoulder. The blood from the wound poured over his teeth and he ran his tongue over the wound, lapping at the blood that was trickling from it. When satisfied by the warmth of the fluid, he kissed the two teeth marks and gently ran his tongue over them, beginning the healing process. “Mine,” he breathed against her shoulder. Marked, he thought. Mine.
CONNOR'S eyes ripped open in the darkness. “Jade!” He yelled out. Glancing across his king-sized bed, he found himself alone, and took comfort in the fact. Collapsing down onto his pillow, happy in his solitude, he cast a weary eye to the clock that hung on the far wall. The green illuminated numbers told him that it was just past midnight. He scanned the room in which he was laid and noticed that the glass doors that opened out to the balcony had not had the curtains drawn across them. Groaning groggily, Connor dragged himself to the edge of the beg and swung his legs out. Sliding his feet into the slippers placed by the side of the bed, he pushed himself out of the bed and plodded towards the doors. That dream. Again. Why was it the same dream? Jade. Connor couldn't make sense of it; since he had nearly imprinted on Jade almost three weeks ago, during his half-phase, he had cut himself off from her. He had only allowed himself to see her during the day and it had to be in a public area. Yet, lately, he had been having that same dream. The sex. The bite. The imprint.
He shook the remnants of the dream away and grabbed hold of one of the curtains as he reached the window. He heard the slice of fabric and felt his hand drop away. His eyes immediately shot to the curtain, where he spotted half a curtain suspended from the rail, with a tear across it. His eyes dropped to the ground, where the other half of the curtain lay in a crumpled heap. Terror began to flood Connor's body. He glanced at his hands and saw the nails, which were normally scrappy stubs to keep them looking as opposite to his full-phase nails as possible, were now long and razor-sharp. He had once sliced the back of his left hand when scratching it with his right the first time he half-phased. “No,” he breathed. He looked at his other hand and it, too, had long, razor-sharp nails extending from the ends of his fingers. A sudden bolt of pain shot down Connor's spine; a pain all-too-familiar to him. “No,” he breathed again, his breath more ragged and untamed this time. Another bolt of pain down his spine sent Connor sprawling forwards into the glass doors. He crashed into them and then slid to the floor. Spasm after spasm of pain shocked Connor as he sprawled around the cold, wooden floor, nearly hitting his head on his bed at one point. “No!” He screamed through the pain as he heard the fabric of his newly bought pyjamas beginning to tear. “Why?” He hissed. “Why? Why? Why?!” Rolling himself onto his hands and knees and propping himself up, Connor tried to fight the urge to change. But, this resistance ended in another bolt of pain to his arms, which made them collapse beneath him. This, in turn, sent his head flailing forwards and it crashed into the wooden floor with a solid crack. Bones heal fast, Connor thought; the only vaguely sensible thought he could currently string together. Another wave of pain bombarded through Connor's body and he found it increasingly difficult to resist the urge to change. The urge to be free, to surrender to the call of the wild...
Another wave of spasms rocked him and, this time, Connor's body refused to resist the urge. He sprawled forwards on the floor and flailed left and then right, as the bones in his body began to realign and correct themselves for one night of freedom; one night of madness; one night of no control. Connor felt the final shocks of pain twitch through his body and, then, he was ready. Ready for the change. He howled out; a shriek of both pain and joy as his body twisted and rocked, his clothes tore and shredded as his body expanded in size, weight and shape. Connor's human howl began to transcend and eventually became the howl of a wolf. Letting out one final howl, Connor's brain began to buzz with life. This was the howl that let all the other werewolves know that he had made the change.
Now the fun began.
CONNOR hated being what he was. He hated being a werewolf. And, not even a full-breed werewolf, at that. No, Connor was a half-breed. Only the half-breeds experienced the half-phases. As a half-breed, there are some roles in a pack that are restricted. Half-breeds cannot become Alpha Males and have no say in a pack's actions. Amongst the eight hundred and twenty-four werewolves in New York City, there are fifty-four Alpha Males, meaning fifty-four packs. Not that Connor cared. He didn’t want to be an Alpha. He didn’t want to lead a pack. In the city of New York, there are eight hundred and twenty-four werewolves, with a new one making their first change every 68 hours. Seven hundred and seventy-two of these werewolves are full-breeds; only fifty-two are half-breeds. Connor is amongst the unlucky ones, caught out by an unfaithful father.
Half-breed werewolves are created by a previous generation male mating with a female that they had not imprinted on; this was known as Printing. A half-breed male can still create a full-breed male in the next generation, as long as they mate solely with the female they imprinted on. Connor frowned again. He’d lived in the orphanage his whole life and had never wondered about his real parents. Until the night he changed and the pack had found him.
