The First Shift

Rylen POV

     SilverRock pack was one of my favorite packs to visit. They always took good care of us and treated us like normal werewolves instead of kissing the ground we walk on (or more accurately, our asses) just because we were royalty like most packs do. They were respectful and kind, and Rosie and I both appreciated their efforts in treating all pack members the same and with dignity, even the Omegas. SilverRock’s system is something that we would definitely like to see implemented in more packs around the country. Honestly, Rosie and I both wanted our mates to come from this pack, which is why we included them in our tour at the last minute and incorporated it as our first stop. 

     “What are you thinking about, Ry? You look like you are having a very deep discussion with your brain over there, and I’d love to pick it.” My twin sister, Rosie (short for Rosalie-our parents wanted her to have an elegant name but she prefers the nickname of Rosie because she thinks it fits her personality better), asked. 

     We had just arrived in SilverRock pack and were waiting for some omegas (who we would tip generously) to help us carry our luggage and show us to our rooms. Often when we visited places, we carried our own luggage, but SilverRock gives their omegas a living wage and good benefits for their work, so they are actually happy to assist us instead of being forced laborers. 

     “I’m just thinking about how much I love it here and that I hope my mate is here so that she shares my values. I don’t know that I could stand it if my mate comes from one of the more pompous packs that only care about a crown and a title.” I responded, giving her a smile. 

     Rosie snorted but nodded her head. “I couldn’t agree more, brother. Even mother and father enjoy visiting this place, and they hardly visit any packs anymore.” She mused as two omegas approached us. The older one who looked about our mother’s age bowed and began to speak as the other woman followed in a graceful bow. 

     “Welcome, Prince Rylen and Princess Rosalie, to SilverRock pack. My name is Magda, and this is Calliope. We will be the main omegas assigned to you during your visit to make sure that all your needs are met and that you are pleased with your experience while visiting. My daughter, Sadie, will also be assisting us, but tomorrow is her birthday so she is preparing for her first shift at midnight. Our sincerest apologies but I hope you understand, your majesties.” Magda replied. She definitely looked like a mother, both in age and her caring semblance. My wolf perked up at the mention of her daughter’s name, but I shrugged it off as my sister interrupted my thoughts. 

     “Please, Magda, call me Rosie! Rosalie is just too formal for my liking, and you can drop all the “your majesties” too. We are here as fellow werewolves looking for our mates, that’s all!” Rosie exclaimed. 

     Magda and Calliope muttered their acceptance and began to load our bags up onto a cart. This was another thing I liked about SilverRock, they allowed their omegas to use technology and tools in order to make their lives easier. Any other pack would force their omegas to do all the heavy lifting on their own with no shortcuts or consideration of how it would affect their bodies. 

     We followed the women inside and into the elevator. I swear the packhouse gets redecorated every time we come here, which is quite often. There were new appliances and decorations everywhere and even the elevators looked new. 

     We stepped out as the elevator dinged. Magda pointed Rosie and me in the directions of our rooms and then began to help us unpack all of our bags. Calliope came with me and Magda went with Rosie. I could already tell Rosie liked Magda as she reminded her of our mother, whom Rosie is very close with. 

     As I entered my room, my wolf perked up again and I was hit with an intoxicating smell. It was faint, and I could not really describe it other than it smelled like home and relaxed both me and my wolf. Taking a deeper sniff, I turned to Calliope. 

     “Whatever air freshener you guys are using in your guest rooms now is excellent. I feel very relaxed and welcomed, almost as if I was at home.” I commented.

     Calliope turned from the dresser to look at me. “As far as I know, we haven’t started using any new air freshener. I would have to check with Sadie though, she’s the one that cleaned your room a few hours ago.” 

     Again, my wolf responded to hearing Sadie’s name. Weird. I found myself wanting to ask more about Sadie but was interrupted by Rosie charging into my room. 

     “Come along brother, I am starving! Let’s head into town and find some food-your treat!” She exclaimed before tugging me out the door by my hand. 

     I was able to resist enough to pull out a twenty-dollar bill and lay it on the dresser for Calliope. “Just shut the door when you’re done! Thank you so much for all of your help!” I called out as Rosie gave another hard yank, succeeding in pulling me out the door. 

     I was hoping to see Magda as we ventured down the hallway back toward the elevator, but I guess she was already finished and had gone back to whatever else she did on a daily basis. Oh well, I guess I would have to ask her about Sadie later. 

Sadie POV

     I had packed a small bag with a change of clothes in case I started to shift before I could take off what I was wearing now. I hurried because I was feeling a strong desire to get out to the woods, now! 

     As I headed for the elevator, I contemplated going to find my mom and asking her to come out with me. But I did not want to bother her after being so rude to her earlier. Besides, I honestly did not think I could handle seeing the disappointment on her face if nothing happened to my leg when I shifted. 

     I stopped by the kitchen to grab a bottle of water before heading out into the woods. It is said that the first few shifts are painful until the body gets used to it, so I figured the pain and exertion of energy would make me thirsty. 

     Going a few hundred feet into the woods so that I was far enough in to avoid being seen, I checked my watch. It read 11:55, only five minutes to go. After two more minutes passed, I ducked behind a tree and removed my clothes before stuffing them in the bag. I’m not sure why I ducked behind the tree as no one was out there with me, but I felt so exposed just standing out there completely naked. I wasn’t sure if I should remove my prosthetic or not, so I just left it where it was. Hopefully, it would just gently fall over when I shifted. 

     As my watch switched over to midnight, I removed it and stuck it in the bag as well. My body started to feel tingly all over as another presence pushed into my mind. Our wolves do not talk to us, but we can see them in our minds while we are in human form in order to see their reactions and help us understand that we are truly two beings sharing one body. 

     One by one, my bones started to break as my wolf let out a howl in my head. But, surprisingly, I did not feel any pain. Just a strange tingly sensation, kind of like the phantom sensations I get sometimes on my amputated leg. I gave myself over to the transformation willingly, and it was over before I knew it. 

     I shook my fur out and started to walk/prance around. It was then that I realized, I was not missing a leg! I had all four legs as I was able to balance and walk like a normal wolf. Wanting to check it out and see my appearance, I went wandering for a creek or pond. I knew there were a few nearby. 

     After finding one, I leaned over to look at my reflection. My fur was the same auburn-ish brown as my hair, and I was a medium-sized wolf. I turned around so that I could see my right back leg. I let out a whimper as I looked at my reflection.

     I should have known. I shouldn't have hoped that shifting into a werewolf would magically regenerate my leg when not even magic could do that. My prosthetic was still completely there. My werewolf leg went down to the equivalent of a werewolf knee, then the rest was prosthetic, but it was wider somehow to balance out the fact that my paw was missing as well. It did not affect my balance at all, and you couldn’t even really notice unless you were deliberately looking for it, but it was still there. 

      At least I could shift into a wolf at all, I guess I should be grateful for that. I let out a howl and shut off my mind, allowing my wolf to fully take over and run until she got all of her energy out. When she was tired, she gave me back control and with minimal effort, I was able to shift back. I looked down and there my prosthetic was, in the same place, it always is. 

     I put my clothes back on and lazily shuffled back to my room. I was too tired to wonder if the Prince and Princess had arrived. I was too upset to go talk to my mom. I knew everyone was going to barrage me with questions in the morning, but for now, I just wanted to sleep.

     After entering my room and shutting the door, I went through my nightly routine of changing into my pj’s, brushing my teeth, and removing my prosthetic before settling down under the covers. Before I could stop them, tears began to pour out of my eyes. I sobbed until I could no longer cry, and then finally, I fell asleep.

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