Trevor.

”Whos Trevor? Is he a friend? ”

”No, absolutely not! ” I almost yell. ”He hates my guts. He bullied me all the time I was in the orphanage, he picked on me for having shabby clothes and for being odd. He is younger than me by a year, but he has two friends that would loyally do anything for him. ”

”Oh. Thats a shame. If I ever run into this Trevor kid, ” he quickly glances at me. ”Ill kick his ass for you. ”

”You don have to, ” I smile and look out the window. ”I dealt with him for several years. He doesn bother me anymore. ”

”Well if you ever meet him again… ” he says as he turns off the road and into a parking lot. ”Well here we are, I don have much money on me, so go cheap but get something you like. ” We park, get out and head into the mall. I look around excitedly at everything in the mall.

”Can we get some ice cream? ” I ask as we walk past an ice cream parlor.

”Depends on how much you spend on your clothes, but I could give Ang a call… ” he shivers. ”She will call me a dumbass for grabbing the wrong wallet, but then we will have more money to spend… ” I laugh at him.

We enter a few clothing stores and I look around for something I like. I end up going with a black shirt with a moon on it and a plain pair of blue jeans.

”That all? ”

”Yeah, I really want some ice cream! ”

We make our way back to the ice cream parlor, its very cold inside. The display case shows a large variety of colorful ice creams; white, pinks, brown, green, etc. Some of them even had nuts and bits of chocolate in them. Echo orders a mint chocolate chip and then he and the man behind the counter wait for me to make a choice. I take my time looking at each one and asking what the flavor is before I settle on an Oreo flavored ice cream.

”Thats Angs favorite kind. ” Echo tells me as we sit at a booth next to a large poster of a new ice cream that is coming out soon.

”This is the best ice cream Ive ever had. ” I lick my lips after finishing the last of mine. ”I have only had chocolate and vanilla before. ”

After echo finishes his, he pulls out his phone to call Angie. After he asks her, I hear laughter and her voice say ”dumbass ”. When Echo says bye, he hangs up and then looks at me with big eyes.

”Told you She would, ” he smirks. ”She said she will send someone over, with the right wallet. Want to go to the arcade while we wait? ”

We throw away the paper bowls and head to the arcade. The room is painted black, and black lights hang from the ceiling making everything that is white or neon glow. The only other light is coming from the many screens with a Variety of different games. They even have a section dedicated to the classics. The room is very loud with the sounds of excited kids playing games and the sound of the games themselves. Echo and I blow whats left of his money on racing games because Echo makes a bet that he can beat me, but every round I win anyways.

”How did I know to look for you here? ” a man asks making Echo jump. ”Heres your wallet, dumbass. ”

”Thanks, Jaxon, ” Echo takes the wallet and shoves it in his other back pocket; he looks slightly embarrassed.

”How much money did you bet Lupin? ” He asks looking at the game we are standing next to.

”Not much. ”

”How much did he bet you, Lupin? ”

”Fifty per game. ” I grin.

Jaxon covers his face as he snorts. ”Not much?! Angie is going to whoop your ass. ”

”I want to use the money for something besides clothes. ” I smile at Jaxon.

”And whats that? ” he asks me.

”Drawing supplies! ” I shout excitedly. ”Ive never had much and I love drawing. ”

”We have a whole room dedicated to art the house. ”

”So? You let me win three hundred dollars off you, and thats what I want to spend it on. ” I grin. Today has been the best and maybe most crazy day of my life. Somebody better hit me so I know its real and not a dream.

”Alright, alright! ” Echo puts his hands up. ”Just don go too crazy, we don have much room in the truck. ”

”See you later then Echo. ” Jax nods his head in Echos direction and then waves at me before turning to leave.

”Where first? ”

”Is that really a question? ” I smirk at him.

I half run, half walk towards the art department with Echo barely managing to keep me in his sight. I beat Echo to the department by a good ten minutes, and I look around while I wait for him to catch up. He grabs a small cart and pushes it around following me while I continue to look at every art set in the room. I decided on getting a Royal & Langnickel Essentials Deluxe Box Sketch & Draw Chest, priced at eighty bucks. Then I walk around looking for a decent watercolor paint set. I grab two sketchbooks, a couple of artist canvases and a package of paintbrushes. The price goes a little over three-hundred, but Echo seeing how happy I am to have them, offers to pay the remaining twenty bucks for me. Then we go back to by some more clothes.

