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Tell Me I’m A Monster

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Jungkook knew something was off the moment he opened his eyes. He had awoken with a gasp from a nightmare he couldn’t remember with his heart beating as fast as a rabbit’s. An uneasy feeling of dread lingered in the young wolf’s mind like a bad omen. It was the kind of ominous feeling one got when something terrible was going to happen. Jungkook shuddered and tried to brush off the feeling by focusing on the breathing of his still sleeping packmates. The den was eerily absent of its usual noise. It was so early, the sun had yet to creep over the horizon and the crickets were still chirping. The hunting patrol was likely the only other ones awake. Jungkook let out an annoyed huff. He hadn’t woken up this early in ages and he would love nothing more than to go back to sleep but the unease still lingered in his mind. Quietly he detangled himself from the rest of the unpresented pups. He was by far the oldest out of them at nine-teen but he couldn’t join the older packmates till he presented. Honestly, he was beginning to wonder if it would ever happen. The rest of the wolves his age had presented and left him behind several years ago. As the pack alpha’s oldest male heir he needed to present as an alpha for the future of the pack. As the years passed without Jungkook presenting his father grew more and more cold to him and the rest of the pack followed suit. He did his best to brush off the stares and whispers from his packmates. He couldn't afford to show weakness. He'd be torn to shreds.

He crept quietly to the entrance carefully stepping over his packmates and slipped out of the den. The clearing outside was quiet. The only other wolf was an older beta keeping watch. Jungkook felt the beta’s eyes following him as he shifted and slipped into the forest. He took off into a run nimbly weaving through trees and jumping over logs and stones. The wind blew through his pale fur as he ran and soon his paws became damp from the morning dew. He knew this land like the back of his hand. Running through the pack's territory was the only time Jungkook felt safe and free. The farther away from his father and the watchful eyes of the pack the lighter his heartfelt. A part of him felt guilty at that. After all what wolf felt better without their pack? Once, when he was much younger and the pack didn’t hate him yet he’d brought it up to some of the other pups. He’d naively thought that was a feeling the other wolves shared. They’d only laughed at him and called him weird. He’d soon learned to avoid telling he packmates anything personal about himself.

He reached the edge of their territory all too soon. He panted with exertion and trotted to a nearby tree to catch his breath. It was the largest tree in their territory and Jungkook’s favorite spot. Its branches were long and touched the ground providing shade and protection. To it’s right just a few paces away a small stream flowed across the border of their territory and towards the den. Many seasons ago when his mother was still alive she had occasionally taken him and the other pups to play by the river. Now, outside of the border patrol, he was the only wolf that came around here. Jungkook often spent hours just sitting under the tree and looking out across their territory line. He wasn’t sure what he was looking for exactly. Something to distract him from his boredom perhaps? The forest on the other side of the border always looked so tempting despite not looking any different from the land in their territory. Jungkook like most of his packmates had never stepped foot outside their territory and he likely never would. His father had forbidden it and said it was too dangerous. All pups were told never to stray outside the territory lest they are killed by other wolves or other creatures. His father despised all other non-wolves claiming them lesser and unnatural. Still, Jungkook couldn’t help but be curious. He wanted more than anything to explore the other side. But although there was no physical border it was as if an invisible wall was preventing him from crossing over. It frustrated Jungkook to no end but the fear of his father’s punishment outweighed his curiosity.

Around midday, Jungkook’s stomach began to growl and he stood to leave. The hunting party should have returned by now. His heart sank at the prospect of returning and he hesitated slightly. His father’s cold, cruel eyes popped into his head as if daring him to defy him. A sudden burst of rebellion flashed through Jungkook and before he could stop himself he turned and trotted the very edge of the border. His heartbeat sped up as he slowly stretched a paw across and placed it on the ground. He held his breath a childish part of him expecting to be stricken down by some strange creature from his father’s stories. Of course, nothing happened aside from the young alpha feeling like an idiot. Shaking off the last of his fear Jungkook stepped the rest of the way across the border. After taking a few moments to collect himself he took a few more steps. He jerked his head around taking in the area with all the excitement of a pup. He started at a trot that soon turned into a full sprint. He took in the scents and sights around him and committed them to memory. Soon he reached a small clearing. In the middle of it stood an odd tree with round purple fruits scattered through its branches. Jungkook had never seen anything like it. It reminded him of the old apple tree that used to stand behind the den. Everyone had been disappointed when a storm had come through and knocked it over a few seasons ago.

Jungkook stepped beneath the branches and pulled himself onto his hind legs to reach the fruit but they were just out of reach. At this distance, he could smell the sweetness of the fruit and that made him even more determined to get his hands on them. After a brief look around he quickly shifted into his human form. Being in his weaker form outside of the safety of his territory was nerve-wracking and exciting at the same time. In this form, he easily scaled the side of the tree and plucked one of the fruits. It was palm-sized and smaller than an apple. Jungkook was quick to sink his teeth into it. It was easily one of the best things he’d ever tasted. The flesh of the fruit was much softer and sweeter than an apple and in the center of it was a hard inedible stone that the wolf quickly disposed of. After he’d finished, he was quick to grab another, and another and another. Soon his face and hands were covered in the fruit’s sticky juice. Jungkook was so absorbed in eating he didn’t notice he wasn’t alone until he heard a branch crack from down below. Just a few yards away at the edge of the clearing was a large russet-colored wolf watching him. The sight sent terror and adrenaline rushing through him freezing him in place. His mother had once told him his curiosity would get him killed one day. It was beginning to look like this might be the day. For a few moments, the two sized each other up before the wolf walked further into the clearing till he was nearly directly under Jungkook. His eyes flashed red marking him an alpha. At this distance, Jungkook could smell the musky, earthy scent of an alpha that wasn’t pack. If he’d been in wolf form he could probably outrun him. He was after all faster than the alphas back in his pack. But shifting would take too long and if he made a break for it in human form he stood no chance. He’d be ripped to shreds before he reached the treeline. The alpha seemed to know this because he didn’t seem the slightest bit concerned as he circled the tree. If anything the alpha seemed amused as if he was playing with him.

Suddenly, the wolf stretched up on his hind legs much like Jungkook had done earlier. Startled he forgot he was perched on a tree branch and instinctively tried scooting away from the strange wolf. Bad idea. For a few brief seconds, the world seemed to spin before he hit the ground hard. The strength of the collision forced the air from his lungs and left him gasping for breath. If he’d been any higher he likely would have broken something. The other wolf let out an amused huff and Jungkook scrambled into a sitting position uneasy at having his belly exposed to this stranger. Jungkook stiffened as the alpha approached him baring his teeth as a warning. His instincts were screaming at him to either run or fight but he found he couldn’t move a muscle as the alpha leaned in to smell the skin under his ear where his scent gland was. Jungkook flinched and forced himself to remain still, pissing off a strange alpha by snapping at him definitely wouldn't end well for him. Finally, after what seemed like ages the other wolf pulled back and cocked his head as if hearing something off in the distance. After one more glance in Jungkook's direction he turned and left in the direction he'd come from. Just like that, he was gone just as quickly as he’d arrived. Confused, Jungkook kept his eyes trained on the treeline for a few minutes but it seemed like the wolf had truly just left. Not wanting to push his luck Jungkook quickly shifted into his wolf form and took off at top speed back towards his pack’s territory.

Finally, he reached the border and crossed over into their territory but he didn’t stop running until he was out of sight of the border. He skidded to a stop panting and trying to catch his breath. If he went back to the den now everyone would smell the strange wolf’s scent on him. If that happened his father would make him wish that the wolf had killed him. To cover up the scent Jungkook shifted once again and took a dip into the stream doing his best to wash the scent from his bare skin. Once he was done and he could no longer smell the russet wolf he finally returned to the den. By now the sun was beginning to set and the leftovers were already claimed by Daejung and a few of his lackeys. Jungkook normally would’ve gone over and challenged him for the food but he didn’t feel like fighting today. He and Daejung had been friends when they were pups but that changed when he had presented as an alpha a few years ago. He had become cruel and aggressive towards everyone that wasn’t an alpha. He especially hated Jungkook and never missed a chance to antagonize him. Truth be told the alpha was probably still mad that he got his ass handed to him by Jungkook all those months ago when he’d first presented. Jungkook had caught him trying to force himself on a young beta that had just presented. This was common behavior for alphas in their pack and they got away with it as long as their victims were presented and not other alphas. He couldn’t even count the number of times omegas and betas had come back to the den for the night smelling like blood and sex. It had always disgusted him. He hated how alphas treated betas and omegas but he’d never actually seen one in the act before that night. Jungkook had taken one look at the fear and pain in that beta’s eyes and flown into a rage without thinking. Fortunately, he won and Daejung was left with a nasty scar across his face as a reminder. That day he earned a reputation in the pack. An unpresented wolf beating an alpha in a fight had never happened before. His father had been proud of him that day but not for helping the beta, he couldn’t care less about that. He had thought his son beating the alpha was a sigh that his successor would be a strong alpha. That was the moment Jungkook had realized his father was no different from Daejung and the other alphas and the moment Jungkook promised himself he would never be that kind of alpha.

