Caged Wolf

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Chapter Eleven: Dusk

Author's Song of the Chapter: Ly O Lay Ale Loya (Circle Dance) a Native Song

“Do you think we can trust Penny and her task force plan?” Cassie questions from behind the punching bag I’m currently working my fists into.

Yesterday I found my way back to Noah, today Danny was paired with Cassie and Garth with Sicora making the majority of our pack together. Now we just need to find Tucker and Carl, they are here somewhere.

“No, but I think we can trust the she-wolf. I don’t think she would lead us into something she doesn’t believe is our only option for our future peaceful life.” I respond letting the girls one secret out to the pack even though I know I probably shouldn’t have.

From the look on my brother’s face, he didn’t know, that surprises me. Just as it surprises me that I’m pretty sure Crane and this she-wolf are mates though I don’t think either one of them knows it.

“No way, she can’t be a Wolf, she doesn’t smell like one. There is no way she could be one and not act like it, especially around this many of us, it’s not possible.” Danny states breathlessly from where he and Garth spar.

“She’s masking herself because she doesn’t want to be one of us. Just because she has her Wolf shoved deep within her doesn’t mean she isn’t a Wolf.” Noah counters Danny’s statement causing Danny to let out an annoyed sigh about being wrong.

Danny has always been the smartest one of us meaning he doesn’t like to be wrong. It also means rarely is he wrong, meaning that this tidbit of information I know is probably not common knowledge.

“How can you tell?” Sicora asks, her voice breathless from Reaper tackling her to the ground, she wants information because as of right now her and Garth are the packs only betas.

“Watch the way she reacts, the way she moves, the way she thinks. She’s one of us no matter how much she doesn’t want to be.” I reply hitting the bag hard enough to earn a startled grunt from Cassie.

“Why wouldn’t she want to be a Wolf?” Lily asks innocently confused from where Noah has been working on some moves with her.

I pause momentarily, my mind reeling from watching Lily have to mature quicker than most children. My heart clenches for all the children in this place and I vow to myself that we won’t be here much longer.

“Dusk?” Crane’s voice breaks me from my mind, I can tell he wants the answer to the question more than anyone else.

“Has anyone heard the story from a number of years ago about a rogue Wolf killing a human family? All but two young children perished?” Cassie asks us causing us all to pause and think about it.

I remember, or at least I remember my parents hunch about the truth behind the story the news shared. Wolf authorities were going to look more into it but they never got the chance to before the slaughtering of Wolves with powers began.

“What’s the story?” Crane prods quickly.

Cassie’s about to start into the story when the exercise room’s door opens allowing Hayley and Joey entrance to the room. I learned Hayley and Joey’s names over time, it was not easy since they didn’t plainly state who they were but I’m quite proud of myself. I notice Crane bristles at Joey and make a mental note to question him about it later.

‘Should I continue?’ - Cassie prods my mind causing me to immediately shake my head, we will respect Hayley’s privacy while she’s amongst us.

Hayley’s story will have to wait for now even though I already figured it out.

“It is time for the first mating ceremony, your pack and all alphas will be present, follow us please,” Hayley explains before turning on her heels and walking away.

Not giving us much of an option we all follow them curiously. The hallways or tunnels as we call them, lead up and around higher into the mountain this place was built in, we travel away from human creation and into natural tunnels. Finally, we come out into a large cavern in which a fire has been built in the middle throwing patterns along the walls. People surround the fire, many wearing white contacts and Wolves lean against the walls. I notice the walls of the upper cavern are marked in carvings, carvings that tell the tale of the first Wolves. There was once one lone she-Wolf, she was lonely and afraid of most humans living her life out as a Wolf in the forest. One day she witnesses a human girl fall over a waterfall, this human survived the fall, she was a fighter. The she-Wolf offered the human life and bit her changing her into one of us, back than Wolves had such an ability. Thus the first none white-furred Wolf was created and from there the first pack, a pack where all that mattered was love. I nudge Noah’s shoulder motioning towards the carvings as my packmates notice them. Suddenly two figures come pushing their way through the throng of bodies until one is throwing his arms around Noah hugging him tightly.

“Noah, I wasn’t sure we’d ever actually see one another again.” Carl smiles as Noah hugs him back.

Beside Carl Tucker stands smiling at us, his eyes alight as they flicker to Carl. At least this thing has got one thing right, it’s not prejudiced about who becomes mates. I pull Tucker into a hug surprising him because I never really got to know him before this all happened, still, he is one of my own. The pack gathers embracing Carl and Tucker back into our ranks. I can feel Sicora and Garth’s release of tension as our other betas have come back to us lessoning their own burden over the pack’s safety.

