Chapter 3: Unexpected
I gaze down and I see paws that startle me at first. Gasping at the closeness and realize they are mine,
where my hands should be, flat on the ground. Large, clawed but strong paws, larger than I thought
they would be. I lift one and shake it, almost as if I need to convince myself that I can use and control
this limb, it’s truly connected to my body. My legs are solid, with thick silver-grey fur and all the way up
my muscular chest, I have a streak of purest snow white that travels as far as I can see. I stare at it,
lean back and pull my chin in tight to follow it until I can’t strain any further to see.
I have very little memory of my mother in her true form, but I know this is from her. She was a white and
my father a silver yet it’s rare to combine both in such a way. Most wolves are brown or grey … white is
a mutation that’s almost unheard of and my mother used to try and hide herself because it brought only
I shake my head, the unfamiliar weight of a different form pulling me from side to side, not fully in
control of my limbs or movements just yet but aware it’s so much bigger than my human skull.
Staggering on strange legs and fall down flat, splaying out and bumping my undercarriage as I collide
with stone. Aware suddenly to the scene around me, coming back into focus and realizing we are still
being watched. Sobering fast as my new metabolism pushes the last of the drugs out of my system and
cleanses my blood.
The atmosphere is charged, and I’m surrounded by newly changed wolves of all shades of grey and
brown, although I’m the only one with white in my coat. Turning as the Shaman’s chants draw my eyes
back to him and trip over my own uncoordinated self as I try to right myself and get up. It’s hard to use
my hands as front legs and I instinctively rear backwards too far onto my haunches, losing my balance
and reeling forward again to correct it, before tumbling face forward to the ground once more and
meeting the dust with a lower jaw clunk.
“It gets easier. Try to stay on your feet. All four of them.” The voice above me pulls my head to tilt
towards it and I recoil as I realise Colton Santo is standing right by me, watching as I make a spectacle
of myself, in falling flat out on new legs. I don’t know if I’m shocked that he spoke to me, or wary that he
I’ve never trusted anything about him, or any of his motives, and wonder when he got over here, so
close. Avoiding looking directly at him, keeping me eyes averted from his and attempt to get to grips
with this weird body and focus on learning to use it. All I can do is whimper back, realizing I have no
ability to form words this way and go into my own head link instinctively.
Wolves in the same pack have a connection mentally, so they can communicate without talking, which
admittedly is impossible as a wolf. We don’ have the vocal cords for human talking. It’s also possible
when close enough to talk to one not from your own pack. If they are willing to hear you.
It feels strange. I attempt to link with him, weirded out by this new, almost natural ability I didn’t have
before. Overwhelmed by all of this and not sure if I am still heavily drugged when in this form, or if this
surreal new way to experience everything is wolf sense. Things affect us differently as humans, and
this disorientation might just be something I have to adjust to.
Yeah well, walk it off. Learn fast. He links me back, a husky familiarity to his voice inside my head that
does strange things to my stomach. It’s hardly a polite response and the tone tells me he doesn’t really
want to have any sort of communication with me, especially not in a head link.
I’m not one of his pack and I’m not even on the same level as him. It’s disrespectful to try. As if to
further demonstrate the point, he walks off towards his father and I flop down to get to grips with
everything that I just got hit with. I’m heavy, not sure how to navigate my dog body when I’ve spent my
life walking on two legs. I must weigh four times my usual weight for sure, although the size of my
paws, suggest maybe even more.
“The turning will not last ... only moments fleeting for your first time. When you come out, you will be
awoken, and your path will lead you to your destiny. Pay attention, be alert. You are now on the other
side.” The Shaman states it loudly and it echoes around the mountain like a sort of prophetic song. One
I have heard so many times but yet this time, it finally means something to me.
I get up on unsure legs once more, slowly, like Bambi on new-born limbs and lift my head as I know I’m
meant to. In unison with all around me, we stretch our necks out, lift our noses to the heavens and howl
at the moon for the first time in our lives, as one united pack. No matter who we are, where we are
from, whatever our bloodline or our past. Long, soulful with meaning. A sound that echoes around us,
through us and is joined by the hundreds who watch until we fill the night sky with a somber eerily hum
that will reverberate around the mountains and put the fear of god into the wildlife. United in one song
that finalises our transformation.