###

Jungkook’s sleep that night was not a peaceful one. His dreams were scattered and confusing. One moment he was in a strange foreboding forest being chased by a pack of wolves that looked and sounded like his own pack but smelled foreign. When the pack had almost caught him the dream shifted into the scene under the fruit tree but instead of looking up at the russet wolf he was looking down on himself through the alpha’s eyes. Instead of his normal brown eyes the other him had one red eye and one pale blue one like an omega. The other Jungkook had a look of intense sadness on his face as if something terrible had happened. The look turned into one of resignation as the growls and snarls of the pack that had been chasing him sounded nearby. His instincts screamed at him to look away but he found that he couldn't. Suddenly an enormous wolf burst into the clearing leading the pack in behind him. The strange wolves bodies seemed to have no solid form. It was as if they were made up of shadows or smoke. Their footsteps made no noise, as they stalked farther into the clearing, and Jungkook noticed that they also failed to leave any footprint. The shadow wolves felt unnatural and wrong and made Jungkook's skin crawl. Fortunately, they seemed uncaring or unaware of his presence as he watched the scene through the eyes of the russet wolf. He remained unable to turn away even as the pack descended upon the other version of himself. The shadow wolves flew into a frenzy unlike any he'd ever see ripping out chunks of flesh and staining the ground red. By the time the pack had finished the body was an unrecognizable mess of bone and shredded flesh. At the sight, Jungkook felt his stomach turn violently. He must have made some kind of noise because all of a sudden the biggest of the wolves snapped his head around to stare directly at him as if noticing him for the first time. he tried his hardest to get his body to move, to run away but his feet remain rooted to the ground even as the wolf lunged towards him. Just as the wolf was about to sink his teeth into him he woke up.

Jungkook’s eyes flew open and he jerked up with a gasp. The nightmare had felt so real he still felt like he could smell the blood. His stomach turned violently and he barely made it outside before he lost his lunch on the ground behind the den. When he’d finished gagging a wave of dizziness overcame him and he fell back against the wall of the den. His body felt strange almost alien and he was sweating profusely. The last time he’d felt this bad was when he was a pup and he’d been dared to eat one of the purple flowers from the plant the adults had warned them away from. He’d been violently ill for days and had almost died. Maybe those purple fruits were the cause? Jungkook groaned. It would be just his luck to die from eating poisonous fruit. Fortunately, the dizziness began to subside enough for him to stand and hobble over to a cool spot at the edge of the clearing under the shade of a pine tree. He must have slept late because the rest of the pack was already milling around in the clearing. Most of the alphas and some betas were out hunting with his father. The wolves that were left behind were mostly the pups, omegas and older betas. He watched them for a while as they went about their daily tasks. The omegas were busy nursing and tending to the pups while the betas preserved the skin of yesterdays catch using sharpened rocks to scrape away at the skin. After they dried the omegas would fashion them into clothes and blankets for the pack. The few alphas left behind to keep watch lazed around doing nothing. None of them paid him any attention except for one of the pack omegas who was babysitting some of the pups across the clearing. The omega, Minji, was two seasons younger than Jungkook and already heavily pregnant. She’d caused quite a stir when she’d presented last season since his father had claimed and mated her that night. Jungkook honestly didn’t know what to make of his father’s second mate. It unsettled him that his father would choose an omega nearly a third of his age and Jungkook got the feeling that his father wanted a backup plan in case he failed to live up to expectations. It would be so easy to hate the girl but he couldn’t bring himself to. In fact, he felt a kind of kinship with her. After all, in some ways their situations were similar. Although they’d never spoken Jungkook could tell she felt just as trapped as him.

As midday approached Jungkook just began to feel worse and worse. His senses were going haywire and even the dim light filtering through the branches stung his sensitive eyes. His nose and ears were just as sensitive. The ambient noise and smells of the pack were giving him a headache. It was all too much. He stood on wobbly legs and quietly slipped back into the den. The cool stone of the floor felt amazing against his feverish skin and it wasn't long before he dozed off.

“Something is wrong.” That was the first thought Jungkook had when he awoke. His entire body was sweating like crazy and his stomach was cramping violently. He whimpered like a pup as a particularly violent cramp hit him like a punch to the gut. The pain was unlike anything he’d ever felt before and Jungkook was sure he must be dying. He wasn’t sure how long he’d been laying there before the pain began to shift into a warm, tight feeling in his stomach. It wasn’t until his scent gland began to swell and his cock grew hard that he realized what was happening. He was beginning to present. The realization sent dread coursing through him. He’d wanted to present so bad but now that the moment was here he had a bad feeling. Now that the pain had dulled a bit Jungkook could survey the situation without his brain being clouded by pain. The fever and sweating were symptoms all wolves had when they presented regardless of what they presented as. The cramping and swollen scent gland were another story. Jungkook had never heard of an alpha having those symptoms and that made him nervous. He brought a hand up to his scent gland, wincing at the tenderness as he did so, and then smelled it. It was wrong. He didn’t smell right. Something was wrong with him. At first, he did smell a bit like an alpha but his scent was too sweet almost like an omega. But he couldn’t be! He had been so sure he would be an alpha since he had the muscle and height of one. There had to be a mistake!

Jungkook’s panic only grew when he felt a warm, wet liquid begin to coat his ass and thighs. The sweet smell of slick began to fill the air of the den. He’d smelt it once before when one of the pack omega’s had presented in the middle of the night. One of the alphas had smelt it before he could leave the den. The next morning he was sporting a fresh mating mark on the side of his neck. The older members of the pack had gone on about how lucky he was to have found a mate so soon. He hadn’t looked lucky. The mark on his neck looked painful and violent and he smelled like blood. That night he wouldn’t meet anyone’s eyes as he went to sleep next to his new mate. From that moment on Jungkook had hoped with every fiber of his being that he wouldn’t present as an omega. Hell even being a beta was preferable. He’d seen what happened to omega’s and he wanted no part in becoming a slave to some cruel alpha. So when he realized his body was producing slick like an omega cold terror shot through him. This wasn’t supposed to happen! Just then a gasp sounded out from the front of the den. Whirling around Jungkook let out a growl of warning flashing his teeth at the newcomer. It was Minji staring at him with a look of shock on her face. She was no threat to him but Jungkook’s instincts told him to keep everyone away. He felt like a cornered animal.

Distantly he realized that he needed to leave. He wasn’t safe here. His instincts were screaming danger. It was a miracle his scent hadn’t reached the rest of the pack yet and it was only a matter of time before it did. But there was nowhere to go. If he stayed he was fucked and if he left he was fucked. Minji seemed to realize the same thing. Her look of shock turned to one of pity. They both knew the pack would tear him to pieces. They already hated him so much. Honestly, if that was all they did he’d be lucky. Just then the chatter outside the den grew and Jungkook knew his time was up. Minji barely had time to move aside before the first person entered nearly bowling her over. Of course, it was Daejung and his lackeys. For a brief moment confusion crossed the other wolf’s face before it turned into a smug look, the made Jungkook’s skin crawl. The group descended on him and tried to drag him out of the den. He didn’t go easily. He fought back like an animal kicking, biting and punching at every chance he got. He even managed to sink his teeth into one of the lackey’s cheek ripping savagely at the flesh. Jungkook took satisfaction from the pained squeal that produced as he fell to the floor clutching his cheek but in the end, it was four against one. He never stood a chance. The other two lackeys eventually managed to immobilize him, forcing him to his knees in front of Daesung. It was humiliating. Being forced into a submissive pose in front of the alpha. Jungkook made his displeasure known by letting out a vicious snarl and spitting a mix of blood and saliva at the other wolf’s feet. In response he was backhanded across the face so hard his head snapped to the side and his ears began to ring. Jungkook fought back a yelp of pain as Daejung roughly grabbed his hair and yanked his head to the side forcing him to bare his scent gland. Jungkook tried not to gag in disgust as the alpha leaned forward to sniff his scent gland. The alpha had the foulest smelling scent Jungkook had ever smelt. Like rotting wood and old meat. The smell seemed to coat his nostrils and Jungkook nearly sighed in relief when the wolf finally pulled away stepping back with a look of disgust on his face.

