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It ended at Midnight -Chapter 5

by myjaspercat


Jack

It was raining but I didn't really care, I liked how it refreshed the ground outside, the smell of the water droplets penetrating the earth. It had been a long day already and half my work wasn't even done. That's the curse of being Alpha. No matter how much I worked it would never be enough. I groaned as I looked at the massive stack of paperwork that still sat in my to do pile. I knew it was all important work, what with the pack expansion and all, but at this moment I wished it would all just disappear.

Much to my relief and almost as if on cue Luke, my beta, burst through my door in a clumsy display. He was laughing behind him, and I could hear someone out in the hall laughing right back. I put the pen in my hand down, raising an eyebrow. I waited patiently for him to stop and give me a reason for his interrupting my work.

"Oh, hey Jack," he smiled, "kind of forget you had locked yourself in here."

"Yeah, I can see that. What are you doing here anyways."

"Well Myles kind of dared me to-" Luke trailed off, most likely noticing who he was talking to.

"Go on Luke, I would love to hear what Myles dared you to do." I teased.

"You know what, it's not important anymore. What are you up to Alpha?" Luke gave me a small bow, our customs finally coming back to him.

I smiled. He was my best friend, had been since we were little. We had gone through everything together and when I had become Alpha three years ago, he was there for that too, proudly taking his place by my right-hand side. He knew that it always bugged me when he used formal titles when talking to me and right now, I could tell he was doing it just to get a rise. I raised my arms and swept them in a 'well look around you' motion hoping he'd get the hint.

"Right, the merge. Kind of forgot about that." Good, glad to see he could still use his brain.

"Exactly, so why don't you tell Myles you failed to do whatever it is he sent you in here to do and leave me to my endless paperwork."

Luke's brows furrowed together for a moment as he thought about my suggestion. I sighed, knowing that I wasn't about to get rid of him that easily.

"No. Sorry can't do that. You've been cooped up in here all-day Jack. I think it's time to spring you from all this business and have a little fun."

"But the merge is supposed to happen in three weeks and there's so much-"

"Stop right there. No buts I insist. I'll even help you finish whatever it is you're doing when we get back. Beta's honors." I watched Luke place his right directly over his heart like an idiot. He was right, I really did need a break.

"Ok fine. We can do something for one hour then it's back to business as usual."

"Wait are you serious?"

"Only if you promise me now that you'll help."

"Hell yeah I promise" Luke yelled already halfway out the door.

-----

Luke and I ran through the woods, our paws hitting the forest floor with loud slaps that echoed all around us. It had been a while since I ran in wolf form and by Goddess did it feel invigorating. There was always something new about letting our wolves out, something that bled into our minds and our hearts that made us all want to howl with pleasure. I could feel Luke slow besides me, his breathing loud. I chuckled, normally he could match my pace pretty evenly, sometimes he could even surpass me. But I guess the lack of shifting has taken its toll on him too.

The human side of me told me to slow down, to match Luke's pace this time even though I really wanted to run. It's what I should do, what I was taught to do from a very young age. An alpha can only be successful if they have a strong beta behind them and Luke was the best beta a man could ask for. But there was also another part of me, the wolf part; the beast in my inner head that kept me strong, that healed me even when I shouldn't be healing. It was that part that lowly whispered behind my eyes now, urging me to run harder and faster than I had ever ran before. It called to me, danced around the edges of my subconscious, left my mind hazy like a drug. In all my 24 years I had never felt my wolf speak so feverishly desperate before.

I looked at Luke. He had nearly stopped running, his mouth opened ever so slightly in an attempt to draw more oxygen into his lungs. His long brown fur glistened from the dew that fell off the passing leaves. I knew he was tired. The feelings he didn't have to speak trickled their way through our bond. Internally I sighed, upset about having to turn back already when my wolf really wanted to keep going. This moment of freedom hadn't lasted as long as I had hoped it would. I extended my claws into the ground, flexing them against the moist dirt. Every part of me wanted to make this time last as long as physically possible. After a few more minutes I turned around and circled back to where Luke sat with his paws outstretched in front of him.

"He Luke, you ready to head back?" I asked him, lowering the barer in my mind that allowed us to communicate in this form.

Luke looked up at me, his usual gray eyes bright blue against his brown fur. He cocked his head sideways, watching me. I could see a glint of amusement linger in his eyes.

"Only if you want to Alpha."

"Honestly I would love to keep running, but you look rather exhausted, and I don't need to wear you do so much. Not yet at least, we still have the pack merge to get through and I am going to need you to be at your strongest for that in case anyone tries anything."

"You're right. No distractions." Luke got off the floor, stretching is hind legs. "You ready Alpha?" He asked, nodding in the direction of the pack house.

I nodded in return, taking one long last sniff of the fresh air. Suddenly my entire body tensed up, my fur standing on edge along my spine. The most amazing scent I have ever smelled circled around me, its mouthwatering aroma overwhelming my senses. I looked over at Luke wondering if he could smell it too, but he just continued to stand where he was a moment ago waiting for an answer. I couldn't understand why he didn't notice it like I did, it was everywhere. Lifting my head up I opened my mouth slightly hoping to inhale a bigger breath of that delicious smell. I felt my wolf roll around in the back of my mind, his emotions jumping around from giddiness to anticipation. I needed to know where the smell was coming from so bad it hurt.

