The Lycan Prologue
His words held a regal kindness but I knew their meaning instantly.
'Show no mercy Taylor. Tear them limb from limb. This is not the time for gentle hearts.' Jason leaned in and pressed his lips against my neck.
'You don't know what you ask.' I wanted to rest in the curve of his body as his fingertips trailed along my flesh.
It was one thing to change into my animal form. It was yet another to completely give myself to my nature. I had fought the primal call for too long.
A surge of energy pulsed through me as my fur erupted along my skin and my roar blended into the mix.
Dark creatures spilled out from behind the veil and I leapt into the fray. It was going to be a bloodbath, and my tongue was ready to savor each moment.
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The Lycan - Chapter 1 Prey
'You will never be pack!' My father's words echoed in my memory.
I up-shifted again and raced down the interstate feeling the wind press against my body and my hair whipped the back of my neck. I felt free, if only for a moment. My 2007 Victory took me away from my troubles, and my family. I had saved for this bike for almost two years, and now it was my means of escape.
It was the year of changing for me and I took the shape of a white tiger. It was the ultimate embarrassment for my father. Only females and those of the same sex persuasion took the form of a feline. I had completely disgraced him. I didn't mean to, but I couldn't stop my heart.
They would have liked to tear me to shreds, but I was too strong. In a fight between Wolf and Tiger, the Tiger always wins. It was a small consolation.
I've always known I was Agrik, the head of the pack, or in my case, pride. It's a status of strength among my kind, the alpha male. I, however, had no pack, no pride, and now I had no family.
I had been riding my motorcycle for hours, letting the vibration between my legs keep my mind busy when I spied a stranded motorist in the night amongst the painted sands of Arizona. Normally, I would have passed him and allowed him to become a distant specks in my side mirror, but he was handsome and I liked his scent. He was also in a very desolate part of the desert. This was not a safe place to be.
I skidded my bike to a stop and pulled onto the shoulder in a cloud of dust and sand.
'Need a lift?'
I could feel the cold of the desert against my neck as I balanced the bike between my legs. It may be hot during the day, but at night the desert was a cold, quiet, and lonely place.
'I would greatly appreciate it.' He climbed on the back of my bike and sat intimately close.
'If you ride with me, I'd like to know your name. I'm Taylor.' My words echoed against my ears inside the plastic helmet.
'My name is,' he stammered a moment and then continued, 'Jason.'
He smelled of frustration and cold sweat. It contrasted the earthy aroma that pushed across the desert winds. His scent was intoxicating.
'Well then, Jason, hold tight.' I blushed beneath my helmet and was thankful that it hid my face. I gunned the engine and took off again down the highway.
I felt his arms fold around me and then dig deeper. He clung to my chest like a newborn. It was comforting and a little more exciting than I should have allowed. I wasn't used to intimate contact and I could feel the Lycan blood stir in my veins. We had been traveling down the road for about an hour when the change began.
Jason clung to me tightly and I felt my heart flutter. It was the new moon, the recent stresses of my life, and the erotic feel of another male pressing against my back that started it. I was changing again. I slammed on the brakes of my motorcycle and nearly sent us to the pavement.
'GO! RUN!' My voice was no longer my own. It was too late.
I hopped from my bike and frantically pulled my clothes off. I knew what was happening and I didn't want to ruin another set of clothing.
I fell to my knees as the skin split at my shoulders. I watched Jason stumble up a nearby dune. He wouldn't get far enough to make it a challenge. I could smell the blood beneath his skin and hear the frantic beat of his heart. He was weak prey. Slow, fragile, not at all a challenge, and I was thankful for it.
Long claws sprouted where fingernails had been as my hands reshaped into paws. The transformation rippled from my hands and feet toward the center of my body while white and black fur pushed through my flesh. I felt my ears grow pointed as my nose, jaw and cheek bones writhed and stretched to create my catlike visage. The bones in my upper and lower arms grew to match the length of my legs as my palms and arch of my feet elongated. Finally, my tail erupted outward.
'The transition is always painful.' The words echoed through my mind as I completed the transformation into that which is feline. I kept my human memories but now it was the hunt that guided me. There was always the hunt. Whether we're in our animal or human form, it lingers in our minds.
A look of terror painted Jason's face. It caused a small revelry in my soul as I ran past him. I paused atop the dune and turned to see him staring at me, frozen. I let out a guttural roar and continued into the desert.
I ran, relishing the silk-like touch of the wind brushing my face. Yellow moonlit eyes dipped into the sand as I scaled the dunes. The fear felt by the nocturnal creatures I passed was real and instinctive. I stopped only to stalk the occasional rabbit, or make a meal of a local coyote. My desire for blood was sated and I padded back to where I had transformed into what I am now.