Echo helps me find a nice suit for occasions he won explain to me, and then he has me pick out more shirts and pants, underwear, a hoodie, socks (not that I have much choice with those besides long or short, black, grey or white), and shoes (boots for the winter and sneakers for the summer). Echo has to find a cart to put all the art supplies in because there is too much to carry not to mention all the bags of clothes. Once everything is loaded into Echos truck we head back towards the gated community.

”Hey Echo, ” I ask when I can see the dirt road coming up. ”Why do you live in a gated community when you
e so far out from the city? ”

”We
e not gated… the electric fence just protects us from stray wolves and bears and that. ” Echo responds while trying to carefully drive around all the dips and bumps in the road so nothing goes flying out of the bed of the truck. It takes a lot longer to reach the gate because of this. Finally, when its almost four we pull into the driveway, Echo helps me get my stuff up to my room. We set them in the middle of the room so that I can go through them and figure out what I want to go where.

I open the closet door and put all my art stuff on the middle shelf, I step back and look to see if I like it (and I don its not neat enough), I rearrange it again making it look better. Then I start to put my clothes away, I hang twelve shirts on hangers in the closet (I color code them), I nearly fold all my pants then put them in the bottom left drawer, underwear, and socks share a drawer but are divided down the middle. I hang the whole suit (in a plastic suit bag) with the shirts in the closet. Then I change into a pair of yellow shorts and a black tank top.

***

”Hes up there being OCD about where his stuff is going. ” Echo whispers to Angie. ”I watched him hang all the shirts we got him in a colored order. ”

”Good, he will be distracted for a bit. ” She glances up to the landing. ”Baby, Ive got to tell you something. ”

”What is it? ”

”Freddie has been outcasted… ”

Echos eyes go wide. ”That explains the blood but… by who? ”

”I ran him out.. ”

”So that means…. ” Echos face goes pale. ”I don want to be the Alpha… Im not a good leader at all! ”

”Dumbass, give yourself a little more credit. ” Angie smirks, ”You
e an excellent leader in bed, and besides that, most the pack likes you they just didn want to be yelled at by Freddie for talking to you. ”

”When will it be official? ”

”Tonight after the feast. ” Angie glances back up at the rail above the stairs again. ”After he is asleep. I want to tell him before it happens end even if it doesn we will still keep him, but I want him to get settled in first. ”

”Show him the art room and he will get settled in just fine. ” Echo jokes. ”Seriously, Lupin would have bought everything in the art department if he could have. ” Angie laughs as she curls up into Echos side. All her wounds are mostly healed except the worst one on her back. Echo kisses the top of her head then turns on Netflix to browse for something to watch, he settles on Criminal Minds.

***

Now, what do I do with all these bags? I look at the pile of now empty bags. Ill save them for later. I stuff all the bags inside of bigger bags then put them in the corner on the floor of the closet.

I sit on the bed again and think about what to do, I end up getting out the fancy pencil set I got and the first sketchbook with stars on it. I flip it open and stare at the blank page waiting for an idea to come to my head. When an idea comes I press the pencil lightly to the paper and let my hand do its thing. It starts getting dark so I have to turn on the light before I can continue. I stick my tongue out in concentration.

”… and done, ” I look down at my drawing. Its a white wolf standing on a cliff howling to an overly large drawn moon with more white wolves drawn into the shading of the moon, but the wolf is alone on the cliff. Like I feel somewhere deep inside me, it grows stronger the closer I get to being eleven… but Im not alone! I have Angie and Echo now. I rip the page out of the sketchbook and leave it on the deck while I put the other stuff away.

”Knock knock. ” Echo opens the door. ”Hows it going in here? I came to inform you that dinner is ready. ”

”Its going great! ” I glance at the paper on the desk. ”Im starved! ” I follow Echo down to the kitchen, Angie is already seated with a few other people they are in a whispered conversation. Jaxon is one of them but I don know the others. Angie looks up and smiles.

