Finding Home

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Arashi, May 31, 2012.

  1. Well, this was an unfortunate situation.

    The snow was falling so thick that it made the eyes strain to see more than ten feet ahead, and finding any scent trail with two feet of snow on the ground was next to impossible. Especially since the Alaskan wilderness was so expansive. Everyone once in a long while, she thought she smelled a brief trace of some creature's old and stale scent. But every time she thought she found a path to the town that was her destination, Brooklyn Page was forced to lift her nose after losing the scent trail yet again. Damn blizzard. She hadn't known how horrible snow could be before this little excursion.

    For a town smack dab in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness and consisting mainly of supernatural critters like herself, the surrounding area should had been thriving with different smells. So that meant she wasn't quite close to the town yet, since the scents were few and far between. She cursed in her head and flopped onto the snow, taking a brief rest. The whole "finding the Alaskan pack and stating our case" mission was beginning to look futile, because she'd been on the move for weeks. Her pack promised to follow her after one or two months, or once they got a call from Brooke beckoning them.

    So normally she'd have nothing to worry about.

    Except that her pack did not consist of full werewolves and was almost completely vulnerable when they weren't on the move. It consisted of only seven full-bloods, but contained fourty-six half-werewolves, a hybrid breed frowned upon in the supernatural community for their supposed "violent instability" that made them a "danger to the world around them, humans included." She'd show them violent all right, those bastards, but she wasn't truly unstable. Usually. It really depended upon the time of the month and the situation.

    Bright blue eyes scanned the wall of falling snow. To even show the other werewolves that hybrids were not dangerous, she would first have to make it to the town alive, and her pack would have to remain safe. There was only a certain amount of time they could skirt other packs' territories without getting caught, and she was taking too long to find them a safe place. It wasn't just time she needed; it was a miracle. And she wouldn't get a miracle by sitting like a dog in front of a fire.

    In the few minutes she'd rested, a two-inch layer of snow had coated her fur, making her short grey and black fur appear flawlessly white and fluffy. She shook it off, but she still managed to look white when some of the snow stuck to her fur. It weighed her down, making it even harder to plow through the thick snow in search of that unlikely miracle. Brooke wondered if her pack was starting to regret sending her instead of an older wolf. The majority had agreed on sending her, claiming that she was persistent and dominant enough to be successful in finding them a home. But an unspoken suggestion she sensed was that she was also expendable enough. If she was killed, her pack did not lose any great asset. Half-breeds didn't require any dominant hand to keep them calm, as far as she had seen. Losing one of the ten dominant wolves was no big deal. So she really wanted that miracle right about now.

    A day later as the blizzard died down, she did find a miracle. Well, it was a miracle for her, but for someone else it was... not quite fantastic.

    Probably, no one liked being murdered and left in the snow, and as she approached the dark masses lying twisted there under a thin blanket of white, Brooke understood that it was definitely a murder. From what she could see, there were holes in the bodies, and the snow had melted under warm blood before the blood froze. From the smell of them, still somewhat fresh, and the fact that they weren't completely buried under snow, she thought they must have been killed less than a day ago. One had been a full-blooded werewolf, and that surprised her. They weren't easy to kill. The other was human. A woman and a man.

    Revulsion was a dull and sour rolling in her stomach as she stared at the bodies. It was a human feeling, that revulsion. It was safe. But it was overpowered by a very unsafe need. It wasn't normal for Brooke to crave raw flesh, though she did order her steaks rare.

    Her hunger gripped her in a vicelike grip without warning. She should have seen it coming; she hadn't had any substantial meal in... too long. Any other wolf would have noticed the growing appetite, but her pack had a point when they called her determinedly blind. If she had a mission, she saw nothing else. Even hunger. Even pain. Not until it was taking over her. Wow, she was stupid. So incredibly, hilariously stupid.

    Brooke shook her head violently, trying to displace the urge to chow down on the corpses, which was probably unhealthy for her anyways. Her eyes caught sight of something that made her internally groan. Or rather, she saw a lack of something. There was no moon. No moon meant less control. For a few minutes, she refused to rip her eyes away from the sky, hoping she might forget about her hunger.

    Absently, she wondered why the pack hadn't noticed the death of one of its members. Packs were all close-knit. Even if they all hated each other, pack members were connected on another level, knowing when a member was very far away or dead.

    Then the wind shifted, blowing into her face from the direction beyond the corpses. Her head whipped down to stare at dark figures approaching, filling her wet nose with scents that stirred a very unwelcome panic. There was no moon. She was starving, with the scent of blood and meat and strange werewolves around her.

    One of the three figures was closer than the others, and she heard the sound of a gun's safety being disabled. She couldn't shift in less than three minutes, not with the new moon, so there was no way she could speak to the wolves getting closer. She saw a brief flash of a police uniform under their coats. They would assume she was a wild wolf unless the wind shifted in their direction and showed them that her scent was both werewolf and human. But the wind wasn't changing directions, and one gun was already pointed at her. Maybe if she forced her change to be quick, she could shift faster.

