Chapter 1:

Return to the Full Moon Academy

She Wolf will not find her mate; I curse the Spring that came too quickly. I won't fall in love!

The ferns gave a false bottom to the forest, like a flying carpet. Their expanse hid the forest floor. There could be anything beneath them really. It was almost as if they were a hive mind deciding that they would grow at exactly the same height and spread their fronds. They kept the secret of the forest floor.

Powerful paws thundered through the forest. Leaving behind deep grooves in the clay-filled earth.

Big breaths were taken in by huge bodies. Leaving behind clouds of condensation in the cold forest air.

We followed a well-run path. Maybe not one easily recognised to someone unfamiliar, such as a mortal, but to us it was clear as day which way we needed to move. The forest seemed to bend around us as if we were its master. And perhaps we were.

This was our territory.

Five wolves tore down the small path in the forest. We were bigger than any wolf that existed in nature. Not that it was normal for wolves to exist in this part of the world. I was in the middle of the group of course. A gray wolf. Just as big as the wolves surrounding me but They felt the duty to protect me.

Suddenly we all came to a stop.

It wouldn’t look like there was any reason to stop. The forest just continued as normal beyond this point. But our scent ended here. This was the edge of our territory.

The wolves in front turned to face me. Their eyes weren’t the amber eyes of a normal wolf. They were human eyes. Because they were humans. Or at least half humans.

Their bodies twisted and morphed. Fur disappeared, muscles changed, they stood on two feet. They became human again. Two men stood before us. I couldn’t say they looked completely normal, no their features lent to their wolfish side.

They both bowed to the brown wolf beside me.

“Luna, This is the northernmost point!” The one on the right said.

The brown wolf nodded and shifted, she became an older woman. Still strong and powerful yet she had an aura about her that was dominating. She looked at the two in front of her still bowing down.

“That is Luna Racheal to you, and do you think I don’t know my own territory?” She looked down the end of her nose at them.

“Sorry, Luna Racheal!” They both yelled together and skittered off out of her view.

Luna Racheal turned to look at me and the last wolf. Her gaze weighed down on us. I looked at the black wolf beside me. He didn’t seem too fussed. He honestly looked a little bored.

“I’m waiting,” Racheal muttered.

Shifting was as easy as taking off and on a jacket. Though the process from the outside looked painful it wasn’t. It felt good having my bones lock into their new positions and to stand on two feet once again. It was as if I was stretching like I had been in that form too long.

In human form, I wasn’t so impressive. I was short unlike the giant werewolves around me. Even Luna Racheal was towering over me. The black wolf had shifted as well. He stood like a giant pillar behind me and I tilted my head back to look at him. His green eyes were dull with boredom.

Luna Racheal cleared her throat and we both stood to attention. I noticed the other wolves had slunk away, almost hiding within the trees.

“The Northernmost point. This point is under the most threat right now. This is why we did not come alone and I expect if you are to come here for whatever reason you should do as we have done today. Are we understood?”

“Understood Luna Racheal,” I said quickly.

“Yes mother,” came the other response.

“Ryan,” a warning tone.

Ryan sighed, “Yes Luna Racheal.”

Luna Racheal put aside her son’s insolence and continued with her lesson, “Of all our borders this is the one we lose the most territory on. This is why we don’t approve any building, farming or any other kind of permit towards the north. Though you may feel pressured by those greedy to make use of the land as the protectors of your pack and those within your territory you can not allow it. It is most important to keep your people safe during these times.”

As the Luna was talking I looked away from her rigid face and out into the forest behind her. A mere few metres and I would have left the Safety of the Blue Star Pack’s land and I would be on their territory. Not quite human, not quite myth. They sort to destroy us.

“Varinia?” The Luna’s voice ripped me away. I looked up at her, blue eyes boring into me, “Make sure you are paying attention.”

“Yes Luna Racheal,” I muttered.

“Not that this isn’t important but Varinia and I start back at school tomorrow,” Ryan reminded his mother.

