(Rewrite in the works. Much, much, much better than first draft. The images in my head always had the group with golden skin. So they’re Asian now.
Have fun imagining that. Asian werewolves. I didn’t even realize that’s what I saw with this fantasy characters either. Yet yeah. Always. I’m gonna have to dive deeper. Wish me luck.)
Second Draft Opening:
In this world, it’s eat or be eaten.
And I was almost eaten.
I know, I know, my reputation says that’s impossible. But you don’t get it. The quest expectation didn’t meet up with the actualities. I went in unprepared. Foolish, I know. I get it.
I flinch while twisting my body. Considering I was almost eaten, my muscles seem to work. I blink flinching at the bright lights above me. When I get used to the brightness, I find two faces watching me.
I made it back to the hospital. I’ll be safe. Whoever saved me was… Probably those dogs. Talking dogs. Ha! I thought I was hit by a spell that made them talk. But they were the only ones there minus the vampires.
In case you didn’t know, don’t walk into a vampire lair. Definitely unsafe. I went in without a proper weapon or back up. Perhaps Avian saved me. They said any time I was in danger, to whistle. Did I? I can’t recall. I remember fleeing toward town. Would Avian just leave me? It’s possible they would once I was safe. They’ll check up on me in a few if they knew I was in danger recently.
“Do you understand us?” This one has long brown hair. As I look them over, I am reminded of my own coloring and good looks. Just… Curvy. My eyes catch the round breasts dangling above me. That’s because they’re leaning over me. Don’t know them. Can’t recall anyone like that at the closest town’s hospital.
I nod. “Yeah.” I flex my jaw. I was hit hard. Some how I was saved in the last minute. “Avian?”
“Bird? Wrong language. We speak English.” The other person chuckles. I scrunch up my nose staring at them. It’s not my twin, but if they said my brother, I’d agree. Where am I? I’ve never seen anyone with my coloring before. Okay, there was that one time, but it was in vague passing.
Two people who look like my family staring down at me in the hospital? I shift taking in both. Then I notice the room.
I’ve never been here before. This isn’t a normal medical room. A normal medical room is white with shade of pastels. Casting tools and testing kits hide on shelves out of easy reach. There’s no fluffy arm chair in the corner. There’s no collection of flowers sitting on a window sill. There’s no cheery yellow walls.
I try to sit up and feel the binding around my chest. That’s normal. Bindings to keep a person in place while the more painful healing magics are used. Considering the shape I’m in, I’d say that happened. I reach out to tug at the binding.
“We aren’t allowed to release you.” The curvy one says with a soft smile. Who are these weird people?
It’s not that I don’t look human, okay. Same with the two near me. My skin color is golden in hue. My eyes are thinner than what I normally see. My brown hair coarser and straight unlike the normal human curls. These people are… Like me?
“Can you remember your name?”
“Ryan.” I close my eyes not wanting to see others. I’m not sure how to respond to it. Are there others like me? “Ryan Lycacon.” I laugh. It was a joke. How could I be attached to the power family that manages to control the king? “Sorry. I’m not connected to that family. It was meant to offer an orphan some level of comfort.”
My fake twin tests my forehead. “He seems healthy enough.”
The curvy one replies, “You know our healing rate. It’s on point. I’m more concerned with what’s in his head.”
The twin responds with a laugh, “A true Lycacon isn’t afraid of walking into a vampire den.”
“I didn’t see him shift, Tim. Did you see him shift?”
“Bah. Shift or no shift, he survived.”
The curvy one huffs crossing arms under those breasts still hovering close to me. They’re focused more on my fake twin though. Fake twin is called Tim. Noted. What’s curvy’s name? “Survival means nothing if the brain is fried. We’re here to see if he can take position. If he isn’t of sound mind, what then Sherlock?”
Wait… Sherlock? Tim Sherlock? Or is Tim a nickname? Or is Sherlock a nickname? This isn’t what I’m supposed to be thinking about. “Name.”
Both of them look down at me. “Huh?”
“Your names. I don’t know you.” I shift wanting the bindings off. Perhaps a meal. Can I request that? Normally it’s a pain in the neck to get food in the hospital. So many papers need to be signed. I typically wait until I’m allowed to leave.