”Everyone, ” She beams, ”This is Lupin. ” Everyone stares at me then goes back to talking about things. I take a seat next to Angie and Echo brings everyone plates. Angie introduces me to everyone at the table; Jaxon a beefy fawn haired guy, Miranda, black hair and quite skinny hanging off the side of Axl, dyed purple hair and Cassie, brown-haired and very young looking.

We eat steak with mashed potatoes, corn, Brussel sprouts, green beans, and yellow squash. Then we have homemade cheesecake with raspberries for dessert. When everyone is mostly done eating, Angie pulls out a fruit tray and a cracker, meat, and cheese tray while Echo pulls out some card games; Uno, phase ten, and three packs of solitaire cards.

We play Uno first, we play four rounds, Echo wins two of them and Angie accuses him of cheating. Then we play phase ten until Miranda ties with Jaxon. While Angie puts the two games away Jaxon leaves and comes back with a bottle of Jack Daniels and two party size bottles of coke. Echo gets plastic cups out and hands them out to everyone, Angie pours me some Coke and then Echo fills his cup too, everyone else either drinks the whiskey straight or mixes it with Coke except Angie (she drinks something from her personal collection). We play canasta until everyone has such high scores that they take forever to lay.

”Poker! ” Angie yells. ”Lets play poker! ” Everyone agrees, so Echo gets up and goes to the closet with all the games in it and pulls out a tin box full of poker chips. I don know how to play poker, but I definitely want to learn.

”Lupin, you can play till you
e older, ” Angie says making me slump in my seat. ”We use actual money so don worry because Echo isn allowed to play, ” (Echo bets too much money and ends up losing most of it) she winks at me. ”But you can watch an learn from a master. ”

I watch them play poker till Im too tired to stay up later. I finish the last of my coke, throw my cup away and then go up to my room and fall asleep almost as soon as my head touches the pillow.

***

Angie wins everyones money on the last round, but instead of keeping it to herself she splits it evenly with everyone at the table. ”Great game! ” Everyone laughs while putting their shares into their wallets (purse/pockets). ”Thank you, everyone, for coming to the celebration! ”

”Youll probably celebrate some more after the rest of us leave, ” a drunk Jaxon splutters out.

”Well celebrate for you too! ” Miranda chimes up still clinging onto Axl who goes red in the face. (They are newly found mates.)

”Baby! ” he bites his lip. ”You
e embarrassing me! ” Everyone laughs at them while Miranda lunges for his neck making both of them fall out of their chairs.

”Get a room! ” Echo hollers when Miranda starts biting Axls neck. Jaxon just chuckles before finishing the last of the whiskey.

”Whiskey is gone, ” he holds up the now empty bottle. ”It might be a good idea to have someone take me home. ”

”Echo is the only one who didn drink. ” Cassie points at him.

”Well, that settles it! ” Jaxon gets up and slams his fist on the table, but being too drunk to stand, he falls face first into the table with an unpleasant thud. ”Ow. ”

It takes Angie, Echo, and Cassie to get Jaxon up to carry to the couch. Miranda and Axl leave as soon as they know that everything is under control. Cassie smiles and waves goodbye then leaves. (They all walk because they have drunk too much to drive, but not as much as Jaxon did). Echo grabs a blanket and throws it on Jaxon who is producing a quiet snore.

Echo holds Angies hand as they make their way up to their room. Echo closes the door quietly behind him.

***

I wake up early in the morning as the first light of day comes through the bedroom window, but I don get up instead I lay in the bed, letting all the memories of yesterday running through my mind. Then I realize… Fred lives here too, but he wasn here all afternoon… maybe he left, maybe he won make me go back to the orphanage. Finally, my curiosity and hunger get the best of me so I get up and leave my room with only my shorts on. I can hear water running in the bathroom, someone must be showering I assume.

I get to where the wall turns into raining that overlooks the living room. Jaxon is passed out on the couch. A door behind me opens.

”You
e up early. ” Echo yawns. He has a dark purple hickey on his neck.

”Im hungry. ” I look back at Echo.

