In the early years of our existence, we children of the gods, cousins, wandered the world of humans at peace with one another. But the ages passed, and our forms changed - lykans producing lykans by humans, diluting the werewolf blood, and eventually becoming a non-violent breed of our original selves.

In other words, this rational (most of the time), articulate lykanthrope narrator before you is an evolved version of my ancestors.

Anyway, because of the vengeance taken upon Hades for his kidnapping of her daughter Persephone, the goddess Demeter changed the course of the vampyres, blessing them with fertility and diluting their undead souls with the light of humanity, until eventually adhering to the laws of the Daylight Coven, they withheld from killing humans.

The last century has seen calm before the storm. The Midnight Coven dissipated into a mist, a near invisible layer of destruction that touched those who did not seek it. We Daylights have waited with bated breath, aware that our enemy had retired a fearsome aggressive strategy. The Dark Coven has become wary of the war spilling over into the world of the humans, and instead has embraced a far more threatening silence.

But the attacks have started.

The subtle desolation of individual supernaturals: communities of vampyres, and packs of lykans; packs like ours, who want nothing to do with the war and have lived in relative peace.

Other than the faeries who share their beliefs, only the daemons, the beasts created from Midnights own magik, are allied with the Dark Coven. The Daylight Coven, with her allies of faeries, lykans and vampyres, can only hope to act fast enough to discover the target of the next Midnight attack in order to prepare the target for war.

Some supernaturals escape disaster.

Others slip through the cracks - targeted without warning, without preparation.

That’s how the war stands.


But our pack, Pack Errante is untouched by the war, unpolluted by the world and as long as I have breath within me… it will remain so. You can sleep peacefully at night, young Caia, knowing Uncle Magnus and Uncle Albus are guarding your dreams…

Pulling back from the memory, Caia was surprised to feel the wet, hot slide of a tear down her cheek. She remembered how, despite Albus’ history lesson of the war, she had gone to sleep that night feeling safe and protected and loved. It was only a few months later she was taken from the pack and hidden away. She hadn’t felt safe since. Lying under the pack roof again, she wondered if that contentment would ever return to her.

4 - School Rules

Irini had never been much of the mothering kind (having been so young Caia couldn’t really blame her) so Caia was used to being up by the crack of dawn and taking care of herself. She had hoped to have the house to herself on her first morning in Lucien’s home but as she crept downstairs she could hear the sounds of the living coming from the kitchen. Taking a deep breath she walked with what she hoped was a sedate confidence into the room. The sedateness and the confidence disappeared at the sight of Lucien at the kitchen table, hunkered over a paper and sipping coffee.

“Morning.” He looked up in greeting. His metallic eyes were as hard as the day before, and he produced no smile for her. She answered exactly in kind. “You’re up early,” he observed.

She nodded, not really sure how to engage in small talk. Instead she shifted her weight onto her other leg, waiting for him to tell her where to find some breakfast. He said nothing, merely stared.

“Um,” she glanced quickly around the kitchen and spotted some cereal on a far corner, “Can I help myself?”

He nodded. “Of course. This is your home now. There’s coffee in the pot and orange juice in the refrigerator; bowls are in the second high cupboard to your left and utensils in the drawer below it.”

Caia sighed inwardly. Obviously he was a ‘throw ‘em into the deep end’ kind of guy. She was acutely aware of his gaze on her the entire time as she gathered her cereal, nervously finding her way around the kitchen. Being a usually very even-tempered lykan she was surprised by her overwhelming desire to snap at him and childishly ask him if he wanted to take a picture of her so he could cease staring. Yesterday he had definitely bothered her in some way. Evidently the feeling wasn’t going away any time soon.

When she finally found a seat at the table across from him he was still staring. She tried to ignore the heat that blossomed beneath her cheeks at his scrutiny.

“Yesterday must have been a little overwhelming for you.”

She looked up from her cereal. Goddess, he was huge. Struck dumb apparently, she merely nodded. Her reaction to him produced a quirk in the corner of his mouth which she suspected was a smile … or it could’ve been a smirk …

“You don’t talk much do you?” His brow was furrowed and he was looking at her as if she was an unusually complex puzzle.

“Only when I feel like I have something useful to say. I prefer to listen. You learn a lot more a lot faster.”