Without a second thought I took off running again, my body propelled forwards by the overwhelming need to figure out this mystery. I could sense Luke trying to say something to me, but I was to focused on the task at hand to let him in. Probably not the wisest decision. I didn't quite know where I was running to but I was pretty sure it was towards the small human town that sat along the edge of our boarder. They didn't know about us but my father had made it a point to know about them. He always told me that knowing where the humans were was one of the most important decisions an Alpha could make. When I took over after his death I decided to honor him by keeping his decisions alive.

The slight rustling of leaves caused my ears to perk up. I stopped running and moved behind a tree where I quickly shifted back to my human form. Slipping on a pair of jeans the pack kept hidden throughout the forest I inched closer to towards the break of trees, standing as still as possible in case there was something that could be of a threat. That's when I saw her. She was walking away from me and from where I stood, I could see that she had very little clothing on which was unwise for this time of night. The temperatures in our area could drop just below freezing when the sun went down. I watched her stop and look around, her expression turning into one of alarm.

She was human no doubt about it, I could hear her heart beating rapidly just as any other humans did when they experienced fear. The girl looked all around her once more before she continued on her way back to wherever she was heading which I guess was supposed to be the logging town about thirty minutes in the opposite direction. A part of me wanted to go to her and let her know that she was just walking deeper into the forest, but I couldn't. It would be too much of a hassle to have to explain why I was out here all alone too. Besides the beautiful smell had seemed to disappear already.

Just as I was about to turn around and leave, uninterested and quite frankly a little bored, my wolf stopped me. His low growl alarming me. I spun on my heels and looked back through the trees just as the girl stopped too and turned around her gaze positioned directly at me. Eyes as golden as the sun shone through the darkness and zeroed in on my half-hidden body. How could I have missed the fact that she was a wolf? Why didn't I smell her? I shook my head confused and a little angry, how did this young wolf not realize she was on my land. She should have been able to smell the boundary the second she crossed over it and why didn't border patrol alert me the second she arrived.

"Go teach her a lesson." My wolf growled. "Show that wolf what happens when you trespass on Mystic Mountain land."

"I don't know about that. She doesn't seem to be causing much harm and from what I can tell she's alone. No need starting battles where they're not need." I tried to reason.

"Not needed. That girl is trespassing and the punishment for that is death. How are we supposed to be respected if we let just anyone break our rules."

I knew my wolf was right and I hated it but some part of me stopped myself from running over there and ripping her heart out. The intoxicating scent picked up again, warm vanilla and cinnamon with subtle hints of rose. My mouth watered. Where was it coming from.

"It's the girl." My wolf whispered suddenly nervous.

"What? What do you mean?"

"The girl you imbecile, the smell it's hers."

"But how? I would have noticed it earlier when we first got here."

"Who cares when it was noticed Jack, it's the girl and we have to get to her now."

I froze unsure off the sudden shift in my wolf's tone of voice. Normally he was fierce, he was the evil inside me where I tried to be kind yet strict. But right now I could feel him whimpering in my mind. He had to have felt something I couldn't, something that took longer to reach the slower human part of myself. The girl kept watching me, her alarm turning into confusion and before I could react I saw her move towards me. Her body moved tentatively through the underbrush almost as if she was walking against her will. Every step she took only made her scent grow stronger and its paralyzed me to my spot. I took a few steps in her direction myself, the warmth in her eyes wrapping itself around me, dangerously alluring.

I don't know how long it took for her to reach me but the second she stood in front of me I stopped breathing. She was so breathtakingly beautiful, and she was small. I hadn't noticed how small she was before but here; she barely came up to the center of my chest. Which was odd seeing as how our kind tended to run on the taller side. I resisted the urge to reach up and touch her hair, her long black locks wild and twisted with leaves. She just stood in front of me, her gaze fixated on my bare chest. It made me feel a little self-conscience, but I refused to move afraid that I would startle her. That's when she looked up, her eyes an even brighter gold up close. The second I gazed down into them everything clicked into place.

"Mate." My wolf howled in my head. His voice clearer than it ever had been before. "Take her Jack. Mark her now!" He screamed, pounding against my temples.

"No not yet I can't" The girl's eyes scanned my face. Her gaze making me shiver. I wondered what she was thinking.

"Bullshit boy, she's our mate we must mark her as our own."

"But she's so young, so different. She seems confused."

As if I had spoken my concerns out loud, the softest voice broke the silence around us. "Wh-who are y-you?" It was her, her lips moving slowly while her words lingered in the air between us.

I could tell she was waiting for an answer, her wide eyes still scanning my face. But I didn't know how to speak. Nothing I wanted to say made sense and my brain couldn't figure out how to put the syllables on my tongue. I could only watch her back. We stood frozen like that a few moments longer her question still unanswered when I noticed her body shift slightly. Her eyes were no longer golden but instead they had turned into a warm brown that were glazed over. I could hear her breathing pick up and slow down over and over like she was trying to regain control over her body. Her mouth moved but no words came out this time, instead she tensed up, her skin flushed. In a rush of panic, I grabbed her waist. My skin electrifying at the touch.

