Author's note: I wrote this piece because I ran out of good books to read. So I wrote my own.
A Flight FriendI double check everything that I have packed. Tooth paste, check.
Hairbrush, check. Extra jacket for the plane trip, check. Looks like I’m
all set. I’m quite pleased with myself for being so organized.
I look in the mirror to make sure that my appearance is the best it can
be. I wear an orange hoodie and jeans. My brown hair has its normal blonde
highlights and my green eyes sparkle. My skin is perfect. I decide that
something is missing. I go to my jewelry box and grab an orange bracelet.
The amber beads have tiny flowers incased in them, and the amber heart
charm has a butterfly inside, the colors on its wings brighter than most
butterflies I have seen. This was the most precious thing to me. It was the
friendship bracelet Finn had given me right before we moved. He said it
would help keep him in my thoughts at all times. It has, and I’ll never
give it up.
I place it on my wrist and carry my two suitcases out to the car,
keeping my jacket with me. After putting them into the trunk, I go back
into the house for one, last thing: a picture that hangs on my bulletin
board. I unpin it and look at it carefully. It’s Finn and I, sitting on a
palm tree in the Bahamas. This was the most recent picture I have of him,
four years ago. Pretty sad, I know. I can guess what you’re thinking. “What
kind of friend won’t even send pictures?” I don’t know but I intend to find
“Ready to go?” Mom asks from my doorway.
“Yeah, sorry. Time already?”
“It’s almost 5:45. I don’t want you to be late.” She tilts her head
sideways, trying to see clearly what I’m holding. “I know that picture.
It’s the one you keep on your board all the time, right?” I nod.
“I’ve never been able to get rid of it.”
“A little, but I’m more excited than I am nervous, though.”
“Well,” she says, as I stick the photo into my left pocket, “you won’t
have to wait much longer. Come on.”
When we pull into the parking lot, Mom says, “Finn said he’ll meet you
through those doors, right there.” She points to a pair of swinging doors.
“He’s already inside.”
I get out of the car, and say, “Thanks, Mom. I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you, too,” she says, her brown eyes contrasting perfectly
against her blonde hair. “But have fun with Finn. He’s missed you, too, you
I snicker. “He left. How do you know that he misses me?”
She smiles. “He kept talking about you yesterday on the phone. He
sounded super excited to see you again.”
I grin. “Thanks, Mom. I promise I’ll call as soon as we get to Isle
Royale. Bye.” I grab both my suit cases and put my leather jacket on. I run
towards the doors.
Inside, is just like any other airport. People busily running around
trying to catch their planes, parents holding their children’s hands trying
to make sure that they aren’t lost, business men and women in big fancy
suits and briefcases talking on cell phones as they rent cars.
I look around for a familiar face but I see none. I walk father into the
airport complex but still see no one. Calm down, I tell myself. Mom said he
was here already. You just haven’t found him yet. Chill!
I look around more carefully. Then, I see him. He’s sitting on a bench
against the side wall to my right. His hands are folded and he’s staring
off into space. I watch him for a few seconds. Every few seconds he looks
around, looking for me, I realize. His backpack is beside him and he’s
wearing jeans and a black T-shirt. His strait, black hair is an inch or two
grown out and it sticks up slightly in the front. His tan skin is, well…
tan, for someone living in Colorado. Or does he live in Michigan now? I
recall that he is part Native American.
I walk closer to him, hoping that I have the right guy. No, I say to
myself. Of course you have the right guy. Who else could this be? I’m about
ten feet away now. He looks up from the floor and, when he sees me, he
smiles his bright, white smile. “Natasha?” he asks, in a calm, deep voice.
I smile. It’s not the voice that I know of, but I can tell it’s his.
Finn gets up and comes towards me, still smiling. He’s gotten much
taller than last time I saw him. He’s maybe, 5 feet 9 inches, 5 feet 10
inches? He holds his hands out like he’s trying to explain something, but
lets them drop, not knowing what to say. “Um, hi?” he starts, awkwardly.
“Hi,” I repeat, not knowing what else to say.
Finally, the silence between us drives him crazy enough to do something.
