Chapter 1: The Nightly Grind
The world was boring to the naked eye, very few people were happy with their lives. Some wished they were rich, some wished they were thin, some which they were beautiful and then there’s the few that wanted the supernatural world to exist. If only they knew that the realm of witches and warlocks, vampires and lycanthropes walked alongside their own, although they were coveted from society. Manticores and kirin protected the forests, dragons and wyverns dominated the mountains, leviathans and sirens prowled the depths of the ocean, with everyone else spread few and far between. Witches and warlocks had conjured glamours for creatures who found it hard to hide their physical appearance, species such as centaurs seeking their assistance. Covens of vampires populated the cities, whereas werewolves found themselves quite comfortable out by the countryside along with centaurs and fauns, living towards the outskirts of the woodlands and forests. In a small township stood Britain’s infamous Lone Wolf tavern, arguably one of the best, for both humans and the creatures of the night. By day, the tavern fed the township's humans, by night it housed the supernatural inhabitants.
Lena Oxton was a regular, although she was a guard dog for the building. She was a young alpha in training to a neighbouring werewolf pack and to make herself a bit of coin she would offer her services to the witch that owned the tavern. It helped her buy the necessities that the pack needed, especially for the omegas who needed nursery supplies over the spring, it also gave her a reason to go into the city. Her elders would always scold her curiosity, claiming that the humans would shoot her on the spot if they found out what she was. This, of course, was an old way of thinking. Glamours had become more reliable and werewolves were trained from pups to learn how to control themselves so accidental shiftings were a rare occurrence. To the untrained eye, Lena looked like the average human but upon closer inspection, there were subtle hints of her wolf genes, a crooked smile, longer canines, soft brown eyes that seemed to glow under the twilight and the tribal tattoo that covered her upper right arm. As an alpha, she had her shifting habits down to a tee, only shifting at will and on the night of a full moon, but other than that she was coveted.
The tavern was a safe haven for creatures passing through, half a dozen rooms available to rent for a night or two. Angela Ziegler was the owner, a witch of all sorts. She provided her services for those who wanted spells and potions, her errand dog, Fareeha Amari, going hunting for the required oddities the woman needed. Fareeha was a member of the same pack that Lena belonged too, although they weren’t closely related. The pack wasn’t exactly tradition in the sense that everyone was a wolf, it was home to those who were outcasted or lost. Whilst the elders were Lycans, the head of the pack was a minotaur, Reinhardt Windhelm, who was more of a father figure than Fareeha’s biological sire. She had landed herself in the mismatched pack after her mother dropped her there one day, never to return. After years of sulking and anger, Fareeha took those feelings and turned them into something positive. Most of the summer, the Egyptian wolf assisted Britain in military operations. When she was home for the rest of the year, she would assist Angela in her daily hunts for strange trinkets, but of course, she never questioned the list of objects. Fareeha had imprinted on the blonde witch, but it was clear that the other didn’t think anything of it, or if she did, she did a bloody good job hiding it. Reinhardt was like an adoptive father to many of the pack’s younger members who had joined under unfortunate circumstances. He found that his usual appearance was rather intimidating, so inlisted the help of Angela to create a semi-permanent glamour. Whilst he retained his freakish height and statue, his horns had been removed and his bull half was changed to that of a man, all thanks to the glamour she had cast upon him.
The Lone Wolf was known for supplying the best quality blood in the whole of Britain, as well as souls and other consumables. Many of Angela’s clients were from all over the continent, a large book sitting upon the bar, the pages ruled up and filled out with names, requests and quotes. As she glanced over at it, she pondered getting a new one. Whilst it was easier using her laptop and phone, many of her regular clients were incredibly old, so it was easier on them writing it up and giving them a pickup date and time. It kept the blonde on her toes, constantly mixing drinks for patrons and potions for clients.
The normally quiet township was alive during the night, the tavern’s lights illuminating the street ahead. There was never a dull night, various bands playing music as patrons danced and sung along over drinks and food. That night was no exception, Angela was on her toes as she created round after round of shots and cocktails, handing them out to Lena and Fareeha to distribute around the floor. The crowds lingered well into the morning, slowly siphoning out once the witch announced that the tavern would be closing until the following night, Fareeha shifting into her wolf form and chasing out the unwilling patrons. She stood a good eight-foot-tall at her withers, her fur a dark chocolate brown with a cobalt tint under the lights, her eye tattoo transferring over to her wolf form. She was lean, her build more that of an Ethiopian wolf, her fur short and sleek. Lena was a good foot and a half shorter than the Egyptian, her fur hazelnut with a bright yellow tint under the light, taking a build of an eastern wolf.
