It’s Wednesday morning, maybe seven am (I wouldn’t know because he took my phone), when Eric unlocks my door. I squint as light fills the room.
“Ready to cooperate?” Rubbing my eyes, I sit up slowly, and wince at the pain in my ribs from yesterday’s beating. I look at Eric before growling at him.
“Make your own food.” Eric narrows his eyes, and takes a step into the room “What’re you going to do? Beat me?” He stops.
“A pup needs to eat. It’s been what? Two- now three days since you’ve had a meal.” I am in fact hungry. So much so that I’ve been sleeping way, way too much. But I won’t give him the satisfaction. “You look like shit.”
“I look better than you.” He narrows his eyes, before slamming the door once again and locking it. Falling back onto my pillow I drift back to sleep.
I’m in Kat’s territory, walking along the property line. Next to me is a wolf I don’t recognize, but for some reason know his name as Rodyn. He’s larger than me by a few good inches with a dark red and gray coat. As we walk through the woods he periodically glances at me.
“this is stupid.” I say. ”Why’d he make me come out here.” Rodyn stops and turns to me, cocking his head to the side.
“Patrol isn’t stupid, Katalina.” Katalina? I can’t be in her head. It doesn’t make sense. But I slowly start to realize my minds not controlling the wolf whose body I’m in.
"You wouldn’t understand.”
"You’re separated from your Mate. Your new mate. It’s understandable that you’re upset.” I-Kat, kicks a fallen branch and prances a few paces before stopping. ”But patrol is serious.”
“Does everyone know?” She asks, ignoring him. Rodyn’s silent but nods, moving to sniff the ground as he starts walking again. Kat follows closely behind.
“I heard he comes from a troubled past.” Rodyn says glancing back at her. Kat doesn’t respond. Instead she perks up as she catches site of a rabbit nibbling on some grass. She hunkers down as she trains on it and pounces. The rabbit only makes it a few hops before it’s in her teeth. ”We’re supposed to be working, not playing.” Kat growls.
"I’m an emotional wreck, Rodyn. Back off.”
He walks into Kat’s line of view. "While I understand, really I do, your father will bite my head off if I leave you here.” Kat swallows slowly. Everything goes a bit hazy.
"Now that I think about it, I’m not feeling all too great.” I don’t feel like anything’s wrong but I know something is. Her vision’s wonky as she stands, wobbling a few steps before falling back down.
Water splashes down on my face, waking me up with a gasp. I sit up too fast, and my vision goes blurry. “Get up.” Eric says. I squint as I try to steady his moving figure. When I don’t answer him he hauls me to my feet. “Damn fool, you need to eat.”
“Get off of me.” I snap as he hauls me out of my prison and down to the kitchen. The sun’s set outside, and the only lights visible come from the pack houses.
“Make your damn dinner so you can get started on your chores.” I don’t move, my hands holding me up on the counter as Eric watches.
“I’m giving you an order.” I growl. He growls back. “You’re going to kill yourself, Cameron.”
“You’d like that wouldn’t you?” Eric hits me but it’s not the slap I’m expecting. He’d shifted his hand, and his claws cut across my face in an arc.
“Eat.“He bites, turning to his couch. I growl at the stinging pain. I pull my hand away to see blood, a lot of it, covering my palms and fingers.
The first thing I see as I open my eyes is my father’s black muzzle, sniffing my own. I shake out my fur, lifting my head to look around the forest. Rodyn’s gone. Behind my dad, my mom stands on all fours, watching silently.
‘Kat?’ Dad asks, licking my own muzzle. ′Are you okay?′ I felt perfectly fine.
′Rodyn said you passed out.′ Mom adds. I’m silent as her words sink in. She moves forward, nudging me to my feet. I have no idea what happened. One moment, I’d grabbed a rabbit, and the next... I shake my head, leaning into both of my parents’ touch.
‘Lets get you back to the house.’ Mom nudges me towards the pack center. Once in the sun, she makes me lay down.
′I feel fine.′ Like I had a long nap. There’s a small throbbing at my temples, but its not unbearable. I rest my head on my paws and watch my parents talk back and forth to one another. I can’t hear what they're saying. They aren’t projecting to me but I can tell my dad isn’t happy.
′Kat...′ My mom approaches me and sits, her paws inches from mine. ′What happened? Before you passed out.′ Honestly I’m unsure. I’d caught a rabbit, but suddenly had been overcome with lightheadedness... I shrug my shoulders with a huff.
′...Like... I was really hungry.′ Mom stares at me, silent for a moment. ′and I had a headache.′ Have a headache.
′Kat I think... your mind link’s forming with Cameron.′ Mom says. I blink, and cock my head to the side.
′But he’s too far away.′ His house in on the other side of town, which is farther than the school.
′Mates broadcast farther than packs.′ I shake my head.
′How far?′ Dad sits himself next to my mom, his black fur melding with her white. He rests his head her back
′I think ours is about 10-15 miles.′ He says, nuzzling her ear. For a split second I’m happy at my parent’s revelation but it disappears rather quickly and is replaced with worry.
′Why’d I get sick?′ My parents don’t answer right away. They glance at each other.
′We’ll send someone to check on him.′ Dad says. ′Go inside and lay down.′ They shift before I can respond and head inside. I wait five minutes, listening to the crickets chirp. In the distance Pack members step on fallen branches. Other than that, I’m the only one outside.
I’m swaying. Eric’s lounging on the couch, playing with his phone while I stand at counter. I have to use both hands to hold myself up and my eyes stare at the red handprint I’d smeared on the granite. The scars on my face are slowly healing. It’s slow I know because I haven’t eaten.
“You aren’t moving until you eat something.” Eric grumbles from his seat. I don’t answer him. I don’t make a single noise. My heads throbbing.
“Kid...” Alaric enters the room. I don’t register him. “Eric he has enough scars.”
“It would heal fully if he’d just eat.” He says casually. “It’s his damn fault if he scars.” I don’t hear another word, only feel as Alaric presses a towel to my face. Then I feel myself falling, and hands guiding me to the floor. I know it’s Alaric only because Eric would never bother to catch me.
“Eric would you fucking help me-” I black out.