“When you decide to have sex,” he mumbles, “your wolf will be desperate to come out, if you’re with a human the consequences could be deadly. You could shift and then savage their throat; turn them, or accidently rape them.”
A few weeks passed before I got up the nerve to have the ‘wolf’ talk with Draven. I still wasn’t comfortable around my dad and I didn’t want to insult Uncle Gage sure he’s known me the longest, but I felt awkward just the same.
Draven and I have had a unique connection from the first moment we met. I’m not certain what it is or why, but it’s special.
Coming down the hall I tapped on his bedroom door.
He was at his computer, headphones on listening to music.
“Um, Draven c-can I talk to you?”
Apparently my serious face made him nervous because he shut down everything.
Taking a seat on his bed he reclined against the head board.
“Sure, what’s up?”
“Promise not to get mad.”
He gave me a searching look then a tentative smile and nodded. “Yeah, shoot.”
“I-I want to know about the wolf stuff. I uh only saw that one time and we really didn’t talk about it cause you and dad were in the hospital and we were so scared and I guess I kind of was in shock and didn’t want to think about it but now I am and I don’t know what to think or how to ask and I don’t want to hurt your feelings or anything I just want to understand.”
“Oh ok,” he visibly relaxed, patting a spot next to him on the bed. “What did you want to know?”
“Okaaaay,” he said stretching the word out with a grin. “Well I guess the first thing you need to know is that I’m obviously team Jacob.”
Rolling my eyes I give him a weak punch. “You’re such an ass.”
Grinning he glances down at me. “Yeah I know. So why don’t we narrow down this discussion. First of all we are not were-wolves, we’re wolf shifters.”
The confused look I gave him made him laugh.
“Ok, um there are many different types of shifters in the world, people who can shift into other animals, we have our human form and our animal form. My family’s ability is to shift into the form of a wolf.”
“Are you…do you remember stuff when you’re a wolf or are you just like a normal animal?”
“I’m still me, but with some obvious wolf-like tendencies.”
“Like humping the furniture and peeing on trees,” I asked facetiously.”
He grins, “Yeah, something like that.”
“Do you change with the moon or is that a movie thing?”
“Shifters can change anytime they want. We don’t have to wait.”
“Oh, so you could change right now if you wanted to?”
“Um is your wolf why you can hear my heart beat?”
“Yeah that and my sniffer works exceptionally well. I know your scent and could follow it for miles if I had to.”
“Ewww.” I wrinkled my nose. “Thank God I shower, huh?”
He laughed. “Can’t disagree there.”
“Dillon gave me a two hour piggy back ride the day you were um kid-napped, so I’m guessing strength is part of the deal too?”
“We’re pretty strong and we heal quickly, there are a lot of benefits to being a shifter,” he said leaning forward his legs now crossed.
We were facing each other both sitting Indian style. He’s so easy to talk to that I forgot to be nervous. “Were you born like that?”
Draven nodded, “We all were, I think it was a great or a great great that was turned and started the whole wolf thing in our family.” He was biting his lip obviously trying to remember which ancestor had begun the line of shifters.
“Do you like it?”
“Yeah it’s fun. We own about 2,000 acres three hours east of here and we have a little cabin there. It’s great. Wolves like to run and play, it’s their nature and when we’re in that form it’s an even closer bond, we’re a pack. I don’t know how to explain it, but it feels like we’re closer than family.”
God that sounded great. I had wanted to be a part of a family for so long and now I had them, but not really. Maybe there was a way to be even closer. “C-can you change me?”
Draven jerked a bit in surprise, “Wow, um I don’t know, can’t believe you’d let me though.”
I looked at him offering a nervous laugh, “It was just a thought, but yeah, I mean I trust you,” shrugging I look away.
He studied my face for a second longer seeing the blush he turned away. There’s a gleam in his eyes, perhaps a bit of pride as well at my confession. “So anything else you want to ask?”
I nod sitting up a little straighter. “Are shifters, are they like, like high school?”
Tilting his head he looks at me cross eyed, “What?”
I laugh, he looks so silly then before I can lose my nerve just go for it, “Do you have, cheerleaders, nerds, jocks, bullies, g-gays?”
“Daniel,” he whispered quietly feeling my anxiety, “what do you really want to ask?”
Peeking up at him through my lashes, I mumble, “Will dad kick me out if I find out I’m gay?”
Draven froze for a moment before realizing what I said. “Wait,” he said holding up a hand, “you don’t know if your gay or not?”
