“Fynn has betrayed us,” Kayne actually tries this.
“Fynn?” Anderson turns to me. I see shock in his eyes. Confusion.
“Don’t tell me you really buy this shit?” I use all my strength to spit out these words, and the pain is worth it. Anderson knows me. “Chief is Kayne.”
“Kayne?” Anderson cries. “But, he’s dead.”
“I’m very much alive,” Kayne corrects him. “And you two have been fucking up my plan for far too long. I finally got Hugo, but you had to interfere and almost ruin everything.”
“What have you done to him?” Anderson shouts. “Where is he?”
“He’s where you’ll never find him,” Kayne replies, with a wicked gleam in his eyes. “And, I’ll leave it to your imagination to find out if I left him there alive or dead.”
“Oh, no!” Maddie shouts, her hands flying to her face. “My poor dad!”
Everything is out in the open now. This is the reason why we are all here. But, this time, we are going to put an end to it, once and for all.
“Only two shifters will be leaving the Boon tonight,” I tell them.
Anderson rushes over to my side, our bodies shielding Maddie. She hides away in the corner. At least, she will be safe there. Until we’re done with this scum.
“Bring it on,” Sven bares his teeth at us.
I feel it coming on. The pain will be unbearable. It is a death and birth all in one. A rebirth, every single time. I’ve done it only a handful of times in my life. Only when I was forced to. This time, no one is forcing me. It is my choice. My wish. And I know Anderson feels the same.
It’s coming. It’s almost here. It’ll tear me apart, before it puts me back together again, but this time, it’ll be worth it.
I’m cowering in the corner at what is to happen before me. Not in a million years did I think I’d ever witness something like this. I watch as the two men before me are about to fight their enemies. Our enemies. The knife in my hand shakes. I can’t steady it. I doubt I could even use it. I’m overcome by fear at the possible outcome.
I watch as Fynn drops to the ground first. His upper back lunges up into the air, the bones inside his body looking so sharp that they are about to pierce right through his skin and his clothes. He coughs violently, retching silently, but nothing comes out of his mouth. Only air. I look over at Anderson. He’s still on his feet, but barely. His fingers are twitching, extending then bending, every muscle in his body awake.
I know what’s going to happen. I don’t know how, but I know what I’m looking at. Fynn’s lower jaw protrudes outward, I see the outlines of his white teeth. Somehow, they elongate, with every subsequent glance, his teeth are larger, longer, and pointier.
Then, the cracking noises begin. At first, I don’t know what it is. I look at the doorway, thinking someone’s come, but it’s still just the five of us in here. And, I know once this is all over, not everyone will walk back out into the sunlight.
I realize that the noises are coming from Fynn and Anderson. Their bones are cracking. They are being rearranged inside of their bodies to accommodate for the new shape that is about to be born.
“Oh, my God!” I gasp silently, pressing my hands to my lips, eyes wide open and unable to look away.
Their bodies start to shape, to enlarge. Different body parts elongate, extend, twist upward or downward in the strangest angles. Cracking noises fill the room. Heavy breathing is all around me.
All of a sudden, little parts of skin start to peel off of their bodies, and I can’t watch any longer. I close my eyes, relying solely on my ears to know that they’re doing exactly what they should be doing. I breathe heavily, trying to drown out the moans and groans, and after what seems to be a small eternity, I open my eyes again.
The sight before me is terrifying. There are miniature puddles of blood all around us. I see shredded pieces of clothing. Something that looks like a piece of bone protruding from one of the puddles.
I gasp. I don’t see four men in front of me any longer. Instead, what I see are four humanoid wolves, their bodies lowered down to all fours, muzzles extended, teeth bared, growling softly at one another.
I scuttle backwards into the corner as much as I can, my fear paralyzing me, making me unable to run. Would I run if I could? I’m not sure. I’ve never seen a wolf shifter in his wolf shape. I don’t know what part of their brain is dominant. Is it the animal part or the human part? Do they remember me even? Do they know that they are here to protect me?
At that moment, Fynn turns his face to me. It’s not his face anymore. But, they are his eyes. The eyes never change, even when the entire body does. His eyes are kind. I know he recognizes me. He knows why he is here. Anderson follows suit. They take two steps back, sheltering me with their hairy, lupine bodies. Somehow, my tension weakens. I am able to breathe properly again. The sight before me isn’t fear-provoking any longer.
I look over at Sven and Kayne, and see that they also changed themselves into wolves. But, I can’t take my eyes off of Fynn and Anderson. Their fur is glossy, thick, silvery white. Their paws scrape the cement floor we found ourselves on, and there is rage in their gazes. They are here for revenge. We all are.
They turn back at our enemies, their neck muscles protruding through the smooth fur. They are confident, bold. They feel no fear, if they ever did as humans. Suddenly, Fynn looks up at the ceiling, his wolfish silhouette on the wall opposite us extending. His howl fills the air around us. His hymn tells me everything will be alright. I need worry no more.
Without warning, Fynn lunges at one of the wolf figures opposite him. Anderson immediately does the same. What follows is a bloody dance of fangs and claws, torn fur and skin, digging teeth and howls.