Wondering from place to place has always been his thing. Mark was sure this town would be no different. He set up camp outside of town in a little cabin that had been overgrown and long abandoned. The cabin was just perfect for him and like his self most would probably over look it so shifting and roaming the woods around it would be no problem.
As the sun started to go down he could feel that itch, the one he always got when he hadn’t shifted in awhile. Since he was in a new town he figured a wolf would be best for the night. Thinking of the red wolf he had heard was reintroduced to TN, he shifted. Feeling the night air touch his skin as he ran through the woods was exactly what he had needed.
The moon was high in the night sky when he came to a clearing by a small river.
He could not help but to howl at the moon and laugh inside as he did. He knew what WERES must feel on nights like this and just hoped he was not intruding on ones territory. He was alone though he could smell nothing on the air but nature it’s self. The trees seemed to be dancing in the breeze under the moonlight. Then he saw her.
Kaicatori was her name, KAI: Navajo name meaning “willow tree.” and CATORI: Hopi name meaning “spirit.” She was much older than any Native American tribe but they were the first to catch a glimps of her. She was a DRYAD. She always stayed close to her willow on nights like these. It was when she heard a twig snap that she saw him, the red wolf watching her, but this was no ordinary red wolf she could see the magic that had him cloaked. Smiling she told him to show his true form for he had seen hers.
Taking a deep breath at her beauty he shifted not even thinking of the fact he would not have clothing to put on. She grinned at the sight of him before her in his human form because he was every bit as muscular and handsome as a GOD.
They admired each other for what seemed ages then she spoke again, “I am Kaicatori shifter. What do others call you?” “Mark. May I ask what you are? I have never seen anything that compares to your beauty.” he said with a smile. Then laughter rang out around them as she replied, “ I am a Dryad. I protect the forest you see around you. I have not seen a shifter in many years around here though. You caught me off guard this night.”
They sat in the moonlight talking for hours about nature and where all he had been. With each tale of cities he had visited she was beginning to like him more and more since she herself had never left her forest or the trees she protected. It was when he talking about the cabin he was staying in at the edge of the forest that he saw the light of her eyes glow at their peak. She was interested in where he slept he thought to himself, so he offered for her to visit him anytime she wanted. They stayed in the forest for a bit longer but she was to curious about the photos he said he had of the places he had visited and she wanted to see them bad. “Can we go to this cabin? I really would like to see these pictures you have” she said to him.
It was the first night of many they spent together talking and sharing things they knew. He had never felt this way about any female it was enough to make him want to stay rooted like a tree beside her and the thought made him laugh. During the day he would sleep and every night he spent with her. It was not long before she started to glow and every time he saw her she would appear to be brighter than the time before. He asked her one night if his eyes were playing tricks on him in the moon light and she smiled. “I am with child.”she said. He was shocked and just stared at her for a bit. “I did not know that could happen, I mean I know how it does but we are not the same beings.”he replied. She laughed,“We are both magical beings. We are what myths are made of and this child is really special because he is not human. He will be half demigod and half shifter. His abilities will be what I am most looking forward to because any other time a Dryad has been with child it was a human father.” He smiled at her and vowed right then and there he would always protect her and their child as long as he had a breath in him no matter what.
The days rolled by fast and before either Kaicatori or Mark realized the baby was on his way. Beautiful he was from the moment he was born. ASHKII: Navajo name meaning “boy.” is what they called him. Mark took care of him during the day the best he could and both met Kaicatori by the willow at night.
Everything seemed perfect with them. They was the happiest little family together, until the day a logging company came and started clearing out the forest where the willow was.
Mark tried his best to stop the loggers, first by tampering with the equipment, then draining all the gas from the trucks. Nothing seemed to stop them as they got closer and closer to Kaicatori’s willow. The night Mark went to visit Kaicatori and found her willow had been cut down was when he lost it. Ashkii must have felt the very moment because he had awoken from his nap screaming and Mark almost didn’t get him called down till dark. The two went to where the willow was and Mark himself cried for the first time in his adult life.
Soon the tears turned to anger and by sunrise whenthe loggers came back he laid Ashkii just beyond the tree line and did the unthinkable. He turned into the biggest Black Bear anyone had ever seen and tore through each logger till the stumps of the trees they had cut, including the willow and the all the forest floor was covered in blood. Ashkii lay quiet but watched it all.
When he was done Mark shifted back to human form knowing what price he would pay if caught he decided he should find someone to take care of Ashkii. His heart ached for his son but even more for his beloved Kaicatori because he never got to say goodbye and he could not stay near the bare land that had once been her forest.
Mark found a home that he could smell belonged to a Were and watched. He watched the Were and his wife together knowing they would never have children because she was a Vampire, he decided to leave Ashkii on their door step with a note. “ Please find it in your heart to take care of our dear son. His mother has been killed and I can no longer provide protection for him. I know you can not have children because I can smell your scent. PS I am shifter and as far as I can tell he may show that ability only but his mother was Dryad. When you read the news you will understand.”