I glanced around my pack’s homes and let a smile of contentment stretch across my face. My people were happy and more importantly, healthy. Their laughter and conversation filled the streets.
I was proud of what we’d accomplished here. All we’d managed to survive since the world had gone dark and all the humans had died.
“Time to go?” Timmy, one of my Betas, asked as he sidled up next to me. The energy bouncing off him was both excited and happy.
We hadn’t been out hunting for a month, and as a wolf shifter who needed to shift and run, Timmy was as excited as I was to be getting outside today.
I lifted my chin and gestured towards the town. “Just waiting on Allen and Frank, then we can go.”
Timmy nodded and joined me in leaning against the outer perimeter fence.
“I can’t wait to stretch my legs again.” I said, twisting my neck until it crackled and popped. “It’s been too long.”
Timmy nodded. “Yeah, I know. It’s a pity we can’t go out more often.”
I grunted in acknowledgment, but didn’t say anything. They all knew why we couldn’t leave the safety of our homes too often, and I wasn’t about to lecture the young Beta once again.
Despite the fact that we were powerful wolf shifters, there were feral, dangerous creatures outside these walls. A vampire bite was deadly to a shifter when in wolf form.
Luckily most of my pack had never even seen a vampire, much less gotten into a fight with one.
“Here they are.”
I practically sighed with relief when Allen and Frank, another two of my Betas walked toward us. My wolf was anxiously pacing inside my mind, ready for the time when he was the one in control.
Frank pulled a cart along behind him that we could use to transport the bounty of our hunt.
“Great. Let’s go.”
I reached for the large handle and pulled on the strong levers that held tight our front gates.
The metal pulleys clanked and groaned as the huge metal door rolled open.
I took a deep inhalation of cool air, the beautiful expanse of countryside opening up before me.
“It’s great to have that door open.” Allen said as he stepped up next to me. He was a few inches shorter so his shoulder, when pressed against me, touched mid bicep.
“I know.” I agreed, as my wolf growled inside of me.
We forged forward, using the old, worn path amongst the thick trees and overgrown shrubs.
The sun was shining on us, the warmth on my skin making me ache to be in wolf form.
The vampires were asleep and I couldn’t sense any other shifters in the area. We’d need to split up if we had any hope of finding enough food for the entire pack.
“Let’s set up at the base of the hill, shift, and run. We can hunt in pairs today.”
I led my men down the path and eventually found the spot we always made our central point.
It had an old, rusted park bench and was cleared for ages all around. For safety, we could see in every direction, eliminating any chance of a surprise attack.
“Remember the last time we were here, and we had to deal with that bear?” Allen asked as he stripped off his clothes and rolled his shoulders in anticipation of the shift.
“Yeah, I still reckon we should have caught him and eaten him.” I said, smiling at my Beta, who had been terrified by the wild animal.
It was so rare to find large animals to hunt now. The need for blood for the vampires, and meat for every other shifter, had decimated the supply.
But spreading out further for more meat was not worth dying for.
“All right. Allen and Frank, you head north, Timmy and I will go south. Stay together and kill anything you need to.”
Allen and Frank nodded, a soft growl rolling through them as they both dropped to their knees and shifted into large, brown wolves.
They headed off and Timmy, the young one, turned to me.
“Alpha, why can’t we go out further? I mean, wouldn’t we have a better chance of catching more meat if we could travel more distance?”
I put a hand on Timmy’s shoulder. “We probably would find more meat if we traveled further away from the pack, but that’s not the question. The question is, what else would we find? Another pack of wolves? Cheetahs or lion shifters? You’ve never seen a vampire in hunting mode, have you Timmy?”
Timmy shook his head rapidly.
“Well, I have, and I can tell you, nothing’s more terrifying than a ravenous vamp whose bite is lethal to a shifter in wolf form.”
Timmy’s gaze dropped and I reached for my own worn shirt.
“It’s better than we have less food, but we’re safe Timmy. Trust me.”
I hated being the party pooper all the time, but my father had entrusted me with the safety of the pack. And that wasn’t a responsibility that I took lightly.
His head popped up. “I do, Alpha. I didn’t mean any disrespect.”
I winked at him and dropped my blue jeans and shirt onto the park bench beside me.
“I know. Now, stick close by me and if I throw you some food, just carry it with you until I lead us back here, okay?”
Poor thing would probably gobble up the first rabbit I threw at him, and I wouldn’t blame him. It had been weeks since I’d tasted any fresh protein, though the preserved jerky and vegetables we ate kept us strong.
“Okay.” Timmy put his own clothes on the table next to mine.
