Addie took a deep breath in as tongue darted across chapped lips. Eyes felt like sandpaper. She hadn’t slept in what seemed like weeks. Pads of trembling fingers danced over each bead of the Rosary she held in her hand as she rocked back and forth attempting to gain some sense of composure. A soft rap of a knock came at the door, low growl building in the base of her throat “DIJE SALGA!!!” she shouted to her Father before heaving a wooden chair towards it. The chair splintered upon impact, sending fragments of it along the floor, knocking over the vanity mirror. “Adelina… she wouldn’t have wanted this for you… I’ve.. I’m trying here. It’s time. The pack is outside. Now gather yourself, please. If not for me….. at least for her.” Addie bit back the venomous remark of ‘She wouldn’t have wanted death either, but here we are.’ but thought better of it. The hurt that laced her Father’s voice was yet another dagger to her already fractured heart. She could hear him crying himself to sleep the last few nights after coming back after his late night runs with the pack.
Addie listened to the fading footsteps before closing her eyes, teeth gnawing on the inside of her cheek to hold back the silent cries within. If they hadn’t had that fight in Seattle beforehand, would things have turned out any differently? It was a thought that had plagued her since that rainy night. And now, she was about to put her own Madre six feet in the ground. With a pack of people she had barely gotten the chance to know. All because of a secret that her family thought best to keep from her. One of which only came about because of the blood on her hands. Her Mother’s blood at that. Addie toyed with the Rosary again, trying to see how her Mother clasped to it after a world was so cruel, it had a dark chuckle rise from her.
After righting herself as much as she could muster, Addie made her way to the rest of the pack. There were many faces she didn’t recognize nor did she particularly care to get to know them. All eyes seemed to zero on her as she walked by, or could have been that her Father was by her side. “Do they always stare like that?” Addie whispered, more so in annoyance than anything else. Her Father gave a gentle squeeze to her hand and nodded. “Comes with being the Alpha. That and they seemed to be more worried of the newly transformed. You're the first that has been in in quite some time. From an Alpha that is.” She shook her head with nearly a scoff. “Great. The new kid at a funeral. Just put a Dunce cap on me and all will be dandy. Besides, they should be here paying respects for the dead, not eyeballing me like I am some kind of prized pony show getting a blue ribbon!” The Latina’s voice rose several octaves as she stood up and faced the crowd now, waving her arms about. “Ella era una buena mujer!! ¡¡Muestra algo de respeto!!” she spat towards them, russet hues had turned golden in her tirade as a few gasps could be heard throughout the onlookers. Even the Preacher now standing behind Addie cleared his throat. “Shall I begin?” Addie deflated, blinking several times before looking to her Padre who peered at her with concern. “Sorry, Father Leon. Yes, we are ready.”
Three Months Later
“No, you haven’t been keeping up to your end of the deal!! I have no idea what she’s doing!! Her temper is getting out of control!! We talked about this. You said you would keep tabs on her. You said you would keep her safe. What aren’t you telling me? Her fiance is even in the dark. Do you know she put one of my men in traction last week?! What use are you if you just hide in the shadows!?” Obviously it was a conversion that wasn’t meant for her ears. She would give the old man props for trying. Running water? Check. Music playing in the background? Check. Even had the police scanner going for good measure. But Addie knew that her Padre had the police force in his back pocket. After all, he was the captain. She knew his goon squad would be watching her moves, attempting to protect her. It’s why she bobbed when they weaved. Poor Hernandez though, he really didn’t deserve the way she pummeled him last week. Then again, he did tell her to let loose. In reality she was just getting started. If her Father hadn’t stepped in when he did… well, Henandez may be on permanent desk duty. At least now he would still be able to have kids someday.
Her shifting had come with such ease the passing months. Tended to happen when one did so night after night. Anger fueled her. Hatred towards everything around her to the point anything and everything that she saw around her was red. But there was an echo of a voice that scratched at the back of her mind. Always. It seemed to be etched in the very core of her, no matter where she where went. ‘Be that wolf of a woman you were always meant to be, mija.” That one voice gave her reason to what she did when dusk settled in. When the sun kissed the horizon, Addie roamed the streets where most pretty faces didn’t dare. Darky, dank alleyways. Hell, she had even gone as far to take her Father’s keys to the filing cabinets in the office, going through old cases. Perps in her eyes were scumbags of the world. At times they were the ones that took her Father away from holidays, dinners, vacations. Not to mention the other families they destroyed along the way. Victims at home wondering one minute to the next if they would find peace. All the while, police tried their damnedest sure. But there was this thing called protocol. Due justice.
“Nah. No time for that.” A modern day vigilante? Perhaps. It sated several needs at once. It helped Addie release the rage in which she felt, directing it all towards a being that deserved it, right?
Converse clad feet carried her between two buildings. The smell of week old trash reeked from the dumpster making her crinkle her nose in disgust. “Get away from me!! Someone help, please!!” Addie’s dark eyes peered down the ally, smoke billowed from the grate several yards away as four silhouettes formed in the distance. Three much broader in stature than the fourth. “C’mon lil lady. Don’t cha wanna have a lil fun? We’ll make ya feel reallllll nice…” Addie rolled her eyes before placed thumb and middle finger in her mouth giving a loud, echoing whistle. The Latina stood all of 5’2 as she walked through the pillar of smoke with a sickly sweet smile. “Mind if I join? I could add a little…. Spice to ya life, ya know? Algo al sur de la frontera?” she batted her lashes.