Werewolves are not born; they are created. Some humans are born with wolf DNA fused with their human DNA but it doesn’t cause them to become a werewolf. This wolf DNA is undetectable by any DNA test and no werewolf makes their first change before the age of twelve. The merged DNA becomes active when the subject goes through puberty. Connor frowned as he remembered his first time. He made his first change at the age of thirteen. He had complained of a fever and had been given the day off school. First, he noticed the lengthened, sharpened nails. Then, he noticed a growl that resonated from the base of his throat. Then came the pain. The spasms. Wave after wave of intense pain as bones realigned and formed new shapes. The first change had been the most excruciating; all the bones had to break before they could move into their new positions. It was still painful, now, but nowhere near as bad.
Connor thought back to what the pack had told him. Half-breeds also experience things known as half-phases. On the night of each month, when the night is longest and the moon is full, full-phases occur, where a werewolf changes into their full werewolf form. However, a week either before or after a full moon, a half-breed can experience a half-phase, where they assume only some characteristics of their werewolf form; long, sharp nails, extended canines, the desire to howl at the moon.
Then, there was Jade. And that was Connor's problem. He had almost imprinted on her three weeks ago, during a rather intimate sex session. He had pressed his canines against her shoulder, before suddenly realising what he was about to do and pulling away. Normally, imprinting on a female was a good thing; the male had taken his choice and decided which female he wanted to mark as his. But, there was a catch with Jade; Jade was human.
New York City's 2,300 people population is split into several categories; werewolves, witches, vampires and humans. Eight-hundred and twenty-four werewolves; seven-hundred and seventeen witches; four-hundred and seven vampires; three-hundred and fifty-two humans.
Natural pairs constitute eighty-nine per cent of 'couples' in New York City; werewolf with werewolf, witch with witch, vampire with vampire and human with human. Sub-natural pairs constitute seven per cent; werewolf with human, vampire with human and witch with human. Unnatural pairs constitute four per cent of 'couples'; vampire with werewolf, witch with werewolf and witch with vampire. However, in all of New York City’s history, never has there been a werewolf-human couple that has had a successful imprint and mate. That was the problem that Connor faced as a werewolf. He didn't know if it was possible. Even though Connor hated being a werewolf and wanted Jade, he knew he couldn't control what he really was.
But, right now, all those concerns were behind him. Right now, all those concerns were left in his apartment in New York City. Right now, he had eight-hundred and twenty-three voices, other than his own, swirling through his head as he charged along the countryside hills outside of New York City. He had left his concerns and problems at home; he didn't want every other werewolf living in New York City to know what his problems were. Instead, he could listen to their problems and sink back into bliss as he ran the straits that encompassed the city. In wolf form, he could run the straits in little over an hour. He had walked it once, by foot, in human form; it had taken him over six hours to complete, including catching a bus the last two kilometres.
Now, he was running the straits in bliss; the sound of eight-hundred voices swirling in his head.
“CONNOR.” The voice that snarled through Connor’s head brought him to a dead stop on the straits. He had been running for several hours, and was panting heavily from the effort. However, despite this, he managed to growl. He glanced up at the moon high above him.
It was only in his wolf form that Connor could truly appreciate the full beauty of the moon. Only in this form could he take in the beauty of its surface; the shimmering patches of blue interspersed in the bright white backdrop. On a night as crisp and clear as this, the rugged terrain of it became visible to Connor, too; craters that showed the moon was still nothing more than an asteroid trapped in Earth’s orbit.
“Connor,” the voice in his head demanded again. Connor growled at it once more. Take the hint, he thought.
“The time has come, Connor; the decision must be made.” Connor sneered.
So what is the point of my presence? I can make no input.
“Your presence in the pack is invaluable, Connor.” Connor snarled and began to run again. “Connor, the decision is to be made. War is to be declared.” Connor’s step faltered but he continued pressing on. War is already declared, he hissed silently. With both the vampires and witches.
“Exactly,” the voice snarled in return. A stark realisation crashed into Connor and his legs locked up; he slid on his front feet before falling onto his face and sliding in the mud. He leapt to his feet and started charging back in the direction he had been running just moments ago. “We’re declaring war with the humans.”
CONNOR charged across the straits towards the pack’s command hub. War with humans? I won’t allow it! What about Jade?
“Who’s Jade?” A mystery voice intruded.
Go mind your own business. Racing on all fours, sprinting at top speed towards, Connor rapidly closed the distance between himself and the pack’s small village. They can’t do this!
Seeing the wooden gate was closed, Connor snarled and howled out, racing along the grass towards it. There were two guards stood at the gate, defending it, and Connor howled out at them again. Get out of the way, he hissed. The two wolves slunk into defensive positions, barricading the gate, blocking Connor’s only way through. That’s how you want to play? Connor thought. So be it.