He was a good kid, and his father had been a close friend of mine. But Timmy had a rebellious streak in him that reminded me far too much of myself at his age.
And that didn’t bode well for his safety in this new world.
I exhaled and dropped to the ground, letting the magic of my ancestors flow through me.
A loud rumble rolled through my chest and the howl in my mind grew in volume as my large, black wolf sprung forth.
Fur sprouted from my skin as my muscles and bones began to contort.
Pain shot through my spine as I extended my head and let out a howl as the transformation was completed.
It had been a month since my last shift, and it was always painful.
I panted, waiting for the tingles of fire to recede.
As shifters, we weren’t meant to stay in our human forms for so long. But I couldn’t open the gates more often that I already did.
Perhaps I should encourage everyone to shift inside the compound more often?
Food for thought later.
Timmy whimpered beside me, a small brown wolf staggering sideways as he became accustomed to his shifter body once again.
I tilted my head and began running through the woods. Trees dashed by my face, the cold earth firm beneath my paws.
So many amazing sights and smells. I’d really missed it.
There was a scatter and movement up ahead and I charged forward, sensing a small rabbit and diving into the bushes to grab it.
I sunk my teeth into its neck and tore sideways, killing it quickly.
The blood ran over my jaws and I licked it away.
We hadn’t eaten meat in a week, and though my belly screamed for more, I threw it towards Timmy.
He picked it up by the ear in his mouth, a somewhat disgusted look on his wolf face.
If I could have laughed, I would have.
At least he wasn’t tempted to eat it as I’d first expected.
I set off running again and this time sensed a larger animal. A deer, maybe.
Near the water.
I turned east and kept running, my blood pumping harder in my veins as we got closer. There were tingles all over my body and my cock ached with need.
What were these curious feelings of lust pulsing through me?
I shook off my confusion and slowed my pace. I kept low, hiding behind some bushes and creeping up on my prey.
I stopped. Shock rippling through me.
There, by the water wasn’t a deer as expected, but a young male, his dark hair cut short against his lean face.
He was alone, and disheveled. His clothes looked and smelled like he’d slept in them for a month.
The boy… the very beautiful boy, knelt by the river and cupped his hands, scooping some of the clear water up into his mouth.
His groan of relief made my cock pulse, and if I was surprised by my earlier lustful feelings, I wasn’t anymore.
This was who I was attracted to, and my relief was keen.
At least I wasn’t suddenly getting aroused by the hunt.
I let go of my wolf, though he clung tight to stay, howling at me to grab this young male and hold on forever.
I shook off the feeling of mateship, confused by my attraction to this young male. This stranger.
I generally preferred females for sexual activities, though my pack would accept any mate I chose. Male or female.
“Stay here.” I whispered to Timmy, not sure if this stranger would be dangerous or not.
Yeah, keep telling yourself that. You just want this guy to yourself.
The young male’s head came up and he jumped to his feet, looking around for whatever about me had spooked him.
What sort of creature are you?
“Don’t be afraid.” I said softly, stepping out of the bushes towards him. Had he heard me when I’d spoken to Timmy? His hearing must be heightened considerably.
Yet he looked human. But that was impossible.
The young man whirled and took one look at me, his bright gaze clashing with mine for a split second before he bolted away like a frightened rabbit.
My wolf leapt inside me, riveted by the chase. But I held him down and refused to shift, though I raced after the young boy in my human form.
He was too irresistible to resist.
He darted through the trees with great speed, and my heart pounded in excitement as I went after him.
He took a wrong step around a large tree, caught his foot on a swollen root and tumbled to the ground.
I grabbed hold of his thin arms and yanked him to his feet, his bright blue eyes catching my attention as he gasped and heaved in breath.
“I’m not going to hurt you. Please stop running.”
I was struggling to breathe myself and as the boy in my arms began to relax, we both became aware of my erection, which now pushed against his belly.
These were the moments that shifting, and being naked, were quite inconvenient.
Heat rose in my cheeks as I tried to dismiss my reaction, which was very unusual for me. Being thirty-five this year meant my body usually was more restrained.
“Sorry about that. Now, I’m going to let go, but you can’t run. My wolf will just force me to chase you again.”
The young boy swallowed hard and I could see the fear in his eyes. He wanted to flee. But he didn’t move as I released my hold on his thin shoulders.
“You’re a wolf shifter?” He asked quietly, his voice a strange timbre I hadn’t heard before. He had a slight southern accent too.
“Yes. And what are you?” I took a deep sniff of his scent, but couldn’t detect anything distinct. “You can’t possibly be a human, they’ve all died off.”