    So she summoned the remains of her energy, preparing for a painful change. She'd done it once, so surely she could do it again.

    She laid in the snow, steadied her panic and shoved back instinct, then shifted. It was a grotesque twisting of flesh and bone and muscle, made no less terrible by the speed of it. A thirty second change made it a record, but she felt like she'd been hit by a freight train, then boiled, then shoved into ice water.

    Her eyes snapped open, now warm brown streaked with gold instead of her wolf's pure blue. Her human body, naked and apparently pissed at being put through a painful change, refused to do more than twitch. But she could scream.

    "Don't shoot!" she screeched."Don't shoot me!!"

  2. Drayson and Mitch were grumbling about the fact that they were out in the snow because of a couple dead bodies, but the fact that one was their own helped keep them focused enough that Alice didn't have to snap at them to be more serious. Luckily for her she outranked them in both the pack and as an officer, the latter not being dependent on pack rank. When she'd been made the Sheriff's deputy on top of her beta ranking - the pack being at least modern enough to accept women's rights finally - only the men on the force, made up of only three more men other then the two with her and a woman that only rode a desk, had said anything about it. Of course, that hadn't lasted long when the Sheriff snapped at them over their prejudices. If it hadn't been for him, she'd have never been heard when the pack females were fighting to be given equality. Why should their rank be determined by their mates' if they were more dominant than them? It was a silly notion.

    Focusing on her task, she frowned at the sight before her. There was something moving near the bodies they had come to investigate. She cocked her shotgun and pointed it towards the figure, watching as it seemed to move, and they realized it looked like a dog, or more likely a wolf. Motioning to the two men who were still scowling behind her, she hurried to pace and heard them hurry their own pace and get their guns ready just in case. If it was a wolf they would need the guns to kill it. Unless it was a werewolf and then it would just be to slow it down, even if only to let one of them shift so that there was a better match for the fight.

    Coming closer, they found a wolf before them, and Alice lifted her gun to get in a good shot. The last thing they wanted for the animal to get close to the bodies and try to get a meal in before they could process everything.

    And then the wolf shifted, and Alice groaned as she watched a human form before them. They hadn't really been close enough to catch the wolf's scent or she might have known before hand. Even now the only reason they were aware of the shift was because of the human voice that was carried to their ears after having seen the physical appearance of a wolf first.

    "Don't shoot! Don't shoot me!"

    "What the-" Alice heard Drayson say, followed by Mitch's growling over a strange werewolf on their territory. Alice snapped her head to look over her shoulder and glared at them, causing both to back down and let her handle the situation. Now aware of what the creature was, she took in the animal prints surrounding the girl and leading up to it. Getting a good sniff, she realized what sort of werewolf stood before her.

    "Why should we spare a half-breed?" Alice asked, honestly not caring whether it lived or not. Lowering the muzzle as she spoke, she made sure it was still pointed somewhere that wasn't as lethal but still damaging should the woman decide to take her chances and either run or attack. Not that either of those options were promising in the first place, but at least she was prepared in case they were still attempted. "What the hell are you doing 'round here anyway?"
  3. Something like a headrush clouded her head, a delayed effect of her forced change that she could have done without. Despite the dancing lights that floated across her vision, Brooke could see there were still guns pointed at her, though at least they weren't aimed at her face or chest now. It wasn't so surprising, the hostility she faced. Half-breeds are uncommon and misunderstood creatures, Brooke reminded herself before she could get annoyed. It wasn't anyone's fault, and she couldn't blame anyone. Her job was just to change their views, which she would! She definitely would.

    Unless they shot her first. That wouldn't convince anyone of anything.

    "I don't know, maybe take pity on me? I'm buck-ass naked in at least a foot of snow, and exhausted. I may as well be human, because in all honesty that last shift has me seeing shiny little dots everywhere," she stated. Her teeth wanted badly to chatter, but for the moment she kept her jaw under control. "And I didn't come here to fight. I came here to discuss a very important matter with whoever's in charge around here. In charge of the wolves, I mean. I need help."

    Brooke could feel the female wolf's dominance from feet away. That was a good sign, because the dominant full-bloods in Brooke's pack were protective of the more submissive members, so she hoped that it was the same here. It felt odd, having a female be more dominant than herself. The dominant wolves in her own pack were all male. But Brooke felt she played the part of a calm, helpless wolf quite well. Probably because she was both helpless and losing energy fast.

    She tried to move so she could glance at the wolves, but she only managed to roll onto her stomach. The snow went places snow should never go, and she briefly wondered if breasts could get frostbite. What a nightmare. She felt stiff and bruised like when a person laid still for many hours in an uncomfortable position, and Brooke felt incapable of moving until her body unjammed itself. If this was what getting old felt like, she was glad to be immortal.

    "I only need you to listen, that's all. And, well, getting me out of the snow would be great, too..." her voice died down, leaving the suggestion hanging in midair.
  4. Drayson growled and stepped forward. "We should just shoot her. Why the hell should we listen to some mongrel?" he asked, raising his gun again. Mitch snorted in agreement and did the same.

