It was night out, and hard to see where they were going. All she knew for sure was that she was driven on and on through the forest by the barrel of her father's rifle and the fanatical gleam in his eye.
As best she could tell, he was about halfway to the secret market. All those poor people! She couldn't just lead him there could she? She thought of the nice old lady who'd given her that necklace and called her a moon child. She thought of how close to death that poor little girl had come and Klause's kindness and she halted.
"Keep moving!" Abel shouted. She winced at how loud he was in the quiet forest. It was too quiet. Even after how loud they were moving there should still have been noise from nighttime insects and such. There was nothing at all. She had a feeling that the werewolves he was trying to get her to lead him to were already surrounding them.
"Father what are you doing? Why are you pointing a gun at me?" She didn't have to pretend the tremble that shook her voice. She was afraid for her life and terrified at having discovered that werewolves were a thing. She wasn't sure why she made good bait but she was pretty sure that was what she was being used as.
"Because they no doubt have been sniffing up your skirts since we got here. They have been haven't they? You been whoring yourself girl?" He seemed enraged by the idea. She flushed. Given her home situation, she hadn't really gotten close enough to any men to be whoring herself to anyone. Not to mention, hadn't they covered this already? He was out of his damn mind!
"I never did any such thing!" Her voice rang with enough indignant offense that he wavered for a second.
"Well even if you haven't been, no doubt you would have before long. Then you wouldn't be my daughter anymore, but their breeding stock, and I can't have that." He cocked the gun and aimed it right between her eyes. Unable to help herself she started to cry.
"Father, please. I'm your daughter, please stop this. Please!"
"Shut up! I should have ended you in your crib!" He'd shocked her into silence. Not knowing what to say but sure her life was about to end, all she could do was cry. At this range even if she tried to run there was no way in hell running was going to help her.
"Have you hunters sunk so low as to kill your own offspring?" Damien. She gasped as he moved up next to her, appearing out of the forest and cleanly moving to stand in front of her. "Is it not bad enough that you kill our little ones?" The menace in his voice curled her toes. She was nearly more afraid of him in that moment than the gun. This was a werewolf for crying out loud.
He didn't meet her gaze, but he nodded. "You had best be running off now Lily. You will not want to see this." She looked to her father and saw Klaus and someone else she didn't know standing behind him. Had they just arrived or had she not noticed them before? The gun was now aimed at Damon's chest.
"That's right girl. Runaway. I'll find you and kill you later." Pain ripped through her heart and she promised herself right there that would be the last time the man who'd raised her would have any say over her heart. Internally she cut the ties that bound them together. Oddly enough it had some effect on the wolves around her.
She saw it in their body language. She thought about how kind Klaus had been and she looked over at him. He shook his head ever so slightly. He wanted her to stay for some reason.
"I'm going nowhere." She was surprised at how calm she sounded, despite still crying her eyes out. That was when Abel shot the gun.
The sound thundered through the forest and Damien jerked backwards falling to the forest floor. "Damien!" she yelled and knelt at his side as he fell, hoping she could do some good for him, though how he was going to survive this she had no idea.
But when she fell to the ground, she fell alone. She blinked and looked up. Damien had frozen mid-fall as if someone had hit pause during a movie. Someone was at her side pulling her backward. A man she'd never met before.
"Trust me, you don't want to be close by him when he changes." She nodded and allowed herself to be moved. A few feet away she looked back and she gasped. His entire form was liquid and changing. A great heat was radiating from him, and in a transformation as beautiful as it was disturbing a great black wolf replaced the man.
Lily felt that her heart must be pounding so quickly that everyone could hear it. When Damien landed, he landed on his feet, a vicious growl tearing from him, so potent with rage it made even Abel step back a foot or so.
Damien's transformation began a chain reaction. Before her eyes, Klaus also changed, as did the man who had pulled her back and every other man who had shown up close to the clearing.
"Come, child, you don't wish to see what comes next."
"Amara?" The witch had come into the clearing as calm as a spring morning. Lily latched onto her steady presence, trying to emulate it, and took a deep breath. Amara smiled gently and held out her hand. "Come, let me answer your questions in peace. Your father cannot escape justice now and there is nothing you can do here but get in the way." She took the woman's hand and let herself be led back to Amara's cabin, studiously ignoring it when Abel shouted her name, followed closely by yelping and growling.
