Chapter Eighteen: Noah
My eyes snap open to the flooding scent of a forest, moonlight floods down over my skin in the most blissful feeling. My senses flood over as my wolf desires to break free. I turn my head and I can feel my eyes glow, I sniff among the bodies around me. Dusk's scent trail is easy to follow as I walk through some underbrush, I come out to a cliff edge where Dusk sits gazing up at the moon. White light touches her black fur and stars dance in her green eyes, her tongue lools out of her mouth in joy and I shift and rub my jaw along her neck. She flicks me with her tail and I settle in beside her, instead of watching the sky I watch her and appreciate the moment. We turn our heads to the sky and our voices vibrate across the valley below. Our voices stir our pack mates and soon they add their own to the sky. Being with the pack feels so good, so right and one by one we huddle closer until our fur brushes, we draw and give strength to each other. Suddenly Dusk takes off from by my side and towards a rocky path that leads down into the valley. I sniff the air and join her running side by side with the scent of deer sending drool from our mouths. We run until the scent drives a primal hunter into our minds, when Dusk comes to an abrupt stop I almost whine in frustration.
Other pack - The pack sends around to each other behind us as Dusk and I regroup standing together as we smell them approaching.
We raise our hackles up as one as our canines are bared as the pack circles up behind us to protect itself. The strongest wolves make the outer circle of the pack to protect the weaker members. A deep growl rumbles from my throat as another pack slinks from the trees around us. I can smell the alphas before they step from their pack and into our view. They keep their heads down showing submission to us, I don't want submission. I ache for a good scuffle, their pack watches us with wary eyes as they approach, when Dusk nips my shoulder I quiet my growl.
Hunt together? You lead, big pack, you rule! - The alpha male suggests to us openly through simple speech and surprise has my ears perking up.
You want to merge packs? - I send out confused and Dusk just watches them deep in thought.
You are the top alphas and we respect that, we want peace, a truce. We share all the territory here and run under your guidance. We will triumph and break free of this place together! - The female alpha explains and her thoughts are so openly honest that I do not feel they are trying to deceive us.
One pack! - Dusk howls out suddenly and it is decided as we all repeat it.
We take off in search of the scent of deer again, we want to taste deer. It has been so long since any of us has tasted the meat of deer, we track the scent and soon the other packs and their alphas fall in line with ours. I never thought we would end up being one big pack that ruled together with Dusk and I on the very top. It is kind of political in the way things will work since Dusk and I will have the final say but we will listen and consider the other alphas words and advice. This system works as we hunt and cull out twenty or so deer from an overpopulated herd. The alpha's all share a deer, the packs share deer as well, however they have decided that Dusk and I should get our own deer. When we are full I catch the eye of a younger male pup watching our deer hungrily, so I click my tongue at him while beckoning him forward. No deer should go to waste, the pup happily digs in after giving both Dusk and I an appreciative lick. Eventually the others step up and we don't turn a single one away, each wolf deserves a good meal, these are just the weakest few used to being treated poorly so they don't join the jostling for food, they wait for scrapes. When it is only carcasses left the younger pups curl up around our paws. The male pup curls up into Dusk's side and she allows him to. We all curl in close fur brushing, the packs do not split up when we relax. The other alphas sit near to us and the betas and so on all mingling happily having their own little conversations. I watch as Crane jostles with Sasha's younger sister playfully and allows her to take out his legs and get him onto his belly where he whines in playful defeat at her attack and then they share a wolfish laugh. The pup that has curled into Dusk yawns.
You are an omega no more youngster, there are no omega's only one pack. If anyone were to need anything than they need only ask us, we are wolves, we are family now. - Dusk's voice rings out clearly in our minds and we howl to her shared thoughts.
Where should we make our den? - Cala an alpha female who is curled up around her snoozing mate asks us.