    "Shut up," Alice sighed, handing her gun to Mitch to hold before pulling off her overcoat and tossing it down to the girl. "Put that on and come with me." She turned to her two companions, taking the shotgun back. "I hope I can trust you two to take care of these three?"

    Mitch stiffened and nodded with a scowl. "Of course!"

    "What the- You're gonna take her with you?" Drayson asked, incredulous. "Are you really gonna listen to her?"

    Alice stared him down. "If I am, it's no business of yours unless stated otherwise. Now, back down Drayson before I decide to shoot you instead." That made Drayson cower a little, and he switched the gun's safety back on and put it away. Mitch kept his gun in hand but made no move to point it at the half breed again. "Once you're ready, you can get onto my back or just follow me. Or, if you don't feel like putting my coat on you can shift again, but I think that last shift wore you out. Your choice."
  5. If she'd been in her other form, her fur would have stood straight out at the hostility she sensed from the two men. Her heartbeat was strong and rapid, and a rush of panicked adrenaline gave her a small boost in energy. She pushed herself off the ground but remained unmoving on her hands and knees after that. It was too soon for her to move much, even with the adrenaline, as her aching bones and sore muscles kept reminding her. Plus, she didn't want to startle the wolves into shooting her if she moved too much.

    Having heard the woman's instructions to put on her coat, Brooke didn't panic at the sight of a dark shape being flung toward her. It landed on her head, giving her a whiff of the other woman's scent. Full-blood. Definitely full-blood, but the overall scent didn't displease her. She hadn't been around anything more than rabbits and assorted wild critters for several weeks, so the familiar scent of wolf and human was comforting. Like an old woman raising from her rocking chair, Brooke put herself back on her feet and gingerly pulled the coat over numb and snow-drenched skin. Her fingers couldn't move enough to zip it up quickly.

    By the time she turned to take her first good look at the werewolves, the men were paying attention to the other woman instead of focusing on the half-breed in front of them. Brooklyn knew who the leader was right here. There was no doubt. How odd that a female werewolf could be so commanding without even saying a word, without even moving. It was just something that was understood, that could be understood by any wolf, even half-breeds; that's a leader, that is the strong one, the one to obey and follow. Brooke listened to the exchange between the two men and the woman with more dominance than either of them, and was fascinated at how obedient the men were. They seemed to feel that she would be the one listening to Brooke, the leader of the wolves around here that Brooke had mentioned. She also noted that the woman didn't deny that she would listen to Brooke. Ah-ha! Winning already. Alpha found, Alpha... part-way almost kind of convinced.

    Somehow it didn't completely ease her anxiety, that constant fizz in her body and mind that made her want to twitch and run under a bed or behind a friend.

    Brooke's eyes briefly met the woman's.
    Alpha. The first one that was a woman, and the first one who hadn't tried to kill Brooke on the principle of "half-breeds are batshit crazy and want to eat small human children, and plus they're freaks of nature, so let's kill all of the dirty half-breeds!" It was only for a second that Brooke dared to keep eye contact before lowering her eyes to the woman's shoes. That didn't feel right. It just didn't! Brooke hardly ever diverted her eyes like some shy, submissive pup, and she didn't like how it automatic felt to do so. But she did it anyways. Challenging the Alpha was a really stupid idea. She was too tired to even challenge a kitten right now.

    "I... I can't f-feel my t-toes. Or m-much of anything..." she was interrupted by a violent shiver. Embarrassing.

    She crept over to the strange Alpha step by tiny step, half expecting to be shot in the leg or something. A miserable combination of anxiety, exhaustion and adrenaline that had no outlet probably made her smell like a cocktail of emotions, which Brooke knew first hand was a scent that made a person's nose want to twitch. The notion of being toted around by some odd new Alpha that may or may not have plans to kill her was unsettling, but truly she wasn't sure she could make it fifty steps without toppling into the fluffy snow dead asleep, so she didn't have a choice.

    Brooke fiddled with the coat's zipper while she snailed her way over, and finally managed to zip it up to her nose despite her shaking hands. The coat was still warm-ish from the Alpha's body heat and covered her almost to mid-thigh, enveloping her five-foot-three frame. She pulled her hands into the sleeves and let them dangle, but didn't bother trying to warm her legs. They weren't stick-legs, and didn't lose warmth as easily.

    Standing in front of the Alpha now, she peered through unwashed black strands of hair to stare at the Alpha's feet. It wasn't even shoulder-length hair yet, but still she briefly reminded herself to cut it back to chin-length for convenience.

    "Thank y-you. You k-know, for not... sh-shooting me in the face." Her voice was muffled, but her gratitude and relief was obvious. "Where are we g-going exactly?"
  6. Alice stared down the two men before she realized that the half-breed was walking towards her. She turned to the girl and frowned; even though her wolf blood would be keeping her warmer than if she were only human, she was still being exposed to the cold for far too long than was healthy, and it was starting to show in her movements.

