Chapter 28

The Real Beauty
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It was almost dinner time when they finished. Jiho had called Junmyeon the previous night to inform him about an incursion in a pack near his lands, and he had asked Junmyeon to bring Sori for a short training in following and recognizing scents. In all honesty, for Sori it had been both traumatizing and the most interesting thing she had done in a while. It had been way more interesting than training with the whole pack, if not for the fact that the safety of a whole bunch of people she didn't even know was being trusted in her hands. Not that the normal type of training was boring, obviously, since she had no previous knowledge and she had to learn basically everything from the start, but it was different when you had to generically learn something and when you were personally trained in a specific context in which you were considered talented in.



It had also been a nice break from the long hours she had spent reflecting on the reasons why her manuscripts were never accepted. As the editor she had spoken with had gently put it, her stories lacked maturity on some aspects and were excessively boring and focused on the ethical side on the other. To make it simple, she had written superficially about real life experiences and her characters were constantly focused on the moral and psychological side, which slowed down the plot, ultimately turning her stories in a boring bunch of sermons nobody would have enjoyed reading. It had hit her hard on her pride and it had left her with not much else to do at the moment. What was the point of editing for the ninth time the same scripts when there was nothing she felt like changing? That was all her on those pages, and although it would have given her a bigger chance if she just modified her story following the indications she had been given, she knew she couldn't make it in the end. The editor was right. She had little to none real life experiences: she had never traveled, she never had a gratifying job, she didn't have a nice family, she didn't even have a family at the moment and the one she had in the past didn't fit in with the white-fenced-house kind of family. For God's sake, she didn't even have a pet, so what could she write about to make it seem realistic? Her own personal reflection and opinions, which apparently occupied too much in her book and were kinda pathetic. Hence why the new training had come as a breath of fresh air for Sori.



They had arrived a little after lunch time and after a short round of introduction Sori had been led to where the new scents had been found. Sori, who felt still a little out of it both because of her personal problems and because no one had commented on her nature of turned-were, needed a moment to be able to catch the scent they wanted her to follow, but after the first moment of embarrassment she had done quite well. Junmyeon was proudly looking at her while Jiho and his friend, the alpha of the pack they were in, chatted about their new discoveries. Despite the success of this first training, Sori didn't want to give herself too much credit. Sure, it was her nose that had brought them so far down their lands, but it was also Jiho's talent as an instructor if she had managed to learn and new skill and handle it discretely well in such a short time.



He was still a little bit of a weird man in Sori's opinion, however she could recognize his talent and his leadership. Although he always kept her on her toes, he also made sure she knew he was doing it for her well-being, and in fact she had been able to develop so many skills since she had first started training with him. It was unnerving, really unnerving actually, but Sori could admit to herself Jiho knew what he was doing. No doubt, EXO's help and sparing sessions had surely helped her too, but it was different when it was Jiho who taught her all these basic skills she should have already learnt. He didn't care to be especially gentle with her and he gave her no special treatment. He just extended her the basic respect anyone should be given, and Sori truly appreciated it. He wanted her to work hard, he expected her to work hard, and he had never made a mystery of it. Nonetheless, it was Sori's choice to put some effort into developing her new skills, as Jiho wasn't going to be disappointed with her if she slacked, nor was he going to waste his time looking out for her and making excuses to justify her laziness. Sori was an adult and he expected her to work hard. Not for whatever reason, but for her own safety, but if she herself didn't care about it, it wasn't going to change a thing for him. He was totally willing to share his knowledge and experience as long as the other were willing to learn and pay attention, no more no less than that.



"I think for today we can go home", Jiho informed the two of them after having ended the conversation with his friend. "They probably will scout their lands some more, but you've done enough here, Sori! Go home and relax, you deserved it!", he patted her quite harshly on the back, but despite the quite painful pats, Sori felt glad her help had been useful.



In spite of the small bump she was still sporting, her ankles had been giving hurting for the past couple of days, and with the hot summer temperatures they were constantly swollen, and her lower back often hurt her too. She had found some nice stretching movements to help ease the pain, but there wasn't much to do about it when you were walking around trying to train a skill. On the positive side, Junmyeon had gone back when they were halfway through with the training and had brought his car closer, so Sori wouldn't have to walk all the way back. Unfortunately, being in a human town, they couldn't just change and stay in their wolf forms, so the whole training had been done in their human forms. Jiho had assured her it was going to be even easier in her wolf form, but they weren't going to try it for another while. Not that there were that many chances of episodes such a the ones that were happening recently, thus it wasn't that easy to create the perfect training conditions to get used to following a bunch of different scents in a stressful and confusing context, and thankfully so.