“Um… I’m not a shifter…” The young boy stammered, then stopped and swallowed hard again.His delicate Adam’s apple bobbing up and down in his throat.
I took a step back and looked him up and down, from his torn sneakers to his disheveled hair. “You’re not a vampire, obviously,” I gestured to the sun above our heads. “Then what are you?”
The boy’s smile was beautiful when it arrived. It began as a little twitch of his lips, a slight twinkle in his blue eyes. Then it spread across his face, transforming him into one of the most beautiful creatures I’d ever seen.
I fell back a step, my gut hollowing out as though I’d been sucker-punched.
“It’s so strange that you don’t know what I am. You’re an Alpha after all, aren’t you?”
He gestured to my still erect body and I nodded. My height and general body size were generally a giveaway for my rank, but he seemed to be indicating more to my arousal.
Though what did that have to do with me being an Alpha, unless he was…
“You’re an Omega.” I breathed, letting my gaze roam over his body in a delicious way that made my balls throb.
He bit his lip and I wanted to sink my teeth into his mouth.
“Yes. So, you do know what I am.”
“I do.” And that was why my cock was behaving so badly.
As though he could read my mind, the Omega’s gaze dropped to my groin, redness staining his face when he glanced back up at me.
“So, this is a pretty normal response then?” I asked, gesturing to my straining, thick cock.
He glanced away. “Ah, yeah. Kind of. For an Alpha, especially.”
“Have you met many of us?” I asked, surprised. I didn’t think there’d be many Alphas left, but then again, what would I know of the world as it was now?
I tried my best to keep my pack and town running smoothly, and kept out all the other crap.
“Ah yeah…a few…” The kid looked down again and this time I noticed the angry slash that pulled at his mouth.
There was a story there, but probably not the time to ask yet.
I couldn’t leave him here, but taking him back to the pack may put us in danger.
Or was it more dangerous to leave him out here where he may tell someone about us?
I let my gaze wander once again over his fine face and lean body and my decision-making abilities moved south.
“I think you need to come back to the pack with me. You need some food by the looks of you.”
The kid’s head came up and his eyes grew wide with fear.
“Where are you going to take me?”
I frowned at him. He sounded strangely terrified, and I certainly meant him no harm. Quite the opposite.
“Don’t be scared. I have a pack, hidden in the hills. We’ve survived pretty well since the virus hit so you’ll be safe and fed with us. Plus, I can’t have you running off and telling anyone we’re here, so I think you should come back with us.”
His foot shifted so that the toe now pointed outwards, a clear sign he wanted to run.
I sighed. “Hey, look. I told you, don’t run. Let’s start at the beginning. I’m Erik.” I held out my hand to him and waited. This was how people used to introduce themselves.
Hopefully this guy was old enough to remember that.
The Omega glanced at my fingers and down to my still-hard cock, then back up to my eyes.
“I’m Corey. And you’re still naked.”
A laugh bubbled in my throat. The first, for a very long time.
I let out a long breath. I had the strangest feeling of happiness flowing over me as I stood here in the woods with this beautiful young man.
“Okay, Corey, well, I’ll introduce you to one of my Betas, and then we’re all going to walk back to the meeting spot. You can’t shift, can you?”
He shook his head rapidly, his fear a palpable cloud around him.
“Just hang tight, okay?”
I reluctantly glanced away from the Omega, half expecting him to run for the hills the moment my back was turned.
I raised my hand and waved to Timmy. “Come over.”
Timmy’s head popped up out of the bushes and I turned back to the Omega, strangely relieved to see him still standing there.
As Timmy walked over, Corey took a quick step closer to me and a part of my wolfie personality puffed up with pride.
Timmy was twenty-one and as I looked at them side by side, I realised the Omega was a little older than Timmy probably. Which was good. I didn’t want to be lusting after some teenager.
“Timmy, meet Corey.”
Timmy grinned at the Omega, his bubbly personality shining through in his smile. “How’s it hangin’?” Then he burst into a round of giggles.
I rolled my eyes but when I looked at the Omega, he seemed to be more relaxed.
“Ah, I’m the only one clothed, so yeah―it’s hanging fine, thanks.” Corey replied.
“What are we doing then, Alpha?” Timmy asked me.
“We’re taking Corey back with us. We can’t leave him out here for some vampire to find.”
“You shifting?” Timmy asked him and I gave Corey a smile.
Timmy couldn’t tell what he was. As a Beta, the Omegas were a weird thing.
“No, Corey can’t shift.”
Timmy looked up at me with a confused, frowny face.
“He’s an Omega.”