    "Thank y-you. You k-know, for not... sh-shooting me in the face. Where are we g-going exactly?"

    She was amused by the sudden submissiveness of the half-breed, though she was probably trying as hard as possible to suck up to her. After all, Alice was the one standing up for her right now and protecting her from the two male wolves who was with her.

    "I'm taking you to the pack," she answered before throwing the young woman over her shoulder in a fireman's carry. She shot Drayson and Mitch another look and said, "Don't slack off out here. Take care of the scene and get back. No sidetracking, no goofing off."

    "Of course," Mitch grumbled as Drayson just grunted. Both were thoroughly chastised, though once they were back in town they would be likely to exaggerate everything and tell the Alpha about how unfair she treated them. It wasn't abnormal for any of the other wolves.

    Feeling a little more comfortable about leaving the scene, Alice started to hurry back to the pack's town. It wasn't really large enough to be called a town, but it wasn't quite small enough for everyone to agree that it was a village. Because of this, most people just referred to it as either home or "to the pack" as though the "pack" was a place rather than a group of people. The walk was going to take almost half an hour, and Alice hoped that the coat would provide enough warmth that the wolf she was carrying wouldn't get sick or die on the way.

    "Let me know if you're feeling worse, or less," Alice told the young woman. "We'll be out for a while, yet."
  7. Brooke's stomach toppled over and over inside of her after she got tossed over the alpha's shoulder like a sack of potatoes. The dizziness and nausea faded quickly, but still leftover was the exhaustion stubbornly taking first place, followed shortly by hunger and a persistent, restless itch of "get your ass out of here" that no mental strength could kill completely. Whatever. She was finally with the alpha, who remained nameless, on her way to the ever elusive town of Fairview. How could a town be elusive but stationary? Didn't elusive things ... move or elude or something? Or was the town not stationary after all-- what if it was like a city that teleported from place to place?

    She shook her head, trying to shoo away the ridiculous thoughts and replace them with sensible, useful thoughts. It didn't work; typical. There she was, clinging to a very important person's back, and all she could think of was magic teleporting towns and the definition of "elusive", though she should have been thinking about what to do when she reached the town. She knew what to think somewhere in the back of her mind. She just didn't or couldn't concentrate enough to think it.

    Then the lights started dimming and Brooke panicked, because it was already night time and shouldn't have been getting darker, which meant that she was either about to fall asleep or pass out. That wouldn't impress anyone or keep her safe from potential attackers, so it was safe to say that she wanted to avoid losing consciousness. Apparently she didn't have a say in the matter, though, because the lights kept dimming.

    "I ... think I'm going to p-pass out," she informed Alice, before doing just that. Thankfully, her wolf didn't come out to wreak havoc, an unexpected gift from the new moon that hogged all her power.
  8. Alice heard the woman mumble that she was going to pass out and cursed when the weight over her shoulders became heavier. If her body was shutting down, she was either falling into hypothermia or would be shortly. Asleep, the body doesn't really create much heat. Granted, asleep she wasn't using much energy...

    She grunted; none of the situations that could follow the girl passing out were good. They really needed to get to the town, and soon. With an exasperated sigh, she shifted the woman again and broke out into a jog. Unfortunately she couldn't run without risking dropping her that much more, but speeding up was the best plan right now.

    "Fuck..." she growled. Of course this would happen. She was sure that the fact that she was bringing a half-breed into the town unconscious would double her chances of surviving there, since at least she wouldn't have seen the path to the place. Still, Alice wished that there wasn't such a chance that she was going to die on the way there.

    The body on her shoulders was starting to shiver when the town finally came into view. Alice shot out a whistle, announcing her presence. A couple wolves showed up, one catching the scent of a half-breed and growling until Alice shot it a glare. She would have checked for gender, but she was beyond caring.

    "Someone get the medic and have him go to my place," she told the wolves as she ran past them. The shivering worried her, since it was, from her knowledge, a sign of hypothermia. "Hang in there, kid," she whispered. Then, louder, she looked at a gaping young man that happened to be passing her house. "Go, get the Sheriff. He needs to know what's going, and he's gonna need to talk to her when she wakes up."

    The young man swallowed and nodded, mumbling what was probably a "yes, ma'am" before running off. Alice fumbled with her door and walked down the hall to her bedroom, dropping the girl down and running a hand through her hair as she looked around. Grabbing a blanket, she threw it over the girl.

    The doctor called out from the front door, and Alice yelled for him to come to the bedroom. He snarled at the girl and shot Alice a deprecating look. Alice stared him down, before he grumbled over protocol and the uselessness of half-breeds. Fortunately for him, he chose to go ahead and start treatment so Alice didn't feel the need to snap at him to get him to work.

    The Sheriff chose to walk in at that moment, and rose an eyebrow at Alice.

    "Greg, she needed to talk to you," Alice said, understanding his unasked question. "I didn't want to just leave her out there without at least having a chance to say her piece."

