Disguise

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If Tomorrow Comes

My eyes didn’t open when I heard the agonizing cry. They didn’t even open when I smelled the putrid rotting of flesh, like a dead body was nearby. They opened when I felt a blow to my collar, just below my neck. It wasn’t so much as a blow but an accidental collision, because the rabid wolf was writhing in pain, just a few feet away from me.

It was screaming - if animals could scream - it’s eyes shut from the pain, and it kept moving and shaking like it was trying to get rid of something attached to it.

From it’s back, a column of smoke was rising, it’s flesh was burning and I felt my insides churn.

I had no idea what made the wolf go crazy, but the last of my sanity made me crawl a little further away, my ankle protesting with the slightest pressure.

I felt suffocated and not just because of the smoke from the fire. It was a sort of an internal clenching of my chest. I couldn’t stand the agony, mine as well as the wolf’s.

It pawed the earth around it, and I could see huge mounds of soil coming away so easily. I shuddered at that raw, animal strength. It was still shooting up smoke, and the horrid smell seemed to worsen, making me gag. Ten more minutes and I would pass out, or throw up. Or both.

Help it.

I was never one to make good decisions and this would be one of those times that would stand as proof for it.

The monster that was out to get me had suddenly turned meek. It was being tortured and I couldn’t stand the anguish.

It’s cries reduced as it lost energy, and the ground around it was no longer being uprooted.

I know it tried to kill me but maybe it won’t once I help it.

Real logical, I know.

The wolf was on the ground now, barely moving as it whined and I felt my heart clench at the sight. How was it on fire? There was nothing here!

“Let me help you.” My voice rang clear above its cries and it opened its eyes to look at me. It looked so vulnerable, so human, and I found myself moving closer to it again.

“Let me help you.” I said again, more firmly this time, but it gave no indication of allowance.

“You’re in pain let me help you!” I said yet again, and finally, with immense difficulty, the wolf nodded it’s head slightly.

I didn’t think I was in much danger seeing as it could hardly move now but then again if it was faking the whole thing to get me closer then I was toast.

I mean, there was a fire.

I moved closer, dragging my injured foot to avoid damaging my ankle further until I reached the shoulder side.

Even lying flat on its belly, the wolf was nearly my height, and I would have to stand on my tiptoes to have a look at its back. The realization made me nervous. It could probably roll over and crush me under it’s heavy body if it so wished.

I was in way over my head here.

And then from somewhere within the woods came another wolf, a gigantic black wolf and I recognized it as the one from my dream immediately.

But that wasn’t possible..dreams were fictional. They had no correlation to reality whatsoever..

The second wolf was larger than the other. It’s fur was midnight black and its body was muscular. It didn’t smell, it didn’t even look savage, and yet it seemed lethal. Its body reeked of royalty, like it was the true king of the jungle. The powerful aura it brought with itself was overwhelming, I wanted to bow down to it.

The midnight black wolf walked to the now slumped wildling, it’s eyes never leaving mine.

And my body went into lock-down.

Those eyes. I know those eyes!

For a moment, time stopped still as we both stared at the other, me the prey and he the predator. It was the moment before the victim broke into a run, or the attacker pounced, whichever happened first.

I forgot to breathe, I think I even forgot to blink. But it made no move. The midnight black wolf stood there on all fours and looked at me with intensity that I couldn’t describe as dangerous but...concerned?!

Why would it be concerned about me?!

How could that be? What was going on in the universe for werewolves to exist?! I didn’t dare break the connection as I looked back defiantly, hiding all of my vulnerability. I was no fool. I knew it would kill me the second I turned my back.

But something was pulling me towards the regal monster that stood before me like a king, and I was inclined to blame it on some special power that it had. I had to fight hard to not take a step closer to him. It was like a spell, slowly getting stronger and stronger...

Unconsciously, I took a step closer. My foot landed on a piece of root, snapping it with my weight. Agonizing pain shot through my ankle and it broke the spell.

I shut my eyes and silently dealt with it, opening them a second later so that I wasn’t blindsided.

The wolf was holding its position, but it’s legs looked tense, flexing. It’s eyes however, were filled with pain. It was worried about its friend.

What the hell was I about to do?! Was I really just going to walk up to it?

I shivered at the thought.

Fuck, I know nothing. For all I know they are hardly even human.

Fear began to accumulate again and the seriousness and insanity of the situation hit me hard. I was three feet away from an injured werewolf and seven feet away from another.

Gaaaahh! I was so so screwed.

I could feel the onset of a panic attack, my vision began to sway.

No! You cannot faint here! Fight! Stay awake and run!

The monster stepped closer and my attention moved to it. It seemed cautious, or predatory - I couldn’t decide. Its large head broke its gaze to look at the unconscious, smoking one besides me. I knew that while it was busy with its fallen comrade, I should run, but I stood there transfixed. My eyes never leaving the regal creature. The blow from the wildling’s flailing paw was aching, and I knew it would bruise tomorrow.

If tomorrow comes.

The majestic wolf moved closer still, before it looked at its back. We were both standing on opposite sides of the wildling now, hardly a leap apart.

I should really run.