Once everyone had left, Angela let out an audible sigh of relief, leaning against the bar as she untied her hair and shook it out. Lena yawned, stretching before she shifted back into her human form, Fareeha following suite.
“Danke, your help is very much appreciated, as always,” the witch said softly, picking up a rag and a spray bottle, throwing a rag to Lena.
Fareeha smiled gently, rubbing the back of her neck, “don’t mention it, Angela, really it was no chore,” she said, walking to the cleaner’s closet and grabbing a vacuum cleaner and a mop.
Lena had ducked behind the bar to grab another bottle of disinfectant, travelling around the floor and spraying the tablet before wiping them clean, putting extra elbow grease in when trying to rid of the sticky residue from spilt drinks. She didn’t mind the work, but on busy nights she was close to joining in on all the fun. She had already slipped up once, once more and she would be out of the job.
As the little brown wolf was notorious for wandering, not just from her job but from the pack, the elders had requested that Angela put a tracking collar on Lena. So, she sported a dark brown leather collar at all times aside from showering and it had been used more than enough times to be considered more than useful. Before the collar, Lena was known to wander out into the city out of mere boredom and wasn’t able to be found until she wandered back home. Now, the elders usually send Fareeha to bring her back and on most occasions, she was successful in retrieving the lost pup. Lena still hadn’t learnt, she would still wander her way into the cities only to be brought back sulking. She was curious, it was expected of a pup, but Lena wasn’t a pup anymore. Her excuse would be that she could feel a pull that coaxed her to the bustling roads and skyscrapers, but her word was never taken seriously. Each time, the elders would scold, Lena compared them to the likes of a broken record. ‘You’re an alpha’ they would say, ‘stop acting like a child’. It was all the same, and in time it began to blow right over the wolf’s head. She couldn’t care less what they said and she had no intentions on taking over as alpha once the elders deemed her ready.
“Alright, I’ll let the two of you go home and rest. You won’t be needed tomorrow night, I’m closed for renovations. This place needs a new look,” Angela said, the last part more to herself than anyone else.
After putting the last of the chairs up onto their tables and moping under them, Fareeha placed the vacuum and the mop back into the closet and closed it firmly. Lena tossed the now filthy rag into a bucket, setting the spray bottle behind the bar.
“See ya, Ange, I’ll drop by tomorrow ta see what ya’ve done to the place,” the Brit insisted, switching her phone from silent and tucking it into her back pocket.
A soft chuckle left the blonde’s throat, “quite alright, Lena, sie brauchen sich keine sorgen zu machen.”
Lena huffed, “English, luv, English.”
“She said not to worry about it,” Fareeha looked over, “now, let’s go home.”
“The only reason you know that is because you-”
Fareeha cut her off by shoving her out of the door, thanking Angela on the way, “that’s enough out of you, now when we get home, go and sleep.”
If there was one thing Fareeha was right about, Lena needed sleep, “yeah, that sounds like a plan.”
Chapter 2: Come Again?
I'm so sorry this has taken so long to write and publish, I have been stumped for so long but either way, I hope you enjoy it.
London had a horrid vampire problem, more than half the city was infected with them. They bred like rabbits and turned unsuspecting individuals left, right and centre. There were a total of three covens in power and one lone vampire, who had managed to gain control over central London all on her own, well, most of it on her own. The woman also had a place on the council in France. Madame Amélie Lacroix, who had been given the name ‘Widowmaker’ as she had murdered her husband in a blind rage. She had attempted to live down the name and even though the event happened almost a century ago, her attempts were futile. In her eyes, it was an accident, she was overcome by something, but to the council, it was an act to gain power. As a reminder of the man she once loved, the woman wore her late husband’s silver chain that donned the coven crest, although they never got far enough to create a fully-fledged coven. Instead, Amélie was entwined in a crime ring; nothing too serious, just unexplained deaths once or twice a week.