    Greg smiled and shook his head. "You're too good, Alice. Thank you for that, though. I suppose since you went through the trouble I'll give her a chance to speak. You should go get warmed up."

    Alice realized then that she was shaking from the cold and nodded, walking out of the room. Greg moved to the bed, standing opposite the doctor.

    "Don't skimp on the treatment, Kyle. If she's got something important to talk about, I wanna hear it, you understand?" he said lowly. Any other person wouldn't hear the underlying threat, but any wolf in this pack could understand when their Sheriff meant business.

    "Understood, sir," Kyle grumbled, focusing a little harder on the girl.
  9. There was too much wolf around. No half bloods; no tame full bloods. Just the full bloods that wanted to see her exterminated. Brooke's wolf was the only resident that slowly regained consciousness even while the human Brooke's mind was shut down. And her wolf was not happy. She wasn't part of the pack, but even as an outsider the wolf could feel the bonds between all the wolves in the area and sense the hostility towards her even at a considerable distance. The adrenaline swept through her like a violent tidal wave, making her heart race and limbs twitch with the effort to shake off exhaustion.

    Once the wolf was fully awake, Brooke's eyes snapped open wide, halfway between wolf blue and human brown. She clutched at the sheets under her and gasped in a massive breath while she tried to quickly assess the situation and hopefully find a way to calm herself down before the wolf completely took over. Nothing she saw was calming. A foreign room, filled with foreign scents, and two male full-bloods standing way too close for comfort. Very briefly, the wolf recognized one of the male's dominance, but human-Brooke barely took note of it. She merely put him on the same page as the woman from before that had brought her here, then proceeded to scan the room for that woman.

    When there was no sight of the woman, the Alpha that could give her protection, Brooke threw herself off the side of the bed, colliding with the doctor but choosing to ignore him for a while. The door was beyond the other wolf, the stronger one, the one that she really didn't want to go near. At all. She backed into a wall, feeling the cold window behind her and noting that it could be a decent escape route.

    It was hard to calm her wolf half down when her human half was just as panicked. Her eyes were almost round, and still stuck in a murky shade of blue-ish brown as they flicked between the two wolves in the room. Something in her insisted upon asserting her dominance, hoping to make it obvious that she would not just lie down and let them kill her, but when she tried to lock eyes with the more threatening wolf, the one blocking her way to the door, instinct screamed at her to just back down, shut up, and calm down.

    But of course she didn't. She panicked even more, stubbornly refusing to back down from a power struggle she would never win, one that probably would have gotten her in deep shit if it had been the Alpha she was glaring at.

    A sizeable chunk of doubt planted itself in her head. This man, this wolf, seemed more dominant than the female Alpha. Unless that female hadn't been the Alpha at all. Oh, shit.

    Brooke shut her eyes, letting her wolf discern whether or not she was dealing with the Alpha or just a wannabe. She didn't like her wolf's answer very much; it was a self-depracating chant of "you just got yourself kill, half breed. Way to fucking go."

    She opened her eyes, but refused to look up at all, afraid she'd accidentally lock eyes again and piss of the real Alpha even more.

    "Uh..." she muttered, clearing her throat quietly when her voice refused to work. "I, uh, haven't eaten in a while, kind of haven't really slept a lot, and well... You know, new moon, power drain for half-werewolves. You know? So, yes. I would definitely appreciate you not killing me for being too tired to think straight and behave. I have some important business with you, too, so that's another... small thing you might want to hear about, maybe. Yeah..."

    Her eyes finally glanced up, entirely back to warm brown except for a thin ring of blue around the irises. She stared down again, finally noticing that she was completely naked underneath the borrowed coat she was wearing, and that it had come unzipped just enough to be indecent. She zipped it back up and waited for an answer silently.
  10. Greg watched as the half-breed jumped up. The doctor was finishing his examination and was about to say something when the woman knocked him over. She looked skittish and backed up against the window before meeting his eyes. Amused, Greg just kept up the stare. He could tell she was struggling, panicking, and part of him just wanted to watch her squirm over that. Her eyes seemed to tell him her thoughts, and he was further amused when it seemed some kind of revelation came to her.

    Slowly, he watched her eyes close and her body calm just a little. Her wolf was finally rationalized and the woman's full conscious was there when her eyes opened back up.

    "Uh... I, uh, haven't eaten in a while, kind of haven't really slept a lot, and well... You know, new moon, power drain for half-werewolves. You know? So, yes. I would definitely appreciate you not killing me for being too tired to think straight and behave. I have some important business with you, too, so that's another... small thing you might want to hear about, maybe. Yeah..."

    Greg smirked and crossed his arms over his chest. He wanted to make her squirm a little more. It was fun to see how half-breed's interacted with full-bloods. Most of them bristled and tried to overpower their superior cousins, because they were too proud to recognize that they weren't the weaker of the breeds.

    Granted, he didn't have much interaction with the mutts himself. Greg chose to let Alice do most of the political work. She was much better suited for the talking. He was usually better at showing power and making wolves tremble. Not that he couldn't hold his own in a debate, because he and Alice have been know to exchange words frequently about various pack proceedings. There was a reason she was his Beta after all.

