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   Chapter 3 Meet the Family.

Changed. By The Other Girl Characters: 16368

Updated: 2018-03-08 15:14


When I wake up, the dogs are barking and Bri is gone. I reach over and look at the watch I had taken off last night. The watch said 6:00 pm. So I'd slept longer than I thought I would. The dogs are all at the door, waving their tails excitedly in anticipation of something. I get up to go check what's out there. Sometimes it's a person, sometimes it's a deer. I never really know. I step towards the door but Aaron is blocking it, peering out the glass while the animals go crazy around him.

"Your parents and sister are home." He announces, making no effort to move.

"What?" I ask, tensing up, "you need to go."

"Why?" His brows knit together in confusion.

"Because my parents don't know you're here."

"So? I'll just tell them why I'm here. They'll understand."

"Oh yeah? What're you going to say? 'Hello, your daughter here is a Luna. She was incredibly sick this morning so I gave her this mysterious smoothie that made her feel better and afterwards she fell asleep. I told her she has to come with me to lead a pack of wolves in some place I haven't even told her about. Then I decided to stay and watch her sleep to make sure she doesn't have another episode.'"

"Actually, yes. I was."

"You can't do that!" I groan out in pure frustration.

"Why?"

"They'll never-"

"Katie!" My sister's sing song voice entered the room. Her eyes went immediately to Aaron, back to me, then back to Aaron. "Who's this?"

"I guess it's time to meet my family.." I mutter. He gives me a confused look and I roll my eyes.

"I'm Katie's... Boyfriend." He says hesitantly. My head whips around to stare at him incredulously. What? My mother and father walk in just in time to hear the sentence. Wrong choice. I think immediately as I see my dad's face go from "friendly" to "stern."

"Boyfriend?" He asks, "I don't remember you asking if he can come over, or really mentioning his existence." He stares at Aaron, locking eyes with him. Aaron meets his eyes, shifting a little so he'd seem bigger. I grab his arm, making him break eye contact and dissolving some of the tension. What is he doing?

"Not good to stare back." I mutter. He looks down at me and raises his brow. My mom shifts and coughs lightly, bringing the attention to her.

"Who is this young man?" My mom asks as if the previous event had never happened.

"Aaron." I say quickly before the boys could say something else. "His name is Aaron Nanuk." For a second I saw my dad's face change. It changed so quickly that if I hadn't been watching for his reaction, I would've never even seen it. The look was of recognition. How did my dad know him? I look up at Aaron, looking for some sort of help, only to find his gaze had fixed upon my dad again. I elbow him in the ribs and give a slight motion to my mother.

"Uh, hello." He says clearly while sticking his hand out to shake hers. My mom gives him a friendly smile and clasps her hand with his. She grabs him and leans close to his ear, whispering something too low for me to hear. He backs away with a wide smile on his face, teeth showing.

"Your mother told me you used to have braces?" My face changes from awkward to horrified.

"No!" I shout a little too quickly.

"I think I still have a picture of her old teeth somewhere..." My mom trails off, disappearing into a different room. My sister is watching me carefully.

"Boyfriend, huh?" She sounds incredibly skeptical. I feel Aaron's arm wrap around me and I try to ignore how warm it still feels. His arm rests lightly on my hip and I lean into him to add to the charade. My dad sighs, sends Aaron a look, and walks off to his room.

"Aaron sweetie!" My mom's sugar-sweet voice is back, a photo album with?Kaitlyn?written in delicate cursive on the front. My eyes widen. No one should go through the horror of pre-braces me, and DEFINITELY not the horror of pre puberty me. I don't even want to think about the baby pictures. When I was little, I hated wearing clothes. There's no doubt that in three fourths of the pictures I had no clothing on.

"Aaron, " I say, trying to sound urgent, "uh, I think you should get going. It's late and you're probably going to miss dinner with your family."

"Nonsense! He can have dinner here! Now would you please take a seat? I would like to show him something."

"Of course I'll stay for dinner Mrs.." Oh no. I've never told him my last name. Panic runs through me. I will the information to somehow reach his brain. My last name is Cole!

"Cole." I visibly relax. He hadn't missed a beat, but how'd he know my last name? Is he a mind reader of sorts? He looks down at me with an uncomfortable fake smile. "I must inform my pac-family. Please excuse me." Pack? Is that what he was going to say? How do you inform dogs that you won't be home for dinner? Does he have some sort of dog sitter to tell? Aaron snatches his phone from his pocket, gliding out the door and into the garage, not closing it all of the way.

"Bravo." My mom whispers to me. I throw her a sideways glance and strain to hear his conversation with his "pack" that was taking place just on the other side of the door.

