I made it back to school with less than five minutes to spare, just managing to finish my homework in the back of the Limo. Life was that hectic for me. I had all the height, looks and savvy to be a successful model, something my father had pushed me towards a couple of years earlier. If fact, dad had been instrumental in pulling and pushing me all over the place for as long as I could remember. Since he had explained all the whys and wherefores behind what he did, and because I loved and trusted him unreservedly, I enthusiastically went along with all his wishes.
The main reason I did the modeling, something I enjoyed a lot, was because dad wanted me to get my own name recognition at a young age. Since I was his only daughter it was a real way of establishing my own, very public, identity. That was much better than being seen as a billionaire’s only child, something that was well hidden from the world at large. It also allowed me an excuse to escape from school on full moons. Since I hadn’t shifted yet, and first shifts always came on a full moon, I needed to have a viable excuse to be able to get to a safe place for when the inevitable happened.
One of those few who knew about my father, at least who but not what he was, was my roommate, Jen Cross. She was my best friend, even though she was normal. That was probably an unkind description, as she excelled in everything she did, rather like me, Moon Hammersmith, although my school and public persona was Moon Forester. Jen was a politician’s daughter, blonde, pretty and tall like me, and except for my long jet black mane, we could have been mistaken for sisters. We had bonded almost immediately some two and a half years earlier when we had started at St. Mary’s Academy, which was an hour’s drive outside Toronto, well, assuming the traffic was mellow.
“Made it under the wire again, Moon?” Jen asked me as I almost fell through the door to our room. Even after climbing fifty-five stairs two and three at a time, I wasn’t even puffing. “Tough day?”
“Nah, pretty easy. Winter line, so none of that bikini shit, and the photographer was gay. Cuts out a lot of crap.” “Got anything next weekend?”
“Just a short interview for one of those teen gossip shows, and an audition for a part to be shot as soon as we graduate. Nasty girl role, I want it bad.”
Jen laughed. “How unlike you.” That set me off too, and we only stopped giggling when Jen tripped, and banged her head against the corner of my desk.
“Shit,” Jen exclaimed, “that bloody hurt.”
Too true, the stuff was dripping on the floor. “Let me look at that,” I told her. It was a deep gash. Knowing me as she did, she let me do my thing. After lying Jen down on her bed, I placed my hand on her forehead. I could feel the warm glow seep through, and a minute later I wiped the blood away, and handed Jen a small mirror. “All done!”
“Thanks so much,” Jen said, sitting up and giving me a heartfelt hug. “What would I do without you?”
“Bleed all over the stairs on the way to the nurse’s office.” She smiled at that. Jen was the only person outside the pack who knew I could heal, and even there it was only my parents and Johann, my father’s Beta. It was something Jen kept close as she knew if she told anyone she would never get healed again. I got my healing from my mother. She had been a healer Omega when my parents had met, which had been when dad paid a visit to the BC pack some twenty years ago. It was a highly valued gift, and not at all common. Dad believed that it was only my mother’s healing gift that had allowed her to carry me to term, as the very few lady weres that dad had managed to get pregnant before meeting my mum had all miscarried. This had made dad exceptionally protective of me. Jerry Hammersmith was a lot of things to a lot of people, and to many who weren’t exactly people. He was happily ensconced as an upper mid table member of the Forbes Four Hundred, many places below the position he would have were all his assets public knowledge. He was a power broker who wielded political influence behind the scenes throughout the Northwestern states, and beyond. To him, that wasn’t important. His real role was as Alpha of the Oregon Pack, and Supreme Alpha of eleven other packs ranging from Colorado to British Columbia. Over the past two hundred and fifty years, he had slowly put together an alliance that kept the packs safe, secret and successful. So much so that the last two packs to come under his umbrella had approached him rather than being assimilated in the more traditional and bloody werewolf fashion. There was no doubt that he was by far the most powerful werewolf anywhere in the world as, besides his unmatched strength, he controlled money, numbers and territory unrivalled anywhere else.
Of course he had enemies, both within and without his packs. This would not have been so huge a problem if he had sons to support him, as they would undoubtedly been strong Super Alphas like him. Fate had, however, only given him me, a lone female, and no one, least alone him had any idea how I would turn out, as my mother was Omega. Female werewolves tended not to have their first shift until well after puberty, and that came much later than for the males, and even more so for ones who first manifested other gifts, like healing. Until I shifted, nobody could guess how strong I would be. Dad had told me that it was because males were protectors, and females didn’t shift until they were mature enough to be strong at once. They needed to be fast enough to have an excellent chance of escaping, or protecting themselves from rogue males and other predators. Having a gift meant there was more to protect and therefore they needed to be even stronger when they first shifted. Under his rule, this didn’t matter so much, but historically it was a different thing, and it was built into our genes.
All this had made Jerry very careful with me. I was his sole heir, not just to his fortune, but to his position as ruling Alpha. He was hyper aware of my position should anything happen to him, as realistically it could, and at any time. He had put me far away from all his packs in a Canadian boarding school, in an area unclaimed as yet by any pack, since I needed to understand humans. I was roomed with Jen as her father was a powerful politician and friend, something he didn’t think I knew. That was because I was supposed to learn and understand human politics. In all he had done his level best, keeping me away from the pack enough so I wouldn’t make any undesirable liaisons with the eternally horny young males in his charge, while making sure I fully understood every aspect of pack dynamics. He had done what he could; all he could do now was to wait and see.