    His focus went back to the woman again.

    "I'm Greg, the Alpha of this pack," he said in a husky and low tenor. He dropped his arms and shifted his posture so he was a little less threatening. "Alice, the woman who brought you here, is my Beta. She mentioned that you needed to speak."

    He looked at the doctor and made a noise, which the doctor immediately understood to be a dismissal and left hastily. He would have preferred to stay and see the bloodshed, but something in the back of his mind said that should he have stayed it would have been his blood shed and not the half-breed's.

    Outside, many people immediately approached him to try and gain as much information as they could. Kyle ignored them all and went to his own home to wait for the next injury to come his way.

    Greg was curious about what this mutt would have to say to him that could come close to saving her life, but he refrained from asking directly. After all, it would be rude to let a starving wolf continue to go hungry. He turned to the closet, showing her his back as an unspoken way of saying he trusted her for now. Opening the door, he pulled out a t-shirt and a pair of jeans and looked back at the woman, frowning.

    "I don't know if these will fit. You seem a bit shorter than Alice, and I can't see much of your figure under that coat," he stated before putting the jeans back and choosing a pair of sweats instead. "These will be easier to modify that jeans." Tossing those at her, he sat on the only chair in the room and waited for her to change. "We can discuss more after you've been fed, but I do wish to know your name before we leave this room."
  11. ...was he playing with her? Her eyes briefly saw the smirk on his face and his stubbornly crossed arms as a confirmation to her theory, and that was almost enough to set off her smart-ass mouth, but then he finally loosened and spoke to her. Brooke felt her muscles go soft when they had previously been shaking with tension. Her brain kept reminding her not to trust him just yet, but as usual her body and mind did not agree. The Alpha turned his back on her, giving her time to argue silently with herself.

    He was full-blood; very few of those ever cared for half-weres, unless they were a parent. To him, she was probably just a very interesting or amusing rodent. He probably didn't know any better. Werewolves never really heard of the good half-breeds. She knew this both from her own encounters and the encounters of her packmates. The half werewolf stories that circulated were about violent and crazed abominations, ones that ran around cities threatening to expose all the wolves, because those were the only half-breeds dumb enough to flaunt themselves around. Ones like Brooke generally laid low except in extreme circumstances. More than once she had needed to track down one of her packmates that had temporarily lost their head, and in doing so she sometimes had to talk her way out of trouble with the authorities-- both human and otherwise. Not all half-werewolves were the same. But convincing full-bloods of that was a near impossible feat.

    The Alpha turned around again, tossing some clothes and words in her direction. She held onto the warm clothes, taking a chance to catch his scent. There was no obvious hostility in him, but to older wolves, the dangerous ones, just because a scent was lacking something did not mean the wolf did not feel it. With this wolf, though... he had her relaxing despite her better judgement.

    Brooke glanced up at him curiously. He sat and didn't seem like he was going to move. Fair enough, because any shifting race was comfortable being naked in front of other people. Sometimes they didn't have a choice. But in front of some strange new Alpha and with her body on the verge of saying 'screw you, I'm going back to sleep', Brooke really didn't feel like getting naked.

    So for a few moments, she just held the clothes and gave him some words to chew on.

    "These will work fine, thank you. After being in the cold and snow for weeks with short, warm-weather fur, it feels good just being inside again," Brooke paused, caught his eyes for a few brief seconds before she went back to staring at his feet. "I'm with a pack of mostly half-weres in the southwest states. We roam to avoid the larger packs: Phoenix, Dallas, Tulsa, you know. It isn't so hard to avoid them in the southwest, but our fur doesnt exactly grow thick and warm."

    She fidgeted, quickly pinpointed why she felt uncomfortable --she was standing while a more dominant wolf was not, which was a small breach of etiquette-- and adjusted herself so that she sat on the floor, her knees gathered under her. That felt better.

    "Some of my pack calls me Bren, so you can call me that." It wasn't really a lie. She only left out her main name, the one that was a bit infamous to the wolves that actually knew it. Brooklyn Page was the name of the first discovered half-breed, though she wasn't the first half breed by a longshot. Just the one who got discovered by accident years ago. Either way, she wasn't about to give him her full name yet.

    Again, she caught his eyes. "You really expect me to change in front of you, don't you?" It was more curiosity than indignance.
  12. Greg let her talk, soaking in whatever she told him. He was curious about why she would go from such warm places such as the deep south and then turn around and come here to the coldest of the cold, but figured that he would learn soon enough.
    Bren. They call her Bren.

    "You really expect me to change in front of you, don't you?"

    "Yes," he said simply with another smirk. He watched her as she kept eye contact. "You aren't a guest here, despite the fact that I have had you treated as such. Half-breeds are killed on sight, miss Bren. If it weren't for Alice you wouldn't have made it into my company. You may clothe yourself or you may stay as you are. Even us full-bloods need to wear something over our human skin here. I suggest taking this time to do so."