I heard they built us a home in the caverns, a mansion style home out in the forest, and a hilltop castle out where the water flows. They did not intend for us to be one pack so I do not know if any house is big enough to hold us all. - Reaper shares with us as he trots over and the thought of a mansion home makes my hear ache and angry ice settles in my pupils.
Our old home was Lora's mansion and the thought of it is painful for all of us. Dusk's eyes have gone far off and heat radiates off her skin. I curl against her body and kiss her cheek rubbing her jawline soothingly with my nose.
Do not fry the pups! - I tell Dusk as a warning that seems to bring her back to me as her green eyes lose that burning fire filling with light once more.
We could split the territory evenly. Noah and I will rule the cavern home, the rest may be settled between the other alphas. We rule each part together equally so wolves roam freely between us. - Dusk explains once she regains her composure.
What about the rogue wolves? Are they our enemies? - A beta known as Star questions.
Rogue wolves? - The question comes out as a growl in my mind as my lips turn up and this time it is my temper that flares and my powers that threaten the air as casually a layer of frost settles on the grass.
An omega claiming to be an alpha, her mate and a few others broke from our pack to create a small one out in the far dark caves. It is the crazy female that Dusk beat up! - Star explains and then clarifies and another snarl rips from my throat followed by Dusk letting out a growl of her own.
It is me they will be after, I'm not concerned. They are no threat to me or our packs as long as we are united and do not go out hunting alone! - Dusk states and her tone is calm as she cleans the younger pups fur who lays snoozing at her side.
A buzz of warmth settles in my heart for the young ones. I look at Dusk as she continues to clean the pup and the future that I want fills my mind. One day it will be our pups and the packs pups running around us. First we need to get home, I gaze around and through our mind links I catch images of pups and happy wolves as we are one big pack free to live our own lives in isolation away from the world. We can be happy again, I see it. Our pack is sharing images of the mansion to other wolves and they are all agreeing on the need to break free.
So how do we go about getting out of here? - Crane sends out curiously and the question sends my heart racing.
We've gotten this far by just winging it. I can tell that no one really has a plan yet so we all fall silent consumed in thought. It's time to worry about planning, it's time to focus on getting free, it's time. As dawn approaches we decided to go our separate ways as we check out the cavern house which is backup on the hill overlooking everything. The caves turn out to be even more amazing than we first assumed they would be, as a large cave cuts into the walls leading us up into a huge carved out house. Windows are cut out to show a view out and over all that is below, a large dining room stands made of fashioned wood while it opens up into a modern kitchen. The first room we came out into turns out to be a family room with couches and a fire pit dug into the ground for cooler times. Tunnels lead out into bedrooms all around, at the end of one tunnel beside a rock staircase is a large training room that the sun pours into through a huge cliff face, up the stairs are more rooms. Finally down the stairs leads to a cliff jutting out underneath the training room where a pool of steaming water is cut into the rocks and trickles away by a stream leading into the cavern wall and lost from sight. Overall I have to admit the cavern house is amazing, yet it isn't home. I find my way back up to see Dusk standing in the kitchen staring out the window, I follow her line of sight and see that from here you can see the mansion's hulking form in the forest below and if you look farther you can see the castle towering over the trees with water flowing around it glistening with the sunlight. In the even farther distance off the left it is dark with the wall having moved out and into the forest, this must be the dark caves where Star said the rogues have chosen to live. Suddenly a yawn breaks through my haze and it is contagious as it is passed around the pack members in the room until we are all dispersing in the search of rooms to catch some sleep in. That hunt took a lot of us since we have lost some of our stamina being copped up for so long. Dusk and I settle for a larger room with a walk in bathroom and lounge like seating area. As soon as Dusk closes the door behind us I toss my body onto the bed settling into the comfortable mattress. I open my eyes when Dusk crawls into the bed beside me an curls up under the covers, using the last bit of energy I slip under the covers wrapping Dusk up in my arms. In the blink of an eye we become two sleeping forms as darkness consumes us.