”There is some cereal in the pantry. ” Echo pats my head and then walks to the bathroom, entering without knocking. I tiptoe down the stairs, trying to be quiet so that I don wake up Jaxon. I go straight to the kitchen and look into the pantry, I grab the only box of cereal and set it on the counter. I look through every cupboard till I find the one with bowls then I grab one of them and put it next to the box of cereal. I get into the fridge. Shocked by its size, I forget what Im looking for, for a second. I make the cereal (and use the last of whats left in the box) then sit where I was sitting last night and slowly eat the cereal.

”Well good morning, ” Angie says from the stairs. ”Getting all settled then? ” Her hair is in a wet brown braid and shes wearing blue jeans with a plain black spaghetti strap tank top. I nod my head as I gulp down the last bite of cereal. ”Good. ” She smiles at me.

”I ate the last of the cereal. ”

”Thats fine we needed to get more anyway, ” Angie laughs. ”Hey, Lupin, when you
e done why don you go take a shower and get dressed. I want to show you around. ”

”Okay. ” I put the bowl and spoon in the full sink then head off towards the stairs. ”Hey, Angie, where are the towels? ”

”Just use the white one hanging on the rack, its clean. ”

I get a pair of clothes from my room and then I go take a quick shower. Angie and I walk up on side of the street and down the other and she points and tells me who the people are and what the buildings are. Most of them are houses, theres a library, a dinner, and a gym with an indoor pool. Angie tells me that there are more places she wants to show me but that shell do it later this week. They don have a school building, but I can see kids running around so I assume everyone here is homeschooled. By the time I am done exploring, its lunch time. We go back to the house and Angie makes three ham sandwiches. On Tuesday, we spend the whole day at the park, it doesn have playground equipment, but its a large open space with lots of room to run around and go crazy.

On Wednesday, I notice Angie keeps me closer to her and in her sight at all times. She even makes me leave my bedroom door open. Echo and her whisper things to each other when they think Im not paying attention. Im happy when I get to lay in my bed alone without being watched. I can wait for tomorrow night because it will be the full moon and Ill get to see it outside for the first time.

***

”Ang!! You still haven told him! ” Echo whispers almost panicking. ”Hes going to freak out! ”

”I couldn find the right time! He was always so excited that I didn want to ruin it by telling him what we are yet. What if he runs away, a rogue could attack him thinking he was from our pack! He has our sent all over him. ”

”Oh well. We are just going to have to listen after midnight, and watch all day tomorrow till it happens if it does. ” Echo sighs. ”If he doesn shift in the middle of the night, you are telling him tomorrow morning. ”

***

I wake up in a lot of pain, my whole body is aching and I feel like Im going to break in half. Its one in the morning, Im covered in sweat, I try to get up to go tell Angie that something is wrong, but as soon as I stand up I fall to the floor. So I yell, ”Angie! Echo! Someone help! ” but my voice box seems broken, words don leave my throat. Something powerful takes over and all the pain intensifies before completing stopping altogether. Im on all fours… four white paws, I glow in the dark room, I start to panic, what the! Whats happening to me? I bolt out the open door and barrel over Angie in the hall, I don stop till I run smack into the door. Whats going on! Is this a terrible dream. I turn to see Angie and Echo running toward me from the stairs. Both of their eyes are wide staring at me, but then where Angie was standing is a wolf. A glowing reddish orange wolf.

The wolf slowly approaches me, and I realize immediately from the scent that the wolf is Angie. I sit and stare at her until she is directly in front of me, staring down at me, still with huge eyes.

She licks the top of my head. ”Lupin, ” She says calmly. ”Its okay, everyone here is like you. Please don freak out! ” Another wolf, whos is a lot smaller then Angie comes and sits next to her. Its Echo, his fur doesn glow, but because of the light reflecting of me and Angie, I can see that he is a grey wolf.

”Hes white, Ang! ” Echo states. ”How is that possible?!? Akantha, her mates and their pack killed them all in a fire almost eleven years ago, no one made it out! ”

”I don know. ” Angie shakes her head. They both stare at me. ”Well, now I know my gut was right. ”

”Your gut is always right. ”

”Will somebody tell me whats going on! ” I howl getting their attention.

”Its really a lot to explain in one night Lupin. ” Echo starts.

”I want to know! ” I howl.

”We will try, but Lupin, I don understand, you shouldn be alive. ” Angie looks down, her crystal blue eyes meet mine.