“Babygirl, I don’t know what you just said, but I’m definitely willing to take a sample.” Cueball spoke up doing what only could be his best impression of a housefly could be.
“Eres tan simple” Addie grinned, lapping up the ignorance of the men before her.
“Keep talking like that and you just might become my next baby mama.” Mr. Grillz piped in.
“Aye, Lamentablemente, no hay niños en tu futuro.” a mock pout tugged at her lips. All the while the female hunkered in the corner couldn’t help but look awestruck. “¿Tu hablas español?” Addie’s eyes peer over to the female in question as she nodded slowly. “No llames a la policía. Vete a casa. Mantenerse a salvo. Si?” The female looked as if she were about to argue, but Addie’s hues flashed from russet to golden “Si?” with a gulp “...Lobo…” she whispered before giving a quick nod.
With the men distracted by Addie, the other woman beelined towards the street. “HEY!!! Where do you… awww man… we coulda had two of them.” Flannel Man started his temper tantrum. “Shame, really. Now all you have is lil ol me, right?” taps her cheek innocently before taking a step back. “What ever is a small woman like me going to do with three big guys?” mock horror washes over her features. The trio laughed as they grabbed at their crotches. Addie no longer able to keep up the facade, broke out into laughter. “Seriously? You have to corner a female to get your d*ck wet? How pathetic are you? Truly. Should women be honored? See, guys like you aren’t the only monsters going bump in the night….” it was a slow build up. Cueball was circling her like a shark in blood infested waters. Little did he know, she was the shark in this scenario. Mr. Flannel had towered over her with a sh*t eating on his face, his hand attempting to enclose around her neck. She tsked at him with a shake of her head. “I wouldn’t do that.” he bent down close enough to where she could smell the rancid breath of tooth decay and stale alcohol on his breath before fingers closed around her throat. “Oh yea little lamb, and just what are you going to do?” A rumble of a growl built in the base of her throat as eyes closed. Hands wrapped around Mr. Flannel’s wrist before twisting towards his thumb, hearing at least seven bones snap in his arm. When eyes opened, gold hues shone brightly. “Just a little advice. When a woman says no, it means… NO!” By the dim light in the alleyway, Addie’s petite form shifted to wolf. Screams of the men echoed off the walls only to be drowned out by the likes of the city.
Addie had hidden clothes in a tree not from the pond that was on the land of her home. The light in her Padre’s window was off as she moved in wolf form to the water, to the deeper end. Crimson tinged the ripples as they waved around her when she surfaced, brushing ravenous locks from her face. She had been gone nearly five months this time. Surprised that her Pa hadn’t sent out a firing squad to find her. But then again, there was probably some freaky link with him being the Alpha. She still hadn’t quite grasped all that it entailed. Dressing before the sun came up, she entered the kitchen to the smell of coffee brewing and bacon wafting in the air. Why was there a sudden ping of guilt that had washed over her?
“Sit!” her Father’s voice boomed from the living room as he came in, arms full of newspapers. Addie picked up a mug of coffee and began to go to her room, ignoring his request altogether. “I SAID SIT DOWN ADELINA CELICA LOPEZ! So help me, I have been cleaning up your messes for months now.” he began to slam down paper after paper ‘Two slain in animal attack. Cocaine bust found in warehouse.’ ‘Man found in gruesome animal attack. Children recovered in basement returned to family safely.’ ‘Couple hitchhiking found dead by animal attack part of bank robbery last July.’ ‘Three men brutally killed in an animal attack in alleyway.’ ‘Blackmarket arms dealer found dead by animal attack, arsenal turned in to P.D anonymously.’ ‘Modern Day Vigilante on the loose?’ “This is all you, isn’t it?! Do you have the slightest inkling the sh*t I have had to pull to get this sh*t covered up? What are you thinking Addie?!”
“I’m doing what you haven’t!! You let these fools run free! When you have all this power. For what? When you catch them all they are going to do is sit in a cell and rot? You hide behind that badge and call it justice!” Her Father rounded the table and gripped her by the shoulders, hoisting her up. “No! We do it the right way. You know this. What is fueling you right now has been your anger, and for that, I’m to blame because I didn’t teach you better. That changes. Today. So stop your bullsh*t, mija. Because this... “ points to the papers on the table. “You know damned well this is not the life she wanted for you. You Ma wouldn’t know this person right now. Because I don’t.” Color had drained from her face hearing those words. “You take that back… You don’t mean that Papa… You take it back right now.” she barreled to him. Hands bawled into fists as she pounded his chest like a drum. “Take it back… you don’t mean it!!” she screamed. “Hit me all you want Addie. You are not the woman we raised right now.” Tears sprang to her eyes as all her strength was put behind her hitting her Father, he still remained immovable. Russets turned to golden as she growled, pushing at his chest. “Take it back…” she cried, nearly a blubbering mess now. he stood still, his own eyes reflecting his, stoic as ever. “Bring back my Addie.” The Shewolf soon had worn herself out, in the pounding, yet not shifting in her Father’s presence. “We will go about this the right way. Showing you properly.” she was far too weak now to argue, but knew all too well he had a point.