The woman often found herself wondering how they hadn’t been caught as their intel never exactly kept low as they had expected. Olivia Colomar, better known under the alias of ‘Sombra’, was a frost imp who was born and bred in Mexico and moved over to the United Kingdom to have a new playing field. She wasn’t the most trustworthy, most jobs going south if she tagged along. Amélie had deemed her as dead weight, so decided against bringing her anywhere. Another member of the crime ring was another vampire, although much older than Amélie. The woman was tall and slender, her mismatched eyes able to stare into the souls of anyone she looked at. She possessed two sets of fangs, which reflected her status as a high vampire. Doctor Moira O’deorain, a woman respected both on the council and in the science world. She was an infamous geneticist, although sometimes it wasn’t for the best reasons. Her morals and ethics were thrown out the window centuries ago, earning her a steady rivalry with ‘Doctor’ Ziegler. Moira believed that her doctor title was forged, but of course, she had no proof of such a thing. The pair would constantly butt heads, although they never attempted to kill each other. Olivia would always jest that they should kiss already, but that sent Moira into a flurry of red and incomprehensible murmuring. Amélie would find herself scolding the imp, but always questioned the other vampire’s behaviour. It was out of character, to say the least.
But as time went on, she became bored with life. She had been alive for almost three hundred years and it was beginning to take a toll on her. Amélie had courted many after Gérard, although none of her partners stuck and once she had used them, she drained their bodies dry of every drop of blood they harboured, no matter the species. There was a certain girl, she very rarely saw her but whenever she did, she caught her eye. Zipping around collecting things, mostly alone but sometimes accompanied by a darker-skinned woman. To Amélie, she was strange. The vampire had never been able to get close to the spitfire, until the day she decided to sit for a coffee one early morning.
Lena had been tasked with retrieving succubus claws and horns, which meant going into the city as that’s where Angela’s vendor was situated. The wolf jumped at the offer, although due to the excitement she couldn’t sleep the night before. So, half-asleep, Lena made the trek into London, leaving the village-like property at roughly four am. She had snagged Reinhardt’s car in the process, not game enough to walk and it was too early to take her motorbike. Once she was far enough from the property, she cranked up the volume in an attempt to keep herself awake until she arrived in the city. It worked, for the most part, she made it into the city, found a park, had a ten-minute nap and then located the nearest coffee shop. In all her haste, she had forgotten the address that was written on a piece of paper and stuck to the fridge. She thought whilst she waited for a reasonable time to wake Angela up that she would enjoy a piping hot coffee, which also served as a wake me up.
After exiting the car, the lycan went for a wander, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans hooking around her neck and pulling her to a small corner shop. Gently pushing the door open, the warm scent of coffee hit Lena like a truck. The shop was quaint, filled from floor to ceiling in bags of beans and on one wall, books. It was there that a woman caught her attention, tall, curvy, dangerously attractive. She caught herself staring and was only brought back to reality when the worker behind the counter cleared their throat.
“How can I help you?” They asked with a smile, Lena’s head snapping over to look over at them.
She returned the smile and walked over to the counter, “just a latte if I could,” she answered, rummaging through her backpack and pulling out her wallet.
Amélie had caught the brunette staring, she was all too familiar to the vampire. The little firefly that had caught her eye all those times darting from place to place. Although, upon being able to take in her scent, her hopes of trying to woo the woman were possibly going to be futile. Vampire and werewolf relationships, whilst not uncommon, were frowned upon whether they were platonic or romantic, it didn’t matter to either council. The vampire needed a new plaything, but the one she desired seemed to be out of reach.
As Lena paid and collected her coffee, she looked around for a spot to sit only to find every table was taken, she gave a slight huff and resulted to sitting in the car whilst she waiting for the time to pass although as she went to leave, a smooth voice graced her hearing.
“Chéri, care to sit here? I’m not waiting for anyone.”
Pivoting on her heels, Lena saw the woman who the voice belonged to and noticed that it was the same woman she found herself staring at earlier on. She stood there dumbfounded, confused as to why such an attractive woman would be speaking to her. Hell, she hadn’t even showered that morning and had only thrown on a pair of jeans and a singlet. After standing like an idiot for a moment or two, she silently raised a finger to point at herself, confused.
A faint chuckle left the vampire’s throat as she sat the mug she cradled down onto a coaster, “yes, you,” she said, gesturing to the empty seat in front of her, “here, take a seat.”
