1 Mommy's cubs

It was a sunny day, perfect for a new beginning. Yet another one.

Lara had paid the rent for two months that day, which meant her children would have a roof over their heads. She just needed to find the money for food.

It wasn't easy. Lara spent a lot on meat, and she wasn't even convinced it was the right thing to do.

Her cubs - as she had started calling them - would always complain about hunger if there wasn't any on their table. They would be happy only with enough meat, possibly cooked rare.

She still grimaced at the red flesh her kids would devour with their small, sharp teeth.

A boy and a girl, twins. She herself wasn't sure how that was possible. There weren't any twins in her family.

It must have been because of that handsome young man of six years before.

«Be good and take care of each other,» she said while checking her clothes. Simple, cheap, yet neat.

She didn't look sophisticated, but the light blue blouse and the jeans trousers suited the image she wanted: a plain, reliable girl searching for a job.

«Mommy will be back with dinner, all right?» she continued.

The boy, Jaden, wiped the jam from his face before answering.

«All right!» he exclaimed.

His blonde hair and dark eyes were a sweet combination, at least in the eyes of his mother. His sister Scarlet was the complete opposite: a cute bun with dark hair and astonishing blue eyes.

Lara couldn't remember if that stranger had blue eyes. Part of her liked to think it was the case. But it had been too dark to notice.

«What are the rules?» she asked as the last thing.

She liked to remind them to behave, to minimise the chances of yet another mysterious and sudden change of address. They used to travel way more often when her cubs had started howling at the moon and growling at strangers.

The change started when they turned three. At first, it was only their behaviour.

Lara considered sparing some money for a good doctor or bringing them to a psychologist. But then, she notices fangs and claws. Their appetite changed, and their eyes would glow in the dark if the moon was in the sky.

After the initial panicking dissipated, she understood that the neighbours could notice as well. Without thinking twice, she packed their bags and disappeared before anyone could ask. Or worse, call the police.

From that moment, she avoided staying too long in a single place. And she would continue moving until her cubs learned how to control their nature, whatever it was.

She knew nothing about how to raise them. She was human, a hundred per cent. But her children were not.

«The rules,» she repeated, seeing that both were too focused on the jam sandwiches to reply.

«No fangs; no claws; no howling,» Jaden replied.

Scarlet didn't even raise her head, displeased of their mother leaving once again towards foreign adventures.

«What do you do if your sister loses control?» Lara inquired, looking Jaden in the eye.

«I call mommy and drag Scarlet into the bedroom,» he said.

«Good boy,» she chuckled, walking to them and pecking her son's head before doing the same with her daughter. «And mommy's good girl.»

«Will you find another ugly job?» the latter asked, finally devoting some attention to the young woman.

«I don't know, Scarlet.»

«I don't want you to work as a waitress.»

«It's not a bad job!»

«I don't want that either,» Jaden added.

They sneaked out of home and went looking for their mommy once. They found her working in a club, serving drinks to all kinds of people. They couldn't get in, and the loud music was too much for their sensitive ears.

They waited for her until morning, and they saw the owner of the club firing her because she was unfriendly. What he meant, they didn't know.

However, they still remembered how their mother sat on the sidewalk for a whole hour and cried her soul out.

They didn't want that to happen again, but they didn't know how to help. They were barely four at that time.

After a year of wandering, they understood it was their fault if they couldn't stay too long in a single place. They didn't know that other kids didn't have claws until their mother grabbed them one day without even preparing their luggage.

They fled and only later learned that the neighbour's children had told their mother about a little incident with fangs and growls. They didn't even fight. But their eyes changed, and they showed their teeth to defend their mother's honour.

They had also found out that day that not having a father wasn't normal.

Still, the thought of finding a man for their mommy was so bothersome that they dispersed it immediately.

They had no intention of sharing Lara with anyone else. They already were two: there was no space for a father or a stepfather.

«Do you think she'll find a job today?» asked Scarlet with a frown

«If she doesn't, there will be no meat,» Jaden replied.

«But if she does, there's a chance someone wants to marry her.»

«Mommy doesn't like men. She prefers us.»

«What if she changes her idea?» Scarlet murmured. «We should check that it doesn't happen.»

Jaden frowned.

«Last time, mommy caught us,» he reminded his sister. «She was so, soo mad. I don't want to see mommy angry.»

«But she might be in danger.»

«Oh, no,» Jaden sighed.

He wasn't as childish as to fall prey to his sister's manipulations. Yet, the thought of their mother in danger...

«We can't let anything happen to mommy,» he admitted. «We should go.»

«We won't even get in. We'll wait for her outside,» Scarlet mumbled. «It will be all right.»

They nodded to each other, getting ready for yet another exciting day. Their instinct would always guide them towards their mother, no matter how far she was.

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