For now, Sori was satisfied with what she had learnt and she was going to practice some more the next day, but for today she was done for. Even walking to the car was quite painful, not to mention that she was sweating like crazy. Her doctor had insisted it was normal, but Sori wasn't completely convinced that was the case. Who sweats like this and if considered a correctly functioning human being? Surely not her.



They quickly parted from Jiho and slowly started making their way home. Sori opened the window on her side to let the breeze caress her sweaty body. It was relaxing to watch the sunset after such a tiring afternoon, and she would have probably have fallen asleep had it not been for the way her hair was whipping her again and again because of wind.



"Do you want me to close it?", Junmyeon nodded towards the car window on her side, but Sori shook her head.



"I like it when it's windy like this, I'll just hold my hair or something". There was a high chance she was going to knot her hair, but she still proceeded to twist her hair and wedge it in between her back and the car seat. Once satisfied, she let her hand rest on her bump. While it wasn't super visible when she was standing up, when she was sitting down like this it was pretty obvious she was pregnant. She wasn't that fond of the way her belly stretched her shirts, so she had started wearing summer dressed, but in moments like this they were still useless to hide her pregnant body. Still, seeing that Junmyeon wasn't looking at her, Sori rested her hand on her belly and took a deep, relaxing breath. Her baby liked it more when she was walking around, so whenever she sat or laid down the baby started moving around. She had noticed how the kicks had gotten stronger lately, in fact she had read online that she was going to be able to feel the baby from the outside very soon. Lately she had become more jealous of her belly too, thus Baekhyun's project of being the first one to feel the baby from the outside was probably going to fail big time. Whatever it was that made her react that way, no one was allowed to touch her bump at the moment, less they wanted to lose a limb.



In her mind she thought of it as a belated reaction to the acknowledgment of her pregnancy. Somehow there was a constant lingering feeling of guiltiness when she thought about her baby, still small in size in comparison to the usual measurements, and she couldn't help regretting her choices earlier in the year. Perhaps things would be different had she chosen not to drink alcohol? Or maybe if only she hadn't started skipping meals to satisfy somebody else's standards... well, there was no going back now, no amount of regret was going to fix the past, but when the baby would come she was going to make sure he knew he was loved and wanted. She was going to do her best to fix the mistakes she had made.



“Sori, can you answer? It's Baek”, Junmyeon threw his phone on her lap to keep his hands and the wheel. She startled a little, since she had been so focused on her thoughts she hadn't heard the sound of his ringtone, but she wasted no time once she grabbed the phone.



“Hyung? Where are you?”, Baekhyun was panting loudly, speaking in a rushed tone that was quite unusual for him. There were some loud background noises Sori couldn't distinguish too, so maybe they were playing games or something.



"It's me, Baek, Myeon in driving... is everything okay?". She couldn't help the panic that was starting to rise in her voice in reaction to Baekhyun's evident anxiety. Everything was okay, right? They hadn't even been gone that long...



"No, I mean... yes, we are all fine, but come back home right away", he panted. Some voices were whispering loud enough for Sori to know Baekhyun wasn't alone, but still quite enough to make it impossible for her to discern their words. Definitely weird.



"Put him on speaker", Junmyeon told her as he eyed her trembling hands. He sounded perfectly calm, but Sori knew better. He just had to keep his calm to avoid loosing focus, which would have only made it harder to make quick decisions. Sori tried to follow his example and a moment later Baekhyun's voice filled the car.



“Hyung, they were here”, he spoke quickly, “Sehun caught a weird scent during our round, so we informed Chanyeol and we tried finding them, but there was no one”, he added in response to Junmyeon’s loud swear. They.



“How many of them?”. The rogues. They were after her again. Sori was about to be sick. All the happiness and satisfaction of half an hour earlier had disappeared in a moment. Suddenly everything was tilting and fading out as her anxiety rose. Why. Just why couldn't they leave her alone.



“I think there only two of them, or...”, he seemed unsure whether to say whatever it was on his mind or not, but then he made up his mind, “or maybe three. Do you remember that one... the one with no scent? I, no we, can't tell if he was here too or not”. Sori knew too well whom he was referring to. He had found her again. Not that she had moved far enough to hope the distance would be enough to keep her safe, but she wasn't ready to face this type of fear again.



