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Cascade Hills 08: Well isn’t he a bright shining beacon of character

cascade hills

-Nathan’s House-

“…this is your mess….Clean it up..”

“….You’re the Alpha!”

The sound of a rather heated argument and the subtle but delicious smell of food were what nudged Katherine to the waking world. Her eyes opened slowly, it took her a few minutes to fully awake and sit up. Her body felt really awkward and wonky like parts of her didn’t quite sit right. As she looked around the room, she remembered the familiar wallpaper and wall ornaments. She was in a relatively nice-sized bedroom, it appeared to be a guest room due to its rather undercoated appearance. As she looked down at herself, she noticed that she was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants, definitely not hers but comfortable nonetheless. As she went to try to get out of bed, the door to the room opened, and in walked Karen.

“Oh, you awake!” Karen said.

She walked into the room, a tray filled with food in her hands. Katherine’s stomach suddenly growled, which was strange because she was sure she wasn’t hungry a while ago. And the amount of food was definitely more than she could ever eat alone.

“Oh wow thank you, Ms. Foster, though I don’t think I could eat all that.” She said with a smile as Karen placed the tray in front of her.

“Oh, you’d be surprised.”

Katherine looked down at the nicely arranged breakfast and just as she was about to dig in she realized something. Why was she here?

“Um Ms. Foster, did I fall asleep after the project something? I don’t quite remember when I got here?”

Karen looked at her for a few seconds before responding.

“Oh? Well, what do you remember?”

“Um well, I had this absolutely crazy dream. Nathan was there- But not like that!” Katherine quickly reiterated before continuing, eating forkfuls of food between pauses. “I was in the forest, it was dark and I was naked- Again it wasn’t that kind of dream.”

Karen was seated next to her bed, lounging back comfortably in her chair.

“I understand, go on.” Karen said.

“Well, that wasn’t even the weirdest part. For a little bit, my vision darkened and then there was a sharp pain. When my vision returned again, this huge and I mean Huge, wolf-bear appeared out of literally nowhere.” Katherine continued her story rather animatedly, her hands gesturing to emphasize the beast.

“Wolf-bear?” Karen asked slowly, an amused smile forming on her face.

“Cool name right? It looked like a wolf but was huge like a bear so wolf-bear.”

“Ah okay then.”

“I freaked out, but I couldn’t move. I knew I needed to run, I don’t know. It was like a gut feeling, or maybe my conscious? Anyway, after that Nathan suddenly shows up, the greatest embarrassment of my life! Like honestly if it wasn’t a dream, I would most definitely kill myself.”

Karen nods slowly, her smile becoming a bit strained towards the end of Katherine’s statement.

“And then he starts talking crazy, saying he’s a werewolf and that he accidentally turned me into a werewolf. Like I mean I used to be super crazy about wolves when I was younger but it was just a phase I got over it? Anyway, that’s not even the best part!”


“The wolf-bear talked!” Katherine said rather excited, her eyes wide on Karen.

Talked? Really?” Karen replied with a surprised face, eyebrow raised.

“And not only that it was deep and manly. But also an extreme dick.”

Karen let out a small snort of laughter before stifling it quickly, composing herself professionally again. Katherine smiled, that was the first time she ever saw Karen really lose her composure.

“I-I see.”

“Yeah, like at least if my subconscious was gonna make me dream about werewolves at least make them nicer. I mean honestly, absolutely rude, a raging pile of-

Dicks right?”

Katherine froze immediately at the very familiar voice. Deep, low but just as rude voice. Katherine’s eyes slowly drifted to the door to see both Nathan and the man that came into Ms. Hughes store. Katherine had the perfect face of a deer caught in the headlights as her mouth opened and closed as she tried to process exactly what was going on.

“So humor me this, were you just going to continue to listen to her insult me or were you going to eventually tell her the truth.” The man said in a gruff tone, looking over at Karen who was all the while very amused.

“Oh, I don’t know eventually.” Karen said with a smirk.

The man just huffed before shaking his head. Katherine looked at Karen like she had grown another head and it had started talking for her.

“I’m sorry sweetheart, you were so into your story. I didn’t have the heart to interrupt.” Karen said with a sheepish smile.

“You are all crazy..” Katherine said slowly, just looking at all of them with equal looks for disbelief. “And I am either high as a kite or still sleeping” She mumbled to herself.

“Trust me, you aren’t either.” The man said walking into the room and sitting down at the desk which was in the far corner of the room.

“Katherine, I wasn’t joking last night. I am a werewolf, and now unfortunately so are you.” Nathan said kind of grimly.

Katherine looked around the room for any joking face and found none. They were all dead serious to which then the full weight of what they were telling her began to sink in.

