The sound of laughter from downstairs pulled her from those thoughts. She was exhausted from the upheaval of her once - yes dismal - but quiet existence, to this ‘my goddess they’re everywhere’ existence, but not weary enough to sleep. She tip-toed out of the room, not wanting to alert the rest of the pack downstairs - thirty pairs of hyper sensitive ears made that a difficult task. But she managed to make no sound as she crept down the hallway, gazing at the simple black and white photos of what she could only determine was the surrounding country. She encountered a large bathroom and then a gymnasium. Why, she thought, Lucien needed a home gym when he naturally looked like one big muscle she had no idea. She was about to leave the gym and creep further on when she heard Ella and Irini in the next room, whispering to one another.

“You were lonely,” Ella was stating grimly.

She received no answer, but the rustling of clothing suggested Ella and Irini were hugging.

“It was just so strange being without the pack. Not to mention frightening, being out there … alone. I felt cold all the time.”

“You had Caia for company.”

“I know.”

There was a moment of silence and Caia’s body tensed in anticipation. Maybe Irini really did hate her.

“What is she like? I mean really like, Irini?”

Why does Ella sound so worried?

“She’s good, Mom.”



“Yes. Good. Kind, I mean. Gentle.”


Again, another stretched silence.

“Gentle, Irini? Lykans aren’t gentle.”

“I mean in nature. She’s soft. Calm … I dunno.”

“I noticed. She’s so still. So not …”

“Like us,” Irini finished. “I know. I noticed it more and more as she grew. There was no fire, no tempestuous outbursts … you can, you know … tell-”

“Ssh,” Ella abruptly cut her off, and Caia realized she must have been heard. Quickly, and as quietly as she could, she returned to her new room and shut the door softly behind her. She heaved a sigh leaning against it, trying to catch her breath. She laughed but it wasn’t a happy sound.

“How did I get here?” she asked softly.

Caia shook her head. She couldn’t let their conversation upset her, and she couldn’t let herself dwell over what Irini was about to say or it would drive her crazy. She’d had enough crazy for one day. When the sounds of the pack leaving, one by one, filtered up to her room, and the final kicks of the gravel driveway as their cars drove off could be heard, Caia cracked open her window and carefully scaled the house, descending to the ground with the ease and agility of her species. Dropping to the grass with a soft thud, Caia breathed a sigh of relief. She let the smell of the damp earth and wet wood overwhelm her. It was wonderful. Glancing up at the moon, shining like a brilliant orb of comfort in the dark sky, Caia thanked Artemis that it had made an appearance from behind the clouds tonight; she could peel the anxiety of rejoining the pack from her human skin, and run.

Quickly, she removed all of her clothes, the night air cooling her anxious flesh.

And then… she let the change happen.

She felt the pain of her skin transforming. She could feel every piece of fur pushing through, and ironically, the pain was like that of someone pulling a strand of hair from your scalp - that unexpected wince, but thousands of winces all over your body. She relished the burning pain of her muscles stretching and straining as they reshaped. The almost satisfying cracking of her bones as they said goodbye to the girl and hello to the wolf. Rushing blood in her ears drowned out her surroundings as her heart grew larger in order to pump the extra that her other self needed. She watched her nose grow in front of her eyes into a long snout, felt the sharp watery pain of her eyes elongating, her vision defined and clear-perfect.

Caia came down onto all four legs, enjoying how soft the ground felt against her hard, leather paws. Then she laughed, a hoarse animal sound, at the tickling sensation that was left over when the change was complete.

It was exhilarating to be a wolf.

The trees were suddenly a blur as she took off through them, racing around the obstacles and leaping over bracken. She felt the warm glow of the moon on her soft pelt and knew that it didn’t matter about the pack being home. She already had a home, and she was running with it, the night whispering comforting words in her ears as she soared.

Lucien stayed as far back from her as possible. She seemed lost in the feel of the run, which he was glad for, otherwise she would have felt his presence before now. Caia was extremely fast - faster than the other females of the pack - and this pleased him. She was a beautiful lykan but more than this he could feel her joy from a distance. Caia was part of the night, of the woods. He knew the others were worried about her, he himself was worried. But watching her, keeping her safe, he realized that perhaps she was more lykan than they could ever have hoped for.

