Chapter 3

It was late in the afternoon when I’d parked my motorcycle in the garage and took off my helmet. Monday was a busy day but luckily I only worked for a couple of hours especially since my finals would come soon and I’d need time to prepare for them. My boss was more than okay with it — I was guessing that he could tell something was off with me and that I needed some time off. After all, since that odd encounter with Ryker a few days ago, the thought of him and the feel of his touch lingered longer than usual, occupying my thoughts almost every hour of the day. 

I fondled the keychain that Ryker had once given me before pulling the key out and sticking them inside my pocket. With my backpack slung on one shoulder, I walked through the adjoined door that connected the garage to the packhouse. Surprisingly enough, someone must’ve forgotten to turn on the light because everything was dark. At least for a split second before I saw a glimpse of light a few feet away from me followed by people singing happy birthday. 

As they came closer, I slowly recognized them one by one. They were Eros, Dmitry, Dmitry’s cousin Trish, and a couple of our friends. Dmitry was holding the cake at first before Eros took it from him saying, “You and your emotionless face don’t suit this celebration, mate.” My best friend approached me with a beautiful cake with lit birthday candles on top of it. “Happy birthday, Xy.” 

I completely forgot that today was my birthday and in all honesty, I was in no mood to celebrate. However, looking at their faces and knowing that they’d made the effort, I forced a happy smile on my face and blew the candles after making a wish. Someone turned on the lights and Trish was the first to throw her arms around me. 

“Happy birthday, Xy! I hope all your wishes come true! You know whatever you want, I’ll give it to you, girl!” After planting a kiss on both of my cheeks she moved away to give others a chance to congratulate me. 

Eros gave me the longest hug and handed me a small intriguing box saying that I should open it when no one was around. I laughed and slipped it inside my pocket. Some of the pack members who were invited also gave their wishes. Dmitry was the last one to talk to me. 

I was in the kitchen, fixing myself a drink when he suddenly approached me. I nearly jumped when I was about to turn around to grab the vodka bottle and he was standing right behind me. My hand came in contact with his abdomen and I quickly retracted it. “Gosh, you scared me.” Since I couldn’t step back with the kitchen island pressing against my lower back, I tried to move around him. 

Dmitry seemed to sense my uneasiness as his brow gave a little, barely recognizable, twitch then took a step back while muttering, “My apologies.” 

“What’s up?” I looked up to meet his rich brown eyes. 

“I came to wish you happy birthday.” He slid his hand into the front pocket of his black trousers and pulled out a small box. “This is for you,” he said, handing me the black box with a silver ribbon. 

“Thanks.” I pulled the silver ribbon and opened the lid to reveal a beautiful necklace with a very intricate pendant. I picked it up and studied it for a minute. This was something I’d never seen before in my life. Moving my thumb delicately on the flower-shaped pendant, I had a feeling that this necklace was much older than I was. Curiously, I looked up and asked, “Is this an antique or something?” 

His eyebrow twitched again. “Do you not like it?” 

“No, I love it. It’s very beautiful,” I quickly told him. “I was just wondering because this doesn’t look like it came from this day and age.” 

“It did not.” That was all the explanation he was going to give me. “May I?” He opened his palm and gave the necklace a pointed look. 

“Sure.” 

Dmitry took the necklace and unclasped the hook. I turned around so he could put it on me. Only when he clasped the hook back that I faced him again. I looked down. The necklace felt a bit foreign especially since I didn’t usually wear any jewelry except for a charm bracelet. “Thanks.” I tilted my head up and smiled at him. 

“No worries.” He leaned in and seemed like he was about to say something more but in the end, he took one step back then walked out of the kitchen. 

I grabbed the vodka, twisted the cap, then poured it into my glass. I gave it a bit of twirl before taking a sip. I didn’t usually drink considering it was pretty easy to get drunk but after what had happened recently, all I wanted was to get drunk and sleep. 

After taking a few more sips, I sat on the barstool and played with the necklace Dmitry had given me while thinking about what I’d believed to have happened in the alley that night. Ryker and his passionate kiss. His touch. Everything he touched was on fire. That was when the warmth started spreading from my neck down to the rest of my body then up to my head. I could feel my cheeks get hotter with every passing second. 

I took my glass which was filled with some ice cubes that were already melting now and placed it against my cheek. Although it did cool my burning skin on one side of my face it didn’t help with the rest of my body. I was still feeling all hot and bothered. 

“Shite,” I cursed under my breath. This must have been caused by thinking of Ryker. I shouldn’t reel on that memory especially when there was no proof that it’d happened. I tried to bring some happy memory instead and when it didn’t work, I brought some painful ones. Still, nothing worked. My whole body was so hot that I was nearly convinced that my bones were melting. 

I jumped off the barstool and headed outside through the backdoor. The cool air hit me and for a moment I thought I’d found what I actually needed yet that feeling only lasted for ten minutes. “I must’ve eaten something.” 