“I always knew there was something wrong with you.” He sneered. “You have fangs and eyes like an alpha but you smell like a bitch in heat.”

That was news to Jungkook. In the heat of the moment, he hadn’t realized his fangs had descended. If anything that only confused him even more. Only alphas had fangs. They needed them for mating and fighting after all. But with the sweet-smelling slick painting his thighs there was no way he could be an alpha. With growing horror, he realized he was even more fucked up than he thought. Daejung seemed to realize this at the same time his mouth twisting into a wicked smile.

“Bring him out. Let's show the pack our future leader.” He said mockingly.

The lackeys dragged him out of the den flinging him roughly to the ground where the pack had already gathered no doubt drawn by the strange scent. They gathered around him whispering and staring at him as if he was a stranger. Jungkook struggled to his feet in an attempt to look like less of a target but was kicked down by someone behind him. He growled in a warning but even to his ears, he sounded weak. Fear made his heartbeat speed up as he frantically looked for an opening but saw none. He was blocked in by a wall of wolves that seemed to be closing in on him as time passed. To his relief his father wasn’t among them. Jungkook wasn’t sure he could have handled receiving such treatment from his own father.

His heart began to beat faster as wolves that had seen him grow up were now staring at him and laughing as he cowered on the ground like a scared pup. Helpless to stop them he began to feel tears well up in his eyes and he tried to pull himself into a defensive ball by drawing his knees up to his chest. They didn’t even allow him that small mercy. One of the pack alphas lunged forward and grabbed hold of his ankle pulling Jungkook towards him. The force made Jungkook lose his balance and disoriented him long enough for the alpha to flip him over onto his belly and pin him to the ground. The feeling of the alpha’s body weight on top of him nearly made his heart stop when he realized what the alpha intended to do to him. The alpha began to paw at him grabbing his body with rough clumsy hands when suddenly a snarl sounded out from another alpha. It was Daejung and he clearly wasn’t happy with another alpha trying to claim his prey. The two clashed together violently their aggressive pheromones mixed with Jungkook’s scent affecting the rest of the pack. Soon the clearing dissolved into chaos with wolves fighting left and right. Jungkook took advantage of the confusion using it to crawl to the edge of the clearing. As soon as he made it to the shelter of a bush he shifted into wolf form. Adrenaline made the shift happen in record time and once he was finished he wasted no time in fleeing in the direction of the border. It was only a matter of time before someone realized he was missing. As he ran rain began to fall soaking him to the bone and mixing with his tears. It was as if the sky was crying with him.

He managed to reach the border without being tracked but even once he crossed he didn’t dare slow down. The next few hours were a blur. He had been fortunate enough to stumble across a small, empty den once he’d gotten a comfortable distance away from the pack. The den was stale smelling and damp but it was well hidden and surrounded by strong smelling purple flowers that should help mask his scent once the rain let up. When his adrenaline faded Jungkook collapsed and succumbed to his cycle.
###

An unknown number of days later Jungkook dragged himself out of the cave. His was coated in a thin layer of slick, cum, dirt and blood that made his skin crawl. And his entire body ached and trembled. His cock and ass were particularly sore and his knees were bloody and bruised from the hard stone floor. In the heat of the moment, he’d treated himself roughly and now he was paying for it. To make matters worse his body was so weak from lack of food and dehydration and he didn’t have the energy to shift. He wanted nothing more than to retreat back into the den and succumb to exhaustion but it wasn’t safe. He’d already stayed in the same spot for too long. There was no telling if his father had sent search parties after him and if so he didn’t want to meet them. As he set off the young wolf couldn’t help but cast a nervous glance back in the direction of the pack territory. A part of him half expected Daejung or another alpha to leap from the bushes and pin him down once again. The thought made bile rise in his throat and if his stomach hadn’t been empty he likely would have vomited all over the forest floor. Instead, he just took a few deep breaths and kept walking thankful no one was around to see the way his hands shook. He could only hope that the rain had washed away any remnants of his trail and that the pack didn’t know which direction to search in.

After a few hours of walking, he finally stumbled upon a small stream. Honestly was more of a trickle than anything else. The water barely came up past his ankles. Still, it was a godsend. Jungkook wasted no time is stripping out of his furs and stepping into the stream. He furiously rubbed at his skin aiming to get every last bit of dirt off. It took awhile but after he was finished he felt a lot better. Now that all the dirt was gone he could tell that his sent had changed. He did smell somewhat like an alpha but his scent was sweeter, lighter and without the typical musky smell alpha's usually had. If he was lucky he could pass as an alpha that spent a lot of time around omegas. Maybe he could find another pack... a large one so that he wouldn't have too much attention on him? Jungkook quickly rejected that idea. The idea of coming into contact with another pack terrified him. And anyway it was just too risky. He would just have to try to survive on his own.

###

6 Months Later

Through sheer luck, he managed to survive about half a year off fruit and the occasional squirrel or rabbit that he managed to catch. But still, this lifestyle was beginning to take a toll on the young wolf. Often he went days without eating especially during a cycle which happened every month instead of every 3 months like most wolves. For those few days every month he was completely incapable of hunting and gathering any food or water. In the beginning, the hunger had made it feel like a knife was stabbing into his stomach but after a while, the pain faded to a dull ache as the young wolf became accustomed to having an empty stomach. It wasn't long before his ribs begin to show as his body burned off the last few layers of protective fat. He couldn’t help but think that there was something horrific about feeling your body weaken and not being able to do anything about it.

Jungkook had realized he was dying about 2 months ago when he stopped having his monthly cycle. It was a clear sign that his body was beginning to give out. He should have been terrified but he simply didn't have the energy. His body and mind were tired and he'd long since resigned himself to his fate. At least soon he would no longer have to go through those humiliating couple of days each month. He could pretend to be a normal wolf not some fucked up abomination.

Still for some reason couldn't completely give up on his survival. He still got up every day in search of food which was only getting more and more scarce as the temperature began to cool. He would spend the day walking aimlessly in search of his next meal. At night he would try to find some shelter such as a hollow log or a bush. So far on his journey, he’d come across a few territory markers for other packs but he had been quick to steer clear of those. However, he was beginning to become desperate and another pack's territory was likely to have more food sources. So when jungkook stumbled across the border of another packs territory he hesitated instead of running away as he'd done in the past. It had been nearly a week and a half since his last meal. It was the longest he's gone so far without food and if that didn't change soon he doubted he'd be able to last another week. So after a careful sniff of the area, he carefully took a few nervous steps into the territory. The scent markers along the edge were stale and at least a few days old. That probably meant the territory was large and the pack didn't do frequent patrols. Still, jungkook remained on high alert. The forest in the area was less dense than the one back at his old pack's territory which could be considered both a blessing and a curse. It would be harder for someone to sneak up on him but there were also fewer places to hide. The thought made Jungkook's heart beat faster in his chest but hunger and desperation drove him forward.

He'd been walking for about 30 minutes when he smelled it. A familiar sweet scent in the air that made his mouth water. In his excitement, he threw caution to the wind and picked up the pace nearly tripping in the process. He followed his nose to a small clearing on a slight incline. The ground in the clearing was absolutely covered with strawberry vines that were heavy with the red fruit. They had a small patch of them back in his old pack's territory and his father had liked them so much that he'd claimed the whole patch giving out strict punishments those who dared eat any. Jungkook had only ever had them once, many years ago, before his father had monopolized them.

Jungkook wasted no time in dropping to his knees and popping the tasty fruits into his mouth. He ate messily too hungry to bother with manners and soon his hands and mouth were covered with the juice. They tasted even sweeter than he remembered but that may have been the hunger talking. He ate until his stomach protested violently. He hadn't eaten this much since he was back in the pack and his stomach was no longer used to being this full. The young wolf was tempted to eat more but that would do more harm than good so with a reluctant sigh he stood to leave. Just then across the clearing son of a twig snapping sounded out. Just like that, his excitement gave way to terror and he turned and fled back in the direction he'd come from. How could he have been so stupid? He'd been so caught up in gorging himself he completely neglected to check the surroundings. Now he was going to die over some stupid fruit.