It was a pathetic sight. Jason was huddled into a ball at the base of my bike. He would have been smarter to bury himself in the sand for warmth than to lay exposed to the elements. It was obvious he was unfamiliar with the ways of the desert.
I was nearing the end of my transformation period. The sun wouldn't rise for several hours, but I had satisfied the blood lust. I tread up next to him, not making a sound, and ran my tongue against his cheek. It tasted of dried tears.
Jason hollered and jumped back, scrambling away from me. I was still changed and a monster to his eyes. I stood looking at him as he lay cowering in the sand, staring back at me.
I swallowed, again tasting the salt of his tears, and curbed my animal desires. This one is not prey. I moved slowly forward closing the distance between us. Jason sat frozen, eyes wide, watching what he thought was his death advance upon him.
I approached him cautiously. He was human after all. I circled him and watched his flesh shudder from fright and cold. I met his eyes and hoped he could see into the soul behind the beast I had become. I nuzzled my chin against his and offered my neck to him. It was the ultimate act of trust in pack or pride though I doubted he knew the significance. His body was cold and I lay down, partially wrapping around him and against him.
I could feel the tension in his muscles and smell the fear crawling down his back in little droplets. At least 20 minutes passed before his body relaxed and I felt him lean cautiously into the crook of my body. My head rested on his thighs and his head lay just above my hip. My fur, as long as it lasted, would help him stay warm through the night. His body would warm me come morning, as I'd be laying there nude. That was a problem I wouldn't be able to contemplate long. Sleep overtook my thoughts and left that worry for morning.
The sun had barely risen over the horizon, stretching its brown and gold claws across the sand when my eyes opened. As expected, I was nude and hard and entangled within Jason's arms and legs. The morning sun was warming the earth and I wanted so badly to stay in his embrace. It was a comfort I had not felt since my memory began, and now I found myself plotting my escape.
My mother died giving birth to me. I never knew Kaitlyn, but I have heard she was a remarkable woman of great beauty and poise. Her form was that of a swan and my father defended her with a ferocity few had ever seen. He had remarked on how I resembled her many times over the years and I knew he resented it. I caught him on more than one occasions gazing at me, lost in thought, only to turn his head and feign attention to anything else.
My father's new mate, Loren, is one of the more ruthless and conniving creatures that ever walked the earth. I hated her, and she hated me. On more than one occasion I heard their pillow talk.
'He's weak, and a danger to the pack Gregory, and you know it.' I heard her protests grow in frequency as my day of changing raged closer.
She could sense what he denied until my first changing. She was elated until I took the form of a white tiger. She had hoped for a lesser feline instead, I'm sure. A fight against me would have been foolish while I was in Tiger form. Instead, I was cast out. 'You will never be pack!' I think the words will be forever burned into my memory.
Now I lay here in the arms of a stranger, naked and not wanting to move but knowing I must. His scent was of air and light, and his body was so warm. I closed my eyes and reveled in the touch of his soft warm flesh. It was the sweet tangled embrace only sleep and unconscious movement brings.
In pack or pride, physical contact is a primal need. It is an exquisite comfort, and not a sexual thing. To lie and sleep protected, buried amongst your own kind, is a bliss that is difficult to describe. You are surrounded by a small army of those that would fight to the death to protect you. There are no stresses of life as you lay there in the heap of mixed flesh. It is only peace.
I reluctantly tried to pull away from Jason as he spooned me from behind. I felt his arm pull me back against him with an inhuman strength. His fingers trailed with feather light contact down my chest to my abdomen and then back again. His lips grazed the back of my neck and I leaned back into the touch. His hot breath fluttered against my long auburn hair as I felt him enter me.
Jason was mating me and my body reacted instinctively. My back arch and I fought against the animal side of myself. His movements were like the slow leisurely flap of wing you see as a bird drifts on currents of air through the sky.
I knew my body had partially changed back to tiger form. My heated breath and passionate groans were more of a tiger's growl while Jason only made whispered sounds behind me. His hushed breath and silk-like touch cascaded along my body like a lazy breeze.
Moments later I was wrapped in angel wings and exploded. My roar against the dawn was matched by a pure shrill cry behind me as I spilled out my joy. I lay panting and trying to catch my breath as the last waves of bliss left me. I opened my eyes to see my cat like claws buried into his plumed arms as I clutched them against my chest. Blood dotted the feathered wings like red fingerprints where I held him. I felt a low rhythmic purr vibrate my chest as I watched my claws pull from his flesh and recede into my hands. The long feathers seemed to merge back into Jason's arms as I watched the wounds heal from my tight embrace. We had both changed partially to our animal state during the encounter, but not enough to make the act impossible.
