We pull up into the driveway of our stone cottage. It’s cute, quite fairytale-esque. I can imagine Snow White inside, singing and sweeping with the help of her animal horde.
It makes me feel like if I start singing, a few woodland animals might come and help me with my chores.
Ah, if only!
Large, individual stones lead from the driveway and join the cobbled path that leads to the cottage. There are flower boxes under the windows and empty flower beds below that.
That’ll be a project for Mom to keep her busy. She always did love gardening!
Mom opens the door and lets me in first. I take in my surroundings.
The cottage has wooden beams across the ceilings, solid wood floors throughout, and stylish paneled walls. The decor is neutral and plain, and the furniture that's supplied is nice.
Even if it is pretty basic.
I know Mom will be excited to think about decorating. Personally, I don’t know why she bothers. We’ll be out of here in six months to a year.
Just wait until my classmates get a whiff of me and we’ll be leaving in the dead of night again in no time!
Even still she’s always tried to make each of our places feel like home, no matter how long we have stayed.
I help Mom carry our boxes and suitcases inside. I put my suitcase and boxes up into my room and take in my new surroundings.
It has a lot of potential, I think to myself.
I have a brass metal-framed double bed and a built-in wardrobe. The ceiling has the same wooden beams and there’s an adorable round window overlooking the front garden.
Shame, I could have made this really homely.
I get to work unpacking my clothes. It doesn’t take me long because I don’t have an awful lot. Moving constantly, we always keep things light.
Once I’ve finished unpacking what little personal belongings I have, I go and give my mom a hand.
Once it’s all done, we both throw ourselves on the sofa with a sigh. “Right, I think that calls for takeout!” Mom exclaims. “What do you want?”
I scrunch my face in thought. “Hmm, maaaaybe…Chinese?”
Mom makes the call and orders. After about forty-five minutes it arrives and we sit on the sofa, scarfing down our fast food while binge-watching Bridgerton—our current favorite.
Moon Goddess, please, can my mate be the Duke of Hastings? I silently pray.
Many, many hours later we decide to call it a night.
I say goodnight and start making my way up to bed when Mom calls up the stairs, “Oh, Livi, I forgot to tell you. I managed to get you space at the local college. You start on Wednesday!”
“But that’s only two days away?!”
“I know you don’t like going to school, but focus on your studies. And who knows, maybe this time you’ll make a friend?”
I scoff. “I highly doubt that, Mom. I’m a freak, remember? And besides, why do I need friends when I have you?” I say doe-eyed and flutter my eyelashes.
“All right, all right. You kiss-ass, get to bed!” Mom chuckles.
The next morning, I wake up at about nine thirty. I’m excited to do some exploring, maybe even find myself a part-time job.
I jump in the shower and have a quick wash. After toweling myself off, I put on my skinny jeans—which hug my curvaceous, round butt perfectly—a plain black T-shirt, and my old-school Vans.
I brush through my hair, which is mostly straight except for the odd wave, and brush my teeth before putting on some light makeup.
I skip downstairs, excited for adventure. I greet Mom, grab myself a bowl of cereal, and wolf it down.
“I’m going to head out and take a look around,” I say as I kiss my mom goodbye. “I’ll be back before dinner. Love you, bye!”
Before my mom can even respond, I’m out the door. I have no idea where I want to go, to be honest. I’m just excited to see a bit more of the world.
The good thing about moving packs so often is that I get to see so much of the country. I always enjoy seeing how other packs live.
Some live in extremely built-up cities, some have their community hidden under the mountains in a kind of large, luxury den.
Whereas this pack is out in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by large trees and stunning nature.
These types of packs are by far my favorite. I love to get out and run Raven whenever I get the chance. The dense trees help me avoid being seen by others.
But for now, she would have to wait until I get my bearings.
I decide to explore the town first and look for a part-time job while I’m here. There are a few shops I can ask about.
I start with a small clothing boutique. The lady behind the counter has her hair in a bun. I can see the moment she catches my scent.
Her face distorts from her welcoming smile to a look like she’s sucking on a lemon.
She says she has nothing available while not-so-subtly trying to take down the Apply Within sign from the counter.
I try a couple more shops with no luck—until I come to a corner coffee shop.
It’s cute inside. Leather sofas and armchairs adorn the shop, and one wall is completely covered with rows and rows of books.
I walk up to the counter and notice a man. He’s probably in his late twenties, not bad looking, and has a friendly face.
He has sandy blond hair which is tied up into a top knot. He’s wearing a white T-shirt and baggy jeans with a deep-green apron over the top.
Relief floods me knowing he’s less likely to turn me away because of my scent.
“Hello!” I say, maybe sounding a little too chirpy. “Do you have any weekend work available at the moment?”
The man takes me in and a smile tugs at the corner of his mouth. “As a matter of fact, I do. Do you have any experience?”