“I think I’m going to be sick..” Katherine whined sadly.

“Katherine I know this is a lot to take in sweetheart. Please ask us anything, and we’ll answer it to the best of our ability” Karen said with a sad smile.

“…How do I turn back?” Katherine asked immediately.

However, what answered her was silence. Everyone in the room just looks back at her.

“..Right.. of course not.” Katherine said sadly looking down.

“The only way to leave this life is through decapitation, devouring a sustainable amount of wolfsbane, or a silver bullet to the heart. So take your pick.” The man said.

“Eric!” Both Karen and Nathan yelled at the man

“Wait Eric? As in Eric Shaw??” Katherine asked looking over at the man.

He nodded before looking away.

“Okay wow so um how many of you are?”

“Everyone in the Foster and Shaw family are pure-blooded werewolves. Claire is also a werewolf.” Karen explained.

“Oh, so um I guess you guys are a pack right so who is your leader or Alpha I guess would be the better term?”

“That is the correct terminology, Katherine. And Eric over there is our alpha.”

Really?! God, I’m so sorry.” She mumbled the last bit under her breath.

Eric let out a warning growl, it rumbled about the room.

“How the hell did-oh right super hearing. Um sorry?” Katherine said with a nervous smile.

He just huffed before walking out.

“Well isn’t he a bright shining beacon of character.”

Yeah, he’s a bit of an ass.”

“Nathan, don’t talk about your alpha like that!” Karen scolded.

“Yes, mom…”

“So wait a minute! Before when I came over last time. Tha-that puppy that I picked up beforehand? I-I thought it was a husky but-”

“Ah yeah, that was Irene, Nathan, and Rose’s baby sister. She looks so cute doesn’t she?” Karen said with a bright smile.

“Yeah, she is.” Katherine cooed along with Karen.

“Can we please stay focus?!” Nathan said looking between the two of them.

“..So what do I need to know exactly? I mean I heard the stories of werewolves but I’m guessing not every one of them is true?”

“Hmm, it depends. What have you heard I will tell if it false are not.”

“Well first, as I’ve learned recently the whole can only turn on full moons bit is wrong, so I guess I’ll get to the more important things. Silver, does it burn my skin or anything excruciatingly painful like that?”

“Unless it is exposed directly to our organs no. It used to but we’ve adapted. Natural selection and all that.”

“Okay, so immortality?”

“Ah yes, the greatest question. No, we are not immortal, we live a vastly extended life however we are still mortal beings and will die when our time comes.”

“Okay so um if it not too rude to ask-”

“I’m about 225 years old.” Karen answered before Katherine could even finish asking.

Katherine nodded slowly before turning wearily to Nathan he just chuckled.

“I’m just 17, Katherine don’t worry.”

“Oh thank GOD! Cause honestly that would have been weird..”

Nathan nodded.

“Okay, so next question, food. As I see, my appetite has been increase..” Katherine said looking down the partially licked-clean plates in front of her. She had been so into her storytelling beforehand, that she hadn’t even realized she had eaten everything on the plate.

“Well I did warn you. Yes, you will have a largely increased appetite including an increased want for meat-based foods.”

“Is that why you asked me about that at the nurse’s office?”

“Yes and no, it’s one of the many signs among newly turned werewolves. The emotional outbursts and oversensitive are the starts, then blackout and sleepwalking, and then lastly, increased appetite. You are just about towards the end of your transition to becoming a werewolf.”

“And that good right?” Katherine said with a smile. “That means I’ll be back to normal and everything will be good. You guys then give me secret training.”

“…Not exactly. That’s kind of why you are here. The transition is a warning sign more or less, to any pack. It a way to get a head start on helping the new werewolf control itself.”

“Control itself?”

“Katherine, sadly to say turn werewolves have an extreme risk factor. Being turned means that you are a full-blood human being infused with the curse of lycanthropy. What this means is that your wolf side so to speak is separate from the human side. Now for born werewolves, this isn’t a problem. However, a turned werewolf is extremely unpredictable. You have little to no control over your wolf side when you turn everything human about you is gone, you are running on pure beast instinct.”

“So like a split personality?”

Something like that. However, they aren’t separate from you at all. Think of it like your subconscious vs your conscious mind. While you dream, your subconscious takes over, the same thing applies here. Except your wolf can take over your conscious mind.”

“And I’m taking a guess here but I’m assuming that’s bad.”

“Extremely bad.” Nathan mumbled.

“It is what we call a “Feral”. A werewolf whose minds are broken, the human and wolf sides are constantly at war with each other making the werewolf, extremely violent. You would rip and tear through anything that angered you at the drop of a hat.”

Wonderful…So how do we fix it? Do I need medicine or something?” Katherine said with a hopeful smile.