"-just won't listen. No, she doesn't know what we are." A pause, "yes, I realize that can make it difficult." Another pause. "She's not twenty. You know we don't get mates until then." Mates? "No, but it's her first day into the change and it seems like she's a week into it." Change? What kind of change? "Yes, she's been connected with me already." Could being connected mean the voices that I hear in my head? "Yes. Listen, I won't be home for dinner. I'll tell you more tonight when I make it back home, Alpha. I'll bring her over sometime this week." I could hear gruff yelling on the other line. "Bye." He touches the screen, ending the call.

"Eavesdropping is bad." My mom scolds. I sigh. The door slides open and Aaron strolls in, a neutral look on his face, but as I glance up into his electric blue eyes, a feature I hadn't noticed earlier, I could see the pure knowledge that was in them. He knew I had heard. I feel a little guilty and move to wrap my arms around his torso, trying to avoid his gaze in a not-so-subtle way. He envelops me in his heat immediately and I feel like I shouldn't be doing it. I second guess the thought as soon as it came, but his arms wrap around me loosely and I dismiss it as I hear a faint "awh" followed by feet skittering away.

I close my eyes and realize how different he smelled, temporarily forgetting the conversation I had overheard and the pain I'd felt this morning. The fact that I had just met him this morning, even when he told me that I was a Luna and that it was my job to rule over a pack of wild animals. I begin to pull away but a flash penetrating through my closed eyes make me snap them open. My mom was standing there with a camera and a smile. I pull away fully from Aaron, putting about two feet between us.

"Mom.." I trail off. I remember that I haven't seen a mirror all day. "Can I see the picture?" I say a bit too frantically. She hands me the camera. I quickly pull up the picture and fall into a stunned silence. My face is practically glowing, completely clear of acne. I look as if my eyelashes have grown, a natural layer of mascara coating them. Aaron is looking down on me, his eyes open and watching me protectively. I blink down at it.

"I need to see a mirror." I say, quickly shoving the camera into Aaron's hands and going upstairs so I can marvel at myself. I make it into the bathroom where there is a mirror that falls a bit below my hips.

I slowly move up my body, which doesn't look any different. I still have a decent amount of chub on my bones;?I look like I always do in that department. My thick thighs giving way to my best asset, my tummy still hanging a bit too big over my sweatpants but giving way to my mostly flat chest. My curly dirty blonde hair, which reaches just barely to the bottom of my breasts, now glows with health and shine. I reach up to stroke it and am shocked at how soft it is. I continue up to my?face. Not much had changed there except for a bit thicker?lips and my jaw is more defined. My a

cne scars are completely gone though, my face looks as if I have a layer of foundation on it.

"Amazing, isn't it?" Aaron whispers. I hadn't even noticed he had come in. "Our goddess gifts us with beauty and strength." He smiles down at me as I turn to face him. He carefully keeps his distance at the doorway.

"I don't really look that different. I still have all of this extra weight." I touch my stomach unhappily. "You'd think she would get rid of that too if she was going to get rid of my scars."

"I know you have questions about the the conversation you overheard." Aaron chooses to say instead, changing the subject.

A nagging pain, nothing like what I had experienced earlier, spread across the surface of my ribs. It was as if it were on the skin.

"Ow.." I mutter, placing my hand on my right side. Aaron eyes light up in excitement.

"What is it?"

"My ribs..."

"Don't take this the wrong way, but can you lift your shirt a bit?" I glance cautiously at him, but pull the edges of my shirt up. What I saw terrified me, yet intrigued me. A tattoo of a wolf was placed there. It was howling at the moon with winglike designs on either side. Aaron smiles at the design as if it confirmed something in his mind.

"It's a symbol for Alpha and Luna. Regular pack members don't get a tattoo." Wait, so this is permanent? What will my mom think? I know she despises tattoos... Yet I find my hand reaching out and gently tracing over my tattoo, impossibly black in contrast to my lighter toned skin.

"I'm guessing an Alpha is a male leader of the pack?" I say hesitantly in attempt to keep the conversation going.

"Yes. Very good." He sounds like a school teacher praising his student and I have to stifle my laugh.

"Can we go to the basement? I have a lot of questions, and that's the most discreet place I can think of. My parents won't let us stay up here long." I mutter, remembering that my sister is upstairs and more than likely listening to us in confusion.

"Sure." He smiles and follows me down the main floor, where my mom was making dinner, and then down another flight of stairs to the basement.

*~*

I relax into the love seat as Aaron does the same. He's sitting a pretty good distance from me, and I try to ignore the woodsy smell he seems to emanate. I quickly think of all of the questions that have gone through my head over the entirety of today.

"What am I?" I ask after a few moments. Aaron looks down at me with a complicated glint in his eye and sighs, as if there was an incredibly long story to tell.

"Well, you see. It's hard to explain." He presses his lips together, as if deciding whether or not to soften the blow.

