Chapter Twenty-Five: Crane
"Dusk, Noah wouldn't want this!" I beg as I can see Dusk fading away, my sister is leaving.
"Dusk is gone, I am the Hellhound now." A bone chilling voice responds to me and when my sister opens her eyes they are not human, they are pure wolf.
I back away as my sister morphs into a Hellhound, it's something along the lines of the old time werewolves as she stands on her hind legs in wolf form and fire bursts from her skin surrounding her. This is the scariest thing I have ever seen in my life as her skin falls away from the bone and all that is left is a beast made of bones and fire, yet her eyes do not change from the green even in this new form. I push Hayley safely behind me as pure fire spurts hot red and angry from the Hellhound. My sister is gone, the Hellhound takes off. I stand stone still as I watch her go, she moves faster than any of us ever could. I settle onto the grass as I feel empty, there are so many bodies around us, so many bodies. I glance at Noah's body and a tremble shoots through me, Noah is gone and now Dusk is too. Suddenly blasts go up around us and the earth shakes as screams echo and than go silent. I can't, I can't picture the slaughter that is taking place inside of the facilities walls. I close my eyes and a lot of time seems to pass as fire bursts from hidden doors. The smell of burnt flesh consumes the air. Suddenly an explosion goes off and part of the wall of stone surrounding us falls away exposing the outside world. Each wolf throws a body over their shoulders as because we will not leave our dead to burn in this horrible place, Noah's body is heavy over my shoulder.
Where will we go? - Voices bounce around from mind to mind as we run.
I know a place, follow me! - I send out to all of the wolves and no one argues as they follow.
I lead us all the way back to the mansion using my nose, it's a long trip that takes us more than a couple of days but we will be safe here.
What is this place? - Manny, one of the other alphas, asks me when we finally reach the mansion.
Home. - I respond to him and he nods his wolf head at me.
We settle into the mansion as it really will be a safe haven for us, wolves are already working on expanding it. It will be our sanctuary. A grave lays a few miles into the forest where we buried all of the bodies, the only body we didn't bury there was Noah's. I have kept his body preserved in the freezer because when Dusk comes back she will want to bury him somewhere special. One night when the others are sleeping I go down to the porch and I sit and wait. I should focus on the pack but I can't, I have hope left that Dusk will return to us. We lost one alpha and we can't afford to lose another, so I wait. I wait for our alpha and my sister to return, she keeps us waiting.
"She will return!" Hayley says from beside me where she holds my hand in hers and we sit shoulder to shoulder.
Night turns to the wispy signs of the sunrise when others join me in waiting. Eventually every wolf is waiting, it just doesn't feel right without her here and we all know it, we can all feel it. We can all feel the loss of our alphas, we can feel their absence until suddenly we don't. I stand as Dusk stumbles from the forest's edge, she looks exhausted but like herself. I slip away and bring Noah's body outside as I carry him down to her. Dusk's eyes flicker up to me as I move and they are undoubtedly wolf but I'll take it over the Hellhound any day.
"Where would you like to lay him to rest?" I ask as I step closer and closer to her, she stands looking at me, watching me as if she is uncertain about this.
"The overlook." She finally says and her voice is normal hers for a moment as her eyes flash between human and wolf and I know in that moment that Dusk isn't gone, my sister isn't gone.
I simply nod and we move as she takes Noah's body from me. The pack follows us as we go through the forest. We move together as we used to as we reach the cliff that overlooks the wild depths of the forest below. Once here we stop and glance out at the world, it always has and will be a beautiful view. I can't help but wonder if Noah can see this form wherever he is, I turn and see Dusk was watching me and I know she was thinking it too. A tear slips out of my eye and Hayley steps out of the crowd towards me, I warn Hayley off with a look since I'm not sure how this version of Dusk will handle my mate coming to me.
"I just lost my mate, please do not deny yours from comforting you. Seize the little time we are given together." Dusk says quietly but loud enough for us all to hear her as she turns her head to me, at her words I allow Hayley to come forward and into my arms.
We watch silently as Dusk digs, than we all say our goodbyes as we bury Noah each throwing a handful of dirt over him until he is buried in the earth. From our midsts Reaper comes forward and in his arms he carries a huge stone with Noah's name carved into it as well as a small loving note.
"I'm so sorry!" Reaper says quietly as he hands Dusk the makeshift tombstone.
"This isn't your fault Reaper, you did the right thing." Dusk tells him before he can go and than setting the rock down she pulls him into a hug and we all sigh.
This moment was much needed. When they part Dusk places the tombstone down in the dirt forever making a point. Dusk swallows as she looks down at it and tears run from her eyes, we all move as a pack to embrace her and she doesn't fight us. When we break apart I look at her worried as I catch her human eyes return to wolf ones.
"I may be more wolf than human brother but I am still alpha of this pack, I am still needed so with my pack I will remain. Losing Noah took a part of me, a part I can't have without him. Being like this lessens the pain enough that I can function." Dusk explains as she watches me and I can't help but smile causing her to give me a small smile in return.
We all grief differently and I know now that this is okay. Dusk's wolf eyes search mine and I know no matter what this is still Dusk, this is just her being strong for the pack. This is Dusk not giving in to her grief for us, she is the strongest wolf I will ever know. Dusk is the best alpha to ever live under, she puts her pack before her own sorrows. She is Dusk, the Hellhound of legends. We will be okay, we will get through this even if it has changed us. We will survive, we have to.
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