Without thinking twice, Lena wandered over and carefully pulled out the chair, plopping into it and setting her backpack down beside the legs of the chair. Her hands cradled the takeaway coffee cup, her body absorbing the warmth it provided.
“I haven’t seen you here before, are you new to the area?” The older woman asked, cocking a brow slightly as she picked up her mug again, raising it to her lips.
Lena shook her head, “nah, I’m just ‘ere on business, I ‘ad to pick somethin’ up for a friend but I’ve forgotten the address,” she said with a soft chuckle of embarrassment, “I’m just killin’ time until she’s awake to give ‘er a call.”
“I see, perhaps I know where you might have been headed,” Amélie spoke after swallowing a small mouthful, “I suppose I should introduce myself, Amélie Lacroix, and you are?”
The brunette pulled away from the cup, covering her mouth as she licked her lips before speaking, “Lena Oxton, please to meet ya,”
“The pleasure’s all mine, Lena,” the vampire purred.
The way her name rolled off her tongue made the wolf melt in her seat. She made her skin crawl, in a good way though. But there was a feeling in her chest that she couldn’t shake, a feeling the lycan couldn’t quite pinpoint. She didn’t like it, but she didn’t hate it. It was all so confusing. She was broken from her thoughts as the other began to speak again and her full attention was on her voice.
“I didn’t think lycans travelled into the city anymore,” Amélie said rather nonchalantly.
“Yeah, we don’t normally. We prefer to live out in the countryside, easier to live out that way bein’ a beast and whatnot,” Lena stated with very little care and not noticing that the other had picked up on what she was, “I’d say the same, but from past experiences, you vamps plague the cities.”
“You say that like a bad thing,” the other retorted, her brows furrowed into a frown.
Lena was quick to shake her head, “I didn’t mean for it to sound that way, it’s just the reason we’re so low in numbers is because of you lot,” she said, her voice apologetic.
The pair continued to talk until Amélie ran out of coffee and deemed it her time to go. She slid a small piece of paper to the wolf, her number scribbled on it. Her handwriting was so neat, Lena almost envied it but before she could say a word, the vampire left the shop, sliding her hat and sunglasses on the moment she stepped out of the building. A harsh tug pulled at Lena to follow her, to stay by her side. The feeling in her chest from earlier had returned, but it had intensified. After forcing the feeling to the side by downing the remainder of the coffee, Lena stood and tossed the cup into the bin and headed out. From there, she gave Angela a call and attained the address again, finding the vendor and asking for the witch’s order of succubus limbs. The bag was oddly heavy but Lena paid no mind as she handed the envelope full of the owed amount and dashed to the car, speeding home in order to rid of the feeling that had returned to her chest not long after leaving the coffee shop. It was like torture.
The car skidded to a halt, it’s nose dipping forward as the break was slammed, kicking up dust from the dirt road. Lena grabbed the bag from the back seat and ran into the tavern, dumping it on the bar.
“Here Ange, thank me later!” She called out, running right back to the car, starting it back up and speeding down the road to the property that she lived on. She parked in front of Reinhardt’s dwelling before making a mad dash to Fareeha’s unit.
After several seconds of Lena banging on the door, the Egyptian wolf opened the door, growling softly. Her hair was a mess, her shirt had twisted slightly and she wasn’t wearing any pants.
“This better be import-”
She couldn’t even finish the sentence, Lena having dished her shoes and bolting into the small house, “ya gotta help me ‘Reeha, somethin’s not right and I dunno if it’s my ticker or what-”
This time, the Brit was the one who was cut off, “slow down, take a breath, sit down, then tell me what’s going on,” said Fareeha as she walked to the kitchen, yawning and scratching her stomach in the process.
Lena fell back onto the couch, taking a few breaths as Fareeha had said. Her heart was racing and she could feel the adrenaline coursing through her being. It was scary but invigorating, she wasn’t sure how to feel aside from confusion. How did one woman have such an effect on her, let alone a vampire?
“Okay, well, long story short, I met this gorgeous woman in London and since then my chest is feelin’ all funky like there’s a fish hook stuck in it and a constant painful pull,” she explained rather quickly, although Fareeha sleepily nodded as she understood what the other was saying.
After another yawn, Fareeha spoke up, “right, right. So, in other words, you’ve imprinted on that woman.”
Lena frowned, looking over at the other wolf, “I’m sorry luv, what?”