Monday I was back in the routine. The only time I had to be careful was during the afternoon PE lesson. Even though I had yet to shift, I had a good dose of were strength which was nevertheless way short of what I would have in human form after my first shift. Fortunately today was stretching and loosening followed by a long run. I simply jogged beside Jen, and all I had to do was pretend to pant at the end. “You could cream this lot easily if you tried,” Jen told me as we toweled off. She was observant, but as she had been sworn to secrecy about my healing ability, anything else she noticed she would assume to be connected.
“Perhaps,” I admitted, “but I need to keep my energy for studying.” Jen knew this was just smoke, as we had both been accepted to McGill in the fall. It made me think about the future. Jen was my best friend, and more important to me than anyone my age in the pack, in truth anyone except my parents. Would I be able to keep her friendship while keeping her in the dark about my wolf? Could I take the chance of telling her the truth?
That brought my upcoming first shift to mind. Fortunately all first shifts came on a full moon, and the next one was in a couple of days. Since I had started modeling, a fictitious gig was always arranged so that I could get away. Wednesday I had a short real visit to my agent’s office in Toronto, after which one of my dad’s company cars would take me to a secluded location, owned by my father, with my hundred plus year old second cousin Vanessa. There was no way dad would allow a male wolf around me at this sort of time, as a female werewolf’s first shift pheromones set the boys wild. It was not completely unknown for a female to be bitten to death while coupling in wolf form by an overly enthusiastic male – or males – maddened by her smell. That was so not going to happen.
After my first shift, things would be much easier. I would be able to shift or not shift at will, and also control my scent to a certain extent. My human form would be much stronger, and I might even show another gift. Most importantly, I and every other werewolf would at last know how strong my wolf would be. I could be anywhere from mum’s submissive Omega, all the way up to being a Super Alpha like dad. Somewhere in between was probable as I knew my character was anything but submissive. I dominated all the girls at school naturally, but that wasn’t a good measure as they weren’t wolves.
At supper that evening, I was hungrier than usual, and took a large second helping of everything. If that wasn’t a clue that my body was getting ready for something, nothing would be. Another was that I went to sleep the moment my head hit the pillow, and that Jen had to shake me awake in the morning. My appetite continued its voracious way through the Tuesday, and Jen even asked me at lunch, “What’s up, eating for two?” At least she did it with a tinkling laugh.
“Perhaps I’m about to have a growth spurt,” I replied.
“I hope not for your sake,” Jen told me. “You’re plenty tall enough already.”
My unusual appetite continued through Wednesday. Leaving the cafeteria after lunch, Mrs. Henry, the head of the math department, approached me, and said, “Mrs. Dallas wants to see you.” Since she was the headmistress, I went straight to her office.
There were two very big men waiting in the office with Mrs. Dallas. “Sit down, Miss Forester,” she said, using the pseudonym I was known by in school and as a model. “These men, Mr. Higgs and Mr. Parsons, are from your father, and have written instructions to take you home to him.”
This was code. Kidnapping had always been one of the fears dad had worried about, and because of that he had put some rather strict protocols in place. The arrangement with the school was that not only would they have written instructions, but that they would immediately ask the headmistress to phone my father from her office to confirm. They hadn’t offered to do that, so Mrs. Dallas was perturbed. Of course I could also tell that they were wolves, ones I had never met.
“Gentlemen,” she said, “could you give us a moment?” They were clearly unhappy to be dismissed, but left quietly. After all, a door, however strong was nothing to two huge adult wolves.
As soon as the door closed, I put a finger to my lips telling the headmistress to be quiet. I pulled a piece of paper from across the desk, and wrote on it, “I don’t know them, and you should call the police.”
She wrote back quickly, “Already done.” She pointed to a button beneath the desk. “Now dear, you should think about getting packed for your trip,” she said, in case the men were listening. Of course they were. They could hear what she said from several rooms away if they had to.
“I need to phone my agent and let her know that my plans have changed.” I said in turn, keeping the fiction that we believed them going.
“You can do that from your room while packing,” she told me. As seniors, our room was on the top floor and there was no way any men would be allowed near the girls dormitories, and they would know it. I decided to shower first, as that would both use up time, and muffle any sounds they might hear over that distance.
As soon as the shower was running, I phoned my cousin Vanessa, “Something’s going on,” I told her, without preamble. “Looks like some unknown wolves out to abduct me. Please call dad at once. We can’t meet later as you will most likely be followed. I’ll make other arrangements.” There was no way I was going to mention that I thought my first shift was imminent, as Vanessa would undoubtedly be followed and if captured, questioned, and the men appeared very serious. Fortunately my father had a plan for this too. Once I had dressed in comfortable clothes, and had packed my ‘escape kit’, I could hear a contingent of The Ontario Provincial Police arriving. After they had met the two wolves, I would have to make an appearance to ensure they were detained, and couldn’t follow me.