"Mate." I whispered right as she passed out. 


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Thu Sep 15, 2022 7:49 pm
RandomTalks wrote a review...



Hello!

RandomTalks here with a short review!

With this chapter, we enter much deeper into the fantasy! It was exciting to read, even though I could guess what was going to happen next. At the moment, I really appreciate the fact that you have provided us with a dual-POV (a multiple POV), since it makes it so much interesting when we get to see from both perspectives - it provides us with a bigger picture and makes the journey even more wholesome when we are able to connect equally with both of the characters.

I liked how distinct Jack's voice is. You can tell that he really is a character of his own and his narration is so very different from Melody's that it at once intrigues us and makes us curious and eager to learn more about him. There's a separate kind of maturity to his narration that is perhaps absent from Melody's. It could be because of his age - I think Melody described him as a 'man' in the previous chapter, suggesting that he is quite her superior in age, especially considering that she is still in school. That is also why I am a little curious to see where you are planning to go with these two characters, because I detected a potential for something more between them?

I also liked the way you have established the friendship between Jack and Luke. I could feel the mutual fondness and respect they shared for each other and it stands out in its stark difference with the toxic relationship Melody shares with the people in her life. Luke and Jack's friendship is very simple and comfortable, even with the distinctions present in the form of Jack being his Alpha and so on.

That said, I really liked the way you have integrated the fantasy elements here. It has assumed a more major central role now and I have realized I can no longer just get by with making a few educated guesses. I am curious to see how exactly the terms 'alpha-beta' work here. From Luke and Jack's relationship, we can see that there is respect and obedience from Luke's side. But it will be interesting to see how the dynamics change with other members of the pack. Also, the frequent mention of the 'merger' was very intriguing. I can only guess what it means, but you have definitely piqued my interest here.

Now coming to the technicalities, there were quite a few problems in sentence construction and punctuations in this chapter. Nothing major, but they certainly steer our attention away from the narration to these tiny little thorns that stick out at times. Some of your sentences go on for too long and become clubbed together for no reason. For example, the very first line:

It was raining but I didn't really care, I liked how it refreshed the ground outside, the smell of the water droplets penetrating the earth.

This sentence isn't necessarily long, but it has too much content that really needs their own space in separate sentences. This first sentence establishes Jack's voice for the first time, so its important that it does not get bogged down by other content that focuses our attention elsewhere. This could be easily broken into two sentences: "It was raining, but I didn't really care. I liked how it refreshed the ground outside - the smell of the water droplets penetrating the earth." You can also play around with the punctuations some times to give your sentences that extra affect.

We stood frozen like that a few moments longer her question still unanswered when I noticed her body shift slightly.

Here, you again need punctuation to make the meaning clearer to the readers. There needs to be some kind of a pause in the sentence, to give us adequate chance to attend to his narration. I would suggest adding a comma after 'longer.'

There are also a few typos here and there. For example:

No need starting battles where they're not need.

'need' should be 'needed' here.

These small errors do not have much significance and you can do away with them with the help of a reread and a few edits.

Overall, it was a solid addition to the story and I am interested to find out what happens next.

Keep writing and have a great day!

Until next time!




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Fri Sep 02, 2022 2:59 am
Horisun wrote a review...



Hello! I hope you are having a good day or night!
This story has taken quite a turn, one I would not have expected upon the first chapter. (Though, that is mostly my fault for not noticing the word "Supernatural" right there at the start, lol)
By far my favorite part of this chapter was how you portrayed the friendship between Luke and Jack. Neither is stronger than the other, and even from their very brief interaction alone, I can tell they are good at balancing each other out.
Some of the dialogue between them felt a little stilted, and was missing some punctuation, but it was by no means bad, in any sense of the word. Their conversation served to paint a picture of what this society of wolves is like; how they interact with one another, and the struggles they face, in but a brief scene between two friends! In this regard, it was a very effective scene.
I did feel a little frustrated by this chapter. I didn't like that we ended in the same place where we began. The insight we gained about your world is valuable, but I can't help but think we could've gotten that, while also continuing to move the plot forward. Overall, I couldn't help but be a tad dissatisfied.
(One final nitpick, and you may very well already know this, but the "alpha" and "beta" thing in wolves has long since been disproven. However, this could just be a narrative device you are choosing to use, and I as a reader should suspend my disbelief, so feel free to disregard)
The world you are beginning to build is incredibly fascinating, and I'm on the edge of my seat to find out what happens next! And I haven't even mentioned the fact that Melodies a wolf! Does that mean she's been adopted by her family? Is that the explanation why they despise her? Strange move to adopt a kid, only to continually mistreat them.
Whatever the case, you can remain sure I'll be here to find out what'll happen next! Keep on writing, and have a fantastic day! :D





I want to shake off the dust of this one-horse town. I want to explore the world. I want to watch TV in a different time zone. I want to visit strange, exotic malls...I want to live, Marge! Won't you let me live?
— Homer Simpson