In his panic to escape, he stumbled over a fallen log and landing hard on his stomach. The force of the impact knocked the air out of his lungs and brought back up the strawberries he'd just eaten. He tried to stand back up but the stress of the situation proved too much for his weakened body. The last thing he heard was footsteps close behind him before he slipped into unconsciousness.

Chapter Text

Namjoon hadn’t meant to startle the little wolf. He'd been doing his daily patrols of the territory what is the new filter unknown presents cross over their borders. Of course, he immediately took off to check it out. Whoever it was didn't feel like a threat but he couldn't afford to take chances when it came to the safety of his pack. He found the trespasser in the strawberry field devouring the fruits as if he hadn't eaten in days and by the looks of it looks of his ribs it seems he hadn't. The kid was obviously malnourished judging by the way his ribs were poking out. The poor kid barely looked over the age of 17 and for a moment Joon wondered if he was even old enough to present yet. But when he got closer the wind blew the kid’s scent in his direction. What was a young alpha doing wandering around without a pack? Normally Namjoon wouldn’t be this relaxed about a strange alpha trespassing on his territory but this alpha’s scent was strangely pleasant and it almost reminded him of Jin.

The alpha was just about to decide whether or not to reveal himself when he accidentally stepped on a small branch. The noise sent the kid into a panic and Namjoon let out a curse as he turned to run after the boy. The kid didn't make it far before he tripped over something and passed out. He didn't make it a habit of picking up strays but Namjoon couldn’t bring himself to leave the kid there. So he picked him up and started for the house. The kid was far to light and felt fragile in his arms. There were no other scents on the kid so he must be packless. That was suspicious. It wasn’t common for packs to kick out members unless they’d done something wrong. He let out a sigh. Yoongi wasn’t going to like this.

Fortunately, said alpha was nowhere to be seen when Namjoon carried the unconscious kid into the house. That wasn’t unusual for him. The fox spirit tended to wander often disappearing into the woods for days at a time. He also didn’t take well to strangers. It had taken him months to get used to Taehyung and the witch was the least threatening alpha Namjoon had ever met. Hoseok had been even worse. Namjoon grimaced remembering how tense the house got when those two were still getting used to each other. Namjoon silently prayed bringing home this alpha wouldn’t cause a repeat of that. It wasn’t good for his health.

The house was eerily silent as Namjoon placed the kid in the spare room. At first, he felt the urge to put him in his own room but it didn’t make sense to let a complete stranger into his space. And anyway him waking up surrounded by a strange alpha’s smell probably wouldn’t end well. Namjoon didn’t know why he was feeling so protective over a kid that he didn’t know but he usually had pretty good instincts. He was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice the door quietly opening behind him.

“Holy shit Joon.” Taehyung gasped, ignoring the way Namjoon jumped in surprise and moving forward to get a better look at their guest. “Where’d you find this one?”

“The strawberry field… he tried to run and collapsed.”

Tae turned to shoot him a look of surprise. “He crossed into our territory? Been a while since someone was brave enough to do that.” The witch paused taking in the tattered deerskin pants the kid was wearing. “I’m guessing he’s not from around here.”

“Yeah, I figured as much,” Namjoon muttered. "He came from the north side of our territory and there aren't too many packs in that direction. I need to try contacting a few of them to see if anyone's missing him. In the meantime can you handle him? I don't want him dying on us."

Namjoon didn’t bother waiting for his answer. He knew the witch was itching to try out some of the new healing potions he’d concocted. Taehyung was known far and wide for his healing potions. The boy was in safe hands.

###

1 week later

Jin was exhausted. The council had needed his and Jimin’s assistance on a particularly difficult case and had summoned for them about a week and a half ago. The job had taken longer than expected and being out of his pack’s territory for so long had him on edge. It wasn’t as bad for Jimin, he wasn’t tied to their land like Jin was, but Jin could tell that the fairy was also beginning to get homesick. Fortunately for Jin, he had finished his job early and the council had dismissed him. Jimin’s expertise in dark magic was still needed so he’d been asked to stay an extra week. The fairy was sure to be in a foul mood when he returned.

The house was quiet when Jin returned and Hoseok and Yoongi’s scents were dull and stale. It seems the two hadn’t been back since he’d been gone. Namjoon and Tae’s scents were still strong but those two had a hard time waking up before noon so that explained the silence. There was however another scent that lingered in the house. It was weak as if it’s source was sick and seemed to be coming from their spare room. Curious Jin followed his nose. Quietly he slipped into the room. In here the scent was stronger and coming from the unconscious figure curled up in the bed. Jin identified the scent as that of an alpha but he’d never smelt such a sweet scent on an alpha. Something about the scent seemed to draw Jin in and he barely stopped himself from leaning over to get a better smell. His instincts were telling him this stranger wasn’t a threat but it was in his nature to be cautious. Still, Jin couldn’t quite stop himself from reaching out to gently take hold of the other’s wrist. It was worryingly thin and the rest of his body seemed to be just as bad. Jin couldn’t stop the sympathetic noise he let out when he took in the state the poor kid was in.

At the noise, the kid stirred his eyelashes fluttering open to reveal tired brown eyes. Jin held his breath as their eyes met. For a moment Jin wondered if the kid was even conscious enough to see him but then his eyes narrowed in suspicion and he jerked his hand out of Jin’s grasp growling weakly in a warning. Jin decided to heed the warning and stepped back to give him some breathing space holding his hands up in a pacifying gesture. The growling ceased but the suspicious gaze remained. The young alpha looked ready to bolt at a moments notice but in his state, he wouldn’t make it far. He seemed to realize this because a resigned expression crossed his face.

“What do you want?” He rasped his voice rough with disuse. “You gonna kill me?”

“I- what?” Jin sputtered. “We don’t kill our guests and I don’t want anything from you. I just smelt a strange scent in the house and was curious.”

At the mention of his scent the kid stiffened eyes flitting away nervously. “Well, in that case, I’ll be on my way. Wouldn’t want to stink up your den.”

The kid tried to pull himself off the bed and even managed to stand for a second before his legs gave out. Instinctively Jin lurched forward to catch him easily scooping him up. Picking up a flighty alpha definitely wasn’t a good choice on Jin’s part and he braced himself for a fist to his face. But to his surprise, the kid froze for a few moments before leaning into Jin’s touch. The action seemed involuntary and only lasted a few seconds before the kid realized what he was doing and jerked back embarrassment written across his face.

“Sorry… you smelled really familiar all of a sudden.”

“It’s fine-.’’ He started to say only to be cut off by a loud growl from the kid’s stomach.

The noise seemed to startle the kid and he stared down at his stomach as if in shock that he produced such a noise. Jin let out a snort of amusement at the sight causing the kid to shoot him a glare.

“Let’s get you some food before you wake the whole house.”

###

Jungkook wasn’t sure what to make of this strange alpha. The moment he’d passed out in a strange pack’s territory he’d assumed he would never wake up. His old pack had brutally defended their territory against intruders so why would this pack be any different? But when he’d woken up in this strange place. The alpha, Jin he called himself, had been nothing but kind. He hadn’t once growled or threatened him and even offered to feed him. It went against everything he knew about alphas and that should have made him suspicious but Jin’s scent was so soothing and pleasant Jungkook was finding it hard to keep up his guard. It also didn’t help that he desperately missed contact. It had been months since he’d even seen another person and he hadn’t noticed how much he craved physical contact until he was actually in the presence of someone else. Even now as Jin carried him out of the room he found himself leaning into his touch. It was embarrassing and he was glad Jin didn’t point it out. Normally, Jungkook would never have even allowed anyone to carry him like a pup but he couldn’t bring himself to pull away.

He was so distracted by the other’s scent he didn’t realize they’d reached their destination till he was being set down on a soft surface. The other alpha left him for a few moments in which Jungkook took the time to take in his surroundings. Everything was so foreign to him. This place was nothing like his old den. Whatever he’d been placed on was soft and raised up off the ground. It was just long enough to lay down on without your legs hanging off. It faintly smelled like Jin and some other scents that he guessed were from other pack members. When Jin came back carrying something in his hands Jungkook’s curiosity got the better of him and without a second thought, he asked what the thing he was sitting on was called. The other alpha had seemed started at the question as if he was surprised Jungkook didn’t know but he hadn’t hesitated to answer him. Jin joined him on what he called a ‘couch’. Jungkook wanted to know more but the smell of food coming from the bowl the alpha brought caught his attention. Jungkook was relieved there was at least one object in this strange den even though it looked different from the deer skull bowls he was used to. Jin handed him the bowl and waited patiently for him to finish.