“I’ve waited tables before at a small diner in my last pack, and I’ve got good people skills.” I lie about the second part.
“What’s your name, and when can you start?” He smiles.
“I’m Olive. I’d like to start this weekend?”
“Sure thing, Olive! Shop opens at eight. Meet me here at seven forty-five to get ready for opening. Oh! And I’m Danny, the owner, by the way.”
“Thank you so much, Danny! I won’t be late. See you then!” I all but skip out of the shop, pleased with my productive morning.
I decide next on my short list of things to do would be to go and explore the surrounding forest. I take off on a trail. It’s lined with lavender.
I take in deep breaths of the strong scent as I walk.
I’ve probably been walking this trail for around an hour. The birds are singing, and I can hear a woodpecker in the distance.
All of a sudden, I spot something move out of the corner of my eye. It looks like…a person, maybe? I take another look around and see nothing.
I decide to be nosey and head in the direction I saw…whatever that was.
There’s nothing there. But, probably against my better judgment, I come off the trail and keep walking. A few minutes go by when I spot it again.
The object looks almost shimmery and translucent, yet it looks to be human-shaped. It disappears again before my eyes.
There! Raven. Did you see that?
Yeah, I did… Doesn’t smell like a wolf, definitely doesn’t look like one either!
Well, then what could it be? I doubt it’s a human all the way out here, and I can see THROUGH it.
It’s not human. I’m not sure what it is, but I want to find out, she yips excitedly.
Whatever it was it smelled sweet, like…honey, with a hint of something tropical?
Which only intrigues me more. Wolves have strong scents like nature, so this thing definitely isn’t a wolf.
Again, the shimmery figure appears farther up ahead and is gone again before I know it.
I continue to follow the creature farther and farther into the forest, hell-bent on finding out what sort of creature this is.
Eventually, the scent leads to a cave, which reeks of bat feces. I can hear water dripping from the stalactites. I follow the scent farther into the cave.
It gets smaller and darker. I have to test my footing after a few too many trips over stalagmites. I partially shift so I can use Raven’s sight to see through the darkness.
My vibrant-green eyes shine through the harsh darkness. I twist and turn through the cave corridors and even crawl through a hole in the cave.
After another few minutes or so, I start to see light coming through.
I follow the light out into the most breathtaking clearing. Cherry blossom trees surround a small spring that holds the clearest water I’ve ever seen.
The grass is littered with bluebells and other wildflowers. The sun rays are shining down directly onto the lake. It looks magical.
I think I may have just found my new favorite place. I sit on the grass and lie back, basking in the warmth of the sun on my skin, almost completely forgetting about the creature I was trailing.
I start to relax and close my eyes. I can feel myself starting to drift to sleep, lulled by the warmth of the sunshine, the birds chirping in the trees, and the gentle sounds of the spring water.
All of a sudden, I sit upright, ears twitching. I hear some rustling and leaves crunching coming from my right.
I look over to see the strange shimmery shape emerging from the trees. As the object gets closer, it becomes less translucent.
Before I know it, a beautiful young girl, probably about my age, steps into view. Her skin is pale but it has a healthy glow to it.
Her platinum hair is long and flowy. She has beautiful, almost angelic features. Her eyes are a captivating lilac color. She wears a long, flowing white gown and her feet are bare.
I sniff the air. Honey with tropical undertones.
She is what we saw in the forest. What is she? Raven asks.
I have no idea, but I’ve never smelled anything like her before. Maybe she’s Fae?
“How did you find me?” she asks in a sweet, calm voice.
“I, er…followed you and your scent?”
“My scent? How? What are you?” She takes a cautious step forward, eyes curious.
I feel like I should feel uneasy, but something in my bones tells me that she means me no harm. She looks too sweet to harm a fly, let alone me.
“I’m a werewolf,” I reply.
She shakes her head and smiles slightly. “No, silly! You’re much more than that!” She giggles.
I’m taken aback by her statement. “Wh-what do you mean?”
“Werewolves cannot scent my kind. We have lived out here for hundreds of years without a single itty bitty wolf finding us. Yet here you are,” she chirps.
“And what exactly are you?” I ask.
She takes another step forward and smiles. She closes her eyes and looks up to the sky with her arms slightly out, palms facing up.
Her platinum hair changes into luscious leaves, a flower crown forms on her head. Her ears grow into points, almost leaf-shaped, and her skin transforms into a pale green color.
Goosebumps prickle to life on my skin. My eyes grow wide as nerves and excitement flood me. I don’t understand…
I haven’t heard of anyone seeing her kind in over two hundred years. Why can I see her when they’ve remained hidden for so long? We thought they had all but gone extinct.
Raven…are you seeing this?
Uhhhhhhhhhh… Even Raven is speechless, and that’s saying something.
Finally, I find my voice. “You’re a-a...a nymph.”
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