The night air in the mountains of northern Tennessee was quiet and calm as a small campfire flickered softly in a clearing. Sitting next to the fire were two small children, a ten year old girl and her eight year old brother. The two siblings were all that were left of their pack, their parents having been killed by werewolf hunters as they protected the closet they were hiding in. Finding herself in the position of alpha, the oldest, Kira, decided that they needed to leave before the authorities could find and separate them. She had managed to salvage their father's camping supplies and grabbed enough food to sustain the two for a while until they could find somewhere else to go. Kira was sitting in front of the fire planning out their next move while Ven sat in her lap. Surprisingly, the little boy was completely calm about the whole situation. He just knew to trust his alpha, his sister.
It had started getting late and after getting Ven fed and bathed, Kira sent him into the tent to get ready for bed. As she was putting out the campfire, she heard a rustling in the bushes. As they were too deep in the woods, she knew it couldn't have been a human and they weren't deep enough for it to be any sort of wild creature besides the occasional squirrel or rabbit. Ven crawled out of the tent and clung to Kira's arm.
"What is it Kira?" He asked with a small whimper, afraid that the humans had found them and he and his sister would be separated forever.
"I dunno Venny." She said, patting him on the head. She narrowed her eyes a bit, ready to take out any threat, human or animal, when two identical looking and dirty boys came running though the bushes into the clearing. The two didn't look that old, possibly only older than Ven by a year and a few months. They both growled at the orphaned siblings, the older of the two glaring at Kira.
"Give us all your food and we won't hurt you." He demanded. Kira glared at them, she hated it when people mistook her size and age and these two boys were not going to take advantage of that just because they were bigger than her. At this point she didn't care that these two boys could possibly be human, her only priority was to protect her only family. She growled low as her emerald green eyes shifted to alpha red.
"I don't have to do anything." She growled. The two boys gasped and took a step back. "This is my territory."
"Y-you're an...a-alpha?" The younger twin asked, hiding behind his brother. Their eyes turned gold and they both gave her apologetic looks.
"Yeah, I am." she said, no longer growling but still protectively standing in front of Ven. She could see the looks of terror on their faces and let her eyes return to normal. "Go on and get out of here." The twins started to get up when Ven ran passed Kira and grabbed their hands.
"Wait! Don't leave." He said, pouting a little. Kira gave her brother a puzzled look but stayed back a bit. The twins, both much taller than Ven, turned to the boy with puzzled looks as well. "You guys are like us right? No home? No mommy or daddy?" Kira knew it wasn't a question, it was an observation. The twins both nodded slowly.
"Yeah." The younger one said softly. "We're all that's left of our pack." Ven stared at the two for a while, and in that instant he could feel their sadness.
"Stay with us!" He quickly blurted out, catching Kira's attention.
"What?! No way Ven there's no-" She stopped midsentence as he gave her the most adorable pleading look. Her heart melted a bit and she sighed. She could never deny Ven anything, not when they had lost everything. "Fine. They can stay." Ven jumped up and down happily and Kira smiled a little. "Alright, time for bed." The four climbed into the tent and Kira kicked off her sneakers before getting into the sleeping bag she and Ven shared despite having two of them.
"I'm Ventus by the way." He chirped. "But everyone calls me Ven! This is my big sister Kira!"
"I'm Aiden, this is Ethan." The older twin said. "How old are you guys?"
"I'm ten. Ven's eight." Kira said.
"We're both nine." Ethan said, getting into the other sleeping bag with Aiden. "Is your hair really green?" Ven pouted.
"Yes it is!" he said. Kira smiled and patted him on the head.
"Easy Venny, you know people always ask that." She said. He pouted at her before demanding a bedtime story, something he usually did when upset or frustrated. "Okay, what story do you wanna hear tonight?"
"Three pigs!" he said, the smile returning to his face. Kira smiled at him. The twins both became alert and decided they were going to listen as well.