"What's happening to you, Kate, it's not average." He pauses for a moment and shakes his head, "You knew that, of course." He mutters, more to himself than to me.

"You don't have to sugar coat it." I try. It seems as if he's battling himself; his face contorting into different emotions. He seems to settle on a single thing and gives himself a small nod, as if for motivation for what he was about to say.

"Werewolf." He says simply and suddenly, then smiles as if he has accomplished something. "You're a werewolf." My mind draws a blank and I try to gather all of the information that I had heard on werewolves, which was mainly just things from TV shows and movies. Disbelief clouds my mind.

"You mean I'm going to turn into a half wolf creature every full moon? I'm going to have grossly scraggly hair and I'm going to stand on two legs with disgusting claws? I'm gonna eat human hearts and kill people?" I feel horrified. I could never dream-wait why is Aaron laughing? I glare at his face as he throws it back. "What?" I growl.

"You think that? Do all humans think that?" He asks, tears in his eyes. I frown as his laughs slowly come to a stop. The amusement in his eyes remain and I find myself feel a twinge of annoyance.

"Kate, you're not one of those.. Things." He tells me. "You're, at a lack of better words, a shape shifter. A lot of us prefer to be called Shifters, actually. We shift into wolves whenever we want. Our moon goddess, our Ay Tanr??as?, She would never be so cruel." He looks at me seriously. "She has decided to create a new bloodline."

"Am I this new bloodline? Why me? I'm not special." A look of rage goes through his eyes but quickly disappears.

"Don't say that." Anger passes once again on his face, but this time it doesn't go away. "Our Goddess chose you." He hisses, as if I were offending him and everything he believes in. "You said your sister hadn't gone through this?" His teeth grind and I have to stop myself from cringing.

"No." I confirm.

"Well then let me tell you something about new bloodlines. They're always different than the way us wolves are now, whether it be they shift smoother or they're better fighters; we never really know. It's the way Ay Tanr??as? introduces new genes." I nod at this, following along. It feels as if he were telling me a story. A legend of some sort; I find it hard to wrap my mind around the fact this is happening to me.

"Can you tell how the wolf's different when they're changing?" I ask.

"No, they'll find what it is, or rather, we'll find out, when they are finished changing. The wolf that's different can't usually tell the difference."

"Why am I changing so fast?"

"I'm not sure. It may be one of the differences, Ay Tanr??as? must want it. There's a reason behind all of her actions."

I press my lips together and nod. I feel lightheaded and my stomach begins to spin.

Oh, great.

My eyes open and I'm curled in Aaron's lap, face pressed into his chest and the back of my head is supported by his large hand. I feel waves of excitement roll through me and it makes me feel antsy.

"Who is it?" Aaron asks. I look at him in confusion. He has an intense focus on my face.

"What do you mean?" I ask.

"Who did you connect with?"

"What-" I feel so jittery and happy that my sentence cuts off. "I feel very.. Excited." I say. I want to bounce off of the walls. The only thing stopping me was Aaron's firm grip around me and his hand is still on the back of my head.

Hello! A man's happy voice yells in my head and I jump a little in response. Welcome to the pack!

Uh, hello. I think. Who is this, may I ask? Why am I being so polite? This guy is in my head. If anything, he should be overly polite towards me.

Eric. The voice continues, the excited feeling is still there but somewhat fades. My name is Eric Stoic. Tell Aaron it's Stoic, God, I'm so glad we got another member.

"I've, ah, connected with Stoic." I say. Annoyance fills Aaron's features and I feel red-hot anger flow through me. It fills my veins and I cringe under the intensity of it. I whimper and immediately it fades, Eric is quiet.

"No one has ever connected with two people in one day before." Aaron says approvingly. "Eric is one of our younger fighters. He's eighteen."

"Can you hear what we're saying in my head?" I ask. I hear Eric laugh maniacally and I furrow my brows. "How do I make him go away?"?Aw sweetie come on. I'm not that annoying am I? He says.

"Why? What's he saying?" Aaron says strictly.

"Nothing... Weird. I just feel uncomfortable with people hearing my thoughts." I say honestly. Aaron presses his lips together.

"I'll tell you another time."

So, when are you coming to the pack house?

I-I don't know.. I reply. What's a pack house?

"Stop talking to him." Aaron growls lowly. "I can't hear it and I don't like it." I shrug and try to restrain from hearing Eric's voice and not let him hear mine. I feel something somewhat like a shutter come down in my mind, as if I were closing a garage door.

"What's a mate?" I ask, getting back to interrogating him. Aaron's eyes furrow and he looks as if he's concentrating completely on something. "What?"

"I can't hear you." He says. "What did you do?" He's squinting slightly and glares into my eyes. I shift uncomfortably under his gaze.

"Nothing.. Just what you said." I say curtly. "Now answer my question."

"Well, do you believe in love at first sight?"

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