Randolf

Ember Fullbuster is your average fifteen year old girl. It’s the first day of school and a strange boy appears at her front door, saying that she is a werewolf and will have her first shift this full moon. During their conversation, she discovers that he is a werewolf himself. Ember brushes him off, thinking that he is just pranking her, she goes to school as normal, but the day of the full moon, she begins seeing strange things. Her head pounds and she gets a high fever. Her vision fades into a red glow. She gets sent home from school. But when the full moon rises, her life will never be the same again.

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2. You and I

Thoughts surrounded her mind. Leaving her with nothing but a foggy road ahead. She could only see into her mind and not out into the real world.

“How do I feel about Reaf and Ash?” Ember challenged.

You light up when you see Reaf-”

“Maybe, but not Ash.” She cut of her wolf.

“I could feel your disgust with him, but after the full moon, I can feel the way you admire him. I feel all your emotions Ember. You admire him because he’s gone through the pain three times now. You have a friend in him.” Fulki silenced, having proven her point. She sat quietly behind Ember’s eyes. Fulki’s last words shuddered her body, a friend? She thought to herself. Fulki remained silent but she couldn’t shake the “yes you dummy” feeling. Being the klutz she was, she was heading straight for the same pole when a familiar arm did not grab her wrist like before, but instead wrapped his arms around her body.

“Glad you’re okay Little Lite, sorry you had to go through that with him. I Wish I could have been with you instead.” Recognition coursed through her veins.

“Raef!” She said with glee, “I’m happy to see you too, and I’m fine. Ash isn’t that bad actually.” A soft chuckle eased Raef’s tensed muscles.

“He just...” Raef trailed off.

“He just what.” Ember continued.

“Just... How do you know he doesn’t want to do anything weird to you.” The strange worry she had seen the day before returned.

“How do I know you don’t.” Her rebutte stunned him dry.

“Come on you lovebirds, we have Latin.” Another warm voice broke the stunned silence. “And Ember, welcome to the world of being a shifter. Raef and I are fox shifters. We made a pack back in middle school cuz we were the only shifters there, but now you’re here, and welcome to join.” Eden extended a friendly hand.

“Thanks I will. Raef, why didn’t you tell me Eden is a shifter.” They were now walking to class.

“Cuz that is her secret to tell.”

“Fair enough.”

“You’re taking this really well Ember. How are you not freaking out? When I found out I’m a fox shifter I was freaking out for a solid year.” Eden declared.

“I don’t know… it just feels right. I can talk to Fulki now; I feel like I’ve found my other half.”

“Technically you were only twenty-five percent of yourself before, then you found Fulki, who I’m assuming is your wolf’s name. Now you are fifty percent. You won’t be fully complete until you find a mate and his animal.” The words ran off Raef’s mouth and made sound like a talking textbook, but when he said his last sentence, his hand brushed up against Ember’s.

“What textbook is you swallow, the psychology of shifters?” Ember panicly teased Raef and began to walk closer to Eden. The trio walked into Latin. The class was boring and sensing the opportunity, Fulki spoke her mind.

Why did you do that, he likes us.” Fulki almost snarled her words.

“Do what?” Ember asked, forgetting her attempt to get away from Raef.

“Jumping away from Raef, don’t think he didn’t notice your silent rejection or the fact that he is not listening to our conversation.” This time, Fulki spoke softer, almost like she was consoling a lost child to come closer to her. For the first time in awhile, Ember felt safe enough to sleep. But a bigger issue was running through her mind.

Can he do that?” Ember asked

“Yes and so can you. I will show you later, but getting back to business, why did you reject him, and don’t even try to lie. I can feel your emotions.” Fulki’s words were laced with anticipation.

“I don’t know; ever since he brought me home yesterday, I feel more comfortable around him. His hand thing just surprised me, I didn’t mean to reject him.” Her words struck her hard, as if saying them outloud makes them true. Then something swelled within her, a surge of happiness and relief, but they weren’t her emotions. “They’re Raef’s.” Fulki informed her.

“Ember, are you with me?” Mr. Young, her teacher, pulled her away from her thoughts.

