Chapter 7: The Heist
With my hair pulled back, headphones in my ears, playlist going, and my body sweaty, I make my way around the next block. My legs begin to bun slightly, my human form all I can work on now as my wolf refuses to shift for me. Instead of the usual morning run in wolf form through the woods, I’ve decided to stick to jogging every morning five miles or even more still satisfied. With a song that gets my blood pumping, I pick up speed, making sure to not take a familiar street as I know what lies down there. Who? Flynn, the future Alpha and classmate I punched yesterday.
With my body sweaty and my thirst for water present, I push forward, remembering my chat with Augustus last night. How he asked me about this kiss, how I lied, how he knew I had lied. I focus on his words, pushing myself on and on as I try and zone out of yesterday’s events.
Just as I turn down the next street, I pick up the sound of a car approaching, the wheels crushing the gravel under it, the music soft. I know who it is. Pushing forward, I ignore the individual, holding a poker face as they call out my name. “Amory,” he calls out again, pulling up beside me as he parks his car, hopping out of the vehicle. Running after me, he grabs my shoulder, causing me to lose all control over my poker face as I look his way and acknowledge him. “What the hell?”
“What do you want, Flynn?” I ask, my tone stern as I stop jogging and stand still, arms crossed. “I’m trying to jog here without-
I’m cut off with his eyes turning black. He’s not happy with me whatsoever. The future alpha is pissed and I have an idea that it has to deal with the black bruising upon his nose. “Amory, what is going on with you?” I tilt my head, motioning for him to carry on with whatever point he is trying to make. “I’ve never seen you run in your life unless in training. You haven’t run with us in wolf form for months. Why aren’t you shifting?”
I can’t let him know. I cannot let him know the truth. I cannot just unleash the truth that Augustus’s relationship with someone has driven my wolf to the point of no return. Sure, she’s still with me, still present, but she will not shift. I cannot just unleash a truth like that, not because of in scared of being seen a weak or pathetic, but because Flynn will try and take matters into his own hands. Any Alpha who knows a pack member is suffering feels like they have to take matters into their own hands. Flynn should not be involved in my mate bond with a human. A human who knows that the kiss we shared meant more to me. I wasted my chance to express my feeling for him, yet I lied. I ruined my only chance, but Augustus is suffering. He is in love with a girl who has put him through a rocky time, meaning that he is easy to take advantage of at the moment. If his best friend confesses their love for him, plus a mate bond is present, that means I am taking advantage of him. I tell Augustus when I feel like it’s free will, when I come to terms that I cannot suffer anymore and tell him.
“Amory? Just tell me,” Flynn snaps, grabbing my arm as he pulls me over to his car. “Either tell me the easy way or hop in the car and we do it the hard way.”
“You have no business being involved in what’s going on with me,” I growl, shoving at the future Alpha. His eyes become black and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.
“Get in the damn car.”
I follow, hopping into the passenger seat as the luxury leather surrounds me. Flynn is soon to get in, turning down the volume as he takes ahold of the steering wheel. Turning off my music, I face the future Alpha, wanting to just exit the car and not let him know something that is eating me alive.
“Now, why haven’t you shifted in months? Not only am I worried, but your parents have approached my mother on the topic.” If my parents approached the Luna, then that means I have got explaining to do. But how do I tell my parents that I haven’t shifted because my mate is my best friend and head over heels for Molly. Or at least is sort of head over heels for her. “Is it because of Augustus?”
He’s got me. He doesn’t even need an explanation. He already knows the cause of my suffering. “So you haven’t shifted because of Augustus? Your wolf is too depressed to shift?”
“And stubborn,” I mutter, at least adding in my two cents.
Flynn takes in a deep breath, stepping on the gas as I already know where he’s trying to take me. The more we are surrounded by trees, the more I become restless. Tree after tree I know what Flynn has planned. As the car soon begins to slow, my jaw clenches as the familiar forest floor lays before us, the scent of pine strong, the memories present. I used to spend much of my free time in this part of the forest, where I first learned to hunt in wolf form, where my mother would take me to run, to teach me different tricks. Happy memories are only found here, ones of laughter and good times, where my family would be for the weekend, a small waterfall five miles in.
“Get out,” Flynn orders, his wolf’s tone present and I know better than to upset a future Alpha.
Hopping out of the car, my legs carry me to the tree line, Flynn locking the car as he places his keys behind one of the rims on a tire. Turning to me, he nods, motioning for me to shift.
“Shift,” he orders, his canines beginning to show as my eyes widen.
“I-I can’t,” I barely even state, my voice weak as Flynn shakes his head.
“Not on my damn watch. You are shifting today.”
Flynn grabs my elbow, pulling me into the woods as I know he wants me to shift. He wants me to experience that freedom again. Shifting is not just a gift from the moon goddess, but it’s a chance to feel free, to break free from the human realm and experience a world with no chains. In wolf form different senses are present, new places reachable, and new sensations. Imagine the moist forest floor after a light rain, the forest damp, the clouds filling the sky in a light gray shade, your paws digging through the soft ground, the wind in your fur. All of these sensations are what makes you look forward to shifting.
Flynn stops in the center of a tiny clearing, the sun behind a few clouds, the birds chirping in the woods. “I need you to concentrate, Amory, to concentrate on your bones snapping-
“Not the most present thought you know,” I comment, a small smile breaking upon my face as Flynn crosses his arms.
“Try and connect with her.”
I can’t. She’s dug herself a hole deep down in myself to where I cannot reach her. Whenever I try and reach for her, she only goes back to her hiding place. She escapes back to Mordor where I cannot reach her because I’m all the way on Galafray.
I shut my eyes, taking in a deep breath as I focus on the pattern of my breathing and the pumping of my blood through my veins. With my heartbeat calming down, my mind running black, I try and find her, trying to dig deeper and deeper to find her. I’ve barely even scratched the surface and already she’s digging herself deeper. My mind turns fuzzy and my head begins to spin. She doesn’t want to be found.
“I can’t!” I scream, my eyes shooting open as I see Flynn before me, his eyes centimeters away from my own. “I can’t shift into her because she doesn’t want to shift. You know how no consent means rape, well she doesn’t give me her consent.”
Flynn let’s out a deep breath.
“Why do you care?”
“What?” Flynn asks, raising an eyebrow as I feel myself frustrated.
“Why do you care if I can shift or not!? It makes no difference to you so why do you care?” I ask, shoving the future Alpha away as I want my answers now.
He doesn’t reply, only letting the silence fill the air.
“Why? Why do you care about just some pack member?” I demand, my eyebrows furrowing together. Just as I’m about to turn and head back to the car, I’m pulled forward, my eyes widening as Flynn holds me close, his lips barely even an inch from my own.
“Because, Amory, you’re not just some pack member.”