“Okay, we're fifteen minutes away. Lock all the doors and check the all the windows. Call BTS and Block B, we will check out the scents after we'll hear from them. Don't go out until we get there, okay?”. Without uttering another word to Baekhyun, Junmyeon started accelerating to shorted the time needed to get home.



They didn't speak much on their way there. Junmyeon was too focused on planning how to proceed once he got home, while Sori was too busy trying to avoid the panic attack that was threatening to take control any moment now. She was torn between the anxiety of knowing there was no escaping that maniac as long as he was alive, while also keeping in mind that having a panic attack at the moment was only going to make her useless in case of a new attack and it was also going to make the process of solving this new mess messier than it was already. Once the driveway could be seen Junmyeon started pressing down on the accelerator.



“Hold tight, Sori. We need to rush till home. I don't know if there are still rogues in our lands, and if they attack us we won't have the upper hand”. He was tense enough Sori didn't utter one word, she just gripped her seat and the car handle with all her strength, hoping with all her might nothing like that would happen to them. Sori kept praying in her mind until they reached the garden. Thank God nothing seemed to be out of place. There was no blood anywhere in sight. She let out a deep sigh in relief. Had it not been for the unfortunate knowledge there was a man trying to throttle her, she would have thought things were going quite well, despite this mishaps.



As soon as the car stopped the front door was wide open and everyone started stepping out to greet the leader. There was a sudden word vomit from everywhere around Sori, and for a moment it was as if she was surrounded by a white noise of sorts, then she understood it was just her anxiety acting up. Something in her brain was pushing her to move inside, although no one else seemed to share her feeling.



“Can we-”, she started, only for her voice to be drowned by everybody else's. “Can we...”, her voice was too quiet even to her own ears. Or maybe it was the anxiety that was making her voice sound like that. Sori couldn't tell.



“Guys”. Everyone kept chatting loudly, trying to give Junmyeon their point of view on the presence of rogues on their lands. “Guys”



“Shut up, for s' sake!”. Kyungsoo's outbreak finally managed to catch everyone's attention. “Sori was going to say something”, he explained after having taken a calming break.



“Did you see something?”. Chanyeol was already stepping behind her, keenly scrutinizing the area of the garden, making sure nothing was close enough to get to Sori.



“Oh, uhm, no”, she muttered, eloquent as usual, “I was just... uhm, can we go inside?”, she briefly met Junmyeon's eyes before she turned her eyes back to his chest. “It's just... I don't know, something in my mind, I guess. Can we go inside?”. It wasn't a good explanation, but was there even a good way to explain something she herself didn't understand in the first place?



“Sure, let's just move inside and them I'll call Namjoon myself. As of now, I don't feel comfortable with the idea of going for a round around our perimeter on our own”, Junmyeon informed them as he made his way upstairs. “I would rather wait for Namjoon and Jiho, although I think Jiho will send someone from iKon rather than sending some of his man in Namjoon's lands, although it would be faster. He can't lose any more members of his pack and he can't risk making any other infraction if he wants to avoid a punishment from the government”



“Let's check out the whole house again before we lock ourselves inside, tho”, Minseok commented. It was quite an astute observation, actually. They had been outside for at least a couple of minutes and they couldn't tell if the rogue obsessed with Sori was there since they couldn't perceive his scent, so there was no way to tell he hadn't found a way to break into the house while their were talking in the garden.



“Baekhyun, Minseok, stay here with Sori until we make sure there's no one in the house, okay?”. It only took a moment for them all to spread around the house, looking for an unwanted guest. The whole time they were gone Sori found herself praying the rogues had already left these lands so that no one was going to have to get hurt because of her presence in the house. She didn't want to burden anyone, she just didn't know how to solve this problem on her own, especially at the moment.



Her anxious thoughts were suddenly interrupted by the ringtone of her phone. Despite the first scared reaction to the sound, Sori didn't hesitate to answer as soon as she read the name.



“Sori, where are you? Are you in a safe place?”, Narae spit out quickly, without giving her the time to answer. “You're not alone, are you?”



“No, I'm not alone, I'm with Baek and Minseok. We're inside the pack house, everyone else is checking the windows and the doors to make sure no one could have taken advantage of the couple of minutes we spent outside talking to sneak in”, she took a deep breath and asked something that scared her. “Where are you? Are you going for a round together?”. Sori couldn't deny she was worried about every single member of her old pack. Sure, they weren't exactly friends at the moment, but she couldn't just pretend she wouldn't be demoralized if they were to face a new danger, or even hurt, because of someone who was actually looking for her. She was pretty sure she would have felt for them even if they were hurt in a different context, so she was going to be brave and ask something that actually scared her. If anyone got hurt what was she going to do? She had no answer yet, but she could feel the pressure of such a huge responsibility on her shoulders.



