Ooooh. This was hard for me to write. Even as I post this, I am filled with the feeling that this is not a short story up to par. So instead of this being a two part series and ending terribly, I’m gonna post part 2 and work really hard on part 3 for next week.
Also, I apologize for the late posting. It’s been a long week.
Hannah and the Wolves – Part II
When Isaac woke, Hannah was standing over him, the baseball bat held tight in her hands.
“What did I do to deserve that?” he asked, slowly sitting up so he wouldn’t alarm her. He appraised her apparel, holding in a laugh over the red hood drawn down over her eyes. She looked beautiful tonight, like something that stepped out of a fairy tale and was waiting for the story to begin.
Although her pose was strong, Isaac could smell the fear on her. “You came into the house,” she answered, voice unsteady.
“I’m housebroken,” he replied, almost in a sitting up position.
The tip of the baseball bat tapped against the side of his head in warning. “I didn’t invite you in.”
“No, I don’t suppose you did.”
Footsteps echoed in the front door. A man with broad shoulders and dark hair strode through the door, his face stony and focused. “What the hell is taking you so lo-” He saw Hannah and changed his tune. “Ah. Hello, Hannah.”
“Hello.” The baseball bat turned in his direction. “Who the heck are you?” Hannah asked.
Isaac took this chance to hop off the ground. “That’d be Eric.”
“Eric?” she said, the bat swinging back to Isaac. He stepped back just in time to avoid getting hit. In one swift movement, he swayed forward and snatched the wooden weapon out of her hands, catching her off guard. She stumbled backwards, her back hitting the wall.
“She might know me better as Scar,” he said. When Hannah still seemed confused, he lifted up his shirt, displaying the thick pink scar reaching from his navel up towards his shoulder. Isaac watched as realization crossed Hannah’s face. Eric’s scar was very similar to the silver wolf… in the pen.
Hannah ran to the window, gasping when she didn’t see what she should have seen. “It’s empty,” she said in a stupor. “The wolves…” She turned and looked from Isaac to Eric.
“We are the wolves,” Eric said. His tone sounded harsh, but Isaac knew he just hated to explain things. “Wolves during the day and human at night. Not that hard to understand.”
“Really, Eric? You can’t just drop a bombshell on her like that,” said Isaac. Hannah raised an eyebrow at him and as if to say So-it’s-true?
“Well if I let you explain it, we’ll be here all night.”
A sound similar to thunder clapped outside. Hannah made a move to the window but Isaac grabbed at her wrist and held her back. Eric swore and took off through the door. There was silence, then shuffling, then more silence.
Then the cry of a man piercing through the night air.
“C’mon,” Isaac said, pulling her to the stairs. “We have to find you a place to hide.”
“Hide?!” Hannah yanked her hand away. “I don’t even know what I’m hiding from!” She moved away from him and went back to the window. Isaac followed, wincing when he saw the scene playing from beyond the window screen. Eric and a man Isaac knew to be called Xander held a man wearing a black robe their human forms down in the grass, their appearances half changed by the light of the moon. Claws where fingers should have been dug into the man struggling beneath them.
“Someone check the barrier!” Xander yelled, the claw that wasn’t holding the man down coming around to slash at the exposed throat. Isaac turned Hannah away before she could see the blood stain the grass red.
“He’s not dead,” Isaac said.
Hannah’s eyes almost made perfect circles. “You’re lying.”
Isaac ran his hand through his hair. “Yeah, I am. Sorry about that.”
Hannah went over and picked up the bat again. Perhaps she feels safer with it, Isaac wondered.
“What you said… before I knocked you out. What did you mean by that?”
Isaac touched the spot on his head where she had whacked him. Maybe she didn’t need protecting after all. “My memory’s a bit fuzzy. What did I say again?”
“You know… when you said that you were my wolf. What did you mean by that?”
He nodded towards the object in her hands. “Why did you say you had a gun when you really had a baseball bat?”
