Chapter Thirty-One: Crane
Song of the Chapter: You Don't Own Me by G-Eazy
When a part of the mountain wall exploded I knew it was our sign to leave, it was our sign to escape. A part of me wanted to wait, a part of me told me to wait for Dusk but I knew we couldn’t. I knew the moment she walked away that Dusk wouldn’t be coming back to us right away. I took over leading the survivor from the mountain, the humans who survived helped us round up our dead and heave them onto backs so we could take them home. Then the humans decided to come with us, they didn’t feel like they had anything to go back to, plus they want the government to know what truly happened here. When we were ready I lead them away, the real world felt so good to become a part of again but I knew a big part of it was missing. I didn’t know how long I could lead the Wolves before they would begin to fall apart without Dusk but it turned out to be longer than I originally thought. It took us two months of trekking and detours in order to get home but we finally did. We finally found it. We buried the dead out by the look-out point, I know it’s where Dusk would have wanted Noah. It was his favourite place. That was over a month ago now. In total it’s been over three months since we last saw Dusk, three months of safety away from the facility. For three months I’ve been following the news for signs of Dusk, in the same sense for three months I’ve been getting us settled. The pack is still uneasy, still scared but we are doing our best. I have Hayley to thank for keeping me together, without my sister it’s been hard. I’m no alpha no matter what Noah said. Two days ago I heard a report of over a dozen high-level military personal being assassinated by something no one wants to believe is real, two days ago I knew Dusk found the people who did this two us. This morning Victor and I officially received an apology from the army and everyone else who found out about the facility and what happened there, Victor had gotten in contact with a good friend of his, a good military guy. They promised us compensation and the likes but I declined it. The only thing I asked from them as they hear Penny out about her task force plan, and they did. As of tomorrow, we will officially be legalized as a task force that Victor will head, we will all be deployed at different times and in groups of our choosing. It’s a good way to get us back into the world and doing something helpful. It’s a good way to finally bridge the two worlds in which we’ve been struggling so badly. Tomorrow there are no more Wolves and humans, tomorrow we are one. As of right now, it is midnight on a hot summer night. A Friday night to be exact. For some reason I am restless, I can’t sleep and it’s been keeping Hayley up. Finally, I get up rolling out of the bed in the room we picked for ourselves.
“Where are you going?” Hayley mumbles from the sheets where she lay half-asleep.
“Go back to sleep, I just need to walk,” I reply it’s pretty normal now that I walk a lot at night, I have a lot of restless nights.
Hayley nods and goes back to sleep as I approach the open window. Looking out it I glance into the forest trying to decide where to go, I’m about to turn away when I see it, green eyes watching me from the trees. My heart slams against my chest and I jump from the window needing to go after them. I’ve dreamt of Dusk returning before, I’ve done this before but it doesn’t matter. I’ll continue to do it in the hopes that one day it’s really her back. Footsteps echo behind me and I pick up Reaper’s scent. He catches up to me running beside me as I follow the rustling of the forest. Seeing him gives me hope, it isn’t often that he is restless on the same night that I am. We push ourselves hard until we are both panting and sweaty as we break out into the clearing where we buried our packmates. Rocks litter the ground as head markers and a big log sits at the edge of the cliff looking out over the horizon. The moon is full tonight so the forest is bright. I’m curious as to why we came here tonight when I quickly realize why. A figure sits on the log looking out over the horizon.
“Dusk?” Reaper asks moving quickly, I’m right on his heels as we approach the figure both wanting it to be her.
“You picked the same spot I would have, I’m sorry I missed it.” Dusk’s voice drifts back to us and she sounds human, nothing like the last time she spoke.
Reaper and I come around either side of her and stop when we see the bundle she holds in her arms. It’s a baby boy, he blinks up at me and his grey eyes reflecting in the moonlight causing tears to fill my eyes.
“He looks like Noah doesn’t he. I’ve named him Fang because he’s got one canine already.” Dusk smiles up at us proudly as she prods the baby's delicate mouth showing us his one little fang.
I crumble to the ground beside her happy tears leaving my eyes as she cooes at Fang lovingly. This is a delicate wonder before us. I bow my head as the tears continue to fall and Dusk reaches out with her free hand to grab one of mine. I watch as she brings my hand up to Fang’s little chubby one. When he grabs onto my hand little snowflakes begin to sprinkle my fingers, little red flame-shaped snowflakes. I let out an almost delirious laugh at the sight of such a thing and Dusk smiles even brighter.
“Are you back?” Reaper asks breaking the silence and asking the one question I’ve been afraid of.
“I’m back, after all, I could miss the first day of training. I’m ready to witness my brother help the world do right with us at their side.” Dusk replies her tone strong and I move onto the log beside her.
Reaper does the same on the other side of her. We both put an arm around her, Reaper flinches away when Fang reaches for his hand but Dusk doesn’t. Trusting Dusk Reaper lets Fang grab him and bursts into tears when Fang laughs happily freezing Reaper’s eyelashes together. Fang is immune to Reaper just like Dusk is. Squeezing together we share in this beautiful moment.
“I think Noah would be happy right now,” I whisper barely loud enough for them to hear but Dusk nods her eyes shining slightly.
We fall into silence and it feels right, everything feels right again now that our alpha is back. Everything is falling into place better than I figured it would. We are finally getting to where we should be. The humans view us as equals again and we view them equals as we always should have. There is finally an unspoken truth between all of us and I have to admit it’s a blessing. Dusk lets out a happy sigh as she holds Fang close as he blubbers out a laugh.
“You know I finally figure out the whole prophecy that everyone was talking about. I finally found the original. It’s what helped me regain myself after I killed those military officials.” Dusk says gently as if she is testing the water.
Reaper and I remain quiet so that she can continue speaking. What she says I will never forget, it truly means that everything was meant to be.
“On an ancient scroll, I found in one of the military possessions I read that the fire hound would return to bring unrest into those who were undeserving. The fire hound would be lost and revengeful until an ice hound would appear, it’s equal and they would come together to find a purpose. Upon finding that purpose a great test would take place in which fire hound would have to override its vengeful nature and the ice hound would have to make a daunting decision for the greater good. Upon the two being torn apart when the world finds peace they would be brought together again.” Dusk repeats and a smile touches my lips as well as Reapers.
I guess maybe that means Noah isn’t gone for good, maybe if the prophecy rings true he will be back. At this point all I can do is hope, I can hope that once again the world will right the sins of the unworthy. Only time will truly tell. For right now I’ll live in this moment. My sister, and alpha, returned to us and a whole new life starting for us tomorrow. For tonight I think I’m okay with sitting on this log peacefully until the sign rises and it’s time to step up and take our place in the world. For tonight we have peace. For tonight we have ourselves.
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