Chapter 2: PROLOGUE PART 2
lt;pgt;Stanton stood over the graves of his parents. They had both been killed by hunters. Last year Stanton
and his folks had moved to Feral from Montana when they heard rumour of a sanctuary for people like
them. Stanton was a Lycanthrope, or as the Hollywood and humans called them, a werewolf. When
they arrived in Aspen last year, it didn’t take long for them to learn where Feral was. It wasn’t really a
small town outside of Aspen. The population was barely more than fifty. They had only a few public
buildings and then a handful of residences. Stanton and his parents had been pleased when they
learned that every resident in Feral was a Lycan just like them. Feral wasn’t a town… it was a Lycan
pack. The first and largest in over four hundred years. It quickly became a home.
lt;pgt;Only they were not the only ones to have heard about the uniqueness of the people that called feral
home. Just last week, they were attacked by a three-man team of hunters, humans that knew what
they were and were trained to kill people like them. They had failed to wipe out the pack. The pack was
just too big for a three-man team, and hunters did not typically travel in large numbers. That was their
mistake. The pack killed them, but not before the hunters managed to kill five of their pack members.
Two of which had been Stanton’s parents.
lt;pgt;So now Stanton was fourteen and orphaned, but he wasn’t alone in the world. Standing next to him
was Gordon Wilder, the pack leader, the Alpha. He was an intimidating man in his thirties. Then again,
most Alphas were intimidating. They were a whole different breed of wolf than the rest of them. Stanton
was only an adulterant, but he was a known Bata. Most Lycans demonstrated traits from birth that
placed them in the wolf hierarchy. Most wolves were Omegas, while some were Bata’s, and even fewer
were Alpha. No one designated anyone as one or the other they just sensed it. It was a sixth sense that
prevented rivalries and fighting over the chain of command.
lt;pgt;As some of the Omegas began to shovel dirt into the graves located in the small but growing graveyard
just south of Feral, Gordon put his hand supportively on Stanton’s shoulder. “I’m alone in the world,”lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;Stanton said sadly.
lt;pgt;“You are orphaned,” Gordon corrected him, “but you are not alone in this world. Gordon turned to face
Stanton. “At some point, we all end up orphaned.”
lt;pgt;Stanton knew this to be true. Most Lycan parents never lived to see their children grown. Most of them
died protecting their cubs. In all honesty, Stanton knew they were not immortal. They could be killed,
granted. It wasn’t easy to kill a Lycan, but it could be done. Stanton had no idea how long they lived if
left to nature. None of them did. The sad fact of the matter was no Lycan had ever died of natural
causes. He wasn’t sure what their life expectancy was. But at the age of thirty-four, Gordon was one of
the oldest Lycans to be walking the earth, and he had only lived this long because of the pack. They
protected each other.
lt;pgt;“You are part of the pack,” Gordon told him. “We protect each other. We provide for each other. We
may not be blood, but we are family, and you… will never be alone.”
lt;pgt;Las Vegas, Nevada, nine years later…
lt;pgt;Aurora stepped off the bus at the bus station. She looked around at all the bright lights of Las Vegas.
There was a feeling of excitement in the air. Aurora was only fourteen, and this was the fifth time she
had run away from the orphanage. She had gotten to the age where she was too old for anyone to
want to adopt her, so she was, like the other kids her age, was just waiting to age out of the system.
Only Aurora was like other kids. She was very different. She had something inside her, something evil.
Something that she could not control. Something even she didn’t understand. When she got angry, a
monster took over.
lt;pgt;The other kids feared her, so she had no friends, parents thought her weird, so no one wanted to adopt
her, and the nuns thought she was possessed by a demon, and after four exorcisms, they had failed tolt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;cast the devil out of her. Each exorcism had been long and brutal, and she had barely survived the last
one. So, she had decided to run away again. Only the cops kept bringing her back. So, this time, she
stole money from the charity plate and skipped town. She bought a bus ticket to a busy city and hoped
to disappear. In all truth, she doubted very much the nuns or the Seattle PD would try too hard to find
lt;pgt;Aurora spent the next three days wandering the streets of Las Vegas. She was penniless and hungry. It
was winter, and even though there was no snow, it was raining, and she was freezing. She would sleep
under some dirty cardboard she found in an alley. She settled in behind a dumpster and tried to get
some rest, but sleep did not come easy.
