"Where is she?" Nathaniel asked, looking very bewildered and disheveled.
"I do not... I do not know. It's been about five minutes since I left the stream, but I am pretty sure her wolf must have ran away from that area by now." Greta answered weakly, her eyes glossy with built up tears and fear swimming in her crystal blue eyes.
"How in the world do you not know?!" Nathaniel boomed, his hands going through his hair in exasperation - Greta flinched, no longer feeling safe around her best friends father.
George growled protectively before pushing his daughter behind his back and glaring at Nathaniel whose lips were in an angry snarl.
"Calm down Nathaniel. It is not her fault, so you should not be yelling at, nor scaring my daughter." George reprimanded turbulently, his eyes narrowed whilst his trembling daughter stood behind his large body fearfully.
"Well my daughter, who has only shifted since the very beginning of this month is out in the woods in wolf form, with no control over it and absolutely no idea of how to shift back! So I apologize for yelling!" Nathaniel argued, his canines elongating with every word he spoke and his green orbs darkening - similarly to Clarices whenever she'd get angry.
George sighed, understanding where Nathaniel was coming from, but he still held his ground because he knew the power of a wolf's overprotection of their pup.
"It is not Greta's fault that your daughter shifted Nate, you know this. Now, Greta will be going home, and you will not chase after her, are we understood?"
Nathaniel growled at Georges words but said nothing as he watched Greta scurry out of his house with tears streaming down her cheeks and her hands in tight fists.
"She is just a pup George. The King will be arriving today, the monster. You know how feral he is. What if she stumbles upon him, and is unable to control her wolf's actions? What if he kills her?" Nathaniel asked apprehensively, with his hand rubbing over his chin and his stormy eyes as wide as saucers.
"The King will not kill her Nate, that is insane. Also, I understand that this is a fresh and impulsive shift, but she has to learn to control her wolf somehow. I understand that it is soon, but she has to learn." George stated calmly, trying his hardest to choose his words carefully as he spoke to a scared father who just so happens to be his close friend.
"I know that. I know that. It's just too soon. It is too soon, and she is all alone. And we have no time to look for her... This is Clarice I am worried about George, she is so weak and innocent, and I know that she will shift back and be okay, but there is a huge possibility that she won't."
A gliding loping shape of a creature coated in thick auburn fur flowed through the woods at such meteoric pace that all that would prove of it's presence would be the paw prints that were left deep into the muddy ground.
The sound of paws padding against the ground at such rapid pace was almost rhythmic whilst the creature ran aimlessly.
Its thick fur swayed with the wind and it's long, pink tongue stuck out of its mouth and almost flew as it kept up with the creatures pace.
A black watery snout was raised high up in the air, sniffing for anything out of the ordinary as it pushed past low branches and vines.
The wolf almost pranced past every thick tree and every bush with absolutely no clue on where it was going.
It's eyes - dark, yet light as it gazed directly on the leafy, muddy path before it - its mouth opening to almost sneeze and its canines barring at absolutely nothing.
Abruptly, the wolf came to a stop, its small body freezing at the sound of footsteps and twigs being snapped in half due to the weight of whatever is walking over them.
The wolf barred its teeth, its snout raising as it sniffed as deeply as it could before growling.
Quickly its tail and ears perked up - alarmed and alert, the fresh smell of meat and a faint heartbeat could only mean one thing.
The wolf would have its first snack, and the fawn won't know what hit it.
"He has arrived Nathaniel. The King has arrived, and the Alpha requested everybodies presence on the training grounds." Mattel stated softly, his warm chocolate colored eyes taking in Nathaniels distraught facial expression:
"She is not here Mattel, she is not here!" Nathaniel yelled out while gripping the ends of his dark hair in despair.
"I know that. But there is nothing we can do about it now, other than wait for her to return or for Greta's wolf to find her." Mattel said, his voice was calm but by the way his fingers slightly twitched - it was evident that even he was restless.
"Kim will kill me if she found out that I have no idea on where our freshly, force shifted pup is!" Nathaniel stated, his eyes wide and full of fear and worry.
"I understand, trust me, I do-"
"You do not! It is only now that I have come to realize that my seventeen year old daughter has been overprotected and babied her whole life, what if she wanders out of the grounds and across the border? What will we do then?!" Nathaniel cut Mattel off, his eyes glossy as he thought about every disastrous scenario that could end with his pup getting lost or killed.
"We can't think about that now. We just can't. You have to stay positive, and hope that her wolf isn't reckless enough to leave it's territory." Mattel said while holding Nathaniels watery gaze.
"Sweetheart, we have to go." Came Kim's voice as she entered the house, her gaze falling on her husband who had tears brimming his waterline.
"What is going on?" She asked worriedly, her gaze traveling to Mattel whose eyes were wide and filled with concern.
"Nothing, nothing at all." Mattel mumbled out, not knowing what else to say in the heat of the situation.
"My husband is crying! Obviously something is going on."
"No sweetheart, I am okay. I was just scared about the Kings presence." Nathaniel reassured her - with lies that easily slipped through his teeth.
"Oh...oh. There is no need to cry my love, you are a strong man..." Kin trailed off, stammering for more words due to the shock of seeing her husband cry over something so senseless.
"I think we should go then, seeing as there is nothing too scary going on. Come on honey, dry your face and let us go."
Nathaniel inhaled shakily while using his fingers to wipe off any stray tears.
"Yes, let's go." He said, while trying his hardest to hide the slight strain in his voice - Mattel nodded his head while gazing timidly at the couple.
"Did she find her?" Nathaniel asked George, his voice just above a whisper, as he neared the ground that everyone had gathered on.
"I believe not. She has not returned yet." George answered, his head close to Nathaniels ear and his voice so quiet that not even their wives were able to hear them.
"Nathaniel, I just realized, where in the world is that daughter of ours?" Kim suddenly asked making both Nathaniel and George flinch from where they stood.
Kim had a look of confusion in her face and eyes that glared down both of the nervous men.
Nathaniel stammered for an answer but before he even had the chance to say anything the sound of a lot of paws echoed throughout everyones ear and quickly they all bowed their heads - in fear and respect.
"He's here." Mattel whispered worriedly, his gaze on his shoes and his teeth gnawing on his bottom lip.
Clarice was nowhere in sight...