It seemed to be figuring out how to help the wildling at its feet, but the second it glanced into the smoke, the large head blanched and moved behind immediately.

It’s entire body turned to face me and my blood ran cold. It was looking at me with awe - how can animal expressions be so human? - and I felt the last of my strength gather in me as I steadied myself, turned around and sped.

This was futile, I knew. I was bleeding from my arm, my shoulder was aching, my lungs made me feel like they would collapse any second and my ankle was screaming in pain with every step I took.

I felt nothing but the pain, apart from these physical injuries I was numb, but that was wearing off. The panic rose and I began to sob as the situation sunk in me.

I didn’t want to die, I wanted to live and continue writing scripts and have a family and be happy.

This was not the way it was supposed to go!

Ahead of me, I saw a clearing and I knew that no cover was a bad idea, but turning around would mean lessening the distance. So I ran straight towards it. From the corner of my eye, something flashed, a pair of shorts were lying at the base of a tree - blue stripes on white cloth - and then it was gone.

Behind me I could hear the wolf now, it’s footsteps getting heavier with each second. I broke into the clearing and suddenly, I couldn’t hear the wolf anymore.

I didn’t turn around to check as I cleared more than half of the open space.

“FLORAA!” the voice boomed and I stopped dead in my tracks. My ankle couldn’t take the sudden break and gave in, and I fell smack into the ground.

I managed to turn towards his voice, warmth spreading throughout my body. He always, always managed to make me feel safe. I could see him now, he was running towards me - he was barechested - unnaturally fast. He reached me in a shorter time than possible and all I could do was gaze at him through my tear stained face.

Reece had a few cuts too, but they seemed minor, scratches perhaps, and he was huffing. His expression was of pure concern, which was easing with every moment he spent with me.

I was sobbing now, and Reece immediately bent down to hug me. The familiar sparks sent warmth to my body. I felt cocooned in his protection, nothing would touch me now.

I broke.

“R-Reece..Th-theyre -” my voice was barely a whisper.

“Shhhhh, it’s okay Flora, it’s all okay, calm down.” He comforted, his hands patting my back lovingly and I leaned further into his touch.

He gave me a strong squeeze.

“Flora we have to get you to a hospital.” He said gently.

“Were-wolves! Th-theyre werewolves!” I managed a little more loudly.

“Flora you need a doctor.” He urged more strongly. His eyes were desperate now.

“Reece I-Iwas so scared! I thought I-I would never be able to see you again!” I continued in a shaky voice.

“Flora, it’s okay, I’m here. We need to go, you need a doctor.” He spoke softly but I could hear the urgency in his voice.

I was shaking, all memory of Reece handcuffing me was gone by now. I couldn’t process anything except my own fear.

“She’s having a breakdown. We need to get her to sleep.” Sienna’s voice came from behind and he nodded.

It was like she had been there all along. Why hadn’t I seen her? More people appeared from the edge of the woods, they were standing a little distance away, like bodyguards giving their subject privacy.

And then in a moment of clarity, I saw the shorts Reece was wearing - blue stripes on a white material.

My mind put two and two together and I let out a blood curdling scream as I pushed him away.

Reece looked tortured. Sienna was shocked.

“Flora...” He said in a pained voice. He tried to move closer to me but I flinched away.

“Flora what’s wrong?!”

It all added up; I wasn’t a completely oblivious fool. The strength, the stamina, they were all werewolves!

“Y-you, Reece, both of you are them too!” I screamed with an unstable voice.

They didn’t deny it.

They just stood there, helpless. Time was running out, Reece was hovering closer to me while Sienna maintained her distance.

“Flora...You need a doctor!” He wasn’t calm now. He was eyeing my cuts with renewed fear. I knew that I’d probably lost a lot of blood through my arm, with the rate my heart was beating.

“No! You leave me alone! Don’t touch me!” I spoke fearfully.

“Flora. Please, please calm down! We’re not going to hurt you. I know you need a lot of explanation but please give me a chance.” Reece spoke softly.

“Trust me, none of us could even think of hurting you.” His tone rang sincere through and through.

Around me the ground had started shaking, Sienna was looking warily at Reece and everyone else behind was growing uncomfortable.

“Reece calm down! You’ll hurt somebody!”

The air buzzed, cracks appeared in the ground.

“Flora! Say you’ll come with us! Say that you’ll give us a chance! Flora please!” Sienna’s said.

The sheer possibility of such a power terrified me. The sinking feeling that he could move the earth - quite literally without physical contact left me speechless.

“Alpha! Alpha calm down!” I heard a voice coming from behind.

“Queen! Do something!” Atticus yelled at us and my head only spun further.

“Luna!”

“Reece, you are scaring her!” That was definitely Grey.

They were all here..

I was outnumbered, I was out muscled, and I was out-knowledged. I couldn’t possibly escape them and I knew it. But why was Sienna hell bent on making me calm him down?

Was he ... Out of control and that’s what was causing this?

The fissures that appeared in the ground below left huge cracks in the ground. I saw a rabbit desperately clinging to the side walls.

Reece was doing this. He was breaking down.

And then:

I need to help him.