”Until you shift back you cannot leave the house, understood? ” Echo tells me. ”If Akantha gets word that we have a white wolf… ” he shutters.

”How do I shift back? ” I ask them.

”Well… ” Angie exchanges a look with Echo. ”The first couple of times are unpredictable… you have to learn how to control it, then you would be put into another class so that you can learn combat. ”

”We need to hold a meeting about this Ang… ” Echo looks from her to me. ”We need to be careful about who sees him.. ”

”Why? ” I ask.

”Because someone in the pack could tell the black wolves and that will be bad for us. They already take whatever they want from every territory and after what they did, who would want to stand up to them. ”

”Echo, be patient, he doesn know everything, ” Angie growls at him. ”I bet old Abbott didn even notice him in the orphanage, he would have been too focused on making sure his pack is safe to look right under his nose. ”

”Mr. Abbott is a wolf? ” I ask in surprise.

”Yeah… ” Echo snorts a bit. ”He used to be my Alpha, but I didn have a rank back then, he walked all over non-ranking members. ”

”Im so lost. ” I curl up into a ball on the floor.

”How about this, ” Angie lays down next to me. ”Go back to bed, and when you get up in the morning we will start to try and explain everything. ” I like the idea of going to bed, maybe when Ill wake up this will all just be a wacky dream that I can tell Angie and Echo all about.

I wake up to the sun shining into my window on my face. Immediately I hold my hands up to look at them. It was just a wacky dream. I get out of bed, go to the bathroom and then head downstairs in the direction of delicious smelling food. Echo and Angie are both fully dressed and in the kitchen talking.

”Youll never believe the dream I had, ” I exclaim. ”I dreamt that… ” the look on their faces make me stop talking, they both stare at me as they did in the dream. ”… that… that wasn a dream was it? ” I sit heavily in the chair next to Echo.

”It wasn . ” Echo pats my messy hair. ”So where do you want me to start? ”

”Not till he has breakfast. ” Angie holds a knife up pointing it at Echo. ”If hes anything like you, his brain will function better after he has something. ”

”Okay okay! Put the knife down baby. ” Echo grins at me.

Angie drops the knife back in the sink. ”Its your turn to do the dishes baby. ” She winks at him as she walks back over to the stove. She finishes the last chocolate chip pancake, then brings a plate stacked with six of them to the table. We each take two and when I finish I wait patiently for them to finish.

”Start talking, ” I demand when Echo puts his fork on his plate.

”What do you want to know? ”

”Everything. ”

Echo looks at Angie, then back at me. ”Well then… ” Echo rubs his chin. ”There are six big packs, we are one of them. There are the amber and gold pack, then theres the blue one and the black one. ”

”Thats only five, ” I state before it clicks.

”The black wolves wanted to rule over all of the packs. Before everyone reported to the white wolves, your family, and the black wolves being who they are attacked your pack in the night. They burned every member to death, and that made everyone else too afraid to stand against them, with the fear that if they made them mad they would be burned alive. ”

”So… so Im supposed to be dead. ”

”Remember what your teacher told us when I came to get you? ” Angie looks at me. ”It should have clicked sooner, she said a firefighter brought you in after a nasty fire killed everyone in the area… I should have thought about it then. ”

”Okay… ” I feel slighted disappointed. ”If I was so important, why didn anyone come for me sooner? ”

”No one knew you were alive. ”

”But… ” I think for a second. ”Angie could tell! How come no one else could? ”

”That was before you turned. Angie was going of certain signs you gave off, it was a guessing game. ”

I feel frustrated. ”So… it was luck that you found me? ”

”Kinda yeah. ” Angie nods.

”Angie, why is your wolf larger than Echos? I learned that male wolves are normally larger than females. ”

”Its a trait that is passed down through my families generations. ” Angie shrugs her shoulders. ”Thats about all anyone really knows about it. Its like that for all the other wolves we told you about, including yourself too. ”

”Okay. ” I feel puzzled. ”Where is Fred? ”

”He left, ” Angie answers quietly.

”Oh… ” I raise my eyebrow at her. ”Thats all I think. ” I put my dishes in the sink then go up to my room, I shut the door and lay on the bed to think.

***

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