"Are they going to rip him apart?" she asked in a whisper as they entered the cabin. Amara shot her a sympathetic glance but sighed when she looked at the couch. Laying there and whining softly was a juvenile wolf, all legs and ears. Her stomach looked raw and bloody. "Is that Natasha?" she wondered, problems flooding out of her mind.
"It is. When the alpha shifts form like that he tends to take the entire pack with him. It isn't often Damien loses control, but when he does this is what happens. Even the pups shift." She shifted her attention to Natasha. "You must change back little one. You cannot help the pack in its current fight. Let the wolf go."
She watched as Amara tried to get Natasha to retake human form. It took some time but finally, the little girl she'd saved took the place of the tiny wolf. She passed out right away, not even seeming to see Lily.
"Will she be okay?"
"Oh yes, she simply can't control her wolf very well yet. She's doing well for her age and she will be a strong fighter one day." Amara turned to her and jumped slightly. "My girl how long was he beating you for? He was not merciful." Sympathy shone in the witch's eyes.
"I can't even feel it," she murmured and shivered.
"Come." Amara ushered her to a comfortable chair near Natasha. "You are in shock darling. What you have been through takes a great deal of strength and you've done admirably well, but it's time to relax."
"I don't think I can," she whispered. "Do you know that it was Damien set me up to take this beating? He asked me to steal father's gun to prove that he was shooting the folks in the forest. My father might be a monster but I don't seem to be lacking more of them."
"I doubt Damien meant for this to happen, and it is unfair to blame him." Amara began to hover her hands over Lily's wounds chanting rhythmically under her breath. Finally, she stopped. "The beating was bad enough that I cannot rid you of all your wounds. You will still have some healing to do but it will take days now instead of months."
"Thank you, Amara, I should go out there..."
"For what possible reason? Surely you don't mean to save your father?"
"I do. Do you honestly think he works alone? There's an entire society of hunters and if he goes missing suddenly they will send someone to investigate. I'm not repeating tonight with a stranger. It was bad enough with my father involved."
"Not to worry darling. Damien has heard you." She gestured to Natasha who was sleeping. "He is the alpha. He can hear and see whatever his pack can hear and see. Now go an change. It seems every time I see you, you are covered in blood." Lily looked down at herself and smirked. Amara wasn't wrong. Except this time the blood was her own.
She made her way for the second time in such a small span to Amara's closet and pulled on a pair of jeans and a cami. She walked back out finger combing her hair. Amara met her with a cup of tea and smirked.
"What?" Lily asked.
"I've had more company in the time you've lived here than I've had in years. You are a change bringer."
"Apparently the bad kind," murmured Lily. Amara scoffed.
"Good, bad, who is to say? The world is not as black and white as that. Consider the major changes are likely to your life more than anyone else's.
They sat at Amara's tiny kitchen table.
"So, werewolves. That's a thing," Lily murmured, letting the steam from the cup of tea comfort her wounded face. Amara chuckled and sipped her own tea before answering.
"Yes. Werewolves are a thing as you put it. They aren't unnatural creatures. Surely you've heard stories of shapeshifters all over the world and throughout history."
"Obviously I can't deny what I've already seen with my own eyes, and I won't pretend I didn't already believe in magick. But I'm having trouble with this Amara." The other woman nodded seeming to understand why she felt so stuck.
"I shall tell you the story of the origin of the werewolves. The Lupus Antiqua. The Goddess of the moon was walking amongst creation one night and saw amongst the children of the Gods some whose souls so revered nature that she thought to reward their purity for she felt a certain kinship with them.
She gathered nine such men about her, and spoke to them, granting them life everlasting and the power to change their forms to one in tune with nature. The nine men agreed, knowing what an honor they received.
The moon Goddess, being a Goddess, after all, wanted their new forms to be ones which honored her and so she gifted to the men the form of the creature dearest to her heart, one which always honored her with their songs when she was high in the sky."
"The Wolf," Lily finished for Amara.
"Yes, the wolf. Now, the laws of the universe prevented her from granting eternal life to all her children, but she allowed the gift of the wolf to many others she felt a kinship to. But the original nine are the first and oldest of the werewolves. Damien is one of the nine, and the only one who has never abandoned his pack. I know that you blame him but take into consideration that above all else he puts his pack. As valuable as you are my dear, your life is nothing to him in comparison. Every life here is his responsibility, and you are not his pack."
When it was put like that, Lily felt a little ashamed for her nasty thoughts towards Damien. After all, the picture was bigger than her.