“Yes, Sir.” She replied.

“Good, we only have five minutes left of class, be sure to keep it that way. You look like you’re writing a story in your brain.” Mr. Young seemed to glare into her soul.

    

    The class ended and she went to history, parting with Eden and Raef, they had science. The class went smoothly, slight conversations between her and Fulki kept her from dying of boredom. The bell went off and the school wide war people call lunch came around.The trio met in the cafeteria and hunger gnawed at Ember’s stomach more than normal. Food was stacked atop her plate and was inhaled within seconds. She was still hungry.

“Slow down there girly.” A voice echoed behind her.

“And if I don’t?” Clear defiance boomed in her voice.

“I’ll make you.” The voice challenged. A tall, lean man walked in front of her. He was most likely a senior. He almost looked scranny, but indents on his arms proved he was much stronger than he appeared. He glared into her soul, she looked back. She saw a wolf in his soul; by now she was not surprised to see an animal soul, but he was. He jumped back, “Lupus Magum?” the man said.

“What? What’s a lupus magum?” Ember asked. She peered back to Raef and Eden, but they both looked like they’d been slapped in the face.

“You’ll find out soon, name’s Jacobs, find me if you have any questions wolf or not.” Jacobs turned and walked away.

“What just happened?” Ember asked.

Eden was the first to recover from the verbal slap in the face, “It’s not important. What is, is that we have to get to class, fourth period is starting soon. I’ve got history.”

“Okay, we’ll meet back here after school. I only have electives left today. To art!” Ember walked off triumphantly, as if she were leading an army. “Did you notice how Raef didn’t say a word all lunch?” Fulki asked.

Now that you mention it, yes. He was so quiet. And what do you think about Jacobs?” Ember replied.

“Weird. And I’m not sure what to think; his wolf looked kind of familiar. We should ask Ash about it.” Fulki responded.

“Alright, I’ll text him.” Ember removed her phone from her pocket and began sorting through her contacts. She found the contact, Little Liar, and clicked it. Hey Ash, can you meet me at my house after school? She sent it.

“We really need to change that contact name.” Fulki said.

“True.” Ember walked into digital art class only moments before the bell. Looking around she found a few people he recognized as other freshmen, but no one she really knew. “It’s okay, you got me. I’m hilarious.” Fulki joked. A laugh escaped Ember’s lips.

“Hello everyone, I am Mrs. Mubdia, your digital art teacher. Since we didn’t have class yesterday, I thought I would give you some grace on the ‘first day meet and greets’ and jump right into our first project. For our first project, you will choose an animal, then design a mural of it on your laptops. We have some digital canvases around the room. You are all welcome to use them. Break!.” Mrs. Mubdia returned to her desk, she seemed to be typing something. Everyone got up and grabbed the supplies they wanted. “What should I draw?” Ember asked Fulki.

“Draw me.”

“I don’t even know what you look like.” Ember thought to her wolf.

“Sure you do, remember that amber wolf you saw in your dream, that’s me.” Fulki replied cheerfully.

“Okay, here goes.”

    The rest of the class held light conversations between Ember and Fulki. Class ended and another began. Then that class ended and another began. Her last class ended, school was over. Raef was waiting right outside the fine arts building, “Can we talk?” he asked.

Ember saw the look on his face, this was something important, “Sure.” Ash will have to wait.

 

The two of them left the campus and stepped into a foreboding treeline. They walked in an awkward silence from the mornings rejection. “I’m sorry.” Ember broke the silence.

“For what?” Raef seemed oblivious.

“For rejecting you this morning.” Ember said.

“I know.” He said simply, “I heard your conversation with Fulki in Latin.”

“That’s not what this is about?” Ember asked.

“No.”

“Wha-?” She was cut off by two arms wrapping her in a tight hug.