It feels strange at first, my throat vibrates, it aches and rasps my vocal chords, but as my belly empties,
my air departs and the longest yowl comes cascading out of me, until it scratches my throat and makes
me breathless, I feel alive. Like I have been holding my breath and waiting for this my whole life. I
guess I have. This is what I was born to be and with the awakening, comes freedom.
I can leave.
I can run.
I can live off the land and hunt to survive. I’m no longer bound by the confines of humans in terms of
getting by. Wolves can live anywhere as long as they can hunt and although we are pack animals in
mentality, I’ve heard stories of isolated wolves doing fine on their own. That is what I have planned,
longed, waited for and I know where I’m heading. Can finally realize my dream of leaving all of this
behind me and finding my solitary peace somewhere out there. As far away from these mountains and
people as I can, and never looking back.
As soon as I relax, our call stops and the energy in me fades fast. Overcome with fatigue that makes
me slump back down and flake out on my belly, sighing as my body tingles and itches with a thousand
little tremors. Glancing down in time to watch as everything changes back faster than I thought it would.
Fur that was keeping me warm, on paws instead of hands… it all begins to recede and unlike my
transformation to beast, the reversal is not painful at all. It’s fast, almost instant and before I can blink
or even get to grips with what is happening, I am nakedly human. Smeared in my own blood and flat
out in a huddled heap on the floor which saves me some of my dignity by shielding my body.
I scramble to pull my body into a ball, aware I am completely uncovered and exposed to the hundreds
of eyes around us. I jump when my blanket is tossed towards me by the nearby Damon, smirking as his
eyes devour my nudity and I recoil. Embarrassed, ashamed, at being naked in front of everyone and
mad as hell he made sure I would have to cross eight feet to get the blanket. I glare at him, forgetting
myself for a moment and then ponder not going to get it and huddling up to cover myself instead.
Others were tossed theirs directly and looking around I realise I am the only one who has to go
crawling for hers, like an animal. He is trying to humiliate me, and I move fast to catch it. Shocked when
the slightest movement sends me shooting towards him at lightning speed and I end up almost at his
feet in the blink of an eye.
“Wow” I blurt out loud and get laughed at by someone nearby as they realise how naïve I am about the
speed and power we all just inherited. Another change in me I have to get used to. I grab the blanket
and try and crawl backwards while pulling it over me and fall onto my back as it’s jerked tight and
yanked back taut, sending my head crashing on the smooth stone below me and bouncing my skull
Damon sniggers, his foot on the edge of it as he looks down at me with complete disdain. Laughing at
how much he is enjoying making a show of me and I have no choice but to try and pull the blanket from
him once more. My face reddening with heat, aware of many more muffled sniggers and laughs at my
expense and I can’t conceal the shame washing over me.
I know others are watching; my senses are hitched up real high and my body goosebumping all over in
response. I can feel them on me from all over and I want to sink into the ground and disappear. I yank
but the blanket begins to tear from the pressure nearer my end and I have no choice but to stop or be
left with a scrap that will cover nothing.
“For god’s sake, Damon. This isn’t the time or place. My father is staring at you. Pack it in.” Colton
snarls his way, pushes him from behind and comes into view, shoving him off the blanket and swoops
down to pick it up with speed. He walks forward in two confident strides and hands it straight to me,
bending lightly as he does so to make sure I get it without any more interference. I know he’s only
doing it to save face, exert his dominance in front of his father and save Damon from punishment later.
Either way I’m for the first time ever, thankful for him and relieved he is an Alpha in the making.
I reach out and take it gratefully, quickly pulling it around me and hiding what’s on show, afraid to really
look at him, but it’s almost impulsive as his hand, still attached to the corner, briefly touches my
shoulder in passing because of how speedy I am. Hot searing flash runs through my body alarmingly,
igniting something tingly inside of me that I can’t identify. Like being zapped by a low strength taser and
I gasp at the contact, glancing up at him as he attempts to rise to standing, seemingly also recoiling for
what was maybe just an electric shock. For one brief millisecond of synchronized surprise, our eyes
It’s all it takes.