The Luna sighed, her great shoulders slumping, “I suppose it is getting rather late.”

Ryan winked at me and I suppressed a smile.

The Luna called the other two wolves back over, scolding them for wandering off like horses. The sun had truly set and moonlight bore down onto us. Tomorrow I would be returning to school. For my last year. The last year of freedom before responsibility pulled me down into a place so dark fun would be but a distant memory. Looking at the crescent moon that night I made a vow to myself. A promise that I would treasure this year and live it to the fullest.

The Blue Star Pack mansion was a formidable building much like the people who lived within it. It stood four stories tall and was in a general horseshoe shape. It stood right at the edge of the forest, being the last building of the town. As if its massive form was shielding the town from it. Gardens of roses and hedges grew around it. Ravens sat atop it, being the watchful eyes.

We entered and as soon as we took off our muddy shoes we were informed that dinner had been set aside for us. Ryan and I rushed into the dining room.

A grand room with huge long tables but all empty right now. A hearth burned low on one side casting flicking light. The most prestigious table, set up on a ledge to look over the room it had two very large chairs that almost looked like thrones and the chairs got smaller as they went along the table. Two of the smaller chairs had two plates of food set out for us. Mostly meat with few vegetables as is our nature.

Ryan and I practically lept into them. Eating almost half our plates in silence.

“3rd year tomorrow,” Ryan lamented.

“Yeah,” I sighed, taking another bite.

Ryan looked at the largest chairs, “To think this time next year you’ll be sitting there.”

My hand paused halfway to my mouth and my eyes drifted over to the chair. The Alpha and Luna’s chairs. And Alpha and Luna were like a King and Queen for a wolf pack. Our current Alphas, Ryan’s parents, were looking to retire. Which meant as soon as I had a mate I was to become the next Luna.

My hand dropped back down to the table. Suddenly I wasn’t so hungry.

Ryan saw this and shook his head, “You know most wolves would look forward to that kind of thing.”

“Oh yay I can’t wait to sit in a big chair,” I muttered sarcastically.

Ryan laughed but he didn’t push the subject any further.

It was fairly late by the time I got into my bedroom. Exhausted, I laid down on my bed. I needed to get enough sleep before school tomorrow. I looked over at my bedside table, among the photos there was the photo of my class after we finished second year. We had a huge party after that photo was taken. It was the most fun I had had for a long time. Looking at all their smiling faces I couldn’t help but to feel happy to return. It was such a diverse group of people.

I flopped over onto my back and memories of that party drifted into my mind, the third years. I was so close with them but they had all graduated now. I would be left with our year and the one below us.

Things would be different.

As I placed my lunch into my bag I felt a punch on my shoulder, I whipped around quickly, feeling my wolf form ready to come out only to see Ryan standing there in his uniform.

He laughed at my face, “Just came to wish you good luck.”

“Thanks,” I muttered and eyed his uniform.

Ryan went to a school on the pack lands, it mainly consisted of werewolves and other myths within our lands under our protection. The uniform was simple but he wore it with pride. My uniform of the prestigious Full Moon Academy was black, chic and sophisticated. Though I had rolled the skirt up considerably and had a few extra accessories on.

Luna Racheal walked in and looked at me. Her eyes darted around judging each of my choices. Though she decided not to comment on them, probably didn’t have the time, “I just wanted to say, be safe Varinia. Do try not to be so distracted this year.”

And she walked off.

Ryan and I shared a glance before I pulled on my bag and stepped toward the door. The driver was standing in the doorway waiting for me. He was patient in waiting for me to pull on my shoes and get into the car.

It rumbled to life and took a track through the forest.

The Academy wasn’t on our land or any other werewolves land for that matter it was right in the middle of their territory actually.

“How many sightings of them today?” I asked the driver.

“Only a few Miss Varinia,” He replied.

I nodded and gazed out the window. We would soon be leaving the pack’s territory. Other than school I was rarely allowed out. So even though I did leave it every school day it still was a thrill.