“I'm still at home, don't worry. IKon should be here in a matter of minutes, then we'll go together for a round along our confines and then we'll split if there's nothing wrong in here. Some of us will stay here to keep and eye on the house, and also to be sure there will be someone to defend the house and give the alarm if anything happens”, Sori could tell Narae was scared too, but as the good friend she was, she was putting on a mask of braveness to reassure Sori everything was going to be alright. As if Sori couldn't recognize that slight tremble in her voice. “Joonie told me Jiho and some of his wolves should be there soon, so I don't think iKon will come along, if not for Hanbin, maybe. So wait for me, okay? Don't go out and stay put until I get there!”, she warned Sori. And Sori was totally fine with that warning. Actually, she hoped no one was going to go out at the moment. She pushed down the guiltiness of being the one causing the problem and then not even helping to solve it, knowing well the only thing she could do to help EXO at the moment was staying put where she could be easily protected, because despite all the training she had done in the past few months, there was no way she could kill any of those rogues, not to mention she would also risk her baby's health if she were to follow a careless behavior. She couldn't do that to her baby. She had already put his health on the line with childish behaviors at the beginning of the pregnancy, and she didn't want to feel that kind of hatred towards herself anymore.



“I will, but you have to be careful too, okay? Don't make rash decision and don't stay alone in the woods, Rae. I'll wait for you”. Sori ended the call promising herself she was going to work hard on her skills in tracking scents, because this was definitely going to be the last time she felt this useless.




It was around two wearying long hours before the situation seemed to be under control again. In the end EXO's pack house was perfectly locked up and there were no strange scents inside the house. After that, they basically sat down and went over how and where they found the scents in heir lands again and again. It was maddening to just sit down and wait while hearing the same words enunciated repeatedly without ever coming to a useful conclusion. What was even there to add at that point?



This broken record was only interrupted by Namjoon. He had called to inform them there were no new scents on their lands, thus he, Narae, Hoseok and Yoongi were driving to EXO's pack house.



Egoistically, Sori couldn't wait to see them with her own two eyes. It was absurd to think that such a pleasant afternoon had turned into a complete madness, and now she egoistically wanted to see and make sure the people she cared about were okay, no matter that she already knew nothing had happened to them. She needed to see them.



Now that they could hear Namjoon's car nearing, Sori couldn't wait to see them. Even Yoongi. Junmyeon had forbidden her from going out, but not even him could stop her from walking up and down the corridor to soothe her anxiety. Despite having acknowledged it wasn't exactly her fault that mad man was persecuting her, it was still somehow her fault everyone had to be bothered and affected by him and the rogues that were with him.



The wolves from BTS didn't even wait for Junmyeon to open the door for them, they all stepped in and checked Sori out, who had kept pacing in front of that door until they had gotten out of the car, making sure she was alright.



Looking at them with her own eyes and seeing them completely fine and healthy finally allowed Sori to take a deep breath and calm down a little. Finally her diaphragm started moving properly again. There was a huge chance that the relief she was feeling was going to be short lived, still she was going to enjoy it while it lasted.



“Thank God”, Narae muttered under her breath as she was throwing her arms around Sori's neck and hiding her face to spare herself the embarrassment of showing her tears, “I'm so happy... I'm really... glad you are fine”. Glad. Glad. Maybe she was a little hysterical, but the term sounded to funny to Sori, or maybe it was the context that was weird. She chuckled lightly, but she decided it was better to keep the mental hilarity of the word to herself, not wanting to appear as out of it as she felt. After all she was really glad they were fine too.




Two days after the little mishap, Junmyeon and Baekhyun decided the pack needed a little party to lift their spirits and to be able to re-establish their ownership over their lands. Well, especially over their garden, since at the moment whenever one of them left the house they all suddenly turned nervous and restless.



It was nothing big, just a little grilled meat and veggies, but it wasn't the main focus of the night wasn't the food. The whole point of the dinner was to make them feel comfortable and safe inside the pack lands once again. The playlist Chanyeol had chosen was playing softly in the background, just light enough to fill in the voids of the conversation and to create a nice atmosphere, but low enough to allow them to hear any unusual noise from the woods.



