The large gray van came to an abrupt stop in a secluded area that seemed to be entirely covered in a never-ending amount of trees.
The sound of tires screeching against the muddy ground as the driver pressed the brakes was the only sound heard for miles - minus the rustling of branches and the roaring wind.
Through the backseat mirror two small bloodshot eyes peeked through fearfully - glowing even in the darkness.
Even though there was a dim amount of light in the van, if it was not for the heightened eyesight of the wolves, they would have not even been able to navigate anything, for even the moon was hidden by the trees.
Clarice gulped nervously, her sobs had long stopped and become small quiet hiccups that contracted her lungs and made it hard for her to breathe.
No matter how worn out she felt, she did not allow herself to succumb to her bodies wish of sleep - she did not want to be vulnerable to these strange men again.
“We have arrived.” The drivers hoarse voice said making the hairs on the back of Clarices neck stand, she used her shaky hand to wipe her cheeks before quickly hugging herself again.
“P-please, I beg of you. All of you. Take me back...” she trailed off hopelessly, none of them turned to look at her, but she willed herself to continue even though her voice was barely above a shaky whisper.
“M-my parents. They need me. Please.” She begged before a sob wracked her whole entire body, the entire length of her was aching, and she had yet to realize how badly wounded her forearm was.
“You quiet yourself pup, we have no interest in listening to you weep.”
She inhaled shakily while nodding to herself. She knew she could not negotiate with these men. They were all intent on keeping her here.
She did not even have the strength to.
Her body started to tremble as the first two men stepped out of the van, she closed her eyes and whispered a small prayer - she prayed the Moon saved her.
“Out!” The authoritative order made her legs move on their own accord and she was soon standing outside of the van on wobbly legs.
She gulped lowly, eyeing her surroundings. They were in the woods once again, however, something was off about these woods - they were darker and more suffocating than ever.
And she did, she slowly walked behind them with her head bowed, she struggled to keep up but she managed to. She did not want to anger them anymore.
Their long legs made them move at such incredible speed that it scared her - she knew they were associated with the King but she did not know that they were much different from the wolves she had grown accustomed to.
She stumbled over a rock but quickly composed herself.
She placed a hand on her head when she felt her eyes roll, this caused her to see the dried blood of her forearm making her stomach churn.
The darkness enveloped her entirely and it did not take long for the men to realize they no longer heard soft footsteps behind them.
“Pup-” Aurelio was going to scold her once again but in the same instant he turned around Clarices small body went slowly tipping forwards.
However before her body could connect with the ground Martello managed to reach her in time to grab onto her waist and hold her up.
“So, which one of you men is going to explain to our King why she has a fresh wound and why she has collapsed a second time?”
“You must understand how dire this situation is my King, you need-”
He was cut off before he could continue, “you know your place Rettacus!”
The man - Rettacus - raised his chin before narrowing his eyes.
“Oh Avon be sure that I know it. However, I am not sure you know it... I only want what is best for our Kingdom, surely my King understands this?” Rettacus stated while turning his glare to the large man seated on a huge golden throne with a crown placed perfectly over his neatly styled raven colored hair.
He looked annoyed yet he said not one word as he glared at his men.
“He does not need you dictating what he shall and shall not do, just because you have assumed something, does not make it true.”
Rettacus growled before getting closer into Avons face, his canines fully bared.
“I know who my Regina is, the sooner you two accept this, the better it will be for us all!” He growled out before turning around and stomping out of the huge throne room.
Avon inhaled harshly before turning around to face the King, “if you have not already heard, the child is in the guest house. In the woods.”
The King’s shoulders tensed and eyes managed to darken for a millisecond but other than that, he showed absolutely no care for what Avon had just told him.
With one raise of his index finger Avon took it as an order to leave the room as well.