###

Jin should have known everything was going too well. After the young alpha finished the bowl of stew. He’d managed to talk to him and get his name without the other becoming defensive and the kid seemed to be relaxing and getting used to the new environment. Jin knew it was mostly thanks to the calming nature of his scent that he’d been accepted so easily. But there were definitely some things that were a bit off Jungkook. For one he seemed to be lacking a lot of basic knowledge. When he’d asked what the couch was Jin had been totally caught off guard. He also seemed fascinated at his surroundings looking around with an almost childlike wonder. Jin was beginning to wonder if there was any memory loss involved. Tae had a few witch friends that specialized in memory and thought alteration. He’d have to get their contact information. First, he needed to talk to Joon.

It happened in the hallway when Jin was helping Jungkook back to his room. Further down the hall, a door slammed open and Taehyung came flying out nearly colliding into the two. To say Jungkook didn’t take it well would be an understatement. The kid’s eyes flared red and he snarled viciously snapping at Taehyung. The witch jerked back just in time to avoid a bite to the face. Affronted, Tae growled back and the smell of sage filled the air as the witch grew more and more aggressive.

“Tae-” Jin started trying to diffuse a fight.

“What the hell is going on out here?”

Jin cursed Namjoon’s terrible timing. The pack leader had come up behind them from the study and was wrinkling his nose at the strong smell. At his entrance, Jungkook jerked away from Jin and fell back against the wall his eyes flitting nervously between the two. He was getting increasingly nervous smelling as time went on and a nervous alpha was a dangerous alpha. Jin needed to get him out of the hall but Taehyung was still in the way. Jin slipped between the two effectively blocking jungkook from the witch's sight.

“Taehyung.” He growled lowly.

He seemed to struggle with himself for a few moments before closing his eyes and taking a deep breath. When he reopened them Jin was relieved to see he looked much calmer. The witch stiffly strode past them pointedly avoiding glancing in Jungkook's direction. Moments later the sound of the front door slamming echoed through the house. Namjoon sighed and shot Jin a look raising an eyebrow to ask if he needed assistance with their guest. Jin just waved him off. The pack leader's scent was a lot to handle and would only worsen the situation. It wasn't till Joon was out of sight that Jungkook began to calm down a bit. From there Jin managed to carefully lead the boy back to the guest room. Jungkook was quiet now that they were alone. It was a sharp contrast to the curious and inquisitive alpha he’d been when they were alone. That made a twinge of disappointment run through Jin but he was careful not to let it show.

“I’m so sorry you had to see that… I’m sure when Taehyung comes back he’ll be begging for forgiveness.” He said gently.

The alpha only kept his gaze on the bedsheets seemingly unable to meet Jin’s eyes. Not wanting to push the other too far or overstep any boundaries Jin took the hint and turned to leave. As he was leaving he thought he heard let out a noise under his breath that sounded like a sob. He politely ignored it and headed straight to Namjoon’s office for answers.

###

Hoseok is in the middle of a meal when he feels the sharp tug at his already fragile soul bonds that makes him wince and freeze mid-thrust. The pretty omega he’d been in the middle of fucking lets out a noise of annoyance but he ignores her in favor of concentrating on the bond trying to figure out which member was calling him. It takes him a second to sift through them and he lets out an exasperated groan when he realizes the sharp feeling of anger is coming from his bond with Taehyung. The young witch always did have the worst timing. He almost considers ignoring it but his instincts were urging him to go to his packmate and his appetite has been ruined anyway. Some of his annoyance must leak into his scent because the omega jerks away from him her scent souring with fear. He’s quick to smooth his expression into an easygoing smile expertly soothing her and crafting up a convincing excuse for his premature departure. By the time he’s slipping out of the hotel room he’s got her number and has promised her another “date.” He slips the number into a trash can outside of the motel.

Hoseok follows the pull and finds the moody witch in his usual spot. The park is quiet as Hoseok takes a seat on the bench next to him. Taehyung looks up seemingly startled at his sudden appearance. The surprise quickly turns into disgust when he gets a whiff of Hoseok’s scent. The alpha knows he must smell like sex. He didn’t have time to shower after all. He ignores the look in favor of studying the other alpha. By now the strong anger that had been pulsing through their bond had shifted into guilt and regret.

“What are you doing here hyung?”

The question makes a bitter feeling well up in him but he carefully keeps his expression calm as he lies and says he was just passing by. Of course, he believes him. They always did. It’s not like he could say he felt the witches anger through their soul bond. He had accepted long ago that he was the only one aware and affected by the bond. So when his tattered soul bond clenches painfully he forces himself to ignore it in favor of listening to the witch chatter on about a new stray Joon brought home. And when he feels Tae get a bit happier through the soulbond even as the pain continues to pulse he thinks that this will have to do.

###

In the next few days, Jungkook struggles to acclimate to this strange new environment. He’d half expected to be kicked out after losing it in the hallway and snapping at the blond-haired witch. But it turns out Jin had been right. That same night the witch, Taehyung, returned and apologized for his startling him. Jungkook cautiously accepted his apology and it wasn’t long before the blonde was chatting his ear off about whatever topic came to mind. Turns out when he wasn’t angry Taehyung was actually very pleasant to be around. He was easy to talk to and always happy to answer questions no matter how odd they seemed. He often found himself turning to the witch when he didn’t know what something was. Taehyung never once ridiculed him for not knowing something and for that Jungkook was grateful.

Of course, Jungkook knew he could have asked Jin those kinds of questions. Logically he knew the man wouldn’t hesitate to answer him but a part of him wanted to impress the other alpha and he didn’t want to come across as stupid to the older man. His fondness of Jin didn’t escape the other’s attention. Taehyung teased him about it but Jin himself didn’t seem to mind. Not even when Jungkook took to following him around in his wolf form sometimes even curling up under his desk while the man worked. Jin called him his shadow and Jungkook tried to ignore the pleasantly warm feeling that settled in his chest whenever he called him that.

Out of the three pack members, he’d met Jin and Taehyung were by far the least intimidating. The pack leader Namjoon was a mystery. He had one of the strongest scents Jungkook had ever smelled and every time he walked into the room Jungkook felt a powerful urge to roll over and show his belly. Taehyung assured him that he would get used to the scent but that had yet to happen. Fortunately, the alpha was kind enough to let Jungkook have his own space. He no doubt knew the effect his scent had on people. Jungkook was relieved. When he’d found out the pack was entirely composed of alphas he’d pictured the leader as an aggressive brute but despite his dominant scent, the alpha wasn’t anything like that. He was calm and polite and he treated Jungkook like an equal despite clearly being older than him. He hadn’t gotten the courage to ask anyone their ages or race. He only knew that Taehyung was a witch and the closest to his own age. The other two were a complete mystery. He did, however, have a feeling that everyone was far older than him. It was just something about their eyes that belied their youthful appearances.

Hoseok was probably the most confusing member of the pack. He’d returned to the house with Taehyung and while he hadn’t been cruel or rude to the wolf he also hadn’t been particularly welcoming. He seemed indifferent and distant but at times Jungkook would catch him watching him with an unreadable expression on his face. The other man spent the least amount of time in the house often disappearing for days at a time. When he came back it was always smelling like blood and sex. The scent should have scared him but on those days there was a heavy feeling of sadness that seemed to hang around the man. He was such an enigma and whenever they were both in the same room Jungkook found his eyes straying to him more often than not. One night when everyone was asleep Jungkook caught him on the porch clutching his chest in obvious pain. The air of sadness was stronger than ever and Jungkook sat next to him until his breath evened out. The next day he wouldn’t even look in Jungkook’s direction. Jungkook tried to ignore how much that stung.

Meeting Jimin was rather unsettling. One morning he walked downstairs to find the fifth member of the pack glaring at him. Despite being smaller than Jungkook he had a feeling that this strange pink-haired alpha could easily rip him apart if he felt inclined to do so. He got a little less scary when Jungkook found out he was just grumpy because he missed his pack. Keyword little. Once he was in a better mood his personality seemed to change completely. He was probably the most charming and captivating person Jungkook had ever met. After their first meeting, he’d taken to teasing Jungkook and Taehyung told him that that meant he’d taken a liking to him. Jungkook wasn’t quite sure what to make of the playful fairy’s teasing. It especially flustered him when Jimin started calling him strawberry boy after Taehyung revealed just how Namjoon had found him. Soon other members of the pack adopted the nickname. Jungkook pretended he didn’t like it but he wasn’t fooling anyone. Jimin just laughed at him and pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek. For the next few hours, the scent of cloves and ash seemed to follow him.