lt;pgt;After a few days without food, Aurora sat at a bus stop watching the prostitutes across the street
walking the block and trying to get some business. Aurora was starving and cold and dirty. She would
go for some food, a hot shower, and a bed to sleep in, if even for just an hour. Suddenly a crappy little
car pulled up to the bench she was sitting on. The middle-aged driver rolled down his window and
leaned over the seat, looking at her. “Hey,” he called to her, “how much?”
lt;pgt;Aurora didn’t know what to say. This man thought she was one of the prostitutes working the block.
She couldn’t do that… could she? Then again, it would get her indoors for a little while, and the money
he would give her would buy her something to eat. Aurora bit her bottom lip thoughtfully, and then she
stood up and walked over to the car. She placed her hand on the roof and leaned into the window. “$50
for an hour. But you have to pay for the motel room.”
lt;pgt;The man smiled. “Alright, little lady, get in,” Aurora reluctantly got in the car. The man took her to a
nearby motel, and she waited in the car well he paid for the room. Once inside the room, he was all
over her. Aurora hated every moment of it, and when it was over, he got dressed and tossed a fifty-
dollar bill on the bed at her feet, then left. Aurora grabbed the money and stuffed it in her jeans pocket.lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;She then went into the bathroom and showered under a steady stream of scolding water, trying to wash
away the events of the night. When she was washed, she went out to the vending machine a few suites
over and bought an armful of food and then returned to the room. Since it was paid for, she decided to
spend the night. She gorged on junk food and watched Tv, then she slept in the bed and come
morning, she was back on the streets.
lt;pgt;Stanton shook hands with the foremen of the road construction crew that had been tearing up the
highway for the last six months. He needed a job after being fired from his last for telling the foreman
off. But the dumbass had walked right in behind Stanton’s cement truck when he was backing up.
Stanton had almost hit him, but he had stepped on the breaks quickly, narrowly missing a fatal
accident. Now for most people, the foreman might have just lectured him and written him up, but when
Stanton got out of his truck to confront the man and had lost his temper and started yelling, the man
had taken it as a personal attack. He claimed that Stanton was threatening him.
lt;pgt;He had not actually threatened the man, but at the tender age of twenty-three, Stanton had grown into
a very large and intimidating figure. He stood nearly 6’7” and was three-hundred-fifty pounds of solid
muscle. His short copper hair was shabby and tussled from being under his hardhat, and his square
chiselled jaw was shadowed by short stubble he had been too lazy to shave daily. His huge hands
were rough and calloused. He had the same amber eyes all Lycan’s had. By conventional standards,
Stanton was one big ugly man. Females were far from knocking down his door. He never smiled, and
people found him unapproachable and unfriendly. His voice was deep, and when he yelled, it boomed,
and people jumped.lt;/pgt;
lt;pgt;Stanton never smiled because when he did, he gave off a serial killer vibe. People feared him. They
believe he probably had severed heads in his fridge and wore other people’s skin instead of PJ’s when
he went to bed at night. Needless to say, his people skills were less than desirable, and with the
exception of having to deal with people so that he could work and contribute to the pack, Stanton had
no social life outside the Feral. His only friends in the world were other members of the pack, and he
liked that way.
lt;pgt;But since he yelled and his appearance was frightening, to say the least, the boss had claimed Stanton
attacked him but really, all he had done was raise his voice. So here he was looking for a new job. He
simply walked up to the foreman on this crew while they were working. He introduced himself and said.
“You need me,” he didn’t ask if they had a position available or if they were hiring. He simply told the
man that he needed Stanton and that he would show up for his first shift the following morning. His
confidence had impressed the foreman, and he was hired. He was hired as their new backhoe
operator, and he started at 5:00 am tomorrow morning. Now Stanton had never worked a backhoe, but
he would learn. lt;/pgt;