He reaches his arms out to me and grabs me in a fierce hug, pulling me hard
to him. “I’ve missed you,” he says, finally.
“I’ve missed you, too.” Finally, I have to pull away from him. “Gosh,
Finn, you’re burning up!”
He chuckles. “Yeah, that’s pretty typical for me.”
I’m confused. “What? You mean, you always run a fever?”
“Not all the time. I promise I’ll explain everything later,” he says,
“but unless we want to be late for our plane ride, I suggest we start
moving.” He runs his hand through my hair. “I still can’t believe how grown
up you are now.”
“How have you been?” Finn asks, after we take our seats on the plane.
“Um… pretty good, I guess. How about you?”
We’re quiet for a while. After the plane takes off, I zip my jacket
zipper up farther and cross my arms in front of me. “Are you cold?” he
I nod. “Have been a lot lately.”
“Always cold…” he mumbles to himself.
“What? You know why?”
"No." He bites his lower lip and looks around; making sure that no one
is listening to us. When he is convinced that no one is eavesdropping, he
turns back to me, and says, "Okay, listen; there are a lot of things that
are different about us now. There is something that you need to know about
being a wolf. First of all, you need to know that there are four packs: the
Greenstone pack, our pack, the Feldtman pack, the Minong pack, and the Red
Oak pack. Second, after you have a few days to get used to Isle Royale, we
have school to go to."
"You mean that they have school for wolves?"
"Yeah. What? Did you not think so?"
"No, I'm just... surprised. Everything about this new world is new to me
so, please, continue explaining, but I have a LOT of questions."
He laughs. His laugh makes me want to laugh. He continues to explain.
"The school we go to is an old abbandoned building that used to be a
welcoming center for the hikers for Isle Royale National Park. It was shut
down some number of years ago, and the packs rebuilt the basement and
expanded it to be our school grounds. kind of like a boarding school."
"Do we sleep at the school?"
"Well, the Greenstone pack doesn't. We have our own little... hotel if
you wish. It's smaller than that. Really, it's just an overgrown log cabin.
We love it there, but all the other packs sleep in the school's
dormitories. The last thing you need to know right now is where we’re
“Yeah!” I exclaim. “That might be useful. All I know so far is what it’s
“Isle Royale is in the middle of Lake Superior. It really is a wonderful
place, Natasha! There are all sorts of stuff to do. There’s biking, hiking,
Over the loudspeakers, I hear soothing music. “What time is it?” I ask.
Finn looks at his watch. “About eight-thirty.” I look out the window,
and Finn says, “You’d better rest, Natasha. The Alphas keep us up pretty
late, sometimes. I want you to be well rested. I promised your parents I
wouldn’t let anything happen to you. I intend to keep that promise.”
I look him in the eyes, and say, “I’m too excited to sleep. Besides, I
know you won’t, and I want to stay awake with you. For heaven’s sake, I
haven’t seen you in four years.”
He looks at me, and says, “I’ll rest if you do.”
“Okay,” I relent. I lean my head back and close my eyes. I peek them
back open and see, out of the corner of my eye, Finn resting, too. I’m glad
he took my advice. I am also glad to have a protector and a friend like
him. “Good night, Finn,” I whisper, not expecting any reply.
“Good night, Natasha,” he whispers back to me.
I’m moving, but not at my own will. Someone is moving me somewhere, but
I’m too tired to care. I think that I must be dreaming. Then again, I might
not be fully unconscious. This movement might actually be happening. It’s
warm, and I have no idea why. I try to stir, but something is containing
me; keeping me from moving. My eyelids seem to be forced shut. Maybe I’m
dead, I think inside my head, but here’s no pain, not even the unusual
movement there had been just seconds ago. Everything is still, peaceful.
Thoughts from the past few hours come rushing back, all at the same
time. Finn! Where is he? Is he okay? There is only the endless black.
I tell my eyes to open, and this time they obey. The first thing that I
see is that we’re not on the same plane anymore. We were on a smaller one.
The second thing I see is Finn or, part of him at least. I’m on his lap,
and his arms are wrapped around me. My head leans against his shoulder.
That must have been the movement I felt. Finn had carried me here, and I’m
still close to him.