As the distance between the three wolves closed, Connor forced a surge of energy to the weaker and more vulnerable parts of his body; one push of energy began the rapid process of building another layer of fat on his exposed underside; another sent a fluid through his body that encased his bones and made them three times harder and stronger. He also gave another push of energy, which flooded to his legs, where his long nails became even sharper and stronger, less likely to be snapped in a scrap. As adrenaline began to fill his blood, Connor smiled to himself. Being a wolf was good sometimes.
Connor made the first blow, keeping both his shoulders low and driving them into both of the guard wolves. They crumpled backwards and crashed into the gate that they were defending. “We ain’t letting you through without a fight, Peterson,” one of them hissed. Connor’s face twisted into a wild smile. I wasn’t expecting you to. The wolf on the left, the larger of the two guards, kicked out and a long nail caught Connor just above the eye. He stumbled backwards and growled, trying to shake the flowing blood out of his eyes. The smaller of the wolves pounced at Connor and tried to take a bite out of his ribs, but, with very little effort from Connor, was thrown off and sent sprawling into the long grass. The larger wolf took a step away from Connor and howled. A warning sign; alerting the other wolves to his presence. In two short strides, Connor had reached the wolf and lashed out with his front leg.
The wolf collapsed to the floor, blood pouring from its neck. Connor looked at the pool of blood and winced. He looked down at his ribs and saw blood mixed into the fur; the smaller wolf had managed to take a bite at him. Ignoring the pain that emanated from the wound, Connor slunk forwards and nudged the gate with his head. To his surprise, it swung open noisily. As the gates opened, Connor took a step inside. It was there that he found the wolf he wanted to talk to.
DAMION. Just thinking the word sent an unwelcome shiver down Connor’s spine.
“What the Hell is going on, Connor?” The wolf stood in front of him snarled.
War against humans? Are you insane? Damion smiled; his head tilted slightly to the left and the grin spread across his face. “Just because you are fond of one human, Connor, it does not give you the right to stand-off against your pack.”
I am not standing off against the pack, Damion, Connor thought, the words sharp to say. I'm standing off against you.
Connor tore into the ground and charged towards Damion. The broad wolf snarled and stood his ground, tensing himself, readying himself for the impact. Just inches away from crashing into him, Connor momentarily slowed, making Damion doubt his actions. It was then he lunged forwards and smashed into him. Both of their bodies rolled together in a heap over the concrete and into the long grass. “I am your Alpha, Connor. You obey me.” Damion's words were like needles in Connor's mind and he shook them out of his head. I don't obey anybody, he hissed. He leapt back to his feet and sprang at Damion. This time, Damion was ready and he pounced up, using his left leg to scratch Connor's exposed underside. Connor howled out in pain and crumpled down to the floor. Damion began to circle Connor's injured body. “You came to us, Connor. We didn't have to take you in. We didn't have to give you refuge amongst ourselves. But, we did. We took you in and made you family. And this is the thanks we get?” Connor snarled and, slowly, pushed himself back up onto all fours. He whimpered slightly at the pain but fought it off. I didn't come to you, Damion. I didn't ask for you to take me in. All I wanted was to understand what was going on. What was happening to me. Connor sprang forwards again, this time catching Damion off guard and he sank his teeth into Damion's ribs. Damion yelped out in pain and tried to shake out of Connor's vice-like grip. With every passing moment, Connor clamped his teeth tighter into Damion's ribs. Blood began to flow from the wound and flooded over Connor's teeth. He lapped at the blood like a dog at a water bowl and felt a surge of strength overcome him. Fuelled by the taste of full-breed blood, Connor desired more. His body craved the taste of more blood and he sank his teeth in deeper. Damion howled out in agony as Connor's teeth sank further into his ribs. “Somebody get him off!” Damion hissed. Reluctantly, two or three wolves prowled forwards before lunging at Connor. With their combined strength, they managed to prise Damion free from Connor's teeth. Limping from the pain, Damion slunk behind three other wolves, who had formed a protective barrier between the two, and turned to face Connor. He snarled and Connor howled in return. “I will have revenge on you, Connor Peterson,” Damion hissed. Connor smiled, exposing his long canines, which were still dripping with Damion's blood. “And that is when I will take your life,” he growled in return.
CONNOR couldn't stand the noise any more. The constant drone of the werewolves voices that buzzed in his head. Why couldn't he just block them out? Why couldn't he be left in peace? Left to his own thoughts? He wanted to think of his parents; he wanted to think of what they might have been like. He wanted to think of his first change, his life before the pack, his life in the pack. He just wanted to think. But, in this form, he couldn't. In this form, any thought he had was shared with every werewolf in New York City. Those thoughts were private; his life; his past. He glanced up at the moon, thousands of miles away in space, and was relieved to see that it was beginning to dip back behind the horizon. The longest night was beginning to end, meaning that he would soon be able to return to his human form. He would soon be able to be rid of the endless voices in his head. Daylight was approaching and, with it, came the salvation that Connor was seeking. Jade.