A woman walked down the pathway towards a small white house. In her arms, she carried a small bundle. A precious bundle. A child.
Glancing cautiously behind her, the woman placed the sleeping child under one of the many rose bushes that lined the front of the house. She broke off some branches from the bush and covered all signs of the child, burying the baby alive underneath the thorns, leaves, and petals.
"Ma chérie, how I wish I could keep you," the woman whispered, a single tear trailed down her cheek. "Survive ma fille, and we may meet again in the future." Slowly, the woman stood up, her tears now flowing freely down her face. "Je t'aime pour toujours Callista, my child." She backed away slowly, watching the hidden child. Finally, a soft sob escaped. She covered her mouth, turned quickly, and sprinted away.
When she was about a few hundred miles away from the town and in the dense forest, she stopped. Her tears had dried when she ran against the wind. A sound behind her caused her to turn. A man, a pretty furious one too. "What have you done Rachel?" he snarled.
"She's gone, you'll never find her," Rachel replied, her voice surprisingly calm.
The man laughed harshly, "Rachel, Rachel, still as young and naive as ever. I'm the Bronze Alpha! The third most powerful alpha of the forest. You think I don't have the power to track the child?"
Rachel shook her head, "Matt, Matt, still as arrogant as ever. I put a cloaking spell on the child, you won't be able to find her. Might I also remind you, you are the Bronze Alpha for the foxes, there are still wolves in the forest. If the Bronze Alpha Wolf confronts you, good luck!"
Matt's face twisted with fury, "You'll regret this... mate." He leapt at Rachel who dodged his attack. "Ahh...you have been practicing." Matt shifted into a brown fox, his eyes blazing as he leapt again. Rachel shifted as well, into a small sandy colored fox and attacked.
The two foxes fought each other, blow after blow. Blood dripped from wounds, snarls of fury erupted from mouths, teeth were bared, each lunging for the other's neck.
Finally, Matt had Rachel pinned down on the soft earth, he bent forward, "You see Rachel, I will always win." He smiled, leaned closer, and bit down hard on her throat. Rachel thrashed around desperately but in a few seconds, Matt's teeth had dug deep in her throat.
"You....will.....never.....win," she panted, then gave up her fight. A few hundred miles away, a baby cried.
Matt smirked, "I already did." He sniffed the air, trying to locate where Rachel had returned from. A thick smell hit him, smelling of durian. "Damn," he snarled when he failed to catch any scent. He glared at his dead mate. "As to thialo Rachel." He kicked dirt at her face and trotted away, swearing revenge.
And the sun slowly rose.
In a small town, a middle aged man went out to get the paper. It was nowhere on the porch and he stood there in his pajamas in confusion for a few minutes. Then he glanced around and noticed it lying near the rose bushes. "How did it get there?" he mused. Walking down the steps, he bent down to pick up the paper. "What the...What is this?" He brushed away the leaves, branches, and petals. "Fu...What's a baby doing here?
He looked down the street, there was nobody in sight. He glanced back down at the child who stirred under his scrutiny. She opened one eye and he gasped to realize that it was an emerald green flecked with spots of orange flames. Taking a quick look around and realizing again that he was alone, he picked the child up and walked back up the stairs. "Michele!" he called through the door, "Open please?"
"The paper can't take up that much," a middle aged woman walked to the door. "Oh my," she exclaimed when she saw the baby. "Who does she belong to?"
"No clue, I found her hidden among the bushes. Her mother or father must have done it on purpose to hide her from somebody."
"Is there anything with the child that tells us where she came from?" Michele reached over and gently took the baby in her arms.
"I didn't take a look...." Michele stared pointed at him, "Oops?"
"Idiot," she muttered affectionately. She ran her fingers over the baby and caught the piece of paper sticking out from the folds. "What's this?" The man leaned over, "A letter...."
"Open it," he encouraged.
To Michele and Evan:
I am terribly sorry to have to burden you with this child, but I had no choice. For 2 weeks I watched your lives from a distance. I didn't mean to intrude, but I needed a couple to help me hide my child. 4 centuries ago, a prophecy told of a child with green and orange eyes who would rise above all our kind to rule the forest. You see, the child you hold in your arms is not human; she's a were-fox. Our species is dying out and she's our only hope, but her father does not permit it. He's obsessed with power, addicted to it and the thought of his child becoming more powerful than he is simply unacceptable. He wants to kill her. I cannot allow that. I know that by handing her into the human world, I will die from his wrath, but I'll do anything to protect my daughter. Please, I beg of you, raise her as your own. Protect her with your lives, I've cast a spell that should hide her from his eyes, but I don't know how strong it would last after my death. Her name is Callista, but please change it. Anything from her old life must be removed, burn the blankets, the clothes, even this letter, but remember one thing for me and for her. Remember my name. I cannot express my gratitude. Thank you, thank you with all my heart.
"Oh my goodness...." Michele turned to look at her husband. "Evan, what should we do?"
Evan looked at the letter, looked at his wife, looked at the sleeping child, "Looks like we got ourselves a daughter," he replied grinning.
"Evan!" Michele flung herself into his arms with Callista.
"Careful darling, don't want to hurt Cal," Evan reminded. Michele flushed and Evan laughed. "So...what shall we name our new daughter?"
"Something very different from Callista so her crazy father doesn't realize. Something...common."
"My mother's name was Vanessa...." Evan suggested.
"Yes. Vanessa, that's a beautiful name for her," Michele agreed.
And Vanessa became part of the family.
*Prologue! Hope it is okay so far....The words that Rachel speaks are in French that mean the following (in order: my darling, my child, I love you forever.) The words that Matt speaks is in Greek and basically means (Go to Hell) which he says to his dead mate. Hope this sets the stage! :) *