I breathe in and out, deeply. He realizes I’m awake, and says, “How did
“Fine,” I answer. “Did you carry me here?”
“Yeah,” he whispers. “I didn’t want to wake you.”
“Thanks,” I complement. “I didn’t sleep very well last night. I was too
busy thinking about today and about you.”
He smiles, and says, “You really missed me that much.” It is more like
talking to himself, but I answer it anyway.
“Course! I’ve missed you so much! When we moved, that was the hardest
time in my life, and when Mom told me you had moved to Colorado, I thought
I’d never see you again.”
His tone becomes harsher, as he says, “That isn’t true, and you know
I sigh and close my eyes. “I know. I was scared and I couldn’t help it.
You mean a lot to me.”
As I fight back the tears of the dreaded memories, Finn holds me closer
and runs one of his hands up and down my back. This is so nice. He’s
treating me like he used to, like a little sister and a best friend. I have
never had siblings, but I consider Finn a brother. He cares for me and
looks out for me, just like an older brother would.
I think that I have control of the tears, but one slips down my cheek,
onto my chin, and drips onto Finn’s arm. He looks down at me, but I’m too
afraid to return the sight. When I don’t look up, he bends his head down
and kisses my forehead, saying, “I’m sorry. I should have been more
sensitive about that.”
“It’s okay, it’s just, you never wrote, you never called. I thought you
had disappeared from my life completely, until last night.”
He pulls me tighter to himself and lays his cheek on the top of my head.
“I know, and for that I’m sorry. The Alphas wouldn’t let me write to you,
or communicate with you in any way. They said that your time as one of us
would come soon enough.”
I wipe my eyes, and say, “Sounds like they’re pretty selfish.”
“No, not really. They’re just trying to protect our secret.” I nod
thoughtfully. Why would anyone forbid Finn to talk to me, werewolf or not?
Finn reads my expression, and adds, “The Alpha male is Josh Cleveland and
the Alpha female is Ember Cleveland.” There is a long moment of silence. “I
need to tell you something,” Finn says suddenly. “Well, two things,
“Anything.” I wonder what is going to come next.
“Ember and Josh weren’t always the Alphas, you know. Before them, your
parents were in charge.”
He nods, then asks, “How hard is it for you to phase?”
“Not hard,” I say. “Why?”
“Your parents were the Alphas. It shouldn’t be hard for you at all. It’s
in your blood, I guess.”
“How come they never told me?” I ask myself.
“Oh, we’re bound pretty tight. We can’t tell anyone outside our own Pack
about anything. Believe me, if that weren’t true, I would’ve called you the
day I found out and told you everything. I wanted to so badly, but, I
couldn’t. One more thing.”
His cheeks get a little pinker under his dark skin, as he says, “When
you go to Isle Royale, you start to look for your Soulmate. It's called
Soul-binding. It’s a tradition. When you find, him or her, you get to
communicate telepathically. It’s a way to keep in touch over longer
distances.” He pauses for a second. “Um… I was wondering… if you’d like you
and me to be Soul-bound to each other.”
Finn’s whole body goes tense after he finishes. I don’t hesitate for a
second. “I think that we already are Soul-bound to each other.”
"So is that a yes?"
I nod, happy for the first time since I saw him earlier this night.
He smiles, sighs, and relaxes his hold on me. "Oh, good. I was slightly
afraid that you'd say no."
I raise an eye brow at him. “Now, just think about that for a minute.
Why on earth would I say no? You’re the best friend I’ve ever had. It will
“It will also help me protect you when I’m not with you. I can keep an
eye on you without looking over your shoulder all the time.”
After we finish talking, the plane starts diving though the air. Pretty
soon, we’re on the ground. Finn thanks the pilot, as I get our bags out of
the plane. I hand him his backpack, and he leads me into the woods. “We’ll
camp a few minutes away from here. Too many humans make me uncomfortable.
Is that okay with you?”
“Totally,” I answer. “Whatever you think is best. You’d know more than I
He turns around and smiles at me. “This way,” he says, pointing to the
barely seeable path in front of us. “Just a mile. Can you handle that?”