“Welcome all, tonight we begin the ceremonies of mates, we will begin with the alphas. Dusk and Noah have proven themselves to be the strongest Wolves through battle, therefore they have been chosen to go first. Please step toward the fire.” Penny’s voice booms through the cavern-like the voice of the Wolf Goddess as she stands before the fire, her arms are thrown open.

Noah and I step from our packmates and toward the fire, the fire jumps toward me as if it can sense itself within my soul.

“This process will be very painful as the fire is the only way to wash away, or I should say burn away one's sins. Once the sins are burned, healing will begin and souls will be bound as everything is shared. When the bonding is complete a mark shall appear on each body to symbolize the intertwined Wolves. Noah, Dusk, please step into the fire.” Penny suggests before suddenly breaking out into a song that seems to flow from her very core.

Gasps echo from the Wolves and Noah swallows as he regards the flames, I can feel an excitement building inside of me. Our hands reach out and we clasp one another lightly, I give his hand a reassuring squeeze.

‘I will protect you, there will be no pain.’ - I send to Noah seconds before we simultaneously step into the flames.

I blink as orange surrounds us, my body shakes as it relishes the flames conforming them to me as they slip along my skin. I feel the power the collar has been robbing me of, Noah can feel it as well when flames leap from his free hand at his command. Suddenly fire bursts through our bodies producing figures one at a time, our sins. Mine starts in the shape of Jack causing the room to gasp, I killed Jack and now they all know it. They will know all who we killed. Figures are pulled from our souls until they line up in front of us, my line being longer than Noah’s because I killed more than he did. When our souls are empty the figures take hands before flowing bright red through the flames and into the stone beneath us leaving us. I breath feeling lighter than I have ever felt before, my sins have been released, the lives I’ve taken have been burned from my soul. Suddenly a fire Wolf made of hot blue flames leaps between us dancing to the song Penny sings as it burns warmer than the rest of the flames. The wolf splits pulling apart to make up a calm wisp of powdery blue and another ragging red Wolf, Noah and myself. They share tongues before turning to face us, suddenly they charge us the blue one slamming into me. I scream as ice-cold rushes through my system dulling the fire beneath me to embers while Noah burns brighter. Noah and I lean into each other heaving for breath as the pain subsides while snow tickles my cheeks. My left shoulder aches against Noah’s right one and I shift to look at it, branded into my skin is a fiery Wolf howling at a snowy moon with claw marks slashing through the background. Noah has a matching band on his right shoulder that he brushes gently with his fingertips. Noah blinks, blue flames appearing in his eyes as red ones have appeared in mine so many times before. Our powers have split into each of our souls just like the Wolves, Noah has my fire and I have his ice now. I smile as I look at Noah because this means he is a true Hellhound like me, he is no longer a bitten Wolf. Noah breathes deeply as he accepts the new power coursing through him, it’s a lot of power. I create a snowflake encasing a red flame before I blow it away creating a light snowfall. When Noah pulls me into his embrace I can’t help but feel the true equality of our bodies now that we share everything. Something within this cave and song calls deep within me, I give into it. We fall into our Wolf forms brushing foreheads before dancing around each other happily. We end our ceremony in howls as cheers and human howls ring out around us, the humans are actually howling too they must be caught up in the moment. At this moment I admit I don’t think I could be much happier.

Noah and I cuddle contently in Wolf form as we experience the other alpha’s mating ceremonies. Surrounding us our packmates also laze contently. The fire burns every other Wolf creating a much more painful experience for them, yet, in the end, they are still beautiful. It is the souls of the powerless Wolves fusing that is my favourite so far, there is something extra special about raw, simple souls being shared that puts certain awe in me. The only thing ruining these moments is the small blond grey-eyed she-Wolf who keeps looking at me like she would love to tear me in half. I’ve met her eyes several times and she never looks away, it’s aggravating to me because I can tell that my dominance overpowers hers but she refuses to back down. Finally, as all my packmate’s eyes turn to her sensing my displeasure I give in to my frustration by staring back at her allowing my eyes to glow showing I want submission. She looks away, but, not before her eyes flit possessively to Noah causing me to understand what’s going on. We’ve seen this before with Perry, this girl believes Noah is her mate, she is completely convinced even though we both know it isn’t true. She’s staking a claim on Noah which means things will only end in bloodshed. She will challenge me for Noah and I will have to accept the challenge if I wish to ever have peace from her, plus Noah is my mate. I don’t like being challenged over anything I love let alone my own mate.

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