“I guess it is kinda what this is about.” Raef whispered in her ear. His soft lips brushed against the tender skin and a quiet sigh escaped her mouth, sending prickles down her spine. But the moment faded as swiftly as it had begun. Raef back away, pupils dilated. “Just making sure you weren’t lying.” He said in between gentle breathes of warm air brushing ever so slightly against her lips. She was left cold, and kind of embarrassed to have fallen for the bait. But she did fall, she fell hard. Raef spoke more, but all she could think about was his lips brushing up against hers. The kiss slowly becoming more intense. Until there were no other emotions, only passion. Something snapped in her mind. Opened up her eyes to the small possibility that her silent wish could be granted. Raef never back away from her. The distance was still closed. Without thinking, she pulled his head down into the kiss she had been imagining. Raef froze the moment their lips touched. Time stopped. “Ember.” His voice was raspy and his breath was hard. She forced herself awake enough to see his fox. The unnamed animal was nearly as excited as her own was. His mind, just as aroused. “Why is he resisting?” She thought to herself. She could feel Fulki raise her awareness to offer her own opinion on the matter when the silence was broken by a more masculine voice. “Are you sure you want this, want me? I may not be able to stop.” Raef seemed ashamed of himself. They spoke through touching foreheads and deep breaths. Ember tilted her head up, reconnecting their lips. This time, he kissed back. But unlike her vision, nothing was soft. He kissed her hard, his tongue flew through her mouth. Her legs soon became weak with passion. Rough bark soon slammed into her back through the unconscious movement of rustling feet. It was only once the bark lifted her shirt slightly, and Raef’s hands brushed across bare skin, did a part of her mind slip. The tree directly in front of her burst into flames. Breaking their kiss. Raef jumped away from the fire, but in doing so, he jumped away from her. “What the heck?” Ember asked through deep, raspy breaths.

“I . . . I should . . . have listened.” Raef spoke slowly and through breaths almost harder than her own.

“Listen to what?” She turned to him.

“Get away from me! Witch!” He instantly shifted and ran into the wilderness, leaving Ember alone in the darkening forest.

“We should probably head home.” Fulki said.

“What? Oh yea, home.” Ember replied, still recovering from the recent past.

“We should also see if Ash can meet us later, after dinner maybe?” Fulki replied.

“Yea, okay.” The tree that had spontaneously combust a few moments prior was burned and charred, but no longer on fire.“I’ll text him, but what happened here.” Ember sasked.

“Not sure, let’s ask Ash.” Fulki replied. Ember pulled out her phone which had somehow remained in her pocket during her time with Raef. She pulled it out, seeing several texts. Where are you? I thought you said we were meeting after school. Ember are you alright? What happened? To which she replied, A lot happened, can I talk to you after dinner instead. Same place. She sent it. No more than ten seconds later came the reply, sure.

    

    She made her way home in silence, not even Fulki spoke. Only the sound of the occasional bird penetrated the quiet of her woodland trail home. The sun had almost disappeared below the treeline for the night. The forest grew darker by the second, until there was no light. Only when the moon won the fight against the clouds and her beams washed down into the trees, was there light. Her head hang, memories of Raef’s rejection flooded her, tempting tears to fall from her saddened eyes. The first came, then the next, and the next. Until there was no stopping the flow of water pouring down her face. She fell to her knees in a bundle of tears.

“Ember!?” A voice sounded in the distance. She fell deeper to the ground.

“Fulki?” She asked, “Can you protect me?”

To which her wolf replied, “If there were any danger, I would in a heartbeat, but the voice was just Ash.”

“Why did Raef leave?” Ember asked through sobs.

“What? Ember what are you talking about?” Ash asked, much more concerned.

“I kissed hi-”

“WHAT?” Ash yelled, “YOU DID WHAT?”

“Please Ash, I’m not in the mood. Just listen.” She slowed her tears enough to speak, Ash nodded.

“In the woods, he said he wanted to talk to me. I thought is was because of his advances earlier. I rejected him without thinking. But suddenly he hugged me. Whispered something in my ear, but when he did, he brushed his lips against it. The motion set off something in me, I wanted to kiss him. I noticed that he never opened the distance back up. So that’s exactly what I did. I kissed him.” As Ember continued her story, Ash seemed to understand more and more, “At first he froze, asked me if I knew what I wanted. To which I replied by kissing him back. We made out until the point when my legs couldn’t support my weight anymore. He backed me up to a tree. The bark made my shirt go up a bit. He dropped his hands so they would touch my bare skin. That when I felt it.” Ember stopped, her face was red with embarrassment.