"Three pigs it is." She said. Ven giggled gleefully and got comfortable. "Alright. Once upon a time there were three little pigs. Each pig lived in a house they built themselves." She started. "The three pigs were having lunch in the forest when a hungry wolf spotted them. After lunch the pigs went home. The wolf followed one of the pigs who's house he had built from straw. The wolf knocked on the door and said, 'Little pig, little pig. Let me in.' And what did the pig say Ven?"
Ven giggled "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!". Ethan found himself staring at the green haired boy in wonder, even his laugh was interesting. Aiden was actually very impressed at Kira's ability to make her brother laugh. The two of them seemed so full of life and joy.
Kira nodded. "That's right. So the wolf said, 'Then I'll huff, and I'll puff and blow your house down.' And he took a deep breath and blew the straw house down. Well the little pig ran down the road to his brother's house; this pig's house was made of sticks. Well the wolf followed the pig and knocked on the door again. 'Little pigs, little pigs. Let me in.'"
Ven grinned and reached over, grabbing the twins by their wrists with a smile. "Come on guys! Join!". Ethan and Aiden looked at each other, before Ethan agreed. He and Ven both said "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!" While Ven laughed and unknowingly leaned into Ethan's side.
Kira smiled. "'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!' Just like the first pig, the wolf took a deep breath and blew the house down. Now both pigs could be seen, so they ran further down the road to their brother's house. This pig was the oldest and wisest of the three and he built his house out of bricks. Like he did with the other pigs, the wolf knocked on the door. 'Little pigs, little pigs. Let me in!'"
Aiden actually smiled, the first time he had genuinely smiled In a long time, and all three boys shouted "Not by the hair on my chinny chin chin!" Before erupting into fits of laughter. Kira smiled fondly at the display.
"'Then I'll huff and I'll puff and I'll blow your house down!' Like last time, the wolf took a deep breath and blew. But the house didn't fall down no matter how many times he tried. That's because the house was sturdy since it was built from bricks. So the wolf got another idea. 'Instead of blowing the house down, I'll go through the chimney.' So he climbed up the house and crawled down the chimney. Well the pigs thought the wolf would try that and put a big pot of hot water under the fireplace. When the wolf climbed down his tail got burnt from the water and he fell in." She said. "The wolf yelped and leapt from the pot before running far away, vowing never to bother the pigs again." The boys all clapped happily and laughed.
Kira smiled and started getting Ven settled for bed, but the boy was so wound up he could hardly lay still. With a sigh and a smile, Kira dug around in her bag and pulled out a tiny wolf shaped music box. She wound the key on the side and let the melody play, gently sang along with it. "When you walk away, you don't hear me say 'Please, oh baby, don't go.' Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel tonight, it's hard to let it go." Slowly but surely, Ven started to fall asleep, his arms wrapped around Kira's waist as he snuggled closer for warmth.
Kira smiled at her little brother and kissed his forehead, laying down next to him as the music box continued to play while Ethan and Aiden sat in awe of Kira's beautiful voice. After a while, Ethan too was deep in sleep while Kira and Aiden sat awake. There was an awkward tension between the two as the night wore on.
"So...you're a really good singer." Aiden said suddenly.
"Thanks." Kira answered. The silence creeped back into the still tent and Kira watched Ven's chest rise and fall as he slept. Pretty soon the tension became too much for Aiden.
"Why'd you say yes?" he asked. He had to know. He and Ethan had pretty much threatened them and were tempted to kill them should they fight back and yet she still welcomed them into her territory. Kira simply shrugged a bit.
"Venny needs friends." She said.
But you don't know us." He argued. At this point he wasn't even sure why he was arguing against food, shelter and companionship but he needed to know. He wanted to understand. She shrugged again.
"You're both alone. When I saw you and Ethan I saw me and Ven. No one should have to be alone." she said, snuggling her brother closer. Aiden simply stared at her in wonder, for a girl her age she was wise beyond her years. A small blush broke out on his face and he quickly cleared his throat, turning on his side away from her.
"Girls..." he muttered a bit. Kira rolled her eyes and got comfortable, letting sleep claim her finally.