As I awoke in my bed, startled from another dream of my fathers death and the fading memories I still keep of him. I searched my surroundings, breathing heavily, and realized I was in my bed chambers.

It has been ten years since the humans discovered Telaerion. As the people of Telaerion saw smoke rise from the willow trees to the West, our people became worried, saying a great destruction is upon us. My father sent messengers to speak with them; the messengers came back wounded and spoke of the hostility toward them.

So, Skyrel began sending spies as a warning to slowly rid them. They did not leave, so Skyrel began to send warriors; one, then two, then three and so on. The humans enforcements only kept coming after the other ones were eliminated. That is when things became worse; two years later, I was six when the humans attacked our kingdom and the captain had killed my father. After my father was killed, the soldiers were mauled by the other werewolves in a fit of rage and the captain screamed retreat as he watched his men gasping for breath, bleeding in the dirt.

I was not a little girl anymore though; I was fifteen and soon to be sixteen. I pushed the sheepskin blanket off me and slid out of my bed. I stalked over to my closed door and peeked out the hallway; looked down at my parents door, still closed, I figured my mother must still be sleeping. I went back into my room and began to rummage through my clothes in a small dresser. I grabbed a light grey blouse and a chestnut brown pair of trousers.

As I was reaching for a warm bucket of water that lay beside a large wooden bin, I glanced in the mirror that was held against the wall of my bathing room. It was made from a fine crystal that came from the Yerlon river and sparkled from the light that shown through my window near my bed. I stood there, staring at my own reflection.

My skin was a soft cream with a tint of caramel; hair that swung against my shoulder blades and was a darkened blonde waiting to glow. I combed out my hair with the rock the blacksmith had given me as a gift; it had many jagged points with spaces in between and a long handle to grip it, I am just glad it was strong as my hair was prone to knotting. I grabbed the soft wood from the inside of a tree; it was a spongy type thing and absorbed water very well. I shed my night gown and stepped into the wooden bin.

After I was finished bathing, I dressed and grabbed my deerskin satchel that my father had made for me for my fourth birthday, stuck a few arrows in it and set my bow beside it on the bathing room counter. I began to braid my hair, but when I went to push my loose bangs out of my face, I caught a glimpse of my own eyes staring back at me. They were the strangest eyes of any species, and they were mine. So how could they feel like they were not, as if they were a strangers? They were a cool dark ice blue that had a spark of yellow bursting from the pupil.

The yellow reminded me too much of my father. They seemed like the only part of him I kept close to me, and I would never give them away. The blue on the other hand was a bit darker than my mothers. Maybe there were my own genes in them. I shook my head and finished braiding my hair, turned around, grabbed my satchel and the bow.

As I walked to my bedroom door, I stopped beside the window and peered out to the small village below. The colors in the sky just seemed to be brightening and the people were remarkably busy today, hanging flowers up on buildings, decorating with rocks in the center of the courtyard and by the castle entrance. They were all preparing for the ceremony of the new wolf. A celebration for the Princess, my celebration.

Creeping out into the hallway, I strolled down into the first floor, through the kitchen, and slowly out the back door. As I closed the backdoor behind me, I turned around in our maze of a garden. Flowers were blooming everywhere, and shrubs surrounded like a barrier.

I stalked over to a tree standing in the corner of the garden. Just behind our large hedges and garden was a large pasture full of an assortment of livestock; sheep, goats, cows, and even the rhiadorns. Large wooden stakes were tightly knitted together to keep them all safe. The rhiadorns were like their own guardians; like the human horses structure, our rhiadorns were larger, stockier and had three horns on the top of their head from the tallest between their ears to medium size, to the shortest horn that sat above their nose. Rhiadorns hooves were as large as a cows head and slightly pointed at the tips. I could hear their soft whines over the hedge; a soft screech that almost was more of a roar. Rhiadorns were built for defense, but the rogues never use them. My father told me a long time ago we offered them a male and a female to breed and ride, but they refused, saying relying on another animal for safety was only showing weakness.

Looking around I moved some branches out of the way to reveal a medium hole in the shrub behind a tree. Putting my hands on the inside of the shrub I pushed my way through. My bow stuck to the shrub, so I wiggled a bit and pushed forward. The shrubs rustled, and I began to walk carefully to the North in the Nyssas. Along the way I picked up a few red berries my father had shown me once. I popped one in my mouth and put the rest in a little pocket in my satchel. The berry was a tangy bittersweet taste, and a bit chewy, but quite delicious.

Strolling through the elm trees, nibbling on the berries a bit, and then I finally spotted the river that split the North from the East. I sat on a rock that was a few feet away from the flowing river; the usual spot I usually sat to think and get away from the business of the village. The bright colors from the sky were warm today; I basked in the calmness of my surroundings when I heard a shuffling of underbrush from the other side of the river. Thinking it was a deer I readied my bow, pulling an arrow out of my satchel, I aimed. But I knew better when my vision cleared; a deer had small brown eyes. These eyes, peering out of the trees, were too close together and big vibrant, dark gray eyes with a Caribbean tint. I was being stared at immensely. I lowered my bow and froze, slowed down my breath and stared back at those eyes.

A few moments later a large dark black werewolf crawled out of the Nyssas and stood on the other side, on the edge of the river. Not taking an eye off me; his eyes were calm and shining with interest, he did not seem hostile. His breathe was normal and slow as he examined me. He was most definitely a rogue, but why wasn he being hostile towards me like a rogue should be. He was not baring his teeth and he was not growling at all; just, staring. His fur wasn all matted and he looked very well taken care of; unlike what a rogue was assumed to be. I wanted to say something, but what was there to say exactly. So, I didn think that much, and I just spoke ”H… Hello? ” His ears pricked, and then he shifted forms.

No one has ever seen a rogue in human form. It was like they would rather be the beast than a man. He was tall, skinny and his skin was lightly tanned and warm. His abdomen looked tight and full of muscle. He was not the big burly type of man, like Gream the blacksmith, but his muscles were very easily distinguished. He wore a dark pair of trousers, but no shirt and no shoes. His hair was as dark black as his fur was; it waved out above his ears, spiking out a bit and shuffled in the breeze. He sat on the edge of the stream dipping his feet into the cool water, eyes off me for just an instant and then they were back. He had a puzzled look on his face but did not speak. ”Are you a rogue? ” He smirked and chuckled a bit at my question. ”What? ” I wanted him to say something, but he just looked at me as a smile slowly crept upon his face. ”You must be from the castle? ” Finally, he spoke, voice deep and smooth. Was it not obvious, that I was the princess? ”Yes, Im Aliana. ” He did not seem phased at my name. He must not know anything of the kingdom. ”Pretty name. ” His smile widened as he spoke. ”Im Asher. ” A perfect name that fit a perfect stranger.

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