The curvy one presses their hand to their breast. Just above the interesting part. “I am Sarah Lycacon.”
“Timothy Lycacon.” My fake twin comments. “We’re your cousins.”
“Blood lines mark that anyway.” Sarah motions to Tim. “We’re brother and sister.”
So the debate was more sibling rivalry. … Wait a second?! Lycacon? “Where am I?”
“Lycacon compound. You’re home, Ryan. We’ve been waiting for you.” Sarah offers that soothing smile again.
It’s not gonna work. I don’t have a home. I’ve never stayed in one place long enough. I never fit in. I must’ve hit my head more than I thought. This is a dream. Has to be. There’s no way it’s anything besides a dream. Pinching though only makes me hurt. “I’m sorry… What?”
A new person walks into the room. I thought these two look like me. Now I see a real twin. No wait… Their eyes… They look older. But I don’t see the greys or wrinkles. I’m so confused. This dream is insane.
I need to wake up.
“How is he?” This new person sits down on my bed near my waist. It forces Tim to back off. He grips my wrist checking for a pulse. Then he tests my forehead. “No damage?”
“Healed either physically or magically.”
“He’s an idiot either way.” The new person stands up glaring at me. What did I do? “Why did you go into a vampire lair, Ryan?”
“I was asked to? Well… No. I was told to deliver a letter. It makes senses now that she said it had to be delivered before dusk hit. I was late. I made a mistake. Not the first time.” Not the first time I almost died. When you have little to live for, taking on the most dangerous missions only makes sense. The easy stuff can be for people who have families, friends, hope.
The orphan left at the church of Lune isn’t listed.
“He doesn’t know us at all. His first stare was like he saw a ghost.” Tim says.
“Bah.” My older twin clicks their tongue and holds a hand to mine. It’s close enough for me to grasp, but far enough I have to try. I give him a light squeeze. He returns the handshake harsher. “Anthony Lycacon. You may not know me, but I’m your older brother. When Grandpa gets here…” Anthony rolls his eyes. “Gah, that old man.”
“Even you call him Grandpa.” Tim smirks. “Shouldn’t he be Dad?”
“I refuse him ever since he put Ryan up at the Church. Fuck the church. Have you seen what we’ve been dealing with? He should’ve came back a decade ago anyway. What now? A thirty year old who can’t shift?” Anthony glares at me. He growls more than speaks, but I can understand it well enough. “Can you shift?”
“Into…?” I stare back confused. This dream is really strange. I’d much rather a sex dream right now. I glance about the room. Brother, cousin, cousin. Sex dream isn’t gonna happen. Fuck me.
“See! This is what we have to deal with.” Anthony throws his hand at me. “Piece of shit kid who can’t tie his shoes.”
“I can do that.” I chuckle. My brother made a joke at my expense. I never had that happen before. Anthony glares at me again. Arms crossed over his chest. I now note the fancy attire. The two with me are basic cloth and leather. Strong and sturdy. Not shocking for a medical staff. My “brother” is dressed to impress. Lycacon family tree is high on the society ladder. It’s just rare you meet one. The letters and words about them is… It’s creepy.
And many said I looked just like them. But I never met one until today.
And I’m not sure what to think. Is this really my family? Can I consider this home? Where am I? No one knew where the Lycacons lived. Just that it was immense and well protected. Like people trying to find the place die before they get word out.
Shift into what?
“We don’t exactly tell the world we’re werewolves, Ant. Give the kid some slack.” Sarah says.
“If he arrived at eighteen like he was supposed to, I would’ve. Instead we got the snot nosed brat and her mom.” He grunts.
“Your mate would whack you a few times for that comment.” Sarah grins eyes twinkling at Anthony. “Should I tell her? I would love to see Lydia beat the snot out of this snot nosed brat.”
“Watch your tongue.” Anthony growls at her. “I’m letting Grandpa know this guy’s worthless.”
“We have little else, Ant.” Tim calls after Anthony before the door shuts completely.
“Word came in. Bindings are released.” Sarah helps me gain a level of freedom. Not sure how she gained word, though. “And food has been ordered. Anthony agrees you are who we think you are. Next to prove the current situation isn’t impossible.” Sarah stands up tapping her pants as if dust was there. It just gives me a nice view. “I’ll get the tray. Want anything Tim?”