    This mutt was going to be interesting, he decided. She had met his eyes and held them, something that would have gotten some of his lesser wolves killed if they tried it. Of course, they were also submissive mostly and weren't really capable of meeting his eyes. This mutt, this woman Bren had strong dominant energy.

    Greg chose to close his eyes. "My senses are still open, so I'll know if you attempt to escape me. But for your... modesty, I suppose I can close my eyes. I'll only give you ninety seconds though."

    He stated a time limit to keep control, but even he wouldn't open his eyes until she said it was clear. Or until he decided there was no way she was not dressed any longer.
  13. It was hard to bite her tongue and choke back all her arguments. Those were for another time, she reminded herself. But maybe a statement or two in favor of the half-breeds wouldn't hurt...

    She stood, wincing from the ache of the overtaxed muscles in her legs, and leaned against the wall with her arms crossed, the sleeves of the jacket completely hiding her hands. Closing his eyes for a half-breed's modesty, and yet still upholding the idea that they were all just mongrels. Brooke understood his prejudice more than she understood his kindness. It was disconcerting. Not that it would stop her from sassing him, of course. But still-- she was made curious.

    "I'm a mutt, right? I don't want you to lower yourself by complying with my desires. So open your eyes, Greg," she urged him, taking a few lazy steps forward as an added encouragement to open his eyes. No wolf wanted to be approached by something they couldn't see.

    "It's not like there's anything to see, according to all of you, though I doubt you've ever looked closely enough at a healthy, sane half-were to examine us. I'm not a human like you all used to be, and I'm not a wolf, so therefore I'm nothing. Am I getting the logic right so far?"

    She had gone about six steps, putting her almost halfway across the room toward him, but they were tentative, quiet steps to keep herself calm and make sure he knew she wasn't threatening or challenging him. Brooke took one more step before halting, and finally she looked up at him instead of staring at the ground. If his eyes had opened to see it, it was obvious that her stare was not meant to threaten him, but even her inquisitive and open stare was still a stare. Inside her sleeves, her hands were trembling. If he misunderstood and attacked her, there was barely anything she could do about it except jump out the window and hope to disappear into the snow. She would not survive another week of endless running, freezing snow and scarce food, so her shakiness was justified.
  14. Greg chuckled and opened his eyes a little.

    "You're an interesting woman, even for a mutt," he said calmly, meeting her eyes. He was a little surprised to see the lack of defiance in their depths, but didn't let the surprise show. "I think I'll take up your challenge and let you show me your body. Show me why you believe half-breeds are worth something."

    He laughed again and shifted so he sat taller.

    "Your anatomy and most of your biology is not why we don't get along, your kind and mine. Mutts have not given us a reason to trust that they are worth our time. Most of you tend to lose yourselves to blood lust far easier than we do." Greg uncrossed his arms and stood so that he could look down at Bren. "As of yet, you've shown control. I'm still willing to give you a chance to speak to me. However, I grow weary of this power play. Change, so that we may go and have this talk you wanted to have with me."
  15. Ridiculous. Brooke choked back a growl, now more annoyed and frustrated than wary. This wasn't going the way she had planned, but she still had points to prove.

    "It isn't bloodlust, and you have no way to prove that all half-breeds are crazy, because you kill them on sight before you even meet them! Most of them were probably coming for help, just like me. This is blind prejudice. You don't know anything about us."

    She forgot all about looking calm just then, though it was a dumb mistake. In a few stomps, she crossed the room and stood almost a foot away from him, fighting with the zipper instead of glaring at him like she wanted to. It was reluctant, but she forced it down and let the coat slide off of her, catching it with one hand before tossing it on the bed along with the change of clothes.

    The golden tan was proof that she stayed in the hot southwestern sun for many hours a day, and her constant travel by foot lent itself to a trim body without enough meat to make her curved outline look as feminine as it should have, though strong muscles kept her from looking too scrawny. A pinkish, poorly healed scar rested just below her ribs, very close to her stomach and shaped like a typical knife wound. A few smaller scars littered her arms and legs. Brooke waved to herself like she was showing a prize to a contestant.

    "As far as I've seen I may as well be a three-headed snake, because I get no consideration before I'm placed on the hit list. Posture, emotions on my scent, eye contact... No one cares about those, because '--oh shit, it's a mutt! Kill it!'. They call us 'it' or 'that mutt', but I've never met a wolf that looks at me and stops to think that I look just like everyone else and that maybe there are other similarities, too. Nope. Just a mutt."

    Finally she slid her eyes up to Greg's. This time there was a challenge issued, though no threat. It was a challenge to argue with her even after what she was about to tell him.

    "The real monsters here are not the half-breeds. Some of us are born confused, human and wolf sides poorly combined, and those wolves can't adjust to any sort of life. Not a human life, not a half-breed pack life, and certainly not a full-were pack. They go crazy from the confusion and constant fear, and sometimes they resort to killing any threat they sense. And everything seems to be a threat." Brooke looked away, finally tired of holding eye contact. "Sometimes it's only the dominant wolves that can calm them down, give them a sense of security and a guiding hand. But sometimes there's no saving them."

