Rage wasn’t happy about being stuck under a pine tree, the only cover he could find in the middle of the forest, during the vicious storm.
Four hours he had been under the damn tree, waiting for the storm to let up. At first he had tried to continue through it, but as the storm worsened and he could no longer see passed his own nose, he knew it was pointless to continue blindly.
He was wet and cold, and really wished he had stopped somewhere to eat miles back, when it first started to drizzle. Maybe then he would be somewhere warm, maybe a dinner or motel, waiting out this nasty storm.
Raising his lip in a snarl, he tried to push his thoughts away. Dispite the storm, he disided he should sleep, since he was stopped, and clearly wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
His thoughts drifted to Willow, wondering if she was alright. He knew she would be safe with his family, but would they be kind to her? He had no doubts that his mother would, and he was sure Fang would, he did, after all, get their mother’s heart. It was Wrath and Hunter that Rage worried about.
The sound of growling drew his attention, indicating he was no longer alone.
His eyes snapped open to find himself still under the tree where he had taken shelter. The night was still dark, dark clouds abscuring nature’s light. The rain had let up enough for him to see the dark world around him.
Standing on the wet ground, heads lowered to the ground, three wolves snarled at him. Their bodies covered in mud, coating their legs and underbellies in a heavy coating.
Raising his nose, he lifted his snout in answer, defiant despite the chance he was completely surrounded by these wolves unseen friends. His fang bared, he crawled out from under the tree, his belly collecting mud as it caressed the wet ground and his fur being pulled by the needled branches as he kept his head high, refusing to lower it to them.
All three raised their heads and watched as he pulled himself out from under the tree and up into a stance, raising his beastly body to its full height, refusing to lower his head.
They each took a step back in surprise, they had not expected such a large wolf to be under the tree.
After a moment to compose himself, one of the wolves stepped forward, his brown fur matted with mud and his gray eyes narrowed on Rage. He shook his body, mud and water flying around him hitting everything and everyone around him.
His body began to contort, bones breaking and refusing with large, echoing snaps and pops. His tail began to retreat back into his spine as his snout and ears shortened, jaw snapping, hanging lowly for a moment before the joints met and it returned to it’s human form.
His legs and chest shifted as he tried to stand, each bone popping and shifting nearly brought the male to his knees, but somehow he managed to remain standing. He rolled his shoulders as he finally returned to his human skin. His almond shaped eyes narrowed on Rage as he stood before him, naked to the world, his front half covered in the mud that had covered his fur.
“Shift,” The male tried to order, causing Rage to huff out a laugh, this wolf’s orders would not work on him, he wasn’t some weak wolf, some average wolf that could be ordered around. The only one that could do that was his father, and if he were to return home, his brother.
The male glared at him, his face growing slightly red as he realized the lack of effect he had on the powerful male before him.
“I would like to speak to you, SHIFT,” he tried the order again, this time with more force, only receiving another huff from Rage as he sat, looking at the Alpha before him. Well he guessed it was an Alpha, or a very egotistical Beta.
The male sighed, pinching the bridge of his nose when Rage only shook his head.
“Please just shift so we can speak,” With an eye roll, Rage shifted, his wolf form giving way to his human in a much more fluid shift than the other male.
When he too stood to his full height, bare as the day he was born, the only thing covering him was the bag, still strapped onto his back. The man’s eyes drifted to the pack symbol tattooed on his left pectoral. The black ink clear even through the coating of mud that painted his body.
His eyes widened as his eyes glued to the family mark on his chest, the black wolf that swirled into a full moon that surrounded it. The mark was clear to anyone who saw it, they knew who he was, where he was from.
“We...we don’t mean any trouble or... or disrespect...” the male stuttered out as the two wolves flattened themselves onto the puddle riddled ground.
Rage didn’t say anything as he watched him tumble over his own words, he really hated when they did that. If you are going to be cocky, don’t turn into a rambling mess when you realize you’re not as bad ass as you thought.
“What pack is this?” he finally asked, causing the man to jump at the break in the silence.
“Spearhead,” the strong response surprised Rage a bit.
“I take it I am still in the Midwest?” when he received a nod he asked, “where?”
“Indiana,” he groaned, he was way off track, moving blindly though that storm really was a bad idea.
“I apologize for entering your land without warning, The storm caused me to veer from my direction,”
“W-wait... what?” Rage held back an annoyed huff as the stuttering started again.
“I had not intended to enter Indiana, I was headed east, I seemed to have headed northeast in the storm. I am just passing through,”
All three seemed relived at his words. They thought he was there for something, which made him wonder what was going on that they were so jumpy when they realized who he was.
He eyed them carefully before turning and leaving them where they were, uninterested in what trouble they or their pack was causing, he was no longer an enforcer, he no longer cared what rules people broke.
He made a mental note to text Fury and tell him to check them out once he arrived back in Virginia.
The men didn’t follow him, and he was grateful, he really didn’t feel like fighting, he really didn’t even feel like moving after being stuck under that tree for who knows how long. The sky was no indication of what time of day it was, no moon, no sun, no anything in between, just dark gray storm clouds blanketing the sky from all eyes to see.
Swiftly, he sifted back to his wolf form, shaking his coat out, the bristling feeling of the fur regrowing was just as unpleasant as the breaking of your bones. He resisted the urge to itch he neck as the annoying itch started, something that he had had forever, but never dulled in irritating him.
With a deep breath, breathing in the dark smells around him, he took off, running through the forest, trying to cut back to the path he had planed on taking. He was a bit frustrated that he had veered off his path because of the storm, maybe he was getting rusty. Roaming as a lone wolf he seemed to have lost some of the skills he had before, at the very least dulled them from lack of use.
After a few hours he caught the old scent of Willow’s blood. He slowed, trying to pinpoint where it started and where the storm had no washed it away. Once he found it, he used it to guide him back into the direction they had come. Soon he knew where he was, the blood trail long gone, he knew he was getting close, soon he would have that Alpha’s throat in his teeth, his blood flowing out of him, paving the way for his life. He would send him to the moon for judgment, with pleasure.