One second of direct focus, a meeting of eyes I have never dared to look into before and the worst
thing in the world happens to me. We connect; visions, images, projections start flowing through my
mind at neck breaking speed that fries my brain and I cannot break his gaze or look away. Startled into
silence, locked in, and unable to fight what happens. My body rigid and paralyzed, controlled by this
higher force as we’re forcefully held, trapped in an intense stare down and his dark, almost black eyes
eat into my soul.
His memories, my memories, his fears, my fears. They become a jumbling mass of zooming
information, flooding, invading my mind, and overtaking me as I’m body slammed with an
overwhelming amount of emotions, in literal seconds, that could potentially zap your brain to death.
My body, my heart, my soul, all pulled into this flash of breath, which completely spins my world on tilt
and changes everything instantaneously. Rooted to the spot, aware only of the darkest chocolate eyes
on mine, unable to break frees yet marooned like I suddenly found home and his gaze goes from sworn
enemy to lifeline in my darkness. Neither of us can do anything in our paralysed state but let it happen,
until the wild ride of transferring all we are, we know, we feel, is done and we are left shellshocked from
the fall out.
Breathless, reeling from the invasion of his life, his memories, his history, pouring into my shocked
memory banks, I finally snap out and fall backwards in a slump. Released from whatever the hell that
was and momentarily dazed. Fully incapable of any kind of movement as I lay on the ground, startled
into silence and lightheaded from what felt like a physical assault.
“Holy shit” Colton’s voice waves my way, sounding equally shocked and as breathless as me, and I
strain up to see him, also on the ground. On his knees though, looking like someone just sucker
punched him in the stomach, and he falls forward to drop his palms on the ground to hold him steady.
Eyes wide, skin pale, unusually for his normal tanned hue. He looks like someone just told him the
worst news he ever wanted to hear in his life and he’s reeling in the aftermath. Around us is complete
and utter silence, like a pin could drop and be heard right now and I have no idea what to think.
“They just imprinted” one solo voice squeaks out, and echoes around us like someone announcing a
“No, that’s can’t have happened…” another, moments later…. and then another, and another. The
voices blending and blurring as my fingers find my skull and I start scrubbing my head to get my brain
to start functioning. To figure out what just happened to me. The mutterings of one or two become
many, deafening as they all begin to verbalise their questions at what they just saw.
Me? I did what?... No. It can’t be.
I lay here, dumbfounded, and trying to pull my thoughts together, unsure why I now know how he likes
his coffee, or his favourite song, or why I suddenly can’t get the strong scent of him out of my nostrils,
or the need to get up and go hug him, out of my brain. The crazy primal urge to get up and go sit on
him and do things I never wanted to do before, or even a few seconds ago. It’s like every part of my
soul is suddenly attuned to him, even though he’s feet away.
I lay back down and try to breathe through the oncoming panic, trying to rationalize what this was as I
draw in air with shallow breaths and try and let my body recover from the huge zap he gave me.
“Silence!” Juan Santo demands with a venomous tone, echoing around the mountain and like a sudden
clap of thunder, his voice halts the rest of the chaotic noise, giving me some relief before my brain
He storms towards us and physically drags his son up by the shoulder from his slumped position.
Gripping and hauling him like a madman and angrily turning to face him once on his feet, raw anger
erupting all over.
“Tell me you didn’t!” He demands at him in a cruel tone, but Colton seems as spangled as me. Knocked
sideways and unsure what the hell just happened to us. His normally confident stance is loose, and he
seems unsteady on his own legs.
“I don’t know what that was… I’ve never …. I don’t know!” His cocky, dominant tone is lacking too, and I
can feel his eyes back on me as I struggle to sit up, pulling myself into a sitting ball and finally have the
courage to stare at them.
As soon as I meet Colton’s eyes again that same jolt hits me in my heart and stomach like a massive
thud and I know this isn’t anything else. Heard enough about it to know what it is. Saw it happen to
others. The need to go over and wrap myself in his arms, the longing way we stop and gaze at one
another as urge blots out sense and beast overtakes human reasoning. He stares at me with the same
instinctual longing I find myself throwing his way, the unspoken need to walk towards him and touch
We just imprinted and the Fates gave me my mate.
Colton Santo is my destined alpha, the wolf that I’m meant to spend eternity with and follow him
wherever he goes. Until the end of time. He’s my path set in stone, my lover, my life, the father to my
And I can’t imagine anything worse.