“So? What do you both think?”
Brian Nightshade’s study was styled in a way meant to be cozy for the middle-aged werewolf hunter. A couch was present opposite a TV for his leisure use, but he rarely used it and instead only loved to bury himself in the papers on his desk. Apart from the said desk, the
room was in a tidy position, thanks to their maid, Nora. Different types of plants that were his
late wife’s favorite were placed in different corners and windows, adding life to the room, and a
framed picture of her on his desk.
Sitting rigidly behind his desk, Brian patiently waited for his children’s reactions as they
read through the documents he had handed them both. For a man almost fifty years old, he
sure didn’t look like it. Years of training reflected in his muscular arms and chest, and he nearly
had no signs of wrinkles. His features were stone cold, with his pepper and salt hair the only
indication of his age. As the head hunter in Canada, he always carried along with him an air of
authority that left most people cautious around him not to get on his bad side. And for a
human, it was uncanny to most.
His father had given up the position of the head hunter to Brian when he was already at
the age of twenty-five and the old man in his late fifties. And since then, he had been an upright leader grooming his children to also take up that position one day. Ethan would be the head hunter, with Bella being his deputy.
Bella’s eyes scanned the document in her hand with her eyes moving back and forth,
taking in every word and interpreting its meaning. It was a bill the hunters had come up with regarding the mating process between a human and a beast signed and approved by their
To Bella, werewolves had a strange way of finding their spouse. They believed there was
already someone out there made for them by the moon, and they knew them the instant they met. They were referred to as mates, which fit their characters since animals do ‘mate.’ But what intrigued Bella was the process of mating. She had heard of how werewolves sunk their
canines into their mate’s neck as a sign of their union. And she wondered how painful that
would be for the female and if their lives weren’t in danger if the male mistakenly hit the wrong
artery. But that was none of her concern.
However, it became her concern and those of the werewolf hunters when humans were
involved. Werewolves don’t only mate with themselves, but they sometimes claim some humans as theirs. And instead of getting to know them better before making a move, they
process on them. It was brutish and barbaric, according to Bella. And no man should be allowed that freedom no matter who they were.
And it was a relief to see her father do something no other head hunter had done – think ahead and come up with a solution. It was a bill stating that all humans found to be mates to werewolves should be given a period of four to six months to decide if he or she wanted to be marked by the werewolf. And in this time frame, the werewolf is meant to educate them about their world, since humans were oblivious to it, without forcing themselves on the humans. It
was a precautionary measure to protect humans, but Bella was sure those beasts wouldn’t like
it one bit. Mate business was serious to them, and she had seen werewolves gone crazy
because of the loss of their mates. And when they feel the bond with their mate is being threatened by an outsider, they tend to go berserk and cause havoc.
It was a good thing the government had approved of it. Now it was left for the King of
beasts to also approve of this and pass it as a law, which wouldn’t be easy. The government was one of the main suppliers of military weapons and financial aid to the hunters. Without
them, the hunters would have a hard time existing.
“I’m going with you.” Bella deadpanned with a stern look without letting go of the
document in her hand. Her shoulders were squared with her chin lifted in determination. Her
brother beside her stopped what he was also doing to stare at her.
They were to present this personally to those werewolves King. The King was higher than
the position of Alpha Alphas are rulers of a particular pack, and their mates were addressed
as Lunas. But then there was a more powerful King. Alphas bowed to him, and werewolves
trembled at the sight of him. And he wasn’t even the average species of werewolves. He was a
Lycanthropes were actually the more prevailing species here in Canada. Werewolf packs weren’t even that much here like in other states. But even at that, they were rarely caught in their Lycan form.
Ethan shared a look with his father before sighing beside her. “You don’t have to, sis.
Father and I have got this covered…”
“Well, I’m still coming.” Bella insisted, placing the papers down on the desk and sitting
upright in her chair. This time, she wasn’t going to be pushed back anymore like how her father
always did to her.
Ever since she could remember, Bella’s father had been way too overprotective of her.
happy about her even joining his team of werewolf hunters because of the ‘dangers’. And ever since her accident in the woods four months ago, it had been worse. He had banned her from training and their monthly meetings for three months even though it took only two weeks for her to heal. And even when she was back on the field, she was still restricted from partaking in
She was, however, shocked at how quickly she recovered. She could remember the excruciating pain of the claws of the werewolf digging deep into her belly, the feeling of death’s cold fingers gripping her throat, and then…peace. She at one point thought she was already dead, so it was still amazing how quick her wound had healed. Her father and brother kept telling her the same thing they told everyone else that saw her fragile body on that day – that it wasn’t that much of a fatal wound. But just by looking at her boyfriend’s expression, who had worked on her that day, she knew there was more to the story. But nobody wanted to talk to
her, and she was sick of being treated like a frail and helpless girl.
“You haven’t fully recovered from your last mission and won’t be able to defend yourself.”
Her father added, rubbing both his temples with his fingers.
“Oh, my God! We are only going there to talk, not fight! What is there to defend?” She almost screamed at the top of her lungs, catching both men off guard. She had never been to the Palace of their enemies before, and she was overly curious about how it would look like. But she didn’t think anyone there would be stupid enough to attack them.
“You keep on saying I will one day lead this team of hunters alongside my brother.” Bella sighed at the same time that her father’s eyes turned soft. “But how can I do that if you don’t even trust me enough to take care of myself and keep treating me like a kid.” She turned to her brother also as he wasn’t innocent either. And with a huff of annoyance, she abruptly stood and stormed out of the study.
“Bella!” Ethan called after her, but she ignored him and stomped her way upstairs. She didn’t know why, but sometimes it felt like her father and brother kept a lot from her. She didn’t want them to think of her as naive anymore. She had been through a lot just as much as they had, and she deserved to be looked at as competent enough to take care of herself.
She slammed the door to her room shut and walked into her bathroom to the sink. Gripped
the sink with both her palms, she stared at her reflection in the mirror. Her black hair was
getting longer than the shoulder-length style she loved and fell around her heart-shaped face. Bright green orbs that she had inherited from her dad stared back at her, and a button-like
Sometimes, she couldn’t recognize her reflection as it always seems as if she changes every day. It felt like she wasn’t her own self and that something was missing. She didn’t feel whole, and she couldn’t even figure out why. Things had gotten worse since that accident she had in the forest, and let’s not forget the strange dreams she’s always having. Busying herself with work always helped her to gather her thoughts and stray from the dark corners of her
Her phone began to buzz in her back pocket, and she reached for it immediately to check the caller’s ID. It was Dylan, and her features suddenly turned soft. But instead of that name to make her heart flutter like it always does, it just made her feel numb. She wasn’t sure what
was happening to her, but it was affecting her relationship with him. But she couldn’t dare break it off with him like that. The guilt would eat her up alive after all the love and support he
had showered her every step.
She hit the reject button before turning off her phone, not wanting to talk to anyone right now as she was still pissed at the two men she had left behind. She could even feel her anger towards them resurface while she pranced about the bathroom and pulled in her hair. But what
she hadn’t seen was her eyes shimmer a bright red for a second before turning back to their original green.