“I’m good for now.” Tim waves it off as Sarah leaves with a bounce. Better than Anthony’s stalk. “So… Ryan… What did we miss these last three decades? Well, you only left at three, so it’s just shy of three decades.”
I blink staring at him. I can’t recall anything from back then. Who would? What type of terrible parent leaves their child at a church? “I’m two seconds behind you right now.” I sit up stretching a little. The bed doesn’t squeak beneath me which is nice. Strong and capable. I love a good bed. I wonder if there’s a creature open to playing in one. I shake off that idea.
“Is that normally the case for you?”
“No. But I woke up in a state of shock. Give me a minute.” I stare at my cousin. We look so alike. When people said I looked like a Lycacon, I thought it was a joke. Like when they said I’d get a thick blanket for bed. It was always just a ratty little thing. Didn’t offer warmth at all. “Okay, you and Sarah are my cousins. I’m sitting in my original home: the Lycacon compound. My father dropped me off against my brother’s wishes at the Church of Lune.” I pause staring at him. Tim waits. “We’re werewolves?”
This dream is a bunch of levels of messed up. The only werewolves I knew about were the wild ones who were more wolf than human. Just crazed wolves that seemed a little more aware of human words and life than normal.
Avian brought up the fact werewolves were more complicated than that, but… I didn’t believe or understand them. Like how?
This is how. An entire compound hidden from the world. Do werewolves have their own society? What am I supposed to think right now?
“Yes.” Tim stands up to pace a little. “We have high hopes for you. Anthony isn’t… He’s not the same. This is his second mating. That’s unheard of. Living through a mate’s death… But we needed him to. You were missing. If you showed up back then… Anthony would have died. He’s been unstable since.”
“Hopes? In me? To do what? I don’t have any of my supplies. I’m caught off handed right now. I don’t even think I could man handle anything stronger than Anthony. He had a strong grip. I thought I did well in arm wrestling. Damn.” This is the feeling of being the little brother isn’t it?
Tim reviews me. “We try not to interact too much with humans. Various reasons you’ll realize as you get to know your real strengths. You never had the chance to push as hard as you could. Everything high quality for humans would’ve been easy for you. But they offer teachings we don’t. That’s why Grandpa placed you there.”
I blink. I really wish I could wake up. Or a hot piece of something walks in willing to play. I’m open to suggestions. Glancing at the door does not cause someone to walk it. In my normal dreams, the general thought would get someone walking in. Nightmares would be someone like the High Priest. Ugh. Great dreams would be… I pause staring again. They were something like me. Strong and able. Someone I lean on and trust. I never met them before. I wonder who they could be.
“Are you trying to grasp everything? I’m probably not the best to ask. People normally refer to me as meat shield not brainaic. Sarah would know more. Or Ant. If you get past his… thoughts on the matter. I wouldn’t think Grandpa is the best… He’s one sided, and it’s normally not the one you wish it was.” Tim pauses tapping his chin. “Ant’s mate. She’s a smart one. She has allowance to run all the circles, too.”
“Her name’s Lydia. Anthony’s mate, I mean.” Tim drops into his chair again. “How long will Sarah be?”
“Food sounds good.” I try to relax. Maybe this isn’t a dream. But how did I end up here? “I was given a letter to hand to the vampires. I was supposed to only visit near midday. If I did that there would be no fear. Still the price paid was high. I should’ve guessed vamps since they change when night falls.” I rub my face. “How am I okay? I cannot say this is heaven since I don’t have ladies begging for a chance. My dreams go rather one way, so I’m not expecting it to be that either.” I pause to look over at Tim. He looks nervous fidgeting. “How did I manage to reach Lycacon Compound? Where is it?”
Tim probably offers something, but my body forces me to lie down. Against my will, I end up back asleep. Mana banks are low. I used magic to heal then. Did I use my paladin training to counter the vampires? There’s been a few cases where I don’t remember the battle but ended up only blood covered the next morning. And exhausted. Once in a bed, I slept for three days.
But that was only possible on the full moon. I was impossible to kill on the night of the full moon. Even those vampires wouldn’t stand a chance. Lune protects me.
Was last night a full moon?
Want more? Check out WIP: Lycacon. It has the story as is set to premium.