Another week passed and Jungkook was beginning to think he’d never meet the final pack member. When he’d questioned Jin and Namjoon about it they’d shared a look and told him that Yoongi would show up when he wanted to. That night a clap of thunder shook the house and woke the wolf. Somehow he found himself outside as if drawn there by some invisible force. The ground was damp and soft under his feet as freezing rain fell down drenching him and everything around him. Jungkook was staring up at the sky admiring the flashes of lightning that danced across it when the hairs on the back of his neck stood up. About ten yards away an enormous fox shaped creature stood watching him with sharp intelligent eyes. In his own wolf form, Jungkook was large, easily the height of someone’s shoulder but this fox was nearly twice his size and no doubt three times his weight. It could easily take his head off with one snap of its jaws. Jungkook had never felt more like prey as the creature circled him. The wolf felt rooted to the ground even as the fox leaned forward to sniff the top of his head. The fox let out a low rumble and even though it wasn’t quite a growl Jungkook immediately showed his throat in submission. The next moment the fox was gone and Jungkook collapsed to the ground. Surprisingly, it was Hoseok that found him just moments later. Later Jungkook would wonder how Hoseok knew to come to him but at that moment he just breathed in the other alpha’s scent as he tried to catch his breath. Hoseok stayed with him even after he calmed down and allowed the wolf to follow him into his room.

The next morning Jungkook woke up in wolf form curled up at the foot of Hoseok’s bed. The other alpha nowhere to be found. Jungkook half thought he’d hallucinated the giant fox but when he went downstairs for breakfast there was a seventh person at the table. The first thing the newcomer did was fix him with a cold stare and promise to slit his throat if he ever showed a single sign of being a threat to the pack. Maybe Jungkook should have been offended or scared at the threat but if anything he admired the other’s honesty. Even though Jungkook could understand the hostility he still couldn’t quite look the shorter man in the eyes without his wolf side wanting to show his belly.

###

When Jungkook woke up in Hoseok’s bed for the fifth time in a row he knew he was in trouble. He wasn’t sure exactly when it happened but somewhere along the line he’d grown attached to this strange group. He had originally intended to leave the moment he was well enough but now he wasn’t sure if he’d be able to. He wasn’t pack, he knew that much, but between Hoseok letting him sleep in the same bed and the others feeding him, the wolf in him had begun to think of them as his pack. When he’d first realized this Jungkook had panicked and stayed in wolf form for five days straight avoiding the rest of the pack. Everyone seemed to realize he needed space and left him alone. When Jungkook was done freaking out he returned to joining them for breakfast each morning and everyone seemed relieved. Jungkook had only been with them for a few weeks but this was probably the happiest he’d ever been in his life. He knew it wouldn’t last much longer though. With his body slowly healing and his weight increasing it was only a matter of time before his cycles started up again. He’d managed to pass as an alpha so far but there was no way he’d be able to do so during his cycle. It’s not like he could leave now though with the temperature steadily dropping. He would freeze to death once the first snow hit. Jungkook laughed bitterly. Wasn’t it ironic that the place he felt the safest was quickly becoming his cage?

Chapter Text

Jungkook had been with them for a month and a half when the first frost hit. He’d woken up to the ground covered in a thin layer of ice. Most of the leaves had already fallen from the trees and the only green plants that remained were some fir trees and holly bushes. The temperature had dropped as well. It wasn’t quite cold enough for snow yet but Jungkook could still see his breath when he breathed. The cool breeze nipping at his face felt refreshing and he only hesitated a moment before shifting into wolf form and trotting into the forest. No one had told him he couldn’t explore the territory but this was the first time he’d dared go further than the yard. It was relaxing, being able to stretch his legs, and Jungkook felt a bit of his tension drain away. He weaved through the trees chasing rabbits and the occasional bird that happened across his path. They wouldn’t even be a mouthful for him and there was no real reason to hunt them but it was fun to chase something for once without the threat of starvation looming over him.

He got a bit too enthusiastic during his pursuit of a squirrel and skidded on some wet leaves losing his balance. He hit the ground with a loud thump that sent leaves flying into the air. A low chuff of amusement sounded from behind him and he turned his head with a surprised yelp. He hadn’t sensed anyone approaching. Yoongi was perched behind him on a log in fox form watching him in amusement. He wasn’t nearly as large as he was when they’d first met. Now he was only a little bigger than a normal fox. In this size, the fox wasn’t nearly as scary and Jungkook managed to not act like a scared pup this time around when Yoongi hopped off the log and gracefully padded over to him. The sound of his footsteps was so light Jungkook could barely hear them even with the blanket of dead leaves on the ground. In daylight, Jungkook had a much better view of the fox spirit. This smaller version of Yoongi, unlike the one he’d met outside the house, only had one tail and at first, glance looked no different from a normal fox. It was only when you looked closer that you noticed something was off. Other than the slightly larger size, the color of his coat was much more vibrant and the points of his ears and teeth seemed sharper. It was the eyes that really drew attention though. They were far too intelligent and cunning for a normal fox.

Jungkook stayed in the position he’d fallen in as the alpha approached. Since their first meeting in the yard, Yoongi had tolerated his presence but other than threatening him that one time in the kitchen Yoongi hadn’t spoken a single word to the wolf. So while there was no outright aggression from the fox they certainly weren’t on friendly terms. Needless to say, Jungkook couldn’t help but feel wary when the other approached. He was painfully aware that Yoongi could easily kill him right there. They were deep enough in the woods that none of the others would come to the rescue and he’d never be able to outrun the fox if he shifted into the larger, nine-tailed version of himself.

The sharp smell of ozone filled the air as Yoongi stopped in front of him. The scent reminded Jungkook of the smell that filled the air before a thunderstorm. The scent was terrifying but oddly mesmerizing and Jungkook was struck with the urge to press his nose against the other’s scent gland to drink in more of the scent even though that likely wouldn’t end well for him. In a way the scent drew him much like Jin’s did but where Jin’s scent was safe and comforting Yoongi’s was dangerous and addictive. Jungkook was so caught up in the other’s scent he hadn’t realized he’d instinctively pressed himself flat against the ground adopting a submissive posture. Jungkook’s skin prickled with embarrassment and something else. Here he was groveling in front of a fox barely the size of his head.

There was no movement or noise from Yoongi and for a brief moment, the wolf thought the other would just turn and disappear again. For some reason, that thought filled him with dread and he barely caught a pitiful whine from escaping his throat. Instead, Jungkook felt the other’s whiskers brush the top of his head and moments later his tongue as Yoongi began to groom him. Jungkook hadn’t expected that. The last time he’d been groomed was when he was just a pup. His mother would do it to comfort him and calm him down. The moment didn’t last long before Yoongi pulled away as if embarrassed. Jungkook wondered if the fox had also been acting on instinct. Either way, Jungkook was much calmer now that the fox obviously meant him no harm so he stood back up. Yoongi turned to trot back into the woods pausing to yip at Jungkook when he realized the wolf hadn’t moved from his spot. Taking the hint Jungkook was quick to follow him into the trees.

###

Jimin had just got out of the shower when Yoongi came in smelling of blood and the forest. That in itself wasn’t unusual for the fox. Jimin knew he often went for a hunt in the morning. The young wolf tagging shyly behind him, however, was unusual since the fox wasn’t fond of newcomers. Then again neither was Jimin but he’d softened up to the kid right away. Honestly, Jimin thought it might be impossible for anyone to hate the kid. He and Taehyung had made a bet early on about how long it would take Yoongi and Hoseok to warm up to the kid. Tae was going to be pissed he lost yet another bet with the fairy.

“You going somewhere?” Yoongi asked noticing the fairy was more dressed up than usual.

“Just to the city. Tae has some potions and charms he needs to sell and I thought it’d be good for the newbie to get out of the house. It looks like you already took care of that though.” Jimin said shooting an amused glance at Jungkook. The wolf was staring at him with wide, curious eyes at the mention of the city.

Yoongi wrinkled his nose in distaste. Jimin knew the fox absolutely hated the city. Something about being surrounded by concrete and buildings seemed to irk him. Namjoon was the same way. The two much preferred the solitude and peace of the forest. Taehyung and him, on the other hand, loved the business of the city. Sometimes the fairy just went to the city to people watch, often Tae or occasionally Hoseok would join him. Suddenly the telltale sound of boots stomping down the stairs sounded out. As Tae made his entrance.

