I ran until my lungs felt as though they would burst out of my chest, my heart beating wildly and even then I pushed myself further. I relied on the bond between Khaos and me to lead me in the right direction, feeling his pain grow stronger with every minute that passed.
Eventually, I came across the small waterfall I had hidden behind so many weeks ago and knew Khaos was close by. I called out to him, my voice dry and hoarse but strong with determination.
As always, my fierce warrior would never show weakness - he emerged from the trees, standing tall and proud as he tried to hide his injuries from me.
In a sudden burst of energy, I threw myself at him, instantly caught up in his strong arms as he held me close, his nose pressed deep into my hair.
"Thank the Goddess you're okay!" I mumbled, tears soaking his shirt as I sobbed my relief. "What happened?" I pulled back slightly to cup his face in mine, hating the pain I saw in his eyes
"Nyx happened. She was behind it all, Violet. The attack on the pack, your mother's hatred towards me. She orchestrated everything."
I began to run my hands over his body to inspect his wounds for myself since he was determined to hide them from me. "What did she do to you?" I demanded, sucking in my breath when I lived his shirt and saw the gaping wound in his side, the flesh around it seared from the burning silver. "This isn't healing!" I whispered, my voice barely audible.
He turned his neck to the side so I could see the full extent of the slash on his neck. "None of them are, little one. This wasn't her first Rodeo, she knew what she was doing and came armed to kill"
"We have to find you a Dr, we need to get the silver out of this!" Instead of responding, he cocked his head to the side, his ears pricking with awareness as he picked up on something.
"What happened at your mother's pack?" He demanded. I wasted no time telling him everything, watching his lips tighten until they were enclosed in a vivid ring of white.
"She barely left my brother alive, but he came to me and he gave me this" I held the bag containing every piece of precious jewellery my mother owned, as well as all the money that had been in the safe.
He wasn't listening to me. He was focused on the horizon, his face pale and worried.
"We need to get out of here, Violet. Now!"
He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and together we began to run. If anyone saw us, it would look as though he was holding me close but I knew better. His wounds were far worse than he would ever let on and that's when I knew we were in real danger.
Just like Khaos, my ears began to detect the sounds of people following us, their shouts growing in volume as they swiftly closed the distance between us.
I glanced at Khaos and saw the beads of perspiration running down his face and when my arm went to wrap around his waist I felt the wetness on his shirt and knew from the scent that the stab wound was bleeding profusely.
The sounds of barking rumbled through the air like thunder as dozens of paws pounded the earth, easily following the scent that we hadn't been able to disguise.
"Violet," Khaos mumbled, stumbling slightly as his leg gave way. "We'll never lose them like this." I knew what he was saying.
Without shifting we would never be able to outrun the wolves, yet I couldn't shift without immediately causing a miscarriage.
"Can you... do you think you can shift? I can ride on your back? You'll be able to get us both out of here!" I knew I was asking for the impossible. One look at him was all I needed for an answer. More tears pooled in my eyes as he smiled sadly at me
"I can't shift, Violet. Not until this silver is removed, you know that." Copying my actions from earlier, he cupped my cheeks in his hands, rubbing his thumb over my lips.
"Go" he murmured, his lips briefly brushing against mine. "Protect the baby." My head snapped back but he held his firm grip on my jaw, locking his eyes to mine
"I'm not leaving you!"
"We can't both make it, listen to them! The whole pack must be following them!"
"I won't let you do this! I won't let you sacrifice yourself for us!"
He pressed his lips to my forehead, rubbed his nose over mine and planted tiny kisses along my cheeks.
"You are the best thing that ever happened to me. You gave me a love that no-one else has ever done, you made me happier than I ever hoped or prayed I could be. Please do this for me, raise our baby away from all of this"
"Khaos!" I cried, clawing at his shoulders to keep him close to me as he tried to pull away. "Don't do this, please Khaos, don't leave me like this! I can't live without you."
"You can't live with me, sweetheart. You know they will never stop chasing. I need to do this for you, for the baby" he sank to his knees in front of me, lifting my top up so he could rest his cheek against the slight curve of my pregnancy bump. "You" he smiled sadly, tears openly flowing down his face, "make sure you look after your mummy. She's very special. Always know that I loved you from the moment you were created." He kissed the bump and looked up at me. "You'll tell them, won't you? Promise me you won't let them forget me."
"They won't forget you because you're not doing this! If you do this they've won! It's all for nothing!"
"If you and the baby are living safe and happy then it's not for nothing is it!" he got to his feet and shoved the suitcase back at me.
"Go!" He pushed me roughly, his eyes frantically scanning the distance as the paws thundered closer and closer.
"No!" I screamed back, tugging on his hand to pull him with me.
He grabbed me once more, pressing his lips against mine so roughly that I tasted blood on my tongue as they scraped against my teeth. "I love you, little one" before I could stop him he spun on his feet and began to run towards my mother and her army of assassins.
"Khaos!" I screamed, pleading with him."No! Please! Come back to us!"
He ignored me, running until he was a mere fleck in the distance.
I was left with no choice and for once in my life, I did as he asked. Picking up the suitcase I ran, ran fast and swift, ducking under branches as I stayed in the forest I had come to know and love.
It was barely 10 minutes later when I felt it. On the very edge of the pack borders, I was hit with a thunderbolt of pain from Zeus himself. Unable to cope, I fell my knees, clutching my chest as I felt the bond of life torn out of me. My Wolf howled her torment as she lost her mate and screamed out for mercy as we both burned with the agonising ache that was left behind.
Khaos was gone.
My Wolf demanded retribution, willing to risk her life for the sake of revenge. With the last bit of strength I had, I pushed her down and ignored the urge to shift. I couldn't let this be for nothing, his life would live on in our baby.
I walked for hours until I came across a small post, an old human man stood under the shelter.
"You okay, miss?" He inquired politely, tipping his hat to me.
"How often are the trains?" I asked, ignoring his question.
"You're in luck, there will be one in a minute so there will. In a bit of trouble are we?"
I smiled politely. "Not at all, sir. I've just realised camping isn't for me after all"
"Camping you say? In there?" He indicated the forest behind me.
"Yes. Is there a problem?"
"Wolves in them trees, miss. We've all heard them. You do right to avoid them where you can"
"I've never been afraid of wolves - they don't murder for fun. It's humans you need be afraid of, sir"
He gave me a look I couldn't quite decipher. "Aye, you may be right there. Ahh look, here's the train. You be safe now, you hear?"
I climbed aboard as soon as the train stopped, giving the strange man a small wave as I took my seat near the window.
Within a minute the train set back off, taking me goddess knows where - I didn't care so long as it was a million miles away from here