“Of course I can handle a mile. I walk a mile through the woods behind
my house every day!”
He chuckles, saying, “Well, that’s good, because we do a lot of
running. The Pack, I mean.” He grabs my hand. “Be careful. It’s dark and
the woods are full of life at night. Not to mention that you can trip over
some hurtful things.” I nod.
He leads me through the woods, always a few steps ahead of me. Every
once in a while, I catch him glancing behind him, checking to make sure
that I’m still here. What does he think I’m going to do? Freak out and run
After a little more than I mile, he stops, and says, “This is it.”
There’s a bare spot in the middle of a circle of trees. There’s a pile
of rocks in the middle of the circle. Looks like a place where people have
camped. “It for what?” I ask.
He sets his backpack down, and says, “We’ll camp here for tonight. It’s
where I was brought when I first came to Isle Royale.” He places the rocks
on a circle and lays some wood into the just made fire pit. After he gets
the fire started, he unpacks a few things from his backpack. A few
non-perishable snacks, bottled water for the two of us, and a sleeping bag.
How he got that all into one bag, I’ll never know.
I unpack my sleeping bag and uncurl it. I replace my converse with my
fur boots. I sit on my sleeping bag and warm my hands in front of the fire.
Finn hands me a bottle of water, and I say, “Thanks.”
He smiles. “No problem.” He also hands me a bowl of nuts, dried fruit,
beef jerky, and chips.
I ask, “How on earth did you get all this into that bag?” I motion to
the black backpack.
He shrugs. “I like to come prepared. Do you like it?”
“It’s wonderful. Thank you, again.”
Finn comes over to me and sits beside me. He feels so warm, like the
fire is inside of him. After we eat, he asks, “How’s your family?”
“Good,” I answer. “Yours?”
From there we talk for a while about our families, past trips, school,
and what not. After maybe an hour, Finn says, “Are you ready for bed, yet?”
I sigh. “I don’t want to sleep and I doubt that I can, but yeah, I am
“Let’s talk more tomorrow. I’m tired, too.” He turns to his side and
gives me a good night hug. “Good night, Natasha.”
I hug him back, saying, “Good night, Finn.”
He goes over to his sleeping bag and lays down into it. I snuggle down
into my own and think of how great a day it’s been. I’ve got to be with
Finn, we arrived safely at Isle Royale, and we were almost to the Pack.
As I’m thinking of this, I see tiny snowflakes flutter down from the
sky. Oh, great. The last think we need is snowy weather while we’re
camping. It’s very cold. It is January, I think to myself. And we are in
Michigan, in the middle of Lake Superior. Fantastic.
I start to shake. I turn around to face the fire. Finn is facing the
same way. He doesn’t even look slightly fazed by the upcoming weather. “Are
you cold?” he asks, concerned.
“A-a little,” I lie. “I’m not exactly used to polar weather yet.” He
laughs quietly. “Do you know what the time or the t-temperature is?”
He looks down to his wrist watch. “It’s 1:30 in the morning and its ten
degrees Fahrenheit.” No wonder I am freezing. At this temperature, anyone
“How c-come you aren’t freezing your t-tail off?” I ask.
He props himself up onto his elbow, and answers, “Male wolves have
thicker skin. Like a built in heating blanket. I’m never cold.” He stresses
the word ‘never’. “Do you need an extra blanket?” I nod, and he gets up and
gets something out of his endless backpack. He drapes another blanket over
me and bends down to look me in the eyes.
“How did you know that I was freezing?”
He answers, smiling, “You may be able to tell me that you’re fine, but
the color of your lips is saying something different. They’re purple. It’s
kind of hard not to notice.” We wait a moment before continuing. I have
stopped shivering. “Are you warmer now?” he asks, caringly.
I nod. I am warmer. The extra blanket has kept all the available heat
around me better than my sleeping bag has. He nods, too, and says,
“Alright, I’m going back to bed now. Call me if you need anything else.”
I sigh, deeply, breathing in the smell of the spruce on my blanket and
something else that I couldn’t categorize.
A few minutes pass, and I hear Finn snoring softly. Soon after, I fall
asleep, dreaming about Finn and dreaming about what is to come.