Chapter 5: Incursion
I woke in the middle of the night, my wolf was on edge. I looked around the room, it was going to become my new room so I had asked some of the Pack women to help me clean and gather their things from the room and remake the bed. Her mate had been an only child, parents were killed when he was a boy. Vivian told me Kirsten no living family except an older cousin who was Alpha of a Pack two states away. I had their stuff boxed up, hoping he would want it. The room looked bare and it would take a while to make it mine.
I sat up, pulling the sheets from Nancy on my left side as I climbed over her to get to the bathroom. Once again, my girls and I found it necessary to stay together in order to fall asleep; it was the only way our wolves could relax and we could feel safe. Too many years of being helpless, being awoken in the middle of the night to be taken and hurt had left their toll on us. None of us slept deeply, so as soon as I stood up I felt five sets of eyes on me. “What’s wrong,” Nancy asked as she rubbed her eyes.
“I don’t know,” I said. My wolf and I were starting to get used to each other again after over a decade without each other, and it was weird. “My wolf is restless.” I looked out the window over the valley, the moon bathed it in light. It was a windy night, but clear, I could see the trees moving.
“Mine is too,” Mary said. “I think she wants to run.” My wolf was in favor of that, and frankly after being locked up so long I liked the idea as well.
“I’ll go,” Nancy said. I looked over at Sheri and Tandy, they were wrapped in each other’s arms and were already going back to sleep. Vivian curled up to Sheri’s back, more interested in sleep than fun. I looked over at the clock, it was just after four in the morning, and we had only slept a few hours. I went to the bathroom and came out wearing my shorts and a T-shirt, Nancy and Mary were waiting for me.
We left the house quietly, not waking up the wolves who were crashing in the living room or the extra bedrooms. The Red Moon Pack wolves had returned to their houses, but they had so much on their minds with their lost members that I asked all the others to stay in the Alpha house with me. When things calmed down, I would work on getting housing allocated. There was no way I was going to make my home anywhere near the burned-out house that had been my prison.
We exited through the door out the back of the kitchen and left our clothes in the cubbyholes provided for that purpose. Shifting into our wolves, we headed towards the trail behind the house. The silver in my coat almost glowed in the moonlight, the pattern broken up by the black and white patches. Nancy’s wolf was still growing by the size of her paws, and her back came about to my shoulder. Her fur was reddish-brown in color, but the wiry topcoat had some black and white in it. She nipped at my tail as we trotted, impatient to get going. Mary bumped her rear leg with her muzzle, her wolf was the smallest of us just like she was in human form. Her fur was light tan with black streaks.
I gave my wolf free reign and my human part sat back to enjoy the ride. She gladly took control, pushing hard up the hill and heading west towards the Pack borders. Now that I was the Alpha, I could sense my territory even though I had never been to the boundary line. We moved quickly in single file, and when my wolf turned her nose into the breeze and sniffed, I knew what she wanted.
Mary and Nancy came up next to me, also scenting the buck. My wolf was almost giddy with excitement, hunting had been missing from my life for a long time and we were all hungry and underweight. I looked over at my friends, they nodded and moved to each side about twenty yards away as we silently moved down into the valley. Our wolves were in lockstep with each other as we circled the mule deer from downwind; it was bedded down in heavy brush near a creek. “Mary, circle around to the right and come down along the creekbed. When you are close, make some noise and drive him into us.”
“You got it,” she replied. Nancy and I took up positions downwind, far enough away not to be detected by the buck’s keen hearing. It took Mary twenty minutes to start her move. She got as close as she could to it before she started making noise, growling and splashing through the creek. The buck snorted and took off away from her, crashing through the brush and into the open only to realize we were waiting for him.
The buck dug its front hooves into the soft ground and tried to turn, but Nancy was already on him. She bit into his back right hamstring, her teeth ripping muscle and sinew away as he bellowed in pain. The buck turned its antlers towards her, giving me the opening I needed to jump for his throat. My jaws clamped on just below his head, my teeth ripping open the flesh as the blood poured out. I held on as it struggled, and soon Mary had jumped on his back and our combined weight forced him down. I ripped the flesh loose as it fell, dropping it on the grass. We all jumped away from the still-dangerous antlers as its life slipped away, finally going still. I lifted my bloody head to the moon, letting out a powerful howl of joy that was soon joined by my two sisters.
The stood aside as I used my claws to tear into the soft underbelly and let the organs spill out. I reached in and yanked out the liver, holding it for them to each take a chunk of before I devoured the rest. I then pushed into the chest cavity, grabbing the heart and gobbling it down in a few bites. We were gorging ourselves on the tender meat of the backstrap when I smelled another wolf approach. “You have enough for me, Alpha?”
I looked up at Moose, no wolf that big should be quiet enough to sneak up on us like that. “Sure, dig in.” He tore into the haunch and ripped a back leg free, taking it over to a small hill where he could eat while watching over us. “Why are you here, anyway? I didn’t ask for a guard.”
“You didn’t ask, but I was told to watch you and Luna forbid something happened to you while I wasn’t around. Louise would hand my ass to me.” I snorted at the picture in my mind of this mountain of a man being backed down by the tiny little mate of his. We went back to work on the deer, but it was a big one and we couldn’t come close to eating it all. I figured we could each take a chunk back home with us for our sisters who had decided to sleep instead.
My wolf was content; she was free, full and in her rightful place. We all waked down to the creek to get a drink of cold water and rinse the blood away. “Come on, this creek joins a river about a mile from here. Feel like a morning swim?”
“Oh hell yeah,” I replied. The three of us started down the hill, catching glimpses of the water through the trees as the first rays of sunshine started to break over the horizon. It was a beautiful sight, and our wolves wanted to play. We ran into the water, play-fighting and chasing each other in the shallows until we were tired.
I found a flat-topped boulder and climbed on top, shaking the water from my coat before lying down. The morning sun felt good on my face, and it would feel better in an hour or so when my nap was done. Mary’s wolf shook off and took a spot next to me as we watched. I didn’t see Moose around, he liked to stay out of sight and let us have our freedom.
Nancy had shifted to human form, and as she waded through the waist-deep waters I looked at her with a mix of jealousy and worry. She was a strikingly beautiful young woman, her full hips and bust were the envy of many a she-wolf. Her red hair was not the bright red, more of a red highlight to the brown base, striking if seen in the right light. She was running her hands along the water, just enjoying the freedom again after a year in captivity.
I worried about Mary because it had only been a year since she lost her mate and I didn’t want her to take her life like Kirsten had. With Nancy, she had never mated, she hadn’t been of age when her Pack was attacked, but what would happen when she went back home? It was tough for me and it had been over a decade. The smells and feeling of her old home would be far stronger, and tougher to deal with.
I was thinking about how best to handle the girls going home as I started to doze, only to wake when Moose let out a warning howl. I raised my head up and looked around, my ears picking up the thunder of paws running hard at us from the other side of the river. I let out a howl, the howl of an Alpha calling her Pack to her, as they came closer.
It was too late. A huge wolf came barreling out of the woods and took a leap halfway across the river. Nancy had turned to run back to our shore, but for some reason she froze and that was enough for him. The black wolf leaped onto her back and shifted, his arms grabbing her as they fell into the water.