The citrusy scent of the little candles Minseok had lit up to keep away the mosquitoes was just enough to refresh the summer night. It was very typical, nothing special actually, but it had a positive effect on Sori's mood. Maybe it was because for once no one cared about the drama that was going on in their lives, but this felt like the perfect conclusion to such a nice and tranquil summer day: music, food, friends and a nice scenery.



Back when she lived into the city Sori never had the chance to admire the night sky, because no stars could be seen when there were lights constantly lightening up the sky, so ever since she had been turned, Sori had spent a great deal to time just staring at the stars and try

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I deleted the author note, it wasn't important to the story, I was just letting you all know why I hadn't posted anything new in a while :)


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AiiSoo #1
Chapter 35: I really really hope that Sori won’t return to BTS. Not with the current mindset that Jungkook has and even Namjoon too. I was really pissed that Namjoon tried to like give Minyoung a chance and had like a benefit of doubt that she could change. Not in a million years that that could happen. Even Jungkook himself that had stayed in the pack for years still kept the same learning from his previous pack, why would Minyoung changed hers in a matter of months. Although fortunately Minyoung kept true to her personality and getting kicked out in the end. At this point, I can see that Namjoon is not fond of confrontation and he is bad at it too. Not that everyone is fond of confrontation, but Namjoon tried to avoid it so much that the action hurts his pack. He almost did it again when he tried to talk to Minyoung in early of this chapter though.
I think this is a new information, or maybe I forgot about it entirely; Minyoung knew about Sori’s pregnancy way before Sori herself knows?! Was this mentioned before? That girl is just pure evil. But with her gone, BTS and EXO has to be ready if she get together with the enemy and attack both packs. If before, Minyoung hates Sori because she is a turned-were, now, she just basically hates Sori.
Thank you for this update..!
Chapter 35: About time already. But from her reaction being kicked, I could sense she’s about to plot something evil in her head.
Chapter 34: It's good that Jungkook tried to bring himself to finally get the helps he really needed. It's the first step.
AiiSoo #4
Chapter 34: It was nice to know what happened to the BTS pack after Sori left. And to know Jim’s thought and his point of view in some of the matters when Sori was with them. But knowing about it made me angrier to the pack. And maybe Sori too. At least now she won’t be so oblivious anymore or making her assumptions that the pack didn’t see what actually happened between the members. In Jin’s case, he decided to turn blind eye in a lot of cases. But his honesty was definitely appreciated. Quite refreshing to read too.
Jungkook has taken the first step in getting better although he was still in denial himself. The woman is a psychiatrist and trained. So it would dumb do him to believe that she won’t detect his lies if he decided to do so.
I hope all goes well for both Sori and Jungkook.
Thank you for this update..!
Chapter 34: I was so happy to read this update!
hope Sori and Jungkook will have their happy ending ♡
also every chapter you write is amazing, you put thought in every detail and it's really amazing in my opinion.
take care and hope to read more updates soon :)
Chapter 34: I love it!! I like that Jin and Sori got to talk as well. I can understand it’s going to take time to build back the friendships they’ve lost with her, but I’m so excited for her and Jungkook to meet again, he’s really trying and I like that you’ve focus on how his part is going on. Thank you for the UPDATE!! So excited so so excited every time I see an update from you!
july-pupetta #7
Chapter 33: Hi, how are you? Thank you so much for the chapter! I am always happy reading this story!!! I'm glad sori is bringing out her personality and saying how she really feels, it's okay for others to understand how her feelings. I'm also very glad that Namjoon is trying to find a way to improve the situation in the group and encourage a healthier and more cohesive environment. I am happy they are noticing how Minyoug has worsened relations within the group with her prejudices and treatment of Sori. It is good the others are trying to reconnect with Sori and are taking their time to understand her and give her space.
Thank you so much for the update and I am looking forward to your next chapter! <3
Chapter 33: She's starting to stand for herself and I liked it. Thank God Namjoon has decided to do something about Minyoung. It just had to be done.
Chapter 33: I was waiting for this update :)
I really loved how Sori stood up for herself with Jin and Yoongi.
hope you're feeling better ^__^
AiiSoo #10
Chapter 33: I like that Sori was determined on what she wanted. It’s up to her ex-packmates to adhere to what she wanted or just forget about bonding again, even as friends. I guess she was so sick and tired of all the previous dramas and just wanted to settle down with her baby.
Well, good for her.
Thank you for this update..! I hope you are feeling better than before though