“Jimin you ready yet?” Tae whined. “It’s almost noon alrea- oh you found him!”

Jungkook blinked owlishly at the witch as he grabbed hold of his arm and began dragging him out the door. Jimin followed behind them chuckling at the bewildered expression on the pup’s face. He didn’t resist even as he was dragged out back and made to stand in the middle of the yard. Taehyung pulled out a small black pouch and tipped its contents into his hand. The witch muttered a few words over the powdery substance before blowing it into the air. Jimin heard Jungkook let out a gasp of surprise as the powder turned the color of gold dust and began to circle around the trio. The ash seemed to have a mind of its own as it formed a ring around them moving faster and faster. It was a sight Jimin was very familiar with but Jungkook clearly wasn’t. He watched the scene with pure amazement his mouth hanging slightly open. This form of transportation was common so Jimin was a bit surprised the wolf hadn’t seen it before.

“Brace yourselves!” Taehyung yelled as the spell began to glow brighter.

The rest of the world seemed to fade into the background as the spell took hold. Beside him, Jungkook let out a nervous sound and Jimin couldn’t resist shifting closer and grasping his hand. The pup’s hand was cool and clammy in his but the contact seemed to calm him down a bit. Jimin was struck with the urge to coo at the wolf but was interrupted by a brilliant flash of light. When it died out seconds later they were standing in the middle of Tae’s small occult shop. The shop was exactly like Jimin remembered it. It was small but not cramped and had a modern, clean aesthetic. The walls were painted a pale yellow and the floor was covered with white marble. The only dark color of the room came from the black shelves that ran along the lengths of the wall and the workbench that Tae used to make potions and charms. The shop almost didn’t seem like a witches store at all until you looked closer and saw what was on the shelves. Everything from small animal bones and herbs to cursed objects and books on summoning demons lined the shelves. Jimin had learned early on to be careful not to touch anything.

Jungkook seemed to regain his bearings quickly his curiosity overcoming his fear. Taehyung seemed absolutely delighted as he was hit with a barrage of questions from the younger. The witch could go on for hours about his craft but Jimin had other plans. Snagging hold of Jungkook’s hand once again he dragged him out the door.

“Sorry Tae I’m stealing him for the day! We’ll meet you at the usual place for dinner!” Jimin didn’t wait for the witch's answer.

Jungkook made a noise as if to protest but it was quickly cut off as he took in his surroundings. Tae’s shop was right in the heart of the city’s magic district. On both sides of the street bookstores, and other shops much like Tae’s lined them. Along the sidewalk crowds of folk bustled around weaving in and out of shops. There was a mix of species but most were witches or mages. One mage carrying a small cage with a baby phoenix shot him a nasty look while Jungkook had his back turned and Jimin discreetly adjusted his hair so it covered the pointy tips of his ears. There was a reason there wasn’t many fae in this part of the city. Fortunately, the wolf didn’t seem to notice anything was amiss so Jimin busied himself with pointing out various shops to the kid. He listened to Jimin with such focus he didn’t even seem to realize he was still holding hands with Jimin.

The fairy spotted a familiar shop and he quickly headed in its direction pushing through the crowd. The bell above the door dinged as he pushed his way inside. The inside of the shop was a mess of animal cages and pens that were filled with straw. All kinds of magical beasts occupied them. On a perch near the door a dwarf dragon no bigger than a cat perched watching them calmly through slitted eyes. Jimin bowed to it in greeting and reached out to scratch under its chin. It let out a bird-like chirp and tilted its head back to encourage the motion. With some encouragement from Jimin Jungkook cautiously offered a hand to the dragon for it to sniff. It let out a happy noise and nuzzled into his hand.

“Well, would ya look at that.” A husky voice sounded from behind them. A poorly woman wearing an apron with the shop’s name on it stood watching them with a look of surprise on her face.

“Auntie Bom” Jimin exclaimed allowing the woman to pull him into a tight hug.

“Park! It’s been a while! Who’s your friend?”

Jungkook shyly bowed and introduced himself to the lively woman. Jimin chuckled at the squeak he made when Bom pulled him into a hug as well.

“It’s rare for Yema to take to strangers like that!” The old omega said gesturing in the little dragon’s direction. “Ya looking for a job kid? Cause I could use a hand around here what with the holidays coming up.”

“Umm…” Jungkook stuttered seeming at a loss for words.

Jimin took pity on him and interrupted. “I’m just showing him the city Bom no need to get carried away!”

“Well, why didn’t you say so!” She said going on a tangent about which shops and cafes were worth visiting. By the time they left the shop Bom had made Jimin promise to bring the wolf back next time he visited. Jungkook was worryingly quiet when they left the shop.

“You ok?” Jimin asked nudging the wolf to get his attention. “I know Bom can be a bit much but she means well.”

“Oh no! It’s not that! She’s really nice. It’s just that she just reminds me of someone.” Jimin wanted to press the kid for answers but the look on his face was so sad. Jimin could tell he didn’t want to talk about it so instead, he continued on with the tour of the city.

It was around 5pm when they finally make it to the meeting place. It was a small park near the center of the city that served as a refuge from the business of the city. It was still pretty early so the park was fairly busy. A few other fae, some nature spirits and more linger about enjoying the last bit of sun before nightfall There’s still another hour and a half till Tae closes his shop, so they take a seat on a bench to wait for the witch. The cool October wind blowing through the park felt good against Jimin’s skin but Jungkook shivered and curled in on himself sipping from the cup of hot chocolate the fairy had bought him earlier. Jimin had a hunch the kid had a sweet tooth and bought it for him on a whim. Jimin wasn’t normally the kind of person to give out gifts but the look of happiness on Jungkook’s face when he’d taken his first sip had been worth it. Jimin had chosen a strawberry chai tea for himself. It was far from what he’d usually order but he’d felt compelled to buy it for some reason.

Suddenly Jungkook seems to perk up beside him and Jimin follows his gaze to a group of wolf shifters that were on the far side of the park. There were five of them. Three adults and two children. One of the adults was playfully tossing one of the squealing pups up into the air. Jimin chuckled at the sight. He’d always had a soft spot for kids. His laugh died out when he caught a glimpse of the expression on Jungkook’s face. The wolf was staring at the group with a look of utter sadness and longing etched across his face. Of course, the look made sense. It had probably been a long time since the wolf had seen other shifters like him. It was only natural to miss being around your own kind. Jimin of all people knew that. The sudden image of Jungkook laughing and smiling with the small pack suddenly entered Jimin’s mind. An intense wave of negative emotion flooded the fairy at the thought of the wolf joining the other pack and he had to choke down a possessive growl. His own reaction surprised himself. As a fairy, he was naturally very possessive over things that happened to catch his attention but he barely knew this kid.

“Hey, Jungkook… let's go meet Tae back at his shop instead.” Jimin said suddenly eager to leave the park.

###

Namjoon was stumped. He’d just finished getting off the phone with another pack that held territory in the woods. He’d painstakingly contacted every registered pack within a 500-mile radius but no one seemed to be missing a young wolf shifter. It was as if the kid had magically teleported to their doorstep. Perhaps that should have worried Namjoon but if anything he was relieved. The pack had gotten used to the kid’s presence and Namjoon didn’t want to be the one to break the news if anyone did come to claim the kid. If the kid wanted to stay Namjoon fully intended to allow him to be a part of their little pack but there were things about them that the kid needed to know first. Things that scared most people away. Soon Namjoon would tell him and ask him to make a choice but not now. The kid was still getting used to them after all.

Namjoon was so lost in thought that he didn’t notice the door creak open. So when someone cleared their throat nervously behind him he startled violently knocking some of his papers off his desk. Turning his chair around he was surprised to find Jungkook of all people staring at him with a look of shock that mirrored his own. His hand was partially outstretched as if he’d been about to reach out and tap his shoulder. His other hand was clutching a book to his chest as if to protect himself.

“Ahh sorry about that…” Namjoon said with an awkward chuckle. “Everything alright?”

Jungkook nodded slowly and seemed to struggle with himself for a moment clearly nervous. And for the first time, Namjoon wished he didn’t have such an intimidating scent.

“Can you teach me to read?” He blurted out.

Namjoon’s eyebrows shot up to his hairline. He hadn’t expected that. Jungkook must have noticed his surprise because an embarrassed flush began to creep up his cheeks. The kid looked like he was regretting opening his mouth.

“I’m sorry you're probably busy.” He said turning to leave.