It was then that my mind came back to me completely and the realization of what had happened ignited a new fire. I flung him off of me and leapt into the air, becoming my full tiger form before landing again on the warming sand. I turned quickly; ready to strike when he went aloft into the sky and rose above me. He was a blazing white giant swan circling and swooping at me. He toyed with me for at least an hour, leading me further into the desert, before I finally turned in defeat. You cannot kill what you cannot reach.
I ran across the sand toward where I had left my bike. I slowed and walked the last few hundred feet before changing back into my human form. I couldn't see Jason but I could smell him. He was near. I pulled fresh clothing from the saddle bag on my bike and dressed myself. I shook out the sand and any visitors from my shirt and pants from the night before. A scorpion or snake in your jeans is not a pleasant thing.
'I know you're there, Jason.' I stuffed the last of yesterday's clothing into the saddlebag of my bike. I closed the silver studded black leather lid of the bag and cinched the heavy leather strap.
I heard the small push of sand and spun around to see a naked Jason staring back at me. Considering my sensitive hearing, he had gotten much closer than any normal creature should have been able. Even though he is Lycan, I should have caught his scent, but he was down wind.
'Please accept my apologies.' He stood there with his shoulders hunched as his hands covered his manhood. His head was tilted downward, but I could see his green eyes peering through his white-blond bangs.
'I need your help to get to the next city.' Jason's voice was almost shrill and haunted with sorrow.
The desert sun blazed against his delicate ivory skin and accented the curves of his lithe frame. I hadn't seen his human form in the light of day until now, and he was beautiful. He had, however, mated me. If it wasn't bad enough I was feline, I had been mated by a bird! I suppose my personal lows were never ending. Had my father been witness to such a thing, I am sure he would have taken every measure to see to my execution. An Agrik can suffer only so much indignity. This, I knew, was well over the line. This Tiger's perverse virginity had been taken by a Swan. What was worse was that I never felt anything so wonderful in my life.
His speech had a strange regal tone. He spoke stilted sentences, and his words had an odd accent and elaborate enunciation on nearly every syllable. It was good English but, strangely, too perfect, and the origin of the odd lilt in his words eluded me.
I turned to him and let my eyes ride the curves of his body. 'Who are you, Jason?'
He paused and took an unsteady step backward and answered. 'I was my father's son.'
'And who was your father?' I shifted my weight in the sand. That he had said 'was' did not escape me.
A moment passed before he answered. 'The Eagle King, Jordan.'
We Lycan have a Monarchy system in place. There are those of the air, like the Eagle, Hawk, and Vulture. There are those of the land, Lion, Tiger, and Wolf, and also those of the water, Whale, Dolphin, and Seal. Of course there are subsets to each group and lesser animals, but these were the dominating houses.
Jason was the son of the highest ranking house of Air, son and Prince to King Jordan. I had been taken by the second in line to the House of Air, but it was little consolation as I watched an eagle descending behind him.
'Why didn't you take my neck when I offered it last night?' I continued to watch the eagle advance from behind Jason.
'I was frightened.' Jason spoke the words, but his lips barely moved.
'Trust me now.' I began walking toward him.
I felt my body transform, again, shredding the cloth covering it. As the Eagle's hook-like talons were about to tear into Jason, I leapt over him, now in tiger form, and took the Eagle to the ground. My jaws clamped against the great bird's neck and took the life from him. My claws dug through its chest as I made the killing move. It was over. I didn't make a meal of the bird. I turned and padded back to the bike and then morphed back to human form.
'Friends of yours, 'Prince'?' I reopened the saddlebag on my bike and fished out fresh jeans and a t-shirt.
'That was my younger brother, Jopal. He was next in line after me.' Jason was now crouched to the ground as he peered through his bangs at me.
The words made me pause. I turned to look at him and saw a brief flash of light wink at me from a tear as it dropped from his cheek to the sand.
The pieces of the puzzle were now coming together. Jason's father was Lycan, and the Eagle King of Air. He wasn't just Jason, but Prince Jason. I suppose he was not comfortable without the title attached to his name. He looked to be about my age, and I wondered if the reaction to the 'form' he took had been more severe than my own. Our situations were similar but different. I had become, thankfully, a stronger creature, but at the same time a disgrace. Jason had become third class, dropping from Eagle to Swan. Our sexual inclinations did neither of us a favor, but I was thankful my father had only cast me out, and not ordered my execution.
By this time the sun had fully risen and I was becoming uncomfortable with the temperature. Racing along the blacktop, the winds cooled you, but standing still was quickly becoming uncomfortable.