She was surprised when he actually chuckled, giving her a glimpse of his perfect wolf whites. “I suppose you’re right. Magnus would approve.” He smiled softly as he sipped at his coffee. “Big guy missed you.”

“I missed him too.”

“He all you really remember?”

Caia stopped eating and looked at him. His tone and the way he observed her told her that his question wasn’t merely out of curiosity. Pack Leader was beginning his ‘back to work’ interview. “I remember Magnus the most.” She looked over at the bulletin board he had pinned to the kitchen wall. Along with deadlines, memorandums and notes to one another, there were a number of photographs of the pack. “I do remember Ella though. I remember you, too.” Her eyes turned back to him. His gaze was still fixed on her.

“I thought maybe you were too young. I must have taken off just before you left with Irini.”

“Yeah, but I have this vague memory of you, too. Young, moody, avoided me like the plague.” She smirked.

His face remained expressionless as he replied, “You were a kid. I didn’t have time for you.”

If he thought she was going to be upset or insulted by this he could forget it. Instead she continued, “I remember Dimitri and some of the other, older pack members that I met last night. I didn’t think I would but... I don’t know… they unearthed some latent memories I guess.”

Lucien sighed. “Still, it’s been a long time.”

Caia finished her cereal and got up to rinse her bowl. “Are you asking if I’m ready to rejoin the pack?”

He made no sound but when she turned around he was standing right before her, so close she could feel the heat from his body stroking her skin. “You’re seventeen and you’ve never ran with a pack,” he murmured.

“No,” she whispered. “And no, I don’t think I’m ready.”

He seemed surprised by her admission and pulled back a little. “You have a lot of learning to do. From what Irini has told me we have nothing to worry about your integration into the local high school. But you’ll need to learn how the pack works.”

“Learn how?” She gulped nervously.

Lucien stepped forward again. “From experience. We’ve moved our monthly run up to next Sunday. You run with us.”

Her heart started racing a little faster at the thought. Unlike the pack she had begun to feel and enjoy the privacy of the change. She had to share her favorite thing? With these strangers? With him?

He seemed to understand, his large hand pressing onto her shoulder in what she guessed was supposed to be a reassuring gesture. Instead it felt a little threatening. “Loners don’t fit well into packs, Caia. I won’t have them in my pack. Especially not you.”

What did that mean?

She started to ask but was stopped as his ‘talk’ triggered a far more pressing question. “I have to start learning huh?” she led.

Lucien nodded, all stern and in alpha-mode.

“Fine. Here’s a question you can answer that Irini wouldn’t.” Caia watched curiously as his face hardened and he tensed as if ready to face something unpleasant. “Why … why did The Hunter pick me? My parents?”

The big lykan heaved a heavy sigh and leaned back against the counter crossing his arms over his chest. Caia almost gulped at the way his muscles rippled with the movement. “At first,” he began softly, his eyes not quite meeting hers, “We thought it was an attack on the pack, that we were one of the unfortunates the Dark Coven had targeted. It was confusing because we’re a small pack. Small packs don’t tend to draw the eye of The Midnights. But we later realized it was a member of the Midnight Coven acting independently from it. Your mother and father had taken a trip and apparently while on it they came across a Midnight: The Hunter. Recognizing what they were The Hunter tried to take them out. Your father killed one of The Hunter’s followers, and The Hunter tracked them back to us, and to you. He killed your parents and tried to get to you, but you were well protected. And as you know he didn’t give up. He came back for you four years later and again, he failed.”

Caia blinked, trying to take this new information in. “It doesn’t make sense.”

“Why?” Lucien frowned. “What?”

She shrugged. “Why, when he got to the pack did he just kill my parents? Surely he would have went back to the Coven and told them about the rest of the pack?”

Lucien shook his head, looking irritated by her questions. “No. He acted without orders from his coven when he killed your parents. He would have been reprimanded for his attack rather than rewarded. Besides, The Hunter is called exactly that because he was insane, obsessive. He wanted your parents dead and any trace of them – that would be you – gone, and that was that. There is no rhyme or reason to creatures like him.”

Before she could reply a bright voice called from the doorway, “Oh how good it is to be home to a kitchen that’s bigger than a cereal box.”

Both she and Lucien turned to Irini who was practically crooning as she danced into the kitchen.

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