But there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary that I’d eaten. I touched my stomach, my palm was flat against my skin under my shirt. Perhaps my body needed a release. God knew how many nights I’d been dreaming about Ryker. I made my way to the river, ignoring the darkness of my surroundings and solely relying on my phone’s flashlight. 

About twenty minutes later, I finally arrived at the river. I took off my shoes and socks then dipped the tip of my toe into the clean, cold water. It felt terribly cold but refreshing at the same time. 

My body felt so hot that all I wanted was to rip off my clothes and dive into the river straight away. I started stripping off my leather jacket and dropped it to the nearest rock when I heard voices. My hands that were already fiddling with the buttons of my jeans ceased moving. 

“Xy, what are you doing?” Eros’s voice was filled with concern as he approached me. And he wasn’t alone. Dmitry was there with him. 

“I, um,” I swallowed. I wasn’t sure what to tell them. My whole body was boiling at this point and it wasn’t just the kind of bearable level of heat. I started sweating, my whole body was burning and I considered simply jumping into the river with my clothes on at this point. 

Dmitry inched his way closer to me, his hands were reaching out. “Are you okay?” 

At his simple question, I gave in. “No.” My hands were shaking. Everything was just painful and it was getting harder for me to remain in a standing position so I slowly sunk to the ground, clasping both of my hands in front of my chest. 

Dmitry and Eros dropped to their knees. My best friend was in full panic mode right now. He gave suggestions, telling Dmitry that they should pick me up and bring me to the nearest hospital. But the interim Alpha of the Ethereal simply held my gaze, his long, lean fingers were underneath my chin. “What are you feeling?” 

“It’s so hot. Everything is so hot. My whole body feels like it’s melting.” I slurred and I wasn’t sure if they understood what I was saying. I was hoping they would. Then a strange thing happened, I heard bones cracking loud, and then I felt pain everywhere on my body before I realized that those were my bones that were cracking. 

I screamed and screamed. Both Dmitry and Eros were saying something but I couldn’t hear them. My hands tried to reach for them but as I looked down, they were claws and I was furry. My whole arm had white, silver furs. For a second there, I was distanced from the pain but then it became excruciating and I found myself rolling on the ground, trying to keep it together while writhing in the kind of pain that seemed to last forever. My clothes were torn, my skin felt naked and cold but burning hot at the same time. Trying to breathe, I found myself suffocating instead. 

The next thing I knew, everything was black. I could hear Dmitry saying, “She is transforming. She is shifting. She has a wolf.” 

My best friend’s voice was filled with both relief and worry which contradicted one another, “I knew it when she couldn’t touch the silver Thanos used.” 

The darkness slowly cleared out and allowed me to regain my vision. Dmitry was the first face I saw then as I moved slightly to the right, I saw Eros too. As I breathed, I could smell the distinct scent of their colognes. Eros’s fragrance had oud wood, a hint of tobacco even though I knew he wasn’t smoking, cinnamon, coriander, cistus, cedar, sandalwood, roasted tonka bean, and castoreum. While Dmitry’s on the other hand was a burst of freshness with top notes of Reggio bergamot and a heart note of ambroxan. There was a bit of white musk, pepper, lavender, vetiver, patchouli, geranium, and elemi. I wouldn’t be able to list all of these down if I hadn’t had the higher sense of smell that I had now. 

“Everything is going to be alright,” said Dmitry with the brusque, no-nonsense tone of his. Combined with his honest nature and bluntness, his simple sentence gave me the assurance I needed. 

“You are a beautiful wolf, Xyrra,” said Eros with a touch of wonder in his voice. 

Once again I looked down and all I could see were white, silver furs and paws instead of arms and hands. I was a wolf. I was actually a werewolf, just like my dad. Did this mean that I’d lose my magic? Would I still be a sorceress like my mum? 

I was trying hard to gather my thoughts when a voice inside my head greeted me, “Awoken at last.” 

“Who’s that?” I asked although all that came out of my mouth was a mix of a howl and a growl. 

“Who else do you think, genius?!” 

However, it seemed that there was no time for me to be shocked at the fact as my higher sense of hearing picked up Dmitry’s sharp change of breath. I watched him stand, his eyes narrowing. 

Eros voiced what I was trying to figure out. “We have an intruder.” He frowned and his voice was tight when he asked, “Night Walkers?”

Dmitry blinked then turned to Eros. “No. It is Thanos Ashcroft.” Then he fixed his deep chocolate eyes on me. “Your father is here and he is asking for you.” 

Comments (5)
goodnovel comment avatar
Tabitha Reynolds
Xyrra has a wolf!
goodnovel comment avatar
Agatha Arose
Thank you! Hope you take care too. Hopefully I can update 4 and 5 today
goodnovel comment avatar
Agatha Arose
Yes! I am excited for this book too. And thank you so much for understanding!
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