But then what? Was I really going to let him take me somewhere? Could I really fight them all off if need be?

Focus on this first.

I raised an arm forward and tugged at his shorts. Reece looked down at me, his eyes no longer green.

“I need you to take me to a doctor. It’s okay, Reece. Calm down. Please calm down.” I said without breaking eye contact.

The vibrations reduced to shivers, the air was breezy again.

“You’ll go with me?” He asked me doubtfully, his eyes still jet black.

Don’t freak out, play the part. Don’t freak out, play the part. I chanted.

“Yes. Let’s go.” I spoke the words with conviction.

The shivers reduced to nothingness and the air grew still.

I didn’t let my fear of this telekinetic ability show.

I couldn’t understand why he calmed only at my touch, I didn’t understand anything at all.

He immediately bent down and hugged me gingerly and it took all I had to hold my ground and not flinch away.

Why was he behaving like this? Like my approval was what he needed?

Sienna let out a huge sigh of relief as she looked over her shoulder and gestured for someone.

From behind a woman came forward, a suitcase in her hand.

She sat next to me, her actions slow and deliberate - maybe so that I didn’t get scared.

She opened the suitcase and in it were a few medical supplies - she was a doctor. She was motherly, her hands sure and her features patient. Although I suppose being a doctor required a cool head.

Internally, I was screaming. I couldn’t even wrap my head around the fact that each and every one of them could transform into colossal beasts at their own will. They had claws that could cleanly slice me in half. They were dangerous. And there were many. I would have to struggle to put up a show to get the hell out of here.

“This will hurt.” She said softly before she took a piece of cotton and dabbed it lightly on the claw cuts on my arm and I winced. Reece held my hand the entire time while Sienna whispered calming words. His eyes had returned back to their natural color and I had the head space to identify that this meant that he was calmer now. How his eyes changed? I had no idea.

She was trying to be gentle but the pain was intolerable. The adrenaline had left my system and everything was hurting now.

Everyone was tired, tensed and I was unsure. I looked away from my hand towards the edge of the forest where the rest of the figures stood. I couldn’t make out much, it was very dark.

So many people.

I was overwhelmed to say the least.

Reece was looking at me in surprise and the next moment the people slowly disappeared back into the woods, until only Sienna, Reece and the doctor stayed with me. I breathed a little easier then.

I flinched again as she tried to wipe away the excess blood, a small cry escaping my lips.

I could feel Reece stiffen with me at every step, he was helpless here, and he hated it.

Sure, they were savages but at this point they seemed nothing but gentle towards me. I couldn’t understand how to behave when one half of me wanted to run off screaming and the other half was tied down to them, more specifically to him.

I was maintaining a facade of calm because Reece needed me to. But was I really going to stick around given the choice? Were they really harmless to me? How could I decide? How could I decide when fifteen minutes ago I’d nearly been killed by one of them?

“I’m sorry, dear.” She said softly as she continued her work.

“What’s your name?” I asked her to distract myself and she smiled.

“I’m Noori, the pack doctor.” She replied affectionately as she dabbed some more cotton to clean my cut.

Reece was still rubbing my palm gently, until they came to rest on the handcuff that was still around my wrist like a bracelet.

“Don’t freak out.” He said softly as his hands moved over the metal. I heard a snap and the cuff was broken, right off of my hand!

Don’t freak out?! What the f-

“I thought I said don’t freak out?” Reece was smiling now but I gave him no reaction.

Sienna was moving around us constantly, her eyes darting back and forth.

He couldn’t stop touching me, my back, my hands, my face, my hair, even my feet. His eyes kept hovering to Noori’s work, constantly checking if everything was okay. He was so protective all the time. It was ridiculous, my attraction to him. Any normal human would have run a hundred miles away by now and yet here I sat, letting him calm me because somehow he could.

Letting him give me an explanation when what he was, was inexplicable.

Why are you so head over heels for him?! He’s not even a human..

Don’t think about all this right now.

Reece hadn’t left my hand and the contact was keeping me grounded. I knew he wasn’t bad, but I was too frightened and traumatized to understand that right now. It took all I had to not let my fear show though, lest he lost control again.

“I need to get Luna back to a room Alpha.” Noori said as she looked up from my hand.

There it is again, Alpha. And what’s a Luna?

He nodded immediately, his eyes reading me.

Sienna had disappeared somewhere and I didn’t really bother asking. I was tired now. My body couldn’t deal with the pain and exhaustion, even if my mind was charged.

“No, let’s not move.” I said softly, I was suddenly drowsy.

Reece squeezed my hand gently.

“Flora just sleep.” He cooed into my ear.

“I can’t move, my ankle hurts.” I spoke even more weakly.

I felt someone’s hand move towards my leg.

“Shit.” Reece swore while Noori took a deep breath.

“Don’t worry it’s going to heal but we need to get her back ASAP.” She said. By this point my eyes had shut. Reece put his lips to my ear and I could feel his breath on my cheek. It sent shivers down my spine - the good and bad kind.

“Sleep Flora.” He urged even more and I fought, but it was too difficult. I was too weak.

“Please don’t..kill me.” I whispered and then I blacked out.

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