“I really don’t like it when people change the subject like that.” She peeked out the window where Eric and Xander no longer appeared. “I think it’s only fair that I get an explanation, don’t you think?”
“That sounds fair.”
“So. What did you mean?” she repeated.
He drew towards the couch, thinking for a minute that he might sit down but deciding against it at the last second. “There’s no easy way to explain it so-”
“You’re Fang… aren’t you?”
His eyebrow rose at the truthful accusation. “What makes you think that?”
Her cheeks turned pink. “No reason…” She reached up and pulled the hood over her eyes as if to hide herself completely. “It’s just… Out of all the wolves on this ranch I… Well, that’s not important. I just… HEY!”
Isaac raised an eyebrow at her. “What?”
“Do you remember anything from when you are a wolf?” she asked.
Sure he did. He remembered all the times she came to him and talked for hours on end while she worked on the ranch. He remembered every time she came to the ranch and told him every story about what was going on at her school or why so-and-so wasn’t dating worthy anyway.
“Not really,” he answered.
“Good.” Hannah pulled the red hood away from her face, revealing her blue eyes. “I guess I’ll start with the easy question.”
“Why am I a wolf?” he guessed.
“Just the opposite,” she said with a grin. “Why are you human?”
“I’m not all human and not all wolf.”
“Sarcasm is what got you in trouble in Spanish class last year.”
She pointed a finger at him. “Ack! You do remember some stuff.”
Isaac smiled and continued. “All the wolves on this ranch are like me: Half wolf and half human.”
“So… werewolves, basically.”
“But isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?” Hannah asked. She took a seat on the couch. “I thought werewolves were supposed to be human in the day and then werewolves at night.”
“That’s how it’s supposed to work. But not when you are in hiding.”
“What are you hiding from?”
Isaac sighed and leaned against the arm of the couch. “Do you want the short story or the long story?”
He was glad she chose that answer. He wasn’t sure they would have time for the long one. “There are those that don’t think that Werewolves should be allowed to live. And there are some hunters that believe that so strongly that they sold their own souls to destroy ours. In order to protect the pack, John set up a sort of enchantment on this ranch to hide us from the hunters. Unfortunately that enchantment wasn’t complete without consequences. Hence us not being in control of when we shift. It hasn’t been a problem until today when someone was able to get through the barrier.”
“That explains something and yet nothing…” Hannah said, dropping her chin into her hands. “Is John a werewolf then too?”
Isaac placed a hand over his heart as if to act shocked. “He’s only our Alpha. How could you not know?”
“I just found out the wolf I’d been dragging around on a leash is a person under all that fur. Give me a break!”
“Sorry.” He slipped onto the couch beside her. He wanted to reach out and hold her hand, but he thought that might be too bold. Besides, it wasn’t like they were a couple or anything. “It’s just hard to comprehend that even though you’ve been coming here for so long, you really don’t have a clue what’s going on.”
“Well I don’t really play a part in all of this.” She pointed to a grease stain on her shirt that she got from helping out in the kitchen. “I just volunteer to help out around here.”
“You don’t honestly believe that, do you?” he responded.
She stared back at him with a tilt of her head. “Is there an alternative way of thinking?”
“Of course. It goes along with your alternative life that you don’t seem to realize that you have.”
“And that would be…”
“You honestly don’t know?”
Isaac took a deep breath before continuing. “That it’s your fault we’re in this mess in the first place.”
“How is this—whatever this is—my fault? Am I a werewolf too or something?”
“No, but you did fall in love with one.”
The pink returned to her cheeks. “I did?”
“Yeah, and your dad was super pissed about it.”
Hannah’s eyes furrowed. “My parents are dead. They have been for a long time.”
“Then explain how he showed up today at the ranch.”
Hannah thought back to the strange man she met when she took Fang from the cages. “You don’t mean…”
The walls around them shuddered. “I’m sorry, but there’s no time to explain. We have to go.”
“To the mountains.”