And vroom, it rushed past the border.

My eyes were glued to the window. The driver must have noticed this and he chuckled, “Not to worry Miss Varinia we are perfectly safe. The myth hunters won’t be able to catch us.”

I still didn’t relax.

The myth hunters. The so-called protectors of mortals had in the past been just that but in the past 20 years had been killing off populations of myths, for “protection” sake. They were highly skilled in killing just about any kind of myth, especially werewolf. Though we were lucky, belonging to a huge pack our numbers often overwhelmed them. There was an unsaid agreement about territory between our pack and the myth hunters yet it didn’t stop either side from wanting to gain more land.

Then I saw it. Through the peaks of the trees, the turrets of the Full Moon Academy. I couldn’t help but to smile as it came into view.

The Full Moon Academy was housed in a massive dark stone castle. The cherry blossom trees that surrounded the castle were blooming. Sakura petals caressed the car as it pulled up the heavy iron gate.

“Have a good day,” The driver told me as I got out of the car.

“You too,” I replied, closing the door.

The iron gates stood before me and the castle loomed over me. A stone wall surrounded the castle and in the air if you looked at it just right you could see the defensive field that domed over it. I pressed my hand against the edge of the wall, beside the gate and magical runes glowed orange granting me entry.

I stepped through the gate onto the school grounds and the barrier allowed me to do so. Even though I had never been rejected it was always nerve-racking.

A centaur stood before me. The body of an appaloosa horse, white with cute brown spots flicked over her coat and the torso of a woman in a blazer. She was holding a clipboard and smiled warmly at me as I walked in.

“Varinia Elch, lovely to see you back again for another year,” she greeted me as she noted down something on her clipboard.

The gardens of the castle grounds were kept perfect and beautiful. It was honestly a pleasure to see them once again. The Full Moon Academy started as a school for just werewolves the principal Mr S but once he had lost his pack to the myth hunters he had opened the school up to all kinds of myths, including some of the more powerful and important myths. That is why I was sent to this school rather than the far more convenient school on the pack’s land. To make connections that could one day save my life.

Students were already gathering outside the main hall.

I quickly spotted my friends out of the crowd. Though it was a crazy mix of students that attended this school my nose always helped me out.

Modesta was the easiest to spot. She was tall, long green hair, green eyes, green tint to her dark skin. Modesta had the power to control plants and probably the brainpower of a plant. There was always a vacant look in her eyes. But she was lucky, she was beautiful.

Yami was standing beside her. Yami had much more of a plainer appearance which she spiced up by adding deep purple lipstick which often got her in trouble. Yami was a witch who specialized in disease magic. A rare form of magic, perhaps for a reason. It was seen as icky.

I ran up to them and hugged both of them at the same time.

“What are you all waiting out here for?” I squeezed them tight.

Modesta didn’t react much but Yami wriggled out of my grip, “Start of the year remember, lame speech time.”

“I see,” I sighed letting go of Modesta who stood up straight once again.

“But don’t be too down about it, it means we get to scope out all of the new students,” there was something way too mischievous in Yami’s voice.

Suddenly a huge gust of wind blew over us blowing my hair into my eyes.

“Oh come on,” Modesta mumbled, trying and failing to get her hair to calm down.

A huge black wing eclipsed the sun.

My eyes followed it. A mountainous black and purple dragon landed at the school gates. No it wasn’t some kind of threat, just the very extra way those of the Hirasawa mansion got to school.

The Hirasawa mansion was a large group of myths, it held some of the most powerful in perhaps all of the world. Though it was owned by the werecats, the vampire royal family lived there begrudgingly. And all of their children came to the Full Moon academy. I could see some new faces among them this time. But one stood out amongst them.

The very tall vampire Prince Caelestis. He was in my year but I had never really taken much notice of him. It seemed that he had grown more handsome and quite possibly taller. He had dark hair that covered his red eyes that he would often have to push out of the way with his slender fingers. I stared at him for a little too long perhaps and he looked back.

My heart fluttered.