A second exert from Eagle’s Shadow in which Ceri gets to do something she enjoys, observing people… after the cut.
Ceri walked through the camp slowly, fairly obviously just watching people, and no one seemed to be bothered about it so she just kept on going. It was the first day she had had where she could just wander about, observe the pack, be herself for a while.
The camp formed a roughly circular arrangement. The tent Ceri was sharing with Lily and Nita was not on the outer edge, but it was not far from it. Ceri made her way to the outer edge and began to walk the perimeter, looking for anything interesting and different. The wolves kept the entrances of their tepees aimed toward the centre and there was not much to see outside the big circle. However, Ceri had managed to attract a following of about ten children by the time she was halfway around.
Werewolves did not have the ability to shift at birth and, contrary to popular opinion, they did not develop it at puberty either. Shifting, like the ability to work magic, was a function of the brain, and it was not until certain brain developments took place that wolves developed the capacity to shift. Even then they had to learn to do it and it looked like none of these kids had figured it out yet. Ceri was not exactly sure how she knew, but she knew. Something about the way they moved? Her supernatural senses? Whatever, they could not shift.
The oldest looked to be in his early teens, perhaps fourteen, the youngest was maybe six. None of them were terribly shy, but it was the oldest one who was most interested and leading the pack. The interest from most of the younger ones was pure inquisitiveness; Ceri got the feeling they did not see many humans in camp, or maybe it had got around that this was the woman Luperca had asked Katarina to help. The teenager, though, was finding his place in the pack and at least part of that was to do with his sexuality. Ceri was an attractive woman he did not know and it was always easier to have a few naughty thoughts about a stranger…
The kids followed her as she made her way into the tent village. Typically for werewolves confident in their nature, the people here were mixed forms. There were wolves sitting around, lazing in the winter sun, and there were man-form wolves conducting various activities, or just chatting. She passed a woman mending a pair of jeans who nodded to her, smiling. Everyone appeared to know who she was, so the kids probably did too.
There was a group of women sitting around the fire in the middle of the camp and Ceri settled down in an empty space on a log without saying anything. No one commented and the woman beside her, pretty, white, and engaged in sewing buttons on a shirt, smiled at her. The children sat behind her, about six feet back, and started whispering amongst themselves. All except for the teenager anyway, who was too busy watching Ceri.