“I did, only t
o find that she had died in a car crash shortly after reaching the city. She never got to live out her dream, so I wanted to make sure that I did all I can to live it out for her. That’s why I want the next generation to seek out life in the city and to learn how to live with humans. I want wolves to be able to live in the world and not live in fear of new technology. I don’t want us to be tied with tradition and beholden to ancient rites. It’s time for us to look to the future. Lilah saw that better than any of us. I only wish that I hadn’t been so blind as to ignore it.”
He stopped speaking and a hush came over him as he fell into his memories, reliving the past, the love he held for Lilah still burned in his heart, I knew that.”
“One thing I don’t understand though; Logan told me to ask you about her because he seemed to think it would answer my question of why you chose me.”
“Ah, well, the thing is you bear a striking resemblance to her. Of course, you’re not a wolf, but it took me by surprise. For a moment, when I first saw you, I thought you were her, returned from the dead.”
“I’m sorry to disappoint you,” I said sarcastically. He smiled and laughed a little.
“You’re not a disappointment. You’re different, that’s all, and I’m a different man to who I was then anyway. But that’s the past, and I’m more concerned with the future. You have qualities that I would like our children to have, and that’s the most important thing.”
I pondered his words. It wasn’t the first time a man had wanted me to remind him of his ex, so I didn’t think too much of it, but it just added to the tragedy. Logan and Jamie were the only people Jackson hadn’t lost during his life, and that tragedy spoke to my heart. I didn’t want to linger on heartache though, and there were still so many questions that I wanted answers to.
“Can I ask you some more things, not about anything in your past history, but about your life as a werewolf?”
“Of course, the more you know the better,” he said.
“Okay,” I replied, and started to arrange the questions in my mind. “So, I mean, from what happened before I’m assuming that it’s not like the stories where the wolves only change under a full moon?”
“No, not at all. We have the ability to shift whenever we like. There are some subspecies of werewolves who do get affected by moonlight, but they are rare and it must have been one of these that the old humans saw. We also don’t have a weakness to silver, if that was your next question.”
“Actually I was going to ask about the transformation. What’s it like to become something else entirely?”
“That’s just the thing Millie, we’re not becoming something else, the soul is the same we’re just expressing ourselves differently. I’m not sure how to explain it best, but it’s as though we’re wearing a costume, and when we turn into our natural forms we experience reality in a wholly different way.”
“So being a wolf is your natural form?”
Jackson turned his head from side to side. “I wouldn’t say that. We are born as humans after all, but there is so much that comes with being a wolf that we see it as our natural form. Our senses our heightened so we perceive the world in a deeper way, and we feel more connected with each other. There’s nothing like the freedom that comes with running across the land either, of letting every inhibition loose and running at full speed into the wind. Our blood rushes with passion and we feel truly alive. Being in human form allows us to be productive, but as a wolf we indulge our primal senses and act more on instinct.”
“So what do you as wolves, just run around?”
“We hunt, mainly, and we tame the world. We are predators. We own these forests and we defend our territory. Sometimes we pay tribute to the goddess of the Moon.”
“The goddess, who gives us our life. You should ask Jamie more about our traditions and history, it is his passion and he is more learned than I am.”
“Okay,” I said, “and if I go through with this I wouldn’t have to have sex with you while you’re in wolf form, would I? No offence, but that would be a definite deal breaker for me.”
Jackson laughed. “That wouldn’t happen, no, it would be when we are in human form, but that is something we can talk about if you fully agree to be a part of this.”
“And what happens if Ishmael comes back?” I asked. Jackson visibly tensed.
“We will defend ourselves, and if it comes to it we will flee to a new place of hiding, but one day he will come, and I will have to be ready to face him. If he ever learns that our clan is being rebuilt he will come for us and he won’t stop until we’re wiped out.”
“Even if nobody involved is still alive?”
“He does not care about that. The only thing he cares about is taking revenge.”
I nodded and drew in my breath. I rose and said that I was feeling tired and that I wanted to go back to my room. There was a lot I had to think about, and I didn’t want to waste any time. Before I left, Jackson thanked me sincerely for taking the chance to come here and be a part of this. He told me there was no rush in making a decision.
“You should have tried this the first time, it might have saved us all a lot of trouble,” I replied. He gave me a sad smile and said that he was still making mistakes, but he’d try to stop from now on. I squeezed his arm and as our eyes locked a moment of passion burned between us. I had always found him the most attractive, and his primal energy sparked something deep inside me. I was tempted to kiss him then, but I managed to pull myself away in time, not wanting to commit to anything before I was ready.
When I left Jackson’s room he closed the door behind me, wanting to remain in solitude. The rest of the cabin was empty so I returned to the kitchen in the hope of finding some more alcohol. I thought it might make the transition go a little easier if I grew hazy in my mind. I flicked on the light and Logan was waiting for me, seeing him there gave me the fright of my life and I gasped loudly, holding my hand to my chest as I felt my beating heart. He didn’t look happy to see me, but then, I wasn’t too happy in that moment either.