“It’s not that easy I’m afraid.”

“Of course, it isn’t..” Katherine said with a huff.

“It had nothing really to do with us, we can help contain you but honestly, this falls upon you to control the wolf.”

Katherine nodded, thoughts filling her head already.

“I’m going to probably regret asking this but what happens if I don’t manage to beat the beast?” She asked softly even though she kind of knew the answer.

“I will kill you most likely.”

Everyone turned to see Eric once again, his face deadly serious. Rose was also there, peaking around him at Katherine.

“Oh well, that’s…” Katherine trailed off.

“Yeah, so try not to lose control. I’d rather not kill Nathan’s girlfriend.”

I’m not his/her boyfriend/girlfriend!” Nathan and Katherine both blurted out at the same time.

They then looked at each other for a few seconds and then turned away awkwardly.

Right…” Eric responds with a shrug.

“Anyway, any other questions?”

“Uhh yeah, so I figure you guys have some like a ranking system. Alpha being the head honcho and all.”

“That is generally true. We do have a hierarchy system. It is not necessarily set in stone, the only role that is always constant is the Alpha. Besides the Alpha, there are Betas, Delta, Gamma, and Omega.”

“So are you like wolves or?”

“Not at all. The ranking system was one of our own creations. It was set in as a way to keep order and has served its purpose nicely.”

“So what does each ranking mean exactly? I know that Beta is like the pack warrior and the alpha right-hand man. Omega I’ve heard rather conflicting stories on the matter.”

“You are correct on the matter of the Beta. As for the omega, well that role really depends on the pack Alpha, that is if it even exists within that pack.” Karen said with a small frown at the mention of Omega.

“Ah, and the others?”

“A Delta is a wolf usually in training to become Beta or even sometimes Alpha if the pack’s Beta cannot take the rank. This member can be either Tracker, a sentry of sort, or a guardian, which protect the young and non-combat trained members.”

“They sound really cool…Nathan what are you?”

“I’m a Delta, our pack’s first tracker.” He said with smile.

“Awesome!” Katherine responds with a small smile.

“Next, are the Gamma. They are usually always a medic, acting as pack doctor.”

“Which I’m guessing your role, Ms. Foster.”

“That is correct. Though Gamma’s are non-combat oriented. Gamma is an invaluable member of the pack. Gamma is gifted with a sort of wolf magic which we like to call the “Hymn”. It is a way for them to calm others however they do not have dominion over them. Gamma’s can fall anywhere between Delta and Beta.”

“You mention dominance? So it’s true that Alpha is like the undisputed leader?”

“Yes…and no. We can definitely defy our Alpha…. However, it is extremely, extremely unpleasant.”

A bit of an awkward pause went through before she continued.

“Alpha are the best and at times the worst of werewolves.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I mean, that while the Alpha are the absolute prime werewolf, they are a vicious and destructive force. An Alpha is the center point of the pack. We all gravitate to him if he’s weak so are we. It’s a bit of a give-and-take relationship. Without a pack, we are nothing but beasts.”

Katherine nodded slowly, looking around to the room however no one would look back at her.

“ I’ll address the elephant in the room, what happens to a wolf not in a pack?” She said with a sigh.

“They become a rogue” Eric answered with a grunt.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of the term with werewolves.” Karen asks.

God, have it ever. The number of books of rogues that, are being rejected by their mates or pack and stuff. Then they come back all badass and stuff” Katherine said with an eye roll.

“I assure you it’s not as sugary sweet as that. If for any reason you are exiled or god forbid, leave your pack. You are on every werewolf hit list in the world and word travels fast. And I assure you there is no “coming back” to anything.”

“Oh…..that turned tragic very quickly. So what if, and I understand the consequence if you deserted, but what if you’re wrongly accused? Or even I don’t know, abused by your pack.” Katherine said a bit heatedly.

“Let me reiterate, the pack is everything. I’m not talking about just relationships, more along the lines of mental stability. This is it as a bond, what you feel, we all get hints of it. Not necessarily mind reading per se just emotions. So to abuse a member of the pack is counterproductive. And as for exile, it’s usually a last resort. When you enter a pack, you take an oath, not just to your Alpha but to your other pack members. To protect and defend each other. Exile is painful not just for the lone wolf but also for the pack as a whole, it like losing a part of yourself that you can never get back.”

“Wow, that’s.. really deep.”

“Heh, we are a bit of dramatic creatures. But do you get the overall gist of it? So then you also understand that if a lone wolf loses their whole pack in one whoop?”

“They go insane and become feral..” Katherine answers.

“Got it in one.” Karen replies with a nod.

“Wow, that’s depressing.”