“Ember . . . What did you feel.” Ash asked, horror on his face.

“Not what you’re thinking about, that’s gross.” She stuck her tongue out in a puking motion,” I felt a part of me leave. Something that has been folded up inside me for a long time. Something I cannot describe, but felt incredibly good to let go of. That’s when it happened.” She stopped, wondering if Ash would have the same reaction as Raef.

“What happened, Ember?” He was serious now, and his face was even more horrified than before. Only then did she realise that her most recent words had only encouraged his thought. She winced in disgust, “No. Just let me finish.” She said. He stared at her, ready for her next words.

“When that thing left me, a tree directly in front of me burst into flames.” Ember tensed, waiting the rejected that was sure to come. But Ash just stared at her, jaw dropped. He mumbled something audioable to only Fulki. “So Young.” She informed her. Ember thanked her wolf.

“So Young?” She asked.

“I guess it’s time you hear the story of your parents.” Ash said, “Your real parents.” A spark of interest reflected in Ember’s eyes.

“Your mother and father were the leader of our pack. The Crescent Eclipse Pack. Your parents are Hera and Rezso Crescent. The ruled with a kind hand. They were also the strongest type of werewolf in the world. It was because they had magic, like you.”

“My parents had powers too?” Ember cut him off.

“How do you think you have them. Anyway, your mother could control light, and your father darkness. Each lupus magum can control one element. Their element is determined by their eye color. Your element is fire, and you have eyes to match the flames.”

“Thanks.” She butt in.

“Are you sure you want me to finish, not everything has a happy ending” He wared. She nodded.

“Alright, lupus magums are rare and powerful. They were originally gifted their power from small moondrops, called moondrip. I don’t know much about it, but there is a book on it in the pack archive, so I’ll leave the origins at that. But because they are so powerful, many people and supernatural beings alike are afraid of them and hunt then to extinction. Your parents fell into a trap saving a wolf in our pack named Jacobs -” The second Ash said Jacobs, recognition soared through her eyes, but she waited for the story to end before adding her own comments.

“You know him?” Ash asked.

“Just finish the story.”

“Ok but I’m almost done. Both your parents were killed. But before they left, they gave their newborn baby to Steph and Jayden Fullbuster.”

“My foster parents.” Ember mumbled.

“Yes, and they know about werewolves. They know what you are, Ember. You don’t have to lie to them. They also know about your powers. Both your adoptive and birth parents know you have fire, that’s why they named you Ember.” Ash finished. Ember fell backward from her knees onto her butt. This was not the happy go lucky story she wanted. But then again, she always knew her parents were dead. So at least now she knew how they died. “I know Jacobs, he came to talk to me at school today. Tried to stop me from eating too fast.” She told him.

“Be nice to him Ember, he blames himself for what happened.” Ash said.

She nodded. “I think I’m just gonna go home. Today has been an emotional rollercoaster and I still have homework to do. We can talk more after school tomorrow.”

 

    The following night was exhausting and work filled. Ember decided not to talk to her parents about what happened to her birth parents or reveal the wolf. She would save that for the future, or so she thought. Her drive to school was short and quiet. Only the sound of the tires on the road penetrating the silence. Until she spoke, “Mom, will there be anyone who will ever like me for me?”

“What do you mean honey?”

“Will there be anyone in the world who isn’t afraid of me, who isn’t afraid of a little fire?” Ember looked her mother in the eye.

Steph sighed, “You discovered your powers?”

Ember nodded, “And Fulki.” She added.

“Is Fulki your wolf’s name?” Her mother asked.

“Yes, but will there never be anyone there for me, anyone who like me for me?” She asked again. They had pulled into the school drop off area.

“I’m not sure honey.” Her mother said as Ember got out of the car. She only nodded. Walking slowly toward campus.

“You will always have me.” Fulki said, “It’s you and me forever, no matter what the rest of the world thinks. I will always be here for you.” Fulki’s words filled her with hope as they strode step by step into an undermined future.

 

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