    "Full-weres are usually not crazy. Just cold and mean and merciless most of the time. I can't tell you how many times I've been almost killed by your kind just for passing through the edge of their territory. But I can tell you--" she turned around slowly, uneasy about making herself more vulnerable, "I can tell you that I've only got two scars from half-breeds, but that all the ones you see back there are from full werewolves. They're on my back because I was running, which isn't something a bloodthirsty beast does."

    She glanced over her shoulder and huffed. "Now I'm done. And that wasn't even close to a power play. Just a short little lecture." She stepped to the bed and reached for her change of clothes. "I don't usually give my lectures naked. " She shook out the clothes, examine them appreciatively. Warm clothes! "Any last thoughts or questions in case your wolves decide to kill me before I can get to the real lecture?"
  16. Greg wasn't sure if he should be amused by her bravery at standing up to him, or punish her for going against him like she did. In the end, he nodded and snorted, choosing to feel something akin to respect for her. He studied her scars, and decided that Alice had been wise in bringing her here to him. He was one of those who killed mutts on sight, but usually only if provoked. A lot of his pack mates were a lot more prejudiced than even him, though he did nothing to stop them.

    "You are right, we do tend to kill first. However, if you'll notice we are giving you a chance to speak. I'll take your words into consideration, both those from now and from the coming meeting."

    He watched as she began to dress, the scars being covered as he stared them down. They were familiar marks, as he'd seen them on his own pack mates when they've had to deal with rogues and some half-breeds.

    "You're lucky in that regard, actually. The meeting with consist of myself, Alice, and my third, a man named Evan. You could almost say that we're the more... contemporary of the pack, in a way. I trust them to keep you from harm unless you give them a reason not to or I give them the go ahead. As such, unless you openly threaten my pack mates you should be safe."
  17. The t-shirt popped over Brooke's head, and she seemed deep in thought as she stared down at herself just before grabbing the coat and pulling it on over the sweatpants and tee. It felt better not to have the evidence that she was freezing put on display by the thin shirt. Despite seeming distracted while Greg spoke, she turned to him wearily and responded without humor.

    "I'm older and smarter than the twenty year old I look like, Greg. I'm not just going to waltz into a massive pack of full-bloods and start a fight. But I won't let them think I'm beneath them by acting submissive and weak, because submissive and weak I am not." She turned to the door too quickly, and both her head and legs protested, leaving her dizzy and barely standing on shaky legs.

    "Alright, maybe a little weak, but that's justified. Lead the way, Alpha." Brooke stuck to his side, halfway expecting to get jumped by other wolves the minute they saw her, and she felt reassured to be half-glued to their Alpha. Awkward and irritated, but reassured nonetheless.
  18. Greg hummed and put a hand on her lower back, choosing to lead her that way rather than walk before her. He could keep an eye on her, his back wouldn't be turned to her, and he could protect her from the pack a little easier. They walked down the hall and stopped outside of a room to the left. Greg raised an eyebrow at Alice, who glanced up from her novel when she heard them.

    "The meeting is at the Sheriff's station, isn't it?" Greg asked her.

    Alice seemed to smirk. "Gee, you're asking me?" He narrowed his eyes at her. "I went ahead and had Evan informed of a change of location. It's warm enough here, and she won't be exposed to the others until we know what we're doing with her."

    Greg nodded; there was a reason he listened to Alice. "That was good thinking," he commented absently. Turning to Bren, Greg grinned. "Seems like you don't have much traveling to do. Go and have a seat. I'm sure Evan won't be long. I'm going to go raid Alice's kitchen for some hot drinks."

    Alice snorted. "You'll only find tea and coffee, probably. I can't remember the last time my cocoa lasted this long."
  19. Her face was mostly blank as she observed the interaction between Greg and the woman, apparently named Alice, who Brooke had previously assumed was Alpha. Hunger dominated fatigue by far, and she was too wired to feel sleepy even if her stomach hadn't been the source of her attention. The pressure of Greg's hand on her back lifted, and she immediately went to sit on the floor several feet away from Alice.

    "I'm fine with anything. I haven't done anything human in weeks, so right now I'm content just to be warm and alive."

    Brooke glanced up at Alice. "I have you to thank for being alive. I appreciate not being shot in the face by one of your friends, and when I get the chance, I'll do whatever I can to repay you. Your name is Alice?"
  20. Greg nodded and walked through the doorway to head to the kitchen.

    Alice smiled at Bren and nodded. "Yeah, that's my name. And don't worry about repaying me. Just don't do anything reckless while you're here and that will be enough. By bringing you here I'm kind of being watched by the whole pack. But Greg depends on me, and they know he trusts me, so that should help you in the long run because I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt."

    Alice let that sink in for a moment before she sat back and relaxed. "So what is your name? And what do you think of our fair Alpha?"