I look down at my knees, having suddenly folded myself up hugging my legs to my chest. “No. S-sometimes, I think, but then I remember and then I’m not sure I could do those things.” Tears slid down my cheeks.
Leaning his forehead against mine he stared into my eyes. “Don’t cry Daniel. I’m not mad and dad won’t be either. And yes there are all types of shifters just like in high school.”
“I’m, I’m sorry. I’m being a baby.” Wiping my cheeks with back of my hand I tried to calm down.
“Naw, it’s ok big brother.”
After a few minutes I pull myself together somewhat to ask a few more questions.
“Um do, do shifters marry?” Since Dad and Uncle Gage were both single and had never married I figured this was a valid question.
“Yeah, but we also mate for life, once we find the one.”
“If it’s anything like marriage it’s hit or miss right?”
Shaking his head Draven grins, “No this is an animal instinct that kicks in. According to Dad, when it does happen you crave that person and need to be with them. The connection is so deeply embedded that some can even feel their mate’s emotions when separated.”
“That would definitely make life easier, having an inner alarm alerting you to the love of your life. And knowing that they are having the same feeling is even better, no drama, just sex.”
I giggle setting off Draven.
“Well I’d hope to at least get her name first, but then hell yeah, sex!”
“Can shifters find a mate with a human or do they only find their mate in other shifters?”
Shrugging he smiles. “Don’t know hasn’t happened to anyone that I’ve heard of, but then I don’t really hang out with other shifters besides my family.”
“Oh. Ok.” I change positions, moving to sit next to and eventually leaning on my brother. Closing my eyes sighing in contentment I feel safe and warm. “You make me sleepy.”
I can hear the smile in his voice. “Why is that?”
“You’re always warm, like a blanket.”
I had already started to doze off when I heard him whisper, “It’s ok, go to sleep if you’re tired, I’m just gonna get online unless you still have some more questions.”
“Mmm-nnnn.” Yawning I curl up and drift off.
“Dad have you ever changed a human?”
Caine looked up from his dinner slightly shocked by the question. Glancing momentarily at me he then met Draven’s eyes. “No, I haven’t. Have you?”
His shoulders were tense and expression blank. Damn, his scowl made me cower and he wasn’t even directing it toward me.
Draven blinked then laughed, “Uh no dad. I’m not that stupid. I was just wondering if you knew how it worked?”
Caine sat back in the dining room chair making it creak. He extended his legs and gave my poor brother a lethal look. “Yes, I do and it can be very dangerous that’s why it’s rarely done.”
“Oh.” Drave sat back quietly.
My father stared at each one of us intently, “Anything else while we’re on this subject?”
I shivered a bit having second thoughts, but still asked my question. “Have shifters ever found their mates in other species or humans?”
Leaning forward, elbows on the table he laced his fingers together resting his chin on them. “I’ve heard of such, but haven’t known them personally. Most would probably change their human during mating into a shifter, making it impossible for me to know.”
Dillon blinked in fascination.
Draven frowned before looking up at his dad. “So if I were to turn Daniel you wouldn’t be able to scent that he was born human.”
Dillon’s eyebrows were raised in surprise. As were mine because he had just made me the focus of this conversation.
“I’m fairly certain all I would detect is that he is wolf.” Caine stared deeply into Draven’s eyes. “All of this…,” he waved his hand in the air, “this conversation, it’s just curiosity right?”
Draven rolled his eyes, “Yes dad. Me and Daniel were discussing it and it got me to thinking and wondering. I’d never thought to ask about it before.”
The look on dad’s face was priceless, it never occurred to him to have more than just the birds and bees talk I guess. “That brings up a very important subject that you both need to know about.”
Dillon and Draven lean forward curiously.
“When you decide to have sex,” he mumbles his face turning pink at the thought, “your wolf will be desperate to come out, if you’re with a human the consequences could be deadly. You could shift and then savage their throat; turn them, or accidently rape them.”
“Oh my God.” Draven’s face was white as a sheet. Mine was no doubt green and queasy looking.
Dillon looked confused, “Um how exactly do you accidently rape someone?”
“Maybe that wasn’t the right way to put it but basically if you do not control your beast he will be the one making the decisions that night, in other words seriously rough sex. If you’re with other shifters this is nothing new, but if it’s with a human virgin or not, well, it can be painful and terrifying.”
Dillon frowned, he hoped he lost his virginity to a female shifter thinking that he never wanted to have the added pressure of trying to keep his wolf at bay.
Draven bit his lip then looked at me and gasped. Tears were streaming down my face as I sat there shaking.
My father turned toward me just as Draven jumped up and came around to my side of the table.