That night Caia lay in bed, listening to the hushed noise of the woods outside her bedroom window. Leaves rustled in the gentle breeze, animals scurried among bracken and twigs, birds chirped sweet goodnights to one another. As her eyes bored into the moonlit ceiling above her head, she thought of the pack, of Magnus in particular. Of Magnus who brought with him a rush of memories of her father. Of losing him. Of her clinging to Magnus for safety, security, love.

A night long ago flickered across her eyes, Magnus holding her close as he rocked them on a rocking chair she’d loved, Albus seated across from them, a fire blazing and casting shadows over him as he regaled her with the history of the war. Irini sat at their feet, rapt. Magnus had told Albus she was too young to understand but Caia remembered hushing him, making his chest shudder with laughter beneath her. She wanted to hear, she wanted know, even though she was afraid. Magnus had sensed it, burying her closer to him, and Albus had leaned back in his armchair, his eyes faraway, somewhere else, as his deep rich voice resonated around the room…

The war has been raging for centuries; a war that breathed beneath human reality, lost in the labyrinth of their legends and folklore. It is a silent war of soundless screaming and invisible bloodshed.

And like many wars it is built upon a mindless prejudice.

The ancient Greeks had it right. They were not naive enough to believe they actually had any control over their fate. No. They knew the gods controlled all. They didn’t believe a good crop that year had anything to do with luck in a poorly cultivated land - no, it was Demeter who’d blessed their farm. They didn’t believe that one man was far superior in battle than another, thus tipping the scales of a battle in their favor - no, it was just that Athena took a liking to him, and so aided the warrior. Yeah, the gods were capricious, unmerciful, loving, and selfish; there was nothing that contented them more than making the human world their chessboard and humans their own personal chess pieces.

They gloried in their own supremacy.

But one day… the gods of ancient felt a pierce in each of their hearts. It was the day humans, who had once been under their thrall, who had loved them, and feared them, and prayed to them, turned their back upon the gods and their heart to a new one. As the centuries passed the gods were no longer worshipped by any human, no longer feared, or loved, or prayed to. The barrier of space that had allowed them to come down from their mountain, and interfere in the lives of humans strengthened as time forgot them. Indeed, their very existence would have been expunged from earth if not for their legacy: their children, the supernaturals of their own creation that still looked to the heavens and believed in them. They are the children of Gaia: Mother of all the gods. We are the children of Gaia.

We are the culprits of the silent war waging beneath the humans’ very noses.

On one side of the war are the true instigators, those who call themselves the Midnight Coven: a community of magiks who believe above all in their own superiority. Gaia, perhaps in her infinite wisdom, had long ago blessed a number of humans by allowing them a taste of her blood, so that as the years turned a generation of magiks arose; witches and warlocks with elemental power, a race of children who would forever pray to her, and through them time would never forget her. They believed, however, that those lesser supernatural beings were abominations not fit to live side by side with humans, much less themselves. Their distaste for lykans – like us - and vampyres not only enraged those they sought to exterminate, but also their own kind: magiks who believe in the equality of the races. We call ourselves the Daylight Coven. You see, to our mind, Midnights hunted not abominations, but their own people, humans transformed and blessed by the gods, creatures descended from Gaia herself. This gaping split in beliefs between the dark and light Covens is shared by the magiks’ contemporaries, the faeries of Hemera. As a primordial deity, the Goddess of Daylight and Sun, her children are almost equal to that of Gaia’s. They are descendants of a young queen, who had sold her soul to her favorite goddess for the opportunity to take on the form of any living thing she wished, so that she would always know her enemies, and they would never know her. From her, to Hemera’s delight, sprang a race of shapeshifters who held the power to take on the appearance of anything born of nature. They’re mischievous and tiring, but useful spies on either side of the war.

Hades, God of the Underworld (and grandson to Gaia), created a race of children familiar to humans within their folklore: vampyres. His children were the souls who passed through the River Styx without toll, and whom Hades returned to earth to extort in blood, payment from those who dared to leave them to travel into the underworld without coin.

And the youngest of the children of the gods are the lykans: we are fierce, strong wolves consecrated with the power of regeneration. In the dying years of the ancient gods, Artemis, Goddess of the Moon, the Hunt and of Beasts, was called down to earth by the last human who prayed to her. His son was dying from his battle wounds, and Artemis in gratitude for his loyalty, replaced his son’s wasted heart with that of a wolf’s. To her supreme pleasure, for she had always been a competitive goddess, her own race of children was born, and she too is remembered by us.

Most Popular