While most stories begin in the darkness, ours begins in the light of day. Our first target for this story, a slender feral wolf, long-limbed but still small for her size, with wise golden eyes lingering in a face highlighted with silver white. Our second, a black German shepherd with eyes more gold than brown, stepping into the trees for the first time in his rather young life. With neither large built, though the dog held faint promise of being terrifying with a broad chest and noble, slanted head.
The she-wolf, at the start of the days sleeps alone, devoid of her pack. The reason for it isn’t seen, though it’s clear from the shine to her silky coat to her sleek muscles that stretched like a sheath across her body. For now though, she sleeps, golden eyes shielded from the light as she breathed heavily and slowly. She was relaxed, only the faintest hint of movement making her toes twitch and her massive paws pedal the air as she dreams. We aren’t to know what she dreams about at this moment, only that the slightest hint of a whine, drifting from her muzzle and disappearing into the air that draws the shepherd to her side…though he is not the first.
Indeed, he runs through trails, as hyperactive as any dog let off the leash and given the freedom to roam. Everything he can smell, he does. Everything he can mark as his, he does in his misguided sense of possession. But he’s not completely alone. The pack that have made this place their home run with him, unseen in the trees and silent as they run paths they know better than the prey they hunt. They don’t lift their voices in a call for a hunt, lacking their guiding light- the she-wolf who with her white coat leads their charge and makes their decisions for them.
Grey-coated individuals split off, wheeling towards the back of his trail and cover his betraying scent with their own, reaffirming that they own this place to any that may try and take their boundaries from them. Softly, they break off, having done their job and disappeared into the distance while they await the ringing cry that will draw them back to the star in their silent sky. Instead, it is the dog that stumbles across her when drawn by tiredness, his youthful energy depleted in his urge to drink.
His nose twitched before flaring, his sore paws stilling slightly before his head lifted and he let out a soft whine. There was water ahead, plenty of it and it was so fresh that he was lost to the scent. His paws pounded on the ground, beating fast as he raced headlong into the clearing where the river and the she-wolf sit. Her body is unseen in his run; his muzzle plunged into water as he drank thirstily. His pink tongue is dampened by the water, curling it into his muzzle as he sated the thirst that had had him panting.
Only once his thirst is quenched, as surely as a fire is put out by a bucket of water, did his head raise and his odd eyes fix on the dreaming white wolf and her soft whimpers as she dreamed. Like any dog, he didn’t realise she was a wolf, plunging through the water noisily and then shaking so the water splattered her. Her whines stopped abruptly, her fur shifting all over her body before she leaped to all fours. Her hackles were lifted, from neck to hip and her teeth flashed in the light as a snarl forced its way from her throat into the space between them.
He slid to a stop, cringing to the ground as the animalistic sound echoed in his mind, drawing to something inside him that screamed of the danger a wolf could wreak on a dog. Nothing in him even allowed for an attack on her. Instead, he turned to the side on stiffened legs and presented her with the slab of his shoulder. Not even a growl prickled at his chest, which in turn eased the sounds slipping from the wolf’s chest into silence.
And silence was what reigned, for minutes until the she-wolf broke it.
“What the hell do you think you were doing, rushing towards me and waking me up?! I could have ripped your throat out…or called to my brothers and sisters so they could have protected me.” Her voice was low and silky, though the threat was implicit in her words. The dog himself was stunned, sinking onto his muscled haunches before he shook his head in disbelief.
“What the…how…how do you speak dog?” His voice was disbelieving, his head tilting to the side as he let out an inquiring whine.
She snorted softly, rolling her eyes before shaking her head in disbelief and glaring at him.
“We speak the same language, you idiot of a dog! Your sorry kind descended from the nobility of my own!” He words were forced out of stiff lips as she remained on edge, stiffened and on the verge of growling. A shake was all that he did before his nose flared slightly, and his ears perked upright. With such a start, was it any wonder that the pair became firm friends…and then, when time came, her mate, and fellow alpha?
She didn’t take long to change; now her new mate had met the pack and her stomach was swelling. Despite his ‘dog’ title, he wasn’t seen as being out of place. It took them a while to teach him how to hunt, but as she slowed down, he only grew stronger. Their bond was intense, the affection they felt clear among the wolves…and even more intent when he lost his collar the day that she went into labour.
It was that day that his yelps and whines drew the pack as he guarded the den from them, despite the jealous snarls coming from below and the occasional squeaking shape. Three days and three nights she was down there, so long that silence reigned in the clearing and the pack worried until they were anxious and pacing. That was when the gaunt face of their beloved alpha, mate…sister, slipped from the darkness and drank thirstily in the lake.
One by one, they were led down to look at the pups, a black cast to their coats and slightly larger ears the only difference to the fat pups, erupting into squeaking balls of fury as their mother laid down and curled her large body around them. The black shepherd curled at the entrance, his muzzle just pressed in through the entrance so their voices could meet in quiet conversation. He was guarding them, jealously providing his back to prevent any harm from coming to the pups and his mate.
The pack fed them all, hunting taking places endlessly as the wolf fed herself up in preparation for the pups wanting more milk as they grew ever bigger and took their fathers build for their own…for that was clear. They were already deeper chested with narrower paws than most wolf pups were at birth, but with bald tails and ears, they were almost indistinguishable from others of their blood-kin.