“Sometimes it’s unavoidable becoming a rogue such as if your pack is killed. It’s probably even worse then because you don’t lose them in one go, just painful heart jabs over and over again.”

The room was silent for a minute before Katherine spoke up again.

Okay so on a completely different and hopefully happier note, wh-what about um m-mates?” Katherine asked timidly looking down at the ground.

“Hmm yes, the subject of mates. Well first of all, sorry to disappoint you but mates are not a set in stone. This means that you don’t necessarily have to enter a relationship with the one who you are “destined” to be with. Mates is more of a marriage, kind of like the pack bond but deeper.”

“So some of the books got it right..”

“In a matter of sense, yes. However, entering in Mate Bond must be an absolutely sure decision. Once you are mated, that is it. You and your partner are bound for life.”

“That sounds sweet..” Katherine said with a smile however it fell quickly upon seeing Karen’s rather serious face. “You just love raining on my parade don’t you?” She said with a pout.

“I’m sorry Katherine honestly. I wish it were so simple as that but it’s not. Not in the world we live in. When I mention that the mate bond is like the pack bond but deeper, I meant it. You and your partner are one, mental. Unlike with the bond, the emotion shared is not muted. You feel everything that your mate feels.”

“..And if your mate dies…?”

“You will experience one the greatest pains that ever existed. In the words of my grandmother, ‘Having your heart ripped out would be less painful’.”

Super..And why would anyone want to get mated at that risk?” Katherine said with a disturbed expression on her face

“Why do you humans get married? Granted, it is not as severe but it can have just as devastating as an impact.”

“Right..well one last question. Though I highly doubt you will answer this question, if there are werewolves then there must be others. Vampire, dragons, oh witches?”

“It’s not my place to say.” Karen answers simply.

“Oh come on!”

“Sorry Katherine and besides you still haven’t asked the most important question yet.”

Katherine looked at her in confusion.

“I don’t under-”

“After all, I’ve explained, about packs and pack bonds. Rogues and what will happen if you don’t have a pack? You still have yet asked, what will you do?” She said as she rose from her seat.

“Me? In your pack??” Katherine asked rather loudly.


“..Well to be completely honest, Eric scares the piss out of me, no offense.” Katherine said, throwing Eric a small glance.

He just rolls his eyes.

“But um, if you guys don’t mind I would be honored to join.” She said with a slow-forming smile.

Nathan smiled widely while Karen nodded. Rose just gave a small smirk before disappearing from the doorway. Eric then pushed off from the door where he was leaning and walked into the room.

“Well, then this is now in Eric’s department. Once he’s done, we’ll bring you home. You’ll be a bit exhausted so you should be fine until tomorrow.” Karen said as she walked out of the room.

“Wait, what do mean I’ll be exh-”

Eric suddenly reached out a hand, his nails extending and sharpening.

“Um, Nathan w-what the hell is he doing???!!” Katherine said she tried to move away.

“Katherine just stay calm, trust me he won’t hurt you.”

Eric, however, held her straight and placed one hand behind her neck, the tips of his nail pricking the back of her neck.

“Welcome to the family kid, and this might hurt a bit.” Eric said with a slight smirk.

That was all the warning she got before his nails dug into the back of her neck. Katherine instantly shot up, her head tilting back and her eyes wide and unfocused on the ceiling. At first, there was a quick shot of pain but it was over too quickly for her to fully register it. What came afterward was hard to describe. It was like a floodgate of emotions and thoughts brushed up against her mind. Her mind was of her own but she felt safe, secure, and warm. Her heart even felt lighter like there was nothing that couldn’t face. It took her a few minutes to drift down from the pleasant high but slowly she was lured back down by Nathan’s voice.

Wooahh, that’s some good shit right there..” She said rather slurred, her eyes still very unfocused and her voice extremely breathy.

“Yeah, that the pack bond…”

“And you feel like this all the time? Jesus, it feels great but just weird. I can feel you, it’s faint but you, your family..oh.” Katherine said before dropping slightly.

“Yup and high over now.” Nathan said as he picked her up from the bed with ease.

Ohhhhh, what happened? Now I just feel tired…” Katherine said in a small voice her eyes drooping rapidly.

“Well, that’s the initial high of the pack bond wearing off. You’ll fall asleep but most definitely you will be fine for the night.”

Nathan then carried Katherine out to his mother’s car. Katherine was half-conscious at this point, snuggled up to Nathan, leaching onto his arm like a child.

“…Don’t..leave…” She mumbled.

“Don’t worry Kat, I won’t leave you. None of us will so rest.”

Katherine mumbled out some protests but soon slipped asleep. However, unlike the previous times, she finally was able to fall into a peaceful rest. The first she’s felt in what seems a long time.

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