“Jungkook wait,” Namjoon said reaching out to grab his wrist. “I’d love to teach you. I was just surprised you asked me… Are you sure you wouldn’t rather ask someone else?”

Jungkook nodded a look of determination coming over his face as he held out the book he was holding. It was a leather-bound book with intricate gold lettering and designs spread across the cover. The title read “The History and Encyclopedia of the World of Magic.” Namjoon recognized it immediately. He had the same one in his own collection.

“Taehyung gave me this book so I could learn more about the different races and stuff but I was too embarrassed to tell him I can’t read.”

The younger didn’t elaborate further on why he choose Namjoon of all people but he could guess why. Jungkook was closer to the other pack members so asking them would no doubt be more embarrassing for the wolf. But Namjoon was still practically a stranger so rejection from him would sting less. Still, it must have taken a great deal of courage to ask him. Even now Jungkook had a determined look on his face. Namjoon never could turn away someone eager to learn.

“I’ll teach you.”

###

Hoseok was convinced Jungkook would be the death of him. When he’d first heard about the kid from Taehyung Hoseok had been prepared to hate him but from the moment they’d first met and Hoseok had stared into the wolf’s huge dark eyes he knew it was a lost cause. The moment their eyes had met Hoseok felt a sixth soul bond flare to life between them. It was weak and half-formed just like the other five and Jungkook didn’t seem to feel it at all. Hoseok wasn’t sure if he wanted to laugh or cry. What were the odds of being bound to six people and none of them being at all aware of the connection? Hoseok was beginning to think he was cursed.

With the arrival of his sixth soulmate, Hoseok tried to remain aloof and cold to the younger but the young alpha quickly wedged his way into their pack like he’d been with them forever. He had the entire pack wrapped around his finger and was totally unaware of his power. Hell, even Yoongi and Jimin were smitten and Hoseok could grudgingly that despite his best efforts he’d grown attached to the kid as well. That in itself was a miracle. Like Yoongi, Hoseok was territorial and often downright hostile when strangers intruded on their little pack. Jimin had been the last one to join their pack and Hoseok hadn’t been able to look at him without feeling the urge to growl for an entire year. Hoseok assumed it had something to do with how quickly the soulbond had developed between them. Besides Jungkook the quickest bond he’d formed was with Taehyung but even that had taken six months and his and Yoongi’s bond had taken over three years to develop.

Hoseok quickly realized he couldn’t deny the kid anything. Jungkook hadn’t slept in his own bed for almost a month and normally the demon hated having people in his personal space but he couldn’t bring himself to turn the kid away. To be honest, he didn’t want to. He’d grown used to having the other’s presence next to him as he slept. It helped ease the pain in his chest and made falling asleep more bearable. For once Hoseok had someone in his bed for a reason other than sex and that was a nice change. The most difficult thing to get used to with this new sleeping arrangement was Jungkook’s scent. His own room no longer smelled like his own personal space. Now Jungkook’s scent was strong throughout his room mingling with his own scent. With every inhale, he breathed in the wolf's scent. It had bothered him at first. The morning after Jungkook slept in his bed for the first time Hoseok had washed his sheets a total of three times to ensure the younger’s slightly sweet scent didn’t cling to the fabric. Now he found himself not minding at all. It was dangerous. Hoseok knew he should keep the wolf at a healthy distance like he did with the others but he still continued allowing Jungkook to get close to him.

That night Hoseok once again left his door cracked and waited for the wolf. He had every intention to cut the night time visits short but when the familiar sound of the door creaking sounded and Hoseok looked up to turn the kid away his words caught in his throat. Unlike every other night, Jungkook was in his human form. Previously, he’d always been in his wolf form and Hoseok had been fine with that. After all, wolves didn’t talk or ask questions. But now having Jungkook here in his room in human form everything felt different. There was a strange heaviness in the air and Jungkook seemed to feel it as well. He looked nervous and young standing awkwardly in the doorway wearing clothes lent to him from the other members. For a moment Hoseok wondered if he was dreaming but when Jungkook climbed onto his side of the bed and it sank slightly under his weight Hoseok knew this was real.

Hoseok scarcely dared to breathe as the kid burrowed under the covers making himself at home in his bed. Hoseok robotically went about the rest of his nighttime routine. Brushing his hair and teeth and getting dressed. All the while being hyper-aware of Jungkook’s gaze on him. It wasn’t a new feeling. Jungkook always watched him getting ready for bed but this time his gaze held more weight. Unnerved by his own reaction he quickly flipped off the lights and slid into bed. Jungkook didn’t say anything and for that Hoseok was grateful. It took longer than usual but eventually, he drifted off to sleep.

###

“Hot.” That was the first thing Hoseok registered when he began to wake up. The second was the heavy weight of an arm resting across his waist. A strong sweet scent that smelled familiar filled his nose and made his mouth water. In his sleepy state, he instinctually pressed his nose into the area where the scent was the strongest. A high pitched whine sounded out and jolted him awake. Hoseok opened his eyes and was greeted with the sight of Jungkook's face only inches away from him. Sometime during the night Jungkook had crossed over into his side of the bed and wrapped himself around Hoseok. The young alpha was close enough for Hoseok to feel his breath fanning against his cheek. For a moment Hoseok simply stared. The wolf really was beautiful like this. Just then he shifted in his sleep pressing closer and even throwing a leg over the demon. Hoseok froze as Jungkook’s eyes fluttered open. The air in the room grew tense as the two stared at each other. Hoseok found himself unable to look away from the other.

An intense urge to kiss the wolf came over him and he felt himself lean in till their noses brushed together. Jungkook’s breath hitched in surprise right before their lips touched and Hoseok stiffened thinking he’d misread the situation. Just as he was about to pull back Jungkook surged forward and pressed their lips together. It was just a light innocent brush of their lips that barely counted as a kiss but Hoseok melted into it like a starving man. Jungkook seemed just as eager as him and responded enthusiastically. Each brush of their lips felt electric and already Hoseok could feel himself getting hard. Normally it would be embarrassing for the demon, getting so turned on by just kissing but considering Jungkook’s own arousal was pressed up against his thigh he couldn’t bring himself to care much. The wolf’s scent was so much stronger now and Hoseok felt drunk on it. Jungkook’s lips were so soft and smooth against his that he couldn’t resist nipping lightly at his bottom lip. Jungkook’s mouth parted with a breathy moan that goes straight to Hoseok’s dick and he’s quick to take advantage of the opportunity to deepen the kiss. The kiss quickly turned filthy as their tongues met. Jungkook clumsily tried to copy Hoseok’s movements and the demon practically growled in approval. The half-formed bond between them began to pulse violently and Hoseok broke the kiss and tried to pull back but Jungkook doesn’t let him get far. The wolf surges forward to mouth at the sensitive skin of his neck and Hoseok is gone. He pushes Jungkook back onto the bed and straddled him. The younger’s skin is flushed with arousal and Hoseok gives in to the urge to taste it. He leans in to suck a mark into the wolf’s skin as he begins to roll his hips against him.

The bond continues to pulse faster and faster till it borders on painful and Hoseok wonders if this will be how he dies. He must make some noise of pain because this time Jungkook is the one pulling back. Hoseok thinks the wolf asks him something but he can barely hear over the sound of his own heartbeat pounding violently. The bond gives one last pulse before going still and Hoseok naively thinks that whatever just happened was over. He looks up to meet Jungkook’s worried gaze and assure him that everything is fine but his words are cut off when the bond pulses again even more violently than before. But this time Hoseok isn’t the only one affected. Jungkook lets out a strangled gasp as the bond between them solidifies. The feeling is almost indescribable, like the world's most painful orgasm. Hoseok’s vision goes white with pleasure as the aftershocks course through his body. Distantly he realizes one of them is screaming but his brain feels like mush. Only when the sensation dwindles down and he regains his senses does the gravity of what had happened hit him. Beneath him, Jungkook is staring up at him with wide, scared eyes. He can feel the wolf’s confusion through their, now fully formed, bond something that he’d never been able to do before. Fear and regret fill the demon and now Hoseok knows their bond goes both ways because hurt and embarrassment filters through the bond. Hoseok jerks back as if stung and Jungkook whimpers at the loss of contact. Hoseok can’t even look at him. A door slams somewhere in the house and Hoseok can hear someone heading in their direction, no doubt because of the scream. Jungkook is still staring at him from the bed looking so lost and suddenly Hoseok feels like he can’t breathe. He runs like a coward and tries to ignore the feelings of betrayal filtering through the bond.