I rounded the bike, opened the saddle bag, and pulled out the clothes I wore yesterday and threw them at his feet. 'Put these on.'
There wasn't room for much more than five sets of clothing in the saddle bags. There was my wallet, and a couple bottles of water, a map, but that was it. I was glad I had the chance to pack even that much. I would have to do laundry soon as I had few clothes remaining to change into. Regretfully, one set of clothing lay scattered between us, split at the seams
'I'm sorry about your brother. I didn't know.' I glanced back at the carnage I had made of Jopal and slipped on my shades. The desert sun is hard on the eyes.
I watched as he pulled the denim up his legs finally covering his more private parts. I could see by his reaction, that he was uncomfortable as the remaining grains of sand grazed his skin. Quite honestly, I didn't care. I had ruined a set of clothes saving his life and, in my mind; he owed me jeans and a shirt at the very least.
I climbed onto my bike and steadied the weight between my legs as I shifted forward and off the kick stand. I took the helmet that rested between my legs and offered it to Jason.
Jason slipped my shirt on and I noticed he had no shoes. We'd have to worry about that later. I noticed a large bird circling behind us and didn't want to chance another encounter. He walked forward quickly and took the helmet from me and pulled it over his head. His sudden urgency didn't set my mind at ease. It was now late morning and getting hotter by the second.
'Another friend of yours?' I indicated the circling bird in the distance with my head.
'Worse Family.' Jason climbed on behind me. 'It would be best to go now. I don't know how much Luke saw.'
I had heard a Lycan bird's vision is beyond that of any other Lycan and now suspected the rumor to be true. That he could discern not only that it was Lycan, but also recognize who it was when I only saw a small brown floating dot confirmed it.
I turned the key and felt the vibration of the engine between my thighs as I tore out onto the highway. We traveled southeast on route 72 and rode through Lake Havasu City. I stopped in the city of Hope to fill up with gas and we made a quick pit stop in the restroom. There was one gas station, one antique store, and one RV park. What bothered me most was that there was no restaurant and I was starting to get hungry. For a city with the name of 'Hope,' it didn't offer much.
From here we turned and traveled north east on route 60 until we finally arrived at Wickenburg an hour later. I pulled into the first mom and pop restaurant I found. Thankfully, Wickenburg was a larger town and had some semblance of modern civilization. A large dilapidated sign reading 'Jake's Bar & Grill' was the only indicator that this was a business.
Jason climbed off the bike and I pushed the kickstand down and backed my bike into place. My thighs ached as I stretched to get off the bike. At first I wasn't sure my legs would hold me, and I staggered, placing my hand on Jason's shoulder to keep from falling. I jerked my hand away and stretched my arms to the sky.
Jason pulled off his helmet. His movements were always graceful. He didn't seem to have suffered much at all from the four hour ride. I lead the way and we pushed past the first heavy wooden door. We went through a second door and were assaulted by what could only be described as an 'attempt' at music. Four members of a small, and obviously local, band banged away at their guitars, drums, and keyboard so loudly it vibrated my skull. Judging by their stops and starts, they were getting in some badly needed practice.
'Country music Yay My favorite. NOT!' There is, of course, some country 0I do enjoy, but what they were spouting was way off the bad end of the chart.
We gravitated toward a raised table and perched ourselves on top of two of the four tall stools that surrounded it. I ordered a pitcher of beer as the young blond slut placed menu's in front of us. Her nametag told me her name was 'Michelle'. I knew she was a slut because of the many lingering scents of men that drifted across my nose. I chuckled as the odor wafted passed Jason and he pinched his eyes shut, snapped his head back, and turned away from her. Michelle didn't seem to notice.
'Looks like we got us a couple of city girls here!'
An overweight freak of a man draped his heavy hairy arms around our shoulders as the scent of used beer oozed from his sweaty flesh. I almost gagged. The music had ended, thankfully, and I heard several chuckles erupt from behind the idiot who rested his weight against us. It was barely four in the afternoon, and this one had obviously started his Saturday celebration early this morning.
'Nice hair, pretty boy.' He slurred and nearly spat the words at me. He spoke as though his tongue were too lazy to finish his words.
I pulled away from him and pushed his arm off my shoulder. 'If you want to live another day, you'll find someone else to fuck with.' My voice had already deepened as I let just a small fraction of my feline entity emerge.
'Fucking fags.' His face twisted with anger as liquid courage coursed through his veins.
Jason's hand shot out, clutched his grimy dark brown hair at the nape of the neck and bashed our visitor's face into the tabletop. Our impromptu guest slid to the floor, unconscious. Unfortunately, our guest's companions didn't seem to find the humor in the latest turn of events.